Fire and Ice

Kyouko and Jadeite have a chat on the roof of the ECFH.

Date: 2018-11-14
Pose Count: 13
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-14 21:34:12 100339
    There's two things that Kyouko does rather a lot- work, and train. If you asked her why she didn't get a hobby, she'd tell you that fighting is her hobby. (She also reads tons of trashy shoujo manga, but she'd never admit it to a stranger). While she has weekly training sessions with Makoto at the gym, she does her daily routine on her own, very often on the roof of the ECFH in the open area of grass in the garden there. It's open, its private, and the view is hard to beat- even if it does get a little chilly at this time of year, 48 stories in the sky.

    That's what she's doing right now, as the sun drifts towards the horizon over Tokyo. Wearing a pair of black workout pants and a workout top that leaves her arms and shoulders bare, she has a pole which looks like it might have, at one point, been a curtain rod, but is a good approximation for the size and weight of a spear. She whirls it in complicated manuvers and spins, interspersing kicks and punches in a routine that is clearly set in some fashion.

    She's not in henshin, and not using any magic, and her sleeveless top leaves it hard to avoid noticing that Kyouko is kind of ripped, at least in the back/upper arms area. That's what happens when you dedicate yourself to training without magic, as she's done for the past several years ever since she broke free of Beryl's control.

    She's by herself, though that isn't terribly unusual, and after a short series of strikes and forms that ends with her 'spear' spinning back onto her own shoulder, she relaxes, wiping short sweaty red hair from her forehead despite the chilly breeze blowing by, as she turns to the small table nearby where she has a water bottle sitting.
Jadeite 2018-11-14 21:50:46 100342
November is a cold season for most of the world, and Japan isn't any different. This is why most of the people visiting the ECFH have been avoiding the roof and the balcony and anywhere that exposed them to winds that were cold enough at street level, let alone 48 stories up. All over the city blankets are being piled out, heaters turned on, warmth coveted so the cold could be chased out.

That's why Jadeite heads for the roof: it's too darn in the main apartment and getting there in his own, because he's outnumbered as far as 'people who like the cold versus the heat' goes. He doesn't blame anyone - he runs ice cold in the summer, it's just fact that in the winter he craves more cold than the average person is willing to tolerate. With the sun going down but the sky still too bright for good stargazing, he genuinely expects to find himself alone.

Kyouko's bare shoulders and curtain-rod spear make it clear that that expectation? Was dead wrong.

"Oh," he says intelligently, and quickly puts together what's going on. "Is chilling up here going to distract you?"
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-14 22:15:40 100349
    Kyouko glances up a moment before Jadeite actually appears, while lifting the water bottle to take a swig, her heightened sense of presence alerting her to someone approaching. She doesn't seem particularly inclined to protest when that person turns out to be Jadeite, and she gives a lackadasical shrug when he asks if she would be bothered by his presence.

    "Nah. I'm pretty much done, anyway." She says, pulling the faux-spear off of her shoulder and propping it against the side of the table. Workout aside, she doesn't show much reaction to the cold. Truth be told, in many ways she is the opposite of Jadeite, as she generally runs hotter than average- a holdover from her Puella nature. Her breath steams in the chilly air.

    "Not that you being here would distract me even if I wasn't." She amends, as she shrugs, rolling her shoulders and taking another swig of water before putting the bottle back down. "What's up? I take it you weren't actually lookin' for me or I doubt you'd be so surprised to find me."
Jadeite 2018-11-14 22:23:50 100350
There's a quick nod as Kyouko dismisses the idea that he's interrupted, a bit of relief. He'd have been more than willing to head back in if his presence was going to bother her, but he's glad he doesn't have to: the cold winds are perfect as far as he's concerned, and his knee-length denim shorts and thin cotton shirt are making sure that he feels every bit.

The table, naturally, has a few seats around it, and once he's close enough he reaches out to one, pulling it out so that he can take a seat. He shrugs at her question, offering a grin that's almost sheepish. "I was just looking for a place to cool down. I didn't think I'd run into anyone else."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-14 22:29:54 100352
    Kyouko glances out over the city, the sun getting ever closer to the horizon, as a stiff chill wind blows across, ruffling her hair. It doesn't seem to bother her too much despite her rather lacking attire for such temperatures, though as she cools down further from the workout that opinion may change.

    When Jadeite finds a chair nearby and sits, she does likewise, dropping into one of the others at the table and shrugging her shoulders. "Not one for the 'warm and cozy' atmosphere, huh?" She asks, with a bit of a lopsided grin. "Can't say I am either, at least most of the time, but in this case I was just workin' out. Nice to have a spot to do it that's outside and doesn't have lots of people botherin' me.." She pauses, then adds, "Which you aren't doing, again. I was done anyhow."

    A brief smirk. "If you ever wanna join me though, I could always use a new sparring partner. Mako-chan is great, but you get complacent going up against the same people all the time."
Jadeite 2018-11-14 22:39:03 100355
"I like getting cozy as much as the next guy, but ice tends to do this melting thing, you know? But no one else is running around with ice in their veins, so I wasn't going to freeze anyone out just so I could be a little more comfortable." He's pretty sure Kyouko's fine, considering she's wearing about as much as he is and has been up here for longer, but he'll keep an eye out anyway, just to be sure. She's not henshined and the cold will only get worse; it's second nature to keep an eye out for others when the temperatures dip into his comfort zone. He's just about to apologize when she preempts him and he can only offer a faint laugh, "Okay, okay. I'll quit making like I'll apologize."

At the offer, he hums, considering it. "Sure, if you'd like. It wouldn't be a bad idea, especially since I haven't made training a top focus the last few weeks."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-14 22:44:13 100358
    Kyouko shrugs her shoulders again. "Most of the guys aren't really into the whole.. non-magical training thing, y'know? I mean, Kunzite does his running stuff with Naru and it's not like any of us are out of shape, but. Ever since I lost my magic a few years back, before that whole thing with Beryl, and realized how helpless I was without it and how much I hated that feeling, I've made it a point to make sure I can take care of myself both with it and without it."

    She grins again. "I don't know how much of a fighter you are, when magic is taken out of the equation. But my experience is bein' good at fighting without magic translates directly into being good at fighting with magic.. or at least, it helps. Then again, my magic tends to be very fighty in the first place.. dunno how well it translates to flinging icicles around and crap." She takes another sip of her water. "Anyway, it's not about what I'd like. I'll spar with people, or train on my own, whatever. But if it's something you'd like to do, I'm all for it. Just don't half-ass it with me, yeah?"
Jadeite 2018-11-14 23:02:33 100363
"It's a good idea to keep up with it though. I'm pretty sure the lot of us used to do it," he remembers enough of his old life to know he used to feel comfortable carrying around a sword, and that's definitely not something any magic of his would be able to fake or that any Kunzite he can imagine would let him carry around for no reason. And sure, he doesn't carry a sword around now, but knowing how to protct himself - and more importantly, everyone else - without his powers can't hurt. He's kept in shape and he does enough lugging sacks of clay to be decently strong on his own but it's not like he's going to throw bags of clay at someone if he ends up without his magic.

He's never seriously considered it before, but now - well. Maybe he should. You never knew what could end up happenng.

"I'm not too much of one, honestly," he admits easily, "It's usually my job to try and keep us out of a fight, and if that fails, throw something up to cover our buts. But you're not wrong - practicing with my aim could probably help me with my Frozen impression. And yeah, of course it's about what you like. You'll probably mop the floor with me if we go without magic; that'd be a learning experience for me but it might not do much for you."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-14 23:09:53 100365
    Kyouko shakes her head slightly. "It would, because we're a team, right?" She flashes that one-fanged grin again, lopsided and slightly self-deprecating. Even if it's been more than two years now since she made her Oath to Mamoru, she's still well aware she's the newbie of the group in the grand scheme of things. "Even if it doesn't increase my abilities physically, you getting better at fighting still benefits me, and it's still a good use of my time."

    A faint laugh. "I mean.. ya'll have skills I don't have. Talking to people, and being smart and organizing stuff and figuring stuff out and all kinds of other stuff. Fighting is pretty much all I do. It's my job to be the one who gets dirty when things need to get dirty. Helping everybody else keep up their physical skills seems like part of that role to me, even if its only through sparring matches. Can't pretend I'm really much of a teacher, but.. there's value in just throwing punches until you know what it feels like, if you follow me."

    She drinks from her water again, and then smiles a more genuine smile. "But it really is up to you. I don't wanna force nobody into anything."
Jadeite 2018-11-14 23:27:18 100370
There's a pause, as he takes in that self-deprecating grin, and considers words, expressions, and past experiences. This - the people thing - is, in fact, what he's best at, and he's considering the best way to approach and shore up that belief because of course they're a team. Bluntness tended to work with Kyouko, but mushiness was a hit or miss kind of thing, and he ddn't want to risk a miss. He waits until she's finished and flashed that more genuine smile to put his thoughts to words, starting with, "You've got that right. We are a team. I don't know if I've ever come out and said it, but we're a better team with you than we ever were without you."

It's a bold statement to make but this bit at least comes easily to him, because it's true. Kyouko would have never become one of them if her presence and spirit and Kyouko-ness didn't make them better, as a team, as guardians, and as people. "That's why I said that - it will help the team for me to get better, and it might be part of what you do for us, but I want to be sure it, you know, helps you at the personal level too. That sparring with you wouldn't just be me taking up some of your you time without giving you anything back." He leans back in his seat, glancing up at the streaks of color the setting sun is painting the sky with.

"And just in case that wasn't clear, that's a yes on wanting to spar with you."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-14 23:36:58 100372
    Kyouko has a lot of Kyouko-ness indeed, but she isn't so Kyouko that she doesn't blush just a little bit at Jadeite's frank words. She looks away, out over the city, and does her best to look unaffected, but she shrugs just a little bit and says, "It's good to hear you say that. I like to think it's true but.. I also think I ain't really been tested yet. Not as a Shitennou, I mean. Been tested plenty of times in my life, but not in how I work as part of this team."

    "Not," She adds hasily, looking back, "That I'm in any sort of hurry for that sort of test. But 'til it comes I'm always left wondering whether I'll be able to meet it. I think I will.. but hearing it helps, too." Another smile. "It does help. All practice helps. Just moving helps.. keeps the muscles trained and in shape. And I wasn't lyin' with what I said about helping the team get stronger helps me, too."

    And then she grins. "Well, alright then. Maybe eventually you can join Mako-chan and me at the gym, but I warn you.. she hits harder'n I do."
Jadeite 2018-11-15 00:05:09 100379
His voice is quieter when he responds to that, and perhaps all the more sincere for it. "If there's another test that does come along you'll pass it with flying colors. And even if you don't - we're the last people who'd judge you for that one."

There was an argument to be made that Beryl had been a test of sorts. That the entirety of that terrble time before the end had been a test.

And if it was, then he'd failed it.


He grimaced, then firmly shook that thought away - because the point was, even if he'd failed before, even if he'd failed terribly, he was still here. They all were and at this rate, they always would be.

"So if you find yourself wondering about it too much, think of that. Even if you mess up, we'll have your back, and we know you'd do the same."

And so help him, that's mushier beyond what he'd planned to be, so he cracks a grin and tosses seriousness aside. "As long as getting knocked on my butt counts as moving, I think I'll be good for the practice. But you're crazy if you think I'll offer myself up fora Mako-punch I haven't even earned."
Kyouko Sakura 2018-11-15 00:11:10 100381
    Kyouko doesn't blush at these reassurances, merely shaking her head in a fatalistic manner and offering another half-smile. "Well, like I said, it's nice to hear you say that but I'm the sorta gal that needs to see before she can believe.. but like I said, I ain't exactly in a hurry for that to actually happen. I'd rather live with mild insecurity than risk an apocalypse just to prove myself. I ain't quite that crazy."

    A stretch, arms over her head, before she stands up. "And I know nobody's perfect, and that includes all of us. But maybe by training my ass off, I can get a little closer to it." She grins back as he offers one to her. "It definitely counts. And I have to say, as someone who gets punched by Mako-chan all the time, at least in sparring matches.. it's surprisingly edifying. But I realize not everyone is as tough as I am." She winks, then turns to head towards the stairs. "I'm gonna go catch a shower. But thanks. And I'll look forward to seeing you for a workout next time, huh?"