runs in the family

Description: TAG: abhilasha/raissa, surinder/bismark, kalyan/aster  raissa   bismark   aster 

Kailash Shirazi

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  • Queen
  • Traveling Terreille
    3 Posts    0 marks
runs in the family
« on: May 31, 2019, 01:10:20 AM »
Kailash blinked repeatedly as she surfaced from the swarm of papers on her desk and breathed the air of the world around her once more, casting her gaze from the bookshelves lining the left wall to those suffocating the right. None of them came into focus, vision blurry from minutes of sincere attempts to internalize at least one tidbit of abstract knowledge from the documents her mother had given her to study in the weeks before.

(Yes, minutes. She never claimed to be a scholar.)

 The young Queen craned her mother's long neck to look over her shoulder, staring wistfully out the window in the direction in which her brother, Kalyan, had been all but dragged off the estate moments before. Kai was still unclear as to the exact reason why. The escorts and servants she'd asked had given three different suggested explanations, each of which made the Queen's eyes narrow a little more skeptically. Though she didn't envy him whatever obscure errand he'd been tasked with - no, that was a lie, she wanted that errand for herself - Kailash felt the pull to the outdoors even now, as the windowpanes frosted in reminder of the chilling temperatures of the season. Weather be damned. Kailash was much more at ease with dirt under her feet than marble.

Though marble, too, felt natural in its own way, after decades spent careening through palaces from one place where she was unwanted, to the next.

It was just after the young woman bolted up from her chair, having committed to a brisk - and regretfully - brief walk, and perhaps a stop for coffee to inspire better focus, that the familiar presences of her mother and uncle sifted through her awareness, approaching the estate.  Petite features, momentarily left pleasant by the break in attitude conferred by her confusion, furrowed back into a glower. Her eyes flickered to where she kept the calendar on the desk, tossing the offending book atop it to the floor, and checked the day's date. She didn't have any lessons scheduled with her mother, no meetings or introductions to be held at the Shirazi Estate.

What in the good fuck was she doing here?

Uncle Surinder, she could give the benefit of the doubt. Unlike the rest of her family - save, perhaps, her brother, to whom Kailash was spiritually attached to the hip, and her Aunt Kalyani, who didn't exactly count because it had been her job to tend to and/or redirect the Queenling's every whim for the better part of a century - Surinder never needed an excuse, or ink on a calendar, to justify a visit to his favorite - if only - niece. Kailash chose to ignore that the Warlord Prince was perhaps the estate's most frequent visitor; even though it was rightfully his home, too, she preferred to think that the man was actually coming to see her.

Smugness once again subsided as a momentary dread spiked in the Queen's chest. She hadn't done nearly enough studying to survive for even a few seconds before coming under her mother's scrutiny, and, ultimately, bearing witness to her disappointment. A look of distaste thinned Kailash's lips as she hastily got to work finger-combing the hair about her shoulders back into a proper braid, tight - if undeniably knotty - and secured with a heavy golden clip. She allowed herself a singular moment of fond reminiscing to an hour before, when she'd unraveled her grandmother's complicated hairstyle and used her mane to knock a wide array of objects from the wooden surface she was effectively chained to, in order to make her brother to fetch them. Then, Kailash realigned the jewelry on her fingers, wrists, and the curve of her neck, and strode out of the study to greet - and hopefully derail - her presumed visitors.

She found the pair a few moments later, amidst a hushed conversation with her grandmother. Said grandmother quickly excused herself from the room, with only a brief pause to cup Kailash's cheeks with her hands. There was a very strange look on the old Priestess' face as she peered down at her granddaughter - the same look that had troubled her expression the past few days. Was she…sad? Mad? Kailash could never tell for herself,  that was Kalyan's job - but for her not to notice the unraveled hairstyle...shaking her head as her grandmother closed the door behind her, the young Queen turned on her mother and uncle, arms folded across her chest. Maybe, if she pretended to be upset at the sudden appearance of the pair, she could skirt any direct questions about the state of her study of the potential courts she might one day sit at the center of,  hand-selected by her father and mother, which had yet to catch her interest.

"You're four days early." Kailash accused, tone casual - as casual as it ever was, anyway, with the razor-edge of her diction. She pursed her lips, brows raising in a tease as she chuckled to herself and leaned against the nearest piece of furniture. "You must have been bored to death, visiting unannounced."

Surinder Shirazi

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  • Warlord Prince
  • Dumpster Firefighter
    Hayll Terreille
    26 Posts    553 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2019, 03:27:14 AM »
Kai appeared quickly enough, cutting short an emotionally tense conversation with his mother, and part of Surinder was relieved at her sudden arrival, as he wasn’t sure how much more of his mothers -- completely justified! -- upset he could handle on top of Abhi’s. There was only so much comforting one man could do, and he wasn’t even that good at it, he just wanted concrete things he could fix. Not feelings…!

The relief was short lived though, as the door closed behind the family’s matriarch with an ominous sound. Or maybe it was just ominous in his head, and it was really just the prospect of having to tell Kai a white lie about her father. A white lie she’d likely see right through, because it wasn’t the type of conversation their mother would have with them personally or face to face. In fact, it wasn’t a conversation their mother ought to have with them at all. If Ziauddin had done anything as benign as go on a diplomatic trip it would’ve been scheduled weeks in advance, the kids would’ve known about it, he’d have told them, it wouldn’t have happened like this at all…!

Kalyani never would’ve just left them either, in fact her being gone days on end was probably bad enough and he wasn’t sure if anyone had bothered to lie to them about their aunt being gone…!

Kai would see right through their bullshit and then-- feelings. Again.

Before either of them could say anything though Kai spoke up, in a tone that Surinder was all too familiar with, but usually coming from his mother. Not his niece. Little shit.

Without preamble Surinder grabbed Kailash by the back of her neck, tugging her against him in a crushing hug -- which would be the more common greeting he’d grown accustomed too over the years.
“Hello to you too, little Queenling,” He said snidely. “It’s good to see you again as well.” he continued unabashed, holding her tight in the forced hug, perhaps a little tighter than usual, but he needed that and Kai could handle it!

“And that’s your mother.” He reminded her, pressing a kiss on top of her -- somewhat messy -- hairdo. “You should be more respectful.” He added, for propriety’s sake as he finally let go of the young Queen to give her room to breathe and compose herself again.

Abhilasha Jain

  • Inactive Character
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Hayll Terreille
    32 Posts    98 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 11:43:24 AM »
There was something familiar about her daughter’s incorrigible behavior, about the way her braid had obviously been quickly and messily done. It was one of the things she’d never be able to convince Kailash to change. No matter how much Abhilasha prided herself on her own appearance, she hadn’t gotten it through Kai’s admittedly thick skull that it mattered. Perhaps it shouldn’t have, but people always took in the sight of someone and made judgments before anything else.

She arched a brow at Kai’s response, and guilt stabbed at her gut. Was that what Kailash thought? That she couldn’t visit otherwise? She was right, though. Abhi rarely found the time to visit on a social call, and this wasn’t even remotely near any such thing. This was far from casual, and while Kai might’ve had four days to study — which she suspected meant three days of putting it off and a frantic day of forcing herself to study in full.

Before she could respond, though, Surinder stepped forward and drew Kailash into his arms. Another pang, another sharp jolt of guilt, for all that she’d never show it. Instead, her lips pursed in slight disapproval, for all that it was mostly feigned… and before she could help herself, she opened her arms — hesitantly, with a trace of uncertainty on her features before it faded. “May I have a hug, Kai?” she asked quietly, and that would likely be all the indication her daughter needed that something was very, very wrong.

But she had to cling to this, to her love for her twins. She couldn’t let Zia’s disappearance push her back into that broken place where everything in the world was about her goals and none of it was about the people around her.

Kailash Shirazi

  • Inactive Character
  • Queen
  • Traveling Terreille
    3 Posts    0 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 08:23:15 PM »
The cool, restrained bemusement on the young Queen's face spread into an uncontrollable smile, scrunched and bright, as Uncle Surinder threw his arms around her petite frame, and squeezed. She made a sound of mock-protest even as she hugged him back as tightly as she could muster, wheezing a proper, "Hello, Uncle," under her breath as he chided her. She savored the embrace for a long moment - did her back just crack? - then closed her eyes as his lips pressed against her hair, more than the hint of a smile creeping onto her features once more.

You should be more respectful. Kailash wanted to snort. Not because he was wrong, but because he knew better than to expect that much from her. "I know," She agreed, though she made no move to apologize.

Then Surinder was stepping back and making way for the Queen. Kai caught the arch of her mother's brow - disapproval for airing her grievances so plainly? Incredulous denial of the truth that she really didn't see her children as often as a mother should? She deliberately ignored the look in favor of her Uncle, until attention rounded on her mother once more. Then she narrowed her eyes in a silent challenge to comment on her appearance out loud.

It took Kailash a much longer moment than even what she'd spent in her uncle's embrace, to process her mother's expression, gesture, and request. Sure, the question was clear enough, and Kai was certain she had heard the Queen correctly. It was her tone, the soft, almost uncertain, almost desperate timbre that rippled like an undercurrent through her mother's voice, that Kai found herself unable to believe.

Lips parted to demand answers, mostly from Surinder. Why was her mother upset? What had he done - or not done - to keep her from being so? Where was her father? Why hadn't either of them done their jobs?

Kailash snapped her mouth shut against such accusations for now, however, leaning into the pang of concern that sent her forward into her mother's arms to embrace her tightly. She ignored the way her chin caught on the jewelry along her mother's collarbone, pressing nose to neck, and shut her eyes. "Hello, Maan."

If it felt wrong to savor a heartwarming moment so obviously on the cusp of something terrible, Kailash was entirely too greedy - too desperate, herself - to care.

When she finally drew back, she did so only physically; she was still pressing against her mother's psyche, gentle and probing, and far less demanding than she generally was, when nosing into other people's business.

She would get to that.

For now, Kailash simply stepped back wordlessly, plopping herself into a chair that faced the other seats in the room, crossed her arms, and waited for her mother and uncle to follow suit. She decided they had exactly five seconds before she escalated matters by opening her mouth again.


Surinder Shirazi

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  • Warlord Prince
  • Dumpster Firefighter
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    26 Posts    553 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 12:49:58 PM »
MOmentarily Surinder feared that Kai would deny her mother the courtesy he had just snatched. He was half of a mind to push the child at her mother and make her do it before things got painful. But for all that she was difficult sometimes Kailash was a good kid at heart, and Surinder could understand why his mother had taken such a shine to her. It was hard to imagine Ziauddin, the wet towel that he was, had managed to be a half-way decent father to either of his children.

Surinder had missed Kailash, and her brother. He’d prefer to have them at court with their mother, and perhaps now that Ziauddin had fucked off like he had, that was a good option to pursue. Why the pair had been squirreled away at the family estate was beyond him. How was Kai to fill up a court in time if she didn’t make any connection? Surinder couldn’t possibly fill all the positions, provided he didn’t get roped into Priya’s court first he could handle a few at least, if need be but not all. Though he supposed in the absence of his brother, there were more options again now.

He’d have to talk to his mother about it at some point. All of it.

He tried not to watch the exchange between mother and daughter too closely. It felt like an intrusion on a moment far more intimate than his greeting had been. Surinder fidgetted, keeping his gaze on his fingers as they wrapped in and out of the hem of his shirt -- not quite a nervous tick, but close enough to it that he immediately seized doing it the minute the pair before him broke apart again.

“Yes, let’s sit.” Surinder said a little dryly, a split second before Kailash did just that, making it just proper conduct. By a hair, but it wasn’t like they were going to harp on manners now. He pulled a chair out for Abhilasha, lending her a hand to boot. He used craft to shut the doors of the parlor with a gesture of his hand, and secured them with a green lock that would have to keep the eavesdroppers and nosy staff members out at any rate.

It only dawned on him after that it might feel a bit ominous to Kailash to be locked in like that.
"Some... privacy?" He said by means of explanation to the women he was with. He wasn't sure why it came out as a question, but he cleared his throat and stuck with it. What else was he supposed to say? Not to worry? That everything was fine? Those were all fat lies, thanks to his fucking brother.

Abhilasha Jain

  • Inactive Character
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Hayll Terreille
    32 Posts    98 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2019, 03:49:51 PM »
Abhi envied Surinder his closeness with Kai, and she felt like a stranger as she watched the two of them. She was going to have to fix this — somehow. She wanted that, even though she wasn’t even sure how to go about it. She’d put so much distance between herself and her children for so long that she wasn’t even sure she could repair the damage… but she was trying.

She was reluctant to let go of Kai, all too aware of how rare it was for them to share a moment of affection. If it took Zia’s disappearance to bring them closer, maybe… Maybe it would be worth it. There was at least something good out of all of this…

But that thought would have to wait.

Accepting Surinder’s hand, she sat down, facing Kailash. She paused, glancing at the man as she realized what he was doing. Her lips pursed, but she didn’t comment on it either way. ”Thank you, Surinder,” she said instead. She knew Kai wouldn’t last long before she started asking questions, so she chose to skip ahead to the point.

”We wanted to let you know,” she said carefully, ”that your father and aunt will be unreachable for a time.” Rather innocuous words, considering the mood in the room. She knew she needed to be fully honest, but it took her a moment to muster up the strength to continue. ”I’m not entirely sure when,” if, “they’ll be back.”

Kailash Shirazi

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  • Queen
  • Traveling Terreille
    3 Posts    0 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 01:02:03 PM »
It was always convenient when someone else managed to wedge just enough propriety between her actions to keep Kailash from coming under further scrutiny. It was usually Kalyan's job, but even Uncle Surinder and her grandmother went to certain lengths when properly motivated. She needed to be careful not to get too used to that now, she knew, if she ever wanted to be taken seriously by her family, or a Court. It…might've been a little too late for that, though; the Queenling was still very much a child in the way she thrived on mischief, on pushing the people around her just far enough to see them lose control of their emotions, or forget Protocol.

This was a skill she'd honed after years of pushing her father in such a way, usually with little success (she didn't count the occasional flicker of something in his eyes that she got as a response as a success, only the rare instances where he seemed to remember how to speak kamathi, and dignified her with a response). When applied to other persons, however, she usually got a proper reaction, and it was the contrast between those experiences, more than anything else, that made those mild moments of 'acting out' so addictive.

She might have gone too far, this time, the young Queen realized, when the Warlord Prince in attendance suddenly locked the door with the Green. She kept her posture just short of relaxed by sheer force of will, eyes widening for a moment as she sensed it, gaze flickering to the door as she tried to remember which specific thing she surely must've done to inspire that sort of reaction. Was it Court research she'd been ignoring? The whole ham she'd stolen from the kitchens for Rajah? Those didn't seem reason enough to effectively cage her in a room with her mother, especially not with how important her mother was, and how valuable, her time. Schooling her expression into one of tight, borderline haughty denial, Kailash shot Surinder an incredulous look at his question-explanation, scoffed ever-so-slightly under her breath, then turned her attention on her mother.

Mother didn't disappoint. She got right to the point, in fact, and Kailash blinked, mild indignation making way for confusion in her features. She opened her mouth to say something - what, she didn't know; she usually didn't before it just…came out - but the Queen continued to speak before she could.

There it was.

The slow shift from defense to offense took hold of Kailash's entire body, starting with her face, eyes narrowing and chin titling upwards as her neck pulled back along the now-rigid length of her spine. "What do you mean, you don't know when?" Her voice, though quiet, was hard, words punctuated by sharp enunciations. "Where have they gone? And - why would they be unreachable?"

Surinder Shirazi

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  • Warlord Prince
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Re: runs in the family
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 03:02:29 PM »
He didn’t chastize the twins nearly enough to be even remotely aware of Kailash’ ’shit-I’m-in-trouble’ and he simply settled in another chair. He was busy trying to figure out what to do with his hands. And his legs. Crossing the latter first, and then resting his hands on the arm rests. Like a crotchety old grandparent waiting for death.

No good then. He first shifted to leaning on one hand, that was too casual, but it gave him room to move the other one without it looking like he was as clueless as he was. He rested that hand on his crossing knee, and drew in a deep breath when Abhi began to speak. As if anyone was really paying attention to him anyway. It didn’t matter what his hands were doing. They would be full of a temper tantrum from Kailash soon anyway, he suspected.

“If we knew where they’d gone,” Surinder said a little dry. “They wouldn’t be unreachable, Kailash.” A little prim, not wanting to scold her for asking fair questions, but the context of the situation wasn’t that hard to grasp.

Well. Maybe for the twins, who weren’t aware of their father’s track record of abandoning the family on a whim, and returning on another. If Ziauddin knew what was good for him though, he wouldn’t come back.

Abhilasha Jain

  • Inactive Character
  • Black Widow Queen
  • Hayll Terreille
    32 Posts    98 marks
Re: runs in the family
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 04:45:42 PM »
She didn’t quite know how to read the look on Kailash’s face, and that only added to her quiet shame. She should’ve known what it meant for her daughter to react that way. All she could guess was that Kai thought she was in trouble, though why she’d think that… Abhilasha should’ve known, should’ve had an idea of what her daughter was up to.

She glanced distractedly aside at Surinder as he fidgeted, watching him for a moment before giving a slight shake of her head and returning her attention to Kailash. Even when Surinder spoke, she only nodded, quiet for the moment as she worked out what to say next.

There didn’t seem to be anything she could say. How could she explain to Kailash that her father had done this before? She certainly wouldn’t tell her that if the situation had been different, Surinder might’ve been her father instead of her uncle. That had been kept hidden, something that needed to remain hidden even if Abhilasha had named Surinder her First Escort in Ziauddin’s absence.

”I assume they’re in Shalador,” Abhilasha said, her voice a little cooler as she distanced herself from her emotions. ”Though exactly where, we can’t be certain. They aren’t responding to attempts to contact them, and they gave no warning before they vanished.”
 

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