Hanako considered Elyss’ words for a moment. They were a typical defence reaction of someone who didn’t want to lose face in front of a stranger. Hanako knew this well. It was what she herself had done and still did. In the beginning she trusted roughly not a single person and wouldn’t let anyone close enough. It was always ‘I’m fine, it’s nothing’, even though it almost never really was. And here it wasn’t as well. She could see the muscles spasm. Hanako really wished she could do something, but she wasn’t a medically inclined person and had simply no idea. If this was just simple cramps, she could help stretch and relax the muscles. At least that was what helped her if she again overdid it and suffered from cramps. But if it was something else, she could hurt Elyss even more and she almost desperately wanted to avoid that.
“Funny that it’s also your right arm.” she said suddenly. It was something she just realised, something that actually connected the two women. She continued to explain her words before Elyss would have to ask.
“The injury, I mean. I...erm, I’m more or less in the same boat.”
She moved the fabric on her shoulder a few centimeters aside. Smooth skin was exposed. With her finger she pointed to a very faint line, a few centimeters farther inwards than the cut-out for the arm on her sleeveless Shihakusho. The line was probably invisible to anyone that didn’t know what to look for: It was a very fine line, like a border, and on the side of the arm the skin was ever so slightly lighter. The difference was so minute that it could only be seen when one looked at that fine line for comparison. But to Hanako it was as if the arm was pure white and the rest of her body a deep black.
“There, this line...that’s were the artificial skin meets the real skin. The whole arm is a prosthesis. I lost it about eight years ago.”
She let the words hang in the air, without further comment, offering Elyss the comfort of a person who knew what it was like, recovering from something serious, although Hanako didn’t know to this day why she had lost her arm. There wasn’t necessarily anything Elyss needed to reply to that. Hanako just wanted her to know. She understood. She didn’t expect Elyss to push herself, not for a simple training. She had been intrigued and amused by the woman that had demolished a dummy, and although it would be a pity if they had to break off now, the sparring wasn’t that important after all.
When Elyss sat down on the ground, Hanako also sat down on her knees in a seiza.
“Thank you. I spend most of my free time training.” she said and couldn’t avoid smiling back when she returned the Elyss’ gaze. Again she realized that the redhead was really beautiful, even now.
“You are as well. After all, you actually blocked my knee with your injured arm. You are strong.”
The last words were stating facts. Hanako felt that Elyss strength was above hers. That one slow punch...if Elyss had done that faster, so that Hanako didn’t have the chance to evade it, it would have hurt a lot. If they’d met head on, just stand before each other and punch in turns until one’s lights went out, Hanako would definitely lose quickly. Fortunately it seemed that both women would find such a contest utterly boring and hardly worth their time.
Coding Altered From: [The Frost]