Chapter 6

Back Home! A Restless Thought

If you were ask 97% of people on Earth what their day entailed, chances were, they weren't forced into a conflict were the fate of several universes hang in the balance. Nope, but for the remaining 3%, they knew all too well. Though scared, it felt good to have others helping them along, training them for any upcoming conflicts, but it still left them feeling pretty uneasy. Knowing there were these people who preyed on planets for their own benefits, it made them wonder if they knew of theirs, yet. According to Dyala though, they were a pretty good way away from their enemy, which helped settle their nerves a bit. And with it being close to ten at night, it was about time for them to head back, but not without their new friend's information, as well as headquarters coordinates, for when they needed to return. With all that done, Tyler headed back to the shop, in hope his father hadn't noticed he'd been gone most of the day, before closing up, while Rick hung out with Valerie for a little while. After everything that had happened though, she needed a little wash down, while he chose to call her father, just in case he's grown worried.

"Yeah, Marcus, it's Rick." He said into the phone.

"Rick? You do know what time it is, right?" He groaned, having been asleep only moments ago.

"Yeah, sorry about that. I saw you left some messages on our phones, so I called to let you know we're all okay." He assured them.

"Oh right, I plumb forgot about those. What happened? Did something happen at the shop?"

"Eh, kind of. She forgot her phone at home, and mine had run out of juice. I would have charged it up, but there were electrical problems this morning, and I didn't want to risk frying it."

"Huh, I guess karma wasn't on your side today." He chuckled.

"You could say that again. Anyways, I'm over at her house for now and Tyler's still at the shop, I think."

"Okay, so long as you're all alright."

"Yeah, we're A-Okay over here. Sorry for waking you."

"Nah, it's fine. Thanks for letting me know, her mother was getting a bit worried herself."

"Heh, can't blame her. Well anyways, best head off for now. See you later."

"See ya."

And with that, he hung up. Although, things weren't all sunshine and rainbows for them. Earlier that day, he'd been dealt a crushing blow by both Xemo and reality. He may have gotten over the initial shock, but his words still stuck around; floating inside his mind. Small, weak, and overall, pathetic, that's how they made him feel, while slumped against the couch; the sound of the anime block on Cartoon Boom having just started.

"What am I doing? I'm not cut out for this. What kind of hero can't even use his powers properly anyways? Maybe I should tell them I'm out, but then again, I may cause more harm than good. Gah, what do I do?!" He cried out in desperation, while scratching the back of his head furiously.

Frustration had set in, all the while fear wrestled with the back of his mind. What if things didn't go as planned? After what happened earlier, he really didn't want to go back, especially if it meant getting punched and kicked around again. Sighing, he looked down at his fist, having remembered what happened that very same morning.

"Why's it so tough to use? It worked fine this morning. Don't tell me it's tied to my emotions…It better not be." He thought to himself in worry for what would happen tomorrow.

His inner thoughts came to an end however, after feeling something huge, soft, and squishy on the top of his head.

"I know these, Valerie." He chuckled.

"Hehe how'd you know?" She giggled.

"Cause you're the only one with a chest big enough to boob-hat me with. 75H cup, right?"

"And you could tell just by that? You're gonna make me blush~" she playfully teased.

"Mhm. I can also tell you're only wearing a bra, and probably no pants too?"

"Heh, you know me too well." She chuckled, before hopping over the couch, and to the seat beside him.

"Oh good lord. You actually bought one of those?" he chuckled, after having seen her virgin killer sweater.

How'd he know what it was? The internet, that was all one needed to use.

"What? Don't like it?"

"No, but you really think that'll work on me?"

"Yes-yes I do." She told him, in a more sweet voice.

Being so late, she leaned over on his shoulder to get comfy, before taking a hold of his left arm. Being a man though, his inner temptations drove him to admire her lovely curves. Even when he tried resisting.

"Not that it's any of my business but, how do you not have back problems?"

"Lots of sit ups and squats, those really helped. Plus, I know you would be absolutely devastated if I were to get them reduced, hm? Would Ricky not like that?" She taunted.

"Well, they are anime sized." He admitted, with a slight, teasing smirk.

"Thought so." She giggled again, before poking his nose.

Now that she thought about it, something a bit off about his behavior.

"It's kind of weird not seeing you blush while dressed like this."

"Just the benefit of having seen you in your underwear before, several times." He reminded her.

"Is that so…?"

Reaching behind, she pulled the turtle neck up and off her head; letting the upper piece slide down her torso.

"Is it funny now?" she asked in a very sensual way.

Naked breasts and anime? Truly, karma had seen how tough his day must have been, and decided on giving him something in return.

"Hilarious, but uh, maybe I should get going. It's getting late and I don't want to disturb you." He used as an excuse, while standing back up to leave.

"Wai-Wait, could you maybe stay the night with me, please?" She asked of him, with innocent eyes.

"Why? Something wrong?"

"No, I just—after what happened today, maybe we could stay together for a little while."

Hearing her ask a favor like that made him wonder, when was the last time he'd spent the night? Seven years, if his memory served. And the way she asked it, it gave him the impression that maybe she too was a little frightened, and who wouldn't be? With a smile, he sat back down, regardless of her perverse nature.

"I guess a night or two wouldn't hurt." He said in response.

"Thanks, you really are the best." She happily sighed.

Laying her head on his chest, they both tried taking their mind off previous events, and instead, enjoy a marathon or Marimusha: The Cursed Blade of Paradise.

"Not that you don't look stunning, but, could cover up a tad? Possibly with a bra?" He asked, while a slight blush crossed his cheeks.

"Mmmm not a chance." She sighed again, while cuddling up close to him.

Oh well, maybe by enduring a topless Valerie, it would render any of her attempts at flashing him thereafter pointless. On the plus side, they had a pretty entertaining show to watch. However, not everyone was enjoying their day, and that went double for Xemo. Feeling the need to train after quite a while Tali and Chio focusing more on building their strength up in the gym on floor 35 of 58, while Xemo and Dyala took to a more physical challenge. Beating the crap out of each other in the very same arena they'd carried out the tests in earlier that same day.

"This is getting annoying, Dyala. Didn't I tell you not to take the last drink!" he exclaimed, before stomping the ground.

With such force behind it, the ground buckled under her, as he charged forth upon seeing her stagger.

"Tsk—tsk, poor Xemo didn't get his alcohol." She taunted, whole just standing there, arms crossed.

"You know how much I like Dragon's Breath!" he cried out, while jumping high in the air.

"Indeed, and so do I." She chuckled.

With a fist prepared, he dove towards her with the intent to claim victory. He'd soon learn however, just how in over his head he really was. With only inches away from her pretty face, victory seemed close. If only it were that easy. In a flash, she disappeared into nothingness, as he collided with the ground.

"Damn, not again." He grunted in frustration.

Pulling back, he rolled across the ground to lighten the fall. Jumping back up, he turned his attention to his surroundings.

"She's a tricky one, I'll give her back." He thought to himself.

Indeed, one such as her shouldn't and wouldn't be taken lightly. Unfortunately, with cockiness came clumsiness.

"Haven't you ever heard, never turn your back to your opponent?" He heard coming from behind.

"There you are!" He scowled, before spinning around.

But when he turned to look, no one was there. Huh, kind of strange, or maybe she was playing tricks with his mind.

"Nope, but nice try." He heard her giggle.

In a sudden turn of events, he found himself being lifted off the ground, not by any mental based technique, but her own strength.

"No! Cheat!" He cried, while being lifted above her head.

"Nope, just smart." She teased, with a wink.

Knowing he couldn't escape, she decided to go easy on him, and instead, threw him into a nearby mountainside, before blasting him with a large bolt of electricity.

"And that's game." She sighed, finding herself sweating more than usual.

"Ugh, screw that adaptive ability of yours." He growled, while pulling himself from the rocks.

"I'm sorry, but you knew full well I took some of your DNA for myself. Well, yours and Tali's." she reminded with, while crossing arms.

"Yeah, screw that." he grunted, after staggering across the ground.

"Didn't you say before that your enemy will never play fair? Didn't you, hm?"

"Tsk, don't use my own lessons against me, woman."

"Heh, can't take what you spit out, gotcha."

"Just you wait, one day, I will beat you."

"And I'll happily await that day."

Seeing as how late it was, they both removed the bands and proceeded out of the arena to grab a towel. Both were sweating like something fierce, though Xemo more than herself. Training with her generally have him a pretty thrilling challenge, but there were times when she'd finish things a bit too quickly.

"So, about Rick-"She brought up, while slinging the towel over her shoulder.

"Let's not bring him up." He asked of her.

"I know he's not what you were expecting, but he's yours now. You've gotta work with him, not against him. That's all I ask of you."

"Forget it. That pudgy wannabe fercorf has no idea what he's doing. He thinks it's as simple as landing a punch, but he couldn't be more wrong."

"I know, but maybe if you were a little softer-."

"Hell no! You know what softness breed? Weakness. And in our line of work, that's the last thing we need." He scowled.

"Look, I know it's tough for you, but please try to work things out? Under that human body maybe lie the soul of a true warrior. One like Malik."

The name alone seemed to trigger him, as he threw aside the towel, not in anger, but frustration.

"You really need to learn when to keep your mouth shut, Dyala." He sighed.

"But you can't keep hanging onto the past. It's been thirty years, and you still haven't laid it to rest. He was a good boy, I'm sure of it, but maybe you could find a bit of him in your student. At the very least, he's a good boy."

As much as he hated to admit it, the boy did at least show some compassion, though more so towards his friends. Perhaps if he were to get invested in training, he'd have better luck working with him.

"I hate it when you're right. Fine, I'll take on the challenge. But, I'm only giving him three days in improve. If he doesn't, your ass is training him." He sternly stated.

"Deal. But he does, and I'm right, then you'll have to go world jumping for supplies." She stated, with a cocky smirk.

"No problem. You'd best prepare for the long haul, though." He chuckled in slight amusement.

"Same goes for you."

And thus the games began. For the next three days, they'd have to really put their nose to grindstone and work, work, work until their muscles and bones turned to dust. One way or another, he'd teach his student a fine lesson.