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Oblivion

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 10:46 pm

Post Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

Title: Lie to Me
Location: CMGY Academy
Timestamp: After "Of Lights and Locks"
Authors: Oblivion, Arella, Hyuuint
Characters: Devin, Whisp, Shiori



"OK, I have the wire strippers, the screwdrivers and the- why's Whisp in here? And why is she on your lap?" Shiori had just walked back into her training room, garbed in a t-shirt and overalls, barefoot, and carrying a wide array of tools all over her person via pockets and the like. The training area had been set up to resemble a calm and serene park area, complete with sunlight between the leaves, and the sound of a bubbling brook just a ways away. Very calming, and very juxtaposed by the little spider bots waiting in line, a table in the middle, and Devin rather notably not sitting at said table, so that Whisp could lay down on the not-really-there grass with her head on his lap.

"It makes a good pillow," the teen girl (already dressed in her usual now that classes were done for the day) informed, as though it should have been obvious. And clearly, she was there because Dev was there - stupid question, that. Of course, adults were always asking stupid questions.

"I can't be a judge of that. Hm. Promise not to distract him too badly?" Shiori put her hands on her hips.

"Dev, am I distracting you?" Whisp asked, looking up at him. He was pretty obviously meant to say no, if he heard her at all.

"Hm?" Devin mused, his eyes shifting from the task at hand to Whisp. "Did you say something?"

"See? Totally not distracting," Whisp returned to Shiori, something in her tone seeming to suggest that Shiori was clearly the one being distracting.

"Heh, so long as it's fine with him, fine with me." She gave a grin, and strode over. "Here, Dev, the stuff you needed." Shiori handed over the extra tools, and sat down at her table. "Serving number 324!" A spider gave a small chitter, held up a paper ticket, and scuttled over.

"You could have made that digital." Devin remarked as he took the tools and got to work on 324.

"Eh, maybe, but if something were to happen, poof, no tools. Kinda a work hazard, like wearing hard-light clothing." She called out for 325, and when he scuttled up, Shiori checked him out. "Let me guess. Soccer practice again?" It gave a sad affirmative, holding up a broken leg. "I keep telling those girls to aim better." She carefully brought him up, and started working.

"My aim's just fine," Whisp informed. She'd found she rather enjoyed soccer - it was basically a sport based entirely around kicking things! "And pretty sure he means the paper number things." Dev used real tools back home, after all.

"Ah. Well, I tried that. They missed ripping off tiny slips of paper for some odd reason." Shiori took off the little leg entirely, and started fixing it up.

"Weird." Devin stated as he continued his work. One spider next to Devin gave him a momentary reproachful look but then went back to its curious staring and occasional prodding.

Whisp nodded in agreement, clearly not having any trouble following the conversation in spite of having the Necrowombicon propped up on her stomach to read. Though it was also possible she wasn't getting much actual reading done. In the meantime, a spider not in need of repair had taken a seat on Whisp's lap, and made itself comfortable, but she didn't seem to mind.

"A little, but I'm liking how much they've developed. Much better than expected overall. Isn't that right, Cyril?" The one holding the 325 slip gave a happy chitter. "How's Dave there, Dev?"

"He's fine." Devin said, sounding distracted though his work remained unhindered. He let Dave go to begin maintenance on the next bot in line.

"Good." Shiori snapped the leg back onto Cyril, and patted him on the head. Repaired and happy, he went to go join the fixed crowd around Devin, before 326 (Evan) hopped up, pointing out some rather badly applied stickers and sparkles.

"Why don't the spiders talk?" Whisp apparently decided she wanted to know. She was pretty used to Dev's puppies talking, after all - why wouldn't you want your robots to be able to talk?

"Well, they weren't made for speech to begin with. Just little worker bots. But, somehow, they figured out their own language, and developed it over time. It's weird, but awesome!" She gave Evan a pat to the head, having removed the unwanted decorations, before helping out 328 (Timmy). "Elsie gave you a top hat huh? But where did the monocle come from?" He gave a dunno chitter in response, before laying down for a basic diagnostic.

"Why not just make it so they can talk like people, then?" the teen girl wanted to know next, even as she turned a page in the Book.

"I've tried. Either they rejected them, the system didn't let them work, or they uh, they did..." She paused, and called out. "Bob! Where are you?"

From the back, there was a deeeeeeeep bass voice that answered, not unlike Kevin Michael Richardson. "Right here ma'am." And it came from the smallest bot of the lot. As in, less than a foot wide small.

"That happened. Thank you Bob!"

"No problem, ma'am."

Whisp frowned a bit as she considered all that, before once again declaring, "Weird."

"Yup." Devin said as he finished studyin- I mean working on another bot. "Next."

A big one scuttled over, nearly 4 feet wide. On the top of his chassis was etched the name, BUBBA. Capitalized letters and all. He handed over his little slip of paper, and pointed out the many holes on his main body and front legs.

"Fair enough." Devin stated as he began removing panels and checking internal damages. There were only a few damaged redundant wires, but one of the pistons within had been slightly dinged. BUBBA stayed still for Devin unless needed to move.

"Bubba, just letting you know. I'm going to deactivate you while I replace that piston and those wires. May do the rest while you're out."

BUBBA gave a very quiet affirmative chatter, and turned himself off.

Devin gave a nod and set about replacing the piston and wires.

Everything was unusually quiet for the next few minutes, apart from the spiders' occasional chittering, and the calling of numbers. Finally, Whisp piped up with another question. "Why are we here?" She'd just kind of followed Dev, after all, and wasn't terribly clear on why they weren't back home watching RWBY already.

"Devin's in quote-unquote detention for sneaking in here, threatening to hack into the consoles, and waking up my still-being-tested defense group." Shiori answered simply before setting Jacob onto the floor, who, like many others so far, had taken up residence near or on Whisp's legs. They liked Whisp, she was warm and quiet.

"I'm pretty sure the rule book doesn't specify we can't do any of that," the teen girl helpfully (on Dev's behalf) informed. And she would know - she'd read it for the express purpose of being able to inform teachers of what wasn't in there when she got in trouble for stupid things.

"There's a little more to it, buuuuuut this is a quote-unquote detention, afterall. And while this may seem a little tedious, I daresay Devin's enjoying what he's seen so far. Amirite?" Shiori gave a quick glance to the genius hard at work.

"It's not my android, but it will do." Devin stated as he finished his internal work and installed a replacement panel onto the bot's chassis. Taking a moment before replacing the damaged legs with a fresh set.

Whisp gave a bit of a shrug; so long as Dev didn't mind being here, she didn't much mind either. She was still with him, after all, and she always preferred being with him to not being with him. Still... "We could've been watching RWBY, though. And we were gonna start on Red vs. Blue this week, too. It has gaming jokes and stuff in it." Something which was clearly meant for Dev, since most of her gaming was RWBY or Slender Man related.

"Hmm..." She pulled up a holo-console, and did some typing. "And there. Recording."

"Recording what?" Devin asked as he turned on BUBBA. "Welcome back."

BUBBA gave another quiet chitter, reached up, and patted Devin on the head. He went off soon after, and settled along a wall to 'snooze'.

"The shows of course. Set them up to record in the mean time, and ready them for a one-time watch. Can either do that at home, or here." Shiori sent away the holoscreen, and finished up helping little Danny-Boy.

"Next." Devin stated as he awaited his next patient.

Whisp, however, was suddenly looking interested. "Can we watch shows and stuff in here? In 3D or whatever?"

"If we do it right, we could sit right in on the action. Depends on the show. It's how we review the news involving metas and such in the extra classes. Well, to a degree. But that can be after we finish." Another pat to the head, another happy spider walking off.

"Can we watch the red RWBY trailer?" the definitely very interested Whisp wanted to know, almost sitting up she was so interested - that would be an awesome way to get better at fighting like Ruby!

Devin cracked a smile as he finished work on his current bot and started on the next. His work speed increasing noticably as he grew more knowledgeable on their inner workings.

"Easily enough. As soon as we finish with the last of the little guys." Shiori waved to the remaining three bots. "We get them done, we'll be done ahead of schedule, and have enough time to watch the trailer." She pulled out the screen again, typed, and back to work on Ricky. "Just a little bit I suspect. These last ones don't seem too bad."

Meanwhile, Whisp's booted foot was beginning to tap a bit as she waited more than a little impatiently. The spiders on her feet whee'd in chitter style as they got a free ride.

After a short while, "Devin, I think you have our last repair today. How's he coming?"

"He's done." Devin informed as he let the spiderbot go it's own way.

"Good." She walked over, and patted him on the shoulder. "Thank you, and they thank you too." Cue a simultaneous chitter from the whole lot of them. "So! I believe a trailer was requested?"

And then Whisp was suddenly on her feet, scattering the spiderbots that had gathered on and around her. "Trailer now!" She also might have pulled out her Crescent Rose in excitement, totally ready to get in there and work on her stances right next to Ruby. She also still had several little spiders clinging onto her for dear life, and out of sheer determination not to give up their comfy seats.

"Are ya'll wanting simply huge screen, or attempt a direct action seat?" Shiori brushed herself off, and prepped the trailer.

"Direct action!" Whisp was quick to demand, totally ready to go. This was gonna be awesome!

"I'll be fine with either as long as I'm out of the way." Devin said with a yawn.

"For this to work, I need you to be in the center of the room, dressed like Whisp, and holding a pose that involves flowers, a bunny, and at least one fork between your teeth. Think you can handle that?" Shiori said as straight faced as she could muster.

Whisp, apparently not realizing how ridiculous that was, gaped at the teacher for a moment, before turning rather pleading eyes on Dev. 'Cause she really, really wanted it to work.

"She's lying." Devin stated plainly.

"That's rude!" the teen girl accused with a fair amount of certainty as she turned back to Shiori. She was pretty sure that counted as rude - she'd have to ask someone to be absolutely sure.

"It was a joke, supposed to lighten things is all, honest." She smirked at the reactions, though she shoulda known better. She typed up a few things, and in a few seconds, the park scenery was soon replaced with that of what was found in the trailer that Whisp requested. "Now, keep in mind, this is the system plotting out as best as it can what some characters are or are not doing quote-unquote off-screen, ok? So sometimes, it can look a little bizzare. Ready?"

"Ready!" an excited Whisp was quick to confirm, already seeming to have forgotten about the supposed rudeness.

"Go for it."

Shiori pushed a few holographic buttons, and out around Whisp and Devin played . Whisp was living the dream as she got to be right there with the action, the drama, everything as it played out. With the safety on, no worries about injuries, but she got to feel some of the heat from any explosions, the feel of the wind from the punches and kicks. Heck, if she dared to, Whisp could even take the position of her favorite character and act out the scenes as they play out. Truly, living the dream of every nerd and geek and enthusiast in the world.

"Again! Again! Again!" Whisp was quick to demand the second it was over, almost sounding like one of the magical girls she went to school with, and quite possibly in danger of bouncing a bit in excitement. In fact, it was hard to think of a time she'd ever looked quite so brilliantly excited. "Is there a way for me to be Ruby? I wanna be Ruby!" Of course, she'd also completely forgotten about that whole 'please' thing, but she rarely ever remembered that anyway.

Devin smirked at Shiori. "It will never end." He informed, before chuckling a bit.

"And I can accept that." She walked over to Whisp, and put a hand on her shoulder. "We could, and you could. Though I will say the process is still in the proto stages, and does have some clipping issues. Would need to have your guardian's consent though, considering that for it work you'd have to be in a swimsuit." Shiori gave a sage nod to that statement. "But it is pretty doable. Would also require a fair bit of rehearsal."

"I wanna be Ruby!" the teen girl reiterated, very much in danger of bouncing now. "Can I use my Crescent Rose? Can't I just wear my Ruby costume? I have a purple Ruby costume!" And a red one, but she liked the purple better, 'cause purple. She'd also rather conveniently ignored the guardian issue, seeing as she didn't technically have one.

"Well, you could, but with the tech at hand, you could wear HER outfit specifically. And no real weapons, sorry. I keep repairing this place, and I would like to prevent errant swings outright." Shiori has still been repairing random cracks here and there.

"I'll wear my Ruby costume!" Whisp determined; it was an impressively exact replica, after all, and she loved it (just where the Manor had gotten it from was a mystery never likely to be solved). "Can I really not use Crescent Rose? I promise I won't miss and hit stuff, I know all the moves, I've been practicing!"

"Hmm....Sorry but no, not at this time. I've seen you in class." She smirked. "As for your own costume, if you wish." To Devin "You want in on this, or are you happy to simply watch your girlfriend enjoy herself?"

"I'll watch." Devin said, before intentionally falling over to his side to lay down, deciding that he didn't need to make a defense at the girlfriend comment.

Whisp, meanwhile, seemed to hesitate on her way out the door to change, head canting a bit as questioning amethyst eyes sought him out. But she didn't say anything to correct Shiori, as she had so many others before her, and a moment later she'd disappeared out the door. Apparently, if Dev had decided she was his girlfriend, she was okay with that.

Once Whisp had left earshot Devin looked to Shiori. "I'm pretty sure I answered that right... Even if I didn't. I regret nothing." He stated before continuing to lay on his side, the very picture of a lazy house cat. "Yup... Nothing."

"Heh. I'm not the best person to ask an opinion on that, but I will say that you kinda need to admit it to her. Not here, and not now, but later on, in private, so that you two can enjoy the decision. I think she would anyways. You two are good for each other." Shiori leaned against a wall nearby Devin. "You're helping each other gain some empathy about someone else. Heck, it's even showing in our classes." She looked to Devin with that warm smile of hers. "Last few lessons, you've been rather pleasant about the arguments, and came up with a few ideas I rather liked in that they could have helped quite a few innocents indeed. Keep it up."

"We've kissed. Is that a good thing? I'm going to admit I don't know a lot about this, and the internet isn't the best source of help in this matter." Devin confessed.

Shiori decided to sit nearby instead, cross-legged. "Hm. Well, it depends on your relationship. Whisp kinda seems like the sort of person that likes confirmation and immediacy, to me. The kiss is a good start, but a bit of feeling searching could help." She crossed her arms, thinking. "As for the internet, take everything you read with a grain of salt. So much wrong in such matters." She looked over to him. "And kissing is a good move, my opinion. Just don't move too fast. All I can say." Leans in and whispers. "Though, heads up, yes plenty of people can be in a heavily physical relationship and be just fine, just as folks can be as chaste as ever and still be fine. Best thing to do is explore what you two prefer. Is it intellectual? Spiritual? Physical? Mixture? Simultaneous desire to burn all hipsters? That's the joy of new relationships, especially the first one. If she is your first one, that is."

"I don't understand a lot of what you just said. How does one... Feeling search?" Devin then asked, moving his eyes to look up at the teacher without moving his head from the arm he was using as a makeshift pillow.

Shiori took a good few moments to think up her response. She really was not all that experienced with this. "Near as I can figure, you talk. About what you want in the relationship, what you would like to have happen, maybe discuss personal dreams and such. Get a feel for one another on a level that isn't literally touchy-feely. And it would help if you think to yourself about the whole thing too. Kinda like plotting out a battle strategy, only you're tying to make the other person happy too, not aiming to have their women lamenting at your feet."

"What if I don't know?" Devin then asked. "I mean. I like making her happy. I just don't know what to think about how I feel. It's confusing."

"Hm." Shiori shifted her position, going from cross-legged to open-legged. Nanites or not, she was starting to cramp a little. "We have some time. If you feel comfotable enough about it, you can talk it out with me. Or, perhaps, someone else you trust. Your mom, Alexis, Eva maybe? Getting them out into the open with someone that could try to make sense of it would be helpful, I would imagine." She thinks for a moment. "In fact, I imagine having a steady feel of yourself would be the first step, THEN trying consolidate that with Whisp would be second. But like I said, first relationships are all about the whole exploration aspect."

"But experimentation could lead to failure, and I don't want to fail with this." Devin said as he shifted to lay on his back. "I remember back when I started feeling strangely around her. My heart rate would speed up, I'd be unnaturally nervous... I thought I was becoming ill." He let out a sigh. "And now... I don't know. I think we feel the same, especially after the kiss, but I don't want to jump to a conclusion."

Shiori listened, politely keeping silent till he finished. "I think, that is why you and she would talk. To prevent bad conclusions on both sides." She leaned back against the wall, looking up. "Relationships are one of the hardest things to get right, but when you do, I've heard they can be wonderful. I guess the best thing to do is watch for the right moment. Or something. And I agree, no rushing, but you don't want to waste it either." A moment of silence, before she gave out a wry laugh. "Hooo, I bet I'm not helping with things, am I? Sorry about that, Devin."

"It's fine. I'll figure out for sure. I feel as though I need to." Devin stated, shifting his gaze to the ceiling.

The teacher smiled to herself, reached over, and gave Devin a pat to the shoulder. "I am sure you will. It's a fun aspect of life, eh? Besides, if it works out, you two make a very cute couple. You temper her, and she bolsters you. I think it's a good one, if I may say so."

"I hope it does." Devin said before pausing. "... What about you?"

"What about me what?" Shiori gave Devin a very adorable head-tilt.

"Relationship." Devin clarified. "And don't joke about the 'date' with my mom."

"Oh...uh...." Well well, Devin had finally gotten Shiori completely stymied. It took her a good two minutes to snap out of it and answer. "Uh. First off, I wouldn't joke about that. I care about our personal relationship too much. As for me in a relationship, I, uh. I don't know. Kinda, maybe, not really, but at the same time no? It's complicated, weird, and frankly hard for me to fathom. As for me being in one before I was let loose into the world, nope. And my couple years of travel, I never stayed anywhere long enough to make the rapport that I have here. Hrm." She went back to that cross-armed, confused look of concentration from before.

"Kinda? Who is it?" Devin inquired, choosing not to poke fun at the confusion for reasons that may have stemmed from sympathy.

"That's the weird thing. I'm not sure who, and I really don't know how to explain it. Simply put." Shiori developed a look of deep thought. "That's really all I got on the matter. I really don't know otherwise."

"Very well. I won't pry." Devin stated.

And then Whisp was back, in full purple Ruby garb, and already wanting to know (again), "Are you reeeeeally sure I can't use my Crescent Rose? I never get to use her properly, it's not fair." She also may have been sulking a teensy bit, though it was largely overruled by her excitement of getting to be Ruby in the trailer.

"Hm? OH! Uh....hm." Shiori got up, brushed her butt off, and walked over and around Whisp. "Hmmm....mind if I make you a deal?"

The teen girl immediately looked suspicious. "What kind of a deal?" she wanted to know.

The sensei leaned down just enough to be eye-to-eye with Whisp. "Simple. You can use your weapon for real, and join in on the episode as such. But if you mis-swing and crack the floor or walls or whatever, you don't get to do so again, AND you pay more attention in class when it comes back to the weapons portion of things. Deal?" Shiori holds out a hand to the violet-eyed cosplayer.

Whisp seemed to give Shiori an examining look, as if trying to determine whether she should be worrying about loopholes and such; she had been raised by Instigators, after all. Finally, she seemed to reach some sort of conclusion, and sealed the deal with a shake. "Deal," she agreed, in all seriousness, before brightening up again with excitement as she pulled out her weapon, even holding it the same way as Ruby did. "Now can we get started?"

"Sure. Middle of the room, please." She waved her hand, and went to sit next to Devin again. "Lessee. Trailer re-loaded. Safety to nine, centralized movement. Aaaand begin!" If it mattered any, thanks to where Shiori sat, Devin just happened to get a good look as to what Shiori typed and how into the pad on her wrist.

And Whisp was off, her rather excessive past-viewings of the trailer and Ruby's movements showing more than a bit as she now mirrored her favourite character very-nearly-flawlessly, from every movement and facial expression, to every step of the fight. In fact, the only flaw seemed to be an occasional, tiiiiny bit of lag on her part, as she got to properly put her weapon through its paces for the first time; slicing through a beowolf with the recoil of a rifle shot was a bit hard to practice without an actual beowolf, after all. And she definitely, definitely didn't break anything.

Meanwhile Devin was shifting his focus between studying the interface to the training room and watching Whisp.

Also unlike the trailer, Whisp may have ended up laughing in sheer delight as she fought, ricocheting from target to target, allowing the recoil from her rifle to propel her to new speeds. In fact, she was actually managing to reproduce Ruby's speed, though she (as usual) had yet to notice. And then, all too soon, it was over, and the teen girl was landing in the appropriate Ruby pose, positively beaming and looking decidedly pleased with herself.

Shiori stood up, clapping. "Well done! Well done indeed! Nice use of the natural speed of yours to replicate Ruby's, though your swing-work could use a little fine tuning. Maybe a few practices after school? Could become quite the master with that!" Shiori strode over as the imagery around them began to dissolve. "And I'm surprised that the bullets were as loud as they were. They almost sounded....." She paused, looked around, and ended her sentence with a bemused smirk. "....Real."

Whisp looked confused for a moment, not catching up to Shiori's point until she noticed the bullet holes for herself, peppering the walls and floor, and there may have been a couple in the ceiling, as well. "...Oops," came her rather sheepish reply; she honestly hadn't thought of that.

Devin shrugged. "Would've happened sooner or later anyway. Really nice work Whisp, you looked just like the real thing." He complimented, sitting up.

Whisp positively beamed at him, her whole face seeming to light up at the compliment; she didn't remember to say thank you, but her face rather did it for her. And just like that, the bullet holes were forgotten. For her, anyway.

"Yes, you did wonderful with the choreography. Buuut you did kinda break the walls. Dare I say, cracked them?" Shiori gave a rather devious grin to the magical girl. "But you didn't do it with the scythe, so I figure we can make a bargain about our deal, hm?"

"You never said anything about bullet holes," Whisp was quick to point out, attention returning once more to the teacher.

"Indeed I didn't. But they are a safety hazard, especially in an environment that could have an audience. Thus the bargain." She hrms. "Tell ya what. My side is that you can't use a loaded gun in here again, unless it's an emergency, and I get to check them just in case. What is your side of this?"

It was a fair point, Whisp wasn't about to argue that. But there was a problem. "How'm I gonna get the recoil boost without bullets?" It was a pretty integral part of the fighting style, after all.

"Well, remember the hardlight aspect? I could make it so you wear a hardlight version of what I got, lower the safety just a smidge for that one part, and boom. Recoil. Heck, with holobullets that hurt fake enemies and not real beings." The teacher typed on her wrist, and a replica of the rifle-scythe hovered before Whisp. "But I am still willing to help you with the actual training aspect of the weapon, just not in such a fragile environment. It could be key to you fully activating your abilities."

Whisp snorted a bit at that last part, though she was looking plenty excited about the rest. "I don't have abilities," she corrected. "I have magic, for spellcasting and stuff. And necromancy." Y'know, because she wasn't a magical girl like the others.

"You're kidding, right? You activated a near teleportation-level super speed through the show." She tapped the wall with a hand. "I had it set to centralized moment, not forced perspective. You kept up with the action yourself."

The teen girl blinked, out of surprise or confusion or disbelief or whatever. Then she blinked some more. Finally, after a good bit of blinking, Whisp opened her mouth to speak, closed it, opened it again, and (at long last) managed to get something out. "What?" she sounded a bit dumbfounded. And more than a little skeptical. That was totally not a thing she could do.

"It's true. Devin, you saw, and you have a good idea how the system works. Tell her." Shiori waved from boyfriend to girlfriend.

"It's true. You were doing all the movements on your own." Devin said, not bothering to go into technical terms.

Now Whisp was frowning. As a general rule (albeit one she was largely unaware of having), she believed everything Dev said implicitly. But she wasn't a magical girl - she was a sorceress outside of her original universe. And sorceresses didn't get superspeed without using some kinda spell. "But..." the teen struggled to find a way to reconcile the two sides of the issue, and wasn't having much luck. If Dev said she was using Ruby-speed, she was using Ruby-speed. But she also couldn't be using Ruby-speed. "But I'm not a magical girl. Magic doesn't work like that." The whole thing had her looking uncharacteristically confused and unsure of herself.

"Like magic has rules." Devin reasoned with a shrug.

"It does, though," Whisp argued, with the faintest hint of desperation; this was a pretty key aspect of who and what she was, after all. "Or at least, my kind does. You don't just accidentally cast spells, you have to do it on purpose, usually with some kinda incantation. You have to learn a spell to be able to use it, and it can take a lot of work and practice, you definitely can't do it by accident and without realizing!"

"Then by that logic, it's simple. It wasn't a spell, but an aspect about yourself that you had yet to realize, and had unlocked either recently or were slowly doing so over time that finally fully manifested." Shiori held up a finger to emphasize the exo-speak.

"Maybe the Manor enchanted your outfit?" Devin guessed with another shrug.

"But... But that's not how being a sorceress works!" Whisp continued to argue; the universe's rules weren't supposed to suddenly change on her like that, she didn't like it! "And I'd know if it was enchanted, I'd be able to sense the lingering magic, and there isn't any!"

"I did just say it could be a physical aspect of yourself. Kinda like how I can do this without magic." And suddenly, Devin was standing on Shiori's hand, aloft in the air, and no strain on her face at all. For the record, Devin continued to look as though he hadn't been picked up at all, normal expression on his face and all, even as his back flexed back to a degree that'd be impossible for most humans (but not most cats).

"Yeah... Like that." Devin stated, refusing to put forth even the slightest effort to straighten out his back.

"But that's-- How--" Whisp tried to argue some more, only to find she didn't really have any further arguments and finally resort to turning a decidedly pleading look at Dev, as though expecting him to somehow reinstate the universe's proper rules for her. Shiori, meanwhile, set him back on the ground.

Devin laid motionless on the ground for a moment before sitting up to sit cross legged. "Look on the bright side, you're more like Ruby than you thought."

Whisp frowned some more, clearly trying to decide whether this was sufficient reason to feel better about the matter, before ultimately deciding that yeah, it kinda was. "Okay," she consented, still looking a little unnerved by the sudden changing of the rules, but otherwise alright. "You should try out Blake's trailer next." Because clearly, Dev was Blake in her Team RWBY (and Kawa-chan was Yang, and Ya-chan Weiss).

"I refuse. It's bad enough you make me wear that gender-swapped version of her outfit." Devin stated, adamant in his decision.

Shiori kept out of this one, and simply leaned against a wall to watch. And ready to moderate if she needed to.

The decidedly obstinate teen opened her mouth to argue, only to end up surprising everyone (including herself) when she closed it again, looking suddenly thoughtful, before conceding, "Okay." He did wear the outfit for patrolling, after all, which was pretty awesome of him. "What do you wanna do, then?"

Devin paused for a moment when Whisp conceded so easily. "I'm happy to just watch."

Whisp seemed thoughtful again for a moment, as though fastidiously working through something in her mind, before asking, "Any preferences?"

They didn't have to watch RWBY stuff, after all. And even if they did, he might rather a specific scene or something.

Devin took a bit to think. "Well. My obligations to Shiori are done for the evening... Do you want to go someplace to eat?"

And now it was Whisp's turn to pause in consideration, before eventually nodding her head, looking a bit mystified by how the entire conversation was turning out (but not at all regretting it). "Okay," she agreed.

"Alright. Shiori, we're going to leave now." Devin stated, turning to the teacher.

"Ya'll have a fun night. There's a good Italian place on the main restaurant area ya'll might like, if you two are aiming for anything big." Shiori snapped her fingers, and a contingent of spiders came out and started fixing the walls.

"Maybe. Might just go to a pizza place, and get some ice cream before going home." Devin said before turning to Whisp. "What do you think?"

"Pizza and ice cream!" Whisp was quick to decide, given those were two of her favourite things. She was looking especially happy about this new turn of events, even if she didn't understand how it had come about. She had also somehow ended up with Dev's hand again, but that was pretty normal.

---

Later that night...

"Dev?" Whisp called from her apparent-boyfriend's bed, having trouble getting to sleep once again.

"Yes, Whisp?" Devin answered from his computer, turning to look at her.

"Do you think the Instigators did something to me, to make me faster?" the teen girl asked, actually sounding a bit unsettled by the notion. She'd always suspected they had something to do with her looking so much like Miho, but it had never occurred to her that they might have done other things, as well - and she didn't like the idea, now that it had.

"It's unlikely. They wouldn't have the means to do anything like that. It could be just a result of you not being from this world. Something that you can do here, but not there." Devin reasoned.

"You think so?" she asked, something about her tone almost sounding... vulnerable, for once.

Devin stood from his chair to walk over and sit next to her, pulling her into a hug. "I know so." He said, though he didn't. But if it made her feel better, then lying would be worth it.

Whisp was quiet for a moment, enjoying the comfort of his arms around her, while the more logical part of her brain tried to argue that he couldn't possible know, only to be shushed by the part that didn't need any better argument than Dev said so. "Okay," she finally agreed, pushing the worry away. "Can we sleep now?" Because she always slept better with Dev, and he really did make an excellent pillow.

"Yeah, let's go to sleep." Devin said, stroking her hair a few times before laying down with her.

Smiling a little, and definitely looking like she was feeling better, Whisp promptly claimed him to serve as her pillow/teddy bear, made herself comfortable, and began to drift off to sleep.

"Goodnight, Whisp." Devin said, doing what he could to keep her comfortable.

---

Summary:

- Devin is helping Shiri fix her spiderbots, because he has to.
- But Whisp is there, and using Devin's lap as a pillow while he works.
- She's not distracting.
- The spiderbots seem to like Whisp, who get's a little bored and wants to watch RWBY.
- Shiori records it into the training room, and when Devin finishes his work, Whisp gets to act as Ruby in the Red trailer, but can't use her Crescent Rose.
- But first she needs to get changed.
- While Whisp is off getting changed Devin asks Shiori about feelings and stuff.
- Devin tries to inquire about Shiori's relationship status, but doesn't get a proper answer.
- The conversation ends and Whisp returns in her Ruby cosplay.
- Shiori and Whisp make a deal, allowing Whisp to use her Crescent Rose.
- Whisp performs the trailer with startling accuracy, unfortunately leaving bulletholes everywhere but in her viewers.
- Devin tries to pay attention, but tech is distracting.
- Shiori mentions Whisp's apparent super speed, which troubles Whisp.
- Devin and Shiori try to explain theories and manage to come to an answer that satisfies Whisp for the time being.
- Whisp and Devin decide to go out together for pizza and ice cream.
- Later that night Whisp asks Devin if he thinks that her speed has something to do with the Instigators.
- He answers with a theory of his, and lies to help her feel better.
http://overkillgi.deviantart.com/art/Al ... illgi&qo=1
"I heard you like bullets. So i put some bullets, in my bullets, so I can shoot'cha... While I shoot'cha!"
<<

Skorpynekomimi

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Posts: 96

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:06 pm

Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:11 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

Awooo~
Location: Various.
Timestamp: Various.
Authors: Skorpy, O-ring, Elle.
Characters: Rekko, Alexis, Devin, Whisp, Johnathan, Kawa-chan and Yakashima.



---

Rekko looked up from his Gundam kit as Alexis walked in, smiling. "Awoo!"

"Awoo!" Alexis called back cheerfully, setting down her pack in it's usual spot by the door. "How was your day?"

Rekko stood up and stepped over to kiss her. "Uneventful, luckily. No serious injuries, nobody died, I got to pet a stray dog, and we stopped for donuts on the way back." He reached up to pet one of Alexis' ears. "<Also, the bento you made for lunch was delicious.>"

"<I'm glad you liked it! I didn't even get Eva's help this time!>" Alexis stated proudly, moving her head to press against his hand as she wrapped him in a .

"<Ah, I thought it tasted different today. Less sparkly.>" Rekko grinned, stepping away from Alexis and pointing to a box behind her. "I brought donuts back for you, too. I know how much you like sugary treats."

"Really!? Wait. <What are you gonna ask me to do?>" Alexis said suspiciously, as she looked into his eyes.

Rekko chuckled. "<Well, I DID make a stop to get you a new costume...>"

"<Is it made out of rope?>" Alexis teased with a smirk.

"<Not quite.>" Rekko winked at her, picking up a small wrapped package from the desk and handing it to her. "<Here.>"

"<Not quite, huh? I don't know if I like the sound of that.>" The wolfgirl said as she accepted the package, taking a seat on the couch to open it.

Inside the package was a leather collar, padded on the inside, and with a nametag reading 'Lexi' clipped to a ring on it. Rekko smiled nervously. "<You don't have to wear it if you don't want to. I figured it'd be nice to get you a necklace, buy you don't seem to like that sort of thing much and you're so active it might get broken, and...>" He trailed off, blushing slightly.

Alexis looked to the collar and smiled with red cheeks. "I love it." She said as she took the collar from the box and put it on. "Thank you." She stood and gave Rekko a hug before bringing her lips to his.

Rekko returned the kiss gratefully. "<I thought the nametag might be going a bit far.>"

"<It's cute, and if anyone makes fun of it I can use that as an excuse to break their nose.>" Alexis said taking a step back to show it off. "<Does it look good on me?>" She asked, giving him a little pose.

"<Totally.>" Rekko grinned. "<Downright adorable.>"

Alexis smiled happily. "<Though I feel kinda bad that I didn't get anything for you.>"

"<You came back to me on your feet, without anything missing, and I didn't have to go pick you up. That's thanks enough.>" Rekko replied, smiling.

"Awww. <That's so corny.>" Alexis said, her tone suggesting that she was charmed regardless. "<Now I HAVE to do something for you!>" She said with a smile of flattered joy. "<Anything you want, just name it.>"

"<Well, you can stay and watch this anime with me?>" Rekko suggested. "<It's about magical girls with animal ears who are fighter planes.>"

"<Okay!>" Alexis agreed. "<I'll get the couch blanket and we can snuggle while we watch.>"

Rekko grinned, settling on the couch and setting up his projector to point at the wall in front. "<Sounds like a plan to me.>"

"<I'm just gonna shower and change first.>" Alexis said, having just got home. "<Having our own bathroom is awesome.>" She said as she grabbed pyjamas and went into the bathroom. A short time later the shower could be heard.

"<It totally is.>"

---

After a good twenty minutes Alexis exited the bathroom, dressed in her light blue pyjamas. "<I needed that.>" She said before going into the bedroom and getting a blanket that was just big enough to cover them both if they stayed close. She walked over to Rekko, handing him the blanket before sitting next to him and snuggling under his arm. "<Ready.>"

Rekko wrapped his arm around Alexis, stroking her ears gently as he pushed play before handing her a bowl of beef jerky.

Alexis nuzzled into him and relaxed, taking a strip of beef jerk to idly eat as they watched the show.

A few episodes later, Rekko had dozed off, legs propped on the coffee table in front of him with Alexis asleep under his arm, using his chest as a pillow.

Rekko awoke with a start, looking around rapidly before relaxing again. "<Oh, right.>" He smiled, stroking Alexis' hair. "<Damn, guess we skipped the rest of the series there.>"

Rekko's sudden movement had Alexis jolt awake, sitting up for a moment before realizing where she was and relaxing again. "Mhmm." She mused before yawning.

"Sorry about that." Rekko patted her gently. "At least it was a good nap." He stretched, shoulders popping. "Oof. Mostly. Next time, we're doing this on the bed."

"'S fine." Alexis said sitting up to lean back against the couch. "What time is it?" She asked groggily.

Rekko pulled out his phone, squinting at it. "Oh. Elevenish." He showed the display to Alexis. "Looks like we're staying up a while, then."

"Oh? What do you have in mind?" The wolfgirl asked.

Rekko handed her a controller. "Game night."

Alexis stretched before sitting up and accepting the controller. "Sounds fun." She said with a smile.

Rekko grinned, taking up one of his own and poking at the remote to call up the entry screen for a game. "I've been practising, so watch out~"

"Oh, you are so totally on!" Alexis said with a grin.

---

Rekko jumped up, controller raised in triumph. "YATTA! I win! FINALLY."

"Congratulations!" Alexis cheered, clapping her hands for him. "Wanna try for two of eight?" She asked, holding up her controller.

Rekko grinned down at her. "Hey, I'm improving. Some of those defeats were really close!"

"Oh, there's no doubt your improving." Alexis said, grinning back. "Plus seeing you so determined is kinda attractive." She teased.

Rekko yawned, settling back down next to her. "Glad you like it. However, I'm getting tired, which means I'm losing my edge. Come to bed?"

"Sure." Alexis said, getting up to turn off the console. "It's really late anyway." She stretched before walking into the bedroom to sprawl herself across the bed.

Rekko settled down next to her, tugging the covers over them. "Sleep well, puppy."

"You too, honey." Alexis said, snuggling into her spot before closing her eyes.

---

Is that her? Can't see the eyes or the hair. Better check. "Awoo~" Rekko called out to the maybe-Alexis across the room.

Alexis' ears perked at Rekko's call before she returned it with an "Awoo~" of her own.

Rekko grinned, heading over to her. "How are you today, my little wan-wan?" He asked, ruffling her ears.

"What's a wan-wan? And I'm doing alright." Alexis asked, then responded with a smile. "How are you?"

"You're a wan-wan." Rekko explained, as if that made sense. "I'm good. Hungry, though; it's been hours since lunch. Whole hours, and I had to walk all the way down a tower block to find the idiot who fell down the lift shaft."

"How am I a wan-wan, and do you want to go to dinner somewhere?" Alexis asked, an ear tilting to the side in the usual curious manner.

Rekko grinned, showing her a short on his phone. "That's how. And sure; there's a nice italian place your mother recommended. Big portions, and I could go for some pasta."

"Oh my god that's amazing, and yes." Alexis said, her tail wagging not only becasue the video was cute and funny, but also food.

Rekko smiled, offering his arm. "So, let's take a car and go!"

"Right on!" Alexis said, taking her boyfriends arm before walking to the garage with him.

Rekko opened the door of a small sports car for Alexis, before climbing in the driver's side himself. "These are far more convenient than those big SUVs."

"But they aren't nearly as armoured. I'm a princess after all, and princesses need to be protected." Alexis said with a grin. "Luckily I have my fair knight by my side."

Rekko chuckled as he started the engine. "Speed is protection enough. Buckle up; all those arcade games have to have been rubbing off."

Alexis smiled as she buckled up. "So mom suggested this place?"

Rekko nodded. "She mentioned it a while back when I asked her about the sort of food you liked, other than burgers and steak. I figure it's worth a shot, since they're meta-friendly. That's really the most important thing, these days. I don't want to have to disrupt your meal to punch someone in defense of your honour before you shoot them."

"I've actually been practicing with the whole punching thing. I think people expect it from me after being a feminist icon for a bit." Alexis said before pausing. "I still don't know how that happened."

"Well, you're a girl, you kick ass, and you're still girly despite that." Rekko explained. "Girls want role models, after all. And you're better than those social justice types." He pulled out of the garage carefully, picking his way around vehicles and mechanics.

"I guess. I just feel like it's not my slice of pie." Alexis said with a shrug.

"Well, just keep being awesome anyway." Rekko leaned over to kiss her as he stopped at the top of the ramp.

"Like I could ever not be awesome." Alexis said with a grin, kissing him back.

"Truly a curse." Rekko grinned, before flooring it into traffic.

"It totally is!" Alexis agreed.

A short ride later, Rekko pulled up in front of the restaurant, diagonally up over the kerb in true Largoist fashion. "Lexi, can you get the parking meter for me? Cataclysm loophole means free parking if it's destroyed."

Alexis grabbed a baseball bat from the back seat before rolling down the window, leaning out and bashing over the parking meter, sending coins flying out into the parking lot. "Got it!"

"Atta girl." Rekko grinned as he climbed out, stepping around to open the door for Alexis. "Now, pasta awaits."

Alexis smiled as she put the bat back into the back seat and climbed out. "Let's not keep it waiting too long." She retorted.

Rekko took her arm to walk inside, not bothering to lock the car; nobody in Tokyo was stupid enough to try and hotwire a Largoist vehicle. At least, not more than once. As he stepped inside, Rekko nodded to the waiter at the door. "<Table for two, please. Somewhere quiet.>"

The waiter smiled and nodded, before leading the couple to a quiet table in the corner, amongst various other kemonomimi patrons. "<Am I right in assuming you want to be seated in the non-racist section?>" The waiter nodded to another section, which was exclusively human and pretending the rest of the restaurant didn't exist. "<The pro-human lobby objected to our serving metahumans in the open, so we responded by segregating them from our valued customers in the metahuman community.>"

"Dude... Dude! I wanna fuck up their day!" Alexis said, the familiar glint of trouble in her eyes. "<Seat us with the bigots and tell them to keep their flabbers shut if they know what's good for them.>" She said, tapping her fingertips together before cackling evilly. "Yess. Their discontent shall serve to aid in sustaining me! Muahahaha!"

Rekko rolled his eyes. "<Actually, I'd rather just have a quiet meal with my girlfriend. You can cause trouble when I'm not hungry.>"

"<But, but. I'm a feminist icon who don't take shit from no one.>" Alexis responded, her eyes sparkling at Rekko as she decided if this wasn't enough she'd go with him, but come back later to ruin days.

"<Food first, trouble later.>" Rekko advised. "<Besides; they have their own dedicated air conditioning so they don't have to smell us, and I found a tear gas grenade in the car's cupholder.>"

"<No, the resturaunt would get in trouble for that. I want them to know 'Alexis did that'.>" The wolfgirl said before consenting. "<But alright, we'll do food, then I'll come back at a later date to ruin days.>"

"<We can exit through their section, and you can punch anyone who says anything. Deal?>"

"<That'll do for tonight.>" She agreed with a smile, she really did love messing with people.

Rekko pulled Alexis' seat out, ushering her into it. "<Just make sure to punch them good and hard. It wouldn't do for a feminist icon to need help from her boyfriend to lay the smack on some bigots.>"

"<I'll let them throw the first hit. Most of these biggot types hit like toddlers anyway.>" Alexis said as she took her seat.

Rekko took his own seat before ordering drinks and handing the menu to Alexis.

Who accepted it to look over. "<You should order first. Mine will take a lot of writing.>"

Rekko nodded. "<Alright. In that case, I'll have the spaghetti with meatballs. Lexi, are you ordering the entire menu, or only half of it this time?>" He asked with a smirk.

"<Whole thing. I wanna figure out what I like the most in this outting.>" Alexis responded, handing in her menu with a smile before grinning to Rekko.

The waiter gave them a 'you can't be serious' look, before sighing and heading off to put the order through. Rekko snickered, reaching over to pet Alexis' ears. "<Well, at least you're giving the chef a workout.>"

"<I just hope he doesn't hate me for it.>" Alexis said with a smile.

"<Only if you send things back, or leave things. But I don't think that'll be a problem; This place has a good reputation, and I'm sure word of your appetite has spread.>"

"<As long as I don't get banned from those massive plate challenges I don't care who knows.>"

Rekko chuckled. "<Take on enough and you will be.>" He looked up as the drinks arrived, accepting his beer and sipping at it. "<Mm.>"

"<But, it's like, free food!>" Alexis protested before chugging about a litre of Mountain Dew.

"<The FGTL pays for all your food anyway, since they sort of caused the appetite thing.>" Rekko pointed out. "<You just like gorging yourself on meat.>"

"Shhhh." Alexis hushed as though it were a secret.

---

"<I still can't believe you ordered the entire dessert menu as well.>" Rekko commented as he buckled himself into the car.

"<I. Had to.>" Alexis said, enjoying the tastes of the various deserts she had consumed.

"<At least we'll be welcome back there, the amount we ended up charging to your food budget.>"

"<We tipped pretty well too.>" Alexis added.

"<Well, they were moving a LOT of plates for us.>"

"<I always feel bad about that.>"

"<It IS their job.>" Rekko pointed out. "<It's not like they do it for free. Besides, the chef didn't seem to mind after he came out to investigate. I think he liked having someone who enjoys their food.>"

"<I'mean sure a lot of people enjoy it. Just maybe not as much as me.>" Alexis said, her pointer finger raised knowingly.

Rekko nodded. "<Naturally. I have to wonder where all the mass goes, though.>"

---

"Awoo!~" Yakashima called, trotting over to hug Johnathan.

"Greetings, Yakashima." Johnathan stated as he was hugged.

"What, you're not gonna awoo back?" The magical girl asked, looking up at him curiously.

"Why would I do that?" Johnathan then asked.

"Because you're a wolf. and that's what wolves DO." Yakashima insisted. "If someone awoos at you, you've gotta awoo back! It's, like, the rules."

"Awoo!" Exclaimed Kawasaki as she glomped Johnathan from the other side.

"Awoo." Johnathan replied, pitifully monotoned.

"It's a start." Yakashima conceded.

"Awoo~" Kawasaki replied delightedly, giggling.

"Awoo." Johnathan repeated.

"Awoo!" Kawasaki replied again.

"Awoo?" Johnathan questioned.

"Awoo!" Kawasaki insisted, releasing him and stepping back to place her hands on her hips.

"I don't understand." Johnathan explained.

"Oh, she's just stuck in a loop." Yakashima sighed, palm firmly wedged against her forehead. "Kawa-chan, look!" She pointed behind her friend. "There's Cathal! Go bug him!"

"Ooh!" Kawasaki turned and scampered off, ducking through the crowd of students arriving at school. A short while later there was a thump and a yell of surprise.

"She appears to be doing well." Johnathan observed.

Yakashima nodded. "Yeah. I think we have sugary breakfast cereal to blame for that. She'll probably calm down later when it starts to wear off."

"And how are you?" Johnathan then asked in an attempt to start small talk.

Yakashima yawned. "Tired. I was up late patrolling, and had to finish my Geography homework. How are you doing?"

"I am uninjured, therefore I am well." Johnathan answered.

Yakashima nodded. "Fair enough."

The slightly awkward silence was then interrupted by Kawasaki returning, hauling Cathal along by the hand. "<And that's how Saitou-kun got back together with Kaname-chan. And that's totally awesome because they're totally long-lost childhood friends and that's totally romantic. And they're totally gonna get together and have lots of babies and hey Ya-chan, hey John-kun~>" Kawasaki paused for a moment to hug her friend, and pet Johnathan's ears. "<I found Cathal-kun!>"

Cathal nodded, eyes slightly glazed over from all the babbling. "Hi."

"<Hello again, Kawasaki.>" Johnathan re-greeted, before looking to Cathal. "Greetings, Cathal."

Cathal nodded, his eyes starting to focus again. "<Good morning, Johnathan-chan. How are you today?>" He asked, only slightly hesitantly.

"<Hello. I am uninjured, therefore well.>" Johnathan replied with the overwhelming optimism that he was known for, which is to say none at all.

"<That is good to hear.>" Cathal replied, before pausing to translate what had actually been said. "Oh, okay. Hey, Yakashima."

"Mornin' laddie." Yakashima replied. "Are you doing well? Kawasaki hasn't injured you yet?"

Cathal shrugged. "As your boyfriend says, 'I am uninjured, therefore well.' " He quoted, managing a reasonable impression of Johnathan and causing Kawasaki to giggle.

"You know, you really shouldn't make fun of people like that, especially to their face. Didn't Raven-sempai hit you for that a while ago?" Yakashima pointed out.

Cathal grinned. "Ye cannae stop comedy, lassie. Ye've nae right tae!" He replied, with a decent approximation of Lucius' mangling of English.

Kawasaki giggled, clapping enthusiastically. "Do Devin next!"

Cathal rolled his eyes, before settling on a serious face. "Why am I in a high school? I have five degrees in this subject alone. I build robots." He yawned in fake boredom. "And did I mention that I build robots? Because I build robots. And don't touch the ears."

Kawasaki giggled, hopping from foot to foot as Cathal used his fingers to mime a set of cat ears assuming various bemused expressions.

Behind Cathal, Devin clapped slowly. "Spot on, perhaps I should do you now?" He said, before taking on a neanderthalic expression. <ME, Cathal!>" He decalred in a exaggeratedly caveman-esque voice as he patted his own chest, his tail curving into the shape of a question mark. "<Me, BIIIG secret.>" He exclaimed, outlining a large spherical object with his hands "<ME MIS-SING link, 'tween. MAN, and monkey!>" He continued, moving to balance on one hand while scratching his own armpit with the other. "<All PRE-TTY girl make small brain go beeeeeeep.>" Was his conclusion, gesturing his brains coming out of the side of his head.

Cathal turned to look at Devin, murder in his eyes. He stepped forwards, starting to bring a fist up as Kawasaki glomped him; knocking him away from Devin.

"Violence is NOT the response to mockery!" The magical girl pointed out to him, prodding him in the chest with a fingertip.

"'s not what Raven-chan thinks..." Cathal commented, still glaring at Devin. "And at least I'm not completely oblivious to girls like kitty ears over there."

"Did I mention I make robots?" Devin quipped, moving to stand up with a grin and place a hand on his chest flamboyantly. "Because I make robots. You know. Robotic ones? With the parts and such." He continued, changing his voice to that of a stereotypical nerd before adjusting imaginary glasses and mocking himself to a degree to display that it was all in good fun. Taking a moment before letting out a sigh. "Well. That didn't go as planned." He said, returning to his usual demeanor. "Come on." He said in a flat tone, gesturing for Cathal to approach him. "Based on my studies, a punch is usually the fastest way to settle a dispute. I don't want to deal with any grudges, so my only request is that you hit above the belt." The look in his eyes suggesting complete seriousness.

Cathal gave him a Look. "One, the phrase is 'come at me, bro'. And second, you ain't worth it, bruv."

"Seemed like I was worth it a few seconds ago, but whatever." Devin stated placing his hands in his pockets. "The offer will stand for the next three hours..." He offered whist thinking to himself. "Being social isn't as simple as I initially theorized... Wait, what am I even doing? Why do I care if people like me?" He paused as he pondered that thought for a moment. "Yeah, forget it. I'm gonna go do something productive with my life." He said before turning to head to the parking lot. "Been putting a lot of projects on hold for this 'school' farce and I think I've had it. Have fun."

Yakashima looked up to Johnathan. "<Aren't you going to stop him?>"

"Devin, you know you need to attend." Johnathan stated.

"Why do I need to attend when I'm intellectually superior to most of the teachers? I come to school, ignore the teachers prattling on about subjects I already know, and sketch blueprints. I'm not seeing any benefit from this arrangement."

"It is to help you integrate into society." Johnathan explained.

"Why is that important again?" Devin asked, stopping to face the group.

Kawasaki thought briefly, her face screwing up in concentration, before raising her hand. "<If you're nice to people, they do things for you?>"

"<I can have people do things for me with money.>" Devin replied flatly.

"<But things done for money aren't as good as things done because someone cares!>" Kawasaki pointed out. "<Store-bought cookies will never be as good as those made with love and affection!>"

"<You should stay because of Whisp.>" Yakashima commented. "<She NEEDS education, and she doesn't go anywhere without you.>" She paused, looking around. "<Speaking of which, where IS Whisp today?>"

"<I actually don't know.>" Devin responded with a shrug. "<She said she had something she had to do then ran off somewhere.>"

Of course, it was at that moment that the darker teen rather suddenly seemed to appear in their midst, carrying a plate stacked high with chocolate chip pancakes which she was clearly determined to make disappear via eating it.

"<Morning,>" Whisp greeted around a mouthful.

Yakashima waved to Whisp, smiling brightly. "Ohayo, Whisp-chan~"

"Hello." Devin stated as he internally wished he could leave without consequence.

"<Greetings, Whisp.>" Johnathan said in a flat tone.

"<Morning,>" Whisp repeated, apparently totally okay with the potential of creating a conversation loop, while offering Devin a forkful of pancakes almost out of habit.

"I'm fine." Devin said, holding up a hand.

"Awoo!" Kawasaki chimed in, giggling.

"Hiss." Devin replied sarcastically.

"<Evil cackling,>" Whisp joined in.

Yakashima gave a long-suffering sigh.

"Bah weep granagh weep nini bom?" Kawasaki ventured.

---

"Awoo~" Rekko called before hanging up, sighing softly.

"Aw, shut up. You have a hot girlfriend who cooks your lunches, got promoted to officer for the big fancy quarters, AND she's the boss' daughter. Sorta, anyway."

"Yah! Now, is lunchbreak, let us actually eat lunch, yes?"

Rekko rolled his eyes, and handed out bentos from the big bag Alexis had packed him. "I'm not complaining." He explained as he dug into his own. "I'm just not sure I should keep lying to her about the whole overestimating my appetite thing."

"Don't. You. Dare. Is good system! She make lunches, you eat lunches, we eat lunches, patients eat lunches, even random magical girls eat lunches. Everybody happy!"

"Except him."

"Da. Except you."

"Yeah. And this is damn good sushi, too. Where'd she learn this?"

"I kinda taught her some of it?" Rekko chuckled sheepishly. "The rest is cookbooks and TV chefs."

"You can make sushi? You should have told us! We could've been eating like this for years!"

"No, because I still wouldn't make food for you people. I'm only sharing the bentos with you because I don't want to hurt Lexi's feelings by not eating the lunches she makes."

"But when you eat it all, she makes more. Bag gets bigger, we have to find people who need food"

"Maybe I SHOULD talk to her?"

"Or stop finishing all the food?"

"But..." Rekko protested. "That would be impolite!"

"You japanese are too polite. That's your problem."

"And you Americans are all rude and pushy. Especially for a co-pilot."

Ivan snickered. "Da! Is why you lose cold war. Everyone too rude to work together, elect fascists by accident."

---

Rekko slipped into the apartment, looking around. "Lexi? You here? Awoo?"

"In here!" Called Alexis from the bedroom.

Rekko headed towards the bedroom in question. "So, how are you, my little wan-wan?"

"Been good. How was lunch?" Alexis asked as she snuck over to hide beside the door before he entered.

"It was delicious, but there was a bit much of it..." Rekko replied as he stepped through the door, looking around. "I've just walked into an ambush, haven't I?"

At that moment Alexis pounced on him from behind, though not enough to actually knock him over. "Awooo~" She called out before resting her chin on his shoulder. "So you finally admit to sharin' your lunches with your friends?"

Rekko staggered as he was attacked. "Y-yeah... It was just the crew at first, but I had to start giving them away to people we picked up, and magical girls we encountered on patrols..." He trailed off, sighing and reaching up to pet Alexis' ears gently. "I didn't want to hurt your feelings, or let any of it go to waste by not being eaten."

Alexis' tail swayed as Rekko pet her ears. "You're too sweet." She said before kissing his cheek. "Thanks for caring so much." She moved in front of him and guided him over to the bed. "How was work, today?"

Rekko allowed himself to be guided, chuckling softly. "It was quiet, which can only be a good thing. Only a few self-inflicted injuries, nothing major, and only Largoists."

"That's good. Now strip down to your underwear and lay facedown on the bed. I wanna try something I looked up today." Alexis said as they reached the bed.

Rekko raised an eyebrow. "Don't tell me you've been hanging around with that Katrina again..."

"Though I have, this has nothing to do with that, just do it." Alexis said before going into the closet. "I'm gonna change, and you'd better be in bed before I finish."

"I'm going to regret this, aren't I?" Rekko asked as he complied with her.

"That depends." Alexis teased, exiting the closet wearing a white, partially translucient nightgown a few minutes later. "What do you think?"

Rekko looked over his shoulder and grinned, giving her a thumbs-up. "I like it!"

"I thought you would." Alexis said with a grin of her own ask she moved to crawl on the bed and straddle his back. "Now, this is the part I'm not so sure of." She admitted as she ran her hands up his back to begin giving him an (admittedly amaturish) back massage.

Rekko groaned softly, shifting on the bed. "Mm, a little to the left, and you'd be perfect..."

Alexis nodded before complying. "Soo, do you regret this?" She asked, pausing to light a few scented candles on the nightstand before continuing.

"Not at all~" Rekko replied, giving a happy sigh as he relaxed. "Feels great after being cramped all day."

"Good. I read that occasional happy surprises can keep a relationship healthy, and that this is a good way to help your partner relieve stress." Alexis informed. "Though the gown was my idea."

"It's a [u]good[/i] idea." Rekko commented, closing his eyes. "If I'm still awake after this, want me to do you?" He paused, giving a sigh. "A backrub, I mean. Damn language."

"Sounds nice, and one thing could lead to another." Alexis said with a grin, feeling proud of herself that her surprise went over so well.

---

Summary:
Rekko and Alexis have taken to greeting each other with 'awoo'.
DOUGHNUTS.
Also, Rekko got Lexi a collar.
Anime time. Strike witches, because bitches love strike witches.
Or not, because they sort of dozed off partway through.
Gaming instead?
Gaming instead,
Rekko wins! Finally. For a change.

Awoo!
What's a wan-wan?
Adorable, that's what.
And out to dinner they go. Italian!
Lexi gets the parking meter. Whack!
No, Lexi isn't allowed to mess with the bigots. Much.
She makes up for it by ordering everything on the menu. And the dessert menu as well.

Awoo!
That's not Alexis.
Or Rekko.
OH GOD the magical girls are in on it too. And are forcing it on Johnathan.
Awoo awoo awoo awoo.
Cathal is pounced.
And then proceeds to make fun of Johnathan. And Lucius. And then Devin.
Oh, hey Devin.
Devin mocks right back, and Cathal can't take the heat.
Devin's done, though.
Or not, because Whisp.
Magical girl speech time!

Awoo!
Rekko's complaining about the huge lunches.
Even though he's sharing them with the crue.
And the patients.
And the magical girls they encounter.
Witty banter!

Awoo!
AMBUSH GLOMP!
Payback time for the collar.
A fancy seethrough nightgown and a backrub for Rekko.
Get your mind out the gutter, Rekko.
Damn language.
Awoo~
Skorpion [FGTL]
- Skorpion - Lucius Ogilvy- Lola Usagi- Cathal Jones -
- FGTL/Sealand - CMGY Academy - CATastrophe Club - Kemonomimi Railroad -

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Arella

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Posts: 129

Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:49 pm

Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:14 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

The Cool Teacher?

Location: CMGY Academy.
Timestamp: After school.
Authors: Hyuuint and Arella
Characters: Shiori and Whisp

"Alright, Whisp, one more time. Hands up, legs apart. Focus." Shiori got back into a sparring stance, waiting for her student to do the same. "You missed class today, so you have to make up for it. Them's the breaks, kiddo."

"I was doing stuff," the teenager argued, looking a bit sulky about having to do school stuff after school. She was also somehow managing to look a bit bored.

"I can imagine you were doing 'stuff'. That always seems to be the reason for missing class." Shiori smirked back. She waited for Whisp to strike first, wanting to see what she needed to correct.

"It was important stuff," the teen continued to fail to explain, still looking rather bored, her stance a bit sloppy, and very much not making any move to strike first. It was kinda hard to tell whether she was paying any attention at all.

"But of course. Important stuff." Shiori gave a sage nod, before testing Whisp's defenses with a light rabbit punch.

Whisp's evasion was surprisingly quick, if still a little sloppy, like she still wasn't really paying attention. She was also apparently done arguing why she'd missed class, like she didn't think there was any reason to let Shiori know what she'd actually been doing.

Shiori wasn't pushing it either. Instead, she kept focus on how Whisp moved, reading her, before trying another cross punch, a lot faster this time.

The teen's movements remained... kind of lazy, really, though she still didn't seem to have any trouble avoiding the hit. And of course, everything about her body language seemed to make it clear she thought this was a waste of time, and totally boring, and she could totally be doing more of that mysterious stuff right now instead. She also seemed a bit suspicious of how easily Shiori had dropped the subject. "It was important," she reiterated, more than a little stubbornly.

"Not arguing the stuff involved, I'm just making sure you get your lessons." Shiori was starting to enjoy this. A lax demeanor to throw off suspicion? Very nice. In an effort to get Whisp to actually attack for once, Shiori barely gave the girl any time to think from her last movement, and lead into a kick to Whisp's side.

And in response, the teenager suddenly reacted with lightning-fast reflexes that rather hinted at some extensive training of her own, whirling out of the way while aiming to use Shiori's own momentum to flip her over and onto the ground - something which should leave her winded, presenting the perfect opportunity to threaten her with a boot to the throat, some other weapon, or whatever spell Whisp might care to cast.

As fast as Whisp was, Shiori was that much faster, and saw the retaliation coming. Nonetheless, she allowed herself to fall for Whisp's trick, and was brought down with an umph. Despite her momentum being used against her, Whisp nonetheless felt the sheer weight of her instructor, earning a look of mild surprise even as she followed through and ultimately brought her foot near enough to Shiori's throat to indicate the threat. She'd been at school long enough now to know better than to actually step on a teacher's throat, thanks.

"Ooph! Not bad, not bad! Momentum reversal! And a fair bit practiced at it too, it seems." The instructor didn't even seem to notice the boot, and merely got up after a couple seconds. "Very nicely done, but your defense in the first place could do with some work. Again, hands up, legs apart." Shiori directed, thinking to herself: Now let's see if that is really practiced, or more instinctive.

Whisp let out the kind of sigh only a teenager is capable of producing, before doing as she'd been told - all while once again looking bored and uninterested.

The sensei smirked, and threw another punch, anticipating - and once again, Whisp reacted in the same way, executing a move that had been drilled into her until it became instinct, more about muscle memory than actual thinking.

This time, Shiori caught Whisp instead. Nabbed by the arm, Whisp was carefully swung around, feet clear off the floor, before she landed on the mat chest down, the caught arm pinned to her back, and the formerly free one under her stomach. With Shiori's knee to her lower back, the poor girl could do little more than kick her legs futilely. Or at least, that would be all she could do if she was a normal girl. Which Whisp was not.

Now acting on the instincts of a survivor prepared (even expecting) to have to defend herself at a moment's notice, the teenager immediately responded to the sudden danger/loss of control with a burst of electricity strong enough to knock just about anyone on their ass.

Fortunately, Shiori was more resistant than most people. Nonetheless, she did bounce back a bit from the shock to avoid the majority of the attack. Her nerves had to take a moment for minor repairs, during which time Shiori twitched involuntarily. "Ow. Heh, again, not bad. Shocking defense. But if I had to guess, that was more instinctive than it was planned, wasn't it?" She brushed herself off, then offered a hand to help Whisp up.

Whisp, meanwhile, looked almost horrified as she realized she wasn't in mortal danger and had just used magic on a teacher! "Please don't gimme detention!" she immediately burst out with, popping up to her feet without even noticing Shiori's offer of a hand up.

"Pfft, detention? Why would I do that?" She grinned mightily, showing she was all right. "You very obviously didn't mean to do so, and heck, I'm putting you through your self-defensive paces so I know what you can do, remember?"

Looking very much as though suspecting this was some kind of trick, Whisp's gaze became wary. "Lucius-sensei said you get detention for using magic on teachers," she pointed out. It had come up on her very first day, after all.

"If you do so consciously. Like using a direct cute charm to get out of doing homework, or blowing up the lightbulbs to get out of a test. Or setting the principal on fire cause you got tired of hearing bagpipes for the umpteenth time." Shiori put what she hoped was a calming hand to Whisp's shoulder. "Instinctive shocking is not a punishable offense. Well, in the traditional sense."

Of course, Whisp still looked suspicious after this; it was in her nature, at least after all that time spent around Instigators. She'd also seriously considered setting Lucius-sensei on fire for that exact reason on more than one occassion, in which case there was a slight chance the defense teacher could read minds (though she was fairly certain that wasn't the case). And Whisp being Whisp, she also didn't seem to know what to do about the hand on her shoulder; Dev may have become immune to her discomfort with touching and invasions of personal space, but she still wasn't used to it from others.

"Anyways." Hand gone as Shiori walked back a bit, finger up in the declaritive sense. "You definitely have a decent defense, but while your offense LOOKS good, and likely has served you well, you need to stop fighting on instinct, and plot out how you do what you will do." Shiori turned on her heel and faced Whisp. "I am gonna have to re-teach you how to defend yourself more effectively."

"I don't fight," Whisp pointed out, in one of those seemingly rare moments of self-awareness. "I use shock tactics and flee." Unless she was being Ruby, obviously - but that meant fighting with Crescent Rose, not hand-to-hand.

"I'm not saying fight. I'm saying how to defend yourself to get away." Shiori responded back.

The teen girl still looked a bit wary, as if wondering why the teacher seemed to care so much. "Most people aren't supersoldiers," she then pointed out, seeing as Shiori was the only one her defense hadn't worked on so far.

"Maybe. But I can give you one reason that will make you understand why I'm being like this. Or rather, one name." The sensei was sounding much more serious now.

Whisp didn't respond, though something about her expression or body language seemed to say go on, then.

"Bruce."

That earned a decidedly inelegant snort. "Him I'd just set on fire. Starting with the hat."

"You say that, but it wasn't fire that just got me now, was it?" Shiori's stance changed, going far more serious than usual. "You do the same thing you did to me, via instinct, and that wouldn't stop him. And he's far more capable in combat than he comes across as, just as you do." She paced a bit, trying to paint a picture. "He's a hunter, a predator, and he's decided you and your friends are the best kind of target. He's learning about what you all can do, and he's getting smarter about it all the time. If he catches you unawares, just as I did..." Shiori paused, her lips going thin. "You don't want that to happen. Miyu can attest to that. You've heard what he did by now, right?"

"Yeah, but I'm not gonna engage him, I'm just gonna set him on fire. Offensive, not defensive," the teen argued, more out of sheer stubbornness than anything else. Besides, Dev would kill him if he tried anything. And she had her zombies. And Fred.

"So, what, you're not gonna improve your skills, just cause you can do a few tricks? Dare say Ruby would be disappointed, to start with. And sure, you have Devin sometimes. But not all the time. He's not here now, is he?" Shiori gave Whisp a rather pointed look at that. "Or let's say Devin's the one in need of help, but any use of magic would hurt him in the process? What then?"

"I don't need Dev to protect me," Whisp automatically refuted, the very suggestion that she might need anyone for anything getting her hackles up (even if she did very much want to keep Dev around, and just plain liked his being there). She couldn't argue the rest, however. Ruby would be disappointed in her, and if anything ever happened to Dev just because she didn't wanna learn more hand-to-hand stuff...

The teenager sighed, looking more than a little sulky over having lost the argument, but she resumed her fighting stance.

"Thank you." Shiori went into one herself. "Now, I want you to try and throw a punch at me. Anywhere is fine, but I want to see what you know about actually trying to hit someone that doesn't involve shins, OK?" Shiori tensed up overall, to help soften the blow, if she needed to.

Unfortunately, Whisp kind of sucked at punching. Her hands were more accustomed to searching through old tomes and magic books, and brewing potions - not landing punches on people. The fact of which was going to leave her really, really wanting to kick someone. Probably in the shins.

"Very limp. You know how I was having you measure your center in yoga? Same principle." She stepped back, had a holo-person pop into her place, and went behind Whisp. "Is it alright if I hold onto you to help with the motions?"

Looking decidedly unhappy about this turn of events (not to mention the criticism - she really had issues with criticism), the teen nevertheless refrained from voicing any objections. Which was about as close to agreement as you were going to get.

"Are you primarily left handed or right handed?"

"Right," the teen replied.

Shiori put her hands on Whisp's right arm. "Pull to about here." She moved Whisp, pulling her arm up and back. "Feet should help keep you balanced." Shiori's feet nudged the student's into place. "Your other hand should come up to defend yourself." Up goes the blocking arm. "Lean back just enough." A free hand pushed Whisp into position. "Then whip back, putting your weight into the fist, enhancing the force of impact, and keep your wrist straight." And slooooowly Whisp was directed into the motion of the punch, into the offending holo-person's face. Said holo-person reared back as though it was hit with a mighty but slow force. "Try that, slowly, on your own."

Lips pursed in a show of just how she felt about all this, Whisp leveled one hell of a glare on the holo-person (who luckily didn't have any feelings to be hurt), and tried another punch.

She was definitely stubborn, you had to give her that - if she decided she wanted to be good at punching, she wouldn't stop until she was. But she also really sucked at actually putting her weight into it.

"You're getting it. Just need to" Shiori flexed Whisp's arm again. "Lean into it both ways. You are THROWING this punch, not giving it to him. Make sense?"

Whisp made a frustrated sound as she once again failed to be awesome at punching. "Can't I just kick him?" She seriously wanted to kick him. Or at least kick somebody. Even something.

"Imagine your feet locked to the ground so you can shuffle them but not lift them. Static cling of the worst sort." Shiori smiled. "You really are getting it very quickly. Now, try throwing one for real." She typed on her pad, and the holo-figure looked a little more solid.

Whisp planted her feet as solidly as if she could somehow kick the ground that way, tried to bring up the yellow RWBY trailer in her mind's eye (Yang loved punching, after all), and swung.

In all fairness to Whisp, she did manage to put her weight into it this time. She just also lost her balance and almost fell over.

Shiori caught her mid-swing, preventing Whisp from hitting the floor. Way the two ended up, it looked as though Shiori was dipping Whisp as part of a dance routine. "Good! Much better, much more force! Next step, is aim." She set the student back on her feet, grinning from ear to ear.

But the teenager didn't appear to agree with this assessment - she was now outright scowling in frustration. There was a chance she had a tendency to expect a bit too much of herself.

"That was a nice effort, but now, focus on the place you want to hit at. Most of the time, the jaw is a good spot. Easily broken hinges. Even if that fails, it's still a solid hurt spot for many people. Do it right, could knock out a tooth, and that really distracts em." Shiori typed again, and a glowing spot on the holo figure appeared right where the sweet spot for such a hit would be. "Do a couple more slow practice swings, then wollop 'im!"

"What about just breaking their nose?" the decidedly disgruntled teen wanted to know, still very much scowling away.

"You can try, but that might mean aiming TOO high sometimes. And given where the nose is, you could likely hurt yourself too in the process. That will be the next practice target. For now, those practice swings please." The teacher gave a patient wave to the target, then stepped back to observe.

Whisp obediently gave the requested practice swings while looking decidedly unhappy about it, and perhaps a little bit bored (practice swings weren't nearly as much fun as actually getting to hit something, after all - same as with kicking). And when she did finally get to deliver a proper hit, she very stubbornly aimed for the nose instead. Because stubborn.

To be fair, her aim ended up being perfect, and she didn't even lose her balance.

Shiori put her hands on her hips. "Well then." She stepped forward. "You definitely hit the target."

Whisp was looking more than a little pleased with herself, even while stubbornly refusing to let on that that had kinda hurt her hand.

"And you didn't lose your balance." She continued.

Still not letting on about her hand. It had felt good to hit something, damnit, and that was the important part!

"But, you did hit the nose instead of the jaw." Shiori concluded.

That, of course, just got a look of outright defiance as Whisp very pointedly did not apologize for not listening.

"So. There's just one thing I have to ask of you." She stepped over just enough, reached for Whisp's hand, and held it up. Holo-target or not, there was definitely a light bruise there. "Hurt, didn't it?"

Stubborn to the last, Whisp refused to answer. She was also looking a bit uncertain, though - she'd expected to be in at least some kinda trouble for not listening - and ended up shuffling her booted feet a bit with that uncertain sort of energy that said she didn't like being uncertain. She hadn't actually managed to figure this teacher out yet, and she didn't like that, either.

"Different parts need different ways of hitting. Throwing a punch meant for a jaw but hitting the nose instead upsets your balance, and while you can hurt the target in the process, you can definitely hurt yourself too." Shiori let Whisp see the bruise, then let her hand go. "That is why I wanted you to do the jaw first. It's an easier target, and the practice shots you have done were in preparation for that particular point. Understand now?"

Whisp nodded, her typical look of defiance rather watered down by the continuing uncertainty.

"Now, how does it feel? Shouldn't hurt for too long, I set the target for firm yet spongy." The teacher steped back yet again as she asked.

"Fine," Whisp was quick to dismiss, rather automatically hiding the bruised hand behind her back, while also managing to make the motion look surprisingly natural.

"Heh. Very well." She waved to the target. "Once more. A practice swing or two, then aim for the jaw."

And this time, Whisp actually did as she was told, albeit with a little less force. Because it did actually kinda still hurt. Not that she was about to admit it!

"Not bad. While it's not as much as force as I would like, this IS training, and you are nursing a sore hand." Shiori giggled. "Don't worry. You weren't the only one. Several found out the hard way, same as you." She patted Whisp on the shoulder. "Now, that's the end of the defense side of things. You missed a lesson of yoga too, and I think you'd enjoy something a little less fight-heavy, hm?"

Whisp's expression very clearly said that sounded booooooring.

"So you said about the defense side of things." Shiori merely grinned. "We should take a ten, get cleaned up and redressed. Fighters uniform does not for a good yoga lesson make." She motioned towards the showers.

Whisp just gave a seemingly nonchalant shrug of her shoulders. "I'm fine," she insisted, this time 'fine' meaning she didn't need to shower right now, thanks.

"Mind if I guess?" Shiori was giving Whisp a studying look, which earned a look of wary caution in return.

A look of wary caution, and a raised eyebrow, that is, prompting Shiori to continue. She crossed her left arm under her chest, cradling the right; with a finger to her lips, Shiori guessed: "If I had to say, you are uncomfortable with the showers. Naked and vulnerable in a place where you don't feel safe is not something you wish to be. Again, if I don't miss my guess?"

Whisp fidgetted a bit, disliking the thought of being so transparent. But she did nod in the end.

The sensei scratched her chin, before smiling warmly. "I can understand. I won't make you do what feels completely uncomfortable." Shiori looked to the digital clock on the wall. "Tell you what. We can do the yoga lesson another time. Well, the physical part of it. Devin's gonna be a while longer yet, sooooo. How about a deal?" Shiori leaned down to be eye-to-eye with Whisp.

That, of course, had Whisp looking all wary and suspicious again. "What kinda deal?"

"Two things. We can watch an episode of RWBY while we wait, but in return, you watch the instructive portion of our upcoming lesson first." A pause, and before Whisp can answer. "And you tell me what stuff was so important that you had to miss class for, hm?"

Whisp suddenly seemed to find the ground incredibly interesting, as one booted foot shuffled back and forth. She wanted to watch RWBY, and she didn't really care about having to watch something for a lesson... but she didn't know if she wanted to tell a teacher why she'd missed class.

"To sweeten it? I promise not to tell anyone. Even if it would normally get you in trouble. Deal?" She held out a hand. "I would like there to be at least one teacher you could trust."

Whisp still looked uncertain. And suspicious. And wary. But the words seemed to escape her anyway, albeit very quietly. "I was learning spells from my dad."

"Your dad? How do you manage that feat?" Shiori didn't know much about the full history of Whisp, but at least knew her dad was a digital avatar of....well, a digital avatar to begin with.

More foot shuffling, as Whisp continued to stare at the ground. "He's in my book," she admitted. The precious book that she kept in her little coffin-shaped backpack, which she never took off outside the Manor unless she wanted to read it.

"Huh. Must be a special book." Shiori put a hand on Whisp's shoulder again, and went eye level. "I have a feeling that learning from your father is very important, but if you can manage it, you need to make it to class and do the spell learning during your down time. OK?" Shiori's tone wasn't reprimanding. Not in the slightest. It was almost motherly.

The teen girl fidgetted some more before nodding her head. Truth be told, she usually did wait until she got home, but this time Dad had been teaching her some things over lunch, and they weren't done yet when the bell rang, and she hadn't wanted to stop... Not that she was likely to actually reveal any of that.

"Thank you. Alright! Deal was made. Lesson first, then your episode. Which one are you on? I can get it loaded up while you get your lesson in." Shiori asked of the dark magical girl.

"Can we watch volume one, chapter eight?" In other words, Players and Pieces, one of her favourites. Whisp was already all caught up, after all - which just meant more time for rewatching old episodes.

"Absolutely." Shiori typed on her pad, and the episode was loading. "There we go. Now, the lesson." She waved for Whisp to have a seat, and Shiori joined her. To save Whisp the trouble, the lesson was short. Informative, but short. It was only about 15 minutes long, overall. "Not so bad, was it?"

Rather than answer (and admit that no, it hadn't been that bad), Whisp just wanted to know, "Can we watch RWBY now?"

"Hehe. Yes, yes we can." A bit more typing and up popped the setting for the episode.

The teenager, meanwhile, just went ahead and made herself comfy; unlike Dev, the technology was of no real interest to her, and she didn't understand any of it anyway. It was going to be an awesome episode, though - it had one of the best fight scenes. In the meantime, Whisp once again became a couch for a bunch of the tinier spidermechs - something she didn't actually seem to mind.

Shiori looked at the time, and hm'd. "Devin should've been done by now." She looked to Whisp. "We might have some more time. Anything you'd like to do?"

Whisp shrugged, before claiming some cookies from her bag for a snack - some of Tiffaney's cookies, to be exact.

"Hey, I recognize those. Heh, shoulda figured, what with Devin being your boyfriend, Tiff must be showering you with affection, eh?" Shiori gave Whisp a playful nudge. "She's a nice lady, isn't she?"

Once again, Whisp didn't actually bother to refute the suggestion that Dev was her boyfriend, instead simply giving a small shrug. "She makes good cookies," the teen acknowledged. "And she fixed my nose when I broke it."

"You broke your nose? How'd that happen?" Shiori asked, while she leaned forward in curiosity.

Another careless little shrug, as if to say it didn't really matter. "I was practicing with Crescent Rose, and the wall was too close." Because clearly, if anyone was at fault, it was the wall.

"You swung too hard on your first few swings, eh?" Shiori grinned at her student.

"It was the propulsion, actually," the teen stubbornly defended. The ricochet had sent her further and faster than she'd anticipated, and there ended up being a wall in the way.

Shiori merely giggled, and leaned back to relax a bit. And after a moment or two of hesitation, Whisp cautiously did the same.

Summary:
-Shiori's making Whisp do extra hand-to-hand practice, 'cause she skipped class again.
-But she was doing stuff! And it was important!
-Whisp doesn't seem to be paying a huge amount of attention to their practice fight. On top of appearing to be half-assing the whole thing.
-Ah, but it was all a feint! Instigators trained her to use deception when fighting! Then quickly incapacitate your foe, before killing or fleeing.
-She isn't prepared for Shiori, though.
-Survival instincts lead to Shiori getting a shock of magic. Whisp is very worried about getting detention.
-Shiori's... kinda turning out to be the cool teacher, though.
-Shiori says Whisp needs to do more thinking during battle.
-Whisp says she isn't meant to fight, she's meant to flee.
-Threats of Bruce don't seem to be very effective. How about Ruby, and Dev possibly needing help?
-Much more effective!
-Whisp really doesn't take instructions very well.
-She also doesn't shower at school. Shiori is quick to figure out why.
-Whisp finally admits what the "important stuff" she missed class for was.
-She could maybe, possibly, come to like this teacher. A bit. Possibly.
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Skorpynekomimi

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Posts: 96

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:06 pm

Post Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:58 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

Zoooom~
Characters: Lucius, Arella.
Authors: Skorpy, Elle-chan
Location: Up in the mountains.
Timestamp: Sometime not long before the hard-canon.


---

Lucius banked hard for the turn before applying throttle through it. Nicole's rear end kicked out slightly before she found grip and surged forwards, Lucius' tail moving around to help with the steering. 'I'm tellin' ye lassie; as heroes an' citizens o' Sealand, traffic laws donnae apply tae us.'

"Unless you're in the middle of fighting crime and saving lives, yes, they absolutely do!" Arella protested in turn, rather ruining the fact that she'd been steadily sneaking up behind him on her ninja and was about ready to overtake him.

Lucius looked back over his shoulder as he hunched lower, accelerating out of the corner. Nicole was bigger and heavier and slower in the turns, but her power allowed him to make up time on the straights. 'Aye, an' wha's tae say we're nae doin' tha' right nae, eh?' He asked, flashing her a grin as he pulled away.

"Do you see any crime happening down the road?" came her rather sarcastic reply, as she picked up the speed herself; like her ninja, Arella was also much lighter than her boyfriend, which didn't hurt in the speed department. Besides, they weren't even in the city, and it had been ages since they saw anyone else at all. Hence the racing being totally okay.

'Aye, lassie! Two speedin' motorcyclists!' Lucius shot back, his grin widening as he lined up for the next hairpin turn.

"Well, then I guess we better stop, then!" the magical girl quipped, sounding exactly as serious as she wasn't, because this was fun. She then let out a surprised shriek, and a few curses that seemed to revolve around her bra in some way - possibly involving a strap or something snapping.

Lucius slowed a little, letting her catch up with him. 'Wha's wrong, lassie? Ye okay?'

At which point Arella flew on past him, practically cackling with glee. There was a slight chance the adrenaline rush from the race was going to her head.

'Cheater!' Lucius accused, speeding up to catch her. 'Tha's jus' low!'

Arella just laughed some more, clearly more than a little pleased with herself as she gained a good lead, before tossing back, "All's fair in love and war~!"

'Och, aye?' Lucius asked, pulling to the outside of the next turn as he started to slow. 'Then ye'll nae mind if I do this?' He grinned as Nicole continued to bank over, wheels briefly running on seemingly nothing until they were in contact with the crash barrier. 'All's fair, ken?'

The magical girl stuck her tongue out at him (not that anyone could see it), before teasing, "So what happens when we escalate far enough that I just take my top off?"

Lucius took to the road surface again to accelerate out of the turn. 'Then ye're gonnae get cold.' He remarked as he pulled up next to her, his tail reaching over to caress her backside.

"Oh, I'm sure my ninja will keep me warm, won't ya, girl?" she quipped back, while her bike almost seemed to purr in an affirmative response. Arella also took a moment to rather suggestively stroke said tail, grinning almost wickedly as she did so.

Lucius chuckled, leaning over to kiss her cheek, purring almost as loud as the engines. He broke the kiss as he accelerated away, his tail slipping out of her hand and across her waist before waving to her. 'Bai bai, 'Rella-chan~' He called over his shoulder as he accelerated away, ears flicking with mischief.

At which point "'Rella-chan" just went ahead and abandoned the road altogether for a proper (and decidedly more fun) shortcut, before eventually returning to the road ahead of him with a casual, "I'm sorry, what was that?"

Lucius growled as he caught up, almost forgetting to brake for the next turn. After a brief moment of tail-swishing tire-squealing dancing over the road, he returned his attention to catching Arella. This was easily accomplished by lifting her Ninja's rear wheel off the ground to slow her down while he caught up. 'Nae challenge if ye donnae obey some rules, lassie.'

Arella just took him up on the more unspoken challenge and caught him, bike and all, in one of her dark bubbles, essentially removing him from the road entirely. "What were you saying, dear?" she ever-so-sweetly inquired, with a toss of her head and a dimpled smile.

Lucius growled, stopping her quickly but carefully. 'If ye wanna race, let's race. If ye wannae spar wi' powers, I'll go find somethin' tae throw.'

"Awww, you almost make it sound like you don't wanna play," the magical girl pouted as she dismounted her ninja, walked through the bubble that was still holding him captive (because it was her's, and she could apparently do that), then went ahead and straddled Nicole in front of him. That her arms ended up wrapped around his neck and her lips temptingly close to his barely even need be said.

Lucius' growl turned to a purr as he wrapped his arms around her, Nicole also seeming to purr in appreciation. As he moved in to kiss her, however, Arella suddenly slipped from his arms and the bike, tossing out a decidedly inviting "nuh-uh, you have to catch me first~" before taking off into the nearby trees with a playful grin and a magical girl's speed. Lucius chuckled, setting Nicole on her stand and stopping her engine before giving her a reassuring pat. 'I'll be back for ye soon.' He then turned to Arella, taking a few steps before leaping into the trees after her.

Her laughter echoing through the forest rather eliminated any chance at stealth, but she didn't really want to escape anyway. She was just having fun, and being utterly impulsive - something that didn't often come naturally to Arella, but it seemed there was something about riding her ninja that brought out the Raven in her. And Raven rather liked to play, when she wasn't busy trying to save the world. That wasn't to say she was going to make it easy for him, however - she could move pretty damn fast when she wanted to, and had excellent reflexes for dodging around trees and other obstacles. And being caught would likely be a lot more rewarding if she made him work for it, first.

Lucius followed her, hot on the trail. He wasn't as good as dodging around trees as Arella was, and so he was leaving a trail of sliced-off branches and trampled shrubs behind him. But that was okay, because Arella. He closed the gap steadily, taking straight lines where she was going around obstacles, steadily gaining height through the trees as he caught sight of her blonde hair ahead of him. 'Almost got ye, lassie~'

"That just means you aren't trying hard enough," she teased back, before abruptly spinning off in another direction with some more laughter, positively loving the adrenaline rush she was still riding.

Lucius changed direction, leaping from the trees to pounce the magical girl to the ground, rolling with her a short distance before coming to a stop atop her. He grinned down at her as he held her down, purring loudly as he panted from the exertion. 'Got ye.'

Arella gave a decidedly half-hearted squirm, not actually remotely interested in trying to get away, before rather coyly smiling up at him and asking, "So what do you plan on doing with me?"

Lucius just grinned widely, leaning down to kiss her hard as he relieved her of her clothing.

Arella, in turn, let out a giggle that sounded decidedly pleased with herself, while not remotely objecting to his obvious train of thought.

---

"What have you done to me?" the magical girl rather idly wondered some time later, still very much on the forest floor and missing certain articles of clothing. Well, most of them, really. There were also likely a few twigs and/or leaves in her hair, but she didn't seem remotely concerned about it.

Lucius chuckled, moving to kiss her softly as she lay next to him. 'I think ye know full well what I've done tae ye, lassie~' He teased, purring contentedly.

That earned him a playful swat, obviously. "That's not what I meant, and you know it," she not-at-all-seriously scolded.

Lucius just grinned at her in response. 'As I recall, ye led me on a merry chase an' didnae object tae any of it...'

"Exactly!" the magical girl replied, as though he'd just proved her right. "And I would clearly never do a thing like that, so it must be your fault," she teased.

'Impeccable logic as always.' Lucius observed. 'Ye needed tae loosen up a wee bit, anyway.'

"I dunno," Arella pretended to ponder. "Encouraging my boyfriend to ravish me in the middle of a forest might be a bit too loose, don't you think? Maybe I should talk to someone about it." She was still teasing, of course - and even if she had meant it, she was still riding her post-racing-and-ravishing high.

'Maybe, but Kat'll jus' encourage ye tae do it wi' her tae.' Lucius commented, before kissing her again. 'Shall we get back tae the bikes? We dae hae a nice romantic picnic waitin'.'

"But we still haven't figured out how all this is your fault, yet," Arella pointed out, as if that was a very necessary part of the proceedings.

Lucius chuckled, his grin widening. 'Or I can give ye somethin' else tae figure out~'

"I think I've pretty well figured most of it out, by this point," she quipped in return, albeit a teensy bit distractedly as she began to realize that yes, that was definitely a twig in her hair.

Lucius reached over, carefully extracting the twig in question.

"How bad is my hair?" Arella had to rather sheepishly ask, honestly a little embarrassed to even be saying it, but nonetheless rather understandably concerned.

'Mussed.' Lucius replied, kissing her. 'Good look on ye, I think.'

That earned a decidedly pleased giggle, though she still had to ask, "Could you get any other twigs and things out for me?"

Lucius nodded, setting about de-twigging the hair in question, before starting on his own - only to have Arella cheerfully swat his hands away and return the favor herself.

"Well, now that we've proved you and Kat have utterly corrupted me with sex, I think it's high time you set about woo-ing me properly, don't you?" the magical girl teased as she worked.

Lucius chuckled. 'Aye, perhaps. There IS the small matter o' the picnic I prepared, an' the romantic spot up on top o' the hill.'

"Does this picnic include raspberries?" Arella inquired, working the last of the twigs out of his hair before proceeding to gently comb it with delicate fingers.

Lucius purred, leaning into her hands. 'What kind o' boyfriend would I be if I didnae include yer favourite food?' He asked, ears flicking. 'Picked 'em fresh for ye.'

"How about strawberry shortcake?" she continued to inquire (that being her second favourite food), fingers still working in spite of it no longer being particularly necessary.

'Dessert.' Lucius replied. 'New recipe, though; my grandmother finally learned tae use E-mail, so I got her recipe fer shortcake.'

Arella beamed at that, clearly thrilled by the thought of getting to try his grandmother's recipe for anything. "You'll have to thank her for me, then," she informed, something in her gentle tone seeming to wonder when she was going to get to meet said grandmother. And other family members.

Lucius chuckled, feeling the smile even though he couldn't see it. 'Ye can thank her yerself soon enough. I'm plannin' a trip back home soonish, tae introduce ye an Kat tae the clan.'

The magical girl's fingers froze as her full attention turned to her boyfriend (along with those big blue eyes, which were looking decidedly happy). "Really?" she had to confirm. She really, very much wanted to meet his family, after all.

'Aye, o'course. They'll want tae meet ye, an' I think I've gotten enough set up nae tae go back there an' nae hae broken my promise way back when.' Lucius explained.

And of course, he was rewarded with a kiss.

'I'm sure they'll love ye. I certainly dae.' Lucius remarked after returning the kiss.

"You think so?" Arella asked, suddenly sounding rather unsure of herself - perhaps even downright nervous.

'I'm sure o' it, lassie.' Lucius kissed her again. 'An' I think they'll be happy wi' me returnin' wi' two beautiful girlfriends an' a career. It's nae the fame an' fortune I wanted, but I think it's good enough.'

"Want me to wibble at them if it isn't?" the magical girl offered between yet more kisses.

'Aye.' Lucius grinned, tugging her close to him again.

"Okay," she consented, not remotely resisting his tugging - though she did rather absently point out, "I thought we were supposed to be getting to that picnic." Pause. "And I should be getting clothes back on."

Not that she made any move to actually do so.

'It can wait a while longer.' Lucius replied.

---

"Will you tell me more about your family?" Arella requested quite some time later, from where she was comfortably lounging on their picnic blanket and nomming raspberries.

'Aye, if ye want.' Lucius smiled, nuzzling to Arella. 'Where d'ye want me tae start?'

"Your grandparents?" They were the ones he talked about the most, after all. She also offered him a raspberry, almost as if in reward for indulging her.

Lucius took the raspberry, nibbling her fingers gently before eating it. 'Well, my grandpa is the elder of the clan, fer want of a better word. He got up tae adventures durin' the war; super secret stuff. He's the one who gave me this jacket, an' the sword. An' also the focus stuff, but those managed tae get lost somewhere. The jacket's special; I helped him tae win it off some American berk back during the war, when I was savin' the world from alien nazis or nazi aliens or whatever. I dunno what they were, but there was UFOs with swastikas, an' they were shootin' at me a lot.' Lucius shrugged. 'Time travel, before ye ask how I was around then. The same time machine Skorp's tryin' tae find. Anyway, grandpa taught me pretty much all I know about farmin' an' distillin' an' all sorts of useful stuff. A little o' the carpentry, but most o' that I picked up in a college course way back when.'

Arella took a moment to absorb all of this, carefully filing it away under "important Lucius information," before prompting, "And what's his name?"

Lucius thought for a while. A long while. 'Y'know, I donnae think anyone ever calls him by his name. Everyone jus' calls him grandpa or granddad.'

"So... do I just call him grandpa, too?" a very uncertain Arella then had to ask, because that seemed terribly presumptuous.

'I think so?' Lucius shrugged. 'Seems tae be the done thing.'

"What about your grandmother? What do I call her?"

'She's the one in charge o' the clan, so 'ma'am' fits.' Lucius explained. 'She's the one who keeps everyone in line an' all tha'.'

Arella looked a bit confused at that. "So you don't call her grandma?"

'Nae tae her face.' Lucius shrugged.

The magical girl frowned a bit as she tried to commit that to memory - she certainly wouldn't want to forget to call the woman "ma'am" when they actually met, after all. That wouldn't make a good impression at all. "Okay," came her decidedly nervous reply, before requesting, "Tell me some more about her, then? And how your grandparents met."

Lucius sighed. 'She bakes, she cooks, she manages the recipes an' the genealogy of the clan. She's a mean shot wi' a rifle, an' can throw a rollin' pin wi' deadly accuracy if she sees ye tryin' tae take snacks wi'out askin'. She's also able tae wrestle a cow an' win, so donnae mess wi' her. She'll probably like ye, though.' He grinned. 'As fer how they met, I donnae remember. Must've been back in the age o' dinosaurs or somethin'.'

"Oh, c'mon, you must remember something about it. Maybe about their courtship? How your grandpa asked her to marry him? Are they super sweet to each other, always holding hands and stuff?" Because Arella's only experience with grandparents came from Hollywood and her own imagination. And also because that would just be really cute.

Lucius took a moment to process all the questions. 'Donnae know, but she asked him. Or, at least, told him tae ask her, an' apparently he valued his neck more'n his bachelor life so he agreed. An' nae really; they've been taegether so long they're jus' sorta there. Grandpa spends most o' the day out an' about around the farms, out o' the way o' her cookin' fer the clan tha're tae busy tae do it themselves, or jus' like her cookin'.' He explained. 'Although she'll occasionally get him in a headlock jus' fer old times' sake an' tae show him who's boss.'

This earned quite a bit of mystified blinking as Arella attempted to reconcile reality with her rather more Disney-esque fantasy. "Oh." It was hard to do, really. But eventually she managed to grab onto her favourite part of the reality-version, and ended up grinning in amusement. "She told him to ask her to marry him?" the magical girl then had to confirm, trying to imagine how that conversation must have played out.

Lucius nodded. 'Aye. If ye knew her, ye'd understan' why he agreed tae. She's nae a subtle woman, an' nae delicate either.'

"Mhmm," came her skeptical reply. "And of course, he wouldn't have necessitated her taking the initiative at all."

Lucius shrugged. 'Maybe. Courtship had it's own rules back in their day.'

"How about your cousin, with the history with Magical Girl Dundee?" Arella wanted to know next, only to end up frowning suddenly as she realized they were out of raspberries (she cheered up again almost immediately though, upon remembering and claiming some of the strawberry shortcake).

'Ah, Jessie. She's practically my sister; we grew up taegether. She's a pyrokinetic; very dangerous, kinda sadistic. Donnae cross her, or make fun o' the hair, or she'll set ye on fire. Or she may jus' set fire tae ye fer the fun o' it. Did it tae me all the time. She's had a fair few boyfriends, includin' Brucie, but settled down with a husband tae have kids a while back. Three o' the wee blighters nae, but nae powers yet.'

"Awww, how old are they?" the magical girl (of course) wanted to know. "Will I get to meet them, too?"

'Maybe. An' I donnae remember; been a while since I saw them. Younger'n Cathal, though, by a good ways...' Lucius trailed off. 'I guess I'd better take Cathal tae meet the clan as well.'

Arella gave him a look that should likely be considered a warning of possible Trouble. "Do they even know about him yet?"

'Aye. I told 'em in an E-mail. They want tae meet him, but I'm nae sure how tae introduce him tae them.'

The magical girl let out a rather exasperated sigh. "That isn't really the sort of thing you should tell your family about via e-mail," she scolded, before falling quiet a moment. When she did speak again, she sounded a bit... subdued and unsure of herself, as if worried she might be overstepping her bounds or something. "Have you spoken to his mother at all, yet? Or his grandmother?" Or in other words, his daughter or previous girlfriend. There was a chance she hadn't entirely reconciled herself to the idea that he had a daughter and a grandson yet, at least on some level.

'Nae yet. No E-mail, an' I cannae dae long-distance phone calls even if I had numbers fer them. Wee laddie didnae think I'd want tae talk tae them afore he set off.' Lucius sighed, wrapping an arm around Arella to hug her tightly. 'I'll have tae make time tae find them when we get there.'

Arella gave a nod of agreement, because of course he owed them at least that much. And anyone would want to meet their daughter (at least in her mind). Silence reined for a moment after that, as she wasn't really sure what else to say, before finally declaring, "This is really good shortcake. Also, I do believe you were meant to be wooing me." The latter returning to her familiar teasing tone.

Lucius chuckled softly. 'Perhaps I could recite poetry for ye. I know a nice one about a wee young lassie from Nantucket.'

That earned him a swat, followed by a scolding, "You're a musician, maybe you should write me a poem yourself." She would have suggested he serenade her with music, but that likely would have resulted in the bagpipes coming out. And bagpipes were not romantic. Also, they were really loud.

Lucius grinned, and started rummaging through his jacket. After a short while, he produced an acoustic guitar with a bayonet fitted to the neck. After removing the bayonet and dropping it back into his jacket, he unpeeled a faded and yellowed sheet of paper from the back. 'I was writin' something for tha' when my music career died.' He took a breath, strummed the guitar, and started off into a blues-y ballad.

Arella was looking what could only be described as delighted by the time he finished, and immediately rewarded him with applause - before teasingly adding, "Okay, now write one just for me."

Lucius nodded. 'Aye, lassie. I'll get back tae ye in a few weeks on tha' one.'

"What, you mean you haven't already prepared one for me after weeks of dating?" she teased some more, with a decidedly impish grin.

'I'm workin' on one.' Lucius admitted. 'Songs don' jus' write themselves, y'ken? Nae easy tae come up wi' somethin' worthy of ye.'

He was rewarded with a kiss for that, seeing as it had been the absolute perfect thing for him to say. Of course, said kiss also meant she'd ended up in his lap, but that was totally unimportant. "Sweet talker," the magical girl then accused.

'Guilty as charged.' Lucius replied, his tail slipping around her waist.

"Shall we hear the rest of your material, then?" Arella somehow managed to teasingly encourage. "Perhaps something about how amazing I am?"

'I'm writin' one about a guy who discovers an angel crying in the middle o' the night, as it happens.' Lucius replied, kissing her. 'An epic, wi' a couple o' soulful guitar solos, an' a tragic ending when she's taken from him by demons.'

"Mhmm," came her rather distracted reply, between kisses. "And what about the sequel, where they finally get their happy ending?"

'I'm workin' on tha' right now.' Lucius shot back, chuckling softly.

"Promise?" Arella rather breathlessly asked, revealing that yes, she was entirely aware of the double entendre for "happy ending."

Lucius nodded. 'Aye, I promise.' He smiled, before kissing her deeply, his hands starting to roam.

"I'm pretty sure you were meant to be wooing me," she rather weakly tried to object, her breathless and utterly approving tone pretty thoroughly ruining it (along with the fact that she just seemed to be sinking closer to him, the further his hands wandered).

'Well, I serenaded ye...' Lucius replied as his fingers started to work at unfastening the lacy top Arella wore. 'An' now I'm gonnae make ye sing fer me~'

"Every time we're supposed to be doing something sweet and romantic, it turns into sex," Arella didn't remotely complain - she was more just observing an apparent character flaw. Which was clearly his fault, because duh. It likely didn't help that she was starting to outright help him with the unlacing, either.

'Is it my fault I cannae resist ye?' Lucius asked as he started to kiss at her neck, making his way down as he finished with the unlacing. (And being a good catboy, he finished it properly instead of just shredding it with his claws.)

"Probably," came her rather teasing reply, while her own clever fingers reached down between them to pop the button on his jeans; she was starting to get impatient. Which was clearly also his fault, somehow. "At this rate, you may have to start providing poetry and flowers on a regular basis to make up for it. And maybe something sparkly for my birthday next month."

Next month? Crap. Lucius chuckled softly as he shifted to help her release him from the tyranny of trousers. 'Aye, maybe I will. Or, at least, songs an' a patch o' flowers outside your office window.'

"How about all of the above?" Arella teasingly negotiated, her motions becoming increasingly... well, almost frantic, really. She wanted, and this was already taking too long.

It was still totally his fault, though.

Lucius nodded, lifting her up as he reached under her skirt to remove her panties. 'Aye, an' chocolates, tae.'

"And raspberries," she rather reflexively added, something about her tone suggesting that she was barely even aware of what they were talking about anymore, 'cause hormones. Arella then abandoned whatever that topic had been, for a rather desperately pleading, "Luc~"

Lucius grinned as he obliged her, letting out a loud purr. 'Aye, lassie~'

---

Lucius stretched out in the moonlight, purring happily as Arella nestled against him, glad he'd remembered to bring a second picnic blanket.

"Just for the record," a pleasantly satisfied Arella informed (determined to have the last word on the matter), "this is still definitely all your fault, somehow."

'Aye, probably.' Lucius remarked, stroking her hair gently. 'Love ye, by the way.'

---

Lucius hummed to himself as he dug, his tail flicking to and fro in deep thought. 'Dammit, I cannae find nae rhyme fer 'angel'. Language is hard. Maybe I should jus' write it all in Gaelic an' make up words?'

---

Lucius frowned as he looked at the blob of wax in front of him, and the doodled-on barmat next to it. 'Can always recycle it if it donnae work out, aye?' He shrugged, and slid a claw out to start carving at the wax.

---

'Ahahaha! It works!' Lucius cackled as he poked at the puddle of molten metal in the crucible. 'All that time travel nonsense was good fer somethin', a' least.' He grinned, stirring the mixture with a ceramic spoon as he stood across the room from it. After a little more stirring, he carefully poured the metal into the clay mould he'd prepared earlier, laughing quietly to himself as it filled up. 'An' let's hope all tha' time an' effort wasnae wasted.'

After the pour finished, he set the mould aside to cool, smoke still rising from the top.

The next morning, he arrived bright and early, nudging the mold to check if the contents had fully set. With a grin, he picked up a small hammer and started to break the clay away from the contents, revealing the shiny gold underneath. A few minutes of hammering, followed by a few minutes more spent carefully removing the sprue from the pendant itself. Lucius held it up to the light, examining it before setting to washing the leftover clay from the details. 'Tha'll be worthy o' her, I'm sure o' it.'

The item in question was a small golden heart with splinted raven wings either side of it, attached to a leather string.

---

Summary:
Lucius and Arella are racing bikes through the mountains.
It's totally legal! Crimefighting!
What crime?
Speeding!
Arella cheats!
Lucius cheats right back!
Arella cheats more.
Lucius cheats even further, prompting Arella to respond in kind. Stalemate!
Arella abandons the bikes and flees for the trees.
Lucius sets Nicole on her stand and gives chase!

Ravishment!

Lucius has corrupted Arella.
It's totally his fault.
Fixing of hair. Twigs are a major problem with forest sex.
Arella demands wooing properly.
Picnic!

Picnic.
Exposition about Lucius' family.
Backstory backstory backstory.
Backstory? Backstory.
Exposition and backstory.
Oh, and raspberries.
Arella wants to go to Scotland!
And have a stop-off to meet Cathal's family. With Cathal.

Lucius sets about wooing Arella with song.
Guitar and singing. Not about the 'wee young lassie from Nantucket'.
Unreleased material from The Offenders. From back before the 80s ended.
Lucius is working on a song about an angel and her lover, tragically separated by demons.
And a sequel where they reunite, as Arella demands.
Oh, it's Arella's birthday soon.
Seduction as Arella demands flowers and chocolates and raspberries and song written for her.
Corrupted? Maybe.

Post-coital cuddles.

What rhymes with 'angel'?

Lucius makes a birthday present for Arella. A gold pendant of a heart with raven wings.
Viking gold, from his time travel adventures, of course.
Skorpion [FGTL]
- Skorpion - Lucius Ogilvy- Lola Usagi- Cathal Jones -
- FGTL/Sealand - CMGY Academy - CATastrophe Club - Kemonomimi Railroad -

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Hyuuint

Posts: 13

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:27 am

Post Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:11 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

Catch the Aussie!
Timestamp: After Bruce's initial attacks.
Location: Tokyo!
Authors: Skorpy, Elle-chan, Oblivion, Hyuuint.
Characters: Skorp, Arella, Alexis, Shiori, magical girls, Lucius, and Cathal.


---

"Hello?" Arella answered, interrupting the song mid-verse (a pretty typical occurrence, given that it was her ringtone).

"So. You know that aussie idiot that's been molesting the students? If you catch him and bring him to me, I'll put some more mods on your bike."

"What if I catch him, hit him several times, then bring him to you?" Arella immediately wanted to know. Seriously, she did not like that stupid immortal.

"He's immortal; chop bits off if you want, just make sure they all arrive with him." Skorpion clarified. "Just keep him away from Lucius; I don't want him run through."

Arella mumbled something that might have had to do with bringing Lucius straight to the asshole. He had really, really pissed her off with that whole shocking and poking and netting thing.

"Language! I want him alive, not in that half-dead torpor state immortals go into when they get hurt enough." Skorpion reminded the magical girl. "Also, you'd better move fast; you're not the only one looking for him."

The magical girl let out a very un-magical-girl-ish snort. "S'long as I get to hit him, I'm good." then she paused a moment, before deciding, "And maybe kick him, too." She kinda wanted to kick him.

"Maybe I'll let you use him as a training dummy when I'm done interrogating him."

"Yay!" came her decidedly uncharacteristic reply. "Where do I start looking?"

"If I knew where he was, I wouldn't be asking you to find him, would I?" Skorpion asked rhetorically. "He's in the city somewhere, and Shiori broke his phone last night so I can't track him."

"A general area to start in would be helpful, though," Arella rather snarkily pointed out.

"He hasn't shown up on public transport cameras, or in any cabs. He doesn't speak the language, and he doesn't seem to have a vehicle. Ask Shiori and Alexis where they last saw him, he can't have gone far on foot."

Arella thought about this a moment or two, before agreeing, "Okay! Anything else I should know?"

"Yeah. I don't want the hat. Burn it or something; it's a bio-hazard."

"Done!" the magical girl agreed. "I'll talk to you later, then - I need to call Lexi and Shiori."

"Have fun, and good hunting!" Skorpion replied, before hanging up. He grinned to himself, before leaning over onto his desk, propping his elbows on it and steepling his fingers into the classic Gendo pose. "Yeeees, everything falls into place, now."

---

Shiori was dragging herself out of bed, groaning just a little, wearing little more than a thin tanktop and panties. "Ugh... Okay, maybe we overdid it last night." She gave her head a tap. "You guys are not nice about making me feel the aftereffects of a sugar rush, ugh." Shiori got up carefully, as not to disturb the...other, bunny-eared occupant, and went to go make herself a cup of coffee. She stepped around the living room as not to smush the remains of last night too badly.

Just as she was about to grab the coffeepot, the phone resting betwixt a certain spot decided to start ringing and buzzing. Shiori winced; the rings were extra loud in her condition. She pulled it out, flipped it open, and answered with a groggy "Hello?"

"Hi Shiori!" Arella's voice could be heard from the other end. "Skorp said I should ask you and Lexi about where to start looking for Magical Girl Dundee if I wanted to find him and punch him again. Any suggestions?"

Shiori winced harder. Phone's volume was at maximum, and Arella was extra bubbly this morning. "Ow. Dundee? Wait, you mean that Bruce guy?"

"Yeah, the asshole stalker," the magical girl confirmed. "Any ideas where I could start looking for him? I reeeeeeally wanna hit him again. And maybe kick him."

"Uhh, lessee. Ow." Shiori held her head. It was getting better, but her nanites sure were punishing her good. "Gimme, uh, an hour? Or so? And we could meet up, talk it up in person? This might be a good collab project or something."

"Okay," Arella agreed. "Why don't we meet up for breakfast? I've still gotta call Lexi, too."

"That sounds good. Where at?" Shiori rubbed her eyes.

Arella provided the address of a cute little breakfast place she'd found ages ago, before promising to see Shiori there in an hour. "I'll see if Lexi wants to come, too. Bye, Shiori!"

"See you there, bye." She snapped her phone shut, made her way back through the livingroom again, and sat down on the bed. "Morning. I got some work ahead of me today, but I have an hour before I have to go. You alright?"

Lola grumbled, swatting sleepily at Shiori. "Mrrrph. Breakfast."

"I can do that. Whatcha want?" Shiori giggled lightly at the swat.

"Bacon. Eggs. Omelette?" Lola yawned widely. "Coffee. Definitely coffee."

"Got that started already, but gimme a bit to get the rest." Off Shiori went to cook.

Lola gave a thumbs-up before curling up and falling asleep again.

---

Alexis had been awake for a fair bit already and was running on a treadmill at the gym, wearing some running shorts and a tank top with her hair tied back in a ponytail when her phone started going off from it's place in the cup holder. The wolfgirl took hold of the phone and checked the caller ID before answering. "Hey, Arella. What's up?" She asked, breathing rhythmically with her jog.

"Bruce hunting!" came the magical girl's reply. "Especially since dad's offering goodies, and I wanna hit the moron again. But breakfast first - wanna join me and Shiori for a bite?"

"Sounds fun. Give me the when and where." Alexis said with a smile.

"Remember that cute little breakfast place we went to last week, with the waffles?" Arella prompted.

"Oh, alright. When do you want to meet?" Alexis then asked.

"One hour," Arella informed happily. "See you soon!"

"Got it!" Alexis said before hopping off the treadmill. "Might be a little late. I was just working out."

"No worries, we'll wait for you," the magical girl promised.

"Alright. I'll see you when I see you." Alexis said before heading to her room.

---

Bruce walked through the mall, limping theatrically and causing the stuffed parrot pinned to his shoulder to wobble around alarmingly. "Yarr, mateys. I be in disguise, arr. Seems people object to the cause o' science in these here parts, so I be pretendin' tae be someone else fer a whiles, see?" He explained to the camera, now suspended from a quadcopter drone hovering nearby. "Now, I don't be seein' any magical girls in here, so I'll be settlin' down near a typical haunt 'o the wee lassies.'

With that, he settled in front of a clothing store, sipping at a large coffee while the drone nestled itself in a pot of synthetic plants nearby. "Maybe I can be doin' some shoppin' for more disguises while I'm here."

---

Arella arrived first, of course, not having anything she particularly needed to do before heading out, dressed in an almost surprisingly ordinary pair of jeans, Game of Thrones , and similarly themed , and looking... well... perhaps a little too much like her typically cheery self. But, being the first to arrive, the magical girl went ahead and got them a nice table by the window, bathed in the warm sunlight, and - even more importantly - clearly visible from the entrance, so that her friends would be able to see her. She'd also already gone ahead and ordered herself a cup of heavily sugared coffee, and a glass of orange juice.

It wasn't too long before Alexis arrived wearing her own pair of blue jeans, white running shoes, and a black tee shirt with a depiction of a rock on a table and the words 'Rock on!' above it. She looked around a bit before noticing her friend. "Hey, 'Rella!" She called out with a wave before moving to take a seat across the table. "How's it going?"

"Alright," the magical girl confirmed. "Actually got some sleep last night." Not that that seemed to have had any effect on her coffee consumption this morning. "How about you?"

"Not bad, tried hunting down that aussie with Shiori, but we didn't find 'im." Alexis said with a shrug.

"But that just makes today more fun~" Arella pointed out, looking a bit too happy about getting to hunt him down.

Shiori arrived as soon as she was able, but even then she was a little late. She had decided to wear a simple but effective combination of cutoff overalls (they stopped well into the thighs) and cropped t-shirt that complemented her figure very nicely (and stopped right where her ribcage ended, too). Feet were clad in standard tennis shoes, and her hair flew free in the wind, or air conditioning as it were. The gym teacher looked to and fro for the table that Arella had picked, saw the two already at the sunny spot, and planted herself into a seat. "Morning you two" she said with a yawn. "We got an aussie to catch, eh?" Shiori pulled up a menu and started looking through it.

"Morning, and it looks like we do." Alexis said, leaning back in her seat.

"And kick," Arella was quick to add, even as she flagged down a waitress for more heavily sugared coffee. "What d'you wanna drink? I know you still need a chance to look over the menu. The waffles are amazing, though."

"Hm. Just water I think. A teashop I like has ruined me on teas, colas add to...places and milk is just ok." She looked through the menu further. "As for the breakfast thingy, I think I will keep to the meaty stuff. Do they have ham steaks? I like ham steaks. Or omelettes."

"No ham steaks," the magical girl told her, rather apologetically. "But they do have omelettes, and the bacon and sausages are really good."

"A tragic loss, that." Alexis said, her ears folding back.

"Bacon and cheddar omelette it shall be, and a big one." She tried to barter with the waitress, requesting a higher portion, maybe extra bacon?

"A big big one," Arella clarified for the waitress. "Like, so big you don't think anyone could possibly eat it, and then make it even bigger. Same for the bacon." The poor girl was looking a bit concerned at the strange order, but Arella just went on ahead with her own, as if all of this was totally normal. "And I'll have the blueberry waffles with real maple syrup, bacon and sausages on the side, and more coffee, please. Lexi, what would you like?"

"I'll take what they're having, but double the size. I'll also have five orders of your breakfast deluxe mixed plate, and three mega omlettes." Alexis decided, choosing to go with a light breakfast for the time being.

"We tip well," a rather sheepish Arella promised the waitress before she could disappear to hand in their orders - and the poor girl did look a bit better after hearing it. It was also something of an understatement - Arella tended to overtip by a fairly ridiculous amount, simply because she knew how much the job could suck.

"Alrighty. So what do we know about this guy besides he has a terrible accent, a hat that should be destroyed, horrid choices in costumes and stereotypes, hunts underage and of age girls, acts like a demented documentary maker, and otherwise really can't take a straight punch?" Shiori summed up for the group.

"We know he needs to be kicked with extreme prejudice," Arella added. Seriously, she was so pissed off about that whole netting/shocking/poking thing. And he'd touched her new wings!

"He has a youtube channel that he streams to." Alexis added, holding up a finger.

"Ooooh, that should make things easier. If there's anything recent, we can probably get an idea where he is," a decidedly pleased-sounding Arella enthused. "After breakfast, though - breakfast comes first."

"Of course." Alexis said. "Though I'm pretty sure my order may take a couple hours."

"Oh, I'm sure they'll just bring things out when they're ready, so it's not like we'll just be sitting here waiting the whole time," Arella assured.

"I know. I just don't wanna hold everyone up." Alexis said with a sigh. "Being able to eat whatever and not get fat is awesome, but it kinda sucks when you need to eat almost as much as Skorp."

"I'm just happy to get some food in me. Didn't get a chance to eat much more than a bunch of junk food last night, and my poor tea got spilled on my way to, uh, my friend's apartment." Shiori cleared her throat and leaned in her chair. "And if he has a YouTube channel, I'd like to get that address. Contact of mine might be able to keep a close digital eye on him. Maybe come up with a way to bug out his streamings. Ya know, mess with him?" She took a sip from the water that was brought out to her, smiling as the ice-cold temperatures helped to wake her up.

"Don't know the address, just know there's a channel. Get Devin close enough and he can tell you everything you want to know 'bout 'im, but I just shoot stuff." Alexis said, shrugging.

"Well, we already know he's an idiot," Arella commented, already pulling out her phone to pull up youtube. "How much you wanna bet a 'magical girl documentary' search brings it up, just to make things easier for us?"

Arella's search threw up page after page of various surveys, conspiracy theories, collections of magical girl transformation sequences caught on cameraphones, and, deep at the bottom of the listings, Bruce's youtube channel.

"Score!" the magical girl enthused, quickly pulling it up. They had a bit of time before their food came out, after all.

The first video was of Bruce stalking Kawasaki and Yakashima, sneaking around in the shadows while narrating to the camera, before focusing in on Kawasaki. As Bruce snuck closer to her, the camera jerked violently, hit Bruce in the face, and turned around to show a very angry Yakashima. The rest of the video was taken up by motion blur through a cracked and incresingly red lens before the camera cut out, to a soundtrack of angry Japanese and aussia-accented english.

"Good girl!" Arella praised, even if Yakashima couldn't actually hear her. "Though all that movement makes it a bit harder to figure out where it takes place..."

Alexis, on the other hand burst out laughing. "Oh my- oh God that's rich! Pull up another!" The wolfgirl demanded. "I need to see more of this!"

Arella promptly did so, rather eager to see him get beaten up again.

The next video was of him tailing a domestic fox through a series of alleyways, commenting about transformed forms and magical girls. This continued for a few minutes, until the fox darted across a street. Bruce followed, only to be hit by a white van with external armour and knocked across the street. The driver then got out, shouting at him in Russian and brandishing a metal bar as he stood up again. His next speech into the camera was cut off by the driver laying into him with the bar, bunny ears flopping as she hit him again and again. The camera was then tossed skywards before cutting out on a shot of the metal bar hitting it.

"This might be my new favourite youtube channel," Arella was forced to admit, amidst her laughter.

"Get destroyed, scrub!"

The next video was of Elsie, observed from afar riding around on Skorpion's shoulder. After a while, Elsie was set down to look through a dancewear shop while Skorpion wandered off in another direction. As Bruce closed with the little magical girl, his narration was cut short by the sudden breaking of his jaw by a bullet. The next few minutes were Bruce vainly trying to return fire with lightning while keeping up a gargled commentary. This lasted until Skorpion stepped into shot and grabbed the camera, turning it to himself. "Dear followers. Please stop encouraging this douchebag. If I find any of you copying him, I will find you, and I will shove your cameras where the sun doesn't shine." He grinned, before proceeding to do just that to Bruce; the camera cutting off once the shot went dark.

"Ooooh! Gross! Haha!" Alexis commented, a tear of joy forming in her eye. "And he still does this!"

"We have to watch another one!" Arella declared, amidst a fit of laughter.

The next video was of him capturing Raven in a net, with the associated perving and gloating, and long, lingering shots of her backside while he narrated.

"Nice ass, that Raven chick has, eh?" Alexis teased with a grin.

And now Arella almost broke her phone. "I am going to kill him." She sounded rather dangerously serious, too.

"Okay, I take it back." Alexis said, holding up her hands in surrender as her ears folded back.

Shiori just watched with a serious look on her face, not commenting at all about the movies that just played out. "Mind if I get that address? Gonna text it to Brittany, see if she can get hunting. She has her ways."

Arella just passed over her phone so that Shiori could get the information herself, still looking more than a little murderous.

The soldier accepted the phone, pulled out her own, and texted the YouTube address for the channel. A few seconds passed before: "She got it. Already setting up a watch so that whenever he posts something, she can tell from where." She reads. "Aaaaand apparently she already has your phone numbers, and should get a text each now." Cue a special ding to all three phones at once; well, a ding for Alexis and Shiori's. Arella's phone roared like a wookie. "Toldya." Shiori handed back Arella's phone. "I can understand why yer pissed. Raven's a cool superheroine, and the students look up to her. She doesn't deserve to have this all over the net."

"I am going to kill him," Arella reiterated, looking about mad enough to simultaneously catch fire; luckily, their waitress chose that moment to appear with food, and the magical girl was immediately distracted by the tasties (all of which she immediately slathered with maple syrup).

"Thank you." Shiori sotto-whispered to the harried waitress. She got her own mega ommelette, and dug in. Granted, she kept her table manners about her, but Shiori tucked in with proper fervor nonetheless.

Alexis pointed to Arella and informed "She's kinda a super-fan." before thanking the waitress and tearing into her first wave of food.

"I can tell, and I can understand. I worked with her the other night, she seems like a cool person up close too." Shiori sage-nodded yet again.

"I've run with her once or twice. She's fun." Alexis agreed.

Of course, now Arella was blushing and avoiding everyone's eyes, because they were technically talking about her, but Shiori didn't know it yet. Still, it was nice to hear, and she did have the greatest breakfast ever in front of her.

Between bites, Shiori was thinking hard about the upcoming project. "Alrighty. We have a means of tracking him, to a degree. Question is, how do we deal with his abilities? I don't have enough rubber suits for the two of you, and, heh, frankly I don't think they'd fit ya'll quite well."

"Get me an opening, and I can just stick him in a bubble," Arella suggested. "Though I'd rather he was knocked out at some point, so I can kick him a few times first."

"I can provide that, easily. Guy has a glass jaw. Raven saw that last night, one good punch? Out like a light." Shiori stabbed at her omelette with fervor at that statement. "Thought. Anyone know how to contact Raven? She might be able to help."

"I was just gonna shoot him into one of those near death torpor states that immortals go into when they're hurt enough." Alexis said, mimicking Skorpion's phrasing intentionally.

Suddenly very interested in her waffles in an attempt to avoid Shiori's inquiry, Arella pointed out, "Skorp said he didn't want him in that state, though. I checked."

"Don't punch or kick too hard, then, got it." Shiori kept a close eye on her phone, which was sitting to the right of her massive plate. "What's up with you two? I figure we could talk about something other than stupid stereotypical aussie people."

"Nothing too much." Alexis said with a half shrug.

Arella, meanwhile, suddenly seemed to be fidgetting in her seat like someone who both wants and doesn't want to say something.

"Arella, you look like you're about to explode. Got something big on your mind?" Shiori peeeeeered at the so-not-magical-girl with some worry on her face.

"I had a fight with Luc last night," the magical girl suddenly burst out with, speaking both more loudly and more quickly than was strictly necessary, as if she just couldn't hold it in anymore.

"What was it about?" Alexis asked, tilting her head to the side. Shiori merely watched with some interest.

"He wanted me to come home and sleep, and I wasn't ready yet, and I got mad, and yelled at him, and swore at him, and when he tried to make me, I hit him and kicked him to try and make him put me down," she admitted, all in one breath, both sounding and looking exactly as awful as she felt about the whole thing.

"How late was it?" Alexis then asked, trying to find out if it was because she was doing the superhero thing until she slowly destroyed herself again.

Arella gave a rather guilty shrug, very much fidgeting and avoiding looking anyone in the eye. In other words, it had likely been pretty damn late.

Alexis let out a sigh. "Listen. I don't like Lucius, like. At all. So I wouldn't take his side unless he's absolutely right. You need to sleep. I know you're a teacher and it's your job to take care of your students, but you can't do that if you work yourself to death." She lightly scolded. "You don't need to protect the world by yourself. You have me, mom, John, Skorp, Dev, Kor, Kat, Shiori, Lucius, and probably some people I haven't even met to help you. Plus there are actual superheros out there. Iron man, Thor, Cheetah girl." The wolfgirl said before taking a breath, reaching across the table to rest a hand on one of Arella's. "The world is heavy, Arella. And the only way you're not gonna get crushed under the weight is to share it."

"I know," Arella conceded, sounding very small as she continued to stare down at her plate. Not that she was actually recognizing that particular problem yet. "And I know I shouldn't have picked a fight with him, either. I told him I was sorry, but I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to do. We've never... we've never had a fight before."

"The most you can do is learn that you don't have do go it alone." Alexis said before attempting to lighten the mood. "And if you wanna make it up to him for the hitting you could always." She coughed into her hand. "You know."

"What little I know, fights are supposed to open up a means to allow the relaionship to grow cause they bring up the faults that still need to be worked upon." Shiori mentoned over her breakfast. "Or at least that's what I've read and figured out anyways." She said in a small voice, face reddening just a little. Her inexperience with such things was showing.

Arella squirmed a bit in her seat, before fretting, "What if he's mad at me?" Which, of course, left her sounding about eight years old. She wasn't used to people being upset with her, and she definitely didn't like the idea of Luc being upset with her.

"Well, uh, did he seem mad last night? Cause if he didn't then, why would be now? Unless you're not supposed to be out right now?" Shiori leaned forward towards Arella.

"He said he was a little mad," the magical girl admitted. "And what if he just said that so I wouldn't feel worse, and he's actually a lot mad?"

"Hm. I've not known Lucius as long as you have, but I think he is the type to be fairly honest with his emotions towards people he likes. And considering it's you, he'd be extra truthful." The snowleopardgirl gave a nod to that, convinced.

But Arella gave her head a rather miserable shake. "I don't know," she confessed. "I know that sometimes people aren't really honest with me just to make me feel better. What if he was just trying to make me feel better?"

The supersoldier tapped the table a bit, fretting herself. "I, uh, I'll be honest." Shiori started to go much redder in the face. "I don't have much experience with all this." In a much smaller voice as she looked away. "More like next-to-none."

"You're worrying too much. If it was really that bad he'd tell you." Alexis said before adding. "You beat yourself up way too much about these things. You're human, humans make mistakes. If you pressure yourself to be perfect you'll be crushed before you get there."

"You think so?" the rather insecure-sounding magical girl sought to confirm.

"Yes. He's a simple man, with simple processes. Just stop overworking yourself and you'll be fine." Alexis informed with confidence. "Couples fight, that's a part of relationships. It's healthy."

Arella gave a somewhat uncertain-looking nod, and did her best to push the worry to the back of her mind for now; Lexi might be right, after all, and she could be hopeful. "So, I guess we'd better find Shiori a boyfriend next," the magical girl tried teasing, though she didn't quite sound like her usual self yet. "Or girlfriend. Or both."

---

"<What's with Captain Morgan over there?>"

"<Who?>"

"<The pirate!>"

"<Oh, Captain Jack? He's been there all morning. I think he's some sort of pervert.>"

"<And not one of those stupid living statue things? He hasn't MOVED all morning.>"

"<No collection box.>"

"<I thought he was just bad at it.>"

"<Should we call security?>"

"<What, and deal with the rent-a-cops again? Totally uncool. If he tries anything, or it's that smelly aussie with the camera, blast him and run for it before he tries to capture you. He got Miyu the other day, apparently.>"

"<Ewww. Wait, I thought that was Raven?>"

"<He got her too.>"

Meanwhile, on the bench, Bruce snored gently. Watching teenagers indistinguishable from other teenagers got boring fast.

---

Shiori was still hacking and coughing as Alexis laughed at her in a good spirited way. At Arella's statement, she had been taking a bit of a bite of her breakfast, and now a fair portion of THAT was stuck up her nose.

"Yeah! How about she dates Rekko and me?" Alexis teasingly suggested. "That way all of us are in some form of a love triangle."

The reddening face on the snowleopardgirl was the only response she had to that.

"I'm not hearing a no." Alexis teased with a devious grin as she leaned towards Shiori. "Hey, if he can handle one super soldier, who's to say he can't take two?" She wasn't serious of course, but watching Shiori react was fun. "But I warn you, he likes to go for the tail." She added, leaving a lot of room for the imagination.

And the redness on Shiori's face grew ever deeper. "I, uh, ahem, what?" She took a deep breath to calm herself. "I don't think that, uh...."

Alexis chuckled a little at the reaction. "Relax, I'm just yankin' yer chain." She said with a smile to convey it was all in good fun.

"Yeah, it's usually a good idea not to take Lexi too seriously," Arella teased in turn. "Also, that's not how love triangles work, sweetie." Complete with an exaggerated headpat for the wolfgirl. A love triangle, after all, was a really sucky plot device for a story lacking conflict - unlike a threesome, which was awesome.

Alexis' ears perked as her head was patted. "My bad." She conceded before a joke came to mind. "How about we all date?" She suggested with a smile.

"What, date, I-" Shiori started.

"Done!" the magical girl immediately declared, impressively straight-faced. "Now who gets to tell Rekko and Luc and Kat?"

"I'll tell Rekko with Shiori, and I'll let you handle informing your current girlfriend and boyfriend about the change." Alexis said, rolling with the joke.

"Why do you get the help?" Arella made a great show of disapproval. "You've only got one jilted lover to inform - I've got two, I should get the backup."

"Wh- wait, I what?" Shiori looked between the two of them in shock, her face turning a brighter shade of red.

"But yours'll be easy to convince. I might have a hard time convincing him without Shiori's massive chest." Alexis stated, pointing to Shiori's chest for emphasis. "And you have no idea how soft those are."

The poor girl had been completely struck dumb by this point, and her face was so red that she could pose as a stop sign. Joke or not, Shiori was very unused to this.

Alexis looked to Shiori, leaning over the table with her tail wagging. "Oh my God, I love your reactions." She said with a big grin. "I can't mess with Arella anymore, so I'm glad I met someone who isn't immune yet."

Shiori cleared her throat, and tried to calm herself down. "A-anyways, aren't we supposed to be talking about capturing a certain pervert instead of my, uhm, attributes and how they can affect people?" She fidgeted in her chair and looked between the two of them, her face remaining as red as ever none-the-less.

Arella let out a great show of a sigh. "I suppose we could," she allowed, as if Shiori were spoiling all their fun and not just, y'know, being a responsible adult. "Do we know where he is, yet?"

"We'd know pretty quick. My contact would ding us the moment she'd find anything." Shiori explained to the other two girls. "She is gonna keep an eye on all sorts of social networks, chatters, the works."

"At which point we go there, find him, punch him several times, kick him several more, stick him in a bubble, and drop him off with Skorp in exchange for presents. Now, back to the teasing..." the magical girl teased, grinning widely.

"Eep."

---

"Oh, no! I'm a magical girl left alone by her partner, and vulnerable to kidnapping! Oh, I hope somebody doesn't come and..." Cathal trailed off, looking over the top of the script at Lucius. "This is stupid. You know that cu... Scunner. Why don't you just find out where he's sleeping, an' go ambush him overnight or somethin'?"

'Nae honour in attackin' a man while he sleeps, laddie.' Lucius pointed out.

"And yet, putting me in a ridiculous outfit and having him try to kidnap me IS?" Cathal placed his hands on his hips and glared at Lucius, the frills on the aforementioned outfit spoiling the effect.

'Nae. Tha's jus' bait.'

"It's still stupid."

---

"Oh, no. I'm an innocent magical girl, and my partner's left me alone while she gets a smoothie. Oh dear, I hope nobody kidnaps me." Cathal commented in an almost Johnathan-like monotone, looking at his phone and tapping at it. "{You have an entire school of actual magical girls. Why use me?}" He texted.

'{not aloud to use them as bayed. Arella says its bad for them.}' Came the badly-typed reply from Lucius.

Cathal rolled his eyes, tapping out another message.

---

The camera swung around, causing a dizzying motion blur as it panned from a storeful of teenage girls to Cathal standing by a fountain in a short-skirted frilly magical girl outfit. "Croikey! We've got a prime specimen 'ere! Now, since someone broke me net gun, we'll 'ave to do this the hard way, viewers." Bruce commented, releasing the drone again and approaching Cathal from behind. "Hey, little girly~"

Cathal looked over his shoulder as his phone chirped again.

'{Steel for thyme. Need him alive adn intact.}'

"What?" Cathal sighed, his thumbs still in motion, somehow touch-typing on a touchscreen phone. "{Slimy bastard, isn't he? Worse than you around Arella. Can I axe him a question?}"

Bruce gave a smooth grin as he stepped up next to Cathal. "You're lookin' mighty cute, might I say. Howsabout you and me go grab a shake together?"

Internally, Cathal cringed. Who talked like that? Did this guy get his moves from old movies or something?

"{GO WIHT HIM. Need hmi alive adn intact. No amputations.}"

Cathal looked up at the aussie, batting his (false) eyelashes. "Sure, I'd LOVE to go get a shake. There's a stall just over there." He replied in a high voice as he pointed to the stall in question, taking care to keep his arm inside his sleeve.

Bruce looked over, squinting across the concourse. "Small stand, big red sign?"

"No, no, to the left a bit." Cathal corrected, drawing a dented aluminium baseball bat wrapped with chains.

"Oh, now I see it." Bruce turned back, causing Cathal to swiftly hide the bat behind his back. Bruce winked and set off for the stall, walking ahead.

Cathal's phone bleeped, ignored. "{NONONO ONONONON ALIVE ADN INTACT}"

There was a *cl4ng* as the bat struck Bruce over the back of the head, sending him sprawling. Cathal stepped over him bringing the bat down again.

"It's all frills an' lace, an'..." Bruce commented as he looked up, causing Cathal to stomp on his head. "Ow!"

The bat swung down again, this time bending nearly in half on the aussie's head. Cathal looked at it, then down at Bruce, and kicked him again before stomping off, muttering about inferior sporting goods. After a few steps, he paused to hurl the remains of the bat through Bruce's camera drone, sending it spinning into the fountain. "Hmph! AND you don't even have any cash!" Cathal remarked, tossing Bruce's wallet over his shoulder minus a few credit cards and his ID.

---

After yet more rounds of "Let's See How Red Shiori Gets!", everyone's phones started to go off at the same time. When checked, they all had the same message, detailing where Bruce was and what had been going on.

"Well, ahem, we have our lead, let's hop to it?" Shiori all but pleaded to make the horrible terrible teasing stop for any legitimate reason, cause she hated the attention oh so very much. "We splitting the bill, or what?"

"Look, up in the sky! It's... the hot chicks signal! The president needs us!" Arella jokingly declared, abandoning her seat in order to strike an appropriately dramatic pose, before ever-so-normally waving the waitress over to request their bills. "And I dunno, but Lexi's definitely paying for herself." Followed, of course, by the magical girl sticking her tongue out at the doggirl in question.

"False!" Alexis declared, pointing an accusing finger at Arella. "Skorpion pays for all of my meals." She corrected holding up a card. "You'd be surprised how much money you make when you take eating out of your personal expenses."

"Well, it is only fair, considering it's his fault you eat so much in the first place," the magical girl conceded.

"Hey, it works for me." Alexis shrugged.

"So are we splitting, or am I getting yours too? I am cool either way." Shiori pulled out her own debit card as she spoke. Nothing too fancy, it was just a card.

Arella gave a shrug. "May as well all pay for ourselves, since Lexi's already getting hers. Well, Skorp's getting hers, but same thing." She then paused a moment, looking surprised at herself for not thinking of this sooner. "Or, y'know, we could let Skorp get the whole bill, since he's the reason we're here." It wasn't like Dad would mind or anything.

"Think he'd mind? Cause I can see him being ok for you two, but not me so much." Shiori asked with an eyebrow up.

"Aww, it'll be fine," the magical girl assured, claiming Lexi's card to hand over to the waitress. "If he gets mad, I'll just give him a hug and wibble a bit or something."

"Ah yes, the power of wibbles." She sagely nodded, and did her best to make the plates stacked. "Soon as we get the reciept, we can go kick some aussie butt. I just hope Cathal remembers what I taught him in class. About not underestimating foes, always keep aware of the usual fight tropes, make sure they are actually down before you turn your back, so forth."

"And if not, he can always 'accidentally' steal the git's underwear or something," Arella snarked.

"How do you know about that?!" Alexis demanded to know, sharply standing from her seat, blushing with clear embarrasment.

Arella suddenly looked as if she'd won the lottery, turning her full attention on Alexis, along with a raised eyebrow. "It happened at the academy, followed by the greatest malleting in the history of malletings. What do you know about it?"

"Err, yeah. Hehe. The academy. Just, uh. Yeah, that was, uhhh. What I was talking about... but you, Uhh. Already. Knew, sooo." Alexis reached for her card. "Can I have that back?"

"Not until we've paid," Arella tossed back, giving it to the waitress for a quick swipe.

"Cool. After that we'll go catch that Aussie, huh?" Alexis said to change the subject.

"Yup~" the magical girl confirmed, before noticing one rather important detail they'd all overlooked. "Um, how were we planning on getting there? I brought my ninja, but obviously we can't fit all three of us on her."

"I got an SUV from the garage." Alexis informed pointing to the Largoist SUV parked outside. "In the clear."

"I just kinda hopped here. Carefully, I was still waking up, mind." Shiori simply put. "I COULD simply carry you two there, but that would be a little too bouncy, I think."

"How about you two go in Lexi's car, and I'll follow on my ninja?" Arella finally suggested, handing the wolfgirl back her card before jotting down a very generaous tip for their waitress on the receipt.

"Works for me." Alexis said as she took her card and put it away.

"Me too." Shiori made her way to the SUV, raring to go.

---

"So, my mateys." Bruce grinned at the camera, still dressed in the pirate outfit. "No magical girls there. Though, apparently, there are magical BOYS. Who knew, right?" He winked, and turned back to watching the playing field. On it was a pack of teenage girls in gym uniforms, engaging in baseball practice. Occasional flashes of magic belied the nature of the girls, while the coach was blissfully unaware of the occasional forcefields and magical fireballs. "But here, mateys, we have a prime example of 'em."

"<HYA! Ha! Take that Hayasaki!>"

"<Hey, no fair, you did that on purpose!>"

"<Prove it!>"

"<Knock it off, Sakura. We all saw, so back off.>"

"<Tch, whatever.>"

"Roight. We've gotta separate one from the pack somehow; they're SUPER protective of each other, as I've found." Bruce remarked, tugging the sleeve of his coat up to display a pattern of bruises and burns along his arm. "But if we find one that isn't part of the main pack, there's a MUCH better chance of gettin' them. See, while they're social creatures, they're also vicious little buggers when it comes to ostracising anyone different." The camera panned over to focus on a girl isolated from the rest of the group a ways, practicing swings on her own. "There we go. One little girlie all on her lonesome. Just gotta wait for her to stray from the group a little, then we make our move." He grinned widely and winked. "Then, we get to the REALLY fun part."

Poor Sakiko was having a bad week. First she failed her test, then she messed up the training room with a badly shot time bomb, THEN she tripped over BUBBA and broke the diorama she'd been working on for weeks! Add to that, every other girl on the team didn't want her nearby cause she had a nasty tendency to lose the bat when she swung. Sometimes they'd find it... About a week later anyways. She gave a great sigh to herself and kept swinging, hoping to at least get in some good practice. And yet, on the third swing, the bat disappeared. Again.

Bruce ducked as the bat flew overhead, the drone bobbing out the way easily. "Croikey! Has she seen me already?"

Sakiko at least had an idea as to where it went this time. She saw the odd pirate guy duck and figured that must be where it went. She gloomily made her way to where he was, and asked when she arrived: "<I'm sorry about that. Are you hurt? And did you see where the bat went?>"

Bruce looked up, adjusting his hat. "<What? It went that way.>" He pointed, before remembering what he was meant to be doing and grabbing the girl; muffling her with a cloth. "Gotcha!"

"Mmmph!" Now this day was getting worse! On instinct, she tried to activate one of her little time bombs.

Bruce kicked the bomb away on instinct. "Now, viewers, this is usually where I'd do the usual thing with 'er. However..." The bomb exploded loudly, leaving a small hole in the ground as the dirt and grass was whisked away to some other part of time and space. "This one's a loud one, and there's a pack nearby. Let's cut to later, shall we?" He switched off the camera before zapping the squirming, struggling magical girl with a tazer-like cap and slinging her into the back of the nondescript van he'd parked nearby, cuffing her to part of the structure to stop her escaping before driving off.

Sakiko's world went painful and twitchy as she was struck. She tried to defend herself again, but she found herself unable to lift her arms or legs.

The nearby girls heard the explosion, and looked up just in time to see Bruce sling her over her shoulder and scurry into that van. "<It's him! It's that pervert kidnapper!>" cried out Sakura, before she and the rest whipped out their phones and tried to get a picture of the bastard. Soon as they got something, they began to send out the picture to everywhere they could on the social media, with Hayasaki calling Raven/Arella directly.

---

The adult girls, in the meantime, were about halfway to the mall, Arella following Lexi and Shiori on her ninja, when the windshield of said ninja suddenly lit up to alert her to an incoming phone call. From one of the students. Which pretty much meant there was an emergency, and she needed to answer.

"Shit!" the supposed magical girl suddenly exclaimed, as she realized she needed to answer, but also kinda needed to get to the mall ASAP, and also didn't want to lose her friends (whom she couldn't exactly ask to stop for a minute while she answered her phone without having to, say, call them on her phone). "Fsck!" It was SUPER dangerous to talk on the phone while driving, she so shouldn't even be considering doing it! She was also getting some odd looks from people as she practically flew past them, curses trailing in her wake, but she didn't notice that.

She did, however, answer her phone via bluetooth (courtesy of Skorpion, obviously). "Moshi moshi?"

"Moshi moshi! <Arella-sensei, that pervert that you and Shiori-sensei warned us about just nabbed Sakiko-san! Took her into his van right after he shocked her silly! We're at the ballpark near the Shinjuku Park, practicing and-and-and-and->"

"<Don't panic, Hayasaki-san,>" Arella soothed. "<Take a couple deep breaths for me, we're on our way right now. Did you see which direction the van went?>"

Hayasaki took a deep breath, just like she practiced in classes. "<He took her north, to that seedy part of town. Will you rescue her, Arella-sensei? She gets very explosive when stressed out!>"

"<We'll have her back in no time,>" the senior magical girl promised. And her kidnapper beaten to a bloody pulp and delivered to Skorp, but they didn't need to know those exact details. "<You and the rest of the girls stay where you are, and we'll bring Sakiko-san right back to you, okay?>"

<Yes Arella-sensei! May the Raven strike again!>" Hayasaki giggled as she hung up, and began telling the others what Arella-sensei said to do.

Her line free, Arella immediately let out a few more panicked curses as she now had to make a phone call herself, while still driving! At least it was a largely hands-free affair, since she could just tell the bike or whatever was in charge of the phone stuff while she was on said bike to call Lexi and Shiori for her.

"Hey, we got a call from Arella. Doesn't she panic when she does that?" Shiori held up her flipphone for Lexi to see, then flipped it open and answered. "What's up?"

"Magical Girl Dundee struck again - some of the girls were at the Shinjuku park and he grabbed one of them. They're in a van, headed north towards a decidedly less desirable part of town - we need to get there fast,>" Arella reeled off in an almost impressively professional manner; maybe all that time playing Batman was actually good for more than pretending she wasn't a magical girl after all.

"Got it." Shiori relayed to Lexi: "Make a left, soon, we're going into the red district. Dumbass snagged another girl."

"Mhmm." Alexis mused, cracking her neck before the passionate fire of a true Largoist lit up in her eyes and she slammed on the gas, drifting the SUV within an inch of the curb to make the turn. "Directions. Go." She demanded as she straightened out the SUV.

"Arella, do you-" And she was interrupted by a loud ping to everyone's phones. The text read: "Motel Six knockoff, 12th street, purple building with peeling paint, middle of the district, third floor, corner room. Hurry, he has already started his 'proceedure'." Shiori read through, and relayed to Lexi again. She also got back on her phone proper and told Arella too, so she didn't have to panic about reading a text while driving.

"I'm going through the wall. Let her know." Alexis stated as she swerved through traffic and drifted around turns.

"Lexi says she's gonna take the direct path into the building."

"I'M ON A BIKE!" even Lexi could hear the magical girl objecting. Immediately followed by a shocked and panicked, "AND TALKING ON THE PHONE, OH MY GOD!" At which point the connection was cut off, because Arella had hung up.

"Arella's taking the situation well." Shiori deadpanned. "I'd say punch it, lady."

"You buckled?" Alexis asked as she viewed a rapidly approaching purple wall.

"Have been."

"Good." Alexis said before they slammed through the exterior wall, along with a couple interior walls, tires screeching as the vehicle came to a halt. "First floor. Concrete, wood, brick, and Aussies."

Arella, not far behind, was in a decidedly less good mood. In fact, she was feeling a bit rant-y. "LEXI, HOW COULD YOU EVEN BE SURE THERE WEREN'T ANY OTHER PEOPLE IN HERE! AND I WAS ON MY NINJA, SHE DOESN'T GO THROUGH WALLS! AND I WAS JUST TALKING ON THE PHONE AND DRIVING FOR FSCK'S SAKE, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW DANGEROUS THAT IS?!" Yup, definitely rant-y.

"... And upset magical girls." Alexis added before exiting her car with a grenade launcher in tow.

Shiori hopped out of the vehicle, double checked for any victims, found none, and turned to Arella. "Focus. Teenager, upstairs, likely getting stripped to her skivvies or less. We need to plan an attack lest we go in there half-" She watched as Arella stormed past, barely hearing a word. "Cocked. Damnit." She turns to Alexis. "Get with her. I'm gonna hop to the window and bash my way in. Watch for the victim, and let's make sure he doesn't escape this time. OK?"

"Mhmm." Alexis mused as she followed after Arella. "You're not mad at me are ya?" She called after the magical girl.

"I'll feel better once I've punched him a few times," Arella promised, still storming up the stairs.

Shiori made her way to the nearest roof, waiting for the right moment to strike, and to survey the room itself.

"Really shoulda thought out a proper plan. This hot-head stuff get's people killed." Alexis wisely informed as she checked the launcher. "Also I'm gonna launch a flashbang the moment the door opens, sooo... Prep for that."

"You can't," Arella pointed out, slightly more calmly. "You'd get Sakiko, too, and it could damage her eyes. Not to mention she'd likely blast us all with her powers, she doesn't have the best control over them yet."

---

"Now, viewers, it ain't often we actually get this far with 'em, so let's try an' learn as much from this as we can, yeah?" Bruce grinned to the camera before moving in towards the magical girl, now tied to the bed. "Note the small stature, and the generally underdeveloped state of 'er. Magical girls tend to be young; not seen many of the older ones yet, so I presume they're pretty rare. Maybe they lose their powers as they get older?" He shrugged. "That's a mystery for another time, though. Maybe we can catch one later an' check her. But for now, we've got a young'un here. The lack of animal features shows she's different from the last one we caught, as backed up by the different powers. This one tends to knock holes in stuff somehow. We'll test that later. But first..."

Bruce was interrupted by a crash from downstairs, followed by another couple of crashes and engine noise. "Croikey! They're onter me! They'll be at the door any second, so..." He was cut off again by the door being kicked in, and a flashbang igniting the carpet and drapery near the door.

"I SAID NO FLASHBANGS!" Arella loudly objected, even as she took a good swing at Bruce on her way to freeing her student.

"Yepyep. You can hit me for it later." Alexis said calmly, dropping the launcher to her feet before pulling out her magnum and firing at Bruce.

Bruce blocked Arella's attacks on instinct, stepping backwards just in time to be shot through the chest by Alexis. "Dammit, I paid a security deposit here!" He complained, barely noticing the bullet wounds as he fired lightning back at the girls.

Alexis dived out of the way, rolling to her feet before focusing her aim at his leg joints. "Shoulda brought John..."

Bruce staggered, falling over as his kneecaps were shot out, continuing to spray lightning at the girls. Missed blasts ignited more of the room, while the fires started by the flashbangs spread around. "My legs! I need those to walk!"

"Oh, for fsck's sake!" a beyond-exasperated Arella finally exclaimed, even going so far as to outright roll her eyes as she trapped Bruce in one of her bubbles to stop the bloody idiot from spraying any more electricity before setting about freeing her student before the poor girl ended up on fire. "Much better," the magical girl finally declared with satisfaction as Sakiko was finally freed. She then pulled out a spare fire extinguisher and tossed it to Alexis. "Do something about your fire, please, before the whole building goes up. Are you okay, Sakiko-san?"

Alexis caught the extinguisher with a raised eyebrow. "Are you okay? You've been pretty touchy lately." Alexis expressed before setting about extinguishing fires.

"<That pervert took my gym uniform! And he kept poking me like I was a lab rat! AND he smells like an elephant's butt in mid summer!>" was Sakiko's response. "<Please get me out of here!>"

"What the actual fuck?" Alexis couldn't help but ask in English due to how many different ways that string of events was psycotic and weird. "Arella we really need to find a way to waste this guy, because someone like this potentially living forever is a really disturbing thing to think of."

Just before Arella put up her bubble, Shiori was watching intently on a nearby roof. She witnessed the flashbang, heard the magnum, and watched as the lightning strikes flew around, one of them blasting the window opposite Bruce and shattering it. That's my cue Shiori thought to herself. The super lady took a few steps back, making sure to keep Bruce in her sights. A breath to steady her nerves, before Shiori raced to the edge of the roof, leaped off and into a calculated dive. As she flew through the air, Shiori clenched her right hand, reared back, and aimed a fist right at Bruce's face mid-flight. It was only then that she noticed the bubble that had formed in the small time she took to perform her maneuver.

---

When the bubble was lifted, Bruce was slumped unconscious and bleeding from his nose and ears.

"Welp. Probably for the best that you had that bubble up. Way it was, he woulda been a puddle of goo now, wouldn't he." Shiori gave his foot a nudge, testing. "We need to get him mummified in such a way as not to let him escape this time."

"Let's just keep him in one of Arella's bubbles. I doubt Sir Sparksalot could bust through." Alexis suggested, slipping a hand into her pocket while training a handgun at the back of the Australian's head.

"Works for me," the totally-retired-magical girl agreed, this time creating a bubble large enough to contain the entire Magical Girl Dundee (and if he ended up getting a bit banged up along the way to Skorp, well, these things happen - she certainly couldn't be blamed for it). The young magical girl got her full attention then. "<Are you alright, Sakiko-san? He didn't hurt you or anything?>"

"<I still feel a little weird from when he shocked me. My left arm feels a little numb, too...>" Sakiko tried to wiggle a finger or three, but only two responded. "<Though that's kinda new, might have been the restraints...>" The student kept trying to wiggle her fingers to get the feeling back.

Arella just cast a worried look at Alexis. "Should we call Eva, d'you think?" If there was any nerve damage, that could be serious.

Shiori heard that bit. "I'd say that we do so, and take her to Eva, just in case. Even if something's temporary, a good healing would be beneficial." Shiori gave a sharp (though measured) kick to the dumbass' current prison. "We get doofus here to his new home, we'll clean up the streets a lot." Shiori then took some time to find and systematically obliterate every camera Bruce had in the room. "We're gonna need to find that van of his too, tear that to shreds. Or at least give it to Skorpion, he could use the raw materials. OOH! Maybe he could make the prison out of the van itself! The irony would be perfect!"

Alexis nodded in agreement with the part referring to Eva. "Yeah. Call med bay when we get to the SUV, and I'll drive us there." She said with a decisive nod. "And let Skorp know we got him too."

Sakiko gave Arella small tug on the sleeve of her shirt and whispered. "<Don't tell Shiori-sensei, but sometimes she scares me with how she gets all fired up like that.>"

Arella tried and failed to stifle a giggle, and ended up giving the girl an affectionate little hug instead. "<I think that's normal,>" she assured with a whisper of her own. "<Want to come back to the FGTL with us, to get your arm looked at? Then we can take you back to the park.>"

"<Uh-huh. Thank you Arella-sensei, Shiori-sensei....Uhm. Other-Lady-sensei.>" Sakiko gave a quick bow to Alexis.

"<I'm Alexis; a Largoist officer.>" Alexis informed, smiling to Sakiko.

"<Nice to meet you ma'am.>" Sakiko looked around nervously. "<Can we go? This place weirds me out.>"

"<Of course.>" Alexis said, patting the girl's head before turning to Shiori and handing her several bricks of C4. "Only use as much as you need, and place them at key points of structural integrity for a controlled demolition." She said with a straight face.

"....On what?" Shiori asked with a slightly incredulous face.

"Support beams. I want the building to collapse in on itself, not out on the buildings around it." Alexis clarified, raising a questioning eyebrow to Shiori.

"Uhh. Barring the fact that we totalled a wall, this is still a semi-legit business place. Unless it's been closed and I didn't notice." Shiori blinked back at Alexis.

"Oh, it's closing, and we're going to close it." Alexis said as she turned to grab her grenade launcher. "Maybe I should get Skorp to evacuate it, then[\i] level it with a strike..." She pondered before looking back to Shiori. "Wouldn't want some other highschool girl getting abducted and brought here, right?"

"Lexi," the apparent voice of reason that was Arella objected, very much using her Teacher Voice. "No blowing up random buildings."

"Oh, I'm not blowing up a random building. I'm neutralizing a buisness that would allow an obvious pervert to bring an unwilling or unconcious schoolgirl into a motel room with them alone." Alexis said with a grin. "A random building would be the one three blocks to the left and five doors down." She said, not knowing what that building actually was. "My point is, you want something gone. Make it gone."

"Did you [i]see
a checkout desk when we came in? We can hardly blame whomever owns the property for Bruce the Idiot's decision to hide here. No blowing it up." Arella then hesitated a moment, before pointing out, "Besides, we already kinda destroyed a wall and caused some serious fire damage to the room, blowing it up now would just be mean."

"No job half done." Alexis retorted.

"No blowing up buildings, you'll scar the magical girl!" Arella finally put her foot down.

By this point Sakiko had scooted over and behind Shiori, deciding she was less scary at the moment. That tail was getting gripped upon too.

"I'm not blowing up buildings. I'm blowing up a building. I mean if I don't Skorp might, so cut the middle man and boom." Alexis said, relatively calmly. "And the trucks armoured enough to avoid any scars to the magical girl."

"No, you're not. And neither is he," the totally-a-magical girl decreed with all the finality of a queen passing sentence. She also confiscated the C4, and gave her friend a look that rather suggested at a threat of wibbles if she didn't cooperate. Because Arella could totally play dirty. And if that didn't work, she could always stick Lexi in the bubble with Bruce - that just seemed like rather cruel and unusual punishment, without at least trying everything else first.

Shiori cleared her throat. "Alexis, the place can always be blown to smithereens later. Right now, we have an injured civvie, both physically and mentally, and an immortal that could wake up at any given moment, bubble or no bubble. So, I suggest we take care of the time sensitive issues now, and deal with the thing that will stand around later." She leaned over and whispered to Lexi "And if Skorpion does take away your fun, I'll make it up to you."

Alexis' ear twitched a bit at the offer, the wolfgirl debating it for a moment before deciding. "Alright. I guess I ruffled your feathers enough. Let's head out." She said, making an internal note to ensure the buisness was destroyed legally before the building was physically. "Time is of the essence and such." She said as she started her way out.

"Great! Then let's get going - I daresay being dragged along behind my ninja will do Brucie some good," Arella rather wickedly declared. Hey, he'd be in the bubble, it wouldn't do any permanent harm!

"<Come along, Sakiko. Time to get better and home.>" Shiori held a hand out for Sakiko, who took it lightly while still holding onto Shiori's tail. Comfort fur, that's what it was.

Later, when they got closer to Bruce's van, something snapped in Sakiko. "<THAT.....THAT....JERK!!!!>" She screamed out, sending out her largest time bomb yet, right at the vehicle. There was a loud POW! And in a flash of light, the vehicle was gone. Simply gone. "<.....I...oops. I think I sent it forwards fifty years.>"

Arella let out a rather absurd giggle at that, before declaring, "Spoilers." And then cracking up some more.

"Oh, suuure. The magical girl gets to blast stuff to the future, but I can't even level a single three story building." Alexis complained. "You are so totally biased."

"Well, the magical girl can manage it without endangering surrounding lives and buildings. Also, she's still in training, and gets to use the 'accident' excuse," Arella pointed out, smugly.

"Unless someone happens to be standing there 50 years from now." Shiori remarked.

"I could totally take out only that building." The wolfgirl argued.

---

"Come on, Alexis, you have to admit: That was cool and completely cathartic for her." Shiori gave Alexis a nudge, with the pair of them pulling up into the HQ, Arella not far behind. "Eh, eh?"

"Yeah, but if I don't get that building, you said you'd make it up to me." Alexis reminded with a grin. "And I have no idea how I'd have you go about doing that."

"I have an idea or two. But that can wait 'till after we are short a pair of ears." She nodded her head to the back seat. Sakiko STILL hadn't let go of Shiori's tail, and Shiori was fine with that.

"Interesting, but yeah. We can talk about it later." Alexis agreed.

"So!" Skorpion clapped his hands together as he walked up to the girls. "Oh. You girls know you were meant to compete, right? Y'know, multiple approaches, first one to bring him back gets the reward?"

"Oh dear, it appears we have a three way tie with an honorable mention." Shiori mused to the Largoist leader, keeping a smile off her lips with some degree of control.

"Don't tell me he caught another one." Skorpion sighed, rolling his eyes. "Very well. Hand him over, and I'll split the reward between you."

Shiori waved over, to where Bruce was still sitting and bleeding in his own personal bubble. "There he be."

Skorpion stepped over, crouching down to peer through the bubble. "He doesn't look very well. I told you not to hurt him too badly, didn't I?"

"He'll get better. He had to be taken down thanks to him spewing lightning everywhere." The snowleopard girl leaned over just enough and whispered to Skorpion. "And when someone takes off a fourteen year old's gym uniform, they kinda deserve it. If it wasn't for Arellas bubble, he'd have been a puddle of goo."

Skorpion nodded. "Maybe I should have specified 'alive and conscious'. Arella, let him out?"

"Skorp, you know it's far better this way. If he was awake he could have gotten lucky and escaped." Alexis said, choosing to wait on mentioning the building that she wanted gone.

"I'd also suggest popping the bubble after we get him to his new room. Just in case. Alexis, could we take Sakiko up to your sister?" Shiori noted. "<Sakiko, follow me, ok?>" Sakiko gave a nod, and followed the two ladies when they started moving, still gripping that tail like it was her best lifeline in the world.

"Yeah. You got it from here Arella?" Alexis asked, to be sure.

"Oh, I got it," the magical girl promised, still glaaaaaaring at the unconscious Bruce. It was strange - somehow, injuring him just made her want to injure him more, instead of making her feel better. Maybe that was one of his superpowers, like how everyone had wanted to kill Wally?

"Well?" Skorpion asked, tapping his foot impatiently.

"Well, I'm not gonna just let him out until he's somewhere secure!" Arella objected. "Where did you want him?"

With any luck, it would be somewhere that required the use of stairs she could "accidentally" end up dropping him down.

"We ARE somewhere secure." Skorpion pointed out. "Also, he's unconscious and bleeding in there, so he's not going to be much use if he doesn't get patched up soon."

Arella pouted a bit, clearly hesitating. "So we don't need to use any stairs or anything?" She really wanted to drop him down the stairs, it sounded fun.

"No. You already dragged him halfway across Tokyo anyway." Skorpion sighed. "You can come back and abuse him later."

She was outright pouting now; there was something very cathartic about Bruce abuse.

"Do you WANT your bike modded? Because I'm not going to do it if you don't hand him over."

"Fiiiiiiine," Arella relented, dropping the bubble and sulking for a bit. "So what kinda mods do I get?" she then brightly wanted to know a moment later.

"Turning into a right little mercenary now, aren't you?" Skorpion remarked, reaching out to pat her head affectionately. "I was thinking a little more power, to keep Lucius on his toes during your little races." A drone vehicle trundled up from behind him, grabbing the comatose immortal with an arm before hauling him onto the cargo bed on top of it. It beeped cheerily before turning around and trundling off, just fitting through the doorway.

"What races?" the magical girl tried, feigning a rather impressive amount of innocence - because surely a magical girl wouldn't do something like that.

"I know him, and I know you. You can't convince me you're not racing him. On top of that, you've been sent these." Skorpion handed her a sheaf of papers. "Speeding tickets."

Arella actually blanched at that, suddenly looking both guilty and repentant. And a bit sad at the thought of having to put a stop to the racing. "Oh," was about all she could think to say.

"Yes." Skorpion stated flatly. "Keep it out of the city, or at least off the surface streets. As for the tickets, you're a citizen of Sealand and thus immune to foreign taxes such as speeding fines and parking tickets." He grinned, taking the stack off her again and setting light to it. "Just be careful; I don't want you getting hurt. Lucius is immortal; he can survive hitting a wall at high speed. You can't."

"We'll stop," she more than a little sadly promised, fidgetting a bit as the guilt continued to sink in. She'd known better all along, of course, and knew she knew better. It had just been so much fun!

Skorpion tugged her into a hug. "Just keep it out of the city, is all. I know how much fun it can be."

"It's still against the law, though..." the magical girl admitted. Clearly, this was going to be a struggle for her. It was fun, but it was also wrong, and she could ultimately only pick one side.

"I'll set up a track on the airfield you can use." Skorpion assured her. "Change it up occasionally so you don't get too used to it."

Arella nodded some acceptance at that, though she still looked more than a little conflicted. At least some part of her was clearly aware of the fact that part of the fun actually came from knowing it was wrong and doing it anyway.

She kind of still wanted to keep up with the usual racing even after being confronted by the wrongness, to be honest. Even while feeling horribly guilty about having done it at all. It was very... conflicting. She wasn't terribly used to the feeling.

Skorpion tugged her into a hug, patting her back reassuringly. "At the very least, block out the cameras."

Arella finally let out a rather frustrated sigh. "I'm not supposed to want to do it," she argued, more with herself than anything. Seriously, what was wrong with her these days? It never used to be this hard!

"I have a horrible feeling we've corrupted you completely."

That earned him a good, if playful, swat, utterly secure in the knowledge that she couldn't really hurt him (especially with the armour). The fact that she couldn't quite work up an argument seemed rather telling, however. "So, speed boost from my ninja, then?" Arella sought to confirm, instead.

"Power, not speed. Acceleration, without too much weight gain. And fresh tires; you've got a lot of wear on those ones, and I've got better ones out of testing."

"Yeah, that," the magical girl rather carelessly agreed; much as she loved her ninja, she was not likely to learn much about the workings of motorbikes. "Thanks, dad~" And he was once again rewarded with a quick peck on the cheek - a gesture she was getting more than a little used to making these days, even with the height disparity.

Skorpion chuckled. "I'm starting to get used to people calling me that. Does that mean I'm getting old?"

"No," Arella promised. "It means you're starting to feel like a dad." And that could only be a good thing, as her tone made clear.

"I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing." Skorpion mused.

"Yes it is," she assured, with another peck on the cheek, as if to prove her point.

---

Summary:
Skorpion sets Arella, Alexis, and Shiori after Electric Bruce.
Separately.
Bribing Arella with bike mods, Alexis with a BFG, and Shiori with a donation to her department at the Academy.

Meanwhile, Bruce stalks magical girls.

The girls meet over breakfast. Looots of breakfast.
Discussion. Finding videos of Bruce from his youtube channel.
Of him being attacked by magical girls, mostly. Oh, and the delivery bunny.
Shiori uses her contacts to get intelligence on Bruce.
Alexis gives Arella a Talk about doing everything herself.
Wait, weren't they meant to be competing?

Meanwhile, Bruce is noticed.

The girls tease Shiori about her lack of a boyfriend or girlfriend, while coming up with a strategy.

Meanwhile, Cathal refuses to be bait.

A short while later, Cathal is being used as bait. Dressed as a magical girl.
Bruce takes the bait, but gets beaten with a baseball bat for his troubles. And his little camera drone too!

More teasing of Shiori, then the girls have Alexis pick up the bill.
Since most of it was hers anyway, and Skorp's footing her food bills.
If he objects? Wibbles.

Meanwhile, Bruce is trying again. After having discovered that there are magical boys.
He's snuck up on baseball practice, though, rather than the mall.
He finds one apart from the group, captures her, and stuffs her in a van.

The magical girl calls Arella!
Yes, on her bike.
Change of plans! Kick his ass!
Alexis drives like a Largoist.

Bruce is narrating again, when the girls attack.
Alexis' flashbangs set the motel room alight.
Then he's bubbled by Arella after being shot a few times, and spewing lightning everywhere.
Then punched by Shiori.
Magical girl rescued, Bruce towed behind Arella's Ninja to FGTL HQ, in the bubble.
The magical girl vanishes the van into time with her powers.

No, Lexi, you can't blow up the motel.
Shiori promises to make it up to her.


Bruce is hauled to HQ.
Lexi and Shiori take the magical girl off for a checkup.
Arella wheedles the rewards from Skorp, after she reluctantly lets Bruce go.
And she's advised to stop the racing.
INTERNAL CONFLICT.
Skorp is getting used to being called 'Dad'.
He's getting Old!


---

Bruce walked up to the remains of the motel, now surrounded by construction equipment. He looked up at it, letting out a sigh as he remembered his former career hunting magical girls. His reverie was broken by a *pop* from above him. He looked up, uttering the start of a curse before being flattened by a van falling from the sky.
<<

Saeriva

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Posts: 13

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Location: In a mitten

Post Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:47 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

“Interview for the Madhouse”

Location: CMGY Academy
Time: Vaguely early afternoonish
Character(s): Lucius, Arella, Katrina, Shiori, Tiffaney, Devin, Whisp, Yakashima and Kawasaki, Elsie and introducing Madoka
Author(s): Skorp, Arella, Hyuuint, Dark-tan, Oblivion and the reclusive and Saeriva



Lucius dozed, as he was wont to do between classes. He jerked awake suddenly as someone poked at him, looking around frantically before settling on the Arella stood next to him. "Aye, lassie?"

"Remember that interview with the potential teacher's aide you've got today?" the magical girl sweetly inquired, in a way that rather suggested a potential trap.

Lucius blinked a couple of times, before venturing a response. 'Aye?'

The sweetness suddenly disappearing, Arella gave him a few good whacks with a rolled up magazine that hadn't been there a moment before, while scolding, "Well, she's been waiting in reception for over five minutes now, and you're late! Not to mention you look like you've been sleeping at your desk and are barely awake! How do you think that's going to make her feel?"

Lucius sighed, smoothing his hair and ears down, and taking a gulp of the coffee mug sat on his desktop. 'Lassie, 's normal tae keep interviewees waitin'...' He paused, wincing and turning to spit out what he'd just drunk into a nearby plant pot. 'Ach! Tastes like it's tryin' tae invent the wheel!' He shivered, before picking his feet up off the desk and sitting in his chair properly. 'Send her in, lassie.'

Arella couldn't help but facepalm. This wasn't going to go well, was it? The poor thing would likely be scarred for life, if they didn't scare her off the idea of teaching entirely. "Do you even remember her name?" she ventured to ask.

No, no he didn't. 'Meido somethin'?' Lucius ventured.

Letting out an exasperated sigh, Arella not only corrected him, but also made a point of filling him in on the rest. Y'know, just on the off chance that he might manage to remember it. "Her name is Amagawa Madoka. Remembering that this is Japan, that means you use her last name when addressing her - Amagawa. She's a student at Tokyo University, majoring in education. And we're not going to scare her off teaching forever by being completely insane." That last being said as more of a warning than anything else.

Lucius nodded, scribbling down the information on the nearest piece of paper as a crib sheet. 'Alrighty. Jus' go get her, an' let's try tae hide the crazy fer a while.' Behind him outside the window, a pair of magical girls shot by at low level, trailing sparkles and being followed by a small rocket.

Of course, saying that was practically guaranteeing that something insane would end up happening, but it was too late now. Sighing at the inevitability, Arella returned to the reception area outside Luc's office to properly greet the young woman.

"<The headmaster is all ready to see you now, Amagawa-san. And he's very sorry for the wait.>" She'd already introduced herself when she came through the room before.

'Amagawa-san' rose smoothly from the plastic office chair. The sharp hem of her navy blue dress fell in line as she did, resting smartly above her knees. It barely moved when she leaned into a shallow bow.

"<Thank you,> Ms. Silverstone," she said, managing an almost natural pronunciation on the foreign name. "<Please, after you.>"

"<Please, call me Arella - all the girls do,>" Arella requested, with the sort of welcoming smile only a magical girl could manage, before doing as she'd been bid and leading the way inside. She was also feeling very glad she'd chosen a white blouse and grey pinstriped skirt to wear that day, as opposed to, say, a pair of jeans. It made for a much better impression, and also kept her from feeling horribly under-dressed. "<Lucius, this is Amagawa-san,>" she then introduced as they entered the room (and cleverly not giving the younger woman a chance to object to the first name request). "<Amagawa-san, this is Ogilvy Lucius, the school's headmaster.>"

Lucius waved and nodded to the girl. Moshi-moshi, Amagawa-kun. Please, take a seat.' He gestured to the chair in front of his desk, nudging it out for her telekinetically.

And Arella was already facepalming over his atrocious use of Japanese.

If Amagawa objected to being referred to as -kun, she didn't show it. She smiled politely, offered a second bow, and took to the chair.

Lucius smiled somewhat sheepishly. 'I know my Japanese is awful. I'm nae from around here, an' learnin' a third language is fair tricksy.' He explained, before picking up the sheaf of notes Arella had left him earlier, and flicking through them to the 'how to conduct an interview' page. 'So, what brings ye here fer the teachin' assistant position?'

"Well, Mr. Ogilvy, I believe I included on the resume that I'm currently studying at Toddai. Ah," Amagawa stopped abruptly, tapped the pads of her fingers to her lips. She immediately clarified, "I mean, Tokyo University. I'm majoring in Education. The program requires an amount of hours of workplace experience."

Lucius nodded. 'Fair enough. Ye need experience, an' we need staff. Now, have ye any experience dealin' wi' magical girls?' He reached for his coffee to take a sip, stopping halfway as he remembered what it had tasted like last time. He set the mug back down on the desk, giving it a quick jolt of electricity to kill it.

Amagawa glanced down at her hands, perfectly manicured, folded neatly in her lap. Her glance lingered into a stare. She tapped one of her meticulously polished nails against the crisp blue field of her dress. "I suppose," she said, "it doesn't have to be a secret here."

When she looked up again, she was smiling softly.

“Actually,” she said, “I used to be one, a magical girl. It's been quite some time, now, though.”

Lucius' ears pricked up at this revelation, and he grinned. 'Ah, I ken I sensed somethin' o' it on ye. Ye must've been good at it tae make it this far, though, aye?'

Amagawa straightened in her seat. Which really shouldn't have been possible because she was already seated with her back and shoulders set even as a ruler. Her whole face beamed when she smiled.

“Thank you, Mr. Ogilvy. That’s very kind of you to say. I take a great deal of pride in my studies.”

Her earnest appreciation was answered with silence. An awkward, lingering silence. Lucius' ear twitched. Amagawa blinked, then sighed. For a second, fast as a flick of the headmaster's ear, Amagawa's posture faltered.

“You," she ventured, "you weren’t referring to my academic credentials, were you?”

Lucius shook his head. 'Nae, lassie. Bein' a magical girl is hard, especially wi' the anti-metahuman sentiment goin' round these days. Tha's why the Academy exists; tae give magical girls a fightin' chance 'gainst all o' that. An' also in memory of Arella here, who turned out tae be nae so dead, but tha's nae relevant fer nae. Yer grades are fair braw, though.'

"I got better..." a rather embarrassed Arella muttered.

As Amagawa canted her head toward Arella, something strange passed her face. Her lips moved in soft motions, words nearly lost in the clatter of distant explosions and lyrical transformation music just beyond the window. "What is dead may never die," she murmured. "But arises again, harder and stronger."

Then she brightened, clapping her palms together. "But, yes," she smiled, "it is true that things have been complicated in Japan, since the invasion. And thank you very much, Mr. Ogilvy. As I've said, I do take pride in my academics. I only hope to put it to good use here. A good education is the best gift we can give the next generation, after all."

Arella, meanwhile, had quickly gone from embarrassed to ecstatic, and found herself absolutely required to interrupt the supposed interview by the code of fangirlism. "Oh my god, you like Game of Thrones, too?" she practically squee~d.

Lucius sighed, rolling his eyes. Fangirls. 'If ye can hold ontae the squeein' fer a wee while, I hae an interview tae finish.' Lucius commented, before turning back to Amagawa. 'So. Ye're more than qualified, Arella seems tae like ye, an' ye're a magical girl yerself, albeit inactive. I think ye'll dae well here, if'n the students and staff get on wi' ye.' He concluded, smiling. 'An' we could certainly use a hand in some o' the lessons, an' maybe the clubs if ye have time around yer studies.'

"Oh, I'd be happy to make time! Clubs are a valuable part of the high school experience." Amagawa's face softened into a nostalgic, dreamy smile. Like the scent of fresh lemon, you see. "I was student council president, when I was a high school student. I could also assist in music or tennis, if those are clubs you provide here."

Lucius' brow furrowed as he tried to remember if there WAS a student council, his ears twitching as the gears turned. 'I'll get back tae ye about the student council, but we DAe hae music an' tennis. Maybe ye can take the classical music end o' things.' Lucius replied, after a surprisingly long pause. 'I'm runnin' the popular music stuff myself, an' a couple o' the girls are learnin' tae play the bagpipes a'well.' He grinned proudly. 'They sound like a bunch o' tortured cats, but they're improvin', I ken.'

“I’ll be glad to help wherever the school needs it.”

Lucius nodded, turning to Arella. 'So, 'Rella, what d'ye think about the lassie?'

"I like her~" Arella declared brightly, before immediately switching to more important topics. "Can we talk about Game of Thrones now?" Seriously, her life was desperately lacking in other Game of Thrones fangirls.

'I suppose the campus tour can wait 'til ye've finished...' Lucius conceded.

Arella's sigh was a pretty clear admission that the tour was fairly important. "Can we talk about Game of Thrones while we tour?"

“Well, I don’t see why you couldn’t.”

'Then les' go, aye?' Lucius smiled as he stood up. He stepped over to the door, opening it a crack and peering out before checking around behind it and on top of the doorframe. 'An' were clear, tae. Nae ambushes.' He opened the door fully, stepping outside just in time for a speeding magical girl to cannon into him and nearly bowl him over.

As the group headed into the hallway, just after the magical girl impact, a sudden skittering was heard around the corner. In seconds, a swarm of mechanical (but very adorable) spider-mechs, ranging from one-to-three feet wide in diameter, skittered along the linoleum and around the impact site. Chattering could be heard from the group as they passed, and one stopped a moment to chitter up at Lucius, give a small salute he learned from the cat-man, then went back with the group.

Lucius set the magical girl back on her feet, sending her off with an affectionate pat on the head, and turned to shrug at Amagawa. "Also, I hope you don't mind spiders. Our non-magical self-defense teacher builds mechanical ones, and they do most of the maintenance work around here."

Amagawa didn’t, actually. Not really, anyway, though it took her a few moments to vocalize as much. She watched, fingers pressed against the thin line of her mouth, as the cacophony of mechanical creatures shambled down the hall. It wasn’t until the chittering, spider-like guardians had rounded the other end of the hall that she found her voice again.

“Ah, no.” she said. She sounded almost surprised at the sound of her own voice. “I don’t mind spiders, though I’ve never seen a mechanical one. Or one so large. Or quite so many…” Amagawa cupped a hand to one check. Her eyebrows knit. “They are strange little things, aren’t they.”

Lucius nodded. 'Aye, that they are. Useful, though, once ye get past the initial weirdness. The lassies love 'em, though, hence the decorations.' He gestured to the rear of the pack as it headed around a corner, with various bots decorated with paints, nail polish, glitter, and ribbons.

Several magical girls came around the corner, but the leader of the pack saw their principal, she skidded to a halt. The rest of the group ran into her, nearly knocking the leader over, before they too noticed. An almost immediate about face after that, and after they were out of sight, running footfalls could be heard.

'They're up tae somethin'.' Lucius said decisively.

“Likely, yes.” Amagawa glanced from the empty hall up to the headmaster. “Did you need to attend to that?”

'Nae; we hae Johnathan fer tha'.' Lucius explained. 'But let's go talk tae Shiori firs'. I want tae know wha' the bots are up tae, an' her auth...' He trailed off, correcting himself. 'An' she's free about nae.'

"By all means! Please, lead the way."

---

When the three people arrived at Shiori's training room, they found it empty save for the teacher herself. She was still clad in the usual gym outfit she used for class, and was doing some simple stretching exercises. Mid-bend, she noticed the watching folks. "Oh hey, Lucius, Arella. Who's the new lady?" Shiori stood back up to her full height, and made her way over.

Lucius grinned. 'Shiori, this is...' He checked the paperwork in his hand briefly. 'Amagawa-chan. She's our candidate fer a teachin' assistant position, ken?' He turned to the (retired) magical girl next to him. 'Amagawa-chan, this is Shiori-sensei. She teaches non-magical self-defense, an' gym.'

"< My name is Amagawa Madoka, >" she said and, with her hands clasped at her chest, she bowed respectfully at the waist. "< It's an honor to make your acquaintance. I hope I can be of use to you and the students. >"

Shiori giggled a little, then bowed back. "<Nice ta meetcha. I am sure ya can, provided you can keep up with the students. And myself.>" She bent back up to her full height again, and grinned widely to the new person. "<So! Teacher aide, eh? Aiming for the full position eventually, or simply needing the credit?>"

"< A full position would be amazing,>" she said. "<Eventually. I would love to teach, but I hardly have the experience just yet.>"

'<When you finish studies, come back, aye? If school still standing, we might have job for you.>' Lucius added in his slightly awkward Japanese.

Almost as if on cue, there was a muffled explosion and a blue-haired woman crashed through the ceiling, trailing smoke and fire from her hair, "Gah! put it out! putitoutputitout!"

Lucius tugged a fire extinguisher from his jacket, hosing the flaming substitute janitor down with carbon dioxide without even thinking about it.

A hand shot up out of the cloud and waved frantically, "Okay! I'm out!"

'Ye're still smoulderin'.' Lucius replied, giving her another blast.

"Ack!" Katrina gasped and staggered out of the cloud.

'Wha'd ye do?' Lucius asked, reaching out to help scrape the frost from her.

"Chased a magical rocket that went off course and into Shiori's used oil tanks," Katrina muttered, dusting herself off. Most of her janitor suit was burnt, but thankfully the woven kevlar undergarments maintained enough modesty to keep anyone from getting arrested.

Lucius gave a long-suffering sigh. 'Did ye at least keep the girls from gettin' hurt?'

"Yeah, I caught most of the blast with my face," Katrina nodded, "I can see why DT used this as his primary form of transportation for so long, very speedy."

'But gets ye covered in fire extinguisher.' Lucius pointed out. 'Anyhae! Kat, this is Amagawa-chan. She's gonnae be our nae teachin' assistant. Amagawa-chan, this is Substitute Janitor Katrina.'

Amagawa-chan, as she was readjusting to being called, (how long had it been, middle school?) was surprised to find her jaw hanging just slightly agape. She snapped her lips back together. She smoothed out the confounded kink in her brow. Amagawa clasped her hands together and leaned into a brisk, shallow bow.

"M-my name is Amagawa Madoka," she said again. "I hope we'll work well together."

"Katrina Canto, A.K.A. 'Substitute Janitor-san'," Katrina extended a slightly blackened hand.

Amagawa blinked at it- twice, in fact- in time to the wet slap of foam dripping to the gymnasium linoleum. Haltingly, she reached to accept.

"It's very nice to meet you," she said. "I was not expecting the school to have a janitor. Does this mean the students are not expected to clean after class?"

'Och, they are. It's an old buildin' though, so stuff needs fixin' fair often. On top o' that, grounds maintenance, defusin' magical accidents, and sae forth. I used tae manage it myself, but Katrina joined us as we got more girls.' Lucius paused. 'Boys too. I keep forgettin' tae mention tha'.' He added, despite his own grandson studying there.

"And the spiders, they help too. I think that's why they keep shocking you, you keep forgetting them." Shiori suppressed a giggle. "And, really? Someone hit the used oil depot? Ugh, I had plans for that stuff." With a rub on the bridge of her nose, Shiori started to pace, "Maybe if I replaced it with some kind of substitute, it'd still work..."

'Ye can have the old cookin' oil from the kitchens.' Lucius pointed out. 'Way tae much there just tae run the minibus an' mower from.'

"Thanks, but that stuff is not what I need." Shiori hurrmed to herself yet again, before shaking her head. "We are getting off subject!" Shiori bounded over from clear across the room where she had ended her pacing, and landed before the new person. "What's your experience in terms of sports, hand to hand, exercise in general, are you comfortable in a work out session or at least helping out, and do you own a set of gym clothes for such endeavors, or are you simply going to be helping out on the academic side of things and avoiding the physical?" The supersoldier asked with near glee in her voice.

Amagawa paused, just to be sure that her deluge of questions had run its course. "Well," she began, "when I applied for the position, I was expecting my job would be to help with the academic classes. Although, I would be happy to help in other areas, as well." Amagawa considered for a moment, one cheek cupped in her palm."I played tennis in high school," she added. "Would that qualify as experience?"

"That works plenty, 'cause these students can use all the help they can get. Tennis especially, though I suspect they keep aiming for Lucius here on purpose now." Shiori grinned, stiffling a giggle towards the end.

'Arella's nae helpful wi' stoppin' tha'.' Lucius pointed out.

"I dare say she encourages them." Shiori accused, hastily removing the Lucius targets from her system for until he went away.

'Gigglin' at it doesnae stop it, tha's fer sure.' Lucius levelled a Look at Arella, who merely looked cute and innocent and like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.

"W-well," said Amagawa, "they do say that newly learned-tactics are the origin of great blunders."

"Mostly the other way around, I've found, but aye. Anyway!" Lucius brought his hands together. "I ken we've taken enough o' Shiori-sensei's valuable time, an Katrina's..." Lucius trailed off, realising that Kat didn't warrant a -sensei, but that he also didn't know what else to use. "An' Katrina-chan's time a'well. So let's gae on wi' the tour. Tiffaney-sensei should be next, 'less she's gone walkabout again." He bowed politely to Shiori, tail flicking to maintain his balance. 'Bai bai Shiori-sensei~'

"Ya'll be well! And watch out for the spiders. They're on extra patrol work today. I think a gaggle of girls has been tagging the walls in weird places, with extra permanent markers and glitter stamps." Shiori waved to them as they exited, after a quick bow of course.

---

Lucius waved as he headed out of the gym, the two (totally retired) magical girls in tow. A few turns and a walk down a corridor got them to the science lab, where he knocked. 'Tiffaney. Ye in?" Yet more spiders skittered and scattered behind the trio, towards their next destination.

"Come in!" Said the voice of yet another (retired) magical girl.

Lucius opened the door, stepping in carefully like he expected something terrible to happen. 'Tiffaney-sensei, meet our potential new teachin' assistant, Amagawa-chan.' He grinned proudly, tugging the magical girl in question through the door with him, having made sure there wasn't a booby trap or something there.

"Oh?" Tiffaney said with a smile as she stood from her desk to greet Amagawa up close. "<Nice to meet you Amagawa-san, I'm Jawoh-sensei, but you can call me Tiff or Tiffaney if you want. I teach Science and Spellcraft.>" She greeted with her usual aura of cheer.

Hajimemashite, Jawoh-sensei, <thank you for meeting with me. I’m eager to be of help to the students here at the Academy.>” Amagawa brought her hands together lightly, leaning her fingers into a shy little steeple. Her eyes dropped to the side. “<Actually,>” she admitted, “<I’m minoring in science at the university, so I’m especially looking forward to assisting your department, Jawoh-sensei.>”

"<I mastered in bio-, and cybernetic engineering; what field are you looking to enter?>" Tiffaney excitedly asked with a sparkle in her eyes as her ears perked.

"<Astrophysics!>" Amagawa chirped. "<I've always felt a particular calling toward the stars.>"

"<That's wonderful! Actually one of my sons will be going to space!>" Tiffaney couldn't help but share, caught up in the enthusiasm.

Lucius tilted his head in confusion. '<Wait, what?>'

"<Devin. Skorpion and I had a long talk about safety, and Devin agreed. I'm worried about him, of course, but he always wanted to go to space.>" Tiffaney explained, with a mixture of excitement and worry.

'Oh.' Lucius thought briefly. 'Do he an' Whisp hae permission slips tae miss school?'

"He should be seeing you about that shortly." Tiffaney reported.

"You..." Amagawa halted. She wet her lips. She started again. "You are sending a student into space?"

'Nae, I am nae. Skorpion, the maniac super-soldier prince who's built the spaceship, is sendin' one o' my students intae space. Problae two o' them, on account o' Devin an' Whisp ne'er bein' apart.' Lucius threw his hands up in frustration. 'He's gonna hae tae keep on on his schoolwork up there.'

"I'd be more worried about Whisp keeping up with her schoolwork," Arella admitted from behind; she was still tagging along, after all, in a likely hopeless attempt to keep Amagawa from being completely scared off.

"You are sending two students into space?" Madoka's face was starting to look a little strained. "Is that not terribly dangerous?"

"Well, Dev is, like, insanely smart, so I'm sure he can handle it. And he'll look after Whisp, too," Arella rather half-heartedly defended. Half-heartedly because she knew exactly how insane the whole thing sounded. "And Skorp says it's really important."

"It's true. My boy is a certified genius." Tiffaney proudly stated. "You might even meet him on your tour."

'Aye, it is, an' I'll be havin' words about Skorp about tha'. He'll nae listen, but I'll hae words.' Lucius sighed. Running a school was hard enough without students being sent into space.

Madoka fumbled with the pendant dangling at her chest, eyebrows drawn. She passed the bauble between her fingers, wound lengths of chain around her slender digits, deep in thought. Her lips thinned as her necklace zipped and clicked between her fingers.

“I suppose,” she said softly, “it can’t be helped, then. I certainly have no business to dispute a mother’s trust. If you support this field trip, Jawoh-sensei, then I can only wish him and his kouhai a good journey and safe return.”

"I understand your doubt, but I assure you my son and Whisp will both be safe, and academically taken care of." Tiffaney said, looking to the potential intern with a reassuring smile. "A lot of things here are hard to understand at first, but I promise you, if you give it time, you'll come to love this place."

“Sometimes,” Madoka agreed, nodding with a small but honest smile, “it seems as though only poetry or madness could do justice to this place.”

"Probably both," Arella confessed. "Maybe meeting the girls would've been a better idea than a tour, they're easily the best part of the job..." And made for a much better selling point.

"They certainly keep things lively." Tiffaney added, helpfully?

Madoka raised up her hands. “Oh, I would hate to impose, or take up any more of your time. You’ve already been such gracious hosts,” she said. “And of course, it wouldn’t do to interrupt their classes.”

'Nae, we're on lunch hour right nae.' Lucius grinned. 'I'll start wi' Kawa-chan and Yakashima, if'n I can find 'em.'

"If it wouldn't be imposing, then by all means!"

---

Lucius returned to the girls, Kawasaki and Yakashima in tow. A wisp of smoke rose from the end of Kawasaki's braid and from Lucius' ears, while Yakashima held a small fire extinguisher at the ready. 'I found 'em, lassies. Amagawa-chan, these're Kawasaki-chan an' Yakashima-chan. Kawa-chan, Yakashima, this is Amagawa-chan. She's interviewin' fer a position of teachin' assistant while studyin' at Tokyo University.'

The girls bowed politely. "Ohayo gozaimasu, Amagawa-san~"

Madoka immediately returned it. “Ohaiyo gozaimasu,. <It’s very nice to meet you girls. >”

Yakashima smiled, examining the potential authority figure carefully. "<What are you studying?>" She asked, canting her head slightly.

Kawasaki peered at Madoka, before reaching out to tug at one of her curls before releasing it. "<Sproing!~>"

Yakashima gave a sigh. "<Also, I apologize for my classmate. She's a little unconventional, and doesn't have a lot of restraint sometimes.>"

The fact that Arella-sensei was now giggling in the background likely didn't help that lack of restraint issue, either.

Lucius shrugged. 'Magical girls are like tha', I'm afraid.'

Amagawa smoothed her hair back into style. “Ah… yes,” she said, “I see that I’ll have my work cut out for me, here.” With her curls back in order, she straightened her shoulders and addressed the students. “I’m currently studying education. I hope to become a teacher.”

Amagawa smoothed her hair back into style. “Ah… yes,” she said, “I see that I’ll have my work cut out for me, here.” With her curls back in order, she straightened her shoulders and addressed the students. “I’m currently studying education. I hope to become a teacher.”

"<Then I wish you success. The world needs more teachers who know how to use magic.>" Yakashima replied politely.

"<Hopefully you'll be better at it than Lucius-sensei.>"

"<Kawa-chan, you can't say that right in front of him!>"

Lucius shrugged. '<I'm not THAT bad.>'

"<Of course not.>" Yakashima assured him. "<It's not your fault you have to deal with idiots like Kawa-chan on a daily basis.>"

"<Yeah!>" Kawasaki agreed, before pausing. "<Hey!>"

And now Arella was gigglefitting to the point of needing Luc's help to stay standing.

Lucius sighed, reaching out with his tail to tug the giggling Arella close enough to support with his arm. 'Ye two're nae helping.'

"<Sorry, Lucius-sensei. I think Kawa-chan's on a sugar high today.>"

"<Elsie-chan made cookies.>" Kawasaki commented by way of explanation, looking forlornly back at the cafeteria.

"<And you managed to eat half the tray.>" Devin informed in his usual manner of half-interest. "I would assume this is Amagawa? The one attempting to check into your little mad house." He asked, lazily looking towards Lucius.

'Aye.' Lucius answered, not even bothering to question how Devin knew that. 'Amagawa-chan, meet Devin-chan... Devin-kun? Devin. He knows more'n ye on anythin', most likely. Devin, meet Amagawa-chan. Ye already know who she is, apparently.'

"Knowing is my forte." Devin answered, his tail giving a pleased sway.

'Certainly nae yer piano.' Lucius commented absently.

"DEEEEEEV!" another new voice could be heard hollering from somewhere down the hall. "Dev, there's still more cookies! Elsie had a second batch!" A moment later, a purple-haired teen finally appeared with an honest-to-god armful of said cookies, and one already stuffed into her mouth (no doubt the reason the hollering had stopped). Devin was then offered one, once she was close enough.

Kawasaki started off to go back for more, only to be stopped by Yakashima grabbing hold of her braid. "<No.>"

"<But!>"

"<Too many already.>"

"<Aww.>"

“Amagawa-chan, this is Whisp; Devin's girlfriend, an' our only necromancer. Whisp, meet Amagawa-chan, our prospective teachin' assistant.' Lucius explained, reaching out for a cookie himself. Elsie's cookies really were delicious enough to risk being bitten by Whisp for. He was promptly rewarded with a face-full of zombie falcon in the form of Fred, flying at him and grabbing a talon-full of hair to pull him away from the cookies.

"Good boy," the necromancer praised, before rather absently adding a quick "hi" for the new teacher-type person. She was also still holding out that cookie for Devin, who accepted it before turning to Amagawa.

"<So, What made you choose this particular school? Surely better ones do exist.>" The catboy asked, taking a bite of the cookie.

“Of course there are,” she agreed, “but all the other schools had a waiting list for their aid positions. No one else wanted this one.” Amagawa folded her hands across her stomach. She studied the boy a moment, the garish looking girl at his side. She canted her head when she spoke again. “You would… be the two students getting sent into space, am I correct?”

"That is correct. Unlike most people in this country- whoops. Almost underestimated myself. The world. I am fully capable of operating any spacecraft anyone could possibly cobble together in this century." Devin happily informed with great self-satisfaction.

Lucius flailed as the falcon attacked him, leaving Arella to her gigglefit as he defended the cookie and his hair from the skeletal bird, yelling at it in Gaelic.

"Despite my surroundings." Devin felt he needed to add.

“Yes, your mother has said as much. She seems very proud of you.” Amagawa brought her hands together with a light-headed clap. “She and what faculty I’ve met express full confidence in you,” she added, “but do be careful. The universe is dark and yawning, rolling without aim.” She smiled gently. “It’s quite a scary place, don’t you think?”

"Of course, but I'd rather risk it all to know more, then stagnate surrounded by everything I already know." The catboy responded with a smile that couldn't help but show a spark of genuine enthusiasm. "After being chained down for so long, I will finally be able to experience a freedom that few before me have ever known. Not only that, but I will be the first living being from Earth to experience space such a distance from home."

But Whisp was now frowning, as a thought occurred to her. "There will be cookies on the spaceship, right?" she sought to confirm, the cookies clearly being a matter of great importance.

"Perhaps, though it will be quite a few months of travel." Devin informed.

"So we should bring lots of cookies, then," Whisp determined, the matter having apparently been decided now.

"<I'll help!>" Kawasaki exclaimed, attacking the falcon with bolts of magic.

Amagawa raised both her hands, half to shield her head from the sizzle of magic in the air, half in sue for peace "<K-kawasaki-chan! That's dangerous! Projectiles shouldn't be fired indoors!>" Amagawa rounded on Whisp."Ms. Whisp," she said, "you really should be minding your bird."

Whisp just gave her a look that seemed to suggest that had been a stupid thing to say, and pointed out (around another mouthful of cookie), "He stole my cookie." Like this was a totally reasonable response to a teacher and headmaster taking one of your many cookies. Which had been totally rude of him, by the way - she was pretty sure!

Meanwhile, Fred's dodging of Kawasaki's magic had resulted in his talons further entangling themselves in Lucius' hair, as he very nearly dragged the catboy right up into the air. Which ended up rhyming, but Fred was alright with that.

"So. The red pill or the blue pill?" Devin offered Amagawa, half expecting her to back out right then.

She was quiet a moment, turning to take in an extensive, meticulous survey of the room: The headmaster caught in a feral skeleton-bird-familiar’s talons. The hysterical assistant principle laughing so hard she was all but in tears. The students, who were in turn sending magical projectiles whizzing through the air, defacing school property and gorging on sweets. She thought about the hole in the gymnasium ceiling and the purported storage area for used oil somewhere on the grounds. Amagawa’s mouth set into a severe, reignited line. “It would be grossly irresponsible of me not to take the position,” she said.

"I would use the word sensible, but it's your choice." Devin said with a grin.
“I don’t know how much help I can be,” she somewhat agreed, “but now that I have seen, I cannot simply look away. Not after I have seen beyond the veil of brick and mortar to what occurs here. I do not know how much help I can be,” she said again, this time attempting to brighten her disposition. “But I will certainly try.”

Behind her, Lucius had remembered that skeletal birds had nothing holding them together, and had set about trying to pop the hawk's talons from the ankles,

That was when a little blonde head suddenly peered into the room, taking in the chaos and the people involved, and immediately broke out into the most adorable smile the world had ever seen as the rest of the clearly younger girl stepped into the room. Her first stop was Lucius, whom she cheerily handed one of her cookies (saved especially for him), before also offering one to Fred, using the chance this presented to untangle talons from hair. The undead bird then happily returned to Whisp, coming to rest on her shoulder.

Arella got a cookie next, the ridiculous cuteness that was Elsie somehow serving to help her stop laughing so hard, and thus enabling her to actually say thank you. And then there was a cookie for Yakashima, and one for Kawa-chan, and Whisp (though she hardly needed any more), and Dev, and finally the young girl came to offer one to Amagawa.

"<Hi, I'm Elsie~>" the littlest of the magical girls greeted cheerily, radiating so much cute it should have been illegal (and technically was, back in the city proper). Even the cookie she was offering was adorable, shaped as it was like a daisy and painstakingly decorated with pink and yellow icing.

Lucius scooped Elsie up into a hug, almost entirely on instinct, causing the young girl to outright beam now, even as she continued to hold out the proffered cookie to Amagawa.

“Ah,” she piped, “<thank you very much.>” Amagawa smiled appreciatively. She accepted the offering, graciously canting her head. “<It’s nice to meet you, Elsie. Your handiwork is very lovely, you must be a hard worker.>”

Elsie blinked a bit in confusion, as though it honestly hadn't occurred to her than any of that might count as work. Then she broke out into another of those adorable smiles. "<I just like helping~>"
Lucius set down the magical girl so he could hold Arella up again, munching his cookie with his other hand. Arella, quite capable of standing on her own now, stole a bite of his cookie in return, before looking adorable herself to avoid getting in trouble for it.

"So I take it you'll be staying?" Devin questioned with a raised eyebrow.

Amagawa nodded, final. “Yes,” she said, “if the headmaster will have me.”

"With staffing how it is I don't think Lucius can refuse." Devin said with a yawn. "You'll do fine."

'Aye, the wee laddie's right.' Lucius replied, brushing cookie crumbs from the corners of his mouth. 'If ye want tae work here, ye can start as soon as ye're ready. Ideally afore Kawa-chan gives herself a heart attack wi' Elsie's cookies.'

Amagawa nodded curtly, final. “Thank you very much, Mr. Ogilvy. I will do my best.”

Lucius grinned, extending a hand to her. 'Welcome tae the Academy, lassie. I'll get ye a survival kit afore the weekend.'



---Summary:---

The CMGY Academy has a new potential faculty member in Amagawa Madoka, a prim and straight-A student from Tokyo U. Better put her through the ringer, I mean, give her a proper interview.

Oh, she’s an ex-magical girl. That’ll be useful for a potential teacher’s aide.

Amagawa gets dragged across campus and introduced to various faculty and students. She’s pretty talented, academically and is moderately sporty so she can be of use in pretty much any situation.

After introductions are made, Devin asks her the real question: are you ready to run and never look back?

Turns out, the answer is no. With headmaster Lucius’ approval, Amagawa is staying. She’s looking forward to working with you, so please treat her kindly.
<<

Arella

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Posts: 129

Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:49 pm

Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:33 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

The One You Won't Forget
OR, Dress-up for Adults

Location: Luc and Kat's apartment, and one of Ozu's cash houses.
Timestamp: Well, it's clearly a Friday evening.
Authors: DarkTan, Elle, Skorpy
Characters: Katrina, Kor, Arella, Skorpion, Mimi, various pervs and thugs and casino workers.

"Okay, so you found one of Ozu's cash houses?" Katrina was talking into her cellphone as she walked into the apartment, "And you want to hit it tonight?" She dropped a bag of various blush inducing items on the table and kicked the door shut behind her, "Okay, I'll get Arella." The dhampir put her phone in her back pocket, "Rella? You home?"

"Hai~" the magical girl's voice could be heard calling back. "Hang on, I was just having a bath." Shortly followed by the sounds of water moving about as she climbed out, and then beginning to drain when she pulled the plug. A moment later, she was peering out the bathroom door with a fluffy white towel wrapped around her and water dripping from the tips of her hair. "What's up?"

But Katrina was already in the bathroom ogling. "Um...job to-nipples, i mean night," The dhampir seemed to be having trouble with the English language, "Kor wants us to clean out one of Ozu's ass hou- cash houses."

Arella, of course, was now giggling at her girlfriend for being so lecherously adorable; Kat even ended up getting a quick kiss out of it. "So what's the plan - sneak in through the ducts, or walk in through the front door?" the magical girl wanted to know, already making her way towards the bedroom to get dressed.

"I'll sneak into your duct," Katrina muttered, before clearing her throat, "We did the sneaky bit last time, lets go for the front door. We'll need a disguise."

Looking more than a little excited by the idea, Arella was quick to wonder, "Ooooh, what kinda disguise should it be? Are we gonna dress up like thugs? Or... or sexy university girls or something?" There was a distinct chance she'd never quite grown out of that dress-up phase most little girls go through.

"Mmm...sexy school girl..." And like that Katrina was off in la-la land.

"Ooooooooh, I totally have an outfit for that!" Arella exclaimed, now definitely more than a little excited. And then Kat was suddenly being shut out of the bedroom so she could change and otherwise prepare her disguise. 'Cause obviously it needed to be a surprise, so Kat couldn't see until she was done.

"Wait...what?" Katrina was snapped back to reality by the sound of a shutting door, "What did we decide on?"

"Sexy university students!" the magical girl called back through the door. "And no peeking, you stay right there!"

Katrina blinked several times before going to get her outfit. "This is gunna be fun!" the dhampir practically squealed.

By the time Arella emerged from the bedroom, her hair had been dried and styled, her make-up (a rare thing for her, typically) done for the appropriately sexy look, and she was ... well, it was definitely sexy. And definitely student-like. The stockings were an especially nice touch, and she'd even added a cute little purse to complete the outfit. "What d'you think?" she asked, almost sounding a little shy.

Katrina came out at the same time looking more like a character from a hentai anime than a university student, "Mmm...I think I might not lets you out dressed like that." There was a rather hungry looking grin on her face.

The magical girl blushed prettily at that, clearly appreciating the compliment. Truth be told, she'd actually bought the outfit for Kat and Luc, only to chicken out about wearing it after. "Well, then it'll be a good lesson in delayed gratification for you," she tried to tease, though the blushing and decidedly pleased tone of her voice didn't make it terribly successful. And then, of course, she caught sight of what Kat was wearing, and immediately succumbed to giggles.

"What?" Katrina asked, "What's so funny?"

Shaking her head in exasperation and amusement, Arella hauled Kat back into the bedroom with her to fix her outfit. "You look about ready to shoot a porno," the blonde teased, still giggling more than a bit. "You at least need a proper blouse or something, nobody's going to believe you just got out of class wearing that - they'd have sent you home."

"What's wrong with looking like I'm ready for a porno?" The dhampir giggled as she was dragged into the room.

---

The Judo Shop was a run-down convenience store a few blocks from the Hollows that specialized in bento, cheap booze, and cheaper porn. The white ceramic tiles on the floor were in fact a dingy grey for the most part, and colours that suggested it was best one not ask in other parts. If half of the dirty flourescent lights were working, it could be considered a miracle of modern technology. The shelves were disorganized and dusty, the coolers were grimy and cloudy. It looked exactly like every other run down convenience store on the wong side of every other town in the world. Well, with a few notable exceptions. The first pair of such exceptions would be the men patroling the roof with H&K G36C rifles; it was unlikely they were concerned with pigeons, especially since the only ones around were regular pigeons, and not the oversized, mutated specimens that frequented some parts of the city. Inside the shop, four more men were perpetually shopping with unseasonably long coats concealing chopped MP5 sub machine guns. The only armed individual that didn't seem out of place was the proprieter with his pump action shotgun on the wall and the magnum on his hip.

All of this could perhaps be written off as security in a high crime area if it wasn't for one more detail: the steady stream of flash and horsepower than unloaded the rich and the decadent at the front door. And the steady path they beat to the only clean and empty cooler in the store.

"Okay girls, I take it seduction is the plan of action tonight?" Kor's voice came in over Arella's and Katrina's comms. The old man didn't wait for a confirmation, "I may have your in - yellow Ferrari, he's known for chasing skirts. Rounding the corner now,"

"Got it!" Arella exclaimed, looking and sounding entirely too excited; she'd never actually done anything like this before, but it always looked so cool in movies!

"He's not really handsy is he?" Katrina asked, which seemed like a rather odd concern for her.

"Um, a bit. Why?" Kor asked, sounding rather surprised at Katrina's objection.

"No reason." the dhampir replied, "Okay, here he comes. Show time."

The mark in question pulled up right on cue, driving along slowly in order to show off the expensive sports car. As he passed the girls, he stopped sharply, rolling down the window to leer at them, a lecherous grin on his face. "<Well, hello ladies~>"

Arella immediately blushed, of course, but also managed a tittering giggle that definitely sounded like a young student with more money and looks than sense, before giving her apparent friend a nudge as if to say OMG, he's totally hitting on us!

"<Hiya,>" Katrina affected a rather innocent and girly voice that did not match anything anyone else knew about her - which also caused Arella to giggle some more (albeit less intentionally).

The man's grin widened at the sound, and he leaned out the window a little. "<What're a pair of girls like you doing in a place like this?~>"

"<Heard from a friend of a friend we could find a good time here,>" Katrina giggled and leaned forward, giving a rather pleasant view, "<Is that true?>"

"<Oh, it's definitely true. Even better inside, though. Tell you what, come in with me, and I'll show you a great time in there. Maybe I'll even give you a ride after?>"

"<Really?>" an excited-looking Arella wanted to know, all wide-eyed innocence.

"<Wow, I'd do almost anything for a ride in something like this,>" Katrina spoke at the same time, eyes anything but innocent.

"<Really.>" The man replied, opening the passenger door for the girls, and nudging his bodyguard into the cramped excuse for rear seats in the back of the car. "<You may have to squeeze together a little for the seat, but I'm sure you won't mind, will you?>"

Giggling happily, Arella immediately grabbed Kat's arm to hurry her into the car, not seeming at all bothered by the lack of space. "<Just around the block though, right?>" she asked, with a bit of feigned uncertainty. "<We still haven't been inside yet...>" And she definitely didn't want to miss out on the fun that was supposed to be happening inside.

"<We heard that's where the real party is,>" Katrina winked as she sat down and pulled Arella into her lap, causing the younger girl to giggle some more; she was going to enjoy the perks as they came.

"<Alright, alright.>" He grinned, before pulling out of the queue of traffic and accelerating hard. A brief ride of sharp acceleration and braking, sharp turns, and squealing tires (and excited schoolgirl) ensued, before he pulled back up in front of the entrance.

Katrina feigned a giggling rush; his driving had nothing on DarkTan or Luc's, "<That was fun!>"

Arella nodded happily, even managing to look a little flushed with excitement.

The man chuckled, unfastening his seatbelt before climbing slightly awkwardly out, walking around to open the door for the girls and offer them a hand getting out.

Arella, of course, was quick to place her hand in his and accept the assist, all trusting big blue eyes that were supposed to make up for a certain lack of sense. "<Thank you for the ride,>" she said sweetly as she returned to her feet.

Katrina climbed out after her and made a show of losing her ballance to crash in to him. "Eeep!"

The man helped Arella out, keeping hold of her hand as he moved to catch Katrina, making sure to grab a handful of her chest as he did so. "<Ah, you have to watch it with these Italian cars. Very low to the ground, easy to fall out of, especially with those heels.>" He smiled, giving a good squeeze.

The dhampir smiled back, licking her lips seductively and defly sliding his car keys into Arella's bag, "<Yeah, I see that.>"

"<Are we going in now?>" Arella asked with anticipation and more than a little excitement, not appearing to notice the groping of her friend.

"<We are indeed.>" The man smiled, adjusting the girls to lead them towards the doorway. His hands started at their waists, but slowly slid downwards as he walked with them, accompanied by his grin widening.

Katrina eyed the dropping hands hand but offered no reaction just yet; she giggled a bit and allowed herself to be lead to the cooler door, while Arella blushed and nervously played with a strand of her blonde hair. An armed guard inside opened the door for them and they entered a chilly hallway, leading to another door with two more guards. At this final barrier the faint sounds of music and laughter could be heard. As the door opened, a fairly large casino (for a convience store basement, that is) could be seen with several dozen people playing and working, as well as a few girls dancing in suspended cages. "<Wow, nice place.>"

Arella just looked around in apparent fascination, deploying those biiiiig blue eyes some more. Her hand had even frozen mid-hair-twirl.

"<The best place.>" The man corrected, grinning as he lead them to a table, sparing a hand briefly from Katrina to wave a waiter over to order drinks. "<I'll have my usual, dear boy. Girls, what will you be having? It's on me, so feel free to order what you like~>"

Arella let out a nervous little giggle, before replying, "<Oh, I'll have whatever you suggest.>" As if she wasn't used to alcohol, and didn't want him to know it.

"<Well I'll take a Bay Breeze, heavy on the rum,>" Katrina flashed a grin and a wink to their host, "<And when that's done... how about somewhere private, where we can reward you for that thrilling ride?>" Katrina emphasised all the right words in the most sensual way possible. She would have left a lesser man a puddle on the floor.

"<Alright. Champagne for the little lady here...>" He gave Arella's backside a squeeze for emphasis, earning some more blushing and hair twirling. "<And a Bay Breeze for the... Not so little lady,>"

Katrina accepted her glass and give a wink, "<Bottoms up, right?>" The dhampir winked again and drained the mixed drink in one go, while Arella took her time as the more "inexperienced" drinker.

The blonde also seemed to get a bit more giggly by the time she was done.

The man led the girls off to a smaller room; down a short corridor away from the main casino, to a small room ostensibly for private games. Once they were inside with the door shut behind them, his grin shifted from lecherous to predatory. "<Mm, now, a reward, was it?>"

Arella was all giggles and nerves and big, innocent blue eyes by this point, even as she took a teensy little step towards him.

The man, all too oblivious, looked down at the magical girl. "<So, my dear, do you want to learn how to properly reward a man for his generosity?>"

Katrina moved to a good spot, planing to take him down when distracted. <"Mmmm, gonna teach us?>" She giggled out.

He nodded, reaching down to caress Arella's cheek before his hand started to stray lower. "<It would be my pleasure.>"

And that would be forever remembered as the time Katrina really forgot the plan. Katrina's grin shifted from "party girl" to "predatory girl," and what happened next was little more than a blur of muffled thuds, groans, and a crack or two. "Ooops... might have over-done it a bit,"

"Uh... is he gonna be okay?" Arella worried, looking down at the decidedly messed up perv. She was pretty sure nothing should quite be bending that way.

"Um... maybe?" Katrina replied, "Oh... and do you carry spare underwear?"

"Yeees..." came the magical girl's cautious reply. "Why?"

"I might have accidentally used yours to gag him," Katrina squeaked out.

Arella immediately turned a brilliant shade of red as she realized she could, in fact, feel a bit of a draft.

"Kat, Arella, it sounds like a boxing match in an Ikea, what's going on?" Kor piped in over the coms. Thankfully he chose to ignore the previous statement.

"Um... mark got out of hand... a little... kinda," Katrina was not good at lying.

"Well, uh... he got a little handsy," Arella admitted, being the more honest type anyway. "And then Kat got a little... possessive." She was also quick to pull a spare set of panties out of hammerspace and slip them on. She was actually finding Kat's reaction a little sweet, even if the guy wasn't looking so good.

"I'm sure he'll be fine though," Katrina's lies were like a screen door; easily seen through, "I'll just move him out of the way." The dhampir proceeded to stuff the body into a nearby storage bin. "I'm sure someone will find him and help him out..."

Arella fidgeted a bit; he really wasn't looking so good. "Maybe we should call an ambulance?"

"That's a good idea," Katrina nodded, "I'm sure the armed guards will let them in." she finished cleaning up the room to make it look like nothing had happend, "He'll be fine, lets go."

"Are you sure?" the magical girl asked, casting an uncertain look back at the storage bin and clearly feeling guilty about just leaving him there.

"Yeah, yeah, he's fine," Katrina assured the younger girl as she shooed her out of the room, "Besides, Luc or Skorp will probably kill him if he lives anyway."

"They know better than that!" Arella insisted, though she didn't sound quite so sure as she'd like to. Mainly because they didn't.

"No they don't," Katrina said.

Arella sighed, looking more than a little troubled. No, but I wish they did...

"Okay, lets find the real target," Katrina said, all cheery and business like, "Cash room is probably up high." The dhampir peeked out the window. "Hey, ruffle your hair and smear your lipstick a little," she advised while rumpling her clothes and and doing that same. "No one will ask why we were in here." Then as an after thought, "Or you know... I could do it for you."

Arella was looking a bit uncertain about making herself look like she'd been up at anything like that with that awful pervert. Whom she totally had to believe wasn't dead, and would be okay, or they wouldn't get anything done. Katrina sighed and leaned in to kiss the magical girl roughly, then proceded to touch all the places that had caused her outburst to begin with.

"Good, sufficiently flustered. Lets go."

Looking quite thoroughly mussed (not to mention distracted), Arella unintentionally let out a soft keening sound that rather suggested she didn't want to go anywhere now, before nonetheless allowing herself to be lead from the room.

"Are you two quite done now?" Skorpion asked over their earpieces. "Because your mark's just over there."

"Our mark is an entire room," Katrina said, "And how are you on my comm?"

"Oh, good. That'll save me tracking down any survivors. Do you have enough explosives?" Skorpion asked, ignoring the second question.

"What? Explosives?" The dhamphir was getting more confused by the second, "We're here to rob the place, not level it."

Skorpion sighed. "The best time to rob someone is when they're dead. No objections. And if the owner of the property is dead too, you can get the land for cheap."

"We aren't here to kill people!" Arella objected.

"The last time you sent us to rob someone, A- Raven got tazed and my favorite shirt got ruined," Katrina also objected.

"Who are you two talking to?" Kor jumped in.

"Yes, but you found a turncoat, and I got to blow him up and pick on the Yakuza. I'd say it was worth it." Skorpion pointed out.

"Skorp," Arella provided for Kor. "And we aren't blowing people up." For Skorp, obviously.

"Who's getting blown up now?" Kor asked.

"No one is getting blown up right now!" Katrina said, a little louder than necessary.

"Why not? At the very least, you get to blame it on terrorists." Skorpion asked.

"Why would terrorists blow up an underground casino owned by a yakuza crime lord?" Katrina asked, exasperated.

"The same reason they set off a big EMP device in a US Navy shipyard." Skorpion explained, as if it were obvious. "So they can steal things."

"But we're not actually taking anything out of here," the dhampir pointed out, "And if everyone is dead, then there's no one to deliver the message."

"But... How do you intend to actually ROB them if you're not actually taking anything? Are you there just to get pawed by yakuza vampires? Why not just hack into their bank accounts and steal the money that way?"

Kor piped in to reply, "Burn it all in front of them. Excellent way to explain we dont care what happens to them or their enterprises. We just want them gone."

"If you wanted THAT, I could have dropped a bunker-buster through the ceiling by now. At least take their car keys. And dammit, I DO care about what happens to them and their enterprises; I want them dead, and their enterprises under my control making money for me"

"I did steal the keys of a very nice car," Katrina mentioned, "Was gonna use it for a getaway and not at all for revenge for pervy hands. Nope."

"That's something, at least. You two are terrible thieves."

"We aren't thieves, and we aren't killing people!" Arella objected, definitely more loudly than was advisable.

"If you're in a Yakuza casino, you may as well loot the place. Honestly. Call yourself a gamer."

"Why are you on my comm?" an increasingly sulky-sounding Arella wanted to know. Seriously, he was taking all the fun out of playing dress-up with Kat.

"Because I noticed you were lurking around in a yakuza casino full of vampires and hadn't stolen anthing or killed anyone yet." Skorpion replied, as if it was completely obvious. "Also, because you, of all people, were lurking in a Yakuza casino full of vampires and criminals, and vampires find you delicious. Katrina, if any of them start nibbling on her, push the red button on her comm and take cover."

"Uhhhh, what's the red button supposed to do?" an understandably-alarmed Arella now wanted to know, already moving as if to remove it.

"Don't do that. It's only harmful to vampires, unless you get it in your eyes." Skorpion pointed out. "Remember who designed your toys, my dear."

"Well what if it does get in my eyes? I didn't even know it was there, that makes it hard to know not to get it in my eyes!" the unhappy magical girl pointed out.

"That's why it's not on your nose." Skorpion sighed. "Just shut your eyes if you need to use it, and make sure Katrina isn't next to you. She's only half-vampire, but you wouldn't let me test it on her. And a certain angry bunnygirl refused to let me test it on her brother."

"Is that the liquid silver nitrate thingus?" Katrina asked before opening the door yanking the thug that had come to invitigate Arella's outburst and rudely shoving him where the other body...er...poor injured-but-totally-going-to-recover man was. There was also the usual sound effects that accompanied such a thing, "Damnit! Now look what you made me do."

"Sort of. It's an experimental concentrate. Like what I use to deal with powerful undead, but more easily aerosolised... Why am I explaining this over an insecure link?"

"If the link is insecure, it's on your end," Kor said in a huff.

"Yeah!" Arella rather pointlessly agreed. Mainly because it kinda felt like dad was crashing her party.

"No, I'm pretty sure the link is on Kor's end, because that's the end with him on it. Anyway, enough talk; on with the looting."

"So we can finally get back to work?" Katrina asked, sounding somewhat perturbed.

There was a clunk from Skorpion's end, and a tinny-sounding series of explosions. "Damn it, they're at it again. Sure, whatever, go nuts, just don't get Arella hurt." Skorpion paused. "Or yourself in any sort of permanent way, of course. Oh, and if you can find out where they got hold of a grenade machinegun, that would be extremely handy." Skorpion remarked as the explosions started again.

"A grenade machine gun?" Katrina asked, "That sounds fun!"

"Only when you're on the giving end."

'Touche," the dhampir peeked out the door so see if it was clear. "Lets go, someone is going to be looking for those bod- guys, those guys."

"So we can go back to being sexy university students now?" a rather miffed-sounding Arella sought to confirm. Seriously, having your dad turn up on your headset kind of ruined the mood.

"Yes, sexy uni students that were just engaged in less than wholesome acts, and now surrounded by vampires," Katrina affirmed, "Maybe we didn't think this diguise through." The dhampir started to make her way towards an area that looked like a likely place to keep the cash.

"Well, you didn't say anything about the vampire part before we left," Arella pointed out, seemingly happy enough to follow her girlfriend's lead. "Besides, it still totally works - they'll be just as distracted as the normal criminals."

"True," The dhampir nodded, "So, I've been wondering, if you're going about Batmanning around at night, does that make Kor your Alfred?" The elder man groaned over the com and Katrina could have sworn she heard a thud on the desk.

"Yup," the magical girl confirmed in the meantime. "And my Oracle. He kinda does both." Because so far as she was concerned, that just made things even more awesome.

"Which makes you Robin," the old man suddenly interjected with a giggle.

Arella gave a thoughful frown in response; that didn't seem right. "Nooo..." she contemplated. "Not Robin... Kat's more like..." And then the magical girl was suddenly giggling herself. "Kat's my Catwoman!"

The dhampir facepalmed hard enough to be heard down the hall.

Arella just grinned and looked more than a little pleased with herself. "She's sexy, looks good in skin-tight outfits, can be rather morally ambiguous, but ultimately ends up helping the hero."

"Catwoman doesn't eat people." Skorpion chimed in helpfully.

"Daaaad, get off my comm!" the magical girl whined.

There was an explosion over the link, followed by a series of smaller explosions. "Gotta go, someone's just hit the wrong target." Skorpion cut the link shortly before the now-muffled explosion echoed through the basement casino, causing lights to sway and the girls' skirts to swish, but little other effect.

"Well, at least he won't be bothering us, right?" Katrina said, forcing a smile.

"Right," Arella agreed with determination, linking arms with her girlfriend and keeping them moving forward. "And you're definitely my Catwoman."

"Well, then I need more leather," Katrina muttered, "Ooh! And a bullwhip!"

"We'll stop and get you one on the way home," the magical girl promised, before hesitating a moment, then finally adding, "And a new riding crop." Because she was still intrigued by that... idea.

The dhampir grined as the duo made their way to the most secure looking door in the building, "Okay, you knock and ask for the bathroom. See if it's the cash room."

"Okay~" came Arella's cheery reply, before releasing Kat's arm to do as requested. "<Excuse me?>" she then politely requested of the room, all big blue eyes and cuteness. And short skirt.

A metal plate in the door slammed open and a pair of dark eyes glared out from behind the door, "<What?....Wait... where are they?>" The window was a bit higher than Arella was, but the magical girl just dutifully stood up on her tiptoes (something she was especially good at, given all that ballet she did) and rewarded them with a brilliant smile.

"<Hello!>" she greeted. "<That's a really fancy door! Is this your secret lair or something?>" Said in a teasing, not at all serious, tone.

"<Gah! Don't do that!>" The startled man yelled, "<What do you want?>" Stacks of cash could be barely seen behind him, as well as the sound of money counting machines running.

"<Well, I was kinda hoping you could tell me where the bathroom is. I need to pee,>" Arella confessed (adorably), while giving Kat a thumbs up out of the door keeper's sight. Money room found.

"<Down the hall, turn left, take the stairs down two flights, go right, third door on the left, take the elevator up one floor. You cant's miss it.>" And with that the window slammed shut again.

Arella knocked again, looking both apologetic and a bit desperate. She even made a point of fidgetting a bit, as one who really, really needs to pee.

"<What?>" The window slammed open again.

"<Could you just show me?>" she pleaded, more than a little desperately, while making a great show of how much she needed to pee.

The eyes looked the blonde up and down, more than once (something not missed by Katrina), before answering, "<No.>" And slamming thw window again.

"Well, that was rude," The dhampir muttered, "Want me to try?"

"Gimme one more try," a stubborn Arella insisted, before knocking on the door once again.

The window slammed open, almost sounding as if the door itself was annoyed, "<Get lost.>" It slammed shut again.

Katrina looked at the poor magical girl as if to say, "What can ya do?"

Arella just proceeded to sulk. Adorably.

"My turn?"

"Fine," the magical girl consented. "But I get to hit him."

"Sure thing," the dhampir chuckled and walked up to the door. She pulled her blouse down to show a bit more cleavage before knocking. While waiting, she started to hike up her skirt.

The window slammed open one more time, "<I thought I told you to...oh...Hell-->" That was as far as he got before the reson the blue haired woman was hiking up her skirt became apparent. Katrina pivoted on one foot, kicking the door hard enough to break the locks right out of the wall.

"<Everyone on the ground, or I swear to the old ones I will violate you in places you never thought possible!>" The dhampir yelled, brandishing a dildo the size of a baseball bat. "<NOW!>"

"<NOT IN THE FACE!>"

"<Where the hell was she hiding that?>"

"<I don't want to know! I don't want to know!>"

"<Mom?>"

"<Is that the call-girl I ordered?>"

Arella, meanwhile, slipped on past her to go ahead and break the nose of the jerk who'd resisted her being cute.

Katrina kicked the door shut behind her, "<All the money, on this table, now!>"

"I feel better," the magical girl declared happily, as if all this was perfectly normal.

"<That's not what I was told over the phone!>" An old man rose up from a wing-backed armchair, brandishing one of his walking sticks at the girls. "<And you're paying for that door, too!>"

One of the mooks on the floor facepalmed. "<Sir, I don't think they're hookers. I think we're actually being robbed.>"

The mook was given a vicious prod with a walking stick in response. "<Boy, I've had more call-girls than you've had hot dinners, and I know one when I see one.>"

There was a collective groan and shudder from the Yakuza on the floor as they parsed that.

And Arella had suddenly crossed the room, to deliver a good slap to the guy suggesting she looked like a call-girl. Because that was just insulting!

The old man grinned back at Arella. "<Harder, next time. And fingers together.>"

The magical girl cringed, her expression showing exactly how creeped/grossed out she was, before turning to Kat as if asking the dhampir to make the creepy guy go away. 'Cause EEEEEEWWWWWW!

Katrina grinned possibly one of the most disturbing grins that the magical girl had ever seen. And that's saying something, considering Arella not only sleeps with the deranged dhampir and their lecherous boyfriend, but was alro related to Saeko and Aneko. "<My pleasure~>" Katrina wound her arm back and delivered a slap that could have cracked a lesser mortal in half.

The old man was flung back into his chair, knocked unconscious with a beatific smile on his face.

"You know... we could take him home, be like a bet," Katrina suggested to Arella before turning back to the rest, "<Ahem, I said I want the money here, now!>" She pointed the disturbingly long dildo at the nearest person, "<MOVE!>"

The mook looked at the dildo, turning pale. "<Okayokayokay just don't use it on me.>" He scurried to start dumping the money onto the table, which soon started to groan under the weight.

"<Thank you~>" Katrina said sweetly before snagging a nearby, expensive looking bottle of alcohol and pouring it on the pile of money, "<We're not actually robbing you guys. Just delivering a message.>" She pulled out a match and lit it on the head of another nearby mook, "<Everything burn!>" The dhampir tossed the match in to the pile of money and it immediately sputtered and died. "<What? They make this look so easy on the movies! Damn!>"

"Want me to try an arrow?" Arella offered (she had them in hammerspace, after all). "Then we could explode it, instead. That's kinda like burning."

"<What, you want to kill us too with bits of table?>" The mook protested, snatching the bottle back from Katrina. "Alcohol doesn't burn hot enough to set fire to notes. At least, not the expensive fancy stuff. Here.>" He reached into his pocket, handing her a hip flask. "<I bought this off some guy in a bar. It'll set fire to anything. Don't use the whole flask; that stuff's expensive.>"

"<Oh... umm... thanks?>" Katrina was slightly confused at this. She reached out to the table and pulled out a hand full of non-alcohol soaked notes, "<Here, since you're so helpful.>" The dhampir then dumped half the bottle on the bills and use a grill lighter this time. Soon the table was a roaring blaze. "W00t!"

"Yay!" Arella cheered over a job well done. This was almost immediately followed by a more serious, "So, are we done now?" She wasn't done playing dress-up yet, but the burning money stuff was getting kinda boring.

Before Katrina could answer, the door was kicked open by yet another angry yet beautiful woman. A young man was thrown into the room, landed on the flaming table, then rolled off flailing, "<I DON'T CARE, I WANT.... MY... money... What the hell are you two doing here?!>" Former officer Kamimila Saneki of the Megatokyo Police demanded. "<And why are you burning the money!?>"

"<We're sending a message,>" the magical girl replied, in spite of actually having no idea what the message was. Or exactly to whom they were sending it.

"Hey Mimi," Katrina responded, kicking out the flames on the poor dealer's back, "Didn't know you gambled here."

"Well, not a whole lot of places for disgraced ex-cops to hang out, you know?" Mimi replied.

'What happened to the--" Katrina was cut off by a glare that said more than the sudden pulsating of the shadows in the room, "Oh."

"<Oh my god, they know each other!>"

"<EEEEEE! Run for you lives!>"

"<We're all gonne die!>"

There was a small whirlwind left in the wake of the stampeding individuals as they fled, leaving the dealer and unconscious pervert in their wake.

"Well, you two should probably go, too," Mimi said, as if nothing odd had happened, "Security will probably be up here after the show I made dragging that idiot here. I'm a paying customer with a legitimate grievance; you two, on the other hand..."

"Good point,' Katrina nodded, "Besiders, I'm pretty sure we're done here. Right 'Rella?"

"Right," Arella agreed with a decisive nod. "So now we can go get you that bullwhip." And new riding crop. No forgetting the riding crop.

Katrina nodded her agreement as she and Arella turned away from the room to face the eyes of dozens of curious ungerground casino goers and around two dozen armed guards. "Mimi, could have let us know they were right behind us."

"Guess they move faster than I thought," the ex-cop shrugged and lit a cigarette, before yelling past them to the guards, "Don't worry, I'll wait. I have a legitimate cause for complaint."

"Who's she waiting for?" Arella quietly inquired of her girlfriend, considering the very unconscious old guy had likely been the one in charge, and the rest of the money-room guys had fled.

"Probably best not to ask," Katrina nodded sagely.

Arella considered this for a moment, before ultimately concluding that Kat was probably right, and giving a decisive nod. "Let's go pick up that bullwhip, then," she concluded, once again linking arms with her girlfriend and giving a gentle tug to get them moving towards the exit - utterly ignoring the armed guards and other onlookers, who had likely heard every word.

The dhampir grinned, flashing her fang to anyone close enough to notice before walking arm in arm with Arella through the assembled guards and frightened customers.

---

"Did we really just walk out of there?" Katrina asked, checking the rearview mirror of the flashy car for the umpteenth time. "I can't believe they aren't following us."

"Must be too dazzled by our sexiness," Arella declared with a wide grin, going ahead and turning on the radio just in time to catch the beginning of . She was starting to feel more than a little sassy, and that could only mean trouble. Or fun, either/or. "So, bullwhip, riding crop, and then a night you won't remember?" came her saucy suggestion, following right on the lyrics of the song. Then, just in case that wasn't obvious enough, she added in a stage whisper, "I'll be the one you won't forget." And a wink; can't forget the wink.

Katrina stared, more than a little slack jawed, and swerved around traffic, accelerating the sports care to ludicrous speed. "We are going to get somewhere a bit more private in a hurry," the dhampir grinned.

Arella's responding more-than-a-little-pleased-with-herself giggle was dutifully interrupted by a great show of pouting as she pointed out, "But we didn't stop for supplies yet."

There was a very real chance the magical girl was a bit too susceptible to her own costumes, but it was all in the name of fun, right?

Summary:
-Kor found one of Ozu's cash houses. Time for Arella and Katrina to infiltrate the place!
-Wait, infiltrate? Like, we can wear costumes and stuff? OMG, we should be sexy university students!
-Playing dress-up is fun.
-Slight casualty, after some old perv triggers Kat's unknown protective instincts.
-Discussion as to which Batman character Kat is, if Arella's Batman and Kor is her Alfred/Oracle.
-She's Catwoman, obviously!
-Kat says only if she gets a bullwhip. Arella promises shopping later.
-Skorp is eavesdropping. OMG, dad, get off my comm!
-One of Ozu's goons is immune to Arella's cute. Quick! Kill it with fire!
-Wait, what's Mimi doing here?
-Doesn't matter, it's time for Arella and Kat to go shopping.
-Either Arella's gotten a bit too in character, or all these costumes are some weird way of safely expressing different sides of herself.
-Either way, Kat approves!
-Also, Elle's had that song stuck in her head for ages...
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CantoAnathema

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Posts: 24

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:04 pm

Post Wed May 04, 2016 3:54 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

"O God! Can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp?"

Location: CMGY Academy and elsewhere
Time: Late Summer
Character(s): Arella, Whisp, Aneko
Author(s): Arella, CantoAnathema


"<The Siege of Osaka was a series of battles undertaken by the Tokugawa shogunate against the Toyotomi clan from 1614 to 1615, and ultimately put an end to the last major armed opposition to the shogunate's establishment,>" Arella lectured while writing the necessary key points on the blackboard. She was exhausted thanks to not actually sleeping the night before (or much at all, lately), but you wouldn't have known it from watching her - her students deserved her time and energy every bit as much as the city-dwellers she defended as Raven. Even if she did rather feel in danger of falling asleep on her feet. "<Now, those of you who actually did your reading this week should be able to tell me - why is the end of this conflict sometimes called the Genna Armistice?>"

Much to Arella-sensei's (and indeed, the rest of the class') surprise, Whisp was the first to put her hand up - surprising both because she never remembered to raise her hand, and because she never paid attention in history class, on account of it being "boring."

"<Yes, Whisp?>" the teacher dutifully encouraged, after a few moments of simply staring in surprise.

Of course, true to form, Whisp hadn't been paying attention to the lesson - she'd just been waiting for an opening, as quickly became clear when, instead of answering the question, the teen girl climbed up onto her desk, took a dramatic and defiant pose-- and hesitated. She hadn't really planned this far, and was suddenly realizing she didn't actually know how to do a Villain speech. Which was a problem, because that was exactly what she'd agreed to do. Finally, after a very confusing moment of silence in which everyone wondered what on earth Whisp thought she was doing, she rather desperately declared, "<Justice will be swift! Justice will be painful! It will be DELICIOUS!>" Not really what she'd been going for, but her tone was almost enough to sell it all on its own, and it was from RWBY (which automatically made it awesome). And then she was leaping forward as Fred the zombie falcon flew through the window at the front of the classroom, spilling glass everywhere, while she grabbed her teacher and leaped back out the window with her, before disappearing entirely in a sudden burst of speed.

Arella was, understandably, a bit too confused and surprised to do so much as protest. Not that she would have stopped it. After all, halting Whisp mid-sprint stood a good chance of sending them both into a wall, a tree, or something even less comfortable. It was also very confusing. Not many things motivated Whisp to do extra work, let alone anything as elaborate as teacher-kidnapping.

Well, then again, 'at least it isn't history class' might have been enough encouragement.

When they were well past the school grounds and into the surrounding neighborhoods, Whisp came to a stop in a darkened street, nestled between two apartment complexes that loomed overhead. A car idled, its engine grumbling ominously. With a dramatic bow, Whisp proclaimed.

"<I got her!>"

Alongside the vehicle, two pale hands came together and clapped out a slow applause.

"<Well done, my young apprentice. Now, the plan is all but complete.>" Heels clicked, bringing the patient mastermind closer, "<Now, there is just one more thing to do.>"

"<What is it?>" the thrilled teenager immediately wanted to know, clearly more than a little pleased with herself, while Arella desperately tried to get her bearings after what had proven to be a rather lengthy mad dash.

Seriously, she was feeling a bit dizzy - since when had Whisp been able to move that fast?

The Villain, now within more than easy reach of the disoriented magical girl, gave a quick flick of their wrist and Arella's cellphone was in in their hand. Given where Arella often stored the phone, this was more than a little alarming. A smile appeared on their lips, full of plots and lies, as they dialed a number and spoke.

"<Hello, CMGY Academy? I'm afraid Arella-sensei and Whisp have gone home for the day. They're terribly sick. Probably contagious. They'll be back tomorrow.>"

Whisp couldn't have looked more thrilled - she was getting out of school for the whole rest of the day! This was one of the best days ever! Arella, meanwhile, seemed to have finally recognized the supposed Villain's voice.

"Okaasan!" the magical girl objected with great exasperation.

"<Hey, don't spoil the moment.>" Aneko insisted, returning the phone and ruffling the girl's hair. "<Also, get in the taxi. The meter's been running for, like, ten minutes.>"

For a moment, Arella could only stare at her adopted mother, before finally opening her mouth to speak (or argue, as the case may be) - only to be interrupted by Whisp.

"<Am I good to go home now, then?>" the decidedly pleased teenager wanted to know.

"<Very good.>" Aneko assured, giving her a thumbs up. "<Villainy accomplished. Go take your reward.>"

Whisp promptly gave an uncharacteristically polite bow, bid "Aneko-sama" and "Arella-sensei" farewell, and took off for the Manor to play some more of her RWBY game. And text Dev, obviously.

"What... Why..." Arella seemed to have already gone straight past arguing... and right back to confusion. Of course, that whole lack of sleep thing didn't exactly help her cognitive functioning any, either. Shuffled into the waiting car, she continued to express this in a very eloquent but not terribly coherent fashion as Aneko avoided any real answer between giving the driver directions and explaining how she'd spent the previous evening with Whisp, setting up the morning's events. This wasn't helped either by Arella drifting off a bit, without teaching, crime-fighting, or actually moving in any fashion keeping her conscious. Plus, Aneko made a really good pillow, as the magical girl further established by ultimately passing out with her head on her mother's shoulder.

With Arella asleep, Aneko also lapsed into silence. At least in words. The purplish contacts that covered her eyes swiveled and shifted as she examined the child. Her child, she thought, with a glare towards the city that passed by outside. Patrolling almost every night and most mornings, teaching during the day, spending as much time as possible with friends and lovers--why, it almost looked like Arella was grabbing life by the tail, doubly so if that tail was Lucius'. Perhaps she was working a bit too hard but she was fighting, at least, which was better than drowning herself in liquor.

A whole summer, the mother had been here. It should have been enough. It should have been enough to actually help! Instead, it had only shaken the girl from her alcoholic slumber and pushed her into the terrible light. Now, she had people precious to her again. For them, for the city, she'd do anything--and then, one day, she'd fall while trying her hardest. It'd be okay though. There were students to take up her mantle and friends who would be better people, in her memory. She would do so much good. She would burn so brightly, so beautifully--

And then she could sleep. No more nightmares, no more fears. It'd be over.

Aneko curled her fingers around Arella's hand, scooping it into her lap, careful not to wake the girl.

---

Arella woke slowly and, in many ways, more comfortably than she usually did, because it was usually something jarring that woke her (like her alarm, or a pouncing cat, or alarming sounds at Luc and Kat's apartment, usually caused by Luc and/or Kat). This time she simply woke to the feel of warm sunlight on her skin, and her okaasan's hand gently stroking her hair. It was so nice, in fact, that she initially refused to open her eyes at all, and instead merely curled closer to her mother. A warm breeze brushed across her face, followed by an even more gentle touch of fingertips.

"<I know you're awake, dear. Can't pretend with me.>" Aneko laughed airily.

"<But I don't wanna get up,>" the magical girl protested, albeit with a smile she could not hide; that was something she'd once said to her birth mother on a regular basis, after all, and it left her feeling oddly happy to say it again.

"<That's... actually okay, then. Sleep away! We aren't in any hurry anyway.>"

That, interestingly, earned some giggling; Arella's birth mother definitely would never have said that. And then those blue eyes of hers opened, to peer up at her new mother - her okaasan. "<So why the kidnapping?>" she rather teasingly inquired. Black hair fluttering behind her like a distant, dark cloud, Aneko leaned over the daughter resting in her lap and smiled.

"<Ransom, of course.>"

That earned a cheeky grin. "<How much d'you think you can get for me, then?>"

"<Oh, they could never afford my demands.>" Aneko assured, although she had a pretty good estimate in mind already. However-- "<And it's not like I'd ever return you anyway.>"

"<I should hope not,>" the magical girl approved. "<I'm fairly certain returning your own child for money is generally frowned upon.>"

"<That is true, isn't it. Well, I suppose I'll have to keep you forever now that I've stolen you.>"

"<Their loss,>" Arella quipped cheerfully, still making absolutely no move to get up or even remove her head from Aneko's lap. Not that the other woman made any move herself. If anything, Aneko seemed more than happy to let Arella remain where she was for quite a bit longer.

"<Isn't it?>" She laughed, "<I'll have to steal you away more often.>"

"<Maybe try using someone other than Whisp next time - I don't think she's quite cut out for villainy, much as she might like to think otherwise,>" Arella suggested. Hilarious as the RWBY quote had been, it didn't exactly qualify as a Villain Speech.

"<Oh? Who should I make my next minion?>"

Arella frowned at that, but not so much because she shouldn't be considering it, because she kinda was. "<Well, Devin would likely plan it better, if you could actually get him to do it. But then Whisp would find out, and be upset that you were leaving her out. Cathal's a bit of a 'sneak-thief', as Skorp puts it, and does have a rather criminal past, but I don't know how successful he'd be at it. And knowing him, he'd probably try to cop a feel, and then I'd have to mallet him anyway. Kawasaki can be a bit dense sometimes, but she's so clumsy, I don't think she'd get very far, and Yakashima would definitely hit her for it after. Maybe look somewhere other than a school for magical girls for the next one?>" That last was, of course, said more than a little teasingly.

"<Shame. Maybe I'll just have to handle things personally.>"

More giggling. "<Well, at least you'll get a chance to see where I work, then,>" the magical girl quipped. "<Just try not to traumatize any of the kids too badly, if you can.>"

"<Oh, darling! You say that as if I haven't slipped in there already to watch you teach.>" Aneko countered, hand to her mouth in what may have been a joking manner. "<But what about the other teachers? Are the adults behaving as well?>"

"<Of course!>" Arella assured, not seeming the least bit surprised at the suggestion that her okaasan may have been, technically, spying on her. "<I'm impressed with the people Luc has managed to find to teach at the academy. Shiori's always sweet, and clearly cares about the kids, even if she can be kinda awkward at times; Tiffaney is fascinating to watch, it's like she's part cutegirl and part mad scientist, and I know the kids like her lessons; and Luc is... well, Luc, but he's done an amazing job so far. Even if he does keep making up stories about haggises being real animals and trolling the girls with it, and it's his fault I'm having so much trouble getting them to stop speaking English with a Scottish accent...>"

As imagining a Japanese magical girl speaking like that particular cat-eared Scotsman gave her a significant headache, Aneko let that one go. It was still fairly impressive though; Lucius had been a one-man-show not too long ago and, in just a season, had a reasonably well-managed collection of staff and students. She'd give the weirdo that, at least. "<It sounds like being a school teacher is working out for you, dear. With such good students and fellow teachers, do you think I could steal you away for a few days vacation?>"

Arella's eyes seemed to light up a bit at the prospect of a real, proper break - a chance to rest and leave her responsibilities behind, even if only for a few days. But she wasn't much of one to shirk her duties, and the light rather dimmed at the thought of all the people who might need her in those few days. "<I wish I could,>" she admitted softly. But she was needed. She was always needed.

"<But...?>"

In the distance, the sounds of other people in the park filtered by: various chatter and laughter, boats bobbing across the lake, children running and playing. They were not lost on the magical girl.

"<I can't just abandon them,>" she said, her meaning clear. The magical girls might be able to look after themselves for that long, but all those ordinary people couldn't. And they were just as important.

"<If it's the people you're worried about, I can make sure your patrols are covered. More than covered, actually. There are a few 'retired'-->" Air quotes were indeed used, "<magical girls who owe me a favor. They'd be glad to be out in the streets again, protecting love and peace and all that. How's that?>"

That the favors owed may have involved keeping youthful 'explorations' quiet was neither here nor there.

Silence for a moment, as Arella turned the idea over in her mind. That should have been a good thing, a reason to go, but it somehow didn't feel like one. She had to stay; she owed it to the city. They needed her. Finally, the magical girl gave a small shake of her head. "<I can't,>" she said simply, even if she didn't entirely understand why.

"<You could use the rest though. Even Whisp noticed you've been a bit on edge lately. Perhaps Lucius or Kat have said something as well? Everyone would be okay with you taking a break and, I promise, the people you protect will continue to be kept safe.>"

"<I don't...>" Arella frowned, clearly conflicted. She couldn't just leave - she needed to stay, needed to keep everyone safe. But it was also her okaasan saying it; saying it, but not demanding it, not trying to tell her what to do. It didn't get her hackles up in the same way, and she didn't know how to fight that. "<I...>"

With a slow gentility, Aneko placed her hands on the sides of Arella's face, breathing a little sigh. "<Arella, dear. I have to leave Japan for a bit. Soon too, before the summer is gone. I'll be back and I'll call often but, well... It could be awhile and we won't be able to see each other like this, whenever we want. Would you take a few days of vacation with me, before then?>"

"<I...>" Arella's shoulders seemed to slump, even as she continued to lay with her head in her mother's lap. She didn't want Okaasan to leave, and now she felt guilty for being so difficult. "<Just... just for a few days, right? And everyone will be safe?>"

"<Yes and yes. We can even stay close, just in case. I happen to know a few very nice hot springs and inns not far from the city.>"

The magical girl chewed on her lip a bit, clearly anxious about the thought of leaving, even for that short a time and at that short a distance. "<...Okay,>" she finally agreed. Because it was Okaasan.

And because she was still being given a choice, instead of being outright told what to do.

"<Good.>" Aneko said, with a smile that faded a little too quickly. "<You're very kind...>"

Quick to pick up on the fact that she may well have hurt her okaasan's feelings, Arella offered up a smile of her own. "<So where are we going?>" she wanted to know.

"<Have you ever been to an onsen, dear?>"

"<Not a proper one,>" the younger girl admitted. "<Just that one that was in the Manor that one time.>"

"<Well then, you're in for a treat. I've become something of an expert on them.>" Aneko somewhat fancifully boasted, given that she'd spent the past few months amongst such places. In all honesty, it was going to be somewhat difficult to adjust back to life without such pampering.

"<What do I need to bring? Am I gonna need a swimsuit?>" the magical girl wanted to know next.

With a very maternal laugh, Aneko squeezed Arella's cheeks and shook her head--Arella's, that is, although she did shake her own a little too. "<Just bring basic toiletries and your smiling, wonderful self, my dear. I shall take care of the rest.>"

Arella frowned a little, looking confused. "<But what about clothes and stuff?>" She generally considered clothes to be fairly important, after all.

"<If you aren't in a yukata the entire time, you aren't vacationing properly.>"

The magical girl's eyes went wide with excitement for a moment, and she asked, "<Can I have one with sakura blossoms on it?>"

"<I can't see why not!>"

Arella just beamed up at her mother in response; she'd always wanted a yukata with sakura blossoms on it. "<When are we going? Are you gonna call me in sick again?>" The latter was only, maybe, half teasing.

"<That was the plan.>" Aneko said, not teasing at all. "<How about tomorrow? I already have you out sick today, so we might as well keep at it.>"

"<Okay,>" the younger girl consented. "<I should still let Luc know what's really going on, though. And Kat. And I'll have to make sure someone can look after Ash while I'm gone. Are you sure I don't need to bring a swimsuit?>"

"<Quite sure, dear.>"

Arella still looked the teensiest bit uncertain about that, but in the end, she trusted her okaasan - and if Okaasan said she didn't need it, she didn't need it. And with all that taken care of, her thoughts were free to return to a more troubling subject. "<Do you really have to leave?>" she asked softly.

With a surprising smile, Aneko lifted the girl from her lap, kneeling Arella upright on the blanket they had been resting upon. Lest the magical girl harbor any doubts that Aneko had planned the kidnapping out thoroughly, a picnic basket was waiting patiently at arm's length, awaiting Aneko's unpacking, which she began once Arella was seated.

"<Why--do you want to come along?>" The elder woman asked with a quick, throaty chuckle.

Yes, some tiny voice far in the back of her mind wanted to reply, but Arella shook her head. Her previous arguments still stood - she was still needed here. "<I can't. But I wish you could stay,>" the magical girl admitted.

Aneko's fingers paused, curling around the cutlery for serving up the shortcake she was about to take out of the basket. She didn't need to look at the girl to know the face she wore. Bile rose in the back of her throat and she felt her insides twitch. Setting out the plates, forks, and knives, she shook her head and smiled faintly.

"<I know, dear, I know.>"

Arella settled herself next to her adopted mother, genuinely happy to be spending time with her even if she did have to leave soon. Her fingers may also have already been itching to get hold of some of that strawberry shortcake. That she was ignoring that darker sense of something behind their words and smiles barely even needed saying; she'd gotten pretty good at ignoring things over the past few years. As they sorted out the dishes and Aneko drew the knife to cut their pieces, there was a moment of silence.

"<I wonder...>" Aneko mused, pausing for a moment. "<If there weren't a city for you to patrol, a school to teach at, or a faction to stay at, I'd have you all to myself, wouldn't I.>"

The knife sliced into the cake.

For the briefest of brief moments, there was something like panic or terror in the magical girl's blue eyes, before she banished the not even half formed thought. It was, perhaps, lucky that she didn't know how similar that was to a thought Elle had had about five years earlier. "<But there are,>" Arella replied, perhaps a little too cheerily. "<And I wouldn't trade them for anything. I suppose I can't be with you all the time,> Okaasan." She wasn't a child anymore, after all.

A quick, airy laugh and Aneko handed her a piece of shortcake. "<Well, I suppose we'll see about that, ne? Here. Enjoy!>"

Arella just went ahead and ate her shortcake, as if there were nothing at all ominous about her mother's words.

---

A day and a half later found the two still together. In fact, they had barely been apart since the kidnapping-and-a-picnic. Except they were no longer in a park, nor even in the city. Aneko had found them a lovely little inn, set so well beyond the urban areas it might as well have been halfway up a mountain. Which, in fact, was exactly where it was--nestled comfortably amongst the dense forests and down an uncomfortably bumpy road.

Arella let out a decidedly contented sigh as she let her head loll back against the edge of the bath, basking quite luxuriously in the steamy waters of the hot spring. She honestly couldn't remember the last time she'd felt quite so relaxed, at least without a considerable amount of help from her significant others first, and this way wasn't nearly so exhausting. More the opposite of exhausting, really, though the peace and quiet and relaxation did have her rather in danger of falling asleep without warning (it was likely a good thing her okaasan never seemed to go far, or she might have drowned already). There wasn't even any need to open her eyes - there was no mischief to be watching out for (likely in the form of Kat), no students to worry about, or people to save. No homework to grade (though she really should be feeling at least a little bad about neglecting that, she was finding it very difficult to do so at the moment). Nothing but the wonderful warmth of the water, the fresh air, the peace and quiet, and the familiar presence of her adopted mother nearby.

She needed to get an onsen in her apartment, somehow, this was amazing.

"<Tell me a story?>" the magical girl almost unconsciously found herself requesting, having officially reached a point of relaxation which she instinctively associated with childhood and the presence of her mother.

"Mmm..." Aneko murmured from her own comfortable spot, as she roused to the question. Still, she had no short supply of stories, which made it a bit tricky for her to pick the right one for their current leisure. After a bit of humming, hawing, and burbling as she lowered her head under the water to think, she finally settled on one of her preferred topics: children. This time, it was a fledgling vampire. Separated from her friends in a foreign city, she was swept up by an evil vampire. However, shortly after her embrace, she was rescued by a hunter who had been tracking her ill-intentioned sire. Unable to return to her previous life, the fledgling was forced to come to terms with her new, blood-thirsty form and all that came with it. As the story was being told by Aneko, it was mostly comedic. After all, finding an apartment is significantly more difficult when you can only go out at night and you can't exactly get references, and thus the story left Arella giggling rather than worrying about an innocent victim she should have saved.

"<You're a good mother,>" the giggling girl informed; sometimes it felt as though Aneko had adopted just about everyone in the world, and she was just so good at it, they were all lucky to have her. And everything did tend to seem better when her Okaasan was around. She wished she didn't have to leave. "<Even when...>" The magical girl trailed off, as did her giggling, as if suddenly unsure whether she should finish her sentence.

"Mmrrmmm," Aneko murmured, having submerged up to her cheeks again. With most of her remaining beneath the surface, she lifted her mouth up to speak. "<Even when, dear?>"

Arella hesitated a moment or two, before ultimately answering. "<I had the dream again, last night,>" she confessed. "<The old-fashioned one, on the ship. And you were my friend, but you were also kinda like a mother.>" Arella paused a moment, clearly trying to find the right words; the apparently recurring dream was a strange one, not in that anything happening in it was particularly odd, but because of how it made her feel. Like she was seeing through someone else's eyes, and not her own. "<The dream me, she... it kinda felt like she hadn't known her own mother, so it was nice to be mothered a bit, even by someone around her own age. My own age. The dream-me's age? If that makes any sense?>" Her own tone made it clear she wasn't sure it did.

"<It does.>"

With water sloshing about her, the woman rose from onsen and took a seat upon the bath's edge. Normally sporting a rather unhealthily pale complexion, the heat and steam had flushed her to an almost luminescent white-pink. Her hair, draped upward about her head, melted against the night sky beyond and when she turned her head aside, so did her eyes.

"<Even when I'm merely a figment in your dreams, I am still a mother. One you can trust, rely on, confide in. Even if my form and face were to change completely, I'd still be someone who cares and protects you, don't you think?>" She smiled, "<No matter what.>"

"Hai," the younger girl agreed contentedly, smiling up at her adopted mother. The dream had rather left her with some questions, though. Or at least, made her rather blatantly aware of just how much she didn't know. "Okaasan..." Arella paused a moment, the question on her lips going against the most basic rules of the manners she'd been raised with. "<How old are you?>"

At that, Aneko had to laugh. It was a very good question after all and you'd be surprised at how few people asked it. "<A hundred and some spare years, dear. A long time to practice and to get mothering right.>"

Arella gave a thoughtful nod, before following the inquiry up with an almost childishly curious, "<How do you live so long, and not age, and stuff?>" Because Aneko was pretty clearly not a vampire.

"<I'm a vampire.>" After seeing Arella's expression for just a second, Aneko laughed again. When she had re-composed herself, she said, "<Though, it's not really different. While I can age or die, it takes unique circumstances for me to do so. So... sort of like being an undead.>"

As Arella absorbed that answer, Aneko herself turned thoughtful. After a moment, she added a bit more.

"<Honestly, though... I'm more like a youkai. Well, honest-honest? More like a kami.>"

"<Really?>" Arella had to know next, all wide-eyed and impressed. She was even sitting upright now, instead of lounging against the side of the onsen. Aneko nodded but gave a quick shake of her hand, dismissing the very blasphemy of comparing one such as herself to a divine.

"<Kind of? You see, my dear, spirits such as those can only be what they were born to be. They can't act contrary to their selves. There's no point asking a rain woman not to bring poor weather or a snow woman not to bring the cold. We can try to hide it but we can't deny what we are.>"

"<So... what do you bring, then?>" was the next, rather inevitable question.

"<Mothering, mostly.>"

The lie came so quickly and so naturally, it might have been wrong to say there was a pause between Aneko hearing the question and then giving her answer. Yet there had been a moment, before she replied, in which she could have changed what she said. Why had she lied? Well, if it had been to Saeko or Sayuri, they'd have gotten the truth without delay. Even Amaya or Yuki could have asked and received the same. But Arella--well, the short of it was that Aneko was a coward. If Aneko could have told her magical girl what she really was, why, she'd have stolen the girl away from the city weeks ago!

But she couldn't and so she hadn't and now she covered it all up with an illusion they both wanted to believe. Aneko laughed and shook her head, knowing in her secret heart that if she had any confidence in his return, it would have been a different story.

"<I have gathered a sizable family, over the years. You can count yourself one of the youngest amongst many siblings.>"

Arella just smiled, assigning no meaning to the moment thanks to her trusting nature. "<I'm glad,>" she said instead, rewarding her okaasan with a hug and a quick peck on the cheek. She was also glad Aneko had made her come here; a break with her mother was exactly what she'd needed.

So relaxing was it, in fact, that a short while later Aneko was metaphorically dragging Arella out of the bath, ensuring the drowsy girl was dressed, and then literally carrying her back to their room. By the time Arella's head hit the pillow, she was already asleep. Aneko couldn't help but laugh and tuck the girl in.

Once again, as was often the case, silence and darkness fell about the two; mother and daughter, magical girl and monster.

This time though, Aneko smiled.

"The thing about youkai, kami, spirits of all sorts, dear--" she said, as if to nobody in particular. "--is that we are true to our nature. However awful or wonderful it is, we simply can't pretend to be something we're not."

Her fingertips came to rest lightly upon the girl's face, which scrunched up like a particularly cute and very asleep kitten's at the slight tickle. Aneko's smiled shivered with a quiet laugh and she withdrew.

"Aah, I might not actually be a mother... I can't be, you know. Not anymore. This latest form isn't capable of such. Still, I can't help but worry and care for this girl. You know the feeling, of course. Monsters as we are, we are so very pure in our love."

Trapped as she was in the far reaches of Arella's mind, Elle bristled silently over being called a monster by Aneko, of all people. In fact, she didn't appreciate any sort of comparison to the mikage, apart from perhaps their care for her charge. And she especially didn't appreciate such comparisons happening when she couldn't voice her objection. Aneko gave a quiet laugh, well aware of the former angel's feelings and inclinations. There had been quite a few conversations, metaphorically behind Arella's back, between the two. While they had reached some accord in their desire to protect the girl, their personalities and powers were two wildly different to ever reconcile. Ah well, not everyone could get along.

"Don't be prickly, tenshi-chan. I meant it as a compliment. I might not like you but I trust your feelings. After all, they killed me once. So, I'll leave it to you to destroy anything else that might try to sully our precious little girl." She leaned down, pressing a kiss to both foreheads. "So burn brightly, Elle's. I shall be here, when you go out."

---

Arella's waking the next morning was a very long, drawn out process. Without the chaos of Luc and Kat and an attention-demanding cat, and no real need to actually be awake and going somewhere, there was a lot of sleepy grumbling, and just five more minutes, and snuggling with her pillow, and finally just enjoying not being up. None of which did anything for her hair, which was now an utter, and yet somehow absolutely adorable, disaster, but she wasn't caring overly much about that, either. Basically, she was comfy, and completely content to remain so for as long as possible. The futon was warm, her pillow was soft, and even the distant sounds of people moving about and talking only served to pull her comfortably back towards sleep. In fact, the only part of such a late summer morning that served to pique her was that the sun was already a good step up into the sky, entirely above the neighboring rooftops and treeline. Well, the sun and Aneko's voice, quiet and soothing, talking to someone far away.

The sound of Aneko's voice, distant as it may be, left the girl wanting to see her okaasan. But she also still really didn't want to get up, because comfy. It was a conundrum, to be sure, and one her sleepy brain wasn't entirely qualified to handle at the moment. In the end, she only managed to come up with one solution.

"'kaasan~" the comfy Arella tried calling, not quite achieving the sort of volume she'd intended, but audible nonetheless.

There was a moment of pause, before Aneko called back with an airy laugh, "Just a moment, dear!"

This earned a faint sound of complaint, eventually followed by a rather weak attempt to get out of bed which pretty much just lead to her head and an arm hanging off the side while she frowned at the floor for its lack of comfort.

After a few moments of further conversation, Aneko returned to the room, closing her cellphone and smiling at her disheveled magical girl. "Do you need me to dig you out of those blankets?"

Arella frowned with the deep thought of the not-entirely-awake. She had wanted her okaasan to come join her for snuggles and comfiness, but now she wasn't sure she could drag herself back into bed properly, any more than she could apparently drag herself out. "I dunno," she was eventually forced to admit.

"Well, breakfast will be here shortly, so we may want to decide. I can't very well let you starve to death, trapped by your bed."

This drew some definite signs of interest, including the magical girl's head lifting up. "What's for breakfast? Will there be waffles?" Arella suddenly wanted waffles, for no particular reason. And maybe some strawberries. Ooooh, what would strawberry waffles be like?

Aneko placed her hands on the girl's cheeks. Then she squeezed, "<Cuisine is wasted on you, dear. But at least you're cute.>" With a laugh and shake of her head, she moved her arms to beneath Arella's arms and, with the same strength Arella had learned to expect from her mother, hauled the younger one up. "Up we go! They'll be preparing a traditional breakfast, you know. Part of the onsen experience."

"Well... okay," Arella consented, already seeming to forget her great comfort of a moment ago. She did, however, have yet to notice the disaster that was her hair - which might be a good thing to point out before she could think about going anywhere. "Have you ever had strawberry waffles, okaasan?" she then rather randomly (to anyone not privy to her thoughts, that is) wanted to know.

"Of course I have." Aneko replied, "We had them at Anna Millers a bit ago. Oh, wait, you fell asleep a few times during that, you were so tired...aw, but yes, I've had them."

Arella looked rather adorably disappointed at that; while she could remember their having breakfast together, she didn't remotely remember the food, and it sounded like it would be yummy. "Can we have them again later?" she ultimately requested.

"Of course! Once we get back, there will be a few days before I leave. We can meet for breakfast and have waffles then. How's that sound?"

"Good~" was the magical girl's rather predictable reply. Then she frowned rather suddenly, as something else occurred to her. "I'm forgetting about something," she observed, before looking to Aneko for help. "What am I forgetting?" And then she yawned.

Aneko gave Arella's nose a quick poke, with a smile. "Your clothes. You'll need to get dressed for breakfast. Your yukata is over there and we can take a dip later, as well." As Aneko turned to help gather the girl's things, she paused and, after a moment's consideration, "Also... I have a gift for you.To tide you over until I return."

"A present?" a wide-eyed Arella asked, her current task immediately forgotten in light of the prospective treat, leaving her both looking and sounding about as much a child as she ever had. Perhaps it was the remaining vestiges of sleep after going too long without it, or the mere presence of a mother-figure, but the more childlike aspects of her nature had never seemed more pronounced than in that brief moment. As if to match, Aneko's ensuing laugh was more maternal and kindly than ever, and she seemed unable to resist turning back immediately towards the girl.

"Yes, a present. For after breakfast, alright? So hurry up and get ready."

This, of course, lead to Arella going through her morning routine with all the haste one might expect of a child on Christmas morning, eager to get to the presents. Because there was a present! True to expectations, the food was rather wasted on her. Not that she didn't enjoy it, it just didn't last long enough to make an impression. After all, a present "for after breakfast" meant that it needed to be "after breakfast" right now. Once the platters and dishes had been cleared out, Arella was all but bouncing up and down at her okaasan, who couldn't help but laugh and reached out her hands.

Between the pale fingers was a surprisingly sturdy, golden necklace chain, sparkling in the sunlight. Captured at its center was a surprisingly simple little gem, an orb of perfect smoothness and difficult to ascertain color, swirling tones that shifted as inconsistently as fashion.

"A trifling, little thing," Aneko lied, in that way in which only she could blatantly do so, "for you to wear whenever you think of me. So, always."

The mother was immediately rewarded with an excited hug and a downright giddy "thankyouthankyouthankyou~", followed by a quick peck on the cheek before the magical girl turned and cheerily requested, "Put it on me?" There was the faintest hint of an aborted motion to pull her hair aside as well, before Arella remembered her hair was no longer long enough to necessitate such things. The fact that she'd actually managed to forget that fact for a moment was rather telling of just how old she was feeling - she hadn't had long hair since the demon invasion, after all. She also, though it didn't occur to her at the time, hadn't received such a pretty little present since the demon invasion; luckily, Mokushi couldn't have been further from her mind, and thus couldn't spoil the moment.

The jewelry gave a delicate little clink as it was draped about her neck, following by the faintest of clicks as Aneko set the latch. For a moment more than five years in the making, it passed quickly and with only those faint sounds as fanfare. With the necklace in place, Aneko hugged the girl with one arm and proffered a hand-mirror from her other. "It looks lovely on you, dear. Don't you think? Just perfect."

The magical girl examined the new bauble in her reflection, one slender hand reaching up to touch the gem almost reverently. "It's beautiful," she breathed, so genuinely touched; she'd forgotten just how special and cared about such gifts could make a person feel. "Thank you, Okaasan."

"The pleasure is mine, my child. I am glad you like it."

Aneko was rewarded with another hug, as Arella promised always to wear it. Followed, of course, by a sudden look of concern as she wondered, "Is it okay to wear in the water?"

"Of course! The chain was made from a magical, unbreakable, talking katana after all." Aneko probably joked. Probably.

For a moment, the magical girl looked as though she might actually ask whether that was true or not (if it was, there was likely a marvelous story to go along with it, after all), only to find that it wasn't quite necessary for her to know just then. Instead she snuggled further into her okaasan's embrace, and spoke words which, in spite of being irrefutably true, she suddenly wasn't sure she'd ever actually voiced before. "I love you, okaasan."

Aneko smiled, her hug practically cradling the girl, "More than anything else in the world?"

"Hai~" Arella was quick to assure, with all the ease and certainty of one who's never truly been forced to choose between those she cares about. Such a thing would likely break her entirely, anyway.

"That's my girl." Aneko replied with a smile.


----Summary:----
- Whisp kidnaps Arella from school, for the glory of 3v1l and not being in class. Also because Aneko asked her to.
- Arella and Aneko take the day off and go on a picnic, where Aneko tells Arella that she will be leaving the city.
- They then go on a mini-vacation, giving Arella some time off! Meandering conversation is had!
- Arella super-loves her okaasan and receives a nice, completely innocent piece of jewelry from her.
<<

Arella

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Posts: 129

Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:49 pm

Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Wed May 04, 2016 3:56 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)



Location: Japan. Somewhere that's not Tokyo, but not terribly far from it, either.
Timestamp: Oh, sometime during the summer.
Authors: Arella, Skorp, Oblivion

"Em, you've got someone on your six," Viola informed, not quite warning but not far off from it, either. She could see a lot through the scope of her sniper rifle, especially tethered as she was to an airborne helicoptor, but she sadly couldn't see intentions. Or much of anything beyond movement, at the moment - did they know they were just far enough away to be hard to make out, and that that shadowy clump of trees made for excellent cover, or was it just a coincidence? "Try moving to the other side of the street, see if that draws them out. And, y'know, keep moving."

"Got it, boss," Em confirmed.

Viola barely even breathed as she watched her friend casually cross the road, only picking up her pace a bit to avoid potential (and nonexistant, at this hour of the night) traffic. Once she was safely across, it was almost impossible to tell that her pace didn't go back to being quite as leisurely as it had been before - and of course it was, Vi had trained her well, after all.

The shadows moved.

"Gotcha," Viola commented with satisfaction, before the sharp report of her rifle rang out through the night in quick succession. Six shots, six targets down. Who they were was irrelevant - they had been following Em, and that made them a threat. "Keep moving," Vi advised; the street was clear again, but there could always be more on the way. "Dan's less than a minute away with the car, should be a--"

More movement - a car that was not their own, an armoured car, was racing towards her friend. Viola didn't hesitate; her first shot took out the driver, even through the tinted, supposedly bullet-proof glass, and the vehicle crashed into the brick wall of a nearby building. "Move," Vi demanded with a bit more urgency, and Emily immediately took off for the pickup site. Meanwhile, the doors to the car opened, spilling the three remaining occupants into the street. Viola made three more shots, but only two targets went down this time - the last managed to duck behind cover. "Shit!"

She switched lines on her headset to demand, "Dan, where the fuck are you?"

"I'm just coming around the corner, hang on!"

"Tell that to Em the Sitting Duck, somebody's made us!" was Viola's decidedly not happy response; she also fired off a few warning shots to keep the fucker in cover before swiftly reloading her gun.

"Sorry boss!" came Dan's immediate apology.

Lights appeared at the far end of the street; a quick glance through her scope revealed it to be Dan, and Viola switched back to Emily. "Get out of there, Em, you're good to go."

"Thanks boss!" was the other girl's rather breathless reply; Viola watched as she practically tore down the street towards safety. Well, relative safety, anyway - they still had to make it back to base. In the meantime, yet another vehicle was approaching from the same direction as her previous targets, and a certain fucker was taking shots at her friend.

Of course, that meant he had to poke his head out of cover - a head which swiftly exploded into tiny bits, following a simple squeaze of Vi's trigger. The new car was harder; the driver managed to swerve out of the way of a bullet meant specially for him, and kept barrelling towards Emily, who was now almost even with Dan and their car. A swift bit of recalculating, and Viola took out one of the rear wheels instead, sending the vehicle veering into a lamppost.

Well, that answered the question of the armoured car vs. lamppost debate.

Three bodies poured out the car, the fourth already taking shots at Em and Dan from the open window. Idiot - he made the perfect target, as Viola proved half a second later. The other three scrambled for cover, and she managed to take another out before they found it on the far side of the car.

"I'm in!" Emily reported.

"Go," Viola ordered, taking aim one final time. As their own car sped off down the street, she took out the enemy's fuel tank; the explosion was a thing to behold, but Viola didn't take the time to enjoy it - she was already zipping back up into the chopper with the sort of ease that only came with a great deal of practice, and banging on the wall to let Rose know they were ready to go. They still had to make sure Emily and Dan made it back to base safely, and without being followed.

Viola traded her sniper rifle for the rocket launcher.

---

"Any chatter tonight?" Viola inquired of her tech specialist, safely ensconced amidst her computers once more.

"Not so far," Emily informed, not once taking her eyes off the array of monitors before her.

"And the files?" Viola followed up around a sip of hot chocolate. Emily's own mug lay untouched on the desk beside her, no doubt already forgotten.

Em gave a distracted little shrug, the majority of her attention still on the information her monitors relayed to her. "Just what you expected," she confirmed, passing a flashdrive back to her friend and boss almost carelessly - the fruits of their labours for that night. "I already copied them, so you're good to go."

"Thanks, Em," came Viola's fond reply, as she tucked the flashdrive away. "I'll let the buyers know it's ready for pickup tomorrow. Do try and get some sleep tonight, okay?"

Emily's noncommital response was a comfortingly familiar sound at her back as Vi retreated from the room. She needed to let Sam and Mel know they were accompanying her to the dropoff tomorrow, and then hopefully get some sleep herself.

---

"Multiple vehicles destroyed, including a couple of trucks of goods. Half a dozen fatalities, twice that in injuries, and they failed to collect the objective. Third time this month one of our ops has failed, up from twice last month, but down from the four before it." Skorpion mused, poking through the data projected in front of him while sipping a bucket-sized coffee. "Lexi and John are still there from when I sent them out last week to fix things. And this little girly here looks to be in charge of things, from her gear. She's good, too, from the data. I'll have them double-head an op she'll be unable to resist going for herself; something too good to pass up. And THIS time, maybe I can actually capture her without waiting for her to come crawling to my doorstep a few years later, like with the Xenothium thief."
He paused, looking around. "It is, by the way, impolite to eavesdrop on your boss. Especially when you're hiding behind a nuclear warhead."

The warhead, or rather the shadows behind it, made no reply. It was impossible to say whether Jason was actually there or not.

---

"Lexi, you up?" Skorpion asked as the line picked up.

"Of course. I never sleep on the job." Alexis said confidently, the statement being completely accurate thus far. "You calling to ask about my day? Because I gotta say; so far, not bad."

"Skipping sleep's a bad habit to get into, even if you don't need much." Skorpion cautioned. "And while that's good to hear, it's not why I was calling. Something new's come up, and I need you and John on it ASAP. Shipment coming in; classified stuff, and that means I want it. Expect resistance, and competition as well. Competent competition, unlike the local goons you've been dealing with. They won't be able to resist that, or the contents of the containers you'll be picking up as padding for the classified stuff."

"Oh, no. You're warning me about sleeping habits? Now I'm concerned." Alexis snarked. "You gonna send some people to grab the stuff after we secure it, or are we gonna haul it back ourselves? Oh, and the ever-needed cleanup crew." The wolfgirl requested with a grin. "And how do you want us to handle the competition?"

"Hey, I went insane after not sleeping for a year, and got myself killed. I can recover from backups, but you can't. You're taking the securement team with you, mixed in with a regular convoy. Cleanup as normal. As for the competition..." Skorpion grinned back at her. "Give them a warning they won't forget in a hurry. Tell them that if they continue to oppose me, I will see them put out of business permanently. Maybe poach some of their crew if you can. Fulton extractions won't work in a port, so you're stuck with duct tape and ropes for extracting them."

"You got it. See you later pops." Alexis said with a smile, hanging up after Skorp's response. "John, you're on vanguard. We've got a target."

"Understood." Johnathan confirmed as the two turned to head out.

---

"Um, boss?" an almost timid-sounding Emily inquired from just outside the door to Viola's 'office.' Everybody knew The Boss didn't care for surprises, especially of the last minute sort, but Emily was equally aware of Viola's dislike of missing out on opportunities. And this definitely qualified as an opportunity, albeit a last minute and decidedly unexpected one.

"What's up, Em?" Vi encouraged, even as she tossed the pen she'd been playing with back down on her desk in irritation. She'd been feeling restless ever since they got back from the dropoff, the job hadn't paid as much as she'd have liked given the trouble they'd run into, and she still didn't know who she'd actually been shooting at. Vi really didn't like not knowing things, especially when it involved shooting people.

"I picked up some chatter," Tech Specialist Emily informed as she stepped inside, immediately gaining Viola's full attention. "High grade weapons' shipment. Tomorrow morning. Early."

Viola's falsely purple eyes narrowed in both thought and suspicion; she was already weighing the potential risks and benefits, and Emily knew no further information was needed for the moment. Silence reigned in the room for a while, before Viola broke it with the restless tapping of a new pen against the surface of her desk. She didn't like it - it was too easy, too convenient, and all her instincts heartily agreed it was a Bad Idea. But she was also restless, and self-aware enough to know that was going to have her leaning towards action rather than caution. And they could use some new toys, especially free of charge. Not to mention selling the rest could bring in a pretty penny...

The new pen finally got thrown across the room in frustration, Viola scowling after it. She was going to do something stupid, wasn't she.

"What time?" the big boss who was, in fact, a girl not yet even in her 30s wanted to know.

"Three o'clock," Em informed.

"Where?"

Emily told her.

Another pen got chucked across the room before Viola went to gather the troops. This was a shit idea.

---

The ship bobbed slightly as it was unloaded. Containers were lifted off by the dockside cranes and set onto the next trailer in the queues, the sound of metal contacting metal and idling diesel engines cutting through the stillness of the night while the blackness was kept at bay by harsh white lighting. Men with guns patrolled the railings of the ship and the shoreside, warily watching the Largoist vehicles parked around the dock in puddles of light and noise, and the trucks in the lines waiting for loading. Further out, snipers scanned the area; both government security and Largoist snipers lurking in buildings, atop cranes, and between stacks of containers. The city lights glowed across the harbour, yellows and whites and the reds and blues of advertising boards smearing together in the haze of radiated heat from the concrete.

"How you wanna play it, boss?" Mel wanted to know as their small group surveyed the situation from the safety of a rooftop, helicopter on standby mere feet away.

Vi let out a sound of irritation; this was a seriously, seriously shit idea. They should just call it quits and head back to base. There were too many lights, too many people, too many unknowns, and they didn't even have someone paying them to be there. And she meant it about the too many people - even for this much activity at the docks, and for this kind of cargo, there were more people than necessary. It was probably a trap. Or someone else was working a job, which they did not need to get caught up in. Or something worse - it could always be something worse.

"Well, we aren't jacking one of the trucks they're loading up," the boss informed. If it was a trap, that was exactly what they'd be expected to do, after all. Besides, relying on someone else's truck was just asking for something to go wrong.

Normally, Mel would have pointed out that that didn't actually answer her question, but something about the way Viola kept muttering curses under her breath kept her mercifully quiet.

Finally, some measure of inspiration struck, and the slightly-less-scowly Viola switched her headset over to Emily, back at the base. "Em, pick us a cargo container. If we're only getting one, I want it to be a damn good one," she requested.

So Emily provided the numbers, and Viola identified their target container, and then it was time for everybody to get back in the helicoptor. She preferred to do things by air anyway.

It was still a shit idea, though.

---

"Is the ambush ready in case the truck gets jacked?" Alexis asked, looking to the shipments with crossed arms.

"Yes, ma'am." Responded a Largoist trooper at her side.

"Good. Anti-Air units on standby?" Alexis asked.

"Yeah, everyone's in position, but what makes you think they'll come in from above?" The Largoist asked.

"Honestly, I don't think they will, but no one ever lost by being too prepared. Just remember, we aren't trying to kill them. I want them on our side if possible." Alexis cautioned, taking up a rifle. "But if they start shooting up the place, remember you're more valuable to me than them."

"Got it. I'm gonna get back to guarding the cargo." The Largoist said, giving a salute before running off.

"Take care of yourself." Alexis said, returning the salute before looking to Johnathan. "John, I need you where you can stop a truck from driving out, or jump onto a hovering aircraft." The wolfgirl ordered.

"Understood." Johnathan acknowledged before moving to the second floor to ready himself to ambush if needed.

---

It was of great credit to Rose's flying skills that nobody even seemed to notice the helicoptor's initial approach, and yet further credit that even when they did, nobody jumped to the conclusion that they were hostile. Just an ordinary chopper passing overhead, no doubt on the way to the nearest airport, no need to pay attention...

In fact, nobody seemed to realize they were something to pay attention to until the helicoptor came to a stop above one of the loaded trucks and five figures came rappelling down right onto the cargo container it was carrying.

"Move! Move! Move!" Viola rather needlessly ordered (it made her feel better) as they all touched down, unhooking themselves almost in unison and immediately moving on to securing the container in their stead, while Sam took care of the mechanism linking the container to the truck in case the two weren't terribly inclined to part with the help of gravity alone.

Like clockwork, each member of her team completed their task and gave her the okay, so that she could report to Rose over her headset, "Take us up!" All in all, barely a minute had passed since they left the chopper, and already they were grabbing hold of the tethers securing their cargo as Rose lifted them all up into the air again.

"Glad I didn't make any bets..." Alexis said, her eyebrows raised in a clear expression of exactly how impressed she was even as she took hold of her radio. "Air infiltration, stinger units, move." She ordered, exiting the building as several units with stingers deployed from the warehouse and a couple dummy containers to lock on to the helicopter. "Megaphone." The wolfgirl requested, holding out a hand which was soon given a megaphone by a nearby Largoist. "Sorry, but we got dibs on this cargo. Put down the container and let me speak with your leader; compliance will not result in capture, torture, or execution. We just wanna talk."

"This was a fucking SHIT IDEA!" Viola announced, accusatory tone entirely intended for herself, as the extent of their opposition became increasingly clear.

"No arguments here, boss!" Michael hollered back, razzing her as per usual. He couldn't see it, but he knew her well enough to know she stuck her tongue out at him in response.

"No way, this is awesome!" Sam disagreed; the girl was a total action junkie, and Vi loved her for it. "We should do this every week!"

"Fuck that!" Vi objected, though the rather manic grin she was failing at hiding suggested she was enjoying a bit of an adrenaline high herself. "And fuck them, too - they've got all those containers, and they can't even let us have ONE?! AND WHO TALKS VIA MEGAPHONE THESE DAYS? WE DON'T EVEN HAVE ONE TO TALK BACK!"

Aaaaaand Mel was officially gigglefitting. Well, at least Vi was amusing somebody.

"Uhhhh, boss?" Rose interjected via Vi's headset. "We've got stingers locked on us."

Viola put her rather extensive vocabulary of curses to good use. Seriously, she'd known this was a shit idea.

"Just letting you know, we have more missiles than you have flares." Alexis cautioned; megaphones were fun. She moved the megaphone before radioing Johnathan, though. "If they keep going, board them."

"Understood." Johnathan confirmed before jumping from a window to the roof.

"What d'you want me to do, boss?" Rose inquired, with impressive calm.

Equally impressive, perhaps, was the entire group's ability to calmly wait in silence while Viola thought things over (and swore some more - seriously, it made her feel better).

"Keep going, and get the flares ready," the boss finally decided for the moment. They already had the cargo, after all, and dropping it without getting themselves caught would be a damn nuisance. "And keep an eye out for any easy escapes."

"Got it," Rose confirmed, already doing as ordered. Vi barely even heard her, however - she was too busy swearing some more as she caught sight of some guy with fucking SWORDS on a nearby rooftop.

"Well, this is certainly a good opportunity to establish that the boss has not lost any of her superior swearing abilities," razzed Michael.

Seeing the helicopter begin to move away, Johnathan's eyes lit up red and he jumped quite an impressive distance to grab hold of the helicopter's skids before dropping onto the cargo, directly in the middle of the five that were already there to draw his blades and point them at Viola and Michael. "Be advised. I am heavily augmented." He cautioned, maintaining awareness of the movements of the five that surrounded him.

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT!" Viola declared with understandable alarm as the GUY WITH SWORDS suddenly joined them atop the cargo container. He also rather abruptly had five separate guns trained on him, including one of her own, but that seemed decidedly less significant in light of other events. How had he even done that? Of course, said cursing was swiftly followed by the more intelligent order of, "NOBODY FUCKING SHOOT! OR MOVE! OR DO ANYTHING!" Seriously, he should not have been able to do that!

By this point Alexis had a classic RPG-7 resting on her shoulder and was just waiting for John to bail after something stupid happened. "Well then." The wolfgirl mused, holding the megaphone back up to her mouth. "Hey, you might not wanna shoot... Or move... Or really do anything that's not putting down our cargo and landing the aircraft."

"Boss?" Michael inquired, as the whole lot of them patiently waited for her to make a decision.

"This was such a shit idea," Viola observed again, albeit much more calmly this time. She also made a small, totally unremarkable bit of movement as she did so - unremarkable, that is, but for the flurry of movement that followed it as all five of them suddenly re-tethered themselves to the chopper, and four very small explosions un-tethered the shipping container for them. Gravity took care of the rest, sending the container plummetting towards the ground while Rose did her best to get them the hell out of there.

As the container dropped, Johnathan leapt back to grab the skids of the helicopter, flipping to stand on them before forcing open the side door, ready to deflect incoming rounds before quickly moving to the cockpit to put a blade to Rose's throat. "Tell your comrades to surrender. My sister is trying quite hard to keep you all from dying, and putting her efforts to waste at this point would be unfavorable."

"I don't give the orders here," Rose coolly informed with a downright impressive calm. "And you might want to put that down, before the boss kills you for it."

Behind him, a safety could be heard going off as Vi levelled her pistol at sword-guy's head. "You have three seconds," the decidedly displeased boss informed. The other four members of her team weren't far behind her, either - she just happened to have more practice with rappelling up and down chopper tethers than the rest of them.

"You are too much like my sister." Johnathan stated, holding up his offhand blade. "Fire when ready."

"Drop the blade, and I won't have to," Viola countered, as Mel climbed in beside her. She fucking hated stand-offs, why had she decided this shit idea might be a good one, again? "We'll even give you a parachute, seeing as we're so nice. But we aren't landing and getting ourselves shot, and you aren't coming home with us. If you really want to just talk, you can call us later, like normal people."

"My sister wishes to meet with you first on the subject of contracts." Johnathan stated, the gun unphasing him. "If you comply there will be no futher need for hollow threats." He advised, moving the sword from Rose's throat. After all, he didn't need it right there to kill her if need be. "As for your firearm, you have no point in aiming it at me, at this range I hold the advantage." He said as he sheathed his right hand blade in favor of a capless marker.

"You won't have much space for maneuvering those swords once we're all up here," Viola observed; Michael had also joined them now, and she could hear Kels not far behind him. Sam was always the slowest coming back up. "You're also outnumbered, and quickly wearing out your welcome. Mel, why don't you get our guest a parachute before I throw him out without one?"

Mel promptly did as asked, providing the sword-guy who also had ears and a tail, what the hell with a spare chute - a chute which just happened to be their chosen shade of purple, and adorned with their company logo. It was about as close to a calling card as he was likely to get.

Johnathan exhaled deeply, then dashed forward, ducking under the aim of the pistol, letting the sword drop to the ground before taking hold of Viola and marking a black line on her neck before flipping her into Mel, swerving around to kick the gun from Kels' hand and swipe the marker along her torso, and grabbing Michael to throw him against the closed side of the helicopter. "That's two of you dead. Will you reconsider?"

"No thanks," was Vi's polite reply, complete with a smile that somehow managed to be sarcastic. Claiming the chute from Mel (who'd done a good job of keeping them both on their feet), Viola then rather forcefully threw it at him, hard enough to have had most people stumbling. "Now kindly get the fuck outta my helicopter."

The plan, at that point, had been to let Sam encourage his exit, positioned as she was at the very edge of the open door behind him, likely while further helping him along herself with a bullet because Vi was so done with this whole operation and ready to go home. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way - she tossed him the chute, sure, but then he somehow had a grip on her before she could release it, and then they were both rather suddenly falling out of the helicopter.

"You're far too much like my sister." Johnathan stated as the two fell, letting go of Viola just long enough to equip the parachute, before grabbing her again and deploying it. "Always stubborn..." He said with no real emotion behind any of his words. "Bear in mind this is the third time I could have killed you. The rest of your crew are at two, with the exception of the pilot and the slow one, who are only at one each."

"Yeah, well, fuck you, too," came Viola's rather predictable reply, in spite of the fact that her life currently rested (quite literally) in his hands. It was at least better than her whole team's lives resting in his hands (well, with the exception of Em and Dan, who were both back at the base); she could handle her life being in danger, not so much the lives of her people.

Seriously, this had been such a shit idea. If she didn't end up dead, they were taking a whole week off after this. Vi was going to get outrageously drunk. And she was going to have sex. Not necessarily in that order, and definitely more than once.

Oh, and she could hear Rose screaming her name through her headset, which was still on and tuned into the pilot. Hell, she could hear the others in the background, too. That was just distracting, and totally not helpful. "Ride, Rose," the boss ordered in a tone that brooked no argument.

Rose knew what it meant, even if it did take her a good few moments to actually follow the order. When the Valkyries were told to ride, it was time to flee, and rendezvous back at the base.

Seeing Johnathan parachuting down with another, Alexis sighed and reluctantly ordered her men to stand down. "I was hoping to talk to all of them, but fine." The wolfgirl complained as she walked to where the two would be landing, handing her RPG and megaphone to the first Largoist on her left. "You're a bitch to talk to. You know that?" She informed, waving her unit back to their original tasks. "And in case you were wondering, yes. The ears and tail are natural."

The moment the two landed, Johnathan removed all additional weaponry from Viola. "I assure you these will be returned. I would also be thankful for the return of my sword. I left it on your helicopter."

"And you're just a bitch," Vi returned, not even remotely realizing the obvious pun (hey, she wasn't used to dealing with people with ears and tails, okay?). "And if you're really nice, I might just let you have the sword back." Her stance was both casual and full of confidence, in spite of the situation; Viola could bluff with the best of them, and having a bit more control over the current situation actually did leave her feeling more confident. Her team was safe and on the way home, and she knew how to handle herself - sometimes, that was all she needed.

She did have to take a moment to fix her after landing and being divested of her weapons, however, straightening her purple skirt and making sure her matching top and leather jacket were sitting right. Vi also got bonus points for having kept her balance during touchdown, because her knee-high boots had heels. Her blatantly-dyed and rather garish purple hair was also a bit of a mess, but a quick shake of her head had it more or less set to rights - one of the benefits of short, obedient hair.

"Yes. Yes I am a bitch. Clearly." Alexis agreed, pointing to her ears. "Now then. Introductions. I am Alexis Maryanne Havloc of the Principality of Sealand, and you just attempted to steal our cargo. Would you kindly tell me what your name or alias is, and the name of your merc group so that I may know who it is that I didn't blow out of the sky today." She said, placing the palms of her hands together with the smile of a woman whose patience had already been stretched thin.

"Viola Winchester," Vi provided with a great deal of fake civility, right down to the supposedly-pleasant smile; she was at risk of downright abusing sarcasm at this point. "Leader of the Valkyries, and annoyed by the prospect of having to walk all the way home after this. Care to explain why I'm here, instead of already either dead or gone?"

"Well, maybe next time you won't tell your ride to ditch you after I go though such an extensive effort to talk. Now, I'm gonna cut the crap and just tell you to stay out of our way. This was a warning. Next time you see an op and Sealand colors running it, you bail or we actually shoot you. And on the subject of threats, your group is one. To business. Our operation? Not so much, but definitely business. So here's an offer. You take up a contract with us. We supply you with jobs and payment, and you supply us with a willingness to perform said jobs for said payment." Alexis said with a grin before leaning casually against a wall. Viola was clearly irritated too, so at least she could take pleasure in that. "Oh. And John's sword back."

"Sorry, we don't do long-term contracts," Viola informed, seeming to examine her nails in a show of not being remotely intimidated and possibly a bit bored. The fact that she was wearing gloves and therefore couldn't actually see said nails just served to further hammer in the point. "If you would like to hire us for a specific job, you're welcome to look us up, but if I wanted somebody holding my leash, I'd be back at home playing the good little girl." Relatively speaking, anyway. And if someone else wanted to hire them to steal one of Sealand's jobs, well, that was just how the game was played, and she was a free agent.

"That's cute. I love it when small dogs think they're tough." Alexis said with the smuggest grin she could manage. "Alright, Princess. Here are the rules of nature. When a pomeranian walks into a den of wolves, and one of them bares their teeth, the small dog's supposed to run away with their tail between their legs, yipping all the way. So when I offer you a warning and a way around it, you either work with us, stay away, or die. There is no fighting us, and now that we've seen you, there's nowhere you can hide where I can't shoot you." She threatened, her canines showing. "Welcome to the wolf's den, meat." She said, doing her best to jab at Viola's pride. "We can meet later to discuss your first job. I'll let you bring a plus one, and a small arm for each of you."

"Nah, I think I'll have to go with plan b. You can either shoot me now, or I'm going home. If you'd like to hire us for a job, feel free to call, and we'll consider it," Viola countered, not seeming terribly bothered by the jabs. She was a young, attractive woman working in a field full of assholes who felt a need to prove who was swinging the biggest sword - she was used to dick measuring contests.

Alexis looked Viola dead in the eyes with absolute seriousness for a few seconds, before she couldn't help but crack a smile and snrk. "I can't do it." She confessed before breaking out in laughter. "The whole serious shtick ain't fer me, I'm tellin' ya." She admitted. "Yeah, go on and fuck yer boyfriend, I'll wrap up here and do the same... Except with my boyfriend, clearly." She said, showing her true nature with a faaaar less serious attitude. "What'd you think? Was I up there with mob bosses in dick measuring? I mean, if you got it, flaunt it, right?" She said with a shrug.

Vi raised a perfectly arched eyebrow in the sort of way most people would envy, before assuring (albeit rather sarcastically - she couldn't help it), "You could give lessons. And I never said I had a boyfriend." Not that she was saying she didn't, either - it really wasn't any of their business, and she wasn't prone to offering information she didn't care to share.

"Girlfriend, Fuck buddy, doesn't matter to me. I'm having sex today, maybe get hammered later." Alexis said, pointing to herself with her thumb. "Probably both, if I'm gonna be completely honest." She remarked, with a good natured grin. "Anywho, I'll let ya be on yer way."

Alexis' phone chirped in her pocket with a text message, causing the wolfgirl's ears to perk before checking it.

The message was from Skorpion: "Either shoot her or kiss her already."

Alexis took a moment to type out a response saying, "If you want something done right, do it yourself," followed by a heart emote and a "love you, dad!"

"May I have my guns back, then?" Viola inquired, opting to leave out the fact that her plans for the day were pretty much the same. "And the combat knives, if you don't mind." She'd been wearing two, after all.

She also technically still had a handful of little throwing knives tucked into her bra, but they didn't need to know that - especially since any attempt to remove them would've resulted in someone losing a hand, or at least several broken fingers.

"Of course. Remember to return my sword to me." Johnathan reminded as he offered Viola her belongings.

"Cheers," Vi commented, already re-equipping herself. It was also officially impossible to tell whether she was being sarcastic or not at this point, but that was part of her charm. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go steal a car." Not a new occurrence, but certainly a... mild annoyance, at the least.

"Rock on." Alexis said, turning to continue about her business. "A marvellous waste of time, that."

---

A small while later, Alexis leaned against an SUV, watching the Largoists wrap up. She let out a sigh and called Skorp. "Hey, dad. We're just finishing up here."

"Ah, good." Skorpion remarked, a camera on a nearby building turning to focus on Alexis. "Did you get the containers I wanted? And how about our new competitor?"

"We got every container that had anything useful, and our competitors are called the Valkyries. I dunno if they're gonna leave us be, but I did warn them." Alexis said with a shrug. "I figure the name'd be all you'd need to find out everything else."

"Just a bunch of mercs, it seems. Lower overheads so they can underbid us, which makes sense, but they don't come with air support. Time to play up our capabilities, I guess." Skorpion paused thoughtfully. "Lexi, how do you feel about appearing in an advert?"

"Me? Advertising? I don't think I'm television material." Alexis said with a shrug.

"I was thinking more a demonstration of your skills, like the trick John did getting into the helicopter. Show potential customers that we're worth the extra compared to some small-time two-bit outfit of thugs with guns."

"Alright. As long as I don't have to deal with annoying stuff after." Alexis consented.

"Nah, that's my job. I just need some decent footage of you shooting stuff with your cannon, maybe duel-wielding guns to take down multiple opponents. I figure that if I've got super-soldiers, I may as well use you as a selling point. As well as the air support, artillery, and logistics stuff, too."

"What if the BGR tries to reclaim us as stolen property?" Alexis asked out of concern for the legality of Sealand sheltering them.

"I already promised Devin I'd take them down, so soon enough they won't be able to reclaim anything. If they DO try, we don't have an extradition treaty with the US, so UN law is on our side. That should stall them long enough for me to track you down and re-liberate you." Skorpion replied, as if it was obvious. "Nobody steals my people or harms my daughters and survives."

Alexis smiled. "Alright. I'll do it..." She started before grinning. "For a price." She said before faking an evil laugh.

Skorpion chuckled. "Of course you want bribing. In fact, I'll tell you what. You can get your own bribe this time; about 300 yards away, there's a refrigerated container. It's full of rare-breed beef. Steal that, and you can have the contents as your fee for the advert."

"Deal!" Alexis agreed excitedly.

---

Viola's trip home was largely unremarkable. Two blocks away from her failed mission and (apparently) business meeting, she slipped into an unremarkable and currently uninhabited building and never appeared to leave, ensuring that no one would be able to track her back to base. A few blocks after that, and she quietly helped herself to an unattended car, and another moment later had the radio satisfactorily tuned into the local classical music station. And the rest of her trip didn't even warrant description, apart from the fact that she obviously didn't leave a stolen vehicle right outside the Valkyries' home and base.

Her homecoming, on the other hand... Well, she'd cut her connection to Rose after ordering her to flee, and hadn't called back while on her way home for obvious stealth and security reasons, so she perhaps shouldn't have been so surprised to walk in on the whole gang planning a rescue-or-revenge mission. It was kind of sweet, really - monumentally stupid, but sweet. Still, sweet definitely counted for something, and it was likely what saved them all from a lecture about just how stupid a plan it was looking to be.

"So," Vi casually interrupted, immediately gaining the full attention of entire room, relieved smiles all around, and a worried Em quite literally throwing herself into her arms for a hug (not that any of that was enough to keep Vi from finishing her sentence), "do I get a job for my rescue, or am I just supposed to play the damsel in distress? 'Cause you know I'm no good at that."

"Clearly," a grinning Michael agreed, the first (as expected) to get over her sudden appearance.

"You're okay!" a very relieved Rose rather needlessly observed; she'd clearly been ready to take on the full weight of the guilt for leaving Viola behind, in spite of that having been precisely what Viola ordered her to do.

"Well, my feelings might be a little hurt. Have you guys always had such little faith in me?" the boss teased.

Not missing a beat, Michael immediately razzed her right back. "Well, no offense or anything boss, but your plan tonight..."

"Was a shit idea, yes, I know," Vi allowed, making a great show of rolling her eyes before (predictably) sticking her tongue out at him in retaliation. "A definite sign that a vacation is in order, I think. How's a full week off sound to everyone?"

The responding chorus of cheers of approval provided a pretty clear answer to that, so The Boss moved on to handing out a few 'orders'. "Right then, time for everybody to get some sleep - and I don't want to see anybody up and about before noon, or else. Kels, you're on beer duty, so make sure we've got plenty for the week. Dan, you're in charge of snacks, and Mel can take care of our pizza order come dinner time." Viola paused a moment then, before firmly deciding, "And Michael is in charge of helping me get to sleep." Followed by a salacious wink as she grabbed hold of his shirt to tug him along towards her bedroom. The rest of the gang's catcalls followed them all the way, only stopping once they'd closed Vi's door behind them.

In fact, the catcalls had managed to stay with them even longer than Vi's panties did. She was definitely going to be wondering where those had ended up later.

---

A little over a week later, a sword-sized package arrived at FGTL HQ, addressed to "Sword Guy, Care of the Principality of Sealand."

Summary:
-Someone named Viola is overseeing some kind of op. With a sniper rifle.
-People get shot. They should've known better than to go after one of her people.
-She also has a rocket launcher. And a helicopter. And even more people.
-Turns out, she was shooting at Largoists. Hey, they should've known better than to butt in like that.
-Skorp isn't happy, though. He gets Lexi to lead an op to draw Viola et al out for a warning they won't soon forget.
-Vi totally knows better, but takes the bait anyway. She's young, it happens.
-SUCH a shit idea, though.
-Viola and her Valkyries manage to impress Lexi. All while everybody is thoroughly irritating everybody else.
-HOLY SHIT, THE GUY WITH SWORDS SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO JUMP LIKE THAT.
-John manages to snag Viola, though the rest of her team escapes (on her orders).
-Vi and Lexi get a proper introduction, and Lexi lays down the law about messing with Largoists.
-Dick measuring contests!
-Vi doesn't appear terribly impressed. If anything, she's just annoyed about needing to steal a car to get home after.
-Lexi totally fails at keeping up the serious act, and they manage to part on relatively good terms. I think?
-Vi arrives home, much to her team's relief. Plans are made for a week off, which will likely consist of video games and drinking. Lot's of drinking.
-Also, sex.
-John eventually gets his sword back.
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:06 pm

Post Wed May 04, 2016 4:37 pm

Re: (Insert Clever Title Here)

Super sparring!
Location: FGTL HQ, In A Basement Somewhere.
Authors: Hyuuint, Oblivion, Elle-chan, Skorpy.
Characters: Shiori, Tiffaney, Tali, Skorpion, not-doctor.
Timestamp: Before hard-canon!
Things.
Stuff.


---

Tiffaney had been in her office for the past five hours, going over the data on her research in genetics. She reached over to take a sip of coffee from her surprisingly not-decorated coffee cup. "Hmmm." She mused out loud as she deleted a few lines from a more recent theory on increasing the durability of the human body with minimum invasiveness, and was about to type up some revised notes when she heard a few loud thunks echo from down the hall. She tapped her finger on her desk a few times and looked at the door until it stopped. "I really should check out what's been causing that noise for the last few weeks..." She pondered, listening to the thunking start up anew, before typing up that revision, saving, then closing the document before stretching, her cat ears twitching as she did. "I suppose five hours of sitting is enough to warrant a walk." She figured as she stood up and stretched again, cracking her neck before exiting her lab to investigate the sound. "Sparky, stay." She told the robopup who decided to hop onto Tiffaney's chair to do the staying. "Good boy!"

The thunking became thudding as she got closer to a newly-made portion of Skorpion's lab. When Tiffaney made it to the entrance, as she opened the door the thuds became nearly ear-splitting SLAMS as something metal hit something else. After she put her hands to her ears, Tiff looked around and saw the source of the noise. Under a massive set of machinery, designed in such a manner as to mimic a simply gargantuan set of weights, was Shiori. Clad in a set of gym clothes sans shoes and barely breaking a sweat, the supersoldier had paused in the last set of reps, and was gearing up to go again. From Tiffaney's estimates, the weights were set to approximately that of several tons. Each.

"Hi, Shiori!; Any chance you could pad where you're dropping the weights. I can hear it from my lab." Tiffaney informed, keeping her hands over her ears in case of further noise.

Shiori didn't respond immediately. She gripped the bar above her for a few moments wriggled a bit, and pulled herself out from under the mechanism. When she sat back up, it was then that she noticed that Tiffaney was in the room. Tiff could see a pair of specialized ear muffs over Shiori's snowleopard ears. "OH! HEY TIFF! DIDN'T SEE YOU COME IN!"

Tiffaney smiled and waved before pointing to her ears. "You're wearing ear muffs." She happily informed.

There was a second or two of contemplation, then Shiori realized what Tiff was miming. "OH! RIGHT!" She reached up, undid the muffs, and set them on the bench. "Sorry about that. I had to wear those or constantly have my eardrums heal. What brings you in here?" Shiori stood up, and the last couple weeks have been downright impressive. As fit as she was before, Shiori was flat out toned now. Nearly perfect musculature, with a few soft spots here and there, and nary a drop of sweat on her, save for a few patches on her massive top.

Tiffaney looked over Shiori for a moment, her glasses drooping a bit before she coughed into her hand. "I wanted to know what the sound was about. I can, uh. Hear it from my lab." She informed, pointing behind her, and adjusting her glasses. "You're looking good by the way, really fit... Not to say you weren't fit before, just that you look more... Fit... Yeah." She took a moment to scratch the back of her head.

Shiori grinned, and did a pose for Tiff. "Yeah, I uh. I had a bit of a fire lit under my butt thanks to this new threat. Bruce and jerks like him? Half-assing gave me enough strength. But frankly, I've been half-assing it for too long." She relaxed and made her way over to Tiff. "My strength and ability is based upon my natural stuff. The nanites simply enhance what I could do. Exponentially so, but they just boost. So, if I let myself go soft? They boost what's there. I get myself into shape," she makes a motion to the massive weights behind her, "I am currently at double what I was last week."

Tiffaney couldn't help but pass another glance while she clapped for Shiori. "Dang it. I thought I was done ogling girls once I got outta high school, plus she's half my age so it's really creepy..." She thought to herself. "Impressive. I should have went with a similar design in my work..." The scientist said, trailing of to think how much she'd need to scale that back to limit it to practical use.

Shiori remained blissfully unware of Tiff perving out just a little, and simply answered. "I had something like this back at home base, and Skorpion helped figure out how to put it together. It's only one piece though. Would you like a tour?" Shiori waved around the area, and lo, there were several other corridors leading away. "Lots more to see."

"Sure. I could use a break from my research." Tiffaney said with a smile.

With a giggle, a grin, and a happy bounce, Shiori nabbed Tiff's hand, and dragged her through from room to room. "Here we have the sets of dead lifts" Next room! "Then the barbells, various shapes and sizes." Another room! "Here's the swimming area." Away they go! "And this one's for jumping practice." Shiori gleefully showed off room after room, the bits of equipment that Skorpion had helped make and design. "Aaaaand here is the sparring arena!" At this point, Shiori had gotten Tiff 'round the midriff and was holding her close in sheer giddiness. "With some luck, I MIGHT get someone to fight against."

"Why couldn't this have happened in highschool..? Oh, wait. I was a hyper-aggressive shut-in... Right." Tiffaney thought to herself, looking away from Shiori to sulk for a moment before regaining her usual demeanor. "I used to be quite the brawler..." She coughed. "In highschool." She said, her cheerfulness faltering for a moment at the mention of her awkward highschool days.

"You were? Neat!" Shiori grinned wider, and dragged the poor scientist down to the arena to show it off. "Would love to see you in action." She left Tiff for a moment to hop into the arena, and did a few boxing poses and threw a few punches. "Heck, maybe you could get back into it. Make it so that if someone catches you unawares, you're not really unawares, ya know?"

Tiffaney smiled to her friend as she walked to the edge of the arena. "I dunno. I've come a pretty long way as a spellcaster, but if you want something to spar against I could probably find a good summon."

"Nah nah, it needs to be a hu- wait, summon? What summon? You can do magic?" The snowleopard girl asked, pausing mid-punch. "Are you a magical girl too?"

"I'm a caster." Tiffaney said as she snapped her finger, causing a scroll to burn into existence and float in front of her. "Let's see..." She said as she opened the scroll. "I have the alchemist, the warrior, the beastmaster, a centaur, a minotaur, a valkyrie-"

"I, wait, stop!" Shior waved her hands to distract Tiff. "I uh. Those sound interesting, sure, but I need to face against a human person-person. Cause that's who I'm gonna be up against. Not a magical construct, as humanish as they may seem." She paced a bit, thinking, then her face brightened, and looked over slowly towards Tiff, a cat smile crossing her face.

Tiffaney looked to her sides before looking to Shiori. "What?" She asked as the scroll burned back out of existence.

Shiori jumped, and landed before Tiff, crouching slightly as she did. "Well...like we just talked about. You!" She made a motion. "You said you were a bit of a brawler? You could do so again! Magic can only take ya so far, especially in tense situations." She giggles, and looked Tiff over. "And hey, we could do workouts together? Get in shape even more! Wear matching workout gear! Better muscles, better endurace?" Shiori grinned further, and held out a hand. "Whatcha say? If we get better, and maybe convince others to do the same, maybe we could take down the jerk that stabbed Arella and Lucius."

"It would be nice to get in shape again..." Tiffaney said, cupping her chin as she thought. "... Okay!" She ultimately decided with a smile. "What are the rules?"

"Uh, rules?" Shiori looked confused. "What rules, rules for what?"

"The sparring match. Is there gonna be a no magic policy?" Tiffaney asked, knowing that long cast-time spells that required one to stand still would be unusable regardless.

"Oh, ohhhh! Hm." Shiori paced back and forth. "No. Magic allowed." She turned on her feet, and faced TIff directly. "Main reason for this is to get ready. So..." A sigh before she continued. "So we need to fight like we normally would. Granted, not to the death, of course, but...."

"Well there are a lot of variables to 'normal', but I'll do my best!" Tiffaney said with a smile as she reached into her labcoat to pull out an old looking book. "Alright then." She siad as she opened the book, a face appearing on it's cover to look at Shiori the moment it opened. "Wow. It's been some time since I've seen a lot of these."

"A lot of what? What is that book?" Shiori walked around Tiff to get a look over her shoulder and see what looked like a bunch of shapes mixed in with runes, and something resembling hieroglyphics.

"A bunch of spells from various time periods, races, and countries; The Amalgamite Archive I belive is it's name." Tiffaney tried to recall. "It's unique in that where most spellbooks have a theme this one does not. Light magic, dark magic, elemental magic, forbidden magic. It's all within these pages."

"Ooh. That is kinda cool. Also, never seen a book that looks back." Shiori bent down and around Tiff to get a good look at the face-cover again, which looked back as though she were something to study.

"It's trying to figure out how to make you a summon." Tiffaney informed as she flipped through the pages. "It adds spells to it's pages based off of magic it sees."

"Ahhh." The supersoldier giggled, and stated matter-of-factly to the book "Don't bother. I'm completely sans magic, and besides; Do you want some pervy person to get ahold of a likeness of me? You'd never get any rest, book or not!"

Tiffaney paused for a moment. "... He says he doesn't understand what you mean." She said for the book, that raised an eyebrow to her. "He mostly sees everything as information, learning what he sees and forgetting what isn't useful."

"Ah, gotcha. Perhaps you could translate to him what I meant?" Shiori asked. "Also, we're gonna need to get you dressed."

"Actually I'm more combat capable in this outfit then you'd think." Tiffaney said with a grin that vaguely resembled Alexis' when she was up to something, before she took off her glasses and put them away. She then jumped into the arena and began speed reading a few incomprehensible spells out loud that would have made any onlookers wonder how a human tongue was capable of pronouncing some of the words, causing her to temporarily glow at the completion of each spell.

"Well, if you want, but ok. Besides, I kinda wanted to see you in the gym outfit. Ah well." She jumped into the ring soon after, and grinned widely. "Keep it sane?" And in seconds dipped into her boxing stance.

Tiffaney continued to read off a couple more spells before looking up from her book. "As sane as I can." She said, tossing the book into the air where it floated. "Ready."

Shiori gave a sharp nod, before her face went into 'soldier-mode'. Tiffaney then realized that was a dangerous look to receive, magic or not. Shiori crouched down almost imperceptibly, before shooting forward like a rocket, opting for the direct approach for now.

Tiffaney planted herself firmly in place, the rust from going over twenty years without combat showing as she slammed a foot on the ground, causing several plumes of fire to erupt in front of Shiori.

She skidded to a halt before crouching into a jump, to get over and around the flames. The second Shiori landed, she made a beeline for Tiff once more, testing her defenses.

Tiffaney pointed to the ground behind Shiori, a rune appearing where she pointed before she rose the other hand, a bolt of lightning striking in front, bringing her hands out to her sides causing a powerful gust of wind to blast against her opponent. Her left eye began to glow purple as she created a duplicate to take her place, and stepped back out of it, creating a rune underneath her doppelganger.

With her stance nearly knocked out of place by the wind, Shiori skidded again, before making a dead-on pounce to her target.

Tiffaney grinned, detonating the rune the moment Shiori reached striking distance of her duplicate, taking advantage of the smoke to change position, making a small chant, causing the book to release a miasma into the room.

Shiori was blown back again, cursing herself for falling for such an easy ruse. Nonetheless, with her ears turning to a fro, Shiori caught the sound of Tiff's voice, and turned to face her. In a split second, Shiori was nearly on top of the scientist yet again.

Tiffaney sent another doppleganger to charge Shiori, following a split second behind it, the doppleganger swinging to the left as she swung to the right.

Shiori was ready for this one. She kept her ears trained for any footfalls not belonging to her or the Tiff directly before her. She smirked as she caught the sound, ducked easily beneath the punch, flipping the doppel into the air where it vanished in the process before attempting one more far faster pounce.

Tiffaney held her palm towards her airborne target and shot off a fireball.

Shiori had to act fast to prevent being cooked. She reared back in mid air and threw a calculated punch with enough force to shatter the fireball with the sonicboom alone. However, the force was more than enough to slow her flight towards her target.

Tiffaney held up her arms as the shockwave knocked her back and scattered the miasma away, recovering in time to duck under Shiori while the miasma seeped back to coat the floor.

The supersoldier rolled as she landed, her skin getting goosebumps from the miasma pervading the arena. Shiori looked up at her target yet again before barreling forward for the third time, not even bothering to change tactics it seemed.

Tiffaney hopped back, making a quick chant, causing the book to change pages and fire a beam of light to Shiori while Tiffaney pulled out a white book, and readied her defence.

Shiori charged forth, ducking under the beam and made her way towards her target. However, she stopped less than two feet away, skidded to the right, crouched down and ROCKETED up towards the book hanging in mid-air.

Tiffaney was about to block when Shiori suddenly changed targets, taking advantage of the momentary respite to chant a slightly longer spell from the second book. The first book closing to watch Shiori rocket towards it, opening it's mouth to erupt an ear piercing screech, causing Tiffaney to flinch, but not lose her place.

Expecting a bigger blast, Shiori had mixed feelings about the sound now ringing in her ears. But with her momentum unimpeded, she easily made it to the book, nabbed it, and landed. Before Tiff could do anything, Shiori relaxed, held out a hand, and pointed to the book. "Shall we consider this out of the match? Real fight, it'd have been shredded or something. Agreed?"

Tiffaney, who was in the middle of chanting a spell, couldn't really stop at this point without it exploding on her continued on, looking about awkwardly. The first book looked to Shiori before glowing white and vanishing.

"That works." Game face back on, and Shiori ducked into her stance once more, waiting for whatever it is her target was about to do.

Tiffaney put her game face back on as well, tossing up the book as she finished her chant, catching it in her other hand before thrusting it towards Shiori, the ground around the snowleopard girl glowing threateningly before a wall of light with a fifteen foot radious blasted upwards centered on her.

Shiori did her level best to get out of the way, making a last second roll out of the pillar. She was nearly successful, but in the process her back and tail got singed, obliterating what fabric caught in the blast. Shiori winced for all of a split second before the nanites in her system healed the damage and turned off her pain receptors in the process. Shiori stood up, what remained of her shirt falling off, and faced her target once again. Tiff got a good look at her opponent for a few seconds before Shiori started blazing off and around the scientist. Unlike before, Shiori was doing everything she can to keep moving, constantly, to not provide an easy target.

Tiffaney's mouth opened as she got a momentary eyeful, her inner highschooler screaming at her about how it wasn't fair that this was happening now. Once Shiori got to moving again Tiff jumped back, leaving a distraught looking doppleganger where she was. Once she landed she pointed out several spots in the arena to plant explosive runes. "Not good, not good, not good."

The doppleganger didn't last more than a few seconds before it was shredded into thin air. Add to this, each time Tiff threw out one of her mine-traps, the blur known as Shiori would run through them, set them off, and continue on her way as though nothing had happened.

After the last of her runes went off Tiffaney took a defensive stance, feeling legitimately threatened. In the instant Shiori was in the air and about to pounce her, Tiffaney nearly transformed on instinct, the act of suppressing the urge leaving her open for Shiori to nab Tiff. The two rolled for a moment, with Shiori ending atop the scientist, glaring down with her most potent "You're Dead" face, causing the scientist's eyes to widen, every instinct she had telling her to transform. The supersoldier's fist went up, and rocketed down towards the pinned Tiffaney, causing the poor girl to close her eyes instinctively in response to the impending impact.

A massive breeze blew Tiff's hair everywhere, but nothing else struck her.

After a few moments, Tiffaney hesitantly opened an eye to see Shiori's fist less then a centimetre from her face, then she opened her other eye, looking down to where Shiori was positioned, then up to what remained of her clothing, then at her face as her own turned red. "Why?" She muttered. "Why couldn't this've happened in high school!?" She yelled before crying in pity for herself.

That snapped Shiori totally out of her fighting train of thought, looking utterly bewildered and concerned. "I-I-I thought I stopped! Did I hit you?? And what do you mean high school?" She bent down to inspect Tiff's face, completely worried for her friend's sake.

Tiffaney shook off her self-pity, a cold sweat breaking out from her forehead, and she'd have prodded her fingers against one another if it weren't for the fact her arms were pinned under Shiori. "Well." She turned her head to the side and looked away from Shiori with a nervous grin. "You might think me a bit of a pervert for this, but when I was in high school... I... Fancied women." She explained. "And something like this." She cleared her throat. "Was a..." She cleared her throat again. "A bit of a, uhh. Fantasy... Of mine..." She explained further, the cold sweat intensifying in tandem with her red cheeks.

"I. Uh. Oh. Oh dear." Shiori reddened big time herself, before finally noticing the position she and Tiff was in. And the state of dress for herself to boot. "Ohhh. Uh. Oh." She cleared her throat too, and started to get up and off. "I'm sorry I'm sorry I didn't mean to make this awkward!"

"No, no. It's not your fault!" Tiffaney clarified, closing her eyes and smiling nervously. "Just some misfired magic and old feelings I used to have towards the same gender." She said with a nervous laugh that trailed off. "I'm a total pervert." She said, that being the true defeat today.

Shiori looked even more worried, and hurried to get off of Tiff, before picking her up and hugging the gal. "No, no you're not. Simple as that." She set Tiff back on her feet, and grinned mightily. Shiori planted her fists on her hips in a superman pose. "With some more training, with your skills, I bet you could become way more powerful than this! Imagine if those mines had less fuse time? Oh! And your book! That book needs to get a stronger defense."

Tiffaney kept her eyes closed and tried to ignore the soft during the hug, keeping them closed to during Shiori's pose. "Normally I would've prepared something, but most of his defenses are lethal." Tiffaney explained as she took off her lab coat, opening her eyes to drape it over Shiori, being sure to cover her chest as much as she could.

"What're yo- oh. Right." Shiori blushed harder, and tried to make it so the coat was as closed as possible. "Uh, there. How's that?"

Tiffaney stepped back and looked at her, pausing for a bit. "It's no use." She said, closing her eyes as tears streamed from them. "My mind's totally in the gutter..." She admitted, dropping to her knees. "I'm too old for this! Blasted twenty-three year old body!"

Shiori was stymied, unsure of how to help with this. She resolved to simply help Tiff to her feet and escort her from the arena. "Uh..well, don't they say you're only as old as you feel? So... If you feel like a twenty three year old, why not embrace it? Or something?" Shiori gave a nervous giggle, before pausing a short while. "I, uh, I didn't scare you too badly, did I?"

"You were a bit scary at the end, but that's fine." Tiffaney said with a sigh. "And I can't be a twenty-three year old. Eva's twenty-five, Dev's seventeen, and Johnny and Lexi ARE twenty-three... It'd just be awkward if their mother began acting like a peer."

"Well...uh. Hrm." The snowleopard girl thought for a moment. "Well, you're still plenty spry overall. If yer gonna be immortal, I don't think you can worry about your age too much. So! Enjoy it! I guess?" She wasn't sure. "I haven't thought about it much, but that kinda thinking does pop in from time to time."

"That one the one good thing about the old lab. There was a mist that they dispersed through the vents to suppress the libido of scientist and specimen alike." Tiffaney said with a sigh. "Now that I'm out. It's really hitting me hard that I'm STILL twenty-three." The scientist confessed.

"Oof. If that's the case, I can imagine." Shiori and Tiff made it back to Tiff's lab, with Tiff peeking every so often to give directions. "I...I'm sorry. I really am. I didn't mean to make you so flustered. Can uh..." Shiori paused and blushed hard, "Can we still spar every so often? It'd be good for us. And the workouts too?"

"Of course! I'll just have to avoid any incendiary spells." Tiffaney said. "And it's not your fault. I don't even think it's my fault. It's just... How I am... Still." She sighed. "I'm just glad I didn't creep you out." She said with relief. "Oh, and you can keep my coat until you get a proper shirt... Speaking of which, do you want me to pay to replace your old one?"

"Nah, I'm fine. I can get one made again by Skorpion. He seemed to relish the challenge of making one capable to work for me to begin with." Shiori noted to Tiff. "And you're not a creep at all. See, a creep would have just planted her face in. You just wished that this had happened sooner, is all. Besides, you've slept on them before, remember?"

A bit of redness returned to Tiffaney's cheek as she recalled. "Right. Sorry about that."

"That's news to me." Skorpion remarked as he stepped into the lab, tossing Shiori a new sports bra/tank top combination. "And dear, don't worry. You're not a complete pervert. Lucius is still far, far worse, even if he keeps it mostly bottled up and confined to his girlfriends these days."

The snowleopard soldier caught the top, turned away and put the thing on. "It shouldn't be. I told you what happened when you decided to kidnap me for questioning, remember?" She smirked at Skorpion over her shoulder.

Skorpion chuckled and nodded. "I didn't know it went that deep, though." He grinned back at Shiori, cracking his knuckles loudly. "So, on account of you two waking me up from the first sleep I've had all month with all that magic you were throwing around, maybe you can spar with someone who's more of a physical equal?"

"Oops. Sorry about tha- Wait." She turned to Skorpion, now fully clad in her new gym top. (The colours clashed horribly with her complexion, by the way). "How does a spar wake you up but the thunks of the machine that drew Tiff in in the first place don't?"

Skorpion held up a finger. "One, I built this place; I made sure my bed is insulated from impacts and explosions, and has been since someone started attacking factions with gundams. Two..." Skorpion held up a second finger. "I'm incredibly sensitive to magic. Imagine if someone woke you up with a soldering iron. Now imagine they applied lots of them all over your brain directly. Little tiny ones, and a few big ones in the back of your neck." Skorpion rolled his eyes, flipping the fingers around to point the back of his hand at Shiori, before putting it back. "There's also the fact that Tiffaney's familiar was bothering me about her fighting, but he was fairly easy to ignore from the inside of the giant mech I was piloting."

"Sorry, about the magic." Tiffaney apologized, choosing to let the mention of her familiar slip by.

"Ahh. That, that all makes sense." Shiori grinned apologetically. "Well, I'm sure we didn't mean to wake you up. But as for your spar request..." Shiori looked him over, grinned harder. "Ya know what? Sure. Different styles means more practice means more likely to achieve victory later." She held out a hand, "I accept your challenge! Tiff, ya gonna watch? Please?" Cue snowleopardgirl wibbles. She'd been practicing, and taking tips from Arella.

"Of course I'll watch." Tiffaney agreed.

Skorpion's grin widened. "It'll be good to get some practice on someone who can take more than a few hits."

"We're gonna work on that, but agreed. Shall we?" She made a motion towards the door.

Skorpion nodded, leading the way back to Shiori's workout room. Once there, he proceeded to unstrap the variety of guns, swords, grenades, and other weapons that were attached to his armour, leaving them neatly piled on his trenchcoat, while Tiffaney found a place to sit.

"That is a lot of weapons there, sir" She remarked.

"Got to be prepared." Skorpion pointed out, setting a disposable rocket launcher on top of the pile, next to his boltgun. "Never know when you might encounter a tank, or someone in power armour."

"Or a massive mech. I getcha." She waited for him to finish, then hopped into the sparring arena. Shiori looked about, then wondered. "Did Brittany send you some schematics or something? 'Cause the place looks good as new, but Tiff and I just blew some of it to hell and back."

"No, I just have construction drones on standby, and this place is all prefab concrete panels anyway." Skorpion tapped at a wall before stepping into the arena. "There's a plant in the basements somewhere that fixes up old ones, patches holes, and the like."

"Ah, cool. That explains a lot." She gave a nod to the work, then got into a relaxed fighting stance. "What's yer rules?"

"No weapons, no magic, and stop if I lose any major parts. I don't regenerate like you do, so if you take anything off I'll have to stop so Tiffaney can sew it back on." Skorpion pointed out, settling into a stance of his own before giving the universal 'bring it' gesture. "Otherwise, tap out any time you like."

"Do avoid dismemberment." Tiffaney advised with a warm smile.

"I do intend to, dear. I don't especially want to have to engage Mickey with a missing limb."

"I'd just rather you lose the minimum possible amount of limbs you can at any given time."

"Right, no Wookie style maulings." Shiori gave a business-like nod, then shifted into her boxing stance once again.

Skorpion took a couple of breaths, steadying himself. There was a brief moment of calm before he suddenly closed the distance to Shiori, leading with a reinforced forearm strike to her nose and a hook to the back of her knees.

Caught off guard for the first time in a long time, Shiori ended up taking the blows with little resistance. She flipped backwards to try and gain some distance, before bouncing back towards him. She did her signature rearing back to aim a blow toward Skorpion's own face this time.

Skorpion swung back, catching the blow and using Shiori's momentum to flip her over him and down to the floor on her back. As she descended, he lifted a foot up, bringing it down sharply to stop half an inch shy of her throat. "You don't remember your combatives, do you?"

"Maybe a little." She replied, before sweeping her arm around to knock Skorpion off his foot.

Skorpion was knocked over by the catgirl's strength, slamming into the floor with a *crunch* as his armour's weight worked against him. "Okay, I guess I should have seen that coming." He conceded.

Shiori bounced back up onto her feet, taking a few steps away from him in the process. As Skorpion hauled himself back to his feet, Shiori decided to change stances into that of a slightly bouncy kickboxing stance, raring to go. Skorpion closed the distance again, his leading strike dodged with surprising speed from the catgirl, as were the rapid series of kicks and strikes that followed it. After a while of dodging, Shiori started to take the offensive, making strikes of her own. Skorpion traded blows with her as their speed increased, exchanging strikes, kicks, and parries at a rapid pace until Shiori found an opening.

The opening was when Skorpion stepped back for a roundhouse kick; Shiori snapped a lightning quick punch. Unlike before when she would rear back, she just simply punched with no warning. The sheer speed and force of the attack created yet another sonic blast that whipped the air around the two, enough so that poor TIff was knocked over her seat. When she finished, Shiori simply got back into her fighting stance.

Skorpion was knocked back a few feet by the impact, his boots leaving gouges and cracks in the concrete from the grip spikes in the soles, and the magnetics pulling on the steel plate beneath. He straightened up as he stopped, raising an eyebrow. "Oh, I see. It's like that, is it? Very well." He stepped out of the impromptu ring, starting to shed pieces and layers of armour until he was left with the form-fitting undersuit and significantly less bulk. He hopped from foot to foot before stepping back into the ring, moving much more fluidly. "The gloves are off."

All Shiori did at this point was simply breathe a little heavily, and curl up into a tighter stance. OK, so he removed some armour. How much faster is he really going to be?

Skorpion took the offensive again, moving much faster than before as he attacked in a flurry of elbow and forearm strikes, backed up with the occasional knee strike thrown in for kicks, and for the sake of that terrible pun. The lack of weight had evidently improved his speed, as he moved around Shiori rapidly, staying light on his feet and still managing to strike with a lot of force.

Shiori ducked and weaved as best she could, but she was still caught in a few of his blows. Fortunately for her, what should have taken her out of the fight was merely healed up in seconds. As soon as she got used to his new-found boost, Shiori clenched her fists and started her own offense, mixing in those snap punches of hers with several kicks, chops, and anything else she could think of to put him back onto the defensive.

Skorpion dodged and weaved, parrying or avoiding most of her blows. The few that made it through struck hard, but without much effect against his reinforced body. The rain of strikes on Shiori slowed as he diverted attention to defense, and the two continued to dance around each other, exchanging blows and parries in a fairly even match. Any edge Skorpion got from speed, toughness and skill was absorbed by Shiori's healing, and Shiori's enhanced strength was simply tanked by Skorpion's toughness.

After regaining her seat from the shockwave Tiffaney moved her glasses from being near-sideways on the top of her head to their proper place on her face, quietly watching out of a fear that any noise she made would disrupt them, even as she began to feel a desire to transform and join them.

Shiori ducked down one more time, and was about to go in for another round of traded blows when, all of a sudden, a pair of arms grabbed her around the midsection, squeezing tight before flipping her backwards and SLAMMING Shiori full force onto the concrete. The snowleopard girl wasn't sure how to process this and her concentration broke completely as she was assaulted by a second party. WHAT THE HELL???

Unlike her not-yet-mother, Tali had no such qualms about disruptions; within about five minutes of her unnoticed arrival, she'd jumped into the fray with all the enthusiasm of, well, a sixteen-year-old girl who really, really likes to fight, and has been presented with the perfect opportunity for a sneak attack on her once-and-not-yet-babysitter. The fact that she wasn't in any way dressed for a bout of sparring clearly didn't even enter into the equation, either, given that she was still wearing her typical skater skirt and combat boots combo (though she had, at least, managed to throw on a more appropriate fitted N7 t-shirt that morning, in place of the more typical tank/crop top).

After the initial shock of things, Shiori bent over and bounced back onto her feet, looking warily at her new opponent, her memory kicking in a few seconds late. "What the....Tali? What....what are you doing in here? And why did you suplex me in the middle of a spar?"

"Combative pragmatism," the teen rather smugly informed, dancing back a bit and falling into her own fighting stance, rather handily leaving Shiori caught between herself and her not-yet-dad. "Also, karma for sparring without me." Clearly, such a thing was a grave offense, and not to be tolerated.

"I, wait, what?" Shiori looked between the two. Welp this is going weird. She shook her head, took a few steps back, and readied to go anyways, just in case Skorpion allowed it.

Tali, in turn, just did something with a holo wrist-computer she very likely shouldn't have brought back in time with her, but fsck spoilers, and a second later the room was filled with what she deemed appropriately dramatic .

In the few seconds between the music getting turned on, and Shiori's brain also turning back on, the supersoldier couldn't help but get back into a normal stance, and facepalm mightily. "Tali, this. I. No, just. No. Real fights don't come with their own soundtrack, unless you're dealing with a music-obsessed nutjob. Just. What???"

"Or if you just bring your own soundtrack with you," Tali pointed out, sounding perhaps a little too pleased with herself. It was something she frequently did, after all. "This is Megatokyo - style is like, nine-tenths of the law when it comes to the action-sequences." And this girl clearly knew how to play the game - or rather, game the game.

Skorpion sighed, snapping his fingers and changing the soundtrack to something a little for his sense of style. "Tali, three things. One, stop messing with my network. Two, easy on the future-tech there. And three, go low." He punctuated the last one with an attack on Shiori, going for her chest with a solid but still lightning-fast straight punch, while Tali obediently went for a leg-sweep from behind to see if she could get Shiori to go "ass over tea kettle," as it were.

"Wait wha-oof!" Was all Shiori could get out before the suckerpunch hit. Though, as Skorpion noticed, the blow ended up being rather fairly... padded.

Skorpion laughed as the snowleopardcatgirl went over, propelled by the combination of natural cushioning and a reinforced sports bra, slamming into the floor with a solid *thud*. "Lesson two; Never, ever let your guard down. Especially around Tali." He then reached over the fallen Shiori to take Tali's hand and raise it up in a victory pose. "Flawless Victory!"

"It doesn't work unless you get the voice right, dad," the teen rather cheekily chastised, before turning her gaze on Shiori. "And you need more practice." Future-Shiori was way tougher than that.

"Sorry." Skorpion cleared his throat, before trying again. "FLAWLESS VICTORY! Also, don't call me that in front of people who don't know."

Shiori gave no response, other than drooling slightly.

"Like it even matters at this point." Said a certain Not-Doctor from the door with a coffee in his hand. "By this point I'll be happy if you avoid telling everyone in the city." He said with a shrug.

Skorpion turned, reaching for a gun that wasn't there. "Who the hell are you and how the hell did you get in here?"

Tiffaney stood sharply, pulling out a spellbook as she faced the stranger.

"He's Elsie's not-Doctor," Tali replied for him, not seeming the least bit surprised. "He's also very good at dramatic entrances, though his exits need a bit of work. And I'm not telling everybody, but dad figured it out, and then mom had to know, and Shiori already knows Elsie's from the future, so it isn't like she won't figure it out."

"That's the most of it." The man said with a shrug. "Any chance we could stop letting people know? The paperwork is stacked a little taller than you." He informed, pointing to Tali.

"Hey, I am TRYING to fix it." Skorpion pointed out, stepping over to the pile of weaponry and digging through it briefly. After discarding a few various guns, he pulled out a rocket launcher and pointed it at the not-doctor. "Now get the hell out of my country, or I'll deport you in pieces instead."

"Click, foom, psheeew, booom. Nice shot; said from behind, attempted close range killstrike. Good swing; said from across the room. Rattattattattatta. Clap clap." The man said with a smile. "It'd be a blast, but I'll decline for now. I would however advise you bring Brittany into the fold. She could help get your time travelers home faster."

"Brittany as in the one that phoned me up through half a dozen firewalls to try and recruit me?" Skorpion asked, checking the rocket launcher in his hand. "I doubt she'd oh good lord what am I doing I should know better than to fire one of these indoors if I still want to have an indoors. Excuse me a moment." Skorpion set the rocket down carefully and produced his desert eagle from the pile. "There we go. Thermobaric munitions are not an indoor toy. Where was I? Oh yes. I doubt she'd want to work for me, or could contribute much to it. Unless she could make the shuttle more efficient, of course."

"She's a nice girl. Have Shiori explain circumstances, and I'm sure she'll help... Or at least I think she will. Hard to tell with Tali and Elsie disrupting your timeline." Not-Doctor said as though he weren't at gunpoint, shrugging again.

"Maybe. I DO have it all under wraps, however. Now, I won't repeat myself again. Get out of my country, or I'll turn you into raptor chow." Skorpion gestured with the muzzle of his gun. "Now."

"Are you saying I'll be... History?" He joked, being unable to resist the urge.

"You'll be bloody geography in a minute. Out."

The man shrugged. "If you need me. I'll find you." The man said to Tali before waving to them all with a friendly smile. "See ya, everyone." He said before blinking out of sight.

"Well that was... Odd." Tiffaney said, her ears flickering about as she approached Skorpion.

"Much better exit this time, though," Tali approved.

"That's time travelers for you." Skorpion remarked, setting the gun back down and reaching over to pet Tiffaney's ears briefly.

"Did you know him?" Tiffaney asked with an ever-so-slight purr.

"No, but Elsie told me about him." Skorpion explained. "Wait, is Shiori okay? She went down pretty hard there." He looked over, nudging her with a foot. When there was no response, he knelt down to squeeze her impressive bust, hmm-ing thoughtfully. "Alexis was right; these ARE soft."

Seeing Skorpion suddenly grope her friend, Tiffaney's ears perked alertly. "Skorpion! You can't just grope her like that!" The flustered scientist scolded with a hint of jealousy.

Skorpion chuckled, straightening up and turning to Tiffaney. "Sorry dear, I couldn't resist. Would you like me to do you as well?" He grinned, advancing on her with grabby hands.

"OH MY GOD, dad, I'm right here!" their teenaged daughter from the future complained. Loudly.

Tiffaney jumped a bit at Talitha's loud interjection. "T-that's right, darling. We can't do that sorta thing with our daughter around... Actually with anyone around, but our daughter especially!" She scolded with a faint hint of disappointment.

"Honestly, Tali, it's like you don't even want to be conceived." Skorpion sighed dramatically, reaching up to pet and stroke Tiffaney's ears instead, earning him more purrs.

"Dear. It's normal for teenagers to think their parents being romantic is gross." Tiffaney informed.

"And yet, when she gets a boyfriend, she'll probably be all over him." Skorpion replied. "Assuming, of course, that she can find one worthy of our daughter. He'll probably have to be bulletproof as well."

Shiori, having come to a little by this point after getting groped, slapped his hands away belatedly, a second or two after registering what was going on. "Hands off buster. Date first, like Tiff did." She groggily got back up into a sitting position, holding her head in one hand and covering up her chest with the remaining arm.

Tiffaney nervously prodded her fingers together with red cheeks. "I didn't mean to... Umm. Use them as pillows."

"They seem to have some sort of subconscious hypnosis ability." Skorpion mused, turning to Shiori. "Also, I apologise for the spring effect there. I'll have to include damping and recoil compensation in the next prototype."

"Yeah you will. And that hurt, too." She winced, but the pain was gone in a matter of seconds. "As for the hypnosis, at this point, I am starting to agree."

"What prototype?" Tiffaney asked, her ears perking with curiosity.

"For the thing he had me change into when you burned the first one in a repressed urge to live out your high school fantasy. With Skorpion's permission we can continue that later, ya know?" Shiori grinned to Tiff, not even being able to hold a straight face.

"I-uh-we-um-uh-uhhh." Tiffaney stuttered, her face turning a bright red as she tapped her fingertips together and looked about the room before looking to Talitha. "Daughter!" She said pulling Talitha into a forced hug. "Can't talk about that kinda stuff in front of my daughter." She said with a nervous laugh.

"Then we can talk about it later then, no problem." The supersoldier lady giggled harder in response.

Tali, meanwhile, was looking terribly put upon, and couldn't help but let out a small noise of disgust over the whole affair. "Are we gonna spar some more, or is everybody just gonna talk about boobs now?" Because if they were just gonna talk about boobs and grope each other, she was gonna go back to her latest project.

"Right, sparring. I can't really do much, due to Skorpion's sensitivity to magic, but I'm sure Skorp or Shiori wouldn't mind going a round or two with you." Tiffaney suggested.

The teen girl blinked, actually looking a bit confused for once. "So... fight without using magic, then?" she suggested, as though the solution should have been obvious. Not that she had to spar with mom or anything, it was just a weird reason not to.

"Sorry, dear. I'm not the ruff'n tough brawler I used to be, so I use my spells." Tiffaney informed with as smile, gently moving a few of Tali's stray hairs into place.

"Are too," Tali rather stubbornly returned.

"I'm glad you think I'm tough." Tiffaney said, her smile at the teenager warming. "I'll work hard with Shiori so I can live up to your expectations, okay?"

Skorpion chuckled. "Alright Tali, I'll take you on. No guns, no magical girl nonsense, no armour."

"Hehe. You two have fun. I'm gonna go back to the weights for the... Nah, the treadmill, gonna hit that treadmill. I need to get faster." Shiori nodded to herself. "Tiff, welcome to join me when ya feel like it, and have fun till then." She waved to all of the family, then started to make her way out of the arena.

Tiffaney waved to Shiori before turning to Skorpion and Talitha. "Would you two like me to leave you to daughter-father bonding?"

"If you want to." Skorpion shrugged. "Although if she's as good as she claims she is, I might need backup." He finished, giving Tiffaney a wink.

"Oh? Then I'll watch in case you need me." Tiffaney said with a bit of a giggle before leaving the arena to return to her seat.

"Mom does tend to get mad when you lose your limbs," Tali informed, positively oozing confidence. That said, she knew damn well she was going to get her ass kicked - she never beat dad on her own. The fact that he was willing to pretend right along with her, though, was part of what made her love him so much - even in the past, apparently. That, and the fact that he'd been too busy laughing to ground her for stealing that helicopter that one time.

"No removal of extremities either, then." Skorpion added, wagging a finger at Tali as a warning. "I need all my limbs!"

"And don't you go overboard either, darling." Tiffaney cautioned.

"We're just sparring, dear." Skorpion smiled, reaching down to pat Tali gently on the head.

"Stop touching the hair!" the teen girl predictably objected, albeit with the faintest hint of affection in her tone; there was a good chance this was a regular part of their routine back home.

Skorpion chuckled, stopping short of ruffling said hair; he'd learned his lesson after getting his hand trapped there. "So, are you on? I'm interested to see what I've taught... Will teach you."

"Does it look like I came in here hoping to paint each other's nails?" Tali rather snarkily replied, falling into a fighting stance as naturally as breathing and grinning all the while.

Skorpion chuckled, dropping into a stance of his own after bowing to his future daughter. "A little bit, but maybe we can fit that in later. I have the most WONderful shade of pink for you to try." He snarked, waggling his eyebrows.

Her response was a very appropriate feint, followed by a punch meant to let him know exactly how she felt about that. Even though she did, actually, enjoy the nail painting on occasion. Especially when Elsie was involved.

Skorpion blocked the punch easily, retaliating with one of his own to test the girl's defenses, only to have her duck out of the way and try for another leg sweep.

The sweep was blocked easily by Skorpion's other leg, before it snapped out in a kick aimed at her hip, leading to an honest-to-god backflip out of the way. Tali did cheerleading with her niece, after all.

"Oh, very interesting." Skorpion remarked, advancing on her again with an elbow.

Tali just grinned in response, always so pleased with herself, as she dodged and then grabbed said elbow with a good yank to throw him off balance or even right off his feet, using his own momentum against him.

Skorpion responded by grabbing Tali, taking her down with him and using his weight to press her into the floor. So the teen did about the only thing she could do - aimed a knee at the only easily reached vulnerable spot available to her to help her escape.

Skorpion winced as the knee hit, twitching before throwing Tali off him and across the room. "Ouch. I hope you realise that this means war." He stated, in a somewhat higher voice than normal.

"Tali, be careful. If you hit too hard you could erase yourself." Tiffaney advised from the sidelines.

"Hey, you taught me to defend myself," Tali informed, definitely pleased with herself, after catching herself with the help of some acrobatics. Clearly, this was her idea of fun, and she was going to enjoy herself.

Skorpion hopped back to his feet, chuckling. "I will have taught you, you mean." He replied, correcting her tenses. "Time travel, remember."

"Have will have taught me," the teen smugly corrected back, before heading in to try and get a punch in.

Skorpion's response was to grab her arm and pull, before throwing her bodily across the room again. "I can keep this up all day, you know."

"I do, in fact," Tali informed, rather sounding as though she had will have tested it, before very teasingly adding, "You're gonna need that energy to keep up with me." From the second she started walking, really. This time, she waited for him to come to her.

Skorpion chuckled, advancing slowly towards her, staying in a guard stance, while Tali observed him cautiously, waiting for the first sign of his next move.

Skorpion attacked suddenly with a flurry of blows, closing the distance almost instantly. Interestingly, his not-yet-daughter didn't actually seem terribly interested in dodging them all; on top of his, quite simply, being too fast for her yet, there were definitely some blows that she should have been able to dodge, but took instead - and they didn't seem to be having nearly as much effect on her as they should have. He could knock her back easily enough, but she never quite seemed to go down.

The reasoning behind this quickly became clear, however, when she finally claimed a brief opening between blows to hit him back, and managed to land a punch not only with her own (fairly impressive) strength, but that of all those she'd taken, as well.

Skorpion grunted as the blow forced him backwards, eyebrows raising in surprise. "Well, THAT'S new."

"Good job, Tali!" Tiffaney cheered from the sidelines.

Tali's grin was about a mile wide, though she clearly tried to hide it; her parents' praise was something she rather treasured, even as she refused to admit it. "What, you mean mom hasn't shown you that one, yet?" the teen inquired, opting for banter in an attempt to cover up that whole yay, I made mom proud! moment, even as she moved in to deliver another blow.

"Nope." Skorpion replied, swatting her strike aside casually. "I figure I should spar her sometime, but I fear it'd be a little one-sided." He continued as he countered Tali's next strike, knocking her back a few feet.

"She does have a tendency to kick your ass," the teen snarked back, absorbing both the blow and the force of her fall as she rather pointedly avoided catching herself, before rushing in for another punch of her own.

Skorpion caught her punch, his shoulders absorbing the force of impact. "Exactly. I AM weak against magic, and there's only so much my training can do without being able to use a finishing move." He flipped Tali up and over his head, bringing her down in a perfect suplex.

Tali, for her part, just made a point of grabbing hold of him on the way down and refusing to let go even as it knocked the wind out of her. Of course, the moment she regained the ability to breathe, she was redirecting the force of her impact right back at him with an attack of her own - all while pointing out, with an almost wicked grin, "Mom doesn't need magic to kick your ass."

"You sound so confident about that." Skorpion pointed out as her attack barely moved him. "Considering that I've got training in at least three unarmed fighting styles, and have flat-out invented my own style of sword play?"

"Yeah, but mom kicks ass as a general rule," Tali informed, as she rather absently tried kicking him; she's already lost, and she knew it. She then grinned another of those rather wicked and definitely mischievous grins, before adding, "Also, she has boobs, which can make for very effective distractions."

Tali would know - she used hers in real fights all the time.

"That would be cheating, however. And don't you even think of that; I see your experession there." Skorpion warned her, catching her foot and tossing her across the room once again while he got back onto his feet.

"EEEEWWW, like I would use that with my DAD," a thoroughly disturbed Tali objected, looking thoroughly, well, disturbed. All-in-all, she actually seemed pretty used to be tossed about like a ragdoll - and to losing, at least when it came to her dad. It still made for good practice, however. "For mom, though... Well, all's fair in love and war," she snarked, before trying to launch herself back at him again.

Skorpion caught her in mid-air, holding her at arm's length before hanging her on a hook by the collar of her shirt, stepping back out of kicking distance to point a warning finger at her. "For your future husband ONLY, young lady."

Tali let out a decidedly unladylike snort at that, though it was perhaps worth noting that she also totally allowed him to hang her up like a slab of meat. "That's rich, coming from the one who has will have taught me all about combat pragmatism," she snarked. "If a faceful of boobs will help keep you alive, you use them. And who says I'm even going to have a future husband?" The teen somehow managed to look defiant, even while hanging from a hook - at least, until a rather more thoughtful frown appeared on her face as something occurred to her. "Though, Augie rather seems to expect me to." She wondered if she should be at all concerned about that.

"Yeah, he'll do that apparently. Broke into my dreams the first time I slept with your mother, and demanded I face him in single combat to earn the right to." Skorpion chuckled. "Kicked his ass. Can't help but wonder if he's why she was single for so long, though."

"Auger beat me pretty bad last time I fought him." Tiffaney informed from her seat.

"Well, I hope you let him know how rude that was," Tali declared, not being remotely afraid of informing the familiar of such things herself. "Also, can I get down now, before the hook ruins my shirt?" She quite liked her N7 top, after all.

Skorpion removed his future daughter from the hook, setting her down on the floor and patting her head. "There we go. And no, I will not stop touching the hair. Anything that annoys you that much has to be worth it."

That just earned him a Death Glare the likes of which only a teenager could deliver. A Very Irritated teenager.

"Are you two done?" Tiffaney asked with a cheery smile.

"I dunno, I haven't quite decided whether it'd be worth it to just take his hand off yet," the displeased teen informed, still glaring. Though she probably wasn't being serious.

"Don't make me send you back to the stone age." Skorpion warned her. "Or out to the asteroid belt with Devin and Whisp."

"Can't~" Tali informed. "Sending me to the stone age would mean also sending Elsie, and you'd never do that. And sending me into space would require you to reconfigure all your weight distribution, especially given all the extra food we'd need." She then stuck her tongue out at him before making her way towards mom. "That, and mom'd kill you."

"Then don't make me name you Nancy." Skorpion replied. "Or put you back up on the hook."

Tali barked out a laugh at that. "You know a Nancy, you'd never do that," she returned; whether he'd actually met said Nancy yet or not was irrelevent. "Besides, Arella loves the name Tali. And you can't put me on the hook, 'cause mom and I are gonna go for lunch." As the teen had decided right that moment.

"Ah, but it's your middle name. I've decided." Skorpion shot back with a smug grin. "Talitha Nancy Jawoh."

Tali just raised an eyebrow at him, replying with an impressively deadpan, "So the part of my name that no one uses is Nancy. Oh no, please don't, that would be mean." Or in other words, so?

"Unless we're mad at you." Skorpion countered. "Talitha Nancy Dorothy Jawoh, put that down RIGHT NOW!"

"That's what Talitha is for," the teen rather smugly pointed out. "And if I'm really in trouble, you don't generally have enough time for that many names, anyway."

"Then you're working the vents with Cathal for a week."

"Or I might be, if I'd actually opted to remove your hand." She was definitely sounding smug now. "But I think I'll just go out for lunch with mom, instead."

Tiffaney giggled before giving her daughter a hug, finding the entire 'argument' to be cute. "Is there something you wanna talk about, dear? Or did you just wanna spend time with your mom?" She asked, smiling gently to Talitha. "I'm happy either way."

"Well, we haven't had any mother/daughter time yet, really," Tali pointed out, something in her tone seeming to be teasingly meant for the uninvited Skorp. She then further confessed, "And I don't wanna get grounded when I get home. Also, I'm hungry."

"Alright. Is there anywhere in this time you'd like to eat?" Tiffaney asked as she guided her daughter to the exit.

"Somewhere with steak and chips," the teen was quick to decide.

"Fair enough." Tiffaney agreed with a nod. "You wouldn't happen to have any baby pictures would you? Maybe some from your early childhood?" She asked, absolutely needing to know.

"Spoilers!" Skorpion called after them.

"Uh, yeah. That," Tali agreed, having been looking a bit nervous at the very idea of showing those kinds of pictures to anybody.

Skorpion snickered, already noting down to show them to any potential boyfriends if they made it past the traditional threats and intimidation. Or survived the traditional assassination attempts.

---

Summary:

Shiori is working out in the FGTL. With heavy equipment.
Tiffaney wanders up, enjoys the eye candy, and talks with Shiori about Stuff.
Magical Stuff.
And things turn to sparring. Round one! Tiffaney vs Shiori, FIGHT!
Shiori wins due to Tiffaney being reminded of stuff.
Sparring turns to hugs and sympathy.

Enter Skorpion, with new clothes for Shiori to replace those destroyed.
The fighting woke him up, apparently. The magic, anyway.
He was SLEEPING. And Augur's been bugging him.
Round two! Skorpion versus Shiori, FIGHT!
Tiffaney says no limb removals. No weapons, no magic, stop if Skorp loses bits because they don't grow back.
Skorpion wins the first bout because Shiori doesn't remember her close combat training.
Shiori uses Skorp's weight against him for a quick victory.
The third bout pauses halfway, for the armour to come off.
Skorp is now much faster! An even match, until Tali arrives and suplexes Shiori.
Arguing over soundtrack.
Skorpion and Tali vs Shiori! Round three, FIGHT!
Shiori is defeated by teamwork. FLAWLESS VICTORY!

Not-doctor arrives to poke his nose in.
Advice is given, as are threats. Get out before you become geography.

Skorp gropes Shiori! They're pretty much impossible NOT to...
You can't just do that!
Skorpion goes for Tiffaney, but Tali means there's an objection. DAAAAD! EWW!
It's like she doesn't even want to be conceived.
Shiori gets back up, and hits on Tiffaney.

Skorpion vs Tali! Round four, FIGHT!
Nutshot to your future father? Bad idea.
No permanent damage, so she still exists.
Tali shows off her powers of damage absorbtion and conversion.
Skorp responds by flinging her around the room.
No using your boobs as distractions unless it's your future husband, young lady!
Talitha Nancy Dorothy Jawoh.
Victory goes to Skorp, by way of a hook on the wall and being taller.
Mother/daughter bonding over lunch.
SPOILERS!
Skorpion [FGTL]
- Skorpion - Lucius Ogilvy- Lola Usagi- Cathal Jones -
- FGTL/Sealand - CMGY Academy - CATastrophe Club - Kemonomimi Railroad -

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