“I, Jasper Crook, beseech you, Magical Girl Flowering Lisa. Please take my daughter, Camden, fruit of my b… buh…” Lisa could see him turning red out of the corner of her eye as he struggled with the word, “-fruit of my bosom. Watch over her, and teach her to be a responsible steward for the city in the future.”
“I hear your request, Jasper, father of Camden, and will help her to love and protect this city as we love and protect her. And do you, Camden, accept and understand the responsibilities of a magical girl?” Lisa realized as she spoke that Camden was still in her pajamas, which had dancing bears all over them.
“I do!” She was too excited to recite the full line but Lisa knew it didn’t matter at this point.
Lisa put a hand on Camden’s shoulder and the girl fell still for the first time since they’d gotten here. “Then I hereby accept you as Magical Girl Apprentice Camden, make Shorebrook proud.”
“I will!” She bounced excitedly as Lisa stepped back.
“Alright, short but sweet. Apologies that the speech is a bit… mother-centric, Mr. Crook.” Lisa glance over at the man, who was no longer red, and realized he was also wearing pajamas under his coat.
“It’s quite alright…” He muttered.
“So are we all set?” Mike finally spoke up from his desk.
“Yes, now let’s get out of here before anybody shows up to bother us.” Lisa cast a leery eye at the windows.
“What do we do now?” Mr. Crook asked.
“Well it’s gonna take a few days to arrange everything else, Mike will handle that… until then I guess enjoy your day off?”
“Aww, can’t we hang out or something?” Camden looked a bit crestfallen.
“I’m sure she has a lot to do today, Camden.” Mr. Crook started trying to guide her out the door. Lisa glanced over at Mike, who gestured for her to do something.
“Well actually…” She sighed inwardly, “it might be a good idea for me to spend some time with both of you, and get to know you better. Just to make the transition easier. Maybe I can stop by this evening?”
“Yes!” Camden hopped a little bit, “We can have dinner again!”
“I… uh…” Jasper looked a little uncomfortable at the notion.
“If we’re gonna do dinner I’ll bring some stuff to cook. I’m a bit particular about what I eat.” Lisa could see a mixture of relief and embarrassment cross his face but Camden seemed not to notice, “Camden, why don’t you show the mayor what you can do while I talk to your father for a moment?”
The girl skipped over to Mike’s desk and started making her little doodles for him. Lisa stepped close to Jasper so they could speak privately and he started turning red again, “Mr. Crook, are you really prepared for this? It’s a big change.”
“I know… but it’s the best for her, and that’s what we both want.” He said, watching his daughter animate a dancing pig for Mike, who seemed very amused.
“My parents always said it’s not losing a daughter so much as gaining a weird aunt who occasionally lights monsters on fire.”
Jasper actually chuckled at that, before his eyes settled back into their eternal weary state, “It won’t be easy, but nobody said being a parent was.”
“That’s true… we’ll try and make this as easy as possible though. Just know I’ll do everything I can to protect her. I don’t take my apprentices lightly.”
“I know.” Jasper smiled as Camden returned to them, holding up a little glowing jellyfish for him to see, “That’s a brilliant one, Cam. Let’s get going so we can tidy up for this evening. We’ll see you later, Ms. Lisa.”
“Yes, I’ll see you tonight.” She waved as the hurried out the door.
“Thank you, Lisa.” Mike said from behind her.
“I’m not doing this for you, Mike. I’m doing this for them, and this town. And I’m going to need some cash to buy groceries… and light bulbs.” Lisa turned her head just enough to face him but didn’t turn around.
“Just talk to the receptionist and she’ll get you what you need.” Mike hesitated a little before continuing, “How long do you need before the town finds out?”
“I need time for her to get settled in, maybe a week. School’s back just after that so somewhere in between we’ll do a press conference.”
“Alright, I’ll try and throw them off until then.” He looked slightly unhappy as she turned to leave and she felt bad, even if she didn’t want him to know.
“We should do lunch sometime, without business I mean.” She opened the door as she spoke and stepped through, holding it open to hear his response.
“That’d be nice, yeah.”
She let the door shut behind her and turned to the receptionist, “I’ll need some funds for groceries for tonight.”
The woman handed her a card without question, “Did you need a cab home?”
“No, I’d rather walk right now, thanks.”
“Have a wonderful night, Ma’am.” The woman smiled a bright, professional smile that Lisa tried to return, and she hurried out into the quickly warming air. It was still cool but the sun felt like fire in the still air as she made her way back home.