Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
Episode Seven: Mistaken Identities and Realities
By Tailkinker and Kitsy
*DISCLAIMER* 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. "Akito is the same person here as he was when we were on the Nadesico. But here, he does not remember anyone! Both Yurika and Megumi are chasing him, just as they did before, even though he doesn't know either of them. "I don't think I'll ever understand the way people think." Tail Kinker and Kitsy present Magical Girl Pretty Ruri Episode Seven: Mistaken Identities and Realities It was a marvellous day - the sun was clear and bright, the air was sweet, the sakura petals were drifting lazily in the light breeze. All seemed right with the world...outside the school. "I really hate him." "It was your fault, you know." "Megumi, how was it *my* fault?" "Well, if you hadn't been up all night reading those manga..." "I wasn't up all night reading manga." "Oh, right. Next you'll be telling me that you were up all night discussing how to save the world with your cat?" "I did not spend all night reading manga." Megumi looked away from Ruri, scowling. "One of these days, you really have to get your head out of the clouds and get back to reality." "I'd like nothing more." "What do you think, someone's gonna make a manga about your life?" "Quiet out there!" "Hai." * * * * * Ruri sat down under 'her' tree and began tearing into her bento. "Why does the universe insist on keeping me hungry? No breakfast this morning, and I almost managed to forget my bento - and my lunch money is dangerously low!" She set down the now empty bento and leaned back against the tree. "It seems that things keep forcing me to act just like a Magical Girl from an anime. I really wish someone could expl--" "Hey, Ruri!" Ruri looked up to see the Terrible Trio - Megumi, Yukina and Yurika - approaching. She groaned, and braced herself for the inevitable. "So how was your date last night, hmmm?" "You better not have done anything ecchi to my Akito!" "Stare...stare...stare..." "Well, she kissed him!" "WHAT?!" "If their faces were any closer, one of them would have lost an eye. Bad angle for pictures, though." "I did not kiss Tenkawa-san." "You mean he was taking advantage of you?" "No. We didn't kiss." Yurika waved a photograph in front of her nose. "Then what do you call this? Did he have something in his eye?" "You know, I'd bet anything that it was Ruri's first kiss, too!" "Stare...with a college boy?" "Well, she spends so much time reading manga...I bet she's never had time for a boyfriend before!" "Baka." "Why does she have to start with my Akito?" "Isn't fourteen too young to be dating college boys?" "Besides, Akito's more my age!" "Oh, you're so much more older than us!" "Huh?" "Lean...maybe she failed a grade!" "NO WAY!" Ruri stood up. "Yep, she's the old lady of the class." Ruri walked towards the school building. "Hey, Ruri? Where are you going?" Ruri stopped and looked over her shoulder. "Somewhere with less noise." She turned and walked off. The Terrible Trio watched her leave. "What's her problem?" Yurika shrugged. "I dunno." She looked down at the photo. "By the way, Megumi...how much do you want for this picture?" * * * * * Omoikane looked to either side, making sure no-one was watching, then crept into Houmei's Ice Cream Parlor. The only customer was a college student, in the far booth, but Omoikane waited until she stood and went into the restroom. He jumped up onto the video game console and pawed the buttons in a complex combination. "Cats who drink Irish cream get wobbly." He winced; why did Central Control have such stupid passwords? The screen flickered, then faded to black. The speaker crackled to life. "Control. Report?" "It has been eight days since my last report. The Martian Warriors Kasei and Shugotenshi have been identified. The Princess has not yet been found." The voice on the other end of the communication link was harsh and arrogant. "Baka! Kasei IS the Princess!" "I...doubt that. She is undisciplined, unruly, lazy, gluttonous and forgetful." "Yes, that's right." Omoikane blinked. "Are you telling me that our Princess- -" "Is a normal teenager. Yes." "Great." "I have some more news for you. The Martian Warrior Rika is active in Spain, and will soon be contacted. She has no idea what is going on. We will transfer her to Nerima, under your control." "When?" "She will probably arrive in two or three days." "I understand. Also, the Dark World is gathering ki, probably to try and reinforce their paradigm." "Understood. We cannot allow this to happen. Have you located the Knight yet?" "No. I have seen him - he is definitely active, probably drawn to the Princess - but I still have no idea who he is." "Hello, kitty! What are you doing in here?" Omoikane flinched - caught! Tenkawa Akito picked up the large grey tabby, then turned his attention to the video game console. "Is this stupid thing on the blink again?" He pounded it once, and the screen blinked back to 'Fighting Kanji.' "As for you...can't let you stay in here." He was about to toss the cat out the door when he noticed the collar. "Hello, let's at least find out who you belong to." The tag had the cat's name, a phone number and the name Hoshino stamped on it. "I bet you're Ruri's cat, right?" Akito grinned. "I can take you back to her house." Omoikane fumed. How could he carry out his mission to locate the Knight when this human was dragging him around? * * * * * "Gym. Great." Yurika grinned at her. "Come on, Ruri! You're good at sports. Why don't you like them?" "I am not good at sports." "You really don't know Ruri, do you? She is such a lazy klutz..." "Baka." "Oh, come on, Ruri! Deny it! I thought for sure you were going to give the gym teacher an aneurysm. You couldn't even manage a front roll!" Ruri studied her sneakers. "And you swim like a hammer." "Grin...but the boys think you look cute in your swimsuit." "What boys?" "Oh, just some of the science geeks. Mostly the reptile biology crowd. The photos just keep sell--I mean..." "Maybe she should wear that swimsuit for Tenkawa!" "Yukina!" Yurika stared at her in shock. "Naw, just her gym top and shorts should do the trick." "Megumi!" "Assuming he hasn't seen even more..." "Wouldn't that be 'less'?" "Less than the gym uniform? I suppose that's possible..." "WAAAHHHHH!" "Yukina...do you think that maybe that was a bit...cruel?" "Naw. She's just oversensitive." "Are you sure?" "I'm sure." "So it wasn't cruel?" "Baka." * * * * * Tsukumo slowed the car as he passed the school. "Yurinoki Middle School." He smiled, and drove the car - a dark blue Lotus, the paint job polished until it gleamed - around to the visitor's parking space. He stepped out of the car and ran a hand through his hair. "Yes, this is as good a place to start as any. I should be able to find Pretty Ruri here, and maybe even develop a harvest of ki." He took a moment to consider himself. His black leather shoes were polished to a shine. Dark blue socks, black slacks with a crease you could disembowel a enemy with, and a white dress shirt, open at the throat. A light brown sweater, three gold rings, a 35mm camera and dark shades completed the image of an action news reporter - the sort that normally covers wars, sports and other very violent events. He reached back into the car and pulled out a brown satchel. He opened it and pulled out a lens for the camera. "Thank you, Dr. Kirlian." He chuckled evilly. "This lens will allow me to examine the auras of the subject. I can find Ruri this way - just find the highest ki-empowered person in the school." Tsukumo loaded the camera as he looked around. "Some sort of sports going on over there...looks like a gym class. A good place to start." He strolled towards the field, camera at the ready. * * * * * "Oh, no...here comes a pervert with a camera." Megumi looked up. "Sugoi - he's really cool!" Yurika stared at the photographer. "Uh, Ruri, isn't that..." Ruri kicked Yurika. "Ite! What was that for?" "Sensei? Yurika's hurt her ankle. I'm going to take her down to the nurse's office." "Hey, that's my brother! Oniichan, what are you doing here?" "Well, hello, Yukina." ~Could it be?~ "Hold still for this picture." Tsukumo snapped a picture of Yukina. Actually, the camera was mostly just a cover for the Kirlian Lens. Through the camera's aperture, he studied the girl's ki aura. ~Nope...no way in hell.~ "Kawaii! That's your brother? He looks just like my old boyfriend." Tsukumo smiled at Megumi. "And a pic of you." He snapped another picture. ~This one has a strong ki presence...she might be the one...~ "Hey, you!" The teacher walked up to Tsukumo. "Did you have the permission of these girls before you took their pictures?" "It's okay, Sensei - he's my brother." "Sugoi..." "And I don't think Megumi minds, either..." Tsukumo smiled. "I'm taking pictures for the Nerima Gleaner. Would you mind if I got some of your class?" "Ummm...I don't mind...does anyone here object?" Megumi jumped forward, hand extended. "Hi! I'm more than willing to pose for you!" "Blink." "My name's Reinard Megumi, I'm a photographer for the school newspaper. That's a really cool camera. What's your name? What does that custom lens do?" "Sweat...Sweat..." Tsukumo considered the girl. ~She seems far too inquisitive...and far too interested in the Kirlian Lens. If this is her...~ He made a decision. "I'll tell you what. I'd like to get some action shots. Looks like I interrupted a soccer game. Why don't you just continue playing." "All right! Ryoko, sit down, I'm taking the center." "But it's not your turn--" "Sit down before I break your leg!" * * * * * "I'm SURE of it! That's the guy that tried to trash the karaoke club!" "So we should give him a medal?" "Ruri! Be serious!" "I AM being serious. I know who he is - Shiratori Tsukumo, Yukina's older brother. He's a photographer, though Yukina never mentioned him working for the Gleaner. He's been seduced by the dark side." "Ummm...Oh, that's right! They made Star Wars into a manga!" "Baka. Whoever he's working for is out to steal energy from people, though I don't know why." "So let's paste him!" "Paste?" Yurika raised her hand, two fingers in a V. "I don't know why we are here, but right now it is our duty to defend the innocent students and to protect the lives of everyone around us." "'Paste' works." Ruri raised 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. "Mars Warrior, Make-UP!" The light came first, blinding her momentarily. When it passed, Yurika's body was all a-glitter, no details visible to the eye. Flames seemed to dance around her, burning the clothing off of her, then reforming itself into a short red skirt, white bodysuit, thigh-height red boots, elbow-length red gloves and the same stupid bow at the back, red and white striped. Her hair lightened, and shifted to a flame- red colour. A silver tiara, with a single red gem centered in it, appeared on her brow. The Henshin stick lengthened and curved in on itself, becoming a silver bow. Ruri nodded. "To the top of the school. We can monitor him from there." * * * * * Tsukumo removed the expended film cartridge and loaded a new one in. ~This girl must be the one. I've never seen such energy in a person before.~ He smiled, as he started shooting a new set of exposures. ~It's rather a pity - I've never seen such a cute girl. Too bad she has to die.~ Ruri watched the scene below from a vantage point on top of the bell tower. "He's not doing anything yet..." "So let's go pound him!" "We can't." Ruri sighed, and leaned back. "Until he actually does something, we can't attack him." "But he wasted the karaoke club." "I agree. And he attacked all the people there. But here--" She gestured towards the playing field. "He's done nothing here as of yet." "So we gotta wait for him to do something first? By then, he'll already have hurt someone." "True. But we have no choice." "That's stupid." "True again. And while we're on the subject of stupid things...could you do me a favour?" "Eh?" "Lay off the long-winded speeches when we're in battle." * * * * * Megumi ran up to Tsukumo. "How did I do?" "Not bad. Tell you what...why don't we step over to my car--" He pointed over to the Lotus. "I think I could sign you for some more work." Megumi was all stars and hearts. Ryoko, on the other hand, looked a bit suspicious. "Hey, mister, why should she go over to your car?" A few other girls heard the statement, and began drifting towards them. "You some kind of pervert, mister?" "Maybe at the University they got girls your age." Tsukumo started to sweat. "No, no, it's nothing like that..." He looked over their heads. "Hey, what's that?" "Oh, right, pal. Like that trick ever works." *ROAR* Tsukumo smirked. ~A few golems should keep them busy, while I get Pretty Ruri here to my car...not to mention Akara is unlikely to be displeased with my harvesting a bit of energy...~ * * * * * Ruri and Yurika stared at the golems attacking the girls. There were five of them, resembling large yellow spiders. "Jovian Spiders! Why does he keep using those things!" "I'm not sure. Perhaps there is some kind of expla--" Ruri was cut off by Megumi's scream. She looked to the right. "Looks like Tsukumo's trying to kidnap Megumi." "NOW can we paste him?" "I'm not sure we have sufficient provocation..." Ruri half-smiled at the sight of Yurika tearing her hair. "All right. Let's get him." "Flare Arrow!" Yurika raised the bow, and pulled back the string. A flaming arrow appeared at her fingertips. She aimed at a golem, and let it fly. The arrow transfixed the Jovian Spider and blew it to pieces. "All right! He's using the cheap, crummy ones!" Ruri jumped down to the playing field, plasma pistol drawn. She fired off four quick blasts, vaporizing the remaining golems. She then holstered the pistol, readied her staff, and faced Tsukumo. Tukumo was gaping at her. "You...but...how...?" "Very articulate." Yurika landed beside Ruri. "How dare you commit such evil acts on the sacred grounds of higher learning? This place where children come to learn, fall in love and prepare themselves for future lives! In the name of Mars, you must be punished!" Ruri glared at her. "What? We're not in combat!" Ruri glanced back at Tsukumo. "Let the girl go, and no more bad speeches will occur." "You don't understand!" Megumi tore herself free, and ran to Ruri. "He was protecting me from the evil golems! You can't hurt him, he's a hero." Yurika leaned over to Ruri. "I thought Misato was the one to fall for him?" "Baka." She looked over to Tsukumo. "Because you didn't harm anyone - this time - we'll let you go. I have a feeling this girl would be upset by the sight of my Gravity Blasting you into next week." "Well, the speech was punishment enough, I guess...since she's not you, I can let her go. Watch your back." He smiled, then stepped into his car. Yurika looked at him, puzzled. "Hey, you're not gonna fade out this time?" "Are you kidding? This car cost a fortune." * * * * * "Yukina, your brother is so cool! Does he still live at your house? I've gotta see him again! Do you have his phone number? Or would calling him be too forward? Maybe I should find out where he works. Then I could sort of 'bump into him' sometime, by 'accident.'" "Baka." "Ruri, you just don't understand! Sure, you've got Akito- -" "She does NOT!" "Well, she has a better chance with him than you!" "Megumi, stop being so mean!" "Anyway, Akito's cute, but Tsukumo's even better! He's way cuter, drives a Lotus, and he works for the newspaper! Not for an Ice Cream Parlor!" Ruri was giving serious thought to stapling Megumi's lips together. Yurika, on the other hand, looked more like she just wanted to shoot her. Yukina was also rapidly getting fed up. "Look, Meg-chan, I kinda realize that you like my brother, but isn't he a bit...old for you?" "Look at Ruri and Akito!" "WHAT ABOUT THEM?!?" "Akito's older than Tsukumo, right?" "Well..." Ruri looked up with great relief to see her house. "I'll see you tomorrow." She dove for the door and locked it behind her. "Tadaima!" "Oh, Ruri, welcome home! Your friend from the Ice Cream Parlor brought Omoikane home!" Ruri winced, then looked up. Akito set down the cup of tea. "It was very kind of you to ask me in, Hoshino-san." "Think nothing of it. More tea?" Ruri blinked. "Uh, Mom...isn't that the good tea set?" Akito set down the cup - rather quickly. "Oh, my, you're right! Tenkawa-kun, you may feel free to call me Usagi." "MOM!" "Usagi?" Akito grinned. "Do you call Ruri 'Chibi-Usa'?" "Baka bakka." The cat hopped up and ran up the stairs as fast as he could, to avoid being seen busting a gut laughing. "Omoikane, don't leave me here alone!" "Ruri!" Yurika leaned against the window in the front door. "How could you do this to me?" "Minna baka." * * * * * Author's notes: Oh, my, but this one was fun! :) This chapter was a little shorter than usual for us, but we just managed to work out all of our jokes in rather short order this time. The Mailing List is growing, though not so fast that we'll need a bulk mailer just yet. Comments and Criticism can be sent to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. This story tends to be archived at both www.geocities.com/groves_ca and members.home.net/kitsy. Finally, there is a mailing list associated with this story. To subscribe, send mail to email@example.com with 'subscribe MGPR' as the subject. [Kitsy] Tailkinker, did we just call up the C&C line from the Stock Footage Locker? [TK] Yep. But then, this IS a Magical Girl anime... [Kitsy] Where's my tiara?