How to Win a Fight

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Hajime. Emely started forward; her hands raised. She and her opponent circled each other a few times before the other woman suddenly gripped the collar of her Gi and moved in close. Emely blocked, tried in vain to find a good counter, and they separated again, both slightly off balance.

That had been close.

Another series of quick attempts followed, and Emely could hear the familiar rush in her ears as her heart hammered blood through her veins. Her lungs burned with each breath.

She had to end this quickly, the match was already going on for too long.

Absentmindedly she tucked a strand of hair that had come loose from her ponytail behind her ear. Then she moved in again, trying to catch her opponent off balance.

She almost managed to, but not quite. They both grunted as they fought for control of the situation – then she could suddenly feel the other girl’s leg slide between hers’ and hook her dominant foot.

With a curse she twisted, avoiding falling on her back.

Waza-ari. The referee’s hand shot up to stop the match and with clenched teeth, Emely climbed to her feet. Her curly hair had come entirely loose, and she hastily tied it back with quick, angry gestures.

That move had blindsided her. And now she was half a point down. She really had to be more careful. So far, she had easily won all the matches of the tournament, and the Olympics qualifiers for Judo were within reach. But this opponent… She was good. Her name was Mey, and while they did not really know each other, they had met a couple of times over the years at different tournaments.

Emely scanned her opponent. As per the weight brackets, they were about the same height and build. The other girl was of Asian descent, had sharp features, and the defined, functional physique of a person who took their sports career extremely seriously. She wore her dark hair cut short, and the sweat made it stick in all directions as she ran her fingers through it.

The faintest of smiles snuck on Mey’s lips as she saw Emely scrutinizing her. With an exasperated huff, Emely turned to straighten her Gi and got ready again.

She would not let her opponent mess with her head. She could do this.

The fight began anew and this time the action started almost immediately. They both shuffled and twisted in an attempt to not fall to one of the opponent’s techniques. Then, with only seconds left on the clock, Emely suddenly saw an opening. With a snarl, she twisted in and under her opponent, snapping out her right leg to tip Mey off balance with a Tai Otoshi. For a precarious, strained moment, it seemed like they might not fall. Then their center of balance shifted, and with a powerful twist of her torso, Emely hurled them both to the ground. The impact was hard, but she kept control as her opponent slammed backwards onto the mats.

Ippon.

She had won.

With a grim smile, Emely got up. Her hair had come to lose again and hung about her face in a big poof of auburn curls, but she did not care.

She had done it, she had won. For the first time in her life, she would actually be able to try out for the Olympics.

The next minutes rushed by like a dream as they bowed, the referees account her victory, and they were ushered off the mat to make room for the next bout. Emely smiled thankfully as her trainer slapped her on the shoulder and handed her water. Then she was in the changing room, suddenly by herself, and the strain of the entire three-day tournament came over her in a wave, making her body ache.

She sauntered over to her bag and began slowly changing out of her sweaty Gi. Emely was just about to take off her underwear when the door opened. The distant noise of conversation and the stadium announcer flooded in for a moment, and then Mey entered.

“Hey”, the other girl greeted her as she walked over to her bag, which sat uncomfortably close to Emely’ own stuff by the wall of the room.

Emely cringed inwardly and looked away. This was awkward. She hated talking to her opponents immediately after the fight – especially when she won.

“Hey.”

They were silent for a second. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mey take off her own suit and neatly fold it up by her bag. Then Mey added.

“Congratulations on the win.”

“Ehm… Thank you. I… I almost feel like I should apologize. You almost had me there.”

Mey waved her off with a smirk. “Nah don’t worry, it’s fine. You got lucky.”

Emely perked up, feeling a pang of annoyance rising in her.

“Lucky? I won fair and square.”

Mey fully turned toward her, arms crossed. The same faint, infuriating smile from earlier played on her lips as their eyes met.

“Chill, you already won. And you deserve it. All I am saying is: Don’t get too full of yourself. It was tight – and you know it. I qualified the last time around and let me tell you: The people you’ll have to go up against in the actual qualifier are no joke. Every fight will be at least as tough as ours, and you’ll need to win almost all of them to make the Olympics.”

Emely was about to retort but shut her mouth, suddenly feeling embarrassed. Mey was right. She had been about to lose there. If her timing had been a fraction of a second off… She might have lost.

Awkwardly Emely tugged her still sweat-soaked bangs behind her ears and averted her eyes. While she was still grasping for the right reply her gaze wandered and she was suddenly painfully aware that Mey was completely naked. Hurriedly she turned back to the wall and started to fold her own Gi.

“I… Yea, you are right. Sorry…”

“Don’t mention it. Let me know if you want any advice.”

She nodded, and they fell into an uncomfortable silence. As quickly as possible, Emely got out her towel and shower supplies and fled toward the showers. A moment later she heard the door open and someone – most definitely Mey – entered the stall next to her.

Wow, that had been even worse than expected. Although Emely had won, she had never possessed the casual confidence that Mey seemed to have. With a grimace she pushed any thought of her opponent out of her mind.

For some time, Emely simply enjoyed the hot water running over her scalp, through her long. She had not cut her hair in a while, and it fell to her chest in thick, though admittingly a little frayed, reddish-brown curls. She slicked them back with her fingers and stared up into the hot stream of water streaming down her aching body. Slowly but surely, her tight muscles started to relax, and she relaxed.

When she stepped back out into the changing room twenty minutes later, she was alone. Hers had been one of the last matches of the day, and all but Mey’s stuff had been packed up and taken away already. She was just starting to dry off when her opponent returned to the changing room.

Determined to not suffer through another ten minutes of awkward silence, she took a deep breath and said:

“Hey Mey, I like your hair by the way. Did you already ware it like this last time we met? I cannot remember.”

The other girl had walked over towards a large, mirrored section of the wall and was drying off her messy short hair with a towel. She glanced back over her shoulder when she heard Emely speak up, this time with a much more open smile.

“That’s so nice of you to say. Ehm, no, actually. I cut it during the last qualifiers and have kept it like this ever since. It was a good way to commit. Now it’s mostly practical.”

Emely arched an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

Mey shrugged, as she tossed her towel back onto her bag. Her hair was already mostly dry after just a moment of slight rubbing, and Emely could not help but feel a little envious, as she struggled to drag a brush tough her own.

“It’s hard to explain. For me, it was just a way to show myself how much I wanted this win. It did not really help or anything, but I don’t know – it gave me resolve, somehow.”

Emely nodded, slowly. She thought she understood what Mey meant. It was a strong symbol. Looking at Mey, there was no way anyone could miss that she was all business – probably, least of all herself, as she looked in the mirror. Plus, the short hair actually looked great on the other girl. It highlighted her cheekbones… Her strong yet slender neck… Emely caught herself staring again, and quickly returned her focus to her brush, blushing slightly behind her curtain of hair.

“That’s so cool.”

Both of them fell silent. For a long moment the rustling of cloth and the rasping of the brush as she forced through her long, stubborn curls were the only sounds on the room. Emely could virtually feel Mey smirk again.

“You should do it, too.”

The suggestion had been hanging in the air for the last minute, and now that Mey had said it out loud a sudden mixture of dread and excitement gave Emely goosebumps.

“I don’t know Mey, I don’t think I could pull that haircut off as well as you do.”

The other girl arched an amused eyebrow at that.

“What are you talking about girl, your face is definitely prettier than mine.”

Emely could feel herself blush for the second time in just as many minutes.

“Well… ehm… Thanks. I…”

Great. She was stuttering now. She clamped her mouth shut and turned away, unsure how to reply. Behind her, she could hear Mey move, the door of one of the lockers opened and closed with a metallic creek and something heavy was set down on the bench between them.

Uncertain what to expect, Emely dared to take a look.

Mey had apparently gotten her carry-on luggage out of the locker and started to rummage around inside. After a moment she withdrew another toiletry bag and tossed it over to Emely, who caught it by pure instinct. Unable to hold back her curiosity, she unzipped the bag. Inside she found an array of different grooming supplies – but most of the space was taken up by a slender but high-quality-looking set of black clippers.

With a surprised yelp, she fumbled the bag and almost dropped it, as if worried the machine could leap out of the back and straight onto her head. Next to her, she heard Mey giggle with just a little too much malicious glee and she shot the other girl a glare – outrage overruling embarrassment for the moment.

“What is this for?” she asked, knowing the answer before the words had left her mouth.

“Well, that is up to you now. I usually use it to shave my head, but I’d be happy to lend them to you for a bit.”, Mey replied with unnerving nonchalance. Then she looked herself up and down in the mirror: “I am actually due for a fresh cut myself, now that I am thinking about it. Let’s start with that.s”

Emely glanced at the other girl, for the first time looking at her haircut in detail. Yes, the hair was short, but clearly not recently shaved. Most of the strands were a couple of centimeters long. What she had previously taken for some sort of pixi cut, must in fact be a grown-out buzzcut. If that was the case, Mey was actually due for a cut. At this length, her hair was at least a couple weeks of growth from a close shave.

“Alright…”, Emely mumbled, still not convinced. This all was a little much.

“So, want to help me?”

“What… Now?” Emely could immediately feel her heartbeat spike.

“Why not? It’s as good a time as any. And what greater victory could there be, than to shave the girl you beat bald.” With a wink, she added, “just to really rub it in.”

Emely felt giddy but also paralyzed, as she looked back and forth between the clippers and her former opponent.

Finally, she managed to say: “Ehm, sure, why not. Fair warning though: I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“Don’t’ worry, it’s pretty straightforward. And you are literally doing the easiest haircut there is. Point the right end down, push it back and forth and keep going until there is nothing left to cut. Easy.”

Emely nodded, still skeptical, as she took the machine out of the bag and tentatively flipped the switch on top. It immediately jumped to life in her hand, humming and vibrating in a high-pitched tone that reminded Emely uncomfortably of the vibrator she had stowed under her bed at home. The observation did not serve to curb her anxiety, and she swallowed hard as she turned to Mey, the still buzzing clippers held at arm’s length.

The other girl had sat down on a low bench at the center of the changing room, her back demonstrably turned in Emely’s direction.

“Ready whenever you are.”, Mey informed her, as she casually stretched her arms.

Emely looked back and forth between the clippers and any Mey, uncertainty making her stomach ache. Then she took a final deep breath and stepped behind the other girl.

“Alright then. Anything else I need to adjust?”

Mey shook her head: “Nope. Usually, I do a length #2 or so, but I forgot the attachments at home, so I guess bare blades it is. There is barely any difference anyway.”

Emely eyed the exposed blades with a sinking feeling as they flicked back and forth faster thane the eye could track. So if she agreed to this, it would be all or nothing for her, too. Great.

She pushed the thought aside by focusing on the here and now. Carefully she lifted the clippers over Meys head and turned them this and that way a couple of times, unsure of the best angle to start from.

“Just go down the middle. Come one.”

Emely carefully toughed the blades to Mey’s front hairline and almost dropped them, as the high-pitched humming turned into an aggressive crackling and the first strands sailed towards the tiled floor. She found herself grinning. Mey was right, there was something nice about sealing her victory like this.

Without further hesitation, she pushed the clippers backwards. A wave of short air was peeled off and tumbled to the floor between them. Almost reverently she touched the now exposed strip along the center of Mey’s head. Where there had been thick dark hair a moment ago, only bare skin remained. A slight dark shadow and the coarse feeling of tiny stubble below her fingertips were the only things left. Emely could feel Mey shiver under her tough and she quickly drew back her hand. “Ehm… Sorry.”

The other girl just shrugged, for once apparently short on words. So, Emely got back to work, running the clippers over Mey’s head front to back; each pass shaving off another section of hair at the root. Before long the top was bald and she moved on the sides without pausing, first shaving the left side bare, then the right. When only the back remained, she tentatively put a hand on Mey’s shoulder to steady it and gently pushed her head forward, exposing the elegant curve of her neckline. She could not help but notice how warm and soft her skin felt, and let her hand linger for a moment longer before continuing. Emely herself shook slightly as she ran the clippers up the other girl’s neck a couple of times until, finally, Mey’s entire head was left bald.

With a final sounding click, she switched off the clippers and put them down on the bench, only half glad to be rid of them.

“Alright, we are done.”, Emely announced, lacking anything better to say. “I would show you the back as they do in the salon, but you know: I’m lacking a mirror – and I’m pretty sure you know what it looks like.”

Mey gave a short laughing snort at that and got up, apparently slightly shaky on her legs. With her head entirely bald, the geometry of her face had changed a little, and Emely blushed as her eye’s traced the contours of Mey’s face. In her opinion, a clean bald head suited her former opponent even better than the messy cut from before.

“Well… that was nicer than usual.”, Mey admitted, slightly out of breath. Emely almost choked when she walked over to her bag, grabbed the towel, and began drying off between her legs. “You really know how to make a girl feel special, Emely …” She winked at her with a sly smile when she noticed Emely’s stunned expression. Emely immediately sensed blood shoot into her face, and she felt like sinking into the floor.

What on earth was happening?!

“I… Well, I am glad you enjoyed it, I guess.”, she replied meekly.

They stayed silent for a moment and Emely slowly drifted back to her bag, grabbing her pants from the pile of clothes.

“Hey, not so fast, young lady. It’s your turn.” She winced as Mey’s called from behind, stern command and amusement mixing in her voice.

“I don’t know Mey, I’ll have to think abo-” Before she could say anything more, the rapid tapping of feet on the ground behind her triggered her fighter’s instincts. Emely whirled around, just to see Mey come at her – still completely naked and with the clippers in one hand. She cursed as the other girl closed in, trying to push her off balance and sweep her leg. Instinctively Emely moved back, found her center of balance and lifted her hands, as she would on the mats.

“What the fuck are you doing, Mey?”

Her opponent grinned like a little girl who had just played the greatest prank of her life.

“Ohhh I don’t know. I was thinking: How about a little re-match. That’ll make it feel ten times as good when I get to shave you in a minute.”

Emely evaded a grappling attempt by Mey, retreating towards the more open centre of the room.

“You are crazy.”, she gasped, her breath already coming in short bursts under the exertion.

“Maybe”, Mey grunted as she feinted.

Emely blocked the attack – and saw an opening. Before she could stop herself, she lunged in, putting herself slightly off-balance as the tried to hook Mey’s exposed leg. Too late Emely realized she had fallen for a trap. With one long twisting motion, the other girl ducked under her, just as Emely stumbled forward. She felt Mey’s breasts pressing against her skin as she tightly hooked her arm under Emely’s shoulder, twisting around at the same time and throwing her over her hip and to the ground.

The tiles were far harder and colder on her bare skin than the mats had been, but Emely’s instincts prevented her from injuring herself as she slammed squarely onto her back. A fraction of a second later, Mey was on top of her, pinning her down with her weight. With practiced movements she moved Emely’s hand out of the way and slung her legs around her head. Emely tried in vain to get a hold of her opponent, but her skin was sweaty from the exertion and without the Gi her hands did not find the purchase she needed to stop the attack. Within moments she was held tight, her head and right arm firmly secured in a triangle of Mey’s muscular legs. A variation of Sankaku-gatame, the name of the technique came to her mind. Particularly hard to escape from.

Emely struggled weakly against the iron hold and groaned in frustration, while Mey propped herself up on both elbows with a content wheeze. Then she froze as the absurd geometry of the situation sunk in. The other girl’s moist crotch was pressed against her neck, while her head rested in Mey’s lap, the warm, sweat-slick skin of her opponent rub against hers.

With a smug grin on her face, Mey bent down to her and whispered into her ear: “Ippon. I win.”

“What…” Emely croaked but could not get any more words out.

“Shhh, stay still, it will be over in a moment.”

Then the clippers sprang to life next to her right ear, the sudden buzzing sound loud and menacing, as Mey deliberately moved the machine into Emely’s field of view. Emely redoubled her efforts, squirming in Mey’s headlock, but to no avail.

Finally, Emely closed her eyes, as she herself felt warm liquid pool between her ties.

Then the vibrating blades touched her forehead and dug deep into her tangled head of curls. A moan escaped her throat, as the tide of unfamiliar sensations flooded over her – her skin against Mey’s, the suffocating of her legs pressure on Emely’s chest, the buzzing blades of the clippers on her bare scalp. Time seemed to pass in glacial slowness as Mey made one pass after the other, peeling Emely’s thick mane off at the base, all the while pinning her between her legs.

When it ended, Emely felt like she was waking up from a fever dream, slightly shaking, drained and more exhausted than she had been after the earlier fight.

Mey untangled her legs and writhed out from under her, and Emely slowly climbed on shaky hands and knees. A messy carpet of wet auburn hair – her hair – lay below her on the sweat-slick anthracite tiles. Slowly, she pushed herself into a squat, staring up at Mey.

“That was…”, she swallowed, her voice hoarse when she spoke. “a good match. Congratulations on the win. Hope you enjoyed your prize.”

Mey seemed almost as shaken as her. Nevertheless, a cheeky, warm smile had settled on her face as she eyed Emely, thoughtfully tapping the clippers against her cheek.

“I did. Most memorable fight of my career, I have to admit.”

Emely smirked at that. Then her fingers slowly wandered up to her head, really feeling the unfamiliar absence of hair for the first time. As for Mey, only the slightest suggestion of stubble remained on her otherwise bare scalp. Emely shuddered as she inadvertently moved into the path of the AC, and cool air streamed over her head for the first time.

“How does it feel?”, Mey asked.

“Good, actually. I think I like it.”

Uncertainly, Emely stepped towards the wall mirror and stared at her familiar yet changed reflection. Her curly head of hair had been one of her defining features as long as she could remember. And now it was just – gone. Only a pale shadow suggested the course of her hairline on her scalp. She had a good head shape, her forehead seemed larger and her face more… defined. Emely decided, she liked it. A lot, actually.

With a grin, she turned back to Mey, and before she could stop herself, she stepped close and pressed a quick little kiss on the other girl’s cheek. She had to grin when it was Mey’s turn to freeze up in surprise.

“Thank you, a well-deserved win.”, she whispered.

“Well, luck, I guess.”, the other girl replied, with a playful shrug.

They both were silent for a second, taking in their newly shorn reflections in the big wall mirror. Their eyes met in a mirror for a long moment, and Emely could feel an unfamiliar, warm feeling rise in her stomach as she observed the other girl’s gaze roam over her reflection.

“Alright enough of this, Mey. I am starving. Do… Do you want to get dinner?” Emely asked in a hoarse voice as she tore her eyes away and broke the lingering gaze.

“Sounds amazing, Em. But first, we should probably clean up a little.” She gestured to the piles of damp, discarded hair that lay scattered over the floor.

Emely grimaced. “Alright, how about you get started on that. I need another shower.”

“Sure – I’ll join you in a second.”, Mey replied with a mischievous wink.

Feeling herself blush once more, Emely quickly grabbed her towel and fled into the showers.

 

 

The End

 

 

Notes: If some of the descriptions do not make sense to you, maybe google the Judo moves 🙂 Also, I tired to do something new and bring in some action. Lmk what you think!

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