excuse you both what do you think you're doing
[In response to this.]
The first call comes at a poor time. Ian's arm is around a zourima, his Gaburevolver firing at another while in the distance, Souji and Amy are trying their hand at penetrating the main enemy's shell. Ian's got most of his attention on his young comrades (it seems that with every strike of Souji's sword, there's an almost imperceptible wave of energy that emits from the top of the shell. Every attempt with the Drice Lance yields a similar, stronger response) when his mobuckle rings. Startled, he shoots early – his aim is perfect, taking out his targeted zourima easily, but with his timing thrown the blowback from the shot fails to knock his target into the other zourima that had been behind it. With a 'tch' he shoots, spinning the zourima he'd been braced against and hitting it with the butt of his Gaburevolver as he unclips his mobuckle.
In the distance, he watches as Nossan makes it just in time to defend Souji and Amy from the sudden shockwave their egg-like enemy emits. It's the same type that had (literally) blown Ucchii out of the battle, a counterattack to Ian's attempt to pierce it with Deinosgrander, and the exact attack they can't afford to suffer again. Ian's feet move without conscious thought, his fingers pressing against the mobuckle to answer the call even as he ducks and pivots around a zourima's attack.
“King?” The tip of his Gaburevolver presses against the zourima's back, firing quickly. There are three more approaching him, and a small group heading towards the others – Ian doesn't even have to think twice before shooting at them, doing little in the way of damage from such a distance but alerting the others to their presence. He listens with half an ear to their leader's question (“how is the fight going?”), already mid-flip over a zourima's back by the time he asks it.
“We're managing--” He cuts off, narrowly avoiding an attack as he spins out of reach. With his head tilted he gestures to the zourima that missed, pulling the mobuckle away from his helmet to admonish - “you shouldn't interrupt an important call” - it with a waggle of his Gaburevolver. The zourima has the grace to look abashed for all of a moment, and for a second there's a surprising standstill before it seems to remember its place.
“More importantly, how is Ucchii doing?” There's the ripple of another shockwave through the air, even as he blocks the zourima, and Ian instantly glances in the direction of the others. All three of them are on the ground, and Ian's heart catches in immediate panic before Souji springs up and rushes the monster, Amy quickly following suit with Nossan stumbling to his feet soon after. His relief at their safety is temporarily overwhelming, but the traces of panic linger – and when King's assurance turns into a groan, that panic spikes.
“What's going on? Have you been attacked?” His distraction leads to the zourima getting a hit in, slamming against his chest as he listens to King's assurance with more force than Ian had expected, and with an 'oof' he's knocked to the side. He allows himself to roll with the momentum, teeth gritted with annoyance and pain, and hisses out a pained breath. If these suits weren't such good armor, surely that blow would have succeeded in breaking something.
“We're fine,” he grits out, rolling to his back and firing. Even without taking the time to focus his aim is true, and the bothersome zourima is no more. Just as well, because after a hit like that he doesn't feel like getting up. His mouth opens, about to decline King's offer to perform the brave finish – and then he hears Ucchii's voice.
Ucchii's voice, saying unmistakable innuendo. Suddenly the tone of King's voice clicks into place, and suddenly Ian is incredibly aware that he now knows the husky edge his leader's voice takes when he's becoming engaged in incredibly intimate activities.
For a second Ian's brain shuts off and he stares, open-mouthed, at the sky. What--what were those two doing while the rest of them were out here?! Almost on cue there's another rippling shockwave, and this time he hears a rather unladylike curse being shouted from Amy's lips in frustration. A quick glance assures him that once again, the three of them are in fine condition, and the jolt of adrenaline from the fear kicks his brain into gear again.
“Why are you calling me when you're in that sort of position?!” It takes minimal effort to flip backwards onto his feet, and the bonus of the exertion is that it works out some of the annoyance. Really, of all the people who would do something like this--Ucchii? “This isn't the sort of thing I need to know about!”
The next zourima to approach him is unceremoniously shot, and the one after that, and the one after that. The next thing he knows there's a familiar green presence at his back, and a quick question (“Ian, are they alright?”) tells him just how obviously his agitation is showing. He nods quickly in assurance, glad his frown is hidden beneath his visor, and huffs out a breath. Regardless of how annoying it is that they've chosen to call him in the midst of their activities, he can at least appreciate King's concern for their well-being.
“If you're done with the person you're doing,” his tone is dry, and Souji jolts behind him in surprise; “we could use a hand out here.”
He's not prepared for Ucchii's matter-of-fact rebuttal, and it's a good thing Souji's with him because once more his brain putters out somewhere between Ucchii's frank tone and the blatant innuendo. It's only when Souji blocks a blow meant for his head (with a snapped “move!”) that Ian jerks back to reality, blocking the next blow with ease and quickly wiping out the surrounding zourima with a few well-placed shots.
“Be sure you're not doing something you'll regret later, Ucchii.” If his actions were a pure result of the monster's attack, for example—but Ian's warning is dismissed, and before he can say another word there's the unmistakable click of being hung up on.
Flabbergasted, Ian turns to Souji, disbelief written all over him.
He can't even muster up any irritation when Souji raises his hands, sword still gripped in one, and parrots at him a sympathetic “oh my”.
Finding out the monster's purpose is entirely accidental. With more than a little agitation to work out Ian joins the others in their attempts against it, and in moments Deinosgrander's strong jaws are working in tandem with Ian's arms. The others take cover against the ground, cleverly avoiding the waist-high shockwave that follows. Instead the counterattack blows the surrounding zourima back, and when Ian lands (Deinosgrander once again having succeeded in doing nothing to the thick shell of the enemy) they're not even making an attempt to struggle to their feet.
The monster in front of him is still, its pearlescent shell shining in the sunlight of the otherwise pleasant day. With a sigh Ian releases Deinosgrander, his now-free hand coming to rest on his hip as he watches the monster in front of him.
“Maybe we should just leave it?” It's a suggestion born from weariness, and Ian's inclined to agree with Amy on it. The monster had only reacted to their attacks – if they left it alone, it was likely it wouldn't actually do anything.
“It's completely impenetrable. This shell is too hard for anything to break though.” Curiousity more than anything else drives Ian to raise his Gaburevolver, nudging against the shell gently with the tip. Another puff of energy emits from the top, and his lips draw tight; leaving it definitely isn't an option, then. If it reacted to a simple nudge, then anyone who came into contact with it was in danger. “--We're going to have to soften it, somehow.”
He glances toward the still-downed zourima, then does a double-take. Is that... Is that zourima... actually just laying there and making a daisy chain? Ian stares, taking it in, and—yes, yes that zourima is indeed making a daisy chain.
A quick look at the others show that they, too, are engaged in an assortment of un-zourima-like activities. Upon closer inspection one seems to be watching the clouds, and another seems to be merely napping.
“Does anything seem... off, about them?” Souji's tone is unsure, as disbelieving as Ian is. His question is quickly followed by Nossan's and Amy's agreement, and it's without hesitation that Ian approaches the daisy-chain-maker to crouch. The zourima looks up at him, seems to consider fighting him for a moment, and then instead offers its newly-made bracelet to him with a gurgle.
“They seem to have lost their motivation.” He accepts the bracelet, not a little bemused, and the zourima begins anew without much apparent concern. He rises, glancing to his comrades, then back to the egg-monster. Obviously something in that blast had affected them, and whatever it had done to the zourima it would have also done to Ucchii.
So, then... Something that would lead to the zourima losing their will to fight, that would cause Ucchii to be fondling King while he made a phone call?
The wind blows, brushing a leaf against the monster, and another puff of energy emits from the top. And that's when Ian sees it – at the top of the shell, barely visible in the sun's light, is the unmistakable mask of happiness.
In a movement quick enough that it instantly has his comrade's weapons raising, Ian's unclipped his mobuckle and pressed the few buttons required to call their leader.
His call is answered surprisingly quickly, and before anything more sexual can pass through the line Ian's giving the rundown - “The monster strips inhibitions to encourage fun--I don't need to know how you know!--just stay with Ucchii and make sure he doesn't get into too much trouble!”
He jerks back from the mobuckle in surprise when Ucchii's voice chimes through, and then he's promptly hung up on again. With a sigh, Ian re-clips his mobuckle, shaking his head. His lips part, an automatic “oh my” on the tip of his tongue, and at least it's not surprising to hear his comrades join in this time.
In the end, it's a combination of Pukuputor and Deinosgrander that defeat the monster. Almost immediately the lounging zourima shake the effects of the attack from themselves, and almost as if their quick recovery were a direct challenge to his speed Souji's taken it upon himself to wipe them out.
They take a few moments to make sure the area's clear, and then a few more to wait for Luckyuro to show up. For whatever reason he doesn't, and they all breathe a sigh of relief at avoiding re-living that particular battle in giant form. Their henshins are unanimously released, their zyudenchi tucked away and their Gaburevolvers re-hostlered, and their victory high-fives exchanged. (Ian even manages to win one out of Souji, on the proviso that he not ruffle the boy's hair – which, of course, he does immediately afterwards anyway.)
They've only taken a few steps away from the battle site when Ian's mobuckle rings again, and he stills. He really, really doesn't want to hear anything he's about to be told...
The others notice he's stopped immediately, of course, and at his pained grimace they all step towards him. Souji, the only one with any inkling of the contents of the previous calls, glances at Ian's mobuckle before drawing his lips tight and giving Ian a firm nod of solidarity. There's a moment where Ian offers the ringing mobuckle to him, hopeful that he'll bite this particular bullet and take one for the team - but sadly the boy is wiser than he should be and pointedly takes a step backwards instead.
Resigned, Ian reluctantly pressed the button to answer, closing his eyes to mentally prepare himself as he holds the mobuckle to his ear.
“I don't want to know!” He barks out quickly, over the top of the explanation he can already hear King trying to give. His shoulders relax at the assurance that no details will be shared, but in the next second they tense again-- “I just said I don't want to know about that!”
The pained look settles on his face again as he listens to the poor excuse (“'we're busy'”, like he hasn't used that one himself before), and the slow dawning look of realization on Amy's and Nossan's faces are of no consolation to him. They aren't the ones having to listen to this.
“I'll take everyone to Tiger Boy, then.” A pause, then; “You owe us for this, King.”