Description: A dissapointed Tsugumi confronts Daisuke about his Ristar match over lunch.
Tsugumi had reached out to Daisuke rather swiftly after seeing how he surrendered against Hayley Bretherton. She hadn't been able to spectate live, and was instead watching. The text was a simple, yet menacingly serious:
"Yo, can I come over? I want to talk."
It was really quite different from her usual style of capital letters, emoticons and explanation marks, which would have been a good sign that she was upset in some ways.
Whether that was anger or sadness, would have to be seen.
In any case, a time would have been set- And Tsugumi took the bus to the village part of southtown, and to the Kubo household. Knocking on the door in the early afternoon. Waiting for her friend to open the door.
That's probably not a good sign at all, is it?
But, Daisuke being Daisuke, he's not exactly the type to just decline when someone asks to see him, if he's at home anyway. It's not like he's off on some adventure in a different part of the world filled with monsters or something.
The district of Southtown Village that is lined with older houses like that of the Kubo household is a much calmer affair in comparison to Southtown proper -- and hell, even central Southtown Village. One could be mistaken for thinking that they had wandered into a countryside town instead, if it wasn't for how tightly packed some of the houses and walled-off yards are.
And come the knock on the door to the front door to the particularly old-fashioned Kubo household, it takes not long at all for the door to open -- and to reveal the sight of... Daisuke, in otherwise entirely casual home clothing, but with the addition of a white apron with a few fresh stains over it all.
"Hey, Sendo," he greets the girl with a small nod and quickly gestures her in. "Come on, come on. You have good timing, I just have food ready."
Tsugumi would look ever-so-slightly grumpy when Daisuke would have opened the door, but it seemed she was keeping her emotions in check fairly well. "Hey Daisuke. Thank you, I'm sure it be good."
She's acting rather.. polite? Distant? Not like 'regular Tsugumi' at least. She is lacking her enthusiasm and positivity.
Nontheless, she follows after him. "So, you doin' alright?" Tsugumi asks the innocent question, to try and get a conversation going. The girl is dressed in a long blue shirt and wide green cargo-pants.
Of course, Daisuke can *sense* that there's not only something wrong, but that she's holding things back. Honestly, if he could shut off that part of his abilities at will, he would, but the world decided not to give him that luxury. Instead he gets to suffer the uncomfortable sensation of the feedback from whatever is boiling inside Tsugumi.
He does a good job of hiding it, at least.
On the way to the living room - it doubles as a dining room since the kitchen space is attached to it, really - the redhead unties the string at his neck holding the apron to him. Moving on over to the kitchen proper, he brings the apron to be hung up, returning towards the floor-level table after with two bowls of stir-fried beef, vegetables and soba.
"I'm alright," he provides in answer to her as the two bowls are set down, with chopsticks provided besides them. He knows there's more behind that question, sure, but... he's not willing to admit to that, instead of keeping up the facade of small talk a moment longer. "You are well? I know it has been a hot minute."
"Eh, I'm fine." She responds simply, before giving a slight smile. "It has been, huh? That looks good." Referring to his latter statement, and the food.
She sits herself down on the floor, leaning on her hand as she places her elbow on the table. Breathing somewhat more heavily then normal- Daisuke might sense that it would be out of frustration that she hadn't yet admitted to.
But Tsugumi is in the same position, not wanting to put her friend on the spot right away- Instead continuing the 'pleasant talk' for just a bit longer.
"Been up to anything interesting lately?"
"Anything interesting...? Mmmh, I guess not..." Daisuke suggests half-heartedly with a shrug before he lowers himself down to sitting opposite from the girl.
Some concern of his does manage to slip through in his expression now, however. It's hard not to with how much of Tsugumi's frustration is being reflected to him on the psychic level. He doesn't even reach the chopsticks he brought out to himself yet.
"Sooo..?" She responds, raising a brow. Before sighing, deeply. "I'm kidding." Then, her voice becomes a bit louder- and a bit fiercer.
"Why did you surrender?"
She stops herself from saying- judging more, at least not until she had heard is answer. "I couldn't hear everything you said over the broadcast, grainy audio and all that."
The girl frowns. "You were doing so well too.."
ANd there it is. THe question he was kind of expecting would come, but still stings a bit whne he hears it from her.
Daisuke's eyes avert themselves from her with that for a good moment, to deliberately stare off elsewhere with his finger scratching at his cheek.
"...How would I really even put this...?" He mumbles, uncertainly, before he peeks back to her.
"It just... wasn't my place, you know?"
"How vague can you get?"
The girl shoots back, some of that frustration coming loose. "Just- Sorry- I just don't understand what you mean." She picks up the chopsticks, breaks them apart- before offering a very brief prayer with her palms put together. Starting to eat at a hurried pace-- She has trouble sitting still at this moment.
"So please explain it to me."
On the other hand, Daisuke suddenly finds it... much more difficult to even consider the prospect of eating, now. He just keeps his hands on his knees, and kind of just... stares down at the food in front of him.
"I was never really even supposed to be there, Sendo," he murmurs eventually, voice kept a bit lower. "Everyone had their reasons to fight through that tournament, right? And I just treated it as... I don't know. A stress test, I guess? But that just..."
He shakes his head.
"I didn't have a real reason."
Her fist meets the table- Thankfully, it holds. Tsugumi seems to be trembling. "It's so annoying.." She pauses, as she herself looks downward. "It's just so /frustrating/" She says, rather repeating herself. A Final pause, before-
"That I don't really have anything to say against that. How could I?" She shakes her head, as a few tears push themselves out of her eyes.
"Because it makes sense- You are not wrong, Daisuke, but-"
"I just wanted to see you get as far as you could.." With her final words, she looks up, teary-eyed as she finds herself at a loss of words or arguments.
Daisuke winces when fist meets table, and his eyes somehow manage to move even lower, in lieu of him retreating from the table. Not like he could with his legs folded there anyway.
It's the last words from Tsugumi that do bring him looking back up, however, with a blink of his eyes sent at her. Staring with visible confusion at the teary-eyed girl for a few seconds before further guilt creeps onto his face.
The single-worded question is uttered out without really even thinking about it, and the redhead quickly finds his gaze drifting off to the side and away from her again. "I mean... Mh. I probably got way further than I should have been allowed to in the first place, so, you know..."
"Then you should have been allowed to? That's dumb. The only reason you got so far is because of how strong you are! 'Being allowed to' has nothing to do with it. Like, who is deciding that?!" She grumbles, before. "AAAH!"
"Get a clue, you idiot. Why would I want that? Because I like fighting and cause' you're my friend! Of course I'd want you to succeed." She puts her arms together, like an angry toddler, after wiping away her tears. "Ugh!"
With that final exclamation, she returns to shoveling food into her mouth.
"But I'm n-" Daisuke starts protesting before the sudden yell of frustration comes out. This time, he *does* retreat a bit in the form of an inch or two's worth of backward shufling while his eyes widen at Tsugumi. He doesn't dare to interrupt her then until she busies her mouth with food instead!
"...L-look, that's..." Akwardly, he rubs at the back of his head, with his shoulders slumping some. "... THere was just people more deserving of succeeding in that tournament. That's all."
"I couldn't disagree more. You proved yourself to be 'deserving' when you made it to the semifinals, Idiot. You're the only one that's thinking that way."
Another deep sigh. "Just say you don't wanna fight- Or not for the sake of competiton, at least. Seems like that is what it comes down to really." She looks downward, with a sad smile on her face.
"And that's fine. I just really wanted to have a friend into that stuff. But that's me being a little selfish..."
"Well- I suppose Eden-Chan sorta counts as that.."
Daisuke's head dips downwards again, just barely avoiding outright slumping downwards. THe motion is still enough to bring strands of his already-messy hair to drooping along his forehead to shading his eyes for a few seconds.
"...It's true I don't really like hurting people for reasons like that," he murmurs. "Even after everything you told me about that the other day. But, I... I really don't think I'm the kind of person who should be gaining anything like fame or glory like that."
He gives his head a brief shake before lifting it up some, offering an apologetic look over to Tsugumi then.
"...I'm sorry I couldn't be... that."
"Don't be." She responds, calmly. "If that's not Daisuke, then that's not Daisuke. As long as you do your best in whatever you are, I'll be happy. Just don't let me catch you slacking~"
She gives the boy a wink. "I think it's important to have /something/ to try your best in, at least! Like, really try your best. Just make sure you have somethin' like that."
Calmer this time, she returns to her lunch- eating slower, and enjoying the taste more."
"/Man/, this really is delicious- as always!" Seems as if regular ol' enthusastic Tsugumi is slowly returning.
"... What if I don't know what that something is...?" Daisuke asks in a much lower voice now, almost low enough that Tsugumi might easily even miss it if she's not paying attention.
Still, seeing her reaction to the food she's shoveling down her gullet does bring a faintly-satisfied smile to the teenaged boy, and he finally takes chopsticks for himself, breaking them apart with a quick, quiet little prayer. "I'm glad you like it. You can have as much as you like, alright?"
"Then *Gulp* You better get searching!" She says, before thinking. "Or well, I guess your whole vigilante shtick might count!" She puts on a grand announcer voice. "Blazing Panther, beater of bullies! Or should that be 'beaten by bullies'"
She continues her quest of teasing the boy, taking a few more bites. "I'll take you up on that offer, Daisuu-Chan!"
Daisuke's eyes promptly narrow at Tsugumi, and he sets the chopsticks down just for the sole purpose of letting him cross his arms without worry. He doesn't *quite* pout, but still. "You're just patronizing me now, huh? I'm not *that* bad, right..."
"You're not! I mean, the fact that you got that far in the tournament speaks for itself, doesn't it? You're strong- Stronger then me, Maybe! You got a lot closer to beating Bretherton-San, at least."
Tilting her head, she evalutes him further. "I mean, I think you'd be able to beat me just for the fact of the lightshow at your disposal! I still got no clue how to deal with that stuff-- Getting a little better though!" *Nomnomnom*
"So you're good, I'm proud of you, you know? You've been able to use that stuff without breaking your body lately! It's good."
Stronger than Tsugumi? Daisuke blinks his eyes once, twice, and then turns to look away from her. "...Yeah, as if."
His arms unfold then, and his gaze drifts down to the open palm of one hand, frowning a bit. "I mean, I dunno about that either. It still burns a ton when I use it, you know? Like I'm jolting a thousand volts through my body and grilling my own nerves."
All she had to say before returning to the meal, it seems. "I'm quite serious, you know. The first time we sparred I /barely/ won, but you refused to use that stuff until the end. Have some more confidence in yourself, I mean, the facts speak for themselves. You made it further, and almost beat Hayley- Like seriously- She was about to go down!"
"And now don't go claiming you got lucky, that's bull. You're like, seriously strong."
"I absolutely got lucky..." Daisuke insists regardless, even if it mostly comes out in an akward mumble. He even turns his head aside again to try and hide the flush of color trying to grow out along his face. "I think you're definitely overestimating me. Putting me on a much higher pedestal than I deserve to be on, you know?"
"Well, It's hard to tell. Maybe you are right, but-"
"I can't really say for certain." She admits, with a wink. "Well, Unless we'd spar again sometime- But I'm not gonna force that on you. But if you ever feel up for it."
"I'll be your gal."
A loooong, blank stare from Daisuke right at Tsugumi. Slow blink, once, twice.
"Eh, Tsugumi..." Sheepishly, the redhead scratches at his cheek with a single finger, smiling with some vague amusement on his own part. "I might be down, but like... You really need to work on your phrasing sometime, you know..."
"Huh, Phrasing?" She seems genuinely confused, but open to his advice. "Like what? It's good that you point it out! But I'm gonna need an example, y'know." The girl leans back, satisfied by the meal- or at least it's first serving!
"Think you can explain?"
Oh crap. Daisuke did *not* expect to be put on the spot like that. Or for her to not catch on what he meant with that right off the bat either, for that matter!
"Er, I mean..." He mumbles, almost immediately falling apart on the spot, with his eyes flickering this way and that, trying to find something to focus on that isn't Tsugumi.
"Uh... D-...don't worry about it, I'm s-sure it'll be fine..."
"Uuh, you're acting weird again, Daisuu-Chan.." She responds, pouting as she looks at the bashful boy. "Well, I guess that means it's not all that important! G'ahahaha." She takes her bowl, and walks over to the stovetop to fetch more of that delicious stir-fry- But not before offering.
"Would you also like another bowl, Daisuke?"
"How am *I* the one who's acting weird...?" Mumbles Daisuke with a huff. Probably best he doesn't try to explain himself just so he can avoid getting inevitably teased over what her *own* words might have sounded like.
"Eh?" He blinks after Tsugumi on her way to the kitchen, then, and then looks back down at his own bowl... which he has barely touched yet.
"Er... Maybe in a bit...?"
Why does he suddenly feel like he's going to be regretting giving her permission to eat as much as she wants?
Log created on 10:38:24 05/31/2021 by Tsugumi Sendo, and last modified on 17:24:30 05/31/2021.