Steve - Bleeding out

[Toggle Names]

Description: After a hectic few days, Steve and Mitsuru find a time of respite in a darkstalker-filled gold lounge. Mitsuru's condition is steadily deteriorating, and they have to trust Bob to find a doctor for her. In the meantime though, they finally take the time to sit down and talk things through.

It was a good idea, in the end.

Steve and Bob moved Mitsuru away from the abandoned shrine, and took her to the strange back alley VIP lounge. Slipping past the facades, guided by the Velvet Blue, they found themselves in a secret shop of sorts, the veil of darkstalkers revealed. Here, amongst the rather classy looking lounge, the duo would keep Mitsuru safe inside, hidden from the bounty hunters and worse.

As Mitsuru's condition was getting worse.

It was a slow, insidious sickness. A crawling disease. After all, she is just a girl, and she didn't make it to any hospitals. The wound on her chest was beginning to stink. Sterilization only lasts so long. Of course, the patrons didn't want to smell sepsis. Well, most of them. There was also a cornucopia of tastes in the world of Darkstalkers. Bob was gone, looking for a doctor for her. So Mitsuru was expected to be bed-ridden in the back, out of sight, out of mind, in excellent comfort.

Well, she -should- be bed-ridden.

"I don't care what they said." The skinny teenager snarls at the cigarette girl with the rabbit ears. She was dressed in her billowy pants, and bandages on her chest. Her jacket was taken away for cleaning, as well as her hat. But she was trying to start a fight with the Darkstalker, pointing a finger at the box she was holding. "I want a cigarette, you dumb bunny, and I want to smoke!" Mitsuru was -supposed- to be bed-ridden. But as the hosts have found, the stubborn girl was refusing to do what she was told. It was a growing frustration, and with the latest abuse of the staff at her hands, well, it was becoming a very strained relationship. Mitsuru coughs hard, and then, keeps coughing. She brings a fist to her mouth, as she coughs, and coughs, nearly falling over. In the moment, the cigarette girl looks down, concerned for the girl. Mitsuru tries to shove her away.

But she leans against the wall, the coughing fit unending as it makes her chest burn.

Steve is taking a break from his tasks around, hanging around at the bar with a cold beer in front of him. Absent-mindedly running his fingers over the edge of the glass as he thinks. They were doing mostly alright for now, they had a safe place and didn't have to worry about food and shelter, but Mitsuru's condition was deteriorating slowly but surely. Steve feels powerless being unable to do anything to help the situation at the moment, he justs needs to trust Bob to find a doctor for her while Steve protects and helps around the bar.

Suddenly, a small commotion interrupts his train of thought. Mitsuru's voice can be heard, looks like he will have to intervene again...
As Steve starts moving towards the sounds, they are promptly replaced by a consistent stream of coughing, Steve speeds up his pace until Mitsuru comes in sight. The cigarrete girl standing over her.

He rushes to Mitsuru's side and crouches down before looking over at the bunny-girl. "Could you perhaps bring her some water?" He asks with some urgency. The girl nods and darts away to the kitchen. He turns his head back to Mitsuru, looking concerned as he speaks. "Try to regain control of your breathing, we're getting you something to drink".

It was Steve.

"I'm -fine-" Mitsuru spits out, leaning against the wall as the boxer surges over. He... he sends the cigarette girl away. And Mitsuru keeps her mouth closed as she sputters out a choking cough. And he still tries to help her, with that concern, that everything. Mitsuru knew what he was going to say next. She knew it. It wasn't a Joeseph knowing, she wanted to try it. "The next thing, the next thing you are going to say is-"

She can't hold the cough in anymore.

Gagging and choking, she leans into Steve for a moment. "I don't want to go back into the room. I don't want to...." Mitsuru holds, the words not quite coming out. She pushes away from Steve. "I don't want to stay in there. People who die lay down far away from other people. Nobody dies being out and about." Mitsuru was shivering. Not because of fear, of course, but because she was cold. She was very cold, and pale, and dark rings were all around her eyes. She averts her eyes.

"... I'm sorry Steve."

She apologizes, the words leaking out from her lips. "I just can't be in there. I'm sorry." Her face turns the faintest crimson. She felt awful, and she looked awful. But if she kept fighting, kept fighting something, she didn't feel trapped. "I hate being trapped here. I hate it, I hate it, and it's... it's because you are so nice to me, that I should be grateful. Can you help me?" She gives a feeble push against the wall.

"I don't want to fall down again."

"I understand, i understand" Steve says in a attempt at comforting her. He stands up and stretches out an arm to as an invitation to pull her up and support her weight. "Do you want to take a seat and talks things over?" He says as he gestures towards one of the lounge's comfortable benches.

Mitsuru eases to the bench, sitting on it.

"You don't understand." Mitsuru hisses. And then she shakes her head. "Or you do, and I'm just being stupid. I- I told you about that girl that came by, right? THe one who stopped by, while you guys were gone. And- I don't know. I don't know anything anymore. Except I'm sick, and I don't want to be sick, and you guys are helping me, and-"

Mitsuru pauses a moment, taking staggering, hoarse breaths as she falls silent.

"Why did you do this. Why did you do any of this, why did you do all of this. You guys could have left me with my parents, or for dead, or anything, and you would be better off. You, and Bob. You don't -have- to do any of this, I don't understand -why-. I fought you and beat you, you should -hate- me. You should hate me because I'm not listening to you, you should hate me because I'm awful, and I'm making everything harder for you, you should hate me because you are going to go to jail, or worse. You -should- hate me, and you aren't." Mitsuru gives a gagging cough, and hugs herself.

"Why, Steve? Why any of this?"

Steve takes a seat and sinks into the soft fabric next to Mitsuru, listening intently to what she has to say. When she is finished, a silence falls as Steve thinks about his response, wanting to give as a clear answer as possible.

"Perhaps i don't understand, but i somewhat understand your frustrations with being stuck here."

The cigarette girl approaches them with a big glass of water, and places it on the table in front of the injured delinquent. Steve nods to her and says "Thank you." with sincere smile. He turns back towards Mitsuru "For me, it was a reckless decision because I was worried and felt responsible, I kickstarted what happened in our brawl." He looks down at the ground and claps his hands together.

"I believe that if we'd have returned you to your family, i would've failed in saving you. The believes that Hachiko and your family hold truly are twisted, I selfishly wanted to protect you from them. You had been through enough already." Steve finally looks up "I'm so glad Bob joined me in my decision, he really is a great guy. Without him and Velvet i would never have been able to do this."

He sits up straight and smiles at the teenager. "Perhaps this all sounds idiotic, or even creepy to you. But i don't hate you Mitsuru. Truly."

"Well what right do you have to think that!"

Hot and cold, sweet and sour. Mitsuru's emotions were flash back and forth, at the slightest touch. As the water comes, she thirstily sips it. She needed to drink. "What right do you have to think you are better than my father? My mother? You and Bob had no right for any of this. Because you would feel bad if you didn't? Because you pitied me? You think I'd be more pitiful being home again with my fam- if I was home and not here dying?"

She stares feebly at Steve, tryi g to muster any anger.

"You do sound like an idiot. I stupid English dope! You and Velvet Blue and Bob are all idiots! Good grief!" Mitsuru wanted to sound angry. But every word was so weak. She murmurs, sipping the water again. A whimper of pain. "Did you do that too, with your parents. I bet you punched your dad or something for treating you bad, and you ran away from home."

"Yeah, I bet you just hate your parents!"

Steve sat and took the rant as he had gotten used to over the last few days, Steve realizes that she doesn't truly mean everything she's saying, and that she is just throwing words out there, but her comment about his parents does hit harder then anything she has said before. He doesn't really have any parents to punch, to hate. His adopted parents came into his life late. After he had already spend time in a orphanage, and Steve never really got emotionally close to them. Everything before the orphanage and his biological parents? A complete and utter mystery

His face visibly becomes more somber and gloomy, and he slouches over a little. He wants to stop her, but decides against it since he does not want to accidentally hurt the girl's feelings. She already has enough going on as is. Steve instead goes uncharacteristically quiet. He'll deal with these feelings later.

Mitsuru knows that silence.

She actually sticks her chin out, just to see if Steve would -punch her-. Yell at her. -Something-. But no. No, Steve just endures it. She finally buries her hands in her face. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Why don't you just say something. Can't you just tell me how awful I am? How bad, and mean, and miserable, and terrible I am? I- I don't know why you don't. I hurt you, I know I hurt you. And you should hurt -me- for hurting you." Mitsuru gives a heaving sigh, hiding her face completely in her arms now.

"I don't know why I'm this way Steve."

Mitsuru was sniffling now. "I don't know why I want people to be mad at me. Because I like being mad at people? When I'm mad at people, everything is so much more clear. I don't- I don't have to think about myself when I'm angry at people. It was so much easier when I could bully people, and they could fight me back, and I could be the big bad Mitsuru that nobody liked and everyone feared. Because if they don't like me, it makes -sense-. It doesn't make sense when people don't like me for being a good girl, or when I'm a bad person, and people- and people like you are nice. Malin, the girl, she showed that to me. She's a-" Mitsuru pauses, choking a bit.

"She's probably doesn't have parents, either."

Mitsuru halts a moment, as if she didn't even know if she understood the revelation. "It doesn't make sense. You should all be teaching me a lesson on how I should appreciate my parents more. You should be teaching me to be a good girl. You should hate me, I'm an awful teenager that nobody likes, that should be punished with awful parents who don't even want to see me anymore. I should just die here, around these freaks, these monsters. Because, because, I don't know why. I don't know why I think like this. But when people are mad at me, I can be mad at people too, and then I don't have think that way." Mitsuru pulls away her arms. Her pale face was wet. "Can't you just pretend you hate me. Can't you just be another adult who thinks I'm stupid and I don't deserve anything, so I can fight back?" She looks over at the man, a tear down her cheek.

"Please, Steve?"

There is so much to unravel here. So much Steve wants to say and explain. "Mitsuru, People make mistakes. What you said did hurt, but you apologized. That's all I need." He carefully puts a hand on her shoulder and speaks softly "Truth be told, I don't know you all that well. And I don't know why you feel like you feel, and I won't pretend like I understand."

Steve looks a little shaky, this is also having a emotional toll on him, he feels sad and frustrated. He wants to get through to the girl, making her realize that it's okay for people to like and care about her. "I cannot do that Mitsuru. I will not pretend anything. I don't and i won't hate you." Steve also starts tearing up as his hand around her shoulder tightens a little.

"Please Mitsu. Don't want me to hate you."

"No it doesn't."

Mitsuru corrects Steve, anger building up in her. She wanted to hit Steve. SHe wanted her arms to lash out and slam him, and break his body in half. To beat him again. To break him again. "You don't just need an apology. You need more than an apology. You need me to beg for it, you need to humiliate me. That's not fair, if its just an apology. Because if people could just say sorry, then, then," Mitsuru sputters, trying to grasp something, something invisible.

"THen I could just apologize to mommy and daddy, for ruining their lives."

MItsuru's eyes stare far away, her pupils becoming pinpricks. It was so much easier when she was a bully. But now, it just pours out. She doesn't break away from the grip of the boxer. "I could just apologize for ruining their reputations. For embarrassing them, over and over again, because I want to be something they don't want. I could just apologize for all of this, Steve. I could apologize over and over again, and eventually, they would forgive me for scaring them to death, for making them pull in so many favors, just to try and find me, and bring me home. That they would forgive me for fighting back against them because I wanted to be a Gedo High student. I could apologize to those soldiers families and friends who died to save me because I was stupid and afraid and ran away in the Gear Wars, and they would forgive me. I could apologize to Fumiko about getting her husband killed, and she would forgive me. I could apologize to all those students who -tried- to be my friend, and I just hurt them because I wanted them angry at me, and they would forgive me and be my friend again. I could apologize to the Fight Club, who believed in me and supported me, and I lost anyways, and they would forgive me because of it. And I could apologize to you, and Bob, and the stupid bunny, and you'd all forgive me, and I'd mean everything, and I wouldn't have to -prove- I am just making things up like I always do, in order to pretend away things."

MItsuru laughs, a mirthless, hollow laugh.

"You see how stupid you sound, Steve? How much of a stupid, stupid adult you all, who babbles in English with a stupid stupid accent? You can't believe how stupid you sound, where I just apologize and people stop thinking those awful, awful thoughts about me about how awful I am that they just -think- without saying anything, but you can see it is their eyes. BUt. But." Mitsuru looks at Steve, looking like she's about to throw up. "But Steve, I don't see it in your eyes. I never saw it in your eyes, what you -really- think about me. That's why you have to tell me, Steve. Because if you don't, then it might be all in my head. And then apologies really work, and- and I ruined so many lives over nothing because I'm a stubborn, stupid girl that ruins lives. And then I deserve everything, everything awful at me, because I ruined everything over -nothing-. Please, please Steve... oh no." Mitsuru leans over the edge of the bench.

And vomits water and bile on the floor of the lounge.

Steve has things he wants to say, things he -needs- to say as he listens to the young girl having a pseudo-breakdown, being unable to put his thoughts and words together. The girl is Lonely. She has been lonely and pushing people away for a long time. That loneliness? Perhaps it is what led Steve to helping her, standing up for her. He himself can relate to feeling alone, never really having people he could hang on. Rely on. At least, none that he can remember.

He feels frustrated with both himself and Mitsuru. He cannot seem the right words to help her, he doesn't want her to keep experiencing what she likely has experienced her whole life. But cracking the hard shell she has build up all this time? Steve doesn't know how to do this. Or even -why- she thinks and feels like she does in the first place. He wipes off his few tears with his Sleeve, And when Steve finally finds the courage and words to respond, Mitsuru retches over, sullying the floor with bile.

"Hey, hey, are you alright?" Steve says with a slight panick as he gently pats her on her back, giving her time to hopefully calm down a little.

"Is there anything i can get or do for you?"

Mitsuru dry heaves a bit.

"Y-y-yeah." Mitsuru growls. "I..." The girl shivers. She really should be lying down. But opening up to Steve, to people... in her heart, it was like fighting with them. Steve wasn't breaking the shell, no. Mitsuru was cracking her own shell. The boxer didn't have answers. He didn't need to have answers though. Adults always had the answers, right? But Steve didn't. And inside, Mitsuru felt that was okay. Sometimes, you didn't need to have answers. Sometimes, you just needed to be a hand on the back, a sleeve to wipe away the tears. That's what Mitsuru was learning. That the world wasn't a scary place, really.

Even when she was dying.

She pushes off the bench. "When you fought me, I remember it. You know, when I'm not so mad, I remember- I remember things so clearly. You were so -fast- and you hit so hard. And precise. You tore me apart, and I just- I just blew up at you. That's all I remember from me. I remember -you- hitting me, but I don't remember me hitting you. I remember tou were better than me. Every- every person I've fought, is better than me at fighting. And I win anyways. Sometimes. Somehow. I fight back, I get so mad, and I fight back, and everything becomes a blur, and either they are down, or I am down, and we go again. But you are -better- than me at fighting. And I won? And I don't understand anything. What I'm doing right. What I'm doing wrong." Mitsuru stumbles, before easing back on her feet. She widens her stance, and brings up that wide open fighting position, where she opens her center up with her arms on the side? Was she about to fight? "What did you think, Steve, when you fought me?" Mitsuru asks gruffly, the teenager looking right at Steve.

"And why did you think I won?"

"Oh, I can vividly remember the shots you threw at me. The flurry of chi-infused punches? Those hurt. that barrage of silver energy blasts? Almost knocked me out clean." He rests his elbows on his thighs, clasping his hands together and choosing his words carefully. "What I'm trying to say is, you should give yourself more credit. Yes, you blew up at me in anger, but you blew up at me with the force of a road roller. It's a shame you can't remember it."

Steve stands up, taking his own mock boxing stance. "Now, If you would be able to keep a cooler head when in combat, and access the situation and mistakes you might make, you'd be well on your way to becoming a very skilled fighter." Steve lights up a little, obviously being in his element as he talks about his biggest passion. "But honestly, you are still seriously strong for your age. Perhaps I am more skilled then you, but I've had 6 more years of experience under my belt. When I was 15 I was still learning how to throw a proper straight!" as he says this, he peforms his straight, hitting air, his sleeve creating a satisfying *swoosh* sound in the process.

"And as for why you won? Well, you wanted to win more then I did. Maybe a foolish answer, but I genuinely believe it. Raw power is not all that determines the outcome of a fight."

Mitsuru holds there.

Because she wanted to win. Everything else falls into place, as she watches that straight. Strong, fast, precise. Mitsuru lacked skill, but the raw potential. How did she make chi, when Steve couldn't? Because she wanted to. ANd when she's angry, and wild, it's so easy to make chi. It just hurts, and is so exhausting. BUt that was what happened in her fights. She just... wanted to win harder than anybody else. And that carried her to this point. She watches Steve.

And her stance twists.

She brings up her fists in front of her. Parallel to each other, not the proper way to hold up your guard. A poor apeing of Steve. "How do you throw a proper straight." Mitsuru says bluntly, clearing her throat, trying to keep down the nausea, the sickness. "I'm 15, I should know how to throw a proper straight. If a stupid, stupid grownup like you could do it at 15, I should do it. Show me again. It's like this, right." Mitsuru does a slow, clumsy draw back. Guard wide open. And then, she throws all her force out into it, nearly falling over from the imbalance. She stumbles, nearly knocking over the rabbit girl as she squeaks. Why did she come? Well with a mop, a bucket, and an eyeroll should explain why. Mitsuru falls to one knee, grabbing her chest in pain, growling in frustration. "It's not like that, right?"

"What am I doing different from you?"

It looked like the girl has mostly calmed down, and she is displaying interest in learning and improving. Though it was obvious she -really- should be getting some rest, Steve still decides to show her. After mumbling a quick "Thank you." towards the cigarette girl he stands next to Mitsuru, holding out his hand as to pull Mitsuru up, assuming she doesn't get back on two feet by herself.

He then takes his stance, giving Mitsuru time to mimic it. "You want your stance to be relatively tight, but leave enough room so that you can properly balance yourself." he pulls his right arm to his side, and then thrusts it out slowly, showing the motion he uses for his punch. "You want to make sure to stretch out the *inside* of your arm, and keep your upper torso mostly straight. Make sure not to lean into the punch, that will bring you off-balance and make you a easy target." He makes the motion again a couple of times, making the movement swifter with each go, before doing it at full speed.

Steve returns to standing normally, but holds out his arm as support, in case Mitsuru risks falling over again and needs something to grab onto. "Go on, give it a few go's. Just... do it slowly alright?"

Mitsuru didn't want to think that she needed rest.

If Steve wouldn't be mad at her, then he would make her better. She would make herself better. She would learn to fight and be strong and she wouldn't be helpless in the wind. She wasn't helpless. SHe was strong! She was strong. And yet, as Steve takes up his stance, she mirrors it. IT's not a perfect match. She can't get her guard up correctly. As he pulls his right arm to the side, Mitsuru mirrors it. Slowly, it was easy, though her arm was quivering as she does it. Weakness?

No, she was strong.

The teenager nods her head. Stretch the inside. Keep your torso straight. She does both, and she -feels- different. Easier. Less strong, but easier. She tries not to lean into the punch, by leaning -away- from the punch. And she goes faster, and faster, and stumbles back, and then forward, catching Steve's arm. Frustration.

And she gets up.

And she does it again.

And she falls over, catching Steve's arm again.

And she gets up.

And she does it again.

She does it again.

Every time she does it, every flaw comes forth in the fullest spectrum. Her balance is off, her arm is too straight. She nearly -pulls- a muscle one time, because of how she over compensates. But the dead focus was razor sharp: she was latched on to the iron-clad resolve of this. If she had a day, she might have mastered the straight punch. The spark was there. Learning to fight. Learning to punch. Hachiko didn't think she could learn from a teacher. But adults aren't -always- right. They don't always have answers. And they aren't always bad.

She gives a groan of pain.

"I... I can't..." Mitsuru sputters, falling in towards Steve arm once more. This time, she clings on, about to fall. Exhaustion? No. She was shivering. Her body was cold, and her eyes... There was yellow in her eyes. Her face. Jaundice. Jaundice was creeping in. "I just need to try again, Steve. I just need to keep trying, until I master it. Then I'll finally be strong and skillful, and not just- not just an angry girl..."

Mitsuru gives another dry heave, as her body convulses.

"You're right. You have to keep trying it, though not now. You're sick and you need rest." Steve had pushed her too far. She looks like she's about to collapse again, and the convulsions are a terrifying sight. "I understand that you likely do not want to stop right now, but further exerting yourself will only hurt you more." He keeps supporting her with his arm as he prepares to lead her back to her bed.

"Can you walk? We need to get you back to your room, I can carry you if necessary." He looks at her, genuine concern on his face. "Bob is getting you help, and once you're patched up I promise that I'll teach you all about throwing perfect punches."

"But right now, please allow yourself to rest."

Mitsuru didn't feel like she went too far.

She just needed a rest, and then she would keep going. She just had to ignore the shivers, the smell, the weakness, and the vile poison and rot running through her veins. She just had to ignore all of that, and just believe in it harder than anything else. Just like how she won all her fights, and how she beat Steve. She just had to believe in it harder than anybody else.

Then she would live.

Mitsuru tried to stand herself up. She couldn't. Steve was escorting her back to the bed. The death room. The disease pit. Mitsuru wasn't afraid. But she felt... she felt like things would be ending soon. Maybe she wouldn't have to worry about mastering a straight punch before she turned 16. Maybe she wouldn't have to worry about a lot of things before she turned 16. Maybe she didn't have to worry about turning 16. "Steve..." She mumurs, her voice growing weaker and weaker. "Steve, I'm sorry. I should have listened to you and Bob. I'm sorry. Steve? IF Bob... If Bob doesn't come back in time..." She states, as the boxer takes the teenager to her sleeping corner in the back of the lounge.

"Would you tell mommy and daddy that I'm sorry?"

"Mitsuru, you are not going to die. So don't give me that vehemently overused line. Bob will come back, and you will come out on top of this." He says this surprisingly sternly, like he's trying to convince not only Mitsuru, but also himself. He carefully crouches down next to her spot, preparing to drop her off. "You will beat the sickness just like you beat me. Please don't give up."

Once she is tucked in as nicely as possible considering the situation, Steve sits down, back against the wall a few feet from her. He is worried sick, if she where to die, he would be responsible. Without him, her family would have taken her to a doctor right away. But he has to hold out hope. He can trust Bob. He is certain he will return it time.

"Do you mind if I sit here for a bit? Might make the place a little less dreary."

"I'm okay if you sit here a bit." Mitsuru says, smally. "As long as you don't annoy me." It was a bit sharp, too sharp. He was too stern with her. Mitsuru didn't think she should be so sharp now. She felt aches in places that shouldn't ache. The teenager takes a deep breath, and exhales. She snuggles in to the warm blankets. It was much warmer than the shrine. That was nice. Steve was nice. Maybe she wasn't going to die. It was hard trusting people though.

She would do it just a little big longer, though.

"Did you ever meet your parents?" Mitsuru suddenly blurts out. "I mean, as far back as you remember? I'm sorry about asking it, you don't have to answer." Mitsuru gives a pause. "I've imagined myself an orphan before, where I have all the money and no parents and- and I don't know. I've met more orphans these last few days than I thought. ANd it's sadder than I thought, but... not as sad as it should be." Mitsuru trails off. "But you found a home eventually, right?"

"Was that okay?"

That question came as a complete surprise. Steve had seen Mitsuru mostly talk about either herself or insulting others. Getting a geniune question like this was... refreshing. He takes a moment to think and makes the exaggerated motion of laying his chin into his hand. Like "The Thinker". "Don't worry, I don't mind you asking." he says with a smile. "Technically speaking, I do have parents. They adopted me from a orphanage when I was around ten years old. But they never really seemed to notice or care much about me. Sure, they gave me shelter, food, and asked me how school was. But it all felt very..." Steve pauses for a moment. "....fabricated."

The Englishman looks up at the ceiling as he recalls his memories. "I would not really consider that to be my -home-. At that point in my life, I was rather lost. I had a lack of motivation, lashed out alot, I really was quite the brat." His expression seems to lighten up as he continues to speak. "But thankfully, I found a place of respite. I happened to see this amazing boxing match between the then world champion and his challenger on TV, it really inspired me. The next day, I had my "dad" sign me up at the local boxing gym, and as it turned out, I was really damn good at it!"

He places his arms next to him, and keeps speaking. "In a way, I saw that gym as my home. It was the one place where I felt like I could really be myself, or perhaps who I wanted to be. I spend as much time as I could in there, I even ended up dropping out of school."

Steve snaps out of his monologue with a goofy smile on his face. "Apologies, you didn't ask for my life's story. Although I hope I answered your question nontheless." Finally, he adds. "Though I've never actually met my Biological parents, and no-one will or can tell me about my past. I just sorta... showed up at the orphanage when I was six years old with no memories before that. It has been bugging me for my entire life."

Even when tired and weak, she felt enough force to lash out.

"I think I did ask. Ugh!" Mitsuru huffs. She relaxes though, brown eyes trained on the boxer. "Thanks for telling me though. It sounds like... I guess, it sounds like everyone has parents that are kind of lame. At least yours let you go to the gym. If they didn't do that, then you wouldn't be, uh, a boxer?" Mitsuru tries to find a way to make that sound profound.

She doesn't.

"I guess you don't need school to be successful though." Mitsuru sighs. "But I think, um, I guess your parents loved you in their own way. Even if they weren't there, they helped you grow into what you are now." Mitsuru trails off. "Do you visit them, Steve? I mean, it sounds like you are really distant, but, I don't know. They raised you, and helped you on what you are today. You're a good... I guess you are a good person." Mitsuru gives a long sigh. "I feel thirsty, Steve."

"Do they have any tea here?"

Steve can't help but have a slight smirk as Mitsuru lashes out, in a way, it's a little charming. Well, when she isn't laying into him at least. But then she suddenly speaks with a surprising amount of kindness and wisdom, which is rather jaw-dropping, but also seriously heartwarming.

A involuntary grin creeps across his face before cheekily saying "Well, looks like you can actually be friendly!." He immediately adds "But thank you Mitsuru, I think you're right. I've been to harsh on them, and I'll go and visit them when all of this is over."

He stands up, and does a exaggerated thumbs up. "For now though, I'll get us some tea. Any flavors you might prefer?"

Mitsuru was fading away.

Not to death, no. But her outbursts were so exhausting. Her training. She didn't really have as much energy as she showed. A facade of strength and vigor, behind a reality of iron will. And yet, when she responds to Steve's question, she does so in such a small and thin voice, as small and soft as a tiny kitten, befitting a true princess.

"Strawberry, please."

A pause on it. "And don't think I'm being really friendly." That kitten voice was gone, with a hoarseness that was almost certainly faked. "I'm just pretending, until I can get rid of you creeps. Then I can break away and really get things done. Yare yare daze, good grief!" Mitsuru stews and steams in it. By the time Steve would get back with the tea?

Mitsuru would be fast asleep, a smile on her colorless lips.

Log created on 09:30:22 02/19/2020 by Steve, and last modified on 19:56:54 02/21/2020.