No Title Set

Date: 2018-03-03
Pose Count: 11
Stahlritter 2018-03-03 22:19:20 89242
It's been quite some time since a certain someone bled in Lena's bathroom (though he was nice enough to clean up after himself at least). Close to weeks, actually, at that.

But now, in the middle of a sunny (albeit cold) saturday, a certain someone is moving about carefully through the streets. Hood flipped up over his head, and deliberately moving about carefylly through busier routes, trying to blend in through crowds of pedestrians, with several, unnecessarily long-winded routes taken to bring himself to his destination.

You know, just to keep himself as hard to track as possible.

And this eventually leads up to a certain someone climbing up the apartment complex, and coming to knock on a door.

And so, when Lena comes to open up the door, she is met with a hooded Alexis... holding up two take-out bags, in apparent offer.

"...Consider this payment for last time."
Lena Reiniger 2018-03-03 22:28:09 89243
    She can't really complain when someone goes to the trouble of cleaning up their mess, but even so, she's been pretty happy that no one else has shown up at her doorstep since then. Seems Alex was as good as his word after all. So it is that the weeks have gone by with strangely little excitement for her, and Lena couldn't be happier about that. Work and classes suit her just fine. But oh the surprise coming for her could once again threaten to change all of them.
    When she finally does answer the door, she's in a pair of loose sweat pants and sweater, looking every bit as if she'd gotten home and immediately dressed down into comfortable lazy clothes. Granted, the sight of weights in the main room behind her might suggest that she's been doing anything but being lazy. To say that her expression is less than pleased to see Alex might be a bit of an understatement. In fact, it looks like she might even be ready to yell at him for coming back before the... peace offering?
    Whatever annoyance there might have been is washed away and she's left looking curious as to just what she's been brought, so she reaches out to claim the offered bags and takes a quick peek to see what sort of contents there are. It's not too long though because she's immediately looking back up at Alex and for just a moment it looks like she's ready to slam the door in his face, even reaching for it before she stops and sighs.
    "I'm pretty sure it was implied you didn't need to repay me. So... what do you want?" She finally asks, nodding her head into her apartment before stepping aside to let him pass.
Stahlritter 2018-03-03 22:36:02 89244
"I'm sure you will notice that 'don't need' is not the same thing as 'cannot'," Alexis points out in counter. She'll have found that the bags hold several takeout-bags marked with... some curry place with an inexplicable cartoon reptile for a logo? Huh.

(Alex is going to have to thank Rashmi later)

He stands there patiently otherwise while she's going through all of that evident internal debate on her own part, and only takes to moving once she's stepping to the side to clear the way. Once she's closed the door, he reaches up to flip the hood away from his head, directing a sheepish smile back at her over his shoulder.

"Do I need to have had an ulterior motive besides expressing thanks for not letting me deal with my cleanup on my own? I mean, I *can* just take the curry back, if you prefer...
Lena Reiniger 2018-03-03 22:44:31 89245
    Her eyes roll as the door shuts and locks behind her and she's quickly passing by Alex, a finger poking him in the shoulder to test how his arm is holding up. "If military life has taught me anything, it's that there's no such thing as a free meal," she says as she heads first to her kitchen to obtain forks and spoons for the food--even making sure to get some for Alex, and then heading into the main sitting room to plop herself down and get a proper look at the bounty she's been brought.
    "Besides, if you just wanted to thank me, you could have said thank you and been on your way, or just brought one bag." A fork is pointed at the second bag before she reaches into one to drag out the takeout box and open it. "That tells me you're looking to stay a little longer than just a thank you requires. So, what are you after?" She doesn't really sound annoyed, and the generally pleasant look that's not quite a smile but definitely not a frown probably suggests she's okay with whatever plans he has.
    Once the box is opened though, her attention is on the food, leaning forward to take in the scent briefly before a bit of the curry is spooned out and blown on for a bit and then the first bite is had! Well, it smelled edible and it beats her usual dives for meals or her mediocre cooking skills.
Stahlritter 2018-03-03 23:10:48 89246
"We ain't in the military now," Alex points out promptly, upon flopping himself down to sitting down opposite from the girl, legs going on to crossing together. "Sometimes people just do nice things for each other, eh?"

He leaves his hands folded together over his lap too, evidently not in much of a hurry to join in on the eating and such. "You did say before that I could very well be darkening your place for longer 'next time'," he murmurs, with his head tilting slightly off to one side. "So it's not like you weren't expecting me to be coming along again, eh? But, look... I did promise I wouldn't drag anything over to you, since you're tryin' to hold down low and everythin', but... didn't feel right leaving you all alone either. Just wanted to check on you, Miss Retired Knight."

"Though I would be lying if I claimed to not be even a little curious about whatever you can tell me about Belka and all. As far as I'm concerned, though, that's just a side thing."

He quiets promptly once the box of curry gets opened on her part, and his brows lift upwards, slowly, while he watches her. Trying to gauge her reaction, perhaps. "Better than military food, I hope?" He asks, eventually. "Curry from a restaurant my friend's family keeps. Figured if I was gonna bring you somethin', might as well go with the best."
Lena Reiniger 2018-03-03 23:22:58 89247
    She definitely seems to be enjoying herself, if the way she starts shoveling food into her mouth is any indication. Granted she does stop to chew her food and she chuckles a little. "I don't know, sometimes you could get some pretty good food at TSAB HQ. And there's some really great places on Midchilda..." she pauses for a moment, frowning and shaking her head. "Well, there were at least. It's been four years after all, things can change." She shrugs and goes back to her food but her brows furrow a little in thought and for the better part of a few minutes she's completely silent with her meal.
    When Lena finally looks up, she's boring a hole right through Alex's forehead it seems before the question finally comes. "I guess the best way to explain Belka is to explain Belkan knights. So, what do you think a Belkan knight is?" Her voice is even, but Lena doesn't continue eating and soon the spoon is placed down and she leans back, sleeve tugged up so she can unclasp Ascalon from her arm and set him aside. If the armed device has anything to say on the matter, he too, is tight-lipped as the gem remains dim and lightless.
Stahlritter 2018-03-03 23:40:00 89248
Alex remains quiet for the entirety of the time that Lena spends in focusing on the food, too. Just carefully watching her. And when she finally presents that particular question, his gaze falls down a bit.

"I don't really know enough to be able to form that kind of an opinion," he confesses. "I know enough to differentiate Midchildan and Belkan runes and Devices. I know, in general, how the magic behind the Intelligent Devices work and I know well enough how to employ Kriegsfauste. But I don't know any of the stories behind them. The history of Belka and Midchilda proper. Or TSAB, for that matter."
Lena Reiniger 2018-03-03 23:57:22 89249
    She nods, and takes a deep breath. "Belkan knights are savagery. An extremely brutal sort at that. We're the iron fist of our lords, imposing their will and routing their enemies. You can imagine what sort of culture could breed warriors that are supposed to be proper in court but would crush their own families if their lords demanded it." Lena bites on her lip for a moment before reaching for another taste of the curry, as if hurrying to get a particularly bad taste out of her mouth. But she continues without too much hesitation. "Belka knew nothing but war. It was a military power that spread across dimensions, subjugating all that it found, believe that to be its right as the empire to inherit dimensional space from fallen Al-Hazard." Another bite of food. "Of course, Belka was never unified under one leader. There were plenty of groups warring with each other even as they laid waste to other cultures. My family, until the bitter end of the empire, served one of those groups as their personal guards--the Saint King Alliance."
    For a while after that, she goes silent and simply eats until she's finished off the curry. When she finally looks back up, her eyes move over Alex and narrow just a little. "The TSAB was born out of the ashes of Belka, when the various serf states under its control came together to rebuild society after the hellfire that was the Belkan Unification War." Lena leans back, arms crossing while she looks down at Ascalon. "Old Belka was gone and though the TSAB ensured the rights of ethnic Belkans, some of the more distant worlds under its protection still remembered the horrors of the empire and Belkans weren't exactly treated the best... to say nothing of the fact that some just couldn't forget the empire and war."
Stahlritter 2018-03-04 00:16:25 89250
Alex stays quiet through all that. Listening attentively, even when Lena gives him one of those narrow-eyed looks. Brows only occasionally crunching together.

"That particular way of war isn't just a trait of us earthlings alone then, I suppose," he murmurs eventually, with his hands going on, finally, to dig a box out of the other bag. "Like I said, I haven't really heard that much about Belkan... but what I did hear from before, it made them seem like these... mythical warrior figures of old. Larger than life. ... I suppose that's not all that different from the old knights of Earth, too."

"Goes to show human nature just extends across planets."
Lena Reiniger 2018-03-04 00:32:25 89251
    "Haha... mythical warriors? I guess some of them probably were like heroes, but really, when you boil us down to our core, we're more like machines bred for war." A casual shrug sees Lena picking Ascalon up, rolling him over in her hands with an almost reverent look before fingers grip tighter around the device. "My heritage has caused me a lot of problems, both from the people who remember and hate Belka and because of my family wanting to keep the tradition alive and..." she frowns as hands shake. A deep breath calms her and Ascalon is placed back down beside her. "Because some of them just couldn't forget the empire they served. Glory to the Saint Kings, honor for the Saint Knights." She shakes her head, a hand moving up to brush some hair behind an ear. "And honestly, I don't think enlisting in the dimensional navy actually helped me get over my problems--probably made them worse. Don't get on Lieutenant Reiniger's bad side, she'll break you... don't know how many times I heard that in passing."
    Lena coughs and looks up at Alex before standing and gathering the box and bag she'd been eating out of, fully meaning to take them to the trash. "Oh well, you didn't really want to hear about my problems. If you want my honest opinion, dimensional space is better off without Belka. Even if the people that were left after it was gone probably aren't better off without it."
Stahlritter 2018-03-04 00:48:18 89252
Alex was about to say something. It was painted on his face. But when she starts saying all that, it's... well. Whatever was on his mind, it's wasahed away. Instead, he's left frowning at the young woman in... is that concern? It might just be, even if it is faint one at that.

"...It's okay," he murmurs quietly while she's walking off, though his eyes never leave her, really. "I think I understand, more or less. I didn't mean to bring up any shit you'd rather not think about, if..." He shakes his head, then.

"...Is that why you are here then?" He suddenly asks, perhaps a bit too bluntly. "To find something different, from all that?"