The first thing that Chisaki notices when his eyes open is that he’s in an unfamiliar place. That, and it's warm. A somewhat thick quilt as been placed over his body, and he’s relieved to find that it smells extra clean; like laundry detergent. He then remembers the events that had lead to being here and sits up quickly, taking in his surroundings. The home around the villain is quite open, with lot of soft pillows decorating the couches and dozens of potted plants at every windowsill. Natural light streams in, bathing the living room in rich, fiery colors of the setting sun. It’s quite nice actually. Better than expected.
Chisaki’s eyes finally settle on the recliner, noticing the woman who had helped him escape had fallen asleep with her legs tucked up to her chest. Vulnerable. He could leave right now, probably. Slip away and…go where? The Yakuza estate had been raided, and there would be nothing left to go back to. Not to mention the fact that people would be hunting for the escaped, and now quirkless “Overhaul”.
He clicks his tongue in irritation, making the move to stand to explore the house without the girl breathing down his neck. Chisaki is surprised to find that he’s actually nearly naked under the quilt. In addition, his stumps have been wrapped cleanly with utmost care. Irritation flares hot in Chisaki’s chest when he realizes she must have touched him all over to do this much. Just when he’s about to open his mouth to wake the stranger up and demand answers, his parched throat spasms with a loud fit of coughing. He’s very thirsty. So much so that his tongue felt dryer than a sheet of paper.
The sound of him coughing jolts Rachel awake instantly; unused to hearing others in her home. When she notices Chisaki, awake and attempting to move about, the relief that washes over her is immense. He had survived the worst. It wouldn’t be necessary to fess up her questionable actions to the police just yet. “you’re awake!” she stands up from her chair, already having a water bottle on hand to give him.
Chisaki forces himself to hiss around the coughing when she steps into his personal bubble. “Don’t-touch me with your- your filthy hands.” He pridefully jerks his head away from her reach, angry that he sounds hoarse and pathetic.
Rachel stands awkwardly, holding the bottle of water in one hand, and the bottle cap in the other as she processes his rude words and behavior. She examines her hands. Maybe she had something on her, but, no. Her skin is clear and clean. “My hands aren’t filthy,“ she protests.
He then realizes that the girl had only intended to give him water, but it’s still a slap to the face. A bitter reminder that he couldn’t perform even that simple task by himself. This simple kindness only serves to feed the self disgust beginning to gnaw on him from the inside out. “They are! You’re filthy, and your disgusting quirk is all over you!”
Rachel’s expression changes to one of hurt, quietly retracting the bottle until its held close to her body. Her voice is softer now, unable to hide that maybe she felt a little put down by his words. “That’s rude.” The odd frills framing the woman’s face swipe back against the sides of her head like a dog pinning its ears back. “ I-I can put some gloves on if you’d like.”
Chisaki opens his mouth to berate her some more when another coughing fit attacks. He doesn’t get to express just how humiliating it was to have a person lay hands on him- especially someone with a full body mutation quirk. How badly he wants and needs that water. It outweighs the disgust of being helped with such a trivial task.
Without another word, Rachel sets the bottle down on the coffee table, leaving the living room to fetch one of the few pairs of gloves she kept under the sink for cleaning. Ordering more would be a good idea if this was going to be a regular thing.
Upon her return, Rachel somewhat proudly presents her freshly gloved hands to him. She waits for a word of approval between the coughs, but gets nothing. Still, she picks up the water and steps forward a second time.
The girl is careful when she finally tips the water bottle against his parched lips, letting him gulp down one eager mouthful after another. His desperation doesn’t surprise her one bit as most people she lended her healing ability to always needed a good drink soon after. Although this time feels more intimate than it really should be. Whether it’s because of the man’s Adams apple bobbing every swallow, or the fact that his entire upper body was exposed, Rachel find’s herself feeling warm in the cheeks and ears.
Half the bottle is gone when she begins to pull away. It must have still been too early, because that harsh, intimidating golden gaze snaps to her in an instant. He’s demanding more without having to say it and Rachel obliges, letting him drink the whole bottle. Chisaki sucks in a few heavy breaths once there’s nothing left.
“Better..?” The woman gives him a gentle smile, setting the empty plastic on the coffee table.
Chisaki doesn’t acknowledge her question, moving on to the next priority; his missing property. “Where are my clothes?”
Rachel is happy to hear how much smoother his voice is now that the man had something to drink. Even happier that she was the one who helped. “I had them washed, wait here.“
The man follows her with his eyes until she’s out of line of sight entirely. He wonders if the woman was behaving this way purely out of purely empathetic reasons or if she was just plain stupid. She must know he was a villain; and if she didn’t, a simple skim of the nearest news outlet would alert her. Who knew, maybe she was already aware and was too afraid to ask him to leave. He straightens a bit when the humorous thought hits him. Maybe she was a villain, who knew?
He doesn’t get to dwell on this train of thought for very long before she returns, presenting him with freshly washed clothes…only, his jeans don’t seem to be in the stack. The black dress pants had instead been substituted with grey sweats of all things.
“Where are my pants?” His upper lip partially curls with disgust at the offending piece of clothing.
“I washed them as well, but these will be a lot easier to get in and out of. No buttons or zippers. Sorry, they’re going to be short on you, but I’ve got nothing in your size. “ Rachel sheepishly sets down the stack of clothes and begins to gather the t-shirt in her hands like a mother preparing to pull it over a toddler. Before he can protest, she’s shoving the shirt over his head.
It wasn’t the most graceful of movements, but it’s a quick and effective to get his now struggling form dressed. Chisaki only gets to protest in the fabric a few moments before his head pops out the neck hole, giving Rachel a look that is only a step below murderous. She returns the look with a sweet, genuine smile. It was too bad he liked wearing clothes more than he hated the shame of being dressed like a child. The loathing pit in his chest grows wider, and more painful.
“Arms up, please” Rachel holds the bottom of the shirt in place around his hips, allowing him to put his own stumps through the sleeves. It a little thing, but something he can do himself. For that, he finds himself the tiniest bit grateful.
Chisaki watches her gather the pant legs of the sweats in her webbed hands, taking this moment to properly examine the person who helped him. He assumed she must have a salamander quirk or something, but he’d never seen an animal with these features. Her unnaturally smooth skin is a pale pink with a unique speckling of dark spots in areas like her cheeks and shoulders. The strange frills that frame the woman’s face are unlike anything he’s ever seen; darker in color, and as fluffy as feather dusters. They move of their own accord, adding to her expression of emotion. She also had a tail, but he couldn’t imagine it useful for anything other than maybe swimming. It’s flat, and wide, but so thin he could see partially through it. Rachel has him stand so she can pull the pants up and tie them at the waist. His next question startles her with it’s…oddly predatory tone.
“What’s your quirk?”
The girl looks up, set on edge when she realizes just how intently Chisaki is staring. His golden eyes aren’t holding emotion, and after a moment he asks again. His voice is composed and smooth, but something about this reminds Rachel of meeting a wolf in sheep's clothing. She takes a subtle step back, finally coming up with a response. “Tell me your name and I’ll tell you my quirk.”
An interesting proposition. The ex Yakuza intends to give her the title ‘Overhaul’… but hesitates. He holds a long look with the girl while debating internally. Was he even worthy of that name now? Without a quirk? without his forces?
It’s a long moment before he does concede. “Chisaki.”
“Is that you’re last name?”
A last name…well that was better than just calling him a ‘stranger’ from here on out. Rachel pulls off the rubber gloves, dropping them in a bin right beside the couch. “I have a mutation quirk that lets me do everything an axolotl can. “ The man gives her a look that encourages her continue, and she obliges. “it’s a kind of aquatic amphibian native to south America. They’re nearly completely extinct in the wild because of pollution, but a lot of people like to keep them as pets.” She leaves off any more specific details.
Rachel watches him dwell on this new information for a moment before she asks her next question. “Do you want to know my name?” Chisaki almost tells her no, that he merely expressed interest in her quirk to humor himself, but she continues anyways. “It’s Rachel. “
A boring name really, Chisaki thinks. Especially with an arguably ‘flashy’ quirk like that. The question of why she had decided to help him rises again in the forefront of the villain’s mind. He wonders if this is the best moment to bring up something like that, but now was as good as any.
“Why help me?“ His voice grows cold, and sharp, expecting maybe a twist answer like she intended to collect reward money or something for his return into custody…but if that was true, she wouldn’t be treating him so humanely. She also could’ve done it by now. Chisaki doubted she knew the kind of person she was dealing with, but still, it wasn’t that hard of a puzzle to piece together….so why was he still here, receiving her aid? What intentions did she have? “Why would you go out of your way…?”
Rachel’s frills twitch up and down nervously as she searches for an answer. When she speaks, Chisaki Kai finds himself just as confused as the moment he woke up.
“Because you looked like you needed help.”