TRP is a post-Great War AU RWBY RP set in Mistral City and Haven Academy with no canons, no rank claims, no maidens, and no god interference. We offer a progression system and site-wide events that change the setting based on player actions.
The waters gurgled as the members of Team BCSN finally gathered around the swamp where the final member of TANN was hiding.
She’d been a little concerned at the explosion off in the distance, but when the little redhead landed nearby, she grinned, two rows of pointed teeth fixed in an excited smile. While she’d have liked a little more time in the water than this, she could-
And then, no sooner than she’d had the thought to strike, the tall and decisively not gorilla-like woman shot over like a missile, towards her teammate. Well that was going to complicate things a little bit. But she was ready for it.
She waited a bit longer, biding her time, as Nasrin raced up, and when Slate arrived, she grinned again at the sound of her old friend’s voice. A head of blue poked out from the center of the swamp, for just a moment, as she addressed Slate’s general position, chattering quickly before plunging back into the depths.. ”Let you buy the first round, sorella? No way, I’m treating you.”
Then, without warning, an orb of water burst violently from the murky depths, clearer, and decidedly bluer than the rest of the swamp. Inside it, Nina floated, about two thirds of her body jutting out of the water, inside the orb. And just as suddenly, four large jets of that very same water broke away from the little bubble, shooting out at each of BCSN’s members, as Nina’s Aura bar depleted rapidly from the all-or-nothing Semblance burn gambit.
Luckily for BCSN, Nasrin’s quick thinking and overall defensive prowess protected the two considerably less bulky teammates from being hit at all (Carmim being the least likely to be hit, in fact- with Heidi’s bigger frame bodyblocking the smaller girl entirely.)
A barrier formed just in time to block the two jets aimed at Carmim and Heidi, who were closer to the water, and a second barrier formed just as the first shattered, protecting Slate as well, while Nasrin took the full brunt of her own water blast, seemingly not even bothered enough to move out of the way, as it scored a direct hit. All in all, the attack was a complete failure, but did a great job showing off just how strong Nasrin’s durability and semblance could be- while Nina had burned about 40% of her Aura in the attack, Nasrin only took 44% in damage.
The bubble distorted as a hole appeared for her head, and she took a quick breath, and a mild swear, before it reformed. ”Accidenti…” While visibly a little disappointed that her initial attack failed so horribly, Nina was unperturbed, and if nobody made a move to stop her while she was hovering just above the brackish swamp, the watery orb she was encased in lurched forward towards Slate as she appeared to be swimming inside it. Her trident was gripped firmly in one hand as she swam with the other, and it was angled solidly at Slate, even as the sphere of water exited the swamp, moving with just as much ease over (relatively) dry land.
”Looks like this could be it, Gorm. Four against one, and she’s already wasted her trump card. Though to be fair, against just about anyone else, that would have been a heavy blow to the whole team. Those barriers sure do come in handy.” It took the huskier man a moment to respond, as his eyes were still fixed on Heidi.
It had honestly looked like she was moving to attack her own teammate, just moments ago… Maybe his eyes were playing tricks on him, or maybe he just expected senseless, ruthless, violence from Jacqueline Bariole… It didn’t look like the little drummer’s arms were broken, so maybe she really had changed for the better since Atlas.
Still. The way she charged at her, like a bullet train was undeniably frightening. ”Aye, Tanga. Don’t think that TANN’ll be winnin’ this one.”
Post by Jackie Bariole on Apr 27, 2020 20:26:26 GMT -5
Heidi had just returned her gaze to the dark pond, when the surface burst forth in a brackish spray. Whether through the especially ingenious application of Water Dust or an especially coordinated manipulator semblance, the shark faunus had finally shown herself, suspended within a watery orb of suspicious clarity. Heidi had also been right. Her momentary distraction had wound her up directly in firing line. She wasn't worried. Heidi was tough, nigh on indestructible, and it would take more than some fancy aquakinetics to pose her any risk. She wasn't worried, but she was angry. Angry that her little sister had interfered. Angry that said interference had landed her out of position, and about to take a hit meant for Carmim. What an indignity!
Heidi was just bracing herself for the inevitable attack, intending to show this sharp toothed faunus exactly what she thought of her watery tricks, when the air grew glossy a hands breadth before her face. When the jet of water did come, it was that glossy air which dispersed it. Nasrin, Heidi realized through the haze of anger. Whatever recent troubles the punkette had cause, she had ensured Heidi would get out of this entire fight utterly unscathed. Ensured Heidi was at peak strength when she lunged through the shattering barrier, straight towards the suspended shark faunus.
It wasn't a good idea. It was actually a really bad idea, charging into an environment where Nina had such an obvious advantage. Heidi didn't care. She was furious. Between the insults, the disorganization, and, above all else, the abject inferiority of her opponents, this whole fight had done nothing but piss the Atlesian off. This wasn't her grand step into the public consciousness. This wasn't her long sought after chance to show everyone how incredible she was. This was a waste of her time, and she'd had enough. This fight was ending, and it was ending now.
The brackish pond exploded, surrounding Heidi in putrid smelling mist, as she slogged towards TANN's last hold out. Even with the water waist high, Heidi displayed barely less than the startling speed shown in the opening instants of the match. More than enough to catch the shark before she reach dry land, let alone got within striking distance of Slate. In fact, Nina had barely even begun her charge before the incensed Atlesian was upon her with arms spread wide, ready to pop that pitiful bubble she'd surrounded herself with, and fingers splayed, ready to grab hold of the pitiful weakling contained within. No theatrics, no toying with her or drawing things out. She wouldn't be tossing her around or using her like a club. Nothing flashy, or showy, just crushing a fury that would grind her aura down to dust.
She was going to crush Nina like the insect she was.
Post by Slate Seraphine on May 2, 2020 15:44:26 GMT -5
War upon stone and it grows weaker. War upon man and he grows stronger.
Which shall your wall be built of?
Honestly, it was a little scary how far they'd gotten based on one person's strength alone.
Sure, Nasrin had done a bang up job of making sure her ass wasn't getting kicked while she was kicking ass, and the kid had the advantage of being able to blast just about anything into smithereens if she had line of sight on them - which was something she could definitely appreciate seeing as how their Semblances were so similar - but being real for a moment, there was absolutely no way that anyone could mistake anything but Heidi's sheer explosive physical power that was carrying them through the match with such ease. Hell, if she and the other woman got into the ring, the wolf Faunus would have definitely bet against herself - that was the sheer disparity between their respective power levels. If the fighting ability of normal people were a one or two on a scale to twenty, with ten being the weakest of graduating Huntresses, then Slate would put herself at a five or six, estimating conservatively. Heidi was easily over nine.
There was a contemplative grunt as she watched the larger woman barrel into the water with barely anything to slow her down. That kind of fearsome power - well, it was certainly something to look forward to if she got it, wasn't it? She'd never be one of those do gooder heroes fighting for truth, justice, and the Atletean way, but maybe seeking out that kind of strength could be worthwhile. It'd be a damn sight better than sitting around on her ass all day messing with Scroll games, drinking beer and eating junk food. And maybe, just maybe, she could find that sensation she'd chased all the way here, to Mistral.
Looking over the situation, though, it was clear that it was one that she really didn't want to approach if she had the chance and choice not to. Heidi looked pretty fucking mad right about now, and there was no telling if she could tell the difference between a shark or wolf Faunus if one so happened to come within reach. Thrashing about in dirty water trying to fend off her own teammate didn't exactly sound like an enticing prospect to Slate, so she instead hung back and let the big girl do her thing, just loading the firing mechanisms for Ignis so that she could let off a burst if Nina happened to show her face somewhere she could reach.
And then Nina burst out and started heading towards her in some kind of water hamster ball, which was kind of unexpected. Instead of running away, she was approaching, especially after that last display showed that Nasrin was capable of tanking anything she threw at them? Slate had no problem with letting her get as close as she liked - close ranged was where she excelled, after all, but it seemed like a strange decision to her. Thankfully, she didn't need to overthink it - Heidi had spun around and started barreling her way towards them already, and Ignis was already primed and ready to fire, so fire she would, if Heidi wouldn't be struck by the blast. Otherwise, she would hold it and let the other woman do her thing, or close into close combat if Nina by some miracle managed to dodge that and start up a standing rush of her own.
Not much left to do now, anyway. Might as well try to make it quick.
HAVE YOU SEEN HER? HAVE YOU HEARD? THE WAY SHE MOVES, THERE ARE NO WORDS
Carmim knew Heidi was fast, but had no idea how fast she was. Thus, she barely had any time to react at all as the taller girl barreled towards her like some terrifying demon. The grin spread wide across her face was as radiant as it was psychotic, but for some reason, even though it really should have, it didn't inspire fear in the tiny drummer.
Because somewhere, deep down, for some implacable reason, she was sure that Heidi wasn't going to hurt her.
Maybe she was a little too trusting... But this time, she was correct, as the Atlesian chose, instead of smashing her through the ground, to shove her out of the way.
It was an indomitable force, even in her gentlest touch. It was immediately apparent, now more than ever, that Heidi so far surpassed Carmim in physical power that the difference was like that of a drop and an ocean. Carmim was incredibly strong, especially for someone of her size, but if Heidi had chosen to pin her down, she'd have been completely powerless to resist- not like the Sabyrs, not like the Alpha Beowolf even. There would be no resistance.
It shined a different light on the strongest member of their team, by far. She was breathtakingly strong. And it filled Carmim with an odd sense of inspiration; someday, she might be as strong as Heidi. It was something she wanted to strive for.
She wasn't even offended by the insult, as she simply allowed herself to be moved with the ease that she might carry her drum.
And any thought of taking offense left her thoughts as the weird blue-haired girl sprung up from the murky depths, launching several jets of water at her and her teammates. She flinched, moving to brace for the impact, but there was no need- doubly so, in fact, as Heidi stood firm and solid before her, and before her, Nasrin's barrier formed easily to take the full force of the blow.
And no sooner than the barrier had evaporated, did Heidi careen across the water in a mighty leap, slamming into the shark faunus as she made her charge for Slate.
It was impressive how fast she moved, and Carmim had no way of matching that speed, no matter how hard she tried. But she could get ready to take a shot... Except...
There was no getting around it, Heidi and Slate were both too close to Nina. There was no way for Carmim to hit her without also taking out Slate and seriously battering away at Heidi's Aura too, and that would be a stupid way to win the fight. She just had to hold her ground and wait until the others handled the last straggler from Team TANN.
She was surprised by how quickly the match was going to be over. It felt like it had only just begun, but already, it was ending. Still, it was pretty fun, and quite exciting. Now, just to wait.
Nasrin had been ready to protect her team from whatever this last person was able to do, and it had been more than she was expecting honestly. The multi pronged, high power attack made it a bit more difficult than usual for Nasrin to keep her team going, but she had a good angle and her team was clumped up just right for her to block the water jets from all of them. It did a good bit of damage to her aura, and she let out a soft grunt as the waves of glass shards from the barriers slammed into her bright pink aura when she lowered the barriers to let Heidi and Slate attack. [Break] But it was worth it, her team had survived almost completely unscathed apart from Nasrin herself which was exactly how things should be as far as she was concerned, and the idiot who had left her team to lose while she took a bath was about to get her head bashed in by two of the best melee fighters in Haven. [Break] [Break]
Nasrin couldn’t help but grin when the girl jumped out of the water, it gave both of her allies such an easy path in and proper sight of the faunus to really get into melee and destroy her, and it seemed that was exactly what the two of them were doing. Heidi ran in head first, as Nasrin expected honestly, and Slate hung back to fire a few pot shots. It was good, Heidi was tall enough that the water wasn’t too big of a deal so this was a nice way for them to end the fight. [Break] Nasrin, smiling and proud of her team, raised a hand to the crowd in a brief fist pump as she watched the final seconds of the battle occur in the water in front of her. She was ready to deploy more barriers if needed, of course, but things were so in favor of her team now that she didn’t think anything would come up that would actually be a threat. Better safe than sorry of course, but she’d be a fucking cloudhead if this faunus actually pulled out a win here. [Break] [Break]
”Get her, Heidi! Show her why we're the best fucking team at this tournament. We fucking rock!” Nasrin called out just loud enough for her team to hear, excited about this going to well and ready for the rest of the tournament, and hopefully a fight with Kishka so that she could slam the cloudheads face into a brick wall again.
Aura: 45% [break][break]
Semblance D, Rascal Light F, Agility E, Durability C, Melee Accuracy E, Speed F, Graffiti F, Mechanics F[break][break]
Nina’s intended attack on Slate would have gone exceptionally well, except for the fact that Heidi was already in motion well before she had even reached land. The shark faunus had barely a second to register what was happening, turning her head just in time to catch Heidi crashing into her, with a plume of brackish water flying up at the point of impact.
Heidi would have definitely felt that the orb of water felt a bit more solid than one might have expected, looking at the viscous sphere, and fortunately for Nina, that extra layer of protection helped her stay in the game for at least another second or so, as Heidi bodily forced her and her rapidly-splattering bubble onto the dry land on the other side of the swamp. Nina even managed to let off another attack with her Semblance, and a follow-up slash with her dual-ended trident, before Nasrin could toss up a barrier, but to her surprise, neither attack did so much as scratch Heidi’s Aura anyways. And worse for her, Heidi’s immense strength was more than sufficient to tear through the bubble of Aura-infused water, until she felt her own body being crushed by the Atlesian’s indomitable might.
More than anything, she seemed a lot more okay with it than any of her comrades had seemed. Almost excited, even, at the prospect of losing to such an objectively superior opponent.
”Wow! You’re strong, huh?” It was like a hug, except considerably less comfortable, and much more detrimental to her success in this fight. Her Aura flexed a dangerous bright blue as the grapple dropped it down to a scant 5%, and broke into little glass-like shards as Slate popped off a well-placed shot at her, catching her in the back.
And just like that, the fight was over, and BCSN stood victorious.
As soon as Heidi let go of Nina, the shark faunus took her time to stretch and crack her back, before grinning up at the taller girl, then to the pinkette and the little redhead, off to the sides. ”That was fun. Hey, if you guys wanna catch a bite with me and Slate, I’m down. My treat, heh.” She turned to head out of the arena before the announcers forced her off, but as she did, she tossed an even bigger grin to Slate. ”Hey, sorella, see you soon, yeah? Un sacco di frutti di mare, lascia il tuo portafoglio a casa!” She gave a lazy wave before returning her attention to her Scroll, and the game she finally had the chance to load.
”And that’s that, folks. Looks like BCSN from Haven is taking home the win this round. Like I said, Gorm- there was no chance for TANN to win this one. BCSN’s got overwhelming power, and tight team coordination, and TANN has neither of those. Honestly, if someone told me BCSN was a second year team- maybe even third-year- I wouldn’t have been surprised. Especially seeing their Aura levels all so high in the end, with the exception of Nasrin, who was putting in a ton of work to make that happen.” He nodded in response to his cohost.
”Aye. If this is what Haven’s bringin’ t’the table now, I’m excited t’see what they’ve got in store for us in a few years.” And yet, somehow, as he stared down at the imposing figure of Jacqueline Bariole, he didn’t seem especially excited.
”Definitely. But for now, congratulations BCSN, you earned it. We’re all looking forward to seeing more of you in the next rounds. And TANN- good effort. We’ve got some work to do back at Shade, but you showed your stuff.”
The commentary trailed off as the two of them got off on tangents of their old glory days, and speculation of later fights in the tournament, but the crowds were still roaring with mad applause as Haven’s team got to take a few moments to let their first victory of the festival sink in. If they took a moment to really listen to the conversations and cheers from the front rows, there were a lot of people chattering about each member of BCSN. Heidi’s raw power and stunning looks were definitely the biggest talk of the crowds, but plenty of people were raving about Carmim’s massive Semblance blasts, Nasrin’s solid defensive play and rad aesthetic, and Slate’s impressive thighs- and how she used them to kick some dingo ass.
The screen switched, no longer showing their Aura levels, but instead zooming in on each member of Team BCSN as they enjoyed their victory lap, and the fifteen seconds of fame that came with it, until the next round.
Post by Jackie Bariole on May 5, 2020 15:56:12 GMT -5
It was no effort at all, for Heidi to drive her arms into the viscous waters which held TANN's last member enshrouded. First her fingers, then her wrists, then as deep as her elbows, the Atlesian crushed and forced her way in. Then, all at once, as her own titanic strength at last overwhelmed Nina's fickle control over the waters, the sphere burst apart and Heidi's arms closed around the squirming faunus within. There was no technique nor subtlety to what happened next, Heidi merely squeezed. She squeezed and she squeezed, crushing Nina in her embrace, till her arms were closed so tight that, were it not for the faunus' aura... It felt good. Not just the crushing, but the struggling of the smaller woman, trapped and too weak and fragile to escape. Proof, as if any had been necessary, of just how much stronger Heidi was. It felt good, being stronger. As frustrating as this all had been, for all the time of hers it had wasted, it still felt good to be bigger and more powerful. Then, all at once, just as with the waters before, Nina's Aura gave out. Heidi didn't see the attack that did it, did not realize Slate had helped her, but she felt the change as surely as anything. That sudden shudder, as all resistance fell away, brittle and crackling like dry clay.
It came with an awareness, a certainty, that Nina was now defenseless, more so even than she'd been when Heidi had first caught her. It was an awareness that, if she kept on squeezing, she could crush not only Nina's aura, but the bones it had been protecting. More than that, it was the certainty that, even had someone realized what she was doing, they would not be in time to stop it. Nina was defenseless. Surrounded by thousands of people, some of whom were ticketed huntsmen, and none of them could save her. Only Heidi could save her. Only Heidi could stop herself from crushing, and squeezing, and breaking the faunus. She didn't want to kill Nina, nor even break her, neither of which would be worth the repercussions, but just knowing she could... It was intoxicating.
Slowly, almost gently, making sure it was her own conscious will and not the alien influence of something yet lurking within her thoughts, Heidi released the faunus girl. All the while, she was aware that she could change her mind. She could have changed her mind when Nina slipped free, when she moved away. Even retreating from the arena, with nearly thirty meters between them, Heidi could have changed her mind. She kept on watching, waiting for the very moment when her wont to hurt Nina was at last eclipsed by the odds of someone stopping her. Then, and only then, did Heidi breathe out the breath she'd been holding.
She realized she wasn't angry anymore. Realized a moment later that, with Nina's defeat, they had won. As though there had been any doubt. Heidi drew in deeply, then let out a quiet sigh, and came back to herself somewhat. She felt strangely drained, like all she'd had to offer had been proffered and spent. It was not an unpleasant sensation, more akin to afterglow than exhaustion, and she let a slight grin work its way onto her face.
It had all been a waste of time, that had not changed, but she felt good despite that fact. She'd gotten too wrapped up, she realized, in wanting to show off what she could do. So much so, that she'd forgotten the truth, that she had nothing to prove to this porcelain people, in their world made of glass. It had taken crushing Nina for her to remember that. She still wanted to prove something, to show the insignificant masses how beneath her they were, but she didn't need to do it, no more than she had needed to let Nina go. There would be more fights, more opportunities to show off, and she'd earned this victory, so why not enjoy it?
Wading back out of the water, Heidi bestowed a glowing smile on her teammates, the gleam of victory flashing golden in her eyes. They had all played some small part in her victory, and subsequent epiphany, so she did not mind giving some of them a smile they didn't necessarily deserve. Striding forward, tall and proud, Heidi seized up the first person she could, who, only by coincidence, turned out to be Nasrin. Lifting the punkette under the arms, Heidi gathered her close and pressed a deep kiss upon the pink haired woman. Then, with a magnanimous laugh, she tossed Nasrin up seated her on one shoulder, and turned her golden eyes up towards the crowded stands.
Heidi felt good. The anger, all but subsided, had given way to a prideful glow, as she absorbed the adulation she was rightly due. She turned on place, waving to the faceless throngs with the hand not supporting Nasrin on her shoulder, then let out another laugh, happy and full. "Get used to this sound," She said to her teammates, smiling brightly even at Carmim, "You'll be hearing plenty more of it in the second round." Heidi's waving hand came down on Slate's shoulder as she passed, and drew the faunus inexorably closer. Perhaps how close she held Slate and the way her hand settled faunus' hip after were a bit too familiar, but Heidi was too consumed in self-satisfaction to care. "Did I hear something about food, and someone else paying?" She asked, grinning down at Slate, then up at Nasrin, "Because I could eat. Oh, how I could eat..."
And just like that, Nasrin and her team had won their first round of the tournament. It had been shockingly easy, even knowing how strong she had made her team in advance it was surprising just how quickly they had destroyed the other team and how much of their auras they all had remaining. It was like they were fighting against people still learning how to fight, not trained first year huntsmen. Still, Nasrin wasn’t one to complain and she held her arms up in a little victory cheer even as Heidi hefted her up onto her shoulders. [Break] Nasrin grinned, chuckling as she waved to the crowd and basked in the attention she was being given by the huge number of people that had attended the festival. She loved every second of it. And if she hadn’t already had enough of a drive to keep winning matches, now was when she reached that point. Just getting more admiration like this was reason enough to keep fighting and winning, let alone the joy of potentially kicking Kishka’s ass once they were matched against eachother. [Break] [Break]
”Lunch is on me, that was fucking /great/! We destroyed them. We keep this up and Vytal will be ours no problem. So all of you are getting a reward from me, lunch at any place you people want to go, my treat. We are going to get so fucking drunk, yeah? I am hyped! This was so great.” Nasrin was grinning ear to ear as she spoke down to her team from Heidi’s shoulder. She wanted a little team building time together, plus an excuse to go drinking with Heidi was always welcome.
Aura: 100% [break][break]
Semblance D, Rascal Light F, Agility E, Durability C, Melee Accuracy E, Speed F, Graffiti F, Mechanics F[break][break]
HAVE YOU SEEN HER? HAVE YOU HEARD? THE WAY SHE MOVES, THERE ARE NO WORDS
It was honestly really cool.
Watching her team handle business, even if she wasn't the one delivering the final blows. The way Nasrin was poised to defend her teammates, the way Slate rolled in to deliver that final blow, and the way Heidi just...
She just steamrolled the weird swamp girl! Like, it was so hardcore! A little scary, even, for a second there, she wondered if she would actually be okay... But luckily, once her Aura broke, and Heidi let her go, the girl's casual invitation to go eat with her and Slate reassured Carmim that she was okay. But seriously! Heidi was definitely scary. In a good way!
Being on international TV meant nothing for the little Vacuoan with little concept of what that meant; there was no cool posing, no dramatic victory stance, none of that. She was excited, and her excitement was unstoppable. Jumping up and down, a huge grin on her face as her drum bounced hard against her leg, with each hop, arms thrust high in the air, as she twirled around, taking in the sheer magnitude of the crowd. "We did it!!! We have won!!! What! Whoo-hoo!! T'at was so much fun, J- Heidi, Nasrin, Slate, you t'ree were amazing!"
She zipped around as fast as her little legs could run (which wasn't very), and high-fived Slate, and then Heidi, and then she jumped up as high as she could high-five Nasrin too, sitting up high on Heidi's shoulders.
Heidi's words filled her with even more excitement too! There was going to be more of this!? This felt amazing! She was on top of the world, way up high with her friends! She only wished that Aegle could have been on her team too, so they could both be center-stage together, but she was excited to see Aegle's fight come up later!
She wondered what Aegle thought of her performance in this match, actually. And for that matter, what Vermel and Granado thought too! Maybe her whole family was even listening in!! All the way back in Bulaani, the whole village gathered around the little radio, cheering her on! That was a good feeling.
All the applause, and all of the excitement in the air was a lot to take in.
And Nasrin was buying lunch! Heck yeah! There weren't many things that could make this better. She'd gotten to beat up her annoying cousin, and she'd helped her team take home a win! Even if she didn't really do too much, compared to the other three. That didn't matter, because she had fun! And they won!
Would they be getting a trophy for this!?
If they did, she was so putting hers on her wall...
Grinning widely at the shark Faunus, Slate tossed off a salute in her direction as she turned around and left the arena before returning her attention back to the team that had managed to claim victory so easily from the opposition. Heidi had picked up Nasrin and put her onto her shoulder in what she could only assume was a display of affection. The wolf Faunus had never been one to shy away from showing similar feelings to her partners back when she still had them, so the look in their direction was definitely more one of approving empathy than annoyance. Said attention was quickly diverted, however, when Carmim rushed up to her for a high five, which she gladly returned, laughing slightly. For a moment, she looked up to the screens above, where the cameras surrounding them were sending their feed, looked at the sight of her face up there, where so few people had the chance to ever be, and the thought came to her that she probably wouldn't get a chance like this again.
After all, Nasrin's infatuation with her girlfriend was clear to see. Not that Slate begrudged her that, of course - Heidi was definitely a force to be reckoned with, and definitely the best choice going forward. But in the two on two matches coming up, that meant that who was going to be in them was about as plain as the nose on her face. This was all the time Slate Seraphine was going to get, and suddenly, it wasn't quite enough.
She wondered what it would be like to make it to the end. She wondered, for a moment, what it would be like to reign champion over not chalk circles in back alleys or rotting rings in busted buildings, but this arena soaring in the sky, this colossus of Dust and steel. She wondered what it would be like to go home, to her little apartment on the corner of Little Menagerie in Shirohoshi, to the wall that held her belts and trophies, and hang up the symbol of the Vytal tournament as its centerpiece. She wondered if she could step on that ferry and look over the ocean until Menagerie came into sight, if she could take the trishaws from Kuo Kuana to the little village she'd grown up in, walk across the worn dirt path to the little cottage her mom and dad still lived in, knock on the door, flash the medal and her usual smile, and say- I made it. I got to the top. I'm the best.
She wondered what they'd say back to her.
Funny how that worked. More than half a decade spent away from any member of her family, and she'd felt only freedom beneath her wings. No sense of regret. No homesickness. She shouldn't even have remembered them, standing here in the spotlight, and yet, standing here and now, with the lingering thought - no, the knowledge that this was as far as she went today, here and now - instead of looking around and seeing how far she'd come, instead of seeing the victory cheers and the proud grins, Slate could only look back and see a pair of smiling faces watching over her, and wonder what they would think.
But she wasn't doing this for them. She was doing this for her. Slate had no doubts about that. This was her choice, her dream, her decision - if her parents had their way, she'd still be out on the sea pulling in the haul and stinking of fish guts when she put the catch out to market. Or worse, sitting in some ugly guy's house with a swollen belly, pumping out screaming brats that were going to chew her tits off while her beautiful hair went grey and she got fat. Maybe even get osteoporosis into the bargain. Not something she remotely wanted - not in the least. That was why she'd fought so hard to get out of there in the first place. There was no future waiting for her there.
Then why was she thinking about it now?
Maybe it was because Nina had shown up, the first sign of home in years. Maybe it was because after looking at Heidi fight, what had seemed like a long journey of becoming the best pit fighter in Shirohoshi wasn't all that long after all. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Gods, listen to yourself, you dumb bitch. You sound like a broken record.
"Che de palle," she muttered to herself, exhaling a huff as she tried to put the intrusive thoughts from her mind. What was with her today? Winning a match and getting all dumb was never something that had happened to her before, much less when they hadn't even started to celebrate as opposed to downing too much of the good stuff and staring up at the ceiling with a hangover the next day.
And then she didn't need to think about it any more, because a muscular hand curled about her shoulder, knocking her brain out of the reverie it'd sunken into. The wolf Faunus looked up at Heidi's grin, and found all the answer she needed.
Someday, she decided.
Someday, this will be me.
"Yeah. Yeah, I hear you guys. Food sounds great right about now."
Slate let her tail coil around and behind the taller woman's legs in response, brushing against them gently. The smile blossomed again on her face as strong as it had ever been - no, stronger. Still friendly and welcoming as always, basking in the attention from the crowd, but now a little sharper, too - and with a little more fire burning in those golden eyes.
"Yeah," she said, grinning up at Heidi and Nasrin, and then down at Carmim.