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RP Sisterly Visits

Soresu

FM of the Iromakuanhe
RP Date
YE 41
RP Location
Yamatai
On> Yamatai
Chrome Kitten Kitchen

Her siblings were grown and gone, for the most part, her company was gone, her deployment was stalled out as they waited to find just the perfect placement for her among a million postings, and sadly all this drove the poor Neko up a wall. She let out a long drawn out sigh as the waitress walked off with her order and hid her head under a bridge of her hands to stare at the table before her. How had this happened to her?

She had always been the more outgoing and adventurous of the siblings, Tai had been the bookish quiet reserved one. Yet here she was at a standstill on Yamatai. Sure she had a few postings here and there, but none had turned fruitful and she had been reassigned within the next mission, sometimes not even at a station long enough to unpack before she had been shipped somewhere else. Maybe she needed to change her last name? Nah she wouldn't do that. Someone needed to carry on the Shichou name and she would wear it with pride as she rose to the ranks of officers.

Her drink was sat next to her after a few moments and after the waitress left, she would raise her head enough to take a sip of her soda before she plopped her chin into her hand to simply wait. Her gaze seemed to focus on whatever drivel was on the TV in the corner of the place, some talk show about the latest movie to come out in theaters, some culmination of over ten years and dozens of movies.

Truth be told, there was very little for Tai to return to Yamataian space. She had found her place amongst an alien people outside of the sector. The Iromakuanhe had taken her in, gave her a job and in return, she assisted them in their time of need. It was a fair and equitable deal. Her time had been precious over the corresponding years. The Commonwealth had continued its armed intervention against the New Veyrin Republic. And that called for vast quantities of Veyrinite, a metalloid more precious than gold or silver could ever be. And she had been the driving force to unlock its secrets.

But here she was, back upon the birth world of both of her mothers. It hadn't taken much to find the one she'd come searching for. Money had to change hands, inquiries made, but it had been fairly straight forward.

The once prideful Nekovalkyrja, now an alien herself, Tai stood before the door to a local restaurant. Without further ado, and aplomb opened the door. The scientist's crimson eyes scanned the diners. She had to be here, and she was. That hair was unmistakable.

Gliding as if on air, the eldest of the Shichou Clan's children made a beeline for the short-haired, somber Nekovalkyrja. Looking over her shoulder, Tai's ever-present guards, a pair of Temple Guard, a religious order with some comparisons to the Ketsurui's samurai flanked her. She waved them off and they quietly tried to make themselves as unobtrusive as possible at a table. But there was no mistaking their uniforms.

Taking the wide-brimmed, straw hat that had served to keep the sun from her pale skin, Tai slithered up behind the distressed Rikun and placed it atop her head. Her countenance flat, stoic, much like Midori, but her voice also echoed their mother.

"You've cut your hair, little sister." the first words Tai had spoken to her fraternal twin in close to ten years. Tai herself wore a sundress of pale blue that complimented her now long white hair, but not the eyes. Never the eyes.

"Great... Just great..." Another sigh escaped her lips as her eyes flicked over to her sister, elder only by barely a minute, yet she ever seemed to rub that fact in her face. Her violet eyes took in her sister with an appraising glance as her free hand waved out to offer her sister a seat. "And I see you've grown yours out. I'm shocked you haven't braided it yet to be just like her."

Rikun lifted her free hand to pluck the hat from her head and set it on the table beside her as she sat back and crossed her arms. She had been rather miffed with her family all these ten years, having left her to shoulder the name, the siblings, the company, and the scorn from Yamatai. Where once when they were younger her face had held open love and adoration of her smarter sister, Rikun simply held a blank face much like hers with the hints of resentment.

"And to what do I owe this visit sister? I'm sure you must have been far busy to tear yourself away from your new home to simply drop in to see dear sister Rikun."

Tai watched and then listened as her sister spoke. The former Neko had once been able to read her rowdier sibling's moods rather easily. But now she just didn't know. Seating herself beside her sister, Tai was careful to cross her legs as she steepled her fingertips together. She caught the waitress' eye, and said, "Mazrit brandy, please." all polite airs as she indicated just how much to pour, three fingers worth before returning her attention to Rikun.

"Actually, that is why I am here."

"And just what is that?" Rikun asked as she sipped at her soda a litle more. It wasn't often that Tai had ever told her she needed anything, usually, she never said anything to her sister besides commands, so this was a little different. An eyebrow raised in confusion as she watched her sister.

"My time amongst the Iromakuanhe was, and still is necessary. A lot happened after the Trishka. With the raid on the Occhestran base and afterward. Sadly much of it was beyond my control." Tai offered in a helpless tone. She reached out, touching Rikun's hand in an affectionate manner before having it retreat once more.

"You know of my time on the Maras?" she asked as her drink was brought to her. Tai offered the waitress a soft smile (something unusual for the usually aloof Neko) and slid a card through a reader. She included a rather nice tip for the woman as well.

Taking the drink in hand, Rikun's older sister sipped at it lightly. The thick, tawny liquid smelled of cloves, coffee, and pears.

"I was finally able to convince the Iromakuanhe to allow me to leave their space for a time. Under guard." Tai gestured to the two uniformed Iroma at the table near the door.

Rikun tilted her head to the side to look over at the guards. Violet eyes gave them a once over much like she had Tai moments ago before her gaze turned back to her sister. "And? Come to brag about how important you are now?" She asked with a little more bite in her tone then she had wanted to use.

Tai rolled her eyes in response, "No, far from it. Is it really so hard to believe I am here to see my family?" she asked softly

"Ten years, two months, eighteen days," Rikun said with a huff. "Five years, two months, eighteen days since I last saw you. Six years, ten months that I had to take care of our siblings without you or Yuriko or Mom." Rikun looked up to the ceiling for a moment and let out a little grumble. "Nine years, six months, ten days since I last had a hug from you, since you last smiled at me, since I saw the real you under that haughty attitude you've gained. Six years, ten months since Mom was killed." Rikun stared at her sister as she listed off the last few, again with a blank face.

"Ten years, two months, eighteen days since I had an actual family."

As Tai was taking a sip of her brandy, she abruptly sputtered and coughed. One of the guardsmen got swiftly to his feet before she waved them off. The brandy stung her throat. Putting it on the bar, she placed a hand on Rikun's shoulder and seemed to become very serious, it was almost frightening to see the intensity there. It was something she didn't seem to lose over the years. The hand on Rikun's shoulder tightened.

"What happened to her? To our contributor, to our mother? You say she was killed? By whom?" the last came out in barely controlled grief, shock, and dawning fury.

Rikun shrugged the hand off her shoulder rather roughly as she shot her sister a glare. "What do you care. She's been dead for six years. I'm shocked you didn't know that." She told Tai and let out another drawn sigh. "The first Midori. The got into it on the streets of Yamatai... Yaichiro, the guy who put us up after it all happened looked into it. Apparently, they were old shipmates, knew mom. He said there was some kinda cover-up, I dunno. It's why I joined the military, so I could look into it."

She looked away from her sister to the TV again, though clearly was not focused on it. "She was cold and distant, but she was there for me when I needed family. She stuck around to try and help at least, and when she went to try and rejoin the Samurai... She wound up dead."

A tear rolled down Tai's pale cheek, followed by another as her body seemed to shudder. It was something she'd never done when their family had been together. Cry. The eldest sibling stared down at her glass for a long moment as a tear found its way onto the counter.

"I've been gone too long," whispered the now distraught woman. "There were reasons, things that kept me away. Too long," Tai bitterly put as she downed the glass in one gulp, holding up three fingers again for another. She shook her head as if trying to deny the fact such a fate had befallen their mother.

"Where is she buried?" Tai asked, her voice suddenly hoarse.

Rikun clenched her jaw as she saw her sister show a fairly strange emotion. Sadness... She hadn't seen Tai cry since the day on the beach all those years ago when she had thought she had lost her glasses. Her chest constricted a little as she took in a rough breath before her hand snaked up to her throat. Hidden under the collar of her shirt, Rikun pulled on a chain from around her neck and after she fiddled with the clasp for a moment, she held it out. A white gold necklace with the Kanji for their clan, in the middle of it, rest a red ruby cut square. After she looked at the necklace for a moment, she put it on the table and slid it in front of Tai without a word.

Showing such emotion. She had tried to avoid such things by walling them off.

As Rikun took her necklace out; sliding it toward Tai, the waitress came back with a bottle to pour more of the syrupy concoction into the empty old-fashioned glass. She snatched it out of her grasp, sliding the card through the reader again, but this time buying the whole bottle. She couldn't get drunk, not anymore. But it was the act that brought some small comfort, or perhaps more self-loathing. When Rikun had slid the necklace toward her, Tai had already poured another drink for herself.

As if in trade, she slid the bottle toward Rikun while taking up the necklace and held it close to her chest.

Rikun skipped her glass and instead drank directly from the bottle, a long draw as she shook her head. Her metabolism could stop the lightheaded feeling, but just then she shut that feature down and instead just let the sensation wash over her as she stared at the table. It took her a moment before she spoke.

"They found her in some alley, nearly cut in two. Just left to bleed out with the trash like some throw-away doll..." She took another drink as she gripped her hand into a fist and put the bottle back on the table just as Rikun's food arrived. A club sandwich and some chips, a large pickle on the side, Rikun suddenly didn't feel so hungry but she slid her card through the reader and left a nice tip as well before she scooped up a chip and nibbled on it a little.

Tai clutched the necklace in such a way her hand shook. Whether in fury or grief was open to interpretation. A breath rattled from between her lips as she listened. There had been so much happiness she'd wished to shower their stoic mother with. But now there would be no chance, one had died, yet the other Midori lived. Tai bit her bottom lip so harshly it wept a shiny golden fluid. Her blood now. No longer the red of a normal humanoid. Midori's blood no longer flowed within her veins in the truest sense of the word.

"I should have come back sooner, and damn the consequences..." she sobbed.

Something in her mind made her physically bite her tongue to stop the harsh words that wanted to spill from her mouth to chastise her sister. For once some small part of her reveled in her sister's pain and that part made the rest of her mind cry in anguish. The larger part of her mind realized she still loved her sister dearly, just as she had all those years ago. She had been afraid her sister had been changed by that creature deep in the confines of the Occhestan base.

But as she saw her sister sob and cry over their dead mother, Rikun realized she hadn't changed, she was still Tai. She fought back her own tears and for once tried to be the big sister for Tai as she leaned over to hug the woman to her. She remained silent but swallowed hard and clutched her sister.

"I had so much to share with her, my reasons for being away, what happened after, everything." Tai mewled against her younger sibling's embrace. That helpless feeling that clutched her heart right now was something she utterly despised. But she embraced Rikun with her other arm even as she continued holding the pendant close to her heart. Another shudder and another sob wracked her thin frame.

"I am so sorry I was not here, I just, I just couldn't." it lit a fire in her belly that now waged a war with the mounting grief.

Rikun kept her jaw clenched for a moment as she continued to hug her sister before she spoke in a somewhat strained voice. "She... She missed you. She missed you and Yuriko a lot, always wondered if you were ok." She offered her sister, and while Midori had never said it outwardly, like her constant visits to the Samurai House, Rikun could tell what her mother was thinking about.

"Wh-... Why don't you hold onto that for a while... Bring it back when you can. I've spent some time with Mom, had a few good talks, but I'm sure she'd love to hear from you, see what you're doing." She could feel the underside of her jaw get sore from how much she strained to keep her voice even and her tears from falling.

Tai nodded into Rikun's embrace, "I will," her voice hoarse as she tried to bring herself under control. "I want... I wanted to tell her she was a grandmother." Tai's voice raised in pitch at that before being wracked by another sob.

Rikun looked shocked, a few emotions flashed over her face as she fought with the realization. Of course, Tai had moved on, she was the mature one, why would she have held anything resembling what they shared on the Trishka all these years. She shook her head to banish the angry thoughts and reached a hand up to gentle caress Tai's head. "So I guess I'm an aunt now? W-who's the lucky guy?" She asked as she fought out the last few words and struggled to keep her jealousy out of it.

Tai felt the hand atop her head, gentle in its touch, loving even. She hiccuped but didn't immediately answer. Instead, she took a moment to compose herself. Sniffling now, Tai pulled away just enough to look at her sister.

Tai tried to wipe at the tears, "The lifeform from the base, it-she, we bonded. A little bit of me in her, and her me." trying to blink back a new flurry of tears, another quiver ran down her body.

"That where..." Rikun reached out to touch a bit of the golden blood on her lip. "This comes from?" She asked head tilted as she rubbed the liquid between her fingers. After she looked it over for a moment, she simply wiped it off in a napkin and watched her sister.

Feeling the touch on her bottom lip, Tai sucked on it a moment before the wound closed within moments. Rikun's sister looked away; toward the guards who by now were enjoying a meal. She licked the remaining golden liquid from her lip.

"I told you," the sniffling young woman began, "There is a lot I have to say, my reasons for being gone. Everything." this was immediately followed by another hiccup before untangling herself from Rikun enough to reach for a handkerchief from her small purse. Using it to dab at her eyes, Tai hadn't completely left her sister's embrace.

"Wh-... What if I... What if I came with you? So you could show me?" Rikun asked, a small spark of hope in her tone as she watched her sister pull away enough to do what she needed.

Tai just shook her head, "Do you remember my leaving on the Maras?" she asked, trying to think of how she could frame the whole ordeal into words

"A bit yea... They pretty much confined to my quarters after the whole incident." Rikun nodded a little.

Tai worked at lowering her voice even though it quavered. "When I left, I had been infected by the being we found on that base. It had melded with me in the form of symbiosis." looking to her drink again, she quickly took it up and slammed it back. When she placed the glass back down, Tai did not try to grab another for herself.

"I was changed on a fundamental level. A hybrid of Jiyuuian and what is known as a Sourcian, an extinct race of beings from beyond the Kikyo sector. The Maras' crew finally separated us, but I had already undergone those changes. After separation, she was also changed, by me. I ended up adopting her as my child since she was in every sense of the word after that fateful day."

Turning the glass around 'twixt her fingers, Tai took a moment before continuing. "The Maras also captured a powered frame from the station. What it held changed my life forever."

"It contained a device, a thing I took to calling Aurora. An aetheric generator pre-dating Yamatai's usage by well over a century. And it had been created by the Occhestran themselves during the Lorath's war with the Helasho." Tai began to explain, the more she spoke, the more it seemed difficult for her to continue. Her brow furrowed, her eyes holding pain and age as she tried to recall everything with difficulty.

Rikun could only nod as she listened. She understood mostly what he sister spoke of, but had for the most part been kept ignorant of much of what had happened. She simply waited for her sister to continue as that was most of what she could do at that moment.

Tai, taking her sister's nodding as understanding continued. "The High Priest, Tomoe forbade me from ever bringing it back into Lorath space. He feared it. And as a result, I became its keeper and guardian." she took the bottle from Rikun's side of the counter and poured another for herself.

"What happened took a turn." she seemed uncomfortable as if the remembrance caused her some pain and confusion. "How much do you know of time travel, paradoxes, and alternate timelines?" asking as if Rikun knew this sort of thing.

Rikun gave her sister a fairly flat look yet said nothing for a moment. "Oh totally so much." She told her before she shook her head. "Sis, you were the smart one, I just shot shit up with a big fuck all gun."

Tai took a few nuts from a nearby bowl and made a neat little line of them. "Let us say the line is our timeline and universe." She gestured to them before making a branch of beer nuts about halfway along the line.

"The line represents our timeline, the 'Prime' timeline." she was trying with some visible effort to put it into words Rikun would understand. She then gestured to the branch.

"And this is a branch. A branch in the timeline of our 'Prime' universe and time. When I first utilized the device, at around the same time a branch occurred. The powered frame and Aurora initiated a form of time travel, something I was completely unable to control."

Her drink, this time instead of slamming it back, she sipped at as if afraid it'd run out. "That me that activated the device formed that branch in time and possibly an alternate universe."

"So... wait. Are we an alternate timeline? An alternate... history?" Rikun asked, confused still as she tried to process this all. The gears in her mind worked, slowly albeit, but they began to work and think things through.

Tai shook her head, "No, this is the 'Prime' timeline." she said with all of the patience she could muster. It was hard trying to explain such a thing to someone who couldn't really understand. "Remember, the big line is us, the branch is a different time."

She took a few of the nuts for herself, popping them in her mouth. Why had she suddenly become ravenous? "When the device went off and initiated the shift, another timeline was created. So when 'I' the me that you are talking to now test ran the device and the powered frame was stopped from completing it. By the first Tai, the one that had traveled back in time as a result of her device. She was from the branch."

"During this encounter, a SAINT agent named Helen Klein tried to hijack the Maras and return it to Yamatai." Tai briefly considered ordering herself something to eat. "In the first Tai's alternate timeline she succeeded."

"So the first Tai came back to warn you then?" Rikun asked as she understood it a little better now. She slid her plate closer to share the food she had lost her appetite for and blinked a few times. She considered a few questions before she finally posed one. "Co-... Could you go back in time still?" She asked.

"Actually, she shot the Maras down before any of us knew what was happening," Tai explained as she eyed the food. And quick as thought, snatched up half for herself. Which she promptly devoured with a sheepish apology for doing so.

At Rikun's second question, however, she shot down with a shake of her head. "To do so could result in further branchings and unforeseen effects on the 'Prime' time and universe. I keep the device safely hidden from everyone so that it cannot be used in such a fashion ever again." she knew what Rikun wanted, what she desired. It had crossed her mind to, but it could have irrevocable consequences.

"Even if we could save her?" She asked Tai as her eyes searched her sister's face. She knew it was false hope, but she still wanted that hope, if even for a moment. "What's one dead person to the universe?"

"Do you think mother would want such a thing if she knew of the dangers? How it could change things?" Tai questioned in a sorrowful voice, "You know she wouldn't. Especially if it could change things for the worse and not for the better."

"No, but... She didn't deserve that." Rikun said as her gaze fell to the table. As heavy and hard as this meeting had been, Rikun didn't want it to end. She didn't want her sister to leave. "You never told me why I couldn't go with you." She told her sister.

Tai looked tired then, her shoulders slumped. She looked older as if a great weight had been wearing her down. "Because I had made an enemy of SAINT as a result of Maras crash. The operative knew who I was, and likely knew what I had."

She ran a finger around the lip of her glass. "I could not risk further endangerment of our family. But also because of the crash, things had happened, cascading in such a way that I could not control. She was the catalyst of my current predicament." her tone had turned bitter near the end of her explanation.

"There is more to the story, much more."

Rikun swallowed a little as she listened to her sister and looked over to Tai. She wanted to be with her sister, with her family, the last bit she had. But it was almost as if Tai was afraid of it for some reason. She rubbed her face after a moment and let out a sigh. She had things to do here anyway, as much as it pained her she knew it would be tough to leave with her having opted for another tour of duty.

"Can I... I dunno, can I come to visit you? I mean I've got stuff to do here... But when my service is up I could relocate out there with you. We wouldn't have to live together, I'd give you your space and all. I'm just... I miss my family. I miss you." There was a hint of need in her voice as she spoke.

The tired look in Tai's eyes softened as she heard the faint glimmer of hope in her sister's voice. Her expression turned to one of pain. She shook her head. "I am sorry, little sister but they would not allow it. Believe, I asked numerous times to allow my family to relocate to their home system." as she said this, her guardians had ordered their own food and drink. Both of them had yet to experience such a thing outside of Iruotl.

"They took me in-in my time of need and only at the request of the other Tai. She made a deal with them before arriving in the Yugumo Cluster to find me." lifting a hand, she caressed Rikun's cheek. "For now it is beyond my control. They allowed my coming here only at great urging by myself, and with the recommendation of a very powerful man. He could do no more than see that I came here for a time."

Rikun let out another sigh and shoulders slumped as she looked to the table. "Right." Was all she could muster just then. It took her a few moments before she could find the words to ask her next question. "How long do you have? Is this just a stop? Or do you have some time?"

Tai leaned forward enough to kiss her sister's forehead. "I have time, a few weeks at most. But now-now I wish to spend some of it with you, our family but also to find the first Midori now." heat seeped into her voice at the mention of her mother's other self.

"You do?" Rikun asked, surprised to say the least. She gave her sister a smile and leaned her head into her shoulder. "I mean, you can crash at my place if you want. I can sleep on the couch, or a blowup mattress, and your guards can take the couches. My apartment is a little big for me all alone since the others left."

Rikun would have her hair caressed as she leaned against her older sister, "I would like that, but you should keep your bed, Rikun. Don't give it up on my account." Tai murmured as she continued her head rubbing.

"Maybe we could share it? Like we did when we were younglings?" She asked hopefully as she let out a small sigh from the caress.

Tai chuckled softly at the idea, "We can," she responded while using her free hand to take a sip of the thick, heady Mazrit brandy. "I will need to try and find our mother's killer. And I have no leads to go on."

"She's on the Shiroyama." Rikun told her, her tone cold. "She is nothing like our mom... Very cold, cruel."

"Shiroyama? Tai asked, her mind already trying to click the pieces into place with next to nothing to go on. "What is the Shiroyama?"

"A ship out in the Yugumo cluster I think? I'm not sure where, but she's stationed on a starbase that overlooks some agricultural world. That was all I could get for the time being." Rikun explained.

Tai seemed lost in thought for the moment, but she quickly shrugged it off. "The man who bought Yuriko's, our other mother's home, would he know more?" she asked, "I remember Yuriko mentioning his taking care of her after she rescued her."

"Yaichiro, yea I think he may know more." Rikun nodded a little as she seemed to liven up a touch after she found out that Tai would be staying longer.

"I suppose this means I will have to give up my penthouse suite at the hotel," Tai sighed, it had been rather nice and the price tag was small enough (for her) to make it worthwhile. "I will try to get into contact with him sooner or later," she said while holding her sister this go around.

"You did not want to hear the rest of my story did you?" Tai asked ruefully.

Rikun shook her head a little. "I do... But I don't. I want to know what you've been doing, but at the same time I don't want to know how much I've just been sitting here being useless." She let out another sigh, one of many that night it seemed. "You've been off on some grand adventure, meeting time travelers, fighting and doing all this awesome, yet admittedly terrifying stuff I'm sure, and all I've done is bounce a few postings and sit here finger blasting myself it seems like."

Tai smiled a little, "Be glad your life isn't fraught with such things." she chided while lifting her wrist, a watch-like device upon it. After a moment it bleeped, a volumetric screen popped up. On its screen stood Tai, and a tall, fair skinned, jet-haired beauty stood beside her. She had orange eyes and a rather pleased, almost feral expression on her face as she smiled for the camera.

"Your niece, the life form from the Occhestran base, I call her Lillius." there was genuine affection in her voice.

"What's it like? Having a kid?" Rikun asked as she looked up from the table to the picture, and felt jealousy well in her chest. This... niece had been part of what took Tai from her, and what felt like the start of her family falling apart. She hid that jealousy though behind a discerning look.

As if sensing the discomfort, Tai gave her sister's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "When we were first separated, the only other Sourcian, Rebeka described her to me. Lillius is the control module for an advanced Sourcian vari-form fighter craft. It made her naturally aggressive, as did her captivity." she explained while her smile only seemed to generate warmth and love.

"At first she was a little handful, a hellion with the capacity to slaughter everything in her path. But now that she is older and better acclimated to living with people she is actually quite sweet." Tai scoffed near the end.

"She still tries to be the 'Alpha' of her class at high school. I love her dearly." Tai held up a finger then, "I have two other children as well." she sounded sad then as if her heart was heavy with regret.

"Two more?" Rikun looked shocked as she looked to her sister. It seemed that Rikun had matured as well as she again bit her tongue to stall the words that wanted to spill forth. She couldn't stop the tears that welled in her eyes but quickly enough pawed them away with her hand. "Can I see them?"

With a nod, Tai touched the side of her head, and with a smooth motion directed her fingers toward the watch. In place of her daughter, Lillius was replaced by a handsome young man with the swept back horns of an Iromakuanhe. His skin was tanned and unlike his mother. Yet he shared her eye color and would've likely stood taller than she.

He stood beside a smaller, but no less beautiful young woman with the gently inward curving horns of a female of the same species. Her eyes were a deep violet, her complexion fair and she wore a kindly, serene smile. Both wore expensive finery, the kind of stuff one would think was suited for royalty.

As if to echo that, they both exuded a palpable sense of nobility against the backdrop of a decidedly rich looking room.

"The young man is Casimir, and the girl is Lumiere. They were her children."

Rikun looked a little confused at the mention of "her" as she looked over not only the children but the backdrop. "Who exactly is her?" She asked. It seemed Tai lived fairly well off now, much better in comparison than her, just another knife in her self-esteem.

"Me, the other me."Tai answered, "I told you that there was more to the story."

It took Rikun a moment to understand, but when she did a small imaginary explosion went off in her mind as she blurted out. "Wait, you fucked yourself from the future?"

Tai rolled her eyes at that, "No, I didn't 'fuck myself from the future'." she huffed, "Her life diverged from the moment that she ended up in the past. This is part of that divergence."

"But like, she's still you, right? Came from Mom and Yuriko?" Rikun asked, skeptical a little. "So I mean, if she's you, from the future, different divergent timeline or whatever, she's still you. And you two did it I assume cause where is the fun in that otherwise..." Rikun raised an eyebrow and let an old playful smirk spread across her face.

Tai sighed again, "The other me, she was from a point in time that transpired at the same time as my almost time-traveling jaunt, Rikun. She saved me from that happening but the damage had already been done." she patted Rikun's head in a way the other Neko'd remember. She'd often done so when acting as a 'Fucking Know-it-all bitch' as her sister had so aptly put it.

"After the Maras was shot down, I went to the planet the ship had crashed landed upon. Lillius had been aboard and I was worried for her." she finished her drink.

"I thought to save her, but let us just call her Tai One for now. Tai One rescued Lillius, and I spoke with her after she did something to me. And no we didn't have sex."

Rikun's ears laid back against her head a little as she leveled a small look at her sister and a wave of nostalgia washed over her. She swatted at the hand and looked to the side a little, chin back in the palm of her hand now. "Well, at least she saved you. Would you dying have done anything to her?" She asked curiously.

"Divergent timeline." was Tai's answer, "My dying wouldn't change anything for her, I do not think." her sister and her being unsure of the outcome was something she would've never freely admitted had she been younger. With a grimace, as if the admittance tasted horrible she spoke on: "It is...difficult to quantify what may have happened."

The Neko just nodded a little and decided to not press any further. She wasn't sure if she fully understood the answer, but she was sure Tai could guess that regardless. She reached out to snag the pickle on the plate and took a crunchy bite out of it and held the rest in her hand as she chewed and contemplated what next. She had time with Tai, but in her mind, it wouldn't be nearly enough.

"So... What do you wanna do now?" She asked.

Tai cocked her head a little to the side as Rikun took her bite of the pickle. She'd never cared much for pickled foods, and as such her nose wrinkled at it. Which had only gotten worse as her sense of smell and taste had been so drastically altered.

"If I am staying at your place, I will have to go to the Kyoto Tower to retrieve my things, check out and inform the other members of my guard where I will be staying."

"You're staying at the tower? Sweet Chiharu you must be loaded..." Rikun asked with a raised eyebrow as she took another quick two bites of her pickle and finished it offer before she grabbed one of the remaining sandwich pieces. Her hunger had begun to come back to her as she took a bite and chuckled. "Now I feel bad asking you to come to stay with me. My place is nowhere near as nice."

"Loaded? I suppose so." Tai in truth had millions of KS to spend as she saw fit. Both from her time at KHI, and working with the Iromakuanhe's premiere corporation, Solan Starworks. "I've only loaded about four million KS on my card. Not a whole lot." she shrugged, then gave Rikun a sidelong smirk before allowing a smile to spread across her face.

"I had planned on funding Yuichi's college. He is our brother and I wish for him to have the finest education available."

"That's already taken care of. I took care of that fund years ago. Emptied out the last of my savings for it." Rikun explained. While Tai had money, Rikun had dumped all that she had maid back into KHI as she had tried to keep it afloat until eventually they had gone under and been bought out. It was part of the reason she had joined the YSA and lived in such a small apartment.

"Then he is going to a good college?" Tai asked, "He deserves it."

"Yea, I made sure he had the money to go wherever he wanted. I uh... Haven't talked to him lately. Or our cousins? I dunno really how they are related to us. Stepsisters maybe?" Rikun shrugged as she spoke of Midori and Reiko's children. "I lost touch with... well mostly everyone over the last few years."

"They've moved on," Tai said in a comforting tone, she rubbed Rikun's head again, "I'm sure they will come into contact with you and the others when they are able." she then wore a mirthless smile. "More than I have been able to do for so long."

"I want to stay in touch more with you," Rikun confessed as she swallowed another bite of her sandwich. "I've... Well, I've been lonely. I can't remember the last time I talked to someone that wasn't a waiter or one of my superiors."

Tai nodded, "We can stay in contact more now. But you will not be able to visit. The Iromakuanhe value that their home system and homeworld are unknown to the Kikyo sector. With everything that has transpired over twenty years can you blame them?" she both stated and then asked.

"If I can, I will come back as I am able to visit. But things are becoming difficult there."

"I wish I could just come with you then..." She said like a petulant little child as she let out a huff. Regardless, she understood. She wasn't trusted, they didn't know her and she doubted they would just let a SAINT agent waltz in like it was nothing.

Tai rubbed her sister's shoulder companionably. "I will not forget my family, ever, Rikun. I will come when I am able and spend time with you and our siblings. I'm curious as to how handsome Yuichi has become. Do the girls fawn over him?"

"I... Don't know. We had a fight, you know the typical 'I don't want your help, I don't need your money, just fuck off and stay away, don't talk to me. Mom was better at this then you...' drivel bullshit." Rikun said with another huff and a frown. "I think he was in puberty or going through a phase or something, but I - we didn't talk much even when he lived with me, much less now."

With a brief sigh, Tai kissed the top of Rikun's forehead, "He is a male, they like to be an independent sort. And he might have been going through puberty. Saints know I have had to deal with my daughter, Lillius' own bout of Sourcian maturity."

"Give him time and try again. Be patient with him and kindly, but do not smother him or get short with him."

"Tai, I'm no mother, I can't connect. Hell, when we were younglings we barely ever got along, and most of the time it was only 'cause of the fear of grandma. It's part of the reason I'll never have kids myself. I just don't have that programming or whatever you want to call it." Rikun shrugged a little and looked a little sad. "It's just not in me, and with how Yuichi and I left it... I doubt he wants anything to do with me,"

Tai puffed out a breath as she listened to her sister. It was the truth, they'd fought a lot as younglings, but they went everywhere together in the end or most everywhere.

"I didn't think I'd be a good mother either. Especially with Lillius, but it just sort of clicked into place." with a nod of her head and a fond memory of mother and daughter sharing their first meal together. How Lillius had thrown an absolute fit over being served noodles.

"You would make for a good mother I think. Don't sell yourself, short little sister."

"Yea, well, agree to disagree. Gotta actually get out there and find someone to have kids with first. I had an idea of someone, but that went tits up as they say." Rikun grumbled a little under her breath and finished off her sandwich with a final bite.

"Oh? Who was the lucky lady? Or perhaps it was a man?" Tai asked, seemed she still had the same hangup on men as Midori did.

"No, no guys. They are just too... I dunno immature? Nah, it was a girl, really cute, but she ran off." Rikun said with a shrug and a sigh. She did her best to skirt the truth of just who had been the object of her eye.

Tai raised an eyebrow, "So she ran off on you? Sounds like she was a real bitch." wasn't often Tai cursed, but it seemed to suit the mood. "They must have been insane not to be with you."

"Yea, she's not so bad. Can be a pain in the ass at times, but I still love her so..." Rikun looked away from Tai. "She didn't really have a choice in the matter, running off that is."

Seemingly oblivious, Tai brought Rikun in a little closer, close enough to lean against her. She ran hotter than most humanoids now so it was rather warm. "Then clearly they're a fool." she had gotten the none too subtle hints. Rikun had always loved her in such a way. Well, long enough to cause her some discomfort at first. But now she felt a little saddened. She loved Rikun dearly, she'd slog through hell and back for her. But to love her in such a way... Tai simply didn't know if she was capable.

"Yea, goes both ways I guess," Rikun said as she pressed herself into Tai a little bit and simply enjoyed the contact. Rikun knew she could never have what she wanted, certainly not anymore, but that didn't make the sting any less painful being so close to her sister. Mentally she forced herself to simply enjoy the time she had with her sister for now instead of dwelling on what she couldn't have.

"So, whatda ya say we get out of here? You can go get your stuff you need taken care of, and I can totally not rush home and clean the place up?" Rikun offered.

Tai booped her sister's nose, "Your apartment is a wreck isn't it?" there was a smirk behind that tone. "You could come and stay with me at the Kyoto Towers you know. Lillius is there likely gorging herself on room service."

"I mean..." Rikun tried to picture her apartment at the moment. At most there would be some data pads on the table, maybe a plate in the sink left to dry, and the blanket that had been tossed on the couch.

"Not... Terrible? I've been tidier since I joined SAINT."

Tai's eye narrowed, "You joined SAINT?" her voice becoming a little sterner.

"Yea. After my last tour was up and I reenlisted, I asked for training in SAINT, and was accepted." Rikun said matter-of-factly.

Tai sucked at her teeth at Rikun's admission. "SAINT helped cause what happened to me." she grated.

"Yea, well SAINT came with a bigger paycheck and the promise of a half-way decent posting, even if it hasn't materialized yet." Rikun shot back. "And not everyone in SAINT is such a maniacal asshole either. It's changed a lot lately."

Tai grumped still, "So long as that villainous Klein woman is not there I will be fine. If I ever see her again I may well kill her, and if not me, Lillius. She fought the woman before Maras crashed and she disappeared soon after."

"Haven't heard of a Klein lately. If she is, she's locked in some deep dark basement filing reports for the next few centuries." Rikun said with a shrug. "She isn't going to freak out on me if she finds out I'm SAINT is she?" Rikun asked, suddenly wary.

"Lillius? Probably not. She reserves her hate for Klein and the Lorath. I will talk to her about it. She may be a little suspicious at first but that is normal when it comes to SAINT." Tai tried to explain in a soothing voice. "She may rip your apartment apart, however. She enjoys exploring and rifling through people's things.

"Long as she doesn't go into the bottom drawer of the nightstand, I don't mind. Not a lot to see otherwise. I don't have a lot..." Rikun shrugged a little again as she heard about the Lorath. "Yea... Not a fan either. Not after what happened."

"I believe the Lorath are fine, I just did not care for Chambers from the Trishka and the high priest, Tomoe." Tai puffed out a breath. "Shall we leave then? Do you have food at your apartment? I'm starving."

"Yea I got some stuff." It was one of the few things Rikun did have fully stocked, her fridge. Various drinks, meats, veggies, and snacks. "Thankfully they're all gone now, or at least most of them are." She said as she moved out of the booth to stand and held a hand out for her sister to help her up.

Tai took the offered hand with all the poise of a noblewoman. "Good, I shall make us dinner then." wait a sec... Tai cooked?! She'd been absolutely dreadful at it. Bad enough to burn water if that was possible. As if predicting the answer she hastily added: "I've gotten better, don't worry you won't die."

"Right..." Rikun said with a raised eyebrow. She had been the one to cook usually, but it seemed her sister had picked up some skills.

END
 
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