Description: After Mai's match in Metro City, one would expect her to wake up in the relative comfort and safety of a hospital. Instead, she wakes up somewhere even more comfortable and safe: A beach house in okinawa, on the other side of the world. All thanks to her new favorite friend, Lee Chaolan, who wants to make sure she makes the right choices... and not make any mistakes in her next few life choices.
See, normally after a fight, you go to the local hospital.
You get a medical team to treat you, and if you need additional work, you go to the hospital. That's what was supposed to be the case for Mai Shiranui after her fight in Metro City. She had fought two opponents, and was defeated. She would be recovering in a Metro City hospital, and then after a quick discharge, she would disappear because NINJAs. But no, instead she would be somewhere on the other side of the world... a few days later.
Because Lee Chaolan had something more personal in mind.
Mai Shiranui would find herself waking up to a soft pacific breeze washing over her, and quite possibly a wicked headache. . She would be on a bed in the upstairs of the beach house at Okinawa, on private loan for behalf of Violet Systems. Before her would be an open window with a wide open view of the beach. Her discreet ninja uniform is neatly folded on a nearby chair. Which is strange, because she was wearing that when she left the caberet. What she would be wearing now is a billowly, somewhat oversized silk shirt with a pair of grey sweat pants. She is well bandaged up, dressed and cleaned with proper medical treatment... short of being in what looks like a cabana.
There is the smell of cooking bacon in the air.
Mai's first words upon waking up are short, simple, and to the point.
"Urrgh," she says, sitting up and rubbing her head. She blinks a few times, taking a look around the room and then checking out the bed as well as her clothing. After a momentary appraisal her hand dips into her baggy silk shirt, likely checking for her fans. Then she spots them along with her uniform slightly across the room.
Mai hops out of bed and onto the floor in one motion that is practically silent. She barely even makes a noise when she lands on the floor. On her landing she nurses her injured side, which prompts her to briefly lift her shirt enough to check the bandages. Still moving quietly, she paces around the room and getting a feel for the room before scooping up her fans and tucking them down her top.
The room itself can be best described as relaxing.
It's clean, it's breezy, and it is lightly decorated. The room itself is small, with plush recliners and even a bowl of fruit by it. The only other thing of note (other than Mai's belongings all in that neat pile), is what's beside the bed. There is a medical chart on the wall; it looks like she had received some official medical work. The medical stats are somewhat dense; mls of fluids, biometrics, very technical stuff. The only thing of note is a circled segment with red underlined metrics; the last piece is double underlined, with a finishing line of *95% Mortality Do Not Use Special Care*. A newspaper has been left on the bedside table; it is dated today.... which is, in fact, three days AFTER the Metro City match. It is also in Japanese, as the Okinawa Times.
The hiss of eggs hitting a frying pan is heard downstairs.
Mai takes several moments appraising the room. She scoops up the paper and reads flips through, frowning when she notices the date. Otherwise seemingly satisfied, the paper is replaced and her attention turns to the medical chart. She leans in, examining it extra carefully. Her brow furrows.
But there's the sound of cooking downstairs as well. Mai tilts her head and listens close for the sound of footsteps. Provided they haven't started yet, she keeps reading.
Mai also takes a moment to adjust her sweatpants, pulling them up on her hips slightly.
The contents of the newspaper is not too remarkable.
Outside of the regular Okinawa local news (The local marine commissary is no longer under renovation!), there are of course the King of Fighters related announcements. Someone named Craig Marduk is looking to form an anti-wrestling team, people are eagerly waiting to see if any of the teams from last season are reorganizing themselves to compete, and editorials on what people want to see in the teams and what they don't want to see, as well as a strange rogue one complaining about the sexualization of professional fighters... citing Robert Richards as promoting negative stereotypes in fighters. There is a crease on one of the pages where the last place was read; should Mai go to that page, she will find that... there is a large section of the newspaper carefully torn out, leaving a standalone article discussing the Fighting Entertainment world, where Jezebel Failblesse, the former Lightning Spangles, apparently tried killing herself -again- in Thailand, blocking up traffic in the process. Whatever was torn out, though, there isn't a clue on what it was...
The sound of footsteps rise in the hallway, as someone approaches.
Mai is a deceptively fast reader. Some might assume that Mai would take a while to skim, or that she barely read, but she seems to navigate the paper relatively quickly. Of course, when she hears footsteps, Mai backs away from the paper, charts, and graphs and moves back to the bed. She does this with that same sneaky, quiet movement she used originally. Apparently she did not miss out on /all/ her ninja training by daydreaming about Andy.
By the time the door opens, Mai aims to be back in bed--well, sitting on it at least. She looks groggy.
What arrives is... a nurse.
Black haired and dressed in more of a night shift nurse outfit than a proper nurse, the young lady is endowed with wisdom and understanding, though not to the same degree of the ninja. As she arrives, she turns... and smiles. "Ah! Miss Shiranui, you are awake." She bows slightly, before coming to the bed side. Taking a seat, she delicately takes her arm, checking Mai's pulse. "You might feel a little shaken up, but do not worry, Miss Shiranui. You are at a special rehabilitation resort at Okinawa, used by celebrities like Jezebel Failblesse to recover from... mistakes. Lee Chaolan has generously given you the chance of a lifetime to recover here; he personally saw that you were brought here to rest and recover. He is downstairs right now, waiting for you!" She takes the medical chart, and puts down some notes. "Your pulse looks fine, but please tell me."
'How do you feel now?"
Mai looks up when the nurse arrives. She brushes her hair out of her face sleepily and puts on a weak smile. "Oh, hello," she says, "I was a little confused where I was." Mai offers her wrist without objection or incident, but when the nurse fully explains it, she covers her mouth with her other hand for a shocked gasp.
"Oh! Surely I didn't need something so /fancy/. I know I have a bit of a reputation, but..."
Mai starts to get up. "No one I feel so well! I really should go thank Mr. Chaolan." Mai looks at the nurse. "Do you need anything else from me?"
"Oh no, we already have enough blood!"
The woman smiles brightly, a somewhat plastic smile spreading across her face. She marks things down on the medical chart, nodding her head. "And we already removed the IV, so you should be clear to check out! Just make sure to collect your belongings! We even brought you a newspaper." She nods her head, standing up. "Lee Chaolan is making breakfast for you right now!"
"Perhaps you can enjoy something before you are picked up!"
Mai rubs the back of her neck before hopping off of the bed. The comment about the blood gets the most brief of stares. It is a fleeting moment easily dismissed as a trick of the light. Mai smiles pleasantly.
"Oh, of course!" she says, scooping up her uniform. "I'll be sure to have something before I go. It'd be rude of me to just walk out, especially on such a handsome man as Mister Chaolan!"
And so, Mai makes her way downstairs, rubbing her side again briefly. Regardless of her condition she plays the part of the recovering patient and uses whatever handrail is available to carefully navigate down toward what she presumes is the kitchen.
Naturally, Lee Chaolan is in there.
The silver haired executive is dressed in a tuxedo; when is he not in a tuxedo? This time, however, he has a purple apron over him, with a great big unicorn on it. He is currently slaving of a hot stove, making bacon and eggs. He is poking at the frying pan with a spatula. Behind Mai, the nurse was following afterwards, escorting from a distance behind. Didn't she have to clean up the room? As Mai eases down the stairs, he looks up... and feigns surprise.
He gives a wink, as he pokes at the eggs. "I was just making breakfast, with the hopes you would be waking up today! You've been recovering very well these last few days. I hope you aren't too surprised, my dear. You certainly were in no condition to accept my offer to recover at a triple AAA facility, but I wanted to make sure the bases were covered. I gave the Bogards a call to confirm that it was all right; I certainly don't want to get in any trouble!" Lee Chaolan gives a winning smile, as turns his attention towards the nurse that was heading to the table.
"You know how they always think about you~"
Mai seems acutely aware of the footfalls behind her, but does not look back to see. Instead she maintains her pace. She is, after all, an injured patient!
"Oh, that smells delicious!" Mai says, sniffing the air. "I hope you're well, Mister Chaolan. That certainly wasn't my best performance the other day." She continues down the stairs, adjusting the position of her uniform and newspaper, both of which are tucked under her arm.
"But I do appreciate your concern despite all that. Charming, as always, I see." Mai smiles brightly, placing a hand on her cheek in absence of a fan. "And you even called for my pick-up! How considerate! Of course, I can't just rush off without chatting a little though, I suppose! May I sit down?"
"The pleasure would be mine, Mai~"
Lee Chaolan starts preparing the plates, while the nurse take a seat at a kitchen table with a view of the sea. The nurse keeps that plastic smile on her face, but her body language was... restrained. Lee Chaolan continues to prepare the plates, as he speaks. "As for your performance, I was a little surprised you didn't do as well as you did against me!" He reaches the table, delicately balancing three plates in his hands and arms and... shoulder. Spreading them out with knives and forks, it is simply eggs and bacon with a side of buttered toast. "You seem to do much better with teams than without them. Which reminds me, my dear."
"Have you thought about your team for my King of Fighters tournament yet, Mai?"
"I suppose it was an off-day," Mai says with a sigh, waving her hand. "Perhaps I shouldn't have fought in the heels after all." She continues to not pay the nurse too much mind. When the suggestion is made that she fights better with a team, Mai huffs.
"Well, maybe, but I'm plenty competent on my own. I would, of course, carry any team that I'm on." Mai reaches down, slightly realigning a fork with the plate. She does not eat yet.
"But to answer you question, a bit. I plan of entering, of course, even if might need to be renamed Queen of Fighters as such...but no, my team isn't finalized /quite/ yet."
"Ah ha ha! Excellent~"
Lee Chaolan seems to enjoy the Queen of Fighters comment. But as she declares her team unfinalized... a shadow passes over Lee Chaolan's complexion. He looks at his plate, a thought clearly taking over him. The nurse stares blankly, a smile glued on her lips. Lee Chaolan finally speaks. "Who are you looking at, Mai, for your partner? What did you think of those two opponents you had? We my Violet Girls to your liking?"
"Or do you still have Yuri on the mind?~"
Mai smiles pleasant before resting her chin on her palm. "Oh, well, no. I haven't spoken to Yuri since our match. I probably should, her Kyokugenryu is pretty strong..."
Mai watches for a moment out of the corner of her eye. She seems to be gauging Lee's reaction. "Then again...I will say that Claire seemed friendly. She fights well too. Both of them did, to be honest. Otherwise I couldn't have lost!"
Lee Chaolan's expression remains a smirk, but that shadow does not fade.
"Haven't even spoken to Yuri since your match..." He trails off, poking at the eggs. He was thinking, even a bit offended. And yet, the smile does not go away. Not on him. Not on the nurse. He looks up from his breakfast. "Well, at least you are working hard at it. What about the prizes? What excites you the most, if any of them? I am sure you would be more after the money, though, that base for the first prize... could very well be a home." A twinkle appears in the corner of his eyes.
"Could be considered a wedding gift.... maybe~"
"She does seem nice, I really should talk to her again," Mai says thoughtfully, poking at her own eggs before taking up her piece of toast and crunching on it.
"Ohhh, it's all very exciting~" Mai says, beaming. "Any of the prizes would be wonderful...." she pauses, at Lee's suggestion. "I hadn't thought of that..."
"Hadn't thought of that at all."
Lee Chaolan shakes his head. The nurse's smile fades a bit. Lee Chaolan leans back in his chair. "I sometimes wonder if the fighters in the world don't consider how important these tournaments are. Would you believe that only a few months ago, people were fighting to save the world?" Lee Chaolan's smile is all but gone. "And now, after spending a year fighting an extended legal battle over something as small as personal rights, I give them the most frightening knowledge I have ever seen, access to the most terrifying technology I have seen, and yet, what are the news articles on about? Who will form what teams, some buffoon opposed to wrestling, and missing people..."
He trails off with a smile.
"I suppose it is a bit much to expect people outside the know to realize just how much danger they are in." He leans back over his plate, looking at his untouched eggs and bacon. He looks back over to Mai. "I hope this isn't too much for you, Mai."
"The breakfast, I mean~"
"Oh dear," Mai answers chin still on her palm and more concerned now, "that sounds like a great deal of trouble! I'm surprised you are even offering it up with all the work that went into it. You must really want this tournament to be successful!" Mai leans forward a little bit, setting her toast down.
"Danger? From the technology and who might win the rights to it? Surely you have some plans in mind to prevent that, don't you, Mister Chaolan?" Mai seems very concerned.
Lee Chaolan's tone is gentle, but just short of condencending. "If the technology wasn't a prize, then what would it be? A commodity, a product. It would be sold to the highest bidder; with government contracts, behind the scenes trickery, corporate spies and thefts and- why, all kinds of mischief." Lee Chaolan keeps his eyes firm on Mai. "And if I should just give it away, how would I know that the prize was given to someone strong enough to fight for it, to defend it? When they come to wrench the technology from your hands, or bring you to heel under your boot? No, it has to be someone strong, and it has to be a group of people with 'skin in the game' to make it happen."
"I feel like I didn't cook the eggs long enough, how do you feel Mai?"
Mai's expression continues to rest somewhere between 'trying hard to parse it all' and 'already having given up on fully understanding'. Her lip sticks out slightly in a pout, seemingly in response to Lee's tone. Even on the surface, she definitely parsed that much.
"I guess that's fair. You wouldn't want someone to have it who would just have it taken from them..." She keeps thinking about it, looking off toward the window. She pokes at her eggs with a fork. "And who would appreciate it better than a fighter..."
"Oh, I don't know," she says, as if the topic has suddenly shifted to something more in her line of understanding. "I think they're fine. I was surprised you were cooking them at all, what with your being a big business person!"
"I do what I can for Japan's most beautiful woman~"
Lee Chaolan leans forward, a coy smile on his lips. He had hoped that Mai would get some of the message. And yet, he felt as he was working with someone who was... just a manner of denseness. Oh well, it was tough to find someone beautiful AND brilliant in the world. Maybe the Bogards would get the hint... if they didn't find him first. And speak of the devil, as a car is heard honking outside. "Ah! That must be your ride. While you can take your time eating your eggs... I would suggest you make haste. After all, you wouldn't want to keep Andy waiting..." He trails off.
"At the mainland of Japan, as he could not make it to the island to pick you up personally."
Mai considers for a moment. She seems deep in thought about the whole thing.
"Well, I suppose I /should/ speak to Yuri again. Or maybe Claire." Mai taps her cheek thoughtfully. "I'm sure with a strong enough team we could certainly make a grab for the prize there, even if there will be a lot of competition for it." Mai looks at Lee and smiles. "After all, what's the point if you aren't confident in winning? I'm sure we can handle it!"
And, for a moment, Mai beams. Bogards? Here to pick her up? Maybe Andy even got a nice car to carry her away and--
Oh. Mai visibly droops. "I guess I should hurry then. Thank you again for all your help, Mister Chaolan. Do stay in touch!"
"Oh, the pleasure is all mine!"
Lee Chaolan's cheer and smile had returned to full force. But the nurse's smile had not. "And yes, you should talk to them. Or anyone. And just remember, if you can't find a team, just give your good friend Lee Chaolan a call, and I can make magic happen for you~" He gives her a wink, as he rises to a stand. The nurse does not rise. Extending the crook of his arm, he gestures for Mai.
"Let me escort you to the car~"
Mai gets up, adjusting her top. "So charming!" she says pleasantly. Mai remains vaguely aware of the nurse's expression, but she does not mention it.
"I'll be sure to call if I don't have any luck. I'm sure with your connection you can find me a teammate in no time~" Mai says, half-concealing with her face with her fan. Where did that come from? When did she draw it? How odd.
Mai follows along, letting Lee lead. She does, at least, give him an arm. (Don't tell Andy.)
And Lee Chaolan escorts her outside, where a rather clean looking black limo was waiting to carry her away to her Andy. After a plane trip, she would be back home. With nothing, nothing to worry about.
Until she started asking questions.
When Lee Chaolan returns to the house, the nurse was standing, face grim. She was unfolding a piece of paper. "Sir." She says firmly, as Lee Chaolan sweeps past her, collecting his plate, and approaching the garbage can. "She will find out once she's outside. We should have kept her in a medically induced coma-"
"And have her friends come to rescue her?"
Lee Chaolan finishes clearing the plate, and puts it in the sink. "There are few fighters stronger than Mai, and that was the condition to test to see if the quick treatment would work. And it would kill her. We could have used a slower treatment, but... I had -expected- that she would be a little more independent than her lack of team showed. As we found out, that's not the case is it?" The nurse slams the paper by the sink. On it, was the headlines of an article, ripped from the newspaper.
"Fighter Reported Missing After Saturday Night Fight"
Lee Chaolan shakes his head. The nurse didn't need to say anything. "If we had more time, we would have a bright and happy ninja who would be teamed up with my girls, or really anyone I approve. But we do not have time, I do not have an interest in dealing with more 'heroes' seeking to stop a kidnapping. I am -still- upset about the Ayame incident." He sighs, dropping the plate in the sink. The nurse, lowering her head, bows slightly. "I am sorry sir. I am just disappointed. Would a massage help improve your mood?"
And Lee Chaolan turns back to the nurse, smirking.
He flashes a thumbs up.
Log created on 14:04:20 07/10/2017 by Lee Chaolan, and last modified on 20:13:46 07/11/2017.