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Pub Crawl; Open
Topic Started: Dec 28 2017, 03:27 AM (500 Views)
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It was the early evening and two individuals were out on a pub crawl, well, at least one of them was. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Hartwich attempting to try and restore Mikaela's taste bud's to something normal, Margaret was instructed to have her test the results. Margaret decided that a pub crawl would be the best choice, allowing her to let loose after working so hard and giving Mikaela a chance to explore the city and letting her taste all the various foods.

"Alright, let's start off with this little hole in the wall."

Margaret said, turning to look at Mikaela, placing her hands on her own hips as a show of pride. Margaret had her fair share of drinks from various places and she was proud to show off the best of those places to Mikaela. Not only did the pubs have good drinks, they also offered very good pub food.

Mikaela gave Margaret a soft smile as she followed her lead into the pub, the aroma filling the air; an aroma that wasn't bothering Mikaela like it should. There were scents that she hadn't smelled before, though there were still traces of off-putting scents as well that permeated the air subtly.

Margaret continued to take the lead, leading Mikaela to the bar complete with bar stools and sat left of Mikaela.

"So, let's start you off with something small. I don't know if you'll entirely like it so I don't want to have to waste anything. Plus it'll get expensive if we buy impulsively."

Margaret pulled out a small menu and turned the page to show her some appetizers, stuff that'd go well with drinks. It was a win-win for her, giving her some food for drinking while also letting Mikaela sample it.

"Pick something from here and I'll get someone to take the order."


Mikaela began looking through the menu, not sure what to pick since she doesn't exactly have a base to start from due to her only ever eating raw meat. Most of the stuff on the menu was fried, not like she would know the taste of anything fried to begin with.

As she looked through the menu, Margaret began anticipating the bartender, watching as he took orders from other patrons that had came before them. She already knew what she wanted; a nice cold pitcher of beer.
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The bartender stopped suddenly, looking over the patrons at the bar when a cry of elation sounded from the pool table. He smiled and shook his head when several swear words issued next.

"She's killing you boys again, tonight, eh?" the bartender called, getting no reply back from the table.

A crowd of rough looking, tattooed men in black leather wearing too many chains stood huddled around one end of the table. On the other end were sharply dressed men with multiple face scars wearing black sun glasses, chomping down on cigars, or puffing cigarettes.

Textbook Yakuza maybe?

The "Road Warrior" outfit, wads of Yen clenched in their hands, looked wrapped up in the game, brows sweaty as they watched a tiny woman in their midst, wearing a cute floral pattern dress, lean over the table, close her eyes, breath deep, and run the pool stick back and forth in her hands. Exhaling, the petite, ashen teen set distant eyes on the cue ball.

One of the black suited men, the one holding a pool stick, eschewed smoke through gold capped teeth after a draw off his cigar, chuckling.

"Scared, little girl? I have you beat tonight, for sure!"

One of the leather clad reprobates took an immediate issue with that remark. His painted face scrunched up, and his inked biceps flexed. Several veins popped in his neck as he shoved a finger at the opposing player. Lips quivering, eyes almost watery.

"Shuddup! Our tender Goddess is trying to concentrate! Quit trying to work her up!"

It would have been a humorous sight if not for the fact that Road Warrior Mascara was a hundred and eighty two centimeters of potential Steroid use. His frame alone must have been around 136kg. Yet, he sounded like an angry, rabid child fan with hurt feelings.

Then the object of his worship spoke up.

"Pepper, calm down. You are becoming apoplectic again."

'Pepper', looking mortified, quickly calmed, taking up meekly behind his 'Tender Goddess'. This drew laughter from the sharp dressed men. Putting a hand on the green of the table, the ashen woman tapped her stick against the edge, huffed, then finally regarded remain stripes, 9 and 14. She indicated two corner pockets wordlessly, pointing so confidently that it elicited a roar from both sides.

Verbally, wagers were called out. A smile of gold from the opposing player, he chuckled again.

"If you can make that shot, I'll give you my glasses, kid."

She nodded back at her foe.

"For convenience, you should take them off for me then."

The remark was cold, stoic, matter-of-fact, and drew more laughter. Laughter that stopped as she leaned across the table, and struck without hesitation. It was like watching magic, the cue ball struck 9, 9 flew towards its pocket, and disappeared into it, but its trajectory allowed it to knock 14 into motion.

14 glided, slowed to a crawl, and teetered teasingly on edge before dropping in. Delayed at first, another roar went up, some swear words, and shockingly enough, everyone started to leave the billiard table without conflict. The opposing player walked up to the slightly and pale woman a she counted her winnings.

Those drifting away from the table stopped, the leather clads looking particularly ready to go into action, but, it proved unnecessary.

"Deals a deal, kid..."

And he placed the stylish black shades on her face.

"I have not knocked in the 8 ball yet; you should stay, Masakun."

The man smiled his gold grin again.

"You haven't missed it the last three nights, Agnes; see ya tomorrow..."

And he left. Her spectators cleared like smoke, Agnes (with the shades still on) moved to the cue ball, pointed to a pocket, and knocked the 8 ball into it. The bartender smiled, and shook his head. Looking up at Margaret expectantly, he leaned an elbow down on the bar.

"Back again, I see. Sweetie whatcha' havin'?"
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Mikaela looked over to the pool game that had been going on, watching as one lone girl had been besting the likes of someone twice her size, and possibly twice as strong. She didn't know how pool was played, let alone the name of the game she was playing but she could tell just by watching that she must be winning.

"I'll take two cans of Sapporo Yebisu, and she'll have...."

Margaret said, trailing off and looking to Mikaela in hopes that she had figured out what she wanted. She saw that Mikaela had been looking off elsewhere, looking over at a pool table at another girl.

"She'll have another moment."

No need to rush her, she had all night anyway. In the meantime, Margaret pulled out her phone and began looking through some work she had to do, scheduling everything for the next couple of days.

Mikaela continued to watch the girl, even as everyone dispersed from the table. She had almost forgotten that she was even at the bar ordering something, quickly turning her head back to the menu after a short period of time.

"I think I'll have that!"

"Ooh, that does look good. Nice choice!"

Margaret said after turning to look up from her phone to the menu where Mikaela had pointed to, smiling at the choice. Not only was it a good option for her to start on, if she didn't like it Margaret would happily eat it. Once the bartender came around again, Margaret placed an order from some chicken karaage.
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Agnes sat down at the bar, to the right of Mikaela, and started sorting out the Yen notes by value, huffed, and squinted her distant eyes. The bartender smiled when he drifted back over, and like before, leaned an elbow down on the bar.

"Not enough for that ticket back to Austria, Cutie Pie?"

Agnes nodded.

"Correct. I need a more lucrative vocation."

"And safer, not to mention legal; the authorities are only so understanding."

"They are no longer amused?"

"Afraid not, darling."

"So tonight is the last night I can frequent this establishment then?"

The bartender nodded.

"So, what are ya having?!"

"The same."

The bartender tapped knuckles on the bar, and Agnes slid the necessary amount from her earnings to him.

"Soda water, and Chicken Karaage coming right up, Agnes!"

Returning to her notes, she stacked them, rolled them tight, put a hair scrunchy around them, and finally, secreted them into her left sock. A cold glass of soda water arrived then, and after a few sips, Agnes propped her elbows up on the bar, cradling her chin on the back of her hands.

"Perhaps another bar will let me linger on premises for four days..."

Looking over at Mikaela, lips a horizontal plain, and eyes inexpressive, Agnes leaned in slightly.

"Excuse me; but would you happen to know of any other Pubs with billiards?"
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Mikaela was quite shocked to see the girl choosing a seat next to her, especially so close. She quickly looked away and buried her head into the menu after picking up and holding it in front of her face, hoping the girl wasn't upset because she was watching her from afar.

Margaret was preoccupied with her phone but looked over to Mikaela every once in a while, glancing over for a quick second to see her looking through the menu again. She had also taken notice of the girl seated next to Mikaela as well, chuckling lightly under her breath and went back to her business.

"Huh!? Uh, what do you mean?"

Mikaela questioned, having been startled both by being suddenly asked a question and being spoken to overall by the girl. She sat up straight and looked at the girl with a clear look of fear and confusion on her face. She honestly didn't know what she meant when she mentioned billiards, an idea coming to mind but only because the word mallard sound almost similar.

Having no idea what she was talking about, Mikaela simply gave the girl a nervous smile, showing off those sharp and lethal teeth that were hidden behind her small lips. Another thing one would also notice is that even though she was startled by the suddenness, her speech never increased in speed and stayed relatively slow.
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Agnes cocked her head to one side. She must have caught the woman off guard. Another smile was shown to Agnes. Different then the typical. Most smiles were meant to invite talk. This smile seemed like a shield or a deflection. It was trying to hide, or repel something. What it did was reveal teeth that were a surprise to say the least, causing Agnes' distant eyes to surface into something more present.

"Never mind. I must not carry on as I have of late. My apologies for bothering you."

Chin returning to the backs of her hands, Agnes resumed silent contemplation, thoughts jumbled being ordered like the notes of Yen she'd counted earlier. Valued, stacked, and stored. Mikaela was ordered at the top, and thus, was to be addressed readily.

Turning on her bar stool, Agnes leaned in slightly yet again.

"If you do not mind, can I bother you once more?"

Making an effort, she tried to replicate a smile she'd seen recently, a conspicuous smile that Ms. Dvorak possessed. The corners of her lips tugged upwards as she attempted it. Agnes had no idea how it looked, but maybe the smile would prevent her from startling the woman seated next to her.

"I am a student at Senki Academy, are you as well?"
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Now Mikaela had wondered if she scared the girl after showing off her smile, knowing that her sharp-toothed smile was quite the sight to those unfamiliar with her. Taking the time to look back at the menu normally, now that the girl wasn't speaking with her for the moment, she began examining each item and even the one she had had Margaret order for her. If she could, she'd probably think that it looked good but she has no base experience to pull from so she can only hope that it was good.

It was a moment or two of silence before she was spoken to again, at least this time Mikaela was less surprised by the conversation. She looked over and gave a nod with an audible 'un' to further inform the girl that she was okay with being bothered.

Seeing Agnes returning the smile caused Mikaela to smile in turn, seeing as it didn't seem like the girl was fearing for her life due to the smile she had given first.

"Yes, I am!"

Mikaela said with interest, a bit happy to hear there was some connection between the two.

"I'm a first year in class B!"

A bit of excitement came from Mikaela, removing any assumptions of her being shy, if anyone had any. She was just glad that she didn't scare the girl, seeing as her initial purpose was to devour people without trace.
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"I am a first year as well, Class C. I am (short pause), my name is Agnes Lowenstein."

Agnes sniffed the air right then, closed her eyes and pushed olfactory up several notches, and sniffed again. She had to give it to Japan. In the week she'd been in the country, she had grown an appreciation for chicken, and other fried dishes.

"If you ordered the chicken, it is almost ready to come out."

Returning her senses to normal, Agnes regarded Mikaela again, flashing the smile once more. It felt a bit more natural this time doing it. Judging by Mikaela's reaction being positive, Agnes made a mental note to do it more often.

"Are you magical too? Everyone I've encountered has been of such persuasion. I am a result of a woman's scientific experimentation."

And Agnes blinked, smile slipping briefly from her face.

"I have been rude. All these questions, and I have not asked you your name. How may I address you?"
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"Nice to meet you Agnes!"

Mikaela said with a pleasant smile, happy to finally get the girls name. Agnes; an odd name that she had never heard before. There was a ring to it, the name repeating in her head as she thought on it.

"Oh yeah? I can't wait to try it."

She mentioned, attempting to mirror what Agnes did by sniffing the air but unable to smell it as well as she did. What she did smell was the bloodied fresh meat getting chopped up, her salivary glands starting to activate at the thought of raw meat and flesh.

"Magical? No, I'm the same way except it wasn't a woman. It was a lot of people I saw. Sometimes I couldn't even see their faces."

Much like Agnes, the smile she had previously started to slowly drain away until the girl asked for her name. Mikaela quickly snapped up and smiled again, having completely forgetting to give her name in return.

"I am Mikaela Hunnington. You can call me Mikaela, Mikkie, or whatever else sounds like that."

Although Margaret was on her phone, she was certainly listening in on the conversation Mikaela was having. It was to simply find out what sort of person Mikaela was interacting with, or just to make sure nothing strange was going on considering she's still socially awkward.
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A nod followed from the ashen Agnes. The smile remained fixed. And Agnes proceeded. It felt agreeable to talk at length with someone who may have had similar experiences to her own.

"A pleasure, Mikaela. I am the opposite. I never saw my progenitor, but I knew all the doctors who looked after and cared for me."

Agnes paused here, searching Mikaela's face; the look almost one of concern.

"I could not imagine not seeing the faces of those who tested me, and taught me; that must have been very difficult for you."

She then looked to Margaret.

"Your sister, I presume?"

Looking back at the billiard table for a moment, Agnes sighed.

"I was raised by good men. Unusual at times, but good."
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To be cared for, an idea that was foreign to Mikaela when it came to her own history. She began recalling the things she went through and began associating them with the idea of being cared for, but she'd soon come into conflict when she thought of how Margaret was 'caring' for her. A saddened a gloomy face appeared on Mikaela as she began recalling memories, flashes of moments of when she was at that facility of no future.

As Agnes continued, Mikaela began feeling another emotion she didn't feel too often start to emerge. Her face was no longer gloomy but a look of anger was slowly forming, her brows furrowing while a frown came about.

Thinking about her time at that place made her start to think about what she could have done, how she could have stood up for herself knowing she could easily crush the bones of her captors. Her breathing started getting heavier as she began tightening a fist, anger growing more and more as she thought deeply.

Margaret's watch began vibrating at the same time causing her to look from it and then glancing over at Mikaela from the corner of her eye. She began moving her watch-less left hand into her jacket pocket, keeping an eye on Mikaela as she started reaching for something.

Mikaela quickly snapped out of it when Agnes asked about the person she was sitting with, blinking a couple times before fully coming back to her senses.

"U-Uh, oh, no. She's actually my...my mom."

She blushed when she called Margaret her mom, Margaret looking over to the two and giving a smile after pulling her hand out of her own pocket to give a small wave as well.

"I'm Margaret, Mikaela's adoptive mother. I'm also her caretaker as well, pretty much the same thing to be honest."

Margaret chuckled as Mikaela continued to blush with embarrassment but deep down she was glad to have gotten it out there, someone to call mother.

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The smile flickered. And for the breadth of a moment her eyes watered. Agnes did not understand why. But she took in air quick, gut feeling a punch that found the pit of her stomach. Her lips trembled, for a blink, and the smile resumed, but a little broken.

What was that?


It raced through Agnes' mind repeatedly. What was it that she felt right then? But she couldn't square it, so she stored it back behind the other notes in her head for consideration later.

It would need plenty of that.

She nodded at Margaret, and looked back to Mikaela, eyes steady, the reaction buried behind the smile. Agnes understood then, the smile. Smiles invited words. But smiles also hid things too.

Buried covered things that hurt.

"You are very fortunate, Mikaela; I never knew Helena Lowenstein, my creator...(a pause as she blinked)...I never had a mother."

Agnes discovered she was smiling wider, even though she didn't feel like smiling. Agnes looked between the two women. Would Helena have taken her places? Made her blush in front of strangers? What was blushing even like?!

"I envy you. You have what I can never have..."

It occurred to Agnes that her tone sounded...!!!

"I am being, as Pepper over there would put it in the vernacular, 'a drag'."

Agnes said, pouring her even tone back on. She put the glasses on she'd won a moment ago, looking at the bar lights to test them (so she justified to herself) before looking back at Mikaela.

"Tell me about you, Mikaela."
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"Well, I never knew my real mom. I wasn't old enough to remember her or my father. I'd like to find them someday though."

Mikaela explained, looking down at the floor as she spoke, her feet swaying slightly as well. She began imagining what she'd do if she did find them, especially after realizing that she knew nothing about them; Would they even recognize her, want her, love her?

She looked back up when Agnes said she had something she'd never have, chuckling slightly at her comment. She didn't know how to respond, especially given the way Agnes presented the comment.

"You will find someone who cares for you in the way I care for Mikaela. Maybe you might find someone who cares for you in a different way."

Margaret chimed in, pulling her can of beer away to speak for a second. She'd take another sip after she spoke, raising an eyebrow to Agnes and giving a soft nod.

"Just because things seem grim now, doesn't mean they will always be that way. It all depends on how much input you give and where you put that effort."

Before turning back to her own business, Margaret gave Agnes a smile. Although Margaret was speaking to Agnes, Mikaela felt as though she was also speaking to her, specifically when it came to her past.

"Me? What do you wanna know?"

Mikaela asked nervously, suddenly being put on the spot. She didn't know anything interesting about herself, nor did she have any real hobbies. She was essentially a blank slate, perfect for bad influences but also for those wishing to instill their values onto her. Of course, Margaret had already taken the place for the most part, teaching her what she could.
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Margret’s words were calming. Kind.

Agnes was no stranger to kindness. It was a scarce dispensation from Dr. Lang. Agnes was more used to the utilitarian bedside manners of those involved at the facility. Forthright reassurance with little emotional inflection. No physical contact on the shoulders or pats on top of the head. No holding of hands to allay worries. Just stern, steady expressions that refused to reveal anything but confidence.

An environment without doubt. But without much compassion.

“Anything you would like to tell, I guess. Perhaps I am being too forward, and overzealous. But I have not encountered anyone with similar background to my own until you.”

Agnes shrugged.

“I want to compare interests.”

The word Agnes spoke was 'interests'. The word she meant was 'experiences'. Concluding that interests was more neutral, safer ground without asking for anything personal, Agnes went with that word. Taking the glasses from her face, and placing them on the bar.

“We do not have pool in common. This is apparent.”

It was her first attempt at a joke. Comedy. An evil that Dr. Ingval had tried to affect on her to little success. Agnes was attempting it now to try and even out the mood she felt she'd disturbed a bit earlier. Pubs were casual, loose, and friendly affairs. Humor was friendly.

It was worth a try.
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Mikaela had gotten comfortable explaining what she was and what she liked to eat but her purpose was still something she shied away from, a story for someone who she felt really comfortable with. She did, however, feel a little comfortable considering Agnes was mentioning things that were somewhat similar to her own experiences, and so she felt a bit inclined to speak with her.

"Interests? Well, um, I like to watch movies."

She said, not thinking of too much else she was interested in. Mikaela was thinking hard on what exactly she liked doing, even though the things she did daily were things she liked to do.

"Pool? Oh, you mean swimming? I like to do that every once in a while but it's a little chilly out for that. I think I read once that there are pools inside and you can swim in them all the time!"

The sound of Margaret softly chuckling could be heard as she looked over her phone, though it was certain she was chuckling at Mikaela's misunderstanding of the term 'pool' in context of previous events.
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Agnes blinked, but maintained her smile. Mikaela liked the water. Agnes...Agnes didn't hate it, but every time she took a bath or went swimming in a pool, she felt almost nostalgic. Feeling a sense of weightlessness, being suspended, surrounded by warmth, all this despite sinking into often cold waters during.

"Swimming is pleasant, I guess that is a common ground."

Agnes continued, turning to her drink briefly for a sip.

"And you are, of course, correct about the weather being cold. I recently went to the beach. It was pretty, but I must say I shivered for the rest of the day after that visit to the ocean; no regrets though, I met a new friend there, I believe."

Thoughts going to the enigmatic Mirth, her sudden ways, and curious mentality, Agnes wondered about her happiness of all things at that very moment.

"One meets very unique, but rather hospitable people her in Kaneshima, yes?"

Sniffing the air again, Agnes tuned up the sense a bit once more.

"I think either your order, or mine, is up, Mikaela."
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When the weather warmed up Mikaela would probably go to the ocean or public pool to go swimming once again. One would probably find it a bit fitting considering she was designed after a shark, or rather, modified.

"Oh, you met a friend? That's wonderful! Imagine if you had stayed inside instead of going out. You probably wouldn't have met that person."

Mikaela said, thinking on the fate of it and began wondering about her own 'what if' situations. She'd put it aside for now as Agnes continued speaking about the various kinds of people one could expect to meet in Kaneshima.

"Mhm. I've meet some nice people. I did run across someone mean though, I don't know what happened to them though. I hope they don't come back."

A couple months ago Mikaela had run into a girl that was acting beyond mean, a bit towards the lethal end of being mean. She even recalled that the girl wanted to be her friend but was probably trying to lower her defense or ease her into a sense of safety to try and get an upper hand.

"Oh yeah?"

Mikaela remarked at the comment Agnes made about an incoming order, turning to look towards the direction of the kitchen and soon seeing the bartender coming out with a small dish.

"Woah, that's cool!"

She said once the plate sat between Mikaela and Margaret, quickly turning back to Agnes with an impressed look on her face.

"Are you a psychic type?"

Considering the city they were in, it wasn't unreasonable to think that Agnes was one. Of course, it didn't come to mind that she might be able to detect smells as well as she could, though slightly different in method.
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Agnes looked serious for a moment, the smile disappearing from her face, eyes lowering. It was a contemplative expression, as if she were trying to figure out the best way to describe something elusive.

“ESP? Not so much extrasensory as much as I am extra sensitive when I want to be. I can smell, hear, see, taste or feel at I highly acute level if I so desire to; I raise the individual senses to levels well beyond the human limit...and I can shut them off...all of them off at once, also.”

Smiling again, Agnes regarded Mikaela's plate.

“It can make my guess work more accurate, you see? Everyone orders the Chicken Karaage. You likely ordered before me, so when I smelled it, it was a good guess that it was your plate coming up.”

She sniffed the air again.

“I can follow it at this level...and have a vague sense of where it is, its proximity...here it comes...”

The bartender came out with Agnes' plate right then, setting it down in front of her with a wink, and a good natured smile.

“There you go, Little Lady.”


The bartender left to go attend to other customers. Regarding her food, Agnes cocked her head, looking sideways at it.

“I spent so much of my formative life eating food that lacked presentation of any kind, Mikaela, all consumables were for maximum nourishment, not enjoyment. Thus, just the rudimentary usage of fork, spoon, knife, cup and straw, and hands were taught...I was at first perplexed as to whether this dish was edible or artifice. I am still perplexed, that is, I still wonder whether I have eaten this properly yet or not.”

Agnes framed her chin with her fingers, skewing at the fried gobs of chicken.

“It's enjoyable, but fills me with a sense of anxiety. Has food ever effected you in such a way too?”
Edited by Hesperus, Jan 23 2018, 03:44 AM.
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"Oh! That sounds really cool! I bet no one could sneak up on you, huh?"

Mikaela asked, showing a bit of interest in Agnes' abilities. She began thinking of other uses for her abilities, thinking about being somewhere really loud and turning one's auditory senses off to ignore it all.

"And right you were!"

Replied Mikaela in response to Agnes breaking down her thought process behind her guess. While Agnes spoke, Mikaela began looking at the actual food itself, sniffing it before actually grabbing a piece to pick up and examine.

Once again she was impressed by Agnes' ability to guess what order was coming out, even though if Mikaela were to think for a second she'd understand that there wasn't really anyone else around to order food. If they were, they were at other locations of the pub doing something else.

Margaret watched over as Mikaela examined the piece of chicken, wanting to see how she'd react to it so she'd have a sense of how well the medicine worked, if at all.

"Me? I only ever ate....meat and it was raw but ever since I met Margaret, I've been trying to eat new things. Raw meat is the only thing I could eat because everything tasted bad, so bad it would make me puke."

With her explanation over, Mikaela took her first bite into the chicken to give it a try. Thanks to her teeth, she tore a small piece of meat off with ease and began mashing it around in her mouth to get the flavor out.

She began giving a disgusted face as though she were taking some strong herbal medicine in the form of powder. Mikaela turned to Margaret to let her know that it didn't taste good, Margaret turning to grab a small bag and handing it to Mikaela to spit it out.

"Well, looks like it didn't work. I guess it comes with the territory, having years of modification takes work to undo."

Margaret commented, mentally noting Mikaela's reaction to the chicken. It was clear her taste was not normal, something as delicious as karaage chicken coming out to be disgusting. Thankfully the chef was around to see or hear her reaction.
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Sympathy surfaced, lightly, in Agnes' eyes. She, without thought, reached out and patted Mikaela on the back.

"I had the same reaction to Tempura vegetables. Something about fried greens never settles well with me. I ate them raw every time because that was how they were offered to me at the facility...I cannot hold them down after a vigorous deep fry because of that introduction, apparently."

Agnes looked up at Margret when she spoke about "years of modification". A frown formed on Agnes' lips, eyelids lowering as her brow furrowed.

"Mikaela's caretakers at her facility...they did not care for her, did they?"

She then looked at Mikaela, leaving her question to Margaret hanging in the air. Mikaela, who was spitting the chicken out into the bag presently. Sympathy was an...uncomfortable thing to possess, Agnes decided right then. One wanted to comfort, but in this case, despite similar backgrounds, Mikaela obviously came from very different nurturing, if it could be called that.

They did not have compassion in common in their respective backgrounds. At least, that was what Agnes assumed. Who would, or could create such an aversion in another being to where standard pub fair couldn't be consumed?

Margaret was the positive. What came before had been...damaging despite whatever innovation had been achieved. Agnes squeezed Mikaela's shoulder. Leaning in a little closer.

"We cannot help our upbringings, it seems. We are but the sum of our parts in most cases. But to continue, it makes us more, no? We move on from what was. Become more despite the past, despite ourselves."

Smiling, Agnes not realizing that it was kindly, and perhaps the first honest one she had formed, took her hand from Mikaela, clasping her drink in both hands, gazing into it.

"We will be more than what was struck in the mold...if we keep trying."

And Agnes hoped she believed her own words.
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