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Rosie

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-Spoilers from Back in Town, Read it Noobs-

96w79lH3vFBvHWalRgQDxsBkFgaDABLDkmH-Tnzw6PlYH3sFRQ-DqRwAUcq20xc1nfAnJfN4u0zQQ98XBFZ5aY2hotGV4hmVSr2P25gfLhv_DsMDlYMb3okg8bM0Sd2EVxv2I4pCUsDRvNarERm4S90


Osaka International Airport/Itami Airport
Osaka, Japan
5:50pm Local Time
Febuary 22nd

(Yes, this is from the fuuuuture)


Ambiance

The plane begins its descent towards the airport on a crisp late Winter evening in Japan. The dense city is seen spread out below as the passengers of the plane eagerly await its landing after long travel as the sun sets over the horizon to create a sky mixed with red and orange. Mixed in the plane is a range from tourists, excited to visit the country as the world attempts to return to some sense of normal, or people returning home after long trips. One of the individuals with a long trip sits on a window seat. Her hair with purple streaks appear somewhat unkempt after spending most of her 20 hour flight drifting in and out of sleep after a long journey. She has black cloth facemask on her eyes blink dazedly at the skyline in disbelief. Katsuki, or as we know her to the cameras of FWA, Vampyra.

At long last, after months away from home with a life-changing tour in Europe ending with a return to the United States, she’s spending a couple of weeks home. While she could not quite make it home with gold, she returns more accomplished, and experience she lacked elsewhere. Though this will be far from a relaxing trip. Over the next three weeks, she will be scheduled for 9 shows. But it is the life of a professional wrestler, made more challenging with commitments to two promotions separated by the Pacific Ocean. Thankfully for her, her return match is not until a show on Saturday. After her turbulent journey, a sense of relief falls upon her. In a daze, she completely tunes out the ding of the speaker and an announcement from the pilot.

She just wants to be home.

zamMhrdbYKEDUTjul_zmuaM9wYNACObq0zJDhnKbrmdrimgRHRdzO1rcAYHzGZ4k8aBAFldrZh4laHRXOAfJT-2PeLPrvO2NH_5n9jAJmWP2pG6PoxSi8pQfa5joNHCArq8aCIVkfFf8IapL26sKs04


After some time has passed, Katsuki has finally gathered her bags and is rolling her belongings through the airport. The feel of it is sanitary and plain. A large mix of white everywhere from the ceiling to the beams. If it was not for the luggage, you could almost assume it was a hospital. The travellers are mostly organised apart from the tourists from the West not used to the customs of Japan. Katsuki has a similar sweater and pants combination as when she left. A turtleneck sweater with black tight jeans, a purse slung over her shoulder. Her head is down, exhausted from the travel, the matches, and more. Everyone around her is a blur as her mind is in a fog. Then, one person begins to rush towards her. She is like a red blur to her, though a familiar one. At the last second, she looks up to see a fairly tall and strong woman grip her in a BIG hug! She ecstatically shouts in Japanese

“VAMPYRA! I AM SO GLAD TO SEE YOU!”

She lifts her friend off the ground and Vampyra looks up to see her long time tag partner, Ririko. Though somewhat tall, around five foot seven, and known for her combination of power and striking, Ririko is the biggest bundle of energy you can find with her vibrant red locks which go down to her chin. The Bad Apple, the Crazy Ghost. She has a black hoodie on and jeans as she happily hugs her friend who has returned after a very long tour. Even with the over the top nature of the hug, Katsuki can’t help but smile under her mask as she is finally let down.

“Hehe, thank you, Ririko.” She politely responds back, trying to get some of the feeling back in her spine.

“It has been so long!” Ririko folds her hands, smiling. “But to think, you have become a champion! You went to your first out of Japan tour and won a singles championship!!!”

Still a fresh wound for the former champion. Katsuki doesn’t even look her in the eye. She glances down, uncomfortable. Realising she has made an error, Ririko has an apologetic look on her face.

“Well, uhh. Not anymore.” She corrects herself, but her friend is still down in the dumps. Ririko tries to cheer her up. “BUT! It is important that you won the championship in the first place! We watched the match over and over again because we were so happy you won.”

“Did you watch the aftermath where I was attacked by a racist asshole who does not even care for the championship yet wanted it anyways? Injuring me before another big match!”
Katsuki bites back with her words, having a cutting tone in her voice. “Were you happy then? Were you happy when he abandoned me in a tag match and cost us the match against two people who had no business being involved in our affairs? How about when he won the title back despite spending the past several months waving around a fake lawsuit and beating up referees? Were you happy then? Because I was NOT!”

Ririko is taken back, blinking, surprised at her friend’s sass and bitterness. Silence afterwards. Ririko doesn’t know how to react let alone Katsuki who didn’t even expect those words to come out of her mouth. Regret soon falls on her. She does what you would first do when saying something like that: apologise.

“I-uh. I am sorry. I should not take my anger out on you.” Her eyes glance to the side, embarrassed. “It has been a long few months.”

Even through her friend’s anger, Ririko is able to understand. She lightly pats her on the shoulder.

“I can imagine. I know Cali told me some of what happened when you were at her friend’s safe. It must be stressful wrestling outside of Japan!”

“Try going from Backstreet Boy to fighting a world champion in only four matches.” Katsuki sighs. “Everything was so fast.”

“But you survived.”
The powerhouse grins towards her friend, giving her some encouragement. “I knew you would.”

Taking a long exhale, Katsuki tries to let some of those frustrations out. She looks at her friend. Her main tag team partner until Cali Hayama arrived to round out the trio. Since then, the three have always been at their strongest together, but also have shown great chemistry in separate pairs. Ririko’s personality doesn’t even seem to match her’s. While Katsuki is studious, thoughtful, and reserved, Ririko is more wild, a free spirit. They seem to be more fitting as rivals, though that was the case early on in their careers. Though I guess it is proof that together, they make each other better. Katsuki is fortunate to have her as a friend.

“Thank you.” Katsuki adds, “For everything. Now if you’ll excuse me. I really need to get some rest.”

“How about I treat you to some food first?”
Ririko asks. “How can you sleep on an empty stomach? Can we get some mochi ice cream?”

Having a small grin on her face under her mask, Katsuki nods. “I have missed that so much… I suppose one for a treat is earned.”

Ririko shows a wide grin, brandishing her teeth. She motions for her friend to follow and the two make their way through the airport. “That is great! We can do some catching up. Like how Cali and I have a tag team championship match in three weeks?"

“That is amazing!” She nods to her friend. “I knew you were going to do well."

“Yes, although we are a replacement team.”
Ririko clarifies. “Saori Suzuki and Miss Fuka were going to get a match, but Saori hurt her knee.”

“Again?”
Katsuki raises her eyebrow. “That is what? Her fourth knee injury? Is it her right or left?”

“Right. Third time.” Ririko pouts. “But management asked her to find a replacement. Miss Fuka dropped out to focus on singles gold, so Cali and I stepped up.”

“Reminds me of how I got in the F1 Climaxxx tournament. Champion was hurt. Though I suppose when situations like that happen, you need to adjust.”


Her friend nods. “Right. But we’ll talk more when we get out mochi. I am really craving kona coffee flavour.”

“Coffee?!”
Katsuki shouts. “At this time of the day? You’re crazy, Ririko!”

The two share a chuckle and they make their way to have a catch up treat.

-Two Hours Later-

At long last, she is home. Her apartment has a view of the city. The apartment is cramped compared to its North American counterparts and the lights are off, but there is some visibility thanks to the city lights. The walls are a clean white and there is a table that is a bit lower to the ground than normal, with cushions to sit on. On one end is a green couch, and some shelving on either side, covered in Anime and gaming figurines. A TV is on the wall on the other end along with more shelves and a Nintendo switch port without the console, likely still in Vampyra’s bag. The next room over a small kitchenette with a divider then, to the other wall, two doors. One is open and leads to a bathroom. The other, presumably, a bedroom. An exhausted Katsuki drags her belongings in her suitcase and stumbles through her apartment.

“Finally…” She mutters to herself in Japanese.

She drops her keys onto her couch and goes straight into her bedroom. The room is small, only having some standing room around the bed which Katsuki left properly made, probably expecting to need it when she gets back. On her wall, we see a poster for a Japanese baseball player. He has blonde hair, a small goatee. He is wearing the uniform of the Yomiuri Giants, he is on the mound winding up for a pitch. His number is 32 and the name of the player, translated from Japanese is Ryo Sasaki. On a shelf under it, she has some memorabilia, including a Poke Ball and a Gengar plush. Next to it is an alarm clock with the time of 8:45pm local time.

Falling onto her bed, Katsuki flops in a tired heap. Will she even get up to shower or change into something more comfortable? She doesn’t know yet. She grabs a plush that sits on the bed, this being of the Pokemon Vulpix and she lies her head on it. Yep, she is a nerd. Finally home, she just rubs her face into her bed sheets, trying to, for now, forget the turbulent past several months. She doesn’t even notice the buzzing of her phone with a reminder. The phone peaks slightly out of her purse. The notification translates to:

Doctor’s appointment.
Tomorrow.

Dr. Nakamura.
2:00pm.

-To Be Continued-
 
Last edited:

Rosie

Dark Side
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
44,434
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19,904
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128
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Favorite Wrestler
9yQJpez
Favorite Wrestler
edge
Favorite Wrestler
dJvrW4y
Favorite Wrestler
kevinsteen
Favorite Wrestler
Se3BZPQ
Favorite Wrestler
q9gbHdQ
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2DciFqq
Favorite Sports Team
OQcgyMS
Favorite Sports Team
coloradoavalanche
Favorite Sports Team
vCLYUUD
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Warning: The following promo may contain heavy themes around mental health and more. Reader discretion is advised.

1677026471546.png


Osaka City General Hospital
Osaka, Japan
2:05 pm Local Time
February 23rd


Resting on the classic examination table in a doctor’s office is Katsuki. She has a pair of looser jeans on with a blue hoodie, a medical mask on her face, not taking any chances with being in a hospital. Her purse rests on the table next to her. Her hands are folded as she waits patiently. Doesn’t matter if you are in Japan or America, apart from the fact that it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg here, almost any doctor’s office is the same. Some posters are on the wall, including one featuring the anatomy of the human body. Across from the table is a sink with a cupboard to house supplies for the doctor. At the end of the examination table is a chair for the doctor to sit in. The walls of the room are a cream colour, though a touch more lively than a pure sanitary white, with it being a windowless room, there is a sense of lifelessness to the room. Across from Katsuki is a clock hanging on the wall above a calendar with the hands ticking away.

Tick

Tock

Tick

Tock.

She is doing her best to remain patient. Glancing at the clock, she sees the large hand pass the one. Six minutes later than her appointment was scheduled. Though it has nothing on the wait times one may get going through an emergency, or waiting for surgery, it is a mild annoyance. Much like you’d get from someone who can’t decide what they want to order and refuse to leave the line to decide. At least it doesn’t go on for two hours.

The doorknob turns and steps inside the room is a Japanese man with some grey in his hair. He has a surgical mask on as well along with a white coat with his ID on it. Dr. Nakamura. Even with a mask, you can tell he is greeting Katsuki with a polite grin, giving a small bow. In his hand is a manilla folder. Katuski returns the gesture as her doctor sits down, speaking to her in their native language.

“Miss Sasaki. It has been some time since you last paid a visit. Considering your choice of career, I would expect more visits than normal for someone as young as you.” He gives a polite chuckle, a kindness is in his tone of voice.

“I have been wrestling internationally now.” Katsuki gives a small nod. “FWA Wrestling in America, though I was just on a large tour of Europe.”

“I am aware.”
The doctor nods, opening his folder to look at his patient’s records. “Though for obvious reasons, the rules of doctor and patient confidentiality extend further than normal, given your status as a masked wrestler, I was keeping an eye on your performances. Speaking of, I know it ended far too soon, but I do give congratulations on you winning your first championship there so soon.”

Still stings. Though compared to yesterday, after getting a bit of sleep at long last, she is less irritable. She simply gives a small nod and a quick “Thank you, Mr. Nakamura.” Before letting her doctor continue.

“Now, onto the first matter of business…” Dr. Nakamura flips through some pages before pulling out a sheet with a picture of Katsuki’s right knee after her FWA Television Championship victory. The knee pad and boot is removed and the knee has an abnormal amount of swelling. Redness is seen around the knee. “So, this was the picture FWA’s medical staff sent me after your match. There was bruising the day after, correct?”

“Yes. They gave me an MRI the day after and found nothing broken or torn. But they put me in a knee brace for the next couple of matches.”


“They told me it was a knee contusion.” He takes a longer look at the image. “Even if there was a week in between matches, you should have had more rest out of precaution.”

“Do not worry…”
Katsuki folds her arms, “Michelle Von Horrorwitz ONLY attacked my injury viciously in the next match. But there was a tournament and my pool already had multiple changes.”

Her Doctor shakes his head and sighs. “That is always a mindset I dislike with sports. When your brother was younger, I told him to not push himself when his arm was sore after a game.”

“Wrestling can be much worse than baseball at that.” Katsuki adds. “The show goes on for almost anything apart from a disaster.”

Heading over to the sink, Dr. Nakamura washes his hands. As the water runs, he tells his patient. “Would you mind rolling up your right pant leg so I can see your knee, Miss Sasaki?”

Following her doctor’s directions, Katsuki rolls her jeans up until her knee is perfectly visible. In comparison to the photo her doctor received, the swelling is non-existent, though there is still a bruise on the side of the leg. Looking at her knee, Doctor Nakamura inspects it, running his finger gently on the bruise.

“Now, if I put pressure on this point, how does it feel?” His thumb presses down on the bruise and Katsuki winces slightly.

“It is a touch tender, doctor. Though I don’t have any problems walking or running.”

“Have you been icing it?”


The FWA wrestler nods. “I iced it each night for three weeks. Then sometimes after matches.”

“Would you mind if I move it?”
He asks, “To see if there is any discomfort?”

“Not at all.”
Katsuki gives her permission and lies down with her back on the table. Dr. Nakamura slowly moves her leg forward and back, bending the knee. This part, Katsuki appears to have little discomfort.

“Does it hurt now?”

“No. It is-”
Katsuki says until he slightly twists it to the side, putting pressure on the bruised muscled “-Okay maybe that is where it hurts But it is far better than it was a few weeks ago.”

Letting go of her knee gently, Dr. Nakamura rests it back down and Katsuki sits up.

“I see no issues in clearing you fully for your upcoming shows here. I recommend resting beforehand and to continue to ice your knee. That way you’ll be ready.”

“Thank you, doctor.”
Katsuki nods her head and even through the mask, her cheeks raise, showing a small grin. Dr. Nakamura goes over to his folder for the former FWA Television Champion and flips through.

“Although I believe there is one more thing we should discuss…” He glances up at his patient. “Did you bring your medication?”

Nodding, Katsuki reaches into her purse and pulls out two orange prescription bottles. One has completely emptied out while the other only has a few left. She hands it off to her doctor who gives it a look.

“Currently you are on 30mg of Citalopram. And you have been on that amount for how long again?”

“Three years.”
She answers.

“So it makes sense it is not having the same effect on reducing your anxiety as it once did. Now, for your Klonopin, you ran out. I believe you said to me you had plenty before your first trip to America, is that correct?”

“That was… Then I had to take one in New Orleans. Once in the United Kingdom. Another in Greece. Then once more in Colorado.”
Katsuki adds. “Which is three more times than I had taken all of last year.”

She sighs. “I feel so weak for-”

“Please do not say that.”
Her doctor stops her. “Just focus on my questions. When you took those pills, what happened?”

The former champion thinks back, looking at the ceiling. “New Orleans… Uhh. I had someone harass me for wearing a mask.”

“As a wrestler?”
Dr. Nakamura clarifies. "But you wrestle in one as part of-."

“No. No. No. A mask like what we are wearing now. Since COVID I have been wearing it far more often and masks were more commonplace here even before the pandemic. I was at a restaurant to try some ‘Gumbo’ since I heard it was really good. But that man had a red hat saw I was wearing my mask as I was seated and was… yelling at me. He called me ‘Chinese’ saying I spread the…”
She uses air quotes, “‘Kung Flu hoax’ to say it in English. Then he kept harassing me until someone threatened to call the police if he did not leave…”

She hangs her head down. “I-uhh. I cried.” and as she says that, she is trying to hold back tears. I rushed to the bathroom and the staff apologised and offered to give me my order to go. They even offered it to me for free.”

“That was very kind of them.”
Her doctor nods his head. He leans back against the wall, arms folded, listening.

“But by the time I got back to my hotel I was still stressed and worried. I started to feel scared. I was worried about leaving my hotel so I took one then before I had my gumbo.”

“Was it good?”
He keeps some of the conversation light.

“It was, but I had to reheat it.” Katsuki has a light laugh. “Something like that happened at the airport in Colorado. I got off my flight and wanted something to eat before I left for my hotel. The first place I saw was sushi and it might not be like what is back home, but I was hungry. As I ordered, a man was behind me and heard my accent. I asked a question about what was in it and he responded, ‘Shouldn’t you already know this, you dirty Japanese woman,’ but he said something else instead of Japanese woman.”

“I can imagine what he said.”
Dr. Namakura nods.

“Then he called me a ‘school girl’ and said that I should go back to starring in anime, and... then said he said America should drop a third bomb on us... I got a shock to my spine and I felt uneasy. Two different parts of America and it ended up similar. The lady taking my order told him to leave. He yelled at her and me and the security guards had to take him away. I didn’t eat and I rushed back to my hotel to take my medication.”


“So, if I am understanding this right-” The doctor paces in front of Katsuki, trying to summarize. “In America you experienced rude and racist comments from others. Why did it upset you... Apart from the obvious reasons?”

“Because I never experienced it before. I wanted to go to America to see new things. I just wanted to perform in front of new fans, but then I was scared. I wondered ‘Why do they hate me?’ Why do they hate me so much when I did nothing!”


Tears begin to form in her eyes. Dr. Nakamura reaches over to his sink area to grab a box of tissues. He hands it to his patient as she continues, trying to wipe some of the tears as she talks.

“While all this was going on, I was thrown into the thick of it for FWA. It felt strange. I felt like I was making so much progress, and yet failing so, so much. I was put into a tournament. The F1. And I lost my first two matches. That was understandable as I had one on short notice because I was a replacement. Then the other was against the best in the company. Between matches, the time came for me to challenge for the FWA Television Championship and… I won. I never thought that would happen, let alone so soon. I was in pain, but happy-”

Taking a deep breath, she closes her eyes.

“Then he attacked me. Shawn. He was the one who injured my knee. He was the first champion and he was bitter over his loss. So he attacked the former champion and myself. A crowning moment of my career and it is marred in misery. A friend of mine tried to throw a small party to celebrate, but I couldn’t enjoy it. I knew I had another match and if I lost, I’d be eliminated from the tournament. I also put a lot of pressure on myself because the man who attacked me, Shawn Summers, would celebrate in my misery. I lashed out against my friend and I locked myself in the bathroom for almost an hour.”

More tears begin to form. Katsuki wipes some of them away. “Then I lost. I got eliminated. He called my tournament a failure. Then, FWA management had the bright idea to team us together against two people where, if we lost, our title match would be a four-way match. I freaked out again. I just wanted to face him one on one, get it over with, and move on. But they decided against it. That was the other time I had to take my medication and I was spaced out during a tour with my friend.”

She sniffles. “I started off the tour with nothing, got everything and lost it again. What was a few months felt like years of experience. I was told to fill the shoes of a world champion and I failed. I failed. I just wanted to compete for a championship, then a man made it his mission to make my life hell. He’d say all these things to me which echo the man in New Orleans and the man from Colorado. It hurt. Words hurt. There are consequences from when you act like that.”

Looking to the side, Katsuki’s hand shakes lightly. “And I truly fear what leads those men down their paths. How they were taught to hate. It doesn’t help that I have always held myself to a high standard. But I’m scared now. I’m scared to go back. I’m scared to be laughed at. I’m scared to see that man and have HATE spit from his mouth like a Cobra’s venom. But what happens if I don’t? Will that mean they win? All I want is to chase my dreams. I want to do what I always wanted to do. Be like my heroes when I was young. But what kind of hero am I!?”

Having listened to Katsuki’s venting, her doctor just nods his head. “Breathe, Miss Sakaki. Remember. Five seconds in, hold for five, then out for five.”

Following her doctor’s advice, she takes a long breath in.

One

Two

Three

Four

Five.

Holding it in...

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Then out...

One

Two

Three

Four

Five.

“Keep that going, and listen.” Dr. Nakamura lightly pats Katsuki on the back, showing some compassion. Katsuki continues to take her breaths in and out and listens.

“I completely understand why you have been feeling the way you have. Given problems you have experienced in the past with self-esteem, it is no wonder why you put extra pressure on yourself when tasked with a large obstacle professionally. Then couple that with a new place, a different culture, and, to be blunt, racism, any young lady in your position would have some difficulties. I say all this because I like to think I am a bit different than the average person in regards to the topic of mental health. Many here see it as a sign of weakness, and a problem you solve in isolation from others. But I know sometimes it takes a group effort.”

Looking to her doctor, Katsuki rubs her eyes. “Why is that?”

“Because while I was studying in school, a classmate of mine was having a rough time with his mental health. I walked away from him along with others. We felt he needed to solve it on his own. Then came a day when I was walking near Kawasaki Bashi Bridge. It was evening and he was there, alone. He leaned against the railing, looking down, and I talked to him. I asked him how he was doing, and I offered to take him out for drinks to catch up. Little did I know…”
Dr. Nakamura looks up at Katsuki. “I saved his life. Graduation day he came up to me with a card. A thank you card. He explained everything he was going through and said that evening, he was not looking to cross the bridge but…” Now Dr. Nakamura’s voice catches. Katsuki holds her hand up.

“I think I know.” She responds. Her doctor slowly nods.

“I think you are right. But now he has a wife and kids. Things got better for him, even if he has his times when he is struggling. I am proud of him. He's truly one of the strongest people I know. You are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit. People believe that, even if your own thoughts say otherwise. Who do you have to talk to, Katsuki?” He asks.

“Here I have my stablemates in MAYHEM. But especially Ririko and Cali. Whenever I am in the ring with them, I just feel like I am on the same wave-length as them. Each movement we click together and if I am struggling, they both are willing to lift me up. Cali Hayama especially seems to be sympathetic to this. But when I am in FWA I have a girl who is now working in their video department. She is an old friend of Cali’s. Kimmy.”

“Then you’re not alone, and I am sure there are plenty of others.”
The doctor nods before going to his booklet and he begins to write things down.

“So here is what I am going to do. I will up your prescription to 40mg on your next refill. If you notice your symptoms are getting worse, or are feeling an onset of depression, let me know and then go back to 30mg.” He looks up at his patient. “Tell me, how much wrestling are you going to do while in the country?”

“Three shows this weekend. Nine shows total in the next three weeks.”
She responds.

“I will discuss with your promotion about reducing that number. I think one this week may be ideal to ease your way into it and get extra rest. Then depending on how you are managing your anxiety, then it can be increased.”

“That works. That way I can be ready for my return to FWA-”


Dr. Nakamura holds his hand up, interrupting her. “About that. I highly recommend taking a longer break away. I know it is not ideal, but I need to talk to management and the doctors for the company to make sure your next series of shows are less strenuous on you. If they have a psychologist, then I suggest monthly therapy sessions if you approve. Just as a way to keep tabs.”

This news is not what Katsuki wishes to hear, but looking at her doctor, she can tell he is firm in his stance. “I may be willing to see the psychologist. How much longer away?”

“Maybe a few more weeks. It just depends on how you are feeling. I will tell FWA’s management you require the absence. And one more thing-”

“What?”


He shuts the envelope. Stay away from that asshole! I do not care if he took your championship, he is not worth the headaches!”

The woman known as Vampyra looks down, disappointed. Her first championship of her career and if he doesn’t pursue him, she won’t get a rematch, maybe ever, for a championship which was ripped from her by a man who didn’t even care about the championship, but cared more about making her life miserable. But, is he really worth it? Thinking more about it, she realises how many problems she’s going to avoid by staying away from him. The feeling of dread slowly begins to be replaced by a feeling of relief.

“I will.”

“Thank you. I will email your two companies later today.”
Dr. Nakamura finishes writing a prescription and hands it off to her. She looks at it and, even in Japanese, a doctor’s handwriting resembles chicken scratch more than actual handwriting. “Take care, Miss Sasaki and good luck in your wrestling.”

Dr. Nakamura heads out the door as Katsuki takes a second to gather her thoughts. She takes a prolonged look at her updated prescription and things. Extra time away from FWA? Maybe he's right. She gets up and leaves as well.

dfBAELo6bvu6vvulOtUbCDbo-tZaE8v8MTQsD_wG3l65tzPt-uO4ywgfGUWUU6w1WuqwLomaehAELmpddbU3sgnunLfYCH2Hff0L9c30ETZVVJuAUunn6C-ufa_ArZyIZSLLCj207jLlSdjHc_SAXjg

9:41pm
Kawasaki Bashi Bridge

Katsuki stands on the bridge alone in the middle of night. Lights from the bridge bounce off her skin as she looks off at the river below. Her hands are in her hoodie pocket as she sees the reflection of the city’s lights on the water below. It is a peaceful night. A light breeze blows through the city. It is just Katsuki alone with her thoughts. A duck flies down from the sky and onto the water below. A long way down. Surprisingly, Katsuki has a slight smile on her face. Then, two girls approach her.

Ririko stands wearing a red turtleneck sweater along with a combination of a black skirt and leggings with her black boots. She has a large grin on her face as she approaches with a girl that has silver hair and sides wept bangs. Wearing a purple hoodie with the Twitch logo and a pair of jeans, Cali Hayama has arrived with her friends in Japan. Cali lights up with a smile as she sees her the final part of her main trio. Katsuki smiles and turns to them.

"Finally! I have been waiting for you two!"

“We're not that late!" Cali responds. "Speaking of, glad to see you made it back! I thought you were too busy being such a hot shot in America now to see us!” She jokes with her friend.

Katsuki laughs. “No. I’m back. Like I trust you to keep Ririko out of trouble.”

“No fair!”
Ririko laughs. “I haven't’ done anything wrong since that night in Kyoto.”

“I remember. That was when you chased Chiitan all over the city!”
Cali chuckles.

“I wanted to see if they could join MAYHEM!” Ririko shouts.

“They are an Otter!” Katsuki can’t help but burst out in a laugh.

“Then how about we get some drinks before any otters show up for Ririko to harass?” Cali jokes before the three friends head across the bridge. Katsuki stands in the middle of all three of them and has a huge grin.

“I missed you guys…”

Watching the trio in the distance we see a tall beautiful woman with dark hair standing. She has a stunning and decorated white and red kimono dress with red and golden flowers branded on it. Looking at the three in the distance, she has a warm, and proud smile. She snaps her fingers and she shrinks down in a light, appearing as a white fox with red markings on its face. Nine tails flick as the creature sits. She gives a playful snicker before getting on all fours and walking the other way.

Heavy themes of mental health and discrimination in the promo. But I think it ties together a lot of stuff and builds towards the future with an important message.

https://checkpointorg.com/global/

And a link just in case you need it. Remember.

You are not alone.
 
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Rosie

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HomecomingPart3-removebg-preview.png


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February 25th, 2023
Osaka, Japan

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
4:15 local time


Walking in her hometown, Katsuki has a plain black hoodie on her head, with the hood pulled down, keeping her face well hidden along with her face mask. Dragging behind her is her gear bag and apart from that, she blends well into the crowd. Just as what she intends to be as a masked wrestler, hidden. On her way to shows, she is especially conscious of her being seen with her gear bag without her mask on. Though optional for some masked wrestlers, the tradition of keeping your name and face away from public record is sacred to those who choose to keep it. Whether it is in Mexico, where the tradition of the masked wrestler really came to be, or those who import the idea to places like America and Japan, there is something about keeping your performances and your personal life separate. So, when Katsuki steps into the ring, it is Vampyra who the fans either idolise or vilify.

Though normally she travels by bus to venues with her stablemates, this is one time where she can make it to the arena by foot. With approval from her doctor, she only needs to worry about one show this return weekend before she slowly breaks her way into more with CJW. The three options were Kyoto on Friday night, Osaka tonight, or Kobe on Sunday Night. Three nights of the Winter Warming shows. So, she chose the show that happens to be in her hometown. Night two in Osaka. It is a return to the familiar to her with Trios action. YOKAI Death Squad, the phenomenal young trio of MAYHEM, are teaming against three members of Royal Dojo. A unit dedicated to ring technique and grace. As she gets closer to the Gymnasium, her earbuds drown out the outside and she can only focus on her own thoughts, with the beat of the song going on in the background.


The music

"Even the reality buried in the snow of sadness

Even these hands that have been dyed red by mistakes"

With this match being her return match in her home country, there is a little extra pressure, especially with the home field advantage. Another positive bit of news, fans, after being told to restrict their noise to just clapping to reduce the risk for the spread of disease, are now allowed to make noise and scream out their support. But will they care about her? It has been months since she has been here and there is some duty of loyalty to fans. Some wrestlers who jump from one promotion to another in Japan have a harder time getting support and for her, she left for America (Or Europe more) in pursuit of trying to see the world. With the European tour done, she will likely be able to hop back and forth with greater ease. Does that matter though? After getting entrenched in FWA as someone who can at least be a threat to some of the bigger hitters in the promotion, do they see her as a member of MAYHEM anymore? Is she even part of Cosmic Joshi Wrestling? Or just an outsider?

All these worries and insecurities dance around in her head, creating the feeling of butterflies in her stomach. She moves to the back of the building where there is a parking lot for the back entrance. A bus is rolling in, branded with a pink logo of a planet and stars around it. Just in time with others arriving. Going to the entrance, the security guard looks towards her. He is a man looking to be in his mid twenties. Katsuki removes her hood to show her hair with its dyed tips. She takes out her earbuds. Reaching in a pocket of her bag, she takes out her signature mask. It is purple with silver as a secondary colour, and a neon green accent colour. Near her fangs on the mask is a touch of red, as if it is covered in blood. That is all the security guard really needs to confirm her identity.

“Welcome home, Vampyra.” He says to her in their native language. She gives a polite nod before walking in.


7:20pm
Approx. 15 minutes until Match Time


In their locker room, the three young wrestlers who make up YOKAI Death Squad are each taking part in their own pre-match routine. Cali Hayama, the ever agile wrestler, is stretching in the corner. She has primarily purple and black gear on, featuring long tights with an opening on the left leg to show some of her skin. There are some trims of silver and purple with her top having YDS in neon green in a glitchy text. Her boots and kick pads are black, leading to knee pads where she has the “MAYHEM” M on one knee with its rainbow coloured trim, and the other is an 8 bit skull and horns, resembling a type of yokai. She lifts her leg against the wall and stretches it out, showing great flexibility. Reaching for her foot, Cali Hayama grabs it with her hand that wears fingerless gloves.

Ririko, the energetic powerhouse, is on the ground doing push ups, keeping her energy high. Her top and shorts match her partner’s, with the same colours. On her arms are colourful tassels. Her thighs have bands. Her kick pads are more colourful with the purple base, some neon green trim, and have more tassels.

Keeping herself in her mode of zen, Vampyra is fully into her in-ring identity. She has her ring gear on, matching her friends, and is seated, cross-legged. Taking long breaths in and out, it’s a routine she has been trying to get back into. Calm your nerves before your matches. Although it doesn’t guarantee how you’d react afterwards, it puts her in a position which is likely better than before. Her phone is in front of her and the timer goes off. She turns it off and sits up.

Across from them, two more veteran members of MAYHEM. The towering Miss Fuka, and Miho Watase. Fuka has long black hair and stands just a bit under six feet tall. Miho is around average height, a touch thicker in her frame, with brown and blonde highlights in her hair. Fuka has the stable hoodie on with some jeans while Miho Watase is in her ring gear, having black and blue as its main colours. Miss Fuka sees the younger members of the group and chuckles.

“At long last, the most fabled young trio in COSMIC makes its return. YOKAI Death Squad” She speaks to them in Japanese. “You know, at one time, I would expect Cali Hayama to be the one travelling all the time to America and not young Vampyra.”

“I still travel home in between considering I’m still a content creator and I’m not forcing my partner to move all the way to a foreign country.”
Cali responds before whispering to Ririko, “Speaking of, remind me to get her a gift for our one year anniversary before I leave Japan.” and her friend nods.

“It would be much better if I returned home with a championship.” Vampyra stretches her leg before standing up. “But I hope that once things get more settled, I can easily flow between here and FWA in America.”

“Do not bite off more than you chew.”
Miho Watase speaks up. “Remember, with Saori Suzuki injured, I am the one in charge of MAYHEM as its most senior member left and do not want any more of us down to injuries or to suffer performance wise.”

“I had those talks with my doctor…”
Vampyra has some tension in her voice. “If I was not aware of it, then I would have been in Kyoto last night. I do not need to be babysat by you.”

Miho raises her hands, attempting to defuse the situation and reminding her to remain calm. “Easy. Just taking precaution.”

Getting up from her push-ups, Ririko pats Vampyra’s back. “We got it tonight. Focus on your match, Watase.”

“It is your first match together in months.”
Miss Fuka warns the young wrestlers, “There might be some changes.”

“It is like riding a bike, you never forget it.”
Cali uses a Western saying, but it just confuses Ririko.

“But, we are not riding bikes….”

Vampyra raises her hands. “We got it. I just want to get out there. We will be fine.”

“Good luck, then.”
Miho nods before focusing on getting herself prepared for her match later in the night.

Cali and Ririko grab smaller masks from their gear and put them on. They are half-masks which have teeth like designs on the front and they cover one eye. Unique masks, but something to visually tie them together as a team. Cali has a bulky jacket she slings over her shoulder. Vampyra quickly clips her entrance cape on. The young trio get out of the locker room and head down the hallway, with their match coming up soon.

Farther down the hall, a piece of paper is taped to the wall with “Wrestler Entrance” written in kanji, giving an arrow. There is a crowd of people near monitors for wrestlers and staff to watch the show. The match is ongoing, likely reaching its big climax. The YDS ladies glance up, getting a glimpse. A familiar voice from behind speaks to them in Japanese.

“Glad to see the team back together again.” All three girls perk up as they turn around to see their mentor and MAYHEM leader, Saori Suzuki.

Saori is a larger woman, having considerable mass. Though, if she is not injured, you can see she remains in tip top shape, mixing her larger frame with explosive speed and surprising technique. Her hair is predominantly purple with squared off bangs. She has a matching black track jacket and track pants branded with the CJW logo, having a pink and white trim. Two crutches are under her arm as she tries her best to keep her right knee off the ground which sports a heavy knee brace. Both Cali and Ririko give their mentor a one armed hug.

“Saori! We did not expect you to come!” Cali’s voice is ecstatic.

“You only had surgery last week on your knee.” Ririko looks down at her injury. “I would expect you to stay home.”

Saori Suzuki looks down at her leg. “Knee injuries are nothing new. Perhaps I should be resting, but I had to come.” She looks up at Cali Hayama and Ririko. “I want to make sure you two are in prime shape, being that you two are my replacement in the tag team championship match. But most importantly-”

She looks at Vampyra. “I had to see the hometown hero make her return.”

Vampyra gives a polite grin and slight bow. “It will be my pleasure to perform.”

“Listen. You know me, I am always the one to give a speech. But being that my knee is aching, I will keep it quick. You three know how to work well together. Your bond is stronger than any else’s here. Distance will not interfere with it. Show your opponents no mercy because we know they will show none to you. Win or lose, I want you two,
” She looks at the future tag team title challengers, “-to make the Itsuki Sister shake in fear watching.”

“You know me, Saori,”
Cali Hayama winks, “I have no problem kicking faces in.”

“I would not need to think twice!”
Ririko balls her hands into fists, determined, “It is about time those two and Sin get humbled!”

“Break their backs and make them humble!”
Cali pats Ririko on the shoulder, chuckling.

Saori turns to Vampyra, “For you, mind if we talk privately for a moment?”

“Not at all.” Vampyra and Saori head to the corner while Ririko and Cali Hayama give them some privacy and turn to the screens to watch the final moments of the match before them. Saori Suzuki struggles with her knee, leaning against the wall in an attempt to get some pressure off.

“How was America and Europe, Vampyra?” She asks the masked wrestler.

Vampyra takes a few moments to think of her answer. She’s been on an emotional roller coaster. But, as others have constantly reminded her, she needs to think of the positives.

“Interesting…” She mutters. She can’t quite do it.

“You already won gold, huh?” Saori pats her on the shoulder. “Shame screwy American booking kept you from returning home with it.”

Having a small chuckle Vampyra is glad SOMEONE gets her struggles a touch. “Tell me about it. Teaming enemies together!? They were insane for thinking that was a good idea!”

“But I know it will be the first of many for you. Because you did better than I think anyone thought you would. I knew you would win a singles championship someday, but I expected it here.”
Saori Suzuki speaks gently to her pupil, something different to her normal rallying cries and being a strong, but fair, leader. “I figured Cali Hayama would be the one to bring gold internationally here, yet here she is teaming with Ririko, who you normally teamed with, showing that any pairing in your trio can work. But you became a champion in America on your first attempt. Your company trusted you to swim with the sharks.”

“And I drowned-”
Vampyra gets harsh with herself, but Saori snaps back, still trying to keep her volume down.

“Attention! You did not!” Blinking, Vampyra stands at attention. Saori can be kind, but the next moment, one knee or not, she can be the scariest woman in wrestling. “You are still here. And I am glad you are home. I think the CJW fans have been waiting to shout your name again for years, but tonight they can finally do it and they will do it louder than ever before.”

Taking a deep breath, Vampyra can’t help but have a small grin from the kind words. “I have missed it. I missed it so much.”

“I have as well.”
Saori sighs. “Just a shame that the first show they were allowed to do it again, my knee gave out on me again.” The MAYHEM leader shakes her head. “But this is not about me. It is about you. I remember the first time I saw you. You were the girl with the mask training in our dojo. You were shy. Then in Sin, I saw you have a vicious exterior, but one which cracked easily. All because someone was preying on your insecurities and trying to turn you into someone you’re not.”

Vampyra puts her hand on her mask, feeling the fangs of it. She thinks back to her experiences in her former group.

“But I look at you, today. I see a young girl who has grown into a proud young lady, wise beyond her years. I am not talking about Vampyra. I am talking about you, Katsuki.”

Vampyra blinks, surprised. Apart from Cali and maybe Ririko on occasion, nobody really calls her by her real name here by those who do know it. But that maybe shows how genuine the MAYHEM leader is. A woman who saved her from being tormented by someone who was meant to “lead” her to a promising career. Vampyra is speechless. So instead, all she can do is smile, trying to keep her emotions in check. Saori Suzuki holds her fist out.

“Kick some ass, Katsuki.” She winks and Vampyra exchanges the fist bump before both of them hold their hands down in an “M” shape. Vampyra goes to join her friends. Cali has put on her jacket which has a mix of various patches on it, being half purple and half black with some neon highlights. On one arm is “MAYHEM” in bold letters with their trio initials of YDS on the other.

“So, what was that about?” Cali asks her friend.

“She was giving me one of her old pep-talks. You know the one.” Vampyra smirks.

“No fair! I wanted a private one!” Ririko pouts under her half mask.

“Maybe win this match and she’ll give you a victory speech?” Vampyra jokes before motioning for them to head down the hall as they hear the bell ring. The match in the ring is over and they’re up next.

Going into the actual gymnasium, it is more grand than you’d expect from its name. An 8,000 seat venue and, with COVID restrictions slowly relaxing, the turnout is really solid. The stage is set up with banners of each of the company’s main factions. Cosmica, MAYHEM, Sin, Marvellous, Royal Dojo, and Shi-No-Gun along with a couple screens and a metal frame near the entranceway and lights. The ring has a white canvas featuring the promotions logo, a purple and pink planet with rings along with stars and the name of the company in both English and Japanese. The ropes are purple as well with the traditional boxing like corner pads for Japan, two white corners and a red and blue corner. Between the barricades there are some commentary tables with those signatures near unbreakable Japanese tables. In the ring, the three members of Royal Dojo have ended their entrance and introductions with all three of them in their team’s corner.

Behind the curtains, the hair on the back of her neck is standing up. Vampyra has been waiting for this moment for months. She’s back home, in her home promotion ring, in her hometown no less. Cali and Ririko give her a pat on the back, psyching her up as finally, their theme music plays.



The lights of the stage flash a mixture of neon green, purple, with occasional flashes of red to the music. The screens flash the logo of both their Unit and the logo of their sub-unit. The fans give a strong positive response as, after eighteen seconds, all three members of YOKAI Death Squad make their way out. Vampyra keeps her hand to her side, cape flowing behind her. Ririko runs to one side of the stage, amped up, as Cali Hayama hops in place. Ririko joins her partners in the middle of the stage as there are sparks of pyrotechnics. Standing next to Vampyra, Ririko spins around and holds up the MAYHEM “M”. Vampya spreads her arms out wide as Cali Hayama kneels down in front of them, pointing her hand out like a sideways gun. The Canadian jumps up as all three begin to head down the ramp. During this, Vampyra begins to have a visual grin on her face as she hears the crowd chant

“Y-D-S!”

“Y-D-S!”

“Y-D-S!”


Both Ririko and Cali clap their hands along with the crowd’s chant, playing along, as Vampyra walks around the ring to the hardcam side which views the stage. Sliding onto the apron, the former FWA Television Champion opens her cape wide as Ririko runs to the side of the ring and slides in. Cali Hayama opts for the steps hopping into the ring. Vampyra swings into the ring and the announcer, a wonderful lady in a white kimono dress, begins introductions in Japanese as their music continues to play.

“Their opponents, representing MAYHEM, YOKAAAI DEATH SQUAD!”

There are cheers and claps from the fans as she moves to the individual members.

“First, she is the Sky Devil, HAYAMAAAAAAAAA KAAAAAAAAARRRRIIII!”

Upon hearing her name announced, Cali Hayama rushes to the ropes and hooks her leg on the top rope. She flips her hair as she rips off her half mask, sticking her tongue out. She holds out the MAYHEM “M” as the announcer continues.

“Next, the Crazy Ghost, RIRRIIIIIIIKOOOOOOO!”

Ririko heads to one turnbuckle and poses for the fans, joining her friend in holding up the “M.” Normally, Vampyra is able to at least keep her poker face for the ring, but this time, she can’t help but be excited.

“Their partner, also representing Fantasy Wrestling Alliance, the Dark Huntress…. VAAAAAAAAMPYYYRRRRRRAAAAAAA!”

The fans give an even louder cheer than for Cali and Ririko as Vampyra goes to the top turnbuckle, putting her foot on the top rope. She does a throat slashing gesture with her finger before she holds down the “M” with her friends as the camera gets a wide shot of all three of them, reunited. YOKAI Death Squad jump down from the ropes as their theme music fades and they shed their entrance gear. They head towards the red corner as Royal Dojo is in blue. Ririko and Vampyra begin on the apron as the official quickly checks all of the participants. But, there is a chant from the fans…

“VAM-PY-RA!”

“VAM-PY-RA!”

“VAM-PY-RA!”


Now Vampyra can’t help but cover her face, trying to hide her wide grin. The classic hometown ovation. Cali, sensing exactly what to do, gets onto the apron, motion for Vampyra to start the match. Vampyra stands in her corner as the official checks Royal Dojo. The crowd gives a cheer. They didn’t forget her. If anything, absence made the heart grow fonder. She’s wrestling in FWA now. But that just means each time she returns home, things will be special.

Vampyra crouches in the corner, ready as the official rings the bell and she thinks to herself.

“I’m so glad to be home.”
 
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