Magic Circle

Sydney's metal arms were held out to his sides, hair flying, as the summoning circle flared around him. He chanted from memory, the grimoire open but unneeded beside him.

He smiled. Here, a creature that might actually challenge Ashley. The grimoire had described "Mystics" as a kind of vampiric demon, with magical abilities. Human-shaped, apparently, which should add another challenge... Ashley might underestimate the creature.

The creature also was supposedly must hardier than all the zombies and most of the summonings.

"...il gl'tha nan. Lord Black Knight of Facinaturu, I summon thee, Rastaban!"

The circle flashed. When the light cleared, possibly the gayest man Sydney had *ever* seen was standing there.

He was fairly tall, wearing a courtier's outfit that could nearly be manly if it weren't a brilliant, shining orange. Lace poured from throat and sleeves like a tidal wave, ready to drown any who came too near. The man's figure was lean and appealing, his face smooth, unmarked, and pretty. There were few signs of his inhuman heritage - his red eyes, for sure, and the pale green hair that tumbled around his shoulders, and perhaps the skin so pale it was tinted with blue highlights.

He was possibly as attractive as Sydney, something he had previously thought impossible. He glanced quickly at Hardin and the hostage, and saw them both salivating, starry-eyed.

Metal screamed as Sydney clenched his fists.

The Mystic was examining the underground room with a critical eye. "Nice decor," he said finally, voice a pleasant tenor. "The broken Virgin is a nice touch. Not my taste, certainly, but..."

Sydney cleared his throat.

Turning with a smile, the Mystic looked Sydney up and down with an equally appreciative gaze. Despite the heat in his eyes, his voice was polite and respectful. "I assume, sir, that you are the one who summoned me?"

THAT was better. The Mystic was suddenly a lot more appealing, and Sydney smiled a little. "Yes. I am Sydney Losstarot."

A sleeve was shaken and lace parted to reveal a strong hand. "I am Black Knight Rastaban."

The appeal faded and Sydney frowned again. It was too presumptuous, one of his summonings attempting to shake hands. Besides, he was worried that his arm might disappear into the lace and never be seen again, and he didn't have a spare. "I have summoned you to prevent one Ashley Riot from reaching the center of the city of Lea Monde."

Red eyes sparked. "Combat?"

"Yes."

"How terrible." Rastaban sighed regretfully. "I seem to have left my armour at home. I cannot obey, Sydney."

/When/ had they gotten on a first-name basis? "Surely a Mystic Lord such as yourself does not need armour."

A delicate green eyebrow winged. "I see. You do not expect me to live. Well, I'm afraid that I'm not interested." He leaned against one wall, eyeing Hardin's ass. A beam of light shone, reflecting the highlights in Rastaban's hair, combining beauty and danger as the same light reflected in sharp eyes -

Sydney sputtered. /He's stealing my henchmen! Worse, he's stealing my schtick!/ "I summoned you and I command you! You will not let Ashley Riot into the centre of Lea Monde!"

"Oh, in that case," Rastaban murmured inanely. "I will wait for him by the entrence into the city above." He phased out like a phantom.

Sydney relaxed. MOst of his summonings weren't so... difficult. Idly, he called forth a divination sphere to watch through.

***

Ashley pushed the door open cautiously, unsure of what lay beyond. More lizardmen? Zombies? Something new and unpleasant?

When he wasn't immediately attacked, he strode forward, nearly-bare buttocks wiggling for the benefit of whoever might be watching. His eyes widened suddenly and he took a step back, startled, when he saw the figure at the far end.

Rastaban swayed slightly as he moved towards Ashley and, without warning, a heart appeared over Ashley's head.

"Lovely," Rastaban murmured, eyes on Ashley's almost-unclothed body.

With a growl, Ashley dropped his weapon and charged Rastaban. Shoving the Mystic against the wall, he began to desperately kiss those pale lips, fumbling with his colthes.

Rastaban kissed his way down Ashley's throat, hands working frantically under leather --

***

Sydney screeched, totally without dignity. "You can't do that!" he wailed at the scrying screen. "Get your hands off -- he's mine! You--"

Suddenly determined, Sydney turned and strode for a certain pile of rubble. Hardin, who had snapped out of his daze at the screech, paled. He ran as he'd never run before, trying to stop Sydney from reaching his destination.

"Sydney!" Hardin pleaded. "You can't! You made a decision and have to live with it-!"

Sydney's eyes were cold. "Out of my way, Hardin."

"But~" Hardin blurted, "with Ashley out of the way, you'll be mine!" He went white, hearing his slip, but held his ground.

"Out. Of. My. Way."

Compelled, Hardin moved. Callo, seeing what Sydney was reaching for, also paled. "No, Sydney!" she cried. "You can't! The fourth wall!"

He paid no heed. Reverently, eyes shining, Sydney lifted the Playstation from the rubble.

"This time," he murmured, one claw starting to press the restart button, "I'll send a dragon, instead."