Description: After her fight with Blazing Panther, Mitsuru runs off to Chinatown to find solace and self reflection. She hates both, so she calls Steve all the way in England to come over and pick her up. This is their story.
"Steve, it's- It's Mitsuru."
"Please don't be angry at me."
"I'm back in Chinatown. I ran away from a fight, a Neo-League fight, and- I need- I want you to pick you to pick me up, and take me back to school. I don't want to make anymore stupid mistakes, and I keep MAKING THEM AND- and I'm sorry, please don't be angry with me."
"I am at a place called Genhanten; it's supposed to be a friend of the family here. I know, I shouldn't trust friends of the family anymore. I just keep doing the same things over and over again, don't I- please don't be angry with me."
"Please call me back when you get this message."
Mitsuru places the cellphone down on the table. The tall, teenage girl was seated in an old wooden chair, dressed in a summer Seijyun High uniform. She had a platter of dumplings in front of her; she was sitting outside at the Genhanten. She was a little bruised, but not bad. The fight with the Blazing Panther wasn't bad because of that. But because of how that strange man made her feel, and how she- how she ruined everything again.
She hated it.
She hated herself, and how she hurt everything. ANd now she was in Chinatown again. She was making the same mistakes again. ANd she hated herself for it. She didn't even know if Steve was in Southtown or England or- or anything. A disgusting feeling came into her stomach. What if he was in England, and he was asleep? ANd he wakes up, and hears that message, and all she did was make him worried, and afraid? How much he would hurt and suffer for something that is all because Mitsuru wanted Steve to comfort her and tell her that she was okay. BEcause of how selfish Mitsuru was, when she was hurt and afraid. Like a child. Like a brat.
Mitsuru felt more and more disgusted with herself.
IF she was smart, and thinking clearly, she wouldn't do these things. She wouldn't just blow up like a child over the dumbest things. She wouldn't blow up her friendships. She took her chopsticks, and picks up a dumpling. She nibbles on it, her back and neck beginning to feel numb and prickly. She tries and reason through it. She had put in a full meal; unlike last time, she actually had her purse and money, and her cellphone. She could wait her a long time. She thinks about everything she did as she takes another nibble. ABout how she treated Kaicho. Kaicho didn't deserve that. Any of that. She feel very cold in her arms, as she imagines how -she- would feel if she was treated like that. It wasn't fair to her.
Maybe she could do something to make Kaicho forgive her.
Steve would have been asleep, normally. It was the middle of the night in the UK, after all. And as Mitsuru correctly worried-
Steve was a long way from Southtown.
He was laying in bed, yet couldn't sleep, the difficult memories, and anger of his ruined reputation plagueing his head. He still hadn't called Lyraelle back, he was afraid too. But he will have to soon, otherwise she'd come and find him anyways- as she promised. He ended up missing her first call, his phone still in the living room and out of earshot. But a short 15 minutes later, when heading out to his dirty kitchen to grab some water-
The boxer checked his phone, listening to the voicemail. "Blast." Before calling her back- instantly. "Mitsu? Blimey- s- sorry for not picking up right away. I was still in bed.." Indeed, the Englishman sounds tired, it sounds as if he had just woken up- though he has actually just been awake for a long time.
"Crap- I, I. /Shit!/. I- I am not in Southtown, not even in Japan at the moment. I'm not angry, why would I be? It is great to talk with you again- d-despite the cirumstances.." A pause, as the brit considers his words. "I- I don't know what happened- Are you save? Please tell me you are. Just- I wish I could come and get you, Mitsuru. I would get on the plane right now if I could." A pained sigh sounds out from behind the phone.
"But it would take me more then a day to get to you. I will do that if you want me too, but now, now I can only talk. But I'll talk as long as you need me too."
"Can you tell me what happened?"
Mitsuru was imagining herself begging on her knees, when the phone rings.
It's the Il Vento D'oro theme; as it plays, Mitsuru snaps out of her dream, as she grabs the phone. She brings it to her ear, and she hears his voice. Her heart flies to her throat. "Steve! Steve! Oh my gosh, Steve, I'm so happy to hear you. OKay, OKay. You aren't- I'm sorry Steve. Please don't be angry! Please don't be angry!" She repeats again and again. She goes quiet, taking heavy breathes, before calms herself down enough. "I'm safe! I'm very safe! Nothing bad happens here, it's a place called Genhanten. I have dumplings here, and noodles, and there is even a cute boy who has been serving the tables, and he has a skateboard-" She shakes her head. "I had a bad fight, and I ruined all my friendships, and- and I don't even know who I am anymore." She looks at her phone, looking at the screen. "Can we- can we do it as a video chat?" She asks, unable to hide the intensity in her voice.
"I want to see you."
"I- I'm not, don't worry.." He repeats, at the voice of the troubled girl. He breathes out a relieved sigh of his own. "I'm glad you are. It does sound like a nice place."
"E-eh? Video? Uhm, sure- Hold on.." His voice fades away for a few seconds, before sounds of him bumping into his coffee table are heard- "Agaah- Darnit!" Back on his side of the phone, he stumbles over to the lightswitch, one hand rubbing the toe he just hurt. The lights go on, and the Boxer has to narrow his eyes to get used to the light. Soon after he makes his way back to the phone, holding it in front of his face while sitting down on the couch, switching on the video.
He looks quite... disheveled.
His medium length blonde hair is on the greasy side, and rather unstyled. Bags under his eyes display the fact he hasn't been sleeping much, and he has grown a lot of stubble. "Alright, there we go! Sorry for the wait." He is wearing a wrinkled grey shirt, of which only the top is visible.
"A fight, huh? I saw your last three- Against that wrestler girl, the masked redhead..."
"And, uhm, against that korean boy.."
That last part, his voice seems a bit pained, and so does his expression. The things that Mitsuru yelled about during that bothered him greatly, but he does not pursue that further at this time.
"Sorry Mitsu, got a bit off-track. What kind of fight was it?"
Mitsuru apologizes when she hears him fall over. When she sees his face though, she felt bad, as she felt. But she was also calming down. RElaxing. He looked bad, but like, ugly dirty bad. Low born bad. Why would she think that? And when Steve talks about her fights, the ones HE watched, she starts to blush
"It was the masked guy again."
She speaks quickly, excited. "It was a Neo-League fight, it was- I think we both gave up." She explained, her eyes glancing around nervously. "I was fighting the guy in the mask, Blazing Panther, I fought him in Rising Star tournament before." She says hastily. "And I guess, I guess Kaicho told him that I wanted to talk to him, and she told me I was going to fight him, so it was all a trick and a lie. So we were fighting, and he was telling me that I really didn't want to fight him, and how- I think he was figuring out how- how- fake I- how-" She couldn't even make herself finish that thought. She buries her face in her hands.
"And I blew up."
She shakes her head, hiding her face as she starts to weep. "And I hurt Kaicho, I pushed her down and hurt her, and I told them- I told them I don't want them as friends anymore." Mitsuru sobs, crying. "And now I am- I am ruining your night, because if I was good and normal you wouldn't have to worry about anything. I'm awful. I'm so -AWFUL!-"
And she screams.
She just shakes her head more and more. "I don't understand Steve. I don't understand why I hate it. I hate myself. I just hate this. I hate being happy, I hate being fake, I hate hate hate it. I hate it that I try to be a cool and tough Jojo, and I'm just so- I'm just so BAD at it, Steve. I'm so awful at it." She pulls away her hands, her face twisted up into bawling. "I can't even FIGHT like a real JOJO!"
"I was MUDA MUDA MUDA when I should have ORA'D, STEVE!"
"You were great in those fights, by the way!" Steve embellishes, right before she starts her tangent. Throughout all of it, he listens- rubbing his scruffy chin. With her words, he pulls paler and paler. Until she is finally finished. The air feels stuffy, Steve feels tense. Tense about what to say and how to say it, she said so much- But what should he say back? How much should he respond to?
There is a pause, he thinks. He thinks just long enough for Mitsuru to get scared she upset him. "Hey- Hey, calm down- You're- You're alright, you're alright.." He starts, still figuring out the full extend of his response.
"You're not awful Mitsuru. You made a mistake- you made a few mistakes, but don't beat yourself up over them like that." The Boxer leans back into the couch, the video feed rising with him. "Cause' everyone does, specially at your age." The englishman nods, before continuing. "First of all, that thing that Kaicho pulled? If it happened as you said, that's an incredibly shitty thing to do. You have a right to be upset at her, I feel."
"The good thing about friends- Like, good friends, is that an apology will go a long way. On both sides. If you wanna have Kaicho as a friend, you should apologize- but if you want to do that, you need to make sure she apologizes too." He breathes in.
"But only if you want her to be a friend. Cause' the thing she pulled is not very... friend-like. Must've caused a lot of heartache for that boy too. It's something you aught to think about, Mitsuru." The camera shakes and moves, Steve standing up and carrying it with as he walks to the kitchen. Behind his back, and over the camera, Mitsuru might see the messy state his living space is in.
Some of her Jojo analogy is lost to Steve, he is still making his way through part two! "Muda? Ora? Uhm, Is that- is that what you want to be? Cool and tough, like a Jojo? I mean, in my mind, you're getting the fighting part down quite well. You're getting better and better, Mitsu. I can see that." He gives her a genuine smile.
"But, I think you would do well to.. to learn to be a bit friendlier, y'know? Like, the blazing panther kid seems like a good kid. I watched some of his other matches.."
"He is a good kid, and I hate it!"
Mitsuru snarls, furiously eating some dumplings. She eats them, refusing to add to it. "Thank you for noticing me though, Steve. IN the fights. I- I really hoped you were watching me. I have been trying to use boxing in my style. I feel like maybe if I just focused on boxing, I'd be a real fighter, instead of... instead of whatever I'm doing on my own." She sighs, exhaling. "I don't have a lot of friends, Steve. It's hard to make friends. I've always had trouble. People who try to be my friends, even when I treat them like garbage? Those are the people that stay my friends. Even if they are bad, or broken people. Because I can't help it. I just can't help but push them around or bully them or make them my- make them my-" And her lip trembles.
"Make them my -minions-"
Mitsuru sounds so disgusted. "You know what that stupid panther boy did? He made me realize what makes me happy. What makes me happy is being a princess, Steve. Where I can boss people around and let them pamper and spoil me." Mitsuru almost automatically looks lighter, her expression lifting as she describes it. "And people put me on a pedestal, and I can look down on them! I could have servant boys combing my hair and painting my nails and calling me Queen Tokugawa and all the other girls at Seijyun would be so jealous of me! I could be cute, and the boys would eat up all the crumbs of attention I would throw them!" And then the happiness is gone, out like a light.
"But who has heard of a Jojo that acts like a spoiled princess?"
A cold despair passes over her. "I hate that woman. I hate that thing, Lyraelle. And it scares me, Steve, because I sometimes think about being a thing like her, and it makes me happy. Being a queen that lords over little people, who is the envy of everyone else. When I was being so much stronger than the masked man, when I was sitting on him, and just hitting him, I felt so big and strong and in control. That if I had friends who just admired me and made me feel awesome, and just friends like that, it would be better than friends like you. BUt." She looks back to the phone screen, a profound sadness cast over her. "Friends like you are the only ones that really make me happy, Steve." She looks away.
"And here I am, treating you like garbage too."
"You did! And I'm very proud to see that, your hook is getting better and better." He comments, giving her a thumbs up to go with it. "And 'Whatever you're doing on your own' Isn't all bad either. You use that energy of yours a lot better then I can, y'know?" But then it moves back into the dramatic, and Steve's face radiates understanding once again..
But that understanding soon mixes with worry, as he listens to the- for the lack of a better word- the fantasy. "Is that really what makes you happy?" He asks, a bit disturbed.
"Because I don't want you to be like that, Mitsuru." He admits, honestly. "You shouldn't be like that. People will only treat you like that when they fear you. And even if it truly does make you feel happy, that happiness would come at another's expense." His face sterns up more at the mention of the demon queen, he looks /angry/.
Yet, he sets that anger asides for now, that's not the priority.
"Why is it hard for you to treat people differently?" That is not a judgemental question, it is a genuine one- why does she feel the need to bully people? Yet, suddenly, something *clicks*
"W-Wait, hold on.. I thought you said being pampered and spoiled was the thing that makes you happy, but just now, you said something different then that.." He scratches his hair, thinking. "That friends like that don't make you happy, but that friends like me do. And- I am flattered, honestly- Yet I wish to know:"
"You just.. rather, contradicted yourself. Did you notice that you did, Mitsuru?"
Mitsuru was blushing again.
She likes the praises so much. She was feeling so preened and pampered. That is, until Steve talks about a contradiction. She stops indulging in the webcam based shoutouts, to look back at STeve, outraged. "What?!" Mitsuru objects, perking up as she scrunches up her face. "I'm talking about how I really feel, and you think- you think I'm contradicting myself? I'm being as honest as I can be, this is how I feel STeve! I feel that I am happy about being a princess! That's the truth!" Mitsuru pouts. "I- I think I know what makes me happy. I like being treated like a princess. But I don't feel proud to be a princess. I feel gross and dirty. I want to feel like, well. Something else." Mitsuru sticks her tongue out at STeve.
"Is that some kind of contradiction?"
"Aaagh- S- Sorry, I think I must have misunderstood..." He rubs his head. "Or maybe not... Though I guess that both can be true at the same time"
The boxer perks up. "I'm gonna run through this with you, because I want to understand. You want to be pampered, and admired. But a friend like me makes you happier then someone that just 'admires you and makes you feel awesome.'" He looks into the camera. "What about our friendship makes you happer then friends like that do? If being spoiled really makes you that happy, why do you want friends like me?"
"Cause' I don't feel I really treat you like 'a princess'
"And I want to establish, I don't think you're being dishonest. This is just important to talk about, I think. I just want to understand what you mean, Mitsuru."
Mitsuru stares into the phone.
She stares at the image and face of Steve, as he explains, and deconstructs what the contradiction is. About how she wanted to be pampered, and admired. But how a friend like Steve made her happier than someone who just 'admires you and makes you feel awesome.' She just stares, her expression completely blank. And he asks the question. What about their friendship makes Mitsuru happier than friends who slave Mitsuru with attention and affection? ANd why is it that if being spoiled makes her that happy, why does she want a friend like Steve. She considers her rebuttal to answer Steve's question.
She pushes a button, and hangs up.
She is quiet for a moment. Staring. The noodles would be coming soon. She would just tell him there was connection issues. Or something. She stares, and begins to dial back, to start the face to face call again. She didn't know how she was going to answer. But she tries to call him back. Maybe he wouldn't notice anything. Or maybe... maybe he wouldn't answer again. Mitsuru begins to sweat, as her stomach turns in knots.
"Please answer..." She mutters to herself quietly.
Steve felt his stomach drop, as Mitsuru hung up. Panic ensued for the next 15 or so seconds, and he had just navigated to the section of his phone to call her back- when the phone rang again, Mitsuru's number on display. He pressed the green button to 'accept' the call right away, and-
"H-Hello, Mitsuru? Everything alright?" He asks, simply- not wanting to make any conclusion before hearing her voice again. "Did you catch my last few sentences, or did the disconnect absorb them?"
Mitsuru stares at the phone again.
She stares at Steve, her expression blank. Her thoughts are blank. 'Did you catch my last few sentences, or did the disconnect absorb them?' See? He thinks it was a disconnect. It worked. It worked perfectly. He doesn't think you hung up. "Yeah I think so!" She states, trying to smile, but only managing a grimace. "That's very nice, and you are right Steve. I should do what you said." She states rigidly.
She tries to change the subject, hoping her ruse worked.
"So I think that maybe I should apologize to Kaicho, and my friends. But only if they respect me. A-a-and I should be friendlier, yeah, I should do that. I should apologize to that masked panther, and stop being angry and fighting people." She was being so agreeable. Isn't she being agreeable? She keeps struggling with her smile, not able to make it more than that strained grimace. She hoped that Steve would agree too, on how agreeable she's being.
Otherwise she might have another accidental disconnect to get her bearings again.
"...Yeah?" He says, with some hesitation in his voice, listening to her talk. He lets the subject be changed, at least for a little bit. He will get back to it though, if he can. The boxer peers at her intensely through the camera, his brow furrowing as he sees that half-hearted grimace.
He has known the girl long enough to know when she's acting off.
"Are you quite certain? I am happy you seem to be taking my advice to heart. But I was expecting some more... Pushback? Conversation?" He explains, his free hand making a pushing gesture toward the camera. "You're just actin' a little dodgy, you know? You sure you're alright?"
"I'm sorry for being this nosy, Mitsuru. I just want to make sure. Lemme know if I'm pushing things to much though, I'll try to back off, in that case."
Mitsuru can't keep the act up long.
As Steve agrees to it, and seems to accept it. BUt even he sees how dodgy she is. Mitsuru wasn't alright. But she felt like she avoided the topic. She felt like it. But like a deft counter punch, Steve dips away, only to surge back by saying to 'back off.' That immediately jolts Mitsuru out with a reaction. "No! Please!" Mitsuru suddenly outbursts. "You don't- you don't have to back off. I like it that you- that you care about me. I'm sorry Steve. Please don't be angry at me." The same phrase, over and over again. "I don't know why-" She tenses up, shutting her eyes. She was trembling now. She finally spits it out, as the noodles come by next to her.
"I'm not quite certain."
Mitsuru halts, keeping her eyes shut. She draws in a heavy breath. "I... I don't like it. I don't like trusting people. I hate it. I hate putting any trust in anybody, knowing that they could just- they could just become her. THey could just be playing a trick. They could be just lying any time. I want to trust people. I want to- I want to go back to trusting people again. I was so happy when I could trust people. If I could be a stupid, dumb girl with dyed blonde hair and tanned skin and just trust everyone, even when they could hurt me any time, then I would be so much happier than knowing that everyone could hurt me at any time. That's why, Steve. That's why. I trust you." She opens her eyes, tears coming out of both of them.
"ANd that's so -scary-"
"U-wah!" He exclaims in surprise at her sudden outburst, but after that he listens intently until she is finished. Only reassuring her with another: "Im not angry, of course I care." Along the way. The brit has to swallow deep, keeping in his own tears as she finally admits to her emotions.
"It is scary, Mitsuru, it is."
He confirms, thinking. "I- I, wish I could give you more then comfort. But truth be told, I have not ever felt as you are feeling, Mitsuru. Like- Blimey." He turns away from the camera to wipe his eyes, feeling them well up. "I wish I was there for you right now. Like, really there."
"I am glad you trust me, truly. I just wish you could feel the same about others.. It's understandable though- You- You have been betrayed so, -so- many times. It is not fair, not at all." A *thump* is heard from behind the camera, seems as if he pounded the table off-screen. He thinks for a while, then looks as if he wants to say something- but stops. And back to thinking.
The British bruiser seems to be at a loss for words for the moment.
Mitsuru almost wanted to hang up again.
She was crying, tears going down her cheeks. "Wouldn't it be better if I didn't though" She suddenly blurts out. "Wouldn't it better if I didn't have to trust anybody any more. ANd I could just have friends who were forced to do what I want, cause if they didn't, I would just pound them, or bully them. THen I wouldn't have to worry about trusting anybody anymore. I could just fight and bully people. I wouldn't have to always be afraid like I am with you, or with Raiden. I could be happy and comfortable being paranoid, and never ever opening up." She tenses up, clinging on to it.
"That feels so much better than opening up."
Mitsuru was feeling embarassed now, her face turning red. "Kaicho, she has a crush on me, Steve. She -wants- me, and I can tell. But she won't tell me. She just tries to control me and manipulate me. I can't trust her. I would never trust her, even when I pretend to. So I can control myself. A-and this boy, Daisuke, sent me some treats to apologize, for hurting my feelings, and- and I want to kill him Steve! I am so scared! I never am supposed to be scared. I'm supposed to be tough and brave and fearless and I'm scared of trusting people. But if I never trust them, then I never have to be scared! I- I feel so powerless trusting people." ANd then, she goes limp. "You... you make me feel powerless. And I like that, because I trust you."
"That's why you are a better friend."
"No. That would not be better." He actually responds sternly to that, a hint of anger in his teary expression. "Hurting others, making them unhappy, it's not worth it, Mitsuru. Believe me."
"I truly believe it is important for you to open up, and I understand. Or, I hope that I /understand/ how difficult that must be. But you must, and you musn't wait for too long." Steve's sternness persists, but he still speaks with a friendly tone. "I don't want you to feel powerless, Mitsuru. I genuinely hate that sentiment. Trusting people shouldn't have to make you feel like that." He scratches his hair.
"And you are right, it is not a good thing to trust people blindly. But you still must give them a chance. Try taking small steps. Progress the friendship at your own pace, you know? So you don't have to feel powerless." He seems satisfied with his explanation. He breathes in once, deeply, afraid of his next words, yet;
"I will always be around for you, but you can't have me be the only person like this. I don't want myself to be your only real friend- that's not healthy. You really, /really/ need to spread out." Another second or two of thinking, before he comes up with an analogy that /hopefully/ can resonate with the girl.
"It's natural to be scared. You can still be tough and brave, but that doesn't mean you can't be scared, happy, or whatever. I mean, you want to be like a joestar, right?"
"And Joseph Joestar is scared all the time!" Ah-hah! Watching up until part 2 at Mitsuru's recommendation payed off, it seems. "I mean, his signature technique is to run away. He -is- scared as well. Sure, while he is running, he might be coming up with a ludicrously convenient scheme."
The boxer points at the camera. "But he's still scared. That fear is what keeps him alive, you know?" He concludes his explanation with that, leaning into his couch again.
"From everything I've heard of this Kaicho, she does not seem like a good per- Uh, friend. Either cut her out of your life, or give her a final chance- that's my advice. After all, it's up to you to decide who you befriend- Take that control, Mitsuru."
"No." Whispers Mitsuru, her voice so low, so soft.
"No, no, no."
She was shaking her head. But she wasn't crying. She was too upset and desperate to cry now. She was listening to it, and Steve was right. He was right, and she was feeling better and better until... until Steve talks about removing the last crutch. Removing -him-. All the effort to make it gentle only stopped her from being angry. But raw, afraid, and alone. Exposed. She realizes what was happening in her own perspectives. "Please don't Steve. Don't leave me Steve. Not you too." It was so small, so helpless, so hurt. Please." She shakes her hands together, looking into the phone. "Please. I don't want to grow up I-"
The words just come out.
Mitsuru wants to hang up. She wants to hang up and never look at this again. But that means giving up Steve. And Steve was- it felt like Steve was giving up her, to make her grow up. To make her face these things. She thought- she thought she was growing up already. But growing up shouldn't mean this. It should never mean this. "I want you to stay my friend forever. I don't want you to go to. I just- I just want to go back when I can trust people. I don't want to grow up, where you can't anymore. Please, Steve. Please let me hold on to this." And now, her face shifts, the tears coming up as her whole face shakes, the tears coming out.
"Please don't abandon me, Steve!"
"Ah?! Hey- hey, don't cry now. It's alright, I'm here, I'm here." He attempts to reassure her, a bit of panick in his voice as she starts to break down. "Please listen, You got me wrong, Mitsu." He breathes in a deep sigh to calm himself down.
"Like I said, I will always be your friend- I will still talk to you over the phone, I will still give you boxing lessons.. None of that will change." He shakes his head.
"But you need other people like that too, Mitsuru, and I stand by that. For your own sake, I don't want you to cling yourself to me- anyone. That just- It's not healthy. It makes me feel dirty. It's- it's too much... Control.." Some of the boxer's own emotions on the matter come out there.
"I just want our friendship to be more equal, I want you to take more control. But most of all, I just want you to have more friendships. You deserve that, even if getting there is hard." His eyes are closed for a bit as he talks- maybe it's hard for him to look her in the eyes?
"But please, take to heart that I will not abandon you." Steve reaffirms this fact over and over, simply because of how much the prospect seems to scare the girl. "Believe me."
Mitsuru had a choice to make.
She could believe Steve. She could accept that she was being too clingy. She could listen, and read the motives. That Steve isn't going away. That Steve will be around, but just not... not always talking to her all the time. Allowing Mitsuru to grow with new, normal relationships. Where she doesn't pressure Steve into where he's not comfortable. A more equal relationship. She could believe him.
Or she could reject it.
She could just hang up, and let her anger and paranoia burn the bridges. She could blame Steve, for misleading her and manipulating her. Using her, without giving anything back. That she would spend the rest of her life thinking about how Steve abandoned her like all the others. How everyone would eventually abandon you. The moment you got close to them, they would throw you away. Or maybe she would just keep looking and looking for the new Steve, the perfect Steve that wanted to have that imbalance, and never let Mitsuru have to endure anything else. It was a choice of two worlds. Mitsuru stares at it, distantly. And she chooses.
"I'm sorry Steve..." Mitsuru begins, reaching for the phone.
"This is all so new to me." Mitsuru explains, holding up the phone. "I- I keep thinking you are going to be angry at me. Because I'm being so selfish. And I'm still being selfish. You care about me, and that- that means I need to stop thinking about what I think about myself, and actually go and listen. I need to actually listen to these people. And it will hurt." She frowns, looking like she was going to throw up. "It's going to hurt so much Steve. People are going to hurt me so much, and I'll hate it. I'll hate it so much, and- and I guess I'll just have to find a way not to push them away. Or hurt the people I care about." She takes a deep breath, and exhales. And immediately, she pouts.
"I don't feel any better now, you dork."
"Don't worry. Being selfish is part' of the age, you should've seen me at 15..." He says, before listening to the rest of Mitsuru's words. Nodding along. "It will be difficult, but I'll be there to give you advice. It might hurt, at least for a while. But if it's people that are making you hurt intentionally- People that act selfishly, push and bully you around for their own gain or satisfaction."
"Then you don't have to be friends with 'em. Cut people like that out as best you can." Steve feels as if this is important to add. "But people that might be nice, give them a chance. Let them talk to you, talk back, and if you feel the urge to needlessly push them away. or to blow up, take a step back. Let yourself breath, and try again later. Good people will give you that chance, I believe."
The Boxer looks at her with a sad smile, with that last statement. "I'm sorry. I'll be less confrontational next tim'. We'll talk about fun stuff next time, yeah?
"I think I wish I could have seen you at 15."
Mitsuru giggles a bit, nervously. But she swallows. "I... I should just be mean to the bullies and selfish people, and just be nice to... to nice people." IT was hugely simplistic. But Mitsuru was trying to understand these from the eyes of the child. "And... even if I mess up, I can try again later." Mitsuru breathes, looking aside at the noodles. She didn't have a rescue yet. But she felt like, well. She wasn't going to need a rescue anymore. "Yare yare daze." She growls huskily. "I'll forgive you. But you better behave better next time, or else I'll hang up on you again!" She quickly makes a verbal backspace. "I mean, I'll hang up for the first time." She starts the blush, and then bows her head. "Thank you, Steve. I'll work harder to be someone you can be proud- to be more proud of. And the best way to do that is... to take care of myself. I'm going to finish eating, and then, I'm going to get back to the school, and try to make things right." And she gives Steve a real smile, lifting her head up.
"I'll call you when I get back safe, okay?"
Steve keeps smiling, looking at her through the camera. "I was horrible at 15."
The boxer then nods, deciding that the way she simplified it for herself left the spirit of his advice more or less intact. "That is right. That is perfect. I'm already proud of you, you've kept going even after everything you've endured- and that says enough about your resolve. You can do this." He gives her a somewhat goofy thumbs-up over the camera. "Hang up... again? I see.." He nods and smiles, having made a realization. "Make sure to hang up and try again if stuff gets too hard, yeah? That's uh- that's a metaphor, by the way. Give yourself some breathing room if you feel the pressure building."
Steve clarifies his point, in case the message wouldn't have gotten across. "Enjoy the food, I've kept you away from it long enough. Hope you have a good day at school-- Though I might be asleep when you get back. I'll *yawn* I'll make sure to call you after I wake up though. Laters!"
The englishman waves goodbye, giving her a few seconds if she had anything more to add, before closing the connection. Breathing out a deep, deep sigh of relief and a satisfied smile. He felt like he did some good, and he feels tiredness set in- Finally grabbing his glass of water before returning to bed.
And finally, for the first time in a good while, Steve sleeps. Steve sleeps until well into the afternoon.
An afternoon in which he finally grits his teeth, picks up the phone, and rings the number the Illustrious demon Queen gave him.
Log created on 09:45:34 06/15/2021 by Mitsuru, and last modified on 20:46:30 06/17/2021.