Meeting the Sister


Dhatri Karmali Kamala Jadeja

Scene Title Meeting the Sister
Synopsis Dhatri meets Kamala for the second time, and they realise they're related. They spar for a little bit, then Dhatri places her under his protection.

University Grounds

First the Cafeteria, which is fairly busy, then a small picnic area; unused due to the cold weather.

It's early in the morning, the Monday right after a vicious series of tests for the Physics program at the university. Kamala, only too happy to make it through said tests and the weekend intact, is sitting in the university cafeteria at a table a little way towards the back of the raucous, happy room. Though there is no breakfast in front of her, the presence of a half-filled styrofoam cup suggests that she's already had a few mouthfuls of her morning shot of caffeine. She's dressed easily and elegantly, with her book-bag sitting on the chair next to her.

"Mind if I join you?" comes Dhatri's voice in Urdu from over her shoulder. He's holding a tray of food in one hand; some toast, two fried eggs and some sausages, while in the other hand is a cup of coffee, and knife and a fork. Around his neck is a strap of leather that certainly wasn't there last time they met, though what it's attached to is hidden under his shirt.

"Hm? Oh… Mr. Karmali. No, certainly not. Please take a seat." Kamala gives him a small smile over her shoulder as he asks, and moves the book-bag so that it's on the ground instead, tucked away in the corner so that it'd remain safe there. As she waits for him to sit, she takes another sip of coffee, likely to wake her up a little more. "I'm sorry. I think you'll find me a poor conversational partner this morning - I just remembered why I hate Mondays with such a passion. The fact that it's not the weekend, see?" Still, she summons up a happy smile for him and waits, patiently, until he's gotten himself seated as he wishes. As she does so, she gives him a quick once-over, more to see the homeland in his face than any other reason, but the strap of leather makes her blink. He certainly doesn't seem the type, and she's too polite to comment.

Dhatri sits down. "Thank you. Nice necklace, by the way," he complements her before cutting open one of the eggs to let the yolk soak into the toast. He chuckles at the Mondays comment. "You and everyone else on the planet, I think. Apart from those who work weekends and get mondays off," he adds in a dry tone.

Kamala is a bit slow to catch up, thus the baffled look she gives him. "Hm? Oh!" Self-consciously she reaches for the exquisite pendant and it's lotus charm in gold and purple enamel. "Thank you. Sorry, I don't normally display it so openly." She makes quick work of tucking it back inside her shirt before she takes a deep breath. "I would compliment you as well, save that I'm not sure what I'm looking at, really. I would not have thought that you'd wear leather." As he cuts open the yolk, she gives a restful sigh, leaning back in her chair. "I think they should declare Monday part of the weekend as well, save that Tuesday will then be the next Wednesday. Perhaps Wednesday, so that we'd have two extremely short weeks instead of one long one." Her mouth curls into a wry, humorous smile. "I wonder whether the president will accept it if I petition him to make it so."

"Normally I wouldn't, but this is different," Dhatri says by way of explanation. He pulls out the eagle's claw that the leather is attached to. "Not quite as nice looking as a lotus flower, but it's a gift from my birth parents, whom I met for the first time only a couple of days ago."

Blink. Blink. "What a very … odd gift," Kamala says nervously. There's a feeling that she's not completely on the page, and it's irritating her. "You know, it reminds me very much of a tale of Vishnu I once heard, about an eagle's claw. Did your parents give it to you as a sort of a welcome-into-the-fold gift?" She's still staring at it, fascinated, totally ignoring the way the yolk looks as it seeps into his toast in an uneasy melange of yellow and brown. Sitting back, she clears her throat. "It must have been quite a shock," she says quietly, striving for a note of compassion. "Was the reunion all that you have wished for?"

"It answered most of my questions, though it left me with more; that is the way of things I suppose," Dhatri replies. "My father made this for me, while my mother left me with a lotus flower. They explained why they had to leave me at a small temple instead of raising me themselves," he continues, before cutting a bit of egg and toast off of the rest and eating it.

There's something sparking in the back of Kamala's brain, that's reasonably certain from the intent, confused look she gives him, but it's not quite ready to jump to fruition in her conscious thoughts. "That's quite sad," she finally says, taking another sip of her coffee. "It must have pained them greatly to do so. It is never easy to leave a child behind, so people that have had the experience told me. But! You seem hale and hearty, and firmly on the path to a good career - I hope that this will only add to your happiness from now on." Her lips tuck into a smile. "Did you put it in water at least? Men often forget such things," she teases.

"I did indeed," Dhatri replies. "And, as my parents explained, it's often even harder to return and explain to them why later." He suddenly frowns thoughtfully, looking once more at the necklace. "Would I be correct in guessing that that's a gift from your mother?"

Kamala's surprised enough at that last question that she lowers the cup she was clutching. "It was a gift from my mother, yes," she finally says, head tilting. It's not in her to lie about something that large, not when it means that much to her. "I … never knew my real mother, much like you," she finally says, expression thoughtful as she looks past him to the outside of the cafeteria. "Like you, I never knew them, but I was taking in by my aunt and uncle… believe me when I say that it was a very big surprise meeting them as well. I guess that's why I can to a certain extent understand what it must have been like for you. I only met them recently as well, actually."

Dhatri smiles as though something has just clicked. "It seems we both have a mother who's very beautiful - in my case I might go so far as to say unearthly beautiful - and likes lotus flowers. I wonder, does your father happen to own a golden mace?"

"My mother loves lotus flowers, and she is more beautiful than the sun and moon together," Kamala says quietly. It's not until his question is asked that the same realisation clicks in her mind, and her complexion pales a bit from the light-skinned tan it was before. "My father," she says, stumbling somewhat over the syllables in Urdu, "My father indeed has a golden mace of sorts." She swallows. "I've never seen him with it, but all the tales…" He's got her full attention now, so intent that she's not looking away, she's not blinking, and she's barely even breathing. "Are you … my cousin?" she finally asks, voice small. A cousin would be too much to hope for; though she has a mortal brother, she's never dared dream that she might have family on the other side of things too.

"Not quite," Dhatri says between sips of coffee and a bite of his breakfast. "Assuming that your parents are who I think they are, I'm your brother. My father fashioned this from the claw of an eagle that died protecting one of his other children. As for the Lotus at home, it's only in water for appearances sake. My mother tells me it'll stay fresh for as long as I remain true to myself."

It's a good thing the cup is empty. It clatters from a nerveless hand to rebound on the desk's surface, and Kamala is so pale she almost fits in with the walls behind her. The hand she had it in is trembling, and she's looking at him as if something just kicked her in the chest. Perhaps, in her defense, her heart did. "My brother?" she repeats as if all her wits deserted her, and the hand goes to her throat to clasp at the chain of the many-petalled flower hiding inside her shirt. "You're my brother?" Whether the movement is subconscious or not, she's leaning out of the chair with her arms outstretched, trying to get him into a hug. The poor man, his newly-discovered sister is starting to cry almost like a downspout. It'll likely require several tissues.

Dhatri embraces his newly found sister and rubs her back gently. "We were from the same orphanage," he explains in English to an onlooker. Easier than telling him the truth… He had very nearly finished his breakfast anyway, so he says to her in Urdu, "Don't you think we should continue this discussion in private?"

It's also lucky that the onlooker doesn't know Kamala Jadeja at all. Kamala, however, hiccups to an end of the spout, for the moment, and nods blobbily, reaching for her back to get out a tissue. "Yes .. forgive me, it is very emotional," she says in the same language, before she wipes at her eyes and nods quietly to Dhatri. She might be crying, but her motions are eager as she stands and swings the bag over her shoulder, already moving to get away from the table and to the outside.

Dhatri rises to his feet and, with an arm around Kamala's shoulder, escorts her out of the building. He heads to an area on the campus that is usually used for picnicking, and thus is near enough empty at this time of day; particularly during late autumn and early winter. "Are you able to defend yourself?" he asks her once they get there.

Kamala managed to get herself cleaned up during the past few minutes of walking. Now, as they make their way into that pale, empty stretch of picnicking ground, she smiles her gratitude for his shoulder and steps away, dabbing the last of her tears away from wet eyelashes. "I can defend myself," she says with renewed vigor; her lips give a slight smirk and she steps back a pace so that she can stare up at him. "I am not helpless." As she looks around, she swallows and reaches into her bag, pulling out a gleaming, razor-sharp circle of bluish-grey metal. "Our father's chakram," she explains quietly. "The Chakkrath Azhwar that he's always portrayed with. I am not terribly skilled with it yet, but I can hit my mark most of the time, and I know kalarippayattu." The Indian martial art, that is, which is odd given that she's a woman. The chakram goes back into her bag as she explains. "I was a bit of a rebel when I was younger - I only went to dancing classes because they acquiesced and sent me to a kalari to learn. Even then, I suppose, I was feeling as if I'd need it one day." Her eyes blink. "And you? Can you fight, Mr. Kar…. brother?"

"Well enough; I was pretty nimble even before manifesting father's gifts, and my adoptive parents paid for me to attend kalarippayattu lessons from a young age," Dhatri replies. "You as may well call me Dhatri, Kamala; brother sounds far too formal," he adds in a dry tone. "Care to show me?"

The young woman before him nods once, respectfully, before her body spins. She's fast, so very fast, in gaining the momentum that the martial art needs, and even in her sneakers and jeans she's sure-footed enough to be a worrisome opponent. Though she lets the bag drop to one side as she spins, when she's facing him again her hands are up, and her one leg is whistling in towards him at an appreciable speed, fast enough that if he doesn't parry or move, he's going to get a beautiful shiner in the ribs. She wasn't kidding - Kamala knows how to fight, even if it's not something she does often. "Forgive me if I want to bask in it a little while longer, brother; it is unexpected, you have to agree there! Are you not happy to have a sister, as I am to have a brother?"

"Of course I am," Dhatri replies, bending backwards to allow the leg to pass over him in a combination of natural agility and supernatural speed before turning around and throwing a kick to the side of Kamala's head; the kind of thing that would break bone if undefended and uncontrolled. "I never expected to have any brothers or sisters because my adoptive parents are incapable of having children."

"Then we are lucky," Kamala says laughingly as she ducks easily under the kick, just a little faster than it came in. She keeps in that spinning posture, spiralling several feet away from him so that she can circle him and gaze at him, likely trying to figure out precisely where his weak spots are. She's not eager to rush in again; now that the blood is rushing through her veins, she's a much more cautious fighter. He's got some real punch beneath his blows, and a longer reach than she. Frowning, she dances in again, weaving through his defenses to try and lay an open-handed slap against the side of his neck. It's not the precisely correct blow to the face, but she doesn't want to hit him either, just measure her skills a little bit.

Dhatri tries to move out of the way but fails. Still, he moves enough out of the way that the blow is barely even registered as he jabs at Kamala's face. "Indeed we are." His technical ability is average at best, though his natural agility makes up for it, so he sticks to simple attacks such as the incoming jab to the forehead. A less weak target than the face, but then he's not after hurting her.

Kamala takes the jab against her forehead with a good heart, being too nimble for him to really damage her even if he had wanted to. As she feels his fingers impact there gently, she turns to spin away from it, body a perpetual motion machine that doesn't want to stop. Even as distant as their spot is, they're drawing a little attention, and as she spins she dips her chin that way once, eyes merry. "I think we're picking up a crowd - perhaps the next time we do this, we should do it in a kalari?" A few steps away from him, she spins to a halt and waits for him to attack, circling ever so gently. "Can I defend myself, do you think?"

Dhatri nods. "Yes, if we continue this, we should probably find somewhere more private," Dhatri agrees. He walks over and offers a handshake, mostly so that the people who were watching realise it wasn't actually a fight, but also with another purpose in mind. "Yes, clearly you can defend yourself. Still, should you need help, I will be there."

That has the effect to make Kamala tilt her head, and she very solemnly shakes hands with him, a gesture that is slow and full of respect. "That means a lot to me, Dhatri," she says quietly, relaxed enough now to drop the too-formal brother. "I would value your protection, should it come to a situation where you have time to spare." Her lips twitch slightly. "I'll give you my number in case you have need of me as well, though I've no idea whether you'll have time to phone or not. I … are you the only one like us in the city? I only know one other, and I'd really like to introduce Mr. Chen to you, but that will be able to wait until another day as well." Her hand squeezes down once before she pulls it away. "I should be getting ready for class soon, I suppose…"

"I've met others like us; I killed my first Titanspawn in their company," Dhatri responds quietly. The eagle's claw under his dark shirt glows gently, barely visible up close, let alone at the distance the crowd had been gathering at. "If you ever get attacked, I'll know and I'll be able to find you."

Kamala's gaze flits from his face to the slight glow underneath his shirt. She has a fair idea of what just happened; her smile grows skewed, and she nods just once, a very deliberate movement of her head. "Ah.. " Blinking, she turns to go and collect her bag. Digging inside, she eventually finds a pen and a scrap of paper, and scribbles a string of numbers on it. "Here, phone number if you need to call for some reason." With the same calm demeanour, she tears off another scrap of paper, and hands it to him along with the pen. "Yours too, please."

Dhatri nods, and writes his phone number down quickly. The handwriting isn't brilliant, but it is at least readable. He hands the sheet with his number back along with the pen. "If you ever need me, or if you just want to chat, don't hesitate to call," he says. "If I need your help for any reason, I'll give you a call."

Kamala gives a smile up at the brother that she didn't know she had, and nods again, making her ponytail bounce. "I'll do just that," she says as she takes the piece of paper. "Good luck today. I'm sorry I cried all over you earlier." With that, she pulls close enough to give him a hug again, then turns to walk away towards the hard sciences building. As she does so, she programs the number into her phone, humming as she goes.

Dhatri returns the hug. "Don't worry about it. Good luck yourself," he says. As Kamala walks away, Dhatri programs her number into his phone.

Dhatri used Vigil Brand, at the cost of one Legend Point.

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