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This page, A and K Chapter 57: Let's Dance, is coming of age. The current canon and/or the writer's writing has improved since then, making this page relatively obsolete. Please take into account possible plans for a complete overhaul to this page for future use.

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Akio pulls out two daggers. He holds them with the daggers facing out from his body.

Isao: So the gloves are off now, are they?

Yuka: You won’t be hurting anyone (pulls out a second revolver)

Akio: Let’s dance pretty lady.

Yuka: (twirls her revolvers) Try and keep up then.

Isao and Mai back off to give the two room to fight. Akio charges towards her. Yuka calmly holds her ground firing off rounds at the charging Akio. Akio deftly weaves through the barrage of gunfire and swings his left dagger towards her face. Yuka barely has enough time to throw up her right arm to block the incoming slash, taking the hit while firing a rapid burst from one of her revolvers trying to gain distance. Akio has to bend over backwards just to avoid the gunshot. In the process, he kicks up his right foot to kick her in the face. Yuka takes the hit to the face her body bending back from the impact before a glyph appears in her other hand, forming a shotgun and firing point-blank at Akio. Akio drops to the floor, trying to avoid the shot, and swings his legs to try and knock her off her feet. Yuka stumbles from the strike firing her shotgun at Akio as she falls. Akio quickly gets back to his feet. He switches the blades around to stab her directly into the heart. Mai thinks about jumping into the fight. Yuka quickly rolls to the side, only taking a grazing hit in the arm from the strike, and fires a large shrapnel style shot at Akio as she quickly gets back up. Akio cannot dodge the strike and he takes several hits from the attack. Luckily for him, he is able to dodge enough so that nothing important was struck. He backs off.

Akio: So the lady can hold her own in a fight.

Yuka: (pants slightly blood flowing from her wounds) Don’t count me out just yet.

Akio: (wiping the blood off his collar) Certainly got some tricks up your sleeve, for sure. But you haven’t seen anything from me yet.

Yuka: And you haven't seen everything I can do yet.

Akio: Then keep the dance going all night.

Akio charges back in, coming in like a blender, swinging his daggers like he was throwing punches. Mai slightly moves forward only for Isao to block her.

Mai: (To Isao) What are you doing?

Isao: This is her fight. Let her handle it.

Mai: I’m not just going to let her do it by herself.

Isao: We can step in if necessary, but you and I can both agree that she’s handling herself quite well.

Mai: Well sure, its Yuka, she can kick butt.

Isao: But you’d rather damage her pride further?

Mai: I...but I just...I don’t…

Isao: You seem to be a mixed bag of feelings.

Mai: (Nervously rubs her shoulder) I’m...well…

Isao: Do not worry, Yuka has shown she can handle herself in a fight. You understand that better than either of us for sure.

Mai: Yeah…

Isao: Then let her fight, we’re right here if she needs us.

Mai: (Thinking) I just wish Shigure were here too…

Kokoa brings in a cup of water for Shigure.

Kokoa: You must be famished from working so hard healing Kei’s wounds.

Shigure quietly takes the cup and drinks. She enjoys each gulp of cooling water.

Shigure: Ah, that hit the spot, thank you Miss Kokoa.

Kokoa: How is he doing?

Shigure: He’s sleeping for the moment. Which is exactly what he needs.

Kokoa: With everything that poor boy has been through, I’m glad he has you by his side, especially now that you’ve gained your healing prowess.

Shigure: Me too.

Dai comes in.

Dai: So how does my boy fare?

Shigure: His wound are healing very slowly.

Dai: Sounds about right for him.

Shigure: Hm?

Dai: That boy has always healed slowly, even when he was a kid.

Shigure: Come to think of it, he was always bandaged up somewhere when I saw him.

Dai: Yep, that boy was always getting himself hurt in some way.

Kokoa: I do wish he had climbed less trees and higher places.

Shigure: Must have been really injury prone.

Dai: But he got toughened up because of it.

Kokoa: Dear, you do realize some of those injuries you caused because of your roughhousing between the two of you.

Dai: (Nervous) Oh, did I?

Kokoa: Do you remember how you almost broke your son’s arm?

Dai: Oh...right...that…

Kokoa: Dai got too overzealous wrestling with Kei was a kid in the backyard.

Dai: Had Kokoa not said something or stopped me while I had his arms behind his back in a wrestling move, he would’ve broke them.

Shigure: Oh dear.

Dai: But he was just fine, a little sore sure.

Shigure: (Thinking) I can understand why Kei doesn’t like wrestling now.

Dai: Either way, he’s much more resilient now.

Kokoa: Not to mention he has something to fight for.

Kokoa leaves quietly. Shigure blushes.

Dai: So tell me Shigure, do you love my boy?

Shigure: Huh?

Dai: Do you love my boy?

Shigure: I...yes...I do.

Dai: That’s good. If anyone can heal that boy’s broken heart, it’s you.

Shigure: You...think so?

Dai: Anybody can be physically tough Shigure, but it takes a very strong man to be mentally tough.

Shigure: I believe you’re right.

Dai: Kei is definitely physically strong, and he has mentally trained his mind to be strong, but it was Lexi who did everything when it came to what they did together. So I encourage you to be the aggressor in your relationship. Push things on him, drag him with you even if he doesn’t want to go, make him want to enjoy your time together.

Shigure: That’s...actually good advice.

Dai: That’s how I got Kokoa.

Kokoa comes into the room.

Kokoa: Funny, I remember you weren’t very interested in me when we younger.

Dai: Oh don’t be like that honey (nervously, trying to stop it from getting worse) You know how teenage boys get.

Kokoa: Oh, really?

Kokoa walks out, she smiles as she does. Shigure could tell she was teasing him

Dai: Honey, Kokoa, wait!

Dai runs after her. Shigure takes another sip of her cup of her water.

Shigure: (Thinking) They both have their ways of keeping the other interested in each other, but they do truly love each other. Maybe I should get something from Athena if I really want to force Kei into thinking about me in that way.

Meanwhile, the battle continues between Akio and Yuka. Yuka prepares her next move. She jumps into the air firing her revolvers as if they were machine guns, the recoil from the rounds keeping her in the air. Akio uses his daggers to deflect most of the bullets, but it doesn’t stop some from getting through. One zings past his ear, another by his stomach, and another flies past his shoulder. Each bullet seemed to chip away at a different part of him. When he stops, there were definitely more wounds inflicted from the bullets than before.

Akio: So your gun is not indicative of what bullets can be fired...interesting.

Yuka: (smirks) That’s not all. Did I forget to tell you what I was known as?

Akio: (mockingly) Cowgirl of the west?

Yuka: (laughs) No...The Mark of Death...

Akio: Mark of death huh? Not black widow, not newsgirl, mark of death? Did you give yourself that nickname or…?

Yuka: Nope. I was called that by some of my former employers because once I “marked” someone they died.

Akio: Really now…? Once you ‘mark’ someone, they died. So you’re a poison then? Well, perhaps I should show you how I ‘mark’ someone.

Akio begins to glow a slight bit.

Mai: (Thinking) How he ‘mark’s someone? The hell is he talking about…

Akio: Acquire Target.

Before anyone can react, seemingly black ‘x’ like markings appear on Yuka’s outfit.

Yuka: So you’re an assassin then. Neat trick. But know this I’ve already marked you as well.

Akio: (Smiling) How quick you are to dismiss my wonderful skill. Allow me to explain. All those ‘x’s around your body. They’re not simply on your clothes, they’re on your body.

Yuka: Hm interesting.

Akio: It gets better. When either one of my daggers passes through one of those ‘x’s, all of them activate. When it does, you’ll be skewered to death like meat on a shishkabob. (With a deadly stare) From the inside, out.

Yuka: So the odds are against both of us then. Because every bullet I put into you has slowly corrupted the site where you got hit. (counts on her fingers) and I only need one more of them to activate.

Akio: So the stakes are high (smiling), Cool, I love to gamble, let’s see who the odds pay off for?

Yuka: Oh and did I mention I can force one to activate without actually hitting you?

Akio: My, my, so powerful, are we? So you could let a bullet just graze by me and that would spell my end?

Yuka: Not exactly. I need multiple confirmed hits on someone to be able to “end” them.

Akio: Multiple triggers, huh. Very interesting. So all I have to do is avoid getting hit, and all you have to do is avoid getting hit, but I can still break all your bones before I kill you.

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