Mysteria walked alongside Asher and Jordan, the three of them sharing a bucket of popcorn from the stadium vendors.
“You’re gonna love the game!” Jordan exclaimed, taking some popcorn from Asher.
“Am I really?” He asked, offering the bucket to Mysteria.
“I guess if you have an open mind about it, you being a skater and all!” Jordan replied.
Mysteria stayed quiet, looking at the ground as she walked and completely ignored them.
Asher frowned and waved a hand in front of her face, getting her attention.
“What? Did you guys say something?” Mysteria asked.
Asher pouted. “We’re talking about tomorrow’s game! You know, the one you told me that I should go to ?” He shook the bucket of popcorn in front of her to keep her focused.
“Oh, right. Jordan?” Mysteria looked over at her partner, who did the same.
“Get him a good seat, okay? Give him the special treatment and everything. Also,” Mysteria ran a hand through her hair, groaning slightly. “You gotta help me practice, and then get ready for the interview… Then…” She stopped once she caught Asher staring at her in disbelief.
“You have to do an interview?!” He asked, genuinely surprised.
Tiredly, Mysteria smiled and did a half-hearted hairflip.
“The first female baseball player in a major league, ALL-MEN team, a rookie who is already on her way to MVP in baseball.”
“Not to mention, she’s related to Airyan Yoichi, sooooo…” Jordan added, shrugging slightly.
Asher blinked. “Wow, all of that huh?”
“Yes, but it’s very stressful sometimes. I love the game and all but this publicity is getting a bit out of control.” Mysteria complained, dismissing the topic by swatting the air away. “Enough about that, we need to plan out tomorrow’s game, and-”
“Mysteria!” Asher yelled out, making her flinch.
“Whaaaaaat?? What is it?” She asked, annoyed. “I was trying to-”
“That’s so much stuff to worry about!” Asher exclaimed.
“Gosh, you’re starting to sound like my old man.” Mysteria sighed. “I know it’s a lot of stuff to do, but it’s a price I have to pay for wanting to be a baseball player. Just-” Suddenly turning towards a bush nearby.
“Elijah, I know you’re there. Get out. Now.” Mysteria ordered, crossing her arms. A dark haired Mongolian teen around the same age as the trio slowly emerged from behind the bush.
“Hello princess!” Elijah greeted casually, as Asher frowned and went up to her. “Um, who is this?”
“My name is Elijah Brown, Mysteria’s boyfriend!” The teen declared, throwing an arm around Mysteria’s shoulders, giving Asher and Jordan a toothy grin.
Mysteria grabbed his arm and twisted it, causing Elijah to say “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!” repeatedly, with Jordan chuckling. Asher watched in horror and amazement.
“He’s NOT my boyfriend, thank you VERY much.” Mysteria glared at Elijah as she said the last part before letting go.
“Th-That’s my girl!” Elijah laughed as he rubbed his injured arm.
Asher tilted his head slightly. “So who is he exactly?”
“Mysteria’s crazy stalker.” Jordan replied. “Casual stalker who really likes her.”
“O-Oh… Well, that’s… something.” He said with a nervous smile. He turned to Mysteria.
“Mysteria, I know you’re busy with all the stuff you have to do, but… Can I take you somewhere before you have to do all that stuff? That can’t be good for your mental health doing it all at once with no break.”
Elijah immediately stood in between them, flailing his arms. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who said you can go on and steal my girl away?!” Elijah shouted before Mysteria pushed him aside so she can look at Asher properly.
“What do you mean take me somewhere?” She asked, looking interested.
Asher smiled and shrugged, rubbing the nape of his neck. “It’s someplace that you need to see for yourself. It’ll help you become less stressed, hopefully.”
Mysteria blinked. “Um, as long as I get home before it gets too dark… I can go with you after the interview. Does that sound okay?”
Elijah tried to get in between them again, furious. “I forbid you to do anything like that Mysteria!”
Asher smiled at her. “Take your time, there’s no rush.”
Mysteria pushed Elijah out of the way again before addressing to Jordan. “Jordan?”
“Got it.” He replied as he headed towards the locker rooms. “I’ll tell Coach about you taking a break.” He waved a hand as he left.
The girl turned back to Asher, a smile of relief and curiosity now lighting up her face. “I’ll see you after the interview then.”
“I’ll be waiting.” He replied, smiling back.
Mysteria got out of the conference room that they had in the stadium, rubbing her face with a wet wipe as she tried to get the makeup off her face. She let out a long sigh and headed towards the exit where Jordan and Asher were waiting.
The two guys were standing under the shade, looking like they were talking about something either serious or petty in Mysteria’s opinion.
As the girl approached them, Jordan quietly said something towards Asher before he patted him on the back.
“The Princess is here, that’s my cue to leave.” He announced, slightly tipping his baseball cap to Asher and Mysteria. “I’ll see you later!” Jordan then jogged to the direction Mysteria came from.
The other two teens were now alone, one of them still curious.
“What were you and Jordan talking about?” Mysteria questioned. Asher smiled knowingly, pressing a finger to his lips.
“It’s for us to know, and for you to find out.” He said playfully, leaving Mysteria frustrated for a moment.
“Keeping secrets from me now?”
Asher chuckled, then motioned her over. “Come on, we should hurry if you plan on coming home before dark.”
The girl rolled her eyes, then followed, catching up to his side.
Walking through town, the two enjoyed the walk to their destination, pointing out things and talked about small things. Asher would look at Mysteria every once in a while to see her expression, which remained equally interested as when he first suggested to go with him.
“It’s not far from here now Mysteria.” He assured her after a while.
Mysteria looked back at him and smiled. “I’m enjoying myself now. Walking around town is something I don’t do often.” Mysteria admitted, looking at the nearby buildings.
Asher blushed slightly and began to get restless, unable to contain his excitement. “You’re gonna love this then!” He exclaimed happily, taking her hand and pulled her across the street with her taking a bit to keep up.
Arriving at a small forest, Asher led Mysteria through a faded path that led north into a clearing.
“This is a place that no one really visits,” Asher began to explain, Mysteria attempting to take in the scenery. “I go here whenever I’m stressed.” He realized that he was still holding her hand, immediately letting go. “O-Oh, sorry about that… Got caught in the excitement…”
Mysteria took her hand back, felling how warm it was. She looked at him with a laugh. ” Scared that I’ll get lost, or is this a date?” She teased, continuing to follow him.
“No, I just don’t want you to miss this.” He said with a bright smile. Mysteria and Asher both got to the top of the hill, which overlooked the south side of the city below. Cars were speeding around with the usual traffic, people scurrying, some hanging out or taking a walk. Buildings were shimmering in the sunlight, some even reflecting the light like mirrors. All throughout the city were dots and splashes of color made by modern artists and people showing their support for an event.
Mysteria marveled at the sight, speechless. Asher stood next to her, smiling brightly. “See what I mean when I said you had to see it for yourself?” He asked, turning to look at the city below them.
Mysteria stared at the landscape for what seemed like forever, before she looked around.
“Let’s sit down. I want to stay here for a while.” She requested, slowly going to the ground and sat herself down.
“Of course, we can be here as long as you want.” Asher replied, sitting next to her, almost touching shoulders.
The two were at the hill for an hour and a half before Mysteria decided that it was time for her to go back. She was leading Asher this time, making her way to her house.
After a few blocks and turns, they made it to Mysteria’s neighborhood, then to her street.
“Thank you for that.” Mysteria said quietly after the long silence. “I really needed some time to relax.”
Asher smiled. “I’m glad that you enjoyed it. Having a busy life like yours isn’t an easy one to have..”
Mysteria led him to the steps of her house, before stopping at the one before the entrance door.
“Do you want anything?” Mysteria offered, motioning to the door. “I can get you something to eat, unless you’re thirsty or something.”
The boy laughed and shook his head, grinning. “I want you to sleep.”
Mysteria puffed out her cheeks and put her hands on her hips. “You’re telling me what to do now after I tried to be a good hostess? That’s not how it works, Jack Frosty!”
The door opened right after she said that, and Mysteria turned to Hibiki who was wearing an apron.”
“Old Man!” Mysteria greeted.
“Hello Misty, and…” He paused, looking over Mysteria’s shoulder. “Mysteria’s friend?”
Asher’s eyes widened and he immediately bowed. “My name is Asher Leon, sir.” He introduced himself in a nervous tone.
Hibiki gave him a skeptical look. “Mysteria?”
“He’s the friend that ice skates, I told you about him, Old Man.” Mysteria reassured him.
“Oh! I remember.” Hibiki nodded, but his skeptical look came back. “What were you two doing?” He asked, suspicious.
“I was helping her not be stressed out!” Asher blurted out. “She had so many things going on, I wanted to take her somewhere calming so she can relax.”
Watching Mysteria nod in reassurance, Hibiki smiled at Asher. “Thank you. It is very much appreciated.”
Asher bowed again. “My pleasure. Um…” He got upright and smiled sheepishly at Mysteria. “I’ll see you tomorrow then?”
“Of course. Bye Asher.” Mysteria replied, smiling back. “Oh, and by the way, don’t be so uptight with my old man. I call him Old Man for a reason.” Hibiki chuckled at her comment, crossing his arms.
Asher laughed slightly, then bowed once more to Hibiki, who waved goodbye to him as the teen left.
Entering their home, Hibiki grinned at Mysteria.
“I like him.” He said simply as Mysteria blushed ever so slightly but attempted to brush it off by rolling her eyes and shook head.
“What? He’s very polite and he took some of his time to help you relax. You should keep him close, Misty.”
“That is why he’s a friend, and good friends do stuff like that.”
“That’s true I suppose.”
Mysteria huffed. “Old Man, don’t start getting ideas!” She exclaimed, taking the kitchen towel that was in his hand and swatted him lightly with it, making Hibiki laugh.