Description: After her last fight with Slayer, Mimiru ends up in jail for the stolen identity trick. Unfortunately, this means she has to meet up with her mother, Yoko, who will more than likely have a word with her for her reckless behaviour.
Was it worth it? It was totally worth it. The adrenaline rush, the exhilarating thrill of the fight, the bloodlust and the pain. It all made her feel alive.
Not to mention it was illegal. And she did it in front of thousand and thousand of persons. On television.
With a bit of hindsight, stealing a pro-fighters' invitation to a main event Saturday Night Fight was probably a bad idea. Probably... What's done is done, no regret...
What had to happen happened, obviously : Mimiru got served royally, publically... And now that the trickery has been revealed, she has been sent in jail after she had been patched up. For how long? She has no idea... Maybe she won't stay there if nobody files in an official complaint, but now she was there, waiting...
She had bruises here and there, a black eye but everything was fine, she was still alive. Her body ached, but she managed to kick out the hobos from the bench in the common cell they shared and she established her territory there with three other persons.
Her cell buddy : one of them had been caught drunk driving, another homeless had been doing some public indecency and there was this third guy who seemed suspicious Mimiru had no idea what he did. Oh well.
Wasn't so bad a night after all, no? She was thinking back at her fight and it made her smile.
"Right this way, Inspector."
If the middle-aged Japanese woman following her subordinate down the steps to the holding cells is upset, she doesn't show it. Her face, eschewing make-up, cannot even be called grim, she is so firmly stoic. But she cannot hide her eyes, where dwell the hints of exhaustion, exasperation--
"Here she is, ma'am: Mimiru Kas... agi."
"Yes," Yoko says. "I recognize her behind the bruises."
The junior officer, obviously slow on the uptake, glances through the bars at Mimiru, then down at the sheet in his hands, then back at Yoko, before hastily withdrawing his keys and moving to unlock the cell door. Yoko steps in, ignoring the other inmates, eyes on her battered daughter.
"Impersonation is a felony," she says flatly, gaze unwavering, refusing even to show if she's perturbed by Mimiru's smile. "Even with government-issued identification is not involved, the Southtown Police Department takes tracking the identities of professional fighters very seriously, and comes down hard on cases like these."
At last, she sighs heavily.
"Unfortunately," she continues, allowing a trace of irony, "the franchise in question is not pressing charges against you. Apparently after some internal debate, they decide they love you and want to have you back, even if you don't dress up as anybody else. Something about filming you training to challenge what's-his-name again. 'Slayer'? Damn stupid name."
Yoko is silent for a moment.
"Mimiru, is this what you want?"
When Mimiru first thought about all of this, it seemed like the perfect plan. She has been so enthralled into this idea that she failed to see the repercussions of her actions.
It didn't even cross her mind that she might end up in jail like this, and thanks to the pain that still resonates through her, she hasn't even been worried about where she was, and that she might end up meeting with her mother.
The young girl's careless attitude, even in jail, the lack of remorse and everything she shows make it seem like it's not the first time she might have ended up in a place like this. She was lying on the bench, arms folded behind her head, legs crossed, waiting... When she heard her name, Mimiru opened her eyes and she shifted her posture, the movement causing her to wince and squirm in pain.
It's only when she hears the familiar voice that her expression seems to grow a bit more remorseful and pitiful. She averts her gaze away from the officer and she slowly forces herself up from her seat. It took her some effort, but her pride allowed her to hide her pain the most she could.
The smile's no longer on Mimiru's lips and she keeps her gaze low as Yoko recites the charges that could be held against her.
The sigh Yoko has cause her to arch a brow and she finally looks up to her, then back to the others who are listening to the conversation, and back to Yoko. Her mind is reeling to try and come up with something good to tell her, that much was obvious by the silence that followed her mother's question.
Her lips finally curl into a faint smile, "Don't worry about me, I've seen far worse," She says.
The moment it comes out of her lips, Mimiru seems to regret what she said though, turning her gaze away, "I... I wish I could tell you I won't do it again, but I can't... It's the only thing that..." She looks up at her hands for a moment.
Yoko looks away.
"Don't worry about you?"
Even the elder Kasagi's steely demeanor cracks slightly at that. She swallows, and for a moment a flash of real pain pierces through her eyes, the pain of a woman who has already lost a child, who even in her harshness relentlessly puts others before herself, who bears the pain and the misdeeds of family and strangers.
A woman who few think to worry about.
The junior officer catches a glimpse of the expression on Yoko's face, visibly flinches, and averts his eyes.
But when Yoko looks back at Mimiru, her visage is calm, seeing the regret tinge Mimiru's features. She softens slightly, then begins to appear a little uncomfortable herself as her daughter trails off. Both of them, she realizes then, may be on the brink of a terrible abyss. It would not do to fall, not here, not now.
"You're free to go," she cuts in. "So let's get you out of here."
So once again she takes responsibility for hiding pain from the world, and harshly cuts her daughter off before she can say anything more.
"... Can you stand?"
But even so, she steps closer, reaching out toward the injured Mimiru, offering to help her to her feet, give her someone upon whom to lean.
"I'll walk you up to the top of the stairs."
Up there, the sun is shining.
The small silences between the sentences were often more eloquent then anything they could say. Her mother's reply, along with the glimpse of pain Mimiru saw on her mother's features make Mimiru wince a bit.
She feels her heart tightening, like someone holding it and squeezing it for a moment. Her body was aching and sore from the fight, but this was a different sort of pain.
Just by her posture, Mimiru didn't show the usual confidence, brashness and strength she does. She was slightly cowered on herself, mostly eaten inside by guilt and remorse. Horrible sensations she was generally able to repress them but now that she was facing her mother, it seemed impossible.
The girl's voice comes out in a soft whimper, "Mom, I..." She bites her lips though as her mother cuts her before she can add anything. She nods her head slowly to her mother's question and she moves her hands to accept her mother's help. Even with her help, Mimiru winces a bit and grunts from the pain and effort it takes her. "Yeah, I should be able to stand and walk.."
She glances over her shoulders at the others. She's not ashamed to have her mother's help. She leans on Yoko and slowly limps along with her.
Those injuries would heal with time, Mimiru thought, but she refrains from saying that to Yoko, doubting it would make her feel any better right now.
Once they get out of the cell and a little distance away, Mimiru says, "You know," Mimiru says, "I always hated Jiro for his reckless behaviour when we were young..." Her lips curl into a faint smirk and she lowers her gaze, "How worried sick he must have made you... Never listened, was stubborn like a mule, eh."
The memories made her smile, though the smile was evanescent, "I'm sorry," She says, "I didn't want to worry you."
Yoko is silent as she bears her daughter out of the cell, not looking back as her subordinate locks the gate behind them. If the other inmates have any thoughts about Mimiru getting chewed out by her mother, none of them say a word; Mimiru's already pushed them around, and Yoko is long-practiced at exuding the aura of someone not to trifle with.
But in this moment, as Mimiru is being guided up the steps, she can feel through physical contact both the strength in her mother's body and its mortal fragility. Her mother is only human, and, lined up like this, smaller than Mimiru, too.
But she does not stiffen or break her stride as Mimiru goes straight to the heart of the matter. Instead, Yoko smirks right back, rarely-offered proof of just where Mimiru inherited the curve of her lips from. "He sure did," she replies. "He'd never listen to me when I warned him. He'd always make a mess of it when he tried to go it alone."
Inspector Kasagi is silent for a moment.
"He'd always apologize to me afterward, too."
She glances to Mimiru, making eye contact as the two of them near the top of the steps. "I know," she replies, no longer hiding her weariness, her words coming like a sigh. "You're not a child anymore, Mimiru. You're in my hands when you break the law, but I can't tell you what to do with your life. If you've found a passion, even if it's just a thrill, you should pursue it. I have no doubts you'll keep making mistakes."
The two of them emerge into an open foyer, the main hub of the police department located above the holding cells. Near them, the glass-paned doors to the exit allow in the sunlight.
"Marrying your father was the biggest mistake I ever made," Yoko says then, "and I can't imagine my life without having made it."
She gazes steadily in Mimiru's eyes.
"I saw the tape of that fight," she says at last. "That was a good throw, early on."
The reminescence about her brother and the past seems to soothe Mimiru's physical pain in a way. She manages to withstand the gaze of her mother's eyes when she speaks about him, the memories making her chuckle a bit. It had been years already yet it felt like it was yesterday.
Without him around, she feels like she has been compensating for his loss by being more like him. She wouldn't admit it to her mother, but it was rather blatant due to some of her knacks, behaviour and the way she adjusted her fighting style.
She just didn't want to get scolded or worry her mother with her personal problems. Mimiru was aware of her own problems and felt guilty about them, like it was some sort of secret shame. She didn't have to worry about it when she was traveling around the world and stayed away from her mother.
But she realized it was a high price to pay, for little gain, and that the distance to Southtown, in the end, did little to ease her pain.
A faint apologetic smile spreads on Mimiru's lips. She lifts her hand up to scratch the back of her head, "I swear," Mimiru says, "I really didn't expect things to happen that way,"
Truth be told, by her guilty expression it sounds like she didn't think through this plan all that much beyond the first steps. She gives her mother a wink and says, "Promise, I won't return here... You know I'm usually not a trouble maker,"
Mimiru glances over to the exit. Her body still ached and she managed to stand, but every step she took seemed painful. She was used to it, obviously, and probably had worst fight when she had been away from Southtown. She turns her eyes back to her mother and seems a bit surprised at Yoko's revelation.
The comment about the fight makes her beam a bit proudly. She leans over and she wraps her arms around her mother's body and she gives her a tight embrace. "I love you, Mom..." She whispers to her ears.
"More than anything else," She adds, "The only one left I really love," She squeezes a bit tighter and then lets go of her mother. She was her hand up dismissingly, "The rests are just one-nighters and friends that always moves on," She says with an obvious sarcastic intonation to lighten up the mood.
She turns on her heels and limps her way toward the glass-paned doors. "I might drop by later on this week, you know... For something more casual," She says with a faint smile.
"That I believe," Yoko wryly replies.
Mimiru's mother regards her with the heavy air of the unpersuaded. "I know you don't normally get caught." For all Yoko's sardonic tone, her expression is not unkind. "Use your own name next time."
It's nothing to be ashamed of.
World-weary though Yoko is, her daughter always finds ways to surprise her. She blinks as Mimiru embraces her but does not stiffen, even at those powerful words. Myriad emotions flit through Yoko's face, her lips twitching. But this time, mercifully, Mimiru is the one to pull them back, and so it is that Yoko does not reply to those words directly, though surely she has heard them.
"I know," she says instead, her irony matching Mimiru's playful humor. "I gave up on grandchildren a long time ago." Alas, the illustrious Kasagi line, doomed to perish by Mimiru's lack of domesticity. Well, Yoko's not the sort of mother who genuinely gives Mimiru a hard time about that.
But as she watches her daughter limp away, Yoko softens again, a smile rising softly to her lips.
"Sure," she responds. "Let's do lunch."
None can say what the fate of this family will be. But for now, her daughter is back. Even if tragedy strikes again, for now, in her own way, Yoko will treasure the time she has.
It was hard enough work getting here.
Log created on 15:28:28 01/06/2015 by Mimiru, and last modified on 20:38:31 01/06/2015.