The Elder Terios

Norie and Alexis pay a visit to Rashmi's mother to set up a party... and to get some answers. For the first time in probably forever, the answers are exactly what the pair hoped to hear.

Date: 2019-06-30
Pose Count: 31
Rashmi Terios 2019-06-30 20:47:57 105855
It's Sunday, and Rashmi hasn't called or texted anyone all day. More likely than not, she's taken today to indulge herself in her first, greatest love; books. Whether trawling the bookstores of Tokyo, or squirrelling herself away in the library, the most impotant thing is where she's not. And since Norie has already laid the groundwork, now would be the perfect time to pay a visit to the Korma Chameleon, have a talk or two, and perhaps get some answers.
Lacrima 2019-06-30 20:56:17 105856
Lacrima has arrived in front of the store with Alexis, as she looks up to the boy. "I'm going in under the cover I'm renting the place out for an evening. I still intend to rent the place out for the trouble, but... I intend to question her about your mother. And Rashmi's device." she says pursing her lips.

She opens the door and walks to the front, now smiles. "Hello!" she says. "I've spoken to Rashmi about renting the place out for an evening. May I please speak to Rashmi's mom?" she asks politely. "I'm ready to make plans." she says politely.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-30 21:16:17 105857
    "Be calm with her," is what Alexis advices to Lacrima while the two of them are still outside of the restaurant, with his hand loosely stuck into the pocket of his trademark leather jacket. "We don't know anythin' about her. And she might not be meanin' bad either way."

    And thus, he walks in with her-- by all appearances, just the young adult who reserved the place out way back when for a birthday party for his adopted sister. And the same young adult that keeps coming to the restaurant to eat MOUNTAINS of food on a regular basis. Inside, he's quiet for the time being, letting his Imouto take the lead for now.
Rashmi Terios 2019-06-30 21:25:09 105858
The waitress beams at Lacrima and Alexis, bobbing her head. "Terios-san's been expecting you, miss! Just go up the stairs in back, she'll be waiting for you in the kitchen!"

Rashmi's family's apartment is humble, with most of the building space given over for storage. But what space their is, is decorated not with pictures and knickknacks, but sumptuous-looking muslin sheets fastened to the walls, and gathered to meet in the ceiling of each room to give the atmosphere a warm, summery feel.

The kitchen, also, is the most major concession to the fact that the Terios family owns the building; it's a kitchen large enough and well-appointed enough to feed a small army, or perhaps two Alexis-s. And at an incongruously small dining table for four, facing the door to the apartment, sits a woman who could be what Rashmi may grow up to be. Dark-skinned and black-haired, Ananda Terios has her hands folded on the table, smiling at the pair as if she knows a secret, and it is hilarious, and she cannot wait for everyone else to be in on the joke too. "Good afternoon, Maria-san, Alexis-san."
Lacrima 2019-06-30 21:42:50 105859
Maria adjusts her glasses... because Maria wears glasses while Lacrima and Norie do not, as she nods to the person and heads up stairs as she notes the decor. She assumes that, this is traditional Indian decor. She walks along to the large kitchen and there is who she assumes is Rashmi's mom.

"Hello, Terios-san." because she doesn't really know Rashmi's mom and Terios-san works here, probably best.

"I am interested in renting out the restaurant for an evening." she says. "And the cost of the food involved. Of course. I am throwing a... thank you party. Of sorts, for some friends and friends of their friends." she says. "If they wish to invite a few people." she says. Maria speaks about this like money isn't an object--- and she dresses and acts and carries herself like this is the case. It's true of course.

She purses her lips and raises her head. "My apologies." she says. "For the foul words that are about to come out of my mouth." she says.


"Do the words..... 'Thundering Demon B****' mean anything to you?" she asks quietly. She grimaces a bit at her own mouth, taking a little breath.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-30 21:49:48 105860
    It's rather telling of Alexis' character, probably, that he doesn't show any kind of reaction at all to the language his Imouto is actually using. Of course, anyone who knows Alexis knows that he isn't exactly *gentle* with his tongue usually either.

    He merely watches Ananda Terios for now, calmly. Watching for her reaction.
Rashmi Terios 2019-06-30 21:58:28 105861
"Of course," Ananda says with a wide grin. "We're always happy to host a good party, and we're not exclusive enough of a restaurant to be much of a burden. I imagine you'll want a tasting menu, like the mother of Ariel-sama asked for?"

Then Lacrima drops the bomb, and one finely-curved eyebrow rises. "My my my my," she says, pouring a steaming, golden-colored liquid from the pot at the center of the table into three cracked mugs likely picked up at a used-goods store. "Where did you pick up such language, young lady?"

Her attitude is utterly unlike the disapproving matron that might have said her line; even now, she's clearly holding back laughter with the ease of long years of practice.
Lacrima 2019-06-30 22:12:31 105862
Maria tilts her head up. Aha, so it was Ariel's mother that arranged that Birthday get together. She'd always wondered. Regardless, she'll have one mystery solved tonight. She nods. "Yeah, that'll work." she says. "With maybe, some larger, catering-sized buffet trays of a few choice things." she says. "If possible."

Then she calls out her mouth as she huffs and places a hand against her mouth. "Look... I was just. Asking something." she says. The woman is apparently trying to hold back back something though.

That didn't sound like a proper chide. She's been chided before. She frowns a little.

"Honestly. From a talking book my friends owns." she says bluntly.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-30 22:28:55 105863
    "Miss Terios," Alexis grunts out now, with just the faintest wrinkle given to his nose. "I know we are younger than you, but it would be great if you didn't treat us like children when it comes to this matter."

    His eyes narrow then. "Especially since you clearly already know what we are talking about and why."
Rashmi Terios 2019-06-30 22:33:55 105864
"When we're done," Ananda says, "I'll provide you with a menu, and if you like we can match what's at the buffet to what you'd like for the tasting menu. Now please, drink." A cup is passed each to Maria and Alexis in turn.

Then Maria just comes out and says it, and Alexis challenges her on the matter. Thus, Ananda pauses to sip at her own drink, contemplating the golden liquid, and turn the cup in her hands. "I would like to pay you the compliment, Alexis-san, that you are as utterly unlike your mother as it's possible to be, in all ways save one; you don't have the patience for a good riddle. Do you?"
Lacrima 2019-06-30 22:50:53 105865
Maria pinches her nose bridge and sinks in her chair. Her posture pretty much says 'oh, brother.'. She Sighs and sits back straight up. She nods. "That's fine." she says. That business is done as far as she's concerned. She will pay the deposit or down payment or in full, whatever's required when this discussion is done.

She says exasperatedly. "There's so many riddles and people that hide things." she says quietly. "I just got done dealing with such a thing that threatened my existence last month." she says quietly.

"So my adopted brother might not be in the mood for riddles where I'm involved. My apologies." she says quietly. "But yes. He is entirely unlike that woman." she says quietly.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-30 23:08:15 105866
    "On the *contrary*," grumbles Alexis, now leaning over forward to set his arms folding over the tabletop, eyes purposefully on the older Terios on the opposite side of the table from him.

    "My mother made most of my *life* into one big riddle. So I'm *sure* you can understand I am not exactly in the mood for being more roundabout with that."
Rashmi Terios 2019-06-30 23:17:44 105867
"Your mother," Ananda says, meeting Alexis' eyes as her smile fades, replaced with the sort of intensity usually seen in combat veterans or mahou five years or more into their adventures, "is a great many things, most of which wouldn't be polite to say in any conversation around the world. If there weren't more examples of that than grains of sand in the Sahara, one would only need to look to how she's treated you, young man."

Drawing in a breath, she clears her throat, her smile slowly easing back into place. "I'm sorry. I do understand your distrust, but perhaps it'll help to understand this; Chandra may be my daughter's Familiar, but he was my wedding gift, and it nearly broke my heart the first time he knocked on my door and asked for a hug."
Lacrima 2019-06-30 23:35:56 105868
Maria Hanazawa sighs and pinches her nose bridge. "Yes." she says bluntly. "That I agree with that. That '....."" she pauses. "Tee-Dee-Bee" 'TBD', short for you, you know. "Is putting it lightly." she says quietly.

"Do you mean, after he was turned into a familiar?" she asks softly. She looks down and back up. She head tilts. "I'm not really sure about the story on why Chandra is Rashmi's familiar." she says softly.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-06-30 23:57:28 105869
    "It's not that I distrust you, personally," Alex offers with a quiet sigh. "But I am not particularly appreciative about conversations that run in circles around the topic, ya know?"

    A vaguely amused look is tossed over to Maria by him, and a brow rises. "...Oh come on. You can say 'Thundering Demon 'B****'. Or--"

    The words that follow are INCREDIBLY censored.

    "Ahem. Anyway-- It's a thing with Device users," he notes after, with a curious look sent to his adoptive sister. "Didn't yours go over that?"
Rashmi Terios 2019-07-02 16:09:05 105871
"Chandra was a wedding gift," Ananda muses, settling back in her chair, smile well back on her face. "One of my uncles thought it would be amusing. Practice for a child, he called it." Her smile fades some, and she cocks her head, looking to Maria. "A Familiar is a useful thing for a Mage to have, Maria-san. Protector, friend, confidant... But to the sensitive heart, the making of them is... Uncomfortable, let us say. One requires a living animal, to be broken down atom by atom, converted into mana, and reformed."

Loosing a slow sigh, Ananda sips her drink, and looks up at the teens. "It broke my heart, as I say... And it provided me an excellent means to keep an eye upon my beloved daughter, and her friends. I do not ask Chandra to break confidences, but as two people who love my Sunshine, it is wise to keep up to date on her doings."
Lacrima 2019-07-02 16:24:12 105872
Maria looks up a little moment, and frowns. "I'm quite aware of how a familiar is formed. I mean I am not sure of the specifics of how or why Chandra is Rashmi's familiar. If some event nessiciated it, or if it was a personal choice." she says quietly. "Paige doesn't know that spell though. And it's not really one I wish to know, considering.... well. My soul is already a mess without trying to piece it out." she says dryly.

She says. "So, you are Nicomachea's former user?" she asks softly. "Just to be clear." she says quietly.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-02 16:35:25 105873
    "... I imagine it must have happened out of necessity," Alexis suggests in a low murmur with a sigh. "Rashmi-- I don't think she would be the type to do it by accident or just to see if it works."

    When The Question is presented by his imouto, he silences himself again. And he just watches the Elder Terios, carefully.
Rashmi Terios 2019-07-02 16:38:49 105874
"I am," Ananda says without any hesitation, "though I must ask that you keep this secret from my daughter. Also it was I who arranged for her to find my old friend." Her good humor returns, as she thinks back on that particular arrangement. "I confess, it was a great deal of fun to set up this discovery."
Lacrima 2019-07-02 16:49:37 105875
Maria Hanazawa snorts. "I have no reason to tell Rashmi. This is for my own curiosity... and his..." she motions to Alexis. "When Nicomachea spouted off that... phrase. During a rescue of Alexis-niisan here." she says softly. "It occurred to me later that it meant that Nicomachea had encountered that woman before. I made an assumption that it might be you, since...."

"Well I'm under the impression she started targeting Rashmi-chan after that." she says. She frowns.

"I'm going to assume you know who I really am then." she says softly. "And what I am. If not. I can explain." she says quietly.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-02 16:56:04 105876
    "... Was it for her or was it for everyone else?" Asks Alexis, with a rather suspicious narrowing of his eyes. "Because... well. Rashmi has no idea. As smart as she is... well. You know I love her and all, but she can be unbelievably *dense* when it comes to any matters involving herself." He should know. He used that against her in a fight that one time.
Rashmi Terios 2019-07-02 17:10:55 105877
At this, Ananda's mouth curls up at the corners. "This, I know," she says around a chuckle. "Before, she had many dreams, great ideals, but no friends. Too busy, perhaps, to notice how lonely she was. But, a mother cannot simply tell a teenage child she needs to make friends. It is simply not done, and even the best child will follow this wish with only half a heart. And I had retired, so... Perhaps my Sunshine could make friends in the secret world she discovers on her own."

Looking to Maria, the elder Terios nods slowly. "Chandra has told me a great deal of many of you," she says. "And may I say, it is good to hear that you've been freed of your own looming shadow. Would that all could shake their creators so simply," she says, looking meaningfully at Alexis. "Twenty years ago, the Raskoph concerns had dug heavily into Kolkata. A crowded city, stuffed to bursting with those who would not be missed... An ideal location, for a place of magical research for those who have no regard for the value of a life."

Settling back in her chair, Ananda allows her smile to become a touch feline. "Three years later, they decided it less costly to surrender their interests in Bengal."
Lacrima 2019-07-02 17:30:24 105878
Maria Hanazawa frowns. "I'm still dealing with my own shadows. They're just not exterior anymore. But it's easier to deal with without those." she says quietly. She shakes her head, still and nods. "So." she says softly. "Basically you wanted her to make friends. I guess I get that." she says quietly.

"Maybe... I'm not sure. Sorry. My experiences are different." she says. She hrmmmsss.

"So I'm assuming you fought with her back then, then." she says. She frowns. "She's done things like that in Tokyo, too." she says a little angrily. She sits back in her chair a little and crosses her arms in frustration.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-02 18:45:51 105879
    "...Twenty years ago..." Alexis murmurs in a quiet echo of Anand'as words, and his face twists up a bit. Twenty years ago. Just a while before he was born, then? He doesn't actually voice that, though, but the dark line of thought going through his head might be noticable on his face.

    "...Mrh. And gods know wherever else," he notes quickly. "Just travelling with me, they've been in three different continents, and the Raskoph Conglomerate has offices and subsidiaries in more countries than I can count right off the top of my head."
Rashmi Terios 2019-07-02 18:55:27 105880
"With her specifically, yes," Ananda says, nodding slowly. "Hulda Raskoph is, I have found, very much like a great pearl; from the outside she may seem rich and powerful and of great worth, but at her core is a small, petty, irritating bit of dirt that layer upon layer of shine exists to hide. In this, she is like much of her family, and all of their wealth and power and cruelty exists to cover this pettiness, this meanness of soul. But it is not my battle to wage, anymore; I must leave the fighting to you, and my daughter, and in this... I am comfortable."

Finishing off her drink, she leans forward, lacing her fingers together on the table. "Maria-san, Alexis-san... the two of you are among my daughter's closest friends. Knowing her as I do, this would be enough to tell me that the two of you are very fine people indeed, for she simply does not think to become closer to people than how she may be useful. But you, she cares for as deeply as she cares for Chandra. I will not insult you by asking that you not let her down. Instead, I ask that you bear this in mind for yourselves, when doubt creeps in around the edges of your thoughts."
Lacrima 2019-07-02 19:16:35 105881
Maria Hanazawa frowns. "Norie." she says softly. "Norie Okana is my 'real name'. Maria is... a cover. To allow me to go to school. I'd appreciate it, if you could use that. Not.. correcting you. Just. It's what I like my friends to use in private. Obviously. Since 'Noire Okana' has been missing for quite a while." she says.

"-and if you see a boy... Ryo Okana. My birth... brother... former brother... please be mindful." she says. "He's tried to kill me, Rashmi, and many others and has... succeeded..." she says tersely. "On one occasion with that task against a co-worker of mine." she says softly. "-and he isn't particularly careful of where that's done. He's... tried in daylight. In public." she says.

"...That boy is.. not my brother. I just have no way to explain the relation better. He is a reincarnation of 'Saint George'. Who.... well the classical literature is all wrong. He's just some grisly monster hunter with a sword-slash-spear that got jealous because a princess was in love with a dragon and not him." she says. "So he broke promises, tried to blackmail the princess into marrying him. Lots of dumb crap." she says.

"S--sorry. Just. Relaying. Important information and...."

"I trust Rashmi implicitly and she is a friend. I promise. I know this."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-02 19:50:27 105882
    "That's enough," murmurs Alexis with his hand going over to squeeze Norie's shoulder after the whole talk about Ryo. "You don't have to say more than that."

    His hand does remain there even after that, and he turns to narrow his eyes on the Elder Terios for a good moment again... before he lets out a heavy sigh and his expression eases up.

    "... That's all I really needed to hear," he murmurs. "And Rashmi? Rashmi's effectively my other sister--" How many adoptive sisters does that make now? "I'll die for her."
Rashmi Terios 2019-07-02 19:58:56 105883
"All of this is known to me, Norie-san," Ananda says with a gentle smile. Reaching over, she rests her hand for a moment on Norie's, squeezing lightly. "What Rashmi has experienced, she has spoken of to Chandra. What Chandra hears, he says to me. And I am sorry for what has befallen your family. If there is any way I may help, you have only to come to me, and I will listen."

Her gaze turns to Alexis, and once more the struggle to laugh can be seen in her eyes. "It is all very well and good to say such things, young man, and better to mean them. But it is easy to die for a person. Harder, to live for them, yes?"
Lacrima 2019-07-02 20:07:49 105884
Maria Hanzawa nods. "Okay then." she says with a soft breath. "I think... I am satisficed with what I learned here for now." she says softly as she gently brushes a hand through her hair. "The request to rent out the shop for an evening was not just a cover. For the record. I'd like to have the technicalities handled before I leave." she says with a soft smile.

"So I'm ready to do that. There are other things I have to do today." she says a little sadly. "But are important. Such as food shop." because the donut cupboard only has thirty boxes left!
Alexis Raskoph 2019-07-02 20:26:13 105885
    "... Could you at least *pretend* not to laugh at a man's resolve?" grumbles Alexis with a quiet little huff let out.

    He goes to push himself up from his chair, then, when the talk shifts towards... well, non-magical shop talk. "... I'm gonna go ahead and leave you to it. I'm not really a party organizer."
Lacrima 2019-07-02 20:27:06 105886
Maria Hanazawa softly smiles just a little at Alexis. "I'll see you in a few moments, this won't take long." she says. "I hope."