SNF 2014.12 - SNF: "What the Hell, RNG?!"

Description: Welcome to SIGNATRON™! You won't be sorry that you've registered for the world's premiere invasive dating app that isn't just a half-hearted hack of Google Maps, we promise! Note: the creators of SIGNATRON™ are not responsible for injury or death resulting from improperly-conducted dates. (Winner: Haru)

Prom night!

It seems like, despite the weird outbreak of students attacking other schools and either defacing them or straight up delivering beating, students at all of Southtown's various high schools have been abuzz with excitement over this special day. Not the least of those being pro fighting fans, since for whatever reason the various schools of this city seem to be bursting with pro fighters at all levels of ability. Once Saturday Night Fight decided to get involved, it probably sealed the deal.

And what's Haru Sakuraba doing on this fine prom evening? Getting decked out to the nines to go pick up some lucky lass (or lad, or maybe one of each, we don't know) to take to the event?

Nnnnope. Right now he's got on a black fleece jacket with a gold stripe and the Justice logo on the collar, and is looking at his phone as he walks the streets of Southtown Village, furrowing his brow. "Okay. So the 7-11 with the Redbox is..." He stands up and looks around, squinting a little. Man, all he wanted to do was watch a movie! It wasn't on Netflix Instant because WHY WOULD IT BE.

That's right. Haru's spending prom night with a movie and a pizza.

As he's looking around in confusion, someone suddenly calls his name. "Sakuraba-senpai!" That is rare in and of itself, yanking the 2nd year's attention away from his phone to look around with a sort of hunted-deer expression on his face until he finds a young lady with a few of her friends walking together, all in their uniforms. Apparently they're not doing the prom thing either? Or maybe they're just going together. Either way, one of them speaks up. "Are you heading to the dance, senpai? D-do you have a fight on the way there?"

The awkward silence that follows is... well, it's freakin' awkward. He has no idea who this girl or her friends are! Why is she talking to him?! Then the rational part of his brain takes over and says: because you've been on national television for the past three weeks, idiot. "A-ah, no. I didn't sign up this week. I have an exam coming up and wanted to study."

"Oh! That's a shame. Does that mean..." There's a pause here and for once, it DOESN'T come from Haru. "You don't have a date for the dance?"

Haru Sakuraba, boy genius, responds immediately and brightly with: "Oh! I'm not going, no. I figured I'd watch some movies and head to bed."

The girl visibly sags, which he doesn't notice, continuing to prove that Intelligence and Wisdom are separate ability sheet scores for a reason. "O-oh. Well, I... enjoy the movie? I guess. Looking forward to your next fight, senpai!" And then the girls trundle away in a group, laughing and giggling with each other. There's PROBABLY some teasing of that one girl going on but let's be real, she might deserve it a tiny bit.

Haru's left sitting there watching them leave, looking confused. "What was THAT about?" This is why he doesn't notice the app notification on his phone lock screen: [SIGNATRON: Your date is within (1)km!].


"You did WHAT?!"

Rocket had her cousin gripped by the collar of his shirt with one hand, the other cocked back into a fist, and yet all that Sadao could seem to do was laugh. This only seemed to agitate the O'Reilly girl further, her face scrunching into a scowl and both her hands clenching tighter.

"Idiot! If I wanted to go to some stupid -"

"Rina-chan, what is the meaning of this?"

The interruption came from the girl's uncle - Sadao's father. At the sound of it, Rina released her grip on her cousin's shirt and lowered her hands behind her back.

"Ojisan! Sadao... euh..."

While Rina's grasp of Japanese was fairly strong thanks to her upbringing, explaining this situation was a bit novel to her. One could practically see the wheels turning behind her eyes as her lips pursed and her brow furrowed. Luckily, Sadao was there to helpfully interject.

"Rina-chan was just thanking me for finding her a date to the inter-school prom tomorrow night. After all, being so new in school, it's hard to find a willing guy. Especially in /her/ case..."

"Idiot! I wasn't even going to go to the stupid prom!"


And yet, here she is.

Rolling down the street in what could be described briefly as a 'rainbow ballerina dress.'

It would be a fairly modest affair - a knee-length tulle skirt and a strapless, sequin-patterned blue top - except for the fact that the skirt is in a neon rainbow colour scheme. And making matters worse is the baby blue-and-pink baseball cap that's accompanying it, worn backward, along with a pair of fingerless forearm-length wool gloves in a pattern that matches that of the skirt.

And of course, she's on rollerblades, because she's always on rollerblades. Baby blue ones with pink laces and white wheels, in this case.

No, this is not some cruel joke. This is Rina O'Reilly's fashion sense. The two are often indistinguishable, admittedly.

On the other hand, it was a cruel joke that put Rina in this situation. Despite the circumstances, though, she had decided to make the best of it. She'd decided to pick out a dress - a nice one, preferably on bargain - and meet her date, whoever the guy was, and at least try and have fun. She wasn't going to ruin someone else's prom just because she hadn't planned on going - at least, not intentionally.

And then she'd gotten the misdirected text message.

'Sweep her off her feet?' Chocolate and flowers? Why was somebody getting lame advice on how to woo her? Did they think she was that easy to impress? Couldn't they have come up with that on their own? Were they even trying?! And after she went to all the trouble of picking out the perfect dress and everything!

And so she's gliding down the street like a neon homing missile, her braided ponytail trailing behind her, on the hunt for this 'Haru Sakuraba.' Rather than music in her headphones, she's got them hooked up to the GPS in her phone, taking advantage of privacy-invading SIGNATRON technology to locate her quarry.

[In fifty meters, turn right. Your date will be on the left.]

And so she comes whipping around the corner of the block. Spotting what appears to be the guy she saw in the picture, she shouts out a quick warning.

"Hey, you!"

Likely, all that Haru will see is a neon blur appearing out of nowhere before Rocket is on him with a fierce right-handed haymaker aimed at his head, 'en passant.'

"Explain yourself!!"

COMBATSYS: Rocket has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Rocket           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Haru has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rocket           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Haru

COMBATSYS: Haru dodges Rocket's Strong Punch.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rocket           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Haru

For a moment, after the schoolgirls leave, Haru is just kinda standing there trying to puzzle out what just happened. Who were they? On the other hand: a stranger talked to HIM for once instead of the other way around so maybe this pro fighting thing is working after all? And then it hits him:

They were wearing Taiyo uniforms.

This is what causes him to look up and turn to follow them and ask what was going on JUST in time to see Rocket, uh... rocket at him, fist extended, demanding to know what was going on. Eyes widening, Haru does the only thing he can do, which is: freak out. Eyes widening with surprise, he basically just drops, immediately, to the ground in an ungainly attempt at falling prone. Upside: Rocket sails RIGHT PAST HIM. Downside: his descent is not graceful. The Justice student basically falls on the sidewalk, on his face. Which, you know, stings in a "scraped knee" sort of way but probably less than taking the full force of Rocket's acceleration right to the jaw.

According to the laws of narrative causality, Haru's phone fell slower than he did, landing on his back. The cheery computerized voice of SIGNATRON™ chirps from it, "You have arrived at your date-stination!"

Muffled by concrete, all that is discernible of Haru's reply is: "Mmph?!"

COMBATSYS: Haru takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rocket           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Haru

Rocket doesn't feel the impact of fist on face she was expecting. And yet, after powersliding to a stop several feet past Haru and whirling to face him again in the process, panting lightly, the position she sees Haru in causes her to second guess whether or not she actually connected. She raises a hand in front of her face, eyeing her fingers quizzically before turning a scowl back toward Haru.

"Hey! Don't think that faking a knockout is gonna get you out of this!" she shouts at him before sliding over and attempting to basically seat herself on his back and grab for an arm to try and twist it behind his back into a hammerlock.

"You're not even wearing a suit! What, do you think I'm cheap just because I go to Gedo? Huh?"

And she's probably sitting on his phone - not that she's noticed.

COMBATSYS: Haru dodges Rocket's Quick Throw.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rocket           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Haru

Don't screw with a man's phone!

It's actually lucky for Haru that Rocket is so incensed, because it means she's taking the time to shout things at him before she actually tries to attack him. As soon as he hears the words 'faking a knockout' some instinct kicks in and he snaps out of whatever dazed and confused state he'd been in. Reaching a hand up, he grabs his phone off his own back and then rolls his whole body to the side, missing Rocket's attempt to snag him by mere inches. Of course, this means he also rolls off the sidewalk and into the street, and... let's just say he's lucky that the Village is a showcase neighborhood in this city so there's a concerted effort at keeping the streets clean.

Struggling to his feet, Haru faces down his opponent for the first time since this started, and... uh... okay now he's even more confused that he was before. He ALSO keeps moving his head around because at certain angles that outfit is reflecting light RIGHT INTO HIS EYES and that makes it hard to see. Of course to Rocket this probably just looks like lots of weird head movements and squinting which is almost assuredly not going to help the situation much.

Then she mentions Gedo high and this all seems to slip into place for him. "You're from... Gedo..." And now his discussion with Natsu Ayuhara replays in his head, and all of a sudden he's all business. Or at least as much business as someone with his level of anxiety and confusion can be. "Is this about what happened before?! Because I'm warning you, I c-can fight back!"

This really does not seem like it's going to end well. USE YOUR WORDS, ROCKET AND HARU.

COMBATSYS: Haru calculates his next move.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rocket           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Haru

When Haru manages to roll out of the way of her attempt to pin him down, Rocket's frustration only seems to mount. And as he eyes her like she's some kind of Escher painting, she tugs on the wrists of each of her gloves, flexing her fingers - a gesture that might be a bit more intimidating if the gloves in question weren't so cute. Her terse expression doesn't fade in the slightest.

"Stop staring! You don't get to ogle after insulting me like this!"

And then she's pumping her legs and racing toward Haru again. "If you can fight back, then prove it! I'M NOT AS EASY AS YOU THINK!"

Obviously, what we have here is a failure to communicate. That is, unless Haru speaks fluent diving kick, because that's the language Rina is adopting as she jumps into the air, one leg outstretched, the wheels of her skates aimed at his upper body.

COMBATSYS: Haru counters Heavy Kick from Rocket with Moonstone Tenacity.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rocket           1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0             Haru

Get... get to *ogle*?

"I... I'm not! Why would I ogle you?!" None of this makes sense to Haru right now, frankly. Everything's terrible. This girl in... it's... look maybe her fashion sense is just, you know. Different. She's attacking him, demanding explanations and delivering recriminations and none of this makes any sense. All Haru knows about Rocket is that she goes to Gedo, she's angry at him, and is willing to take it out physically at the drop of a hat.

Case in point: she's attempting to smack him in the face with a roller blade. Which... Haru just sort of stares at the attack wide-eyed for a second before everything starts to move over to an instinctive level. "Hey, STOP FOR A SECOND!" he shouts, his voice taking on a briefly nifty echo-y reverb as he brings his hands forward, palms out. Just as Rocket's about to hit him, a spherical barrier of opalescent white light snaps into being, catching her foot fast. The barrier then shatters into... flower petals? Well, lotus petals, anyway, but the burst of energy knocks the skateatrix back from her intended target in the process.

Haru, for his part, puts a hand over his stomach and starts taking deep breaths, once the light show is over, keeping a careful eye on Rocket. "I never said you were easy! I haven't said ANYTHING! What is even going ON with you right now?!"

As the blade of her outstretched skate is intercepted by the white barrier, Rocket's eyes go momentarily wide. The brief flash of light, followed by the raining lotus petals and the burst of energy... it's magnificient. Or, as she would describe it, it's pretty cool.

It's also painful.

She's sent tumbling backward, hitting the street on her back and bouncing head over heels before landing on her skates, a bit unsteady. The shock of the counterattack is enough to cause her to blink a couple of times and actually -listen- for a moment. The change of posture is abrupt - she actually seems to be hearing and understanding Haru's words. It gives her pause.

"I... wait."

And then suddenly, her eyes narrow again.

"Why would you ogle me?"

Her hands lower to her sides, a blue glow starting to emanate from each of her palms as energy gathers in them.

"Are you calling me ugly?!"

The glow intensifies, the girl's green eyes glinting as she glowers at Haru.


And then she slams her wrists together, blue flame igniting between her palms as she shouts.


The accumulated energy flies forward in a blazing bolt, aimed directly at Haru's chest. At the same time, the backlash throws the girl backward on her skates, into the street.


COMBATSYS: Haru blocks Rocket's Super Rocket Shot.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Rocket           1/-------/<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0             Haru

Okay, this escalated quickly. Haru begins blinking in surprise and confusion... AGAIN... but he's not sure if he's more confused by the situation in total or very specifically by Rocket's responses. Example: are you calling her ugly?! "N-no! I'm not calling you anything! And what do you mean, talk to your 'date'?!" Of course the real problem is that she keeps asking a question and then following it with immediate violence, and this is actually really counterproductive to forming the kind of dialogue one needs to ansAND NOW THERE'S A GIANT BLAST OF ENERGY COMING AT HIM WELL THAT'S JUST GREAT.

At a loss, Haru takes the safe route: he hunkers down, crosses his arms in front of his face, and hopes for the best. And thank goodness he does, because the patent-pending Super Rocket Shot burns, and that's a fact. Even as licks of blue chi spill off around his guard, the pain that gets through is still pretty intense; as Haru lowers his arms, he's panting briefly with the effort of not being overwhelmed. "That... really... hurt," he mutters between gulps of air.

Turning back toward Rocket, he looks her over briefly and then seems to come to kind of a decision, as the sudden set of his features in resolve indicates.

"Okay. None of this makes sense but apparently you're not going to listen to reason unless I beat you, so I'm really sorry in advance!" Haru says, perhaps a little too quickly. With a flick of the wrist, one of his yoyos drops into his right hand. "And for the record I don't think you're ugly!"

Then he just swings the yoyo forward, looking to slam it into Rocket's stomach like a gut punch.

COMBATSYS: Rocket blocks Haru's Power Strike.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Rocket           1/------</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0             Haru

In a situation where it's called for, Rocket's ability to spring into action and bring the full force of her fighting power to bear with immediate vigor could be considered an asset. Unfortunately, in situations like this one, it just gives her an inappropriately excessive tool to express her displeasure. It might help if she handled her powers in a mature and responsible manner, but really, she doesn't handle much of anything that way.

As she comes sliding to a halt across from Haru and sees him panting, expressing pain at the energy burning his arms, she starts to have second thoughts about unleashing such an attack. Or maybe first thoughts. She doesn't let it show, though, continuing to scowl as she raises her arms up in a defensive, open-handed stance as she listens to the guy's words.

"Yeah, you better apologize!"

Apparently she's not fully taking them in, though.

"Wait, you don't think I'm -"

Before she can finish turning the statement over in her head by repeating it aloud, there's a yoyo flying toward her stomach. She quickly drops her arms down to deflect the attack with her hands, but there's a noticeable thump as it's knocked away.

"Ow!! Alright, if that's the way it's gonna be!!"

Wait, wasn't she the one who started this fight in the first place? In any case, she kicks off and skates toward Haru, crouching low as she comes in before launching herself into the air, legs apart - aiming to land on her would-be prom date's shoulders and lock her legs around his head before flipping backward to pull him to the ground in a pinning position. If she manages that, she'll aim a few slaps at him for good measure.

COMBATSYS: Rocket successfully hits Haru with Rocket Rana.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Rocket           1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0             Haru

So, here's a thing: let's say you've accidentally been signed up for a date using a dating app by someone who's not you and then that dating app leads you to a shy, anxiety-ridden teenager who mysteriously doesn't seem to know he's your date and kinda keeps saying the wrong thing so you're angry at him and he MAY have said you're not ugly but you're not sure. A fight ensues as a result. What would be the best option?

1.) Stop and talk things out
2.) Double-check the dating app
3.) Leap at him and attempt to SIT ON HIS HEAD

It's probably a good thing Rocket's attack ends with slaps because Haru sees her leaping at him, works out the tracjetory of where she's going to land, and has a panicked moment of wanting this to turn out basically ANY different way. Problem: knowing what's going to happen can often cause INDECISION as often as it causes decisive action and by the time Haru has thought to just MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, Rocket is on top of him and the rest, as they say, is history.

By the time he's crawled back to his feet, Haru is starting to feel like he's totally lost his grip on reality. "Ugh... FINE. If that's how it has to be, I'm not gonna back down!"

And then he just... CHARGES. Swinging that yoyo once. And then there's a second yoyo in his other hand and he's swinging THAT one too. Alternating strikes over and over again, each one punctuated by a desperate attempt to explain the situation. "I'm! Not! Your! Date! So why! Are you! Beating! Me! UP?!"

COMBATSYS: Rocket blocks Haru's Garnet Intensity.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rocket           1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0             Haru

What?! Two yo-yos? Rocket hasn't had to deal with this many yos since Calm Like a Bomb last came up on her playlist. She skates backward under the assault, quickly shifting her elbows and knees to block each attack as it comes. The tactic would probably work better if she were wearing her usual padding, but she wasn't about to go to prom wearing knee pads and elbow pads. That would just look ridiculous. And so she gives a little grunt of pain as each strike deflects off her joints.

"Unf! You /are too/ my date!" she shouts back at him. "You're Haru Sakuraba, aren't you? I'm Rina O'Reilly! And the Sign-a-Tron said we're going to prom together!"

At least they've now been introduced! An introduction that is followed by a swift punch aimed at Haru's shoulder in response to the yo-yo onslaught.

"My friends call me Rocket!!"

COMBATSYS: Haru dodges Rocket's Medium Punch.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rocket           1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0             Haru

"YES I AM!" Haru shouts, yanking both of his weapons back and slipping them into his sleeves. Then the following things go through his head:

1.) Yes, you are Haru Sakuraba.
2.) Why are you shouting.
3.) Look out, she's trying to punch you.

Hearing his own inner monologue read that third line aloud in his stream of consciousness, Haru -- who to Rina's eyes must have looked kind of spaced out for a second there -- suddenly seems to snap out of it, go wide-eyed, and then *drop*, Rocket's fist actually brushing through the top of his hair as Haru bends swiftly at the knees. Standing back up, he twists his head to the side, looking at her out of the corner of his eye.

"Okay, hold on. Yes, I'm Haru Sakuraba, but I've never heard of a 'Rina O'Reilly' and I for sure am not on any date. And what is a Sign-a-tr--"

From his pocket, his phone makes a noise. Keeping a wary eye on Rocket, he retrieves it and looks at his lock screen.

[ Research shows that on 50% of dates, by this point you've either hit it off or are waiting for your wingman to bail you out. For our automated wingman message service, please swipe right! ]

"...what the HECK is this?" You said 'heck', Haru. Come on, now. You even EMPHASIZED the word 'heck'!

Looking back up at Rocket, he clears his throat. "Well, ah, O'Reilly-san, I think there's... been some sort of misunderstanding? My phone is asking if I need someone to rescue me from this date."

Not that he didn't think about swiping right, though. Briefly.

COMBATSYS: Haru takes no action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rocket           1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0             Haru

Another punch ducked. Rocket makes a mental note to go low next time, then promptly probably forgets it as she drops back into her fighting stance. The seriousness of her expression is seriously undermined by the rainbow skirt. She cocks her head a little to one side as Haru pulls his phone out, one eyebrow lifting slightly.

"Wait. You're saying that you didn't even sign up for a date?"

Her posture doesn't relax, remaining defensive as she considers the boy's words.

"You didn't ask for advice on how to pick me up... and now the Sign-a-Tron is asking if you need... rescuing?"

This notion suddenly seems to set Rocket's burner back to boiling.

"Why would they even include that? Why would they assume somebody needs rescuing from a date with me?!"

Both her hands clench into fists, and she rights her head, staring daggers at Haru.

"Or are you just making excuses because you're afraid of getting your butt kicked?!"

COMBATSYS: Rocket focuses on her next action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rocket           1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0             Haru

"I don't know!" Haru fires back desperately. "I don't even know who 'they' are! I didn't even put this on my PHONE! I didn't ask anyone for advice on picking you up because I don't wanna pick you up in the first place! And no, I'm NOT afraid of getting my butt kicked! I'm not even sure why I'm shouting right now!!"

All of that basically pour out of him in one untempered, unprepared stream, after which the Justice student takes a deep breath and tries to center himself. Okay, Haru, focus. Think this through. He makes all the deliberate physical markers of stopping to reassess: eyes briefly close, fists clench and unclench, deep breath through the nose. What do we know about this situation?

There's a girl. She was set up on a date with Haru. She attends Gedo. Haru knew nothing about the date or, indeed, about the app until she got here. The *first thing she did* was attempt to knock his block off. And she keeps goading him instead of trying to settle this like a reasonable human being!

There is only one reasonable conclusion.

"I get it now," Haru says, assurance growing. "Your 'friends' who attacked Gorin are going to attack again during the prom. You're a distraction! To keep me from going to help!"

And then it's Haru's turn to just be balls-out stupid, his arm swinging around as he attemps to snag a yoyo around Rocket's legs and than yank it back, pulling her leg with it and tripping the skater/fighter/dater. "Well it's not going to work!"

COMBATSYS: Rocket dodges Haru's Medium Throw.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Rocket           1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0             Haru

The anger in Rina's features seems to dissipate a little as Haru retorts in the face of her assertions. The claim that he doesn't want to pick her up is a little insulting, if only as a matter of pride. She starts to lower her hands in front of her skirt, the frown remaining on her face but the harshness fading a bit.

Then he starts accusing her of involvement in some kind of attack on the school prom.

"Wait, wha - no!"

As the cord of the yoyo swings toward her legs, she leaps upward, tucking into a half-flip that carries her over the arc of the yoyo before planting her hands on the pavement.

"That's bullshit! We'll settle this - after I'm done kicking your ass!"
She shouts this from an inverted position even as she twists her legs in the air, the wheels of her skates starting to glow with blue energy before igniting as she kicks out in a wide arc, blue fire trailing behind her skates as they cut through the air toward Haru's midsection.

And yes, she did just perform that maneuver in a skirt.

COMBATSYS: Rocket successfully hits Haru with Orbit Breaker.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Rocket           1/----===/=======|=======\-------\0             Haru

Oh, how the tides have turned. At the beginning of the fight, Haru was confused but alert, taking very good care of himself, making good smart decisions. Meanwhile Rocket was just On A Tear and throwing out everything she had. And now we've tilted 180 degrees: Rocket's thinking a little more clearly, and Haru is blinded by what he sees as the True Terrible Purpose of this ridiculous incident. They've even got hackers on their side! Putting apps on his phone is a low blow, Gedo High!


Haru hands his phone off to an SNF techie at ringside before heading into the ring to fight Lilith. "Can you hold on to this? I forgot to leave it with my things and I don't want it to get broken. Thanks!"

The techie just smiled.


"You'll settle it AFTER you 'kick my'... that doesn't make any sen--"

Haru, fight first, then talk. Then things like this won't happen, where 'things like this' is he tries to block Rocket's kick with one extended arm and badly misjudges the angle of the attack, and he is then promptly kicked across the street and into one of those big mailbox things with a loud *CLANG*.

When he gets back up, things are even fuzzier than ever. "I'm not going to back down! What you've been doing is WRONG!" Nothing like righteous indignation gone horribly awry, right? Case in point: charging back toward Rina, Haru attempts to snag an exposed limb with the yoyo yet again. But rather than trip her, if he can get a grip, Haru simply heaves backwards, pulling Rocket into a horizontal spin parallel to the ground before letting her fly into the air, then snagging her a *second* time and redirecting her impact straight into the ground.

COMBATSYS: Rocket dodges Haru's Jade Turbulence.

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Rocket           1/----===/=======|=======\-------\0             Haru

Having kicked Haru across the street, Rocket completes the flip forward onto her skates before wheeling around to face him again, panting heavily. "What -I've- been doing is wrong?" she shouts back as the yo yo swings toward her yet again, tucking in the exposed arm and twisting her body out of the way to allow the weapon to keep sailing past.

"How would -you- feel if someone put you into some random blind date thing without asking or telling you?"

Wait. That sounds supiciously similar to Haru's situation here. Not that Rocket's putting that logic to work.

"And then you got dressed up and it turns out they don't even want to go!!"

Instead, she's swooping in again, this time aiming to get inside Haru's reach with the yo-yo and grab one of his arms before planting her other hand on his chest to push him to the ground.

COMBATSYS: Haru counters Medium Throw from Rocket with Topaz Vigilance.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Rocket           1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\0             Haru

Ah, but: Haru is not left-handed! Thankfully he hasn't seen nor read 'The Princess Bride' and thus does not make that joke aloud. It is, however, true: as Rocket attempts to get inside his guard, she has to get in really close. Haru, thinking ahead, lets the yoyo that he'd just tried to attack with drop to the ground after Rocket nimbly evades his attack. What this means is that suddenly the arrangement of the situation is like this:

[Yo-yo] [Rocket] [Haru]

Yanking his arm back, Haru manages to snag Rocket's extended grabbing arm with the yoyo on the way *back towards his body*. He then pivots and heaves that arm forward, swinging Rocket forward with her own momentum safely PAST him, and then flinging her into the air before lashing out with the second yoyo to knock her away, preventing her attack and putting some distance between the two besides.

"How 'would' I feel? You mean how 'do' I feel! And since that 'date' I didn't ask for started with someone trying to punch me in the head I'm gonna say it actually kinda sucks!"

There's a brief pause as Haru runs a hand through his hair, realizing how quickly he's breathing. His eyes dart around the area, and he finally adds -- by shouting -- "And I still don't really know why I'm shouting!"

The trap laid by Haru's yo-yo catches Rina well off-guard. She's never fought a yoyo... yoyoist? Yoyoer? Yoyokai? Yoyoteka? However one would describe a yoyo fighter, she's certainly never fought one in her limited career as a fighter. When her arm is suddenly entangled by the weapon, her eyes go wide and she lets out a brief yelp before she's thrown past Haru.


And then the second yoyo impacts, sending her spiralling away to land on her back. Wincing, she puts one hand down on the ground next to her body, using it to support herself as she forces her way back to her feet, taking a moment to smooth down her skirt.

There's really no good way to rationalize greeting one's date with a haymaker drive-by attempt. And so, being the mature and responsible teenager she is, Rocket doesn't even make an effort to do so. At this point, it's practically moot, right?

Instead, she makes a much more rational decision. She even speaks calmly and coolly as she addresses Haru.

"You think being on a date with me sucks, huh?"


"Well, then, why don't you suck on this!"

And suddenly it's happening again. This time there's only the briefest flicker of blue energy in her palms before she jumps up and smacks them together. Another brilliant blue fireball flies toward Haru. Meanwhile, Rocket herself goes flying backward, putting even more pavement between herself and her 'date.' She's lucky she doesn't get hit by traffic fighting like this.

COMBATSYS: Rocket successfully hits Haru with Super Rocket Shot.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Rocket           1/-------/<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1             Haru


The rest is lost in the combination of: the roar of a chi bullet streaking through the air and hitting its target, followed by the sound of a person being bounced through the air across the hoods of four different cars (which causes a minimum of two different car alarms to go off). At the very last second, right before he would have sailed into a Starbucks storefront, Haru snaps to his senses and Bionic Commandos a nearby streetlamp with a yoyo, arresting and redirecting his momentum JUST enough so that he swings back around and heads out toward the street, ending in a crouching landing that is just barely controlled.

When he stands up, he is looking for, and then at, Rocket as if she were crazy.

Here is the reason why: he is pretty sure she is crazy.

He doesn't go back on the offensive; rather, he takes a breath (well... he takes a lot of them, this is starting to hurt an awful lot and he is EXHAUSTED right now from the effort of fending Rocket off) and places his hand, palm down, against his chest. From underneath his fingers, there's a short burst of that same opalescent white light from before, but no other sign that he's done anything speical.


"I don't even know what's going on anymore. None of this makes any sense. Especially the part where you seem bound and determined to beat me up no matter words come out of my mouth!"

It's possible that Rocket is, in fact, crazy. She definitely seems to have a certain degree of detachment from reality; the kind that makes it okay to skate through rush hour traffic, and also the kind that makes it okay to respond to typical mockery - or the perception thereof - with explosive force. The kind that says it's okay to go to meet a blind prom date dressed like a neon rainbow ballerina on rollerblades.

"Maybe it would help if you were a little nicer! Like not checking me out and then saying nobody would want to check me out! Or saying I can't listen to reason! Or accusing me of being a distraction! Or saying I'm a sucky date! And you could try not shouting so much!!!"

She punctuates that thought, as seems to be her habit, by attacking once more. Apparently, lessons have not been learned here - at least not by Rocket, and at least not yet. This time she comes right at Haru, reaching out as if to give him a hug. This is not an amicable, peace-brokering sort of hug, though. This is the kind of hug that is known in wrestling circles as a 'spinebuster.' If she gets her arms around his middle, she'll lift with all her might before pivoting on her skates to slam him onto the ground and land on on top of him.

COMBATSYS: Haru successfully aids himself with Ruby Warmth.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Rocket           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1             Haru

COMBATSYS: Haru interrupts Strong Throw from Rocket with Amber Grace.

[                           \\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Rocket           1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1             Haru

"Hey! I didn't s..."

Haru starts that sentence, and then stops, pauses, and thinks this over. No, Haru, you DID say those things. Maybe more accurately, you said PARTS of those things, at different times, and apparently she heard... well. He clears his throat, and then says: "Uh, well. Alright, I said... some of that? But I WHOA there!"

Even if she weren't actually about to turn that hug into a suplex, Haru is already kind of... hug-averse as a person, thanks to the nature of his abilities. But in fact, that very thing might just turn this around. Or at the very least, stop it from getting any WORSE.

Rocket wraps her arms around Haru and for a brief moment, now that his defenses are down a bit, they have that moment of physical connection and Haru is barraged with a swift slideshow of images from Rocket's thoughts, including one particular incident that led to her being here in the first place.

Struggling not to get fully slammed, after Rocket sends Haru to the ground he swiftly rolls to the side, so that the skater's full weight isn't about to drop on him, at least... though getting dropped on the pavement does not feel good either way. Normally, the technique he's about to do is performed elegantly with the yoyo. Right now, Haru doesn't have any time for elegance, so instead he just reaches out and GRABS Rocket by an arm or a leg, whatever's handy, and sort of... spins with her before tossing her into the distance, those petal-like manifestations of energy swirling around her path in the process.

Getting to his feet, Haru is ABOUT to open his mouth and say 'your cousin seems like a jerk,' realizes at the last second that proving he read her memories would be the WORST POSSIBLE MANEUVER, and finally just says: "I'm sorry this all turned out so miserably."

It all seems to happen in slow motion for Rocket. One moment, she has Haru in her arms, ready to slam him down to the sidewalk. Then the next, his hand is on her leg. She blinks, and in the space of that blink, she's suddenly flying - spinning away, almost weightless, as if buoyed by the same wind that seems to carry the flower petals to the ground. It's almost surreal. One could practically hear Tchaikovsky playing in the background - if one was not Rina O'Reilly, who has perhaps never heard Tchaikovsky in her life -

And then she slams into the Red Box machine in front of the Seven Eleven and drops front-first onto the ground. Her body shudders for a moment, and she rolls over onto her side.


She braces one of her forearms on the ground, propping herself up to a sitting position, then trying to put her skates under her and push herself up against the DVD vending machine. The wheels give out, though, causing her to fall back onto her ass, and she slumps back against the machine, panting for breath. Eventually, she responds.

"It's fine. You're... pretty good. I guess it's... kinda... my bad."

And that may be the closest Rina has gotten to offering someone a sincere apology in a while.

COMBATSYS: Rocket takes no action.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Haru             1/------=/=======|

COMBATSYS: Rocket can no longer fight.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Haru             1/------=/=======|

Right... into the Redbox, uh, box. Haru literally winces when he sees Rina smack into it, and when she doesn't come sailing right back at him fists and/or feet first, the Justice student walks over and ducks down next to her sitting position. "We're, um, both... um. I'm gonna... um." There's a few more seconds of this before Haru just stops uttering sound altogether and puts his hand, gingerly, on Rina's shoulder. The same glow appears under his hand, briefly, as did before when he used this technique on himself. At the very least, the burst of healing power should help her get on her feet sooner rather than later.

"Well, my... evening plans fell through," Haru continues without a trace of irony, "so to speak. Do you, um... want to get some ramen? My treat." It's not much of a peace offering, but it is free food.

The girl closes her eyes for a moment, as if bracing, when Haru's hand reaches out to her. When the surge of energy proves to have some kind of restorative properties, though, she exhales, appearing to relax. She tries to stand again - this time, it's a little less painful, and she manages to make it onto her skates.

"Ramen?" she asks, her tone a bit dazed and quizzical. She looks up at Haru's face, then down over her rainbow-hued dress, one eyebrow slightly arched. Then her expression suddenly brightens.

"Sounds good to me! Fighting usually makes me hungry. Do you know any good places around here?..."

It may just be free food, but it's enough of a peace offering to keep the evening from seeming like a total disaster to Rocket.

Log created on 11:21:18 12/06/2014 by Haru, and last modified on 23:57:42 12/06/2014.