No Title Set

Date: 2019-05-27
Pose Count: 53
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-27 02:15:38 105405
    Even though it's early on sunday, many districts of Mitakihara are still busy, bustling with activity through all the shops, restaurants and arcades. Though not all the activity is of the particularly good type.

    A group of four young men in tacky suits makes way towards a corner convenience store, two of them carrying with them baseball bats rested along a shoulder. It's not a terribly unusual thing, even in this day and age, sadly. Yakuza going hunting for protection money from local businesses and all that. The fact there even are baseball bats with them probably suggests the owner of the store has been late with collections. And wisely, many passerby just give a wide berth, and move on to mind their own business. Confidently, they strut their way to the door to the convenience store, and as the automatic sliding door opens up-- the leading figure bumps into a customer just so happening to step out. The customer poses a rather large figure, too, so there isn't that much jostling on his part-- but just enough that an open box of donuts is sent out of his arms and dropping down to the floor, smooshing most of the delicious treats into the pavement.

    "AAAH! My donuts!! THey were fresh and all!!" the customer yells out-- a young man in his own right, though old enough to be fully grown into a rather imposing size within the brown leather jacket he wears. Hands momentarily held to the sides of his... very obviously foreign, caucasian features, all the while staring in horror at the Pastry Carnage down below. The Yakuza, however, are not at all amused.

    "Who cares about your shitty donuts, eh?!" the leader of the bunch yells back to the foreigner, spittle flying off of his mouth with his crudely-accented voice, and the bat on his shoulder is hoisted off his shoulder,the tip of it bumped against the foreigner's chest. "You goin' to apologize for crashin' into us, ya clumsy gaijin?!" The response from the unfortunate customer? It doesn't come as a verbal thing, so much as him suddenly settling into a much calmer stillness from the original panic over the lost donuts, narrowed eyes slowly drawn up to glare at the Yakuza directly in front of him...

    In an instant, the foreigner viciously headbutts the Yakuza directly in front of him, and with one hand forcefully pulls the baseball bat off of his just to be thrown into the other bat-wielder. While the two (formerly) bat-wielding Yakuza are still crumbling down to the pavement, the foreigner steps quickly to the remaining two, and before either one has any idea what is happening, he's grabbed both by the sides of their heads, slamming them against each other with a satisfying *THUD* that leaves them, too, slumping unceremoniously to the ground.

    And just like that, there's a very annoyed-looking young man standing amidst four Yakuza writhing and groaning in pain on the ground. "What's wrong with all of you?! Thought you Yakuza were supposed to be about honor and crap, huh?!" the foreigner spits out, his own dialect suddenly taken on a much more thuggish undertone to it. "Tryin' to make it like I'm the one offendin' ya'll after you mashed the mornin' treat! Your family just hirin' dumbasses these days, huh?! GEEZ!" Grumpily, he sticks his hands into the pockets of his jacket, and just goes stomping off down the street. "Used the last of my cash on those too..."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-27 02:31:35 105406
What's with these convenience stores and attracting strange or aggressive people, anyway? For a change of pace, the exact opposite of those earlier ruffians happens to be walking along the street on the way up. Mami, of course, also notices the oddity of the young fellow throwing around a bunch of thugs like it was nothing and decides to approach...

"...Goodness, that looked like quite a bit of trouble. Are you alright?" She ends up casting a gaze towards the downed thugs, shaking her head. Her good-natured worrying might not get a reply out of the gruff foreigner, but it's worth a try. Maybe he's just had a bad day, after all.

"As cliche as it is to say, crime never pays. Do into folk like that, often?"
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-27 02:40:00 105407
    "Eh?!" the foreigner barks out first, with his head snapped over to direct his eyes over to Mami-- though he does let his expression calm down a bit when the realization sinks in that this is not, in fact, another goon about to start trouble with him. "...Nhr. Sorry, I'm a bit freakin' annoyed right now," he mutters, and turns his eyes back forward, continuing on in his stomping. Not quite fast enough that he couldn't be kept up with, though.

    "I'm *fine*, though. Just lost my food after I already paid for it because some dumbasses decided to act like they own the whole place." The fact that he's considering the donuts fallen onto the ground the greatest concern in this whole situation probably speaks measures about him, overall. And if that's not enough to answer her question, he does peek back at her and mutters in response, "...Maybe I do. What of it?"
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-27 03:31:37 105409
"Oh no, it's fine, you don't need to apologize." Mami smiles a little at the rough-looking guy's overblown reaction and nods affirmatively, as if she's decided something. "Sometimes, there's no helping it, is there? But really, aren't they tired of trying to harrangue you? You seem to be more than match for those sorts of troublemakers, yes?" Mami's voice, refined as ever, doesn't seem to rebuke his violence but nor does she entirely show spite for his attackers... "You remind me of a friend of mine, you know. She lives around here and takes her food fairly seriously, too. answer your question a bit more directly, have you tried avoiding them? Or have they followed you where ever you go?"

Surely, he didn't cruise around and look for fights, did he? Aside from the trouble she'd dealt with a while ago, it was rare to find much trouble out here. That'd still mean these folks would be out to get this guy specifically, for reasons unknown.

Maybe she's thinking a bit too hard about a street brawl, but she was legitimately curious...
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-27 03:32:26 105410
    "There are way too many people like that around for everyone to know me by my face," the foreigner points out in a low grumble. "Those guys weren't even there for me. It just *happens*. I mean, it's not like it'd be the first time Yakuza went and--"

    He suddenly realizes something, clearly, since he stamps his foot on the ground to stop himself in place, and slowly turns to halfway-facing the girl, with his eyes slowly narrowing at her. "...Wait. Who are you anywhow?"
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-27 04:01:09 105411
Mami's eyes haven't really changed much, aside from looking a little more on guard, this time. She stands her ground, however, and only seems a little concerned about his aggressive posturing. "My name is Mami Tomoe. I'm just someone who noticed all of this commotion and wondered what was going on. I mean you no harm, but I can't help but involve myself when there's something like that going on. It seems you taught your harassers a lesson before anyone else could..." She offers the grumbling fellow a kindly smile once more, in face of his worries, as if she'd somehow find a way around it.

"Or are you concerned because a young lady shouldn't be asking these kinds of things? Either way...It's better to talk things out, rather than stew in your own anger like that."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-27 04:03:09 105412
Weird, though, that this girl should just be so nonchalant about this. Either she's hopelessly serene and optimistic or...maybe she's seen a lot of this kind of thing before. "You're not used to talking about this kind of thing, it seems, that's all."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-27 04:14:23 105413
    "I've learned to be real wary of folks who just walk up and start talkin' like they know me when most just gimme a wide berth," the foreigner mutters, eyes still remaining narrwoed with suspicion at Mami.

    Then she's introducing herself, and... wait. Hold on. Why does that name sound familiar? Has he heard it somewhere before? He doesn't recognize her face or anything, though...

    While he mulls over that line of thought, his expression eases from the wariness, to something more akin to confusion, complete with his hand idly rubbing at the side of his head. "...Nnnh. Ain't exactly been need to talk about that. It's just how my life goes."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-27 04:33:37 105415
"Ah...I didn't mean to act too familiar. Like I said, I just wanted to help you out a little. There's no law against being a good samaritan, is there?" she replies, quietly. "...I can understand your suspicion, a bit. There are many who'd take advantage of such things. I try to steer clear of trouble, but it tends to find me, as well. Not so much now, of course..." Yes, this girl should sound a bit familiar. Then again, it's probably been a long time since her name was spoken with any sort of fame attached to it.

"I guess you could think of it this way, instead: if you say trouble finds you, too, consider where it's coming from. If you have a better idea of what you're up against, you'll have an easier time dealing with it. I suppose it goes the same ways for unpleasant thoughts as it does for unpleasant people."

She shakes her head and mumbles... "Oh, what am I giving you such a long-winded talking-to for? I hope I'm not boring you, or anything. It's been some time since I've been here and...well, you could say I feel like I'm an outsider in my own 'home'."

Another short pause as Mami inquires... "Ah yes...I'm sorry, didn't catch your name?"
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-27 04:46:47 105416
    "... Believe me, I've learned to spot trouble from several kilometers away in my years," murmurs the foreigner, now letting his posture relax a bit further, though his arms do go loosely folding together just below his ribcage. "And I'm thinkin' you ain't it. The trouble back there was for the shop too. I just got in the way."

    The look he's giving her still, though? It's still a very curious one, and she'll probably catch it, too. He just... can't quite place why the name sounds familiar. And he grows all the more curious over her talking about being 'away'. He does end up asking, "...What, like on some exchange student gig or somethin'?"

    Oh! But his name! He straightens up just a bit when it comes up, and some sheepishness crosses his face. "...Right. The name's Alexis Raskoph. Er... Alex is fine if it's easier to say. Lot of folks around here have trouble with that last name. It's... a german one."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-27 05:08:04 105417
"A German, are you? Well, I suppose it must be a change for you to be living here."

Still, Mami found his reactions and way of thinking to be a little interesting. "You have good instincts, Raskoph-san." She says the name with not a beat missed. "I appreciate that you're at least doing what you believe is right." Mami shrugs a little, looking down the road for a moment, as if she's taking a closer look at her surroundings. She's been this way, too, a while back...

"It's a bit different than that. I grew up in Kazamino, an hour or so away from here. My parents moved here shortly afterwards and..." she trails off a little... "...Well, I had matters to attend to back there. That was a few years ago. Now that I'm back...this town feels so different, compared to when I left it."

After all this, she's still fairly formal? What an odd one... "I'm guessing that's something we can slightly share in common..."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-27 05:27:15 105418
    "I've been here for two years now, but it's not my first visit," Alex confesses with a slow roll given to the broad shoulders underneath the brown leather in a shrug. "I've been pretty much all over. My family situation has been... something else, let's put it that way." Clearly not something he's inclined to elaborate on any more than that.

    He turns a bit from her at that point, to start walking down along the street again. But since he keeps talking, he's probably epecting her to be following him still. "MY entire situation is pretty complicated, tell you the truth. But that's not important right now. JUst something I gotta deal with. I don't get the benefit of being able to blend in easily. Even if I was japanese, I'd probably stand out like a sore thumb with the way I am. At least you're a cute girl. Most people will be more inclined to think there's nothing to be concerned with because of that."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-28 04:26:40 105427
And she does follow him, hands calmly at her sides and keeping in step with him. His comments get a little smirk out of her, at least. "Why, thank you. I'm actually quite proud of that. But I'm not one to go quietly when someone causes trouble, either. These days, young ladies have to have some kind of investment in their safety, after all."

Her walking pace is calm and relaxed enough and she's eager to hear more out of him, assuming he has more to say. Not because she got a good compliment, though that was probably a bonus all in itself. "Our country may sometimes single out foreigners sometimes, but I don't always believe that's the right thing to do. We're a bit set in our ways, but a lot of us are fond of foreigners, too. Assuming they keep out of trouble." The blonde shrugs with an amused little giggle, adding... "I've a little foreign blood in me, but it doesn't worry me too much. I grew up here, so in the eyes of everyone else, I'm just as much Japanese as the next 'cute girl'. I don't think it's a case of blending in and more about finding a place where you'll fit in."

"There's a saying here..." she continues. "The nail that sticks up must be hammmered down, right? Perhaps it's not so simple as that. I'm sure there's something you can do out here that will bring you accomplishment and pride without stepping on too many toes."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-28 04:40:22 105428
    "Oh?" Alex tilts his head back and sidewards juuuust enough that he can peek to the blonde over his shoulder, with one brow arched slightly. "Could be worse things to be proud of, I guess. Though I can't imagine I'm the first one to say that to you." A low, amused chuckle rumbles through his throat with that before he focuse his eyes forward again.

    "To be perfectly honest with you, I do get into trouble intentionally too," he confesses then, with a slow roll given to one shoulder. "Just in my nature, I guess. Those folks back there? They were probably going to try to smash the store if they didn't bump into me. Woulda done something either way."

    At her latter words, he briefly slows his steps down a bit, and gives a scratch to the curve of his cheek. "...Mmmh. There is something like that. But I dunno about not stepping on toes..."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-30 03:37:09 105494
It takes a moment for the blonde to come up with a response, but she does nod rather sagely. She didn't quite think of it that way, did she?

"...I see. Perhaps we're a little similar in that way. I'd rather step in to protect something important rather than look away, but on some level you can't really avoid getting in the way of others." She adjusts her stance for a moment, her hand brushing across her hair to push a little of it out of the way. "It's inevitable that it happens but I mean more in the sense that if you have to end up conflicting with someone, it's ideally better to ensure you'll still be able to count on them if something worse happens to both of you. That isn't always the case, either, but ideals often lay ground for better decisions down the line."

That said, she didn't entirely seem finished... "I often had to pull a certain confrontational friend out of many scrapes, but it was because we were so different that we both complemented and clashed with eachother. Perhaps, someday, you'll be able to find something or someone that can do the same thing."

Another short pause as Mami spoke her mind once more, curious about how Alex dealt with things... "This may be a bit personal, but do you have many friends here? You clearly have enough enemies."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-30 03:52:58 105496
    "...I see. So you're an entirely kind-hearted person, then," murmurs Alex, his tone suddenly a bit lower than before. "I wish I could be like that. But after everything else, I can't bring myself to be quite as... 'kind', anymore, towards people like that.

    He stops himself again, there, and turns over slowly, to bring himself facing Mami, with his eyes narrowing slightly at her. "...And you are rather trusting towards someone like me too. Or at least... very dedicatd to the whole 'building bridges' thing. Most people wouldn't risk following me for this long after a show like that." His eyes twitch off to the side briefly. "I can spot at least four different people just now who have their hands ready at their phones just in case the big scary foreigner does something to the pretty girl, for example. Guess that means you're brave in your own right, too."

    And that last question? He folds up his arms in front of his chest with it, though he doesn't seem particularly put off by it. "That is *pretty* personal. ... But... well... I do, a few." He glances off away from Mami with that, and... he actually seems a bit abashed, all of a sudden. "...People I would do anything for."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-30 04:06:07 105500
"It's part bravery and persistence, I think. But I also think that you're nicer than you claim to be. Of course, you have a rougher life and you're different in many ways. But that doesn't make you any less worthy of my time. I approached you so I could understand why you acted this way, after all."

As for Alex's frank admission that he had some people worthy of his protection, Mami smiled as if she understood something very important about him. "Even the most unsavoury person has people that they'd do anything to help, as well, even your worst enemies, but many are quick to throw their own loved ones out to solve their own problems. You...don't strike me as that kind of person, Raskoph-san. Despite the trouble and attention you receive, at least you seem to be doing some right in the world by your own means. It...isn't quite how I would mete out justice on others, but at least you're honest about how you behave! You're just as brave for confiding this in a stranger, after all." Though really, Mami is fairly personable and friendly, and her sweet, disarming nature is a sure-fire track to help people open up more. Even guarded Alex, here, it seems...
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-30 04:25:38 105503
    "...Unfortunately, you don't know me well enough, Mami," mutters Alexis then-- noticably going COMPLETELY against the japanese etiquette of using honorifics and surnames. But hey, he is a westerner, so maybe she expected just as much. "I am definitely as good of a person as to deserve that kind of judgement right off from the bat from you or anyone else. ... Not that most people give that kind of judgement. You should see what the people in school think. ... That being said... You might not be entirely wrong about us not being so different, afterall."

    With the final statement there, he leans over forward and down a bit, to bring himself just a bit more to level with the blonde-- not that it helps all that much with that difference in height. "...There's a big weight on your shoulders, isn't there? And there's something else to you. SOmething else I can't figure out. To be honest with you, I've been trying to figure it out ever since you told me your name. I could swear I've heard it somewhere before..."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-30 04:34:58 105505
Mami frowns a little as he decides to pry, but considering how much she's pulled out of his side of things...

"You're not wrong in this case. I wouldn't be surprised if you'd heard my name at some point." She looks away a little, this time, unsure what else she can really do or say, but she figured it's best to be honest... "I lost my parents when I was a little younger. And I've gained and lost plenty of friends and loved ones in between then and now. I suppose, even if I smile, you can feel a little of that, can't you? That feeling...weighs fairly heavily, but I've learned to carry it well. Better than I would have, three years ago."

Even when uncertain, she's still a bit eloquent about it. Though she's also a little nervous from the height difference, she pulls away a little as if trying to physically move away from the topic - but even then, she still keeps it up. "Can you remember when and where you heard it? What does come to mind, when you think of me? I'm hoping that might help you...understand a little better."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-30 04:51:03 105507

    With that low sound let out, a brief tinge of sadness crosses Alexis' eyes, and he leans himself back upright and lets his arms slowly unfold-- perhaps trying to make himself look that much less unthreatening now. "I am sorry," he murmurs, with a faint frown. "I didn't intend to trudge up a memory like that. Tbat does tell me a lot, too, but..."

    He cocks his head slightly. "Do you tell that to everyone who asks, usually? That's... even more personal than anything I've said. Are you just that open, or... are you reading me much more than you admit, too? ...Probably shouldn't talk about all that right in the middle of the street, though. Feel like we should at least have something to eat and drink while we're at it."

    Then, a bit more of an akward sound of laughter from the german when the matter of him having heard her name before comes up again, and he instinctively averts his bright-green eyes briefly. "That's the thing. I like to think I have a good memory, but... I am really not sure. It mist have been in passing. At the very least, I would definitely remember that name if there was some negative connotation to it. But maybe... Maybe I know someone who has given a... similiar feeling."
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-30 05:05:26 105511
"...I suppose I felt it was only fair. But I can't go much further than that." Mami shook her head... "I don't admit that to everyone I meet, no. But I felt there was enough of that sort of feeling in you. Isolation, worry, and wanting to help other people, despite things being stacked against you. I don't know why I said it, either, but...I hope you'll understand that I feel just as lost, here. I dearly want to find my old friends who live here, and there's still so much to do, but I'm still filled with an odd sense of purposelessness. It isn't quite despair but it's--what's the German word for it. Yes wanderlust."

Strangely, the magical girl who felt most a home here after all she'd been through felt as if things were much, much less so. Everything felt off and she was afraid. But she isn't going to outright admit that, either.

"I suppose you'll remember something in time, but that makes me only more curious."

She makes up her mind about food pretty quickly, at least. This would be a better conversation over tea than out on the streets... "Mmh...but some refreshments would be excellent, right about now. I don't suppose you know if there's anything good to eat around this part of down, do you? If not..." she added, her expression trying to return to a more pleasant outlook... "...I know every teahouse and coffee shop in the city, give or take the newer ones. Any preference?"
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-30 05:19:34 105513
    "... I think I understand you much better now, just from that," Alexis suggests quietly, and the look he gives her? It's one of... not sympathy, perhaps, but more understanding? There's a strange sense of solidarity that he might be even sensing, towards this girl.

    "And I am getting some ideas, too, but..." He turns over around again, to step down the street-- but not far ahead. He slows to a stop shortly as he comes up along a black-and-red Suzuki motorcycle, running his hand along the top of it. Is that his? "How do you feel about curry?"
Mami Tomoe 2019-05-30 06:05:09 105520
Mami seems like her mind's made up a bit, at least. She regards the motorbike with some interest and curiosity as well, perhaps wondering that very thing - was it his or was he just hanging onto it? And why did she assume things a little, like that when her own situation's probably much, much stranger?

"It can't be helped. I'm glad you could hear me out, at least. Quizzing you about every little issue would get boring fairly quickly."

That being said, Alexis seemed like a nice enough guy. She wouldn't turn down and invitation to eat, either. Though unlike Kyouko, it's more for the company than the food. That girl kinda liked curry, too, didn't she? Either way, Mami isn't against the idea... "I don't eat it all that often, but I wouldn't mind. We'll have more time to talk." She was friendly to Alex, sure, but something about him made her curious to help him grow as a person. Maybe, perhaps, she'd find some more leads as to what happened in the last few years, too.

So curry was fine enough for her.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-30 06:22:37 105521
    "Come on, I can't imagine you're that much younger than me, but you're still in the age where it's good for you to get plenty to eat," Alexis tells her, in an almost big-brotherly sort of chiding way. Either way, the seat of the motorcycle is brought up to reveal the storage compartment within, and he draws out one helmet from within-- though there are two there. "There's a curry place down the way-- Korma Chameleon. You can ride with me or I can give you the address and you can just meet me there. Up to you."
Mami Tomoe 2019-06-05 00:42:14 105523
Mami laughs it off a little and offers him a smile and seems to accept the helmet, for now. Wouldn't want anything to happen to her head, after all. "I might as well. It's a little out of the ordinary for me, but nothing ventured, nothing gained..." It's quite an odd sight, with Mami's odd big-sisterly temperament and Alexis' own welcoming demeanour making for a strangely casual yet cordial meeting.

She takes a seat a little hesitantly, as if she's a bit nervous of the vehicle...but she stays on well, clinging a little to Alexis to balance herself. " do you stay on this thing? Even if I'm holding on, I feel a little off-balance."

She still distrusted motor vehicles, but didn't really want to upset her new friend by refusing his offer, either. She'd have to swallow her fears and face the consequences. Besides, there's curry and good company in it for her, and that's more than enough.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-05 00:51:58 105524
    "Never ridden on one before, huh?" Cadell murmurs while she comes along to sitting on. "Take hold of my shoulder while you're mounting there-- there's foot placements for a passenger back there. Yeah, there ya go..."

    Once she's on, he focuses his own attention forward, though his feet still remain on the ground while he's turning the ignition for the bike on. "You're going to want to either wrap your arms around me or cling on the gas tank. Squeeze around the frame a little with your thighs, and turn your weight along the turns so you don't get thrown off-balance. No need to worry too much about it, though-- we're in the middle of the city so it's not like I*m going to be going at high speeds anyhow, you know?"

    That being said, with the engine roaring to life, he knocks back the supporting leg of the bike and kicks his foot along the ground to send the bike moving along to the road. "Here we goo~"
Mami Tomoe 2019-06-05 01:22:11 105525
Mami has, thankfully, followed his advice. Even if it's not going that fast, she's still a little thrown by the experience - a mix between interested and nervous, really. While she's nervous, she clings onto him to stay steady. As the machine gets moving, she's careful to redistribute her weight around turns. Surprisingly, despite being pretty worried about it at first, she manages to seem in-control and fairly confident about it the rest of the way. That's really the best way to deal with this, at the moment...

Since the curry place isn't that far and they aren't going all that fast, she does ask him a question on her mind for a few minutes. "...How did you get this motorbike, by the way? Did you take it from home or buy it here?" Mami does, however, assume that Alexis probably had a lot more money before he came to Japan. If he's a foreigner who went all the way here for school, he must have someone supporting him. Mami's never really had worry about supporting herself, after all...
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-05 01:37:51 105526
    "It's a long story!" is the answer he yells out back to her, loud enough that even with the helmet in the way and the noise of traffic, she could still hear him. It really doesn't take long for them to get to their destination, and it's already almost immedaitely after he's given that response that he's turning the bike to slowing down along the street, bringing it to a free spot by the curb before killing the engine.

    "Well, here we are--" he declares, with the supporting leg of the bike moved back down, and hs helmet getting pulled off-- and with a hand going gesturing to the front of the restaurant sporting the ridicilous cartoon chameleon upon it's sign.
Mami Tomoe 2019-06-05 02:14:05 105527
Mami hops off the bike, still seeming well at ease, even if riding around just a short distance like that was fairly exciting. She quickly removes the helmet and deposits it into its receptacle as she heads towards the restaurant, still in good spirits. If anything, Mami isn't keeping her distance as much from Alex, though she eyes the logo and mascot with suspicion...

"I think I've been here once, actually. Or somewhere like it. It's a little familiar to me..." Whether it was this place or somewhere else close to it, she's definitely been dragged out by Kyouko in the past for late-night curry runs. Thankfully, she probably won't have to foot the bill and she's with someone she can reasonably speak to... "That mascot always makes me laugh a little, when I pass by here. It's everywhere I go brings back some odd memory or other." She decides to change the subject a little by asking him... "Is this place a favourite of yours Raskoph-san?"

Mami walks step-in-step alongside him at a reasonable distance, seemingly opening up a little more.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-05 02:23:01 105528
    Alexis delays just a bit to ensure that the helmets are properly stored and the bike itself is locked and secured, before he goes stepping for the front door with the blonde.

    "The place is owned and ran by the parents of a friend of mine," he offers in answer to the question she presents, walking just alongside her with one hand stuck into a pocket of his jeans just so that his elbow is pushing one side of his jacket back a bit along his frame. "So I kinda end up coming around every now and then even when she's not around just to support the family, you know?"

    The bell at the door signals their entry inside to the staff currently on shift, and Alexis immediately lifts two fingers up in silent signal for them, though he is already veering over towards a corner booth rather than waiting to be seated. "The food here's good. Just don't ask them for the hottest thing they have. Trust me when I say it's not a good idea."
Mami Tomoe 2019-06-05 02:57:11 105530
"Oh, not to worry, I plan on something a little milder. I'm not one for anything too spicy and I prefer to take my time with meals..."

The blonde ends up following him to the corner booth as well, assuming Alex knew what he was doing. If he's got it in with the owners of this place, presumably she's also getting special treatment, then? "That must be interesting, at least. It's good that you're giving back to people who've treated you well. Are you still in touch?" Mami replies, settling in and looking over the menu to see if there's anything she'd be interested in. There's at least a series of mild vegetable and meat curries available, from what she can see, and she resolves on ordering the first one that comes to mind.

"...Actually, to be honest, there are a few other places around town where I'm a regular..." Well, thanks to still having enough money to pay for most of her expenses, if she isn't cooking at home. "...But I'll choose to take your word for it. I'm already fairly famished, just from the smell. I wonder if I could get away with bringing Kyouko here, sometime. Or the others, perhaps, assuming the food's as good as you say." She offers a faint, amused little chuckle at that, watching Alex a little, just to see if anything changes much in his behaviour while he's here. Mami's body language is still fairly friendly and open, but how would this closed young fellow react?
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-05 03:11:45 105531
    As for Alex? The German in his late teens doesn't really seem to be changing his overall presence much-- or, well, at least not since he started talking with Mami. He's not quite putting on the show of a thug like he did upon dealing with the Yakuza looking for protection money, anyhow. Still, reserved and very firm.

    Once sat down at the table, though, and with Mami mentioning a Kyouko, his eyes suddenly turn sharp. "Kyouko?" He repeats the name for himself, with his eyes narrowing slightly. The mention of a friend with an affinity for food from earlier and the overall sense that he should know this girl's name from somewhere combined... it makes some things click together.

    "What's the family name of this Kyouko? Just out of curiousity."
Mami Tomoe 2019-06-05 03:21:19 105532
"Ah, pardon me...her name is Kyouko Sakura. I ran into her the other day and I've been meaning to catch up. It's safe to say we were friends some time ago, despite and downs with regards to some things." Mami's still all smiles, but there's a strange wistfulness to her tone as she keeps up the subject. "You sound like you know her, as well. Certainly, it sounds like quite a coincidence, if we happened to know the same person for much the same reasons. At least she seems to have her life a little more on track..."

Mami's getting the feeling that Alexis knows more than he seems to know, but decides not to grill him for questions much longer. Instead, she just adds a little nod, as if she's come to some understanding with him for a moment... "I'm a little glad that she's doing well, but at the same time, I'm a little concerned for the others I knew. I wonder how much they've changed over the years - and whether they're all going to be alright. I've always been like that, since the beginning, I suppose. Doting on others is an all-consuming pastime..."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-05 03:24:10 105533
    "That right?" Alex hums out in a low tone, and folds his arms together along the table between the two of them. Slightly-narrowed eyes still consider the girl sitting opposite from him curiously, and a single finger idly taps against the surface of the table during the short moment of silence in between.

    "You know a Sayaka Miki too, then?" He asks of her, eventually. "Girl with short, blue hair? Likes classical music."
Mami Tomoe 2019-06-05 03:32:13 105534
Mami nods as well... "Ah, of course. Miki-san was certainly a little bit of a live wire back then. Always getting involved in things, perhaps a bit headstrong once in a while. Trying to find her way in life and stumbling a little, but a good girl nonetheless. She looked up to me, like everyone else did, but I fell out of contact with her when I moved away, as well." She keeps a close look at Alexis, watching him consider this knowledge with...just perhaps the faintest suspicion. "I have heard she's still around, but I haven't quite been able to track her down. She's surprisingly active, these days, it seems. No such luck for me, I'm afraid..."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-05 03:36:40 105535
    "... So that's what it was, then," Alex murmurs, with a shallow breath let out, and his eyes drift fully closed for a few seconds before they open up fully again. "Where I'd heard your name before. I'd heard it from Sayaka. Way back when..."

    His eyes do narrow a bit again right then. "You're like her, aren't you?" He has the time to ask just before a server comes along, and he allows his expression to ease up. Even if some metaphysical force prevents most non-magical people from understanding certain things, he still prefers not to speak of some things quite as openly.

    "Six bowls of lamb masala with rice. Naan bread on the side. And just bring two cartons of no-fat milk for me too. Whatever she's having goes on my bill too."

    ...Well, he definitely has an appetite.
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-16 23:35:40 106063
"Six bowls? Are you sure you can eat that much? Not to mention the cost..." Even so, her remark's out of concern. He certainly looked like someone who'd put a lot of food away, certainly, kind of like a certain girl she knew. Mami reads over the menu and seems to have her mind set, however, on something a little less overwhelming.

"And I'll have a...Chana Masala, mild as you can manage, please. I can't handle spicy foods well. I'll have some tea with my meal, as well."

Mami looks back at her dinner companion for a moment as their eyes meet and she offers a very grave, quiet nod and waits until the server is gone before she replies. "Yes. Where did you happen to run into her? I'm curious." Of course, the secret from years ago had been rightfully kept by their number. If Sayaka was truly still out there, surviving, Mami would run into her sooner or later. "..She seemed eager to befriend me. I wonder if that's still the case, now."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-16 23:49:06 106064
    "It's fine, it's fine!" Alexis assures over Mami's worries with a casually dismissive wave of his hand made. "I use a lot of energy so I need a lot of calories to intake too, you know? And if I end up running low on money after I'll probably end up running into some gangers or Yakuza again who'll just have to pay for compensation over wasted time." Which... probably means he's gonna take some of their cash after they start a fight with him and lose.

    But once the server has taken their order and stepped away, he closes his eyes briefly after Mami's question. "...Mmmh. I met her... when I was in a much darker place. When I was different from the way I am now. She tried to help me as best she could. And then some... things happened, and we fought, and she saved my life." Well, he's definitely paraphrasing a lot there. When his eyes open again, those green orbs draw slowly over Mami to consider the girl sitting opposite from him. "... I haven't really seen her in a long while. I'm not sure if she transferred schools or something. But I haven't seen Puellas in general at all lately, especially after a certain redhead somehow managed to turn into something completely different."
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-17 00:10:22 106065
"...I had a feeling that was the case, also. When I met with Kyouko, something felt very different about her. I suppose her situation bears looking into, now more than ever." Her yellow eyes waver a little, as if she's got more questions than answers on her mind, even now. She's aware he isn't going to tell the whole thing over dinner, like this, so she'll have to find some more clues, later on, it seems.

"As for Miki-san...well, I suppose we're both in the same proverbial boat in terms of distance. If I manage to run into her, sometime, I'll be sure to let you know how she's doing."

Alex's comment about Puella Magi being 'not around' in the city does somewhat bother her, though.

"...Our kind tend to stay secretive, if we can help it. Our fights and burdens are usually ones we all share - though that's more of my idealism on the matter. Would that we all could get along. But as for recently...I think it's because many of those I knew must have have matured, now. Though we share those burdens still, we've grown older and wiser. But it's the way of the young to take responsibility for the rights or wrongs of the world, isn't it?" It's her turn to shut her eyes a little, sighing. "...That said, I spent many years in Kazamino, a place more fractured than Mitakihara is. And far more prone to factionalism and infighting. But I always believed that we could protect the people better by standing as one."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-17 00:24:11 106066
    "...I know all too well about your secretiveness," Alexis admits after a few seconds. "Especially since... Even amongst magic folks, I know much more about Puella than most." He leans over slightly while he says that, just so he can be allowed to speak in an even lower tone still. "... But those are secrets I've made an oath to take to the grave, for all of your safety's sake."

    He leans back a bit again after saying that ominous line, but then a faint hint of a smile flickers over his features. "... There's something more to it for oyu though, isn't it? I can tell just by looking and listening to you. Can sense the feelings of responsibility and duty. Not just over people you can protect with your powers, but also other Puella. Like they're your little sisters. Am I right? That kind of thing is pretty admirable, you know. I bet those of them who know you look up to you, too."
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-17 00:36:44 106067
"I'd like to think so. And I'm glad you think so. It's been...quite a while since I've heard that so sincerely said." Mami replies. Her expression's still quite serious, though, considering what Alex implied he knew. "...And that makes it doubly important that I continue my efforts, despite my soul-searching. In some ways, I feel I'm a bit of a fish out of water here, again. But I feel if someone must remind everyone that we ought to stay true to ourselves, it might as well be me. What other choice do I have?"

She looks into the middle distance, away from Alex, as if talking about that sort of thing struck a if there was some feeling that came over her for a moment, only for her to push it down, again. "The reason I've survived and fought this long is because I believe in my own sort of justice. And...while you say it is admirable, many would call it foolish or naive to cling to idealism so steadfastly. Not that they're wrong - more that the reasons why are deeper than people realize."

Mami looks back to Alex and tries to smile again, seeming as if she's relaxed a little, becoming once again, quite serene. "I suppose, to put it more bluntly, let me ask you something important, Raskoph-san: Do you fear being left alone?" She was surprisingly open-ended as to whether this meant friends, loved-ones or just...everyone, however...
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-17 00:54:16 106068
    "You have a *lot* of different choices, actually," Alexis is quick to point out to Mami. "Believe me, I know how it might seem like there aren't any other choices than the one you've taken, but you could have done something entirely different. You could have run away. You could have assumed someone else takes the responsibility. But you didn't."

    THe server comes delivering the naan bread then, since that doesn't take all that much time at all to prepare, and Alex promptly pauses in talking, and simply gives an appreciative nod to the server as it's set down.

    "...And I have lived and fought," he murmurs, while picking out one piece of bread. "Long enough to know that sometimes people are entirely right about that sense of justice. But that doesn't mean it's wrong to hold on to it, either. There has to be some people in the world who are like that, afterall."

    A quick bite of naan taken just as Mami asks that heavyweight question, and-- he has to pause over it.

    "... THat is... a very complicated thing for me to answer, Mami," he mutters with a slight narrowing of his eyes -- and yes, he doesn't seem to quite adhere to the same 'last names only and with honorifics' standards of the japanese when dealing with people you've only just met. Damn foreigners, right? "I lead a life that... can only end in a certain kind of way, and I have made peace with that. So I suppose... the answer to that question is, at the same time, both 'yes' and 'no'."
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-17 02:17:09 106069
"I'm glad, at least, that your answer was something I somewhat expected. After all, if you disagreed with my methods, you'd have made yourself known long before I said anything." She quietly takes a spoonful of of her Chana Masala and tastes it, finding it to be quite to her liking, even if she didn't have too much experience with Indian fare outside of the basic curry or two. She mulls the idea over in her head a little before she figures out what else to say...

"...But in some ways, we're alike in that regard, Raskoph-san. In the face of the dangers our sort of life entails, we must press on. Not because we have no choice, but because we've chosen it for our own - so that others won't suffer in our place, whether they're bystanders or otherwise. Yet, my desires to connect with others and survive is remarkably intense. would also be a lie to say I fight for the sake of others, entirely. In some ways, I've made peace with the idea that I fight for myself. But I deeply fear being left alone. When I don't have anyone to watch over - or even someone to talk to - I grow restless and uneasy."

She adds, quieter... "I've...become better at keeping that at bay, and I'm far better for it, but at times I feel it sneaking up on me."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-17 03:10:11 106070
    "..., I don't know if I would say I fight for myself, as far as I go," Alexis mumbles in between large spoonfuls of lamb masala -- yeah, he DEFINITELY has an appetite, and he eats as quickly to match it too.

    "... I am going to admit something to you, Mami," he murmurs quietly then, after setting his utensils down for a moment. "I... Have given up on my own desires. I am a Knight. And I fight for the sake of everyone else around me. If that means I will die alone, then that's just part of the life.""

    He shakes his head with that. "I am sorry. That is not... a very helpful thing to say to what you fear... But I can tell just from looking at you, that you deserve people by your side. Friends and someone you love. Things like that."
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-17 04:16:10 106071
Mami, however, takes another mouthful of her meal, listening intently to Alex's words. "At the same time, just because you fight for the sake of others and wear that title, that doesn't mean that your desires are lost or extinguished because of it. While I don't count myself a "Knight" or something so grand, I see our paths as being similar, regardless of how we might justify them. On some level, we fight for those who aren't ourselves because we feel others deserve better lives. But...was it solely for that reason that you chose to fight?"

Mami then watched his reaction carefully before delivering her next question... "...What exactly were your desires before you started fighting? And you think I'm more deserving of having others around me than you? Surely, there's more to it..."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-17 22:50:32 106110

    That clearly causes pause in Alexis. His nose wrinkles, and he stops devouring the food set before him for a good moment, while he just stares at it in silence.

    "... My desires aren't any different from before then," he claims eventually, shaking his head. "I just wished to be of help to people who were worse off than me. ANd now... be of help to everyone who isn't capable of doing what I am. ... Do I need any other reason? I don't expect to get anything out of it for myself."
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-17 23:21:14 106114
Mami's turn to pause, this time. She picks up her utensils and takes a bite or two of her meal as she thinks of something to add.

"Then there isn't much to be worried about, I should hope. In my case, when faced with an end, I resolved to survive. But, at the same time, I couldn't merely protect myself and watch others fall in my stead. However, I feel you understand what I mean..."

She reaches over for a sip of her tea as she clarifies... "It's all well to lay your life down for those you care about, but it's only human to be afraid of being hurt or leaving those you love without you. All I can do is stand at a median between the two points and hope we all stay on."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-17 23:45:28 106117
    "That's th ething," Alexis says then, tone a bit more grim suddenly. "I'm not... at all afraid of being hurt. Or anything else of that sort. And I don't think there's terribly many people who will be lost without me around. So I'll just keep fighting, until the end."
Mami Tomoe 2019-07-18 00:05:31 106121
"Well, in case you ever grow tired of fighting and you need someone to turn to, I would be willing to hear you out." Mami added, trying to turn Alexis' negative into a positive. "I suppose, even if you fight alone, you ought to have someone who can, as you put it...'do what others can't', in case you find yourself in trouble or hopelessly trapped by doubt. Even if I've just met you, I've got to know you just from hearing you out, much as you claim not to be bothered by such a prospect, I hope to be some comfort if you find things too overwhelming. I've shouldered too many burdens alone to turn you away." Mami nodded, smiling faintly to the troubled young man, taking another sip thoughtfully.

"While you aren't quite the usual fare, I should be glad to fight alongside you, if it means that this place has a brighter tomorrow ahead. That's all I can ask for. Perhaps, in time, you might find that there are more people caring for you than you realize."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-18 00:35:27 106125
    Okay, THAT definitely catches Alex off guard. The fairly neutral expression on his face changes to one of more obvious surprise, and he even leans back a bit on his seat with that. "I..." Is all he lets out at first, in that fit of uncertainty.

    Then, with a shake of his head, he manages to recollect himself, and he offers a faintly wry smile to the girl sitting opposite from him. ":.. Is this because I bought dinner for you?" He asks, mostly in jest with it all. "You are... putting an awful lot of trust and care into me for having just met. But... I suppose you do seem the type to take responsibility over people, too."
Mami Tomoe 2019-08-01 15:32:33 106329
Mami only offers a wry little smile back to Alexis' comments. She seems all too interested by this, taking yet another long sip and then hiding a small giggle behind her hand, a little amused at the young fellow being so off-guard.

"Because you bought me dinner...? Maybe you've got the wrong idea about our talk. If it were that simple, I wouldn't have taken pains to debate with you about what we believe, but I'm sure Kyouko would've been more than happy to accept that as a reason. I am one of those sorts of people who'll help others at my own expense because I draw strength from protecting and helping others who are less fortunate than me. But perhaps I just saw a little of myself in you...a prospect that both comforts and frightens me." Crossing her legs a little, Mami's still quite straight-backed and calm as can be, but her eyes betrayed her worries a little. "While we did just meet, today, I still find it a little comforting to be able to unburden myself with someone who might understand where I'm coming from, that's all. I've many worries and regrets of my own that I haven't told you...but while that may take time, I hope we can trust eachother. As those who fight for the sake of others rather than ourselves."

The blonde doesn't seem too troubled by it, but there's a heavier air after she says that. Whether there was something wrong and she didn't want to say or whether something was bothering her, she was conspicuously quiet. Instead, she decided to focus on what was directly ahead of her... "Is there something wrong with caring for others in this way, Raskoph-san? I suppose it comes off as overly familiar, but it's simply how I've always been, since I became one of them. I'm sure that's what lets me sleep well at night."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-08-01 15:50:26 106330
    "I was making a joke!" Alex points out quickly with a rumble of a laughter mixed into his words, and he flicks an all-too-amused wave with his hands. "I'm not one of those kinds of guys, you know, who thinks they're on a date with a girl just because she talks to him, you know? I guess I *was* just taken a little by surprise, though..."

    He shakes his head with a faint smile, and takes a long pause to shovel a bit of the Masala still left in front of him into his mouth, and his eyes turn over to meet hers, briefly, considering her in that moment of heavier contemplation.

    "No," he says eventually, in response to her. "There is nothing wrong with that. I am... not at all different, in that regard. We are kind of frighteningly similiar, actually, in certain things, even if we are obviously absolutely different in other aspects. I mean, you don't exactly come off like a street thug or mobster like I *apparently* do according to people at school. And well... I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by the quick familiarity and such, after all the other people I met here, just..."

    It's his turn to pause for some quiet contemplation for a hot second, with that, and he visibly chews at his lower lip for a brief moment. "I didn't exactly have a lot of friends before I came around to Tokyo three years ago, you know? Besides just being constantly on the move, I was always the punk getting into fights, the person people stayed away from... even if all of that was just because I was usually fighting people worse than me."

    But then there's that last thing she says. The german's dark brows furrow together, and he sets down both the bowl and utensils onto the table. "Hey," he breathes out, with a slight lean over along the table. "Don't." That single word comes with a surprising firmness and weight, and he lets it alone hang in the air for a few seconds before he continues. "Don't ever call yourself that. I get all too well why you would think to, but... That's not it. That's never it. You're not 'one of *them*' or any other strange thing that kind of thing might imply." His eyes meet hers directly, then, and there's a little glint of determination there-- something speaking of absolute belief in his own words.

    "You're *you*. That's all that matters."

    Who's getting too familiar now?
Mami Tomoe 2019-08-01 17:57:50 106336
It takes a moment for Mami to respond - mostly because she hadn't heard words like that in a long time. Not since before she left, really. It's her turn to let out a short little sigh and nod her head. "'re right. To be honest, I don't always think of it in that way. I've seen myself more as a Puella Magi, sometimes, much to my detriment. But if you truly think we're so much alike, all the more reason for us to rely on one-another. We may feel alone due to our burdens and troubles, but...Being something I never want to go back to, Raskoph-san. That's why I mostly think about 'us' rather than 'me'."

Even so, she seems almost hopeful, this time, as if the darkness in that phrase was swept away by a second wind. "I'm hoping we can understand one-another better, at least. Because you're the same - only you and nobody else - so I hope you'll do your best, as I will. It's been some time that I've had to think so much about what I am. That may just be the way of responsibilities and titles and such...they give us freedom and constrain us all at once."

Mami smiles and leans in a little... "The reason I've survived so long is because I've believed I could make a difference. Or so I like to say. But I'm not frightened that we're similar. I'm glad I could meet someone else who understands."