565/Youma'd, Bro?

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Youma'd, Bro?
Date of Scene: 07 October 2023
Location: Rina's House
Synopsis: In which a small child's birthday party is attacked by a Dark Kingdom General for reasons.
Cast of Characters: Zoisite, Usagi Tsukino, Haruka Tenoh, Cho Konishi, Mamoru Chiba

Zoisite has posed:
    Zoisite hasn't been having much luck with finding magical girls by harassing their families at home. His list is almost completely done, and there are far more magical girls than the names remaining. He was going to use Pyrite, but she is missing (again (of course)), and he doesn't feel like using any of his faction's youma yet. He may have followers in the Dark Kingdom who jockey for position and seek his favor, but this is too important to leave in the hands, paws, talons, tentacles, or other appendages of potential screw-ups.

    So, it's time to improvise.

    Rina Nobara is celebrating her 6th birthday, and is very excited. All of her friends are here, and she has a cake, and a party hat, and she is ready for those presents! She is quite over-stimulated from all the excitement and in need of a nap, but not before presents. And maybe cake too? Yeah, definitely cake! Even if she falls asleep with her face in said cake, she is getting her cake!

    The first present brought out is an odd one, in glossy black wrapping paper with a pink ribbon crossing it, and a big pink bow that looks like a rose. Neither mother nor father is sure where it came from, and they exchange questioning looks, but before they can do anything else, Rina's big brother, Daisuke, eager to help, snatches up the present. "I'll give Rin-chan this one!" he crows triumphantly as he turns and rushes over to his adorable little sister. Then something pulses inside of him that seems to make time stop and afterimages of himself superimposed over his own body appear in his vision. Time resumes, and he stumbles in surprise. Was that his heart? He falls with the long, thin box in hand.

    While his mother asks if he's okay, and his sister looks wide-eyed at him in concern, there is another time stop, and another *pulse*.

    "Okaa-san..." he says quietly, with his head down, his red baseball cap hiding his eyes.

    "Are you okay? You shouldn't run in the house!" their mother says, simultaneously concerned for his well-being and chiding him for doing something dangerous.

    "Okaa-san." Daisuke says again, a bit louder.

    Rina and her friends see it first. Those that aren't paralyzed by fear gasp or let out piercing shrieks.

    Daisuke turns to look up at his mom, the present smashed under the palm of his hand, his eyes yellow with vertical pupils, and scales growing rapidly across his face. "Okaa-san... I don't feel very good."

    Then everyone starts screaming. It's audible from the street outside.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon has mostly healed up - her few remaining scars are already smoothing over. She's grateful for it, because more reminders of that night are not what she wants - especially when she isn't sure how to find that other Outer, when she doesn't want to just... ask someone.

Because sure, she could ask Setsuna-san or Michiru-san, but -

It just feels awkward.

So instead, she patrols, and hopes that destiny or fate or something will guide her hand.

And when she hears screaming, she decides it's a good thing she wanted to get out today. The screaming is coming from someone's house, which is a first, and she doesn't want to just break their house - so she tries the door.

"Knock knock?" She adds with her actual mouth. Nothing to see here, just a superhero knocking on a family's door.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
Haruka Tenoh is out driving. She's not out with Michiru, the sea-nymph likely painting or practicing or something else that, frankly, is made more difficult by Haruka's presence. So she's just in the car, feeling the wind flow through her hair, and then at the stoplight... she can feel it. In the air. The turbulence in the wind. Something is out there, or something is happening. Something that's not a Haruka Tenoh problem. Something that's a problem which needs to be resolved by the other her. She's no seer like her partner, though. She has no mirror to glance at. All she can do is follow her instincts, follow the wind.

    It turns out that works pretty well. Or, well enough. She ends up close enough that the screaming people get her the last bits of triangulation - ducking into an alleyway and pulling out her pen, she henshins into Sailor Uranus - and immediately feels a lot more like she knows what she's doing. Of course she does. She's going to go do her job. The results in her walking up in henshin towards the souurce of the trouble, her hand on her hip, resting just above her shorts.

    She's a little bit wondering if she should call the others for help - after all, the reason she had to henshin was someone fighting an enemy alone - but as she comes around the corner walking slowly, she sees the fuku and twin odangoes of another Sailor Senshi, another soldier. With Moon around, fortunantly or unfortunantly, Sailor Uranus can remain her usual self. "You gonna stand there while it eats kids or something, bun-head?" Uranus asks as she walks up behind her. "Just kick it open." She does not, notably, kick it open herself just yet. But she looks at Moon expectantly.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cho Konishi wasn't actually on patrol. She was performing what all good people do at some point... She was shopping. Okay, maybe not good people. Just people. Shopping was a thing everyone had to do, one way or another. In this case, she was picking up some supplies for a new peach cobbler she wanted to try and make and... and there was a scream. She looked up, and... "Eh, probably nothing." Kids screamed all the time, right?

And then there were more screams. And more. And more.

And she sighed and took out her own henshin device.

Ten. Seconds. Later.

"Oh hey Sailor Moon bye Sailor Moon!" Cure Wukong yelled before she did what she did best. Barreled blindling into things... In this case? Stopping by the door, and... Turning the door knob and pushing it over. She DIDN'T knock. And if the door was locked? Well, that was what henshin strength and shoddy door locks were for! ... She didn't want to like. Break all of it. But she would definitely break at least the handle to save the screaming people.

Entirely ignoring the fact the two Sailors outside were having a whole discussion about breaking it down or not. Because monkey.

Zoisite has posed:
    The door opens. It was not locked. No one came to answer it, and all that can be heard is screaming, of children, and a couple adults. There's words too. 'Call for an ambulance!' 'Daisuke, don't move, sweetie. Help is coming.' 'What's happening!? What's happening to onii-chan!?' "All of you, BE QUIET! Be afraid in silence, while I figure out this body." a rough voice yells out, with the sound of a snake's hiss behind every word and every breath. He appears to be some sort of... Lizard-boy. He has a mix of traits, making him look a lot like the 'velociraptors' as portrayed in Jurassic Park, Daisuke's favorite movie, even if the depictions of dinosaurs and the science behind reviving them are both completely divergent from current paleontological evidence and genetic research. He likes dinosaurs, okay. He wants to be a paleontologist.

    The main different between a JP-style velociraptor and Dino Daisuke is that, well, first of all, he can talk. Second, he is slightly more humanoid in shape, and his hands are more articulated, with actual fingers, instead of being all claws. Also, he's still wearing his baseball cap somehow. It's just kind of resting on top of his dinolizard cranium.

    "Now what am I supposed to be doing...?" he asks aloud, huge lizard tongue and sharp-tooth-lined jaws struggling to move in the right ways to produce mouth words. He turns when he hears a monkey enter the house (or rather the door opening, the monkey just happened to be behind it), and sees at least one magical girl through the opening. "Oh. Right. Cause a scene, wait for magical girls to show up, and destroy them." Long tail lashing, the Youmartist formerly known as Daisuke backs up towards the frightened little girls all clustered around the couch on one side of the living room. "Welcome, magical girls! Glad you could make it to my sister's birthday party! I wasn't sure you'd gotten your invitation!" Then he brings a hook-clawed thumb close to the face of Rina, who is hyperventilating, while the two parents try to call for help or hesitantly inch their way forwards, right up until monkeys join the party. Then they just stare.

    "If you cooperate, nobody needs to get hurt." the youma hisses gently, completely counter to his vicious appearance.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Oh look, it's her. Sailor Moon's polite knock is clearly lost on this jerk. At the familiar nickname from an unfamiliar voice, she scowls a little. "Don't call me that. Besides, we can't just assume these people have insuranc-"

And there's a monkey. Sailor Moon's eye twitches.

She walks through, planning to assess the situation, try and use her head the way Rei-chan was always yelling about, but then she hears the word sister and she finds herself rushing in, tiara at the ready, only to - freeze.

It's not just the Dinosaur Boy, but the scared little girl, the desperate parents, the birthday party decorations.

"What do you want?" She demands, straightening her spine, projecting as much confidence and strength as possible. "Leave these people alone. We're the ones you're after, right?"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "Problem... solved?" Sailor Uranus notes as the absolutely not a Senshi barrels past them and through the door. "Friend of yours?" Sailor Uranus asks, looking at Sailor Moon. After all, the monkey knew her name.

    "Their insurance or lack of it isn't gonna be super important if..." Sailor Uranus stops mid-sentence as she walks in to see what seems to be... a hostage situation. Just great. She has a sneaking suspicion the other two wouldn't approve if she just leaned on her speed to kick the creature beforre it could do anything bad. Not that she's writing that plan of action off entirely. She's too pragmatic to entirely write off most courses of action that she thinks might succeed.

    "So this is what the great historical enemy has become? Tch." Sailor Uranus says, trying to project a very different sort of confidence than Moon's 'justice energy' - a sort of devil-may-care attitude. Of course she's worried about the kid. But if she shows it, that puts the kid in more danger. Because then the kid is a more valuable tool to the Enemy. "You really think this is going to go anywhere? I'm not going to trade the life of some random kid for the life of a warrior who can save a lot more, so you're really out of it." she lies.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong stared at the youma, reaching up to grab the toothpick from behind her ear, then having it grow into a large staff. "Ha, jokes on you! I ALWAYS get hurt! Even if I cooperated, I'd probably fall down the stairs or something, so there!" She said it... so confidently. As if she just won the argument with it. Or would. It...

She lifted the staff up, charging forward... only to stop about halfway there. Staring... then... Rina. She stops before... "I... I surrender. Just let her go. You win," Wukong said, before holding out her stick to the youma.

It was, however, a trick. She couldn't risk the girl getting hit... but... if he took the stick... it was a magic stick that weighed stupid amounts to anyone but her. It was, in fact... a *trap* to hopefully make him fall and allow the girl to escape! LEH GASP! Monkey trickery.

Zoisite has posed:
    It's not really possible to look more like he's smiling than he already is, but the youma certainly tries as Sailor Moon charges in and says those words. One arm goes around Rina's shoulders, so his right hand can put its thumb-claw against the little girl's chin, and the left arm can point excitedly. "Right, yes, exactly! That's exactly it! Wow, this is going better than I thought it would. I feel like we've really formed a connection!" He would attempt to a wipe a single tear from his eye, but there's no tears, and he doesn't want to claw his eye accidentally.

    Shifting his considerable mass to push in amongst the children, and the resulting squeals of fear get a quick 'claw finger to jaws' shhhhh, and when they've settled down, he turns his attention back to the justice warriors. In response to Uranus, Dinosuke just blinks slowly. He doesn't have eyelids, but he has those thingies. What are they called Epicanthic folds? The eye-protecting and eye-lubricating membranes that 'blink sideways'. Goddamn, the narrator is not as knowledgeable about this stuff as Daisuke is, okay??

    "I don't want your lives. That would scar my parents, and my sister, and all of her friends. Do I look like a monster to you?" Pause. "Don't answer that." As the stick is pointed towards him, Dino Daisuke's thumb-claw presses in closer, producing a little pinprick of blood on Rina's cheek that begins to flow downwards. She starts panicking even more.

    "I would really, really appreciate it, for my family's sake, if you could stay back, not point things at me, and not making any sudden movements." he says quietly. Disturbingly... He sounds... Sincere. "All I want from you is one simple thing, and then this all goes away." Staring directly at Sailor Moon, the youmaraptor says, "Reveal your true identities. After that, all of these girls go free. I highly doubt any of these six-year olds have met you before, so they won't recognize you even in your civilian forms. Further, I was the only one out of everyone here with the magic potential to be transformed, so nobody else here will even remember this correctly. You could play it off as coming dressed as super heroes to put on a show for the birthday girl's special day!"

    His voice has been cheerful, his words reasonable (or as reasonable as they can be in this situation), and aside from a little cut that can be cleaned up and covered in a bandaid, things haven't gotten to an unrecoverable state yet.

    "This is a lot better of a deal than you would usually get from a youma, right? Or a dinosaur for that matter. Or are you going to take out Rina-chan's brother and leave the family one child short? Because I guarantee they'll remember that." He tilts his head. "Think about it at least? You have five minutes."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"Cure Wukong," Sailor Moon had muttered as she passed into the room, before they were confronted with the hostage situation, and before Sailor Blue-and-Yellow scoffed at the enemy and said they didn't care about the hostage! Why would she say that?! Of course they care, she's a little girl, with her little friends and family and it's her birthday and Sailor Moon had heard this monster use the word brother, and she doesn't know if a person can become a youma this quickly but Sunbreaker had tried to turn Naru into one and Hayazaki-sensei's hands had been infected and monstrous and -

If this is a kid, what can they do? She doesn't have purification powers, or if she does, they've never shown up before, so how can she fix this kid? She still didn't know what had fixed Hayazaki-sensei, but Yellow Pearl Voice had been there, and she purified, so she couldn't assume that purification wasn't the answer, but she kind of doubted Sailor Blue-and-Yellow could purify and what were they going to do?

And then.

The youma speaks. She can ignore the mockery of their connection. But this kid? This kid panicking in the arms of a monster that had been her brother, bleeding from her face, a dinosaur straight out of Jurassic Park in the midst of all her friends -

And the heroes were considering letting her die?

It was enough to make Usagi's spine straighten, her face tighten, the hamster wheel in her mind kicking into overdrive, trying to find a way out of this - because she didn't want to give up her family either, she didn't want to risk this coming to her home, but could she really put her identity before someone else? When Naru-chan had no secret identity to protect her, nothing but her own wits and the friends she'd made?

"I..." she starts and stops, and closes her eyes. Think, think, think, think -

Lightbulb flash.

Blue eyes open, and Sailor Moon smiles gently, looking past the dinosaur at the group of terrified children. "Don't worry Rina-chan. We're going to protect you, and get your brother back too. And look - you'll get to see a magic trick."

The enemy hasn't seen many transformations, but she's pretty positive they know that there are objects and items involved - Sunbreaker had seemed to, had said she broke someone's magical 'toy', so maybe this will work. Maybe the veil will hold true and protect her - and if it doesn't? It's still worth it, to protect a little kid. Her hand goes to her transformation item -

But not to her broach. No, the pink pen she lifts is her disguise pen, but it sure shines and sparkles with magic, as she calls out, "Moon Power! Tranform me into my civilian form!"

Sparkles fly, light shines, and Sailor Moon's fuku disappears, replaced by ordinary civilian clothes - blue jeans, an orange top with yellow ribbons at the sleeves. Sailor Moon's tiara and odango caps vanish, but the hairstyle remains, and her smile is gentle. "Did you want my name, too? Or is my face enough, Dinosaur-kun?"

Thing about her disguise pen was that it was still magic. It could and would transform her, but only someone who knew her would see through it and remember her face. So she's hoping that even though the face and hair and clothes and disguise it shows now is her own true form - that the veil will still hide it, because this is still magic.

And if it doesn't?

Then it was worth it.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "So your plan is to threaten the child in order to gain the ability to threaten our families?" Sailor Uranus asks. "You're a fool." While Sailor Uranus could, probably, just reveal Haruka with the knowledge that Michiru and Setsuna were capable of defending themselves most of the time, she couldn't say that was true for the other two girls here. And, frankly, giving up one identity was paramount to giving up three. "You wouldn't ask for it if you didn't need the information, so don't act like there's no threat to our own families here."

    "People die every day in Tokyo, monster. Sometimes to crime and sometimes to freak accidents. I can't save them all - nobody can save everyone. But I already know what happens if I stand by and do nothing while your side makes progress. Everybody suffers and dies. If I have to suffer some casualties on the way to making sure everyone doesn't die again - I'll mourn them when the war is over. But nobody is going to mourn you, or your master."

    She's about to make good on her threats when Sailor Moon starts to talk. It's the hesitation, the trepidation, to actually risk the child's life that gives Sailor Moon that time and space to henshin. Sailor Uranus looks over - she sees the pen, hears the call out, and doesn't think she looks quite like how she should... but still, if she's going to not give it away?

    "What the HELL? Why are you being so STUPID?! So SOFT?! So WEAK-HEARTED?! No wonder we lost in the past, if we had you leading." There's very, very real frustration there, but she has to 'sell' Usagi's plan too. And it does give Sailor Uranus an excuse to yell some things she's been sitting on for a millenia. So even if she knows there's a plan, she has to act like she doesn't.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong blinked a few times. "Wait, is... is that the plan? Do... do you intend to like... take a bunch of random kids hostage, then blackmail whatever magical girls come up... to give up our identities so you can threaten our families? I mean... either way... this is an escalation of like... what? Like. I do hope you know this is just a bad, terrible idea? Because even if we saved this family, we'd be putting countless others in danger by doing that?" she asked. "And you'd just do it to the next family, then the next, until either we stop you permanently or you know everyone. And we can't really have that."

"Is this why the general boss guy for this youma is too cowardly to show their face?" she asked.

Annnnd... and then Sailor moon... ohhhh no. "S-Sailor Moon! Don't! It's not what they're, they aren't going to spare anyone! It's a trick! They're... going... what? H-hey, c-calm down. Sailor Moon is great, she's not weak hearted! I... I think. I... I mean, I assume not? I mean, I... I don't actually... really... ummm... know either of you... but... but I think she wants to protect people! And there's nothing weak hearted about wanting to protect everyone!"

Mamoru Chiba has posed:

Out of nowhere, a bright red rose whizzes through the air and stabs the baseball cap on top of the dinosaur's head, carrying it off and embedding, stem-first, in the floorboards. A petal falls at the same time as the hat itself crackles--

"Clever girl," a teenaged boy's voice comes from... on top of the kitchen island, perfectly visible from the living room, and he's speaking directly to Sailor Moon and he sounds so pleased. Tall -- it's a good thing the place has a high ceiling, especially with those dress shoes on a surface used for food preparation -- and exceptionally well-dressed for a kid's party if they hired a magician, he takes off his top hat and slight-of-hands it into nothing.

Now he sounds chiding. "Birthday parties for children are a time of joy and cake, of gifts and excitement and inevitable sugar crashes, not a playground for youmas or the ire of exceptionally angry magical girls!"

The mysterious masked stranger flips his cape back and points dramatically with one white-gloved hand. "Sailor Moon, the hat!"

Zoisite has posed:
    Dino Daisuke taptaptaps his chin thoughtfully with the claw not being used to menace a six-year-old while she cries hysterically next to him. She's just staring straight ahead, too scared to turn her head, her voice rising and falling into shrieks and rattling sobs, over and over. It's horrible. "Those are sound arguments, monkey queen, and... Other chick. If you're willing to just kill the hostages every time to prove how hard you are, then it's a losing strategy for me and anyone who comes after me. Although, that would also mean that you're killing a lot of innocent people each time, just to get rid of one youma. And, I'll be honest, that is not very cost effective for you. New youma can be made like that!" he tries to snap his fingers but fails. "But it takes more time for a human to be born and grow up, right? On top of which, you would most definitely not be helping the declining birthrates of Japan. That's a serious problem, you know!"

    Sailor Moon transforming into her civilian form seems to please the youma. "That's fine. You can keep your name, I guess. I was only expecting one of you to show up anyway. If the other two want to stay out of it, I'll call this good. Like I said, I don't want anything bad to happen to my family. I'm still Daisuke Nobara on the inside after all!" He again tries to smile a big dinosaur smile, and it doesn't go terribly well. "Thanks for cooperating! Now my imouto can get back to her party and forget any of this ever happened--!"

    When yelling starts up and more threatening words, he pulls Rina tighter as Uranus seems to have decided murder is the better part of valor. "At least I'll still be with my loved ones after you're done killing all of us." he says in a low tone. He focuses solely on the Outer Senshi now. "I wonder if your loved ones will still want to be with you when they find out what you did." Oof.

    Then, suddenly, a Spanish guitar! A rose runs through the baseball cap, pinning it to the wall above a little blonde girl's head. She has hair buns vaguely like Usagi's, if her hair was like 1/20th its normal length. Dark Energy sizzles and hisses and rises up out of the hat like smoke. Meanwhile, Daisuke cries out in pain and leans forwards, his features and form already starting to revert into a little boy of about 9 or 10 years old. While he is there on hands and knees, his baseball cap with the JP logo on it, now stabbed through with a rose, produces a dark, indistinct creature. It flickers as its void-pocket eyes and mouth appear, moving around like the shadow of a beast cast on a cave wall in more primitive times, when humans were much more frequently hunted than they are today. "Keep them safe in the future, you hear? Get strong enough that if another monster like me shows up, you can protect them." Is the youma... Encouraging its former host? This is such a weird situation.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon tunes them both out - Sailor Blue-and-Yellow and Cure Wukong in turn, disguise pen clutched in her fist, armor traded for regular clothes, vulnerable in case of attack, because even though she's still transformed, the clothes aren't the same - in favor of focusing on the dinosaur youma who had been a boy. Tuning the other two out doesn't mean she doesn't hear them. It just means she doesn't register it; later, she might remember some of what they said, but she's always had this, this ability to focus in on what mattered.

To shut out what didn't.

And this kid - these kids - they're what matter.

Not digs about her leadership skills. Not defenses of her heart, weak or not. Just this family and these children and -

And she can't believe she's on the same side as the youma. Cure Wukong and Sailor Blue-and-Yellow, take note! This is not a scenario you look good in! Sailor Moon is Sailor Disappointed In You, even as she winces a little in sympathy for how callous the dressing down is. He doesn't want her name, at least, which would have been a lot harder to fake with magic, but she still isn't sure where to go from here, how to save that boy -

A rose, fwipping through the air to strike the out of place baseball cap from the boy-turned-dinosaur's head. She almost hears the riff of a Spanish guitar, as her head whips around, knowing instinctively where to find him -

The masked boy. In the tuxedo!

"Tuxedo Mask! You're here!" He came again, to help her. To help her do what no one else here was willing to do - put it all on the line to protect innocent people. And he even makes a justice speech! Just like her! He's just like her and her real Senshi for real!

A bright smile crosses her face for a moment, even as she snaps back to focus, turning to the pinned hat, flinging her hand back - the tiara appears in a flash, called by her need, golden metal already warm to the touch.

Moon Tiara Action!"

The disc of cosmic energy strikes the hat just as it finishes offer encouragement(?) to the boy it had possessed.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus, for her part, doesn't need to follow up on the attack of the hat. Now that the hat is free, she's free to do something she's wanted to do the entire time. Not kick the youma - but actually jump in and push all of the children away from the hat. Because she's not about to put into this sort of catch-22 situation again. Sailor Moon's killing the thing - stabbed through with a rose and immobilized though it is, Haruka's just trying to make sure it doesn't end up on anybody's head again while it's resolved. Who knows what that rose is, and how long it'll stay. But what she does know is she's fast and pretty strong and kids are light and she can clear them out of the area real fast now that nothing is holding scythe-claws to anybody's neck.

    And maybe it's not necessary. But it sure helps Sailor Uranus feel a whole lot better, to be doing something to protect the kids rather than arguing loudly about the cost of a life.

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong eye twitched. "It's monkey KING! Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I'm not the Monkey King! The Monkey King can be anything she wants! And not just A youma. Whoever your boss is. Like... wait. Does this mean we need to go like... find the bad guy's home base and start attacking it?" she asked the other two. "Cause like... this is very much the 'We're going to start murdering a ton of civilians until you stop us' moment. Is... is this them declaring full war? What happened to like... trapping and energy draining people?"

Then suddenly... ROSE! YES! And there was a cute boy in a tux and... and Sailor Moon's friend? Oh. OH! And there it was, HAT! And there was boy and... And Uranus was getting the kids away, good. There was just one thing she could do. After all, she could purify. She normally did it on her stick, but well... she didn't wanna hit her head on the roof, even if they were tall.

"72 earthly transformations purification!" she called out. Gathering the five elements, she unleashed a purifying beam of pink light on the girl and boy! Purifying magic go! Well, Sailor Moon had the hat, she could make sure there was no dark energy spreading out from them, just in case, avoiding things getting bad again...

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
The Moon Tiara Actioning of the hat also causes the rose itself to poof! into some green leaves and a whole bunch of ... of red rose petals, drifting through the air and scattering across the floor. The boy who threw it has a smile just for Sailor Moon, but-- the next time any of them looks back, he's not there. Gone as suddenly and inexplicably as he arrived.

Zoisite has posed:
    Daisuke is a bit too dazed and scared and in pain to really heed anything said to him, but maybe those words will stick with him somehow. In his dreams, maybe? The youma on the other hand is blasted away by the tiara, not even bothering to give a shriek, just disintegrating beyond a Dark Energy vapor into nothingness.

    The present that Daisuke smashed, which has been lying on the floor in the center of the room, is still apparently filled to the brim with Dark Energy, which reacts to Cure Wukong's purifying powers by producing small jets of black flames that consume the present, wrapping and bow and all, and leave no trace of it ever existing.

    Good thing Haruka moved all the kids away, so none of them got hurt. Any one of them could have picked the remains up or bumped into it and become the next victim -- even if, apparently, only Daisuke had the affinity for magic needed to be transformed.

    Rina runs across the room when she's free and there's no more monster, her parents running to meet her and check on Daisuke. There is a crying, relieved reunion. They'll probably remember it as something like Daisuke was running, and the edge of the present scratched Rina's cheek, and the other kids were scared by the blood, but some performers came in to cheer everyone up, and the birthday was saved!

    Something like that.

    There's even still some cake!

    Zoisite, watching this whole situation through their television by controlling the device, and already losing details in his mind of what Sailor Moon's civilian form looked like, just 'tch's! and teleports away. He would have tried to take a slice of cake with him, but there's too many magical girls there, and that mysterious masked boy. A new player to keep track of... He'll have to report this to Hematite or someone, and include the possibility of his showing up in his future plans.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Tuxedo Kamen vanishes again, as quick as he appeared, but Sailor Moon can't help but feel his smile is memorized, living behind her eyes. In less serious circumstances, she'd be smiling just as brightly.

But these are serious circumstances. Sailor Blue-and-Yellow rushes forward, grabbing the children in the breath of space between Sailor Moon summoning her power and the launching of her tiara, every last one of them evacuated to the far side of the room, closer to the terrorized parents who had all this time been panicking, probably. The hat dissolves into nothingness and the boy finishes his transformation from dinosaur to boy, and Sailor Moon exhales in relief, shoulders slumping, even if she's quick to pull herself together again for the sake of the children.

The children who are definitely crying together, Rina-chan, who had been held hostage, runs for her brother and her parents, and the relief that they are safe dims and suppresses the tide of Sailor Moon's frustration at her allies for even suggesting that they wouldn't have sacrificed their identities to protect innocent kids.

Maybe Sailor Blue-and-Yellow and Cure Wukong wouldn't have It's a thought she doesn't like.

Maybe that's why she turns to look at Cure Wukong, honestly baffled. "What do you mean? This was - I mean, this isn't really the place, I guess? In front of Rina-chan and her friends, but they probably won't remember this, but - they've always been like this? Maybe... I guess we don't all fight the same enemies, but Jadeite of the Dark Kingdom wants us dead for defying him, and Riventon has a gun that shoots people's souls out, and my best friend almost died because a youma used her mama to drain energy."

She still dreams about the crack of Naru's skull against the floor, on her first day. It's mixed with more now, with Naru, turning into a youma, Naru, screaming as she was purified, Naru, who doesn't have magic or a secret identity to protect her - but she still has those dreams.

She has lots of bad dreams. People have been trying to kill her and the people she loves and the people around her from the moment she picked up these powers.

"It's always been war. It's just been... quiet. You know? Like a cold war between nations, or whatever. That's kind of how Inai-sensei put it. You should talk to her sometime."

And that's an honest sentiment, because talking to Inai-sensei genuinely does make her feel better. She is assuming that Inai-sensei is a known quantity, but, frankly? She always kind of assumes everyone knows everyone she thinks is important.

She glances back at the crying family reunion.

"We should... probably get out of here, though."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus sighs as she walks back to the other two. It's a heavy sigh, a put-upon sigh. But the threat is over, at least for the moment. "Sorry about some of the things I said. I realized what you were doing and didn't want the youma to get suspicious so I reacted the way I would if you had actually given your identity out." she says, her voice a low whisper. And... sorry for -some- of the things she said. Not all of them. Some of those were things Sailor Uranus wanted to say a long time ago, by the time she was waking up the fourth member of the Outer Senshi from slumber.

    Sailor Uranus blinks. "Inai-sensei? The guidance counselor?" She doesn't say anything more but the surprise in her voice should at least clue Usagi into the idea that she hadn't met her yet. "But on getting out of here - on that, we agree. But you and I, we should talk. Not today, with emotions running high. But soon. We need to understand each other." she says. How is it that she can make such a basic statement sound so ominious, even while smiling and wearing the same uniform (nearly) as Sailor Moon was? Even with a positive tone? "I guess we can all look at today and call it a job well done, though. No casualties. That's good."

Cho Konishi has posed:
Cure Wukong let out a sigh of relief. Woo! They did it! And... and... And Sailor Moon was yelling at her. "I... I didn't... know," Wukong said softly. "I'm... I'm sorry... I thought..." She trailed off for a moment and glanced around. "This... this is way worse than I'm used to. I usually have... like... bad guys who try and erase bits of history. Sure, they threaten. But so long as I can beat them, everything is okay, you know?"

"... I've never come into a house and... had a youma threatening to murder a bunch of civilians if I don't tell them who I am and the thing is... we... can't... well... maybe you can. But I don't have a tool for that. I can't just... stop... them from attacking people if they're there, waiting for us. I can't be everywhere. I can't undo that if they go killing innocent people," Wukong said softly.

"... I'm... sorry. I didn't realize... this is the kinds of things you were facing. I... I'll talk to... Inai-sensei. I'll try and take this... more seriously from now on. Sorry, Sailor Moon. It ummm... was... nice meeting you, miss. I'm Cure Wukong. I uhhh... hope we can... work together again. I'll... I'll try not to get in the way again. Thanks for... fixing everything. B-bye," she said before turning and leaping away, to the nearest roof, then the next, the next, precure out!

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon - doesn't know what to say, honestly. Not to Sailor Blue-and-Yellow, and not to Cure Wukong. There are things Sailor Blue-and-Yellow clearly needs to say to her, about grudges held over from a past life Usagi Tsukino knows nothing about. Cure Wukong's exit, and the way she's been so shaken by this...

The worst part is that Usagi is shaken by this. But she's also jealous. Because it's been like this for her, from the start, and she's starting to wonder if maybe she's not living a normal magical girl like, but some kind of special, extra messed up one. Maybe the other magical girls didn't have people who wanted to personally kill them every week?

Crazy, if true.

"I'll... definitely talk to you," she tells Sailor Blue-and-Yellow. "Cure Wukong too. Clearly there's... stuff, that needs to be said. Catch you around."

And then, very awkwardly -

"Happy Birthday, Rina-chan!"

Exit, stage kicked in door.