16 – Clutching Bodies

Edmond could feel it all the way from his bedroom. Q’s energy. Had the limiter already broken completely? He pushed his palms into his closed eyes. What was he supposed to do? He had to stop Q. He believed in Q, but if he couldn’t even handle a little girl like Aine, what were the chances he could ever handle the Pheonix?
Maybe now was a good time to tell Q about The Prophecies. Q didn’t like using his own power… If he knew… Then maybe he would stop this craziness?

Regardless, something had to be done. As long as they didn’t touch eachother, he should be safe. Soul Stealers could only steal through touch… He knew that much. Or he thought it was true. He hoped it was true. He had to stay composed about this. He would just have to walk into the doorway, and…

… And Q was kissing Tali?! “Q! What the hell are you–”
Q looked up, and with a growl, jumped back. With his left hand aflame, he threw a fireball at Edmond. The Count easily dodged, but that was only further proof Edmond’s fears had come to fruition. He was about to yell some choice words, but instead was caught almost off-guard by Q seeming afraid of himself.

“What was that?!” He shook, bringing himself to the window, placing his hands behind him on the wet sill, as it was still raining.

“Q… That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you… I think you’re unintentionally using your Rez,” Edmond was trying to remain calm, but he had an overwhelming sense of guilt. Two parts guilt, in fact, one part appalled that Q didn’t even realize what he was capable of. How could someone go for so long without even realizing they were using their Resonance Soul…? Did the Soul Stealer not have any drawbacks? Even the Jade Armor made Edmond feel slightly tired afterward.

“How can I do that? I would know!” Q shot back defensively. It was almost sad. It seemed he had the current maturity level of a fifteen year old.

“I don’t know. But you should calm–”

Q shook his head. “How can I trust you anyway?! You locked me in that stupid cave! While it was raining! How could you?!”

Edmond frowned, bringing his hands up, “You were merging with the Pheonix, it was to protect you– It was the only thing I could think of that–”

Q cut him off again. “Protect me? That’s bullshit! You could’ve locked me up in any room, but no! You chose that one. I could’ve died! Those days felt like centuries! I had to fucking piss in a corner! You have no idea how horrible it was…!” The man was shaking. Apparently this wasn’t really the best of situations.

“That’s true, but it was for your own good, and–” Edmond took a step forward as he spoke. He was losing ground here. If he didn’t do something soon he didn’t know what would happen. If Q’s tail was any evidence, the man had to be some-part animal. And Edmond knew very well what happened when animals panicked.

“Stop! Just stop!” Q yelled, gripping the window ledge. Tears began rolling down his cheeks.

Edmond stopped in his tracks, taking a deep breath. What should he do now? Q was unstable, and he was still using up his ki for no reason. If Seekers were any good they’d be hightailing themselves here. But he couldn’t lock Q up again, not after what he just said. That was horrible.

“I know this is really confusing for you…” Edmond said softly, trying to word his statement carefully, as he licked his lips in thought. “But I’m sure if you try to calm down, clear your mind, maybe even attempt to meditate a bit… You’ll be all right.”

Edmond looked around for the gun, and spotted it left on the bed. He slowly inched his way toward it, to make sure Q wouldn’t bolt for it. Q took a deep breath, looking to the ceiling. It was clear he was trying to regulate his breathing, and actually attempt to take Edmond’s advice. The Count would’ve been relieved had he not been preoccupied with trying to anticipate his partner’s next move. Which came shortly afterward.

“What are you doing?” Edmond could feel the glare behind Q’s glasses as he said it.
Edmond had just reached the gun at Tali’s bed.

“It’s nothing,” The Count replied. “Don’t worry.”

“You’re going to take her away from me again, aren’t you?” Q was being ridiculous. Why would Edmond do that?

“No, I’m just trying to–” Edmond stammered. How could Q be acting so foolishly?

“You won’t steal her again, Edmond! I won’t let you!” Q ran toward his former friend, punching him in the face. Edmond had put up his Jade armor but.. Nothing had happened, and he got hit straight in the nose. He staggered back, confused as to why his Rez hadn’t worked, and as he did, Q slipped his foot behind Edmond’s ankle, causing Edmond to lose his balance and fall.
While Edmond was down, Q scooped up Tali in his arms, completely ignoring his gun, and jumped shoulder-first through the open window. Q, having just jumped from the third story, rolled on his back when he landed, and had to wait a moment to recover, especially with the girl in his arms.

During that time, Edmond ran to the window, calling out “Q! Get ahold of yourself! Think about what you’re doing!”
Q was able to stand up only through major effort, and look up to Edmond. He shouted back “If you follow me Edmond, I will kill you! Don’t think I can’t do it!”
And with that, Q ran off.

Edmond groaned to himself, pushing the heels of his palms into his eyes once more. How could this have happened? He tugged at his hair, then later stood and threw the guest bed to the other side of the room, overcome with anger. How?!

In other places, Amigo was waiting outside, looking at his watch as he held up an umbrella. Shoy was under a tree, having still not recieved a replacement for his previous battle weapon.
“How do you know this will work out?” Shoy asked.

Amigo smiled to himself. “Years and years of practice. And a fair bit of research. Just trust me. He will come.”

Shoy crossed his arms over his chest with a hmph. “Do we really have to wait out here in the rain? Or is that your doing?”

Amigo chuckled. “The rain sets the atmosphere. You’d be surprised, how the weather affects different people’s moods. It will only aide us, in time.” Amigo’s Resonance Soul was the ability to control the weather. It was he who had made the nonstop rain for two days.

“Hasn’t the time passed?” Shoy questioned. Amigo was very exact. He gave a specific time this Q guy would show up with the girl. Shoy doubted it was possible.

“Give it thirty more seconds– there. I feel him now. Do you?” Amigo responded.

Shoy stood up straight. He did feel it. It was a surge of ki. An awkward feeling. It was almost.. Welcoming, and warm, but at the same time it felt like it’d burn one if someone were to touch it. Regardless of how it felt so different, it was being used shamelessly. The host obviously didn’t know how to manage their power.

Soon Q showed up, soaking wet and panting, Tali spread across his arms. He stopped when he saw Amigo. “Who are you?” he asked, defensively. He clutched Tali a bit closer, as if even the stranger was going to take her away.

“My name is Amigo,” the mastermind smiled. He was wearing a pale yellow suit with a tan jacket. “I was simply admiring the rain, but… I can see there is something wrong..?”

Q took a step back. “It’s nothing.”

Amigo shrugged his shoulders. “Well, if it’s really nothing then I suppose you wouldn’t mind a warm building? Some hot tea? You must be cold… And the girl… Is she sick..?”

Q brought Tali even closer to him with a huff, “I’m fine. She’s fine. We’re fine.”

Amigo shrugged again. “Where I come from, we don’t ask questions. We simply offer. I am going to go home now.” Amigo turned around, motioning for Shoy to follow as he did. Shoy jogged up to Amigo under his umbrella, and began to walk away from Q and Tali. Amigo stopped momentarily, to turn his face to Q for a moment and finish his statement. “You may follow, if you wish.”

Amigo and Shoy walked toward the Underground facility. Q was slightly nervous but followed a ways behind them. The two assassins got into the elevator as Q waited a few feet away. Once the elevator came back up, he too took it down, only to see Amigo shaking out his umbrella at the bottom.
“I’m glad you decided to join us,” the mastermind stated, motioning for them all to follow passed the lab with Sin, and to another room, in which he opened the door and held it for first Q to go through, then Shoy. Amigo then closed the door and locked it.
That was when Q realized this was a trap. The room was completely empty, save for the three of them and Tali. Half the lights were on, half off.

“What is this?” Q growled, backing up, heading toward the dead center of the large space.
Shoy came forward. “You don’t remember me? I’m insulted.”

Q continued to take steps back, clutching Tali to his chest.
“I don’t want you to hurt the girl, but I’m going to fight you. So it would be in your best interest to put her down,” Shoy stated as he kept walking forward. He failed to see why this person was such a huge threat, but he would play Amigo’s game.

Q hmphed in response. “I won’t let you take her.”

Shoy shrugged. “I have no interest in doing so.” His form disappeared in a burst of speed, reappearing behind Q. He brought his fists together and slammed down on Q’s back, forcing the other man to fall forward. Q gasped but managed to catch himself. It was no matter, though; Shoy gave Q a spinkick that finally brought him down.

Unable to even begin protecting himself against an enemy so much stronger than he, Q dropped Tali. He turned to punch Shoy but Shoy simply moved out of the way. Shoy was displeased he was fighting such a weak person. Why should he bother?

“Shoy!” Amigo shouted from the sidelines.

Oh, yes. Shoy had to get back on track: the sunglasses. Easily, Show dropkicked Q, and took off the glasses, throwing them aside. He grabbed Q’s neck, over his dog collar, and stared into Q’s bright green eyes.

“How can someone as Pathetic as you be the Soul Stealer?” Shoy lamented. He then changed his tactic. “Where is your limiter?”

Q put his hands on Shoy’s arm, trying to free himself, but Shoy was just too strong.
“I know it’s not your sunglasses. Is it in your clothes? Your shoes? I will strip you naked to get it off you.”

Q grunted. “Don’t…”

“Don’t what?” Shoy insisted. He stared into Q’s eyes, and Q went limp. Shoy’s power was possession. But with the limiter on, he couldn’t do much.  He searched through Q’s mind, looking for where Q didn’t want Shoy to be. All he got was Q’s neck. Which made sense… Shoy was holding him there. Then it took a moment for it all to come together. It seemed so obvious now; it was the dog collar.

Shoy pulled out from Q’s mind, and transferred his hand’s grip to Q’s shirt. With his free hand, he began grabbing at the collar.
“Stop!” Q called out, beginning to struggle ruthlessly, hitting at Shoy’s arms like a child, tears starting to go down his face once more.

“Augh, you’re such a baby! I don’t know why Edmond put up with you for so long!” Shoy continued to mess with the collar as he became infuriated. “Quit acting like such a child!” Finally he was able to rip the collar off, and that’s when things started to go dim.

Amigo saw Shoy going limp, and immediately yelled out “Shoy! hurry up and use your Rez!” He took a step forward, almost afraid for his partner.

Shoy’s body fell over, and Q took a deep breath, turning to Amigo, his posture straightening. “Don’t worry, I have him now.” Q, as Shoy, looked at his hand, and almost immediately mused with Q’s hair so it parted in the middle, and he was able to see. Amigo let out a sigh of relief.

“He almost had me. It was awkward.” Q squinted his eyes, looking around for the sunglasses. He found them, and put them on. “His eyes are sensitive to light. This must be why he wears the glasses all the time; not to avoid Ocular-based Rez.” he stated.

Amigo hmphed, scratching the back of his head. “Interesting. So how long do you think you can hold him for?”

Shoy, as Q, looked up to the ceiling through the sunglasses. The lenses were so thick.. He wondered why Q’s eyesight was so warped. “Ten minutes. Maybe more. His Rez is…” Q took a deep breath. “Awkward. But I believe I am able to do what we agreed on.”

Amigo nodded. “That’s good. I’ll go get Roy and Sin. You  stay here with the Pheonix.”

Amigo walked out the door, leaving Shoy alone for a few moments. He looked to Q’s back and gave the tail a few test wags. Frowning, he murmured to himself, “such an awkward body..”

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