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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): Nexus Earth - How To Pick Up Earth Boys


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How To Pick Up Earth Boys

"To achieve a bankai state takes most masters years of training, but you have done it without any training and only minimal combat experience," her instructor pointed out. "Why?"

Lily shrugged. She didn't want to say what she was thinking; that she was just that good. It would earn her a slap on the back of her head.

"Passion. You have stumbled onto a quicker path to power than most would ever teach. A pure heart burns brightly when inflamed, and can do remarkable things."

Akina looked at Lily piercingly. "Why then is it not taught?"

Lily frowned but shook her head. She figured the questions were mostly rhetorical anyway.

"Because it is the path of the idiot," Akina answered firmly, ignoring Lily's outraged expression. "It gives the greatest power when we are least able to use it. A warrior is never more vulnerable than when in the throes of passion."

"But," Lily offered, "I won."

Akina rolled her eyes. "You won against foes even more reckless than yourself, if that's even possible. Or foes that were clear inferiors to you. Or that were so overconfident that they gave you opportunities that no respecting foe would. In short, you've been lucky. But while only a fool refuses a lucky opportunity, only a greater fool depends on them. Now stand and make your sword."

The Princess did as instructed, and Akina reached out to indicate the vertical slash of blue light that filled and extended out from Lily's hand. "What kind of sword is this?"

Lily looked at her blade, confused, then back at her teacher. "It's my...it's the same as always. It's my sword."

"Look at the blade. The hilt. The handle. I see nothing but light." With a flicker of motion, she'd drawn her own sword and was holding it out alongside Lily's. "You see? Long, single-edged blade with a slight curve to it, round hilt guard and a handle long enough for two hands, but balanced for one. My sword is a katana. What is yours?"

"It's just...energy," Lily answered, understanding the question now, but not the purpose. "It isn't a sword like yours, made of metal. It's just..." she shrugged and gestured with the beam like blade.

"It is shaped by your mind though, by your will," Akina persisted. "When I look at it, I see your will. And I see power, but no control. No finesse. No form, or reason. It is a sword formed without thought, by pure passion...it is the sword of an idiot."

"Stop calling me an idiot," Lily finally said irritably.

"Prove me wrong," Akina replied.

With an effort of will, Lily concentrated, and her sword contracted on itself, becoming a translucent, glowing blue copy of Akina's blade. "There."

"You've shaped it," Akina said, "but this is not the truth of its form. I can already see you're having trouble holding it this way."

"Look, who cares?!" Lily flared, as the sword reverted to its previous state. "It does the job. It cuts through things. What does it matter what it looks like?!"

Akina chuckled. "It doesn't."

"Buh...wuh...then why...?!"

"Because of what the sword reveals of your power, and your will. It's appearance is not the problem, it is merely a symptom."

"All right, I don't see what the big deal about my power depending on my 'passions' is either," Lily went on. "As you can see, I'm a pretty passionate person!"

"But do you control your passions?" Akina asked.

"Of course!"

"Oh? Then are you shouting now because you choose to? Or because you are angry?"

Lily opened her mouth...but then paused, crestfallen.

"Passions with training can be channeled," Akina went on, "but it is their nature to control us, rather than to be controlled. And as long as your powers depend on your passions, your ability to control them and access them will always be limited. Worse yet, your powers might eventually start acting on your unconscious mind's submerged wishes, outside of your conscious control. For a creature with your power level, that would be unspeakably dangerous for everyone around you."

After a moment to imagine that, Lily shivered. "What do I do?"

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Lily floated crosslegged just above the cool floor of her room, eyes closed and both hands held before her with their palms up.

This was her training.

The thought rippled over her mind for an instant before she could squash it, and return to her meditative state.

A blue glow began to form over her hands. It was slow and difficult, and it felt unnatural, but she was learning to draw her power while completely calm and thoughtful.

Outside, the door to the apartment slammed.

"GIVE IT BAAAAACK!!" wailed Sasami at the top of her lungs. "You'll never be cute enough to need this!" crowed Hayato triumphantly. His voice was getting louder, suggesting he was coming down the hall.

Lily's concentration was shattered when he started pounding on her bedroom door; the developing blade of power vanishing in the process.

"NEE CHAN!" Hayato howled. "LEMME IN!"

The bedroom door whammed open, and Hayato scurried in, closing it behind him just in time to hear Sasami hit it and bounce off with an adorable, squeaky 'oof.' Chuckling, he looked around for Lily...

...only to find her looming over him as if she were eleven feet tall, backlit by the bedroom light to throw her features into deep shadow.

"AHHH! This is for you!" he blurted, holding up the object he'd swiped from Sasami as a sacrifice to his elder sister's righteous wrath.

"Hayato!" Lily snapped. She snatched the offering away from her little brother out of sheer instinct. "Open the door and apologize to your sister and go to your room!"

Hayato flared right back up at her. "She doesn't need it! It's just some stupid Earth book about how to date stupid Earth boys!" With that, he yanked the door open and stormed out, giving Lily a momentary look at Sasami's startled face just on the other side.

A moment later there was a polite knock. Lily opened the door, and Sasami timidly stepped in.

Lily looked down at the object in her hands. A relatively thin book made of glossy paper. It sported the image of a heavily made-up human woman in an evening gown making poochy lips on the cover, along with what looked like headlines such as: 'Latest Celebrity Gossip,' and 'Is He or Isn't He, Take This Surefire Fidelity Test And See!'

She furrowed her brows curiously and gave Sasami a dubious look. "This is yours?"

Sasami gave her a plaintive nod, along with her best puppy-dog eyes.

Lily looked at the cover again. It informed her that her sex life could be better, and further confided that it contained ten secrets for the perfect date. She looked back at Sasami.


Sasami held her hands out pleadingly and said, "I bought it!"

Lily sighed and nodded. "Okay, okay, I'll give it back. Just let me read one thing while you get dinner ready, alright?"

Her younger sister eyed her suspiciously. "You'll really give it back?"

Lily nodded. "Promise."

Sasami watched her for a second longer, waiting to see if she burst into laughter or something...then brightened and darted out, humming a little tune as she rattled around in the pots and pans.

Lily sat down on her bed and looked at the magazine again. She hesitated...then opened it to the table of contents, then flipped through the pages.

The title of the article: "How to Pick Up Boys: 10 Secrets to Giving Him A Date He'll Call Back After."

Much later she brought the magazine with her to the table and gave it back to Sasami. And if it was missing a few pages...well...it was a thick magazine, and who was to know, really?

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