LLK Act I.War - War : Nobody Likes a Meddler

Description: When Whip returns to Southtown on Ikari business, investigating suspicious activity leading up to the NESTS/Shadaloo invasion, she finds time in her busy schedule to sneak up cryptically on Kyo Kusanagi. Is it possible that the former NESTS agent turned Ikari Warrior can use her canny abilities to manipulate the famously lazy flamewielder into pitching in against the forces of evil? Or will Kyo simply agree to stop her from nagging him so much? Find out inside!

Horrible things are brewing out in the world, and soon they're going to descend on Southtown like some kind of ridiculous movie monster, except the camera's all shaky and everyone's freaking out, so that makes it a way better monster movie than all the other ones that it's functionally identical to, except that the other ones have decent camera work and characters you can give even half a crap about.

Okay, wait, that introduction sort of ran away with itself.

Anyway, yeah; while there is impending doom for Southtown, some of its most prominent residents haven't got the foggiest idea of what might be going down. Among these prominent residents is one Kyo Kusanagi, who's been pretty much just doing his usual Kyo Kusanagi things; being lazy, talking smack at people, proving to be an alarmingly dangerous fighter. You know, normal stuff.

Today, he's jogging.

Windbreaker-style pants cover his legs, and he's got some nice cross-trainers on his feet; his t-shirt is black, with a white stylised cross design on the front and back, and generally Kyo looks like someone who's actually putting out some effort to stay in shape. Of course, 'in shape' is a fairly relative term when you're talking about professional fighters, and frankly even if he sat on his ass all day and ate chili dogs, Kyo would probably be better conditioned than 99.999999999% of the world's population.

You want to know who to blame for that? Genetics.

So Kyo is jogging, making his way up the steps to the abandoned shrine. Nothing bad ever happened at an abandoned /shrine/, so this seems like a relatively safe proposition. Of course, though he's making a run of it, Kyo's mind is clearly somewhere else. Just where though, you'd probably have to be some kind of a psychic to figure out, and luckily the only one of those liable to hang around Kyo isn't here right now. And even if she was she'd probably be distracted by him getting sweaty.

He's also not alone.

As Kyo Kusanagi finishes his Rocky montage up the steps of the shrine, there's a figure waiting for him. It's a young woman, her lean body cut in jeans and a short leather jacket, her arms crossed as she props one shoulder against the posted entrance. Her head tilts, and she reaches up to remove her aviator's sunglasses and push them up her forehead, her dark hair piecing around her face wildly. She smirks.

It's Whip, looking either like someone enjoying the weather or has been specifically waiting -- and very patiently -- for Kyo to arrive. Her crooked smiling is smug, no doubt saturated with that notorious, Ikari Warrior tendency to know where everyone is at all times of the day, and having even less compunction to drop in uninvited. It's a mystery how she even know how to find him at all. Maybe she pulled a favour with the government satellite systems. Or maybe she just read some of the message boards on his fan club website.

"You're late," Whip announces herself rather breezily, checking her watch on her left wrist, and rechecking the calculations in her head. He should have made the shrine four minutes ago. In her right hand, a tinny, metallic device is pitched up and caught, up and caught in a perpetual motion -- her cellular phone. "Got your message."

First of all, if Kyo wants to have a Rocky montage, that is totally his business. Second of all, why do people keep stalking him?! Seriously, what is it about him that says 'hey, show up when I'm doing stuff so you can tell me portentiously that I need to do other stuff'? Is it the whole thing where he has an inescapable destiny to fight evil and save the world even though he'd rather just take a nap?

"Nah, that's not how it works," Kyo replies to Whip, not missing a beat despite his actual, legitimate surprise at seeing the Ikari Warrior here, waiting for him, Criticising him on his supposed 'lateness'. "Whenever I get somewhere, it's always right on time. You really gotta learn that," the World Warrior explains, shrugging his shoulders helplessly as though this were somehow an immutable fact of the universe and not in any way his fault.

As for the 'message', Kyo looks dubious, gives Whip a once-over, and pushes slightly sweaty hair out of his face. "You sure? Because I /distinctly/ remember mentioning you wearing a French maid outfit."

The Ikari Warrior falters at Kyo's retort, and though her good-humoured smiling doesn't disappear, she rolls her brown eye. "Can't say I got that. You might've gone over the character limit on that message," Whip groans all-so-despairingly, pulling away from the entrance to stand upright. She pockets her cell phone.

"I don't have long, but I'm in town long enough that I wanted to catch you." The young woman stuffs her hands dociley into the pockets of her coat, looking and acting anything but the ruthless soldier she's volunteered to become in a matter of hours. Something's up in Southtown... something enough to earn her Commander's full attention. It means it's liable to be big. At least she knows K' is safe back in South America for the time being, and it frees her mind all the more to get to business.

"I need all and any intel you gleaned off of that encounter," she both requests and directs at the same time, her soldierly authority doing battles with what almost sounds like a lingering trace of shyness in her voice. Whip steps closer to Kyo, her dark eyes intent on his face. "It might have something to do with what's going down."

"Isn't that always the way? Stop bein' such a cheapass and get one of those smartphones," Kyo chides, not particularly seriously. Whip is easy to banter with, in his experience, and she doesn't take it /too/ seriously... Not that it's going to stop him from trying to find just which buttons he can push to set her off. It's like a treasure hunt! "I'll send you an email about it next time."

Kyo, naturally, doesn't buy this whole 'docile' act from Whip, so when her body language changes, the World Warrior champ snorts. He's about to ask just why she's looking for him, or possibly to make some sort of inappropriate suggestion regarding that same desire, when Whip is kind enough to elaborate. "Uh, okay," he says, meeting her dark eyes with his own, though he's rather less intense about it. "That runty guy, Kay-whatever, was lurking around Taiyo and eating peanuts. I decided I wanted some peanuts from the vendor, he got pissy, then I kicked his ass. He had flames, too. Uh... What else was there?"

Kyo furrows his brow, thinking, before he has a sudden look of realisation!

"Oh yeah, he said he was going to hunt you down and torture you. Then his arm turned into a gun and he ran away." You know, the usual.

For the time being, the brunette seems without buttons. Surely, she has her lion's share. Surely, it's always the quiet ones with the slow burns that bring about the most devastating explosions of tempers, and she /does/ share blood with one of the most notorious tempers ever to walk Southtown, but for now? Whip is frosty. Kyo's banter so far, though capable to piss off even the most restrained and tolerant of people, only seems to make her smile.

Maybe Jones and the rest back on the base have long desensitized her. Or maybe she's already convinced that Kyo Kusanagi is a nice guy?!

"I bet you will," she replies, putting on a suffering air, already mentally preparing herself for a manifesto on French maid uniforms. But when he switches to business, she's glad enough to listen -- and Whip has a way of looking genuine about it too. She's got her full attention of Kusanagi, giving him a generous cut of seriousness that most have probably well-learned never to do. At first, she looks confused and pensive, trying to make sense of his dodgy assessment... then he says a key phrase. Arm turned into a gun.

Whip's face darkens visibly. Her lips purse. "That's K9999, I believe," she informs him, her eyes averting as they reflect an old, and particularly unpleasant memory. Then she smiles again, sharply, exhaling amusement at the relayed throat. Sounding theatrically bored, she replies, "Is that all? Wouldn't be the first time, wouldn't be the last. --He didn't hurt you, did he?" The young woman suddenly appends, almost looking close to considering guilt to have pressured Kusanagi to go after a legitimately-deadly target.

But the concern -- if it was concern -- doesn't last long. Whip frowns. "And you made no attempt to capture him?"

Guilt? Deadly? What?

At Whip's possibly-concerned question, Kyo shoots her a 'bitch, are you for real?' look. "Hurt me? Lady, he could barely /touch/ me. I dunno what you're so concerned about. If they did use my genes to create that guy," which seems likely since he SHOT FLAME, "then they must've used all the crappy ones they didn't give your brother, or something."

Who says Kyo Kusanagi is insensitive?

And what's all this about him capturing people? "Uh, do I look like a kidnapper to you?" Kyo wonders, his sensibilities clearly quite offended here. "What was I gonna do, stick him under my bed for a while and hope he didn't starve to death before you decided to check the messages on your phone? Give me a break."

Of course he's a terrible soldier... He's not a soldier at all!!

Whip, by all appearances, looks absolutely for real. She looks threateningly close to have worried for the welfare of the World Warrior, who, despite all international renown, remains vaguely labelled as 'civilian' in her strange little mind. Kyo's assertions only earn the vague tilting of her head, the gesture begging some understanding. Somewhere along the lines between her defection from the Cartel, and the marked beginning of the search for her memories, she somewhat bestowed herself the title of 'protector of all things.' By that range, even Kyo Kusanagi falls under the definition.

"Seems they did," she answers Kyo's wonderings about K9999's genetic history. "Unfortunately, NESTS didn't seem inclined to give him any of your charm," Whip adds wryly. Don't think she missed the veiled comment about K'.

Of course, when Kyo starts talking about kidnaping, Whip can't help but let a short laugh go. "Hey," she counters, looking at him grimly, "if you're as half as creative as your /email/s suggest, I'm sure you would've thought of something." She pauses, and a familiar seriousness sunsets the look on her face. "If it ever comes to it, I'll respond immediately to any sort of call. This isn't anything I'd expect you to undertake alone.

"Still, old K9's in Southtown," Whip continues, rubbing thoughtfully at the back of her neck. She bites her lip for a moment, and very transparently makes a decision. "He's not alone."

With a snort, Kyo stretches his arms over his head and with them his back, seeming less serious and grave over the whole situation than Whip herself, go figure. He simply doesn't have her context on things, and honestly he probably couldn't put himself in Whip's proverbial shoes even if he knew it. "Any sort of a call, huh?" Kyo repeats. "I'll keep that in mind."

What? It's not dirty!

Okay, maybe a little.

"So what if he's not alone?" Kyo says, dubiously. "What, have they got another nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety eight of that loser? Because that's still at least three thousand too few of them to actually fight me on even ground." Does that even make sense? Probably not. "And who cares, if they do? The city's full of vermin anyway, trash like that is somebody else's problem. Maybe they'll piss off the wrong guys and get themselves fumigated."

The wrong guys here clearly does not include Kyo. Do not make Kyo get involved, seriously. He just wants to go take a nap and maybe have a nice sandwich.

Settling back against the entrance-way and shifting her weight to one hip, the young woman keeps her hands busy. She takes her sunglasses off her head, folding them up and turning them absently around inside her fingers. At the very least, the Ikari Warrior seems bothered at the edges, which may or may not be related to her unannounced visit back into Southtown. Whip looks far from palpably anxious, but there's a potential for something lurking in her non-committal body language -- the very calm before the storm.

Kyo's maybe-a-little-dirty remark earns him a slight glance, however it lacks the sort of offended gravity most women duly have reserved for him. Maybe Whip's one of those workaholic, terminally-innocent types.

"Who knows," she says instead, remaining on more serious topics. "The very count of all their 'projects' remains an unknown. But there's a lot of them. And K9999 is just a taste of it. Their operatives can get more powerful than that." And Whip sounds utterly grave about that. Kula Diamond. Krizalid. Zero. And her brother... she can only imagine what he could have been, how he could have been under the Cartel's control.

She pales slightly. It's not a welcoming throught.

And who cares? he asks. "I care," Whip replies, somewhat quietly. "They're officially my problem."

Honestly, Kyo didn't even know she'd left Southtown, but it's not like he's been stalking her apartment or anything. Don't think he hadn't considered it just for the simple enjoyment of pissing K' off a lot, though. Don't for a moment believe it didn't cross his mind. He's kind of a jerk that way.

"Yeah, well, whatever those Bill Nye rejects cooked up in their mom's kitchen isn't really /my/ freaking problem, now is it?" Kyo says. And the thing about this is: It's a lie. Because it IS his problem. His genes, being used to create some kind of living weapons. It's just like he told K', who knows how many times: K' wields the Kusanagi flames, and that makes him Kyo Kusanagi's problem.

It's just, you know, Kyo would rather use that to justify interfering endlessly in someone else's life for his own amusement than to paint himself into a corner and having to fight whatever freaks NESTS whips up using 'Kyo Juice' as a key ingredient.

And if that's not a disturbing mental image, I don't know what is.

"Well," Whip replies at length, her eyes averting to gaze meaningfully down at her sunglasses. She tries to search for the right words in those mirrored lenses. "As I recall telling you before, I don't think of this as your responsibility," she informs Kyo, as though he would even begin to care what she thinks. Either way, she seems all too inclined to offer her opinion freely.

Very freely.

"But it is your problem. The blame is firmly on them. They've ruined entire lives with their attempts to play god, to create and destroy real, living people in a moment's whim. But like it or not, Kusanagi, you're involved. You know, if you want to break it down to the most technical sense... my brother has your genetics in him, so the Cartel has made us family in a way. I mean, this is serious shit. It's the sort of thing you want to make your problem before it pulls you deeper into a worse mess."

Biting her bottom lip, Whip just gives up on fidgetting with her sunglasses, and discards them to her coat pocket. Sighing a little airily, her own little rant working herself up more than intended, she spends a necessarily moment merely pawing a hand through her dark hair, her bangs pulling back then returning to their uneven framing of her purposeful, brown eyes.

"If I didn't believe you were integral in all this, I wouldn't have talked to you in the first place," she eventually reveals to Kyo, looking back up at him. "But, thanks to NESTS, you're part of my brother's life. Which sort've makes you part of mine."

Is... Is Kyo getting /lectured/? By an /Ikari Warrior/?

What the HELL, man?

"Stop it, you're gonna make me blush," the always smart mouthed Kusanagi heir says, putting his hands to his cheeks in an expression of completely and utterly false bashfulness, in response to Whip's seriousness. "But fine, if you're gonna put up such a fuss about it, I might as well help out." Because there's no way that he's going to acknowledge that Whip's sentiments are correct, or that they match his own, unvoiced thoughts on the matter. No, that would not be acceptable at all. Instead, Kyo capitulates the only way he can: By making it seem that the alternative is too much trouble for him to bother with.

Sighing, Kyo moves alongside Whip, and lifts one arm in an attempt to drape it over her shoulders. "By the way, 'Big Sis', you should be careful about all that nagging... I heard it can age you prematurely, and how are you gonna find yourself a husband then?"

Though Whip at first only looks inclined to rankle at Kyo's less-than-promising reaction -- seems as though he's begun to strike some buttons -- the moment passes, and the fleeting moment of aggravation dispells from her face. He may not acknowledge she's right, but he's promised his help. And that's more than enough for her. "Good," is all she says, frankly and genuinely, rather expert in brushing off any of Kyo's additional choice phrases.

She is not putting up a fuss.

Not at least until Kyo is suddenly at her side, and the heavy weight of his arm falls across her shoulders. She startles subtly, not quite expecting it; the hardened Ikari Warrior flusters around the edges, an embarrassed flush rising to her cheeks. His nickname for her is even worse. Whip glances up, fixing him with a stare that goes sour faster than milk under a desert sun. But testament to her good-humour, she gives her dark eyes another roll. "Are you kidding me?" she utters without any real venom in her voice, grumping along for the ride.

--A husband?! Her right eye tics.

Whip responds by trying to bury her elbow into Kyo's side, firm enough, though there's a distinct slant of humour in her voice. "And to think someone thinks it's a good idea to make /more/ of you."

That was totally a fuss, Kyo calls them like he sees them. Whip? More like Nag... p.

Kyo lets out a faint grunt as he gets elbowed in the side, and whether or not it really hurts him, it does provide him with incentive to let go of the Ikari, lifting his hands in mock surrender as he takes a step away. "Okay, okay. Little sister, then?" the Kusanagi heir offers, which is probably not helping things any, especially after he implied that Whip's tendency towards tenaciously mothering other people might render her unmarriable.

Chicks. Go figure.

"You can call me 'Big Brother' if you want, but I dunno if K' would be too cool with it," Kyo continues, possibly enjoying this entirely too much. It could even be his revenge for Whip having backed him into a proverbial corner and then given him the least desirable of ways out as an only option. Stranger things have happened.

His added concessions aren't helping. Freed, the Ikari Warrior backs up a step to inject further distance between her body and the reach of Kyo's incessant jerkiness, though she discovers his condition to be shortly airbourne. 'Big brother' earns him an incredulous look, one that is best saved in quick catches of a Polaroid or camera phone. The expression on her face is laughably priceless. Then it just crumples on itself, as she raises a hand to hide her eyes briefly into her palm.

Good of a heart he has, Whip has always considered her brother to be something of a jerk. She's finally realizing where some of it may have come from.

"I'm going to call you /something/ in a second," she replies through a gusty sigh. Whip lets her hand drop. "Can't you be serious for one second?!" she admonishes, finally summoning enough will to meet Kyo in the eye, even though the annoyed blush hasn't left her cheeks. "Listen, there's a reason why I wanted to find you. I'm not too sure what it is, myself, but the very fact NESTS is sniffing around here adds a new dimension to it. All the local criminal groups around seem to be..." she pauses, searching for the word, "I don't know, bracing for something. Something's going on, and I'm going to need extra eyes. Contact me if you see anything. Or if you need help."

How terrible that Kyo doesn't have a camera with him right now, huh? Think of all the uses he could have for a picture of that expression! It could become his IM icon, or maybe he could print it out for next year's Christmas cards. But, alas. An opportunity missed.

"See, the problem with being serious 'for a second' is that people start expecting you to be serious all the time. And life's too short for that," Kyo says, waving a hand dismissively. Of course, the thing about Kyo Kusanagi and his relaxed attitude towards life is that he can /afford/ to be that way; his family's wealthy, he was born with an enormous amount of talent and a supernatural 'power' that when combined put him near the top of the fighting world without much in the way of effort on his part at all.

No wonder his very existence pisses so many people off.

But Whip does have a point, again. And Kyo won't admit it outright, again. "Fine, whatever. I'll keep an eye out for bad guys acting squirrely," the Kusanagi heir says, shrugging. "If I see Vega in a Hamburglar outfit trying to steal all the little orphans' candy, you'll be the first person I tell. Okay?"

"Deal," Whip says, very earnestly, after conducting a long and meaningful search to find a trace of seriousness on all of Kyo's banter. She's been searching for things her whole life. Her family. Her past. Her own memories. Looking through Kyo Kusanagi for a sign of decency is a trial she's all too prepared for.

As if to emphasize how she means to hold him to this contract -- him keeping her informed, him asking her assistance should he need it -- the young woman pauses momentarily, but then very firmly and unabashedly offers her 'brother' her hand. Shake on it.

And if just to offer that Kyo isn't the only person in Southtown who can be a total dick, Whip starts to smile thinly, then offers in her nicest, most gentle tone, "But I won't keep you any longer. You should get back to working on that time of yours. I wouldn't push it, though; might wind yourself. Lord help us if you're unable to talk for at least fifteen seconds." Her grin widens.

Most people would probably say that Whip is setting off on a futile search, here. Kyo frowns a little at this earnest acceptance of his somewhat sarcastic offer, and he frowns mor deeply at the offered hand. Oh, he's really going to have to do that or else he's going to have to put up with more of the same, isn't he? With a resigned sigh, Kyo takes Whip's offered hand, and shakes it. Fine then.

"Heh," Kyo chuckles, shaking his head ruefully at Whip's words. "Be careful you don't open your mouth like that too often, it'll ruin your 'demure and innocent' disguise," the World Warrior says, turning to start back down the stairs, his walk slowly evolving back into a run. "Don't get killed by those big, bad NESTS agents eating peanuts!" Kyo offers back over his shoulder, before he's too far away.

Whip's dark brown eyes, still as saturated with her perpetual patience as usual, follow Kyo Kusanagi's descent back down the stairs of the shrine. She follows him the few steps out to return to the original spot he had found her, leaning precariously against the entranceway with her arms crossed. The look on her face is mixture of long-suffering and amusement, well emulsified by her nature. As utterly aggravating as Kyo sets himself to be, she can't ignore the inevitability of it all -- how he'll someday have to be a very important part of K''s life. He'll have to be to make any of this work.

He's a total douche, but she's pretty sure he can be trusted.

With that, she's digging her own phone from her pocket; Kusanagi's departure bringing Whip back to her own business. She needs to get in touch with Leona. She has under three hours until their operation is initialized.

Tapping in a number, Whip looks up long enough from her own thoughts to catch Kyo's last passing remark. Her mouth twists up, before she's compelled to roll her eyes one last time.

"Ha ha ha ha... jerk."

Log created on 19:32:58 02/15/2009 by Kyo, and last modified on 14:02:00 02/20/2009.