NFG Season One - Love and Thunder

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Description: Following the beach cleanup, Chevy and Ichika have a long walk back to the hotel. They discuss the various day's dramas, what might have been, and what might yet be to come.

Chevelle Beaumont can be a fairly productive worker, if she's kept separate from other people, or if she's allowed to blast her eardrums out with classic rock. The beach cleanup effort had an abundance of people, so it wasn't until she'd remembered to pop in her earbuds that Chevy got any work done at all. Only then was she able to move past the commotion and confusion and push through to do her work -- allowing her to pick up about two big garbage bags full of assorted detritus from Daybreak Beach.

Now though? After collecting goodie bags from Lucky Chloe's people, there's the matter of an awkward walk back to the hotel. There's just enough time to make it back before the sky turns the color of Pepto-Bismol -- but only if the Team Thunder members walk at a decent pace. So if Chevy is a little insistent, that's why.

Surely, that's not the -only- reason why.

Chevy flashes a half-smile Ichika's way as she gestures for Ichika to pick up the pace. "C'mon, c'mon... I'd challenge you to a race but I think my legs would fall off..." The taller of the two has already taken the spear point off of her pole, making it a considerably less lethal item to have rocking about on her left shoulder. Perhaps more surprising is that her hat hasn't fallen off.

Ichika had done her best. She always does. And the cleanup... well, it hadn't been a total disaster. Maybe it would have developed into one if Kenzo hadn't been there to restore sanity, but as it was the girl was spared an embarrassing loss or an even more embarrassing win, and she'd even gotten to hang out with Tamaki. Even if the pair hadn't exactly hit it off. Unsurprisingly, the girl is lost in thought as she walks back to the hotel with Chevy. She had at least remembered to take a selfie along with the bags that she had filled and send it to her parents, as she had promised Chevy she would.

> Ichika: Big day cleaning up the beach! Local community will be able to enjoy it again soon!
> Mother: Sound Beach is nicer.

Well. Maybe that would just take time to fix.

"It was a very busy day." She says, as she works to keep up with Chevy. Ichika has an uncanny amount of energy, but... Chevy has much longer legs. It definitely goes in the older girl's favour. "Sorry that you got sucked into my problems again, Chevy. It wasn't my intention, and yet it keeps happening. I suppose everything worked out in the end, though. Maybe they'll get more out of the beach than they would have the soup kitchen anyway. Nature is an important thing."

"... your problems?" echoes Chevy, arching an eyebrow. That would be the only interruption, though, as the redhead nods along. "Well, I think both are great efforts! That's what counts, I would think..."

As she walks, she drums her fingers along her staff, to the beat of the last song she'd listened to. "Your problems," she echoes again, with a little laugh. "You talk about 'your problems' and yet you're over here with like two, three -times- what I hauled in..." With a faint smile, Chevy looks ahead to the distance, scanning the road ahead. As the older and supposedly 'wiser' of the two, she's cautious to keep a lookout for any threats in the area. Anyone who might look to harm the pair. Like had happened to--

The downturn in her mood happens over the course of a couple seconds; a frown that seems to pull her entire face down with it. "Mm. I'm sorry for that back there, Ichika. Was rude of me. You were doin' what you thought was right."

Ichika doesn't seem too concerned about walking through Sunshine any more; even with the sun going down. It might be arrogance or recklessness, but people have been much less inclined to cause her trouble since she started dressing like this. The outfit screams that she can take care of herself; makes the sword seem more reasonable, somehow. When she'd worn her uniform or the kimono, people had treated it more like an accessory. But the leather jacket and combat boots seem to do a good job making sure most casual muggers think she's likely more trouble than she's worth.

And they're not wrong.

"Oh, the community work was... fine. You just had more important things to deal with." She says, "I meant that I'm sorry you got caught in the middle between Fadel-san and I."

She sighs heavily, looking down at the floor with a deep frown.

"She resents me." She says, "She already tried to drag you in when you fought her. Then she hunted me down in the city to tell me to my face how weak she considers me to be. Then, all of this, today. I just want to be done with her. It is exhausting."

Contrary to Ichika's appearance, the redheaded hayseed likely sticks out like a sore thumb. It's probably for the better that the two are walking together -- a metal pole and a sword are hardly trivial matters for a would-be attacker to surmount.

Chevy steers closer to Ichika, sweeping her arm around her shoulders for a side hug. The height differential makes for some awkward walking though, so it's just momentary.

"... Aww heck, I didn't know about that..." She considers that for a few moments as she walks. An idea strikes her; there's a moment in which her eyes light up with some thought. But she holds that thought in place, firming up her grip on the pole.

"With all that history, though... I'm sorry if my walkin' off with Djamila made you sad, Ichika." Her voice stays low and soft. "I seen people get hurt real bad at my job. Head injuries ain't no joke. But that's how Djamila was playin' it off. To look tough."

She offers a faint frown, looking over. "I wanted to stick with you and Tamaki. Actually have a good time together. But sometimes, you know..."

Ichika is getting used to the hugs. Honestly, it's more physical contact than she's had on a regular basis from anyone since she moved into the Justice dorms and it is reassuring, if unusual. She appreciates that Chevy really seems to care for her, and she nods along with the explanation - of course her friend wouldn't know about that. She hadn't exactly been eager to get drawn into it. It was her problem - her teenage drama - she would sort it out herself.

Only. She hadn't. She'd ignored it and then it blew up, again. Such is the way of things.

"Not at all." She says with a little laugh, "Honestly. That didn't upset me at all. You were doing the right thing. I don't hate Fadel-san and I don't want her to get hurt. I hate how she treats me. That's, different."

Her jaw tightens and there is some tension there, something that she hasn't quite been able to work out ever since her first bout with the poledancer and all of this began.

"I admire her strength. The things she has had to endure and the lengths she has had to go through just to survive are things I don't know I could have done. But she looks at me, and all she sees is an arrogant little girl. Just as Maclanky-kun doesn't see me. She sees her idea of me, and then gets upset when I refuse to accept it. I will make her acknowledge me. One way, or another."

And then she sighs, runs her hand through her hair.

"But I can't do that if she dies. So. Thank you for taking care of her."

It's been a big day. There's been times that Chevy would be totally happy just... burying her problems, and walking away. But something her mother had told her early on was: Don't go to bed with a head full of problems.

Chevy smiles, as Ichika laughs off her suggestion. Doing the right thing is something she prides herself on -- and knowing that Ichika saw the wisdom of the gesture is comforting to her. "Okay, yeah... I'm glad." Not for the hatred, but the other stuff. Naturally!

It's not hard for Chevy to tell that there's more coming -- thoughts that need explanation. And after one quick scan of the path ahead, she focuses the bulk of her attention upon Ichika. Reading every nuance of her frustration that she can.

"Of course! And ... I kinda feel the same way -- I 'ppreciate what she's been through. I think she's a good rival for both of us, honestly." She gives a little laugh. "But what was that you said? That if you, uh... challenged her, messed with her a little, maybe she'd cheer up?"

Chevy slips over and gives Ichika a friendly hip-check. Breaking into one of her full-on grins, she asks, "What if she were just tryin' to do that to you?"

Ichika shrugs her shoulder with the bump, "I don't think that's it." She says, honestly. "We discusssed it at length. She was, very clear. She believes that I am held back by my attitude and that I will not improve until I change my entire outlook." There's a shrug from the girl, "I refuse. The path I walk is my own, and I am not Fadel-san. Nor do I think that she is so far beyond me that her insight is greater than my own."

It's clear from the way she talks that Ichika has thought about this a great deal. She's accepted advice from many people; the vast majority of the ones who had offered it, in fact! But what Djamila wanted from her was so fundamentally counter to who she was as a person that it is unacceptable. And unnecessary. She's already improved a great deal from where she was when they fought the first time; she would show that when they next fought, whenever that might be.

"I meant it, though. Whatever was causing her such distress, I'm sure that the answer will be found by moving forward. Finding her strength again. I hope that she can do so sooner rather than later."

Chevy arches an eyebrow as she hears about this discussion with Fanel-san. "Hmm," she begins with a nod. It's... not far off from what Djamila had told Chevy during their fight.

"Well, I mean, we -know- what was causing her distress now, so." She offers a bittersweet smile. "I'm sure she'll be in fighting shape before long."

Chevy isn't really sure she believes what she just said -- but it's a hope that she wants to be true. Defeating the Team Metal fighter just happens to be a goal that both she and Ichika can strive for. Chevy doesn't wish ill upon anyone with their heart in the right place.

"I think it's just... different, though." Chevy keeps her eyes on the horizon, her fingers starting to tap out a beat on the pole once more. "Everyone's a little different. I mean, you solve problems through study and research -- find the best way, choose that, kick everythin' else to the wayside. Me? I just go with whatever, well, -feels- right."

Chevy steps to the side, maneuvering around a small gap in the sidewalk that looks like it would've been a pain to accidentally walk through. "I really think she's just... sayin' what worked for her, like it's gospel. I honestly don't think there *is* such a thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to fight philosophy, y'know?"

Ichika nods her head firmly in agreement with her friend on that last point. The most important one in her mind.

"Exactly." She says, "I wouldn't ever say that my way of doing things is superior to yours, Chevy. Or even to hers. It is just MY way. We all walk the Warrior's Road, but the path that takes us, the answers to the questions it gives us? These are things that are different for everyone."

She comes to the road then, and stops to allow traffic to continue. The rush of vehicles gives her a moment to think, and she purses her lips thoughtfully.

"That's, actually a big part of what I strive for." She says, turning to face the redhead more fully. "People so often aren't seen. I believe everyone should be acknowledged for who they are. Whether that is as part of the Super Elite, or a simple worker. We all deserve respect for the role we play and the different ways we play it. It is when people feel disrespected, as Fadel-san feels disrespected by me and I by her, that we have the worst trouble."

Chevy stops and observes Ichika as they come to a stop for traffic. "Sure. That's kinda how I see it too!" The day may have been weighing heavily on her before, but just a short while with her friend seems to have brought the smile back to her face. If the farm worker had taken any particular slight at the 'simple worker' comment, it doesn't seem to show.

"I mean, heck, you warn't even sayin' much rude to her, and she came at'cha with both barrels." Chevy blinks, and then realizes that may need a bit of translation. "She was a lot ruder to you, that's all I'm sayin'." She laughs at herself for a moment.

The traffic eases up, and Chevy begins to walk across the street. "You really think it'll get better if you manage to beat her, though?"

Ichika does look a little baffled about the 'barrels' comment. Barrels... hadn't been involved, had they? She doesn't even remember seeing pieces of barrels on the beach, though it is possible she just missed them. The amount of trash was so varied and, frankly, bizarre. But then Chevy clarifies and she nods her head with an 'Aaaah'. Okay. That made a lot more sense.

And it does her good to hear that as well. She had, of course, been frankly *much* worse at their last meeting. But she'd done so deliberately, made herself do it in fact, as a response to the rudeness that had been levelled at her. She seems much mroe relaxed as the pace picks up.

"I don't know." She admits, "It isn't about strength, really. I could win and she could still resent me, or I could lose and still prove my point. I just need to fight well enough to make her acknowledge my path as valid. I can only show her my Truth, and hope that she accepts it."

"Yeah, that sounds like a good plan." Chevy smiles. This is the Ichika she's most familiar with. The Ichika on the beach, for that -one- challenging moment, sounds so distant and far away now. An aberration on an otherwise spotless record. For Chevy wants to see the good in everyone -- regardless of whatever dark truths may lie beneath the surface.

"I'm sure she will. Maybe y'all just got off to a bad start, y'know? Same with, er... Greene-san, right?" She smiles, walking away from the slowly setting sun. "Hah. Can you just -imagine- Buck and Tamaki working with those two? Gosh." She laughs. "We really lucked out, I think. Team Metal is just so dang -intense-."

"Mm... I don't, have any problem with Greene-san, and I don't think she has a problem with me." Ichika says, mulling it over. "She's a better fighter than I am at the moment, but she respected my skill and I think we both know that when we clash again, it could go either way. Fadel-san is the only other competitor who has repeatedly told me that I *can't* beat her."

The stress on the word 'can't' is very important there. It is a fact that Ichika has lost to many people; but there's nobody else in the New Fighting Generation that she feels she can't beat if she continues to improve.

She does smile, though. "I agree that we are on the best team." She says, "I was, worried, that I might not live up to their expectations. I still am in some ways. But, I feel like we all make each other better. I hope that the others feel the same way about their teammates. But I don't know if I would have come half as far so quickly if it was anyone but you, Buck and Tamaki walking alongside me."

"Yeah. 'Can't' is the rudest lil' word here." Chevy looks down the sidewalk for a moment, then comes back shortly with: "I *can't*, as in, *can't wait* to see you mop the floor with her."

And yes -- Chevy definitely feels like Team Thunder is the home for her. She nods in commisseration: "Definitely. We're all pretty easy to get along with, and our senseis have been amazing. I can't imagine havin' drill instructors like Metal has to put up with. I... I would've been okay with Frost, an' callin Abigail 'sensei,' but I don't know if he'd've had as much material for *you* to work with..."

"Ah, well... the truth is, I had hoped that I might have been picked for Metal." Ichika admits - something that, now she thinks about it, she doesn't believe she's shared with any of her teammates. Or her tutors, for that matter. "I think it worked out for the best!" She clarifies, very quickly, "But I met Panesh-san before the draft and she... helped me a lot." There's a faint, nervous laugh from her as she thinks back to that time. She really had been in a bad and frightening place then. She's already come so far! Hard to believe it had only been a few weeks really.

"That's why it hurt so badly when she made her pitch to Buck. But. We came to an understanding. I think you'd get on better with her than you'd expect to be honest. She cares. And if you watch any of her fights, its easy to see how... dogged, she is. Fadel-san is in good -- company."

She coughs, to try and cover the hesitation, and then carries on. "Frost... I think it would have been Dickinson-san that I would have relied on. He seemed as though he was level-headed. The woman frightened me and Abigail-san is... ah, as you say, maybe not..."

Blaze, of course, isn't even worth considering. What WOULD she have done if she'd been forced onto their team? That was a horrifying prospect.

Chevy's eyes widen as she turns to face Ichika. "Huh, really?" It's news to Chevy, that's for sure. The redhead was a bundle of nerves for the whole draft pick meeting, so looking around at -everyone- for -every- pick was just not something she was equipped for. She seems relieved when Ichika delivers her clarification. "Oh good.." But one thing she -hadn't- been aware of was the mini-Marine's own fight history. ".. Huh. I had no idea anyone on that team could fight. They didn't even seem into it."

Chevy jostles her treat bag, peering inside it for a moment. The t-shirt's cool... and the headset seems like it might be more comfy than the earbuds for long-term listening. "Maybe I'll check out some of their fights later, " she muses. "I am glad you did get to catch up though. I don't think I'd be able to back you up much if you started calling -her- out." She grins playfully.

Frost, though, and Abigail in particular... "Oh, yeah, he has a funny way of talkin' bout stuff. We'd get along like peanut butter an' jelly. I doubt it'd work so smoothly with that Dickinson guy. He made a solid case, but." Chevy smiles. "I'm happiest here, I'll second ya."

A car with a particularly noisy exhaust putters past. Chevy wrinkles her nose in dismay.

"... oh!" Chevy laughs at her own outburst. "I stopped at Team Blaze's dojo a few days ago, did I tell you?"

"Oh. I'm going to fight her."

Ichika says this as though it isn't completely insane. But she'd made her mind up on it a long time ago. At their first meeting, in fact! Then, she had thought that she would wait a lot longer. But with every interaction that followed since she had brought that challenge forward in her mind. For different reasons each time, but now? She's resolved to it.

"Probably after the tournament at the end of the Project." She says, "If it wasn't for her, I would likely have given up. She deserves to see what I have learned because of her. And I want to see whether I can deal with her gauntlets. None of the other competitors have anything like it. It'll be an exciting match! Even if I am not likely to win."

She blinks a couple of times when Chevy makes her own shocking revelation, though. For a moment, she has to wonder whether she has misheard her - maybe that exhaust is playing tricks on her? But, no. She's... she's pretty sure she heard correctly.


Chevy flashes a competitive grin. She knows Mint has robotic hands. She's just... never seen the really -big- hands, so she's thinking, 'Oh, good, this is a friendly challenge for my friend' and not 'My friend could get seriously hurt by those slabs of metal!' ... Which is probably for the better.

"Oh! Well... yeah. That's one thing I love about this league... mostly, we're all in it for the educational experience..."

It's Chevy's turn to see Ichika's look of surprise, soon enough! Scratching at her cheek, she nods back: "Oh, yeah! I... well, you know Hawksley, right? He'd said he wanted to learn how to cook, so I brought some of my cookware over. We... baked an apple stack cake! I'd never made one before." Chevy's cheeks start to darken red for a moment, as she lets that thought linger for a moment...

"Oh! And also some chicken-fried steak and pimento cheese grits." She snickers, a moment after that. "Coco was there for a lil' bit. But I didn't run into any of their crazy mentors, thank goodness."

Ichika should have guessed, really. Chevy's love of food and her good nature are both things she knows well. And as clueless as Ichika can be about some things at times... even she's not so dense she doesn't pick up on the subtext, here. Though, the longer she stares at the redhead, the more she wonders if *she* is picking up on her own subtext.

"Yes, that's good. I don't know that I'd trust any of them to react reasonably if they caught you there." She says, not that she really knows any of them but... Zog seemed congenitally incapable of being reasonable at all, and the others - well, she has her reasons to distrust them.

As the pair pick up the pace again, only a couple of moments go by before she has to ask the obvious question:

"You really like Moore-san, don't you Chevy?"

Before Chevy had gone, she had felt similarly to Ichika; the dojo was enemy territory in the clearest sense. But after seeing how lax, well, -everything- was over there, she doesn't seem all that concerned. With a slight catch in her breath, she answers, "Well, I mean, Hawksley *invited* me, so I'm sure he would'a stuck up for me. And Zog would probably just, like, demand some of that steak or something, I'unno."

She trails off for a moment, lost in musing the various things that -could- have happened, now that Ichika's gone and set her mind down that particular path. What -would- have happened, if that loudmouth Mitsuru had appeared? Or Yuri Sakazaki? Or that... other guy, Gouki or Akuma or whatnot...

"It was good to run into Iris today, at least..."

But then.
The fifty-megaton question.
She nearly skips a step.
It could've been a bump in the sidewalk, really.

The red stain floods back into Chevy's cheeks as she looks forward. One foot in front of the other. "I... I mean, he's *nice* to me, a-and..." She purses her lips in thought, tilting her head to one side.

She sees a perfume ad, on one of the billboards ahead... and lets out a little sigh. Turning back to Ichika with restored composure, she asks: "Why, does it *look* like I like him?"


Ichika probably doesn't mean to be so heartlessly blunt in her appraisal but - there it is. Her honesty doesn't allow her to lie to her friend to spare her blushes, but more to the point... she doesn't see it as a bad thing, necessarily. He wasn't the kind of person that Ichika had any interest in whatsoever, but she didn't think he was *bad*. He'd been polite and kind enough from what she'd seen... excepting that one unfortunate incident where he seemed liable to start a brawl with John Doe's entourage.

Now John Doe. There's a man who is out of everyone's league.

"You should probably say something to him." She continues, "I mean... I'm, about as far from an expert in this as it is possible to be, but I think a lot of people like Moore-san. Probably, even more will as the competition continues. So, just in terms of probability... it makes sense to act sooner rather than later, right? Though I suppose it could make it awkward if you have to fight each other later."

Chevy looks forward again, if only to look out for more uneven segments of sidewalk. "Mm... that's true, I mean..." She scratches at the side of her cheek. "I'm... If it were -before- the draft, I'd have said 'Yes, absolutely, you're right...'"

The redhead fusses with her hat for a moment, lost in thought. "Oh. And yeah, that might be awkward. He said he'd have no qualms 'bout punchin' me in the face." She snickers once -- and then breaks out into a full-on laugh. "I guess that's what I'll have to wait for, yeah? See if I still feel the same for him afterwards."

After catching her breath, she lets out a big sigh. "Okay, here's the deal. I've been in a relationship before. Two, really. And yeah, that first one I was -shy- and didn't -say- nothin', had to win his heart an' all that."

Turning askance to Ichika, she adds, "But this feels... different. Like, he reminds me of my *Paw*. It hits different this time. And I wanna be sure I see him for who *he* is, rather than..." She grimaces to some extent. "... It's a weird place."

She looks to the ground in front of her. Coughing up another laugh, she adds, "I think I'd *rather* get punched in the face, tell the truth."

Oh no.

The more Chevy talks, the more Ichika realises that this is a lot more serious than just liking him. There's real feelings here. Big, complicated, messy ones that she is in no way qualified to talk about. But the younger teenager can also see that this is causing her friend some real discomfort. She wants to help! But... how?! The only experience she has with romance is, well, nothing.


Ichika flounders. Which in itself is unusual, but the girl does eventually find some way through. At least, she thinks so.

"... maybe ask him to spar?"

And then she laughs, and shakes her head, "It's, not that I think fighting is the answer to all of life's problems. But, who knows how long it could be until you fight him otherwise? And it IS the clearest way I've found to get to know people. Maybe, that will give you some answers, and you can decide afterwards if you..."

And here, her voice drops to a whisper, and she looks around to make sure nobody else is listening in before she says the scandalous words:

"... want to ask him on a *date*."

Chevy finds Ichika's reactions interesting, if her grin is any indication. Knowing what she knows about Ichika, she can understand the discomfort the Justice High schoolgirl might have in trying to give romantic advice to someone like her. And yet -- she's still glad to be in the conversation. To still be seen, as Ichika mentioned herself.

"Spar?" Chevy coughs out another laugh. "Even if visiting the Blaze dojo didn't get me noticed, I'm pretty sure havin' a throwdown there would..."

Though, as she draws to a stop at the curb for another street, she finds herself giving the seemingly-dismissed suggestion another thought -- which might be obvious as the freckles on her cheeks are underlaid by another tinge of red.

Not that she'd admit it right away. She leans closer, giving Ichika a teasing grin: "Are you -sure- you don't see fighting as the answer to all of life's problems? -Really- sure?"

Breathing a sigh, she adds afterwards. "Eh, heck. It's worth a shot, right? Who knows who they'll even be pairing us up with next time..."

She smiles, warmly, as she rises back to her usual height. "But don't worry. I give you my word. I won't move to Team Blaze, no matter what. You're stuck with me, like it or not!"

The question draws a faint blush over Ichika's cheeks - not quite enough to match Chevy's of course, but... it's a fair question! It does seem like a surprising amount of the time, 'Let's just go and hit them' does seem like the answer to the problem at hand. "I mean... not EVERY problem." She says, "Just... most of them."

The grin shows that the girl is happy to take the joke on herself. She's aware of how one-track-mind she has been lately; it has in fact started to be a bit of a problem. Her regular schoolwork just isn't as interesting any more, and when she's not paying attention, her mind does have a tendency to drift back to the questions raised by her fights. But she's still keeping up. For now. And, she tells herself, she does KNOW she needs to be able to do more than swing a sword.

"Oh, I never doubted that." Ichika says, seriously. "Moore-san is, fine, but I would be willing to bet anything that one day with Tokugawa-chan's training and you'd be running back at top speed. I'm more worried that he might start coming and crashing with us!"

A little laugh, about the joke that... isn't really a joke.

What would the NFG even think if they did start intermingling the teams more regularly? There wasn't any rule against it that she'd seen but... she doubted it was really in the spirit of things. Ah well. That'd be a problem for the organisers to sort out.

Chevy can't help but grin at that. There was a time that Chevy would be more nervous about making such jokes at the highschooler's expense. But now she finds herself barely able to resist the urge to ruffle her hair. It'd be a perfect time to -- and with any of the kids back home, she probably -would-. But Ichika's exposure with some of the great fighters of the world seems to be accelerating her growth to such a rapid degree, she really finds it hard to believe that this is actually the same young woman she sparred with, seemingly so long ago.

Particularly so when the sword-wielding prodigy slings a comment like -that- back at her. Instantly her cheeks turn a bright red.

And at almost the same moment, the traffic lights change colors as well, halting the side street traffic.

Gulping in a breath, Chevy nods, rocking back on her heels. "Okay, I -think- you're safe there." Beat. "No promises though."

She starts to make her way across the street, that pleasantly-surprised grin still on her face. "Speaking of eligible men on Team Blaze, uh... did you happen to see where Brian Storm had gotten off to? After that gravestone done blew up, I kinda lost track..."

Ichika really has come a long, long way. After labouring under the expectations of other for so long, making the decision to seize what she wanted and pursue it as hard as she can has seen the girl flourish. The outfit helps too. It is amazing how much less like a child she feels when she's not wearing a literal school uniform, or a garment - no matter how nice - that her mother literally picked out for her. She had help crafting this look, yes, but it was also *her* look. Just like her path is her path. She's coming into her own...

... maybe it is understandable that it is upsetting her parents to have to see all that from such a long distance.

She laughs at the 'no promises', shaking her head as they cross the street. "He... was doing something with the kids at the boardwalk." She says, vaguely. "I think he might have got distracted by them. I'm pretty sure one of them was throwing bullet casings at the others." She huffs, "I don't know. He probably caused more mess than he cleaned!"

"... Oh geez." Chevy just shakes her head at the kids. "There's so many people there I would've loved to spend more time talkin' with. I used to watch rasslin' all the time whenever it was on, so... yeah, that's typical Brian Storm for ya." She breaks into soft laughter as signs for the team's hotel come into view.

"It was *huge* back home, rasslin' was. One reason I tended to prefer throwin' people rather than just whackin' 'em with sticks. That stuff -hurts-." She rubs her temple from where Djamila had clocked her in their one and only fight.

"... It can be a bit silly though. I don't really see it as fightin', all that much." She laughs, glancing over to her friend. "What about you? What do you like to do when you're -not- poring over fights? I coulda sworn I heard some Babymetal comin' from your room the other night..."

Ichika's cheeks pinken all over again at the accusation about her musical tastes. "Ah, yes..." She says, "Metal is my favourite, but I love a lot of music. I play the piano, and... of course there's Go. Music is the best, though. Especially loud music. It..." And again, confessing something she's never told another person before. She's never had someone she COULD tell any of this to before; her parents wouldn't understand, and her dormmates just found it a nuisance.

"If I crank up the volume, it helps quiet all the thoughts in my head. It makes it easier to focus on just the important ones. So, when I'm studying really hard, I plug in my headphones and really go as loud as I can. Which... is probably what you heard..."

Headphones loud enough to be heard through the hotel wall?! Those must be some really serious kit!

"You should be careful talking about wrestling like that, though. I hear Zangief takes it personally when people say it is fake. He might piledrive you!"

"Piano!" Chevy's eyes widen for a moment. "That's impressive! I can't play much'a anythin'. I always play easy mode in rhythm games, I suck pretty bad at 'em. Only one I was anywhere near decent with was bass guitar. Wow, though, piano..."

She purses her lips for a moment. "Piano and -metal-. Now there's a tonal shift!" She laughs. "Me, I'm... kinda all over the place. Folks back home listen to country all the time -- I'm -fine- with it, but it's not really my thing. Classic rock, though..."

She trails off, when she realizes Ichika has a revelation on the way. And to that: she grins.

"... Oh, I can't do that for studyin'. The words get jumbled up with whatever I'm tryin' to remember." Here, though, she points at Ichika: "But when it comes to gettin' long and tedious work done, I -gotta- have some music playin'. So I'm with you there."

The accusation that she wouldn't take wrestling seriously, though -- that has Chevy raising a hand to her chest. "Oh, no, don't get me wrong! I -love- wrestling! And I'd love to be up against a real star like Zangief for all the ten seconds before I'm out!" With a more serious expression, she shakes her head. "But ... watching it on TV is -totally- an act. The moves are real -- you can't do 'em without the training -- but the scripting is like... all on its own." Laughing, she adds, "You can't find acting like that -anywhere- else."

She thumps her fingers on the pole, as the hotel looms large before them. "But yeah... Go. That's the game where you put the stones on the lines instead of the squares, right?" Chevy grins. "I know you're gonna be busy catchin' up on schoolwork tonight... but you wanna teach me to play sometime?"

Ichika is almost sad that the hotel is coming up, now. But. She has so much homework to do. And between the work at the beach and the walk back from it, she is tired. Even her boundless energy has its limits - and the prospect of another four hours of work before she lets herself sleep is a dire one. She can do it, though. She can push through. She just needs to remember what all this is about!

"I'll have to play you something some time." She says, "It's... just memorisation, really. It is relaxing. Like a kata, in some ways." And then she's opening the door to the hotel, holding it open for Chevy. "And I'd be delighted. It's a simple game! But impossible to master. I think you'll like it a lot. So much of Go is... intuition."

"Memorization..." There's a brief chuckle there, as Chevy graciously steps through the open door. "It'd probably take me a -long- time to get good on that. But... hm. Like a kata, huh? Maybe if I take it nice and slow..."

As she enters the hotel, now... Chevy comes to a very different realization. The two have spent most of the day working -- and Ichika's about to get locked in her room for hours on schoolwork.

"Mm. Intuition. I like the sound of -that- though," she notes with a bit more of a smile. "Though I'm gonna 'intuit' that we're fixin' to get -real- hungry, since the only thing I've had for hours has been water and that one smoothie." Chevy pops out her phone, flipping through entries in her phone book. "And I -really- don't feel like goin' out again."

She turns back to Ichika with a big sisterly smile. "So... dinner's on me. What're you in the mood for?"

Log created on 06:28:34 07/11/2023 by Ichika, and last modified on 09:26:02 07/12/2023.