Never Dull (Naru Osaka and Madoka Kaname)

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Never Dull (Naru Osaka and Madoka Kaname)
Date of Cutscene: 13 July 2016
Location: Near the library
Synopsis: Naru meets the Wraiths, because of course she does. She's really not impressed with having her head messed with (again). Fortunately Madoka turns up on the scene before it all goes horribly horribly wrong.
Cast of Characters: Naru Osaka, Madoka Kaname

Never a dull moment. There is never a dull moment in Tokyo these days. Not for those who are magical, and not for those who aren’t, but somehow find themselves in the middle of it all on a regular basis. Watch out for weird black fog and big robed, possibly skeletal figures, the text message from Kunzite said. Naru glances to her phone again, replying absently to a quick text about choice of shoe colour from Usagi as she heads home from the library, barely stifling a yawn as she does. Mid-terms are in full swing, and while studying at home holds appeal for the comfortable part of it, the library doesn’t have art supplies and a fridge of snacks in tempting and distracting reach.

The bus stop has a collection of people waiting at it already, all engrossed in their phones or books, headphones firmly in, making an excellent effort to avoid any form of eye contact that might result in any sort of conversation. Naru joins the loose group, hefting her school bag a little higher on her shoulder, and focusing on her phone to wile away the time until the bus comes.

The first deep and heavy sigh from herself doesn’t entirely catch Naru’s attention. The second sigh, and the growing sense within her that is disconcertingly familiar in so many awful ways, those are what prompt her to look up.

‘Life just isn’t worth the trouble you know’ ‘Why bother?’ ‘Meh, just surrender to it.’

Naru blinks a moment, the figure that’s come up behind her isn’t the icy woman she was expecting. A single large large figure looms there, hard to see in the shadow of the streetlamp, a hand ominously reaching out towards her, rendering him very much the picture of the ghost of Christmas Future, even right down to the sense of despair that seems to accompany him.

The others at the bus stop don’t seem to notice anything weird, engrossed in their own selves, their own lives, their phones.

Naru on the other hand, points right back at the figure. “Oh no. Nuh uh. Seriously. I am /not/ doing that again! That hurt like hell to fix, you can just cut it out /right now/.” Perhaps not the usual reaction from a mundane. “And where is your FOG. I got promised fog stuff as a warning. Not cool, dude. Not cool.” She digs out her phone to send off a text message as she starts to move, to try and get away from the creature who is reaching for her.

The movement, that’s what prompts people to look up, only vaguely curious as to why Naru might be leaving before the bus comes, but still no sign of noticing the giant robed creature.

“Nope. Nope. Nope.” Naru’s mantra seems to be just a whole lot of denial as she hurries, trying to stay out of reach of the Wraith. The promised fog swirls around her feet as she does, turning down a street in the hope of taking a shortcut, and instead finding far thicker fog, and a whole pack more of them, floating towards her, and the one coming up behind her. Emotions run deep and complicated, and the Wraiths are drawn to that within her, no matter how hard she tries to resist them. With enough of them, the resistance won’t be worth much anyhow.

“Bad idea.” Naru declares and turns to face the single Wraith, aiming to try and make a run for it, no matter how blocked in she is. “Okay look, quit messing with my head, I really hate it. My emotions are my own so just bugger off.” She can feel the draw, the reaching of that single Wraith who has already gotten a taste of her, and just wants more.

A trio of magical pink arrows suddenly streak down from above as a figure in pink and white appears from the corner of the rooftop, striking the Wraith in the side of the head and causing it to explode into the same bizarre shakes that float near the missing part of it's head. Jumping down from above the figure lands in a crouch where the Wraith once stood, surveying those that remain with a serious expression.

Standing up the girl, clearly so in her frilly dress and all her bows, looks to Naru, "You can see them?" A rhetorical question followed by widened eyes and alarm as the wraiths begin to open their mouths, "Get down, get behind cover!" She isn't sure which is the best course of action for Naru, but she leaps up into the air and arcs up as the pale creatures emit an awful, distorted sound while razor thin beams of energy light up the night.

Luckily the Wraiths are focused on the Magical Girl once she arrives, having the numbers necessary to mount a direct assault and all Naru needs to do to keep from getting hit by a stray laser is to not run into their midst. The Magical Girl, however, isn't so lucky, and though she dodges several of the beams others cut into her arms and legs, slicing into like blades. Not too deep, however, and though her face shows pain she doesn't let the wounds slow her down.

Her bow flares with magic, emitting a powerful sound each time an arrow is loosed, thick bolts of pink magic streaking towards their targets and tearing holes in the awful creatures, whose flesh peels away like tissue paper to reveal bony skeletons beneath. It's only when those skeletons are struck that they seem to disappear for good, and outnumbered as she is she can't afford the time for pinpoint accuracy, not when it takes nearly everything she has to dodge the innumerable lasers arrayed against her.

It doesn't take her long to realize she needs to change tactics, and while the Wraiths continue their assault the next arrow she fires detonates in a large explosion of pink energy that means the sidewalk is going to need repaving soon. It doesn't even destroy the Wraiths, tearing chunks out of them that seem to reform out of that unnerving almost digitized matter they're made out of.

But reforming takes time, and all she needed to turn the tides was an opening that she now has. The battle rages on but after another few minutes the Miasma is dissipating with the last of the Wraiths, and the pink-haired Magical Girl is scooping up the dark cubes that fell to the ground with their defeat.

Immediately afterwards she starts looking around for Naru, putting on a smile and approaching her with hands and bow held behind her back. "My name is Madoka, Madoka Kaname. You did great, getting away from it after it had you." It's only when she's near that she realizes how she must look; covered in cuts, laser burns, and her own blood. With a nervous, "Ehehe…" she closes her eyes, the teardrop gem on her chest glowing pink while the worst of the wounds close up enough to stop bleeding, and the blood itself vanishes into thin air. Sometimes Puella magic really is handy.

With that done she smiles brightly to Naru, blinking as she finally realizes she recognizes the girl she's looking at. "Oh! I saw you at Mamoru-kun's house the other day. I'm sorry I've never gotten the chance to introduce myself before, but I didn't want to wake you up just for that. You made the couch looked extra comfy!"

“I know.” Naru offers with a hint of a smile, and no look of distress at either the gore, nor the magic that removes it. “Your name come up fairly often at the apartment, although no.. we’ve never properly met before. Thank you, by the by.” She gestures at where the Wraiths had been, before they met pink arrows of destruction.

"You're welcome!" Madoka replies brightly. Then, in a sparkle of magic, the bow disappears and Madoka claps her hands together lightly, holding them up together next to her face "You really were amazing back there, shaking it off like that! The others left the people they were hurting before to go to you; you just saved them a whole lot of suffering."

Madoka steps forward and takes Naru's hands in her own white-gloved ones, her grip so gentle that it's barely there. Her smile is wide and bright, her words effervescent and bubbling out of her without perfect sincerity as she playfully adds, "You're a hero!"

Naru can’t help but laugh at that. “I don’t think yelling at them and running away is much of a hero. You are killer with your aim, however. I am glad that Kunzite gave me forewarning to keep an eye out for them, although the single guy didn’t have as much fog as I’d hoped.” Naru glances down at her phone, typing out another quick text as she thinks of it before taking a deep breath. “I hate things that mess with my emotions. It’s insidious. Thank you again.”

Inevitably there will need to be a debrief later, a more detailed conversation about the ins and outs and who and what and wherefores. And no doubt there will be more questions. For now, however, Naru has just enough time to catch her bus, and Madoka has more patrolling for Wraiths and a million other things besides. Never a dull moment in Tokyo.