How the hell did I end up like this? Tatsumaki thought, as she knelt on the ground with blood liberally flowing from her head down to her face. The dizziness didn't stop either; she knew if she exerted herself any more, she would faint. Or cough up more blood.
Tch! This is that monster's entire fault! Tatsumaki chided herself for allowing Fubuki to distract her from her original intent: killing Psykos. Had she learned nothing from the Monster's Association battle?
Well, at least Fubuki ditched her stupid group. She'll grow stronger, faster, now.
She felt her sister's stare on her, studying her, putting two and two together. It was obvious that Saitama had been tougher than she had anticipated. She had never wanted Fubuki to see her like this, all tired and bloodied and weak.
A rattle from the farthest, darkest corner of her mind.
She knew Fubuki's hanger-ons wouldn't attack; they reeked of fear and indecisiveness. Her collapsing had certainly thrown a wrench into their revenge fantasy and their faux determination had dissipated. The monster was weak.
She replayed the fight with Saitama quickly in her mind.
The boulders, the psychic blasts, throwing him into buildings, blasting him through a monster's skull—better make sure the Association pays her for that one—dragging his scalp against the ground at incredibly high speeds, going all out, trying to lift him into space…she got nothing. Nothing but her wounds reopening and that wretched egghead putting a stop to their fight until she was healed.
Resilient bastard. What was that guy? Why would he not DIE?!
Well, she did get something in the end. She had felt Fubuki flying towards them and—in an effort to save face in front of her sister—she had wiped the blood from her face and buried her shame deep into the earth.
In the farthest, darkest corner.
Enough. Tatsumaki had to get up. She couldn't let these idiots get away with threatening her. She had a reputation to take care of.
("Don't expect someone to come save you")
Get up. She gritted her teeth. Fubuki looked up to her; she couldn't let her down like—
The earth rumbled. A rising column of dust was spotted at a distance. The bugs surrounding her lost their cool quite quickly. How Fubuki tolerated these imbeciles was beyond her.
Fubuki's eyes left her sister and focused on the commotion behind her.
Tatsumaki internally groaned, then turned her head sideways, so she could glance back at where she had buried him.
So he didn't die. Marvelous. It didn't take him too long to unbury himself, either.
Her eyesight was poor since blood had dripped into her eyes, but she felt his glare on her immediately. She mustered some leftover strength to hold his dead set gaze.
"Now you've done it."
He was pissed.
Adrenaline started pumping into Tatsumaki's system as soon as he started to make his way violently towards her, still buried beneath the ground. She turned back around, focusing on her breath, feeling the dizziness wash away, and gathering her strength.
She was going to need it.
His trajectory pushed the members of the Fubuki group and Fubuki herself away from Tatsumaki. He unnecessarily circled around her, isolating her from the rest before he shot up from the ground, standing in front of her with a fist curled and his other hand seemingly massaging a crick in his neck.
Tatsumaki didn't react; she kept her eyesight straightforward.
"I almost forgot my original objective. That's right, " he stared down at her, "I came to talk to the culprit that destroyed my home."
His gaze somehow got darker. "Settle things with me first…"
Oh, now he wanted to fight?
Tatsumaki almost laughed. But she reigned in her organic reaction and low-key maliciously replied, "Huh? I don't care. I have nothing to say to you."
She felt a little better now. She used her arms to push herself up. Her legs finally obeyed her, and she stood up. She was dead tired, but she was not weak. She would fight.
"But I guess you won't take that excuse," she added, meeting his horrible glare with her cold one.
She could probably do one more psychic blast before fai—
Tatsumaki hadn't expected Fubuki to intervene by letting everyone know she still hadn't recovered from her injuries from her last battle and that fighting any more could kill her.
Tatsumaki could only stare. She wanted to feel angry, she wanted to lash out, but she was tired…and Fubuki picked up on that. Fubuki intervened because she knew Tatsumaki was weak. And she knew Saitama had weakened her.
That asshole was goading them to attack her, knowing full well that Tatsumaki was not in any shape to fight back without serious consequences to herself. What was he playing at? First he stopped their fight precisely because of her wounds, and now he was doing this?
("Don't expect someone to come save you")
But of course. Didn't she know this already? It always plays out like this. Man, she was starting to get dizzy again.
"Even if we won like this, we wouldn't get any stronger."
What? Tatsumaki watched as one of Fubuki's idiots replied to Saitama.
"We'll be weak for the rest of our lives, exactly like Miss Tatsumaki said…don't you think so, everyone?" Eyelashes said.
One by one, all of the members of Fubuki's group answered or nodded in agreement.
Eyelashes went on with his speech, but Tatsumaki wasn't listening. She kept her eyes in front of her, not really focusing on Saitama either. She felt ill. She figured it was because of the blood loss, but also because these bugs were showing her mercy.
Mercy. Because she was weak.
She couldn't understand why she ended up in this situation. She couldn't think straight. She didn't have energy to react. She needed whatever was left of it to leave. She just had to leave.
She felt egghead's eyes on her, but she ignored him. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of looking at him, because she had an inkling this went exactly as Saitama had wanted it to play out.
She heard Fubuki tell her group to get stronger, otherwise she would leave them behind. It wasn't exactly what Tatsumaki had wanted (cut off all ties), but for now, it was good enough.
She needed to leave, before she ended up fainting in front of all of them. She had embarrassed herself enough. So she huffed, turning away from Saitama and Fubuki and, using the last of her strength, she flew away. She felt herself start off a bit wobbly, a bit unsure, but she quickly pushed through and sped up and away from all of them.
Flew away from all of it.
Even as she felt blood flowing freely down her face and nose again, even when her eyes lost focus and blood seeped into them, even as her brain threatened to shut down unless she landed, right now, she flew.
But in the end, she had to land.
Because in the end, she couldn't really fly away from it all, could she?
All she could do was push everything, and everyone, away.
Into the farthest, darkest corner of her mind.