2019-05-06: I'm a Big Shal Disaster Girl, High on Gay Emotion

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  • Log: I'm a Big Shal Disaster Girl, High on Gay Emotion
  • Cast: Lunata Croze, Shalune Amira
  • Where: Crusader Forward Base
  • Date: 6th May 2019
  • Summary: The Lunies stop after Operation Mi'ihen to talk about unresolved feelings, and also assisted suicide.

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

Lunata is slumped against one side of rock, looking pretty exhausted after:

- Participating at least in the back half of Operation Mi'ihen fighting off wave upon wave of Sinscales and Sinspawn to protect the Maester - Fending off Literally the Leader of Odessa Vinsfeld Rhadamantus - Becoming aware of an angry Crusader stabbing Wen Kinoc and having to be part of emergency services to help him not die

It's been a Day(tm). And it's not over yet either; the ex-waitress' skin is flaking off at some parts from all the duress of multiple battles, and she's barely nursing herself together with a cup of soup from her thermos as she quietly watches the Summoners get ready to head down towards the beach for a Sending.

Before the end of the day, she's also going to add:

- Get emotionally and mentally ready to die to a Sending on the off-chance it works

And she knows Shalune knows that. So at least she owes her... a talk.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Given everything, it might be a bit of a blessing that Shalune opted to hang back from the front lines, staying relatively safe and secure at the back ready to provide what support she could to the base as a whole. She had a pretty good idea of how putting herself in that much danger would affect Lunata - and while she didn't honestly know whether Jacqueline was in the middle of that devastation, she still breathed a sigh of relief when patients began trickling their way back up to the base with a collection of familiar vials in their hands.

As usual for the mechanic, tiring herself out with work beats actually stopping and processing things. She's not the most thorough of nurses when it comes to first aid, but she is a remarkable mix of practical and inventive - and when the bandages and splints begun to run out she's started rigging improvized versions out of whatever's available or risking herself to ride the Little Dipper back to the nearest supply waypoints.

It also means she's been keeping... a little out of Lunata's way at times, today in particularly. It's not really a conscious decision so much as her usual response to tension, mixed with the reality of her circumstances - that while she may be a guest of Yevon, she's decidedly not one of their order, still rather uncertain about what she should be doing here in Spira and still fleeing from the thought of actually taking Belize's warning to heart.

It's easy to find her now, though, a tired-looking ball of pink as she slides down a wall and into a chair for the first time in hours.

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

Lunata couldn't probably bring herself to admit it, but a big part of her is grateful Shalune's decided to not throw herself into the frontlines; she'd been worried enough that she would've seen Jacqueline out there already, that knowing where Shalune actually /was/ was a minor mercy.

"Lunie... hey, Lunie--" Lunata calls out as she stammers out and waves the pink-haired mechanic in towards her. "Uh--"

She looks towards where she's sitting on the ground, and Shalune on a chair. "Wait, no, okay, I'll come over there. You have seats."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

It takes a moment for Shalune to register the call; her head dips a little as she stifles a yawn, and then she catches her name and blinks up. "Oh! ... you're okay," she mumbles gratefully, even as her gaze settles across her friend, picking out the signs of tiredness and damage. For a moment, she chews at her lip, wondering if Lunata can heal here in Spira.

That thought doesn't exactly go away, but at least she sucks in a breath and plasters a weary smile on her face, doing her best to make it bright. "Well, chair singular, but we've made do with worse," she admits as she shuffles to one side to free up some space. "C'mon, you're gonna scratch yourself on that thing or something, or mess up your robes."

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

"... what do you mean, 'oh, you're okay'?? You sound like you were expecting me to--" Lunata's voice lilts into a playful kind of annoyance, before the awkwardness of their situation reminds her that, oh, actually, yes, that is a thing that is happening now. She bites her lip and walks towards Shalune's side.

And sits down on one end of the chair with a sigh, handing the soup thermos to her.

"I fought /Vinsfeld/. Can you believe that?"

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

There's a brief flash of something across Shalune's eyes, and the hand that reaches for the thermos pauses for a moment - but at least this sort of grumping back and forth is familiar enough that she can push through it, fixing Lunata with a rather glum look as she shuffles into a more comfortable position. "I mean you've still got your /arm/, for a start," she makes a show of a testy response, before pouring a cup for herself and curling her legs up against her torso to hug her knees.

The motion looks a little odd dressed as she is now, a swordsman's robe rather than jeans and sweater, and yet... just as comfy. Even here on Spira, Shalune's sense of identity remains rock solid.

The mechanic blinks for a few moments, as if having to remember the name - then she bolts her eyebrows upwards. "Him?" she blurts, astonished. "What the heck is he doing /here/? Why would you throw every major Drifter to another world and then go 'hey, I could just cause havoc on Filgaia while you're gone but instead I'll hop across too'?"

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

"I have no idea," Lunata immediately responds as she brushes and starts picking away at the little odds and ends that Shalune's outfit has accrued over the long day of work. She still has fussy waitress instincts. "He wanted to kill one of the Maesters for being an idle old guy who didn't fight in the front lines."

A pause, as she admits, "It's surprisingly petty, to be honest? I had a bit of a row and gave him my piece, but... I don't think we'll ever see eye to eye. I didn't /expect/ to, but. Now I really know..."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

The pink-haired girl absorbs that as she leans across into Lunata's touch, letting out a tiny sigh as she more or less fishes for a hug afterwards. "Sounds like one of those things that's a nice wholesome idea, but only when you put it on its own in a little cage or something. The minute you actually try to follow it, you get bit by a whole lot of 'what about this' or 'what about that'." Was he gonna be upset a baby wasn't picking up a shotgun?"

As strawmen go it's kind of going too far in the other direction, and honestly Shalune knows that - but she's not really all that bothered about good faith right at the moment, crinkling her nose. "... honestly, kinda reminds me of the Guard. 'Live like this and we'll help Adlehyde.'"

There's a pause, and she frowns. "So is everyone okay? I didn't see any other patients, but..." she's not really expecting the Maesters to have been brought to the Crusader base, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

"... I don't think there was anything wholesome with 'The Man sucks, let's burn it all to the ground with glorious revolution', honestly," Lunata sounds dour for a moment. "I mean, it does suck, but why is it that every one of these types always leans hard on convenient half-truths?"

She scratches her head and lets out a little sigh. "Yeah. Maybe that's what strikes me a nerve. I wanted to yell at him and ask where he was when Adlehyde got hit... but it's pointless."

A pause, as she furrows her brow to say, "Maester Seymour's fine. Belize and I helped protect him, and Lady Yuna and her entourage's gone down to the beach to uh..."

She scowls. "Perform the Sending..."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"--well, okay, 'wholesome' is the wrong word. I just meant the idea of everyone actually working together in one direction, rather than thirty different competing ones," Shalune admits as she curls around her cup a little to take a sip. "But, yeah, it kind of falls apart when you manage that by stabbing the other twenty-nine guys."

She's silent for a long moment when Lunata mentions the Sending; she's looking at her soup, but more past it and into the distance, tucking in a little tighter to herself. It's hard to stay with the Church for any length of time and not pick up an understanding of what the Sending actually entails and what it signifies, even if she missed the ceremony in Luca after the Sinspawn attack.

"... I guess they'd have to, huh? I mean, Sin was right there, after all. The last thing they'd need is for it to come right back," she wonders, and then looks up to Lunata as she worries once more at her lip. "... are you going to go?"

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

Lunata tosses the thoughts of Vinsfeld and Odessa out of her head for now.

That's because Shalune's gone silent, and she has too; she quietly squirms and puts her arms around herself. She's spoken of it with Belize. Shalune was there. It's not like this is the first time they're talking of it, but... at the same time...

"... I'm going," Lunata swallows with a lump, because the use of 'go' and 'going' is very Meaningul right now.

She lowers her head. "... I'm-- I can't ask if you're 'okay' with this or-- anything..."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune swallows hard past the lump in her throat; half her soup is untouched, and the rest quivers in the cup as her grip tightens until her knuckles are white. "... of course I'm not. I can't just be 'okay' with something like this," she whispers fiercely. "I don't see why we can't just-- go home to Adlehyde, look after the Saloon, try to find a way to get you off the Wheel that doesn't involve something this drastic. I don't give that much of a damn about stopping everyone and their Mother. There's other things we can do than follow Jay."

There's a spike of hurt and a little jealousy in her voice as she mutters that last sentence, and she winces, realizing she's an inch off projecting blame onto the alchemist. Catching herself before she can, she mumbles something tiny under her breath, awkwardly fidgeting at her hair as she tries to come up with the rest of the words to say.

"But I'm not... you," she mumbles, her voice tiny this time. "It's not like I can know what it's like, or how you're feeling. There's only one way I possibly could, and-- and even if I've thought about it really hard sometimes, I know you'd never forgive me." She sniffs back a noise of warning, then blinks a couple of times as she tries to joke: "Besides, you're really, /really/ stubborn!"

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

Lunata-- swallows in turn as she stares towards those knuckles and remembers thinking what she told Lydia of being so incarnately awkward she wants to just find a grave to go lie in-- wait that's what got them into all this! She scowls for a moment in turn to say, "I hate feeling this way. Lunie, you know me better than-- anyone, Jay included ever did. Why couldn't..."

She lowers her head. "Why couldn't have Jay just said that? Why does she have to be so-- so-- okay with everything. It's made the Carakin a mess for me to be around... I can't cope with any of it."

She lets out a tiny little noise and bites her lip as she looks around and just gives her a deep hug.

It's probably the most earnest one she's given in a long time.

"I know. I'm stubborn and selfish and... and... it's most unfair to you..."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune obviously catches the noise that Lunata makes as she feels the awkwardness start to bubble up once more; the mechanic is quick to lean over further in response, resting against the other girl in some kind of quiet show of support. "... you know she never, ever thinks about herself," she huffs softly, voice a little thick.

"She probably didn't even realize what it would mean to you. Or more like, she probably never even considered anyone would like her like that. I mean, have you?" she teases - or tries to tease, but it just comes out wavering instead, and she nearly bites at her lip again, squashing down her first impulse.

Instead, she draws forward and makes a soft noise of her own as she settles into the hug proper, burying her head against Lunata's shoulder in a cloud of pink as she clings tightly to her friend's robes. "... it's okay to not be able to cope with it," she mutters. "It's okay to be mad at her. It's okay to be sad, or upset. It's-- I just--"

Shalune peters out for a moment, shaking her head as she redoubles her hug, her shoulders hiccuping a little. She's visibly reluctant to say what's on her mind, and it takes her a long moment to work up the courage before her fingers tighten on the cloth and she draws in a shaky breath. "I just... want to know if you're sure about this. If you're not just doing it to escape Jay. If you think it's for the best - for /you/," she stresses as she lifts her head.

Her eyes are moist, but determined - and as much as she seems to want to skitter away, she keeps her gaze firmly on Lunata's.

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

Lunata considers herself thick, but there's a limit to said thickness, really, because her voice is coincidentally thick with emotion as she lets go of that hug as she lets go and stares to Shalune when she asks her that question. "... well. Do you?" she actually shoots back.

There's a faintly choked breath as she mumbles, "... I can't cope with it. I tried bottling it in and of course it got worse and worse until I can't live with it anymore. I don't know what to do about it--"

She pauses, frowning deeper.

She lets out a little breath.

"It's not /just/ about escaping Jay. It's... it's..." Lunata pauses and mumbles, "It's not right, Lunie. It feels incredibly hollow, at times. And it's not just coming from the heart being hollow, too. It's being reminded of the way my skin flecks and decays, the way everything hangs together by what feels like ancient gum tape the way you bolt Big Shal together. It's being reminded of the way things are upside down, where blisters don't heal and medicine /sits/ and start to sizzle a little and I wonder if I'm going to explode inside."

She withers a little under that gaze.

"Nothing about this is natural. Nothing about this feels right. I thought I'd get more and more used to it but I'm /not/."

She scowls further, but then does actually turn it right back around. "You pushed me to try to wrap things up. Now it's your turn. So I'm asking you again: Do you?"

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

For all that she looks like she wears her heart on her sleeve a lot of the time, Shalune is capable of glossing over and tucking away a lot when she feels she needs to and when she thinks she can get away with it. Maybe she thought she could get away with the tease, maybe she didn't even realize she was giving Lunata that opening - but the way she swallows and the way her fingers tighten on Lunata's robe both speak volumes, even if she can't find the words at first as her mouth works.

Instead, she lets her shoulders sag as she listens to Lunata's explanation, realizing immediately how important it is that she recognize the other girl's reasoning. It's only a little way through it that she winces softly and starts to fumble for one of Lunata's hands to hold it between her own, sucking in an unhappy and sympathetic breath as she dips her head and does her best to blink back the further tears.

"... okay," she mumbles afterwards, almost hunched over; it feels like there's a lump stuck in her throat again, but she shakes it away in a spasm of movement. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to doubt you, I just-- I just had to make sure, okay? With everything recently, it's-- I kept thinking the worst, but I didn't know how to bring it up," she mutters thickly. "But if that's how you feel, then-- then it's my job to support you. It's my job to accept that. So I will," she adds, doing her best to firm her voice up as she meets Lunata's gaze. She can't blink back the tears any longer, but she tries a wobbly grin as she rubs at her eyes. "Um, even if I'm not sure how yet."

When Lunata presses the point, it's almost as if Shalune was hoping she'd slipped past the question; her face falls again, and she's the one to wither under the gaze this time. "After everything you gave up... wouldn't that just be giving you more ties? It's not-- that feels like it'd be really, really unfair," she whispers.

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

It's not like Lunata's not aware of it either. Shalune leaving for Elru is still a huge mark in her heart, no matter how much she says she wants to let go and has let go of that in the past, after all. Everyone has coping mechanisms, whether it's Jacqueline's way of pushing herself beyond her limits or Lunata's incredibly extra ways of going stir-crazy or Shalune's denial tactics.

"... you told me to square things with Jay. That hurt her. Lydia-- Lydia /told/ me she's still crying. But do you think I'll be happier walking into the light not having squared things away with you, the most-- /the/ most important person in my life who knows me best?"

She narrows her eyes and presses the point further.

"Are /you/ going to be okay with having things left unsaid?"

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"I don't know!" Shalune blurts suddenly in return, her head bowed; despite the way her shoulders shiver, she draws in closer to Lunata. "When mom died I kept going over stuff in my head I'd wished I'd said, but then I kept wondering if-- if I'd said it, and then she died anyway, would it just have made me feel worse instead?"

"Then everything happened, and things between you and Jay got fragile, and I got... really scared we were on eggshells," she deflates on the spot, letting out all her breath at once in a rush of words. "Like if I said anything at all, something would break, you know?"

She swallows for a moment, staring at Lunata's hand in hers, and then screws her eyes shut again as she uses the momentum of her complaints to simply push forwards. "O-of course you mean the-- the world to me," she comes dangerously close to burbling, but her brow furrows; it's too close to her usual affection to be distinct, and she knows it, hiccuping a little as she tries again.

"I-- I really like you, okay? I'd get real jealous at Jay for always catching your attention, but I wanted you both to get together as well because it'd mean you were happy! When I was away I'd sit there hoping you were okay, getting mad at myself for leaving! When I came back, all I could do was keep sneaking glances at you, then try to cheer you up, then follow you so you'd at least have someone with you! Even now, I-- I don't know what else to even say..."

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

Lunata does treat this kind of situation herself like she's walking on eggshells, because as much as they joke about Shalune being the one bundled like an egg, it isn't like she has limitless rebounding capability or anything. "... I didn't get a chance to say the things I wanted before I died for my mom. Then I got the chance and found out that... that it wouldn't make sense because I still persisted."

She frowns just a little bit deeper as she says, "And... I know. It really stings. It stings to find out our friendship's a lot more fragile than any of us assumed -- probably, took for granted. I think people probably run into this as they grow up."

But-- when Shalune pushes through anyway, she sighs faintly as she-- she sighs again and does the most Lunie thing imaginable at the moment:

She flecks Shalune on the forehead with her finger.

"I never wanted you to feel like a third wheel. Like because you had to run away that you don't deserve better. Because you do."

So she gives her a firm, lasting kiss on the forehead at that point.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"... I think most people, as they grow up, don't start facing down cosmic horrors despite their friends not wanting them to," Shalune grumbles back. "And other people don't zip off to Elru, or trade their soul." It's rare of her to do so quite so openly and solemnly, but she's obviously letting herself be more open right in this instant. "I mean, you're probably right, but whichever way you look at it... we've all been through a ton."

She's still sniffling, and her eyes are still wet, but she looks calmer now as she wipes at her eyes, busy enough that the flick on the forehead takes her completely by surprise, and then the kiss as well for entirely different reasons. She pips a little at both, her expression softening as she grasps for another hug.

"I never felt like one," she promises - and immediately winces. "No, that's wrong-- I mean, when I did, it was only because I was concentrating on the two of you. I really wanted to see you both happy," she adds with a bittersweet smile. "But... I mean it. There's nowhere else I'd rather have been than with you," she adds, and reaches up--

--and wobbles, and second guesses herself, and eventually ends with the tiniest peck at Lunata's cheek before she covers her eyes and pink cheeks. "Aahh, this isn't fair!" she whines. "I'm the older one! How come you're so cool at a time like this?!"

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

"We've been through more than most people will ever see in their lifetimes. There are /soldiers/ in Aveh and Kislev who'll never see as much action and combat as we have in their lifetimes, and that's /insane/," Lunata just straight-up points out.

She does take a napkin out to help dab at Shalune's sniffles, before her eyes start tearing up further. Shalune goes in for another hug, and she lets her work through that as well.

"You know the 'I just want my beloved to be happy' thing in fiction is a real load of junk, right?" Lunata grumbles. "Like-- it's not like you're not allowed to feel that way, but that..."

She does kind of screw it up because Lunata, but grumbles in turn as Shalune gives her a peck in turn. "Because-- because I'm the disaster gal who's like 'screw it' so oh screw it--"

And then she plants a longer kiss on Shalune's lips, with that.

While thinking 'I hope I don't taste like zombie' approximately two seconds after it starts.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"A-aww, shut up," whines Shalune in turn. "What did I know about being cute or romantic? You used to be a super cute, super composed waitress, and Jay was an actual bona fide adult doing adult business things!" she blurts, and does at least manage to look quietly embarrassed. "... my opinion of myself wasn't all that great back then, okay? And then it just became a matter of habit, and jeez, you're not a disaster girl, you're just-- mmp!"

Shalune is glowing the same colour as her hair by the time they part again, clinging back onto Lunata's robes once more as she slowly steams and tries to gather her thoughts. "... you're-- you're not a disaster girl," she insists again once her brain gets back on track, and leans up to properly return the affection this time, even if her kiss is shorter. "Every step of the way, you've done your best. I've been watching."

She lifts up, and draws out a slow breath. "So-- so I'll go with you, the rest of the way."

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

You're not a disaster girl.

"I'm a /big shal/ disaster girl," Lunata responds, high on gay emotion.