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Jian cringed slightly at the obnoxious female voice identifying him from across the badly-lit asphalt. He glanced across at the row of dark, mismatched buildings that could have mirrored the ones on his side of the street, and waved a little sheepishly. His feet kept on their path though, he wasn't going to turn around. Green eyes went back to the sidewalk in front of him, black haircut partly obscuring his vision. People bugged him about it being emo. He wasn't emo. Emo kids whined about problems they didn't really have. He had problems, and he didn't whine about them. Somehow, that still made him emo in the minds of the ignorant.

The owner of the voice could claim a good share of that ignorance and didn't seem to get the hint. "Come on, we're going to Aephies!" Painted nails and too-crowded bracelets beckoned the shy one over.

"I gotta be somewhere," came the half-hearted reply, and then any further encouragement was too far behind, at least in Jian's opinion. Truth was, he was dressed for clubbing, and had an ID that added three years to his barely-legal status. He'd just turned 18, and Aphies was a 21 and older crowd. Well, most of it was. Regardless, he'd learned the hard way not to get caught up in bitch-girl's schemes with her so-called friends.

Jian sighed, blowing air out his lips and jamming his hands into Tripp-pants pockets. He didn't actually have anywhere to be, and dancing had lost its shimmer somewhere between sunset and this street. He'd follow it out of town, it was going that way anyways. Maybe bum a ride, get back to the home that wasn't home that much sooner. Joy. Sarcasm didn't count as whining.

Headlights illuminated the hand outstretched with thumb pointed upwards, vehicle slowing as it approached the hitchhiker. A nice car, sedan, black and it could have been new. The passenger side window glided smoothly downwards by power control as the teenager moved closer, glad for the opportunity but not stupid enough to get himself in worse trouble than underage clubbing.

The sight of the driver, even in dim illumination, made the teen have to remember what it was he was just about to ask. Skin that had to be pale as hell, long hair that might be red in better light, black rims of chic glasses. Fine, almost feminine features that could have walked out of a fantasy movie. But a guy. A guy that was looking at him calmly. Right. Question. "Umm, you heading towards Loraine?" Stupid question, really, as the road only went that direction, but there were offshoots one could take if one really didn't want to cruise the local trailer park.

The stranger nodded, the door lock clicked open, and the boy let himself into the car. It was a nice car. GPS even, though the screen was dark. Forward motion as the car was put back into gear, and the driver spoke finally. His voice had the same kind of quality that those eyes had shown a moment ago, soothing with perhaps a warmth to it somewhere, though it was hard to say what it was that made the guy sound so... awesome. Maybe it was that charm thing that most of the world seemed to have forgotten about.

"Put your seat belt on, if you please." It wasn't really a command, but something more than a mere request. The stranger's own seat belt was secured properly across a dark long-sleeve shirt that had a bit of frill around the collar. The guy had style... 'course, Jian's wannabe-friends or more like torture-buddies would have pegged the guy for flat-out gay in half a second. That... would not be bad. At all.

Jian fumbled with the thing getting it on, and chuckled nervously. "This is the part where I tell you I'm sorry, I'm 18, and you suddenly lose interest and boot me out... right?"

There was something of a smile on the pale lips as the driver made an amused sound, eyes staying on the road. Those eyes... Jian could swear they were red. Not the rare maroon he'd seen on a kid once in school, but red-red. A passing streetlight gave better illumination for a moment, and yeah. Sweet Jesus, yeah. On top of it all, what was pale skin started looking awfully white. Albino-white. And the hair was red too, not Annie red but unreal fantasy dude red. Maybe the guy dyed his hair, to get that color, especially if it was super-light like his skin. It made sense. The soft blue lips, though, that was... well, it was a nice touch, but damn. The guy didn't have to try to look hot, but it seemed he was happy to bring on the makeup anyways.

The face turned towards him, and Jian looked away quickly, blushing slightly. Yeah, he'd been staring, and well if it weren't for politeness and societal standards and whatnot, he wanted to keep right on doing it, especially after seeing what was on the other side of the profile better. A tattoo... black, faintly tribal, whispy. Hot. Damn it. Jian could feel the eyes on him, it was awkward and uncomfortable and it didn't help that his own hormones weren't being very nice right now. Hell, he didn't even know how old the guy was, not that... it really mattered. Older than me. Yeah, that was definitely the easy guess.

The shift away of attention was almost palpable to the teen, and he had to try hard not to sigh audibly. Although it might be an exercise in further awkwardness, he attempted to fill the silence with at least some rubbish small talk. "So, umm, are you from around here?"

"No," came the simple and straightforward answer. The guy had painted nails... probably black. They looked black. That detail was being noticed now that green eyes were not quite wandering all the way back to the enigmatic one.

"Oh... well, you're not missing out on anything. Back end of the world here." Jian's elbow went up by the window and he leaned his cheek against his palm. Wherever this guy came from, it had to be far more interesting. "My name's Jack, by the way. Podunk name from a Podunk town." And a lie, yes, but his real name made him too easy to find if certain people with killer looks turned out to be something more along those literal lines. Paranoid much? He could think of a lot worse ways to die.


Jian blinked and looked over at the stranger. "Really? I mean... that's cool. It umm, it's unique." It fit him too. Exotic. Mysterious. And... wait, distracted?

The red eyes kept flicking up to the rear view mirror, Jian getting the impression his words weren't finding much of an audience. The boy glanced back across the leather seats, view beyond the rear end of the car clear of everything but the same boring road that was always there, only varying in amount of visibility. Returning his attention to... Asura... showed the distraction seemed to have passed. Young eyes then forced to wander away from temptation found a curious absence on the steering column.

"No keys?" He remembered something about remote controls on cars but he was pretty sure keys were still useful to actually turn the thing on.

"The starter's jammed, I have to jury rig it for now." Tone even, no hint of anything that would cause suspicion.

So then why am I suspicious? It seemed highly unlikely that a great-looking guy like this would be hot-wiring cars for nefarious purposes. Jian couldn't help find humor in his own thoughts and chuckled. "Cool, so we've upgraded from pedophile to car thief. I can live with that."

There wasn't a returned sign that the joke was appreciated. As the teen looked over to see if he'd offended his ride, he saw the distraction present again. Worse, this time, something in the guy's eyes held way too much alertness for the total lack of anything interesting out the back of the car. Maybe there was a cop back there or something... and as Asura actually glanced through the back window with his own eyes this time the younger found a rather nervous query escaping him.

"What? What is it?" His own flitting gaze was finding nothing at all out of the ordinary, not that it was real easy to see outside, but then he could see the same things the driver could.

"Hold on-" If there were further words much more a command this time, they were cut short by a terrific thud that rocked the car, driver fighting the wheel to keep the course somewhat straight.

Jian had nearly smacked his head on the dash ahead of him, seat belt the only thing between him and pain, though it seemed to have redirected the concept to his collarbone. He was okay though, and they hadn't crashed, and- "What the hell hit us!?" He managed another look behind the car, where the unseen force seemed to have come from, but there wasn't shit out there.

"Problems." The tone was deceptively calm considering the situation, though there was a hard note behind the answer.

That hard note was in the eyes too, focus, attention now almost entirely on the road ahead. Jian looked back again and this time he saw... "What the fuck?" It looked like a giant bat wing, grey maybe, it didn't really matter what damn color it was because the car rocked once more as whatever owned that wing smacked hard enough into the top of the car to dent the roof inwards. "Jesus Christ!"

"Not exactly." Again the cold, calm tone, and perhaps something that might have been sarcasm if the situation weren't so dire.

There was a turnoff into an old industrial section up ahead, the car still moving far too quickly as the slight course change made the road less speed-friendly. Asura was slowing, the bumpy ride becoming less chaotic as dark, weather-beaten buildings sped by the windows. Then everything spun as something slammed into the passenger side of the vehicle and the passenger saw stars that shouldn't have been there.

The car had stopped. Someone was saying something. Jian was really only thinking about how much he wanted to puke right now because of how bad his head hurt, and then he had to ask himself why his head hurt, and whatever else was going on didn't seem to be registering properly. Then he realized he was being pulled out of the car from the driver's side - Right, my head hurts because I was just in a wreck... should I even be moving? - and then there was gravel under him and he was somehow managing to sit up. The gravel bits were sharp under his hands.

Asura's voice again, understandable this time. "Stay by the car, Jian."

Boots stepping away, crunching the stony footing and... wait. Jian? The teen hadn't told the guy his name, how... and then the boy looked up and if he had not already questioned his sanity this night, he was doing it now. Asura was standing a good fifteen feet away, and he wasn't wearing the frilly shirt anymore. Or the glasses. He was decked out in armor. At least, some of that was armor, a mix of black and bronze in a style either ancient or alien. Winged helm, armored shoulders and in the right-hand gauntlet the teen could see...

A motherfucking spear. No, polearm. Halberd? God, I'm such a geek. It looked real, whatever it was. All of it looked real, though it didn't make sense. There was a lot of black leather going on in that outfit, a flowing red cape, the guy really had walked out of a fantasy movie. Except that... that didn't make sense. Kind of like how long the guy's hair was. It had seemed long in the car, but... well, it might be rediculously long, but it was pretty. Still doesn't make sense.

Whether it made sense or not, the pale one's attention on the sky was shortly rewarded by the arrival of what could only be a full-fledged demon. The body was shorter than a human's but not by much, and the whole thing was entirely grey save fiercly-burning red eyes. Wings awfully familiar from a terrorized glance out a back car window, but the rest of the form was so utterly hideous it froze the boy with fear even as Asura raised the halberd to meet the attack. A brilliant flash destroyed Jian's vision for a moment as he blocked his eyes with a trembling arm.

The smell of charred flesh found him a moment later, but it wasn't he who was burning. He was just bleeding, as he'd finally noted thanks to the smear of it on the back of his hand now from where his head was bleeding. He'd been wearing his seat belt, so he must have hit the window... or more like, the window hit him, from what he vaguely remembered of the chaos before this all-new insanity. He put fingers tenderly to where the pain was the worst, somewhere in the hairline above his right eye. It stung to touch but he knew he had to try and hold back the bleeding. Apply pressure. Funny, the things he could remember as his eyes reminded him again just how far off the Fruit Loop gauge he'd fallen.

There was another flash as Asura extended his left hand upwards, arm-guard but no gauntlet there, just the crackle of raw power as lightning flew from black-painted fingertips to scorch another incoming nightmare. Then the halberd's tip bent towards the ground, circling about its owner as murmured incomprehensible words brought forth a line of red misting glow spreading into a circle about the formidable one. Upon completion, new lines streaked inwards with an ethereal hiss across the mottled ground as the glow intensified, runes and patterns appearing as their creator's attention returned to the air above.

Madness. Insanity. And if there was a way to lose it, other than the pain and the feeling of impending death, this was actually a pretty damn cool way to hurl one's marbles off the planet. But then, it seemed all Jian had to do was sit there trying not to bleed out and watch in stupefaction. He had no idea why any of this was going on, but it sure seemed to be going on with a vengeance. And then it was suddenly silent, Asura waiting, attention shifting carefully about the cracked windows and peeling walls of factories and warehouses.

It was the silence that alerted the boy to the presence of sound. Yes, that made sense, but it was a sound he would otherwise have missed. Breathing. Heavy, animal-sounding, and somewhere above him. He didn't want to look, but fear tightened around his heart as his head turned, eyes finding their way to the hood of the car just behind him and the thing sneering back gleefully at him. One of the demons, it was right there, and it was lunging for him, and-

A burst of blinding light caught the creature and hurled it back ungracefully over the car and out of sight. Jian's lungs found the immediate moments following a perfect time to catch up on the breath that had been held in sheer terror, and then Asura was calling to him from where the circle still glowed strong.

"Come into the circle, Jian! Quickly!" There were more of the demons now, two attacking the skilled one while a third swooped circles and watched for an opening. The one who could actually fight the things off at least seemed to be holding their attention.

Jian found it a lot easier to stand up than expected, but then the fear and the surreality of the situation helped tremendously. He was still holding his head, he wasn't sure he'd even let go through any of this, though his memory was a bit treacherous right now and it had been what, less than a minute? Feet forced forward motion and he neared the circle as Asura stepped to the far edge of it. The red eyes stayed on unfriendly targets, the teenager unsure if he retained any of the tall one's attention after the hurried command.

The moment Jian's foot touched the ground inside the circle he nearly fell, but then having the ground seem to vanish from beneath one's feet would have a tendency to do that. Disoriented, he heard Asura's voice again, proof that at least some part of the stranger's focus still remained on the boy.

"The ground is still there, just keep walking to the middle of the circle and sit down."

Jian was realizing he could see through the ground, as if it had turned perfectly clear, though all that was below the surface of the Earth seemed to be a grey mist a very far distance down. Although it was still playing tricks with his balance, he did as told and about collapsed onto his butt in the center of the sphere. He could see it was a sphere now, the air slightly glowing above the defining circle and the surface proving solid somehow as a demon smashed into it only to be repelled with a further gift of scorching flames.

The sphere didn't seem to extend below into the mind-numbing hollowness, and now there appeared one, no, two, of the demons swooping up from below. The answer to the question of whether or not the protective whatever-it-was would keep them away was never given, a blazing trail of forking raw energy passing through the clear ground as if it were not there and rendering the cretins into smoking ruins that fell away into obscurity.

Jian was glad someone was paying attention, his own reactions much too slow even to shout a warning. He looked up, bleary vision watching Asura move gracefully about the outer edge of the sphere, sometimes within it, sometimes without, and it seemed that while none of the flapping, screeching horde could pass through the barrier, his own swings of weapon and coursing power passed through the glow as if it were not there.

The number of enemies appeared to be dwindling now. Although the number had been deceptive throughout the encounter, there seemed less of a directed attack and more of a desperation, and then reluctance. A grey body sliced in half writhed into nothingness, and then there were only two left, if none others stayed hidden nearby. Those last two hovered high for a moment, flapping wings eerie in the sudden stillness, and then they fled together into the night sky.

Asura glanced back towards the injured one, words insistent. "Stay within the circle." Then he was off, following, into the sky, because...

Wings. The guy had wings. Big, black wings like an angel gone goth, just there all of a sudden. ....Cool. That was really the only thought left, especially after the teenage mind behind it gave up and left madness for darkness of the unconscious sort.
||> Part 2 [link]

Who says I can't write an unnamed dolly's character before he gets here? :giggle: Well, this is one version of Asura anyways, and for the short story project I'll use that name. And I figure this has to go in the fanfiction section because however much I may OC Asura, he's still at least totally physically based off the doll.

Oh, and the hitchhiker plot bunny? Inspired by a random short comment on a banned gay commercial on Youtube. :laughing:

Asura (c) Dollzone ( [link] )
Jian (c) me
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November 24, 2010
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