Description: After the Jiuzhaigou battle, Honoka needed to get checked into a local hospital. With the beguiling juggler now confined to a hospital bed, Koto gets to take the reins and show the manipulator who's really in charge!
The fight was a close one -- a narrow victory between fighters at the peak of their capabilities. But even while the Twilight Stars walked away with the most points, the extended battle against two representatives of history's greatest martial arts certainly took its toll on Honoka Kawamoto.
The psion was flickering in and out of consciousness. The first time, she'd awoken in a panic -- only to be calmed by the presence of those around her. The second, third... seventh times weren't as severe. There was a -lot- for the doctors to take care of though -- a number of aggravated wounds along her scalp and back, most of which were sustained in the final moments of battle.
Now though? She's on her side, resting peacefully on a hospital bed just a few miles away from Jiuzhaigou. And when she slowly comes to, there's a smile on her face.
And then... a moment of confusion, as she speaks into the air.
"... Koto?" A stab in the dark. A hope, as she bridges the gulf between consciousness and dreamspace, clinging to the last thing she'd seen before succumbing to the pressures of the fight. An insistence that the presence she feels around her is not just a lingering memory.
The remaining by her side was a bit harsh for Koto, probably Chae Lim as well. They had taken shifts to make sure someone was there that she knew. Overall, he was worried at the extent of the injuries.
The good news is that he had changed out of the kimono, that was on the back of his chair. The young hero had taken to meditating in the off hours, practicing some with his powers via floating around small objects. Paper cuts, a clip board. Things that were light and would help him refine his control a bit.
At the sound of his name, there is a small clatter as he moves, "Honoka! You're awake!" He moves closer, reaching to take her hand. The young man has a bright smile on his face, obviously very happy his team mate is back in the land of the living. "How are you feeling?"
His t-shirt and sweat pants are the main thing on him, showing that he hasn't changed at least since she was admitted. "I think they were going to talk to Kung Lao about using that hat and other things in the tournament... I hope they were. I was more concerned about getting you to the hospital."
Honoka's eyes light up as soon as Koto responds, cocoa-colored eyes turning towards the sound of the voice. Her eyes widen in surprise at the sudden pressure upon her hand -- touching isn't quite as common in the Japanese culture she grew up with. Still, that surprise only lasts a brief instant before she gives Koto's hand a small, appreciative squeeze.
"Still... a bit out of it. Guess it's... painkillers."
She flashes a sober smile back at the Pacific student, shaking her head side to side -- up to down, really, with her current sideways orientation. "Wouldn't worry about it much. It's... his style, it ain't against the rules. And besides..."
She gives Koto's hand another squeeze. "Nakoruru trusts him, so I trust him. Just like I trust you!"
She grins back at Koto for a few minutes, before flicking her gaze elsewhere in the room. "Did Chae Lim get somethin' to eat? Didn't mean to keep you two tied up for so long..."
Koto nods. "She did." A smile is given again, then a bit of embarassment on his face shows as he moves to withdraw his hand carefully.
"Ah... do not worry about it. We're team mates, after all. And you won the match... Chae Lim should be back soon, I think? Well, maybe. The cafeteria's on the first floor and all." Koto shakes his head.
"So... we won both preliminaries, right?" He looks a bit worried on that one. "But you're pretty hurt... will you be fine for the next rounds?"
Honoka's eyes turn towards Koto's hand as he pulls it away. Some color seems to be filtering back into her face, at that.
"... Oh, we did?" It isn't fully a -surprise- to know that she'd managed to seal the deal on the fight, but she explains with a half-grin: "... I wasn't really sure if that'd caught him by surprise or not."
With her now-free hand, she reaches back to brush at her hair -- noticing that it's been cut a bit shorter. The taped-in pink highlights were one of the first things to go, of course, but even still, she frowns as there's much fewer locks than before. Along with cloth bandages.
The frown is short-lived, as she shifts to a reassuring smile. "... I'll be fine, I've been hit harder than this before." She laughs faintly. "Yeah, we're moving on from this to the first round. We'll be set to fight against other people who made it through prelims."
She pauses for a moment of reflection, before asking, "Though I'd be more than happy for you to go first again, when the time comes. I'm just sorry I didn't get the chance to see -you- square off against Kung Lao."
That has Koto looking considerate, "Perhaps I can seek him out sometime and give it a go? I'll admit you surprised me. I was about to step in, but well... that hat was what scared me more. I was going to direct Chae Lim to get you whenever it came to my turn. I'm just glad you managed to knock him out."
Koto shakes his head, "I hope that is the only opponent with a tactic like that we face here."
Honoka seems a bit apprehensive, all of a sudden, at the suggestion that Kung Lao might be the -most- punishing opponent.
"Lemme just say, I hope you're right. More accurately though... there's a number of teams where that -won't- be the worst that gets slung our way. And one..." She scratches at her cheek. "One is my ex."
Again, with that broad smile of hers.
"Anyway, I was thinking... did it... surprise you to see how I fought, against those two? The reason I ask is... I've always had this belief that there are rare individuals who can accomplish nearly anything they set their mind to."
The smile fades, as she addresses Koto earnestly. "And I'm really sure I saw that in -you-, fighting Ryo Sakazaki the other day."
Koto nods, then pauses. "Ryo... Sakazaki... huh. Well, I did lose that one, but..." He sighs.
"Being able to do something isn't as easy as it sounds, you know?" He looks apprehensive. "... my former sensei... he just threw up his hands when I showed that I could do the Aurora Burst and the costume made him leave when I started henshining..."
Koto looks down. "I mean, I love tokusatsu, and it's what inspires a lot of my moves, but I..." He hesistates at that one.
Then something clicks in his mind. "... your ex? Do I want to know who that is?"
Honoka smiles, shaking her head against her pillow. "It's like the world's worst secret. Zach Glenn. White hair, scar over his eyes, grumpy face. And his favorite new attack is conjuring glowing green swords from his mind."
So there's a good chance the cuts will be deeper, in other words. Her smile lacks -some- of her usual confidence, there.
"It's an unusual gimmick. But if it's where you draw your power from, what's the big deal? Learning how to walk, how to talk, how to write... that's all just picking up patterns from the things you're exposed to. The sensei was probably just jealous you didn't pick anything up from -him-."
Honoka presses her hand against the bed, tentatively. And after a moment, she shoves against it with both arms, pushing herself to a seated position.
Traces of gold flicker across her irises. "It's... hard to find someone to teach you, when your inner strength draws from a different well... isn't it?"
Koto nods. "It is... I find myself at a loss at times. I tend to look at the tokusatsu for ideas. It's what gave birth to the Aurora Burst, Raijin Ryu, even my J-Slugger attacks I learned from them."
He shrugs, "If I see him, I'll make sure we toss him around a few times." The teen grins.
"In the mean time, where do you think you're going? You need rest." He looks at her carefully.
Then he seems to consider, "... but... yes. It is hard to find a good teacher whenever I draw from something else."
Honoka smiles faintly. Her fingers run through her shorter forelocks, absently. "I'm only... -somewhat- acquainted with tokusatsu, myself. We did one children's show, one year, where the manager tried to get on the bandwagon. Wardrobe kicked out some -fantastic- costumes for that. Shiny as all get out."
She smiles, at the notion of Koto helping her team up against Zach. The Pacific High student's pluck is one thing she enjoys about him.
She arches an eyebrow at the notion of -rest- in a place like this. "... What, I feel fine," she insists half-heartedly -- the truth being that she's content to be barked at. She -hadn't- planned on going anywhere, but lying in bed makes for really awkward conversation. And... come to think of it... She starts patting herself down. Hospital gowns... not her usual outfit. Blech.
"I'd be happy to teach you. I'm sure there's -some- exercises we can do while I'm dutifully lying here in bed, due to my erstwhile teammate's insistence."
She chuckles, and then makes a flicking gesture with her hand. "By the way, did you happen to see a yo-yo at all? I'm kinda... fidgety. And I don't think it'd be good to start slinging a diabolo around. ... I'd make do with a ball-point pen, though..."
Koto laughs, "Oh, great... a fidgety psychic. Um..." He blinks, then remembers something and pulls out a yo-yo, handing it over to her. "Just be careful, and no hitting me with it?"
He looks considerate, "I... well... I guess it couldn't hurt? I admit I was just doing some small exercises. I think they call it telekinesis?"
An eyebrow rises at the idea of her in a shiny tokusatsu outfit. "... I'll have to ask for the pictures of it sometime. It sounds like they went the opposite of the whole spandex thing most have."
Ooh! Honoka definitely seems impressed with Koto's resourcefulness in fetching on her yo-yos so quickly -- if her delighted smile is any indication. She cheerfully threads the strong around her middle finger and flips it into a quick circle.
"Telekinesis, yeah. What... hmm. What's the -heaviest- thing you've ever tried to move? Or the most -awkward-, I guess...?"
As for pictures of her in a tokusatsu outfit, she grins -- "Oh. Well. It's not like you'd recognize me with the helmet on, I'd hope... I don't have any on me, but they're probably on the webpage. Twilight Star Circus dot co dot jp." She seems cheerfully distracted by the yo-yo. Or maybe the word is 'placated.'
Considering, Koto looks around, then shrugs, "I would say a trash can lid. And that was with some effort. Outside of the suit, I don't seem to have a lot of ability with it."
He pulls out his phone, checking, and blinks. "Huh... just says 'Closed for Summer' on it..."
He shrugs, "No other links on there. Um..." He looks considerate, "Most awkward? Um... I think a shoe back in the SNF. I got hit with one of those."
Trash can lids might not be all that heavy for a person to swing around, but the aerodynamics make it... a bit unwieldy to hurl with any degree of accuracy. So Honoka nods with pride and appreciation when he says that. "That's pretty remarkable, honestly!" Her eyes twinkle with delight, showing that she's pleased with his progress -- even if he -does- seem to be tying it to the tokusatsu 'suit'. Is ... something holding him back, she wonders?
Though... she is put off slightly as Koto mentions the circus is 'closed for the summer.' She knew it was, so that's no big shock -- but just out of curiosity, she cranes her neck to get a better view of Koto's screen.
And that brings a concerned frown to her face -- one that's only mollified as she arches an eyebrow, flashing a smirk. "... A shoe? Yeah, that's an odd one alright."
Honoka slings her yo-yo around a few strokes, before popping it up into the air. She tosses it into the air, and...
Well, the yo-yo just keeps spinning, fixated in one place. Koto ought to be able to feel the tug of will, opposing the force of gravity -- even though it lacks the flashy flames that accompanied her attacks in the fights.
"Meditation is good. -Challenging- yourself is even better. If you run into problems trying to do something in a fight -- don't shy away from the challenge. Practice till you can beat it without even -thinking- about it next time."
Koto hums. "I actually rarely do. The running, I mean... I guess I am a bit odd like that. Something about the fight, the show... it excites me. I guess in a way, it is as close as I'll get to being a hero and doing so safely."
He smiles, watching the yo-yo, then giving it a little push by moving his hand and a small bit of his own psychic energy tries to push it back towards her hand. "Once I get going good, I just can't really stop. I want to see what the other person is able to do. I want to push them as much as they push me, and when it comes down to it I want to see if I am at their level and break through that expectation.
The teen looks out the window. "While it is a good goal, I worry that one day I will end up fighting someone who won't hold back, and that one day might be able to do the same."
Honoka grins as Koto pushes back against her yo-yo. Telekinesis isn't an ability she -advertises-. Once fans know that she can just move things around with the power of her mind, they probably won't think as much about her juggling, right? But here, as a demonstration for Koto, she really doesn't mind drawing back the curtain a little. Especially since he'd likely -felt- moments during her fight where she'd subtly moved things around in her favor...
But when Koto mentions his concern about getting too strong... Honoka just shakes her head, abbreviated forelocks swinging side to side. "Well... that's -fair-, of course. And I get what you're saying, Koto..."
The yo-yo asserts itself, fixing itself fully in place. And if Koto tries to move it... he'll find considerable resistance to that course of action now.
"If you're fighting a bad guy who won't hold back, and you -do- hold back, or you're not strong enough... then isn't that called 'letting the bad guy win?'"
Koto looks thoughtful more than a little. "I... yes, you are right." He smiles a little.
"I suppose if I did hold back, the bad guy would get away. And when they do, they would hurt others." He states.
"You know... one thing I have been meaning to ask? Have you ever run across anyone who had powers like I do? The suit and all?" He looks curious. "I... know others find it odd that like this, I have some skills, but I don't have any powers other than the whole telekinesis and... um... gliding, I guess? I never figured out what to call that one."
Honoka nods in concert with Koto's train of thought. "That's right, they would." She seems concerned, and interested -- and yet she can tell that the conversation may be leading in different directions.
And she smiles, pleased that she -didn't- expect it to center around that peculiar suit of his. "Not... so much with the suit. But powers that originate from the mind, yes. Several dozen. Certainly the minority, as far as special abilities go."
Kawamoto lets the yo-yo fall, flicking it back around in a lazy circle. "Just out of curiosity... is it that you feel heroic, and that allows you to summon the suit? Or is it more that donning the suit makes you feel heroic?"
Koto considers, "I... honestly do not know. I mean, in a way... I always feel like the suit is there. Just waiting."
He seems to consider a bit more. "The suit is a bit... strange. I can tell it is there, and I can tell you how I make it appear, but well..."
He shrugs. "Whether it is that I feel heroic or that it makes me feel heroic is something I really did not consider before."
Honoka flicks the yo-yo back and forth -- though it seems that she seems puzzled or troubled about something, from the way in which she casts her eyes over to the pleasantly-colored toy. But she gives a more open smile as her gaze slides back over to Koto, glad to hear his thoughts on the mysterious battle-suit. "That's interesting! It sounds like it's a power from deep within you, responding on an almost subconscious level. Fascinating!"
She grins cheerfully, pulling her yo-yo back into her palm, and clasping her grip about it securely. "Fighters often learn the most about themselves on the battlefield. I have a feeling that's how it'll work with you. So whenever we're in our next fight -- just keep doing what you do, okay?" She flashes the winning smile of a performer, kicking her feet back and forth along the edge of her bed.
She works her shoulder a bit. She's smiling, but it wouldn't be hard for the fellow psychic to tell she's holding back on expressing the slight pain. "Mmm. It's sweet of you to stay by me as long as you have. I'm sure I'll be fine after I get some more rest -- though I'm a bit hungry. Do you know if I slept through dinner?"
Koto hums, "Probably not." He fishes around in his pockets before pulling out a watch. "Ah... no. You can probably order something... and no, you are not getting out of that bed. If I have to tie you down with that yo-yo, I will."
He glares a bit sternly at her, "Don't make me call the nurse, too. I'm sure they'll want to poke and prod quite a bit now that you're awake."
The glaring and the threat are at least light hearted, but Koto does look around a bit before finding the 'hospital food service menu' bit.
"Here's hoping it is actually--" About that time his stomach gives off an audible growl of it's own. He looks embarassed. "... good... um... maybe they will let you go down to the cafeteria in a wheelchair or something?"
Koto's threat of tying her to the bed is met with a wry smirk. Even with her injuries, it'd be an... interesting challenge of wills, but rather than offer a snarky rebuttal, she simply shakes her head side to side.
... The threat of calling the nurse, though, causes her to adopt a look of wide-eyed alarm. It's pure melodrama, of course, Honoka takes the threat seriously enough to swing her legs back onto the bed, reaching for a sheet. "Yes, -sir-, Mr. Koto, sir...!"
The wholesome backwater-country cheer returns in a moment, though, as she glances aside at him, grinning. "Eh, I'll order something. Go get you somethin' good! You can even charge it to the room, it's cool."
She draws the sheets over herself, seeming to make herself comfy. "With folks like you lookin' after me, I'll be all healed up in no time!"
Log created on 15:01:33 06/29/2019 by Honoka, and last modified on 14:17:52 07/03/2019.