|Make A Wish|
|Location||The Ho Residence - NYC|
|Participants||Ciel, Richard, Sumit, Huruma|
|Summary||A few XFSers grant a little boy's final wish.|
The set of the scene: the Hos' backyard. (Yes, they have one?and a house?they're quite well-off, and let's not quibble too much over geography at the moment.) The yard is blanketed in a light covering of fresh snow, the air is crisp, and Adrian is making a snowman. Slowly. He is bundled up very warmly against the cold, but his thinness and weakness are obvious as he tries to lift a snowball to form the snowman's torso. (His parents wanted him inside, but he insisted. More room outside for shows of power outside.) There is a hint of barely repressed excitement as he plays, as he glances over his shoulder at the various entrances to the yard?the back door of the house, the gate to the side, and the tree branch that hangs over the fence. You never know from whence Evil will come. He glances, often, too, at his bodyguards. He bounces.
"So uh," Ciel says, her voice a thin, dry whisper in the Ears of both her comrade in dastardlyness and the bodyguards. "Shall we-- target the snowman?" She's hovering in the branches of a nearby tree, her clothing dark, and the weapon in her hand fires soft projectiles rather than anything that runs an actual risk of harm.
Richard is a little baffled by this whole thing, but committed -- how do you argue with a kid who wants to be a hero before he dies? So he's here, looking alert and heroic and bodyguardly. "Careful, sir," he says solemnly to the young Adrian.
Sumit has done enough bodyguard gigs in the past that he can slip into the alert-but-waiting position with ease. As Ciel comms in he glances to the kid and says, "I'm going to sweep the perimeter Sir." Once he's around the corner behind a tree he comms back quietly, "much as I'd like to say shoot Rider, you'll likely make a better impace if you portal in and monologue for a bit. Perhaps leave the portal open behind you, so he can see it?"
Huruma, though at first hesitant about the job, convinces herself to go for some reason or another; that maybe it won't be as much of a sad little afternoon of pretend, somehow. "It has taken him so long to pack it." It's almost as if Huruma doesn't want to smash a sick child's snowman. She's hidden out of sight behind the side of the house near the fence entrance. "Perhaps the smallest portion." She finishes, as Sumit moves around the perimeter and delivers to Ciel a second option for her. Monologuing! "Terrible villains always monologue. It is why I do not." Hah.
"Aw, c'mon, Hu," Ciel says, and with a sudden grin, she flashes open a portal not in front of herself, but in from of Huruma. Its opposite counterpart leaves her room to step forward a few yards from Adrian and Richard. It sparkles, ringed in glimmering lights. "I bet you can manage a hell of a monologue. Showtime."
Adrian gives Richard a look that is half-flattered and half-annoyed. "I can make a snowman," he says, stubbornly. He's apparently not sure what to do with the bodyguard thing, either. (It's worth nothing that his parents are at the window, watching in great anxiety.) At the sudden sparkle of an opening portal, he startles, looking up from his snowman. His eyes widen, and he stares at it in sheer wonder.
"Of course," Richard replies, looking somewhat shame-faced for implying anything less than true heroics for Adrian. His attention snaps to the sudden blip of the portal, his reaction somewhere between actual attentiveness and play-acting. "Watch out!"
"Nice," Sumit mutters into the comm, then waits a few seconds before turning and jogging back towards the snowman. "Becareful Sir," ne notes, stopping by Adrian and crouching down a little so they're eyelines are more equal, "it could be a trap!"
"It's _real_," gasps Adrian. And, then, heroic boy that he is, he hides behind his snowman. It's a defensive measure.
Huruma's eyes rest on the portal in a moment of silence when she hears Ciel's voice with it. Right. She's right. "Ngh." Huruma makes a dismissive noise of resignation before she strides forward and through the portal. The weapon in her hand shoots hard foam bullets, though its hide is painted matte black(with a safety nib of orange), and she carries it with the weight of heft when she steps out of the other side.
The boots inch her even taller, and the coat she wears is fluid and black, clipping like a cape in the winter wind, tugging at the fabric at her shoulders around the propped, wide collar that frames her neck. It flaps behind her, open to show a jumpsuit of leather and buckles, gold and shining all the way to her ankles.
"You!" Huruma's mouth curls back, gold lips against white teeth, golden lids against white eyes when she trains the muzzle of her faux-assault rifle on Richard and company. She turns increasingly theatrical. Maybe just for Ciel! "You are interfering! Give me what I came for, or feel my wrath!"
Breathy laughter floats across their linked earpieces, and Ciel actually clamps a hand over her mouth to resist an outright cackle as she lets the portal blink closed behind Huruma. And then, just for punctuation, she opens another right behind the snowman and sets her gun to its head. A beat later, a POW sounds out, and the snowman's head explodes, sending snow showering all over Adrian and Richard.
Richard mouths 'Oh My God' at Huruma where Adrian can't really see. He, too, has to bite back a cackle. He startles -- or 'startles' -- at the explosion of the snowman's head, allowing a moment of shock to register on his face before its overcome with heroic resolve. "You'll never have it!" he tells Huruma. "It's Adrian's destiny to protect it, especially from the likes of you!" He glances at Adrian behind the snowman. Right, buddy?
Sumit beams broadly as Huruma gives her speech, then spots Ciel's portal and nods slowy to himself before scooting round to Adrian, scooping up a handfull of snow in his hand as he does so "Quick Sir," he says as earnestly as he can, "you have to stop them." Passing the impromptu ammo across he points at Ciel, "get her Sir!" Revenge, it can be so sweet. Then Richard speaks and he glances back towards Huruma, "yeah, you'll never have it, he'll stop you and save the city!"
Rohan gasps audibly. For all that explosions look cool on the screen, the suddenness of one nearby is an actual shock. He draws a deep breath, looking from Huruma to the destroyed snowman and back again. He straightens up with an effort, squaring his thin shoulders, and, with a slow, deliberate movem, wipes the snow from his face. "You will never have it!" he insists. "I won't let you, evildoer!" Taking the snow from Sumit, he shapes it into a ball, and throws it in Ciel's direction.
Adrian gasps audibly. For all that explosions look cool on the screen, the suddenness of one nearby is an actual shock. He draws a deep breath, looking from Huruma to the destroyed snowman and back again. He straightens up with an effort, squaring his thin shoulders, and, with a slow, deliberate movem, wipes the snow from his face. "You will never have it!" he insists. "I won't let you, evildoer!" Taking the snow from Sumit, he shapes it into a ball, and throws it in Ciel's direction.
Adrian gasps audibly. For all that explosions look cool on the screen, the suddenness of one nearby is an actual shock. He draws a deep breath, looking from Huruma to the destroyed snowman and back again. He straightens up with an effort, squaring his thin shoulders, and, with a slow, deliberate movem, wipes the snow from his face. "You will never have it!" he insists. "I won't let you, evildoer!" Taking the snow from Sumit, he shapes it into a ball, and throws it in the direction of the barely seen Ciel-in-the-tree. It's not the world's strongest throw. It doesn't quite get there.
Laugh all you want, she knows she's doing a good job. Giants with shiny teeth and guns always get the job done.
Huruma takes a step forward when Sumit and Richard both take verbal shots and ADrian his snowball for Ciel, crunching fresh snow under her heel as she sweeps in towards the Crew, looming for a moment far--far overhead. "You and your pets cannot stop me-- I will get that Key! I will make this world over in my image! All shall love me and despair!" Good god. Monologue, she said. Do it, she said.
Huruma then lunges forward with exaggerated might to ram Sumit with a padded shoulder.
As Adrian's snowball lets loose, a portal appears in front of it, and the thing comes out just at the side of Richard's head. DUCK Richie! It's clear that Ciel's been spotted, though, and so she abandons her shadowy hover in the tree and instead floats upward, slow and dramatic, with the flapping weight of a too-big borrowed coat behind her. It catches in the wind as she descends slowly toward Adrian and bodyguards. She does not monologue.
OH NO. Richard ducks JUST IN TIME to avoid the snowball crashing FATALLY against his head. Thank God! "Oh no," he says in an exaggerated stage whisper. "Not both of them!"
"Oh no," Sumit repeats back to Richie, "it's a good job Adrian is here, or we'd be done for!" With Huruma heading for him he raises a silent eyebrow at her to try and ask if she's intending a spot of snow wrestling for dramatic effect, then rolls with the impact and goes down, calling as he does so, "I'll keep this one occupied! Take out the henchman first!"
"No," shouts out Adrian, getting into the spirit of this. "I shall never let you triumph! Good will conquer all!" He tilts his head backward, staring up at Ciel in clear, wide-eyed wonder. Flying. Actual flying. He remembers himself at the last moment, rolling out of the way, reaching for a toy gun that has been left by the snowman. He points it toward Ciel. "I won't let you get away with this!"
Huruma's response to Sumit is a toothy grin; thankfully he knows her well enough to know that the expression speaks 'let's wrassle' rather than 'you're mince meat'. She rolls into the snow with Sumit tangling with her. One limb pulls back, a fist balling just before she right-hooks the snow just at Sumit's ear. THWACK! Given that she's sure he'll 'fight' back, Huruma is more than ready for it. "Don't let him stop you!" She snarls back to Ciel, her 'henchman'.
"/Henchman!?/" Ciel echoes, with real disgruntlement. She sweeps forward, her coat flapping wildly behind her, and portals open here and there around her head for random sparkly effect. Hey look. They sparkle. Her flight toward Adrian is quick, but not /that/ quick; it gives him adequate time to level his gun in aim."
Richard has to lift his hand to really hide and muffle the cackle threatening to escape him at Ciel's reaction. He lifts his 'gun' towards Ciel, but somehow his shots keep managing to escape into the sparkling blips of her portals. "I can't hit her! Adrian, you have to try!"
Sumit flashes Huruma a quick smile to indicate that he understands, then sets to it. "You'll never win!" he proclaims for theatrical effect as he makes a good show of fighting Huruma. She 'punches' him, he 'punches' her, snow flies. It all macks a very dramatic backdrop to Ciel's portal antics.
Adrian blinks at the portals. All the pretty sparkles. He lifts his gun, and fires at Ciel. It's an imitation ray gun; it makes vaguely sci-fi-y noises, and shots off beams of harmless light, patterns of scarlet light dancing over Ciel's flapping coat as he shoots, and shoots, his hand trembling as he aims. "You will never win!"
Huruma does a tumble over Sumit after the exchange of a few blows, legs tucked up as she rolls off of him and to the side, only to reach out and try to haul him up with her when she hops back onto her feet. "This is the last time you get in my way!" Her rifle has been lost, but now she can freely proceed to send a fake punch at Sumit's gut, her mouth opening in a snarl. She can feel the blossoms of the emotions around her, including that of Adrian-- his sticks out as new, and fresh, and shiningly pure. though she currently engages with Sumit, her ability reaches out to draw a coil around Adrian's mind and subtly bolster his already brave little self. All the determination he could need.
As the red lights dance across Ciel's coat, her portals start a wild dance of opening and closing, here, there, here, there, flickering faster and faster until she tumbles sideways with a dramatic cry, one hand clutched at her heart as she falls from the sky into a snowbank. The last portal blinks out.
Sumit follows Hu's cues and ends up back on his feet just in time for her to throw her next 'punch'. Gasping his stomach and staggering backwards he croaks out, "I think she got me," and, "avenge me!" before also keeling over sideways into the snow to leave Adrian a clear line of fire.
"I did it!" Adrian exclaims in surprised delight as Ciel 'dies.' He picks himself up, a little slowly, a little shakily, waving his gun. "Oh no!" he cries as Sumit falls, in a sudden boyish despair. "My brave bodyguard! I--" He levels his gun right on Huruma, his hand trembling. "Begone, forces of darkness!" he declares.
"Sumit!" Richard yells as his comrade in bodyguarding goes down. Oh noooooooo. He turns back to Adrian. "We have to be careful," he says, glancing worriedly at Huruma. "Her power--"
Huruma steps away from Sumit when he crumples at her feet, sweeping towards Richard and Adrian, one hand lifting in a splay of sharp-tipped glove at the former. He knows what her power is, but she is not going to use it; instead, she focuses her eyes on him, pupils contracted and looking larger than life when her coat flaps in the breeze. "The two of you cannot defeat a force of nature!"
Ciel tries very hard not to start laughing in her snowbank. She lays still, lips pressed together as snow melts against her cheek and her borrowed coat.
Sumit stays down in the snow, playing dead, but that doesn't stop him from cracking open an eye on the sly to keep watch on what's going on.
"I can!" insists Adrian. Any defiant words he had planned do not immediately follow; instead he coughs. A little cough at first, and then louder, a harsh cough that shakes his thin frame. His parents press anxiously against the window, but he recovers himself in the next moment, steadying. "To hell with you, witch!" he declares, finger tightening on the trigger. Tinny spacey noises echo in the chill air. A splash of ruddy light, tremulous, appears on Huruma's chest.
Richard positions himself at Adrian's side and a little behind, hand near his shoulder in case Huruma is too mighty for one shot and they need to make a hasty retreat to the skies. Or in case Adrian's coughing resumes and grows too much for him to continue. "You're no force of nature!" he tells Huruma. "Only a force of evil!"
Huruma's approach is stilled only by Richard's hand on Adrian's shoulder, and her eyes flicker the foot upwards to Richard to check for any indications she should stop. When she gets none, Huruma is striding forward and finds herself under attack, her chest blooming with ruddy light. She lets out a gasp, then a strangled snarl, her hand slapping back over her chest.
Teeth dig hard into the inside of her cheek, unseen. She buckles to one knee, gripping her Mortal Wound and dribbling a mix of thin saliva and blood into a spit over the snow below. Selling it.
"Take that!" shouts Adrian, triumphantly, seemingly recovered from his coughing fit. "The Earth is safe from you once more!"
"Careful! She might still be alive. Here, let's get some distance to be safe just in case." Richard loops an arm carefully around Adrian, making sure the boy is ready before he takes to the sky. It's the slowest take-off he's had in a while, but he doesn't want to jar or frighten him by going too fast. He only lifts up a story or two, but it's /flying/.
"It can't be--" Hrk, death sounds. Huruma's eyes narrow at Rich when they lift off, and he's the one that's seen the look most recently. Just the day before, in fact, when she was most pleased. For Adrian, it just looks like defiance, teeth stained a bit pink when she grunts and falls down into the snow below them. Goodbye, heroes.
Adrian gasps, but it is a gasp of sudden wonder. Flying. He's _flying_. He throws his arms about Richie, not just to hold on, but in an earnest, thankful hug. _Flying_.
Ciel twists just a little, slowly, carefully sliding in her snowbank so that she can watch Rich's lift-off with Adrian in his arms. Her eyes squint against the sun.
Richard's expression softens considerably as Adrian squeezes his arms around him, any sense of play-acting melting away. He swallows hard at the wealth of gratitude it doesn't take an empath to sense. "I think you got her," he says quietly, drawing around in lazy circles above the backyard. "You saved the day, sir."
Sumit mutters quickly into his comms, not moving hishead incase Adrian is looking. With humour evident in his tone he says, "You two seemed to enjoy that almost too much."
"The world is safe again!" declares Adrian, but his play-acting fades away, too. "Thank you!" he blurts out. "Thank you!" And he's more than content to hold onto Richie, wide-eyed in wonder, wall above his yard. That is, until he starts coughing again, and has to be landed, to return to his parents and rest. Still, through the coughing, his eyes are bright, brilliant with the memory.
Huruma is dead, though she has her head to the side and one eye slitted open to watch the horsefly movements Rich makes with the boy in arms. She mutters, muffled into the snow. "I had fun. Did you?" Her voice laughs softly and fades, and she is very content to stay in the cool, fluffy snow until she hears the boy be given back to his parents and he is out of sight. And then she promptly sits up, knees in the snow and sitting on her boots. There's snowman guts all over her face.
By the time Richard is handing Adrian back to his parents, he has trouble finding the words to say anything or all. He just smiles, sadness at the corners of his eyes, until they're back inside. He turns back to his colleagues, hands in his pockets, but doesn't say anything.
Ciel is not laughing as she pulls herself up from the snow, now melting at the nape of her neck, and tracks Rich and Adrian far overhead. She draws in a breath, gaze flicking briefly toward Huruma, and then says into the comms, "I'll find my own way home, guys. Catch you later." And then she's up into the sky, a portal opening bright in front of her.
Sumit is starting to get cold by the time that Adrian is returned inside, and so scramblesback to his feet once the all clear is given. Dusting the worst of the snow off him he eyes the remains of teh snowman, then tilts his head to the others, "if we wore him out then I guess we need to fix the damage we did." Not that he's ever built any part of a snow man before, but he's hoping someone else will take the lead so he can follow. "Did anyone see where the eyes went?"
It's unlike anything Huruma has ever done-- at least in purpose. She quells her breath, eyes creasing with measured sobriety under the gold outlines, and gaze following Ciel when she looks her way. The dark woman gives her a small smile, ducking her head away when she pushes to her feet. Huruma licks blood from her lip, wiping at her chin with one gloved hand and looking between Richard and Sumit. "That--- way." Her eyes scan the ground near Sumit, voice grating and soft. "Let us be swift. It will be a surprise, hm?"
"Not really fair, is it," Richard says in a quiet voice as he watches Huruma and Sumit start trying to rebuild the snowman. He doesn't immediately volunteer to help. "I actually -- need to go," he says, weight shifting awkwardly. "Sorry, I -- bye." Oops he's gone.
Huruma doesn't have an answer for Richard, she just straightens up as he speaks, eyelids hooded and face so much different from the villainess that had been after them not long ago. He does not need to say it-- not to her, anyway. Being an empath has its benefits, for better or worse. As he speeds off into the clouds, Her chin lifts to track his exit before she smiles down to Sumit, limbs shaking loose before she gets down to business packing snow into her palms.They won't have trouble finishing the snowman again; the eyes are retrieved, the nose fetched(Huruma takes a bite out of the side, for damage effect), and arms found below the tree stuffed into his torso. It's a handsome little snowman once more, and a stalwart guardian once they depart.