2021-11-06 - A Christmas Caroil (Part 2)

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Title: A Christmas Caroil (Part 2)

The magical girls fight against the despair Caroiler tries to fit into their present and future lives, and make their way out of the fog.


Rei Hino (as Yuuichiro Kumada), Lera Camry, Setsuna Higashi, Usagi Tsukino, Nori Ankou, Haruka Tenoh


Tama - Nishitama

OOC - IC Date:

2021-11-06 - 2015-12-16

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

LAST TIME: We focused in on this time. Current day, current hour, current... exam period.

"You've forgotten!", roiled Caroiler, as the mist rose behind her. Projected on the screen of mist were events known to everyone present, as familiar as homework lying forgotten on the table. Teachers lecturing on the importance of final exams, a ticking clock, revision...

Of course, within these images is the horrible feeling that you'll fail these most vital of end-of-year exams, enough to bring the year of any student to a crashing halt.

But was it another trick?

Of course it was.

On the opposite side of the room, the napping forms of Yuuichiro and Hiroko find the fog creeping up on them. Luckily, amongst everyone, the Wind Knight spies it first -- she goes to stand between the mists and the civilians, occupied with keeping the fog from encroaching over them. This will keep her occupied, but it will keep them safe, too.

For everyone else -- there's their projected demise. The end of the year is the most important time in a student's life, and here you are, chasing ghosts.

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

Lera thinks she hears Passion. She isn't sure -- her voice is still distant. There is a flash from the mist, though; Lera's eyes widen as the glow of the flying tiara cuts through the fog for just a moment. She nods her head. "Sailor Moon!"

She calls out, even if she isn't sure that her voice will carry to her. She sees the light from Sirene's lattern, through the mists. Haruka's voice carries through -- her eyes widen a little at Uranus's words, realizing she knows that. She isn't alone, she realizes, and that is enough to steel her.

The fog breaks and Uranus takes her shot. She sees Caroiler -- and the sudden flash of an image of a poor test score and her hands ahking. She grits her teeth -- shakes her head -- and then looks back at the Youma. She focuses for a second, before she raises Sky in one hand. "We can do both! We've always been able to, y'know!" she yells. The Device splits -- the two-toned blade dividing down the middle -- and energy cracks between the two halves, arcs of lightning jumping between them. "Sky!"

<I've got you! Aurora...>

A brighter glow appears. Lightning sometimes shoots off it, hitting the floor and grounding. A few lingering bits of mist are driven back by it. The two blade halves tremble, as a brilliant glow begins gathering between the two halves. It makes it hard to look at; Lera keeps looking anyways.


Three rings appear in front of the split sword. They're red-gold in color, filled with Midchildan runes, and rotating -- and they keep hovering, as a blast of light explodes outward. It's a column of energy that passes through the middle of each, condensed down to an impossibly bright line of light. It shoots onward, straight for Caroiler.


COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Aurora Burst Ray on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Rei Hino braces 30 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Aurora Burst Ray, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  Rei Hino's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Ordinarily, academics just don't scare Setsuna Higashi. The curriculum in her home world was strong in many ways, and her relentless approach to studying has always served her well. Adapting to the way math was taught in Tokyo was easy, for instance. Her studies are work, but they're rewarding work. But... there are some subjects...

There are some subjects she just never was well prepared-for, and still has to work harder at. Subjects she just can't understand the same way. Not like kicking and math. And the clock ticks and ticks and ticks. Setsuna... should be studying literature! And social studies! Especially social studies! The geography of a world that's new to her in the past few years, the study of goverment systems she never needed to understand...


...It hits her hard, the fog projecting into her mind, and Passion falls to one knee, briefly caught in despiair. But...

She remembers. She didn't forget. She has a study guide for those subjects, prepared for her by Ami and Honoka! She remembers. She didn't forget. She has a study guide for those subjects, prepared for her by Ami and Honoka! "The top students of Juuban are supporting me!!" How can she give up so easily? How can she give up so easily?


Passion charges through the fog, leaping up into the air and extending a heel. "I won't give up!" Along with Soaring Sky's light comes PASSION KICK MARK TWO!!

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Passionate Kick! on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Cure Passion has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Rei Hino braces 30 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Aurora Burst Ray, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  Rei Hino's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Rei Hino fails to brace Cure Passion's Passionate Kick!, taking 22 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

With a quick motion of her hand, Sailor Moon grabs the tiara and holds up two fingers in a V, "I've got your back Lera-chan-!" As if proud of herself for dispersing the fog. Just in time to see Uranus take her shot. The word 'shortcake' still fresh on her mind. (She'd blushed.) However, the contrast in intensity makes her wonder... what Uranus saw in the fog... and makes her more glad to have come to her aid.

Which is when the ghost tells her she's forgotten-! And the fog rises up again. "Whoa Whoa Whoa Wait-!" She says as she rapidly crosses her hands back and forth as if to denial, "But it's almost winter vacation-!"

And an apparition of Haruna Sakurada appears right in her face, in the mists, holding up her recent English Exam. It has the following written upon the top.


And the paper itself is marked all over as if by some angry historian annotating a work they disagree with.

Her mouth open in the only word that she can read on people's lists.


Sailor Moon suddenly lets out a cry, as she ends up on her knees in dramatic despair.

"I-It's not fair! I already worked so hard to get into high school! How does anyone expect any girl with a social life to keep that pace up forever!?"

Finals are coming up. What is she supposed to do!? She just knows she hasn't studied anywhere near enough! And she's going to fail! Even though she is putting in more effort than she used to!

And then all of a sudden, she just climbs back up, "That's it! Tomorrow I'm relying on Mercury-chan! She knows all the words!"

... Well that was fast. Poor Mercury though, to suddenly deal with the sudden transition (albeit likely temporary) in her friend.

"But reminding me about that was mean-!" Was it actually mean!??

Now on her feet, Sailor Moon responds by just, abruptly trying to launch herself into a leap towards Caroiler, "Sailor Moon KICK-!" As a slim heeled Moonboot snaps towards the Youma's head just after the Pretty Cure's Kick.

Which, compared to the strength of a Pretty Cure is probably just insult to injury in her specific case. She's the Senshi of Love and Justice - Strength isn't one of her appellations.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Sailor Moon Kick on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Rei Hino partially dodges 2 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Sailor Moon Kick, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Psyched!  Rei Hino's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Rei Hino!

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"I found you," la Sirene declaims. But something else has found HER in term. The demon is speaking to them - it's reminding her of something she's forgotten.

What could she have forgotten? And if she did forget it, did it matter? But the aphorism does not do much, because there's a screen, a vision, an image of -

Of -

Of academic failure.

La Sirene feels a cold jolt and something seize at her heart at the thought. Sweat gleams on her immaculate skin despite low body temperature buoyed by her strange enchantments. The thought is horrifying on a deep and interior level, and it does not help that it's *damnably plausible!* For she is NOT the best student - adequate, yes, but adequate does not go very far. Her life plan did not look towards college; she looks, unheeded by parents, towards a career in beauty and perhaps to stranger shores.

BUT IS THAT WISE? Is she simply setting herself up for something worse? This close, this near to things. Is she hurting herself? Is she ill in the mind from this? Will she find herself wading through the rest of her life ignorant and foreclosed? Beauty does not last forever, it is said, and while the statement's cruel sharpness is not an absolute reflection of the world, it is not *incorrect*. The Red Future will at some time become the Red Present, if she is spared; and from there, it will become, inevitably, a Red Past. And she will persist, for a little while or a long while, and --

She covers her eyes. She won't look. She can't look. If she looks she'll know, and the anticipation is at least something exciting. Open her eyes and she will see the sentence of death.


Death? la Sirene thinks.

I might fail these exams, but it surely won't *kill* me, she reasons further. I have certainly been wounded by such things, and I would suffer, but I would not *die*. What comes after is hard to say, but -- and the thought derails as she feels a feeling like a searchlight at the base of her spine, projecting a column of light into the cloudy skies of her soul.

"... You're not a very kind ghost, are you," la Sirene says, rustily, through half-closed lips. She keeps a hand on her eyes... the right hand... as she reaches out with the left. "On deportment, I would rate you a solid... zero." Index and pinky fingers raise. Her head tilts back as the right hand comes round in the form of the charm:

"Les Mysteres," though you had never left me, la Sirene thinks with a sort of inner sobbing shudder, "COME!"

A single smash downwards; an echoing sound, synthetic silver and magic; and the rippling ink-burst of this strike, towards Carollier, a luminous orb. Or...

... a zero??

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Rei Hino fails to brace La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 33 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Uranus cringes for a moment as the mist rises again. Last time, she had not overcome it; she had only evaded it, in the end, tiara ex machina. This time, she cannot count on being so lucky. She needs to be ready this time. She needs to...

Contain her belly laugh, apparently.

"Hohoho," Uranus chortles, getting richer before Caroiler's eyes. "You think I'm scared of exams anymore? I'm a college athlete. If my grades are bad, that's the university's problem to fix!"

There's a reason it's not 'Sailor Uranus Says,' apparently.

Having succeeded at kicking a ghost, Uranus seems determined to take it to the next level. Attempting to seize Carolier's arm, she makes a test of ectoplasmic physics with a judo style throw aimed at the couch.

COMBAT: Sailor Uranus has used Elegant Throw on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Rei Hino perfectly dodges 40 Fatigue damage from Sailor Uranus's Elegant Throw, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Rei Hino's Fade and Flash abilities activate!

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

Doing both is the watchword which contradicts Caroiler's dramaturgy, a declaration of hope in the hopeless abyss of academia. With it Lera brings a sword -- though the word almost mightn't do service to that weapon, all split with sparking energy, a runic revolutionary Device. The blast which comes from it bisects that projection into two halves -- a teacher, on one side, her class on the other -- and carves right into CAROILER, too.

And as we have seen, inscrutable fog is weak to the clarity of light. It defines her form, all its edges, as that tinsel sizzles at the tips. Enter -- CURE PASSION, who won't give up.

"CaROILER--!" Protests the youma, who phased out of reach the last time Cure Passion tried her signature heel lash on her. This time, she has no such time to prepare herself against a Cure, and still sizzling, PASSION KICK MARK TWO crashes square into her centre of gravity. There is a jingling of bells which presumably made up the contents of her midsection.

It turns out ghosts can fly, and Cure Passion can make it happen, because she goes flying -- and impacts with the heel of a Sailor Senshi's elegant boot on the way, as if one kick led sorely to the next. Caroiller thumps against the wall, in precisely the way ghosts should not.

"Caroiler," grumbles Caroiler, as she turns to the wall, as if she'll phase right through it. This is the precise moment that la Sirene de Diamant rates her own end-of-year performance with a big, fat 'ZERO'. Les Mysteres echoes through the sitting room, and lights her up again. ... of course, the consequences for her failure aren't academic in the slightest.

And it turns out someone else doesn't have anything to fear from academia, either -- the mighty form of Sailor Uranus, who Caroiler finds as she turns. Rather than rely on intangibility, she bodily springs back away from the Senshi's grasp, sweeping up in the fog to take place in the centre of the room.

"Tomorrow... and tomorrow...!" Cries Caroiler, as the fog ribbons out from her central location -- one ribbon for each girl, it turns out, as each rises, takes shape. They did their best in the past, then, and the present cannot cow them. But...

Who is in their future?

The fog takes the shape of a person; the person, informed by your eyes. Perhaps a husband, or a wife -- a loving child, or an old friend -- a highly-rated peer, or a target of long admiration. It's someone... from your ideal future.

And they're terribly cross. Arms folded, or turning away -- wagging a finger, pointing accusation -- somehow, these figures say without words, you've set your future awry. The horizon is bleak.

But... is it?

After all, in your future... it's not just the ideal figure there. Here, too, are the people fighting beside you.

And, connected by those misty cords, all those negative figures lead back to --

COMBAT: Rei Hino has used Poltercracker on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Rei Hino has used Poltercracker on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rei Hino has used For Those Who Roil In Darkness, Hear Now My Ultimate Hymn -- A Future Carved From Pumpkins Sinks Into The Snow! on Sailor Uranus.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rei Hino has used For Those Who Roil In Darkness, Hear Now My Ultimate Hymn -- A Future Carved From Pumpkins Sinks Into The Snow! on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rei Hino has used For Those Who Roil In Darkness, Hear Now My Ultimate Hymn -- A Future Carved From Pumpkins Sinks Into The Snow! on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Rei Hino has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Cure Passion braces 46 Fatigue damage from Rei Hino's Finisher, For Those Who Roil In Darkness, Hear Now My Ultimate Hymn -- A Future Carved From Pumpkins Sinks Into The Snow!, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lera Camry dodges 5 Fatigue damage from Rei Hino's Poltercracker, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Rei Hino is Psyched!  Lera Camry's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Blind applied to Lera Camry!

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

"Go, Passion!" Lera yells after the Cure. She can't cheer on everyone else -- she has to run, bolting to the side -- and sees Caroiler. Then, she sees fog swirling into existence. It takes the form of someone here -- though recognition inhibition makes that hard to recognize. A woman with longer hair and, despite the monochromatic nature of fog, a hint of red eyes. Her arms are folded.

An old Setsuna Camry shakes her head, with a look of disappointment. It cuts for Lera -- makes her take a step backward, her eyes widening for a second. She sucks in a breath; but then, ahead of her, rushing in, she sees a certain pink-haired Cure. She grits her teeth, then shakes her head 'no.'

She doesn't have to yell out her denial.

"Ground, let's... let's bring this down to earth," she says.

<Gladly.> Broken Ground rumbles his reply.

The shield glows and flashes -- the triangular stone at the buckler's center flashing -- and then a thousand motes of white-red light fly out. They shoot up into the air, rising in a cascade. Then, they drop down -- a veritable rain of destruction, all focused on Caroiler.

<Gaia Cataclysm!>

COMBAT: FINISHER! Lera Camry has used Gaia Cataclysm on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...

Today, Passion kicks a ghost. It feels good. She kicks a ghost with encouragement from Lera, no less, which is even better! All of them are working hard, working together despite these terrible mists. ...Well, mostly. Uranus's answer is...

"T-that's how it works?" she blinks, surprised. But she shakes her head, and considers--tomorrow. The ribbons come... in their future.

There is so much to be seen in Setsuna Higashi's future. Thanks to a miracle of hope and the good friends she's made, that future is bright and stands out long ahead. She sees Lera before her, hurt and disappointed. But...

...Setsuna has seen it before, and it did not break her; she knows Lera wouldn't give up on her after one mistake. She spots the Lera of today, and sees her gritting her teeth--and understands.

"...I've already made mistakes," Passion answers solemnly. "And more than mistakes--done awful things. But... they forgave me. And I won't stop doing my best to be worthy of that. Even if I stumble."

"...So you! You are done!"

She lifts her hand. "Sing, O rhapsody of happiness! Passion... Harp!" In her hand appears a shining instrument, and the gem in her other hand fits perfectly into its top, completing the item of power. Then Passion narrows her red eyes at her opponent.

"Rage, storm of happiness! Pretty Cure--" Hearts begin to whirl and bubble around her as if in a sea of energy, and she starts to spin within it. "Happiness... Hurricane!!"

The storm of hearts rushes towards Carolier to burst into red and pink eternity!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Passion has used Pretty Cure Happiness Hurricane on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Cure Passion has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

A vision washes out towards la Sirene, who is (to say the least) worrying, on some level, at how many horrible visions this thing is presenting. They have to find it, to strike it. Sailor Uranus's statement, distant though it is to her, makes her laugh -- and a moment later the fog takes a strange and diaphanous form.

For a moment la Sirene sees her mother, though not much different than she is now, save in the face. Both a year or two's age, and something--

-- but then the impression ades. There is someone else, smearing together; a shape struggles into something like a tow-headed young man, rolls through an appearance worryingly similar to Yuuchiro, passes through and contracts to reach someone smaller and more distinctly blue-topped...

But what is consistent is the look on their face. A sort of weary fatigue mixed with disgust. The disgust is plain enough but the fatigue, somehow, is worse -- it is one thing to have offended or to have wounded someone dear to you. That cannot be understated; its agony is sharp and jagged on a number of levels. But worse, by far...

... is to see that they expected this would--

"I SEE YOU" la Sirene screams. It is a scream; it echoes off of the walls of the room as she throws one hand forwards, fingers crooked into clawlike gestures. She still has that chair she is standing upon! Her eyes narrow, and they are wet as she says, "Tomorrow is frightening enough without your help. No one needs to be reminded about the horrors and the difficulty that awaits in the future. The erosion of time..."

"But it doesn't destroy anything," la Sirene continues: "It only transforms. For the sake of a suffering world, I won't let you make anything worse--"

The light at her hip (well, un-light, but it has a similar effect) suddenly opens up; the strange halo around her blooms, erupts, flickers towards the top as her crooked fingers form a slight fist and the jewels on the back of her hand glitter, black diamonds seeming to swell with light. And then--

la Sirene reaches down to grasp her wrist, no, her glove. A single silver clasp is undone and then the fingerless garment is taken off and thrown forwards, sailing over the head of the figure which is in this moment a cryptic and classical figure, smaller yet than the one before--

The light around her elongates outwards, like a teardrop or a great piece of pulled mochi, gleaming and casting strangely shaped shadows. But these ones, at least, are not mocking--

The snap-forwards makes no sound, but the feeling is like a dam breaking, aiming to pour down with cascading luminous force upon Caroiler!

COMBAT: FINISHER! La Sirene de Diamant has used Saturday's Delight on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Sailor Moon looks at Uranus with a look unto awe after she lands from her kick...

"... Wow... Attending a University is the real reward..."

Maybe the idea of grades no longer being her problem is appealing-! Though she missed the part about being a college athlete to get that privilege.

And then... ribbons of fog shoot out and wind towards her. Raising her Rod, it sparkles as the fog crashes against it and splits it... "Yatta-!"

... and then abruptly surrounds her. And suddenly her eyes grow wide.

Because sitting down is Tuxedo Kamen. A little older perhaps. A little more tired. A hand across his abdomen, he sits against the wall. Too tired to stand...

His eyes though. They're not looking at her.

"Tuxedo Kamen-sama-!" She moves forward suddenly.

The apparition... it holds out a hand suddenly, as if to tell her to stay back...

... and he still doesn't look at her. Silent, in his disappointment, his accusation. Looking upset. Looking tired. Looking disappointed.

"What-What's wrong... what did I... I..." Finding tears in her eyes despite herself, she finds herself wiping them away.

She understands intrinsically... she made the wrong decision. Made the wrong call. And someone in her life is disappointed in her for that decision.

Wiping away at her eyes, she looks up. "If I-I've learned anything... it's that... messing up... messing up... isn't the end." She says, as if she were thinking of that time long ago, with Sayaka Miki in a warehouse.

Or at the foot of Tokyo Tower.

It's quite possible she'll mess up again and again and again, what's important is how she fixes it.

"So don't show me things that promise that it is-!"

Presenting her rod in front of her, she begins her choreography, a dance within the fog, of twirling rod, of chiming sound. And then... "MOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNN SPIRALLLLLLL-" A rapid rotation, from high to low, faster and faster, her twin tails whipping around her like golden streamers. "-HEART-"

And then ending with a pose upon the ground, raising the rod high.


A kaleidoscope of stardust, and hearts stream outwards from the Moon Spiral Heart Rod, filling the space around her entire... and joining into a massive heart that speeds through the fog, trying to find... the source.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

"That's Passion, all right," Uranus praises the Cure, as she makes second time the charm for ghost-kicking. She wasn't able to get hands on Carolier herself, but she pursues, putting a boot on the couch (ew!) to leap after, and...

Ever fall asleep again after a bad dream, only to plunge right back into it?

The context has shifted only slightly. Uranus feels wearier. Sailor Moon is older, longer-legged, a college-aged heroine primarily distinguishable from her younger version by height, but the gap between her and the Outers has widened in the area of age as well, because at Uranus's side, Neptune has grown (immaculately) into full adulthood, and Uranus surely is the same. The only bright moment of this vision is when Uranus gets to clearly visualize the seafoam effect of a few seams of premature white in Neptune's hair, shocked in rather than aged in, perhaps through dark visions of her own.

"She's my best friend," Sailor Moon objects, and the girl with her head on Sailor Moon's lap slides freely between blue, red, green, and orange.

"Must we?" Uranus bleats a whisper. It slips out of a crack in her, unexpectedly.

Neptune startles. Looking over at her partner, she pauses a moment, then limns her eyes with beautiful lashes. The sadness in her sinks and sinks, already slipping out of Uranus's reach even as she struggles for words.

One of us must, Neptune confirms. The words write themselves in Uranus's head rather than her ears, as if written in Michiru's cursive, the letters that appear in the margins of the sheet music on Haruka's piano. Little words left by a lover and a partner, guidance or requests, moments where Michiru leads the dance of Haruka's fingers across the keys. And Neptune takes a step forward, as Sailor Moon cringes away, wrapping her arms closer around her best friend, whichever it is. Neptune departs from Uranus's side.

It happens all at once, in a moment of furious devotion. The mists part around a crackling, vast orb of golden energy that rips along the ground. With so little distance to travel in this enclosed space, it is not unlike throwing a bomb point-blank, and Uranus, her short hair wild in the wind, seems ready for the blowback.

"One of us... means both of us!" she shouts at Carolier, inexplicably. "World Shaking!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Uranus has used World Shaking! on Rei Hino.
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Rei Hino braces 80 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Finisher, Saturday's Delight, taking 53 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Rei Hino's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Rei Hino fails to brace Sailor Uranus's Finisher, World Shaking!, taking 93 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rei Hino fails to brace Lera Camry's Finisher, Gaia Cataclysm, taking 108 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rei Hino fails to brace Cure Passion's Finisher, Pretty Cure Happiness Hurricane, taking 98 Fatigue damage!  Rei Hino is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Rei Hino fails to brace Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 192 Fatigue damage!  Rei Hino is unable to keep fighting!

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

How many horrible visions does Caroiler have to show..? Hers is a dark reflection, and, as Sailor Moon has noted, a very, very mean trick. La Sirene screams through the horrors, and through her tears she sights the source of their sorrows. Her trick is un-light, stretching, transforming; it reaches to that glove, thrown overhead. An invitation to duel, once upon a time. But this isn't single combat; la Sirene does not stand alone. The un-light snaps -- if Caroiler cast a shadow, it would surely be wounded. As it is she is caught there, between lighthouse and sea, a strange light shining through her mists.

Caught, then, in the epicentre of World Shaking's explosion. This isn't single combat for her, either -- it can't be -- it mustn't be. The world borne on each of their shoulders, it trembles as it courses from her, a gale which heralds a storm. The floor cracks asunder as World Shaking tears its way to Caroiler. That the explosion unseats none of them is its own little miracle.

Perhaps when one's future is under attack, a shield is the best defence. So, then, Lera employs Broken Ground, one flash of light to precede a thousand. Upwards they arc, and down -- storm-crashing, pelting relentlessly, a shower of light too thick to see through. Caroiler howls, roiled by rain.

Through the cataclysmic light of Broken Ground now cuts something on a different wavelength: sound, not light. Passion Harp sings a dozen-dozen hearts into the world, and they flood the area as she spins, the eye of a storm of affection. As they spiral, the purifying energy lashes through each of those ribbons matching fog-figure to their misty heart. The figures dash into oblivion, as that hurricane swirls.

But it's not the only thing spinning in the dark of the fog. Moon Spiral twirls, all the way up, all the way down, and these hearts complect together, one giant shower of stardust and love. One massive heart collides with Caroiler, and a cacophony of little red hearts follow in after. Those red hearts pelt into Caroiler -- as the massive heart pierces her entirely.

"Loveeelyyyyy...!" That shining light seems to be coming from WITHIN her, now, until it explodes out, and there's nothing left of the tinsel-ghost, Caroiler. Perhaps an ornament rolled under the couch. That couch, by the way, is entirely untouched by claws now -- music and light knit each split thread, made it new again.

It's still dark, for a few moments; enough time to duck into the hall or a shadowy corner and change, before the lights flicker on again. Remember electric lighting? It makes the room a much warmer and more inviting place than it was, in the dark.

It's once everything is lit up again that Yuuichiro and Hiroko stir, pushing themselves up from floor and sitting-cushion. "Did I get them..?" Yuuichiro asks, scratching at that bushy monster he calls his hair, which has gotten -- if anything -- even more untamed over the course of his impromptu nap.

"Somehow," Hiroko says, "the pall of fear which laid over our house seems to have lifted... I know not what you did, but I am certain it worked well." Her hand clasps over her heart, as she bows her head. "Perhaps now, my father will be able to reach the world again. But if you would like to stay, I have dinner prepared..?"

A sleep-over in a very fancy house isn't the worst way to end a day.

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

It's dark. Lera takes a step to the side -- vanishing and appearing, a moment later, in her usual civilian clothing. She has a flashlight in hand. She takes a deep breath, exhaling. She glances at Setsuna and smiles, before she looks over the others.

She gives Usagi a knowing thumbs-up.

"Good job, Yuuichiro!" she says. She'll let him have this one. Then, she glances at Hiroko, and flashes a smile. "I know I'd love dinner, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Did someone say dinner?" Setsuna Higashi chimes in, stepping up to stand beside Lera with a smile. "I'd be happy to stay."

"Yes!" she agrees next, "Great work!" And takes Lera's hand.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Usagi Tsukino winks at Lera, offering a thumbs up out of a sight, and a small giggle, before clearing her throat.

"Wow Yuuichirou-! Rei-chan is going to be..."

Usagi Tsukino is typing a few lines on her phone to Rei Hino.

To Rei-chan: rei-chan! act proud of yuuichirou-san when you see him

"... so proud-!"

From Rei-chan: Just what has he done that's worth any praise? To Rei-chan: jus do it Rei-chan!!!

And then immediately puts up her phone before she gets implied.

She then turns to Haruka Tenoh after, perhaps... still wondering, before she then looks at Lera and Setsuna and looks flustered at the hand holding as she asks Uranus, "S-So I know you have a busy schedule but... if you were sticking around... for dinner..."

She says as her foot scuffs upon the floor and rocks a bit in place, too flustered to finish that thought.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Rarely has a more LOVELY sight been seen.

La Sirene leaps off the chair afterwards, shuddering with some revulsion. The memories of those horrible sights will be slow to fade, but at least now they are fixed. There are no more hastening in to imperil her, not right now.

For right now, the show must go on.

And so...

... la Sirene slips back through the door which she entered...

Out the front door...

Round the back...

Opens the window with one luminous hand, and draws it back. A few moments later, a more conventional hand comes up and, with more effort, pulls herself upwards and into the room, tumbling at the last moment and landing on her side with a thump.

It does mean that Nori Ankou is authentically out of breath as she comes upwards, shivering a little. "... I don't know if I could eat a thing, but... yes, it does feel like... something has passed, hasn't it?"

The front door still sits, slightly ajar.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Haruka Tenoh, back in her jacket and jeans, shows little outward sign of her turmoil moments ago. She smiles with a show of ambiguity when Hiroko declares the task finished, as though she and the other girls may or may not have had anything to do with it. "Well, I'm glad it wrapped up so easily." Her smile fades, slightly, when the gaze she sweeps across the assembled magical girls passes Nori. Perhaps there are others here who still carry with them their HalloChristmas nightmares.

But, as heedless as a puppy, unaware of what is in Haruka's heart right now, Usagi Tsukino plies at the taller blonde to stay. Haruka's eyes flicker, searching Usagi's soft young face for signs of the sense of betrayal that had felt so natural upon it in the dream, though Haruka has never seen it on her in real life. Versions, yes--but always mixed with confusion and trust. Not the despair of her vision.

"Hm," she says. "I think I can fit that in. I'll even stay around for dessert, if you do... just in case there was more than one ghost in the house."