summary: Atlantis thinks about the Blood Bind.
author's notes: After writing "Protect Our Own", I got to thinking about Terryman a lot. And espiacally his match with Mountain. I ended up writing this fic.
It wasn't supposed to happen. Not this. They were never prepared for this. None of them were. I lost control. But I couldn't help it. Rikishi... Robin... Warsman... they were gone. And I had to make him pay for their deaths. They all had to pay, those god-damn Demons! They had to suffer!
"Attacking someone who's touching the ropes is against the rules!" the referee yells, trying to pull me back.
"When you think of what they did to the others... it's such a small violation! MOVE!" I strike out and attack the referee, throwing him back. Mountain was going to pay for what the others did, and no-one was going to get in my way! I strike Mountain again, and again and again!
"Terry!" I hear Kinnikuman call out to me, but I ignore him.
"Woah! Terry's completely lost control of his emotions!" the announcer calls. Natsuko is screaming.
"Mountain, get up!" Buffaloman yells from where he and the other knights are perched. I glare at them, as soon as I'm done with Mountain I'm going after them. Mountain cowers away from me desperately, trying to protect himself from my blows.
"Coward!" I snort, punching Mountain in the face yet again. I leap up onto the top of the post, my tears have turned into strength and I leap off, falling hard to the canvas, pulling my prosthetic knee up. Mountain doesn't move from the floor. I'm the one in control of this match... and yet, I feel a sort of impending doom close around me.
I slam my knee into his face, a sickening crunch sound reaching my ears. Mountain falls still under me. The crowd is crying. I slowly look towards my friend. "Kinnikuman..." He flinches as I speak his name and its then when I realise it; he's terrified of me. How? Am I just as bad as them? Like the Devil Knights? But... I am the good guy. I am a Justice Chojin. My head is spinning and I clumsily get to my feet.
"Terry! Terry!" Kinnikuman screams, the distressed tone in his voice is able to bring my attention back to him, and not on what I have done, "The ring is about to collapse, you have to get out!" The ring... the ring I'm standing in. I pull myself to the ropes, looking down weakly. Throughout the guilt and self-hatred I feel right now, I can only think one thing: holy cow, that is one long drop. I mentally slap myself, the wires are snapping. If I don't get out now I'm going to die. I glance back at Mountain's body...
I feel oddly strange, as if I am being watched... and I end turning back to the three remaining knights. They look as confused as I feel right now. Something is compelling me to stay in this ring and face up to what I have done. Honor? No... I fall to my knees.
"Terry!" Kinnikuman yells, "Get up!!" I don't answer him, just listening to the wires snap one by one. My head is pounding in pain. I glanced up at the knights again, they're leaving, running? Are they afraid? No... when the last wire snaps, time seems to stop right there. "Terry!" was that Natsuko screaming? I'm glad when I finally black out due to the pain...
I feel lightheaded. Is this what it feels like to be dead? No, I'm still alive, the painful throbbing in my prosthetic leg tells me that. I snap my eyes open and realise I'm still in the ring, or what's left of it. Pulling myself up to see where I landed, I realise the ring landed in the water at the bottom of the cavern.
I can barely hear screaming from the top of the mountain side. My head is pounding again, how in the world did I survive that fall? I groan and slide out of the ring into the water below, heading up to the ground. I thud down onto it, breathing deeply. "Mountain?! Mountain!!" I tense slightly, recognising Atlantis' voice. But I'm too exhausted to get up, so I crawl weakly around until I'm completely hidden under some bushes. I push myself up onto my elbows so I can see. Finally Atlantis and Springman appear through the trees. Atlantis immediately jumps into the water and drags Mountain's body out onto the ground.
"Mountain? Mountain!" he shakes him. Atlantis finally punches his fists down onto Mountain's chest. "It's not fair!" I almost feel sorry for him. Almost. Springman speaks up, "You knew that there was a distinct possibility that some of would die, we all knew before we accepted this mission. Shogun-sama told us so."
Who?! I raise my eyebrows in disbelief. There's someone else behind all this?! I thought Buffaloman was their leader! Speak of the Devil, Buffaloman finally appears. He heads over to Atlantis' crouched form, "Get a grip of yourself!" Atlantis remains silent. "Atlantis, we've taken out four Justice Chojins-!"
"One of theirs for everyone of our own?!" Atlantis hisses, glaring up at him. Buffaloman grabs Atlantis and pulls him up, "You idiot-!"
"ENOUGH!" yells a voice, and just the sheer sound of it makes my blood runs cold. Buffaloman, Atlantis and Springman spin around and... someone who I think is a man appears throughout the trees. I break out into a cold sweat and I don't exactly know why, but I uneasily try to move back, away from them.
This... man is much taller then Buffaloman. He wears a suit of silver and partially red armour that covers his whole body and has a black mark over the chest of it. His mask has three horns and covers every part of his head. His eyes are terrifyingly blood red. Blonde, almost goldish hair hangs down his neck from his mask. I need to get air in my lungs. I hadn't realised I wasn't breathing properly. My legs are shaking slightly. This must be their leader.
"Shogun-sama!" Buffaloman gets on his knees before him, "This is an unexpected... yet pleasant surprise." Springman also bows down before the newcomer.
But Atlantis... he turns around and glares at Akuma Shogun defiantly, almost like a disobendient teenager. Akuma Shogun looks up at Atlantis, his arms crossed as they glare at each other. Akuma Shogun suddenly reaches out and slaps Atlantis hard around the face. And Atlantis practically bursts into tears.
"It's not fair! Mountain... Black Hole... SteCase... Kamen... they're all gone!" he clings to his leader's armour and cries. Akuma Shogun places a hand on Atlantis' head, seemingly comforting him for a moment, then smacks him again.
"Like Buffaloman said, Atlantis, get a grip! I didn't raise you to be a crybaby now, did I?"
"No Shogun-sama..." Atlantis whimpers, standing tall.
I crank my neck forward to get a better look and accidentally step on a branch. The noise echoes through the cavern and all four of them turn around, spotting me lying on the ground in agony. When Akuma Shogun's dark eyes lock onto mine, I feel a sharp pain through my chest and I can't help but cry out, momuntarily distracting me from the pain in my leg.
Atlantis hisses, leaping at me, "A Justice Chojin!"
"No Atlantis!" Akuma yells and Atlantis stops mid-jump. It's amazing, the power he has over them. "Not a Justice Chojin."
"What?!" both Springman and Atlantis look confused. Buffaloman however is smirking and he stands aside Akuma, glancing towards him. Akuma chuckles, "You felt it too Buffaloman?"
"How could I not?" Buffaloman says.
I try to edge away desperately, more confused then frightened at this point. Akuma glances towards me, "And where do you think you're going Terryman?"
With growing horror, I feel my body respond to his voice and I stop in my tracks. Akuma Shogun walks over to my crouched form, his red eyes flashing. I can't see his face under that mask, but I know he's smirking. I glare at him defiantly as I hiss out, "Bastard, what have you done to me?"
"Oh it's not what I've done to you Terryman." he places his hand on my leg, "It's what you've done to yourself." when he pulls his hand away, I realise that he's healed my leg, and that I can stand. Which I do so.
Buffaloman is still smirking as he heads over to me and wraps an arm around my shoulders, "It's been a long time since we had a new recruit Terryman. Who could have dreamed we would find one in a Justice Chojin."
"Recruit?!" I spit out, pulling away from Buffaloman. "Well you can forget about it. I'd rather die before I joined you." I turn around and walk away.
"You can't hide who you are." Akuma says, "Who you've become." I stop and turn towards him, against my will, my teeth clenched. Akuma continues, "When you killed Mountain in the brutal way you did, you stopped being a Justice Chojin. You became a Demon Chojin." he walks over to me, "And no matter how much you try to fight it, you won't be able too." he places his hand on my shoulder in an almost fatherly way. "Trust me, I know all to well."
I look up at him, and his eyes flash from red to gold. As I see this, an odd feeling comes over me and I become strangely calm. His hand flies over my chest. So is this what I am destined to be? A Demon Chojin? Like those I hated? I don't think it really matters anymore. I don't feel any different. But then again, I don't feel the same either. I drop to my knees in front of Akuma Shogun as he speaks the words I knew would evantually come; "Welcome to the Devil Knights Terryman."
That was how I ended up here, facing my old friend Kinnikuman. He had thought that I died in that cavern. The truth was, I had. Or at least, the old me had. The new me... the one marked by the sign of the Demon Chojins was strong. Was invincible. Was going to kill him. Kinnikuman has been holding back throughout this entire match, and I was slaughtering him. A part of me, the Demon side, wanted to kill him. But the other... it pleaded with me. Kinnikuman had been my best friend.
Kinnikuman attacks me from out of nowhere, and temporarily dazed I fall onto the canvas. There are tears spilling from Kinnikuman's eyes, "You're not one of them. You can come back Terry."
"No I can't." I say through clenched teeth, my chest burning. I punch him hard, pushing him away from me, "You have to kill me Kinnikuman." I find myself pleading, "Kill me or I will kill you."
Kinnikuman is shaking. "Terryman!" he lunges for me, and I step back slightly. The pain and anger in his eyes... its too much. Despite the burning in my chest, I lower my arms. He grabs me and hurls me into the air... preparing for his finshing move, "KINNIKU BUSTER!" As we hit the canvas, I blackout from the pain.
"Terry's completely lost control of his emotions!"
I snap open my eyes and the first thing I see is Mountain. On the floor. I recoil from shock, looking wildly from side to side. "Terry!" Kinnikuman calls out. I back away slightly, looking from Kinnikuman to the Demon Chojins. I'm back... to where it all started...
No burning. No mark. Was it all a dream? Or have I really returned to the point where I can change it all? I pause slightly in my attack and Mountain's takes my hesitation to dodge out of the way. I slam to the ground, pain filling my body. Suddenly I'm glad I didn't attack him. Because even if I die in this match, at least I'm not one of them.