Currying Favors

Kokoro goes to ask Rashmi for help. Somehow manages to run into all of the magical people ever.

Date: 2017-05-15
Pose Count: 32
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 04:01:03 76581
Summer is coming. Today wasn't particularly warm, but with humidity in the eighties, it's already getting sticky and gross. That sort of heat makes it not much surprise to find girls out in tanktops and shorts in the after-school hours. Miku is among those after-school girls; her green hair pulled back with a big white bow, dressed in a sporty lavender tanktop and a pair of purple bike shorts that reach almost to her knees.

Seated alone at one of the Korma Chameleon's tables, the teenaged virtuoso is busy staring out the window while she slowly chews over her meal of chicken korma and naan. Left alone, Miku's expression has taken on a distant look. Surely she can't see much out in the twilit streets, and yet for all the world she seems to be intently staring into the distance, as though she can see the future there. If that is what she's seeing, it doesn't look to have lifted the cloud of worry that hangs around the girl.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-15 04:05:10 76582
    For the second week in a row, Kokoro Akakuma's weekend has involved a dream that she's pretty sure isn't actually a dream. Or, well, it was, but it... wasn't? It's confusing! The point is it wasn't a normal dream, other people were actually there and Kokoro was actually awake for it. And this time, she actually learned something about what's going on and the people involved.

    The teen's got a burning desire to find someone she can ask 'what the hell is all this', and there's only one person in Tokyo, who a.) is a magical girl, and b.) Kokoro actually knows how to find. There's the double bonus that she was present for last week's dream, no less. So, on a busy monday evening, the too-tall schoolgirl comes stalking right into the Korma Chameleon, looking this way and that, as if to try and find someone. She doesn't seem to have spotted Miku yet.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 04:08:01 76583
When you have a 15% off coupon to eat someplace...

Koji steps in a few moments after Kokoro did, carrying with him a small cardboard delivery box to protect it against the weather and his bookbag slung tight to his shoulder. Said coupon is sitting atop the box, pinned in place with a safety pin so that the address for the place is clear to him, though he does end up pausing just outside to make sure it's the right place. It's not until he inhales the scent that he actually goes on in.

Pausing to look around, he then nods to himself and moves up to where the front counter is, but off to one side since Kokoro is there and obviously the earlier customer. Still being polite, that boy.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-05-15 04:14:01 76584
Nanoha Takamachi learned that one of her newer friends owns a restaurant! She wants to go check it out. Thuslu, after school, she's brought Yuuno with her to the Korma Chameleon. She walks in and takes a big sniiiiiif! Oh! That's all making her nose tingle. Apparently Yuuno's too as he sneezes this cute little ferret sneeze.

She walks past Miku and Kokoro smiling a little wide with a wave. "Hi!" she says. She passes Koji and squints. "Hi!" she says. She didn't see Koji as not a cat but he's strangely familiar for some reason! She stands on her heels a bit and rocks back and forth as she eyes the menu. "I don't think I can even pronounce any of this..." she says. Yuuno seems to be in thought at the menu, as he has his tiny little snout leaned on a paw looking thoughtful.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-15 04:21:23 76585
The doors to the kitchen swing outward, revealing Rashmi in light summer top and skirt, with a red apron bearing an *aggressively* cheery green-and-gold chameleon mascot, holding a tray of barely-recognizable curries. These are deposited onto various tables, which point the redhead turns and pauses, blinking owlishly at the pile of people-she-knows at the door. "Um.... Hi! Akakuma-san, Silvia-san, Takamachi-san... I'm guessing you're all here separately? Erm..." She looks left and right, and gestures to the mostly-empty booths along the wall. "G'head and have a seat over there, I'll be right with you, okay?"

Tucking the empty tray against her, she moves to Miku's table, clearing her throat solicitously. "Is everything all right, miss?" THere's a tweak to her tone that suggests that, perhaps, she might not exactly be just asking after the meal.
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 04:24:07 76587
Miku makes a small face at being referred to as 'miss'. "I'm not that old," she mumbles to herself, then turns to regard Rashmi. A moment of thought, then she shrugs and lies, "It's fine, Terios-san." They always lie. "Just ... thinking, I guess. Do you have any coffee?" she asks as an aside.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-15 04:28:36 76588
    The first person Kokoro notices is 'Aggressively sweet and kind nine year old who may in fact be shorter than Ariel somehow'. There's a moment or two of dumbfounded staring. "Uh. ...hi?" Awkward, but surely it will satisfy this strange new bottle of friendliness. Koji, she somehow manages to miss entirely. On the other hand, there's Rashmi - exactly the person she was hoping to get ahold of. She's directed to a table, which will have to do for the moment, but before she can sit down, she stops to mutter a quick, "Wanted to talk to you. 's about, uh... the sleepover. A week ago." Hopefully that will get the idea across without alerting other people to anything weird.

    ...Like Miku, for example. Hi, Miku. "...uh. Hey." Behold the power of awkward.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 04:32:51 76590
Moving to stand next to Nanoha, Koji smiles faintly at her a moment, and then says, "Hello, Miss Nanoha." He seems to notice her confusion on the menu, and adds, "For someone who's never been to a place like this before, I'd recommend the butter chicken. It's creamier than a traditional curry, but it's really good. Get some garlic naan with it, so you can scoop up the sauce you don't get."

But for the rest of it, he then adds, "If you want, we can sit together, so you're not alone. I was just going to do some studying here tonight, if the owner was okay with it." That said, he moves along towards the booth on the wall close by where Miku and Kokoro are, going with that age old social reflex of keeping to the group.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-05-15 04:38:05 76591
Nanoha Takamachi hikes on her heels and beams. "Hi Rashmi-chan!" she says. She looks to the booth and nods a bit. "Sure!" she says as she begins walking over and Koji, and she squints again then blinks. "Oh! Hello Koji-kun. How are you?" she asks. "Are you okay after... last night?" she asks conspiratorially. She looks over to Kokoro and head tilts at her. She just gives a sweet smile.

She settles into the booth. "Oh, okay the butter chicken?" she asks. "I'll try that. So will Yuuno.". The ferret merely nods a little. No point in talking openly here.

She turns around and peeeeeeks over the booth at Miku and Rashmi and Kokoro talking however. Yuuno peeks his head over too. She's curious!
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-15 04:58:20 76594
Kokoro's semi-cryptic muttering has Rashmi looking more surprised than anything else, but is answered with a brief nod. The 'it's fine,' however, is greeted with a tilt of the head, and a raised eyebrow. But all she says is "Two kinds, but kaapi is pretty strong... One second." The redhead beams her sunny smile at Miku, then turns, pad at the ready and already scribbling. "Okay... One butter chicken and garlic naan for Takamachi-san... Silvia-san, Akakuma-san?"
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 04:59:58 76596
Miku looks up at the greeting from Kokoro, and her eyebrows arch just a little. "Akakuma-chan," she says, a little more familiarly. "Ah ... hi," she says, then offers a weak smile and motions to the seat across from her. "You're welcome to join me."

Now that she's been pulled out of her reverie, Miku glances over her shoulder to see all the newcomers, and winds up meeting Nanoha's eyes directly. A blink of surprise, then she smiles and pats the little ferret gently on the head. "Cute pet," she tells Nanoha quietly.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-15 05:01:49 76597
    "Same thing as last time," Kokoro replies. "Four star this time." She needs something she can actually talk while eating.

    Though at the offer of joining Miku, the tall brunette pauses... then looks at Rashmi, asking a silent question with her eyes. 'Is it safe to talk "sleepover" around her?'

    She's also watching Koji and Nanoha cautiously, but they don't seem like they'll be a problem for now.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 05:04:54 76598
Koji Silvia pushes the box towards Rashmi, "This is for you... a thank you for your being so kind, Miss Rashmi. And as for me, I'll have the chicken biryani, three star if that's allright. And a mango lassi?" He pauses and then looks at Nanoha, "Make that two mango lassi." Settling back into the booth once more, he shifts his bookbag over to the side on the inside of the booth, and smiles at the young girl across from him, "Maybe next time I can try your family's place. And... if it's okay, I'll pay for your food." Leaning in conspiratoraly, he adds with a smile and a mockwhisper, "I have a coupon."
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-05-15 05:09:53 76600
Nanoha Takamachi is curious. Not so much a busy body. It isn't busy bodying if you're keeping quiet! She blinks and grins. "His name's Yuuno. Hi, I'm Nanoha Takamachi." she says softly. Yuuno takes those pets. He loves pets even though he won't admit it.

"Yes! Butter chicken! That-- isn't spicy is it? I don't like spicy too much." she admits. Yuuno also nods. She looks over to Koji and smiles. "That's fine Koji-kun, if you want, thank you!" she says sweetly. No need to polite decline if someone offers!
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-15 05:15:18 76601
The box is surprising enough, that Rashmi's waitress routine falters out of sheer surprise. "Um... wow, thank you, Silvia-san... Um... One sec." Shaking her head, she rallies, slipping back into her role. "So that's a kusha murgir mangsho, four star," she says, scribbling on her pad, "chicken biryani, three star, and lassi for everyone. Okay! I'll be right back with your order, then we can talk," This last, said while catching Kokoro's eye, then glancing at the others and nodding a bit. Not the *most* subtle, but, there are few ways to surreiptitiously introduce members of the Mahou After-School Adventure Club when playing waitress. "And don't worry Takamachi-san, it's not spicy at all." With a wide grin, she bobs her head, turning to scoot into the kitchen.

"-----f my friends are here, papi," her muffled voice is heard as the door swings back open. "Ca--- -------ke a break?" A few moments after, she emerges from the kitchens, apron already off and hung on a peg near the door, managing to carry four glasses of pastel-yellow smoothie-like drink in one arm, and a coffee in the free hand. Each diner gets their drink, which point she scoots a chair into the aisle at Koji's table, plopping down and tugging the box a bit closer. "Okay, hi! So um, Akakauma-san? If you want to hang over the booth you can, Silvia-san and Takamachi-san are okay to talk in front of and probably know more than I do."
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 05:18:33 76602
Hang over the booth? But that's going to mean ... ugh. Miku grabs her drink and slides further up against the wall, making room for Kokoro to sit down next to her in the booth--or rather, to kneel facing backwards next to her? That's not awkward or anything.

Miku shifts a little as well, curious but not interrupting, as she looks to Kokoro expectantly. Obviously, the young giantess has something to say. Might as well give her the desired attention.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-15 05:27:55 76603
    Kokoro pauses.

    She turns to look at Miku. And then at Koji and at Nanoha. Especially at Nanoha. A tiny little slip of a thing that Rashmi is telling her would be okay to discuss Magical Girl Things(tm) around.

    " do I keep just running into you people."

    But the girl plops herself down. And she sits. And she waits. And she radiates silent grump. She came to talk to Rashmi, and now there's three other people who're gonna know she's in the metaphorical business, though hopefully not exactly who she is. When Rashmi does finally come back, the tall girl glances briefly at Miku, then hefts up so she can talk over the edge of the booth in a low, hushed voice. "I wanna know whatever you can tell me about Ariel. Little girl, been pulled into a dream with her twice now. I wanna know why some 'nightmare prince' is after her." Rashmi was, after all, there for at least one of those. She'll know who Kokoro's talking about, right? Riiiiiight?
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 05:34:08 76604
Sitting across from Nanoha, Koji hadn't really wanted to comment on the ferret on her shoulder, given some intimations from the earlier conversation that the team of them had had on the road before dinner. Instead, he just seems to sit there for a few moments as he has an look of distraction on his face. But then he suddenly tilts his head to one side, and says, "You... did what?"

Looking up at the other girls, and then back away once more, actually looking at the window, as if seeing something there that no one else can. But since it seems like everyone here is somehow on the inside of a world that he's only just seeing... he looks at Nanoha, before saying to her, "S-sorry... I got distracted." He looks at Yuuno for a moment, and then back to the other girls, "Ummm... I know this is going to sound odd, but... one of these... things... didn't happen to involve some kind of strange race with some evil cars and a giant truck?"

There's a beat, before he gulps once, and then goes on, "I'm sorry he was so gruff. He was annoyed I wanted to play video games with some people I know online."
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-05-15 05:55:51 76605
Nanoha Takamachi blinks at Koji. "Huh?" she asks as she looks back to the others and Kokoro. She head tilts. "Oh! Um. Yeah that stuff is okay. I'm a device user like Rashmi-chan is." she says with a grin. "This is Yuuno like I said. He's a space archeologist. And also not my familar." she says. Yuuno nods matter of fact. "Mhmmmmm." is all he actually vocalizes. Better not risk actual talk here beyond a sound.

She waits some as she settles back down.

"I don't know that person. I'm sorry!" she says. "But I think others might here." she says thoughtfully.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-15 05:58:35 76606
"Ariel...?" Rashmi blinks once, then again, and shakes her head. "...That's.... one? of the dreams she's talking about, Silvia-san, but um... I don't think I've ever met the girl you're talking about before or after. Sorry, Akakuma-san, I'm still really new to all of this myself." Flushing, she offers Kokoro a helpless shrug, then opens the box. Loosing a pleased gasp, she shuts the lid again and grins at Koji. "Thanks, Silvia-san!"
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 05:59:18 76607
Miku waits patiently for the others to answer the question. She waits, looking from one to the next. And when it's clear none of the collected children have much information, she takes a sip of her coffee, then shifts sideways, bumping her knee against Kokoro's leg as she turns so that she can address them all. "I know a little bit about her," offers the grunette quietly.

Setting her coffee down, she leans in conspiratorially towards the younger kids and says, "I only met Ariel once, when ..." she trails off, grimaces, then soldiers through, "Well, it was my dream that was invaded b y the nightmare," she explains. "My friends came in to help save me, since I'm not a magical girl like they are, but afterwards I did a little digging, because I had the same questions. The Virtue Database doesn't have a lot on her, but it's interesting what it does have. Ariel-chan seems to be a unicorn born in the realm of dreams itself. She has a big fluffy doggy-dream that's her best friend and mount. His name is Lucky and he's a fallen star? I'm not sure; it's all symbolism and alegory, where dreams are concerned. Anyways, the nightmare ... well, it's just like any other evil in this world. It's what happens when dreams are altered by dark energy. I don't know much about it, but if you can fight it, you should." And there's that wistfulness; Miku wishing she could fight it. "Because if it does get out, it won't be good for Tokyo. And I don't know what would happen to little Ariel-chan."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-15 06:08:23 76608
    Kokoro is now staring flatly at Koji. The stare lasts several long seconds.

    And then she quietly thumps her forehead on the divider between booths. Thud. Thud. Thud. How.

    There's another long stare when the words "space archeologist" come out of Nanoha's mouth, but by this point the world of magical girls has exasperated her so thoroughly that she's hit saturation point. She can only take it in with a long-suffering look, reaching up to rub the half of her face that's visible through her hair. Of course, that's the point at which Miku speaks up and turns out to be the one with the answer. Despite not being a magical girl.

    It ends up being easier for Kokoro to just slide back down in her seat in order to listen to Miku, so she does; facing out of the booth, with her back towards the girl, but with her head tilted enough to indicate she's listening. After the older girl finishes, Kokoro is quiet for a good little while. "...You don't gotta tell me. I know I ain't worth much as a person, but if someone's coming after a girl who never hurt anyone, I'm not just gonna sit by and let it go."
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 06:16:44 76609
For his own sake, Koji looks horribly embarrassed when Kokoro acts like she does, and he brings his hands up to poke his fingers together, "I'm sorry if Tyrfing was annoying, or hurtful, or... or..." He looks up and around, and then his shoulder slump slightly, seeking comfort in the space he's in with the much younger girl.

"If it helps any, I'm new to this too... and I don't know what's going on either. When he and I merged, he told me we weren't very compatible, but I was the only one he could find. He didn't have enough power to fight on his own. I'm not very strong... I'm just the guy that everyone asks to do favors at school. I cook for the cafe at the school fair. I help set up events, and help other clubs clean up after school. I've always tried to help people, so... I also understand how you feel there too. Because if we don't, then who can?"

Koji just sort of slumps back in the booth again, and hugs his bag to him, before adding, "And Tyrfing thinks you're strong. Really strong. He says... he apologizes for interfering with your fight like he did."
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-05-15 06:22:47 76610
Nanoha Takamachi eyes go wide in that way a little girls does when someone says 'unicorns are reaaaalll!?'. "A unicorn!?" she says. "W-wow!" she goes. Yeah even some magical things are still surprises. Such as unicorns. NOW she has to go meet this girl. She wants to meet a unicorn. Because she is nine.

"That's the spirit!" she says with a beaming smile. "Gotta help people! That's how you make friends!" she says, like she is expounding new knowledge on this girl.

"But that's what I always kinda do. Sometimes people need help but don't wanna ask. Or can't. That's when things get kinda messy." she admits. A pause finally.

"Do you need an icepack for your head?" she asks.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-15 06:38:47 76611
About that point, is when another waitress lugs the group's plates over. Kokoro gets a small tureen of something that doesn't *look* like curry, so much as a pile of glazed and lightly-sauced meat and vegetables, but smells *powerfully* hot. Nanoha, on the other hand, gets a bowl of chicken floating in a deep yellow-orange sauce, and a bowl of rice to eat with. Koji's plate... well it's a small mound of worryingly yellow rice, mixed with shreds of chicken, tomato, and onion and liberally strewn with cashews. For her part, Rashmi merely sips at her lassi, generally pleased with the fact that the entire confab is even happening, and *more* so that Kokoro's getting the answers she wants. That Nanoha is being adorably nine years old isn't hurting, either.

Once the waitress is well out of earshot, Rashmi shakes her head at Koji. "Seriously don't worry about it, Silvia-san. If he's grumpy, then he's grumpy, and he'll come around once he sees how well you two work together over time. Also, Akakuma-san? If you say that again about how much you're worth I *will* ask Papi to break out the gas mask and the ghost pepers the next time you order." And that pleased expression never once leaves Rashmi's face...
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 06:43:25 76613
Rashmi's point is puncuated by a small thump of a finger flicking the back of Kokoro's head. "Baka," Miku mumbles. "You've got magical power, and the ability to eat level 5 spicy curry. you're worth a lot more than you think."

Woops, double-lecture not intended.

Looking to the otehrs, Miku gives Nanoha an amused smile, then says, "I'm glad you're all willing to help her. She seems like a very sweet little dream. I'd be sad if she got hurt. I'd be sad if any of you got hurt, but I don't have the power to stop that. That's why I do everything I can to help out people like you; to give you a safe place to go if you are in trouble, or help with medical things when you want to avoid difficult questions."

A pause, then Miku realises, "Oh! I'm Kohinata Miku," because not everyone here knows her name. "I'm a second year high schooler in the Lydian Music Program at Verone Academy. And the Virtue liaison for Section II, which is ... well, we deal with a specific magical problem. So if you need anything, let me know, okay? I'll try to help."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-15 06:45:09 76614
    Kokoro leans forward enough to look around the side of the booth, rather than over the top. It's Koji that has her attention this time. "Oi. You fuse with that big tiger thing and go out and fight? You got more guts than any ten people on the street, don't you ever let anyone tell you different. Most people ain't got the willpower to swing a punch, let alone stand up and take hits for something worthwhile." Pause. "...tell the tiger it's fine. I ain't gonna fuss about that unless I'm fighting over something personal."

    And- And... and... and Nanoha. Just... Nanoha. "N... no, my head's fine," she says after a bewildered second or two, turning to look out at the restaurant and away from the chipper girl. "...and I don't do 'friends'," she adds in a quieter voice. Rashmi and Tyrfing might notice it sounds less distant this time, more... resigned. Almost... defeated? But it's gone as soon as it's there, and the tall girl moves to grab her plate from the waitress.

    But then there's a long, long quiet moment after Rashmi and Miku speak.

    "...I'm not hungry anymore." Her voice comes out low, tense. The thud as she 'sets' her money on the table is probably quite alarming. The person she shoves past on her brisk-walk way out the door is probably irritated. Kokoro probably is not worried about either of these things.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 06:55:03 76615
It's not until the moment the door is closed that Koji says softly, "...leopard." He then adjusts his glasses, "Snow leopard... the chosen animal of Shutra." As if that somehow matters and it important. But then the palpable air of tension seems to leave him just a touch now, and he turns back to look at Miku and give a short bow in the booth, "Hello, Miss Miku. I'm Silvia Koji, I go to Seiyou Public School. I'm in the ninth grade, and in the Archery and Cooking clubs at school."

But now there's food in front of him, and that at least causes him to pause for a moment to say, "If it tastes too hot, Miss Nanoha, drink the lassi. It's supposed to cool the tongue. Hindi curries are stronger than Japanese curries." Taking a bite from his, he waves his hand at his mouth, and then has to take a sip from his own drink. He doesn't look like he's overheating, just getting ambushed by the flavors. But then comes a smile up to Rashmi as he swallows.


The boy's eyes go all sparkly as all the somber conversations are forgotten, the unicorn isn't relevant, and he just sort of spews out, "Oh my gosh, I love how you use the cardamom and the coriander and it all really crackles on the tongue! And you can really taste the chicken in the dish, all of the flavor is there! Do you marinate it overnight? Or maybe do you grill the chicken before you add it to the dish? Please? I really want to know!"

Three seconds of silence then becomes a flush of embarrassment, and he picks up his plate and begins DEVOURING!
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-05-15 06:55:18 76616
Nanoha blinks as Kokoro says she doesn't do friends, and then she leaves sounding.... lost? That's 'lost' to her. She may be young, but she knows enough about people like this. She frowns and turns her head and watches as she looks down at her food and she squints a bit. "She sounds like she needs a friend." she says softly to herself as she looks down at her chicken.

She does begin to eat as she smiles a bit however. Mmmmmm delicious, delicious butter chicken. nom nom nom nom. Yuuno is eating his own medium sized piece which may aswell be an extra large piece to a tiny ferret.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-15 07:06:38 76617
"She really does," Rashmi sighs, turning her glass in her hands, watching the door swing shut behind Kokoro. "I'm working on her, but..." The redhead shrugs. "Well, we'll see. Anyway... Thank you, Kohinata-san. I'm glad someone had an answer for her."

Koji's wild enthusing about the food earns a chukle that brightens Rashmi's demeanor further. "I'd love to tell you, but, I don't think Mami *or* Papi would want me giving away the restaurant's cooking secrets, mh? If Papi ever publishes a cookbook, though..."
Miku Kohinata 2017-05-15 07:08:46 76618
"Akakuma-chan!" Miku calls, rising as if to chase the girl. But it's clear Kokoro wants left alone, so Miku just sighs and sits back down. "Geeze, what a hassle," she whines to herself, then looks up to Rashmi. "Mmm, no, it's fine. I really do like to be useful," she explains. "I just wish girls like her realised what they've got. I'm jealous of her," she admits quietly. But then, not wanting food to go to waste, Miku slides over to start eating Kokoro's chicken.
A Siberian cat 2017-05-15 07:12:31 76619
Koji Silvia finishes off his food much faster than intended, and after he's done, the lassi goes the same way as the biryani... quickly and with some sounds of pleasure. But once he's done, he does say, "I'm sorry to eat and run... but I just remembered... I promised to go help clean at the hospital tonight."

Looking to Nanoha first, he says, "It was nice to meet your friend." Wriggling a couple fingers at Yuuna as he smiles and tilts his head, causing his raid to rustle.

Then he looks to Miku and bows once more, before taking a pencil and a napkin and scribbling down his phone number, "H-here... i-if something happens and... I can help... Tyrfing is connected to my phone and he'll pick up if I can't, and let me know."

And just leaving that on the table, he then adds, "Miss Nanoha, would you like me to walk you to the station, so you can get home allright?"