IHST - Inter-High School Tournament: Natsu vs Rosalyn

Description: Rosalyn's got an oversized wrench, a belt full of tools, and the home court advantage here in Pacific High. Natsu's armed with a couple volleyballs and a cheer section. And.... neither one wants to hurt the other?! How does -that- work? (Winner: Natsu)

Rosalyn had second (and third, and fourth) thoughts about this tournament.

Not because of any villainous overtones to who's running it, because she doesn't have a damn clue about them. No, it's because Rosalyn is not entirely sure she's ready for this. She started to fight relatively recently as these things go, and though she has natural skill, she's pretty sure she's not going to win - instead she's going to be embarassed in the first or second round and knocked out. Did she really want to more or less start her career by entering a tournament?

But the scholarship would be nice if, by some miracle, she does well enough to get it. Right now, she's pretty sure she doesn't have enough family approval to get her university paid for - not to do what /she/ wants to. And so she didn't back out.

Being as this fight is in Pacific, she's actually quite early, and has spent at least a half hour pacing around the main hall. It's a big area - more of a lobby than a hall - and looks like it belongs in a hotel. Pacific ain't cheap to go to, and it shows; the whole place is rich. Rosalyn doesn't quite fit in the refined atmosphere; she is wearing what looks like a set of mechanic's overalls (though it has the Pacific logo on her chest, see?) that makes her look a little bulky and shapeless because of how they sit on her. She is carrying around a closed small tool pouch on her left hip.

Probably more interesting to anyone expecting to watch her fight is the big, big wrench she has, though. It /must/ be custom-made; who'd sell a monkey wrench that big? With its jaws closed, it's shaped more like a big hammer than anything else. Rosalyn has it over one shoulder like it doesn't weigh a thing.

There are some other students around, both Pacific and not, and all of the available chairs have been pushed to the sides so that people can sit in them to watch. There are more people than chairs. This is flustering Rosalyn, who is not used to an audience like this; she tends to keep her head down.

After learning about Daigo, and after hearing rumors about the principals of Taiyo High and Gedo High... well, yes, Natsu had some hesitation about participating in this tournament. But then after some soul searching she came to realize that the chances of actual success for someone of her caliber were, admittedly, low -- so why not give it her best shot? Who cares who's running this dumb thing -- if she gets eliminated, it's not like they'll toss her into a shredder and pulp the remains or anything... right?

Of course, she'd been keeping tabs on Yuri, Kazuki, and Rocket. Y'know, just in case.

But no. She's fought in Neo League. She's fought in Saturday Night Fight, she's fought in Slamfest. And as long as Rosalyn isn't afraid of Natsu calling out a bully when she sees one... well...

Of course, Natsu checked to make sure that there was no interference allowed in the fight. Her head still smarts from being slammed into the stone steps.

Natsu is wearing her volleyball uniform: red jersey, red shorts, elbow and arm guards. Carrying her Gorin High gym bag, she walks into the school about two minutes early, so as not to give any reason to be 'late'. A half-dozen girls in Gorin uniforms walk in... along with one in a wheelchair. As they find places to stand amidst the crowd, Natsu gets a better look around the hall.

It's... a hallway. But it looks like an airport, or hotel... or something? Frowning at the opulence, she breathes in a sharp intake of breath. She's not here to gawk or glare, she reminds herself, she's here to fight.

With a cautious glance, she notes her overall-clad opponent. And the big wrench she has in her hands.

-That- makes her hesitate a moment.

But only a moment. "Wainwright-san..." Clutching the strap of her gym bag, she gives her opponent a respectful bow. "It is a pleasure to meet you." She offers a brief smile, stepping back and withdrawing a volleyball from her bag, before unslinging the bag and kicking it a few yards to the side. "I look forward to our fight," she states, bouncing the volleyball once, twice, thrice off the floor, before adopting a ready stance.

She glances around for an official, but it must be stated -- her eyes -really- keep snapping back to that oversized wrench. Yowza.

Compared to Shoma's gigantic bat, Edge's stack of knives a mile high, Zaki's chains - and, of course, Hyo's actually a goddamn sword - the wrench fits right in. At least it doesn't have any actual blades on it. That's a plus, right? Whichever it is, it didn't seem to be ruled out by the officials.

At least the both of them are inexperienced. Rosalyn tried to look up Natsu's fighting record - tried, because there wasn't much to find yet, just a couple losses in the Neo League. That reassured her, at least. It means that Natsu probably hadn't been doing it /that/ much longer than Rosalyn herself. Not enough to really make her comfortable, but enough to make her think she might not make a complete fool of herself in the first ten seconds. She does look at the volleyball with minor confusion, though; Rosalyn though she played for sport, not for combat. Well, she's not in any position to comment, really.

Rosalyn still does not do a proper Japanese-style bow well. She tries, then stands up straight almost immediately thereafter, shifting her wrench around to a different grip. "Pleasure to meet you, miss Ayuhara," she says, slightly less formal than she probably should be but at least her accent is acceptable - better than some of the other Pacific students at least.

As an added note, Natsu has finally met a girl nearly as tall as she is. She just had to look at American teenagers to do it... and Rosalyn is still an inch or two shorter, though her messy, somewhat expansive hair makes up for it a little bit.

Rosalyn looks at the Gorin students with a little bit of discomfort. More spectators? Why are there so /many/? She's pretty sure someone in one of the film or photography clubs set up a camera, too. And, of course, there's official overwatch too, a couple officials hanging out near the middle.

One of them is the one that speaks next, in fact. "Ayuhara. Wainwright. We'll give you a count and then the signal. If you're both ready?"

Rosalyn hesitates a moment, and then nods, a little jerkily, as she moves toward what is apparently the starting position - near the middle of the hall, oriented down the long axis so they can back up or move forward further.

Natsu hasn't fought any crazy people with a weapon, at least, not since fighting the tiny girl with wings that turned into sharp blades. And... well. Okay, maybe she -did- fight Edge, but had tried to block that memory out.

Kiyoko -- that's the girl in the wheelchair -- has no trouble finding a seat. Whatever Pacific's standing may be with the other schools, their students are nice enough to respect the disabled -- that's a plus. The remainder of the Gorin volleyball team makes a small semicircle around their former captain, as their current captain smiles back.

Ayuhara notes that her opponent seems to be anxious about the crowds -- a disadvantage that the volleyball player does not have to worry about. "Don't worry about the crowd, " she confides in a low voice -- not condescending or demeaning, just a word from one fighter to another, offered with a sportsmanlike smile. "Just focus on the fight, and you won't even know they're there."

And as she steps forth, palming the volleyball in one hand, she nods her readiness to the official. "I'm ready."

COMBATSYS: Natsu has started a fight here.

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Natsu            0/-------/-------|

Rosalyn is not crazy.

OK, she's /probably/ not crazy. Mostly she just looks nervous. Stage fright in front of an audience that are mostly people she knows, who would have thought it? The audience varies from friendly to a little strained with the Gorin kids (and a few from other schools who came down because they're curious), but they're certainly not going to cause a ruckus, and Kiyoko can find a place without difficulty.

"...thanks," Rosalyn says. She actually manages to smile, though it looks a little forced. She takes a step back afterwards, holding the wrench in both hands, like a big hammer; one hand is up near the head, the other further down the handle. She gives another short nod when she's ready.

The official raises one hand, holds it, holds it a moment longer... and then drops it, cutting through the air. "Begin!"

Rosalyn is pretty quick on the draw. But she does not immediately swing her wrench at Natsu, which might be a relief to her. She takes a step forward and thrusts her hammer down, pushing the top of the weapon at the ground. It hits; she pushes herself up like she was vaulting, using it as a pivot to swing her body through an arc and then deliver a two-footed kick at Natsu's torso! Her feet shimmer with silvery grey energy, and when (if) her boots hit they're as hard as metal for an instant.

If Rosalyn hits Natsu, she springs back, still using the wrench to pull herself straight - it didn't move, apparently anchored to the ground. If she doesn't, she ends up completing an entire revolution, landing on her feet a good deal more awkwardly. Either one leaves her in a good position to heft the wrench back up.

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn has joined the fight here.

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Natsu            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Rosalyn

COMBATSYS: Natsu just-defends Rosalyn's Iron Drop!

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Natsu            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Rosalyn

Natsu can tell the smile's a bit forced. Because, really, she was nervous, and she was just told to not be nervous -- Natsu couldn't expect much else, really! The volleyball player keeps her warm smile on all the same. Maybe this fight won't be as much of a downer as the last. With Natsu's penchant for taking everything the wrong way though, perhaps that's just wishful thinking.

When the word is given, Natsu starts to lift her volleyball. But then she sees Rosalyn drop the hammer. And... use it as a lever, apparently. "Huh..." states the volleyball player, taking a cautious half-step backwards.

As she'd been about to -launch- the volleyball, she instead keeps the volleyball in her hand, raising the ball and using it to intercept the two-footed kick instead of taking it full on. As the ball reverberates -- it's -designed- to absorb shock, after all -- Natsu hops backwards, moving with the strike.

Her smile grows, if only by a small amount, as she lands in a crouch. She can tell how far she was pushed back, and how much that -could- have hurt if she weren't prepared for the official's shout. Her reflexes are honed from years of volleyball practice, though -- and the adrenaline's already starting to flow. "Not bad!"

But the volleyball did warm up -quite- a bit from that strike -- it's still glowing from the energy of Rosalyn's attack. And Natsu's not sure she can hold it for much longer. So she does the first thing that comes to mind -- lobbing it into the air, and then slamming an overhand serve into it, turning the sphere into an ovoid as it hurtles towards Rosalyn. "Attaaaack!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu successfully hits Rosalyn with Jikkon Serve.

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Natsu            0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0          Rosalyn

Rosalyn can tell immediately that she hasn't hit Natsu, even though at the angle she actually hit at it's hard for her to just see. People don't feel like that. She figures it out soon enough when she pushes back off the ball, landing on her feet and sliding back a step. "Uh, thanks..." She doesn't look quite so nervous now - she's trying to focus on Natsu instead. As Rosalyn lands and slides, the wrench comes with her as she lifts it again, holding it defensively.

It doesn't help. Rosalyn is not used to having volleyballs served at her. Repeated memories of being the last pick for dodgeball /every time/ run through her head like a film, and she proves why again; the ball hits her in the face hard enough that she's glad she doesn't wear her glasses for these little events. She lurches backwards like she was punched in the face (well, she pretty much was) and it's a small miracle that it hit her in the forehead instead of the nose. She lets out a little yelp in pain and startlement, and there is a perfectly round mark on her forehead, starting to redden already.

It does mean she looks slightly dazed for a moment, but Rosalyn shakes her head sharply, and that seems to clear it enough that she doesn't weave around in confusion. Instead she tries to close the distance that has just been opened up by taking a volleyball to the head, swinging the wrench in one hand. She uses the flat back of the wrench as a striking surface, putting some strength into her swing - but more impressive is the strange shine the metal of the wrench has, and the trail of little sparkles it leaves as Rosalyn puts her arms into the swing!

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Rosalyn's Power Strike.

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Natsu            0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0          Rosalyn

Natsu has a long history of being nice to her opponents. Y'know, when they're not being bullies. So far her opponent seems okay on that front!

Yes, there's a boy who she likes who swings a bat around, but thankfully it's never been swung -at- her. Unlike, say, Rosalyn's wrench, which looks pretty vicious!

But that said, Natsu is still kind of antsy about her chances of escaping the fate yet again. Especially when she catches sight of the gleam of polished metal. So pretty. So clean. Surely she wouldn't want to get the tool dirty in a fight like --

That's no way to think, Natsu chides herself, snapping out of the reverie just in time! Turning her left shoulder and right palm into the swung weapon, she's nonetheless rocked backwards a good three feet from the impact, exhaling a sharp breath in the process.

That... that hurt! It could've been a lot worse, Natsu reminds herself, but makes a cautious note: that spot might be tender for a bit.

She wastes no further time thinking about it. If she were Sakura she might have a smartaleck comment to make. But the only response Natsu has... is a snap kick, as she leans forward, aiming to plow her knee into Rosalyn's midsection during her recovery, and then follow up with a shin kick. She might not have Rosalyn's reach, but she can improvise!

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn blocks Natsu's Medium Kick.

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Natsu            0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0          Rosalyn

Rosalyn isn't very good at smart-aleck comments either, which is why she's mostly kept her mouth shut. Not talking has never steered her wrong; until recently she was kind of a solitary girl anyway, who didn't come out much. And just because she's been made to come out more doesn't mean she wants to suddenly become a social butterfly!

Natsu comes in quickly, but not quite quickly enough to get the jump on Roz. She can't get entirely out of the way, and she can't use her wrench to absorb the impact of the strike; instead she turns her body slightly, going to a one-handed grip on her wrench for a moment. This means it actually gets even further out of line, but it gives Rosalyn a hand free, which she uses to press down on the knee as it comes up.

This hurts her hand - Rosalyn can feel it tingle! - but with a little hop, it means Rosalyn gets pushed upward instead of taking the blow solidly. She ends up bounding backwards a little, still visibly off balance between her wrench going every which way and being launched backwards; it's a wonder she doesn't actually drop the wrench.

She doesn't, though. Rosalyn gets her other hand on it again and brings it on an overhead two-handed slam. That would really hurt if it hit, but it's so obvious and slow that it has virtually no hope of hitting Natsu at all. That's fine by Rosalyn, because Natsu isn't her target - the ground is.

The impact point glows a faint silver, then red in the middle like heating metal, then a tiny bit of yellow right in the middle. That's when Rosalyn backs up from it, just as a jagged line of chi, branching several times, radiates from it along the ground. The ground appears to /crack/, spraying up rocks and chunks of metal down the line as Rosalyn's unusually elemental chi causes the ground to erupt in a rough cone!

The lines fade, as does the spraying stone and metal. The flooring seems more or less intact... except for where Rosalyn actually with the wrench, which has a very visible scuff and divot in it. She'll be more apologetic later. As is she manages to look sheepish mid-battle.

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn successfully hits Natsu with Ground Bomber.

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Natsu            0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0          Rosalyn

Natsu is a bit stressed out to see her knee get blocked. And here she thought she'd have the initiative! But as the wrench gets hammered into the floor... well, yes, Ayuhara's quick enough to hop sideways, out of harm's reach.

She also has to wonder just -what- this floor is made of that it can take such an impact! Pacific must have tons of money! But ... well. The steadily expanding pattern of chi through the floor spreads towards her before she can realize what's going on. "Uwaa!?" she cries, caught by the sudden -explosion- of rocks and metal. But... that wasn't what the floor was made of, was it?!

It doesn't really matter. The ejecta is enough to blast Natsu backwards, the fine particulate shower sure to tear up whatever washer and dryer are unlucky enough to get Natsu's jersey next. Luckily, she'd had the presence of mind to screw her eyelids shut before impact. But... it also means that the rocks are making her eyes tear up -- as if the pain coursing through her back and upper torso werent enough. "G-gah. What -was- that..." It -felt- like rock and stone, she notes, brushing some of the less-embedded dust from her jersey as she rises back to her feet. Blinking the grit out of her eyes, she gets a hazy look at Rosalyn -- and charges with her shoulder!

Her right shoulder, for the record.

COMBATSYS: Natsu successfully hits Rosalyn with Aggressive Strike.

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Natsu            0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0          Rosalyn

Money solves a lot of problems, but when you have a student body that puts out far more than its share of fighters... you pay it for things like this.

"...just a trick," Rosalyn explains. "Like the fireballs." Except from the ground, which is where Rosalyn's talents lie - in metal, in stone. This may explain why she's pretty sturdy - if /that's/ the power of chi she has, well, it would make sense, wouldn't it? There's no way someone whose chi is oriented toward metal would end up a lightweight.

She's certainly not /fast/. She has to bring the wrench up after her two-handed swing, and she's only partway through getting out of the way when Natsu slams into her, striking rather more directly than the partially deflected knee and kick.

The air slams out of Rosalyn with a whoosh as she takes the impact without bracing for it properly; she doesn't go back as far as Natsu might be hoping, but she certainly is launched backwards quite a ways, staggering when she touches down and very nearly hitting a potted tree. Only her quick reactions save that tree from an ignoble fate. She wheezes for a moment.

Trying to recover from the impact against her torso, Rosalyn opens the pouch on her tool belt. Blindly, she reaches in. What's in there today... She can't tell everything apart by feel, and eventually she just grasps something narrow and flings it.

What she gets appears to be a metal dart with a coil of copper wrapped around it. It's not actually sharp - it doesn't pierce so much as impact - but when the 'point' hits either Natsu or the floor for the first time, the concealed battery discharges, letting out a jolt that feels a whole lot like being hit with a taser!

Hurray for gadgetry, Rosalyn thinks, though she's feeling a bit of chagrin - that was supposed to make a magnetic field, not short out. Oh well!

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Rosalyn's Mystery Gimmick.

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0          Rosalyn

Gorin, as a private school much like Pacific, has its fair share of cash flow as well -- it's just all gone towards the sporting facilities instead of the classroom buildings. Still... as Natsu rams her shoulder into Rosalyn, she mulls over her opponent's words. So it was just chi, like Sakura's fireballs... is that what she meant? Pulling back, she looks back at her jersey. Huh. Well, Natsu -can- manifest fire when she really puts her heart into it, she considers.

It's considered silently, as is typical for the laconic team captain. Mostly because she's wondering why Rosalyn's reaching for the tool belt. Ulp. Natsu sees something -small- flung towards her, and throws both hands in front of her, hoping the bandages wrapped about her palms and fingertips will be enough to blunt the impact of whatever sharp blade is sure to find its way lancing towards her.

Well, it has to be -sharp-, right? ... And it is, but the jolt that comes afterwards is what comes as a surprise to Natsu. Staggering backwards, Natsu actually gives a small grin. Rosalyn would probably has no idea why the Gorin athlete is so happy. The truth is: because she's not being cut to ribbons.

She notices that look of chagrin on her opponent's face, though. "Oh. Uh. Sorry!" But it's not long before Natsu comes charging right back into the fray, balling both fists together in an axehandle, and swinging it up like an uppercut towards Rosalyn's torso, aiming to thump her into the air just as if she were a spiked volleyball. "Hup!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu dazes Rosalyn with Medium Punch!
* Attack Of Opportunity! *

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1          Rosalyn

Rosalyn is a nice girl. She doesn't cut people to ribbons. Not even once!

She can't tell why Natsu is grinning at her, though. Is she that into it? That probably means she thinks she has a good chance, which means Rosalyn isn't doing very well, which means - well, it's no use running her mind in circles. She gives a little bit of a hesitant smile back, though it looks more honest than the forced one from before.

It lasts until she catches sight of someone from her science class behind Natsu, as part of the crowd. This distracts Rosalyn for a critical moment. She wrenches her attention back to Natsu, but by that point she's already charging back in, and Rosalyn tries to throw herself to the side.

Throwing herself turns out to be the worst plan ever, because it gives Natsu free reign to launch Rosalyn up into the air at an odd angle. She ends up spinning because of the angle of the impact, half-dizzied by the rotation and without anything to catch herself on. There's nothing she can grab with her wrench to straighten herself out, she never figured out how to do much in the air...

Which means that after she goes up, she comes down. Rosalyn has enough self-control to start drawing on her chi in the air, which means not just her wrench but her entire body trails sparkles just for a moment; she comes down in what appears to be a belly-flop at Natsu, though she's dizzy enough that she might just flop onto the floor instead. Her body feels a little stiff, reinforced by her chi, though the aura vanishes on impact and leaves just Rosalyn behind.

Rosalyn, for the record, is not especially light. She's a couple inches shorter than Natsu, but probably heavier - certainly not lighter. It's an uncomfortable impact, if she manages it.

COMBATSYS: Natsu dodges Rosalyn's Heavy Strike.

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1          Rosalyn

Compared with professional fighters, Natsu is not especially strong. But compared with high school students, well... she knows how to hit a volleyball, and in her limited fighting experience, it's not so far removed from hitting folks her age. Mind, it leaves some pretty unsightly bruises afterwards, on both her and her target, but she has to agree with her friends Sakura and Hinata -- it can be kind of fun at times.

The young volleyball prodigy can sympathize with Rosalyn, though -- sailing about through the air on someone else's dime can be kind of disorienting. So Natsu is also pleased to see that Rosalyn's able to make the best of a not-so-good situation...

Well, at least until Natsu realizes that what goes up must come down, and Natsu is still impeding that 'down' direction.

Once Natsu overrides the idea that she should only dive -to- rather than -away-, she seems to do alright, throwing herself into a roll and springing free of Rosalyn's body splash.

It sounds just about as good as one might expect -- which is to say, not. The volleyball team covers their ears, let's just say that.

But Natsu won't be lying on her laurels -- she considers her shuttle practice, and with a squeak of her sneakers on the floor, she reverses direction sharply.

And throws herself right back in the reverse direction, her right hand aiming to scoop Rosalyn right off the floor again and possibly toss her back into the foliage. Tough break for the facilities people! "Haaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn dodges Natsu's Sliding Receive.

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1          Rosalyn

That was unpleasant. Really unpleasant. Rosalyn has learned why you never try to body splash, belly flop, or any similar thing when you're not guaranteed to land in such a way to break up the impact. She gets smacked across what feels like her entire front to various extents. The audience was probably right to wince.

She kind of wheezes for a moment and decides to stay right where she is for a moment. Ow. That was uncomfortable, even if ultimately it's not something like that that's going to put her out. Rosalyn hears the squeaking of Natsu's sneakers on the ground, though, and that shocks her back into action.

Rosalyn rolls. Twice; once to her back, and then she keeps going, but this time ends up on hands and knees. She pushes herself up with as much speed as she can manage, still scooting backwards as she goes. She moves /herself/ dangerously close to the potted plants, but at least Natsu wasn't the one to throw her there!

Finally getting to her feet, still trying to regain composure, Rosalyn holds her monkey wrench in front of her, angled across her body like she was preparing to block attacks with it. (Which may be true.) Energy starts to gather along it, dancing across the hammer - which Rosalyn has opened the jaws of, as if she expected to actually wrench something with it. The energy seems to be flowing into a ball in there, shimmering silver as it dances along the jaws of the wrench...

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn charges her next attack!

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1          Rosalyn

"You're doing well," Natsu states reassuringly. She can remember the first Neo League fights she'd had with Kasumi and Rainbow Mika. They were so casual. So -nice- to her, even as they clearly had the superior skill. Natsu, on the other hand, doesn't feel that her position is any better or worse than Rosalyn's -- definitely not judging from the sheer expression of her will earlier -- but she can still tell that there's a need to pay it forward. To show kindness and reassurance, even to one's foes.

Especially considering the callous aura she'd gotten from Gedo students.

But that doesn't mean Natsu will go easy on her. Ohhh no. When Natsu sees that Rosalyn is pausing, channeling her energy, Natsu just springs into action. She surges forward, throwing her right arm out for a running lariat aimed at catching her wrench-wielding opponent around the neck. And if she manages that she'd leverage it into a takedown, hoping to drop her elbow into Rosalyn's sternul and cut short whatever Rosalyn's planning in the process! "Hraaaaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn fails to interrupt Combo Grapple from Natsu with Empowered Super Inferno Driver.

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Natsu            0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0          Rosalyn

Rosalyn isn't sure she's not being mocked in some way she can't clearly figure out, which is a thing she has had to deal with before. Intelligent as she is - and she's /very/ smart, in some ways - sometimes she doesn't manage to figure out the details of social interaction until long after she's done with a conversation.

Still, she at least /seems/ friendly enough. Rosalyn tries to smile again, though with a bit of pink on her cheeks. That might be from being hit in the face at least once and then working hard to stay in the fight, of course. She still seems mostly focused on whatever she's doing; it's not an easy thing, it is stopping her from running around and dodging.

The aura ball forms between the jaws of the wrench, and it apparently is enough to heat up the weapon; little wisps of flame dance around the edges of the jaw as the chi-imbued power tries to discharge. Rushed by Natsu charging in again, Rosalyn swings before she's really ready to, the wrench leaving a trail of flame and sparkles behind its arc -

- which doesn't at all intersect with Natsu's rush. Rosalyn gets taken down, the elbow impacting her sternum hard enough to definitely stop whatever she was doing; the energy ball winks out with a little hiccup of wispy light as Rosalyn loses her focus and her breath all at once. Downed again, she is more trying to get up (and stay up) than press the attack; she's far too off-balance from the combination of losing her charge and Natsu's attacks to do anything else!

Natsu's not mocking! She'd be really apologetic and such if she were called on that. It would probably involve lots of bowing and stammering. So when Rosalyn smiles, well, Natsu smiles back. It probably doesn't taking the edge off of the forearms the Gorin athlete throws at her the next moment, admittedly.

However, a more honest expression follows -- a somewhat aghast expression as she realizes the wispy light fading away from Rosalyn as she springs back to her feet. That is one thing Natsu needs to figure out -- that she needs to be able to stop emphathizing with her opponent until -after- the fight. See? Natsu had even let Rosalyn get back to her feet. Honor, politeness... the line is so thin to her.

But, Natsu rationalizes to herself, were the situation reversed, she wouldn't want Rosalyn to let up. And thus, the Gorin athlete won't either. Clenching her jaw, her mouth pressing into a tight line, she swings her long arms at Rosalyn, exhaling sharply with each surge of motion as she hopes to connect with a one-two smash, and possibly even take her opponent down for the count.

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn dodges Natsu's Fierce Punch.

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Natsu            0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0          Rosalyn

Rosalyn may actually have to talk to Natsu later. Cross-school... she doesn't exactly have many acquaintances like that. She's stayed too close to Pacific for the partial year she's been here to have met many, which isn't helped by the sometimes adversarial relationship Pacific has with their Japanese colleagues.

Like right now; Rosalyn is getting some cheers simply because she's Pacific and the other student isn't, even though she's not really doing as well as she hoped. She's at last managed to put the crowd (which she is a lot closer to now than she was before, physically) out of her mind to pay attention to Natsu, and only Natsu. Well, plus the environment.

The fists come in, and this time Rosalyn does move. She's big, but not so big (or slow) that she can't move when she needs to; she has to keep circling and even so only barely keeps ahead of Natsu's attacks. At least she's not dizzy anymore or all this rotation would probably be setting her off.

Rosalyn stomps her foot on the last of her sidesteps and then presses the head of her wrench against the ground. When she pulls it back up, she has apparently pulled a chunk of metal from nowhere - more of her elemental chi by the way it shines rather than actually pulling real metal from the ground, which would be weird given they're indoors.

She releases it with a snap of the wrench, and it spins around her, slowly drifting further away from her as it spirals more than directly orbits. It gets in the way of attacks, a little bit, while still having all the impact of a chunk of iron - though it starts to lose height after several revolutions, and eventually hits the ground, almost appearing to pass down through it as it vanishes.

Rosalyn herself is visibly struggling to keep going. She's been hit pretty hard, she's at the edge of what she can do - but that apparently does not mean she's giving up, so Natsu read /that/ right about her.

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Rosalyn's Orbit Steel.

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Natsu            0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0          Rosalyn

Natsu's not been getting -loud- cheers. She's heard some -- but it's mostly of a 'fai-to, fai-to' chant that's nice, rhythmic, and... easy to miss if you're used to hearing it. It's an oddly soothing sort of rhythm, really -- as if her team doesn't want to harsh on Rosalyn's groove either. That's just how Gorin rolls when they're not on their home turf.

Natsu is inwardly pleased that Rosalyn's able to avoid her somewhat telegraphed attack -- not the least because she knows how much her punches could hurt if they'd connected.

The Gorin athlete -is- starting to falter a bit. Natsu steps back, stumbling at first, but managing to figure out the proper timing of her evasion. Rosalyn's quick to catch up, though, and as Natsu raises her left forearm -- specifically -not- the shoulder -- she manages to get a sense of that iron chunk as it slams into her. "Nnf!" Staggering backwards, she nearly trips over the gym bag she'd set down earlier.

Rosalyn's innovative attack does remind her of something: the Pacific student has shown her metal, and has shown her earth. But the volleyball captain has not shown -her- power.

Stomping one side of her bag, she slips her foot inside it. And with one light flick of her toes, she sends a volleyball into the air. "You've shown me your talents..." she notes, launching herself into the air. Her right arm is sheathed in a sudden gout of flame as she rises ever higher. With her eyes affixed upon Rosalyn, she concludes: "... here are mine!"

Tongues of flame are drawn around the volleyball as she seems to hover in the air, momentarily weightless. Time, slown down like an elastic band, snaps forward all of a sudden as the volleyball rockets forward, flames of chi surrounding it as she demonstrates that, yes, she can throw fireballs too... Kinda.

COMBATSYS: Natsu successfully hits Rosalyn with Blazing Serve.

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Natsu            0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0          Rosalyn

Dodging the painful punches doesn't always help when there are more painful things just around the corner!

Oh good, Rosalyn thinks, slightly blearily, as the volleyball gets kicked up. More sports. Rosalyn isn't even good at sports; when someone asked her which one she liked, once, she started listing out video games to get them to go away. (Then it ended up in her semi-official fighting bio. Sometimes you can't win.) She doesn't even know how to play volleyball beyond 'hit the ball back and forth a lot'.

She is fairly sure they don't normally involve balls that are on fire, though. She's pretty sure she would have watched more of it during the last Olympics if it did.

The ball descends toward Rosalyn. She's pretty sure time is not /actually/ slowing down, but she gets a pretty great shot of it coming /right for her/. Her eyes widen. This one, at least, is not going to hit her in the face; it's going to hit her in the stomach, even as she starts to try to swing her wrench around to deflect it.

Rosalyn doesn't manage it. It hits her with enough force to send her rolling... right into that foliage. She rolls into a potted decorative bush about four or five feet tall, which tips over and, with great drama, falls onto Rosalyn. It looks like she's not going to get up from that.

But she does. Rosalyn grunts, and then she shifts the bush aside, getting blearily to her feet. She staggers up, barely upright, and reaches into her tool bag again. This time she pulls out a much smaller spanner which she flings at Natsu; for whatever reason, it fails to sparkle like her big wrench. Maybe she can't keep it charged that far away from her.

Either way, after it leaves her hand, Rosalyn wobbles again - and then her legs refuse to hold her up anymore and she simply falls down, landing on her rear. There is a faint crunching from underneath her.

She's just sat on the bush. At least it's not a prickly one, or particularly pointy - it's decorative and botanically sculpted, after all. Breathing hard, Rosalyn tucks her knees up and rests her forehead against them - she's wiped out, even if she is technically concious. Everything keeps moving and she just needs to sit still for a few minutes.

COMBATSYS: Rosalyn can no longer fight.

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Natsu            0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Rosalyn's Thrown Weapon.

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Natsu            0/-------/---====|

No... the observers would never notice a change in the timing of anything. It probably all happens too fast for them to discern -- it's only the adrenaline of the two fighters that allows them to process such things at such an enhanced rate.

While it may not be earth, or metal... it's pretty clear that Natsu's aura burns with a fire all its own. And as she lands, she tips forward, almost teetering to the ground, for while she may not be as injured, she's definitely feeling weary after the fight. She rises -- well, she never really stood -full- height throughout the fight, but she lifts her shoulders all the same. And then her hands, almost as an afterthought.

When the spanner comes winging her way, the team captain responds as a volleyball player should: raising both hands in front of her face and setting the flying object back away from her. The small metal object is enough to force the weary v-ball player's hands back further than expected though, and there's a metal 'clong' sound as the chromed vanadium bonks into her forehead.

Eyes widening sharply from the ringing sound, Natsu staggers backwards. But luckily, her confusion doesn't last for long -- the officials have already called the fight. Natsu... the winner? First time for everything, she smiles, as the Gorin contingent rushes over to congratulate her.

Natsu can't help but indulge herself for a moment -- it's a bit of a rush to the girl. Sure, she's won volleyball tournaments before, but this... well, it's different. Politely, she motions for a path to be cleared...

And she walks over to Rosalyn. "I... hear this is an American thing, so... I'm sorry if I get it wrong. Good fight, out there!"

She's extending her hand to Rosalyn, offering to help her up. Or handshaking. It's... hard to tell from how shaky and presumably nervous Natsu seems to have gotten all of a sudden.

COMBATSYS: Natsu takes no action.

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Natsu            0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Natsu has ended the fight here.

Rosalyn fails to respond for a couple moments.

This isn't her trying to ignore Natsu so much as still gathering herself. Everything stops moving sufficiently that she trusts herself to stand after a few moments, though she still seems rather less than perfect. Well, wouldn't you be, in a situation like that? She also did not expect Natsu to just come over and say hello, or anything else.

She looks at Natsu. She doesn't have to look up, really (or down, which is just as surprising to Rosalyn; she's used to standing out around Japanese students, between her height and her hair and her freckles). Her expression shifts slightly. She looks ... slightly confused, honestly.

And then she accepts the hand. She has a surprisingly soft grip when she's not exerting herself, and right now she isn't. Rosalyn shakes it, once, before letting go again. "Yes," she says. "...it was. I think I need to sit again, though. For a minute. Good luck. In the later matches."

See? Polite. Even if she's kind of embarassed, for some reason that's a little unclear, and a little awkward with her conversation - whether from poor Japanese, being out of breath, or still dizzy is hard to tell. It's probably not the loss that's embarassing her.

Log created on 19:33:14 12/30/2014 by Natsu, and last modified on 08:58:11 12/31/2014.