Rumble From the East

April 01, 2019:

Caitlin Fairchild meets Katsumi Oshiro


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Log Commenced: 01-Apr-19 07:52PM EST


Rumble in Brooklyn!

That's how it's been billed. An international event of pro wrestling's most influential, most memorable, most iconic superstars from around the world! All gathered here, in the Big Apple, for a one-night event! Not only will America be represented in the arena, but Britain, Australia, and Russia will all be present and competing for fame and glory! But let's not forget about the original kings and queens of hard style, Japan! Indeed, there are going to be some big personalities in the ring tomorrow night for this sold out event.

And one of those personalities is none other than the Punk Princess herself, Katsumi Oshiro. Who feels a bit like dying. Fourteen hours in transit, less than twenty four hours of rest before an enormous, potentially career-shaping event. Her 'teammates' decided to get to bed and try to correct their jetlag. Katsumi didn't see the point. Besides, it's always better if they're asleep by the time she comes in. Less drama. And she figured that maybe, just maybe, exploring a foreign city would ease some of the tension. So she grabbed a cab out of the airport and told him to drive. Nowhere in particular - just drive. Show her around. Earbuds were popped in, and she was set.

Naturally, he took her straight to the stadium she'd be wrestling in. With a sigh, she told him to stop, paid him with the weird monies, then disembarked to just approach the gate. It was sealed off for tonight, of course. With so many foreigners here, they didn't want any risk of international incident. But her mind was very, very far removed from anything like that.

Slender hands grip the gates and she tilts her head forward, gently smushing ehr face between two bars. She stares quietly at the ominous structure, her mind swimming with what-ifs and fatigue.


"You can't be closed! The meet and greet's scheduled for tonight!"

There's a milling sort of discontent forming near the ticket booth. A dozen or two people look very put out at some announcement being made. Disgruntled might be the word, as they look like they've been bundled up in the New York springtime chill for a few hours.

"The ad said the Crushinator would be here for autographs!" a man yells.

"And I wanted to meet Lady Slaughter!" someone else cries from the rear.

The ticketmaster holds his hands up, retreating under the onslaught of angry consumerism. "I'm sorry! We had to cancel the autograph session. The Malaysians are exhausted and the Russian team hasn't made it to their hotel yet. I'm very sorry for people who pre-ordred, but if you look at your tickets, it says 'we make no guarante—" his words are cut off by a barrage of BOOOOOs and thrown food, and he beats a retreat to the ticket booth.

"Can you believe this?" a woman near Katsumi sighs. She's holding a camera in her hands and looking tremendously put-out. Red hair's tucked under a green ballcap and she's shrugged into a hooded windbreaker that makes a game attempt at disguising her build. Even hunching, though, it's hard to miss how freakishly tall the woman is, and her calf-length jeans show off some serious muscle that bely any notions of being merely overgrown and skinny. "At this rate the Japanese team probably isn't even going to show!" she says, sounding frustratedly disappointed.


Katsumi Oshiro doesn't withdraw her face from the gap between the bars, but her slightly-discolored eyes sideshift at the commotion.

Well, THAT'S unexpected. She didn't even notice them. God, she feels wasted.

Though she isn't sure she's in the best shape to be dealing with fans, hearing their disappointment and the conclusion that the Japanese team wouldn't even show sealed her fate. She retracts her face from the gate and paws both hands against her eyes in an effort to clear fatigue. Energy! Energy-energy-energy.

"Ex-CUSE me?," she suddenly asks as she quarter-turns to the crowd. A gloved fist is propped to her hip and an impish smile plays on her lips. Feel free to include one pointy little fang poking out. Metaphorically, that is! "The Japanese team's already here! And maybe they're lost, or just lazy, but who needs'em!? The best is right here!"


The crowd turns to look at Katsumi when the woman raises her voice, brows raising in mild surprise at her boisterous assertion. They look around at one another. The redhead near Katsumi blinks twice in surprise and half turns to look at her as well, subtly distancing herself from the surprisingly loud woman.

"The Japanese team *isn't* here," someone says, patiently. "That's the point. We paid extra for this pre-game autograph session and they blew us off!" Angry grumbles.

"Screw 'em, the Japanese team sucks this year!" someone shouts.

"Hey, you take that back! They're at least *trying*!"

"Yeah and they got their ASSES kicked at the German Battle in Berlin!"

"Because they're a bunch of hacks!" someone else shouts.

A fight looks like it's brewing, and the redhead backs a wary half a step up. "Jeeze, guys, c'mon," she says, nervously. "It's not worth getting angry over," she says, mildly. "Throwing a tantrum isn't going to magically summon any of 'em from the hotel, you know."


Oh. What? This turned on Katsumi rather quickly. If this is her international appeal, she really has to make a strong showing tomorrow. Holy crap.

However, some of the things being tossed out aren't going to fly with the punkette. "Who said that!?," she demands, her posture shifting from cocky to aggressive with a forward lean. She can't tell which one started it, or who all chimed in - height isn't her advantage, certainly not in the States - but by her commanding tone of voice, she's expecting transparency. "Whoever out of you has the balls to say I suck, come'n say it to my face! I don't care what you think about the rest, but if you're gonna throw $#!@ MY way, you'd better come correct!"

Normally she's so much more amiable with fans. But these didn't seem to be fans. And she's so unusually tired and drawn, she has just no nerves or patience. More than usual!


The redhead winces at the swearing. Actually winces. She is, very obviously, not a native metropolitan resident. Given her complexion she's got to be one of those corn-fed rustbucket transplants who heads to the big city to make it big. She's certainly built like someone who rides tractors. Or lifts them, anyway.

"Hey, there's no need for that," she tells Katsumi. Her tone— still polite and calm, but a little more resolute. Not confrontational by any stretch, though. "Everyone's super tired and grouchy because the ticketmaster screwed up. But hey, it's really nice of you to offer to sign autographs!" she tells Katsumi with an encouraging smile. "Hey everyone, she's part of the Japanese team!" she tells everyone, enthusiastically. "And she'll sign autographs!"

"Are you like the manager, or the costumer, or…?" she asks.

Ooh, and she was doing so well there.


The chastising, as it hit Katsumi's ear, was odd. Mothering, in a way. She didn't care for it, but it successfully reminded her that these were wrestling fans. She needed to play nice, even if they were being a bag of dongs and insulting her.

"Tch..," scoffs the 'Princess'. Her stance adjusts out of aggression at least, her arms folding tersely over her chest. She's still visibly annoyed but it's gradually dissipating, and her attention turns to focus more fully on the absurdly tall redhead.

"Yeah. I'll sign stuff. It's- yeah. Here." She unfolds her arms again and starts to reach out for anything that looks like a writing apparatus and signable object, only to freeze suddenly.

Her arms slowly lower to her sides, and her eyes narrow to slits.

"I am SO kicking America's ass tomorrow." Her hands ball into fists. "I'm Oshiro Katsumi."


The crowd stares at Katsumi blankly at her assertion. Aside from some swilling patriotic fervor, none of them seem to be picking up on her name.

Except for the redhead, who gaaaasps and points at Katsumi in shock. "Pankupurinsesu!" she yelps. "Oh my gosh! You're the Punk Princess!" she declares. "I am SO SORRY!" She looks mortified. The crowd reacts atavistically to the ginger's enthusiasm. She ignores them, counting on her fingers. "I saw your debut fight against Samuraisamu and Rokettoraddo!" she exclaims. "And your international match against Slim Jim Pankrettidharma from India!"

"And you're here!" she says, almost squealing. "Can— would it be OK if I got a selfie? For my collection?" she asks. She holds her phone up for a beat and hugs it to her sternum before just snapping pictures. "I am SUCH a fan," she confesses. "Someone on Facebook said you weren't even *coming* here!"


What a whirlwind of emotion that Katsumi doesn't have the reserves to parse! But the confusion is plainly written on her face, more easily for just how darn expressive it is. Her mouth falls open into a tiny confused frown, her fine black eyebrows knit inwards, and those slits of eyes widen into slightly almond-shaped saucers. Forget any intimidation she might have been starting.

Like an old motor struggling to start, the girl sputters a couple times in an attempt to catch up with the redhead. Finally: "Sure. Sure!" There's that energy. It even comes with the cautious beginnings of a smile. "You saw my debut? Oh my god, can you UNsee it? There's a funny story with that, and you probably already know it if you're a big fan, but in case you don't? That was literally the first time I was in the ring. Supposed to be a tryout. Welcome to sports entertainment, huh?"

She takes a moment to turn her face slightly to the side and hood her gaze sidelong to the camera, chin uptilting and offering a sideways victory-V. She's quite used to photographs.


Caitlin grabs up her phone and hunkers down to take a photo with Katsumi. She seems used to having to angle herself awkwardly, and tilts her head back so her hat brim reveals an open-mouthed grin of shocked delight for the camera. Green eyes go wide, V-sign, *click*.

"I *heard*," Caitlin gasps at Katsumi. "But it was one of those stories that cycled through social media through like, four different languages? And y'know, everyone says that sort of thing, 'oh it was totally random', so I didn't know how real it was." Her enthusiasm is effusive and… very sincere. She actually *is* a fan. "How did they rope you into that for an actual show? Like, let alone putting it on *air*. Did you not do any rehearsals or anything? I thought it was a really great looking fight, I mean, the punches were a bit wibbly," she concedes with a deeply ingrained honesty, "but your dialogue— I mean the translation— it was on *point*," she says, looking overawed.


The haters are all but forgotten in light of this genuine, BADLY needed ray of sunshine. And the more she senses that Caitlin is sincere in her fandom, the more of an equally-genuine smile it gets from the foot-shorter grappler. "And you didn't even recognize me!," she chastises, with a very, very gentle jab at Caitlin's ribs. And given Caitlin's strength, odds are it's not registering as anything more than a nudge from the perfectly-human Japanese girl. There's no lingering irritation in what she says, either. She's teasing her. Playing with her. The way she usually does with crowds.

"It was pretty real. Kind'a shoot. Do you know shoot? Like- if things get nasty, you need to shoot. Protect yourself. I didn't know anything about that, so I was going total ape, so those 'wibbly' punches hurt like a &!+#*. They were having this special, okay? Open tryouts. Made a show out of 'scouting talent', to try to look more rough. All I needed to hear to take that risk was that I had a shot to follow my dream."

Katsumi smiles prettily up at Caitlin with that. It's more than recounting a story. It's gratitude.


"Well, your punches," Caitlin says, hesitating. On the one hand she's trying to be polite and friendly, but on the other hand, she really has a hard time being anything less than completely forthright. "You kept bending your wrist, and that really looked like it hurt you, and it takes all the starch outta your swings."

"But you *took* the hits super well!" she hurries to add. "Like it really looked like you were getting your bells rung. Which you were. I mean, getting your bells rung." She winces sympathetically. "Sorry. I didn't realize it hurt so much. But it did *look* cool, so…"

She coughs. Then sticks a hand out. "I'm sorry. I'm Caitlin. I mean I'm sorry if I'm being rude, I know you're a celebrity and stuff and fans are awkward and rude all the time, it's just *so* swell to meet you."


"Damn, girl, I wish you'd tell me how you really feel," Katsumi replies, her pretty smile flattening into a straight line as her baby technique of her very first in-ring impromptu performance is criticized. She exhales a short puff in a show of annoyance and glances aside, then rolls her eyes and looks back up to Caitlin with a goodnatured smirk. She takes the hand, her slender digits likely not so impressive against Caitlin's mits. "Got some fanmail? Blow your mind. Couple engagement rings in there. And what good would threatening to kick your ass do me? I don't have a stepladder handy."


Caitlin puts zero effort into the grip, which does nothing to bely the sensation that Katsumi's gripping warm granite. There is *zero* give to the woman's fingers.

"Oh gosh, I'm sorry," Caitlin says again, looking dismayed. "I really don't mean to be rude. I get excited around celebrities and I can't stop myself. I'm doing it now. I'm still talking." She bites her tongue, hard, to make herself stop chattering.

She's saved at that moment by a 'hey!' from nearby and someone holding a camera up. The redhead turns to face the camera with a beaming smile for the shutterbug, staying close enough to Katsumi that their faces are both in frame.

"Hey, see! More fans! And once you get your outfit on, people will *totally* recognize you," she assures Katsumi.


Katsumi Oshiro crinkles her nose up at Caitlin. "Relax. Look at this #&@*," she says, attempting to lift Caitlin's hand indicatively. "You could smush an apple with this thing, couldn't you? You got nothin' to be worried about with me!" She flashes a wry smile, then quickly diverts her attention to said shutterbug. The first picture is a simple, but bright smile. When it looks like they might be going for a second, she attempts to pounce Caitlin into a headlock - which may well have some unintended consequences. Not that she's trying to put any force into it other than to just playfully manipulate the other girl's head under her arm for a goofy photo.


Caitlin pinks at Katsumi's commentary. Her smile's polite if a little strained— she's clearly a bit self-conscious about her size and strength. The headlock, though, provokes an 'Ack!' of alarm, and Caitlin laughs uneasily. But she goes right along with the 'attack', grinning up at the camera. That one will be all over social media in the morning, for sure. She politely disengages Katsumi's grip after a few beats and straightens again, looking none the worse for wear, except her green ballcap's been knocked on the ground. Red hair unfurls around her face and she pushes it away from her mouth. "Woah, careful! Don't hurt me," she chides Katsumi, grinning at the woman for real. "I don't want a sprained neck."


"Shouldn't have talked crap about my punches!," replies Katsumi playfully as she bends over to fetch the hat from the ground.

Some opportunistic cameras flash then, too. Those might also wind up on social media. Katsumi straightens her posture and heaves a knowing sigh. "&#*@ing skirts…," she mutters before holding the hat up to the redhead.

Suddenly, Katsumi's legs seem to buckle. Whether Caitlin has retrieved her hat by now or not, the girl's left knee bows awkwardly, sending Katsumi into a wobbly kneel. "Ahn!" Oddly-flecked eyes are wide, panicked, but she tries to play it off with a forced laugh. "Jet-lag's a #&@*^, right?" She'll hesitate a few seconds before attempting to rise to her full height again.


A hand catches Katsumi's arm. Caitlin's quick, quicker than someone her size has any right to be. "Oh, gosh, yeah," she murmurs, sympathetically. She didn't miss the flash of a camera, and narrows her eyes at someone.

"Here, sit down for a sec. I'll be right back." She ambles towards the shutterbug. The crowd of wrestling aficionados *parts* like the red sea as she bears down on the fellow. There are a few quiet words exchanged and Caitlin accepts the phone from him. Tap tap tap, and the pictures are deleted.

She returns to Katsumi with a beaming smile. "He is very sorry," she says, wiggling a thumb at the opportunist beating a retreat towards the nearest subway station. "And the pictures are all deleted. Wardrobe malfunctions, right?" she says, sympathetically.

A hand is offered to Katsumi. "You look super tired," Caitlin says, clearly agreeing with Katsumi for the sake of keeping things rolling along. "Let's get you to a cab and back to your hotel. Big match tomorrow, right?"


Katsumi Oshiro doesn't sit, but rather slumps against the gate she'd been pressing her face into. Her left arm snakes through the bars to hold onto, her knees seeming to struggle under her. She's putting on a chill front, but on the inside, she's panicking more by the second. She knew she was tired, she was drained, but this makes her think there might be something medically wrong with her. Is it stress? Can stress do this to you? The particularly observant/perverted will note the substantially hastened rise and fall of her chest with her increased breathing. Otherwise, she's the picture of patience while Caitlin does her thing.

It's a thing she's grateful for, too. She would've accepted the candid shot as punishment for forgetting her own wardrobe, but apparently this superfan won't be having any of that. She's used to people going out of their way for her, but it's always with the expectation of something ELSE down the line. That's not what's going on here, is it? She usually gets it from guys, but…

The train of thought is derailed as Caitlin returns. She knows this is a bad look for her; weak, slouching, and out of complete nowhere. If people are worried she's going to seriously injure herself in the ring, no one's going to watch. Fortunately, there's a distraction to play.

"Yeah. Really tired. But- but before I go!" Her arm strains and she finally raises to her full height. She's managing again, at least on balance. "You all came here for some exclusive perks! Well, I can't give you what you were hoping for. And that sucks, I know!" She runs her hands through her hair, pulling the silky locks back from her face. "But I can give you a spoiler no one else has yet!"

She looks up at Caitlin with that near-trademarked impish smile. "Not match. Matches."

Looking back out to the crowd, she announces, "Tomorrow isn't just a show! It's a tournament! All in one night! We're gonna see exactly who the best in the world is, and here's the second spoiler! You're LOOKIN' at'er!"


The crowd murmurs, with 'oohs' and 'aahs' of excitement as she drops a spoiler on them. They break into applause when she starts bragging on her athletic prowess. Wrestling is largely hype and pagentry, after all, and Kat is playing up the crowd with style and flaire.

It's not quite lost on Caitlin, though, and as the crowd disperses she loiters near Katsumi with concern on her face. "Um… look, I don't mean to be rude," she mutters, keeping her voice low. "But you look really, really tired. Like more than just jetlag," she says, worried. "Do you need a, like, doctor, or something?" she asks, glancing over her shoulder. "I don't want you to be all anemic for your match, you've got a big day tomorrow."


Hearing the word 'doctor' vocalized creates an immediate lump in Katsumi's throat. The look she flashes Caitlin isn't remotely the confident, brash punk she may be used to seeing in the ring and with a microphone: she's scared. The reason why is simple. She EXPECTS there to be something wrong with her. And if a doctor says so, she can't perform tomorrow. If she can't perform tomorrow, that could be one of the biggest opportunities of her career down the drain. This could open doors to international feds. We're talking some of the biggest promotions worldwide, if she can make a good showing.

Katsumi doesn't answer. Not with words. Her head tilts down, troubled. She's silent for longer than she should be. But when she speaks, she only says, "I just need sleep."

Her head lifts again to Caitlin with a small, hopeful smile. "O-okay, Big Red? Just sleep." There's desperation behind those oddly-flecked eyes. "You, ah.. make sure I get to my hotel, and I'll do something special for ya. Cool?"


Caitlin looks uncertain. Katsumi is clearly not herself but it's not like Cait has the werewithal to argue with her. She flags down a passing taxi, which is an easy effort for her height, and helps pile Katsumi into it to give the cabbie an address. "Least I can do for a distinguished international traveler," she assures Kat.

At the wrestler's suggestion, Caitlin pinks and clears her throat. "Uh… that's, uh… really not necessary," she stammers at Katsumi. Red hair is pushed behind her ear. "I know you're not feeling good, but New Yorkers really aren't *that* bad. I don't mind helping you get somewhere safe. And I have a girlfriend, but it's, um, still nice of you to offer." She studiously avoids the cabbie's browlifted gaze in his rearview mirror, trying to stay focused on Kat without making the other woman uncomfortable. Caitlin takes up a *lot* of room.


"Ugh, god, shut up, I'm trying to be nice," Katsumi fusses as she's scooted into the cab. "And I wasn't offering to go steady or rub elbows'n stuff. Are you always so high-strung?" Katsumi basically tucks into a back corner of the cab, and despite the girl's words, she's giving Caitlin an appreciative smile. Because that's what she is. Appreciative. The girl's huge, but she deferred to her wishes without argument. And given the way she was feeling and her declining ability to think straight, that went a long way.

"You have a ticket to the- hang on."

Katsumi redirects to the cab driver.

"The Roxy."

The cabby nods and the vehicle starts to move.

Katsumi looks to Caitlin again. "You have a ticket for the show, right? That's why you were there?"


"I'm sorry," Caitlin says automatically. She winces. "I uh, I kind of get sensitive about it. Big city," she says, gesturing vaguely. "The fiftieth time someone offers to let me cut in line if I'll date them, I start getting kind of curt. I shouldn't let it make me rude," she acknowledges, and apologizes with a humble grimace.

"I did get tickets, though. Left side, fifteen rows back," Caitlin says, holding up her phone and the Ticketmaster app. "I tried to get better seats but the scalpers beat me to it. I really should come up with a webscript or something," she says, and scowls at her phone. "The *really* good seats all get snapped up in seconds and then they resell 'em on eBay or Craigslist for like, a hundred and fifty percent over list. More, sometimes." She sighs.


"Oh my god shut up, I'm not mad," Katsumi groans. She reaches out to shove weakly at an arm that will, without a doubt, not budge between Caitlin's swole and Katsumi's smol. Not to mention her current, substantially weakened condition.

Having no buckled up or anything, Katsumi twists a little to try to face Caitlin more directly. She tucks a knee under her hips and inclines her head to her. Her eyes underlid and that impish smile tilts her lips. "^#&@ Craig and the list he rode in on. Make a poster. Tell me what's gonna be on it. Be real specific, and don't put some nerd &#*@ on there. Be original. Because that'll get you into the back. Let you see the promos being shot and meet more of the talent."


Caitlin budges, mostly because it's polite to do so, and because she doesn't want Katsumi to hurt herself. It's a real risk! People think she's like Houdini and want to throw punches, and end up with broken wrists.

She winces again at the cursing, offering no commentary. "M-me? Make a poster?" She balks. "I-I don't know how to do that," she tells Katsumi. "I have *zero* creative talent for arts and crafts," she clarifies, with a humble tone of apology.

"Not that I don't want to! I'd die to go backstage," she adds, hurridly. "I, uh, er… do you need any work done on the ring, or like, um… special props made? I can make a folding chair that I guarantee will collapse properly, every time. No more brain damage, hooray!" she says, with a feeble enthusiasm.


Katsumi Oshiro exhales a sigh through her teeth. "Cait! You're not working with me, here. Besides, they won't let outsiders mess with the ring. Too much risk. They've gotta have it checked out and everything, and it's just this whole," she spins her hand at the wrist, "THING. Besides, you're a superfan, right? Prove it!" She nudges again at Caitlin, deliberately to badger her - albeit teasingly. "And did you really just say you don't know how to make a poster? You get poster board, a marker, and write something. That's all! I just need something that'll let the security know you're you!"


Caitlin stares blankly at Katsumi for a few seconds. "Oh. Oh! Oh that's super easy!"


Caitlin stares blankly at Katsumi for a few seconds. "Oh. Oh! Oh that's super easy!" she tells her, eyes widening as she processes the direction of Katsumi's instruction. The cab pulls up to the hotel and she disembarks, moving to stand near Katsumi's orbit in case she falls again. "This is your hotel, right?" she checks. "It's nice! I like it. I almost never get to stay in hotels," she sighs, wistfully.

She gets Katsumi as far as the bellhop stand and backs up, palm held up in concern. "I'll make sure to tag you on my Instagram, and then you can send me a DM with a friend request, and then just let them know I'll be around later. I, uh, I kinda stand out?" she observes, trying for a light, self-deprecating wit. She fiddles with her phone and the new selfie, and there's a *ding* as the friend request is sent to Katsumi. "There we go. And I mean, worst case, I'll enjoy the seats from the bleachers," she promises her. "Are you sure you don't need a doctor?"


The cab pulls up, and Katsumi seems pleased that Caitlin will be taking her instruction. She also might have every expectation that whatever she puts on the board will have something flattering or encouraging to say in HER favor, so it isn't entirely selfless. Katsumi is a devious scamp. Some things are true in and out of the ring.

Her door opens and Katsumi snickers under her breath. "What're you doing? I thought you said you have a girlfriend," she chides, deliberately misinterpreting her smalltalk as a request to go in with her, with licentious overtones.

She takes a step and immediately falters. Her arm hooks the open door to catch herself instantly, eyes widened in shock. She gives her head a resolute shake, casting wispy strands of deep black hair about her face. Her voice is tight. "You do. But I wanted to tell'em something besides…" She pauses, forcing her legs to straighten under her again. "..big lady chungus."

Her head lifts to refocus on Caitlin with a weak smile. "No doctor," she repeats. "I guess you don't have to do a poster." She moves to the side to pull the cab door shut while she leans against the frame. "Would've been cool, though. Visit America, get a diehard American fan holding a sign."

After a few seconds, she gives a lopsided grin.

"Come on, look at me. The guilt trip working?"


"I'm… more worried about you," Caitlin says, face gone very serious. "You look like you're at least anemic, maybe even having some heart palpitations or something. You're pale and shaking, and that *really* worries me."

She sighs past Katsumi's banter, pushing red hair back from her face. "Look, just… I know you don't know me, and I know this is your big break. *Nothing* is more important than your physical fitness. If you don't wrestle tomorrow, you'll wrestle another night. If you do wrestle tomorrow, do you really want it to be the last thing you do?"

She purses her lips with a very midwestern sort of reproach. "Anyway. I'm not gonna lecture you any more," she promises, and flashes a bright smile. "Sleep. Eat, too, you look so skinny," she frets. "And hydrate. I'll see you at the match tomorrow, and if you end up needing to hit the hospital, you can DM me and I'll come check on you. No one should have to visit the ER alone," she assures the other woman. She lifts her hand and wavees farewell at Katsumi, and heads back to the cab stand.

"Oh wow, I didn't know the Justice League stays here," the elevator attendant tells Katsumi, looking at her with an entirely different sort of expression. Awed. "I thought y'all were at their big building up the road. Is there anything we can bring you?" he offers, with a surprisingly solicitous tone. "Food, robes, do you like your room? Is the view okay?"


The grappler's humor fades and dissipates with said reproach. Without humor left, there's nothing to shield the look behind her eyes - that conflict. Caitlin likely meant it as a rhetorical question, weighing her future against a single night. But Katsumi doesn't know how to answer it if Caitlin truly pressed it. She knows it isn't a small thing. But it's her life. Her life has to mean something. People expect her to perform. What else does she have?

Fortunately, Caitlin changes the topic. The girl looks down at her midsection. "Uh, I'm Japanese. We're ALL skinny," she replies, the joke delivered more dryly than she'd intended. Her head lifts to look back at Caitlin. "Tomorrow, then."

She slowly makes her way past Caitlin, parting. What the attendant says doesn't even register at first, Katsumi's head swimming at it is. But after a few seconds of silence, she gives him a puzzled look. "Huh? Ju-.. what?"


The taxi putters away with Caitlin inside, and the attendant looks at her in confusion. "You're not with the League?" he says, confused. The doors start to slide shut. "But the redhead—" he gestures, furrowing his brow at her blank look. "That was Fairchild," he tells her. "Caitlin Fairchild? She's like… the nicest superhero in the world. I thought everyone knew her."

In Katsumi's pocket there's a *ding* of a direct message via Instagram. And then a second *ding* of the selfie being posted, and Katsumi being tagged.

And then a third. Fourth. Her phone starts blowing up, fairly buzzing in her pocket, as the wholly innocent selfie's posted to one of the most followed social media accounts in America.

Regardless of how the match goes, if Katsumi doesn't take some drastic and immediate steps to sanitize her social media account, she's going to have more followers and social media attention by morning than any other wrestler making their pro debut at that bout.


"Ah..?" Katsumi's wheels are still turning. Caitlin, a superhero? That little- well, okay, not little. Anti-little. She was ridiculously muscled. She was nice. She was commanding. "Get the f$&@ out of here." Her skirt starts pinging. She quickly dips a hand into the ashen gray garment to retrieve a pastel pink and cat-stickered cellphone. "Holy s*@&, dude!"

It's not Katsumi's professional debut. That was years ago. But this amount of exposure is quite insane. She's too tired to even process the information she's getting. She can only watch comments post and fly, jaw slack.

And somewhere on the opposite side of the planet, an insanely woolly calico cat is sneaking aboard a cargo vessel.

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