Trouble in Paradise - TIP - Week 1 - Team Mother vs Fire Flowers

Description: Battle for the amusement of Loo Kee, God of Fortune, takes place appropriately in the casino of Zack Island. It's adults verses school kids in a drag out brawl to the bitter end!

Work has never felt so much like a vacation.
Five weeks. Tropical island paradise. A hearty supply of people lining up to get punched...
If only every contract could be this good.
The previous hour was spent burning her per diem in the casino. Presently dressed in a thin tailored olive-green suit with a long jacket, the professional looking crimson-haired woman was having the time of her life. With minutes left before the appointed time where she'd need to take the the stage for a scheduled match, she's vigorously engaged in rounds of Texas Hold'em at one of the green micro suede poker tables. Even beneath the closed suit jacket, Vanessa's hourglass figure is impossible to conceal.
Seated at the table with her is a man shy of her own age by a handful of years. "Come on, there's no way you got anything out of that flop," she challenges, a cheeky grin on her face as she leans sideways against the table. "Just fold already," she offers her fighting partner some friendly advice.
The casino is lively as evening sets across the island. Patrons are in various states of dress - some looking like they walked in right off the beach (because they did), others dressed to the nines in preparation for some scheduled evening ventures. Vanessa's hand lifts to adjust the bloodred tie at her throat as she glances back over her shoulder toward the stage to make sure they're not missing anything yet before her attention shifts back to Ramon.
"If you drag this out we'll be late for our match... they'll probably kick us out and send us home before we even got to do anything interesting."
Already, activity is beginning to escalate near the stage reserved for volleyball matches? Fights? And, uh, bonus poles?
"If you blow this for me, I'll never invite you to another tournament again," she maintains that same light tone but he knows better than to push his luck on the subject.
Another cursory scan of the casino is performed calmly. With this match scheduled at the same time as some big todo elsewhere on the island, she doubts she'll end up setting eyes on their generous host... A shame, she thinks, considering keeping an eye on him is the entire reason she was given this contract in the first place! Given what this elaborate mission is going to cost her group's client, it must be someone willing to pay a hearty sum of money to dig up something on the multi-billionare entrepreneur.
Someone who looks official steps up onto the stage. Looks like they're about to get things rolling. This will be her first opportunity to see who her opponents are going to be. There was something about a jackpot associated with this match as well? This trip just keeps getting better, she thinks to herself, unconsciously clenching her hand so that the playing card between her fingers gets crumpled in half. The dealer frowns faintly.
On the stage, the announcer begins to rattle off the names and team names of the participants. "You made sure to fill in our team name on the paperwork, right?" she asks idly, glancing back over toward Ramon as their opponents are announced as the 'Fire Flowers.'

Really, Ramon was only here for the vacation. A contractual employee at best, he's really just the best fighter Vanessa knows who she's willing to endure for a length of time, given how busy Seth is within the organization. Although the latter part might be a bit of lapsed judgement, as the Lucha Libre prodigy is incessantly friendly and flirtacious from the first time they met, wanting to make sure Vanessa brought herself multiple bikinis. After all, why go if you aren't planning to enjoy the water?
To make matters worse, Ramon had the Devil's Luck when it came to gambling. His first pull of a slot machine ended in a large payout, his first go at the card tables ended in Blackjack, and he had fun 'guessing the right number' on the wheel-spinny-thingy too. He's already up about ten grand, although he's already said such is going to be donated in Mexico to a children's home. What a waste!
"Don't rush me." is stated with a firmness and scowl rarely seen on Ramon, scratching beneath his eyepatch. This time, the stakes are high. If he wins, she's going to wear a two-piece to the beach with him. And play /volleyball./ Vanessa's demanding half the money he's gotten from the casino thus far. Not many people would bet five grand on something so mundane. "I just... need... a clover!"
He has a five and a seven, both of clubs, while Vanessa had a strong pocket hand. However, she's got a pair, while he's one card away from a flush. Sweat runs down his brow, before the final card is dealt...
Ace of Clubs.
"WOO!" he states, standing up with such energy he knocks his chair over. "Yesss! I'm pumped up now!" Bouncing on his feet, he starts making his way towards the fighting stage proper, beckoning Vanessa to follow him with far too big a grin on his face. "And don't worry, I picked a good name for us!"

So there's a hint that maybe, just maybe, this island wasn't so much bought as forcibly acquired at some point in the recent past. Natsu Ayuhara frowns back at the earthen statue which presents itself at the front of the casino. Growing up in Japan, she's used to seeing deities represented in stone form. But they're usually more... representative of the human form than this squat caricature. It's puzzling, but she writes it off, giving the statue a formal, appreciative bow. It's not like tanuki statues look anything like the real thing.

She smooths her blazer out. The casino is a formal place, and while it -suggests- black tie attire, Natsu didn't really bring much in the way of attire; the new arrival to the island hasn't figured out how to acquire the mythical 'Zack Dollars' just yet. Next best thing: the most formal school outfit she could find. A hunter green blazer jacket, buttoned prim and proper over a navy blue skirt, with thigh-high stockings and proper footwear. The six-foot-tall Gorin athlete manages to look somewhat mature for her age -- well, at least until she catches sight of her opponents over by the Texas hold'em tables.

Frowning at herself for a moment, she passes Sakura a somewhat nervous look. "... I hope we don't have to actually play these games if we want to get money here. I'm... I'm terrible at poker." Sakura probably remembers: the outspoken volleyball player can't bluff worth a damn.

The taller of the two Fire Flowers is grateful to see the announcer walk out on stage. That means things will get kicked off soon... But the two may as well introduce themselves. "There they are," she states, master of the obvious. Tapping Sakura lightly on the shoulder, just in case her companion is having trouble hearing in the cacophonous casino, she half-jogs, half-trots over to Vanessa and Ramon. Bowing just before the two, she forges a brief smile at their apparent good fortune. "It is a pleasure to meet you two, I'm Natsu Ayuhara. We're the Fire Flowers, I... believe we'll be your opponents for the evening?"

Natsu may suck at bluffing, but she's good at putting on a smile when she's too embarassed to do much else.

It's finally time for their first match. Now, normally, Sakura and Natsu wouldn't be allowed in the casino, but, you know, special occasions here on Zack Island. Actually Zack might allow it anyways, because Zack. Sakura isn't here to gamble with anything other than her life, though. Upon finding out that their first match was in the casino, Sakura discussed with Natsu--and since Zack Island is all about fulfilling desires, Sakura was able to find a strange-if-appropriate outfit to wear to this fight.

Her normal sailor fuku blouse is replaced by a white blouse and black blazer jacket, roughly reminiscent of a school uniform but with some extra styling--silver piping along the lapels, a deep, narrow V-cut--that makes it extra stylish. It doesn't expose her belly, mostly due to the shirt, but the jacket is cut slightly high to expose a little of that jacket. The skirt is black, pleated, with a narrow white stripe around the bottom hem, and while her legs are bare, instead of her red Converse she's got on some low-heeled boots in black leather.

She cuts almost as dashing a figure as Natsu does, following her friend inside. "I... think we can do it by winning our matches too? I hope, I'm no good at these games either," she adds, offering a little smile to her friend. Turning, she takes a look at their opponents, gauging them mentally, then comments, "The lady looks -really- tough... and that guy looks like he's been around a while, too. This..."

A little smile. "This ought to be pretty fun, I think."

Resting her chin on her black gloved hand, Vanessa extends her lower lip in a bit of a pout as Ramon spends a dangerous amount of time thinking over his hand. She exhales impatiently, blowing her red bangs up off her forehead of a moment as the now disgruntled dealer reaches to reveal the river.
The boxer smacks her hand against her forehead as she leans back in her hair, "Oh. /Come on/!" she protests, though she seems more amused than angry at her partner's down right obscene luck. Pushing her chair back, she twists to her feet, fingers tugging at the ends of her jacket sleeves to fit it just right as she prepares to follow him. "All right, all right."
She gets one step, black dress shoes clomping down against the polished wood floor as she finds herself approached. A glance up at the taller student gives the woman pause, red lips pursing into an expression of quiet surprise. A second glance is made toward Sakura then, Vanessa's left hand coming to rest against her thigh, thumb hanging from her pants pocket. "You are?" she sounds somewhat uncertain, as if thinking someone might be pulling her leg. It's clear she spent no time looking into her Round One opponents at all.
"Yeah," she finally recovers, mouth curling into a grin that shows off sparkling white teeth, right hand snapping out to offer her hand toward Natsu, "Yeah, okay, that's great. I'm Vanessa and that lucky bastard is Ramon." Her left hand lifts from her side to rub across her chin in thought as she glances between the two students a second time.
"Well," she lifts both her hands to run fingers through her hair, brushing short, lightly tossed crimson hair back from her face. "Give it your best, all right? If this is really something you have your hearts set on, don't get discouraged if things don't go your way. It's only fair to warn you that Ramon and I-"
She pauses, hands patting at her jacket, the sound of a vibrating phone audible over the din of the casino as Vanessa produces the device and looks at it. "Ah, excuse me," she murmurs, turning away, and begins sliding her thumb over the virtual keyboard rapidly.
'Hey kiddo, mommy is about to start her shift so can't talk right now. I'll Skype you later, okay? <3'
Sighing, she pockets the phone and heads toward the stage, distracted from whatever it was she was about to tell their opponents. The announcer has been talking up the fight records of Vanessa and Ramon as part of their introduction. Several extremely high placments in regional competitions, Vanessa has boxed some of the biggest names in the sport, and Ramon has worn a number of belts in the highly competative world of Lucha Libre. It seems the Southtown Students are up against some talented fighters.
Just then the announcer gets to the team name, belting it out for all to hear: 'TEAM MOTHER I'D LIKE TO FFFFFFFFF-IGHT!'
Green eyes widen slightly as they lock on her partner. ".../Ramon/!"
She'll get him back for that later. The suit jacket is slipped off, leaving a white sleeveless blouse that has her midrift uncovered, black suspenders worn beneath it keeping her suit pants up. Stepping up onto the stage, she slings her jacket over the top of one of the volleyball poles.
Another look is cast toward her opponents. Schoolkids. Really? To imagine the head start they have... by the time they're her age, they'll be world champions for sure if they stick it out!

COMBATSYS: Vanessa has started a fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Natsu has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vanessa          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Natsu

COMBATSYS: Sakura has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vanessa          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Natsu
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0           Sakura

COMBATSYS: Ramon has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ramon            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Natsu
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vanessa          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura

"Hooo! You should be happy. This just proves I'm lucky to have around!" Ramon states gleefully. Although really, whenever he has watched Vanessa try her hand at things, she's only managed to fail before he'd try and ace it. He's an inhuman absorber of luck, if anything. Beginning to follow, he comes up short as Natsu and Sakura reveal themselves as the members of the opposing team. "Hola! Eeeeh, such little niñas..." He doesn't look particularly thrilled by the matchup, scratching the back of his head.
"Um. Yeah. Like she said. Follow your dreams!" is offered after nodding along, throwing a thumb's up to Natsu and Sakura in tandem before doing a light jog to follow Vanessa. "Who you texting? Huh? Who is it?" he immediately bothers, leaping up and pressing both hands on her shoulder to glance. "Was that a heart?!" How can he be jealous?!
When the team name comes up, Ramon is just laughing heavily. "That was worth it for that expression...!" He's running away, not daring to get within punching distance of her even before a serious bout. Yes, he knows her well enough.
Leaping up to the stage, Ramon begins an almost rhythmic motion, shifting foot to foot light as a feline, leaning his weight forward with hands loosely open. "Don't worry. She's rough, but I'll play nice..."

Natsu's generally in her element when dealing with someone closer to her own age. But she can tell the redhead is probably itching for a fight, and she's obviously not reciprocating on the overabundant humility. Probably a typical trait for non-Japanese people, she figures... not that she's met too many of them.

But... Vanessa -is- polite about things, and that's enough to earn her... another bow from Natsu. "Yes, ma'am. And this is Sakura, my friend for as far back as I can remember... We'll--" But then Vanessa's answering a text message. She gives Ramon a hesitant look. Why would she need to text her boyfriend when he's right there? ... Oh, she notes, as Ramon calls out the emoji. Maybe it's someone -else-, Natsu figures, discreetly looking away. Grown-ups are so complicated.

At this point, Natsu seems to have forgotten about the camera crew that had been following her and Sakura around everywhere. Those sneaky bastards followed the best friends into the casino! But now, in the dimmer interior lighting of the casino, their presence is a bit more obvious; seeing her own shadow cast in -front- of her onto whatever she happens to be looking at is kinda driving her nuts. If this continues throughout the fight she's not sure she can take much of it! She casts a look back at the cameraman to give him a dirty look --

Only to be BLINDED as the light shines right into her eyes, forcing the Gorin athlete to toss up an arm to defend her poor eyes!

... Momentarily dazed as bright spots cloud her vision, she grits her teeth, shaking her fist at the cameraman; probably is the -least- photogenic thing she can do, but something that's sure to end up on the promos.

But then she hears the opposing team's name. And Vanessa's response to such. Covering her mouth, she forgets her disorientation for a moment, as it's completely supplanted by embarassment. What the heck kind of name is -that?- Is that another stupid grown-up joke? She mouths a silent, 'what the' to Sakura for a moment, nostrils flaring as she draws in her breath with no small amount of anxiety.

Once she notes that Vanessa and Ramon are heading to the stage, though, she looks around to find the 3rd assistant producer standing by. "Th-thanks for the advice," she calls back to Ramon and Vanessa, with -yet another bow-, before stepping over to share a private word with the official.

And peels off her blazer jacket and deposits that with him too, figuring that he can act as a valet also. It's HIS show, right? Bah. And besides... she'd be too hot in the blazer, this lightweight white blouse is much easier for her to fight in.

Business taken care of, she marches up to the stage, glancing back and forth between Vanessa and Ramon. She lowers her shoulders into a volleyball stance, her skirt flaring from the assertive posture. (She has likely forgotten about the cameras again, feh...) She's still smiling broadly as she calls out, "Just don't go easy on us 'cause we're schoolkids, either! We're both pro fighters too, you know!" For varying defintions of 'pro', anyway.

Natsu spares one more glance towards Sakura, smile now firmly cemented onto her face. As the call goes out from the official to start the fight, Natsu launches into the execution of their plan -- charging right for the quick Mexican wrestler! She dives into a low roll, snapping out with every intent of rising out of the tumble with a two-handed palm strike aimed right at Ramon's midsection. "ATTACK!"

Sakura is entirely enjoying Natsu's discomfiture entirely too much, though even she can't help but react to that team name. It draws a sort of, 'man, adults' look from Sakura, and a slight blush. Sheesh... the Ansatsuken Flower shakes her head as she gets onto the stage. More carefully, she looks back, throwing a very typical, a very Sakura, double-thumbs up for the camera. Impulsively she calls out, "Hina-chan, Kei-chan! Wish you were here!! Tsukushi you better not touch my manga or games!!!" The schoolgirl coming out to play before the fight, apparently.

She responds to Ramon with a big grin. "I am! Fighting is my dream now!" she says, as Natsu pulls her jacket off to get more comfortable. Sakura finds herself comfortable enough--so she spends a moment tightening her headband into place, adjusting the fit of her well-worn padded fighting gloves, and kicking her low boots against the floor, settling those into place. Right. Those are routines she has, part ritual, part nervous tic, but once done Sakura doesn't look nervous at all. She looks focused, ready, and entirely ready for this fight.

If you polled all of Sakura and Natsu's mutual friends, they'd all agree that in a fight, Sakura would be far more likely to lead out--so to them, the ones who are watching the match remotely, it might be surprising for Natsu to take the starting role. To the watchers in the casino, not to mention those who don't know Natsu, the six-foot Amazonian girl starting off probably makes perfect sense.

The volleyballer takes after the luchadore, which leaves the tough-looking redhead for her. With that settled, Sakura raises her hands to position, adopting her wide-legged stance and using deliberate movements to close in on Vanessa. But not too close. She gets to within around ten yards, then plants her feet. Shaping her hands into claws, she holds them in front of her chest, elbows bent, and white-cored, blue-tinged energy crackles between her hands, building in a steady pulse that takes only a matter of a couple of seconds to expand to the size of a beach ball, and Sakura's voice rings out sharp and firm with the cry of "HADOUKEN!" as she lets it fly for the boxer.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Vanessa with Medium Hadouken.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Ramon            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Natsu
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0           Sakura

Having shed her jacket, Vanessa's slim physique is easier to read. While her loosely worn crimson tie drapes over generous curves, the rest of the woman's body is extremely slender - a byproduct of intense, life changing training over just a few years. Her bare arms possess lean muscle tone most visible when she stretches them to the right and then to the left in preparation for the match to come. Standing up straight, she holds a clenched glove hand up to her mouth and exhales over her knuckles, eyes closed as she undertakes a brief moment of mental preparation.
An instant later, that same hand snaps out to her right and then back into a guarded position in a jab so swift it was almost impossible to see. Turning toward Natsu and Sakura, emerald eyes burn with an intensity for the fight to come that would be impossible to miss. The previous horseplay from Ramon seems to be gone from her mind. She has worked her ass off to be able to fight at the level she does and as much as she hopes Sakura and Natsu go on to secure whatever their aspirations as fighters may be, they're not going to be doing it at her expense.
"Give them the fight they deserve, Ramon. They're not here to play games and either are we."
Her eyes lock on the taller girl. She looks tough. Maybe she won't break too easy. She'd feel better going all out on- The volleyball prodigy takes initiative into her own hands, however, going after Ramon without hesitation! Vanessa smiles faintly, eyes flicking over to Sakura, looking the smaller fighter over. Okay, she might feel a bit worse going all out against that one. A soft inhale then exhale before she begins bouncing lightly on her feet, fists raised up in front of her in a loose boxing stance. When the karateka makes her move, Vanessa tightens up, anticipating an exchange of melee strikes.
This approach proves to be in error as Sakura demonstrates a gift for longer range combat. The true nature of her opening technique is realized too late, "Cute." The crimson haired woman's eyes widening as she bursts forward, hands raised in front of her in a bid to defend and aggress at once, likely underestimating the power that chiball is packing!
If she wasn't sure before, she's quite aware now as she's sent reeling backward from the impact, feet slipping over the stage as chi splashes over her and vaporizes following the concusive strike. "Heh," the boxer grins, whirling back on Sakura with speed so fast that her entire body seems to move as a blur.
"Just what are they putting in those school lunches these days, anyway?"
The voice comes from Sakura's right, Vanessa's left fist swinging in with crushing force toward Sakura's ribcage. The point of impact would ripple with a shockwave of chi that seems more generated from the sheer intensity of the strike than any prepared manifestation on Vanessa's part. The second blow would come in the form of a high angled hook as she swings down hard, twisting her entire body into a secondary strike for the side of Sakura's cheek. "HAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu successfully hits Ramon with Sliding Receive.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0           Sakura

"But... but they're such lindo schoolgirls..." Ramon begins to argue, glancing sidelong at his partner. "You're taking this awful serious. Aren't we here to enjoy ourselves?" He's quite the contrast, lighthearted to the point of nearly dropping his guard. The opening volley from Sakura manages to send Vanessa skidding backwards, and this ends in a burst of laughter. "Wow... you got your ass kick--Whoa!!"
Rolling around in a skirt is definitely not going to be good for Natsu's modesty, but Ramon crouches low and attempts to guard. Instead, she manages to thrust forward, slipping just under his arms and striking him dead in the chest. He's sent skidding backwards, grimace of pain on his features as his good eye clenches shut. And when it opens...
The same gleam Vanessa showed at the onset is within it.
"Alright. These bribones've convinced me..." He then leaps back, skidding a moment before rushing forward. The run is intense, but what he intends to do isn't clear at the onset... nothing? Oh, no. One foot steps out, trying to press upon an impressive thigh. His other would then settle on Natsu's hip... before sweeping out a brutal kick straight to her face, backflipping in the same motion after that painful stride up her body with the intention of landing in a crouch before her. "I'll respect your dreams. But you're gonna regret El Diablo Amarillo Ramon baring the fangs of TRUE Lucha Libre...!!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Ramon's Somersault Kick.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Ramon            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Natsu
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0           Sakura

The stage is well-lit -- Natsu's and Sakura's camera crew won't really be too much of an issue here any more, having adapted to the role of highlight reel footage.

Natsu seems to be taking full advantage of her initial strike, slapping her hands together to rub the sting out of them. Ramon's abs are pretty taut, she notes idly to herself! She doesn't rise to her full height afterwards, preferring to keep her shoulders low so that she can respond more readily to the luchadore's response. The Gorin athlete flashes a grin back in response to Ramon's determined look as he charges back into the fray -- only to find herself at a bit of a loss as Ramon lunges forward. She raises her arms defensively in front of her head, figuring that was his intent -- but this also means that her thigh is open for one step, and her hip is open for the other. "What the--" she murmurs, only to find out that her defensiveness pays off: her forearm ends up soaking the brunt of Ramon's brutality instead of the volleyballer's face.

Staggering backwards, she shakes some of the numbness out of her arm. "I'll only regret it if you don't put your heart into it!" she calls back, her grin still fully intact. Considering her opponent for a moment, she launches forward into a rapid overhand strike, aiming to scythe her right wrist downward at Ramon, before twisting to deliver a medium kick to his ribcage. All delivered with a fierce lioness' roar! "Hraaa!"

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Sakura with One-Two Puncher.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ramon            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Natsu
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

Sakura is a natural show-woman, unconsciously adding style and flair to a style not really -known- for it... a trait one might associate more with, say, Ken, than Ryu. She didn't miss that Vanessa had some hesitation... but just as clearly, after Sakura tags her with the hadouken, that hesitation is gone. She's so -fast-, Sakura thinks, dismayedly. Most people get pushed back by Sakura's hadoukens...

... but Vanessa closes the range again easily. Sakura hesitates, herself, for just a fraction of a second--and that's enough. The concussive impact of Vanessa's first punch actually lifts Sakura's slight body up into the second strike, which slams Sakura back and down. Had they not started closer to the middle of the stage, the impact might've flung Sakura straight out of the arena; as it is, she fetches up near the edge of the arena.

Rising to her feet with an energetic flip, rather than being angry Vanessa hit her, or scared by the power in the redheaded woman's fists... she looks excited, her brown eyes practically ablaze with glee. "Wow, you hit -hard-! This is gonna be -fun-!"

Bounced back to her feet, she takes a hopping step forward then another longer step forward, throwing herself at Vanessa shortly thereafter, then stopping, planting her left leg, and swiveling on it to kick outwards, leaning her torso back to provide a counterweight to the pistoning foot that's now aimed for Vanessa's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa blocks Sakura's Medium Kick.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ramon            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Natsu
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

"They're here to test themselves like any other," Vanessa replies curtly to Ramon's expression of concern over their opponents, but the lack of a judging edge to her voice suggsets that in spite her stern exterior, she might be wrestling with similiar concerns beneath the surface. But whatever struggle exists in her conscience doesn't seem to be weakening her punches any as the Ansatsuken prodigy discovers soon enough!
In spite her incredible aggressive speed, the crimson haired boxer doesn't go after the girl as she lands near the edge of the stage. There's no doubt she could have closed that distance in an instant given her previous demonstration of obscene and precise speed. But when Sakura is back on her feet, she'll find the woman waiting, arms raised back into her loose ready stance, gloved fists clenched as she lifts them up and down slightly in anticipation of what might come next.
To her side, she notices Ramon has decided to give Natsu his full attention, the tall girl demanding that much from him at least. A flicker of a smile crosses Vanessa's lips before it is replaced with the earnest but solemn expression reserved for when she is truly focused on the instants transpiring in the match. Her breathing is calm in spite the dull ache from Sakura's initial volley. But Kasunago's response provokes another faint smile.
"That's good." She nods slightly, moving to the side as she starts to circle the girl from a couple meters out. "You got a strong spirit for this kind've thing." The smile fades as the karate fighter charges. "But why fighting?" she asks, the slightest tinge of concern in her voice. "You could be anything you set your mind to be-"
The swinging foot is guarded against, strong arms shifting down to absorb the impact with a soft grunt. She barely seems to have been driven back. "Why have you thrown yourself into this world?!"
In one step she threatens to move inside Sakura's guard, getting in close to the young fighter. Why would a child find this fun? Aren't they too young to be trying to dull the pain of another life? She punctuates the moment with a fierce swing of her left arm as she twists in, attempting to drive her fist into Sakura's stomach with a punishing body blow -
An instant later, she's already twisted to the left, her right fist smashing in, targeting the exact same point of impact for a crushing two in one that happens so fast it almost seems like a single strike!

COMBATSYS: Ramon dodges Natsu's Medium Kick.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ramon            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Natsu
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

"You say that..." Ramon comments, still keeping some tabs on Vanessa's movements. "But aren't you being a wee bit fácil?" He noticed how the girl didn't advance with the ruthless speed she's capable of, but instead allowed Sakura to situate herself properly first. Still, he had best focus on Natsu, who's not quite the harmless schoolgirl that was anticipated. "Is that so...! Hmm. I'd hate for a beautiful young flower to be upset at me for not trying..." Suddenly he turns and runs away, the kick lashing out at empty air. He is heading... straight to Vanessa. Leaping up, he lands upon her shoulder, likely staggering the boxer heavily. "Un momento, let me borrow you!"
And then, using her as a springboard, Ramon launches himself back in the air. His arms and legs are spread out, descending towards Natsu with a wicked grin on his face. Before twisting, attempting to grasp her by the shoulders and then whirl around, the sudden and masterful shift in force intending to take her straight off his feet. So he can slam her down upon the ground with wicked force, followed by a savage elbow right into the middle of her chest. "OLE!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu interrupts Force of Will from Ramon with Set and Spike.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Ramon            1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0            Natsu
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

One of Natsu's closest friends just got slammed backwards, and... she thinks it's -fun?- Ayuhara smirks faintly -- that's her Sakura, alright. She can't pay her friend or her pugilistic opponent -too- much mind though, not with the speedy luchadore occupying the lion's share of her attention.

Ramon's speaking Spanish from time to time, she assumes. It could be Italian for all she knows, the vocabulary isn't really anything that can concern the Gorin student at the moment, with both her overhand slap and her kick whiffing past harmlessly.

... And then Ramon uses his -teammate- as a springboard. Interesting, notes Natsu as she recovers into her default volleyball stance. The positioning would serve her well as Ramon appears to be heading straight for her.

The volleyball player has a tactic for dealing with this though, and it's not far off from her usual approach on the court. With a smirk, she bends her knees, squares her shoulders with him, and raises her hands. When Ramon sails into her, she grits her teeth, waiting for juuuuust the right moment...

SLAM! With a quick exhalation of breath, Ayuhara uncoils herself, launching right back into Ramon. The clash between two conflicting momentums ends in Natsu's favor with a rather loud squeal of her soft-soled school shoes across the hardwood floor. Having abruptly interrupted Ramon's attack by effectively setting him back into the air, Natsu is quick to follow up, leaping up to meet him in midair. She may have missed the -last- overhand strike, but her aim is a bit more true this time as she brings her wrist and palm crashing into the luchadore -- powerful enough to thump him right back down to the stage floor. "HAAA!"

She hops a fair bit away, a faint pink tinging her cheeks as she steals a quick glance over to Sakura and Vanessa. "Why did -we?- Shouldn't we be asking the same of you two?"

COMBATSYS: Sakura parries Vanessa's Rapid Combo!

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Ramon            1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0            Natsu
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0           Sakura

Sakura feels the impact--solid but not damaging--and, properly, is already retracting her leg and returning to her stance before Vanessa can get any ideas about disabling shots to the leg. As Vanessa begins to move, Sakura tracks with her, first her head swiveling, then the rest of her body, bouncing lightly in place. Vanessa also begins talking--questioning--and though Natsu replies, Sakura feels compelled to reply too.

"Because it's fun!" A flippant answer, or partially so, though not particularly delivered in a flippant way, that's all Sakura has time to say before Vanessa's on her. She has to defend herself against Vanessa's blindingly speedy attacks--and she manages with a moment of amazing precision.

The Ansatsuken prodigy twists in time with Vanessa, thrusting an open left palm against the inside of Vanessa's left wrist--pushing that punch out of position, then twisting across to meet the boxer's other punch in the same with her other open palm, a quick two-part defense that'll look even better in slow-motion replay.

Sakura takes a slight crouch, then explodes up out of her crouch with a right uppercut, her small fist aimed for Vanessa's chin, using her legs to power the punch as much as her hips and shoulders, leaving the ground slightly.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Vanessa with Shou'ou Ken EX.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Ramon            1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0            Natsu
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

The prodigy's defense proves swifter than anticipated after she failed to ward off Vanessa's previous combination. Sakura will feel the force of each punch ash she narrowly deflects them - the power behind them would be a legitimate threat against even the sturdiest of fighters. But even with that combination of speed and power, her defenses are also sure, the woman pulling back from the swift swings to raise her arms, already bringing them into the perfect position to best blunt an uppercut from below as if she had read that intention in the younger fighter's movements-
It's as Sakura swings that the crimson haired brawler finds herself being set upon by her acrobatic and charismatic partner. "Guh-" she finds herself being ambushed, shoulder used as a launchpad for one of his recklessly airborn techniques. She had chided him for such theatrics before - straight and to the point is the only way to fight for real, enough with the flashy showmanship! Raising her arms in a bid to counteract the downward thrust of Ramon's feet, her guard is out of position for the upward strike to her chin that knocks the woman's head back from the impact. A hiss of pain escapes her lips, "Use a pole next time!!" she yells after Ramon even as she pivots her posture, her left side facing Sakura, left arm hooking into a swinging pendulum motion as her eyes settle on the karate practitioner.
"Fun? This is an adult's world, kid."
Her left hand snaps out with an incredibly fast flicker jab for Sakura's face, the limb a blur of movement before Vanessa twists to the left, her right hand following with a fierce hook for Sakura's left cheek. "Fighting is too dangerous a place for 'fun!'"

Okay. That was unexpected. Ramon's eyes widen at a familiar stance the girl is taking, trying to interject uselessly. "Esperas!! I'm no ball--Hoof!!" Although he still attempted the takedown throughout it, he's knocked airborne once more, stunned momentarily. Twisting around, he's then impacted dead center, launched back down to hit the ground and bounce once, although testament to his own agility he manages to twist and slide away on all fours, panting heavily and looking painfully winded. "Iyaaa~ Vanessa, they are tougher than I thought!" His voice is thick with whine. "Can't we just go to the beach now, instead? I want my premio! ...Speaking of poles, you could always dance on one..."
Getting back up, he brushes at his thighs dustingly, before once more resuming his stance. He looks a bit worse for wear, but isn't about to back down so easily. Rushing back in Natsu's direction, he feints going upwards before attempting to suddenly slide right between her legs. Both hands try to grasp one ankle, twisting as he gets upwards. If successful, she'd be left hopping up and down facing away, allowing Ramon to kick out the other and push, and send her swandiving face-first in an unfeminine sprawl. "I guess I'll have to try a little harder!"

COMBATSYS: Ramon successfully hits Natsu with Power Throw.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ramon            1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1            Natsu
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

Natsu can't spare too much of her attention to the other two combatants -- though arguing the relative merits of 'fighting for profit' and 'fun' is certainly one that's near and dear to her heart. What bothers her more is the scrappy Mexican's catlike agility, and the way he's able to spin around and land on all fours rather than just kipping up to his feet like an Ansatsuken fighter might. Such an... unusual style!

But then her attention span is challenged once more as the wrestler starts complaining about the fight. He'd rather lie on the -beach?- Natsu sets her jaw -- she knows he's likely a MUCH more seasoned fighter than she, so why is he giving up so soon?

The truth, as Natsu realizes when she's faked into blocking high again, is that he =is= a much more seasoned fighter, and his seeming complaint was just another aspect to his trickery. A last-ditch effort to dive out of the way just ends up in an odd stutter-step as she's... trying to figure out where the heck that sneaky guy just WENT.

And then she finds the world spinning, as she's knocked right off her feet! Her knee and elbow hit the stage first, skirt flaring to show -way- more than necessary for the camera as she catches herself on a palm. Now she's wishing she'd landed half as well as Ramon had.

She is quick to dig her heels in, though, springing back to her feet. "... Well. Now I can tell you mean it, at least..." Her stance sags a bit more than last time -- Her grey eyes scan the casino crowd for one figure in particular, holding up a volleyball. Raising two fingers as she stands, she makes a 'come on' gesture -- but it's aimed at the 3rd assistant producer, not her opponent.

As the volleyball sails towards her, the content of the earlier conversation becomes clear. Despite the casino's designated volleyball court being a fair distance away, possessing the game ball means Ramon is in =Natsu's= court: she leaps into the air to meet it, her form glowing with the flames of an overwhelming power from within. Eyes squinting back at Ramon, she gets the wrestler into her crosshairs, chambers her fist... and pulls the trigger.

The volleyball sounds like it's fired from a shotgun, as the flame-lit volleyball sets off a miniature shockwave, shattering at least one of the casino lights in the wake of thundering off into Ramon. "HAAAA!"

She's not much for banter, really.

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Vanessa's Hook Punch.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ramon            1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Sakura

Sakura turns serious for a moment, "Fighting brings me closer to understanding what life is. EVery conflict doesn't just teach me more about how to fight, it teaches me more about myself. I fight because it's fun--but I fight because I'm compelled to." Short speech delivered, she raises her arms up, taking the impacts of the flicker jab and the hook on her forearms. Powerful blows, again--and Vanessa doesn't -look- like a powerhouse, but she certainly hits like one.

Sakura fights back a wince--even absorbed those blows were telling. Her fighting style is a mix of the mundane and almost boring--the fundamentals of Ansatsuken--with the flair that comes from her own twists on the style. Take, for example, Sakura's take on the Hurricane Kick. While she can't quite get the levitation aspect down--can't just go straight across like her master or his sidekick, Ken--her version has its own advantages.

She starts low, her right leg scything out and staying out as she whirls through a forward jump, rising to Vanessa's head height and descending as she whirls through the kick technique.

Someday she may learn how to do a proper Hurricane Kick--she tries nearly every day. But for now... this will do. She's come so far on her own--but she feels like she needs Ryu's teaching to get over that hump. To truly find her potential. Someday, she'll prove that she's worthy of it.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa blocks Sakura's Shunpuu Kyaku.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ramon            1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Sakura

Even with the intensity she brings to the fight, Vanessa doesn't seem to mind talking, capable of pacing her breaths, keeping her guard up, and weaving into strikes without missing a beat just because she's listening and speaking. "There is something I must do... boxing is a way to achieve that goal." she voices, her tone solemn but not soft as she answers Natsu's question from before. "Do not entertain this path of yours unless you have also set eyes on where you intend for it to take you-"
Sakura takes to the air in a whirlwind of kicks. The technique is familiar enough to anyone who has carefully watched two of some of the most renown fighters in all the world execute their more horizontal flying versions of the same concept. Vanessa steps through her defenses as if she had rehearsed just how to deal with a technique like this, arms raising high to fend off the first kick for her head, Sakura's foot impacting a solid guard that seems unlikely to yield anytime soon.
She steps forward, turning into guarding another kick that could have caught her from the side, pushing her arms out to counteract the force. Natsu's retort to the wily Ramon is heard. "We wouldn't be here if we didn't mean it!"
Watch out, Sakura! Vanessa acts even as the girl touches down from her airborn gambit. "You've done well, kiddo, but-" A crushing left hook lances out, arcing from high to low, ultimately targeting her body instead of her face as might initially be believed. "TCH-" Displaced air hisses around the woman's svelte arm before visible swaths of pure white chi tears out in the wake of her swing. She's already twisting into a right short uppercut to follow, now going for the girl's chin with the same force, a second wave of chi similiar to the first trailing in the wake of her arm, the two swings forming an 'X' of wind shear energy that will smash into the young fighter. "TCH!"
Sakura would realize it wasn't over.
"It's time for you to call it a night!"
There isn't even an instant of time to recover from her first strike before she rushes forward again, a blur of movement, her tie coming unclipped from her vest-like blouse to whip over her shoulder as she barrels in for even more relentless swings, alternating right and left hooks, one after the other, each one exploding with additional shockwaves of chi should they connect. Six fierce hooks in all before she crouches down a little and slams her right fist upward into one final punishing uppercut clearly designed to take the fight out of the girl!

COMBATSYS: Vanessa blitzes into action and acts again!

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ramon            1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Sakura

COMBATSYS: Natsu dazes Ramon with Blazing Serve!

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ramon            1/-======/=======|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Sakura

Well, there's a lot of things Ramon has come to expect. He's playful, but he would really take offense to being called 'dirty'. This is how Lucha Libre is; wild and unpredictable antics, but unless he's throwing sand in your face, some strange maneuvers and trash talk is only par for the course. "Mean what...? I came here to see YOU." Ramon states with heartfelt sincerity, which might be touching to everyone but Vanessa, who probably wants to punch him more. She's seen his A-Game more than once, and right now he's doing maybe a B-. If she was being generous.
But then, a volleyball is hucked through the air, leaving Ramon to laugh. "Oh? What's that supposed to do?" He almost literally eats his words. When it's struck, he immediately realizes the girl means business. Leaping straight upwards, this causes it to nail him...
Right between the legs.
It was certainly unintentional, but now hapless Ramon has crashed to the ground and rolled to a stop, not knowing up from down. "...!!" Wheezing he manages to get back upright, knees trembling and good eye watering. "N,NOT FAIR!" No longer seeming anywhere near amused, he rushes towards Natsu once more. Before leaping up, trying to hook his arm about her neck, then do a 360 degree rotation that ends in sending her flying towards one of the stripper poles back first. "TIME TO... T-TAKE YOU DOWN!!"

COMBATSYS: Vanessa knocks away Sakura with Forbidden Eagle.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ramon            1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Vanessa          1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1           Sakura

COMBATSYS: Sakura dodges Vanessa's Machine Gun Puncher.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ramon            1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0            Natsu
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Vanessa          1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1           Sakura

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Ramon's Tiger Neck Chancery.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Ramon            1/=======/=======|====---\-------\0            Natsu
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Vanessa          1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1           Sakura

Maybe it's a case of being too strong. That first attack slams into Sakura--the hook and uppercut--and their explosive power actually help Sakura out a little. The added momentum... Sakura realizes that Vanessa is still coming for her and she plants her feet and pushes off, stumbling backwards, but, somehow, rather ungracefully, staying out of range of Vanessa's furious storm of punches. Sakura doesn't regain her balance until after Vanessa's last uppercut, which gives the boxer some time to recover from her punch.

"Not..." Through a bruised mouth, Sakura grins fiercely.

"Not yet! I still have a fight to win! I'm not giving up! I don't know how to give up!!" She's definitely battered, but that fire hasn't dimmed at all. It's true that Vanessa's guard is like iron, but Sakura doesn't have any fear in her as she seeks to -meet- that boxer punch for punch. Or at least, with punches, firing off a very boxing-like combination of two left jabs and a right straight, angled upwards slightly to account for the differences in height.

... Why is Natsu's opponent trying to mack on her? She's not been fighting long, but this is certainly the first time it's happened in the middle of the ring.

So... maybe she aimed between her opponent's legs, totally without consciously -trying- to. Against immobile targets her aim is fantastic, but against living, breathing targets... well. Wincing in empathy with her opponent, she... stops to bow. Why? It's a Japanese thing, duh. "A... sorry..." she apologizes, to the cry of unfairness.

But just because she rises, bows, and dips down again, it shouldn't be misconstrued as acceptance of what comes next. A bit pale as she looks back at Ramon -- trying to keep the impacts of her teammate from affecting her judgment too much. When the grab comes from her shoulders, Natsu raises her battered forearms once more -- that just means Ramon gets to grab onto her -arms- instead of her neck. But that also means that when he twists around, Natsu has a moment to leap with the motion, throwing herself a bit more limply as she goes with the flow.

Accordingly, she's able to land -- well, not on her -feet-, but in a low crouch on the stage instead of on top of the pole as Ramon may have liked. "I'm not down -yet!-" she claims -- as if it weren't obvious.

She plans to take advantage of her unexpected proximity, though, charging up and aiming her left elbow into his chest. Should she manage to connect with the luchadore she'd aim to cinch her arm about his waist, and then twist sharply to bring him into her knee for a strike. SLAMFEST was her first introduction to the "real" fighting world, and it's served as an inspiration for many a comeback!

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Vanessa with Medium Punch.
- Power hit! -

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Ramon            1/=======/=======|===----\-------\0            Natsu
[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Vanessa          1/----===/=======|=======\======-\1           Sakura

The relentless swings Vanessa makes in pursuit of Sakura would be easily interpreted as belligerence - as if the thought of the young student venturing into the world of fighting for 'fun' was a personal affront to one who pursued it as a step along a bitter path toward vengeance. But the grin at her lips, the surprise at the escape, and the determination to keep swinging in spite Sakura's speedy escape makes it clear that she's enjoying this match every bit as much as she chided the Ansatsuken fighter for.
Which is probably why she's drawing her right arm back with the intention of hammering home a crushing blow even as Sakura slips in to make her attack. The first punch catches the older fighter on the mouth, turning her head to the side with what looks to be a bit of whiplash, leaving her an easy target for the next jab and right straight that sends her sliding back out of position, shaking her head to ward off the stars that blow inflicted. "Hah! I can see that now," she allows, lifting her arm to wipe it across her mouth, only to catch sight of Ramon getting belted by a volleyball. "Oh for the-" she starts to observe, "Quit messing around!"
As if to reinforce her directive, the boxer is back on Sakura a moment later, showing no signs of letting up her fierce aggression anytime soon. While all of her strikes thus far have been fairly orthodox, the one that comes next is definitely not out of any standard boxing playbook as she leaps toward Sakura's left side, her right hand hooking out to deliver a jarring leaping punch into the center of Sakura's face, intending to hook her down to the stage with that and put her out of the fight - or so she expects by now!

COMBATSYS: Ramon interrupts Combo Grapple from Natsu with Tiger Spin EX.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Ramon            0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1            Natsu
[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Vanessa          1/----===/=======|=======\======-\1           Sakura

"It's... fine. You didn't... mean to." Ramon wheezes, holding up his hands and trying to look all friendly. He manages in a sort of warpedly forced manner, knees continuing to tremble. Although his acrobatic hijinx failed to bring down Natsu just yet, he is prepared now when the girl rushes forward yet again. But when she rushes forward and grapples Ramon, he doesn't move, shifting his stance before the knee slams into his hip rather than anywhere else. A hand plops down atop Natsu's head, looking to beam. "Aww. I love it when ninas give me a hug..."
And then he hooks his arm around Natsu's neck, twisting her back towards him. "Let me hug you back, no?" Dropping downwards, he slams Natsu down, elbowing her in the midsection. Only this time he shifts between her legs, hooking them beneath either arm. "Up we go...!" With that he starts to spin in a frantic fashion, whirling up a literal tornado of force to buffet at Sakura and Vanessa. Before with a roar rather like it's namesake, he sends Natsu flying like a meteor straight towards the ceiling, three stories overhead.
Hard enough to impact it, of course. "ADIOS!!"

Natsu frowns as she feels a hand plop down onto her head, in the middle of what -should- have been a fairly textbook grapple. Apparently she needs to read the next chapter: this won't be good.

As the tall Gorin athlete is bent to the will of the superior SLAMmer, she finds herself flung around with enough force to kick up a literal whirlwind of air. Casino visitors who had stopped to watch take a step back, shielding their eyes from the fine grains of beach sand that are kicked up in the process. She grits her teeth, bracing for impact as she's hurled around -- she just -knows- he's going to try and hurl her into the poles again.

Or IS he?! Natsu was apparently moving fast enough to turn into an anti-air missile -- one that's about to become embedded in the lighting rig hanging overhead.

Zack may have a bit of a repair bill, as the entire lighting rig shudders from the impact of the Gorin volleyball star slamming into the ceiling. Gravity reasserts itself onto Natsu, and she falls limply onto the lighting scaffolding itself. POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! Lights sizzle out, the high-intensity spotlights really unhappy about being shaken about in excess of their design limitations.

In fact... the entire lighting scaffold starts to collapse, crashing down onto the stage. "Uhh... uhhhhhaaa!"

Necessity is the mother of invention. And Natsu has three stories to fall, and she doubts Ramon even gave her a second thought.

The lights also are about the size of volleyballs, and they're not all that secure -- the frames are meant to be hung, not meant to be all that -secure-. "What comes -up-, Mr Ramon..." Natsu plucks them off, one by one.

And chambers each of them, rapid-fire just like in a volleyball training line, straight at her luchadore opponent. "... must come down!"

... Of course, when the lighting rig comes crashing down, there'll be hell to pay, but arguably, it would've been paid regardless. Right?!

COMBATSYS: Natsu can no longer fight.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ramon            0/-------/--=====|=======\======-\1           Sakura
[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          1/----===/=======|

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Vanessa's Medium Punch.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Ramon            0/-------/--=====|=======\=======\1           Sakura
[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          1/---====/=======|

Suddenly, Natsu complicates things. Or rather, things get complicated. Sakura covers up with a perfect peekaboo guard, and then--

Then she has to backpedal and spend a few moments avoiding some falling things. Poor Zack, he'll have to pay for the lights. Sakura is concerned about Natsu--very concerned--but she's kind of, you know, in a fight for her life right now, or so she feels. Vanessa seems rather intent on making Sakura question why she fights, thinking that she shouldn't...

But it's fights like these that make Sakura want to fight all the more. That spur her desire to compete. Sakura takes a different route to her opponent--she leaps, high. Maybe the bright, shining lights might help her against Vanessa, as she arches her back and feet and hands, drawing tension into them like a strung bow, falling down at the boxer.

It isn't just until she arrives that she kicks her feet out in a wide vee, and brings doubled fists down for Vanessa's head, seeking to slam enough power down into Vanessa to give her enough momentum to spring away.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Vanessa with Sakura Otoshi EX.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Ramon            0/-------/--=====|=======\=======\1           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          1/--=====/=======|

Sakura's defensive skills have been more than just a bit impressive, Vanessa realizes as she leaps into that tight guard of the young fighter. She should be commended for thinking quick on her feet, for being impossible to pin down, and for not showing the slightest hint of being intimidated from first punch to last. Landing, Vanessa spins on her feet out of the momentum, coming to rest facing back toward where Sakura was last standing, only to find the girl missing.
"Hah!" It's a short laugh, but a sincere expression of being impressed. "All right, you're good. But-" She brings her arms up and hunches over, weaving back and forth as the other girl descends from the sky. She seems to make no attempt at guarding herself, grunting as the double handed attack pounds against the top of her head. It nearly makes her stagger, but not quite. There is no denying the steely toughness with which the slender woman seems capable of carrying on relentlessly.
Even a new fighter such as Sakura will feel it in the air, the surge of intensity, of purpose in her opponent as she lands. "All right, Miss Kasugano, you've stalled long enough. Now it's time to-" Vanessa teases lightly, her mouth drawn back in a grin, green eyes on fire with a flare of energy as she lunges out of her weaving with a crushingly strong left uppercut. "GO TO-"
It's her right arm that threatens to decide the fight, rocketing forward from behind her back into a straight punch for Sakura's face. A devestating typhon of wind chi explodes out from around her slender arm as the piston-strong fist zeros in on the poor girl, only for a blasting wirlwind of chi to wash over her as well with enough force to potentially send her flying!

COMBATSYS: Ramon full-parries Natsu's Thousand Spikes!!

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Ramon            0/-------/=======|=======\=======\1           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

"I got you! I got you!" Ramon was stating when Natsu was launched into the air, running around below with his arms out. As if he'd just throw someone into the air that high, risking unconsciousness, and not do something about it. Crouching down, he suddenly leaps straight upwards. Whirling hands slip each of the lights away, creating a minefield of broken glass on the ground before. Grasping Natsu, he then presses his feet to her belly... and KICKS.
She's sent launching clear of the falling lights, the fall almost completely canceled. She'd still land roughly, but not with any particular damage. Ramon is far closer to being crushed, landing on his hands before leaping upwards, grasping the side of a pole. Another jump, and he's airborne; right above Sakura, as Vanessa unleashes her brutal ultimate assault. "Why don't I ever get to go to bed with you?!"
And then he crosses his arms, attempting to slam into Sakura right after she bears the brunt of Vanessa's assault; if she's sent flying, he'd intercept and slam her right into the ground. Looks like she's going to have to deal with a little two on one action here...!

COMBATSYS: Ramon successfully hits Sakura with Cross Chop EX.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Ramon            1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Vanessa knocks away Sakura with Gaia Gear.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Ramon            1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

Oh, crap. Sakura? She doesn't have a -chance-. She's already battered and tired. Facing two more experienced fighters, she by all rights should just give up. But it isn't in her blood. She is mostly untrained, or self-trained, and a new fighter to the world--but beating in her chest is the heart of a true fighter and champion. She couldn't tell you, precisely, what happened--the details are a blur.

But once she comes to a rest, the audience letting out a quiet 'oooooh' of respectful shock, she's still for just a second or two. Enough time for the announcer to finally start announcing the winners. But he doesn't get past the second syllable before Sakura rises.

"I'm... not done... -yet-..." she hisses. Once again she gathers power into her hands, more and more, building it into a hissing frenzy, the size of her torso, cored white and tinged with blue, crackling with electricity, and she hurls it at Ramon with a defiant cry, "I'M NOT DONE FIGHTING!!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura has reached second wind!

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Ramon            1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

Natsu, for her part, is practically on the verge of consciousness as Ramon rushes up to meet her. The wrestler seems to have utterly shattered her expectations -- and might renew the young woman's interest in watching the wrestling team.

It will have to wait until she wakes up, though, and reviews the footage. Her eyes had been open... and indeed they -stay- open as she's slid across the stage floor, skirt flapping about, but when her shoulders slide up gently against a craps table, she's out cold.

From the corner of her eyes, Vanessa catches sight of Ramon's incredible feat of airborn artistry in taking care to make sure his young opponent doesn't take any unnecessary battle damage from her fall. Fighting kids is probably not a savored task for the affable luchador but in the end, he fought well enough to succeed. Probably for her sake, she thinks for an instant, unable to dedicate any more thought to his act as she engages Sakura with the kind of one-two punch that could obliterate anyone who wasn't up to fighter standards of durability.

She finishes her attack leaning forward, right arm extended, risidual swirls of wind chi slowly fading away as the bulk of that power was driven right into Sakura with the necessary force to send her flying. She did have a flicker of reservation with how both of them ended up targeting the Ansatsuken prodigy. But only a flicker. Enduring circumstances like this develops the kind of pain that will make one strong if they have the will for it. The girl will recover and, if this is truly her path, come back an even more capable fighter than she has already proven to be.

Slowly, Vanessa lowers her arm and pushes herself up to standing, hands lifting to run fingers through her short hair, brushing bangs out of her face as she gasps for breath, turning toward Ramon. This match is obviously over. The gifted wrestler is given a shake of her head and battle-weary grin, "Maybe it's your timing. But come on, let's go celebrate. I think your luck at the tables is about to run dry-"

She pauses in the middle of reaching for her jacket atop the pole. Something isn't right. That thrum of chi buildup, that defiant declaratin of a soul that has not yet found its limits, the reaction of both the crowd and the announcer as they realize what's going on. "Huh?"

Whirling around just in time to see the huge energy projectile hurtling Ramon's way, "Look out!" Emerald eyes settle on Sakura with a look of open awe. How can she even... after all that? Is she just standing out of sheer reflexes, or is she really conscious? She hesitates a long moment, looking uncertain as to whether the girl was really still fighting or if this was some kind of extreme case of unconscious reflex. Lifting her hand to the side of her head, she looks more uncertain about continuing than she has ever looked before, but it's clear by the announcer's voice that as far as everyone gathered is concerned, this match is not over.

"Jeez, kids these days," she murmurs. She'll have to do something, but it shouldn't take much, right? The forward rush lacks the incredible speed she had exhibited earlier, closing in on Sakura, boxer stance resumed. But when she's close, it isn't another punch that's throw, but rather a quick attempt at grabbing hold of the other girl by the arms and using raw physical strength, twisting her to the stage with the intent of taking the fight out of her at last. What are the chances she'd be able to keep fighting anyway?!

COMBATSYS: Ramon dodges Sakura's Shinkuu Hadouken.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Ramon            1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

"Oye, I think we went a little too far..." Ramon states after the two-part onslaught floors Sakura with room to spare. He is beginning to jog over towards her, before suddenly she pops back p from the ground like some kind of daisy. "...!!" He responds by leaping backwards, impacting the nearby pole as the blast of energy goes sailing beneath to explode upon a nearby wall. "Oye! Chica, there's a limit to pushing yourself, no?!" Bracing himself a moment longer, Ramon then leaps off, descending in the air towards Sakura. Before he twists, snapping out his foot to strike her in the face. With a cry he begins to punch and kick, a building crescendo of a mid-air combo with such ferocity Ramon never quite falls, before finally unleashing a flipkick to slowly take him to land in a kneel in front of Sakura. Best to just go all out, and take her down in one fell swoop...!

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Sakura with Quick Throw.
- Power hit! -

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\>------\1           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Ramon successfully hits Sakura with Flying Mayor.
- Power hit! -

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

The only thing that will take the fight out of Sakura is true unconsciousness. But her body has its limits. Vanessa--well... Vanessa apparently, or so it might look to the crowd, holds Sakura in place for Ramon's onslaught. It's... it's quite the battering. The fight turned around in less than a second. Sakura wobbles... falls to one knee, breathing heavily. "Nnh... nnnh... AAAAAAAAAH!!!" she shouts, unable to really think or form words, and then she -explodes- into action.

Swirling, wind-like energy explodes around her as she corkscrews upwards, spinning through an even more modified version of her already-modified Hurricane Kick, spinning twice with her right leg outstretched, low, then mid, then head height--and just when the move is about to be really pretty epic and cool...

--her body and consciousness fail and she goes limp, midway through, falling back to the stage. The two definitely took her out of the fight--but she should be proud about how hard they had to work to -do- it... and maybe she will, once she wakes up.

COMBATSYS: Sakura has reached third wind!

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\-------\0           Sakura
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Sakura has left the fight here.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Vanessa with Haru Ichiban.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|
[                       \\\\\\\  <
Vanessa          0/-------/--=====|

She realizes after the fact that she probably should have called Ramon off. The girl was clearly barely standing, right? An easy grasp, a twist of the hip to roll her over a leg, and she'd be down on the ground. No way she'd get up from that again! But in the heat of the moment, hard pressed far beyond what she had expected from the Ansatsuken prodigy, the boxer hadn't really thought the entire thing through.

At least no one is going to accuse the pair of going easy on the students. They've earned every right to hold their heads high to take on the two established professionals and push them to the limits that they did. "Hey, hey," she calls out to Ramon, "I think that'll do-" Her pause has her caught full stop within the whirlwind of chi infused kicks that errupt up from the little fighter who could.

Arms snap up to try and defend herself, but after everything she's suffered and tried to push herself through, she's an instant too slow. The hits connect cleanly, with the final one to her head knocking her off her feet for the first time this match, the tenacious boxer sliding across the stage some meters before coming to a stop. Given the vital focus on staying standing in her ring fights, being knocked down by fighter she hadn't taken that seriously at the beginning of the fight forces a complete perspective shift for the woman.

She's groggy to pull herself back up to her feet, hand resting against her forehead as she shakes her head a few times to clear her vision. Glancing over Ramon's worn down condition, then shifting focus over toward Sakura, then where Natsu landed, Vanessa shakes her head again, shifting her hands down to hang by her thumbs in her pants pockets. "Well, with kids like that coming up the ranks, we're going to have our work cut out for us to stay on top!"

The announcer rushes into the middle of the stage and begins reminding everyone about the jackpot but Vanessa is barely listening, ready to get off the stage and hit a nice, relaxing shower only to be stopped when it is announced that in recognition of their incredible teamup attack in the end, she and Ramon have won the grand prize of being requested to pole dance on the stage for the gathered crowd.

A soft chuckle escapes the woman's mouth as she turns around and drapes her sweaty left arm over the neck of the announcer and leans in real close, right hand clenched in a fist and held out in front of him. "If you even think of bringing that up again, I will bury this into you..."

The threat of being knocked across the stage by the boxer's fist is enough to get the suddenly nervous announcer to drop the idea... but disuading Ramon from bringing it up is going to take a lot more effort!!

COMBATSYS: Vanessa has left the fight here.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Ramon            0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Ramon blocks Sakura's Haru Ichiban.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Ramon            0/-------/---====|

There's no time to be smarmy when Sakura explodes into action like that; shifting, Ramon is forced to block each of the kicks, intercepting them with crossed arms, the chi-infused strikes making him wince in increasing pain. When the last one is unleashed he staggers backwards, guard finally broken... but the young girl is already spent. Neither she nor Natsu went down in anything less than an extreme fashion, down to the bitter end. "This new generation's pretty extreme." Ramon states, rubbing at his forearms where a number of bruises are beginning to form. "Ayaya... I wasn't this strong at their age, not at all!"
Of course, there's the matter of the poledance. "Ohhh? An honor? I get to? But..." Suddenly Ramon runs over towards one of the poles, striding up it until he suddenly launches off. Without any warning, Vanessa now has an airborne Lucha Libre descending towards her, attempting to tackle her to the ground. "I'M NOT DANCING ALONE!" Neither of them is in the best condition, but the only way he's going to get Vanessa to do the dance of his dreams is through force; preferably a modified Boston Crab until she relents, if she's sufficiently caught off-guard by the danger that is Ramon's infatuation!

COMBATSYS: Ramon has ended the fight here.

Log created on 23:12:27 01/30/2015 by Vanessa, and last modified on 19:01:50 02/01/2015.