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She Who Fights Monsters

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When Jiro asks Yuri for her hand in marriage, she's shocked. When he grabs her hand and forces a ring on her fourth finger before she's even responded, she's furious. She pushes him away, and yells, "What do you think you're doing? I haven't said 'yes'!"

"But you haven't said 'no'," Jiro says smugly, like he knows what Yuri wants. "If the answer is 'no', then just take the ring off."

Yuri takes a step away from him and rips the ring off her finger. "That you can't tell the difference between 'yes' and 'no' just confirms that my answer is 'no'!" she shouts and throws the ring at his face.

He seems taken aback, which just pisses her off more, but she takes some satisfaction in the fact that she manages to hit right between the eyes with the ring.

*

"Yuri's mine," Jiro says to Otoya. The two of them glare at each other across the table, and never even bother to look her way.

"But she's not engaged to you, isn't that right, Yuri?" Otoya says, like she's a prize to be won and she immediately wants to punch him. Punch the both of them, really. Without waiting for her answer, Otoya continues, "She'll be mine."

Jiro purses his lips like he wants to say something. She knows that whatever will come out of his mouth will be insulting towards her, so she grabs Otoya and Jiro's water glasses in each of her hands and throws them at them, glass and all.

When they both turn to stare at her, wet and slack-jawed, she yells, "I am not a thing to be owned! I belong to neither of you and I will never, ever date either of you!"

"But Yuri--" Otoya starts.

Yuri levels a glare at him and he wisely closes his mouth.

As she's grabbing her purse so she can high-tail it out of there, Jiro grabs her arm. She roughly breaks his hold on her. "Do not touch me and do not speak to me," she tells him in an icy tone. Then she shouts, "Neither of you get that I'm a person and that I get to make my own decisions! When I say that I won't ever date you, that means I won't ever date you and that you should leave me alone! That does not mean that you should continue to pester me! Both of you stay the hell away from me!"

*

She finds Shima at Café Mald'amour and immediately confronts him.

"Shima-san! How dare you? Jiro told me he asked you for your permission to propose to me and that you said 'yes' without consulting me! Just what are you doing?"

"Weddings are good things," Shima says, staring down at his coffee. "I had no reason to refuse it. This way even if you get married, you can still continue to fight the Fangire. Your husband will be alright with it."

She doesn't even know where to begin responding to that, but she has to start somewhere, so she yells back, "You're not my keeper! No one needs your permission to marry me, they just need mine! I shouldn't be expected to give up my work for a husband! And I'm not getting married because I don't want to!"

"Is that so," Shima says, like he disapproves of her answer, and Yuri grabs him by his lapels and lifts him out of his stool so he has to look her in the eye.

She doesn't want to work with or see Jiro or Otoya again, and she knows that Shima won't help her, so she shouts, "You should be keeping people like Jiro away from me, not aiding them! I quit! I'll fight the Fangire on my own!"

His eyes go wide. "You can't. You need support."

"Well, it's clear that you can't provide that! You don't even know what the word means!"

"But your mother--" he starts to say.

"My mother wouldn't have wanted you or anyone else treating me like this," she spits and tosses him aside.

She storms out the door, her back straight, her hands in fists, and knows without a doubt that this was the right thing to do.

She knows she's strong. She'll defeat the Fangire, and she'll do it without anyone making decisions for her or treating her poorly.

*

The next time she sees Otoya, he crowds into her personal space, puts his arm around her shoulders and tries to hit on her.

"Oh, Yuri. It's been so long and I've missed you. You should join me back at my place--"

She punches him in the face. As he stumbles to the ground, something shiny catches her eye. She reaches down and pulls the Ixa Knuckle from inside his jacket.

"Now, now," he says, reaching for it, "that's mine."

She pulls it out of his reach. "Actually," she says, staring down at him, "it's mine."

*

She knows Otoya will keep coming after her, so she comes up with a plan. A week later, when she realizes that he's following her, she runs to the nearest police box. He chases her the entire way there, and his behavior in front of the police only assists her in getting a restraining order against him.

The first time he breaks it, she calls the police and he ends up in jail for a night. He finally leaves her alone after that.

*

The next time she sees Jiro, he demands that she hand over Ixa.

"Give it here," he says.

"No," she says.

He sneers and rushes her. She dodges him, pulling herself into a fighting stance. "I said 'no'," she repeats.

"Then you leave me no choice," he says. He throws his head back and his entire body turns gold and then blue as he transforms into a monster. She's not as surprised as she could be. She already knew he was a monster.

He doesn't look like a Fangire, but Fangire or not, she's had enough of monsters for a lifetime.

She slams her palm into the Ixa Knuckle and transforms into Ixa for the first time.

She feels her mother's strength wash over her as she summons the Ixa Calibur and uses it to strike at him again and again.

She can't believe that she was expected to marry him.

She can't believe that she was expected to sit back and let anyone keep Ixa from her.

He fights back viciously, but she knows her strength. She keeps attacking him, her anger only increasing her power, until he falls to the ground at her feet, defeated.

As she holds the blade against his neck, he tells her, "I underestimated you."

"You never respected me," she says, and strikes him.

She doesn't destroy him. He turns back into a human-looking creature, and looks up at her warily. She places her blade against his neck once more.

"Tell me what you are, what you want, and everything you know about Fangire," she says.

*

The side effects of using Ixa are brutal, but even as she stumbles back to her apartment, she knows she'll survive them. She's a fighter, and she still has so much to fight for.

There are Fangire and all sorts of other monsters out there. She will defeat them and she won't let anyone stand in her way.