Description: The sun isn't the only thing blazing bright on Sunshine Beach. The two fiery fighters of the NFG square off in a match both have been itching for. Victory is only a little spoiled by a sudden appearance by Team Frost's Juri.
The day of the battle between Buck and Hawksley has arrived. Ever since they first met at the post tournament party in the Hotel Southtown, both fighters have been anticipating getting to brawl with each other. Not that they've had any runs in or bad blood, it's simply a matter of one man with a passion for violence recognising another of their kind.
For his part, Hawksley had been excited for today, but as he pulls up to Daybreak Beach in his new Race Red Ford Mustang, he's looking bleary eyed and far from fresh. He's not wearing his usual fighting attire of a pair of blue jeans with white sneakers. Instead he's dressed in a crumpled 'Team Blaze' t-shirt, black jogging pants and black sneakers with flames on the sides. There's still a charm tied to one of the black laces on his sneakers, depicting both a bucket and a ring of flames.
He's also lacking a working phone, since his battery drained overnight and he didn't have a charger with him. This means his pre fight intro music isn't set up to play. For someone who's normally very relaxed, he's feeling strangely out of sorts.
Sitting beside him in the passenger seat is the bruised and battered Chevy, still recovering from her run in with Coco the previous day. It's she who is mostly responsible for his sleepless night. He'd stayed in her hotel room to watch over her, wanting to be sure she wasn't alone. He'd found himself constantly looking over at her sleeping form sprawled on the bed to check she was okay, from his position on the pull out couch.
She'd also got him thinking, which isn't something that Hawksley Moore seeks to do. He's someone who lives in the moment, acting on his whims, desires and needs at the time. Having a busy brain feels alien to him and this was the other reason he'd been lying awake. He'd had a lot to think about.
Had he hurt someone he cared about unintentionally?
What exactly was going on with Coco?
Should he get an agent?
These were just some of the questions that had been whirling around his mind. He'd spent time scrolling on his phone, seeking a distraction but when the battery died somewhere around five am, he'd been tempted to throw it at the wall. He probably would have done, if he hadn't have been concerned about waking Chevy.
He kills the engine and gets out of the car, moving around to open the door for his driving companion. He'll wait for her, to offer any support she needs as they make their way over to the beach.
Daybreak Beach has been prepared for the match with a designated area dug into the smooth sand for the fighters to use as their battle pit. Solemn looking security guards stand around this area and the whole boundary of the beach, making sure nobody drops any litter to ruin the results of the Lucky Chloe cleanup campaign. There's already a crowd of fans gathered, awaiting the arrival of Hawksley and Buck.
The truck he's got on load from Eddow has been sitting in the parking lot of the beach for quite some time now, though Buck hasn't made his way down to the beach just yet. No, he's decided he's going to enjoy the day. Some time on the beach and a brawl with the fighter he most wanted to cross figurative swords with in one day? He was in a good mood.
Instead of being down on the beach though, he's laid out a towel in the bed of the truck and is just sunning himself happily as he listens to tunes being streamed right into his skull via earbuds. He's even dressed for the beach in a pair of electric blue board shorts and a pair of sandals, looking more like some surfer bum than his usual farmboy self. His sunglasses are perched on his face as he lays there with his hands tucked behind his head, foot bobbing in time with the music. At least one of the two fighters is having a good day.
Maybe something tells him his opponent has arrived as he sits up as the Mustang pulls up, grinning as he spots Hawksley. Popping up to his feet in the bed of the truck, and making it bounce a bit his expression changes as he assesses the man, then even more as he sets sights on Chevy. The sight of his teammate battered a bruised turns his expression into an absoulte thunderhead.
Tamping down on his anger, he hops out of the truck and plucks off his sunglasses, tossing them over his shoulder where they land on the towel in the truck. A few quick strides brings him into step with his opponent for the day, but when he speaks his voice is actually laced with a bit of concern. "You look like somethin' the cat dragged in. You sure yer up for this today?"
He allows Hawksley to continue to support Chevy, not trying to elbow in on taking care of his teammate, but he does cast glances over in her direction expression a mix of worry and frustration.
The first time Chevy had ridden with Hawksley she was completely overwhelmed with the scent of New Car Smell. Normally that's a good smell, but it's Ford New Car Smell, and that's way different. (Backing documentation for this claim available on request) This time -- not only doesn't it bother her, but she's positively -aglow- when Hawskley helps her out of the vehicle. Surely, it would have been better for the optics if she had stepped out by herself, but alas.
The Team Thunder fighter does, to her credit, seem to be able to make her way to the fight venue without any further assistance from Hawksley. They share a few words here and there, and at at least one point she laughs. Her fashion choice for the day is decidedly low-key: a black AC/DC t-shirt with the title 'Thunderstruck' on front along with a graphic of the lead guitarist, tucked into a pair of denim shorts. The bruising is, of course, from her prior battle with Coco. She's also carrying her purse over one shoulder, and a big cup with a fruit smoothie in one hand.
She shares a brief, if meaningful glance with Hawksley as Buck walks up. Who knows what -that- is all about? But whatever's going on behind that, Chevy seems in good cheer as she approaches Buck, clapping him on the shoulder with a contagious smile. "Hey, been catchin' some early rays, yeah? Good to see you, Buck!" She gives a little chuckle. More quietly, she leans close and adds, "Didn't mean to worry you. Kick some ass out there!"
She steps back with a grin, glancing around the rest of the fight venue as she takes a sip from her smoothie.
It's the day after a match between Constance Coalbridge and Chevelle Beaumont that resulted in the former receiving borderline death threats from friends and fans of the latter following a brutal but unofficial late hit.
Despite whatever machinations have begun to form against her - even the 'Purple Pride' posse has been divided on the matter - Coco can be found already waiting on the newly-regenerated Daybreak Beach. She's wearing the same provocative purple bikini that she was dressed in the previous afternoon, eschewing any shorts or shirt this time - it being the beach, after all - and is resting her barely-clothed keister on a hot concrete wall, her legs together and arms folded across her stomach. The purple lenses of her gold-framed Coco Chanel pilot sunglasses hide the expression in her eyes, and the expression on her lips is equally unreadable. A mid-sized bag sits beside her on the wall, occasionally jostling with the wind as she waits.
She turns her head toward the sound of Chevy's voice - and in doing so, catches sight out of the corner of her eye of Hawksley. Her glasses turn toward him for a moment, and she exhales through her nostrils, turning her face back ahead and idly swinging her feet one at a time. A couple of fading bruises can be seen on them - apparently, she was going at it hard in the fight.
As the fighters gather, drawing deliberate spectators and rubberneckers alike, far further up the beach - almost out of sight from the fighting arena entirely - is a somewhat strange sight. Two large men in the kinds of professional suits which scream 'bodyguard' keep a respectful distance from a tiny figure in a leather jacket and denim skirt combo and a taller woman in bright orange, engaged in deep and apparently very private conversation right at the edge of the shoreline.
"I'll be grand" Hawksley responds to Buck, his Irish accent sounding gruffer than usual. "I'm more concerned about Chevy."
Not that she seems to be too downhearted following her beating by Coco. If anything she seems positively chipper, chatting and laughing like everything is fine. Maybe the drugs are still in effect?
As the Thunder teammates catch up, he looks past them to where a purple haired posho is sitting on the wall. The sight of her stirs the anger in him again, as his mind flashes back to the ferocious and more importantly illegal kick she'd landed on Chevy's ribs at the car lot.
She's looking strangely serene, which seems unfair to him given the chaos she's caused. He should go over there and give her a piece of his mind.
"See you soon, fella" he grunts at Buck, before making his way towards the bikini wearing Brit.
As he gets close to her, he stares her down, seeking out any signs of remorse or regret in her demeanor. "I didn't think you'd dare to show your face."
Chevy's mood seems to calm Buck and he just sighs and shakes his head at her chipper attitude, which does not match her bruised appearance at all. "Yeah, s'long as yer alright, Chevs. And of course I have, gotta look good for those cameras." He chuckles softly, his perpetual good mood never really able to stay gone long.
"Don't be too long or the crowd might riot." He says to Hawksley jokingly as the other man veers off to talk with Coco. There's a touch of a sour expression on his face as he looks in that direction arms going across his chest in obvious disapproval, he may have missed the match, but he's not an idiot.
The grim look breaks once he looks away and continues his walk down towards the arena, keeping his pace slow and hanging with Chevy for the moment. At least until he's sure she's fine. Maybe there's some big brother energy there.
Moreso when a sly grin crosses over his face, and he decides to tease Chevy a little with a murmured. "I'll try to get him back to you in one piece. If he doesn't stomp me, that is." Teeth flash as he breaks into one of his bigger grins.
"I'll be fine!" insists Chevy with a stamp of her water shoe. It makes the sand squeak, which isn't the -best- accompaniment, but still. "Really!" She levels a finger at Hawksley, which turns to Buck as she talks -- "And I better not catch -either- of you slackin' off out there. Your teams are counting on you!"
Yes -- Chevy's as cheerful as ever. And as she notices Hawksley's gaze drifting towards a shock of purple hair, she... is quick to step in and give him a light clap on the shoulder too. "Good luck out there!"
She's happy to walk along with Buck at his less hurried pace, giving Hawksley time to get ahead of the problem she may (or may not) be a part of. Grinning as Buck talks to her, she arches an eyebrow. "Then... maybe don't let him stomp you? Just a suggestion!" She grins -- and then she stands on her tiptoes to whisper something in his ear.
Not long after, she claps Buck on the shoulder. "So go get him, tiger! Or... y'know, -whichever-." With a slurp of her smoothie, she casts her eye over to Hawksley and Coco, before finding a good vantage place to watch.
Coco turns her face toward Hawksley as he approaches, pretending that she hadn't already seen him. Her purple hair is worn loose and blowing lightly about her shoulders in the breeze.
"If you hadn't already noticed, Lucky, I have no problems with showing any part of me in public, let alone my face."
Suddenly, a binturong in a beach hat pops out of the bag next to her, crawling away from the sack to slump down and lie on its stomach in the sun on top of the concrete wall. As it does, Coco picks up the bag, holds it out toward Hawksley, letting it dangle from her hand.
"One pair of jeans, mildly distressed. One pair of sneakers, off-white. One Samsung USB phone charger with American adapter. One pair of white boxer briefs, laundered. One bar of Irish Spring Speed Stick, fresh. One toothbrush, blue. One tube of Colgate toothpaste, unopened."
She lets the bag fall at his feet, then picks up a cup with a lid from beside her and holds it out to him.
"And one cup of black coffee. Cold."
She makes like she's about to drop it at his feet as well, but 'catches' herself before it does.
"Now, if you don't mind, could you please take your things and get on with it, before I need to take a breath. I don't want to smell you right now."
A close look might reveal that her eyes flit past Hawksley to Buck and Chevy before she turns her face pointedly away toward the sea, eyes following behind the obscuring violet-gradient lenses.
Hawksley is about to mouth off but the sight of Morgie makes his heart melt.
"How you doing, little fella?" he asks, bending to lift the cute hat up and rub the head of the sun basking bearcat. He replaces it carefully, before looking up into the silver eyes of Coco, which are colder than the coffee she brought him.
He'd been ready for a blazing row but instead is met with a frosty tone.
"Thanks for bringing my stuff. I could do with a fresh set of clothes." He picks the bag up from the asphalt in front of the wall but doesn't bother to accept the drink.
"I'll be going to get changed then. Maybe we can talk later or something."
He heads off in the direction of the beach bathrooms, ready to transform himself to a match fit state.
"It's workin'." Buck mutters to whatever Chevy whispered in his ear, a quick look going past her to Hawksley and Coco. As she takes her seat he offers her a quick, joking salute. "Yes, ma'am." And then he's striding the rest of the way down to the marked out fighting arena on the beach.
At the edge, he kicks off his sandals and pulls his phone out of his pocket, quickly wrapping the cord of his earphones around it and sets it down on one sandal out of the sand.
He steps into the demarkated area, digging his toes into the sand and stretching his arms over his head. "Well, it's a good day for it at least."
His gaze follows Hawksley as he heads off to change, which makes him look down at himself in only his swimwear.
Whatever thought he had is passed off with a, "Nah..," and he goes back to pre-fight stretching as he waits for his opponent to make his way onto the sand.
COMBATSYS: Buck has started a fight here.
Chevy's already rifling through her purse for a pair of cheap sunglasses as she notices the bag drop -- but that sight causes her to draw air through her teeth. "Ooh, yeeeeah." She keeps an eye on Hawksley through it all, more concerned about his response than on Coco's. There's a slight wince in the redhead's expression as he takes the bag and trots off, but... the sunglasses and a sip from her smoothie hide anything else she might accidentally betray. She makes her way to a spot where she can watch the fight and Coco without turning her head overly much.
"I thought you might need one," Coco does deign to reply to Hawksley's expression of gratitude for the fresh change of clothes. "I know there are some things you're capable of showing loyalty to. Like your favourite jeans and trainers. Oh, and your flask, which is in your pocket as always."
She tosses the cup of coffee into the nearby bin.
"The coffee was warm when I made it for you this morning, for the record. It's not my business that you were having a lie-in elsewhere."
As Hawksley walks off, she takes a tube of Lancaster SPF 50 out of her handbag and starts to apply a fresh coat of it, starting with her arms and shoulders, having been in the sun long enough at this point to be needing it - both at the beach, and on her morning training.
Noticing Chevy looking her way, Coco raises a hand to flutter her fingers at the auburn-haired girl, a smile sent the farm girl's way.
When he returns from the bathroom, Hawksley is like a different fella. Dressed in his usual blue jeans and white sneakers, whilst showing off a topless and tanned torso, he strides across the sand towards the battle pit, high fiving some of his supporters on the way.
Although he's now in possession of his phone charger, he's not had a chance to plug it in and therefore, today's theme song will be sung by the fighter himself.
It's a voice more suitable to a punk band than a boy band that starts to belt out the lyrics from his favourite band.
"Fortune comes around, here in this town, it can keep you down. That life has me in a grip, I forfeit and I give it a sip. It can happen for everyone, it's just a matter of condition. It always seems outrageous till it's done."
"Go! Fight! Win!"
What he lacks in melody, he makes up for in volume. That done with, he turns his attention to his opponent.
"Alright, Buck. Sorry to keep you waiting and all" he greets him with a grin.
"How about we try and feck each other up?"
With that he pulls out his hip flask (that Coco very kindly placed in the pocket of his jeans).
"I dunno about you but I could do with a drink."
He takes a long and satisfying swig before spitting it out towards Buck, setting it ablaze with his fire chi on route. It's not quite as impressive as the American's dragon breath but it's a nifty little party trick all the same.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Hawksley 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Buck
COMBATSYS: Buck auto-guards Hawksley's Hedonism.
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Hawksley 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Buck
By the time Hawksley reemerges, Buck is crouched on his side of the arena, arms resting across his knees as he sits on his heels, stretching done. He straightens out as the Irishman makes his way into the marked out battleground, grinning at the man's singing.
"Look like a new man." He says as his shifts his feet in the sand, getting ready to move, since there's no official way to start these things other than just getting into it. "I've been hoping for this fight." Buck says, with nothing but eagerness.
"Well, I'm getting a slushie after this, that much is for sure."
He's already on guard, but when the flames come his way he rushes right into them, bringing his arms up in front of his face. He seems to cut right through them on his forward advance, a light coating of scales across his forearms similar to those he sports when executing his own fire attack. Maybe he's been doing some planning.
Sand sprays outwards around him as he turns his forward momentum into a spinning kick, his foot cutting a furrow in the sandy terrain before coming up. No human foot, but a rock-like ebony black hoof at the end of his leg, aimed right for Hawksley's side.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley blocks Buck's Hoofing It.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Buck
"I feel like a new man. It's amazing what a splash of water and some fresh smelling fabric softener can do to lift a fella's spirits" the Cork City cruiserweight cheerily chatters.
He's undettered by his failure to burn Buck, bouncing on his sneakers as he gives him a friendly smack to the shoulder. It's not enough to do any damage but the farm boy's follow up may be.
As the scales appear and the spinning kick sends sand soaring towards Hawksley, he hurtles towards the hoof, twisting and turning so his buff chest takes the brunt of the damage.
"I've been wanting to get my hands on you too. Ever since that party" he tells him, before following up with a left-handed jab into a right cross to try and break open Buck's guard, with the hope of putting him off-balance.
If successful, he'll go to grab his shoulders and pull him face-first into his rising right knee.
COMBATSYS: Buck fails to interrupt Buzzkill ES from Hawksley with Spin Doctor.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0 Buck
"Well then, I hope I don't disappoint." Buck quips back in his country drawl as he lets his now once again human foot drop to the sand.
Even if his kick didn't connect in the way he had hoped he doesn't seem ready to let up on Hawksley quite yet.
He tries to smack away the incoming fists with his own open palm strikes, but he can't quite seem to get the right rhythm to his strikes, and his oppenent gets in a good blow to his chest that has him stumbling back a few steps.
"Like gettin' kicked by a mule." He says with a grin as he rubs at his chest, even if it was a punch.
But he's on his back foot for a moment and trying to get his guard back up, leaving at least something of an opening for Hawksley.
"Ah, you'll be grand. We'll have a bit of a brawl and then a few beers. Unless you're set on sticking to the slushies."
As he sends the other slugger stumbling, he steps into him.
"I've been called an ass a few times but never a mule."
He pushes up from the pit, making a grab for Buck and trying to forces him into a side headlock. If he manages to manouver this, he will start to punch him repeatedly in the head.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley successfully hits Buck with Submission.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Buck
"Well, we're back in the US, but.." Buck grins, then winks. "I'm sure we can find a way." Damn being 20.
Buck tries to slip the grab, he's got two older brothers, he knows exactly what sort of attack this is, but all the experience in the world doesn't seem to be enough as he's forced into the headlock. He's not sure if he hates the punching or the noogies more. "I should introduce you to Bear, he's been doing this to me my whole life." At least it's not breaking his good mood, if anything, the rough housing is improving it.
But each blow seems to strike something more solid than the last blow, even as Buck's neck expands to try to break the hold. The horns sliding out of his head might help with that.
With a bovine snort, he swings his head in towards Hawksley, trying to bash him with either the side of a horn or with the thick bull skull he's now sporting on his broad shoulders.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley blocks Buck's Bullheaded.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1 Buck
"Jesus, you're only twenty. I keep forgetting all that shite. I dunno why a guy or girl can't get themselves a decent drink at that age. Well don't you worry, fella. There's always some beers chilling at the Blaze dojo. Brian ain't interested in them and Zog has his own supply."
"I'm up for meeting this Bear, so I am. I mean, I'm guessing he's not a real bear? I'm not so sure how I'd get on with those. I'm just about used to Morgie."
As he continues to hammer his fist into Buck's face, he finds his fingers starting to throb from the impact.
"Feck" he mutters, his dark eyes shifting to suss out the situation.
"You feeling horny there, Bucky boy? I didn't think I'd be your type."
He shakes out his hurting hand and then pushes through the pain to deliver a series of three rapid left jabs towards Buck.
From here he'd seek to flow into a right-handed cross punch and finish with another quick left jab to wherever he can reach.
COMBATSYS: Buck blocks Hawksley's Cherry Bomb ES.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1 Buck
Ichika finally finishes her jog down the beach. The girl is a little out of breath, and she has to kind of circle the crowd to try and find an opening in the audience. She veers away from Coco; surprised that she's here but definitely not wanting to invite conversation from that quarter. Even more surprised when she sees Chevy has also made an appearance. And that has her clearly conflicted as she looks between her injured friend and the fight proper.
With a minimum of elbowing and nuisance-making she suddenly pops up next to Chevy. "What are you doing here?" She whispers, "D-don't get me wrong, I'm glad everything worked out, but you should still be at home resting! Besides, isn't this a conflict of interest or... or something?!"
Still conflicted. The girl keeps swiveling her head between Chevy and the fight. She only just got here, she can't really tell who is in the best position yet, but at least she made it before the whole thing was over!
"I know, ith shucks." Bucks voice is deeper and gruffer with the altered head, not to mention a bit lispy. Bull mouths are just not made right for human speech. Maybe he could corner Lyraelle's minotaur guard and see if he can learn anything there. But the thought passes idly through his head and doesn't stick.
This time, he manages to get his arms up, crossed in front of him to take the blows as he allows himself to go on the defensive for just a moment.
"Well, if ya inshisht."
The horns slide back into his skull, but it's not taking on a human countenance, instead, he grins, showing off now sharpened teeth as his whole upper body swells with thick muscle and shaggy fur.
He swings out with one of his strengthened arms, aiming to batter Hawksley with the massive paw on the end.
One swipe is followed by one coming in from the opposite side. Then lifting both arms into the air above his head, he lets out a ursine roar to bring them down in a powerful, hammering blow.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley blocks Buck's Bear Arms ES.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Buck
Chevy wasn't watching Coco lotion up. She is watching when the posh princess decides to flutter fingers her way. But the difference between the two is moot, because cheap gas-station-grade sunglasses are just as good at blocking light as the shades worth her entire week's paycheck.
The initial exchange earns an empassioned clench of her fist: a gout of flame, and an impressive display of scales! But as Hawksley starts gaining the edge, tension starts to creep into her jaw. The fight's still anyone's guess...
As Buck stands firm against the barrage of punches, she cups one hand over her mouth and shouts out, "Yeah! Still in this! Go wiiiiild!"
It's about then that she realizes Ichika is standing right next to her. There is a moment where her bruised cheeks redden.
"... Oh, hey, girl." She laughs lightly. "It's... fine, the medics cleared me to go, just not... -fight-..."
Conflict of interest? Chevy just laughs. "... Why, are you here to take me home? C'mon, I just wanna show my support."
Coco appears mostly to be observing the match dispassionately - nearly as dispassionately as her dozing bearcat - which is rather contrary to her usual stance when it comes to her frequent appearances as a spectator for Hawksley. Normally, she would either be cheering him on, or shouting her displeasure for him even more vigorously, depending on what he's done to placate or infuriate her this week. Still taking her time covering herself in lotion, she's working on her left leg when she does eventually interject her own commentary into the din of the match: "Come on, Buck! Maul him like you mean it!"
She turns her head down toward the bearcat next to her and murmurs, "Look, Morgie, Buck's got arms like you. Fierce, eh?"
She makes a slow clawing motion in the air with her fingers at Morgie, who lifts his head up, then slumps back down with his chin on the concrete again.
The Irish brawler is too focused on the fight to notice the arrival of Ichika. As he stares back at the shifting man, he sees the sharpened teeth appear.
"All the better to bite me with?" he jests, but it's not the fangs that come for him, it's the furry paw.
It crashes into the Cork City lad, as does its sequel, but he brings his arms up in time to protect himself from the fierce finale.
"You're an animal" he quips, quickly getting out of the way before another battering can be threatened.
Pushing himself up and out of the pit, he ducks down to pick up some driftwood that's somehow got past the standards of the security team. Lifting it up and then smacking it against his other palm to test the weight, he's about to leap back into action when he hears the bolshy Brit bringing her support to Buck.
He turns to look at her, calling "Hey, Constance. I've got a present for you." Lifting his middle finger, he flips her off, before focusing back on his opponent.
Bringing his beach find up towards Buck, he tries to bash it into the side of his face.
COMBATSYS: Buck endures Hawksley's Light Random Weapon.
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Hawksley 1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0 Buck
Ichika can't help but smile at Buck. He, too, has come so much further than he was when they first fought. "He's really something, isn't he?" She asks, before she realises that could be taken two ways. "Buck, I mean. Moore-san has always been incredible, but Buck is getting so good with his shifting. It doesn't seem to faze him to do two at once at all any more. Eventually, it's going to be like trying to fight a whole zoo at the same time."
The girl is genuinely admiring. Sure, Hawksley is doing a good job keeping up - but at least to her eyes it didn't seem as though he was too different to how he was when he fought Nixie. She absently rubs against the bandage covering her injured palm. She had to admit... she's come a long way too.
"... and of course I'm not going to take you home." She says, shaking her head. "Just, please rest up after this. I don't want you to hurt yourself pushing to hard."
From her. Ichika. SHE'S the one saying this.
Buck shakes his hed like he's trying to fling water out of his hair as it returns to normal. "Don't you know it."
He brushes some sand off his shoulder, one brow arching as he hears a voice cheering for him that he didn't quite expect. Well, maybe he should considering how he's seen her act.
"She's got a temper."
He says with a glance to his opponent, only frowning slightly as he hefts the driftwood in hand. "Really?"
He moves in close as the wood comes swinging in, taking the blow full along his shoulder and back instead of his head.
At least it doesn't seem completely just a show of bravado, as the wood cracks against him, he's bringing up his knee, hopefully right into Hawksley's gut. If the menagerie isn't working, maybe good old brawling will.
COMBATSYS: Buck successfully hits Hawksley with Medium Kick.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////// ]
Hawksley 1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0 Buck
Hawksley's eyes flit briefly to the female fighter in question, as Buck comments on Coco's temper. "She does indeed, fella. Just ask Chevy about it."
As he looks back at Buck, when he questions his action, he nods his head."Yes, really. You like playing rough don't you?"
Which is when Buck decides to bring the brawl to the bruiser. Hawksley grins through the grimace as his guts take the punishment.
"Fecking yeah" he says, spitting on the sand. "If I'd have had any breakfast, I'd have brought it back up."
He moves up closer, getting in the other fighter's face. "Is it just me, or is it feeling hotter?"
With that, Hawksley sets his own arms ablaze, alighting them with burning chi. The sight is spectacular, as the flames flicker around his fit frame. By all rights his skin should be sizzling, but he seems to be suffering no pain.
He starts to throw a series of hooks and crosses at Buck's body before finishing with a straight punch to the face.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley successfully hits Buck with Burn Out.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1 Buck
"I like a good fight." Buck replies, "And yer supplyin'."
He takes a few deep breaths as he takes a step back, rolling the shoulder that took the brunt of the driftwood with a slight wince, flexing his hand at his side. "That's gonna sting for a bit."
He grins as Hawksley comes his way once more. "There's the flames!" Buck almost sounds like he's cheering his opponent on as he braces himself for the attack. But it manages to get through his guard, his hands unable to keep up with the blows, each one landing with a solid thwak.
The final punch makes him stumble back, a bit of blood dribbling from his nose, the flaming punches having left their mark on his skin in angry red patches that make it look like he was out in the sun too long under a holey blanket.
He spits out some blood onto the sand and wipes his forearm across his mouth, his chest rising and falling from heavy breathing. It's obvious he's on his last legs.
And he closes the distance once more, swinging a wide hook with his less injured arm, aiming to return the favor to Hawksley by trying to slug him right in the jaw.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley blocks Buck's Strong Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1 Buck
"I'm glad to be delivering the goods...and the damage" Hawksley adds.
"As for the stinging, you're a big brave boy, Buck. You can handle it."
His opponent seems to appreciate the Irish fella's inferno, as the force of nature leaves his marks on the man.
"You need some of Coco's factor fifty" he suggests, as the swinging hook comes hurtling towards his firm jawline.
He throws back his head, sending the slug into the area below his chin, rather than connecting with the bone itself. This swift reaction probably saved him from breaking it. It's still gonna give him another bruise for his collection though.
Hawksley crouches down in the sand pit. Is he taking a breather? No. It seems he's just using it as a platform to push upwards and try to deliver a flying punch to Buck's face, capitalising on the blood that's already flowing freely.
COMBATSYS: Buck dodges Hawksley's Improvised Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Hawksley 0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1 Buck
"Yeah." It might be hard to tell from Chevy's sunglasses... but she was really glad to be here in the moment. Watching both fighters duke it out on video is one thing, but seeing them here, in person, fighting -each other- is something else entirely. The flames are intense -- and the stomping and shifting feel far more visceral.
It might be even harder to tell when she steals a glance at Coco. Of course, it's far from unusual to see her cheering for the other team -- she did that a lot in fights past, of course. But, having experienced the full breadth of Miss Coalbridge's ire first-hand -- to say nothing of her doubly-edged words -- she recognizes what's going on. And for the moment, her smile slips.
"Don't worry, Ichika. I'll catch a ride back. Thanks for looking out for me."
Ichika's breath catches in her throat when Hawksley's arms ignite. It's certainly an impressive display. Though in terms of technique, it looks like both men have gone for full on brawling. Something else she hasn't seen in person before. But, she isn't so distracted by the fight - as intense and exciting as it is getting in the climax - that she misses the flicker of her friend's smile.
"... Okay." She says, and then, she reaches out. Awkwardly. And grabs Chevy's shoulder. It's supposed to be the kind of comforting motion that Chevy had used on her far too many times lately; she's just... bad at it. But she's trying. "I'll bring chicken sandwiches and bubble tea home along with Buck. Does that sound like a good plan?"
"Oh yeah, just like bein' with my brothers." Buck grins wildly with a laugh, which instead of his normal cheery look, instead looks a bit terrifying with the blood and the bruises. But that's to be expected.
"Not sure it'll work on fire. Don't worry, I heal up quick." He quips back.
As the punch comes up he leans back and reverses his lead foot, putting just enough distance between Hawksley and himself to let the punch whiff by his face.
He responds with a quick jab and cross, more to open Hawksley up then to hit. Then he makes a grab for the Irishman's arm, spinning on the sand and trying to chuck Hawksley right over his shoulder and into the sand.
COMBATSYS: Hawksley interrupts Combo Grapple from Buck with Numbskull ES.
[ \\\\\\\\\\ < > ]
Hawksley 0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\1 Buck
"I've only got one brother and he's twelve years older than me, so he wasn't allowed to smack me around" Hawksley laughs. "Some of my sisters tried though."
Buck does look a little like he's starring in a horror movie right now, but then the Irishman's not one to judge, when he's been tearing around the beach with his arms on fire.
As his rising punch fails to punish Buck further, he nods his head in approval. "Fast footwork, fella."
The same could be said for himself when Buck comes after him.
As the American tries to throw him to the sand, Hawksley slips though his grasp, before grappling Buck's own arms. He uses the strength of his upper limbs to force open his defenses before brutally smashing his forehead into Buck's face repeatedly.
"Slippery.." Buck starts, but is cut off when he gets a forehead to the face. Which is completely unfair as smashing things with his skull is his move. But then again, he did want to fight Hawksley because of the similarities.
Like the last time he goes repeatedly pounded in the skull, he pulls something of a similar trick, his own skull seeming to grow thicker as horns slide out of his brow, but these ones sweep back.
The last head but sends him reeling backwards but he's already taking in a deep breath, reptilian visage turning onto the flaming Irishman.
He opens his mouth, showing Hawksley just a moment of a flash at the back of his throat, then he unleashes a gout of chi flames from his open mouth, the force of it evan making Buck take a step back to brace himself as the rush out in a wide, blazing arc in front of him.
He lets out a grunting laugh as they cut off with his face returning to normal. "HA! Take.." He rocks forward, catching himself with a quick step. "Take th..."
And he never manages to finish as he tilts forward and lands right in the warm sand with a rather solid thud, lazy curls of smoke drifting up into the air from his mouth and nostrils.
COMBATSYS: Buck can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Buck successfully hits Hawksley with Burn Out ES.
- Power hit! -
[ \\ <
Hawksley detects the change when that final headbutt connects. He flinches as his forehead finds a tougher texture.
When he actually looks at the other lad, his dark eyes go wide. "Jesus, fella. You've only gone fecking dragon on me."
He tries to get out of the path of this fearsome foe, he really does, but the flames find his face, scorching his skin and singing the strands of hair that find their way there.
"He's determined to stay on his feet, he's -fighting- to do it, but he's starting to feel faint now and it's so bloody hot.
As his legs buckle, he falls backwards into the pit, landing close to the fallen Thunder fighter. Will they share the same fate?
It seems the Celtic man doesn't want to concede. He pushes himself forwards on to his hands and knees to try and clamber back up...
COMBATSYS: Hawksley takes no action.
[ \\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Hawksley has reached second wind!
[ \\\\\ <
He just about manages it. He's bruised, he's burned, he's breathless, but most importantly he's still standing.
Hawksley staggers forwards, standing in the centre of the sandy pit and raises his right arm aloft.
As he celebrates his victory, he scans the faces of those in the crowd, taking in each and every one of them but focusing mostly on those that are familiar to him. There'll be a weary smile and a wave to all he recognises, before he returns to Buck, offering him a hand up, if he's able to take it.
"You were bloody brilliant, fella. I had the time of my life."
Today was just what the Irishman needed to get back into his body and break the circle of swirling thoughts that had clouded his brain. Now he's ready for a few beers and a good feed.
It's easy to miss the sound of the motorcycle as the fight comes to its climax. There's a lot of noise at moments like these!
It's more difficult to miss it when the bike ramps off the boardwalk and comes down in an arcing skid across the sand, sending up a gritty spray across the crowd. Right in front of Coco.
The bike itself is impressive enough. Jet black with purple detailing and LEDs in the wheels, it looks more like something out of a cyberpunk thriller than the kind of thing you'd see tearing down Sunshine City's street.
The rider is something else entirely. The helmet is full-face, purple, with stylized devil horns. She's wearing a tight-fitting purple bodysuit which should cover her from neck to ankle, unzipped to show a frankly scandalous amount of cleavage.
One arm snatches out to wrap around Coco. If the British socialite isn't very quick indeed, she'll find herself being slung up onto the rider's shoulder like a sack of particularly shapely potatoes. One might think that this is a terrible decision when it comes to safe riding. That does not seem to be a concern that the kidnaper shares.
"Don't worry." Comes a mocking voice from within the helmet. One whose casual menace should be familiar enough to anyone who had been present at the draft; whatever else she might be, Juri Han is not an easy woman to forget.
"I'll bring her back in one piece. Probably."
And if she has her prize, the (ex?)-Shadaloo assassin will be wheeling her way back around and up the beach at shocking speed, with only cackling laughter and dire questions left in her wake.
"You owe me a burger, too." Buck manages to say to Hawksley as he lays for a bit more in the sand, not completely out of it, but he does not seem eager to move.
Finally he manages to get one arm working enough to take the offered hand, though it going to take mostly effort on the other man's part to get Buck back onto his feet, nor does he seem bothered on having to rely on that support for now.
She might be pretending not to be interested, but the truth is that Coco's actually only been pretending to read her copy of 'How to Keep Your Woman' by Ophelia Gold (courtesy of NFG sponsor Dragon Books) for the past few minutes while surreptitiously watching the match from behind her sunglasses. Her teeth start to press against her lower lip as she watches the blazing climax between Hawksley and Buck, her cool demeanour just starting to slip. The corners of her lips even start to turn up - just a hint - as Hawksley struggles to push himself up on his hands and knees. Whether she's smiling at the potential for a draw, or the potential for a recovery on the Irishman's part, is unclear...
"I don't think he'll catch you if you -" she starts to call out to Hawksley -
Then, suddenly, she's being hauled off her arse and onto the back of a motorcycle. Silver eyes wide, Coco doesn't have enough time to consider her reaction before the violent lurching of the motorcycle gives her only one option: clinging to the rider in front of her for dear life.
"What the fuuu--"
Morgie, for his part, lifts his head up and looks toward the departing form of his bikini-clad caretaker before pushing himself languorously up to his feet. Then, turning around toward Coco's handbag, he leans over it, sticks his head in, and pulls out a bag of grapes. Ripping into it, he starts chowing down at his leisure, without a further care in the world.
"Don't think I forgot about those drinks either." He mutters in a bit more of a whisper. Can't have the cameras catching that. Underage drinking? Think of the scandal.
He seems to try to pull himself up as there's suddenly the commotion of a Coco-napping going on. There's only a moment of strength though, before it fails him again.
"I'm good if you need to handle that." He says to Hawksley with another of those bloody grins, which quickly turns into a pained wince. "Next time.." He mutters.
Maybe a nice steak sandwich or a seafood platter. Perhaps some Korean barbecue or a Mexican meal. Or a burger. Buck seems to want a burger, so he could go for that.
Hawksley is pondering his hunger as he feels Buck's weight tugging on his hand. He hoists him up, at least so he's able to stand with support. He's happy to offer what help he can to his comrade in combat.
He's about to ask him if he has a favourite burger joint, when the motorcycle skids across the Sunshine City sand.
He'd recognise its rider anywhere. She'd been a pretty memorable presence at the draft back in Southtown. He wouldn't wanna feck with Team Frost's feisty female, that's for sure.
But its not him she's after.
As Coco is captured by the cackling kidnapper, he gives Buck a brief nod, then lets go of him, before breaking into a run. He's forcing his feet to move faster, despite the protests from his battered body.
"Coco!" he calls, all anger towards her dissipating as he realises she could be in danger.
He looks on helplessly, holding his hands aloft as he realises she's already gone. "Where do Team Frost stay?" he yells to his fellow fighters. "We need to go get her back."
She's mad, Chevy thought. She's used to getting her way, and she's lashed out at Hawksley already. The smiles are only skin deep -- and if I go over there, who knows what could happen? She could strike back. And I won't have anyone looking out for me this time...
A sudden touch on her shoulder startles Chevy out of the downward-spiralled train of thought. Focus comes back to her -- and not long after that, a simple statement. She turns to her side, looking away just long enough to agree with her friend's suggestion. "... Oh. Yeah! Yeah that sounds great, Ichika, perfect!"
She looks back just in time to see the brilliant flames of a dragon light up the arena. It's a moment to cheer for -- and one that gets Chevy hopping with her fist in the air. "Yeah! Yeaaaaah!" The fight was close -- but showing the -world- the true potential of both fighters is nothing short of amazing! "Did you -see- that?! Yeah!"
The next few moments pass in a blur. An intense back-and forth between the two competitors. Brimming with excitement, she seems... -into- it...
But every so often, she catches sight of Coco. And -her- excitement. Her own investment in this particular fight.
And once again, her thrill ebbs away. Just -knowing- the turmoil Coco might be going through. A turmoil that... may... kind of sorta be her fault, in a way.
Hawksley rises. A perfect gentleman, rising to uproarious applause.
Chevy grits her teeth. She should be happy for Hawksley. She should be -shouting-. But she's gritting her teeth. And she squeezes the now-empty smoothie cup into uselessness, rolling up her t-shirt sleeves. "I cain't... I'm sorry, I might be about to do somethin -real- stupid, Ichika..."
She starts marching alongside the designated fight area.
Right towards Coco.
With a -fiercely- determined look on her face.
-- Enter a -motorcycle-
Enter that crazy Team Frost chick.
Chevy's face turns -bright red-
"The heck d'ya think you're =doin?!="
The next thing she knows, Chevy is hurling her empty, half-crushed cup at the departing forms of Coco and Juri!
Ichika did, indeed, see that. The girl's attention is, for those last few moments, directed entirely at the fight. She's sure Hawksley is down, but... then... he's not! And she can't even be mad at that. His determination is written over every inch of his body, and nothing he'd said or done did anything other than lift Buck up along with him. That was the best kind of fight; it reminded her of her first bout with Chevy, two people just determined to give their all. It's beautiful. It's perfect.
It's very distracting.
By the time Ichika realises that Chevy is walking towards Coco, a motorcycle is already carrying her far away from any of them. She stares, open-mouthed, utterly stunned.
"F-Frost?" She repeats, "It's, a warehouse. Zog fought her there a few weeks ago."
And she blanches, remembering both the immense size of Zog when she had briefly seen him lift his club in anger... and the social media posts which had followed.
"... Moore-san. It, it didn't end *well* for him. We, need to be clever about this..."
Buck manages to keep his feet as Hawksley goes running off after the motorcyclist. He even takes a few stumbling steps himself in that direction, especially as he sees his teammates joining the recent victor.
Now that he can focus on it, his body starts putting itself back together, some of the bruises and burns already starting to fade.
"So, are we going after them?"
It lacks his normal chipper tone, but he's already looking like he's ready to jump into the fray again. Well, the spirit is willing even if the body isn't quite ready. Yet.
"I got my truck, we can get going after them anytime. I'm good enough to drive."
Log created on 09:56:34 07/17/2023 by Buck, and last modified on 19:29:07 07/17/2023.