Pokémon: Ties that Bind

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eryk Kurokawa Character Portrait: Cyrilla Kurokawa Character Portrait: Kasimir Rheinallt

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#, as written by Mihael


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A week into the Cherry Festival marked its halfway point, and all the various battle tournaments had taken the day off for a more laid-back set of events, mostly contests of various sorts for the Trainers and spectators to participate in while their pokemon got a much-needed break. The contests comprised everything from eating to martial arts to dart-throwing and other more traditional carnival games. There were a few Pokemon Contests, and exhibitions of odd talents, such as telekinesis or circus acts, as well. Essentially, it was a day for everyone to amuse themselves while the festival organizers prepared for the final rounds of all the various battle brackets.

Coincidentally, it was also the day that a popular gossip magazine published a certain photo in its pages. Splashed across the thing was the headline ‘NOTORIOUS BACHELOR FINALLY TAKEN?’ and featured another inset photo of Kas, this time simply with his family, glaring through a pair of sunglasses at whomever was taking the photo. He’d had a feeling something like that would happen—it was basically inevitable. He felt a bit bad for Cyrilla though—this was not likely to go especially well for her for a few days, though the gossip should die down when the festival did. Grumbling to himself, Kas tossed the copy of the rag he’d snatched from his sister into the recycling, completely ignoring Crystal when she puffed out her cheeks in irritation.

“You shouldn’t be reading that shit anyway. You know it’s all garbage.” Her indignant huff was her only response—he knew she only read the damn things in some misguided attempt to keep track of her idol’s relationship status anyhow. Why she didn’t simply pluck up the guts to ask him herself was something Kasimir didn’t really understand, but he kept out of it. Meddling in his sister’s love life was practically the definition of ‘waste of time.’

“It is a bit silly,” Amaryllis contributed from his other side. His mother and father were both off preparing for the events today, and so he was left with Crystal and Lily, who always seemed to find her way to where he was. He blamed it on her strange perception of himself as some kind of mentor, though he wasn’t stupid enough to believe that was all there was to it. But she’d get over it eventually if he just continued to refuse to get her hopes up. It was the kindest way he knew to deal with the situation, and so while it was more troublesome than just flat-out rejecting her apropos of nothing, he did it anyway. She wasn’t a bad person—he had no desire to harm her. “I mean, if they’d just done a little more research, they’d know Cyrilla was with Drake, anyway.” Crystal nodded.

“Be glad they don’t do more research,” Kas pointed out pragmatically. “It’s easier to brush off the bullshit than it is to try and explain away something that might be true.”

“Ouch,” Crystal said, flinching slightly. “You could put it nicer than that, Kas. You make it sound like the idea of you two being together is completely absurd.” When he gave her a flat look, as if to say of course it is, she sighed and explained it a different way. “Like you think you’re out of her league or something.”

Kasimir rolled his eyes. “Isn’t that nicer? If everyone assumes that, they won’t bother her, and that’s actually the important thing here. What I do or do not actually think about Cyrilla is irrelevant. The important thing is that the photographers and fans don’t follow her around and make trouble. She and Eryk aren’t used to this shit the way we are.”

“You have a point, I guess,” Amaryllis said mildly, “but.. I think it’s a little unfair that you have to come across as so cold and unlikeable just to protect someone else. Our reputations are important to us—being Champion isn’t only about battling pokemon. There’s a lot of other parts to it, and it helps if people like you.” She’d not known that until she became one herself, really, but there were a lot of things to do. They were really important to keeping the Leagues organized and functional, and served the public in some ways, too.

“I wouldn’t worry about that too much, Lily. I think the meaner Kas is to his fans, the more they fall all over him. Maybe they’re all masochists…” Crystal grinned, ducking under the smack she knew her bother was aiming for the back of her head.

"He's not mean enough, if you ask me," came the curt reply of Eryk. To say he'd been pleased might be an overstatement. He did not like the fact that his mother came barging into his room, newspaper in hand, and asking all kinds of questions of whether or not it was true. First, he knew it wasn't true; she was with Drake. Secondly, how the hell was he supposed to actually know? He wasn't his sister, and she was no where to be found. It upset him to know that there was something like this on the newspaper, however; part of him was a little amused at his sister's misfortune. Really, how long she could hide from his fans was something of a one-sided bet he was making with himself.

"Speaking of which, you haven't seen Cy, anywhere have you? From what I can tell, you were the last one to see her," he spoke, his voice laced with mild amusement but hinted with a tinge of irritation. This was ridiculous. Just because his friend was the champion, and his sister had been seen with him, did not mean they were anything. If anything, they were just acquaintances at best, only having come together through a common cause. She trying to find him, and he through helping her. He sighed heavily, rubbing the bridge of his nose as he sat across from the trio. He raised a brow at Kasimir, though, and resisted the urge to roll his eyes.

"You know it's your own damn fault," he continued, staring blankly at Kas. "If you'd actually get yourself a girl, just for show, they'd stop bothering you," he replied flatly, though he knew his friend wasn't exactly inclined for such things. He shrugged in a nonchalant manner. It wasn't his problem; it was Kasimir's. But, it was sort of his problem too, when the current headlines were about his sister. He had half a mind to find the photographer and give him a piece of his mind. Unfortunately, he didn't know, and perhaps it was fortunatly so for the photographer. It was, perhaps at this moment that Cyrilla showed up, a rather large smile on her face as she stared at the group.

"Either someone kicked a Growlithe while I was gone, or someone did something," she spoke, causing Eryk to give her an irritated stare as his eyebrow twitched. "What? I went to Pallet Town to pick up a few things I needed," she spoke, watching as Eryk seemed to turn a rather pretty shade of red. She gave him a flat look as he held up a copy of the magazine Kasimir had just tossed, causing Cyrilla to stare at it for a moment before covering her mouth in an attempt to not laugh. "Well, that explains a lot. I thought they were still going on about Lt. Surge and Erika. Should have known when they started asking questions about you, though," she stated, shrugging her shoulders.

Cyrilla was a people person, and could get along with just about anyone. Crowds and things like that did not bother her, and she had only assumed that the people asking her questions were all still part of the flock of fans she and Vivianna had picked up because of their match. She should have known it wasn't as obvious or simple as that when they started asking about Kasimir. "Really, Cy?" was the only response Eryk could give. Her response was another shrug of her shoulders.

Kasimir sighed. He supposed it was a good thing to be so unbothered by everything, but he knew for a certainty that people could get a lot pushier with those involved in these things than they had yet been to her. “Whatever. Just deny it if they ask you anything about that and don’t go anywhere by yourself until the festival is over. That’s just good advice generally.” She was incredibly oblivious, and that was going to hurt her if she wasn’t careful. He shot Eryk a glare for having the audacity to suggest a fake girlfriend, and shook his head. Did he have no concept of how horrible things would be for that person? Sure, some people would leave him alone, but the rest would want every last detail of that relationship, and it wasn’t completely unheard of for fans to get… rabid, either. His were already the crazies.

He would never understand it—not one of those people knew a damn thing about him, but he supposed fixation and the instinct to possess were just aspects of human nature, and some people were bad at impulse control. “Speaking of which… when was the last time anyone saw Vivianna?” If there was someone likely to get completely overwhelmed by a crowd, it was her. She couldn’t even speak up to defend herself, and he knew she didn’t like talking telepathically to random strangers. He was kind of surprised Eryk wasn’t glued to her, considering that she and Cy were both still making news, having advanced to the final sixteen teams in the team tournament.

"I don't have much of a choice, do I? I got that one over there," she spoke, shoving her thumb in Eryk's direction, "glued to my hip, and when I am not with him, it's either Vivi or Drake." There really wasn't a way for her to actually be alone. Eryk was always by her side, and if he wasn't there, it was always Vivianna or Drake. Though, usually Eryk was glued to Vivianna's side more-so than hers, something she found oddly amusing. She blinked owlishly at Kasimir's statement, though, and tilted her head as she tried to remember. She hadn't seen Vivianna since she left last week, and she was sure Eryk was by her side at all times. Eryk twitched slightly when Kas spoke and gave his friend a flat stare.

"I saw her today, before I came here," he spoke, his eyes narrowing slightly. He didn't want to leave her by herself, something that was becoming a bit of a second nature to him, but he didn't mind. Or at least he didn't seem to mind. "Said she was going to stay indoors mainly, but I don't know where she went to. She might be tending to her pokemon," seeing as most of them all needed some kind of care. He couldn't say for sure, but if he needed to, he would find her. It wouldn't be that hard, if he really thought about it. Cyrilla sighed, squeezing her way into the spot next to Eryk as he grunted, trying to push her off the side before she elbowed him in his side.

Kas pressed his lips together and sighed. He didn’t especially like the idea of leaving the girl on her own, but trying to find her in this mess of people would be nearly impossible. Shaking his head, he lifted his wrist and dialed something into the Xtranceiver there. He waited a few seconds while it rang on the other end, but nobody picked up, and he wound up with an automated voicemail message. Naturally, since Vivi couldn’t well make her own. Still, she could at least gesture over a video call, since both of their communication devices had that capacity. “She’s not picking up,” he said flatly, closing the Xtranceiver. “Let’s find her before we do anything else, just in case.” It was difficult to remove the SF agent from his personality, even when he was supposed to be on vacation.

“Crystal and I will go check the carnival games,” Amaryllis volunteered, and Crystal nodded her assent, the two of them peeling off from the group. Kas glanced at the other two. “I’ll check the stadium. That leaves the event area for today’s tournaments, if you don’t mind.”

Eryk frowned, his brows furrowing deeply when Kas spoke. "We're on it," he spoke, pulling on Cyrilla's arm as quickly as he stood. She made a sound to protest, however; he dragged her behind him, a frown marring her face as she glared at Kasimir. Really, he didn't have to put it that way, he should have known how Eryk was when it came to Vivianna. She shook her head instead, and removed her arm from his grip, falling in step beside him. Luckily, the event arena wasn't too far from where they were at, however; Eryk wasn't taking any chances and pulled out Taika's pokeball. He released the large Arcanine, watching as he shook his fur before turning to his trainer. One word was spoken, and Taika was off, searching for Vivianna.

"Don't you think that's a bit of overkill?" Cyrilla stated, watching as Taika left his trainer's side. Eryk regarded her with a stare, and she rolled her eyes. Sometimes she wondered if there was something more than just a friendly bond between him and Vivianna. It caused her lips to turn up into an amused smile. It would explain a lot, and the reason why he was so protective of the girl. Though, perhaps it was a little more than that, and she was just reading a bit too deeply into the situation. She sighed softly instead. Eryk simply ignored her, and returned his attention to in front of him.

Luckily, the event arena wasn't too far from where they were, and Eryk immediately scanned the area. It didn't help that Vivianna was so short. Sometimes, he had trouble picking her out of the crowd, however; he did the only thing he could think of. "Vivianna."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eryk Kurokawa Character Portrait: Vivianna Asher

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#, as written by Aethyia


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“Do it again! Do it again!” The small boy tugged at Vivi’s sleeve, a gap-toothed smile emerging on his face. That was good—she’d been afraid he wouldn’t stop crying, not too long ago. She’d just gone on a walk, trying to clear her head for a while, when she’d run across him slumped in a corner of the stadium, bawling because he couldn’t find his parents. She supposed that wasn’t exactly unexpected, given how many people there were here. Vivianna had volunteered to help him find them, but he’d been inconsolable, until desperate to help him calm down, she’d picked up a few nearby stones with her mind and set them to spinning around her head, smiling encouragingly at him when he lowered his hands from his eyes and looked at the rotating rocks with curiosity.

Now they were in the thick of the crowd of people near the event area, trying to find his parents. The boy’s name was Kevin, or so he told her, and he thought that his parents had been heading for the events, because he’d wanted to see the “karate men.” She supposed he must be referring to the martial arts tournament later that day, so she figured they could start the search there. If it had been a couple of hours and they still couldn’t find anything, though, she’d just take him to the hotel lobby and ask them to contact the police, since she couldn’t exactly do so herself.

As it happened, he was enchanted by her parlor tricks, and so she was trying to think of new variations on them to keep him entertained while they searched. She wasn’t very strong, but Kevin couldn't have been much older than five, so she had settled him on her shoulders as well as she could, so that together, they might stand a chance of seeing over the crowd. He was apparently equally fascinated by the color and texture of her hair, so it was now considerably disheveled, to say the least. He pulled a little painfully sometimes, but she didn’t think it was on purpose, so she bore it without complaining.

Do you see your mom and dad yet? she asked him, and above her she could feel him shaking his head.

“Nuh-uh,” he informed her, and Vivianna inwardly sighed. If she had any idea what his parents looked like, she could just use her pokemon to help find them, but his descriptions had been unhelpful. Big people with dark hair was not especially informative, especially when compared to him—and her, she supposed—everyone was tall. She didn’t even hit five feet, herself. Still, she supposed this would just have to be the way they did things. She wasn’t going to risk going into the mind of a small child just for an image of his parents. She’d actually closed off most of the rest of her own mind as a result, to prevent any accidental bleed. Children were very impressionable, and she didn’t want to interfere with him any more than necessary to communicate.

“Will you do it again, Miss Vivi?” he asked, and she acquiesced, this time levitating one of her own pokeballs and making it fly around both of them. She kept it close though—the crowd was dense, and she was trying not to disturb anyone else.

Eryk wasn't typically the person to panic when something was wrong. He wasn't usually the type to worry either, however; that did not stop that fact that he was worried, and that he was in a slightly panicked state. Vivianna had not answered his call, and Taika had returned empty handed. He did not like that at all, and, if Cyrilla had to guess, he was like a Torkoal waiting to blow fumes from his head. It was admirable, really, however; it was also very unnecessary. She was sure Vivianna was fine, that she was, perhaps, just tending to her pokemon or something of that nature. She was probably too busy to answer his call. Cyrilla decided it was best if she took one wing, and if he took the other, something he wholly agreed on.

He would have summoned Touki, however, the event arena was a little too crowded, and he'd probably lose his Braviary as well. It was not a risk he was willing to take, and so, he opted to use the advantage of his height to try and spot her over the crowd. Short as she was, it wasn't going to be easy, even if he was able to see past the other trainers. He sighed in an aggravated manner, shoving past people as he made his way through the crowd. Some chastised him, others simply mumbled beneath their breaths. It wasn't as if they were going to actually do anything about it. If they were, well... he'd just be a little behind schedule. The sound of something similar to Vivianna's name, caught his attention as he glanced in the direction it came from. It sounded like a small child had stated it, and if anything, they were a few feet away.

He brushed passed a few more people, knocking one such person over in the process, but he cared very little to the man's response. His eyes were fixed on her. And there she was, levitating a ball with a child by her side. His lips pursed into a fine line as he stared down at her. "Why didn't you tell me you were wandering around?" he stated, flinching slightly at the tone of his own voice. He hadn't meant to state it that way, however; he was worried. "And why isn't your phone on? Kas tried calling you," he spoke a little softer this time, causing his brows to furrow slightly.

Vivi was, unusually for her, completely surprised when Eryk appeared, his mental voice coming in through her weak block due to proximity. She dropped the pokeball she was holding with telekinesis at his initial tone, though thankfully Kevin caught it. Tilting her head to blink up at him, she tipped it slightly to the side. Glancing down at her Xtranciever, she noted she did indeed have a missed call. Had they been looking for her? She felt terrible—Vivianna was not exactly accustomed to being accountable to anyone but herself, or having anyone else be all that concerned about where she was or what she did, so she had not realized she should have told someone what she was doing.

I’m sorry, she apologized softly. I must not have heard the call because of the crowd noise. I hadn’t intended to come here—I was just taking a walk. But… She looked down at Kevin, who she’d set down just a few moments beforehand, her shoulders starting to ache from his weight. This is Kevin. I found him at the stadium… he can’t seem to find his parents. I was helping him look, but it’s a bit difficult in a crowd like this. She chewed a lip thoughtfully.

I don’t mean to be a bother, but is there any chance you might help? I’m sure they must be panicking by now, but we’re not exactly very suited to looking for people in a crowd this large. Simply put, even combined they lacked the height required, whereas Eryk certainly did not. Kevin was tugging at her sleeve again, and with an inward sigh she bent to pick him up, settling him on her back this time, which was a bit easier on her than it would have been if he’d sat on her shoulders. The pokeball, she replaced on her belt.

Eryk released a heavy sigh, shaking his head with his brows still furrowed. He gave Vivianna a flat stare, following her gaze to the small boy known as Kevin. Without intentionally doing so, he glared at the small boy, however; the boy tugged at Vivianna and she picked him up placing him on her back. That... was perhaps not the best thing to do in front of him. Knowing her condition, and the strain it would put on her body, Eryk immediately snatched the boy from her back, placing him, instead, on his shoulders. He glanced down at Vivianna, his glare still on his face as he glanced back up towards the boy.

"Is this better?" he asked, knowing that if his sister saw him like this, he wouldn't hear the end of it. And that didn't even include his friend. The scowl on his face deepened, however; he remained as he was, allowing the boy to sit on his shoulders to scout the crowd for his parents. Why couldn't people keep a leash on these things? Part of him, for a moment, wondered if his mother had leashed him and his sister? He snorted at the mental image of an Aipom backpack laced around his back with the tail being held to his mother's hand.

Kevin, initially displeased to be so abruptly pulled from Miss Vivi’s back, was pacified by the height at which he was now sitting. Vivi, on the other hand, was worried she’d offended Eryk somehow, and simply nodded meekly. They started to move through the crowd at a much better pace now that they had Eryk to part the way for them, though they kept the pushing to a minimum this time. It was still difficult not to get herself lost, so she held onto the side of Eryk’s coat to keep herself attached to the other two. After about half an hour of this, they finally found what they were looking for.

“Mom, Dad!” Kevin flailed his arms with excitement, drawing the attention of two distraught-looking adults, who spotted him immediately, relief washing over their faces as they saw that he was all right. Moving out to the edge of the crowd, Kevin’s father gratefully accepted him from Eryk.

“Thank you so much!” the man exclaimed, holding his son closely. “We were afraid we’d have to call the police!”

Eryk made sure that Vivianna was still near him, glancing down every once in a while to make sure she could keep up. He slowed his pace a few times, adjusting the child over his shoulders to make it more comfortable for both of them. It wasn't until half an hour later, that they were able to locate the boy's parents, and they had seemed frantic, worried even. He wondered if that was how he looked when he was searching for Vivianna. His eyes immediately went down to the small girl at his side, and he loosed an irritated sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose as the boy's parents spoke. He had half the mind to yell at them, for being so careless, however; there was also the possibility that the boy had escaped. His face only fell flat again.

"You should not let him out of your sights, then. If you must, do either of you have a pokemon to send with him? If you do, you should allow your pokemon to keep an eye on him as well," because sometimes, pokemon made better parents than the actual parent themselves. He simply shook his head and glanced down at Vivianna. "We should go find the others now. They are worried about you," he spoke to Vivianna, holding her gaze as he continued staring down at her. Her eyes were a very peculiar shade of violet, an odd thing to notice really. Had they always been that color? He shook the thought from his head as he shoved his hands into his coat pockets.

"Or perhaps you should have called the police the moment you noticed him gone. He is your child, why would you not?" he really was bad with talking to people and expressing his concern.

Sensing the discomfort that had fallen over the atmosphere, Vivianna did her best to avert it, smiling warmly and bowing to both of the parents before glancing askance at Eryk and nodding, looping one of her arms through his left, slightly awkwardly considering their relative heights and the fact that his hand was in his pocket. But it allowed her to tug him away in a way that didn’t seem to be overly rude or abrupt, and it was basically the least-awkward way she could think of to end that situation. As soon as they were away, she removed her hand, knowing that he wasn’t exactly a tactile person, and wrapped both of hers around herself, as though giving herself a hug or something of the sort. I’m sorry, she said, though she wasn’t exactly certain what she was apologizing for. Maybe for touching him without consent just now, or maybe for whatever she’d done to… upset him? He seemed a bit angry, but she knew him well enough to know that sometimes, he was just like that, so it was hard to tell for sure.

Still, either way, it was probably her fault, so it seemed right to apologize, even if she wasn’t exactly sure why. I didn’t mean to cause anyone trouble. I… forget sometimes, that there might be people looking for me.” Historically, there hadn’t been. Not since she’d struck out on her own, after all. She’d honestly forgotten—not about them as such, but that they might want to know where she was, else she’d have kept a closer watch on her Xtranceiver and avoided all of this.

Eryk stiffened slightly when Vivianna took his arm, however; he relaxed lightly as he allowed her to lead him away. His glare never left the parents, but they eventually walked far enough away from the parents to allow his attention to focus on what was important. What was important, though? His brow arched reflexively at the thought, and he pursed his lips even further together. He was brought from his stupor when Vivianna spoke to him, blinking owlishly in the process. He sighed heavily, something he found himself doing a lot as of late, and he regarded her with a flat stare. He tried to choose his words carefully, so that he wouldn't offend her. When did he start caring about that?

"Don't apologize for that," he spoke, trying to keep his voice as calm as he could. "I... could try to be more mindful of that next time," he continued, his frown pulling further at his face. What else was he supposed to say? He knew he wasn't exactly good with words, and he didn't want to say the wrong thing or cause her to be more upset, if she was indeed, upset about anything. He dragged a hand down his face, trying to keep another aggravated sigh from escaping him. He really didn't like it when she apologized for something he did, and instead, glanced away from her.

"Just... make sure you have this thing on a little louder, alright?" he stated, trying to look anywhere but at her.

Vivi smiled softly. It’s a deal,” she agreed, and that was that.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eryk Kurokawa Character Portrait: Cyrilla Kurokawa Character Portrait: Kasimir Rheinallt Character Portrait: Vivianna Asher

0.00 INK

#, as written by Mihael


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It was at once both one of the most familiar things in the world and almost entirely new. Kasimir had had more fistfights with Eryk than either of them had ever bothered keeping track of, and also fought in his fair share of martial arts tournaments, with varying degrees of seriousness. It was something he’d been doing since his childhood, in all honesty. But the two things had never actually occurred together until just now. Both wore the traditional white uniforms, loose but not enough to inhibit motion, and as tradition demanded, Kas’s gi was fixed in place by his blackbelt, the red dan markings along it testament to a lot of years learning what his father had to teach.

This was the second semifinal of the tournament, which along with various other contests was being held on the pokemon rest day of the Cherry Festival. The first semifinal had been an interesting contest between his own father and the current dojo master in Fuchsia City, ending in a narrow win for Rigby. Which of course meant whichever of the two of them won this would be getting their ass handed to them by his dad in the finals. Not exactly a great time, as he could testify from experience, but he’d feel kind of… bad if it wasn’t him. Something something, family pride, yadda yadda. He didn’t usually care much, but then, it was usually his mother nagging him about it, which was easier to ignore than his father’s quieter expectations were. There was something about the man that you just really didn’t want to disappoint.

Plus, there was no way he was giving his dumbass best friend bragging rights here.

Padding out to the middle of the mat, he paused until the referee—Bruno, in this case—called for the bow, then settled into a ready stance, waiting for Ryk to make the first move.

Eryk stared across the floor at his long time friend, Kasimir. A large grin blossomed across his lips, waiting for Bruno to call for the bow. He mimicked Kasimir's stance with one of his own, setting into more of an offensive stance than anything. He wasn't, after all, one for defense. He was a heavy hitter, going straight for the kill when he entered into anything. It was a trait he inherited from his mother, apparently. His father was too much like his sister, though it was from him that he learned to fight. Mainly his mother, actually. He shoved all personal thoughts to the back of his mind as he inhaled slowly. It didn't seem so different, though, facing his friend. Sure, they fought when they were kids, still fought actually, but the only difference now were the set of eyes watching them.

There were more than just the two that usually supervised them. Most of the world was watching them now. For a moment, he wondered how Kasimir's fans were taking it, getting the chance to see him fighting. He almost scoffed, however; he waited patiently for the fight to begin. The only thing he needed to worry about was the person in front of him, his opponent. He could see Kasimir waiting for him to make the first move. If that was the case, then he'd oblige his friend. He moved, setting his foot forward at first before twisting the other leg in an attempt of a roundhouse kick. Kasimir would either dodge it, or catch it and attempt to flip him. He'd be prepared either way.

Vivi wasn’t exactly sure what the appeal was in standing in front of another person and attempting to beat them up, but she supposed it took a lot of talent and hard work to do it well. Still, she wasn’t precisely certain it was the kind of thing she could watch, and though she was currently sandwiched in between the very enthusiastic Crystal and Clair on one side and the entirely unbothered Cy and Lily on the other, she could not bring herself to dismiss the little feelings of dread. Perhaps it was because the only time she’d ever actually encountered fighting before was in those situations where it was for real, and someone could end up hurt, or worse.

Still, she could at least try to see what it was all about, even if it made her a little green in the gills, so to speak. She watched Eryk’s foot go sailing in a strong arc for Kasimir, then as the blue-haired man did something she took to be unexpected and simply blocked with his forearm, shoving the blow backwards but not attempting to take much advantage of it. Maybe that was because he knew what Eryk might do in retaliation? How far ahead did you have to think to be considered good at this sort of thing? Vivi didn't know, but she guessed the two of them must be at least two or three moves ahead, because everything moved so smoothly it was almost choreographed. For the first part of the fight, the flow was rather simple: Eryk came at Kasimir a lot of different ways, and Kas simply deflected with a minimum of movement.

Is he… trying to wear Eryk down? she asked those around her, and Crystal glanced at her from he corner of her eye.

“Probably,” she said. “They’re about even on physical endurance, so the strategy for someone like Kas against such an aggressive opponent is usually to let them wear themselves out a bit before you try anything. It works well on bigger guys, Like Eryk.” She turned back to the ring. “It’s boring to watch though! Come on, Kas, don’t put me to sleep here!”

"I don't think it has anything to do with wearing him down. He and Eryk used to go at it for days," Cyrilla chimed in, though perhaps exaggerating just a bit. Perhaps not days, but there was that one incident where it did take a whole day for them to beat each other into a pulp. It was as if they lived for it, and knowing Eryk, he probably did. "He's probably waiting for Eryk to stop playing around. He's excited, that's a given, but he's not going fully into it. It's what he always does in the beginning of a fight, or well what he did," before his accident. It was a good thing to see him still retaining that part of his memory, or any of his memory actually. There were still a few things he was hazy with, but that could be dealt with in time.

Cyrilla chuckled at Crystal's enthusiasm, shaking her head slowly. "Don't worry Crys, things will get interesting right about," she paused, glancing towards her brother as he made another attempt at attacking Kasimir. She could see the slight movement in his foot as he pushed it back, the faint glimmer in his eyes signaling he was finished with the warm-up. "There it is," she stated, spotting the slight shift in his posture. It was the same movement she noticed he made whenever he was done playing. The feral look in his eyes caused the usually dull brown to shine and morph into something closer to carmine, and he pulled back slightly. It was enough time for him to roll out his shoulders, and smirk at his friend.

"What do you say, care to give them an actual show?" Eryk spoke, jabbing his thumb in the direction he could hear Crystal and the others, though mainly Crystal as she was the only yelling at the moment. Cyrilla would be joining in soon, but knowing her (and he did), she would be rooting for both of them... again. His smirk faltered into a flat look.

Kas rolled his eyes, cracking his neck to one side and then the other. “About damn time,” He replied equally flatly, raising an eyebrow. They didn’t have all day this time, so they would have to actually give it pretty much all they had at once. Smoothly, Kasimir readjusted his stance, waving a lazy hand in his sister’s direction as if to say yeah, yeah, shut up Crystal. She made a face that he could barely see out of the corner of his eye, but any response was drowned out by the general noise of the crowd. Not nearly so packed as a pokemon match, it had nevertheless drawn an audience because of some of the people involved in the tournament, himself not least of all.

From there, the exchanges intensified, and even someone as untrained as Vivi could notice the difference. The blows were faster and heavier, the dodges swifter and considerably closer than they had been. Kasimir was more aggressive than he had been, but still pretty defense-oriented when compared to Eryk, who seemed to throw every punch like it was meant to end the fight all by itself. Vivianna found herself flinching more than once as one or the other made contact with a loud thud. The audience was really into it, to say the least, most people at the edges of their seats, eyes riveted on the scene before them.

She couldn’t exactly cheer like the rest, but she could do something. You… you can do it, Eryk, she said softly into his mind, hoping that she wasn’t inadvertently interrupting some crucial thought process. At this point, they seemed to be operating more on instinct and reflex than anything else, though, so she didn’t think she would be. Somehow, though, saying that the way she had felt different from being one of the members of the crowd yelling something, and for some reason, her face turned just a little pink across the bridge of her nose. She hoped anyone looking would just put it down to the fact that the outdoor arena was warm, especially with a lot of people so close to each other in the stands.

The blows each of them dealt were harder, faster, and would have caused more damage... were they ordinary people. Eryk focused mainly on Kasimir, drowning out the crowd as he became focused on just destroying. Pure instinct, if one were to give it a name, but that was just how they always fought. Each focused on nothing more than their opponent, not worried about who or what was in their way. To say they were unaware, though, would be an understatement. Even if it appeared as if they were fighting on just mere instinct, anyone who truly knew them would know that there was more to it than that. And it was perhaps this small detail that caused Eryk to lose his footing, if only for a second.

It was no mere action that caused it either. It had come so meekly that it had nearly startled him. The voice, he wasn't focused on having someone enter his mind. He could deal with peripherals, that was not a problem. In that mere second, though, Eryk was upon his back, staring up at what appeared to be the sky. Funny, he never knew the sky could smile. A frown marred his lips as he readjusted himself, sitting up to stare at his friend. It wasn't the first time he had lost, and he knew it wouldn't exactly be the last time, however; something tugged at him. It was like having his arms tied behind his back and getting a sudden itch upon his nose. Perhaps even that was not the proper metaphor to use.

"Congratulations, Kas, you officially suck," he stated, trying to collect himself as the adrenaline died down in his system. Some part of him, though, felt like he failed someone, and it wasn't until he remembered the soft voice speaking to him. He pursed his lips together. Why did it feel like he let her down? She was rooting for him, that much he could tell, but it did not stop the feeling from growing. He lost, and that usually did not upset him. If anything, it only caused him to strive to be better, so that the next time he and Kas fought, he would be the victor. So why did it feel like he failed, for the first time in his life?

“Funny,” Kas replied, bending down to help haul Eryk back upright—also standard practice when they’d finished beating the shit out of each other—and then bowing to officially finish the match. “I thought that was what the person still standing said to the idiot laid out on the floor.” He hadn’t missed Eryk’s second of distraction, and he’d used it to punch him square in the face. No mercy was basically their standing policy. It wasn’t like his friend to be distracted even for a moment, but everyone had the occasional mistake, so he put it down to that.

They walked off the ring after that—there was another hour before the finals, and Kas was not looking forward to them, especially. Of course, getting to fight his dad at full steam was a rare event, so in that sense he was looking forward to it, but it was never all that fantastic to get the stuffing beat out of you in public, and there was no doubt in his mind that this would be what happened. His father may be fifty years old, but he was still a force to be reckoned with.

They eventually met up with the others, and he endured the requisite commentary from his mother and sister before they decided to take off to lunch. Amaryllis congratulated the both of them, as did Vivianna, though she looked vaguely worried by something. Probably the fact that Eryk was doing his best impression of a steamed dumpling at the moment, the grumpiness almost enough to induce fuming at the head. This too was normal, and he mentally reassured her of as much, unsure she picked up on the thought until she nodded slightly. “Right, well… I could eat a whole Tauros at this point, so does anyone else want food?”

He was distracted. It was the reason he lost, and he would have to deal with the consequences. Still, it didn't stop him from mumbling incoherent words (probably for the best) to himself. He followed Kas off of the stage, meeting up with his sister and their friends, including Amaryllis. Part of him was slightly grateful that Drake was not present, otherwise he'd get chewed out by Cyrilla for punching the guy in the face. Instead, he allowed some of the fumes to die down, keeping the frown on his face though. He spared Vivianna a glance, but then turned to face anywhere but her. He still couldn't understand the feeling of letting her down and why it was bothering him so much, however; all thoughts fled his mind at the mention of food.

"Where's the nearest stand?" were the only words to escape Eryk's lips. Cyrilla elbowed him in the ribs, and raised a brow at him. "What? I lost, I'm hungry, I want food. Is there something wrong with that?" he spoke, his voice coming out a little deadpan in the process. Cyrilla gave him a flat stare, blinking slowly as Eryk tilted his head in confusion. Was there something else he was supposed to do? Did he forget about something? "I can't read your thoughts, Lala," he stated, speaking only to her. She rolled her eyes as she shook her head.

"You're always hungry," she pointed out, however; she said nothing more. She glanced towards Vivianna and then to Amaryllis, and then lastly to Kas. "Don't let Ryk order the whole store," was the only warning she could give. Sure, Eryk could order the whole store, or restaurant, wherever they were going to eat, however; it was a matter of paying for it. He didn't like people paying for him, and she did not doubt that Kasimir would have the means to be able to do so. "I'll catch up with you guys later, though," she stated, smiling before waving them goodbye. She was here to see her brother's match, and now she was off to watch Drake's pokemon battle.

"I'll just put it on his tab," Eryk spoke, watching as his sister left. He might not have liked Drake, but he did have some use.

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