NFG Season One - The Braun And The Boof-tiful

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Description: Buford hunts down Djamila to confront her on a gift he received from her, but instead finds himself confronted by Braun in a tense moment of soap opera drama

Djamila has been at the park for a while now. She is doing something akin to Taichi. Slow moments, but with her staff and particular kind of movements. It's another way to meditate. In the fresh air of the park for this one.

Nearby her is her lunch which she brought with her. After a few more movements, she reaches for it to eat. It's a simple long sandwich kind of deal. She starts eating it.

She is wearing dark green shorts and a green halter top. Perhaps the temperature isn't really suited for it, but she seems fine. She's also wearing her trademark black blindfold and blind boots.

To eat her sandwich, she sits down on the ground, her staff standing up beside her ass he eats. She doesn't seem like she has a care in the world right now, but it could change quickly.

She's not hard to find for anyone who is looking for her, just sitting on grass and eating.

Honor, for a Samurai, was a very serious matter.

Honor demanded respect. Now Djamila was well beneath Buford's attention, of course. Buford didn't care about Djamila! He barely had any thoughts for her. And why would he? Being a cool and powerful Samurai meant he didn't have to worry about rude and unpleasant females who could only find flickers of self respect by demeaning serious men like Buford. She had to work to get his attention. But. She did work. So Buford had to check with Djamila's fanbase. It wasn't -hard- to figure out some of her routines. Where she enjoyed lunch, in Metro City. It wasn't hard to stake out a place.

And it wasn't hard to find her, once she finally reached there.

Buford was at a bench, reading one of his unlicensed manga Katana had introduced him too. Certainly, they were expensive, and their writing was underwhelming. But their artwork, well, sometimes it wasn't the quality of anatomy so much as the presentation. And volume! Buford was in a long leather coat, with his slacks and white t-shirt underneath, a fedora on his head. He had been waiting a while, so when he looked up to see her powering through her sandwich, he gives a cruel, bemused smirk. He folds up his manga, tucking it into his trenchcoat. Rising up, he snaps his new suspenders, before giving a deep and heavy puff on the handle of his blade, detached from the sword itself. Exhaling, he draws out another paper. A rolled up sheet of paper. A gift.

A matter for him to discuss.

Buford begins to stride across the grass, dribbling on his vape. That thick haze of candy-corn scented mist spreads around him, as he takes his slow, steady stride. A cruel smirk on his lips, a smug grin as he vapes anxiously. Every step, his gaze locked on him, made his heart race. Anger. Righteous anger building inside him. Her words repeating in his head. How she might say them out loud. He thinks back to his interview. About how people like Djamila should act around men like Buford. Real men, not boys. A building, consuming rage.

Only expressed with greater and greater puffs of scented mist.

Lumbering yet predatory. Massive yet somehow graceful. Immense and heavy yet blistering fast. Beast but yet man. Braun is a being of contrasts and warring ideals. Much of his adult life has been this. He's been buffeted between extremes, knocked about by chaos and slave to his whims and personal drives. This has resulted in a being more standoffish, unfriendly, even at times cruel and callous, when considering others around him and usually people have given that back to him in turnl especially with the strong anti darkstalker sentiment currently rippling through much of the world. He's not minded it. The better to have an excuse to escalate in kind and push himself as he sees it.

But NFG has done something he didn't expect it to do. He came to brawl, fight, make enemies, rivals, and revel in it. He didn't come to get a soft spot for fellow fighters or to be greeted with the well wishes of them in turn but he is now, in the park, seeking one out who did just that. Has beauty -tamed- the beast?? Not if he has anything to say about it!

..But...he can't help but smirk just a little bit to himself as he glances over the piece of paper in his hand while stalking along the park paths and then shrugging lightly. "Eh..." he muses aloud. "....Eh...yeah that's pretty cool.."

His nostrils then flare abit. Sometimes it sucks to have enhanced senses. Her he picks up on easily enough. That was his intent after all, to find her and thank her. It's that -other- scent that surprises him. "What th'hell...? Yer kidding me.."

A moment later and he's come around the park path to face Buford directly as the burly(?) samurai faces him with Djamila between them both just off the path where she does her taichi. His eyes are focused on Buford with clear surprise. It's the first time's seen him in person with since their brawl after all but more importantly the coincidence of his presence here isn't lost on him.

"Th'hell are -you- doing here?" he rumbles out at him. His tone isn't aggressive, just surprised and wavering on if he should be bemused or as alarmed as he's capable of becoming. "Hn. You still doin' all that vapin'? Your lightin' up half the park.."

So Djamila continues to eat, and the first thing that hits her is the smell. That's how she knows Buford is nearby, and all she can do is let out a small laugh. She followed Braun's advice in someway, letting Buford go from her head. He couldn't live there rent from forever. How did she do that? With a special gift of her own. A little different than the ones she sent to the persons who have mattered to her during NFG.

So Now Buford is here. She's unsure what he wants to do, but he's amused. She starts standing up because sitting down doesn't feel like a good idea right now. It's when she hears Braun talking. "Oh wow, that's interesting. Hello Braun. Hope you are well. Buford, I take it you got your drawing." She takes another bite from her sandwich. Why waste food? She waits to swallow before she continues.

FInally she swallows. She addresses Braun first again. "You coming is a surprise, but a welcome one. I tried to follow your advice." Then, she addresses Buford. "You, on the other hand, are a." She chuckles. "Sorry but I don't think you're here to thank me. But really, what do you want?" She keeps eating after trying to finish it before the shit might hit the fan. Who knows at this point? Always be ready, but don't waste food. She leans against her staff as she does that.

Really, those descriptors could best reflect another.

Lumbering yet predatory? Massive yet somehow graceful? Immense and heavy yet blistering fast? Beast but yet man? Braun was practically describing Buford. Yet the contrasts between them dominated the similarities. As he stares down, a mask of wrath spreads over his face, his face turning red, then purple. He was ready to explode, ready to unload on this woman for her sheer uppity nature. He would put her in her place. And yet, his words are stilted, and seemed almost on the verge of tears. "You... how dare... you..." He begins.

When Braun intervenes.

Buford turns over, looking at his old opponent. The man who was as much beast as he was man, and the beast who as much man as beast. Buford felt very intelligent for thinking of that. He would make it into a haiku, or perhaps even the lyrics on his next album. His cools off, dropping into his natural corpse-like pasty white. Scratching the short curly hairs on his neck and chins, he looks at Djamila, and then, back to Braun. "Enshroud, Gentlesir." Buford corrects after deliberation. "For the only light you can find in my flavoured mists is the enlightenment from the Ronin of Rationality within it's cloistered fog." He tips his fedora to him, before looking back down at Djamila, fury blazing in his blue eyes. "But you may only find darkness within, for what I have come for, is a matter of honor!" Buford boils furiously, as he shakes the scroll clenched in his fist. "For this vexing harlot has decided to make me a fool! Look and see, Braun, what this blind bimbo has befallen upon me!"

He shows the unscrolled picture.

On the sheet is a drawing of Buford as a caveman, holding a big club. It's a reasonably good likeness of Buford, except everything is indistinct and ethereal looking instead of a more normal physical look. Buford taps it for emphasis. "Do you see what this ridiculous woman has made of me? How she sees me? That I am like some useless mate for that idiot cave woman!? My honor has been defiled! And I have come for retribution! To make her understand her crimes, to make her apologize, and what more, bring equity for the crimes she's made against me!" He rolls up the scroll, and tucks it away. "For this is not the first of her crimes against me, no, but that doesn't matter this moment, no. No no no! For there is another issue at hand." He thrusts a finger on his fingerless gloves right at the beast man.

"But why, have you come as well!?

Buford nurses on the tip of his hilt, nibbling and running his tongue over the nozzle as he stares accusingly at Braun. "Has this shrew insulted you? Or worse." Buford inhales deeply, his eyes practically rolling into the back of his head, before he exhales a venom-tinged cloud of sugar-coated bitterness. "Has this cruel siren domesticated your soul, mind and... body?" Buford casts his glance down on Braun, his lips curled in disgust. "Be honest, Old Friend."

"Have you allowed this -female- to tame your wild spirit?"

Braun's pupils dilate. His expression twists into something that is bewilderingly caught between a thunderous insane laugh and a befuddled cry of confusion as Buford speaks and unveils the absolute absurdity of this situation. He's locked into a fugue state, not able to determine if he should go left or right, forward or backwards and he just stares, mouth opening slowly and nearly slack jawed as he takes this all in.

He finally manages to tear his gaze away from Buford and just stares at Djamila for a few long heavy seconds and then finally turns his thick neck back towards Buford and resumes that stare.

He then finally manages to reboot his mind and lands on a decision. He laughs.

It's a truly amused, bombastic, loud rolling laugh that's so heavy he is almost on the verge of big fat tears welling up in his eyes as he lifts a huge hand up and runs it through his mane of spiking hair.

"Good God! .... You really ARE an idiot! Man!"

He gasps for air and then finally unfolds the image he's holding:

On the sheet is a drawing of Braun, standing tall and strong. He is holding a fighting trophy.]It's a very good likeness of Braun, except everything is Ethereal looking instead of a more normal physical look.

"She's -blind- you dumbass. She's drawing with what she interprets your like from your chi and your attitude! Yer a caveman! Deal with it!"

He shrugs a little and rolls up his drawing. "I dunno man. I think that drawing looks kinda cool. Aint nothin' wrong with being stupid and brutish as long as you own it yeah? Take yer lumps as well as yer victories and don't be so damn serious all the time... At least she took the time to draw you...."

His eyes then drift towards her as he adds, "Although trollin' the guy aint exactly what I meant when I made my suggestion' b'fore, darlin'. Smooth. I didn't think you had it in ya.."

She listens, listens to the interaction between them, and between her. She hears, she sees things. At this point, no one here probably doubts she sees some things or others.

She finally speaks. "You know what gets to me the most right now? You take out my drawing, which you took great care of apparently until now, and you show it around to Braun and maybe other people. You're all offended by it, like it should never have been made. Yet, you rolled it back carefully and tucked it away. It looks like you don't want it damaged at all. I would think you would tear it in pieces right now. But I have the feeling it's the first gift a woman has ever made you. So you're welcome, I guess."

She finally manages to finish her sandwich after that while Braun tells him he's really an idiot and explains things to him. She likes how Braun figures she sees things. He's not far from the truth, as far as she is concerned, and it makes her smile.

When Braun addresses her, she answers. "It's not really trolling him. I don't think he's mad at me anyway. He's mad at himself for loving the gift. Might even be sentimental about it. Must not happen often. At this point, I am almost sad for him. But." She turns to Buford. "You have a way to take any good feeling I might get for you and wipe them away. So, how about the haiku? Were you fine with that? You didn't mention it.

Then she grabs her staff again and moves toward Braun. Not so much for his protection, but because he's a friend and perhaps she prefers to smell his odor, instead of Buford and his vaping.

After settling nearby, she tells Braun. "I figured you wanted me to clear him from my head anyway. Which I did. I was caring too much about the whole thing. You were right. Oh, by the way, did you enjoy yours? It sounds like you have. " She leans against her staff again, a bit of wind flowing around her to try to help clear the smell.

When Braun starts laughing at him, it takes the entire strength of Buford's samurai spirit not to break down into blubbering tears.

The test of resolve comes, as he stares. He refuses to shut his eyes. If he even so much as blinks, the tears would come. Instead, the muscles on his neck tighten. His lip quivers. And what's worse, he sees the drawing of Braun. How -she- drew him as being so handsome and strong. Not even Buford's fans drew him so well. And for Djamila to see Buford as a cave man, and for Braun to be seen as an adonis, why, it was the ultimate betrayal. It was clear that some men were willing to throw their fights for the chance of tendies and chill, unlike Buford. But for Braun, a swarthy manbeast that Buford had once imagined to be the superior sex over females, to have him be corrupted by the she-creature?

It took everything not to weep openly there. % R
Buford clicks his hilt into his sheathed blade. He keeps his hand on it as he exhales hard through his nostrils, his face contorted into a frown. Nose flared, the streams of mist jet out furiously. The rich fog calms his nerves. Body trembling, he shakes his head as Djamila adds the insult to the injurious insults. The haikus, oh yes, Once he explained the haikus to Braun, it might snap him back to reality. "I don't -love- your gift. I would have used it to wipe my bottom clean, if I wasn't so blocked up! So I decided to bring them to you instead. Your gift is the worst gift I have ever gotten, even more than those Fuzzy Foo Foo Bunny Pajamas With The Backdoor Flaps I got for a graduation present! And I have gotten many gifts before! I even got one from my girlfriend, who is from Europe, and wanted to reward me for being a good boy with lots of good boy points. And I would share it but it's a little too spicy for public sharing!" Buford declares proudly, as he brings out the note.

"You will understand, Braun, why I loath this harpy, when you listen to these haikus."

Buford reads quickly, almost skipping over the dramatic samurai air. "A samurai's sword / can only be as sharp as / The samurai's mind. So in Buford's case-" The ronin looks up from the note, interrupting the haiku. "You see? SHe is -singling- me out in writing. That's harassment! She is harassing me and that's a crime!" He returns back to his note. "So in Buford's case / Might as well fight with a club / As his sword is blunt." Buford crumples the note. "And see, she wrote that, drew the picture, had it delivered, and now she has come out here to eat a sandwich? These are all hard enough things to do for a full abled person like myself! But how can she do it? You see, Braun, you blithering buffoon, your mind has been ensnared by this female's hypnotizing hips and pouty lips that you have missed what is obvious to the likes of a genius mind like myself! How can you so stupidly repeat back what is so obvious.

"She has been faking her blindness this entire time."

Buford raises his head in the air. "It's so obvious when you think about it. It's bad enough to think that there are 'strong females' who can keep up with powerful men like us. Look at her bone structure, and the balance of muscle to fat. She is built for birthing babies, and barely that. But to have someone who is born in a third world country AND being physically disabled, to keep up with the kind of sterling physical specimens like us, is absolutely absurd. Thus, like an Occam's Razor to the throat!" Buford drags a thumb across his own neck for emphasis. "She's -lying- for sympathy. It's impossible for anybody with vision issues to take care of themselves properly, to say the least fight without hurting others or themselves or the audience or something extreme like that. Really. How could anybody so blind have such great skin and excellent self care of their body." Buford pauses for a moment.

"I mean, it's not great compared to my girlfriend of course."

"Augh. Ugh. Uh."

Braun pinches the bridge of his broad nose, still grinning a bit. A bit. It's faded slightly now as Buford goes on to reveal the depth of this...betrayal. Of Djamila's horrific treatment of him and his honor. Of his being ensnared by her. This siren. This Circe looking to truly use him for the beast that he is.

"You gotta have an off switch man. It must be tirin' commitin' to this bit as hard as you are... You twelve or something? Make a Fighttube Chan and get it off your chest or somethin'."

He then grins slightly more as he looks towards Djamila as he tucks the container carrying his drawing under his arm, "Yeah I liked it. But here I thought you'd done something just fer me and you out there sendin' pictures out to everyone. He does have a point though. You are pretty hot and curvy in all the right places but you hit like a truck. What's yer secret?""

Before she can offer an answer, he glances back to Buford, "She's not fakin' bein' blind, idiot. There's fighters out there who are just like that. They got senses beyond ours. She aint make believin', unlike your fake girlfriend... Anyway, so she wrote somethin' about you that made you mad. So what? You got fans and a platform. Feud with 'er and get the fight promoters talkin' and the sponsors knockin' on your door. I don't get this middle school nonsense. Tournament's comin' up. Settle yer differences then."

He then lifts the image container up and points it at Buford while grinning, "But I aint bein' paid to be yer counsler. That's yer sponsors job. You bothered to talk tot hem about all this? I wonde what good ol'Abigail or Juri might think about you spendin' your time lettin' Djamila live in yer head rent free. Anyway it don't matter to me but I know one thing.."

His eyes narrow slightly, lips curling into a slight fang and incisor revealing snarl, "You imply that she's 'tamed me' again...and I'll have t'enter your little feud on my own terms and I am guessin' you aint gonna like how I do it.."

She stays quiet mostly when Buford shares the Haiku. She practically pushed him to say it. She doesn't react to Buford, who is trying hard not to cry. Either she doesn't know, or it doesn't matter to her.

She reacts when Buford says she is faking being blind. Braun helps by saying she's not faking. But enough is enough. It is her integrity, something she went through. So now, for the first time in NFG and perhaps ever....

"You fucking twit. Do you know why the Haiku hurts so much. Because you know it's true!" She moves closer toward him. "You want to see how fake it is?! Look Buford." She pulls off her blindfold. There are no eyes there. There are no eyelids either. There are only two empty eyes socket, heavily damaged and closed in such a way she will not get an infection. It's ugly. It might even be a vision of horror compared to the rest of Djamila. "Look, Buford. Let this be your nightmare to carry too forever! Then tell me how fake it is. Do you want to touch inside to be sure they are not fake eyes?" She puts her blindfold back on. "Pray Iris wins in the Tournament. Pray anyone else wins before we would meet. Because if we fight again, I am going to explode you. And if it's up to me, I will make sure to stop you from fighting for a while. I will hit the hardest I have ever hit anyone. Think of that too Buford. And now off of the inside of my head again."

SHe moves back to Braun. "Sorry about that, thank you for defending me. I hope you didn't get to see that part of me. I don't really want people to see what is under the blindfold. But he earned it." She takes a deep breath.

As for the drawing, I did a few for people who matter to me, like you do. Buford, it was something else. I am sure you can see that."

"Thank you for everything you said, Braun. She tries to hug him, if he will let her. She needed a bit of comfort after the outburst.

The mention of a fake girlfriend sets Buford off more than the threat of a feud.

"My girlfriend is -very- real and from Europe!" Buford explains. "She's just very busy! She's very beautiful, even more beautiful than Djamila, and has white hair and dark clothing and is a very serious warrior, and looks evil, but actually she's a good guy who works hard to protect the world by fighting monsters and worse than that! She also can eat a lot more than a sandwich too! And she's not blind, just like this fraud!" He shakes his head.

"How can you waste your free spirit for the sake of some leggy bimbo!?"

Buford actually approaches Braun, leading with his chest, practically pressing it into Braun's own. "I saw how you were looking at her, and I've heard your interviews! How easily you become -weak- looking at the female form." Buford cranes his head up as he gives a deep whiff, seeming to wash his mouth around with the taste of Braun's scent. "You have allowed your instincts dominate you, while I have allowed my rational mind overcome such primal urges! You are no beastman! But just a horn dog Furry Bait looking for some hot mama to spoil you!" Buford declares accusingly at Djamila, and when she speaks up, he tries to speak over her.

Nothing comes out, when he sees her eyes.

Buford is quiet for a moment, trying to make sense of how his original point of view is actually correct, even with the new evidence presented. Stepping back, he is stunned, dazed as he clenches his fist on the crumpled note. Dancing his eyes around, he relaxes a moment. "Just a Halloween trick. It's just makeup." Buford says softly, mostly to himself. As Djamila moves in to try and hug Braun, rage crosses his face. Turning red, he trembles, growling a haiku to recharge his spirit.

"Strippers Live Their Lives
As Plastic People Lying
To Pure Honest Men"

Buford steadies himself a moment, blinking his eyes. And then, he focuses back on Braun. "You know how wolves were tamed by cave men, Braun?" Buford goes into that explaining tone again, keeping his voice low and even. "They were lone wolves, neglected and cast out by their herds! And desperate and hungry, they lurked near the camps of cave men. Of cave women. In your case, desperate and -thirsty- wolves. The wild and fierce beasts would be killed, but those that could temper their more vicious instincts would get their fill, mmm'yes. Especially the ones who acted like children, like babies, like -pups-. Whimpering and whining to get another taste. Domestication. Where is -your- herd of wolves, Braun? Where is your so called Skull Cross Gang? Or instead of a lone wolf, are you just a lonely wolf..." Buford tosses the wadded up note at Djamila, and goes back to focus on Braun.

"Looking for some mistress to puppify you?"

It's not as horrifying to him as it would be to others. He's done fighting in dank dark places and for reasons that are far from the eye of the professional fighting world. While he's far from one that could claim to be experienced he's yet seen things others have not and that includes terrible, terrible wounds on others. Being that he's some interaction with and familiarityw ith The Makai by rote of his lineage and his homeland also has caused him to see much that those more familair with earthly matters does not.

Rather, it is more words and tone to Buford that causes Braun to mildly frown and tense up. He doesn't like this and when she finally moves to embrace him, he does not immediately return the gesture but likewise does not recoil away as if debating on if her threat and promise of potential permanent harm on him over what, as far as he's concerned, are just words, may have been a step to far.

Nevermind that he not so subtly threatened Buford himself, it just...feels wrong somehow to him now.

"Yeah, he sucks, but....Maybe you need to chill---"

He begins, until Buford begins speaking and, effectively, attempts to call his bluff. To Braun, such a thing is a grievous error. Be stupid all you want. Be misyognistic. Be a middle schooler. Be a crybaby. Issue threats.

But don't, absolutely do not, fail to take the beastman's threats seriously.

There is a flash of movement as Braun crosses the distnace between himself and Buford, leaving Djamila behind in a rushing blur that kicks up dirt, branches and pebbles in the sudden storm of his activity. A massive clawed hand whips out and then siezes hold of Buford's shirt, stopping just shy of attempting to tear into his skin but his massive arm bulges and lifts, hefting the other large man upwards with about the ease of lifting a bag of groceries. The tube containing Djamila's art goes clattering to the ground as Braun's other arm raises and his massive claws crackle red and black chi between them as that arm lifts with the threat of a strike being readied.

"You wanna run that again, partner?" he sneers, bestial teeth on display as his features become more leonine and he grins at the captured samurai.

"You don't wanna play with me when we're not bound by th'rules of conduct in fights. I didn't come from my mommas basement like you did before joinin' this thing and I aint here to defend her honor either. Fact is..I stuck up for you cause I found her defendin' Junko but railin' on you hypocritical ....but that don't mean I like you and it don't mean you get to say what you want t'me outside of matches without consequences...."

After all this, all he got was a Halloween trick. Of course, he would see that because Buford is wearing a disguise. He's not a samurai. He's a fat guy with so many complex that no one can truly understand him. Djamila makes him so angry because she keeps poking at things that are real. This is what she thinks, but she is done fighting really.

She gives a tight but not damaging hug to Braun, patting his back. There is no tear coming, as that's a no-go for he too, but there might be if she could. It's hard to tell.

Then she releases Braun. "You will always be more manly and gentlemanly than he will ever be. " But if he wants to kick his ass, she doesn't stop him, but neither does she encourage him. She doesn't get mad at him for asking her to chill. Djamila doesn't aim to hurt. Maybe she is ready to make an exception for Buford. He pushes all kinds of buttons. But she met a lot more good people than bad. So it will be alright. Buffoon. That sounds so close to Buford. Did his mother foresaw... Perhaps she did. The poor woman. "I am sorry Buford. I am sorry for your Mother. The poor woman, raising a deception. Hope she will be ok." She says nothing else at the moment, Watching what Braun is going to do and not interfering in it in any manner. Because, for one, Braun doesn't belong to her, and second, it's just Buffoon.

When Buford is taken by Braun, the swordsman realizes another change that has taken place from the NFG.

Should he have been interviewed after this encounter, he would have explained that one of the biggest differences now, is that if Buford had been scooped up by Braun at the start of the NFG? Buford would have peed his pants. He would have dropped cookies in them. He would have evacuated from every bowel and orifice, his face wet with tears and vomit. Buford would have been so terrified that he would have curled up in a ball and cried in his own leavings. These great and intimate details of how much he would have expelled the stuff in him, out of him, out of the sheer horror of Braun, would be left out. Because after drinking snake venom from a bucket?

Buford was afraid of no beastman.

"Play?" Buford growls back in his own chestful of baritone, as he is seized up as fast as lightning. His legs dangle in the air limply. But his hand was on his vape hilt. "You think you are going to make yourself her chaddy daddy? Her grumpy white knight? I'm already under your skin, Braun." Locking his eyes into Brauns own, he leans in, almost touching chins and nose, mouth aligned with his own. So close, that both of their rancid breath was mingled with each other. Breathes absolutely in sync. Hot blood flowing between them.

Hearts pounding, in anticipation of what was to come next.

"A single sweep of my blade is all that it would take for it taste your entrails." Buford continues, leaning in close to Brauns ear, face so close as if his whiskers could stroke his own short hairs. "I know just how tsun tsun you are, you baka." Buford growls low and fiercely with a tiger like air. He felt so empowered, and recognized how strong his words were. He looks past him, to the Djamila who was at his side. He scoffs. "I am more afraid of her, than you. Because she's controlling you already. 'More manly and gentlemanly,' what a beautiful lie. Hmph. I always imagined you more of a man's man. But it seems you handle your women differently than you handle your men." Buford scowls.

"How disappointing."

He keeps staring a hole into Djamila, his body expelling a thick and creamy scent of hostility. "You better work hard in protecting her. Because after I beat that dirty witch Iris? I'm going to slap my mother's name out of her mouth, to make -sure- she is sorry. Brats like that need to be taught a lesson, and depend on fools like you to avoid, as you said, consequences!" Buford gives a high pitch giggle, before his face returning to stone. He relocks his eyes back to Braun. "You have already let me down once. Are you going to let me down again, so you can go back to your queen?"

"Or are you going to teach me a lesson in manners like a good doggie?"

He doesn't look away from Buford. Nor does his boiling rage intensify! Instead he just sort of stares with a growing look of disbelief and astonishment. It's not that he botched an intimidation roll. Indeed he likely would have nailed a pretty high one it's just that...what is this...resolve? Is this progression? Change? Did NFG actually .. work...?

Granted, negative reinforcement is still a form of reinforcement but there's no denying this to Braun's senses....this is -not- the same fighter he faced in the first round of Metro City.

The beastman blinks a few times and then suddenly lets out a loud bursting laugh that roars and rolls into Buford's face with near the intensity he'd receive had he put his head right infront of a lion just before its roar. It's a laughing roar but a roar nonetheless.

"Weeeellllll!!" Braun bellows, shaking Buford now with his enormous arm. "I fell for it! You did it! You'd been doin' it to her and you actually managed to get through to me! That's a level up! It means we take what you say enough to care about it and you! You -matter-!"

He laughs again, loudly, lifting a hand up to his head, "I can't believe I got caught up in this stupid nonsense. But look at this. Whaddya we have here! What the hell! Did Team Frost what it said it was going to do?! With a little help from Djamila and Braun from the side?? I think we've created a monster!"

He doesn't sound the least bit upset by this possiblity and he gestures at Buford with his free hand while looking over his shoulder at Djamila, "Woulda ya look at this guy! He's a regular ol'Mad Gear mid-boss now! Graduated from paper bag and cardboard bo wearin' to actually bein' a problem!"

He shakes his head and arm again, rattling the portly samurai in the process. "...I'm impressed! Didn't wet yer pants -and- a snarling comeback and physical threat! Everybody thinks everybody in this thing's supposed t'get along but you know what? The Coco's, the Buford's...the Zarine's and Laurel's...hell even the Junko's add the spice to this sorta thing that' been lackin' sometimes. That gets the blood boilin' and the adrenaline pumpin' and the content ratin' warnings flashin' and podcasts poppin'. You got a working act!"

He looks over his shoulder to the dancer again and grins, "I changed my mind. Maybe you didn' go to far there. A little healthy threat and intense fight is worth it. Yeah bust 'im up real good. He's worth the effort. He probably aint givin' empty threats either. He really wants to do what he says he wants to do so - consequences - like I said. Just make sure you win."

She doesn't find Buford funny. Not in the sense you're laughing at someone's joke. No, Buford is the Joke. Braun's laugh though, is enough to make her laugh too. "You're right. He grew up. Doesn't need diapers anymore. It's progression."

"You're welcome to slap the taste of my mouth if you can pass Iris. But Iris is a Badass. She didn't find her outfit in a box of crackers. She's the real deal."

She smiles toward. "Everyone needs a push once in a while. But, if I have to fight him again, I will not be tender with him. Beware the wrath of a woman. Beware the wrath of Djamila." She turns her head back toward Buford. "You're really old news. I already beat you once. I've tasted your blade and was standing, while you crumbled under my staff. Braun is right, you're like a mid-boss now. But all a mid-boss is good for is to put for the heroes of a story." She smiles bigger. "That's not wrong in itself, but a mid-boss never gets better. A mid-boss stays there. Until forgotten. Congrats, for a while you made me remember you. But I assure you, I will remember Braun for life. I will remember Hawksley for life and Iris for life. If I am lucky will even spend my life with my love. Who is not hiding in Europe. Who is real and has been a real support for me."

She takes a deep breath, head goes toward Braun again. "With that said, I wish you good luck for the tournament. I would love to face you again in the tournament. Fight you again. If, by some weird chance, you end up facing Buford in the third round, you can be sure I will be cheering for you."

Her head again goes toward Buford. "And if you somewhat make it to the Final with me, able to beat everyone else. I will definitely be happy to show the world why a mid-boss should never end up in the final." She shakes her head. "One thing is for sure, Braun does not only have more muscles than you, but much more brain. I pity the fool who thinks they can control him."

Buford was extremely confused.

He had a spectrum of expectations, naturally. Braun would morale break, and begin to sob and pee on himself. Or he would cow and run back to Djamila. Or he would pile drive him and the would begin to fight, but he would teleport behind him, and then cut him in half. These were all realistic outcomes based on reality. But Braun -laughing- it off? Buford had never experienced it. He had experienced something like -this- before, with a jerk jock and his blonde bimbo cheerleader who pretended to like Buford but in a non-verbal way.

I mean, except he had his pants on this time.

So when Buford is shook around, he is actually kind of dumbfounded. "Huh." He grunts out dully, trying to figure out if he was being bullied. Kicking his legs weakly, he dances his eyes around, as Braun continues to express his admiration for the kind of man Buford is. Slowly, but surely, he lets the praise fill him. He begins to feel warm in places, as Braun gives him what he imagines are compliments. It wasn't hard, after all, to mistake Braun most backhanded compliments as more of a pat on the back instead of a slap across the face. And Braun -seemed- to like him. And when he talks about mid-boss... it made him feel extremely warm and fuzzy. He imagined Abigail and Katana telling him the same. A Middle Boss of Mad Gear. How cool was that? The Ronin Of Rationality, the defender of Mad Gear most important territory.

Djamila, however, seemed to have the same opinion as before.

As she wasn't impressed, Buford gives a snort. "You see? It's why it's worth one's time to be a man's man, instead of a woman's man. Females are so fickle. It's in their nature. We will see how much she cares about your muscles when she sees just how -strong- I have become. Beware the wrath of a man, M'lady." Buford growls, running his thumb on the brim of his fedora. "Especially when he chooses NOT to be a gentleman, mmm'yes." And Buford tries to turn around, and walk, ready to dramatically make his leave with a great exhale of mist, leaving as he came: with the scent of candy corn, a shadow in the fog.

But he was still being held by Braun.

Buford clears his throat. "Um."

Buford waggles his feet.

"Um Braun."


"... You can put me down now Braun."

"He knows how t'commit to a bit alright. I guess I'm a klingon at heart. He's terrible! But entertainin'...and yeah, you beat 'im once before.." offers Braun to the dancer over his shoulder.

When Buford speaks finally he turns his attention back to him again, grinning once more and inclining his head slightly. It's clear to him that everything he said went in one ear and most of it out the other with only the elements that would inflate Buford's ego being retained and the nuance itself simply completely lost. He expected this. Probably wanted it.

"Hn." he grunts, "Way to stick to the part yer playin'.." he says with amusement and then, once the request is made, he roughly sets Buford down and releases him.

"He probably -does- have a girlfriend." he admits, "Everybody aint like you and in fact, I bet she's got him under her thumb and he just don't even realize it..." His eyes hood slightly, a slight smirk remaining on his features, as he look Buford over, "By the way, when we sparred, she beat me as well. Work with that as y'wish... Anyway, we'll see how far you even get in this final tournament. You made it this far, took yer lumps, still here. That counts for somethin' but so's everyone else.."

He reaches down and sweeps his hand to retrieve his discarded piece of artwork and then shoulders it as he turns to start walking towards Djamila, "Don't let him get so under yer skin." he finally advises, "Not unless you can use that to yer advantage... GIve 'im hell if you fight 'im again cause he'll sure try to. So will I. It's only fair for a fighter as strong as you are."

With that he begins to make a move towards another path, intending to follow it back to where his large motorcycle remains.

"See y'all around..."

She listens to the back and forth, then she looks at Braun "He probably has a girlfriend, a boyfriend, or someone is playing a joke." She then says for Buford, "Isn't that right, my little Fordy?" She said. It's a random guess, but wouldn't it be funny if she got the nickname right? Get into his head for it."

She stretches and says to Buford. "Anyway, if you go far in the tournament, I will get you out of it." She smiles. "Say hi to your girlfriend for me."

She says to Braun. "If I face you in the tournament, it will be an honor. Just like the first time in our spar. I wouldn't count an automatic win against you though. Good luck to you in the tournament. I know you will give a run to Chevy for her money, that's for sure."

She grabs her staff and then slowly starts walking. "See you around, little Fordy." She chuckles and slowly starts walking away. "Take care, Braun. Nice seeing you again." She then walks away, not looking back. She was done. Either she got under Buford Skin with this, or she didn't. No skin off her back unless they meet in the tournament later.

Buford is grateful to be let down.

Steadying out, he plans his leave, as the pair talk about his... Boyfriend? Girlfriend? He looks after the pair, his anger subsided for the moment. In fact, the anger was replaced with panic. They were leaving him, not the other way around. But as he is called Fordy, and his status is brought up, he puts on a strange air. A smirk. A knowing smugness.

"Well Actually..."

Buford burbles mirthfully. "Why, my girlfriend and I have an understanding, especially with the unique conditions of our relationship being long distance. Especially with the physical needs. But she is not to dally with the handsome men in her work, and I to keep myself pure from the beautiful women in the NFG." He draws his hilt out, free if the blade. Bringing it to his lips, he continues. "As what those terms means, for me at least, that when allowing my heart be drawn by another, that I am allowed to settle those needs outside that scope Thus, it is not cheating if it is with a boyfriend..." He takes a moment, giving a long, pondering gaze at Braun as he vapes. Looking after them, he exhales, billowing a vast cloud around him as he makes he leave. All with the final parting words.

"... or with an anime."

Log created on 14:08:21 10/31/2023 by Buford, and last modified on 11:07:27 11/02/2023.