Tifa hesitated at the sight of his expression. She may have gone too far. But if anyone needed this, it was Sho. The only way to get rid of anger to find any real answers is by letting it go in your own way. If fighting was the way he wanted to do it, then maybe they weren’t so different at all. This was how Tifa always burned steam, hopefully it would help Sho as well. But from the way it was going, he only seemed to be getting angrier. It was as though the brunette were testing his patience, like everything personal she knew was like a stab at his heart. She didn’t want him to feel that way.
“First one on the ground loses.” She declared, stretching her arms before tightening her fists and taking a stance. “On the mat ok? I don’t want either of us getting hurt.” The young woman paused, looking at Sho a little differently.
“Hey,” She said calmly, yet her eyes were staring at him intently, curious as to how he would respond. “You know we’re friends, right?” The question may have seemed out of no where, but Tifa wanted to know if he knew it. She felt it from the day they got together to make that sculpture in the junk yard. Yet because she knew things he may not have wanted, he was getting angry. The feeling of secrets being revealed. It hurt to think about it herself, and the brunette shook her head.
Sho followed after her, eyes still burning with something just beyond anger. Maybe somewhere between hate and rage, he wasn’t sure. But whatever this feeling was, he didn’t like it. It felt like an itch in the back of his head that he couldn’t scratch. He felt like the only way to get rid of it was by beating the shit out of whoeever was nearest. And that just happened to be Tifa. And it didn’t help that she was instigating him. Maybe the itch had always been there. It was just covered up by the mask he had always worn that he had just never noticed it. That hurt that his father caused, it was always there. He had never told anyone what he had done. Sho had never talked to anyone about it. It was just him versus the world, and that was how he liked it.
Her rules sounded simple enough. He felt he had the upper hand in this situation, although knowing Tifa she probably had something up her sleeves, despite that she had none. He shook the thought from his mind and prepped himself. He would have to be quick and make this end as quickly as possible. At this particular moment, he didn’t care if he hurt her or what happened to himself even, he just had to get rid of that stupid itch.
But, as Tifa spoke to him, this time in a much calmer tone, his anger subsided for a split second. “Of course we are Tifa.” His tone was completely level, much as it had been before they had started fighting. He shook his head, No Minamimoto, don’t let her see your weakness. She won’t take pity on you. She’ll just beat you down like all the rest. It was his own thoughts that brought on the return of the harsh voice. “But I’m still going to ground you into the mat digit.” He scoffed at her before taking up a fighting stance as well.
Within seconds Sho had lunged at her, his punches were thrown like wrecking balls, arcing out wide and then powefully swinging in on the woman who deftly blocked them and returned the punch with just as much force. Sho shook his head. His thoughts pressed him to continue, You’re going to let a girl beat you? Pathetic Minamimoto. Garbage. You belong in the heap.
It wasn’t that he wanted to keep fighting, he didn’t want to be like this. Sho didn’t want to be some tough, ignorant, bastard that scared people off when he first met them. He missed having friends that actually liked him. He missed actually having friends. But that damn voice in his head that sounded so much like his father’s was always telling him to be tough, be strong, be the top dog. There was nothing the mathematician wanted more than to ignore that voice. But who could ignore the voice that spent it’s entire life yelling at you? Sho could most definitely not.
As the fight continued on the voice grew louder, You’re taking a beating Minamimoto. She’s pouding you like the piece of shit you are. Are you really gonna let her do that? She’s going to think you’re weak. You are weak. Can’t even beat up a girl. He was on the verge of tears now, still able to hold his own against Tifa, You’re crying? Who do you think you are, your mother? That worthless good for nothing bi-. “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!” This time the voice was his own. The tears were his own too. He took a step forward, throwing his fist forward with all his might, directly at the brunette’s face. Right before the two made contact Sho blinked and saw the other’s expression. She seemed confused, scared, worried. Sho put every ounce of energy he had left into stopping that punch. He took another step forward and collapsed onto the woman, head on her shoulder, weak cries of “Shut up…” could still be heard through his sobs. He didn’t care what he looked like. He knew Tifa didn’t care, he just couldn’t take the stress anymore.
Tifa watched and parried all that Sho gave to her, the anger in his eyes and the construed expression growing worse with every step he took. She twisted and bobbed, but felt each punch the swift man gave her. The pain in her arms as she blocked them with her bicep was less in comparison to the pain in her heart when she saw how absolutely upset he was. His shouts confused her, but she began to truly worry when his hits were harder than before, and he tackled her to the point that she felt he was absolutely enraged. The mat felt much better than the cold gym floor which her hands slammed into as she fell over. Sho lunged forward and she stared head on at man who was so internally conflicted he was about to hurt the person trying to help him. She felt torn by the fact all she did was enrage him to the point of breaking, but sighed in relief when he stopped himself last minute.
The man cried. His salty tears streamed down his face and he dug his head onto her shoulder, his sobs silent but his breathing restricted. The young woman felt his soft hair brush against her arm, and she opened her mouth with no words come out. Just her own breathing, and that was the only sound coming from the entire room, save for a few more “Shut up” coming from the man. Tifa slowly pushed the two of them down until their knees touched the floor, and with a bit more hesitation she wrapped her arms loosely around him, scared that he might not want her to touch him too much.
"Sho." She whispered, as though people were in the room and she didn’t want anyone else to hear but him. "You’re always being so tough. So strong. People who see you and just assume you’re a punk, they’re all just too dense to see how hard you’re working. Or how kind you are to the people you care for. You are not a punk at all."
Tifa leaned in a bit closer and placed her hands on his cheeks, attempting to wipe away his tears but failing miserably. She only made it smear on his face even more. But the young brunette stared intensely into his eyes, nodding with a small smile on her face. “But that doesn’t make you weak at all. Wanting something more than what this world has given you doesn’t make you a bad person either.”
Her gaze wavered a bit, but she hid it through smiling deeper. “Though I am only guessing what you’re thinking from what you told me as a child. And… what I know through experience myself.” She scratched the back of her head.
"I think you win this match. I’ll tell you about everything that happened. But I do promise, none of this leaves this room. It’s all in confidence." She gently brought the man back to his feet, wiping off his shoulder and waiting for him to wipe the rest of his tears off, as all the other tears stained her shirt to make a nice damp mark near her shoulder area. "After all, friends know how to keep secrets, right?"