What is Fine And Isn't

Towards the end of Norie's birthday party, her and Rashmi go investigate why Alex has been keeping out of the party proper. They find him, despite his protests, decidedly NOT FINE.

Date: 2017-10-17
Pose Count: 34
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 04:11:38 84872
Norie's birthday party has been in full swing!

...And yet, through none of it, has the main offender responsible for it even happening actually being there, in the main area of the restaurant. Not sitting in some corner hidden, not to mention actually saying hi to the birthday girl.

Rashmi definitely would have seen him actually there though before Norie came in.

It doesn't take very long, at least, to figure out which way he went, one way or another. In the back area that the Terios parents have dubiously given him permission to move into for the sake of party arrangements, his trademark jacket has been hung up right next to the employee bathroom.

...There's a very telltale heaving and hurking sound coming through the door.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 04:19:27 84873
When a party is conceived of and funded by a person, one typically expects that person to be present for it. Which is why Rashmi looks pretty worried as she closes on the employee restroom. And upon hearing the sounds of retching, Rashmi knocks gently on the door. "Raskoph-san? Are you okay? You sound sick, you didn't actually steal one of the ghost peppers did you?"
Lacrima 2017-10-17 04:28:10 84874
At some point, between 'all the donuts' and gifts, Lacrima got to wondering where Alexis was and meandered off soon after Rashmi-chan to... hear retching from the employee bathroom. She blinked a bit and frowned.

"Clearly. He hopefully isn't that idiotic." she says sternly.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 04:36:48 84875
"I'M FINE!" the familiar voice of Alex yells through teh door-- though the voice is also hoarse and rasped, so the claim probably doesn't sound all that convincing.

"Just... a minute...!"
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 04:37:50 84876
"Raskoph-san I live above a curry restaurant, I know what fine is and isn't," Rashmi says just a bit testily. "What's going on?" Glancing back at Lacrima, the redhead shrugs. I mean, she can't say for certain Alexis isn't foolish enough to eat a whole ghost pepper....
Lacrima 2017-10-17 04:42:16 84877
Lacrima frowns. "Alexis-niisan, if you missed my party because you were too busy eating entire Indian death ghost peppers making yourself sick I'm revoking your nii-san liscene." she says flatly. She probably doesn't mean that, but she's gonna try to get Alexis to respond besides 'I'M FINE' and 'JUST A MINUTE'.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 04:46:32 84878
There's no answer this time around. Especially not after what Norie says.

But in a few seconds, there is the obvious sound of a toilet flushing. Followed shortly by the door opening to reveal Alex, rubbing the back of his hand over his mouth and peering at the two girls with bloodshot eyes.

"...I'm fine," he still claims, stubbornly.

There's a faint stain of red at the corner of his mouth.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 04:48:30 84879
And immediately Rashmi has her phone out. "Raskoph-san that's blood on your mouth I am going to call the ambulance unless the next words out of your mouth are something besides 'I'm fine' because this is a restaurant and now there's a health risk." Slightly testy has given way to extremely worreidly testy. Yes, there's a difference.
Lacrima 2017-10-17 04:56:36 84880
Lacrima blinks a little and frowns a bit as she eyes Alexis's face and then over to Rashmi then over to Alexis. "So how many peppers was it?" she asks icly. "Or is this something else?"

"Like the other thing you claim to be 'I'M FINE' about?" she asks with a raised eyebrow.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 05:01:01 84881

The single word comes with Alex's hand, lightning-fast, grabbing onto the top of Rashmi's phone. He doesn't tug it away from her hand, but there's a definite warning tone in that particular touch.

"I didn't eat anything," he insists immediately after, with his eyes squinting closed breifly and his head shaking. "I just... I... In a fight earlier. Cut the inside of my mouth."

And then Norie's mentioning the... other thing. And he opens one eye. "...It's *nothing*."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 05:03:38 84882
"I didn't," Rashmi says slowly, voice level, "see blood on your mouth when the party started."

She holds Alexis' eyes for a long moment, testiness giving way to stone-cold seriousness. "Take your hand," she says, voice not rising but somehow all the worse because of it, "off my phone. Do I need to put up a Barrier in the back alley? Because I will. But you are not. Going. To lie to us anymore. Do you understand, Raskoph-san?"
Lacrima 2017-10-17 05:09:33 84883
Lacrima frowns and crosses her arms. She does eye Alexis though when he says it's nothing. "Sure, beating up people until your mouth bleeds. Literarily. Nothing." she says a little slowly.

Yeah she's in a bad mood now. Which sucks because it's still her birthday party out there and so it's been actually /pretty good/.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 05:17:30 84884
The boy stares down at Rashmi for a long moment. Green eyes hard despite them being so clearly bloodshot.

Eventually, he lets out a quiet "Tch" and loosens his fingers from the phone.

"What do you want me to say?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 05:20:29 84885
"The truth," Rashmi says, simply. She looks at Lacrima, her face softening. "Just tell us the truth so we can know the truth and get back to us giving Lacchan a good birthday, okay?"
Lacrima 2017-10-17 05:25:00 84886
Lacrima frowns a little. "Yes that would be nice." she says softly. "I mean. The truth. Because I'm getting kind of tired of 'nothing' obviously being 'something' and right now isn't the time to be worrying me because I think I may actually be enjoying my birthday for the first time since I became this thing? I'm not even sure. I think. Maybe I am?" she asks confused because yes. She /honestly/ doesn't know. Stupid. Dark energy confusion.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 05:31:57 84887
Okay, there's some guilt showing there now, by the time Norie says she is MAYBE enjoying herself. Alex's eyes dip downwards, and he takes a step away from Rashmi, closer to where he'd hung the jacket. But rather than taking it, he lifts his arm up to press against the wall besides it, supporting his lean.

"...I don't know."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 05:34:15 84888
"Okay," Rashmi says, her anger melting away to gentleness. "Okay, that's a good start. So what happened to put you in the bathroom? And uh, wipe your mouth, seriously even the thought of blood in a restaurant is scary and close-worthy."

Now, she glances at Lacrima, a smile touching her face. "You sure looked like you were having a good time, Lacchan. It was nice to see."
Lacrima 2017-10-17 05:41:45 84889
Lacrima sighs and looks around and dips into the bathroom with a grumble and comes back out with a bunch of toilet paper that she offers up to Alexis to wipe his mouth with. She crosses her arms and looks to Rashmi. She purses her lips a little.

"It's fun. I know that much. But still large groups of people even if I know them make me feel off." she admits.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 05:45:10 84890
There's a heavy sigh from Alex, but he at least takes the offered toilet paper from Norie with a quietly murmured "Thanks...", breaking off a good length off of it to dab at his mouth with.

"I was hoping you would," he says in an equally quiet murmur then. "...You deserved something good."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 05:52:57 84891
"Fun is a good start," Rashmi agrees, bobbing her head before she looks to Alexis. "You didn't answer my question, Alexis-san. How'd you end up in the bathroom? What happened?"
Lacrima 2017-10-17 05:54:49 84892
Lacrima sighs. "He said he doesn't know which means he probably 'blanked out' again." she mutters. "And if that's causing him to vomit blood that's a really bad problem." she frowns.

She rubs her face a bit. "I think we outta confer with someone else at this point Rashmi-chan." she mutters. "About this problem Alexis-niisan is having."
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 06:03:53 84893
"I'm not..." Alex mutters, rubbing at his face now. "...I don't know. I was... here. Spitting blood." He shakes his head. "There's no dirt on my shoes. I don't think I went outside."

And at Norie's suggestion, he winces sharply. "We don't have to," he insists. "Maybe it's just... I don't know, maybe I'm still recovering from that surgery."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 06:06:48 84894
"Alexis-san if that's what happened, you wouldn't be having this problem now, and anyway it wasn't real surgery it was taking out your Linker Core," Rashmi sighs. "I know it sounds weird, but there really is a difference. And believe me, we'd've heard about it from Sharpe-san long ago if this was a thing."

Shaking her head, she looks at Lacrima, then back, shrugging. "She's got a point, Alexis-san. I know it won't do much for your image, but we need to find someone. Probably we should ask Mamo-kun if he knows anyone, but make it explicitly clear that we're not asking him for help personally."

"He's just got too much on his plate almost all the time."
Lacrima 2017-10-17 06:14:06 84895
Lacrima frowns. "You're not having dark energy flare-ups as far as I can tell." she says. "And I don't think that would be like that after whatever Mercury-san did to fix you." she says quietly. She leans over to Rashmi. "Did Mercury-san ever share her data with you about that incident? If not, I have a copy." she says quietly.

"She said it was important I have it because it's related to my condition." she says as she leans back and sighs at Alexis-niisan.

"Are you feeling okay /now/ because I'd like you to come out to the party soon if you can." she says quietly.

She eyes Rashmi again. "Nrg. Yeah. Maybe Mamoru-kun might know but I'd feel bad asking him for help with another issue."
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 06:26:29 84896
"Well I don't know what else it could be!" Alex snaps out suddenly. "But it doesn't have to be the bloody end of the world, now does it?!"

A groan from him, and his hand sets against his face, covering up his eyes. "...I'm sorry. I just--"

There's a chime in the pocket of the jacket hung on the wall. He peeks past his fingers at it, and then slips his free hand into the pocket of it to fish out his phone.

He stares at it. Frowning.
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 06:27:52 84897
"What's up, Alexis-san?" Apparently unruffled by the outburst, Rashmi just looks concerned as she glances Lacrima's way.
Lacrima 2017-10-17 06:34:35 84898
Lacrima frowns and sighs and shakes her head. "It could be any number of things. Which is part of why we need help and quite frankly, me asking Riventon-sama about any of this is a bad idea." she asides. "He means well. But. Things." she mutters. "Complicated." she mutters some more.

She eyes the phone, but says nothing. She is curious but basically it's rude to peek at someone else's phone. You don't need the etiquette of a 400 year old centuries nobleperson to figure that one out.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 06:43:01 84899
"I..." Alex shakes his head, and presses a few buttons on the touchscreen before he slips it back into his jacket. "I have to..."

The jacket's brought up from the hook it's hung from, and slung to be draped over the boy. "...Have to go."
Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 06:44:57 84900
Rashmi looks disappointed, but draws in a deep breath. "Alexis-san," she says quietly. "Two things. First... let us know if you need help with anything else, okay? We're going to ask Mamo-kun if he knows anyone, you can't stop that. But like... just... anything else. Please let us know."

"And two, you should probably give Lacchan her present before you go."
Lacrima 2017-10-17 06:51:10 84901
Lacrima sighs and shakes her head. "It's okay, Alexis-niisan." she says softly. "Go. We'll meet up another time." she says. Wait is that a promise or a threat? It's hard to tell right now from her tone of voice.

Also. Gift? She likes gifts.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 07:14:40 84902
"Uh...?" Alex lets out in apparent confusion, initially, before he lets out, "Right, right... I..."

He turns over to face Norie fully while he digs through his pocket and brings out... a necklace. With a tiny circular pendant at the very end of it that depicts... a droplet of some kind. Raindrop? Blood?

"...I get that the last time you got a pendant your life changed upside down," he admits in a quiet, rueful murmur. "...But I dunno. I didn't really think this through very well. Maybe I thought... this could mark at least a tiny turn for the better, instead." The necklace is spun around so that the pendant's brought to his palm-- and then he takes one of Lacrima's hands, to cradle it with both and press the necklace into her palm. "And remind you still have family looking after you."

Rashmi Terios 2017-10-17 07:18:14 84903
And Lacchan's last gift is given, and Rashmi looks guardedly pleased. At least Alexis had meaning behind his gift, and hopefully it'll counteract that it's jewelry.

Besides, the thing looks fantastic.
Lacrima 2017-10-17 07:26:12 84904
Lacrima doesn't like much jewelry. There's the silver filigree necklace that her cursed gem hangs from that Natsumi-chan bought her. There's the old antique ring that Eilam had given her- that would had belonged to the first person he loved had she not shunned him for what he was. There's Amu's friendship charm bracelet attached to her own necklace- then Rashmi's she unwrapped earlier.

She does eye the necklace and what it looks at it. It looks similar to her cursed one in a few ways. Somewhat the same shape. She holds the pendant and it's necklace for a moment and listens to Alexis and mostly stays quiet it about it. She grimaces a bit. She grimaces because she knows what she should be feeling right now and she can't /feel it/. BUT. She can say things that should go along with that feeling.

"Thank you, Alexis-niisan." she says quietly. "I like it." she says. "A lot. I promise." she says.
Stahlritter 2017-10-17 07:32:07 84905
"Don't worry," Alex murmurs, almost as if sensing the melancholy and disassociation of emotions -- he did get to experience a lot of it himself before, afterall.

But, his hand comes over, to settle onto the top of her head, lightly patting-- before pulling the smaller girl against him for the breifest of one armed hugs. "Just don't forget, okay.

His phone buzzes angrily in his jacket. And he sighs. "...I really have to go."