Description: Zach's last morning at the Twilight Star Circus started on a good note. And then, well...
There's nothing like waking up to the sounds and smells of bacon frying in the morning. From what Honoka could recall of their visit to an American-style breakfast, the smell of bacon seemed to provoke dramatically different responses in Zach than just about anything else present. So... while the smell is distasteful enough that Honoka has a clothespin over her nose, she still doesn't mind frying some up this glorious (and lazy) morning.
The sun has been up for an hour already. Honoka slept way longer than she'd wanted to, and there are a number of reasons for that -- one of whom is still in bed. But with as many proverbial pans in the proverbial fire as Honoka has simmering, the notion of spending another day idle is ... maddening. It may be a bit difficult to read her own emotional state at this point, aside from the obvious focus she's putting into cooking breakfast foods that she's never cooked before.
Zach shifts, his nose twitching once or twice in reaction to the scent of bacon grease in the air. The Marine lets out a pleased kind of growl as he sits up, looking around in momentary confusion. Last night was... pleasant, but not at all planned. He blinks once when his still waking brain puts everything together. Honoka, if she notices Zach's seeming confusion, might be surprised by this. Zach had normally woken up as if he had an alarm clock implanted in his brain, and he wasn't as slow a riser as he is right now.
He turns to regard Honoka with a slightly muzzy expression on his face, taking in the sights and smells before turning to place his feet on the floor. "Morning," he calls in a happy mumble.
Honoka -was- surprised that he hadn't been the first to awake, of course -- that's why she'd started cooking, after all.
Once Zach is more fully awake he might also notice the scent of pancakes. And he'd be able to see the stack of pancakes on a large plate beside the stove -- she's been productive thus far.
"Morning, sleepyhead!" It won't be often that the evening performer wakes up before Zach, after all -- and she's going to enjoy making fun of him while she can. "Hope I didn't wake you up... I had a craving for pancakes and... I /guess/ I may as well make you something too."
Zach mumbles something that isn't really words to himself as he scratches at the back of his head. A moment later he walks over to his clothing bag, and pulls out a t-shirt before pulling it on over his head. He also pulls out a pair of sweatpants, pulling them on over his boxer shorts before padding into the kitchen space.
The Marine leans against the counter, eyeballing the stack of pancakes before picking through the teas for something new. Somehow, over the space of the time he has been here, he has yet to repeat a selection, and that impresses the Marine. "So after the feast," Zach says, his brain finally up to conversational speeds, "What's on the schedule for the day?"
Honoka had opened the windows to let some fresh air in -- daylight streams through them in what might be another of the reasons Zach was able to wake up. Reflected sunlight bounces off the pink highlights in her hair as she turns towards Zach with a thoughtful expression: "Hmm... well, we have an afternoon show, a night show, then we break down the big top and we're out of here by 8 am tomorrow."
At which point she bumps her hip into the Marine. Not too hard though, in consideration for his grogginess. It's doubtful that the slender Ainu-Japanese woman could knock him over, but she'd rather not take too many chances. "Sleep okay? I know it's not as stiff and unforgiving as your previous night's accomodations, but." She finishes moving the cooked bacon to a platter and cuts the stovetop off. "I didn't hit you while I was asleep, did I?"
Zach gives Honoka a still sleepy grin as the filches a strip of bacon and pops the whole thing into his mouth. "Nope," he says after he finishes the piece he was chewing on. "I..." Zach flushes a bit, taking a plate and throwing some pancakes onto it, "I have to admit, that was probably the best night's sleep I've had since before Metro City."
Zach is speaking honestly, but the statement may very well be true. Honoka is more than aware that before last night, the Marine had not slept through any whole night during his stay. He did his best to stay still and quiet, but it still wasn't a full night's sleep.
He puts some butter and syrup on the pancakes before grabbing another slice of bacon. He shoves the bacon in his mouth, mumbling his approval around the mouthful.
Zach doesn't really move much as a result of Honoka's playful nudge. He doesn't brace up under it, but he sort of absorbs the movement as a part of his walk towards the food stuffs.
Honoka smiles enigmatically in response to Zach's honest admission. "Well, I'm glad at least -one- of the nights was restful for you. Kinda sucks that that dickhole had to come around and ruin it though. Kind of a pity we didn't have a building to drop on him for you."
Honoka's made a habit of cooking her own fish -- she'd rather cook for herself, most nights. Bacon is hardly the best canvas for experimentation, but Zach can at least rest assured that he won't be violently ill after his meal.
Selecting a stack of pancakes for herself, she sidles over to the coffee table. Smidge of syrup and almost no butter is her preference there. "So is it too soon to ask about that guy? He doesn't seem like, uh, family." Left unstated is the question: would Zach mind if he disappeared, like, forever?
Zach takes a sip of his tea before tucking into the pancakes, grimacing more at the mention of Seamus than the food. "He's family," Zach says after a moment, taking another sip of the tea. He weighs his words for a moment. "My family, the extended family, I mean," he says after some more pancakes. "Has something of a tradition of service. It can be very organized at times." The Marine enjoys some more pancakes, tea, and bacon for a moment.
"When kids come of age, when they finish up highschool, the family puts them through a series of tests," Zach says carefully, keeping his keel as even as he can. "If you've ever done one of those career counseling tests, it's kind of like that." Another sip of tea. "For some of us, that includes some sparring with the other examinees." Zach polishes off his pancakes, and stands to get some more.
"Seamus was my sparring partner. His grandfather was Grampig's twin brother," Zach supplies. "They had some serious sibling rivallry going, and some of that got transferred to us."
So killing Seamus right there would have been -bad-, Honoka realizes. A pity.
Honoka busies herself with dividing her pancakes into ordered slices as she listens. The order, the regularity -- it all seems overly constrictive, and yet, perfectly in keeping with everything she knows about Zach. All the more reason for her to be secretly pleased at having induced change in his internal workings, however briefly. It's not to say that she doesn't have her own... eccentricities, though. In a fit of rebellion at her train of thought, Honoka cuts the last two pieces into irregular sizes.
Honoka looks back up at Zach. She could tell him about the plans her family had for her, but it would seem irrelevant and unnecessary to remind him of things he'd seen first-hand. Instead: she nods quietly. "He seems... full of potential. Do you think he's mad that you have Drynwyn instead of he?"
"Drynwyn's just more fuel for the fire," Zach replies simply. "You see, I was a better fighter than he was even then. You know how I can use my energy internally, right? That's all I did during the spar. Seamus... was very taken by his ability to wield energy and didn't really care about how he used it." Zach returns to the counter, applies butter and syrup to the pancakes, takes another piece of bacon.
"Somehow, he got the idea that good things would happen for him if he beat me. The spar... stopped being a spar when he decided try and bring down the gym we were sparring in," Zach continues. "I stopped him, the building was still standing. Dad told me a couple of weeks later that they had to tear the building down and rebuild it from the ground up."
Honoka nods slowly, taking the opportunity of Zach telling about his family to scarf down a few bites of her pancakes.
"Not really much concern for collateral damage, hm. Well, that speaks volumes to his capabilities, at any rate -- I can't see someone as stubborn as that becoming much stronger than he was back then." She chuckles mirthlessly before sipping at her tea.
"So is -all- your family back in Edinburgh? I thought some of you had been in the States. Oklahoma, was it?"
"We're kind of all over the place," Zach says, "Grampig settled down in Cleveland, that's where I grew up. Went to school in Oklahoma. Lot of us in Europe, a few in Africa. Not too many in Asia, and most of those are just passing through. That's how we got Takehiro, actually." Zach gets another cup of tea.
"Anyway," Zach says, "Things went pretty poorly for Seamus after that. People wanted to keep him where he couldn't do much damage. He probably holds /that/ against me too."
"It sounds so negative when we're talking about -him- holding something against you," notes Honoka, the hint of a smile playing across her features. "That's a lot of folks to keep track of, yeah. Africa seems... hot, I guess? Wouldn't have expected that. ... So who lives in Edinburgh? Just your... dad and mom, and I guess Seamus now?"
"Mom and Dad still live in Cleveland," Zach answers. "More than a few aunts and uncles in Edinburgh, though. Their parents, some cousins however many times removed." Zach grins a bit as he digs into the pancakes again. "Seamus' situation is something he made for himself. He could have done a bunch of things differently, but he chooses to be angry about it all and thinks that I'm a good target for the blame."
Zach thinks for a moment before finishing off the bacon. "He's kind of an dumb jerk," he admits.
"Kind of, yeah. I can see it," Honoka admits, impish smiling visible for a brief moment over the lip of her teacup.
"It's tough to live with family, but... I guess that's not really something a person can really change." Honoka's words sound a little empty, but only because it's got her reminiscing about portions of her family tree that she's personally modified. For worse.
Swallowing her sip of tea, she resolves to put on a more cheerful face. "But, um, you said you were heading out today? It seems like you just got here." She laughs for a moment. "We'll miss you, y'know, when you're not bringing reckless relatives of yours to come threaten us and call us bad names." She rocks her shoulder into Zach's, giving a more honest chuckle. "Too soon?"
Another thought occurs to her, though. "Is there any place around you wanted to visit? Or anything you might want to, um... do? We still have a few hours left before we need to get ready."
Zach finishes his pancakes while he considers the question. Honoka gets the distinct impression that there is one thing he'd /like/ to do, but won't, before he leaves. He takes his plates, and cup, and walks them to the galley sink. "I... don't know," Zach says, a faint blush high on his cheeks. "What is there to do in Hakodate?"
Honoka smiles faintly, giving a thoughtful, "Hmm...." as she goes about cleaning up her own plates. She's hardly eaten as much as he has, but it's enough.
She can 'read' Zach a lot better now, having spent several weeks' time with him. Maybe it's the Hokkaido air, but she has a feeling it's more due to the nature of her presence -- the same presence that's led most of the circus to fall under her spell.
And yet, applying direct pressure to Zach has not seemed to be all that effective. He can be stubborn, in his own endearing way -- but directly applying thoughts tends to be something that's rejected. So instead, her subtle approach is a shy smile, arms crossed behind her back, with the supposedly innocent side effect of drawing attention to her form. Even the baggy t-shirt she wears as a pajama top doesn't stand a chance of concealing the slight curves of her acrobatic figure.
"Uhm... sightseeing, mostly. The Motomachi district has a lot of historical sights. A Russian Orthodox Church, among other things -- some old western-style buildings. This place used to be a pretty big deal for shipping, so there's lots of old-timey stuff." She pauses a bit, scratching her cheek. "Didn't seem like you were that -big- a fan of squid, but that's also the local specialty."
Honoka smiles bemusedly, hopping up onto the counter and crossing her slender legs. "Unless you've got something else in mind?"
Zach's blush grows furiously; he knows Honoka's messing with him. There is a very... insistently loud part of him that doesn't object to it, either. In fact, he kind of /likes/ it. It has little to do with psychic powers at work, and a lot more to do with basic psychology and biology. The two had been spending a lot of time in close company over the past few weeks, and it has largely been a good time. Zach swallows once, getting his mouth back under control.
"I do," he finally says in a husky tone, "But it's not something we're going to do just yet." He looks away from Honoka, staring out a window for a long moment.
Sitting upon her countertop is pretty much the only way for Honoka to gain any height on her guest in this tiny little trailer. And from her vantage point, she is quite delighted to see the gamut of emotions rushing across Zach's face and psyche -- attraction and repression, all wrapped up in a tidy package of politeness. Zach's mannerisms have been a solid facade to the emotions roiling up within himself -- without the facade, the intriguing puzzle within would provide much less interest to the juggler extraordinaire.
"Sorry, I keep pouring that on a bit thick, huh? Can't help it, really." She nibbles her lower lip for a moment, before adding, "Not gonna lie, I'm gonna miss teasing you," she snickers. "But... it'll probably be easier on Mizuho's cellphone battery." Pause. "You probably didn't notice her recording your pushup session, huh?"
Zach blinks in surprise at this bit of information. "I..." Zach blinks "No. No I did not. She..." Zach draws the pronoun out a bit. "That's some pretty mixed signals there," he finally, "Given how she seems to object pretty strenuously to me being around."
"Jealousy will cause some people to do some crazy things..." adds Honoka, shrugging faintly. "But she has been asking around. Trying to find out more about you. Pretty much everyone has told her I'd have her drawn and quartered if I found out, like I'm some kind of medieval madwoman." She laughs, more openly than one might expect from the young starlet. "I guess I have a bit of a reputation here or something!"
"You might be a little possessive," Zach says, a tease of his own in his voice. "Not that I'm complaining." Zach makes his way over to the tea selection, picking out yet another new selection. He's thinking a bit about it as he brews another cup.
"I'm flattered," he finally admits, "But I'm not really interested." He frowns a bit. "If she acts on it, I'll try to let her down easy. I don't want to cause more trouble than I already have." The odd thing about the statement? Zach's dead serious when he says it.
"I'm not possesssive at all," Honoka retorts with a self-aware smile. "People just need to keep away from my stuff!"
A thought occurs to her, though, and she slips down from the countertop, heading back into the bed area. Her stuffed animals were displaced to make room for her guest, and now that the bed's free, she's compulsive enough to place them back into their proper positions, facing towards the sofa on the other end of the trailer.
"You said you were sorry, it's not like you went about advertising where you were. Guy's a dick, and he's persistent, nothing you could do to stop it. Just do me a favor if he decides to spar with you again?" She balls up one fist -- but it's more of an emphatic gesture, for she throws said fist out to the side as she delivers a picture-perfect place kick. "Right between the legs. Y'know, if it comes to that?" She rights herself, hands upon her hips. "But don't feel like y'gotta go out of your way for it or anything."
Zach grins a bit as he moves to help Honoka clean up the stuffed animals. "I'm not going to have a /spar/ with him ever again, if I can help it," Zach says after thinking about it. "He comes at me looking for a fight, I'm going to make him regret the decision." Zach's tone sounds like he means it. The undercurrent of emotion behind the statement lines up pretty well with the words, as well.
"But I'm hoping it won't come to that," he says in a fairly even tone. Hostility or not, aggression or not, Seamus is still family.
Honoka's expression pales for a bit as Zach helps her rearrange the stuffed animals, remembering after a delay that he actually should know where they belong, he's been here long enough.
But then she finds herself standing next to Zach, holding a stuffed fish in one hand, while he holds a stuffed octopus in his. An awkward laugh ensues, as she considers the relative positioning.
"Civilization, Zach... that's what makes us do things that aren't natural. Rules... we make up to keep us from doing what would come natural otherwise. Keeps us from doing the things we want to do most."
Honoka hugs the fish to her chest. "And the sad part is, we fight to protect civilization. To keep 'order', so we tell ourselves, right? Because it's what we're led to believe."
Zach is silent for a long moment, mulling that one over. He looks at Honoka, then considers the stuffed octopus in his hands. There's... a multitude of different, and conflicting, emotions running through Zach. It might be hard for Honoka to pick any one of them out individually. After a moment, Zach speaks in a quiet voice.
"Don't be too quick to knock it," he says, quiet and firm. "There are people, and not-people, out there who would love nothing more than to tip this whole world into the law of the jungle. Violence and murder are things that exist, Honoka. There are also ideas. Law, ethics, morality, justice. Things that exist /because/ of the civilizations that people have worked hard to build and keep... and fight for, because we want lives defined by more than murder or violence." Zach turns, and sits down on the couch, still holding onto the octopus. Not quite meeting Honoka's eyes. The words, the ideas, Zach is putting forth are things he /believes/ in.
"And sometimes it stinks," he says with a faint grin, "But you can't appreciate the flowers, and then complain about the crap used to fertilize them."
Violence and murder are a constant reality for a Honoka rooted just a few hundred meters away, staring through the roll-up fencing separating the circus from everything outside it, watching helplessly while -this- Honoka dances about like the good girlfriend for her heroic boyfriend. With Zach looking aside, not quite meeting her gaze, she finds herself drawn to look back at the bloodthirsty Empress through the open window, to see her standing there, tapping her foot, waiting for this conversation to end so that she can be given life again.
"It's different here, Zach," she claims with a resigned sigh. "Japan, I mean. We see so many people that just go through the motions, devoid of any sort of enthusiasm. Civilization, as an ideal, is just -so powerful- an idea that it overrides all sense of ... personality. Of passion." She turns back from the window, raising one eyebrow. "This entire damn country lives in denial of their basic -urges-, their -needs-. This circus? God, I wish we could be everywhere in the country at once. To inspire people all throughout. I hear where you're coming from, but civilization -here- in -Japan- is just too successful. Too appealing, too comfortable. Murder rates are down, but suicide rates more than make up for it here. Maybe it's different in Edinburgh, in Oklahoma, in Africa...?"
She draws in her breath, turning to flump down upon the edge of her bed. "You scare me, sometimes. Like maybe you're becoming too much like... these people. Denying yourself... because that's what society tells you is the right thing to do. What your family tells you is right." She squeezes her stuffed fishy, resting her chin upon it. She forges a brief smile. "But that's kind of what I loved most, talking with you. Another opinion, another viewpoint."
Zach leans back in the couch, considering the octopus for a long moment. "It's... some of that," he finally admits. "But some of it is that... well... that," he says with a slight tinge of embarrassment, nodding towards the bed, "That's a step. It's not a small step, and it's not one that can be taken back."
Zach is silent for a long moment. "I'm going to tell you something," Zach says in a quiet, almost vulnerable, tone of voice. "I don't... I don't really /like/ being in Japan." Zach pauses, realizing just how that could be taken. "You, the rest of the people here make up for a lot of that, but most of the time? I wish I weren't here. It's... All of these people." Zach flounders for a moment, before continuing.
"I think the last time I looked it up, America has about 35 people per square kilometer, compared to almost /ten times/ that in Japan," he says, dragging the information out of memory. "People are so tightly packed in this country that it's a miracle there's room for anything else." Zach leans forward, fidgeting with the octopus, waggling its limbs seemingly at random.
"And all of those people have lives, emotions, wishes, desires, and needs and wants, and people like us, we can kind of pick up on all of that." he continues on, still kind of focusing on the stuffed toy in his hands, the tactile feedback of the plushie serving to ground the Marine a little bit. "It's... The cities are..." Zach pauses, fumbling for a word, "The cities are very loud," he finally decides. "Some... no, a /lot/ of people here? The things they want, or need, or think that they do? If even a tenth of them acted on that, it'd be a mess in a hurry."
Zach considers for a moment. "I don't think we disagree on how effective civilization is in mitigating certain influences," he says quietly, "But I don't think that we agree on whether or not that's a good thing. It might be somewhere in the middle."
Honoka's eyebrow lifts again -- a flicker of impatience suggesting that maybe she wouldn't -want- anything taken back. Regrets are not something that keeps the woman for many nights -- if they were, she'd never have moved on from finding out her role in her parent's passing.
It is just a moment, though. It's easy to get caught in the ebb and flow of a conversation, to take things personally when they're not meant to be. Honoka is quick to realize that she's letting her emotions run amok -- it's what -started- this silly conversation, really -- and buries her lower face into the fishy.
The thoughts she has concerning a tenth of Japan acting on their urges is a bit beyond her current capacity to vocalize.
A few moments pass before she has a thought to share. "No, I don't disagree, with anything said. I just... I mean, I've been thinking about what my grandmother told me, in those tapes. About how... the Ainu way was simpler. We didn't have an overpopulation problem, because we lived off the land, coexisted with the animals. You say the law of the jungle like it was a bad thing, but... that's the whole idea." She smiles faintly. "But... that's a time long gone, I guess. A dream, a memory of a bygone time."
Honoka scratches her cheek. "... Anyway. Sorry, didn't mean to get all philosophical and junk. Just been thinking, I guess, and... every time I get around to it, someone had to start spouting off drama or something, right?"
"What's life without a little bit of drama," Zach says with a weak smile. "Getting stuff out in the open is a good thing. I mean, that..." Zach nods back to the bed. "It's something that I want. But... it's..." Zach fumbles for a bit. "I don't think it's something I could do casually. I don't think that I want that to become something I could do as a casual thing." Zach's still in that forward leaning posture, focused as much on the stuffed octopus in front of him as he is on the conversation. He's feeling more than a little exposed, emotionally speaking. It makes the Marine a bit uncomfortable.
Not something he could do... casually. Honoka's feeling a bit exposed at this point, as well: she thought she'd been doing everything she could to make him feel comfortable, welcomed, and not rushed. She's so used to applying pressure to people, to effectively -make- them do what she wants when she wants it, that having someone who can actually push back...
"I don't think I really feel up to going out," she announces abruptly, but she's quick to clarify what she means by that: "... today."
She watches Zach's expression for a good long moment, before letting her chin sink back against her stuffed animal. Her eyes blink rapidly, as she finds inanimate objects in the trailer to fixate upon. The tea rack. The sink. The table. The map of Japan on the wall.
Frustration not unlike spotting a gap in the defenses of the opposing force with an empty clip of ammunition.
Zach blinks once, then looks up at Honoka. The expression on his face may or may not be priceless; he clearly missed something right there and for the life of him, he couldn't say what that would be. Honoka's emotional read probably lines right up with the read of the expression. Zach decides not to push the matter, though.
He stands up, gently places the octopus next to Honoka. "Maybe I'll go hang out with Takehiro for a bit today," he says quietly. He leans forward to place a gentle kiss on her forehead if she doesn't resist. If she moves, he won't persue. Perhaps the two of them could use some space right now.
Regardless of how the attempt goes, Zach grabs the bag containing Drynwyn and quietly makes his way out of the trailer.
Honoka's formal education stopped just over eight years ago. Aside from her personal research into history and politics, her only real forays into education are those she undertakes while merely pretending to be a high school student. Not that Zach would... necessarily know about that.
But what she -can- study, on a minute-to-minute basis... are people. Personalities, psyches, souls... they're all around her. The same things that frustrate Zach about Japan, Honoka gains strength from. Ennui just represents someone looking for a way to move on. Exultation is something that needs to be shared with others as much as possible.
But misery? That's to be inflicted on a personal, one-to-one basis in a highly targeted fashion. And to someone as thoughtful, introspective, and and personable as Zach...
Honoka doesn't shy away. But she doesn't really look up at him either, not wanting to let him see the pain in her eyes. His words cut her deeper than she will even admit to herself -- the notion that she is treating this whole 'relationship' thing as a casual fling. Whether she -is- or -not-... is that really a matter that Zach is qualified to pass judgment on?
But she doesn't feel a need to enlighten Zach. She sees a small window of opportunity. And when he touches her forehead, there's no doubt of the one singularly overwhelming misery coursing through her at the moment.
An exquisitely curved weapon, effectively useless for all but one exact point of entry, as Honoka buries her face in her fishy.
Her voice is quiet, an afterthought whispered as Zach begins to walk away from her. "Say hi for me, okay?" She didn't really get to speak to Takehiro much after the show the other night. And... well. That part's honest, at least.
"And... um..." She may be sad, but it's still possible for her to put on a faint smile anyway. "... 'May the wind always be at your back.'"
"Sure thing," Zach says quietly in response to Honoka's passed-along greeting. He's at the door, the bag's over his shoulder, the door is open. He's ready to leave, recalling the route from the circus to the marketplace where Takehiro's set up shop.
And Honoka gives Zach a traditional Irish parting expression.
Zach freezes in the doorway, stunned as memories that are not really his crash through his mind. Those were the exact last words then-Zach had said to then-Honoka, the last time the two had seen each other. The misery, he was able to handle somewhat. He had braced himself a bit for it, and while it did not stop all of the pain it had caused him, it helped.
Zach had planned to just walk right out. His mind was already replaying the scene and was starting to arrive at some possible conclusions as to what he had said or done to cause what had just happened, but he wanted some time and space to work through it to be sure.
He had one foot out the door when the memories hit, with all of the emotion that they carried. Zach's legs go out from under him, in mid-step. There's a saying about first steps, and it proves all too true this time.
Zach crashes to the ground, unable to get his balance back under him. There is a sickening crunch on impact.
The Empress hears the sickening crunch, and smiles inwardly. The backwater hick from Akan, though? She tells the Empress to go take a damn hike.
"Zach?!" she calls out, her tears finally breaking loose of their chalices. "I'm... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." Hurt you? Quote odd Old World blessings at you? In the hurry over to the door of the trailer, she manages to catch hold of her loose mouth with one hand.
When she sees Zach splayed out at a painfully awkward angle, she... suddenly regrets eating as many pancakes as she had.
"Zach, I... I'll call for help, okay? I just... "
The Empress stares back at Honoka from across the way. She inclines her head towards Zach.
"I'm..." she stammers; without any real context, it doesn't make any sense at all. But in a moment, she's at Zach's side. Placing her hand on Zach's forehead. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry... I'll make this right... where does it hurt?"
Zach's talents can heal the wounds directly. But Honoka hasn't gotten to put her grandmother's teachings into practice just yet: she falls back on what she knows best.
Chasing the pain away from within.
Zach groans a bit, rolling to one side before very slowly sitting up. One arm, though, has one bend too many. The Marine winces as he cradles the arm against his chest as he looks up at Honoka through one barely open eye.
"Wasn't... your fault," Zach says through gritted teeth. "Crippling case... of deja vu, is all," he growls as he considers the injury. "Gonna need a hospital," he finally decides as he moves slightly away from Honoka. "Need to reset the bone before we try anything else," Zach informs Honoka as he tries to get his breathing back under control. "If we try to speed things up, then we'll have to re-break it," he says by way of explanation. There's no accusation, just a misunderstanding of what Honoka is offering with the help. "If you can get us a ride, though," he gasps, because holy /cow/ does that hurt. "That'd be great."
Deja vu? Honoka... laughs, mirthlessly, at that. "Ah, damn other-me always getting in my way," It's easy for her to spot the injury now that she gets a better look at it.
To the notation that her healing would be so spot-on it would complicate matters at the hospital, she chuckles, again: "No, no, I can't do what /you/ do." She works in a circus. The circus looks after its own -- the first responder needs to know how to deal with things like this. So while she may not know the esoteric, shamanistic way of healing wounds, she has a firm grounding in the practical aspects of first aid -- and that includes setting broken bones.
"This won't hurt a bit," she fibs -- though, to her credit, the wave of mulberry-colored energy emanating from her hands is enough to reduce the pain at the injury site, if not undo it. And it'll be needed, as she's pulling the elbow and wrist apart just so, in order to re-seat the separated bones back into proper working order. It's still a break -- but it's one that can be splinted up.
Sudo, to his credit, is already on his way -- as are a few other of the circus folks who had noticed the sudden bout of commotion. Honoka explains: "We -do- have a doctor in the house, you know." Hospital. Tch!
The tears are still moist on her cheek, momentarily forgotten in the confusion. "You'll be okay, Zach. I'm... sorry for hurting you," she says, pressing her hands against Zach's wounded arm, letting her calm, warming energies soak into him.
Reflexive decisions are reflexive. Zach did not really think the implications of circus operations through when he spoke.
The Marine grits his teeth, biting down on a groan of pain that still manages to escape before letting out a long breath and taking another. Zach's breathing is rapid for a moment as a variety of chemicals rush through Zach in response to the trauma. He eventually brings himself back under control, managing the remaining pain through sheer force of will.
"It was the last thing he said to her, the last time he saw her," Zach whispers to Honoka as he leans his head towards her. "It... had weight, apparently. Wasn't your fault." The Marine takes another deep breath. "No offense to you and yours, but I'm going to have to go to a hospital. It's a regulations thing. Have to report it," he says after a long moment.
"... Oh." Honoka pales somewhat at that. She had wanted to inflict misery -- just hadn't been aware of that -particular- bit. Invoking a prayer from his homeland was meant to be a softening of the blow, a small apology from the backwater hick for the grief cause by her Imperial highness.
But... what's done is done. "I... see. It.... well, we used to say it every now and then in my family, whenever we'd go out boating. A version of it, anyway." She smiles faintly, keeping her hands pressed to the wound until Sudo arrives with a splint. "... I'll call, don't worry. Just want to make sure you don't get injured along the way."
As Sudo arrives, Honoka stands up, looking back at Zach with ... remorse? Hope? It's hard to read the faint smile upon her face, with her arms folded behind her back -- she could be Reika, for all he knows, instead of the warm-hearted breakfast companion he was talking to mere minutes before.
"It's okay. I understand. It's... a military thing." She smiles distractedly, before stepping back into her trailer. Help is just a phone call away, after all.
Log created on 18:47:30 06/07/2015 by Honoka, and last modified on 20:05:55 06/09/2015.