Neo League 951 - #964: Rust vs Karin

Description: Karin challenges Rust to a Neo League Fight... IN THE LIBARY!!! (Winner: Rust)

Well, out of the hospital at last - just in time to be bombarded from work about so and so this, so and so that, how they can't fire him for what happened (even though they made it rather clear they wanted to under suspicion it was some underground fighting tourney thing gone wrong)... and then decided to quickly volunteer him for a business trip to England, you know, to make up for lost time.
Mr. Rust had to buy his own ticket. He really didn't have time for any of this, but he wasn't in any sort of position to say 'no' to his employers. Not with a complete lack of job security in his current situation... and so, off to another far corner of the world.
Let's be honest, a lot of people would kill for the opportunity to travel the world, and perhaps one day Mr. Rust will look back upon these business trips and think... hey, it was kind of cool. Hell, he even got to go down to Antarctica, that was really something.
But now is not the time for rose-colored nostalgia. Now is the time for grumbling, being cranky at being offered so much tea when he'd rather have coffee, being scoffed at by the social elite, and otherwise being carted along by snooty over-educated people on a tour to the Radcliffe Camera in hopes that they'll have someone who is a skilled craftsman without actually having to pay top dollar to help them fix something.
Just like at Pacific, really, but one supposes it's to curry favor for the entire Pacific organization in regards to getting more funding for the local chapter, as it were.
"Cripes," the forty-year-old man groans out loud as he stretches out one of his arms, a popping noise from his shoulder that alarms one of the local groundskeepers along the way in.
"You settin' off firecrackers?" They ask.
"Uh... what?"
"'cause that sounded like a bloody firecracker, you don't set any of those blighted things off on this campus, 'ear?"
"I, uh... sorry?" The older man's at a loss for words, really, as the afternoon passes overhead.

"Howard Rust." Comes a voice not to far away, and should Rust glance over to see who knows his name, he would see a blonde Japanese teenager in a red school girl outfit, who is sitting on a chair reading a book, or at least she looks like she's reading a book. "Age 40, from somewhere in Oregon, United States of America. Your fighting style is an unorthodox brawling mixed with Kyokugen Karate..."
The Girl closes the book and stands up. "And you've signed up for the Neo League." She glances to Rust and smiles, "I'm Karin Kanzuki, and I want a sanctioned match with you."

Howard Rust here was probably doomed to an afternoon of being accused of lighting firecrackers, because let's face it, when his joints get really bad and poppy? They get loud, very loud. Very, very loud.
How in the hell is he expected to get through a library without setting off alarms?
Waving the groundkeeper off in mild disbelief of the accusation, he's ready to go along in and just get this over with. He's been having an extremely stressful time as of late - not even a moment of peace to just sit down and fold some more cranes. He's almost there, he knows it. Just got to get up to a full thousand, and then...
His name is stated plainly by a young girl's voice, straightforwardly - it's kind of funny he doesn't even notice her up until she actually speaks up, once again drawing a pause as a part of him thinks 'oh my god, what now.'
"Uh, that's... that's me," he says, a bit disarmed as he turns to face her - just in time for her to introduce himself. Karin Kanzuki - people know that name, the Kanzuki name is a huge one! "I, er," he clears his throat as he glances back over his shoulder to some other important-looking people, "actually, I'm, uh, I'm kinda on the clo--"
"Oh, is that Miss Kanzuki?" Chirps one of the people escorting Rust along to where he's supposed to do work. "My my, if this isn't an honor! For a Neo League match too, you say--"
"Hey, hey, ah, y'know, ah, what 'bout--" Mr. Rust tries to interject with a raised finger.
"Certainly, we will allow such a thing to take place!" The other man says, undaunted by Rust's poor attempt at interjecting. "With the King of Fighters in full swing, nothing could excite the locals more to pick up a book and glory in the splendor!"
Oh, you've got to be kidding me, Howard thinks as his posture slumps a bit. Then again... he's in a bad place financially, given his insurance decided not to pay for his hospital stay. That's one thing Neo League is good for, at least - good, quick cash.
But what'll his employers say if they catch him doing this instead of doing his job?
"I, y'know, I'd be honored," he starts to Karin, the beginning of some new excuse to just ensure he gets away and gets what he's supposed to done, but, as fate has it...
"Smashing!" The British man throws up his hands in celebration, and snaps his fingers. For some reason, a camera crew comes out of nowhere. It's as though this may have been the plan /all along/.
"Uh," the older man looks about, dumbstruck, as his right hand settles instinctively on the makeshift hilt of Ol' Rusty, slowly turning back over to Karin with something of a shrug.
His awful combover droops down just a little more.

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

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Karin            0/-------/-------|

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

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Karin            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust

Karin smiles a bit, and says, "Don't worry about your time, Mr. Rust." She takes her time to get into a better fighting position without furniture directly in between herself and Rust, as she tells him, "You'll receive compensation for time used for the fight, and any hospital fees that you might require later." She's charitable like that.
She shifts into a ready fighting stance, "I hope that's enough incentive for one fight on your busy time."

She must have been really, really, really looking forward to this - but for what reason? He's never actually been approached by a prospective Neo League opponent like this. Despite being over twice her age and having seventy pounds or so on her (if his unrealistically low weight for his build is true, like any fighting game character out there)...
He takes a couple nervous glances around for any obvious signs of trouble or traps. He may very well be on someone's radar, given everything going on. Granted, considering he didn't even notice Karin before she spoke... let's say if there was, he'd probably fail to notice that too.
"Well, uh, I guess... I guess I can't, ah, y'know, back down now," there's only a tinge of regret, knowing full well how much trouble he could get into. A good fight, sure, he loves that - a good fight that could cost him his job entirely?
Hopefully that overly enthusiastic British guy over there will vouch for it being /his/ idea!!
Clearing his throat, the man slowly draws the rusted length of pipe out of the toolbelt. Today, the drawing is surprisingly smooth. Maybe it'll be okay, when it does come out clean like that, for him, it's usually a good sign.
Such is the mind of a commoner.
"Well, uh, guess, guess I'm good 'n ready--"
"GET READY!" An announcer screams out of nowhere way too close, causing the man to flinch - and with it, any early opportunity to gather his focus or make any sort of first strike, a curse word drowned out in microphone feedback.
"WHO'S SETTIN' OFF FIRECRACKERS?" Shouts a groundskeeper nearby.

Karin grins as she eyes the pipe, and takes a breath, with intention to be very careful about that thing, before calling over, "Here I come!" And dashing towards Rust, and aims to drive a quick knee into the arm holding pipe, in order to remove it from the equation.

COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Karin's Light Kick.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust

The older man's face is contorted in pain just by having his ears ring. Announcers need to be loud and vocal, sure, he can get that. He can get that. What he doesn't get is why /this/ one feels compelled to yell and scream so very close to him. It's just about as disarming as Karin's attempt to disarm him clean.
There's a blur of red and blonde coming right at him, all the same, and instinctively he shifts his weight to bring his left side up against the oncoming knee - it comes pretty close to going just underneath his elbow. Instead, it basically does, in fact, nail him in said elbow. A better outcome than the midsection, to be sure - and it's not like a single knee is going to really move him much.

Karin being as close as she is, he doesn't really have much room to swing his weapon at her - and he's about ready to trip over a chair behind him if she actually succeeds in pushing him back (assuming that's her eventual intent). With no real recourse available to him otherwise, he swings his elbow up above Karin's head and attempts to - you know, not too savagely, just enough to try and dissuade the beginning of a seemingly relentless offense - bring said elbow straight down upon her crown, left fist clenched fairly tightly while Ol' Rusty in his right hand is pointed back behind himself.
Of course, this is Karin we're talking about, a master of reversals.

COMBATSYS: Karin blocks Rust's Random Strike.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Karin            0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0             Rust

Karin shifts her weight and brings her forearms up to block the Elbow, and smirks as she backsteps real quick, and spins in order to bring a kick up towards Rust's head, aiming high for it.

COMBATSYS: Karin successfully hits Rust with Heavy Kick.

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Karin            0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0             Rust

For all the strength he has, it's really something to see someone much smaller than yourself manage to expertly protect themselves that they don't give much ground when contact is made - which is a sign that he's not being just harried by someone eager to get ahead by what they perceive as an easy mark (he does not have a winning streak in competitive play, to put it lightly).
She actually knows what she's doing.
Does he?
When she rears back her foot to strike high, he's thinking... nah, I can take this, I just need to get some space in so I can really bring Ol' Rusty into the mix, he's thinking, lowering his left forearm down and bringing his arm out wide. He's thinking, you know, catch her off-balance, really give her a good toss--
His instincts steer him wrong. She doesn't only know how to put up a good block, she actually knows how to throw a kick as it collides solidly against the side of his head. Spittle flies out the side of his face as his boots lose balanace against carpeting underneath, sliding out from underneath as he stumbles back into that aforementioned seat.
It's not a clean landing in the seat. No, more like his upper back collides against it, a low groan of surprise as he has to pull himself back up slowly. One of his knees crackle loudly as he rises, shaking his head as if wondering why he let his guard down after she showed that really good, competent block.
"Uh, that was, that was a good kick," he comments as he slaps his forehead once with his left hand to try and get his senses back. Deep breath, just get his head in the game, he thinks, as he points Ol' Rusty forward and starts to think about how best to approach her - or how /she/ will approach, for that matter.

COMBATSYS: Rust focuses on his next action.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Karin            0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0             Rust

Karin smirks as she replies, "Of course it is. Karin Kanzuki wouldn't throw a half-heated kick, no matter how easy the opponent is. Ohohoho!" She allows herself a laugh, though this is mostly habit, though if Rust feels insulted, well, sorry.
Karin smiles and shifts her stance yet again, "Now it's time to get serious!" She then dashes and thrusts a pair of consecutive palm thrusts, before driving a kick up at Rust's jaw, "GUREN KEN! MUJIN KYAKU!"

COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Karin's Guren Ken.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0             Rust

Grown men have feelings that can be hurt, too. :(
"Easy?" The man mumbles out a question - yeah, he's almost definitely being seen as a target for easy points. No wonder she seems so inviting to the idea of paying for everything - in some ways, it feels like she's one or two steps away from paying him to take a dive.
His expression hardens with her laughter as she comes at him with palm thrusts. As if not keen to make the same mistake in positioning, he moves just a bit to make sure there isn't a chair behind him, moving a little with every palm strike stopped with his left forearm. You know, so far, pretty simple stuff--
The kick again!!
He puts his left hand up to try and catch the foot, but he finds the stop to be extremely narrow - his left hand gets sandwiched between foot and jaw somewhat uncomfortably, a nice new reminder of just how powerful that kick she tossed moments before was.
Now, however, he sees an opening.
Shifting his body weight to bring his right foot forward, he strikes a leg down towards the ground that may or may not be presently occupied by Karin's one grounded foot. It's not just one kick - it's a lot of them, rapid-fire, like a jackhammer - even making a loud repeating noise akin to one with every impact against flesh or carpet. It's not quite the Zanretsuken of Kyokugen fame, but it does come very, very close.
For all the thought he put into this being an opening, maybe he should have really thought about how expensive that carpet is. (Oops.)

COMBATSYS: Karin counters Jackhammer Kick from Rust with Yasha Gaeshi.

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Karin            0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0             Rust

Karin smirk as she watches Rust come at her, and shifts her weight left and right to avoid getting struck by the rushing kicks, before suddenly grabbing at one of the kicks and catching it in her hands, before twisting and throwing Rust off and to the ground, as she shifts her stands and says, "So you are pretty good, I was hoping you wouldn't take it easy on me."

Karin wasn't expecting Rust to take a dive. Quite the opposite, she was hoping he'd come at her with everything he's got.

Thanks to Karin's quick, decisive actions, the carpet is saved. In doing so, she has probably saved Howard Rust's job from one of his heat-of-the-moment combat decisions.
Gratitude is the furthest thing from his mind when Karin manages to catch the first kick of what would have been more, stopping it cold to twist and toss him. Face-flat, he hits the carpet with a low thud. Really, that carpet makes for a great cushion for hard falls.
The carpet has no hard feelings against what would have been an almost certifiable hole in the fabric had the Jackhammer Kick been allowed to be fully executed, it would appear.
Of course, it doesn't change the fact that he's getting up there in years and is pretty slow, a sluggish roll off to the side before coming up to a kneel as he's met with Karin's - to his ears, given his state of mind - sarcastic praise.
A loud grunt and exhale later, he's shaking out the twisted foot with another loud pop of his knee. That same groundskeeper gets restrained by some Neo League officials while screaming about someone setting off firecrackers.
What is it with firecrackers?
There's a whole lot he could do from here. Snap off a one-liner about how it's just begun, sit back and gather his breath... or perhaps chance fate, once again, against someone with a very keen ability to halt, redirect, and stop attacks with a seemingly simple gesture as he takes Ol' Rusty in both hands and shoves it horizontally into Karin, as if to try and push her over with overwhelming force in an attempt to take back the momentum of the fight.
Or, as it would seem, take the momentum for the first time to begin with.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Karin with Crushing Strike.

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Karin            0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Rust

Karin shifts her stance a bit and tries to redirect the incoming pipe, but due to a miscalculation she finds herself pressed against a bookshelf, and goes wide eyed as she realizes her position before getting struck by Ol' Rusty, smacked right in her shoulder and sending her reeling for a bit.

She growls and grips her shoulder, taking a breath as she glares at Rust, before sucking in a breath and says, "You won't get another lucky hit like that again." Before roaring and charging at him and leaping with her palms whirling, "RESSEN HA!" Aiming to strike him from above.

COMBATSYS: Rust interrupts Ressen Ha from Karin with Cement Upper.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Karin            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0             Rust

There we go, that's more like it, he's thinking as he tries to steel his mind back into the fight. A lot of things he really ought to be worried about - like one of his Pacific coworkers coming by and asking what the hell he's doing - or any other sort of subtle yet important niceties he may be foregoing for the sake of the fight - slip right to the back of his mind.
/Now/ this is a good fight, and there'll always be a primal part of himself, or perhaps it should be better said, a very youthful part of himself that will like it.
"I wouldn't, uh, wouldn't call it luck," he clears his throat as he draws Ol' Rusty back, just as the young girl roars and leaps at him with her whirling palms.
Does the fact he's twice her age have no apparent meaning? He may not be as technically skilled as she is, let's make no mistake here. Karin is a true prodigy - despite the difference in age, she probably knows more technical aspects about a punch or a throw than he ever might for however long he decides he's not too old to fight.
With a small step forward after swirling the grip on Ol' Rusty in his right hand - his grip is not entirely sure in his main hand, as is common knowledge by now. That he's not summoning the usual flair he used to pull this off with doesn't diminish that it still is what it is.
A hell of an advancing uppercut strike, that's what, gliding forward slightly with the upward swing that seeks to collide head-long into Karin. If anything, his swing comes almost too late - she gets one slapping palm against his face, the side of his face already sore from that kick that nailed him head on early in the fight.
Though there is a legitimate trade of hits between the two, in some ways Karin's offense proves successful on one front - between the impact of Ol' Rusty against her and the small (surprising) shock of her palm against his face, Ol' Rusty falls right out of his right hand.
It provides Karin a convenient opening to redouble her offensive efforts, all said and done, regardless of how much that might have hurt her.

Karin gets smacked by that pipe on her hands, and cries out in pain for a moment, even as she strikes Rust at the same time. She likes a challenge, but sometimes pipes just hurt. She tumbles a bit and rubs her arms, growling for a moment as she spins around, glares at Rust.
The thing about Karin is that she doesn't like losing. At all. She growls and dashes toward Rust, as she swings a backhand strike at him, followed by a dive in for a sliding tackle, aiming to knock Rust right off his feet.

COMBATSYS: Rust dodges Karin's Combo Attack.

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Karin            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0             Rust

There's something about an angry Karin that, despite her smaller size, is really kind of scary. He knows that look well from his time at Pacific. The anger of people with money and influence if they feel so very slighted. How many times is it that he's had to deal with angry parents who weren't happy that he gave their kid a failing grade, almost all but expecting to wave money in his face and get away with it?
It's a look reminiscent of how terrifying it is that he really has his job, right now, by a dangling thread that seems to be ready to pull further apart by the day. That angry glare, the way she just runs at him as if expecting for him to completely pay for it all.
He doesn't bother to stand his ground, a low crouch to retrieve the dropped pipe letting the backhand sail harmlessly above him aside from a brief brush of her wrist against the top of his head where that disgusting, abominable joke of an attempt to prove to the world he's not balding gets a little mussed. Hastily scooping the pipe back up, another two steps to regain his balance sees the tackle going wide - and giving him a prime shot at Karin's backside.
Lifting up his left hand, he decides to try and take advantage of this brief opening, attempting to take Karin by the back of her scalp and then thrust her straight down in a faceplant against that carpet while Ol' Rusty is drawn back a bit further.

COMBATSYS: Karin blocks Rust's Brick Stacker.

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Karin            1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0             Rust

If there is something that Karin has practically a mastery over, and that's rolling with the throws. She feels the palm grabbing the back of her head, and shifts her weight in order to tumble with the throw face plant, so she ends up rolling when Rust shoves her to the ground.
Karin spins back up to her feet and rushes back at him, this time slipping behind him, and trying to wrap her arms around his neck for a choke hold to weaken him breifly, before trying to force him into a trip slam.

COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Karin's Arakuma Inashi.

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Karin            1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\0             Rust

That's where Karin's mastery really starts to shine against the older man's grit, determination, and strength - that she moves so fast to go behind him that he's, literally, at the disadvantage when she's trying to choke him. His free hand gets around one of hers, and he visibly struggles to dislodge her.
"'s like you're, you're... tryin' to, to kill me," he wheezes out as his left hand tenses. His body goes entirely rigid - most notably, his throat. None of him is really giving way to her choking, no matter how she squeezes. She puts a good run for his money, though - the choking is going to probably leave a mark unto itself.
Sure, this is keeping him nice and not choked, but this isn't... really doing anything for him in so far as stopping Karin's relentless assault. His body pops loudly as he brings his right hand - and Ol' Rusty - down in front of him, thinking... okay, I got an idea, he thinks, I got one.
His initial idea is to bring Ol' Rusty down, do the handstand, and fall over to sandwich her between himself and the ground, but Karin disengages at the right time for that trip slam, the back of one of his ankles especially sore for the trip attempt.
Nonetheless, he goes through the motions for the handstand, fighting the stiffness in his body pretty much everywhere. His elbows, his shoulders... especially his knees.
That groundskeeper screams they're being bombed and makes another redoubled effort to break free of the restraint of his fellows.
It's unlikely that Karin will still be holding on at all to go about Rust's idea of what to do with her, but this doesn't change the fact that going into this handstand and eventual flop forward, both his feet might clip her on the way up.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Karin with Crashing Down.

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Karin            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0             Rust

SMACK! Karin gets struck by those boots as she she staggers backwards, and takes a breath, and growls a bit, as she shifts her stance again, "Victory in everything... Victory in everything..." She utters as a sort of mantra, before roaring and dashing in forward to get right beneath him, and tries to strike him with an Uppercut that would send him into the air.
After that, she leaps into the air, and whirls her palms again, this time much faster and harder, trying to smack him with twelve consecutive whirling palms. "KOU'OU KEN!"

COMBATSYS: Rust endures Karin's Kanzuki-ryuu Kou'ou Ken.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Karin            0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1             Rust

On one hand, as far as he figures, she slipped out. On the other hand, he doesn't mind flopping back onto the carpet. It's pretty nice. Like, if he got knocked out cold right now, he could think of worse surfaces to hit at dangerous angles to one's health.
On the other hand, it takes him some time to pull himself up, and he can't even really see where Karin is as she mutters the mantra of the Kanzuki family. Victory in everything, is how they roll. Victory in everything - much like how moments before he had a clean shot at her back, this time, it's her turn.
She goes at it in spaces, all right, a solid uppercut behind his back that knocks further wind out of him as he's tossed up into the air.
His head collides with a low-hanging lamp, a brief surge of electricity coursing through him. Glass shards shower everywhere, and some of the officials scowl at the thought.
For his part, though, the zap might be just what he needed to wake him up a bit. Something that gives him a little more wind to work with. The whirling palms, on the other hand, do everything in their power to take that right out of him. They're rapid-fire, they're fierce - each one striking hard enough to do the rare honor of giving him a little pause, as his upper back and the back of his head bear most of the honor of being hammered by the prodigy's prime technique.
He's kind of done with that.
His free hand reaches up to the overhanging light's chord, dangerously dangling underneath his weight as the last two blows serve to twirl him around. Ol' Rusty is held off to some side or another, spinning about once as he realizes... okay, just one good hit here, one good strike, and maybe, just maybe...
Just as he twirls around to face Karin again, Ol' Rusty is already drawn back... and moments later, assuming he's lined it up right, he lets go of the overhead light as the forward momentum of his very thrust carries him through the air and towards the ground in one single, powerful strike as he tries to pass right through Karin with Ol' Rusty forward - an impact, if any, sounding like that of a wrecking ball against an old building needing to be destroyed for new developments - and if unstopped, lands in a kneel where the carpet threatens to burn his knees from friction (even through his pants), where Ol' Rusty is bound to be re-sheathed into the toolbelt.
Unless, of course, Karin has what it takes to stop this and, indeed, have her victory in everything.

COMBATSYS: Karin endures Rust's Condemned.

[                             \  < >  ///////                       ]
Karin            1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0             Rust

WHAM! Karin goes flying from the hit from Pipey, and crashes into a bookcase which barely remains standing from the impact, and for a moment, Karin is down on the ground, on her knees, looking totally defeated.

Then she stands up, slowly, with much effort, as she shifts her stance again back to combat, and breathed heavily, as she focuses on Rust once more.
The Tenacity in her eyes is... Gone. In fact, consciousness seems to be entirely gone, her body is just going on automatic, as though she had trained herself not to quit even if she lost consciousness. That's how determined Karin Kanzuki is to be victorious.
And on automatic, she dashes towards Rust again, and tries with what little energy her body has, and tries to grab him by the collar and slam him into the ground. If successful, she tries to pull him back up to his feet and slam him into the ground again, before trying to drag him back up to standing once more, and she heaves, whirling him over her body as she tries to slam him down a third time.
If she manages it, she'll only stop moving right on to of him after slamming him down. If she can't manage it, it's probably easy to just grab her hands and restrain her until her body stops doing things on its own, or her mind comes back in control.

COMBATSYS: Karin can no longer fight.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Rust             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Karin's Kanzuki-ryuu Ranbu.

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

There is that odd moment of zen that comes with the whole 'dash, strike, resheathing' thing that, for moments, shields him from the horror of what the sound of a struck bookcase. It's through the realization of this sound that he slowly rises up. The bookcase stands, sure, but some books have almost assuredly fallen out from the point of Karin's impact.
His keen shop teacher eye sees it.
/There is damage to this library./ To say nothing of the busted overhead light. His heart sinks. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
He's not even looking at Karin when her body goes into auto-pilot in an attempt to work up the strength to take this man down and maybe, just maybe, secure a sort of victory. It's the idle placement of his left arm - his shoulder popping, given he's already scared himself stiff (very literally) at the thought as she just tries, and tries, and tries to slam him with the last of her strength, his breath sputtering every so often given how much of a beating most of his upper body took - just to stare brazenly at what should, in the big picture, be just a minor thing that's easily fixed and disregarded.
/Not Howard Rust./
"Oh my god, I'm going to be, I'm going to be fired if they see this," he says as his fears, themselves, drive him on auto-pilot as he all but disregards the opponent that, legitimately, put up a hell of a fight to the very finish, limping along and likely just letting Karin fall by herself as raw panic and adrenaline draws him closer.
How am I going to get up there do we have the wood on hand what about the fines for noise disturbances is the guy who was escorting me just going to blame me for everything even though he's more the one who said yes to Neo League god damn it I bet I'll end up paying more damages than my Neo League check will give me and is she really going to cover medical expenses oh my god oh my god oh my god.
Even in victory - earnest victory that an obnoxious announcer declares his name in - this man is extremely frightened for his livelihood as he marches up to the bookcase and just stares at it, his knees popping every part of the way.
He eventually falls onto his knees and just looks up, completely dazed and his heart just about ready to stop.

Karin just sort of finally collapses when Rust leaves her be, and she winds up falling right into the arms of her big butler Ishizaki, who always seems to know when is the best time to jump in and interfere with the fight, generally when Karin is simply unable to keep fighting.

Ishizaki takes a moment to lift the unconscious Kanzuki heir, and carries her to a couch to let her rest, before going about and pulling out a checkbook, as he says, "As is the policy of the Kanzuki Zaibatsu, we will provide compensation for all the damages that happened today." Ripping out a check and handing it to whoever is in charge, so they can be pacified.
With that done, Ishizaki goes back to carrying Karin out of the library, leaving Rust to his fretting.

While a little hand-shaking goes on in the background between Ishizaki and the people who would be mad over all this, Mr. Rust still stands there dumbstruck at the very idea. This really could be it, that little bit of damage to one shelf. /This could be it./ This could be the one event that would render the last decade of his life a waste when he decided to pick up the shambles of a broken dream and make something of himself.
"Excuse me," one of the medical staff says on hand, "you're injured, please allow us to--"
Howard's overexaggeration of the situation sees him frozen solid, to the point he is a realsitically painted statue - and just as stubborn to move as one.
"Well, right, then." The other medic signals to another, burlier one to help lift him and carry him off to the local clinic, in a humorous picture where even with nothing underneath him, his legs still manage to perfectly hold their posture.

Log created on 12:55:26 05/01/2011 by Karin, and last modified on 13:47:56 05/06/2011.