2019-05-21 - Walpurgisnacht: New Day 2

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Walpurgisnacht: New Day 2

A new day dawns.


Kimiko Akane, Rei Hino, Endo Naoki, Mami Tomoe, Lera Camry, Fuu Hououji, Vita Yagami, Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh, Homura Akemi, Takeo Akamizu, Kyouko Sakura, Kasagami Araki, Usagi Tsukino, Mai Tokiha, Steven Universe, Eri Shimanouchi, Tsuru, Yumi Ohzora


Rainbow Bridge

OOC - IC Date:

5/21/2019 - 06-02-2015


*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Rainbow Bridge (#626) +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
  Despite its name, the Rainbow Bridge spends most of its time bone-white,      
  like an angel's harp carved of driftwood in the dark water of the bay.        
  Periodically it crosses beneath an island every bit as man-made and           
  geometrical as the bridge itself, planting pillars to claim it and then       
  traversing water again. It's visible from a wide variety of angles from the   
  coastline, forming a hypoteneuse that crosses the bay via Odaiba and, with    
  the aid of less iconic bridges, permits quick travel from Yamanote to         
  Foot traffic is possible across the bridge, and many visitors dare the long   
  walk to get a good view of the city on one side, and the sea on the other.    
  Walking atop a bridge is a poor way to see the bridge itself, of course, but  
  that is what the Yurikamome elevated train line is for. Slung beneath the     
  bridge for much of its journey, the fully automated, driverless train gives   
  a great view of the Rainbow Bridge on its way to Odaiba.                      
  For a few hours every night, this expensive landmark truly lives up to its    
  name, glowing with different hues depending on the season or holiday.         
  Rarely, a combination of floodlights makes a genuine rainbow of the bridge,   
  with deep reds at its foot and violet at its peak. Small, colorfully lit      
  tugboats and civilian craft float beneath the gleaming bridge, buoyant on     
  the liquid dream of a starry sky.                                             
<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

When Kimiko finally gets up her courage to approach those gathered at the bridge, she remains quiet at first, watching the reunions for awhile much like one would a very interesting tv show. It still doesn't quite feel like this any of this is real.

It doesn't take long though for her to spot the familiar form of Kasagami and her eyes brighten considerably. As quickly as she can, Kimiko approaches her, smiling. "Kasa-chan...I..." Suddenly her lip starts quivering and her eyes well up as she takes in a deep breath. Kimiko reaches up to embrace the older girl and the tears fall from her eyes into pools on Kasagami's shirt and onto the ground around them. There are no words spoken from her for awhile.

When she is finally able to compose herself enough to speak, she whispers a quiet, "I'm...so, so sorry." But what is she apologizing for? She wipes away tears with the back of her hand. "You were right...about everything." Kimiko pauses. "I am very glad to see you! And in one piece!"

Finally, Kimiko looks to the others gathered around them. Eri gets her notice first. "Eri-chan, you're here too?!" She offers a warm embrace to her too. "I missed you!" She smiles, wiping away a couple errant tears. Then Kyouko gets a wave and a smile too. "Glad to see you as well!"

As they continue to converse and reunite, Kimiko makes an offer to them, "Come to the dorms and have some cookies later huh?" She smiles, more happy than ever to offer something so special to her to them.

Watching the reunion between Eri and Mami brings a lump to her throat. When there is a chance, Kimiko walks over to Mami. "Mami-chan, it's good to see you." She seems to really mean it too. Even if they never really knew each other before things have surely changed and hopefully for the better...

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's only natural, Rei thinks, of the timing; night is the magical girl's time.

And everyone's here.

Even some people who couldn't be here by any metric of logic. It is instead measured in metric of miracles.

For a moment, all she can do is stare. Endo -- he's hale and whole. Eri and Kyouko and Kimiko are here, no matter what was learned that night. And... there, in the light...

Mami's here, too, as if she'd never left her domain of cakes and tea.

"Thank god," Rei manages, finally, through a choked-up throat tightened by emotion. "Everyone's... really okay, aren't they?" There's a shred of wonder to her voice, as if she still can't quite believe it.

Then again, is a happy ending more believable, with a shred of bittersweetness? Homura is upset, and there's that little creature again. Anger crosses Rei's face as she turns to him -- but she can't answer that question, either. And there's something different about the way he asks, and it strikes her after a moment the way it's easier to frame him as human.

If everything's changed, maybe he's changed, too.

Rei shakes her head, dismissing the anger, and looks back to the person who first caught her attention in that sector. "... Homura-chan," she ventures, and the difference in etiquette is its own outreached hand, "I'm glad you're here, too."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

After Endo lets go of Ren there's still a lot of work to do. His eyes turn across the bridge, scanning the familiar shapes that have appeared on it.

They're all here. All of his friends, everyone he fought with on the bridge and until the end. Even those who were gone before.

It's Takeo and Steven that he addresses first--it's hard not to, after all. An arm circles around the shoulder of the older boy, and affectionately on the head of the other. "Yeah, that sounds good." He affirms to Takeo's plan. "It's been awhile, right? I think we deserve it. As long as I don't have to drink that stuff, right?" For the first time in awhile, Endo laughs. Loud and bright, and he holds a moment before he parts.

His steps are a bit unfocused, there's so many faces gathered nearby. He raises hand toward Lera, grinning brightly in her direction. Others are met with happy smile, wave of hand for Rei, Utena, Fuu, and a short clap on Nori's shoulder that echoes their previous parting, though there's little of the former sobriety in the gesture now.

"Hey, Araki-san." He says to the duelist. There's a nod of acknowledgement to a former enemy, an opposing force in a war that never was. His eyes slide over the other never-Shepards, Eri Shimanouchi, distant Homura Akemi, others.

But his gaze is drawn to the once-fallen more than any other.

"Mami-san...it's really good to see you." There's a wobbly tone in the words, one that goes along with the watery texture that's suddenly clouded his eyes. For a moment, he tilts into a sort of half-bow. He gives up on that fairly quickly, and instead settles for joining in the line of embracers.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCxQSLyh0Kw

There is a blur of green and gold from the air. Maybe it's Vita's message; maybe it was the sense of something changing, which called Lera Camry there. (In truth, it was both.)

There are a dozen different emotions coursing through her, faster than she keep track of. Confusion, at having suddenly realized -- like waking up -- that something was different, that she wasn't where she used to be. Amazement, to have seen texts from Mami Tomoe... after she died. Awe, at seeing Tokyo unbroken.

And, of course, the faintest tinge of wistfulness at remembering someone... yet not remembering her at the same time.

In the end, it makes it easy: come to the Rainbow Bridge. Find out, for herself, what is happening. Which is why that blur of green and gold resolves into a head of orange hair, a fluttering green coat, a charcoal shirt, and patterned black pants. She comes crashing down, landing kneeling, fist slamming into the ground as she lands in that classic pose, and then--


<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mami Tomoe doesn't exactly have to stop and look to notice people around. Ren and Endo, finding each other--Utena, always clear. But she can't see everyone immediately because--well. Before she can stop, look around, think about an approach, she is given a heartfelt interruption by--

"!" Mami finds herself hugged tightly by Nori Ankou, and after an instant's surprise she wraps her arms back around her friend in turn, hugging back against black hair and fine attire. She can see--ah. A smile, there. And...

Well, Nori can see--there's a quiet joy in Mami's eyes, too, gold and bright, and her smile turns lightly wry. "Didn't mean to show so much feeling?" she offers, lightly, a tiny hint of teasing as she shakes her head, and reaches for an instant to take Nori's hand and squeeze it. "Only if you'll consider using my name next time. ...It's good to see you again, too."

Kasagami, with--Eri, and Kyouko, of course, calls to her, and Mami blinks her way--and sighs, giving a complicated sort of smile in return. Somehow it's even good to see her again, despite... everything. "I'll excuse the familiarity this once," she allows Kasagami, and cannot entirely begrudge her a happy moment. The depth of what must have happened becomes clearer to her, with all these reunions. She knows some, and yet...

When eri is there--Mami sees her, at the side, turns towards her in surprise at her expression, at her beginning, turning towards her and waiting. ...She isn't sure what she wants to say--her expression shows it, a little distance. And yet...

Eri hugs her, and Mami doesn't block, she goes with it for a moment--and closes her eyes a moment at her words. "...I remember," she says simply, and when Eri steps back, Mami looks at her--and nods, once, in something like understanding. "...I'm happy to hear that," she says. "let's talk--not now, but soon," the older girl tells the younger. "But it's better to see you under these circumstances, for certain."

Instead of watching Eri go, however, Mami sees Mai Tokiha, of all people, standing before her--approaching, tenatively. A waitress outfit--hadn't she lost that job?

"Tokiha," Mami answers at first, guarded--and then, after an instant's surprise here, too, Mami sighs, and sets arms back about Mai a few moments in turn. "...Right now," she says quietly, "I actually do believe it."

When Mai steps back, Mami finds it rewarding to see that same old not-quite smugness, even through tears.

"Well, I'm interested in hearing it," Mami says at least. "Late, early, on time... Let's just say, for my part then, that I think I might do a little more listening than I did before, hm?"

It is a beautiful night. "...I certainly hope it's true about my presence, though," she offers. And here, when she sees Kimiko greeting her too--Mami doesn't move away from Mai, but she does smile back to the newer arrival to her space. "...Likewise," Mami answers. "Kimiko-chan." She tries on the familiar form of address for a moment, feeling... well, maybe it would be nice. "Likewise. I hope you'll consider coming over for tea, sometime."

She wasn't here for everything with Vita--but she spots the girl, notices her around everyone else. "...I didn't bring much to eat this time," she offers the girl in red, just before she pauses, and looks at Steven who's holding back. Staying back, for that matter. "...Come with me?" Mami says. "I'd like to keep talking, but... I think I need to correct someone, first."

She steps over to the boy with the pink shirt and bends just enough to reach out. She's hugged a few now... And Steven. "I think this counts as the start of a celebration, don't you?"

But Mami considers, for a moment, looking over at Homura. She pauses, and then... Well, there's something simpler first.

"Don't worry about it too much, Kyubey," Mami offers the little fuzzball with a familiarity and nearly warmth that might surprise many others here. "Sometimes, humans just have... good days, and want to share them. Does it need to be more than that?"

She pauses, then. She can see Homura's expression, and she hesitates. Every time she's reached out to this girl, every time... And yet...

She thinks she will, after all. But first, she smiles back at Mai. "Though I have a feeling that I'm not at all caught up on my messages..." A beat, as she smiles to Endo. "...It's really good to be seen," she answers simply, as close to hapless as Mami could be. But... The other statement--

"But," she says, looking around to the others, "I'm sorry. ...Sayaka-chan is..." She thinks how to answer, and looks--of all things--up to the sky. "Sayaka-chan's gone." She pauses, and looks to the others. "...It can happen to any of us, sooner or later, and... Well. It has."

"She's at peace, at least."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

It takes Fuu a while to look around and see everybody - but she's deliberate about it, taking in each and every face who's gathered, who's responded to their hearts' questions about what happened, who remembers. And who's *back*.

Almost all of them, it seems. All but one of the Puella Magi - and Fuu bows in particular to Eri, but the other Puella Magi are at least nodded to with a smile; she's genuinely glad to see them. Endo, spared a terrifble fate, also whole and healthy - and Takeo's invitation to "boys' night" elicits a wistful chuckle, but the bespectacled archer refrains from trying to barge in. Neither does she try to hug anyone - at least, not initiating them. (She would accept them, though.)

"I'm sorry Sayaka-san isn't with us," Fuu admits, "but it's good to see the rest of you here again. As we should be." She turns her attenton to Eri in particular ... although she's at something of a loss for words, it seems. There's a wistful note in her expression - like she knows she should say something but isn't quite sure *what*. Or how to word it.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita can't hide a blush when Mami recognizes her. "I, it's OK," she says. "It looks like...things worked out alright." That's a conversation they'll need to have, but not while Mami is busy raising bridges from dust with people she knew more strongly than her and Vita's few hazy run-ins, and one or two all-out battles she may or may not have connected yet.

Soon, though. Soon.

So staying back, Vita sees an oncoming stream of light, which SLAMS into the bridge, resolving into Lera. "I think I'm most surprised it took you this long to try it," Vita offers her offhandedly, wandering over with her thumb looping into her loose, more-fashion-than function belt.

Her gaze slowly, thoughtfully sweeps across the gathered magical girls, laughing and cheering with excitement. "You all..." she says, slowly, to Lera, and then cuts it off into a laugh. "You all don't do this thing by halves, do you? I thought saving us was crazy!"

<Pose Tracker> Haruka Tenoh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Eri Kitamura - Thank You Letter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcQouKZBkgs

Like a slider on a soundboard being dialed up, the noise of the party seeps and rises. Surrounding by the soft chatter and clinking of glasses, by the distant throb of jazz strings, Haruka Tenoh gradually becomes aware of her surroundings. There are words at the back of her tongue.

There are men in suits, women in dresses, who are waiting for her to finish speaking.

Never let it be said that Haruka Tenoh won't give it her best shot even when flat-footed. "...turning left," she says, out of some vague sense of grammatical momentum.

Everyone guffaws, and Haruka smiles hesitantly, not sure if she's being laughed at or with.

"He's so witty," an older woman remarks.

"Well, if he was wrong about that, we wouldn't be paying for that helicopter of his," one gentleman chortles.

"Please, sir, the helicopter was a birthday present. You are paying off the remodel on my garage." They laugh again. Haruka can autopilot rich assholery. She's not exactly faking it after all.

But her mind is racing. A moment later, she starts walking away in the middle of someone else's sentence.

Long Train Running - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKajP4fGvSA

A minute later, the door to the venue bursts open, dispensing Haruka onto the sidewalk. She's loosening her tie as she goes, anxious as if it were choking her. The city's all here.

"...you get another shot at it, then. Sailor Saturn." For a moment she feels an irrational swell of fondness for Saturn, not even as the lonely girl she is now, or even as the distant comrade she had been, but as a foe. As a symbol of the . A warrior has a certain relationship with her war.

Irrepressibly, a laugh rises up in Haruka's chest. She sees no reason to hold it back.


As Michiru Kaioh hastens down the street, she hears a wolf-whistle. That happens to her a lot, though ironically only when the whistlers haven't had a good look at her. Full-blast Michiru beauty has a certain authority to it.

That's not why this particular wolf-whistle sounds familiar though.

"Going my way, hot legs?" Haruka calls, blue eyes grinning over the rim of dark sunglasses. Her suit jacket and even her dress shirt are thrown over the back seat, so she can enjoy the weather in her undershirt. Her convertible growls a bit as it slows and halts next to Michiru.

Haruka's wink is professional. Distinct enough to be thrillingly deliberate. Quick enough that you almost miss it, but only almost.

And her eyes are real blue.


Pulling the car over flush with the sidewalk railing on the Rainbow Bridge, Haruka hops out the door without opening it, hurrying around to let Michiru out. Startled, a pedestrian calls out from the sidewalk.

"Hey! You can't park here!"

"Sure you can," Haruka answers, as if confused. She's already helping Michiru up. "They put the bill right under your windshield wiper."

Arm-in-arm, Haruka and Michiru arrive at the impromptu block party. Haruka's still in dress pants, which make an odd combination with his tee shirt, but he's the sort who could show up in a potato sack, isn't he? Even if a potato sack wouldn't have the... really nice shoulder muscles.

"Sakura! Shimano--"

Haruka's eyes bulge as he catches the Puella Magi senpai lay a smooch on her shy junior. Silencing himself, he gives Eri a thumbs up and a gravely approving nod.

"It's that sort of party, is it?" he muses speculatively, glancing at Michiru. "Hang on, though..."

Haruka clears his throat. "Wow," he exclaims to Rei Hino. "What's this? Some sort of club meeting?" Only the Shepherds present know Haruka and Michiru are senshi, after all, so he affects confused interest. "So many cute girls on one bridge..."

He gives a different, conspiratorial wink in Kasagami's direction. To Setsuna, he gives a long glance, and then a slight, friendly nod.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune transforms into Michiru Kaioh!
<Pose Tracker> Michiru Kaioh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Michiru Kaioh had been walking towards Rainbow Bridge. She had seen it in a dream, of course. It was, in an obscure way, a relief; her dreams are rarely this... pleasant. She is wearing flats and a sun dress in sea-teal, along with a small Louis Vuitton purse.

She had been walking...

But then someone pulled up and whistled.

Michiru's head turns and she says, with a look of amusement and a raise of one hand to touch her lower lip, "What a forward question..."

She steps forwards and places one neat hand on the rolled-down top of the passenger's side seat, vaulting herself into the seat with a little 'hup!' and landing in a rustle of wavy hair. As she leans back into place, smoothing her hair back, she says to Haruka, "Well, then. Let's go."


Michiru comes, arm in arm with Haruka.

When she sees the kiss, she raises a hand to her lower lip again, as if faintly shocked. The look in and around her eyes is really more of a smile. "Perhaps it's a convocation," she answers Haruka.

Her eyes turn up to Setsuna's for a moment, then to Eri. To Eri, her expression softens. The smile goes from mysterious, to indulgent, all the way down to fond. The moment fades - but there was a moment there.

Michiru's weight shifts slightly, against Haruka.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

At some point, day changes to night.

At some point, the surrounding humanity changes from anonymous crowds to familiar faces.

Homura is too desperate to find her way back into a world she has lost, a private world which now exists in her memory, to heed the real and actual, miraculously restored world around her. Only one of those worlds has the Madoka she knows in it, after all. She's so far in her own head that external voices aren't really getting to her... but what about a voice in her head?

Maybe it's just that she has never been able to filter out the Incubator, like a thorn through gardening gloves. Her gaze finally leaves the red ribbons in her hands to lock onto her foe. It's a tearful glare, weltering with uncontained hatred.

Her mouth opens, as if to speak -- nothing comes out.

And then her face goes through a series of changes, even as she goes through a series of thoughts.

Her eyes round; she's thinking, It's all been changed.

Her brows rise; she's thinking, But -- it doesn't know that. Doesn't know... anything.

Her mouth closes, after an angry huff of a sigh, and thanks to her adversary Homura Akemi regains some modicum of self control and caution. Because now... is not the time. Because she needs time.

"No one you should be concerned with," Homura replies to it in something more approaching her normal -- well, her customary, at least -- voice. She scrubs at her eyes with the cuff of one coatsleeve, then folds the ribbons into one hand so they're a soft little red bundle nestled in her palm.

Then she looks around.

Everyone else... almost everyone else is here. Homura blinks, and again, and inhales through her nose. A long, shaky breath, meant to steady. She folds her full hand over her heart; the breath only steadied her a little.

It's a lot, and she suddenly feels a ghost of the old shyness creeping in. But Homura doesn't turn, or run away. Doesn't disappear -- she can't, not that anyone else knows that yet, though those more keen to her secrets might note the shield's absence.

Mami Tomoe -- Mami Tomoe!! -- gently explains to Kyuubey, and Homura stares, just a little. Like she's seen a ghost. She feels... frightened, guilty; she feels unexpectedly grateful. She looks down, and away. Sees Kimiko, alive and whole again, and her eyes widen further. Does this mean...

She sees Eri, and Kyouko. Sees Eri and Kyouko. That warrants another blink. But the line between her straining eyebrows eases, somewhat, even if Homura doesn't herself realize it, and her heartbeat slows.

Someone else says her name, a voice -- Homura turns, so quickly it's a bit of a whirl, and her hair flies up. Her mouth is small again but her eyes just have not managed to achieve that same flatness, they're round at the edges still when she looks at Nori Ankou. The question stops her, it's clear. She swallows.

"Ask me... another time," is what she manages, in a quiet voice. And turns with somewhat more calm to a person she has not had a deadly exchange with.

She feels so vulnerable out here. Her arm... feels so much lighter.

After a long pause, and with her other hand still clutched to her chest, Homura Akemi extends her shield-free arm to place slightly cool fingers in the senshi's. "Hino-san," she says.

It's not 'Rei-chan,' but neither is it 'Rei Hino.'

Rei gets the best vantage on how Homura's violet eyes close for a handful of heartbeats, when Mami says that Sayaka is gone. Is not coming back, thinks Homura. How does she feel about that? ...She does not know, but her fingers tighten on the ribbons.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's obviously surprising, to feel Homura's fingers on her, but Rei doesn't shy away. She smiles and taps her fingers to hers, lightly, releasing in a moment. "Hey," she replies, kindly, because it's not 'Rei Hino', and that's a better start than she could have hoped for.

"Ah... Sayaka-chan..." There's the bittersweet edge to the happy ending, but Rei smiles in the end. "... thanks for telling us, Mami-chan." She's expressed the concept of going peacefully many times, but it doesn't feel like Mami's just trying to make them feel better, somehow.

And, well, naturally Haruka and Michiru would make that sort of entrance. When aren't they stunning? (They call attention to the kiss which Rei definitely wasn't surreptitiously keeping an eye on. She'd definitely give them their privacy and not be engaged by the romance. It just so happens that her gaze tracks over there, coincidentally, when they point it out.)

She's quite sure her cheeks are red after being insinuated as a cute girl, but there's a question there, too. "It's a --" Rei pauses, because a priestess's plausible deniability doesn't really extend to (fellow, definitely fellow) civilians. "A reunion!" She decides, after a moment, clapping her hands together. "We haven't seen each other for a while, so we thought we'd meet up by the beach!"

Technically, it's not a lie, which makes it the best kind of lie.

But as much as she can bluster out a plausible reply, it's overwhelming for her, too. She wipes at the corner of her eye as she smiles, and decides it would be safer if she kept her silence for a while. She can't just get choked up in front of everyone. Even if it's a little bittersweet, it's a happy ending.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

She laughed and that laugh made Takeo blush ever so flightly as he clears his throat and the waving hand moves to the back of his neck which is rubbed slightly. He looks back to Mai and grins slightly. "Heya. Tokiha-san. Goofy? Me?" He laughs a little, and then that little becomes .. a lot. It's an honest laugh, a real laugh, and one he hasn't been able to have in a very long time. He wipes the tears away and then looks to Mai with a real grin on his face. Not that roguish grin he usually fires, but a grin that is real, even if it betrays a slight nervousness to those that know him.

Pushing off the railing and walking over to Mai, the boy blushes slightly and stops a half arms length away. He looks around to make sure he's a safe distance form a certain white rat/demon alien before he looks into Mai's eyes. "I'm just ... Happy Tokiha." He gestures to Eri and even Mami, "I got a best friend back. Endo is alive and we're gonna hang. With Steven. Even Mami-san, I mean she shot me," he points to his shoulder where the oddly flower shaped scar resides. "Right. There. But I'm glad. She didn't deserve to die that way. None of them did." He shrugs the once shot shoulder.

He looks over his shoulder at the bay. His eyes glistening slightly from the tears that are still more or less there. "You uh .... You can join us for the gaming ... If you want? I'll pay for food. So I don't ... attempt to cook again ... " He pauses and blinks. "Oh god. Do you think this world has the Cake? Do you think we did the Cake thing here?" He cringes and then chuckles. Then raises an eyebrow. "I could ... always try to make another cake?"

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Tsukura [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

SOUNDTRACK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaEu4kAWhQQ - Id (Serenity)


Kyouko sees Eri's tears well enough. Her own eyes well up and burst out tears when they become too much to keep holding onto. It's all so much, all at once. A totality of joy and relief...all touching them, all at once. To Kyouko there is a holy quality to the glowing gathering, something special and sanctified. It doesn't quite feel real, not that it feels false either.

Kyouko remembers her last words too, and the words that led to them. But they're not standing in a graveyard now. The softness and affection in the shy response her hello had elicited made her heart swell with joy and thrill. The old world led to the new through some sort of shimmering portal and she has yet to learn of the unexplainable gaps between recalled experience and physical evidence of this circumstance or another. The delight and the novelty of youthful love is still a very fresh and unexplored condition for Kyouko, but she finds herself quite taken with being taken with someone, and finding herself being taken with in return.

And not not just anyone...Eri is such of a vision to her here. Not just in all the ways that she is so very much the Eri she last remembers seeing, but in all the ways that she is not. Her soul, far from drowning in a sorrow that threatened to completely overwhelm her, is vibrant and pure, and all sense of her at the cusp of something terrible had been left behind. But beyond that...it has been so long since Kyouko has laid eyes on an Eri that did not seem so terribly troubled, so burdened with the weight and the doubt and the despair of it all...and even thinking back to the first intersection of their respective strands of fate, Eri had rarely seemed far from her troubles. Here, in this place, she gazes upon an Eri that she'd long sensed but never fully seen. Kyouko finds joy in her joy of this place but it doesn't compare to seeing Eri's.

"And here we are."

Kyouko squeezes her hands, and smiles with the sort of giddy trepidation of one falling just short of maintaining composure in the light of her delight.

"There's so much to say but we've got time for all that. We've got time."

Boots thud repeatedly as Kasagami starts stalking up, and Kyouko cannot help but grin a little even as she affects a strident stare. "If we were in dreams, Kasa-chan, you'd be in mine, not the other way around!" Immediately, her expression cracks into impish affection. Reaching with her hand newly freed, Kyouko gently but firmly plucks Kasagami's hand from her hoodie hem and grasps her by the wrist with a handshake like grip. "You might be, it feels like a dream. But I'd guess I'm as much of a spirit as you are, whether that's a yes or a no. Probably doesn't matter though. On your feet, soldier..." Smiling wide down at her comrade, Kyouko takes her own share of joy in their reunion. The members of their little outfit had outlived the world that forged them, and, she hopes, the forge's fires with it.

Whether Kasagami rises or reclines, two more faces in particular accord with her attention. Homura Akemi does not just stand out from the colorful crowd by merit of her darker hues. The joy that Kyouko feels seems to suffuse the very air, but it does not appear to reach Homura at all. If she merely seemed bereft of of its qualities as the stony girl so often seemed, it would still be in contrast to the rest of the scene, but it would be another thing entirely. Instead, Homura seems animated by the aura of it all just as the so many of the rest of those present do, but in reverse. Where Kyouko's heart sings with joy, Homura seems stricken with agitation and anguish, her own heightened state filtered through a great negative. Far too complicated a knot to untangle now..but Kyouko is reminded that whatever comes next will feel less magical than all this by existential necessity, and finds a quiet and slightly guilty comfort in the thought that Homura's unhappy look makes it all the less likely that this is just a happy dream.

Kyouko had promised Homura she'd be there for her. She'll try to be there for her now.

And of course...there is the golden pillar in the room.

Mami Tomoe stands among them, as animated and well as the rest of them it would seem. Kyouko still has trouble thinking of any of them as alive just yet, afraid that if she gives herself over to the thought that it will all fade off, dissolute. To see Mami, here, again...Mami standing as tall as ever.

Mami has long stood tall in Kyouko's life. Comfort and kinship, alienation and enmity had crossed between them in what had started to resemble like the first few loops of a recursive cycle that had ended in a terrible fashion. Many who would remark on that night might correctly call it the night that Eri Shimanouchi killed Mami Tomoe. Eri herself likely would. But to Kyouko, that was the night that Mami Tomoe had tried to kill her, and Eri had saved her life by stopping her.

The corners of Kyouko's eyes tighten a bit, and her jaw carries a tautness as she smiles at the sight of her own former senpai and protector and friend. But the smile is abundant in joy. Mami is here with them...maybe, then, they can someday be friends again. Kyouko doesn't say anything to her, not yet. But she bows her head low, and longer for a moment, fresh tears slipping out from her that Mami should live.

That life came back for them all.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera hisses and whines, and wipes at her hand. There is a flash of light; in shorter order, Lera Camry goes from mage to Infinity uniform-wearing student. "W-Well, I just..." She laughs at Vita's remark. "...y'know, had to give it a shot?"

She runs a hand through her hair, and then she smiles at her. She nods. "Nope, we go all the way! Miracles and everything, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami, on her knees, is frankly a bit of a joyous mess to behold. Some of her hair has slid across her face, tears fly freely, and there's this little shine to her gaze as she beholds Eri and Kyouko in front of her. This doesn't stop a few sparkles about her, indeed intensifying as she puts her heart on display for a beautiful moment or two.


And then all of those sparkles instantly pop like bubbles as she's pinched, Kyouko hauls her up by a wrist, and the Duelist gives a yelp. Kassie peers at Eri and Kyou both with a surprised frown, and she simply glares!

"YOU LITTLE TRICKSTER YOU!" With a war-cry, she's leaping at Eri, trying to drag her into a full-on one armed noogie! It won't last long, but she's laughing and aiming to shake the girl about.

"Don't you dare scare me like that, do you have any idea how worried I was!? There's going to be a thousand years of punishment for your crimes against the King, starting with banishment to the land of Icecreamlandia and a trip to the dungeons of Ma'ov'ie Thetra!" 'Threatens' Kassie royally.

Only to then round on Kyouko!

"Oh don't you start, Kyouko Sakura! Flattery will only get you half way back into my good graces! ...Maybe two thirds of the way if you keep that kind of talk up! And don't think I'm going to let you off easy either! I'm taking you out and stuffing you full of the best pocky if it kills you!" She offers fiercely to the red headed Puella! Grinning all the while.

Then she's vigorously clearing her eyes with her coat to very little effect, grinning over to Steven. "Sometimes victory comes with perserverence, belief, and most importantly..."

Her boast softens. "Well, miracles do happen."

And then a familiar voice comes to her ears as arms reach up to snag her! The dual-bunned Puella embraces her, and it's returned as she leans down and hauls her up for a good, spinning hug of the younger girl! "Hey! No apologies! You live, you learn, and that first part is the important thing right now! I'm just glad you're with me, Kimi-chan. If you're still alive, then no matter who you are now? You can change and become better, stronger, improve yourself in body and mind! So...let's both put the effort in together, okay?" Grin, and she lets her go.

As Mami excuses the Duelist's familiarity? Kassie gives this look that's absolutely smug and unapologetic. "You haven't changed at all! ...I didn't think that would make me happy."

But all of that joy halts as though she'd ran into a wall. The Duelist goes stiff, crosses her arms, and looks down. Eyes close, and she falls silent.

A shake of her head. "I really hoped I could try to...make things right with her. That she'd be right behind you, try to get into a fight with me or something. So, Puella Magi have to be careful." Even now. She looks a little bothered, as she turns it all over in her head.

The arrival of Haruka and Michiru, arm-in-arm though, has Kasagami straightening up. Even she can't help but blush a bit, sufficiently distracted from darkening thoughts.

"It's almost blinding to be surrounded by so much beauty! " A pause, and it's plain obvious her thoughts are touching on the senshi of the outermost planet. "How lucky for me, that I've found a light more incandescent than any other!"

Her gaze, however, does slip to Homura. Why does that girl feel so alone to the Duelist? Kassie then looks away, and rubs her right elbow as her skin briefly itches.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

There's a girl sprawled out on a bench in a park by the bay. A hand on her abdomen, just above her stomach, one coiled twintail threatening to slip through the slats on the bench. The other making it all the way to the ground, descending like Rapunzel. Her legs have reached the edge of the bench at the knee. Diaphoretic and panting, she looks like she's tried to run a marathon.

"Usagi - they're all waiting for you."

"Ju... just a second... Luna..."

"It's not that far away."

"Need... a second..."

"Honestly... doesn't the thought of seeing Mami-san again move you at all?"

"Mmm... Luna." Usagi's breathing was slowing up just a little. And the girl forces herself to sit up. And Luna actually backs up a step, perhaps wondering if Usagi was upset with her.

It's one of those moments where you feel a friend might say 'Sometimes you don't know me at all.'

Instead Usagi just let's out this little giggle, like she forgives the misunderstanding. "It moved me all the way here - didn't it?"

The girl stands up.


Haruka is known to run like the wind. Compared to that Usagi Tsukino might be just a faint breeze in the speed that she runs.

Yet a second wind has gotten her to this point. It's not typical for Usagi Tsukino to run past their sports car. Past Haruka and Michiru without so much as a greeting - which is unusual for her.

They can see the girl in her red school uniform, the blonde twintails streaming behind her as she sprints past them.

Suddenly she's threading the crowd, "Excuse me - pardon me-" -one after another, "-Rei-chan coming through!" -ducking and dodging many girls she knows. Is familiar with.

It's becoming clear apparently that right now she's single minded in her mission.

Usagi is only paces out, before she literally launches herself at Mami, in a manner akin to a bunny hop. Her arms encircling around her, as her momentum carries her around the other girl in a stumbling swing, before she steadies herself from the side. For a moment she seems too broken up to speak, like she's on the verge of tears, Mami can see it in the way her eyes seem to be quivering a little, like they're about to erupt into a fountain of tears.

However then there's a certain relaxation in her pose, in the way her arms remain fastened around her. In her smile, "You know... I remember someone wishing you were still here with us."

It's strange that she can't remember who spoke that wish.

I wish Mami were here.

However - it feels important to her anyhow that it was made.

It's a faint whisper, full of emotion, "And wouldn't you know it? That wish came true."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

A wonderful night, with all the colours of the rainbow illuminating a grand reunion. There seem to be more arrivals every moment, whether elegant and romantic like Haruka and Michiru or dramatic and perhaps ill-thought-out like Lera. Everyone who stood against that final Witch, all alive and well...

For Mai, these things have always been a little personal. There's people in her life that she just flat out considers more important, more worth worrying about. It's something that gave her confidence more than once, but her posture is just a little timid before Mami.

Until everything went wrong, she hadn't quite clued in to how important her...rival? Had been to her. The smirk is still on her face, particularly at that unexpected offer to listen, but...she's too happy to be smug about it.

"Things were...you know what, I'll save that. I think everyone and their fuzzy shoulder companion probably wants a word with you. I'll catch up with you later, Tomoe - dinner at my place, maybe." The smirk becomes something a little more earnest, before she waves and turns away.

Kyouko's arrival is something special - she's someone Mai didn't get to know well, before, but she's someone important to Mai's surrogate little sister. Another wave, then, and a wink when she can catch Eri's eye - but Mami's announcement about Sayaka slice through the cheer, bring a breath of the cold breeze back to reality.

"...I see. I'm sorry to hear that." It's honest, in spite of everything, but the admission seems to cost Mai some kind of inner spark. Shoulders lumping, she turns toward the railing as if the exertions of her sprint have caught up with her at last. The lights are practically dancing on the water, and maybe she can just enjoy the sight for a moment.

She's not alone, at least. There's a knight in not-so-shining armor here with her, baring his heart. Mai closes the distance, stepping closer until shoulders just touch as they get to quietly talk.

"...it's not perfect. It's a second chance for...a lot of things, and words will never describe what it's like to have my little sister back." She takes a deep, shuddering breath - and then gives Takeo a fleeting glare.

She manages to refrain from jabbing at that shoulder, though her gaze suggests it's a near thing. "I do know what Tomoe did, and she and I had words about that subject she didn't enjoy hearing. I still missed her after everything, so take that for whatever..." A vague flailing of hands. "...today is a lot better than the last few days have been. Just...put past mistakes behind us, and let's just enjoy that."

Hesitation, for a moment, and then Mai fully leans against Takeo, exhaustion from the day's work and the evening's reunion catching up at last. "No revenge plans, no more cakes, and just have your boys' gaming night out without me. Everything's turning out just fine, but...just stay here for a minute, okay? For me? I need to..."

The lights on the water blur in her sight, and she leans in just a little more. She'd lowered her voice for their private chat, but her next words are even more timid. "...I need to not think about who's missing from this reunion for a little while."

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita can't help laughing at Lera, the good mood, the healing air letting the firebrand redhead smile easily here. "Oh, yeah, everyone tries it once," she says offhand, waving. "But ya really gotta commit if you're gonna keep it up."

And then, feeling equal parts like a child at a social gathering for the lofty aliens called adults and like an old woman at a party for teens, she settles for a laugh. "Miracles," she says, softly. "I could get used to miracles."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

He saw Endo die. It was a sight even now is scarred in his mind. Seeing him alive will surely soothe it. In time. For now, the hug, even feels a little surreal. "We will have a ton of different drinks I bet...!" he says, fighting back a tear or two. He manages, for once in this horrific series of events.

It is hard for him to fight them back though when Mami approachs him instead! "Wh... ahahah...!" He laughs that little disarming laugh of his when he is hugged. "Yes... it does! We didn't get to talk mucb before, but now... I all I want to do is talk to you!"

It was a second chance. "Also according to my phone, we have fun together, I think! Soooo...!"

He would show her the picture if she had a moment! "Maybe we can do it for real this time, sometime...?" The question is hopeful.

A bit of that sadness returns when he hears Sayaka's fate. Suppose the return to form as it were couldn't be absolutely perfect. But at least it sounds like she didn't have the same fate as before. Perhaps a happier one, this time. Steven lowers his head for a moment in memory of her.

Homura seems so devastated over something. Was it Sayaka? Hum. The ribbons she holds look so familiar, feel so familiar in his mind. Was it something she wore often? "Take the time you need, Homura..." he says kindly from his distance. "If you need to talk, I'll listen. You know where to find me! It's... pretty much impossible to miss."

He gives her a cute little smile. Even though inside her knows that look. Reading people was... was it a magical power, or is he just really good at it? With this life, sometimes it is hard to tell!

Others even begin to show up, like Michiru and Haruka and-- Usagi from school??? Wow, word got around quickly to people not even at the event! But she deserves the attention. Not everyday someone is alive again.

"Hey Kasagami!" he calls over toward the young lady of the Crimson Rose. "We going to do some kind of fu nvacation or something after this?" He deliberately asks this of course, if not to just get a rise out of her. She wouldn't take school off for such frivolous things!

...But if she said otherwise he wouldn't object...!

<Pose Tracker> Kimiko Akane [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Kimiko is pulled into a spin hug and she laughs as they move in a circle. When it stops and she finds her footing on the ground again she subconsciously runs a hand over her hair. Just having the brief physical touch of someone else and it's starting to feel a little less like a dream and more like old times.

Listening to Kasagami offering her words of wisdom just as before makes her laugh to herself. Outwardly though, she nods, closing her eyes briefly before looking back up to the older girl, "I am glad to be here too, Kasa-chan." Kimiko smiles. "We have a second chance right?" Maybe nothing would change but the younger girl really wants to bottle up this feeling of something...maybe it's hope...that she has right now.

"Mami-chan, tea would be wonderful sometime!" She gives the older girl a thumbs up. "Thank you for the offer." She doesn't keep Mami distracted from reuniting with others but instead seems rather content in taking a step back and allowing the rest of the reunions to continue around her...

Looking across the bridge and watching the moonlit water rippling in the evening air there is just one word on her mind...


<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo blinks as Mai actually leans on him, and he puts an arm around a shoulder to support her, and keep her warm. He blushes a bit more, his cheeks a red that matches a hue of the rainbow that finds it's way over the pair. He takes a deep breath and lets it out in a sigh of ...


He nods to Mai as she makes her request and says softly. "No plans. I'll be right here, beside you, or whatever for as long as you want me there." He gives her a smile, and a slight squeeze and then looks over the group. He sniffles once, and then jsut enjoys the reunion. There are still a few errant tears, how could there not be. As friends find friends after that apocalypse and then ... What is it? A re-birth.

He ponders this for a second. Reborn. They were all reborn agian and given a second chance by ... He can't remember by who, or even what. Instead he just smiles and allows the few tears to roll down his cheek. He's with friends and loved ones. Some he had lost, and some had never left or been taken. So to that, he says a silent Thank You to the universe and hopes that whatever gave them this precious night hears it, and knows they are loved.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami just receives this nod of assent when it comes to talking. Perhaps Eri looks slightly less cheerful in that moment? More embarrassed. Than anything, though that awkwardness fades in a moment.

Optimism allows her to dispel dread that it might go somewhere she doesn't want it to.

"You're right." Eri squeezes her hands back. "We've got so much more time than I ever could have dreamed of having." However there's this almost subtle gleam in her eyes. "All the same. I'd rather not wait for another one of these."

Perhaps she saw Haruka's thumbs up after all. Perhaps, because Eri steps in close, forcing their hands up, before her hands break their grip to slide around the other girl, to press her lips against Kyouko's. And holds them against hers for just one lingering moment, her eyes closed.

Only Haruka and Michiru are likely to see how the hand behind Kyouko is holding up two fingers in a V.

It's not long after they break contact for shenanigans with her pinching Kasagami that Kasagami is seeking her revenge and she's experiencing a noogie, which she mostly accepts other than a dainty little hot step in place to try to extricate herself "Ah-ah! Hair! Hair! Come on you opened yourself up- you could just give me that one!" The mess made of it causes Eri to huff for a moment, before blowing a bang out of her eyes.

Kimiko follows up, and she allows herself a grin, "Well we're waiting for the judges to reach a consensus on whether we are - or whether we're just some cruel dream." The girl keeps up that teasing lightness towards Kimiko. Before she leans in, and offers a hug which pats her on the back, "Just between you and me Akane-chan. I'm optimistic about our chances."

Mami though speaks of how Sayaka isn't here, and Eri falls still in a few moments. Perhaps she's remembering a vase on a desk. There's this slow blink of her eyes and she takes a few moments to just take that idea in without comment. She says nothing in the positive, or the negative. It's hard to say what she thinks on it at all, other than she seems genuinely a little perturbed by the fact that Sayaka is the one exception, deciding it's best not to say anything to Mami right now.

When she opens her eyes, she notes Fuu looking right at her. It's hard to say whether she feels like that look caught her in a vulnerable moment. Her expression calm, she arches an eyebrow at Fuu, waiting a few moments, before finally speaking. "Given how much you usually have to say. It's pretty gratifying to see you at a loss for words Hououji-san."

It feels like there's a spark of something cruel in that. Though it becomes... something else swiftly - teasing perhaps, making it clear, as she steps by, patting her on the shoulder once on the shoulder. "That's fine. Sometimes it's better not to say anything. Says a lot more in my opinion."

And yet, there is an invitation of sorts in that. Like she's leaving the door open, rather than slamming it shut.

However at the same time, looking past her at Homura. Seeing Homura in her moment of vulnerability. She doesn't say anything for a while, just watching Nori and Rei talk to Homura. And there's something a little introspective in her expression. Perhaps it's simply that she knows Homura Akemi does not allow such feelings to show.

She cannot see the treasure clutched in her hands at the moment.

Though perhaps she feels this sense of nostalgia anyhow.

She does not know what is going through the girl's head. She simply waits for Homura to speak, and then after a moment, looks away. Like she's decided to give her some space.

"Time." The girl utters, like she's ruminating on Kyouko's words from before - and something else entirely different all at once.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

It will be glossy, polished, and abstract when it is finished and the lights go down, but right now, it's covered in tape marks, littered with boxes, and spattered with paint. The Akai Mirai solo show, hosted at 4-4-4.

Aohime isn't over. But there had been no time to figure out what to do without its top model. No heart perhaps, as well.

Whistling tunelessly to himself, Tetsu pushes a wheeled cart in front of him, peeking around its side to see past the swaying layers of dresses and blouses. His mother would be proud if she saw her deliquent son pushing around fancy women's clothing for a living. His father would kick his ass... ha! If he could, old man!

Tsuru steps to the side to allow the cart to pass, folding her pale hands on her kimonoed lap as she waits. Her liquid black eyes follow its contents blankly. When Tetsu has passed, she steps out into the aisle between seats again. She catches herself swaying, asserts balance.

"Yumi," she calls distractedly, in that soothing, even voice of hers. When her stage manager has reached her side, she ventures, "That cart of clothing..."

White clothes, black clothes, green and yellow and grey and purple and blue clothes. Every color except red.

"...who is it for?"

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Agreed," Mami tells Eri about waiting. "So go on. ...I do still see your number in my phone, so you can use it, hm?"

Something stylish this way comes... Well, under other circumstances, Mami would have a lovely time with Haruka and/or Michiru, who are surely not secretly people she's never gotten on well with--but there's a little less glamour and a lot mre /immediacy/ to some of those close to her.

...Well, Homura aside. Whatever changed, her hair certainly hasn't.

"It seems so," Mami tells Vita in turn. She laughs softly at Lera's predicament, smiling to her friend. But, well... Homura stares, and Mami wonders why--she tilts her head thoughtfully for an instant, wondering what it is this time, why. "...We should talk later," she says instead. "Just talking this time, really."

Mami nods seriously to Rei, then. "I thought... it was best, that people know. Especially her other friends."

'Other'. Since of course--Mami more than counted.

...It is for the best, frankly, that Mami doesn't see enough of Kyouko and Eri right now to think through that development entirely. She only sees in time for Kyouko to look back at her--she remembers all of that. She sees that tense look... but also the smile. She inclines her head back--delicate, careful as ever... Just like her. And it suggests it, in her eyes--

...Maybe they, too, can talk. It's a start. But she doesn't say anything yet, either. She just smiles once, before--

Well before, the sheer number of reintroductions must necessarily carry her attention away. Mami laughs faintly at Kasagami. "Maybe more than you think," Mami counters Kasagami. "But hmm... we'll see."

Finally, though--finally one face Mami hasn't seen in some time... is a face she still doesn't see at first. A dear friend--a dear girl small, and running, and hopping, and it is only Mami's practiced grace that prevents her falling over with it, recognizing her instantly and wrapping her arms around her tightly in turn--tightly, then loosely, to let her talk. "Usagi-chan," Mami says warmly, and looks down into her eyes in that whisper. How strange...?

"...You know," Mami tells her. "I think I wished it, too."

She hugs her more closely for a moment, and doesn't pull back this time. Maybe a little overemotion is embarrassing, but... Maybe that's all right, this time.

She smiles back at Mai a moment later. "it seems so. But..." She pauses, and laughs faintly. "Not an offer I'd have expected--but one I'll gladly accept. I'll message you later and set up the details. I think we'll have a lot to talk about."

..Just like... Well. That one thing. It's not perfect, but it's a second chance...

"Well," she says then to Takeo, for all that was said, "...It's true that I have a knack for working with knights. You're not my knight.. But maybe next time, we can face the enemy down together, hm?"

She gets a smile out for Fuu, too... and then rests her head against Usagi's for a moment, smiling Steven's way, looking down at the photograph as her eyes light up a bit. "Yes," she says. "We'll have to, for certain."

She closes her eyes then, for a moment, with Usagi.

"...We have a beautiful summer ahead, I think."

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi Ohzora, naturally, is not doing the pushing of the cart. She has other things on her list at the moment--well. A lot of other things on her list, actually.

...Except, when did she get here holding a list, exactly?

When Tsuru calls, Yumi decides the details aren't that important for the moment, and she gives some instruction to a couple of people nearby as she steps through the area, waving Tetsu's way pleasantly as she walks up to Tsuru again. She looks over to the soothing, apparently distracted designer...

"Yes?" Yumi asks. She, of course, is dressed in black herself--simple black, easy for this kind of work, for all that she owns a great deal of Aohime herself. And yet...

"Huh. Wow, yeah, that's..."

The young witch reaches up, pushes a lock of gray hair out of her face, flips through pages on her clipboard as she looks to a number on the side before--Pausing. Blinking. "It's..."

She blinks owlishly and adjusts her glasses, tilting pink eyes down to Tsuru instead. "It's for Kozue, Tsuru-san."

She underlines the name, turns the clipboard around to show her.

And there it is. All on the right dates and everything.

<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Looking down at the clipboard and the underlined name, Tsuru's lashes dip, then open, in one slow blink. She straightens her back again, and refolds her hands, watching the cart trundle down away from her towards the stage.

"Perfect," she replies contentedly.