Determination Like That


Kokoro got in a fight at school. Aki and Rashmi might be good advice on this. Getting advice from Alexis, maybe not the absolute best of plans. Getting backing for the death spice challenge from Alexis, maybe REALLY not the absolute best of plans...

Date: 2017-05-22
Pose Count: 36
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-22 22:43:14 76989
    Kokoro is still not sure how to deal with this.

    The girl sits with a half-eaten chicken katsu bowl in the shopping mall at the base of Clover Tower, somewhere she isn't likely to be bothered much by the crowd. That's not difficult, admittedly; with a bruise on the side of her face not obscured by her hair, a slightly damaged Seiyou Middle uniform, and a deep scowl for anyone who tends too close, she's being given a wide berth for the most part. Which is good.

    Because for the first time in her life, Kokoro Akakuma is not sure where she stands. One of her foster parents flat-out told her 'as long as she deserved it and you didn't overdo it, I'm not going to chew you out for sticking up for someone.' Supposedly, her foster father will probably say similar when he gets home. They aren't going to scold her. They aren't going to rub their foreheads and wonder what they've gotten themselves into. And she has no clue how to deal with this.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-22 22:50:07 76990
Sometimes, a change of location is the best study aid, and Tokyo is a *large* place. Besides, Rashmi needs a few new notebooks, and the last time she wandered out to the Clover Tower, they had some *cute* ones in the gift shop.

Finding out that the shop still had them, and matching pencils, has been the high point of the bespectacled redhead's day, and it's with a light step that she meanders down to the food stalls-- right up until she spots Kokoro glumming at her katsu.

There's a good, long moment of hesitation; the taller girl hasn't exactly been Rashmi's biggest fan, despite her very best efforts, but... Between the bruise, the uneaten food, and the scowling, something is definitely wrong. And Ananda Terios' little ray of sunshine can't help but poke her nose in when something is wrong.

But, basic pattern recognition ensures that when Rashmi does clear her throat, it's just a bit farther out of the standard 'personal space zone' that foul moods tend to spread. "....Akakuma-san? Are you all right?"
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-22 22:53:01 76991
    Clover Tower. The site where that dumb bird did horrible things to her sister and then she became a Pretty Cure and then saved the bird--- and she wasn't even around for it because she was in some magic mirror for three years in some 'Pretty Cure Graveyard'. She's always given Clover Tower a wide berth because of this.
    Corvus isn't with her. She was mostly Haruna's partner though he considered them both his partner. She wanted to be alone with this and not with that bird while she thought of those bad things out of respect.
    She crosses her arms and stares up at the top. She could transform- and fly up there. To the very top- but it is daylight and people might see and there's nothing distracting like a Terribad or a Youma or a Lost Logia or anything. She passes by Rashmi and Kokoro as her eyes side-glance on her way past into a nearby line at the place Kokoro probably got the katsu-bowl. She's probably close enough to overhear but she's a little more concentrated on the front of the line. Might aswell eat before she takes the elevator to the top.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-22 23:07:37 76995
There's a bit of a commotion outside. Wether or not it's noticable from that little shop in the food strip is up to question, but either way-- there's a lot of yelling followed by an equal amount of punching. And ultimatley, just one guy goes on walking into the mall afterwards, over the squabble over something as simple as some guy's pickpocketed wallet.

And lo and behold, it is Alexis Raskoph who comes walking inside and to wandering along the mall. Brown leather jacket ruffled up slightly and the faintest hint of a scrape along his chin. He doesn't seem particularly bothered, though. As if though him being caucasian wasn't already enough to put him standing out from the rest of the crowds.

He needs food after that bout now, though. And as it would happen-- it's towards that same shop that people seem to have been already gathering at. Not that he knows.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-22 23:11:40 76997
    "I look all right to you?" comes Kokoro's reply. She tries to make it sound baleful, but she just can't seem to muster much bite to her words. After a second or so, she slumps back where she sits a little. "Got in a fight at school. Second-year who's been giving crap to some poor first-year girl for weeks. Stuck up for her. Senpai tried to give me crap too." There's a slight tilt of her head, as if to show the bruise off a little better. "Didn't work out too well for her. But now I'm out of school for a couple days."

    She watches Aki briefly as the girl goes by, but for now she's just another face in the crowd, so there's no real lingering there. Alexis, on the other hand, now he gets a look. This is the second time in two days there's been some kind of commotion in the same place as Raskoph, and he comes walking in with a scrape on his chin to boot. So, with a forkful of chicken halfway to her mouth, Kokoro stops and just... just quietly stares.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-22 23:17:56 76999
It's generally a good thing that Rashmi isn't interested in gambling, else her appalling lack of a poker face would see her broke within a week. Trepidation at Kokoro's initial words fades quickly into relief, and even a small smile when the reason behind the bruise is made clear. "It's good that you stood up for her, though, even if it got you suspended. I.... d'you mind if I sit, Akakuma-san? I've.... kinda been needing to talk to you, if that's okay."

She seems about to say more, but the scuffle catches her attention too, and then a nonchalant, familiar Westerner comes strolling out of the crowd. That's enough to earn a raised eyebrow from the redhead, to be certain.
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-22 23:22:52 77000
    Aki Kurosawa can hear the talk just briefly. Something about a fight. Well. That girl seems to look to have been in one. Not that she hasn't had her share of tussles. Just not right now. Then there's a commotion and she does not just stare.
    She begins to stride very pointedly and without hesitation towards it, but stops short when it ends at this boy comes in who also seems to have looked like he was in a scuffle. She purses her lips and head tilts at the boy, as she continues walking towards him.
    "What was that about." she asks just as pointedly as her stride earlier.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-22 23:32:22 77001
If Alex happened to notice Rashmi and Kokoro over there, it's still Aki who ends up causing him to stop first. He even blinks his eyes rapidly over at her in surprise at the rather pointed question from her, too.

"...Pickpockets," he offers in answer first, with his hands going down to lazily settle into the pockets of his jacket, while a single brow arches upon his study of the girl. "You know, the usual nonsense around these parts. Lotta them ran off though. Why?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-22 23:34:07 77003
    "...talk, huh." There's a sudden deadpan sound to Kokoro's voice, as if she's fairly certain she knows where this is going. In truth, she does think she's got a pretty good idea, down to one of two possibilities. But today of all days, she just doesn't have it in her to snap her metaphorical jaws. "...sure, whatever. I don't have anything to do right now." Well, alright, maybe a little. But as before, there's not much bite to it.

    Aki, however, has suddenly chosen to appear, so for the moment at least, she has the tall girl's attention. Her and Alexis, rather, because she just asked him the very question Kokoro was wondering. "You got bad luck," she declares flatly. "Or good luck. Dunno which. Two days in a row?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-22 23:45:54 77005
Rashmi Terios nods, slipping into the empty chair across from Kokoro and setting her bookbag on the table. There are a few moments of fidgeting, brand-new pencil case pulled out of the bag and toyed with, as she tries to assemble her thoughts into words that might not earn an annoyed response. Finally, she simply shakes her head, and goes for the direct approach. "...Akakuma-san, is it *me* you hate, specifically? Or do I just remind you of someone?"

...Which point it finally registers that there are people in earshot and her dark skin gains a fairly impressive amount of red in the cheeks.
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-23 00:02:22 77008
    Aki Kuorsawa narrows her eyes at Alexis. Pickpockets. Okay. That's good. Pickpockets. Not something insane and dangerous. She's about to talk when Kokoro mentions that this is 'two days in a row'. Thus makes her look back to Alexis.
    "What is she talking about?" she asks, motioning over to Kokoro a moment.
    "My name's Aki Kuorsawa. Who are you?" she asks. "-and this is a normal ocurance?" she asks, with an eyebrow raised. Oh then Rashmi asks that and she snaps her head over in that direction. She purses her lips. Is she the one the other girl fought with? Is that why she's asking that?
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-23 00:11:29 77010
The arms of Alex cross together over his chest then, over the multitude of questions directed her way. And to answer wholesale to them, he declares bluntly, "I guess I have what you'd call a 'habit'. And a way of spotting people who tend to deserve their noses getting crushed in."

The introduction from Aki, though-- that widens his eyes briefly, and even afterwards, leaves his head tilting slightly. "...Kurosawa," he repeats. "Any relation to Haruna?" With that asked, he turns one of his crossed-together arms so that a thumb is jerked into pointing at his chest. "Alexis Raskoph. Alex is fine too."

And just like Aki, his attention turns over to Rashmi and Kokoro when the former of the two asks *that* particular question. Brows rise up in amusement.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-23 00:16:37 77013
    Well. There it is. That's pretty close to one of the ways Kokoro expected this to go - but at the same time, it's a novel approach. So after another one of those uncomfortable stares, Kokoro tilts her head forward a little, in just such a way as to mostly obscure her face. "Got a few people I hate. You ain't one of 'em. I just ain't interested in friends. More trouble than they're worth in the end."

    Not sure if she's being spoken to by Aki or not, the middle schooler offers up a brief, "Kokoro." She takes another forkful of katsu and rice, but in the middle of that bite, Alexis admits to having a certain "habit". That stops her mid-bite, and leads to her just sort of... staring at him, her bruise on full display by sheer happenstance this time. Of course, that means she's staring when he turns to look at her and Rashmi. Her gaze hardens just a little, a silent 'what are you looking at'.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-26 03:45:17 77174
The declaration is received with... puzzlement. Like the sort of facial expression one gets when hearing a completely different language for the first time, the knowledge that there's something that combination of sounds is meant to convey, but their meaning is utterly lost. "O-okay," Rashmi says slowly. "I mean I don't understand in the slightest, but okay..." Pausing for a moment to gather her thoughts, she sighs and shakes her head. "...Well is it all right if I just say, like, call me if you need help with anything? Because I mean you got in that fight, and you didn't really hesitate in the hospital... Something tells me you're not the type to turn your back when people need protecting."

Which point she turns to Aki, offering a bright smile and slightly crumpled flyer. "Terios Rashmi, that's my parents' restaurant if you like curry."
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-26 03:49:15 77175
    Aki Kurosawa raises a brow. "Haruna? Blonde like me. A little shorter. Says the most stupidly explicapable things? Seagull usually hanging around her? Runs Gullwing down on the north side of the beach?" she asks. "If so, yeah that's my sister." she says with a shrug.
    She looks back to Kokoro and Rashmi and listens for a moment before she's offered a slightly crumpled flyer and then shakes her head and offers it back. "I like curry. But the problem is curry doesn't like me." she says frankly. "Better to go to someone who'll use it." she offers.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-26 03:59:29 77178
Of course Alex catches Kokoro's staring. And ends up staring right back at her turn. Mostly at her in overall, rather than just the bruise, mind. That look is met with a slow, upward raise of his dark brows, when he very purposefully sets his green eyes to meet hers for just a moment.

But then he lets out a cough and turns a briefly-sheepish look to Aki. "...Yes, that Haruna," he offers, arms now crossing together loosely below his ribcage. "She's... a good friend." Then, he gives a look between her and Rashmi over the talk of curry, and all he says is, "There's nothing wrong with with curry."

<Flashback to Alex killing his stomach and tastebuds with the hottest possible curry Korma Chameleon could provide>

"Nothing at all."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-26 04:03:40 77180
    If Rashmi is baffled by Kokoro's response, the feeling is mutual. She doesn't seem to have expected the shorter girl to back off so easily. "...yeah, I guess." She reaches up to absently rub at the side of her head in what almost seems like a bashful fidget. "...can't really help myself," she mutters quietly. "It's dumb, but whatever."

    The back-and-forth of the flyer catches her eye, though, and after a second or two, there's a brown eye looking Rashmi's way again. "...hey. I hear tell you got something with more kick than a 5. Hear tell you served it to him." She tilts her head indicatively at Alex. "...What do I gotta do to get a shot at it?" She takes the opportunity of having asked this to arch an eyebrow in Alex's general direction.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-26 04:11:41 77185
Rashmi Terios shakes her head, smiling. "It's not dumb at all, Akakuma-san. I feel the same way, I'm just.... not good at the *violence* part, y'know? But there'll always be people who'll run *toward* danger when everyone else is away, and those're usually good people to know."

At the question of the over-5-star curry, Rashmi sighs, tossing Alex a faintly unamused look. "Well... first you have to schedule it a month in advance if you want to keep Mami and Papi happy. Which, y'know, you do. Then you have to pay 8000 yen to make up for the fact that the restaurant's gonna have to be closed for like four hours, between the cooking and the fumigating. *Then* you have to promise not to order anything spicier than a 3 for the next month, but if you manage to finish the whole bowl you'll eat free for a week."
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-26 04:16:33 77187
    Aki Kurosawa smirks a bit and nods. "Good friend? She doesn't talk a lot about some of her friends. Usually that means something." she says in a cryptic manner but not nessacrily a bad one given her lighter tone on the subject. She looks over to Kokoro- and raises a brow. "What are you guys talking about. With protecting?" she asks.
    She looks back at Alexis. "Oh I'm sure the curry is fine. Just I like not living in a bathroom for like a month?" she says more jokingly.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-26 04:27:30 77188
Kokoro's arched brow is mimiced on Alex's part. Again. What's he doing there, exactly?

"Eh," Alex lets out in answer to Aki then, with a slow roll of his shoulders underneath the brown leather. "Could be any number of things. Could be that I punched her girlfriend a couple times over--"

<Flashback to an industrial tower crane falling over and crashing into an empty office building>

"And stuff."

Catching the tail end of Rashmi's words to Kokoro, however, he lets out a sigh and takes a slow step towards the two girls there - though not without a brief tip of his head to the way of Aki - and levels his eyes on Rashmi. "Sometimes," he says, though he tries to keep his voice gentle. "There's no other way to get through to someone - or something - than fists. Or whatever else. Sometimes it's a matter of the other person not listening. Sometimes it's them just deserving it. Sometimes it's just a matter of principle."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-26 04:30:21 77189
    8,000 yen. Oof. All that other stuff isn't any big deal, but the money draws a little wince. "...maybe some other time. I'm interested, but not eight grand interested." She looks like she'd say more, but Aki asks something. So instead, Kokoro looks straight at Aki, tilting her head slightly so as to emphasize the bruise visible on hercheek. "I beat up a bully. Out of school for a few days. Don't care. She earned it." Then Alex says something that earns an entirely different, odd sort of look. The kind of look you give someone who has very suddenly, unexpectedly and with no warning started saying things that you agree with. Then again, this is someone who doesn't words at people often.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-26 04:37:44 77190
The sudden cheer-up speech from Alexis is met with a slightly confused smile. "I, um... Thank you, Raskoph-san, but, I'm not really *upset* so much? It's just a thing." Turning back to Kokoro, the redhead chuckles. "Yeah, I thought you'd say that... that's why they priced it like that, in our neighborhood only the *really* determined'll be silly enough to order anything that *starts* with pickled ghost peppers and goes downhill from there."
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-26 04:46:09 77191
    Aki Kurosawa blinks. "I can think of like a hundred things I'd rather spend 8,000 yen on." she says. "=and none of it involves deadly food dishes." she advises.
    She looks between them all and nods at Kokoro. "I've had my fair of spats with people doing the wrong thing like that. Usually not so bad I have visible evidence of that." she says as she also motions over to Alexis.
    "The idea is you deck 'em in one." she says.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-26 04:48:27 77192
"I'm not particularly trying to make you feel better about anything," Alex tells Rashmi with a more rueful tone in his voice. "It's just how things are. I'd like it too if things in this world could go on without violence, but--" He shakes his head. "Sometimes some bastard just really needs to get their jaw shattered."

The boy eyes over both the redhead and Kokoro then, and-- his brow arches at the latter. And just like that, he's suddenly asking, "How much do you want to try it?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-26 05:00:16 77193
    There's another moment where Kokoro is staring at Rashmi silently. Finally, she says simply, "Not a matter of determination. Matter of not having a big allowance." Well, she's in 7th grade after all. Aki only gets a flat look, and a cool-toned, "Never badmouth a fight you weren't there for." Then Alex says the thing.

    He's got Kokoro's complete, undivided attention.

    "A lot. I ain't... I ain't content with where I am when I know I could still go further. Don't stop 'til I know my limit."
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-26 05:08:23 77194
The stare is returned with a wry smirk. "In this specific case, it tends to be the same thing. THere're lots of people that have the money, but can't justify it to themselves to spend it on one curry challenge, which is the point. Only--" And then Alex gives her an alternative, and the sigh is back. "I'll let Mami know you're coming, then," she murmurs, then turns to Aki. "So hi! Anyway, we *do* have sweets, too. Akakuma-san can tell you about the rose kulfi, and we do saffron ones too."
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-26 05:12:31 77195
    Aki Kurosawa gives Rashmi a little look. "I'll think about it. I kind of already get free sweets from 'Runa-chan's shop. But nothing like that." she offers. She looks over to Kokoro and gives a smug smile. "Oh, I'm not badmouthing a fight." she says coyly.
    She then looks over to Alexis and then rolls her eyes. "Of course Haruna would know a rich guy. Tell me. Do you dress up as a bat and beat people up in the night?" she asks. "Because that's up her alley for people she'd know. Maybe." she shrugs.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-26 05:15:50 77196
"You do that," Alex tells Rashmi bluntly with a flash of his teeth, and goes on to dig through an inner pocket of his jacket--

Only to get paused by Aki's words. And he gives that girl a slow blink of his eyes, then. "...I don't think I get to claim that kind of fame," he mutters with a sigh. "And I'm not particularly proud of my rich parent heritage, alright? But it's what it is. Also the reason I'm here." And then out comes a leather wallet, that in turn gets... a couple bills brought out from within and held out to Rashmi. "But I might as well make use of it." He doesn't say anything to Kokoro. He just gives a nod to her way. Is that a look of respect he's giving her there?
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-26 05:21:43 77197
    Rashmi just gets kind of a Look. "It'd take me two months to save that much up. And that's if I don't spend on anything else," Kokoro mutters, looking a touch irritated. But Alex? Alex has earned a long, appraising stare, followed by... a faint nod. "...thanks." It comes out a bit awkwardly, and as if to cover her own embarrassment, she takes up the katsu-don she'd been working on and makes a valiant effort to finish it.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-26 05:28:24 77198
Rashmi Terios gives Alexis a Look of her own; this one fairly clearly says 'C'mon, really? *Seriously?*' But, she sighs, and takes the money, extracting a piece of loose notebook paper from her bookbag, and folding it up into a crude, if effective, envelope, with the bills inside. On the blank back, she scribbles (DO NOT OPEN UNTIL KORMAGEDDON) and hands the packet to Kokoro. "Here, Akakuma-san. Have that with you when you come in to take the challenge, but *please* don't do what Raskoph-san did, *nobody* likes to be suddenly closed for hours. ...Also I really hate that gas mask, but Papi won't let me around the really spicy stuff without it. Just, call a month in advance, okay?"

Aki's coyness, however, seems to annoy the redhead more than Kokoro's terse grunting. "Well if you decide you'd like to try something different, you're welcome of course."
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-26 05:47:28 77199
    Aki is nowhere near as personable as Haruna. Nope. That much is probably clear to Alexis. This is why she works stock retail in Minami Mart while her sister manages a coffee shop publically.
    "I'll come around. Can I get that flyer again, then?" she asks. "Unless you just wanna tell me the address. That's fine too." she smiles.
    She looks back at Alexis and shrugs. "Don't be ashamed of what you have. Be thankful. And do what you're doing right now with it." she says.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-26 06:02:05 77200
'Yes, really', is what Alex's look returned to Rashmi seems to be saying, on the other hand.

And Aki... well. Her words actually make him look sheepish again, and his hand gets directed over to rub along the back of his head, slowly. "...Yeah, well, I don't really like the idea of being thought of as just 'that rich guy' either, you know," he mutters. "But--" A look to Kokoro. "Determination like that shouldn't be stemmed."

And FINALLY, he gets the sense to actually sit down somewhere nearby, with a lazy slump set against the backrest of a chair-- with arm laid over it, too.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-26 06:07:11 77202
    The money is in Kokoro's hand. She looks at it, looks at Rashmi, looks at Alex, then back to Rashmi, then says a deadpan, "Call this my one-month notice. June 25th. Or the next weekend if that's a school day, I guess." She tucks the envelope away to finish her food, but somehow or other in there, she manages to get out, "What'd Raskoph do?" She's pretty curious.

    As she's winding down on her food, though, the tall girl looks Aki's way. "Careful what you order. The five-star curry's too much for most people." Was that... was that some kind of challenge? Was that a knowing look in Alex's direction, just now?

    Well, she's finished her food. "...I'm gonna get home. Lady I'm living with was making a big fuss over my bruise, didn't want me out for ages in case I'm hurt worse than I look or something." Grumble grouse grumble. Up Kokoro stands, shifting her bookbag onto her shoulder.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-26 06:07:58 77203
Rashmi Terios passes back the flyer with a personable smile, bobbing her head. "Look forward to seeing you there!" Which point an alarm tweedles from her cell, and she gives the screen a look, then sighs. "I'm sorry, everyone, I should get back home too... Still got lots of studying to do, but it was nice to meet you, Kurosawa-san, and to see you two again. And, Akakuma-san? I meant what I said, about calling if you need help, okay?" Slipping out of her chair, she seems content to eave it at that, offering a cheery wave before turning toward the train stop.
Aki Kurosawa 2017-05-26 06:20:04 77204
    Aki nods to Rashmi. "Take care." she says. She looks around. "I should go eat and... go up to the top like I planned." she says. She goes ahead and gets back in line, placing her hands against her chest and crossing them as she waits patiently as can be. She does look back to Alexis and shrug. "Then I won't call you that. But ya know. My point still stands." she says as she turns back towards the line.
Alexis Raskoph 2017-05-26 06:24:36 77205
"Fight well," Alex calls after Kokoro, while Rashmi gets a slow nod of his head directed towards her way. He does not look the faintest bit apologetic for making this happen.

Aki gets most of his focus now, though, and his eyes narrow towards her before she gets into line, quite yet. "...If you say so," he mutters. "Some of it still feels wrong to me."