The room reverberated with the dull roar of the crowd. The arena was packed, standing room only, filled to capacity, the type of audience that rarely gathered in these hallowed grounds, save for special occasions. Tonight was one such occasion, not because it was Kit’s first fight. Honestly the arena would have been packed no matter who fought, though maybe even more crowded if the Kazumi sisters were fighting, no tonight was a different first. The first fight of the season, a new beginning in the Battle Network, a clean slate, and tonight was the inaugural showdown. Neither of the combatants was all that well-known, but the idea that was just the first of many fights that would be taking place for the next several months was exciting.
However, Kit wasn’t able to think about anything beyond the fight. His preparation room was quiet by comparison to the arena outside. Daisuke and Hitomi were there, along with Jaxon and Perrin. Kit stared at his absentee father, his gaze never shifting. He’d been coming around rather frequently, Perrin had made him a teacher at the dojo. He wasn’t looking at Kit, just leaning against the door frame
“You’re glaring,” Jaxon said as he turned to Kit.
“Deal with it,” Kit answered.
“Alright, I’m out, I’ll go check on the kids, make sure they’re settling in alright before I take my place,” Jaxon said as he shoved off and turned to leave.
After he was gone Perrin turned to Kit. “That was uncalled for,” he told Kit.
“That was a lot of things, uncalled for isn’t one of them, I’d say it was completely called for,” Kit answered.
“Daisuke, Hitomi, go see to the kids,” Perrin instructed them, he looked upset about something. Daisuke stood up from where he’d been sitting on the sofa, Hitomi pulled herself up off the ground, both of them without questioning.
“Remember… guard up,” Hitomi said, trying to encourage him in her own shy way as she bowed before leaving
“Light ‘im up,” Daisuke added with a thumbs up as he followed after her.
“Is this the part where you chastise me for being impolite?” Kit asked Perrin after they left.
“No, I have the feeling it wouldn’t do much good, all I ask is that if you can’t be friendly to your father, that you at least act civilly toward him,” Perrin asked after a moment. “All that is for later, though. Right now you have a fight in front of you. I know it’s hard to believe that all of this is really happening, how are you feeling Kit?” Perrin asked him.
“One month ago, I never would have imagined all of this, but one month might as well be a lifetime. I don’t know if I’m ready, but I’m not scared,” Kit answered him.
“You’ve grown a lot, when you first came to us you were barely able to throw a punch, an outcast to the rest of the world, you were cynical and bitter, but there were moments where you showed a kindness beyond expectations. You couldn’t even throw a punch properly. Since then you’ve managed a great many things, you’re nowhere near a master, but now you’re able to strike firmly, without hesitation or deliberation, if you feel you must. You’ve made friends, with my nieces and young Foxie, and while you might not have asked for their companionship, I think you’ve chosen well in your comrades. You’ve changed Kit, but you’re really not that different from before. What you are will never the change, the world won’t let you forget that, but who you are will never stop changing, hopefully it will be for the better. You tell me you don’t know if you’re ready… the truth is, that nobody is ever ready, I’m not sure if they can, but if you know you don’t know, then you’re readier than most.. I would tell you to make all of us proud of you, but the truth is, we already are, so instead I’ll say this: make yourself proud,”Perrin confided to him. The lights in the preparation room blinked twice. “It’s time,” Perrin told him gently.
“Let’s do this,” Kit said as he stood up.
His face was stoic, and intense. In his mind he was already in the ring.
“Before you get out there, I have a gift,” Perrin told him as he pulled a black skullcap from one of his pockets, it was emblazoned with a fist, and in the middle of the fist was a four pointed star. It was the seal of the dojo. “It’ll keep your hair out of your eyes, and if you wear it low enough it’ll sweep the sweat away from your brow and help keep it out of your eyes,” Perrin told him.
Kit started to walk out, but Perrin stopped him. “When you’re out there, trust your training. It helps to think that you’re not alone, every time you throw a punch, I’m punching with you, so are Daisuke and Hitomi, and Renka and Kisara, and even Jaxon, and our teachers, and their teachers, and so on until this all began, whenever you throw a punch, it lands with the weight of hundreds of years, and the force of a thousand fists,” Perrin told him. At first it looked like he was going to leave , but then he stopped in the doorway. “Give him hell,” he said over his shoulder, and with that the elder departed.
Kit felt his tension ease, even when he was by himself, he wasn’t alone. Kit made his way to the entrance ramp, where he found Raphael waiting. He was talking with a few girls from their school. Raphael himself had never been one of the cool kids, but this bout had gotten him something of a popularity boost. He was talking with Kimberly Nie, one of those girls who is the center of attention. She and her friends were not exactly traditional fighting enthusiasts, but at the same time this was a big event. It was rather obvious that Raphael was hoping to capitalize on this moment to try and impress her, but Kim barely seemed interested at all. However, she was aware that Raphael was popular, so by being seen with him she had boosted her own notoriety.
Kit was glad she was there, because Raph was so busy trying to impress her that he hardly seemed to notice Kit was there, and when he did he didn’t make a point to harass him. Meanwhile the attendant was attempting to arrange them to keep the show rolling properly, and Kimberly was interfering with her efforts. After she had signaled Raph to head on out Kit took his proper place and waited for a signal. “That kid’s not going to make it far,he lacks the proper focus, too unprofessional” Kit heard the attendant mention to herself softly as she continued to watch, she must have noticed him listening to her because she peeked over at him self-consciously before firmly closing her mouth.
“Fifteen seconds,” she said as she turned to him. Kit could hear the dull roar of the people outside and he felt a familiar sensation working it’s way through him, but this time Ayano wasn’t there to anchor him, she was already seated in her box with the others, nor was Perrin there to instruct him on how to act. He felt the nerves working their way through his stomach when the attendant looked to him holding up five fingers. Four fingers. Three fingers. Two. One. Then she pointed at Kit as she pulled the curtain back for him, and everything changed.
This wasn’t like before, not for him at least, he knew exactly what he needed to do, there was music playing, but Kit couldn’t hear it, and there while he did hear plenty of jeers and booing, there was not so much as last time, and there were still a great many flashes from cameras blinking as he walked down calmly. Kit saw the difference in them now, Kit had thought that by channeling all of his thoughts to the fight he was focusing for it, but all he had really been doing is hyping it up more to him, on the other hand Raphael hadn’t concerned himself at all with it, trivializing the matter. Kit was too serious, and Raphael too disinterested, what he really needed to do was relax. ~
“How’s our boy doing?” Daisuke asked Perrin, he sounded nervous as he spoke.
“Was he… nervous?” Hitomi asked with a (comparatively) worried expression.
“Not as nervous as you two, you’d think you were the ones getting ready for battle,” Perrin laughed as he saw them.
This was new to them, but he remembered this feeling well, he’d felt it a few times before. Anybody can be nervous before their own fights, even experienced fighters are like that, but it’s different when you’re not fighting. Perrin was just as concerned as the other two, even though he was greatly reassured by Kit himself. Worrying before your own fight is a matter of preservation, understanding that it was going to hurt and could be dangerous, but when somebody else is fighting, somebody you’ve trained, it’s a matter of conscience. They were wondering if they’d trained him right, if they’d done everything they could to best prepare him, because if they hadn’t and he was seriously injured, they would be responsible. They seemed more like parents than his teachers, Perrin wondered for a moment how Jaxon was holding up, and more importantly where he was.
“I wish it were me out there,” Foxie said as he stood looking out at the ring. Though he was the newest member of dojo, Foxie had formed something of a bond with Kit almost immediately.
“Kit’ll be fine, he’s ready for this,” Renka told them in a confident tone. “Won’t he?” she asked her uncle as the confidence faltered. For a moment he could see her concern in a different way, she cared for him and she was worried he would be hurt and she couldn’t help him, it was a concern born of helplessness.
“Don’t worry Renka, Kit will be alright, and of course he’s ready… you all did the best you could for him, and... he’s the good guy,” Ayano told her, the second part she’d directed at Hitomi and Daisuke. The way she said the last part was just so… final, self-assured, as if it should be universally understood that this was the most important point.
“You’re right, Ayano” Kisara nodded confidently.
Perrin was comparing them all in his mind, and he realized that Ayano and Kisara were the only one who seemed to be entirely aware of Kit here. He, Daisuke, and Hitomi weren’t worried so much that Kit hadn’t learned the lessons, but that they’d taught him the wrong ones. Renka and Foxie weren’t concerned so much that Kit was going to be hurt so much as that they wouldn’t be able to help him. Kisara, meanwhile, understood that they had all done what they could, and it was all up to Kit now. Then there was Ayano, she had all of Kisara’s understanding and more, she idolized her older brother far too much to believe that he could lose, after all, he was the hero of justice.
As he was thinking of this Perrin was studying the reaction of the crowd around him, he was looking up near the top when he saw a shadow intrude on one of the ceiling lights. With nothing more than a shadow Perrin knew it was Jaxon Davenport, he had always liked looking down on a fight, felt that it gave him the best view and understanding of both a fight and the fighters. He couldn’t help but wonder if Jaxon always watched the fights from above like this as part of his job, or if he were trying to glean some understanding of the person his son had become.
Then, before he had time to ponder further, the lights in the arena dimmed, signalling that it was about to begin. ~
“Alright, I want a good, clean fight, no biting, no eye gouging, no low-lows. When it’s over it’s over, understand black and grey?” the referee asked as he turned to Kit. Kit couldn’t find the words so he just nodded politely. “Understand red?” he asked as he looked to Raphael.
“Got it,” the young badger answered severely.
“If there are no questions, shake hands,” the ref told them. Kit stepped forward and held his hand out, Raphael on the other hand just stood there with his arms crossed, he looked down at Kit’s hand for a moment with a scowl before making a little “pfft” sound and shaking his head. The ref looked at Raph for a moment with a contemptuous glare, but he just stepped back in. “Back up,” he said kindly to Kit as he just glowered at Raph. He placed his left hand out in front of him, with his right behind his back. “It’s on!” he shouted as his right hand shot forward.
Raphael and Kit moved toward each other, Kit circled slightly, moving toward his right, Raphael didn’t seem to understand the idea, he was moving directly toward Kit in the beginning, but when Kit started angling he circled with him. In his mind, Kit felt a mix of emotions swirling around inside him, he didn’t know what was happening, but he kept his guard up, then some words came to mind.
Reaffirm yourself in your training, reach inside yourself and take courage. Distance yourself from your fear. And don’t forget to breathe, he heard Hitomi coaching him when he’d first mentioned his doubts.
It sounds cliche, but if you lose, you lose, and there’s no shame in that, Daisuke told him.
Raphael punched, his strikes were slower than Kit was used to, not slow, just slower. He dodged the first, weaving to the side, dodged the second by bobbing just to left of the arm, caught the third one with his guard, ducked the fourth, he was just moving on his own, not thinking, just reacting.
Here you are now, getting some training, and no matter how things turn out they’ll be different. Win or lose... you’re not the same Kitachi Sunahama that you woke up as yesterday Kisara reminded him. Real change is made on the inside.
You mostly just react to our attacks, you just try to dodge or block. Renka was saying. Defending yourself is just fine, but it won’t solve anything.
Maybe throw a punch? Foxie suggested as the hits kept coming.
And if you can’t strike back, strike first. Hitomi told him. That was all it took. Kit’s mind had been flashing back, but at the same time he was in the moment. He watched Raphael, but for the most part his form was… sloppy, it showed that he knew a bit about fighting, that he did have technique, but that he wasn’t concerned, he wasn’t using it… he wasn’t taking Kit seriously. Kit watched as the badger threw punch after punch, not wailing with both arms, always keeping at least a token guard up, but even that slipped when he struck with his right hand, his left arm dipped. He kept watching, and after a time he understood what Kisara had told him once, about telegraphing. Raph’s punches weren’t just slower, they were more pronounced, Kit was able to evade them because he could see where they were coming, a trait that Kit himself hadn’t yet managed to fully correct, but he understood it a little better.
He waited for that heavy right that Raphael was so fond of using, he discerned the motion of the punches. Left, left, right, left, right, right, left, right; they were all intended to be quick, but Raphael dipped his guard when he was striking hard, and then Kit saw the sign, his left arm dropped ever so slightly, and there was an opening in his guard.
Kit capitalized on this one weakness and struck deftly, just as Raphael’s right arm came in, Kit weaved just to the inside, pivoting on his right foot, in the middle of his twist he threw his right hook and it snuck just behind Raphael’s guard, landing clean on his jaw. Raph stumbled a step as his head twisted with the blow, but he recovered quickly, rubbing one hand where the strike had hit him before returning to his guard.
His eyes narrowed as he looked to Kit, this was a first, he was angry now. As he advanced toward Kit again, he seemed more cautious, his guard was better composed, he was more focused, but at the same time he was also more reckless, the telegraphing grew, but he was throwing more flurries, sometimes striking with both fists. Kit felt one blow slip past his guard and connect with his lower ribs, as it was striking he rolled with the punch. ~
“I suppose it’s a good thing this kid is inexperienced… I don’t know that our boy could handle if he tried kicking more often, and he hasn’t used any grappling yet, but it’s fairly obvious that if they keep going like this Kit’s going to outclass him,” Daisuke commented as he watched intently.
“He’s a striker, a boxer mostly, and he’s not used to being outdone, give him some time and he’ll change his game,” Hitomi assessed.
“He’s young, and as Daisuke said, inexpereinced, he’ll try kicking first, but as soon as he figures out that Kit is better prepared for that type of fight he’ll try and take it to the ground, so far neither of them have fallen down, but we’re only a few seconds in,” Perrin nodded. ~
Kit kept his mind sharp, he watched Raphael, he was getting frustrated. Raphael was not like Daisuke or Kisara, his anger didn’t push him to do better, it confused him, but at the same time Kit figured out he didn’t know it. For the first time Kit understood that this wasn’t Raphael’s fault, he was taught that getting mad made him stronger, more than likely his mentor was that type of fighter, and if he lacked the experience or understanding of how things worked, he would probably assume that it worked this way for everybody. Raphael was spiraling in how he fought, not because of something he had done, but because Kit’s sensei were just on a different level than his.
Kit saw him lean slightly onto one foot, and so he figured it out rather quickly, Raphael wasn’t experienced with kicking, but he was feeling pressure, he’d landed a few clean blows, but Kit had kept pressing forward, landing almost twice as many hits. Raphael was using something new to try and change the flow of the battle, but Kit had done far too much sparring with Kisara to fall for Raph’s clumsy kick, not to mention how overly predictable it was, he hadn’t gone with a low kick, which had a much greater chance of hitting and causing damage, but instead he was attempting a high kick, straight for Kit’s head, for the most part he’d focused on strikes to the head and Kit had held them off or evaded them, while most of the time Kit had focused shots to his body. He hadn’t kicked enough so he didn’t try to take advantage of the reach a leg had on an arm, he allowed Kit inside the arc of his feet and ultimately Kit was in striking range. When he tried the kick, Kit reacted quickly darting back as the leg swept past, and Raphael didn’t seem to know to follow it through and hope for a full rotation, instead when his leg was at it’s zenith, he started to pull it back. This was when Kit struck, he’d learned to attack when the opponent couldn’t shift their weight to regain their balance, he struck with a straight right to Raph’s liver, and then followed on immediately with a hard left, the latter punch hit with enough force to knock Raphael off his feet.
Kti had learned from his mistake with Kisara, he moved in to follow Raph as soon as he went down, trying to control Raphael’s legs so he could secure a mounted position and rain down blows, but Raphael had learned at least a little about grappling and instead moved to entangle their legs. Kit began striking hard while Raphael covered his head and attempted to guard, in reality this form of fighting was very similar to being on their feet save that Raphael couldn’t back away regularly. Fortunately for him, Kit had a hard time avoiding Raph’s heavier punches at such close range and he began to feel the other’s strikes taking greater effect, he was sure Raphael was feeling it too, but he decided that trading blows with Raphael like this wasn’t what he wanted to do, if he couldn’t secure a mount then he decided instead to return to his feet while trying to keep Raphael on his back as best he could. ~
“See now that’s just painful to watch, he had him, maybe not perfectly, but he had him, all he had to do was wait, I know I taught him how to pass a guard, and that was only half-guard, even if he didn’t he could have made a lock there,” Daisuke ranted as Kit decided to disengage.
“No, he’s making the right call, he can’t seem to pass the guard entirely, and he knows that as long as he stays in that position his opponent will keep hitting him, he can’t avoid the strikes that close so he’s taking damage, not as much as he’s dealing, but he’s also not sure how much stamina his opponent has, so for now the best call is to back off and evaluate the situation, see if he can’t get a better read on things,” Hitomi tried to explain it to him.
“She’s right, his opponent is a more experienced grappler than he is it would seem, so he’s trying to avoid getting caught in a serious situation, when the other boy tried to engage him in a fist fight, Kit showed he was better equipped for it, Kit doesn’t want to make the same mistake. So he’s surrendering a slightly complicated position, hoping the other boy will stand up and fight on his feet, but that is another mistake, his opponent knows he’s weaker at grappling, so odds are he’ll try to go down in a reversed position,” Perrin said. He looked to his nieces and Foxie, all of whom had been silent since the fight had begun, but each of them had their fists clenched in a combination of excitement and tension. ~
Kit backed off too far, and Raphael had almost jumped back to his feet before Kit realized it. Kit moved back in, on his feet he knew he could win this fight, but Raphael ran in hard, nearly tackling Kit to the ground. Kit hadn’t liked ground fighting when he was on top, but he had worked on it a bit for when he was on bottom, first as Raphael was trying to make for a mount, Kit pushed himself forward, away from Raph’s legs, but reeled himself in quickly, wrapping his legs around Raphael’s waist. Once he had a guard closed in Kit struck fast, throwing punch after punch at Raphael, who had lowered one of his arms to try and push one of Kit’s knees out and free himself. To put it lightly this was the ameratuer way of doing it, and he was answered with one of Kit’s fists pounding him in the ear, so he pulled his arm back up and tried to think for a moment.
He kept his guard up for a time, but Kit kept hitting him, almost two minutes passed like this, eventually Raph got careless, making the mistake of leaning his head down to rest on Kit’s chest while he thought, though he was clever enough to cover his head and neck with his arms so no blows would strike him.
When Kit saw his choice of positions he tried to slide himself down further, he was attempting to sit up slightly and wrap his arm around the back of Raph’s neck, hoping to apply a guillotine choke hold, but he moved too quickly, his guard slipped from Raphael’s waist down around his hamstrings and so when he went to apply the pressure to his opponent’s neck, Raph rolled forward with him and slipped his legs free. Kit could almost hear Daisuke yelling at him, like he would in training with that same chastising voice. That’s just sloppy form, we’ve talked about this, don’t get in a hurry, don’t get sloppy.
Kit didn’t have the hold locked in any more, but at the same time, Raphael hadn’t been able to halt his forward movement, meaning they were both on their backs now, so Kit had evaded the danger of being mounted. Raphael was quick to his feet, choosing to simply stand up, but Kit was winded from repeatedly hitting at Raphael while his opponent sat and guarded, he rolled over onto his feet, using his right arm to try and help him stand up. Raphael had already regained his feet and turned to face him, with one arm down Kit’s guard was lowered, Raphael attempted to move in quickly, but Kit managed to roll back, from one knee onto his but and scurry backwards, once he was about five feet away he pushed off the ground with both hands behind him and regained his feet, though his balance was shaky so he backpedaled a few steps.
Kit could see that Raphael wasn’t holding up much better than he was, neither of them were used to extended bouts like this one had become and it was taking it’s toll on them. They were almost eight minutes into the round now, and neither was anxious to engage the other, though Kit still felt he had the advantage on his feet. ~
“That’s right, back off, get your bearings, and when you’re ready, take him,” Daisuke encouraged him, it was a far cry from a few moments ago when he’d been shouting about Kit’s sloppy form, that had perhaps genuinely enraged him, Perrin suspected that Kit may have heard him through the glass, because he seemed to cool off a bit, was less eager to engage his enemy after that.
“They’re both starting to falter, this is where Kit’s endurance is paying off, he got winded faster, but he was exerting himself more, now he’ll try and keep some distance to catch his breath,” Hitomi reasoned.
“This fight is almost over,” Perrin reassured them all, though he didn’t tell them how it was going to end. ~
Raphael was the one who moved first, he was too tired at this point to try and just charge Kit, he also needed some air, but he also felt the need to press his opponent, keep him from resting too much. As he started advancing, it was slowly and Kit raised his hands. He struck once or twice, landing a clean jap on Raphael’s chest, but Raphael got in close enough to put them in a clinch and earned himself a firm grasp on Kit’s trapezius muscle. Kit had been taught a great deal about handling a clinch, he knew that if Raphael managed to achieve a double collar tie that he would more than likely lose the bout, and while there was no shame in it, Kit did not want to lose. He forestalled his concern of a double collar tie by establishing his own single collar clinch. Raphael however, quickly managed to unhand Kit’s weaker grip using brute strength to pry Kit’s hand from his collar, then he made the one mistake that could have changed the fight. He tried to press his advantage and continue tackling Kit to the ground, as he moved forward his control over Kit’s neck faltered, as Kit leaned forward and darted out from under his hand, when Kit stood up he moved his feet back so he was almost leaning forward, giving him a stable base by putting their balance on Raphael. Once Kit had his base established he once again wrapped his arm out and around Raphael’s head, his other hand came up and wrapped firmly around his wrist, he moved his feet in and arched his back, as he did Raphael failed to support their weight, instead of trying to remain standing, Kit leaned back like he was sitting down and wrapped Raphael up in his guard.
They were positioned like this for almost ten seconds, with Raphael struggling to find a way out, mostly trying to use his brute strength to overpower Kit once again. This time however it was not to be, and ten seconds after closing his guard, Kit felt a hand tapping at his shoulder lightly. Instinctively Kit released the hold when he saw the referee waving in the air.
There was a large commotion going on, but when Kit let go of Raphael he slumped forward onto the ground. Kit stood up, slightly confused, there was plenty of clapping and cheering and people were rushing up to him. He felt something soft and small gripping him about the waist. He looked down at his little sister, with a confused look on his face.
“What happened?” he asked her softly over the roar of the crowd.
“You won,” she shouted back to him before burying her face in his stomach. For a moment the thought didn’t register, he understood that he’d fought, or that he’d been fighting, and then the referee had come over and had him release the hold, but he didn’t understand that that had meant he’d won. Once the thought got through he looked around with a lopsided grin. ~
Up in the rafters, Jaxon Davenport let out a slight sigh as the fight concluded. He had them rolling on a distance shot as Ayano hugged her brother. “Alright, go to camera three, get it in tight, and pan around, once he figures it out his expression is gunna be priceless,” Jaxon instructed before he took the earpiece out. He stood there for a moment, glancing down at the screen, he could feel the distance in that moment, as the others from the dojo ran out to congratulate Kit, he wished he were down there with them, though he knew his son wouldn’t want that, but through all that distance there was an overwhelming sense of pride. “That’s my boy,” he whispered before pushing off of the cat-walk and heading for the control room. ~
After the Ayano let go of him and took a step back there was a rush motion as somebody else rushed forward to embrace Kit, tackling him to the ground. He felt the warm body pinning him firmly to the ground and then soft lips pecking over and over on his cheek. “Foxie stop,” Kit told him with laugh as the other finally quit kissing him. “And get off me,” he said as he tried to unpin himself. After Foxie let him go, Kit pulled him in for a light hug before letting him go.
“Well done, Kit,” Perrin told him with a smile and a clasp on the shoulder.
“Indeed,” Hitomi agreed with a bow.
“Thank you,” he answered them shortly.
Then he felt a strong hand gripping the back of his neck and forcing his head to face another direction. “That was just plain sloppy. I never realized before just how much work we have ahead of us,” Daisuke told him irritably, holding a strong gaze, then the pressure eased up on Kit’s neck as he slid his hand up to remove Kit’s hat, and mussed his hair, “but you did good Kid.” Daisuke was an exacting mentor but he had a proud smile on his face when he congratulated his student.
“How do you feel?” Renka asked him as she moved over beside him.
“Ask me again when I’ve figured it out,” Kit told her with a laugh. Then Renka stepped aside and Kit saw Kisara. “Did you see me, Kisara? I won,” he told her proudly as he smiled.
She looked a bit flustered for a moment. “Yeah, not bad for your first time. I was almost impressed… almost,” she told him coolly, and with that she just walked away.
Behind her there was another rush of people, reporters and photographers this time, but before any of them could press their way forward, Perrin stepped up in front of him.
“No questions at this time guys, let’s let him rest before this,” Perrin told them firmly. They all seemed a little disappointed as they put their cameras and microphones down and walked away. As they were leaving Kit saw that Raphael was up and moving, his master had come into the ring as well, and Raphael stood there with this defeated look on his face, then his teacher shoved Raphael to the ground hard and turned to walk away. Raphael just sat there on the ground with this vacant look on his face. Kit pushed his way past the others to the person who had just been his enemy.
“Well fought, Raph,” Kit told him as he held his hand out to help the other up.
“Get away from me, MUTT!” Raphael answered as he jumped to his feet and stormed off, though Kit thought he saw a hint of gratitude in his opponents eyes. ~