763/Everything is Meh

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Everything is Meh
Date of Scene: 14 November 2023
Location: Sports Pavilion
Synopsis: Naru finds Takuto on the bleachers a day and a half after having his Pure Heart stolen.
Cast of Characters: Takuto Tsunashi, Naru Osaka

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
It's the first self defense class/Mahou Fite Club 'meeting' after the weekend, and usually Takuto is diligent (if silly most of the time), and then has fun sparring with whoever wants to spar, whether or not Wako is there. Today, he showed up late to the mundane half of the club day and sat on the bleachers, just far up enough that he can lean his head back against the flattened bleachers behind him.

He watches silently, not laughing or smiling, but not frowning either. Just sort of existing, looks like. And he's still like that for the magical half of the class, not moving from his spot. Just occasionally drinking from his can of coffee. Coffee where he normally drinks soda, too...

He looks tired, but he's still more or less paying attention to the fighting.

Naru Osaka has posed:
Mundane self defense class, Naru is pretty careful about attending every time that she can. She still can't really participate in the magical half, but periodically she comes back for it. Even if she's not really the target autdience, sometimes she even works on tactics with those with powers, and sometimes she just watches.

Today, she is trudging up the stairs to plunk herself down in the seat next to Takuto. She sits there a few moments in silence, drinking her coffee, watching the fighting with him.

"What happened?" Naru asks, simply enough.

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Riventon," Takuto answers without inflection. "One of those rifles of his. He escaped with it."

He's silent a little while longer. Then, quieter, "You didn't fail me, Tauburn. We'll just have to get gud."

Finally he actually turns his head-- rolls it, really-- to look at Naru. "He got away with my, my drive. My magic. Not all of it, or I wouldn't be able to hear Tauburn, but most of it. I can't remember who said it comes back..."

He looks out at the fighting again, falling silent. Then finally, "Maybe I dreamt it."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"I'm grateful that it's the new version, but sad that you got snagged by it." Naru is quiet a moment and then leans in to slide her free arm around him, squeezing.

"It's hard to implement the 'don't get shot' advice." Naru points out with a soft sigh. "You didn't dream it. I'm the one who got the intel that it comes back, but it's not fast. How fast depends on the person, probably on a whole lot of factors." She too is quiet a moment. "You're just the first I'm met who is actually testing that."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
Takuto leans into it a little, listening. Then there's a little ghost of a laugh. "Uncharted territory." His hair's going to have a flat spot in back at this rate. He lifts his head and sits up properly, finally, but immediately leans on his elbows. "Survey says: this is terrible, zero stars. Bad experience, bad customer service."

He doesn't shake Naru's arm off, he's just... sitting forward now, propping himself up. "It's like... It's like suddenly losing a foot or so of height, I guess. Abruptly so many things you're accustomed to being able to get at are... out of reach." Says the tall boy to the short girl.

"Or maybe like forgetting how to ride a bike when you're on one every day. Or forgetting how to read. For me, anyway. I've been doing this for almost three years now, and I won't be able to trust my reflexes even after I'm not exhausted." He rubs a hand down his face and sighs, then laughs. "Sorry I'm not in such a great mood today!"

Naru Osaka has posed:
Naru isn't in a rush to move her arm from where it's wrapped around him, at least as much as she can reach. Short girl. Tall boy.

I think it's a pretty normal and reasonable reaction to mourn what you've lost. Even if it's only temporarily, what used to feel natural and automatic, isn't there right now." She gives him a little squeeze. "You don't have to be in a great mood, considering the circumstances. You're allowed to be miserable about it all."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"You're also," Takuto says, glancing sidelong at Naru with a complicated expression that appears when the laughter falls away, "allowed to ask as many questions as you want. I know you're keeping track of this stuff. I mean." Then he adds with another laugh, "And thanks for the permission. I just like to try and avoid being a downer, you know? Dwelling on unhappy things never does any moods any good."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"You've answered a lot of them already." Naru points out as she gives him another squeeze. "A lot of my curiosity will be ongoing. How long does it take to start feeling normal again. Do things come back in little bits and pieces, like when you're waking up a sleeping limb, or all at once."

Naru's expression is rueful. "No. It doesn't, but at least with me.. you haven't hit dwelling yet. Granted, I'm not in your head, and I expect it feels like its all you thikn about in your own head."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"That's fair."

Takuto's quiet, listening; he's warm under Naru's arm, not any more tense than he has to be in order to sit the way he's sitting. His plurf of hair, messier than usual today, somehow indicates unpreparedness instead of an overabundance of energy.

He ends up explaining after an internal debate on the merits of telling Naru one of his secrets, and deciding that if he's debating it it means he wants to. "I'm really good at dismissing things that negatively impact my mood and energy level. I made a conscious effort to learn it and turn it into a habit, where I don't really even have to think about it. I can't push it away like that right now, even consciously, which meas for me it's definitely dwelling."

Little sigh-laugh. "I hate feeling like this. I used to feel like this all the time."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Ahh.. this one is a little bigger than the usual, I suspect." Naru's voice is understanding. "That is, for the record, a helluva trick. Kudos to you for putting in /that/ emotional work. That had to have been really challenging to learn."

"Was that why you trained yourself in the first place?" Naru asks, her voice gently curious. "Because you hated feeling like this?"

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Partly," admits Takuto, and he chuffs out a slightly better-sounding laugh. "It wasn't difficult to do, it was difficult to get it so it would stick. Then to turn it into habit. But that's any training, isn't it?"

He finally sits up, then takes a deep breath, then exhales it in a great big sigh. "And that's partly why I did it, yeah. The other part was..."

It takes Takuto a second to figure out how to put it. Then, "I had a friend who was really good at it, and he passed about three years ago. I wanted to live like that in his honor, too. And also to take great joy in finding and punching my father instead of being grim about it, you knoow?"

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Things are never.. okay rarely.. difficult to do once or twice. Habits?" Naru gives a short laugh. "Getting in the habit of going to the gym? Ugh. That one was brutal. I am not a natural born gym rat. So yeah.. habits are hard."

Naru lets her arm slide away as he sits up, letting him take that deep centering breath. "I'm sorry to hear about your friend." Her voice is quietly sincere. "That's a lovely honour to him." She smiles, a little softer than many of her sharp smiles. "To take everything that we live with, all of the challenges and the worry and the concerns and find the joy and the hope and the delight? That is hard. I try, I don't always succeed. It would be very very hard to have that taken away, even temporarily. I hope it passes quickly for you."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Thanks," Takuto says simply, for the condolences, and he gives her a little smile for the 'logely honour' comment. Then, still sitting up, he cracks his knuckles. And then he suddenly looks too tired to be sitting up, again, and leans back against the bleacher wall again.

To Naru's other condolences-- or well wishes, is a better term for it-- Takuto again says, "Thanks." Then, "I hope so too."

He's silent for a moment, and then he grins at Naru. "I did get to punch my dad. Twice. Once just me versus him on the boardwalk, and once when we were both piloting giant robots. Both times were great."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"You will probably also feel generally better once you get a bit more stamina back." Naru points out as she watches him get tired from sitting up. "Because you're not used to feeling drained all the time, and it sucks to get used to."

Naru can't help but laugh at the grin. "Did your father deserve punching?" Naru asks and then pauses and nods. "I think yes.. I think you've told me about this, or perhaps I'm misremembering. Either way, it sounds super cathartic." She lifts her face to the sky, clasping a hand to her chest in a classic melodrama pose. "I aspire to someday provide a really /good/ punch."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"Good! May it be with perfect timing at the exact right opportunity," says Takuto, mustering the effort to also make a fist and hold it briefly in the air before letting it drop. "And you're probably right about stamina," he says, dropped hand coming up to rest over his chest, where the X glows when he transforms.

"I should probably stop torturing myself by pretending I want to be awake, and just go back to my dorm," he finally says after regarding the fighting for another protracted moment. "I should probably asks Inai-sensei if I can get tomorrow off classes to just sleep."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"Sleep, protein, electrolytes." Naru offers her trifecta. "I sound like a ClockApp video for how often I repeat it, but that seems to be the trio that I have found to be the most effective. Weirdly, also good for building muscle, but I try not to read too much into that."

She considers a moment. "If you eat meat, I know the first time I got drained badly, I really wanted actual meat.. which is weird as a vegetarian. So I don't know if that is more effective or not. I am now just used to recovering on vegetarian sources, but I figured I'd at least note that in case it helps."

Takuto Tsunashi has posed:
"I think I'll be begging Wako to bring me some meat from the cafeteria, then," says Takuto, maybe a little wryly. "We are NOT telling Sugata. So when Sugata gets here and we introduce you, don't be like 'Ah! Sugata Shindo! Do you know that one time, a big jerk stole Takuto's drive and ran away with it?' because then I'll have to explain." A beat. "You'll like him, I think. But I don't think there are many people you truly don't like."

Naru Osaka has posed:
"If you're on campus, I can bring you some by, but I suspect Wako will want to fuss over you as well." Naru smiles fondly. "I will not tell Sugata.. you and Wako get to do that. I didn't realize he was coming. That's exciting for you guys!" She laughs softly. "I mean.. I might warn him that a big jerk /is/ out there looking to do some stealing, but I'll let you explain the state you're in at that point to him when he gets here."

Naru has to consider that. "There are absolutely people I enjoy the company of more than others.. but that's because I'm human.. and humans have preferences. I think it's pretty normal. There's very very few people that I think are not worthy of someone liking them, no." She thinks after a moment and then adds. "Rarely are those other teens, too."