Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
Episode Six: The Ties that Bind, Gag and Handcuff
By Tailkinker and Kitsy,

   Warning:   Java compilation error.  Insufficient  coffee.
Due  to  this, none of the characters, situations and  sites
belong  to  the  authors of this story.  They are  currently
just used to explore the effects of sleep deprivation.
   "My mother, here in this dream world, is like no-one I've
ever  known.  My biological mother was a completely  useless
creature,  and the 'mother' that raised me was nothing  more
than  a  computerized shadow.  Hoshino Usagi, though, really
cares...about  me, about my grades, about  my  safety,  even
about my cat.
   "I   hope  that  Yurika  has  had  the  same  luck.   But
considering that in the real world, her mother is dead,  and
her father is a pervert...
   Tail Kinker and Kitsy present
   Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
   Episode Six:
   The Ties that Bind, Gag and Handcuff
   "Ruri!  Time to get up!  Get moving, sleepyhead!"
   Ruri  blinked.   "Great.  My alarm  clock  failed  again.
Story  of  my life."  She stumbled to her feet, grabbed  her
clothes and staggered towards the bathroom.
   Omoikane  stretched,  yawned  and  padded  over  to   the
computer.   "What the heck...?  It's only six  thirty."   He
pawed the keyboard and disabled the alarm.
   Ruri  emerged  from the bathroom, feeling  halfway  human
again.  She made her way downstairs, pausing to eyeball  the
clock.  "Six thirty?"
   "Good  morning, sleepyhead.  I thought I'd  wake  you  up
earlier today.  Just to make sure you got to school on  time
for a switch."
   "Um."   She  sat down at the table.  "So I have  time  to
waste this morning."
   "Not  really.   Eat your soup."  Usagi set  the  bowl  in
front  of  her.   "Oh,  and  here's  what's  left  of   your
allowance.  Sorry I forgot to give it to you yesterday."
   "That's okay.  You had other things on your mind."
   "Got  that right."  Usagi chuckled.  "It's not every  day
you  meet a genuine Magical Girl.  Oh, and here's your lunch
money   for   the  week."   Her  expression  turned   stern.
"Remember:  This is not for manga."
   "Hai."   She finished the soup and set the bowl  down  in
front  of  her.  "Now then.  I've got about a half  hour  to
kill."   She  stood up.  "I'm going to go  to  my  room  and
study.  I've got a Physics quiz second period."
   "Study?"  Her mother laughed.  "Who said that?   Are  you
feeling okay, Ruri?  Fever hasn't come back, has it?"
   * * * * *
   Ruri  closed the door to her room and grabbed her physics
text.   She glanced over at the computer.  "Well, the  alarm
hasn't gone off yet...I'll just wait until it does, and then
go to school."
   She  opened  the physics text.  She expected to  ace  the
quiz - after all, she'd done well in physics at the Center -
but  she needed to make sure that the physics of this  world
were  the  same as in her home world.  After  all,  so  many
things  seemed  radically was  just  possible
that the laws of reality here were different...
   ~That  would account for so many things...Like the  roof-
hopping I've been doing...~
   It took her very little time to read the entire textbook.
She  glanced at the clock;  still ten minutes to kill.   Her
eyes roamed over to the bookshelf.
   The  bookshelf was an eye-biting pink in colour, and held
almost  nothing but manga.  ~Hmm...Ranma 1/2,  volume  three
only...pity, I like that series...Magical Girl Pretty  Sammy
special  colour  edition...brrr...Magic Knight  Rayearth...a
Hello  Kitty  picture  book - it'll  go  the  way  of  Cheer
Bear...and  pretty  much all of Sailor  Moon...I  guess  'I'
really like manga.~
   Idly,  she  took  down one of the Sailor Moon  manga  and
flipped  through it.  ~I've never seen the manga,  just  the
   And  so  it  was that, fifteen minutes later, her  mother
walked into Ruri's room to find her reading manga.
   "Ruri!  You should have left five minutes ago!"
   "Why didn't my alarm clock...silly question."
   "I thought you were coming up here to study."
   "I *did* study!"
   "You were studying Sailor Moon."
   "That was after!"  She jumped up, grabbed her bookbag and
ran.  Usagi shook her head.
   "She's obviously completely back to normal."
   * * * * *
   Ruri jogged towards the school, furious with herself.
   ~I had no excuse this time, and now I'm going to be late,
and  for  once it's actually my fault...and I'm  hungry,  to
boot.   Yep, I'm definitely turning into a full-time Magical
   She ground to a halt and slapped her forehead.
   ~And I forgot my lunch.~
   "Well, good morning!"
   "Huh?"   She  turned, to see Akito walking  towards  her.
"Ah!  Ohayo gozaimasu, Tenkawa-san."
   "Off to school?"
   "Hai.  But I'm running just a little bit late..."
   Akito glanced at his watch.  "Hm...I guess you are."
   "Oh, no...what time is it?"
   "Just  after eight.  You missed second bell by about  two
   "Baka..."  She sighed, disgusted with herself.
   "Don't worry about it too much.  I've been late more than
a few times myself..."
   Ruri  couldn't  think of any such;  Akito was  famous  on
board the Nadesico for arriving too early.  She smiled, then
looked up at him.
   "If you have a few minutes...would you walk with me?"
   "Huh?  I suppose."
   The  two of them began walking towards the school.   Ruri
smiled;   at  least she would miss anything Uribitake-sensei
would have to say.
   " you remember your family?"
   Akito looked thoughtful.  "That's an odd thing to say..."
   "I know that your parents are dead."
   "Yes, they are...but how did you know?"
   " told me, once long ago."
   "I did?  Must have forgotten..."  He sighed.  "My parents
were murdered, though most people thought it was just a  lab
accident..."   He shook his head.  "There was an  explosion.
The police found evidence of a large bomb, but the inspector
wrote it off as dangerous lab equipment.  He didn't want  to
do the extra legwork."
   "That's horrible."
   "Yes."   He  nodded.   "I guess I didn't  tell  you  that
   "I  think you did."  It was what had happened to the real
Akito's parents;  the reason he was on board the Nadesico.
   "I hate my memory."  Akito looked very tired.  "So often,
I  can't  remember what I've said, or what I've told people,
or  even what I've done...And other times, I remember things
that just couldn't be."
   Ruri glanced up at him, hoping.  "Like what?"
   "I  remember  being  a  knight, in shining  blue  armour,
protecting a princess..."  He laughed.  "Silly, isn't it?"
   ~Shining blue an Aestivalis.  Maybe he's  a
very strong reflection...or maybe he's the real thing!~  She
looked up and saw that they were at the gates of the school.
   "Tenkawa-san...could I ask a favour?"
   "Sure, Ruri-chan.  How can I help you?"
   "Come  to  the park this afternoon.  Around five o'clock.
I'd like to talk with you some more."
   "...I guess."  Akito looked puzzled.
   "Thank  you."  She turned and ran up the walkway  to  the
   * * * * *
   "Hey, Ruri!  You realize that when Uribitake-sensei  sees
you next, you're toast!"
   "Good morning to you too, Megumi."  Ruri dropped into her
   "Slept in again, huh?"
   "Why didn't you stop by this morning?"
   "Duh!  You know I have classroom duties Monday mornings!"
   ~I do now.~
   "I  didn't think you'd appreciate me stopping by half  an
hour early."
   "Actually, I was awake and ready to go then."
   "Right.   So if you were awake and ready to go, why  were
you late?"
   "I  lost  track of time while reading manga, and  then  I
stopped  to talk to Akito..."  Ruri stopped talking  as  she
realized what she was saying.
   "Oh.  Now it all makes sense."  Megumi nodded, a look  of
comprehension on her face.
   Yurika leaned over.  "You saw Akito?"
   "What did he say?  Did he ask about me?"
   "No.   Actually,  I'm  meeting  him  in  the  park  after
   A look of total despair ran rampant across Yurika's face.
She jumped up and ran from the room, bawling.
   "'re mean."
   "Am I?"
   She paused.  "Am I mean?"
   * * * * *
   "Now,  class,  when I finish handing out the  examination
sheets,  and  not  before, you will have thirty  minutes  to
complete  all  portions  of the examination."   Her  science
teacher's voice was as monotonous as always.  Ruri  smirked.
~This  guy's so dull, I bet he teaches his own kids  how  to
file tax reports...for fun.~
   "Now  before we begin, if anyone has any questions,  feel
free to ask them, and I will ex--"
   The bell rang, cutting him off, and he frowned.  When the
bell stopped, he merely said, "Begin."
   Ruri  whisked  through  the exam, completing  it  in  ten
minutes.   To  kill  a  bit of time, she  checked  over  her
answers three times.  No *way* was she failing another exam.
   She really didn't want to disappoint her mother again.
   Just to make sure she didn't violate some unknown rule of
the  Japanese school system, she spent the rest of the  hour
and  a  half period looking busy -- re-reading her  answers,
doodling on a bit of scrap paper (she blushed slightly  when
she  looked  at  what she had written --  Akito's  name  was
there, more than a few times, as well as some C++ coding and
some mathematical formulae...) and generally wasting an hour
and a half.  When the bell rang, her overly anally retentive
teacher collected the papers, and dismissed the class.
   ~If it's personality the golems are after, I'll just feed
this guy to them.  Then they'll all starve to death...~
   She  headed down to the cafeteria, where she promply blew
what remained of her allowance on a cheese-steak hoagie that
looked  like  it  predated Pearl Harbour.   ~Cafeteria  food
sucks.~   She  went out to the yard and sat down  under  her
usual tree and dug in.
   Yurika stormed up to Ruri.  "How could you?"
   "Mmf?"  Ruri looked up.  Her hoagie was preventing speech
just at the moment.
   "Akito's mine!  You can't have him!"
   "Ummm..."   She swallowed the mouthful of  sandwich.   "I
don't really want him."
   "Why?  What's wrong with him?"
   "Baka.   We're just going to talk.  I want to see  if  he
knows why we're here."
   "Of   course!"   Yurika's  eyes  widened.   Probably   to
accomodate  the stars and hearts.  "Akito knows  everything!
He's  my prince!  He always helps me out!  Of course he  can
   "Yurika!   Ruri!"   Megumi and Yukina  ran  up.   "What's
going on?"
   Yurika sniffed.  "You can call off the emergency.   She's
not dating him."
   "That's  good.   He's  too old for her  anyway."   Megumi
grinned wickedly.  "He's too old for you too!"
   "He is not!"
   "Face it.  He's probably not interested in a little  girl
like you.  He wants a more mature woman."
   "Yeah.  I know.  I'm mean."
   * * * * *
   "Go home, Yukina."
   "How did you know I was here?"
   "It was just a guess."
   Yukina popped up from behind the bushes, stuck her tongue
out  at  Ruri, and ran down the street.  Ruri almost smiled.
"Some  things  never  change..."  She turned  and  continued
walking towards the park.
   "Hey,  Ruri!   Wait up!"  Yurika came running  up.   "I'm
going with you!"
   "Yurika...I don't know what he knows yet."
   "It  doesn't matter!  The love I have for him will  shine
through  and brink his memories back!  It's worked that  way
before, remember?"
   "I don't want you scaring him."
   "Ruri!  How can you say something so mean?"
   "Yurika, this is not some anime--"
   "Are you sure?"
   "Yes.  If he's not--"
   "Really  sure?  We have the henshins and magical  attacks
with stupid names--"
   "Yurika,  this is serious!  If he remembers  anything  at
all,  then we can't scare him away, and you're just a little
too  forceful.  If he remembers nothing...then you can chase
him all you want."
   "Yippee!"   Yurika  jumped up in the air.   "Okay,  Ruri.
I'll  trust you.  But if you try to steal him from me,  I'll
Flame Arrow you into next week!"  She turned and ran off.
   "Baka."  Ruri sighed and started towards the park again.
   * * * * *
   Megumi  locked her bicycle up to the rack  and  sat  down
next  to it.  She smirked.  ~I managed to beat Ruri  to  the
park!~   From  her  schoolbag  she  pulled  a  35mm  camera,
parabolic  microphone and tape recorder.  She  attached  the
telephoto  lens  to  the  camera and  loaded  a  48-exposure
cartridge.   Six more film cartridges went into  the  jumper
   ~I'm only just barely prepared for this...wish I had  the
HandyCam, the remote mikes and signal boosters.~
   "Hello, Megumi."
   "ACK!"   Megumi  whirled to see Ruri  facing  her,  hands
behind the back, leaning over her.
   "Why do you have a camera and microphone?"
   " reason."
   "Did Yurika put you up to this?"
   "No,  it was a second year high school student.  You see,
I kinda owe her some money..."
   "I doubt she'd be interested in me."
   "You  don't  need to be worried.  I promise, he'll  never
see me."
   "Go home, Megumi-chan."
   "Besides, with the luck we've had, there's probably going
to be a golem attacking here or something!  I could actually
get  a  picture  of  it!  And you'd like  some  pictures  of
Magical Girl Pretty Ruri, wouldn't you?"
   "Go home, Megumi-chan."
   Megumi drooped.  "Hai."
   Ruri sighed.  ~What did I do to deserve all this?~
   * * * * *
   "Konbanwa, Tenkawa-san."  She walked up to him.
   "Now, what did you want to talk about?"
   Ruri walked over to the swing set and sat down on one  of
the  swings.   Akito leaned up against the  swing's  support
   "You  told  me  you remember things that never  happened.
Can you tell me about these?"
   "So  you  dragged  me  out here just  to  talk  about  my
hallucinations,  eh?"   He  chuckled.   "Well,  the  one   I
remember  most  was  being a Knight from  the  planet  Mars,
fighting to defend a princess."
   "From Mars?"
   "Yes.  Or sometimes it was called Marduk, or Nergal."
   Ruri twitched.
   "I  remember fighting with a large sword while wearing  a
really heavy suit of armour.  But even though the armour was
heavy,  it was very fast.  Sometimes, the armour could  also
throw  lightning  bolts or fireballs.  It  depended  on  the
dream."  He chuckled.  "Pretty silly, isn't it?"
   "In your dreams, were you ever a cook?"
   "Of course.  I'm a cook when I'm awake too, you know."
   "That's not quite what I meant."
   "Actually...I'm  just studying to be  a  cook  now.   But
sometimes in my dreams, I was already a cook, and a cook was
the best thing in the world to be."
   "Tenkawa-san...does the word 'Nadesico' mean anything  to
   "No.  What language is it?"
   "How about 'Aestivalis?'"
   "No.  That sounds almost like Italian."
   "Maybe."  She pushed herself a little, setting the  swing
in motion.  "'Gekiganger'...?"
   "That's an anime on TV Tokyo 10, right?"
   "Right.  Sorry."  ~Ruri no baka.~
   "I  watch it sometimes.  I had a friend who really  liked
it.  Unfortunately, he's dead now...he was shot."
   "I'm sorry."
   "It's okay."  He shrugged.
   The  two  fell  silent  for  a while,  Ruri  occasionally
kicking with her feet.
   " have a boyfriend?"
   Ruri almost fell off the swing.
   "Just curious.  Trying to stir conversation back up."  He
shrugged.  "Why don't you?"
   "Why don't I what?"
   "Have a boyfriend?  After all, you're cute enough."
   Ruri's face felt hot.  She studied her sneakers intently.
   Akito  walked around till he was facing her,  and  leaned
over, smiling.  "And besides, a girl with a voice as nice as
yours should be able to win any guy instantly--"
   Ruri  looked up, and realized that Akito's face was  mere
inches   in  front  of  her  own.   She  decided  that   she
desperately  needed to change the subject.  She  racked  her
mind for something to say.  Luckily, she didn't need to.
   Megumi screamed.  Ruri's head snapped around.  Her  first
thought  was, ~Oh, great, she's still trying to spy  on  me,
and figures Akito's trying to molest me.~
   Then she saw the golem.
   It  was a massive crab-like thing, with huge pincers  and
long  antenna.  In one claw, it held a struggling, screaming
   "Flare  Arrow!"  Yurika raised the bow, and  pulled  back
the  string.   A  flaming arrow appeared at her  fingertips.
She  aimed  at  the golem, and let it fly.  Ruri  gasped  in
relief.  ~At least Yurika's here.  Where the heck has  Akito
gone?~  She ducked behind a stone partition, and pulled  out
the Kasei no Henshin.
   "Mars Guardian, Make-UP!"
   The  light seared her eyes, all blue and gold.   The  air
around  her  rippled, and she felt waves of incredible  heat
pounding  her.  Her clothes shredded and re-formed into  the
blue  skirt,  tight-fitting golden bodysuit  and  long  blue
boots  and  gloves.  The tiara formed on her brow,  and  the
Henshin lengthened to quarterstaff proportions.
   She  stepped  back  into  view, and  readied  her  plasma
pistol.  She noticed that the creature had discarded  Megumi
-  the  girl lay on her side against a fence, blood  clearly
visible on her blouse.
   ~That's  new...normally they don't  injure  people...just
steal  their  energy.~   Yurika was jumping  around  like  a
demented  grasshopper,  evading claw attacks  and  generally
keeping  the  golem busy.  Ruri took careful  aim  with  the
plasma pistol and squeezed off a blast.
   And watched it ricochet off the thing's armour.
   "Damn,  it's  one  of  the advanced  ones.   Yurika,  get
   She  held the quarterstaff in front of her, eyes  closed.
A  wind  began to swirl around her, and her hair  fluttered,
drawn  out  to its full length.  She opened her eyes,  swept
the  staff  around  her  and brought it  to  rest,  pointing
directly at the golem.
   "Gravity Blast!"
   A  black  field of energy formed around the  tip  of  the
staff,  then  flowed down to encompass Ruri completely.   It
swelled outward, and exploded into a cone of black energy.
   The cone dissipated, the dust cleared...and the beast was
still  there.  Aside from the frost on its carapace, it  was
undamaged.  It turned and aimed a massive claw at  her,  and
she had to dive quickly to avoid being impaled.
   "Ruri!   Remember, we have to hit the underside of  these
   "I  did  hit  the underside.  It's just as well  armoured
there as it is topside."  Ruri scowled.  "Any ideas?"
   "I have some hot garlic butter..."
   "I know your cooking.  Any *good* ideas?"
   "Maybe  if  we  ask  it really really  nicely,  it'll  go
   "Baka.  Try a combinational attack.  The Gravity Blast is
very cold.  Heat it up first."
   "Okay..."   Yurika  bounded towards the  creature  again,
fist extended.
   "Flare  Punch!"   Her  fist glowed a bright  orange,  and
there  was  a  blast of light when she hit  the  golem.   It
staggered back, seemingly dazed.
   "Flare  Kick!"   She spun on her heel, one  boot  glowing
with  thermal  energy,  and  smashed  it  into  the  golem's
carapace.  Several weblike cracks formed in the shell.   She
jumped back several feet.
   "Flare  Arrow!"  Yurika raised the bow, and  pulled  back
the  string.   A  flaming arrow appeared at her  fingertips.
She  aimed  at  the golem, and let it fly.   The  creature's
shell  was  now glowing red-hot, and the network  of  cracks
covered almost the whole creature.  But even as she watched,
the cracks were closing and healing.
   "Ruri, whatever you're gonna do, do it quick!"
   Ruri  held the quarterstaff in front of her, eyes closed.
A  wind  began to swirl around her, and her hair  fluttered,
drawn  out  to its full length.  She opened her eyes,  swept
the  staff  around  her  and brought it  to  rest,  pointing
directly at him.
   "Gravity Blast!"
   A  black  field of energy formed around the  tip  of  the
staff,  then  flowed down to encompass Ruri completely.   It
swelled outward, and exploded into a cone of black energy.
   The cone dissipated, the dust cleared...and the beast was
still there.
   "Masaka..."  Ruri stared in disbelief.  "We're done for."
   The  Golem  shattered explosively.  Fragments  of  chitin
rained down all over the park, dissolving into dust as  they
   Ruri  sighed  in relief.  "It just took it  a  moment  to
realize it was freeze-dried..."
   * * * * *
   "It   was  really  lucky  you  showed  up  that  quickly.
Otherwise,  Megumi would have been badly injured.   How  did
you get there so fast?"
   Ruri  was flopped down in her beanbag chair, Omoikane  in
her  lap.   Yurika was lying on the bed, flipping through  a
Sailor Moon manga.
   "Aheh...well,  I  saw Megumi sneaking back  to  the  park
after  you  chased her off, and figured I should  stop  her.
But I didn't get to her in time..."
   "How did you know I had sent her away?"
   "Ummm...I  heard  her muttering about it.   Yeah,  she'll
believe that."
   Ruri looked at her.
   "Besides,  I was worried that some monster would  try  to
seduce  my...Hey that was a cool new attack you did.   Where
did you learn it?"
   "At the supermarket."
   "They  sell special attacks at the supermarket?  I should
check that out."
   * * * * *
   Author's notes:
   Wow,  this  episode relied heavily on stock  footage,  at
least  in  the battle scene.  But then, isn't this  how  all
Magical Girl Combat Scenes are handled?  :)
   Please don't consider this advertising, but we just about
died  of  laughter when we saw the commercial.   Apparently,
Bell  Canada  has  introduced a new subsidiary  company  for
wireless  communication, called Baka Wireless.  And  they've
stated  that they're dedicated to all their Baka  customers.
Sounds like Ruri needs to get a pager, ne?  :)
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   Until next episode, gambatte!