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Literature
SpiderVerse Oneshot - 'The Vermilion Wedding'

In Earth-616, Norman Osborn was impaled by his own device when Peter Parker spared him following the death of Gwen Stacy.  This led to Norman being left for dead and ultimately being allowed to recover to torment Peter years later.  On Earth-21205, he was not so fortunate.  Immediately following the confirmation of Gwen’s death, Norman was unable to escape the wrath of Peter and was beaten to death by the wrathful youth.  
As his berserker rage calmed, the terrifying weight of what he had done struck Peter, and he realized he had become the monster he swore to fight against as Spider-man.  He entered a deep depression, and gradually he distanced himself from his remaining friends and family.  But the urge to fight remained, and he could not ignore the call of the great responsibility that came with his power.  Spider-man’s brutal murder of the Green Goblin was a public affair, and the slander that the D
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Mature content
Seiya x Shaina contest entry: the Knight's Trial :iconpsycho-blue:Psycho-blue 1 3
Literature
Zodiac Knight Saint Seiya oneshot: Unchained
Don’t Black Out.
As his muscles screamed in agony with every step, as his breath became more and more strained, as his vision blurred in exhaustion, and as blood trickled down the wounds of his body while his heart continued to will his tired body into functioning, the only thing that kept Andromeda Shun’s mind from hazing into unconsciousness was that mental chant.
Don’t Black Out.
While the upgrades and adjustments Aries Mu gave Shun and his fellow Bronze Saints in regards to sacred cloths did their job in ensuring that the armor remained mostly intact during the gauntlet of the 12 Houses, the survival of his soul and flesh were entirely up to them, and it each passing minute brought them closer to absolute failure. But Shun knew that if he withdrew his Cloth back into its container and give his body even a minor respite without the mystic weight of the Andromeda Cloth impeding his ascent, it would guarantee death. Besides, it wasn’t as if Shun could just let
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Literature
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Season 2 Episode Guide
episode 1:  Fiore and Gesen walk through the Gate of Time and into the remains of the Dark Kingdom, where they assess their location and decide to use it as their new base of operations.  While Fiore makes preparations, he allows Gesen to go into the main world and begin carrying out the plan by finding Usagi Chiba.  This cuts to our heroes Usagi and Mamoru enjoying a peaceful day at the mall with their daughter Chibiusa.  A year has passed since Mio was defeated, and the Senshi have all moved on with their lives, recalling nothing of their previous adventures so that they can live in peace.  They are accompanied by Luna, who has reverted back to her toy state and watches over Usagi.  Unfortunately, the peace is shattered in an instant when Gesen materializes in the mall and begins his assault, destroying everything in his path.
episode 2:  The Chiba family quickly runs into the parking lot to escape Gesen’s attack, but they are surrounded by Xe
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Literature
Darkstalkers oneshot: Incomplete (Lilith Oneshot)
It was easy enough for her to tell that she was coming home soon. She could detect that sparkle of joy coming closer and closer to the source of her existence.
When Morrigan was first made aware of Lilith’s existence, as the final fragment of her power that needed to be absorbed so that she could become the true heir of the Aensland house and thus the throne of Makai, she saw Lilith’s innocence and purity as naivete that Morrigan herself outgrew centuries ago. As a succubus, Morrigan accepted long ago that her fate was one of short-term hedonistic pleasures, for long-term content was impossible. Apart from requiring a near constant source of stimulation to keep her unique metabolism healthy, it was also the burden of a succubus of Morrigan’s exceptional power to absorb the souls of others through the seductive ways that her kind was made infamous by the humans they fed upon. Morrigan had experienced many great loves in her existence, many of them from the humans, but
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Mature content
Sheol File: Infinite Ki Stability in Males :iconpsycho-blue:Psycho-blue 1 0
Literature
Sheol File: Advise B and the Genetic Rosemary
The purpose of this document is to consolidate the research that I have done as the head of Sheol’s Biochemical Department, particularly as it relates to the development of the performance-enhancing drug “Advise.”  I am unsure what is going to become of this project now that Monsieur Levesque is in the midst of a trial that he doesn’t expect to go in his favor, but his lawyer has strongly recommended that I continue my research independently as most of the critical work has already been completed.  My beloved Claude has offered me sanctuary during this troubling time, and thanks to Monsieur Levesque taking full responsibility for Sheol’s failure I’ll be able to continue my work in peace.
The development of “Advise” began shortly after the destruction of the outer limits of Jerusalem at the hands of a patient the media called “the Blood Red Sandman.”  The patient’s actual name is Abraham Goldman, a martial
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Winning EVO 2017 in Street Fighter x Tekken by Psycho-blue Winning EVO 2017 in Street Fighter x Tekken :iconpsycho-blue:Psycho-blue 2 20
Literature
Sheol Spotlight: Denji
Name: Denji (real name not a matter of public record)
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 198 lbs
Age: Unknown
Sex: Male
Likes: His fans, crowd reactions
Dislikes: Backstage politics, drug dealers
Country of Origin: Unknown (believed to be USA)
Fighting style: Hardcore Wrestling
Theme: “iGod” - Evans Blue
Denji, the Light in the Sky.
Like many masked wrestlers such as himself, his true name and birth date are not available to the public, but what makes Denji a true enigma is that none of the other employees and talent working for Global Wrestling Enterprise have seen his true face.  Always careful to dress in a secluded part of the arena, Denji appears to his colleagues only when it is time for a match, making himself scarce soon after the match ends and not seen again until the next tour date.  Despite this, a number of wrestlers suspect who Denji could be underneath the mask, and they have collaboratively pieced together what might be his origin story.
The earliest
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Literature
Torched by an Angel (SFxT Gill/Angel Oneshot)
He was supposed to be beyond this feeling.
He was supposed to be the savior that the prophecies foretold of long ago.  He was supposed to be the one who fulfilled the ambitions of the society that were once considered distant dreams.  He was supposed to represent the next step in human evolution.  He was supposed to be a shepherd that led the enlightened and converted the blasphemers, beyond the base human emotions of hate, avarice, and wrath.
So why did Gill, the ultimate embodiment of harmony whose physical and mental prowess were so perfect that his body was a flawlessly balanced hue of blue and red, with a long golden mane as shimmering as the finest gold, take such delight in watching the blood of the fallen pool on the floor?
With the emerald jewel on his forehead gradually fading as his heart rate evened, Gill looked past the blood pooling at his feet and to the fallen himself.  If Gill was the shepherd of humanity, the man who Gill had just beaten was a wolf
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Literature
Sheol Spotlight: Junior
Name: Junior Fonoti
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 350 lbs
Age: 31
Country of Origin: Samoa
Likes: Anything that makes him feel good
Dislikes: reporters, photographers
Fighting style: Sumo
Theme: “One Hand Killing” - Twelve Foot Ninja
Hailing from a warrior tribe known throughout the Samoan Islands for their propensity of producing men of uncommon strength, Junior first left his homeland after being sent to Japan by the King to learn the art of Sumo.  Knowing little about the sport, Junior initially refused, hoping to be sent to the United States to learn American football, but his petulance was the very reason why he would be heading in the opposite direction.  While no one questioned Junior’s natural power, being able to easily overpower every opponent he faced in the Islands’ annual fighting tournaments, as a person he left much to be desired.  Therefore, the King decided that he could best serve his homeland’s reputation in a sport whe
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Literature
Sheol Spotlight: Abraham (Revised)
Name: Abraham Goldman
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 170 lbs
Age: 34
Country of Origin: Israel
Fighting Style: Jeet Kune Do + “Violent Impulse”
Likes: Moments of clarity
Dislikes: Blackouts
Theme: “Resurrection Code” - Disarmonia Mundi
The son of two Israeli Defense Force soldiers and the first-born of twin brother and sister, Abraham Goldman gained interest in martial arts from an early age.  After watching an episode of “Morphin’ Raiders” as the media craze for the show reached the middle east, Abraham knew what he wanted to do with his life, and any time he wasn’t in school was spent practicing form with any martial arts book he could get his hands on.  Although Krav Maga was the martial art of his parents and his homeland, Abraham found harmony through the teachings of Jeet Kune Do and opened his own dojo upon graduating high school.
Through his study of martial arts, and combining that with his studies in rabbinical schoo
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Literature
Sheol Spotlight: Tariq
Name: Tariq Al-Aziz
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 185 lbs
Age: 32
Country of Origin: Palestine
Fighting Style: The Killer’s Way (ancient martial arts linked to Persian swordplay)
Likes: Nothing in particular
Hates: Nothing in particular
Voice Actor: Kim Strauss
Theme: “Writings on the Wall” - Parkway Drive
The Killer’s Circle began towards the end of the Dark Ages as a conspiracy to forcibly end the age of stagnation that had paralyzed Western Europe by removing certain figures that impeded civilization’s progress via murder from the shadows.  Upon completing a series of missions that eventually allowed the light of innovation to shine in Western Europe once more with the Renaissance, the Killer’s Circle remained active but hidden: its existence would only be known to those who the Circle’s leaders deemed worthy of clientele.  By the 1700s, the Killer Circle began to spread to the West, South, and East until by the mid-1800s, the K
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Literature
Sheol Spotlight: Jacob
Jacob Kilgrave
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 165 lbs
Age: 19
Sex: Male
Country of Origin: USA
Fighting Style: T’ai Chi Quan
Likes: “That girl…”
Dislikes: Withdrawal symptoms
Voice Actor: Johnny Yong Bosch
Theme: “Painting Shadows” - Dead by April
Although the country largely knows him as the frontman of the youthful metalcore band “Young Wretches,” Jacob Kilgrave’s musical prowess stems from a traumatic history of violence and vices.  Born to a middle-class Jewish family, Jacob first picked up a guitar at age 8, and won a nationally televised talent show at age 15 to earn a record label for himself and the garage band he formed in his neighborhood.  But with that fame came exposure to a world much darker than the bright lights of network television painted, and once he became pressured by his family to share his fame with them, he chose to hide in those shadows.
Within those shadows Jacob was exposed to the worl
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Literature
Saints vs Senshi Epilogue
“I see...that is unfortunate.”
“The Pope sends his gratitude for offering your services, but he has decided it would be best if we went our separate ways,” Shaina explained to the hooded leader of the Sailor Senshi’s enemy.  “If Sanctuary has a need for you, they will contact your forces, but for now, it is recommended that you stay out of our way.  Spectre Pures are difficult to create and we wasted too many of them for a plan that didn’t pan out.”
“There’s no need to be so crude about it, Ms. Shaina,” Fiore said with a grin.  “I told you just how dangerous the Sailor Senshi could be, and the Pope gave me several details about the competence of the Bronze Saints.  We probably would have won if the Princess-”
“The Princess was your end game, one that you didn’t tell the Pope about.  That is why he has terminated our professional relationship,” Shaina interjected, pul
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Literature
Saints vs Senshi Act X
“In your country’s past, shamans would initiate a ritual called ‘kodoku.’”
Transmitting his will through Gesen’s body as his core and eyes turned a light blue, Fiore spoke to the Saints and Senshi as they watched the mass of debris take amalgamated form.  Even when every single Golem Trooper and Spectre Pure came at them with everything they had, their combined power didn’t add up to the dark energy that was emanating from the shifting blob now taking humanoid shape.  The primordial muck was now assuming a more cohesive aesthetic, forming black armor on the body while its face began to appear.
“They would take several poisonous insects, place them in a sealed jar, and wait until they were forced to kill each other for survival until there was only one left.  The final victor was known as a kodoku, and its body would be used as a hex to be placed on those who earned the shaman’s ire.  In a way, you could say that
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Activity


84601e10-84f3-4990-9f22-18b984667764 by Psycho-blue

In Earth-616, Norman Osborn was impaled by his own device when Peter Parker spared him following the death of Gwen Stacy.  This led to Norman being left for dead and ultimately being allowed to recover to torment Peter years later.  On Earth-21205, he was not so fortunate.  Immediately following the confirmation of Gwen’s death, Norman was unable to escape the wrath of Peter and was beaten to death by the wrathful youth.  

As his berserker rage calmed, the terrifying weight of what he had done struck Peter, and he realized he had become the monster he swore to fight against as Spider-man.  He entered a deep depression, and gradually he distanced himself from his remaining friends and family.  But the urge to fight remained, and he could not ignore the call of the great responsibility that came with his power.  Spider-man’s brutal murder of the Green Goblin was a public affair, and the slander that the Daily Bugle heaped upon the hero had become reality.  As that realization set in, Peter destroyed his costume and fashioned himself a new one: rather than drag the legend of Spider-man further through the mud, he would instead try and right the path of a legacy tainted with villany.  

The world had become a sick joke for Peter, so the most he could do was laugh back.

Using his genius intellect to its further extent, Peter raided the late Norman’s weapon caches and rechristened himself as “the Hobgoblin.”  He would protect the innocent by punishing the guilty, and he would act as the executioner to those who thought themselves above the law.  The months that followed were marked with the smell of brimstone, charred flesh and fresh cadavers as Peter combined the lethal technology of the Goblin legacy with the powers gifted to him as a totem of the Spider.  While Peter was initially repulsed by the realization that he took Norman’s life in selfish rage, there was an odd sense of fulfilling amusement watching the limbs of criminals and murderers forcefully separate themselves from their bodies.  It was amusing enough that Peter would often find himself bursting into laughter.

Despite his newfound brutal edge, Peter was empathetic for the people he cared for, and did his best to smile for them.  But his smile was not genuine, and it was clear to those around him that he was going down a bad path.  As Peter completed his prerequisite coursework necessary for graduation, he distanced himself further from his remaining friends and family and spent most of his free time planning the next mission of the Hobgoblin’s raid.

Norman’s death left a significant power vacuum within the criminal underworld, as the late Green Goblin carved himself a significant chunk of New York’s arms and drug dealing.  Thanks to the journals he left behind at his hideouts, Peter gained access to the key points he would need to hit around the city to ensure the vacuum was never filled.  Even the Kingpin’s vast resources proved a minor deterrent.  On the one year anniversary of Gwen and Norman’s deaths, the Hobgoblin staged a bloody coup alongside Daredevil, Power Man, Iron Fist, Michael Morbius and the Punisher.  Wilson Fisk met his violent end, as did 523 men who stood in their way.  Fisk Tower burned into the night, a funeral pyre for New York’s criminal empire, but Peter felt only temporary satisfaction.  
All that remained was the next mission, to ensure the world did not have to suffer as he agonized daily at the blood on his hands, knowing it would never be enough despite the knowledge that he had no choice.  The mutual understanding of that painful truth between the “team” assembled that night, and the tragic realization that they could be never be anything more than acquaintances, made sure Hobgoblin’s comrades would celebrate alone and leave the pyre without speaking another word to each other.

There were times where Peter took it upon himself to fashion a civilian life for himself following the loss of his righteousness, but the more he tried to re-engage with his friends, the more he realized the ripple he sent by staining his hands with blood.  His best friend Harry had fallen deeper into drug abuse in his grief, and became destitute when he learned the truth of his father’s sins.  Flash had reverted to his old ways as Peter became more withdrawn, and when Peter attempted to reconcile, Flash told him that he wanted nothing to do with him.   His Aunt May attempted to console him, but Peter did not return her calls more than a simple confirmation that he was still breathing.  A modest check would be sent to her in order to ensure she could continue living comfortably, and she remained blissfully unaware of the blood money Peter pried from the fingers of dying evil.  

The only one who had not given up on Peter’s happiness was Mary Jane Watson, who became immediately smitten with his purity upon being introduced by their families.  At first she kept her distance from Peter so that it didn’t appear she was trying to rebound off the death of Gwen.  But the longer she waited for Peter, the more she realized he wasn’t going to return to the man he once was...not unless she came to him first and appealed to him.  She had attempted to do so at their graduation ceremony, and while Peter told her that she shouldn’t want anything to do with him, it only made her want to help him more.  

Peter did not tell her this because he wasn’t interested in her, as the time that passed following Gwen’s death only infected the wounds in his soul rather than heal it.  If anything, accepting the warmth of Mary Jane’s feelings would have been a good first step to cauterize those wounds.  Peter told her to stay away from him because he cared about her too much to let her get trapped in the tornado of his life.  Even if Norman took the truth about Peter’s double life to his grave, it didn’t change the fact that all it took was someone else to bring ruin upon the people he cared about.  It was better to continue alone: the sins were his to bear, and keeping Mary Jane out of them would be how he returned her feelings.  

If he couldn’t be with her, he could at least continue to protect her from the shadows.

Only one month after the destruction of Fisk Tower, May informed Mary Jane that Peter would be attending a gala at the Museum of Fine Arts.  Peter had recently begun teaching at his former high school, and his class had been invited as part of the event.  At the gala, she thought she had spotted Peter sampling one of the appetizers, but disaster struck just as his name was about to escape her lips.  One of the artifacts within the museum had been compromised, and within that artifact was the soul of the ancient sorcerer Kulan Gath.  With a spell and an inhale, Kulan Gath began absorbing the souls of the patrons of the gala, withering their bodies to husks and trapping his victims with magic barriers.  

As Mary Jane attempted to flee, she spotted Peter and chased after him to ensure their safety.  But when he turned a corner in the shadows, it was the Hobgoblin who emerged from them, and Mary Jane finally realized the full effects that Gwen’s death had upon him.  It was all clear to her now: he had already lost his Uncle Ben due to his selfishness, and then lost Gwen due to carelessness, and his innocence to the poison of vengeance.  All he knew how to do now was fight back, push everyone he loved out of the way, and do his best to ensure no one else had to feel his pain.

“But is that so bad?  What if I want to feel his pain?  What if I want to share his pain?  Peter...why not let me take some of your burden?  You shouldn’t have to do this alone!”

Mary Jane decided that as men and women were leeched of their life force around her that she would go down fighting on behalf of the man she wished to love.  She searched the room for something that would aid her last assault, even as the Hobgoblin engaged Kulan Gath in brutal combat, and found a sword that had broken free of its casing.  Deciding it would be sufficient, Mary Jane grabbed the sword’s hilt, and in a flash of fire, her existence became a vessel to punish the guilty.

Within the blade awakened the memories and mission of Mary Jane’s distant ancestor, whose stake in this battle closely mirrored her own.  The soul within the blade surged through her body and brought forth a new wrinkle to the battle, and with that wrinkle came a flicker that shifted the woman’s attire and made her hair as wild as her eyes.  The soul heard the name “Kulan Gath” echo through Mary Jane’s mind, and it hastened her transformation into her more familiar form.  Kulan Gath, the man who ordered the slaughter of her family.  Kulan Gath, who encouraged her brutal rape.  Kulan Gath, who existed solely to be cut down by her vengeful sword.  Kulan Gath, who now stood before her in an age long after their time.  

“Kulan Gath, you who shall soon be vanquished, look alive and bare witness to thine executioner!”

The sorcerer called her “Red Sonja” and cursed her existence.  The Hobgoblin, who had caught Mary Jane pick up the sword a moment before she grasped its hilt, immediately protected her from Gath’s assault and swore that his last stand would be one marked with her standing triumphant in blood the the guilty.  Whoever Mary Jane turned into answered to the name the sorcerer bestowed upon her, and with that confirmation came a slew of deplorable accusations that made the Hobgoblin thirst for retribution along with her.

His hesitance had already cost him the love of his life.  Peter would have much rather have Mary Jane suffer the death of her true love.  She was so much stronger than him in that regard: over time she would find another suitor.  To that prospect, Peter cackled in fatalistic glee as he brandished his incendiaries to start one more funeral pyre.

With no more victims left to leech from, the revitalized Kulan Gath summoned his demonic legion through portals that reeked of rot and sulfur, and he laughed preemptively at what he felt was a surefire incoming victory.  Too bad for him, his foes had abandoned mercy for people like him and his ilk.  In their minds, they were already dead for the atrocities they lived for.  The only mercy the Hobgoblin and Red Sonja granted them were swift, gory ends.    

With all of his strength and technology, coupled with the woman’s battle fury, the Hobgoblin succeeded with Mary Jane where he had failed with Gwen Stacy.  Kulan Gath was dismembered shortly before the Hobgoblin set him ablaze with grenades.  But the thrill of victory was not immediately evident to Red Sonja.  The taste of the blood of her most hated enemy had whipped her into a frenzy, and when the Hobgoblin called out to her, she had lost the ability to recognize friend and foe.

The Hobgoblin was offered no respite, and Red Sonja attacked him under the pretense of being a foul demon.  At first, he only attempted to calm her.  He told her that they had won, and that the innocent souls Kulan Gath fed upon in the museum had been avenged and freed to their destined afterlife.  But the more she swung at him, the more the Hobgoblin lost patience.  It was kill or be killed, just as it had been since the night Spider-Man cut down his web and instead adopted the arsenal of the Goblin legacy.  

The two of them fought for an undetermined amount of time, the eerily empty halls of the museum echoing with the clash of their weapons.  Red Sonja delivered a crushing knee to the Hobgoblin when he caught the blade of her sword, but a screaming voice within her stayed her decapitating stroke.  

“He needs us!  Please!  Don’t hurt him...because…”

Seeing his opportunity, the Hobgoblin wrapped his hand around the warrior’s neck and with his other hand preparing to melt her flesh with a gauntlet ray.  But as he looked into her eyes rapidly softening to something gentler than a moment prior, he found himself crying with a maddened laughter of despair.  The world had played another cruel joke upon him: the damage to his soul was so extensive that he was only seconds away from ending Mary Jane’s life.

 What was more important, the life he needed to protect the innocent, or the woman who loved him that also demanded his head?  Why couldn’t he have both?  There was nothing but death in this museum. The withered husks of his friends, co-workers, and his students littered the floor.  Why was the Hobgoblin laughing louder, crying harder, when this cruel joke was on him?

As he dropped the woman, the Hobgoblin looked at the sword she dropped and contemplated taking his own life with it.  But arms wrapped around him once more, not to strangle him, but to embrace him.  He turned as the woman pulled off his mask and dropped it next to the sword, and she cooed, “You are worthy...let us share your pain...she needs you to share your pain with us…”

The entity Red Sonja had answered the maiden Mary Jane’s call to protect and avenge, awoken by her enemy Kulan Gath’s revival.  Red Sonja, as per the vows bestowed upon her on the day she took up arms, was forbidden to lay with a man unless he defeated her in fair combat.  In her berserker fury, her vessel spelled out to her the overwhelming passion and emotion she felt for the “demon” that risked his life to protect the innocent, and that her only wish was to act as the breakwater for the fever of madness and grief that threatened to consume him.  It was a mission that Red Sonja gladly accepted, and thus she decided that the exception to her vow had been confirmed.

Peter was speechless as he pondered the words of the entity that had possessed Mary Jane...no, maybe not just an entity anymore.  In that moment, Mary Jane had become whoever she had turned into, and he noticed that she was soaked in blood just as he was.  The hell Peter had lived in for the past fourteen months was marked with death upon grisly death, both from the people he cared about and the people who sought to hurt them.  At first, he thought the worst part about that hell was his loss of innocence, but staring into this goddess’ eyes, Peter became aware of the truth.

The worst part about his personal hell was the overwhelming loneliness.  This woman, whatever amalgamation of Mary Jane and Red Sonja thought of herself as, offered Peter salvation through companionship.  They would accept their sins together, share their pain of loss together...and cleanse themselves with their addiction to each other when the time was right.  For the Hobgoblin, in his darkest hour of desperation, he accepted her light with open arms and reciprocated her kiss.

There would come a time where Peter knew that the spell placed upon Mary Jane would need to be undone.  There would come a time where Mary Jane would need to return to the life she was supposed to lead without magical intervention.  There would come a time where Peter knew she would be safest away from him.  But in that moment, Peter allowed her to indulge herself, and in turn she allowed him a chance to indulge himself with her.  Just for that night, in the blood of the guilty, the two of them allowed whatever was left of their purity to flourish with love.
SpiderVerse Oneshot - 'The Vermilion Wedding'
Oneshot between the Earth-21205 Peter Parker shown in the Spider-Verse comic, AKA "Peter Parker as the Hobgoblin" and Mary Jane when she became possessed by Red Sonja in Marvel Team-Up back in the late 70s.

Artwork by :iconosmar-shotgun:
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Don’t Black Out.

As his muscles screamed in agony with every step, as his breath became more and more strained, as his vision blurred in exhaustion, and as blood trickled down the wounds of his body while his heart continued to will his tired body into functioning, the only thing that kept Andromeda Shun’s mind from hazing into unconsciousness was that mental chant.

Don’t Black Out.

While the upgrades and adjustments Aries Mu gave Shun and his fellow Bronze Saints in regards to sacred cloths did their job in ensuring that the armor remained mostly intact during the gauntlet of the 12 Houses, the survival of his soul and flesh were entirely up to them, and it each passing minute brought them closer to absolute failure. But Shun knew that if he withdrew his Cloth back into its container and give his body even a minor respite without the mystic weight of the Andromeda Cloth impeding his ascent, it would guarantee death. Besides, it wasn’t as if Shun could just let one of his comrades take over.

After the previous house, the other Bronze Saints were left completely exhausted. Despite how awful shape Shun himself was in, he was able to hide his critical condition enough to volunteer to clear the final house and for the other Saints to believe that he could do it. His body was telling him it was a bad call, especially since he had no idea what awaited him, but at the very least Shun believed he could at least by the others time to recuperate. Saori only had an hour before her fate was sealed, and the only way to rescue her was to clear the 12 houses. Therefore, Shun stepped into the house and prepared for what was to likely be his final battle. As long as he didn’t get slaughtered into seconds, Shun could pass knowing that he bought the time needed for the others to recover and avenge his death.

“My my...I had heard that a bunch of Bronze neophytes were running a train across my Gold comrades...but I suppose there’s a limit to how long a miracle can be drawn out.”

Shun was lauded by his peers for his complete mastery of Cosmo manipulation and sensitivity, but it didn’t take a master to sense the overwhelming aura of sinister intent beating down upon him like a monsoon. His pupils dilated as his struggles against exhaustion allowed him to assess the temple where he would face his opponent. The temple floor had the appearance of a rose garden, with black, white and red blooms emerging from the pavement like beautiful weeds. There was a strange aroma coming from the garden, but it wasn’t anything poisonous: Shun’s training included being able to identity and protect himself from toxins, and he couldn’t detect any shifts in his cosmo that weren’t happening already due to fatigue. But that scene...copper...blood? Why did the roses smell like blood?

It was a faintest flicker of murderous intent approaching him from his left that caused Shun to lunge into action and twist counter-clockwise, hurling the blunt end of his Cloth’s inherent chain weapon at where the intent approached him. The source of the intent vanished for only an instant, but it was enough for Shun to lock onto his position and finally gaze upon his foe as he landed on his feet with his arms folded. Seiya mentioned something en route to the Zodiac Houses’ secret location in the mountain ranges of Greece about tales he heard from other Saints during his time training in Sanctuary: the Pope’s final guardian before his stronghold at Athena’s main temple past the House of Pisces, stood a lethal yet beautiful warrior, his physical attractiveness directly contrasting the blackness of his heart. It was no surprise that upon asking Mu about this figure, that he confirmed that Deathmask was a close personal friend of the Pisces Saint that stared at Shun with the eyes of a violent predator.

“Aphrodite…”

“Oh...you’ve heard of me?” the lavender haired Gold Saint with the beauty mark and violet lips said with a grin. “How flattering...you know I’ve had eyes on you for a while, Andromeda. You could imagine how interested a Gold Saint would be when his Pope told him that the current avatar of Sanctuary’s sworn enemy Hades was a Bronze Saint chosen by fate to serve the house he was born to destroy. It made the bounty he put on your head all the more enticing.”

Shun’s secrets were somehow lay before this man he had only heard of through reputation. Shun’s beloved elder brother, Phoenix Ikki, confessed to him before the trek up the 12 Houses that he rebelled against the Graude Foundation that adopted them when he heard rumors that they intended to breed Shun into being Hades’ next body so that they could kill the both of them while trapped in flesh. But Shun told Ikki that his master, the late headmaster of Andromeda Island, was immediately aware of his fate and instead taught him meditation techniques that allowed him to properly channel and vent the dark wave of unholy murderous intent. It sounded cool, but for Shun, his meditation technique was quite simple. As long as he focused on that which he treasured most, the killing intent would remain dormant, and Shun could fight with a clear conscience.

Still, no time to be tilted by Aphrodite’s knowledge. Don’t black out.

“I need to clear this temple to save Athena,” Shun said quietly, keeping his eyes upon Aphrodite as he stalked his prey, walking a circle around Shun as the Andromeda Saint lay his chain upon the ground and prepared for the worst. “Surrender now, and let me pass. If you don’t-ACK!”

The fatigue was even worse than Shun initially thought. Even though a Gold Saint could move at light speed at a minimum, Shun knew that his ability to track Cosmo allowed him to react and protect himself when that speed was used against him. Moreover, the chains he lay at his feet were supposed to protect all angles around him. Aphrodite was fast, but while Shun’s eyes could follow him, his body could no longer keep up. What a terrible time to reach his limit.

“Your threats have no effect on me, neophyte. Like I said, a miracle can only last so long. That is exactly why the 12 Houses are structured like a gauntlet: even if an enemy were to defeat one of us, in the end we will prevail. And the role of Pisces is to clean up the trash that climbs up this mountain that wasn’t put to the landfill by the other houses...and that’s what you are, you know? Trash.”

While Aphrodite appeared lithe, his grip was tighter than a steel clamp, and Shun could only gurgle. Don’t black out...black...black…

Aphrodite hurled Shun to the floor where he rolled over onto this back. As he willed his body to climb back to his feet, the most he could do was roll over onto his stomach and struggle to push himself up. Shun knew he was about to die, and his body was in such terrible shape that he couldn’t even damage his enemy. A Gold Saint would have been a life-or-death struggle even if Shun was completely healthy, but in his eagerness to be a hero, instead he would just be a helpless victim. But it appeared Aphrodite was a sadist: all he had to do was not black out, keep pretending to believe he stood a chance, and Aphrodite would try and break him rather than realize that his friends were in even worse shape. He could still buy time for his friends, and hope that they could avenge him in the afterlife.

Aphrodite wiped his gold boot on Shun’s face before kicking his temple and forcing him back onto his back, placing his foot on Shun’s chest and looking into his blurred eyes. “...I know what you’re trying to do, pretty one,” Aphrodite hummed as he leaned down and slapped Shun on his cheek to keep him from losing conscious. “You’re probably thinking I’m going to play with you thinking that I’ll be so busy making your last moments agonizing ones, that I’ll forget about your friends at the house below...sadly I’m going to disappoint you. The Pope has entrusted me to clean up the trash, and he has given me a deadline. But don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you immediately. I want you to savor your death, especially as I drop the heads of your friends next to your broken body just before you pass.”

It was bad enough that Shun could not even defend himself. It was bad enough that his decision prove his heroism looked like a worse and worse call. But Aphrodite seeing through his choice to die in humiliating agony as a ploy to buy his friends time was almost too much to bear. He wanted to cry as he sometimes would as a child, fitting his reckless decision to ignore common sense. But he wasn’t going to allow this man the satisfaction. He needed to face his death with courage. And hope that even the minimal minutes he bought his friends would be enough

Aphrodite waved his hand and a white rose uprooted itself from the ground to float between his fingers. A slight spray of red emerged from its root as it did so…blood. “You saw the blood. It’s as bad as you think. The roses here grow not from dirt and water, but from the blood of my victims. And once I plant this white rose into your body, it’s pedals will turn red with the dye of your blood. Once it blooms fully red, your death will be confirmed. This entire garden is the unmarked grave of those I had to dispose of...like I said, you’re trash, and like trash at the compost heap you’re going to be used as fertilizer for my garden.”

What a terrible way to die. A wave of regret washed over Shun as he cursed his fate. If he had only been a little more patient, maybe this wouldn’t be how everything ended. The fragrance of the garden further sapped his strength, so perhaps it was poisonous after all and he just couldn’t tell due to his fatigue. Why did he have to act so macho...no, it wasn’t macho. He needed to be brave and venture into the unknown for the sake of his friends. Sometimes it paid off, and this time it didn’t, and it would prove to be fatal. At least with this slow agonizing death Aphrodite was about to cast upon him, lowering himself to plant the stem of the white rose within Shun’s flesh, Shun could mull over what apology he’d tell the others when he met them in the afterlife…

“HCK!”

...the terrible pain of being seeded with the Bloody Rose did not come. At first Shun thought it was because his body was too numb to feel it, and it was only when Aphrodite stumbled off of him that Shun noticed that something was wrapped around the Gold Saint’s neck. And with his extra moment’s respite, Shun regained enough of his wits to feel that familiar Cosmo. It was a signature that he held dear to him, even closer than his beloved brother Ikki and his fellow Bronze Saints. It was the same signature that kept him from succumbing to the boundless killer instinct that lay within him, for his memory of that signature kept him serene.

Aphrodite tossed a black rose at the direction of the rope that coiled around his neck, and the rope loosened immediately as the aggressor loosened her hold to evade the attack. He wasn’t so much shocked as he was agitated, as a Gold Saint should have been able to sense a Cosmo so close to him. Following the signature of the Cosmo as he locked onto it, he found a cloaked figure with the material of the cloak mirroring the environment around it. He went through his memory to figure out why it was a familiar garment...and then the hood of the cloak fell to reveal long blonde locks and steel mask with stylized lining around the eyes and lips. “It’s you...the survivor of the purge…”

“J...June!”

Shun willed himself to raise his voice as his longtime sparring partner, comrade and friend tossed her cloak aside to reveal her Cloth: a revealing bikini of metal and spikes that clearly emphasized freedom of movement and agility over brute force. “...Shun,” the woman said solemnly beneath the steel mask before slowly removing it, revealing her strikingly beautiful face that so appropriately complimented the rest of her gorgeous figure. As June turned back to Shun, she allowed herself a nervous smile as a tear from her eye. “...I love you.”

A simple phrase, and one Shun swore that he would repeat to her again and again when the civil war that had engulfed Sanctuary finally ended. But now that phrase frightened him, for it meant that June was going to do something drastic that likely meant he wouldn’t have the chance to say it to her. With a sniff, June turned back to Aphrodite and lifted her wrist to reveal a pulsating device embedded into her soft skin. “And as for you...you know what this means, right? You’ve seen my face, and I have already chosen my husband. I can’t let you leave here alive, murderer!”

Crushing her steel mask in her hand until it shattered into pieces, June screamed in desperate rage as the device hummed to life and activated at her behest. “CLOTH BOOSTER!” Oozing from the bracelet was molten liquid, and it sizzled across her accordingly as she grit her teeth and allowed the liquid to spread around her. Within seconds seconds, the liquid took shape and hardened into a light shealth of pine green armor that covered her body from head to toe, with coral lights flickering at the joints and chest, and her nose and mouth wrapped in a muzzle with a design that vaguely resembled the jawline of the Chameleon avatar from which she drew strength.

Prior to leaving Japan, Shun overhead Mu discuss with Saori’s retainers about an artificial Cloth with a potential entirely dependent on the wearer’s Cosmo. No longer would Silver and Gold Saints be able to coast on rank and be able to look down upon the Bronze Saints that had abilities that outstripped them despite the “lower” ranks: Mu wanted the next generation of Saints to be rewarded according to their merits rather than their constellations upon which they were destined to represent. But upon doing a brief private investigation, Shun saw the dangers of Mu’s plan: the prototype he had created by fusing his knowledge of Cloth repair with modern technology and smithing was as dangerous to its user as it was to their enemies.

By making a Cloth that fed upon the wearer’s Cosmo, the strain it put on the Saint wearing it was tremendous, and required the Saint’s blood to continue fueling power into the rest of the armor. But in return, the Cloth itself would grant the user tremendous power that exceeded that of the rank of their Cloth should they be worthy. Aphrodite immediately tested the woman’s transformation by taking a single step forward, only to instantly appear in her face despite being several yards away when his step first touched the ground. Shun was able to track his movement enough to see that he meant to plant one of those white roses between June’s eyes, let the flower leech off the juices of her skull and laugh as she experienced total neurological failure, but June stepped behind Aphrodite as he lifted his hand.

With her whip becoming sharped with the scale of the divine alloy that composed her Steel Cloth Booster, June quite literally lashed out at Aphrodite, and within seconds they became flashes of light and steel, evading each other’s death blows at the speed of light. But Shun knew that it was only delaying the inevitable: apart from being aware of the limits of the prototype Steel Cloth, and the demand for its wearer’s cosmo and blood, he already knew June didn’t have the experience and refinement in her Cosmo that Aphrodite had. At best she would have only seconds before Aphrodite adjusted her approach and slew her.

“G...get...up…”

The fragrance of the roses that lay next to him were absolutely poisonous: he was sure of it now. Lying on his back was doing nothing to aid his recovery, and his senses were becoming numb. He could only curse himself as his will faded...no, it wasn’t his will. It was only his flesh failing him, dying when he needed to survive to protect June. Because June was the one who he focused on when he meditated to contain the eternal darkness that lay within him. Without June, he would be hollow, and all that would exist within him would be…

“Rage.”

“...brother?”

Shun heard a voice echo within him, keeping him conscious enough to watch June and Aphrodite’s battle slow. It was as Shun feared: Aphrodite’s experience with his immense Cosmo and Seventh Sense gave him a clear edge over June who was relying on dangerous performance enhancers to keep up. All June had was courage and love, but she was gentle like Shun. She didn’t yet have the killer instinct to back her claims to slay Aphrodite. Her deadly whip shots only struck Aphrodite’s joints to try and slow him down: she was too worried about deterring his assault and not enough about ending his life. Aphrodite was used to pain, and even has the whip clearly hobbled him, it did not slow him down enough to drive painful strikes in June’s body. The divine steel could only do so much to protect her, especially since it leeched upon her blood to protect her body from the Pisces Saint’s strikes.

And yet...her whip was emanating a strange cosmo...no, that’s not right. It was absorbing cosmo, from the flowers. She was trying to eliminate the garden so that the air could be safe to breathe, but in doing so she was focusing the fumes onto herself. That’s why Aphrodite was able to play with her so much even though the Steel Cloth put them on equal footing in cosmo sense. He was playing with her...her, the woman Shun cared about. Her, the woman who confessed her undying love for Shun. Her, who Shun wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Her, that he needed to protect at all costs.

“Let it burn, Shun.”

“...brother,” Shun regained enough of his strength to summon tears. His connection with his elder brother went beyond the physical realm, and although he last left Ikki in the house below where he was either dying or even dead (with the Phoenix Saint even certain dead wasn’t a guarantee that he was going to stay down for long), his cosmo still beckoned to Shun in spirit. Or at lest, he thought it was Ikki...it was cruel, like Hades’ voice when Shun was early in his training as a Saint. Who was who…?

“Brother...whoever you are...please…”

“She is going to die, Shun. The last wall between you and genocidal madness is going to die.”

“N...no. She won’t...not if I can…”

“You are broken, Shun. She is trying to save you and yet you are broken...but being broken is a choice. You know what you have to do…”

“But...I’m scared if I do then-”

“IYAAAAAAA!”

June’s shrieks snapped Shun out of his musings as June’s Cloth Booster reached its limit, exploding on her wrist and with it the consitency of the molten divine metal. Before she was willing to endure the pain, but keeping the Steel Cloth consistent drained her endurance and having the superheated liquid steel fall across her body in a puddle. And yet, Aphrodite used that as his cue to toss his black roses at her body, not really picky if he hit a fatal spot as long as it amplified her pain. Those roses were as lethal as any sniper round, and watching the roses tear through her suddenly gave Shun a surge of energy that he desperately needed to pay attention to what that voice in his soul was telling him.

“Shun...your master taught you well how to contain your rage. But do not be afraid of what you’re feeling...of what you need to do to save the people close to you...of what you need to do to this vile filth that is trying to take away who makes you happy.”

“N...no...yes.”

“Shun...there are those who cannot be reasoned with. Like you, this man has made his choice, and he has chosen the path of the villain. Respect his resolve: that is the only mercy and empathy you need to grant him. Your friends love you, your brother loves you...and she loves you. The pain she feels, she welcomes, as long as you get to live to see yourself the victor.”

Somehow, June did not immediately fall to the ground. Despite the lethal hail of roses that battered her, despite the wounds that oozed from her body, despite her only tool to keep herself from being overwhelmed by a Gold Saint’s wrath rendered useless, despite her blood being drained to its limit, her eyes remained defiant as Aphrodite walked over to her and cupped her chin between his hands.

“You know...I’m actually angered and smitten at the same time with you. My rose garden wilting into nothingness is quite unfortunate...but for you to figure out how to even the playing field so quickly and step so far above your station to keep me from carrying out my duty on my preferred schedule is just intoxicating. You deserve a special escort to Judecca, someone so beautiful...let me kiss you…”

Shun felt his cosmo explode...no, it wasn’t just his cosmo. It was his darkness, or what he always thought was darkness. The voice in his head continued to goad him onward, but Shun wasn’t listening anymore. He saw the red mist escape from Aphrodite’s lips as he neared June’s face: he was going to poison her with that terrible fragrance that was coming from the flowers. Even though he made the garden to ensure he had an endless supply of roses so that he didn’t need to expend his cosmo, Aphrodite was still a Gold Saint and could have ended this already...but he wanted to make June’s last moments humiliating ones.

This was something Shun could not forgive.

“Beneath the veil of civility lies a murderous hatred in the hearts of all mankind. Do not be afraid of it, for this darkness is within us for a reason. It is not because we are doomed to original sin, but because we as humans are entrusted with the Earth’s justice. Let this darkness swirl together with your cosmo...and in that friction, let the flint give birth to the spark of retribution! Let that righteous fury flicker until your enemy is reduced to a smoldering pile of fried flesh and melted gold slag! SHUN...YOUR RAGE, YOU NEED TO LET YOUR COSMO’S RAGE IGNITE!”

The Kiss of Death was delayed, at least denied by Aphrodite’s action, as the blunt end of Shun’s Nebula Chain struck him in the jaw, forcing him to let go of June and stumble backwards. He mumbled something about having his senses dulled from having too much to drink the night before, but Shun wasn’t interested in his excuses. He only needed to make sure June fell into his arms, into his protection.

Her eyes fluttered as she realized Shun was holding her, as she always wished for him to. Looking into his eyes, she saw the fury burning within them, and his face contort trying to keep hold of his reasoning just long enough to be aware of her state. She was wounded terribly: the window of her allotted lifespan was rapidly closing and needed immediate medical attention. But in Shun’s fury, June could only smile warmly, for it was a fury she knew that was summoned out of concern for her. Using the last bit of her strength, she reached up to pull Shun’s face closer to hers, and Shun reluctantly obliged to plant a soft kiss on her lips.

And then, she fell into unconscious and her pulse became dangerously slow. Her chances of surviving her wounds were very slim, but the doubt was gone now. Shun gently placed her down to rest and glared at Aphrodite with his eyes of fury bordering on absolute madness. He was so angry, so bloodthirsty that he felt as if he was on fire, and that fire wasn’t going to be quenched with water.

Blood. Murder. Eviscerate. Impale. Screams. Pain Pain Pain Pain. You can kill him quickly and still make it a very agonizing death. Not all agonizing deaths are slow. She needs you to kill him, brutally. No mercy, no warning, no regrets.

“Kill you…”

“Those eyes…” Aphrodite’ expression hardened before a vine sprouted from his fingernails, and from that vine quickly grew a long staff of sharp vines. “What are you muttering about with those eyes. I heard Hades’ eyes were calming...but your eyes are anything but…”

With useless handicaps like fatigue pushed to the wayside of his consciousness, Shun summoned the rest of his Andromeda Cloth’s mask and let the helmet and muzzle close around his head, exposing only his eyes that widened in bloodlust and need for carnage. The last words he would say before clasping onto his Nebula Chain so tightly that his hands bled, gripping the sharp end of his weapon with the intent to slice out Aphrodite’s throat, were a frighteningly simple phase.

“I’LL KILL YOU!”

For so many years, his master told him that his gentleness was a blessing to have in the world of Sainthood, that so many of his comrades accepted the burden of Athena because they felt the world had no other outlet for them as warriors who desired combat, both righteous and selfish. Of course, his master was immediately made aware of Shun’s unfortunate destiny as the death god Hades’ mortal vessel, but he also knew that Hades enjoyed emerging from the purest, gentlest souls mankind had to offer. He only needed to strengthen that gentleness further and temper it with honor and pride. Shun would not allow himself to be a lamb: he was a shepherd who cared for those he was charged with protecting.

And having accepted that anger within him came not from selfish ambition, but an overwhelming need to protect those closest to him, Andromeda Shun had completed his training. Aphrodite was a selfish killer who supported a heretic that used Sanctuary as a tool for subjugation of the common people, and so his strikes were always true from the very beginning. His staff was as sharp as any spear, and he was hoping Shun would get too caught up in his rage so he could impale him through his Cloth. But Shun’s rage focused him, not made him sloppy: Aphrodite cursed under his breath as he watched Shun catch the staff between the hooks of his chain and yank it out of Aphrodite’s grap.

The Pisces Saint backflipped away from Shun before he could shank him with the sharp end of the chain and tossed an array of black roses at him with the confidence that at least one of them would hit. Without halting his advance, Shun rapidly spiraled his chain in front of him to allow his Rolling Defense to deflect the hail before hurling the sharp end in Aphrodite’s direction. The Nebula Chain honed in a target’s cosmo to ensure that it would not whiff, and Aphrodite knew this after the Pope briefed him on his targets that evening. Therefore, he made no attempts to evade, and caught the chain between his hands mere centimeters away from his head.

With a strong yank, Aphrodite pulled Shun forward and then let go of the chain so that he could have a free hand to summon a white rose: it wouldn’t kill him instantly but it would at least guarantee his death if he could focus his Cosmo enough to get it home in on his heart. The only problem with that was any Cosmo he could divert to the rose was needed in more pressing matters, like Shun actually using the momentum of the tug to make his armored knee to Aphrodite’s face the more painful. The Gold Saint felt something went drip down his face, and for the first time in a long time he remembered what it was like to be in a life-or-death struggle where the outcome wasn’t entirely clear.

With a spinning backhand, Aphrodite fired back at Shun and felt his fist rattle against the Andromeda Saint’s helmet, and in less in a second their fight became one of physical acumen instead of mastery of cosmo. Their punches, chops, elbows, knees and kicks created shockwaves around the aged architecture of the Pisces House, and the foundations of the house shuddered while eroded chunks finally fell from their millenia-long resting places and onto the ground while their battle reached light speed. Achieving light speed was the hallmark of Cosmo mastery reserved for Gold Saints, yet today the 12 Houses were invaded and humbled by a group of Bronze neophytes. But in that uncertainty, Aphrodite could only grin with maddened pleasure as his sparring partner collided his forearm with his own and the two became deadlocked so they could stare into each other’s eyes if only for a moment.

The pretty Andromeda Saint’s eyes were not one of a rabid animal, but more like a dog that had shed its collar to embrace his true nature. He was not trash, but a diamond in the rough that Aphrodite polished with his cruelty. For the first time in his career, Aphrodite would be entrusted with worthy prey, and a bounty that would earn him great favors and accolades with the Pope.

Shun pushed off of his enemy and again readied his Nebula Chain, but it was a feint that Aphrodite immediately recognized and took advantage of. Throwing another hail of black roses, Aphrodite focused his attack on the chain itself, and with no time to erect his Rolling Defense, Shun had no choice but to lift the chains and allow Aphrodite to crack and ultimately break it within only a couple of seconds. “It’s over,” Aphrodite shouted as he again prepared his white rose for the killing blow.

Sadly for him, he didn’t account for the long time his treacherous Gold Saint comrade Aries Mu, the greatest blacksmith among the Saints and the world’s leading expert in Cloth creation and repair, had with the Andromeda Cloth. Throughout Sanctuary’s campaign to take back the avatar of Athena and carry out the Pope’s plan to sacrifice her soul to permanently end the cycle of the Holy War, Mu had fully cooperated with the mighty Graude Foundation in order to provide those Saints loyal to Athena with the arsenal needed to overcome the drastic numbers disadvantage. And since Saints were forbidden to use weapons not inherent to the Cloth without Athena’s blessing, Mu adjusted the Cloths’ themselves to make their native attributes more effective in times of crisis. For Dragon Shiryu, should his default shield be shattered in battle, he had the option summoning an auxiliary shield with even greater durability and offensive capability at the expense of additional Cosmo: the Dragon Buckler.

For Shun, he had something else With his right wrist flickering with green cosmo, Shun let out a shout as another chain erupted out of his gauntlet like a harpoon, again forcing Aphrodite on the defensive. “NEBULA FLAIL!”

This chain not only had a pointed end for impalement, but a sharp hook attached to the point that allowed for both impalement and dismemberment. The Pisces Saint watched Shun retract the whiffed Nebula Flail and begin spinning it around him with cyclonic speed. It was time to start wrapping this up, because clearly whatever second wind Shun found was turning this into an even battle. Once more, Shun hurled his chain at Aphrodite knowing full well that it would not miss thanks to locking onto his Cosmo, but Aphrodite chose not to evade it but purposely let it pierce his shoulder.

As blood trickled from his wound, Aphrodite let out a wild laugh as he pulled the hook out of his armor and flesh and yanked on the chain not only to bring Shun to him, but also propel himself towards Shun. With aerial momentum on his side, Aphrodite twisted his body and stabbed the stem of his white rose directly in Shun’s heart. He heard him cry out as Aphrodite forced Shun onto his back with his knee planted on his chest. The stem definitely hit its mark: he could see the crack in Shun’s Cloth and the pedals slowly turning from white to red. “Hhh...hhh...there. Get sucked on, neophyte.” Aphrodite panted out with a cruel smile as rivers of sweat dripped from his brow.

But Shun’s eyes didn’t stop burning, and he wasn’t crying out in pain. Instead his mind was trying to figure out how he could still make Aphrodite die: he had already resolved that he was likely going to die when he stepped into the house, but now he was hellbent and taking Aphrodite with him. And that’s when the faintest squiggle caught the corner of his eye: June’s whip still had all of the cosmo absorbed from the garden within it. And that cosmo along with the psychic attachment it had to its fallen owner clamored for something that made Shun its ally.

Taking a sharp breath, Shun grabbed onto Aphrodite’s ankle before letting his Cosmo spark and draw June’s pulsating whip into his other hand. Then once the whip was in his hand, Shun used it to wrap around his enemy’s neck and force his enemy to stumble off of him. This gave Shun the opportunity to hurl him into the tall end of the temple’s pillar, and then summon what remained of his Cosmo for his last stand. Even though the Bloody Rose was embedded into his chest leeching his life away, Shun knew that if could kill Aphrodite then anything attached to his Cosmos would lose their potency.

Not all agonizing deaths were slow.

“NEBULA STORM”

Thrusting his free hand outwards, Shun yanked Aphrodite free from the pillar and used the deadly buffeting winds of his Cosmo to hurl the Gold Saint from structure to structure, letting the sound of his body hitting the marble architecture be his funeral dirge. After seven collisions, Shun pulled Aphrodite towards the floor with the storm reaching its conclusion, and letting the broken pieces of his Nebula Chain beat against his body like hail with such speed that they became as deadly as his black roses. The sharp end of the broken chain embedded itself in Aphrodite’s body, and the blunt end clashed against his kneecap with such force that something broke within it. The other pieces cut past and throw the Gold Saint before being embedded in the wall behind it.

And yet, even as the storm subsided, Aphrodite remained suspended in the air: even in Shun’s desperate bid for a finale, he had enough wits about him to know the terrain: there was an awning within the ceiling of the temple, and he angled his whips mostly to get a hook on that awning, and thus Aphrodite was now hanging by neck as Shun pulled down the whip as tight as he could. It wasn’t enough to break Aphrodite’s neck, and he still had enough breath to pull out another white rose to speed up the process the first Bloody Rose was taking. This time he was going to aim for Shun’s skull: neurological failure via the Bloody Rose sucking the juices of his brain sounded like a fitting end.

But it was the pause that Shun was waiting for so Aphrodite could stop squirming. For as Aphrodite was hanged, Shun had been preparing his Nebula Flail for the finishing blow, and , and that finishing blow struck true in the form of the hook end of the chain piercing and fully breaching Aphrodite’s armor, entering through his chest and emerging from his back before anchoring into the temple’s wall behind him. Death was imminent, but the Pisces Saint could only keep grinning as Shun focused the last reserves of his Cosmo into the chain and whip and prepared finish Aphrodite’s execution.

“Deathmask...you were right...these Bronze Saints really are too good…”

He wasn’t dying fast enough. The Bloody Rose in Shun’s chest was almost fully red, and his vision was blurring. Moreover, there was a smile on Aphrodite’s face. This was totally unacceptable.

With enough voltage to power a modern metropolis, Shun screamed in defiant rage as he let his cosmo surge through his chain and June’s whip to fry his enemy. The smell of burning flesh filled his nostrils, and he heard Aphrodite’s screams suddenly cut short even though his body continued to convulse wildly. That wasn’t good enough. He could still be alive. He could still be smiling, laughing at him, mocking him. This was totally unacceptable.

The entire temple flickered with awful light as Shun summoned even greater bolts, his adrenaline surge giving him another wind. This vile filth hurt June, maybe even killed her. There was no guarantee she was still alive, but Shun wasn’t going to let her sacrifice be in vain. She wasn’t going to let her death be unavenged. He laughed at him, at his compassion. He is a willing villain who needed to meet justice. And he smiled at him when Shun said he was going to kill him. This was totally unacceptable.

“SHUN!”

Snapping Shun out of his trance was someone shouting his name with aggression, grabbing onto him and hurling him to the floor. This forced Shun to let go of June’s whip, and it fell to the ground and unwrapped itself around his enemy. His next opponent had been decided, and so Shun yanked his Nebula flail free from the wall and allowed it to retract out of Aphrodite and back into his gauntlet. The sparks of rage still flickered within him, and it rejuvenated him. He could do this all night if he had to, as long as retribution was achieved.

“WHO’S NEXT!?” Shun shrieked as he stood back up and turned to his enemy.

But when he gazed upon his enemy who roared in defiance and summoned the fiery avatar of his Cloth’s motif, the angered Phoenix, Shun felt his own flame dwindle back to a quiet candle. His eyes dilated, and the tension dropped in his body. As it did so, the Phoenix inhaled to disperse the image of the bird, and walked up to his brother and embraced him tightly. “You did good...you won. You bought us the time we needed. I have never been more proud of you in my life...but calm down. The battle’s over, and I need my little brother to come back now.”

“B...brother,” Shun whispered as he looked down to see what was left of the Bloody Rose leeching his life lying dried and withered on the ground, indicating that Aphrodite had died. Glancing to his fallen enemy a few meters away, Shun noticed that his enemy was now roasted beyond recognition, with his flash cracked and distorted and his Cloth reduced to slag. The smell of death filled his nostrils once more, and Shun realized the awful weight of what he needed to do to survive.

“Kiki is tending to June: we came here just in time. Another couple of minutes and there would have been no saving her,” Ikki continued to keep his embrace tight and Shun held onto him and felt his body hiccup with sobs. “Listen to me, Shun...do not think for an instant that you are damned because of this. Do you think Hyoga enjoys the fact that he needed to outright murder his old master Camus to make him pay for his crimes? Do you think Shiryu enjoys the fact that needed to resort to killing Deathmask after he threatened to take Shunrei? Do you think Seiya enjoys the fact that he was fully prepared to rip apart Aiolia when he attacked Shaina? Do you think Mu is looking forward to how he’s going to feel when we step into Athena’s temple to put an end to this madness, and he’s forced to do what he needs to do to avenge the people Saga has taken from him? Do you think I enjoy what I needed to become in order to kill my master...to kill our enemies who try and hurt us?”

“But...it felt so good. Oh...oh brother, I feel awful because it felt so good!”

“Victory feels good, Shun...and you killed because you had to, not because you wanted to. Now you know the lure of murder...but I know you are strong enough to not make my mistakes and become enamored with it,” Ikki whispered while Shun broke down into full tears. “I’m going to let you cry like this because it means you have chosen the right path, unlike me...go back to the little brother I care for and envy for his ability to remain pure in ways I cannot, even though we both felt the lure of murder.”

Shun opened his eyes and saw that his friends were gathering around him, offering comforting smile as Aries Mu stepped among them to remind them that there was only one enemy left that would require all of them be ready. For now, Shun would be allowed to step to where June rested and feel her cosmo slowly increase in luminance. The chains of his rage bound together once more to restrain the murderous intent within him, and love again became the driving force in his reason to fight.

“...everyone...thank you, for your love and support. I’m ready to return the favor.”
Zodiac Knight Saint Seiya oneshot: Unchained
I've been talking more about the Tokusatsu version of Saint Seiya I came up with years ago in my circles, and the chatter led to an idea that stemmed from this lovely fan-doujin page of Shun being solemn over June's fallen body before glaring in rage at an unknown enemy, gripping his chain with enough force that his hands bled.  I thought it would make a good prompt for some oneshot action, so here we are!

Cover image by :iconosmar-shotgun:
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Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.

In hindsight, Seiya probably should have done this a long time ago if he meant to say what he was going to say once he walked through the door.

In the melee that followed Seiya’s return to Japan with the Pegasus Cloth in tow, he had little time to think about constructive solutions to the dilemma that weighed upon his heart since the battles began.  Once it had become clear that his adoptive sister, Saori Kido, was the current incarnation of the goddess Athena, the Pope of the cult-like organization founded on Athena’s behalf embarked on a violent campaign to subjugate Japan under the pretense that the Kido family were planning to use her as curry favor with her impressionable human shell.  Seiya’s sweetheart while training as a Saint in one of Sanctuary’s training facilities, Ophiuchus Shaina, was entrusted by the Pope to lead the campaign as their chief strategist.  Being Saints, their first instinct upon seeing each other again was to fight.

Seiya of course knew that Shaina wasn’t so myopic as to carry out his and his fellow Bronze Saints’ executions (who along with Aries Mu and Eagle Marin referred to their Athena loyalist faction as ‘the Zodiac Knights’)  just because she was ordered to.  He figured she was likely aware that the Pope was not the righteous man he claimed to be or was supposed to be if he qualified for the role, especially in the later weeks of the campaign where Sanctuary started hiring warriors from previously uninvolved Pantheons as mercenaries.  Only the month before, a young foreigner Saori was dating was revealed to be the reincarnation of Sanctuary’s centuries-lost enemy Poseidon, and the Pope’s response was to forcefully draw out the latent soul of Hades from Seiya’s teammate Shun with the idea that the two entities would kill each other and the other renegades Saints with him.  Thankfully some quick thinking and teamwork prevented any casualties on their side, but Shaina still served the Pope even though she had made it abundantly clear in the aftermath this was not something she condoned as a Saint.

 The Shaina he knew conducted her business with honor: she wanted to make sure if she was going to permanently kill someone, they could see their end coming, and certainly wouldn’t ask for the help of factions not directly tied to Sanctuary.  In reality, Seiya knew that Shaina just wanted the execute to rip Seiya’s heart out for breaking her ceremonial iron mask in his first escape from Sanctuary.  As a female Saint, she had no choice but to kill him for that or…

...well, that was why Seiya was here.  To apologize for putting her in such a horrible situation time and time again.  To apologize for meeting her anger with strikes instead of hugs.  To apologize for making light of her predicament that forced her to choose between him and Sanctuary, instead of empathizing with her and trying to help her find a non-violent resolution.  To apologize for taking Shaina’s heartfelt “Amazon wedding” where she put her body and soul and the line against him, with the winner gaining custody of the heart of the loser, as some delusional date where Seiya could express his feelings for her through the combat ability he honed.  

To apologize for being selfish, for thoroughly disgracing her reputation as a warrior thanks to his and his teammates’ constant victories over the forces she led, even though she had the famed and terrifying Cancer Deathmask to use as she saw fit as a field general before the Pope deferred command of the campaign to Aquarius Camus and his team of alternate pantheon mercenaries.  If he had asked the Graude Foundation to trace Shaina’s steps to this penthouse, even if she masked her presence by hiding her Cosmo, they likely would have found something much sooner.  Then Seiya could have asked her what he should have asked her when he shattered her mask and ensured their fates would be tied til death did they part.

While Shaina was not the type to care about the more traditional aspects of a relationship, preferring instead to get right to the heart of whatever matter she had to Seiya either as friends or as his arch-nemesis, Seiya still brought a bouquet of roses in case it would help his case...but his nervousness about his own well-being instantly vanished when he stepped off the elevator and felt some far more pressing emotions.

Horror, confusion, concern...for Shaina.

There were dead bodies strewn across the carpet, staining it with their blood.  The furniture was in complete disarray, with couches and television sets broken or torn apart.  The kitchen adjacent from the living room had drawers either left open, or torn out entirely with the kitchenware strewn about the floor.  One corpse was lying slumped over a pot of water that still had steam coming out of it.  And given that all of the assailants were wearing Cloths, it didn’t take more than a second to realize why Shaina’s penthouse was in such disarray.

Sanctuary had sent men to kill her.

Don’t panic, Seiya...she might still be alive, he told himself with a slow inhale before leaning down to the nearest body.  It was still warm, and the fatal wounds in his body were more indicative of a wild animal mauling him to death rather than being bludgeoned or slashed with a weapon.  Shaina’s animalistic ferocity was the bane of Seiya and his brothers for weeks upon weeks, and her fighting prowess was lauded as “once in a generation” by the Pope himself.  Even Aries Mu, who as a Gold Saint held the highest ranking that could possibly be bestowed upon their ranks, told them that if Shaina wished it she could have qualified for that particular level of Saintdom if she was judged entirely on fighting ability.

But all of these men weren’t just foot soldiers: there were Silver Saints among the dead.  And it’s entirely possible one of them got lucky.  Seiya felt a flicker of unstable Cosmo as he stepped away from the body, expecting one of her assassins looking to eliminate any witnesses.  But an instant later, the source of the Cosmo dropped from the ceiling next to the entrance, and as Seiya turned around a mix of relief brewed into his state of mind.

But it was only an instant, and Seiya leaned backward to deftly avoid Shaina clawing his face off.  Using that momentum to flip backwards and enter a ready stance, Seiya looked at his estranged love.  Not a single blemish on her face, fully exposed with all of the bewitching beauty Seiya remembered when he first escaped Sanctuary, wearing an open purple buttoned shirt and...nothing else.  Seiya could see all of her naked glory, and his heart skipped a beat as he blushed.

“Shaina…”

“Are you making fun of me?”

Seiya’s lovesick trance was broken by Shaina’s eyes widening in maddened anxiety as tears flowed down her face.  “ARE YOU MAKING FUN OF ME!?”  With a maddened shriek, Shaina again lunged for Seiya, this time grabbing a hank of his red basketball jersey and tearing it off of him as Seiya jumped backwards.  “YOU DID THIS!  WHY!?  WHY DO YOU TORMENT ME!?”

“Shaina, calm down,” Seiya grabbed onto Shaina’s wrist and used it as leverage to wrap her into an embrace.  Ever since returning to Japan, Seiya had met Shaina’s aggression with combat under the notion that because of her devotion to fighting it was the best way they could have a relationship despite being on opposite sides of the battlefield.  Shaina’s numerous attempts on his life drove Seiya to become stronger so that he could show her the immense respect he had for her, by being able to come at her, holding nothing back.  He had hoped the refinement of his technique and the expansion of his Cosmo would be ample evidence that everything he did in combat was to impress her.

It was here, seeing the aftermath of Shaina brutally slaughtering multiple Saints in a single setting, both of Bronze and Silver rank, without a single blemish, that Seiya realized that meeting her violent tendencies with more violence was a cycle that only made the dire straits of their love worse.  Shaina was in a frantic stress, in dire need of comfort that the thrill of battle could no longer provide.  But as Seiya held her, Shaina’s frenetic breathing slowed, and the tension in her body gradually loosened.  “...what happened here?” Seiya said as calmly as he could, knowing full well the slightest error in wording could set her off again.

“My men turned against me, said that the Pope ordered my execution due to how poorly this Japan campaign has gone,” Shaina grumbled.  “But I know that’s not why the Pope really wants me dead: there are too many dissenters in Sanctuary right now for him to afford executing someone he publicly lauded as a ‘once in a generation talent.’  He wants to kill me because he thinks my death will make you soft when you accept the trial of the 12 Houses.”

“...then he’s even crazier than I thought,” Seiya replied with an uncommonly low melachony.  “I wouldn’t have the Sagitarrius Cloth right now if I didn’t see you get struck down by Aiolia’s death blow meant for me.  All I could think about at that time was how I was going to avenge you, and how many pieces of Aiolia I could send to you in Heaven before he sent me there too.”

“...we didn’t finish the wedding,” Shaina growled before lifting her head and making eye contact with Seiya once more.  Shaina’s eyes really were beautiful, and the way they sparkled for him loosened his grasp of her.  Placing her freed hand on Seiya’s shoulder, Shaina’s nails dug into his flesh and drew blood.  He only winced slightly, still lost in her gaze, like the victim of the cobra her Cloth was modeled from.  “You have to make me submit if you want my heart, otherwise the ‘love or kill’ dilemma is present.”

With a sharp breath and a firm glare, Seiya took Shaina’s hand off his shoulder, gripping her wrist tightly to a point she cried out, and then shoved it into his chest.  “Didn’t I tell you the night before I was given the Pegasus Cloth that my heart was yours to do with as you please?” Seiya sternly said as Shaina’s eyes wavered.  “If you want to kill me, Shaina, this time I’m not going to stop you.  But before you do, promise me that you’ll live to see the end of this civil war between Athena and the Pope, and that you’ll make a good life for yourself with the bounty you’ll get from my heart.”

When Seiya left his apartment to go to Shaina’s recently discovered secret penthouse, Mu left him a text message as he suspected that was the piece of business Seiya claimed he needed to attend to before they flew to Sanctuary’s stronghold in the outskirts of Athens.  “Whatever business you have to settle with Shaina, make sure you come out of it alive.  Your teammates need you to lead them, because will be ultimately be our final chance to stop this war.  And if you have to kill her to stay alive, do not hesitate.”

Seiya didn’t respond to the text because he knew if this encounter was going to result in a life-or-death struggle, he wasn’t going to be able to kill Shaina.  He owed Shaina his life now, and he wasn’t going to betray her for that gift.  Her hand trembled and her eyes continued to waver.  Perhaps she felt like it was a trap, because at this point she likely figured that Seiya came here it was to finish the feud between them. Doing his best to steady his heart rate and breathing, Seiya closed his eyes and completely broken his embrace.  His arms were outstretched, completely exposed.  “...do it, Shaina.  If that’s what you want, just go ahead and take my heart.”

“There’s...there’s no honor in-”

“My guard is open, that’s my fault, and you’re just taking advantage.  You’re not sneaking up on me, you’re not deceiving me, you’re not drugging me.  You’re going to kill me face-to-face, because that’s how you’ve always done things.  And that forwardness, that sincerity is why I fell in love with you...why I still love you now.”  He opened his eyes once more, now clear of anxiety and doubt.  This is what needed to be done, and the only way he could ensure Shaina’s safety.  “I’m tired of hurting you, Shaina.  That duel where the winner gets the loser’s heart...you win.  Take your prize.”

There was a tense moment as Shaina clenched her nails into his chest.  Though he winced, he did not flinch: his arms remained outstretched as he awaited her judgment.  She trembled mightily as she summoned that murderous instinct that allowed her to butcher her assailants earlier in the day...but she had none of that aggression left.  The reptilian cold-bloodedness that her position demanded was slowly melted away by the massive rush of love and passion she felt for Seiya, that forced her to protect his life against Aiolia.  Her nails retracted from his chest, and she instead placed her open palm on his chest to feel his heartbeat.  That hearbeat...so soothing, so gentle, like his Cosmos.  That’s why the tension in her body melted when he held her moments ago: his Cosmos was too inviting for her to remain violent in his presence.

And she was going to stop pretending she hated Seiya, and didn’t hate herself for doing sooner was she was about to do.

Her touch became a light caress, and a grin formed on her soft lips before stepping into Seiya and pressing her mouth to his.  With a gentle kiss that Seiya eagerly returned, Shaina felt Seiya wrap her arms around her again, this time far gentler as he reached under his open shirt and stroked her back.  Seconds later, Seiya’s lips parted from hers and moved down to her neck, where his kisses sent a shiver down her spine.  

Even during their months-long feud where Shaina positioned herself as the supreme commander of Sanctuary’s offensive force to retake Athena through the subjugation of Japan, Shaina had dreamed about this moment, where her heart tormented her sense of duty as she fantasized what it would be like to have Seiya fall around her not in death, but in warmth as his gorgeous face and chiseled body fell around her and he swore to her that he would devote himself to her for the rest of his life.  That was no longer just a delusion: her madness had broke, and Shaina realized this was now reality.

Although this was the first time getting in this deep with a woman, Seiya instinctively knew what to do to give Shaina the warmth and pleasure she craved.  With a moan escaping her mouth, Shaina lowered her head and dug her nails into his back.  He pulled away with a wince, and he opened her eyes to see her once again grin.  “Does it hurt, Seiya?” she hummed with a sparkle in her eye that bewitched Seiya further.  Seiya still occasionally teased Jabu for an incident when they were younger where Saori rode young Jabu like a horse when they were still children, to a point where Jabu was left with welts and wounds from her riding crop, and how this did nothing to dissuade Jabu from his everlasting loyalty and infatuation with her.  Now he looked like a hypocrite, because Shaina clawing at him as they restarted their kiss only made him desire her even more.

Breaking the kiss once more, Shaina leaned into his ear and whispered.  “Bedroom, now.  Hold nothing back.”

Seiya didn’t even need to see where he was being led: Shaina would dig her nails into his back whenever their bundle of passion led them to any direction other than her bedroom.  He didn’t even need to disrobe himself, Shaina’s claws made very short work of his jeans so by the time they fell onto the mattress, there was nothing keeping their flesh from warming each other and their cosmos crossing over.

Before losing themselves to their love and lust completely, Seiya pushed Shaina off of hsi face and whispered in her ear.  “I love you, Shaina...I’m sorry for hurting you so much.”

“...and I love you, my wild horse,” she responded with that seductive purr of hers she used to do towards the end of his tenure in Sanctuary’s attendance.  “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting for so long…”

There was one last moment of hesitance before their lips locked once more, and everything they were joined together in love and devotion….

---------
Seiya was not immediately aware of how much time passed between when Shaina kissed him and the present, where his eyes focused and he noticed that Shaina was now sleeping peacefully on his chest, his heartbeat acting as the lullaby that soothed her soul.  While she might have acted the part of violent seductress when their exploration began, in bed she revealed that what she felt for Seiya wasn’t simple lust.  It was a profound love, and by Seiya finally confessing his own love for her, the end result was a moment in eternity that they would hold dear to them for the rest of their days.

He was about to close his eyes once more, and let himself fall back asleep with Shaina in his arms when the flicker of cosmo that woke him flashed through his thoughts again.  A cool breeze coming from the open window high above Shibuya’s city lights blew through the room, and Seiya turned to the window to see a familiar figure perched on the window sill.  “...Marin,” Seiya whispered groggily before he realized he wasn’t dreaming, and then his eyes opened completely.  “Marin-san, what are you doing here?”

“...I was asked to check on you by Mu.  He said you need to head to the Narita Airport...it’s time.”

But did it have to be today?  Couldn’t they have waited a few more days, so Seiya could wait for that moment where Shaina woke up, realize they didn’t dream the night before, and start planning where to go from there?  The stipend the Graude Foundation provided Seiya and his teammates was adequate enough where he could buy an engagement ring for her: at this point he doubted Shaina was going to say no.  And then they could...cry as Seiya finished the business with Sanctuary.  And that thought of breaking Shaina’s heart, leading her along only to potentially die as she cried, is what made him carefully wriggle out of bed and take the extra pair of clothes and underwear Marin had ready for him.

“Seiya...you will survive this.  The past few months have changed you, and you have everything you need for this challenge of the 12 Houses as long as you do not forget the lessons you’ve learned since coming back to Japan.”

“I know, Marin-san...but that doesn’t make walking out on her like this any easier,” Seiya said quietly as he steeled his nerves further to walk away and start getting dressed.  “You’ll protect her, right...while I’m gone taking care of this?”

“I care for you, Seiya...and I’ve known Shaina for many years now.  That’s why I was comfortable with you sneaking into the segregated grounds when you were younger to mingle with her.  I knew you weren’t going to cause trouble, and I knew that she was going to warm up to you,” Marin replied softly.  “I have a secret lair I’ve been staying in since I followed you to Japan.  I’ll take her there and keep her safe until you get back with news of your victory.”

A moment of anxiety came over Seiya, shattering his calm, and a tear formed in his eye.  “...now I’m scared that I’m going to let you both down.  These Gold Saints...it took all five of us just to hold off Deathmask and he’s not even close to being the best among that group.  Am I really going to be able to take out the entire faction AND the Pope?  I can’t bear the thought of walking out of here and then I don’t come back…”

“You will, Seiya.”

Another female voice filled the room, and Seiya felt the warm body of Shaina lean against his back, likely stirred by his absence.  He made himself strong for her sake, not wanting to worry her, but before he could say anything, Shaina continued to speak.  “Last night, when our cosmos crossed...I felt a Big Bang within me.  There’s a new star in my Cosmos...and it’s stable now…”

Seiya paused as he pondered Shaina’s words, and then realized she was referring to the first flicker of new life inside her...one that he was responsible for igniting.  Like any other human, it would be weeks before Shaina would first begin showing physical signs of pregnancy, but for two Saints such as themselves who could detect even the slightest shifts in Cosmo, they could tell quickly when the seed of life had taken root.  Now Seiya didn’t just have to worry about leaving Shaina, but potentially dying and leaving their child to not know his father?

He opened his mouth to say something, apologize, but Shaina leaned her head against his back and moaned softly at his warmth.  “I told you to hold nothing back, you didn’t.  I accept your love, Seiya...and that’s why I am confident you are going to come back to me.  I just ask you bring me a trophy of your victory.  Maybe you could slice off Aiolia’s nipple and have the Cygnus Saint freeze it for when you come home…?”

She might have pretended to revert back to the violent warrior that struck terror in the hearts of her enemies, but the warmth of her cosmos told another story.  And that warmth, along with the flicker she spoke of that was ignited within her the night before, allowed Seiya to steel his nerves once more as he resumed getting dressed and prepared to folllow Marin to the Narita Airport, where he would fly to Greece with his teammates and conclude the civil war that kept them from embracing each other that fateful night he shattered her mask.

“I’ll be back soon, Shaina...count on it!”
Seiya x Shaina contest entry: the Knight's Trial
Entry for :iconyanan-e-gemma: contest for Seiya x Shaina, my personal OTP for this wild series.  I've been playing a lot more with my Tokuverse the last couple of months so I decided to set the contest piece in that so as to you give you guys more insight to what revisions I've made for my version of the Saint Seiya tale.  Enjoy everyone and wish me luck :)
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Psycho-blue's Profile Picture
Psycho-blue
Psychoblue
United States
Current Residence: USA
Favourite genre of music: METAL~
Favourite style of art: the style of not sucking
MP3 player of choice: My Phone
Shell of choice: Remember...Donatello owns all of your asses for free
Skin of choice: My skin is not too bad nowadays
Favourite cartoon character: Heihachi Mishima!
Personal Quote: "THIS IS MY YARD NOW!"
Interests
No, I am not dead.  I'm actually here on DA almost every day checking up on certain people and browsing for any good fandom artwork. 

I've just been very, very, very busy.

I am currently a fully licensed Board Certified Behavioral Analyst, working as a Clinical Supervisor still located in Richmond, VA.  I am also now the current reigning WORLD CHAMPION in Street Fighter x Tekken, having finally unseated Esuta at EVO 2017 in a dominating round robin performance.  I've been playing Street Fighter V on the side and will be trying my hand at Marvel vs Capcom Infinite when it comes out next month.  I've also been playing Dynasty Warriors 8 XLCE and NBA Playgrounds. 

In fact, playing video games so much is a BIG reason why I haven't posted any prose in such a long time.  Every time I think about scratching the itch, I get sidetracked playing something either on my computer or on my Playstation 3 or 4.  I don't really regret this too much, though: I do more than enough writing at work drafting service plans or authorization summaries so by the time I'm home, I've already gotten the literary urge out of me. But I do have some things I have worked on that i could probably share with you guys...

At any rate, if you guys want to play me in something, hit me up and we'll exchange tag data.

Games I am taking challenges in are as follows.

Steam:
Street Fighter x Tekken (hit me up and I will give you what you need to play this online)
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter V
King of Fighters 98UM
King of Fighters 2002UM
King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition
Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition
Injustice Gods Among Us
NBA Playgrounds
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
ANYTHING YOU WANT ON FIGHTCADE.  Let me know what you want to play and I'll get whatever files I need to make it happen
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Under Night In Birth Exe:Late (I'll be picking up UNIST whenever it drops on Steam)

Playstation 4:
Street Fighter V
Tekken 7
Blazblue Central Fiction
King of Fighters XIV
NBA Playgrounds
For Honor
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Dragonball FighterZ whenever that comes out

Playstation 3:
Street Fighter x Tekken
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection
Soul Calibur II HD
NBA Jam On Fire Edition
Injustice Gods Among Us
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition
Marvel vs Capcom 2


Xbox 360
Street Fighter x Tekken
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
NBA Jam On Fire Edition
  • Listening to: Dead by April - Playing With Fire
  • Reading: Umehara Fighting Gamers Vol. 1
  • Watching: White Men Can't Jump
  • Playing: Street Fighter x Tekken (2017 EVO CHAMPION WOOOO)
  • Eating: Carrots & Dinamitas
  • Drinking: Coke Zero

Comments


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:iconjaredjlee:
jaredjlee Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Party I hope this birthday is one to remember! Have your cake and eat it too
Reply
:iconrihannon52:
Rihannon52 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the :+fav:  You can read the complete story at fanfiction(dot)net, under my pen-name, Rihannon.  Just in case you are interested. :)
Reply
:iconpsycho-blue:
Psycho-blue Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2018
I would love to.  Maybe we can bounce Seiya x Shaina ideas off of each other one day (I did a Saint Seiya story back in 2015 as well)
Reply
:iconrihannon52:
Rihannon52 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice!  It is the one posted here in DA?  
Reply
:iconpsycho-blue:
Psycho-blue Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2018
yep!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconxiao-fury:
Xiao-Fury Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
.....well I guess you're happy about your team, aren't you?? :lol:
Reply
:iconpsycho-blue:
Psycho-blue Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2018
not until we get into the Super Bowl.  They've let me down far too many times for me to trust them until they get that far.  
Reply
:iconxiao-fury:
Xiao-Fury Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well...I guess I spoke too soon, didn't I? lol
Reply
:icondk2k1:
DK2K1 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday, dude. :D
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:iconjaredjlee:
jaredjlee Featured By Owner Edited Sep 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Party Enjoy your birthday Champ! Have your cake and eat it too
I just purchased Sheol Must Fall to celebrate.
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