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drop me down to the Dream below

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The battle was grueling - something to be expected if she were entirely honest with herself. Raven was the faster of their little duo, racing circles around a pouting blonde on their more relaxed days. But Kat was always the stronger of the two physically, packing a punch with enough power behind it that Raven reflexively winced whenever she saw her unleash it on someone else, knowing just how sore they'd be later on. She'd been on the receiving end of that strength more than a handful of times, a particularly rough instance when she was under the control of those soldiers in Jirga.

Her head ached just thinking about it.

Across the square Kat was steadily getting up off the ground, shaking loose rubble from her dark hair - a frightening color paired with her red eyes. It was off. It wasn't her.

An airship loomed menacingly behind Kat, hovering in wait. Brahman was probably watching this whole showdown comfortably through one of the port windows, reveling in the destruction caused by his latest kidnapped experiment.

Raven clutched her fists and widened her stance when Kat came running at her again, a smile on her face, twisted into something foreign and malicious. She raised her crossed arms to block Kat's kick from above, pushing her off but left defenseless when Kat did a backwards walkover, her other foot landing a hit right underneath her jaw. The force caused her teeth to clack together painfully, a horrid stab of pain shooting through her head and she was sure she tasted copper on her tongue. Jaw and tongue throbbing she jumped back, narrowly missing the thrust of Kat's fist forward and spinning out of the way when she swiveled on her heel to bring her foot around to catch her in the shoulder.

Now to Kat's right, she lunged forward and grabbed a fistful of black locks, unnaturally dark tendrils pouring through her fingers, and pulled towards herself, knocking the dark angel off balance. Then she thrust her hold down and brought her knee up to greet Kat's nose before throwing her off to the ground, hopping back to distance herself again. It was a cheap move, but in this game she couldn't risk taking the high road, and more than that, couldn't risk severely hurting Kat. Not when there was a strong chance to save her and turn her back.

A glint from the airship caught her eye and she scowled before using her stasis field to create floating masses of blue fire and fired them without hesitation at a Kat who was not even fully standing. She rolled out of the way of two, but was grazed by the third and smacked full on with the fourth.

Not allowing her any time to recover Raven took to the air. She might've had an idea after all.

As expected, Kat quickly followed suit, shooting up after her with something that was a mixture between a scowl and deranged smile of sorts, a sight that made Raven feel physically nauseous. Knowing that she had to exact this plan carefully however, she shook her head and decided not to dwell too much on it and instead focused on getting her friend back.

When Kat was about halfway to her now, she flipped upside down and propelled herself forward, rushing towards her as fast as she could muster. Being the fastest of the two, Kat had no time to dodge and Raven ran into her headfirst, clutching her middle as she thrust them both back towards the ground. Nails dug into her arms and clawed at her shoulders, futile attempts to prevent the inevitable.

They crushed to the ground with loud crack, the pavement fractured and caved into a crater. Large pieces of rubble shot up in the air with the speed and force of bullets, shooting out in an array of directions. A dust cloud engulfed the pair, immediately filling Raven's lungs and sending her into a hacking fit, clutching her throat as her eyes watered. She kept her head down to ward off most of the polluted air, waiting until it had cleared enough to allow her to breathe.

Kat lay underneath her still, possibly due to the shock and impact of the crash landing. Her grip on Raven had slackened, also probably weakened due to the fall. Raven took it as a good sign however, knowing that neither girl had the energy nor sense of mind to jump straight back into a fight. And, hopefully, if this worked the way she was hoping it had, the battle was over.

Kat may have an unorthodox way of solving problems, but Raven couldn't argue that it yielded results. If not, she might still be the Night Gale. So maybe...it had worked this time too?

As the cloud of dust and dirt dissipated, Raven finally found it safe enough to lift her head and breathe in the air. She propped herself up so that she was no longer laying on top of Kat and looked down to see that the other girl still hadn't moved. Her eyes were shut and her hair was strewn about her head haphazardly. Raven raised a hand to her own head, not wanting to think of how tangled her own very long locks were at the moment.

Instead she focused on getting Kat up, nudging her and softly calling her name. It started with gentle prods on the arm, then shaking her shoulders, and soft pats on the cheeks. When none of those produced any response, she grabbed Kat's shoulders and lifted her to a sitting position to give her more leverage. When Kat's head lolled back on her neck, she brought her hand to the back of her head to prop it up, but flinched when she felt a sticky wetness.

Horror dawned on her like a sunset on a summer's day and brought her shaking hand away from Kat's head in the hopes that maybe they had just hit and busted a pipe. Her throat closed and her lungs froze like ice.

Red.

Acting quickly she placed her hand back on the back of Kat's head, pressing her to her chest and using her hand to cover the wound. In front of her she noticed that some of the jagged rubble had also been stained a bright red and she shut her eyes to block it all out. Her stomach twisted and her chest now burned when she noticed through her own ragged breathing that Kat was entirely still now. Not a twitch. Not a breath. Not the small thud in her chest. The only thing she could feel was the blood oozing through her fingers, dripping down her hand and to her wrist, following the same downward path as her freeflowing tears.

"Kat...Kat no, I'm sorry I - ohgod I didn't mean to do this I….Kat please I'm sorry."

To her dismay, there was no answer, only the ringing silence. The girl in her arms did not move and soon enough, after the sobs had ebbed and the retching ceased, neither did she.