Description: Tiffany and Natsu, both pretty worn out from their respective Inter-High-School Tournament matches, have a nice sit-down chat in Tiffany's room. Also, Natsu meets Captain Bear, a five-foot tall stuffed bear.
Tiffany's tournament battle was extremely hard-won, and accordingly, she's let herself get carried all the way to her dorm room. Thank God for singles, she thinks as she is literally held aloft all the way to her room by four of Pacific's students; once she's let down, she thanks each of them in turn with a big wink and a small smile, fishing the key to her dorm room out of her pocket.
... Fishing the /key/ to her /dorm/ room out of her...
... /Fishing/ the... is it not here?
Almost immediately, her expression turns into a scowl. Here she is, cold and tired and /locked out/. Did it fall out when she threw her jacket into the crowd while getting herself hyped up? Did she lock it /in the room/?
Hands now ungloved, she brings one up to her forehead, pinching the skin between her eyebrows a little closer together. Ugghh... Ugh.
Natsu, on the other hand... was not about to let herself get carried out. Not out of the main hall, and certainly not out of Pacific High. No, she walked in on her own two feet, and she'll walk out on her own two feet. She feels that Pacific is already like a second home to her, largely because no one's bothered to act threateningly to her -- either here, or on Gorin's own campus.
That said, there is a Pacific freshman escort who was kind enough to lead the way to the dorm buildings. It can't be too hard to find the most cheerful cheerleader on campus, Natsu figures.
Especially since she's locked outside of her own room. "... Tiffany...? Hey, it's Natsu." You know, in case the bright red jersey that looks nothing like a Pacific uniform weren't enough of a tipoff.
"... Is everything okay? I just..." A towel is draped over her shoulders, and she -looks- pretty weary, but cheerful just the same. "... Well, it's like they say, I was just in the neighborhood. Was hoping to spend a moment catching up with you, is it... a bad time?"
The dot of red in a comparative sea of blue does indeed catch Tiffany's attention, at least once the crowd that carried her home disperses; she looks over to the taller girl and forces a smile. "Oh, uh -- no, it's FINE, just... I think I'm locked out."
Her shoulders slump a little, and she turns slightly -- which is about the time the full extent of her battle injuries becomes apparent. She has what appear to be low-grade chemical... not /burns/, not quite, but definitely irritations, across most of her exposed skin; they're worst on her legs.
Taking her jacket off, Tiffany turns it in a few different directions forcefully, shaking it out; /eventually/, a silver key falls from a pocket, and the Lords heiress breathes a long sigh of relief. "Thank God," she says in English, before turning to face Natsu in earnest again, visibly relieved. "Do you WANT to come in?" she asks, sliding the key into the lock. "I'm a little TIRED, but..." There's a pause, before it hits her. "Did you just have your MATCH?"
"Locked out, huh... where did you last see your key?"
It's a mandatory, reflexive response. It -has- to be said, and Natsu even feels a bit guilty for saying it. "Ah, I mean... " She blinks, and then notices the key fall out. Well, there you go. "... I wouldn't mi-- I mean-- yes, I did!" Poor girl doesn't even get to answer the questions, does she?
Ayuhara does catch up to Tiffany, nodding slowly. "It went well," she says, anticipating the followup. "Rosalyn is a good fighter! But very... shy," she states, matter-of-factly. "Have you met her before?"
The Lords heiress is a bit of a chatterbox, and doubly so in Japanese; she's not very confident in her grasp of the language, and accordingly, tries to cover up with sheer number of mouthnoises. Nevertheless, she invites the other girl in once she has the door open.
The room is tastefully appointed, and kept neat; the exception to this rule is the stuffed animals of all sizes strewn across its length, terminating in a large bear kept adjacent to her bed in the event that she wakes up from a nightmare, or is overcome by sadness about something, or needs to talk to someone who will just listen, or...
... look, there are a lot of reasons you can end up needing a five foot tall stuffed animal, okay?
Walking over to the bed and falling exaggeratedly onto her back, Tiffany thinks about Natsu's question. "Rosalyn, Rosalyn..." Her brow furrows a little, and eventually, she shakes her head. "I think I know who you're TALKING about, but we don't talk or ANYTHING."
Glancing up slightly toward her bedpost as she thinks, she asks, "Who won?" She has a hunch, though; in her mind, part of being a good fighter is knowing how to take up space -- and someone who's shy just won't have that little bit of necessary aggression.
Natsu smiles broadly as she steps into the room. Stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes... yes. This definitely feels like the room of someone Natsu would feel comfortable talking to. She switches to English, remembering a phrase she learned recently. "Sheee... speaks softly and carries a big wrench," she states, softly, adjusting the strap of the gym bag on her shoulder.
Back in Japanese, she answers, "I did. It was close though, I know she was strong enough to knock me right out... I just treated her attacks like volleyballs, hehe." Natsu... -was- shy, but it was good to fight someone even moreso.
She blinks quietly, then... asking for permission, she sits on the edge of the bed. "Did you just finish your fight? Was it... Shah...da? How did that go?"
That's a phrase that Tiffany's all too familiar with, and hearing English -- even if she knows Natsu probably can't sustain a full conversation in it -- puts the young lady that little extra bit at ease. She favors Natsu with a small, warm smile.
When Natsu seems to ask for that silent permission to sit down, Tiffany gestures for her to do just that; she even scoots one of her legs to the side enough to make meaningful room. "Yeah, it just ended. I /really/ had her number when we fought a couple weeks ago, but... this week she was a /lot/ better. Like night and day." It's sort of incredible to her /how much/ the other girl's style adjusted to meet hers; she wasn't expecting it at all.
Thinking about Natsu's assessment of Rosalyn, Tiffany asks, "How'd she fight? Is she PART of a club, or something?" She rolls over onto her side, retrieving her stuffed bear and promptly seating it atop her midsection, wrapping her arms around it.
Tiffany's fight with Sada... the details interest Natsu, but looking over Tiffany's wounds, she asks... "Did you get something put on those? Your opponent seems... to have a pretty damaging style... are those -burns?-"
As for Rosalyn... well, Ayuhara didn't find out much about her. "... Part of a club? I... I don't know. Auto club, maybe. She had a lot of neat tricks in a tool belt of some sort!" She shrugs, offering a helpless smile. "I'll probably talk with her later, she seemed like she might want to get some rest right now, so."
Not unlike Tiffany. "... If you need to, um, I mean... we can talk later. It's just... well, did I tell you that our volleyball captain got hurt?"
Tiffany wobbles a hand, removing it from the bear for just a moment to do so. "I dunno if they're burns /exactly/... it's like... her sweat, her blood -- it bubbles and... cor... COR... CURR..." Her shoulders slump a little, despite the fact that she's lying on the bed. "... Hurts... stuff. WEARS it away. A lot."
Turning herself to face right back around to Natsu, Tiffany clutches the bear a little tighter at the mention of the volleyball club getting hurt; this turns her attention totally away from Rosalyn, and she frowns. "... Hurt? By who?" She shifts uncomfortably, considering whether to tell Natsu what she's learned lately.
... on the one hand, they've been doing their best to keep an eye out for each other. On the other... despite her size and strength, Natsu's... kind of shy, isn't she? Tiffany kind of wants to protect her -- and her experience at Justice told her that that sort of fear could lead to someone getting hurt in a big way.
... for now, she keeps NESTS under her hat, instead listening to Ayuhara as best she can.
"Corrosive?" volunteers Natsu helpfully. Not in a condescending way, and not in a Clippy the Annoying Paper Clip way, just... putting it out there for her friend. "So it's like... acid." She frowns a bit at that, folding her hands in her lap.
It's hard to avoid Tiffany's gaze. "Daigo Kazama. Gedo High. It must've been, like... right after we talked last. ... And before our, uh." She pulls her eyes away from Tiffany, somehow, and looks down at her lap again, "Before prom." She draws in a tight breath, closing her eyes.
Apparently, it bothers her to say this, but she manages anyway. "Daigo was... upset at how Gedo High's been treated. He still feels that it was the right thing for him to -break my friend's pelvis- and take her out of her senior year of volleyball... for his sick little game of pitting schools against one another." She folds her hands into one another, her hands starting to shake. "I... I talked with him about it. He told her he was sorry. And he can't even understand why this isn't even the least bit cool with me."
Natsu's beginning to wish she had one of -her- stuffed animals now.
At the mention of prom, Tiffany turns a bright red that definitely /isn't/ from skin irritation. "WHAT?" Tiffany says, in loud, California-accented English; her delivery is totally flat because she's as much /baffled/ as anything else. What she'd initially heard about Daigo was his honorable warrior's spirit -- but /this/ sounds like...
Her eyes widen, and she forces herself to sit up. The bear comes with her out of necessity, as she flips her body around to the same side of the bed as Natsu; she scoots close enough to just barely graze her shoulder, placing the bear between them, across both of their laps. This is a five foot tall stuffed bear problem.
"Jesus Christ," she says, still in English -- insofar as proper nouns get languages -- before eventually swapping back to actual Japanese to render any meaningful comment.
"What an ASSHOLE," she declares, fists clenching. "We should get him back for it." If something were to happen to Daigo, Gedo might get shaken up -- and with things the way they are... that might be a good thing, if there's a guy trying to start fights at the top right now.
Putting an arm around Natsu, Tiffany asks, gently, "... Are you okay? CRIED about it yet?" She does not /quite/ go in for the full hug, just yet... but it's clear that she intends to, at least, if Natsu gives even the faintest indication that she wants the hug.
Ayuhara has cried over this, many times. This is... pretty much her semester, and she's happy to leave 2014 behind for a new year soon. But... she can offer a brief smile in response to Tiffany, nodding her appreciation. "It's... he offered to let me punch him. Like that would make anything better. But he said he wouldn't stop being..."
She frowns for a moment, but breaks into a gentle laugh. "I guess he'll keep being an 'asshole' then," she admits. Not afraid to say the word as long as it's in implied quotes, apparently.
"... I =wanted= to punch him in the face. I really did. I told him as much at the prom, and I told him as much when he challenged me. But." She leans into Tiffany's offered hug, sighing somewhat. "I'd probably hurt my hand punching that scarred-up face of his."
She exhales slowly. "So... there's -that- piece of the puzzle. Gedo -was- responsible for the attack on Justice High. But... there've been others recently. One at Gedo, I heard? Is everyone safe here still?"
"Wow. That... /wow/." Some guys just don't know how to communicate with anything but their fists, Tiffany thinks -- a fact that bugs her to no end. She's all for skipping to the end and getting right to the hostilities when hostilities are to be gotten to, but... that's a whole other level from what she's thinking of.
Tiffany holds the hug for a little while; this mostly mashes bear into Natsu's face, because she didn't bother to reposition the charming stuffed animal. When she finally pulls away, she says, "... we'll... figure something out."
Onward to more questions! "Well... there's been some weirdness, but it seems like... NORMAL weirdness?" Tiffany half-says, half-asks when Natsu inquires as to the state of her own school. "It hasn't gotten... like..." She gestures emphatically, trying to find the words. "... I'm still looking INTO IT, though. DADDY and Roy's dad both said they wanted someone to keep an eye out when I told them, so..."
Natsu nods slowly, though she does bristle as the bear fur begins to tickle her nose. "Ahaha... yeah. I... I'm sure we will, it's just... tough."
She does glance over to Tiffany, her oddly emphatic sentences still catching her a bit off guard. Yes, she knows that's how the American talks, but it's still distracting. But... Tiffany's also not really saying that anything is awry at Pacific, so...
"Well, that's good then! At least I can rest assured that things are under control -here-, if nowhere else..."
Natsu looks back at the bear, then gives Tiffany a bright smile. "Well. Thanks. I... I'm glad you're my friend, Tiffany." Punch incident long forgotten, hopefully.
Punch incident... not quite forgotten, but Tiffany is perfectly content to never talk about it again.
"Yeah! If things get too crazy at Gorin, you can ALWAYS come here," the Lords heiress says, nodding firmly and clapping Natsu once, firmly, on the shoulder. The bear tumbles off of the pair at this sudden gesture, which prompts a sudden, very emphatic, very English "NO!" as Tiffany rapidly scrambles for it with her other hand, managing to catch it by one arm.
"I'm glad you're my friend too, Natsu," Tiffany says, with just a tiny hint of guilt. No, she reminds herself again -- don't tell her about NESTS. Not yet. Not until she's safe; after hearing about the incident with the captain, it's even /more/ important that this not touch her.
She sighs out a long, slow sigh, asking, "I'm kinda tired, but... do you want to STAY here? I asked for a way OVERSIZE bed -- it's usually for Captain Bear's sake, but..."
"... I appreciate that!" responds Natsu... just in time for the bear to go tumbling down. Natsu reacts by reaching for the bear as well, on the other arm. The parallels between her gesture and Tiffany's are not lost on her, and she lets loose a snicker.
But... Tiffany's offer -does- strike her a bit oddly. Many times when people offer crash space, it's because they're really tired, and Natsu always gets the feeling that her welcome is being overstayed.
Natsu jumps up suddenly, bowing in apology, "Oh, no, no, I... I've stayed too long as it is, I should let you get some rest, and... and if I stayed, I think we'd be talking much too late at night for you to get any at all..." Cheeks darkening in embarassment, she bows once more. "I'll be fine... it's not -that- crazy at Gorin any more, but I do appreciate the offer. Thank you! But... Get some rest, okay?"
Anything Tiffany -isn't- saying is pretty much lost on the Gorin volleyball captain.
Tiffany likes her privacy in her room, under normal circumstances; as much as she loves the attention of others, her room is sort of a private space -- hence her /need/ for a single at Pacific. Asking someone to stay is a significant sign of trust -- perhaps moreso than even Tiffany herself realizes as she makes the offer.
Nevertheless, she doesn't fight Natsu on it too hard; instead, she just pulls the bear up toward herself, putting an arm around it. "Just you and me tonight, I guess," she says in English, with a little giggle.
Looking back up toward Natsu for one last time, Tiffany gives her a big, broad smile. "Yeah... I'm still pretty beat. She really did a number on me... good luck next round!" She laughs good-naturedly, before curling up on the bed again.
She doesn't urge Natsu out; the Ayuhara girl is welcome to take as much or as little time as she likes to collect herself and head out, and Tiffany does her best not to just immediately fall asleep during the process.
Natsu smiles faintly, one hand reaching back to the nape of her neck in her mild embarassment. She had considered staying the night; she might later realize that the outspoken American probably wouldn't bother with subtle overtones of unwelcomeness. But for right now... well, Tiffany -does- look tired.
"Well... maybe after the new year? I can bring my lucky pillow," she concedes, moving to step out with a discreet wave. "Good night, Tiffany! And... goodnight, Mister Bear." In lieu of an actual name, one will be assigned at random.
The fact that Natsu has a lucky pillow is not lost on Tiffany -- and indeed elicits a small squeal of delight from the girl. Everyone in Japan is /so cute/ and it is /so unfair/. How is she supposed to not have fun in this country if everyone in it is so fun!?
Curling up a little tighter, Tiffany says, "Good night, Ayuhara-san!" She does not poke her head up from her pillow this time; instead, she carefully sits the bear up, subtly* moving its arm to wave an enthusiastic goodbye.
* completely unsubtly
It is at about this point that the extent to which she just fought someone weird and gross catches up with her, and while she /could/ be roused, she's definitely at the 'drifting off' stage.
Log created on 23:31:03 12/31/2014 by Tiffany, and last modified on 02:50:04 01/01/2015.