by shiori_makiba / Ashley Weyer
Warning: Reference to soup bigotry
Sora Inoue, formerly Takahashi,
was a polite person.
Everyone said so and had said so
from her earliest memories.
She had had her brat phrases
as a child, a teenager, and young adult
just like everyone.
But as her mother had jokingly
said numerous times,
Sora had been a courteous brat.
To her, it just made sense
to be courteous to others.
It was impossible to go through life
without interacting with other people.
Good manners usually helped make
that interaction go as smoothly as possible.
It did not always go pleasantly.
Because people could be extremely hostile to each other
while exercising perfect manners.
One of the Grandmothers
in her neighborhood as a child
could cut anyone down to size
without a single breach of manners.
Not that she often had to do so.
Generally a polite suggestion
spoken softly to the person
in private was enough.
And even most of her public rebukes
allowed the offender to keep his or her face.
But to look at her,
you'd never guess that little woman,
with her gentle face and white hair,
could with a few well-chosen words
and perfect courtesy strip the skin
off of you.
Like most of the children,
Sora had been both frightened
and in awe of that woman.
But she also wanted to be like her.
For Sora, here was a living embodiment
of that longed for ideal.
Soft and gentle appearance with
a core of steel-hard determination and strength.
The Yamato Nadeshiko.
The road toward that goal was a long one.
And unending because life's choices
and challenges seldom got easier.
But also because in addition to her brat moments,
Sora had to master her own fiery temper.
She felt the effort was well-worth the reward.
Especially after she became a wife and mother.
She loved her husband and children
but they could test her patience
like no other.
Keiichi who could match her in determination.
Keisuke who had unfortunately inherited her temper
along with a equally powerful sense of right and wrong.
Mai who had inherited her father's enthusiasm and curiosity
but hadn't yet learned to temper either with caution.
Tsubasa who would hide herself
behind walls of silence
when speaking might help.
Tsubasa, the child she had so very nearly lost.
Tsubasa the child that so many of their family
back home had decided to treat
as through she had died.
For something as petty as
surviving and developing superpowers.
Sora felt the fury rise again.
Acknowledged it and
consoled herself to have patience.
The time will come to express
exactly what she thought about that cruelty.
But it was the kind of expression
that was best done in person.
And now wasn't a good time
for her to fly across the world.
And she needed to get a
better grip on her temper.
It won't do to let rage
dull her verbal knife.
They could wait.
Right now, her husband and children needed her.
She had a business to run
and countless other things to do
that were far more important.
She finished writing the last of the cards,
checked to made sure each had their gift certificate
to the family shop.
Satisfied that all was present and accounted for,
Sora Inoue headed toward the SPOON base.
She had some soups to thank
for their help and their courtesy.
It was only polite and
Sora had always had
She just hoped that
they liked sweets.
Sora Inoue is the mother of Tsubasa Inoue, one of the victims and new soups spawned by the Berettaflies incident. She was born in Japan and immigrated to the United States as a young adult. Along with her husband Keiichi Inoue, Sora owns and runs Nadeshiko Sweet, a store selling and serving Japanese sweets and deserts, including wagashi, along with a variety of teas.
Yamato Nadeshiko is the Japanese term for the personification of ideal Japanese womanhood.
The nadeshiko is a flower, a delicate frilled pink carnation but it is tougher than it looks because it can grow at high altitude.