Regal Roses!


Haruka gets her first additional dress-up key! ...Unfortunately, a Weird Wraith shows up, but it's very quickly dealt with.

Date: 2016-12-22
Pose Count: 41
Haruka Haruno 2016-12-22 01:16:53 64384
Haruka's been having dreams for a week and some change about the roof of Mamoru's apartment. Initially she had thought it was some kind of subconscious hint to call him and ask for help after the fight at Tokyo Tower, but they'd still persisted, nagging at her subconscious like the nag of a loose tooth. So she was out in transformation (she still wasn't sure how to get here by the ground route) and springing toward the roof, landing in an almost-curtsey. Her dreams hadn't given her guidance on why to come here, or what she was looking for, but she imagined it would jump out at her, one way or another.

Anyone who comes onto the roof with see a mass of wavy blond-and-pink hair in a wide pink skirt looking at the rooftop garden with evident concern and confusion. It's not immediately obvious what she's looking for, but there's something, a quiet thrum of magic, that calls to her. And, well, since it's calling to her she figures it's probably in the flowers. Somewhere.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-22 01:28:06 64385
It's not unusual for Naru to stop by, and equally not unusual for her to have a tupperware container in her hands when she does. Her baking doesn't hold a candle to Makoto's, but even basic cake is still cake and by and large, doesn't go to waste like it would at her house. The mural has been neglected for a few days, art work and artist having a difference of opinion and taking some 'space' and 'it's not me, it's you' time.

Naru glances to her phone as she rides the elevator up to the penthouse, texting back a reply to the message that pops up with a smile. It's really not very long before she's unlocking the door, and stepping into the currently in use apartment.

Apparently she still isn't on speaking terms with the mural.
Hope Kanata 2016-12-22 01:28:35 64386
In Kanata's experience, dreams usually mean /something/. So thusly, he joined Haruka out hopping around- and besides- Haruka had been meaning to show him the way to Mamoru's just in case. This was perhaps, a good time to kill two birds with one stone. (It's okay, one of the birds is Aroma!. He isn't here. For obvious reasons. Like. A bad attitude recently.)

Prince Kanata is of course in henshin because he can't hop around buildings otherwise. He is not as nimble- while Flora lands with a curtsey- he lands more with a thud- it's not a 'oh god I almost fell thud', but it does cause his body to bend down a little as he stands up. His get up is white, lavender and frilly in a long white coat.

Flora immediatly goes looking. Is something tugging her along? He follows. "Do you feel something?" he asks quietly as he follows along. "Here?"
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-22 01:29:15 64387
The Crown Prince of Earth wasn't particularly... awake, around this time last year. He made the instigation tragedy days better for those involved, going with Kunzite to Paris one day and to Tokyo Disneyland with Usagi the next and -- well, he vanished with Jadeite the day after that but didn't tell anyone else where, which is okay because they could have found them if they needed to. The rest of that week and this, he's been going to school as usual and been doing surreptitious things with Amazon Prime, bugging Kyouko and Zoisite and Nephrite and Naru at intervals, and then vanishing for hours more to study. And then taking end-of-term tests like a boss.

He knows Neph's liable to be up on the roof, so he's brought coffee, but the coffee's literally in a thermos slung on his belt because both his arms are occupied with bringing another guest up to the roof to engage in stargazing.

Mamoru heaves the fair-to-middling-sized planter over and deposits it next to Nephrite's telescope. He's got a coat wrapped around it and little chemical hand-warmers snapped and shaken and piled around the rose bush's base, under the coat. Just as he's straightening up to take the coffee off his belt and give it to Nephrite, there is A Landing. Mamoru's mouth opens and shuts.

"I can go get more coffee," he calls over hesitantly.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 01:34:45 64388
Downstairs, the currently-in-use apartment is ... less in use than one might suspect. There's the scent of coffee, but there's not much sign of other people --

Until Kazuo glances in from the hall, anyhow. His nod to Naru is the usual small and matter-of-fact thing. "Mamoru decided it was time to invade the roof," he says, as if it weren't Mamoru's roof. "If you'd like coffee, we can take more up. If you'd like something less caffeinated, that can be arranged."
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-22 01:36:39 64389
    Kyouko is in the ECFH living room. She had been lounging about, as she is wont to do of an evening, wearing the plaid flannel pajama pants and t-shirt combo which proclaim 'I feel at home here, and I'm not planning on going anywhere tonight'. (The awesome thing about henshin magic is whatever you're wearing underneath stays the same, so she can leap up and down the ten stories without having to put on outside clothes).

    Mamoru and Nephrite are up on the roof, but she's loitering inside for the moment, after having watched Mamoru lugging a potted plant around after dressing it in a coat. This was not commented upon, but looks were given- looks which said some variation of "I love you, but you are crazy."

    She hears the door, and jumps up to pad over, passing Kazuo on the way and elbowing him in a familiar and playful fashion. "Outta my way, she's got cake!" She says, before rolling her eyes and asiding to Naru, "He decided the plant needed some fresh air."
Nephrite 2016-12-22 01:38:29 64390
Nephrite is deep into stargazer mode, barely even noticing Mamoru's approach until there's a very definitive clunk next to the telescope he is currently gazing through. He squints down at the plant, then up at Mamoru. "Little buddy wanted to see the stars?"

Then he hears the coffee offer. "I don't think he takes much--oh."

Right, people. Also Nephrite definitely has not been sharing his coffee with the plant. Nor his whisky. He did not do that last night. Not at all. "We having a party I didn't hear about? I don't mind, just keep the lighting to a minimum."
Haruka Haruno 2016-12-22 02:06:46 64391
Flora squeaks a little at the people on the roof, eyes widening. She curtsies, briefly, to Mamoru. That has little to do with 'crown prince of earth' and more to do with almost-ingrained instincts in this form, though. "I don't need coffee, but thank you," she says, still looking around. She's nodding vaguely to Kanata's question, looking thoughtful.

The planter with the rose bush gets her focus, more than anything else. It would anyway, but the care Mamoru is paying to it just makes her focus more on it. "Is there... something about this rosebush?" she asks, looking between Mamoru and the stargazer, hands demurely crossed at her waist. (Being princess-ly is all so EASY like this, why is it so hard when she's not transformed?)
Naru Osaka 2016-12-22 02:09:47 64392
"I'd love a coffee." Naru turns towards Kunzite's explination of where everyone is and she lifts the tupperware. "I brought ..." And then Kyouko announces the cake on her behalf and she laughs and almost passes it to the puella before changing her mind. "Nuh uh. I want to actually try a piece, so you dont' get to have all of it. And we've established that if I have to fight you for it, I'm not going to win."

The mention of Fiore needing fresh air is met with a quirk of her head. "So.. Mamoru is taking Fiore on walkies?" She thinks on this a moment and then shrugs. "Seems fair. Cool for him, isn't it?" Clearly someone doesn't know about the coat and mitten warmers. "You headed up to the roof too?" Naru asks of Kyouko as she heads that way, taking the cake with her.
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-22 02:15:55 64393
    "If you're going up there with the cake, you bet I am." Kyouko grins at Naru. "I'll get the coffee though, and meet you up there. You want one too, right nii-chan?" This to Kunzite, the answer apparently assumed as she turns and pads back towards the kitchen, leaving Naru and/or Kunzite to head to the roof.

    A few moments later though, she too emerges into the crisp night air from the stairwell, carrying another carafe of coffee which is steaming out of the top, and a fistful of mugs with her other hand. Somewhere on the stairs she's henshined, not because she is expecting any sort of trouble, but merely because she's too lazy to go back downstairs and get her coat and it provides some degree of protection from the cold.
Hope Kanata 2016-12-22 02:20:16 64394
Prince Kanata looks up. "Oh. Hello! Sorry for the uh. Visit." he doesn't say intrusion because he's been invited over already, technically. "Sudden Visit." yes that will work.

"No. No coffee for me either. Thank you though." he says with a wide smile.

He nods with a slight wave to the people he doesn't know, primarily Nephrite at this moment. "Hello." he says, as he gravitates toward's the area with Flora.

He looks down at the rosebush and also squats down a little to head tilt.

He look over to Apatite's arrival and possibly arriving Naru, pursing his lips once before looking back.

A pause.

"Why is it wearing a jacket?"
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-22 02:22:29 64395
"No, he gets espresso grinds in his compost," Mamoru informs Neph, then as Neph turns around to call back to the other two on the roof and Flora declines the coffee, the black-haired too-tall boy leans an elbow on the stargazer's shoulder and smiles crookedly at their guests. "Yeah, this is Fiore. He's a childhood friend of mine from outer space. Some stuff happened this spring and now he's a rosebush. He's still really opinionated, though. By the way, this is Nephrite, I don't think you've met him--? Neph, that's Princess Flora and Prince Kanata."

And then a glance up and over, and he still doesn't move from using Nephrite as furniture. "Yo Naru, Kyouko-- I don't know who's met whom; Apatite, Naru, Princess Flora, Prince Kanata."

A heartbeat's silence as Mamoru looks down at Kanata crouched in front of Fiore. And then he says tentatively, "Because it's cold out?"
Nephrite 2016-12-22 02:40:37 64396
Nephrite is waking up a little more now, though calculations and celestial bodies still swirl through the back of his mind. Mamoru's lean is a tactile reminder that other things in the world exist. He raises a dark eyebrow. "Ooh, prince and princess, huh? Always love a royal visit. Wanna have a seat? We've got more chairs around here somewhere."

He gives the others their own nod. "It is a party! It's not a real party until the royalty and the opinionated rosebush show up."
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 02:46:34 64397
Rose jacket, check. Rose jacket chemical warmers, check. Kazuo glances over Mamoru on arrival; his eyes linger on Mamoru's hands for a moment, but he says nothing, only inclining his head gravely as usual toward Flora and Hope. Mamoru and Nephrite are there, not to mention Kyouko and Naru. Obviously there is no necessity to have him talking.
Haruka Haruno 2016-12-22 02:52:33 64398
Flora shakes her head, dropping to a semi-crouch in front of the wrapped-up rosebush-slash-friend. She's sure there will be time to ask about it later. She nods, briefly, at Apatite and Naru- she's met Naru before, under vastly different circumstances. "I've been having dreams about your rooftop garden for over a week," she says to Mamoru, instead. "And I think... there's something here." A childhood friend... it's possible there's something to do with the rosebush's dream that is calling her, or maybe the physical bush itself is acting as a physical anchor for something else.

She's certainly never been yanked around like this by her powers. "I'm exactly as much of a princess as Serenity is," she offers tartly as she strips off her gloves. "And from the same country, even." She carefully sets her hands on the soil, playing this a bit by ear as she closes her eyes. If it's called her in her dreams-- maybe she can call it out of hiding, whatever it is.

Flora's eyes pop open at the feeling of something over her bare hands, something that fills her with images of-- well, this. These people, layers and layers and layers of it, like puff pastry building on itself, of very powerful people fighting with one essential goal in mind. It takes her breath away for a moment, causing Flora to plop backwards on her butt and stare at the key, not really seeing the white, dress-like figurine. Princess is temporarily offline, unsure of what to make of being mack-trucked by dreams like that.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 03:00:10 64399
Something.

Accumulated emotion, energy, will, dream, hope. Magic. Magic called into a cohesive existence, in the form of the white dress-like figurine that flickers into existence by the flower princess's gloves.

But part of that magic is derived from someone whose power, like it or not, revolves around balance -- and the world itself occasionally has opinions.

The wisps of dark mist that rise on the rooftop are very faint. Whatever's had its attention called, it's not here -- it's closer to the human life that attracts it. But down below, a few rooftops away, a pair of too-tall white-robed figures coalesce from an oddly ordered scattering of pale cubes, and their attention lifts in mirrored calm toward the winter garden so far above.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-22 03:05:35 64400
"Oh /good/. Fiore's got a coat on." Naru glances to the bundled up plant as she emerges onto the roof with Kyouko, carrying the cake container. Because that is just the only sensible thing.

Naru offers a smile to the visitors (who aren't her) and a little wave. "A pleasure."

As Flora explains about dreams and being drawn to the roof, she watches curiously. Especially when she ends up on her butt on the ground. "I.. is she alright?" Naru takes the lid off the cake container. "There's cake?"

The wisps of dark mist might be faint but Naru's attention spots them, even with cake as an excellent distraction. There's no overt signs of distress, exactly, save for a tense, alert and wary Naru, watching the tiny wisps. It's just fog, right?
Hope Kanata 2016-12-22 03:10:15 64401
Prince Kanata blinks blanky at Mamoru. 'Because it's cold out?'. He sort of winces. Ow. That one bit him /right/ on the nose. "Oh." he says. Like he's an idiot. He regards the Rosebush. "Well. Hello then , Fiore." he says matter of factly.

He's about to respond to Nephrite- and everyone else- when Flora falls back on her butt and he's way too slow in trying to catch her. He still tries. He fails. He still frowns. "Are you okay?" he asks as he looks up, offering his hands down to help her up all while looking at the --- Dress-Up... key?

He blinks all of once.

Then there's wisp of dark mist somewhere as he blinks. Yeah he's seen enough spooky dark mist for a lifetime in the Hope Kingdom to know something may be up. He grows more stern- "...is that something?"
Kyouko Sakura 2016-12-22 03:11:54 64402
    Kyouko sets the carafe and the mugs down on a convinient garden table, offering a lopsided one-fanged grin to Flora and Kanata. "Pleased ta meetcha. I didn't realize we had guests.. well, aside from the normal ones." She inclines her head towards Naru, who has preceded her up the stairs, cake in hand.

    Her easy smile includes Mamoru and Nephrite too, although she doesn't greet them verbally. Her eyes track Flora as the pink-clad girl goes over to the be-coated rosebush and does... something which ends up with her on her butt. "Uh.. he's not supposed to be able to do that anymore."

    But then.. the wisps. The feeling. It resonates in Kyouko like a silent gong. Her eyes narrow and her head tilts up slightly, and she actually sniffs at the air.

    She seems to sense Naru tensing beside her, and she casts a glance to the other girl, though when she speaks, her voice is pitched so everybody can hear it. "Wraiths. Nearby. Unusually nearby." Most youma of the lesser varieties, Wraiths included, generally don't stray so near this building without provocation. Some sort of primal survival instinct no doubt.

    She reaches out and squeezes Naru's shoulder lightly. Then she walks to the edge of the roof and peers down, her eyes tracking instantly to the pair of spindly figures several buildings away, seen but faintly from this distance. Sometime in the intervening few steps, her spear has materialized in her grip. She glances back over her shoulder at the group. "Looks like just a couple of 'em.. over there. I can handle it.. needed a before-bed snack anyway."

    She casts another glance back towards Naru's cake. "Save me a piece of cake. Rest of you don't need to worry about this. I'll call if I need backup, but it should be fine."

    And then she's simply gone in a whisper of cape and cloth, leaping off the roof as if stepping off a stoop.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-22 03:26:51 64403
Mamoru's hands, despite the care taken with the glove-warmers in Fiore's pot, are bare. He's also giving Flora a half-offended look, like he's too lazy or on too-shaky ground to actually be offended but has the idea he should be annoyed anyway. "Serenity's plenty princess," he grumbles, then shoves his hands in his pockets and leans a little harder on Nephrite. But then he watches-- and he watches a figurine show up next to the flowerpot, and he bites his lip to keep from laughing. "And Fiore, apparently, has been hiding action figures? Of... dresses...?"

The rosebush bends a few leafy branches in Kanata's direction, as if bowing, and then it shakes its leaves indignantly after Mamoru speaks, and even more indignantly after Kyouko does-- and then shivers in alarm. "Uh, guys, Fiore hasn't had this much of a reaction to anything in ages, what the hell is--what's--" starts Mamoru, blinking, then glancing around, then seeing the mist and slowly withdrawing as words fail. Withdrawing? Drawing inward. He hears 'wraiths', vaguely, and shakes his head hard.

Abruptly there's a crackling line of light that crawls over his clothing, exchanging it for a uniform and armor, and Endymion pushes off of Nephrite's shoulder and reaches toward Naru with a still-ungloved hand. "Kyou's got it," he agrees, "but just in case?"
Nephrite 2016-12-22 03:43:47 64405
Nephrite chuckles at Flora's response. "Didn't mean to offend, Princess. I have no doubt of your royalty." His winning smile is, probably, lost to more important matters, like rose dreams and such. He gives Mamoru a nudge in the side at his defense of Serenity. Yes, we know she's great. Yes, we know you love her very much.

The mood shifts. He glances up at Kyouko's warning, and then Mamoru is henshining. The notebook of charts in his lap is dropped to the ground--fingers crossed it doesn't get evaporated, because there is a /lot/ of work packed into that thing--as he jumps up and his caped uniform replaces his hooded jacket. Endymion is moving to Naru. He shifts to the edge of the rooftop to be ready to intercept whatever. "So it's /that/ kind of a party, I guess?"
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 03:49:25 64406
Kunzite's change mirrors Endymion's and Nephrite's -- the latter more than the former, granted, given that they're the ones that actually match. They have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to royalty they need to keep an eye out for, just now; he glances to Nephrite, and moves to back Flora and Hope. But Apatite's spotted a threat, and moved to meet it. Perhaps that's all they need to worry about.

Apatite leaps casually away to deal with the monsters she's been remade to fight (or the world's been remade to, depending on how one looks at it), but the rosebush does not cease to shiver in her wake. Nor does the dark miasma dissipate.

Instead, as if in personal insult to Nephrite's earlier request -- there is light.

The thing that manifests, hovering over the far side of the roof, bears only a partial resemblance to the wraiths Kyouko just flung herself to fight. Those are tall, spindly, starveling embodiments of soulless aggression. This --

This is an embodiment of soulless peace.

Its form is a mockery of a meditative position: what should be crossed legs are a single curved lump, like an experiment in topology, all smooth curves save where it's cloaked in fire, or where, beneath itself, it drips into tiny dissipating cubes. At what should be the hips, the not-legs become only a spine, a muscled and masculine torso and right arm mounted upon it like part of a mannequin. Its right hand is clutched about what might be a scepter, bladed hooks emerging from the central rod above and below its grip, the head of it bursting into discolored flame about a floating octahedron; tiny pyramids glitter in and about the flames, a menacing orbit. Its left arm is missing, the shoulder dissolving into a scatter of things that have no proper third dimension, merely looking like unattached squares from any angle. The left hand is disconcertingly whole, held empty and palm-forward.

The neck gives way to a black triangle, mounted upon which is a black trefoil, like a radiation warning. The thing's equivalent of a human head is a white skull, solid like a plastic model, cut down the middle and each half mounted on one side of the trefoil. Blank white sockets stare.

The divided jaws open, and it speaks something that is not sound -- an impression that presses sharp as a knifeblade, that weighs down heavy as the miasma does, dulling at the edges of the hearer's emotion. Draining at the heart. Trying to swallow the sense of home and hope, the will to fight, the sense that anything could exist here worth fighting for.

It's that kind of party, all right.
Haruka Haruno 2016-12-22 04:01:40 64407
Flora is glad of Kanata's offer to help her up, after her head clears. She glances around at the action, still trying to fully de-fog. There's a sense of people bristling around her, and Fio-rose is acting very... unroselike. "You didn't offend me, I'm just... I'm from Japan too," she mutters.

Instead of continuing in this vein, though, she goes for the small white figurine, the dress-up key so similar to her first one. Maybe if she gets it away from Fiore, whatever-it-is will come after the key, not the rose. "...Maybe whatever-it-is wants the key," she mutters. If worst comes to worst, she'll draw it away- easier to fight if it doesn't come down to worrying about Naru or Fiore, and she--

--good lord that thing is ugly. Unfortunately for it, fighting hopelessness and despair is what she was made for. Even if it lapses briefly, bringing stinging tears to Flora's eyes as she remembers Momoka's anger, her father's (melodramatic) upset over her leaving.

If that thing eats hope, it's going to have to gorge to get to the bottom of hers. She just... needs a moment to find her footing again. A moment to remember that there was something she was doing before the ugly thing showed up. Because in or out of transformation, Haruka is stubborn. And she's getting that key, even if she cannot remember why she initially wanted it. The key itself-- helps, like opening a door in a smoky room helps, and she takes a deep breath, clutching it to her chest. "Kanata-kun, can you keep Fiore-san safe?" she asks, steel in her voice.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-22 04:06:35 64408
Naru shivers, even with the touch to her shoulder from Kyouko. "Why does it have to be wraiths?" She mutters softly, watching the puella jump off the edge of the room. She takes a step back and closer to Endymion as he comes to offer her his hand and then her eyes widen as she watches a wraith appear /right here/. Not one of the normal ones either, but a fresh new flavour to haunt her dreams.

The shift from Naru in regular clothes to Naru in henshin is a silent almost steathy transformation that comes in the transition from coat and jeans into foofy white skirt, and jacket and boots. One that might even look vaguely familiar to Mamoru.

Naru lifts a hand and points it at the Wraith Mark II. "Oh /hell/ no. It is /not/ this kind of party. Out." Because look how well ordering wraiths around went the last two or three times Naru's tried it.
Hope Kanata 2016-12-22 04:12:46 64409
Prince Kanata looks to Mamoru. "That's a Dress Up Key. They're... kind of like artifacts. Of the Hope Kingdom. I don't know what it was doing here. But it's likely what drew Flora here." he says softly. "They belong to the Precure."

He frowns to the others and raises his hand up and--- suddenly there is a translucent rainbow bubble around him and the rosebush. At the same time- his scepter flashes into existence in the same hand as he grasps it.

Then the barrier gets slightly bigger and stronger when this happens.

It's basically like a big protective dome around him and the rosebush. The barrier radiates hope directly- it seems to actively resist whatever this awful miasma is. It's strong. Stalwart and powerful.

"You can do it Flora-chan." he says. "I'm here." he says. "Like last time." he says- refering to the snow storm incident.

He looks down to the rosebush.

"Is this a common occurance?" he asks to it with concern- as he looks back up at the others.

He blinks at Naru's reaction. He sort of blinks blinks and squints. He wants to see if this works. Maybe it'll work against. Say. Close.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-22 04:24:43 64410
"--and Neph's notebook too, Kanata, if you can swing it?" asks Endymion hopefully, pulling his cape around-- just far enough to draw it in front of Naru should that thing fire anything that's not... not-words at them. And then Kanata's got this big bubble around the whole shebang! "Thanks!" He's not seen a wraith before, or dealt with one in any way, but he's dealt with the aftereffects of a pack of them in Naru's mind, and the erosion he feels pulling at his bedrock is something he's prepared for. A glance away toward where Apatite's leapt off to deal with an offshoot of the problem, and Kunzite and Nephrite right there and deploying in ways his heart can sing in its sleep, and Kanata's protecting the boy who finally found a home, and they're on Mamoru's roof, they're on the roof of the place he made for them all that they continue to make every day--

--and Endymion grins, all teeth. His cape-free hand comes down to close on one of Naru's, and he says cheerfully to her, "Let's underline your point, shall we? Nice henshin, by the way. Wish I knew before I made an idiot of myself the other day, but then, I do that every day-- here."

The prince leans in and starts talking very quickly, a white-gold glow building up in the hand holding Naru's. "You worked with my energy last time. Now I can see yours. We're gonna try a combo: they work better if you give an attack a name, then combine the names in a symbol of combining the attacks. Pick complementary colors if you need to-- and then jam them in a spraypaint can and I'll provide the non-CFC compressed propellant. I'll start a smoking bomber, but it won't be one, it'll be what you name it. One-- two-- three-- ... TUXEDO LA--"
Nephrite 2016-12-22 04:34:44 64411
"Uhhhh," is all Nephrite can say at the wraith's appearance. "Who invited the doom monk, and can you send it back? Like far away? Forever?"

That's probably not happening. Sigh. He shoots Mamoru a grateful glance at his request for notebook-protection, and is even more grateful when his pricy telescope gets wrapped up in the bubble too. "Hey, thanks man! Your highness. Whatever you like."

Mamoru may know what to expect here, but Nephrite does not. The jaw opens and--Nephrite was prepared for an attack of some kind. He was braced for something physical, ready for something energy based. He was not expecting pure, negative mindsuck. The arm he had up to shield himself drops along with the smile he wore. Maybe hope and home and the will to fight are easy things to come by here, on this rooftop, with these people. But sometimes it takes a moment to remember that, when caught off guard.

Good thing the others have got this. The likelihood of any immediate help from Nephrite has just dropped significantly.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 04:36:26 64412
Kanata has Fiore. Mamoru has Naru. Kunzite calls up his own shield, protecting Cure Flora at least temporarily while she tries to get her feet under her -- it's a reflexive thing, rather than anything else, and correspondingly weak; more, it's physical protection, but unlike Kanata's barrier, it doesn't offer defense against the leaden drag on the heart. Only against anything the wraith might throw to harm her body.

But when the wraith lifts its scepter, a smoothly mechanical gesture, and brings it around and down -- when the fire breaks free of the sharp-hooked rod, and that blank and glowing thing within it arcs through the air, the lethal little pyramids spinning around it promising razorblade pain, the discolored fire promising worse, and the consuming geometric light at its center promising something horrid and unknowable, not to be done to its target, but for its target to become -- it's not Cure Flora that has its attention. Not Kanata's rainbow of hope. Not the staggered Nephrite, and not even Endymion.

It's the one who drew its attention directly.

Even as Endymion's energy glows in their clasped hands, the one that the wraith throws its fire at is Naru.
Haruka Haruno 2016-12-22 04:42:50 64413
The key in her hands seems to react to Endymion's determination, and the Cure pushes down on the back of the key, revealing the, well, key-part. "Dress Up: Mode Elegant!" Flora's voice is still full of steel, white rose petals whirling around her violently, forming a large amount of white cloth around her, obscuring the princess cure almost entirely for a moment.

The new arrangement of her dress gives her pause, but only very briefly. The cape pinned at one shoulder, held by a rose-and-leaf pin, definitely gives her pause. Not a bad pause, but pause. Instead, she squints down at her perfume, ever-so-slightly flummoxed before she remembers that there is another place she can use a Key now, rolling her free hand to have the Crystal Princess Rod appear in it. Give her a minute, it's a new attack.
Naru Osaka 2016-12-22 04:48:36 64414
"Thank you. Not an idiot, it was flattering." Naru notes back to Endymion as she leans in closer to him as he starts to speak, squeezing his hand briefly as she tries to wrap her head around combinations and how their respective energies work together.

Powers 101, on the job training in progress.

Naru nods to Endymion as she pushes her own energy into colours, firey reds and startling oranges mixed with shimmering almost ethereal pale greens. They should all muddy together into a sad brown, but somehow they are all still distinct, combined into the whole brilliant package. "Shimmering light?"

Naming combos is probably supposed to be less of a hesitant thing, and more of a confident declaration of 'hey, chew on this, sucker!' sort of moment. Save that not only is naming things really hard, but Naru is watching the attack aim right at her. The sort of attack that she, more than anyone here, has an EXCELLENT idea of how it's going to feel when it hits.

"Shimmering light!" Naru decides more fully, just calling a spade a spade really, and sends her colour into the mutual spray can for Endymion's propellent.

This could be messy.
Hope Kanata 2016-12-22 04:56:39 64415
Prince Kanata keeps the shield raised. He extends the shield just by a bit. Nephrite's notebook is now jusssst in the shield. He smiles wryly. He has good control over this thing. He does look stern faced still though as he watches Cure Flora go into a new Mode Elegant.

He smiles a bit at this, and just merely waits. She's going for the Crystal Rod. Right! He gave that to her. Just for this sort of situation exactly!

He just hopes and wishes under his breath a bit, before he says. "Cure Flora, you can do it!" he calls out.

"That thing was probably called here by that. Well. /give it it!/." he says. Not. you know. Actuality. He means.

Show the things who's boss! WHO THE REAL FLOWER PRINCESS IS.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 05:08:13 64416
Naru's colors decorate Endymion's white-gold, combining into something part autumn's fire and part spring's first growth, both at odds with the winter cold around them. The light darts out, quick and bright and deft, and intercepts the fireball --

-- and where that beam of brightness touches, the discoloration of the fire vanishes, the fire becomes only fire and breathes itself out for lack of fuel. The coldly insistent glow of the object at its center shatters into only normal light, and normal sound, and the deadening impression on the heart lifts a little -- still present, but not so blackly heavy --

But Naru's uncertainty, her instant's delay, costs her. The two attacks meet each other, yes, but too close for the Shimmering Light to obliterate the fireball completely.

It washes over its target with a silent roar, not of depression, not of apathy, but of resignation -- a suggestion that it is only the natural thing to do to lie down, to be silent, to let breath flow out and cease, to become something quiet for flowers to grow from.

The heart of the attack is gone. The suggestion is only a suggestion. But the physical echo of the suggestion is enough by itself to knock Naru flat.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-22 05:18:59 64417
Endymion's eyes light up in sparkling amusement at Naru's name for the attack, and he's focused-- and that thing is coming directly for Naru, but he can feel the energy she's putting out with his and it's a powerful punch. He has every confidence it will work--

--and it does, but only almost completely. As what isn't shattered washes over Naru and trails over him, he's still in contact with her; he can feel what it does to her even as he sees what the first lingering attack's done to Nephrite, and he catches her as she collapses back in his arms.

The physical remainder of that resignation pulls at him, echoing through the contact, and for a split second he just holds her, staring down at her in shocked guilt; the shame feeds the resignation as red creeps up the back of his neck, flushes his face.

Then he looks up, and his eyes are fire.

They're not dead. This is ridiculous. This is some monster being a dirtbag. He didn't feel like this when Usagi died on that asteroid. He didn't feel like this when everyone else died and he and Usagi faced Metalia-- everyone was with them, and even if they hadn't been, they would have stood there anyway. He didn't feel like this when he stood alone on the steps of the palace on the moon, facing down his brothers and all the people of his world.

"NEPHRITE!" he bellows. "THIS IS STUPID! THAT THING IS A STEAMING LOAD OF SELF-IMPORTANT HORSESHIT! IT CAN'T TOUCH OUR DREAMS! PUNCH IT!"
Nephrite 2016-12-22 05:29:01 64418
Nephrite startles at Mamoru's voice. First at his name, and then at the stream of highly unprincely words. The ennui the monster dragged him into felt real in the moment, but now is dissipating like smoke.

He balls his fist. "Got it."

The Shitennou throws his weight into the swing. The thing has two faces. He aims to strike the closest one.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 05:37:53 64419
Granted, getting to that closest face is a job and a half, given that it's substantially far from the ground. But one thing about working for the Prince of the Earth is that gravity will casually look the other way now and then. Nephrite's punch lands --

-- the half-skull gives, in a deeply disconcerting way, and comes apart into a spray of cubes that pepper his face and shoulders. It feels a little like being bombarded with dice carved from spectral bone -- there's impact there, but not enough to hurt, more unnerving than anything else.

That leaves the trefoil's edge bare on his side, thin as paper, thin as a blade.

That also leaves the thing's disconnected left hand free. It turns midair, its palm facing toward Nephrite, and a single bronze-colored blade emerges from its hand, shaped like a sword with a jagged hilt, two-dimensional as the trefoil, but otherwise reassuringly physical. It flies toward Nephrite as straight as one of Kyouko's spears.

... so does the halo of fourteen of them that follows it.
Hope Kanata 2016-12-22 06:01:31 64420
Prince Kanata keeps Fiorebush within that bubble. Primarily. The rosebush obviously means a lot to Mamory. Secondly. He's pretty sure a Rosebush doesn't have that much resistance to horrible dark forces like this. He's happily protecting it.

He does sort of give Flora a determined look!
Nephrite 2016-12-22 06:04:49 64421
That is not what is supposed to happen when something, anything, gets punched in the face. Nephrite's stomach sinks as the whole thing comes apart like a Jenga tower. He drops to the rooftop with the rain of cubes, braced for further shenanigans. And then it turns.

Nephrite has precisely half a second to groan before he is running like mad, as fifteen slices of nope trail behind. "This IS horseshit!" Not a lot of options on a rooftop. He darts to the side, out of the path of certain death, and straight to where his own prince happens to be holding onto Naru

"Endy! Combo up before that thing finds more swords to throw at us!" He grabs Mamoru's nearest hand, gathering up white-hot starlight in his other one.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 06:17:37 64422
The princess isn't drawing fire -- Nephrite is. Kunzite keeps her shielded at least to the extent he has (one must, after all, return the favor Kanata is doing them), but he himself moves with Nephrite, angling a curve of shadow to deflect blades away. It doesn't do much, but it gives him a little more space to run in, and may keep both of them from being chewed out by Makoto over any unintentional and unplanned haircut --

And then he's echoing Nephrite in another way, mirror-image on Endymion's other side. No white-hot starlight from him. It's the gold-tinged pink of dawn clouds in his free hand, echoing Nephrite's build of power to reinforce their prince.
Mamoru Chiba 2016-12-22 06:27:41 64423
For what it's worth, the shivering rosebush has significantly calmed down in the rainbow bubble, though its blossoms strain toward the fight as if worried.

Endymion, on the other hand, looks incredibly alarmed as the answering attack for Nephrite's head-shattering punch takes aim, multiplies by like fifteen, and fires off at the flowing-tressed Shitennou-- and then Nephrite runs right for him. AND YOU KNOW WHAT HE WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. There's another grin that is legit all teeth, and Nephrite doesn't even have to fish for his hand-- Mamoru's on one knee at this point, Naru propped up in front of him and covered by his cape, in easy reach to grab and dodge if it comes to it, but leaving both hands free-- one of those hands meets Neph's halfway, and then his favorite Kunzite-shaped combination wall and shadow basically apparates to his other side and takes his other hand, pouring power and intent into the group attack, and...

...it's no Sailor Planet Attack, it's stars and roses and shadows and dawn mingling in a thousand thousand scintillating points of light, resolving into the perfect image of an enormous rose-- which shades in, first, as a deep red, then fills with the luminous pink and gold essence of the aurora, deep and dark and edged with burning suns from billions of miles away. Split seconds; time is a fluid thing here, in the liminal space between earth and sky.

And then there it is, hanging weightless in the air and glowing, and in defiance of the soulless and lifeless peace of death, Prince Endymion laughs in delight and looses the attack.

"LA VIE EN ROSE!!" he sings out, because he can.
Haruka Haruno 2016-12-22 06:28:00 64424
There's no way Flora is letting that thing get to Nephrite. The Perfume has vanished, leaving Flora with a free hand. She takes off her cape and slings it at the stupid monk-thing, buying herself (and hopefully Nephrite) With Kanata's encouragement, she places the new Key in the top of the Crystal Princess Rod and turns it. "Dance, O Roses! Pretty Cure Rose Tourbillon!" There's a veritable whirlwind of white rose petals around her, but worse for the thing is the fact that there is a massive white rose in full bloom hanging off the end of the Crystal Princess Rod.

And for lack of anything better to do, Flora is lunging at it, swinging the Crystal Princess Rod like nothing so much as a baseball bat. It's not graceful. It's not elegant. But it is a giant freaking rose' that will dissolve into an unbearable singularity of everything that forms the antithesis of the Wraith's existence, an almost burning, white-hot point of pure hope in her hands. Every impression she got from the Key itself is fed into that, multiplied by the force of will that Cure Flora brings to the table.
Kazuo Takeba 2016-12-22 06:42:47 64425
The wraith -- the hell monk, take your pick -- is immense in itself; but somehow its immensity recedes in perspective, compared to the flowers. As if they (all of them; the one created by the three boys, the one that Flora has breathed into life, the one shielded by Kanata's hope) were simply more real than it, and therefore closer, and therefore forcing the other thing further away --

And then the two roses strike the wraith at once, and between the starlit rose as the anvil and the white rose as the hammer --

The dissolution ripples outward from the point of impact, the thing coming apart into tiny cubes. Perhaps not quite destroyed; the hooked rod and the disembodied hand and the trefoil all merely vanish, rather than pixellating first. But close enough. Close enough.

A scattering of those cubes don't, quite, dissipate into nothingness when the rest of them do; they rattle quietly to the rooftop instead. But the fire is gone, and the drain at the edges of the heart, and that dark fog with them.

And Flora's Key remains.