Previous Next

Kintsugi, A Friendship in Progress

Posted on Sun Jan 3rd, 2021 @ 8:58pm by Captain Sadie Stanton & Commander Sarah Deco

Mission: The Trumpets Sound
Timeline: MD 06, 0900 Hours

Sarah was early. She knew she was. It wasn't easy for a Captain to be on time anywhere these days, her time being robbed and taken up by everyone who had no right to it, so she knew that Sadie wouldn't be too early. In fact, she'd be surprised if she were on time at all. They'd agreed to get together and get some sparring done. They both liked it, but given a lot of circumstances, it just hadn't happened a lot in recent times. Even though bare-handed sparring wasn't necessarily Sarah's forte, she didn't mind. If she wanted to take up anbo jitsu again, she could use the training of her reflexes. So, while she waited, she used the time to do some stretching and wrap her knuckles to protect them.

No, sadly, Sadie could not be early to much of anywhere anymore...but she managed to at least be on time. She was already wearing her workout clothes, hair tied up, although she hadn't wrapped up her knuckles yet. She turned and walked through the door as it swished open, spotting Sarah already getting ready. "Good morning," she said with a faint smile. She always preferred tp spar in the mornings, after all. And with the ship in dock, she could carve out some time.

"Good. You made it," Sarah spoke as she stepped into the ring where they did all their sparring. She heard herself still sounding clipped and not quite with emotion, but she was talking to her friend. The rest would be alright, in time. "Ready to dance?" she asked moments later as the other woman finished her own preparations.

"Always," the captain replied with a small smirk. It wasn't quite as easy between them as it had been before, but it wasn't as bad as it had been recently. Sadie was a practical woman, so she'd take it. She stepped into the ring herself and stretched her arms a few more times before settling into a basic opening pose. Light on the balls of her feet, defensive 'weak' hand up in front and strong hand ready behind. "You ready?"

Sarah didn't bother to reply with words, but instead initiated their circling movement which Sadie easily matched. Anbo jitsu was as much reaction as action, so she'd never been one to strike first. At least not without a visor. A lot had changed over the years, but that hadn't.

By comparison, Sadie in her younger years had always been the one to strike first...until she'd matured a little emotionally and then she became much more defensive instead of offensive. (Although some would argue that she still caused plenty of offense, when given the chance.) She circled. Sarah circled. Sadie eyed her. Sarah eyed back. This could go on for a while, but Sadie just smirked as they moved. She waited...

...but didn't have to wait for long.

It was an indication of the unresolved feelings that Sarah still bore towards Sadie that eventually made her move first. She made a quick right, left jab that was easily countered, but the dance had opened. "Not getting slow, are we?" Verbal comments. Another unusual thing. Anbo jitsu was all about stealth approach, after all.

Sadie only arched a brow as she easily dodged the right and the left, dancing two steps back and moving around again. For her part, Sadie had never been into anbo jitsu. She was a brawler by nature. After a half-a-heartbeat, she moved in again and feinted a left hit before coming around with a right.

No, Sarah had had no illusion that she would be getting slow. The dance was still only picking up its pace though, so the move was easily countered. Before she'd finished the defense, she found her balance on her left heel and aimed her right leg high.

Leaning back just enough to avoid the hit, Sadie swung her left arm and caught the aiming foot with her forearm. It shifted the trajectory of Sarah's kick just enough for Sadie to move in a step closer and bring her right elbow up and in--aimed obviously not for as damaging a hit as it could be since this was a spar, not life-or-death, but enough to make a tag if it connected.

Sarah grunted slightly as she felt the hit to her shoulder. She ignored the resulting feeling and did what she would do if her eyes were unavailable, like with anbo jitsu. Swinging a right jab, she quickly followed it up with her left leg, a scissors movement that was hard to avoid in the best of circumstances. She made the movements far more vigorous than she usually would during sparring though.

The jab was blocked but in doing so, it made it nearly impossible to miss the leg. Sadie shifted to the side enough for it to not connect completely but it connected enough that she gritted her teeth and didn't return the hit at all, instead shifting back fast and out of range to regain her balance after the impact to her side. She eyed Sarah, wondering if this was really a "spar," and began circling again.

The dance returned to its slower motions. Sarah resumed the circling but ran out of patience fast, way faster than she was used to. She moved in on a reckless move that swung her right fist but left her left flank entirely open.

Sadie was surprised when Sarah moved in so fast, so reckless, although perhaps she shouldn't have been. This time when the right fist came for her, she shot out with her own right hand--but it was open. Fingers wrapped around Sarah's wrist as she pushed the blow aside, holding on and using that momentum. Sadie pivoted as she pulled her friend along, but instead of any sort of hard blow like in a "real" fight, she just pushed against her back and then jumped back into defensive pose.

"What are you doing?" Sarah growled, half to herself and half to her friend. The shove against her shoulder blades was enough to force her to take a few quick steps to recover. She swung around with a few deep and sharp breaths and regained her concentration. Hardly any circling had resumed before she kicked out hard again, aiming for Sadie's sternum.

Pushing onto fully on-defense, Sadie just lunged back out of the way. "What are you doing?!" Sadie return-growled.

Sarah landed on her feet and jumped back out of reach before taking a deep heave of breathe. "We're sparring, what else are we doing?"

Sadie didn't take the offensive again, she just kept moving and circling. Watching. "That's what I thought, but it doesn't quite feel that way."

The impatience taking over again, Sarah moved forward. More prepared than last time, she used her right leg for the offensive this time in pivoting to free her left elbow. Only an experienced fighter like Sadie could avoid a broken nose with a similar combat manoever.

Grateful she hadn't lost her edge, Sadie did indeed manage to dodge the elbow and spare herself both the broken nose and uncomfortable conversation about it with the CMO. She growled low in her throat. This was feeling more like a real fight than a friendly spar, and she was trying to sort her own feelings from those around her. She wasted no time before stepping in again, however. Her shoulder shifted in a coming cross from the right, but at the last minute, she shifted to the side and swept her left leg around and toward the backs of Sarah's calves.

Sarah subconsciously saw the leg sweeping in. Usually, in anbo jitsu, it would be a stick she'd sense coming in that direction. She had enough experience to know there was no way she could avoid it. Instead, she pushed her legs forward to guide the incoming sweep and as she was forced down, she continued the fall with a rolling backward motion over her right shoulder. It all happened in a split second, but she'd positioned herself perfectly on her right elbow to kick out hard with her left heel to Sadie's knee.

Moving out of range would give Sarah a chance to get back up and come at her again, but staying in range would equal a busted knee. The choice was easy and thus fast, which was good because it required speed to jump back and avoid the heel with her name on it. A quiet noise of consternation slipped out but she didn't lose her balance. In no position to regain the offensive immediately, however, she slid back into a defensive pose.

It indeed gave Sarah all the time she needed to get back to her feet. She needed a moment to regain her breathe, she was so out of shape it was ridiculous. It only took a moment though before she drew the breathe that got her back into the game. She didn't want to get back to circling, she was impatient and it showed, but she didn't care. She knew she had the upper hand, she could feel it (obviously she did, since she was fighting and Sadie was sparring, but that part passed by subconsciously for now). Thinking back to where the opponent would have a stick, she made a sweeping motion with her wrist to get through the defense to prepare the next set of attack.

As Sarah's left forearm swept forward and to the side, she caught Sadie's left forearm--which unfortunately led to it blocking her own right. She shifted back but couldn't fully escape this block and knew she was only mitigating the hit to come.

Sarah didn't hesitate. Sadie's entire left flank, her right side, lay completely open. She'd blocked the other woman's arms effectively enough so she could get in kick after kick to her friend's side. They were hard. They were well aimed from experience. They were filled with unbridled fury.

The only upside to the kicking--which Sadie took with quiet grunts--was that Sarah's focus shifted to that instead of the arm-block, and that gave Sadie just enough room to not be beaten entirely into the ground. She dropped her outside arm and then brought it back around in something resembling a haymaker. The motion shifted her side away from the incoming legs and it was just enough to break free and stagger back a few steps. "What the hell?!" she said through her teeth, feeling the fury and keeping her hands up in defense even as her body started screaming, trying to fold her in half. She was too stubborn to let it, though.

It would make Sadie favor her right side. Sarah knew that. It was her turn to try the sweep as she quickly dropped down and aimed her right leg to hook behind the left leg that would already be screaming to hold up the rest of Sadie's body.

In one of her most awkwardly-executed defenses ever, Sadie managed to evade the sweeping leg--barely. She jumped just high enough to get out of the way, even as her entire body protested the move. Staggering back another step, she glared at the other woman. This was no spar. Maybe it never had been. "Sarah!" she snapped, pulling back another step but never lowering her defenses or taking her eyes off the other woman.

By the time she landed back on her feet, Sarah's left leg had already started the movement that would take out the leg that was now supporting all of Sadie's weight. Her own body and muscles would protest this particular move in the morning, because it took more agility than she'd practiced in a long time. But she managed. Probably riding on the high of the fury and the adrenalin. By the time she heard her name, it was too late to stop--and even if it hadn't been, it had likely not been enough to stop her.

Sadie was good, but not all-powerful. The second leg-sweep caught her leg and she fell back. She caught herself on her elbows to avoid hitting her head, but they made a resounding crack against even the padded mat upon impact and the pain shot like lightning through her. She cried out with it, unable to keep the sound in.

Her opponent down, Sarah moved in. This wasn't anbo jitsu anymore, this was a fight for survival. She towered over the other woman, her fists raised and ready to move in for the kill.

A split-second to decide. Kick out her friend's knees or try to get her to see reason? The fugue was clear to Sadie's senses, but she was pretty good at survival. "Sarah," she said instead. Voice loud enough to be heard, but this time, it wasn't snapped out. It was said evenly, but strongly. "Stop."

It was enough to made her hesitate. She didn't move. Her fists remained frozen in mid air above Sadie's head. Sarah looked down at the other woman, where the sound had come from. In almost any other situation, the scene would be comical.

That's a start... Sadie thought. She didn't blink, but she felt herself breathing shallowly. "It's over," she said flatly. "We need to stop."

Sarah hadn't spoken in a while. Her own voice broke when she finally did. "Why?"

Sadie resisted the urge to say 'I don't feel like getting beaten anymore' and just took a slow breath. "Why not?" she asked instead, not petulantly. Just quietly. Earnestly. "Why continue?"

Why continue? Sarah leaned back, letting her weight rest on the heels of her feet. Her arms now dropped to the sides. It was a good question. Why continue. The adrenaline which had entered her body during the fight, now left it with a rush. She drew in a deep breathe and closed her eyes for a moment. She'd won. It was over. Or had she? And was it? Looking down, she saw the woman. She saw Sadie. She saw her friend. "Sadie? What happe- oh my god, I did this, didn't I?"

Sensing the danger was past, Sadie groaned and gave in to her body. She lowered herself back against the mat. "Not our best moment, I'll admit," she managed to say.

"You did everything you could.." Sarah whispered. "You couldn't do any more. You couldn't.." she continued. Whether she was talking to herself or to Sadie didn't really matter, it was for both their ears. "You couldn't protect me any more.." she said, looking the other woman up and down. Outwardly, not many injuries were to be seen, but Sadie wouldn't sag down unless it really hurt bad.

"I've always done the best I could," Sadie said, closing her eyes and trying to mentally sort out whose emotions were whose.

Sarah listened to the words. All energy had left her. She felt wide open. Exposed. All shields gone. If it hadn't been Sadie with her.. if it hadn't been.. but it was.. it was her friend.. she'd kept her as safe as she could.. she was safe..
The vulnerability wreaked havoc inside Sarah's mind and body and she drew in a sharp breathe.
"You have.." she finally admitted outloud.

After a few moments, Sadie had to give up trying to sort anything out. "I don't know what to say now," she admittedly quietly.

Falling back on her butt, Sarah sighed as she crossed her legs and hugged herself. It wasn't necessary. She was in no danger. Her friend was no danger to her. A few seconds later, she forcefully made herself unhug herself, uncross her legs and close some of the distance between her and her friend. She didn't know what to say either. The silence was deafening. Only both their labored breathe was heard. "How are you feeling?" she finally asked, shame reaching new levels as she didn't really want an inventory of the damage she'd done but she figured she owed Sadie at least that much.

Sadie did one of those snort-laugh things, then winced at how it contracted her sore abdomen. "I'll live," she said wryly. She tilted her head slightly to eye Sarah. "You?" She was an empath but there was so much going on around and inside them, she had no idea what to make of it.

"Like a very bad friend," Sarah sighed. She looked away from Sadie because she couldn't take facing her anymore. Eventually, she pushed herself to her feet. All in all, Sadie had been sparring and thus hadn't hit her very hard if at all. The reverse was obviously not true. "Can you stand?"

"Yeah," Sadie replied with far more confidence than she actually felt. She groaned a little and put her hands on the floor, pushing herself up cautiously to her feet. Bruised ribs, at the least, she thought. She'd had enough of them in her day. Once on her feet, though, she held out her hands. "No problem."

Sarah watched the struggle as shame washed over her again. But there was something else. Pride. Trust. Pride in her friend. Trust in her friend. She'd just let herself be beaten up (because really, there was no way she could've won if Sadie had given it more effort), and she was still here. Momentarily forgetting just how hurt her friend was, and usually very uncharacteristically for the two of them, Sarah threw herself in Sadie's arms and hugged her tightly (sorry about the ribs). "You're my best friend, Sadie," she sobbed into her friend's shoulder.

Although she couldn't stop the wince at the hug, she didn't pull away. She hugged back the best she could and smiled a little. "You're mine too, Sarah."


Previous Next