Description: Mitsuru and Steve reach the Tokugawa mansion, where they have their final confrontation to settle Mitsuru's future, and Steve's freedom.
In many ways, it was a miracle Hachiko was still working at the Tokugawa Summer Home.
After the little accident with Mitsuru, which was hardly his fault at all, it didn't look good for his employment prospects. Especially with the Darkstalker attack afterwards. He was worried he was going to get thrown out to the streets for the werewolves and minotaurs. But no. Master Tokugawa had a vision for him. He had a duty for him. He could be made useful, and as long as he did what was expected, he could keep a job. Hachiko couldn't say no. It was his chance at redemption.
And with that thought, he shovels out another heap of horse dung.
He was working the stables over in the back of the Tokugawa property. It was a sprawling mansion space, extending well than a few acres behind the medium sized mansion. There was a big fenced area where the ponies trotted; Mitsuru had her ponies. She didn't really take care of them that much anymore, especially going to school, but the household absolutely required them taken care of for sentimental value for their little girl. Hachiko didn't understand why they wanted to take care of them. From what he had heard, she wasn't going to be going anywhere soon anyways. Whistling to himself as he scooped up another meadow muffin, he hears a shout. Looking towards the back gate, he peers out almost lazily.
Mitsuru waves at the gate.
She was dressed in a ripped kimono, and sandals. She was at the gate, by the keypad. She knew the code, but like, the help was there. "HEY! YOU! OPEN UP!" She yells. Hachiko turns white as a ghost for a moment, and then, a sickly green. Stumbling backwards, he throws down the shovel, and turns to run. Ignoring the fact he had to cut through the piles to make his escape. Rushing through the filth, he leaps over a fence, landing into another heap of horse dung as he makes his way across the field.
ANd all the way to the manor within.
"Yare yare daze." Mitsuru grumbles and rolls her eyes as she taps away at the code panel. "It's like he's seen a ghost." Mitsuru tries to sound smug and funny when she says that. But it kind of hurt. "He's going to tell daddy I bet." The teenager lowers her voice, as the code comes back valid. "He's going to be expecting us Steve." She looks up and down the gate as it swings open.
"Or she will be expecting us..."
Steve stands next to Mitsuru boldly, but with a air of nervousness. As he clicks his tounge and. "No going back now, huh. The disgraced Butler has seen us." the Englishman waits, looking towards Mitsuru with worry in his eyes. Worried if she'll be able to hold up in what comes next.
"I'm here for you, Mitsuru." A sentimental statement, coming out of left field in regard to the current situation. "Are you referring to Lyraelle? Let us hope that this will not be the case. I'm not sure if I'll be able to control myself in her presence." Realizing the potential double meaning of that statement, the brit quickly clarifies. "Control my anger, I mean. Do not worry about.. the other things. I feel nothing but rage towards her. For what she did to you.
Mitsuru focuses hard as she slips through the gate.
"Well, I mean, if Lyraelle is here, we've beaten her before." The teenager states confidently, as she watches Hachiko enter the manor. "And if Hachiko is here... then maybe he was one of her simping minions all this time!" Mitsuru swings the gate, as she delicately works her way through the field with precise footwork. "Maybe she's been trying to work on daddy all this time..." It was a beautiful lie. But Mitsuru reaches the corral fence, and climbs over it. "Watch your step Steve." She sneers, as she drops down and heads to the path up to the manor.
"I don't want you to be bringing horse poop in my house!"
"Right, right. It's... large. And quite stellar." Steve, dressed in Raiden's grey robe, starts to follow Mitsuru on the way to the entrance. Taking care to avoid the dung as he holds a hand over his nose to block the smells. "You are correct. We will beat her again, should the need arise."
Steve feels his stomach clench up further as the enters the snake's den. Inhabitated by the family he had learnt to despise through their actions. But yet, here he is.
And he is terrified about what might come next.
The interior is beautiful.
Marble tile floors. Mahogony furniture. And traditional Japanese imagery balanced against upper class modern features. They were coming in the back, into the large sunroom exposed to the back. Vaulted ceiling with wide sunlights hang overhead. Mitsuru liked this room a lot. Sneaking through the patio, the stained glass doors were opened. Mitsuru scowls as she turns her nose up in disgust.
Hachiko was definately leaving a trail.
The teenager points at the trail however. "Hachiko is going to Daddy or Lyraelle. So if we follow the trail, we will find them!" Walking through it, she follows one of the spiral staircases up, the stains now going on the fine woven rug up the stairs. She follows up, as the sound of the voice of Hachiko rise up. There is no sound of him being beaten however, as Mitsuru follows along, through the hall and... she stops. She looks at the trail, pausing in a daze. "Steve." She murmurs, shocked. "Steve..."
"He's in -my- room, Steve."
Steve listens to her words, following at a steady pace. Until she made that final statement. "What? Why would that-" Steve steadies himself, "I am going to take a look, Mitsu. Sorry for breaking into your room." and so, he does. Approaching the entrance and shoving open the mahogany door. "Show yourself, you coward!" Is what the boxer yells, scanning the room.
Mitsuru and Steve reach the partially ajar door, and the teenager pulls it open.
The first thing Mitsuru notices is how the room was so unchanged from when she left it. From when she went to Seijyun High. Her old toys were there, her Showup Hoedown rocking horse, her My Size Spangles sitting at the Showup Hoedown Cowgirl Playset hay bale. The Psycho Soldiers Sound Stage set from her Athena phase. Her unicorns, her stuffed animals, all neatly stacked in a pile. There were changes though; the night stand was no longer keeping the music box on it. It was photo albums. All the photo albums, with other books. It was right by her vanity, where she would prepare her makeup for whatever face she wanted to wear that day. That's where the butler was.
Hachiko is whispering to a figure.
She is a beautiful woman with black hair, lean and tall, bound in a night time black kimono with a stylized red flower patterns on it. She is seated, and her face is ghastly white and smooth. Her expression was flat and neutral. She was staring into the mirror, combing her hair. She was looking back at the mirror at Mitsuru, for a brief moment.
Before averting her eyes.
"Please leave. Hachiko." Her words were stilted. Staggering. Firm. But gentle. "And please clean up your mess." Hachiko looks to the doorway, eyes wide at the duo. He looks down at his feet, at the trail, and winces. Mitsuru steps aside, to let him out. He tries to slip by, turning to his side. Mitsuru elbow checks Hachiko as he tries to get past. The butler lets out a squeak of pain as he stumbles right into Steve. But Mitsuru looks at the figure, as she feels so numb. And then, she can finally muster her words.
"M-Mother?" Steve looks at Mitsuru, noticing her shocked expression- letting Hachiko squeeze past him. "I- I am Steve fox, ms. Tokugawa. Mitsuru wanted to come home." Steve nervously explains, unsure how to react to this development. For now however, the Englishman decides to take the polite approach. Putting on a somewhat phoney smile. "Glad to meet." as he takes a shaky bow. Before stepping back to let Mitsuru take the word, as this seems to mean a lot to her.
Mrs. Tokugawa doesn't respond to Mitsuru. But she does respond to Steve, looking at him through the mirror. She continues to brush her hair, before she cooly remembers. "Ah. You are the man who took her away. Well. One of the men." The words come with piercing ice, aimed squarely for Steve's heart. She doesn't allow time to recover. "I am grateful you finally brought her home. Many men in your situation would have simply given her bus fare." She doesn't look at Mitsuru. But the teenager steels her soul, as she instinctively moves herself to keep herself between her mother and Steve. "
She doesn't respond to Mitsuru, but continues to speak with Steve. "If you are looking for Mr. Tokugawa, he is on one of his business trips. He is setting up with a new media venture, with a night time channel service. He will come back in a few days." Mitsuru shuts her eyes, as her mother continues, still looking at Steve. "If you need to give him a mess-" The teenager suddenly burst out, interrupting her mother as she shouts.
"Mother, father may be in danger, and I need to talk to him!"
The mother continues, not responding to Mitsuru. "- If you need to give him a message, you may leave one with Hachiko." Mitsuru keeps her eyes shut. "And when you are done, please leave. You are trespassing, and I would appreciate it if I never see you again." Mitsuru staggers a bit to the side, leaving the path clear between her mother and Steve. She whispers, as she feels tears.
"E-Excuse me?" Steve is trembling, discomfort and frustration setting in. "After- After all this time- If I may be so blunt, you have no reaction- Nothing to say to your Daughter?" The man clenches his fist, attempting to remain polite. "She has been through so, so much ms. Tokugawa. She has not been home in months. But yet, you still do not do not take a moment to even acknowledge her?"
"I-I don't get it." He takes a step forward, getting closer to Mitsuru as, out of the corner of his eyes, he sees her sadness. "Mitsuru needs to talk to her Father. At least, allow her to call him."
Mrs. Tokugawa shuts her eyes, a gives a small smile.
"I will explain then, if it gives you closure." She continues to brush her own hair, as Mitsuru leans against the wall. "Mitsuru does awful things for attention. She has always done that, since she was my little girl. And she understands very well that she needs to behave within her family's expectations if she wants attention. Running away, being beaten savagely by street thugs, and getting taken by handsome foreigners- getting taken away by foreigners is bad behavior. She should be ashamed, and she should feel ashamed. And when she has atoned for her mistakes, and demonstrates how she will grow form it, then we will pay attention to her." The tone is cool, firm, and gentle.
And every one was like a body blow to Mitsuru.
Steve could see how weak Mitsuru seemed. Her arms were like jelly, her legs could barely support her. As she was leaning against the wall, eyes staring far away, the sheer weight of what was happening decending on her. Steve was expressing her thoughts out loud. Her mouth was moving, whispering the name of her mother as she tries to raise her voice.
It would not change how deaf her mother was to her.
"If she wants to speak to her father, I can think of some things she can begin to do." The woman opens her eyes, inspecting herself in the mirror. "The first thing is that she will need to make a formal apology to Heihachi Mishima. We had an understanding that he would be taking care of her, after saving her life. After that, she will need to get cleaned up, and we will make the arrangements to return her to school. We will need to make special arrangements and see if she can test her way into the next year. If she can, then we will gauge her behavior, and see if she is acting like a proper young lady. Not reacting like a toddler at every moment of duress, for example. Cool composure. Restraint. Then she can speak to her father, and then I can speak to her directly." She focuses past herself in the mirror, and looks straight at Steve, aiming her gaze right at his soul.
"Hopefully, we can wash away the memories you've left on her."
Steve is about to lose it.
Shaking in anger, it takes everything to not start yelling. "You- You let her be locked up down there?!" The penny drops, and Steve can't take it. But it makes sense. It's the only reason that makes sense why Heihachi imprisoned her. He just had not made the connection earlier. Steve's long-grown nails (after his isolation) Dig into his skin painfully. "-She- should feel ashamed?! -SHE- SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED?!" And yell he does. "You should feel ashamed! This entire, twisted family should be ashamed. Just look at her, she is Gutted!" gesturing at the collapsing Mitsuru- Both physically and emotionally- "This is- *none* of this was here fault. Being taken away by us, tortured by the Demoness- Mortally injured by those thugs, and yet not even a shred of sympathy."
"It's Disgusting. Bloody reprehensible."
"She is gutted."
Mrs. Tokugawa places down the comb upon the vanity. "I have been here for months. I have been here since I heard my daughter was stolen away into the city, right as another Darkstalker attack had come. This is the only place where the daughter I remembered still lives. This is the only place where I can remember the daughter who would listen, who would do what she's told, and would work hard not to defile and degrade her body. I have slept in her bed, and looked at the pictures of what she was in the past." She gestures at the table, the albums, the bed. She lowers her eyes. "You tell me this is disgusting. And it is true."
"It is disgusting."
She raises her gaze, and turns to look directly at Steve now. "She has made herself disgusting, under your care. She has allow her body to be defiled and destroyed. I have read the medical reports. And you have seen it yourself, I bet. The scar on her chest that will never heal. The scar on her chest that will always be there. I have lost my daughter. I have lost my daughter so many times now. I am ashamed. I am so ashamed because if I could have stopped her in time, if I could have made her into the right kind of child, she wouldn't be ruined for marriage for the rest of her life"
The air grows more and more still, as the woman rises up into a stand, her tone not changing.
"Do you understand that she has to live the rest of her life without you?" She points a finger at the unresponsive Mitsuru, her expression not shifting. "That she will meet the man she is going to marry, and upon their wedding night, he will get to see how badly she's broken her body. How disgusting she has become, the marks on her body that brand her for her mistakes. No man will look at her body and see a beautiful woman, an elegant young lady. I am ashamed. I am ashamed, and it is all my fault. How that with our care and our blessing, all we have to offer is damaged goods? That not only has my daughter failed to be a woman, but I have failed to be a mother and a wife?" Mrs. Tokugawa smiles, and turns back towards the mirror, looking at Steve through it once more. "And yet, it cannot be helped. We must endure. We will do as we have always done." She returns to her seat, and picks up her comb.
"We will make due with what we have been given."
The sentiment rings through Steve, and of everything this woman have spouted this, this is by far the worst. Steve stumbles back, physically effected. Both devastated and furious. "How- How, could you do that. How could you call her that." Steve, tears up. The futility of this entire endeavor realized. Feeling emotional for- and with, Mitsuru. "Damaged Goods" he repeats. "How could you see- see her as just- Goods. Some- Some product to marry off once she's ripened. What the hell has made you look at her in such a way. How the fuck could you look at your own daughter like that?! She is not yours. You 'lost' your daughter? You are 'ashamed'?"
He bangs his palm against the wall, while confronting the woman. "Your daughter is /right/ here. Yet you pretend that she is 'lost'. She /needs/ you. She has been through so much, yet her parents refuse to give her the support she needs. And you yet *dare*. You Fucking dare to call her 'Disgusting'. To call her 'Disgusting', and 'Lost'. No, you have not lost her." Steve pushes himself of the wall, looking at Mrs. Tokugawa with furious eyes.
"Mitsuru has lost her Disgusting parents. She has lost them a Long time ago."
"I have spend time with Mitsuru. With your Fantastic Daughter. I have seen her kindness, willpower, strength and perseverance. There has been a time were she saved me, when she could've ran away. She has even shown me wisdom." He shakes his head.
"But you care about none of that, Don't you?"
"You decide to ignore everything positive about Mitsuru, in favor of everything you don't like. Trying to erase her identity and puppeteer the girl into something that the family wants her to be. You only care about the qualities that will make her a valuable Wife. A valuable playing card in the game of marriage."
The Brit starts to approach the mother, slowly, with heavy steps. "Mitsuru herself will decide what she wants to do. Not you, not me not her father. Not anyone." Eventually, he stands in front of the woman. Standing over her menacingly.
"And don't you -dare- tell her otherwise."
"Mrs. Tokugawa does not react to Steve now.
It's not even clear she's listening as she combs her hair. She doesn't even look at them in the mirror now. "Because it's my duty as her mother, and as the wife of the head of the Tokugawa family." She states coldly, directly cutting to the heart of Steve's statement. The hopelessness. But the display does something for Mitsuru. Her own despair, her own hopelessness fades. She feels her strength return, seeing someone stand up for her. And when he stands over her mother...
"Don't hurt her Steve, please." Mitsuru steps forward, reaching towards them. "Mom." Mitsuru states, breaking from her trance. "Mother. I'm not a little girl anymore, and not because of.. because of things that Steve did to me. He never touched me like that." Mitsuru explains, as she steadies herself off the wall. "I'm not going to pretend anymore. I'm facing this now. Father is cheating on you. I know it now. I've seen it. And you have too."
Mrs. Tokugawa continues not to listen to Mitsuru, as her daughter continues.
"I think he's cheating on you for the thing that attacked me. Lyraelle, she's a demon, a darkstalker. That's what his trip is. She pretended to be him, to torment me. I... I wish you could have seen it. I did the tea ceramony right. But if he's alive, then... he's been cheating on you a lot, mother. I don't think he's a good person. I love him, and I love you, but I don't like him. He's hurt you, and he's hurt me. And- And that doesn't excuse my behavior."
"I'm sorry mother for hurting you, and myself."
Mrs. Tokugawa grabs her comb in her hands, staring into the vanity, away from the mirror.
"I was not planning on hurting her, Mitsuru." Steve says, followed by. "I'm glad you're back." Giving Mitsuru her room after his own outburst. Stepping back and away from the mother. The boxer's face bitters up at the girl's apology, but he decides not to interfere- Giving her the moment to try and settle this.
Mrs. Tokugawa holds her comb tightly, averting her eyes.
Mitsuru nods as Steve backs off, and puffs out her chest. "Steve right about a lot of things, and I've thought a lot about what I need to do next. So this is what I'm going to do!" "
"I'm going to go back to school."
Mitsuru looks to Steve, and grins. "I'm going to go back to Seijyun High. I've been doing all the classes in the bunker, so I know I can ace those tests. I understand mom. I understand why you're upset. I was dumb, and I made mistakes. I wish I could have done the right thing before I tore up my chest." She pats her chest, and shakes her head. And then, makes two fists. "But I'll fix it. I want to fix this. I'm not doing this for you, or for... or for father. I'm doing this for myself. I'm not going to fight for both of your attention anymore. If you want to just forget about me, that's okay. But I'm done with father. And if you don't want to be my mother because of it... then I won't make you."
There is a snapping sound, as the comb breaks in Mrs. Tokugawa's hand.
Blood comes from her palm, as tears well in her mother's eyes. But Mitsuru doesn't let herself cry. "I'm going to make you proud mother, because I can. I'm going to grow up now. And I am going to make my father pay for hurting you and me." Mitsuru's mother stands up, and turns to face her daughter.
And they embrace, as Mrs. Tokugawa and Mitsuru cry in each others arms.
Steve looks on, surprised be the sight, and from his perspective- the woman's 180 turn. It seems that, the woman was also barely holding it together. The Englishman smiles, happy that Mitsuru was able to make her point, and moreover glad that her mother seems to have accepted the girl's words. He gives them some time in their hug, before deciding to speak up. "I apologize for some of my baseless assumptions, Mrs. Tokugawa. I threw all my pent-up emotions regarding your husband on you, and that was unfair of me." A sincere apology, yet one with little warmth. "I am glad that the two of you were able to settle these difficult matters. I sincerely am."
"It's not settled yet."
Mrs. Tokugawa states firmly, as she releases her daughter. She wipes away the tears, the makeup smeared. "We cannot lose our face or our composure." "I forgive you Mitsuru.... but I will not forget." The cold exterior of Mrs. Tokugawa returns, as she keeps her posture erect. The blood dribbles from her hand, as she refuses to wipe it on her kimono. Instead, she draws it across her hair. She walks towards the album on the side table. "I will make the arrangements to return you to school. I will see that you have your necessities arranged. Your friend can stay the night... in the guest room. After he takes care of one thing for me." She gestures for the trail out of the room.
"Please have your friend help clean up the mess."
And with that, she leaves the room with the albums, ready to return back to a new normal.
"I.. had nothing to do with that." he softly protests, as mrs. Tokugawa leaves the room. The Brit turns towards Mitsuru. "So, then. That's over with. For now." he scrambles to a answer, seemingly quite exhausted from his earlier outburst. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I'll take her up on that offer. A shower would also be welcome..." thinking outloud, he tracks off for a little while before getting back to the heart of the matter. "You did well, Mitsuru. I still can't agree with her, but."
"As long as you are fine with it, I will rest my objections." He states, with a nod. "However, what is next for you? You still have mr. Tokugawa to deal with, and.." "Lyraelle, potentially. You should know that I still want to help you out, and that the only reason I've been helping you is because I wanted to. This has not changed."
"I guess, what I'm trying to say is, It's up to you whether you still want my help."
"Because I still want to help you, until everything is resolved."
Mitsuru takes in a deep breath, and exhales.
"I'm not okay with it. Not all the way." She admits, the adrenaline fading. "My father is going to not like it when he hears what happens. And if Lyraelle knows... both are going to find new ways to make my life a living heck." She rubs her arms, and then, pounds a fist into her palm. "But I have friends like you, Steve. And I'm not going to be a baby anymore." She looks around at the room, with the toys from her childhood. She was going to have to clean them out, donate them. She needed to put away her old toys for good. It kind of hurt to think about it. "Thank you Steve. If you weren't here... if you never helped me. I don't know what would have happened. Mother has... mother has a way with words." Mitsuru walks up to Steve, and gives him a small side hug. Before punching him in the shoulder. "Now get cleaning, baka! You really need a bath, and I need to change my clothes." She sniffs hard at Steve.
"You smell like horse and -porridge-"
"Right, Right. Will do."
And with that, he starts backing towards the room. Pulling up the sleeves of the grey garb, embroided with Raiden's symbol- The white Lotus. "They likely will attempt to do so. And I will do my best to be there when they get too much for you to handle."
"Blimey, you really have matured. I am proud of you, Mitsu. You composed yourself perfectly back there. So well-spoken, too." he coughs once- twice, before finishing up his side of the conversation. "Anyhow, I have some *sigh* dung to clean up. I think I'll see you tomorrow, then. Sleep Tight." He waves goodbye as he turns around, walking out of the room. Before looking for Hachiko, and greeting him with a wry- somewhat cruel smile.
Mitsuru begins her transition.
She would pick out new clothing. She would pick out new outfits. She would pick out new pens and pencils, and everything in order to come back to school. She wouldn't have the same friends. She wouldn't have the same classes. And in some ways, it would remain the same. But she was different. That was the most important thing. She had matured a little bit.
And now, she would go into the next school year a little stronger in her heart.
Hachiko, on the other hand, was just getting off the phone. Eyes wide, he looks at Steve. The wheels in his head turn, as he looks to the phone. He looks to Steve. He looks to where Mrs. Tokugawa was. And then, back to the phone. And finally, back to Steve. The butler had not cleaned anything yet, and now, was sweating bullets.
"Oh no." Were Hachiko's words, as he realizes what the next 24 hours was going to be like.
Log created on 15:59:17 03/01/2021 by Mitsuru, and last modified on 23:34:24 03/05/2021.