A couple of hours had passed since Asen had relocated them. Caesar was the first to get up and connect with the college. Asen could hear NoNo tear him a new one for leaving such a message and then making her assume the worst. Solace was next to where Makoto began stitching up her wounds properly for her and providing miso soup for her. Johann wasn’t up yet, he did use a lot of energy pushing the ship with his power, it was very likely he would be out the longest.
Luminous winced a bit, his head was throbbing, he let out a low groan as he ran a hand through his strained hair. He noticed he was laying on his back and was staring at the ceiling. He looked back behind him and saw Asen with a bowl in his hands, back against the wall, he was pretty pale and blood stained the gauze wrapped around his bare waist.
Luminous shot up and looked over to him, “A-Asen!” He stammered
The poor boy jolted a bit from the sudden noise and looked towards Luminous. those big blue eyes had so many emotions swirling in his heart-shaped pupils. He winced from the hot soup that splashed on his hands.
Luminous bowed his head in shame and let out a meek apology before scooting right beside him, Asen set down the soup and kept his hands in his lap quietly
“Y-you don’t look so good...Are you okay..?” He gestured to the gauze, Asen didn’t take his gaze off the floor, he simply signed that he was fine. Luminous didn’t believe it for one second. He reached his arm around Asen’s shoulders and gently guided the Russian’s head to rest on his shoulder, with both of their backs to the wall. Asen teared up a bit and scooted closer to him, taking the comfort Luminous was giving. The honey-eyed student scanned over the rest of the team worriedly
“Are you guys okay..?” Luminous asked
“I think so...” Solace murmured
“I am, How about you Luminous?” Caesar asked
“I-I’m okay Class Rep! Nothing got to me...” Luminous smiled
“Good...Johann still hasn't come to, but he went through a lot yesterday, the Oni, and then the ship..."
Solace softened and turned to Asen
“You still don't look any better, Can you open your heal-source yet...?”
Asen attempted to by flexing his hand, but nothing came of it. the heart-eyed student shook his head.
“He’s too weak to summon anything, looks like you’re gonna have to heal naturally,” Caesar explained
Luminous took his attention back to Asen, “You look exhausted newbie” He teased gently
Asen denied it, trying to sit back up
“You’re hurt, pretty badly-- Luminous’ smile fell
“I’ve been through worse” Asen signed out stubbornly
“Asen--” Luminous protested
“I’m fine” Asen signed hastily, not wanting to admit he wasn’t
Luminous softened and gently nudged him to have Asen lean back on him “Okay if you say so...” he murmured
Asen felt the tension slip from his shoulders as Luminous dropped it. He didn’t wanna focus on himself, he was too scared to. But he couldn’t deny he was dizzy and anemic. Luminous silently rubbed his index finger on Asen’s forearm to provide some sort of comfort.
Luminous’ eyes picked up on the discoloration on his arm, it looked like a burn scar, it was pretty healed, so not recent. He assumed it was from Black Swan, the ‘worse’ that Asen mentioned he had been through. Luminous began to notice that Asen always wore large clothes, but right now with the wetsuit only wearing from the waist down, he could see every little scar Asen had, along with this new one. Luminous wasn’t sure if he could imagine such a time.
Asen felt calm in the atmosphere Luminous created, he probably felt safest with him. Every interaction they had together was always safe, so despite everything, he trusted Luminous. The dizziness was catching up to him, and Luminous wasn’t helping with his silent comforts. It’s almost like he was betting on Asen to rest on his own. Despite Asen’s stubbornness he did end up nodding off on Luminous, just as the Honey-eyed student had hoped. he was praying that some rest will bring color back to his pale friend. and within minutes, Asen was out like a light, his head resting on his friend’s shoulder and hands neatly tucked in his lap.
Caesar looked up from the laptop after a few moments from disconnecting the call and scoffed quietly “Good he needs that...” Caesar whispered
Luminous nodded in agreement, looking back to Caesar, who had a face of melancholy
“Class Rep?” He softened
“I almost forgot about the stuff in the Nibelungen...” he murmured, not taking his eyes off Asen
“It’s not my story to tell...” Luminous murmured meekly
“I know...Is he really over thirty years old?” He huffed
“Yeah, he like totally pulled a Soldier America...” Luminous murmured
“What??” Solace chimed in
Caesar turned to her “Asen lied to us, He’s from Black Swan”
“Now that’s not fair-” Luminous defended quietly
“I think it should have been brought up,” Caesar argued
“Black Swan??” Solace questioned
“It was an orphanage in Russia. the first that held Dragon Hybrids ever recorded, it was like baby Cassell College.” The French man explained
“But a tragedy happened, the leader went nutzo and massacred everyone there, something Asen was a part of-” He directed that last statement to Caesar
“I get it! It was an awful event but-” Caesar defended
“Asen’s how old??” Solace asked but was ignored by Caesar and Luminous’ argument
“You’ve never had anything traumatic happen to you Class Rep- you can’t think everyone is logical like you! If Asen really was from there and was trapped all those years in Ice, that means he’s only just eighteen! Can you imagine if you lost everything you ever knew at that age? he isn’t thirty-something, he’s eighteen, whos been trapped, like a coma, you can’t expect him to be a complete adult when he hasn’t known anything except Black Swan-” Luminous scolded hushedly, trying to avoid waking up Asen.
“Then why put him on this mission?” Caesar argued
“Because his power is unmatched” Johann spoke up.
This took all three of them by surprise, they were all wrapped up in their argument that no one notice Johann was up, and listening in
“Killboy...Are you okay?” Luminous asked
“I’m fine. But you saw Asen back in the Nibelungen, That kind of power isn’t S-Rank, I think it’s more than that,
“You think he’s an SS?” Caesar asked
“I’m not sure, but in that Oni's playpen, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it...” Johann explained
“Remember what he did back there, it was like, he had the help of ghosts in that fight” Luminous chimed in
“Asen’s power is strong, too strong,” Johann started
“Is that even possible? to be too strong?” Solace intervened
“In his situation yes. The reason he cannot control it is that at Black Swan. They only ever trained to fight... It was Russia’s secret weapon, to make soldiers benefit from the Cold War” Johann explained
Solace felt her chest swell, like a fit of subtle anger in her, something she couldn’t describe or make sense of, why was she mad? For Asen’s sake? That didn’t make sense to her. She remained quiet on the feelings as Johann continued.
“That’s why the life expectancy was so short in Black Swan, kids there were never taught blood rage spikes, it wasn’t a discovery back then...” Johann explained
“That’s why Asen cant regain his strength?” Luminous questioned
“Exactly, his power is high but his recovery is extremely low, thus the ability to control his blood rage, this could not only lead to physical complications but mental ones too.” Johann looked over to Caesar
“Luminous is right, this isn’t the work of deception, Asen isn’t an enemy here...” Johann said sternly
“I-I wasn’t making him an enemy-I just-...” Caesar softened as he watched Asen quietly
“Nevermind...I don’t know where I’m going with this-” He swore something French under his breath and stood up,
“Where are you going now??” Luminous asked quietly
“To find someplace with cigars” He huffed
“Be careful, outside is crawling with mobsters"
“I’m aware--you all rest up before we run into those groups-” Caesar said and walked towards the back.
Once he was out of sight from his team he ran a hand through his blonde hair to relieve some of his shot nerves he walked towards the back door to see Makoto coming out from the kitchen. She smiled brightly upon seeing the Gattuso and gave a kind bow
“Hello Mr. Gattuso, I’m glad to see you better” She hummed
“This is nothing...Thank you for both you and your boss’s help...” Caesar nods politely
“Oh...It’s alright...consider it even, for helping me before...” Makoto played with her curls sheepishly looking back up at him
“So...Miss Makoto, you only work here?” He asked
“Oh no...I work part-time in the streets as well” She hummed
Caesar furrowed his brow, unable to find proper words at that moment “You uh...in the-” He stammered.
It took Makoto a hot second for her to click what Caesar was thinking “No! Goodness no!! I polish shoes!! I-I’m not that kind of girl to sell myself that way---” She turned bright red at the thought.
Caesar chuckled nervously and nods in agreement “Well...good to hear, Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go to the convivence store--” He reaches for the door but she promptly stops him,
"Are you crazy?? The Police are looking for you! Along with the surplus of mobsters...You're all over TV! You'll be spotted within seconds!" Makoto warned
Caesar glanced outside through the slit in the door and softened
"I suppose you're right...Saving me again, now were uneven" He teased, she smiled cheekily at that
"I uh...I-I can grab them for you, whatever it is you needed--" She murmured
"Cigarettes, Cigars preferably," He says quietly to her
"I'll be right back then" She smiled, her cheeks a bright crimson as she stumbled out the backdoor.
Caesar chuckled to himself before turning back down the hall to regroup with his team. Meanwhile, Makoto was on the other side of the door, her face bright red as she walked. She was falling, and fast. She couldn't wait to return, cigarettes in hand, to her new crush,