Neo League 851 - #871: Kyo vs Ash

Description: The Temple of Apollo will... probably need some renovations, following a destructive Neo-League fight between Kyo Kusanagi and Ash Crimson. Sure, it's a priceless relic of history, but the style and beauty of the arena were more important than silly things like preserving a precious jewel of the ancient world. ( Winner: Kyo )

One would think that a temple filled with so many unbelievably priceless articles of historical import would be the last place that the Neo League would schedule a sanctioned event between two high powered fighters, and such an assumption would be quite correct. However, the League's administrators had nothing to do with selecting the venue; the white-haired man who requested this particular fight did.

Or rather, his 'people' did. Technically, Ash Crimson doesn't have assistants, or agents, or secretaries, or interns, but what he /does/ have is charm enough to convince people with such skills to take care of dull labours such as placing calls to the Neo-League, handling permits, arranging for extra purses all around, that kind of thing; it's really quite convenient.

All of this adds up to a large square of lush red carpeting meant to serve as a luxurious fighting mat laid across the ground, and at one corner of it is the Frenchman whose outfit pretty much matches. Not to mention his nails, which have been painted bright red with intricate gold trim around the outsides of each. To the League's credit, pretty much anything fragile /has/ at least been contained behind glass protections; there was crew enough to take care of it once the proper lights and cameras were set up all around to capture this affair for PPV.

It's been a while since Kyo Kusanagi has deigned to participate in the Neo League, but honestly after recent events, he's glad for the excuse to get out of Southtown. He's been laying low for the most part since the siege ended, hoping that his newfound celebrity as the heroic guy who heroically saved innocent people from the experiments of NESTS and also an exploding hospital - added on top of his usual celebrity for being the awesomest fighter in the freakin' universe - would fade away.

So far, no dice.

While Kyo has willingly come all the way out here, though, no force in the universe (except his girlfriend, Yuki) can actually make the Kusanagi heir show up anywhere /on time/. He's not incredibly late, not 'oh well looks like he forfeit' late, just fashionably late. Just late enough to drive the League crew's stress levels up a bit.

Finally, about five minutes after he was supposed to arrive, Kyo Kusanagi makes the scene, ambling through the museum with about as much culture as you'd expect (none) and halfway finished a nice gyro. "Man you can't get this back in Southtown, what it is?" he wonders, half-rhetorically, of a League crewmember. His voice echoes enormously in the hall. "Is it... It's lamb, right? Lamb." He chews a bit more while the bewildered crewman stares at him. "Why is it that the dumbest animals are the most delicious?"

Finally finishing his meal as he gets to the red carpet, Kyo looks rather dubiously towards its other occupant. "This is a joke, right?"

Ash, who is normally accustomed to arriving fashionably late to things is not bothered in the sligthest; indeed, it's more time in which to touch his impeccably done nails up with a wee brush, not to mention peeking into a mirror to make sure his hair is /just so/.

He is deeply engaged in the former as Kyo bellows through the cavernous monument to Grecian culture, smirking to himself as he(and everyone else) listens.

"They've the least stress," he offers coolly without looking up. "Oftimes, they're the least active; these factors lead to sumptuous amounts of intramuscular fat. All the better to promote thigh-fattening juiciness."

Similarly, he is /definitely/ not bothered by Kyo's dubiousness, because after that is said, he looks up to meet the Kusanagi heir's eyes, giggles softly to himself, and caps the bottle of polish he's been playing with. His hand is shaken out to quickly dry it as the bottle is slipped back into a pocket.

Seriously though, Kyo thinks he's being set up for one of those 'ambush comedy' movies people are all into these days. Either that, or this is another model-fighter, in which case Kyo needs to find the one who spawned all of them and slay it, to put an end to this monstrous plague running through the professional fighting community. Wasn't Benimaru enough of an atrocity?

"Well, thanks a lot, Wikipedia," Kyo says to the Frenchman, because sincerely thanking someone is pretty much beyond him, especially when he was being rhetorical.

From his pocket, Kyo produces his black and orange Kusanagi gloves, tugging them on and tight, before he adjusts the sleeves of his leather jacket over them; once he's sure they're properly in place, he looks back towards Ash again, in time to see the Frenchman putting away his bottle of /nail polish/ jesus damn. "So anyway," the World Warrior champion continues, standing pretty casually for someone who's about to get into a fight, "if you're done checking your makeup or whatever, you're scheduled to get your ass kicked. Let's just get this farce over with, huh?"

COMBATSYS: Ash has started a fight here.

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Ash              0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kyo has joined the fight here.

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Ash              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Kyo

"You're quite welcome."

Ash's nails are brought near to his lips to be blown a little drier, and then he walks across the carpet to draw nearer to Kyo. When he's close enough, his hand is held out to the young champion, fingers splayed to properly display his nails as he says, "As you can see, what few imperfections managed to creep in have been dealt with. Your concern, however, is touching." He gives his head a little toss to shake his hair out slightly, sending green embers showering to the ground in a sparkling cloud. "Are you always so impatient? My, my. Well..."

His hands... slide into his pockets. And rather than make any large movements he kind of swiftly lashes out with his right foot in a snap-kick aimed towards one of Kyo's shins.

COMBATSYS: Kyo blocks Ash's Medium Kick.

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Ash              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Kyo

There's a bit of visible irritation on Kyo's part at Ash's somewhat flamboyant behaviour, a faint twitch of the Kusanagi heir's brow. Of course, judging by the Frenchman's behaviour so far, if it's even noticed it'll probably just roll right off of his back. As a consequence, Kyo doesn't even really notice the weird flash of green. "Yeah, sorry, I hate lots of buildup before I beat up some chump who thinks he's good enough to fight me," Kyo replies, and then Ash is advancing on him casually, hands in pockets, and kicking at his shin.

"Too obvious," Kyo complains, slipping back a bit to blunt the impact of Ash's kick, turning it into just a shallow graze against the Japanese fighter's leg. His weight shifts slightly...

And then with an abrupt speed, Kyo is lunging forward, swinging his right fist in a hooking punch aimed at the side of Ash's face, orange-crimson Kusanagi flames trailing behind the motion of his arm, and erupting in an explosion at the point of impact, if any. "You should feel honoured!" Kyo calls, stepping in to attack a second time, swinging his left fist in a mirror of the first punch, right down to the flames. "To get to step into the ring with the best in the world!" Kyo punctuates this rather self-aggrandising statement by twisting around and swinging one leg up in a whirling roundhouse kick aimed to send the Frenchman flying.

COMBATSYS: Ash blocks Kyo's Aragami.

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Ash              0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0              Kyo

"Really?" Ash wonders aloud as his forearm - wreathed in verdant fire - snaps up to catch Kyo's swinging arm at the elbow. "Well. I suppose. I could have been a touch more deceptive, non?" He smirks thinly. "Perhaps you've some wisdom to impart to me?"

He pushes at Kyo's arm to disengage himself, hops a short ways away, then notes, "You certainly are impressive for a name picked out of a sizable registry; I'll certainly grant you /that/. More of a 'large carpet' than a 'ring', though, no matter /what/ the poor staff tells itself." Another soft giggle, and then he darts back in, flaming hand rising... only to stop on a dime and twirl right back out, twisting at the waist to swing his heel towards Kyo's ribs.

COMBATSYS: Kyo counters Prairial from Ash with Nue Tsumi.

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Ash              0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0              Kyo

Okay, /now/ Kyo notices the green fire. "What the hell?" the Kusanagi heir wonders aloud, brow furrowing and a look of righteous indignation on his face. "Another freakin' copycat? I know summoning fire is cool and all, but damn." Isn't it bad enough that he has to share his bloodline gift with his crazy father, or with K', or with Yagami? Why does everybody else have to cramp his style like this? Can't they pick another element, like 'anything that isn't fire'? At least it being green is somewhat different, he supposes.

So irate is Kyo that he is initially unable to respond to the rest of Ash's commentary, although he might also be saving it for a dramatically appropriate moment; as Ash feints with his fiery fist, Kyo ducks a bit to the side, more out of instinct than anything else; when the kick comes his way, then, he's already moving into it, close enough to catch the leg with one hand before Ash can build up too much momentum.

And then he slams his other fist into the Frenchman's sternum, sacred Kusanagi flames erupting where he hits. "There we go, after that you're probably wiser already."

Flipping clockwise once as he flies backwards across the mat, Ash winds up sliding to a stop in a low crouch thanks to the unexpected counter-attack. He remains there long enough to draw in a few very deep intakes of air thanks to having had it all driven out of his body, and then he exhales sharply and draws upright.

Smiling. Of course.

"My, but you're a silly thing," he says. "Strong, but silly; the lamb of organized fighting, perhaps?" He reaches up to again give his hair a flick, only this time instead of time sparks falling, the air around him ignites. A jet of heatless green flame rises all around him, a lightbulb not too far away explodes, and all the while he's laughing softly to himself as he focuses inwards to reinvigorate himself.

COMBATSYS: Ash gains composure.

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Ash              0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0              Kyo

Silly? /Silly/? Man, Ash Crimson sure is finding ways to irritate the hell out of Kyo without even really trying. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? Has Kyo finally gotten his comeuppance or is this....


"Whatever animal you are must be the kind that looks dumb and is basically incompetent, then. Like a sloth. You're the three-toed sloth of professional fighting," Kyo counters, pointing right at Ash and his green flames. But since the Frenchman isn't going to go on the offensive and is instead going to sit there, trying to recover from Kyo's last attack, the Kusanagi heir brings his fists up in his simple Kusanagi-ryuu Kobojutsu stance, and then raises his right fist up, a raging orange-crimson flames burning in the cage of his fingers.

As the flame burns, Kyo focuses on it, draws from it; he draws on the power of his ancestors, of a thousand years of Kusanagis, gathering it. There's a tremendous /weight/ to all that power, palpable to any decent fighter and certainly to one with such mysterious abilities as Ash Crimson, a building pressure that speaks of something terrible moving ever closer.

COMBATSYS: Kyo gathers his will.

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Ash              0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0              Kyo

There's very much something palpable to be sensed by Ash, and it only makes his smile broader. It is, after all, one of the three things(among, okay, many) that he desires most in the world, and so it is rather a must that he recognize it.

"Oh, Kyo," he says with easy laughter. "I look perfect, and I know it. The peacock of the fighting world, perhaps. /Lying/ does not befit a boy with your talent, does it? Honor, dignity, all of those lovely things? Well." He cups his hands before himself and all of the flames clinging to his body rush to gather there in a microcosm of an all-consuming inferno. "You're a touch young, aren't you? I understand."

With that, he flicks his right arm up above his head, and all of that gathered chi is unleashed as a coruscating bolt of fire aimed to explode upon the Kusanagi heir's chest.

COMBATSYS: Kyo blocks Ash's Ventose.

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Ash              0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1              Kyo

"You've got a really messed up idea of 'perfect', Freckles," Kyo counters, his expression one of distaste. Why does he always have to deal with narcissistic freaks, on top of everything else? There ought to be a law. Maybe Ash and Benimaru and Alma and Drake can have a cage fight, and the survivor gets to be the only one. Take the others' Quickening.

The suddenly unleashed green fire cuts through the air towards Kyo, and almost negligently the Kusanagi heir shifts his position, bringing his free arm up in the way. The flames splash against his guard, burning and searing, but the brunt of the impact is blunted and dissipated. And then Kyo just starts /moving/.

Suddenly rushing directly at Ash, Kyo lunges forward elbow-first, attempting to drive it into the Frenchman's solar plexus in a stunning blow. If he can land that, then Kyo continues in a smooth motion, grabbing Ash by the collar of his weird red coat and hefting him right off of the ground. "You /are/ like a peacock in one way though," Kyo agrees. "You're really ANNOYING!" With that last, bellowed word, Kyo would unleash an explosion of Kusanagi flames, set to envelop Ash completely and hurl him away.

COMBATSYS: Ash effortlessly blocks Kyo's Koto Moon Positive.

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Ash              0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1              Kyo

Kyo's elbow strikes true, but when he follows it up by reaching for the collar of Ash's coat, the delicate Frenchman responds by gripping Kyo's wrist in perhaps surprisingly vice-like fashion to keep contact from behind made.

"I'll thank you," he says conversationally, "to control yourself from doing /that/." He then pushes the heir of the Kusanagi flame's hand away from himself and raises a hand to trace them across the freckles dotting the bridge of his nose. "And while there are certainly things more beautiful than the very sun's delicate kiss on one's skin, surely it ranks highly, oui?"

With that, his fingers brush ever so delicately down, moving across the tip of his nose, and then falling to be pressed to his lips. "So wound up. It must be quite tiring," he murmurs after a soft giggle, and then the soft sound of him smooching the tips of his fingers can be heard.

Followed by the lss than soft 'WHOOSH' of air being devoured hungrily by the ball of flame that skids across his palm when he lowers his hand to blow a kiss and a puff of chi at Kyo. It's meant to explode right in his face in a brilliant and blinding flash, should it make contact.

COMBATSYS: Kyo blocks Ash's Brumaire.

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Ash              0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1              Kyo

Still, it's impressive the way Ash manages to blunt the worst of Kyo's attack, there. If Kyo were anyone but Kyo Kusanagi, jerk supreme, then he'd probably offer some sort of congratulations to the bizarre Frenchman. Instead he gives a faint, snorting chuckle. "Not really. If I seem tired, it's 'cause your lame ass is boring me to sleep," the Kusanagi heir informs his opponent, shrugging his shoulders helplessly. Then, of course, Ash gets all freaky weird again, and tries to smack him with a 'blown kiss' and green flames, which the World Warrior champion knocks aside with a grimace. Ewwww.

"You know what, I know a guy you should meet, the two of you would get on like gangbusters." Normally, this would be the part where Kyo makes some implication about Benimaru Nikaido being gay, and so on and so forth. But instead, he says: "Dude's name is Iori Yagami. He's got a really good sense of humour about these sorts of things."

Kyo follows this statement by aiming a short, thrusting kick right at Ash's gut.

COMBATSYS: Ash dodges Kyo's Light Kick.

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Ash              0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1              Kyo

"Oh, don't worry," Ash happily says as he turns aside to allow Kyo's kick to pass right by him. "I intend to meet /him/ next; he's rather an interesting one too, isn't he?"

With that, his casual stance and demeanor are fully intact as he surges forward to swing his right arm up towards the side of Kyo's face, seeking to strike him with a simple, but stingingly powerful backhanded blow. "Blue. Red. Green; there's no flag for us, is there? It's a shame. We really /must/ find a way to signify ourselves, don't you think?"

COMBATSYS: Ash successfully hits Kyo with Medium Punch.

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Ash              1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1              Kyo

True fact: Kyo comes so close to laughing right there, it's no wonder he can't bring up his arm in the way of Ash's backhand in time. The blow slams into the side of his head, staggering him, but it doesn't take the bewildered expression off of his face. "What the hell are you talking about, Freckles?" Kyo wonders, rubbing his cheek with the back of one gloved fist. Of course, he's not just going to stand there and do nothing else, that would be entirely absurd. That and he's not feeling quite dickish enough to outright ignore Ash's fighting ability.

Instead, Kyo once again reaches to grab Ash, though this time it's to flip the Frenchman right over his head. If Kyo can manage that feat, then about a heartbeat after he slams Ash on the mat, Kyo himself /follows/, aiming to drive his elbow into the other fighter. "Hua-!!"

COMBATSYS: Ash effortlessly blocks Kyo's Issetsu Seoi Nage.

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Ash              1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1              Kyo

"Nothing," Ash exhales once things snap back into focus and he realizes he's on his back; it all happened so very suddenly, after all. "Merely thinking." His right hand juts up, fingers curled so that the heel of his hand is pressed to Kyo's descending elbow, keeping him from actually making contact. "I know, I know; it must sound /strange/ to you."

He pulls his hand down slightly then thrusts it up powerfully, and with that, every light bulb in the crew's equipment shatters, one right after the other in almost musical fashion. The area is dim, the crew is pissed, but fortunately, Ash Crimson, helpful soul that he is, begins to glow brilliantly, shedding eerie green light across the area and obscuring his body fully.

He rolls backwards in a sort of kip-up to get himself upright again, and then he turns to face Kyo, his smiling face only barely visible through the flickering flames. "By the by: Ash Crimson. That is my name. Please, try to keep it straight, Kyo. My little lamb."

He extends his hand towards the bearer of the Kusanagi flames with that, and for one final time his own fires are stoked, no longer heatless, no longer symbolic, but towering and hungry. The roof of the temple is blown away as the aura about him courses outwards in the hopes of exposing Kyo to its full weight, showering not only the interior but the grounds outside with chunks of shattered, ancient stone. Beneath them, the carpet/mat is burned away in an instant, and all the while, the Frenchman is laughing delicately.

COMBATSYS: Kyo auto-guards Ash's Sans-Culottes!

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Ash              0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1              Kyo

It's possible that Ash's ability to be a dick might even surpass Kyo's. Isn't that frightening?

"Yeah, the irony of you telling me to keep anything straight is more likely to knock me out than your sad-ass attacks," Kyo replies, and oh man he's going to punch somebody in the /mouth/ for that 'little lamb' comment. But there's other things to be bothered with in the meantime, as Ash's green flames reach some kind of crescendo, blowing the roof right off of the temple and then crashing down towards Kyo himself, which would probably end poorly for Kyo.

If it hit.

The green flame smashes into a bulwark of orange-crimson, the sacred Ever Burning Flames of the Kusanagi. The green fire splits against it, as though cut in half by the blade of a sword, and continues off to either side harmlessly - well, harmlessly for /Kyo/ - and leaves the Kusanagi heir standing there, unharmed.

He's glaring right at Ash.

"Okay, douchebag, playtime's over," Kyo pronounces, lifting his right hand. Once again, flame comes to life there, that distinctive bloodline flame that Kyo summons and controls with contemptuous ease. For just a moment, the fire burns in his hands, before Kyo lunges forwards, sweeping his arm back and across and /unleashing/ the fire, a massive wave of sacred flame that fills the air in front of him and continues forward in violation of silly things like 'physics', searing through the air and bearing down on Ash Crimson in a powerful blast.


COMBATSYS: Kyo successfully hits Ash with Orochinagi+.
+ Epic Hit! +

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Ash              0/-------/--=====|-------\-------\0              Kyo

In the back of his mind, Ash is wondering if this business of his largest expression of chi being nullified by the powers of the Three Sacred Treasures is going to continue on with Yagami, because really, it's getting to the point of being a touch silly, so far as he's concerned. More distressingly, unlike with Chizuru, he's just not capable of denying Kyo's attack in time; to pit his fire against that of the Kusanagi clan's would be something of a stretch just now, after all.

So he's just kind of lying there now, panting softly as he pushes himself up slowly. Thankfully for the viewers at home, emergency lights are flooding the temple to provide some kind of a decent view of the two fighters... though given that Ash is still a little on the bright side even /now/, they might not have been too badly off.

"I couldn't tell you which is /more/ shocking, between that attack and your knowing the meaning of 'irony'," he exhales, and once his head is tossed back to flip his hair behind him and reveal his smirking face, he softly giggles. Several thin trails fire stretch across the ground behind the Frenchman as he dashes to reach for Kyo's jacket, meaning to hold him steady for a sudden knee strike. Should it connect, he'll follow it up with a palm thrust into the younger man's sternum, then finish the brief combination with an uppercut, his fist curled just so to minimize the impact his nails might take.

COMBATSYS: Ash successfully hits Kyo with Vendemiaire.

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Ash              0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0              Kyo

Honestly, Kyo kind of hopes the creepy Frenchman doesn't get back up after that... But, of course, he does. With a faint sigh, Kyo looks up at the open roof and shakes his head, before he turns his attention back to Ash himself. "You're really going to hurt my feelings like that," he says, though everyone knows Kyo Kusanagi doesn't have 'feelings', and then suddenly there's Ash all up in his face. Jerking back, Kyo tries to avoid the grab, but he gets caught by the jacket; the knee hits home, and Ash's palm as well, before the final uppercut sends Kyo sprawling, rolling over one shoulder to avoid spending much time on the floor.

"Though at this rate, my feelings are the only thing that's going to get hurt," Kyo notes, as he gets his footing again. Only for a moment does he remain in a standing position though, as he springs smoothly into the air, twisting around to extend one leg, swinging it in a wide arc as he descends towards Ash Crimson, in a distinctive kick.

A kick more commonly associated with the person who /learned it from him/, but whatever.

COMBATSYS: Kyo successfully hits Ash with RED Kick.

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Ash              1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0              Kyo

"I do apologize..." is Ash's response as he falls to his knee beneath the force of Kyo's strike. By all rights, he should be out of it, but from here, with Kusanagi /right there/... he does have one more surprise for the spirited World Warrior.

One last time, the air around him seethes with raw power that is both like Kyo's own and subtly, horribly distinct from it. Rather than ostentatious pillars of fire, however, it's all focused into his right palm, shaking subtly as it is drawn up to be held before the Kusanagi heir. Like a waterfall in reverse, green embers are sucked upwards to gather and compress together a foot or so above his palm, building up into a rapidly shaped and massive concentration of emerald chi.

"I wouldn't want you... to cry yourself to sleep tonight."

With that, he flicks his arm upwards, sending the green mass upwards just so in the hopes of exploding it directly against Kyo's body, that the power contained within may consume him fully.

COMBATSYS: Ash can no longer fight.

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Kyo              0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Kyo fails to slow Thermidor from Ash with Yami Barai EX.

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Kyo              0/-------/--=====|

It's definitely satisfying to bring Ash low with that particular attack, and Kyo lands just a few feet away, twisting around to face Ash just in time to see... Ah crap. The sphere of green flame crashes towards him, and despite Kyo's brief attempt to do /something/ with his own surge of flame, it smashes right into the World Warrior champion, blasting him back and away...

But it's Kyo that gets back up afterwards, albeit looking rather worse for the wear, a little charred after being exposed to Ash's weird-ass fire. "You're one weird bastard," Kyo says, rubbing a hand over his face. In the end though, he still came out ahead, didn't he? And that's what's important. "Speaking of crying yourself to sleep, try not to shed too many tears about how terrible a fighter you are. I'm sure you can always get a job as a drag queen or a janitor or something." That's a weird mix of jobs to put together Kyo.

That doesn't even /make sense/.

Regardless, Kyo turns his back on the fallen Ash Crimson, offering a halfhearted, dismissive wave over his shoulder as he walks on out of the temple.

Ash does indeed fall forward once that final attack has been launched, motion-less and breathing heavily. The power radiating from his body takes its time in actually dying down in spite of his diminished state, and that's probably... because... he isn't... quite unconscious yet.

Because, "I look forward... to the next time around... be well, little lamb..." escapes his lips in response to the taunting before he does finally slip into the blackness.

Never let it be said that he's one to avoid twisting the psychic knife a little at any cost, even his own health.

Log created on 20:10:28 06/27/2009 by Ash, and last modified on 15:19:36 06/28/2009.