Happy Birthday Ariel


Ariel turns 12. There is Indian food and good times had by all.

Date: 2017-07-08
Pose Count: 51
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-08 19:02:18 80166
    It's Saturday. Midday. A nice day too; bright and sunny with almost perfect weather.
    What happens today starts so innocuoulsy. Some people may have already been headed to the Korma Chameleon on their own maybe, but others more directly involved with the recent nightmarish events will find themselves recieving... Letters? No. invitations. They're not marked, there's no return address, and they're a tiny bit cryptic; stating that today would probably be a good day to head down to the Korma Chameleon, for Ariel's sake.
    She's not there, yet, herself though.
Lacrima 2017-07-08 19:08:53 80167
An invitation. She'd forgotten about it. With the recent whole.... 'destiny says that you are forsaken to not have a family thing' and the collected thoughts of the wasted two years trying her best to keep it together and letting it all out in a mass cry and breakdown that in all honestly. She wasn't done with yet.

But...

Ariel-chan. She's being asked to come for 'Ariel's sake' and even though she feels like her heart is in literarily two... maybe five pieces... she has to come. So she gathers herself. Manages to force herself into normal clothes and tries very hard to suppress her desire to cry and cry and cry.

Besides. She'd promised Rashmi she'd try to visit anymore. So. Two in one. Maybe. Where she didn't have to leave the confines of a coffin or closet or crying fit in a forest grove in the park.

She peeks in through the door and looks left and right a moment, though not turning her head, eyes scanning a moment.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 19:14:22 80168
Ikiko Hisakata was surprised by the invitation, although her surprise lessened after seeing who is involved -- after the unexpected nature of being called in to help protect dreams, she's come to the conclusion that surprising events are just par for the course when the unicorn is involved.

Still, curry sounds yummy today, and she's at least willing to hear out what's going on.

As Ikiko arrives at the Korma Chameleon, she spots a familiar vampire. "Hey, Lacrima," the sometimes-wolfgirl smiles as she holds up her invitation. "I take it you got one of these, too?"
Takara Himura 2017-07-08 19:21:45 80169
Letters usually don't come to Takara, since most people don't have a braille typewriter, so this is an unusual occurance. Having had her mom read it to her, she all but ran circles in the house, squealing with glee.

So here she is at the Korma Chamelion, ready to party with friends and get her curry on. "Hey, everybody!" she says when she arrives, not knowing exactly who is here yet. Her enthusiasm dies, however, when she hears Lacrima is here. She purses her lips, and stands near the entrance debating as to wheter or not she should go and let people along, or stay and probably make things worse than she already has.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 19:33:56 80170
    If nothing else, Kokoro Akakuma would show up for the simple fact of 'hey what the heck is this invitation all about?' It helps that it's at Rashmi's place, though, one of the few places in Tokyo Kokoro has a genuine, ongoing reason to head these days. And moreover... well, she wouldn't admit it, but even if she still keeps her distance a bit, she's grown a bit protective of Ariel. And-

    -oh hey. People are here. People she knows. Like Lacrima. And... and 'those other people'. "...yo." That's about all the greeting most of you are getting.

    Most of you.

    "...hey, Norie." A faint nod. A vaguely concerned look.
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-08 19:43:44 80171
In the kitchen of the Korma Chameleon, a discussion is being had.

"Sunshine," Rashmi's father drawls, "y'know yer mom an' I're glad y'got so many friends now, but I gotta ask; this your doin'?"

"N-no Papi, I got an invitation too."

"So this ain't somethin' you set up, an' promised a big discount for?"

"No Papi, I wouldn't offer a discount like this. Anyway the fee's been paid, right? Was it less than you ask for?"

"...No," Rashmi's father sighs. "No it ain't, an' I'm sorry, Sunshine. Just... you been focused at school, an' yer ma an' I've worried. Now it seems like yer pickin' friends up left an' right, an' we don't wanna see you get taken advantage of, y'know?"

At this, Rashmi looses a giggle that can be heard, faintly, out in the dining room. "Oh Papi... no, I'm not. Turns out I have a pretty good feel for people, y'know?"

"All right, all right," the scruffy, lanky Japanese man chuckles, sweeping his redhead daughter into a tight hug. "You go on then, an' brighten up every room y'walk into."

Giggling, Rashmi loops her arms around her father's neck and squeezes. "Thanks, Papi. You sure you won't need me?"

"Naw, yer mom's got the staff waiting in the wings, an' she's promising to cater they lunch break herself."

"Okay then... thanks, Papi!"

And with that, Rashmi bumps out of the kitchen, her face spreading in a delighted grin as she takes note of all the attendees. "Oh wow, hi everyone!"
Seth Locke 2017-07-08 19:47:55 80173
And Seth?

Well, I guess to every meeting there's this random encounter; the coincidence, the just dropping by.

And in this case, it's the american boy, who's been lost in thoughts, trying to understand some recent... changes in his life.

But wait... That doesn't look like Seth!

No. Seth is tall, passing the 6' mark, has brown hair and blue gray eyes. This figure is decidedly taller, his hair is like pure silver, his pupils are like gold, and he's dressed in a black and sepia fabric, almost like leather.

He scans around the area to take in the environment, and falls upon a familiar face - that of Norie. He approaches her table, and then smiles a little.

"Greetings. Long time no see."

Even his voice sounds different - deeper, darker.
Lacrima 2017-07-08 19:49:02 80174
Lacrima turns to face Ikiko. "Hello... Ikiko-chan." she says softly. Her eyes turn to Kokoro. Lacrima looks more dour than usual. She at best looks deadpan but, that general feeling of sad seems to just extend from her in a bad way. Though that aura changes into 'angry' fairly quickly when her eyes lay down on the blind girl.

She seems to sour and then just says, in a completely forlorn tone "..../whatever/...." for no particular reason after laying eyes on her as she turns and moves to a seat.

Oh. Then Seth approaches her. This is great. This is just..... /Fine/.

"Hello, Seth." she says begrudgingly, as she sits down as her eyes look to Rashmi. Rashmi gets a more demure tone.

"Rashmi-chan. Hello." she says softly. If she's noticed anything different about Seth, she's too distracted and hurting internally to care to notice at the moment.
Takara Himura 2017-07-08 19:50:36 80175
Even though she can't see Lacrima's glare, she can certainly feel it. "I... uh..." Her face pulls down into a scowl. "I better go."
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 19:55:39 80176
    Oh and there's Rashmi. Kokoro stands herself up a little straighter at the chipper greeting, giving Rashmi a deeper nod. "Yo, Rashmi. I got some kinda invitation or something." Not only is it a complete 180 from her reaction on the night they fought the Prince of Nightmares, it's easily the warmest greeting she's given anyone, period. Wow.

    The worry returns to her face with Lacrima's behavior. Returns with a vengeance, in fact. That was such a cold response to Takara it instantly has her frowning, fidgeting on the spot and unsure of what to do.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 20:01:58 80177
Ikiko Hisakata looks from Lacrima to Takara and back, then over to Seth and back once again to Lacrima. "I'm almost afraid to ask," she mutters to herself as she takes a seat.
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-08 20:03:02 80178
    So. Invitations abound and random fortuitous arrivals huh?
    Seems like it's just that moment not too long after most other arrivals that the door opens again. Topaz eyes blink as Ariel glances up from the sheet in her own hand. Though she's in her human guise it probably isn't too hard for those who haven't seen her in this form to recognize the little unicorn girl that's been plumbing about in everyone's dreams while busy trying to fix Things and Stuff.
    "... Ah...? A lot of people here." She says, more to herself than anyone else at first. Though the tense air seems to sail clean over her head. Because she definitely recognizes a load of people.
    "Hi everyone! Ah... So um. Does anyone know what this is about?"
    This being the invitation SHE holds up telling her to show up and giving no explanation, unlike the others that said to come here for her.
    Now isn't that odd.
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-08 20:25:30 80179
....Oh dear. The tension between Takara and Lacrima is definitely noticed, and Rashmi bites at her lower lip, throwing a helpless look at Kokoro for a moment.

Happily, Ariel provides a distraction, and as the staff starts streaming down from upstairs and into the kitchen, and the sounds of prepared food beginning to be made in earnest, Rashmi only grins. "I kinda do... but I'm not gonna say, Ariel-chan. It's a surprise."

With that, she crosses the room to Takara, resting a hand on the blind girl's arm. "Don't go," she murmurs. "I don't know what happened, but, both of you were still invited, right? C'mon, have a sit just over here..." Once Takara's got a spot next to at least one other person, she moves to Lacrima, obviously taking a breath as if for air, before plunging into Lacrima's Aura of Angar, and sitting next to the girl. "Hey, N-- Lacrima-chan. It's good to see you?"

Seth's 'obvious' strangeness gets a strange look, and a silent question tossed Lacrima's way.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 20:29:22 80180
    And there's Ariel. Kokoro can only offer a faint shrug about the invitation, though; Rashmi seems to know more, so she'll just let that be Rashmi's secret to tell. Or not tell. How does this even work?

    The tall girl suddenly realizes how lost she is about this whole 'party' thing. Uh... crap. Wat do?

    It doesn't take long before she gravitates over towards Rashmi in general, which means she's also near Lacrima. But all she can really do is hover for the moment, so that's what she does. Well, that and give Seth a suspicious stare. Staaaaare.
Lacrima 2017-07-08 20:29:33 80181
Lacrima frowns at Kokoro and Ikiko, thought it doesn't seem directed at them. "She's the one who.... the... fate... cords.... family....." she says trying to make sense in her agitated state. "Forget it..." she mutters as she turns back to staring down at the table.

She just looks down at the table.

"She can do whatever she likes." she says silently finally as she just stares at the table and shifts uncomfortably. Then Ariel speaks up.

"Hello Arie----"

"...you don't know why you're here?" she asks a little softly. She frowns a bit. She swears. If she has to fight some... god awful ... curry nightmare...

NO QUARTER.
Takara Himura 2017-07-08 20:31:02 80182
"No," Takara says to Rashmi, resisting her tugs to get her to go in. "I think it's better if I did. I..." her ears pinken in embarassment, "I think I really screwed up when I talked with her, and I don't want things to get worse." She fidgets with her cane. "I don't want to make things worse by trying to fix it." She turns and walks out the door. "Let me know how it goes, Okay Rashmi-chan?"
Seth Locke 2017-07-08 20:34:44 80183
Seth Locke looks at Ariel, the sign of recognition being only a faint raise of his eyebrows. "Greetings", he says to her.

The mention of invitations gets him a frown, "Invitations?" He looks at all the other gathered, then shrugs. "I have really no idea what you're talking about."

He looks at Lacrima, wondering what's up with her. He sighs, then his eyes fall upon the mirror, and he sees his reflection; and blinks, not to mention gasping.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 20:43:49 80184
Ikiko Hisakata reaches over and pats Lacrima on the back. "Want to talk about it later?" she whispers. Ever after a certain conversation with a certain person, Ikiko had a question or two for the vampire, but right now isn't the time for it. After all, the unicorn has just arrived, and...

Well, Ariel is here, and the unicorn girl is about as confused as most of the rest of them. Rashmi seems to have a clue as to what's going on, but beyond that...

"Our invitations didn't say much more than yours did, Ariel," Ikiko shrugs. She side-eyes Seth cautiously, then continues. "Basically, that we should head here for your sake. Any idea why?"
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-08 20:56:03 80185
    "B-bye?" That's to Takara as she chooses to leave, which results in Ariel scratching her head, brow furrowed. Nevertheless, she enters properly and begins PROPER individual greetings. Rashmi and Kokoro get hugs. Ikiko is not immune to hugs. Seth gets a very polite bow, and Lacrima- in spite of her apparent low mood, will find Ariel clasping a hand in both of her own- though at the first sign of acceptance into personal space, even Norie is getting some hugging.
    Ariel is a very huggy girl.
    But on to other matters. Her nose scrunches. "Ah...?" There's an almost baffled look toward Rashmi at the mention of surprise, and a flutter of a slightly embarassed look crossing her expression at Ikiko. "For... my sake?"
    This is about when the door opens again... And a delivery guy walks in, carelessly sets down a cake box, and walks back out. It looks smashed, and the cake inside it is... Well it's smashed.
    What a terrible horrible disaster. The worst possible nightmare that could happen on this day.
    Funny though. Ariel is looking like a deer caught in headlights now.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 21:08:00 80186
    Hugged. "Gh-!" Well, at least it's not a noise of revulsion or ire this time; more 'sheer surprise' mixed with 'oh god what do I do'. She still freezes in place and looks like... well, like a deer in headlighs, but hey, it's a start!

    But as she's standing there, a delivery guy walks in, pretty much tosses down what's left of a cake, and waltzes back out. It takes her a few seconds to process what just happened. ...Birthday party. Cake. That cake was for Ariel. Delivery guy just walked in, dropped it off, walked out. Looked like he didn't care. Cake is smushed beyond repair. Ariel's cake. Careless deliveryman.

    It takes about three seconds for everything to sink in.

    Two seconds later, Kokoro is pushing her way out the door with an expression that bodes very ill for someone.

    Three seconds after that, an iron grip settles on a deliveryman's shoulder. "Oi." It should not be humanly possible for one syllable to contain so much menace.
Lacrima 2017-07-08 21:09:23 80187
Ariel hugs always help calm her a little and it helps a lot. Even in her shitty mood and the statements of 'you can just get a new family!' in her mind. Ariel's confusion seems to concern her. Then a delivery man delivers a cake and the cake box seems....

She frowns and peeks the box open a little.

"Ariel-chan.... is it... your birthday?" she asks with a blink. Then that mood sours a lot because the birthday cake is /ruined/. It's probably a good thing Lacrima took her sweet time checking because she'd probably had followed and /or drained the delivery man into unconsciousness.

She sighs. "So-sorry Ariel-chan. I didn't know. I'd had. Brought you... something.... maybe.... I'm.. I'm sorry....." she mutters. Because yeah, She totally needs this added to her thoughts on why she's a terrible person. Not anyone's fault. Just her state of mind.

Kokoro runs out after the deliveryman anyways. She lets her. IF she ran, she'd do worse than just grab him at the moment.
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-08 21:11:04 80188
Rashmi's eyes go wide as the mooshed box is dropped uncerimoniously onto the table. Hesitantly, as if checking an unexploded bomb, she lifts the lid... and her eyes grow to the size of dinner plates, as she stands there frozen in shock. "I..... Oh my god, Ariel-chan..." she says weakly, unable to find the words.

So instead, she replaces word with action. Very nearly teleporting to the kitchen door, she bangs through, all ceremony forgotten in her mad scramble to Fix This Now.

"PAPI, FUJIMURA-SAN! GET THE ROSEWATER OUT, WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY!"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 21:19:00 80189
Not only is Ikiko not immune to hugs, she very happily hugs right back! With bright smiles, to boot!

The arrival of the cake makes things clearer -- it's a birthday party! A double-surprise birthday party, at that!

But with a carelessly crushed cake. Boo on the delivery guy!

Ikiko leans over and gives Lacrima a hug. "I don't think any of us knew it was Ariel's birthday, Lacrima," the sometimes-wolfgirl notes. "I sure didn't! So if the lack of gifts bothers you, we can pick some up later and give them to her then. Sounds good?"
Seth Locke 2017-07-08 21:21:46 80190
Seth Locke is actually just glancing at the delivery, now, then looking at Ariel, then to the running Kokoro after that delivery guy. "Uhm... What just happened?" He looks at the cake, and realizes what has happened.

He looks at Ariel, and his eyes begin to glow an eerie gold. "Wait right there - I will be right back" As he starts to turn, his eyes shift from gold to an eerie red, where an aura around him seems to intensify.

The door through which the delivery guy departs is slammed so hard as he passes through it, one would think the glass would break.

<<You.>> In case the delivery guy failed the hint that it was to him, the fact that Seth is pointing straight at him is bound to clear it up, for sure. Also, he's walking steadily in his direction.

This does not seem to bode well for the guy. At all.
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-08 21:31:55 80191
    Several long seconds pass. Though Ariel rallies afterwards, she doesn't... Actually seem put out. If anything, a large sweatdrop forms on the side of her brow as she puts on a bit of an awkward smile. "Eheh hehhhhhhhh..."
    There it is. Ariel's tinkling little 'oops' laugh. Even as others move swiftly into action to save the moment via calling for emergency rosewater, or going after the delivery guy. We'll get to that in a moment.
    "Well, I didn't exactly tell anyone. With how hectic things were, I didn't think it was the best time to bring it up." She notes at first before nodding. That confirms it. July 8th. Ariel's birthday. But then her hands come up.
    "A-ah! No! No really, it's fine! No one has to get me anything! Just being together with my friends is the best thing I could have asked for!" she bleats to Norie and Ikiko. "... Though I didn't expect the setup, huh. I'm sure we can still... Eat it. Right?" Maybe. But the Rashmi's plan is probably the best way to go, here.
    But do you know who else is sweating?
    Well, the delivery guy didn't expect to get called out. And he halts dead in his tracks when Kokoro's hand rests on his shoulder. Between 'Oi' and 'You!' and his escape cut off, someone knows he done goofed. "E-erk?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 21:40:02 80192
    Kokoro is very slow and deliberate in the process of turning the delivery man around. Very, slow, and deliberate.

    She is very sudden and abrupt about subsequently pushing him up against the nearest wall.

    Her hair, as always, keeps half her face hidden, but the uncovered eye shows a great deal of malice. "Buddy, you got exactly two choices," she growls. "Either we walk into the nearest bakery, and you replace that birthday cake you ruined outta your own pocket, right now. Or me and Hightower back here," she quirks her head briefly in Seth's direction, "Are gonna march your sorry backside straight back to whoever you call 'boss' and tell 'em exactly what happened. Don't think that'll be real good for your career path, yeah?"
Lacrima 2017-07-08 21:55:15 80194
Lacrima kind of fidgets. She doesn't say anything like 'yeah okay' or 'i understand' because she isn't in the right mindset. She's more feeling like she did two years ago than she did a week or so back. She could had dealt with 'my brother is a jerk and doesn't like me'. She can't also deal with being told 'Oh, your family is fated to break apart. It's so easy to make a new family though!'. Yes. So easy. Draining thugs. So easy. So easy. Being this. So easy. Making a new family. So easy. So easy. SO EASY.

"W..well happy. birthday. Ariel-chan. Regardless. I'm sure. Rashmi-chan can. Fix up something...." she says.

"The cake is a mess. I'.. I can go take care of it if you want." she says softly. "Go.. put it in the back. Or something." she says quietly, as she glances over to Ikiko just a moment.
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-08 22:06:52 80196
The conversation that follows from the kitchen in mostly muffled, but there's a short pause. Then, every inch the regal queen of her domain attending to a catastrophe, a woman that can only be Rashmi's mother sweeps down the stairs, light muslin sari flowing behind her, as she walks with purpose toward the kitchen. At the door, she paises, glances over her shoulder to catch Ariel's eye, and tips a bright, merry wink to the poor, flustered birthday girl.

More muffled conversation ensues, and Rashmi bursts out of the kitchen, flanked by a pair of waitstaff, all laden with trays full of small bowls of white rice and fried vegetables of every variety; sweet potato, onions, eggplant, a thin, ribbed gourd of some sort, and three pitchers of lassi; one faintly yellow, one pinkish, and one a strong orange color.

"First course! Rashmi chirps, beaming at the party beginning to collect its morale. "Bhaja and rice, and mango, rose, and saffron lassi! We'll keep the pitchers full as long as everyone's here, don't be shy!"
Seth Locke 2017-07-08 22:12:40 80197
<<Do you know what you've done?>> Seth's voice is outright changed into a demonic thundering. <<That was a birthday cake.>>

His image blurs and shimmers, and the next thing the delivery guy knows, he's right on top of him, side-by-side with Kokoro. <<A /birthday/ cake!>> This little bit is snarled. <<This means, to your unfathomably tiny amoebic being you have for a brain, that you /ruined/ that girl's day, and the day for many other guests to this party.>> He just about sniffs him, being so close. He listens to the options Kokoro offers, then he leans further. <<I see a third option, and pretty much karmic justice: ingredients for a cake come out of your pocket, plus the devoted time you will offer in baking the cake to perfection. For certainly, you must have plenty of time, presenting an amalgam for a cake without any care in transporting it meaning you've been racing through the streets.>> He grins, but it's not a good grin. <<I also see a fourth option, but I will not mention it. But it implies obituaries.>>

Whoa! Kinda overdoing it there, no?
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 22:13:07 80198
Ikiko Hisakata doesn't push her point, but she does give Lacrima a gentle smile before turning towards Ariel again. "Still, happy birthday, Ariel!" Ikiko smiles.

There's a brief glance towards the outside and the thundering coming from that direction, but things seem to currently be under control. Even better, tasty food and drink are arriving! Definitely something worth paying attention to!
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 22:15:40 80199
    Suddenly, Seth is right there and growling in utterly inhuman tones. By this point she's getting used to 'the people around here aren't normal', but even with that in mind, this is enough to get her staring. "Oi, the hell is your deal, man? Dial it back, we're in public. People are gonna call the cops." There's only so much the public willingness to 'not notice' an altercation like this will go, after all.
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-08 22:41:24 80200
    Ariel is practically beaming. "Mm, I'm not worried about it." The cake she means, as she replies to Norie; fully sure that yes, Rashmi will save the day, she's about to speak on the matter further when she's distracted. Glancing up towards the woman making her way down stairs with such utter noble bearing. The silver-haired 'foriegn' girl is left staring off after her after the wink. But Ariel rallies again, once she gets her flustering to pass.
    "Thank you, though." Norie and Ikiko get hand squeezes as the food begins to arrive-- and all looks so good. The sheer amount of vegetables is a plus for her vegetarian diet, BUT Ariel excuses herself. Just briefly. Ever so briefly to step outside...
    There is a small hand that clasps right into Kokoro's. And another that gently sets on Seth.
    "Peace... Both of you." She says gently before looking up. For one, the delivery guy looks ready to either piss himself or pass out- which in fairness he deserves, but Ariel gently shakes her head. "Let it be. The food is ready so let's go back inside and enjoy ourselves, please?"
Lacrima 2017-07-08 22:53:33 80201
Lacrima softly watches Ariel step outside as she looks back down at the table. Food comes out. She looks up and nods politely at Rashmi and the waitstaff, but she doesn't say much else, waiting for the others to be here before eating, as she fidgets a bit. She just shifts lightly. She doesn't have anything good to say, so she just keeps her mouth shut.

No ruining things with her dour mood right now.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 23:06:01 80202
    These people are way too good at 'surprising Kokoro'. She jolts a little when that hand grasps hers; her attention is torn from the delivery guy and Seth both, and when she sees whose touch just grabbed her attention, the tall girl goes just a bit wide-eyed. There's a few, brief glances between Ariel and the cake fiend... and then she finally lets go, taking a step back. "...you got lucky," she finally says, putting the last embers of anger into those three words.

    She lets herself be led inside, though. Because it's Ariel. And even she's not enough of a monster to refuse Ariel.
Seth Locke 2017-07-08 23:11:33 80203
The 'demon' boy looks to Ariel, then back to the careless delivery boy. He chooses to follow her request; why make her birthday even more sour, after all, as this is not what she would want?

/But/, he does give the guy a silent warning - the 'I'll be watching you' kind.

He looks to Kokoro as he starts walking inside, and shrugs silently.

Inside, he grabs his phone. "Just a moment, I need to make this urgent call..."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-08 23:14:12 80204
Slipping into a chair next to Norie, Rashmi distributes the little bowls of fragrant, cardamom-scented rice, and arranges the vegetables in their place at the center of the makeshift long-table. Once the fussing is done, she rests a hand on Nories arm briefly, giving the girl an encouraging smile. "It's okay," she says. "I get the feeling this is a pretty special thing on its own. Now you know, presents next year. From all of us."

Once Ariel and company return to their seats, she claps her hands, and goes into Lecture Mode. "Okay, so... Now that you know, Ariel-chan, someone -- I don't know who -- paid to rent the restaurant for the day for you. This is basically going to be a special-occasion banquet, like they'd do in Mami's home country when something really good happens for someone. So... definitely share, everyone, there's going to be a lot of food you've probably never seen, and the 3-star rule applies here. Nothing too spicy, so everyone can share. Aaaaand, itadakimasu!"
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 23:18:13 80205
"Itadakimasu!" Ikiko cheers back, then takes a small sampling of the various fried veggies and a glass of the mango lassi. She gives everyone a grin, then starts eating what she took.

Oh man, this is delicious!
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-08 23:27:16 80206
    Situation defused. And Ariel once again returns inside, bright and beaming, and with Kokoro in tow. In tow because she's holding one of the older girl's arms hugged against her chest. Though a curious look is given toward Seth as he takes the moment to make a call, she does not stop him.
    No, she returns right into 'enjoy time with her friends' mode and sits back down.
    Norie will find herself between a Rashmi and a hug place-- unicorn. "I'm glad you could make it." Added in a small aside. Even though Ariel had planned none of this, it's good to have her friends around.
    BUT FOOD TIME.
    Ariel's brow furrows. Though there's no idea of who rented out the restaurant, she had a much more important, Indian cuisine-related, question.
    "What is the 3-star rule?"
    Uh oh.
Lacrima 2017-07-08 23:39:17 80207
Lacrima head tilts. "I think stars apply to how hot the food is." she says softly as she begins to eat, but ONLY when everyone is seated as she glances over to Kokoro and then back down to her food and over to Rashmi and Ariel as she tries very hard to concentrate on the food and ONLY the food at the moment.

Food is good. You don't need to try convience food of anything. Food doesn't reject you. She can deal with food right now.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-08 23:43:41 80208
    Oh hey, there's... tons of food. Tons of free food. Made by Rashmi and her family and their staff.

    Yeah, all thoughts of giving a delivery guy a rough time are officially gone.

    Kokoro slides into a seat near Ariel and commences to chow down. Somehow, during that process, she never once gets a mouthful of hair; and moreover, somehow she manages to converse in the process. "Lacrima's got it. Some of the food here can get pretty spicy," she explains to Ariel. "Some of it's got enough kick even I gotta work for it. But if it's three-star and below, you oughta be fine. ...I think." She pauses, glances at Lacrima, then back to Ariel. "...maybe stick to two-star stuff or lower."
Seth Locke 2017-07-08 23:46:17 80209
The call is quick, and soon enough Seth is having a seat.

"So, Ariel-chan...", he says, "Congratulations! And thank you for bringing me out of my...", he points outside, "...misbehavior, if you will." He then looks around, "And greetings, to all the faces I haven't yet met. I'm Seth Locke, pleased to meet you."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-08 23:47:17 80210
"Mami and Papi don't really like to make super-spicy food, Ariel-chan," Rashmi explains, glancing at Kokoro. "Mami says it kills tastebuds, so people can't tell how the food really tastes -- she grows and mixes all the spices we use here -- so they tend to get a little grumpy when people start asking for the five-star stuff because they can, and try to chase people away from it by offering a contest. Eat one bowl of the spiciest thing they can make, and you eat free for a month. As long as it's three star or below. And you have to pay a month in advance. And you don't get milk or bread or anything until it's done. Kokoro-chan did it, once... She ended up doing a lot better than Raskoph-san, after."

At Seth's introduction, the redhead beams. "Hi! Terios Rashmi, good to meet you too."
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-07-08 23:56:23 80211
Ikiko Hisakata earperks a bit at the explanation of the 3-star rule, especially with the mention of Alex. "Enough spice to add a kick, but without trampling over the overall flavor? Sounds pretty good," she notes, nodding in approval.
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-09 00:04:58 80212
    Hmmmmmm... Norie seems down. And that makes Ariel's lips purse in thought. Though she recieves explanation for her food-noob question while acquiring food. Though while she plots- and starts to slowly nibble at this, that, and otherwise daintily work on taking her time to enjoy the meal.
    There is a little bit of a pucker face when she dares something spicy. But Ariel is some kind of tiny trooper; and it is delicious. "Ah? Kokoro did it, then? Or?" She looks between Kokoro and Rashmi curiously.
    Introductions however earn a smile. The kind of smile that says she may have pushed the entire incident with the delivery guy out of her mind already. "It's nice to meet you~."
    She pushed the entire incident out of her mind, already. Which is all well and good as she leans aside to Lacrima. "Neh neh... It's been a little while. Would you like me to come visit again?" Whatever she means by that is between them, but she also seems to have something else on her mind.
    "This is ah..." Ariel begins but trails off slightly. She picks her thought back up. "This is my first birthday here, and I almost kind of missed it, myself. Back home when it was just with my moms, they kept everything low key, so this is a little different for me, heh heh! But I'm glad I could share it with everyone."
Lacrima 2017-07-09 00:11:52 80213
Lacrima is trying her best to keep her head in her food. Delicious. Delicious Korma Chameleon food. Please make all the bad go away forever. ~_~. Then Ariel speaks up to her. She looks over to Ariel and she purses her lips. "Is it.. the same way to get there?" she asks. "I know the walls between dreams must be healing... by now. Right?" she asks.

"I mean. I would. Like. To come by. Again." she says quietly.

She then goes back to food as she sighs a bit to herself as she eats. She's TRYING to not let it be too visible.

But frankly it's super visible.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-07-09 00:13:27 80214
    And there, Rashmi's got it out in the open. 'Kokoro tanked the super spicy challenge'. The grumpy girl ducks her head slightly, all but certain there's going to be more attention on her now. "...I only did it to see if I could," she finally says, sounding... sheepish? Shy? Somewhere in there. "...never had a meal kick me in the mouth like that, though," she adds, with a note of pride.
Seth Locke 2017-07-09 00:23:05 80215
Seth Locke grabs himself a serving, and casually looks about. "So, if I get this correctly, the fewer stars, the spicier? Or is it actually the other way around?" He starts eating, but of course, not before saying, 'Itadakimasu!'

He then asks Ariel, "So tell me, Ariel-chan, how is Dreamland? - assuming this is the true name for it."
Rashmi Terios 2017-07-09 00:27:17 80216
"Other way around," Rashmi says, grinning at Kokoro. "One-star is for people who don't like spice at all, five-star is for people who think eating a ghost pepper is a good way to spend an afternoon. The challenge Kokoro-chan did is more like six-star."

And now, the staff comes back out with a much more varied array of dishes and tureens to replace the now-empty bowls of fried veggies. "Okay, this time it's the entrees," Rashmi pipes up. "There's egg curry, fish dumpling curry, coconut fish curry, mustard prawns, mutton curry, lentil-cake... The dumplings are a bit on the spicy side, the mutton's more like a soup, and they're just not going to stop bringing out naan until everyone's got some."
Ariel Theodore 2017-07-09 00:52:15 80217
    "I'd like that, too." It's a simple reply, but an earnest one. "And if you can't find the way, I can always come to you." Ariel points out to Lacrima. Be it for a visit, or to pull her along to that stretch of sunset beach favored by a mermaid.
    But then her head tilts. "That sounds hot. Does someone need to wear a gasmask when cooking it?"
    Where that question comes from is almost out of the blue before a dawning look of recognition flares across Ariel's face, at Seth. "A-ah! R-right. Um. Well things are still a little shakey. ... But it's looking like everything is going to be okay."
    That's right. And everything is okay right now.
Lacrima 2017-07-09 01:00:17 80218
Lacrima nods. "Yes someone does." she says flatly as she eats. "Okay..." is all she says to the visit as she purses her lips for a moment. She'll get there someway then. She likes the sunset place. She needs the sunset place she thinks right now. To not be. here on Earth proper. For a bit. Even if her body is.

She gently fidgets as she finishes her plate. She'll wait for the dessert. Whenever it comes. She looks back at Kokoro and Rashmi and Ariel and Ikiko and Seth as she then just stares back down at the empty plate.
Seth Locke 2017-07-09 01:03:41 80219
"...You just recalled, didn't you?", Seth chuckles a bit. "Well, no matter, but it's nice to know it wasn't just a dream, back then."

He finishes up, "But unfortunately, I have to go." He sighs, "I got this project I'm working on, and it begs for my attention." Getting up, he bows. "Nice meeting - or re-meeting - you all. See you all soon."