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Date of Scene: 19 January 2021
Location: Ramen Empire
Synopsis: PANIC! The NLWF is leaving for Japan in an hour! Katsumi calls Nessa and finds herself at a crossroad with a very difficult choice to make.
Cast of Characters: Katsumi Oshiro, Nessa Donovan

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Yesterday was largely uneventful. Katsumi went a little stir-crazy in her room, but ordered out and tried to be a good girl. She had a plan, but she didn't want to do it alone. As optimistic as she's become about this situation, being unfamiliar with your own identity is scary. If she's going to break rules to understand what's happened to her, she wants an anchor. Someone who's been there.

But today, Katsumi got some information. It's a little after noon. And now, Nessa's phone is blowing up. First with text messages spamming her.

<I need to talk to you!>

<Something came up!>

<Can we talk?>

<I'm freaking out!>

And then her phone is ringing.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
When Nessa notes the messages and the sudden appearance of Katsumi's name on her caller ID, she picks up quickly. "Kat? Sorry, I was running some errands. What's the matter. Are you okay?" The concern is evident in her voice. /Especially/ because of the content of the messages.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"No!," immediately answers Katsumi. Concern is in Nessa's voice, and panic is in Katsumi's. The sound of traffic can be heard in the background.

"Sindie's GM said they not gonna sue, but the NLWF's leaving /today/ to get the Hell out of America! The plane's leaving in an /hour/!"

Katsumi is standing on the sidewalk, her luggage - modestly packed as it is - piled beside her feet.

"If I go back now, there's no chance I'm gonna figure this out! I don't know what'll happen to me! I might be going back just to get fired and completely alone! Japan's not like America, this weird s*** isn't common there! I can't throw a rock and hit someone with god**** superpowers there! I just- I don't know what to do!"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
There's a pause on the line where it's clear that Nessa's heart is dropping into her stomach.

"An hour?"

There's another long pause before Nessa speaks up again. "Okay, Katsumi, you need to breathe. Deep breaths, if you don't calm down it's just gonna make the situation worse." That and it's going to make her actually start to panic at this rate. "I told you we'd figure this out. Do you want to just fly back and see how it is and come back? They aren't going to /keep/ you there, are they?"

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"I- I don't know!," Katsumi sighs. "They might arrest me for being weird. Take me away to experiment on me. I don't know! No one could know! I'm used to people looking at me like a freak, but not they really, really have a reason to. And word might've gotten back. And scientists might be waiting. Nessa, I-," she cuts herself off. She's at a loss, and mentally flailing. But she's most assuredly not calming down.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"They don't know what's going on any more than you do. There's no /way/ they could figure it out," Nessa replies. "Plus you have rights. They can't just take you away against your will. And if they do try they're going to have hell to pay."

She's thinking fast. "Are you legitimately concerned that they'll hurt you over there? I think that's grounds for asylum. I think the US is supposed to allow you to stay if so. Isn't your friend a lawyer or something? She could probably tell you."

The gears are spinning and she's silent for half a second while she tries to formulate a plan. "Alright, so you have to choose now to stay or go. If you stay, you're probably not gonna have a job. If you go, you're risking whatever might happen there. Just know that I'm going to help you regardless of the choice, okay?"

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
There's a quiet sniff from Katsumi's line.

"I know. I know. If I don't go, I'm pretty much guaranteed to be fired. He was so sick of my crap to begin with, he might've fired me without even any of this happening! But now..." Katsumi leans back against the concrete wall bordering a bank. "If I do go, I'm not ready to get back in the ring yet. I might seriously hurt another person. And anyone who thinks there might be something weird with me could... nab me. Or someone who just hates mutants could decide to kill me." After a beat, Katsumi adds, "It's not like how it is in America. I've been plucked for bar fights in past trips. Things are.. uh.. not.. stacked great.. if you get arrested in Japan. For whatever. A-and if you do, that's the rest of your life. No one'll have anything to do with you. You're labeled forever."

She swallows hard.

"They stopped footing the bill for the hotel. I don't have anywhere to go here."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Bullshit you don't have anywhere to go."

While Nessa's listening to the stream of anxious words coming out of Katsumi's mouth, it's the last part that she fixates on. "Do you honestly think I'd let you be homeless and alone? You know me better than that. You /know/ me. If you stay, you've got a place to live. Even if my place isn't the /best/ in the world, there's room and it's safe and clean. You need some spending money? The diner I work for is always looking for waitresses. They'd hire you on my recommendation, no questions asked. Then at least you'd have a place to stay and a way to get money until we figure out what to do."

There's a long pause. "But you need to tell me if you're staying. You don't have much time left if you're leaving."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro startles at Nessa's sharp tone, eyes widening. Has she ever heard her talk that way before? How can someone who's been a fluffy bunny be stern? The idea of working at a diner makes her insides twist, but it's better than being destitute. She's sure she'd get paid for doing the show, though. Right? She lost so much work doing this angle for the federation, they /have/ to compensate her for lost earnings! She could've stayed home and wrestled and not become a magenta-eyed monster!

"I- ah-.. that-.."

Nessa's last imperative causes Katsumi to be entirely too quiet. The weight of the decision is crushing her into dust. There is no familiarity down either path. No future is guaranteed in either direction. Her stuff resides overseas. She has an apartment there. Here, she probably won't be dissected or disappeared for research or uprising risk prevention. Here, there's Nessa, and the chance to figure out what's wrong with her.

Her voice is a hoarse whisper, pinched in fear and anxiety: "I'll stay."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
It's not a tone Nessa takes with anyone she cares about very often. But in the moment, she's got to be the calm one and the secure anchor and pillar in the midst of a scary situation. So the tone is necessary. "Okay, good. So get and Uber and I'll give you an address and we're gonna go hang out and have noodles and work this through. Got it?"

While the concern is still in her tone, there's also a calmness there.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Okay.." It's not an eloquent response, but it's all Katsumi can work with yet. "Text me..?" She doesn't feel like tapping her phone to get an uber. There's a sea of yellow rooftops milling by her. Any one of them will do.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Of course. I'll see you soon, Kat."

With that, Nessa's hung up and texted the address. In the heart of Chinatown, Ramen Empire definitely doesn't look like it's a fantastic place on the outside. In fact, the inside looks a little well-worn and homemade. Which, of course, means the place probably has amazing food. Nessa's snagged a seat at one of the booths, a bottle of kiwi-strawberry Snapple already open in front of her that she sips on while she waits.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
It takes a little while, thanks to New York midday traffic and the general congestion of Chinatown. But the cab pulls over and Katsumi disembarks, retrieving her luggage. She takes a long look at the restaurant front, briefly questioning if it's the right place. She already feels like an idiot, wheeling her belongings around. But she makes her way inside, head ducked in embarrassment. Thankfully, Nessa isn't hiding herself particularly well. There's no bombastic greeting, no energetic smile. She just wheels her belongings along to the booth, prepared to either be intercepted, or to just sit across from her with her luggage inconveniently in the floor beside the table.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Naturally, when Kat does show up, Nessa's on her feet quickly. She moves to help with the luggage, shifting to roll it to a spot that's out of the way just enough so that the wait staff won't step on it. Once that's done, she moves to give Katsumi a bit of a sidehug before nudging her to the booth.

"Noodles are a good comfort food," she offers, resting her gloved hands on the table and scooting the Snapple in Kat's direction if she wants a drink.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro is oddly quiet through it all. The sidehug, the nudging, sitting, looking across at her. Her eyes lower to the Snapple. She lifts it to take a quick drink. She needed that. But it's set on the table again and slid over to Nessa. Her eyes raise once more to Nessa.

At last, she speaks! "I just lost everything, didn't I?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa shakes her head, then slides the Snapple back over. Now it's Kat's drink! She offers a smile, even if it's full of serious concern and not quite an overly happy excited one. "No, you didn't. You have your luggage, you have life, and you have the opportunity to figure what it is that is going on with you without feeling like an outcast in society. It means you've got to start some things fresh, but you aren't alone. You've got people who will help you."

She looks back over at Katsumi. "I know it's scary and I'm sure it'll take a while to adjust, but your life isn't over. It's just different. So take it one little bit at a time. Your next goal is to figure out what kind of ramen you want. You've only got four choices, so it should make it an easy decision."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro has fallen silent again, at least for a few seconds. Her eyes lower from Nessa's face to her hands, and before long, she's leaning over the table to try to take one of them into both gloved palms. She doesn't do anything with it other than holds it gently, letting that point of contact ground her. "Decide for me. Surprise me," she finally asks.

After a few seconds, she adds, "I'm not weak." An unprompted defense, but one she felt suddenly spurred to make. "I just.. nothing's been right since coming here. But you'll see." Her gaze suddenly lifts to Nessa's face, eyes widened. "Are you sure it's okay if I'm with you? I'll sleep on the floor, I don't wanna be a problem."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa lets her hand be taken, offering a small, reassuring squeeze. "I know you're not weak. No one said you were weak. You're one of the strongest people I know and that has nothing to do with your wrestling skills." As she studies Kat for a long moment, there's the tiniest hint of an amused smile as she listens.

"Kat, there's no need for you to sleep on the floor. I do have a couch. I've been told it's actually pretty comfy for sleeping on, too." She shakes her head. "You've never been a problem and I'd be honest with you if somehow this frustrated or inconvenienced me. It doesn't. I'm happy to have you with me. I'll worry less, honestly."

She tears her gaze away when the waitress comes by, turning her head to order. "A tonkotsu and a shoyu. And another kiwi-strawberry Snapple, please." Nessa waits for the order to go in before she looks to Kat again. "The surprise is... I'm still making you pick your ramen. You just only have two choices now."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro blinks at Nessa. "Jerk," she accuses. Her voice lacks its typical vibrance, but the mirth is there, at least. The hand is given a squeeze, and Katsumi turns her focus to the waitress. "Shoyu," she orders simply. The most classic sort of ramen. If this was meant to be comfort food, then she'll need familiar flavors.

As the waitress leave, Katsumi puts her focus back on Nessa. And then that focus drops down to Nessa's hand held in hers. One of those hands curls, gently scritching her fingertips along the back of Nessa's hand. It likely draws attention to the fact that Katsumi keeps her nails pretty neatly trimmed. There's likely an industry reason for that.

"Honest question. Do you think I'm making a mistake? And- and don't do that lame thing where you say only I can know that answer. I'm asking for your opinion..."

Nessa may as well sign the court documents now. That hand is officially annexed property of Katsumistan. She raises it gently, simply to knead it.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
If there's anything a diner cook knows, it's how important comfort foods are. So the choice of ramen is just as important. Nessa nods as the waitress leaves, then looks back to Katsumi. "You want an honest opinion from my point of view? Okay, let me lay out the facts then. First off, I can't tell you how safe it is in Japan if you went back right now. I can't tell you how safe it is for people who have any sort of weird powers. I've never /been/ to Japan, so I can't give you advice on the security of that there. I do know that wrestling is important to you and so that's a big blow to things. So for that, I feel bad for you and I think we need to find some way to get you into something here."

As Nessa glances at her hands, there's another smile. "I don't think you're making a mistake. I think you're making a really hard choice and I don't envy that. It's a lot of thinking about logistics and figuring out what will make you feel okay. If I was in your position and I'd already made my decision, I'd decide what I felt was most important to me and figure out how I can have that in my life now."

She offers Kat another smile. "If you think there's even the slightest chance of someone trying to whisk you off to a lab somewhere once you get back, I think it's worth staying. For your safety. You can get a new place to stay and a new job and so on, but you don't want to lose your freedom or your life."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Wres-," Katsumi almost answers immediately. But she's paused as Nessa continues. Hesitantly, she nods and lowers the captive hand to the table again. Not that it's going free, it's just not being held aloft.

She needs to think about something else for a little bit, to try to look on the bright side. She has Nessa. She has a plan. Sort've. She has a place to stay, and she still has some money to live on. Life isn't over yet. She can afford to breathe. And if there are any merciful gods out there, they'll let her boss cool down and understand why she needed a little more time. Though technically this might make her a fugitive, overstaying her visa. She isn't sure. It's never been an issue before.

No. No thinking about that.

Clearing her throat softly, Katsumi lifts her gaze to Nessa's face again. "So.. rooming with you. You've gotta let me cook for ya. It's step one in my seduction plan." Which is also my plan to not be stuck on the couch."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
There's a bit of a laugh. "Wrestling has been important to you, I don't expect it to suddenly not be," Nessa states, looking back to Kat before squeezing her hands again. "Look, if your job in Japan is over, it's not as if the U.S. doesn't have wrestling. You find a different angle, you know? I bet there are underground clubs and stuff, I bet you could practice and train with people at a gym. There are options. It just takes a little thought."

Nessa can't help but laugh at the mention of the couch. "First of all, cooking for me will be a challenge because I'm picky and cooking is what I do all day. So we'll see if you can manage." The look of amusement on her face remains. "Your seduction plan may be a bit tricky. For one, the couch is simply because I don't entirely know how likely it is for me to freeze you /in my sleep/. So honestly... we can switch off sleeping arrangements if you'd like the bed some days. Unless you'd like to make a pillow wall in the middle of the bed." She seems amused, but there's a hint of frustration there.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Really? You think I should do underground fighting?," asks Katsumi, genuinely surprised by that. But that's an idea Nessa just planted into her head. There may be some repercussions for that down the road.

"I don't care about the bed as much as what's in it. So step two of my seduction strategy is gonna be wearing one of those, uh, big full-body PJ's. Like the bunnysuit off that Christmas Story movie." No chance of freezing her if there's no skin contact, right? "Step three is finding if there's like a.. magical... suppression heat-lamp or something you can turn on while you sleep."

Katsumi favors one hand with Nessa's, shifting palm to palm and lacing their fingers together.

"M'gonna blow your mind with my cooking. Americans love Japanese food."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa nods. "I mean, why not? As long as you're not getting so beat up that you show up at home covered in blood and pass out. I just want you to play safe." There's certainly some thought going into the possiblity of it, though.

The mention of what's in the bed actually gets the tiniest bit of color in her cheeks. "I don't know that I've ever heard of a seduction strategy that involved wearing /more/ clothes, but there's a first time for everything. But those aren't bad ideas, honestly. Admit it you, just want to spoon."

Nessa looks down at their hands and smiles. "Not gonna lie, I'm a fan of Japanese food. Even if my apartment's not great, the kitchen's set up for cooking, so you don't even have to worry about that."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Then takoyaki." Katsumi nods. "I'll make that tonight. And we'll relax. We'll watch movies, and I'll pretend you didn't just totally project your own desires onto me about spooning." At last, a small, dimpled smile touching her face. "I was just talkin' about the sleep you get in American beds. They're like giant mats. Ya perv'." She gives the captive hand a squeeze.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
There's a bit of a laugh and Nessa's cheeks remain a touch red. "Somehow I'm not convinced I was the one projecting here and that you're just trying to make me blush." There's a small squeeze of hand in response, glancing up as the waitress brings over the two bowls of ramen and the extra Snapple.

"Honestly, I don't think I've ever had takoyaki. Well /real/ takoyaki from someone who knows what they're doing. Also... what's wrong with American beds? If you get the right mattress they're /super/ comfortable."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"No, I mean futons suck," Katsumi complains. "Especially mine. All narrow and terrible, like I'm still a kid, or a purse chihuahua."

Finally, Nessa's hand is released and Katsumi immediately lifts the provided chopsticks. "Anyway, you're... y'know, pretty when you blush, so whatever..," she awkwardly flirts. The tips of the sticks poke around the bowl, not yet committing to eating. Though the more she looks at it, the more she realizes she's hungry. "And what other stuff do you like?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"I mean, some people find purse chihuahuas fashionable. That's why they put them in purses and act like they're an accessory. So clearly it can't be all that bad," Nessa says, managing to grin at her own joke before she dips the spoon into the broth to take a taste. She glances back over at Kat for most of it, though.

"I don't blush often so don't get /too/ used to it. I'm just making an exception. Once. But as to what other stuff I like? Are we talking about food or are we talking about life in general? I mean, some of it is the same because food is amazing."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Both?," proposes Katsumi. At last, she gathers noodles and ducks her head to take a sampling. In fairness, they're good. It makes her nostalgic, however, as a side-effect. That much can't be helped, thanks to having been stuck so long on American soil already. But after slurping, she looks across to Nessa again. "Start with normal life stuff. Besides taking in stray Kats."

Yes, it was a pun. No apologies given.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa takes a moment or two to slurp some of the ramen before she looks back across at the woman across the table, the pun being graciously uncommented on. "I mean, my life does involve a lot of food. Kind of been one of the few things I'm good at lately. Thought about culinary school for a while but I sort of shoved that aside a bit for magic. I know that sounds kinda weird, I'm sure."

She looks down at her hands for a moment and takes a spoonful of broth before looking back at Katsumi. "I mean, aside from trying to not freeze people I care about, I do like magic. I like studying and investigating it, I like when I can help people. Kind of feels like a bit of a purpose. I mean, I saved the whole city once, not that many people are aware we did that. Magic's weird sometimes."

Tilting her head to the side, she looks over curiously. "So what, besides wrestling and my amazing baking, do you like? I don't know that I've really asked you a lot of things. I feel like most of our time has been me distracting you from stressing out rather than actually getting to find out as much as I'd like."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Well, if we're gonna..." Katsumi pauses to sheepishly clear her throat and cautiously say, "..date..," a peek is stolen to the blonde across from her, then back to the noodles! "..we should talk more about stuff. But for the record, another thing you've been good at is lifting my mood. Most people irritate me or push my buttons. You... never really have."


"You're gonna tell me about how you saved the city later. That's a story I wanna hear. If Nessa Donovan, math class personified, is secretly a badass, I want the details. But, uh..." Leaning back, Katsumi uses her free hand to draw a few bangs from her eyes. "I'm a musician. Been one for most of my life. Strict adptive parents, really pushed me towards the arts when they realized I had a knack for it. So I'm a guitarist. And violinist. Pianist. Drummer." The wooden tips poke around at the noodles. "Singer. I like doing my own mixes. When I was in college, that was my vocation - music. And I had a minor in audio engineering."

"Besides that, I'm a gamer. All my consoles are back home, like all my instruments, but I dabbled in PC some. Just kind'a prefer the analog feel over a keyboard. Club Sega is, like, one of my /favorite/ places. And my old intro music used to be a Bare Knuckle remaster."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa listens, occasionally remembering she's eating, her focus mostly being on the woman in front of her. "Well, I'm only kind of a badass. Since you aren't terrified of my powers, remind me sometime and we'll go out to somewhere with some space and I'll really show what I can do. Little ice statues is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Pun intended."

She takes a sip of her drink before there's a sheepish smile. "I should tell you now since you're likely to find out... I'm a shower singer. I love it but I am /so bad/ at singing in front of people. Don't really know how to deal with crowds, so that's all you. No one's coming for my autograph."

She glances at her phone briefly, looking something up. "You know, there's an arcade you might like here. I'll have to drag you sometime. I'm afraid I don't have any instruments laying around for you to play with, though."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro didn't hear any pushback on her admittedly subtle usage of the term 'date'! She's taking that and keeping it. Not that Nessa seemed to really react to it either way, it's just one of those things that's helping her stay positive; giving her something to be happy about. Which is odd, given she's rarely given thought to romance outside of whim.

"I promise not to laugh," she assures with a wry little smile. In truth, she's eager to hear. "I'm gonna get you to perform in front of people, though. If you're any good, I mean! So it's in your best interest to pretend to suck!"

With a faint giggle, she briefly refocuses on the noodles. Slurp! "Mm? Arcade?" She swallows and lifts her head once more. "Do you know anything about Club Sega? It's like eight floors of gaming."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"I dunno, I think it would be hard to pretend to be bad at singing and change my whole shower routine. You'd catch me singing my usual at some point. Good luck getting me to sing in front of anyone else, though. I've challenged some people to do that and no one's succeeded."

Nessa takes more of her noodles before she continues. "To be honest... I really don't know all that much about Japan. I'm terribly uncultured and wrapped up in myself. Although I'd love to just listen to you talk about it." There's an amused look. "Or maybe I'm just saying that so you'll explain things to me."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro pauses slurping on noodles to look at her curiously. "Really? You just want me to talk..?," she asks, disarmed. But Nessa had to qualify it, and the rouge threatening to tint her cheeks fades quickly. "Right. Yeah. Uh, well... Tokyo is like New York, but different. I don't really see a lot of traditions or anything here in America. I mean, I know there are churches and stuff. But we have those, too. But we also have shrines. Statues of things that aren't just old people. We have really old places, and super modern ones. There's a lot more.. neon... in Japan. I'm usually the roughest person in any room, but here, I hardly even have to try to pick a fight with someone. Everyone here likes grabbing people's hands, and that's weird. And Americans like hugging. It's like, weird. All that body contact with strangers."

Her chin dips.

"Don't start on my job! I know I spend a lot of time hugging other girls with wa-haaay more body contact than most people, but that's different! It's to slam'em down or squeeze'em to death! Or lay on'em. But only for three seconds! Usually."

Her free hand rubs against her nose before she continues, as if resetting herself.

"I haven't seen a single tanuki in New York, or any American city I've been to. Do you guys even /have/ those?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa can't hide her grin. "Yeah, weird about all that body contact, right? I probably would have been just fine in Japan. Avoiding people can be a pain here. I have definitely given frostbite to some very grabby people before. Those ones /deserve/ it." She looks back over. "So I guess you're just as surprised about the touch as I am. But you're right, there's also social differences out of your work context."

She takes a moment to tilt her head to the side. "Tanuki? I thought that was some kind of Japanese spirit or something. Or maybe we call it something different."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"No, it's like the only time people in America think of tanuki is because of f***ing Mario," notes Katsumi. Despite the exasperation, she's smiling. This is a comfortable topic. "Tanuki are these cute little fuzzballs that look like raccoons and act like cats. And dogs. They're raccoon-dog-cats. Some people keep'em as pets, you might see'em just roaming around town. We have a lot of tanuki statues in Japan because there are a /ton/ of stories of magical tanuki doing things. Shapeshifters and tricksters, stuff like that."

She takes another slurp from the noodles, then exhales a soft sigh. "Tell me an American story. Something like that. About a monster, or ghost, or something. Japan can't have a monopoly on spiritualism, right?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Our raccoons are not great, they're just trash monsters. I think you're more likely to see random rats running around than some kind of tanuki. They sound like they'd be fun," Nessa seems amused, taking a spoonful of soup. "But Americans are boring, Kat. We're just a bastardized mash up of other cultures pretending like we have something interesting. I mean, Ireland's much better with stories and myths. I grew up with stories of selkies and mermaids and the fae. And the cool thing is... who knows if they're actually real. Fae certainly are. My grandmother /swears/ we've got fae blood somewhere in there."

She offers another smile. "As Americans, we have things like Bigfoot. I guess."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro rolls her eyes, still smiling. "Bigfoot. More like 'big deal'. Tibet has one of those, too. What else ya got?"

After a beat, the humor fades from both her tone and expression. "Do you think that's maybe why you can do stuff? Maybe why /I/ have something going on with me? That I might have some magical ancestor, or I'm the offspring of a spirit? Is that possible? I mean, I was an orphan. I never knew my original parents, and if /you/ exist..."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Ireland has /lots/ of magic. My whole family is full of it, so they're a bit more understanding than other families might be about the whole cold thing," Nessa notes, though she does lean forward a bit. "What I've got is rare because it's some kind of affinity for a particular type of magic, but I'm pretty sure magical talent can be genetic. So if you've got some magic on you that doesn't turn out to be a curse... I wouldn't discount the idea. Bloodlines can be a big thing. /Especially/ if you ask my cousins."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"But.. what would that make /me/?," Katsumi asks. The more she thinks on it, the more troubled her expression becomes. "I'd be like... descended from.. oni or something..."

Her free hand raises to paw through her hair, then come to rest against her forehead, propping upon the table at the elbow. "F*** sake, I really would be a monster..."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa frowns, glancing back over. "Don't you ever say you're a monster, okay? Where we get abilities... it doesn't matter. Genetics, accidents, mutations, whatever. You aren't a monster unless /you/ make yourself one. I know it sounds corny, but it's true. I've met demons and they aren't all bad, so it's not as if everyone and everything is created the same."

She jabs a finger in Katsumi's direction. "Besides, you don't even /know/ if that's the case yet. Can't label yourself yet. I mean, if you want to you can be the badass with the pretty eyes, but that's it."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro sets the chopsticks down and straightens herself to look back at Nessa. Her mouth opens to respond at first, only to pause, glance to the bowl, and back to her again. Her expression softens, and when she finally speaks, it's with affection. "You really think they're pretty? Not.. freaky?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Yes, really. They stand out. Do you know how many people would love eyes that color? People are gonna see you and go buy colored contacts," Nessa smiles broadly. "I don't know that anything about you has ever screamed 'freaky' to me and I mean that. I'm looking forward to when you're less stressed about what's going on and can grow into your confidence. The whole world's doomed then. You know how much of a badass you're going to be?"

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro lowers her gaze again, but this time with a smile. "Nessa... how is it you know exactly what to say? How the /Hell/ did that guy not appreciate you enough to want you? I couldn't imagine finding someone better..." She inhales slowly, and lets it out in an equally slow whoosh. "I dunno how you're gonna handle me when I'm feeling normal again. But at least I'm not passing out on you anymore, y'know? Absolutely zero fatigue anymore. Totally amped. Feeling normal - better than normal. But," she shakes her head and lifts her gaze again. "I'm gonna do my best to make sure you know how much I appreciate you."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
There's a bit of a laugh. "I probably know just what to say because I know you. Maybe I haven't known you for too long, but I'm pretty sure I know you better than most people." Nessa takes another slurp of her noodles before she speaks up again.

"Honestly? I'm really glad there's no passing out. Weird magic energy and super strength? I can handle that anyday but you passing out scares the crap out of me. Not quite bunny levels of scared, but pretty scary."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Do you think this rules out the, uh... brain.. damage.. stuff.. we were worried about?," she asks. Despite the question, the tilt of her head and placid expression likely suggests she's already abandoned that fear.

"And, uh, you know me. More or less. More than most people do by now, I think. Except when I say something to make you mad. That's..." She pauses, and her lips purse faintly in pre-wince. "..that's gonna happen. I'm stupid, okay? I say stupid s***. It just- I just do it. Just know that I'd never.. intentionally.. upset you. Okay? You, um..." She fidgets slightly on the booth bench. "..you mean a lot to me."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Well, before this all happened we were looking for 'normal' causes that might make you pass out and feel weak. Given the amount of magic I felt? It's not brain damage. I don't know if it's a curse or a latent magic ability or a spirit or whatever the heck it is, I can just tell you I feel /something/. I thought something was off before you went on, but I couldn't really understand what it was. I should've worried more."

Nessa smiles genuinely in Kat's direction. "I know you're not trying to piss me off. People say stuff they don't mean all the time. I don't expect to /always/ say the right thing either. I'm not perfect and I don't expect you to be." She winks. "Doesn't mean I won't get mad when you say something dumb, but I'll still forgive you."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"Just tell me when I do. I won't know it on my own. I'll just be all like 'lol why are you so mad'." Katsumi did just say 'lol' out loud.

Katsumi glances aside briefly, then slides out of the bench. Turning around, she slides onto the bench beside Nessa. PDA in Japan is practically unheard of, but Katsumi's seen enough of it in New York to not care. She buddies her shoulder towards Nessa's, then tilts her head to rest it on her shoulder, lest she withdraw from her.

"I dunno how I would've behaved if you told me you felt something was off. I might've believed you. But... get this. Kay? When I hit someone in the ring, I'm not going full force. Even when you can plainly tell I'm whacking a b**** with The Heartbreaker, it's still not as hard as I can kick. But even pulling back, I hit Sindie /that hard/. I dunno if there was anything I really could've done to stop it..."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"'lol'? Really?" Nessa's calling her on that one. She scoots a touch so that there's room for both of them to sit on the same side, and she leans her head to rest against Kat's. "So something definitely changed. You were fine earlier in that first fight, and then something just happened for the second." She gives a shrug. "The first time you have something and you don't know how to use it, it's gonna be either too much or too little. Accidental frostbite makes it pretty easy to see something's wrong. Same with powerful kicks. If you don't know it's gonna happen, there's nothing you can do about it. Now that you know it's a thing, we can be careful and try to figure out how to avoid that happening in the future. Unintentionally, that is."

She nudges Katsumi with an elbow. "I mean, you could go fight crime or something."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro shifts her head, nuzzling her cheek over Nessa's shoulder. "I know," she says wistfully. "Mean Green thinks I can wrestle again if I get it under control. So that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna get good at it. Controlling it. But you're right, something must've triggered it." She waves a hand vaguely towards the luggage. "I made a list of the things I think it might be. I'm gonna test'em, see if it triggers it in a way I can control."

The mention of fighting crime gets a brief burst of giggles, and Katsumi nudges herself against Nessa's side in retaliation. "Yeah. Fight crime. /Me/. That's gonna happen. Pretty sure fire beams or whatever can still melt my face. Then where'll you be? Dating.. like.. hamburger-face-lady. That's where."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa nudges her again. "Now you sound like me. Careful, you'll get roped into saving the city before you know it. I mean, I managed to do that and my face isn't melted off." She nods. "But as far as testing them? That's a good idea. If you need someone to help with the testing, let me know. I can make some fortified ice structures and we can see which ones you can break and whatnot under different conditions. Nicer to punch ice than, say, me. Not that you would, but I think I'd be a shitty opponent for practice. You'd have to teach me how to fight."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro lifts her head to give it a shake. "Nono, for some of these tests, I need a crowd. I need people to boo me. I need to feel like I might be in danger. Lots of stuff."

She slants her gaze sidelong to Nessa, eyebrow perking. "Tell you what. If I ever start crimefighting? You have to wear a sexy outfit, too. Just like we discussed. That's the deal." Not that she ever expects that to happen, so it's a safe deal to make!

Looking ahead again, she leans back into the cushion of the booth. Her near arm lifts to settle around Nessa's back. "You wanna learn to fight? Like, from me? Sure you don't just want me grappling with ya? Cuz that's totally a thing we can do...," she teases.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Kat, those are kind of risky things to be testing. We should probably have some safeguards in place just in case. Booing someone is fine, but if you're in /danger/..." There's the slightest hint of a frown from Nessa that turns into a full one the more she thinks about it. So she instead focuses on the distraction of sexy crime fighting outfits and fighting.

"Sure, you actually crimefight I'll come up with some kind of sexy outfit that does not involve me being a danger to others. That's my stipulation and I'm sticking to it." She leans in against Kat a little. "I mean, I'm kinda really shit out of luck if someone's in my personal bubble. I'm not denying I've been in dangerous situation where people are trying to beat the shit out of me. There's only so much I can do with ice." She grins. "So I'm curious about the fighting just because it might be useful. Learning how to keep a punch from hitting too hard could be a good tactic, or to make it look like you're hurt worse than you are to catch someone off-guard. Plenty of useful skills."

She shrugs. "Grappling sounds fun but /certainly/ dangerous." Is that a wink? Sure is.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro liiifts that eyebrow at Nessa again, but her smile has turned sly. "Okay. We'll wrestle. And I'll teach ya how to sell. And we'll have fun with it. But first, I wanna make sure I'm not gonna hurt you. I need to find out what triggers it."

Her fingers curl to affectionately scritch along Nessa's back. "Danger can come in a lott'a ways. I've got ideas. Trust me. I'll be okay. 'Sides, every time I enter the ring, there's no guarantee I'll not leave paralyzed!" After a beat, she adds, "Don't worry, though. I won't."

Katsumi's head tilts, aiming to press a soft kiss against her mane of hair. "And your sexy outfit has to show skin. S'not sexy otherwise. /My/ superfriend is a lawyer. Don't fight me on this."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa scowls a bit. "Don't tell me that you could be paralyzed. Now I'm gonna worry /all/ the time. I didn't even think about that as a possibility." She winces. "Great, wrestling is just as dangerous as superheroing. At least you're probably safe in the diner. Clearly I'll have to make you fall in love with waitressing and stay safe."

There's an immediate relaxation that seems to come with Katsumi just being close. It's almost a reflexive reaction, because she's not used to the affection and proximity, and it's comforting. "Let me just say that showing skin and making skin touchable are two entirely different things. See through fabric is sexy!"

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"We'll see what you come up with. But I demand midriff," insists Katsumi. "Gotta draw the line somewhere. And no one who should be touchin' you is gonna be touchin' you by surprise, so win-win!"

After a beat, Katsumi's head tilts to nosebump gently at her head. "For what it's worth, I usually end matches a /lot/ more beat up than I was that night. And you're the one who told me I should take up pit fighting."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"I suppose that's true. It's a lot easier when I know it's coming and if someone touches me in some kind of crime fighting battle, they deserve to get frostbite," Nessa chuckles, though she winces at the mention of pit fighting. "I mean, getting beat up is one thing. /I've/ been beat up. Getting paralyzed is a life-changing event that's terrifying for you and everyone around you. Like being a bunny."

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"I won't be paralyzed," Katsumi assures. She has no way of guaranteeing that, especially as a wrestler. It's notorious for ruining lives. "And I've never paralyzed anyone. I take good care of the people I beat up. Even the ones I really don't like." After a beat, she contently settles into Nessa's side again.

"We'll be okay... right?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"I'm gonna be completely honest: we're going to be fine. I'm not saying it's gonna be easy, but we'll be okay." Nessa glances back over at her. "I managed to get through a very lonely bunch of years and I turned out okay. You've got me to back you up on this, so it's not as if you're completely alone."

She smiles just a bit, maybe even a touch sad. "Kind of wish I had someone like you helping me along the way when I was going through stuff. So I'm gonna be the help for you that I wish I would have had. We'll both be just fine. Plus not having to cook every night is a big bonus."