The sudden realization that he was completely naked confirmed he had not been dreaming. "I can't even believe that happened. Where is she?"
Not bothering to put any of his clothes back on, he wrapped himself up in the sheet and made his way to the living room.
He found Nova standing in the living room eating on a bowl of grapes. She was dressed in her lingerie nightshirt and black underwear.
She smiled when she saw him. "Hi, sleepyhead."
"You ain't wearing pants."
"Oh! I forgot," She set the bowl down on the counter and leaned against the side of the counter. "So, how are you?"
Blaze blinked and knitted his eyebrows. "Tired, I guess."
"Oh, I was hoping you might feel a little different."
"Well, thinking about it...I do feel rather, ah...satisfied."
"Good! I figured you did rather enjoy it."
He blushed slightly and touched his fingertips to his neck, the memories of last night coming to mind. "Did you?"
"I did, yes. I think more than I have with anyone else, really."
Blaze cocked an eyebrow in surprise. "Seriously? I didn't do anything."
She sighed happily. "Oh, you did enough, what with all the noises you were...wait. You're not wearing anything?"
"I uh...have a sheet, at least."
She giggled and walked up to him, putting her arms around his waist. "Now where's the point in that?"
He had to try his best to keep the sheet around him as Nova tried to move it to get her hands inside.
"Stop squirming!" She giggled, managing to get a hand underneath the sheet to rest against his back.
"I didn't come in here to be molested!" Blaze said in protest.
"I'm not going to molest you, silly. Just want to take the sheet off."
"Not taking it off."
She placed a kiss on his sternum. "Fine, I'll leave it...for now."
Blaze breathed an audible sigh of relief, leaning his head back. His relief quickly changed to embarrassment as he felt a swift tug on the sheet and it slip down to his hips. "Nova!"
Laughing, she darted off into the living room.
He readjusted the sheet, grumbling to himself. He looked up when he heard a knock at the door.
"Uhm. Should I answer the door?"
"No, you're not decent." Blaze went to the door.
"Neither are you!"
"I can scare them off with my nakedness, then."
He eased the door open enough to see who was outside. His eyes widened in disbelief to see Rena, dressed in a baggy t-shirt and knee-length shorts, a dark mark on her cheek. "Rena?"
He opened the door the rest of the way to allow Rena inside.
The distressed woman flung herself at him, clinging to the sheet as she sobbed.
He instinctively tried to comfort her, smoothing her matted hair. "What's wrong?" he asked in a quiet voice.
"He...he hit me!" Rena managed to say through her sobs.
Blaze frowned. "Who?"
"I...tried to leave."
"Do I even want to ask why?"
"Because..." She wiped at her face with the sheet. "I broke up with him."
"I realized I made such a huge mistake. Being with him...I wasn't happy. Not as much as I was with you."
"You're such a liar!"
Both turned to look at Nova; she was standing with her fists clenched, rage etched on her face.
"How dare you come back after those awful things you said to Blaze at the mall!"
Rena blinked and looked up at Blaze questionably. "You still have this whore?"
"She is not a whore."
Rena stepped back, looking Blaze over. "Why are you wearing a sheet?"
He shrugged. "Just am."
"But you never have before..." Her eyes grew wide, realization alight in them. "You slept with her, didn't you?!"
"What's it to you if I did?"
"But...it took me a month to get you to sleep with me! How long was she even here?"
"Long enough, you slut." Nova growled.
"Slut? You're the whore!"
Both women shut their mouths, but kept their glares.
"Rena. What are you really doing here?"
Rena pressed herself against him again. "I wanted to come back to you, I really did. I could take you back, even if you slept with someone else."
"Not like you didn't."
"I...know. I should never have done that. Please. Could you ever forgive me?"
"I..." Blaze looked away. He felt torn, a part of him wanted to take her back but the other wanted nothing to do with her.
Nova grabbed Blaze's arm. "Blaze!"
"Nova, will you please give me a few moments with Rena?"
Blaze pointed towards the hallway. "Go get dressed."
"Fine..." She went off to the bedroom.
Once she was gone, he looked down at Rena. "Now, come in." He stepped back, closing the door.
They sat down on the couch.
"Is she leaving any time soon?"
"She is my house-guest. She can stay as long as she wants to."
Rena bristled up. "You never let me live with you, and I was your girlfriend!"
Blaze gave her a hard glare. "You weren't being beaten, either."
She ducked her head. "No I wasn't...But what if you take me back, where will I stay?"
"Don't you still have your own apartment?"
"No, I was staying with Ryan."
"If I take you back, I suppose you could stay here with me."
"I'm not staying if she‘s here." Rena said, folding her arms.
"I'll get a place for you."
"But I wanna stay here with you!" she whined.
"Then you'll have to get along with Nova."
A suddenly placid look spread over her face. "You're right. Why don't I go and see if she's dressed properly?"
Before he could say anything else, Rena had left the room.
"I don't think will be a good idea...Do I even want her back?"
He looked up when he heard raised voices. "Oh, damn. I knew she wouldn't be able to leave Nova alone."
He hurriedly got to his feet. Just as he was headed for the hallway, Nova appeared, her face wet with tears and a duffel bag in hand.
"N-Nova, what are you doing?"
"Out!" Rena yelled as she came up behind the younger woman.
Nova squeaked and scurried away from her.
"Nova, wait!" Blaze reached a hand out to grab her but she managed to elude him.
She stopped at the door, her hand on the knob, and looked back at Blaze, a look of despair in her eyes.
"Nova, please don't leave."
"You have Rena back...I don't belong here."
Rena took a step towards Nova. "Get out, you whore!"
The younger woman flinched and opened the door. "Bye, Blaze." She slipped out, shutting the door behind her.
A numb feeling overcame the Viral and he sat back down on the couch, his eyes still on the door.
Rena sat down beside him. "Now we have the place all to ourselves." She ran a hand down his exposed chest.
"Don't even touch me." Blaze said in a low tone.
"But why?" Rena asked, a purr to her voice.
"You're a real bitch, Rena. I told you that you have to get along with her. Instead you chase her out?! What did you even tell her?"
"I told her that you didn't want her here anymore, you have me."
Blaze raised his hand as if to slap her, then clenched it into a fist, digging his claws into his palm.
Rena whimpered and ducked her head.
"I want you gone when I come out of the bedroom."
"I said: out!" He pointed to the door.
"But that isn't fair! I love you and you're going to chase after a whore?"
"You say one more thing against Nova, and I'll make you an exception to my rule." Blaze said in an icy tone.
Rena trembled, tears leaking from her eyes. "You wouldn't...!"
She leapt up from the couch, nearly falling over the table.
He grabbed her arm to keep her from falling.
He grunted as he got to his feet, keeping hold of her arm. He pushed her forward and around towards the door before releasing his hold of her.
"Please, Blaze. Won't you reconsider?"
"Why? You haven't changed, nor will you, even for me. You don't love me, Rena, you just want a free place to live."
"But I do love you!"
"If you did, you would never have cheated on me. Or abandoned me for your friends. Now leave."
Rena hung her head shamefully.
Blaze left her standing beside the door to get dressed.
Blaze pushed the Downtown Lounge's door open and stepped inside. Being as early as it was, there were only a few stragglers left from their overnight drinking binge.
He spotted Nova sitting at the counter with her head down.
As he was making his way towards her, Yuri stepped out from behind the counter to block him.
"Just what were you thinking?!"
"I thought you cared about Nova."
"Then why is she telling me that you took Rena back and had her kicked out?"
Blaze shook his head. "It wasn't me that said that, it was Rena."
"Oh. Well, that poor gal thinks that what Rena said came from you."
Blaze slapped his hand against his helmet. "Damn it!"
"Did you actually take back that bitch?"
Yuri nodded approvingly. "Good. Now, go make up with Nova. Beg if you have to."
"I don't stoop to begging."
The older man stepped out of his friend's way. "For her, you should. She never told you, since she didn't believe you felt the same, but she loves you."
Blaze stared at Yuri in disbelief. "I didn't think she felt that strongly..."
"Go get her. Oh, ah, she's had a few drinks so she might be a little slow on the uptake."
Blaze made his way towards the counter, stopping at the empty stool next to Nova and sitting down.
It was several moments before he decided to speak. "Nova?"
The young woman turned her head enough she was looking at him from one eye. "What do you want?"
"Nova, I'm sorry-"
"Just go away..."
"No, I came to talk to you."
"To personally tell me that you don't want me as your house-guest anymore? You'd rather have that...terrible woman..."
Blaze placed a hand on her back. "I didn't come to say any of that. She lied to you."
"She did?" She flung herself at the unsuspecting Viral, sobbing. "I'm so sorry, I should have known better."
He gave her a gentle squeeze. "She's pretty good at lyin'."
"I shouldn't have believed any of what she said...I was just so convinced that you would take her back..."
"I care too much about you. Nova...Yuri told me."
She looked up at him through clouded eyes. "Told you...?" A tear slid down her cheek. "He said he wouldn't..."
Blaze wiped at the tear with his thumb. "Is it true?"
She looked away, more tears oozing from her eyes. "What's the point? It isn't like you feel the same."
"Why would you think that?"
"I'm just a whore..."
"You are not a whore!" He took her chin between his forefinger and thumb, forcing her to look up at him. "You have to stop saying that."
She sniffled. "I'm sorry..."
"So now tell me, do you really love me?"
"I do..." she whispered in a cracked voice.
"That's all I wanted to know."
She looked up at him again, a pleading look in her clouded eyes. "Do you love me?"
Blaze averted his gaze. "Well I..."
She looked away sadly. "I didn't think you felt the same."
Just as Blaze was about to speak, a presence tugged at the back of his mind. "I think we have company."
Screams from outside confirmed his assumption.
The other patrons in the bar looked around nervously, unsure of what the commotion outside was.
Yuri came up to Blaze. "What is it, you know what's going on?"
An explosion rocked the entire building, a large chunk of wall bursting forth from its previous place to be replaced by a wall of fire and dust.
Yuri rushed to the aid of the nearby patrons who had been unfortunate to be too close to the front, ushering any uninjured to the back door.
Blaze had used his body to shield Nova from any of the debris that might have strayed. He turned his head to try to get a glimpse of who had caused the damage.
A silky feminine voice spoke through the dust. "My my...you caused such a mess, my dear."
A few moments later, the owner of the voice stepped through, making her way carefully over the rubble. She was a tall humanoid looking Digimon with a dark red suit and matching gloves that nearly reached her shoulders, which were covered by a leafy green material that came up around her head like the sepals around a flower and flowed down, separating into five petal-shaped ends with the underside being a snowy white. A large pink jewel was nestled into the front of her cape, keeping it about her shoulders. Black stiletto boots that ran the length of her leg, ending just at her hips. The entire top of her head down to her nose was covered by a large rose, hiding her eyes. Thorned vines wrapped across her chest like a vest and snaked their way down either arm to gather at her wrists; the ends dangled at her sides, waiting to be used as weapons.
"Oh, there you are. You are just so hard to track, Beelzemon." she said, flipping her long blonde ponytail over her shoulder.
"Rosemon! What are you doing here?"
She smiled sweetly. "To settle an old score. You took away my brother, remember?"
"Only because I had to."
"Well, now I have to kill you."
"Blaze, I'm scared..." Nova whispered.
"Go find Yuri, quickly!" Blaze said urgently, ushering Nova away.
Nova whimpered and started walking, keeping her eyes on Blaze.
The leather-clad Viral got to his feet, removing both guns from their holsters. "Let's get this over with, then."
Rosemon laughed lightly. "You have yet to meet my friends."
"Come on in, boys."
Two figures stepped in through the destroyed wall.
A dog-type Digimon stopped on Rosemon's left. Its head was just below her shoulders. The top of its body and head were covered in a jet-black armor, the underside that was exposed revealed the dark brown fur. Three razor sharp metal claws arched over its natural blunted claws on all four legs. The shoulder pads on either front arm bore a metal head shaped like the Digimon's without the lower jaw. Froth dribbled from its open jowls. Its eyes were a hollowed yellow.
The other was a tall, lanky humanoid that easily towered over the shorter Rosemon. He was clad in an icy-white bodysuit adorned with different belts and pieces of brown leather, a dark purple insigna was spread across his broad chest with a smaller one located on the top of his left boot. His single pair of wings were ridden with holes. A wicked gleam shone in his dark purple, pupil-less eyes.
Blaze bit his lip at the sight of the large dog Ultimate. "Cerberusmon."
Rosemon patted Cerberusmon's heaving flank. "Isn't he just precious? I picked him up on my way through the darker region of the Digital World."
"And what of IceDevimon?"
"To see the great Bounty Hunter fall was an idea too delicious to resist." IceDevimon said with a devilish grin.
"So, you got a nice little group of murderous friends, Rosemon. Gonna gang up on me?"
"That would be just so rude of me, Beelzemon," She slapped the Cerberusmon's flank with her whip. "Go!"
The Viral/Vaccine bounded forward and leapt at the Viral, jaws open to clamp down on any unsuspecting limb.
Blaze ducked, easily dodging the large dog Digimon.
Before he could turn around, Cerberusmon pounced on his back, knocking him flat. The breath was ripped from his lungs from the Viral/Vaccine's weight.
Rosemon's soft laughter was joined by IceDevimon's cackling as Blaze was pummeled by Cerberusmon's large paws.
Nova came out from her hiding place at the back of the room. "Blaze!"
Cerberusmon's head whipped around to pinpoint the noise.
The distraction was all that Blaze required retaliate. He twisted the top half of his body just enough to point a gun at Cerberusmon's head.
The Digimon looked back just in time to be hit point-blank between the eyes. He howled in pain and backed off of Blaze.
Winded and sore, Blaze got unsteadily to his feet. He cursed when he saw the cracks in the other Digimon's mask reform. He had already known that where a Cerberusmon had black armor covering it, it would heal any wounds inflicted, he had tried his best to shoot its exposed chin. "Damn it, have to try harder. He's going to kill me otherwise."
Cerberusmon howled and raced at the Viral again.
Blaze jumped over the speeding dog Digimon, landing nimbly.
Having missed his target, Cerberusmon barreled through the counter and shelves full of bottles, right into the wall. This wall was different than the one he had blasted through, on the other side was a foot of metal and concrete.
Having hit head-first, the large Digimon collapsed.
Blaze allowed himself a small chuckle. "Stupid mutt."
"You hurt my poor Cerberusmon!" Rosemon screeched. She thrust one of her vines into the ground. "Ivy Hug!"
He turned to her, slightly puzzled. "Eh?"
A barrage of thorned vines burst through the ground around Blaze, entangling his limbs.
He yelped in pain as the vines tightened violently, piercing his clothing and burrowing into his flesh.
IceDevimon was cackling madly, looking as if he was going to fall from laughing so hard. "This is marvelous!"
"Screw you!" Blaze grunted. He bit his lip as he saw the dog Digimon finally getting up.
He turned towards the captured Viral, flames spewing from his closed jaws. "Hellfire!" He opened his mouth to unleash the torrent of flames.
Blaze screamed as he was engulfed by the fire.
"Blaze!" Nova screamed, falling to her knees.
"Nova, we have to leave!" Yuri said, trying to pull her off the ground.
Rosemon quickly withdrew her vines as they met the same fate as their prey. "Cerberusmon, bad dog!" she chided as she examined her slightly charred vines.
Cerberusmon closed his mouth, cutting off his attack.
Blaze was still standing, panting heavily. The skin under his bodysuit felt as if it were going to melt from his very bones. The metal pieces were white-hot from their flame bath. "Can't take any more of this..." His knees gave way and he crumpled to the floor with a loud thud.
IceDevimon made his way around the fallen Viral, surveying him with great delight. "Not so tough, is he? An Ultimate has beaten the famous Bounty Hunter with just one attack."
Rosemon pointed towards Nova and Yuri, who were still huddled near the back. "Quick, get his little human friends. I want him to watch as they suffer. Make him feel as I did when he took my brother from me."
"Run Nova!" Yuri cried, leaping to his feet.
"I don't think so!" IceDevimon cackled. "Tundra Freeze!" Blue beams shot from the dark purple eyes, encasing Yuri's feet in ice.
"No!" Nova cried as she was lifted by one of IceDevimon's hands.
"A pretty little thing, aren't ya? Just how I like them."
"Bring her here, IceDevimon." Rosemon commanded.
The evil Viral sighed and started towards the Data-type. "Yes, yes. As long as I get to have some fun with her."
IceDevimon stopped in front of Blaze, who had not moved. He gave him a light kick to the side. "Wake up, little wretch."
The Viral groaned and shifted. With great effort, he managed to push himself up onto his knees and look up. He gasped when he saw Nova struggling in IceDevimon's clutches. "You let go of her right now!" he snarled.
In reply, IceDevimon gave him a well-placed kick to the face, laughing manically. A loud crack accompanied the brutal blow.
Blaze fell again, his face throbbing.
"Leave him alone!" Nova struggled violently, managing to kick the evil Viral in his hip.
"Owowowow! You wretched little human!" He squeezed her hard.
She screamed in pain as he attempted to crush her.
Rosemon whipped a vine, slapping IceDevimon soundly on the wrist. "Not yet!"
He gave her a hard glare. "I can do what I want." he spat.
"Not if you want me to cut you down."
He snorted and loosened his grip on the young woman.
Blaze managed to lift his head again. A large crack snaked its way down his helmet with several smaller lines branching off. Knowing it was of no use to him, he ripped it off, chucking it at IceDevimon. "Bastard!"
IceDevimon nimbly dodged the projectile. He flew over to Rosemon and hovered beside her. "Aw, poor Beelzemon. I have your pretty little human," He lifted her up until her neck was level with his face. "I've heard that humans were quite delectible, why don't we find out?"
Nova sobbed as the Viral's teeth pricked her neck.
Fueled by anger, Blaze managed to get to his feet. "You're going to regret-"
He was cut off as Cerberusmon slammed into his side, sending him sprawling into a nearby table, which snapped under the sudden weight. A large chunk of the broken wood tore through his clothing and into his shoulder-blade.
The dog-Digimon swiped a heavy paw at the fallen Viral, slashing through his clothes and flesh with the sharp Digizoid claws.
Blaze cried out in pain and clutched at the wounds, blood flowing through his fingers. "Damn it!"
Cerberusmon loomed over him, raising a paw for another blow.
With what strength he could muster, Blaze brought up his leg.
His boot caught the surprised Viral/Vaccine in the ribs, piercing the Ultimate's flesh with the metal spikes on the toe.
Cerberusmon growled in pain, backing away.
Blaze moved so that he was on his knees, his hand over his bleeding chest. With great effort, he removed the chunk of wood from his shoulder. "Guh...is there not a way to defeat you?!" He could feel his energy ebbing from him with each beat of his heart. "There's just one thing I can try, but if I fail...I can't!"
A sudden bright light engulfed the Mega.
When it faded, Blaze was on his feet. The main differences to his appearance were the two pairs of black feathered wings and a large cannon hooked onto his right arm, his wounds were completely healed. Emerald green eyes glared down the pair of Digimon before the make-shift entrance of the bar.
"That isn't fair!" Rosemon stamped her foot in temper. "Not fair!"
Blaze lifted the large cannon, pointing it at the Data-type. "Sure it is."
The mouth of the cannon opened and a purple ball of energy formed. "Corona Blaster!"
Rosemon put her arms up in anticipation of the attack.
Blaze groaned when Cerberusmon threw himself into the blast, protecting his master.
The Ultimate was sent sprawling, stopping just short of Rosemon's feet.
"Good boy!" Rosemon cooed, patting the injured Cerberusmon's side.
The Viral/Vaccine whined in pain.
"You'll be fine in just a few moments, won't you, dear?"
Cerberusmon gave a low noise and got to his feet, the wounds inflicted from the attack having healed. "Hellfire!"
Blaze leapt into the air, easily avoiding the searing flame attack. He pulled his smaller gun from the holster on his boot and fired at Cerberusmon. "Double Impact!"
Unphased by the bullets, the enraged Ultimate took off at a blinding speed towards the Viral.
Before he had time to react, Blaze was knocked down by a flying leap. He slammed into the wall, the breath torn from his throat by the force.
Cerberusmon picked the Viral's large cannon in his mouth and started tugging violently in an attempt to remove it, nearly pulling Blaze's shoulder from its socket.
Blaze landed a heavy punch to the Ultimate's exposed jaw.
He whined and tightened his grip, pulling harder.
Blaze continued to barrage the Ultimate's jaw. "Let go, you asshole!"
"You leave him alone, you bully!" Rosemon yelled.
Hearing Nova's sudden scream made Blaze's blood boil with rage. He grabbed the Ultimate's jaw, digging his claws into the flesh ferociously. "Let go!"
Cerberusmon finally released his grip on the weapon, howling with pain.
Using his legs as spring-boards, Blaze pressed his feet against the Ultimate's chest and pushed, sending the Digimon flying into a nearby pool table.
The Mega carefully got to his feet, keeping an eye on the fallen Ultimate. Satisfied that the Digimon was not getting up, he turned towards Rosemon. "How about we try again, eh?"
Rosemon's pretty face was creased with anger. She flicked her wrists, sending her vines at Blaze.
"Darkness Claw!" Blaze struck out at the vines with his free hand.
Rosemon gasped as she watched the sheared pieces of her vines fall to the ground. "N-no!"
"Not so tough without 'em, are you?" He sneered.
"Why you!" She put her hands around the jewel about her neck.
IceDevimon scooted farther away from the Data-type, cackling. "Oooh, this is gonna be good!"
The rose upon Rosemon's head opened and her body was engulfed in a pink light, a large bloomed rose forming between her hands.
Knowing what the only way to protect himself was, Blaze rushed towards the fallen Cerberusmon.
Blaze leapt behind the Ultimate, using him as a shield against the blast of light and rose petals.
Due to the armor of the Ultimate, he was not completely destroyed by the devastating attack.
Blaze peeked over Cerberusmon's side. "Phew."
Rosemon stomped her feet in anger. "That was my strongest attack and you hid from it!"
IceDevimon laughed. "It was a very clever idea, I'll give him that."
Blaze stood up. "My turn!" He raised his cannon.
Rosemon turned to IceDevimon. "Help me!" she growled at the other Viral.
IceDevimon shrugged. "What do you want me to do?"
"Just keep him from killing me!"
"Humph. Fine," He looked up at the ceiling above Blaze. "Tundra Freeze!"
Expecting himself to be frozen, Blaze ducked back down.
The beams of ice struck the ceiling above where Blaze and Cerberusmon were located, slowly freezing the tiles.
She threw the remainder of one of her vines out at the frozen tiles. "Rose Rapier!"
The room resounded with the heavy crunching noise as the force from the vine cracked the ceiling.
Blaze barely had time to cry out as the pieces came toppling down.
Rosemon and IceDevimon's laughter filled the air.