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Finley sat on the edges of a build Foolish had just finished, her eyes glowing in the deep darkness as she listened. She was silent, listening to the sounds of the night, on lookout for anyone who would threaten the safety of her father's sacred work. She pulled her trident out and began to sharpen it using a stone she'd had Junior find for her, creating a scraping sound that clearly advertised her presence there for about ten minutes before it finally made her bleed. She then put it in her lap and casually floated near the ceiling in order to have less chance of being seen, thanking the power of being able to use most abilities for her night vision. She just hoped nothing would come of this lookout, her trident being gently rolled back and forth on her lap since she was slowly becoming bored. She didn't know when anything interesting was going to happen, and she was beginning to hope it was soon. It was when she began to wonder if this was all for naught when she heard footsteps, perking up and gripping her trident as she narrowed her eyes. "Hm..."
Ponk had slipped away from his duties from being mayor of Lemon City, waking with a fiery passion and purpose through the almost entirely barren desert that was the host of Foolish's summer home and various other intricate builds. Now, normally it would be highly unusual for the chipper and fruity fellow to actively seek out a new build of the shark gods' creation, it was, bitterly, more than his natural target whenever specific criteria were met. Such criteria being, one, he was mildly stressed or pissed, and two, those cursed red vines had returned, once again coiling around him like a snake coiled around prey. Whatever, a little stress relief never hurt anyone, and Foolish would never know he was behind it if he covered it up well enough. The lemon mayor quietly walked up to the newest build of his best friend's making with a dimly lit torch and a few pieces of TNT in hand, looking over the build silently as he strolled around, scattering the TNT about as he did so.
Finley's eyes glimmered quietly as she landed behind him, raising her hand and throwing her trident into Ponk's shoulder. "Well well. And here I thought this was going to be a waste. Hello, Ponk." She held out her hand, activating the lights with a lever as she narrowed her eyes in anger. Finley then held her hand up again, pulling her trident back to her as she catches it and stares at it to search for blood. She twirled it and held it out in a clear threat as she bared her teeth in a growl, her posture being spread apart and clearly challenging him. "What are you doing here, Ponk, especially with all of this...TNT?" She asked quietly, snarling at him as she gripped onto her trident further. She was so fucking nervous, mostly because of the crimson vines wrapping and twining around the lemon mayor's body. 'Shut up and pay attention, Finley, he could attack at any second.' She scolded herself mentally, forcing her focus back onto Ponk as she growled softly. "You know, father's told me you've attempted this before, and he chased you off. I intend to do the same."
Ponk merely blinked upon a trident being thrown into his shoulder. Thankfully, for injury's sake, it was on the side his mechanical arm was, so it mainly only hit the shoulder blade-esk part, otherwise scraping through vines that danced underneath his hoodie and down his arms. He turned around to look at the totem child, still clutching a dull torch and pieces of TNT in his hands, perfectly matching the corrupted description Foolish had once told tall tales of Ponk becoming like whenever the Egg decided to toy around with him. Blood red eyes glared daggers at her, but were otherwise emotionless and cold, carefully watching her every move as he slowly tucked both the torch and the remaining TNT away, swapping it for a mockingly bright and overly enchanted netherite sword and golden dagger. Of course Ponk would keep his colour theme of red, black, and yellow, even if he were corrupted. "Good luck with that," Ponk said blandly, shifting his stance into a more fight-friendly one, otherwise not making a move unless Finley did.
"You know...you don't have to do this, Ponk. We don't have to fight. Just give me the TNT and help me harvest the TNT you've already placed down." She tried, even if she'd already attacked him. She wanted to try her best to try and reason with him, since she knew that Ponk was very good at fighting. She knew from the stories that Foolish told about how the statue of Ra got destroyed, that Ponk was absolutely able to fight with and even hurt a demigod such as herself. She adjusted her grip on her trident to ensure she could both deflect an attack and put away her trident, twirling it in her hand just to make sure that she was confident. "Come on, Ponk. Just let me help you get those vines off. I can help you calm down." She spoke out calmly, looking at Ponk with the slightest of begging looks.
Ponk hesitated for a moment as if his will to fight had flickered out upon hearing that, though he didn't respond. Instead, after silently staring at her for a few more moments, he let out a humoured laugh and sickly smiled, such a thing that could easily be seen even behind the ski mask he wore. "Mmm, nah! I think I'll pass on that offer, Finley! Though, I *could* make a great tribute to the Egg with you," He thought aloud, the crimson vines that were wrapped around him only coiling ever further around him as if they were overly pleased with such an idea. Ponk, too, seemed determined to follow through with the thought. He sharply, and with doctor-level preciseness, hurled his golden dagger like a throwing knife squarely to her chest, fully aiming to kill before swiftly pulling out a shield, going into the defensive as he cackled behind said shield.
Finley's eyes flashed as she slammed lightning down between them as best she could, growling softly as the dagger struck the lightning instead of her, charging it before she used the lightning for cover. Quickly charging forward, she jumped up and slashed her trident across his shield with a loud growl, jumping back as best she can. "You won't see me coming anywhere NEAR that thing! I hate it!" She snarled out as she held the business end towards Ponk, letting out soft growls. "Come on, Ponk, come on, please don't make me fight you more..." She begged as she remained hunkered down in a ready position, hoping to remain more on the defensive instead of offensive. She really didn't want to hurt or kill Ponk, she knew how it would devastate Sam. At the same time...it would eliminate one of The Egg's followers, if temporarily.
Ponk only kept his, now slowly turning cocky, sick smile plastered to his face, holding his shield firmly in front of him. He showed no fear, moving with confidence and purpose as he slowly side-stepped, half-circling around her. "*Awe, that's a little disappointing.*" He, or rather The Egg now, called out, firmly pointing the sharpened sword in her direction, drawing it over her image as a mild thread despite being a good few feet away from her. The red vines that circled his arms soon wrapped around the handle of the sword and shield, as well, as if helping to aid him in battle by providing a reassurance that neither could be knocked out of his hands. "*Try me, kid, or I'll blow this place to smithereens and throw all your father's hard work down the drain. Your choice.*"
She growled, but let out a soft huff before coming at him. If she couldn't get him to set down his weapon herself, she'd disarm him instead. Well, after figuring out how to get the vines off of him. She quietly swiped at his side with the sharp trident, trying her best not to do too much damage as she grabbed his sword as best she could. "Come on, Ponk! I don't want to fight you more than I already have!" She sighed before grabbing him by the collar, pulling him with her in order to push him into the wall. "Think about what you're doing! Would Sam want this!?" She felt bad having to use Sam like that, but it was the only other way she could think of. "Come on, Ponk, please, stop fighting...let's just put down our weapons and gather up this TNT together...please." She tried, her eyes glowing softly as she did.
Ponk stared at Finley, completely and utterly soundless and motionless upon the mention of the creeper hybrid he loved all too much; of course, that would be his call back to sanity. His grip on his sword nor shield let up any whatsoever, and he was still standing in the best defensive pose he could despite being pushed up to a wall, but he wasn't *physically* fighting anymore. The lemon mayor's fight was mental now, fighting for control of his own body with The Egg, sadly enough it was nowhere near being his first and probably not last fight for such a thing. After what felt like an excruciatingly long time to him, only being around a minute or two in real-time, Ponk let out a quiet sigh. "You're gonna have to pry them off of for me, Finny; I can't exactly drop my sword at the moment," Ponk himself stated as calmly as he knew how, using his nickname for her as evidence it was genuinely him, which earned the vines to coil tighter around his hands in disapproval.
Finley's wings snapped open in surprise, but she swiftly let him down in order to grab his hands. "Alright, you shitty vines, get off of him..." She muttered as she bared her teeth, trying her best to pull the vines off. She could electrocute them, but she'd rather not shock Ponk in the process, especially given that he had a mechanical arm. Of course, she could practically hear Foolish's voice scolding her for her language, but knew that he would be proud of her if he was here. "I'm sorry for damaging your arm." She mumbled as she traced over the scratch she'd managed to make on it with her initial attack, giving him a sheepish look before going back to her task. She tried her best to avoid the sharp spikes on the vines since she didn't want to get stabbed, managing to rip one and growling before sending electricity up the wound. "Get off him." She warned, looking up at him before sighing quietly. "Help me gather up the TNT?" She asked after getting all the vines off of him, stepping back and placing her trident back into it's holster on her back. Finley was just thankful that she'd managed this, sighing gratefully as she put her hands into the pockets of the outfit she wore, a pair of shorts, a flowy crop top and combat boots.
Ponk stood perfectly still to do his best to give Finley an easier time prying off the thickly curled vines off of him, watching her carefully until she had finished. He instantly put his sword and shield away once she was successfully done, semi-awkwardly walking over and picking his golden dagger up off the floor, ignoring the blood trickling down his fingertips of his fleshy hand, knowing it was from the thorny scrapes and gashes the vines ever so gratefully gave him. "Right, right, harvest the TNT, of course." He spoke, tucking his dagger away as well as he trotted off a few feet, beginning to gather up the pieces he had set down earlier. "Sorry Finny, uhm, for all that, by the way, but you *did* do a good job with, er, protecting this place. I'm sure Foolish would be proud to know you fought me off without getting so much as a scratch... Wait-" Ponk paused, glancing up to look at her worriedly, "Do... Do tell me I didn't hurt you. Oh, *please* tell me I didn't. Ugh, I'm a horrible friend of the family, I'm *so, so* sorry!"
"I managed to- ah, be careful with that." She warned as he picked up his dagger, but the lightning charge it'd been given had ran off since they fought. She then moved close and hugged him tightly, hiding her face into his chest as she let out a soft shudder. "But no wounds doesn't mean I wasn't scared..." She whispered out, gripping onto his sweater as she let out a quiet sigh, letting her body shiver at the thought of Ponk hurting her. She knew he would never when he's in this state of mind, but The Egg gave him power enough to hurt her and her father's creations. It genuinely scared Finley, the thought of being hurt by her father's friend at all. Her tail swished behind her to further show her emotions, a gentle shiver escaping her again. "I'm so glad I managed to save you...I really really didn't want to kill you..." Finley admitted as she stepped back, rubbing her cheek before sighing and closing her eyes. "You're really good at fighting...you could have easily taken me out if you had taken me by surprise." She laughed nervously, her wings snapping open in fear at the thought.
Ponk awkwardly laughed alongside her, gently scratching at the back of his head a bit before tugging his mask off and fiddling with it in between his fingers. "Ahh.. What can I say? Foolish and Sam taught me well," He offered out with nervousness laced in his voice, keeping his gaze fixated on the fabric he held for a few moments before using it to wipe up the bloody mess known as his thorn-pricked wrist. He could always use one of his spare masks, after all, so getting one damp with said crimson liquid was no issue to him. Ponk fell into a tense silence after that, trying to think of something he could joke about that would lighten the situation; something preferably *not* suggestive, considering he was talking with Finley. Geez, mind, for once get out of the gutter, he mentally grumbled to himself. Casual ocean puns was usually a good route, and he was sure Foolish told plenty of them himself, so it didn't hurt to try. "Soooo, water you doing out so late at night? It's a little cray-sea to find you up at this hour,"
Finley stared off into space, registering the puns before laughing softly and covering her mouth, happily giggling before looking at him. "Well...I'm protecting father's new build. Without his knowledge, of course. He'd flip if he knew I was gone." She laughed nervously as she pulled her trident out in order to fidget with it, twirling it in her hand slowly as she looked down at him. "Much less doing this...he'd appreciate it but I know he'd be disappointed in me if he knew that I was risking getting hurt out here...so I'm not gunna tell him!" She huffed in determination, knowing that she's decently good at dealing with Foolish's parental stares and HD's odd interrogation methods. She'd spaced out a bit at the thoughts going through her head, beginning to float in the air softly as she just lost herself to her thoughts slowly. Finley had begun to look like the very Totem she was made from, her face being entirely neutral aside from the occasional twitch from the thoughts going through her head. Her wings had snapped out, and at this point, it was almost uncanny how much she looked both like her father and the Totem she was formed from.
Ponk hummed to himself, shifting a little to go back to harvesting the TNT he had set down earlier in the night before their small brawl, content to have cleared a little bit of the tension that loomed in the air. Thankfully, he hadn't placed down much of the explosives he originally had brought with him and was done after snatching back up a few more pieces that had been scattered about. Ponk tucked it all away, much like the ''responsible'' adult that he was, once he had finally collected it all, calmly walking back over to Finley. He eyed her floating in the air for a second before gently leaning up against the wall, "You look astoundingly like the totem Foolish found before making you from it," The lemon mayor casually commented, going back to fiddling with his mask. He didn't say anything else about it, however, swiftly changing subjects soon after the sentence left his mouth. "You better head home before the sun gets up though; we both know your dad wake up at the crack of dawn. I'm sure he'd freak out finding you missing from your bed,"
Finley listened to him silently, flinching at the feeling of having Ponk nearby, tilting her head at Ponk before nodding and placing both feet on the ground. "Ehm...it was nice to see you again." She spoke out with a kind smile towards him, her wings slowly folding up as she took a soft breath before slowly holding a hand out to him. It seemed like she was offering a handshake, but as soon as she touched him, she'd placed a blessing over him as best she could. Of course, she was a child still and her blessings were rough, but she was truly trying to protect him as her eyes glowed softly. "Well...that's okay." She said in response to his comment about her looking like a totem, chuckling quietly as the gemstones on her clothes glowed with her magic. "Would you like to come and stay with us for the night, Ponk?" She offered out, her hospitalitative nature coming out slowly as she smiled at him kindly. She didn't want him to be alone in the desert for the night, but at the same time, Sam would probably be searching for Ponk.
Ponk quietly laughed to himself, politely shaking his head to decline the offer he was given. "Ahh, I would, but I don't want to intrude or get either of us in trouble. Foolish always knows how to bribe the truth out of me," He stated with another small laugh, letting out a soft sigh soon afterwards. "Plus, I've got a Fran and a Sammy to look after, and I'm sure at least *one* of them are looking for me. I did kind of leave suddenly without explanation, heheh..." Ponk murmured, glancing away for a moment before looking back. "I'll be sure to visit you guys soon though, how's that sound? I can even bring gifts, I know you and Junior enjoy them; most of the time, at least, I swear I won't bring just lemons again." The lemon mayor lightly joked, fondly smiling at the memory of him literally only bringing lemons as a gift for the two children. He soon gently and playfully nudged for Finley to go on her way, "Now go before I make sure you don't get any sugar in your lemonade next time I make some!"
"I'm going, I'm going!" She huffed softly, running off in order to go back home, sneaking inside slowly as her wings slowly fluttered. She looked around, hoping not to find her father looking at her. Her eyes glanced around once more before she slipped into her room, closing the door calmly as she slowly let her breath out in relief. She then changed into pajamas slowly, moving into her bed quietly as she closed her eyes. "...Hm..." She hummed softly as she curled up under her blanket, Ponk's communicator vibrating suddenly with a message from Sam. It seemed pretty panicked too, asking him where he is and if he's okay. He just wanted to know where Ponk was, he could handle Ponk being gone for a little while. A little while. He hated it when Ponk was gone, but he also knew that Ponk couldn't stay with him all the time. The hybrid was most likely pacing at home, Fran might be sniffing for him.
Ponk had sat down on the ground soon after Finley left, treating the gashes he got from the thorns so he didn't have to do so at home while Sam worried and panicked; thank his medical training that he knew how to work with the bare minimum. He blinked when his communicator vibrated. Of course, the lemon mayor eyed it, finishing up with the wrap he was putting around his wrist, before finally answering the message, assuring Sam he was fine and that he'd be home soon. He didn't say exactly where he was, merely avoiding answering that altogether, before packing up his things once more and beginning to trotting his path back through the calm, cold, night desert to get back home. It could be a worse situation to explain to Sam about how he got injured in the first place, he told himself, since monsters could be appearing much more frequently, thus running the chance of getting further hurt, though he was lucky enough to run into very few and could easily avoid the ones he did manage to encounter.
Sam looked up at the door as it opened, instantly standing up and running over to Ponk, picking him up and hugging him gently. "Ponk!" He seemed happy to see him safe, quietly kneeling by him as his tail smacked the ground hard. "Thank god you're safe...what happened, where'd you go?" He asked quietly, reaching up and putting a hand on his cheek. "Where'd your mask go, too?" He seemed quite nervous, but tried his best to shake it off as he stood up with a soft smile. "I'm glad you're home, Ponkie..." He mumbled before reaching out and ruffling up Ponk's hair softly, smiling down at him before moving towards the stairs. He hoped Ponk would follow him, since he was a bit nervous that Ponk would leave again if he didn't follow Sam. Irrational fears, he knew, but ones he had anyways. He turned back to Ponk and smiled softly, putting a hand on his shoulder if he was close enough.
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