2017-04-14 - The Prodigal Precure

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: The Prodigal Precure

As requested by Nagisa and Honoka, Cure Passion has gathered all the Cures she can find. Meeting on the rooftop of Juuban, they work on a plan to recover Futari wa Pretty Cure's fairies. With special guest appearance from Fika Pretty Cure.


Honoka Yukishiro, Nagisa Misumi, Setsuna Higashi, Saki Hyuuga, Iona Hikawa, Mepple, Mipple, Tarte, Hummy, Flappy, Choppy, Pisard


Hikawa Shrine

OOC - IC Date:

04-14-2017 - 01-12-2015

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.


Three girls gather under an awning, their scarves and hair tugged by the wind. It chaps their cheeks and noses, too, but Honoka and Nagisa's red-rimmed eyes have a different origin than wayward breeze. They stand closely together, a solid wall of girl, Nagisa a little taller and thus a little bit behind, which incidentally makes her a bulwark that shields Honoka from the worst of the weather, and keeps her hair from going everywhere, too. It has nowhere to go, sandwiched between Honoka's back and Nagisa's chest.

The older girls don't look like they're going anywhere, either -- tired as they are, they stand tall, sturdy as trees, and solemn in a way that trees cannot be, because a tree is most solemn when alone, and they're the opposite of that right now.

"So, that's what happened," Nagisa concludes grimly. "You can see the trouble we're in."

"Please help us, Setsuna Higashi," Honoka implores, her voice untrembling but her eyes so intense that they almost seem to vibrate. "We have to save them."

The two bow as one.


"Y'all, this emergency session of the Fairy United Nations is hereby called to order!" Tarte pounds his gavel on the podium. It breaks, because its stick was a pretzel, and Flappy leaaaaaaaaans forward to catch it out of the air after it clatter-rolls off towards the floor.


"Nyow whaas thi all abouu-nya?" Hummy's cute little kitty mouth is full of eclair.

"It sure sounds serious. You'll definitely have the aid of my Cure Fortune!" Another fairy adjusts her glasses, which catch the light and gleam.

Choppi nudges her counterpart. He swallows his pretzel and clears his throat, puffing out his chest.

"The Garden of Light has our support-lapi!"

Tarte smiles, a raffish grin that only a ferret fairy can pull off. "All for one and one for all, y'all!" He's interrupted by a happy gurgle from Chiffon, then proceeds: "Now, here's what to tell Pretty Cure..."


<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Luv Letter [1]

The sky is the grey of dying coals, orange embers deep in the horizon. The school roof is broad and empty, the chain link fence around it marked by the occasional trapped leaf or tied piece of string. Winter remains far from its waning, though the snow has gone, leaving behind only paintbrush-smears of dust shaped by its melting.

Nagisa Misumi has the fingers of one hand laced in the fence, and she extends that arm to hang from it for a moment. She has the easy balance a sailor might hanging from the rigging as she looks out through the breeze to the distant sunset, orange feathers of hair rippling subtly. An unzipped maroon jacket has its sleeves rolled up along with those of the grey sweatshirt beneath, its hood hanging back.

"I wonder if they'll come," she worries softly. Sighing, she rolls her head back to look at her partner with a half-smile, one which gradually grows big and dopey as she stares longer. Loosening her fingers until they slide through the chain link, Nagisa catches her diagonal body with a few long jogging strides, slowing as she reaches Honoka. Facing Honoka, her eyes become gentle, and she steps into her casually, their opposite shoulders touching so that Honoka can lean in, if she likes. She takes Honoka's hand, threading fingers.

"We'll get them back," she assures quietly. "Both of them, safe." This is how the first arrivals will find the Precure senpai... uncostumed and leaning together. Many things have changed, it seems; too many to be spoken of in one evening.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna Higashi has her arms crossed against the cold, as serious now as she was meeting Honoka and Nagisa yesterday. She remembers it clearly: how they looked, how they sounded. ...The trouble that they described.

She tries to focus on what's necessary in the moment though, and that involves climbing stairs, opening up a door and lowering her arms after all. She's still carrying a schoolbag, still wearing a middle schooler's uniform. And sh can give at least a partial answer to Nagisa's question.

Setsuna steps further, says nothing at first as she watches her senpai for a few seconds, unsure.

"Ah," Setsuna starts, a little withdrawn as is often the case for her, "I'm here." The breeze ruffles her purple hair. "I told everyone that I could."

<Pose Tracker> Cure Fortune [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

It's Cure Fortune! She arrives alongside her companion, flying through the skies on her way to Juuban Elementary.

While her flight is fast and quick, her descent is not quite as much, as she floats down to the roof after a few moments, landing softly. Her large purple jacket wings dissipate and shrink down to their normal size, and she looks around at the collected members of... huh.

Something that makes the Purple Cure stand out: She's in full uniform today, there is no Iona here. She's not too interested in letting other Pretty Cure closer to her-- that would just end in disaster someday.

But, while Fortune doesn't say much of anything right now, the look on her face is concern. She's actually very concerned about what she's been told, and actually wants to help.

But she doesn't say that. Not yet. She also doesn't know where to /start/, really. Being the only Cure-that's-dressed-as-a-Cure surrounded by civilian clothing.

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

With the Hokkaido holiday behind them, with the latest round of tests behind them, with most of the major world-shaping problems behind her, Saki Hyuuga is back where she belongs! IN THE SOFTBALL FIELD wait, what

Oh yes! Softball season has to start /someday/ and Saki has her eyes on the Captain's position this year! That means she can't slack off, even for a moment! She's never felt /entirely/ at home in Infinity's tight, closed confines, but she's coming to appreciate the amount of practice she gets to do even when outdoor facilities get snowed out. So Saki's slumped onto her usual bench, slugging back a sports drink of unidentified but surely highly marketable packaging when a familiar, high but gravelly shrills up behind her, jumping right up onto the bench and waving his arms. "SAKI! Saki!! There you are!"

Saki blinks down at her fairy companion, head tilting. "Here /I/ am? Where were you?! I was getting worried!" "That doesn't matter! Listen! Something terrible has happened!"


Saki, still in full Infinity softball uniform and mounted to her trusty bike, is parked in the dust in front of Juuban's main entrance, huffing from hauling ass clear from Tama and visibly wondering if she can drive her bike through the school building. "Saki. No."


There's a rapid series of ungainly thuds from the stairawy leading up to the roof, and then the door slams open and ejects a huffing Saki Hyuuga, who runs about ten steps into the open, falls to her knees, and croaks out, "I'm here! I came as...fast as I...c...hooo..."

She looks up, around, and only then starts processing who and what is present. "...huh?" she asks, because she knows more of these faces than she expects. <Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Of course they'll come," Honoka soothes, able to catch Nagisa's soft brooding from great distances, attuned like an antenna to that particular frequency -- but there's a slightly romantic lilt to her voice. She can't help it -- the words are so special. She wasn't sure she'd ever be able to say them again, not that it has quite happened yet. Still, it approaches the peak of the mountain. "They are Pretty Cure."

And here they are, fulfilling that promise; a promise Honoka and Nagisa could not keep. She straightens out of their shared lean, not out of embarrassment but out of respect for their company. Even now, exhausted, grieving -- hopeful -- she retains her dignity, her posture habit. A good habit.

Keeping her fingers woven with Nagisa's is a good habit too. She squeezes.

"You've done wonderfully, Setsuna--"

Saki slams in.

Honoka's eyebrows lift in faint surprise. But her lips part, fitting an appalling amount of welcoming into a tiny smile. "Thank you all for coming," she murmurs. "I'm Honoka Yukishiro, and this is Nagisa Misumi... some of you knew us," the past-tense is more of a bad habit, "As Cure White and Cure Black. It's very nice to see you, whether for the first time or the twentieth. And not just because we're in desperate need of your help."

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Nagisa looks up startled at Setsuna, separating from Honoka at her partner's indication and turning to stand next to her. They /were/ waiting for Setsuna. "Thanks," she says gratefully. If it wasn't for her, they would have had a hard time even letting anyone know they needed help. Perhaps a billboard would have been involved. "We owe you--"

Nagisa zips up as Saki bursts out, her cheeks blueing with horror. Rushing forward, she physically blocks Saki from going forward. "S-saki-chan, hey! Is this the softball club's meeting place today? Ah ha ha! We're so sorry! We'll get right out of your way..." She looks back over her shoulder at the arriving Fortune and blanches further. "C-cool cosplay huh?" she asks lamely, putting her hands on Saki's shoulders to keep her from walking over too close. "She made it all at home, believe it or not... she's the biggest fan in the school of Cure Purple..."


"N-no way, you're actually..." Nagisa lets go of Saki, scratching the back of her head. "Arienai! What are the odds?"

Nagisa walks back to Honoka with that stiff walk Honoka's seen so many times from her when she's embarrassed. In motion she was both energetic and a bit silly, but at rest she has a certain dignity. The redhead has gotten a bit taller since she graduated, leaving her partner behind by a little, and she's a little better-built also, filling out the shoulders of her rugged jacket as she flanks the more graceful figure of her partner. She doesn't look at Honoka when she talks, because it is more like "they" are talking, and it happens to be coming out of Honoka's mouth at the moment. She does, however, steal little happy glances at her at random moments.

"I guess our fairies told you why already," she progresses Honoka's train of thought easily. "We're really sorry to let you all down like this... but our fairies are in a lot of trouble because of us, and we can't do much about it alone. We transform with their help, so right now... we can't fight at all. Even if we got one back, we still couldn't, though, because we have to transform together," she says this all shyly beaming at Honoka.

"Normally our fairies would explain all this, but you'll have to make do with us today! Eheh. So... our enemies come from the Dark Zone, which is where Dark King lives. He's the power of all destruction..." Nagisa glances to Honoka for a nod or something, "...and he's trying to get free and destroy everything. And we haven't done a great job of fighting his monsters lately. But just when we were ready to start again..."

* * *

The shoji doorway of Honoka's room was crunched open. Her bedroom was messier than it had ever been (though not as messy as Nagisa's often was), blankets on the ground, drawers hanging off their runners, clothing sprayed about at random, books spilled all over and spread like birds cleaning their wings.

* * *

"...a big strong enemy came and stole our fairies."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Setsuna is willing to wait for Honoka and Nagisa... But she wouldn't want someone standing around before saying anything if it were /her/. Her eyes have already flickered over joined hands, a stance that leans together, a whole air that is different from the last time she met them both together before yesterday. Setsuna's tennis racquet attached to her things swings soundlessly as she glanes between the two and smiles, briefly but warmly, as if that's the only thing she's willing to say outright just then.

The red-eyed girl keeps an otherwise serious expression, slightly distant, a little worried in a way she'd be less likely to show someone not older than her.

Honoka starts to tell her she's done well, Setsuna appreciates that; about the only thing that could make her interrupt would be what Nagisa says right then too, and the younger girl quickly shakes her head, "You don't ow--"e me anything, she would have said, obviously, except Saki.

Setsuna turns partway, so she can face well enough Honoka and Nagisa on one side and Saki on the other, along with Cure Fortune there in the middle before of course she spots her. It's hard not to notice not just a Pretty Cure transformed, but someone floating down onto the roof; Setsuna's red eyes flicker in Cure Fortune's direction, and she's fought with her often enough to recognize her easily. She herself looks rather different from the brilliant Cure Passion, though. For one thing, her hair is purple, and shorter. But there are other ways.

She blinks at Nagisa's reaction to Saki though, and then starts to understand. But can she say anything about it...? Or about the fact that she's never heard of Cure Purple? As it happens, she waves over at Cure Fortune shyly.

She doesn't have to, somehow. When Nagisa is walking away, She steps the rest of the way over to the youngest Cure present, putting out a hand to try and help support Saki on the way up. "Careful," she says, looking at her for a moment, and will only let her go once she's stable. "I guess we don't all know..."

Setsuna keeps a little portion of Honoka's welcome for herself, and remains silent while she speaks. ...She certainly knew them both as Cure White and Cure Black; that's how she met them, and that's all they were to her for some time. Nice to see them...

Setsuna turns to stand beside Saki and face White and Black, and doesn't interrupt as the words of one become the words of the other. She does, however, deflate slightly at the mention of the enemy. It's hard to stay completely solemn over their interactions, but both of them do seem to have a certain dignity to them. She waits, though...

Only after does Setsuna speak up, "Thank you... But you haven't let us down at all. You've worked hard for a long time, since before I even came to Earth." A pause, as she makes a note, and continues, "I told you yesterday that I would help however I could. Besides, I... still owe the both of you." She stops, and nods firmly. "I'll do my very best to help your fairies!"

A pause, as she looks to Fortune, "...I'm Cure Passion."

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Saki's eyeline is swiftly blocked by NAGISA MISUMI, THE BEST AND COOLEST, who flails at her a little wildly. "Uh, n, no?" she hedges. Her slightly oxygen-deprived brain was only starting to assemble the pieces into their obvious wholes when Nagisa stepped in and toppled the table on her by implying there was something else going on. Is, is this the wrong roof? Does Juuban have other buildings!? Maybe there's a satellite campus!? Is she actually at some other school that's spelled the same but pronounced differently!?

All these churn through her mind as she sort of mouths blankly at Nagisa for a few long seconds. "Uhm," she says, slowly. "I was coming," she says, very slowly, "because of--uhm..."

........................that's cure fortune, saki thinks, like a distant, tiny voice in her thoughts. That's not Cure Purple at all! should she have tranformed. oh no. is it weird now!? WAIT BUT MAYBE CURE FORTUNE IS LOST TOO?? AHHH??? "I heard--"

"That the Garden of Light is in danger-lapi!!!" all but yells a voice from her belt, and a puff of light-colored smoke flies away from her and then pops into form in the middle of the rooftop, a slightly plump blue fairy with his arms firmly on what would be his hips if he had literally any bodily definition whatsoever. "Princess Filia would never forgive us if we let the Garden of Light down-lapi!"

Saki, who is now somewhat overloaded, looks past Nagisa, blankly at Flappy and, rather than freak out about his appearing in semi-public before unknowns as she would normally, asks a small, confused, "who's princess filia though..."


Saki, released of both physical and mental constraints, accepts a hand up from Setsuna and watches her admired sempai, now twofold, wander back to her own partner with a growing grin. Except, the mood isn't so bright as Saki likes - and swiftly sees her own smile flip, worry creasing her face. Kidnapped... She looks to Flappy. She's familiar with that fear, even if it hasn't come to pass too frequently. "Dark King..." Saki breathes. "He sounds just as bad as Akudaikan...then that means..."

She looks to Flappy, who nods his head grimly.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Honoka has kind of an odd expression, watching Saki and Nagisa together. It's a little baffled, and a little amazed, and a little joyful, and a little lonely. Most of all she seems hungry, hungry for introductions, but sadly, this is not that moment. Flappy's appearance makes it all the more real; she looks upon him with a twinge of incredible guilt that flashes through her like another blast of that cold, cold breeze.

But there's so much more to see. Like the girl, the totally normal girl, standing there in her /school uniform/. Honoka has more than a little welcome just for Setsuna, curled in her own lingering gaze like a happy cat. Spring is here at last, after a winter so long she had feared the boughs afflicted by not sleep, but death. Every word from Cure Passion's lips is an unfurling bud, a tender shoot. Every word is so, so beautiful.

"There is nothing owed between us," she concludes simply, a mediation of the issue, since now both Nagisa and Setsuna have claimed a debt. "Friendship is a duty we perform gladly."

And, of course, there is Nagisa herself. They don't often exchange looks; rather, the glances between them are asynchronous, taking another draught of comfort and strength when the other is speaking -- except for when the exception proves the rule. At some point, that beam becomes infectious, and when it's Honoka's turn to confirm the utter terribleness of the anthropormorphic personification of destruction (well, the one that isn't currently playing afterschool card games with Chibi-Usa), her nod is a little bit late, because she's busy getting lost in amber eyes, blinded by a white smile against a sun-bronzed face that not even the more literal winter can fade completely.

But it does come. And she reaches into her bookbag, pulling out... an artifact.

It is heart-shaped and pink.

"Well--" she interjects, her silvery voice breaking into Nagisa's sad reminiscence, "--not all of our fairies. I would like to introduce you to someone very special..."

She produces a card from somewhere and swipes it across the Prism Hopeish. This brings forth a beam of pure radiance that is somewhat less in intensity than the one directed obliviously towards Nagisa a moment ago, but still spectacular. More pretty than beautiful. And pure.

BGM Swap: [2]

Rising out of it comes a slim, noble figure...


"The Guardian of the Prism Stones."

He might be the most mature-looking fairy anyone has ever seen; tiny, but humanoid and possessed of a certain gravitas only found in the world of adults. He seems otherworldly and noble.

"Pretty Cure, you have summoned me..."

Until he puts his hands on his hips.


"Homoka-chan, Nalisa-chan... there is very little time before everything falls into darkness. I am very pleased that you have resolved your differences, but why are you idling on a roof--"

He senses eyeballs behind him.


He turns. Aha.

"I see..." He strokes his chin. "Shall I relate what I witnessed of the kidnapping of the Princess of Hope and her," there is the TINIEST of hesitations, a faint lip curl, "companion?"

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Darkness (vocal) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9PrCtfLEDc

"Mippuru!" sings the yellow fairy.

"Meppuru!" sings the pink fairy.

"Lavu lavu!" They are rubbing noses.

The paper screen door slams open so powerfully that the frame crunches down, pinning it in place to the slot it came out of. A torso like the grill of a sixteen wheeler fills most of the doorway, bracketed by red suspenders. The hulking brute outside is so tall that he can't currently see in the door he just opened, and by the time he dips his hunch-back to peer with his blank corneas into Honoka's room, there are no fairies to be seen at all. Grunting, Gekidrago shoulders his way through the doorway sideways and crouching.

Mepple and Mipple are huddled together, trembling, behind a lamp on the desk.

"Mrrr..." Gekidrago growls. He hadn't heard the love-fest that preceded his entry, but his animal instincts are keyed up for some reason. He plods into the room, floorboards creaking, his big boots leaving damp clods of dirt behind him. Pisard, who despite his height seems tiny beside his compatriot, strides in with greater flash and aplomb, tossing his cape a bit and brushing his shoulder a little as he comes to a halt.

"Find them, quickly," he says. Gekidrago gives him a chilly, neutral glance, then casually yanks a drawer out of Honoka's dresser, letting it fly across the room behind him. He peers into the hole it left behind rather than examining its contents, which has Pisard pinching the bridge of his nose.


Mepple and Mipple peek down over the back edge of the desk tremulously. Down on the floor, the Guardian stands beckoning with his long sleeves. He looks like some sort of sleepytime stuffed animal version of a person, with a Buddha-like placidity to his face and a vaguely wizardly robe. He also has to move around with a platform-like magical artifact attached to his feet(?), so his stealthy arrival is a sign of talent unusual for a fairy.

"Guardian-san~!" Mipple enthuses dreamily, to Mepple's scowl.

"Look to the door, Princess," he says, cool under stress. "I will distract them so both of you may escape. Even if the Warriors of Light have forsaken their duties, we must keep their power safe for them, or all is truly lost..."

Mipple is beaming down through starry eyes as Mepple chews the lamp power cord in grumpy angst. The sounds of the room being dismantled are growing closer.

"But we can't make it, mipo!" Mipple realizes unhappily.

"It's MY job to protect Mipple, mepo!" Mepple objects.

The Guardian's eyebrow is twitching. "J-just be ready, please," he insists. Taking a chest-filling breath, he waddles the artifact on his feet so it faces towards the door. His eyes seem incapable of opening, but his little black line of a mouth is set in determination. "Hey--!!" he starts to cry out to get the enemy's attention. But the syllable is lost in a great whoosh and crash as Gekidrago's schooldesk-sized hand slaps the lamp off Honoka's desk, leaving the two cowering fairies exposed clearly, huge-eyed and shivering.

"Rrr!" Gekidrago comments.

"Get them!" Pisard shouts, sliding a foot out and spreading his arms in front of the door.

"Tch," the Guardian curses silently. Looking up, he holds out his dangling sleeves.

Mepple lunges suddenly, leaping with surprising agility onto a bookshelf and rebounding to try and clear Gekidrago's shoulder. Gekidrago is far faster than he looks, however, and on that second bounce his huge fist swallows Mepple whole. Quailing on the desk, Mipple closes her eyes and forces herself to concentrate. Holding her heart-shaped tail out over the edge of the table, she gives it a quick shake, and her Prism Stone pops out, glittering as it falls. In the next instant, Gekidrago's other hand snatches up Mipple. Her Prism Stone lands in the Guardian's sleeves.

Pisard grins wolfishly, stepping past Honoka's bed. "Perfect. Dark King will be most pleased."

Gekidrago's jug jaw bobs as he lets out the lowest-pitched giggle in history. For once he and Pisard seem to be on great terms. "Easy," he exults. Muffled cries can be heard from inside his closed fists. He seems to experience a moment of doubt. "One... two? There are two? Not more."

"Correct," Pisard agrees. "With their red and indigo Prism Stones, we will have the seven that we need to finally destroy the Garden of Light."

Grunting his satisfaction, Gekidrago starts to walk out of the room. Pisard follows along, waiting to look back as he waits for Gekidrago to bend down and exit. He remains there, however, even as Gekidrago gets outside, turns around, and then squats down to see what is taking so long.

"Wait," Pisard hisses. Turning back to Gekidrago, he points with a long-nailed hand to one of the brute's meaty fists. "Show them to me." Perplexed, Gekidrago reaches into one fist with a finger to worm Mepple out until his head is poking free, then repeats the process with Mipple.

"You'll never get away with this-mepo! Let go of Mipple, or the Warriors of Light will kick your tails-mepo!" As a fairy he probably means the tail part literally.

"We're not scared of y-you-mipo!" Mipple declares.

Ignoring them, Pisard rests a hand atop Mepple's head. "The red Prism Stone..." he whispers with satisfaction. "And the indigo is..." He shifts that hand to Mipple's head. Frowning he closes his eyes to concentrate, his lips starting to curl back in frustration. Finally, he pulls Mipple free with a plop of fluff, and examines her tail directly. "Gone!" he fumes. "Where have you hidden the final Stone?!"

"We won't tell-mipo!" Mipple yells squeakily.

Pisard hurls Mipple back to Gekidrago, who sticks her in the same fist as Mepple this time and then stuffs both squirming, protesting fairies down as though he were ramrodding a cannonball. He storms back into Honoka's room, yanking shelves open and tossing out clothing. "It must be here somewhere..." he says, stressed. "Help me!" he snaps at Gekidrago, who is not so slow-witted that he does not share Pisard's new, darker mood. He gets back in the room and starts looking around with his free hand, pulling the covers off the bed, shaking them out, then tossing them away. Wisdom, below the desk, counts the timing of his breaths to stay calm.

After a minute of fruitless searching, Pisard suddenly freezes, with his hand still buried in a box of Teen Science medals and curios from Europe. Looking at the unfaded section of desk where the lamp had stood, he tosses the box aside and hurries over, planting his hands on the desk. Looking behind it with one ornately made-up eye, he scans the ground, finding nothing. Wisdom has fled from behind the desk to beneath it, and now stands in his pink heart-shaped artifact, his own tiny heart pounding, in plain view below the center of the desk. He's right where Honoka's feet would normally rest while she was studying.

Dropping to a knee, Pisard's shoulder armor and brawn cast a large shadow across the Guardian. Pisard is staring directly at the Guardian with his horrible yellow eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Ehhh?!" Nagisa exclaims. "You didn't tell us he saw you! But how were you still there when we got there, if he caught you?"

"He obviously didn't catch me, Nalisa!" Wisdom cries. "I'm trying to tell the story to the Pretty Cure of all the Gardens, so please wait quietly and politely with Homoka-chan." (He also chastens any other Precure who have piped up, at that point.)

"Erk..." Chastened, Nagisa retreats an extra half-step closer to Honoka, shoulder against her back.

"Now," the Guardian says in his breathy little voice, resuming an ethereal tone. "As I was saying..."

* * *

Pisard is staring directly at the Guardian with his horrible, horrible yellow eyes.

"Haw!" Gekidrago's huge flat mouth smirks. His fingers, thick as a rolled diploma, pinch and pluck out a relatively tiny blue gemstone, a beaded necklace dangling behind as he pulls it up into the light. "Look!"

Pisard's long white mane whips about as he looks up at the gemstone. An exceptional and unique mineral, it is unquestionably blue, and yet Pisard's eyes widen with triumph. Why?

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: Physics and Perception by Dr. E. Breakstone Currently on Honoka's floor open to page 138, which reads: this effect. Since our planet, Earth, gets its light from a sun with a color temperature of approximately 6000 K (once it passes vertically through our atmosphere and reaches the ground), we consider such light to be "neutral" or "clear." Most artificial light has a far lower surface temperature, and objects seen under such lighting will thus reflect light lower on the electromagnetic spectrum. For instance, an object that is blue under sunlight will appear under a household incandescent light bulb (approx. 2000 K) as...

"The Indigo Prism Stone!" Pisard exults aloud. "You're sure?"

Gekidrago scratches his head with a fist containing two complaining fairies. He feels like he's seen this stone before, feels like the memory is really important. That's right! He found it when he was looking for...

"Prism Stone!" he yells, glad he remembered. "Definitely Prism Stone!"

"Then let's make haste," Pisard says. "Our mission here is--"

* * *

"Did he just forget about you?" Nagisa ventures.

"NALISA PLEASE," the Guardian shouts.

* * *

"Our mission here is complete." Something still unsettles him, however. Grasping the edge of the desk, he leans under again, stares again directly at the Guardian, who sits in plain sight on the floor, unmoving, a sweat drop rolling down his temple. They stare at one another for a while.

"Tch." Pisard stands up and follows Gekidrago out the door again. The two beings of darkness leap the fence silently, and are gone into the night.

The floor beneath the desk appears empty. Exhaling loudly, the Guardian fades back into vivid view, his mystical spell of invisibility slithering away from his tiny limbs and the platform he stands on. The Indigo Stone rests between his sleeves, and he stares down at it, feeling the weight of history between his hands. He raises his eyes to the shattered doorway, staring at the numberless stars in the sky as he presses the Stone to his chest.

"So be it, then," he says softly. "The fate of every world now hangs by this one, fraying--"

* * *

"You can turn invisible?!"


<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Now, now," Honoka interjects, placing her palms outstretched between the two of them, like separating two clashing titans. "It's truly wonderful that you have such remarkable powers. NaGIsa-chan," the inflection is tiny and not all that perturbed, like a child politely correcting her absent-minded elder, which is... not too far from the truth, "She's just impressed. As am I. If not for your wisdom, it would already be too late."

She seems really... practiced at managing the Guardian. Like she's done it a lot. Certainly Homoka is a lot more capable than Nalisa at getting him to calm down.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

That normal girl in her school uniform looks back more at Honoka, and that welcome is something that she can /feel/ as much as see, and her eyes light as she does. Things for her are complicated, but there's a certain lack of artifice in her that makes clear some things even when she feels unable to express the rest.

She still has hold of her things, having not even set them down. The tangle of her feelings moves towards gratitude, and it shows, when Honoka concludes the matter of owing. Setsuna nods, seriously but not, for her, coldly. It helps that she keeps her small smile as she says, "All right!"

It makes her look a little more normal.

The artifact catches Setsuna's curiousity, her head tilting as she looks over pink in a heart shape. ...She looks over that rather than looking at Honoka and Nagisa look at one another, though a part of her wants nothing more than to let herself focus on her excitement for them. She manages to stay still, and /makes/ herself focus. It gets easier looking at the Guardian of the Prism Stones, and she finds her eyes widening to be close to him. The Prism Stones sound... familiar. Setsuna hus stares at him for a moment before she remembers to bow her head politely. "It's--nice to meet you!"

A pause. "...Yes, please," about relating the story. And from there, Setsuna listens and watches through, remaining completely silent except for the sound of her breathing. She's very polite in general, but especially polite when someone is relating important information. ...She does have to stop herself giggling at Nagisa's interjections, though, which she does with a hand over her mouth and an attempt to be subtle. And she narrows her eyes at every mention of Pisard.

Eventually though...

"Mm... It's really good that you were able to hide it," she says, in a way that suggests she might be thinking. Going to a house like that is scary. The shadow of it flickers over her eyes, that though.

Setsuna shakes her head. "So where are we going? Are we assuming that they were taken back to the Dark Zone? I've never been..." This should be obvious for a Cure, and yet...

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Saki's confusion is slowly fading. She's curious; Nagisa-sempai was Cure Black this whole time!? And, but, what! And! That's Honoka, then, right!? But. what.

She's got some catching up to do but that hardly matters as Honoka conjures the Guardian of the Prism Stones, and Saki looks on with naked wonder. Flappy and Choppy have never really produced any relics of the Land of Fountains except the Miracle Drops, after all! This is new turf. "...hi!" she says, and holds up a hand in a casual wave. Flappy stomps on her foot. "That's a respectable fairy-lapi! Don't just wave-lapi!"

The story begins while they're bickering about propriety toward shorties, and Saki gets distracted by the fighting. Any levity in her swiftly fades. The enemies are different, but it's not difficult to imagine. Kintoleski literally comes to her house every so often. It'd be so easy for him to just...

There's no clear reason behind the moment Saki tears her eyes away, suddenly breathing sharper, struck to the bone more by her imagination than by fact.

Nagisa's interjections make her titter enough that she's pulled back into the present though, and by the end, she asides, "Sempai, does he just not know your name?" as if this were the only real question that'd been raised by this state of affairs. look

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Nagisa exhales gratefully as the fight is disabled with all the gentle grace of Cure White's martial arts, and none of the brutality. The Guardian folds his arms. "Well, at least there is one Warrior of Light who knows how to listen attentively to important information."

"That's the story," Nagisa says, embarrassed and trying to move on. "We have one prism stone, but even if we could somehow use it to transform without Mipple, we couldn't do that without the other one too. We can /only/ transform together." Nagisa already said that, but she doesn't seem aware. She moons at Honoka for a moment.

"We can't know for sure where the Red Prism Stone, the Princess of Hope, and Mepple were taken," the Guardian tells Setsuna. "But we do know this much... they haven't been able to extract the stone from Mepple. They could just rip it out, of course, but that would kill him and then they would not be able to trade the two fairies for the Indigo Stone. This gives us an opportunity."

Nagisa looks down glumly. "I'm sorry, Higashi-chan," she says. "We put you in danger, and couldn't even tell you."

"Tell them," Wisdom says, not cruelly, but firmly.

* * *

"Hey, hey, hey, did you hear that Yuuichi-sensei is back?" Shiho enthuses in a whisper.

"Ehh? No way! He's been gone so long. Wow, Yoshimi-sensei must be happy~" Rina beams.

A textbook slaps down on Rina's desk, and the two friends straighten in fear. "Please pay attention to the lesson, Kubota-kun, Takashimizu-kun," Yoshimi-sensei says archly. As she walks back to the board, she adds. "Kazama--I mean, Yuuichi-sensei is just here for administrative work. It is only temporary. Please do not make things difficult for him."

At her desk, Nagisa can only hear her own heartbeat, now, her palms sweating. She looks carefully to Honoka, and nods gently.

After five minutes, Honoka's raises a hand and explains gently that she was asked to run an errand for student council. Yoshimi-sensei trusts her enough to dismiss her before she can even really explain.

After ten minutes, Nagisa raises her hand and says she has to go to the nurse's office. She's dismissed.

Kazama Yuuichi leans against the wall in the copy room. Bored, he's been feeding the files he was meant to put together to arrange entrance exams for the seniors right into the shredder, one by one, occasionally sending their manila folders through with them, to a grinding chatter of metal. When the door opens, but no one enters or says anything, he knows.

"Pretty Cure," he says with relish. Turning halfway, he regards them with surprise. "Two Pretty Cure."

"What are you doing?" Nagisa demands angrily, stepping into the room with Honoka at her side. Pisard is in the guise of an assistant teacher, pale, white-haired, but young and devilishly handsome in his suit and tie.

"Passing the time until your lunch break. I didn't expect you to find me first."

"Where are Mepple and Mipple?" Honoka asks, cautious but icy.

"The same place as the Indigo Prism Stone," Pisard drolls. He feeds another test application form down the shredder. "Not here."

Nagisa's teeth grind.

"I'm here to make you an offer. A better one than you deserve, given your weak position. But ironically, your position has become SO weak that there is more fear from making you desperate than there is in giving you a fine bargain. So this is what I have been authorized to offer you; rejection will result in the deaths of everyone in this school. Your deadline is midnight. You give us the stone..." Another file goes down, as Pisard's smile gleams in a human face. "And we give you the fairies of light."

"We will NEVER--" Nagisa shouts, stepping forward.

"We will need more time," Honoka interjects hurriedly, making quick eye contact with Nagisa. "To retrieve it. We know very well you are chasing after it, so we have hidden it in a place that is very hard to get to."

"Y-yeah, it takes a lot longer than that, to get something out of a Swedish bank." Nagisa has a talent for saying unnecessary things.

"You mean a Swiss bank, right?" Honoka corrects gently, long-suffering.

"Shh!" Nagisa hisses. "Don't tell him!"

"How much time do you need?" Pisard breaks in suspiciously. "To reach this Bank of Sweden?" He seems to think of it as a river bank or other geographical feature.

Nagisa zips up big time, knowing well enough to leave this one to her partner.

"A week," she says authoritatively, keeping eye contact.

"You have three days," Pisard counters coldly. He drops a full folder into the shredder, which jams it up with a squeal. "Be at the lacrosse field at midnight on the third day. You will receive further instructions at that point. If we see any sign of other magical girls there, you will die right there." Walking up to the two girls, he waits for them to step apart to let him through, but they seem unwilling to separate. After a brief battle of wills and locked eyes, he steps around instead.

"Apologies. I misspoke." He's paused just behind them. "Since you are not magical girls at all."

* * *

"See how good a story can be when no one interrupts?" the Guardian points out tartly.

"I'm sorry to drag you into this, Saki-chan," Nagisa concludes with a sigh. "I've been a pretty bad senpai..."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"An opportunity," Setsuna repeats, looking thoughtfully between the Guardian , Nagisa, and Honoka during the explanation. She seems to accept it, including when Nagisa starts to apologize for putting her in danger.

Immediately she shakes her head, but before she can say anything, Wisdom makes his directive, and Nagisa gets her storytelling going.

At first the story has little meaning to her; she didn't exactly keep track of other operatives' names when they weren't even from Labyrinth. But the anxiety in the description, the worry, the fact that they move immediately find him... It starts to make sense quickly.

Two Pretty Cure.

The story continues, and Setsuna listens intentnly. Right until...

"...You're very brave. Facing down someone like that with no powers of your own is... very frightening." She shakes her head, as if shaking off memories. "And that /wasn't/ a very good deal." A pause, and a look to Honoka, "Senpai, you thought really quickly..."

Back to Nagisa, "Does that mean you're planning to have us there at the meeting point?" She sounds... worried, but isn't trying to talk her out of it. She isn't planning to. Instead she looks to Saki, watching her for a moment, and then back to Nagisa. "I've had dangerous missions before. This is one I get to choose, and I'm choosing it."

She pauses. "...I assume you already got the Stone out of the Bank of Sweden?"

She's not joking.

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Saki listens, again. It's long and hard for her to focus on it all with all the information she's gaining today, but at the same time it also resonates enough that the details feel like they're writing themselves into her bones. She remembers all those times Karehaan's tried to separate them from their fairies.

A dull part of her realizes that her situation is even more precarious; the only thing protecting /her/ fairies is Dark Fall's insistent delusion that any of them know a damn thing about the Fountain of the Sun. It makes her stomach turn. She'll deal with that later; Nagisa turns to her.

Saki puts a hand on her chest and takes a long breath, sucking in air to puff herself up. But when she's done, she busts out into her big, happy smile, hands landing firmly on her hips. "You're not dragging me into anything! I ran right here, didn't I!?"

"She biked-lapi. I think she beat the train-lapi. It was scary-lapi."

Saki responds to her fairy's sass by picking him up and holding him from behind by... ....do fairies have scruff. sure why not. "THIS guy gets me attacked by men made of metal or leaves, or, or /fire/ all the time, and I'll tell you the same thing I do him!"

Some of the bravado fades away, the energy faltering as the reality of this all slowly forces itself into her bluster; but she still meets with Nagisa's eyes. "I won't let them have their way. I won't let them hurt you." She manages a smile again. "And I'll do it 'cuz I want to!"

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"We don't yet know. We need to form a plan together," the Guardian tells Setsuna. "All the Cures united! But regardless of the risk of being found out, we must take this chance. Only the Warriors of Light can save Queen, and if she falls..." The Guardian shakes his head. "Thank you for lending your strength, brave Setsuni, and you too, Cure Fortune."

Nagisa looks at Saki in surprise. Tentatively, she steps forward, her smile fighting some shyness. Placing a hand on Saki's shoulder, she nods gently. "Okay, then. I'll be counting on you, then. Please take good care of me." She squeezes tight for a moment.

Looking back at Setsuna, Nagisa grimaces with sympathetic embarrassment fr someone even worse than she is at geography. "Um, that was actually a lie. The Guardian has the stone inside his Prism Hopeish. I doubt Pisard even believed me at the time."

***FAR AWAY***


The domed roof collapses, rubble scattering the civilians below, as a great purple chair-youma pushes its giant hand through. Atop its shoulder, Pisard grins smugly.

A crimson beam glances off the monster's back, and it turns around with a roar.

A petite blonde girl in a red spiral skirt lands atop a car across the street. "Jag vet inte vem du är, men vi kommer inte låta dig bryta dig in i banken utan motstånd!" she cries. "Cure Kanelbulle!"

A slim, sophisticated girl in brown lands beside her, posing. "Cure Kaffe!"

To the other side, a pale girl in white. "Cure Mjölk!"

Now on the hood of the car, a girl in a smooth green gown with a hat shaped like a rose. "Cure Prinsesstårta!" she squeaks.

And finally, on the trunk, a girl in yellow with a very puffy beret. "Cure Semla!"

All together, they announce, "Mumsa tillsammans i vacker vänskap, Fika Pretty Cure!" Bright doily-shaped sparkles erupt from their group pose.

"Zakenna!" Pisard orders. "Take care of them!" Hopping down onto the roof of the building, he begins to laugh slowly as he looks inside, a rich villainous sound. "Did they think me too stupid to find this place?"