Golden Angel 2018 - Golden Angel R1 - Haruna vs Haru

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Description: [extremely "Too Hot for TV" voice] This log has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Winner: Haru)

There is a sound of water swirling...

And with a twisting pull, Haruna Abe pulls herself onto the designated buoy. The buoy in question is broad enough that, after Haruna has brought herself up out of the water save for leaving her legs in from the knee down, it tilts - but not overwhelmingly. She sweeps her hair back in order to get it in something resembling order, looking up to the top of the roof and letting out a sigh.

"I feel a little embarrassed," she addresses the heavens. "This is fun and all, of course, and I certainly can't complain that I'm doing this and still drawing wages. But I'm a little worried you'll see me up there, and disapprove of all of this... Keijo, butt slamming, swimsuit, business."

Haruna tilts her head forwards. "So forgive me... I'm trying to use what I've learned. Maybe here I'll have the chance to really show my abilities. Do you think it will work out? If they're drawn to me from things like that, I'll kill two birds with one stone, as they say. Like happened back home, before..."

Everything else went to hell.

Haruna pulls herself up the rest of the way, balancing easily as the buoy wobbles. "Ah well," she says. "Everyone has to start somewhere. At least I'm not folding up paper shinigami, eh?" Haruna murmurs to herself, and then she walks a quarter of the way round the buoy, feeling the water through the float beneath her feet.

"... huh," she says. Whatever subtle discovery of the nuance of fighting on a big ol' floaty will have to wait for its full revelation, however, even as Haruna's attention goes up to other nearby buoys. "Hm."

There are worse fates for a young psychic with a heart full of good intentions and a decidedly awkward streak, who has a KoF championship under his belt, than 'enjoying school every day, keeping up their training, and not having anything bad happen that isn't also happening to thousands of other people'. That's certainly the destiny of one Haru Sakuraba of late, not counting the UN's invasion of Japan and other global nightmares. Like many Justice High students, he had hunkered down in the dorms during that crisis but felt as if getting involved was a little out of his depth.

But they say that surviving traumatic experiences can make people do strange things to cope, and when it comes to the shy and studious Haru, the idea of a bathing suit-required tournament complete with Keijo(!!!!!!!!)-like side events is pretty strange.

Yet here he is, and even Haru himself would be hard pressed to tell you why.

Unlike his opponent, however, the tan-skinned high school student isn't on the designated combat buoy just yet. Instead he's standing at the pool's edge, shuffling from one foot to the other, staring at the water with clear trepidation. Although shirtless, his hips are obscured by a Golden Angel(tm)-branded beach towel wrapped around his waist, though the visibly bare feet and calves suggest that he is indeed in a bathing suit, per regulation. A hushed but intense conversation is going on between Haru and a tournament/company representative at the water's edge. With each word they exchange, his face gets a little more red, which is a feat given his complexion.

Eventually he seems to... surrender? and slides into the pool, towel and all; once his head clears the surface, a hand comes up and hands the soaking towel to the representative that he'd been arguing with, as he heads to the buoy and pulls himself up.

Once he actually gets on the platform, the reason for his reticence becomes clear: apparently, the 'fits the swimsuit to your body' Golden Angel product gave him a black and gold... banana hammock. And little else. For someone like Haru that's bad enough, but to make matters worse, the Justice High senior... well. He appears to be packing and his feelings about that, given his inability to make eye contact with ANYONE in the audience, are obvious.

But with all the resolve he can muster he draws himself up, meets Haruna's gaze (after a couple tries anyway) and says: "I'm Haru. Nice to m-meet you, and good... good luck."

His right hand drops, and in it, shiny with moisture, is one of his weapons, a gunmetal grey yoyo. Usually there are two, but apparently today he's making do with just one.

Haruna is here for several reasons; the ~wish~ is one of them, of course, and it's enough to get you started. She sees someone lingering near the edge of the pool and his appearance approximately matches what she had seen, so she straightens up and waits.

The water ripples beneath her. She frowns a little. His energy is weird, Haruna thinks... and then he dives down, taking his towel... with him? Her eyes narrow slightly. A tattoo? she wonders. An injury? Haru swims up, climbs up, and

Haruna's eyes widen two full diameters. Her cheeks color. (Her own swimsuit, while definitely flattering and with an unceremonious pentagram on the crotch part of the two piece, is significantly more family-friendly.) She drags her eyes up, with effort, to Haru's face, and she says with a bow and a smile, "I'm Haruna Abe. These swimsuits are certainly unique, aren't they? Anyway, I look forward to it. Please, do your best."

And then out flops, glistening and portentious... his yo-yo. Haruna's eyes flick to it. Her back foot slides as she enters a more readied stance, one that eases out the swaying and rocking. "A Phillipine style?" Haruna hazards, even as the announcement of FAITO draws ever closer...

Boy isn't it great how every capillary in Haru's face appears to be full to bursting right now, a fact that has other benefits that will go uncommented-upon in the presence of a genuinely attractive lady like Miss Abe. As it is, when addressed directly, some degree of normality snaps into place for Haru, who nods and bows forward slightly, hands palm-down on his hips, a very quaint and distinctly Japanese gesture. "A-ah, right..." He straightens and smiles weakly in relief that Haruna seems similarly, if maybe not equally, discomfited by swimsuit-in-a-bottle. "Yeah," he adds, grateful. "I hope it's just for this round." Sakuraba, you fool.

He follows Haruna's gaze to his weapon, and then shakes his head somewhat at the query about his fighting style. "It's... a personal adaptation of a family style using the meteor hammer," he says, using the opportunity to spout facts to distract himself. "Obviously a yoyo isn't entirely the same, but."

Off on the sides of the pool, the announcers finish their intro and give the signal for the fighters to get started. Taking a deep breath, Haru trains his gaze on his opponent and gives a little nod. "I guess it'd be easier to show you?" With that, he cautiously steps forward a step or two on the buoy and brings his right hand up and, with a twist of the wrist, flings the yoyo out to the side and then yanks the cord, using the centripetal force of the swing to direct the yoyo itself -- which is a weighty metal body, not some plastic toy -- into Haruna's side. It appears the match has begun!

COMBATSYS: Haru has started a fight here.

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Haru             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Haruna has joined the fight here.

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Haru             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Haruna

COMBATSYS: Haru successfully hits Haruna with Medium Strike.
Grazing Hit

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Haru             0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Haruna

Haruna glistens like a gravure model. (It's the Golden Angel crap. It does that to everyone. Really.) "Mm," she says, at Haru's hopes, but she doesn't crush them. The meteor hammer remark makes her eyebrows raise. "Oh, really? I'm using my family style too --"

And then in comes the yo-yo! Haruna leans to the side BUT there is a big problem with what would have otherwise been a fluid, almost casually dancer-like motion of her upper body, which is that the little half-step Haruna took to the side meant that the entire float started wobbling. She was nonetheless moving away from the blow and so when it strikes it leaves less of a mark than it might otherwise -- "Ah~~!"

The breathiness is just the echo in here. You're hallucinating.

Haruna leans into the tilt, as if it were modern capitalism, and runs round the float, letting the sway propel her forwards. She thanks whatever gods and Buddhas are at hand that she got here first, because otherwise she would have fallen straight into the water. "You're handling it well," Haruna says, coming up from round the side. She anticipated Haru would turn to face her, and she strikes out from that half-crouched lean -

With her index and middle finger?

The blow is aimed at navel height but slightly to the left, a sharp blow that doesn't seem to do much immediately except... is it harder to breathe? (Yes; considerably, though the meridian tension won't last long.)

"It's a hard style, isn't it?" Haruna asks as she rises full upright again, the bikini top struggling but succeeding in the process.

COMBATSYS: Haru counters Female Protocol from Haruna with Moonstone Tenacity.

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Haru             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Haruna

On the one hand, Haru's arm is moving mostly by muscle memory at this point; as soon as he feels the weapon make contact of any kind, there's a quick second turn of the wrist, snapping the yoyo back into his palm. He learned the hard way early on that if he didn't keep tight control of his weapon, it was going to get used against him in ways he might not enjoy. Once someone's got their hand on your tool of war, it's all over.

Still, he knows that hit wasn't the full impact it could have been, and despite the slight misstep, Haru's gaze tracks Haruna as she moves, noting the ease and dexterity with which she fights. Especially on a somewhat slippery footing, and in clothi--

F O C U S.

Miss Abe's nimble, circular dart around the arena is vying for Haru's attention, though, and he tries very hard to keep tracking her... which she was expecting entirely, suddenly ducking in low and coming close, TOO close, with... fingers extended?

But some inner voice, when she draws near, says: 'now', and Haru heeds it, extending his hands, palm out, one with fingers still clutched around the yoyo. Just as Haruna's strike nears the impact point, the air around Haru solidifes into a glittering opalescent shield, a spherical barrier of white light that deflects the strike and sends a powerful jolt of psychic power through his would-be attacker before dissipating, seconds later, into lotus petals of light that flicker and then vanish.

Breathing heavily, hands still out, Haru says -- on autopilot -- "Thank you. I practice every night."

Haruna finds her strike smashing against a glittering manifestation. It's her first time touching anything anywhere near Psycho Power - psi energy, soul strength, whatever you want to call it. She's touching it and she does not like it because it feels to her like a hollow shell. "Ah!" she says, even as her hand snaps back and she skids back, leaning, eyes lowered into a half-lid as she looks at him.

"I can tell," she answers him, and it's heated. Almost sweaty. The light glistens on her lips.

Internally she thinks - how can I -

I'm a fool! she thinks further, with sudden clarity. This is simple, and my own fears revealed it to me. All I have to do is grasp hold and seize victory!

Haruna leans forwards again then. She makes a similar gambit, leading with her thumb clenched carefully to form a tight striking surface as she lunges towards the hand that Haru doesn't use on the regular, moving away from his regular and accustomed posture. But even as she grips tightly and pumps her hand forwards -

"Sorry about this."

It's a feint! Her real blow is to sweep round from the side and exploit the tilt of the water to press against his side and push him into the water. This is the power of KEIJO, and perhaps it will make all the difference.

COMBATSYS: Haru dodges Haruna's Quick Throw.

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Haru             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Haruna

If Haru had been here for the Golden Angel launch party, he'd be more aware of the power of Keijo(!!!!!!!!!) and what that power can accomplish in Haruna's hands. As it is, what he mostly sees is a skilled martial artist looking to put him in The Drink.


Haru whispers, urgently: "You're POSITIVE salt water won't disintegrate this?!"
The GA rep nods solemnly. "The science is clear. You trust science, right?"


Haru does not trust science. But also, Haruna's feint is very clever. So instead of a sweet martial arts-y looking dodge, what you get is Haru's eyes tracking the raven-haired lady in a panic and then basically throwing himself sideways away from her. And then landing on the buoy stomach-first and sliding quite a way down the edge so that his feet dip into the water, the buoy tilting enough before the Justice student frantically scrambles back onto the platform and rights himself, breathing heavily.

Exhaling sharply, he watches his opponent carefully, not making any sudden moves right now. After all, he's a tactical fighter, relying on his wits rather than strength or speed. Plus it's an excuse to lo--


"For what it's worth," Haru says nervously, fingers curling and uncurling around the yoyo in his hand, "Me too."

COMBATSYS: Haru formulates a plan of attack.

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Haru             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Haruna

Watching him move...!

He can handle himself, Haruna thinks. But he didn't claim otherwise, did he? The buoy rocks and Haruna slinks back a step - actually dangerously near the edge? Or is it dangerous, in fact.

To herself, she thinks: this position will amplify whatever movements he makes, but I'm the one who's already thought out where to go... and while he's got a slim and tight body, powerful strokes won't be enough to preserve him if I can reach that other buoy behind us!

HELPFUL SETTING NOTE: There is a buoy like the one they're fighting on about ten meters behind them. Then another one. Then... the end of the pool, it's a pool not an ocean. You can't just swim forever, not even during adult swim.

Haruna breathes out slowly. Then back in. "Hmm-m..." She raises a hand, tossing her hair back with a shower of water sparkles. "You seem uptight. Have you not done a lot out here? It's a slippery situation, but I think you can handle it... you'll forgive me if I don't focus on being Miss Teacher, of course, since we've both got a lot on the line."

What is with his energy! Haruna thinks in frustration. At least he has that normal healthy flow, she reasons, her eyes tracking along the bare flesh of his torso in order to try and suss out the subtle permutations, to see every flexion of flesh and every subtle curve of muscle. Good too, Haruna thinks, that he's this well developed... he's not buried in flab or swaddled in clothes...

"We shouldn't wait too much longer," Haruna says, eyes narrowing. "Everyone's going to be watching us, after all."

COMBATSYS: Haruna tunes into the flow of energy.

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Haru             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Haruna

That is a pretty intense staredown that Haru's being given by Haruna; while his more esoteric psychic abilities are somewhat limited without actual skin-to-skin contact, he can sense the focus burning behind Haruna's eyes. Which is a problem because it just makes him feel even more self-conscious and there's a very real chance that if he keeps that intense blush up too much longer he's going to suffer very literal vascular damage of some kind. You just... shouldn't have blood flowing to a single part of the body for that long. There are consequences.

The question of if he's quote 'done a lot out here' makes Haru blink, and when he speaks it's in a somewhat embarassed tone. "N-no," he admits, looking sheepish. "I haven't done a lot of practice with, uh..." He looks around for a second, and settles on "...esoterica. But it's a good learning experience. Maybe I could convince Athena-san or Kensou-san to come out here and train together. Maybe all three of us at once?" What a great idea. You should suggest that immediately.

But the stalemate cannot last forever. Deciding it's his turn to employ some feint tactics, Haru steels his resolve and pushes forward, right hand out, signalling yet another yoyo technique. Keeping his forward movement low, he suddenly cups his hand and makes a move as if throwing a softball, the yoyo snapping out to hit Haruna in the thigh or calf. At the last second, however, he suddenly yanks his hand upward, dragging the yoyo with it; if she doesn't get out of the way she's going to take Haru's blow on the chin instead!

COMBATSYS: Haruna dodges Haru's Obsidian Serenity.

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Haru             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Haruna

Haruna's hand shifts a little to half-veil her mouth. "My... inviting me to practice? I'd love to meet them. Maybe we can swap tips. But I don't know if they'll like my line of work much..."

Haru tenses and Haruna can see that he's dressing left even as he leads right, though her reaction is to tip her head even further back, keeping her hand upraised in that noblewoman's laughter stance. This makes her back tense as she lets the float tip back behind her... and...

yes! she thinks as the yo-yo whips past her, close enough to disturb a dangling bang but not enough to get an actual firm bang on her face or her chest. She pulls her legs in and this sudden absence of weight tips the buoy's balance, and it is then that SOMETHING seems to happen - a shift of momentum, a forward-bearing mass as she throws herself straight ahead, tilting towards the buoy's center and arcing her own hand upwards -

To try and get in and press her two fingers into Haru's armpit!


COMBATSYS: Haru blocks Haruna's Celestial Prison.

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Haru             0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0           Haruna

Haruna's eyes go wide.



Behind her is high school. Before her is a man on a motorcycle. Ahead of her is the future... and a bitter road that she must take.

The wind breezes through her hair as Haruna feels herself sweat in the steaming summer sun, her hand pressed to her chest as she breathes out, "I know that - that we've had a lot of good times, that we've been close... Kunio-kun I've really enjoyed what we've had... but I can't - I can't make a commitment, now."

Her eyes close, the summer sunlight glittering in the tears that glisten on her eyelashes. "I can't make a promise like that when I haven't even finished my first year of high school... to say nothing of my --"

Something goes peep.

Haruna opens an eye.

"Are you playing fucking Candy Crush??? When I'm confessing to you?! I'm gonna rip off--"

AN EXCITING NOTE, OVERLINING THE GRAPHIC SEXUAL THREATS THAT HARUNA IS EMITTING AT A FEVER PITCH: Candy Crush Saga's wide release in 2012 coincided with Haruna's first year in high school! Assuming a normal academic life, solve for her chronological age!


Haruna says, distantly, "What--"

Haru has worn full coverage clothing for so long, gloves and all, and has as a result conveniently forgotten why it is he does that in the first place: because skin-to-skin contact forges a psychometric bond he hasn't got a good handle on controlling yet. And it's been some time since he knew the touch of a woman (or a man). It's kinda slipped his mind in favor of practicing martial arts.

Today this proves to be a serious tactical error, considering how... exposed he is.

When Haruna reaches for him, Haru blinks in surprise and goes, instinctively, to block her hand, since her speed and accuracy make getting out of the way untenable. And at the last second he seems to process his own bare hand and *actively flinches* before twisting his wrist, hoping the blow will land on the metallic surface of the yoyo instead. Which it does... briefly, before Haruna's hand is sheared off of it to jab a numbing strike onto his arm instead, and for the brie--

When his vision clears, the two fighters have separated themselves somehow, perhaps entirely unconsciously, and Haru heaves his torso forward a second, taking a heavy breath or five and pressing his hand against his stomach. When he straightens and looks at Haruna, he seems a combination of startled and deeply, DEEPLY embarassed... way more embarassed about what just happened than he is about the Golden Angel thong that is leaving precious little to the imagination. "S-sorry," he says, quietly. About a lot of things, he adds mentally, but does not say aloud.

There's a VERY awkward pause, before Haru clears his throat. "I, uh... let's just, uh..."

He snaps out the yoyo and attempts to snag Haruna's arm or leg with it and then just... whip her off the buoy into the water. It's simple, even a little telegraphed, but maybe that's what's called for right now.

COMBATSYS: Haru successfully hits Haruna with Medium Throw.

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

Haruna blinks repeatedly. She's breathing heavily. Her face is flushed. She is able to center herself quickly, breathing in, breathing out, looking straight at Haru - meeting his eyes with her own, dark and lined as they are.

That didn't work, Haruna thinks, though she thinks she can feel a lingering train of disruption in the flow in his arm. Though there's also a steadier and lower-slung flow that her subtle senses pick up in the rhythms of Haru's body. The passage of his power? Or...

"Sakuraba, please," Haruna laughs, cheeks reddening a little as her eyes end up turning downwards. "You don't... I mean, I'm honestly... It's a little flattering, it's like a COMPLEMENT, so don't -"

I screwed up, Haruna thinks, exactly too late to do anything about it. Her hand and arm, raised in a habitual noblewoman's posture, is wrapped and Haru sweeps his arm. She's yanked; she stumbles; she splashes into the water with a mighty ploosh!

As she submerges, Haruna exhales in agitation. She did not study how to fight in the ocean because she did not expect to ever have to fight in water above her waist, not even if there was some kind of oceanside cave demon using obsolete media to spread strange and recondite memetic images throughout the modern Internet.

I'm losing momentum, she thinks, before kicking her legs with violent force and

CRESTING! over the waves in a spray of sea and long black hair, which sends her looming over Haru while twisting scenically to the side. Her face tightens with a grim sort of determination as she says to him, "You--" That tight, snake-eyed expression returns, and even as she twists she snaps out with one arm to aim what MIGHT be taken as a slap if it were not, in fact, being led by a tight-held thumb-forwards strike!

Haruna's fingertips, closely inspected, are subtly but substantially callused, and her nails are often press-ons. There's a reason for this! Though no press-ons are around here, it is because those fingertips are surgical striking surfaces, even if in this case the idea is more to stagger Haru long enough for her to get her feet under her again.

COMBATSYS: Haru dodges Haruna's Strong Punch.

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

Current status: Does Not Want A Repeat Of What Just Happened.

Haruna's emergence from the (proverbial) sea has all the grace and power of a leaping dolphin, her body and long trail of black hair making a streamlined, graceful curve as she attempts to just lay Haru flat out on the ground long enough for her to get her bearings. Haru himself is a combination of a little shell-shocked and taken legitimately by surprise by Haruna's tactics. He blinks, grimaces, moves to shield himself with an arm...

...and in the blink of an eye appears across the buoy he was standing on, a good few meters from where he was standing a second ago. The only thing that Haruna's kick connects with is a harmless flutter of spectral lotus petals, the only mark of Haru's passing.

When he has some awareness of where he is again, the Justice High student breathes out slowly. "I... really need to ask Athena-san to train me how to do that on purpose," he mutters. One wonders if the first lesson is learning to say 'telepoooooto!' in a loud, clear voice.

As it is, however, he's left with a chance to strike at Haruna, even if he now has to clear considerable distance to get to her compared to if he'd just done something as mundane as 'getting out of the way'.

"It's not... you didn't..." he starts, setting off on his run, his left, yoyo-less hand beginning to glow opalescent white. "I can show you later! If you want! It's fine! IT'S FINE!"

Who are you trying to convince, kiddo.

At the end of this very confusing run, the psychic extends that glowing hand and attempts to just... explode the white orb in Haruna's face. It's effectively a miniature version of the whole body shield he created before, the pearly white sphere of psychic power bursting into a scatter of spectral lotus petals.

COMBATSYS: Haruna blocks Haru's Amethyst Clarity.

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

The teleportation of Haru means that Haruna is left falling onto... nothing. She has no force rebound to get from striking Haru, she can't brush against him, she can't even expect to have his maneuvering nearby to grant her some ineffable momentum. She lands on her side with all the grace of a dolphin landing on the inside of the ocean from an air drop. But with more bouncing.

She doesn't hear the remark about Athena. She does push herself up, water still cascading off of her in glossy rivulets as she opens her mouth to say something - she opens her mouth indeed quite wide as she takes in a breath -

And Haru runs up and busts in her face!

As the shower of shimmering pearly white washes over her, Haruna's eyes close and she makes an 'unh!' noise of - confusion - disgust - pain? She didn't seem to block things in a physical way but Haru may have felt SOMETHING surging up inside of her, some aetherial force that slid through her and rose from her lips as if to avert taking it all the way down the throat.

She stands afterwards, swaying, eyes full of stars as she looks at Haru. "You're... like nothing I've ever seen before... But there's no way you can be cursed, can you? You're not behaving anything like one... I've seen, I've heard of those cursed to act with honor, but they show every sign of torment."

Her lips purse. Haruna's eyes rest on Haru. "You," she says. "You're getting... EXCITED. Aren't you?"

I don't have a choice, Haruna thinks. He's going to wear me out, and I'm too distracted and flustered to focus properly on his energy. (Her teeth grit a little. Of all the things...! What if he was a tanuki, Haruna curses herself. What would you do THEN?)

Even so, she reasons further. He's doing something else... which means he's neglected his current situation. Which means I can -

- Haruna suddenly moves forwards with a downward sweep of her hand, aiming straight forwards, dead on. Her fingertips dance as if she's trying to play over the subtle strings of a shamisen or some similarly ancient device. Her arm sways a little - the strikes go down the underside of the central meridian of Haru's body - but she doesn't deviate much. The final 'blow' is a little smack at the inside of his right thigh.

- try to seize control -

Haruna's lips pucker, pout, sigh. A starry mist seems to form... the glamorous golden sunlight fading slightly into something else. Something her touched has induced.

And if Haruna's aim was true and she'd touched the right spots, there would be a sudden tingle in Haru's arm and, a moment later, an eruption of starry galactic light from every pore in his body!

COMBATSYS: Haru blocks Haruna's Judgment of Nobility.

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Haru             0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0           Haruna


A lot, A LOT of words just came Haru's way courtesy of his opponent and he really straight up does not know what to make of any of them. Cursed? Excited? Acting with what now? This works in Haruna's favor, because the Justice student just sort of... squints at her in gape-mouthed confusion for a moment, overriding his previous degree of flustering. He gets out the words "I'm not sure wh--"

Then there she is, up in his grill. Swift and skilled, as she has been this entire fight even when things aren't going her way. Tap, tap, tap, but before she can finish the entirety of her strike set, Haru pulls away from his opponent at the last second. A premature end?!

For a moment, there is nothing... and then, with a heaving intake of breath, Haru's entire body tingles, a glow altogether different from the white light of his own power gathering... in the pit of his stomach? With a shocked cry, he suddenly thrusts his hips forward spasmodically as the energy that Haruna roused to eruption with her touch explodes, an arc of starry luminosity bursting outward from just below Haru's navel.

When it ends he slumps forward, dropping to hands and knees for a moment before looking up with a haunted expression. "What... just... happened?"

Getting to his feet, the Justice student decides to channel his... who knows what... into getting on with the fight rather than thinking too hard about the nature of that attack. He snaps his wrist out, striking with the yoyo once again, *definitely* keeping as much distance as he can for the time being; the weapon makes a wide looping arc before coming down from above, looking to slam into Haruna's shoulder blades.

COMBATSYS: Haru successfully hits Haruna with Crushing Strike.
- Power hit! -

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Haru             0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0           Haruna

Haruna doesn't explain in the heat of the moment, because she can't editorialize on a floating buoy while she's feeling this degree of HEAT. As she sees Haru thrust his hips forwards, her lips part and she cries out, "Oh - yes -!!"

And that hand is raised to veil her mouth again as she looks down towards Haru as he slumps, a faint smirk on those lips which is swiftly and comprehensively addressed when Haru rises upwards. No, he snaps outwards, looping round even as he bounces back and rises again so quickly.

The shock and surprise on Haruna's face has a small admixture of wonder in that same matrix of viciousness that Haru may have felt, seen, from the other end, in that moment of memory. An instant later his yo-yo finishes its swing and smashes into Haruna's right shoulder.


Haruna is driven downwards then, to the point where her head ends up nearly brushing against Haru's abdomen. Fortunately her hair, while no doubt a point of pride and perhaps spiritually sensitive in its own ways, is not as 'live' as her skin.

I can't lose like this, Haruna thinks as she ends up landing on both her knees, drawing backwards and sucking in a deep breath. But he's already afire with this power even if he can't feel it or use it - or doesn't care to -

"You took it well, but can you handle having it happen again?!" Haruna gasps out, as her hand snaps up again -- this time for a three fingered shocker press on the inside of Haru's /other/ thigh. This is a higher strike, but as she strives to press, she explains in a low, throatier-than-before voice: "The energy within you... it burst out. Don't worry - just go with it! It's easier that way!"

But this strike isn't a general eruption. There would be, should the subtle meridians be struck, a tension... a feeling of inevitability... and then a more focused, muscle-clenching burst, this time with ethereal wisps of violet light rather than sheer stellar overdrive!

COMBATSYS: Haru interrupts Sombre Lance from Haruna with Amber Grace.

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

A lot of action is compressed into a small amount of time, much of which only becomes discernible on the replay, but the thrust of it goes a little something like this:

1.) Haru starts to pull his hand back as Haruna begins describing the whole situation and, suddenly, an entire fight's worth of banter seems to click in his head, now that Imminent Disaster or Psychic Visions of a Bad Breakup are not interfering. "Wait... this whole time have you been talking ab--"

2.) Haru doesn't get to finish that thought, because Haruna's actions require immediate attention and focus. He knows he's not gonna stop her at this range and doesn't have the speed to get away. But he DOES have one last desperate gambit to play out, and lets his right hand go slack, seemingly from the impact of being struck a second time.

3.) This, however, is a ruse; while Haruna is able to drive the point home once or twice, in the interim Haru has managed to swing the slackly-hanging yoyo forward enough and at a low enough angle that he can wrap it around the woman's hip with a flick of the wrist, just as Haruna is halfway through her technique.

4.) With a mighty shout of "IYAAAAAAA!~" Haru *heaves* with one arm, swinging Haruna in a horizontal arc through the air like someone curling a lasso, bursts of psychic power in the form of scattering white lotus blooms pelting her during the trip before Haru just... releases her to fly off in some direction.

5.) But this release is only 50% intentional, because at THAT point, the vibrations that Haruna set up make violet light coruscate across Haru's body, as if he were being tased (bro), muscles convulsing and twitching involuntarily until he drops to his knees. His skin is actually STEAMING.

It's not 100% sure what's going to happen now, of course. That will depend on where and how Haruna lands...

Haruna doesn't get the chance to specify. Even as she feels Haru erupting with that gathered energy, she realizes that this too was not enough. It's maddening, frustrating - and then Haru hoists her upwards and twists her round.

"Kyah--!!!" she cries out before she's hurled with sufficient force to actually SKIP once over the water before being briefly submerged, coming to rest against the far side of the pool and sloshing around, eyes lidded, wet, gasping. She struggles...


I'm sorry, Haruna thinks dimly, but I just can't... I just can't make myself move... not after whatever it is that he's done has affected me this much...

"It feels like I'm melting..."

And with that Haruna slips below the waves.

(She has enough swimming ability to go limp and float, face cresting over the water a few moments later. She's fine, but... She's not getting back in the ring. It seems that Haru's managed to come out on top.)

COMBATSYS: Haruna takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Haruna can no longer fight.

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

For a brief moment, Haru just sits there, hands on his knees, heaving breaths. Whatever that woman's fighting style is, it involves some very... taxing impacts on the body, especially for someone like him who isn't attuned to the flow of chi in any capacity more than that which is required to be a living being. But when it's apparent not only that Haruna isn't getting back in the proverbial ring but that she's also not going to drown, the Justice High student slowly rises erect, standing proud as the winner.

Bowing in Haruna's... well, she's in a dead man's float, so the right term is probably "general direction," Haru bows once again. "Thank you for the ma--"

And then, it finally happens. The slick surface of the buoy, after repeated splashes of the water from impacts, has an impact at last. Haru's heel slips and he tumbles over, mid-thank you, sliding down the slightly tilted surface toward the pool.

FUN FACT #1: At the very lip of the buoy, the fiberglass has splintered somewhat. Not a lot, but enough to...
FUN FACT #2: ...snag on Haru's already precariously-packed thong, taking it off entirely.

There is a moment, a tiny split second, right before he hits the water when Haru realizes this and is looking out at the crowd in wide-eyed embarrassment and terror.

He finds, looking back at him, the viewfinder and lens of the official Golden Angel public relationships photographer.


~* FIN *~

Log created on 20:45:28 01/14/2018 by Haru, and last modified on 00:13:25 01/16/2018.