This logfile is imported from aitelogs2 and may contain errors or wrong timestamps.
#Leah'sHouse – September 17, 2017
It's the evening of November 23rd. There's a chill in the air outside, but there hasn't been any snowfall since the morning. A small footpath in the snow has been cleared from the road leading to the quaint house on the outskirts of town. Leah's home is a single story blue house with a comfy, well maintained covered porch that wraps around the front and side of the house in an L-shape. A bench is positioned just beside the front door and
there's a few chairs stacked off to the side on the porch, left unused during the cold winter. There's a little bit of snow sprinkled along the porch bannister, but thanks to Leah's father's daily sweeping ritual, the porch is otherwise untouched by the weather. A big white banner is hung from the porch, anchored in place to the bannister and the porch roof on all four corners by rope, with the word 'CONGRATULATIONS!!!!' in black lettering.
It doesn't quite reflect the amount of effort that Leah put in to determining how many exclamation points she should use. The guests were all told to arrive at around 7PM, but no other instructions were given.
Halisi comes walking down the road to the house, wrapped in heavy winter clothes - a long coat and a purple knit hat along with mittens and a scarf. Once in range to read the banner she stops briefly, a small smile crossing her face before she proceeds towards the porch.
Ilyna steps out of a wheeled taxi, and starts making her way along the footpath. She looks around for a sign of anyone else as she approaches the house. The sight of the banner evokes a tiny smile as it erases the doubt she had about this being the correct house. She fails to recognize Halisi right away, however. The asari is wearing a thick black winter coat over her dress.
The house sits on its own, south-west of Freedom Falls proper. The incline it sits on gives a good sightline in every direction. At this time, the buildings and homes to the east are coming to life, warm light washing out through the windows as people settle in for the end of their day. It's a relatively cloudless night, so even without any sort of streelights or the luxuries of a real city, the huge orb in the sky keeps the way from being
Halisi glances over her shoulder at the sound of a slamming car door, and gives Ilyna a small wave as she waits for her to catch up. "Lovely evening, isn't it?" she says with a smile, her gaze going up to the ever-dramatic night sky of Aite.
Victoria makes her way down the road to the house, wearing a black long coat and a white beanie to protect her from the cold. She can see at least two others have made it before she has, but cannot tell whom from this distance. She closes enough distance to see what the banner says clearly now.
Sofia arrives via a wheeled taxi also, slipping out the car and thanking the driver with a wide smile and his credits. She spins on the spot, her knee high dress blooming out around her. She wears a puffy winter's jacket, thick, yet stylish leggings, mittens, her paperboy hat and a scarf. Her fluffed boots keep her warm as she walks towards the others with excitement and a small twinge of nervousness. After
all, she doesn't really know these people. She throws a hand into the air and waves to Halisi, the only one of the group she recognises. "Guten Abend, doctor!" Her mismatched eyes gleaming with that cheerfulness she so often carries. She looks up to the banner and giggles softly.
Ilyna returns the wave on the way there, now recognizing her. "It really is," she says, following her gaze up at the sky. "I should leave the city more often." She does glance behind her at the approaching guests, but it's only when Sofia speaks that she turns around to really look at her.
Halisi snickers slightly. "I rarely find the time to admire our surroundings myself." she admits before continuing up the porch stairs. "I wonder if anyone else has arrived yet..." she trails off as she hears another vehicle behind them. "Sounds like we're not the last, at least." she comments before knocking on the door.
Ilyna opens her mouth to say something, but thinks better of it and stays quiet while Halisi comments on the others arrival. "Maybe Li would be interested in that," she says, thinking aloud. "If not, it'll feel wrong to ask someone to babysit her just for a walk."
Halisi 's smile briefly returns. "I'd be happy to, if there's need. And if Li doesn't mind, of course." She's about to turn back towards the door when she hears Sofia call out, and looks back behind her. "W-... Sofia, hello. I wasn't aware you were coming to this."
Sofia skips forwards with a bright smile, pushing back her white hair as it tumbles over her shoulders and down her back. "Leah invited me! I'll admit, I was surprised, but I thought it would be fun." She smiles to Ilyna, dipping her head in greeting.
Ilyna turns around to face the woman who interrupted them. She tilts her head for a brief moment, since the woman looks familiar. The asari fails to recall exactly who she is, however. "Good evening," she says.
Halisi turns back towards the door, repeating her earlier knock and then stuffing her hands into her pockets. She shifts her weight to her toes and then back to her heels to help circulation.
It takes a little bit for the door to open, revealing a cheery, wide-smiled Leah. She's wearing a pair of light colored nicely fit jeans and a v-neck light blue t-shirt.
Leah steps aside to wave Halisi inside. "Heyyyy!" she greets. "Get in-..." she begins, but trails off as she notices Ilyna, "Oh..." She pokes her head through the doorway to get a better look and spots Sofia. "Oh! Prompt." she says before pulling back into the house. "Get in here before you all freeze!"
Halisi leads the way inside, shooting Leah a smile. "Thank you." she says, taking in the room inside as she starts to unbutton her coat.
Victoria finally arrives at the porch as the front door open, with her hands in her pockets. "I am getting a taxi back to town, once this is over." She mumbles to herself. "Good to see, I arrived on time. Thought I was going to be late."
Sofia keeps that big ol' smile at Ilyna, about to introduce herself before Leah's door opens. She gives Leah a wave before following Halisi inside. "Thanks." She grins and stamps her feet a little to move some body heat before she begins the process of unwrapping her layers.
Ilyna steps in after her and walks out of the way to let Victoria through. "Hey," she says to Leah. "Thank you for your invitation." She does keep her coat on for the time being.
Victoria brushed the snow off of herself and takes a step in after Ilyna allowed for enough room to move by. "Thanks for the invite, Leah."
Tara stands in the dining room opening, half-hidden behind the wall as she studies the new arrivals at the front door. She's of course been busy assisting Leah with preparations. Her clothing is unremarkable - perhaps aside from its heavy similarity to Leah's. The main difference is that she favors longer sleeves on her t-shirt.
The front door leads right into the living room. The house is well maintained but has a cozy lived-in feel to it. To the left is a television set, a couch and coffee table, and a single recliner that's noticeably much more worn in than the rest of the furniture. The cushion is sunk in and there's small tears in the fabric from a lifetime of being moved from location to location. A warm blanket is folded over the backrest. The wall is adorned
with family pictures, showing Leah, her father, and her late mother all throughout her life. An opening directly across from the front door gives view of the kitchen where a large tray of food can be seen along the countertop. For those with a keen sense of smell, they may identify the aroma of varren meat. No doubt a suggestion by Jason. Beside the entry to the kitchen is a small cabinet with a single picture of Leah and her parents beside
a vase of fresh blue flowers. A number of additional family photos sit atop a desk to the right of the front door.
Leah waves them all in one-by-one. "Yeah, of course!" she says as a biotiball match plays on the television that her father left on before making himself scarce. "Thanks for showing up! Take off your jackets and have a seat. Just-..." she looks around to make sure nothing is out of order as she gives a shrug and looks over the others, "Make yourself at home!"
Halisi hangs up her coat, removing the rest of her winterwear and then re-shouldering her purse. She pulls out a bottle of wine from it. "I brought this." she says, showing it off and glancing around. "Is Linda here yet?"
Sofia finally tugs off the rest of her layers, now just in her white and silver trimmed dress. She smiles brightly at the others, looking around. "This is so lovely," she coos softly.
Ilyna listens and looks around while taking off her coat, the asari appearing especially interested in the pictures. She hangs her coat up next to Halisi's. Ilyna is wearing a long sleeveless dress with a simple pattern of dark gray and gray diagonal stripes. The small V-neck goes barely two inches below the middle of her collarbone. It looks a little uncharacteristic for her, which could explain why she looks a bit
tense once the coat is off. Though, it could also be because she thought the occasion was a little more formal than reflected in the host's choice of dress. Standing out is not something this asari is fond of, after all. She does appear slightly more at ease after seeing Sofia's dress.
Leah looks over the bottle, her smile widening as she shakes her head to the question. "Not yet." she says before looking to Sofia. The comment causes her to give a sweeping glance around her own living room and nod to herself. "I know it's nothing fancy, but it's home." she says humbly.
Halisi is wearing a loose-fitting jade top and sleek, dark grey pants. Her belt has a prominent golden buckle. "It's nice." she says, with a friendly smile as she makes her way further into the living room. She heads over to Tara, exchaning a few quick words with the girl near the kitchen.
Victoria takes off her coat, wearing long black pants and a long dark blue t-shirt. She keeps her beanie on to offer a little more warmth for the time being. She makes her way to the living room and takes a seat on the couch, not wanting to crowd the front door..
The photos depict a relatively normal upbringing despite Leah's less-than-normal life. You've got your photos of Leah in her obvious rebellious phase, fifteen years old with jet black dyed hair. Leah sitting at a kitchen table with a birthday cake sitting in front of her, just waiting to blow out the candles as her mother hovers over her shoulder. Judging by the empty seats around the table in the picture, it seems that nobody else attended
the party. Or maybe nobody else was even invited. Regardless, Leah is smiling ear-to-ear. Beside it is a photo of Leah in her Alliance uniform, maybe twenty years old. You could practically map her whole life out through the photos along the wall. The situations change, but one theme remains: Family. It seems that they were a very tight knit family and Leah's bright smile that always extends into her eyes is reflected in both her mother and
Sofia hums a small laugh and walks into the living room, elegantly dropping down into a free seat and folding her hands on her lap. "Yes, what the doctor said. It is nice." She smiles and looks at Ilyna and Victoria, the two people she doesn't really know, although she has a vague memory of them from the Halloween party. "Hi," she says to Victoria.
Leah remains standing near the door even after the others shuffle inside, clearly not quite sure what she's supposed to be doing. She uncomfortably reaches back and tucks her hands into her back pockets for the moment as she looks them over. "So-... Ummm.... I got food! A place me and Tara ate at that just opened up recently in town. Varren Piece Diner?" she asks, looking between them to see if any had checked the place out since
Victoria once she has sat down, she looks to Sofia after hearing. Vicky only remember seeing Sofia once, but she never got her name, she figured she might as well introduce herself now. "Hey, I'm Victoria."
Ilyna seems lost in thought as she studies the pictures. The one with the birthday celebration – which she recognizes as such from her research into raising a human child – stood out to her, however, and she finds herself staring at it. Leah's annoucement snaps her attention away from the pictures, and she looks a bit embarrased. "I haven't had that before," she says as she steps closer to the kitchen. "Not that I
Sofia smiles and nods. "I'm Sofia, Nathan's sister," she begins, before turning to look at Leah and smiling, although her face scrunches up into a somewhat curious... but also marginally grossed out face. "Varren? Mrm... is it really that good? When Nate brought some home, I thought he was just messing with me... coz' Varren are those... ugly looking dog things, right?"
Halisi returns to the living room, briefly joining Ilyna in looking at the family pictures, but her attention is quickly diverted by Leah. "Sounds lovely." she lies, opting not to bring up the likely health hazards involved with meat in the Terminus.
Victoria gives a shrug "Varren is alright, there are worse things you could eat. And yes, varren are the dog looking things." She said to Sofia.
Leah snickers at Sofia's obvious hesitation. "It's good! Honest! But I also grabbed some burgers from this place near the market that me and my dad like. We'll have to heat them up but-..." she falls silent, suddenly realizing that perhaps her choice in 'catering' isn't the most extravagent. Reheated burgers and varren. To go with Halisi's wine. She clears her throat and props her smile back up. "...You could always have one of
Sofia squints at Victoria, then at Leah, then at Halisi before she sighs and offers a small smile and a nod. "Weeeelll... I did come out here to try new things, I guess. And what better way than... trying... giant man eating dog thing kebabs?" She stands up. "Do you need a hand, Leah?"
Ilyna gives a reassuring smile after noticing Leah's sudden pause, but she doesn't say anything. For now she has faith that Leah wouldn't serve something she couldn't vouch for. She looks over her shoulder at the sound of the knocks.
Victoria looks towards the door as she hears the knocks. Wondering if it is Vasquez or more party guests.
Leah pulls one hand free from her pocket, shaking her head a bunch of times to Sofia. "Oh! No, no, no! Really. Thanks, but I've got it under control. All-..." she stops as she hears the knocks. The big, joyful smile returns to her face as she quickly moves into the kitchen, away from the front door. "Coming!" she shouts as she leaves the living room. A few moments pass before Leah returns with a blue sash in hand. In thick gold
lettering is the word 'Bride' written across it. She gives a snicker to herself as she flops it over her shoulder and opens the door. This should go over well with the always-joyful Vasquez.
Sofia nods and her smile broadens before she looks after Leah, assuming that the star of the show has just arrived. She straightens out her dress, brushes her hair over her shoulder and links her hands together, keeping herself prim and proper.
Ilyna takes a step back, watching the door while brushing her own dress despite its lack of creases. She does her best to remain composed despite her discomfort around the Chief.
Vasquez stands in the doorway as it opens, wearing her olive-green winter jacket, her hair tied back into the usual ponytail. She immediately takes a mildly uncomfortable glance into the house, before shooting Leah a faint smile, which fades quickly as she notices the odd sash, one of her eyebrows rising skeptically.
Cynthia is stood behind Vasquez, wearing a leather jacket that seems insufficent for the cold weather. Her mohawk has clearly been touched up recently. She has faint hints of a black eye.
Leah pounces, jumping forward as she lassos Vasquez with the sash. She quietly hopes nobody will notice that the sash was actually taken off a traditional batarian formal outfit she found down at the market and the lettering was done with a marker. She scrunches up her nose, her tongue lulling out of the side of her mouth as she bites down gently on it while struggling to quickly pin the sash in place before Vasquez can protest.
Vasquez pulls back, but too slowly to stop Leah. She stands on the porch in confusion as the small woman pins the sash to her. "I don't-... what are you-..." she pulls free just about the time Leah finishes, and looks down at the sash, lifting it slightly with one hand to read. She lets out an exasperated grunt. "...what?"
Sofia giggles softly and claps her hands together. She looks to the others, taking her seat once more at the sofa with an odd air of grace that doesn't seem to go with her jubilant and free going personality.
Ilyna raised her brows, a tight-lipped smile forming as she holds back laughter at Leah's display of bravado. Vasquez' reaction, even if it expected, did get a laugh out of her though. She walks across the room to sit down next to Victoria, avoiding looking at the chief.
Halisi remains standing, observing Leah and Vasquez in silence, a look of mild amusement on her face.
Leah gains a dead serious expression, narrowing her eyes on Vasquez. "No complaining!" she instructs, pointing at Vasquez with her index finger, "You'll wear it and you'll like it!" Then, without so much as a moment's hesitation, the big bright smile returns to her face and she waves the pair inside. "We've got food inside and I've got some vids we can watch if you want and there's drinks-...." she begins listing, "...But don't
worry! I picked up some non-alcoholic stuff, too!" she assures Vasquez. "Ummm-... juice! And soda!" She looks to Cynthia as she continues to ramble, "Halisi brought a bottle of wine, but we've got plenty of beer, too!" she scrunches up her nose as the words continue to flow so freely that it's a wonder she can go so long without taking a breath, "But my dad drinks this gross stuff from down by the market so I wouldn't advise
it. But I bought a case of the good stuff, too! So take your pick! It's all in the fridge just take whatever you want!"
Cynthia perks up and is quick to slip inside. "That's all I needed to hear..." she comments as she beelines for the kitchen.
Victoria watches Leah and Vasquez for awhile, but when Ilyna sits down next to her, she turns her attention to her. "Hey, Ilyna. How's the kid?"
Vasquez looks at Leah, seeming a little dumbfounded. I don-..." she lets out a sigh. "Alright..." she mumbles slowly, stepping inside, her discomfort remaining. She furrows her eyebrows as she looks down at her jacket. It's removal of course necessitates removing her sash as well, and she doesn't seem particularly in a rush to put it back on.
Ilyna looks at Victoria, giving a small smile at the offered distraction. "She's doing fine," she says. "She and Jason are probably up to no good right now." The asari lets out a small chuckle. She doesn't appear at all worried about leaving her alone with Jason.
Sofia hums a little as she looks around at the collection of people here. She seems merely content to people watch for the moment, to perhaps understand her brother's coworkers better. She laces her fingers together, her mismatched eyes taking in the details of Leah's home. She examines the pictures, her smile small as each tell a small portion of a story.
There's a counter that lines the kitchen wall. Beside the stove is a heated serving tray filled with sliced varren meat and a tray of pita bread and other toppings. The fridge is directly across from the opening between the living room and kitchen and is flanked on both sides by countertop. True to her word, there's a full case of beer on the bottom shelf. The name, 'Dor'thok Ale' is in a stylized batarian script and has a logo of two
serrated blades crossing behind it. There's a handful of stray bottles of a second type of beer shuffled about in the fridge as well, presumably Leah's father's. There's no label on it, so there's no way to tell that it's actually a batch of Jasper's homebrew.
Leah is quick to take Vasquez' jacket and browbeat her into putting the sash back on. "Don't make me put it back on you myself!" she threatens.
Vasquez seems in a relatively good mood, shaking her head to herself and putting the sash back on before heading over to the others in the living room. Under her jacket she's wearing a white t-shirt and grey pants. At least it's not combat fatigues. Her gaze wanders from person to person, stopping at Sofia. She raises an eyebrow. "...who the hell are you?" she asks, her tone not so much hostile as confused.
Leah follows Vasquez over to the others, but opts to remain standing beside the coffee table. "Sofia! Remember? She was at the Halloween party!" she introduces, opting to allow Sofia to fill in the blanks herself.
Sofia blinks as she is addressed and the rather curt question causes the young woman to stiffen upright. Her cheeks flush red and she seems to shrink a little into herself, not used to being spoken to in such a way from people she has just met. "Um, Sofia Tennhausen, ma'am," she replies, her eyes fluttering from Vasquez's gaze to the floor. "I wa-" As Leah speaks her mind, she nods quickly. "Yeah. I was the
Victoria nods "That is good to hear. Hopefully, Jason does not give her any sugar and gives her a sugar rush."
Vasquez brings a hand to her temple, nodding slightly. "Right..." she sighs. "The sister." Her gaze moves briefly to Victoria, and then to Leah. She lets out a quiet, frustrated noise and makes her way towards the kitchen, waving the host along with her.
Ilyna shakes her head. She did expect as much, though she hoped that wasn't the case. Her attention is drawn away at Vasquez' less than polite question to Sophia, though it did answer the question she was too polite to ask when they met on the porch. "Hopefully," she repeats, addressing Victoria.
Leah blinks a couple of times, forcing a friendly smile Sofia's way as a passive attempt at apologizing for Vasquez' reaction before turning to follow Vasquez into the kitchen. Once inside, she furrows her brow, "...Everything alright?" she asks in a whisper, casting a brief glance Cynthia's way.
Sofia looks a little crestfallen at the reaction, forcing a polite smile Vasquez's way before she walks off. She sinks a little into the chair, muttering too quietly underneath her breath for anyone else to hear. Her fingers curl into the fabric of her dress and she wrings it to keep herself distracted for the moment.
Vasquez lets out a long sigh, glancing back over her shoulder briefly. "Look, I agreed to do this... thing, but... what is Tennhausen's kid sister... or Steels, for that matter, doing here?" she asks, sounding both tired and a little annoyed.
Halisi winces slightly at the uncomfortable scene and opts to join the other three by the couch, remaining standing. She shoots Sofia a smile. "Don't take it personally."
Leah's eyebrow slowly raises as she studies Vasquez. "Shut up, get some food and enjoy yourself, okay Chief?" she finally says, allowing a small smile to return to her face. "You said small, I kept it small! Vicky is a friend of mine and Sofia doesn't really know anyone in town. Plus-..." she lowers her voice even more, glancing down the hall towards the bedrooms to make sure she's not overheard by Tara, "I thought it might be
Vasquez furrows her eyebrows as Leah speaks, her annoyance only growing at first, but the mention of Tara causes her to sigh, her shoulders dropping as she shoots a glance in the girl's direction. She nods a couple of times. "Yeah... okay. Look, I-..." She trails off, and her frown returns as her gaze falls on the food that sits atop the counter. "Is that...?"
Cynthia grabs a beer with a pleased nod. "Batarian, nice." she mumbles, swinging around and kicking the door shut with the heel of her boot. Immediately after opening it she takes a long swig, looking around the kitchen until her gaze settles on Tara and she gives her a nod.
Sofia offers Halisi a quick, bright smile, sitting upright. "Oh, it didn't bother me!" She says, quickly dismissing such an absurd notion with a wave of her elegant fingers. "I haven't been around much, easy for people to forget me." She clears her throat and shuffles forwards to sit on the edge of the sofa, offering a spot to Halisi. "How are you, doctor? Everything going well?"
Victoria sighs "I need a beer. Anyone else wants one?" She stands up from the couch and waits to see if anyone else wants one before she goes for it.
Leah gives a wiggle of her eyebrows as her smile grows. "Varren kebabs. Jason recommended it so yell at him if you don't like it!" she says. "A new place opened up in town called 'Varren Piece Diner'. Me and Tara ate there and it wasn't bad so I thought I'd pick up some food from there for tonight. If you don't like it I also grabbed some nice greasey burgers, too!"
Ilyna gives a understanding nod to Halisi's words about the chief, but she refrains from saying anything about it. She considered introducing herself, but opted to avoid interrupting her conversation with Halisi. "No, thank you," she says to Victoria.
Vasquez lets out an amused snort, a small but genuine smile crossing her lips as she looks back to Leah. "That... will be perfect. Thank you." she says with a small nod. She wastes no time in heading for the counter and starting to fill up a pita, clearly quite hungry.
Leah steps over to Tara, nudging her playfully in the side. "Hey you. What are you doing hiding in here?" she asks.
Halisi nods slightly. "As well as can be. The clinic has been... relatively calm the last few days." She shakes her head in response to Victoria's question. "No, thank you... but I do believe I'll have some food." she says, starting to head towards the kitchen.
Cynthia snickers in response to Tara's reaction, but it's half-hearted, her gaze lingering on her mark as she passes her on her way back to the living room.
Sofia gives a gentle nod and stands at Victoria's question. "I'll take some of that wine, if that's alright?" She asks, directing her question more to Halisi than Victoria. She hesitantly follows into the kitchen, feeling a little uneasy being around Vasquez.
Tara blinks, looking to Leah. "I... was preparing the utensils." she says, omitting that she finished a while ago. "Am I needed in the living room?"
Ilyna follows the group towards the kitchen, but she stops at the edge of the living room to wait for the others to get their food first. Whether it's an excuse to keep her distance from the Chief is anyone's guess.
Vasquez soon finishes assembling her kebab, and makes her way into the living room just as the kitchen starts to get crowded. She stops by Ilyna, seeking her gaze before speaking. "I'm... glad you could make it." she says, quite sincerely.
Leah plops an arm around Tara's shoulder and gives her a quick sidehug, pressing her temple against Tara's briefly. "Thanks for helping, but you don't need to do anything, Tara. Just enjoy yourself!" she encourages, "Get some food and relax. I'll put a movie on once everyone has settled down. Besides, someone has to keep dad's chair warm since his lazy butt isn't plastered to it tonight, right?"
Tara gives a small nod, a shy smile on her face. "Okay." she says, hesitating briefly before moving over to the counter, opting for a kebab. She takes great care not to get in anyone's way as she prepares a plate of food for herself.
Halisi stops by Leah, glancing towards the counter of food. "You mentioned something about burgers?" she says with a polite smile.
Cynthia plops down in the couch, spreading her arms along the backrest and prying her boots off with her feet.
Ilyna gives a small nod, but it's not hard to notice her immediate stiffness at being addressed by the Chief. "Me too," she says. "It was really kind of Jason to look after Li for the night."
Vasquez sighs slightly. "How's she doing?" she asks, remaining standing with her plate of food for the time being.
Sofia thins her lips together and walks into the kitchen, searching around for a glass and the wine bottle. She makes to pour herself a measure of it before moving around the room a little awkwardly. Seeing Tara, she decides to move over to her, smiling brightly once more and raising her hand in greeting. "Hey, Tara."
Leah glances to Halisi and, upon hearing the question, nods a few times. "Yeah, I was just about to get myself one." she says and steps over to a large bag beside the sink. She reaches in and pulls two wrapped burgers from it, weighing them in her hand. She tilts her head from side to side before shrugging her shoulders. Warm enough. Tara and Sofia briefly catch her attention, and her smile widens. Plan is working. Mwahahahahah.
"Here ya go. You can microwave it if you want." she offers to Halisi with a nod towards the device hanging above the stove as she thrusts a thick, lukewarm cheeseburger towards the woman.
Tara turns, having just about finished her plate of food. She bows her head respectfully to Sofia. "Hello." she says quietly, remaining stood in place.
Victoria grabs herself a beer from the fridge and moves to grab some varren meat. She was quite hungry and needed something to eat.
Ilyna looks thoughtful for a moment. "She's doing well," she says. "It's sometimes hard to believe, and...." She sighs, realizing this is neither the time nor place for her to elobrate. "She's doing well," she repeats.
Sofia smiles at Tara, looking a little amused at the head bowing. She gives a small curtsy in return, chuckling softly. She eyes the food suspiciously before asking her, "Can you tell me how the kebab is? I mean, I'm not calling Leah a liar or anything, I just find it very hard to believe that a varren tastes good...". She gives a small grin and a light shrug.
Vasquez offers a small smile, a hint of sadness in her eyes as she nods. She seems to consider saying something, but instead just plants a hand on Ilyna's shoulder briefly before passing her, moving to take a seat in the couch. She wastes no time in taking a big bite from her kebab, relishing the familiar taste.
Tara furrows her eyebrows. "It's... good." she confirms, but then gestures over to the counter with her plate. "We... have other food as well." she adds, in case Sofia is still displeased. "I can heat a burger, if you want."
Halisi shakes her head with a chuckle. "I will trust your judgement." she says, opting to prepare the burger as-is. "I'll admit, I feel my wine may have been a poor fit for this."
Sofia smiles lightly. "Well, I'll give it a try then," she says, reaching over for some of the varren meat and organising it into a pita. She blinks and looks to Tara, giving her a reassuring grin and a little shake of her head. "No, don't be silly. I'll make my own if I need to." She eyes Tara's attire, her lips pursing as she looks at Leah, then back to Tara, then to Leah, then back to Tara. "Are you wearing
Ilyna does tense up at the hand planted on her shoulder, and she remains standing there while Vasquez walks off. After about ten seconds pass, she sighs and walks over to get food at the counter with a slight frown. She picks out a pita bread and starts carefully stuffing it.
Leah's embarassment shines through for a moment. "Sorry... I didn't realize everyone was going to be so fancy!" she admits, unintentionally casting a glance Ilyna's way immediately after. "Chief said she just wanted something small. Simple. Varren kebabs, greasey burgers and some crappy vids seemed like a good fit." she says with a chuckle.
Tara blinks, shaking her head. "No, ma'am." she says, remaining in place in case Sofia has more to say to her.
Halisi smirks. "I wouldn't worry. I'm certainly not complaining. It's a nice change of pace from the parties I'm used to." she says, giving a nod towards the living room once she finishes with her burger - and grabs a beer to go with it. "Shall we?"
Victoria gathered up her food, listening to what the others. "Varren is better than pyjak. Better quality meat."
Sofia makes a small sound of acknowledgement before Tara's title of her made her blink. "Ma'am?" She stares for a minute before giggling lightly. "It's Sofia, silly. Ma'am is something that people say to my mother," she says with a joyful little smile. She takes her assembled pita, eyes it, then looks to Victoria. "Piejack? What're those?"
Ilyna finishes making her kebab in silence and walks back out into the living room. That she's not the only one misjudging the formality of this occasion does lighten her mood slightly, but not for long. She stops and surveys the area around the TV in roder to decide whether to retake her seat.
Cynthia takes a long swig of her beer and gives Ilyna a wave from her place in the middle of the couch.
Victoria was little surprised this girl has never heard of a pyjak before. "They are like monkeys, that breed like rabbits. They are quite a pest, when in a pack." That is how Karth talked about pyjaks that was not his, which is probably the best way to describe them.
Tara bows her head. "Sorry, m-... Sofia." she says quietly, navigating in silence towards the living room and taking the seat instructed by Leah - the recliner. She carefully sets her plate down, glancing briefly to the others.
Sofia sucks on her lower lip, looking, frankly, rather disturbed at the supposed cuisine of the Terminus. "Um... I think I've lost my appetite," she remarks, looking down at the varren meat on her plate. Tara's response causes her to huff her cheeks, starting to think that maybe she's not quite cut out for Aite. It's only a small holiday, she reminds herself. A holiday... with... mercenaries. She decides to
Leah collects a beer of her own, taking great care not to accidentally grab one of her father's, and follows Halisi into the living room. She sets her food and beer at the end of the coffee table and gets to work on the television, setting up the vid as everyone else finishes getting their food. After a moment, the screen changes from the biotiball match to the title card for something called 'The Illium Agenda'. Those that keep
up with the vid scene would know it was an action-romantic-comedy that released a while back in Citadel space to average reviews. It's just recently made its way out to the Terminus. Those with a vested interest in Devin Tanner's career may also know he makes a small cameo in the film. "Alright! I figured we had to keep with the theme of romance for the occasion but without going all mushy and lovey dovey! Viola!" she
Ilyna walks over to the couch and takes a seat next to Cynthia, the side furthest from the chief, and puts the plate on the table in front of her.
Vasquez gives Leah a skeptical glance, but her gaze drops to her hands, still holding the kebab, and the ring on her finger, and she smiles faintly as she's reminded of just what they're here to celebrate. She finishes off her meal and leans back in the couch. Things are good. Maybe just this once it wouldn't hurt to relax a little.
Victoria walks back into living room and looks for a free seat and spots that there is a free seat next to Vasquez. She makes her way to the free spot and takes and seat next to Vasquez. She look at Vasquez for a moment "I don't believe I have said this to you yet, but congratulations."
Sofia wanders in after Victoria, the young woman electing to stand and lean against the wall. She looks to the screen and she smiles a little. "Oooh, Devin Tanner is in this."
Leah's eyes go wide at Sofia's comment. If this were a horror movie, the camera would pan in on Leah's face as a 'RHEE! RHEE! RHEE!' played over the soundtrack. "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" she groans, holding the note for as long as she can.
Ilyna is about to take a bite of her meal, but the mention of Devin draws her attention towards Sofia. She looks back down at her food, chuckling at Victoria and Leah's dramatic reactions. Hopefully they'll draw the attention away from her slightly more purple cheeks.
Sofia grins at the reactions of the others, a little giggle escaping her as she looks to the screen. "He's not so bad~." She gives Ilyna a little smirk and she reaches up to idly brush a lock of hair back once the others have finished their dramatised moments.
Leah though upset by this revelation, isn't distracted enough to ignore Ilyna's well documented (And untrue) history with Tanner. She may have even read a fanfic or two. She points to Ilyna, a faux look of anger on her face. "Tell your boyfriend to stop ruining my movies!" she demands in a less-than-serious tone. As soon as Sofia finishes, Leah's attention snaps right to her and she narrows her eyes. "You didn't have to spend
Vasquez covers her face with her palm, the reaction to Tanner's involvement in the vid suprisingly evoking a quiet chuckle from her.
Sofia gasps a little and, almost in a disturbingly fast blur of fangirling movement, ends up right next to Leah with wide eyes and a sparkle of awe in them. "You. Spend time. With Devin. Tanner?!" She then looks to Ilyna and gasps again, making the connection. "Oh my God, you're the asari from- oh my Gooood!" She practically squeals with excitement.
Halisi stands in the back of the living room with an amused grin across her face. She raises an eyebrow as the subject turns to Ilyna, sipping from a glass of beer held in one hand.
Cynthia raises an eyebrow at the ongoing discussion, turning to study Ilyna with very mild interest.
Ilyna keeps averting their gazes, her cheeks practically burning at this point. "Please, no, I... well...," she tries to respond to several things at once. She lets out a long sigh. "Yes, I worked with him a job. That's it."
Cynthia 's interest seems to increase. "Job, or 'job'?" she asks with a grin, taking a swig of beer as she awaits a response.
Leah gains an amused expression upon noticing Ilyna's obvious discomfort. "Uh huh, suuuure..." she teases, despite knowing damn well that Ilyna was every bit as frustrated with Tanner as she was. She's just fanning the flames. Cynthia's comment causes her to snort loudly as she plops down on the floor in front of the chair Tara is perched upon. "I've read the stories, Ilyna! You can't fool us!"
Sofia crawls across to Ilyna, sitting on the ground before her. "What was he like? As charming as he is on the vids? And just as handsome~?" She coos a little, sipping at her wine eagerly.
Ilyna still doesn't look up, and she ignores Cynthia's question. "Goddess," she mutters to herself. It's only when Sofia inserts herself into her field of vision that she answers. "I... uh, I... just," she sighs. "I did enjoy talking with him, but... I don't want to be a public figure." It's a non-answer, as the asari is very afraid of anything leaking out to the press with her as the source.
Halisi hastily puts a hand to her mouth, doing her best to stifle a laugh from her place behind the couch.
Leah gives an amused snicker as Ilyna fumbles about. "Alright, alright. I guess you're keeping your secrets close to your chest, Miss Tanner." she continues to tease as she starts up the movie. "Your business is your own!" she relents through a big grin.
Sofia stares up at Ilyna, making a small squeal. "I knew it! Do you still have his contact details?" She makes a long, drawn out gasp and says quietly, "Can I meet him? Can you do that for me? Pllleeeeeeaaaaasssseeeee?"
Vasquez quietly slips out of the couch while all attention is on Ilyna, hoping to grab something to drink and another kebab.