Neo League 0001 - NL#0007: Rainbow Mika vs Natsu

Description: Rainbow Mika's world tour continues in Dubai, as she squares off against rookie fighter Natsu Ayuhara at the Al-Mamzar Beach Park. This fun in the sun comes with some surprises though! (Winner: Rainbow Mika)

The on-going adventures of Rainbow Mika's world tour wrestling continues. Following a successful brawl in Croatia (that may have destroyed an apartment building, but improved lives somehow), the wrestler has found her latest challenge set up by an anonymous request for a beach brawl from a third party. Most likely this is in response to Mika's previous battle on a beach in Metro City, but this third party has been accomodated by the Neo League head office.

This explains why Mika is now finds herself on a cordoned off portion of the beach standing next to the fight coordinator for this particular event. It may also explain why the wrestler has forgone her usual wrestling gear for the same remarkably skimpy swimsuit from the World's Sexiest Fight, which has seen enormous success in BluRays, legitimate downloads, and various illegal torrent sites. Quite honestly, it's probably better not to be wearing giant boots on sand, anyway, but the skimpy blue and white bikini doesn't entirely look fight worthy.

(This bikini is made of space age future technology or something and is practically indestructable and has no chance of breaking rating, feel free to stop reading now).

Outside the small, sandy arena a decent sized crowd of attractive rich people in ridiculous swimwear has already begun to form. A good number have actually heard of Rainbow Mika, considering her recent meteoric rise in the fighting scene, but others are simply content to watch an interesting fight.

When the opponent shows up, at least.

The flight here to Dubai's Al-Mamzar Beach Park is certainly the longest plane trip Natsu Ayuhara has ever been on. ... If not the first plane trip she has ever been on. The young Gorin High volleyball player has a lot of issues to work through right now, and the introduction of the bold Neo League series seems to have been the perfect opportunity to -- if not work through said issues -- completely ignore said issues. What better place for this than a beach park halfway around the world?!

The resignation had settled in about twenty minutes after takeoff, as Ayuhara stared blankly out the window of the jet, watching the clouds go by. Sure, plane trips should be fun the first time, but with all that's been going on, she's been starting to have second thoughts about all this... fighting. Is it really going to be the cure for what ails her -- or will it be adding more ailments?

Really, Natsu didn't get to forget about her internal turmoil at all, until the teen stepped out of the taxi. A six-foot-tall woman in a black two-piece swimsuit striding to the fight venue... yeah, that'll draw a bit of attention.

As she enters the fight venue, Natsu removes her sunglasses and the white towel she'd self-consciously draped across her shoulders, handing them to one of the fight coordinators. Her swimsuit isn't anywhere near as skimpy or risky as Mika's: she's played ball on sand before, and takes a dim view of inadvertent wardrobe malfunctions. She looks around at the ring, her gaze settling on a young boy sitting next to a small cache of volleyballs. Good, just like she'd asked for. And upon seeing him, her eyes turn to...

"Rainbow Mika, is it? I've heard all about you, lately... the sportscasts just can't get enough of you, it seems!" Natsu is cheerful, here -- her somber mood broken out of professional courtesy. And she's not trying to be insulting -- but rather, offering honest praise for her opponent today. "I'm Natsu... pleasure to meet you. And... sorry for being late..."

Yeah. There's a crowd, eyes glued to both competitors. It should go without saying why she's a few minutes late.

Lacing her fingers together, she stretches her arms way overhead, before settling into her tried-and-true volleyball stance. "I'm ready when you are," she declares, keeping her eyes upon her target.

There's one important thing to Rainbow Mika's gimmick, to her wrestling persona. She knew full well that she was abnormally curvy for a young Japanese woman, that her blonde hair and blue eyes made her stand out like a sore thumb. They hadn't exactly made her feel entirely comfortable while she was in school, but when it came to entering the ring, she knew that catching people's eyes immediately was important. Her wrestling outfit was absurd, but it was memorable. People would come just to stare at an attractive woman, but once they were there, she was ready to hook them with technique and drive.

A stupid costume, a gimmick fight, almost any request from a promoter to get people to watch was acceptable in Mika's book.

And so it is that she's wearing a bikini that is designed to look as if its not rated for fighting while standing in what isn't so much a ring as a big roped off circle on a beach in one of the richest countries in the world.

As for her opponent arriving late... it's rather difficult to arrange a fight halfway across the world between two people from Japan. Attitude and respect speak to the wrestler and can make up for minor errors. It can't be easy on a high schooler.

"Natsu Ayuhara, I'm glad you managed to make it. Those international flights can be quite tricky." The smile on Mika's face is beaming, brilliant, and genuine. "It's always great to see somebody bring their passion to fighting, even if that passion isn't wrestling. Let's put on an exciting show, okay?"

And just like that wrestler shifts into position, legs spreads into a wide, stable stance with her arms also spread on either side. It's a stance that seems more open than the guarded postures of other more traditional fighting styles.

"Let's get this started!"

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika has started a fight here.

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Rainbow Mika     0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Natsu has joined the fight here.

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Natsu            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

Natsu is pretty well-versed in volleyball. She's used to performing in front of a crowd when a volleyball is in her hands.

But when it comes to fighting, she's a rookie, plain and simple. She'd always looked after her friends, stood up for them, beat up bullies on their behalf, and so forth, so the -concept- of beating people up isn't something that's necessarily new to her. But beating people up for profit, that's something a bit different. Such that even when she's standing around, barefooted in the warm sand, in a swimsuit she's worn dozens of times before, she still feels a bit anxious... unsure of what to do.

The volleyball player seems to grow more anxious, shrinking away when met with Mika's confident cheer. The expectation that... not only would it be a good fight with all of the two fighters' combined efforts, but that now it should be an -exciting- fight too? If she impresses a crowd, it will be through perfect execution rather than any conscious effort. Natsu's much more comfortable with precision execution, with flawless form, than the flash and glamor, per se. So Mika's request... causes some trepidation.

A nervous glance to the staffer on the sidelines is all it takes for him to lob a volleyball over to him. Natsu smiles nearly instantly, catching the ball, and turning back to Mika.

Maybe that's all she was missing, then. The ball is placed in the crook of her arm, her fingers spreading. "Alright, then!" -- Yeah. Natsu's done used up all her words.

The one official on hand raises his hand, before throwing it down. Match start!

As the two combatants face off in the center of the literal ring (it's a lot easier to use a rope to make a circle than a square after all), Rainbow Mika starts to focus in on the energy of the scene. Certainly there's the excitement of the crowd flowing around them. Cheers, whoops, hollering for whichever combatant they've chosen to favor, or just the fight in general in some cases. There's also the flow of energy between two combatants facing each other down. She can feel the flow coming from Natsu, and if there were someone watching who could actually see the waves between them, they would notice that everything has started to be pulled in toward Mika as she connects with the energy.

While Natsu is more comfortable with execution than performance, the two are one in the same for Rainbow Mika. The wrestler has trained in how to perform in front of a crowd, to get them excited, to be memorable. Her many recent televised fights would be a pretty clear representation of that.

What also comes from her experience is a total preparedness to immediately jump into the action when the bell rings (or in this case the official's hand signals) and without a moment of hesitation, Rainbow Mika spins around on her heel, planting herself in the rather unusual position of facing her back to her opponent.

It's a flash of the eye as every muscle in Mika's legs tenses up and then releases like a spring, launching herself toward the volleyball player. As she flies in reverse, she bends at the waist, trailing arms and legs behind her as she flies ass first at Natsu like a rocket.

COMBATSYS: Natsu fails to interrupt Shooting Peach from Rainbow Mika with Medium Throw.

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Natsu            0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

Once Natsu's in the right mindset, the crowd doesn't bother her much. She's -used- to the hoots and hollers, that's all part of the score.

But what she =isn't= used to is opponents turning their backs to her. She's gotten better at reading opponents' facial expressions to judge their likely attacks, but it's hard to do when... well.

It's a lot easier to see when Mika comes flying towards her though. Natsu flings the volleyball down, embedding it into the sand -- it's not rolling anywhere, that's for sure -- and readies herself.

So she thinks. While Natsu's snap decision had been to try and -catch- Mika out of her unorthodox attack, she'd grossly underestimated its speed -- and what -could- have been Natsu redirecting the attack into a German Suplex, instead just means Natsu gets slammed backwards, kicking up a rather large plume of sand in the process.

Gritting her teeth, Natsu at least knew to keep from breathing in any grains of sand during all that. She's done that before. It sucked.

It could be said that when it comes to being a fighting competitor, Rainbow Mika is actually quite nice about it. She doesn't go out of her way to pick on injuries or spend a lot of time insulting her opponents (unless they start it). When a fight is over, she doesn't keep going; in fact she takes a lot of care to make certain her injured opponents are taken care of whenever possible.

That doesn't mean that she isn't inclined to keep going after her opponent flubs a move and takes a hit.

Before Natsu has an opportunity to reorganize herself after misreading the previous attack, Mika is charging in again. There is no strike, no punch or kick, instead the wrestler attempts to take advantage of Natsu's posturing and shove her head between the wrestler's muscular thighs to lock her in place. Then she moves to take hold of the girl's midsection and violently whip her upward while at the same time letting go of her head.

This should lead to the rather unusual posture of the taller high school girl's legs being on either side of Mika's heads as the wrestler's arms wrap in about her midsection and then suddenly pull down with all the force they can manage to slam Natsu's back down against the sandy beach.

COMBATSYS: Natsu just-defends Rainbow Mika's Strong Throw!

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Natsu            0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

While Rainbow Mika may be MUCH better in both professional wrestling -and- professional fighting, Natsu has a lot of experience in... sand. It's rough, it's unyielding, and yet, these are qualities which can be utilized by someone in the know. Right after her fall, her first reaction was to pack the sand solidly under her heels, in anticipation of needing to move -- a necessary step to ensure that the sand doesn't just give way. Her caution seems to have given her a slight advantage: positive surface from which to not only vault back to her feet, but hop backwards when Mika makes the grab for her head. So when Mika grasps for Natsu, she'll only meet the backs of Natsu's hands -- moving as more of a back-handed slap to clear distance so that Natsu can make her escape, wheeling off to the side with a faint grin. She's starting to get the hang of this!

Recovered thusly, Natsu takes advantage of one other feature of the sandy surface -- the volleyball she'd embedded earlier. She digs her toes into the sand as she paces away from Mika, kicking the volleyball up into the air. Now... the Gorin athlete is truly in her element, as the sun glints off her bare shoulder, time slowing for just one moment as she takes aim -- and then smacks her palm into the volleyball, distorting it from a perfect sphere into an stretched, rubbery U-shape as it hurtles towards Mika. "Ikeeeeei!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu successfully hits Rainbow Mika with Tokkun Spike.

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Natsu            0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

There are some disadvantages when it comes to going full force into an attack, and one of those is that you leave yourself somewhat open to retaliation, especially when your opponent manages to figure out the terrain better than you. The sand is a lot more awkward to Mika than she's used to. Even her recent fight on rooftop had a relatively stable surface (until tiles started to fall and rooftops started to break), but sand just slips out beneath your feet if you step on it wrong.

So, when Natsu manages to get cleanly out of the way, it's not that Mika doesn't see the volleyball flying in at her, it's that when she tries to go rolling out of the way, he sand beneath her feet, already loose from her hurried charge, just slips out from under her, sending her tumbling just in time to take a heavy spike that knocks her off balance.

Sometimes you just need to figure out the right way to recover. Some people pause and thinks. Others seem to just naturally pull themselves together. For Mika? It's working the crowd.

"That's more like it! It's no fun if you aren't ready to get into it!" Mika shouts as she pushes herself back up to her feet, making a slow turn where she stands. "It's a lot more thrilling when there's a crowd to cheer you on, isn't it?" She turns, addressing that halfway to the people surrounding them who instantly burst into cheers. Many people, when trying to play to the crowd, simply come across as disengenuous or fake. When Mika does it, she puts her actual love of the crowd, of the fans, behind it. They don't think it's fake, because she means every word of it, and the response back seems to surge right through her.

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika excites the crowd!

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Natsu            0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1     Rainbow Mika

Natsu is still learning how this 'battle' thing goes: the ebb and flow of battle, and whatnot. Her first fight in front of cameras was at Slamfest -- with no people aside from her competitors. And her third fight was in an odd little out-of-the-way dojo, again with no audience at all. Her second fight had an audience, but they were either staged, or drunk, so it's a different mood than here in Dubai. On a beach park. With people cheering to see two young ladies beating the tar out of each other.

Natsu could start to get self-conscious about this: she's not used to grandstanding in the middle of a volleyball game, as that's just... distracting! And you can get penalized for that! But, moreover, Natsu just has nothing specific to say in response -- repartee in the middle of a fight is a learned habit.

So instead of actual /words/, her cheeks just stain a curious shade of pink. And she mumbles something for a moment, before opting to keep that lip zipped, as she gives a nod of assent. Right. She's having fun, and she's ready to get into it, just like Mika asked!

And in this case, that means Natsu breaks into a rapid run, clearing the distance to Mika in record time. She doesn't stop there -- instead, the six-foot-tall teen does a small hop, landing in a low crouch. She then uses her forward momentum, combined with her powerful legs, to press her palms forward into Mika. The target would be the underside of Mika's ribcage: the objective is to knock her not only off-balance, but -skyward-, so that she's not contacting the shifting sandy floor at all. And then Natsu would continue with that upward momentum as well, vaulting into the air, similar to her last attack.

Only this time, her palm would be spiking Mika, instead of a volleyball. "Attacku!"

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika blocks Natsu's Set and Spike.

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Natsu            0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1     Rainbow Mika

One nice advantage of taking time to get the crowd worked up, rather than rushing straight back into the fight is that she's actually able to cautiously put some more room between her and Natsu, forcing the volleyball player to cross more distance when the next attack finally comes in.

Which, of course, it does. And as it does, Mika has the minor disadvantage of having pulled herself out of a proper fighting stance, or even readying the ground beneath her for a quick roll out of the way, but has the advantage of being far enough away that she has plenty of time to prepare herself, tensing up all of the muscles in her body for impact and throwing her arms up in front of her in a handy cross block.

As the blow makes contact, Mika twists her feet in the sand and seems to let the majority of the force be absorbed into sand beneath her; she doesn't even raise of the ground an inch, which leaves the followup little opportunity to do anything.

"That was pretty good," the wrestler says with a bright smile, "It's not easy to fight on sand after so much time in the ring... probably a good thing I take so many jogs on the beaches back home or I'd be in real trouble."

As she talks, Mika has already locked her feet in the sand. It's an unusual position, but it hides the fact that her muscles are tensing and working against the resistance. When the force of her body overcomes it, sand is kicked up all around the wrestler as she suddenly whips around in a circle, bringing the back of her fist around toward the side of Natsu's head on the return trip. It's quickly followed up by a second turn, clearly aiming to knock the senses out of the volleyball player, at least long enough for her to have no chance of avoiding what comes next.

It worked well enough the first time, and Rainbow Mika is more than happy to keep using it. The last turn kept going, spinning Mika until she was facing backwards toward Natsu, just like at the start of the fight, and she rockets rump at the high schooler's gut at far shorter range. Hitting the ground on her feet and following it up with a second blow with her backside, just to make certain.

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Rainbow Mika's Rainbow Hip Rush.

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Natsu            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

Natsu's expression takes a downward turn -- but only slightly -- as her attempt at setting her opponent up for a spike is ended abruptly. Better luck next time, she supposes! She hops back, swallowing her pride and allowing a brief smile: "Thanks." She's... pretty focused on the fight, and Mika's relentless attacks are... not really sparking any divine conversational insights.

Especially since the time Natsu -would- respond within is filled by an onslaught of attacks. Natsu raises both arms, deflecting each of the backfists away with one forearm -- each successive attack wearing her reaction times just a bit more.

When Mika turns around, though, Natsu's ready this time -- and she twists to the side, to throw her opposite shoulder into the attack, rather than taking it full in the stomach like Rainbow Mika had planned.

This... she has a comment to: "... Does anyone ever... attack you when you're doing that?"

Natsu doesn't wait for much of an answer though, as she's immediately lunging forward with an open-handed slap aimed at knocking the recovering fighter off-balance, and then ramming her -other- shoulder into Mika, hoping to utilize her larger frame to full effect.

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika endures Natsu's Aggressive Strike.

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Natsu            0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

One thing about being Rainbow Mika, and this is important, is that you have to be willing to ignore your own safety, and what would probably be the best option to keep from taking a hit. You have to be willing to go above and beyond in an effort to make certain that at the end of the fight, the crowd is excited and satisfied. You have to be willing to go big.

What this means is that when Natsu comes in with an aggressive shoulder tackle, Mika doesn't even move out of the way. She sets her feet to avoid being knocked back, but she takes the shoulder full on with barely even a wince.

"That was pretty good." The wrestler starts before suddenly whipping her arm up, then down in an effort to hook it around Natsu's neck, hauling the larger framed girl in such a way that she would be forced to bend at the waist or drop her legs out from under her.

"I think... it's time... to make... this... fight... more... interesting!" She shouts, with each burst of words being accompanied by a wrenching of the volleyball player's neck, squeezing the side of her face up against the not insubstantial bust that stands out even more in her current outfit.

"SO!" She shouts, pointing up at the sky with her free hand. "GIVE ME YOUR BEST SHOT!" It's timing is a little bit unusual, considering that what comes next is Mika literally leaps into the air, throwing her legs forward until she's in a reclining position, leaving Natsu to drag along behind her as the drop slams the girl's chin right into the sand.

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika issues a challenge!!

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Natsu            0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika successfully hit Natsu with Daydream Headlock.

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1     Rainbow Mika

Natsu has learned two things from this fight thus far. #1: Compliment your opponent more! That way you always have something to say instead of impressing no one with your stoicism. #2: Even when you /make/ an insightful comment, give your opponent time to respond! It's just the polite thing to do!

Oh, and she learns something else. It's hard to make any conversation at all when you're doubled over from having an arm locked around your neck. Natsu's face goes red from the sudden exertion that the simple act of breathing imposes upon her, her arms struggling in vain against Rainbow Mika's steadfast grip. She, like Mika, goes flying forward as Mika slams her chin into the sand, her long limbs flailing like useless streamers in the sudden, dramatic motion!

Looks like she'll be coughing up sand after all -- the need to force some air into those lungs means that her first breath is full of grains. She rolls over to the side, curling a fist in front of her mouth as she coughs. "N-not... bad... yourself..." manages the Gorin athlete as she recovers her fighting stance.

More interesting, said Mika. Her best shot, Mika asked.

Natsu glances over to her sideline helper, raising one finger. And then pointing up. The signal isn't understood immediately, but Natsu doesn't seem to mind, turning her attention back to Mika.

And she gives a more open smile. "Thanks for working with me, I know I've still got a lot to learn." It might seem curiously out-of-place to -thank- one's opponent, even if it's with a lower voice that the microphones might not pick up, but it's the volleyball's way of acknowledging that she's not anywhere near as outgoing as the wrestler.

At least, until she catches sight of the volleyball heading her way. As before, she leaps into the air, cocking her arm back. But unlike before, the Gorin highschooler's arm erupts into flames. "Here it comes!" she cries, slamming her wrist and palm into the volleyball -- now a flaming missile, distorted into a sickle shape from the sheer shear force of Natsu's strike. And if it hits... well, that'll be more interesting, right?!

COMBATSYS: Natsu dazes Rainbow Mika with Blazing Serve!

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Natsu            0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2     Rainbow Mika

Okay, there are times when going big might not be the best option. When trying to make things more exciting backfires on you. In Rainbow Mika's perspective, that's never actually the case. If the match is thrilling for the audience, then it's a victory. The only loss is when it's boring.

So, from Rainbow Mika's point of view what happens next must clearly be a victory... because she takes a flaming volleyball to the face and goes flat on her back in an instant.

She did try to ward off the attack, but the sheer speed of it completely overcame her defenses, blowing past her raised arms. And now she looks about ready to make sand angels. For a moment, one of the fight coordinators starts to head over to see if the wrestler has been knocked out... right up until her legs draw up and she jumps right back up to her feet.

And then stumbles around where she's standing, clearly not the most steady right now. Especially not on the sand.

"THAT'S THE STUFF!" She manages to shout; somehow her training in showmanship manages to overcome any injury, even one that has knocked her brain loose. "If you want to thrill the crowd, you go big! Hit hard! Be explosive! It's not always about being able to talk to the crowd, it's about being able to make the crowd remember you!"

There's an awkward pause. "I will hopefully remember that, but I'm not certain."

That last bit was a somewhat uncharacteristicly open for Mika, normally she doesn't just let out weakness in her (very common) mid-match talks. Wrestlers are supposed to believe themselves invincible.

Of course, she can't just let herself show any weakness, Mika doesn't hesitate past that speech to suddenly go charging in at Natsu, legs pumping furiously as she makes a not entirely straight line toward her opponent. Then she leaps up in the air and throws both feet forward in a double drop kick aimed right for Natsu's chest. Despite being knocked silly, she rolls back from it, lands on her feet, and whips around behind the volleyball player, snaring both arms around her midsection and hauling them tight before whipping into a backward bridge to slam Natsu's head into the sand.

Hopefully that was the right Natsu, there might have been two of them.

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika successfully hit Natsu with Sardine's Beach Special.

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Natsu            1/----===/=======|>>>>---\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

Natsu may not know a -whole- lot about wrestling. But volleyball? She's kind of awesome at it. And it seems that the crowd agrees, cheering loudly not only for the Gorin high student, as she kicks up a small plume of sand upon landing from her spike, but for the energetic wrestler as she vaults back to her feet!

The invigorating speech that follows... well, that makes Natsu happier than just about anything else -- not the least of which because it implies that witty banter -- something Natsu's not so good at -- is not required for stage presence.

Drawing in a large intake of breath, she readies herself for what might be coming next. Running? Natsu widens her stance, keeping her hands wide and at the ready. Jumping? She digs her heels in the sand, ready for the incoming attack. Mika's swerving does give her some pause, though... why sacrifice one's straight-line momentum for--

Oh. That's why. Natsu still has a lot to learn about wrestling in particular: something doesn't have to make logical sense to be super-effective, so long as it looks cool! Natsu takes the dropkick full on -- no doubt a moment forever recorded in the highlight reels -- and staggers backward, despite having -thought- she was ready. Herself dazed from the sudden impact to the sternum, she's left unaware of Mika's sudden directional shift -- and then subsequently grabbed and hauled backward!

One faceful of sand later, Natsu's flopped onto her knees, doubled over with a hand pressed against her chest. That... that took a -lot- out of the volleyball player. She questions herself... why she even entered the Neo League. Was it getting slashed by the little succubus, Lilith? Or was it getting sliced up and practically sackbeat by a Gedo student? And why is she -willfully- setting herself up to get slammed into the sand?

To grow stronger. It's a thought that's been running through the Gorin teen's head all week, coloring her thoughts, even as she spits out sand and fluid. She... can't keep this up all day, no. But she's been challenged to give her best.

And that's just what Rainbow Mika's going to get. Natsu stands up, slapping herself twice in the face, two red handprints left behind upon her cheeks. Unlike Mika, her weariness is showing -- her shoulders sagging, her breathing belabored -- and she's not learned to hide that. "... I'll try to remember it, too," she states.

And then with a sudden burst of speed, Natsu charges right up into Mika's grill. Mika may recall Natsu's sideways slap -- well, it's not quite as powerful as her actual spiking motion. That's what she's coming in with -- a leaping, overhanded spike aimed at battering Mika's guard. She then follows up with another rush, this time with her shoulder and elbow aimed at knocking Mika backwards. But her momentum continues even further, as Natsu twists to the side to deliver a crushing waist-level kick. She wonders -- will this be enough to not only knock Mika down, but keep her there? That... is something else she needs to learn!

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika dodges Natsu's Rival Launcher.

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Natsu            0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\-------\1     Rainbow Mika

Another thing about being Rainbow Mika: when you are used to going incredibly big and taking huge risks, you tend to get hit quite a lot. Mika is surprisingly effective at getting back up from a nasty hits and fighting on. She's not unstoppable, but she most definitely refuses to quit under any circumstance beyond being physically incapable of continuing.

So it should, perhaps, be no surprise when Mika, following her comeback, doesn't seem to be showing any of the effects of getting smashed in the face by a flaming volleyball, and, in fact, is smiling wildly with excitement. This is how fights are supposed to go! It's exciting!

So, while Mika has hardly been a bastion of good defense during the fight so far, and despite going this incredibly hard for so long, Mika is feeling thrilled by what's occuring. Now far more used to the terrain, the wrestler has actually been lightly packing sand whenever she stops. When Natsu comes flying at her, it holds well enough. The wrestler tenses up, ready to take a glancing hit as she dives and rolls out of the way of the vicious strike.

Popping back on the other side, Mika's smile remains. "That's the spirit! Never let up! Keep going strong no matter what the odds!" For a young opponent that's new to the scene, especially one who finds herself to stand out awkwardly, Mika has plenty of advice. Natsu may have been late, but she was respectful, and respect matters.

Of course, it's not enough to make it so Mika is going to take it easy on her opponent; refusing to give your very best showing is an insult, it suggests you consider them weak. If you hold back and win, you've suggested that they aren't worthy, and are too far below you. If you beat them while giving it your all... that shows you consider them worth the effort.

With no hesitation, Mika is suddenly upon Natsu, clamping both hands on the taller girl's shoulders and suddenly hauling up on the tips of her toes to slam her forehead against Natsu's, following it up with a series of vicious blows before she draws back as if winding up and then /CRASH/ one more big forehead to forehead blow that may well leave Natsu as dizzy as Mika was a minute ago.

With the volleyball player knocked clean out of it, Mika whips her arm in over Natsu's neck from her forward position as her other hand plants itself on Natsu's chest and pushes up with incredible strength. The maneuver hauls the high schooler up vertical on Mika's shoulder, balanced there for a few brief moments before Mika suddenly drops backwards, maintaining the vertical alignment of Natsu as she goes horitzonal, and aiming to nearly bury Natsu's head in the sand.

COMBATSYS: Natsu interrupts Heavenly Dynamite from Rainbow Mika with Knock It Off!.
- Power hit! -

[                          \\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Natsu            0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

COMBATSYS: Natsu keeps on fighting!

[                          \\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Natsu            0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

Natsu can't help smile in response to Rainbow Mika's contagious charm. She may have come into the fighting scene due to... questionable advice from her friends, and she may have dealt with more blades, barbs, and brutality than she might have preferred, but... that's the kind of adversity that Natsu thrives upon. Not content to just work on her own skills in downtime, Natsu prefers just jumping headlong into a challenge -- which the current Neo League points leader is definitely providing here!

So when Rainbow Mika starts slamming her forehead into Natsu repeatedly, the tall volleyball player just... rolls with it, clinging to some semblance of consciousness as Mika lets her have it! But when Mika draaaaaws back for the final headbutt... well, that's when Natsu suddenly shifts tack.

She digs her feet into the sand, and raises her forearm at the last, critical instant. Mika's head slams into the flesh of her forearm, deadening the majority of the impact -- it's a good thing Natsu doesn't use her left arm for much -but- blocking, after all, as it's all but useless now.

And instead of being dazed by the headbutt -- though Natsu is practically running on vapors as it is -- the Gorin volleyballer has the presence of mind to press her assault at that moment. Instead of Mika grabbing -her- by the swimsuit, Natsu reaches forward to catch hold of Mika's shoulder with her left arm, still shaky from the headbutt. And her right hand belts forward with an open handed slap, before reversing sharply into a backhand, the impact dulled only so much to allow Natsu to keep a stabilizing grip.

But that grip falters for the followup, a much harder right-handed smack that's probably enough to ring Mika's bell, and maybe even enough to spin her around depending on how far she's dug into the sand.

It's only after fully watching a match with Rainbow Mika in it that one begins to realize just how little the over-all 'sexy' theme she puts on really matters to her fighting style. Certainly, there's plenty of hits with her ass, and any number of attacks that involve jumping on her opponent's head, but she is a grappler and a brawler through it all. So, suddenly having somebody wheather a blistering assault of headbutts is impressive.

Being able to immediately toss her aside and keep going, especially after a serious of hits like that... well, that's pretty incredible.

"That's it... don't let anyone push you down!" Mika shouts as she stumbles slightly from the blow, but overall seems much more steady than she did after that volleyball hit. "Hit back hard and keep fighting no matter what!"

Maybe there's a point at which educating your younger opponent in a real fight is a bit much. A lot of people would probably say so if it weren't for the fact that Rainbow Mika never comes across as anything but enthusiastic. She just knows how to thrill the crowd.

"Now, let's see who's drive breaks first, your's or mine!" There is no hesitation as Mika suddenly whips around and aims to put a knee in Natsu's gut. After everything else, it's somewhat plain and to the point.

COMBATSYS: Natsu interrupts Light Kick from Rainbow Mika with Combo Grapple.
- Power hit! -

[                          \\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Natsu            0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

Yes. Natsu is... -more- than a little woozy. It's a good thing she got all the nice perfunctory greetings and necessities out of the way, to say the least -- it's doubtful whether she'd even be able to manage any of those now, with her head so swimmy.

But even with blackness creeping in at the edges of her vision, Natsu can still hear Mika's encouraging words cheering her on. Is it NORMAL for her opponents to do this? Or is it just fighters like Kasumi and Mika who seem to want the rookie fighter to keep getting better for a more exciting performance? These are questions Natsu will have to think about on the flight home.

Right now? Mika seems to be driving a knee at Natsu's stomach. And right now, even with Natsu not really firing on all four cylinders, she can anticipate that it would hurt. Perhaps inspired by Rainbow Mika's flashy grappling and brawling, Natsu... first, steps sharply to her left. The knee, when it gets raised, snaps right to her hip -- and Ayuhara's arm wraps around it.

Woozy and headbutt-drunk though she may be, the Gorin High student is present enough to flash a smile back at Mika, and plant her left hand on her shoulder again. Whose will would break? It's an interesting question. Because at this point, headbutts seem to be the mode of communication -- and it's something Natsu feels like demonstrating to Mika. *WHAM!* goes the headbutt -- but the Gorin athlete hasn't let go of Mika's leg, and she lifts up -- just enough to bring her off the ground. Continuing to drive forward, she aims to splash her onto the ground, bringing Natsu's full weight to bear as she flattens Mika beneath her.

She may not be -that- good of a wrestler, but she remembers the pin Hayato-sensei taught her in SLAMFEST, at least. Natsu holds the pin for a moment, asking between ragged breaths, "I... I can be pretty stubborn."

This is where words start to fall away a bit. Once more the volleyball player as reversed the course and given her a solid hit in return. It happens to hurt quite a bit... which, strange though it may seem to most people, makes Mika sort of pleased. A good fight against a good opponent, with brilliant maneuvers like this... This is what crowds love to see.

Now, certainly right now her head isn't in great shape, and she looks about halfway to hitting the beach, but that's hardly the right reason to give up.

No, it is in moments like this that Rainbow Mika fights back harder. Every ounce of energy left in the wrestler surges forward and keeps the wrestler standing. She sets eyes on her opponent, this time with no further words to mince or encouragement. After all of this, everything that Natsu has put into the fight, Mika knows full well that she's got the right spirit in there.

Certainly there could be better crowd work and confidence, but not everyone holds quite the same emphasis on pleasing a crowd as Mika... although she would consider that a weakness.

No, this time Mika simply surges forward, kicking up sand as she does, leaping up high (she's trained to fight people who sometimes break 7 feet in height, her vertical is quite impressive), and aims to land with her thighs wrapping around Natsu's head from either side as they rest on her shoulder. All of the force of her collision processing into the volleyball player and knocking her flat on her back. Once there, Mika's hands plant on the sand, fingers splayed to provide as much balance as possible as she wrenches her legs tighter on Natsu's head, then quickly lifts her up, whips her up over and slams her into the sand a second time.

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika keeps on fighting!

[                          \\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Natsu            0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0     Rainbow Mika

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika successfully hit Natsu with Paradise Hold.

[                                < >  ////                          ]
Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1     Rainbow Mika

Natsu really has no right to be standing up. Let alone standing over a fallen Rainbow Mika. But she does anyway -- and mostly because Mika absolutely rebuffs the notion of getting pinned by her! Staggering backwards, the Gorin athlete's brows knit together -- she could easily just... stop fighting at any moment, but then what would she learn from this, really? She would have flown halfway around the world to... NOT give her all? Naaahhh.

And when the wrestler flies into the air... Natsu really isn't prepared for that either. There was a big burst of sand, and then Mika was gone -- with her vision flickering in and out, she'd missed the part where Mika was actually -airborne-.

5tAnd so, she has a Mika on her shoulders. And thus, she ends up in the sand. And then she gets whipped around and slammed into the sand -again-.

Again. Natsu -could- just lie there.

Or she could roll sharply to one side, grab the volleyball that got dug in the sand and left for dead, and ... sit up with an aloof grin across her face. Floating the volleyball into the air for a moment, she hammers a serve right back at Mika...

And finds herself breaking into gentle laughter as her seated body fails to heed any further attempt to move, her right arm falling limply to the sand like her left.

COMBATSYS: Natsu can no longer fight.

[                          \\\\  <
Rainbow Mika     1/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika dodges Natsu's Jikkon Serve.

[                          \\\\  <
Rainbow Mika     1/-------/=======|

Rainbow Mika WILL NOT lay down and give up.

When Mika told Natsu never to give up, not if there is anything left in you to keep on fighting. Any ounce of strength that wishes to rise up, it was because that is how she fights. Never allow yourself to be brushed off to the side casually; if they are going to keep you down, they are going to have to beat you down!

And so, despite some parts of her body begging, demanding to surrender, Mika stands.

And she continues to stand, even when yet another volleyball comes flying at her. Certainly this one doesn't have flames all over it, but considering Rainbow Mika comes from a world where people are known to bring highly unusual weapons into the ring, she doesn't treat it any less seriously. The dive she makes is somewhat a weird inverse as she intentionally moves away from the ball coming at her, tucks into a roll, then pops back up on the other side.

If this were a volleyball match, Natsu would have won just there, but instead Rainbow Mika continues to stand.

She looks on ready to continue, but when Natsu doesn't stand up, she holds back. Eventually the fight coordinator comes over, and after a brief conversation with the exhausted high schooler walks over to Mika. "Winner... RAINBOW MIIIIIKAAAAAAAAA!"

The crowd goes crazy. That is the sort of match that Mika talks about being important. It's the sort of match that the crowd will remember.


After the match is over, the official notifactions made, but before heading out to speak to the crowd, Mika walks up to Natsu and gives her a light clap on the shoulder. "You put up a great fight there. It could have easily gone the other way with what you were putting me through" The smile on Mika's face is absolutely beaming, still slightly high off the adrenaline of the experience. "If you're that new to fighting, and put in the same effort on the volleyball court, I have to see one of your matches sometime."

COMBATSYS: Rainbow Mika has ended the fight here.

Natsu... really wants a -nap- right now. But she's okay holding off for just a little bit longer. She... winces a bit, but hasn't fallen over yet -- that's a good sign. The EMTs are on their way to give both fighters a good once-over anyway. And in the meantime...

Ayuhara looks back up to Rainbow Mika, smiling placidly. She takes a moment to consider her thoughts -- and the smile fades somewhat. But another moment, and the smile returns.

"Thanks, I appreciate that! I'm glad I got to fight with you, it's... It's been a learning experience!"

And everything after that is pretty much a blur, to Ayuhara, as EMTs swarm her, and the roar of the crowd consumes all.

Log created on 19:31:46 11/27/2014 by Natsu, and last modified on 20:10:52 11/28/2014.