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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:03 pm 
Sergeant 1st Class
Sergeant 1st Class

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Any status on a new episode?? The wait is unbearable! Hope everything is going well with you.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:29 am 
1st Lieutenant
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:32 pm
Posts: 180
Location: New Jersey
*sigh* So... I'm back... I hate having to be forced to take these long absences, but I guess I keep jinxing myself whenever I think things will be stable in my personal life. To make a very long story short, I spent all of July without a home. My mother and myself had tried setting up a place to move to for most of the year but the place we were planning on moving to originally wound up screwing us; with us having to move out of our old place on June 30th. So, I had to spend all of last month in a hotel without any of my things (which thankfully we managed to put into storage) as we tried to wait for a new place to prepare to let us in (which we managed to do; thank God.) Granted, we were only prepared to deal with the situation until July 15th... but then our NEW place said it wouldn't be ready until August 1st... Like... seriously, I deal with too much crap past the writing projects and the Youtube channel and gaming sessions people know me for.

Because of the major issue I ran into, obviously I put the fun and games on the back burner until I could come back, so yes, that time is now. We're successfully in our new apartment and myself with a new computer, so now.... NOW that I can safely say things are stable (please, God, don't let this be a third jinx this year)... I can get back to this baby. Good news is that Chapter 10 is pretty far along and only needs three 'segments' to get done and cleaned up before I put it up here for reading. I've written a lot today already so with this pace I should ACTUALLY have this thing up tomorrow afternoon/evening/night (when I get my main internet back into my home again.) Even better news, Chapters 11 & 12 are already mostly written & the ending Chapter 13 is done already (thank GOD I decided to write those segments way earlier when I started this project... Didn't realize it would be this fortunate.)

So... again, apologies but I've been very stretched thin. After this story's done I'm gonna be following Mr. 20H's style of writing the whole story first before I upload it to prevent it taking another 2 years to finish a story. Man, sometimes writing so much can be a curse when you want it to be 'just right'... But yes, I'm alive and still on this... and YES, this story is getting finished no matter what comes up.

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A lover of fighting game girls, a lover of mirror matches [...and a magnet for double K.O.s, apparently].

Catchable on Steam & most video game consoles. Just PM me!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:29 am 
General
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Happy to hear things are starting to look up for you ^^. I know how hard things can get and I'm happy to know you and your mom are safe in a new place. Keep up the fantastic work on your stories and your vids. I'm sure we're all looking forward to what you have in store for us :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:15 pm 
1st Lieutenant
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:32 pm
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So... a couple of minutes late... but here we go... Chapter 10 of my Athena story. As noted before, things are gonna get heavy from this point on... I'd rather not drag this out longer than it needs to, so just read up and enjoy, everyone.

*Note: One part of a scene here was specifically inspired due to an old TOH ryona picture I came across on pixiv... I thought about sharing it's inspiration here, but for now I'll hold on to all the big 'behind-the-scenes' talk once the story's over... (hint: the artist's name is 'darthplegias') Only 3 chapters left to go before this baby is FINALLY finished... I can't wait, lol.

---- ----

Chapter 10: “Dark Side of Me”

---- ----

“In these discouraging days, I always missed the mark...”

“When we were comfort and close, I would neglect to keep...”

“You safe and unexposed, a portrait of my life repeats...”

“This moment now replaced, with an empty wish”

“To give, I give, I gave...”

“I gave my everything... for all the right things...”

“But in this cold reality I've made this selfish mimicry...”

“Oh, I went from heaven to hell...”

“How can I share my life with someone else...?”

“I promise you; there's no weight that can bury me, beneath the ghost of all my guilt”

“Here with this dark side of me...”

“Here in the dark side of me...”


---- ----

Morning Number 3...

As with the days prior, the sun shone clean through the Athenas' bedroom window, falling right upon the twins' faces as they slept...

“...ugh...”

“...guh...”

However, unlike the days prior, the sun rays at first didn't seem to do their job at awaking the twin idols from their slumber. At least, not at first... It took longer than usual, but eventually the air was filled with the sound of the combined sounds of the Athenas waking simultaneously, abet quite groggily. Last night was not kind to either one of them in the sleeping department, and their first moments of this day showed it clearly. Both girls weakly opened their eyes half-way, not quite 'awake'... and not quite realizing their posture yet... The first thing each of them felt was their heads pounding massively, which didn't help matters at all right from the start.

[“...oh... j...just... great...”]

[“...ah... d...darn... it...”]

In fact, the two of them let their heads plop down onto the pillows just an inch below them and let their eyes close again, nearly drifting back to sleep. She could feel it... It was going to be one of THOSE days again... and she really didn't want to wake up and face it. However, just before the two could fully pass back out again, they somehow managed to remember what happened just the day before...

[“...the alarm clock...!”]

Any second now, that thing would go off... and if she didn't take care of it now...

[BE---]

The instant the alarm clock on the nearby night stand activated, signaling 8 A.M., a strong purple energy aura surrounded it, lifted it up, and seemed to cause it to physically bend and twist in opposite ways, making it's sound distort and die out before it could even began. A few moment's later, it returned to it's perch in a dropping motion, abet no longer functioning the way it should be anymore with a broken, flickering display. Due to it's shape, however, it slowly began to teeter over... and fell on the carpet floor with a soft, but noticeable bang...

[“…oh, forget it...”]

...it was enough to force the girls awake, despite their efforts. With another collective groan, both Athenas tried to lift themselves up and try to gather their senses... but, like the last few mornings, something was wrong right off the bat.

[“...ugh...? W...what... now...?”]

[“...ow...! R-really...!? What... in the...?]


On top of the headache, there was a pressure... a heavy one at that... rooted right in the center of her forehead... as if something was literally 'attached' or glued to it. At this point, Athena forced herself to open her eyes….

[“What the...!?”]

...and found herself literally face-to-face with her alternate self, their faces as close as humanly possible, forehead to forehead. That was not all, however, as she realized that their foreheads were not the only things that were 'stuck' together...

Apparently, despite last night ending with the two of them sleeping on the edges of the bed away from each other, both Athenas found themselves close together and tangled in a rather... questionable embrace, arms wrapped around the other's body in a tight hug. While underneath the sheets they found it nearly impossible to move at all below her hips... In their sluggish shock, the girls attempted to break away from the other, however, despite their (not-so-best) efforts, they couldn't budge off the other, merely struggling and squirming together in unison; eventually kicking off their bedroom sheets off their bodies with their legs...

[“O...OH...!”]

Said legs, though, covered in pajamas... were very much tangled tightly together in such a intricate manner that neither Athena could ignore the other's every brush along the full length... nor the bumping of their hips and even crotches beneath the night clothes...

[“NO...!! Not... again...!”]

However, the more they tried to fight the situation, the harder it became to concentrate at all... Their legs bumped upwards and down, inadvertently forcing them to rub against the other's clothed pussy, and their arms, trying desperately to push out at the other, accidentally placing themselves on the other's chest, their struggle forcing their buttoned tops to open up... and only realize that even their bras shifted off slightly... meaning hands were fully pushing against bare breasts... Every motion seemed to make Athena's head spin more and more as 'pervy' sensations began to overtake her...

[“NOOOOO...!! I... I can't...!”]

[“No... Don't leave... I want... to... stay like this...”]

It only got worse, for suddenly extra words found their way into her head... with no way to sort out what belonged to what... and... somehow... Athena could very roughly feel a scene fog in and out of her mind... One... that made her incredibly light-headed to try to focus on and her body build tingly goosebumps all over... and... feel a certain spot underneath her pajamas and between her legs react to...

[More... Please... I want... to be with you... like this... forever...]

[“WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS...!?”]

The feelings... There were too many of them... Her mind seemed to dangerously spin in and out of coherency and dizziness... Feelings of alarm and even panic... mixed with a distant-calling longing and bliss...

“GYAH!!!”

She... both of them... finally had enough. With a simultaneous shout and an act of desperation, both Athenas brought their palms down from their perch on the other's breasts down to their stomachs and, without any warning, blasted some of her Psycho Power into her twin, instantly propelling the two in opposite directions out of the bed....

THUD!!!!

“OW!!!!!!!”

...and violently into the opposite walls of their shared bedroom, Athena slamming hard into a standing dresser while Athena colliding heavily against the windowsill, before collapsing onto the carpet floor in-unison in injured heaps. For a while, the area was filled with the dazed moans and heavy panting from the Psycho twins as they very slowly tried to get to a standing point. As they fully got to their feet though, still catching their breath, they made eye contact with one another... paused...

...and instantly pointed accusing fingers at one another at full alert.

“HEY! W... what's the big idea...!? Planting all of that in my head...!?”

“What was THAT about...!? Putting those crazy thoughts in my mind...!?”

Each took hold of the other's words, and both recoiled out of insult, not believing her twin to blame her for their rude awakening, but Athena seemed to be more repulsed at the action that just happened.

“W... what are you talking about!? I'd never think about something so... so.... so...”

Her face twisted upon the thought. Granted, there was no other way she could describe... THAT, so she just came out with the word on her mind.

“...LEWD...!”

...though as it came out, her mind began wondering...

[...but... we... wound up like that... and that voice was...]

However, every other part of her body seemed to reject the thought, forcing her to shake her head clear.

[“N... NO! No WAY could that had been me...! It was her! No doubt about it! She... she's... somehow using her powers to mess with my mind...!”]

Athena then continued on, speaking aloud, “Y-you're the one that's was coming up with the crazy ideas before! Why wouldn't I think this was your doing!?”

Now it was Athena's turn to put on a unpleasant face in reaction. “What are you, nuts!? That may have been before, but that was before I knew how you truly felt about me! After what we went through the day before, being close to you is admittedly quite far away in my mind right now!”

Athena couldn't help the fact that she was still feeling quite a bit unfavorable towards her twin, but the words she said just now...

[“...I mean, it's not like you would've liked it anyways... but...”]

At this moment, though, Athena just couldn't take it, anymore. Placing her hands on her hips in a sigh to calm down, she spoke out loud something she normally wouldn't suggest...

“If that's how you wanna be, then... I... don't think we should be sleeping in the same room anymore...!”

Hearing the words from her seemed to seal the deal for Athena, too, whom also mirrored the same action out of instinct.

“I hate to say it but fine! I agree...!”

Then after a pause...

“It's my room in the first place!”

...the last words were said simultaneously among the two Athenas, and for a moment, it didn't completely register to the other as they said it so... convincingly...

[“...what...?”]

Very slowly, the twin girls' faces went from simply calmly making a statement to cautiously eyeing the other in strained expression...

“What... did you just say...?”

“What did I just say? I said that 'this is MY room...'!”

...and from strained expression to downright anger.

“NO, it ISN'T. This is MY ROOM...!”

Without thinking, both found themselves moving from the sides of the room they were standing to the front of the bed, center of the bedroom, with tension quickly building up with each passing exchange they shot at each other...

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is NOT...!”

“Is TOO...!”

“IS NOT...!!”

“I SAID, THAT THIS IS MY BEDROOM, YOU FAKE!!!”

Instantly both Athenas' eyes widened. At this point, both were blatantly shouting at the other, having come so face-to-face that their barely covered fronts were mashed up against the other, foreheads digging right into the other as they gave each other death glares, but that last sentence... That one cut deep. A new line had just been crossed... One that made the other ones pressed over the last few days seem insanely trivial in comparison. Those words... were that signal.

Like the first gunshot fired over the valley before an all-out war broke out.

Feeling their bodies almost literally on fire now, Athena grabbed her twin by her tattered night clothing aggressively, and nearly lost herself in her anger, just a moment away from slugging the other right in her own face...

“I AM NOT THE FAKE! YOU ARE!!!!”

[BUZZ...! B...UZZ...! BUZZ.....! BU...ZZ....!]

“EH!?”

However, just before all hell could break loose in heaven, an unexpected noise caught them off guard, making both of them stop and take a moment to realize what was going on. The alarm clock both of them wound up mangling as they woke up managed to still let out a strained, broken sound, apparently it's snooze function going off by accident... but seeing the clock again made Athena blink... and realize just what was beginning to happen.

[“What... what am I DOING...!?”]

Without another word, both Athenas, while still grappled together no less, suddenly found themselves enveloped in a glow of Psycho Power... and within the next moment they vanished from the bedroom, leaving it in quite the unkempt mess...

---- ----

[I can't believe she'd go there...! She's really lost her mind...!]

Breakfast and meeting with the others was just out of the question already and the morning had just started; Athena was just simply too steamed to bother. Even after about 45 minutes after the recent altercation, she was still pacing back and forth at the outside of the cabin, too deep in her thoughts to care much about anything else right now. Granted, she did have at least the mind to switch out of her bed clothing, settling for an outfit she hadn't worn in a long time; a blue and white long-sleeved jacket top that showed off just a bit of her stomach along with matching shorts. On her feet, white boots with a black bottom, and, of course, she couldn't forget her star headband and gloves. She had worn this dressing for The King of Fighters '99... though, of course, fans never seen it much considering it was an completely underground tournament with no cameras or media exposure...

[...I'm not the one with the problem... SHE is...!]

Then again, perhaps it was fitting; Athena didn't want to be seen by anyone right now. Stopping just momentarily as she glared over the mountainside, arms crossed, she just couldn't get the displeasure from showing on her face. Being called the 'fake' really was going too far... and she wasn't going to stand for it.

[Ugh...! That tears it! Today... TODAY, I'm going to deal with her! No more Miss Patient Asamiya...! I'm gonna... Gonna....]

A tap at her shoulder came suddenly, snapping her out of her thoughts... though not her mood. At first she was ready to spin around and just lay into her twin; thinking it was her coming up behind her, but instead she came face to face with her friend and partner, whom jumped back in surprise, not expecting such a reaction out of nowhere...

“WHOA, j-just wait a sec!”

“Huh...? K-Kensou...!?”

“Athena...! I... I would say 'good morning' but it seems like you're had a bad night's sleep or something...” the boy said nervously, trying to make sure he wasn't Athena's target. Thankfully, she simply sighed, leaning against the tree nearby both themselves and a bench Chin had placed there for obvious sitting.

“I'm sorry... I didn't mean to do that... You're right, though. I had a bad night's sleep... Strange for me to get it, isn't it...?”

“Well... considering the things that's been happening, I guess it can happen to anyone...” Kensou then paused, giving his friend a decent look. “Hey... You're... back wearing that outfit again... From when we were first dealing with N.E.S.T.S...”

“Y.. yeah... I suppose I really wanted to switch things up today,” she responded back, looking towards the clothes she wore, even lightly tugging at her jacket top's front. “I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but you know... my other outfits seem to be quite the ways more popular with others, so I always wear those for nostalgia sake...”

“Um... you alright there? You seem to be troubled, or something... I can tell; it's all in your voice...”

“I... well...” the Psycho Soldier girl tried to make it seem like it wasn't a big deal... then quickly realized that card was already on the table, so to speak. “I'll admit... I've felt better...”

“You wanna talk about it...?” Kensou offered, instantly concerned. Athena didn't respond at first, but eventually after some thought, she sighed a little, then turned towards the bench nearby and sat facing the mountains.

“I know I might sound completely silly about this... but... lately I've been truly questioning... what I'm supposed to do... and what I want from myself... I've done a lot up until now... but never nothing like... 'this'... It's weird... It's like I found out that I've been 'here' but not truly 'here'...”

“I... don't quite get what you mean...” Kensou said back nervously, also deciding to sit near her in order to comfort her... which truly was a first to him, at least for THIS side of Athena...

“I know, I sound like I'm rambling... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel like I'm trying to get a hold of a problem that doesn't want to be fixed...”

Kensou thought about it for a bit, then it seemed to click... “O... OH...! I... I think I get it now...”

“I know that I've seemed like this hopeful all this time but I'll admit... I feel like I've been holding a whole 'nother... 'me' underneath it all... I just want to be able to let this all go and not have to worry about anything else...”

“Well... you don't have to worry about much at all...” came his reply. “I mean... you got me, Chin, Momoko, Bao... and all your supporters and fans... You usually just think of them and bounce right back from anything...”

“Yes... that used to work... but this time... I need something... more... um... 'personal'...”

For a while, Kensou and Athena didn't speak. Athena kept her gaze ahead, the Psycho Soldier boy hung up on that last word she said... trying to figure out what she meant so that she could help. At first, he seemed to overthink it, making a face... but then, one thought did come to mind...

“You know... with your hair cut shorter again... it does look nice seeing you 'exactly like' from that year again...”

The sentence made the girl stop paying attention to the horizon and pause a little. Running a hand through her short hair, she let out a question...

“You... really think so...?”

“Well... yeah... It is exactly how I remember it, after all, so...”

A faint smile crept onto Athena's face, Kensou barely noticing it, but enough to see that it worked somewhat. Ever since that encounter the other morning that forced her to have to cut it due to her double, she admit it was the first time even thinking about it made her smile. Someone liked something she had that her twin didn't have... It was a basic complement, but to her, right now, it did a world of difference.

[“He's... always around just when I'm about to lose it... Honestly... I... I've been taking him for granted...”]

Athena then looked up toward the morning sky, close to the sun, kicking her legs underneath the bench as she spoke, “You know... Now that I think about it... that year really was something else... I was in trouble back there, too, when I got caught in that rubble underneath that collapsing base... and yet there you were, risking everything to save me...”

“Yeah, I remember... That ceiling piece was WAY to heavy to lift and then... well... I just let it all 'go'... to get you out of there.”

“I guess I have to say that this time... you're trying to rescue me from myself. I... appreciate that...”

Kensou then gave a laugh, rubbing the back of his head, “Ah, it's... it's nothing, Athena! I mean... it's not like it's anything you couldn't have done for me or anyone else.

[“...I feel like I should do something for him for once... but... what should it be...?”]

Cooking was always her go-to way of showing her appreciation towards Kensou and her other companions... but the moment she thought of that, her mind flashed back to the other night and the quick argument she had with herself over the TV shows to watch... and immediately shook that out of her mind.

[“No... that's what SHE would want to do... I'm... not 'her'... I need to do something to show that it's ME giving this gift to him... not 'me'...”]

After a moment of silence, Kensou called out to her softly to break it.

“Athena...? You're feeling any better...?”

“Yeah...”

Then, to the boy's shock, Athena placed a hand on his, making sure he didn't leave from the bench.

“...thanks to you...”

[“...Should I do... 'that'...?”]


...There WAS one thing she knew Kensou always wanted from her... for as long back as she could remember, but she never thought about actually giving it to him... Before, she couldn't explain why... It was embarrassing, so much so she even hid it from herself... but... the difference here was that 'SHE” was that 'herself'... and she was tired of trying to hide things. Of course, this being her first time even considering it for real... it quickly raced in her head how she should go about it. This was a fragile matter now... and she wanted to make sure she did it right.

It was then that Kensou looked into Athena's eyes, and noticed that, despite this Athena arguably being the more 'aggressive' one out of the two, this softness she was showing... Like... Like...

“A...thena...?”

---- ----

[“This is wrong... This is all wrong...”]

Some time had passed. Athena could only stand with her back to the outside of the cabin, on the far end so that she'd be out of sight from others as she faced the mountain range basking in the half-cloudy sky, head down as she thought. Despite them warping out of the room together an hour ago, Athena appeared here alone, then quickly used her powers to switch into something more appropriate for being outside. Not thinking too much about it, she opted to re-wear her 1997 outfit of cute red shoes, white socks, dark red leggings, red vest and skirt combo topped over her white inner shirt and, of course, star-themed red gloves... however, her wardrobe was the last thing on her mind now...

[“I feel like I'm losing my mind every time I'm around her now... It's making me do things I never wanted to do before... It's... too dangerous to stay like this... I have to figure out a way to get my power back from her... and it has to be today...”]

Just thinking like that seemed to rub her the wrong way... but cooperating with her twin wasn't working... and the time was growing short. The team would have to leave towards the opening ceremonies in Germany, including the concert she admit she hadn't been thinking about much lately, within the next day... But now, it was just the principle of the matter now... This situation... This couldn't continue...

As Athena thought to herself, she didn't notice the fact that the window above her leading from the kitchen area of the cabin had opened up, and someone had peered her head out from inside in order to greet her older companion for the day.

“Ah...! That's some nice fresh air...! Hmm...? Oh, Athena-chan! Good morning! You're looking great again today!”

“...Good morning, Momo-chan... and thanks... How're you doing this morning?”

“Great! I just came from cleaning up after doing breakfast... But... what are you doing over here? You alright? You and 'you' didn't come down to eat at all, and yet you're standing out here already.”

“Yes, I'm fine...”

“...You sure...?” the younger girl didn't seem convinced, making a pouting face. “You sure don't look it...”

“...”

Usually Athena would put on the role of the big sister when dealing with Bao and Momoko, but this time she couldn't bring up the mind to do so. Leaning harder against the wooden wall behind her, Athena could only mutter out a little, so little that Momoko couldn't hear it despite being in hearing distance above her. The sight put a frown on her face...

[“This isn't like her at all...! I need to help her!”]

“I know... It's because you haven't eaten anything yet so you must be feeling bad! Just a second, Athena-chan...!”

“Oh, Momoko, you don't have t-”

By the time Athena could even think about stopping the young Soldier, she was already out of the open window and back inside. Thinking she'd be a while, Athena turned her attention back to herself... and closed her eyes, not fond of getting other people worried about her problem.

[“Now I've gotten her worried about me... This isn't good...”]

“Here, Athena-chan!”

“Wha...?” Athena suddenly gasped, just as her younger companion literally jumped from out the open window in a full flip and down to her level outside, holding up a plate... that somehow still had it's contents on it despite the acrobatics she displayed. “What's this...?”

“A nice, emergency cake break!” Momoko replied with a big smile, presenting it to her older Soldier. “Come on! Eat it!”

“...Cake in the morning...? Why would I--”

“Don't worry about it! Just eat it! I'm glad we still have some left over from last night... Whenever I feel down about something in the morning I do something out of the normal in order to get my mind off everything... Trust me, it works!”

Obviously being skeptical about Momoko's 'remedy', Athena still did her best to smile and take the treat from her friend, wasting no time taking a bite out of it, chewing slowly first. Of course, the obvious questions about this whole thing lingered at first.., but taking Momoko's advice Athena decided to just eat it... and not think about anything else...

“Can I say something?”

Athena forced herself to swallow a bit in order to answer, “Of course you can, Momo-chan. Go ahead.”

“I honestly think that you work very hard... for all of us. You do so much; but don't forget to just relax sometimes, too! We all like you way more when you're smiling... so that's why I gave you that; so that you could smile!”

The reasoning was quite simple... but it was just like Momoko that by the time Athena ate the last of the small cake piece she was indeed sporting a warm smile back to her. “Well... I gotta admit that it worked... Thank you so much.”

“Of course! The emergency cake ALWAYS works! I get Master Chin with this all the time so I know it's proven!”

“Master...? Why would he need that... He's... never depressed.”

“Trust me, it's not for depression...” Momoko replied back, giving a side glance. “It helps with the hangovers he has with all that 'drinking' he does...”

“Oh... I see, now... You're right, though. I should let my mind relax a bit and... huh...?”

It was then that Athena's senses seemed to 'pick up' on something happening nearby, cutting herself off. As Momoko watched on, Athena slowly turned her attention from around the cabin wall to around the corner, catching the sight of Kensou and her “Other” self sitting a distance away together... At first it seemed as if the two were talking and nothing more... but then, after some movements, she noticed her twin put a hand on Kensou's hand on the bench...

[“...What... is she doing...?”]

--- ----

[“...I'm... I'm going to do it... He... deserves it...”]

She had made up her mind. In those quiet moments, Athena had just let her heart guide her next steps, now changing her posture so that she sat completely facing Kensou, whom couldn't help but stammer a little and blush out of nervousness. She had always seen this side of Kensou whenever 'that' side of him would pop up... This time, was only a little different... for she wanted to show a 'similar' side back for the first time...

“You know... We've been together a long time, Kensou... A very long time... and through all the dealings we face, while we may have gotten stronger, you change... yet you never really 'change', either... I like that the most about you...”

“A... Athena...?” Kensou let out, noticing that very slowly Athena was inching herself closer to him, now coming across his lap gently. Perhaps it was out of complete confusion that he leaned backwards a bit... Was this... REALLY happening right now...?

[“Is... she...!?”]

Kensou could barely contain himself at this point, swallowing perhaps a days worth of saliva down his throat at once. He always dreamed of this moment... but never in his wildest dreams did he think it would actually happen...

“For once... Let me give you something... only 'I' can give you...”

Athena's words seemed to echo in his head now... Their surroundings kicked up slightly with the wind, but all of that was tuned out by the two friends... However, Kensou managed to pulled himself together and calmed down...

[“This... This HAS to be it...!”]

“...Athena... If this is what you want... then...”

He didn't finish his sentence; he didn't need to, as he saw Athena, his friend, nod just once lightly... then closed her eyes and slowly and gently leaned forwards towards him more...

...after a moment, he got his answer...

[“Thank you... for everything...”]

---- ----

[“WAIT... IS SHE...!?"]

Alarm bells rang... no... exploded in her head. From 0 to 100, Athena went from calm yet curious to outright panicked and furious, so fast that the watching younger girl near her couldn't even process it.

[“.....NO....!”]

“A... Athen—AH!”

Momoko couldn't even finish calling her name, for by the time she did, Athena was gone in a flash of pink energy, faster than she ever did before in her life... leaving her with a blank look on her face.

“Yeah, she's totally feeling better, I guess...! I should get upstairs and pack...”

--- ----

It was the first time Athena had kissed someone... No, not the friendly or family variant of kissing... It was THAT type of kiss that she was experiencing now... The one she wanted to share with 'her'... but... obviously that plan had wound up failing hard...

[“...her loss...”]

Despite that... actually doing it with Kensou was nothing like she had figured it would be. Considering his past antics, she figured he'd die if she as so much as winked at him a lot of the time... but this... with her passionately leaning onto his chest, hands placed there and him eventually comfortably placing a hand behind her back... it was... dare she say... heavenly... It felt so nice... she silently wished she could stay like that, and savor the moment.

Though eventually, both managed to break apart, both lightly panting from the rise of emotion. Athena was the first to speak, lightly dropping her head, but on her face was quite the smile.

“Y... you know... finally coming up like this... It's... different... but... I actually... like it...”

“I... I still can't believe you actually are-”

Before he could finish the words, Athena simply placed a finger on his lips, once again shocking him.

“You don't have to say anything... Perhaps I'm being a bit selfish right now... but do you mind if I do it again...?”

"I... well... if-if you want..."

Athena once again moved in for another kiss for his friend, even scooting up and sitting directly in front of him, arms coming around his neck... which could only make him insanely hot underneath his hood collar. The only thing that ran through his head at this time was the feeling he always wanted to feel ever since he started getting to know his Psycho Soldier companion...

[“...This... has GOT to be the HAPPIEST day of my life...!”]

...that was, until... something beside them seemed to flare up in hostility, knocking both friends out of their blissful moment harshly. Athena, in question, could barely snap herself out of it before she suddenly felt threatened and just barely caught a glimpse of a heated ball of energy streaking right in her direction... and forced herself to break her next kiss attempt early... or risk being shot off the mountainside.

“PSYCHO.... SHOOT!!!!”

“!!!!”

“WHOA!!”

Within that moment, Kensou could just barely throw himself backwards on the wooden bench as a bright pink projectile attack the size of a human body blew right where Athena was, blasting off part of the nearby tree nearby and zoomed off into the distance. Right after, his blue clad friend poofed back into existence just beside him, now purely focused on where the attack had came from...

“HEY! What in the HECK was THAT for!?”

...Athena, whom was still in her firing pose, arms crossed across her body... and eyes filled with disdain for what she just witnessed.

“How... dare you...! How DARE you...! This... is UNFORGIVABLE!!”

“A... Athena...!?”

Needless to say, Kensou couldn't be anymore confused about the matter... though, as the scene played itself out, it quickly began to make itself clearer to him...

“How... how dare you say those things!” Athena continued, now storming towards the two towards the bench, but mainly towards her mirror image. “And how dare you jump all over Kensou like that! Don't you have any shame!?”

“Hmph!” came a sharp reply, Athena not budging from her spot, “What does it even matter to you? It's not like you cared that much before, right? I'm taking the time to finally express how I feel about a dear friend! Isn't this what you always wanted; you know, if you were actually ME? How could you lead him on for so long without telling him how you felt! You're absolutely terrible!”

“No, it's YOU that's the terrible one! I would never act in such a dirty way towards Kensou! That's just not right!”

“What's so 'dirty' about showing affection!? For someone whose always going on about spreading love and togetherness, you have a ROTTEN way of showing that to someone's who'se been your partner for the longest time! So, you're admitting that you never felt anything towards him, aren't you? I knew it! You MUST be the fake then! You've been playing with his feelings on purpose all these years just because!”

“That's not true! But it IS you that's giving me a bad image to him now! Kensou is my friend...! My DEAREST friend! What you were doing was FAR from what I call 'just friendship'!”

As the two argued back and forth, Kensou could only stare on in disbelief. Sure... in a crazy world, seeing Athena fight over himself twice over would be considered a dream... but right now he couldn't feel any more nervous, as if he were standing in the middle of two cats fighting for the same litterbox... and then, a flash from his past came to his mind...

[“That dream... it's... coming true...!”]

Suddenly, without warning, Athena raised up her hands, stopping the back and forth nature of their latest argument.

“You know what...? ...I got it, then...”

“Got what?” Athena quickly answered back, but then stopped herself as she noticed her blue self turn away from her for a quick second, then, with a smirk, lowered her tone...

“Oh, Kensou...?”

“EH!?”

The call of his name at at a time like this forced the boy to shoot up from the bench as if it was suddenly a bed of spikes. Staring back at him were the two Athenas, Athena looking at him with a look of happiness... and Athena looking back at him with a level of sternness...

“How about YOU tell us who you think the real one of us is, then? You'll be honest, right...?”

“Ah.... ah.... You... you can't be serious... I... I can't CHOOSE... between you two...!”

“HEY! No fair! You're pressuring him! Besides, Kensou TRULY knows which one of us is the 'real' one...” Athena then glared harder at him, making sure he got the message she was trying to make... “Right...?”

“Well, why not?” Athena justified herself, as if she knew she had this in the bag. “You know, there was only one of us before these last few days even happened... so you'd be able to tell more than anyone; even Master Chin. Go on, don't be afraid to say how you really feel...”

“...What... I really feel...”

Kensou swallowed hard. No man deserved to be in this type of predicament... though once again, just as he did before, he managed to steel himself... and clench his fists as his sides in order to make sure he said how he felt...

“What I really feel... is that you BOTH are the real Athena...!”

Hearing that sentence caused a few seconds of silence, the wind taking another calm breeze through the area... before both Athenas shot off the handle at the same time.

“Wait, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?”

“Hey, WHAT TYPE OF ANSWER WAS THAT!?”

“No, listen to me!” Kensou shouted, shooting his hands up in front of him to stop the two before they possibly could've jumped on him to kill him where he stood. “It's just... you're so 'divided' now with yourself... Athena... as your friend... and perhaps even closer than that... I just have to say this; or else I won't be able to sleep well at night. PLEASE, don't fight with yourself like this!”

“...”

That... was something neither Athena was expecting to hear. Feeling as if he successfully got both their attention as they both went silent, the boy in the middle of this mess went on, more confident in his words.

“I... I don't want either of you two getting hurt... You're... too dear to me... I'm... not sure how to help you go about fixing this 'problem' but... please, just promise me that...”

“I...”

“I...”

The twins couldn't help but be left speechless at it all. After waiting for a little while in order to make sure they wouldn't flare off at each other... or him... again, Kensou slid himself between the two carefully...

“I'll... go see if I can get Master up from inside... He's sleeping in late... You two just... relax, OK...? I'll be right back.”

...and once he was a little distance away, he broke into a run inside and out of sight. Athena held her attention there for a little bit of time... before she turned to her side... to see Athena staring back at her, a light field of Psycho energy already surrounding her... and if looks could kill, it would appear as if Athena's gaze alone could shoot razor-bladed arrows right through her twin if they could...

“...The ONE chance I get to make Kensou feel special... and you ruin it... All those years... ALL THOSE YEARS... and you choose that ONE second to 'act' like you care about him when I finally give him what he's been wanting all that time... You're right... This is unforgivable... I... will NEVER forgive YOU for this...!”

“HEY!" Athena called back, just as her twin used her Teleport once again to leave the area... but not without following suit with on of her own. “I'm not done with you! Get back here!”

---- ----

It didn't take long for Kensou to get to the inside of the cabin and into the lower level side room the team's Master was known for sleeping in... Flicking the light on in the dark room, he was quick to call out for the old man for help...

“Master...?”

A moment of silence met the boy, whom could slightly smell the scent of alcohol in the air... which was nothing new... but other than that, nothing...

“Kensou... You sure don't take time to knock anymore, now do you?”

“GAH!” Jumping away from his back, Kensou turned around to see his master standing back from where he came with a look of wonderment on his face.

“What? Did you think I was sleeping? We spent all this time sharpening your senses, Kensou. Don't start losing that now.”

“Well... yeah, to be honest...” the young man said back, shaking his head a little to get back on track “Anyways, I need to talk to you. I think there's something terribly wrong with Athena...”

“Wrong, eh...?” the old master repeated back, standing up and stroking his beard. “Go on ahead, Kensou... Tell me what's happening to her.”

Without wasting time, Kensou let in all that he experienced over the last moment he shared with the twins. By the time he was done, Chin had ceased his hand movements and stood at full attention.

“So... I'm seeing a side of her, that I haven't seen before... Its... WAY scarier than usual...”

“Hmm... so the side that houses the evil workings of her soul is starting to show itself then...”

“No... I wouldn't say it's more one than the other...” the young man corrected himself. “They both seem so... true to themselves... Yet it's getting to the point that they're starting to hate each other... REALLY hate each other. The argument they had just now... It was hard to watch Athena and Athena fight with each other like that...”

“Hmm... I see... A heart with two halves...”

With that, the old man turned his attention away from his pupil, beginning to walk past him towards the front of the cabin.

“They'll have no choice, then...”

“You have something in mind, Master?”

Kensou's question made Chin stop just short of the doorway and look back over his shoulder, and he could feel the seriousnes on Chin's face. “Yes... She will have to confront the side of her heart she's been dealing with.... and make it whole again...”

A few moments passed, and once the old man's words clicked, Kensou made a face. “Hold on, wait, Master... Are... are you SURE... about this? You're thinking what I'm thinking you are, aren't you?”

Chin simply looked back towards his front, letting past a tired sigh. “I'd hate to rush her to it, but her upcoming schedule sure makes it hard for us to treat this manner the slow 'old fashioned' way... Tell me... Where were they last?”

---- ----

Meanwhile, Athena had brought herself back inside, appearing back just in front of the younger member's bedroom doors upstairs near her own, just wanting to get away from her twin as she tried to think through her anger...

[“I swear... I SWEAR she won't get away with this...”]

“I didn't know how to say this at first... but now I'm certain of it...”

However, that didn't last long at all, as within that instant, a second voice rang out... from Athena, whom had followed her energy flow, looking at her twin's backside with piercing eyes...

“You're not satisfied with just trying to ruin my image... You want to get rid of me completely... To replace me... That's it, isn't it?”

“...”

Athena said nothing back, but for Athena, the silence spoke a thousand words. By this time, clearly, a line that had not been crossed over the past few days, even after others were, had finally been crossed... and... rather rapidly one might say, the friendly air around the two identical Psycho Soldiers had long since evaporated.

“You let your guard down just before you teleported and I took the time to read your mind..." Athena kept on sternly, clenching her hands by her sides. "You were plotting this ever since we left the bedroom...”

“...And you didn't think the same?” Athena finally spoke, turning around and not dropping her mood. “You weren't the only one reading thoughts and emotions; I could sense your hate from all the way from where you were hiding back there... Well guess what? DEAL with it...! I'm OBVIOUSLY Athena Asamiya, you faker... and... and I'm going to prove it...!”

At this point the words just seemed to fly out, and even Athena felt as if she was just speaking without thinking... In fact, she completely was, but darn it, her interrupting her moment with Kensou... HER moment with Kensou, was the last straw. With a fierce pointer finger into her double's face, Athena let it all out loud and clear what she had in mind...

“I'm going to prove it... by getting MY half of my power back from you, wither you like it or not!”

“FAKE!? It's YOU whose the fake one! And it's gonna be YOU that gives me back MY power and goes away!”

“Oh, IS THAT SO!?”

“YES, I SURE THINK SO!”

Without either of them realizing it, both had roughly grabbed onto the others' collar of their shirts to pull them to their own attention, teeth even visibly gritting and growls emitting from their throats. Yes... Now, this 'mirror-self' of hers was showing her true colors...

[She really WAS the enemy all along...!!]

“A... Athena...chan...?”

However, before the moment could escalate even further, the twin idols turned to their side to realize in shock that they weren't alone in the upper hallway now. Near them in the middle of the way stood Bao, his eyes rather wide and poking the tips of his pointer fingers together in front of him sheepishly.

“Oh... I... I'm sorry... I... didn't mean to interrupt you...”

It was at this point they realized their still felt their faced scrunched up in anger... and both subconsciously gasped in unison.

[...S-shoot...!]

“Ahaha....! N-no, Bao... It's alright...!” Athena said while letting go of herself, turning around to face him with the biggest (fake) smile she could give at the moment. "You... you didn't interrupt anything...!”

“R-right...!” Athena agreed, releasing her grip on herself and flashing a similar (fake) smile. “Um... w-what's the matter...? Did you... need me for anything?”

“No...” the young boy in orange clothing said slowly. By the way his eyes looked, he also wasn't too convinced on the act the twin Athenas were putting on... “I... I just heard a lot of shouting and I... you know... wanted to make sure you were OK...”

“OK...? Bao, it's alright...! I-er... W-We've... never felt better...!”

“R-Right! Now... go on ahead and have some fun time with Momoko, OK? You don't have to worry about me... I mean, 'us...' We promise.”

Bao may be young, but even he could feel when it was time to leave someplace he probably wouldn't want to be in for too long. With a slight tilt of the head, he inched towards Momoko's door to his right and grabbed the knob. “OK, Athena-chan... If you say so.”

In the next moment, the door opened and closed with Bao letting himself in... and instantly the smiles the twins put on dropped, now just realzing that they were standing side-by-side against the end of the hallway, backs against a small table with various small items on it...

“...This is all your fault, you know that, right...?”

“My fault? It's not me who isn't being honest right now...”

“Why are you still trying to act like you don't have any blame in this, huh?” Athena shot back, now giving her twin a heated stare once again. “You're still just going to ride that lie until the end, aren't you...!?”

“I'm NOT lying!” Athena quickly matched her blue twin's hot gaze. “Don't pin this all on me because you wanted to be selfish with your desires...!”

“There you go using that word again! At least I'M willing to do that when I feel I need to for myself! No one truly likes that much of a goody-goody, and you know it! You think you're whole act is any better!? Why do you think you've always been talked down to by some of the other fighters at KOF, huh? I just don't mind 'taking care of myself' with how I feel, unlike you, who has to butt into others people's business because you 'care' about purity, 'love' and justice...! Sometimes you just need to butt out and let those things come to be naturally!”

“You're really pushing it, right now! Stop it before you REALLY tick me off!”

“Oh, yeah? Did I really make you THAT mad!? Well, maybe I WANT to see you get ticked off! It'll probably be a nice change of pace to see that face of mine show some anger for a change!”

“Oh, yeah!? Then how about THIS for anger, then!?”

WHAM!!!

The next thing Athena knew, a stinging slap struck across her cheek, strong enough to knock her whole body off balance and nearly crashh into Kensou's closed door behind her. Athena, hand still out in the air where it hit its mark, simply watched on as her twin managed to catch herself on the corner wall, her eyes clearly beaming with annoyance.

For a moment; a very small moment, there was silence...

“...You...”

But very quickly, the tension in the air became as thick as smog. Athena spun herself around to face Athena, her purple hair levitating upwards, her body starting to glow with Psycho Power, and her eyes literally shining brightly...

“YOU...!”

Unfortunately, Athena's reaction only triggered Athena's own temper, whom wound up matching the same exact appearance of anger...

And then....

---- ----

“Momo-chan, I'm worried about Athena-chan...” Bao said in a low tone, almost mouse like in volume with sheepish look and all on his face.

“What makes you say that?” the young friend of his answered back, a bit busy finishing up the last of her packing in her room.

“Well... I can just... 'feel it'... Rather strongly, too. I don't really think the two Athenas really like each other...”

“Bao, I think you're worrying too much. I mean... I understand you're concerned for her, but they are Athena, y'know? I've never seen her even get upset... well, as long as Kensou or Master aren't involved in the equation with their hijinks! I can't see her getting bad feelings over herself... That's just silly talk!”

The young boy tried to take Momoko's words to heart. After all, save a few pouts of annoyance, plenty of determined faces and some awkward moments, this was still Athena. Athena was always the pillar of happiness for everyone around her, from her friends to her fans down especially to her fellow Soldiers, him included. The thought made Bao smile, rubbing the back of his head & large hat with a nervous laugh.

“Hehe... Yeah, you're right, Momo-chan. Guess I was just being silly, after-all.”

“It's not like you to worry Bao,” Momoko added on while looking at the kid with a smart look. “You're way too young for that. You don't want to end up like Master Chin with wrinkles and gray hair now, do you?”

The mere thought of his looking like an old man made Bao make an utterly shocked expression. “N-no way...!”

“I thought so! Now... if you don't mind, you want to give me a hand finishing up? If we don't leave on time tomorrow morning, Athena will be in trouble getting ready for both the concert and the tournament.”

“Thanks for helping me calm down, Momo-chan.”

“Hey, don't worry. I'm sure Athena will be just fi--”

BOOOOOOM!!!

Suddenly, everything around the two Soldiers, even the floor they were standing on, quaked violently as the sound of a massive impact rocked their eardrums, so strong it was able to knock off some room items off the walls and dressers. It was so sudden it literally caused both of them to yelp and jump out of their skin, especially Bao, who had his hat fall over his face and Momoko's clothes jump out of the suitcase in front of her on the bed. The girl that owned it could only stand in shell-shock, eyes wide as could be...

“Er... f...fine...?”

---- ----

“I HATE YOU!!!”

Outside the bedroom doors, upper hallway of the cabin had suddenly become a war zone. Bodies were slammed around against the walls at the Athenas wrestled and locked with each other. Punches rocketed into the other's faces whenever they weren't latched onto their respective other's hair... Knees kicked out into their opposite's stomach... With little room for movement and not much thought for 'elaborate', thoughtful techniques, the anger resting inside the twins finally boiled over, and it was quickly taking a toll on anything that wasn't nailed down...

CRASH!

...and even then, things that WERE nailed down were quaking off their mounts quickly. Back and forth the twins literally threw each other all over the hallway, still locked together in what one sure could see as some psycho-powered wrestling match with now ring... until, eventually, both their feet finally got caught up on the kicked up rug that was below them, forcing them to trip and lose their balance, dragging each other down with them...

“WHOA!”

“WHA—ACK...!”

...and wound up falling to the floor hard. A moment passed with neither idol moving from their downed position. Athena was the first to move, wincing a little as she pushed herself off her identical twin... and noticed for once she didn't do anything to stop her; not even a quip. Looking beside her, Athena noticed Athena, whom was lying on her back, arms limp both beside and on her stomach... and realized that she wasn't moving, eyes closed.

“What...?”

Looking above her, Athena realized the hard table against the wall, now completely out of place... and then made the dots connect.

[I... must've made her hit her head against that as we fell...]

Taking a moment to gather herself, Athena sat up, brushing a bit of her hair from her face and gazed over her unconscious red-clothed twin with a smirk on her face.

“Phew...! Take that...! That'll teach you to mess with me! Now... what to do with you...”

Looking behind her, she gazed upon the stairway leading downstairs and out of the cabin and had an idea.

“I know Master wasn't convinced that that place we met each other at first didn't have anything to do with this... but... I wonder if repeating the process anyways would help...”

Next, she stood up, brushing her legs off with a hand, then began thinking of a plan, turning her attention towards the forest.

“All I have to do is just get you over there and focus... If I can read you back there and concentrate... then maybe I could..... EH!?!?

Just then, a hand grabbed onto her ankle, causing Athena to gasp in shock as she realized Athena wasn't as out as she seemed to let on... Hurt? Yes, but definitely not out...

“I wouldn't go... celebrating just yet...” she let out, fire burning in her eyes. “You won't... get away with this...!”

Athena instantly tried to kick Athena off her boot, but surprisingly her grip was rather tight despite being down on the ground. “N... no...! Let... go of me...!”

“If that's what you want...!”

Athena's hand then began to glow with her Psycho Power, which quickly shot up her blue twin's body and circle around her head, freezing her in place and groan in pain. In the next moment, she found herself being thrown down the very stairs she was looking at, smacking the back of her head against the descending ceiling on the way, and falling out of sight with a mighty crash.

Grunting with some effort, Athena managed to pick herself up off the ground using the table near her for leverage, then wasted no time getting to the top of the stairs to see her twin knocked out, face-down and with her arms out in front of her, just before the closed front door.

“That serves you right! At least we now know which of us is the 'dark side' now!”

One quick Teleport later, it was now Athena's turn to look at her unconscious twin, brushing her clothes off as she appeared. However, unlike her twin, she gained no pleasure in getting the upper-hand. Certainly, this whole ordeal was slowly getting to this point, and now that it was here, there was no time to waste.

“I had better bring you to Master Chin directly and see if he figured out a way to deal with you yet... If I allowed you to run around with my image like this, you'd surely tarnish it!”

She then looked around and tried to get a feel of where her Master may had went to. According to Kensou, he couldn't have been far...

“Now, I just have to find him and let him tell me what to do next...”

Athena closed her eyes, trying to get a lock on her master's whereabouts...

“...Who do you think... is the one tarnishing anything, here, huh...?”

“UHH!?”

Caught off guard, Athena tried to jump back as she saw Athena whisk her head up off the ground, shooting her a hot glare, but before she could, a field of psycho power eveloped her body in an instant and lifted her off the ground before flinging her over the downed twin and into the door... but as she went careening outside, Athena instinctively caught onto the back of Athena's jacket slightly...

CRASH!!!

...and took her with her as they both wound up shattering through the wood door that lead out into the open outside. Athena grunted out as she tumbled out onto the dirty pathway, but shortly managed to come to a stop, some time before Athena did. A bit slow to get up, the twins were quick to lock eyes with fire in their eyes.

“Why... Why you...! You-!”

“I... I swear I'll...! I'll-!”

Both girls were determined to make the other pay, starting to rush at each other and hit her with everything she had... but suddenly a trail of hot fire shots between the two just before the could throw their first punches, breaking up their fight... To their side, stood Master Chin, whom was the one that literally shot fire from his mouth courtesy of his trusty bottle of sake.

“Ah... That was something else... Nothing beats the sweet taste of alcohol in the morning...”

“Master!”

“Sensei!”

Instantly, the twins pointed at each other accusingly, like two kids trying to blame the other for breaking a parent's vase.

“Master! It's her, no doubt about! That's the doppelganger! I would never--”

“Sensei! It has to be her! She's the dark side of me! I just know--”

However, a simple rise of Chin's hand was enough to silence the two girls.

“Athena... I believe now's the time to finally deal with this... 'properly'... I've been thinking about this for quite some time, but considering how you are as a Psycho Soldier, and simply as a person, I didn't think you'd have such trouble with yourself...”

“But...!”

“Listen to me... I've gotten word from your people over the messaging box I have on that computer thing inside the cabin... Took me forever to remember how to work the thing... Anyways, while I have been buying time for you to do what was necessary over the phone, those folk have been telling me that we're truly cutting it close for your preparations for your concert in Germany... If we don't head back by tomorrow, then things could be a bit rough on you...”

Without waiting for either girl to respond back, Chin cut right to the chase, crossing his arms in front of him as he spoke up.

“They say that you must truly face yourself in order to grow stronger... Athena, I gave you and your 'other you' some time to try to figure it out yourself, but for the sake of time and... well-being, I think it's time go for one of the oldest trials in the book... the good ol' fashioned Mirror Match!”

Both Athena and Athena gasped a little at Chin's reaction. Ironically, both were already familiar with this from the various training exercises from when they, as just one Athena, was first learning about her powers... The main difference, however, was that it was only psychic illusions in those times past...

…This time, however...

This 'Mirror” of herself... was stronger... and more REAL, than any past illusion she had created before... They had sparred a bit before, so they knew that for sure... and with the way they just attacked each other moments before... It... was so typical... and yet... it made the most sense by a mile...

“...I knew eventually it would come to this...” Athena was the first to speak. “I tried to fight it, but I just knew...”

“...I knew it...” Athena followed. “I didn't want to believe it... but I knew I'd have to prove it like this...”

Just as her thoughts began to come filled with the prospect of having to battle herself... to the finish... both looked up and actually grew surprised at the fact that the old man... was smiling back at them. Smiling at a time like this...?

“Say... you two...”

“Huh...? What is it, Master Chin...?”

“Eh...? What's the matter, Master Chin...?”

“It's not like either of you to be so worked up about such a thing... Aren't you always telling others to always smile, no matter what?”

“...”

Both Athenas took a moment to realize what Chin said... He was right. It was practically her catchphrase after all this time, and it was indeed ironic that she was simply not herself... because of herself. Once more, they looked in the other's direction as Chin continued on.

“You may have your differences... You may see yourselves as enemies right now... and yes... This confrontation will most likely finally bring this trail in your life to a close... but the fact of the matter doesn't change... You... are you, Athena... Both of you... are all of you... The only thing holding you back right now... IS you... Don't forget who YOU are... and things will become clear to you... about just which of you is which. Understand?”

“Yes, Master...”

“Yes, Sensei...”

“Now... there's still some time before night falls... So listen carefully....”

---- ----

The tress could hear the sound of two sets of shoes, stepping in unison, shuffling as they walked down a single path down the mountain. The shoes indeed belonged to the twin Athenas, whom had been on this way for about 15 minutes, traveling together in complete silence. Before they left, the two decided she wanted to wear something... traditional, to prove a point apparently... and so, despite how much they were not hating having to wear the same exact thing, they both came though the path wearing their '95 martial arts tunics... the same ones from the first day they 'caused' this split... However, they were together now, not due to choice, but to Master Chin's request. Before the two twins left the cabin site, he had laid to them some specific instructions about how to go about this. Out of the need to make sure she would be able to deal with this issue without any of the others interfering (and to make sure the impending battle didn't damage the cabin... or destroy it), he told them of a place a bit out of the way of their usual training areas along the mountain, a place that she hadn't been to in a long time...

Out of respect, Athena and Athena promised to not to try to lash at each other, until they reached 'that place'...

They had been showing an incredible amount of restraint, not attacking the other on their way up. Any time she felt that rush to possibly go back on her word, flashes of their Master... and their friends, reflected in their minds, not to mention her many fans she had back home and around the world...

It felt odd... that it was taking the weight of her own world... to keep from tearing herself apart.

Many times the two Athenas took a moment to glimpse at each other as they walked, most of the time it would be only one at a time as the other kept her eyes on the path or in their surroundings... or simply eyes closed and to herself. The rare times that they did meet eye to eye were kept brief, as it seemed to remind her that she was indeed dealing with one with her own face, causing them to quickly whip their heads in opposite directions.

However still, in the back of both their minds... A thought kept nagging on that wouldn't go away... It was very small, like a whisper, but it was hard not to notice it...

[Why... do I feel... as if I'm.... making a mistake...?]

Still, they had gotten to this point already. There was no turning back. If she didn't address it now, it would only cause even more unwanted complications later...

[No.... I... I have to do this... We... both know it... We can't exist like this... One of us... has to leave...]

It hurt to think about it, more than either cared to admit... but their Master was right. A doppelganger... was a bad omen... There was only one Athena before-hand... There must only be one Athena afterward...

“...?”

“...?”

Eventually the two stopped walking, realizing that the pathway here had died out, and they were instead walking into an untouched area of forest...

“Hmm... according to master... It's gotta be this way,” Athena began, pointing towards the west slightly. “He said heading towards the path near the highest mountain top.”

“No, he said the furthest mountain peak,” Athena disagreed, pointing towards the east instead. “Don't you recall what your own master told us?”

“Yes, I heard him loud and clear, and he's said THIS way. Why are you being so difficult now?”

“No, it's YOU being difficult! I think you need to have your hearing checked or something!”

“What did you say!?”

“See! That's exactly what I'm talking about!”

“Don't you start with me! You're not helping much either!”

Needless to say, the rest of the way would be quite... turbulent...

---- ----

The sun had just now set towards the center of the sky above their heads, signaling high noon as it shone through the high trees above them. With them being this high here, it was near impossible to see the mountains in the distance as a guide... and a little bit of time traveling like that wound up becoming hours... trekking through riverbanks, around natural stone bins, and other foliage that didn't show itself any different from the other. All either of the Athenas knew was that they had been going... 'forwards', barely communicating but still trying to figure out their way to this 'place' Master mentioned...

However...

“We're totally lost now...” Athena said, stopping just a few steps behind her twin with her arms crossed in annoyance. “I told you it was going in the direction I was saying... I don't know why I bothered following you like this...”

“Say what?” Athena instantly shot back, “I'm the one following YOU! You're the one that lead us on this narrow dirt path, remember!? This is what happens when I let someone like you take the lead, trying to guide while in the back like you know it all!”

“Why you...! That tears it!”

“Darn you...! That does it!”

Once again, the twin Psycho Soldiers wound up fighting, this time barely getting a few sentences into it before getting physical with each other. Athena wound up grabbing her twin's wrist as Athena did the same to her opposite arm, and began pulling in the direction she thought she was meant to go...

“It's.... THIS way...!”

“No... it's THIS way...!”

...which, of course, was opposite directions to the sides. They both struggled together in unison, trying to force the other off their feet to force her to follow her, causing their red/blue shoes to dig into the mud they had been walking through... It looked completely silly, neither able to make the other budge as they were evenly matched... but after a few moments, it wound up not being so silly...

[rumble...]

“W... what... was that...?” Athena stopped, trying to figure out the source of the quaking she was hearing...

“I... I don't know...” Athena also stopped, realizing the low noise around them suddenly growing louder...

Suddenly, the grass below their feet seemed to give way, apparently due to this pathway being so narrow and unstable... and took the twin idols with them; a landslide.

“AAAAAHHHH!!”

Just moments before fighting against each other, the twins found themselves clinging together out of instinct as they wound up sliding down with the rest of the earth, narrowly missing trees on the way down.

A short fall through the air later... and the two wound up making a rough landing on their rear ends and front, finally at a stop.

“Ouch...”

“Ow...”

Shaking their heads clear, Athena and Athena instantly gave each other yet another hateful stare... but just before they could snap and begin to charge at each other head on again...

“...Um...?”

“...Eh...?”

… the two Athenas paused, and realized where they had stumbled across. It was quite remote, well hidden within the surrounding trees, and unfamiliar to the two of them... The atmosphere here however was quite different from any other place they've been at before; almost heavenly. Here, the sun seemed to coats the field in pure golden light, flowers in the grass blooming brilliantly... and just beyond the trees there seemed to be a lake with a tall mountain looming just over its range... noticeably bigger than the others around...

“This... must be....”

“...where Master Chin was talking about...”

The 'Garden of the Sun'...

It was the place... where they would settle their differences...

For a while, neither Athena moved from the entrance to this cleared out area. Once they got a good look over the place, their glances now purely focused on the other over her shoulder. This time, they didn't look away from each other, instead, just simply staring at the other's eyes, and felt their pulse begin to quicken. Both could admit that at first, this whole event wasn't so bad... It was even enjoyable... but now... there had been toes stepped on and boundaries that were crossed... Words that probably shouldn't have been said... but they were out now, and while she had tried to bring some calming thoughts to mind, much more of her body was much more anxious to finally settle her issues with her alternate self...

All good things... must come to an end at some point...

For a moment, the two wordlessly walked into the clearing, into the bright sunlight, still eyeing each other intently, and getting a little bit of distance from each other.

“This... is it...”

“Now, we're going to settle this...”

“Once and for all...”

“Just which one of us is...”

“The true Psycho Soldier...”

Then, they stopped, coming full center in this gorgeous arena of nature... She may be her... but... she was herself as well. There was just no way... she could allow herself to lose here...

[This stage... isn't big enough for the two of us...]

They steeled their resolve... and after another moment of silence, opened their eyes and faced each other, taking their identical fighting stances, faces full of determination. It was time to end this problem of hers... herself...

“HERE I GO, 'OTHER-ME...!!'”

“HERE I COME!, 'ALTER-ME'...!!”

“PREPARE YOURSELF!!!”

---- ----

And so... this is it... the big showdown between me and myself...

To say that this was something that was over in just a little while would be such a big lie... Looking back at it, I REALLY regret this but...

Well... We have to tell... We've gotten this far, after all... We've been in many fights before... but never anything like this...

So... if you don't mind, we're gonna take a moment before we tell you... EVERYTHING that happened in that Garden... Hope you have something nice to snack on because it'll take a while... If you don't that's OK, we'll get you something... How does that sound?

"..."

Oh...? Aren't you the nicest...! You don't have to, but okay... We'll wait here while you get what you want for all of us. Thanks for that, you're the best audience one could as for!

See you when you get back...!

_________________
A lover of fighting game girls, a lover of mirror matches [...and a magnet for double K.O.s, apparently].

Catchable on Steam & most video game consoles. Just PM me!

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_68Jr ... WTfysnNb9A


Last edited by DeNice on Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:01 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:28 am 
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And now the real battle finally begins.

It has been long slow build up, but well worth it. The Athena's are gonna hash things out one way or the other.

You started your story first, and even though I finished mine, I'd say that from what I've read, Two's My Favourite One" is the better Athena story. You just seem more familiar with the characters on all levels, and do a good job with both their initial fascination, and the eventual breakdown as Athena and Athena being to see things about each other (and by default, herself) that they really don't like.

Chin did warn them. Anyway, looking forward to the big brawl.

_________________
When twins tangle!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:04 pm 
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Can't wait for the next installment DeNice! Any updates on how it may be coming? Again, it's been excellent this far, attention to development and detail has been top-notch


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:44 pm 
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OK, everyone. I haven't been around for a while again, but this time it was due to my own part in trying to get focused on certain real life things. This post is an update on how this is coming along. I know I mentioned that we were 3 chapters away from finishing the story... Well, that's now just two. I went ahead and did some editing on how things would go and took my time structuring the final conflict a bit better, so now instead of two parts, it's just gonna be one BIG chapter coming up, and then one small chapter/epilogue to close things out. I know you all've been waiting long but I can say that for the next chapter that wait won't be much longer; I should have it up by this Sunday; or alternately, sometime next week at the latest if I don't get real-life'd again. Hope you all look forward to the big finale of this long story.

_________________
A lover of fighting game girls, a lover of mirror matches [...and a magnet for double K.O.s, apparently].

Catchable on Steam & most video game consoles. Just PM me!

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_68Jr ... WTfysnNb9A


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:21 pm 
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Well then... Here it is... The big climax. The big dance. The final showdown. After all the delays... All the time it took for me to get this done... it's finally here... and "It's High Noon..." (sorry... too much Overwatch and playing as McCree one too many times...)

Once again, I can't thank the few guys that have been waiting so long for this story to finally get to this point... I'll admit, it's been a LONG time since I've basically completed a project like this without fizzling out on its interest, but it was because you guys really wanted to see how this story ended that I kept trying my darnedest to get it written despite the last few years of long breaks, writer's block and real life stuff. So, to thank you all for your patience, here's the final showdown between Athena Asamiya and Athena Asamiya... After this, there's just one last mini-chapter/epilogue and some author's notes and that'll close the book on this tale... So short it may be ready by the end of this very month actually (yeah, I know. An ACTUAL short chapter coming from me... I can't believe it either...) This particular chapter took a LONG time to write... So... enjoy the show...

NOTE: Due to the length of both the chapter and the editing itself, this chapter is going to take up two forum posts... Wow... Never though I'd see THAT happen...

---- ----

"Hey there, once again. I know you're surprised to see the both of us talking to you this early, but... well..."

"While we were getting ourselves ready to tell you this, we... got to thinking that since what happened there was so... 'much' that we would want to make sure you were nice and comfortable before hand... So, here's a pillow, nicely fluffed and all... Yes, it's got our signature and our faces on it..."

"..."

"UMMM... NO, IT'S NOT THAT TYPE OF PILLOW... T... thanks for asking..."

"*ahem* Yeah... So... That's that, and here's a nice, big strawberry shake, some candy and pastry treats and some other refreshments we can all share. I hope you don't mind the flavor... The vendors outside didn't have any other flavor for some reason..."


"..."

"You're welcome... Well then... Alter-Me...?"

"Yeah... It's time... and we're ready... It's time we told you what happened up there..."

---- ----

Chapter 11: “Battle In The Garden Of The Sun”

---- ----

“Holding onto your lover's hand, you tripped into the Garden... You tripped into the Garden of the Sun...”

“Oh, your tired, uncertain eyes, in perilous delusion... Tripping past your guard into the Sun...”

“These dreamers, so eager, to throw their hands in the fire...”

“And I spy... while I stood out their way, outside of the Psycho Revolution...”

“I'm seeing bright lights, silhouettes of sword fights and I see it all, I see it all...”

“I'm seeing fire fights, all along the day sky and I see it all, I see it all...”

“I see it all through the holes in the walls, who might you be, who should you be...”

“Killing with Psycho Balls, they don't understand they're fighting for ground control...”


---- ----

“HA!!”

“YA!!”

Just moments ago, this quiet, isolated field of sun-bathed forest was filled with nothing but the sounds of the gentle wind sweeping through at it's pleasure. Now, that changed completely.

“NOT SO FAST!”

“I DON'T THINK SO!”

Now, the sounds of battle were overtaking the air as two identical girls clashed with each other. With each passing moment, fists and palm strikes were blocked while kicks were dodged and ducked. Bodies swaying to and fro from their opponent as they tried to find the best moment to attack each other, only for the one on the disadvantage to catch the next attack in time and render it fruitless.

“YAAH!”

At one moment, the two Psycho twins both pulled back a bit and threw forward a straight punch, just for their fists to clash mid-way, giving Athena a strained, good look at her mirror image having the same look of intensity and determination...

“Don't think I'm going to let you win so easily...!”

“I'm not going to lose so simply...!”

...and yet, throughout their battle cries, the twins still had the mind to let the other know that she was committed; and that she wasn't just going to just fade away to the other's whim. With a grunt, both pulled back their fists...

“TAAH!!”

...and shoved her shoulder right into her mirror image's as hard as they could. The collision was strong enough to knock the other off their feet, but both girls recovered while flying back, using a hand to flip off the ground and back to a standing position, already coating their hands with their energy...

“PSYCHO BALL!”

Half a second later, two bright pink balls of energy rocketed across the small patch of field between the two Athenas and exploded against one another, creating a shower of sparks that obscured their view for a moment. Athena opted to stand her ground and wait and see what would happen next...

“TELEPORT!”

...and steeled her eyes as she saw Athena shoot right through the cloud, readying another palm thrust mid-movement. Quickly, Athena shifted her body to the right, just narrowly avoiding the attack, but also catching her twin with her hands by the shoulders, making her gasp.

“GOTCHA!”
she shouted, planning on gathering her energy to perform a special attack of her own, but Athena reacted quickly and kicked out with her left leg into Athena's stomach, pushing her back and breaking the grapple.

[“Darn it... Breaking my Psychic Throw like that... She sure doesn't hide her aggressiveness at all now...”] Athena though while catching herself, all the while keeping her eyes on her blue-clad twin as she also managed to stand up fully.

“Oh, no you don't... You're not getting that off THAT easily...” Athena taunted, waving a finger naughtily at her identical foe.

“I have you know just rushing at me is just going to leave you hurt!” Athena responded back, her pointing finger much more direct and stern. “I can see your moves coming a mile away!”

“Ha! You really think I can't do the same! You're more full of it than I thought!” With a whisk of the hair, Athena got back into stance, giving a focused stare. “It's about time I showed you what the REAL Athena Asamiya is capable of...! Just try to keep up, will you?”

Seeing herself act so overly confident only made her make a scowling face. “Tch...! All that inflated ego of yours REALLY doesn't make you graceful at all! How about I show you some humility first, instead?”

“Oh, yeah? Well, I'd like to see you TRY!”

The twins clashed yet again, first meeting each other with identical high kicks that led into yet another series of close-quarters attacks, each and every one canceling the other out before they can reach their target. As the skirmish went on, however, Athena was already thinking of a plan...

[“She's going to do it, soon... I know she will...”]

With each clashing attack, Athena could see Athena's face begin to scrunch a bit in annoyance... and rightfully so. Athena was anticipating each blow her twin was trying to hit her with, and in turn, was purposely mirroring her approach...

“Can't you do anything else other than copying me?” Athena shouted out, just as yet another palm strike was met with it's identical counterpart.

“Who'se copying who here, huh?” Athena retorted back, giving a very serious look back. “You're the one mimicking MY attacks...! I know how I fight... there's no way a true Psycho Soldier would fall for her own attacks!”

“Tch...! We'll just see about that then...!”

Athena shifted her body a bit, then spun around on her heel and kicked at her twin in the stomach, pushing her guarding 'sister' back a little to gather some breathing room...

[“There...!”]

...then whisked her arms outwards, gathering some of her Power in her hands...

“Psycho SHOOT—wha...!?”

“Gotcha!”

...but by the time she realized what was happening, it was too late. Athena had rightfully anticipated her next move, and by the time the blue Soldier fired, the red Soldier was already up in the air, avoiding the attack before it even began... and already covered in her energy...

“PHOENIX FANG... ARROW!”

Athena barely had the time to let out a panicked “Oh, no...!” before Athena curled into a ball and slammed herself downwards like a comet into her. Normally, this attack would've ended with just one decent leading into a thrust kick, but Athena teleported back up just before that back into the air and repeated her decent two more times, the last one strong enough to blow her blue-clad twin off her feet and crashed onto the grass field, landing face-first and not moving for a while...

“Alright! Looks like that did a number on you, didn't it?” Athena called out while standing up, giving a smirk. “I told you... I've been noticing your tendencies all this time we've been like this... You're always so rushy... That's what happens when you get so predictable in your fighting!”

Athena could only let out a low moan as she laid on the ground, prompting her red-clothed twin to take a few steps towards her with confidence that she gained the upper hand...

[“...that's it... Just a little closer...”]

...before suddenly snapping her head up from the ground, her right hand already glowing bright pink...

“AACK!” Athena instantly jumped backwards, barely avoiding a rough slashing attack, then planted her feet and jumped forwards again, trying to act fast. “PHOENIX ARR-”

“PSYCHO SWORD!”

This time, the comet-like move wound up being interrupted. Athena quickly sprung to her feet and jumped straight up with her uppercut attack, putting more of her energy into it than normal, smacking Athena right out of the air and landing on the ground in a crash, tumbling a bit before winding up face fist into the ground her own self. Meanwhile, Athena took her time to gracefully land on her feet then proudly put a hand on her hip, smirking back.

“Hehe... Did you really think that I'd fall for that a second time? You're more gullible than I thought! All it takes is one good hit in and you let your guard down!”

Realizing that her twin wasn't moving allowed Athena to be bold and walk closer, throwing caution to the wind. This time, she was on the lookout for any spring attacks, just in case...

“Now all you have to do is stay down and we can end this without any more problems, OK, 'me'? I mean, it won't be so bad, going back where you came from. You wont have to worry about Kensou, Master Chin, Bao, Momoko... or any of the other people that need protecting, because I'll handle all of that! It's my duty as the true Athena to make sure of...”

Just as she managed to step right in front of her red twin's disheaved hair, Athena's eyes suddenly went wide as she found her rival self's body suddenly burst with a pink glow, turning transparent...

“Wha-!?”

...and before she knew it, Athena was gone... and Athena felt her body stiffen up as that same glow, certainly not her own psycho glow, surrounded her.

“N-no...! You...!”

“You may not have fell for that attack... but you do have one OTHER weakness that I can exploit... and that's your mouth! You're a bit too full of yourself for your own good...!”

Hearing Athena's voice, her own voice, behind her made Athena realize what happened; her twin self managed to use the Psychic Teleport to get behind her... and considering how she stood behind her, hands out towards her, she was most likely planning to launch her skyward with a Super Psychic Throw...

“D... don't underestimate... me...!”

Athena's eyes began to widen as she realized that Athena was forcing herself to turn her body to face her twin, even while under the Psycho Power's holding... and despite the struggle, focused and managed to force her own hands towards Athena's, catching her in her own energy. For a while, the two stood at a gridlock, grunting at they tried to overpower the other's hold. They pushed with all they had, but yet in still, neither energies faltered...

Realizing they wouldn't get far this way, Athena decided to simply follow through with the move, and managed to raise her right hand, pointing it up towards the sky... Unfortunately, Athena had the same idea... and it quickly became a very bad idea.

“YAAAAHHH!”

In a rush, the energy surrounding the two girls hauled them both off their feet and shot upwards, and with that, shot the two girls helplessly into the air. Usually with this move, Athena would be able to follow this up with another attack... but with no one able to catch them on the way down... Both managed to move their head to see the ground on their descent... and the fact that they were going to be reacquainted with it... head first.

Both closed their eyes... This was going to hurt.

CRASH!

A bit of time later, a humongous cold of dust and debris erupted into the air blinding the area. Once the dust settled, the scene showed the two girls, Athena and Athena, a short distance away from each other, down on the ground in near identical heaps, the force of their crash-landing leaving a bit of a crater dent in the forest floor. It would be a bit of time before either would awake from it...

---- ----

“Ugh...”

“Oww...”

Some minutes later, both Athenas slowly came back to consciousness, eyes fluttering back open and groaning in the process. To say that the landing had left an impression on them was an understatement. They both awoke to a headache, and could almost tell that there may even be a lump on the place where she landed on. Slowly getting to their feet, holding that throbbing place with a gloved hand, the twins relocked eyes with each other and remembered just why she felt that way. Shaking the dizziness away, both regained their senses and gave a look of determination again. Her twin may have hurt her... but she still had the will to fight it out.

“Alright... So that didn't work out...”

“But even still... I'm still not giving up!”

Still, she had to strike while the iron was hot... As soon as she was able, Athena thought it would be best to be the one to come at her twin first...

“TELEPORT...!”

...and swung right out of her energy once she got close. However, she couldn't tell the smirk that was laid upon Athena's face as she did so, the wind quickly swirling around her body...

“HAAAAAAA...!”

“GIRK!!” Athena let out a hard gag as her body was instantly repelled back forcibly as twin Psycho Balls shot from Athena's body, blowing the red-clothed Psychic back to the ground again. This move was known as her Shining Crystal Bit, her signature super attack.

[Hehe... Who's the one rushing now...? Now, for the finale!]

Closing her eyes to concentrate and raising a finger into the air, Athena used her mind to gather the twin balls and bring them towards her head, spiraling fiercely until they began to come together and form a solid white orb.

“Shining... Crystal... SHOOT!”

Little did Athena realize, Athena somehow managed to recover a bit from being hit by her Shining Crystal Bit, landing on her feet just barely, and realized what her twin was up to.

“...! Oh, no you don't!”

Trying to beat her to the punch, Athena quickly forced herself to open her right hand, which shot with white energy, and also pointed to the sky, a potent, white mini-Ball at its tips.

“What the...!? How did you...!?”

Athena wasn't sure how she did it, but Athena managed to form the Crystal Shoot without needing to use the Bit first... A fact that made the red twin only give off a bit of a confident smirk back. Now at a stalemate, like two Wild West gun-women after taking steps before drawing their pistols for a shootout, both locked determined eyes for a moment with their balls at the ready, waiting for a moment to strike first...

“...GO...!”

...and 'pulled the trigger'. Both Athenas shot their attacks with a single dramatic point towards one another, and the white Balls collided with each other at lightning fast speed. The projectiles met with a sparkling clash, trying to get the best of the other one in the middle of the Garden. It was during this time that Athena decided to try to throw Athena off her game...

“You really think that your attack will win after rushing to form it!? You must be dreaming!”

Athena, however, shot back with her own taunt.

“Just show's how much you know! You should be embarrassed to have to take so long just to form it in the first place!”

A few seconds later, and the Shoots still couldn't gain any ground.

[A bit more...!]

[Come on...!]


Then, a budge, though not the way either girl wanted. The levitating Balls began to phase into each other, at first appearing to just become one... then began to split again, away from each other... TOWARDS their rival destinations...

“Oh no...!”

“No way...!”


...and to make things worse, both balls were way too fast for either Athena to guard against. Both Shoots hit their mark right in the chest, knocking them back with an explosion that made them spiral in the air...

...and crash, back and head-first, against two tall trees, ironically facing each other at far stretches of the clearing. Gravity was then allowed to take its job back, and the Athenas slid down, moaning the entire time, and fighting to keep their eyes open...

“W...why...?”

“H... how...?”

However, it was a fight both wound up losing. Once their shoes touched the ground, both slumped against the structure that 'caught' them... and just like that, the two found themselves down again, once again knocked out... and once again, at a tie.

---- ----

“...ugh...”

“...uhh...”

The first thing either Athena realized once they came to for the second time was that she still lying against the tree that 'caught her', moaning lightly at the ringing sensation in the back of her head. Naturally rubbing the sore spot with a hand, her purple eyes went forwards across the field to see her mirror image doing the same exact thing...

“...Oh...! You...!”

...and was enough to snap her out of her daze and back to her feet, trying to get back on the offense...

“...Eh...?”

“Wha...?”

...until they realized that this time, there was something new laying across the field between them... Pieces of red, blue and white clothing torn off and scattered in the center of their battlefield... Then, at the same time, it hit them, making them both gasp and lightly blush in embarrassment.

"...EEK...! MY CLOTHES...!"

"...AHH...! MY OUTFIT...!"


As they placed their hands on their sore bosoms, both girls realized that her tunic top was no longer there... well, a good portion of it. Apparently, the Shoots were so powerful they blew the fabric clean off once they hit, exposing her white/black tinted bras.

[Just great... Now I know how Yuri and King feel when this happens to them...]

Naturally, the two took the event as another reason to yell at the other from across the passing.

“Look what you did! My outfit's ruined!”

“You're one to talk! Mine is all tattered because of you!”

Being knocked down was one thing... It's happened before, unfortunately, and it came with the territory of being a warrior... but having her precious outfit partially destroyed was a particularly grating feeling of frustration. Just as she could feel her pulse about to rise past comfortable levels, Athena stopped herself and closed her eyes...

[OK... OK... Calm down, Athena... You can't let her get to you like this...! Just use your power to heal up and change... then you can think of a plan B.]

A firm nod later, and then...

“Alright...! HEALING...!”

...Athena's body began to totally cover itself in purple light and sparkles, and a soothing sensation enveloped her being. To make things easier, Athena decided to use a tiny bit of her healing power to replace her busted open '95 fighting outfit. It wouldn't make a good scene to keep fighting while exposed. It took just a moment, but once she opened her eyes again...

“Ah! Perfect!”

...the damage she took, as well as her new outfit, had been repaired. Using her Psycho Powers like this sure came in handy. However...

“Wait a minute...!”

“Wha...? Really!?”

Both looked at the other and realized she had did the same thing... Right down to wearing the same outfit; pants swapped out completely for mini-shorts that didn't show past her repaired red tunic, longer white & red/blue socks and the yellow sash replaced with a white one. This was the one they wore in the '96 tournament... only once again, red and blue themed in color. For some odd reason, it shouldn't have been such a big deal to see this... but this time, Athena could feel her anger rising...

This mirror business was starting to get on her nerves...

“Why... Why you...! You... have GOT to stop copying me!”

“What!? No way! It's YOU that's copying ME!

“What was that, you faker!?”

“You heard me, you poser!”

OH...! That's it!”

OH...! That does it!”

And unfortunately, said “misery business” was no where through in collecting its due from them. Needless to say, the 'keeping calm' part of her plan didn't stick... nor did the actual 'think of a plan' part, neither. Both wound up rushing right into each other's grasp and colliding in a clash at the center of the forest clearing, causing the shards of grass and tattered bits of clothing to burst into the air as they did sdo. There was little finesse to this particular meeting; little psycho attacks being thrown (if only to briefly power up a fist or a kick before fading out immediately afterward) and no true thought in their attacks. Before it was an actual fight between two identically trained Psycho Soldiers... but now it quickly dwindled down into nothing but a scrap; almost at stereotypical catfight levels. Eventually hair was being pulled, feet being stomped on by shoes and the very outfit they had just called upon getting torn by ripping hands.

Eventually at one point, both girls managed to grab at the other's wrist with opposite arms, both staring into the other's angry pink eyes, then, with a large grunt of effort, tried forcibly throwing the other away from her to the side with her power. Similar to their shared Psychic Throw, both Athenas wound up throwing each other other up into the air (though not as high up as before), in a corkscrew-like manner, but this time they were ready for it...

“YAAH--ACK!”

...and still managed to kick out strongly with powered legs while in mid-air, propelling their rival self into yet another set of trees... where once again they caught themselves mid-flight, managing to shift themselves so that their feet landed on them and used them as springboards to fly right back at each other, reers out in front of them in an attacking manner...

“PEACHY!”

...and simultaneously slammed the other with their Psychic Bomb attack, ass to ass. The impact was rather strong... and rather new for such a standard attack of hers; both yelped out quite loudly when they felt their bodies get sent back where they came from on the rebound to another set of trees... Once again they caught on and jumped back off of them, but this time their right hands coated over with pink energy, almost like the shape of an actual blade, for a more 'serious' attack...

With a shared shout, the twin Athenas met front and center once again, and clashed their 'weapons' together, still trying to overpower the other any way they could with plenty of effort. Tired of being in a deadlock, Athena broke away from herself once again, and decided catch the other with one decisive strike... while unfortunately forgetting to protect herself at all.

Pained yelps came immediately afterwards as the shock of such a potent attack hit hard along the chest, forcing them both to stagger back and nurse their bellies with their left arm... then look at their twins' clothing... and then quickly her own with even more agitation laced upon her face. The psychic 'blades' made their mark, alright, by tearing through her red/blue shirt in a jagged line from hip to shoulder, not to mention the stinging sensation that . Realizing what happened made them both shoot dirty looks at each other...

“Grr... HEALING...!”

...and force another use of their Healing Athena technique to fix her second wardrobe malfunction. The next outfit Athena found herself in was one that was very popular among fans. The martial arts tunic had been removed completely this time, and in its place was a white short-sleeved undershirt with red/blue vest. Instead of the mini-shorts from '96, her legs were now covered up nicely with dark red/blue leggings, meeting short white socks and red/blue buckle shoes at her feet. It was a cute ensemble, but right now cuteness was far from the warring Soldiers' minds.

“You...! You're going to pay for that, destroying my outfits like this...!”

“It's YOU that's going to pay for wrecking another one of MY outfits...!”


“You mean the outfits that YOU stole from ME, you imposter!”

“More like the outfits YOU borrowed in MY absence, you faker!”

Back and forth the twins shouted at each other, until both reached a breaking point, being fed up of being called the lesser...

“You know what...!? Why don't you just SHUT UP...!!”

...and let loose a fierce right hand to her twin's face, the sound of the two hands hitting their mark echoing throughout the green valley, instantly turning struck cheeks red. In an instant, both girls slammed hard into the ground, right next to one another and instantly dirtying up the newly acquired outfits they just took pride in putting on... but one shared glance at the other while raising their heads up instantly lit a wildfire in both their eyes...

“YAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

...and with a combined yell of all accounts frustration and anger, the two pounced on the other where they lay, grappling, tussling and clawing in any way they could manage; trying to get on top of the other for the advantage...

---- ----

“AAAHH!! NOW LOOK AT... WHAT YOU'VE DONE!”

“GRRR!! I SWEAR, YOU'RE GOING... TO PAY FOR THIS!”


To say that neither Athena was acting like the cheery, loveable Athena Asamiya from years past at this point would point out the obvious irony of the situation. It would be hard for any fan of hers to see her like this (except for the 'chosen few'...); on the outside, they may look like the Psycho Pop Idol that everyone loved, but at this stage of their battle they could've be called wrathchilds. Even as they tore into each other, leaving very little quarter unturned and forsaking decency, the twin Athenas keep attacking each other in a way unfitting for a trained martial artist, let alone a Psycho Soldier. By now, they had left their '97 ensemble in shreds, right down to the leggings... and had actually used her Healing Athena WHILE still scrapping with the other on the ground, too lost in her anger to do it decently some minutes before.

Right now, the twin Athenas were too busy messing up the other's '98 assemble; both their tunics torn open in the front and barely holding on by the shoulders, exposing their bras, and even the bottom part that laid over her black tight shorts being ripped nearly completely off. A new attack, a hard knee, hit them square in the stomach, obviously a weak spot by now, and with sharp yelps, forced them to finally split from one another. Quickly getting to their feet, both slight of breath and nursing their injuries, but still seething in her anger, the Athenas shot each other hot glances, just as their energies covered themselves for a 4th time as they switched outfits again.

“HEALING!”

This time, once it died down, it left her in a more urban look, a short red/blue jacket with a white area around the shoulders that exposed their stomach, denim shorts complete with black belt, and white boots with black socks... her '99 ensemble. However, just like before, there was little time to enjoy the change of wardrobe as they powered up their hands...

“How about... THIS! GUARDIAN... CRYSTAL!

...and coated them in mini Psycho Balls, a much-stronger variant of the powered limbs they did before. Once more, they were at each other's throats, finally back to trying to use some semblance of actual trained punches instead of the 'catfight' variant from minutes prior, but this time there was little clashing or cancelling out of incoming hits. Nearly every attack the twins threw at the other hit their mark, and each one was quick to leave a lasting impression, if not on each new bruise on her already weakened stomach, then on each new rip and tear on her new outfit.

Still, Athena fought on, initially fighting through the pain...until finally a single shared hit landed... A Psycho-Powered slap to the side of face, almost right at the temple... simultaneously...

“I...ck... U... ugh...”

“N... yaaahh...”

...and unlike last time they did this, they both felt the effects immediately. Both Athenas' eyes whited out and their knees buckled. A second later, two girls were once again sent to the ground, quite unceremoniously this time... however, just before they fell, something... happened... It went by unnoticed by the twins, but a very faint... 'something' flashed for only a fraction of a second in their minds...

[...***... *****...]

_________________
A lover of fighting game girls, a lover of mirror matches [...and a magnet for double K.O.s, apparently].

Catchable on Steam & most video game consoles. Just PM me!

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Last edited by DeNice on Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:07 am, edited 12 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:21 pm 
1st Lieutenant
1st Lieutenant
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:32 pm
Posts: 180
Location: New Jersey
---- ----

“Stealing glances, colorblindness encouraging confusion...”

“Crossing all their boundaries, undrawn...”

“And I spy... while I stood out their way, outside... of the Psycho Revolution...”

“I'm hearing hot lines, coursing through their disguises, I hear it all, I hear it all...”

“I'm hearing loud cries, chorusing through the night sky, I hear it all, I hear it all...”

“I hear it all through the holes in the walls, whom they might be, whom they could be...”

“Killing with Psycho Balls, they don't understand they're fighting for ground control...”


---- ----

“Master... It's been a few hours now... You don't think we should go and check on her?”

“Kensou... Sorry, but I can't allow you to go up there. If you show up, you'll only make things worse for her. The best way for Athena to come to grips with this is to truly face herself in a way that will remove any doubts about herself. To put it simply from a 'drunken ol' man'... 'This is something she needs to do alone'.”

Back at the cabin, Kensou puffed his cheeks in worry as he sat on the front steps; giving his master an earnest look. Every since he had that fateful dream some days prior, the feeling of unrest once he realized that indeed there were now two Athenas filled him with concern, and now, with the two of them now fighting it out for reals, he felt terrible just waiting to see what happened.

Chin, however, stood firmly at his side, his gaze in the direction of the Garden he directed his mirrored student to and while his eyes were hidden behind his hair bangs, Kensou, as well as Bao and Momoko, whom were also sitting along with him, could tell he was very focused on what was happening in the distance...

Outside of the quiet, considering the distance, the group did notice the Athenas' presense even from there.... and the occasion spike in rustling in the treetops in the distance... The whole scene made Bao, whom was busy holding one of his recently packed travel bags close to his body in unease.

“Wow... I'll be honest, I don't think I want to be anywhere near that place...”

“Yeah... I... can actually sort of feel it from here,” Momoko replied, actually sharing Kensou's worry a bit. “Their attacks are actually getting stronger...” After a moment, she then turned to the elder of the group. “Old Master Chin... Are... are you sure that when Athena-chan split it made her weaker...? Because if you ask me, I don't think it did...”

“Well, like I said, a lot of her power did go into her alternate self... but... of course, I'm no expert in spontaneous twins... Not only that, the both of them were training at the same time, so who knows... Maybe they actually wound up taking their split power and wound up amplifying it somehow?”

“...I think it's because Athena-chan's actually really upset this time...” Bao spoke up, making a face. “You know what they say about how girls get when they're mad...”

The comment made Momoko give Bao a questioning glance, which in turn, made him catch what he said and yelp out a little, bashfully holding his large cap over his eyes. “S-sorry...”

“Well... I just hope she'll be alright... I sure hope there's no animals still stuck up there...”

“Have faith in her, everyone,” Chin responded back with confidence. “She's a tough cookie. She'll be fine...”

[Besides... I can't let him figure out that I got a little favor from one of her studio staff to have cameras hidden in that little area of the mountains, just for this occasion... That's a battle I wanna make sure I can watch again whenever I feel like it...]

The old man took a pause... then reached to his side for his sake bottle and motioned to take a drink... only to realize that only a single drop fell onto his tongue and take a shake at the bottle...

“Oy... I could've sworn I had a back-up reserve here somewhere...”

“Really, master!? You're going to drink at a time like this?” Momoko was quick to scold, getting a laugh in response from the old man.

“Well... it's not like we can do anything until she gets back... Can't wait around on an empty bottle, you know...?”

“...Master, sometimes I'm glad there's only ONE of you, too...”

---- ----

“...uuuuuuugh.....”

Once again,Athena woke back up to the world of the living, but this time both were much slower to stand up than times before. In fact, neither could stand up immediately, heads throbbing and voices letting out low moans as they regained consciousness. With hands at the side of her head, trying to soothe the aching feeling near her temple, Athena took a good while to collect their bearings while sitting on her knees on the grassy field. It would be amazing if either one of them would be able to wake up in the morning and not have any sort of head pain due to this... It was enough for the two to finally stop attacking one another so savagely and try to think clearly. Their anger had subsided somewhat, and both were indeed coming down from their embarrassing, boarder-line primal clash.

[Ok... Ok... Get... get a grip, me... You're... better than this...]

[Ugh... That... was terrible... I... I can do better than this...]


If any of her fans had saw how the two were at each other's throats to that degree, she'd wouldn't be able to live with herself... ironically. Withing a moment, both girls rose their glance up to see her mirror also trying to recover... and realized that there was still work to be done. Simultaneously, the Athenas sighed deep and closed their eyes...

“Alright, then... Healing...! Good...!”

Once again, another Healing, and again, another outfit change. The urban sailor top, skirt and white boots (or rather, what was left of it...) were gone, this time replaced with a sleeveless, Chinese-themed dress top, a slightly longer undershirt, longer colored gloves, and brown low-heeled boots. The interesting thing, however... was their colors. Athena's top was indeed red with yellow linings, but the undershirt was blue, while Athena's top, indeed blue with yellow linings, was fitted with a red undershirt.

This time, however, both seemed to have simply accepted that their twin would be wearing the same outfit as herself, and simply dusted herself off, getting to her feet. A final shake of the head to clear the cobwebs, and both were ready to face each other again.

“When I thought that this battle would take a while...” Athena
began...

“...I didn't think it would be actually be like this...” Athena continued...

“But... even still...”

“...I'm not going to give up yet...!”

So far, ever since the start of the battle, nearly every single attack she tried was mirrored and traded with her twin, and unfortunately, while she had been able to get the best of her twin at times, her twin had been doing the exact same to her. She would have to be creative...

[If my normal techniques don't work... then maybe I should try...]

Athena was a bit faster to move, and it forced Athena onto the defensive, watching as her twin raised her hands to her sides...

[Another Psycho Ball, ''Alter-Me'...? Please...]

But just as she began to ready up her Psycho Reflector, Athena shouted out something she wasn't ready for...

“CHOUKYUUDAN!!”

“WHA--!?”


While the color was still pink, Athena's psycho ball quickly shout out with lightning sparks, mirroring Kensou's personal firing pose. Considering that Kensou's version was faster than their own attack, Athena had no choice but to dodge out of the way, and just barely.

[Oh! So THAT'S how we're gonna play now, huh!? Well then!]

Athena's focused her gaze, catching Athena starting to close the gap with a quick run, then readied her own firing pose...

“PSYCHO BALL...!”

[HA! She didn't copy Kensou like I did! Maybe she didn't think about that!]

However, as Athena prepared to jump over the predicted projectile path, Athena actually shot the Psycho Ball into the ground, forcing it to bounce against it and jump into the air, taking Athena by complete surprise.

“EH!? T-TELEPORT!!”

It was complete last second, but she found out it was actually one of Bao's modified versions of the famous Psycho Ball attack, forcing her to channel her power into a traveling downwards teleport, getting out of the way by just a hair... and getting behind her twin... whom was busy smirking to herself, predicting the move perfectly...

[My lucky chance...!]

[My lucky break...!]


“GOTCHA!”

“GOT IT!”


Both girls spun around, thinking that they had their twin fooled from their tactics, and managed to place their palms against her twin's chest as they materialized, inadvertently on her breasts... and the Athenas looked on into each other's eyes...

[NO...! NOT THIS TOO...!]

[NO...! CAN'T... LET HER...!]


Her rival had the same idea...! No time to get away, once again, both absentmindedly tried the beat the other to the punch...

“SENKI HAKKEI!!”

This move... was another one that wasn't hers, instead, one of Kensou's older super attacks. It was admittedly an attack she never quite properly learned, but for this one time, she thought it would be a nice sneak attack... Athena screamed out loud, simultaneously pumping out powerful amounts of Psycho energy blasts at point-blank range, right at the one of their most sensitive areas, and quite literally through their bodies. Despite the immense pain, both still held their grasp onto her twin, doing her best to withstand the assault... They lasted longer than their clothes, which had hole blasts widening with each pulse of their power. Still, try as they might, the attack was simply too much to bear without giving into the pain. Nearly falling over, forcing their hands to relocate to their stomachs, they closed their eyes and willed themselves to putting all they had into the last blast...

BAM!!!

“GYAAAHHH....!!”

...and fired a particularly fierce final burst there, knocking the air out of both of them... as well as blowing a clean hole through battle shirts. The Athenas' dark boots skidded back from the force before stopping, but there was no hope of either being able to stand on their feet; they had already passed out from the attack before they could even hit the ground, collapsing right next to each other with a fast thud.

History repeats itself, despite having a different look.

---- ----
[“That... That must've been... luck...”]

[“That... That had to have been a fluke...”]


Once again, the twin girls came to... Athena was starting to lose count on how many times she had knocked herself out at this point... and it was getting harder to keep up the pace like this. Now at a kneel, the twins once again closed their eyes and coated themselves in sparkles...

“HEALING...!”

Yet another costume change and self-healing; the tattered 2000 garbs now replaced with the year afterwards, which was not too much different than before. The shirt and short shorts combo was changed to a small dark tight skinned short suit underneath, with a red/blue apron skirt and top along with it; her purple jewel orb now a single large one that sat right at her upper chest. Once they were settled, the twins stood up fully... but unlike the times before, they didn't immediately go after the other. This time, Athena managed to see Athena wince, favoring her stomach a little, no doubt from that last attack...

“[sigh] ...That one... hurt...” she let out slowly. “I'll be honest... I didn't think you'd last this long... I was training super-hard... trying to get stronger... and yet your still keeping up...” She then snapped her twin a look, once that made it clear her words were not meant to be for flattery, but of clear annoyance. “Seriously, though. You are SO making this harder than it needs to be...!”

“What? Did you think I'd just stand here than let you 'blink' me out of existence?” Athena shot back her own glance, not as 'hot', but more like a 'get real' sort of way. “If you're being so surprised at my own strength, then maybe you're finally realizing just who'se the real one between the two of us here...!”

“Don't get ahead of yourself!” Athena was quick to shout back, instantly planting her boots into the ground once again and bringing her hands out in front of her. “The only reason I even said that was to gather myself... for this next attack... I bet you wouldn't think of me using THIS one, now did you?”

Almost immediately after, Athena had already did the same, unconsciously following suit, and began charging a pulsing pink orb of energy in both her palms... just like her blue twin... their hair and clothes fluffing in their own mini-breeze...

“Oh, yeah...!? Well, let's just see how you handle THIS attack then!”

On yet another count of the draw, the girls took aim and threw their palms out towards the other, recreating Momoko's strongest attack...

“ESPER~!”

The twins shot across the valley a massive beam of pink Psycho Power, resembling that seemed fired out of a cannon... or, more accurately, from some sort of anime show with high-potent energy blasts... Just like said anime shows, the double beams met each other half way, triggering a beam struggle between them in a good old-fashioned clash... but considering just how fierce Momoko's attack tended to be... and Athena's rather hasty recreation of it, the 'clash' part didn't last long before the meeting point swelled... and their energies began shifting to the side ever so slightly...

“EH...? YIKES!”

“AH...! NO!”

...and almost hit their targest dead on once again before the girls managed to barely jump out of the way just a second too soon. The powerful beams still managed to graze the side of their bodies, but even that was enough to instantly ear off a good portion off what it hit, along with the little apron skirt that was held along her hips and a piece of their long gloves... before going off further, streaking through the foliage, and deep into the mountain side... leaving a streaking trail in it's path.

[Gah...! I... I can't believe she actually thought of that, too...!]

Wide-eyed, the Athenas were certainly dumbfounded at the event that just happened. Even when trying to get the jump on the other using someone else's techniques, they still couldn't get the edge over the other... and as they noticed the damage that even a near-hit like that ESPER~! Attack just caused, frustration was beginning to pile up.

“HEALING...!”

Just as quickly as it had come, the 2001 outfit was gone, this time going into the flowing skirt, small short shoes and colorful, middriff-showing top of her 2002 ensemble she had worn some days ago. At this point, the outfits were no longer her concern; she needed a plan...

[If a BIG attack won't work... then how about THIS...?]

Very carefully trying to keep her intentions known, Athena slipped her right hand to her side and out of her twin's view as she leaned her stance downwards a little bit and tried to concentrate her energy there into her fingertips... Her slight movement was enough for Athena to notice a little...

“I... I don't know what you're planning, but I am getting SO tired of this mimic game... so... how about I break this crazy cycle...”

Wasting no time, she then whisked her right hand in front of her and then brought herself back in a dramatic, low pose, cupping her wrist with her other hand, and began charging a new attack right in front of her red twin, who, for once, did show a face of panic almost immediately...

[S-shoot...! She's starting already...!]

As a small Psycho ball began forming in Athena's palm, Athena herself recognized this move... It was another one of Bao's; his Psycho Ball DX... Sure to form, with a single “HERE...!” as a warning, Athena threw her hand out, and out came that small Psycho Ball, seemingly too slow to catch a moving target on its own... but almost immediately, she then followed it up with another call... “TELEPORT!” and vanished forwards...

[Oh, no...!]

Nearly forgetting to concentrate on her own attack, Athena tried to prepare just as her alternate self reappeared behind her with a first, which she had to awkwardly turn around in order to block with her left hand. However, she was essentially fighting with only one hand, barely keeping her mind focused as Athena came in with a variety of palm strikes...

“Ha! I bet I caught you off guard, didn't I!? Well, that's just too bad! I'm going to put an end to this fight... right... NOW!”

Just then, Athena lined up her next attack the best she could... and unfortunately for her, Athena realized she couldn't block this one... One solid shoulder slam hit its mark right in Athena's chest... sending her off her feet backwards... and right into that small, approaching Psycho Ball, which suddenly exploded violently the moment it landed.

“GYAAAAAAAAHHH!!”

Seeing... and hearing THIS attack actually land dead on made Athena sprout a smile... granted, a tired one, but still the first smile she let out in what seemed like ages. The Psycho Ball's explosions kept going for quite some time, until finally one final one blew her rival self back towards her, forcing her to jump out of the way to avoid a collision. Some distance away, Athena finally landed on the grass, curled up on her side and completely knocked out, her clothes, just like the others she had worn before, completely blown to shreds on her. Athena counted the seconds... and once it was clear that indeed, her red rival wasn't getting up, she let out a shaky laugh of triumph.

“H... Ha...! FINALLY... I... finally got her down... J... just like I knew I'd be able to... I... I admit it though... You certainly gave me a tough time...”

Things were finally starting to go her way... Once she finally calmed herself down from her relieved laughing, Athena then began thinking of what to do next...

[I guess now I can get to that whole 'mutual understanding part master was talking about... I... I think I just proved my point, after all...]

That was, however, until Athena noticed a small, almost speck-like Psycho orb at her right side, seemingly out of nowhere... pulsing lightly... almost like a flame...

“Huh...?” ...and then it suddenly glowed brighter... very, VERY quickly... It was at that moment she realized all too late what her twin was up to... “W-WHAT!? NOOO--!!”

Athena's yell of utter shock came to an abrupt end before it could even began. The tiny spark she just now noticed to her side 'sensed' her presence... and set itself off in a mighty, flame-like plume explosion, nearly as big as her own stolen attack. As it went off, Athena just slightly regained her consciousness, barely able to notice her handiwork...

“M... Master's... Gouran... Enpou...” she said in an exhausted voice, barely gathering the strength to smile to herself. “H... hope... you like it...”

Immediately afterwards, Athena fainted once again in a soft 'thump'... Just three seconds later, Athena's own body found itself crashing right on top of her own; face-down in opposition of face-up, just at tattered as her twin's own sleeping body, Psychic 'flames' still dancing on the threads of her clothes... Some seconds past still, and trying her hardest, Athena tried to open her eyes, and tried to push her shaking form up off her K.O'ed mirror image...

“U... ugh... I... I.......”

It was useless to try to fight it, unfortunately. In the next moment, her arms gave out and her eyes closed with a final defeated groan... and the two Athenas were once again out for the count together...

[...**m... ****y...]

---- ----

“...”

The sound of birds chirping as they flew above in the sky managed to cause Athena to stir a tiny bit... She truly didn't want to open her eyes again... Only bad things were waiting for her when she did now...

...but there was something... A pressure resting against her, apparently closer than her clothes would've let happen in certain parts... that was making it harder and harder for her to ignore... It felt like someone's body was lying against hers... matching her exhausted breaths... and the rising and falling of her suddenly quite sensitive breasts and thighs... and...

Slowly, very slowly... she opened just one eye...

“...UGH...!?”

...and her mind finally remembered where she was... and what she was doing. In a scramble, realizing that they had been literally knocked out on top of each other for Kami-knows-how long, and practically being face to face to the point their sprawled out hair was blurring with the others on the forest floor, the twins found the strength to untangle themselves from the other's no-longer-resting form...

“TELEPORT!”

...and forced themselves back to a standing position, hearts racing and fists clenched, their cheeks flushed at the fact. That... was NOT something she wanted to relive at this moment to say the least...! Even worse, yet, her mirror image was still in front of her, despite her latest efforts...

“HEALING...!”

Yet another change... and this one was radically different from the others that she had donned before. This particular outfit was much more extravagant; a flowing frilly skirt around her hips with a white undersearing, white gloves, heart-themed idol boots that reached to her knees while still showing off her white knee socks, and a sleeveless bustier that even had room for a tiny bit of cleavage in the form of a heart... All together, her outfit from 2003... and one that many people would agree seemed more approriate for concerts than the fighting ring.

[“Ugh...! You... You've gotta be KIDDING me...! What do I have to do to get her...!?]

However, the twins were too busy giving each other exassperated looks, their hands clenched into fists in tension by their sides. With each new clash, it seemed as if the situation was getting more and more ridiculous... and more and more hopeless... but even still, it wasn't like she had a choice in the manner. As long as her foe was still standing, she'd keep on fighting... Her very existence depended on it...!

“I... I think it's about time we finished this fight...” Athena was the first to say after a long, uneasy quiet.

“Yeah, I think so too...” Athena agreed, “No more tricks... We... we settle this fair and square... We use our own moves...”

“...and let the best Idol... and Soldier win...”

Abandoning the thought of trying to catch the other off guard with a foreign technique, both went back to their own arsenal of attacks they were most comfortable with... After all, it WAS about who was the real one out of the two of them... Perhaps it was meant to be settled this way... Forgoing the stances and the stare-off, they went right into action... both wordlessly letting their energies flow off their bodies... and wordlessly teleport dash towards each other in a clash, elbow to elbow and knee to knee...

One more teleport, both moving as one along the increasingly destroyed forest clearing, trying to find an opening on the other. The pace had wound up back to how the fight all began, but faster, the girls making sure to not let themselves get caught slipping again... This time, she truly couldn't afford yet another knock out...

After a particularly strong push from the other, the girls jumped back, arms out wide once again...

“Psycho... BALL...!”

...and a set of Psycho Balls once again were called into play. This time, however, they weren't linear at all; instead of firing straight at their opponent, they seemed to float along the air, maneuvering around in an attempt to avoid the many... MANY instances of clashing with the other's force... Of couse, however, this made them slower, and easy to see coming over their own version of the attack... Once more, Athena and Athena laced their gloved hands with Psycho Power...

“REFLECT!”

...and this time, held it up in a 'screen'-like manner, forming a wide-vertical sphere that caught her twin's attack and bounced it right back at her... Just when it seemed the threat was diverted, both girls' eyed widened at the fact her other self reflected her own attack, and attempted to move to a better place to angle it better for a direct hit...

“REFLECT...!”

“REFLECT...!”

“REFLECT...!”

“REFLECT...!”


The twins bounced along the clearing, steadily getting closer to each other, as each time they set their feet, they played ping-pong with the two Balls, and each time, it seemed the balls were getting faster and faster the closer they got to one another...

“WHOA!”

“HEY!”


...until, finally, with them being about a full two bodies away from one another, it was impossible to catch the incoming ball coming her way, having to force herself to teleport-dodge out of its path as they shot off into the woods behind the other. However, this left them close to one another, and right as they exited their maneuver, they prepped themselves and threw a hard fist right into the other's face.

“OWWW!!”

Reeling backwards and grabbing at sore noses, the twins gave one hard glare at each other before jumping back towards each other for another clash... but both stopped just short of each other once they heard a hard rustling noise coming from the trees around them...

“Huh...”

“What...?”

Around them, it seemed that, starting from behind each of them and coming around their left sides, the tops of the trees began rustling violently,with some of the smaller ones actually being toppled down with great force... The sensation forced them to take their eyes off each other and view the forest surrrounding them... just in time to see their respective Psycho Balls plowing through the background area, cutting down trees in an odd pinball style path... until finally, the two of them met at a single, large tree... angled back towards the clearing... and came streaking back at the both of them at hyperspeed...

Both gasped hard at what was going to happen... and already began concentrating... There was absolutely NO time to stop now, and NO time to dodge...!

“HEALING...!”

Just as the shared Psycho Ball hit the twins simultaneously, they both summed another healing to instantly catch the damage as it happened... and as their flashy 2003 singing outfit blew apart at the attack, a new one took its place while they 'absorbed' the impact; their recent KOF Sailor school uniforms that they wore into town just days prior. Not missing a beat the two landed a distance away on their feet, their school shoes sliding along the grass as they caught themselves, then instantly let out identical kicks, their shoes locking mid-kick at the heels... and, as both quickly realized... showed off their modesty shorts to each other...

“EEK!”

...forcing them to push off one another, certain thoughts trying to creep back in. It was here that Athena tried to jump towards her twin in an effort to catch her off guard again, but this time, Athena was more than ready for it...

“HAAAAAA!!”

“GYAH!!” Athena let out a shrill shriek as, just as she got close, Athena quickly spread her arms out to her sides, and a firey burst of energy engulfed her entire body, blowing her away in an instant and to the grass in a crash. This one wasn't like her Shining Crystal Bit; the energy made Athena take the form of an actual Phoenix...

“SUPER PHOENIX... INFINITY!”

...and with a loud call that could've been heard all the way up in the Heavens, Athena took off into the sky, using her power to get as high as she could safely can, hoping to end this fight here and now...

[“I... I got her...! I actually got her! I gotta finish this, NOW...!”]

But, as Athena took off into the sky, planning on turning a circle and come crashing down onto her mirror self, she didn't notice Athena force herself to stop her tumbling and stop at a kneel, catching her breath for a second, then stand up... thinking as quickly as she could...

[I... gotta beat her to the punch...!]

“I got you now...! SUPER PHOENIX INFINITY!

Now it was Athena's turn to spread her arms, Psycho energy sprouting from her body in large pink wings, and took off, setting a clear course to try to pick her other self off on the way down... It wound up being a very bad decision... for both of them.

CRACK!!

“GUUUUUURK!!!”

“EYAAAAAHHH!!”


By the time Athena completed her turn and realized what happened, it was too late. The two Phoenix-powered Soldiers rocketed towards each other as fast as they could... and rammed into each other at high-speed, cranium to cranium. The collision completely stunned the two Athenas, instantly causing their Psycho Phoenixes to fizzle out on impact and quickly, two sailor scout bodies plummeted from the heavens...

CRASH!!

...and wound up not hitting the ground, but rather, getting caught up onto a relatively large branch of a tree near the clearing they had been fighting in, falling through smaller leaf-filled branches and tearing holes in their sailor uniforms on the way.

“...uuu...uuuugh....”

“...nuuu... uuuuhh...”

Still quite out of it, but feeling as if they had stopped their fall from grace, Athena and Athena slowly tried to raise their bodies up and not accidentally fall down. Unfortunately for both girls...

[crick... crick, crick... crick, crick, crick...]

...their sudden fall onto this branch caused it to break from it's trunk...

[SNAP!]

...and broke off completely, finishing their flight with yet another crash-landing, Athena on her back and Athena on her face, tree debris totally covering them. It didn't take a genius to know that both girls' light were knocked out completely now, once again down for the count.

---- ----

“H... HEALING...!”

Fifteen minutes later, and one more change as the Psycho twins poofed back into the center of the Garden... Sailor uniforms were out... and her Southtown assemble, for when she was called into an underground tournament there on one of her off-times, was in. This outfit was definitely one of her most elaborate and fancy, spouting a very stylish sleeveless red/blue and white martial arts shirt that puffed up at the shoulders on top of dark shorts with boots to match, and also-matching wrist guards that extended outwards on her hands. It was certainly an outfit she didn't wear often, not that she hated it, but she had literally ran out of outfits from her major appearances... and right now, she simply couldn't think of anything else in ther wardrobe that she COULD wear right now...

“YAHH...!”

SLAM!

“TAHH...!”

SLAM!

“PSYCHO SWORD...!”

...not that it stopped her from throttling each other, despite still reeling from literally falling from Heaven to a hard landing on Earth. Their latest attack laid right center of their bodies and up onto the other's chin, popping them both off their feet in a shower of torn cloth and into the air in pained yells, and although she wanted too, by now, she simply too exhausted to catch herself to break her fall...

CRASH!

The twins planted themselves face first into the ground in yet another twin set of mini-craters, now nearly devoid of grass, and now giving new meaning to the term 'eating dirt'. However, through their combined moans, they still willed themselves to get back up...

“I... I'm not done... yet!”

“I... I'm not finished... yet!”

With a shaky push off the ground, the twins stumbled backwards to their feet, stars quite literally in their eyes and desperation beginning to settle in...

“I... I can still fight...!”

...then, without looking forwards to see what her mirror self had in store for her, she jumped forwards one more time...

“PHOENIX.... ARRO—UUAGH!?”

“PHOENIX... ARRO—WWAAH!?”

This one... This was new...

Apparently, they were closer to each other than they thought. As the two landed just short of one another, they decided to extend their bodies out with a kick to try to hit the other... only their kicks to miss their mark... spectacularly. Instead, they just barely went right of the other... and accidentally wound up slamming their crotches against the other's instead.

The impact instantly rendered the twins' bodies immobile, those stars in their eyes now about triple the size, forcing them to collapse onto the ground, still locked by their tangled legs. The collision hurt WAY more than the direct kick would have, and despite it somehow (more like miraculously) not knocked either of them out, it DID instantly stun them to no end... twitching and writhing ever so slightly against the other...

“...uuuuuuuuuuuuughhh...”

...and as the two Idols both tried to at least sit up a little and try to pull themselves away from the other, they simply couldn't... They were simply too out of it for their bodies to respond the way they wanted them to... Heads spinning from the pain, the only other part of Athena's body that moved, even if it was slightly... was her hips...

“...aa... aaahhhhhh...”

...unfortunately, lightly and sensually rubbing against her mirror images' shorts... pussy to pussy...

“...nnn... nnnnnnuuugh......!”

[O... Oh... Oh... no...]

...and despite their groggy efforts to stop, that rubbing seemed to make them even more dizzy as a warming sensation began to overtake their bodies, especially at their lions...

“....g... gyaaaahhhh...!”

...exposed nipples began to grow erect underneath her torn fancy outfit... the swaying of the air breeze at JUST the wrong (right...) time making that 'glowing' sensation within her quickly spiral out of control with each light gust of wind...

“AAAAaahhHHHH...!!”

[No...! N... no, please... I... I'm begging you...! No...! Not... not like this...! NO...!]

...she could feel it... She could feel it steadily dampening her panties underneath her shorts... Feel it darkening her already dark shorts with each new thrust and rub... She could feel it making her mind more hazy and foggy than it's EVER been before...

She could feel 'IT' coming... like a tidal wave rushing down between her legs that was too fast to catch and too strong to stop in her weakened state... It inadvertently and accidentally brought her to open her legs just a little bit wider in the heat of the moment... and she completely and totally was too tired and helpless to try to fight it off as it built itself more and more...

[“N... no...! No... p... please...! S... stop...! S-STOOOOOP...! I...! I...!! I'LL....!!!!]

...and built even more still... and once that sensation met it's limit, both girls felt... or rather... SENSED the other slipping through their combined moans, yelps and pants for air...

[“I...I'M GONNA....!!!!!!!!”]

...and then “IT” came... and both couldn't take it anymore.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!”

...and let out a particularly shrill scream... one so loud it could be heard for miles away... then passed out right then and there... their eyes complete white with starlight as that sensation exploded all within... and withOUT them.

[...*'m... **rry...]

---- -----

“Haaah... Haaaah... Haaaaahhh...”

“Ahh... H... Haaah... Haaaaahhh...”

Some time had passed... By now, the sun was beginning to truly set over the mountains, and the once orange sky was beginning to turn to darkness... and it seemed that finally, after such an intense battle had been raging for some time, and especially after the LAST clash they went through, that the injuries both Athenas inflicted on each other were beginning to take their toll on one another. Standing across from one another, trying desperately to catch their breath, the Psycho twins took the moment to observe the mess they've created in this once beautiful place.

[“I... I can't... believe her... Still... standing after all that I threw at her...and then that... THAT humiliating... 'thing'... to go on top of it... I've... never been so embarrassed in my entire life...”]


[“I... can't believe... she actually... went THERE... As if... her still standing... isn't enough... How... How could I let her do this to me...? I... I'm so ashamed of myself I can't stand it...”]


In the setting sunrays, the now sunbathed grass was now clearly littered in shreds of all her past outfits, and the foliage was now very much marked in craters, downed tree branches and the like. Of course, that included where they were currently standing, and trying to gather their energy, breath... and sanity... as their own bodies was not just covered in scratches, bruises and patches of grass and dirt... there was also that VERY noticeable marking stain of cum that streaked through the front of her shorts and even down her legs... and with the front flap of her Southtown outfit cut off due to her twin's Psycho Sword attack, it was visible clear as day even in the setting sunlight, no matter how hard she tried to cover it up with her hand. Seeing all of this make both Athenas' blush intensely hard in shame... and forced her to try to think of something... anything... to put an end to this seemingly endless battle...

[“I'm... running out of outfits to switch to...”]

[“... and I'm running low on power...but I'm sure... she's just as bad...”]

[“I... had better figure out a way to knock her out, fast...”]


One collective, deep sigh escaped their throats...

[“...I've... got an idea...]

...and then they slowly stood up straight, now gathering the strength to stand up fully...

“You may have... lasted this long... but... I bet you won't last through this next attack...”

“You may have... gotten this far... but... I've got one more attack I'm sure will beat you...”

...and then... they both said it... together...

“...The Psychic Medley...”

...A pause... both blankly staring at each other, realizing that they said the name of the same attack at the same time...

“....OH, NO YOU DON'T!!!”

...and then, all Hell... or in this case, Heaven, broke loose.

“ATHENA...! IKKIMASU! (HERE COMES..., ATHENA!)

There was no way... No way SHE could use THIS move over her...! Both Athenas shot at each other, leaving behind hot trails of pink Psycho energy in their wake. The Psychic Medley... was a move that she reserved for when she felt like finishing a bout in the greatest style and flair for her fans during the KOF tournaments...

But not this time. This time, it was personal... It was to prove a point... To make a statement. She could NOT allow her rival self to out-style her... no matter what!

As the two got within range of one another, they both prepped an elbow out to initiate the attack... Those elbows indeed hit their marks, slamming deep into her twin's cheek and causing a splash of power to rise from the clash. However, neither fell back from the force, teeth gritted, and even managed to further push into one another to try to force her way through on her attack.

“THIS STAGE... IS MINE...!!”

Once it was clear her mirror foe wasn't budging, simultaneously they jumped a tiny distance away from each other, pink sparks covering their bodies as their tattered Southtown outfits began to change...

“ONE! ACK!”

...and as they came towards each other again to hit each other with a strong strike to the chest, their powers did as they usually did while performing the Psychic Medley... though, it did neither any favors that they switched back to her Psycho Soldier school seifuku, the same one that was torn to pieces from their previous clash.

It didn't stop there, however...

“TWO! AHH!”

Ignoring the pain in her chest, both switched again, now in her broken modified idol dress from 2003, followed with an even harder strike with the opposite hand across the face, heads whiplashing from the blows... but still pulling themselves together to continue.

“THREE! IRK!”

Now in her 2002 vest and skirt combo, which, just like the previous outfits, still was in shambles, both Athenas turned from their spun states and retaliated with a snap kick that landed hard in their sides, forcing them to stumble away from each other...

“FOUR! UCK!”

...only to land a forceful back kick to the opposite's exposed rear end of their 2001 outfit's torn shorts, nearly knocking themselves face-first to the dirt below.

Still, they changed and continued to assault one another.

“FIVE! GYA-ICK!”

Spinning to face the other once again, now in her 2000 uniform, both reared back and threw their right fists right into the other's stomach, right through the tears, which effectively knocked the air out of each other. Gritting their teeth, the Athena's mustered up her strength and pressed on...

“...SIX! GYAH! OWWWW!!”

Switching quickly to what was left of her '99 short jacket, skirt and white boots, Athena clenched her left fist and landed a hard punch underneath, into one of her opponent's exposed breasts... This one had a... special pain feedback to it.

The effect was instant; with her whole body seemingly shaking from the attack and almost giving out on itself. Both girls' faces were lined with hot tears in their eyes, and wound up pushing up closer to one another inadvertently to try to cover up the aching area, grasping at the other's shoulder to not fall down to the ground again...

However, this would come back to bite the two of them in the rear end... horribly.

“S... SEVEN...! …!!!”

Suddenly, both Athenas' eyes went wide as saucers, both their voices dying in their throats, immediately followed with a burning hot pain between her legs and bright stars shooting in her eyes. '98 outfit this time... and this one... was different... and a move that under normal circumstances, Athena would never THINK of doing to anyone else in a fight. Being this close, and having their arms occupied, both decided to be clever with their next attack... and rammed their left knees into the other's crotch as hard as they could.

“Lucky Number 7”, indeed, and it was impossible to ignore that one.

Admittedly, both could not continue the attack right away, dropping to their knees and doubling over next to each other, heads against the ground and hands desperately nursing sore 'sweet spots', moaning the entire time.

[Why... Why that...... CHEATING...!]

[Why... Why that..... SHAMELESS...!]


...but all because that... THAT dirty blow... It only seemed to make both Athenas MORE determined to continue. Sucking up the pain and slowly rising from her knees, Athena's outfit changed once again... to her '97 riches-to-rags vest, skirt and leggings... eyes regaining their hard glares...

“EI... EIGHT!”

...and held nothing back as they threw a bold hay-maker punch to the other's face...

“N... NINE...!”

'96's martial arts uniform, this one, a sharp elbow to the lower chin, throwing their weight against one another...

“TEN...!”

'95's torn tunic and pants; opposite roundhouse kicks to the head, forcing them to stumble back from each other... and change again.

“ELEVEN.....!”

As they tried to strike each other, their adjacent fists actually collided this time, the one attack to not hit it's mark in the Medley, and both realized what they had changed into. This one was a bit different from the rest... as she actually only changed her top and pants... for a spare version of the same outfit, only with longer sleeves and a lack of the decorative ball on her hip... her very first fighting tunic from the '94 tournament (why hadn't she use this outfit before...?)

[My... my last good outfit...!]

“...T... WELVE......!”

It would not last nearly as long as the others, as attack number 12 wound up having the twins reaching back their free hands, forming mini-Psycho Balls in her palm. They wasted no time throwing the energy attacks square in their already sore stomachs, which hurt enough already... but neither let go, instead, drawing more power to force it to grow in size...

“THIR... TEEN! EYAAAH!!”

...and forced it to explode at point blank range, blowing the untouched tunic to pieces in one shot. By now, the attacks were really hurting the two Psycho Soldier twins, as they took a moment to try to catch her breath, an arm protecting their sore bellies... but one look at herself in the opposite color being in the exact same predicament shot 'rest' out the window.

[No...! I... gotta... keep... going...!]

A brief pause between the two, as they shot each other determined glares... Then, without moving a muscle...

[....FOUR... TEEN!]

...at this point, transforming took a backseat to just flat out punishment, as Athena decided to attack each other not with their physical bodies this time, but with purely their Psycho Powers. Both mustered up the energy to perform their Psychic Teleport, shooting out afterimages of themselves that streaked through each other... but instead of transporting herself, the images attacked each other directly, clashing in their own energy battle.

And initial rushing slap to the other's psychic face...

[FIF... T... TEEN...!]

...a sharp, rising double Psycho Sword to the chin...

[S...I...X... T...E...E...N...!]

...and finally, despite even their psychic selves being stunned by directly assaulting each other, managed to follow it with a falling psychic slice of the hand. The ethereal Athenas cut through themselves fully, and wound up disappearing as a result... and the real Athenas felt every blow in real time... It was almost as if her mind itself was being torn apart for that series of attacks...

It was very rough, but during that time, the only thing both could think of was to 'endure' the onslaught...

[N... not... YET...!]

[I... can... DO THIS!]

Little did she let on, both had used the afterimages to try to collect as much energy as they directly could in their weakened states.

[Now... FINISH!]

It was time to pay off from the pain she put herself through...

In a burst, both Athena's bodies shot open with energy, even more than when she had started the Medley, and managed to wear an outfit that had not been worn before, a frilly red/blue stylish dress with heart-shaped hat and boots to match, which made her resemble a bit of a Western cowboy...

And without wasting time, focused her aim on her twin, and brought her hands together to her bosom, channeling it and forming a small, radiantly glowing, heart-shaped Psycho Ball within them...

“Let's see how you handle... THIS!”

“Let's see you deal with... THIS!”

“PSYCHO BOMBER!!”

In an instant, the space between the two girls was in turmoil again, with the two Heart Bombs now clashing within it... and much bigger than before.

Athena figured that her twin would be too focused on dealing with the Bomber clash... but, little did she let on, that was a lie. The Bomber was a special ender to her Medley, yes, but even now she only put in the bare minimum amount of power to create it as a distraction. Even now, her body wound up glowing even more... and letting loose sparkles all beside her that were forming separately at her sides...

[Once that explodes... she's going to be in for... quite a surprise...!]

“...!”

[So... she diffused it on purpose too...]

[So... we were planning the same thing, again...]


The plan... was revealed... and yet again, the plan was the same on both sides.

Their outfits had changed again, this time, radically different from anything else she had worn before. Athena and Athena were now donning ancient Greek styled armor dress styled in her Goddness' namesake, mostly gold but red/blue tinted in areas to their liking, their boots replaces with wrapped sandals, and in their hands, a fiery sword and shield combo.

The last thing, however... as that at this point, there were no longer two Athenas. There were more...

A LOT more.

The forest clearing was now the scene of a full-fledged war fitting to break out; with a full army of red & gold, and blue and silver Athenas, lined up on clear sides... Each one, wearing their own helmets to go with their armor, aimed either a celestial psychic bow & arrow or cannon at another rival look-alike on the other side...

These Athenas... were illusions... but VERY GOOD illusions... with VERY real threats to their weapons...

And those weapons were about to be put to great use...

“It's time to finish this...! SOLDIERS! READY!?”

“It's time we settled this...! ON MY MARK! AIM...!”

Once the leader twin Athenas pointed their swords at at one another...

FIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRREEEE!!!!”

...the battlefield lit up in a sea of pink arrows and bombs... and at its center of carnage, the two Goddess Athenas were back at each other's throats, fire swords and all...

---- ----

BOOM!!!

Back at the cabin, the rest of the Psycho Soldiers couldn't help but jump at the sudden fiery explosion that went off in the distance. It was literally bright enough to mirror the sun setting in the sky... and enough to get Kensou to spring up from his sitting.

“What in the...!? You HAD to have seen that! C'mon! We've gotta go and see how she's doing! She could be in trouble!”

The young man then looked on towards his master, whom finally decided to give him a direct look in the eyes for a moment...

“You're right, Kensou... Let's go break it up.”

“Thanks, Master! I... I know what needs to be done, but I simply can't let her do this to herself like this...! Let's get going already!”

Just before the young lad could sprint up the pathway towards the battlefield, however...

“Just before we go... I do have to tell you...”

“Yes, Master?”

“...Your shoes untied.”

“Huh...? Wait... What the--!?”

Kensou never knew what hit him. With a single tap to the neck, both Bao and Momoko were treated to the sight of Kensou collapsing on the pathway before them in a rather silly manner, his read end up over anything else...

“You just don't make this easy on an old man, do you, Kensou...?” Chin muttered, bringing his hand back to his backside. “Sheesh... Now just go to sleep for a little while and stop worrying... Besides...” With one more look up to the warzone in the Garden, Chin's demeanor straightened. “Their battle should be just about over with any moment now...”

---- ----

The air some moments previously was filled with the sounds of Athena... literally two armies made up of Athenas, shouting out in fury and yelling out in pain as their psychic armories fired into one another, arrows piercing armor, heart bombs exploding and blasting purple-haired bodies to and fro all over the place. One by one, each fell in the line of fire, until the dust settled...

Two Athenas began the start of this battle...and now, once again, two remained standing... abet barely.

“*pant* Wha...!? She's... so... strong...! I thought... our powers were supposed to be...!”

“*cough* How...!? How can... she be this... tough...? There's... no way... she has... this much...!”

The Psychic Medley, as spectacular as it was, had failed to finish their fight. With the dust settled and the grass scorched, both found themselves no longer in her Goddess armor, forcibly reverted back to their tarnished '95 outfits, the ones that they had started with in the first place, and realized that, along with the pulsing, pounding headache she was currently experiencing, this was a VERY bad sign.

She could no longer maintain hotswapping outfits... She had ran dry...

[No...! But... but she's still...!]

There was no choice in the matter, though. As long as her mirror was still standing, she HAD to keep going... or else...

[O... one more... time...!]

“H.... Heal... in.... GAH!”

“He... al... in... NYAH!”

Their bodies, however, weren't as willing, especially their minds. Trying to once again use the Healing Athena turned out to be a bad idea in their exhausted state. Only a few tiny sparkles surrounded their bodies before both instantly felt a sudden 'popping' sensation, a mental explosion in their heads as they tried to use the move, instantly amplifying their headache and rendering each other dizzy.

[Urk...! U...used... up... too... much...... energy......]

Athena's eyes began to cloud... and she could feel her world spiraling out-of-control, unable to keep her balance. In the midst of her stunned nature, her feet tripped over one another, leaving her to fall in a sharp yelp... and roughly bump into her mirror self, whom had also lost her balance. Both twins luckily managed to catch each other at the last second to prevent them from tumbling over fully, and ironically, while they couldn't even lift their hands before to nurse their own headaches, their hands managed to catch the opposite Athena's heads, resting on the other's shoulders in a desperate hug, clinging against the other for dear life...

This battle... It was too much...

[...I... I.... can't...]

It hurt... Her mind... Her body... Even her spirit... Everything hurt... and she couldn't take it anymore. Athena was finally at her limit... She could feel her consciousness slipping... The ground that lay below her was growing dimmer... It almost... felt welcoming... as if it was calling her... and for a moment she closed her eyes and nearly accepted the silent offer. She could just fall... Fall to the cold, dark blue ground, and just end this insanity...

...but she could feel...

...feel the warmth of someone...

...Someone... did catch her... from falling...

…Someone that was also in just as much pain as she was...

...That someone... was...

...Was...

…was HER...!

“...NO...!”

A bit of her mind managed to unscramble itself and clear Athena's thinking. Athena's eyes shot open and alert... and simultaneously the twins managed to regain a bit of energy and shove the other backwards weakly with a grunt. They both stumbled a bit, almost landing on their butts, but barely managed to keep on their tired feet.

[NO! I can't... give up! There must be a way...!]

Both sides of her knew it... If she fell now... no matter how light the contact... she'd never get back on her feet again. And worse, both knew that her twin was in the exact same critical state. They've were this close to proving just who was the real Psycho Soldier... It was now or never...

Desperate times came for desperate measures...

[...If healing doesn't work... Then... I'll just have to... risk it...]

“I... I have one last... trump
card... One... last attack...”

[“It's... all or nothing... I... may not be able... to just walk out of here... once I use it... though... I've... already used up... way too much power...”]

“You... may be powerful...”

“You... may be strong...”

Her shoes planted firmly into the tattered soil beneath her...

“You... may have been... the toughest challenge... I've ever faced...”

“You... may have been... the greatest opponent... I've ever fought...”

Hands raised up into the air... a large swirl of Psycho Power collecting in her palms...

“...But even still... Even if that's the case...”

Her hair flared upwards towards the sky as she arched her body backwards slightly...

“...I...just can't... let myself..."

Her eyes snapped open...

“...LOSE TO YOU!!!”

...and then, she fired.

“PSYCHO BALL... REVOLUTION!! GO!!!!”


Two balls of energy spiraled out into the center of the Garden, each one the size of Athena herself, and slammed right into one another midway through, instantly causing the area to be bathed in it's bright purple light. Instantly, a vortex began to form as the Athenas' final attack went into play, the girls straining immensely as they concentrated all their might into it. As they battled, the combined Psycho Balls began to grow in size as they rammed fiercely into the other, like two bulls in a head-on collision trying to overpower the other... and all the while, she thought of the things that she could use to strengthen herself to prevail...

[I... can't lose this fight...! For all of my friends... and all the people that look up to me...! I... I... have to... win...! I have to prove... that I can beat... my dark side...!]

[This... is one I can't afford to lose! I have to do this! For whomever out there could need protection... I just can't lose here! I... I must beat this false me...!]


With each stressed groan and grunt, the Revolution pulsed, growing big enough to encase a lot of the ground into it's sphere of destruction... and still, the two kept on... Kept pushing themselves... Kept trying to get the other to fall...

“I... won't... let you... WIN...!”

“I... won't... lose to... YOU...!”

The twins poured everything they had left into their final attack... Everything and more... with the only thing in their minds being simply to win... To win and prove that they were the real Athena, once and for all... but through all this struggling, neither could prepare for, for the briefest of moments, their thoughts to pick up on something...

[***ry...]

[...What...!?]

[I... I'm... s*... s**ry...]

Athena's eyes widened as, without wanting to, her mind suddenly managed to begin picking up on words... spoken in her voice, but not coming from her... but at the same time... completely FELT like it came from her...

[What... is... this...?]

The sensation was too weird to explain, but it locked her in a trance as it's presence unfogged itself... and the words seemed to pout out without her realizing what was happening...

[I've... I've made a terrible mistake... I... should've never ignored you... I shouldn't have ever insulted you... or did anything to hurt you...]

[...Wait...! These... These... words are....!?]

Even still, these 'thoughts' kept on, the voice behind them getting louder and clearer... no matter how much Athena tried to tune her brain out from hearing them...

[All this time... I've done nothing but try to ignore you and get in your way... You didn't deserve to be buried... and yet here I am... fighting with myself like a complete idiot... I'm... I'm just an idiot... A complete, utter, superstar idiot... This fight... I... I never wanted this fight... I don't want it to end like this... I've ignored you for so long but... it's too late for regrets now... F... for everything... everything that I've ever done to you to make me hate me... I... I... I'm...]

[...no... NO...! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! D... DON'T YOU DARE SAY THAT TO ME NOW...!]

Then... a brief flash in her mind... through the spiral of energy booming in front of them... of the other her... herself, not in either color of red or blue, but just a 'blank' state... staring back at her... with a look not of anger or resentment, but of remorse and sadness...

...and, most important of all... clarity...

[I'm... sorry... 'me'...]

“!!!!”

That thought at the end was enough to snap Athena out of her hazy thinking, not even realizing that all of a sudden tears were falling from here eyes and very, very close to breaking down in an emotional wreck...

…and then, suddenly, both stopped pushing themselves to overpower the other... and realized far too late what was actually happening in front of them.

This time... neither of them could let out a scream, a shout... anything. All they could do was stare in wide-eyes, open-mouthed horror at the approaching giant mass of purple Psycho Power that was glowing, creating it's own wind storm. They could have attempted to run... but even if they had the strength, both seemed to know that when this... mammoth of a sphere goes off... they wouldn't be far enough to escape it... and that no tree... no rock... no house... not even one of the Ikari Warriors' tanks... No barrier... could shield them from it.

It grew a bit more... then stopped... just in front of the two Athenas, almost enough to practically touch their frightened faces... and it began to change.

The Psycho Ball Dual Revolution quickly went from bright purple... to dark crimson red...

KABOOOOOM!!!

...and then exploded.

Trees where blown asunder. Debris was swept far into the air. Anything that wasn't tied down to the Earth (and even then...) wound up being blown away to be forgotten along the distance of the mountain area...

..and then there was silence.

Somehow... Someway... despite the titanic full force they felt... the same force that utterly leveled the Garden they had fought in, the two Athenas were still on their feet...

However... just one look at either of them and it was clear that last stunt was way more than either of them could handle. The already broken outfits they were wearing were now nothing more than stray strips of fabric clinging to their bodies, clearly showing far more skin then either would've liked to. Each had one fully exposed breast poking from her red/blue and white tunic and the other partially exposed from the little bit left on her. The blast also left them showing their panties from their tattered white pants. The beads that hung from both their necks, like the various other blown bits of clothing from her wardrobe, had finally blown off completely from the Revolution, broken all along the debris around them, joining the pieces of their torn yellow sashes. The star hairband on both their heads was now in parts unknown. Even her fighting gloves were almost completely torn off and destroyed, one slight more than the other on opposite hands. The only thing that hadn't been totally wrecked were their shoes, which wasn't saying much, as even those had scratch damage from the attack.

As they stood, both simply couldn't bring any more energy to continue fighting. Their arms felt like lead-weights, hanging limply in front of them, and their legs, buckling at the knees but somehow still holding the two up, no longer had the ability to do anything outside of that. Her long purple hair, now complete frizzed, had covered up their faces as both Red and Blue had their heads hung low... but slowly, they managed to lift it just a tad, their bangs bushing to the sides a bit on their own to show her battered face. Both their eyes were closed at first...

[Did... I...?]

...but eventually, they slowly opened one eye each half-way... and looked forwards...

[...N... no... way... She... still...]

The Revolution didn't work...

Even after all of that... after pouring every last drop of her Psycho Power into that last attack... her other side was still standing... and she was now left with nothing else to go on with...

[No... Just... No... I... it... can't be...]

While not speaking to one another, their shoes began to drag themselves through the fallen leaves and shreds of clothing they forced from their chaotic battle... and approach the other.

[M... Mas...ter... Chin... Kensou...]

She may not have fallen like her twin wanted... but Athena knew...

[Everyone... I'm... I'm... so sorry... I... did my... best... but...]

The battle... was over. It was finally over...

[I can't beat her... She's... too strong... I... just can't...]

...and she was the loser.

[...win...]

No more words could be uttered among the two. Only a simultaneous, weak groan left their mouths before their eyelids fell and their legs finally lost their strength, both of them dropping to their knees for a moment before falling forwards towards the mountain ground below... However... they didn't hit the ground. The Athenas instead wound up collapsed against the other's front; chest to chest (which certainly meant naked breast to breast) and face to face (forehead to forehead); the only keeping them from falling all the way down and landing on their faces was ironically themselves. The contact was just enough of a jolt to slightly awaken the two exhausted Athenas, but only briefly, as the only thing they could bring themselves to do was to stare into the other's dulled purple eyes...

...her own utterly spent expression...

...her own slow pants of breath brushing along her face...

...her own long, tattered purple hair sprawled in various directions...

...and then, it hit the both of them just why this whole battle was destined to be this way from the very beginning... That thought nagging their heads on the way up here... and ultimately... a thought they silently shared ever since they first met each other. They knew somehow that this was going to happen all along...

[Is... is it...because...you... truly are....me...all... along.......?]

Slightly... still with foreheads pressed together, the two brought themselves closer still... and brought the only important part of themselves that they still could move closer together...

Their lips.

A kiss...

Neither realized why she did it. After all they did to each other over the past how-much time since they started fighting, Athena just couldn't help herself. Though they couldn't speak anymore, their minds wound up making a simultaneous conclusion... just as a faint, pink aura began to surround the two...

[You... are....]

The glow, slowly pulsing around them... It was... familiar...

They both knew what this sensation was. Although they could barely see it, somehow their minds, in their fading consciousness, knew what it was by feeling alone.

It was the same as that time... when this all began...

[...me...]

The kiss wound up broken... and both Athena and Athena took one second to view just what they did to each other... to see herself... for the last time... The pink light that was the last of their Psycho energy surrounding the two wounded girls began to grow a bit brighter, slowly obscuring them... To think they had been this stubborn to cause this... Now, with their resentment of the other gone, both were certain now...

[T...he... re...al... At...he...na...]

They really did it this time... It was time... to say 'Good-bye'...

A small, gentle smile appeared on both their faces... if only for a moment... Then...

“.......ohh...”

“......ugh...”

Just as their eyes closed a second time... this time for good, finally their bodies collapsed to the ground in the same direction with a soft thud, leaves & clothing bits jumping up into the air in the process...

Both landed on their sides... legs on top of legs... and clumsily in each other's arms...

[S... so... wa...rm......]

...A few moments later, the two separate glows around them began to merge together, becoming one single oval of glowing energy...

...And with that, Athena's world went from red and blue, to a single white... and then straight to black.

---- ----

“I've seen bright light, silhouettes of sword fights, I've seen it all, I've seen it all...”

“I've heard those loud cries, coursing through the night sky, I've heard it all, I've heard it all...”

“I knew it all, through the holes in the walls, whom they will be, whom they shall be...”

“Killing with Psycho Balls... They now understand what they're fighting for....”

“I've saw it all, through the holes in the walls, whom they would be, who they should be...”

“Killed with Psycho Balls... They now understand that they fought for ground control...”


---- ----

Coming up next... The curtain call...

_________________
A lover of fighting game girls, a lover of mirror matches [...and a magnet for double K.O.s, apparently].

Catchable on Steam & most video game consoles. Just PM me!

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_68Jr ... WTfysnNb9A


Last edited by DeNice on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:52 am
Posts: 1096
I tip my hat to you sir.

That was incredible.

_________________
When twins tangle!


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