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#1 [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:17 am

ANGrey

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It hadn't been very long, but it still felt like it was yesterday.

Rena's dead, she thought. Makishima is the new Captain-Commander. The Captain-Commander part she could understand... that was simply a title, to an extent. Rena's dead... the line played over and over again in her head. No matter how hard she tried, Nicole could not remember who it was that had actually told her; it didn't matter, though. Rena's dead.

Rena Lisola was dead.

My mother is dead.

The moon cast an ominous glow over Soul Society as a whole. Shadows were still and none moved throughout, but from the corner of her eyes she could see them dancing, mocking her, attacking her from just out of reach. She still was not permitted to explore Rukongai, though she did vaguely understand the reasoning of it; even now, she had a large amount of trouble controlling her power, and when her emotions were in flux that control was even less.

Sitting atop the Sougyoku Hill, Nicole Lisola closed her eyes as the message looped in her head; the memory and the shock factor were still quite vivid, and it took all of her physical strength to hold back the river. Her normally pale orange eyes were, when open, quite shiny and wet.

Rena's dead.

Though she wasn't looking, and despite her rather poor sensing abilities, Nicole knew that if she tried to see him, she would find Kokoro watching over her. Since everything, he'd been the only one who made any attempt to make sure she was okay... though since he was the only one she was aware of that knew not only who she was, but also her direct power level, it made sense he'd want to make sure that she didn't cause any issues and was as stable as she could be.

That was, at least, some level of comfort. It made her smile, knowing that at the very least, he would make sure nothing happened to her. Kokoro Nashi would watch over her.

A gentle wind blew, and there was silence. Even Mizu and Sansei could not speak to her right now. She knew they were there, both of them were trying to find words, but it'd been days since either of them spoke. Nicole simply didn't know how to cope with anything right now. She didn't know how to do anything. She didn't know anything.

Nicole knew nothing, and Rena was dead.
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#2 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:51 pm

Quantum

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13th Division
13th Division
Gael was approaching the summit of Sougyoku Hill. He often came up here to ponder upon things and engage in inner dialogue. Today, the air was calm with only a gentle breeze tugging at Gael's Haori and hair. Gael's footsteps slowed proportionately with his distance from the top of the hill. He sensed the presence of another and hesitated for a brief moment before deciding to continue.

Just in the distance Gael could see someone sitting. Their body language communicated the anguish they were in perfectly. Gael surveyed the rest of the area to come to the conclusion that the pair were isolated. Gael continue his approach and finally came close enough to discern that the person before him was a female. From an adequate distance away Gael attempted to strike up a conversation.

"You know...I often come up here to be alone with my thoughts. Very rarely do I happen upon another."

Gael was sure to deliver each word carefully and gently to ensure his genuine concern and intent reached the woman. The wind became still and Gael fell silent as he awaited a response that perhaps might never come.
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#3 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:03 pm

ANGrey

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"Another Captain." Though Nicole was asking the male a question, a quick glance at his Haori and her lack of any tone in the voice disguised it as such, making it more of an observation. "I do not expect you to know me. This is the first time I have come up here since Lisola-Soutaichou's death. It may very well be the last, as well. Such assertations are difficult at the moment." It was quite unlike her to speak so monotonously, and so clearly.

Anyone who knew Nicole knew that, normally, she was a rather happy person, especially when Mizu was present. With the both of them being so quiet, though... there was nothing, a hollow shell left to fend for herself. She continued staring out over Seireitei with little to no regard for the male, but shifted her position ever so slightly to the right, moving her hand away from her Zanpakutou, as though to signal to him that he was allowed to approach without fear of danger.

Regardless of how Nicole felt on the matter, she knew somewhere in her head that Kokoro would be watching her closely tonight and would prevent anything from happening, be it to or from Nicole herself. There was no reason to be hostile to the unidentified Captain, but there wasn't any particular reason to be cordial to him either.

"Division." Once again, Nicole was asking him a question, but once again the lack of any tone in her voice disguised it and made it seem like a statement, which would normally confuse a person. Given that she wasn't quite emotionally stable, she was also leaking a decent amount of reiatsu, enough that any respectable Captain-class Shinigami (or other such spiritual being) would know that she was leagues above a normal Captain in raw power, though it wasn't as obvious that she didn't know how to control her power.

Even though the girl looked only 15 years old, that level of power coming from her had to be at least a little scary. It wasn't as high as Makishima-Soutaichou's, but it was only slightly behind Kokoro Nashi himself, which was scary in its own right. Again, though, Nicole wasn't trying to be hostile or difficult; it was simply a matter of her being too hollow at the moment to be her normal self.

Rena's dead.
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#4 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:23 pm

Quantum

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13th Division
The response Gael got was even more than he anticipated. Normally, a person grieving like this, intentionally trying to be alone, wouldn't even respond. The fact that the girl replied in any manner at all in conjunction with her removing her hand from her zanpaktou told Gael there was more to this story than he initially could gather.

Gael took the invitation to approach and at first sat next to the girl before laying down on his back and looked up at the sky. Ironically, only two clouds were visible directly above the pair like a perfect metaphor for their current situation. Gael closed his eyes and placed his hands behind his head before he spoke.

"It's hard to make any assertions about anything when one's mind is lost in a labyrinth of thoughts centered around a single thing."

Gael opened his eyes back up and looked over at the girl. He could feel reiatsu spilling from her like an ocean. It was clearly much stronger than his own but also far less tempered. It was rough and turbulent. Perhaps this was due to the girls current state of mind or because she had little control over it. Overall, this was meaningless. Gael felt empathy for her and wanted to attempt to help her out her mind's maze. Gael raised an eyebrow as he could tell she was inquiring about his division. Of course, he immediately responded answering her question as well as providing additional information.

"I'm the Captain of Squad 13, Gael Abbott."

As Gael spoke he attempted to use his own reiatsu to calm the girl's. Gael's control of his reiatsu was comparable to a surgeon's command over a scalpel and he thought that calming the girls external reiatsu might translate some level of calmness into her troubled mind. This gesture said more about Gael's intentions than any words ever could. He clearly wanted to listen to the girl and learn about her even if this would be the only time the two interacted.
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#5 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:28 pm

ANGrey

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He sat down next to her, much closer than she had anticipated, but she paid that little heed. Though he stared at the skies, she stared on through Seireitei, almost like she was looking for someone, though she wasn't moving very much. The male introduced himself as Gael Abbot, Captain of Division Thirteen, to which Nicole didn't seem to acknowledge for a few moments.

Then, Nicole get felt Gael's reiatsu push against hers; not in a show of strength, but in an almost calming manner. Though it wasn't going far enough to truly calm her down, she did appreciate the effort he'd made, and figured that was at least worthy of her name and former rank. It would be current rank, but ever since Rena was gone, Nicole couldn't bring herself to do her duties. Whether it was Kokoro who defended her on it or Makishima understanding, Nicole had been granted a temporary leave from the First Division, and was simply wasting her days looking for Rena, even though she understood what it meant that Rena was gone.

Still, Gael Abbot had introduced himself and made an attempt to calm her down. Whether that was his nature, an accident, or his way of getting her to open up, at least one of those things happened to some extent. Looking away from Gael on purpose, Nicole spoke gently, loud enough that he could hear her but that the wind would drown the sound from anyone else, as high up as they were.

"Former Third Seat of Division One. Nicole Lisola." If that didn't explain her situation, he was hopeless.
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#6 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:40 pm

Quantum

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Gael noticed the girl starring out at Seireitei as she remained silent for a few moments after the end of his last sentence. The pain in her eyes was evident but there was something else that he was still figuring out. Then, words finally came from her in a reply.

Gael couldn't believe that someone with his level of reiatsu was only a Third Seat but that wasn't the most important part of her reply. It was her name. Her last name. The name she shared with Rena Lisola. This is what Gael had been trying to figure out. Gael sat up on his elbows as the girl continued to look away from him. He wasn't sure how to approach such as sensitive and personal situation. Did this girl desire comforting or perhaps just someone to vent to. Someone who would actually listen. Someone who would come all the way up here just to talk to her during this troubling time. Gael had no way of being certain because he wasn't even sure if she knew what she wanted but nonetheless, Gael had to say something. He breathed out deeply to convey his understanding of the subject to Nicole before speaking.

"How long have you been up here?"

Gael's voice was even more sincere than it was when the two first started this conversation. It was obvious that he was invested in it and was willing to let Nicole lead the conversation.
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#7 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:52 pm

ANGrey

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How long had she been up here?

...That was a good question. How long had it been?

Glancing to the sky, Nicole looked at the moon. It was well over halfway through the sky, meaning it was only a few hours until sunrise. Given that she'd come out almost as soon as the sun set... it had been at least several hours, though she couldn't be more specific than that, not knowing the exact time.

"Sunset." With her reply spoken, she glanced back out to Seireitei, looking over the buildings and the very few people still wandering about, on their own schedules. All should could do was watch them, unaware of how they were able to move on so quickly. Did it have something to do with how young she was? If her mother hadn't trained her in the Dangai for almost a century, Nicole would only be around sixty years old, still basically a child to most of the other proper Shinigami. Given that she hadn't gone through the Academy either, she understood why so few people knew who she was, or her connection to Rena.

Rena...

Rena's dead.

Every time the thought rang out again, Nicole caught it a little clearer. She wasn't completely certain, but she vaguely remembered it being Kokoro who told her. That was the extent of her memories on that day: Everyone had left for Hueco Mundo, and Rena died. Was it Hueco Mundo? It was hard to tell, still.

Clenching her left hand into a fist, Nicole began to lightly tremble; whether that was due to her anger, her sadness, being cold since she'd been here for hours and was now aware of that, or some other factor beyond her comprehension... Nicole could not be sure to any extent. It was very likely a combination of all of those.

Taking a deep breathe, Nicole closed her pale orange eyes tightly, not sure if she was trying to calm herself down or fight back tears.... things were becoming less and less clear over the days. After a few seconds, she exhaled and opened her eyes back up, staring once more over the city, still barely registering that Gael was even next to her.
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#8 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:20 pm

Quantum

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Nicole hadn't been up here as long as Gael had expected but he still had great pity for her. She was clearly tortured by her mother's death. Of course sorrow is to be expected but Nicole was tumbling down a hole that there would soon be no returning from. Gael had to choose his words carefully. He realized that Nicole had to be the one to pull herself up. That is, he could only show her the path - she would have to walk it. Gael sat up all the way and looked at Nicole with earnest intent before speaking.

"Its hard to see past the things we don't understand."

Of course time lessens all wounds but Gael needed to get Nicole to see that the reason she was so lost is because she didn't fully understand the situation. Yes she knew her mother was dead but there is a difference between knowing something and understanding something.
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#9 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:33 pm

ANGrey

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Gael made a comment regarding things that weren't fully understood, to which Nicole simply turned to look at him. More accurately, she was looking through him. Though her eyes were focused on his own, she wasn't actually looking at him, but just letting him know she was acknowleding him directly with her next line.

"My mother is dead. I fully understand that, and don't you dare suggest otherwise." She didn't enjoy being hostile, and she wouldn't back up that thinly veiled threat with any force, but she wanted to make sure Gael understood that she knew what Rena's death entailed on more levels than he did, especially regarding herself. Gael had no way of knowing that Rena was in fact her second mother, and the second mother to die. Gael had no way of knowing her father had abandoned her into Rena's care, which meant that she was alone.

Aside from Kokoro Nashi, Nicole had no one. Not even her Zanpakutous. She was completely and utterly alone, and Kokoro, while fairly good at keeping her calm and letting her dispose of her pent-up rage and confusion, wasn't particularly good at the nuances of raising a child, insofar as how to actually take care of her and how to help her when she didn't want to punch him. If her punches were any stronger than they were, Kokoro probably wouldn't even let her do that, but since she was extremely weak physically and relied almost exclusively on speed and her Zanpakutous, he didn't seem to mind her punching him until she stopped crying. It was about the only thing he knew how to take care of her on. Emotions, for some reason, Kokoro understood well.

Rena's death, similarly, is something Nicole understood very well. She knew what it meant, and understood it more than simply knew it. Nicole was an orphan, being raised by a man who didn't really know how to raise a kid, and even her two Zanpakutou spirits couldn't figure out what to say to her. Sansei was to be expected, he wasn't good at the empathy part, but Mizu being quiet? That... was weird.

Turning back away from Gael immediately after speaking, Nicole would stare over Seireitei again, still looking directly at every person whom she could see, trying in vain to find Rena once again.
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#10 Re: [Private] An Orphan Once More on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:47 pm

Quantum

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Gael accepted the hostility of Nicole with open arms. It was to be expected. The fact that she was reacting at all was actually a good thing. Claiming her understanding of her mother's death was a start but that was not what Gael was talking about when he previously spoke. Gael slowly stood up and began to turn away from Nicole before looking over his shoulder with the slightest smile. This was a smile of compassion and hope. Gael then spoke as Nicole looked out over Seireitei.

"I never meant to imply that you didn't understand your mother's death. I only simply meant that there are perhaps other things you might not fully understand that have placed you here."

Gael took a few steps towards the edge of Sougyoku Hill. He now stood at the boundary of the cliff and the air. Gael had a sneaking suspicion about something. He decided to go out on a limb. Nicole had been holding her zanpaktou before Gael was even within view of her. On top of that, she was highly distracted by her current emotional state meaning she most likely didn't sense Gael's arrival. So why would she have her hand on her zanpaktou? Shinigami only placed their hands on them in a few situations and one of them was when they were tying to communicate with their zanpaktou's spirit. Gael deduced this must be what was worsening Nicole's burden and spoke upon it.

"Zapnaktous are interesting beings aren't they?"

Gael knew this would be enough to illicit a response if his hunch was correct.
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