Thoughtless (CVS OneShot)


#1

Author’s Note: Capcom vs SNK 2 is one of my all-time favorite games and I figured, “Hey, I’m a writer, why don’t I write something involving CVS?” I’ve also wanted to do something featuring Iori and Morrigan, a pairing that I first became a fan of through the decisively wacky Hong Kong Capcom vs SNK comic. Hopefully there will come a day where we will see a translation of it, but I’m not exactly holding my breath on that one. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy this oneshot that I have titled “Thoughtless” after what I was listening to at the time.

Osaka, Japan?

It was a city that she had visited many times in the past. While not quite as big or as busy as its more popular sister city Tokyo, it was still one of the livelier places in the world. Old architecture dating back to the Feudal Era merged with modern buildings and structures to create an atmosphere that resembled a city-wide theme park. Its population numbered in the millions and to compensate for this abundance of citizens, Osaka had more than enough sights and activities to occupy them.

In addition to all of these sights, there was a spectacle in the city that would soon commence: the third martial arts tournament sponsored the Masters Foundation and the Garcia Concern. The last time there was such a tournament, Osaka Castle was left devastated and a significant portion of the city was left ablaze. If not for the brave efforts of the competitors that took it upon themselves to take down the culprits, the city might have been delivered a permanently crippling blow. Some time had passed since then, and to celebrate the successful recovery of the city, the two organizations arranged another tournament with the promise of strong adversaries and worldwide exposure acting as the main lure.

When she entered the previous tournament, Morrigan Aensland’s heart was stirred. As a succubus from Makai, Morrigan sought constant stimulation not just for her amusement, but for her survival. While most succubi were content with exchanging carnal pleasures with a human male in exchange for their soul, Morrigan preferred to split her time between enjoying the warmth of men and the heat of battle. Even with her natural powers and the personalized martial art that she crafted, there were more than enough mortal opponents for her to test her mettle against. While she did not win the tournament, she found herself hot and sweaty, just as she had hoped she would become when engaged in battle with a worthy opponent.

Back then, Morrigan was carefree and whimsical. Though she was supposed to be burdened with the responsibility of the heir of the Aensland clan and, by default, the protector of the Makai realm, the succubus only cared for amusing herself with strong warriors. Lucien and Mudo, her two servants, always warned her that she shouldn’t play with her food, but Morrigan couldn’t help herself. She was fascinated by the human world and those who lived in it, beings who, by nature, were cruel and selfish, yet were capable of great acts of kindness. Those were the type of souls that Morrigan loved most, and this affinity earned her several friends from the tournament that she was looking forward to meet again.

Sadly, the present state of affairs for the succubus tempered the anticipation of catching up with old friends and looking forward to new challenges. Normally she would fly over the city and seek out some form of amusement from up above, usually a handsome man who fit her picky requirements. On this night, however, she opted to stay on the ground wearing a white shirt, a pair of jeans, and a black coat: something that decisively didn’t attract attention to her person, which was highly uncommon for a succubus. Morrigan wasn’t in the mood for partying?not when her mind was so preoccupied that she wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it.

“You’re looking a little glum, Miss Aensland,” the tuxedo-sporting, fair-haired King said as she finished cleaning her glass and put it down on the table. As part of a rare breed of female Thai fighters, King was also planning to enter the upcoming tournament with hopes to win, but as a barkeep, she also hoped to make some extra spending money by providing a convenient outdoor bar cart where a few passerbys could enjoy her drinks that she had learned to make via years in the trade. Seeing the green-haired femme fatale Morrigan come up to her and ask for a drink was a surprise, to say the least, especially when the succubus wasn’t sporting her trademark smile.

“‘Glum’?heh.” Morrigan let out a soft chuckle before finishing her wine and placing her glass down on the table. Looking up at the full moon in the sky, Morrigan continued. “Such a funny word: it’s used to describe sadness or depression, yet it sounds innocent enough to mask the dark feelings associated with it. You humans certainly have an interesting way of coping with bad emotions, pretending that it’s something it’s not?”

“I didn’t know you could be so philosophical,” King replied as she put her elbows on the table and leaned in so that she was resting her head on her hands. “You seem like you have a lot on your mind. As the provider of your alcohol, I’d be more than happy to listen to your problems?”

“I hope you are aware that due to being a succubus, I have a much higher tolerance for alcohol than humans,” Morrigan interjected as she looked away from the sky and back towards King, still sporting an unusually cold expression. “If you’re trying to get me depressed so that I will buy more drinks, I’m afraid you are wasting your time?”

“I’m not doing this to get you to buy more drinks,” King replied nonchalantly, obviously not offended by Morrigan’s attitude. “I’m asking you because from what Mai and Yuri have told me, you’re usually an upbeat kind of girl. Right now you look like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders, and I’d like to make it my business to know why that is.” The French-born barkeep smiled and tilted her head playfully. “Besides, should it come down to the two of us in the tournament tomorrow, I don’t want to have any unfair mental advantages!”

“‘The weight of the world on my shoulders’?that is strangely appropriate,” Morrigan said with a faint smile. “If you must know, then I might as well tell you that I am now the ruler of the Makai Realm. When I was born, my soul was split into three separate parts, which were to be returned to me once I was ready to inherit the immense power that comes with it. Now that I am whole again, I have inherited my father’s position as the leader of House Aensland, which is the most powerful house of nobles in Makai.”

“So?you’re like the Queen of Demons, then,” King concluded before whistling in amazement. “Not bad for a Scottish girl! I don’t see why that would make you so glum! Now all the demons in the world will have to do whatever you tell them to: you could do some real good with that kind of power! I know a few demon hunters in Southtown who would really enjoy having a break from all of the hard-”

“I hate it,” Morrigan interrupted with her lips curled back in a snarl, a feature that most certainly didn’t compliment her beautiful face. “Before I became whole, all I had to worry about was finding something to amuse me long enough until I had to return to Makai. Now that I am complete, I feel emptier than I’ve ever felt before. At first I was looking forward to looking at my existence through a different perspective, but now I see that it is all work and no play. That is not the kind of life I wish to lead: the reason I even started going into the human world was because I wanted to avoid it.”

“Well, if you’re from a house of nobles, don’t you have a way to vote for a new leader?” King suggested as if the answer was plainly obvious, though Morrigan’s enticed expression told the barkeep that the succubus didn’t really like the suggestion. Clearing her throat after looking away from the glare that had made demons cower in fear, King continued. “The aristocracy where I come from always has a way to look for a new heir or leader when the next in line is unfit to rule in some way. I bet if you looked hard enough, you could find a successor.”

“Things don’t work like that in Makai,” Morrigan answered curtly, perhaps thinking that King was trying to be cute but failing completely. “In the Makai hierarchy, power is given to those who are the strongest. My father, Lord Berial, was the strongest being in the entire realm, and I was born as S-class noble, the highest rank of power there is. If there was someone in the house more powerful than I was, then I would not have been appointed the rank. Worse yet, if I did shirk my duties completely, then Demitri or Jedah would most certainly take control of my house and become the new ruler of the realm?and that is something I dread thinking about. Demitri is a fiendish tyrant who wishes in enslave not just Makai, but every realm he can access, and Jedah is a nihilistic madman who would raze the human world to the ground if it meant furthering his insane goals.”

“?then why are you here in the human world for this tournament?” King asked curiously after absorbing Morrigan’s story. “Shouldn’t you be in Makai worrying about all the bad things that can happen with you not there?”

“I’m hoping the tournament will provide enough worthy adversaries for me to stretch my arms a bit not have to worry about holding back so much.” The succubus explained as she suddenly found her smile again, anticipating the battles to come. “You humans are the one thing that I can consistently look forward to make me excited, especially when you hold tournaments such as these. Perhaps, just for a brief moment, I can forget about all of the responsibilities that I’ve been burdened with and truly enjoy myself with the greatest warriors in the world acting as my playmates. Besides, if Demitri and Jedah do try something, I imagine they would do it here in the tournament.”

“Heh?I guess I figured you wrong, then.” King said with a smile of her own. “Everyone I spoke to who knew you said that you were just a thrillseeker, and everything you did was because you were bored. From what you just told me, I’d say that they weren’t exactly spot on.”

“And what exactly am I then, Miss King?” Morrigan asked with a raised eyebrow.

“You’ve got a sense of duty that you can’t ignore no matter how hard you try.” King explained as she straightened herself and took out the bottle of wine that she had previously opened for Morrigan. “Even though you want to just have fun, you know that if you ignored what you had to do, a lot of people would get hurt and you just can’t let that sit with you. We’ve got a term for that here in the human world: ‘upstanding.’ If only there were more people in the world like you, human or not.” The French Thai fighter poured the contents of the bottle into Morrigan’s glass until the bubbles fizzed over the top like a volcano. “Don’t worry about paying for this one, Morrigan: it’s on the house.”

“Ah, such generosity for a potential rival in the tournament tomorrow,” Morrigan said as her grin widened while King poured herself a glass of the wine. Once that was done, the two women lifted their glasses and clinked them together. “Here is to a wonderful battle that will surely have a climax that will be talked about for years to come?”

“?and to thrashing any uncouth hooligan that tries to spoil our good time,” King finished before the two women drank deep from their glasses. While it seemed uncommon for a succubus and a human to be having a drink together, considering their natural alignment as predator and prey, Morrigan found the company of humans much more preferable than the company of her fellow demons. This wasn’t because she had an obvious power advantage, but because humans were the one race that Morrigan could interact with and truly feel that she was among friends, and not amongst subjects.

“AGH!”

With the sudden outburst of pain, Morrigan and King coughed as their drinking was unexpectedly cut short. Turning around to see where the sudden shout had come from, the two women quickly saw what was going on: there was a small crowd gathering a few meters away from them. “Seems like something has their attention,” Morrigan observed before stepping out of her stool as her jacket transformed in a flash of energy to reveal black demonic wings. “I’m going to see what what’s going on: we’ll finish our drink in a few minutes.”

Before King even had a chance to say goodbye, Morrigan took flight and looked down at the crowd below from a birds-eye view. What she saw were two men fighting a third: the purple-clad ninja Eiji Kisaragi and the staff-sporting, bandana-wearing Billy Kane teaming up to face what appeared to be the red-haired Iori Yagami. While she was not intimately familiar with Billy and Eiji due to their absence from the previous tournaments, Iori was someone that she had the honor of encountering several times in the past. From what Morrigan understood about him, he was an exceedingly good-looking youth with an exceedingly bad attitude. He wasn’t exactly evil, but was more anti-social than anything else.

Something else she knew about Iori was that he would never attack someone unless he was provoked first, and when provoked he was a very dangerous person indeed. With her curiosity getting the better of her, Morrigan swooped down into the conflagration so that she was right between Iori and his nemeses. Turning towards Billy, the green-haired succubus spoke, “What seems to be the problem here, boys? There are rules that we cannot fight before the tournament commences?”

“He started it,” Billy shot back as he pointed towards Iori. “Eiji and me were in the arcade enjoying a drink and a game when we spotted this bastard stumbling in like a drunkard from the pub. Iori and us have some serious issues, but we were willing to follow the rules and wait until the tournament to get our payback?too bad Iori here had other ideas. He suddenly went berserk and attacked me while I was playing some Sengoku. Eiji saw the whole thing and came to help me, and we’ve been tangling with this loony ever since!”

Morrigan turned her head to see the red-headed man in question stare at her with blank yellow eyes and a speckle of rapid foam on his mouth. “The poor thing has lost his sense of reason,” the succubus said with a frown as she turned to face Iori completely. “I’ve heard rumblings from the other fighters that Iori suffers from a condition that causes him to enter a berserk rage under certain circumstances: I cannot say that I envy him.” With other flash of light, Morrigan’s clothes transformed completely to reveal a black one-piece that exposed her cleavage along with purple stockings and long gloves. With dark high-heels and a pair of wings in her head completing her battle attire, Morrigan lifted her hands and prepared to battle. “You two may leave now: I will take it from here.”

“W-what?!” The navy-colored-jacket-sporting Billy blurted out as his red-and-white bandana furled up as he tensed up. “You think you can just come on up and interfere with our business just because you’ve got a nice set of knockers and weird-colored hair!? Go find your own brawl to get involved in: Eiji and I have got this under-”

“It might be wise to listen to her, my friend,” the brown-haired ninja whispered in Billy’s ear while holding him back. “This woman is Morrigan Aensland, the most powerful demon in Makai. Even a fourth of her power would be enough to send us in a world of unearthly pain.” Gently motioning to Iori, Eiji continued pressing his case. “We should let her do as she pleases: she could soften Yagami for us so that when the tournament starts tomorrow and one of us faces him, it will become easier for us to take our revenge and offer his broken body to Master Geese.”

“?yeah, I guess,” Billy grumbled before he and his companion turned around and began pushing back the crowd forming around him. “You people better get the bloody hell out of here. There’s going to be some crazy rubbish going down and you definitely don’t want to be a part of it!” When the crowd didn’t budge, Billy let out a growl and began swinging his cane around, summoning his fiery ki and engulfing his weapon in flame. Upon seeing THAT display of power, the crowd listened to what he had to say. “Try not to kill him, love!”


#2

Once the crowd had dispersed completely, Morrigan charged her ki until she gave off a light blue florescent aura. Iori was one of the most powerful fighters in the tournament and it would be ill-advised even for an S-class Makai noble to take him lightly. “This may surprise you, my handsome friend?but I would like to end this as quickly as possible,” Morrigan said out loud as Iori remained perfectly still, fixated on her like a moth to a flame. “If you would prefer to stare at me instead of fight, you are welcome to do so: I would rather not risk either of us being disqualified for tomorrow’s tournament?”

“G?G?Go?Away?”

A parody of the phrase “go away” escaped Iori’s lips before he began to grit his teeth and grip his head. After shaking it wildly for a couple of seconds, Iori let out an inhuman howl as his body tensed to an uncommon degree, close to contortion. Even though Morrigan hadn’t attacked him yet, it was obvious to the succubus that he was in severe pain. At first she suspected it was due to fighting Billy and Eiji, but the scratches on his black jacket and white pants weren’t exactly indicative of an injury serious enough to cause Iori to roar. Before Morrigan to say anything, Iori suddenly fell silent before a primal growl escaped his lips and he charged the succubus like a tiger going for his prey. “GRRRAH!”

While in most cases, Morrigan was more than quick enough to evade her human opponents, she was forced to fold her wings in front of her to protect herself from Iori’s clawed swipe. Whatever possessed him, it was greatly augmenting his already impressive speed and power. Unfurling her wings so that she could see Iori again, Morrigan countered with a swipe of her own: a rising uppercut-type attack with her wing becoming as sharp as a blade, knocking Iori backwards with a technique she appropriated called her Shadow Blade.

Iori’s speed had become so great, in fact, that he was already ready to strike again before Morrigan could even land on the ground. Like a rocket rising from the earth, Iori took the hair and spun around with his arms spread, purple flames emerging from his hands and singing the succubus before she could defend herself and cause her to fall to the ground flat on her back. *That is very strange, *Morrigan thought to herself as she flipped back to her feet while Iori landed on his, ready to attack again. I remember hearing gossip that Iori had lost his flame-spouting abilities: I suppose not all gossip is truthful.

The red-headed berserker once again lunches for Morrigan with his arms raised for a slash, but this time the succubus was able to anticipate it. Swooping to the side with her wings acting as propulsion, Morrigan evaded the attack and countered with one of her own: a blast of bat-shaped ki known as the Soul Fist. To her surprise, however, Iori swiped at the bat and destroyed it as if it were nothing but paper mache. So surprised was she by this turn of events that she was unable to stop Iori from letting loose a blast of ki that moved across the ground like a mole and clipped Morrigan’s ankle, engulfing it in flame.

“AGH,” Morrigan let out a shout of pain as she took to the air with her wings keeping her afloat. Shaking her ankle until the flames where put out, the succubus attempted to land on the ground, but her ankle suddenly gave way and she limped over. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, Iori dashed in with his uncanny speed and knocked Morrigan backwards with a swift headbutt. The succubus righted herself and midair and gently placed her feet on the ground, realizing that the flame was much more potent than she had thought.

Realizing that she was a sitting duck on the ground, Morrigan took to the air and swooped in like a hawk pursuing its prey. Thrusting her feet forward, Morrigan’s boots transformed into a potent drill and struck Iori in the chest with its sharp pointed end. The young man roared in agony as he pushed the succubus away and gripped his chest where he had been struck. A small blob of blood emerged from the wound, and the red-headed berserker let loose another growl as Morrigan slowly descended to the ground.

Iori once again fired off a wave of energy at Morrigan, chasing after the wave like it was a dog going after a squirrel. He’s going to attack me en tandem with his ki, Morrigan thought before firing off another Soul Fist from her hand to cancel out the purple flames. *Fortunately, I’m not sure easily fooled! *Once the Soul Fist and purple flames collided and disappeared, Iori jumped into the air with his claws bared. However, Morrigan was ready for him and knocked him out of the sky with a Shadow Blade.

This time, Iori landed flat on his back before rolling to his feet and letting out another inhuman howl while Morrigan returned to her own feet. Charging her energy once again, the succubus fired off a larger and brighter bat of energy with its fangs wide open, an enhanced version of her Soul Fist technique. Rather than try to evade the blast like a sensible fighter, Iori charged towards it with his hands burning purple and hugged the blast like a long-lost parent. “I don’t know what you’re doing, but it won’t work,” Morrigan shouted before firing off another Soul Fist to add to the current one. “You won’t defeat me!”

Iori foamed at the mouth as he let loose another howl, holding his own against the combined Soul Fists with his fire burning like odd-colored stars. Squeezing onto the blast as hard as he could, Iori managed to do the unthinkable: he actually managed to alter the shape of the blasts!* I know Iori is powerful, but there is no way should be able to match that kind of power just by using brute force, *Morrigan thought as he watched Iori squeeze the blast until it had entered an hourglass form. What in the world is powering his fists?

“WOOOOOOH!”

With one last surge of strength, Iori literally squeezed the blast out of existence and burst it into thousands of sparkles while Morrigan watched in disbelief. So stunned was she by the turn of events that she didn’t even notice Iori resuming his charge towards her with his hands burning with the same deadly flame that damaged her. By the time she regained her senses, it was far too late to stop Iori from slashing her midriff with his claws, drawing forth a streak of dark red that splattered on the ground. Morrigan let out a cry of pain as she jumped away from Iori, only to kneel down upon landing on her bad ankle.

However, as she assessed the situation and realized how much trouble she was in, the succubus smiled. I entered the human world to take my mind off of my troubles?and before the tournament has begun, I have found what I was looking for, she thought gleefully as she looked at the red smear on her hand from holding her midsection. *I have found a handsome young warrior who has the ability to cause me severe pain?perhaps even death if I let him. He is the ultimate sparring partner to satisfy my boredom! *Morrigan slowly stood back up and lifted her hands ready to fight again, waiting for Iori to attack her. “I’ve changed my mind, dear Iori,” Morrigan said as she lifted her head to see her adversary. “Let us dance until the morning comes: I promise I will be…what?”

When she gazed on Iori’s figure, she didn’t see him with his claws bared ready to attack, but clutching his chest with his still-burning hands, as if he had lost control of his own powers. At first Morrigan hypothesized that he was clutching a wound that she created from her attacks, but when he started to cough violently, to a point where speckles of blood where coming out, it was plainly obvious that whatever was ailing him, it wasn’t from anything she did to him. It took a couple of seconds to realize what was happening, but Morrigan soon deduced the cause of Iori’s ailment when she noticed something very familiar about Iori’s flame?

?sparks were flying out of them.

I’ve seen that energy before: that’s Psycho Power, Morrigan thought, her delight turning into concern for her opponent. That must be why he can use his flames even though the rumors said that he couldn’t: Psycho Power is acting as a substitute for his powers. The succubus was quite familiar with Psycho Power, mostly through its usage from the fiendish leader of Shadaloo, Bison. Bison was very much like Demitri, a fiend who would destroy anyone and everyone if it meant furthering his ambitions, and that most certainly included finding victims to test out his ever-evolving Psycho Power on. Psycho Power requires a certain host, otherwise it will destroy the user from the inside out. Iori is going to die if I don’t do something to get that foreign contaminant out of him.

Quickly racking her brain before Iori’s flames literally burned him out, Morrigan once again focused her energies. As a succubus, Morrigan survived off of the souls and dreams of mortal men: it would not be out of the question for her to drain the Psycho Power out of Iori’s body while leaving the young man alive. It was a task that not every succubus could pull off, but Morrigan had trained her mind and soul to its limit to contain her own unearthly power. Draining just enough to Iori’s energy to end the conflict but not his life was easily within her abilities.

Once she had accumulated enough of her energy, Morrigan put her hands to her lips and blew a kiss at Iori, which took the form of a large pink heart of ki that floated over in Iori’s direction like a wisp over the water. No matter how possessed Iori might have been, he was still a man, and with the most potent technique native to succubi being used on him, not even he could resist the allure that Morrigan offered. The pink heart collided with Iori’s self, and suddenly his coughing ceased and his flames went out. Thin pink curtains materialzed around the two combatants and hid them away from the rest of the world, signaling the beginning of the succubus magic that Morrigan was invoking.

“Iori,” Morrigan whispered as she slowly hovered in Iori’s direction as he backed away with his teeth bared like an animal back into a corner. “Don’t afraid, Iori: I am not going to hurt you?”

“Rrrrrr?”

“It’s alright, Iori,” the succubus stopped in front of the red-headed youth and slowly wrapped her arms around him, waiting for the growling to cease and for her spell to take effect. Due to personal reasons of how easy it would be to enrapture her largely human competitors with succubus magic, Morrigan made it a point to never use the technique she was using in battle against humans. However, with someone in dire need of her services, she opted to put that aside for Iori’s sake. Once the growling had ceased completely, the succubus backed away slightly and looked into Iori’s yellow eyes that were gradually losing their eerie glow. Once that had returned to a more human color, the succubus smiled. “You have very pretty eyes?”

Iori was silent as he gazed into Morrigan’s yellow eyes, hypnotized by her power and allure. Such a beautiful young man, Morrigan thought to herself with a smile as she pressed her forehead against the young man’s. As she did so, she peered into his thoughts and memories, learning as much about him as she could so that she could take note of the wonderful experiences he had to offer as a warrior.

What she found were the inner workings of a young man deeply troubled by the burdens placed upon him by his family as a member of the cursed Yagami clan. Forced to live shortened lifespans due to the blood curse of the Orochi, Iori was raised to hate the rival Kusanagi clan, in particular the latest heir Kyo. Iori had been driven by the desire to kill Kyo for years and years?and yet, when the situation called for it, Iori willingly put aside his differences with his rival to combat the evil forces that threatened their world, namely the Orochi. Iori even sought out Kyo when he went missing, and assisted him in destroying the worldwide terrorist network known as NESTS.

Though his instincts told him to maim and kill his rival, Iori Yagami put aside those instincts and form a partnership with Kyo Kusanagi to stand against the forces of evil when they became too strong for either of them to face alone. Even after Iori lost his powers at the hands of the interloper Ash Crimson, he continued to stand by Kyo in his endeavors against him. Despite the blood curse in his veins that was gradually killing him, Iori never let go of the possibility of one day ending the curse so that he could fight Kyo as his rival, and not as a destined nemesis.

He is like me: we were given great burdens, but we put aside our misgivings about them and answer the call of duty when the time comes, Morrigan thought as she slowly removed her forehead from Iori’s and again gazed deep into his eyes. How is it that I have remained ignorant of his plight for so long? We could have offered each other solace?comfort… The succubus let out a sigh and slowly pressed her lips against Iori’s and began what she set out to do: rid Iori of the dark power that was controlling him. This will have to do for now?

The touch and warmth of a mortal man was the very thing that acted as the source of energy for succubi, and it was very much tempting to add Iori’s soul to her collection of lovers she had accumulated over the decades after enjoying his lush body, but Morrigan made doubly sure not to lose sight of her goal. She would want Iori to give himself to her willingly so that they could spend eternity together without regrets, not take advantage of him when he was in an unsound state of mind. Little by little, the succubus drained Iori of the madness that Bison bestowed upon him, feeling it enter her body and soul struggling to take control?

?until?

“MMPH!” Morrigan suddenly broke away from Iori and gripped her head, feeling a sharp pain in her brain. “W-what’s happening!?”
*
“What an unexpected surprise! I didn’t think my test subject would have the honor of running into you before the tournament began!”*

“?Bison,” Morrigan hissed as she recognized the callous voice in her head. “I’m not going to let a mortal fiend like you soil the divinity of a noble like myself! Get out of my head!”
*
“Ah, but this is what you wanted, Ms. Aensland,”* the voice responded with sadistic glee as Morrigan focused her energies on exorcising the voice. "You wished to relieve Iori Yagami of the gifts that I bestowed upon him earlier today, and now you have. It’s for the better anyway: obviously without the Orochi power acting as a dampener, even the Yagami bloodline is no match for my Psycho Power. However, with YOUR body, the most powerful warrior in the Makai realm, I am sure that I will have the Shadaloo Super-Soldier I was hoping to create with Yagami."

“What makes you think I’ll let you,” Morrigan shot back as she focused her ki. “I am not unschooled in exorcism: I can force your influence out of me at will and that will be the end of it! Then, when the tournament begins, I will advance all the way to the top so that I might run into you and make you pay for daring to tamper with my body!”

“Perhaps?but the hundreds of souls that you have integrated into your own aren’t as resilient as you.”
*
“Wha-AAAAAAAH!” Morrigan suddenly felt a horrible pain in her chest as her heart began to erratically skip beats while at the same time, her head felt like it was about to explode. As a succubus, she was at one with the souls of the men she had literally loved to death over the centuries, listening to their eternal whispers when she was alone with no one else around. Now, the souls weren’t so much whispering, but screaming one solitary word that echoed throughout her being.
*
“KILL! KILL! KILL!”

“I understand that your father sealed away fragments of your soul due to how powerful you were at birth,” Bison taunted as Morrigan continued trying to force the influence out of her, though increasing her power level only made it so that she was a little bit closer of falling off the mental edge and going on the same berserk path that Iori had been on moments before. “How ironic is it that now that you have regained those fragments, you are going to become exactly what he fears: a being bent on destruction and death, capable of burning cities to the ground! What a glorious day this-?what!?”

“Something?touching me,” Morrigan thought as she felt a pair of hands wrap around her tightly from behind. Not concerned with who it was, the succubus used that physical sensation as an anchor that kept her rooted into reality and something to focus on as she doubled her efforts to expel the Psycho Power from her body. With a loud shout, a basketball-sized orb of crackling dark purple energy emerged from Morrigan’s chest. Lifting his hand and forming it into a fist, Morrigan fired off a single Soul Fist and caused the orb to detonate in a flash of electricity. The voices within her immediately quieted as a result, and she breathed a sigh of relief.

Now that Bison’s influence was out of her before it could cause serious harm to herself and everything around her, Morrigan turned around to see who was holding onto her?and saw that it was Iori leaning over her, decisively asleep. Did he mean to do that? Morrigan wondered as she slowly turned around and lifted her arms so that she could catch Iori as he slumped down. Getting down on her knees, the succubus allowed Iori’s head to rest on her chest and smiled.* Regardless of whether he held onto me consciously or subconscious?I might very well owe my individuality to him. What an odd turn of events?*

Snapping her fingers to cause the pink curtains that had been hiding the two of them to disappear, Morrigan saw King looking down at her with a perplexed look on her face. “Oh?am I interrupting something here?” the barkeep said with an amused smile as she put her hands on her hips. “I knew you succubi were into the rough love, but I didn’t think you’d do it in the heat of battle, even if it’s as someone as good-looking as him?”

“He’s just sleeping, he’ll be fine in the morning and ready to fight,” Morrigan assured King before running her fingers through his hair, though his expression didn’t really change the emotionless state it was in. “This Iori truly is a remarkable young man. He carries a burden that is literally eating away at him from the inside, and yet he uses this burden as a means of strength to answer the call of duty, even if it isn’t what he particularly wants?I feel silly for remaining so ignorant of him for these past tournaments that we’ve encountered one another?”

“Iori is a strange one,” King admitted as she knelt down next to Morrigan. “Most everyone in the King of Fighters tournament just writes him off as a world-class jerk, and perhaps he is?but there’s more to him than just that. He hates the blood curse in his veins just as much as he hates Kyo Kusanagi, and the compulsion to fight Kyo against the compulsion to do what’s right drives him mad. I can only imagine what it’s like to be consistently torn between doing what you want to do and doing what you need to do?and not being able to make that choice immediately.”

“Normally, I would be honored to bring joy to his dark heart and relieve him of the burden that he carries?but that’s not what he would want,” Morrigan continued. “He still has business to take care of in this world, and far be it from me to keep him from attending to it. Besides, he’s given me something that comes so rarely in the life of a succubus?”

“And what is that?”

“Something to look forward to, like when we’ll meet again, whether it be tomorrow at the tournament or far into the future,” Morrigan answered before slowly standing up and wrapping Iori’s arm around her shoulder. “Let’s find him someplace where he can rest: he deserves better than to sleep on the street?” As King took Iori’s other shoulder and helped Morrigan carry him away while her clothes reverted to what she had been wearing earlier, the green-haired succubus looked towards the sleeping youth and smiled.* Never stop fighting for your individuality, Iori. It’s the moment you stop that you are truly dead inside?*