Alicia Hayden @Flamelord and Janet Howell @t2wave
Though the surface of the water obscured her vision, Janet could tell by her second specialization that Alicia was indeed alone. It could still be a trap but she trusted her friend. Rippling for a moment the monster girl rose from the lake and crawled onto shore. Even though her form had been this way for a while ever since geing freed from Justine it took time to readjust again. "I wasn't expecting you to come so quickly."
Alicia's heart thudded in her chest as she looked around, trying to locate her friend. Anxiety and worry swirled together inside her head, leaving her hoping that this wasn't some kind of trap or trick, and that everything would work out. It just had to, for her own sake if not Janet's.
The motion in the water drew her gaze, and she froze still as the monster girl emerged on to shore. Her eyes were wide with disbelief, confronted by the sheer wretchedness of what Justine had done to her after she was captured. "J-Janet. Is that you?" she asked after a moment, taking a hesitant step forwards. "They...they said Justine had done something to you but I didn't expect...this.
" As taken aback by this as she was, it only made her all the more angry at Justine. A good thing then that she was dead and gone.
The Beacon girl's reaction was understandable if not disappointing. Janet frowned slightly and lowered her head. If one didn't already know she doubted anyone would identify her. Since she was on land Janet donned her disguised self that Justine had also given her. The corrupted dress had become a part of that. "Sorry. I thought you should at least know what I've become."
She rubbed a couple tears from her face. "The Beacon are surely looking for me. I've done a terrible thing."
The girl looked weak and was clearly distraught.
It was not unlike Janet to be this way. There had always been doubt in her mind given her previous life. No one could have imagined that her fear would come true and she would become a real life monster. Glancing back up the blonde waited for Alicia to react. What would happen now that she was standing there vulnerable.
She had imagined what she would say in this sitution, had imagined how it might play out in her head, but what preparations she had made were swept aside by the reality Alicia was faced with. Janet stannding in front of her looking terrified of what might come next, justifiably worried about what someone of the Beacon might do to her, and haunted by what had happened. It took all she had to hold back her sadness, her anger, and to keep it from overwhelming her.
After a moment she took another step towards Janet, offering her hand. "I...I tried to find you when we went to stop Justine at her castle. But the castle was destroyed and Justine was beaten, and there was no sign of you. I thought the others had...i thought you were dead." The words sat like a lump in her throat, as painful to say as anything she could have imagined. She should have been happy, but she couldn't. Not while things were like this.
She didn't give Janet the opportunity to speak as she shook her head. "It'sokay. We know Justine was controlling you. She did that to a lot of the people we rescued. You don't have to blame yourself for what happened." It wasn't much, and it might not make up for what had taken place, but it was a start.
Crossing her left arm to hold her right Janet still shook her head. "Maybe, but that doesn't really change that I'm an enemy of the Beacon now. I can't go back like this. Penny was stretching it but she was less a monster and more machine."
There was a tinge of frustration in her voice.
"What if there was a way?" Alicia asked, reaching into her pocket to pull out the vial that she had grabbed amongst her stuff on her way out of the garage. She held it up so Janet could see, a liquid swirling inside that made it seem like one was looking into a sea of stars.
Quickly she explained. "After the....bombing, I ran into a couple of magical girls, with Djinn powers. They said they could grant wishes, so I made one. This vial, it can cleanse any corruption, no matter how dark it is. It could turn you back to normal." She would understand if Janet refused, but this was the whole reason she had asked for it in the first place. Alicia had to try.
To the girl's surprise it seemed her friend had already worked out some kind of solution. Eyeing the mysterious bottle Janet contemplated what to do. Djinn were somewhat known for being shifty despite what some popular Disney characters might suggest. That said there were not really many options open to her. As is even if she wasn't killed outright by the Beacon she surely would be excommunicated and later be killed. Glancing at her watery hands she knew that she didn't want to be this way.
Still having some questions though the girl moved over to a rickety old bench and sat down. "Okay. And you trust these girls?"
It seemed a little too good to be true. How is it they just show up right after the bombing? Alicia was the one that made the wish though, so it wasn't like they just handed something over saying it would do xyz... right?
Alicia wasn't entirely surprised that Janet didn't leap at the opportunity, seeing it as too good to be true perhaps. Trust was a hard thing to come by these days, especially in the world of magical girls. But there wasn't really much other choice, and they both knew that. If she didn't, there wouldn't be much choice beyond staying like this. And as Janet had noted herself, Beacon probably wouldn't welcome her back with open arms.
"I do," she confirmed with a nod, offering the vial. "They didn't seem like the type to play tricks with their wishes, and I didn't feel anything that indicated they were lying. You know, with my powers." It was possible they had nullified that aspect of her light abilities, or that she had simply ignored it in her emotional state, but she didn't want to consider such possibilities. It had to work. It just had to. "I don't have any other suggestions besides this."
It hadn't crossed Janet's mind that Alicia's powers could tell if someone was lying. Hearing that was somewhat of a relief. Wringing her hands for a few moment she eventually nodded. Time was limited as well in her mind. Beacon likely wasn't the only one she'd pissed off. While the Mint hadn't made any move against her, the familiar turned magical girl likely wasn't a fan. And no telling who else. "How does it work?"
She asked as she slowly offered a hand to take the vial.
Alicia passed the vial over to Janet, letting her go about taking off the stopper that kept it all in the bottle. "Drink it," she offered with a shrug, not entirely sure herself. But that seemed to make the most sense. She'd been a bit distracted at the time and forgot to ask. "It will probably hurt a bit."
Now, it was all up to Janet, and the hope that her wish came true.
Probably hurt a bit. Was that just a requirement for this job or something? Then again becoming a monster girl in the first place was pretty painful so it only made sense reversing the process would as well. Taking a deep breath she held it up. "Here's hoping."
Downing the contents of the vial her face soured. "Oh god... that tastes aweful."
Swallowing hard her disguise fell. The fluid was visible inside her translucent body. It was suspended like oil in water.
Nothing happened for a moment before the starry fluid began to wriggle and move. Janet's waist jerked as around as the magic in her stomach tried to get out. "Crap, I... I think that was the wrong way to use it."
Wrapping her arms around her middle she tried to hold things together. Beneeth the magic pierced through and began to seep out. Spreading rapidly over her body she began to panic. "Alicia, its- mmph"
Her face was covered in seconds.
Fully engulfed the monster girl's movement was restricted. Her tentacle limbs were being pulled together which caused her to fall. What little movement was afforded her the girl squirmed as the wish took effect. Minutes passed as the struggling died down. Normal looking legs began to take shape as the corruption Justine had placed was being reversed.
It was weird, watching Janet change back into some sort of jellyfish girl, the potion she had swallowed just hanging inside of her like one of those science experiments she did back in high school. Yet after a moment it began to move, much to the alarm of them both as Janet voiced her discomfort.
Alicia shared the panic that Janet expressed, and she leapt forward with wide eyes as her friend's plea was cut off. Before she could touch it though she was brought to a sudden halt of her own volition, chastising herself for her haste. She had no idea what was supposed to happen, and she'd never seen a monster girl being changed back to normal. Maybe this was just part of the process? If she interrupted now, it could ruin the whole thing.
"Fine, we wait," she muttered to herself as she took a few deep breaths and relaxed. She'd give it a little bit. If it didn't look like it was doing what it was supposed to, then she would act. But for now she would wait.
A correct choice it seemed, for as the struggling inside the cocoon of stars died down, human legs began to form beneath the veil. Her heart felt like it was going to leap out of her throat as Alicia tensed in anticipation, eying every change that happened. This was...it was really working! It was only a matter of time until it had finished and Janet was back to normal. She was sure of it.
One by one the stars in the pitch black began to fade. The magic confining Janet began to weaken. Waking with a start the girl began to move. Reaching up she grabbed hold of the inky darkness and began pulling. Not giving right away the girl began clawing at the top of her head to free herself. Gaining some grip and with one final pull the wrappings split open at the top of her head. Water began to spill out. A second later Janet pulled the magical skin off her face and gasped for breath,
Having been broken the magical veil surrounding the rest of Janet began to dissolve, revealing that most of her had returned to that of a normal magical girl. It was immediatly apparent that not everything was in its previous state. The water that had come out before wasn't just some left over from the transformation. Her usual golden locks were gone, and in its place was long streams of flowing water tied in two pigtails. Her normally green eyes were glowig a brilliant blue.
As the stars of the strange mixxture began to fade, Janet stirred. Alicia watched as she tore her way out of the strange magical cocoon, her anticipation reaching a cresceendo of emotion inside of her. Yet she was taken aback by what Janet came out looking like. She might not be a monster anymore, but it was clear that not everything had returned to the way it had been before. She couldn't even guess as to why that might be.
Alicia hurried over as the veil vanishes, leaving her friend free to move. She reached out to support her friend, arm wrapped beneath Janet's shoulders to keep her from falling over if that was needed. "It's over," she said, though that had probably been noticed by now. "How do you feel?" Even though it wasn't a complete reversion, it was still a lot better than what she had been before, as far as the Beacon was concerned.
Janet was cold to the touch and shaking. She pulled her legs in and rubbed them, both to confirm that they were real and to warm them up. Turning her head slightly she glanced at Alicia."I f-feel alright."
The chill must have had Janet distracted because when her watery hair floated around into her view Janet jumped slightly. "What is...?"
Letting go of her legs she reached out and ran her hands through the water. Following it with her fingers she eventually reached her head. Removing her hands revealed them to be dry. Silent for a moment her eyes wandered as she tried to process everything.
The sudden cold caused Alicia to flinch a bit, though she didn't have a blanket or antything like that to help her warm up. They would have to go back to the HQ for that. Nonetheless, it was good to hear that she was feeling alright, and that there weren't any other adverse effects from her stint as a monster girl that they could see for now.
Watching as Janet came to a sudden realization about her hair, Alicia swung into action once again. Moving behind Janet, she began to rub Janet's upper arms, helping her warm from the cold while at the same time guiding her over to the water of the lake so she could see herself in the water. "Here," she remarked. "I guess not everything could be completely reversed." She didn't have a better explanation, so instead she stood ready as a shoulder to lean on if Janet needed it.
At first Janet didn't want to look, but eventually the girl leaned forward to take a better look. The surface flattened out as her magic manipulated the water. Trying keep herself together Janet took a deep breath and exhaled. "Okay. So I think..."
Pausing again she glanced up and listened. "Uh, I still have Sound magic?"
Covering her ears for a second it was pretty easy to confirm. "That's weird."
All things considered Janet took the changes better than Alicia had expected she would, the Beacon girl waiting quietly as her friend went about testing her powers. She still had her water powers, and it appeared she had picked up Sound powers while in Justine's service that she still retained. "So what do you think?" she asked, her hands coming to rest atop Janet's shoulders. "Feeling better about coming back to Beacon?""Mmm..."
The girl didn't entirely look convinced. After a while she nodded a bit. "I'm ready to confront them at least."
This could be hard. It would still be tough to know how she would be received because of her actions and the unorthodox way she was purified.
It wasn't as confident as Alicia had hoped that it would be, but she supposed that it was better than nothing at all. "Alright," she agreed with a nod, ready to summon her Beckoner or lead them to the new HQ, whatever Janet felt more comfortable with doing. Things might have been more unorthodox, but she was confident that they could succeed. "I'm sure it will work out. They trust my word, and they know what Justine did. They'll have to believe you."
Sighing a bit, Janet had to go by what her friend was saying. "Okay. Do you think I should go to headquarters or have them meet somewhere else?"
At least she was willing to try. By this point she almost could fly under the radar given her new appearance.
"I think this will be easier if you go to headquarters," Alicia decided after a bit of thought. There might be dangers inherent but it seemed better than a remote meeting with a Beckoner and the mistrust that might be engendered with the other girls. This could, hopefully, put some of those to rest. With no objection from Janet she began leading her back to the HQ so they could get this underway. Now, they just had to hope that it worked out as well as she wished it would.