Sunday, May 22, 2011

TAOM: Adrian - Lessons & Leadershipping

Tash grunted as the air was forced out of her lungs as Adrian's kneecap slammed into her gut and sent her tumbling and flying across the training mat where she landed in a heap. "Erk…!"

The Librarian frowned and rested Hoshikuzu, in its sword form, against his shoulder and cocked his head at her curiously. "Why are you lying down that? We're training… this is no time to be napping…"

"So far…" Tash grumbled as she got to her feet and picked up her staff from where it had fallen a few inches away. Like Adrian's staff, it was made out of a magical wood (that looked strangely like oak…), but it resembled Saruman's staff from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, save for its coloration and the fire-red stone mounted in the top. A long ribbon was tied near the top and trailed off. "Your 'training' has consisted of nothing but you beating on me…."

"I know how you learn, Tash… you learn by doing, not by having someone tell you…" Adrian twirled his sword in a complex pattern before snapping it down to his side. "Now… come on and fight…" Then he charged at her, blade a blur of motion.

The British girl swore and caught his sword along the length of her staff and swept it aside before thrusting at him with the other end. He twisted to the side and slid around the attack, slamming his elbow into her face, ducking even as she staggered back and swung blindly at him, staff whooshing over his head. The Librarian launched upwards, clocking her hard on the jaw and sending toppling over on her butt again.

"Bollocks!" She moaned and rubbed at her sore jaw, blinking away the pain. "That hurt!"

"It's supposed to…" Adrian helped her to her feet and looked sternly at her. "Jurai-ken is a fighting style that requires a strong offense and is not meant to defend with. Instead of blocking, you're supposed to counter-attack!"

"Well, it's not as easy it looks!" She sighed and shook out her blonde hair with a hand. "And anyway, isn't Jurai-ken meant for a sword?"

"Well, yes…" He admitted. "But your staff is the same length as the required sword…and coupled with the magic I've been teaching you, we should be able to modify the style to suit your needs…"

Tash rolled her shoulders and gripped her staff in both hands. "Why teach it to me at all? I could fight well enough before and with the magic you've been teaching me, I should be able to hold my own."

"Uh-huh… and Willowe beating the stuffing out of you was an accident?" As Tash flushed sheepishly, Adrian turned and walked back to the other side of the mat. "Now… c'mon. Let's try this again…" He turned back to face her and brought Hoshikuzu up into an attack position. "I've shown you how all of the attacks work…so hurry up and try them out already!" With that, he sprinted towards and leapt into the air, dropping towards her with sword extended.

Tash watched him come towards her and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before planting her staff-point first into the ground and then jumping up, landing on the other end of the staff and then jumping off of that in a split second, vaulting herself even higher than she normally could, gripping the ribbon tightly in her hand. "Jurai-Ken…" She yanked hard on the ribbon, pulling the staff free of the ground and whipping towards Adrian, flames arcing from the gemstone. "Shinanori! (Dancing Flame - Sky Rocket Burst!)" Burst of fire erupted from the staff.

Adrian reacted instantly, blocking or slashing the bursts of flame apart but then Tash's staff slammed into shoulder-point first and he went crashing to the ground. "ahh... not… bad…" Then he rolled out of the way as Tash dropped, staff stabbing down where his head had just been. "Building up a little grudge against me till now…?"

"A little…" The Chief Agent twirled her staff in both hands as Adrian jack-knifed to his feet and dropped into an odd crouching stance, right leg tucked close while her left was extended out as far it could go and her staff rested against the length of her right arm and over that shoulder. "Juari-Ken - Tairenso! (Dancing Flame - Whirling Hell Wind!)" Then she catapulted forwards, whirling and spinning as flames streamed out the gemstone, enveloping her and transforming her to a small tornado of flames.

"Librarian Art 8: Pillars of Knowledge!" He stabbed his blade into the ground and the six stone pillars burst from the floor and slammed towards Tash. A small grin appeared on his face as Tash's attack simply melted and destroyed the pillars without even slowing her down. (Excellent… she's putting more effort into her attacks. Even at half-strength, my attacks aren't enough…) But then he dashed forwards, dropping low and sweeping Tash's feet from out from under her.

"Ack!" Tash toppled, the flames from her attack dispersing harmlessly. Hitting the floor with an 'ooof!', she scowled and rolled over to glare at the smirking Librarian. "That's not fair! You taught me the technique, so you know all the weak points!"

"There is no 'fair' or 'unfair' in battle… only striking the enemy's vulnerabilities." He chided her and his head snapped back as her heel caught his chin hard. "…See… you're learning…"

She growled and rose to her knees, swiping at him with her staff, but he saw it coming and jumped back lightly, the blow passing harmlessly below his legs. "Hold still!" Then she was on her feet, sprinting at him and twirling her staff, flames igniting at both ends and it swung up at him.

He easily blocked the blow. "What's that going to…"

"Jurai-Ken - Doryuto! (Dancing Flame - Rising Star Slam!)" Tash's foot shot up and she kicked her staff hard, the blow actually lifting Adrian off his feet as his eyes widened slightly in surprise, fire trailing the staff's path and enfluging him.

The British girl wasn't finished as she jumped up and brought her staff down towards her boyfriend's head. "Juari-Ken - Doryuta! (Dancing Flame - Falling Star Crush!)" Even as Adrian blocked again, she slammed her palm into her staff, doubling the force of her swing and causing the Librarian to slam into the mat below as a second wave of fire effulged him.

Landing lightly on her feet, she smirked as he got back to his feet slowly, brushing off bits of ash and putting out little flames on his trenchcoat. "How was that…?"

He grinned at her and twirled Hoshikuzu lightly, cat ears twitching. "Not bad… you caught me by surprise. But it's going to take more than that…" Then he flash-stepped out of sight, reappearing behind her and sword drawn back to strike.

"Jurai-Ken…" Tash twisted her staff behind her and blocked the blow, before whirling on her heel and slamming her staff through Adrian's guard and into his chest. "…Gihardi! (Dancing Flame - Striking Phoenix Talon!)" As the force of her counter-attack shoved Adrian backwards, flames erupted from the impact point and hurtled him backwards off the mat and wreathing his form in flames.

"GAH!" Surprised and a little fearful at what she had done, the girl dropped her staff and dashed towards her significant other, dropping to her knees and skidding the last few feet, halting near his prone form. "Adrian!"

Flames mostly extinguished, the Librarian coughed out a mouthful of soot and patted out the few remaining smoldering embers on his coat. "I'm… I'm alright…" Tash helped him sit up and he coughed again. "I smell like burnt kitty…" Scowling, he pulled his tail around and gently pinched out a flame that had been burning on the tip.

"I'm sorry!" She hugged him tightly. "I didn't mean hurt you like that! I kinda forgot myself in the heat of the moment…"

He waved her concerns away. "It's alright, Tash… I should have expected for you learn Jurai-Ken so quickly… and getting knocked around during combat training is to be expected. Otherwise, we're not doing it right and then my lessons are worthless…"

"Hmmm-mmm…" Tash hugged him again and stroked his hair a little. "I'm still sorry…."

"Don't be…" Adrian hugged her back. "It's just a sign that my lessons are taking effect. Means you're a good student…"

"And you're a good teacher…" She kisses his cheek and ran a hand down his arm lightly. "Mmmm…you give me all these lessons and I don't give you anything in return…"

He flushed and smiled. "That's fine, dear one…Just knowing you can defend yourself is enough for me… mmph!" He was silenced as she kissed him on the lips.

Breaking the kiss, she continued speaking and ran a hand over his chest. "So I was thinking… if you teach me how to fight…" She kissed him again and then kissed his jawline. "That I'll teach you how to love…" Another kiss.

Adrian sighed a little at her touches and nodded slowly. "Sounds like a fair deal to me…"

"I was hoping you'd say that…" She pushed him over onto his back and pulled herself on top of him. "Now… just let me show you how it's done… and then you can try, alright?" Without waiting for an answer, she kissed him again and then kissed at his jawline. "First… you have to start slow…" Her hands trailed over his chest.

"Hmmm…" He nodded contentedly at her. "And then…?"

"You work at it a little…" She tilted his head back and planted a series of kisses down his neck, eliciting a soft sigh from him while one hand rubbed his arm and the other stroked one his kitty ears.

A giggle escaped her as she realized that Adrian had stated to purr softly. "Awww… is my kitty content…?" She rubbed harder at his ear and kissed at the hollow his throat.

He sighed again and the purring got a little louder. "Yeah…" His tail twitched and then wrapped itself around her leg, causing another set of giggles to escape from her.

"Naughty tail…" She smirked at him and then nipped at his throat and he shivered a little as she walked her fingers across his chest. "And do you know what the third step is…?"

A third sigh. "What…?" He rubbed at her back.

Tash smiled and rested her head on his chest, wrapping her arms around him. "Leave them wanting more…"

"No fair…" He pouted at her, ears twitching.

Another smirk and she scooted forwards to kiss him again. "All's fair in love and war, my love…"

"Fine…" Adrian cuddled her close and stroked her hair. "Any chance I could get you to get off me…?"

"No. You're a good pillow," Tash told him and curled up on top of him, resting against his chest.

He chuckled and closed his eyes, both of them enjoying the moment and the peaceful feeling that swept through them…


"Aww…they're so cute!" Lauren smirked and tilted her head as she watched the two leaders sleep.

Harriett nodded her agreement and folded her arms across her chest. "About time… took them long enough…" She smirked. "Michael owes me twenty bucks…"

Lauren glanced at her with a slight frown. "You took bets on when they'd get together?"

"No… how long it'd be when they start acting like love-doves in public." The Society's founder smirked again. "He thought it'd be at least three weeks. It's only been one and a half…"

"But they're not in public…" Lauren pointed into the training room where the pair slept.

Harriett waved it away. "Semantics." There was a flash and then a click. "Wha…?"

Aster smirked from between the pair where she had suddenly appeared and lifted her camera, taking another picture. "It's blackmail material… so I can get all the manga I want."

The other two girls looked at one another, then Aster and then back at each other again, sly grins appearing on their faces as they pulled out cameras and aimed them towards the sleeping pair…

Only to see Tash gripping her staff and pointing it at them without getting off her pillow. "No… pictures!"

The three girls dropped their cameras and ran, screaming as a burst of flame leapt from the staff.


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