Brotherly Advice

Sakura Sushi House

Decorated in dark reds and blacks, the Sakura Sushi House wraps patrons up in a warm, glamorous Asian atmosphere. Along both walls are black bench-tables, sparsely decorated with small red flowers in black vases, and tea light candles. In the center are smaller tables designed for two, to create a romantic setting.
The food that is offered at the Sakura is quite different from any other Asian restaurant. It offers a fusion of Japanese foods such as sushi and teriyaki and Szechuan dishes such as twice cooked pork.

There's never enough brother/sister time these days, especially since he's taken on the role of a bodyguard for a particularly cute fellow church member. Be this as it may, time must be made somewhere. After securing a solid amount of time in his schedule, Robert invites his dear younger sister out for dinner, just the two of them. He is careful to pick her up at her place as going out at night can be dangerous, even if he doesn't offer this as his excuse.

Once at the restaurant, they are seated in a lovely little table for two. It is horribly romantic; too bad that it's the wrong idea. Rolling with it, though, Bobby holds the chair out for his dear sister to sit down. It is what a gentleman would do, after all.

Add to the fact that for approximately five days Chloe was hiding out somewhere, and it likely made scheduling things extremely difficult. When Bobby arrives, Chloe is ready to go out for dinner. She's dressed fairly nicely, a cream-colored silk shirt and black slacks.

Upon seeing the table, she laughs. Bad enough that everyone already mistakes them for other than brother and sister. When he holds the chair out for her, it's all she can do to keep the laugh from bubbling up loudly. To stop herself, she quickly sits and does a quick mental scan of the restaurant to ensure that there's no one here wishing her ill will. Paranoid much?

Paranoid a whole bunch, but that isn't known by Bobby. He isn't exactly oblivious that there are dangers out there but is clueless about Chloe's involvement in anything. He's more worried about Hope at the moment. That charming grin is offered to her as he sits. This is happy time. There's not much on his mind, other than thoughts of food and the joy of seeing his sister. Robert: very simple minded at times.

"For as close as we live, you'd think that we'd see each other more often." It's a general statement but something to say while they wait for a waiter. "I know we're both busy, and our schedules collide, but it's just nice to see you." There's a lingering question or two about this Ivan person but he's not going to ask. All things come up eventually.

"I don't like coming into the bar." Especially not after the run-in with Ivan. "You should come to the library more," Chloe teases. Then again, she's also been avoiding him. "I was away for a few days," she says quietly, not elaborating on it. "After the parade, I took a few days off work and all. Sorry I didn't call you, but I figured you'd be busy with all the drama with your girlfriend."

It's a tease but he knows that it's the truth. "I will, Chloe. You'll see. I just have something going on right now that I have to see out." Supposedly Faith knows what's going on and is convinced that Hope is in danger. When he gets the okay he'll start going out far more often. "She's not my girlfriend, by the way. We haven't even officially gone on a date." Yet. But he's living with her. Drama, indeed.

Chloe is given a look as Robert studies her. "Why after that?" He's not pressing her but is genuinely curious. "Why use that as a key that you need some time off? Not that I'm complaining. It's always good for you of all people to get away for a few days." Poor guy doesn't suspect a thing. "Don't worry about not telling me, though. I'm not your caretaker. I just like hearing from you."

"No? So where have you been lately, Bobby? I've left you messages at home." She could likely pull it from his mind the second he thinks of it, but Chloe is attempting, for once, to be a good sister.

"I was up-front-and-center for it, pretty much. Got a bit scratched up. Just wanted time off to think and heal. Though once I realized it wasn't you guys… I mean, I know you, and I /know/ you wouldn't hurt all those innocent people. But I was worried for a while, and needed to courage up to talk to you."

Ah-ha. This is going to be a difficult one to explain. "I've been staying somewhere else." He could look to change the topic, but he isn't going to. Robert also isn't going to make it sound like some sort of conquest. "Apparently Faith called Hope and told her that her life could be in danger after that whole attack thing. I can't let her deal with that on her own." Chloe will know that he's being sincere, even if she still wishes to tease him about it.

Something she says, though, causes him to react. He looks at her cautiously, almost angry at first but he could never really be angry with her. "/Why/ did you not actually seek me out to tell me you were there? That's dangerous stuff." The whole situation, not just silver in general. The rest of her comments don't seem to bother him much. "Everyone thinks that the church was behind it, except, apparently, Hope's sister. I guess I can understand why, but I know those people Chloe. I don't see them planning something like that."

"Yet, you're not dating?" Chloe raises her brow, then glances around the restaurant. "Ever the protector, aren't you? If it's not your crazy sister, it's someone else." Her eyes drift back to her brother, and she shakes her head.

Then he's getting angry. Sort of angry. "Because, Bobby, I didn't want you to worry. I was fine. Just minor injuries." Never mind the bite to the neck, or feeding a vampire to keep him from dying.

A firm nod is her first reply. "I'm worried about her. From what I understand, her sister doesn't need my help. That doesn't mean that she doesn't." Robert genuinely cares for Hope and it shows. "And you're not crazy, Chloe. We've discussed this." Even after the night with Ivan.

She might not want to tell her dear, sweet brother about the parts related to vampires. He'll listen, but he won't exactly be singing anyone's praises. "You know how I am." That said he softens slightly. "And you knew that I would overreact. I just don't want anything to happen to you. If this group is as dangerous as it is supposed to be, you could have been badly injured."

"I would've been okay." Chloe fidgets a little, trying to avoid that particular conversation. "Any more run-ins with that Fontane guy?" She takes a few moments to stare at the menu. "I think he was responsible for setting up the parade. Could be he's in on the mess, you know?"

What a nice spin on things. It certainly is taking his mind off of the fact that she was injured, for now. For once, Robert goes absolutely quiet and he mulls over what to say and what has already been said. "He doesn't seem to be involved." No, that is not Bobby defending him at all. "At least, he claimed not to be, and to be genuinely worried about those who are and have been involved." Apparently he has run into Ivan since that one time. "I don't know."

Chloe stares across the table at her brother. Then she get a weird look. Exhaling a sigh, she responds, "I don't know. I don't fully trust him is all." She taps the side of her head, but then the waitress appears. After placing her order, she looks across at Bobby. "He's a witch."

Of course he waits until after the waitress leave to react. The look that Robert gives Chloe is actually kind of empty, but his mind is going a mile a minute. He's trying his best to work it out and calm the activity but it is hard. Eventually he rubs the back of his neck and makes an almost groaning sound. "That's not exactly comforting." Finally leveling with Chloe, he decides to explain. "Faith, er, Rose is with him. She seems to trust him, but the police think that she was involved in the attack. I don't know these people at all, but Hope trusts her sister. I really hope that Ivan checks out."

"Rose wasn't involved, at least not directly," Chloe says with confidence. Then again, she's been in the other woman's mind so she knows exactly what happened at least from Rose's point of view. "Wait… you believe me?" Brow quirking up, she blinks at her brother a few times. "Just like that? I say he's a witch, and you believe me, no questions asked?"

The first bit there is quite a relief. "No one else seems to believe her. I guess she had some sort of fight with her parents and Hope had to stay the night with her one night. Like I said, I don't know her but I don't want to think what Hope will go through with all of this." It isn't that he doesn't' care about Faith, but he doesn't know her. Hope is his main concern, other than Chloe. Robert rubs at his neck again as he looks around. He is clearly out of his element. "I've seen and heard of some pretty messed up stuff. That first night I met him almost leaves me sick to think about. If you tell me he's a witch why wouldn't I believe you?"

Chloe smiles at her brother. Such trust! She almost feels guilty about her association with Will. "I don't know, most people would think I was just trying to mask a bad word, you know?" Shrugging, she folds her hands down onto her lap and makes a face. "I don't know how he does it or anything, but that was magic he used on us at the club."

"Most people would rather ignore the truth in order to feel comfortable." He would very much like to think that witches don't exist. The same with vampires. Everything would be different. "Chloe, I've always believed you, and believed in you. Granted, the night I first met him helps a lot. I wouldn't disbelieve you without it, but it was very compelling evidence." How can she keep things from a brother like this? Bobby sighs and shakes his head. "So he has Hope's sister."

"I guess so. I don't know the circumstances of it. I tried to explain things to her, but my head was killing me by that point and I felt like vomitting." Chloe wrinkles up her nose again. "Everything that happened to her, everything that she's gone through… if she's happy, I say let her be happy." For now at least.

This is putting him in an extremely awkward situation. "How did she make you sick?" Yes, he's putting his concern for his sister before the rest of the situation. "Is this something that's just between you and me? Like I'm not supposed to tell Hope about it?" This is why it is best for Bobby to just not know anything. Still he musters a smile from somewhere. "But what about you? Are you happy?" Yes, he's changing the topic.

"Yeah, just between us." Chloe did promise to keep Ivan's secret, and she's already broken it by telling Bobby, but she had to tell him. "I saw her entire life. All the bad stuff. I'm surprised she doesn't hate vampires more than she does." Were Chloe herself not almost directly involved with one, she would probably hate them after seeing that.

His change of topic causes cheeks to color. "I guess so? I mean, sure, I am. It's complicated."

This could seriously hurt his chances of actually having a girlfriend, yet he'll do as she says. A nod confirms this. He has no loyalties to Ivan, at all, but his sister is a different story. "You saw all of that?" Leave it to Robert to show such concern, especially in his voice. "Why would you do that? She's messed up. Are you okay now?"

But oh, there is blushing! "You realize," Bobby begins with a growing grin. "People usually say that whenever there is someone involved in their life." Yes, this is a leading statement.

"She needed help, Bobby. Would you want to walk around with half your memories missing? Not being able to remember if something happened to me or Mellie?" Chloe nods a tad. "Oh, umm, yes? I think so. I mean, it's not like she passed the crazies on to me or anything." She doesn't think.

"It's not like that, Bobby. You know me, never had a boyfriend. Never been kissed." Recently kissed though.

Oh, sure. Turn it around on him. "What I would do and what you should do are two completely different things. Then again, if I knew that you helping me would hurt you, I wouldn't let you do it. Sometimes losing memories is a cost that is worth paying." He can say this now, but he's not exactly involved in any of this. Being a human sometimes has its benefits.

He isn't an expert on things, he really isn't, but Bobby knows his sister. "I also know that you're attractive and won't stay single forever. You'll probably be kissing someone before I get anywhere with Hope." If only he knew. "But that's a good thing. You deserve to be happy."

Chloe can understand where he's coming from, being the protector type that he is. "I couldn't live with lost memories. I would hate to forget who you were, or to not be able to remember that one of my best friends was dead."

"I-I…" Chloe fidgets, and thankfully doesn't have to answer as drinks are brought to the table at that point. When the waitress leaves, she sighs heavily. "Bobby… do you know how much it sucks to hear everything a guy is thinking? I wouldn't want to be with anyone who I could hear comparing me to others, or wishing they were with the sexy waitress, or worse yet a /waiter/."

This is where he gives her the most serious, loving look that he can. "If having to learn that I love you all over again was the cost for keeping you well, then I'd do it. Because memories are precious, but those who care about each other won't be kept apart. I'm convinced that I'd be the same person towards you if it happened." The rest of what she says is considered and he shakes her head. "There are some things that are better left forgotten. Sometimes I wish Hope could forget, if only so she could feel better."

The waitress is given a wide smile, but that's just Bobby. He doesn't have any thoughts about her other than that fact that she's being prompt. "Not all men are like that," he has to point out. "Believe it or not, some of us are happy without comparing." Then again, he has been told that he's rather different so maybe he's wrong. "But I get the feeling you're saying that you either want an empty mind or that you've found someone who doesn't bother you." Just how her powers work exactly escape him but he's trying to understand.

"I could probably help her, y'know." What's that? Chloe's got a bit of confidence in her wacky abilities? Maybe she's not taking her medication. "I'm inclined to agree to a degree, but what if a vampire put a mind whammy on you that caused you to forget that you cared for anyone?"

He nails it on the head, so she's silent for a moment. "Something like that. He has… a similar ability to mine." Not a lie. "He's nice. A bit older." Also not a lie. "But I'm at a loss for once. The flip of it is, I can't tell what /he/ thinks, so I don't know whether to pursue something, or just forget about it."

Why does she have to ask the challenging questions? "Well, that's not what happened to Rose, right? So I really don't want to think about it." He's getting uncomfortable with all of this. It's all so unnatural. "I don't know, Chloe. This is all a lot to take. I mean, I'm trying, you know? I've just never really thought about it before."

He drinks while she explains this mystery man, knowing enough not to pry until she's ready to give up details. Still, Bobby is there with advice, as always. "Do you really need to know what he's thinking?" Just like that. "You may or may not like what you can do, but it gives you an advantage. Would it really be so bad to ride something out like everyone else? To really, truly enjoy the good times and then savor them during the bad times?" Truth be told, he'd love to be able to get into Hope's mind but he wouldn't even if he could. "Is it really so bad to open yourself up knowing that there isn't a guarantee that you'll get what you want?"

"Actually, that's how her mind fried. A vampire put a whammy on her, only it was done incorrectly." Chloe nods though, reaching a hand across the table to place on his arm. "It's okay, Bobby. But if you want me to try and help Hope, just ask."

She listens to the advice, she does. Chloe weighs it all quietly while she sips at her sweet tea. "It's funny. I'd love nothing more than to be /normal/, only I'd give anything to be able to know what he's thinking. To know if I should put myself out there and risk getting hurt." Worrying her teeth over her lower lip, she looks directly at her brother. "I'm just scared, I guess. I got jealous, and couldn't understand why, and I have all these feelings a woman my age should be used to by now, and they're confusing. I feel more like a freak /now/ than I did before."

He openly looks uncomfortable at this point but he's trying. "But she still cared for Hope when she was in the institution. So it didn't take away her ability to care for people." He reaches for his drink, slightly nervous but thankful that she's being so open. "I can't make that decision for her, though. I can talk to her, see what she would want, but it's not my place to decide."

His grin grows, though, as Robert feels more comfortable with this other part of the conversation. "You're uncomfortable because you're normal. No one feels comfortable when they're uncertain. That doesn't stop them from trying, though." He raises his glass to her as if accenting his point. "Just think about how /you/ feel about him, Chloe. Is that enough to make you want to see where things are going? Because if he's still talking to you then there's something there, even if it isn't exactly what you're looking for. Would you ruin the chance for something great, even friendship, just because you can't predict what is going to happen?"

Chloe lets the uncomfortable subject go. In truth, she hopes Bobby never asks it of her because she's more afraid of her abilities than she is of him telling Hope what she can do.

"I'm scared of how I feel! I'm terrified to see where things are going. He damned well /kissed/ me, then walked away like it was nothing." Chloe, a tad flustered, starts to fiddle with the condensation on her sweet tea glass. "I told you," she mutters, "it's complicated." Then again, Will could just be toying with her, and it's the uncertainty that's killing her.

He'll talk to her about it later, for sure. After some time, and before he talks to Hope about things. This is his sister, and no matter how much he cares about Hope he can't sell her out. Bobby actually laughs, pulling the attention of some of the others. He waits until they stop looking before reaching for his drink. "Just because a man kisses you doesn't mean that they're going to stick around and talk about it." Oh, does he know a thing or two. "Look at it like this: would you rather he have not kissed you at all? Because it sounds like you like this guy, so I can't believe that you didn't like the fact that he kissed you."

"I'd much rather have had an inkling it was going to happen so I could at least kiss back!" Chloe looks embarrassed as she says that. "I just sort of took off. I've not spoken to him since. I know it's silly, and childish, but I needed time to think about it all." After a moment, she finishes her sweet tea and shakes her head. "I just wanted a nice quiet life in the library. How'd things get so weirdly complicated?" Beat. "Have you spoken to Mellie since Christmas?"

The way she's talking, he has no inkling that she's involved with a vampire. It just seems as if she's experiencing life for the first time. "Maybe he doesn't want you to just yet. It could be that he's just seeing how /you/ react. Testing the waters." It doesn't make a whole lot of sense when spoken aloud but Robert can understand. "If you like this guy, don't avoid him. Just don't anticipate it happening again. You'll be happy." Then the subject changes and he sighs. "I kicked her out of the Warehouse." Hey, he has to be honest. "You know how she is. She thought that I would just let it slide. But you also know how I am. I doubt I'll be hearing from her again for a while."

"Good, she's underage and shouldn't be in there." Chloe is not as far gone as their sister, but she's still not one to talk. "I refuse to talk to her. She called one night and left a message, but I didn't call back." She is a most horrible sister. "Or maybe he's just toying with me because he knows I can't read him." The food is delivered, and Chloe is silent until the waitress is gone. "What about you and Hope? Do you really like her or are you just seeing a damsel in distress?"

Their youngest sister is the topic of much misery when it comes to Bobby. "She needs to be locked in rehab is what she needs. The hard part is getting Mom and Dad to see that and to stop treating her like she's the best thing ever." It's harsh, it really is, and he's not normally one to talk like that. At least he knows that she'll understand where he's coming from. The food is looked at with a great deal of passion before he looks back to Chloe. She does trump food, after all. "I don't think that's what it is. I'm not saying that he's not toying with you, but he might just want to see how you react. Guys do that when they're interested." Not him, of course, but Robert is in a league of his own. He laughs nervously and quickly shovels some food. "She's not really a damsel in distress anymore," he has to point out. "Maybe that's what attracted me to her at first, but I really like her. I just don't know if she's ready for anything like this in her life right now so I'm not going to stress over it."

"God, Bobby! You give me all this advice, and you're too chicken shit to go for it yourself?" Chloe just swore. It's a rare thing. But it's the truth of the matter and she's just calling it like she sees it. Toying with a piece of sashimi, she sticks her tongue out at her brother to show her teasing state. "He's not a typical guy, which makes things more complicated I think. Maybe I'll just give it time? Play a little cat and mouse."

"Shhh!" He looks around, suddenly embarrassed by /her/ for once. So maybe she has hit the nail on the head; that's beside the point. "She's going through a very rough time right now is all I'm saying. You know what's going on with her sister. Can you imagine going through all of that with me?" Their baby sister is conveniently left out of the conversation. Bobby does laugh, though, right before shoveling more food into his mouth. "My book smart little sister is playing cat and mouse? This is something that I have to see."

"Maybe more mouse than cat?" At least that would be believable for Chloe. She's quiet for a few moments before noming on a piece of the sashimi, and then closes her eyes. "I've spent my whole life keeping people out, Bobby. I don't know if you can understand how terrifying the prospect of letting someone in might be."

He's still smiling, still chuckling at his sister. "Yeah, yeah." It's enough to warrant teasing but he'll let up on it. That's what Bobbies do best, after all. "It's hard, Chloe, it is. You have to learn to trust someone that you can't know what they're thinking. For me? It's easy to trust you. Anyone else? I'm always nervous. I've just learned to try." He pauses to drink and then returns the gesture of arm touching. "It has to be hard to learn this late in life. I wish I could offer more advice than that, but you just have to trust your instincts on this one."

Chloe eats quietly for a while, looking as though she's contemplating her cutesy little bento box. When she finally looks up at her brother again, it's almost like she's a child. "What if my instincts are wrong?"

And just as he would do if she were a child, Bobby just smiles. "Then you've learned a valuable life lesson and you know what to do next time." The smile continues, not to tease her but to comfort her. "And if it's too bad then you're big brother will walk right up to this guy and take care of him for you."

"Erm." Chloe wants to laugh, and to cry at the same time. "I don't need you fighting my fights." It's all she can really say to make him leave Will alone. She'd just rather they not meet at all. "Whatever happens, I'll learn to live with it."

He laughs for her. "No, you don't. But that's not the point, Chloe. The point is that you know that I'm here if you need me." And that Bobby will try to bash in the head of anyone who touches his darling sister. "But why even think about the what-ifs right now? Can't you just enjoy what happens when it happens? Trust me; over analyzing things never helps."

There are many reasons why she's over analyzing things, the least of which is that Will is a vampire, and likely only wants her for her yummy psychic blood or something. Chloe just doesn't /know/ and that's what makes her nervous. "Because I think I'm falling for this guy, and it's probably just because he's the only guy I can't really read."

"Falling." Bobby drops his fork onto his plate in mock shock. "That changes everything." With a smirk he shakes his head. "Falling in general is scary, or it has to be. Chloe? I've never actually fallen for anyone. Can I see it happening? Sure. But it is both exciting and frightening to think about." This would be so much different if he knew more about Will, of course. "If you're that worried, why not spend time with someone else to see how you feel? Or just away from him in general?"

"The only other guys I really know, Bobby, are you and Mr. Fontane." Chloe laughs softly. "And I totally doubt I'm going to have anything but sisterly love for /you/, and as I'd rather avoid Mr. Fontane? Well…" She nods however. Avoiding Will is key right now. Just until she can sort out how she feels.

Yes, he's laughing now. It's too hard not to. "I would hope that's the only love you have for me. And I honestly think, from what I've heard, you might have a problem if you did try to go after that Ivan guy." No, he's not going to be proper with what he calls him. Robert's last meeting with Ivan ruined all of that. "Well, then, just avoid him for a while. Let him know you're busy. Say you're going on a family outing. Just take some time for you."

"I suppose that's my only course of action, right? Though wouldn't ignoring him show I'm disinterested?" Chloe is a total baby when it comes to this stuff. That's why she's all with the questions. "It's sound advice though, brother dear. I'll take it for now." Until she gets antsy.

He rubs at his neck once more, at a loss for what to say at this moment. "Like I said, I'm new to the whole serious feeling thing." She should know better than anyone that Robert's not been big on that in the past. "I think that he won't mind if it's for real, though. But in the end you have to follow your heart."

"Even if it'll put me in danger?" That's as close as Chloe is going to get to mentioning that her maybe-could-be-guy is anything but human.

That causes him to shift in his chair. Bobby studies his sister for a long time, trying to decide what it is that she's hiding. "If you're involved with anyone who is questionable, Chloe… Just be careful. Don't do it if you're scared." Or he /will/ get involved.

"No, no. I mean, he's on the up-and-up and all." So far as she /knows/. Chloe watches her brother a bit, and then mutters, "He's in law enforcement." Not /technically/ a lie.

Still he's watching her closely, trying to gauge how he should respond. Chloe's never lied to him, though, so Robert lets it all slide. "Well, I suppose that would be a reasonable worry. Much like anyone who dates a bouncer." That's why he doesn't usually like guests while he's working. "Just be cautious. You're smart, you know when a situation is bad. If it's bad, don't get into it."

How to respond to that? Chloe nearly let a vampire drain her dry, so does she really have the sense to stay out of trouble? "I promise if I find myself in the midst of a bad situation, I will do my best to avoid it."

That's all an older brother can ask. Bobby's smiling, content with what she's saying. "Then I think you're getting to an age where you don't need me." He's making a joke since everything is a-okay. Right? "You'll be okay, you'll see. Everything always works out for the best."

Chloe steals a peek at her watch, and sighs. She signals to the waitress to come to the table.

"Even if what's best for me may not make you the happiest big brother in the world?" She shakes her head. "I just want to try to be normal, Bobby."

The questions that she's asking are causing him to get nervous again. He reaches for his wallet, ready with payment for dinner. She can try to argue all she wishes but this is his treat. "We're not always going to agree on everything. That's what makes us different. Unique. In the end, if you're happy I'm happy." If only he knew.

If he only knew. But Chloe takes it as a sign, and smiles at him. She gets up from the table when the waitress comes by to get the cheque and box up her food. Then she moves beside Bobby, and places a kiss on his forehead. All sisterly like. "Thanks for dinner, big brother. Next time, it's my treat, okay?"

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