By Kaija 17 Comments
If you keep pushing yourself like this, you’re going to break. I know you may not want to believe it, but you’re doing your job just fine. Both of them. Times like these are when you should relax and enjoy yourself. Otherwise, what was the point of all of it?
“What are you doing?”
Uma’s mind fell back to the present moment to find her taut fingers pressed against Gaoto’s chest, directly over his heart. Great move for a bear, not so much a human.
“Huh. Good question,” she replied.
“Eh, you $@#& around if you want, but don’t come crying to me when the leviathan takes that hand from you,” the old man turned and made his way to the table with two dry towels, bringing one of them to his face.
“Just lost my focus for a moment. C’mon, let’s go again.”
“No. That was your last bout for today, anyways. Just make sure to keep your head out of your ass next time.”
Towel draped over his shoulders, old-man Gaoto took his leave. Uma shrugged and brought her own towel to her face to mark the end of that day’s training. Footsteps drew closer from her side at a walking pace as she wiped the sweat from her brow. A glance revealed it to be her boss.
The young titan who was known to knock out three or four servings of Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes drowned in gravy and was having trouble getting through a single plate. She was unusually quiet and the energy that often went into eating and chatting Axum’s ears off with conversations about nothing had apparently fallen into one of her legs. It didn’t take long for the anxious tapping of her feet to capture the entirety of Axum’s attention.
“Whatever it is, you should go ahead and tell me before it becomes too big of an issue,” he broke the relative silence.
“You’re practically radiating stress. Why?”
“Oh,” her leg slowed to a stop, “I guess it’s just that things have been so weird lately.”
Axum raised an eyebrow then surveyed the area to find the very same personnel eating the same meals that were served by the same caterers at the same tables. And, as far as he knew, Kaija had been undergoing the same maintenance training and dealing with hostile kaiju as they came, as was expected. He shook his head subtly as he met her gaze once more.
“Weird?” he asked, brow furrowed.
“It’s hard to explain. For the past few years it’s been a war, then some assassin, then a terrorist, then some other bullshit. One thing after another. But now…” she paused for a moment to find her words, “Well, it’s almost like it’s too calm.”
“What, you want trouble?”
“No, no. I mean, I’m happy. I’m just surprised, I guess,” she explained, “Incredulous.”
Axum shut his eyes and began to chuckle as Uma tilted her heat to the side.
“You are completely insane,” he replied before he burst out laughing.
“What!?” she exclaimed, “C’mon, you have to admit that I have a point.”
"Not really," he replied, wiping away a tear as he forced himself to stop laughing, “Listen. I know you’re probably not aware of this, but your friend, Ms. Leet, went into surgery a few hours ago. She lost an eye, and her injuries suggest that she wasn’t far from losing everything. And do you know what she was doing the last time I saw her?”
His words were met with silence.
“She was smiling and doing her work. Laughing it up and having a good time. And now, she’s under a knife. Uma, do you know why you’re asked to do little more than train on the average weekday? Why you’re given so much free time working here?”
“Yeah, yeah, you’ve told me many times…”
“Yeah, and I’ll tell you again. It’s not for you to sit around worrying about literally nothing,” he explained, “The word kaiju only implies 3 things; absurd strength, absurd durability and absurd size. Aside from that, every time that you go to work, you’re liable to run into practically anything. Any mission could be your last. So now, when things are going well, you need to be going out, getting drunk, spending time with Mr. Thunderbolt…”
“Alright, alright, forget I said anything.”
Uma turned away from him and got back to eating her food. Her boss took a single sip of coffee. A few seconds later, he began to laugh to himself once more and was immediately met with a glare.
“I’m taking a few of the boys out drinking tonight. You’re coming.”
“What, is that an order?”
“Yeah, we’re gonna need someone to carry Outsider back to his room when he inevitably ends up blacking out.”
She sighed, “Right.”
The clock read 8:13. A young blonde spun around on the soles of her feet to catch glimpses of herself from every angle that she could. She was smiling. From over her shoulder, she caught a glimpse of the ink on her back and realized why she hadn’t worn that shirt in ages and how much she had changed. She simply continued to twirl about slowly, no longer even batting an eye.
“Hey babe, we’re about to head out. You almost ready!?” a familiar voice calls from the other side of her door.
“Yeah, one sec!”
She wanders into her closet and catches sight of a rusted sword that she kept in the back corner.
Days like these, huh?
She grabbed a pair of shoes that matched her outfit well enough, then slammed the closet behind her and took her leave. Tonight was a night to enjoy.