NFG Season One - Right as Rain

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Description: In the aftermath of a disastrous hospital visit, Chevy had started to give chase to a retreating Junko. After a few small steps, she'd realized that the true remedy might just be a little time alone with her thoughts. But only a little though: to Chevy, the prison of a restless mind is bleak and oppressive. There's only one way to let those trapped thoughts out -- calling a friend. Or, in this case, her very own sponsor.

Ariastra still isn't in the best mood to meet anyone. She has taken that little girl's dead pretty hard. She knows she's not presentable to anyone. But her favorite, Chevy, requested a meeting. She is still a sponsor, and she meant what she said when she said she would always be there for them. So it felt wrong to go back on her words.

So now after agreeing to a time and place for Training, Ariastra is getting ready. She puts on black pants with her red top. She had to stop with the black. Maybe it will help her mood.

After some time getting ready, she teleports herself to a quiet spot in the Park, before going to the agreed meeting point. She is proud of Chevy, all she managed to accomplish, and finishing number one before the start of the tournament. The fight with Braun was pretty close, but in Ariastra's mind, it was a plus for her, not a minus. She looks around and then settles, waiting quietly for Chevy to be there.

While she has a little time to think, she wonders if she failed them. She hasn't been as around as she would have liked, but things happen. Not much gets easier as the years go on.

Chevy doesn't know what it's like to be thousands of years old. She hasn't even made it to twenty, and even then, she feels like her life has already ended.

It'd be a gross understatement to simply suggest that the visit to the hospital did not go well. To the hayseed, it felt as if every time she had opened her mouth, the situation had gotten worse -- no good deed remained unpunished. The only saving grace is that, despite Junko's dire warnings, the hospital did not in fact melt down into a twisted assemblage of steel girders, stones, and the corpses of hundreds of innocent people. Junko did, in fact, keep control of her emotions -- perhaps not to as high a standard as, say, Chevy's own, but certainly enough to keep the body count at zero.

Chevelle has a number of ways to deal with the turmoil in her head. The one she'd prefer to rely on is... well, working on cars. But even if the latest additions to her pet project weren't back home in North Carolina, she'd have trouble focusing on them now considering who had gotten into her head the -most- at the hospital.

So, training it is! The hayseed had swung back to the Thunderdome just long enough to change into a pair of denim shortalls and a white t-shirt, and pick up a few things. And then it was right back to Marble Lake for some dedicated waterbending exercises.

Decked out in shortalls, she's been out upon the marble platforms. She had tried, at one point, to sit in a lotus stance. But that just ended up hurting the Southerner's legs, so now she's kind of just sitting with her lower legs draped off the edge of one of the lower platforms. Her concentration is focused on... keeping a spinning ball of water levitated in front of her.

Practicing in public was something she'd avoided at first, but with her growing public media presence, she's started to see the public as a form of ... accountability, a way to keep herself honest. Indeed -- there's a small group of park visitors that has taken to watch the NFG fighter as she maneuvers the orb of water around her -- 'playing' with it, but not really.

As soon as she sees Ariastra, she smiles.
She lowers the orb.
Freezes it into a flat panel of ice.
And uses it as a step...
By which to vault back to the shoreline nearest her sponsor.
The panel of ice falls into the water beneath her with a splash.

"Hi, Ariastra-sensei. Thanks for comin' out all this way..."

Can her teacher teleport? Yes. But Chevy has -no- idea how much effort that takes, so she gives a proper bow and thanks her anyway.

"I know we ain't had a chance to catch up lately, an' I'm sorry about that." She smiles faintly -- it's been no secret that the hayseed has been busy.

The short hospital visit got to Ariastra. Knowing Coco, she can imagine it didn't go too well. But the woman is still alive, and the hospital still standing, so it didn't go the worse it could have gone. She doesn't plan to ask Chevy, however. It's something that will come on her own during Training if she wishes to.

She knows how far along Chevy got, yet she's still so proud when she sees what she can do. "There you are. You've gotten Amazing compared to when we first met. It knew the potential you had, but you made all of it possible on your own. I am proud of you." She at least had to get that out of the way.

It's no problem, I said I would be there for you, even after NFG is done. I know I haven't been super present lately, but I meant that." She seems pretty normal, except for her eyes, which show pain in there, among all the other things that are usually there.

"So is there something you can I could specifically help you with, or did you want to talk and fight? Or just fight, perhaps? Tell me what you need, and we will make it happen. I would love to see you win this tournament." She gives a smile to Chevy, and she means it. It just doesn't reach her eyes fully.

It's... a little hard for Chevy to meet Ariastra's gaze directly; she keeps looking down, doubting herself. Especially in the face of such warm praise for her abilities. It's a stark contrast with the judgmental tone the elder had demonstrated in their last encounter -- even if that tone wasn't levied at her, of course.

She lifts her eyes to address Ariastra -- but only for a moment, before looking down at her feet.

"Mm. I... I don't know if I want to fight right now."

She smiles, though. And wiggles her fingers, slightly.

"When I got to talk with Hazuki-sensei, he... suggested that I ought to be able to make water come out of the air itself. And... I think I knew that all along, kinda, but..."

She laces her fingers together, lifting her eyes back up to meet Ariastra's. Talking about her fight seems to make things easier for her -- it's not as heavy a subject.

"Well, I mean, I -did- that in my fight against Braun, right there at the end. I made a big ol' tidal wave sprout out of nothin'." She laughs faintly. "It was pretty cool, right? And it was just what I needed to happen. But I ain't been able to do it since."

She gestures back towards the raised platforms. Rested alongside one of the columns are her buckets and pole.

"I don't even know how I do some of the stuff I do. Is... is that normal? Should I be... should I be worried 'bout that?"

Ariastra listens to Chevy. It was easier to be nice right now, as Coco seems great at bringing the worse out of someone, especially when things already suck.

"Then we don't have to fight. We will see what we can do." She nods her head and keeps listening.

"Your fight with Braun was really something." She admits. "Why don't you tell me things you had during your fight which you didn't have since then? Let's see if you can figure it out."

She listens to Chevy's concern as well and then asks her another question. "Do you know everything you use perfectly? Do you know how to build your own shower to make one? Do you know everything little working of your body like a doctor? It's okay to not know everything, Chevy. There are two things you need to know. How to control it so if you want a drop of water, you don't make an ocean. Also, another type of control, making it happen here when you want it to happen. So what you need to know is how to use it, but you don't need to know every single thing about it to use. Just like your body, just like any tool you might use. Nothing is stopping you from diving in to learn more, but you don't have to worry. Water is part of you."

She takes a moment and then adds. "I know why I am immortal, but I don't know how it works exactly in the finer details. We can't know everything."

"Hmm, yeah... that sounds like a good idea..."

She taps her chin. Her brow creases as she runs back through the fight. There were so -many- things that she'd done in that fight to try and claw the lead back from that fierce fighter -- but all of it seemed... 'normal' to her. Rote, mechanical, just applied faster.

"... It's really just that whole 'water comes outta thin air' bit, really. Everythin' else is either somethin' I practiced, or two things I practiced separately mashed together into one."

She grins. "I mean, I can turn the air into frost, just by thinkin' about bein' cold. I can -see- frost and I can -feel- frost, and I can squish it and it makes that cool little crunchin' sound. So I got no problems -visualizing- it."

She splays out her left hand, waving her right hand towards it like she were doing a magic trick. "So I ought to be able to make water happen, since I use it all the time. But it just don't happen."

The query, though, has her a little perplexed at first. When Ariastra asks if she knows everything perfectly, she raises an eyebrow. When asked if she knows how to build a shower, her answer is immediate:

"Yeah, I do...?"

But when Ariastra leads into talking about the body, and -not- knowing anything, she realizes she answered a rhetorical question, and frowns in embarasssment.

Talking is still the girl's problem of the week, in a way.

"Well, sensei, I... it ain't like I'm tryin' to figure out how hydrogen an' oxygen bolt together. I don't need to think real hard about gettin' water through the pipes, I just know I can hook the hose here and it happens. ... It's just that I'm used to just thinkin', like, 'Hey, water, move this way. Hey, frost would be real nice right now.' But when I go 'Hey, water would be real nice right now,' ain't nothin' happens unless I'm a hair's breadth from losin' my shot at the en-eff-gee finals."

She listens to Chevy. She enjoys how she is. It makes her smile again and more genuinely so than before. She nods her head. "Ok not exactly what I mean. Would you say you had an adrenaline high when you were close to losing? Were you hurting? Pain and Adrenaline are two big energy providers. Right now, it sounds like summoning water takes more energy for you. That's my take on it. Or it comes when you are really in trouble. Which we could test right now, though it wouldn't be pleasant." She chuckles a bit.

She lets Chevy think a moment about what she said then she adds. "Does any of it connect with you? Do you think it is the answer?"

She does laugh when Chevy says she can build a shower. She can't help it, but that's because answering the question is cute. "You don't need to know everything about something to use it, but nothing is stopping you from going deeper into yourself to figure it out. There is no shame in asking for help either, like what you are doing. Just make sure who you ask has your best interest in mind and not theirs.

"Adrenaline high," repeats Chevelle, turning the word over in her head. "I mean, -yeah-, I was pretty much riding one all fight -- but in the back of my head I'd had to keep tellin' myself to pace through it. If I reacted with my gut, started gettin' desperate, it felt like that was counter to the water wanted to act. It'd take too much energy."

She hooks her thumbs near the hips of her shortalls as she thinks. "... Pain, maybe. But I don't..."

She thinks back to the bleeding. And remembers how much it had helped her -focus- against Zarine.

And yet... when she thinks about fighting, there has been one constant in her life. One target. And every time she thinks about her, the tears threaten to come back.

She shakes her head, dismissing her internal train of thought as she avoids Ariastra's gaze.

"... I don't -wanna- fight right now. I wanna work on my water-bendin' skills."

She frowns. And wraps a hand around her forearm as she realizes how she might be acting out a little bit.

"I'm sorry. I just..." She gestures to the lake. "It's when I have plenty of water around, I just use that. There ain't normally -reason- to churn out a lake or a tidal wave in the middle of a fight."

She pauses for a moment. Then adds: "People could get hurt."

She listens, after all, it wasn't to find Chevy's answer for her. It was to guide her so she would find the answer herself. It's much easier to remember and to understand when you figure it out yourself. That's what Ariastra thinks.

She listens as she admits pain could be it, yet not.

There is a moment of Silence, and Ariastra does not push for any more words. She waits for Chevy to be ready.

When she talks again. "Yeah, no fighting. I was thinking of threatening your life see how your waters would react then. But, probably not the right time either, to be fair.

"What happened between Junko and Coco..." She says after Chevy admits people could get hurt. "Probably doesn't help you. But I am guessing you think about that a lot? You don't want to hurt anyone. Could it be it? You didn't hold yourself back during the fight with Braun. For a moment, you forgot, and you simply were able to summon water out of nowhere.

A moment a silence before she adds. "Maybe you feel guilty now? So deep inside, you're holding back. You're not allowing yourself to summon another wave like you did. Maybe you even think. 'What if I lose control? What if I do what she did?' She stares at Chevy "Do you think the water could take over you and make you do things you don't want?" Trying to go to the root of the problem.

Chevy's eyes widen a bit, as Ariastra considers threatening her life with the same sort of tone as aerobics or breathing exercises.

"... yeah." She tries to smile, but it's not convincing.

And then Ariastra brings up the elephant in the immediate vicinity. Chevelle turns away, looking towards her pipe and buckets. Listening to the water burbling through its myriad of streams and flows.

Recentering the conversation on Braun helps, of course. She nods in reply. "It was a long shot ... but it was the only thing I coulda done that woulda evened the match out. And right after it was all done, the... the water vanished, an'... I didn't even realize till after."

Does she feel -guilty- though?

Junko has a god of fire living within her.
Chevy doesn't have a god of water living within her.
"No, I don't think that."

She keeps looking away.

"... Why's she on our team, Ariastra-sensei? She don't even wanna be here."

She realizes the... discomfort she might bring. "It's ok Chevy. I understand." She says no more about that.

You didn't think at that time anyone could get hurt. It looks like nothing was holding you back. Whereas now, there is." She nods her head.

"Ok, we're getting somewhere. She cracks her knuckles. Not to fight, just because she needs to crack them, and the next question, which is deep one, from Chevy, "If she wouldn't be with us, she would be with someone else. Before I continue on this, tell me Chevy, who can she consider a friend in NFG besides you?" She awaits an answer patiently, letting Chevy think about it if she needs to, before she answers. She takes the time to look around a bit, taking in the people around going about their business in the park.

The bystanders that had been watching Chevy had left a little while ago, disappointed that they weren't seeing anything bright and shiny. Chevelle is... glad for that, as it means the pressure to perform -- the pressure to be a 'good' girl -- is gone.

"Well, that's another thing, the en-eff-gee ain't really the place for her, then, is it? She done took out Coco, she's way more powerful than any of us, an' she's scared that she can send people to the morgue instead of the hospital..."

She shakes her head, closing her eyes. She draws in her breath -- and just from -thinking- about Junko, a chill breeze kicks up around her.

"I don't know. People ain't exactly been beatin' down our doors to visit her."

She turns to face Ariastra with a slight frown. "... Why?"

She has ideas, of course. But her past two experiences with Ariastra have involved wicked streaks. And she'd rather not tempt fate.

She gives her attention back to Chevy. "She's free to leave anytime she wishes. There is no one in Team Thunder keeping her prisoner. Now, if someone brings to my attention someone is forcing her to be here against her will, then I am willing to look deeper into the situation."

She then listens to the conversation, Chevy confirming it's not like she has a ton of friends. "With all the trouble happening, can you imagine her anywhere else? Would you like her with Team Metal at Ultratech? Would you want her in Blaze or in Frost? If she was elsewhere, she wouldn't have you. You would have only the outside perspective of all that has happened. She might not be fighting for NFG, but she is here, and the only fight is with Thunder so that she doesn't get abused or pushed further on the destruction part. At least in Thunder, we have sponsors that cover a whole spectrum. Now, as good as the other teams are, she wouldn't fit. This is my take on it."

After a little pause, "She is in Thunder because NFG wasn't the right place for her. But if she has to here, Thunder is the best we could give her." She then adds. "If you do not feel the same, be sure to speak your mind and explain why."

Chevy is... uncharacteristically silent as she stares back at Ariastra. Her gaze falters, drooping away for a moment.

She's -not- being kept prisoner. She's in the finals tournament now -- and she has the weight of expectation on her shoulders. But it's true, isn't it? She -could- leave whenever she likes.

Except, well... Honor. It's one of those Japanese concepts that she hasn't fully understood yet.

Chevy pivots away as Ariastra starts counting off the reasons for her to stay in Thunder. Reasons that the hayseed already knows. Reasons that she can understand and appreciate. And reasons that, unfortunately, cause her frown to grow larger in degrees.

"She's in Thunder because y'all can take responsibility for her in ways other sponsors cain't. Or won't."

Chevy turns back to address Ariastra, with that frown still on her face.

"Mr Abigail said some very mean things about you, and the NFG. And... as much as I've been stickin' up for Team Thunder -- 'cause, to be real, it -is- a great team -- I ain't got no way to justify -me- bein' the one that has to stick up for everythin' what goes wrong under our roof."

She glances down at her feet. "I'm just some dumb hick girl. If I'd had a lick of sense about PR I wouldn't need some hotshot from Metro City to do it for me."

"I thought you would ask why we ended up taking Junko over Tamaki. Everyone from Team Thunder coming back in except her." She chuckles. "It proves I don't know everything. Or you didn't know how to ask." She smiles

"Yes, you're not wrong about that." She waits though, because there is something wrong, something else weighing on Chevy, she can tell.

There, it comes out. "I don't care what people say about me. The question would be, why doesn't Coco want to be healed? It would have corrected something that shouldn't have happened. But it's hard to play the victim if you're no longer one. Coco is happy when she is the bully, but someone took her down and doesn't fit her image, so she needs that pity party." She shrugs her shoulders. "That's not to say what happened is good, and I am happy it happened... though..." She doesn't finish that.

"Why do you have to defend us? Because you're the face of Thunder. You care so much that you tried to make Junko apologize. She even went along with it." She sighs. "There's a difference between defending something you believe in and putting yourself out there. That's why you still need a PR for yourself." She touches Chevy's shoulder. "You're also not dumb. Never say that again. Intelligence comes in many forms and from many backgrounds." She squeezes that shoulder and then pulls her hand back.

"With that said, if you ever are too tired, just tell them to call me. I would tell you to tell them to fuck off, but you wouldn't do it. So give them my number, and I will listen to their crying about team thunder and how I am a horrible woman while they praise a horrible young woman." She shrugs again. "The truth is often deformed by our perspective and memories."

Chevy laughs nervously. Asking why Junko was picked -in place- of Tamaki sure was a question she'd had at one point -- but it's been weeks since then, and Tamaki seems to have gone her own way in the weeks that followed.

"... I think Coco's just angry. I mean, she's graspin' at straws, thinkin' we want to kill her. And I cain't blame her for -thinking- that, considerin'..."

Considering everything else that was said.
She doesn't finish that thought, either.

"I guess..." She knows that she -has- taken an active role in being the 'face' of Team Thunder. It's a duty Chevy didn't particularly -want-, really, but it's easier when she knows the story that the team is sticking with. Right now, she doesn't -- not about Junko, and even -less- about Hated R.

Her expression does soften, though, when Ariastra squeezes her shoulder. She looks back to Ariastra with a grateful smile.

"Thanks. I think I needed to hear that."
Being called 'dumb' was one barb that would usually stick.

She does, however, stay firm on one point, drawing in her breath.

"Coco ain't horrible."

She looks down at her clasped hand.

"She's -confused-, I think."

She frowns as the word 'deformed' is used. Is that... what Coco would look like, beneath her bandages? Deformed?

"All I know is... I cain't do much anythin' with all this hangin' over me. You said it takes a lot of energy to make a big wave. And I'm done tapped out on that, right now."

She doesn't press the matter on Tamaki vs Junko as Chevy did not. This is for Chevy, after all, not to explain things that will not help her or aren't on her mind.

"I would agree, Coco is angry. We might disagree on why though." She chuckles. "Coco is Coco in the end. You're all developing to be who you really are. There is a reason why everyone in Team Thunder is there. I think the whole NFG displays that pretty well. Now, we just need to see how this story ends..." She ponders. "Do you want to tell me considering what? You can share as little or as much as you wish about it." She waits to see if Chevy wants to share more about this before she continues. "If dumb is a sort of weak point of yours, refrain from calling yourself that. Next time you want to call yourself dumb, I want you to think of a time or something that makes you feel smart and then say it, if not out loud, at least in your mind. Our minds can be the worst enemy. It's something you don't need. Know your limits, but do not be nasty to yourself. You will meet enough people who will be for you."

"I don't know what else to say about Coco. It will not help you further. I respect how you view her, and she's no longer an official threat in the tournament, so...."

"I said it might be an option. Another option is you might be so worried about hurting people you're holding yourself back, even if subconsciously. If that's the case. Holding yourself back until it comes out again, might not be the best way to have control over it. If you learn to do it when you want to do it, then you already have more control. Just some things to think about. Nothing I say is the ultimate truth. You take the pieces that resonate with you, and you use them to better

Chevy lets a sigh escape her. "Well, I ain't tryin' to dredge anythin up, but." She clears her throat before continuing. "... Just considerin' neither she nor you were happy when I got to the room, and you looked like you had sparks flyin' from your hands. To say nothin' of Junko admittin' that she sometimes -liked- makin' people hurt, and she said she'd like to turn Coco into ash."

She stuffs her hands in her pockets. "So she's seein' me from that same cloth, on -top- of thinkin' I'm tryin' to steal her man."

She looks down, when pressed to refrain from calling herself dumb. "I... I'll think about it." It sounds so easy. But when Chevy keeps stumbling into situations that make her -feel- dumb, and then people actually -call- her that... it's hard to avoid getting dragged along for the ride.

As for her own techniques, well.

"... Well, yeah, that's why I'm here, sensei. Since that waterfall, I been -tryin'- to get that practice in. To work it like a muscle so I can control it when I need to. But with everythin' goin' on..."

She lets out a sigh.

"I know you're awful busy. But .. can you just... -try- to talk with Junko? I done screwed up talkin' with her. I cain't imagine what's goin' on in her head right now. But that's..."

She offers a brief smile.

"I feel like if she's squared away... maybe I'd be able to quit frettin' and work through this. Yeah?"

"We're just talking, not going to teleport angrily to anyone." She smiles "I didn't want to come heal Coco, but I did, and she didn't want to be healed. Then she said something and... I can get angry, and Coco made me want to do her bad things, I admit." She listens to what she says about Junko. "Well, now that's a whole other thing. It's complicated.

She seems to ponder a moment. "Coco is full of shit, and someone would also need to tell her. But it probably would do nothing. Getting burnt did nothing to make her rethink some things. At least it doesn't show as much. If it's just confusion, she is mighty confused."

"Try. Hurting yourself mentally does nothing good for you. It's hard but think of it like it's another type of training. The you at the beginning is quite different from the you now fighting-wise. You needed the time. Take the time for that too. At least after the tournament is done if you can't before. Yeah? Mental health is important."

"As for your water, maybe you're working the wrong muscle. It's not that you can't do it. It's that you're so worried you will hurt someone that you don't want to do it. There are many blockages. It might help to go back to basics. Just summon a sphere of water. If you can do that, do something bigger and bigger. See what the blockage, whichever it may be, will let you do." She smiles. "I would love to tell you what to do exactly with clear comments of several steps you would just have to follow. But I don't have the magic answer.

She ponders a moment at the request following after this. "I could try to talk to her, but I am not her favorite person nor her favorite sponsor by a long shot. I tried something with her, and I became the sponsor of what not to do. But I can try talking with her. If I make her explode, it's not like it will be the end." She looks down a bit. "Also just to be clear, it's not that I was that busy, but lately I didn't really want to see anybody. A little girl I did visit often lost her fight against cancer. I thought she would win. There are deaths I take very badly like that one. But I still want to be there for all of you. She brings her head back up.

We're just talking, she says. That's... why Chevy's been in a mood the past few hours -- just from talking.

Miss Beaumont gives a faint smile, as Ariastra -- unlike Coco -- shows she's able to admit the anger had shown.

"I did tell her," admits Chevy. "I tried my best to put on the best face I could. But even then, uh." She shrugs her shoulders slightly. "It's hard to help other people when I'm still workin' on 'me', I suppose."

And working on herself also means not ragging on herself for her perceived failures. That gets Chevy rubbing the back of her head. "Y-yeah. I'm gonna take a lil' vacation after this season's over. Step back... maybe work a soup kitchen back home, tool around on cars. Really give myself some time to think."

It doesn't seem like Chevy has much to say about the proposed course of action. She's tried going 'back to basics' in some regards -- the sphere she had when Ariastra showed herself was one example of that. But... perhaps attacking it in a different way would be good...

"... Oh. Well... If you can talk with her, I know she'd appreciate it." She pauses. "Eventually." She smiles. "She can be a bit tough to work with, I know."

But... when it comes to the admission from Ariastra, Chevy starts to frown again. She steps forward -- and rests a hand on Ariastra's shoulder.

"I'm so sorry... I... I know it's hard. But there warn't anythin' you could do, right...?"

The extents of Ariastra's healing powers elude her. She can heal anything, can't she? But if she couldn't, or in a more grand sense, -wouldn't-, then the pieces make sense together.

Chevy thinks that maybe Ariastra shouldn't take it out on Coco. But this isn't the time to be passing down judgment.

"... Huh, maybe it's just that I'm goin' about it wrong. Like... maybe I just need to think of some other way to make water pop out of the sky. Frost is easy. Maybe it's just like..."

Chevy gets a far off look in her eye, as she finds a cloud in the distance.

And then the air around her starts to grow cooler. More humid.

She nibbles on her lip, in thought. "Maybe...?"

Ariastra at the moment just hope there is something good for Chevy to take from this. Even just one thing would be good. She does want to help her.

In the end, Chevy, you can do the best you can in a given situation, but the other person must be ready to take it. What you have control over is you. I am sure you did your best with Coco and the whole mess that happened in that hospital room." She decides to give a pat on her shoulder this time.

"It sounds good to take a vacation for yourself. Doing great means more pressure also. Those who are already out don't need to think about winning or losing their next match. It can be a blessing in a way. Life is complicated like that. Just remember you're worth taking time for yourself, Chevy.

She lets Chevy think about the statement, allowing the silence to stay a bit before continuing. %R
"I will try to see. I won't force like like a hammer, but will try to see her."

She sighs. How can she explain this? "People need to die. I can't heal them out. The nature of existence is life and death. I am against nature in the first place. I don't know how I can explain this in a way that will make sense. Cancer is horrible, but if she got taken, it's because she had to be taken. And I hate it. I hate it a lot because it makes me sound like I don't care. Just heal her that's what you do... It's just not that simple." Chevy could see it hurt her still. A flash over her eyes before she forces it away and forces the smile to come back.

"I am sure you will figure it out. You're a smart cookie Chevy. The first place in the regular season, you've earned it. It's not some dumb luck." She then watches Chevy as she feels the air growing colder, not trying to disturb her.

Chevy's already taken away several things from the conversation. The biggest of which -- is the poignant reminder that she's not just one person standing out amidst a sea of selfishness -- but one member of a -team- that seems to be having collective struggles. She always strives to do her best -- something that she finds herself smiling at, when Ariastra mentions it -- but it's hard to see the results of that, sometimes. The fact that Ariastra acknowledged that, well -- that counts for a lot.

"Oh... I know. That's why I warn't rushin' back to the Thunderdome straight away. I needed to take my time, sort my head out." She grins faintly -- a semblance of her usual cheery disposition.

"I'll be alright, I think. Just needed to talk things out instead of livin' in my own head. I really appreciate the help, sensei."

It's rough. She can... tell that there's something going on in Ariastra's view. She'd push for an explanation -- but the elder's hesitation is all she needs to know. There's some reason she -won't- heal, and... it's just the way of things. "Mm... well. You don't need to explain it to me. I'm just... sorry it happened. It's..." She gives a faint chuckle. "What you have control over is you, right?"

Chevy smiles warmly, as the cooling air trembles. "I'll get it."

Two pitter-patter sounds hit the pavement by her feet, dark circles spreading upon the surface. Before long... the droplets are joined in a chorus of falling rain.

"I'll be right as rain before long," smiles Chevy, her auburn hair growing damp. Maybe... she just needed a way to win her confidence back.

She again can give a genuine smile to Chevy. Her youth, her desire to know herself, and her struggles. It's something nice to see, for the most part. She also knows when all is said and done, Chevy will be fine. She's stronger than she realizes, and not only in fighting.

You're smart. Some people would just lock themselves in their room, even when it's not what they need. Hell, I can even fall into that trap."

She continues. "I am here for you. I can't always promise I will give you what you want, but I will give you what you need as best as I can. I am happy you asked for us to meet." She means it too.

She simply nods at first. "You just need to know for as much of a gift immortally is, and probably looks like from the outside, it's even more of a curse. I can say five thousand years is not enough to learn and understand everything, nor is it enough to be perfect in anything. So if you have a bit of trouble with certain things with the little time you've been alive, it's ok. You're not bad for it." She winks. "But yes, in the end, what you have control over is you. You can't control how someone will react to things, but you control how you react to their reactions and so forth."

She nods her head, "You will get it, and if it's not today, then you do it tomorrow, and if it's not tomorrow, the next day. It's ok. It will come when it comes.

She smiles as the rain falls, and she lets it wet her hair and clothes. "You're already a champion Chevy. Give it your all and whatever happens, you can be proud of yourself. I am. More than you can imagine. And even if you don't see me during your matches, I know, I see. You are one-of-a-kind Chevy, and you're perfectly fine as you are. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow yourself to learn. Do the best life for you to be happy, and no matter what, you will be a winner. Your life is yours. No one should control it for you. Your happiness matters. Find people you can share your happiness with, people who will elevate you and go up with you. Not people that will suck your happiness and bring you down to their level." She takes a deep breath. "And you can't save everyone. If you're trying to help someone and you're about to destroy yourself in the process because they are not ready for your help, then let go and save yourself. Don't think about one life you failed by not falling with them. Think of the future lives you will save because you will still be there to help them."

She takes another deep breath. "Oof, that was an earful. I will shut up now, but all those tidbits might help you one day."

She looks up at the sky drops falling directly on her face. "Is there anything else Chevy, or for now, you will be alright?"

Chevy had considered locking herself in her room. But... then she wouldn't get the peace she needed without blaring -some- sort of loud music, which would inevitably disrupt someone or other. Practicing out at the park... that's an isolation of a different kind entirely. Out in the open -- with a quiet yellow imp to watch at a distance.

And eventually, she'd seen that ... isolation wasn't the solution. That she might need someone to help her talk through her thoughts, to act as a sounding board, to provide evergreen wisdom. Ariastra checked every one of those boxes -- and Chevy can't help but share an honest smile.

"Thank you sensei. This means so much to me."

The rain continues to fall. The urge to collect it is growing -- to wrap it into a sphere, to put the advice into practice right then and there. But Chevy doesn't really -mind- the raindrops weighing her hair down, turning it from a bright auburn to a dense brownish-red, dripping down her freckled cheeks. She just... rolls with it, enjoying the cooling moisture. Smiling, as bystanders take notice of the two ladies getting soaked in the middle of a sparsely-clouded autumn day.

Though -- she coughs out a laugh as Ariastra mentions that it was an earful.

"... It was a lot to take in, yeah." She doubts she'll remember -all- of the advice given -- it's like trying to remember -all- fortune cookie wisdom pinned to her corkboard back home.

"But I'll definitely remember that last bit. I have been... a bit pushy, in helping. I guess."

Abigail's phrasing was different: He thought she was smarter than that. But maybe that was the general idea.

Chevy shakes her head slowly, as the raindrops start to taper off.

"I'm great, now. Just gonna take things easy... and try not to worry -too- much about my fight with Iris comin' up."

She steps forward -- and if Ariastra allows it, she'd sweep the elder into a hug.

"Thank you -so- much, sensei."

She smiles, knowing just how smart Chevy is, even if it's hard for Chevy to see it at times. "You're welcome. You will always be important to me." She doesn't say like family, but it's how she feels. Of course, Chevy already has a family. They all do. Ariastra does not, so some people become family in her mind, for a while.

She enjoys the rain as well. Many things can be really painful, but getting wet from the rain is just natural. It's nice, it's cools the body and mind.

SHe smiles more when Chevy starts laughing. "It's ok, one day you might be doing something and suddenly. 'Oh, Ariastra said something about that.'" She ends up laughing too, and then gets serious. "Yeah, you need to think of yourself. It's not selfish to not destroy yourself to help someone. It's self-preservation. Some people do not want the help, at least not to help themselves in the process. So you have to think of yourself." She nods her head.

"In my opinion, you are better than Iris. If you keep your head leveled, you will win this. But if she ends up winning, it will still be a great run you had. Celebrate your wins and your losses. It's common to learn more from losses.

When Chevy steps forward, Ariastra allows the hug, and she pats her back. "Thank you for choosing Team Thunder. I certainly never had any regrets in putting my faith in you. You made me really proud and you keep doing so."

"Thank you, Chevy, it's people like you that help me going on when immortality becomes a bit too much." She ends up kissing the side of her head, going on her tippy toes. As Chevy has a few inches over her. The kiss is not one of a lover but one of a sister or such. Though it might be again Ariastra going against a boundary and making things weird.

"You got this Chevy. I will now let you go back to your training. One way or another, I will see your match." She lets go of the hug, assuming Chevy does the same.

Log created on 09:28:15 11/12/2023 by Chevy, and last modified on 04:48:14 11/13/2023.