Let's try a hard bump.
A few months later, day before Snowdown
It was a League sanctioned match between champions of Piltover. On the Fields of Justice, they would not die, at least, not permanently. This was just one way for them to train, an enthusiastic spar if anything. They had to practice somehow. It was a simple three versus three team deathmatch. It was slightly different from other League matches, since it involved no Nexi to destroy, just a time limit and how many times one team could best the other.
Caitlyn checked her rifle. She made sure the magazine was loaded, she double checked the firing mechanism, the sights that she kept affixed on her top hat were lowered over her right eye and the lenses were cleaned of any smudges. She knelt down in the brush, took aim, and flicked her safety off.
Vi stood behind her, impatiently pacing and drumming her metallic fingers against her gauntlets. “Can we go now?”
“...How about now?”
“No. Wait for Janna.”
The lithe wind mage floated into the brush and announced her presence with a simple, airy sounding statement, “I have arrived.”
Caitlyn took aim.
She took a breath.
She exhaled, and fired.
The bullet tore across the field, and seemingly curved in order to correct its trajectory. Vi laughed and clapped Caitlyn’s shoulder with a bit too much enthusiasm. “Boom! Headshot! Ha ha!”
Vi took off running, following the bullet’s path.
Janna looked over at Caitlyn and pointed at Vi as the overzealous woman quickly disappeared through some trees. The wind mage’s voice sounded like it was echoing throughout a mountain range as she asked, “Is she always like that?”
The sheriff reached up to her shoulder and gave it a painful roll. A loud click of bone could be heard. “Yeah. She is.”
Heimerdinger was nearly a kilometer away, setting up his turret nest. The Yordle’s ridiculously large head bobbed about to the rhythm of his song while his spectacles twitched on his nose every other note. “There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium, and nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium, and iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium, Europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium, and lanthanum and osmium and astatine and radium, and gold and protactinium and indium and gallium...”
He took a deep breath in, and was about to continue his song when a large steam golem stepped in front of him. The bullet shattered on the stomach of the golem, denting its steel exterior. The resulting shrapnel sounded like a small, brief hailstorm as it hit the ground in front of Blitzcrank.
Heimerdinger’s moustache twitched as he thanked the golem, “Blitzcrank! That timing was absolutely impeccable! Wondrous!”
“- IT - WAS - OF - NO - CONCERN - FOR - ME - - - YOU - ARE - WELCOME - PROFESSOR - - - ”
Heimerdinger twirled his moustache about, “Yes well, now we know where they are! All we need to do now...” He stopped and tilted his head, then readjusted his spectacles and squinted of into the distance. “Is...is that a woman running to us? Her trajectory suggests we are her target. Should we brace for impact or contact the mortician?”
Vi was tearing down the field, running at a ridiculous speed. Where her companions were, one could only guess, but the current main concern was that a woman with fists big enough to make even a golem envious was barreling straight toward them.
Blitzcrank readied its mighty fists, stepped out to meet their challenger, and took off in a puff of steam. With every step it took, one could easily mistake the sound of the golem gaining speed to the metallic clamor of a train.
Vi grinned as the golem sped towards her. She was expecting someone else, but this would be a good warm up. The golem’s hand twitched once, and shot out in a burst of steam. The large hand hurtled towards her, open and ready to grab her. The size of the hand made it easy enough for the golem to wrap its steel fingers around the waist of even the fattest League champion.
The imagery of Gragas being reeled in popped into Vi’s head. The thought of a fat man flying through the air made her laugh. With a sniffle and a grin, she barrelled head first towards the speeding hand.
Vi fell back and slid on the ground, barely missing the outstretched fingers of Blitzcrank. She went with her gut instinct and tumbled forward as she got closer to him. When Vi was close enough, she launched herself into the air, her fists ready to make first contact. The golem took an offensive stance, ready to meet her fist with its own, when the flash of an electrical current caught the corner of Vi’s eyes. A figure rushed forward, the glint of gold ever brighter from the electricity that crackled from its source: A hammer.
Vi raised her left arm up to her chest as the hammer slammed into her gauntlet, throwing her back and away from the golem and the new challenger. She lowered her gauntlet, her grin now an honest to goodness smile.
Jayce had appeared. He patted Blitzcrank’s side and said in a confident voice, “Leave her to me, golem.”
“- ARE - YOU - SURE - JAYCE - ? - - -”
“Watch out for Caitlyn and Janna. Cait used the wind to alter her bullet’s path so we can’t expect them to come from this way, they’ll probably go around and try and take the professor out quietly. Go look after him.” Jayce swung the hammer about his body for a bit, showing off a few simple tricks before he stopped and tightened his grip on its haft. “I’ll deal with her myself.”
“ - IF - YOU - SAY - SO - - - I - WILL - LEAVE - YOU - TWO - BE - - -” The golem walked away, apparently happy beyond reason. That is, one could assume such a thing if the golem had any facial expressions whatsoever. “- MY - CALCULATIONS - ARE - CORRECT - - - MY - EQUATION - HAS - BEEN - TRULY - PERFECTED - - -!”
Vi readjusted her gauntlets, smiling at Jayce. She fluffed her hair back and cricked her knuckles, “I was wondering when you’d appear, Capt! Come on, bring the golem back.” She wiped the tip of her nose with her knuckles, her tone mocking him, “It’s the only way you’ll have a chance. I’m a one girl wrecking crew, and you’re...Well, you’re you.”
Jayce tested the weight of his hammer. His face twisted into the appearance of mock fear as he shrugged, “Hm...A one girl wrecking crew versus the future of weaponry and technology. What should I do...? Ah!” He flicked the side of his head as though he had come upon a great revelation. “I know! I’ll give you a choice!”
Jayce clicked a button which made the bottom of the hammer’s shaft explode in a burst of fire. It sent him propelling several meters to the sky when it abruptly stopped. He plummeted to the ground and landed with a thundering crash. The landing was perfect, his hammer in front of him, the scorched earth around him, and that smile on his face. “Feel free to give up now.”
Vi placed one of her gauntlets beneath her chin. She seemingly stroked it as her smile widened, as though she were lost in thought. “Hmm...You know, I really do like your smile.” She took off running directly toward him. Her fist crackled with energy as she flew through the air, aiming at the chest of the Defender. A slight change in trajectory made her nearly take his head clean off with an uppercut. If it weren’t for the fact that Jayce blocked the strike using his hammer, he would have been messily decapitated.
“Gives me something to aim at,” she laughed as she leapt back to gain some distance. Vi readied her fists again, a devilish glint in her eyes.
The Defender rushed forward, fire and electricity roaring out from his hammer as he swung at her. Her fist rocketed forward, aiming straight at his jaw while his hammer aimed at the side of her head. They both thought they were faster than the other, that if they had managed to land the hit, the impact would push their opponent away and leave the victorious one unscathed.
The two called out in unison, “Power slam!”
The hammer connected with Vi’s face while her fist connected with Jayce’s jaw in the exact same moment. Instead of flying back, they just stood in place, the whites of their eyes seemingly staring at one another. Neither of them moved, that is, until Janna floated by, screaming, “AHHHH!”
Blitzcrank thundered behind her, shooting its fists wildly at her in its attempt to grab her. She was barely able to dodge the onslaught of grabby hands.
“Stop that you awful, pervy robot!”
“-HAH-HAH-HAH- - - I - HAVE - NO - IDEA - WHAT - THAT - MEANS - - - BUT - IT - ACTIVATES - MY - LAUGHTER - BOX - - -”
“You don’t have a laughter box!”
“- I - INSTALLED - IT - - - JUST - A - FEW - DAYS - AGO - - -”
Janna stopped and tilted her head in confusion for a brief moment. “Huh...That makes no sense...”
“-YES - - - YES - IT - DOES - - - ” Its arm rocketed out again, “- I - WILL - GET - YOU - AND - YOUR - SMALL - ELEMENTAL - PET - TOO - - -”
Janna shrieked in mock terror as she held up her staff, “EEEEEE!” A vicious gust of wind roared out from her, sending the golem tumbling through the air.
Blitzcrank’s body sailed far too easily for something its weight. “-THIS - MAKES - NO - SENSE - - - HOW - AM - I - FLYING - LIKE - THIS - - - ?”
The golem could see Vi and Jayce rapidly approaching. It waved its large hand at its teammate, “- JAYCE - - - I - AM - AN - INCOMING - PROJECTILE - - - MOVE - OUT - OF - THE - WAY - - - !”
Blitzcrank plummeted to the ground, its steel body skipping from the force of the impact and spun through the air. It eventually landed mere feet away from them, sliding closer and closer. The golem’s head touched the heel of Jayce’s boot, which made the Defender of Tomorrow, along with his opponent, collapse at the same time.
A loud voice called out, “FIRST BLOOD! BLITZCRANK HAS SLAIN JAYCE! BLITZCRANK HAS SLAIN VI! DOUBLE KILL!” The announcer could be heard attempting to stifle her laughter of what had just occurred.
“- - - WHAT - - -”
After the match had ended, Vi stormed into the lobby. She grumbled aloud, “I can’t believe Blitz took the credit for that first kill. Friggin’ cheating robot...” Her eyes flitted about, trying to find the man she was looking for. She found him quite easily due to his large golden hammer towering over everyone’s head. She raised a gauntleted hand and waved wildly at him, “Hey! Jayce! Hey!”
The Defender seemed to be already looking for someone when he spotted her. He smiled that damn, handsome smile of his and made his way over to her. He pushed past the other champions that were also occupying the lobby. Jayce waved back at her, “Vi, that first kill with you and me-”
“Hitting each other at the same time?! That was a-ma-zing!”
“And we both yelled at the same time-”
The two of them laughed in unison. Vi slapped Jayce’s arm humorously, leaving a large bruise.“Then the next fight! Bwa ha ha! I totally got your spleen! You were all, ‘oh no my spleen! My precious organ!’ And then Janna took the kill and I was all like, ‘The ****, Janna?! Why do you gotta steal my kills?!’” Vi laughed once more, “What’s with the damn support taking all the kills?!”
“You seem to be forgetting what happened after that!”
“Please, that makes you seem important! We’re talking about me here!”
Jayce raised an eyebrow. “It’s not my fault you grabbed the end of my hammer when it was in mid transformation!” He burst out laughing, “Although I have to admit that it was really funny when you flew into the tree!” Jayce’s demeanor instantly darkened as he grumbled aloud, “Except the tree took my kill...Damn, stupid tree...”
Vi pressed her fingers on her ear as she mimicked the voice of the announcer, “A TREE HAS SLAIN VI. JAYCE SUCKS TOO MUCH TO DO IT HIMSELF.”
They both burst out in another fit of loud laughter, unaware of the disturbance they were causing. They were drawing annoyed looks as other champions started to move away from the rambunctious duo.
Jayce wiped a tear away from the corner of his left eye, reining himself in for what he wanted to say. “Hey, Vi? Can I ask you something?”
“Sure ya can, Capt!” Vi let out a sharp breath of air in an attempt to blow her hair away from her face. “Whatcha want?”
“Can you come with me? Just for a minute, I won’t-”
“Yeah sure.” She clicked her heels together and saluted him, “I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth, oh captain my captain!”
Jayce laughed and started to walk away. Vi easily kept his pace and walked alongside him, wondering where he was going, and where he was taking her.
Blitzcrank, however, was attempting to gather the attention of its fellow champions as it spouted something about having finally perfected its equation. It would prove it by using Ezreal as an example to find his perfect match. An idea that the young, blonde explorer found to be absolutely abysmal.
“Blitzcrank! I said stop!”
“- BUT - I - MUST - FIND - IT - FOR - YOU - - -”
“No! No spoilers! I want to find out myself!”
“- AND - HOW - HAS - THAT - WORKED - OUT - FOR - YOU - - - ?”
“...Shut up!” Ezreal promptly stormed off, leaving Blitzcrank to find some other poor, lonely soul to use his lovely equation on.
Jayce eventually led Vi to a balcony. It had a thick layer of snow blanketing it. He didn’t seem to mind as he stepped out, his boots crunching the white underneath. His outfit kept him warm, while the combination of Vi’s clothing and the residual thermal energy from her gauntlets kept her warm. Vi looked around, “Mm...I can see what’s going on here.”
“You...You can?” He almost seemed dismayed at such a thought.
“Yeah, you brought me out here to murder me.” Vi looked around, scanning the scene about them. She frowned playfully, “It’s a terrible place to do so. The League would totally know, and-”
“Vi, I’m serious.”
“Oh you’re going to seriously kill me? Eh, I knew it had to be you or that Yordle, Timo, or whatever the little shnook’s name is. Creepy little b-”
Vi cringed. She looked at Jayce with a glare that would make even the most hardened criminals soil themselves, and actually had several times. “Got my attention. What is it.”
“Ah...It’s a little early, but I wasn’t sure when I’d see you and it is Snowdown Eve, so...” Jayce reached into his coat pocket. He took out a small box, perfectly wrapped in violet colored wrapping paper with golden bow. “Happy Snowdown.”
Vi reached out to grab it, only to realize her gauntlets were far too large to grab a delicate gift such as this. She reached over at her left gauntlet, clicked a few buttons and flipped a few switches. The sound of metal churning was suddenly heard. She slipped off her left gauntlet, and attached it to her backpack. A solid click was heard. The same sounds were heard as she repeated the same procedure on her right gauntlet and affixed it beneath her other glove.
It was still strange to see how small her arms truly were when compared to the size of her gauntlets. She reached over and took the present from Jayce.
“What is it? What is it?!” She bounced up and down with excitement, as if she were a child who had just woken up for Snowdown. “Can I open it? Can I? Can I?!”
“Well, you’re supposed to wait for tomorrow, but knowing y-”
Jayce did not have a chance to finish his sentence as Vi tore the carefully wrapped gift apart. She flipped the box open and her smile widened as her eyes lit up.
“Is...Is this what I think it is?”
“It is...and it isn’t,” Jayce admitted.
Vi reached into the box and lifted a blue crystal out of it. The spherical crystal’s circumference easily fit in the palm of her hand. She turned and twisted it every which way, “It’s one of your power crystals, right?”
“Yeah, it is. Based on the research and the matrix of the original one, the one that Viktor stole.”
“Heard these went into mass production, but...” Vi continued to analyze it, her tone lit with excitement and curiosity. “They’re only as big as a coin, those ones. Rectangular, too. Not meant for a huge output, easily overloaded if you’re not careful with how you’re using them. Why is this one-”
“I formed it myself. After figuring out the energy matrix, it is a simple manner of replication into a magically infused crystal during the growing process. Though it’s nowhere close to the original, it should help improve your backpack’s power output by fifty seven percent at the very least, and it will keep a charge for longer periods of time than your current setup.”
Vi placed the crystal back into the box, “Thanks, sweetie. That was nice of you.”
“You...” Jayce fixed his collar nervously. “You missed the other gift. Underneath the crystal.”
Vi raised an eyebrow in suspicion. She reached for the padding that the crystal rested on, and pulled it upwards. Before anything else, she took the crystal out of the box once more and pocketed it. She pulled the padding off, and let out a light, uncontrolled gasp. It was very hard to surprise her, but she was legitimately surprised.
Underneath the padding were two pairs of small, silver ringed earrings. Simple and elegant in design, and had been polished to a brilliant shine.
“I, ah...I thought that they would suit you. Not that I don’t mind how you look, you look fine to me, but I thought you’d-”
Vi patted Jayce’s cheek, “Give me a minute, kay, Jayce?”
A silence fell upon them. Vi stared at the earrings for what seemed like an eternity. Then she finally spoke and simply asked, “Why?”
Jayce laughed and smiled, continuing to readjust his collar nervously. “Well...I thought...You’d like them. From a friend to another friend. I thought they they suited you, and I wanted to show that you mean a lot to me. As a friend, you know? We have one another. I mean, as friends of course.” He became increasingly flustered the longer he spoke, “And I know you’d appreciate a good power crystal, good source of energy and I thought maybe I should also get you something a bit more personal but I wasn’t too sure how personal-”
“Jayce?” Her tone was alien to him. He could not put his finger on what it sounded like. From almost anyone else, he would say it sounded...amorous.
“...Yes?” He readied himself for some sort of strike, some sort of sharp tongued thing for her to say.
“Shut up already.”
Vi leaned over and gave him a quick peck on his lips.
Jayce felt as though Vi had just slapped him. Actually, he would have preferred that. He would know how to react. Jayce would have to approach this very carefully, and very suavely.
The two sort of stared at one another, looking off to the side and not quite making eye contact, unsure of what to do now. The sound of a clock ticking filled their ears. They turned to the door and stared at the source. Both of them went as pale as death.
A clockwork girl stared at the two of them. Her glistening silver and gold gilded body mechanically clicked and moved constantly. It was as though it attempted the organic movements of a delicate youth yet failed to do so with every twitch and jerk of her limbs. Her soulless eyes seemed to bore into their own. Held in her arms was a large, metal ball that had a lens of some sort embedded in its center. The clockwork girl asked in an eerily robotic voice, “-What-are you doing-out- here? Is it not- cold - for you?”
Vi and Jayce looked at one another, not exactly sure how to respond.
Jayce decided to try and speak to the robot girl, “...It’s a bit cold, Orianna. But-”
“I have-heard that - by hugging - you are able - to share -body - heat - - - Is that not - right - Ball?”
The lens in the sphere popped out via a telescopic arm. It swiveled and swerved about and nodded happily.
“See? You - should - hug one another - - - Keep one - another - warm - - -”
This caused Vi and Jayce grab one another in a tight, frightened embrace. Jayce could not wrap his arms around the entirety of Vi’s gauntlets, and had to hug her by her waist. Perhaps too low for comfort of most people.
Orianna’s robotic, monotonous laughter filled the air. Her shining metal face cracked as her silver lips bent upwards into an artificial smile. “That is - a pleasant - scene - - - You look - like - you really - like - one another - - -” The Ball in her arms bobbed up and down excitedly once more. “It is good - to see - Cait-Lyn’s - friends happy- this Eve - - - I am - sure - Cait - Lyn - would - agree - - -”
Orianna politely curtsied to them. Her legs bent themselves in a seemingly impossible manner, save for perhaps the most flexible, double jointed ballerina. “Have - a fair - night - friends of - Cait - Lyn - - - I shall - go - home and - celebrate Snowdown - with my - father and - the Ball - - - The Ball - is - happy - tonight - - - It does - not wish - to flay your - skin - - -”
She let out another round of mechanical laughter, “- That was - a joke - - - A - fair night - - - Friends - of Cait-Lyn - - - A - fair night - to - the - both of - you - - -”
With that, the clockwork girl walked away. She hummed aloud in a single note in what she thought to be a Snowdown carol and leaving the severely creeped out couple alone on the balcony.
“Your hands are on my butt.”
“Hm? Oh. Oh!”
Jayce was about to lift them off when Vi tightened her hug around his arms.
“I didn’t say stop.”
Vi leaned forward once more, and gently kissed Jayce. He thought it was strange for a woman as brash and abrasive as Vi to be so gent-
Then he found himself swept off his feet. Jayce was nearly suspended in midair as he was tilted back while Vi deepened the kiss between them. Several seconds passed before she released the two of them and allowed the Defender of Tomorrow to stand on his own and to catch his breath. His hammer had almost slid out of its case from the severe angle that she had tilted his entire body down to.
Once she helped him back to his feet, Vi grabbed his hand and started dragging him. In her other hand, she securely held the box with the earrings.
“Where are we going?”
“My place? For what?”
“For Snowdown. I’m staying the night,” Vi stated. The tone in her voice made it sound like a finalized decision, a point that could not be argued in any shape or form.
Jayce decided to go with his better judgement and stepped in pace with Vi. He walked hand in hand with the violent, brash girl that he had come to find as more than a friend.
Once more, a big shout out to Kuz for all of her work, her editing, her influence and all of her being able to put up with me! A late Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the best!