Teams Are Complicated

April 27, 2019:

As Katsumi prepares to leave the Titans Tower, she runs into the eye of the veritable storm: Spoiler. At last, they get to the heart of the issues that have been troubling the newcomer…

Training Level - Titans Tower


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Late Saturday night. Spoiler had been dropped off at medical some time ago, and had not woken up. Tower medical personnel patched her back up while leaving the cowl in place and then just monitored her. They were both surprised and resigned when between nurse rotations, she went missing. Groggy and slightly disorientated from the pain killers and concussion, Spoiler creeped her way toward an exit. Hopefully the one near her bike. Her HUD isn't showing her where it is, so it's possible it's out of power.


It is probably out of power. Katsumi didn't know what to do with it when she left it in front of the tower. Neither did security. Sorry!

But as things always do, things transpired in the hours between then and now. And though a full day hasn't even passed, the Japanese girl who saw to Spoiler's safe return is thoroughly drained and ready to make herself scarce; for the sake of the group's adhesion. She seems to be a wrecking ball, and she can't even communicate herself clearly enough for Caitlin to understand what she's saying. It's better she be gone before she hurts anyone else - physically or emotionally. But she's still above, in the habitation level. There was pizza, and she realized she hadn't eaten today. She'd sneak some of that, THEN take off.

The otherworldly feline, however, went ahead of her down the steps. Herukage, presently suffering under a new name, pads through the training level on the way to the next. But as he moves along, he spots that same ol' 'Shinobi' and halts. The fact that he's at the tower at all might be a little surprising, given he wasn't with them before. But neither here nor there, really.

"You look unwell," entones the feline from behind her, still poised on all fours.


Spoiler is quiet, almost ninja quiet. And she's perceptive.

The cat, however, gets teh drop on her.

"I likely feel worse," says the batling, turning toward the cat. her motions are slow, whole body stiff and tense. Her voice is soft under the modulator, given air as minimally as she can manage and still have it heard.

"Good to see you. It means Katsumi's here. That's good," Spoiler says. She's light headed. Tower medical gave her morphine, which she doesn't like. Batman's drug cocktail is cleaner.


"Yes. She is. But soon, she will not be." The calico adjusts to sit on his woolly rear, head tilted back to look up at Spoiler. "She has realized that humans do not understand her. She is too different. So she will be leaving. I assume she is eating something before going."


Spoiler's head tilts, making the world lag behind the motion. She holds there for a moment to regain her sense of balance before moving again.

"With no idea where to go," Spoiler says on what might be a sigh. She turns slowly then, studying her surroundings before taking a detour and heading toward the kitchen.


As Spoiler makes her way towards the kitchen, presumably where she might find Katsumi, her path is blocked by a sudden, willowy shadow! That is, Katsumi herself; duffelbag slung over her shoulder, pizza slice in one one hand, and looking stunned at the presence of the batling.

Oh. How awkward.

Katsumi just lowers her head and attempts to breeze past her, willing herself to defy physics and be invisible. The feline just turns to wait for her to join him.


There she is. Spoiler doesn't make room for her in the hallway, keeping her eyes on Katsumi.

"Where to this time?" she asks, voice holding that quality of she really shouldn't be on her feet, why is she on her feet.


Katsumi Oshiro isn't about to mother hen her. She just wants away; out of this moment. Every second is a sore reminder of what she couldn't have, simply because of who - or what? - she is. The jury is still out on the specifics, but it doesn't matter.

"I don't know," she sighs under her breath. Her head is canted low, her eyes on the steps underfoot. "Does it really matter? I'll be fine. I was doing okay when you crashed the party. Can we just not do this..?"


Not nearly as smoothly as it should be, Spoiler turns and falls into step at Katsumi's side.

"Why not?" Spoiler pokes. She's good at poking isn't she? But unlike before, the poke is so much softer. "First time was my fault. Got caught up and shouldn't have gone as far as I did, so, I'm sorry."


Katsumi Oshiro gets an odd look to her face and looks her way. "First time? And I heard you earlier - you said you had to see my limits or whatever. And I had to see'em, too. Sounds like bull#^@$, but whatever. Was there a second time? Did I f#^@ up again and didn't even know it?," she asks, her voice lacking its typical girlish zeal. "So what do you mean? What're you talking about?"


Behind the cowl, Steph closes her eyes. It makes her steps fall to teh side until she opens them again a rights her course.

"If you did, I don't know about it. So, I'm not sure what we're talking about there. Nor do I care. Far as I see it, you saved my life; you got me back in one piece. The Caproelli's had me. You hadn't been there, not sure I could've have pulled myself out." She pauses a bit, hand coming up to press at her cowl, finding it hot and stuffy after the nearly 24 hours in it. It feels tight against her and she wants a proper shower.

"I… It really is bullshit, isn't it," Spoiler finally admits, chin dropping a bit. Batman wouldn't have made it seem like he cared if it was or not. Even after all this time, the blonde still tries too much to be like her mentor.


Katsumi Oshiro gives a hiss of an exasperated sigh and stops moving to turn to face Stephanie. At this point, the two are standing before the ever-patient feline kami, but he may as well not exist for as much attention isn't being paid him.

"Okay, so what the f#@$, Spoiler?," Katsumi asks, at a loss. "What are you saying?"


Whoa, meta human moved quickly. Spoiler back steps to try to regain her balance, mentally growling about hating morphine.

"I'm saying I like you as a teammate. You're rough around the edges, but we all are starting out. And while I don't want you in Gotham because it's got more than it's sure of stupid crazy, having you at my back was a nice thing. I'd like it again," she states, just trying to make herself clear to her own fuzzy thoughts right now.


They'd been walking! The cat wasn't THAT far away! Just a little off the steps.

Katsumi, however, is staring blankly at Spoiler, attempting to process what's being said. "I HURT you, Spoiler. Fine, you were being a jerk, but I HURT you! That's the kind of person you're talking about. And did you just call me stupid and crazy!? The f#@% is your deal!?"


Okay. Hallway is spinning again. Spoiler backs up into the wall and just leans there.

"Yes. You hurt me. My own fault you did that, so yeah," Spoiler says eyes closing behind her cowl. The fade glow to her optics making it seem that her eyes are steady and cold and unblinking.

"No. I don't think I did. I hope I didn't. That wasn't what I meant to mean. For that the mean? Yes. That. I meant that Gotham's got know, I don't know WHY we don't have more metas in Gotham," she says meandering as she pulls her chin up to drag her eyes open.

"I mean, most of the villians I have to face are metas. Which is just plain nuts when all i've got is a bit of kevlar on, right?" She pauses, bringing a hand up.

"Hang on. I'm not making sense am I? Okay. give me one question at a time? Maybe that'll help."


Katsumi Oshiro continues to stare at the floundering Spoiler, not sure what to make of this. A part of her wants to have pity on her. Another part of her is so exhausted with feeling pulled in every direction that she feels the only relief will come if she bolts and severs ties with everything. She'll meet those urges somewhere in the middle.

"Okay. One at a time. Your fault I hurt you? You were being a jerk. I chose to get physical." Right? She went to push, Spoiler went to throw, she kicked her. That's how she remembers it. That means she aggressed. Right?


"Right. I wanted to see what it took to get you to stop being too down on yourself to move and right into action. I completely misjudges exactly how strong you are and how much self-control you've got. You're new to this. I wasn't any better my first year. The physical reaction was exactly what I was looking for, so. my fault. Not yours. I got what I asked for. That all you did was crack a rib is more of a positive on your part than me. You pulled yourself back just a bit at the end, I think. After hearing you rip the fence the way you did, I've got a feeling you could have put me through the wall. That would have been worse, so… Happy to have gotten off as light as I did," Spoiler says, glad that the conversation is letting her focus. The trouble is now that it's focusing, she's inadverantly rambling. But at least it's on topic, so Spoiler leans her head back gingerly and once more closes her eyes.


Katsumi Oshiro is fine with the rambling. She's genuinely curious why it happened - what she did wrong. And what she gets out of that is that she has little self-control, or was already doing the wrong thing. "I was gonna do something! I needed information! That's why I was asking you!," counters Katsumi, growing defensive. "If you just gave it to me, I could've done something! What- what was I supposed to do until then? F@^#ing wizards and s@$ might be normal for YOU, but not for ME! It's not my go-to!"


"Which I overlooked. I just saw sulking and no action. I was in the wrong. So, I'm sorry I pushed so hard. There was no call for it," Spoiler replies, chin dipping to coax her eyes open again. Two Katsumis. Not good. Stephanie sucks in a large a breath as she dares.

"I still have that information for you. I'm not going to be able to go hunting for him. Not like this. I'll help you, go with you and run coms. But I can't take point. Not… not for a few more weeks, at least."


Katsumi Oshiro thins her lips, her expression shifting to uncertainty. "You serious?," she asks, the aggression in her tone swapping for tentativeness. "I didn't.. p@^ you off or something?"


"No. You didn't pissed me off," Spoiler says. Her own tone softing until it's too much like her day-time manner. The voice modulator is the only thing holding the thin veil of her identity up.

"I'm really sorry I gave that impression. It's what I was trained with. I shouldn't ever default that on anyone else. It feels horrible and.. I'm really sorry," she adds, head wanting to tip to the side. With the room unsteady, Spoiler presses her hands back into the wall to keep herself still.


Katsumi Oshiro is silent for several seconds. The pizza in her hand had been all but forgotten, but at this moment, she at least dips her opposite shoulder to shrug off the duffelbag. "I thought you hated me. I thought I was gonna have superhero people after me for hurting you. That I- I wouldn't be able to be with you people." She lets her gaze shift aside with a dip of her head, sullen. "I've mentioned it before. I'm like impossible to work with. I don't MEAN to be, but I'm like a natural b@^$. I don't wanna.. like.. Yoko you people.."


The reality of what Spoiler had done settles unpleasantly at Katsumi's sullen words. Spoiler pulls a hand from the wall, offering it palm up like an olive branch. It's all she can manage since she's almost sure that if she stepped away from the wall she'd crumble to the floor.

"No, Katsumi. I don't hate you. I couldn't ever hate you for acting in a way that I was pushing you to act, especially against myself. I hadn't told anyone what happened, and I erased the security footage of it so no one would ever seen it. And you aren't impossible to work with. You're easier, in a way, than my mentor is. You at least show some emotions. I can talk to you and get an answer, we can work it out. I want to work it out, because… Honestly, Katsumi… I'm a bitch too," Stephanie admits.


"Y-you're god@$# right you are!," blurts Katsumi, hurt at the realization she'd been manipulated. "And Caitlin knows! I- I told her about it." She looks at the pizza slice in her hand again, then back to Spoiler with a frown. "She's so sick of me. She's had to put up with so much emo bull@$# with me. I can tell. The way she looks at me, talks to me. She used to be a fan of mine, you know."

Very deliberate use of the past-tense.

Finally, the calico pads forward. The two may have been talking as though nothing were the matter, but things haven't escaped the kami's notice. "You should not be walking," he states plainly to Spoiler.


Caitlin knows. Caitling's lost faith in the girl. All of Steph's work to try to help her find a place and… like everything, Stephanie complicates everything. Her head bows lightly and she thumps her head back against the wall out of sheer frustration. That light tap, a soft thump, sets everything spinning again, and Spoiler can't suppress the grimace.

"'M not walkin'," Spoiler retorts. her voice is pinched with 'ow that hurt', and her Gotham accent drifts through. Normally, Spoiler down plays it more than she does as Steph. Which is ridiculous, and Spoile rknows that. Both girls are from Gotham. Why bother masking an accent? And yet, she does.


"You are not quite standing, either," replies the feline.

Katsumi continues to just ignore him. She moves to the side to take up residence against the wall again, bracing it with a shoulder. The tilt of her frame is closed off from Spoiler, defensive. "I don't know what to do. You might've gotten me to hit you, but I still f@#$ed up, I guess. I just don't… I don't know."


"I'm on my own feet. Min' yer own business," Spoiler grumps at the cat before turning her gaze to the Kat. She studies that frame: Kat's afraid to get hurt and manipulated again. Spoiler doesn't blame her.

"You press on. You stop running," she says. Her voice is steady and firm and is as much talking to Kat as she is to her past self.

"Running never gets you anywhere. You want something, fight for it. I don't mean punch everything. Sometimes, you have to punch things. Other times, you just.. you gotta…" Spoiler stops, not sure where she was headed with that. The hand she had reached out, that was ignored, is brought to her ribs. She knows she needs to lay down. Pride is keeping her from wanting to lay down HERE. She wants to run away from this display of weakness, from the risk that she'll slip unconscious again and they'll pull her mask off. Caitlin knows, but the rest don't. The thought alone unsettles. Maybe she's not talking as much to her past self as she thought she was.

"I know what I want you to do," she says finally, head gingerly being pressed against the wall.


Katsumi Oshiro quickly looks back to Spoiler, briefly hyper-focused on her, but redirects her gaze to the toes of her boots. "But what if I'm bad for YOU people? Like I said, I don't wanna Yoko what you have going here. Seemed to be fine until I did a thing…" Or Spoiler did a thing? Whatever. It still feels like SHE did something that caused this whole issue.


Hyperfocus reveals that her lips are what must be her natural pink, though swollen and scabbed over on one side of the bottom lip. A dark bruise spiderwebs out from that spot. On the other side of her face, another bruise just barely dares to peek out from under the cheek of her cowl. Everything else that's visible is paler than she should be, that she typically is. Her breathing is short and shallow. The clip of the front of her armor is undone, revealing her throat and the electronic pad that rests against her skin there, the pad that modulates the timber of her voice and pulls it out of sweet and girly.

"Katsumi.. I'm bad for me. You can't be any more bad for me than I'm bad for myself. Only reason things seemed fine was because no one's ever here all at the same time. I.. I'm usually by myself."


"How does that make it any better?!," demands Katsumi, turning fully to her again. "You have a bad situation, so you put in someone who always makes'em worse?! Sounds like the right thing for me to do would be to go away!"


"Perspective," Spoiler replies, locking her knees a bit, eyes closed not mor obviously. She's got ehr head turned toward Katsumi but not fully to be looking at her.

"I like your perspective," she adds, the dizzy settling in like a dear old friend.


"My-.. what? What perspective?," Katsumi asks, taken off-guard by that. With her conversations with Caitlin, Katsumi had expected something along the lines of 'I can't make the choice for you' or 'If you think you should go, go'. This? This was left field.


Spoiler dips her chin to nod, and slides away from Katsumi an inch. A grunt and she forces herself back up right, drags her eyes open, and looks about for Kat.

"New to this. Pushing earns push back. Emotion," Spoiler replies as she mentally tries to find enough will power to push away from teh wall. She will.. in a moment more.


Katsumi Oshiro looks utterly lost on that answer. 'New to this', she gets. Newbie perspective. She's not stoked on that, but whatever. The rest, however, may as well have been Greek. "What?," she asks bluntly. "Look - do you really see someone like me doing anything but hurting this group? You said it yourself, I think. I got physical with you real quick.."


"Of course not," Spoiler says, eyes closed as seh focuses. A faint grunt and she's free of the wall. There's a heartbeat of a waver before she finds stability.

"I don't see someone like you. I see you doing things that help this group. You've talked with Cait? She's frustrated with you? That's her failing as a leader, and if not for you, Cait might never been forced to deal with it, and she'd never grow. Me? You kicked me because I got too hard too fast with you, and if you hadn't kicked me into a wall, I might not have gotten this. Which I needed." Spoiler starts to take a step, but stops to gather herself a bit more, to make sure she's not going to fall.

"We always have things to work on. You? You helped, more than you think you did. Me atleast. Cait, once I knock some sense into her. For now, before you head out, can you poke me to my bike? Location isn't pinging on my HUD and.. I need to get someplace to sleep off this morphine."


Katsumi Oshiro is silent for several seconds as she stares at Spoiler, hard. She went too hard on her too fast? Is she calling her weak? Her heckles are already being raised. But then, she's weighing it against the idea that she did what she should have - what was needed. It's damn confusing, and she doesn't know how to react to it. She's annoyed. She's upset. She's drained. And Spoiler needs help getting where she's going. It happens to be outside, and that would lend right to her just wandering off after Spoiler is mounted up.


Just, but.

It's an odd sound that breaks the silence. A low, amused chuckle. It's coming from the cat. His head tilts to look up at Katsumi.

"These people are strange."

Katsumi scowls at him.

"You should stay."

And she promptly blinks. "What?"

"You should stay. Caitlin may not grasp your nature, but this one seems to have some idea, but does not care. If they are willing to accept one so unlike themselves…," he trails.

Katsumi blinks again. Then, a weak, defeated laugh. "Fine." She steps forward, leaving her duffel where it is for now. Moving up to Spoiler, she attempts to simply hoist the girl over her shoulder with one arm. And thanks to the late hour, Spoiler effectively weighs less than a purse-dog, unless she struggles. "You're not driving away in this condition. And I owe you a smack still, I think. Calling me stupid and crazy. And being a jerk to me. Ugh."

And if all goes well, Katsumi will be physically carting Spoiler right back to medical.

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