A Loser Like You

CONTENT WARNING: Character death, gore, language. Frost Knight, Tuxedo Kamen, and Kunzite's Ghost are separated from the group in the initial blizzard, fight a large army of youmas, and then Takashi decides he can tank the strength of an enormous valkyrie lancer. He almost manages it.

Date: 2016-03-09
Pose Count: 21
Fate T. Waldia 2016-03-09 23:13:01 32834
    The D-point invasion group is scattered, after a blizzard picked up and snowblinded everyone. Homura in particular is nowhere to be seen, but that girl has a habit of vanishing on her own anyways. Even if some of the other magical fighters are in sight, the one that most likely catches the attention of Mamoru and Frost Knight in this exact moment is Madoka Kaname.

    The pink-haired girl runs towards the two of them, in winter wear instead of henshin, looking desperate and panting as she runs towards Mamoru and Takashi. "Mamo-kun! Frost Knight! I need your help!"

    Something is clearly wrong. Is it something to do with Homura? It's hard to tell. She hasn't said anything yet. When she gets close, she tries to grab the hands of the two boys... Frost Knight first, and then Mamoru if she can. Once she does... the two might start figuring out just now Not Right things are.

    Mamoru might get a feeling of malice from Madoka, before a toothy youma-like grin creeps across her face. She explodes into darkness, a misama covering the area around the two and drawing them into what must be another dimension: A flat field of endless ice, stretching out in every direction. Dark vague shapes swim beneath the frozen waters, and 'Madoka' is nowhere to be found.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-03-09 23:36:03 32838
(There's a single word spoken as the bundled-up Madoka runs closer, in a voice only Mamoru can hear. Kunzite can't, in his current state, perceive enough for details. Just enough to give Tuxedo Kamen a little more confirmation, and maybe time to brace. "Trap.")%r(Not that that's any surprise.)
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-09 23:40:47 32839
He doesn't particularly like cold, given the givens, but at least Tuxedo Kamen's very formal henshin also doubles as magic winter-wear just as much as the Senshi's do-- and he gets pants. When the blizzard picks up, he hates life just a little more; when it disperses and people are scattered, he looks straight-up annoyed.

"Great--" he's starting to grouse when Madoka starts running for them and calling out, and he's instantly on alert, instantly scanning for Homura and failing to find her, then looking really alarmed because what the hell she dropped henshin why?

"Madoka-chan, what--?" he starts to ask, reflexively holding his white-gloved hands out to her, expression composed almost entirely of concern.

For no apparent reason, he jerks his hands back and looks at Frost Knight, starting to reach for him to pull him away from the approaching Madoka...

The malice hits a half second before Madoka would have taken his hand, and he throws up his cape to shield himself, backpedaling as he does. The only problem is that the explosion isn't just an explosion, it also reveals that they're really not in the same place they were a second ago. "Dammit," he says, exasperated, and he turns to look and see if anyone besides himself and Takashi's been pulled along, but it's only Takashi.

One trap doesn't preclude a second.

He draws decidedly away from Frost Knight, scowling. "How do I know you're you?"
Takashi Agera 2016-03-09 23:45:26 32840
Frost Knight Iceni pushes into the blizzard, using the blunt end of his halberd like a walking stick. Something seems a little off, but he doesn't have time to process it before Madoka runs up to him. She looks panicked, and she isn't in her henshin, which is confusing. The lack of henshin is why Frost Knight's instinct to defend against Madoka is delayed, and he almost reaches out to grab her hand with a worried "Kaname-san?" before pulling back sharply, sensing that negative energy as he grows close to her.

"What?" he asks, sharply. There was a lot unique about Madoka, but she never radiated negative energy like that - he barely has time to consider what's going on though, because her true form reveals itself, explodes, and he's not where he was just a moment ago.

He would almost be knocked off his feet except a flat field of ice is almost his home terrain, and he slides backwards, his armor letting him move across the frozen surface of the water like there were ice blades on the bottom.

"Shimata." he curses, looking around at the figures swimming all around beneath them, taking his weapon in both hands and looking around, glaring. The only figure he sees in the area draws a second curse from him even as he moves closer. "I only thought for a moment about saying how this could get worse, but apparently you're here too. Question answered." he says, as he draws close and Tuxedo Kamen asks his own question.

Frost Knight's green eyes narrow. "How about this. You're a dick." he says, coldly. "Now, keep your attention focused. I have no intention of dying here with you, and I'm sure that's roughly the plan of all that crap below us." he says, pointing at the figures below them, and then makes a face. "This whole space tastes like negative energy, damn."
Fate T. Waldia 2016-03-09 23:51:40 32843
    Regardless of Tuxedo Kamen's distrust, Takashi is probably his only ally here, and he most certainly isn't the only enemy.

    The dark shapes beneath the surface begin to circle around the two magical boys. There are many, and they are large, some of them barely shorter than Takashi and some of them twice the size of a man. In the distance, the ice begins to crack.

    Creatures made of blackened ice rise as the surface breaks above them. The youma here are strange, covered in icicles sharp enough to puncture skin. Some of them are vaguely humanoid in shape, while others are more like fish with legs. Some of them are unarmed, and some hold spears of ice. Some of them stand stall, and some are hunched over.

    There are easily hundreds of them. Maybe thousands. And more are coming.

    They surround Mamoru and Iceni, charging towards the two of them with spears of ice and icicle claws. Takashi is perfectly correct about their intentions, and the murderous look in their blue-glowing frozen eyes makes that very clear. No matter how varied the form of the creatures, each one seems to have that same malicious expression.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-10 00:07:32 32847
"At least we understand each other," mutters Tuxedo Kamen, only failing to roll his eyes because he's too busy looking down and edging closer to Takashi, back pointed toward him. A second ago, there was nothing in his hands; when his cape billows in the chill breeze again, he's holding his cane exactly as though it were balanced like a sword.

Then circling starts. Mamoru starts glancing around, trying to judge distances to what looks like land--

--that plan lasts all of a second before the ice cracks and breaks and crumbles and admits way too many seriously fishy youma into the icy air around them. When they start charging, the masked boy takes his hat in his other hand and says flatly, "I'm pretty sure between the three of us, we can handle them." Yes he is saying this literally holding a top hat in one hand and a cane in the other. And then he puts the hat he just produced on. On jauntily. At a rakish angle.

As soon as they're close enough, though, he yells and strafes his hand in a wide and brief arc in front of him, sweeping a two-second blast of heat and kinetic force across the front line. "TUXEDO LA SMOKING BOMBER!"
Takashi Agera 2016-03-10 00:15:42 32849
Frost Knight gets to work pretty quickly - it's not like he thought they were circling below to throw him a friendly surprise party - and some of them find themselves cut down by a halberd right as they break the ice. By necessity as much as anything he stays near Tuxedo Kamen, essentially taking care of half of their increasingly small circle of saftey.

All of that practice skating is paying off in full, though, as he moves deftly, almost elegantly around, slice, cut, thrust, parry.

"There's only two of us - you know what, I'm not even gonna argue. Just try to keep anything from stabbing me in the back." he says, making a sharp thrust outwards and catching a youma before its claws can reach Mamoru. The whole affair is a bit surreal to him, considering the fact that he's tried to kill this guy at least once.

"Seriously, an entire group of girls - including one who just kissed me - and fate saw fit to -" he has to stop mid-complaint to block a claw and then kick the youma away before cutting it in two "- stick me with the guy with a Phantom of the Opera fetish."

Takashi's device pings, and makes an announcement. <KLINGE WELLE!> it calls as a sudden wave of sharp blades surges into existence, cutting a path through some of the youma in his direction. He can't help but be even more bitter at Mamoru - because if he wasn't here, he could henshin into Riventon and be in a better position...
Kazuo Takeba 2016-03-10 00:17:55 32850
("Optimist," that dry voice notes to Tuxedo Kamen, in moments when he's not distracted. There aren't many. "I never found a shore. Or an exit." And then the spirit in the stone falls silent, keeping watch for places where the knight and the prince are for a moment blind - including under their feet. Restricting himself to giving warnings.)
Fate T. Waldia 2016-03-10 00:21:12 32851
    The good news is that Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber cuts through the enemy's ranks rather effectively. The bad news is that there is still more coming. And more. And more...

    New ranks of ice monsters step over the melted and shattered remains of the first three or four lines of youma, holding their spears high and approaching with dark determination. Even with Tuxedo Kamen blasting them down as fast as he can, more just keep coming to replace the fallen.

    Iceni's halberd cuts them down just as easily, shattering them with the slightest resistance. They claw at him and try to spear him when he gets close, but he is nimble and quick. Their only advantage here is in numbers. Vast, vast numbers.

    Well behind the monsters' front line, several monsters raise up their spears and begin to throw them. At first it's only one or two at a time, then ten or so, then twenty, and after that there are so many that it becomes hard to see the sky through the flying sticks of ice. There are so many that they blot out the sun, or whatever passes for a sun in this strange otherworld.

    The monsters in the front begin to crowd each other, some slowing down so that others can rush ahead of them. The spear-wielding ones attack first, their superior reach giving them a small advantage over their friends, while the clawed ones rush in to sink their claws into their enemies.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-10 00:41:39 32855
"Jerk," says Tuxedo Kamen absurdly cheerfully, given the situation, and for Kunzite, it is literally impossible to tell who he's actually saying it to. He blasts for as long as it's only effective to do that, though they are all short bursts and strafe every time. "It's in my best interests to keep you alive as long as possible. Please try and remember the same."

He says something else, but it's not nearly as loud, and therefore not easy to hear over the sounds of the youma clattering and chiming and cracking and slopping and yelling and stabbing around them, closing in. "Well that's a crap dimension. I hope you didn't make it, I'll be cross."

As the increasing swarm of youma get closer and closer, shrinking their circle of defense, he starts stabbing through them with the cane-- somehow at spear length-- with one hand while he continues to blast with the other. Not close enough for-- ah, close enough to parry, now, at least on that side. And the cane is sword-length again, and he keeps one side clear with the energy attack, over and over, while he fights his front with the cane, shattering ice and slicing as if it were a blade. "Anyway, Arsene Lupin. I'm sorry you're more into creepy abusive stalkers than gentleman thieves. Who did you kiss--?"

Poor timing for that question, as the spears begin to rain down on them like god damned arrows. It's the shadow first, and then they start hitting, and then his cape's up -- and he does not actually switch to his armor because you know what, it's raining icicle spears and he has a hat. They start crowding them and the spears rain thicker, and his temper flares when one of the smaller ones manages to break through and open up his leg.

Then the sword in his hand slashes more viciously, more quickly, more fluidly still; the blasts of energy are brighter, more fierce; his attention's still split between dodging the hell from the sky and swinging the sword up overhead to smash them to shards. He's finally silent, but he's also fighting like his life is choreography, like it's all reflex trained into him practically from birth.
Takashi Agera 2016-03-10 00:57:24 32858
"Hey, I've had ample opprotunity to let one of these b-movie monsters put you out of my misery, and I haven't yet." he notes, and strangely the whole thing - despite all of the twisted nature of the world and the quite dire situation, he still manages to be every bit as flippant and casual. Like this isn't really as wierd as it is.

"I don't think this is working." Frost Knight says over his shoulder, as the horde of youma grows thicker. "This whole standing here and wearing them down thing. All it's doing is meaning I have to spend more time close to you. We should start fighting towards... somewhere." he says, trying to move forward, but he's unable to make any progress against the horde, and only gets a 'tch' sound as it seems like he's fighting one big hydra, and more close in as he fells their comrades.

"Arse is right, anyways." he quips, right before the spears start hitting. He didn't notice the shadow, but he /is/ wearing armor which soaks some of the initial impacts before he can put a large triangular Belkan shield above him - notably, but unmentionedly, it's big enough to take a lot of the threat off Kamen for the moment.

"Can you make any forward progress on your side? At this rate my arms are gonna get tired." he says grumply. His weapon and his form are less elegant than Kamen's, and filled with the occasional surge or spike of aggression. But still, pretty fluid for a polearm. The range is serving him well, too.
Fate T. Waldia 2016-03-10 01:06:00 32860
    There is an inhuman shriek in the distance, and it's almost impossible to see the source of it through the armies of ice creatures. At least at first.

    There is the thunderous sound of something trampling, and through the rain of spears the two magical boys might catch glimpses of ice monsters getting thrown into the air, often in pieces.

    Between the blasts from Tuxedo Kamen, and the frost attacks from Takashi, the sea of youma parts. The largest of the ice youma, humanoid, riding on the back of a frozen horse. It has long blue twintails trailing behind it, and its weapon is less of a spear and more of a lance. That horse is charging, it's a lot tougher and harder to kill than the others, and it's aiming its lance straight for Tuxedo Kamen!

    The monster army hasn't let up all that much. They've stopped throwing spears after watching them bounce off of that belkan shield, but they're still coming in from the sides. Mostly they are just staying out of the way of the horserider, and any that don't get out of the way fast enough are trampled beneath frozen hooves.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-10 01:22:58 32869
"There's nowhere to go," says Tuxedo Kamen matter-of-factly. "I checked. There's no shore. There's no exit. There's just more lake, The best we can do is fight until the girls get here or we die. One or the other is bound to happen sooner or later. I'd boost your energy, but as I recall, you seem to be allergic to mine--"

And then there's that shriek, and a thunderous ruckus from -- that way! As their attacks and whatever's coming start parting the crowd. "I was going to say--" Mamoru observes shortly, "we could at least kill enough to make a sort of palisade and play dead under it, but that doesn't sound--"
Takashi Agera 2016-03-10 01:36:20 32873
Takashi sees the beast charging - and if he didn't, Axion is blaring out warnings. "Don't panic." he says, firmly - to his other device and to Chiba. Staring it down, glaring at it as the ground starts to shake and the creature charges. "If I let it push you into those spears you're done for." he comments, plainly. To say nothing of himself, of course.

"I can stop it. Just make sure you do your job." he adds, and Eiszapfen gleams blue and bright. <PANZERGEIST!> it calls, and there's a surge of blue energy that ends up surrounding Frost Knight, an energy armor on top of his knight's armor, pulling from his mana.

The massive creature charges in, and Frost Knight puts his left hand up, palm flat, interposing himself between the charge and Mamoru.

With a terrific crashing sound, the massive lance tip impacts his hand, sending off sparks of mana and surges of blue light. The youma continues trying to press in, boosted by its sheer size and strength as well as mana, but Takashi's guarded hand holds it at bay...

And then a large portion of the other youma get the bright idea of hurling their spears past Takashi and towards Kamen's unprotected backside.

Halberd in his right hand, he thinks more reactively than consciously - projectiles have to be defended against, after all. A swipe of his spear brings up an ice wall between Mamoru and those spears. And there's a brief moment in time, that sudden burst of slowed down reality where one becomes aware of a critical mistake they've just made.

Because he needed all of his mana to hold the monsters lance back - and he's simply too inexperienced to split his focus from such a demanding spell.

The mana ward shatters with the sound like a thousand windows breaking, and that sound is followed by a cry of anguish and the sound of a massive weapon finding a new home right through his Knight's Armor and firmly lodging into his chest, oversized weapon tearing away flesh, bone, and organs.

For Takashi, in this moment, aside from a clear and painful feeling of a mistake and the desire to beat himself up for it, there is only white hot rage. He finds the half of the spear, wrapping both hands around it. With the ice wall in the way, Mamoru will be able to sense the sudden surge of dark energy, but not see Takashi take his Riventon henshin for a breif moment to channel it in a wave of anger, surging every bit of energy he can muster up that spear, out in front of him, in a massive burst that, fueled by his rage, seeks to cleanse the battlefield and at least seek vengance on the creature.

The henshin shatters after the burst leaving Takashi in just his school uniform - rather improper clothes for the climate, as he wasn't planning to be out of henshin for a good long while. But the lack of cold-weather clothes is a far smaller problem than the spear which has gone through his chest.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-10 02:10:30 32884
"Uhh--" starts Mamoru, because he knows he flattened Takashi once already as Dark Endymion, and that thing is really big and they're both wearing thin, but he doesn't have a whole lot of choice. It's not like he can tank that thing either, and it's coming on too fast to come up with anything else, and they're still surrounded and coming at them from the sides.

So he sucks it up and trusts, trying to cover both their sides while the side of them opposite the enormous youma's charge is momentarily cleared. And Takashi takes his stand; the flare of additional energy is chalked up as something the other boy's learned in the intervening time, and set firmly in the 'hoping this works' bucket; he can hear as well as feel the shock of impact as the spear comes up against Frost Knight's outstretched hand. He's a flurry of motion, himself, not thinking at all, just letting himself react.

Tuxedo Kamen hears a warning voice that Frost Knight does not, and is in the process of taking a half second to pop his collar to defend his neck when Takashi throws up that ice wall--

Mamoru's eyes widen.

Everything's bright, and then there's a surge of dark energy of which he hasn't felt the like since the day that preceded the night Apatite speared Sailor Moon. He's knocked down, skidding across ice and knocking into a pile of bodies, and by the time he scrambles back to his feet there's one hell of a lot more bodies and Takashi's on the ice, out of henshin, gored with a lance like a god damned metal christmas tree.

The sound Mamoru makes isn't a normal one at all, there's no air behind it.

A quick glance around and there's nothing coming at them anymore, which is good, because maybe he can--

His hands are on Takashi-- gloves. He abruptly henshins to Endymion, gloves off: all at once they're covered in blood trying to hold Takashi's insides in and knit him back together, the golden energy of his healing at overload levels, bright and fierce. He's trying so hard. He's honestly giving it everything, not holding anything back; his henshin fades so he doesn't even have to hold the energy of that, just pour it all into Takashi as the white-haired boy's life's blood steams on the ice and freezes. "You-- you f***ing jackass, you-- hang in there, don't--"

At least there's no pain. There's never pain, not when there's that much earthlight.
Fate T. Waldia 2016-03-10 02:16:16 32885
    The horseriding monster's maniacal laughter rings through the air as its lance struggles against Takashi's palm. That laughter becomes an unhinged shriek as it finds purchase inside its ice-wielding foe. It only wishes that wall wasn't there, so that it could see the look on the tuxedo'd man's face. Alas, that one will just have to be next.

    The monster is distracted by its victorious celebration, holding a fist in the air as it stares down at Frost Knight. But then Frost Knight becomes Riventon, and death comes far too swiftly for the horse riding monster to even react. The creature, and its mount, are blown away in an instant, becoming nothing more than deep-blue slush on the surface of the ice.

    The other monsters react in a panic to that oncoming wave of darkness. Some of them die with terror in their frigid eyes. Others turn to run, only to be swallowed by it. Some manage to get a good distance, before they slip and fall to their knees, shattering against magical oblivion.

    More importantly, the darkness seems to have destabilized this pocket dimension, causing it to shake, waver, and fade away. Soon, Tuxedo Kamen will be left behind, with no sign of the battle except for Frost Knight's mortal wound.

    At the very least, the two of them will be left alone... for the moment.
Takashi Agera 2016-03-10 03:00:12 32903
There's no Frost Knight now, only Takashi Agera. And somehow with bits of him not all combined into one correct whole he is still managing to find the facial expressions Mamoru is used to getting from him - a sort of self-assured and hostile hubristic smirk.

"I told you I'd stop it. The big one." he muses. "It's the other ones you didn't stop that screwed it all up." he says. The snark is actually out of his voice, but reality be damned if he doesn't still find some way to foist the responsibility for all of this on one Mamoru Chiba. Blaming Mamoru for things that are Takashi's fault is almost a secondary hobby.

Takashi looks down at, well, the fact that he's in pieces. "Wasn't strong enough." he muses. "Not to do both at the same time. I've been spending too much time... not being strong." he says, reaching for the words.

"But Ami would've been mad if I let you die in front of me, I think." he adds, screwing up his face into a frown. "Maybe she's my weakness." he thinks aloud. No reason to censor thoughts, after all.

"Wouldn't even be here if not for her. Then I could've at least died with the rest of the world when you screw this stupid-ass adventure up without me."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-03-10 03:07:36 32906
(The spirit in the stone is silent now, standing sentinel, ghost-pale and ghost in fact behind Mamoru -- watching for any opportunists that might creep like jackals to the wreckage of the battle. Letting Endymion, then Mamoru, concentrate all his attention on his struggle to keep Takashi alive. For all that he owes the boy ... there's nothing else, now, that he can do.)
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-10 03:23:39 32920
"Ugh fuck you, you're not going to die," growls Mamoru, voice harsh as he presses down, trying to stop the bleeding-- no, trying to put Takashi's organs back together-- back in the right places-- he's done this before--

No he hasn't. That was in another life, another life when the Earth herself was healthy and whole, when he had all the magic of Elysion at his back, and for all the battering that long-ago other white-haired teenager had taken, he hadn't already lost this much blood and his insides hadn't been quite this much of a mess. Still the young prince tries, actively manually tries as well as magically, to make the body in front of him something resembling whole again.

It's a losing battle. He knows it is. But he can't stop fighting. He won't stop fighting. He delves deeper into his power, into the intracies of muscle and tissue and ligament, bone and artery and vein, nerve and capillary, becoming less and less aware of the cold and the ice and the bodies and emptiness around them, all crumbling, all breaking up into nothingness. And he can feel Takashi's life slipping away.

He doubles down again. "Is it Ami you kissed? She's a good weakness. She's brilliant and lovely and so determined to help people-- how'd she end up even liking a loser like you?" he asks, half frantic and half absent.

He's going too far. There's words coming out of his mouth from some other part of his mind, the part that can accept that sometimes he can't fix everything. "I'll tell her. I'll tell her you saved me."
Takashi Agera 2016-03-10 04:06:32 32944
Takashi fixes Mamoru's eyes with his own, green but growing a little bit less bright and a little more cold. And, tellingly, he can probably feel a not-dead part of Takashi /actively fighting his healng magic/ - the part that makes Takashi a unique standout. It's not a conscious decision by it's owner - dark energy is just natively hostile to light. Much like how Takashi acts towards Mamoru.

"Yeah well I can't understand how she ended up friends with a loser like you." he says, hostile to the core, but that fades for just a moment, or maybe longer. "I'm not entirely sure a weakness that gets me killed is worth it, Chiba." He sounds substantially less self-assured and convinced of that statement than anything else he's said to the older boy, perhaps ever.

"Hah. She probably wouldn't even believe that. I don't believe that. I should've let them hit you." he says, and he sounds scarily honest. "Whatever. I'm a dead hero in like, what, 30 seconds?" He spits out the word hero like a child tasting their least favorite vegetable. "Footnote in the history book. Assuming you guys even win and you get to have a history. History's written by the winners, after all. And your chances aren't good..."

"Tell her..." he can't fight through the rest to actually tell Mamoru what he wants to say. A lot of syllables get made, a lot of ls and Is. And then finally he scowls. "Tell her you're an idiot."
Mamoru Chiba 2016-03-10 04:27:35 32948
Mamoru's only half listening to the words-- he's listening enough to remember them, he's listening enough to process the feelings behind them better than the words that go with them, but everything that exists is the boy dying and the battle he's fighting against the energy that's holding back his healing from even being as effective as he can possibly be in this life, at this stage of it.

When the words start getting less hostile, that's when he nearly panics, doubling down isn't enough--

He's so angry with himself for what's happening to his eyes, he can't focus with them for some reason, he's so furious he'll burn out. But the cold and the wind are gathering around them, whipping snow about as the rage of all-out war and many, many voices comes up to surround them.

Just before the rest of that pocket of ice and lake disintegrates entirely, he can feel Takashi's life slipping between his fingers and he grits out, "I'll tell her you liked her. You ass."

And then there's fighting everywhere and the wind and snow, and he's already so cold out of henshin he can't feel his fingers as Takashi's blood freezes on them, he's so cold his lips are turning blue; he reaches up to close Takashi's eyes and stumbles to his feet to fight again.