Competitive Spirit

Apr 5th, 2019
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  1. The idea of a dinner party feels strange in a place like Iron City. People make their homes in whatever spaces they can find. No two homes are the same, though the character they have makes up for the confusion when trying to understand exactly who lives where. Despite the clutter and noise of the city, a few friends of yours make time for a monthly catch-up; a dinner party, or at least the closest thing to it. Tonight’s party is a special one though, since when you show up to the door, you have Alita in tow with you. She’s picked out a deep navy dress for the occasion; it swirls as she steps restlessly in the doorway as you wait. You wrap her tight in a hug as you hear footsteps approaching in the distance. Seeing the usually fearsome girl anxious at the prospect of meeting new people is very human. More human than many people you know. Eventually the door opens, and you’re ushered inside to the warmth of the living room. You trade greetings and hugs as Alita hangs behind you, smiling shyly when you introduce her to the collected company in the room. You know that your friends are welcoming though, and before long she’s spoken to everyone at the party. She almost seems to float between conversations; a quiet laugh in one, an exclamation of excitement for another. The night moves on, and you find yourself lost in the memories of evenings past with the company around you.
  3. After the dinner spread is finished, someone suggests a shared board game. With a rousing chorus of agreement, the table is quickly cleared, and a tattered box is placed in the middle. The word Invictus stands out in flowing script on the cover, giving the game its title. Alita quickly leans in to you and whispers with a tinge of concern.
  5. “I don’t know how to play.”
  7. You gently take her hand and respond with a whisper of your own.
  9. “Don’t worry, it’s easy to pick up. Besides, my friends are usually pretty nice players.”
  11. A little smile peeks out on her face before she turns to focus on the person setting out pieces before you. The explanation of the game is thorough, although you spend more time appreciating the focused frown on Alita’s face than paying attention. She pokes her tongue out a little as she examines the pieces and you feel a joyous burst rise in you.
  13. The game begins in earnest and you jostle with her and the rest of the players for position. Deals are made, pieces are taken, and slowly but surely Alita begins to see the flow of the game. Her concentration is clear; the usual smile is replaced by a furrowed brow. An idea rises unbidden in you, and on your next turn you strike. Alita’s piece is undefended; you blockade the entrance to her base as a free shot hits her hard. Your cheeky grin is frozen as she turns to you, ice in her glare.
  15. “You will pay for that choice.”
  17. A round of whistles flows through the table, but you can tell her commitment is no joke. The next four rounds she resolutely dismantles your base and your forces; there is no hint of mercy in her face as she topples your piece. Eliminated from the game, you can only sit back and watch as she clashes with the rest of the table. You struggle to keep an appropriately affronted face through the adorableness of her competitive spirit. It comes down to her and one other as the last players standing. Despite her best efforts, and the support of the table around her, she is overwhelmed, and your friend is crowned champion of the game. Cheers are exchanged, but through it you see the disappointment clear in the slump of her shoulders. You give her a comforting stroke across the back as you speak to her.
  19. “It’s your first time playing. You did really well. And we’ll play again soon!”
  21. She sits a little straighter after your words and leans her head in to your chest for a moment. With the game wrapped up, everyone starts the slow process of saying their goodbyes. Alita is warmly told to come back for the next one, and the hugs exchanged are firm and caring. Together you walk home, hand in hand through the balmy Iron City evening.
  23. The evening routine which the two of you share is a real comfort, and tonight is no different. You sit deep in the old couch, with your book and mug of cocoa steaming beside you while Alita showers. So lost are you in the story of Leumel Gulliver that you barely notice the soft footsteps padding over to you. A purple finger appears at the top of your book and pushes it downwards, revealing Alita standing before you. Her body’s plasma drying abilities leave you just a little jealous; not a drop of water remains. Her eyes are downcast though, and she shifts a little on her feet. You do your best to suppress a smile as you wait for her to speak.
  25. “Hey- Sorry I got so serious about the game. I can be a little competitive…” The chagrin in her voice is unusual, and you reach out and run your hands along her waist.
  27. “I know you want to be the best. It’s part of what I love about you.”
  29. She looks up at you properly and you see the glow return to her eyes. With graceful steps she climbs on to the couch with you, straddling you between her legs. She takes your hand and holds it tight as she leans in close.
  31. “I love you too.”
  33. Her lips meet yours and you share a long, slow kiss. The warmth from her body matches the heat coming off yours, and your free hand plays across her back. Though she’s new to this kind of physicality, her spirit flows through her lips and you feel her enthusiasm. Her desire. You push back in to her mouth, running your tongue across her teeth. She moans softly and tries the same with you. Her kisses are clumsy, but the meaning behind them is clear. The two of you push against each other, and after a moment she breaks off, moving instead to place soft kisses along your neck, then past the sensitive skin there to the nape of your collarbone. You plant your hand in her hair and feel the roots against your fingertips.
  35. She moves back up to your face, and with a little smirk leaves a tiny peck on your lips before pulling away. Her eyes dare you to catch her, and with a quick movement you flip her on to the couch beside you. She gasps, but she’s cut off by your mouth finding hers again. Your movements are rougher now, and she grabs on to you as your tongues meet through the warmth and intensity of your connection. You have a rhythm now, pushing in to each other in a pulsing dance. Suddenly, you feel a pause, and then pricks of pain mixed with pleasure as she softly bites your lip. Your eyes open, and you see her staring back at you, face flushed with longing and love.
  37. “We should go to bed.” Your voice is slightly hoarse.
  39. “We should.” Her voice cracks a little and you feel the desire flare up inside you.
  41. You move to get off her, but before you can she sits up, locking her arms around you and easily picking you up off the couch. She leans in to you, fire in her eyes, before diving in to another deep kiss. This time she’s in control, and you simply ride the waves of passion as she holds you close, desperately finding your teeth with her tongue tip. Eventually she breaks apart from you, and with a shuddering sigh carries you towards the bedroom. You feel a white-hot burning in your veins, and you can only thank god for the fortune of a love like this.
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