Sitting in the waiting room, for once Fukata is not nervous about the crowds, nor is he most worried about losing - either. In this case, it's just seeing his opponent that makes him frown in silent frustration, his head resting on the palms of his arms, resting on his knees. He glances towards the door every few seconds, at the same moment both willing her to arrive, and wishing she wouldn't. He shakes his head at that thought, "I do want to see her, to talk to her, to settle things - even as I know they are hopeless. Damn him." Yup that's it, Fukata is jealous - he's got it bad, and he'd better shake it before the match or his chances of winning will drop from slim to nought.

As usual, it takes a bit longer for Mikage to get to the waiting room once the announcements were called. Of course, she has little idea of what awaits her at this particular moment. In the most simple of terms, she doesn't quite understand the stress she must be placing poor Fukata under. To her, he is still her best friend, and that is something that won't change. It is a nieve thought, perhaps, but one she clings to none the less. So, the pale girl makes her slow way into the waiting room, her angel tucked into one pocket of the jacket that she wears over her normal clothing. When she sees him, a small smile lights on the girl's face, "Konnichiwa, Fukata-kun."

Trying to decide if he should talk now or later, Fukata face twitches as he keeps the expression neutral for a long second, then he forces a smile - mirrored in all but his somewhat stress burdened eyes, it's convincing only if you're not looking too closely. "Ossu, Mikage-chan." he says with a little more genuine cheer - hearing her voice is still comforting - even if it's overshadowed by the fact that he is just a friend. "It's been a while since I've spoken to you. I hear a lot's happened in your life." and he makes the decision in his mind then - not now, later, after the battle. "Are you going to be free after the match? I'd like to catch up." he nods inwardly - that's for the best - let himself calm down, let him feel the feelings of his little angel for a while and forget his own.

"Un. A lot." Mikage replies in her softest of voices, her finger lightly twirling around the tail of her gargoyle angel as she takes a deep breath, looking first at her friend and then over towards the display showing the final moments of the previous match. "You're upset..." This seems to come as a little surprise to the girl, although in some way she also understands it. Perhaps a normal person would be fooled into thinking nothing is wrong, but in some ways this girl has always had a knack in figuring others out. "Listen, I'm sorry if I've done anything to upset you." She lowers her eyes, holding her angel in her hand as if it were something she were clinging to for some sort of support. Then, her mind seems to click into what this might be about. In an even softer voice, she looks away towards the screen. "I'm sorry things can't be the way you want them to be. In the end... it's probably better this way." Her voice drops, and a barely audible mumble says the words 'you won't have to watch me die...'. Then, she raises her voice again, "But I do care for you... your my best friend. I don't want to lose you."

His eyes opening a little in surprise as she reads him quite so well, he gives a little smile "It's that obvious, eh?" he is silent for a moment, thinking about what she said - seeing that he upset her with his feelings, he feels a tinge of guilt and regret, but you can't help how you feel - right? "I'm sorry too, I don't want to-" he stops, losing the train of thougt, "I understand if you don't-" he stops, that's not right either, he doesn't understand, not really. He skips right to the end, "You won't lose me, I've said it before, I like you as a friend, really like you - even. That's not going to change - never. You're my best friend too." He looks up into her eyes from his seat, and through his less hidden sadness there's a fire of vehemence there, showing how deeply true that is.

"And I'll put aside as best I can the other feelings I have... if there's nothing I can do to change yours. Is it really useless?" He asks, a tone of pleading he can't mask from his voice, "Do I have no chance?" He fully expects her answer to be no, even if there was a slight glimmer of hope, she was with Ranmaru now - she's sure to say no anyway, just to discourage him, and to make him move on. If he had just that one glimmer of hope, he'd give it his all to win her over, to show that he was the one deserving of her love. But he resigns himself to the certainty of her answer.

Mikage is quiet for a time, as if her thoughts were swimming inside of her head. It is difficult to place exactly what and how she feels at times, and things have been tense and stressful as of late. Only a rare few could understand how much fear she lived with every day. She closes her eyes and tightens the grip on her angel for a moment, and then looks back towards Fukata, trying to force a smile. She has no real skill in faking things, and she really isn't trying. "I understand how you feel, and I do care about you." How could she really explain that there was so much more to it than that, though?

"You deserve all the love and light in the world, and someday you'll find it with someone who can share her entire life with you. I'm afraid that's something I could never offer, not to anyone." Mikage's shoulders slump, but she does reach a hand out, just brushing her fingers lightly past his hair. "You are very dear to me... but I think it's better this way. I love Ranmaru." She glances once more at the screen, now showing clean up between rounds. "This is all I have left. This is all I can leave behind for people to remember me by. Ne... Let's do our best, Fukata-kun?"

Fukata can't help but be unsatisfied by that answer, how many times has he said that a day with her would please him more than a lifetime with anyone else. Maybe he'll find another love and this time will be a fond memory - and logically he knows he'll get over this, but for now at least it seems impossible, such is the way of his heart. And while he thinks this he is silent again. The buzzer sounds from on the screen and through the door to the arena. He looks over to the layer on the screen - it's all over there, he nods, "Un." and stands to walk over to the door, opening it for her and gesturing - "After you, megumi-sama" he uses the title heard around here and there.

And in some ways, Mikage herself knows that this is an incomplete answer. Some part of her fears making that direct answer to his question, because she fears that it would drive him away, and she has so few people she trusts in her life. In any case, when the buzzer rings out, she raises her head, glancing up and following Fukata with her eyes as he move sto hold open the door. "Arigatou." She replies, a faint blush passing her cheeks as she bows her head and walks through into the hallway that leads to either end of the layer arena floor. "Good luck, Fukata-kun." She whispers as she walks by, and then disappears down the Eastern passageway with her angel.

Before he steps out the door himself, Fukata stands there looking down the tunnel, feeling frustrated - feeling confused - and mostly feeling alone. He stands there, hands clasped together, subconciously softly biting down on the knuckles of his hand , giving it his mouth something other to do than want so deperately to cry. 'Focus.' He says, commanding himself - 'Yuki needs you, you have to win.' not even really sure why it is he wants to win, perhaps he could impress Miki by beating her, if nothing else it will give him something to be happy about. He bites on the hand in his mouth, hard enough to leave teethmarks. "Focus damnit." he says, walking after her, a few seconds behind.

The crowd has died down slightly during the intermission between the tournament matches. Some people mull about talking, getting refreshments, or placing bets on the coming matches. All of this comes to an end when the lights come up on the layer again. "Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats as we begin the next match!" There is a moment of music blaring through the speakers and most people go take their seats as the announcer is lowered in his chair towards the layers. Cheers go up from the crowd as a spotlight swings down towards the Eastern edge of the arena floor. "East corner: Aogiri Mikage with her angel: Rei!" Applause rings out through the arena, even as a second spotline moves over towards the Western arena hallway. "Ito Fukata with his angel: Yuki." Another round of cheers comes as both are announced. "Deuses, take your seats!"

As the light shines down onto the Eastern end of the Arena, Mikage steps out from the hallway, her angel resting in it's stereotypical spot on her shoulder. She raises a hand up to the audience, waving in no real direction, as she can't really see that far. One voice in particular being shouted just causes her to smile a little and shake her head. She steps forward with her usual slow pace, partially shielding her eyes from the light as she steps over to the egg-shaped chair. She settles herself down into it, drawing her angel down onto her forearm as the chair rises up to arena height. Once there, she reaches over and pulls on her headset, adjusting the pale red visor over her glasses and reaching up to extend the 'ears' which show in one black feathred wing and one white demonic wing. Then, once the display begins to show infront of her eyes, she just looks across, awaiting her friend, her opponent for this match.

Arriving a few seconds behind Mikage, Fukata walks along - his hands clasped behind his back. He doesn't glance up at the crowd for a moment, not to see the people, and not for that voice, he's got his poker-face on. He lowers himself into the chair and it takes him into the air - his eyes take in just the arena, reaching for the visor with unconcious habit. he flicks the visor into life, and awaits the announcer's call to battle.
Announcer: "Angel, Fall-in!"

It take as bit more time for Mikage's nerves to calm as she settles back into the chair. She takes a pair of small earplugs out of her pocket and slips one into each ear. The sound of the crowd was sometimes just a little bit too much for one who was used to having to listen closely to things. When the call is made to set the angels into the layer, Mikage raises up the arm balancing Rei and closes her eyes. "Spirit, heart... will to continue. Be the power of souls combined. Be my wings... Rei! Fall-in!" With a quick jolting motion of her arm, the gargoyle angel topples forward and down towards the barrier of the layer. As soon as the small, winged angel passes through that invisible barrier, she jolts from a doll to something almost indestinguishable from a living creature. Her eyes flash open, glowing green for a moment before her large wings flare out, allowing her to hover in the void of space. Those wings cause her to look like some demonic airplane before they are drawn inward, and she just floats there above the layer.

Fukata reaches for his little angel resting in his shirt pocket, and he takes her out - looking down at her for a moment before closing his eyes, clasping her to his chest and intoning "A part of my soul goes with you, show me the way to be - Ikke! Yuki!" and with a toss, she is loosed towards the layer, flying towards the barrier and opening her eyes, she floats towards the centre of the layer - the deus opens his eyes moments later, and the angel looks around for some way of losing her inertia..

On the layer, Yuki would be in trouble if the vast emptiness of space didn't come with a fair volume of garbage too, little rocks, big rocks - hey there even appears to be what looks like a satellite. Yuki takes a moment to wait for a rock to come nearby and latches onto one, kicking off of it, and throwing herself across the layer towards the gargoyle. She reaches out to grab the gargoyle, gain herself a hold and knee Rei in the gut.

The small gargoyle seems perfectly prepared for the first attack that comes, giving a flap of her wings to get herself just out of the way as the attack comes past. The creature blinks in surprise, then tries to lash out her tail at Yuki while grabbing onto a passing asteroid with her talons. Best to have some means of escape, especially from such a powerful opponent. The little gargoyle gives a churring sound, her ears drawing backwards. These surroundings did not make battle easy.

On the layer, Yuki brings up arm to impede the attack, but you can't really block a tail, it's slowed a little and does little damage though. She catches a small fist-sized rock, aiming it at Rei and hurling it with a fair bit of force, and with a little forward planning she uses the throw to set herself drifting towards the largest object nearby, an angel sized hunk of rock, that'll give her some manouvering room.

Rei draws herself inward, her knees up to her chest with her arms wrapped around and her wings as an additional layer of protection. The rock that is slung at her does no more than bounce off, leaving barely a scratch. First, one ear appears, and then her entire head pops up as she gives a little creel of sound. The gargoyle's wings flare momentarily as she shifts into an attacking position, locking her legs against one of the larger pieces of rock and propelling herself forward towards Yuki with her arm outstretched. It seems that she plans on dive-bombing her opponent and driving her back towards the layer's edge.

On the layer, Yuki grabs at the rock she's holding onto, and with some effort gets good enough grip on it to scramble around it, forming a huge rocky shield, she hides behind her space fortress for a few seconds, waiting for Rei to pass by, and she snatches a passing small rock, placing it inside her Kimono - extra ammo!

The gargoyle angel's ear twitches just once as she turns, her feet planting against the large satillite dish that floats among the other various debris. Her talons leave long scratch marks along the metal surface. She tilts her head, eyeing Yuki suspiciously before drawing her hand to the metal below her. Even in this dark part of space, it seems that she can still channel some bit of the life-giving force that feeds her powers. There is a flash, a flicker, and then the entire dish lights up and sends a series of waves of power and light across the layer towards Yuki. In the distance, it almost sounds as if thunder is rolling, but perhaps that is just some rocks crashing together.

On the layer, Yuki peers at the satellite and Rei, wondering with a vague worry what she's up to - Yuki really ought to have known better though, the sudden flash robs Yuki of her sight momentarily and only speedy reflexes move her clear of the blast, she blinks furiously and finds herself - as her vision clears enough to see at all - clinging to the back of another rock, a little distance away, and expanding away from the rock is a thin cloud of dust. Yuki peeks around the edge of the rock to find Rei, having lost track of her during the attack.

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Fukata-kuuuun! Give us a shoooow!"
While Yuki is momentarily distracted by the light and sound show, Rei ducks behind one of the larger boulders in some strange attempt at being stealthy. It's too bad for her that her tail is still just barely visible. Well, you can't blame a girl for trying, right? As her angel takes this moment to regroup, Mikage takes a deep breath and reaches up to rub at one of her eyes beneath her headset, glancing at the timer before looking back down to her angel, who leans heavily against the rock, breathing quickly with her ears flattened. Yuki was always a tough opponent, and she couldn't underestimate her or her deus.

On the layer, Yuki circles around her hiding place, scanning the layer for her friend and rival - Fukata hasn't looked up from the layer once, possibly not even blinked. Yuki hops from rock to rock in quick succession, seemingly without a target, atthough she does seem to be getting closer to Rei in a roundabout way, she lands nearby in front of Rei, facing away and not seeming to know where the other angel was - a trap, it seems - probably.

Rei doesn't seem as if she really wants to step into this trap, so instead she backs off, flapping her wings and using that force to pull herself further away from her speedy opponent. She gives a little hiss of sound, pushing off of a rock and then launching herself across to the other end of the layer floor. Behind her, she gives ony a glance and a small churr of sound.

On the layer, Yuki frowns at the retreat, Rei's a clever one and Yuki's got the patience of a bull getting painted red. She changes tact suddenly and launches herself across the layer - kicking off of a few rocks on the way to speed her attack further, she drives herself straight at Rei. Pulling a fist back she prepares to pummel in her usual not-to-subtle style, unusually, she tries to wrap her legs around Rei, to make this particular pummeling a little hard to evade.

Rei is still just a bit too fast for Yuki, especially this early on in a layer match. No, the little gargoyle squirms out of the way and gives a confused expression. Her ears fold backwards as her head tilts to the side, looking up at her deus for a moment before glancing back at her opponent. She turns in mid-air and extends her hands out in front of her, another series of light and sound expanding out from her outstretched fingers as she roars along with it.

On the layer, Yuki winces and grits her teeth in the moment she is blinded for the second time, but this time she's got a slightly better defense. Taking a handful of rock dust she collected earlier, she throws it into the air and yells out "Ninja Vanish!" as she throws herself behind another rock, just as the dust begins to clear she gives a mirthful laugh and bursts through it, flying towards Rei and tensing her body for the huge dispersal of momentum required for a roundhouse kick in zero-G.

"You've been taking lessons from Kino-kun, haven't you?" Mikage comments with the first laugh of this match, shaking her head slightly as her angel puts up a valiant defense, the kick exploding against her powerful spirit shield. Even so, the force of it drives her backwards against one of the asteriods, knocking the air out of the little gargoyle. She shakes her head from side to side and gives a tiny grunt as she pushes herself up, a flicker of blue light lingering around her limbs. As soon as her eyes set view on Yuki, though, that blue becomes red around her hands, and then flows along up to her head. She reaches up and clicks a button, extending her horns, normally hidden from view. She crouches and pushes forward from the rock, charging herself head-first at Yuki.

On the layer, Yuki rubs her poor hands, feeling the draining effects of Rei's shield, but that's not enough to slow her down, with a quick kick against the rock, she floats backwards apace with Rei's charge, both of them flying across the layer. Yuki needs to move towards a rock, because Rei can manouver without assistance, and Yuki guesses Rei to be the best stepstone in reach - two feet kick out at Rei's chest, and with any luck - Yuki's heading towards the satellite.

Well, the rocks are not the only means of transportation for Rei. Her large wings work to push and propell herself, as well as her own sort of strange spiritual energy, and that is what had fueled her to easily move out of the way of the blow towards her chest. She flaps both wings and twists in the void between solid objects, using the momentary close proximity to lash out with not one, but two powerful kicks in a row, aiming both of them at Yuki's head and shoulders.

On the layer, Yuki seems to take the two kicks straight on, but it takes a moment for it to become clear that the only thing hit was her yukata. Yuki is nowhere to be seen...until a little head peeks out from behind the satellite, then pops back in again. Yuki needs a moment to recollect herself, and preferably not get hit during that time. Then she peeks out again to be sure Rei hasn't seen her yet.

Rei may not have seen her yet, but she has a good idea of how to do a wide enough attack to strike even the most elusive of angels. Of course, it's too bad that she doesn't quite have time to pull that one off at the moment. Instead, she lines up one of her fists on a smaller boulder, channeling energy into it as she draws her hand back. As the clenched claw strikes against the rock, it sends it knocking into other objects like a pool-ball. One after another, it knocks into things, eventually one of the rocks hitting the satellite.

On the layer, Yuki takes this time she has while the chain reaction is set up to climb onto the top of the satellite, waiting for her moment she stays low and pounces as the attack crashes into the satellite, sending it spinning and leaving a fair sized crater in it too. Yuki flies across the layer, focusing herself for a sharp attack when she reaches Rei snatching out at the nearest appendage to give her pull for a quick backfist.

It takes quite a bit of effort, but the strange aura that flows around Rei seems enough to help her stay out of range of the attacks for now. She tumbles backwards, rolling in the air before flaring her wings out and extending both arms with a wide roar. This is exactly what she had been preparing for. That roar seems to echo as she draws in life form these bits and pieces of planets. From her fingertips, a wide blade of water and wind begins to form, stretching across the layer and freezing into ice in the cold temperatures of space. It is that wide blade and those that follow that sweep across the layer, striking into the rocks and sending them flying before making their way across to Yuki.

Flickering a little as the attack approaches, and she appears to vanish entirely for a brief moment as the attack passes through the space she occupied. "I'm coming closer than I've ever done before, Rei-chan. I hope you're impressed." For the time being, she doesn't attack, waiting for a cue, an opening, or maybe an opportunity.

"You improve every time I see you fight, Fukata-kun." Mikage replies with a small smile, glancing up from the layer as she looks across. She can't really see her opponent, but she knows well enough where he is. "I look forward to each time Rei and Yuki get to match up, but I'm afraid it still won't be enough." Rei, seeming to continue the same barage, draws her hands skyward and starts to chant, her eyes turning white with fury. Above, clouds seem to form in the darkness of space. What would be a normal storm has turned into a space storm, a black hole that begins to swirl and draw things into it.

In the audience, you hear a male voice shouting, "Rei! Rei! Rei! Rei! (The chant is followed by other people)"

Not content to go down so easily, Yuki's fists clench in a practiced fury, she roars in a bestial manner not unlike Rei has in the past, and latches onto a passing large rock. It carries her back a little as she gets herself firmly stood upon it, but instead of launching herself off of it, she leaps backwards and swings her fist clamped together upon it, smashing it forwards, the asteroid-turn-meteor is thrown forwards at a tremendous speed for such a huge object, crushing other smaller asteroids on the path towards the gargoyle angel.

It almost seems as if this will be the end for the gargoyle. As she chants, staying perfectly still, the rock comes quickly towards her. Right as it seems she will be struck and knocked right out of the layer... something strange happens. A ghostly image appears on the layer. 'Nya!' The little ghost image of Kamui hisses towards the rock as he grabs Rei around the waist and pulls her out of harm's way so she can continue her spell. Softly, he sets his mate down upon one of the rocks, then turns and waggles his butt towards Yuki before leaping upwards, drawing into a ball, and vanishing from the layer as if he were never there to begin with. And then... the spell's power breaks free. It begins to suck in everything from the far end of the layer, rocks, the satellite, and most importantly, Yuki along with it. Luckily, Rei seems immune from her own spell, having cast it far away from herself.

As the attack comes, Fukata closes his eyes. The result of that attack is as inevitable as it is deadly. Yuki is pulled slowly at first, then more briskly as she slams into the already substantial collection of rocks, and it's not quite over yet, she was still active even as she finds herself incapable of movement, until one of the larger objects on the layer is attracted towards the black hole - it's not fun being hit with a satellite. It's big and heavy, and it hurts a lot. When nearly everything in the layer is in the one unpleasant place to be, the buzzer sounds and the match's result is declared.

Announcer: "Rei Win!"

When the final announcement of the match comes, Mikage slowly raises her head and watches as the layer returns to normal. Rei lands on the blank layer, and slowly walks over to the broken form of Yuki. She slowly lifts up her fellow angel and carries her over towards her deus, laying her down gently before bowing her head and then taking flight, her momentum taking her out of the layer and into the outstretched hands of her deus. Mikage carefully catches her angel, and is then lowered to the floor. "Deuses, please make way for our next match." The announcer says, and Miki can do nothing more than bow and make her way out of the layer floor.

With a long sigh, Fukata returns to the real world again. Fukata recieves Yuki from Mikage with a nod, and stands himself, resting the headset down. He hops down from the seat as it descends to the floor, and walks out to the waiting room after Mikage.