NFG Season One - It's An NFG Holiday Party, Charlie Brown!

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Description: An amazing festive celebration of the end of NFG, involving the biggest and the most bombastic of holiday cheer! Who could possibly show up?! What guests will the spirit of the season bring?!

My how things have escalated.

It started as an idea to do something for the Blazin' Folk. Just a little send off for the little ones. Food, drink, farewell gifts and maybe one final free or all brawl to send them on their way with bruises to remember them by. Pure Team Blaze.

But then a few favors were called in, questions were asked, more favors called in, more questions asked and then spending began and ....the snow ball just kept rolling and rolling and rolling.

Now, Blazin' HQ is the place to be! The outside neighborhood has been cleaned up. Streets have been cordoned off, the music is pumping and the festive atmosphere has been infused with Kongou's sense of scale. Mind you, because he in fact has no good sense of scale, this might be a few -too- many decorations and -too-many lights in some places of the sprawling community center but where volunteers and organizers were able to come behind him or make subtle changes to his all looks rather inviting and nice and this, fortunantely, is the bulk of the complex. The main gym itself has had all of its equipment removed, changed out fo towering Christmas Trees, lights, assorted decorations, tables, a sprawling bar, tables full of food, a dance floor and a dj that...looks like a distant cousin of Nixie.

In fact, among the invited crowd of NFG contestants, mentors, members of the 'Who's Who in Metro City', occasional surprise guests and a few neighborhood locals who had become friends with Team Blaze during their tiem here, one can occasionally see a few assorted members of the magical community as well. A gigas from beyond the world certainly has a gigantic friends list!

There is another table as well, sporting a large assortment of reusable eco friendly blags emblazoned with the Team Blaze and NFG logo. Assorted gifts for party goers have been wrapped and placed within. To select one might result in a random gift suited just for the person taking the bag. What could they be within them? Claim them at your own risk!

Turntables? Check!

Speakers? Check!

Microphone? Check!

Party records? Check!

Signature baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans? Definitely check!

Can you guess who it is?

If you said DJ Supernova, you'd be correct! The capoerista known as Sarah Ashley Kuzumi is here to provide plenty of music and entertainment for the afterparty! Up at her turntable, Sarah is wearing her trademark headphones as she starts up the turntable and prepares to get the party going.

"Hey hey, everyone, what is up? This is DJ Supernova, and I'm here to get this party rocking and rolling!" Sarah's signature smile is on her face. "I've got plenty of records full of party favorites, and I've got a list of all my songs too, so if you want to come up and make a request, please do so!" With that, Sarah puts on a record and gets the music going. "Everyone enjoy yourselves and have an amazing time!"

An incredible fight, and now the afterparty Christmas thing. How could she miss that. She's limping slightly because of a cut on her thigh she wasn't able to take of yet. But she manages to change her clothes. She is wearing a white skirt, which covers most of the cut, yet shows the bottom of it. She's also wearing a sky blue blouse. She has her black blindfold and her staff as well. Typical Djamila. She makes her way inside.

The first things she hears upong coming in, it's the voice of Sarah. It's a nice familiar voice to hear. With her at the music, that will be a party to remember. She also feels all the Christmas decorations. Yep. One could tell it was Kongou doing, but it's pretty cool.

It's hard to believe this is the end of the first season. She can hardly believe all that has happened. She can hardly believe she managed to go through the whole tournament and come out on top. Oh well, really, now it's time for fun.

She goes to the bar. They actually have some Arak. That makes her grin. Kongou is awesome. She orders a glass and takes a sip, just taking in the atmosphere for the moment.

Hawksley Moore would have arrived at Team Blaze HQ for the pouring of the first drink if he'd had his way but he'd had to take a detour to the Hotel Fritz-Charleston following a run in with some snack foods at the Metro City Arena. He'd hoped to use the opportunity to persuade Constance 'Coco' Coalbridge' to change her mind and join him at the party but the purple haired posh girl had remained adamant that she didn't wish to attend.

As a result, the Irishman is flying solo. He's freshly showered and changed into a kelly green t-shirt with the words 'Got On A Lucky One' in white lettering on the upper chest. Underneath the lettering is a picture of a betting slip from Metro City Drunk Tank Bookmakers with the odds of 18 to 1 in the centre and 'Customer Receipt' below this. It shows that a bet has been placed for $50 on a horse named 'Christmas Fairytale' who is racing at Galway Bay on the 25th December. On his legs are a pair of black cargo pants and on his feet a pair of black leather sneakers. As usual he has a faint scent of whiskey about him.

With his left arm he's supporting a twenty four pack case of 'Lucky's Fiery Ale', whilst with his right he carries the equivalent amount of glass bottles of the booze in a crate. He's managed to get them for free, due to being the face of the brand and had stored them in his old living quarters in advance, so he wouldn't have to carry them across the city. Finding a table to set the drinks down on, he takes one of the cans for himself and then steps further inside to the centre of the room.

The green skinned warm up DJ has already departed the decks and Sarah, AKA DJ Supernova is in control. He gives her a cheery wave, thinking of tracks he can request from her later, and then looks around to see if he can spot any other familiar faces. Seeing Djamila, the champion of the New Fighting Generation, he heads her way.

"Hello there, Djamila! Congrats on your victory this evening. You were pretty fecking intense out there. Poor Ichika never stood a chance."

He cracks open the can and takes a thirsty slurp. "Kongou has done a grand job here. Did you see how fecking tidy and organised it was outside and all these lights and decorations must have nearly bankrupt the fella."

She enjoys what DJ Supernova, Sarah, is doing. She sure knows how to make things lively with good music. She's in a state where she can both relax and be pumped up. The drink certainly helps in keeping a healthy mix of the two.

Then she sees another familiar face. It's Hawksley, somewhat alone. He has a shirt right now. So, no fighting, at least for now. She giggles.

At one point, he comes directly toward her, and she smiles at him, still having some Arak left in her glass. "Hey Hawksley. Thank you so much. I am still processing it in my mind. She wanted an answer to the age-old question. Guess now she knows. She did great though, and I hope she's not too damaged. She certainly looked better than other people I've fought. Not only did I participate in the first NFG, I am the first Winner. Damn. I think I do need an agent now." She laughs. "Can I hug you? I need a hug." It's a different Djamila right now, one who usually would have just hugged without asking. Assuming he says yes, she hugs him with a pat on the back before releasing and backing up. Her staff stood up while doing so.

"Kongou went all out with this. But I have a feeling he found a way to get all this without spending all his money." She laughs. "He's Kongou right?"

She then adds. "Sarah is really rocking it, isn't she? She's an interesting fighter, but she knows how to raise the roof in a party."

"Yeah, it's pretty fecking mad this is all coming to an end" Hawksley gestures with his free hand in the air. "At least I can tell people I was beaten by the winner of the whole shebang."

He takes another drink from the can, followed by a satisfied sigh. "I'm sure Ichika will be grand. She's got youth and determination on her side. As for you, you should probably get yourself an agent, so you should. You'll probably have people wanting to pay you good money to work with them."

Djamila's request for a hug is met with a nod. "Yeah, course you can." He opens his arms wide to accept the affection, at ease with physical contact.

"The big fella got all this for free? Jesus. I wonder what he had to do to pull that off. It's probably best I don't know" he laughs.

"I think it's pretty fecking perfect we've got one of our own looking after the music tonight. We're a talented bunch, so we are."

Djamila agrees with Hawksley. "For sure. Feels like we started yesterday. Maybe because I had the same beginning match and the same ending." She chuckles and nods at Hawksley. "You have, and you've beaten the winner in the first tournament. Don't forget that!

"You're right. This is probably just a little setback for Ichika." She grins. "As for me, I will look for an agent. Someone I feel good with." She nods he head. "Bet they will all throw themselves at me, the bad and the good.

She enjoyed the hug, and it shows. But she doesn't mention it after.

"I just have a feeling Kongou has his ways, but like I don't know. Just an opinion. I ain't starting no rumors." She grins.

She takes a sip of her Arak again, finishing her glass. It helps with the cuts and pain she's been feeling.

"Yeah, and Sarah is the shit. Happy she is here with us." She grins heavily. "We're talented. We're truly the next fighters generation." She laughs. "Welcome to a new Era!"

"Weeellllll...look who it is..."

Braun's deep gravelly voice rolls over both Hawksley and Djamila as he draws up behind them that slow prowling tread of his.

"Decided t'join us mere mortals after ascendin' to the heavens, eh?" His fanged grin and narrowed gold-brown eyes settle on Djamila as he speaks. "Congratulations, darlin'... Looks like you're the NFG Queen after all. Yer gonna have to eventually spill the secrets of some of yer techniques but I reckon I don't feel like I"d be doin' good at the sorta dancin' that you mastered so maybe it's best nobody ever sees that..."

He brings a massive hand around to clap for Hawksley's back as he leans further in while roarin' out, "..and Hawksleeeeeeyy! Glad ya made it.." He offers the irish man that fanged grin as well before addressing them both, "I doubt this is free tho'..." He lifts his finger up and places it before his mouth, as if urging a hush and sharing secret, "Be careful no pixie dust or brew from Outworld is spikin' yer drinks..." he rumbles with some bemusement before adding, "Heh....just kiddin'."

Or is he.

Kenzo's entrance is quiet, as befits a ninja. Even still, he's not going out of his way not to be noticed. He's just not going out of his way to be noticed either. He waves to any that wave to him but he is going directly towards where Djamila, Hawksley, and Braun, though a bit slower than normal for those who notice that type of thing.

"Hey, everyone!"

He then slides in and stands right next to Djamila. If there are any hard feelings, Kenzo isn't showing any evidence of it.

"What's going on?"

Djamila is here, as is Hawksley and Brawn. And now Kenzo is here too! Just like the ninja to make a stealthy entrance.

Switching records quickly, Sarah puts on an extended mix song to give her a few minutes to greet the others. She walks over to the others and says, "Glad you could make it!" She smiles warmly. "This was quite the interesting experience I have to say!"

Sarah is willing to stand by and make conversation with the others, but it will have to be quick, as soon the record will end and it will be time for DJ Supernova to return and put on some more music. After all, a party without music is... well, let's not worry about that, OK?

She looks at Braun. "Heaven?" She laughs. "I am not that great to be considered an angel." She laughs more. "But thank you, babe. I appreciate it." She ponders. "NFG Queen, I will take that, though." She grins happily. it still has to settle in. "My secret? Upset the fighter who you think will get to the end. Then push yourself to be even better." She grins as she's playing around. She takes a moment before she says. "Seriously, I don't think my style would fit you. You're great with your own style, verily."

She is happy. It's a good day and a good evening. Then... Kenzo comes in and even comes to her. "Kenzo! Oh my god!" She looks like she is going capture him in her arms and bring more pain, but she restrains herself and kisses his cheek instead. "I am so happy you are up, really!" but he did ask what was going on. "Well just enjoying ourselves, I think." She beams. "You probably know already, but I did it, babe. I won it all!" She is happy to share that with him, even if it's probably not news. She puts an arm around him, if he lets her, gentle as can be.

Then Sarah comes to them too, and this is just a great evening. "Sarah! Happy you are doing the DJ here. So fitting!" She grins. "I avenged you." She laughs softly. "I am happy we ended up on the same team. I just wish we could have done more." She smiles. "I hope you are doing alright."

Quiet. It'd be pretty quiet without music. But that's one reason a ginger has decided to arrive with bells on. Two bells, precisely: suspended from a braided leather bracelet wrapped about her left wrist.

Those bells make a charming jingle as Chevy opens the door to the Blazin' HQ, which looks -much- different than the bachelor dive she'd last visited. There's a moment of awe at the sights and sounds, followed by the light bobbing of her head to the music, and friendly greetings shared with the otherworldly denizens that pass through. Are they green, blue, or any other colors? She just figures it's a fanciful costume, no different than the headband of stuffed antlers she's wearing. Her design theme has turned from the end of the NFG season into peak winter holiday season: a green velour dress, ending mid-thigh, over top of a light, cream-colored mock turtleneck.

Her first stop at the food table results in a small cup of ginger ale and a small plate containing an assortment of meats, cheeses, and veggies.

She arrives right after Braun's mock(?) warning to Hawksley -- but rather than intrude into the conversation she knows little about, she simply cradles her plate and cup with her right hand while she waves cheerily with her jingle-belled left. "Hey y'all! Glad you two could make the long trip here..." She's more than happy to tease the two Blazers about the party on their home turf...

Kenzo arrives -- and her eyes light up! "Oh hey, Kuroiwa-san! Glad to see you up an' about!" She doesn't... say -too- much, though, as Djamila's more than earned the right to monopolize his next few moments.

Which means the freckled farm girl turns her attention to Sarah with a grin. "Yeah, it's been a wild ride! What was your favorite part, Miss Supernova?"

"Of course it's only fitting that I be the DJ here!" Sarah says to Djamila. "And it's good to hear you avenged me, although to be honest? It wasn't really necessary. What's important is that I got a challenge out of this!"

She then spins on her bare feet to face Chevy, her smile still present. "I'd have to say the whole experience was one big massive experience in itself!" She giggles. "I can't pick just one thing to focus on." A pause. "Oh, and just Supernova or Sarah is fine. No need for formality, OK?"

Kenzo leans into the cheek kiss from Djamila and then returns one of his own. He then wraps his arm around her waist.

"And I finally have a chance to congratulate you. I'm just sorry I wasn't able to be there in person."

When Sarah arrives, Kenzo digs in his pocket as if he was searching for something but he hasn't found it by the time Chevy comes along.

"Hey there, Sarah, Chevy. Good to see you both."

Chevy's comment, while he can acknowledge that she means well and comes from a place of concern, causes a reaction in the ninja which is a slight and quick, 'blink and you'll miss it' cringe as he's reminded of his perceived inadequacies. He instead chooses to distract himself with his search for the item. He pulls the item in question out. A small glasses case.

"I'm not 100% yet but I'm getting there. But on the upside, it gave me an opportunity to work on some projects."

He pulls out the glasses to show them off specifically to Sarah though he's not blocking anyone else in the area from seeing them.

"Photochromic AR smart shades that are clear in the indoors and mirror in the outdoors. It has bone-conduction speakers in the arms, so you can have your music on the go but still keep your ears open to hear what's going on around you. The lenses are made with fighter-grade polycarbonate. They aren't indestructible but most people would have to go out of their way to destroy these. I got the idea for these after hearing an interview the capoeirista, Aranha gave about someone destroying his Oakley Thumps in a fight. Comes with capoeira music and some remixes already loaded onto it and instructions are in the case."

The arrival of Braun has Hawksley beaming brightly. He's happy to see his Blaze brother and he knows he'll be guaranteed to have a good time with the beastman around. "Of course I fecking made it, fella. It's a party. Where else would I be?"

The idea of missing this event has never occurred to the lad from Eire. Coco may be down on the whole idea of the New Fighting Generation these days, but he's eager to get every bit of fun he can from the experience and he wants to see as many of his fellow fighters as possible before he goes home to Cork for Christmas on December 23rd.

"I don't reckon you'd suit Djamila's style of dancing, Braun but I wouldn't mind seeing you out there on the floor at some point tonight. That goes for everyone. Do we know if there's a band booked at all or is Sarah doing the whole stint?"

The talk of pixie dust has him staring into his can, despite the fact it was sealed when he grabbed it. "The pixies probably know how to have a good time, so I'm grand if they wanna spike me" he shrugs, taking another swig.

Hawksley lifts his dark head and sees Kenzo approaching. He's thrilled to see the Metal man after the unfortunate incident that put him out of action and he offers him a handshake and warm smile. "It's good to have you with us, fella. I'm glad you're back on your feet. As for what's going on, it looks like a fecking party to me. Do you want me to fetch you a drink? I can recommend the Lucky's Fiery Ale. It comes in both cans and bottles." He looks towards Djamila. "Though maybe you've got your hands full for the moment."

Sarah joining the group earns her a grin. "Hello there, DJ Supernova! It's grand you've got the gig for tonight. I can't think of a better person to get the party started."

The sound of bells has the brawler looking around to seek out the source and he sees a sight for sore eyes. "Jesus, Chevy. You're looking grand this evening. That green looks gorgeous with your hair. I'm loving the antlers too. I might have to steal them by the end of the evening" he teases. "And I'll have you know I had to trek all the way across town to get here. I was watching the final then had to stop at the hotel and change after Zog fecked up my t-shirt. How's Ichika doing by the way? Any chance she might make it here?"

Djamila does notice Chevy, and it brings a smile to her face. "Hey Chevy, it's good to see you." She tells her, which is true. "Congrats on third place." She adds. "You are also so pretty. Could easily do my job, if that was your thing." She smiles and leans against Kenzo.

She heard Braun about the Pixie and stuff. She just didn't really know how to react to it, so she didn't still didn't say anything about it. She does take a mental note of it, however.

She then laughs softly at Sarah's words. "You didn't need me to avenge you for sure. You're one of the nicest people in NFG." She smiles and then turns her attention back to her Beau after he is gone giving away Sarah's present, which she "observes" with a smile.

She then whispers to Kenzo. "Oh, it's alright. You had to be ready. I am so so so sorry." She takes a deep breath. "We have to talk because I need to do more than a simple sorry. But not here or now. You deserve to enjoy yourself." She keeps against Kenzo and pushes the guilt away for tonight to have a good time with him and her friends.

She manages to finish her drink, and she listens to everyone there, partying to the music and celebrating.

Asking a Southerner to ditch the niceties like 'Miss,' 'Mister,' 'sir,' and 'ma'am' is kind of a big ask, if Chevy's reddening cheeks are any indication. "Supernova, then," she agrees with a grin. She doesn't press Sarah any further on her evasive answer -- there's any number of reasons she might not want to share, after all.

Her smile takes a nervous uptick at the sight of Kenzo's hesitation. But thankfully she gets swept away in the wake of Kenzo's enthusiastic explanation of the special features of his gift to Sarah -- and Chevy pivots aside slightly to address the season champion for a moment.

"Congratulations, Djamila! You really were a star up there!" Her smile grows a little tense at the compliment, though: "Thanks! I... I think?" She steps back for a closer look at Djamila's sky blue blouse: "That's a good look for you, Djamila. Nice and comfy..."

Taking a sip of her drink, she turns back to Hawksley with a grin. His compliments, too, bring out the color in her freckled cheeks. "Aww, that's sweet, thank you! And we match, too! Almost like we planned it out that way, haha...!"

She nods slowly as Hawksley tells his tale, and adds, "Oh, we got to see her a bit." Her wrist jingles a bit as she considers her reply: "She -might- join her, but I think she was just gonna try and get some rest." She smiles cheerily, and asks, "But yeah -- you'd been runnin' all over, yeah? Any word from Coco?"

Looking down at his green t-shirt, Hawksley laughs at Chevy's comment about them matching. "That we do. It'll work out grand for when I get you up on a table to dance with me."

His smile slips a bit at the mention of Coco. "Ah, she's not wanting anything to do with the New Fighting Generation right now. I'm lucky she still bothers to talk to me, so I am. I suppose it's all a bit awkward with her and her parents having a lawsuit against them and all. It probably wouldn't look too good for their case if she was seen partying with other participants."

He clutches his can and continues. "Physically, she seems to be in a bit less pain but she wants to get her scars sorted at some point I think. Once she's had the chance to relax over Christmas and the New Year."

Recognising a local pizza delivery girl walking past, he gives her a wave and then calls out to Sarah. "Have you got any Ash records or maybe some Arctic Monkeys? How about I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor? That's always a good one to get people going."

In a move deliberately designed for maximum trouble making, rumor mongering and gossip mill spinning, Braun drags his massive arm around and means to lean it over and around over top Chevy to try and pull her closer to him as he leans in with the sort of soap opera like exagerration that is clearly him acting but might be misconstrued for more.

Just as keikaku.

Well...look who decided to pop in.." he drawls out, grinning broadly, huge fangs and canines on full display as his bearded visage looks down upon the NFG Girl.

"Another NFG Queen. Did ya enjoy my bike ride?"


"You ready for another....late night prowl through the streets? One last look before this whole thing shuts down?" His deep voice rumbles into a low bass that causes the tableware to tremble slightly.

"Whaddya say. Keys are all yers. You just gotta ask politely..."

This bit wild antic isn't done at the complete expense or ignorance of the others who have just arrived however and Braun cut his gaze away to acknowledge Sarah with a studious glance and then a a quick look towards the DJ booth with some degree of approval in his gaze. She's one of the ones he never crossed paths with so she gets a longer look ultimately before his attention is pulled to Kenso..

"Welll! Onna my favorite fights! Gettin' electocuted aint never been so fun! I talked you up big. Wish you'd gotten a little further in. Still, you did do a number on Junko so I can't complain."

Chevy flashes her pearly whites at Hawksley, as he tries yet again to convince her to dance on tables with him. "Now I done told you, I'm a klutz at that kinda stuff." she chides. "Though if there really -is- pixie dust in these drinks, maybe..."

Her grin slips away as Hawksley mentions the lawsuit. "Mm, well. Junko's still on the loose so I'm more worried about her well-bein' than about some dollars gettin' settled in court." Her smile flickers for a moment.

Of course, by this point, Hawksley is turning to Sarah for a request -- one that has her nibbling on her bottom lip. She... wonders if that's a request made because it's a good song, or because he likes the message it sends. Or both! But before she can process that, Braun is wrapping an arm around her. In most cases, Chevy would claim that her skin tone is a bit on the pale side. But with Braun doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling up on potential embarrassment, the hayseed's cheeks flush to a ruddy red. She doesn't let it keep her from rolling with the punches though. And she's mindful not to spill her drink.

"Hey, down boy! Haha... layin' it on a lil' thick there, ain'tcha?" She bumps her shoulder and hip into Braun, reminding him that, yes, the hayseed knows how to take a tumble if she needs to.

"Well I done told you, I loved the ride. And I appreciate the invite! But I'm all set for now -- thanks! Just wanna chit-chat for a spell before we all go on our own ways...

She stacks some cheese and meats onto her crackers, taking a quick bite before continuing. "What about you two? Y'all plan to -join- us on the dance floor? I might be a bit rusty, but if it comes to dancin', I don't stand much of a chance next to Miss N-F-G Champion here..."

After greeting those that she knows and taking the time to make conversation, Sarah hears Hawksley calling out to her. When he asks for 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,' her face turns into a grin. "Ah, now that's a good choice!" Sarah says with a grin as she turns to those still near her. "Excuse me, please," She says politely before backing towards her turntable. Then, she performs a backwards somersault over it and lands on both of her bare feet. "Ladies and gentlemen, please don't try that at home, as I am trained professional fool," Sarah says with a giggle.

"At any rate, I had someone make a request for this one, and I'm not one to turn down a good song!" With that, Sarah cues up the record that was requested. "Just like the song title says, I bet you all are gonna look good on the dance floor! Let me see you move out there!" As the music starts to play, Sarah leaps over her turntable and returns to where she was before. "I love this job," She says to herself with another giggle.

she smiles at Chevy. "Thanks. I appreciate that. We all did great. I just came out on top in this one." She grins, then she smiles, sighing softly. "I need to remember what is acceptable in my eyes is not to everyone. Didn't mean to be offensive. You're just very pretty. I will leave it at that now." She then looks down at herself. "Oh, thanks. I figured I would need a change at the arena itself. I was not foolish enough to think I wouldn't get cut, sliced or such from Ichika. I did. I needed to change.

She then turns her attention to Hawksley when he mentions Coco. She waits for a good time to say this, not wanting to interrupt, "I am happy she's doing better. My best wishes go to her. I should have said that a lot earlier. Sorry."

Then there's Braun and Chevy. It would make her raise an eyebrow at what is going on until Chevy clears things up. It ends up making her chuckle.

Her attention focuses on Chevy when she mentions her lack of chance with dancing. "Just follow the music in any way you feel like. Dancing is art, like painting and many artists have different strokes. So do dancers. Sarah and I certainly have different styles." She smiles because she sees the somersault as she speaks. "Awesome, Sarah!"

After a moment, she looks at Kenzo. "Do you feel like dancing on the dance floor, babe? I will follow your lead." She isn't sure if he can dance yet, but she doesn't want to imply he might not be able to. So trying. "I am just happy to be with you either way." She squeezes him lightly against her. She doesn't want to do a false move and bring more pain to him... Can she be a good girlfriend. Maybe if she doesn't hurt him again.

After Djamila gives an apology, Kenzo just nods. After all, he can tell when it was intentional. If anything, he blames himself more than he does her. He had to hold himself back from responding verbally, not wanting to be wet blanket with his self-deprecation. The other response is pulling Djamila in closer.

He then turns to Hawksley, "Still not legal to drink in this country, yet. Thanks for the offer though." He glances around for the press waiting to jump on it for controversy.

Then Braun speaks up causing Kenzo to shift his attention.

"Honestly, Junko was doing more damage to herself than I was."

As for whether he'll get on the dance floor, low probability. He's still feeling sore but he has no interest in verbalizing it as his reason.

"I'm going to stay off the dance floor for now. I'm not trying to end up in the news again for my dancing ability or lack thereof."

He then laughs afterwards to show that he took said statement with a sense of humor.

"Alright, fella. I think there's plenty of fizzy drinks around, so just give us a yell if you want me to grab one of those for you" Hawksley offers to Kenzo.

"Junko on the loose is a scary fecking thought" Hawksley admits to Chevy, but he's not gonna let his mind focus on such fears tonight, be they for the safety of the public or the welfare of the teenage miko herself.

The Irishman notices the incoming intimacy from Braun towards the redhead. He reckons the fella is just trying to fuel the rumours between the pair but he does keep his gaze there for a few seconds, just to be safe. Once he realises that Chevy is accepting it in good humour, he leaves them to it, figuring the farm girl is more than capable of taking care of herself anyway. After all, she's already bested the beastman in a brawl.

He smiles at Djamila to show he appreciates her words of support, then when Sarah satisfies his request, he blows the awesomely acrobatic DJ a kiss, downs what's left of his drink and sets the empty can on a nearby table.

Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he makes his way towards what he's now designated as the dancefloor and starts moving around in time to the music. Is Hawksley Moore the world's most graceful dancer? Nope! Does he have a carefully coordinated routine planned? Definitely not! He does however have tons of energy, a grand sense of rhythm and a willingness to throw himself at things full force.

"Come on you lot! Get your arses out here" he encourages the rest of the fighters. "Pretend the pixie dust is working and forget all your worries."

"I feel like I'm always seein' you in black and orange! It's a good change of pace." The freckled farm girl winks back at Djamila -- not wanting to hammer too fine about about sky blue being her favored territory on the color wheel.

If the fiery avatar of Suzaku were to visit the party, she'd be greeted with all the fighters present, of course -- but that's a thought that Braun's intervention keeps her from needing to think about! Laughing back at Braun, she playfully lifts herself out from under his arm with a grin. "Heh... appreciate the thought, Braun -- but tonight, I don't give a shake about what folks are gonna say. This night's for *us*!"

Her mouth makes a perfect 'o' shape as Sarah executes a perfect backflip over thousands of dollars' worth of custom DJ equipment. Her plate finished, she sets it on a side table along with her half-finished drink, so that she can clap for the parkourist! "Well, if I'm gonna embarrass myself, at least I'm in the best company for that..." Grinning, she decides to let the lovebirds have some time together as she slips on out to the dance floor.

And now.
She grins back at Hawksley.
"Well, let's see how I do -without- the tables first."
Chevy might not know the song in particular.

But, after a rough start, she proves she's got -some- sense of rhythm as she swings along to the beat of the music!

Those reactions was pretty much exactly what Braun was looking for and they played their parts better then he could have scripted for this bit of improve. He flashes them all a grin and then looks down to Chevy. The burning flush to her complexion followed by her physical demonstration that she's more then capable of handling him and going with the flow sealed the deal.

The shoulder and hip check does its job and he makes a mock, "Oough..." grunts as if being physically knocked away, releasing her and then backing away to give her proper respectful distance as he lifts a hand up in surrender, "I know...I know. Hey...anytime you want it again. It's yers...."

His lopsided smiel settles into a smirk, "Besides, y'know me. Gotta take it to the edge or it aint worth the takin'.."

He watches the banter continue but as talk turns to getting on the dance floor, there's a flash of movement and he's produced a beercan from..somewhere, bringing it up and popping it open with the flicker of a massive talon. "I'll pass.." he drawls out, in regards to the dance floor in question. "You kids go have fun, mmm?"

He blinks at Sarah as she returns to her DJ equipment and then grunts, "Huh.." and then turns to move away from the small table in search of more food.

she enjoys being close to Kenzo. It feels so right. She doesn't push on the issue, especially in public. Besides, it's not like he's pushing her away, quite the contrary. She also doesn't insist on dancing. It's not like they have to. She just enjoys the closeness. It's also nice to be able to relax after the finals.

She also smiles back at Hawksley. She knows how hard it is to see the one you love, in the hospital hurt and all. But there isn't anything else to add to that. She supposes now Coco needs time to deal with her demons from this.

She giggles at Chevy. "Yeah, orange and black are my fighting colors for sure. Though I did red wine color once. At this party, I hopefully won't have to fight." She grins. "Enough fighting for now, yeah? When Chevy starts to dance, she approves of her moves. Not that she specifically says anything about it, but she smiles.

Yeah, she was going to enjoy her time with Kenzo, savor the party, savor the victory, savor love. Who knows what else will happen there? "If there is anything you want to do." She says to Kenzo. "Let me know, ok? I am up for pretty much anything that would make you happy." Till then, she stays against him.

Hawksley's face lights up as he realises he's got company on the dancefloor in the fine form of Chevy. "Well would you look at that. You're doing a grand job, cailin. Just as I thought."

He starts to sing along to the sound of the Sheffield band at the top of his voice, his own accent very different to the South Yorkshire one of Alex Turner, that is evident on the track.

"I bet that you look good on the dance floor, I don't know if you're looking for romance or I don't know what you're looking for."

Then as he sings the next part "I said, I bet that you look good on the dance floor. Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984" he starts to impersonate a robot in a way that would do Peter Crouch proud. He probably looks like a bit of a dork but he doesn't care for a second. He's too busy having fun.

"You should request the next one, Chevy" he suggests with a grin. "How about that Misirlou song?"

The Irishman makes no further attempts to entice the others on to the dancefloor as yet, since Braun seems set on finding food and Djamila and Kenzo are doing some much needed catching up with each other.

"Well, the offer's open!" she chirps in reply to Braun. "The night's still young!"

A smile shows Chevy's agreement with Djamila that there -shouldn't- be any fighting taking place here tonight. She certainly hadn't planned to. But if there's the will, the hydromancer knows she can bring the water now.

"Yeah -- I ain't always big on green, but I liked the look..." As for her, a green jumper dress and black over-the-knee boots is a bit out of her wheelhouse, but it was a fun occasion, and she felt festive. And it worked better with the reindeer antlers.

It's been a stressful few weeks, especially for the folks who have, for one reason or another, been confined to a recovery ward for an extended period of time. One good cure for that is alcohol -- but not everyone is old enough to partake in that. Dancing is a good substitute!

The hayseed's not a professional dancer -- but, growing up outside of a nationally-recognized party school, she's picked up a few moves from her friends and their older sisters. So even though she doesn't know the song that well, she knows enough steps to wing it -- and she's hoping her smile can be contagious enough to encourage others to join her. It's true that the hayseed might be drawn to Hawksley like a moth to flame, but for all intents and purposes -- this is the last hurrah for NFG. And who knows when the next time will be that they can just... cut loose, without any strings attached?

She might have different ideas on the dance. But Hawksley's robotic motions bring enough of a grin that she can't help but follow his lead. One good dork deserves another?

"Mm... thought about it. But I think I'm gonna ask for a little Santana..." She winks back at Hawksley, and lodges a request with Sarah for the 1999 hit, 'Smooth.' Another one the party girls back home have a lot of experience with...

"Heh. I love my momma an' all, but this sure beats sittin' at home watchin' the Hallmark Channel..."

To be honest, Kenzo is a bit surprised when Djamila doesn't head off to the dance floor. He's not going to verbally question it and just enjoy the moment.

As the others dance, Kenzo head nods to the rhythm. When the robot line comes up Kenzo just stops. He's not about to risk his recovery for a dance that, as dorky as it may be, has a required amount of back and core strength. He does smile a little at Chevy and Hawksley's particular takes on the robot.

When Chevy mentions a request for Santana, Kenzo raises an eyebrow but continues to hold Djamila close. It's not certain whether it is a good thing or bad thing that Kenzo doesn't have a directional mic directed to the booth. One hand, he'd have warning that 'Smooth' was requested but on the other hand, he wouldn't be able to freak out about not being able to ignore the siren call of that particular song to get him on the dance floor.

Djamila would dance, but she wanted to be with Kenzo more than dancing at that particular moment. That's all there is to it.

She can't help but laugh at Hawksley's robot dance. He sure got it, and he's having fun. That's the point of parties. So, she even ends up cheering for him.

She's also happy seeing Chevy have fun and all. This is how it should be, and it is how it is. She idly figures Braun is also having fun with food. But hey, we all relax as we can at this point. There are no right or wrong answers, besides the obvious.

Now, if Kenzo ends up on the dance floor, she will certainly join him. At this particular moment, she let him lead. Not because she is forced to but because she wants to. For the time being, Djamila's hand gently caresses Kenzo. Appropriately, just trying to give a loving, comforting touch.

"My mammy loves that TV channel too but I think it's called something else in Ireland. They definitely play the Hallmark movies though" Hawksley responds to the redhead, increasing the volume of his voice so he can be heard above the music. "I'd choose this over that too."

Chevy's choice of song request has him raising his dark eyebrows. "It's a hot one" he remarks, referencing both the lyrics and feel of the track.

To the Irishman it conjures up images of steamy summer nights with bodies packed against each other in boozers. Everyone flashing their flesh and the scent of sweat and sweet perfume on skin. It's a sound that surely can't help but fill the floor. Perhaps the combination of Rob Thomas' rock voice over the stirring and sensual sounds of Carlos Santana's guitar will work its 'Supernatural' magic and get people going.

The Eire lad looks back over at the lovebirds and gives them a cheery wave. They seem sweet together and despite some rocky roads in their relationship so far, their affection for each other is obvious. It'd be grand if they got themselves out here to join their fellow fighters but he certainly won't be putting any more pressure on them to do so after the ordeal Kenzo has been through recently. Even seeing their smiling faces is enough to satisfy him and help with his happy vibe.

Despite claims to the contrary -- Chevy Beaumont isn't really that complicated. She hears the fast Arctic Monkeys beat and she moves to it. She hears the singer croon about robots -- and she moves like one. It's refreshing -- especially after a season of listening to her agent, of forcing herself to block out social media -- to just... move, without the weight of purpose.

She notes Braun out of the corner of her eye, heading back towards the food. She really appreciates the unexpected friendship she'd struck up with the bruiser. And his bike -was- a pretty sweet ride.

She catches sight of Djamila and Kenzo -- keeping their distance and enjoying one another's company. Time's finally slowed down enough to let the fighters appreciate it. And that brings the biggest smile to her face.

"They're good stories," she comments, in regard to the Hallmark movies. "I don't mind 'em -- but sometimes I just wanna get up an' -move-."

Slender fingers sift through tendrils of amber hair. Baby blue eyes look back at Hawksley. She flashes a warm smile, swaying about as the tempo is guided by the expert manipulations of DJ Supernova.

Of course, she does double-take as Hawksley quotes the lyrics, breaking into a refreshed grin.

In her heart, she knows this party won't last forever. But it doesn't have to -- the transient nature is -why- it's fun to her. There's no commitment, no grand scheme, no regrets -- nothing to apologize for. In a few days Hawksley will be headed back to Eire.

But for the moment, she intends to make the most of the time that the Irishman's eyes are on her -- with each sway of her hips, each shrug of her shoulders, each sweep of her arms. The ale might help him forget her moves, or the light, lingering scent of lavender. But she'll remember every move Hawksley makes in return.

She doesn't say the words back -- but she does lip-sync them with a grin: "You're my reason for reason -- the step in my groove..."

Somehow, the arrival of Minal Panesh seems to have gone completely unnoticed. Had she been present all along? Or is she really just short enough that she can slip under everyone else's radar? It's hard to tell.

What is clear, though, is that the Team Metal sponsor has availed herself of some punch: the kind that swirls around inside of a clear plastic cup.

There's a lot to celebrate, after all, with Team Metal being the points leader and now the home team for the Champion as well.

She's picked a wine-colored, rib-knit bodycon dress with an asymmetrical cut, matched with dark hose. She's also wearing strappy heels in a matching color -- which is more than a -little -unusual for her, but she doubts anyone would even notice. The prosthetics she's chosen for her forearms and hands are a pale violet; frosted plastic reveals the mechanical inner-workings beneath.

But... she's not looking to make a scene, just to show her support. She wears a bright smile as she makes her way around the room -- nodding to Braun first as she passes the food table, then to Sarah and Hawksley if they catch her eye.

She tries not to crowd Kenzo and Djamila; if they look her way, she'll be pretending to look indifferently off to the side with a pleasant smile.

The inside isn't the only place the music be pumpin'!

The various guests and party goers still arriving or making their way into the community center are treated to a wall shaking, building trembling and noise ordinance defying death metal cover of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'. Truly a mashup only the gods, or some other form of hyper dimensional spiritual energy, could have decreed into being. The music even manages to somewhat overtake the noises within the building near the entrance and is audible to those on the inside standing by said doors.

The source of this symphony is soon made clear by means of a massive yellow and green rig that pulls up into the parking lot designated for this event and then is blessedly put to rest once parking is achieved. However, such quietness doesn't last long as the ultimate source of said sound mixing makes finally makes his way into the building, emerging through the back entrance and the large loading bay doors therein to eventually make his way towards the heart of the celebration.

"Let's get this party really goin' finally! VROOOOM SKROOOM!!" Abigail's deep resonant voice bellows overtop Sarah's DJing, filling the hall up as he lifts his massive arms upwards, pointing towards the ceiling.

A small gaggle of Mad Gear associates rumble in with him, all wearing Team Frost - NFG Tee-Shirts. Two-P, J, Axl, Roxy, Bill Bull, even Bred! Poor Bred.

Team Frost may have met having been knocked from the tournament (under less then ideal circumstances) and, uh, murder, but -- you wouldn't know it to see the massive sponsor come thundering in. As the Mad Gear begin to disperse into the crowd and seek out food and drink much to the gradual nervousness of some and awe of others, Abigail begins making his way further in while sweeping a massive hand down to snatch up a chair that looks large and sturdy enough for him. A benefit of two of the Blaze Sponsors being even more massive then he is! Said fact doesn't stop him from basically being an elephant among sheep as he approaches Djamila and Kenzo without slowing down.

At some point or other whilst Hawksley is strutting his stuff, he spies Mint the pint sized Metal sponsor amongst the other partygoers. He doesn't know the woman well. Their paths haven't crossed too often, other than on a professional basis and even then, it's usually been in passing. He does admire her professionalism though and is willing to bet she has played an important part in Djamila's impressive performance in the New Fighting Generation. So when she looks his way, he rewards her with a warm smile, followed by a salute. It's no formal one that the military woman is likely to recognise, more just an aknowledgment that he's aware she's around and he's pleased to see her in attendance at the party.

Then Hawksley's focus is back on Chevy and the moment they are sharing. He feels aware of all his senses. The sound of 'Smooth' as Sarah starts to play it. The scent of lavender in the air. The taste of the ginger and alcohol tingling on his tongue. The sight of the redhead living for the moment and letting herself truly be alive. The feel of his hand against her arm, as his fingers lightly brush against it.

He laughs as she mouths the lyrics and continues, this time singing rather than saying them. "And if you said this life ain't good enough. I would give my world to lift you up."

The dulcet tones of the dark haired fella are soon drowned out by the sound of the death metal Christmas classic. "I dont remember Mariah's voice being that rough" the Cork cruiserweight comments. "Maybe she's been on the eggnog." Of course in this part of the world, the festive drink isn't usually laced with booze like it is back home.

DJ Supernova and Santana don't stand a chance of competing with Abigail and his colourful crew as they make their memorable entrance. Still, it's good to see the big man. For now the Frost sponsor seems like he's looking to hang with Djamila and Kenzo but Hawksley will seek him out when he gets a chance, to catch up and wish him all the best for the holidays.

One moment, DJ Supernova is livening up the party with good music and all that...

And then a giant party crasher invades! And it's not just any party crasher either! It's Abigail, the giant who makes Sarah quiver a little as she looks at him, but then her nervousness turns into a scowl. "What's this now? Someone crashing the party?" She folds her arms and shakes her head. "I can't have that happenin'!"

With that, Sarah literally somersaults over her turntable again and faces the others. "Seems the party is bein' crashed by Goliath!" She narrows her eyes a little. "Don't suppose anyone's got a catapult, have they? Then again, I doubt we'll find any solid stones around here either."

With a sneer, Sarah folds her arms. "This is just great, now what the heck am I supposed t'do?"

"Girl, did you forget yer Team Frost roots?!" Abigail bellows with a big, full toothed, shark like grin down at Sarah. "You aint just DJ Supernova from the block, no more? You pop on over to Team Metal and suddenly you don't know nobody else? Pssshh.."

Abigail presses a massive hand to his chest, "This aint a Team Metal gig. It's all o'NFG and friends and I'm the VIPest of the VIPs! So go put some real music on. In fact!"

Axl is suddenly there, handing Abigail a flashdrive which he pinches between massive fingers easily as thick as Sarah's forearms while somehow not crushing it to pieces.

"Why don't you mix it up with somma theeeessseeeee. Really get that dance floor thrashin and mashin'."

He offers the drive to her expectantly, still grinning while his death metal paint crinkles up around the folds of his brow and eyes. "Whaddya say?"

For a moment there, Chevy Beaumont is on cloud nine. Sunshine City went well; every chance since then where she'd been able to spend time with Hawksley just seemed to pale in comparison. But that's all inconsequential now in light of this one perfect moment: an intoxicating blend of positive vibes. Even if the NFG teams have to go their own separate ways after this, it will be worth it for this brief island of respite in which the Eire lad and the Carolina gal were free to share the good time together.

She croons back to Hawksley in reply, "I could change my life... to..."

And then the music shifts, with a guttural roar bellowing out, 'Make my wish come true!' Chevy finds her mouth moving to the replacement lyrics with mild confusion knit on her brows.

She listens to his response for a moment, before nodding with a bemused smirk: "Spiked, yeah..."

She might no longer be on cloud nine -- but at least she can roll with the change in tides. Death metal isn't... well, her -favorite-, but after spending some time acclimating herself to Babymetal, her ears don't hurt as much as they -could-.

"Hey, Mr Abigail!" she hollers out, raising both hands over her head.

She hops around for a bit, twisting her hips and shoulders to the new beat as she decides to make the most of it, grinning wildly at Hawksley.

She doesn't try to sing along to the Mariah Carey song. Reciting the Christmas song's lyrics outright seems to be where even the flirtatious hayseed draws the line.

Minal had thought her days of bracing for the inevitable were over. But just as she was starting to relax, she gets hit with a tsunami full of noise.

Though, that is one thing her prosthetics come prepared with. She reaches into her left forearm, sliding back a small panel with her thumb. And into it, she reaches for two neon orange earplugs.

It seems the Marine's able to cope with the added noise levels once those two little beauties are situated into place. As Abigail and his entourage thunder over, she's quick to toss a wave up at the goliath. She doesn't figure he means to bring any -real- trouble to her team. But she also still has an Ultratech LifeBand around her left wrist, just in case.

"Hey big guy!" she shouts back in the boom of a typical Marine voice. "How's it vroomin'?"

She's just enjoying her time there with Kenzo. Hawksley and Chevy seem to have a special moment, and she's happy for them.

There is Mint around, and when Djamila realizes, she waves toward her with a happy smile. Mint is certainly someone who made a difference in for her NFG and her life in general. She needs to let her know that. Soon, just not right now. It's a good, quiet moment.
DR Soon after, there's Abigail with his gang, loud, almost too loud for this moment, but it's a party and he's bringing his special blend. "Hey, Abigail. Been a while." She smiles. "Still vrooming I see?"

Soon there is loud death metal. A completely different style. Now, she's glad she's not dancing with Kenzo at this moment. She wouldn't want him to hurt himself. She could do a slow dance with him if the occasion happens and if he's good with it. She does feel calm for the most part, though.

Saved by metal of all things. Kenzo starts out with a psuedo-salsa dance steps with some occasional wincing but then when Abigail shows up, Kenzo suddenly stops, breathes a sigh of relief.

% As befits someone who prides himself on being prepared for a variety of situations, pulls out a pair of earplugs of his own and pops them his ear and another set is offered to Djamila as well while he uses his free hand to wave to Mint.

It's not that Kenzo objects to the genre, it's just he can't afford to have his hearing damaged when it might be mission critical to hear sounds at an extremely low volume.

He can still hear the music as evidenced by mouthing the words to the song.

It looks like Sarah Supernova is about to square off with the super sized sponsor as she somersaults over to stand up to him. Abigail is dripping with attitude as he tries to swat her efforts away, the size difference between them making it seem like the DJ is way out of her depth.

Does Hawksley wanna get between them? Not really! He cranes his neck to try and figure out what's on the flash drive but he has no chance of seeing from where he's situated on the dancefloor. He's pretty confident that whatever the contents, Sarah is not gonna be happy with Abigail and his cronies crashing her gig.

As for how the Irish fella is feeling? Like Chevy he's just gonna go with the change of pace. He starts to jump up and down, exaggerating his movements in a comical and crazy manner before settling for thrashing in time to the driving beat of the death metal. He can't seem to stop laughing as the chaos of the situation starts to go to his head. "This is fecking mad! I think I'm feeling it!"

Perhaps it's the noise that summoned him, or maybe he just has made a habit of not showing up to parties on time. After all, if it's not a fight his punctuality record is not that great. Still Buck strides in, rubbing the palm of one hand against his ear as if that's going to help him get used to the thrashing music any sooner. He's even dressed up a little, if the addition of a tie to a button up shirt is dressing up. It's not even a ress shirt, just a red plaid shirt. The jeans and boots bring it back down out of formal mode. And no hat, he's not been seen with one on since he bequeethed the last one to Ichika.

Th first thing he spots on his entrance however is Chevy and Hawksley. Even if he missed the more tender moment before the death metal, he gets the picture, and what sort of friend would he be if he didn't let out a sharp whistle, shoot the pair a massive thumbs up just to embarass.. well.. probably Chevy if possible, and then go back to scanning the room, probably looking for snacks. Definitely looking for snacks as he starts to circle the edge of the room like a shark prowling for its next meal. Which doesn't take too long as he grabs a drink in passing on his way to descend upon a charcuterie spread with a vengeance.

As soon as Chevy spots Kenzo stepping to pseudo-salsa, the hayseed pumps her fist in a cheer! "Yeah! Go go Kenzo!" She may not know how much it hurts until she sees him wince, but she knows any support she can give would be appreciated!

Of course... upshifting to death metal does put a crimp on that. She claps for Kenzo and Djamila all the same, happy to see them moving about in some capacity. She can't help but smile at the sight of Abigail handling something as tiny as a flash drive, even if she is a bit anxious at how DJ Supernova might take it.

Still -- she has to agree with Hawksley -- "Yeah!" The song still follows Mariah Carey's basic patterns, so she has a good idea of what to expect from the song. But the original lacked opportunities for a good air guitar solo; she rocks out with a big grin on her face. "Hahaha!"

The sharp whistle off to her side catches her ear though. And when she turns to the origin to find Buck standing there, she breaks out into laughter again -- and starts to wave him over! "Buck! You made it!" The more, the merrier -- and merriment is important at this time of year!

The sound of Buck's sharp whistle somehow cuts through the death metal Christmas song and has Hawksley looking around for the culprit. Seeing who it is, the brawler grins broadly and yells. "Good to see you, fella! Get your arse on this dancefloor!"

Whether the cowboy chooses to accept the invitation or not, the Irishman carries on regardless, crashing into Chevy in a playful manner, intending to entertain the redhead rather than knock her over.

Hawksley is definitely in high spirits and so far he's only had one drink! He'd go and fetch another but for now he's having much more fun dancing around and playing the fool.

As he looks around the room, he realises how much fondness he feels for all of his fellow fighters, as well as the team sponsors. It really feels like they've been through something truly special together and no matter what happens after tonight, he knows he will always treasure the memories they've made.

This building, where he's trained so hard as a Blaze Boy has been his home for most of his stay in Metro City but it's not the location that matters, it's the people he's sharing the space with. He starts to take mental images with his mind. Something to remember this evening by at a later date, without actually having to stop and take a photo on his phone.

There's an aknowledging wave from Buck to the pair, though he's more intent on stuffing his face with cured meats and cheeses at the moment, at least for a few bites which he washes down with a swig of his drink. Grabbing two more cups he finally makes his way onto the dance floor moving towards Chevy and Hawksley.

Normally he'd feel like he's intruding, but an invitation is an invitation, and he's got drinks. And if they don't want the refreshments? Well, more for him.

"Sorry I'm late, seems I missed something." He says with a glance towards Sarah and Abigail, then back to the pair.

He holds out the two cups for them to take if they want, sipping once more from his own. "I'm not sure what I grabbed." He says honestly. "But it smells good." The drinks.. smell good. Then again, it is Buck.

She smiles at Kenzo when he offers her earplugs. "Thanks, babe, I appreciate it." She takes them and puts them into her ears. This helps quite a bit, and she is really grateful, kissing Kenzo's cheek in the process.

She's happy Chevy and Hawksley still enjoy themselves too. Hopefully, Sarah can, too. She's an awesome DJ, nonetheless.

When Bucks comes into "view", she waves at him with a smile. She's moving to the music while staying with her love. Letting everything flow naturally.

It might be hard to hear, but the little bracelet of bells on her left wrist rings out with every movement from the antlered farm girl. Chevy may not have a single clue as to how she's dancing, or if her air guitar form is properly orthogonal to how a real guitar ought to be played -- but none of that really matters so much as having fun with the folks who have irrevocably changed her life. Rivals, mentors, friends -- but above all, companions on this grand journey together.

When Buck arrives, Chevy just shakes her head with a cheerful grin. "Oh, ain't no big deal -- Mr Abigail just caused a lil' record skip, that's all! We might get a battle-of-the-bands out of it."

The end of the NFG season -- and it may as well be the end of a year as well. A good time to enjoy one another's company, to pause and reflect, and to think about the wonderful friendships that have been made. And what better way to show her trust than reaching for the drink that's offered to her in supposedly good faith. "Heh, good enough for me. Down the hatch!"

And now comes the big question, as Chevy's face shows some mild confusion as she looks cross-eyed at the cup: what did she just drink?

More traditional music will likely re-assert itself soon enough as that Death Metal cover was more of an intro song then anything and once it ends the mood will change again.

Of course if Sarah takes the bait, there's no telling what songs Abigail might have digitally loaded onto that drive...

He does turn away from her briefly as he is addressed by others and his attention is pulled over the crowded room. To Mint he lifts a massive arm and then points at her and then follows it up with a type of finger gun salute as he grins and rumbles, "Hey! We still gotta collab about that horsepower you sport!"

It's been, well, ages. But he remembers her well from their encounter in the underbelly of Metro City's various fight clubs. The pint sized marine had left her mark on him then - literally!

"Oh yeah, look at you.." he also adds, attention drifting towards Djamila now. His wallet chains and the additional ones attached to those donut tires he wears makes a series of loud clinking sounds as he lowers his other hand down into his pockets as if fishing around for something.

"Yeah, I got osmethin' for -you- alright.." he rumbles, grinning that slasher-fic grin of his towards Djamila. She, obviously, isn't seeing that look but everyone else is and she can no doubt feel the charged up energy being emitted by the goliath mechanic.

When Buck comes bearing gifts, Hawksley couldn't be more thrilled. "Ah, you're a fecking legend" he praises the American lad, taking the drink from him and downing it thirstily.

"Don't worry about being late, fella. The night is young and so are we. Now show me your moves. I've seen what you can do in a fight. How about on the dancefloor?"

Drink dispensed with, Hawksley discards the paper cup by throwing it towards the nearest table. It almost lands on the wooden surface before bouncing off and ending up on the floor instead. "Ah, it's grand. I'll fetch it later" the Irishman insists. "As for Sarah and Abigail, they've got musical differences."

He lets his dark eyes wander that way for a while, checking to see if there's still a threat of fisticuffs. Then he notices the guests with the earplugs. Kenzo, Djamila and Mint all have a pair. Perhaps it's a Team Metal thing, always being prepared.

The Mariah cover comes to a conclusion and Hawksley halts, waiting to see what music will follow. It all depends on whether the acrobatic DJ is tempted by that flash drive.

Buck relinquishes the drinks to Chevy and Hawksley with a raise of his own. There's also a nod sent Djamila and Kenzo's way with a matching grin. Sure, the outcome of the NFG wasn't what he hoped, or even second hoped, but that's no reason to hold a grudge against the winner.

He does point at the pair of antlers Chevy wears. "Good idea, I didn't think of being festive." And Buck scrunches up his face, then a moment later he's sporting his own set of small antlers, though perhaps a tad more realistic. Show off.

"My moves?" He tilts his head as he listens to the music. "To this? This is more for moshing than dancing. I need something with a little twang if I'm gonna get my grove on."

As long as he doesn't start singing, as the other members of Team Thunder will attest, that sounds like a frog geting stepped on then kicked into a wall. He, like the Irishman, waits to see what song will come on next, his feet already shuffling slightly as he waits to see if the tune has the right 'twang'.

The Blaze Beastman busies himself just people watching for the moment. When Abigail trundles in, rolling on the wave of that death metal cover, Braun's ears twitch an his nose wrinkles from the magnitude of the tonal shift but he ends up just rubbing the side of his head with his massive hand. Sometimes it doesn't pay to have supernaturally enhanced senses.

As he busies himself re orientating to change in volume and tempo he catches sight of Buck and both of his bushy eyebrows lift. His fanged expression qurks into a curious smirk as he languidly rumbles, "Oh yeah..." He finishes off his can of drink and then unerringly sends it tumbling through the air towards a receptacle for it before languidly standing and beginning to slowly make his way towards the space currently occupied by the two brawlers and water bender while there is still a brief pause in the musical selections.

Djamila is Chilling with Kenzo and just enjoying the closeness and even the new music. She's happy to see everyone enjoying themselves too. She's just relaxing right now, even if she perhaps should be jumping at all and party crazy. But it's not how she feels.

She does cocks her head at Abigail though. "Oh, you do, uh? If it's friendly, I am all for it. If I did wrong by you. I just ask you to let Kenzo move away from me. He's been hurt enough." She smiles. What else can . She doesn't think she did wrong by him, but she feels something, so better safe than sorry, not that she thinks she could kick his ass if it came to that.

Mint likes just about any kind of music. Growing up where she did in northern New Jersey, she learned really quick that questioning someone's musical taste is a pretty quick way to start a fight. So while the Marine might get uptight about some things, she's perfectly content with whatever music is playing. Particularly if it gets people moving!

"Hm? Oh right, we were gonna talk about that! I guess it's fair game now that we're not competing and whatnot..." She winks up at Abigail, taking another sip of her punch. "Sorry to say though -- the trends I'm looking at might be -smaller- rather than -bigger- iron. Turbine tech's come a long way in the past few years!"

She watches Abigail with some measure of skepticism as he fishes around in his voluminous pockets. She might not be as wary as Djamila is -- but that's only because she's seen the gregarious Goliath a bit more than she has.

The Team Metal sponsor does take the opportunity to step up and place a hand gently on Kenzo's shoulder. No words -- just a friendly greeting. And maybe a way to set his mind and nerves at ease.

Chevy crosses her eyes at Buck's act of mimicry -- and her smile takes another broad upswell. Truth be told, she'd been expecting Buck to do that ever since she'd first put the antlers on.

"A little twang? Haha, I think country music might be a hard sell to all the city folk here..." And then Chevy makes a face. "I mean, unless he's a Kid Rock fan."

With the momentary pause in block-rockin' beats, Chevy finishes off her drink, tossing her cup in the trash and crouching down to pick up Hawksley's cup as well. Of course, if she's caught in the act she'd give Hawksley a brief wink of apology.

It won't be long before she sweeps back around to clap a hand on Hawksley's shoulder, and one on Buck's as well. And just as she's about to speak -- Braun walks up! "Haha -- the gang's all here! Y'all got big plans for the holidays once this is all over?"

It's an odd thing. Someone trailed behind Abigail. Not close enough to have come inside the gym right after, perhaps, but close enough to follow him all the way here.

Do not be alarmed, though. The person trailing Abigail just so happens to be an intern for Team Frost, and sent by someone else in Mad Gear.

Daisuke Kubo did, however, have to take a moment just outside the Team Blaze joint to consider his options, especially so the moment he realized there'd definitely be a lot of ddifferent people from the entirety of NFG in here. So in other words... a decent enough chance that someone from That Day back in Sunshine City might be there.

Well, at least a being in the middle of a lot of people might help with avoiding getting noticed by absolutely everyone in there. Still...

When the Intern slips inside the gym, the hood of the hoodie worn under his jacket has been pulled up over his head. That alone might make him look a little out of place, but that's the price he has chosen to pay for the extra threshold between his face and eyes of people who aren't looking at him from the direct front.

THe first step inside-- and his mind opens right then. The training from a certain other psychic not only helped him deal with the fluctuations of empathic energies within crowds, but it sharpened his own senses. A map forms within the Intern's head to complement what he can see and hear. He doesn't really need it to locate Abigail, no -- he could probably spot the Goliath Mechanic from two kilometers away with how large the guy is. But it does help him get a sense of other people in here. It's a quick scan for people he might recognize. It's... mostly people he doesn't. Faces he might remember vaguely from all the NFG media itself, but largely people he hasn't met before. Maybe two other faces who could recognize him, but those particular ones shouldn't be able make an association he *doesn't* want to be made. Unfortunately, there is *one* person here who can.

"Oh no..."

Between a couple other bodies, he manages a peek towards Chevy. She was there on That Day. Maybe she doesn't remember him, though? Maybe? Probably best not to count on it. With *that* in mind, Daisuke does in fact make a point of tugging lightly at the rim of his hood in an effort to further shield the visibility of his face, and turn to trace a path along the gym that at least makes an effort of keeping at most his side turned towards the waterbender on his way to get closer to the goliath accosting Sarah and Djamila.

When Buck sprouts his own pair of authentic antlers, Hawksley shakes his head. "Ah, now would you look at that. He has to one up you, doesn't he, Chevy?" He's teasing of course, actually being both amused and impressed by the party trick.

He spots Braun heading their way and raises his hand in greeting. "Decided to brave it have you? Good on you, fella."

He watches as Chevy cleans his cup up for him with amusement. Looking back at her Thunder teammate, he comments "I'm guessing you're used to that having shared a living space." He gives the girl a grin. "I swear I would have done it at some point, just maybe not on your schedule."

When she asks about their holiday plans, he answers with "I'll be heading back home to Cork on the twenty third." His accent pronouncing it as turd. "It'll be grand to see my family and the lads. I'm then off to England on the thirtieth." This sounds like tirtieth. "After that, I've no fecking clue. How about yourself, cailin?"

The hoodie wearing teen that enters the party isn't someone he recognises. The kid seems to be on edge about something or other but perhaps he's just socially awkward. Not wanting to stare, Hawksley looks away, content to continue his conversation with his current companions.

Reaching up, Buck taps an antler. "Hey, when this thing started I wouldn't be able to keep these out more than a minute or so. Now?" He shrugs. "Almost like breathin'. Almost."

Sipping from his own cup as he glances towards Hawksley. "Nah, I'd have picked it up by habit. My ma would have whooped my butt from here to Timbuktu if she caught me doin' that." He grins and shakes his head. "She don't care how dirty or whatever we are out in the barn, but you come in the house?" He lets out a soft whistle. "Strangely, she's so good at menacin' us the barn is usually pretty clean too."

Draining the last of his drink, he doesn't toss his cup towards the trash, or even walk there to throw it out. No, he hangs it on the prong of an antler like some festive cup shaped Christmas ornament.

Finally he locks eyes on Braun as the big beastman heads their way, fixing him with one of his signature super wide Buck grins and a cheery wave of the hand. Not that he's had much opportunity to talk with the guy, but he's being his friendly self, nonetheless.

Chevy grins back as Hawksley appraises the antlers. reaching up to cup her own antlers into a more forward rake. "I mean, his name's -Buck-, it's right there on the tin, yeah?" Can't have a buck without antlers...

She seems amused by the idea of leaving trash about. Hawksley may remember how prim and proper the Southern lass had kept her hotel room back in Sunshine City -- it's in her blood to keep things neat and tidy. That, and she remembers how unkept the place looked before it was transformed into a season finale party house.

"Yeah, I'm on the same page as Buck here," she admits with a faint tinge of pink across her cheeks.

She grins back as Braun approaches. Obviously, Hawksley has met the guy before, but -- she extends a hand out to Braun for Buck's benefit. "Oh, yeah -- Buck, this is Braun; Braun, this is Buck! Both of you got a wild side, I's kinda surprised the NFG didn't get y'all fightin' yet, haha..."

She nods back to Hawksley. "Oh, good, time with family, time with friends..." She grins cheerily -- it only takes her a moment to piece together why he might be headed to jolly ol' England, after all. And here, she bumps her shoulder against Buck's: "Well, the vacation's gonna start with Buck an' me takin' a road trip to Oklahoma. After that I'd figure on headin' back home to spend time with Momma."

She clasps her hands before her with a smile. "And then I'll finally get to work on my ride again. She's been callin' to me."

"Hell naw, man. Why you think I"m usin' this lull while our DJ's distracted to walk over 'ere?" responds Braun to Hawksley with a slightly lopsided smile. "You don't wanna see the dancin' I can get up to. Not enough room -- and not enough beer in me yet..."

Braun's grin widens as he speaks but his eyes narrow in considreation as he takes a few longer seconds to look over Chevy and Hawksley...almost assessingly...before looking away to follow Chevy's gestures to get a good look at Buck as she makes introductions.

"Riiiiiigh.." he drawls out, sardonic grin returning and eyes opening up a bit more as he turns that piercing gaze onto the other brawler. "..I gotta wonder that m'self. I suppose we -coulda- clashed in the tourney but our leadin' ladies saw fit to be better then us.." He flashes Checy a big grin but then looks back towards Buck, "That's why I wanted to come over. Nice t'meetcha Buck.."

He inclines his head, thoughtfully as he looks the young fighter over....peering at him as if literally trying to see something behind him but after a few seconds his gaze relaxes and his rumbly lazy voice picks back up again, "Got me curious.. You got osme special talents there. Almost reminds me of home.." There's a pause and he then adds with that smirk of his returning, "In a good way tho'. Let's just folk all have a bit of the wild kingdom in 'em. Some more then others. Obviously. You could say it's a bit of...tradition. Family occupation. Yeah. That's it."

With Sarah distracted for the moment and the Death Metal taker over on pause, more traditional holiday music mixed in with adjacent popular selections and genres begins to play once again, breaking the lull in music as it fills the air with its ambience encouraging further mingling, socializing, drinking and the like. Abigail's nose wrinikles a touch as this happens but more pressing concerns are on his mind as he fumbles around in his pocket..apparently not finding what he's looking for. "Aw, that's a shame!" he voices towards Mint, though his mood grows increasingly dsitracted and frustrated. "I bet we could figure somethin' out tho---Hey. What th--." He becomes more distracted though he does flicker his gaze back towards Djamila..

"The hell you talkin' about, kid?" he asks before rolling his eyes, "Man...what? I aint never heard somebody so gently ask for someone t'be spared a beatdown. Damn. If I wanted t'beat you up..I wouldn' care about polite last requests now would I? I'd just beat ya up! Now where th'hell.."

His hand emerges from his tire print jeans, empty handed and his eyes seem to shrink to near pinpricks as he grows frustrated. A slight reddening of his skin begins, his sinew beginning to creak as his temper raises..though he's really got nobody to be mad at but himself.

Then he turns, looking over the massive center and the gathered crowd. His Mad Gear companions have wisely melted into the audience, Axl literally seeming to disappear once he handed off the drive. "Vroom?" Abigail rumbles in discontent before finally turning and bellowing out a thunderous: "DAISUKE!!!!"

His deep voice rolls like a cry for help disguised as a thunderclap. No doubt shaking those nearest to him in the forms of Kenzo, Djamila and possibly Mint.

Meanwhile, Sarah is on the phone with her agent. She's not pleased about this at all.

"That's right, this here guy callin' himself Abigail has crashed the party in more ways than one! He thinks he's a bleedin' car!" A pause. "No, I ain't about to try takin' him on! The bloke's nearly nine bloomin' feet tall! I'd be outta my blasted mind!"

Sarah is about to speak again when she hears Abigail bellow. "You heard that too, right?" Another pause. "Right, so you're gonna tell the owner 'ere that I'm gonna be gettin' paid extra for what happened. And so help me if he damages my turntable..." Yet another pause. "Stay calm, OK. I'll see you later"

With that, Sarah hangs up then looks around with her arms still folded. "I can only hope that guy don't try anythin' with my equipment or I'm sendin' the bill to him... with hazard pay!"

"Ah, you're a well trained fella, so you are" Hawksley praises Buck. "I reckon my mammy spoiled me too much when I was living back home. She did all my cooking and cleaning for me. I have got better since I've been away but old habits die hard, I suppose."

He laughs as the paper cup is given pride of place attached to the antler. "Good look" he grins.

"Yeah it'll be grand to see everyone" the Irishman agrees with Chevy. "It feels like forever since I have. I reckon a road trip will be fecking amazing. I hope one of you has got a killer playlist for the trip. Please tell me that Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen is on it."

Speaking of music, it seems Sarah is fuming over the flash drive fiasco. While it gets sorted (or not), someone has stuck on a seasonal streaming playlist and set up a portable speaker. It lacks the sound that Supernova can bring but at least it gives people something to sing and dance to. Last Christmas by Wham plays, followed by Kelly Clarkson's, Underneath the Tree.

Hawksley's dark eyes look up at Braun, meeting his gaze with a questioning look as he seems to be sizing he and Chevy up but he soon breaks into a smile, when he realises the Blaze beastman and Buck haven't met before. "Well feck. We should have all had a night out long before this. I blame myself. I should have brought you together sooner. Oh well, there's still tonight to fix that. Anyone want another drink?"

Before he can get any reponses, "DAISUKE!!!!" is yelled. The name seems familiar. Wasn't that what they called the kid who helped beat up Chevy and Ichika in the Frost Warehouse?

She keeps her head toward Abigail. "If you wanted to beat me, you would beat me. But I haven't been asking for mercy for myself, have I? Sue me, I consider you a friend until further notice." She sticks out her tongue. "I had fun at your place, and you were a good host. If you're here as a friend, even better. I really don't feel like fighting right now or getting beat up."

She watches Abigail as he keeps looking for something. It doesn't seem like she knows what it is at the moment."

She turns her head a bit, feeling the others around but not disturbing them. At least until Abigail says 'Daisuke' so loudly. Good thing she has earplugs from Kenzo to dampen sounds. It still isn't the most pleasing thing. She still manages to say. "Hey, Daisuke!" Just not as loudly. It's nice another friend is here.

So much for stealth and all.

The goliath's yell actually somehow manages to result in the hood of the Intern - who had actually managed to make it all the way up to roughly four meters behind the giant - to be blown back by the sheer volume of air leaving the mechanic's mouth with the thundering yell. Revealing thusly a mess of hair so red that it might as well be a bright beacon of light amidst the ocean of people.

"...Yes, here," Daisuke grumbles after five seconds, with his eyes still squinted shut from the shock of something so loud assaulting his eardrums. His hearing's probably going to be ringing for the rest of the day after that. "Sheesh..."

A step forward. A second, a third -- all the way up to Abigail, where, of all things, the redhead actually lightly taps the knuckles of one gloved hand against the giant's abdomen while his head cranes far, far back to let him look directly up towards the much taller man's face. "You had the forethought to assume I'd come save your ass but not to actually bring it along yourself? Are you an idiot?"

...Yes, he actually just kind of chastised Abigail.

A sigh of exasperation. Partly for the exact thing he was trying to avoid happening, partly for needing to this in the first place. But either way, the redhead promptly steps around Abigail while digging for something in an inner breast pocket of his jacket. Coming out with a big envelope -- that he then offers towards Djamila with both hands in a slight bowing motion.

"I believe he wanted to bring you this, Fadel-san."

What Abigail does overhear of Sarah's tirade causes the goliath to just double take at her before simply mtttering, "Maybe she got hit one too many times on the head during her NFG matches. Damn."

He doesn't dwell on that too much longer however as Djamila's words and her own call for Daisuke returns his full attention to her.

"Girl, please. You consider everybody who breathes in your direction a friend from what I gathered. Plus, I never said nothin' about you asking for mercy or gettin 'beat up in the first place for that matter.! -You- brought that up. Sometimes it's just better to just be quiet. Aint nobody thinkin' about what you feel like doing or not doing ." snorts Abigail in response to the dancers sass.

The Mad Gear's chief manner is brusque and matter of fact as usual. Unapologetic in his chiding.

Only to be chided in return by Daisuke's arrival and bold addressing of the behemoth.

Abigail stares, wide eyed, almost in disbelief at the words spilling forth from his intern. Time itself seems to freeze as if waiting for the goliath to reach down and wrap his immense hand around Daisuke's skull and then slowly begin squeezing. For a moment there is only The Mad Gear Titan and the Intern.

"Daisuke..." he begins with a low rumble as the other Mad Gears turn and stare, too far away to try and save the young man and likely unwilling to risk themselves to try even if they were close enough.

"I'm so proud of yoU!" bellows the behemoth.

"First Buford and now you?! I got the touch! I really can make a man out of anyone! You'll get that drivers liscense yet! You just wait till you see that course I got planned for yoU!"

With a sweeping gesture of his enormous long arm the envelop is snatched right up from Daisuke's outstretched hand and he bring sit up in a big flourish ..and then offers it down towards Djamila with a big smile on his face.

"Right you go. For you. You earned this back at the car trashin' party and I never had a chance to give it to you. It aint much compared to your current prize but its yers. You were the only NFGer brave enough to come by and you proved yer strength. Congratulations on winnin' that and NFG, girl!"

"... Uh... playlist?" Chevy scratches the back of her neck. "That's a good idea, actually! I actually ain't even sure what all kinda music we like." She's not averse to music with a little 'twang' like Buck prefers, but... she would have to admit, it's not her first choice. "But I guess subjectin' each other to our musical tastes is part of the real test of friendship, ain't it?" The hayseed gives Buck another light and friendly shoulder check, snickering all the while. "It'll be nice to check out the -middle- of the country for once," she notes with a smile.

As for Braun's sideways compliment, Chevy holds up her hands in an innocent plea. "Hey, you had me on the ropes! It warn't by any more than the hair on a mouse's chin." She grins amicably back at Braun. ... Though her eyes widen once she hears that there's apparently a whole family history for Braun's superhuman traits -- something that draws an impressed whistle from the hayseed.

Chevy does relax as the music starts playing. She might not be paying full attention to the discussion between Sarah and her agent, but she hears Christmas music and it's enough to get her swaying along with the beat, and that's what counts for the party-mode farm girl.

"Yeah, I could go for somethin'!" is her answer to Hawksley...

Right before Abigail booms out 'DAISUKE!' with deafening force. Covering her ears, she turns to face the Japanese boy with redder hair than her own -- and finds her hands clasping together, as she takes a wary step backwards.

Of course -- she can't help but overhear -some- of the conversation between Abigail and Djamila. In opposition to the booming voice, Abigail's overwhelming presence -- and the way in which he reacts to Daisuke's insult -- calms her considerably. With the realization that violence probably would -not- last long with the titan present, her tension dissipates rapidly.

"Hey, y'all..." she grins, lapsing back into a dance to the rhythm of the music. The lyrics, again, are a -little- too much for her to sing along with. But thankfully she doesn't have to worry about too much.

Buck hooks his thumbs in his beltloops as he returns Braun's appraising glance, though he keeps his easy, relaxed posture. "Honestly, I expected to be thrown in a ring against you, but I guess the producers had other ideas." He shakes his head, making his antler cup wiggle.

His grin breaks a bit wider at Braun's comments. "Who knows? Maybe we're related somehow, it's supposedly somethin' in my blood." He barks a laugh, tossing his head back as he does so. "Wouldn't that be somethin?"

As the topic shifts to the roadtrip, and more importantly the playlist, he looks sideways at Chevy. "I was figurin' one person drives and the other controls the tunes, so that works well enough for me. Though if you like my walk on music, I don't think you'll have much issue with my kind of twang."

It seems likely that Daisuke is the lad that Hawksley suspects, given that he's hanging around Abigail and has a shock of bright red hair, which he's heard him described as having. There's a glance given to Chevy to see if she's concerned by his presence at the party. The Irishman can tell that she's a little shaken but there's no chance of her being bothered by any bullies with himself, Buck and Braun close at hand, not to mention her own considerable combat skills.

Nevertheless, he watches the exchange between the boy and the Frost sponsor warily. The smaller and younger male seems to be handing something to Djamila. Surely this isn't sabotage for her winning the tournament?

Abigail's body language certainly seems hostile towards the dancer but Hawksley can't quite hear what's being said over the music and chatter from other guests. Before anything can kick off however, it all seems to be settling down and there's smiles all round. He shrugs his shoulders and turns back to the group gathered on the dancefloor.

"Right, one for me, one for Chevy. Ah feck it. I'll just fetch something for all four of us."

He disappears into the crowd before coming back a few minutes later with four cans of 'Lucky's Fiery Ale'. "I won't tell if you don't" he says with a wink towards Chevy and Buck. He opens his own can and then takes a drink before starting to dance again. Kylie Minogue's version of 'Christmas Wrapping' is playing. It's a little poppy for his tastes but he goes with the groove anyway.

She removes one of the earplugs so she can at least hear Daisuke better. What she hears as he talks smack to Abigail is quite interesting.

She grins at Abigail. "Nan, not that much, but thanks I guess. I am friendly to sue me. She laughs softly then she watches his reaction to Daisuke.

What might be surprising is how well Abigail takes it. Well, he's happy about it, so that's all good. She looks at Daisuke's envelope. Or Rather Abigail's Envelope. She's not sure about it until Abigail himself explains what is going on. "Oh thank you." She ends up taking it. "I enjoyed coming there. It's a shame no one else did. But that's cool. I appreciate it, Abigail." She releases her staff, which sticks upright, and hits Abigail over a massive arm in a friendly gesture. "Thank you for the congrats. It was a lot of fun overall." She grins. "The first NFG winner. I am very happy and honored by that." She laughs.

After that, she moves be puts an arm around Kenzo again, after putting the money between her breasts. She feels good chilling with him.

Yeah... Kenzo definitely needed those earplugs between the volume of the music and the volume of Abigail himself, hearing loss would be a forgone conclusion. In fact the sheer force of the voice can be felt in his bones making getting a front row seat to his shout a not fun experience. His hair getting blown back by the shout also made thing interesting for the ninja.

The moment things seem like they're getting quieter, Kenzo takes out his own earplugs to look at the envelope. He does manage to catch the comment about making a man out of Buford which creates a slight twitch on his face but then disappears as quickly as it appeared. That guy was his main motivation for not showing up to the Frost event since why make himself miserable by being around people he knows he doesn't like if he doesn't have to.

"Daisuke-san? Nice to meet you."

He bows with a slight cringe before turns towards Djamila who happens to be sliding the envelope into her cleavage and then putting her arms around him. He's going to enjoy that moment for a bit before he turns to both Mint and then Abigail.

"What would you consider your favorite part about being sponsors for the NFG?" He quickly looks to Mint and adds, "And no fair saying watching Djamila win since I'm looking more for the process of being a sponsor rather than the end result."

Mint is -really- glad she had her earplugs in. She'd normally had some sort of music playing while she trains or works, but -- in those instances, it's a measure of control over a situation where control is required. Here? She just wants to keep the highs and lows filtered out to a more reasonable range.

That, and as one of the few sponsors with a reputation for responsibility, she's been hesitant to go all-in on drinking like other partygoers have.

So... she's content to watch the antler siblings and the Blaze bros for a moment, keeping the discussion between Abigail and Daisuke in her periphery; even with the earplugs, it's not hard to eavesdrop.

It becomes clear that she was, in fact, listening, when she turns her head, eyes wide, to Daisuke -right- as he makes his comment. Thankfully, she gets to relax once she sees Abigail make light of it -- and grins.

She's in the midst of sipping her punch when Kenzo asks his question, though. And that...

Did he just insist on Mint being -honest- about her feelings? An embarrassed redness floods into her cheeks.

"So you're just gonna put us on the spot like that?"
Mint barks out a laugh.
She holds up a mechanical finger, closing her eyes.
It takes her a bit to shift gears.

A couple moments later, she lowers her finger as a faint smile returns to her face.

"Well, we hit the ground running with the best team, of course." She winks -- to anyone who might be looking at her, really.

"But... while you guys were good, there's always room to improve. My -favorite- part was helpin' to solve problems with you all."

She holds up her left hand, slinging the LifeBand around as a subtle callback to how hard she'd worked to get -that- situation straightened out with Kenzo. She nods to Kenzo, then Djamila, and Sarah. "Each of you came to me with a problem -- a chance to help you out. And I really liked helping solve those."

She sips her punch, savoring it.

"I'd get specific, but, well. Trade secrets and all."

The thought of Buck being somehow related to Braun brings about a small snicker from Chevy. That would definitely explain a few things...

The hayseed seems to consider the notion of having the passenger control the tunes. She looks introspective, as she remembers the numerous road trips she's been on in the past, lacking such a policy... "Huh, that'd solve a lot of problems..." She smiles and nods, clenching a fist lightly. "Alright! Well, I'll put a playlist together I think we'll both enjoy!"

When Hawksley glances over, it seems Chevy's a little nervous. But once she realizes -why- he's looking at her, her nose crinkles as she flashes an apologetic grin. The hayseed may have had a moment of doubt, but she feels safe here with everyone around.

She lets herself sway to the music as Hawksley runs off for drinks, letting her attention drift to Sarah, then Braun, and then finally over to the Frost/Metal summit. She's only partially paying attention, opting instead to lose herself in the music.

"Haha," she notes to Buck. "You reckon our sponsors are even gonna make it here?"

The beastman's grin widens a bit more as he hears Buck, seemingly quite pleased at his response. His smile then fades to a more thoughtful looking closed expression and he nods his head a few times in thought.

"Maybe. Maybe. Course just because NFG's over doesn't mean we can't still have a go at it... I'd be curious to see for m'self and then maybe I could tell y'more... You might be surprised.."

The bruiser lifts his hand up and rugbs his jaw lightly, looking contemplative until Abigail's voice explodes over the entire room and the fur on his body literally seems to stand up from the force of it.

"Oi. You'd think I'd be used to that given Big Z and K but I guess you never can get used to it..."

As talk of the roadtrip settles in among them he nods his head and then turns, "See y'folks aorund. I think my bike's callin' me.." He gives a quick languid wave and begins heading off the dance floor again and towards a rear exit.

"Girl, what'd I just say about it bein better to keep quiet. You keep throwin' that 'sue me' around like it's supposed to mean somethin'." counters Abigail with a finger wag at Djamila. Naturally she can't see that but his tone should be clear, "Yout aint gotta always explain yourself or have a comeback y'know. There's an art t'sass. Keep workin' on yers."

That said, the giants mood does seem genuinly friendly and pleased at it all as he also adds, softening the bluntness of his words, "..And no problem. You both can come by anytime..." his eyes glance to Kenzo as well, including him in that invite but then he recoils in surprise as if being caught off guard by his question,

Mint answers more swiftly and easily then himself. He makes a face at her comment about 'best team' but he also saw the wink so it's entirely likely he's just playing into her comment on reflex. They did end up with the winner after all. He then inclines his head, makeup crinkling into the folds of his bulldoggish face before finally saying, "...I liked feelin' like I was, I dunno, offerin' something to folk and that they were, I dunno, listening and tryin' to improve and making improvements."

Did Abigail just imply he -liked- helping people? Not exactly a Mad Gear Chief, terror of Metro City, sort of vibe is there but..paherps ther's more to Mad Gear then all of that.

"Yeah, I probably liked that the most. I'd have liked winnin' a whole lot as well but y'know... you win and y'lose, right? I've won plenty and lost plenty. So it wasn't even about that in th'end to me. She's right, everybody's got room to improve, even sponsors. I skipped out on World Warrior but I got other plans. I might even end up fightin' onna y'all. Who knows? I liked bein' part of that."

With that, the giant turns, intending on takign his leave for another part of the building. "Keep vroomin' with max power! Have fun Daisuke!!" he bellows before starting to walk off.

Iggy Pop has a guest appearance on the Kylie track, which gets Hawksley thinking about some of his music. Hopefully Sarah will get back to running the show and people can start making requests again. He seems to have dancing whilst drinking down to a fine art, somehow managing to time his swigs so he never spills a drop.

Chevy's mention of sponsors has him wondering about his own. There's not a sign of any of them, which is strange since they're on home turf and Kongou is supposed to have organised the whole shebang.

As Braun decides to call it a night, Hawksley calls after him. "Have fun out there and if I don't see you before, happy holidays!" Now Hawksley is the only Blaze representative in the whole place.

Where, pray tell, are the Blaze Sponsors, he asks?

While, waiting to make an entrance, that's where!"

"MERRRRYYY CHRISTMASS!!" thunders Kongou's voice, bellowing through the hall as he bursts into view from the back of the Blazin' HQ into the main party hall, dressed in a full on open shirted Santa Clause outfit, complet with white beard strapped around his chin and huge red hat though he looks more like some norse or barbarian image of ol' Saint Nick given his massive physique. His arms basically treating the sleeves of the costume like saranwrap for how visibly they bulge and contort as he streteches his massive arms wide. A massive ornate cloth bag is flung about before he slings it up over his shoulders and booms thundreously, "Yes, welcome! Good cheer! Eat! DRINK! Be Merry! For tomorrow we die! --- No wait, wrong script! Nevemrind that!"

He thunders forward, steps shaking the room as he continues bellowing, "Raise the music! Where's the mistletoe! I wanted misletoe! Ah there it is!"

He points out over the dance floor where the NFG younsters have been congragating and then over the tables where the others have bene sitting. Strategically placed as always.

"Enjoy yourselves! Also gifts! Do not forget to take a reusable canvas bag, yes? Specially enchanted to have a special knick knack gift of your desire! Just don't try and return it--it'll evaporate into mana and faery dust!"

He comps forward cheerfully.

Somewher out in the back, a confused Abigail is standing with a large monster truck tire with a giant christmas bow on it that had been gited to him. "Huh!"

"The night remains young! Continue the revelry!" commands Kongou as he spins in place partially before tromping further in.

As failry usual, the shouting and hollaring does littl to both Buck. Having three brothers makes you used to sudden bouts of high volume yelling. Instead he nods his asent to Braun. "I'd love to cross fists with you. Just let me know." He says easily, happily accepting the can from HAwksley with a sly grin of his own.

Watching the king of beasts fighter head off he looks at his two friends and nods. "I like him." Simple as that.

"Eh, just pick whatever, Chevs. I'm easy enough. Well, nothing that might put me to sleep. Driving, you know."

He looks around then shakes his head at the question. "Nah. I don't think they will." He shrugs. They were good teachers, not exactly party animals, with the slight maybe on the Princess, but no, not the type he would envision coming here. "Maybe they'll surprise me." He cracks the can and takes a swig, looking around the room.

"Going back to college is going to be weird."

He wouldn't tell if she wouldn't, eh? Chevy is quick to accept the can of Lucky's Fiery Ale. She'd been wanting to try it for quite some time, but she didn't want Hawksley to get in trouble for distributing alcohol to a minor while on camera. ... but that's less of a concern now! Here, she can just say 'it's dark' and also 'i'm having giant dudes shouting across the room' for plausible deniability. Popping the can's tab, she takes a tentative sip...

It's not the sort of citrus or fruit flavor she usually prefers. It tastes like *freedom* -- rebellion has its own appeal! -- and she gives a hearty nod to Hawksley in thanks. Of course, now she too has to figure out how to dance without spilling a mostly-full drink can.

"Okay, yeah! Take it easy, Braun! Happy holidays!" Chevy hadn't expected him to dip out, but... she has to admit, the thought of going on a long drive on a cool night -is- rather appealing.

And not long after that, the biggest man in the room decides to make his exit as well. "Oh, hey -- take care, Mr Abigail! Stay in touch, okay?"

She smiles back at Hawksley as he becomes the last Blaze standing. Even after just a few sips, the fiery ale is already starting to bring a warm glow to her cheeks.

She is, however, caught on guard as an even more thundrous voice assaults her eardrums. She tries to clap both hands over her ears, but the hand holding the can of ale makes for an imperfect seal. She's never met Kongou before -- and it should be obvious now as she stares back at him in shock! Wincing, she starts to stagger back from the dance floor... only to freeze in place as the largest Blaze sponsor -orders- her to continue...! Frozen in fear, she turns to Sarah, to Mint, to Kenzo and Djamila, before finally looking back to Buck and Hawksley for guidance. It seems that the announcement to continue revelry has stopped her in her tracks!

The sound of "MERRRRYYY CHRISTMASS!!" vibrates around the whole of Blazin' HQ. Not since Noddy Holder yelled "It's Christmas!" at the start of the 1973 Slade Christmas classic, 'Merry Xmas Everybody' has there been a more fearsome festive greeting.

Is Hawksley rattled by the sound? Maybe a little but probably not as much as most, given he's grown accustomed to the larger than life sponsor over the last three months. "Kongou! How's it going, fella?" he yells back, but even the boisterous Celt can't match the volume of his mentor.

The Santa costume is a sight to behold and Hawksley is thrilled to see his sponsor getting into the seasonal spirit with such enthusiasm. The bungled quote washes over his wavy haired head. It's been some time since the Catholic boy studied his Bible.

At the mention of mistletoe, the Irishman is looking around with interest. He glances above them to see some situated over the dancefloor. "What do you reckon, Buck? Do you fancy a snog?" he teases.

He'll definitely grab one of those gifts at some point too. He's more than curious about what has been chosen for him.

He lets out a cheer as Chevy and Buck sample his own brand of ale. The nod and expression on the female Thunder's face is encouraging as a response and he gives her a cheery smile. He's not just representing the brand for the money. He actually really likes the taste, since it combines two of his favourite things, alcohol and ginger.

Right now however, the hayseed is probably too busy being startled by Kongou's extreme entrance. "He won't harm you" he assures the redhead. "At least I don't think he will! He's always been pretty friendly with me. I've had some good times with him, Zog and Braun."

He gives a grin to Buck. "You'd have fit in perfectly, though I know you were more than happy at Thunder."

The sound of "MERRRRYYY CHRISTMASS!!" vibrates around the whole of Blazin' HQ. Not since Noddy Holder yelled "It's Christmas!" at the start of the 1973 Slade Christmas classic, 'Merry Xmas Everybody' has there been a more fearsome festive greeting.

Is Hawksley rattled by the sound? Maybe a little but probably not as much as most, given he's grown accustomed to the larger than life sponsor over the last three months. "Kongou! How's it going, fella?" he yells back, but even the boisterous Celt can't match the volume of his mentor.

The Santa costume is a sight to behold and Hawksley is thrilled to see his sponsor getting into the seasonal spirit with such enthusiasm. The bungled quote washes over his wavy haired head. It's been some time since the Catholic boy studied his Bible.

At the mention of mistletoe, the Irishman is looking around with interest. He glances above them to see some situated over the dancefloor. "What do you reckon, Buck? Do you fancy a snog?" he teases.

He'll definitely grab one of those gifts at some point too. He's more than curious about what has been chosen for him.

He lets out a cheer as Chevy and Buck sample his own brand of ale. The nod and expression on the female Thunder's face is encouraging as a response and he gives her a cheery smile. He's not just representing the brand for the money. He actually really likes the taste, since it combines two of his favourite things, alcohol and ginger.

Right now however, the hayseed is probably too busy being startled by Kongou's extreme entrance. "He won't harm you" he assures the redhead. "At least I don't think he will! He's always been pretty friendly with me. I've had some good times with him, Zog and Braun."

He gives a grin to Buck. "You'd have fit in perfectly, though I know you were more than happy at Thunder."

She ends up laughing, then smiles at Abigail. "Thanks. I am sure at one point you will get a visit." She still looks amused but doesn't go further with that.

When Kenzo asks his question, she loves it. I's a good question. She gives him a squeeze to show how she feels about it without interrupting him or the answers. Both Mint and Abigail answer, and she enjoys the insightfulness. To be fair, she probably wouldn't have thought asking about this. All she knows is that Mint helped her a lot. She will always be grateful.

When Kongou comes in, it doesn't go unnoticed, especially with the thunderous "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" She makes sure to settle her earplug correctly and then answers the big guy in between some of the talking, trying not to interrupt anyone close by. "Merry Christmas to you, big guy!!" She says with a wave. She does consider most people in the NFG friends. But nothing wrong with that...

Amidst the thunderous roar of holiday cheer and the booming heavy metal beats of the DJ the sound of the massive facility's doors swinging open is but a single drop in the vast ocean of audial sensation that the party-goers are submerged in. It would be entirely understandable for that small interruption to go entirely unnoticed, lost in the din of conversation as the party's massive host draws all eyes upon himself with his boisterous return to the party floor. With gifts and booze being passed out in equal measure there are far more interesting things to keep track of than the doors.

The figure that steps through that entryway is likewise easy to miss in the commotion. With everyone decked out in festive holiday colors the bright red and white of her silhouette blends into the background almost seamlessly. In the days of recent past, there would be other tell-tale indicators to give away the young girl's presence - a sudden increase in the ambient temperature; the smell of ash and smoke; a sense of subtle wrongness in the air.

Of these three things, only the last makes itself present upon her entry into the room. Something about the atmosphere seems to change. The difference is faint at first - a slight tugging at the edge of thought, a gentle but insistent demand from the subconscious to take notice of something important. The rumbling beats of the music begin to blend together ever so slightly as if the quality of the audio has degraded. The brightly flashing holiday lights and festive decorations seem to grow a bit more dull to the eye as if their colors aren't quite as vivid or interesting as first imagined.

Of course, none of these things are true. Though freed from her shackles, the prison of flesh she finds herself bound to yet stifles the full majesty of her existence. Even were she free to reclaim her former power in its entirety, the days of warping reality to her whims has long since passed. Humanity has moved on from the need for gods and devils. In the past few weeks since her rebirth, she had sought out former friends and allies, attempted to rally those who might be sympathetic to her cause, only to find that the few who remained are but shadows of their former selves.

But, diminished or not, enough of the spark of divinity remains within this shell of flesh and blood to make the minds of mortals take notice. It isn't a conscious effort on her part nor could she do much to hide it even were she of the mind to try. It is simply a facet of her own existence and theirs, an immutable aspect of reality. Like the eternal dance of the earth and moon, the sheer mass of her soul draws attention her way, demands the recognition of those incapable of withstanding the incredible gravity of her presence.

A god walks among the mortals and by comparison everything else seems somehow diminished.

Though many eyes will inexorably be drawn her way in time, a quick glance towards the gathered throng is all the attention Junko provides to party-goers for the moment. With a slow and deliberate thoughtfulness her gaze instead sweeps from one side of the room to the other, bright red eyes aglow with molten power and curiosity.

The small girl takes in the sights in silence, her focus lingering on the various decorations adorning the vast space. Her eyes sparkle like someone who has found something new and wonderful, an almost child-like look of awe plastered on her face that seems incongruous with the entity of hateful rage described by her former jailer.

"Aww yeah, this is good stuff." Buck murmurs as he takes another sip of his purloined booze. Though his eyes are soon drawn up to the mistletoe then over to Hawksley. "What? And piss off all your female fans? Not to mention.." His eyes flick in Chevy's direction. "Pass, no offense." He even adds a chuckle in at the end.

His laugh grows a little louder at the indication he would have done well in Blaze, and gives a nod. "Yeah, I can see that. But you know, ev en if Metal took the crown in the end, picking Thunder was probably the best thing I did. Made friends I wouldn't trade anythin' for, and I wouldn't want to change that." Aww, someone's getting a little sappy. He even gives Chevy a little nudge with his elbow.

"Wait. Did someone say presents?" Buck is suddenly perked up to max, sure, parties are fun but who doesn't love presents? He's glancing around for said dufflebags, the cup on his antlers threatening to fly off with how quick he's moving his head about in his search.

"There's one thing I really need this Christmas, and if my luck holds out.." He mutters softly.

Everything is somehow diminished now?

Not according to the walking compressed embodiment of power dressed as Santa Claus!

Kongou's bombastic energy seems to roll forth in full on merriment as an invisible thunderous wave that competes briefly with and then crashes over top the pressure presented by Junko as the two similarly natured begins occupy the same space and the revelry and joy of the season takes precedence ending the shivers and lack of certainity and instead urging cheers and good tidings as voices lift to greet the colossus with resounding, "Merry CHristmas!" and 'Happy Holidays!" and more therein. The giant belts out a laugh, dismissing the atmosphere with his infectious confidence as he spins and then grants Djamila and those at her table a laree courteous bow. "To our victor." he rumbles, voice a more managable volume now. He then straightens up, answering Buck's query from a far. "YEs, presents! Behold!" He gestures towards the table with the bags upon them, "These await! A memory of the NFG to take with you and hold close to remind you of trials, tribulations, triumph and joy! Because it is the journey moreso then the end that matters. Whether you lie in victory or defeat in the ring - that matters not as much as the change you endured along the way. My the enchantments upon the bags grant you something to that memory.."

With that, he's suddenly upon the group at the dance floor first, reaching a massive hand into his presents bag as he looms overhead and gives those there a large smile, beaming a friendly cheery look at the concerned CHevy. From the bag he withdraws an ornate large ale mug fit for a viking king as he leans in and bows towards Hawksley.

"For yooouuuu.." he rumbles, "A drinking mug threaded with shavings of the bark of Yggdrasil and bound with metals cured by the crafters of Nidavellir. THree times a month you need only speak the name of the drink you desire and it will fill it and grant you the purest unfiltered taste of the drink you summoned, whose memory will stay with you for long after you have completed the draught." Hawksley would find his initials on the bottom of the gift, carved in elegantly into the wood.

"-Mortal Drinks-" he adds with a wink, "If you attempt an elixir of immortality it will sadly not work."

If the source and nature of the object is true or if he's just simply weaving stories...who can say! He's certainly not going to!

It's... a lot for Chevy to take in.
And the farm girl tends to process events at... a slower pace.

On the one hand -- there's the offer of mistletoe. Does she -want- to take Hawksley up on his offer? Her reddening cheeks show that the 'yea' column is filling up. She's definitely picturing how such an exhilarating experience would go.

But she's also flashing forward to a situation where a certain -someone- finds out about that. As she's certain would happen. And that... is causing a bit of a short-circuit in the hayseed's wiring. An impasse on what to do next.

She might have stayed quiet if Buck hadn't elbowed her. Jostled out of her momentary freeze, she's quick to blurt out, "... I won't be ticked off if that's what you really want, Buck..." Barking out a small laugh, she masks her embarassment by taking a big gulp of her ale.

The underage farm girl, though, seems to have forgotten that the drink is alcoholic. And she starts to cough.

It takes her a few moments of wheezing and coughing to get that situation under control. But even then -- she's left with the quandary of what to do now. She surveys the room -- Djamila and Kenzo, Sarah and Kongou. And, particularly with the latter -- she starts feeling crushed under the weight of expectation.

Her mother's voice pops back into her head -- the little reminder to live in the moment.
And she shakes her head, cheeks reddened. It's all too much to bear.

Meekly, she leans closer to Buck.
"S-sorry, I'm... I'm gonna visit the little girls' room."
She whispers, so that only Buck can hear.

And then she shuffles off to the restrooms.

In her turn to leave -- she could have -sworn- she'd seen a familiar face. But as the redhead flees, she looks down at the can in her hand. It... it couldn't have been Junko, right? It's... just the ale, right?

Does Hawksley notice Junko's entrance? Not at first. He's absorbed in those around him on the dancefloor, drinking and dancing with a daft smile on his face. But within minutes he senses a certain presence in the air, a shift in the vibe of the party. Someone or something has arrived.

If he was back home in a bar, his honed instincts would recognise it as trouble about to kick off. Something he has always thrived on. Here though, on this happy occasion where the fighters and those who've assisted them in their time in the New Fighting Generation are taking a much needed chance to let their hair down, it's definitely not welcome.

His dark eyes are drawn towards the new arrival, compelled to look, like when a pretty girl enters a room. But in this case the pull comes from power. The fearsome force has a face that's familiar. Junko has decided to show up to the party.

He turns to look at his Thunder friends to see if they've noticed their teammate and if so, gage their reactions. Buck is enjoying his beer and buzzing at the prospect of presents. Chevy is seeming to have some sort of coughing fit. "Did the drink go down the wrong way?" he wonders, looking a little concerned, and then Kongou comes to join them.

The giant's infectious energy has the Irishman giving him his full attention. As his gift is given, the Blaze boxer takes hold of it in his drinking hand and lets out a gleeful gasp. "Jesus, fella. This is the finest fecking present I've ever had, so it is."

He's so busy admiring the beauty of the mug, complete with the carved initials of 'HM' that it takes him a couple more minutes to absorb what Kongou said fully. "I can magic myself whatever I want?" he checks. "I'll be able to have Guinness anywhere in the world without worrying about the freshness being lost on the way from Ireland. I can have any fancy arse cocktail I want without having to mess around making it. I could have the most expensive whiskey in the world."

He holds his free hand to his heart and pledges to his sponsor. "I'll treasure it always, so I will. You're a true gentleman."

As for the warning about attempting an elixir of immortality, it hadn't even crossed Hawksley's mind. What fun is life if there's infinite amounts of it?

Proud of his present, he turns back to show it off to Chevy and Buck but the former is nowhere to be seen. Maybe she's gone to the bathroom or she's realised Junko has shown up and decided to feck off. "Did you see where Chevy went?" he asks Buck.

There's a tenseness to Buck that indicates yes, he has seen his teammate. Or at least has noticed her presence, but he's also doing his absolute best to completely ignore her arrival. Maybe it's his own connection to a divinity that cued him off to her presense, or maybe he's keeping one of his senses higher than the others, whatever it is, he doesn't want his good mood spoiled.

There's a frown but a nod to Chevy as she excuses herself, he understands at least and doesn't try to entice her to stay longer on the dancefloor. "Hollar if you need anything." He murmurs back softly.

But Kongou's presence soon pulls his attention away from anything Thunder related, arching his brow as he listens to the terms of Hawksley's gift, staring at the mug. "Yer gonna need to use that for some super expensive whiskey just so I can see what the big deal is about." He says with a laugh. "And to say I've had some." He rubs his chin, nodding enthusiastically to the idea.

Hawksley's query brings him back to reality though. "Bathroom." He says evenly. Though his eyes flick in Junko's direction for the benefit of the Irishman. He doesn't seem too worried the firebug is going to be a problem. Not with a handful of the sponsors either in the building or close enough to come running.

When Abigail finally starts to leave, Sarah breathes a sigh of relief. She goes over to try to turn the music back to the standards she's set for parties. After it's back on, her usual smile returns. "Well, that wasn't exactly cricket, but all's well that ends well!" She says into the microphone before leaping over her turntable again and starting to show off some Capoeira-inspired moves.

She's here to liven up the party, so why not?

At the same time, though, she's hoping Abigail doesn't return...

The departure of Chevy is noted for how can the giant not know all that goes on in his domain. But his mood remains jovial and the energy upon the crowd unbent.

Alas, nay, Abigail is not likely to return though he was welcomed and invited as all sponsors were. Even on a night of holiday cheer he's got books to balance and also a gift of his own to appreciate for Kongou is most magmonious and bombastic, even to his fellow (little) giants. Sarah has nothign to fear, nevermind that Abigail was her sponsor at one point.

The music had already re-asserted itself before she returned to the table but now that her own brand of music has taken hold, Kongou nods in approval. "Ah yes. The other DJ."

He then returns his gaze to Hawksley as the Blaze Brawler gushes over his gift. Kongou merely grins large and says nothing at first..but then slowly lifts his hand to his ear, his white beard wiggling back and forth as he rumbles, "What's this I hear. The aether whispers to me of a Butch Cassidy and The Wild Ones and there is another one touched by the wild in my presence..."

He dramatically reaches a huge hand up and then into his bag before pulling forth an extremely stylish looking cowboy hat. "One thousand x's upon this henschel hat, I hear, and then some - anointed with the spirits of the wood and the wild to whisper their encouragement and songs of strength and confidence into ears of the one destined to wear it, stirring up your blood as you hear the voice of that which lies within."

He twists his enormous arm around, lowering the ht towards Buck as his mouth pulls back into a full toothed grin. "May the ancestral power within you urge you on to the same scale of legend as Butch Cassidy and The Wild Ones - except legally of course."

Since the day of her rebirth, Suzaku has been trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of wonder and fury. Captivity by mortal hands had driven her to near the brink of madness. That intense hatred had been a poison, a cancer that ate away at her captors from the inside, consuming their petty mortal life force as the price for daring to imprison a god. Taking revenge against this affront and unleashing righteous fire upon humanity had been the singular focus of her existence for near on a thousand years.

Upon emerging into the world once more, however, she had found herself in an unusual dilemma. The rebirth had not been as complete as it should have. Whatever foolishness her most recent jailor had gotten up to had done something irreversible, entwining her divine essence with that of the mortal child's. Though she is no longer caged the shackles of mortality yet bind her potential. As if she were not already frustrated enough!

Hampered by this unexpected limitation and devoid of the assistance of her fellow kami, the plan to burn every single one of these mortal cretins to ash hit something of a snag. As so, if raw divine power was not hers to command then she would have to resort to a more tactical approach. The first step of which was to learn as much about this strange modern world as possible.

To say that she had been caught off guard by the scale of advancement mankind had made in her absence would be an understatement. Where once there had been tiny villages composed of straw huts and wooden cottages there now stood towering edifices that carpeted the very horizon. Carriages of iron without horses filled streets of stone in numbers that defied belief. Machines the size of small stones danced with electric life performing mundane functions that even the greatest mages of her time would have balked at.

And they had done it all without the need for gods or magic.

The young miko's quiet musing is disturbed by the sudden press of another supernatural presence against her own. Her gaze lazily slides away from the mistletoe and tinsel to rest on the towering figure taking up everyone's attention. Having no knowledge of Christmas or its rituals, she can only assume that the bright red coat and strangely unnatural beard are a part of his normal ensemble. An odd choice but hardly the most eccentric thing she's seen in the past few weeks.

A brief examination of the giant reveals him to be something more than human. Not a god, such as herself, but far more dense than any mortal's soul. She feels out the energy that he puts off, an intentional attempt to snuff out the influence of her presence. There is power there, far more than she would expect from any mortal, but nothing divine.

She could overwhelm that aura, should she chose, of that she is quite confident. Confident - but not certain, however.

The girl's expression sours slightly at the thought of testing her limits against this... spirit or demon or whatever he might be, and coming up short. The opportunity to push herself in this new body has yet to present itself. In days of old, she would have flattened everyone in this room with a thought. Now she finds herself apprehensive of rousing the ire of so many warriors .

In the absence of certainty, she decides not to press her luck. Besides, she had not come here to instigate conflict. Were that the case she would have simply obliterated the entire building from above the clouds, never even giving the humans a chance to realize the danger until the very walls collapsed in upon them. No, she is here to talk with these mortals and perhaps gain a better understanding of what she is up against.

Despite the strange spirit's efforts, the body language of the party-goers makes it obvious that her presence has been noted. She can all but feel the tension in the air as the mortals do their best to ignore her as if she will simply vanish from sight if they pay her no mind. A thought equal parts amusing and infuriating.

Closing her eyes, the girl calms her emotions, pushing the rising indignation threatening to explode from within back down into the depths of her blackened soul. The time to teach these creatures the meaning of their folly will come - but not yet.

Clasping her hands behind her back nonchalantly - the closest thing she has found to mimic the old instinct of folding her wings against her side in this human body - the miko turns towards the gathered throng and begins to wander closer. Suzaku keeps her approach slow and measured, head tilted upwards slightly with regal bearing. She may be bound to this meat puppet but that doesn't mean she can't retain a measure of dignity.

Upon drawing within speaking distance of the crowd, the young girl comes to a stop. Unwilling to be ignored any longer, her body flares with a sudden surge of divine power. Twin avian wings of brilliant scarlet fire erupt from her back, spreading wide out behind her in a beautiful display of vivid color and gentle heat. Those unfamiliar with her true nature might consider the imagery angelic in nature.

"The more I observe of this modern world of man, the stranger I find it."

Her voice is strangely soft and pleasant for a deity of rage, the warmth of her flames almost inviting, evoking memories of pleasant nights curled up next to a gentle fire. A faint smile curls her lips into an expression of affection though the observant will see that it does not touch the burning coals of her eyes.

"In days of yore, twas mortal kind who showed their devotion to the kami and the spirits by making offerings and presenting gifts. How strange to see the opposite now true."

Kenzo had observed Junko or rather, the entity occupying Junko's body enter the room. Kenzo wasn't exactly inclined to interact with her considering the last time he was in that body's presence, it took a couple Fulgore units to discourage her from attacking his fallen form. While he wouldn't be inclined to ask the host to throw her out, he didn't feel inclined to interact with her either. Especially when he had the company of Djamila.

Having not been privy to the conversation that caused Chevy to leave for the bathroom, he doesn't have nearly enough information to connect or separate her departure from the appearance of the deity of rage. So he looks at Buck and Hawksley for a few moments before returning his attention to Djamila since neither Abigail nor Mint are there any longer.

With the being occupying Junko no longer content to be ignored he turns to see the fiery wings as she speaks. Quietly observing and trying to figure out if he should stay quiet or not. He makes his decision.

"Considering that you specifically used the word 'kami,' I think that it is appropriate to remind you that we aren't in Japan and the hosts might not beholden to the same cultural norms that you may be used to. Also, considering my last interaction with you wasn't exactly pleasant, I don't quite have a desire to be around you. So while I have neither the authority nor the desire to ask you to leave, I'm also choosing not to be around you since I came to this venue to enjoy myself."

He then turns to Djamila and asks, "Would you like me to grab a plate of food?"

If she notices Junko when she firsts arrive, she does not mention it, though the hand on her staff tighten. A subtle sign that she indeed knows.

She doesn't really follow Chevy Buck and Hawksley. She is aware at one point, Chevy leaves the two guys, as well as Kongou, but she's not sure what is going on. She's aware, however of Kongou's appearance and his gift giving. That's interesting to say the least. Not enough to leave Kenzo or anything. Just enough to keep a bit of her senses on him. Not that it is too hard. He's a big fellow to miss.

When Kenzo speaks to Junko, she doesn't join in, but if necessary, would be ready to fight tooth and nails for him. "Shouldn't I be the one getting the food because I need to take care of you?" She's not trying to tease him, more like the situation she put him through. "If you insist though, I would gladly have some food, and I thank you for offering." She smiles. "Also, now that I can tell you, I loved the question you asked Mint and Abigail." She hugs him a bit before she lets go, before she lets him go, so he can move more freely. "Or I can come with you if you think you will need the extra hands." She grins, but doesn't impose. She's knows he doesn't need her to mother him or anything. Hopefully she doesn't come off that way. She's still learning.

Hawksley nods at Buck, satisfied that Chevy is safe and understanding that she might need some space, as well as to use the bathroom facilities. Pulling out his phone, the Irishman keys in his passcode and then tap taps away, searching for some information. A brilliantly bright smile appears on his face as he locates what he's looking for. "Fecking perfect!" he enthuses. "The most expensive Irish whiskey in the world is from County Cork, just like myself. Buck, we're having ourselves some of that to share. I'm more than happy to let you have half of it, since you so kindly gave me some of your mom's amazing pecan caramel brownies."

Holding his mug, the lucky lad looks into it and says clearly. "1975 Single Pot Still Whiskey from the Old Middleton Distillery." The vessel immediately fills with the amber liquid, said to be worth as much as 50,000 euros a bottle.

He can't resist inhaling the heady scent, detecting fruitiness and exotic spices. As he takes a sip and the whiskey slips past his lips into his mouth, he savours ever second. A multitude of flavours hit his tastebuds at once. Berries, star anise, ginger, hazelnut, malt, oak and even worn leather. They're all present in this precious drink. His dark eyes go wide as he hands the mug to Buck in silence, so the other man can experience the same joy.

It seems that the Thunder fella is about to get a gift of his very own too. Hawksley watches, eager to see what wondrous item Kongou will come up with this time. The hat he produces seems absolutely perfect for Buck. "Ah, that'll look grand on you" he grins. He doesn't even pretend to understand the message behind it but he knows who Butch Cassidy is and he's pretty cool.

There's a smile given to Sarah as she sets herself back up behind the DJ stand. She's soon back to her dynamic dance display, inspired by her fighting style. Hawksley can't help but wish he'd had a chance to come up against her in the competition. Maybe their paths will still cross in the future.

He lets his gaze wander around the room, as he awaits Buck's verdict on the whiskey. They come to rest on the startling sight of Junko's scarlet wings of fire. It's a beautiful image but he knows better than to trust it. As she speaks in her soft tone, he can't help but ponder what her plan is in coming to this party.

Across the room are Kenzo and Djamila and as the ninja also studies the white haired girl, Hawksley fixes his focus there. The quietly spoken man from Team Metal speaks up, giving his opinion on the miko's presence here. Who knows how she will take this? The brawler is ready to provide backup to his fellow fighter should it be needed.

Well that's the problem, now isn't it. Concepts of divinity are no longer so cut and dry. Humanity presents members who contest the might of 'the divine' while other entities of similar scope walk freely. Kongou is indeed an example of that. Though by definition he is no god and seeks no worshipers .. he is no less an embodied 'force'. A being reality rejects and holds back so as to maintain balance. A strange 'thing' he is, indeed. The contest of his pressure against Junko's seems less deliberate and more a fact of him simply being there and atmosphere of the event joining in.

It is what it is, in other words..

However, though spiritual pressure she may put out is muffled by the giant there's not much one can do for simply, well, looking at her. Even before the display of her wings, people are preparing to leave.

That will simply not do.

"Ho ho ho ho ho ho! Rubbish!"

Kongou's deep voice rumbles out over the room after Junko's display "You have no power here. The Age of the Gods ended long, long ago and humanity has transcended them with champions the equal of you at even your height. So eat. Drink. Observe if you insist on being here, but quench your flames or begone, else before someone drops a house on you."

That reference made, his huge arm drags over the room, as if searching someone out, " are not the center of attention for this is a time of merriment! I seek...another whose bravery brought her to this day." His gesture ends with a massive finger pointing to Djamila. "Ah yes...our enchanting champion. Contradictions given form. Would that I could give you what you have lost but that is not in my authority .. however..."

Into the bag he reaches as his massive frame looms towards the daner, withdrawing a long slender staff, equal in length and dimension to the pole she carries, tipped with decorative bejeweled metal upon its ends with ornate carvings of symbols of wind and fire wrought throughout it. "The djinn of wind and fire whispered this into being and murmured to me of the invisible fires and winds within us all. May you catch glimpse of it offering you clarity in fleeting moments and over time strengthening your inner eye that it may see ever more clearly...."

:accepts the hat offered to him with no little reverence. After all, if America has it's heroes and legends the outlaws of the Wild West certainly number among them. He holds it in front of his face for a moment, peering into the crown of the hat and looking almost reary eyed. Of course it takes a little finagling to get the hat on his head with the antlers, but he manages it.

Then turning to Kongou, he gives the giant of a man a high five, or else stands there with his hand up expectantly until he gets one. But he doesn't expect to be left hanging. "You are one helluva Santa. Thank you, I'll treasure it."

And soon he's being offered another gift, a sip of Whiskey worth more than he made in a year at his last job. He takes the offered cup and sips of the amber liquor. "Holy shee....." He cuts himself off before he actually gets the cuss word out. But it's the closest most might remember him coming to saying one. "..eeeelighleigh." So close. He takes one more quick sip before handing the cup back to Hawksley with a grin. "Man, that's one way to keep warm on Christmas. Now I just need to brag to Boone about having a tast o' that." He breaks into a deep chuckle that's only mildly dampened at a certain fiery display.

There's also a roll of the eyes, followed by a sideways glance to Hawksley to see the flaming Irishman's own reaction. But he mutters a soft, "Some people just need to try to spoil the fun, ain't gonna let it happen though. I'm here to enjoy myself." And he turns slightly away from the display, all the easier to ignore it once out of sight.

Djamila watches and listens to Kongou talk with Junko. Well, Kongou sure is in the spirit of Christmas, or at least this party right now. Things should be fine. Worse comes to worse... If she has to wear her staff at the party for some assisted ass-kicking, then so be it. Talking about staff

She grins at Kongou. What else could she do right now as he chose her now for a gift? What a gift it is too. She feels something from the staff. If she had to describe it, she wouldn't be able to, but there is something. Kongou can explain it to a point, and Djamila can't help but smile heavily as soon as she touches the staff. Then she stands up a moment to partly hug Kongou's legs. "Thank you so much, my dear friend. I will treasure this. It's amazing. Thank you!" After a moment, she lets go. She backs up toward her other staff. When she grabs it in her other hand, she could swear the staves are attracted to one another in some way, but that could be her imagination.

One thing is certain, she is really delighted with this gift. "Look Kenzo. Isn't that something?" She grins. She either tells him this before he goes for food or after when he comes back.

Though she no longer has literal plumage to fluff the dismissive responses hurled at back at Suzaku like stones at a mangy dog make the girl visibly bristle with outrage. The peaceful smile on her pale features melts into an indignant scowl as her eyes narrow dangerously. If they are trying to ruffle the feathers of a being who was already responsible for the deaths of dozens -before- her apotheosis, they have certainly succeeded.

Though the girl that once possessed this body is all but gone, her soul subsumed beneath the tidal wave that is the essence of a god, faint fragments of her memory provide the occasional insight into the mortal's past. Kenzo's mention of a previous encounter sparks one such recollection. Flashes of conflict dance through her mind, a theatre of strength and savagery played out for the entertainment of the masses. A barbaric practice but one which suits her vision of humanity quite well.

Suzaku's gaze shifts to the engineer as he speaks. As it turns out the direct attention of a god is far more intense than simply being in her presence. Even the measure of protection offered by Kongou's own aura and the festive nature of the holiday cheer cannot completely blot out the sudden increase in spiritual pressure that settles upon him along with her stare. It isn't painful or damaging, more so simply obvious, like the sensation that one gets when there are eyes upon their back only magnified to discomforting levels.

For several long seconds the only reply that he receives is that uncomfortable stare. In ages past, such open discourtesy towards a kami would likely have resulted in his death. Nor would she have needed to lift so much as a claw to make it happen. His own people would have recognized the danger of allowing such an affront go unpunished and taken the appropriate measures to discourage any further displays of impropriety.

Eventually, the girl sighs and closes her eyes, dispelling the heavy weight of her gaze.

"That a mortal would speak to me so... this world truly has changed."

Ultimately, what the mortal thinks of her matters little. Let him act as he pleases for now. There will be a reckoning for such disrespect sooner or later.

The words of the titan, however, prove far more difficult to casually brush off. The kami's fiery gaze shifts to Kongou's oversized mug marking him as the new target for her ire. Though her arms remain neatly tucked away at her back, the blazing wings flutter in obvious agitation at the provocation.

"Believe that, do you?"

Suzaku's words remain soft, her emotions carefully controlled, but the subtle shift in tone makes the challenge in her voice impossible to miss. She did not come here to fight but such blatant insolence cannot be ignored. If these fools wish to rouse her ire despite her restraint then they will have none to blame but themselves when she reminds them why mortals once worshipped the gods.

"As for my flames, they can no more be quenched than an ocean can make itself dry and still be an ocean. I -am- the fire, spirit. And you should know better."

Kenzo had said all he needed to say and so he heads to the table to grab some food. What he isn't going to do is completely turn his back on the being after drawing their ire.

He starts making their plates as Djamila is receiving her new staff. After the dates they've been on, he has gotten a general idea of the things she likes and filled her plate accordingly.

Upon returning, Kenzo holds out her plate to as he takes a moment to admire the new staff.

"Ooh! That's nice... Looks like Kongou Claus out did himself."

After that, Kenzo returns the lion's share of his attention to those who he likes and can have fun with just enough attention on Junko's occupant to not be caught unaware if things go sideways.

"Nonsense!" exclaims Kongou, turning slightly towards Djamila to address Junko after beaming the dancer a smile and sending a wink in the direction of Buck and Hawksley.

"Nonsense!" he repeats again, "No more fire itself then the rest of those who are fire itself.. And belief is not part of the issue. It is a fact! Divinities and demons operate on levels lofty and not easily attained, true enough. But this is not true for -everyone-. Word whispers in my ears of how the mighty god of thunder himself fell to a 'mere mortal' in a duel. Greater is his essence then yours. Greater still others whose names I will not utter here.." He holds a finger up to his mouth as if urging a 'shhh' and speaking with an almost theatrical conspirator like tone. "You must learn to navigate these times. This age..and leave be those who may have once been tied to the girl whose body you dominate.. Drink some eggnog and put away those wings..."

Hie turns, looking over the crowd, "For ...another gift I have to give..."

His gaze rests upon Kenzo now, smile broad once again as he intones, "Someone gifted with the knowledge of the age and the wisdom of the ancient past! A worthy combo.."

From his bag, the giant produces a large battery like object of unorthodox configuration with a translucent sphere within the middle of it sporting a crackling orb of energy and the occasional sight of runic sigils rotating within.

"For you...a unit of 'Zeal' from the coffers of the R&D of The Sacred Order of Illyria and their magitech research born of the Telluric Confluence of that ancient land. Study it, if you will and put your mind to matters of ki and sorcery in addition to engineering and science and perhaps you will unlock even greater insights for the inventions that lie ahead."

He offers him a slight grin, "Just don't sell its secrets or it may cease to yield to you its mysteries..."

The festivities have been going on for some time, and it seems that all of the guests have made appearances.

This is not the case.

Miss September, advisor to Team Blaze enters very late. She is, as always, dressed smartly in a black pencil skirt, white blouse and sensible heels. Those who have met her will notice an immediate difference. Not in her demeanor, she is still dour and stoic, but that aching pressure seems to be gone.

"It seems that we have missed a great deal of the ...festivities," she says. Her voice sounds the same, but it lacks the -force- it once had. "And yet, I have brought a guest."

She moves further in, regarding Santa Kongou as reality itself ripples and warps. Light bends around a point, seeming to suck inwards until there's nothing but darkness. Violet fire surrounds the point of black, and almost as fast as it happened, the ripple is gone.

In it's place is what appears to be a man. Dressed in red, his usual officer's cap replaced with a santa hat.

It does not make Vega's rictus of a smile any less terrible.

"I merely wished to thank all of the participants in this -excellent- show in person."

A mortal achieve the power of a god? The very idea is foolishness itself. The mere act of reaching such heights would require a fundamental change. Gods are not divine simply because they are powerful. It is so much more than that. They are an essential part of the weave of existence, directly tied to some aspect of nature or law of reality. When a mortal dies, no matter how powerful they might become, they simply return to the cycle. Should a god fall, however, it alters the underlying nature of the world in some irreversible way.


Suzaku throws the word back at the towering spirit dismissively. Her chin lifts haughtily, her shoulders pulling back as she stands up a little straighter, as if trying to look as regal and aloof as possible. It was a lot easier to do that when she was a giant flaming bird. This human body is so awkward and restrictive that getting used to its idiosyncrasies has proven frustrating. Still, she does her best.

"Were Raiden-sama to fall in battle to a mortal, twould be a defeat of his own choosing. No doubt he sought to subject mankind to some sort of test and intentionally restricted himself to a form comprehensible to their limited perspective. It would hardly be the first time."

Though she and the god of thunder rarely saw eye to eye, Suzaku can't help but be offended on his behalf. Such vile slander these claims! A god defeated by a mortal in a true test of power? Absurdity.

On the other hand, Raiden was one of those who had failed to answer her call when she went searching the heavens for other divinities... No! To even consider such a thing is utter foolishness! No doubt his attention was occupied elsewhere. With so few of the kami left, the burden of bearing their duties must have fallen to him.

There is at least one kernel of truth uttered by the massive lout, however. She does indeed have much to learn about the modern world. Humanity seems to have advanced in ways that even someone of her incredible foresight and association with prosperity could have imagined. But that knowledge is not needed to 'navigate' the times, merely to understand what threats the mortals pose so that she might be prepared when the time comes to unleash her fury.

A second time she is commanded to dispel her divine wings and again she looks offended.

"I will not," the girl states matter-of-factly, tilting her nose upwards dismissively. It isn't anywhere near a majestic as her beloved beak but it will have to do. "These mortals should be honored to bask in my radiance. It has been a thousand years since anyone last enjoyed that privilege."

'No thanks to them', the miko thinks, silently grinding her teeth.

She is considering making an inquiry about this 'eggnog' the giant mentioned when someone else makes an arrival. The mortal woman earns little more than a glance, her presence holding only a passing interest for the kami. However, when the fabric of reality bends to make way for the figure Miss September heralds everything changes.

Whipping her head to the side, a wide-eyed stare replacing the aloof expression on the young girl's face. The sheer intensity of the presence within that dark void is, quite honestly, unnerving. Perhaps it is a facet of the flesh and blood that now cages her or simply the knowledge that she is no longer knows what to expect. Whatever the reason, the arrival of this unknown mortal makes her skin crawl.

Suzaku's eyes narrow on the red-suited dictator, twin points of burning crimson that stare at him as if attempting to dissect his essence and make sense of it. Her wings flutter with nervous energy scattering tiny motes of glittering flame and waves of gentle heat throughout the room.

"What... are you?"

"I did not say he was destroyed, merely that he fell...but don't be so arrogant as to assume the destruction of a god of the east, if it were to happen, has permanent meaning across the globe. I understand you might be 'cancelled' for that sort of thinking by other cultures. But justify it however you see fit." remarks Kongou while lifting a huge hand up towards Junko and holding a finger aloft. "Now then --"

His eyes begin to search out the last of his intended targets for gift giving.. But then.. Miss September arrives and the goliath turns towards her and grins... only to arc an eyebrow as she begins to introduce her guest.

And what an introduction.


Kongou's deep voice and good cheer remains unbent even though the pressure of his presence falls far from being able to compete with that of The Dictator as he fully manifests. Junko is forgotten for now as the gigas turns fully towards the red clad ruler.. Huge arms spread wide in contrast to the disturbed looks that ripple through the audience present.

Indeed, he seems no less pleased to see the arrival of MIss September's guest, even as many of the remaining audience who were glued to the spectacle of the gift giving and the presence of the entity of fire go wide eyed and frozen in place.

Yet there is still a guarded curiousity as the giant considers matters, "Well..this goes full circle to something I felt many days ago at The Rumble and now the gathering of so much fortitude to Team Blaze makes so much more sense. A gift then! For our special guest! But what does the one who has it all desire most! What shall the spirit and magic of gift giving yield?"

He opens the bag up and then begins to reach into it ..and then pauses abruptly. His expression falters slightly, the first signs of his good cheer and gregarious nature pausing.

"Hmm...what's this.." he muses. Followed by an, "Oh." and then an "Ooooooh. Oh my.. Hmm..that is. Well then. ." He looks furthe rinto the bag, peering into some sort of abyssal darkness. An infinite depth within, ...and then. "Oh dear."

He closes the bag back up.

After a pause, Kongou slowly gives Vega a side eye and a growing grin, expression mercurial but still mildly concerned at whatever he -thinks- he might have seen or felt. "Well. Perhaps at some point when all have gone and it's much safer to do so.....we can try that again."

One minute Sarah is going between handling the turntables and breakdancing on the floor...

And now she's seeing the infamous Lord Vega in person?!

Sarah can only stare in disbelief at this sight. He claims he just wants to thank all of the people who took part in person. But is that his real agenda?

Sarah wants to speak, but nothing comes out of her mouth. She's too nervous to do so.

Kongou confronts the flame winged girl, stating his authority as host of this evening's gathering and then shifts his attention to the New Fighting Generation victor, gifting her a magnificent staff. "He's not shy on sourcing special presents, is he? He must have spent a fecking fortune." Hawksley voices. He takes another drink as his own special present is passed back to him and then returns the magic mug to Buck again. He'll repeat this rhythm of alternating sampling of the sensational spirit until Buck tells him to stop or every drop has been drained. Whichever comes first.

The Irishman understands his drinking partner's reluctance to get involved in Junko's drama. She tends to bring trouble wherever she goes. He only has to look at the face of the woman whose bed he shares to know that. He feels his free fist clenching in preparation but any combat would be a last resort. Although fun and fighting do often go hand in hand for Hawksley, tonight he would rather relax amongst friends.

He can't help but laugh at Kongou's advice for the miko to drink some eggnog. In the Cork cruiserweight's experience, many a tricky situation has been solved by someone having a drink and chilling the feck out. Many a situation has also been fueled by pouring booze on a figurative fire however. But, he reminds himself, there's no alcohol in American eggnog. He still hasn't quite got his head around that.

The gift giving continues and next up it's Kenzo's turn. Whatever it is he's got looks pretty damn fancy. Hawksley hopes it will help the likeable lad in whatever direction he chooses to take next. Together with Djamila, the two of them could be quite the power couple.

When the door to the building swings open, the Blaze brawler looks that way, curious to see who the latecomer is. There's a few familiar faces he's been hoping to see here and whilst the woman who enters isn't on that list, it is someone he recognises. "Miss September!" he calls to his sponsor, offering her a cheery wave. "Good to see you, cailin. It's been fecking ages."

He doesn't recognise the man who she's brought with her but he's a striking sight. He may be wearing a seasonal santa hat but Hawksley can't help but find his smile sinister.

Djamila is still delighted with Kongou's gift. She has to agree with Kenzo when he comes back. He has outdone himself. That's proven right when he also gives his gift to Kenzo.

Kenzo also outdid himself. He shows her he has been paying attention on their dates, as he knows what to get for her, just like that. She takes it. "You're doing great yourself, though. Thank you." Both staff members stand up as she is about to eat when Kenzo is ready too.

She listens to the conversation between Kongou and Junko but does not say anything herself.

She then felt the other sponsors that day when she was with Hawksley in that clothing store. This leads to someone else making an appearance. Not sure who he is at the moment, but he seems to be a big deal. Something else to keep her mind on. But she doesn't feel the need to speak about this either at the moment.

The more the being piloting Junko's body talks, the more he dislikes being anywhere around her. Until Junko's body showed up he was having fun and resolves himself to leave any future party where he sees her unless he /absolutely/, /positively/ has to be there. Honestly, the only things keeping him here now were the present he just received and Djamila herself.

Speaking of the present he finds himself looking down at the Unit of Zeal in awe and wonder. Before he joined the NFG, let alone met and became team mates with Iris, he wasn't even aware that magic was a thing. Now he has a piece of magitech in his hands? It's a bit overwhelming.

"I feel awful! If I knew that presents would be involved, I would have brought more than my presence. Thank you!"

He places his own plate down in order to free his hands so he can pull out a drawstring backpack and then put the Zeal Unit in it. Upon throwing the bag on his shoulders, he picks up the plate once again and is about to start eating when Miss September shows up followed up by a display of violet fire that heralds Vega's grand entrance. The smile gives him the creeps. There's something about his presence here is upsetting and he doesn't have the context to know why he's disturbed. But as much as he doesn't want to be around the man, he is looking better in his eyes than Junko's flesh pilot because his opening words are to thank them for their performance. He raises a bit of his food in acknowledging those words in a substitute for a toast and then he starts eating.

He seriously does not want to be talking right now.

One might be surprised at the contacts one has or the resources one can levy when one is a compressed mass of aether and mana that should not exist, hailing from and a part of a fundamental aspect of reality.

So yes he's probably quite broke, or owes a number of favors, or was calling in a number of favors.

Also maybe Miss September is about to get a big invoice mailed to her in about a week. Shhhh.

"Do not be dismayed." rumbles the giants deep voice, tone more gentle and less robust then before as he addresses Kenzo, "All will be well."

Exactly what he's referring to may not be clear perhaps. The lack of a gift? The presence of Suzaku? The smiling looming reality bending dictator? "Enjoy your evening and many more to come. Your journey isn't over. When we next meet it will be as peers on the world stage. You have all earned it."

To Junko, or rather the entity using her body, he merely makes a single gesture and simply says, "You see?" Expecting her to have a better understanding of his words and prior warning with Vega's arrival punctuating the lessons he as attempting to impart to her.

"Now then.. For my final tasks as midnight approaches and the enchantment will then be gone...."

He searches for Buck and Hawksley and begins to approach them. "Give this..." he begins slowly, "To the water maiden.."

He reaches out, holding a very small crystalline vial of beautiful, ornate design of threaded glass and crystal, attached to a threaded string of goal. At the end of the string, a rolled up piece of paper addressed to Chevy.

The liquid within the vial seems to shimmer softly as he holds it aloft with surprising deftness and control considering it's akin to him pinching a pebble. His massive hand lowers for one of them to take.

It's been a grand evening but the drink and drama are taking their toll on Hawksley and he senses it's time to call it a night. With the fancy whiskey all gone, he takes his mug and gives Buck a friendly pat on the back. "It's been a pleasure to spend time with you, fella. I hope you and Chevy have a fecking brilliant road trip together. Look after her, yeah? Not that I need to say that, I know you will. Have an amazing time with your family when you get back home too. Tell your mom I love her brownies and tell your brothers I wanna meet them some day. Especially the one who makes the moonshine."

Kongou approaches the two brawlers, bringing a gift for the waterbender with him. "You best take that, Buck" he suggests. "You share a living space with her and you'll be off on the trip together soon. Say goodnight to her from me, when she gets out of the bathroom."

Turning to Kongou he thanks him again for the incredibly generous gift he's given him. "You made my night. No, scratch that, my year with this mug, fella. Thanks for all your guidance and what have you in my time here. I'm gonna miss this old place."

He wanders over to Djamila and Kenzo on his way out and wishes them all the best. "Have fun with whatever you do this Christmas. I've loved being in this competition with you, even when I took a beating from you both. Here's to a healthy and happy 2024 for us all." His gaze mainly focuses on Kenzo as he says this, knowing what an ordeal the Japanese man has been through recently.

With that, Hawksley takes one last look around Blazin' HQ and then steps out into the cold night, wishing he'd remembered to bring a coat. Ah well, that wonderful whiskey will keep him warm along the way.

"Of -course- the destruction of a god has permanent meaning!"

At this point, it is all the kami can do to keep from simply lashing out in frustration. It's like talking to a child. So eager to be correct, to show that they know better. She would have expected more from a spirit who may well have existed for thousands of years by now. But she much of what she had expected to find upon her release has proven quite different.

Mortals now openly defy her will and turn their backs upon her as if such displays of disrespect will be excused. The gods and demons that once roamed the land and held sway over entire kingdoms have retreated from the Earthrealm almost in their entirety. Spirits that would have cowered at her approach now talk back to her as if they were her equal. Truly, the world has gone completely mad. She will be doing them a favor when she burns it all down.

The kami's arms finally move, crossing over her chest as she closes her eyes. Her eyebrow twitching in annoyance, she takes a long slow breath to calm herself lest she violate her own decision to keep things civil.

"We gods are connected to the very skein of existence. We are the thread with which the tapestry of reality is woven. One cannot rip one of those threads free from the great pattern without fundamentally altering it."

A sidelong glance is given towards the unusual mortal again at Kongou's urging. His aura is indeed strange and she would be a fool to dismiss the obvious power lurking within him. But his soul is... wrong somehow. Out of harmony with the rest of him. As if it doesn't belong in that body. The familiarity strikes a little too close to home for her liking.

"I am unsure this... man is a mortal at all."

But, since Vega has yet to do much more than show up and smile creepily at everyone, she puts that issue aside to return to her previous point. Simply knowing that this being exists at all is troublesome but it is a matter to deal with at a later time.

"Whatever we once were, the gods have been shaped by those that live in this world. Their belief in our intrinsic alignment to the natural order makes it true. We are connected to the world and it to us."

Closing her eyes again, if only to look a little more aloof, the miko returns her hands behind her back and stretches her wings out wide. The twin sheets of flame take on more definite shape, individual feathers emerging from the shifting mass of scarlet.

"At least, that is how it used to be. Perhaps you are not old enough to remember the world as it once was. Things were different then. So very different... mankind respected and revered the kami. And we showered them with our affection and blessings. Guided them towards a brighter future."

And what was her reward for nurturing that potential? To become a scapegoat for all the ills of the world. To suffer a thousand years of torment. To be confined by the very powers the gods had bestowed upon them. To wake up to find that all of her peers and loved ones are now shadows and memory.

And now, to be treated like a stray dog, unwelcome to even sit at the same table as these ingrates.

Miss September, Xiayu of the Dolls, has retreated out of the spotlight to let her master do as he wills. Still, she watches, regarding the young fighters and the entity that is Kongou with her usual indifference. Though her head does incline very slightly in acknowledgement to Hawksley when he addresses her.

Vega lets out a hearty chuckle as Kongou comes up empty handed and disturbed from the bag. Even when he's not trying to be sinister, it still comes out as off, a little left of where a human would be.

The Dictator looms over Junko as she is seemingly dumbfounded by his presence. That impossible grin seems to go wider in an awful, inhuman way as he regards her. For a long moment, he is silent. "Little bird," he says. "What am I? Not even a -who- am I? I would chide your manners if you weren't so -right-."

Now he unleashes his full presence. The psychic pressure carefully restrained, now coming loose. Directed entirely at Junko and the entity within. "I am the Master of Shadaloo. The Dictator. Lord Vega." He doesn't move, but the essence that is Vega seems to grow larger and larger, dwarfing even the jolly blue giant. His presence is a terrible, malignant weight. Whatever power that lies in the mortal shell is too immense, too wretched, to be called human anymore.

"I am a God."

He laughs again, sinister and low, folding his arms across his chest. He peers at her again, examining. "Though it seems that whatever power is in you is no threat to me. So I shall not consume it."

The pressure fades as he draws himself back in, reality becoming sane again. Normal. With simply that one pit of terror that is the man himself. "You have all been graced by my presence," He says, addressing the rest of the fighters present. "Should you seek more power. More presetige. More -anything-, please contact my agent that you know as Miss September, and we can speak at length about your...prospects."

He regards Kongou again, the grin never fading. "You are a most excellent host. I shall grant you a minor boon for being so well mannered." He looks at Xiayu and nods before he turns on his heel and walks out like an actual human being, his boots clicking oddly on the floor on his way out. They echo -wrong-.

Who is the child? Who is insisting on being right despite the facts of the world staring her straight in the face and confusing her such that she wandered into a Christmas Party?

Certainly not Kongou whose mood remains aloof from hers and centered despite the vast changes to the world or the fraying temper of the diminished fire goddess.

Indeed, he's not even a 'spirit' and she's not even focused or cognizant of reality to even see that much, presuming his age as if 'age' matters to a thing of The Backyard. So he can't be even be frustrated or angry with her, especially as the party is winding down regardless. Merely amused. Still, her continued presence would inevitably draw less patient minds then his or aloof and dismissive powers then Vega here and he rather likes this building.

"Farewell Hawksley!" he rumbles with a grin, "We will meet again. Sooner then you realize, I believe!"

The gift for Chevy is indeed offered to Buck while his back remains turned to Junko.

"You are tiring to talk to but also still amusing." He eventually answers her. "However, it seems you are the sort that must learn things the hard way so I will allow that for I have other matters to attend to before this evening ends..."

His words halt as he feels the overwhelming pressure and presence of Vega who begins to answer Junko at least. As the tide of the psycho power ripples away from that center point, Kongou doesn't even bother to try and compete with it. It would be impractical to even try at this stage regardless of his own tools. . The night is coming to an end as well so if this sends the last party goers scuttling for their coats...well far worst could have happened. "Do not feel rushed to leave..." he says, encouragingly, to the remaining NFGers, "Unless you must. This is for you all. The hall is yours and strange powers like this you will continue to encounter on your journey..."

When Vega finally begins his departure, after his final words to the gigas, the giant simply raises both of his eyebrows up and then grins a little, "Oh. Excellent. Well that takes care of that bill."

The giant then produces a flash drive from nowhere and sets it onto the DJ turntable, a neat bow attached to it and then turns towards Junko to approach her.

The petty argument about the nature of reality is put on hold as Vega turns his attention to the flesh-bound goddess again. Now it her turn to experience what it is to be underneath the scrutiny of something far more powerful than herself. Suzaku's own soul, dense and unimaginably ancient, rises up in challenge against the dreadful pressure of the tyrant's twisted energy as he attempts to bludgeon her in a contest of raw will.

The petulant expression on the girl's face transforms rapidly through several stages, starting with wide-eyed surprise as the nature of what she faces becomes apparent, then shifting into a brief look of uncertain fear as she struggles to regain her composure, and ends up on a grim but determined mask of defiance.


The tips of her snow-white hair begin to glow like heated iron as the miko throws all of her considerable spiritual power up in resistance to the mental intrusion. Her body leans forward slightly, legs spreading apart for balance as if trying to resist being shoved backwards by some invisible force. Suzaku's wings of flame, a representation of her divine power, flutter and whip wildly as if little more than a pair of candles caught in a gale.

A soft gasp escapes her lips involuntarily when the pressure recedes. The girl staggers and is forced to reach out with one hand to catch herself, leaning heavily against a nearby column. Her wings flutter weakly and then fold down against her back, as if afraid to risk the possibility of being snuffed out entirely should they make themselves too obvious a target. The gesture might not seem particularly noteworthy to those who witnessed the brief altercation but Suzaku knows herself well enough to realize that her own instincts in that moment are to make herself as small and unobtrusive as possible, like a sparrow being overshadowed by a hawk that might well decided to make a meal of her.

It isn't until Vega has deigned to saunter off into the gloom of the frigid evening that the miko realizes she has been holding her breath. Attempting to reclaim some measure of dignity, she slowly pushes away from the pillar and unfolds her wings once more. A long slow breath is taken as her gaze turns to stare at the door that the 'man' had exited, almost as if to reassure herself that he is in fact gone.

"How far have I fallen to be... bullied in such a manner?"

It has been a long time since anyone or anything actually made her feel so thoroughly small. Being bound to this mortal shell had hampered her, that much she knew already, but this is... upsetting to say the least.

Kongou's approach interrupts her before she can dwell on that thought for more than a few moments. Suzaku tilts her head up to regard the towering heap of meat peevishly through still smoldering bangs, the discontent writ large on her sour expression.

"Come to gloat at my expense, have you? You seem quite happy to throw your lot in with the mortals."

The gigas produces an elegant smooth globe set atop an ornate base from the depths of his bag. Within the small sphere, a single burning feather sits. Beautiful, brilliant, primordial and a mirror of the flaming wings at summoned by the bound goddess. An illusion? Perhaps or perhaps not. Perhaps somehow the magic of this night and the enchantments secured and woven by the behemoth did indeed pluck a feather or perhaps it is a vision of what could be. As he turns the sphere, an image of Junko as she was before, caught in a moment of peaceful reflection and serenity, can be seen. A fleeting snapshot, perhaps, somehow gained when nobody else could have seen it or when in the company of lost friends. Then the feather returns again as the giant twists his hand slightly, allowing the light in the room and angle of the sphere to change the image within.

"No." he says simply to her, "I have said enough. You thought me foolish but now you have seen for yourself. We are the same, you and I. Like you, I have found my essence bound and restrained. This world does not want me to be what I am but I gradually loosen the restraints now and again.. But only loosen. However, I have not taken a girls body from her... You must remember the sacrifice that brought you freedom and the losses of those that were not meant to be involved. Perhaps, if you come to understand it, you will achieve a power greater then the one you actually seek.."
Kongou offers her the orb.

"Just think about it. Before your next move.." he suggests, tone lacking any sort of gloating or bravado to it.

All good things must end eventually...

Even parties which DJ Supernova is a part of.

"All right, everyone, looks like it's about time to wrap things up here," Sarah says over her intercom. "It's been a bit of a wild ride, but I'm sure we all had a good time. I've left some stacks of my business cards 'ere and there, and you can also visit my website too." She smiles. "For now, this is DJ Supernova signing off and thanking you all for being such a great party crowd! Keep rockin'!"

Suzaku's sours expression flattens into a neutral mask as the gigas extends his hand to present the small orb. Only the faint tightening of her lips and the slight narrowing of her eyes betrays the hints of emotion in her reaction upon seeing the familiar images captured within. She listens to his assessment of her situation, his perspective on what she appears to be, seemingly more open to such commentary in the wake of her rude awakening.

Her wings bristle slightly at the implication that they are the same. Perhaps in some superficial capacity in that neither are capable of bringing their full power to bear, assuming his claims are true. But whatever force it is that keeps the giant in check, it has nothing to do with her situation.

Gods once roamed the world freely, in all their glory and splendor. She was a part of that world once, as much as the flowing rivers and towering trees. The Guardian of the Southern Gate, bringer of prosperity and health, the flame of destruction and renewal. No, the world did not cast her down. It was the betrayal of those she once loved that saw to that - humans.

The body of the girl that she now occupies is but the latest in a long line of vile usurpers who dared to turn the power of the heavens themselves against the gods. They had bound her, trapped her with their primitive sorcery in a prison of their own flesh. The burning of her rage had consumed them all in the end. All save the last, whose foolishness had doomed the kami to an even worse fate. Were the idiot girl's soul not fused with her own, she would see it cast into the deepest darkest pit in the Underworld for all eternity for the indignity inflicted upon her.

A small hand reaches up to accept the orb when it is offered to her. Suzaku balances in the crystal ball in her palm delicately, staring into the shimmering and changing visions within. An unfortunate mirror of herself in more ways than one, a fragment of celestial beauty entwined with a reminder of the folly of mortal kind.

Her fingers tighten on the exterior of the glass sphere, the slender pale digits tensing with unnatural strength. The molten core of her eyes flares with a sudden flash of intense power as glowing red heat surges out from her palm to spread across the entire surface of her hand. The outer shell of the pretty orb starts to bubble and melt under the searing flame, distorting and warping the illusion of Junko's peaceful face, until a final furious clench shatters the gift into a thousand red-hot shards.

The miko stares at the molten remains sitting on her palm for a few moments before shaking it off as if it were no more bother than a few drops of water.

"It is not power I seek," she says, her voice low and quiet. "It is vengeance."

Turning her back on Kongou, Suzaku flares her wings out wide, flooding the massive room with a sudden surge of scarlet light and searing heat.

"Stand with them if you wish. You will simply be more kindling for the pyre."

She doesn't wait for his retort this time, starting a quick furious march towards the exit. Whatever his reasons for making nice with humanity, she cares not. Should he stand in her way when the time comes to deliver righteous retribution then so be it. Mortal or spirit, none will survive her flames.

"Mankind will answer for their sins... even if I have to wait another thousand years."

If he had of been a script writer he couldn't have scripted that better. Kongous' reaction is unphased and also unsurprised. It doesn't mean that one offers simply no opportunity for self reflection but honestly that ended the only way it could have.

So he simply smiles at her, eyes hooded as she walks away and then he looks down to the shattered remnants of the gift...and then turns away.

"It's alright, they're gone. They're gone. It's alright!" he calls out, waving his huge arms about for the remaining party goers to cease their ducking and begin to emerge once again to enjoy the final festive moments of the night.

The DJ has left and the music has returned to a more simple ambience as the last of the drinks and food is consumed.

When eyes are no longer looking to him....Kongou seems to somehow vanish, his giftbag with him, somehow returning from whence he came or otherwise retreating into the distant depths of the Blazin' HQ.

Log created on 16:10:39 12/24/2023 by Kongou, and last modified on 17:38:17 01/06/2024.