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In spite of the best efforts to ferret out the sharp toothed Magical Girl, Roche exhaled and abandoned the search when it seemed she'd dawdled too long. Her hands stiffened and she thrust them into her blazer pockets to ball them into tight fists as the strange mix of frustration and disappointment rose inside her. Suki had an uncanny talent for leaving Roche feeling dirty even when she wasn't violating her with tentacles.

"I'd need a bomb to clear this bad air between us at this rate." Roche grumbled, briskly turning on her heel with the intent to wait at the club room, yet again failing to have anything close to an honest conversation with the shark toothed girl. Only to stop just as quickly, her distraction not dampening the poise of a track star as she came face to face with Shatterscape.

That is to say, she couldn't tell at a glance which of the girl's face was presented to her, but the the split nature didn't prove a hinderance to interacting with her. They were, one and all, comrades and friends. Perhaps as well, it didn't hurt that they had an appreciation for teamwork that pleased Roche immensely.

"Ah, I was caught up in my own head. Here I am trying to catch Suki and probably blocking traffic." The tanned athlete rubbed her palm against her brow, kneading some of the tension that roused itself just thinking of her troublesome former partner. Of all the ones she worked with, even Nyxia now, Suki was proving the most enduring in the headaches left for the Rule Keeper to suffer through. Her hand fell aside and she favored Ember with a smile, the levity only somewhat forced as her magical sense picked up on Nyxia's arrival in the school.

And by senses, she could hear her from down the hall. Good thing normal students couldn't or they'd be swamped with teacher complaints.

"We should head to the club...but can I ask you something?" Her eyes darted side to side, not catching a sign of anyone close enough to hear or any of Evil Eye's familiars out in the hall. "How do you talk to someone who doesn't want to be in the same room as you?"

The harsh report of a whistle rang across the delineated field where Miso High's Track team was put through a brutal pace. There's came in visible puffs as the chill of Winter air saw the heat of their bodies meet the environment with a wave of contrasts. A time where injuries came easier and muscles were sorely tested, yet to Roche it was a good a time as any train hard and make up for the laxity of their rivals.

Her blazer was and the whistle fell from her lips, settling next to her Emblem now affixed on a fresh necklace. Aquiline eyes watched her juniors finish their lips, parsing between those who lagged from true exhaustion and those who were holding back from a lack of effort. Rancor in the ranks was nothing new, and as the Detention Club proved even the harshest grasp could not weed it utterly.

"Enough!" Her voice carried over the cold, and several girls tumbled off the track, sprawling across bristly grass in sweet relief. Roche nodded to herself, feeling confident in who would go forward to represent them in the next race and who was going to be warming the benches. She held no true punitive power, but when parents questioned why their child wasn't given a chance to display the fruits of their labors, Roche's words could be just as cutting as the knife she wouldn't mind plunging into a few of the laziest of her lot.

"Those of us with second clubs can move on. Get a drink, towel off, and enjoy your day. Everyone else, put the equipment away and head out. We have a track meet in two weeks, so work hard or enjoy the bench. I can only bring the best to the starting line." Some before her were determined to meet that goal. Others wavered, doubts gnawing at them. Yet a few more looked bitter, disgruntled at the harshness of her regime and the arrogance she wore with the ease of her transformed headdress.

It all washed off her back as she turned, walking off to the club room where the Detention Club would be hosting their first meeting after Nyxia's hectic first night and the discovery of a new Light Girl intruding on their domain. The halls of the school proved warmer than the outdoors and she tugged down the zipper of her track jacket entirely, letting the ends splay out behind as she soldiered on with a stony expression and searching eyes.

In truth, she was hoping to catch Suki before she got to the club room. It was hard enough talking to her alone, but her with the others around was just going to be a mess of distractions. No, better to corner her out here and get some straight answers with no blood tentacles or interruptions.

"I am, actually." Roche was once more unflappable, taking Nyxia's taunts without ire or wrath behind her unflinching gaze. "Sitting on the table like this has your leotard do interest things to lift your ass. But Suki won't mind that if you give her a kiss and find how persuasive she can be."

She found it a bother that they seemed to be back to square one, but if appraised from a more positive angle, that meant Nyxia wasn't holding a grudge strong enough to be averse to her either. Perhaps they could try a more straight forward and soft approach.

But first they had to survive dinner, and given that Nyxia had chosen this course, she wasn't quite willing to offer her another lifeline just yet. Having been Suki's partner previously she had a deeper understanding of her culinary ability then most, and it truly was a wonder to see it in action once more.

"You're alchemy is nearly at the level of creating life. Well done, Suki." In complete disregard for common sense and self preservation Roche was the first to take a bowl and serve herself from the pot. A bubble burst as it sloshed before her and she could almost swear to have heard a moan of soul wrenching despair amidst the fleeing gases. The tanned Magical Girl looked at it before seeming to look up with a start and favor the picnic table with a cutting smile.

"Ah, where are my manners? I should help the host and serve the table." One by one she ladled portions out, placing them before the gathered and aghast Detention Club. Red received a generous portion, but with her powers there really was no fear that anything there could harm her stomach. Only once everyone was treated to the vapors rising from their meals did Roche sit down and with a spoon that seemed to be rusting on contact with it, devoured a generous bite.

"Delicious." Roche said with a completely straight face, though the lines across her skin were subtly glowing brighter as she swallowed.

Waking up sprawled across a bench left a sharp ache in Roche’s shoulders, but that was secondary to the taste still lingering in her mouth that had rousing sharply with a wordless snarl twisting her lips. She palmed herself hurriedly, uncaring for her disheveled state and giving only a moment of pausing at feeling uncovered skin where a sports bra would be before resuming her search, till at last finding the snapped cord of her Emblem and deflating with a wave of relief.

Only once it was tied around her neck once more and she returned to her Magical Girl state in a flicker of light did she manage to release the tension gripping her and look around her.

Recognizing Suki’s ‘home’ for what it was left her steaming anew, and even as the group settled in to try and converse Roche could see Nyxia had withdrawn completely back into her shell. Her hands curled into fists within her billowing cloak, but as much as she wanted to try and fix the mess her….incapacitation, had caused, a kernel of shame at her lurid display kept her mouth closed tight.

No, she’d have to talk to Nyxia later. Approaching the door to the kitchen she exerted a not-insignificant amount of willpower to calmly open and close the door behind her. That was the extent of her restraint as she found the wastrel herself shoving an artful bouquet of confections into the fridge.

“Do you have the slightest idea of how much damage you’ve caused tonight? This wasn’t just Nyxia’s first night with us. It was her first night out with other people, period.”

Suki was looking over her “recipe” when Roche let herself inside. She had a pen in her right hand and a cigarette in her left. The only indication she heard Roche was a slight twitch of her head. She peaked over her shoulder at the rule keeper.

"Ah-hah!” Suke rubbed the back of her head before turning to face the newly arrived. "I don’t pretend to be privy to everyone’s secrets. But she seemed like she was enjoying herself up until a bit ago.” She set down her pen and folded her arm across her waist. "She enjoyed my compliment, how I spoke about her beauty, and I even fought on her command, Only so that I could make her dinner.” She peaked at Nyxia through the window. "You could have gone down a bit easier, but that was my fault. You wouldn't have wanted us to have a real fight instead, would you?“

”Yeah, I bet she did enjoy it. Because it was her first time. Suki, this girl is more sheltered and isolated than any Magical Girl I’ve ever encountered. Some of those Light Girls are better adjusted than her, and you just strung her along for a laugh and some casual flirting. Now I look like I was talking out of my ass with her and she’s back to thinking we’re all backstabbing bullies who she shouldn’t care about..”

The Rule Keeper was making an effort. She really did not want to shout, both for the people still sleeping and the group outside the door, but Suki’s cavalier ideas of romance proved as troublesome then as they had when she’d first partnered with the Blood Magical Girl.

”We were so damn close to a good first impression. Why do you keep sabotaging yourself like this Suki? If you just wanted in her pants you just had to grope her yourself.” Roche exhaled heavily, a scowl as firmly etched across her face as the tattoos upon her transformed skin.

It took Suki a moment to respond. She inhaled deeply and let every bit of air leave her lungs. When she refocused on Roche, her brow was furrowed. "That so?” Suki pointed out the window. "That beautiful lavender forest that you were blessed with wished for us to fight. I don’t think she’s nearly as timid as you make her out to be. Grossed out? Maybe. Put off by my powers? Sure. Finds my true self repulsive? That makes two of us. But if she’s put off by a bully, I know someone who fits that description a lot better than me.” She moved her hand onto her hip. "You’re not here to talk, so why are we wasting our time? Get this over with already!” With a flick, the cigarette in Suki’s hand landed in the sink. Her hands were trembling. "Just don’t totally cripple me, okay? I still have to serve dinner. And keep it under my clothes, it’s easier to explain to the teachers that way.”

The Rule Keeper’s eyes narrowed seeing Suki turn defensive, a flimsy effort made to hide the tension in her frame. ”You call it bullying. I call it team building. Considering just about everyone else works great together, I think the outlier here isn’t me.”

With a snort she extends her hand, palm out with her fingers curling expectantly. ”Suki, I’m not going to hit. I never hit you just for the sake of it. I’m disappointed you’ve passed on every opportunity to get out of this hole you live, but I’ve let you stay here. So do me a favor in return and give me my bra back so I can transform back.”

"Whatever.” Without taking an eye off of Roche, Suki reached under her shirt for a small bulge and pulled out the undergarment. "Force of habit.” She tossed the bra to Roche. It was still a little warm from being so close to Suki’s skin. "Is that all, Bedshaker?”

Catching the thrown garment, Roche still wasn’t comfortable transforming back to normal to put it on. Tucking it into her cloak she chose to ignore the warmth still clinging to the garment, but she didn’t turn to leave either. Taking a step towards the counter she set her palms on it, trying to make herself look less inclined towards violence.

”Do you want a hand making the meal? Or at least someone to help carry it out?”

Suki’s gaze remained locked on the doorway where Roche had been standing. She hadn’t moved a muscle. "No.” She said at last. Suki had never accepted Roche’s help in the past, and didn’t seem like she was going to start now. "I’ve got it. Thanks.”

”Okay.” Roche’s eyes closed, feeling more defeated then she had under Oros’ poisonous kiss. Suki yet remained out of reach even if she could so easily reach out and brush her shoulder. Turning away with a soft rustle of fabric she slipped out the door, instantly stiffening to a confidant posture as met the eyes of the gathered group.

”The food will be ready soon. She’s got something special cooking for us.” With a soft smile she moved to Nyxia’s table, content to sit opposite and across from her as she interacted with her fellow Magical Girls.

Roche had thought to give Nyxia an out and not look like someone who had just admitted to her she had no social life, but the bombast of the Laser Queen was not dampened in the slightest and turned it around on her. The track star would have sighed at finding herself made to look the villain and wondered why she took on this role from Rei if it only alienated her from people she should be more sociable with. She paused in her steps, about to turn and reply when the smell of blood washed over her and she staggered under the force of Oros the Joyfull's attack.

A tendril, wet and rubbery, smothered the scream of primal terror at the violation of hands running across toned skin, skirting under her shirt and skipping over her sports bra. Then came a rush of cold that shook her bone deep as her emblem was taken. Just like that Oros had gone too far, but while a transformed Magical Girl would still have some power left, she'd have no means of transforming at all and it showed as she couldn't budge the other Dark Girl.

Already she could feel her control slipping, the anger and disgust bleeding away like mud under the spout of a warm shower. The insidious allure was impossible to resist because it was simply so much easier to go with that current, pulled into bliss as Oros held her close.

But Roche was the Rule Keeper, not some Light Girl blindsided by someone they'd never have known or expected to be attacked from. And with the constant stream of lurid topics and desires that Suki spilled to them, it hadn't taken long Roche to conceive a means of working with her influence.

The tanned beauty with her jacket open tittered, a soft, airy exhalation as she nuzzled the tendril now running across her color bone and leaned into the chest of the Magical Girl who was making the mountain crumble.

Said mountain then clamped both hands over Suki's rear, the smack ringing down the street as her nails dug covetously, every muscle clenching to claim more of that succulent rump and pull her into a searing kiss. The magma that Suki had so readily stirred was erupting as Roche plunged into the compulsion, caring nothing for the audience as her tongue twined with her paramours and drank greedily of that copper tasting well.

Suki had wished for an exhibitionist and she had gotten one of a more aggressive variety than she had expected, with Roche sliding her knee forward to split Oros' own and draw her along the bare thigh. The kiss would end with a bridge of saliva still connecting them and a sharp bite to Suki's lip as Roche's eyes burned with passion.

"There's not enough of you here to share with the others when I'm done with you, Suki-Chan~" She purred the word, nails clenching in a white knuckled grasp of the maiden's rear, "But let's still go so I can see how comfy your futon is~"

"Perish the thought. We're not paying for it, after all." Roche replied to her still acerbic partner, finding the vulgarity lacked the heat of mania it had when the night began. Expecting Nyxia to drop it entirely was simply asking too much, but as Dark Magical Girls they had plenty of time to work on it as a club.

Steadily the Detention Club returned and Roche found herself smiling as Red climbed atop the lamp post, ever the creature of habit. Gossip and rancor preceded Suki and Tsubomi making their way down the sidewalk, their talk of ships as amusing as it was exasperating. The feeling of community washed over Roche and she exhaled, a flutter in her chest as things settled into place.

Her brow twitched as she heard the latest perversion of her title and Roche leveled a glare at the perverse Magical Girl as reality reminded her it had ample annoyances to offer.

"As nice an offer as that is, we wouldn't expect you to cook for all of us, let alone having enough time before sunrise. Hey Nyxia, how about we go to the barbecue place you mentioned to me earlier?"

With her hands stuffed into her wind breaker's pockets she texted her partner an address of a nearby place she recalled be of hearty fair. Of course she had everyone's numbers, being the code keeper required knowing the contact information of her fellow members in case they went missing on a patrol. While Miseria weren't a threat in small numbers, they operated in pairs for a reason.

"Yeah, Suki, I'm ready to go. All the time, actually. Need your bed shaken up after the meal?" She fired back, putting an exaggerated sway in her step as she turned to began the walk to their hopeful dining destination. "Don't go looking to climb a mountain if you aren't prepared to be crushed beneath it."

Roche had to wonder if Red knew about Nyxia's goal ahead of time as it was a lofty goal even by the standards of both Light and Dark magical girls. Still her composure didn't crack and her hand didn't even tense as it remained clasping the Laser Magical Girl's hand, letting the words wash over her.

"Time travel. Well then, it looks like you'll need some help getting there....but more importantly, you'll need to make some happy memories." Roche turned aside, standing in profile to Nyxia before coaxing her to follow her out to the street with a soft tug.

"When you see him again, you can tell him about how happy you are. The adventures you've had. The friends you made. That way, when you meet again, he won't ever have to worry about your happiness again. Maybe it's just me, but if I could see my father again, I wouldn't want him to see anything but tears of happiness."

The street was bright and empty, the glare of streetlights striking in contrast to the dark of the Miseria strewn alleyway. The track captain palmed her phone, skimming over the messages and letting out a snicker at the antics of the rowdy bunch that went chasing after the new girl. Satisfied the night's activities were winding down, she stuffed it back into her jacket and graced Nyxia with a toothy smirk.

"So let's go enjoy some free food and see if tonight will make a good story for Kaito."


Were this exercise purely for the sake of seeing Nyxia shattered as a person, there would have been nothing short of naked, intoxicated revelry on Earthshaker's face. And if Nyxia was still of the Light, then there indeed have been such indulgence.

But the girl breaking down before her was her kin in darkness, and more than that, she was Earthshaker's partner.

Coming down to a knee before her, a tanned hand reached out and cupped the nape of her neck. With a steady pull Nyxia would find face set against the Rule Keeper's shoulder, her bare skin warm to the touch as the shade of her cloak hid Nyxia's anguished face from the world around them. Yet warmer still was the barrel of the Obliterator now pressed between them. It hung there by the pressure of their embrace alone as both arms enveloped the Laser Magical Girl fully.

"Never again will anyone take him from you." She whispered the words with a tremor of the emotion beneath her stolid exterior. The barest quiver of black rage thrumming through every muscle and shaking her bones. "But I ask you to think bigger. What good is killing mindless monsters who know neither joy nor despair? Is the flicker of catharsis all you want...or will you take this power, and do what you couldn't before and Kaito no longer can?"

"This world cares nothing for us. Every life lost is a meaningless statistic. So we must come together, and bend this wretched place into something worth living in." Her arms loosened and Roche tilted her head back, letting the hood fall away as the dwindling moonlight danced across bone-white locks. "Live. Live as only we can, for the happiness that those whose loss broke us no longer can. So you can look down from the mountain you could never even allow yourself to dream of climbing and see his smile in the clouds below you."

Earthshaker was standing then, the warmth of her arms a fading memory as she extended a hand towards the Neon Tempest. The lighting shifted as the cloak melted away and a familiar face in track garb stared down at her with a slight, ephemeral smile.

"Let me show you that world."
This is some popcorn-worthy shit. Don't need to watch Oppenheimer when I can just continue to read Neonshaker on the drip feed.

Their partnership in a nutshell.


Earthshaker realized the magnitude of her actions shortly after a heel crashed into her unguarded loins, bucking the unprepared Magical Girl off Nyxia. Her power could do nothing to blunt the flash of pain and Roche's eyes narrowed as she staggered back onto her feet, only to scream out as searing light burned more than her retinas. Skin blistered and burned, the barrage weaker than what the Obliterator itself could offer but still a potent hazard to her health.

A more reasonable Magical Girl would see they'd overstepped and try to de-escalate, and even the twisted Dark Magical Girls would feel some empathy for the raw grief radiating from Nyxia.

Roche did not get to position as Rei's enforcer by being reasonable.

"Are. You. Finished?" As the blisters burned deeper into her skin Roche needed only to reach back, pulling the shield from her back and interposing it between them. Light danced wildly in every direction, gouging the alley walls and sending streaks into the sky as the surface had no issue absorbing the screams. Then it pulsed, returning the energy in a concentrated blast to propel Nyxia hurtling away and into the scattered remnants of the Miseria that still lingered at the ambush site.

The shamanistic Magical Girl held the laser before her, an unsubtle suggestion that further light shows will be taken right against it's barrel as the shield settled along her arm. "Listen, or the next attack I do will shatter this toy."

Someone utterly unyielding against a deranged soul who couldn't be swayed. Roche would have smiled at how perfect they were for each other if her face wasn't as raw as Nyxia's throat must have felt after screaming all those lasers.

"One more step, curse, or laser and this memento of yours is scrap." Earthshaker said, her hand along the barrel tightening as the lines across her skin flashed with barely restrained power. "So tell me...what does this mean to you? Who is he?"
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