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Um... Here's Your Car.

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Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:27 pm

(June 2nd, 2012)


Oh, Zeus. Oh... ZEUS. This was... going to be so many levels of strange. It could go fantastically perfect or terribly wrong. Csilla had been looking forward to this road trip for AGES. But now that the day had arrived, Csilla was kind of, really, nervous. She had made the last minute to call Shula in a panic, asking that she join her on the road trip. And Shula was more than happy to oblige to her freaked-out-friend. Both had cashed in some vacation time and were on the road in the bright morning sky. Shula had managed a quick text to Spade, telling him of the road trip. He hadn't been... pleased, exactly, but! Friends had to do what friends had to do. It was a 12 hour drive and the first nine were spent blasting loud music from the open windows of Elastor's white Porsche. The two friends had alternated driving, making sure to stop occasionally for snack-food-refills and strange pictures at very roadside oases. They crashed for the night in a quiet Cretan bed & breakfast. Csilla didn't sleep very well that night, having the most horrible nightmares. Nightmares in the relation of Ela being dead or hating her for showing up. The options were pretty much endless. Morning came and with it, a huge Cretan breakfast. It was super delicious and Csilla managed to consume most of it, if only because she heard her grandmother yelling at her that eating breakfast was good for her.

The last three hours of the road trip passed by both hare-fast and turtle-slow all at the same time. The plan of attack was simple, as Elastor was a simple man. It was a bright Saturday morning and it would be just around noon when they entered London. Csilla was driving and was at this point, NOT shaking. Win. She was in fact, drive-dancing, truth be told. As she was cleaning her apartment a few weeks ago she had found her old CDs from when she was a young teen. She was currently torturing Shula with the serious perky power that was N'Sync.

Every little thing I do
Never seems enough for you


And bob from side to siiiiide.

You don't wanna lose it again
But I'm not like them


Make weird faces and bob head back and forth.

Baby, when you finally
Get to love somebody (somebody)


Dramatic pause!

Guess what (guess what)
It's gonna be me!


AND HANDS IN THE AIR!



Putting her hands back on the wheel, she flashed Shula a silly grin. The grin faded as the skyline of London came into sight. She even grimaced a little. With a tiny sigh, she turned down the music. “So, here's my plan. Since it's Saturday, ideally, he would be home. If he's not, we try his job. If he's not there...” Csilla shrugged her shoulders heavily. “I don't know.” The GPS decided to lead them to Elastor's apartment, because he had been so kind as to leave that behind as well. Csilla carefully pulled into the parking lot and parked in an empty spot. She turned the car off and then not-so-gently pushed her head into the steering wheel. “I don't know if I can do this...” She whispered before raising her head with a nervous smile. “So you'll stay here and I'll text you if he's there, like we planned?” Getting the affirmative and a quick hug from Shula, Csilla got herself out of the car. She walked to the door of the building and turned back to wave at Shula one more time. Then it was a deep breath and through the door!

And up the stairs. SO MANY STAIRS. Why did the elevator in Ela's building have to be broken? Seriously? Oh well, it gave her an extra FOREVER to go over her outfit. She had chosen carefully. Her new boots from Christmas, pulled over some skinny jeans. She had a black tank top on and she had Ela's scarf skillfully wrapped around her hips, thanks to Shula. Hair was getting long, a good four inches past her shoulder. She had tied up half of it, leaving the rest hanging down. The whole “what to say” thing was not quite resolved as she finally got to his door. A nervous smile plastered on her face, she knocked firmly on the door. AND SHE HEARD FOOTSTEPS BEHIND THE DOOR! Her smile grew larger and she resisted the urge to flee as she thought her heart was going to burst right through her chest, it was beating so hard. The footsteps came closer and closer... and then locks came undone. The door opened.

Thumpthumpthumpthum-...

Csilla's heart stopped beating and dropped into her stomach. Her smile faltered from frenized excitement to embarassed nervousness. This was most definitely not Elastor. But this was his apartment. She was quite sure of that. Oh, Hera! She had to say something... but what?? “Um... Hi. Is... Elastor at home?

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Anouk Ueda on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:58 pm

The hardest part about opening any new business is actually starting. Every entrepreneur worth his salt would agree to that. Anouk had everything she needed to start and since she'd gotten back from Drachma, every ounce of her conscious energy had been devoted to getting her new pub started. Good to his word, King had given the old bar to his new tenant, and... it needed love. Lots of love and work. The area wasn't the greatest, and the building had been a bar before, which made things easier, but it had suffered from years of disuse. King just hadn't gotten around to putting money into that one yet, finally got the building paid for and had been letting it sit idle; lucky break for Nu.

The contracts were finalized and stock was in place, everything ready except for her revamps of the bar itself. Elastor had cleared his sister's record of the murder charges since those she'd hunted and killed were enemies of Creta, but trying to emerge back out into the light and rebuild her reputation was a shaky thing, the widow feeling so uncertain about things without the keen business mind of Ryosuke to be the net to her tightrope act. But she would manage, for his and her family's sake. She'd come too far to turn back now on anything. And so day after day was poured into what would become the Steel Rose, the bar's windows all papered over with signs declaring that they would be soon opening. Today, however, Anouk was not there hammering away, reading the DIY books on hanging drywall or repairing broken fixtures, dancing around the electrician and the freelance handyman she'd been lucky enough to be able to barter with as she slowly got the gloomy and kinda spooky-looking old bar morphing into something presentable. No, today Anouk was actually home.

The table was her flat filing cabinet and office right now, pages of blue prints rolled out across the table and held in place with coffee cups. Plain and white marking pencils and erasers were scattered, notebooks open with pages of notes scratched across them. Nu's budget was under consideration. She'd been on the phone all damn day with her last insurance companies and was trying to get them to issue her insurance check to her new address since she'd rather abruptly vanished from Vegas. All of her savings was gone, spent bargaining for information and leads while she was on the run, as was her nest egg. But the insurance from the Green Dragon was still there, as was one other policy that Nu wouldn't touch; Ryosuke's last gift and attempt to care for his family. Every penny of that, though, Anouk had decided was for Kenta and Kitaro. Anouk sighed tiredly, her auburn curls a stressed mess and falling all over her as she laid her head down on folded arms, a vague headage starting to growl in her temples.

She almost didn't hear the soft scooting noise of the chair next to her pulling out, zoning out as though she were trying to phase through the table and space away the pain, not looking up until she felt the cool edge of a plate nudge her arm. Anouk sat up, blinking and then smiling as she saw the sandwich and Kitaro sitting there next to her, high up on his knees to make himself taller. Soft brown waves framed the child's face, the little boy's expression not the shining beacon of mirth it had been, replaced by something much more serious and grown up than Anouk was used to. She didn't know that she'd ever get used to it. "Mama, you haven't eaten today." Looking around at her mind scattered across the table, Kitaro was right; Anouk was only running on coffee, the remnants in her cup ice cold, neglected by the woman's work-drive. She let out a soft chuckle, leaning back in her chair as she picked up half of the messy sandwich, dark red jelly smooshing and oozing out over the side of the bread in a glob. Kitaro watched his mother like a hawk, as though making sure she ate was his sole duty, only relaxing down onto the seat when he was sure his mother would eat the whole thing and that it was also good. Four bites in was when Anouk finally realized that the whole apartment was quiet... too quiet. Her hand wiped down the thigh of her jeans as Anouk looked around, confused by the lack of Sesame Street and Kenta singing along.

"Where's your brother?" Tiny legs swung back and forth over the side of the chair lazily, Kitaro finally giving a small, proud smile.

"Napping. You were busy, so I did it." Anouk smiled gently, reaching her other hand out to ruffle her eldest's hair lovingly. He really had grown up so much while he was gone from her and had become quite the man of the house (though she didn't wonder if some of this was being modeled after his uncle's behaviour). Anouk and her boys... It was different, all four of them living in Ela's small apartment. But it was wondeful.

"You're such a good brother, Kitaro." The other half of the sandwich quickly vanished, Anouk set to dive back into what she was doing when soemthing caught her attention- a knock on the door. That was odd. Who'd be calling at this time of afternoon? Package maybe? Pushing away from the table, Nu stood and moved to answer, unlocking the safety latch and the bolt before opening. There could have been anyone on the other side of the door, but of all the possibilities, Anouk hadn't been expecting a woman. She looked Csilla up and down as she fidgeted, seeming equally surprised to see her standing there. "Eeto..." The girl seemed almost panicking and looking ready to bolt like her ass was on fire. She was too old for Ding Dong Ditch, and this apartment was far too high up for that much effort. "Something I can help you with, miss?"

“Um... Hi. Is... Elastor at home?”

Anouk blinked. Ela? Who was this girl looking for Ela? He hadn't mentioned he was expecting company. She looked at Csilla carefully. She was a pretty little thing, whoever she was... and she didn't seem like a threat. "Elastor? He's not home yet." She didn't seem like a danger, but after everything Anouk had seen nothing would surprise her anymore, so she didn't want to give away too much to a stranger. "Are you a coworker of his?" Anouk stood in the doorway, trying to get a feel for the blonde fidgeting in front of her when she felt the small hand of Kitaro lightly grasp the leg of her pants, the child scooting around Anouk's thigh to look up at Csilla warily.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Shula Brighton on Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:17 am

Spontaneous cross-country road trips with a best girlfriend in a hot car with music blasting was the stuff most teen-oriented chick-flicks were made of. Shu had watched them plenty during the years she was trapped in her house; most of them sucked and had more than vapid plots as they starred mindless popstars and whoever was popular at the time, but that was never what she'd paid attention; it was the going that got her. The expanse of Amestris (or sunny Creta where a lot of them were filmed), the mountains off in the distance, the wind whipping over the car as they sped along.... That was honestly something Shula had wanted all her life, but never having any close girlfriends, it never really came up.

So when Csilla told her that she needed to make a 12 hour car in the rather sexy white Porsche that had been simply left for Csilla to use after that strange and abrupt date she'd had a few months back, how could Shula say no? A 12 hour drive from Central to London, Creta... London! Fabulous historical city with culture and art and weird burt food and awesome accents! So what if she couldn't actually speak or understand Cretan? Shula still had that handy little phrasebook Acra had given her and a few words she could butcher, and she could at least manage please and thank you. Harder phrases like 'Where is the bathroom,' 'I'm lost,' and 'I'm sorry, I can't give you my phone number. My grandmother is on fire,' were all ones Shula didn't really understand well enough to memorize and really needed that book for.

Despite Shula's enthusiasm and determination, Spade hadn't seemed too thrilled to get her message that she was being whisked off for a few days heading out of the country. She wasn't in any danger at least! Not this time. She was safe with Csilla, and dammit, Shu wasn't about to let Csi make that kind of drive alone! Especially since Csi didn't know if this Elastor was still at the address on the car's insurance papers in the glove box, if he was even still alive.... But Shula reasoned he had to be alive; dead people don't pay car insurance, and even in another country, someone would have traced the numbers and pointed out that the car wasn't being paid for by anyone. Money talked. But whatever the outcome, it wasn't something you let your best friend do alone; Csilla needed her there for moral backup! So Shula had told Spade she'd be with Csilla driving to London to see her friend and back in a few days, that she loved him and that she'd keep him posted. The Xingese detective had only replied with OK. Ohhhh she was in for it later, wasn't she? Shula actually did feel pretty guilty about it, between the harmonized boy band songs thinking of how she'd make it up to Spade for running off so suddenly. It was a wonder he put up with her and that he hadn't leashed her by now. He said he went to college in Creta... Maybe I should bring him back something nice? She'd figure something out. Something to make up for all the stress she knew her pinball life caused him.

The music made Shu gag a little, but she ignored it, laughing as Csilla seat-danced whilte driving, the outdated and very perky boy bands blasting for the last few hours of the trip. It made them even for dragging Csilla out to the Niveus Corvax concert and moshing, Shu supposed as she cranked the music louder. Besides, music like this was more fun if everyone had to suffer it a little. The music turned down to a more civilized volume as London came into view, Shula's face definitely matching that of the awe-stricken tourist. The GPS was politely directing the Porsche to Elastor's apartment as the dancing stopped, Csilla looking more and more dread-stricken each mile into town. “So, here's my plan. Since it's Saturday, ideally, he would be home. If he's not, we try his job. If he's not there... I don't know.” Shula moved her hand over to Csilla's shoulder and gave it a light squeeze as the car came to a slow, parking in the large garage. She squeezed again as Csi's head came down against the steering wheel. "Gibberish with an accent and words that sound weird." “So you'll stay here and I'll text you if he's there, like we planned?”

Shula nodded with a soft smile. "Yup! Phone's on me and still working here from what I can tell, so just shoot me a text to let me know if he's here or not. If not, I'll plug in the work address... We'll find him, Csilla! Don't worry." Shula really had no idea if he'd be here, but her logic was pretty sound; ghosts didn't pay expensive insurance on sports cars, so someone was footing the bill, and it didn't make sense that someone other than Elastor would pay for his car and never come looking for it in the country next door. She watched as Csilla left the garage and made her way up before leaning back in the seat, pulling out her phone to pull up some good music. The beats of Equinox came up, pounding softly through the tiny speaker of the phone, Shula relaxing back in her seat as she waited. So the guy may or may not be home, was probably alive but hadn't contacted Csilla since their date that she came home crying and upset from. If he makes her cry again, I'm gonna burn his ass. Bored now. This apartment building had way too many floors, and she didn't know how long Csilla would be... Her fingers flicked through her phone, lazily scanning through saved pictures of her and her friends and lots of her and Spade. And there was that guilt again. Shu sighed. Right. Check-in. [b]Hey Spade! Oh the excitement. Sitting in a parking garage while Csi checks to see if her friend is home. But wanted to let you know we got here okay. Miss you.[/i] Flicking away from the message inbox, Shula sighed and closed her eyes, listening to the soothing drumming and wailing of strange medieval instruments and the rogue bagpipe whining as she waited for a text.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:56 pm

"Elastor? He's not home yet. Are you a coworker of his?"

Ah ha! So she hadn't managed to screw things up! This WAS his apartment. But he wasn't home... BUT! She hadn't said “No, he's not home because he's dead.” So that was a really good thing! Csilla's smile brightened considerably as she solidified the knowledge that Elastor was not dead at all. It made her heart starting beating again, which was also a very good thing. Yet, she still needed to give a response. But what? She was still unsure of the identity of the women in front of her... she didn't want to say something to get herself in trouble. Or something worse, even! She opened her mouth slightly to begin to respond when a noise caused her to look down. A little face was peering behind the woman's leg, looking at her with... WITH... OH BY APHRODITE!

She felt her heart begin to melt a little as she looked down at this mini-Elastor glaring back up at her. He was beyond lovely and had that stern glare... but wait! Did that mean that... he was Ela's??? Oh goodness! The problems just continued! Csilla managed to stamp down a look of despair, responding to Anouk, it only being about a moment since she had spoken. “Um, you could say that. I...” Hm. Coworker wasn't exactly the right word. She couldn't say love interest or girlfriend because she had no idea if she was either. But she also didn't want to make herself come across as some stranger. “I helped with the protection detail of Lord Dietrich during the Drachman war. I was a liaison from the Amestrian military. Elastor... he saved my life out there.” He had saved her so many times... from so many things. But that didn't exactly explain why she was here. She fished around in the back pocket of her jeans. Elastor's barren car keys came up, now artfully decorated with a sun keychain. “I'm returning his car.” She smiled at Anouk and glanced down at Kitaro, opening that it would help prove her innocence and maybe get a word out as to who they were. She didn't want to assume the worst that Elastor had a girlfriend/wife and kids behind her back, but honestly she couldn't think of any other reason why a woman and kid would be at his apartment. All she really wanted to do was see HIM. As an afterthought she mentioned, “I'm Csilla, by the way. Major Csilla Angelis.

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Anouk Ueda on Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:18 pm

The young woman still seemed a bit uncertain, almost matching Anouk's uncertainty as she tried to sift through everything she and her brother talked about over the months that wasn't related to the problems that had been at hand. Ela hadn't mentioned many of his coworkers by name, and certainly never classed them as his friends. If she was a coworker of his, her coming to the house was a first as far as Anouk could tell, especially given how unsure she seemed about if Elastor was there or not. "Um, you could say that." Okay, so a sort-of coworker of some kind. Progress. Kitaro's small fist relaxed its grip on the denim of Nu's jeans slightly as the boy inched a bit closer, still watching Csilla very carefully. Anouk's hand came down and found the top of Kitaro's head, fingers brushing through soft brown waves. "I... I helped with the protection detail of Lord Dietrich during the Drachman war. I was a liaison from the Amestrian military. Elastor... he saved my life out there.”

The bartender's postrue and guard relaxed more, the woman letting out a soft chuckle. "He's good at that," Nu said, still gently scritching her son's hair.

"I'm returning his car.” Ohhhh, so that's where Ela's porsche had been. A teensy smirk crept onto the woman's lips. Sooooo.... saving pretty girls from a foreign military AND lending them his car for months? That.... was so Ela. That kid was a piece of work. “I'm Csilla, by the way. Major Csilla Angelis.” Nu smiled, holding her hand out to shake the girl's firmly. She seemed like a nice girl, and Ela wasn't dumb; he wouldn't just lend his car to someone that he didn't trust at least a little.

"It's nice to meet you, Csilla. I'm Anouk Ueda, and this is my son, Kitaro." She gave a soft tap to his head, looking down to see the boy still staring up at Csilla with that look that was so like Ela's until it turned shy, Kitaro burying his face into Anouk's thigh and only now watching Csilla from one eye as a muffled "hullo" was murmured into the fabric. Anouk only shook her head slightly before looking back to her guest as she opened the door more fully for Csilla. "My brother should be home soon, so if you want to come in and wait, you can thank him in person if you like."

Kitaro let go of his mother's leg, instantly running back a few feet, taking his eyes off Csilla long enough to look at Anouk as she waited for Csilla to come in and shut the door behind her. Nu looked to her son as he lingered, as though waiting to be told more fully what was going on, less afraid of the strange girl since his mother let her in. "Kitaro, will you turn on the kettle please? "Please, make yourself comfortable. Sorry about the mess." Kitaro nodded with a soft nn, running into the kitchen to push the button on the big electric kettle. The livingroom, while not horrible, did show the signs of small children living there, the floor dotted with a few stray crayons around a workbook, a truck shoved under the sofa and a bear half-submerged in between the cushions of the sofa. [i]Crap.]/i] Anouk hated leaving things messy, but she'd really just been so absorbed in hr paperwork all afternoon that cleaning hadn't even registered. Toys and things gathered into Anouk's arms to shove them into the bin where they belonged, Nu glancing over her shoulder at Csilla. "So Major, do you live around here now?" Csilla said she represented the Amestrian military when she'd worked with Ela, but surely she hadn't driven all the way from Amestria into Creta. That was a long-ass drive!

The living room was quickly tidied, the water in the kettle still heating up, despite Kitaro staring at it as though trying to make it go faster. Giving up, the child clambered onto the stepstool to get a plate and raided several fat, round tea cakes from a jar to plate them. He gave another annoyed glance at the kettle as he carried the plate out of the kitchen with careful, quiet steps, moving closer and closer to Csilla before holding the plate out to her. Slowly he looked up to her face again, not smiling but trying to be friendly to the girl his mother was talking to. "Want one?" If they were any quieter, Kitaro's words would have either been mumbled or sent telepathically. But he was trying, Anouk noted, and so maybe there was hope that her little boy would come back closer to the way he was.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:03 pm

"It's nice to meet you, Csilla. I'm Anouk Ueda, and this is my son, Kitaro. My brother should be home soon, so if you want to come in and wait, you can thank him in person if you like."

Csilla extended her own hand, shaking Anouk's as she giggled at Kitaro's muffled greeting. SO CUTE. Then the rest of Anouk's words hit her as the door opened all the way. Brother... BROTHER!!! A girlish squeal emitted itself in Csilla's mind, although outwardly a grin grew across her face. This was his SISTER. The one that he had left her for! Wait... that didn't sound right. He had... gone to save her! And he clearly must've succeeded! Elastor wasn't dead and his sister looked just fine. So this was a definite bonus! Anouk didn't take the keys from her, so she slipped them back into her pocket for the time being. She nodded, “That would be wonderful, thank you.” Csilla walked into the apartment, watching Kitaro disappear into the kitchen. She waved a hand, smiling as Anouk apologized for the mess. “It's not a problem; kids do what kids want to do. Include make messes.” She recalled that Elastor had said that Anouk had “children,” but she wasn't sure how nosy she had wanted to be. He had also specified that a husband had been “taken” with said children. She wasn't sure how the problem Elastor had hinted at had played out, but she certainly didn't want to ask Anouk and get herself beat up or something.

So Major, do you live around her now? Csilla stepped into the living room, standing to the side as Anouk finished tidying up the room. She decided that sitting down without being asked would be rude so she remained standing. She managed to look at a little sheepish at the question. “You can just call me Csilla. And... Not exactly, no.” She wasn't sure how to explain it, but luckily she was saved by Kitaro.

Want one? Csilla's heart swelled as she looked down at him. Athena, bless this child. He was precious. His words had been so quiet, but she had managed to catch them. She crouched down so that she was more level to him. She nodded and lifted one off of the proffered plate. “Thank you very much, Kitaro. Tea cakes are delicious, but always taste better when you get to share them. Will you have a tea cake with me?” She glanced up at Anouk. “If it's okay with your mother, of course.” Csilla remained crouched a foot or two from Kitaro, holding onto the tea cake. He seemed far too quiet and shy, and she didn't want that. She didn't want him to be nervous around her and she definitely wanted to prove to Anouk she wasn't any kind of threat. Or some kind of weirdo.

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Elastor Ito on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:24 am

Bagpipes. The faint wailing of bagpipes alerted the redhead to there being something quite off. He couldn't exactly place it in words, but bagpipes...? He had pulled Nu's new neon pink Porsche into her usual spot, sporting a bag of milk and various other essential items for children (of which he wouldn't be caught dead with, but his sister was frazzled beyond recognition, thus forcing him to do the shopping for her). It was a rare day off; there were no excuses (not as if he would have given one), but at the same time, he'd rather spend the day watching Sesame Street and eating chocolate covered raisins than, well, this... To avoid judgement from the cashiers that fairly recognized the regulars at his usual grocery store, Ela drove all the way across London to a different one. And it just so happened that this one was HUGE. The list said waffles, but what kind of waffles?! There were 47 different kinds! He was trapped--deer in headlights trapped. He was so bewildered that he milled about the frozen aisle for about an hour until an old saleslady meandered over to ask him if he needed help. NO, he did NOT need help. Aghast, he grabbed the first package within reach and tossed it into the basket. Blueberry. If they didn't like it, they could do their own damn shopping.

He was holding a basket. That in itself managed to irk him enough to demand assistance with the--with the...mini corn dogs. Just what...did these kids eat. You know what, no. He was buying cucumbers, lettuce, peanut butter, and not fish sticks, macaroni, or any of that other poisonous, brainwashing, children's food. No. They were going to eat healthy from this day onward. He turned to the lady with a stern look. "Take me to the whole foods section." He had said. And that was that. The only items he managed to accomplish on the list was: milk, eggs, and blueberry waffles, but he was proud. That was until the shrill of bagpipes invaded the buzz of accomplishment that came with making a life-changing decision. Squinting into the distance of the parking garage, a very familiar frame caught his eye. That was...that was--

Nu's new car was quickly locked and left in its spot as the very serious royal guard speedily walked up to his own white Porsche. That was his plate, his perfectly white exterior, everything was the same, but that certainly was not his music. He rapped on the window lightly, but the music was so loud the Ishvallan inside didn't seem to notice. But what Ela noticed was that she was in the passenger seat with her seat belt still on, meaning that she hadn't driven it. Someone else had. Csilla? He cocked his head to the side and knocked loudly, his eyes a whole other level of glare. Impatiently, he swung the unlocked door open and loomed over her. "Why are you in my car?"

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Shula Brighton on Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:22 am

You know, for only being big enough to slip in and out of her purse, Shula's iPhone had really awesome speakers and she was actually rather glad she'd been talked into it. Shula sat contentedly in the parking garage in London, waiting and blasting another Niveus Corvax song. Hopefully Csilla would know soon whether or not her friend was here, at work, Mars, or something. London was a fabulous city that had made Shula's sheltered heart squeal slightly; for once, she was in another country willingly, not for work reasons, war reasons, or anything dangerous or scary. Hell, her father had even given her a short list of boutiques she and Csilla should hit up if they were in those areas to say hello to contacts of his. But she'd be patient. The city wasn't going anywhere. For now, Shula would zennify herself as best she could, limiting her world to this white Porsche that was a lot of fun to ride in and close her eyes to soak in the awesome yumminess that was Alea. Despite the heavy eyeliner, endless stash of dark, swooshy, leather coats and spikey black and red hair, the lead singer was very cute. Way older than Shula was, but still decent-looking shirtless, and the lyrics were always what got her.

This song, though. This one was Shula. Even if she couldn't explain how she'd always resonated with it, she knew what the words meant to her. Last Words was that kind of song. So much of her life had been preparing to die without ever really living that now it seemed even more correct; accepting just one finger of Death's hand was accepting defeat. "Und wenn mich einst des Todes Finger greifen, Wenn nichts mehr bleibt und niemand bei mir ist. Und wenn ich fort bin, wird es sich erweisen, Wer an mich denkt und wer mich schnell vergisst~" Shula sat in the Porsche, eyes closed as the medieval metal blared out of the tiny speakers, the Ishvallan singing along contentedly. This song was perfect for this road trip. Love, life and death, discovery, prancing around to try new things in a life Shula and Csilla had never imagined for themselves... Oh Ishvalla, it was invigorating! And except that her reception in this garage seemed slow as hell, even waiting right now for confirmation from Csilla was just perfect.

Between her fingers, the phone vibrated hard, A text was coming through, chased immediately by a second, and third. Okay, so signal sucked and sent the messages through en masse. But at least they came, right? The music stayed on, Shula tapping the screen to check them, surprised that none of them were from Csilla; they were Spade's. Make sure the doors are locked Shula smiled. At least he didn't seem pissed about her going, though she'd still find something to make it up to him. miss u2 And it was nice that even when he was supposed to be taking it easy he'd still worry about her. not the band She couldn't help but laugh at that one. Dork. The bagpipes whined loudly as Shula moved the screen to tap out a quick reply.

It's okay, dear. We all love Bono.

Though dammit Shu wanted out of the car... all this sitting really was tiring, which was funny since it didn't involve doing anything. The temtation of a nap ran through her mind; Csilla was still up there, and Shu would text her in a few minutes if Csi didn't say anything soon. Until then she'd do what she said she'd do: wait here, and since Spade mentioned it, she'd lock the door that swung open very suddenly as a very pissed-off man hovered over her, giving Shula a look that could have peeled paint off a wall. "Why are you in my car?" There were several perfectly rational, adult ways to respond to this situation after all the issues of late in both countries. One was to calmly explain to the man who said it was his car that she and her best friend were here to return it and she was waiting for Csilla. That was the truth, plain and simple. Another acceptable response would have been to unhook her seatbelt and ask he give her space enough to exit the car, and then she could explain everything to him. Both were good options. But, being human, there's always a wild card in the mix, and sadly, neither option was immediately taken. Shula had been startled to say the least, and the look Elastor was giving her certainly gave her the impression that he was about to be less than civilized. So Shula's answer came in one breath and one word, at the top of her lungs and echoed off the garage's concrete ceilig.

"YAAAAA!!

The shriek was high-pitched, louder than Shula's music as it moved to the next song. Adrenaline raced through her veins, heart racing as her tiny fist clenched and her arm tightened to shoot upward. Fucking hell, was Spade psychic?! She was still buckled in and there wasn't a lot of room, and with this guy even less room but-- Wait. HIS car?! Shaking fingers moved quickly to pause the iPhone and let an awkward quiet erupt. Red eyes narrowed warily, severely disliking the lack of personal space. The scared girl in Shula shut up. The twitchy, jumpy, Amestrian General who didn't like strange people invading her personal space spoke up, growled, and returned the glare right back at the Cretan. "Back off! We're here returning it." She didn't once look away from him or let on to the fact that some part of her was rather intimidated at the moment; Shula was armed, and even though she wasn't about to reach for something, she refused to be seen as something someone could just glare into submission. And if this was the guy they'd driven all the way here to see... well, that was two votes for setting his ass on fire.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Elastor Ito on Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:32 pm

"YAAAAA!!"

...

That didn't answer his question. Ela's glare leveled out, arms crossed against his chest still holding the grocery bags which certainly wasn't helping him look as severe as he wanted to appear. The female who looked to be Ishvallan had in fact screeched. His ear drums were still committing suicide from the bagpipes and adding that horrid sound into the mix was a little more than Elastor was willing to handle at the current moment. His teeth grit together and a long intake of breath assisted him with not ripping her vocal cords out and strangling himself with them. Instead, he stood there looking rather calm despite going a bit wild on the inside. He shook auburn bangs out of his face and by the time he refocused on her, she had collected herself enough to--to...glare back. Okay, this wasn't just some ordinary woman that had stolen his car. His previous conclusion seemed almost imminent now; only a friend of Csilla could possibly go one-on-one with him. That settled things. He nodded to himself, lowering his arms to his hips so as to come off as less incriminating. "Back off! We're here returning it." Ela felt his head list to the side slightly in mild bewilderment. She talked too? Maybe he was losing his edge. Too much time being around children. Ugh. Usually people were silent when confronting his interrogations. Mmfff, all well.

He shot a side-long glance at his sister's Porsche before returning his eyes to the white-haired, red-eyed Ishvallan girl that had given him an order. Ela moved backwards a few steps, dropping one arm from his hip as one of the bags of frozen waffles, cucumbers and milk started to get heavy. He gave her a stubborn look as if saying fine, which soon transformed itself into a stupid-Amestrians-and-their-personal-space glare. "We?" Ela queried, knowing now there was no possibility of her not coming with Csilla. He scanned the interior of the tan leather seats to confirm that the blond-haired half breed wasn't ducking under the seats to avoid detection. "Where is Csilla?" He took a step forward again without thinking, but caught himself and moved back again with an aggravated sigh. "What are you doing in the parking lot?" Ah. The second the question left his lips in the foreign language of Amestris, Elastor realized the obvious. She must have gone to his apartment and left her friend in the car. ANOUK. His heart pattered suddenly and he stared behind him into the direction of his apartment, looking rather frazzled. Csilla knew he had a sister, but she didn't know that 1.) She lived with him, 2.) He had survived the ordeal with Takatori, 3.) He had survived the war, or 4.) There were children afoot. Ela slammed a palm into his forehead, forgetting he had an audience of any kind. Goddammit. This was getting more complicated each passing minute.

Slowly he turned back around and a nearly desperate look bled through the shields, icy blue melting into an periwinkle sheen. "She's probably meeting my sister right now." His voice had gotten colder, uncertain, and more than a little disturbed. He toted both bags into his left hand and shot another look at the backside of the apartment complex. He couldn't necessarily describe the feeling he was enduring at the present moment. It was something akin to wanting to get back into Nu's car and go 120 miles per hour on the freeway, leave the Ishvallan where she was and pretend he hadn't encountered her, and-- At the same time, he felt he was accepting everything as it came. He placed one beaten black boot in front of the other and found himself turning around with the keys clenched in his right hand and ready to unlock the door. "You can come in you know; the children don't bite too hard." His unnervingly bright eyes humored her for a moment, testing out a new theory which concurred that older sisters are impossible to block out.

In more ways than one, Ela was certain that Csi was having a field day with the nephews. He cringed inwardly, hoping that maybe he would survive this to live another day. Sweating in his light, grossly orange tank top and white cotton pants, Ela was wondering how much of an impression his go-grocery-shopping-at-god-awful-hours-of-the-morning-for-ungrateful-ingrates attire would have on the Amestrian militant most likely waiting inside. It was an intriguing thought that washed away as they entered the carousel revolving doors and was boredly greeted by the man at the front desk. Elastor didn't give him a second glance before he went immediately to the stairs, stopping on the first. "You can take the elevator. Top floor." She didn't take to the idea probably less out of laziness and more out of the fact that this was her first time in the building. It was rather easy to get lost. Ela nodded in affirmation and continued to ascend the long flights up to the last door. He pried it open and held it for the Ishvallan for half a second before prancing down the hall to his door. Key injected, he used his shoulder to fling it open for the two of them.

"Back," was his unenthusiastic greeting. "And I've brought your friend." He dropped the groceries unceremoniously on the kitchen table, eyes capturing Kitaro analytically. He looked better bearing that plate than he had the last few days. It could be accredited to Ela's absence in the war or maybe not, but the boy certainly was less shy today. Hn, acceptable. His eyes churned from the kid and set to Csilla for the first time since entering, but he found himself now at a loss of words, half ready to be reamed out, but more ready for the onslaught of questions that always came before the flame.

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:46 pm

Csilla's warm smile remained on her face as Kitaro quietly assessed her. Then he turned his head to look up at Anouk; Csilla risked a glance at the exchange. Anouk seemed mildly amused and nodded her head at Kitaro. Score! She looked back at Kitaro as he turned to face her, nodding his head. He took one of the tea cakes off the tray and held it up, giving Csilla a look of “Well?” She chuckled and took a bite from her tea cake, watching him do the same. She laughed and watched him smile the tiniest fraction as they two of them shared their cakes. Once it was done, Csilla licked at her fingertips. “That was delicious, Kitaro. Thank you for sharing with me. Do you think your mom might like one?” Kitaro turned on his feet, holding the plate out towards Anouk. Suddenly, Csilla heard a key turn in the lock. She felt her breath catch in her throat as Elastor unceremoniously barged in. He was... alive! Csilla felt her lose her center of balance, dropping from her crouched position and landing on her butt. She sat there for what seemed like hours, watching Ela put groceries in the kitchen.

Back. And I've brought your friend.

Csilla started breathing again, even as her eyes narrowed slightly. THAT WAS IT? She drove across a COUNTRY to see him and he knew she was here? Brought Shula up with him? Not even a “Hi Csilla, I've missed you” or “Sorry I forgot to tell you I'm not dead.” WHAT A JERK. AND WHAT WAS HE WEARING? AGHHHHH. She wanted to get up and throttle him. But he looked at her then, with those damned ice blue eyes. Her heart thumped hard against her chest. She got herself up onto her feet and closed the distance between them quickly, throwing her arms around him. She buried her head into his chest, taking a deep, shuddering breath. For a moment, all she wanted to do was just... revel in the fact that he was okay. Elastor was alive... that was definitely a steady, albeit faster than normal, heartbeat she was feeling. She then stepped back, dropping her arms from around him. She frowned and reached back. She then not-so-gently (and in fact quite hard) punched him in the arm. She crossed her arms over her chest, her brown eyes now dark with displeasure. Csilla was now truly aware of his existence and health. Time to be ANGRY.

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:36 pm

Bags still in his arms, the Cretan man finally backed up, giving Shula room to unhook the seatbelt, red eyes still locked on him in a traditional Amestrian look of "Now-stay-the-hell-back-there-and-out-of-my-bubble." Really. Shula knew that she wasn't too-well versed in Cretan manners and greetings, and she knew that some parts of Creta were much bigger on greeting strangers with giant squeezy hugs than others, and that a lot of people thought Amestrians still kissing cheeks in the more rural areas was weird. But personal space had to exist here, too. How could anyone in Creta get anything done if people were doing things like that?

Shula stepped out of the porsche, slipping her phone into her pocket and smoothing out her jeans and blouse, still keeping a distance from Ela as one of his grocery bags lowered, the plastic sticking to the gallon of milk inside. "We? Where is Csilla? What are you doing in the parking lot?" A thin white eyebrow arched slightly, Shula withholding the sarcasm that came with the obvious. If she was out here with his car at his apartment building, and the girl he left the car with wasn't here, then.... Facepalm. Ah, there it was. The redhead seemed rather frustrated at this rather than happy, but given that he just up and left Csilla in the middle of a date and hadn't contacted her since and Csilla drove TWELVE HOURS just to see if he was still alive since he was in some kinda trouble, a bit of frustration was expected. This was getting more entertaining.

Ela seemed to ponder for a moment, glancing up at the building and back before finally fidgeting with keys in his hand, turning to head up and out of the parking garage. His smile had lightened at least, and Ela was starting to seem less threatening, Shula's own natural defenses lowering slowly to match. This was the guy she'd driven 12 hours with Csilla to see, after all, and Csilla was nuts about him (or just slightly nuts), so he couldn't have been too bad, and Hallmark just didn't have cards for the rare occasions of Sorry I picked a fight with your boyfriend and accidentally scorched him. Those just wouldn't be big sellers. Shula ducked back into the white porsche just to grab her purse before locking the doors, deciding she'd follow him if he was heading up. Everyone else was up there. "You can come in you know; the children don't bite too hard. You can take the elevator. Top floor."

Looking up at the stairs, Shula recalled how tall this building was, and then also that she'd never know where on the top floor he lived. But his arms were full of groceries, so why didn't he just take.... Nevermind. She needed to stretch her legs, anyway. There was a quiet "danke' for the invitation, but Shula was quiet as she followed Ela up the many, many, many, MANY, HOLYFUCKINGSHITDOESHELIVEONTHEMOON?! How many fucking flights of stairs WHERE there?! Other than two per floor, but GOOD GOD! There was a soft puff blowing past Shu's lips as they finally arrived at the top and at his apartment, Shula taking a minute to glance out the hall's window at the view outside. Niiiiice. Okay, copious amounts of stairs forgiven for the awesome view. London was actually rather pretty, and from up here the wide view across the city was gorgeous. Her attention turned back as the key slipped into the door and unlocked it, Ela entering with Shula following, grocery bags plopped carelessly onto the table, breezing past Csilla and glancing down at a little boy with a plate of cookies who started to back away as even more people came into the house.

"Gibberish. Gobbeldygook noises." Shula shut the door behind them, giving a small wave to Csilla and a polite and very heavily-accented "Hallo." Her arms folded lightly over her chest, watching, and quiet, feeling a bit awkward being in a house full of people she didn't know. It was a lucky thing that Ela spoke Amestrian, but dammit she really needed to pick up Cretan sometime and hopefully Acra's phrasebook would help and Csill was glomping Ela. Shula smiled a bit. Csilla never said he was her boyfriend, even though she was pretty sweet on him, so a hug seemed like a good reaction to have. At least it wasn't anything vio- Csilla punched him. In the shoulder, but she punched him, and Amestrian military training taught even the softest-touching person how to hit HARD. Shu held back a snicker, though she couldn't help but grin a bit, terribly amused as she pulled her phone back out of her pocket to update Spade. We found Csi's friend. He's okay. She just decked him... Wish you were here. This trip is starting to get interesting!
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Anouk Ueda on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:43 pm

The mother couldn't help but smile quietly, leaning against the portion of wall that separated the kitchen from the living room, watching as Kitaro held that plate of tea cookies like a sheild. He was doing so much better, it was amazing, and Csilla coming that close to him... Well, it was like watching a feral kitten that wasn't sure if the human was a good idea or not, but the fact that the little boy was trying on his own made Anouk feel amazing. She gave a silent nod; normally she wasn't as fond of letting the boys have too much sugar in the day, but one tea cake wouldn't hurt, and she didn't want to impede progress. Csilla sat on her haunches, eating the round, fat cake as Kitaro nibbled at his own in the tinies of mouthfuls, pale yellow crumbs dusting down his hand and shirt onto the carpet. Oh well, she was planning on vacuuming after Ken's nap, anyway.

She wondered if Csilla was staying for dinner. Then again, she was Ela's friend, so he'd probably want to do things with her on his own, but wasn't it funny that he hadn't mentioned her... Nah, it's not. That's Ela, through and through. Anouk shifted around the wall into the kitchen as the kettle beeped, pouring hot water into the cups. Fruit tea with honey for herself, and she'd pour some milk for Kitaro if he wanted some. Really, those boys. What she needed was a damned cow for all the milk they went through. Letting her tea steep, the red fruits bleeding out into the water, she came back into the living room as Kitaro finished his tea cake. "That was delicious, Kitaro. Thank you for sharing with me. Do you think your mom might like one?" Anouk chuckled softly, taking one from the plate that her eldest so lovingly held up.

"Thank you, Taro." She looked back up to Csilla, pleased beyond words that her son was trying so hard. Csilla probably didn't know anything about what had happened; she didn't need to. But it was obvious that Kitaro was a shy boy, so Anouk felt more than warm toward the stranger if she'd managed to score even a few points with the very distant and still-shaken child. "The kettle's ready. I have black tea, fruit tea, and Ovaltine if you'd care for a cup of any of those. And please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable; I think I've removed all the traps from the sofa." Because it was always fun to suddenly sit on a toy samurai.

Keys jingled through the wall, the lock pins moving and opening the door to reveal Ela, and where had he been? She'd only given him a short list, and the grocery store was just a few minutes away. Frozen waffles, some mini corn dogs, some boxes of macaroni, milk, eggs, fish sticks, some bananas, and frozen veggies. Not a complicated list that should take too long, and just things to replace she was out of that made for easy breakfasts, lunches, and snack times for the boys since she had plenty of ingredients for dinners. Ela walked into the apartment, bags in his hands and... another woman following behind him. Dark skin, red eyes, and white hair. Ishvallan. Who was this? Was Ela starting a harem or something? The woman managed a 'hallo,' her Amestrian so thick you could beat someone with it. Anouk blinked, hoping some kind of explanation would come up as she went to sift the groceries that were dropped onto her flat filing cabinet. Back. And I've brought your friend.” Okay, so she was the Major's friend. That made a bit more sense, at least. Kitaro looked up at Uncle Ela, and then up at Shula warily, growing uneasy. Too many new people suddenly in the house, Kitaro took a few steps back and ducked into the kitchen shyly.

"Welcome back, got a kettle going for tea if you want some." Quickly grabbing the bags off the table to keep them from ruining paperwork, Anouk shoved them into the kitchen. Blueberry waffles. Kitaro would eat them. Kenta... might take some coaxing. Milk, eggs, and... cucumbers. Well, she liked cucumbers at least. The boys tended to pick them from salads, though. Maybe if she used a tiny Mickey-shaped cutter they'd eat them. And... Well, the majority of it was nothing on her list. Healthy. Very healthy, and stuff she had no qualms with cooking. Just stuff that might make for some very stubborn lunches. And seriously, did he get lost in there? Oh well. Foods were quickly put away, Nu coming back into the living room to see Csilla hugging Ela tightly. Awwww. "Thanks, Ela. And since your friend is here, and brought a friend, we seem to have a nice party going. They staying for dinner?" She smiled. They didn't get guests often, and the Major seemed like a sweet girl, but Anouk couldn't help but laugh a little in mild confusion and amusement as Csilla socked Ela in the shoulder with an audible WHAP! Okay, Nu liked this girl already.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Elastor Ito on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:28 am

Ela was quite aware of the effect his stare had on people, and frankly, he didn't care, but when Csilla fell off her haunches and right onto the cold floor, Ela had to fight to stifle a laugh. Quickly, he turned away, shielding his mouth from revealing the sound of a thwarted snicker. Auburn hair slanted over his face with the motion, veiling his expression for just a moment long enough to escape. He heard a motion--a rustle of clothing that he presumed was Csilla standing. In that fraction of a second, he turned his head to see, but she was already right there, breaching what separated them. Her arms looped around him, her cheek splatting against his chest as if it belonged there and had never left since the snowy shores of Drachma. Everything froze in memory, reality slamming down like Takatori's sword bashing against his own. The sparks danced around her, invisible to others, but jolting through him. A hairs breath away--he was a hairs breath away from getting lost.

Breath caught, words fading through a slew of water dropping from a cliff, piling--piling atop the piles of unthought thoughts. Trying to get away, but accepting--accepting it all in that same second. Still, the bewilderment was far too sudden to exert a reaction before she finished her quivering intake of breath and stepped away. Away. His arms dropped from their climb to her back, falling limply at his sides. She withdrew, pulling an arm back that immediately put Ela on edge. He saw it coming, but stood his ground, following her fist with his eyes as if it were in slow motion, grabbing her wrist before it connected. His eyes were blazing, a fiery blue haze, gathering around the glow emitting from them. He pulled, taking her balance so she fell towards him. The world narrowed down to just a few tiles of kitchen floor, her feet stopping on her toes, her lips lost into his. He kissed her, eyes closing in time to lose her shocked expression and not give two shits. It was short, brisk as he always was; Ela pulled away and opened his eyes. Need he say more?

"Tea," Ela said simply, quietly, turning to see Nu rejoin them at the entrance to the kitchen. He walked past her and went straight for the kettle, pouring himself a cup and grabbing a bag from the cabinet.

"Thanks, Ela." He looked up, icy eyes of inquiry. Then he saw the unpacked groceries. Oh. Never again. Make me go to that store to buy fish sticks and I will get my revenge count on it. She had a tendency to read his mind even when his thoughts stayed hidden behind the morbid glare he was giving her right now. Thanks isn't nearly enough for what I had to go through. The line was unbelievable. A snotty child was behind me, screaming. I was going to kill it. I think the mother suspected me. Nu was giving him an I-completely-understand look, but how could she understand what it's like to drive all the way to the other store just to avoid petty gossip and have to translate 'waffles' into a type. No. No, she couldn't possibly have any idea the gravity of enduring such an out of element situation.

"Hn."

"And since your friend is here, and brought a friend, we seem to have a nice party going. They staying for dinner?"

"Her name is Csilla." He looked up. "Would you like to stay for dinner?" He threw his tea bag in the trash and took a sip long enough to empty the cup. He put it on the counter and shot a look at the Ishvallan who clearly did not know even a word of Cretan. "You haven't told us your name yet." Implications were an art.

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:59 pm

Her well-timed punch of complete anger was easily captured. She barely had a moment to squeak out a protest as Ela's hand clamped down on her wrist and used her arm's momentum and a sharp tug to pull her towards him again. Her toes stopped at his but her top half kept going as chest hit chest and... lips touched lips. It was electric. It was like time just stopped and it was just the two of them. It was... it was over!

As quickly as it had begun, Elastor had broken away from her, going into the kitchen to make tea. She stood there for a moment, blinking. She then turned back to look at Shula, who clearly looked uncomfortable. She wasn't even sure she wanted to look at Anouk. Elastor seemed so completely unphased by just... everything. Yes, it had been quite some time since she had seen him and she was still learning to read his eyes rather than his blank face. But, by Hades! This was crossing a line! As Elastor coolly supplied what her name was to Anouk, she glanced at him with a frown. “She knows my name. My friend is Shula Brighton.” She then turned to look back to Shula. “Shu, this is Anouk Ueda, Elastor's sister. And her son Kitaro.” She tried to smile, feeling terrible at the obvious language barrier. But right now her mind was fuming. She walked into the kitchen and none-so-gently grabbed Elastor's wrist. “Excuse us.” She walked from the kitchen, mouthing “Es tut mir Leid!” to Shula as she dragged Elastor along behind her. She went straight for the open door of his bedroom, getting them both inside before shutting the door. She then whirled on him, her eyes a chocolate brown and sparkling with frustrated tears.

How DARE you!” She reached back her arm to punch him again, not really caring if she hit him or not. “You think you can just waltz in here and kiss me and expect everything to be all right? You LEFT me! You just left me alone at some fancy restaurant, telling me you might not survive!” Her voice broke and she reached her arm back to hit at him again. “And then when RIOTE attacked... I saw the White House explode!” A few frustrated tears ran down her cheeks as her loud, angry voice dropped into a shuddering whisper. “I thought you were dead...

Her eyes dropped to her hands, as if half-contemplating to hit at him again. She then looked up at him, into those icy blue eyes that haunted her constantly. That made her feel beautiful and loved in the same instant that she felt she was a bother and a nuisance. She couldn't understand those eyes... the range of emotions that always played across them. But they chilled her to the bone and warmed her heart all in the same moment. Acting entirely upon the instinct that leapt up in her heart, she put both her hand's on Elastor's cheeks. She tugged his face down to hers, even as she stepped closer to bring their bodies flush against each other. She pressed her lips to his and let her eyes close. She kissed him fervently, with every ounce of desperation, fear, loss and love that had tortured her since she had seen him last. She kissed him as if it was the first time... the last time. As if nothing else in the world really mattered. Because right now... nothing else did matter.

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:58 pm

This trip just got more and more interesting, Csilla's punch caught and transformed into a kiss that left the blonde stunned and the other woman laughing. The phone in her pocket vibrated. r u sure theyre just friends? Shula blinked, then smirked at Spade's text. He was one of Amestris' best detectives for a reason, she supposed; even not being a witness he could see things between the lines that she and others didn't pick up on so quickly. That, or he really was psychic, which also might account for things. Ela's gaze moved her way, instantly catching her attention as he drained his teacup. "You haven't told us your name yet." She blinked. She hadn't said her name, had she. And the last time they'd met she had only gotten quick glimpses of him since she was a bit preoccupied.

"Shu-"

"Babos eh pyita naami. Favas se har solo Shula Brighton." Csilla chimed in and answered quickly, and Shula managed to catch her own full name, so she could only assume Csilla was telling their hosts who she was and not just some random crazy person who liked to sit in nice cars alone in parking garages ater riding twelve hours to a place where she didn't speak the language at a-- Okay, maybe she WAS crazy. Csilla glanced at Shula again. “Shu, this is Anouk Ueda, Elastor's sister. And her son Kitaro.” Shula gave a tiny wave, her smile warming as she glanced from the little boy hiding behind his mother's legs and up to Anouk, once again managing a heave "Hallo." Csilla mouthed a quick, silent apology, grabbed Ela and hurried off to another room. Well... THAT didn't take long. Shu chased off the smirk that wanted to creep up. I know we didn't, but PLEASE tell me we didn't just drive twelve hours for a booty call. I'll kill her.

The little boy looked Shula up and down, staring hard at her face and keeping his distance before squeaking and ducking back into the kitchen, leaving Shula and Anouk awkward in the silence. Shula dug into her purse, flipping through the pocket phrase book from Acra, her brows knitting in concentration. "Sank youh. To meet youh ees naice." Like the beautiful, melodic harmonies of nails on a blackboard, Shula was attempting Cretan, her Amestrian accent so heavy you could stop a train with it. Anouk's wince at the butchered language was subtle but there, like pretending she didn't just lick a lemon. Shula winced herself. "Do you speak Amestrian?" The look on Shu's face was one of pure hope. Anouk gave an uneasy smile, holding up her fingers and making a gesture a small amount.

"A little. Would you want tea?" Shula could tell Amestrian wasn't the language the woman excelled at, and her tenses were a bit off, but at least there was some understanding. Shu nodded, glad to be getting somewhere as she slowly moved toward the sofa to sit, following a non-verbal gesture of her hostess. Oh good. At least they could communicate a little, and she seemed more friendly than the guy Csilla came here to see. Anouk vanished back into the kitchen and Shu pulled her phone back out of her pocket, typing hurriedly a reply to Spade.

I stand corrected. First my door gets opened before I can lock it, and now Csilla and he have run off to another room. You're two for two, dear. And remind me to learn Cretan when I get home. I suck.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Anouk Ueda on Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:55 pm

Sometimes, whether he knew it, admitted it, cared, or not, Elastor Ito was adorable, so sayeth his sister. Even though the deathglare he'd mastered since boyhood could still sour milk and peel paint, Anouk was immune to them, having had a lifetime of practice. Glaring at her in the kitchen as she'd put away her groceries, every single thought that dripped with disdain was telepathically transmitted, the brother and sister linked on the same frequency in close range. She nodded in perfect understanding, knowing that there were too many people and he couldn't find the strange things she'd asked for and the lines were horrible and traffic was hell... She knew. She understood. Anouk only grinned more, knowing that somewhat homicidal rage that was silently growling at her, seething and swearing to never go get waffles again. Fiiiiiine, fine. She'd stick to the shopping and leave him here to fend for himself with the boys. Anouk suppressed a giggle almost as Ela glared at her, Nu moving quickly to peck the end of Ela's nose with a sisterly affection that transcended love into the realms of pure irritation before he left the kitchen. Oh, she'd get it later, but sometimes teasing her brother was one of the greatest joys in life, and that was something she'd always done to him when they were small and he was glaring. Nose to nose glares were met for years by his sister broadly licking his face just for the reaction. She didn't lick him anymore, thankfully, but the nose-kisses were just as effective, and she'd passed that art onto Kenta, who was mastering the art of countering Ela's glares and grimaces with nose kisses.

Kitaro clung to Anouk's leg, worried by the influx of people in the house and creeping out of sight. Anouk's laugh still held, even as Csilla's punch was caught, held, and morphed into a soft kiss. Csilla would fit right in, and go little bro!! Csilla's stunned expression was priceless. "Her name is Csilla." Nu nodded with a soft chuckle, leaning against the wall with her arms folded across her chest.

"We've met.

As Csilla unfroze, she looked to their other guest, Ela, Anouk, and back to Ela. “She knows my name. My friend is Shula Brighton.” Aha. Shula Brighton. Odd mix; Brighton was almost a Cretan last name, but Shula? Well, the dark-skinned girl didn't look to be fully Amestrian herself, so who knows. Nu smiled, nodding in Shu's direction politely. "Excuse us. Ela was grabbed and yanked into the next room, leaving Ela's sister and Csilla's friend alone in an awkward quiet. Well... What would mom do? Random guests who didn't talk much that you didn't know were suddenly thrust on you. Um. Tea. All else fails, go to the Cretan standby and offer tea. And more tea. And... um.... Parcheesi? Card games? Anouk looked to Shula as she pulled out a little booklet from her purse, flipping pages and looking carefully at the lines of text. A tourist's translation book; oh good Lord, those were never helpful.

"Sank youh. To meet youh ees naice." Anouk tried not to wince. She knew how hard it was trying to work with a language you didn't know; it took her a while being in Aerugo before she was natural with it. But still.... WOW. That was bad. She must have realized how bad she was at it, looking sheepish and uneasy. "Sprechen Sie Amesterische?" Oh, the joys of Amestrian. Anouk spoke some. SOME. Enough to have stiff conversations and often using the wrong tenses on her verbs since it wasn't a majority of her trade and business partners before. Anouk moved her hand up, pinching the air with her fingers.

"A little. Would you want tea?" Her verbs and sentence structure needed refreshing, she knew, but at least Anouk could get her message across. Shula nodded, moving to take a seat when Anouk gestured toward the sofa. Nu vanished back into the kitchen, letting out a little breath. Well. Today was certainly interesting. Kitaro tugged at her pants, looking up at his mother.

"Mama... Who are these people? Are they staying here?" Ah. Nu knew that tone and look. There were strangers invading Kitaro's safe space and that was something she was still working on. Too much all at once. Kitaro was lifted up onto the counter as she waited for the tea kettle to heat back up and shook her head.

"They're just visiting, baby. They're friends of Uncle Ela's. They might stay for dinner, but there's no room to let them stay here tonight, so it'll still be us. Okay?" Kitaro nodded slowly, tiny legs swinging over the side of the counter, the child deep in thought as he started to accept what his mother said. Just visiting was fine. The two of them looked up and down the hall toward the bedrooms; the room Ela had been pulled into was shut, and the door next to it open just a little, allowing the soft sound to catch their attention. A grunt, then a soft cry, the sound grumpy from waking up too soon. Kenta was awake half an hour earlier than his norm. All Anouk could do was sigh, Kitaro already sliding off the counter to go help his little brother waddle to the bathroom and get the afternoon going. The six-year-old wasn't smiling, shooting a distinctly-Ela look at nothing in particular in his annoyance. Nu fixed a mug of tea for her guest and another for herself, a dull ache returning to her temples. It was going to be a very long afternoon.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Elastor Ito on Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:49 pm

Just barely out of the corner of his downcast eyes did he catch Csilla's vibrant frown. In that discreet display of emotion, Elastor Ito saw the future. Immediately, he was on edge--immediately, he regretted his actions, his words, not turning around and going 120 miles per hour on the freeway instead. The shock of the moment hit him quietly, searing at the edges of his mind and cursing each passing thought. It was an act of revenge--revenge for that time in Drachma--revenge for making him feel as though he had something to leave behind in this world. I'm sorry, he felt himself thinking--a poison in his mind as well as in his body. Ela leaned back into the counter, his knuckles white as they gripped the edge behind him. Azure eyes were ablaze like an iceberg that sunk the Titanic, rippling in panicked regret. Between them, they didn't have words--between them, why had he even contemplated what was between them? He let go of feelings long ago; he didn't deserve them. And yet. He had done this; it was nothing more than his own fault. He couldn't look away from her--he couldn't distance himself from the only girl he had ever walked away from. She was supposed to be dead. But he let her live. Let, no. It was something more...something much more.

"We've met." Ela sighed.

She knows my name. My friend is Shula Brighton. His eyes fell shut and he turned to the sink, grabbing his tea cup and proceeding to wash it. As his mind plummeted further down the drain with the tea-stained suds, he still felt the tickle on his nose--the sisterly swipe of a kiss that reeked of stubbornness. No matter what he did, he'd never escape again. Solitude was a lost inclination in the face of that action, so small it was easily missed. But he was always looking for it: some inkling that he still had a family--some inkling of humanity still left in his remains. The teacup, already clean, was continuously scrubbed like it would have had there been a vile ring engraved in the surface of the ceramic. There was not. It was as if he was trying to wash away something inside himself, yelling for him to run. Resisting instinct.

Excuse us. No. His wet wrist was grabbed, he turned his head slowly to send the objective signal to her, but she was was looking at her friend, Shula. He stopped resisting, grabbed the towel off the cabinet, and followed her through the ajar door of his own bedroom. At first, his senses were telling him it was dark, but soft nuances of sunlight bled through the closed shades, illuminating just barely the sparcity of his tastes. He dried his free hand off in the towel and then his other once it was freed. The door shut, and in due time, their eyes met.

How DARE you! He let her punch him--stared her straight in the eyes and took it, no emotion, no recognition. His head snapped to the side with the impact, healing scars from the war throbbing in defiance. You think you can just waltz in here and kiss me and expect everything to be all right? You LEFT me! You just left me alone at some fancy restaurant, telling me you might not survive! Her arm drew back, practically slow motion, his mind automatically calculating how to avoid the hit not yet thrown. He cancelled the immediate reaction to dodge, eyes fierce, deadly. He flinched, but it did not connect, Csilla's voice breaking into a frustrated whirlwind of emotion he did not--could not comprehend. And then when RIOTE attacked... I saw the White House explode! He was cornered, his teeth pressed tight against each other. His sword was in the corner to the side of him. She was now shedding tears because of what he had done to her. They sunk down like a miserable sunset, soaking into her collar. This was why. This was why he had let it go. Stupid, stupid, Ela. Don't you remember--don't you remember what happened to the last people you loved? I thought you were dead... A whisper of a withered rose, pulsing in summer heat, wilting even despite the thorns.

"It's better if you think of me as dead."

Her hands drew to his cheeks, his eyes a blaze of confusion. She pulled their bodies together, tugging his head down to meet hers. Their lips were thrust together, her eyes closing, but Ela's seething. She kissed him just as he had her, putting every word she had already spoken into each moment of her tongue. But Elastor wasn't listening anymore. "Stop," he hissed, forcibly pulling himself away from her grip. He turned away, wringing the towel in his hands with a deep shuddering breath. Pain darted through his insides, a poison so brutal it made him grab the door handle for leverage. He made it appear as though he were opening the door, twisting the nob just as he had the towel. There was a limit to how much he could handle--how much he could accept. Csilla would do better yelling at a wall than forcing him to see how much he ruined her. It hurt. As much as he would never admit it, the forming bruise on his cheekbone hurt far more than Vanity's poison ever would. He had a time limit--he lived on the grounds between normalcy and honor, loyal to the end regardless of whether he lived or died. Putting someone through that just as he had Csilla...felt the same as murdering his parents a second time.

Ela turned from the door, his eyes a serene lavender like the aftereffects of a storm. A soft expression etched into his features, laced with so many different things it was like staring into one's own expression and asking why. The faintest of smiles ghosted over his lips, a shine drawing over the reflection in his gaze. "I love you, but you can't do this." He opened the door and was gone.

.....................................................................................................................................


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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:27 pm

Stop.

Csilla released a soft cry as Elastor violently pulled himself away from her. She opened her eyes and watched him turn away from her. Watched his back physically turn and watched the walls visibly rise. Her hands fell to her sides and she could watch in mute shock as the wall grew higher and higher. Everything seemed to stop, this terrible moment was frozen in time. He was at the door and paused, turning back towards her. Emotion had crossed over is normally stoic face... something gentle and almost... her heart leapt up in hope. His eyes were soft, even a whisper of a smile on his face.

I love you, but you can't do this.

Her heart plummeted from that high spot down... down until there was just a hole. She watched him walk out of the bedroom... taking every positive emotion with him. Taking every good thought Csilla had ever had... every precious memory. She felt like a shell of herself and more than anything... she felt angry. Her eyes had darkened, almost black. Her voice was soft, laced with her emotion, but it carried well enough. "You have no right to tell me what I can and can't do.” He just kept walking, until he was out of sight, back into the kitchen.

Csilla bit down on her lip very hard to keep from crying out. She couldn't do this anymore. How could she love someone who made her feel so complete and yet pushed her away at every instance? Blinking back her tears, she looked down at herself. His scarf was still there, tied around her waist. Furiously she went after the knot, attempting to undo it. But by Hades, Shula had tied this securely. She began to shimmy, sliding off the scarf and kicking it off of her feet. She grabbed at it, rolling it into a ball. She couldn't stop the tears now. But what was the point? Clearly her feelings for him meant absolutely nothing. So why should she bother?

She stormed silently from the bedroom, feeling a tingling sensation in her palms as she did so. Her vision had narrowed... all that mattered was getting out. She made a small stop in the kitchen, placing the scarf down onto the table. She then reached into her back pocket, putting the sun-ringed keys on top of the scarf. She felt her knees began to shake, but she kept her eyes focused on that front door. There was a ringing in her ears, and she swiped at the tears threatening to spill as she pulled open the door. As soon as she managed to get through it and shut it firmly behind her, she almost crumbled. She managed to keep herself together, heading directly for the stairs. The elevators for the apartment ran up the center of the building, two staircases on either side. They were the usual square-circle pattern. While not gorgeous, they were decent enough. They had strips of carpet running over the center of each stair and the stairways were lit with decorative lamps, as well as the occasional window.

Csilla got down three flights of stairs before her legs finally crumbled again. She slammed down hard on the landing between floors, crying out in pain. But the pain was more than just physical. She couldn't fight back the tears any longer. She managed to pull herself into a sitting position, hugging her knee as it throbbed. She slammed her head down against her, as tears spilled. Poison. That's what this was. A draining and deadly poison. She wished that he had killed her that day, all those years ago. She wished that she had never fallen into that trap and seen him again. She would be living in blissful ignorance, going to the House of Pi with Shula every other week and drawing when she wasn't working. But no, her free moments were spent thinking about Elastor and debating when she would see him next. He had consumed her every thought and all she wanted to know is if he thought of her in the same way.

She had found out, yes. In the cruelest of ways. Once again, he had turned the tables on her. Was his so-called declaration of love really true? Frankly, his manner of going about showing such things was in all manners, unhelpful. And it was heartbreaking. Csilla didn't believe she could patch up her heart anymore; she had run out of bandaids. The tingling sensation took over her palms again and she looked down through blurry eyes at them. Gritting her teeth, she attempted to slow her ragged breaths, making them deeper and longer. The lights in the stairway began to flicker and then went out. All the lights from the top floor, down to five floors were dark, the light gathered in Csilla's palms. As it always did when she gathered this much light, she felt her palms begin to burn. Good. Let the burn of the pure light in her hands burn out every inch of emotion she had left. She was done with being hurt.

.....................................................................................................................................



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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Anouk Ueda on Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:43 am

Well, today was certainly shaping up to be interesting. She'd only sent Ela out for a few groceries while she did really boring, frustrating, and annoying as shit paperwork to try and get her accounts settled and get life legally restarted on paper. Anouk sighed inwardly as she watched Kitaro head off to the spare room as Kenta made it apparent he was awake. As long as she got the damn insurance work done this week, it'd be okay, and then soemtime soon she'd have to drive back out to Vegas to go sift what was left of their things. The hosue was locke dup, she knew, and things still in it, and she needed to pick up Ryosuke's remains and bring them here. Nu didn't know how she felt about it, and hadn't brought it up yet, but Ryosuke was still in Vegas, waiting, and being looked after by someone who probably had also written Anouk off as dead or better off dead. But that would all wait for another week. Right now, outsdide of the things that came with two small children and paperwork, other problems were presenting themselves to Anouk as she handed the cup of tea to Shula.

The bedroom was quiet for a long moment until finally Elastor came back out of his bedroom, looking less than radiantly happy about the Major being here, a mark already starting to discolour his cheek. Anouk's stomach sank, violet irises narrowing to take in what wasn't there before, instantly looking over every inch of Elastor that she could see without going closer or touching him. She didn't need to ask where the bruise came from, though, Csilla speeding out of the room, silently crying with pain thickly wafting off her as she put the scarf that had been around her waist on the table with the keys. Bruised cheek + hurricane woman = impending doom. It was a story Anouk had seen play out in her bar plenty of times, but the drama coming into where she lived was a different matter. That was her baby brother, and if someone hurt him, Anouk wanted to know why. Nu ducked over to the freezer, pulling out a bag of peas and giving them a gentle underhanded toss to Ela as the front door nearly slammed. "Put those on your cheek," Nu said, sounding more and more like their mother. "I'll be right back!"

Shula's mug was put down, the Ishvallan getting up to go after her friend when Anouk's hand grabbed the knob and looked over her shoulder at her guest. "Wait please." The front door opened and closed again, less slammy this time, leaving Shula, Ela, and the boys alone and baffled in the apartment. Kitaro lingered in the hall a moment, staring at the front door as his mother hurriedly left before deciding he'd usher Ken back into the room. The toddler was still sleepy, but would probably not be too thrilled about there being a stranger in the house and their mama dashing out the door. Nu headed to the middle of the hall and looked at the elevator; nope, the floor lights weren't flashing, so she hadn't gone that way... The stairs. Running to the end of the hall, Nu listened carefully for the tell-tale sounds of emotional girl on the run. Stiars on this side weren't it, but as she checked the opposite staircase heading down, Anouk heard her and started after Csilla, quickly and quietly, picking up the pace as she heard the blonde cry out a flight below her. Her steps only slowed as it suddenly became very, very dark in the stairwells, despite the sunlight still coming in through the windows. .....The hell? Random power outage?

Suddenly the light was nearly blinding, all of it condensed around Csilla as she sat at the landing below. Her hand went up to shield out some of the light, lavender eyes squinting down at Csilla. "Hey, Christmas Past. Dimmer switch?" Seriously. The shit was that? Hell of a party trick. Slowly, Anouk came down the last of the steps and sat down on the floor next to Csilla, letting out a soft sigh. She was rather miffed about the mark on her brother, but Nu was calm. She could swallow that for now in order to do the thing that bartenders, moms, and big sisters do so well when they need to be unbiased in order to figure out what's happening in order to know if it can be fixed and how. He'd never let on, but Ela was much more fragile than most people gave him credit for. Anouk knew that sometimes, finding even she'd forget here and there and only slight tells would be left as clues that no, in fact, Ela wasn't just 'fine,' no matter how much he'd say he was. Anouk knew she could fix a lot of things, too. But Ela never would have so openly kissed Csilla, even if it was only brief. He was trying to open up... So what broguht on the bruise? "Sooo..... Wanna talk about it?" Of all the things that could be broken and could be fixed, Anouk rather doubted Elastor was something even she'd be able to put back together, her little brother far too complex and rare a thing to go back to functioning with a glue gun and duct tape.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Shula Brighton on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:55 pm

Sigh. This trip. Seriously. Next spontaneous vacation where they ran away in a hot car blasting the stereo, Shula decided she was picking. Csilla had dragged the redhead off to a bedroom with the urgency of her ass being on fire, leaving Shula alone with Anouk and Kitaro, who'd gone back into hiding. Anouk was back in the kitchen as well, presumably fixing more tea; if nothing else it was kinda funny how the Cretan stereotype was at least a little true and that all problems could be solved by putting the kettle on. A thick quiet had settled in the living room until Shula's phone buzzed again, the text saving her sanity. 'if u suck, it may be difficult to speak Cretan, luv.' Shula's cheeks flushed slightly, the Ishvallan glad the living room was empty at the moment. It was funny how the process of knowing and then loving someone changed you so slowly that you never noticed it, though. There was a quick glance to make sure Anouk was still in the kitchen and there wasn't suddenly going to be a child glancing over the back of the sofa to peek at her texts; sure they were in Amestrian, but caution never hurt.

Sorry dear, forgot it's rude to talk with my mouth full. Shula was still fairly new to a lot of things, and the irony that Spade's perverse sense of humour was rubbing off on her wasn't lost on her as she smirked, closing her phone and slipping it back in her pocket. She gave a quiet danke as Nu handed her the cup of hot tea, the quiet resuming. Sure, Spade could text back, say, and do millions of things far worse and leave her blushing for days, but she figured that little note would at least get a laugh. Creta was Spade's home, at least for a little while. As much fun as she'd hoped to have on this trip with Csilla, part of Shu did still feel rather bad about going to Creta without him. Maybe I'll bring him back something stupid and touristy from a gift shop, just to bee funny. Or I'll be nice nad bring him back some kind of beer only made here in Cre--

Thoughts were suddenly interrupted as the bedroom door opened. That... didn't take long. Something was up. And as Elastor walked out of the room, alone, and Csilla lingered bhind for a long minute, Shula definitely knew something was very up. A moment later Csilla emerged, plopping the scarf and keys down onto the table and sped through the front door, shutting it hurriedly. Shula blinked. What... was THAT?! Csilla was crying because of this guy. AGAIN!! Red irises turned toward Ela darkly as Anoukd tossed a bag of frozen peas at him and yipped something in Cretan before running for the door herself. Shula put her mug down on the coffee table and grabbed her purse to run after Csilla, but halted as Anouk glanced over her shoulder, looking right at her. "Wait, please." Anouk.... was going after Csilla? Shu's eye twitched slightly as she sat back down, sighing heavily and running a hand through stark white hair.

"Mother of Ishvalla this trip just gets worse..." she muttered, picking the mug back up to take a sip of the hot tea in hopes of staving off the headache that was threatening her temples. Deep breaths, Shu. Csilla and you drove all the way out here to talk to this guy... She's crazy about him. She's crazy, too, but that's besides the point. Shula looked back over to Ela slowly. This wasn't the same fierce man she'd caught glimpses of in Drachma, or the one she'd heard so much about over the months from Csilla. This wasn't even the same man whose piercing gaze startled her in the garage twenty minutes ago. This man was different, new, and completely raw. She sighed internally. Yes, Shula had decided on the way here that if Ela made Csilla cry again she'd set him on fire, at least just a little. But the way he looked right now made it look almost like it wouldn't matter to him in the slightest. Going home with a heartbroken Csilla... The irritation hadn't been breathed out entirely, Shula annoyed and confused more than anything. Csilla was nuts about Elastor, but she'd run out crying and the guy's sister asked Shu to stay put so she could talk to Csilla instead. Really, right now Shula just wanted someone to stop and explain what the hell was going on anymore. Her expression softening entirely, Shula locked her eyes onto Ela's face, watching and trying to read him as best she could. "I know it's not really my business... But what happened? She's been dying to see you for months. You're pretty much the only thing that's been on her mind."
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Elastor Ito on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:42 pm

He felt her on his back like microscopic needles jutting through his skin and wiring their way into his chest that only grew tighter the more distance he transgressed. "You have no right to tell me what I can and can't do. She was right. She was so right--why did he even say that? She'd realize it eventually. Wrong moment, Ela. His nerves were melting off his face into puddles. He reached the kitchen and leaned over the sink as if he were about to plunge his head under the faucet to try and drown himself out of the current misery of a light-filled hurricane. He did no such thing, instead, staring into the metal as though a mirror, reflecting just the silhouette of a man barely holding it together. His hands gripped the sides, his breaths not calm, but pained with something greater building in his war-ravaged body. His cold, glazed eyes flickered up to take in Taro ushering Ken back into the room--back into ignorance free from the torrents of despair offered in the real world they glimpsed of. Their eyes met for a brief moment, a faint smile clasping Ela's lips. He nodded to the boy, perspiration gathering on his forehead as dizziness took him the first moment he was uncontrolled. The boys vanished beyond the closed door, anger resonant just a few strides from where he stood. The emotion staggered towards him, gripping with claws as sharp as a untame cat's.

A bag of frozen food came straight at him, his reflexes just barely reacting in time to catch the peas. Heavy rain sifting through plastic so cold it hurt: Shhhh, it silenced him as they gathered at the opposite end of where his fist gripped the bag. "Put those on your cheek," a voice commanded. He had to look up from the GREEN GIANT SWEET PEAS font to realize that it wasn't a ghost, but his sister. "I'll be right back!" He stared after her listlessly, noticing a scarf on the table and the keys to his Porsche. That was his scarf--the same scarf he had given her to keep her from the cold--the same scarf she had been wearing around her waist. That was his, wasn't it? Or at one time...had been his. The door went to close, but the girl, Shula Brighton, Head of South City in Amestris, was there to stop it wielding her purse and a fiery look. Ela recognized her now. "Wait, please." That was what he wanted to say to his sister. Don't go. The door shut and he turned his head back to the sink with a tremored breath.

"jskahf df Ishvalla dhadf ajkdhf eiwo wqews wkqjr..." The redhead buried his face in his hands, knowing he shouldn't even try to decipher the Ishvallan words she was speaking. Dead silence reveled in the moment, leaving Ela to concentrate on breathing evenly to outwit the poison attempting to get the upper hand, all the while knowing it was inevitable. Cornered and cornered again, he could only stare forward into the abyss of his own mind, stumbling about without a flashlight, dark and disastrous. Blue slid closed, his breathing speeding up quietly to near hyperventilation. His eyes squeezed shut now, the sharp pains unbearable. He pressed the bag of frozen peas against his head, brushing the forming bruise as well as the place he smacked it against the alchemic wall...a wall that separated him from his King--a wall that marked his failure. "I know it's not really my business..." His eyes shot open, the light--the focusing all too jarring. He met her red eyes with a single-eyed glare. "But what happened? She's been dying to see you for months. You're pretty much the only thing that's been on her mind." The glare fell away, and he turned back to the sink, clenching his teeth and tasting blood.

"She yelled at me." He coughed slightly, covering his lips with his free hand. "I can die at any time." He paused again, short of breath. "She can't handle that." He removed his hand from his mouth, scanning for any traces of poison. "But she blames me...for something I have no control over." He turned quickly back to his hand and coughed more violently, inhaling a shuddering breath before grabbing the kitchen towel and wiping his lips with it. "So I told her what she hasn't realized yet..." He drew the towel away covered in blood.

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Csilla Angelis on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:45 pm

Through the haze of bitterness she heard footsteps from upstairs and finally remembered that she had left her best friend behind. Just another reason to feel more stupid for having come here. She looked up in surprise when instead of Shula, she heard Anouk's voice, requesting jokingly for her to turn down the intensity of the light in her palms. As Anouk sat across from her on the floor, Csilla twisted her palm around, taking one half of the light in one hand. She forcibly threw the other ball of light against the wall, watching it shatter into flickers of light before it returned to the floors in the stairwell. She still held light from around three flights of stairs in her hand and she began to roll it around her hand, staring at it, rather than at Anouk. She noticed that red spots were forming on her palms, but disregarded the burns for the time being. Just a sorry side-effect of the alchemy.

Sooo..... Wanna talk about it? Csilla looked at Anouk as the ball of light rolled up her right arm. Her eyes were dark brown with anger, bloodshot from crying one too many times. Her hair was disheveled and she just generally looked a miss. Did it look like she really wanted to talk? She wanted to scream for Shula and let them both run out of there. But her throbbing knee suggested she wouldn't be running for a few days. So why not talk? Who would know Elastor better than his sister? Maybe she could point out why he was breaking her heart every time they saw each other. Csilla's voice was soft and surprisingly calm, even as the stray tear fell down her cheek now and again.

He was supposed to kill me. Did you know that? I saw him taking out someone a long time ago... and he left me alive. Everything has gone wrong between us ever since.” She shook her head as the light ball rolled down her arm into her palm again. She appeared to break off pieces with her left hand, placing them in the air above her, like tiny stars. “When Creta invaded Amestris, he and I got stuck in a trap ditch. And he saved me from a tank that almost crushed me. Brought me here.” She gestured absentmindedly up towards the apartment. “Then he got sick, from an injury. I nursed him back to health. And he told me to leave before he killed me like he should have done. That was the first time I cried over him.” Her face scrunched up and she rotated her hand, watching the stars she had created spin in their own little galaxy. “Then I was stationed on Dietrich's protection detail in Drachma. He saved me again. I realized how much I cared... and I ran.” She half-snorted, a tear running down her cheek. “Second time I cried. I was scared that I was feeling for someone I had seen a total of three times.” She sighed, resting her head back against the wall, closing her eyes. “He found me in South City. Took me out to a romantic dinner.” She opened her eyes to look straight at Anouk. “Then he left me in the middle of dinner. He said he needed to go save you. That he might not make it out alive.” A bitter smile flitted across her lips. “Third time I cried. But I thought... I thought it was different this time. He had to care about me to come all that way. I'd see him again, after he had taken care of his family business.

She swiped angrily across her eyes. “Nothing. I didn't hear a word for months on end. I half expected him to be dead when I showed up today.” Her voice dropped into a whisper, her tone raw with the relief and love she felt when she saw him. “And there he was. Alive.” She wiped at her eyes again, letting a couple of the stars return to their respective stairwell lamps. “Not a word in all these months that he was okay. We're both soldiers... we have dangerous jobs. But not a single word. And now, he tells me that I can't do this.

The last of the stars dissipated, the stairwell returning to its normal lighting arrangement. She looked over at Anouk. “I wish I didn't feel about him like I do. But I do. He's always in my mind... always making my heart flutter. But how am I supposed to be okay with all this? How am I supposed to believe that he loves me when he can't be consistent?

Her voice broke up at the last, and she dropped her head down onto her knees. He had said he loved her. That he LOVED her. She couldn't understand any of this. And she had just dumped Elastor's older sister with their entire history. This was turning out to be a great day.

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Shula Brighton on Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:52 am

Elastor's breathing was uneven, panicked, stressed, and bearing a familiar strain that was far too easy to ignore and pretend was something else. A bag of peas pressed to his face, Ela's single blue eye creaking open to glare at Shula had no effect, the Ishvallan less effected by the dirty looks given by brothers; Aaron's demeanor had darkened drastically while he'd been gone and the looks he gave could stop a train and do more than just startle Shula. As the glare melted, Ela turned away from Shula and back to the sink, as if staring into the steel basin would be the same as getting his tea leaves read to tell his future. He coughed softly into his hand over the sink. "She yelled at me." Pretty common side-effects of upset girls include yelling, crying, psychological warfare, and guilt-trips. "I can die at any time. She can't handle that." Shula's head cocked slightly, listening patiently but not making any moves to come closer and crowd his personal space.

Slowly, her perspective on Ela was changing, transmorphing right in front of her from a projected image into something real, like a magician turning the trick off to show that there was never anything in his hand at all and that the white ball had only been a trick of perception and suggestion. "But she blames me...for something I have no control over. So I told her what she hasn't realized yet..." So. Ela was sick and could die from whatever it was, was hiding it, and was subsequently pushing the woman who loved him away from him because he felt she couldn't handle losing him as he coughed to death. Red irises shot a look up at and through the ceiling, as though quirking an eyebrow and giving a look right to her creator. Of all the freaking ironies in the world. She wouldn't comment and disrespect Ishvalla's infinite wisdom in these things, but the irony of what she was hearing and seeing was far from lost to Shula.

Thin arms folded over Shula's chest as she sighed out slowly, seeing the pieces of Ela fitting together in a way she'd have never guessed and that she could ultimately sympathize with. They weren't so different. Even Csilla didn't know that all the time they'd known each other, she'd been sick; Csilla and Acra never knew that Raistlin killed her in the battlefield that day, and even now neither of her dearest friends knew what she'd done to gain health enough to keep going and was still in danger from. She was quiet, thinking for a moment. Ela was in the same boat, trying to... trying to hide it better. There was a faint smile at the corner of her mouth, tugging absently, even though it wasn't a happy one. Bittersweet at best, it was the truth, amd this was something Shu understood far, far too well. "It's hard," she said at last, her voice low, all traces of irritation gone. "Hiding that you're sick from everyone is a tough act to pull off. And it only gets harder to hide, unless you have people who don't want to see and are willing to just accept what's put in front of them. I know. And it hurts. It hurts, knowing what's happening and pushing everyone away from you for their own good because you think it'll be better for them and make it easier when it finally happens. Trust me, I've been at that game for years; it doesn't get any easier."

There was a stinging feeling that came with the truth that pricked at her cheeks, her throat, and her heart, causing little butterflies to roll around inside. Shula looked to Ela patiently. He was being completely honest, and she liked it that way; no masks to lift and look behind or fences to climb or riddles to solve to get to the point of things. "But the trouble with that plan is that there's always going to be someone who will still fight to get in. Some stubborn person who is determined to love you, no matter how hard you push. And we need those people, because they make us strong enough to keep fighting." Shu's smile warmed to something soft and meaningful, laced with something sad at the same time, like a watercolour painting where water had dripped down the page to make the colours bleed together. "She can be a handful sometimes, but Csilla is a lot stronger than she looks, and she can be a fantastic source of strength. But it's not fair to expect her to understand what she doesn't know, or to only tell her halves and parts and let her try to fill in the blanks herself. Let her in. Talk to her and explain what you can and answer her questions; it's not an easy conversation or a fun one, but the more she knows, the less she'll freak out."

Part of Shula felt like quite the hypocrite, seeing as she had never actually told Acra or Csilla; Wallace knew something was up because he peeped at her medical bills. Spade figured most of it out, but it took time. And now she couldn't tell them, because it was a matter of national security, and their safety. But if Ela was sick here and now, and cared about Csilla, pushing her away would be far more torurous than not, like ending a perfectly healthy relationship out of the blue because you don't want to wait for something bad to actually happen to it. Shula sighed again softly, running a hand through her hair. "How's your cheek? She didn't get you with her nails too, did she?"
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Anouk Ueda on Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:30 am

Half the light moved from Csilla's hand and dispersed back into the halls, the rest of it now dimmer, concentrated in her hand and traveling around her arm like it was some pet that she could command. Okay, so she was an alchemist. Right, Amestris was kind of famous for those, even though alchemy wasn't something Nu really saw much use in herself. The light trick was... interesting. Csilla seemed content to stare at the light that was leaving small pink burns on her skin as she sat there and hugged her knee, making the mom instinct in Anouk want to mention that she'd hurt her eyes that way, but Csilla was an adult, and as much as she adored Elastor and would always want to look after him, she knew that he was, too. And adult problems weren't always as easily fixed as those of her boys, especially when she had to distance herself enough at the moment so she could listen objectively to the girl who had somehow gotten tangled in with Ela.

“He was supposed to kill me. Did you know that? I saw him taking out someone a long time ago... and he left me alive. Everything has gone wrong between us ever since.” Nu said nothing, and her expression remained the picture of calm, even though she was a bit surprised. Not about Ela killing somone, she knew better, but the fact that he left a witness. Given his position for Dietrich, she knew he had to have been pretty careful all these years about not leaving a trail. The light popped into tiny stars around the Major as the bartender sat quietly, almost wondering if they were discussing the same man upstairs. ““When Creta invaded Amestris, he and I got stuck in a trap ditch. And he saved me from a tank that almost crushed me. Brought me here. Then he got sick, from an injury. I nursed him back to health. And he told me to leave before he killed me like he should have done. That was the first time I cried over him.”

Yuuuuup, that was Ela. All these years and you really haven't changed at all, have you? She glanced to the side as the tiny stars began to spin, making their own tiny screensaver backdrops for a Trekkie, then back to Csilla as she continued. “Then I was stationed on Dietrich's protection detail in Drachma. He saved me again. I realized how much I cared... and I ran. Second time I cried. I was scared that I was feeling for someone I had seen a total of three times.” Nu's eyebrow arched slightly as she remained quiet. Three times. Could use a bit more of a basis, but that certainly wasn't the shortest premise of a relationship she'd seen. This girl had obviously never been to Vegas. Over the years Anouk had lost track of all the people who'd come to her either jubilant or panicking about someone they'd married on the fly while drunk and only met that night when they got into town, but that's why drive-through wedding places also had drive-through divorce places at the next window. “He found me in South City. Took me out to a romantic dinner. Then he left me in the middle of dinner. He said he needed to go save you. That he might not make it out alive. Third time I cried. But I thought... I thought it was different this time. He had to care about me to come all that way. I'd see him again, after he had taken care of his family business. Nothing. I didn't hear a word for months on end. I half expected him to be dead when I showed up today. And there he was. Alive. Not a word in all these months that he was okay. We're both soldiers... we have dangerous jobs. But not a single word. And now, he tells me that I can't do this.”

The stars finally dissolved and light returned to the building's hall, some part of Anouk oddly relieved as it did. She didn't mind the dark, and rather liked it. But being able to suck up the light and play with it like that was just plain weird. It probably had its uses, but all the ones that immediate came to Anouk's mind resulted in a corpse. Nu pushed that thought aside, letting Captain Subtext translate the facts and arrange them neatly for the bartender to process as her very placid exterior completely masked her sighing and facepalming mentally. Csilla finally looked to Anouk's face, upset, confused, and hurt. “I wish I didn't feel about him like I do. But I do. He's always in my mind... always making my heart flutter. But how am I supposed to be okay with all this? How am I supposed to believe that he loves me when he can't be consistent?”

Anouk took in a breath, lining up her thoughts. What she translated out of this, really, was that Csilla and Elastor had spent any amount of time together five times before now, and only once was a non-hostile situation. A lot of blame was puting put on Ela, though; some of it was fair, but Anouk had been married long enough to know that it needs to go both ways. "Ela... is not the easiest guy in the world to wrap your head around. Even growing up with him and getting to know him again as an adult, he's still pretty complicated. But I think the majority of your problem lies mostly in communicating and needing to get to know each other more." Callous as it sounded, Anouk rather doubted it was genuine love. There was chemistry and interest, obviously, otherwise Ela wouldn't have kissed her, or gone to find her before. But one swallow doesn't make it summer. She sighed lightly, moving around to lean back against the wall next to Csilla.

"Ela doesn't like to be cornered, physically or emotionally, or feeling vulnerable at all. Anytime something gets close to doing either, he'll push away to either try and stay in his comfort zone, or he'll do it because he cares." Nu smiled gently, trying to be careful to keep her pace slow, her voice soft, and be choosy about what she said both to Csilla, and out here in the hall where they could be overheard. Not that he really knew the neighbours or gave any fucks about what they thought, but letting them overhear Anouk talking casually about she or Ela killing people would probably not go over well and get a complaint sent to the management. Wouldn't that be something. Get a notice of complaint on the door due to neighbours thinking they were serial killers instead of complaining about the boys running around. "The ways he shows he cares aren't large, sweeping gestures, and a lot of times they're so small and quiet that they're easy to overlook or not see at all with everything else in life going on. Him kissing you is the most open attempt I've ever seen him make in all the time I've known him.... but with him, he's like a cat- you really have to let him go at his pace and come to you."

Her hand moved up to push some of her bangs behind her ear, pausing for a moment. It was strange. Sometimes she felt like she knew her little brother enough that she could write a book about him, but then things like this popped up and surprised her entirely, showing that even when she thought she had Ela figured out that there was still more to him. But she loved that about him. However it made it odd to try and translate to someone else how to approach him when she'd only seen Ela in a bad situation, outside his comfort zone, or struggling to be open. "The amount of time you've spent together has been pretty limited, and most of it hasn't been under the best circumstances. But some of the things you've mentioned are things that really are Ela trying to go outside of his comfort zone to let you in... but you have to be willing to meet him halfway. I really think if you spent time together in a friendly manner and got to know each other better, you'd see them, too. There's no wars right now, no family crises, nothing dangerous. Come back upstairs, Csilla. Stay a little while to actually see each other when things aren't dire. " She looked at Csilla, gently asking the girl to come back up with her and to try just being friendly with Ela; tall order, but she didn't think it was impossible. No, what would be impossible would ge getting Ela to open up like that again if this girl just threw in the towel so easily.
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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

Post by Elastor Ito on Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:36 am

"It's hard." The words jolted him out of his skin, making him--forcibly turning him slowly to face her. A bewildered look etched into his lavender eye, the bag of peas sliding down his face to reveal the same shimmer of fear in the other. A wet residue of melted ice was left along his cheek, glistening under the fluorescent kitchen lights. His blood ran cold, as if the peas had penetrated his core, carrying with it words--words he never wanted to hear. The towel was gripped tightly in a fist, quivering as his muscles clenched hard, not even bothering to hide it now. There was no point. This was him, out in the open; there was no longer anything...anything to hide from. "Hiding that you're sick from everyone is a tough act to pull off. And it only gets harder to hide, unless you have people who don't want to see and are willing to just accept what's put in front of them." No, he didn't have people. Ela slumped against the counter, looking down at the pristine cracks in the linoleum floor, feeling like it was falling out from under him. He didn't have people, but...Anouk was here--her and her children were here with him now. He wasn't alone. Not anymore.

"I know." He raised his eyes, pupils all but gone, his knuckles going white, blood draining from his face. She knew--she knew this? He tried to keep breathing--tried to regulate each inhalation of breath, but each time hurt more than the last--each time a sharp pain wreathed against his rib cage. It wasn't by Vanity's hand, but had she experienced something similar? Interest gripped him for the first time since meeting her, unspoken secrets drawing to the surface of a day filled too full with the leftovers of demise. "It hurts, knowing what's happening and pushing everyone away from you for their own good because you think it'll be better for them and make it easier when it finally happens." Easier...when it finally happens? When it finally happens. Finally. He stared at her in disbelief, hardly connected to anything in the rest of the world except her voice, straining his ears to listen, but at the same time, wishing he couldn't hear at all. Never before had he felt the weight of life so heavy as it was right now. He could barely stand, perspiration soaking into his auburn bangs, his hands working like a creaky watermill to open the trashcan cabinet and throw the towel into the depths of the plastic bag. Bury it. He slammed it shut. "Trust me, I've been at that game for years; it doesn't get any easier." Wh-what? How could it not? Everything became easier over time. Remorse was a shadow when his blade slit throats. Living behind bars became a comfort shrouded in boredom. His parent's death was only now just the beginning of the story. It would become easier, for him--he knew this. So why...why was he still shaking even after so much time? Could it kill him? Could it? Hah, what would an immortal know about death. Mixing her poisonous fumes, trailing it behind her as she fell flat on her face. Her very existence...was poisonous, but was it fatal? He stared at his hands, trying to get a handle on their insistent quivering. STOP. Under his breath, he hissed, staring death in the face with a glassy glare...when really it was just his palms. Like a blank sheet of paper--something one saw often, lacking description, typed words, handwriting, pictures, color... burned away by fire. Leaky books in shelves. The paper was becoming wrinkled, flattened by rain, soaked with crimson iron. No, it wouldn't get any easier, would it.

"...And we need those people, because they make us strong enough to keep fighting." What? Ela refocused on the woman--Csilla's friend--the Head of South City, Amestris: Shula Brighton. She wasn't just talking about war. They faced death all the time: swift, uncalculated death that came with error on their own part. It was something avoidable, but...but when one inhaled it directly... It was inside him--Death was inside him, but no, it wouldn't kill him yet. Haha, not yet. True horror was knowing--knowing it was coming. To keep fighting...against it? He'd always keep fighting with or without 'those people'. Strong enough? What did it matter, really. Was this about strength? He didn't know. For once, Elastor just didn't know at all. A bitter smile crept onto his wry lips. "She can be a handful sometimes, but Csilla is a lot stronger than she looks, and she can be a fantastic source of strength." It sounded like she was trying to sell him a cleaning product. He cracked his knuckles and shook out his hands, giving her a leveled stare that was strangely neutral. The only thing was, she was trying to sell her product to a man already sold. "But it's not fair to expect her to understand what she doesn't know, or to only tell her halves and parts and let her try to fill in the blanks herself." He was overtaken...by an expression of boredom, letting Shula know directly that he had had enough. Couldn't they see that he was trying? She didn't know him. Csi didn't know him at all. Her fear of losing him was what was blinding her from seeing what little light he was able to shed...from the black ink stained into the darkness. He knew--he knew it already dammit!

"Let her in." ... All expression drained from his features, his eyes growing hooded with a dark look. "Talk to her and explain what you can and answer her questions; it's not an easy conversation or a fun one, but the more she knows, the less she'll freak out." Solemnly, he was nodding, breathing somewhat better--feeling like maybe he'd survive today. Trained by fear... Takatori's image in flames flashed before his eyes, a violent glint passing over the callus blue. He wanted to laugh, amused at his own indecision, lost under the passing waves of conclusion. But tell her? Was that what she wanted? How could he answer questions that were never asked--how could he delve further into himself without losing everything he had built up in order to keep going? The questions flooded out never to be spoken, remaining evermore...in unvoiced silence. "How's your cheek? She didn't get you with her nails too, did she?"

"What?" He met her eyes, surprised as if he had forgotten she was in the room--forgotten that the words had come from her and weren't just an omnipresent sound floating around in the thick air which hurt to breathe. "Oh. No. She didn't." He paused, realizing his reply was hardly what she expected. Looking sideways to avoid the reaction, he forced himself to continue: "Uhh, that. That's from a wall...alchemic. Not from Csi." Ela stooped over to the mirror on the back of the closet door, seeing that fresh blood was hovering around the wound which had caused a slight fracture tp his skull previously. "It's fine," he waved it off, more worried about the halting sound of his own raspy voice. He needed to sit down.

"TARO," he called, taking it slow around the counter to peer down the hall, coughing surfacely. The door opened enough for the little boy to slip out with a stony look, matching the taller man's. However, he softened upon seeing him. The kid slowed when he reached the living room, pausing as if caught in stasis without Nu around. Ela laughed, almost...brightly, meeting Taro half way, and placing his hands on his shoulders. "Don't worry," he whispered to strengthen the effect of his words, "she is coupled to Oda Nobunaga's leading vassal..." He had to catch his breath. "A brave warlord with a clean record. His sword is always sharp; we're safe with her." Ela turned and coughed faintly, cursing himself for not holding his breath in time. Of all people...all people ever, he most certainly never wanted Taro to find out the truth. What if that cough had taken a turn for the worse like the last one? What then? Taro would see it. Right in front of him, he'd--he'd... No. He wouldn't allow it. "Ken--can you go get your brother?" Ela grabbed the remote off the coffee table and stood back up off his haunches with a phantom smile. Once Taro shot a final glance at Shula, his small form turned tail to retrieve Ken who looked rumpled and towed a stuffed bunny. Ela showered them with a promising, full-blown smile.

"How about some cartoons?" Clearly in Amestrian, it was directed at Shula Brighton. He flopped onto the couch, with a vacant but cheery expression, transitioning between the languages like it was child'splay. "Look, the new Bugs Bunny DVD's in, Ken. This is Shula." He patted the seat next to him and waited for the two of them to crawl up beside him, looking over the top of the couch at the General. "Bear with it." A light, airy sound entered his voice, eyes skimming over the DVD menu to somehow add Amestrian subtitles. Once selected, he pressed play and settled back, closing his eyes with a contented sigh. She joined them, watching away the time...however much was left.

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Re: Um... Here's Your Car.

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