Rosario + Vampire: Steam

By: The 483

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Rosario + Vampire

Spoiler Alert: Some spoilers, Light to moderate, are contained herein.

After Season 2 of the Anime, and will just be the usual pairing a cast member off with a "New and exciting" (Read: Heavily Clich├ęd and overpowered) classmate who, for some reason, does not show any sign of existence until now. So, I'll see how this comes out, and update you as necessity arises.

Chapter 1: New arrival

The new school year began not with a bang, but a whisper. Friends separated over the brief hiatus between school years met before class to swap lies and overblown boasts of what they did over the break. The usual crew of crude and vulgar thugs eyed the incoming freshmen, already quartering out the fresh victims they would be bullying this year. Girls squealed and giggled, Freshmen looked scared, Upperclassmen looked bored, a Bogman and a Chupacabra were playing hacky sack with a Bridge Troll and a Zombie. Everything was as normal as it ever was within the confines of Yokai Academy.

And all of the overwhelming normalcy meant the Tsukune Aono was, as soon as he was noticed, surrounded and beset upon on all sides buy his harem of admiring, buxom, and volatile young women. Kurumu Kurono traded barbs, slurs, insinuations, and outright insults with the seemingly torpid Mizore Shirayuki, while the diminutive Yukari Sendo occasionally added her own words, and a brass pan or two, to the battle as she felt it was warranted. Meanwhile, Miss Moka Akashiya stood patiently and silently beside Tsukune, waiting for the time when the other three would become distracted enough for her to sneak him off.

While the 4 girls all considered themselves bitter rivals in the pursuit of Tsukune's heart, they were all considerably close friends, as well, the trials and tribulations they had endured during the preceding 2 years forging bonds that would likely hold even after Tsukune finally realized which of the girls he truly fancied. Unless of course, the girls got a little to careless in their attempts to win him over, and killed him in the process, but such was just the cost of love.

Mizore, who happened to be standing with her back to the school, facing the slope leading down and into the forest the bordered the academy's grounds, leading off to the ocean cliffs to her left, and deeper forest to her right, was the first to notice the... not commotion, but the cessation of activity of the students gathered along the broad path. Her own rebuttals trailed off as she watched, Yukari picking up the slack and mounting and attack on Kurume in her place. All the faces of the students were turned, looking at something further down the hill. Something, that, judging from the slow rotation of the students head, was coming up the drive. A few more seconds, and a head, then houlders, then body appeared, strolling up the path. Mizore surveyed him with the critical eye of an accustom voyeur.

He was handsome, in a jagged, hard sort of way, with shoulder length hair that had the easy set of someone who had just gotten up. He had smooth, pronounced but not pop out features, was fairly tall, and had the comfortable, powerful stance of an athlete. But his walk was so self confident it almost radiated a sense of cockiness. It said, "I own this place, but don't care how you use it" and would have been irritating if it wasn't for the kind brown eyes and genuinely genial smile he flashed as he surveyed the crowd. The overall air he gave off was that of someone who is in charge, but willing to play second fiddle to anyone who wishes to take a swing at the big chair. Mizore took an isntant dislike of him, and watched him, her face impassive as he continued forward. Her dislike increased when he got close enough for her to sense, but she could feel nothing from him. Not like with Tsukune, who had no Monster energy, or like the others around her, who's signals were masked in their human forms, but a dead spot. From a monster energy stand point, it was like he was not even there, just a slightly hostile feeling that played across the back of her mind, like an unseen sound in unknown darkness.

She might have imagined it, but Moka seemed to become slightly uncomfortable, and Tsukune frowned, looking apprehensive all of a sudden, the hair on the back of his neck standing up slightly. But she caught sight on Ginei, hiding over in the bushes with his camera, and even his attention had been caught by this man, distracting him from a spectacular Tri-panty photo opportunity, and giving him a look like scarred dog. Mizore turned her focus back to the man, who had reached the flat at the top of the drive, and was scanning the crowd in a confident, but slightly nervous fashion. The man's eyes panned from the left, crossed her own without really seeing her, and continued on... then stopped suddenly, and panned back, stopping and seemingly starring right into her own. She held the gaze, and the man got a brief look, like a pleasant surprise was discovered, and, cupping a hand to his mouth, called over.

"Oi, Chesty, is that you?" He had a deep voice, layered with a faint kind current, and the unmistakable thrum of a commanding personality. It made the question sound like a statement. To Mizore's, and indeed everyone else's surprise, Kurumu's shoulders hunched, and a look that Mizore didn't recognize etched across her face. She sputtered and looked stricken, talking to herself.

"Oh... no... it couldn't... not here..." She turned slowly, and faced the new comer. "Oh... jeez... it is..." The man gave a smile of pure pleasure, and waved heartily.

"Hey, Kurumu! Long time." He moved closer, and her shoulders slumped like she had been defeated.

"Yeah." She said, with a sigh, but there was an undercurrent of happy under it. "I see you're still an asshole." His smile brightened, rather than faltered. "What brings you here?" The other cocked his brow inquisitively.

"Really? Two years and that's all I get? Get over here and act like you are happy to see me." He held open his arms. Kurumu looked back over her shoulder, smiled sheepishly, then walked forward, giving the guy a hug, which he returned in a friendly manner.

"Alright," she said, pushing slightly back, "It is nice to see you. Anyway, how'd you finally end up here with us?" He smiled, and leaned back slightly.

"Oh, my father decided I should get in some time with a more diverse peer group." Kurumu chuckled softly.

"So your mother told him you werre coming here, now." He smiled distantly.

"Yep." He shifted expression ,and gestured at all of her with his arms. "But, look at you! You look even prettier then when you first left for school." His features softened into a look of disappointed. "I was hoping to see you during the breaks last year, but I guess I wasn't home at the same time as you were." She waved it aside.

"Oh, no. Actually, I never did come home. I was... otherwise engaged." She fabricated the last half after a short pause, with the force behind it that said it was not to be discussed. He shrugged.

"Oh, well. My loss, I suppose." He looked slightly hesitant, then added: "I wouldn;t want to drag you away from your friends here, but I admit I was happy to see a familiar face, as this will be my first year at the Academy, and I hoping maybe you could show me around before the morning classes begin?" Kurume tapped her chin as shee did the math, trying to figure out if the esteem she would gain from escorting her old friend would be worth the time she would lose on badgering Tsukune.

"Let me see your Schedule." She demanded, holding out her hand. He fished it quickly out of his pocket, and handed it to her. She browsed it quickly. "Hmmm... you have Miss Nekonome for homeroom, just like me, so...I suppose I can." She tossed the paper back at him, and turned back to her group as he snatched it deftly out of the air.

"Hey, Guys. This is my old friend Dominic Farnsworth. We grew up in the same Circle, and I am going to show him around a bit before class." She looked back over to Dominic. "Dom, this is Yukari, Mizore, Moka, and my Tsukune." She stated, pointing to each in turn. His eyes flicked to each in turn, narrowing slightly as they landed on Tsukune, but it was such a small thing, Mizore was the only one who noticed, because she was looking for any excuse to further dislike this man. HE gave a polite bow.

"Nice to meet you all..."

"Anyway," Kurume continued, cutting him off, and pointing at Mizore and Yukari, "this conversation is not over." She turned, and Dominic offered his arm, which Kurumu ignored, and stalked off, letting him follow her as she rounded the main building of to its left side.

"well... that was... interesting." Yukari said softly, after both were out of site.

"Yeah," Moka agreed, "Kurumu was sure anxious to get him away from us."

"Well, class does start in about 15 minutes. She probably just want to do her job and get to class early, so she can grab the seat next to Tsukune before we get there." Yukari supposed.

"Maybe," Tsukune agreed, "but did anyone else get a bad vibe off of that guy?"

"Actally, yes." Moka said, gravely.

"I didn;t notice anything weird." Yukari said, with a puzzled look to the other two. They all turned to look at Mizore, but she was already gone.

(...)

Having ducked out before they had vanished from sight, and owing to her stalkers knowledge of the less traveled access ways of the school, Mizore was out of contact with the suspicous man for a scant minute, before she was pacing them, listening without really hearing the pointless talk of two old friends catching up. This continued for some minutes, until they reached a vaccent area dotted with mesh tables,the ground and surface coated with a blanket of the freshly fallen autumn leaves. Kurumu dusted a few leaves of the top if a table, and sat down on it, still chuckling over some innocuous comment the man had made.

Mizore tried to reason out why she disliked this scene. Not because she thought Kurumu was in danger. She knew she could handle herself against most opponents, and she did care; regardless of their catty attitudes over Tsukune, they were fairly close friends, even though it would be some time before either would openly say it. She thought it might be pride. She knew, on a point basis, that Kurumu was in some ways prettier then herself, even if that was just because the nature of what Kurumu was, but she did not feel she was so much prettier as to knock her out of the running just based on that factor. Mizore was not afraid to fight it out, but she would not accept winning by default. While the behavior these two displayed was not along the lines of the lovey-dovey stuff Moka was so natural with (in her pink haired form), there was still an angle of it that could lead to distracting Kurumu's efforts away from Tsukune. She would beat Kurumu to Tsukune's heart on her own terms, not because Kurumu surrendered.

That, coupled witth the odd, anxious feeling that seemed to waft off the stranger, and the fact that she could not detect any feeling of his Monster Energy off of him, added to her dis-ease.

Her mind cycled away from her rationalizing when it picked up on the conversation turning to something that she was interested in.

"So... Kurumu, when did you start hanging out with humans?" Mizore's heart hitched slightly at this, and judging by the look on Kurumu's face, hers had performed similarly.

"What?" Her voice quavered with shock, but didn't quite stutter. "Tsukune's not a human." The stranger gave a mollifying and exasperated smile.

"Come on, Chesty, you know I tell that he is a human, just as I could tell that your other friends were a Vampire, Snow Woman, and Witch." He then looked conciliatory. "And, as a point of fact, I didn;t specify who I knew to be the human, you kind of gave it away yourself." Kurumu had her face pointed at her lap, hidden from the man, and Mizore tensed for action in case she needed backup. Suddenly, he looked surprised.

"Wait, you did know that this boy is a human... right?" For the first time in her surveillance of this stranger, he looked genuinely uncertain. Kurumu was up, her claws pointed at his throat, her face lit with her inner fire.

"Yes!" She barked angrily. "I do know, and I don't care." Her voice shook with passion, but her claws were dead steady. He seemed impressed, but unworried, meeting her eyes calmly with his. "And I don;t care if we are friends, if you make ANY trouble for him, I will... I..." She seemed to faulter, then, with a look of desperate recklessness, continued more forcefully, "I will ... I'll kill you." He remained quite, looking still untroubled, just staring into her eyes.

"Wow." He said, his voice carefully neutral. "Never thought I'd see you defending a human. He's one of your thrall?" She blushed slightly, but kept her claws pointed at his throat.

"No." Her answer was so quite Mizore had to read it on her lips. The man's brow cocked, and he seemed taken aback.

"Really?" She blushed a shade deeper.

"Really. I am going to win him over without my powers." Dominic smiled jovially, and pushed her claws out of his face, then wrapped her in a hug that surprised the hell out of her.

"Good for you! I am pulling for you." He let her go, an her claws shrunk back to nails. She was astonished.

"What... really?" He nodded emphatically.

"Yeah. Come on, chesty, you know I don't have any problem with humans. And I know you, too, and there is no way you would have actually fallen for this guy this hard if he wasn't a good sort. If you like him this much, you'll have to introduce me more formally, some time."

They continued talking for another minute, before walking off, but Mizore didn't follow. The shock of him being able know Tsukune was a human, and that Kurumu confirmed it, bothered her. She didn't trust the man at all, and would have to keep an eye on him. She backed deeper into the bushes, and headed for class.

(...)

Mizore had grabbed a seat in the back of the room, one behind where Moka sat, up against the wall under the widow, with Tsukune in front of her, Yukari in front of him, and Kurumu to Tsukune right. The new guy sat in front of her, and Mizore, from her vantage point, noticed that about half the other students halted after entering, starred hesitantly at the back of the new guy's head, and then took their seats, shaking their heads like they were trying to clear bad thoughts away. Others paid him no mind, and still others, mostly females, appraised him and liked the figures that came up. The Babble gradually died down as Miss Nekonome entered, her cheer smile faultering as she halted just inside the threshold. Her hair stood on end, her pupils contracted, her tail appeared and stuck out straight, and her ears made of hair solidified and went back. She blinked a few times, looke daround like a wary cat, focused her attention on the new guy, lingered for a second, and then her demeanor reasserted itself, and she cleared her throat as her features returned to normal.

"Hmm, excuse me." She did not elaborate, but smiled sunnily as she dropped her bag and took her place behind her desk. "Good morning, kids. I see plenty of returning faces, as well as a few new ones. Welcome, everyone. For those of you who do not know, My name is Miss Nekonome, and I shall be your Homeroom teacher for the year. Let's get started with roll call." She began to read the names, and paused when she hit a certain one.

"Dominic Farnsworth?" Her ears twitched, and her eyes flicked to the new man.

"Here." He answered, seeing nothing odd about the teachers behavior.

"Any chance you are related to a Gerald Farnsworth?" He looked surprised.

"Yes, Ma'am. My Father." Her face registered a look like two ideas suddenly connected, and she then smiled him.

"Well, is this your first year at Yokai?" He nodded. "Oh, excellent, I am sure you will love it here. Glad to have you."

"Thank you, Ma'am." She continued reading the roll, taking no notice of the odd looks the students shared.

(...)

Time passed rapidly, thing regaining a sense of normality after about two weeks. Kurumu spent quite a bit of time with Dominic during these weeks, but that mellowed after he began to meet more people, and Kurumu ceased being the only person he knew on campus, allowing her to reinvest her effort back into harassing Tsukune and thwarting any chance by the others to pair off with him for more than a few minutes at a time. Dominic gained a measure of popularity, his calm temper and moderate attractiveness gaining some friends. His marks were good, he was unceasingly polite, helpful to almost anyone who needed a hand, participate in a number of clubs, while not formally being a member of one particular, always waving of the invites he got by stating that his schedule was too unusual and changing to make commitments he might not be able to meet.

He even became a sporadic fixture among those vying for Tsukune. After about a month, his charm and geniality made him welcome by all but Mizore. He even became rather close to Tsukune, and while not a romantic rival, still ate up some of his time. But, Mizore, a reclusive and stubborn type by nature, refused to let herself be impressed, and staunchly nursed her dislike. She was coldly formal when forced to deal with him with her friends, but as it was not too different from her normal tone, no one noticed. All of the time, she kept the fear glowing in the back of mind. This guy knew Tsukune was human, it was only a matter of time until something bad happened. So, she decided she would have to take matters into her own claws, as the rest, especially Kurume, saw no problems with him. It came to a head, and she decided he would have to be eliminated, and fast, about two weeks before Halloween. Watching from one of her accustomed stalking points, she saw Tsukune and Dominic, conversing happily, walking out into the orange and yellow forest, away from the school, about an hour before sunset. Unfortunately, she had other obligations that night, and was unable to follow. But, she had still kept her eyes open, and about a half hour after sunset, she saw Tsukune stumble back to his dormitory alone. It was not until the next day she discovered that he had received a number of scrapes and bruises, and even a sizable gash on a leg.

Tsukune expressed embarrassedly that it was simply the result of an accident, and that everything was fine, and, had it not been for Dominic's intervention, he would have been possibly worse off for wear. The other girls seemed to buy this fabricated story easily, but, having seen the two boys leave together, she knew something more sinister was afoot. And so, she decided that the time to act was now, before Tsukune, or one of her other friends, were seriously injured by this shyster.

Her plan was simple, she would lead him out into the forest on an excuse that she wished some aid from him, and take him down. Then, weakened and at her mercy, she would give him the option to leave, never to bother her friends again, or she would end him and his remains would be deposited into the ocean. While it was true that she did not know what firepower he would bring to the table, she was confident that she had the ability to hand anything short of someone of Moka's Vampire form. She got her chance that evening, about 15 minutes before sunset.

(...)

Tracking his motions after class was no issue. He had a short stint in the library, followed by some assistance he gave in setting up a complex shot for the Photography club, which involved holding one end of lattice work steady for an hour while a collection of girls were arranged upon it in an attractive pose. After that, some time spent in the pool and with clean up, and he was working his way to the Male Dormitory. She met him as he locked the pool areas gate.

"Hello, Dominic." She said, her deadpan voice giving no hit to either direction of her feelings. He looked up as the padlock snapped shut. As always, he decided that her greeting was meant to carry a pleasant current, and smiled his charming smile.

"Good Evening, Miss Shirayuki. How are you tonight?"

"I am well, thank you." She replied carefully, her lollipop dancing as she spoke. "I was wondering if you might help me with something?"

"Possibly. What do you need?" She held up a pair of 5 gallon plastic buckets.

"I was out in the forest the other day, when I noticed a patch of mushrooms fairly deep in. They looked weird, so I picked on and looked it up when I got back to campus, and it turns out they are a fairly rare breed of truffle." She smiled what she hoped was a shy smile. "I don't know if you know it or not, but I am a fairly proficient cook, and I thought it would be nice to make a surprise dish for Kurume and everyone with these truffles, and was wondering if you would help me gather some?" He smiled, throwing his green uniform jacket over his shoulder, and holding out his hand to take the buckets from her, which she handed over.

"Well, I don't know much about mushrooms myself, but I am good at carrying things. Lead the way, and I'll schlep whatever you need."

Ah, she thought to herself, they always fell for the cooking line. Idiot. So, she moved off into the forest, her unwitting prey following contentedly behind her. She had picked out a clearing far enough away from the school where the ruckus, if any, would not be noticed. She smiled to herself, happy with how easy her job was going to be. She would hit fast, neutralizing him before he could even think about raising a defense.

They walked for about ten minutes, weaving between roots and low handing boughs, mud holes and bramble patches, with her occasionally tossing back words expressing how close they were. When she reached the edge of the clearing she rushed a little ahead, so she would be at the outer edge by the time he made it inside.

Just like she imagined, the bolt of ice hit him in the chest, not fatally aimed, but still painful enough that he would not want to move. There had been no warning, he entered the clearing, and suddenly he had a chunk of ice hard as steel sticking out of his chest, the point buried between his ribs. The buckets fell from his hand and rolled away with a clatter, and he fell to his knees, his hands working ineffectually at pulling the dagger out. It was no use, as she had specially crafted this piece to be slick in the end to stick out, and could not be gripped well enough to be removed. The look of pained betrayal on his face was not as satisfying as she had imagined, but she would not be deterred now.

"As you may have figured out, I did not truly bring you out here to help me, but rrather because i do not wish to be disturbed." Her voice was not as strong as she would have liked. She was slightly nervous, but had already gone too far to try and reconcile, so all she could do was press her advantage. "From the first day you arrived, I have watched you manipulate and trick my friends into accepting you. I know that you somehow discovered that Tsukune is a human, and no doubt used this illicit knowledge to aid you in your aims. While you may have had Kurumu to aid you in deceptions, I will not allow it any longer. I saw the damage you inflicted upon Tsukune after taking him into the woods last night, no doubt because he refused participate in whatever vile thing you desired of him. This ends now. I am not without mercy, so I will allow you a chance to flee, and never bother us again." She sung her arm up, sprouting her razor honed ice claw and pointing to him. "Or you may refuse, and I will kill you."

His face was down, on hand still on the ice spike, his jacket having fluttered down into the roots of a tree at the edge of the clearing.

"You had better hope..." he muttered, his words starting softly, but growing tight and laced with additional pain as he continued. There was a sizzling sound, and it took a second for Mizore to find the source. It was the ice where his fingers clutched, sputtering as his fingers melted through the ice until he had a firm grim. "...that you have a lot more then this..." he pulled, and the shard popped free with a wet pop, and blood soaked the white shirt around the wound. "...in your arsenal if you think you are going to kill me." He looked up, his eyes having gone yellow with black slits for pupils. The, rising from his knees, his body began to change.

Shoulders broadened and muscles grew denser and more numerous. The front of his bloody shirt bulged as his chest swelled, the muscles straining the fabric. His skin took on a darker tone, a brownish red like cherry wood, and heavy bone talons grew from his fingertips. From just under his hairline, a pair of horns grew straight out for an inch or two, before bending upward at a 90 degree angle, each horn mounted about in line with his temples. Black, bat-like wings, bigger then looked necessary tore through the shirt on his back, and loomed, making him look even larger after the 6 inches he had grown in the transformation. And tail with a triangular tip flicked lazily back and forth, and he stood, looking regal in his full monster form.

She gave him no time to attack, launching herself in a panic inspired frenzy, slashing, clawing, and launching spines from the air, and up from the ground as she tried to get past his defense. He was fast, his limbs flowing to block her arm, or talons flashing and deflect her own claws in a spray of powered ice. But, she was just a hair faster, and eventually had opened enough of a lead to land a solid hit. Slicing inward, she cut across the indie of an arm. Following into a twirl, she soun, then slashed upward, her claws slicing crimson lines across the chest and tearing furrows out of the now tattered shirt. Batting the other arm away, she slashed again and again, him always managing to ward off just enough to avoid serious harm, but still taking considerable cuts. After another downward slash, leaving a good section of his skin crisscrossed with bleeding wounds, she reversed, backhanding him in the face with a heavy ice claw, spinning, shattering the right hand claw and forming stiletto blade, which she used the spin momentum to jam at his open chest.

The blade halted well short of its destination, the point intercepted by Dominic's hand, now a glove of fire, as it repelled the blade with heat. So, Mizore turned up her cold, and the blade crept forward, where in Dominic turned his palm into a hotter spot, until the ice began to slip back. Feeling the heat even though the wall of pure ice, Mizore added her other hand and gave it all she had. Dominic, anticipating it, did the same, and, with a crack like an explosion, the two opposing forces detonated in a cloud of instant light fog, covering the clearing as the two combatants were forced to break contact and were forced back a number of feet.

Mizore stood her ground, her head flicking back and forth, her claws twitching as each eddy in the wall of white particulate as it swirled around her. She wasn't able to see anything further than a foot from the inch of her nose, and all was quiet around her. A soft flutter off to her left alerted her, and she turned, ready to strike, when he flew in from the front, and buried a meaty fist in her gut, lifting her bodily off the ground. Her mouth opened, and spit spattered the ground, her feet dangling a full 2 feet of the ground, her insides already feeling bruised. He pulled back, then swung around so fast she didn't even drop, landing a back hand right at her center of mass, slamming her into the ground, and leaving a body shape indent in the ground. She lay on her stomach, trying to catch her breath, and felt his foot slide under her, and lift her into the air with a flick. Pivoting on his standing foot, he twirled, slamming her again with a straight kick and sending her spiraling into a tree, cracking the bark with a lound crack, and leaving her crumpled to the ground.

Bracing himself, he beat his wings in hard, long motions, using the air power to push the mist clear of the area. When the area was clear, he saw the tree, bent and cracked from the force of Mizore hitting it, but she was gone. She came from the right, up high, and landed a hammer fist across his face, ice blasting downward from the blow, and sticking to his head. As she hit the ground, she build a shelf ice at her feet and used it to push herself on her back into a slide between his legs, slashing his shins as she passed. Breaking the ice with one hand, he slammed a fist down where she would have been had she not continued to ride the slide, and fell, his feet having been frozen to the ground. Growling, he turned up the heat, melted off the boots, and lunged like an animal, slashing at her, and catching her clothing as she rolled away, tearing a chunk out of the back but missing the skin.

This led to another clawing, slashing bout with them swapping turns on offense and defense, each taking minor hits. She would block a low swipe, and return with an upward slash scratching a triple pair of lines across one of his shoulder. He would then parry a jab from her, taking a swipe at her middle and catching her in the side, tearing away cloth and leaving 4 lines of scarlet on her pale skin. This continued or a weary time, until both were tired, sore, and covered in the bloody shreds of what was left of their clothes. Mizore, losing stamina quicker than her larger opponent, was moving noticeable slower, and was beginning to feel panic tug at the back or her mind. And as many who are desperate choose to do, she made a gamble on a final all out attack.

After a slash hit the top of her chest, tearing open the rest of her shirt, she let it's force assist her in launching backward. Summoning a quartet of ice spines, she tossed them forward, exploding them into hundreds of needle sized thorns about four feet from her target, propelling all of the micro projectiles at her opponent. He moved his hands and arms to protect his face, and she rushed in, throwing a sheet of thin ice to bind his crossed wrists. She then delivered a quick flurry of weak jabs to his gut, falling backward as he brought his arms down, trying to clip her. Landing on her shoulders, Mizore rocked over onto her front, swinging her legs around and driving first a heel, then another into his unprotected feet, shooting flourishes of ice off his skull as she continued the rotation and threw herself to her feet. She then ran and jumped, curling, kicking out both feet into the center of his chest to try and bring him down on the ground. But he spread his wings, and she hit what felt like a stone wall, and fell back. There was a sharp crack as he splintered his wrist bond, and caught her ankle before she hit the ground.

With a heaving effort, he swung her bodily over himself, slamming her hard it the ground, winding her and knocking her dizzy. And like that, something triggered in her mind, and she had no more fight left. She was spent, knew she had failed, and was going to be killed by the one she had voided her own honor trying to kill. And as he sifted his grip on her ankle, she only hoped he wouldn't mention the cheap shot she had begun the battle with to whoever he told the story of their battle to.

After adjusting the grip on her leg, Dominic, enraged, threw her straight up as hard as he could, sending her a good 300 feet up. As soon as he released her, he crouched, wings spread high, legs coiled like powerful springs, before propelling himself straight up after her, catching up to her while she was still rising. Flipping upside down, one leg extended, he slammed her with a powerful kick, sending her straight back down faster then she had risen. Pulling back a fist, his hand and arm began to bleed liquid fire, and he gathered power to spear her form below with a lance of flame. She did not move, crumpled in the divot her impact had made in the soft earth. The recognition that his attack would doubtless kill her at this point floated through his brain, and he funneled and rerouted the buildup heat and vented it in all directions, making him explode like a micro nova, the light illuminating the tops of trees for hundreds of feet in the twilight of right after sunset, and being reflected by the bottoms of low laying clouds.

Suddenly tired in the aftermath of his victory, he let his wings fold open, and fell slowly, his wings torn by ice claws in a few places flapping like banners as he fell. Landing a few feet from her body, Dominic fell to his knees, his legs unable to hold him up at the jarring of landing. Slowly, as his human form took back over and he shrunk to its dimensions, he looked over the girl. A patch of sleeve from shoulder to elbow was the largest single piece of shirt she had left, the rest being a stringy and bloody mess barely holding together with random strings. He could see the scratches he had made on her white skin, and while most were shallow, some were still seeping, and blood was leaking from her hairline over her unconscious face. He sighed, struggling to rise, his own body having suffered far more laceration then hers. His shirt was completely gone, and most of his chest was torn to hell. It was a tough fight, and had she not weakened so quick near the end, it might have gone the other way. He stood shakily over her, making sure she was still alive, and after a minute of observation of her, laying on her side, he saw a sign of life.

Her breath left a thin layer of ice on the ground, like fogging a mirror. I chuckled slightly, thinking it was kind of cute. He sighed, trying to think of what he should do, and finally realized that he would have to carry her out. So, limping slightly, he retrieved his jacket, and wrapped her upper body in it. As much as he would have liked to indulge in getting a closer look at what she had to offer, he did consider himself better then that, in some small way, and decided this way, he wouldn't be tempted to "accidently" stare. He then picked her up, her cold form actually feeling kind of nice against his wounds, noting that even now, she was surprisingly light. Then, with a weary determination, he began to hobble back in the direction of the school, not at all looking forward to the length of the journey.

End 1.