Cid was squatted off from the center of the arena, arms draped over his knees as he chewed a wad of gum. Ever since his debut, he'd always done this. He arrived twenty minutes early, and waited for his opponent in the ring. He was enjoying it, as always.
With a glance up, the off kilter summer sun, coupled with the cloudless sky, beat right down on him. The summer sun always felt like a comfortable weight when it came down on him. It felt so good being so warm.
The wind was nice. It came by every so often, whipping his thin shirt back and forth from where it was sitting perched on his shoulders. That was another thing he did, every year. He'd strap that shirt to his shoulders and let the wind billow about it. Naturally he only wore pants to the competition. Tradition. He'd done it for the past eight years, he'd do it for the next twelve.
He looked over to the stands, where among the faces, his friends were sitting, watching. Jessica waved, grinning wide at him. He nodded, smiling. She wasn't his closest friend, but... They grew up together. Marc was there too; in Marc, Cid only saw another opponent. A worthy foe. But not much for friendliness.
James and a few other familiar faces were there. He couldn't make them all out, but he saw James. Blue hair, blue hair, blue hair. Kid loves going blue. That thought made Cid chuckle as he looked away. Ever since they met, that little blond nerd dyed his hair, and it was funny. It was his attitude mostly.
Cid took a calming breath. His roommates were in that crowd, just like they always have been. Just the same as every year, the crowd was cheering for him. He was their favorite fighter.
He let out a long breath and took in the energies around him; his ki simmered softly under the hard sunlight...
When the crowd turned silent, he looked across the arena, and found a tall dark figure, all in red standing there. His opponent was early. He wasn't as early as Cid, but early. The fight would start as soon as Cid made his show of flair.
He stood up and disrobed, letting his shirt fly away in the hot wind. His opponent was big. As big as he was, which was becoming a rarity as of late. For the past four years, his opponents were mostly smaller than he, aside from the occasional giant.
Cid grinned. Cid nodded. This was good. Two men of equal stature, duking before a live audience made for a much more interesting show in his opinion!
Cid slid into his stance, holding a fist forward and a fist back, near his stomach. "Ready?"
His opponent just cracked his neck and dropped into a similar form, putting forth open palms.
Never one to overlook details or underestimate adversaries, Cid loosened up a bit. He ran straight toward his opponent, keeping his chin higher than normal. There had been enough fighters copying him for him to develop a few simple counter-maneuvers and counter-stances.
As soon as he was within range, he slid a grating fist up across the dark guy's chest. This left his stance open enough for a punch-and-knee double strike to the same side. The dark man stumbled away, dropping his form entirely as he recovered.
Cid ducked back a few steps, regaining his stance. The dark man was made of solid muscle. Sort of surprising that Cid never heard of such a powerful fighter.
The wall took a simple stance, standing there without any form and walked toward Cid.
Confused, but wary of some secret fighting technique, Cid ducked behind and delivered a hard two punches to the man's back. He followed with a downward fist right on his shoulder, knocking him to his knees.
Cid jumped back a few feet, watching the guy get back up.
Cid shrugged while taking a short breath. "Are you going to fight back?"
The man turned around, faced Cid, and began walking towards him.
Cid shook his head, trying to get the confusion away. "Are you enjoying this? Getting pummeled?" He turned toward the referee and stopped.
There was no referee. He looked back to the dark man, and took a few steps back. "Hey, you know where the ref is?"
His only response was soft steps against grass as the wall kept walking forward.
Cid glanced toward the stands, and stopped stepping for a second. The stands were empty.
With a grunt, he noticed the dark man was now standing in front of him, his huge arm wrapped around his neck like a snake. Cid's hands flew to the iron beams that were his arm even as his grip started tightening.
The man started putting more of his weight on Cid's back, forcing him to stoop over. Cid's breath wasn't coming to him. Panic was starting to settle in. He got caught. He never got caught. He never got caught in a hold.
The sun above them heated the dark man, making the piping hot hold burn Cid's neck as he pounded at his opponent's gut and clawed at his grip on his neck.
His breath wasn't coming to him anymore and his hands started growing colder. With a roar, Cid called out all of his ki at once, forcing his body to do nothing.
He looked around, gasping for air as nothing happened, his ace fizzling under the dark wall's grip.
Not knowing what to think, he started rising. The dark man was raising him. He was being raised higher and higher off of the ground, his feet kicking and thrashing about, trying to bang into the darkness.
It was only when he felt a hand clamp down on his head did he stop moving.
He screwed his eyes shut and screamed in defiance as that gigantic hand clenched down.
Cid took a breath and opened his eyes. The fan above him slowly spun, twisting up the hot night air.
He sat up, throwing what little covers he decided to use off of his sweaty body. He groaned as he rubbed the sweat from his brow. He focused on breathing first.
He noticed Izzy in the doorway. It just opened as he sat up. She was still wearing her night gown, and nothing else. It looked nice on her-
He shut his eyes and grunted. Didn't need to think of that right now of all times.
She edged into the room and sat next to him. His bachelor's bed squeaked in surprise at the additional weight of his cousin. But he didn't take notice. He just tried to keep his airflow steady.
That didn't stop her from inching closer to him, and turning toward him. She remained like that, not moving except to put her hand on his hip.
Cid closed his eyes and sighed. He looked over to Izzy. When he noticed that this time she didn't even have time to wrap up her eyes, he let out a sad grunt. He gulped and leaned forward, setting his sweaty forehead against her's.
He stared into her empty, damaged eyes. She almost seemed to stare back.
"Summer nightmare..." Her deep voice didn't seem to break the silence so much as the movement of her body as she spoke.
He nodded. He didn't resist as Izzy pushed him back down onto his back. He sighed and closed his eyes as her hand trailed over them. "Go back to sleep." He could hear her moving so she was sitting next to his bed. "I'll watch out for bad dreams."
Cid nodded and sighed, breathing in that hot summer night air. "I used to..."
Izzy hummed and gave his arm a reassuring squeeze, knowing the speech all too well. "I know." She reached over and gave him a peck on the forehead. "Sleep, Son of Summer."
Cid peeked and saw her doing some magic stuff. Reassured that the night would go better, he closed his eyes.