Cal woke up to a notification on his phone. He had a match tomorrow with another one of the winners of the first stage of the tournament.
He got up and got dressed and then went to the stadium. He didn't want to watch any matches, he just hoped to find Vera there and ask her on another date.
He had no luck finding her there, but did meet up with Sarah and Josh for breakfast, which they bought and carried to the busy section of the park with the fountain. People were practice sparing and playing games, now that many had lost their matches and had a lot of free time.
They ate their breakfasts quickly and Josh offered to take all of their garbage over to the garbage can at the entrance. As soon as he left, Sarah turned to Cal.
"Hey, do you think we could go shopping today? I need to pick up a few things, but I need your advice and maybe your powers for it." She asked nervously.
He shrugged. "Sure, I don't have anything else to do."
Eventually, Josh came back and they talked more. Cal told them about his match tomorrow, and they were all excited about it. After a while, Vera bumped into them again. This time, Cal just stepped away while Josh and Sarah carried on talking.
"Hey, I have been looking for you." Cal said to her.
She smiled. "Looking for me?"
He nodded. "Sorry, I have been totally oblivious. Was that picnic meant to be a date?"
She laughed. "YES! I'm glad you finally came to your senses."
"How about I try again?" He asked.
She smiled. "We could go today, if you want."
He frowned. "I am busy today with something I promised Sarah I would help her with, and I have a match tomorrow." When he saw the smile fall off her face, he quickly added. "I'm so sorry, I told her I would help her before I could find you."
"I have a match the day after that." She said sadly. "Why don't I talk to Sarah about what you said that you would help her with?"
Cal shrugged. "Feel free to give it your best shot."
Vera smiled and did a little jump up and down and then hugged Cal and walked over to Sarah. Josh had walked off to go see a match of a friend of his, and Sarah was sitting on a bench. Vera pulled her into the woods a bit. Cal just paced around a bit while he waited and then saw that when Vera had hugged him, her room key and lanyard had fallen out of her hoodie pocket.
He picked it up and then went towards where they had walked off to give it back to her, just in case she walked off after and let Sarah tell him how it went.
When he found them Sarah had a look of hurt and anger on her face and Vera was holding up a hand of flame.
"So you will stay away from him now that he's mine. He doesn't want to help you with anything anymore." He overheard Vera say.
Cal set his jaw and walked towards her. He extinguished the fire in her hand with a whiff of smoke. His jaw muscles were jutting out a bit as he clenched his teeth together with anger.
He stepped in front of Vera and handed her the room key. "Take this and use it to go back to your room. For both our sakes, I hope that you don't end up in my sight again." He said very quietly, with pent up rage.
Her eyes were wide and she looked scared. "B-but, I was just... I... She was getting between us... Don't you like me?" She started to try to give him puppy dog eyes.
"Go." He said through his teeth.
She stumbled backwards and then ran off.
Cal turned to Sarah. "I am so sorry, that was all my fault."
She just hugged him. "I'm glad you got a chance to see what she is really like."
He nodded into her shoulder.
Sarah took a step back and looked up at him. "Ready to go shopping?"
They spent the rest of the day looking at all sorts of supplies she wanted: art supplies for her drawing, clothes, medical tools for emergencies, anything she could want. She would have him study it and then tell her whether or not he could make one with his powers, or if he didn't understand it well enough to copy it. If he couldn't make a copy, she would buy it, otherwise she would have him make her one, test that it would be good enough, and then if it was good she had him get rid of it and then make another as soon as they left the store.
"You are lucky that I owe you for earlier. I don't think there is anyone else that I would do this for." He said to her with a laugh.
She smiled and didn't say anything back to him until they got into the next store.
By the time they were done, Cal was tired and both of their arms were hurting from carrying everything. It was pretty late, so they went back to their dorms and Cal went to sleep early so that he would have time to practice tomorrow before his match.