Korma Knock On Our Door

Miku and Kokoro visit Korma Chameleon. They'll be back.

Date: 2017-04-26
Pose Count: 44
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 04:28:52 75247
o/~ Korma Korma Korma Korma Korma Chameleon...

Yes, the song *does* play, quietly, from unobtrusive speakers stashed away under the red, gold, and green awning.

The restaurant itself is in one of the quieter neighborhoods of Tokyo, a little over ten minutes away from Shinjuku proper. It's late enough that the dinner rush is in full swing, the air buzzing with the conversation of happy diners, and fragrant with warm, comforting spices. Manning the register is a decidedly young, dark-skinned redhead; too young to be paid for her work, most likely, but working very well all the same. Homework, it seems, occasionally has to take a backseat to helping take some of the crush off of overworked waitstaff.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 04:37:32 75249
    Part of Kokoro was hoping this was some small, out-of-the-way hole in the wall that would get few people. Another part of her was hoping for exactly this, a dinnertime rush that she could disappear in. So naturally, she's not sure whether to be bothered by the crowd, or relieved. But at the very least, not many are likely to be bothering her. With her hair hanging down over most of her face, her height, and the general surliness of her demeanor, she's good at giving people a silent 'buzz off'.

    And just inside the door, she stops, taking a quick look around. Maybe they'll let her seat herself. Maybe that girl from the other night won't spot her. Maybe the Hanshin Tigers will win a championship.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 04:38:39 75250
Miku Kohinata's week has been a roller coaster of too much emotion and not enough sleep. Accordingly, she's been binging on too much caffeine and spicy foods to help keep her awake.

So much for the first month of school going smoothly.

Tonight, the teen's frustrated and lonely and just wants to be around people, even if she doesn't know them or interact with them. So with her iPod on her arm, earbuds in her ears, Miku's gone for a run through the district dressed in a pair of jogging shorts and a tanktop. She has her hair pulled back with an oversized cream--coloured bow, and generally looks ill suited to going just about anywhere public.

But to a public place she goes anyways, panting and sweating lightly from the exertion of her run.

Miku makes her way in only a few steps behind Kokoro, and reaches up to turn down her music player while she waits to be seated. It'd probably be easy to mistake her as entering with the other girl, if one weren't paying too close of attention.
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 04:44:38 75252
"Welcome!" The girl behind the register chirps -- her voice sounding strangely familiar to Kokoro's ears -- and both teens are thrown a bright, sunny smile. "Thanks for coming, and-- hm. I *think* we have a table open..." Leaning to one side, she stands on her tiptoes, craning to look ove rthe heads of the diners, and lights up. "There's one! It's at the back, there, by the wall."

If one were setting up a clandestine meeting, one could probably not arrange for a better spot; at the back of the restaurant, right next to an emergency exit, and clear line-of-sight to the kitchen, even. "Go ahead and have a seat," the redhead continues, passing a cardstock menu to each of the girls. "I'll be over in a sec to get your order!"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 04:53:29 75255
    She's not sure about some other student working the counter here, but at least it means no one seems to be expecting...


    Wait, this means she's gonna have to share a table with someone. Slowly, Kokoro's eyes sweep around to Miku, giving her a long, appraising look that probably doesn't look all too friendly. Then she looks towards the booth in the back, then Miku again. "..." Is it worth the discounted food?

    Dang it.

    "...just don't bother me." With that simple declaration, the towering teen heads for the table in the back, absently tugging at her school uniform. Still feels weird.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 05:04:35 75258
Miku looks as surprised as Kokoro, as the pair are pulled in together. "Uh," she mumbles, then glances at Rashmi confusedly. But she doesn't argue, in the end. Instead, she just pulls the earbuds out of her ears and tucks them into her pocket. "Well," she mumbles, but follows along anyways until she's been directed to a seat. For obvious reasons, Miku lets Kokoro pick her seat first, then slides into the seat across from her. Better not to sit next to her. Once Rashmi has run off to do whatever it is she's doing, Miku leans forward to apologize, "Sorry. I don't know how that happened. I'll leave you alone, or whatever."
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 05:08:31 75259
Thankfully, the awkward isn't allowed to hang for very long. Wearing an apron bearing an *aggressively* adorable bug-eyed chameleon mascot, the girl emerges from the kitchen, bearing a tray carrying a small pot of tea and two cups. She pauses a bit, glancing back and forth, and clears her throat. "....You weren't.... really here together, were you."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 05:21:06 75262
    For her part, Kokoro doesn't seem terribly bothered by the silence, just looking over a menu in a sullen silence she seems to have far too much practice at. It's only the re-arrival of Rashmi, and her subsequent re-appraisal of the situation, that prompts any sort of reply. A simple, "Nope." She does, after a moment's delay, pull one hand off the menu, reaching down into her pocket; it comes back with a flyer that's obviously been crumpled, un-crumpled, and then folded up haphazardly. A fairly familiar flyer. "Came for discount food. Don't care if I have to share a table. ...I'll have the Kosha... whatever this is here."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 05:23:54 75264
Miku glances across at Kokoro's order, then looks up at Rashmi. "I was just out for a jog and I guess I came in right behind her," she admits with a shrug. "Doesn't bother me, but she seems a little grumpy. I don't mind moving if she'd prefer it," notes the grunette. "Anyways, I'd like the chicken korma, please."
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 05:32:35 75266
"I'm *terribly* sorry, seriously I--" What is likely to be effusive and, apparently sincere, apology is cut off, as Rashmi blinks at the flyer for a moment. Her head tilts to one side...

And Kokoro can almost *see* the penny drop in her eyes.

"Oh! Okay," she says, taking the flyer. "So that's one chicken korma, and one kosha murgir mangsho. Just to warn you, that's a dry curry, it's cooked in mustard oil instead of water. If you're allergic to mustard, might want to order something else."

And that's it. No nattering, no 'I remember YOU!' or anything of the sort. Just the indeniable fact that Rashmi does indeed remember Kokoro, and by now the redhead has done enough talking that the reverse is likely true.

Straightening, she plucks a pad and pen from the pocket of her apron, scribbling down the girls' order. "I'll comp you each a lassi for having you sit together, and on a scale of one to five how spicy would you like your dinners? I don't really recommend going past three unless you're really into spicy food myself. Also, would either of you like some naan or bhajis to go with your order?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 05:38:36 75268
    There's a brief pause wherein Kokoro is staring at Miku, but then she utters a simple, "Don't care. Stay if you want." Not much of one for words, is she?

    Oh, but she can be expressive. She doesn't miss that change in expression; her own face experiences a brief moment of intense worry at having it figured out so quickly. Then it passes, as there seems to be no harassment over the subject. But the brunette does sink in her seat a bit, almost a slouch; she chooses to pull out a distraction in the form of a smartphone, on which she seems to have some game or other suspended. The only further response comes when she looks Rashmi straight in the eye, and says a simple, firm, "Five."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 05:44:29 75270
Miku looks between Rashmi and Kokoro, at the odd exchange. She knows those kinds of looks. There's something she just missed. It's irritating. But what's she going to do, press two total strangers for information? Not likely.

"A lassi sounds great," Miku says instead, then nods her head, "Naan, too, definitely. Garlic naan if you have it." She glances back down at the menu at the question about spiciness, then looks up in surprise. "Five!?" she questions the other girl, then furrows her brow in uncertainty. She does like spicy foods, but five is nuts. "Geeze, five's stupid. Just give me the four," she says.
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 05:49:06 75271
An eyebrow rises at the order of a five. "All right," she says, in that singsong way that is unmistakable as anything except 'you are about to do something minors are cautioned against recreating on TV, but what can I do?' "So that's two lassi, one plate of garlic naan with the korma 4, and a pitcher of lassi and a plate of the Tough Guy Naan on standby with the kosha 5. You won't be charged for it if you need it, it's more an apology for having half the restaurant laughing at you. Which might happen, fair warning."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 05:51:41 75272
    Ohh boy. Both of them are making fun of her now. The usual scowl deepens from a sort of background noise to a metaphorical stormcloud; there's that mix of irritation and determination in Kokoro's eye that's unmistakable. "I know what I'm doing," she says testily, before putting her attention back down on her phone. But Miku might notice that there's the occasional glance upward now and then, as if there's something the wall of grump wants to ask but can't quite bring herself to.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 05:57:18 75274
Miku rolls her eyes at Kokoro's stubbornness. "You're just like Hibiki," she grumbles, then shakes her head and looks down at the table. She doesn't actually have anything to entertain her beyond her music, and it would be rude to listen at the table, so she just sits there thumbing at smudges and waiting patiently. Those looks do earn brief looks back, but only brief before she leaves Kokoro alone again, as promised.
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 06:04:28 75275
"All right," Rashmi says, placatingly, and with another brief flash of a smile, turns to scoot back to the kitchen. Her voice can just be heard, calling the order out without embellishment, and soon enough she bops back out with another tray, and two tall glasses of a cool, pastel-yellow-colored drink. "And, lassi for each, your order'll be out in about another five minutes!"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 06:07:50 75276
    Well, Kokoro has no idea who 'Hibiki' is, and she's not sure how complementary that was meant to be, so aside from a brief wrinkling of her brow, she says nothing in response, She looks up briefly when Rashmi brings out the drinks, then reaches out to take hers, sipping at it briefly. Following the sip, there's more of those brief looks at Miku here and there. Glance. Peek. Peer.

    Finally, the tall girl caves in to her own curiosity. "You don't look like a 4 kind of girl."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 06:14:54 75278
Miku takes a sip of her lassi as soon as it comes, but then goes back to being bored. She'd come here to people watch, but now she feels self conscious doing that with people right here at her table.

When Kokoro finally breaks the ice, though, Miku looks up at her and shrugs. "I'm a lot of things you probably wouldn't expect," she says honestly. "But I'm not really sure what a 'four' kind of girl looks like. You don't look like someone who wants to die, but you ordered a five, so what do looks say?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 06:24:50 75279
And the order chooses roughly that point to arrive; for Miku, a bowl of chicken bits floating in a creamy, orange-yellow sauce that stings the eyes as it's set down in front of her. And Kokoro is presented with a small tureen of chicken pieces, colored alarmingly red by the peppers used to turn her gravy into edible napalm. The glasses are refilled, a plate heaped with charred, garlic-scented flatbread is set next to Miku's order, and the redhead dabs her eyes with a handkerchief. "There you are," she says, managing to smile even around a sniffle. "Enjoy your dinner!"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 06:30:48 75280
    "We'll see." ...ha. 'See.' Because looks.

    (Disclaimer: Kokoro may not have actually intended that joke.)

    And oh look, it's just about time. She looks at her food, looks at the restaurant, takes one last glance between Rashmi and Miku... and digs right in. No hesitating. Not even a slow start just to get a feel for it. Just... goes right for it, taking it at a calm and steady pace.

    It doesn't take long for the color to flood her cheeks. There might be a heavy breath or two through the nose. But at the same time, somehow, she's not slowing down.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 06:35:25 75281
People-watching is a fascinating sport. While people-watching, you sefe all kinds: shy, brave, daring, ugly, brash, foolish, cute, kind, mean, funny, rude. Just collecting every archetype could take hours, if one devoted themself to the task, and there'd still be more entertainment to be had at the sport.

Miku is an expert people-watcher. Even when she's got spicy food in front of her, she manages to keep an eye on Kokoro, watching as the other girl bravely (and foolishly) chows down. For her part, Miku is far more patient; dipping her nan into the korma, eating slowly and enjoying the flavour, but ensuring she doesn't harm herself in the process. She's watching--waiting--for the explosion she knows is coming.
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 06:42:41 75282
Unlike just about every waitress ever, Rashmi seems to choose the moment of her checkup when there's *no* food in the mouth. "Everything okay?" she chirps, once the girls about about halfway through their meal.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 06:48:33 75283
    Miku might be waiting a while. It's like watching a machine. Kokoro just keeps going, and keeps going - there's sweat on her brow, she's got the telltale spicy flush, but it's just not enough to break her. Or even slow her down, really, save for the occasional pause for a drink of lassi. She's even able to look up and give Rashmi a simple, bare nod, and a brief, "Fine."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 06:51:11 75284
It's impressive, watching Kokoro destroy her tastebuds systematically. Actually it's a little scary, but Miku's not going to tell her that. She'll just sit and watch, and eat with far less trouble.

When Rashmi shows, Miku gives her a faint nod, then notes, "You might want to give her a litlte more lassi. She seems determined not to be laughed at."
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 06:59:10 75285
"Well, you're not screaming," Rashmi chirps, "so the apology naan isn't going to be necessary... Okay! Well good news, the lassi's more or less bottomless here, and are you enjoying everything so far, then?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 07:04:27 75286
    While Kokoro never quite gets around to smiling, there's a certain twinkle to her eyes the next time she looks up at Miku and Rashmi. It's almost... smug?

    She seems in debate with herself for a moment, before finally deciding to give the most honest answer she can give that doesn't break a certain degree of decorum: "...Not bad."
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 07:06:13 75287
Miku snorts in amusement at the description. "Idiot," she mumbles under her breath, then goes back to her own food without further interruption. She finishes it off quickly enough, then slides the plate aside and nibbles on what little naan remains while she watches Kokoro eat.

When the other girl is nearing the bottom of the bowl, Miku leans forward to introduce herself, "Kohinata Miku. I'm a second year in Verone's Lydian Music program. And you?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 07:13:59 75289
"Terios Rashmi," the waitress chirps. "Third-year middle at Seishou, Debate Club. Honestly I'm just helping Papi handle the dinner rush, sometimes we don't have enough staff." She glances over at the register and, seeing it manned by someone else and the crowd beginning to thin a bit, scribbles out the final tally on each check, and sets it down. And, yup, Kokoro's order was 15% off, thanks to the flyer. That done, she unties the apron, throws it over a shoulder, and appropriates an empty chair to sit down at the table.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-04-26 07:15:04 75290
    Oh, dang it. Now they're introducing themselves. And Rashmi's sitting down. Now she's /obligated/ to give her name. There's a noticeable moment of reluctance. "Kokoro. Akakuma Kokoro. Seiyou Middle, first-year." She looks between her more-or-less done meal and the other two, as if trying to figure out what else to say. Or whether to say anything. Maybe just bolt out the door.

    She settles for emptying her lassi.
Miku Kohinata 2017-04-26 07:23:45 75291
Miku doesn't apologize for calling the younger girl an idiot. She just shakes her head with amusement and finishes her naan and lassi both. Wiping her mouth with the napkin, she glances past Rashmi towards the others in the restaurant. Curiously, she asks, "Is it always this busy on a Tuesday night, here?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-04-26 07:28:23 75292
"Pretty close," Rashmi says, bobbing her head and adjusting her spectacles. "We get really big nights like this sometimes, but it's generally hard to predict. Usually it's about half as busy, mostly regulars or people looking for something new. Glad you liked the food, though!"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-02 05:02:56 75615
    The now-empty cup thumps quietly to the table as Kokoro sets it down. She looks between Miku and Rashmi for a few moments, then briefly down at her plate; the pause gets almost awkward, then she mumbles an uncertain, "...yeah." Without her food to distract her from the conversation, she seems almost... awkward? Or perhaps just uncomfortable. "...maybe tell the folks I'm staying with about it."
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-02 05:16:23 75618
Miku mouths the words, 'folks I'm staying with' very carefully to herself, squinting just a little. After a moment, she raises her brows, then pauses again, as if hesitating to ask a question. She eyes Kokoro uncertainly for several moments, then asks, "Are you ..." she trails off, still uncertain. How do you even ask this question? "Mmm. Nevermind," she mumbles quietly, thoughtfully. "Ah, how are you liking it at Seiyou? That's where I went when I was younger, too!"
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-02 05:17:15 75619
"That'd be nice!" Rashmi says, either completely oblivious to the question that Miku asked, or possibly completely unconcerned by it, and what it might mean. "And of course you're welcome back anytime too, both of you. So what's it like up at Seiyou? Only we really only get to go when we need an amphitheatre, I've always wondered what it might be like to go to school inside a castle!"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-02 05:23:01 75620
    The aborted question earns a long, silent stare. Kokoro seems to have her suspicions about what it might have been, and to judge by the one easily-visible eye, it might not have been a bad choice to switch topics. Unfortunately, the questions about Seiyou don't seem to be that much happier of a topic for her. "'unno," she says. "Today was my third day there." She slouches a bit in her seat. "...least the uniform's not terrible."
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-02 05:27:53 75621
Miku's lips twitch, and she hugs herself gently, clearly in proxy for avoiding reaching out to hug Kokoro. Damnit, why does she always wind up with girls like this near her?

"Ah," Miku replies, then smiles, "Well, if ... you have any questions, let me know. But really, it's the Guardians who are the best help, there. They may seem really cool, but they're helpful and if you have questions I know they'd be glad to help out."

A pause, then she asks, "Ah ... Terios-san, do you guys serve kulfi? I'll order some for both of us, I think." There. That should help.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-02 05:33:45 75622
"Do we..." Clearly, Rashmi is too professional and well-mannered to scoff at such a silly question. *Clearly.* "One second, I'll be right back." Springing up from her chair, she trots to the kitchen door, poking her head through. "Papi can we get two of the *special* kulfi please? Thanks!" Bopping back to the table, she plops down...

Well it's dessert. But it's presented almost like sushi, three cone-shaped fingers of something ice-cream-like covered in almond slivers, and...

Smelling like *roses.*
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-02 05:45:12 75623
    At least the tall girl's stare has become a little less... intense. But Kokoro still manages to project a sullen sort of grumpiness on the subject of school. "...if any come up." In truth, she's just about ready to grab her bag and get going when Miku mentions kulfi. The words stop her before she can even reach for her bag, and a blink is followed by an entirely different sort of irritable look. She's about three seconds from grousing about charity when... oh. Um.

    Those look good.

    Kokoro stares for several seconds, briefly looking up at Miku again, then quietly reaches out to take one.
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-02 05:51:12 75624
While Rashmi runs off to get the desserts, Miku watches Kokoro uncertainly. She notices the girl's attempt to flee, and feels all the worse for it. But she doesn't say anything. When Kokoro decides to stay for the delicious desserts, Miku smiles happily, waits for the younger girl to take her own, then reaches for one of the sweet treats for herself.

"A-anyways," she says, "it was nice to meet you Akakuma-san." She reaches over and grabs a pen out of Rashmi's pocket--without even asking!--then grabs a bit of paper to write on from beneath the kulfi. Hastily, she scrawls her name and a phone number, then slides it to Kokoro. "Take care," she offers. "And call me if I can help."
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-02 05:57:25 75625
It's like... if ever you had a sip of milk, and then tasted pure condensed milk? That's not exactly like the difference between ice cream and kulfi, but it's close. And it doesn't just smell like roses, it's *flavored* with them, like somehow it's summer in the middle of the most fragrant rose garden ever, and you're just sitting there, eating ice cream.

When her pen is pilfered, Rashmi looks like she might object, briefly, but doesn't say anything. Instead, the moment the paper is slid over, she plucks the pen out of Miku's hand, and tugs the paper closer to her. "There," she says, scribbling her name and phone number. "Just in case you decide you might want to get a study group going. I hated being new in school, and it'll be nice to have a study partner for a change."

For some reason, Rashmi talks as if there's never any doubt that she's going to have a study partner, or that Kokoro will even come back, or call her number. It's just a given; air is blue, water is wet, and Rashmi's made new friends.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-02 06:08:19 75626
    Kokoro is quietly enjoying her kulfi, almost prepared to leave on something of... well, not a high note, but at least a neutral one. But something Miku says seems to bring her up short. She goes still and quiet, and while she takes the paper with both numbers on it, there's been a noticeable cooling of her demeanor. And then Rashmi speaks, and she outright goes stiff.

    It takes only a second or two for her to loosen up, and then with a series of impressively quick, dextrous movements, she's plunked money on the table - more than enough to cover her bill - and stood up to go. "Don't get your hopes up. I hear tell I'm a bad student." And now she really does leave, taking full advantage of her height to make some brisk strides towards the door.
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-02 06:10:13 75627
Miku blinks in surprise as the girl storms out, then sighs and shakes her head. Really, she isn't surprised, but she is disappointed. "Not exactly like Hibiki, I guess," she mumbles to herself, then leans forward with one elbow on the table, hand in chin, to eat her kulfi. "Sorry," she mumbles to Rashmi.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-02 06:13:04 75628
The tall girl's precipitous exit is taken with quiet surprise... but not a word, more than the raising of her eyebrows and a strangely -- disappointed? Sad? something like -- expression on her face. As Kokoro exits the shop, Rashmi lifts one shoulder in an unconcerned shrug. "She kept the paper," the redhead murmurs, as if that said everything important.

Who knows? To her, it just may.
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-02 06:16:30 75629
"Mmm," Miku replies in quiet agreement. She rubs her nose, then reaches into the little pouch where she keeps cash and ID while she's running. Out come a few yen, which she places on the table, then smiles at Rashmi. "Thank you for the excellent meal. I'll be back," she promises. But she, too, is on her way out.