Kokoro destroys her tastebuds for the sake of pride. Norie asks for help with some personal issues.

Date: 2017-06-25
Pose Count: 67
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-25 22:16:14 79552
    A month ago, Kokoro's youthful pride got the better of her. 'There's a spicier curry than the one you already challenged' is a lingering doubt she just can't countenance. So she implored Rashmi, and miracle of miracles, Alexis Raskoph agreed to back this particular impending mistake. However, in that month, something has changed - the social dynamic between Kokoro and Rashmi is no longer just 'that girl whose parents run the curry place' and 'the gruff loner with a chip on her shoulder.'

    Stopping at the door, the tall girl reaches out to knock... and then hesitates. She's more nervous than she thought she'd be. Mostly because she realized that she has no idea how to treat this whole thing now that Rashmi counts as 'friend'.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-25 22:20:34 79555
There's no need to knock; Rashmi lives above a restaurant, after all, and one that is generally open to all.

But not this day.

Right now, there's a handmade sign hanging over the business hours; ( CLOSED FOR CURRY CHALLENGE -- SPECTATE AT OWN RISK )

In front of the door to the kitchen, a lanky, be-stubbled man wearing an apron with the aggressively cute Korma-kun printed on it, waits next to a smaller girl wearing.... a full-face gas mask and heavy rubber gloves.

Oh dear.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-25 22:27:40 79556
    Oh. Okay, so it's technically open. Open to her, anyway.

    Kokoro stops for a second to take a long, deep breath. Then she pulls open the door and steps inside.

    "Yo, I'm here for- ...the..." That's about as far as she gets, because she's staring straight at the man and girl. Between the apron and the gas mask, she's not entirely sure what to say, but... is... is that the tiniest hint of a ghost of a smile, tugging at the corner of her mouth? ...naaaah, couldn't be.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-25 22:31:04 79557
"Hi Kokoro-chan!" comes Rashmi's muffled voice from behind the gas mask, and a heavy black glove waves cheerfully.

The man next to her raises an eyebrow, grinning crookedly. "My lil' sunshine says t'go easy on you 'cos you're a friend," he drawls, his accent unmistakably Osakan. "You paid your dues an' gave us time t'set up, so I'm willin'. But understand, Akakuma-san, that's as far as goin' easy on you goes. I go in that kitchen, I ain't comin' out until I've done my best to melt your face clean off. We clear?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-25 22:36:36 79559
    It's a rare case of someone who seems to know exactly how to talk to Kokoro - or perhaps it's just his natural way, and the synergy is pure chance. Regardless, she stares at him for a second or two, and then... straightens up. Out of her normal slouch, shoulders square, a certain iron in her posture that she's rarely displayed heretofore except when transformed. But rather than a defiant or irritable snapback, as might be the concern, the tall girl's reply is a simple nod. "...I knew you went easy on me, I wouldn't be able to accept it even if I finished the bowl." Game on, then.

    As soon as his back's turned, though, there's a hint of color in her cheeks. ''cos you're a friend.' Fidget. She should probably just pick herself a table and sit.
Lacrima 2017-06-25 22:46:06 79560
Norie Okana heard there was a challenge today. And that it was Kokoro who was the challenger. So thusly, she's arrived in front of the shop with it's sign and walked in anyways. "I am here to watch the challenge." she announces.

She is dressed in a classy suit because she's actually come from work.

She gently waves to Rashmi, and any parents and then to Kokoro as she has a seat nearby so she can watch.

AT LEAST she doesn't have something like a camera out or anything.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-25 22:52:33 79561
Miku is exhausted in a good way. She's spent weeks and months training for a triathalon, and although she didn't win, she did well enough to be proud of herself. But today, everything still burns, and the teen looks a little drained. For a change of pace, she isn't running to the Korma Chameleon. Indeed, for a true change, she has on a somewhat frilly dress over a pair of bike shorts.

Honestly she wouldn't even be coming here at all, except that she's the one who encouraged t his whole foolish affair to happen in the first place. It wouldn't be mete for her to hide away in her home and eat ice cream.

But she is absolutely eating ice cream as she makes her way to the Korma Chameleon; three scoops of orange in a cup.

Of course, the ice cream isn't just because she wants it. There's a method to her madness. Nothing will stave off the horror of inhaling the spiciest curry known to man than milkfats.

As she opens the door to her restaurant, Miku steps inside, then waves to Rashmi and heads towards Kokoro's table. "So, still going through with this madness, eh?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-25 22:53:18 79563
The challenge has been made, properly. THere is a sign on the door of the Korma Chameleon -- CLOSED FOR CURRY CHALLENGE - SPECTATE AT OWN RISK -- that has waved off business for the day.

"I would hate to think that my husband let my efforts go to waste," comes a woman's voice from the stairs to the residence, in a decidedly un-Japanese, musically lilting accent. Every step the woman makes as she travels to the restaurant floor, is made with the sort of elegance that comes from long practice at the precise economy of movement. That she holds in both hands a ceramic jar double-sealed with a collar of duct tape is almost an afterthought as she flows to stand by her husband. "Fortunately, I know him better than this. Husband mine? Your weapon."

The be-gas-masked Rashmi sighs the standard-issue Teenage Embarrassment Sigh #4 at her parents managing to make a curry challenge another reason to get googly-eyed at one another, and leans away, focusing on Kokoro. "Seriously though, they did tell me you're welcome to come over if you don't mind walking through an open restaurant. Just not like after ten, is all."

And the bell over the door rings, and the gask mask snaps up, surprise clear in Rashmi's posture. "Oh hi Norie-chan!" she chirps, waving a black hazmat glove in a decidedly creepy display of chemical-weapon cheerfulness. That the wave can be turned on Miku, as the Terios parents disappear into the kitchen, well... efficiency!
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-25 23:02:02 79565
    Oh hey, it's Norie. Kokoro looks up in curiosity, hearing the door open, then gives the smartly-dressed girl a small nod. But after her, there's one more, and this time it's Miku. "Yeah," she confirms, sitting back a little bit. "Raskoph was willing to get me a shot, I ain't gonna back down and disappoint him. Or myself. I try and fall short, that's one thing, but chickening out?" Shrug.

    But for the first time, Kokoro gets to meet Rashmi's legendary mother, and the arched eyebrow over her one non-hair-curtained eye gives it away; whatever she was expecting, this wasn't it.

    And then they get all lovey-dovey, and she conveniently finds something else to stare at. She does utter a brief reply to Rashmi, though. "Yeah, I... yeah. Some time soon." There's a tinge of what might almost be bashfulness there.
Lacrima 2017-06-25 23:17:43 79567
Norie gives a soft nod, no smile. She never smiles. She gently purses her lips. "Oh. This is Alexis-kun's fault. Not surprise." she says bemusedly. She watches intently. She doesn't need a gas mask or anything herself. For dark horrible inhuman reasons.

Her eyes turn to Miku and her ice cream. Ugh. Ice cream. Now she wants ice cream. This makes Miku the worst person on the planet for about the next five minutes to her. She doesn't show it though.

She nods to Rashmi. "What does this involve anyways?" she asks.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-25 23:20:14 79568
"Raskoph's 'fault'?" Miku asks, arching her brow. "Mmm," she mumbles, then takes a seat across from Kokoro. "I wonder," she mumbles, then sticks another spoonful of ice cream in her mouth to forestall the thought. She looks instead between Rashmi and Kokoro, then arches her brows. "What, no sleepovers?" she asks curiously.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-25 23:24:53 79570
The gas mask turns to regard Miku. No words, no other real action, just the possibility that at any moment Rashmi could ask 'Are you my mummy?' and go for the throat. "...Be nice," she says after a moment, then clears her throat. "Anyway, what's going to happen is, Papi's going to make something out of what Mom has in her hands -- it's a different mix every time, but pickled ghost peppers are always the starting point -- And if Kokoro-chan can eat the whole thing in one sitting, she can have anything she wants, three-star or lower, for the next month, for free. Just.... don't touch your eyes or your nose until you've left and had a wash, anyone. You'll thank me for it."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-25 23:30:56 79571
    It's probably a good thing that Rashmi spoke up. Kokoro is about halfway to an embarrassed sputter. Thankfully, as a result, all that happens is an irritable huff and a stare off ---> thataway. And blushing, there's some of that too.

    "Raskoph was there when I found out about it. He spotted me the money for it. ...owe him for that." Maybe not money, necessarily, but definitely a favor. A big one. She does listen to Rashmi lay down the rules again, and then follows up with the questions that have occurred to her. "I got a time limit? I get any drinks to go with the curry?" There's a pause, before she adds, "...and uh... howcome your mom and dad offer this, anyway? Thought your mom didn't like making it too spicy to taste." Genuine curiosity, there.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-25 23:34:05 79572
"Isn't that literally the day you met him?" Miku asks Kokoro amusedly. "That guy's an idiot," she observes, then shakes her head and goes back at the ice cream. After a moment, she digs into her bag and pulls out a little plastic-sealed packet. These she sets next to Kokoro. "Don't open this until you're done eating. Disinfectent finger wipes that should help if you need to dry your own tears or the like. Use the napkin to dab at your eyes. Or to wipe your hands and prove you're great. Whichever."
Lacrima 2017-06-25 23:38:28 79573
Norie crosses her arms. "I'm glad we can agree on that Miku-san." she says curtly. "Alexis-kun is an idiot." she says frankly. It's hard to tell if she's being playful or not. She then looks to Kokoro. She's seeming to ignore the blush causing things about sleepovers and what not. Probably to save Kokoro from further blushing and stuff like that.

She nods to Rashmi. "Ah I see. I wonder. Can you actually taste it when it's this hot or is it just like ingesting lava?" she asks. "Ah. Sorry. That's not meant to come out snarky. I mean. Is it just heat then?" she asks.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-25 23:43:27 79574
"No it's not snarky, that's why Mami and Papi don't like serving the stuff," Rashmi chuckles. "Past a certain point the eat almost completely overpowers everything, and Mami treats spice like art. But we have enough people like Raskoph-san who think it makes them more man if they can eat something stupidly hot -- and usually fail -- that the challenge is more of a way to keep them from doing it all the time. Believe me, the stuff's room-clearingly strong, that's why I wear this gas mask. I'm really bad at not going for my eyes, and it helps the theatricality."

Turning to Kokoro, the redhead chuckles. "There'll be a lassi for after you're done, and if you win then you'll also get naan if you want; Papi'll have made some just in case, and hey it'll be free right?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-25 23:53:37 79575
    "Hey, that ain't idiocy, that's respect," Kokoro insists, perhaps a bit on the defensive side. She can't fault Alex too much, after all. She's the one getting to try the good stuff. Norie raises a more interesting question, but the tall girl doesn't have much of an answer to offer. "I'll find out, I guess." Meanwhile, Rashmi is... is stoking her pride? It's hard to tell. It almost sounds like some sort of encouragement. So Kokoro decides to take it as such. "...Yeah. It'll be free." She sits herself up a little straighter in the chair, and then reaches down into the pocket of her usual vest - out comes a simple, metal hairclip, which she uses to draw back that usual curtain of hair that masks half her face. The result is approximately 200% of the average dose of Akakuma-face. "It gonna be much longer, or...?"
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-25 23:56:05 79577
"Think I can have a teeny tiny taste of the stuff from the pot he made it in?" Miku asks Rashmi curiously. "I really like good heat. This stuff sounds stupidly strong, but I'm curious what it's like."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 00:00:36 79578
Norie Okana doesn't comment much more because she postulates she can just eat the stuff, being a horrible undead monstrosity that just tastes and not much else. It's cheating if she were to try this challenge- is what she thinks. But she can imagine it. Just sitting there with a straight face eating death curry making Rashmi's parents boggle.

"I see." she says as she watches intently. She's curious how Kokoro will take it. She's pretty tough. But is she 'death curry' tough?

She wishes she brought a note taking tablet from work. She could take notes for future research!
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 00:15:13 79579
Rashmi seems about to answer, but the kitchen doors swing open. In Papa Terios' hands is a steaming tureen, that immediately fills the air with the nostril-searing aroma of SO MUCH HOT. Rashmi backs away, even as her gloved hand *thunk*s against her gas mask, and scurries into the kitchen to fetch the drink.

What is set down in front of Kokoro is.... well. It would look appealing, if it wasn't such an alarming shade of orange-red. The chunks of meat arranged on top seem to have been fish at one point, before their transmutation into devil-meat. Carrots and peas are also in evidence, as well as some unidentifiable bits of vegetable something.

Whatever it was, what it is is no more or less than an edible threat to one's well-being.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 00:28:09 79580
    Wait, wait, wait. Miku wants a taste? Blink. Stare.

    Kokoro is not sure what to make of this.

    But before she can say anything, out comes the food. And- wow. Wow, Kokoro can smell it from way over here. Her nose wrinkles briefly, but then she pushes the instinctive response down, steels herself, and waits. Waits until it is set down in front of her. The smell alone, this close, is... trying. But the smell alone is not worse than the five-star curry she's already had. So she sits. And... she glares. Like she's facing down an enemy. Or maybe just mentally preparing herself.

    And apparently she decides to just go for it, because within about a second, there's a spoon in her hand and she's shoveling the first bite. Aumf.

    The second follows after. Then the third. Then- then that's about when the heat really starts to hit. Her spoon slows down for a moment, eyes widening a little. But she starts moving again, a fourth, a fifth... and then pauses once more. Her face is already starting to redden. "It's... it's got some kick," she mumbles.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 00:31:40 79582
Miku gags a little at the smell of it all being placed on the table nearby. She leans back and puts another bite of ice cream in her mouth, then says nothing, just holding it there against the heat. And she watches, amusedly, as Kokoro's face turns red.
Lacrima 2017-06-26 00:34:10 79583
Norie Okana watches and isn't phased by the smell or fumes. She does look towards Miku and notices her little gag then back to Kokoro.

"Keep going Kokoro-chan. I know you can do it." she says. "It's curry. Show the curry who's bose."

"The one eating it." she says cooly.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 00:37:11 79584
A few moments later, Rashmi exits the kitchen again, with a tall, cool glas of pale-yellow lassi in hand. "You can do it, Kokoro-chan!" she says, her hand *thunk*ing against the mask again.

Girl really can't stop herself, can she?
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 00:44:15 79585
    Rashmi is cheering her on. Norie is cheering her on. ...Norie is cheering her on? That's... that's unexpected.

    But there are people rooting for her! And one watching her pain with amusement. She can't just bring it to a halt here... not that she'd let herself anyway, but they just make her even more determined! So the spoon starts moving again. She's not shoveling as fast as those first few bites. But she's working away at it, little by little, alternating between thermonuclear fish and war crime vegetables. By the time she has to take her first brief pause, Kokoro is sweating and quite red, and she has to take a few breaths just to recover from that first go. But that steely gaze says she's not done yet. "...curry don't know what a boss is," she manages. Hey, it's a distraction.
Lacrima 2017-06-26 01:03:18 79587
Norie is indeed cheering on as much as the usually deadpan girl can. It's encouragement at best. Not so much cheering. She is watching intently. Pain is an illusion of the physical body meant to make you stop doing something. IGNORE IT KOKORO CHAN! IGNORE SURVIVAL INSTINCTS!

She gently tsks. "That's besides the point." she says. Her eyes glance to Miku. Who just wants to taste this stuff apparently still. She looks back to Rashmi with a slight purse to her lips.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 01:10:19 79588
"Gonna tap out yet?" drawls the lanky chef, leaning against the kitchen doorway with a crooked smirk. "Lookin' a little sunburnt there, missy..."

*thunk* "Oh hush, Papi, and get the naan ready! Kokoro-chan's totally got this!" The glass is set juuuuuust out of Kokoro's reach, a bead of condensed water rolling down the side of the glass. "Right? You've definitely got this!"

For his part, the elder Terios just chuckles, shaking his head and slipping back into the kitchen.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 01:20:08 79590
    "I ain't nearly done," Kokoro replies, eyes lifting up to meet the man's gaze briefly. "Just takin' a breather." She's not even looking at the lassi yet. It would distract her. This... this is a foe that will take focus to beat.

    True to her word, though, it's not but a handful of seconds more before she starts in again. Much like before, it's slower going, and once or twice she has to stop and dab at her forehead with her napkin. By the time she has to stop again, though, she's about halfway through the bowl. Deep breaths, Kokoro, deep breaths. You can do it. "...at least it ain't easy."
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 01:24:04 79591
Miku takes another bite of her orange ice cream, then glances towards Rashmi's papi. "Oh, hey!" she calls to him, "Do you have any of the sauce left? I know I can't handle the whole challenge, so I won't disrespect you by asking for that, but I'd love a small taste of it. I really love heat, and I'm curious what this is like."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 01:26:52 79592
Norie Okana watches in earnst. She doesn't say anything else. She just sits there in her fancy deep lavender business suit. She gently looks to Miku and raises a brow at her as she looks back to Rashmi's parents before softly pursing her lips. She watches the glass set juuuust out of reach. Sure for when it's done.

and not before then.

She imagines it must be ULTRA tantalizing though.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 01:33:42 79594
"...Just a sec," Rashmi says, before disappearing into the kitchen. She pops back out after a flurry of hushed conversation, holding a pink plastic ice cream spoon with a glop of that alarming radioactive-turmeric-colored paste on. "...You might want to hurry," she says, free hand *thunk*ing against the gas mask again. "I don't know how well the stuff reacts to plastic."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 01:42:55 79595
    Miku still wants a taste. While she can afford the moment to stop and stare again, Kokoro does just that. She doesn't hide how surprised she is, though with her that's pretty much par for the course. And regardless, it gives her an excuse to stop for just a little bit longer.

    But even Kokoro herself isn't going to tolerate procrastination here. When Rashmi comes back out with a spoonful for Miku, she takes it as her cue to start back in again. As slow as she might be taking it, the heat keeps building and building, leading to a second or two's pause here and there... but, at the same time, the end is in sight. She's past the halfway mark. That alone gives her a second wind. That, and the fact there's so much heat that she's almost numb, at this point. It's hard to make it worse by now.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 01:44:37 79596
And now Miku has two spoons. She puts the one in the orange ice cream back down, then glances up at Kokoro, curious how she's taking it without the lassi. "You're slowing down," she notes to the girl, as if to say 'you're not good enough.'. Then she pops the nuclear spoon in her mouth.

And it's fine at first. She tastes it, swallows it, then makes an uncertain expression. A tilt of her head, then her eyes widen just a little. Oh. Yes. That burns. That burns a lot. But Miku doesn't cry out or let her eyes water. She just gives a curt nod to Rashmi, then suffers in silence for several moments.

It'll be back to the ice cream pretty soon.
Lacrima 2017-06-26 01:52:31 79597
Norie Okana looks to Miku. "Are you okay?" she asks, leaning in and whispering that as not to make a sense of it, before she leans back and watches Kokoro. Come on Kokoro-chan. You can do it. You can do it. You can do it, she thinks. Pain is an illusion! Wait. not it isn't.

She still blinks at Rashmi. "Will it melt plastic?" she asks.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 01:53:20 79598
A shrug is the only answer Norie gets. "C'mon, Kokoro-chan," she urges instead. "You've almost got it..."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 01:59:17 79599
    Oh, Miku. Ohhhh, Miku. You know just what to say.

    With that second wind she's picked up, Kokoro starts to go a little /faster/. It's still not the entirely unwise pace of those first few bites, but it's closer to how she was early on, and the rest of the curry starts to disappear bit by bit. There's one or two more brief pauses, a few 'wow this is hot' breaths that Rashmi has probably seen a million times, and then on she goes. On she goes, until a spoonful comes that is the last.

    She slumps back in her seat for a moment, staring. The thirteen-year-old girl has defeated a curry that could make grown adults cry. She feels a brief moment of pride.

    Then she grabs the lassi.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 02:04:25 79601
Miku gives Norie a face that expresses uncertainty, then sticks a spoonful of icecream in her mouth. Then another. And soon enough the ice cream is gone and she looks mildly relieved. She finishes her ice cream about the same time as Kokoro finishes the curry, then turns to smirk at the girl amusedly. "Guess I was wrong," she says. "That stuff's really tasty. But definitely too strong for me."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 02:05:57 79602
Norie nods respectfully. "It's been beaten." she says frankly. Then she watches Kokoro go for the lassi because she probably needs it. Probably needs like a gallon of it. She gently gives a soft clap, in congratulations. Clap clap c--wait she may be the only one clapping maybe. She hopes not.

She stops regardless and looks just a little self conscious even if other people do clap.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 02:19:18 79604
Rashmi, by contrast, isn't afraid to clap at all, quite exuberantly even. "Good job Kokoro-chan!" she says, hand *thunk!*ing against her gas mask again. Turning, she raises her voice to the kitchen "Mami! Papi! Quit smooching back there, Kokoro-chan's earned her naan!"

It's only a few seconds later that Rashmi's mothers exits the kitchen, smiling serenely at the girls at the table, gliding up the stairs. Her father emerges right on her heels, bearing a plate with a small stack of steaming-hot, garlic-flavored flatbread. "Not bad, missy," he chuckles. "Not bad at all... Rashmi's told you the prize, right?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 02:25:01 79606
    Is... is that... yes, without her hair to hide half her face, that is definitely a very tiny smile that Kokoro sends Miku's way. But it's pure surprise she shows when Norie is the one to start clapping first. And she finds herself very, very grateful that she's already beet red from the spicy challenge she just overcame. But hey, there's a cheerful Rashmi too, and then there's naan. Precious, blessed naan, to help soothe her mouth. She finally reaches up to undo the clip that's kept her hair out of her face, though somehow she still manages to ingest circles of bread without biting down on hair.

    When Rashmi's father approaches, though, she stops long enough to look up at him, and give him a little nod. "Yeah. ...be happy when I can taste it again." Nomf. Okay so maybe there's a bit of regret there. But she did it! And didn't even whimper or groan once.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 02:41:45 79608
Miku sets her empty ice cream cup to the side, then glances at the plate in front of Kokoro thoughtfully. "Eugh. We should start getting this place cleaned up," she notes, waving a hand in front of her face. "Rashmi, can I help with that?"
Lacrima 2017-06-26 02:44:18 79609
Norie Okana continues to looks self conscious which means she's staring more at the table in front of her now in her fancy business suit. She shifts a bit uncomfortably. "Glad you did it." is all she says quietly.

Miku offers to help. "I can help. Too. If. You need... help." she manages to sputter out.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 02:47:30 79610
"We've got it down to a science now," Rashmi chuckles, waving the offer of help away. "Seriously don't worry about it, we just need to shut the place down for a few hours and we'll have it completely fumigated in time for the dinner rush."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 02:49:19 79611
    For the moment, Kokoro is simply nursing her metaphorical wounds, downing the lassi and the naan both until the heat has abated somewhat. Then she just kinda settles back in her chair, and...

    ...and, uh...

    ...crap, what does she do now, she no longer has an excuse to stay quiet!
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 02:51:39 79612
"Alright, then," Miku replies, before glancing across the table at Kokoro again. After a moment, she smirks amusedly, then slides out of the table and stretches a little. "I have some homework to do still. I'll see you guys later."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 02:54:15 79613
Norie Okana shifts a little, in the same boat as Kokoro in so far as she doesn't know what to say now. She does finally talk. "Kokoro-chan." she asks. "Are you okay after... the..."

"Thing... not too long ago?" she asks. Nightmare thing. She's being roundabout.

"Never. Got to ask..." she trails off as she shifts uncomfortably.

"Um. Bye Miku." she says. "Tell Alexis that Kokoro won if you see her before I do okay?" she asks.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 02:58:09 79614
"I got this, Dad," Rashmi says, still muffled behind the mask. "Go ahead and start on the kitchen, I'll start on the tables out here when we're done, okay?

"Enjoy your girl talk, darlin'," her father chuckles, resting a hand on Rashmi's head for a moment, then turning to amble back into the kitchen. "HOSHI! START UP THE POWER WASHER!"

Turning back to the table, Rashmi lifts a hand, waving cheerfully. "Thanks for coming, Kohinata-san! It was good to see you!"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 03:02:02 79616
    The first miracle comes when Miku is about to leave. Kokoro glances up at her... and then nods. A tiny little nod. "Yeah." An actual reply to 'see you later'. An affirmative one, at that.

    The second miracle comes when Norie asks her about The Incident(tm). That garners a look that's... awkward. A little embarrassed. She almost doesn't reply. She's never been the type to share. But apparently she at least considers Norie deserving enough of a simple reply. "'m fine now." It almost seems as if that's it, but just when the silence seems to have stretched on too long- "...had a friend help." It comes out quiet, only a little above a whisper. When she says the word 'friend', her eyes flit in Rashmi's direction.
Miku Kohinata 2017-06-26 03:02:56 79617
Miku glances at Kokoro uncertaintly. Did that just happen? No, no, she must have been hearing things. Miku shakes her head and gives a little wave as she heads on her way out.
Lacrima 2017-06-26 03:06:49 79618
Norie Okana glances a bit at Rashmi and nods a little. "That's good." she says quietly. She knew that Kokoro left a mess. "You. Didn't really look good. When it was all over. That. Person. Tapped into. Not nice things at all." she says quietly.

Still Obtuse for the normies around.

She looks to Rashmi. "and... you're okay. Too. Right? Still?" she asks.

"Sorry. Just... checking. In. on. People. While I. Have you there." she says very stiltedly.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 03:09:57 79619
"He pushed a lot of really sensitive buttons," the gasmask says gravely. "But... I think we're all okay, now. Mostly, anyway. Thanks for caring, though." This, said as if Rashmi knows perfectly well that whether or not Norie can care like most folk do, it's the effort that matters more than the feeling. Looking down at Kokoro, the older teen likely has many reasons to be glad for the mask, not least because there's probably melty 'aww' faces behind it, and nobody needs to see that.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 03:16:03 79620
    The stilted speech is odd enough that even Kokoro starts to notice, giving Norie a fairly odd look over it. But this seems normal enough that Norie isn't commenting, so... sure, why not. She decides to just shake her head a little. "What, uh... what Rashmi said. Hit me in a sore spot." And that's where she chooses to leave it. Instead, she looks up into that gas mask, noticing the stare. "...what?"
Lacrima 2017-06-26 03:28:15 79621
Norie Okana nods a bit. "Yeah..." is all she can say. She shifts a bit again. "Just kind of. Making me doubt things. Is all. I'll be fine. Just. These things take longer. With me." she says. She says softly. Then she looks between Kokoro and Rashmi with a soft non-surprised blink. Like she's trying to figure something out and put things together in her head. Her eyes seem to search the ceiling while she does this.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 03:31:16 79622
"It's nothing," Rashmi chuckles, and starts tugging at the gloves. "But don't think that there isn't doubt, Norie. Just..... you've got friends behind you, y'know? Sometimes that really does make a difference."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 03:34:05 79623
    Oh, this is that 'someone is in need of reassurance' thing. Dang it, she doesn't usually do this. Think, Kokoro, think. No, that's too sappy, that just feels weird...

    "...you ever need something, you got my number," she finally says. Rashmi help did I do it right?
Lacrima 2017-06-26 03:40:08 79624
Norie Okana just quietly says. "I'll talk. Tomorrow. Maybe." she says. Which is code for 'I /am/ calling tomorrow but I don't wanna admit it because I can't really right now.' She looks to Rashmi and frowns. "I know. But. It's hard to reach that point. To ask." she says.

"You remember the other time. Right?..." she asks.

"At least. I've been going back home." she mumbles. "Instead of the manor." she says.

"...can I ask you two something?" she asks softly.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 03:41:41 79625
The question is answered with a bob of the head. "I remember, and sure what's up?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 03:43:03 79626
    Well, that's... that's something, right? "...sure," Kokoro replies, her tone soft in a bid to pad out this pose so it'll be logged.
Lacrima 2017-06-26 03:52:56 79627
Norie Okana looks past Rashmi and then Kokoro. Parents are still here. "Let's pretend..."

"There's a game about where you are a vampire." she says. She is clearly framing this in the understanding Rashmi's parents are still there- and she's trying to make this clear through tone.

"...and the first victim was. YOur brother. That. You used to. Have a close relationship with. Like. Best friends." she says. "But. He. Remembers. On a base level. That attack." then a pause. "In the game. Of course." she says.

"-and now. Between. Remembering you are... 'danger'- and the other things that. Being a vampire. Have done to you..." she says. "-and he remembers-- in a way that is not fully but-- he knows. Deep down somewhere. In so much as. You find evidence... in--in the game of course..." still keeping the ruse.

"That he remembers so much that he claims you are some sort of witch or ghost for sure on message boards in the past." she says quiely.

"Do you think it's a good idea for.... your character to... tell them. The truth..? In hopes they. Might... understand...?" she asks.

Talking about this stuff around potential close mundanes get weird.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 04:02:50 79628
Parents may be there, but high-velocity water on stainless steel and cast iron covereth a multitude of conversational sins.

"....Wow that's a tough decision," Rashmi murmurs, scratching at the cheek of the gas mask. "I.... hm. Well I-- ... .......y'know, I really don't have any idea. I think if it was me, I'd try to tell him the truth and do my best to make it up to him, but... not knowing much about the brother, I can't say for certain if that'd even help much." Letting out a puff of breath, she shakes her head. "Sorry I can't be more help, Norie-chan... I don't blame you for not being able to figure that out."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-06-26 04:04:34 79629
    "I..." Kokoro scratches the back of her head, looking off to one side. "...I... I ain't ever had family," she finally says, her voice going very soft for a moment. "...so I dunno. But if I was playing a game like that, I'd... I... I can't do the sneaking around thing. Don't like hidin' stuff like that. I'd pick the 'tell him' route."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 04:12:29 79630
Norie Okana frowns. "I need someone there to help me with it." she admits. "I'd probably start and. Just. Mess it up. Or get too... overloaded in stress and do something stupid again to make it worse." she admits. "Natsumi-chan... she wouldn't do it with me because she wants to keep her own secret. And Eilam-kun--- likewise. Has secrets I'm not to talk openly about." she says quietly.

She frowns to Kokoro. "I know." she says. "I used to have one. But it's a mess now. Because of me." she shifts. "Everyone fights. Because I messed things up." she says. "When I became this thing."

"Basically. Hard to find people willing to help me explain 'I am a horrible vampire, and it's why everything has been terrible the past two years.' to my brother."

"Besides. Even if it goes badly I can just... just... like..."

"...sort of. Just mind wipe... most of it. He'd probably still remember bits of THAT too. I don't wanna do that. It's why I ran away the first time." she says.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 04:14:37 79631
"Sure I'd help," Rashmi says immediately, resting an ungloved hand on Norie's shoulder. "I mean, I'm not sure how much help I can be, but, I meant what I said about having friends at your back."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 04:17:04 79632
Norie Okana frowns and eyes Rashmi. "You know if goes back and I have to do that... and he remembers a little. He's probably going to start to have the same reaction to you. As long as. You understand that. That. You're probably going to have someone online start accusing you for being a ghost or a demon by name..." she says quietly.

"That's the main. Reason I haven't been able to get anyone to help. Really." she says quietly.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 04:18:14 79633
"And they'll talk to me for five minutes and realize he's wrong," Rashmi replies, shrugging. "Besides... It's a small price to pay to help out a friend."
Lacrima 2017-06-26 04:24:26 79634
Norie Okana frowns. "Alright." the frown doesn't seem to be at Rashmi as she begins to stand up. "I'll. Text you with a date soon." she does look at Kokoro then to Rashmi. "I have some decisions to make based on the outcome." she says quietly. "Whether. I'm. Running away. For good. Or not. and stuff. Like that." she says.

"Or doing the. Brain wipe.. hypnosis thing. If I can bring myself to." she says.

She sighs. "Thanks. For listening. Guys. Didn't mean to be a downer. Congratulations again, Kokoro-chan." she says. She'll begin to leave unless she's stopped. She doesn't think she will though.
Rashmi Terios 2017-06-26 04:25:33 79635
"No problem!" Rashmi chirps, the smile audible despite the mask. "I'll be waiting, and it was good to see you again!"