Well Meaning Gargoyle or Salaryman?

Lacrima visits where Ariel lives in the real world! And meets Seishi Tamashige's Father. And basically tries to choke herself with donuts and start a new identity over second hand super embarrassment.

Date: 2019-04-20
Pose Count: 22
Lacrima 2019-04-20 19:48:53 104578
Lacrima was going out to visit Ariel at her place for a slight change of locale! Since Lacrima understood that Ariel lived with at least one mundane, she has chosen to appear as foreign exchange student Maria Hanazawa as to keep things simple.

Or as simple as it could be, as opposed to some pale, super well dressed, purple haired, purple eyed vampire girl. She has arrived to the apartment door- and finds that the area is safe enough. She most certainly wouldn't had assumed that Ariel would had been living on the other side of the tracks or anything, but she never really bothered looking into Ariel's 'real life' living accommodations until recently.

She has with her, a neatly tied box of donuts. She knows Ariel expects. Whether or not anyone else does is another story! She raises her hand and rings the doorbell once, and steps back from the door.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 20:09:46 104579
There's a brief interval before the door opens in response to Lacrima's ring. On the other side of the doorway--

'Looms' is really the only word.

It's not really that Seishirou Tamashige looks very out of the ordinary: a middle-aged Japanese man in an off-the-rack business suit, he could be one of a million interchangeable salarymen. He's not even a big guy, for all that he's tall enough compared to your average teenage girl. If anything, there's a spareness to him, as though his frame should hold more weight than it does.

But goddamn does he loom. It's the way he holds himself that does it, the tension in his stance, a set to his shoulders - and most of all his face, the sharpness of the dark eyes and the taut lines engraved around them, the grim downward turn of the corners of his mouth. It's a face that doesn't look like it even knows how to smile.

And right now, that stern regard is focused entirely on Lacrima. The silence as he takes in the sight of her - or, well, of 'Maria' - last just a moment too long.

"Can I help you." It does not come out sounding like a question.
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-20 20:20:10 104580
    Oh the door rang.
    Oh, Seishi's dad got to it before Ariel could.
    Well that's okay, really, there's no issue in a man coming to answer the door to his own home, but soon enough the patter of bare-feet can be heard not-too-distantly from behind the looming salaryman, before Ariel's head pokes out from around a corner behind him.
    "Oh! Mister Tamashige, that's the friend I was telling you about, who would be coming over!" Ariel points out, sweet and chipper in a contrast to Seishirou's almost unsmiling-looking self. "Could you let her in please~?"
    The smell of fresh coffee hits right about then as she steps out into better view, clad in an oversized t-shirt that came from who knows where, that says she was probably napping, as usual, until not too long ago and-.
    Seishirou Tamashige suddenly has tiny arms hugging around one of his own. Though it lasts for only a moment! "I put a fresh pot of coffee on for you by the way! --Maria come in, I'll get out some milk to go with the donuts~."
Lacrima 2019-04-20 20:35:27 104581
Maria Hanazawa has to check the address because she wonders if she just walked to a 'co-worker's' place by accident, You know. Someone that works for Eclipse. When she's positive she has the right address. "Ummm-- Iu--uhw... Um is. Ariel.. home... sir?" she asks. She has a slight 'Spanish' accent to her speech as she drags the box closer to her body. And then there's Ariel's comforting voice.

"O--Oh, Ariel!..." she shifts. "Hello! Yes I'm here... may I please... come in?" she asks up to the man with wider eyes. Wow. This guy is kind of intimidating. "I am.. um. My name is.. Maria Hanazawa. I'm an exchange student from Spain... um... dad says. It's important I... learn about my Japanese heritage too, so I've been here for a couple years." this is a lie-- of course. Maria is a construct so she can go to school.

"S--so here I am." she says nervously. Ho bow she isn't sweating but she sure is close.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 20:45:47 104582
It's tough to look quite so intimidating when there's an Ariel hanging off your arm. Seishirou's hard face softens just a little when those small arms latch onto his; the frown doesn't go away, but it lessens a few degrees, and the force of his attention shifts away from Maria.

"I see," he says, and his head jerks downward in a short nod. "Come in, then." He steps back and out of the way of the door, clearing the way for her to come into the apartment. As he turns, for just a moment one of his hands rests on the top of Ariel's head.

Then he's heading off across the apartment towards the kitchen, no movement wasted.
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-20 20:57:04 104583
    Ariel is just magical like that. It might be that she's a fanciful unicorn. Or maybe, more truthfully, it might just be the general force of her sweet personality that is able to make even the hardest of faces soften up. And she's prettymuch beaming when that hand sets on her head.
    But then it's on to the kitchen, once 'Maria' is allowed inside. Ariel helpfully takes the box of donuts, though she looks a little sheepish about having to lie to ~technically~ Seishi's father, she knows it's for the sake of Lacrima being able to have a mundane persona to live as again, so she backs the girl up on being 'Maria'. "Come on in~."
    And then further helpfully she's pouring a piping mug of coffee and two big glasses of milk.
    Pay no mind to the sparkles and glitter mysteriously on the mug.
Lacrima 2019-04-20 21:16:00 104584
Lacrima also hates lying. If it was up to her, heck she'd just be Noire but a girl that's been missing for nearly two years suddenly appearing at your doorstep may be even odder and worse than showing up as Lacrima. Regadless, she walks inside and gives a glance inside as she lets herself be tugged to the kitchen and places her box down on the table. "These come from an.. Artisinal shop I found." she says as she opens the box. Inside, are twelve different donuts! Maple Bacon, White Frosted with Sprinkles, a Multicolored Frosted Rainbow one. A chocolate one that is frosted in chocolate with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate chips. She politely sits down and smiles.

She's stopped noticing glitter a bit ago. Or rather stopped caring about it as she sits down and settles herself, smoothing out her skirt.

She considers what to say to Mister Tamashige. "You have a nice home, Tamashige-san. It's nice to see where Ari-chan lives." she says with a short smile. "I mean. She's been to my home. Plenty of times... is.. is all." she then sputters. Like this is a bigger deal than it is.

Well live in the real world, but her eyes peek to Ariel with a short bashful glint a moment.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 21:33:57 104585
Mr. Tamashige accepts the mug of coffee from Ariel with a low murmur of thanks. He spends the next few moments looking vaguely bemused at the traces of glitter that come off the handle onto his his fingers, a mystery that by this point he is largely resigned to never solving.

Sitting does not make him look appreciably more comfortable, for all this is his own kitchen, but at least it makes him loom a little less. He sips his coffee and listens dourly to Maria's stammering, dark eyes opaque.

"I hope the exchange program handled your housing better than it did Ariel's." His already taut expression tightens further with irritation as he says it.
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-20 21:39:11 104586
    Better to be Maria than awkwardly explaining why Norie isn't missing. Too complicated. This is easier. "Maria and I have gotten pretty close!" She says as though it were the most natural thing in the world, on the topic of seeing Lacrima's spoopy house as often as she does. But it does explain where Ariel goes a lot, lately.
    "Eheh hehhhhh, they really did a number for me, huh? I was spending nights in the park for a while. Not that I minded- I like sleeping under the stars. But." But that's not exactly normal in modern day society for little girls on their own is it?
    "But I'm just glad there's a spare futon here waiting for me every night."
Lacrima 2019-04-20 21:58:24 104587
Maria Hanazawa softly nods a little. "Ah-- my dad... bought the old... manor house. In the woods near the end of Juuban..." she says. The spooky one. That's been abandoned for years and is supposedly haunted. "-and had it renovated and brought up to code and that is where I have been staying, Tamashige-san." she says.

"It is close enough to school, up the road." she says.

She blushes at Ariel. "Y--yes. Close." she coughs. She has no idea if she should using the 'girlfriend' word here. She shifts a bit.

"Very... close." she shifts again. Yup nervous. She takes a bite of a donut from the box as she munches because it's an excuse to put a donut in her mouth rather than her foot for a second.

Also apparently Maria's dad can buy manor houses willy nilly. But Maria has that air of odd elegance around her still. So maybe it isn't too surprising. Maybe it depends how much Mister Tamishage picks up on or assumes. Or maybe it's held in check by the glasses. She knew the glasses we're a good disguise idea on Maria's form.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 22:16:09 104588
Seishirou's response to Ariel's comments is to grumble indistinctly into his coffee, still looking irritated (and maybe a little awkward. On him they look much the same). "...leaving a girl your age without a roof over your head. It's ridiculous."

His attention tracks from Ariel to Lacrima and back again, focused and assessing. Especially for one not used to it, it might feel a little like being pinned to a board for study - how much does he see, really?

Especially with all the magic that's being housed under his own roof.

But when he speaks again, what he's homed in on is not that, nor the implication that Maria's family must be stupidly wealthy. "By yourself?" he asks, tone sharp with the lurking threat of disapproval.
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-20 22:30:06 104589
    "It's okay. I'm here now, am I not, Mister Tamashige?" Ariel replies gently. "Something I'm still thankful for~."
    But Ariel is already nibbling away daintily a a donut, stopping every now and then for a sip of milk-- completely at ease in Seishirou's presence, in spite of his demeanor. Not bothered by his demeanor in the least, in fact.
    "Maria has a few housemates actually. I've met them in passing." She explains, saving Norie an explanation and beaming.
    Close. Right. Very close. Though how close, Ariel has seemed to decide to keep quietly private, it's on Lacrima if she wants to use the G word. "It's a really nice manor, but it would be pretty lonely if she was by herself though."
Lacrima 2019-04-20 22:45:23 104590
Maria Hanazawa coughs. "I... " then Ariel speaks up. "Right. I was alone in there, for a small bit, until my housemates arrived." she insists. She motions to Ariel and then swallows. She smiles, lightly. Her smiles are never too wide. But also, Mister Tamashige's presence might be muting her. Is she intimidated? A little.

"Jiaying is an exchange student from Thailand. Lamya is one from... Europe! and Unmei is from Italy." she says softly as she settles. "Oh! My father didn't.. buy it just for me. He is funding an exchange program you see." she sweats.

"Yeah it was strange introducing them all to my girlfriend... Unmei is kind of strange about things like that and----" she suddenly shoves another donut into her mouth because her brain suddenly caught up with what she just said. Ohhh dear.

There comes another donut after this. And milk. Is.. she trying to choke herself to death with donut? Maybe. Maybe.

She has to come up for air eventually to keep the still human illusion. "B--but yeah. Not alone." she insists thoroughly.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 22:53:38 104591
Girlfriend. Oh, that word didn't pass unnoticed at all. Seishirou's eyebrows twitch sharply upward, and if Lacrima felt like she was under a lens of evaluation before, that feeling will only double as his critical gaze shifts from her to Ariel and back several times over his coffee cup, wheels all too clearly turning in his mind.

"I hope he also bothered to arrange for some adult supervision." His tone is dry, and that's definitely disapproval in it now.
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-20 23:04:18 104592
    Whelp. Lacrima just dropped the G-bomb. Ariel's expression doesn't change much, though. It's true and she has no reason to hide it.
    "Meeting them wasn't that strange was it?" She does muse, not denying it in the least. "I thought they were all very nice." She says sagely on the topic of 'Maria's' housemates.
    But then Norie is trying to choke herself on that donut on purpose.
    Calm as a cucumber, Ariel leans over and delicately pat-pat-pats the other girl on the back. BUT she notices Seishirou's analytical glowering. She thinks quick on her feet.
    "I actually met Maria's father just the other week when he visited to make sure everything was alright." She explains, hearkening back to the sudden and unintended meeting.
    "He's very... Stern. And a deeply religious man."
    Technical truths are not lies.
Lacrima 2019-04-20 23:13:13 104593
Ariel releases Norie is trying to commit suicide-by-donut and speaks up to hopefully stop this travesty that could never reasonably happen-- and this makes Maria stare at Ariel. Wait... is... is she referring to..


She blinks. Technically... he could be 'a father' through a certain lens? Her power originates from the jerk afterall. And he did suddenly barge in. And he's heavily effected by religious texts being read out.

"Y--yes! Yes she did meet him. It was very awkward, but it went well enough." she insists. "He doesn't get to visit often. He is very very busy. He dropped in suddenly.

She knows Ariel doesn't like to lie. She is somewhat impressed that Ariel was willing to bend the truth a little. But, well!

"Very stern man, yes-sir." she says as she places the donut down in case she tries that again. Ohhh dear. "If- if there is one thing I have seen the same between cultures is that you shouldn't backtalk your parents. It is very shameful." she insists gravely.

Is..is she sucking up too hard now? Her eyes gently peek to Ariel and back to Seishirou Tamishage.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 23:18:45 104594
Mr. Tamashige appears to mull this over, the downward turn of his mouth growing a little deeper as he considers. "I'd rather hear there was someone there to look after you and your housemates," he tells Maria. "Especially if Ariel's been paying visits."

He takes a moment for another sip of coffee, still eyeing Lacrima narrowly, before he lets out a breath that might be a sigh.

"If your father is satisfied with your living arrangements, it's not my place to interfere." He doesn't sound happy about it, but perhaps this man never sounds happy. "I don't like the idea of you girls being on your own there if something should happen."
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-20 23:24:13 104595
    The hand on Lacrima's back remains right where it is, though there's a little squeeze when Norie goes into suck up mode. Ariel is still beaming though, as though re-assuring the other girl wordlessly that, no, Mister Tamashige isn't going to leap the table and eat her alive.
    Much as it looks like that he may.
    "They're very well taken care of from what I've seen. I'm not worried about things overlymuch, and they're very welcoming when I go over to visit. Plus it's close to the school, so if anything does happen, that's not too far off."
Lacrima 2019-04-20 23:37:16 104596
Maria is trying to figure out how to reassure Mister Tamishage that nothing horrible is gonna happen to her or her housemates without also lying more. Because she knows Ariel can only handle so much truth streching and fibbing until she feels bad. She's trying to think fast...

...and she comes up short... but then just blurts out. "Kazuo Takeba." a pause. "Kazuo Takeba is the man who checks up on me and makes sure I'm okay." she says. She did not ask Kazuo about this. Kazuo has no idea about this. But...

It's innocent enough right? And it also isn't technically a lie. Because Kazuo does just that. Just not in any official capacity.

"He does some work with an orphanage in the city." she says with a series of nods. "Aswell." also truth! Well, was the truth last she checked and heard- at least. "I trust him. So. I am not alone in Japan, Mister Tamishage." she says nervously. Though the back patting helps, she has relaxed considerably.
Seishi Tamashige 2019-04-20 23:48:08 104597
"Takeba, is it." Later, perhaps, Seishirou will consider what it is about that name that's ringing a distant bell of familiarity. For now, after some moments more of consideration, he offers a grudging nod. "That's better than nothing." It's still not approving, but it's acceptance, of some sort.

With this, he rises from his seat. "I'm sure you're both waiting for me to be out of the way," he states. "I have some work to do. I know I don't need to tell Ariel to stay out of trouble."

He fixes Lacrima with a very pointed look as he makes that last comment, but that's all he says before he leaves the kitchen, taking his coffee with him and vanishing into another part of the apartment.
Ariel Theodore 2019-04-21 00:02:57 104598
    Oh no. There's no need to tell Ariel to keep out of trouble.
    "He's very reliable." Is what she has to say on the matter of Kunzite. But then Seishirou has work to do. Which is all well and good, as Ariel picks herself up to clean up empty milk glasses and wash them in the kitchen sink.
    "We'll leave you to your work, Mister Tamashige. I know it's very important. So we might actually step out to the park."
    It was a half day of school and all, may as well enjoy it. "I'll be back before it gets late~."
Lacrima 2019-04-21 00:05:58 104599
Maria basically deflates as Seishi's dad leaves. "W-oooow Ariel.. he is intense." is all she can say softly. Yeah. Park. Now. She needs to decompress from the basically a very well meaning gargoyle posing as a human.