THE SOLDIER AND THE SENSHI
Chapter 3 - Sword of the Tiger
Disclaimer: Own nothing, not Grenadier nor Captain America from Ultimate Avengers.
It had been a week since the unique pair of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Avenger, and Rushuna Tendoh, a.k.a. the Grenadier, had left the village where Steve had acquired his new uniform. Since then the pair hadn't encountered another group of senshi and it was all in all rather peaceful.
Rushuna had managed to locate another hot springs and was currently indulging in her most favorite pastime: hot springs bathing.
Steve had declined not to join her, just staring out at the land that was supposed to be ravaged by war and violence. Obviously, he found it hard to believe.
"What a beautiful moon." Rushuna sighed.
Steve looked up and grinned. "Yes, it is."
Suddenly, the super soldier's ears caught the sound of crunching dirt underfoot. He remained behind his rock as he saw a young man wearing samurai armor and carrying a sword approach them.
"Huh? What?" the samurai said as he saw Rushuna in the water.
Steve poked his head to the side of the rock. Rushuna saw him, the samurai didn't. She motioned for him to stay behind his rock for the time being.
"Is something wrong, young sir?" Rushuna asked the samurai.
"I... need to hide."
Several seconds later, a trio of men approached the hot springs.
"Huh? What the..." a plump gun-toting man gasped as he saw the smooth shoulders and hair of the female gunslinger in the hot springs.
"Oh, hello. It's a beautiful night, isn't it?" Rushuna said to the man.
"Would you care to join me?"
The man gasped happily, but before he could tear his clothes off and jump in, the rest of his troop arrived.
"You! Woman! Have you seen a young samurai with a long sword come this way?" the apparent leader said to the bathing woman.
"A young samurai with a long sword?" Rushuna mused absently. "Hmmm, no. I haven't seen anyone like that today."
"Are you from around here?" he asked.
"No, I'm a traveler." she replied.
"You'd better be careful, little lady. These parts are a battleground." he said to the woman. "Let's go!" he said to the men.
"Huh? But I... hey, wait for me, bro!" the plump senshi said.
"Just shut up and find him!" the leader shouted.
"Wait for me!" he called again and ran off.
Once they were gone, a black mop of hair popped out of the water, right next to Rushuna's bare breasts.
"Excuse me, they're gone now. It's alright." she smiled at the young samurai.
"Thank you so much." he said as the woman just smiled at him.
"Are you two going to be all day?" Steve asked suddenly, revealing himself.
"HUH?" Yajiro gasped as he realized someone else was there.
"Oh, Stechan, don't scare our new friend like that." Rushuna smiled as Steve emerged from behind the rock.
"Didn't mean to." he replied.
"I apologize. I know how that looked, and I didn't mean..." the young samurai stuttered.
Steve's eyebrow creased as he looked at the sword-swinger. "What are you talking about?"
"Uh... well, she had... and I... my face was..." he started to spiel.
"Cradled in her bosom?" he asked, like it was the most harmless thing in the world.
He blushed at that.
"It's something I've had to get used to as well." he explained.
"I just... didn't mean to... with your woman and..."
"What? She's not my woman." Steve stated.
"Uh... you're her bodyguard then?" he queried.
"No. She's my friend and partner. We met several days ago and we've been traveling together ever since." he explained.
"Oh. Okay." the samurai said, as he got out of the water.
"So, who are you and who were those guys?" Steve asked as he noticed the injury of the samurai's leg.
"They are the Yatou, henchmen of a monster of the dead, Nago Akki, who took over a castle of a local lord." the samurai, who called himself Yajiro Kojima, explained as Steve finished tying off the bandage.
"And you were hired to free this lord." Steve ventured a guess.
"Yes, I was." Yajiro said as he examined the bandage. "Look, both of you should not be involved. Especially you woman."
Steve could have said something to make the young samurai reconsider his words, but without a real demonstration they would seem rather hollow.
"I am a traveler through these troubled times, so I'm well aware of trouble." Rushuna said as she finished dressing behind a rock.
"Oh really. I wonder." he mused.
"And what about you?" she asked the samurai.
"I'm a mercenary. I was hired to rescue a lord who's being held hostage in the castle." he said as he tried to stand.
"And you were beaten." Steve said.
"Yes." he said as he put weight on his leg. "Ouch!" he grimaced as the became real.
"It'll take time for you to heal properly. You shouldn't put too much strain on it." Steve advised.
"I'll keep that in mind. But I need to go." the young samurai said.
"Do you know what the Ultimate Battle Strategy is?" Rushuna suddenly asked.
"Huh?" he paused as Steve grinned. He'd heard this speech many times since he had met her.
"To eliminate the enemy's will to fight without fighting them."
A memory flash of Lady Tenshi entered her mind.
"That's what I was taught by a certain someone that I know. And the way to achieve that is that I must be unarmed." she said.
"Unarmed. You mean.. Naked?"
Steve just grinned as he looked away.
"I must keep smiling. And I must hold the enemy close to my soft bosom. By doing so, the need to fight is eliminated." she said with a smile.
"There's no way you can do that!" Yajiro shouted.
"You have to admit, you just lost your will to fight just now, didn't you?" she grinned.
Gunfire echoed over the mountain range, causing Steve and Yajiro to turn their heads at the cracking.
"Crap! I don't have time for this right now!" he said as he picked up his sword. "If it is your desire not to fight, then you should go home, for your own safety." he said to them.
"You must understand, sir. To right the wrongs of this world, and to eliminate the enemy's will to fight, doesn't always go the way you plan it to go." Rushuna said.
"He's gone." Steve said.
"Huh?" she gasped as she turned around to see that he had indeed left.
The pair just watched from the hot springs as the young samurai followed the river back to the battle.
At the castle, the sword-wielding samurai soldiers continue to press their advantage as the gun-wielding senshi continue to cut them down.
Just then, their giant leader hoisted his gun up and fired, instantly cutting down many more people in the process.
He just laughed as they died.
"If you want your hostage back, then bring the money, understand?" he shouted from the parapet.
On a ridge overlooking the castle, Yajiro stopped.
"Dammit!" he cursed as he saw their forces cut down.
"Yajiro! You're alive!" an older man gasped as he grudgingly sat up.
"Yes, I'm sorry, commander." he said.
The pair looked down at the battle that was quickly turning into a slaughter.
"We samurai must fight against the gun-toting senshi with only our swords. We'll never win." Yajiro said.
"But still we must fight. It's our duty. We must get our master back." the commander said as he ran down to join his comrades, leaving the young samurai to muse over the situation.
"In this world of chaos, those who have fallen into it's depths believe only in guns and money. For those of us who believe in the way of the sword, this is a lost battle. And I'm a fool for going along with them." he said as he pulled his sword. "But sometimes you just gotta do stupid things!" he grinned at the battle below.
"Hey there, Mr. Stupid!" a sudden voice called out.
"WHA!" he gasped, taken by surprise as he turned around. "Who are you calling stupid?" he shouted then noticed the pair from the springs. "OH, it's you."
"Hello. So we meet again." Rushuna smiled.
"What are you doing here! I told you to turn back! This place is a battleground!" Yajiro stated.
"We're having trouble getting to the castle." Steve said to him.
"Oh course you're having trouble. Just take a look!" Yajiro shouted as he pointed to the battle.
"Hmm. I'm afraid going through that castle is part of my journey." Rushuna said.
"And you?" Yajiro asked Steve.
"I go where the lady goes." Steve answered.
"Oh boy." he said, then noticed something odd. While the man had no weapon in sight, the woman wore a strange gun on her shapely hip he hadn't noticed before when she was dressing. "Sling what you want, but it won't do you any good. And you! You're not carrying anything!" he said to Steve, who was wearing his mask now. "Why don't you just get out of here before you get yourself hurt!"
"Hey! I can't do that." she said playfully.
From the castle parapets one of the senshi looked through a scope and noticed the group on the ridge.
"That's him! The Tiger of the Rear Guard!" he grinned and aimed his gun.
A flash of metal caught both Steve and Rushuna's eye. Before Steve could react, Rushuna slapped Yajiro in the face and out of the way, sending him tumbling to his left, as she pulled her gun from it's holster, firing off a single bullet that flew and all the way to the castle and struck the gun from the man's hand. The impact had also scared the man, knocking him down.
"Hey, there's someone with a gun out there!" he shouted.
"Someone with a gun? Shoot! Kill him!" their large leader shouted.
The gunmen fired at the mountain as Rushuna returned fire as well, her hips shaking with each shot. The gunmen on the upper level of the castle each had their weapons shot out of their hand, and their boss had his stick he was eating food off of shot out as well.
"It's... it's a woman." he gasped as he grabbed his scope and looked through it to the ridge.
Back on the ridge...
"She... she couldn't have!" Yajiro gasped as he just stared at the spectacle he just witnessed.
"OH! I've done it again. I gave my little speech, but I just can't keep from shooting my gun." she said innocently as she smiled and holstered her weapon.
"I don't think they gave you much choice." Steve exclaimed.
"Well, yeah, but, still..."
"I don't believe it. She's a senshi too?" Yajiro gasped.
At hearing that, the woman turned to the young samurai.
"The name's Rushuna Tendoh. It's nice to meet you." she said with a smile.
Most of the samurai forces had pulled back, but Rushuna, Steve and Yajiro forged ahead to get to the castle gates.
"Wait a second! Wait! Stop! What exactly are you planning to do next?" Yajiro asked as the trio reached the large wooden and steel gates.
"I'm just going to go right through these doors and save the Lord." Rushuna said.
"But to do that, you'll need money to save him. Have you got any money?" he asked her.
"No, I don't have any money, but... I do have a smile." she said as she gave him another dazzling smile.
Yajiro grimaced sourly at that. Not from her smile, but that she actually thought she could use just that to rescue the lord.
"And what about you?" he asked the man in blue. "Do you have any money?"
"Nope. Nothing." Steve replied.
"Great, just great." he grumbled. He then turned to the man. "Uh, who are you anyway?" he asked, wondering why he hadn't before.
"I'm Steve Rogers. Some people have called me Avenger." he said.
"Alright." he accepted that, at least now knowing what the 'A' on his forehead meant.
"Are you stupid?" Yajiro asked the pair.
"You're the stupid one, remember?" Rushuna said.
"No I'm not, I'm Yajiro Kojima, and don't you forget it! And you gotta listen better. Anyway, what are we gonna do with you? You sure don't look it, but you're pretty good with a gun." he said, then looked at Steve. "You, I'm not so sure about. Hey I know, you can lure them in and then you can sabotage Nago. In the meantime, I'll rescue the lord and collect my reward."
"So it's the reward money you're after." she said.
"Grr. Of Course! A samurai has to eat! Why else would I be doing all this? Besides, if we follow the plan we can get into the castle!" he suggested.
"But what I want is to win this battle without fighting, that's what's important to me. Mr Yajirobe!"
"It's Master Yajiro!"
"Hmm." she frowned a little as Steve looked at the young warrior, as if gauging him like she was. "You don't look like a Master, though. Yatchan is more like it!"
"Get used to it. She gave me a name too." Steve stated as he pushed on the large gate door.
Suddenly, the large gate opened.
Steve hadn't been trying to open the gate, but there it was.
"Stechan, Yatchan, look at this!" Rushuna gasped.
"WOW!" the samurai gasped as he peered inside.
The trio looked and saw the small and elderly lord of the castle tied up to a pole in the middle of the courtyard.
However, Steve had seen traps like this before.
"It's too easy." Steve stated.
"Agreed." Rushuna replied.
"I knew it. There's my reward. It's mine!" Yajiro cried as he ran ahead of them.
"Idiot! Wait!" Steve shouted and gave chase.
That smoke... Ashikabi! (Buried explosives) "Yatchan! It's A Trap!" Rushuna shouted.
"What?" he called back, still not slowing his run.
While the young samurai raced towards the bound lord, Steve quickly picked up a rock and hurled it at his injured leg.
"Sorry about this, kid!" he said as he hurled the rock.
The rock hit him in the leg, causing him to go down, in pain.
"AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!" he shouted as he tumbled.
However, he had gotten close enough to the explosives that it set off, stunning, but not killing the young samurai and the lord. The explosions covered the area in thick smoke as Nago and his men appeared in the courtyard.
As the smoke cleared, Steve and Rushuna appeared through it.
"Huh?" the men gasped.
"How did you know about the Ashikabi?" Nago asked, then noticed the gun on her hip. "I see, you're no ordinary girl, are you?"
"Little old me? No, I'm just a traveler." Rushuna smiled.
"Stop fooling around. You can't fool me with that crap. You're excellent marksmanship for one proves without a doubt that you're a senshi."
"A senshi? Oh please, no." she smiled as she waved him off. "Anyway, I've come here to ask you for a favor, Sir Nago."
"Huh?" he asked, curious.
"If you would sir, please let the lord go free." she said.
"So... does that mean you brought money with you?" he asked her.
"Like I said, I will release him in exchange for the ransom money!"
"I don't have any money. But I do have a smile!"
"Hey! Since she doesn't have any money, how about she pays with her body instead? Pretty please?" A plump senshi thug asked with lustful hope.
Rushuna heard Steve's gloved hand tighten up at that suggestion. A clenched fist meant he was upset and possibly angry. She internally smiled at that.
"A good idea. But I only accept a smile if it comes with cash." Nago said.
"How about just a smile this one time?" she persisted.
"Ha! That's a very funny joke, lady!"
Yajiro grimaced. "I told you your strategy wasn't going to work on this guy." he mumbled.
"If you don't have the money, then you're of no use to me!" he said as he raised his large gun that was attached to his hand. "I'm gonna send you to hell with my galdo, my pride and joy." he said. "DIE!" he shouted as he fired.
His bullets slammed into the pair, kicking up dust as they did.
However, when the smoke cleared...
"...dodged it." the men gasped
"They both did." the plump senshi gasped.
Yajiro just stared at the pair of them, standing apart, but untouched by the hailstorm of bullets.
Rushuna stared back at the man and frowned a little.
"That precious galdo of yours, was designed for taking over castles. A multiple-firing gun designed for maximum damage. However, it's slow and not very accurate. Old man, you don't even know how to use a gun, do you?" she asked him.
"WHO ARE YOU! I DEMAND TO KNOW!!" Nago shouted, recognizing this as a real threat now.
"I told you, I'm just a traveler... but you just can't seem to grasp it no matter what I say." she said as she reached for her gun. "Since you seem unwilling to listen, and downright rude as well, you don't even get a smile."
"Who needs a smile anyway! Kill them both!"
The men start firing at her, but Rushuna fires back, shooting the guns out of their hands and knocking them all down.
"Not bad, girl." Nago said. "However, your gun is a 38 revolver. Six shots and you're done."
Rushuna just stared at the man, like she didn't care what he was saying.
"How about that? I think... you're the one who doesn't know how to use a gun, girl!" the large man cackled.
Steve saw the men on the upper levels of the castle training their guns on them.
"That's too bad. So as a parting gift, I'll give you a smile! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Rushuna ignored him as she pulled her right foot back a little, pivoting on her toes.
"DIE!" he shouted.
The men started shooting, which gave Steve his cue to move, while Rushuna started spinning in circles like crazy. In the spin, she unloaded the bullets from her gun, the shell casings falling out and away from her in a spin. Unseen by everyone, six more bullet popped up from between her breasts and flew into the air. Rushuna kept spinning as she swiped her empty gun through the haze of bullets, each one sliding into their chambers. The revolver closed shut as she quickly fired off six more rounds at the gunmen, shooting the rifles from their hands.
Nago and Yajiro just watched in amazement as Rushuna kept moving. She raced along the wall as the men kept firing, avoiding their gun blasts and emptying her revolver. She rolled forward, causing more bullets to spill out her shirt, onto her chest, which bounced off and flew into the air. She caught them in her gun chambers once more and quickly fired as she came to a stop in a sitting up position. Six more shots and six more men went down. Not dead, but disarmed.
It was then that Yajiro looked up and saw with amazement that Steve had literally ran up the side of the wall, his feet and forward momentum catching the sides and propelling him over the walls edge and onto the walkway where the other gunmen were. The men on the wall started shooting at him, but to everyone's amazement, he ducked and dodged with almost superhuman speed.
He either could anticipate where the men would shoot, or was faster than the bullets themselves. That didn't seem possible, even as he slipped between the flying metal slugs and lunged at the men, taking down each one with strong, well-placed punches.
The young samurai's attention was split between the amazing marksmanship of Rushuna and the daredevil athleticism of Steve. He watched as the men kept firing, only to have their guns shot out of their hands by the woman, or miss the man who was able to get close enough to punch them out. Four more men were firing from the upper roof level, only to be taken down by the woman who shot their guns out of their hands and causing them to fall off the roof one after the other. Two more men fired at Rushuna from the adjoining wall, only to be body-checked by a blue blur that caused them to fall down onto the courtyard. Bullets and fists flew like a charged tornado until only Rushuna was standing alone in the castle courtyard, and Steve on the upper levels looking down.
Yajiro couldn't help but think that these two worked together in perfect symmetry.
At this point, Nago was panicking like crazy. Who the heck were these two? He wondered. So much so that while his main focus had been on Rushuna, he failed to notice a red gloved fist barreling down on him. He looked up just in time to see it slam hard into his face, and knocking him backwards out the back entry way of the castle.
He sat up and noticed the red, white and blue garbed figure standing between him and his former hostage, fist clenched.
Nago quickly scrambled to his feet and ran as fast as he could out of the castle.
"That woman and her skill. That man and his strength. It's impossible!" he panicked as he fled.
He made it up the mountain side, surprised that no one was following him, only to turn around and notice from the lookout post, which was more of a porch/rear deck, a single figure holding a gun. His eyes focused on the image, realizing that it was the woman. The blue man appearing next to her.
Rushuna's eyes never wavered as she fired off six shots at the large departing man. Each shot cut through his armor and striking his Galdo, stripping him clean of both.
He cried as he waddled off into the distance.
"Well?" Steve asked
"Looks like everything's back to normal now." Rushuna said with a smile.
"Yatchan, you did a really good job back there. I'm sure they would have gladly hired you to join them." Rushuna said as the trio walked the path that lead away from the castle.
"I don't want to be in the military." Yajiro said, mildly disappointed that he didn't get the full reward he had been promised. He turned to the woman, who was walking between him and Steve. "So... how come you totally missed all their vital organs? All that shooting and you didn't even kill one of them." he said.
"I had no intention of killing any of them." she answered.
"I see." Yajiro said, not totally convinced. He then turned to Steve. "And you, where did you learn how to dodge the bullets of a senshi?"
"Life experience." Steve said simply.
It was in that moment that Yajiro made a worthwhile decision.
"I'm gonna be your partner." the samurai said.
"Partner with you?" Rushuna caught him.
"Yeah, that's right. I don't like the senshi, but I have a feeling you're different from them. And if we join forces together we can rule the world!" he noticed the pair were not with him. Looking back he saw them standing on the hilltop next to a tree. "What do you say? Lets put our forces together!"
"In this chaotic world... if I could get even one person to stop fighting..." Rushuna said as she put her hand on the tree, as if trying to feel at one with the earth itself.
"Heh! Oh please! Give me a break! There seems to be a huge difference between what you preach and what you practice. Showing off your shooting skills like that."
"I know, you're right. But that's the ideal I'm working towards and one day I'll reach that goal. That's what this journey is all about for me." suddenly she paused and stared. "Look! There's a hot springs over there! Come on, hurry up, Stechan, Yatchan! Come on!"
"Uh..." Steve started to protest.
"Come on I'll scrub your back for you!" she smiled.
"Uh, no thanks! You don't do what you say you're going to do!" Yajiro shouted.
Well, here is my third chapter to this story and I hope everyone liked it.
It starts in the mainstream of the show itself, and finally introduces Yajiro. Hopefully, I placed Steve in the right context to be partnered with Rushuna and Yajiro as he fought the other senshi. Also, that whole bit where he dodged the bullets... that was something I took from the movie Street Fighter Alpha, where Ryu was the one dodging bullets.
I figured, at his best, Steve's super soldier athleticism would have made that possible. It's sort of an extreme talent for Captain America to have, but I liked the idea of it.
After all, Rushuna can shoot with uncanny precision, Yajiro can actually deflect bullets with his sword, so having Steve dodge the bullets seemed logical. At least to me.
And now that Steve has his new uniform, I just need to give him his shield. That will probably happen next chapter or so.
This is going to be my update for now, so I won't be able to do more for a while. Hopefully this will tied people over for a time. I am planning on finishing this some day. But for now, enjoy.
And as always, Read and Review.