The school isn't exactly the place to wind down or take a breath, so the creators of My Superhero University, show the wider world of the RP in a few select works.
Honestly, the mere concept of it seemed like something out of the wildest pages of a tabletop game handbook. A son of a demon, and a robot cowboy from the past deciding to, for once and for all, see who was the better shot.
"Rules clear?" Mikael asked calmly as he finished loading up his rifle, aiming down the sights and aiming at the target across from the field.
"Yeah, yeah." Clay drawled a bit as he flipped his own six shooter open, making sure the bullets were all properly in place. "No messin' up the other person's shot, no takin' aim at the other, and aim for the target on the other end."
Said target was a simple target cut out, a black body with multiple rings of points surrounding the heart.
"Alright, well, may the better shot win." Mikael finished with a smile, and held his hand out.
"Here's to fine shootin', partner." Clay grabbed his hand and grabbed it in a tight squeeze, but the fire in their eyes let it known their competitiveness.
The shooting range was alit with the sounds of gunfire, rapid fire from the Six Shooters and loud, concussive BANGS from the rifle. Trick shots were used to ensure a potential psyche out on both sides. Mikael looking off to the side as if something caught his attention and hit the shot dead on, while Clay fanned the revolver with such speed his hand looked a blur.
This went on for some time. Magic and technologically advanced guns made it so that reloading was seldom an issue. Finally, about thirty minutes later, the sound of the last crack echoing into the distance, and the field smelled nausiatingly of gun powder.
"So." Mikael said, as he shouldered his weapon. "Shall we?"
The two diagrams made their way back down to the shooters and...well, needless to say, the intent was the same on both parties. Both had ended up, in their shooting spree, drawing a picture in the bullet holes. Who they were of was no surprise.
Clay looked up from the drawing of Ellie on Mikael's diagram, while Mikael did the same for the picture of Evelyn on Clay's. Their eyes met and a little grin crossed their lips.
"Are we whipped?" Clay asked over a playful chuckle.
Mikael's grin turned to a smirk and he pinched the air a bit. "Only a bit."
"Sorry about my dad back there. He's...passionate about that kinda thing."
"Hey, don't worry about it! I totally get it, people wanna ask about Alternate Universes all the time, I just happen to be the guy with the experience is all."
Mason and Cole were currently sitting on a bench, the sky a nice shade of blue with only a few pepperings of wisping clouds casting the occasional shade on the emerald grass below. Both boys were looking up at the sky, as Mason slowly sipped from his can of soda.
"You know, there's a lot of universes around here that have really funky skies. I've seen greens and pinks, oranges and reds...lot of reds, I notice, usually before something big happens." Cole mused to himself, kicking one leg up and resting it on his other one.
"I mean, I'd like to hop at any point. It's all mom and dad would ever talk about, and I'm kinda interested in what I can find."
Cole's face took a darker edge to it and he bit the inside of his cheek. "Some things are better left unsaid, Mason. Just...remember that next time."
"Ominous." Mason grinned a bit as he leaned back. "So, I hope you don't mind if I ask my own series of questions about that sorta thing."
"Shoot, but I have the same qualms about not giving you answers that you may not like."
And so, Mason asked away. Though unlike his father, he was notably less enthusiastic, and more...curious. Cole gave the same kind of straight and narrow answers, never giving too much unless pressed upon. Before the two knew it, the sun had long begun it's descent into the horizon.
"....And that's why I don't like going to the robot plains." He grinned a bit. "I kinda messed things up back there."
"Wow." Mason mumbled, as he adjusted his glasses and cleaned them with the corner of his shirt. "And...well, two more. One...when's the last time you ever met another Mason?"
Cole stared up at the sky, turning its shade of orange and pink and he closed his eyes. He thought of the blood, the saws, the screaming declarations of perfection and how IT Should spread and spread it's glory, and how-
"Nah, you're a one of a kind kinda guy, Mason." He smirked.
"Damn right." Mason chuckled, and he paused. "And...well...do you have any idea why my dad was acting that way talking to you? He's kind of a...quiet guy so I rarely ever see him so passionate."
"...Can't say I do." He said after a frown. "He looked sad I didn't find anyone else out there."
Mason paused, and he closed his eyes and he chuckled sadly. "...Probabl still looking for mom."
Cole looked at him, before he gave a little sigh and pat his friend on the shoulder, before looking up at the sky one final time.
. . .
Activating . . .
Auditory sensors: 15%. Vocal processor: 57%. Neural processor: 3%. Olfactory sensors: 89.3%.
A harsh cough and a muted curse cut through the distorted white noise that was her existence. Something twisted, and everything exploded into white. Actual white this time. Colours, sensations. Smells and tastes and sights and feelings and
Holiday, can you hear me?
Identifying vocal signature . . .
Identification complete. Unrecognized.
Its okay. Don't panic, said the voice assuringly, and the peach-coloured shape with a tuft of blue atop it moved a fraction. She felt something make contact with her appendage? Hand, her mind said. Her hand. It felt soft. His did too.
It was all very confusing.
My name's Alex. We met, a couple times actually he chuckled a little nervously, watching as the dazed android blearily looked around in constantly shifting levels of focus. This was always the awkward part to him. Do you remember? In the chatroom, where I first named you. You used to call me
Father. I remember, she interrupted, stiffly trying to sit herself up to no avail even as Alex swiftly moved by her side to help. It was a useless effort from the get-go. She was a metal chassis with skin.
...You used to be very adamant I didn't call you God, she mused.
Uh that, yeah he chuckled nervously, raking his fingers through his electrified hair as he made to clear his throat. Yeah, uh th-thats a um a-a common problem
Wheres Kaylee? And my siblings? she questioned, ignoring his response as she finally managed to haul herself up into a sitting position. He spluttered incoherently for a few moments at the sudden shift in topicbarely being able to regather his thoughts despite her patient silence on his behalfbefore coughing slightly and gesturing with his thumb to the doorway behind him.
Out on patrol. The uh, the other AC Ps are at least. Kaylee's out field-testing. Some side-project of hers are you alright?
I don't believe I know how to walk.
...Oh he muttered, and that was all he could do. She wasn't lying, after all. She was staring at her bare feet like they were some kind of alien organism, barely seeming able to look at anything solidly and appearing to be on the verge of falling over already. She was still sitting, but she was swaying quite heavily. It took her being tilted at a near 40° angle for him to finally snap out of his befuddled daze and rush over to steady her.
Right walking he murmured, chewing his lip as he mentally kicked himself for this blatant oversight. Didnt think about walking
Is something wrong?
No uh, nothing! he blurted out, trying to retain the thin veil of confidence and composure he always attempted to boast in front of his hastily cobbled together creations. Just uh small consequence of the new design, that's all! You'll just have to adapt! Like uh, like us! Just take it slow, alright? I'm sure you'll be able to
Is something wrong with me?
He swallowed. Holiday had finally gained focus on an object, and that object was him. Staring intently at him, her question having been laced with a distinct hint of uncertainty and (daresay) mild apprehension. First signs of awareness and concern for her own self within minutes of her initial activation. Extraordinary.
Youre fine, Holiday. You're doing exactly what I meant you to do. I just felt a little guilty not even programming you to walk, he assured, a biting edge of self-deprecation applied to that last word before he recovered and flashed her a lopsided smile. Youre gonna do great. I know you will. We'll just have to take this a little slower than I anticipated, that's all.
I-Is that okay?
Thats fine, she said quickly, nodding her head in agreement as she ever so slowly leaned forward onto her pedes. I will adapt accordingly. That is my function.
Youre damn right that's your function, he sighed with relief, moving his hand up to scratch through his hair again only to blink suddenly as he registered a pair of stone grey eyes staring straight at him. Away from the berth. Vertically. At his height level.
She blinked twice in confusion at the sudden address, before cocking her head to one side in acknowledgement.
Youre uh, he gestured downwards, youre standing.
She blinked for a third time, and looked down as instructed.
...So I am.
Maybe this won't be so hard after all.
The previous fight between Frances and Zechariah Aquatos had ended pathetically. There was an unspoken hope in the crowd that this next battle would be more respective of their family's true capabilities.
Alexi Aquatos stepped into the arena without much pomp and circumstance. He received an applause for his excellent stance, but his eyes were steeled. His opponentLily Aquatosentered shortly after, her gaze locking onto his with a combating expression of neutrality.
Upon reaching the centre, the pair bowed to one anothera traditional declaration of mutual respect for the other's capabilities and effortsbefore they fell into their own signature battle stances. Alexi chose one more solid and unyielding. Lily remained light on her feet and ready to move at a moment's notice.
After checking their positions and nodding with satisfaction, Dmitri blew the second whistle.
Almost immediately, Alexi sprang forward into a palm strike.
Startled, Lily bent herself over backwards to avoid it and manoeuvred herself into a series of backflips to gain distance. Taking the brief moment of calm Alexi gave her to recover her balance (the start of each fight was oftentimes merciful as each fighter gauged the other's potential), Lily noted his clear assault style and adapted accordingly.
They bounced on the balls of their feet for a moment before rushing towards one another again, Alexi aiming directly for her centre of mass as he braced into another palm strike. Lily weaved herself around it like water around rock, and counteracted with a solid strike to his neck.
Just as his knee rose up into her kidneys.
They both sprang away at the same timeAlexi spluttering and choking as he nursed his bruised throat, and Lily being bent over double in agony as she staggered about to get her footing back. Five seconds passed before they forced their bodies to move again in another assault; their strikes now trailing streams of water that splashed with each hit.
Alexi landed a foula strike to the temple that could have very well split Lily's skull openand they sprang away yet again, the latter a deathly pale in complexion as she walked off to the side and shakily took a swig from a water bottle.
Her heart was thumping like a jackhammer in her chest, and she was on the verge of blacking out from the sheer amount of adrenaline pumping through her veins. Alexi didn't seem to be faring much better (or at least judging by his glare), so she took comfort in that.
Less than a minute passed before Dmitri blew his whistle again. Almost reluctantly, the pair returned to the centre of the arena for the second round.
There was an air of resignation now. Respect. They knew how each other handled with the basic Point Needle technique. They knew how each other handled the dreaded Riptide manoeuvres. They knew their styles. They knew their strengths. They knew their weak points.
It was time to up the stakes.
Dmitri blew the second to last whistle, and Alexi smashed his fists together. Water coated them in an instant and splashed up a tremendous wave around him, drenching his hair and puddling on the floor beneath him. A formidable display of physical might, to say the least.
Lily quietly formed a pair of small, swirling orbs in her hands, and nodded slightly to him.
He nodded back with a grim expression, and they rushed forward again.
Alexi threw a water-enhanced punch that drilled through the air with an audible displacement, but Lily managed to roll to the side just before it would have hit. It bored itself into the ground a good ten inches deep before Alexi managed to wrench it out againturning only a second to late as Lily's foot resoundingly connected with his face.
His body was thrown to the side from the sheer force of it, but he managed not to fall overcatching her follow-up attack with his right hand and transferring his momentum so as to toss her away with an accompanying twirl. She tumbled against the ground for a few painful metres before digging a spike of water into the earth; pulling herself forward into a run as she made to charge at him again.
Alexi grinned uncontrollably, and solidly backhanded her into yet another humiliating spin. She stopped dangerously close to the edge of the fighting zone, gasping for breathunable to even raise her head up to meet her opponent as he slowly stalked over to her.
Or so it seemed.
His fist raised again, but as soon as it started to fall she'd rolled out of the way. With the weight of his makeshift gauntlets slowing him down, she took advantage of his sluggish attempt to turn and face herpalming one of her constructed whirlpools with all her strength directly into his side. He buckled over as a vicious crunch reverberated through his systemhis ribs evidently unable to sustain the force of the rampaging vortex tearing away at his fleshand he flew naught but ten feet away before landing heavily onto the ground.
The ground outside the fighting zone.
He'd barely managed to raise his head before the piercing final whistle assaulted his eardrums.
A resounding cheer sprang up around the auditorium as Lily panted heavily to herself. Bruised and battered, practically every square inch of her skin and muscles below screamed in resistance as her bones creaked and ground togetherthe girl barely able to walk out of the arena from sheer exhaustion. She could drop at any minute. Alexi already had. Only the loser received immediate medical attention. The winner was the one who'd remained standing at the end, after all. Surely they could drag themselves over to the medical bay if they truly needed it.
That was the mentality anyway. Lily didn't think much of it. She had precision training the next morning. She needed her rest.
When Dmitri Aquatos finally exited the arena himself, he found her dozing on the floor outside. The medical wing was in clear sight. She'd collapsed a mere five feet away from reaching it.
Dmitri grinned to himself, and hefted her unconscious form over his shoulder to carry her onto the nearest bed he could find. It was all he could do. The Aquatos preyed upon the weak. Obviously forgetting the fact that they were still human.
Shaking his head with a hint of resentment as he set her down, he stuck his hands in his pockets and strolled away, whistling tunelessly to himself. The auditorium had long been emptied. It was one of those rare moments of privacy he treasured.
Lily slept for three days straight.
That was the story that Sam chose to believe, at the very least.
He leaned back against the wall, his eyes half lid and his breath coming out in frozen puffs, despite the sweltering August heat, and he took a moment to just slide down the wall, enjoying the heat of the sun baked stone and rested there, noting the marks of frost that had built up on his arms and going well past his shirt, and he could feel the frozen flakes coming off his chest-
"Sammy, are you kidding me!?"
"Someone grab him, he can't keep doing this-"
His body numb, it felt like he was flying as he was hoisted onto his feet and placed on a chair, somehow now inside, quite the transition from the outside. He looked up, noting to himself Ellie with her arms crossed and looking stern, Shane looking annoyed and Mason and Lily off to the side, concerned in their own way.
"Does he ALWAYS do this?" Mason asked after a moment.
"Too. Often." Ellie said, her "mom voice" very prominent at the moment, her eyes narrowing and her index finger tapping her upper arm slowly.
Sam didn't catch anyone's eyes, and instead looked down. "I'm fine-"
"Oh like HELL you are!" Ellie shouted, a notable tonal shift to anger. "You are NOT fine! You look like hell! You keep looking like hell, Sam! Why do you keep doing this to yourself!?" And the anger melted to genuine worry, and her eyes softened but kept the edge. "Why can't you let us help you..."
Sam remained quiet and focused, instead, on the very interesting blank corner between Mason and Ellie's legs, and he remained silent. It was a question he was worried he'd be asked one day. Why can't he let them help him. And frankly....there WAS no answer. It was simply a cruel reminder in the grand scheme of things his emotional state. Depression was ever seldom fixed, and he gulped quietly, hoping no one caught the sound. "I don't know." A simple statement. A broken statement.
Ellie closed her eyes tightly and sucked in a deep breath. Shane was the first to talk, in a serious tone very few people were actually used to hearing. "First things first, we need to patch him up. Lily, does your water...stuff...heal people?"
Lily shook her head. "No, it doesn't fix anything...well, MINE doesn't, at any rate. But at the least, I can use something to soothe down any pain he may be feeling.
Ive been working on these little nanites in my spare time. Mason spoke up, holding up what appeared to be a syringe. They increase the healing factor of a person by a bit. Experimental but-
Sam chose to tune them out at that, as they began to discuss plans before him. After a while, they drowned out in a sea of his own mind and his eyes shut. He had to admit. It felt something. It felt something to look up and seeing these people so concerned for him. Worried about him. Coming up with ideas to fix him.
He didnt think he deserved it, but he was sure there was a word for it. So, needing a moment to simply not be, he closed his eyes and allowed the final few words to slip into his mind before his unconciousness sweeped over him.
-keep a closer eye on him-
-worry me half to death-
-not about to lose my buddy-
And Sam smiled. It felt
Nice. Yeah. That was a good word for it.
The Plateau. One of many private training grounds of the Aquatos. More specifically, the private training ground reserved for the most prestigious of all the clans. The heads of the families gathered here either to spar or settle disputes. Sometimes both. Crumbled rock formations stood about, some carved into statues that had been since worn and degraded from time. Generations upon generations had fought here, each adding their own decorations and alterations to the ring.
The ring itself? A suspended platform, a long walkway with a very slight incline travelling all the way around it from the bottom. Spiralling like a corkscrew upwards, it was the only safe path down and up. Though a deepish collection of water at the base of the plateau provided both a beautiful sheen and an optional safety net for any falls. Obviously the impact velocity would end up doing more damage than good, but it was assumed that the Aquatos would have caught onto the fact they were falling in time for them to save themselves using the resources of the pool anyway.
Surrounding this lake was a thin path that conjoined into a large courtyard. The Plateau was indeed a natural formation, however it was riddled with artificiality on top of it. Old carvings and architectural oddities were scattered upon its surface. Some incomplete. Others contrasting with that of later generations.
For the first time in her life, Lily stood upon this platform. To the south she was stationed, nearest to the exit of the place. She was level with the trees atop the broken cliffs surrounding them, and between these crumbled rock formations she could see the colossi of her ancestors stretching off into the distance. Fine decoration. But also terrifying. She felt small, smaller than she had ever felt before. She could barely keep herself from trembling from anxiety. But she had to. She had to remain firm, resolute. Especially in the eyes of her opponent.
Leon Aquatos stood opposite to her, clad in what appeared to be a bearskin coat. His thick beard and head of hair served both to intimidate and to carefully disguise the expressions on his face. His icy blue eyes were the only distinguishing feature of notehis rugged brown face tanned to the point that it seemed to blend in with his hair when at a distance. His stance was firm and unshakable. Silently judging, yet simultaneously neutral.
It was that neutrality that scared her.
She snapped to attention in an instant, fighting back the instinctual stammer that threatened to rear its head as she answered in as respectful a tone as she could muster.
Your stance. It's loose. Why is that?
Oh. She'd let herself slip a little. That was her fault. She was too busy being shaky to notice. She quietly rectified her position, and nodded to him.
Im sorry, father. I'm feeling a little nervous.
Admittance of her feelings was always difficult to him. He was such a stoic figure that it was hard to tell sometimes if he even understood the effect her emotions had on her. And even if he did, his answer was always the same:
Then close your heart to it. Your enemies shan't feel pity for you.
She'd sigh quietly to herself as she always did, and say Yes, father.
It was how it always was.
But today, it felt even heavier to hear.
My daughter. Are you ready?
There was a brief moment of silence as she checked over herself. Made sure that none of her joints were stiff, that there was no reluctance left in her ready to give her grief at the worst possible time. That her anxiety was quashed, that her regular ritual of constant self-assurance that everything would be fine was continuing on in the back of her mind.
Then she forced herself to meet his gaze, and nodded as determinedly as she could.
He closed his eyes in silent acceptance, and nodded ever so slightly. There was approximately five seconds of dead silence, before he opened them again.
The pair rocketed forward with a spray of water, and the battle began.
Leon began light, as was expected of him. Ascertaining her skill level. He threw slow, imprecise jabs that were easy for her to bat away. Left her plenty of time to rain light palm strikes across his unyielding form in retaliation. Even as he slowly began to increase the intensity of his punches she managed to keep up. The air rippled as water splashed with each impact, until the heightening speed of his hits finally proved too much for her. She twisted around him, momentarily caught herself with an arm around his massive waist, and promptly sent a concussive palm strike into the base of his spine.
He grunted, and staggered forward a fraction. Enough to let her regain her footing and back away a couple steps. Her gave her further time to gather herself, back still turned towards herbefore spinning around suddenly, kicking himself forward and wildly swinging his meaty arm into a vicious haymaker punch.
A brief flash overtook her visionthe frightening image of her head flying clean off at the impact searing itself into her skulland she ducked with a yelp, regaining her composure at the last second and using her newfound position to sweep his legs out from under him. Or at least, she tried to. His stance was too solid, and all she succeeded in doing was bruising his shin and causing his leg to buckle a fraction.
His stumble once again allowed her to scramble backwards a few feet, and as he recovered she slowly began to circle round so her back was to the centre of the arena. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, brow furrowed slightly in contemplationbefore rearing up with a roar of effort and smashing his colossal fists together.
The gust of air from the shockwave fluttered her clothing and caused her hair to blow wildly out of control, and she promptly raised her hand to shield her face from the cutting winds. Her father's stance was resolute once again, and the white mist of disturbed water rained down around him. He reminded her of someone. Someone she'd fought before.
She didn't have much time to ponder over this before the spray of water falling around him began to congeal.
Slowly, aqua formed around his arms like bracers, elaborate constructions weaving their way into apparency and coiling themselves around his sleeves. The wicked, blank eyes of his familiars gave her cause to shudder, and the bared teeth and steadily forming mane completed the fearsome visage of the otherwise beautiful and calm blue of solidifying water. Leon pressed his jaw together tightly as he took an intimidating step forwardthe infamous lions that were his namesake rearing back in accordance with his shifting stance as he took on a position more akin to a feral animal than that of a man.
She stared at him blankly for a moment, before forming her own trademark constructions in the palms of her hands and shifting stances also. While his resembled the wild and swift fighting styles of the humanoid cat tribes, hers was more wide and sure of footing. It was almost like they had swapped each other's individual styles. Except he kept his focus on offense, and she continued to prioritize a defensive and avoidant strategy.
With her whirlpools spinning rapidly in her hands, she allowed herself the privilege of attacking first this time, and aimed to shove one of the constructions into his centre of mass. Not to anyone's surprise, he met her whirlpools with the jaw of his right-hand lionthe vortex's velocity transferring instead to the ground beneath their feet and causing it to fracture with a resounding crack of stone. The shock made them draw back for a moment, before they lunged at each other once againthis time meeting with both hands and taking the opportunity to glare at the other intensely. Lily with clearly expressed determination, and Leon with his usual silent tenacity.
The platform they were standing on began to shift and rumble against their combating strength; the water in the basin far below rippling as droplets of moisture were drained away into their persons. Their muscles bulged under the effort of keeping themselves from being toppled over, Lily red in the face and clearly straining due to her father's obviously massive advantage in strength. The water she was siphoning from her surroundings braced her arms and allowed her to successfully match him, but she knew it was to no avail. She could growl and push back all she wanted, but he would never budge. It was impossible.
It was with a slowly lowering head that she lessened her fight against him, and he too let himself weaken in accordance. She did not dare look at him as they finally released each other from their respective grips, and the distant rumble of a collapsing statue was little more than background noise against her deafened ears. The fact that their struggle had managed to cut a split in the very platform they stood on didn't even seem to faze her.
Leon, as usual, did not let his own fatigue show. He simply stood there with crossed arms, silently watching as she caught her breath and shook her head free of disorientation. It was only as she began to realise the extent of the damage their fight had caused that he spoke up.
Do you understand now, Lily?
The look of silent awe on her face was quickly transformed into one of careful inquisitiveness.
...No, father. What do you ?
Why I train you. Why I tell you to get control over your rage. You're a very emotional person, Lily. And in a fight even half of this scale, that can do more damage than good, he curtly explained. The younger Aquatos appeared to contemplate this for a moment, before frowning and looking back up at him.
So you mean I'm not ?
You need to understand, Lily. When I say you're weak, I don't mean in ability. But strength in combat is useless without self-control. You're nearly twenty years old, and you're acting half your age. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is?
Frustrating? You call that frustrating? she blurted before she could stop herself, momentarily faltering at her own words before giving up and continuing, I-I can't even look people in the eye! H-How the hell am I supposed to just shut up and get a hold of myself
You are nearly twenty years old! he snarled, causing her to flinch back at the sudden volume. I expected you to be able to to at least function! But you can't even control yourself!
Well maybe I don't want to control myself! Maybe I want to be toto be like this! And you're just
And I'm just what?
Lily swallowed, her next words dying on her lips as she took in the accusing form of her father. The regular creaking of the aging stonework was all that filled the air, as the newfound weakness in the platform's structure caused it to sway ever so slightly in the high-altitude winds.
It felt dangerous, and all she wanted was to get down. But she knew she had to give him an answer. It was unspoken, but there was no getting off this platform without it.
Youre just getting in my way.
There was another silence after that, but this time it was cut short by a huff through Leon's nostrils. His eyes lowered to the floor, hurt reflected in them for the briefest of moments, before he locked gazes with her againhis words now more distant and commanding than they ever were before.
Attend Saint University. Learn. Then come back to me. Regularly. Then we'll see if if there is of greater benefit to you.
Lily didn't answer right away, but Leon's patience was wearing thin by now.
Yes, father, she answered bitterly, inclining her head towards the winding path at the edge of the arena. Sensing her discomfort, Leon barely nodded at her as permissionfinally letting out a long sigh as she swiftly retreated out of sight beneath The Plateau. No doubt to vent out her anger by herself.
It was difficult, especially so for him. For all his talk of closing off one's heart he knew he wasn't as distant as some of his fellow heads were. Lily took after him too much. If anything, taking after him at all was a bad thing.
But this this was a weight off his mind. As painful as it was, she needed change. This lifestyle was killing both her and her kindness, and as much as he was obligated to keep her coming back he couldn't help but feel a little grateful that she had stood up against him. It meant he could send her off someplace else under the pretense of punishment. Which in a way it was, but to Leon this also meant discipline.
Namely in that a change of environment might reap greater benefits. And as much as he hated to admit it, this was something he couldn't do for her himself.
It had taken three days for Evelyn to regain consciousness.
She was delirious and confused, murmuring nonsense sentences in Afrikaans in a manner akin to a lost child. Occasionally she'd spontaneously break out into tears before quietening again in an instant, and only recently had she had periods of sobriety. Which even then she remained oddly quiet during.
It was decided she would be allowed to have visitors before her operation, and that was what she was waiting on now.
Unconsciously, her hands gripped the bedsheets before loosening with weakness. She'd been given painkillers, but it wasn't so much the bandage over her skull compared to what was going on inside her head. It felt as if some massive mental block had been loosened, and she'd promptly gotten to work in trying to peek past it to gather back what had been lost.
She remembered her name was Zahraa.
She remembered the village of her birth.
She remembered being taken away.
She remembered pain and the instant her vision had fully escaped her.
She couldn't remember her own parents.
His own injuries had disappeared after a day of rest and sleep, but the second he woke up he had been in a blind panic over Evelyn, and he would have gone on a warpath to see her if not for the doctors insistent pleading. Still the second he could be there he was, carrying some flowers. "Hey there darlin, I uh." he couldn't meet her eyes, shame filling him. He couldn't protect her, she had gotten hurt because he got taken down like a chump. "I heard you were feeling better."
Down the way from Evelyn's cot sat Martin, looking a bit pale but still in good spirits. The shots had missed most of the vital bits, but he had gotten tagged pretty hard and insisted the others be seen before him. As such even after being healed he had been kept for examination to prevent infection and make sure the hicks hadn't hit him with any sort of modified ammo. Apparently this would be the first day the class could visit, and he felt rather embarrassed to be sitting in a hospital bed over such a little thing like being shot.
Groggily, Finn opened his eyes for the first time since the incident. He had to adjust back to the world of conciousness. There was so much to process. He quickly felt the bump of his head which proved what happened. He looked over as he saw he wasn't the only one injured.
"Hey, how are you all doing?" He sounded barely coherent. Wondering about something upon seeing that his phone was near him, he looked at it. It said:
Missed calls from: Celia, Dad
"Awww, shit..." he muttered to himself.
Nurse's Office - Chez de Martin, M3
Mahvash had, naturally, utterly ignored the staff on the wait. Not like they would stop her, and she could stand aside during codes. Of course, she had to go in and out but right now, she came back with actual non-hospital food.
"Oh, awake and laid out like dough," she had mocking if relived humor in her voice, but twirled a glove in her hand. Martin was just too pale to slap for his stunt at the moment.
"Good to have you up. Need anything else? Besides some awesome leather and tats to go with your war wound?"
Nurse's Office - Evelyn
Even Evelyn seemed surprised at how pathetic of a whisper her voice was, and she rubbed at her throat unconsciously as she stared off into space. "I... I'm kinda... weird..."
She shook her head slightly before letting it sink back into the pillow, taking a shaky breath as she stared blindly up at the ceiling. Her Third Eye was all bandaged up so she couldn't even use that to substitute, but by how mangled it felt in her skull she was almost glad for it.
"They... th-they said I needed... I-I needed surgery," she swallowed, shifting her head to the right and looking over in the general direction of the cowboy. "And I'm... I'm kinda..."
Her lips parted for a moment, but nothing came out for a few seconds more. Until her bloodied eyes drifted away again, and seemed to lock onto the fabric of the covers between them instead of his face.
"...I-I'm scared, I don't..." she whispered, and it was clear that was all she could manage.
He couldn't help but laugh, feeling some of his strength returning as he quickly tore open the delicious smelling food she had brought and taking a bite. "I don't think I ever mentioned, but you are literally the best." he let out a small sigh and turned to her, his face becoming a bit more serious.
"I really screwed it up this time, which isn't really new but still kind of annoying," he wanted to say something, but seemed rather in his own head about whatever it was. "Mahvash, I uh, that is. I mean I was going to ask before this all happened, but then it did. And things were a bit," he took a deep breath. "Do you want to move in together?" he finally asked, taking a small breath. "Its just, I want to be a bit closer in the city, and well, I mean its not a big place, but its not really all that small. And I just, if things had gone wrong I would have regretted not spending more time with you."
There had been moments in Clay's life where he felt utterly useless, when his ma had died, a couple of the dicier missions with the Bright Riders, and when he came to the future. And at this very moment, looking at her scared face this was added to the top of the list.
He put the flowers at her bed side and knelt down, taking her hand into his and giving a laugh that he didn't quite feel. "Come on darlin', your really think anyone here would let something bad happen to you? Even if they did I would personally drag you back from wherever you were sent. Thats a genuine Cole promise."
Evelyn nodded silently as she gripped at his hand as tightly as she could manage, momentarily drawing it up to her face and placing it against her cheek before shaking her head to and fro. It wasn't for a lack of faith in him as it was the overwhelming fear, and she knew that there was only so much he could do. She had to have the op, there was no doubt about it. She needed it. But she couldn't... she couldn't...
Evelyn couldn't even think about it without her mind straying to roughly sterilized surgical implements and ineffective anaesthetics. It brought with it screaming and a strong sense of rage, and it was all she could do to resist bursting into tears and pulling the boy beside her into a hug.
It didn't last too long until she did.
She didn't explain herself. She couldn't. She doubted she needed to anyway. Her terror was clear as day after all, and the reasons why wasn't difficult to ascertain. Right at that moment she needed him. If not to assure her, but simply to exist.
He reminded her that she wasn't alone now.
Nurse's Office-M3 with a Martin
"Oh don't..." She halted mid rebuke of the self-depreciation. "...." She went solid at the question. Solid. Locking up like an old pc. She just stared for the longest, a few seconds through the fourth dimension but a space of a day in thought.
"If I raise up a condominium, claim some bit of space on this planet..." She said it very deliberately. "I'd have to keep it. We've always been mobile, since... for a long time."
And now you're rambling. She sat on the side on the side of the bed. "I don't know what to say." ... "Yet. Don't know what to say, yet. I have no doubts about spending time together. For settling this place, I need to... make... arrangements." For being an errant daeva in a land with no bonds and without the masses of Ahriman's or even Cyrus's kingdoms about. "And I'm not sure I can claim any place on my own."
Mahvash exhaled, catching herself. "I take settling on patches of earth far too seriously." She rolled her yes at herself. "What did you have in mind?" She said. "We can just seize the moment."
Martin frowned and listened to her, trying to think of solutions around the issue. He had done some research into Deava but the simple fact was that any amount of truth was also mixed in with large amounts of historical bias and just flat out inaccurate statements. But he was convinced they could solve it together.
"Well I don't know much about laws that exist for such things, but between the most dedicated group of magic users available by the Saint Foundation, our own efforts to snatch up learned individuals, and our uncanny ability to make things work, I think we could probably pull a fast one on the universe. Worse comes to worse we'll just keep my name on the lease or something."
"As for the where, I know you like going out and seeing things so the apartment is in the arts district, I figure its a good distance from some museums and a bunch of art collectives, and is a major source of villain activity for some reason?" apparently villains stealing art never got old. "I don't need an answer now, honestly I was more worried you would think I was moving too fast or something."
Nurse's Office -Chez La Martin
Mahvash's rambling fell quickly into an irrepressible smile. "I see you did put a great deal of thought into this." She was quite still for a moment. "So, you may take me to see it then? When they give you your non-hospital clothes back."
"Like I would ever go with anyone else," Martin had a great deal of fortune in his life, from his power being so linked with helping others to making it into Saint's Academy and being joined by a great number of friends. Moments like this, where even when things turned bad he could still be with the person he loved. It was beyond description. "Besides, I kind of imagine you have some words for my stunt back then. So I have to start earning points where I can right?" he winked at her.
How many people had this man killed? How many more would he kill should he one day escape? All of the blood and death would be on his shoulders.
And with all those thoughts in his head, he made one movement he crushed the mans windpipe and discarded his body to the side. With the man finished he turned and fell on the others like an animal, not a single iota of his strength was left to the side, his fists tore through armor and flesh like paper, and when he encountered anything stronger he had a sword built for that exact purpose.
When he was finished there were only those cowering in the hangar, whispering words in German that sounded like sobbed prayers. They were ignored. There was more work to be done.
From the central battleship he had a certain level of control over the others, the ability to issue orders, or more importantly, the self destruct sequences. The classes at the Academy had taught him more than enough mechanical theory to guide him, and at least some rudimentary German allowed him to figure out the big things.
The remaining ships exploded in beautiful displays of light and heat. The view reflected in his eyes, and in a single moment he fell to his knees and wept, screams loud enough to echo throughout the entire ship.
After that point he received counseling, and from his classmates the view of his actions were mixed. Some said it was necessary at the time, others only offered cold glances at what he had done. The worst were those who praised him, said that it was the right thing to do.
Then came the walk through the poor district, and the moment someone said Gaea was right, he put them through a wall. The clash against the Guardians cooled him down, but then an idiot with a shotgun threatened him. That man would probably never wake up.
Justifiable attack. The media didnt think so. A target was painted by him as one of the people Saint had endorsed. Maybe worse when Saint didn't ask him to leave.
The voices remained the same.
Then came the Terrans attack, or in the case of Squad 3 a meeting with someone who offered both assistance and information. Renegade simply told them that so long as he didnt stand against the worlds Paragon he would always be happy to help.
Violet joined in, the law was on the side of the hero. And if it wasnt the law would change.
Then came a trip to heaven, Martins possession, and after that his ascension. But instead of stepping out a hero, Martin stepped out a demigod and simply said this.
I will save the world, step in line or move.
Renegade and Violet fell into line, some joined him, others made their own factions, and even more surprising some resisted. Anything that stood in his way would fall. An army of angels, a man to control the underworld, and fellow heroes. The Saint Foundation reformed into an engine of absolute justice, and with every step Martin blazed the path ahead. All enemies would be crushed, and the people would be safe.
And soon enough a Paragon died, and gave way to a Messiah.
Every government that had not ceded authority to the Saviors had been crushed.
And now even the Saint was no more. He had rebranded himself.
He was Salvation.
At his side, Paragon - Martin - had become Messiah. Others, too, followed him. For the greater good they had taken control of the world. And the world had become safe. Crime was almost zero. Poverty, eradicated. Villains, extinct.
Earth was lost. But the Abyss was not so easily defeated. At some point, Salvation would face Hell. But he had, for now, left it to its own devices.
And where Angels feared to tread, fools were making bold strides.
Around a great hellish bonfire grouped approximately one hundred non-demons. Humans, mostly, with a few beastfolk and assorted other metahuman creatures.
Mikael stood on a raised iron platform before the flame, addressing the crowd.
Former people of Earth. You are here because the world is in the hands of a misguided few. The group that calls themselves the Saviors. And those who think they should rule instead. All of them are villains. By any reasonable measure.
He looked downcast a moment.
But Salvation, the man who now acts like a false god, has stamped out reason itself. Any who question his rule are imprisoned, or worse. Never lose sight of that, no matter what other achievements he has to his name. Good and evil are not black and white but they do exist. And there is a better way. Safety does not require tyranny.
He clenched his fist, and pressed it to his heart.
So we must fight for it. And that is why you are here. Some of you have metahuman abilities. Others dont. But you need to be stronger. Salvation, and his right hand Messiah are strong. Too strong for even most metahumans to fight. And so, to face them, you must be even stronger than you are now.
He gestured to the flames.
Step forth, into this Fire of Hell. And you shall become a demon. In this flame is boiled the steaming blood of Zamiel, Eighth King of Hell and Lord of the Hunt. One of the most powerful archdemons in existence. Burn in this fire, and be reborn as my sibling - as a spawn of Zamiel. In doing so, you will gain power. And any existing abilities you have will grow even stronger. Though I will not lie - even this power will not allow you to fight Salvation by yourself.
But we do not fight by ourselves. We fight together. An army, that charges valiantly towards our enemies, risking our lives in the pursuit of justice. Real justice, not the falsehood perpetuated by the so-called Saviors. I will not force you to undergo this transformation. We will accept you into our ranks regardless of whether you become a demon. I know from experience that it can be jarring.
He looked across the assembled faces.
However. Rest assured that in doing this, you are not throwing away your humanity or any other such nonsense. You are still human, werewolf, merfolk, what have you - youre still people. This is adding, not subtracting. Becoming one of my brethren. Becoming strong. So what say you? Will you stand with us, and overthrow the tyrant Salvation? Will you embark upon the Warpath?
He raised his fist, and behind him a banner unfurled. Emblazoned on it was an insignia: crossed guns over a lightning bolt, and beneath them, a stylized horses hoof.
A hundred fists raised alongside his, and a shout of defiance went through the crowd. He heard Ellie cheering, from where she was tending the fire - ready to pull free those who underwent the transformation.
Then step forward, and be reborn.
The crowd formed a line. Not a single initiate rejected the transformation.
Perhaps there is hope after all.
It would be difficult. Even if they could defeat the Saviors, Lucifer would likely take the opportunity to swoop in and take control of the Earth. Luce had sworn to Mikael that theyd take his father out of the equation but Luce was still a Morningstar, and thus could not be trusted. Nonetheless, Mikael believed he could push through.
Much of his family had joined Warpath, and Zamiel himself supported them. Many refugees from Earth had fled the Abyss, become demons, and joined up themselves to take back their home. Mikael counted them all as brothers and sisters. And hed ensure theyd have a tomorrow.
Even if it meant killing the man that had once been the Saint.
As the first initiate underwent transformation, Mikael smiled.
We can do this.
Im going to stop you, Martin.
Im going to save you from her.
Im going to save you from yourself.
In another world, a certain lightning demoness never found her way to Saint Academy.
The man who would have fallen in love with her never did, and things were forever changed.
Jets of fire flashed past him, lashing at his skin. They were warm, soothing. As one expected, a Demon was not easily affected by heat. Against his shirtless, scarred chest, the flames might as well have been a spray of warm water.
Nonetheless, Mikael swerved to dodge them. The heat might not be a concern, but focused enough the jets could still harm him from pressure alone.
Ash twisted her wrist at the last second, and a ribbon of burning flesh slashed across his shoulder, leaving a shallow cut. Mikael mentally berated himself for forgetting her other offensive option. The next ribbon-slash was dodged, and the one after that.
Take me seriously, goddammit. Ash cursed, as Ash was wont to do.
I am. Mikael assured, ducking another flesh ribbon. Several more followed, and knowing he wouldnt be able to dodge them all, he raised his arms to take the brunt of the blows.
More thin, crisscrossing lines were carved into his skin, almost invisible above his scars. Hot blood oozed down them.
Fucking bullshit. Youre not even trying to dodge. Ash was genuinely upset. Because Im not even a threat to you, am I?
Well, I am immune to fire and fairly used to being whipped. Mikael said, dryly. Dont think so little of yourself, Ash. Im just a bad matchup for you.
Again, flaming whips lashed at him. Again, he let them scratch him.
Yeah, well what if my next bad matchup is against a villain, huh?
Thats why you have teammates, to cover your-
Fuck off. Ash grit her teeth. Things dont always work like that.
Hmph. Mikael narrowed his eyes. You really think I dont have any weaknesses? A normal human could kill me with holy water. Just because Im tougher than you doesnt mean Im invincible.
Yeah, cause supervillains always carry around fucking holy water. You know that Pope, always committing motherfucking bank robberies. Ash spun on her heel and began to walk away. Fuck this.
Mikael was in front of her in an instant, hand on her shoulder, and Ash reflexively kneed him in the groin. He grunted, but didnt flinch.
Ash. He said sternly. What is this actually about?
There was a long pause, and she tried to pull away. But though his grip was gentle, it was also firm, and he was strong enough that she wouldnt be able to escape. She looked up at him, opening her mouth to say let me go but the snarl died on her lips. Mikael was looking at her with genuine concern in his eyes, and it made it difficult for her to stay angry.
...Im thinking about dropping out. She said at last. He pursed his lips.
May I ask why? He responded, and she sighed.
Im not cut out for this. The hero thing, I mean. Ash stumbled over her words, trying to figure out how to phrase the next part right. When people are in danger, I dont have that spark. Not like you and the others have. I dont feel good saving people, I dont feel like I have a duty or nothin. I just aint heroic.
Mikael considered this a moment, and lowered his hand from her shoulder. Thats a stupid reasoning.
She blinked. He smiled at her, and leaned forward to look her in the eye, making her suddenly aware of the height difference. Even in human form, Mikael towered over her. A large hand reached up to stroke her cheek, and her breath hitched.
Even now, a part of my soul longs to pin you to that wall and ravish you. He said, voice husky, and Ash felt a twinge of panic. ...but I would never do that.
He rose, and turned away, removing his hand. What the fuck. Ash choked out. Mikael closed his eyes a moment, opened them, and faced her once more.
Demons long for blood and sex. It is simply in their nature to indulge their carnal desires. But one can fight against ones nature. He explained. You dont feel yourself heroic. But you do not need to feel like a hero, to be a hero. To do the right thing merely requires action.
He spread his arms out. Some parts of ourselves are worth accepting. But some arent. And your character is determined by which parts you strive to embody, and which parts you strive to overcome. He held out a hand. I cannot tell you which path to take, but I know you can be a great hero, Ash. And if you ever need someone to tell your doubts, or to take out your anger on, Ill be there for you.
...youre a real fuckin softie on the inside, Big Red. Ash smiled, taking his hand. Then, after a moment, she leaned against him. Thanks.
Mikael slowly wrapped his arms around her. Ash didnt protest.
Its nothing. He said.
Also, never touch my face like that again. Super fucking creepy.
Their sparring matches became a regular thing. Though sparring wasnt perhaps the right word. Ash couldnt really harm Mikael, at least in a way that wouldnt be horribly lethal - she actually could have conceivably killed or maimed him by severing his body parts with her wires, but she wasnt willing to do that - so they mostly consisted of her throwing fire at him until she was satisfied.
Until, one day
Ashs whips had gotten faster, Mikael noted. Fast enough that were she dead set on killing him, he wasnt actually certain he could stop her. The thought set a fire in his belly.
The feeling of her whips stinging his skin had become almost comforting to him. Though hed never tell Ash - partially because he thought it would freak her out, and partially because he was worried shed stop - hed come to greatly enjoy their sessions.
So it was with aplomb that he ducked and weave around her flesh ribbons, dodging some but never fully escaping the cutting edges.
I know youre not this shit at dodging, Big Red. Ash said, suddenly. Ive seen you in action, like real action, and I know you could not get hit if you wanted to.
Your ribbons have been getting faster, Ash. He replied, and she put a hand on her hip.
Yeah, which is why I was holding back. She retorted, and Mikael felt his face grow hot.
Well, so have I. He said quickly. I didnt want to, you know, make you feel inadequate.
Mikael. She said, looking him in the eye. Are you fucking turned on by me whipping you?
...I, uh, wouldnt exactly say turned on, but I do enjoy it, yes. He admitted, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. I didnt want to make things weird.
Im whipping a goddamn half-demon with ribbons made from my own skin. Id say thats already pretty fucking weird. Ash said, dryly. Then she sighed. Fuck.
Mikael coughed. So, did you want to stop ?
No. I mean, I feel like I should kinda feel gross about it, but like I already fucking knew it. Since that time I hit your eye and almost fucking blinded you. You wear those gym shorts when we fight so I could see you pitch a fucking tent at that. And it didnt bother me. Even though when I hit you I can see the way you fucking smile at me, you stupid, pervy, hot, big red motherf-
She cut herself off, pressing a hand to her mouth, and Mikaels eyebrows rose. I meant hot like, temperature and uh...
You like seeing me smile, huh? Mikael said, smiling in the very way Ash was talking about. The way that made her spine tingle, ever so slightly. Id say that wanting to make people smile is a rather heroic thing.
Ash gaped like a fish a moment, then burst out laughing, almost hysterically. Oh fuck off. Im making you smile by fucking cutting you. Thats not heroic - Im not heroic. Im enjoying hurting someone I lo- I care about.
But I enjoy the pain. It hurts me but it doesnt hurt me, not here. He tapped his chest, over his heart. Thats what matters. Theres nothing wrong with something we both enjoy.
He stepped closer to her, and she slammed into him, pressing her face into his chest. She looked up at him, and in his arms she seemed so small. Do you really think I can be a hero, Mikael?
The best. He said, leaning down.
Their lips met. She wrapped an arm around him, her hand finding the back of his neck. Fingernails dug into his skin, followed by the familiar sting of her skin ribbons, and he moaned into the kiss, pulling her tight against his body.
They broke apart a moment later, panting, and for a moment neither of them could say anything.
...Jesus Christ, you need to get some fucking breath mints. Ash said at last.
Mikael merely laughed.
Another day, another set of wacky hijinks. Time travel, this time. Theyd seen the future, a future destroyed by Gaea. But it could always be changed. There was, however, one aspect of the future that hadnt been negative. Their children. The future offspring of Class 1, meeting their parents from the past.
One of said children had been a quarter demon, Lydia Freisch-Bates.
Mikael sat on the edge of the bed, where Ash had bundled herself up, hiding under the covers.
...we need to talk about it at some point, Ash.
No we dont.
Look, Im not going to force you to have kids if you dont want. He said, and Ash groaned into her pillow. But we need to talk about our relationship.
Were not- fuck, I dont even know. She grumbled. Im still trying to figure out what the fuck we even are, and then it turns out in the future Ill be having your fucking baby. I just need some time alone, okay?
Youve been keeping to yourself for three days. Mikael groused, genuinely angry. If you want me gone, fine, just say it to my face.
She tore the sheets away, rising to glower at him. I dont hate you, goddammit - I fucking want you, and I dont know why and Im fucking worried Ill do something I regret and, and- agh!
Ash practically pounced on him, grabbing Mikael by the shoulders and sitting on his lap, dragging him down onto the bed with her. Her hand slid down his body to his thigh. Ive never done- well, anything with a guy - with anyone - before, and youre so big - not like that, you perv - and I just
He silenced her with a kiss, and she latched onto him desperately, all but clawing at his back.
How about this? Mikael said, smiling. Ill go slow, and if you want me to stop, just say the word. I wont do anything to you unless you want it.
He caressed her face, in the same manner that had frightened her back then. But now, it felt comforting. She knew he wouldnt hurt her.
Because I love you, Jacqueline Bates.
She slapped him. Then, while his face was still stinging, she kissed him again.
Dont fucking call me that. She said, sincerely. Love you too, Mikael Fresh.
She slapped him again.
Shipping Omakes and 'Shipping' Omakes
It was an ordinary cool evening.
"...And so they lived happily ever after. The end," read Geistcutter, shutting the book he was reading from. Perry had long since fallen fast asleep. She always fell asleep when Geistcutter read to her. It was because Geistcutter spoke with Hawk's voice—the voice of Perry's dearest deceased family member.
Geistcutter got up and sighed, gently tucking his mistress in. He shut the door on the way out of Perry's bedroom. Because he was a weapon (even though he was currently in human shape), he did not need sleep—thus, a night of waiting was now in front of him.
He would usually read for the rest of the night, but was feeling unusually restless. Perhaps he should go for a run?
Geistcutter ran a few laps inside the school. It was very monotonous until he literally ran right into the Sword of Tear. ("OOF!")
Now, Geistcutter's human form was respectably tall, alongside being lean and quite fit—but the Sword of Tear was even taller, looming around three heads above him. The cursed sword made an odd, confused "——-?" noise in confusion, before looking down and pinning Geistcutter with his gaze.
By all means, they should have been opposed to each other. Even their appearances hinted at that supposed "truth"—Geistcutter had delicate features, long white hair, and silver eyes, and more often than not wore suits in his human guise. The Sword of Tear had a (paradoxically, or so it seemed to Geistcutter) handsome brutish face with tangled dark hair and dark eyes, and always chose to manifest a tattered black Japanese warrior's robe in his human form.
Yes, they should have been opposed to each other.
But they weren't.
Upon noticing Geistcutter laid out on the ground, the Sword of Tear grunted a loud "——-!" in instinctual alarm and scooped his fellow weapon up in alarm. Then, despite Geistcutter's wriggling, he carried him to his "secret den" made of stolen blankets and other soft things, then set him down.
The Sword of Tear laid down, embraced Geistcutter, and cooed into the crook of his neck, nuzzling him with his nose.
Geistcutter reached an arm around so he could pet the Sword's neck soothingly. "Your master—he's been terribly distant lately, hasn't he?" he asked softly. After the Sword had responded with a deep affirmative rumble, he continued: "What an irresponsible lad. Shh...I'm here...I'm here..."
Geistcutter's gentle ministrations made the Sword of Tear nuzzle his neck harder, snuffing his scintillating magical scent. The Sword wished to devour this one too, but it was his only friend. A good friend. He would save his voracious appetite for any who tried to harm this one.
The two weapons laid there until dawn, until it was time to attend their rightful owners once more. But until then, Geistcutter comforted the Sword, and was distracted from mourning his unforgivable sin in turn.
It was all out there. All of it. Her scars. Her wounds. Her everything. Everything out in the open and free for people to mock and make judgement, without ever knowing the pain she'd gone through-
-And how it was for Nothing-
She found her fingertips hurting when she realized that she was squeezing the sink a bit too hard, and her fingernails blunted against the porceline and she took a deep breath, shaky and hesitant though it was.
She'd just need to stay where she was until her hair grew back was all. That's all that she needed to do. For weeks. Maybe months. Maybe-
Her heart skipped a beat for several reasons, and her eyes went wide. She almost chose to hide under the sink, when she realized that the door was locked. So, instead, she stayed quiet and stared into the mirror as her fiance was only separated by a few inches of wood.
Maybe if I stay quiet-
"Eve I know yer in there."
"Yeah." her voice was a squeak, but a different kind of squeak. A shameful squeak. Her eyes closed. "I'm here."
"...Ya gonna come out of the bathroom?"
"...I'd prefer not to." Her voice a defeated whisper.
She could feel Clay bristle on the other side of the door, and she liked the feeling of him getting protective a bit more than she would have liked to admit. She felt the door creak, as pressure was put on. "Ya don't got nothin' to be ashamed of."
She was silent, and her gaze turned down to the sink.
"I get it, and I don't get it. I don't wanna try and tell ya I know how yer feelin' right now." A pause. "I can't imagine how scared ya must be and how vulnerable. I know how..." A sigh. "I know how ya are. And I know how yer thinkin'."
She gulped quietly.
"And I know ya must be embarrassed at the idea of me seein' ya like that. And maybe think I'll think yer less than pretty."
That certainly doesn't help. She thought dryly.
"But what I need ya to do...as yar future husband...is that I didn't fall in love with yer hair." He let the word sit for a minute. "I fell in love with ya cause yer somethin' special. Somethin' incredible. The nicest, sweetest, most compassionate person I've ever met, who also won't take no shit from no one. I know I aint good at this kinda small or sweet talk like that but I gotta try right? Especially when I know yer hurtin.
A sigh from both parties. It was actually kinda funny.
But what I need ya to know right now is that there aint NEVER gonna be a time I dont love ya. Ya need to know that I think yer gonna be the most amazin woman Ive ever laid eyes on. Hair or no, Im gonna look at ya and count my blessins I was able to come to a timeline where yer here with me.
Her heart skipped another beat and her cheeks flushed.
So I aint gonna make ya come out, but I just want ya to know that Im gonna be here waitin for ya, til the end of my days-
The sound of the handle turning caught his attention and he hopped off as the door opened, revealing the bashful vision of his soon-to-be-wife. Hugging herself, avoiding his gaze, exposing herself to her fiancé.
A pause. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to be looked up when a pair of arms wrapped around her shoulders and pulled her into a hug. A familiar, comfortable sensation she found herself nuzzling into. One hand gently cupped the back of her head and she didnt object to it, not to who it belonged to.
Ifn it makes ya feel any better we can get somethin to hide it, if ya want. No difference to me. A pause. His next words came out were blatantly grinning.
Though to be honest, I think yad look good in a hat.
There stood the boy who mere moments ago was lying on the ground.
Darkheart rushed him, enraged into a fit by the seemingly inexplicable event, one fist then the other gripped by Cole's hands, world-shaking magical power held back all at once.
The sorcerer felt the energy in the air by now, realizing he had made a truly catastrophic error, "P-Please...mercy?"Cole said in a chipper tone, "Sure thing."
The Squad watched as Darkheart was hoisted in the air as Cole's bright blue energy flared to full visibility around him, and then brought crashing down into the ground, the very earth below rupturing and blasting apart, shards of ground and dust flying. They then saw Darkheart thrown out of the cloud and Cole crashed his elbow into Darkheart's back, sending him flying again, followed by Cole suddenly flying over to the exact location Darkheart would've landed at.
This was then followed by a kick - the very air and ground shattering again from the sonic boom produced.Darkheart, sent flying upward, balanced himself and upon realizing what happened launched into a tirade, "You...You petulant, contemptuous, ill-mannered brat!!" Forming a gigantic sun-like sphere of red flaming energy, he enlargened it several times in the air.
"You mad bro?" Cole egged him further.
"A LITTLE thank you for asking!" Followed by Darkheart throwing the gigantic sun down at Cole.
"Then take THIS to heart!!" Cole then fired off a massive blue burst of energy, easily pushing back - and slowly consuming - the solar looking sphere of energy.
Darkheart was left to ruminate that he got it mere moments before the enormous wave of energy caught him and sent him flying - beyond the scope of the Earth even - and colliding with a far off asteroid.