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Rocky Road ~ House of Starr and Nate

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Negrek

Whole of the Moon
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Nate gripped his beer tight, stung by Silver's disapproval. What, you think you're fucking better than me?

"Yeah, that's got to suck," he managed to get out. "I guess, even if you can't fight against it straight up, there's still ways you could help out. Hell, even just training with the team could help. You might not know much about battling as a mewtwo, but you still know lots about battling, right? I'm sure we could learn a lot for you."

Nate sighed and rubbed at one of his gills. "Or there's always scouting, research, whatever. Shit, I mean, we got a couple of those parasites over in the lab right now. Really need to go and see if Chip's figured anything out about them."
 

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There was something pretty weird about a Mewtwo feeling useless. Just went to show how weird this whole situation really was. Shame that the Blacklight fucked up anyone it touched, because it was pretty much their best weapon.

Starr's tail twitched at the mention of the parasite again, and for a half-second her mind generated the image of engulfing it in flames, burning it to ashes. "Right. Yeah, I know my... shade was wanting to look into them more, figure out what their deal is." She'd almost said brother. God dammit.
 

Namohysip

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Silver made another grunt, noncommittal. "I don't know if I want to get involved in that," he said. "Maybe I'll observe, but I don't know what I'd do to help. Plus, I saw what those things did to one Mewtwo... and apparently the other Mewtwo on this planet turned into some kind of mutant hybrid freak. I'm kind of the only normal one left. Maybe I should keep it that way."
 

Negrek

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For some reason Nate bristled at Silver's casual remark that Karat was a mutant hybrid freak. It's not like he was wrong, exactly, but Jesus. "Dunno if you count as normal, since you're human and all. Which I guess means you're supposed to be, like, stronger than the other mewtwo, right? Once you get the hang of shit." Nate rubbed the back of his neck. "But I get not wanting to be involved with the parasites and shit. But we're always looking for people can help us get stronger."

Starr, on the other hand, didn't really have a way to not be involved with the parasite shit at this point. Nate wouldn't exactly blame her if she never came near one of the things again, though. "Yeah, I've seen him around the lab now and again. Seems like he's having a good time." That... probably made things more awkward, didn't it? Having your familiar poking at whatever brain-control bug people had beaten out of you. At least Rocky wasn't that much of an asshole, usually.

"How're you, uh, holding up after all that?" Not like he really needed to ask with the way Starr had been throwing herself at every fight that presented itself the past couple weeks, but still.
 

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Starr gave Nate a sideways glance, realized he'd said it with something that looked like concern, and rearranged her face into something more approachable "Been doing alright. Haven't felt sick, still kicking ass in fights, so y'know, I don't think we've got to worry about any long-term side effects." That wasn't remotely what he'd asked.
 

Negrek

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"Well, that's good," Nate said. "I heard about the kicking ass thing and all. Got a real win streak going, don't you?"

"But you're barely ever here," Rocky said, rubbing his hands slowly together, his ears drooping. "Don't you need to rest sometimes, too? I miss you. And it makes me worried."

"Look, it ain't weird to be doing lots of battling. We got some serious shit to prepare for. And it ain't none of your business how Starr spends her time," Nate said.

"Marshtomp's worried about you, too."

"What?! I ain't--" Nate threw a wild glance at Silver, who was still over there, watching all of this. "I mean, look, she just said she's fine, all right? Nothing here to worry about." Why was this happening? Fuck.
 

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Starr blinked at Rocky, caught off guard by the sudden rush of... sympathy. Fuck. She didn't want people worrying about her.

"Hey, I mean..." she began, rubbing the back of her head, "it's not like I don't know how to chill. I know I'm gone a lot, but half the time I'm just... watching shit at Brisa's place and crashing on her couch afterward." There, maybe they'd tease her about that and forget about the other thing.
 

Negrek

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Rocky brightened a bit at that. "That's good! I'm glad you haven't just been fighting all the time. But..." The familiar hunched nervously again, "Maybe we could hang out sometimes, too? We could even do battling if you wanted. I like fighting."

Nate was busy trying to teleport out of there through sheer force of will.
 

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The Infernape shade just looked so sad. Damn it all...

Starr forced a smile. "Yeah. Yeah, if you want to hang out, practice some fire moves together, that'd be cool." She really wasn't sure how many moves familiars could even do--she knew it was limited, but it was kind of hard to know exactly when her own familiar had zero interest in battling.
 

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Silver watched the exchange awkwardly, having no interest in trying to get involved in Spectrum interpersonal matters. Still, he did at least comment. "Back when I was training really hard, I learned that taking breaks can help get stronger so your body has time to process all the exertion. No rest, no time to recover." He looked them over. "Then again, I have no idea if that applies to you guys."
 

Negrek

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Rocky perked up again when Starr suggested they could practice their fire moves. "I'm the best at fire moves!" he said brightly. "I can't make mine too hot, though. I guess maybe because my fire isn't real fire. But I bet I can get a lot better at it!"

The familiar's eyes glowed smugly. That little shit. Nate knew he mostly wasn't even interested in the whole battling part of the arrangement.

Well, whatever. If he really thought he wanted to get wrapped up in whatever the fuck was going on with Starr, he could be Nate's guest. "Great," he grunted. "Wonderful. Glad everybody's happy, then."

You don't have to be jealous, Rocky said smugly in his head. You can come too.

Nate made a swatting motion as though to slap the thought away. Like he wanted to get involved with that shit. Like he'd said earlier, it was none of his fucking business how Starr was coping with getting parasitized. She'd just said she was fine, anyhow. And it wasn't like he had any actual business learning about fire.

"Well, great talk," he said. "I guess I'd better be, uh, getting over to the lab, then." Goddammit. He'd almost gone and steered shit back exactly where he didn't want to go. Not to mention that he'd just been settling in to relax before the other two had had to go and show up.

Well, whatever. He did need to be getting to the lab anyhow. And that's where he went, trailing a searingly cheerful Rocky, wrapped up in his own bitter thoughts as usual.

<><><>​
 
R14 – A Light That Doesn't Hurt

unrepentantAuthor

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Before the fight in the Radiant Void...

Bristarr Spa.png

Gods, but Brisa ought to have tried one of Cibus' spas before now. How much less stressed could she have been if she'd just had a goddamn hot bath once in a while? And they had some kind of fucking berry or orb or something that made the water pleasant for fire types, and Starr was right there next to her, eyes closed and jaw slack with enjoyment, her belt of flames merrily blazing away, heating up the pool even further.

Brisa smiled, and breathed out the last of the tension in her. Whatever their next mission held for them, whatever troubles awaited the team, the two of them could always come back here and everything would be okay. Perfect.
 
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Chibi Pika

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After the fight in the Radiant Void...

The aftermath had been a bit of a blur. Starr remembered portaling out of that void and Brisa escorting her home in a hurry. Most likely to ensure that she didn't have to endure being crowded by the rest of the team in that state. Surrounded, humiliated, patronized, whatever. Starr didn't care what they thought of her. Let them.

(Or not--maybe they weren't bothered at all. Didn't make any difference.)

Brisa's words still echoed in Starr's head. 'You keep choosin' to be decent, and that ain't a lie, it's brave and it's good and you're brave and you're good. I think that's amazing. I fuckin' admire you for it. I do.' She'd meant every word of it too. Well, of course she did. Of course Brisa of all people would be motivated to look past everything.

Starr didn't have the energy to fight it. Apparently she was just allowed to hurt people and still keep them. Why try to fight it.
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Now...

They'd hung out as usual to watch movies. They'd met up for their normal drills and matches. They'd taken on and defeated spectacular opponents. But things still weren't right. Starr was still holding what had happened right up in her chest, piercing her own heart with it.

Brisa had never believed that beating up a goddess and shit-talking B-movies would make everything okay again, or bring back that feeling of peace from right before the mission. She hadn't tried to pretend nothing had happened, not really. But Starr was Starr. She wasn't gonna talk frankly about . . . something like that. Not without being pushed.

Brisa let herself into Starr's place and mewed a wordless greeting. Hopefully Starr was home alone. Definitely better that way. Even if they didn't manage to talk about heavy shit anyway, Brisa didn't much want to share the snacks she'd brought with Nate and Silver, let alone Silver's team. That weavile could put away the lot unassisted.

Maybe you should push her to talk t'you about it.

Maybe she should. Snacks first.
 
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Chibi Pika

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Starr heard the sound of the door opening and stirred groggily. Apparently she'd passed out on the couch while watching things on her badge. (Her sleep schedule had been several flavors of messed up all week, ugh.)

"Hey, come in," she called out pointlessly, as Brisa had already walked right in and shut the door behind her. Starr rubbed her eyes and squinted at the contents of Brisa's shoulderbag. She'd brought food. "Thanks, I'm starved."
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Brisa smiled fondly, but with concern. Yet another person she loved looking like shit. Every mission took it out of the team in a new way, and she felt less able than ever to support them.

"Help yerself," she said, hefting the tote onto the coffee table and planting herself on the other side of the couch. "Budge up."

It was tempting to shift into zeraora form just to be comfier on the couch, but... Well, besides feeling like a weird flex and an improper use of the form, she wanted things to feel normal for Starr.

And besides, bein' a luxray gives a better excuse to drape yerself over her a bit.

Maybe her Shadow would kindly shut the fuck up if she cracked open a beer.

It's true, though.

Brisa cracked open a beer.
 

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"Yeah, yeah," Starr said, putting on an exaggerated show of resistance as she sat up to make room. Her head was killing her. She thought about getting up for some painkillers but then didn't think she had the energy to anyway. So... yeah, food first.

"Been up to anything interesting since I last saw you?" Since she'd last seen Brisa... this morning? Yesterday morning? She wasn't sure, and didn't feel like asking.
 

unrepentantAuthor

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"Yeah, I–"

Shit, was Starr gonna want to hear about her recent mission? Eh, she'd hear about it soon enough, Nate was her housemate after all.

"Uh, I went with a few others into Diyem's Voidlands, did what we could to rescue that corrupted mewtwo. No fightin', believe it or not. I, ah, kept him calm while Bahamut healed him, an' Owen drew out the parasite. Nate had an ultra stone on him, and we used that to host his spirit, since, uh. His body just..."

Brisa thought about Starr, seized by another parasite. If they hadn't helped her quick, would her body have given out like Mewtwo's...?

"Well, anyway, looks like he's no longer a threat. No idea how we're gonna get him back in mental shape after what he went through, though."
 

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Starr shrugged impassively. "Yeah, I don't know. I guess Silver's gonna talk to him. Mewtwo-to-Mewtwo, maybe there'll be some connection there. Trigger some memories from back in their world, something like that." She held both palms up in a 'who knows' sort of way.
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Ah, Starr had already heard about it, then. Good. Or whatever.

"Good luck to 'em," said Brisa.

She was quiet for a minute, settling herself with roasted nuts and canned ale. The feeling of gloom was still there, but she'd still rather be where she was than anywhere else. At last, she bucked up to say what was on her mind.

"How're y'feelin' 'bout what happened? Now that you've had a minute to breathe, an' all."
 
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