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PreCure All Stars - Dynasty Project G

Chapter Text

There is no such thing as magic in this world.

That's obvious, isn't it? You'd be surprised at how many people misunderstand that simple fact.

Perhaps there was a previous version of the world, a world where magic used to exist. Maybe a world where men and women could become monsters, and heroines with magic would be needed to fight them? Maybe a world where there just were monsters, always had been, and heroines both ancient and modern rose up against them with the power of friendship? Friendship, in this case, meaning magic. Or perhaps the world was once two worlds, one with magic wands, monsters, mermaids, and a deeply misguided man-like lizard whom you really might end up rooting for just because you feel sorry for him, and another more ordinary world with none of those things, until one day they came together?

Or maybe, just maybe, the world was all of those things and more at the same time, even though that world was so full of contradictions that it didn't quite make sense when examined on a holistic scale? A world where there are new heroines every year, gradually growing in numbers, but all of them stay the same without ever growing up or anyone getting any older at all? A world where even villains who publicly threaten the entire world, or go so far as to completely conquer the multiverse for a few weeks, seem to be completely unknown to anyone just a couple of years later? In a world where the magical girls of yesteryear – literally the previous year – are not only known to this year's heroes, but actually famous, can a magical girl's work every be truly done?

Worlds like those might have virtues of their own, but they are not this world. If there was ever magic in this world, by now it has all been deleted and everything reset, and everything now is as if it never was.

Ah, now that's a silly idea, isn't it? Even in a world where magic might have once existed, surely nobody had that kind of power.

In this world where there is no magic, it stands to reason that there are no magical girls. Oh, the girls themselves exist. They live, struggle, and grow – just without any magic nor any need for it. There are people who would have been their enemies or allies in those other worlds, but for those people as well, there is no just thing as magic.

In this world where there is no magic, those people are not fairies, or time travelers, or half-man, half-bee middle managers – just ordinary folks who have to eat, sleep, and work like anybody else. Without any magic to set things in motion and to align them all on one side against the other, they may not even be enemies… but then again, they may. Perhaps, even in the absence of magic, something like that – something close enough to whatever may have happened in those other worlds – could happen anyway, despite the non-existence of magic. Who is to say?

Now, let us speak of Project G.

Project G is Fusion Group's great purpose, its reason for being. In this world with neither magic nor any need for magic, Project G selects ordinary girls (and perhaps eventually a few boys) and gives them a little something to tie them together. A certain amount of money, a fancy moniker, nothing too extraordinary. If it happens that this little something should help them to make friends, or to start raise families as they grow up, well… You could say that Friendship and Family are what the F stands for.

Oh, it's Project G, isn't it? If it ever was Project F, then by now that has all been deleted and everything reset for a second time.

Of course, that is a joke. Fusion Group does not have that kind of power.

Isn't that right, Miss Ayumi?

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 14
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 14


2004

Fusion Group has registered Cure Black and Cure White as Pretty Cure.


The placard on the door reads [Tatsunojou Ayumi, Director].

As they are led into the director's office to meet with her, the two girls immediately notice the luxurious size of the space. An entire classroom could fit in the space that one woman is using to contain a desk and... a love-seat?

Nagisa blinks. Honoka blinks. No matter how hard they look, it seems that the only seating not behind the director's desk is a couch just large enough for the two of them to sit almost touching each other. Despite being in the same class at school, they have barely interacted until now. Such an intimate seating arrangement is a little uncomfortable. Behind the desk, a woman with brown hair and golden eyes encourages them to sit, which they do.

"I'm sure this must seem strange to both of you, but you have my promise that it will work out for the best."

"But what is Pretty Cure?" Honoka asks.

"For now? It's a title and an annuity. There are no responsibilities, and you need not do anything to retain either the title or the money. With some luck, I hope that the name of Pretty Cure will become well known. I dream of a world where every girl will want to be Pretty Cure."

"But why us? We're just ordinary girls," Nagisa asks.

"Ordinary girls are the most appropriate people to become Pretty Cure," the director replies. "It would help us considerably if the two of you become close friends, however."

"Friends?" "Close friends?" Even reacting at the same time, the pair are not quite on the same wavelength.

"Indeed. Pretty Cure is about friendship first. Everything else that I hope to make of it rests on that."

"I don't understand," Honoka says. "I don't either," Nagisa adds.

The director shakes her head. "Unfortunately, I cannot offer a better explanation at this time. Perhaps sometime in the future, I will be able to meet with you again and answer your questions in more satisfactory detail. For now, however, the two of you are Pretty Cure. It's not either of you alone, and it can't be anybody else."

The conversation continues like this for a few more minutes. By the time they are led out of the room, Nagisa and Honoka are possibly less sure about the whole affair than they were going in. What has been made clear is... the two of them are Pretty Cure.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 14
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 14


March, 2004

Honoka finds Nagisa in the same park where they'd fought the previous day, staring at the river. She has her back to Honoka, but notices her approach and turns to face her.

There is an awkward pause.

"Hi." "Hi."

The atmosphere between them remains tense and silent for several moments, until Honoka takes a deep breath and forces herself.

"I never meant to hurt your feelings, and I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have called you an honor student."

Honoka blinks. "But I am an honor student."

"That's- I..." Nagisa pauses, and almost smiles. "Okay, you are an honor student. I shouldn't have thrown it in your face like something bad."

"I misunderstood you. You may even be right that it's because I'm an honor student-"

"No, I was wrong."

Honoka ignores the interruption. "But I want to understand you! Can we be friends, Misumi?"

"We-" Nagisa's eyes suddenly widen. "That's not right!"

Honoka flinches. Nagisa notices.

"No, I mean, friends don't call each other by their family names!"

"Then... Cure Black?"

"My name is Nagisa! That's what you should call me! And... may I call you Honoka?"

"Yes, of course! Thanks... Nagisa."

"Sure thing, Honoka."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou – age 23
Hamura Kaneda – Girinma's cousin – age 22


April, 2004

A wirey man wearing a suit and a bowler returns to his apartment to see a man with a packed suitcase. The other has unkempt brown hair and a goatee, and quickly greets the first as the door opens.

"Well, cousin, you should be glad to know: I found a place, so I'm moving out."

The salaryman's eyes narrow. "Kaneda, as if you have anyplace else to go. What brought this on?"

"For one thing, I don't like you. Also, you don't like me."

"Yes, but what of it? You are family and I am your elder. I have a measure of responsibility for your well being."

"My well being? My well being? Try thinking about yourself, first, Rintarou! You work in a sweatshop!"

"Nightmare is not a sweatshop!"

"Right. Sure, it's not. On call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no overtime ever, your boss doesn't even know your name, gives you a nickname that sounds like some cheap toku villain, and you just roll with it. How is that not a sweatshop, Girinma? How are you not a perfect corparate slave?"

"It's not a bad nickname. The rest isn't as bad as you think."

"Look, I didn't start this conversation just to argue with you. I need to leave to do my own thing, and you need for me to leave so you can think about how shitty your situation is without a freeloader holding you down."

"And I suppose you plan to support yourself by painting? Cousin, you'll end up right back here, a typical starving artist."

"Hey, give me some credit. I do want to sell my paintings eventually, but for now..." Kaneda produces a flyer for a well-known fast food chain. "I'll be working at the Mag."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 14
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 14
Poisony, Irizawa Poiko – age 19


June, 2004

Nagisa has been placed in a bizarre and unenviable position: Trapped in a train car between two girls who look and sound like her best friend, she is made to pick out the impostor.

There is no such thing as magic in this world, but for exactly this reason, such a perfect disguise should be impossible. Likewise, the impostor demonstrates a shocking knowledge of Nagisa's personality and habits. It is only because Honoka knows something that Nagisa has kept secret from everybody else that Nagisa is able to choose.

"You are the fake!"

"Well done," the impostor says with a very un-Honoka-like smirk.

"Of course! You should have known better than to impersonate my best friend!"

"Oh my, did you think I was congratulating you? Even if I am a master of disguise, anyone should be able to tell their closest friend from a stranger eventually. I'm simply amazed that I had you going as long as I did! I'm so glad that I saved this game for last."

"You call this a game?"

The impostor smiles. "But of course! It's something I did to amuse myself, which I never stood to gain anything from. What else could it be?"

"It is a crime," Honoka replies.

"I suppose it is, isn't it? All the better that I graduate now, don't you think? I can't keep doing things that might get me arrested."

"You could still get arrested! If we call the police-"

"Really?" The impostor says spreading her arms. "And who would you say to look for? A girl who looks just like your best friend?"

"No, we'll tell them what you really look like! Taller, more mature, a little bit ugly- why are you laughing?"

"Nagisa, I don't think we've ever seen what Poisony really looks like."

The fake wiped a tear from her eye. "This is exactly why I disguised myself as you, Honoka. Between the two of you, I was certain Nagisa would be easier to fool."

"Hey!" Nagisa shouts, but immediately deflates. "I mean, it's true but-"

"It's more than true. Listen to this." The fake clears her throat, then says with Nagisa's voice: "This can't be happening! If you didn't already know, would you think that was Nagisa?"

"Yes." "No."

Nagisa turns and stares at Honoka. "That was perfect, wasn't it? If I wasn't me, I'd think that was me!"

Honoka shakes her head.

"That's just how it is," says the impostor, still imitating Nagisa's voice. "I was only ever going to have one chance at this. It's my last time messing with you girls before I leave, so I went with the one that I could actually pull off."

"You're leaving?"

"I'm moving away. I'm going to put my skills to use as a proper adult."

"Put your skills to-" Nagisa clenches her fists. "What are you scheming?!"

"No scheme. Lucky girls like you might not ever experience this, but when most of us reach a certain age, we have to work and earn money or we won't be able to eat. There aren't any jobs in this town that are appropriate for me, so I'm going someplace better. I really have enjoyed playing with you girls," Poisony says, stepping out of the train. "I'd say 'see you around' but... you won't."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 14
Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya – age 14


June, 2004

"My situation is different from yours."

This is the first thing Kiriya says after leading Honoka to the riverbank.

"I don't understand."

"I think that if your family were to leave, if you wanted to stay behind, you could find a way to make it possible. You're an incredible person who could make it work."

Honoka hesitates before she replies: "That really isn't true."

"Since you say so, I'll believe you. I've never known anybody like you before. You helped me learn that school can be fun. That being with other people can be fun. If I could, I would have liked to make this time last forever."

He pauses. Honoka waits silently for Kiriya to explain.

"I live with my sister, who is moving away. I have to go with her. I want you to know that... I'll miss you."

"That's- I'll miss you, too. You're my friend."

"A friend, huh?" Kiriya's smile is slightly bitter. "I almost wished that there was some magical solution, but if there were any such thing as magic, I would probably be one of the bad guys. This world may not be as kind as I'd like, but at least it's not the sort of unkind world that would force us to be enemies."

"You always say such strange things."

"That's because I'm a strange person."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 15
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 15
Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari – age 13


2005

Fusion Group has registered Shiny Luminous as Pretty Cure.


Hikari emerges from the director's office looking confused. Nagisa and Honoka are waiting for her.

"That conversation was very strange."

"Right?" Nagisa nods to herself. "Director Hououin might be the weirdest person on Earth, if you ask me."

"There is something odd about the Fusion Group in general," Honoka says. "But I think they mean well."

"I also don't understand why they asked me to dress like this," Hikari adds.

The dress Hikari speaks of is a frilly pink dress with a hem that hangs around mid-thigh, with detached sleeves, white leg-warmers, and a heart-shaped broach. She is also wearing a heavy wig, which gives her the appearance of long, voluminous twintails... a look she would not quite be able to pull off with her real hair.

"That might be my fault," Nagisa scratches her head. Unlike Hikari's wig, Nagisa's hair is only heavily styled. The dress she is wearing is similar to Hikari's, but black and embellished with pink hearts and ribbons. The hem is higher, allowing a glimpse of black spats underneath.

"Nagisa complained last time we were here," Honoka explains. Her dress covers slightly more of her thighs, but with a wider skirt, and is almost entirely white. Her outfit is decorated with blue hearts and pale blue trim, and like Nagisa, she is wearing her hair styled rather than under a wig.

"I said that if they were going to give us magical girl-like names, they should spring for magical girl dresses, too! I didn't think anyone was listening!"

"You reap what you sow, Nagisa."

"It's not like I don't like the dress!" Hikari insisted, seeing Nagisa begin to tear up. "Just there was so much the Director wouldn't explain! Like, why is my title different from yours? If I'm to be Pretty Cure like both of you, shouldn't I be Cure Luminous, or something like that?"

"I can't believe it," Nagisa facepalms. "It's like they're making up the rules as they go along."

The other two girls nod in agreement.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke – age 17
Kagiya Kou – Mucardia's cousin – age 23


July, 2005

"You know, I love you like a sister, but I have to wonder whether you've really thought this through."

Momoi Kyousuke, sometimes called Mucardia, stands in the middle of a dimly lit shop that smells strongly of incense. The woman he is speaking to is clearly several years older than him, and has long blonde hair tied in a bun.

"Look, just because you think the only proper career in life is to sell yourself to a large corporation, that doesn't mean there's no place in this world for small business."

"It's not small that worries me, Kou. It's the scented candles, tarot decks and froufrou banners. What if there's no market for it?"

"For one thing, there is. Trust me. For another, I am your brilliant older cousin, whereas you are just Kyousuke. I know what I'm doing."

Kyousuke picks up a candle, sniffs, then grimaces.

"If it's all the same to you, I still think corporate employment is better."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari – age 14
Fujita Akane – Hikari's cousin – age 24


October, 2005

It is a warm autumn afternoon. On the grassy bank above a concrete-lined, Hikari lies on her back looking up at the sky. In a world without magic, she is not the reincarnation of a mystical queen... at least, not so far as anybody knows. If anyone is actually reincarnated in this world, well... who can say? Even without a supernatural origin, she has trouble setting her memories in order.

As delicate wisps of clouds float languidly across a blanket of pure blue, Hikari thinks back, and tries to recall the faces of her parents.

She has a vague feeling that she resembles one of them. Or perhaps both? When was the last time she saw them? How old was she? Hikari is not sure. Hikari knows that she has a little brother also, but cannot recall if the two of them have ever met.

Her cousin Akane is only the latest relative whom Hikari has been sent to live with. It is not as if any of the others were mean to her, but at the same time there was an understanding that she was a burden. Akane is kind, and she insists that Hikari is not a burden, but Hikari continues to doubt.

She helps out in the takoyaki truck. Akane has never caused her to feel unwelcome. Now that Hikari has come into money, the annuity given to Pretty Cure, Akane has refused to take any payment. For one thing, she is told, the annuity is actually not such a grand amount. For another, she is told, she should put it toward her own benefit: save it for her education.

And also, Hikari is told she is a child. No adult with any pride should allow a child to pay for her own upkeep.

Pride is another idea that she doesn't really understand.

The sky is pure and blue, except for some ephemeral wisps of white. It fills her heart with peace and calm, but not with answers.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari – age 14
Fujita Akane – Hikari's cousin – age 24
Kujou Hikaru – Hikari's brother – age 5


December, 2005

There aren't many places that Hikari and Akane cannot go with Akane's restaurant truck, but their present excursion is within walking distance. So they walk. A deep chill makes fog appear when they breathe, but a heavy coat keeps Hikari warm. Though pink, her coat is not particularly fancy, and so it is not a winter equivalent to the dress she wore when she was named Shiny Luminous.

She did buy it with her own money, though. Even though Akane objected. This has been an aspect of their relationship for some months now. Hikari cannot be convinced that she should save her money rather than help with expenses, and Akane refuses to be helped with the expenses. Both of them insist that they are not fighting, but others who are familiar with the situation invariably call it a fight.

As they walk, they mostly talk about the weather. There are places where blue sky can be seen through the clouds, and it has been lightly snowing.

It is warm inside when they reach the train station. Since they are early, they stop at one of the vendors inside, which is selling hot roasted chestnuts. Akane gets three bags. One for herself, one she gives to Hikari, and the last is for the person they have come to meet.

When the train arrives, a young, blond boy is escorted by two gentlemen dressed as butlers - one tall, one short - neither of whom get off the train as they leave him in Akane's care.

The train doors close behind him, and he looks back.

Hikari steps forward, kneeling down to meet him at eye level. "It's nice to meet you, Hikaru. I'm Hikari, your big sister."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 14
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai – age 14


2006

Fusion Group has registered Cure Bloom, Cure Bright, Cure Egret, and Cure Windy as Pretty Cure.

Cure Black, Cure White, and Kiriya are now high school students.


It isn't just the director's office that is senselessly large. The Fusion Group as a whole seems determined to flaunt their wealth by the sheer volume of space that their building occupies. The receptionist, a golden-eyed young brunette, waves amiably at the two newest Pretty Cures as they leave the building. Even the doors that they pass through are needlessly big.

Saki clutches her head as if trying to erase her confusion with her hands.

"Argh! I just don't get it! Why make us Pretty Cure again, when we were already Pretty Cure? What good does it do anyone for the same two girls to be Pretty Cure twice?"

"We benefit," Mai answers. "We get twice as much money. Also, remember what the director said? Pretty Cure titles are hereditary, but they have to be split up between siblings. If either of us has two children in the future, both of them would become Pretty Cure."

"Children, huh..." Saki stares into space for a moment, clearly daydreaming. Then she snaps out of it. "Say, what if we have more than two children?"

"The oldest sister gets the oldest title, then the next younger sister would get the other. Boys can only inherit if there are more titles than female heirs."

"Huh. So if your mom had been Cure Egret and Cure Windy, you would be Cure Egret and your brother would be Cure Windy?"

"I don't like it."

"What do you mean?"

"I have always admired my brother. Why should I be favored over him just because I'm a girl?"

"Well, that is the opposite of how it usually goes. Maybe the director is trying to even things out?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 16
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 16
Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari – age 14


February, 2006

Snow blankets the ground. Only the streets and sidewalks have been cleared, and even in those places there is a dusting of fresh powder. Nagisa and Hikari sitting inside a family restaurant, perfectly warm. Honoka enters from outside, spots the pair, then joins them.

She hesitates.

"So, how did it go?" Usually energetic, Nagisa seems almost subdued.

"I got in."

"That's good news, isn't it! Why do you look so down!"

"I got in, but Nagisa, now we'll be going to different schools! I'll be at Zenith Academy and you'll be at Lilium Girls School!"

"Well, yeah. I always figured you'd get into a better school. You're smart and into science, and I'm not." Seeing Honoka starting to anger, Nagisa quickly adds. "Not as much!"

"I'll be at Verone still, but that doesn't mean we can't stay friends," Hikari interjected.

"Yeah! Honoka, we're graduating from middle school, not from each other! It's not like any of us are moving away!"

Honoka's expression softens. "I'm sorry. I made this bigger than it really is."

"You wouldn't be you if you didn't," Nagisa replies. "Now, Zenith has like six different science clubs, doesn't it? You've already picked one out, I'll bet."

Honoka blushes slightly. "I'm thinking about joining the botany club."

"I'm going to keep playing lacrosse. If I end up playing against your school, you'd better still cheer for me!"

At that, Honoka cannot help giggling. The other two laugh with her.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 14
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai – age 14


March, 2006

Saki watches as Mai sketches. It is not a complete drawing yet, but it is already possible to discern the outlines of a large tree and two small girls. What it will look like when it is done... is something to look forward to.

Saki smells the smoke before she sees it. Only then does she turn toward the kitchen and the thick black cloud that is seeping from inside the oven.

"My cake!" She rushes to the oven, but the would-be cake is black, hardened, and obviously inedible.

Mai follows a few moments later, then winces when she sees that the cake her friend had been making is obviously beyond salvation. She tries to sound optimistic: "There's always next time, right?"

"I guess so..." Saki hangs her head. "I was hoping to share this with you. Why is it that the only thing I can bake is bread?"

"You'll get better at other stuff," Mai consoles Saki with a pat on the back. "And your bread is already delicious."

Saki perks up. "It is, isn't it? I shouldn't let this get me down, right?"

Mai just smiles.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 14
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai – age 14


April, 2006

"You mean, that drawing you've been working on for weeks is finished?"

Mai smiles. "It's a slightly fantastic portrayal of how we first met."

She shows Saki the picture, which she has drawn and colored with pencils. The central figure is the Sky Tree, a well-known large tree not far from the festival grounds. It dominates the drawing, and as a central figure in their memory together, this is entirely expected. If anything, it should be even larger, as it is in real life. The tree is smaller in scale, though not in grandeur, only because it needs to fit on the sheet with the figures of Saki and Mai from when they were younger. If the scale were entirely true, even accounting for perspective, their faces would be too small to recognize.

"It's amazing how detailed this is... What are these fluffy round things?"

"Those are fairies. In this fantasy, they led us to the Sky Tree so that we would meet."

"So ours was a magical encounter, huh? I like that."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 16
Misumi Ryouta – Nagisa's brother – age 9
Misumi Tomoe – Nagisa's sister – newborn


June, 2006

Nagisa's mother has given birth to another daughter.

With an infant girl in the house, even Nagisa has to help out taking care of her. Or rather, she wants to help out. It is, after all, her adorable little sister. The problem at the moment is that she cannot get little Tomoe to stop crying.

"Let me handle this."

Her ten year old brother, Ryouta, enters the room, plucks Tomoe from Nagisa's arms, and then easily gets her to quiet down.

"How do you do that? I was just doing the same thing and she wouldn't be quiet."

Ryouta is quiet. His attention is mainly focused on Tomoe, but a few moments later he remembers to respond. "That's because I'm her thoughtful big brother."

"So? I'm her cool big sister!"

He smirks. "No, you're just Nagisa."

"Ryouta, you-" Nagisa begins to threaten him.

"You wouldn't Cobra Twist a guy holding a baby, would you?"

For a moment, she seems to seriously consider it, but Nagisa lowers her fist.

"A big sister is at least ten-thousand times better than a big brother," Nagisa whines. "This can't be happening!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 14
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai – age 14
Hyuuga Minori – Saki's sister – age 10
Kiryuu Michiru – age 14
Kiryuu Kaoru – age 14


June, 2006

"Why would you tell her something like that? What is wrong with the two of you?!"

Saki is furious. Although their expressions remain the usual poker faces, Kaoru and Michiru have no option but to weather the storm.

"Well?!"

It seems that she won't be satisfied until they respond.

"It took us a long time to come up with an interesting back story that we both could agree on," Kaoru explains. She tries to keep her intonation flat, but is noticeably shaken.

"We're proud of it," Michiru adds.

"Minori looks up to you! You're proud of lying to her? You're proud of telling her that you are artificial humans created by an evil god and that you intend to destroy the world and everything in it?"

"We wanted her to think that we're cool," Michiru responds. She is avoiding Saki's gaze.

"We didn't want her to get bored with us," Kaoru adds.

Saki is about to lay into them again when Mai enters the room. She immediately switches from enraged to concerned.

"How is Minori?"

"She has stopped crying," Mai says sadly. "But she's acting like she's never heard of Kaoru or Michiru. This probably isn't a good time to apologize."

Their poker faces fail. The two now look crestfallen.

"Maybe we should just go."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kiryuu Michiru – age 14
Kiryuu Kaoru – age 14
Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon – age 20


July, 2006

"I can't believe they laughed at me!"

"Do you look in the mirror after you dress yourself?"

There is no such thing as magic in this world, but one could almost forget that looking at Dorodoron's appearance. He is slumped on a park bench while being dressed like a toku villain. Kaoru and Michiru lean against the back of the bench, facing away, so that it is just plausible to anyone walking by that they might not be talking to him.

"Of course I look in a mirror! This outfit expresses the nature of my soul, but it is very hard to put on!"

"So you do know how you look."

"Isn't it obvious? I look like a badass! Those girls just don't appreciate how much effort it takes to look this cool!"

"Maybe they don't think that you look cool."

"Why wouldn't they? I have the soul of a badass."

"Did they say that?"

"No, they didn't."

"What did they say?"

"They said that I look like a giant spider ate the head of a clown, took control of its body, then rolled around in the mud, and that I smell bad. Isn't that hurtful? There's just no excuse for that!"

"They said that?"

"Actually... Cure Bloom said that. But Cure Egret didn't disagree!"

"That's because it's true."

His eyes widen. "Kaoru, you're taking their side? I thought you liked me!"

"We do like you. You are like a cool older brother who isn't related by blood."

"That's right! I am cool!"

"We think so, but we're not normal. Normal people would think that you're creepy."

"Michiru, you too? Did you come just to laugh at me?"

"I don't laugh at things that aren't funny. I'm telling you that other people don't see who you are because of the way you dress, and that isn't funny."

"You're still our cool big brother, even though you dress like a creep."

"You'll still be our cool big brother, even if you were to dress like any other guy."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 15
Cure Egret / Cure Windy – age 14
Ms. Shitataare, Mizushita Atsuko – age 24
Shiki Mizusu – Ms. Shitataare's acquaintance – age 25


August, 2006

"We meet again, Pretty Cure! This time, I will certainly-"

It is a warm afternoon, but Ms. Shitataare is dressed in an elaborate waterfall-themed dress with a huge lavender wig, which to the two girls she is accosting is exhausting to even look at.

Saki frowns. "Could we not do this, Ms. Snotty Nose?"

"My name is Ms. Shitataare! Even if we're destined to be enemies, you should at least remember my name properly!"

It is at this moment that a brown-haired woman wearing a dark blue skirt and blazer waves from the edge of the grass and calls out.

"Atsuko? It's really you, isn't it!"

Ms. Shitataare's eyes widen. "Mizusu?! What are you- I mean, you should know to address me by my stage name, the name of my soul!"

The woman sighs. "Really, Atsuko? Method acting? What have I told you about that so many times?"

Ms. Shitataare stiffens, and automatically answers, "It is a crutch for the unimaginative and it will stunt my growth as an actress."

"Correct! Now, who are these girls you're working with? It's another indie film, right?"

The woman, Mizusu, turns her full attention to Saki and Mai, who hesitate for several moments as Ms. Shitataare silently signals for them to answer in the affirmative. Just as it seems Mizusu will ask another question, Saki reluctantly nods.

"Yes... whatever you are thinking of is exactly what is going on."

The woman grins. "It's what I think, is it? Whatever shall I think of, I wonder?"

Mai quickly makes something up. "It's a short film about two magical girls who fight and then befriend a former magical girl who has turned to evil!"

"I see, I see..." Mizusu says, nodding thoughtfully, then she turns to face Ms. Shitataare again. "Atsuko, introduce us."

Letting out a defeated sigh, she does so. "This is my Shiki Mizusu, my senior from drama club when we were in high school. She's some kind of engineer now. These two are Pretty Cure."

"Pretty Cure?"

The girls nod, then Saki explains. "It's weird, but for some reason there's a company that gives out fancy titles and money to girls like us."

Mizusu ruminates on this for a few moments, then shrugs. "As your senior, I really should be included in the first showing. Call me anytime."

She pats Atsuko on the shoulder and walks off.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 15
Kintoleski, Sugimoto Kaneda – age 24


October, 2006

Saki is working at the bakery when a large man in a gray hoodie approaches the counter. He is carrying a tray piled high with chocolate coronets in one hand, while casually pumping iron with the other hand. He is easily recognizable by his large mustache.

"Kintoleski!"

He blinks, then registers her presence. "Ah, Cure Bloom. I was not expecting to see you here. I wish to purchase these coronets."

"That many?"

He nods. "Some of them are not for me."

Though incredulous, Saki begins to ring him up. "You're not going to try to... you know?"

"This and that are separate matters. Right now, I am here as a customer to make a purchase. Troubling you further while you here working would be inappropriate."

"It's inappropriate anywhere," Saki complains, then announces the total.

"Then we disagree," the man says, dropping the payment into her hand, then turning to leave. "We can work that out another time."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 15
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai – age 15
Kiryuu Michiru – age 14
Kiryuu Kaoru – age 14
Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon – age 20
Ms. Shitataare, Mizushita Atsuko – age 24


November, 2006

"You want us to what?" Saki asks incredulously.

She and Mai are already fully costumed in the magical girl-like dresses that have somehow become a Pretty Cure tradition, which include tall and elaborate wigs. Ms. Shitataare is dressed in a more mature, but no less silly, waterfall-themed outfit with even taller hair, and Saki is looking at her as if she has lost her mind.

"I don't see why you find this concept so difficult. Mizusu has met you. She knows your faces. The two of you dictated the plot of a film that she believes we are all making together. I cannot have her find out that was a lie, so you have a responsibility to help us make it the truth!"

Saki briefly glares at Michiru and Kaoru, who are standing off to the side. Michiru silently makes an apologetic gesture. Their role in this was getting the two Pretty Cures to show up in those dresses, and their methods were not entirely honest.

"She's not completely wrong," Mai points out. "I did lie to her friend."

"That woman is more than a friend," Ms. Shitataare declares. "Perhaps when the two of you are older, you will encounter a person who is like a durian, absolute and invincible, whom you will be unable to resist in any meaningful way for your entire life. That is the kind of person Mizusu is to me."

"Would you ladies get on with it? I'm not even getting paid here!" Dorodoron shouts from behind the camera.

"You're getting paid in exposure!" Ms. Shitataare snaps.

"What good is that, huh? Pay me with money!"

She turns her attention back to Saki and Mai. "Look, I really need your help here. Do this one thing for me, and I promise I'll never antagonize you two ever again. Who knows? You might even have fun!"

Saki is obviously tempted. She looks to Mai, who nods.

"Okay, we'll do it."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 17
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 17
Yukishiro Jirou – newborn


December, 2006

"So this is your little brother?"

In response to Nagisa's question, her friend only nods. Jirou, Honoka's baby brother, is separated from the pair by thick glass. Having been born prematurely, he's smaller and redder than any baby Nagisa has ever seen.

"Is he going to be okay?"

"Probably? Maybe. The doctors say that if he survives the next six months, there shouldn't be many lasting effects." Honoka's voice is strained. "Mother and Father have been gone so often that it became natural for Grandmother to take care of me by herself. I never thought much about becoming a big sister, but the idea that Jirou might not make it is just..."

Nagisa winces. "This can't be happening..."

The pair are silent for several moments.

"I wonder if he'll get along with Tomoe."

Honoka stifles a giggle. "Shouldn't you worry about yourself, first?"

"Me? What do I have to worry about? If Tomoe grows up and gives me sass, that won't be any different from how I get along with Ryouta already. But Jirou is younger than Tomoe. If he's not careful, she could end up breaking his heart!"

This time, Honoka fails to suppress her giggle. "Are you sure about that? For all we know, Jirou could be the one breaking hearts."

"What? No way." Nagisa replies, completely serious. "I can forgive you for misunderstanding this, since you only have a brother, but my little sister actually is the cutest in the world."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi – age 14
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin – age 14
Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara – age 13
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi – age 15
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen – age 15


2007

Fusion Group has registered Cure Dream, Cure Rouge, Cure Lemonade, Cure Mint, and Cure Aqua as Pretty Cure.


"Rin, I need help!" Nozomi calls out, sounding desperate.

Rin has already gotten her wig on and has almost completely put on the rest of her magical girl outfit. When she turns to look at her best friend, her eyes widen. Nozomi's wig is not fitting properly on her head, and somehow it does not really look like a wig.

"Nozomi, what did you do?"

"I asked to have a couple of loops in my hair, because I thought it would look cool!" Nozomi answers with a sniffle. "I didn't think about how it would be to actually wear it!"

By this point, Rin has moved behind Nozomi and is working at straightening out the wig. "Sounds to me like you got what you deserved. If you ask for impossible hair, you get impossible hair."

"I thought it looked pretty," Urara interjects. She is seated a short distance away, studiously staring into the mirror as she adjusts her own wig. "If I ever get famous enough as an actress to demand fancy costumes, I might have to try asking for something similarly impossible."

Komachi finishes helping Karen into her outfit, then both of them go to watch Rin's helping Nozomi. It hasn't been very long at all, but the wig already looks more like hair.

"I had the impression that you were more inclined toward athletics," Karen says. "Are you experienced with this sort of thing?"

"Kinda? Nozomi gets into trouble a lot, so I'm used to helping her out. I do prefer sports, but I don't dislike this sort of thing." Rin pauses for a moment, then asks. "How about you? Aren't these sort of outfits something you'd call unrefined?"

"That's true," Karen answers with a faint smile. "But I don't dislike this sort of thing."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki – age 15
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai – age 15
Kiryuu Michiru – age 14
Kiryuu Kaoru – age 14
Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon – age 20
Ms. Shitataare, Sugimoto Atsuko – age 24
Kintoleski, Sugimoto Kaneda – age 24
Shiki Mizusu – The Woman Like A Durian – age 25


January, 2007

"Who gets married in a place like this? Weren't they thinking about how much I'd suffer?"

Neither the wedding party nor any of the other guests pay any mind to Dorodoron's incessant whining. He may be dressed like a normal human being for once, but that does nothing to fix his personality.

It's not like there is any question who the bride and groom are, either. Following a relatively short engagement, Mizushita Atsuko, stage name Ms. Shitataare, and Sugimoto Kaneda, who appears in pro wrestling events under the name Kintoleski, are getting married outdoors on a beautiful sandy beach that is presently covered in snow.

It also isn't as if the timing or location were a secret, or were decided on short notice. Dorodoron aside, nearly everybody else present is dressed appropriately for the weather. This includes the bride, the Kiryuu sisters, Cure Bloom and Cure Egret, other friends and family of the bride and groom, and even the woman whom Atsuko has described as "like a durian."

Aside from a white stovepipe hat and bow tie, the groom is naked from the waist up.

Nobody who has met him is really surprised.

By time of the bouquet toss, the brides roses are sparkling white. Whether this is because of frost, or whether they were that color all along, nobody can quite tell. Saki ends up making a snow angel rather than admit that she tripped during the event. The prize ends up in the hands of Kiryuu Michiru.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi – age 14
Coco, Kokoda Kouji – age 21


April, 2007

Up to this point, Nozomi has been excited just to be up in a hot air balloon, but now her expression is melancholic.

"Maybe Karen's right. Maybe I should stop spending time with the other Pretty Cures."

In a world without magic, Kokoda Kouji is just an ordinary teacher. He is a bit on the young side, but he is neither a prince nor even from a magical kingdom... no matter what Nozomi has scribbled in the margins of her notebooks when she was meant to be taking notes. Even though she daydreams often of a world where Pretty Cure is more than just a name, she is well aware which world it is she lives in.

"I don't think I'd go that far," Kouji says. "Splitting up with the other girls isn't necessarily going to help you study. Do you think you'd be happier by yourself?"

"No, I'd be miserable! But... it doesn't really matter how I feel, does it? A student's job is to study."

"Nozomi, how you feel makes a big difference. Not just for studying... When you're tired or upset, it's harder to do a good job at most things."

"But I'm bad at studying anyway! Can't I just live off of what I get for being PreCure?"

"That's a good question. How much do you get?"

Nozomi tells him.

Kouji frowns. "My salary isn't great, but that's even less. You might be able to get by with on that amount, but it wouldn't be much fun."

Nozomi visibly wilts. "What can I do, then? I never learn anything."

"Can you tell me how this hot air balloon is able to fly?"

Despite herself, Nozomi perks up as she explains how filling the balloon with hot air causes it to rise.

"And you learned all of that just today, so don't sell yourself short. Right now, your balloon is still on the ground, but if you fill it up with your potential, you will also be able to fly."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen – age 16
Bunbee, Takagi Hachiemon – age 34


May, 2007

"Sharing resources, huh?"

A blond man wearing a pinstripe suit rests on a bench next to Karen. He introduced himself as Takagi Hachiemon, but his business card only says "Bunbee". At the vice-principal's request, Karen has been showing him around the school festival.

The man sighs. "I wish I could do something like that at my company. I really do."

"Is there some reason you can't?"

"Well... there kind of are... and there kind of aren't. The different departments are meant to be cooperating already, but there's a school of thought where sharing resources means sharing credit. Nobody at my company really wants to share credit, especially when there's precious few accomplishments to go around. Everybody's busy all the time, and it's not like we can just hire more people, because salaries are already our largest expense. It's a bad situation all around." Bunbee takes a swig from his canned coffee then turns to look Karen in the eye. "You didn't really want to hear about my troubles, did you?"

"I was asked to show you around," she answers cautiously. "This could be considered part of that."

"That's right considerate of you. The reason I'm here... it was supposed to be a shake down, you know."

Karen's eyes widen. "What?"

"My company acquired an interest in some debt, which in a technical sense is payable by your school. In another sense, they're not really liable though. It's not like we can just bring a couple of police officers and a truck and do a foreclosure. All we can do is ask, and ask, and ask some more. It's a serious headache for everyone involved... but sometimes it works."

"Then why let me show you around? And peacefully, without any mention of the money until now?"

"Well... for the first part, I haven't been to a school festival since I was in school, and it was kind of nostalgic. As for the other part... this is kind of indoor baseball, but the people in charge here know who I am. I stick out enough that if I'm seen going around with a student, word should get to the right people and they'll understand that they won't get rid of me easily and agree to meet. Of course, they don't want to meet with me, so they pawn me off on you, who are the president of the student council. That way they can say that someone representing the school is taking care of me, while you actually can't address the debt I'm here to discuss. For one thing, you're a kid. You barely have the funds to run your festival, and even if you had any to spare, any check you might sign could be revoked-" He snaps his fingers. "Just like that."

Karen has yet to formulate a response when the vice principal arrives and addresses the guest. "If you would come with me, the principal will see you now."

Bunbee stands and cracks his knuckles. "It's about time! I was seriously starting to think you people were going to leave me hanging!"

As he follows the vice principal, Bunbee turns back to Karen for just a moment.

"Hey, thanks for the tour. You're a good kid."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kiriya – Irizawa Kiriya – age 17
Randou Ichigo – Kiriya's friend – age 16


June, 2007

"How's it hanging, Our Ace?!"

From the moment he hears the other boy's voice, Kiriya tries to dodge, but it is too late. Within two seconds, the boy has his arm over Kiriya's shoulders in a gesture that looks -and is- entirely friendly, but which is also about as hard to escape as a quarter Nelson.

"I've asked you several times to call me by name," Kiriya responds.

"So? When we speak of Irizawa Kiriya, we are speaking of Our Ace, and when we speak of Our Ace, we mean Irizawa Kiriya! That's you, bro!"

"I am not your bro."

"So cold, brr! But maybe you'll warm up a bit when you see this." The boy pulls a small black notebook from his back pocket and waggles it in front of Kiriya's face.

"A Death Note?"

"The opposite, my friend! The very opposite! I have in this book the names, sizes, and hobbies of all the first year girls, ranked in order of hotness. It is the social calendar of the season, bro!"

"Hard pass."

"Pass?" The boy doesn't seem to believe what he's hearing, and his grip loosens enough for Kiriya to break free. "Dude, why? You ain't got a secret girlfriend, do you?"

"Between soccer and studying, I haven't got time for that sort of thing. Unlike the likes of you, I need an athletic scholarship and an academic scholarship if I'm going to get into a good university."

This gets the other boy good. He opens and shuts his mouth a few times without making any sound. After that, tears start streaming down his face.

"Dude! You really think I could get into a university?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Fujita Akane – Shiny Luminous's cousin – age 26
Hamura Kaneda – age 25


June, 2007

The sky is clear and blue. Although it is after 7pm, the proximity of the solstice means that the Sun is only just beginning to sink below the horizon. The Tako Cafe truck is parked at the edge of the grass near some picnic tables, but the only person still at the tables is a brown-haired man with an uneven goatee.

The owner of the truck sets a platter of takoyaki on the table, then sits down across from him.

"Here... eat up."

Up to this point, the man has been sketching in a large sketchbook. He puts it down, and sees that the woman has already eaten some from the plate.

"Say, Akane... Wasn't there a saying about partaking of your own supply?" He says with a smile.

"Bad advice, is what that is. Since I only serve the one thing, you'd better believe it's my favorite food!"

"Hey, I'm not complaining! It means I get to share a meal with you, after all. Although... I do worry you don't take enough breaks."

"It's fine, Kaneda. I can get by."

"If you say so. What happened to that cousin of yours?"

"Hikari's in her third year of middle school now. Any time she can spare should be spent preparing for the entrance exams."

The man lifts his gaze from the food to look Akane in the eyes. "What if I were to help?"

Akane crosses her arms. "Hamura Kaneda, if you take on a second job, you are never going to have time for your paintings!"

"Oh, that won't be a problem. I'm quitting the Mag. Put in my two weeks notice and everything."

"Really now?" Akane raises an eyebrow. "I thought you were going to stay there until your paintings start to sell."

The man grins. "I sold a painting."

"Kaneda, that's great!"

"No need to tell me that! I already spent the money, though."

"What, all of it? How could you be so reckless?"

"I needed to buy something worth about a month's wages, so I figured my first painting should be about equal to that."

He pulls a small box from his pocket and sets it on the table in front of her.

Inside the box is a diamond ring.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou – age 26
Hamura Kaneda – Girinma's cousin – age 26


July, 2007

Girinma is seated on the quiet upper level of a fast food restaurant. For the past several minutes, he has been staring at his burger and fries without moving a muscle. This might continue indefinitely, but a man wearing the employee uniform slides into the seat across the table from him.

"You look like shit, cousin. Surely you don't hate the food here that much?"

"The food is acceptable," he answers, though he obviously hasn't so much as touched it. "I came to tell you... you were right."

"Dude, that could mean anything! What was I right about this time?"

"Nightmare has no further use for me."

"That place is a shithole, and you know it."

"Kawarino, my boss... my former boss, he never called me by my name because I wasn't ever on payroll. They let me go without severance... not even pay for the days I've worked this month. If I list them as a former employer, they'll deny it, and even if I sue... there's no proof anywhere."

Kaneda lets out a low whistle. "Wow, that blows."

Girinma raises his head to glower at Kaneda, who raises his hands in a surrender gesture.

"Look, I get that you're in a low place right now! I'm just saying, it's not all bad!"

"Not all bad?! I've got nothing at all to show for the last three years! Everything I did for them has now become a gaping hole in my resume!"

"You're free, and they can't hurt you any more than they already have. There are plenty of places you could work that won't be troubled by a spotty employment history."

"Name one."

"Why not work here? No matter what people say about Mag jobs, they won't abuse your time and effort like Nightmare, they'll never cheat you out of your references, and if you stick with it, you could work your way up from the inside! I happen to know that this branch has an opening."

"Here? As a junior employee to you?" Girinma sneers, "I think not."

Kaneda makes a gagging noise. "As if! I know better than that. See, the position that's opening up... it's mine."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Mephisto – age 33
Faust, Eguchi Koushirou – Mephisto's cousin – age 25


July, 2007

As he exits the train station, Mephisto opens his umbrella. Normally, he would be dressed in more colorful and extravagant clothes, possibly including a cape, but the present circumstances prescribe a black suit.

"Hey! Hey, Mephisto!"

Mephisto turns. The man who called out to him has carmine-colored hair and a handlebar mustache. He is obviously younger than Mephisto, but there is a slight family resemblance, which is only natural.

"Faust! Cousin, how long has it been?" Mephisto spreads both arms wide in greeting, but immediately realizes his mistake and moves so that his umbrella is once again keeping the rain off his head.

Faust chuckles. "Not since your wedding, so... six? Seven years?"

"Too long."

"From a wedding to a funeral... you should come home more often."

"Tokyo is my home now, Faust. You should visit sometime."

"Perhaps I should." He falls silent for a moment. "Sorry about your father. Uncle Tanjurou was a good man."

"Sixty-four years old..." Mephisto sighs. "I never thought of my Dad as young before this month. I thought we had more time."

"Yeah... Have you thought about what you're going to say?"

"Some, yeah. I thought I'd share some memories of spending time with him, a few family anecdotes, probably mention a few names..."

"Names? You're not going to call me out by my real name, are you? You know how I feel about that."

"I do," Mephisto smiles slightly. "But it's not your funeral. Isn't that right, Koushirou?"

Faust shudders. "Two can play at that game, you know! It's been twenty years since we came up with our nicknames, but you'd better believe I still remember- what was your name again?"

It is a serious occasion, but Mephisto cannot help laughing.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi – age 14
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin – age 14


August, 2007

"How did I end up here?"

Rin asks herself this as she hides alone in a storage closet in the old school building.

Perhaps it was when they drew lots for the test of courage. Best friend or no, Nozomi was no rock of stability. As soon as Rin and Nozomi had been paired together, their fates may have been sealed. And where is Nozomi now? Rin has no way of knowing.

Then again, Rin's chances had gone bad from the moment the drawing began. Komachi and Karen had drawn first, and had drawn each other. Once Rin's possible teammates had been reduced to only Nozomi, Urara, and Kurumi, any one of them would have been frightened by what Rin had seen and heard since entering the building.

There is no question in Rin's mind that the place is haunted. After all, Komachi and Karen had only been meant to spend fifteen minutes inside before Rin and Nozomi, but neither had come back out. Komachi had told them before they started that the old school building had once been a mansion, built by a wealthy man for his beautiful lover who died in an accident. Telling himself that she would one day return, he pined for his lost love until he took ill and passed away. Nobody still alive knew what the ghost or his lover looked like, of course, but if Karen or Komachi, or both, were to be spirited away, that couldn't be completely unexpected now, could it?

Rin is trying to be silent, but she feels as if the sound of her heartbeat is going to give her away.

A loud creak issues from somewhere nearby. Rin tries to shift further into the closet, only to find herself suddenly covered in spiderwebs. Whether there are still spiders in them, or if the spiders are a danger to her at all... she does not ask herself such questions as she bursts screaming from the closet. She does not have time for anything else, because she collides with Nozomi immediately outside the door, forehead to forehead, and both of them collapse on the floor.

The girls wake on lavishly-curtained four-post bed.

"Was there always a place like this?" Rin wonders, but Nozomi's attention is elsewhere.

"Rin, look!" There are two paintings on the wall. One is a man, handsome despite being gaunt and pale. The other painting is a young girl, in old-fashioned dress. She looks exactly like Rin.

Even Nozomi is able to make this connection. Rin doesn't need it explained to her. However, before she can flee the room, the door opens and the man in the painting appears. He is ghostly translucent, and smiles brightly upon seeing Rin.

"My love! I have waited so long! Please accept this token of my affection!"

"I can't- I'm not..."

His dismay is immediate and obvious. Behind her, Nozomi whispers into Rin's ear.

"Shouldn't you accept it? He might finally be able to move on."

Rin gives in and accepts the ghost's gift: a butterfly-shaped pin that he clips to her hair.

A moment later, Rin is shaken awake. She is outside the school building, next to Nozomi who is still unconscious. The other girls found them in the hallway, apparently having knocked each other out.

"It was all a dream?" Rin wonders, touching her hair where the ghost's gift was- is clipped. "Didn't I get this from the ghost?"

None of the others know where the pin came from.

There is no such thing as magic in this world.

Chapter Text

September, 2007

Arachnea has been made to wait in a small, unadorned conference room. When the door finally opens, Bunbee walks in with a large folder under his arm.

"Welcome to your performance review, Arach- ah, Ms. Matoi Mikumo. Or at least, that is what I would have liked to say. Owing to certain events of which you may be aware, this will actually be more like an exit interview."

The woman sneers. "I did what I had to do. You didn't give me enough resources to complete my assignments."

"You went over my head, and as a result the decision to let you go will be handed down from above."

"What does that matter? You set me up to fail!"

Bunbee takes a deep breath, while pinching the bridge of his nose. "Of course you'd see it that way. You're not even entirely wrong: Most of our departmental budget has been diverted to other departments as a result of my actions. To say nothing of supporting your activities, it has been a struggle to even pay your salary. Now, I am going to talk about why. To begin with, did you know that nobody named Kamaki Rintarou has ever been employed here?"

"Kamaki- Wait, wasn't that Girinma's name?"

"Indeed. After he was fired, I made an inquiry to human resources, who kindly informed me that I had never had any subordinates! Imagine my surprise!"

"Never-" Arachnea's eyes widen. "You can't do that! When Mr. Kawarino hears of this-"

"I'm sure he already knows. You've always received your salary in cash, right? The story as it has been made known to me is that none of you were ever hired and that the money paid out to you was 'mistakenly' entered into the company's ledger as discretionary funds, or some such nonsense. Getting the records corrected has required a great deal of my time this quarter, as well as nearly all of our funds. I even had to give myself a pay cut."

"I don't understand. Why would you do that?"

"Because there are some things you don't do to people. I couldn't do anything for Girinma, but when you go looking for your next job, Nightmare won't be able to deny that you worked here."

Bunbee slides the folder across the table to her.

"This folder contains the details of your severance package. For your next employer, make sure you pick a better company."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Poisony, Irizawa Poiko – age 22
Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou – age 26


October, 2007

Girinma's apartment is very small. Aside from the restroom, the whole interior can be seen from the front door. This much is to be expected from a bachelor with a fast food job. As he considers himself a gentleman, he holds the door open as Poisony walks in.

"Your place is cleaner than I expected."

"I may live in a hovel, but I won't tolerate a filthy one."

She smiles. "I do appreciate a man who has standards... especially since I intend to reveal my true self."

"I have wondered what you might mean by that. If it's a certain kind of euphemism, I may have prepared a few things."

"Well, I might not rule that out, but... you've seen how radically I can change my appearance. I meant that I'm going to show you what I really look like."

"Now that does sound special! I must admit, I have been curious."

"It's nothing special. In fact, I'm sure you'll be disappointed. But if we're going to keep dating, you deserve to know."

With that, Poisony slips into the restroom, taking with her a duffel bag she has been carrying. After only a few moments, she emerges.

Girinma's eyes widen. "Is this a sting?! If anybody is watching, I swear she told me she was an adult!"

"I'm twenty-two, you jerk!"

"You are? But you look so..."

"I know. Believe me, I know. I was always small when I was a child, but then I was able to hope that I'd grow bigger in time. When I finished middle school and still looked like a fourth grader, I started getting into disguising myself, and... well, you've seen what I can do."

Girinma whistles. "I suppose I have. Actually, it's a bit of a relief to know that I'm actually taller than you."

"That's all? Aren't you put off by my face?!"

He blinks. "Should I be?"

"You should! My hair is too stringy, my nose is too small, my eyes are shaped funny, my ears are a little bit pointed, my lips are a funny color, and my skin is too pale. There's nothing about my face that is worth looking at!"

"For a self-proclaimed master of disguise, you certainly are hung up on appearances. Your imperfections look good on you."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi – age 16
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi – age 15


November, 2007

Nuts House has become a general hangout for the five girls who became Pretty Cure during the current year, along with Mimino Kurumi, who is distantly related to the owner. At the moment, Kurumi is taking a break from sweeping the floor to watch as Komachi writes... something.

"So... is that the story from when you pranked Rin?"

"I don't recall playing any pranks. What are you talking about?" Komachi says, a cat-like smile spreading across her face.

"I'm talking about that trial of courage, of course! Aside from you, your best friend Karen is the only one of us who has any resistance to that sort of thing, and the two of you just happened to end up on the same team, and just happened to go inside and disappear before anybody else? Don't think I've forgotten that the whole challenge was your idea in the first place!"

"Just because there were several coincidences doesn't mean that anybody planned any of it. Karen and I didn't disappear. We got lost. What Rin dreamed about, and that mysterious gift given to her by a ghost... I don't think there's any harm in writing a story based on something that happened to my friends."

Kurumi points dramatically at Komachi. "So you've said, yes. On the other hand, I don't really like horror stories, and mysteries where it turns out the detective was the culprit all along are just the worst! So let me tell you what I think happened: I think that you spread the rumors about that building in the first place, scouted the old school building and set a bunch of scary traps, then lured us all there and rigged the draw so that you'd go in first. Then, when you accidentally scared Nozomi and Rin so bad that they passed out, you whispered your scenario into Rin's ear, clipped that pin in her hair, and let her sleeping mind take care of the details! What do you think of that?"

Komachi giggles. "I think that would be very interesting story, if it were true. In any case, that's not the story I'm working on right now."

This time, Kurumi is the one with the mischievous smile. "It's not? Then, is it the one where Nuts carries you away to a fairy kingdom?"

Komachi clutches her notepad to her chest as her face turns bright red.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 18
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 18
Ueda Kouya – Honoka's boyfriend – age 18


December, 2007

It is cold and snowing, but so lightly that one can almost count the individual snowflakes. Bright blue stripes shine through large gaps in the clouds as couples wander together through the festive decorations that line the shopping district. It is Christmas Day.

Honoka is wearing a heavy coat and a long skirt. Now seventeen years old, her appearance is closer to that of a young adult. She walks together with a young man, holding hands even though they both wear heavy gloves.

Her companion is also bundled up in winter clothes, though traces of unkempt brown hair stick out from under his hat. A year older and a few centimeters taller, she first encountered him as a member of their high school's Biology Club. He is a passionate environmentalist, and invited her to several protests before he started asking her on dates. His name is Ueda Kouya.

They pass near a stage where a blond girl with twin-tailed hair is singing a popular ballad. As they pause to listen, Honoka's phone chimes. Nagisa has sent her a picture.

"I hope you're enjoying your Christmas date," Honoka reads. "I've got a part-time job selling these stupid cakes! They want me to sell forty cakes! Forty cakes! And that's terrible."

She shows Kouya the photo, Nagisa's selfie of herself and what are probably forty cakes.

"Let's go there," he says. "I'll buy you one of those cakes."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi – age 15
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin – age 15
Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara – age 14
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi – age 16
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen – age 16
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi – age 15


2008

Fusion Group has registered Milky Rose as Pretty Cure.

Ueda Kouya is now a college student. Shiny Luminous, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Cure Mint, Cure Aqua, Kiryuu Michiru, and Kiryuu Kaoru are now high school students.


"I have a bad feeling about this."

Along with the rest of the Pretty Cure 5, Natsuki approaches the Fusion Group building, to which they have been summoned. Her apprehension is visible on her face.

"It's gonna be fine, Rin! We're already splendid PreCures, and they've always been really nice to us!"

"Nozomi, that director lady is a weirdo! There's no telling what'll happen once we go back in there!"

Komachi lets out a creepy giggle. "Perhaps they'll ask us to stop a serial killer. One by one, we'll find each other's dead bodies while trying to discover who did it."

Rin spins to face Komachi, a betrayed look on her face. "Don't say scary stuff like that!"

Komachi covers her mouth. "The last one alive will be Urara."

"I get to play the plucky heroine?" Urara says. She is smiling, but her smile quickly fades. "Wait... Komachi, are you trying to cast me as the killer?"

"And then there were none." Komachi chuckles again.

Rin deflates. "Now I feel silly."

"You see? Nothing to worry about at all! It's decided!" Nozomi shouts out her catchphrase, pointing confidently toward the excessively large doors.

The five of them enter the building, where the usual golden-eyed receptionist waves at them from behind the desk. Immediately afterward, all the lights go out. Rin and Karen scream.

Spotlights hit each of them in sequence.

"Fusion Group welcomes back Cure Dream, Cure Rouge, Cure Lemonade, Cure Mint, and Cure Aqua, the Pretty Cure 5!" The overtly amused voice naming each of them in turn is definitely the receptionist. She continues, "Also introducing, the mysterious defender of justice, Milky Rose!"

Another spotlight switches on, illuminating a girl wearing a fanciful white dress with purple trim and a rose motif. Her face is covered by a domino mask.

"Kurumi!" Nozomi immediately runs to hug her, but Kurumi dodges at the last moment.

"I- I do not know who this Kurumi is whom you speak of, but she sounds beautiful and talented. You should buy her a super expensive cake next time you see her!"

Kurumi has made the mistake of turning her back to Nozomi. She is promptly taken down by a second tackle-hug. The lights come back on and the other girls join the pair.

"Oh! Can't you let me have my fantasy for even a moment?!"

Rin pats her on the back. "There, there, Kurumi. You know nothing can get in Nozomi's way when she gets wound up like this."

"So... Milky Rose, does that mean you're one of this year's Pretty Cure?" Urara asks.

"The only one, actually. It's kind of a weird feeling." Kurumi pauses and shoves Nozomi off her. "Karen, why didn't you stop her?"

Karen avoids Kurumi's gaze. "I was tempted to do the same thing myself."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi – age 15
Desperaia, Itoshiki Nozomi – age 29
Bloody, Furuzaki Nobuo – age 61
Furuzaki Basara – Bloody's son – age 39


January, 2008

Three-quarters of the top floor of the tower are dedicated to a single gigantic room. Unlike the offices below, there are no desks or computers. Instead, there are sofas and endtables, and occasional small lamps whose light does not reach the high ceiling or the gigantic windows that stretch from floor to ceiling. Outside, the lights of the city can be seen, but even they seem muted. The head of the company, known to most as Desperaia, reclines near the windows, her olive green hair reaching the floor. She sips from a large glass of wine as she looks out into the night.

At the wall of the room, the elevator opens, revealing a pink-haired girl wearing a school uniform. Desperaia glances at her for only a moment before returning her gaze to the outside.

"Oh, it's you. Would you like some wine?"

"I'm fifteen years old."

"What of it? The police won't know. When you reach this height, there is not a single thing in the world below that holds any meaning, nor is there any meaning to be found here. Do you not feel the same?"

Cure Dream shakes her head. "I'm sorry, but this isn't where I belong. The world where I live is filled with hope and miracles."

"Hope and miracles? I have no use for such things. I have everything I ever wanted. My every goal has been accomplished." Desperaia stands and puts her hand on the window glass. "It took me fifteen years coming up, but going down would only take fifteen seconds."

"If you've already reached your own goals, what if you help others reach theirs?"

"A charity? I must admit, I've never considered it. Leading an organization to prosperity without seeking profit... there might be meaning in such a challenge. I shall call it... The Despair Foundation!" She turns toward Cure Dream with an eerie smile, then explains: "It's a pun on my name."

The girl flinches. "Maybe just use your name without the pun?"

"The Nozomi Foundation?"

Cure Dream's eyes widen. "Your name is Nozomi? My name is Nozomi, too!"

This elicits an uncharacteristic giggle. "I believe this sort of thing is called serendipity. I'll accept your challenge, Nozomi Two."

"No!" A slender man with grotesquely large eyes walks in holding a gun. "I have not worked for all this time to have my profits squandered on philanthropy!"

Desperaia raises an eyebrow. "Your profits, Kawarino?"

"Yes, my profits! You are to jump from this window, and when your will is found later, all of your assets are to be left to me! It is for that purpose alone that I have worked under you all this time! But-" He pauses, then points the gun at Cure Dream. "...it seems that it will instead be a murder-suicide."

Her eyes widen. There is no time for her to say anything.

Kawarino pulls the trigger.

Nothing happens.

He pulls on the trigger again and again to no effect. Visible to his would-be victims, two men enter the room behind him. One is an old man wearing an old-fashioned suit and a top hat. The other is a police officer. Before he even understands what has happened, Kawarino is wrestled to the floor and handcuffed.

"Bloody? But I killed you!"

"I am sorry to say that inflating your accomplishments at this point is an exercise in futility. In fact, I have been alive this whole time and have even taken the opportunity to remove the firing pin from that pistol."

"I killed you! I left you bleeding on the floor!"

"The latter is correct, yes. As for the former... well, when you get to be my age, you will have seen that everyone is bad at something. It is neither a failing nor a sin, but simply a fact of life. I am bad at dying. Ms. Desperaia is bad at puns. I have heard it said that Cure Dream over there is disastrously bad at many, many things. As for you... You are bad at murder. You would be well-advised to give up on the practice."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Bunbee, Takagi Hachiemon – age 34
Scorp, Yasuda Takeo – age 34
Shiki Mizusu – The Woman Like A Durian – age 26


April, 2008

"Look out!"

One moment, Scorp and Bunbee are having a conversation. In the next instant, a taxicab swerves around a corner and mounts the curb, skidding directly toward a brown-haired woman in a business suit.

It is Scorp who calls out, and it is he who moves, throwing her out of the car's path at the cost of taking her place.

The bumper strikes his legs. His body glances off the hood, the windshield, and the roof of the car before he falls face-up on the pavement. The car stops ten meters later when it strikes a light pole.

Bunbee rushes to Scorp's side.

"Scorp! Stay with me, buddy! You're going to be okay!"

There is a lot of blood. In the back of his mind, Bunbee can hardly believe a person could have so much blood inside him. Behind Bunbee, the woman Scorp saved has her phone out and is calling for an ambulance, but Bunbee's attention is focused only on Scorp.

"Don't talk, Scorp. They say you're not supposed to talk at times like this. Just stay awake and listen to me, okay?"

Scorp smiles, then closes his eyes.

"Farewell... Bunbee."

"Scorp!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi – age 15
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi – age 16


July, 2008

Kurumi is not surprised to find Nozomi at Nuts House. What does surprise her is what Nozomi is doing.

"Studying? You?"

Nozomi lowers her forehead to rest on an open book. "I know... but we have entrance exams this year, you know? I kind of have to study, now that I actually want to go to high school."

"You're really serious about this teacher thing, then? If you're just doing it to get close to Coco..."

"It's not like that..." Nozomi mumbles into the book.

"Sit up!" Kurumi yells, pulling Nozomi's book away and looking through it. "This is... a practice exam for Lilium Girls School?"

"Karen gave it to me. She says that they have a club for girls who want to teach."

"You really have thought about this."

"I really have! ...but studying is still hard."

"For you, maybe." Kurumi says, taking a chair next to Nozomi. "Fortunately for you, I am a genius!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa – age 19
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka – age 19
Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari – age 17
Fujita Akane – Hikari's cousin – age 27
Hamura Kaneda – Akane's husband – age 27
Ueda Kouya – Honoka's fiance – age 19
Misumi Ryouta – Nagisa's brother – age 12
Kujou Hikaru – Hikari's brother – age 8


October, 2008

There are not many guests at the wedding. Fujita Akane has been the guardian of her cousins, Hikari and Hikaru, for about three years now, and they are present, along with some of her friends. Her parents are present, but the rest of her extended family were not invited.

The groom also has very few family present. In his case, it is because Hamura Kaneda's only relatives are his mother, father, one widowed aunt... and Girinma, all of whom are present. Kaneda has also invited a few friends, but it is still a relatively small gathering.

The friends of the bride include Cure Black and Cure White. Honoka is present with her fiance, and Nagisa has brought along... her brother. Ryouta was Nagisa's last minute choice because of a fight between Nagisa and her current boyfriend, but having him in the same place as Honoka has made it clear that he still has a crush on her. Ryouta spends most of the event glaring at Kouya, before declaring that he's going to be the best scientist and solve everything, which is taken about as seriously as any such declaration coming from a twelve year old boy.

When the wedding vows are completed, the groom unveils the highlight of the event. It is a painting of himself and his wife, life size, dressed exactly as they have for the wedding. In fact, it is a painting of the wedding, and eerily prophetic considering how long it must have taken to paint. Even the officiating priest looks true to life. Indeed, every detail is plausibly the scene that they are a part of right now.

...except that it is on the Moon.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara – age 15
Syrup, Amai Shirou – age 14


November, 2008

Amai Shirou has mixed feelings about his nickname, Syrup. It was given to him by Eternal, and he is of an age when it is unfashionable for boys to like sweet things. However...

"Thank you for doing this, Syrup." Urara says, speaking from just behind him, as they ride double on his moped.

"I- I said that I would, didn't I? A man has to be as good as his word!"

She barely notices the stutter, and it does not matter. In the world of middle school students, a cute boy with a moped is as good as a prince of fairies. An aspiring actress who has only just gotten her first big role may as well be an actual princess.

Then again, it's not as if they are officially dating. He offered her a ride as a favor, and she took it as exactly that. If the sun happens to set while they are crossing a suspension bridge, he can play it off as a coincidence while still stopping to enjoy the view.

Urara is an actress. She must know what would happen in a movie at a scene like this. Shirou is prepared to- probably deny everything, his blushing face illuminated by the setting sun. However, Urara does not ask.

They hold hands as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin – age 16
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen – age 17
Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke – age 20


November, 2008

"Kyousuke? What's going on here?"

Momoi Kyousuke, stage name: Mucardia, has been exposed. Oh, it started out simple enough: At one time, he flirted with a cute redhead wearing the purple and lavender uniform of Cinq Lumieres, and at another, with a refined blunette wearing the pink and white uniform of Lilium Girls School. Meeting each again, dating each without the other's knowledge.

It ended, as such things do, when he inadvertently double-booked. It would have been wiser to cancel on one of them, and possibly to admit the reason, but to his way of thinking, such solutions are for lesser men. Instead, he met with each at nearby locations, suddenly excusing himself repeatedly from each date for oddly long periods. In his mind, the plan was simple, elegant, and could not possibly fail.

In reality, Rin has followed him to the site of his other date and caught him professing his love to Karen.

Clasping Karen's hands in his own, he says the first thing that comes to mind.

"Pay no attention to that girl. She has a deluded belief that she is my girlfriend. I don't even know her name."

"Of course, Kyousuke. It is only natural that I should trust the person whom I have known longer."

"I agree completely, my dear! Of course, I was confident from the start that you would value our three months together over the word of someone you just met."

Rin has been quiet while this exchange took place. Kyousuke turns to face her, certain of his victory, but to his surprise she is looking down on him triumphantly. She cracks her knuckles. He tries to shrink away, but Karen has a surprisingly tight grip on his wrists.

"Karen? My darling?"

Karen smiles, a surprisingly cold expression. "As we have agreed, Kyousuke, I am placing my trust in the person whom I have known longer. Rin and I have been friends for nearly two years."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon – age 22
Yanagi Tsutomu – Domon's friend – age 21


December, 2008

Dorodoron has pulled his spider-shaped face mask up so that his mouth is visible, or would be visible if not for the large stein of beer he enthusiastically downs.

"Aw, yeah!" He slams the empty mug to the counter. "You know, I never really understood alcohol until I started driving heavy equipment!"

Next to him, a young man with a meticulously-groomed Fu Manchu mustache slowly sips a drink of his own.

"What a strange thing to say. It's dangerous, you know?"

"Well, I'm a strange guy. Besides, it's only dangerous if you drink before operating. Operate before drinking is a-okay! Right? Right?" Dorodoron nudges the other man. "Come on, Yanagi, tell me I'm right."

Yanagi chuckles. "Yeah, you're right. Why make a big deal of it?"

"Because!" Dorodoron gesticulates wildly as his stein is taken to be refilled. "Because, once the drinking starts, the operating can't resume! It proves absolutely and irrevocably that there will be no more working for a while!"

"What? Weren't you just telling me that you love your job!"

Dorodoron drains his stein again. "Love it! Moving dirt around is the job I was born to do! Not like you, mister college student! Mister future civil servant! But you gotta have boundaries, right? Whazzit called, work-life balance? Work the best job! Live the best life!"

"Tsuchimonji, for a guy who dresses like a toku villain, but you make some good points now and then."

"Damn straight!" Dorodoron slams his empty stein on the bar again. "How about you, Yanagi? Are you living your best life?"

"Not yet." Yanagi polishes off his drink. "Not yet, but soon."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 14
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 14
Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 14
Cure Passion / Eas, Higashi Setsuna - age 14


2009

Fusion Group has registered Cure Peach, Cure Berry, Cure Pine, and Cure Passion as Pretty Cure.

Cure Black, Cure White, and Kiriya are now college students. Cure Dream, Cure Rouge, and Milky Rose are now high school students. Misumi Ryouta and Hyuuga Minori are now middle school students. Natsuki Yuu and Natsuki Ai have enrolled in elementary school.


It is the same extravagantly spacious director's office and the same golden-eyed Tatsunojou Ayumi who greets the latest girls to be chosen by the Fusion Group, and it is their first time being here. Love, Miki, and Inori, react in approximately the manner one might expect. They were brought here on short notice, the environment is imposing, and this is the first time they have heard of-

"Pretty Cure? Don't make me laugh!"

The other girl who has come with them is wearing a most peculiar outfit. Mostly black, but with red trim, it looks something like a vest in the front, but is longer and has something like a pair of flared tails at the back. There is a gap visible that shows part of her stomach, and another, smaller gap between her top and her very short shorts. Perhaps as if to compensate for showing so much of her core, she is also wearing thigh-high stockings, opera gloves, and a choker, all of them also black. The outfit is highlighted by scarlet ribbons, bracelets, high heels, and a wide collar at the back. Her hair appears to be silver gray, but in fact she is wearing a wig.

She stands up on the seat of her chair.

"I have no need for sympathy or made-up titles! I am Eas, denizen of Labyrinth and loyal servant of Lord Moebius!"

Moebius is not a person who exists in this world. Labyrinth is also not a real place.

"Um... Setuna, maybe you could-"

"Call me Eas!" Inori gets shouted down.

"Setsuna-"

"Eas!" As does Love.

"Eas, at least get down on the floor. If your heels break while you're up there acting silly, you'll be lucky to end up with only a sprained ankle."

Setsuna pauses. Whether it is because Miki called her Eas or because she is considering the suggestion...

The director leans forward in her seat, smiling. "The upholstery you're standing on is rather expensive, by the way."

The self-styled denizen of Labyrinth gets down from the chair.

"This isn't over!" she shouts, then turns and stalks out of the room.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 16
Shibiretta, Hikage Kusunoki - age 74
Ibara Shou - Shibiretta's grandson - age 22
Kurusu Shuuhei - Shibiretta's grandson - age 22


January, 2009

The first shrine visit of the year.

Five PreCures and Milky Rose ascend the steps as an elderly woman followed by two young men descends from the top. The old woman is wearing a green kimono with mushrooms embroidered on it and a wide-brimmed hat that droops down over her face almost as if it was the cap of a mushroom itself.

The girls have encountered her several times before.

"Shibiretta!" they exclaim at practically the same time.

She stops walking. The gentlemen with her also stop and stand on the steps. One of them, a tall man with green hair and orange-tinted sunglasses, interposes himself between Shibiretta and the girls.

"I don't know who you girls are, but our grandmother is very old and in ill health. Please move on and do not disturb her."

The other man has long pink hair, which has obviously been dyed. He also wears sunglasses, but his are more ordinary. He instead addresses Shibiretta.

"Grandmother, did you spend the entire year picking fights with teenagers? I thought we agreed that you'd stop doing things like that."

The green-haired man whirls to face him. "Shou! This is not the place for-"

"You know I'm right, Shuuhei! Stop being such an Orange!"

"Shut up, both of you!" Shibiretta snaps. "You boys never visit. You never call. I have to entertain myself somehow."

"You did those things because you were bored?" Rin asks.

"And for no other reason," Shibiretta says, as she lifts the brim of her hat just enough to meet Rin's gaze. "Did you think I was employed to do such things? There likely isn't a business anywhere that could gain any value from those shenanigans... except maybe a television studio. The things that they show on the television these days are simply disgraceful, I'll have you know. People used to have standards!"

Shou steps between Shibiretta and the girls. "I'm sorry, but this conversation needs to end before Grandmother says something that we'll all regret. She needs to go home and rest. You young ladies clearly haven't gone up to the shrine yet, so I'll just accompany you up while she and my cousin go down, and he can take her home to rest. Right, Shuuhei?"

"M'not an Orange..." Shuuhei grumbles sullenly.

"After you're done here, I'll treat you all to something sweet."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Poisony, Irizawa Poiko - age 24
Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya - age 19


February, 2009

Irizawa Kiriya is soon to attend university. He has passed his exam, his admission is official, pending only one thing... five more weeks of high school.

As he eats lunch in the school courtyard, a girl sits down next to him. She is slightly taller than him, has luxurious blonde curls, and wears the uniform with casual familiarity.

"Hi, Sis. How was Guam?"

"What gave me away?" Poisony lets out a sigh.

Kiriya shrugs. "Electromagnetic waves? I don't know how I know. I just do."

"Not helpful. Anyhow, Guam was great. The honeymoon as a whole was great. I wish Rintarou and I were still there."

"So, am I an uncle yet?"

"It's only been three weeks! Why would I know that already?!"

Kiriya shrugs again. "Because you're you. Because you obsessively disguise yourself and regularly measure your body to ensure you have the best disguise possible. It's your chance to perfectly play the role of a woman who has yet to learn she's pregnant. You, of all people, would not miss out on that. So?"

Poisony blushes. "I'm going to be a mother."

Kiriya smiles. "Congratulations, Sis."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 19
Yanagi Tsutomu - Nagisa's boyfriend - age 21


March, 2009

Nagisa has graduated. Although still wearing her pink and white high school uniform, she passes through the gates with her diploma in hand.

She is greeted by a man wearing the uniform of another high school. It fits him well, but she knows for a fact that he graduated three years ago.

"Zenith Academy, Tsutomu? Who are you trying to fool?"

"Why, nobody," He responds with a short bow. "The school uniform is considered formal wear for students. I attended Zenith and I am a student, therefore the uniform is appropriate for formal occasions."

Nagisa giggles. "I'll bet you practiced that excuse all week."

"In actual fact, I have had it in mind for some years now. Your graduation affords me the opportunity to do something I wasn't able to do at my own."

"And what would that be?"

Nagisa is prepared for a dramatic gesture, and she is not disappointed. With two fingers, Tsutomu grasps the second button of his uniform, the one closest to his heart, tears the button from his chest and offers it to her.

"For you, my heart."

She takes the button, but does not release his hand. He pulls her closer, and they kiss.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 17
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 18
Hosshiwa, Hoshi Wako - age 17
Shirogane Hisako - age 17


March, 2009

Mai and Komachi have been in the same class at Nine Muses High School for nearly a year, but this is Mai's first time hosting a study group at her house. When Mai guides Komachi and two other girls into her room, Komachi's gaze is drawn to a photo hanging on the wall.

It is a group shot of several people in outlandish costumes, including a woman whose gown and sleeves have been made to look like waterfalls and a man whose body has been painted bright yellow. Mai is smiling next to a redhead, and they are both dressed like magical girls.

"Those are interesting costumes. The two of you look like Pretty Cure."

"We are Pretty Cure, but how did you guess? Most people assume that we cosplayed as magical girls."

"It's because I am also Pretty Cure. I'm Cure Mint. I've written a few stories where we really are magical girls."

Another girl, one with sky blue hair peers at the photo. "Must be nice, huh? I wanted to be a magical girl when I was little. I wanted to wear pretty clothes and have all the sweets for myself. Actually, I still kind of want that."

"What, you'd be a magical girl, Wako?" asks the fourth girl, who has snowy white hair.

"Hosshiwa. That's my magical girl name."

The other girl rolls her eyes. "Whatever."

"Not 'Whatever', Hisako! Hosshiwa!"

"Fine, you can be Hosshiwa," Hisako says, pointedly turning her attention to the two PreCures. "So what is Pretty Cure, exactly?"

Mai and Komachi explain.

"That sounds so weird," Hosshiwa says. "Why are they giving you all that money instead of spending it for themselves?"

"It's really not that much money!" Komachi protests.

"It's still weird!"

"What's weird is that they are both Pretty Cure and didn't know until now," Hisako says. "Don't you ever get together?"

"Cure Bloom and I are best friends, but aside from that..." Mai trails off.

"I'm good friends with the other girls who became PreCure at the same time as me, and with Milky Rose, but I haven't met any of the ones from before or after that, present company excepted."

"But that's such a waste! You should throw parties! All Star parties!"

"PreCure All Stars?" Hosshiwa makes a gagging noise. "Couldn't you think of a better name?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 14
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 14
Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 15
Soular, Minamu Shun - age 14


April, 2009

In this world where there is no such thing as magic, Tarte is Love's pet ferret. He is not a fairy, nor is he able to speak. As for his love of donuts...

He still loves donuts. Is there anyone who doesn't?

Unfortunately, Inori fears ferrets. Even a cute and friendly one like Tarte sets her on edge by his very presence. She cannot ask Love to give up her treasured pet. She cannot talk it out with Tarte. She does not want to stop spending time with Love, either.

This calls for drastic measures. With Love and Miki backing her up, Inori has sought out a specialist.

"You were right to come to me," Soular tells her. He is wearing an outfit that resembles Setsuna's Eas costume in theme and iconography, though with a green palette instead of red. It is not revealing, as Setsuna's is, and he wears actual pants.

"You can cure my phobia?"

"Fear is only in your mind, and hypnotism has been used to vanquish it since ancient times." Soular holds up a green gem that hangs at the end of a chain. "Behold! When you look into this swinging emerald, you place yourself in my power."

"Sounds fishy," Miki says. "How do we know this isn't some dirty trick?"

"You don't." He says with a smile. "Inori, you are under my control. When I snap my fingers, you will switch bodies with the ferret, Tarte."

"What?!" "What?!"

Love and Miki object, but Soular snaps his finger anyway. Inori freezes. Her eyes widen, then she begins looking herself over.

"What is this? I can talk? And is this... a human body?"

The color drains from Miki's face. "Inori? You're acting weird. What's with that sketchy accent?"

Soular shakes his head. "That won't work, Cure Berry. Tarte, she was speaking to you. You're in Inori's body."

"Oh, so that's how it is? Everything looks so much smaller like this!"

"What about your accent? It does sound kind of sketchy."

"I don't know what you mean," Inori answers. "Everyone talks like this back home."

"What, at the pet shop?" Miki glares at Soular. "You'd better turn her back."

Soular holds up his hands apologetically. "Just a little longer, please. This is good stuff."

Inori opens Tarte's cage and pulls the ferret out. "I sure make an attractive specimen, if I do say so! What do you think, Inori?"

Tarte bites her.

"Ouch! I thought you were a kinder girl than that, Inori!"

Love grabs Tarte and holds him close. "She is! I'm sure she's just confused!"

"Tarte, Inori is afraid that you'll hurt her," Soular says. "Like she just did to you."

"But I'm a kind ferret!" Inori protests. "I wouldn't do that on purpose!"

"And neither would Inori."

"But she just- oh! You mean that it was an accident, right? Maybe animals just feel things differently than you humans do!"

"I think we've learned enough now. When I snap my fingers, you'll switch back."

Then he does.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 19
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 20
Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari - age 17
Yukishiro Kouya - Honoka's husband - age 19


May, 2009

Cure White has been engaged for most of a year to the same young environmentalist she dated through high school. She is a graduate now, just beginning her first year at the university where Kouya is in his second year. Today, they will be married, and he will take her last name.

As tradition demands, they have not seen each other since getting up. The morning has been consumed with preparations. For Kouya, that has meant coordinating last minute arrangements and descending into neuroticism. For Honoka, it means the dress.

Honoka has long since grown out of the dress she wore in honor of becoming Pretty Cure. Her wedding dress is tailored to fit the body of a grown woman. It does resemble her old PreCure outfit, being primarily white with light blue trim and marked here and there by light blue hearts, but it is naturally more elaborate.

Honoka's wedding dress has a full skirt, the hem of which is decorated with pale blue hearts that hover just above the floor. While not immodest, the top portion of the dress closely adheres to curves that have grown a bit more obvious since the time when she was in middle school. More blue hearts are set atop a diadem on her head, from which her veil hangs. Now nineteen years old, she is quite the beautiful young lady.

Nagisa is the maid of honor, and she has spent the morning helping Honoka. The bridesmaid dresses are nothing special, but neither she nor Hikari are troubled by that. It is Honoka's event, with few guests other than themselves, the parents of the bride and groom, and a few other friends on either side. There is no need for anyone else to show off.

The ceremony itself goes off without a hitch. Kouya and Honoka are pronounced man and wife.

A large cake is cut, possibly too large for such a modest gathering. Everyone has a slice and a drink before undertaking the ritual of the bouquet. There are only five girls who gather for the catch, of whom Nagisa is the most enthusiastic.

However, it is Hikari who makes the catch. The bouquet practically falls into her arms.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 17


June, 2009

Several of the PreCure 5 are now attending Lilium Girls School, but Kurumi is not. She told the others that she had higher aspirations, which is not untrue, but secretly she also wanted to attend a school where there are boys. Her new school is of that sort, unlike Cinq Lumieres.

Another difference at her new school is that club membership is compulsory. After three weeks of high pressure recruiting, Kurumi was persuaded to join the debate club, where she and the other members are assigned in turns to argue specified positions on specified topics. They are not required to believe in their given positions, some of which are outright ludicrous, but they are required to be persuasive. Apparently this is a standard format, and later in the year they will compete as a team against other schools.

Kurumi was surprised to find that she enjoys this kind of challenge. If she does well, she has been told that she could even participate in the first round of inter-school events.

The current speaker concludes his argument and yields the floor to her.

"Thank you. Now, I will tell you why you're wrong."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Bunbee, Takagi Hachiemon - age 34
Kagiya Kou - Mucardia's cousin - age 27


July, 2009

Having worked for Nightmare, and then a relatively short career at Eternal, Bunbee has struck out on his own... in a one-man office in a metal shack perched on the roof of skyscraper. It isn't really designed for habitation, but it fits his budget. There aren't any windows, but if he steps outside on a nice day, the view is downright refreshing.

The door creaks loudly as it opens. Bright sunlight floods the room.

Bunbee falls out of his chair.

"Oh my goodness, are you okay?"

A woman's voice. As his eyesight adjusts and he pulls himself back into his seat, Bunbee recognizes her. Kagiya Kou, the owner and sole employee of the New Age shop in the same building, only down at street level.

He waves his hand dismissively. "I'm fine. I've fallen out of much worse places."

"Is that a good thing?"

"What can I say? I'm a survivor." He grins. "What can Bunbee Limited do for you today?"

"Well... it's not really a business thing. I wanted to thank you for helping me sort out my taxes, so I brought you a gift."

"You really don't have to. I was just being neighborly-"

"Oh, just take it!"

She presses a small, gift-wrapped box into his hands, which he then opens.

"A jar full of wax?"

"It's a hand-made lava lamp! Just the thing to add some color to your environment!"

"Well, hm... thanks."

"And... I was wondering if maybe you'd like to get some coffee sometime?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Passion / Eas, Higashi Setsuna - age 14
Wester, Nishi Hayato - age 15
Tsukikage Sumire - age 16


July, 2009

Setsuna is not one to shy away from trouble. Even in this world without magic, she stood up and declared herself a villain in front of both her peers and that strange woman from the Fusion Group. And it is certain that she has engaged in delinquent behavior, but she now intends to put that behind her.

However, it is not that simple.

"Nishi Hayato, what do you think you're doing?!"

She had to sneak out in the middle of having of dinner at a restaurant with Love's family to confront Wester.

"Eas! There you are! Come, change back into your proper clothes!"

If he even noticed that she used his real name, Wester gives no sign. He holds up her Eas costume, and Setsuna cringes. The look that she once took pride in has become her black history.

"Don't show that to people! Do you want everyone on the street to think you're a pervert?"

"Why would anyone think that? They're your clothes."

"Not anymore! I've thrown away those clothes and the name that goes with them! I am only Setsuna, Cure Passion now!"

"You can't possibly mean that! Come, return to your true self and let us gather misfortune for Lord Moebius and Labyrinth!"

"I won't! I'm done trying to make people miserable! Those things we did together were wrong, and neither Labyrinth nor Moebius even exist!"

Wester's smile falters. "Of- of course they exist! You're only saying that because the PreCures have brainwashed you! They've used magic to turn you against us!"

"There is no such thing, Hayato! Let go of your childish delusions and grow up!"

Wester's resolve fails. After throwing the outfit toward Setsuna, he turns and runs.

Setsuna leaves the outfit where it fell and returns to the restaurant. After she is gone, a girl in a black dress picks up the abandoned pile of clothes and carries them away.

Chapter Text

August, 2009

A year and some months ago, Yasuda Takeo was struck by a car. While his best friend knelt by his side and begged him to stay awake, the woman was doing something more productive: calling an ambulance. Not being a family member, she wasn't able to accompany him inside the ambulance, nor wait next to his bed for him to wake, but Shiki Mizusu is the woman who has been called "like a durian." When the man who saved her life, and whose life she may have also saved, was able to receive visitors, she was one of the first.

More bones were broken than he likes to think about. An injury to his spine has paralyzed his legs. His employer at the time fired him, and he has been forced to sue them for his rightful severance. His father, a decrepit widower, sold the family home and came to the city to help care for him.

Scorp snorts indignantly at the thought. As if he needed it. Scorp is sitting in his wheelchair and tending to a barbecue when he catches his father trying to sneak out of the apartment.

"Hey, old fart! Where do you think you're going?"

"Out! I need more booze!"

"Don't you dare! Dinner's almost ready!"

"You're not the boss of me! I'm going out and that's final!"

"Mizusu is going to be here, and you know it! Do you think she won't notice that my old man is avoiding her?"

"Yeah? How is that my problem? Tell her I died, for all I care! And give her a tumble while you're at it, you stinking cripple!"

"I don't stink! You're the one who stinks, you stinking geezer!"

"I don't have to take this! I'm gonna go drink until I can't stand anymore, and just you try to stop me!" The old man walks out, slamming the door.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 14
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 15
Soular, Minami Shun - age 14


August, 2009

By the time Miki arrives, Soular has already made his move. Love is sitting with her back to the door, while he sits facing the door with a wicked grin.

"What did you do to her?!"

He holds up his hypnotic jewel. "If you want to know so badly, why not ask her yourself?"

"Stop hypnotizing my friends!"

"But I'm not hypnotized," Love says, turning to face Miki.

"I was just telling Love that what happened with Inori was a fluke. I like playing the villain, but it's not like I really have magical powers."

Miki blinks. "But why?"

Love laughs sheepishly. "I was thinking maybe I could relive something I forgot?"

Soular nods. "It would have been most educational, if only it had worked."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 19
Misumi Ryouta - Nagisa's brother - age 12


September, 2009

"A scientist? You?"

Nagisa scowls at her little brother. He is almost a teenager now, and to her he was always kind of a snot.

"I never said that. The science class I'm taking now turned out really interesting, so I signed up to take the next one."

"So you're still getting your degree in sports?"

"What, so I can coach brats like you? Get real! Say that just once more, just one more time, and I'll put you in a Cobra Twist even if Tomoe is watching!"

"You will, huh? Better hit me with your wrestling moves while you still can, Sis. You're an adult now. You're not going to get any bigger, and I'm going to catch up sooner than you think!"

"Ha! Try writing that check when you can actually cash it! Just because you're still growing doesn't mean you'll ever be able to take me on!"

Nagisa punctuates this by standing and assuming a threatening pose. For all Ryouta's talk, she still towers above him.

"Fine, I take it back. You're not getting a sports degree. You're the biggest dork that ever dorked. Happy?"

"Oh, I'm happy... Happy that Tomoe's not here! Cobra Twist!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Poisony, Kamaki Poiko - age 24
Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou - age 28
Kamaki Meiko - Girinma and Poiko's daughter - newborn
Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya - Poiko's brother - age 19


November, 2009

Girinma paces back and forth in a hospital corridor. His eyes are bloodshot, and he has a pamphlet in his hands that he is slowly shredding into confetti. In the same hallway, Kiriya is sitting calmly on a bench.

"Bro, calm down. This is why they kicked you out."

"How can I calm down?! My wife is giving birth in there! Three-quarters of all women die during childbirth!"

"That statistic is not remotely accurate."

"It feels accurate! What am I going to do if I end up with a baby and no wife?"

"Name the kid Rintarou Junior?"

Girinma pauses abruptly in mid-stride. For that briefest of moments, he even stops shredding his pamphlet.

"What if it's a girl?"

"Kamaki Rintarou the Third."

"Are you... making fun of me? Now? When my wife, your sister, is in mortal peril?!"

"Yeah, but you're already making a fool of yourself. Poiko is going to be fine."

"You don't know that!"

The door of the hospital room swings open, and a nurse beckons. "You gents can come inside now."

For all Girinma's doomsaying, Poisony is actually unhurt. She holds the newborn in her arms.

Girinma stares at the sight before him.

"Is it-"

"My love, this is your daughter. Her name is Meiko."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kiryuu Michiru - age 17
Kiryuu Kaoru - age 17


November, 2009

Two high school girls are exploring a department store. The shorter, crimson haired girl is wearing a pink and white school uniform. Next to her and half a head taller, the girl with long blue hair wears a uniform composed of a black blazer and dark grey skirt trimmed with gold stripes. A casual observer might not guess it, but the two girls are twins.

"A pillow?" Michiru sounds hesitant.

"It's useful, and the color matches Mai's image," Kaoru says, handing the pillow to her sister.

"It is useful," Michiru admits, fluffing the pillow experimentally. "But it might be too useful. What if she already has one?"

"It is the sort of thing nearly everybody has... like making a gift of a big, fluffy toothbrush."

"Even if she did need a toothbrush, I don't think she'd want to get one for her birthday," Michiru says, setting the pillow down.

Kaoru nods. "Something else, then."

"This is hard."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urura - age 16
Ms. Shitataare, Sugimoto Atsuko - age 2 7
Kintolesky, Sugimoto Kaneda - age 2 7
Sugimoto Hino - Atsuko's and Kaneda's daughter - newborn


December, 2009

"Alright, all you lazybuns! Who is ready to make a movie?"

Ms. Shitataare shouts as the enters the meeting room, largely to the cheers of the cast and crew. Those cheers quiet only briefly as Kintolesky enters the room behind her carrying a child in his arms.

"Is that your baby? She's adorable!"

Nobody saw the lead actress move, but now she is standing immediately in front of Kintolesky, gushing effervescently.

"Yes, this is my daughter. Her name is Hino, and she is indeed adorable. She will be playing the part of the baby, so all of you had better get used to having her around before we shoot tomorrow!" Ms. Shitataare announces, then points directly at the lead actress. "Especially you, Urara. You're going to be on camera together, and I'll be expecting serious time!"

"You can count on me, madame director!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 14
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 14
Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 14
Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 17
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 16


2010

Fusion Group has registered Cure Blossom, Cure Marine, Cure Sunshine, Cure Moonlight, and Dark PreCure as Pretty Cure.

Cure Lemonade and Syrup are now high school students.


Dressed up in pink, aquamarine, yellow, and silver, the four newly-named Pretty Cures emerge from the dressing room to find the fifth already costumed. Unlike the others' dresses, which are thematically similar even if they don't completely match, Dark PreCure is wearing a black one-piece dress with a short skirt and long black stockings. She has a blood red flower ornament pinned to her hair, and is wearing a black opera glove on her left hand with a diamond shaped crimson gem affixed at the wrist. Her right arm is bare from the shoulder down, and a single large black wing prosthesis hangs at her back.

Yuri's eyes widen. "Sumire, this is not what we talked about!"

"Who is this 'we', Big Sister? Have you perhaps forgotten that you did all the talking and decided it on your own? I have no interest in calling myself 'a delicate flower that blossoms under the night sky'! I'll choose my own path, and show you the true nature of darkness!"

Erika skips forward to examine Dark PreCure's outfit more closely. "Going for a lone-wolf rebel look? I think it's a silly concept, but it looks good on you."

"Cure Marine?" Yuri asks, "What are you-"

"E-ri-ka! How can we become friends if you insist on calling me some stuffy title?"

"Erika, please don't encourage her!"

"She did this on her own, though? Face it, Yuri, your little sis has plenty of courage if she's already come up with something this elaborate." Erika pauses, then pokes at the gem affixed at Sumire's wrist. "This seems out of place. What were you going for?"

Sumire grins. "It's an homage. I got the idea from one of our predecessors, who didn't have the drive to remain in the world of fashion."

"You've met another Pretty Cure?!" Tsubomi is looking up to Sumire with shining eyes.

"Well... I wouldn't exactly say I met her. It's complicated."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urura - age 16
Ms. Shitataare, Sugimoto Atsuko - age 2 7
Kintolesky, Sugimoto Kaneda - age 2 7
Kasugano Heizou - Urara's grandfather - age 62


January, 2010

A suspicious figure has gained access to the rented studio. His eyes are hidden behind sunglasses, and he is wearing a surgical mask over his face. A small cap fails to cover most of his gray hair. Slipping in a side door that was left propped open, he moves from cover to cover as he approaches the stage where filming is going on. The door is slightly ajar, where a golden-haired actress is speaking lines that the intruder cannot quite hear.

He approaches the open door. Within, all attention is focused on the actors. He glides soundlessly toward the entrance. His advance then stops. The reason: his feet are not in contact with the floor. He hangs in the air, suspended by the fabric of his shirt, the collar of which hangs from the hand of a large man with a prominent mustache.

The scene ends. The cameras stop filming. The large man turns to carry the intruder away, who finally seems to understand his situation.

"Wait!" the intruder shouts. "I'm only here to see Urara!"

This gives the other man pause. "You can see the movie when it is done," he answers.

"Not the movie, Urara! I want to see Urara!"

All eyes are now on the intruder. The director is approaching him, and she seems livid.

Urara gets there first. "Grandpa, what are you doing here? How many times have I told you not to do things like this?"

The old man averts his gaze. "You didn't say not to do it today."

"Are you in grade school?!" the director shrieks. She strides up to him and slaps him across the face. "When a lady tells you to stop doing something, you are to stop doing it indefinitely!"

The old man mutters something under his breath.

"What was that?" the director shrieks. She winds up to slap him again, but Urara jumps in between them.

"Please, madame director! He's my grandfather. Let me handle this."

"Urara! I knew you'd-"

Urara slaps him. He slumps in the air as if she has knocked out part of his soul.

"You have to stop doing this, Grandpa!" Urara shouts, teary eyed. "I'm tired of hearing excuses! Sneaking around like that is dangerous! Do you know how sad I'd be if something happened to you?"

"I just wanted to see you..."

"We live in the same house, Grandpa! Even if you're lonely, wait until I get home!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 17
Syrup, Amai Shirou - age 15


February, 2010

As can certain PreCures, Syrup can often be found at Nuts House when he has free time. When Nozomi encounters him there, he has several books open and is taking copious notes. Confusion flits across her face.

"Didn't you pass your entrance exam already, Shirou? Why are you still studying so hard?"

"That was for high school. This is for pilot school. The program I'm trying to get into only accepts twenty students every year."

"Oh... Does this mean you'll be going to the airport after school every day?"

Shirou shakes his head. "Even when I start flying real airplanes, it won't be every day. The first year is all classrooms and simulators. Mostly classrooms. Assuming I get in, I'll go to high school all day and then take pilot classes all evening."

"I feel like I'm missing something. Can you really learn how to fly an airplane by sitting in a classroom all the time?"

"It starts that way, yeah. It's not that different from learning to drive a car. There's a lot of classroom learning either way, but anyone who crashes an airplane usually becomes international news. Nobody wants that."

"I can imagine," Nozomi says, shuddering briefly. "Still, I guess that means you'll get to be an official pilot before I become a teacher."

"Actually, you'll probably still reach your goal first. I'll be in this program all through high school, and then I have to go five more years of formal pilot training. Then, I get to be a pilot." He shrugs. "Well, assuming I get in."

"You're smart, Shirou. There's no way you won't get in." Nozomi smiles, and points her finger right at him. "It's decided!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 1 7
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 18


March, 2010

The graduation ceremony is over and the third year students are departing. Karen returns to the student council office, and looks out the window. Students with diplomas continue to drift toward the school gates below, some of them stopping to chat with others, but many of them just leaving.

"I liked your speech. Honestly, I'm not confident that I'll be able to do as well when my turn comes."

Karen turns to face Nozomi, who lingers at the door.

"You'd better practice, then. That's my graduation you'll be speaking at, Miss Student Council President."

"Oh no, Miss Student Council President. The student handbook is very clear: I may have speeches and ceremonial duties starting now, but my actual term doesn't begin for two more weeks. You're not off the hook yet!"

After a brief pause, both girls giggle.

"To think you'd be quoting student handbooks and leading the student council. Are you really the same person who got kicked out of every club at Cinq Lumieres?"

"I was such a problem child, and look how much I've changed! Aren't you proud of me?"

"I'm proud to be your friend, yes. But isn't there someone else you'd rather ask that question of?"

Nozomi lets out a nervous giggle. "Maybe?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 14
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 22


March, 2010

"What have you got hidden there?"

"That is not your concern!"

Cobraja has acknowledged Itsuki as a rival, solely based on her looks and popularity. Along with this has come a certain misconception, aided in large part by Itsuki's wearing her hair short with the boys' school uniform. This has also led Cobraja to catch Itsuki stashing away some of the cute things she likes. The statue outside her family's dojo was probably never a great place for that, and as the confrontation occurs, a photograph is blown free by a light breeze.

Cobraja snatches it out of the air. It is a full body shot of a cute girl with long blonde hair making a cute pose in a flower-themed outfit that shows a lot of skin.

He smirks. "Quite something you've got tucked away here, isn't it? Who is she? A girlfriend? A crush?"

Itsuki scowls. "That is a picture of me."

Cobraja looks at Itsuki, then back at the photo. "For a boy, you make a pretty cute girl."

"I am a girl!"

"For a girl, you make a pretty cute boy," Cobraja says, stepping in close to Itsuki and tilting her chin upward with one hand. "We should join forces. With my looks and your looks, we could make real waves in this to- ow- ow- ow..."

Cobraja crumples to the ground, cupping his crotch and sobbing. The photo of Itsuki, in her Cure Sunshine dress, flutters to the ground.

"I decline."

She picks up the photo and walks away.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 14
Kurumi Momoka - Erika's sister - age 18
Kumojacky, Kumamoto Atsushi - age 25


March, 2010

There is no such thing as magic in this world.

"Get out here and fight me!"

To the extent that organizations such as Pretty Cure and the Desert Apostles exist, their members possess no extraordinary powers. This does not mean that all of them are ordinary people.

"Fight now or get wrecked! I, Kumojacky, am taking all comers!"

One might expect that he would take such a belligerent tone against a gang of leather-clad bikers, or the clientele of a certain type of bar, or a mixed martial arts tournament. However, this is meant to be a photo shoot for a fashion magazine. Security is present, but Kumojacky is a threat on a different level.

Kurumi Momoka reacts differently from the other models. Instead of fleeing directly, she hurriedly seeks out her little sister among the spectators and leads her to a place where they can both hide.

"Gah, this sucks! Even I, who have a heart wider than the ocean, have reached my limit!"

"I'm sorry," Momoka says. "I shouldn't have invited you here."

"Why are you sorry? You couldn't have known that guy was going to show up."

"You still wouldn't be here if it weren't for me. I just wanted to see you have a good time."

Erika closes her eyes for several moments. It is clear from her expression that she is deep in thought.

"Erika?"

Erika lets out a sigh. "Maybe my heart could be just a bit wider. I thought that you just wanted to show off."

"I-" Momoka pauses. "Maybe I did, just a little. You've got real talent as a designer, so many close friends, and now suddenly you just make money without having to work for it... I envy you, Sis."

"To me, you're the enviable. Finding out that you think so much of me..." Erika giggles nervously. "It's kind of a shock."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Akimoto Madoka - Cure Mint's sister - age 24
Faust, Eguchi Koushirou - Mephisto's cousin - age 28


April, 2010

As Faust wakes, he becomes aware that his head is resting on something warm and soft. He tries to sit up, but is wracked with pain.

"Easy there. You've had a rough night." A woman's voice.

"I remember drinking, and... was I in a fight?"

"Oh yeah," the woman laughs. "You were in a fight."

Faust groans. "I must have picked the wrong side."

"Nah, you did good. Just look where you ended up!"

Faust opens his eyes. Above him, a woman's face is framed by short green hair. Her features seem pale compared to the dark sky, but he decides that is probably because of the moonlight. Then realizes that his head is resting in her lap, and blushes.

The woman laughs. "Now that's a good reaction! I don't regret doing this at all!"

"What did you do?"

"I kidnapped you. It's better than waking up in jail, right?"

"Kidnapped!" Faust looks around, but realizes that the two of them are on a bench in a park. When he tries to sit up this time, it is much less painful. Now that they're both sitting, Faust can tell that he is taller than the woman, who is still chuckling.

"Who are you?"

"Akimoto Madoka. I'm an artist and a confectioner."

"Is kidnapping strange men a hobby of yours?"

"Only when they impress me. How about you?"

"Eguchi Koushirou, but my friends call me Faust. My hobby is catching and taking care of large beetles."

"I've dated stranger," Madoka says, her green eyes glittering in the moonlight. "Wanna get dinner?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kintoleski, Sugimoto Kaneda - age 28
Kobayashi Sunao - age 22


May, 2010

The morning sky is pale blue at the edge of the sea, a sharp contrast against the beach, which is strewn with evidence of the previous night's storm. The two men who are jogging along the beach have chosen to err on the side of prudence in donning protective clothing:

Shoes and swim trunks. Both are noticeably muscular. One is older and sports a prominent mustache.

"So, what's it like being a father?"

"It is much like being a husband, only with more baby." Kintoleski answers, not slowing nor looking at his companion.

"Man, you know I'm single. Break it down a bit more?"

"When I look at my daughter, she is very tiny. Very weak. I have nothing to compare her to. The doctors tell me that she is healthy and strong for a baby, but I do not feel it when I look at her. I worry that she will not become strong."

"How could she not be, with a badass like you for a father? From what you've told me, your wife's no slouch either."

"In my head, I know this. My little girl is tiny because she is an infant. She does not have beautiful muscles because she is too young. My heart does not know this."

"That makes sense," the other man says. "But this is a girl we're talking about. What if she grows up and doesn't want to have beautiful muscles?"

At this, Kintoleski stops dead in his tracks. The horrified expression on his face says all that is needed.

"Kobayashi..."

"Sorry, man. I wasn't thinking."

"I think maybe you should be quiet for a while."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 18
Mishou Kazuya - Cure Egret's brother - age 21


June, 2010

Saki has been interested in Mai's older brother since the first time she met him. However, she has always found reasons to avoid confessing her feelings to him. Reasons having to do with her school, or his school, or anything else she can think of to avoid the truth: She fears his answer.

To an extent, she always expected that he would go away for college and that would be the end of it. However, while he is now at college, he did not go away, instead having chosen a nearby university with a short commute from the family home.

Saki is still interested, but she adopts indirect methods. She participates in the Cooking Club at school. She bakes at school, and she takes the results with her when she departs. Instead of going home, she boards a train for a short commute. Arriving at Kazuya's school in the evening, still wearing her school uniform, she finds him in the observatory. Not for the first time, she shares her baking with him.

"So today's club activity was cinnamon rolls? These are really good!"

"Thanks. I'm glad you like them."

"You should make sure to not let my colleagues corner you. I've told them that you and Mai are practically sisters, but they're convinced that you're trying to win my heart with your cooking."

"Is it working?"

Kazuya fumbles his cinnamon roll, but saves it before it touches the ground.

"That wasn't an answer," Saki says. "And now you've got frosting all over your hand."

Kazuya licks the frosting off of his hand, then pops what remains of the roll into his mouth.

"You're not trying to stall on me, are you? After I finally confessed?"

He finishes chewing and swallows. "Not really trying to stall, but I figured you'd be angry if I let it go to waste."

"That's... actually I would. I made those specially for you."

"Right? I do understand you at least a little. I have to admit, I've been thinking of you as another little sister all this time, but I could give dating a try. Would you like to have dinner with me sometime? Perhaps Saturday?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Misumi Ryouta - Cure Black's brother - age 13
Hyuuga Minori - Cure Bloom's sister - age 14


July, 2010

Who notices an ordinary person in a classroom of twenty-eight?

That is the problem as Ryouta sees it. He is young, and it is spring, but whether it is rose-colored or indigo or saffron-colored, the ones who seem to be in the springtime of youth are only the ones who stick out. The boy who skips lunch to practice guitar. The girl who bleaches her hair and darkens her skin. These, along with one or two others, seem to be pursued endlessly by suitors and rivals, while Ryouta, whose most unique memories might be a certain person's Cobra Twist, is the one left to actually sweep the floor while two of his friends play-fight with the brooms.

"Guys, would you cut that out? I wanna get out of here before night."

"Eh, don't spoil our fun!" "Yeah, the sun sets late this time of year!"

It's not that his friends are always jerks, or that Ryouta himself is always the responsible one. He just happens to be the one positioned to see their jousting shift in the direction of the door while a girl carrying box so large that her face is hidden behind it enters from the hallway.

"Look out!"

His warning comes too late. One boy thrusts. The other parries to his right. Broom strikes box. Girl stumbles backward. She falls. Box falls. Shouts and screams. The two culprits bolt. Ryouta rushes to the girl. She clutches her leg while crying.

"Class rep! Are you-" Of course she's not okay. "Can you get up?"

She takes his hand and tries to stand, but-

"I can't. I'm sorry." Her cheeks are wet with tears.

"It's not your fault! Those jerks- Maybe I can carry you?"

He moves to get his arms under her so he can lift. She blushes, but wraps her arms around his shoulders and doesn't resist. It is similar to the maneuver known as Princess Carry, except that he is kneeling on the floor and isn't able enough to lift her any higher. Seeing her face up close and framed by her braided brown hair, Ryouta thinks for the first time that Hyuuga Minori is actually really cute.

"Are you alright?"

It is his turn to blush. "Don't worry about me! You're the one who's hurt!"

Ryouta tries to think of another plan to move her. The need to get Minori to the infirmary being the most pressing concern of the moment. However, they are spared any further attempts by the arrival of a teacher, who lifts the injured girl without any visible strain.

It is the second time Ryouta has envied another man.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 17
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 17
Cure Lemonage, Kasugano Urara - age 17
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 19
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 19
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 18
Coco, Kokoda Kouji - age 24
Nuts, Kokoda Natsu - age 22


August, 2010

Nuts House is closed for the week while the proprietor is on vacation. In past years, this has been an occasion for himself, Coco, and the several Pretty Cures whom they are friends with to all enjoy a trip to the beach together. This year, things are different. As Komachi relaxes in the outdoor bath, she thinks back over the circumstances that led her to be here...


"I'm sorry. I just can't spare the time right now."

As Karen apologizes over the phone, Komachi imagines that she can hear the other girl shaking her head. Is she wearing her school uniform as she studies, dutifully preparing for her college entrance exams? Perhaps one of her nicer, everyday dresses? Or possibly, that most forbidden outfit for a classy young lady: a comfy tracksuit?

Komachi dismisses the fantasy and responds properly.

"I understand. Maybe next year."


"Yeah, between training camp and the national tournament, the Debate Club has my summer pretty much locked down."

Kurumi explains her situation between homework problems in the early days of summer break. At that time, she had come to Nuts House to study. A few days later, Kurumi had all but disappeared.


"Hello, Saga! Are you having fun out there? That was 'Extraordinary! Door of Courage' I'm sure a lot of you already know, but it was one of my first big songs. This next one is another: 'Twin Tail Magic - Fling Open The Door'!"

By the time it is played on the television in the back area of Nuts House, Urara's concert is already a recording. By that time, her tour has moved on, possibly at venues to the north or the east, or perhaps southward to places like Okinawa and Guam. Her schedule is probably written down somewhere, but nobody has bothered to memorize it, perhaps not even Urara herself.

They have tickets to see her, of course, but that is for the last night of the tour, when she will return to Tokyo at the end of the month.


"Nozomi, there you are!"

Coco had been sitting at the same table where Nozomi is sitting with several open textbooks. He now stands on the opposite side of the room as if by teleportation. Perhaps it is because Nozomi is dressed so casually while studying, in a short skirt and tank top? -Rin has nothing to say about that, nor does she even seem to notice that Coco is present.

Instead, she opens a binder and splashes papers over the top of the table, superseding Nozomi's homework with a heavily marked-up array of ledgers.

"Did you think you could just skip out and leave the paperwork to me? I may be student council secretary, but you're still the president!"

"It's not like that, Rin! We can work on the budget tomorrow! Right now, I have real homework that I need real help with!"

Rin raises an eyebrow. "You need a middle school teacher to help you with your high school homework."

"A teaching degree is a teaching degree! I learn better when Coco teaches me!"

"He's reviewing stuff he hasn't needed to know for years just for your sake!"

"Is not!" Nozomi wavers, glancing at Kouji. "Right?"

"I don't want to believe that I've forgotten so much," he says, failing to meet her gaze.

Defeated, Nozomi drops her head to the table. Then lifts it back up, along with the ledger it was resting on. "Rin, what is this? Is the Chemistry Club planning to make explosives?"

Rin's eyes widen. "They wouldn't- ...no, if it's those girls they definitely would."

Serious now, Nozomi gathers up the ledgers and heads for the door. "Come on, Rin. If those crazy science princesses think they can get past us, they had better prepare themselves!"


Komachi smiles as she relaxes in the water. It has only been a couple of years since Nozomi discovered her interest in teaching. She still relies on Rin and the others to help her stay organized, but in such a short time, she has become so responsible and driven...

Not that Komachi is going to lose to her in drive. After all, she hasn't come to this hot springs inn by herself. Having sold her first story, she invited Nuts to vacation with her for an entire week.

Nuts is perfectly aware of the meaning behind such an invitation. He has been aware of her feelings for some time now. For the first time, he allows himself to reciprocate, setting only one condition...

Komachi must continue to pursue her dreams.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Scorp, Yasuda Takeo - age 3 7
Yasuda Mizusu - Takeo's wife - age 29
Yasuda Takenori - Takeo's father - age 72


September, 2010

The wedding was a great success. Scorp, Yasuda Takeo, is now the husband of the woman like a durian, Mizusu. Although he intends to walk again someday, he was obliged to undergo the ceremony while seated in a wheelchair.

Life is precious. He has no time to wait for such a trivial goal.

Before they are fully free to enjoy their wedded life, there is the wedding reception. This is fine. Even if they are both looking forward to the wedding night, they are adults. A party held in their honor with speeches and cake is no great burden.

However.

After the best man has made his speech, Scorp's father ascends to the stage, his cane clicking against the hardwood floor. His advanced age is fully evident in his withered appearance.

"I didn't know your father was going to speak."

"He wasn't," Scorp makes a face as if he swallowed something rotten. "And nobody is going to stop him now."

The old man takes the mic. "For those of you who don't know me, I am the father of the groom. As are we all, I'm up here to congratulate my son and my new daughter-in-law on their new life together. You may have already guessed this, but I was married once. It really was the experience of a lifetime, and I recommend it to anybody.

"However!" Scorp's father shouts into the microphone, then turns to point at the newlyweds. "You, and you. Make with the nookie, you two! Time's a-wastin'! I am seventy-two years old and I want to actually meet my grandkids, so the two of you had better get your butts in gear! Understand?"

Attendees at the wedding include friends of the groom and of the bride from all parts of their lives. Never before have any of them seen either facepalm as they do now.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 14
Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 18
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 17


October, 2010

"Is that all? Of course I can ask her!" Erika answers her club proudly. "Yuri, would you model our designs for the culture festival?"

"I don't mind, but why do you want me?"

"That's right!" Sumire appears between Yuri and Erika as if she had teleported, pointing right at Erika's face with her one black opera glove. "Why would you want her when I, Dark PreCure, am so much cooler and more elegant?"

"You're not cool or elegant," Erika monotones. "You're stuck up and weird."

"I am not! You are just jealous of my overwhelming strength and beauty! However, as I am a magnanimous PreCure of Darkness, I will consider becoming my model if you kneel down and lick my- huh?"

Feeling a tap on her shoulder, Sumire turns to look. She has just a moment to register that it was Yuri before her older sister slaps her across the face.

"Don't presume to tell others what their opinions should be!"

"You! You hit me! I'm telling Father that you hit me!" Sumire runs off, rubbing the fresh red spot on her cheek.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 21
Misumi Tsutomu - Nagisa's husband - age 23
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 21
Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari - age 19
Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 19
Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 1 7
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 19
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 1 7
Misumi Ryouta - Nagisa's brother - age 14
Misumi Tomoe - Nagisa's sister - age 4
Hyuuga Minori - Saki's sister - age 14
Mishou Kazuya - Cure Egret's brother - age 22
Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon - age 24
Coco, Kokoda Kouji - age 24
Nuts, Kokoda Natsu - age 22
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 23
Shirabe Otokichi - age 59


October, 2010

By tradition, the bride does not see the groom on the day of the wedding before the actual event. While it would be a considerable stretch to call the upcoming event 'traditional', Nagisa has enough to worry about that this particular tradition makes things a little easier. For example, the fact that her wedding dress is more of a layered costume. Even having spent the previous day going over the event's script, the elaborate theatrics caused such problems in rehearsal that the original dressmaker has come in to alter the dress at the last minute.

Said dressmaker, Kuchinawa Masaru of Cobraja Fashion Designs, bears only a little responsibility in this situation. Even though the theme wedding was her bridegroom's idea to begin with, Nagisa has been so deeply involved in planning this even this sort of problem can be considered a result of her own recklessness. The dressmaker's- protege? -a high school girl who seems to always wear exactly one elbow-length glove, regardless of the time and place, practically pushed the man into it, saying "how often does one get the chance to sew a wedding dress?" It's not like she hasn't taken responsibility, since she is also present and helping with the final adjustments.

Even having been called in at the last minute, the ribbons that must be adjusted are integral to a stunt he personally considers hilarious. Cobraja does so without complaint.


Several rooms away, Honoka, who would be maid of honor were she not already married, discusses other last minute arrangements with the best man. Among other things, one of the bridesmaids has been stood up and needs an escort at the last minute. This problem and others are quickly addressed, mostly thanks to Honoka. The best man struggles to keep up with her wide variety of skills and acquaintances. He is a great deal more confident and capable than he was only a few years ago, but Dorodoron is still Dorodoron.

Indeed, as he is in the midst of boastfully insisting that he can find a guy to escort that bridesmaid, Dorodoron's phone chitters, distracting him. Even with a spider-like toku mask obscuring his face, it is obvious that the words on the screen have dealt a blow to his spirit.

"My girlfriend just dumped me."

In a way, this also counts as a solution.


The signal is given, and the organist begins to play. An older man with an unusually curled mustache, his son-in-law is another friend of the groom. The wedding march that begins has dark overtones, in keeping with the theme of the wedding.

The first bridesmaid to enter is Cure Dream. Even though Nagisa graduated from Lilium Girls School a few weeks before Nozomi began attending, Nozomi's involvement in all spheres of school activity soon brought them into contact, and they have become good friends. Nozomi's dress is crimson trimmed with black, patterned in an elaborate gothic design, with a black lace choker and a black headdress trimmed with silk roses. Her hair has grown longer since middle school, but she is wearing hair extensions to make the proper effect. She is escorted by Kokoda Kouji, formerly her teacher and now secretly her betrothed. Coco's costume consists of a black suit with violet stripes down the sides, with a silver-white cape, bracers, and belt. When they reach the stage, they separate, walk to opposite sides, then wait while the ceremony proceeds.

The next couple to enter in the procession is Saki and her fiance, Kazuya. Being similarly ambitious, Tsutomu and Kazuya are on good enough terms that Kazuya is one of several groomsmen. For today, Saki has been persuaded to style herself as Cure Bright, rather than her favored title, and the Moon is the theme for both of their outfits. Kazuya wears long-sleeved black robes with pale yellow trim and an ornamental monocle. Saki wears a long black dress with similarly pale ribbons and lace. Her hair is styled vertically, with her orange-red hair spiking out in all directions, and she carries a masquerade mask with a leporine aspect. They also walk to opposite sides of the stage.

Following them are Ryouta and Minori. Technically, Minori is not Ryouta's girlfriend. She even declined his invitation when he first asked, only changing her mind when she heard about the occult theme of the wedding. Ryouta is wearing a white suit with a pale blue tie. Minori is costumed in the role of a fallen magical girl. Specifically, she has received her sister's old Cure Bloom dress as a hand-me-down, modified with black frills in place of white and glossy black hearts which were originally pink. A pair of custom contact lenses make her gaze appear glassy and vacant. At the foot of the stage, Ryouta pauses to pull out a small obsidian disc that he swings before Minori's face like a pendulum. Minori's movements stiffen, and she quite intentionally enacts a more deeply enthralled Cure Bloom as she separates from Ryouta and they take their places on the stage.

The maid of honor is Hikari. The villain-themed design for Shiny Luminous is split vertically down the middle, a dress that is pink with yellow ribbons on one side and black with white ribbons on the other. She has even attached a fake black braid on one side, opposite the golden one that is braided from her real hair. As a result of being stood up by yet another now-ex-boyfriend, Hikari is escorted by the best man, whose situation mirrors her own. Aside from the toku mask, he is actually dressed in an almost ordinary tuxedo... if tuxes were ordinarily bright blue.

With all the last minute preparations, Honoka barely makes it to her seat ahead of Nagisa's entrance. Being already married, she is not a bridesmaid, but Cure White is still dressed to match the theme. Her dress is light blue with white embroidery, with long loose sleeves and a hem that seems to float just above the ground, along with a wide brimmed white witch's hat. Next to her, Kouya wears a black suit with pale blue trim, unusually constructed in that buttons are the only fasteners. He is only a little taller than Honoka, and is not taller than her hat, which is why he is wearing a hat himself, a black stovepipe hat trimmed in the same pale blue as his suit, and likewise adorned with buttons. Honoka's hat is just barely taller.

Once Hikari and Dorodoron reach the stage, they also split to either side. Out of all those up there, they are closest to where the bride and groom will stand. The organist changes music, several forceful chords bridging the gap as the march slows into the darker tempo that accompanies the activation of the fog machines and the appearance of the groom.

Appearing through a cloud of mechanically generated fog, Tsutomu is wearing a long black robe with scarlet trim and ornamental lacing. He carries a walking stick topped with a red painted carving of a serpentine dragon, and he has applied hair extensions to his Fu Manchu mustache. Upon surmounting the stage, he raps the walking stick against the platform three times. This is followed by a thunderclap, and flashing lights... all staged, of course, but one could easily forget that this man is an ordinary college student who plans to take the civil service exam.

Beneath his costume and theater makeup, Tsutomu is sweating heavily. He has not seen his wife-to-be since the day before. No exam has ever terrified him like the idea that Nagisa may have changed her mind.

The music transitions to a traditional bridal march, and Nagisa enters.

No part of her body is visible within her immaculately white dress. A sheer white veil covers her face, with heavier veils drawn back over her hair and the rest of her hair. Her hands are covered by pink gloves, which protrude from long, puffy, white sleeves that are tied at intervals by white ribbons all the way up to her collar. Similar ribbons are visible down the sides of the dress, almost to the long skirts and petticoats that hide her feet entirely from view. She walks down the aisle at a stately pace, escorted by her father, who is wearing an ordinary three-piece suit. Reaching the steps, she ascends gracefully to the stage, still without revealing her feet.

Tsutomu steps forward, his arms held high. When he speaks, his voice echoes from the speakers placed throughout the room.

"You have come to me, Nagisa, as I knew you would! All of my toil, all of the planning, days and nights of gut-wrenching terror! All of it was for this moment! Now, you are here with me, and I am here with you! Nothing else matters beyond this. And now..."

He taps his walking stick against the floor. The artificial lightning and thunder return on cue.

"And now, my dearest, you must marry me!"

"No, Tsutomu..." Her voice echoes from the speakers as readily as his did.

Nagisa steps forward, holding her arms out on either side, while Nozomi and Hikari sweep in from behind her. Starting from the bows where her sleeves met her wrists, they untie the ribbons and pull.

And pull.

All of the white ribbons that have been tied in small bows from her wrists to her shoulders are actually two single ribbons on either side, which gradually come undone as the two bridesmaids continued to pull them loose, splitting the white dress open-

On Nozomi's side only. On Hikari's side, in spite of all of the last minute adjustments, the ribbons get caught just as they had in practice.

"Not again!" Honoka gasps in exasperation. She was present to see this happen repeatedly during rehearsals, and nearly gets out of her seat to aid the bridesmaids.

At the last moment, Hikari turns so that her back is to the audience. She turns back a moment later, having produced a pair of scissors from somewhere on her person. A moment later, the snagged ribbon is cut. The rest of the bows come undone as the pair quickly pull them loose, and Nagisa's white dress splits open.

Underneath it, she is wearing another wedding dress. This one is less traditional, fits her better, and from collar to hem is mostly black. Pink lace trims the edges, and a pink sash adorned with a heart-shaped buckle hangs from her waist. As she steps out of the bottom half of the white dress, her feet become visible for the first time, clad in glossy black high heels.

She tosses aside her veil and headdress, revealing her bright orange hair topped by a glittering tiara.

"No, Tsutomu! It is you who must marry me!"

Tsutomu steps close to her with a grin on his face. "With pleasure!"

The rest of the ceremony mostly follows the traditional script.


Among the seated guests, one other PreCure of Nozomi's generation is present, Cure Mint. Nozomi has heard that Tsutomu regularly asks Nuts to recommend books, and that, or possibly alcohol, is the foundation of their friendship. Unlike Nozomi, Komachi is openly engaged: her diamond ring sparkles visibly on her hand. She will be getting married in six months time. Not being a bridesmaid, Komachi's simple dark green dress only lightly touches the wedding theme.

Throughout the spectacle, she has been taking notes at a rather frenetic pace. At this rate, Nagisa's wedding might become a horror novel.


Even this supervillain-themed wedding does not dispense with the rituals of the bouquet and the garter. The bridesmaids are quick to gather all of the girls and unmarried ladies from the crowd, including the dark-haired high school girl who seems to be in a state of shock and steadily mimes cutting with scissors with her fingers.

Minori catches the bouquet, and is ambushed immediately afterward by Komachi, notepad in hand. Komachi is especially interested in how Minori got roped into playing a hypnotized thrall despite being a bridesmaid, but Minori lets on that she actually really enjoyed it. The custom contact lenses that made her gaze look unusually glassy and vacant were even her own idea.

A similar gathering is orchestrated for the garter, this time without any shell-shocked high-schoolers. The garter flies high and ends up striking Coco in the face.


After the rituals, there is still music and dancing, as well as cake. As one of the younger girls present, Minori has difficulty finding a partner, especially since Ryouta has seemingly vanished. As she stands and watches other dance, she feels a tug at the hem of her skirt. Looking down, he sees Misumi Tomoe, who is wearing a black dress that makes her look like a four year old version of her sister, except that Tomoe's dress has a stronger emphasis on pink ribbons and includes a frilly little hat. She seems to have something to say, so Minori kneels down. After looking around carefully to be sure that the neither of her older siblings are nearby, Tomoe draws close and whispers into Minori's ear.

"You like big bro, right? I can be your cupid!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 15
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 17


October, 2010

"You are shy to a fault and you constantly rely on others. Even after becoming Pretty Cure, that hasn't changed."

The girl in front of Tsubomi is her mirror image. She wears a black dress with black boots, each with dark red trim, and a white cloak. Dark red stockings rise just below her knees. Scarlet hair, Tsubomi's natural color, hangs loosely down her back.

"I can change! I'm not the same person I was before!"

The other Tsubomi smirks. "Because you are a PreCure? It's a meaningless title! You're not a magical girl just because you sometimes dress up like one, and there is no such thing as magic in this world!"

A gentle smile crosses Tsubomi's face, and she reaches a hand toward her other.

"I know that. I don't need to pretend that I have magic. Having friends isn't a weakness. I'm able to dedicate myself to becoming someone new, because I have them."

The other Tsubomi's pose briefly mirrors the real one, but she pulls back her hand.

"Are you trying to abandon me? You are me, and you always will be!"

"You are the past me, when I was afraid to re-invent myself, but I'm not afraid anymore! I'm going to improve myself, and I'm going to bring you with me!"

Off to the side, Sumire dissolves into giggles. Her outfit is much like Tsubomi's, but her dress is white and her jacket is black. "You, afraid to re-invent yourself? How can you say such a thing when you're dressed like that?"

Tsubomi turns away from the mirror and puffs her cheeks. "Sumire, you helped me pick this out!"

"Hahaha! Don't try to blame me, Tsubomi! You look super cool, but the lines coming out of your mouth are ridiculous!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Sasorina, Sadou Rina - age 24
Kumojacky, Kumamoto Atsushi - age 26
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 23


November, 2010

"Say... don't you guys think maybe we should stop doing bad things?"

"Hm?" "Huh?"

Sadou Rina, often called Satorina, is seated at a bar, gazing wistfully over the top of a mixed drink. A man is seated on either side of her, but it is not as if she has that sort of interest in either of them. Cobraja and Kumojacky will always only be friends... if even that.

She tries again. "Like, what if we left those girls alone? It's not like there's some reason we have to mess with people, or that it has to be them."

"I just get this feeling. It's like... they're strong. They've got something special. I want to feel it, even if it hits me right in the jaw." Kumojacky slugs down his own drink.

"They're at the age when girls become dangerous, you know?" Cobraja swirls his drink without bringing it to his lips. "Even if it causes us pain, helping them to direct that energy is a service to the community!"

"Oh, I see..." Sasorina pauses, then takes a sip of her drink. "You guys are idiots."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 18
Desperaia, Itoshiki Nozomi - age 32
Bunbee, Takagi Hachiemon - age 37


November, 2010

Desperaia's office at Nozomi Foundation is smaller than when she used to be the boss of Nightmare, and closer to the ground as well. When she looks out her windows on a normal day, she can see people walking along the street below. She still has more couches than she really needs, but the overall atmosphere is comfortable and grounded.

A large door swings open, revealing a young woman in a scarlet dress of gothic design, with a black lace choker and a black headdress trimmed with silk roses. Her hair is longer than Desperaia remembers, but the smiling face is exactly as she recalls.

"Little Nozomi!"

"Big Nozomi!"

This has been a joke between herself and Cure Dream since that time nearly three years ago, when they learned that they both had the same first name. Desperaia walks to the younger woman and circles around her.

"What is this fashion you've taken up, I wonder? Should I start calling you Dark Dream?"

Cure Dream laughs. "I was a bridesmaid in a themed wedding. That's why I got these clothes, but I thought it would be a waste to wear them only once."

"There was a time when I used to throw out my clothes instead of washing them," Desperaia admits. "I understand now how wasteful that was."

"Right? Besides, these are pretty in their own way."

"Anyhow, the reason I called you here." Desperaia hands over a photo.

"Oh! Mr. Bunbee got married? Oh, and he's going to have a child already!"

"I was thinking I should send them a gift. I have some unique and fascinating masks..."

Dream blanches. "Not a good idea."

"That bad? I was thinking I'd also give them out to guests at my own wedding..."

"You're getting married?!" Dream is suddenly sparkling with enthusiasm. "When? Who?"

"We've yet to set a date for the ceremony, but I'll be wed to Furuzaki Basara, Bloody's son."

"The old man who dresses like a vampire? I didn't know he has a son."

"You've met him: Basara was the police officer who came and saved us when Kawarino attacked."

"Talk about a fateful meeting!" Dream nods enthusiastically. "Then again, mine is kind of the same. My husband to be was my homeroom teacher in middle school."

Desperaia hesitates. "Little Nozomi, we both know ethics isn't one of my strong points, but isn't that a little..."

"We love each other. I can't do anything about how we met. I don't think anyone can complain if a teacher marries a former student," Dream answers with a smile. "Besides, it's not like he's going to go around falling in love with his other students."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flower, Hanasaki Kaoruko - age 68


December, 2010

Fusion Group has registered Cure Flower as Pretty Cure.


The placard on the door reads [Ryuudou Ayumi, Director]. The woman behind the desk is perhaps in her mid-twenties, a brunette with bright golden eyes.

A single chair has been placed on the visitor side of the desk. Lavishly upholstered, with a high back, and crowned with a garland of fresh-cut flowers, it is unsuited to Hanasaki Kaoruko in both stature and demeanor. With the composure of old age, she sits anyway.

"Ms. Hanasaki, Cure Flower, I am honored to make your acquaintance. To be honest, I wasn't sure that you would come."

"To be honest, I do not understand what this meeting is about. I had the impression that this thing you call 'Pretty Cure' was a program for the benefit of young women."

"Normally it is, but there are circumstances to consider. Nearly all of this year's Pretty Cure look to you as a role model, for one thing. It is also something of an homage to one of my predecessors. If we had begun creating Pretty Cure in the first year when the idea was conceived of, you were to have been one of the candidates."

"I have not been a young woman for some years."

"That was half a century ago. And again, I feel that it is appropriate, given your service as a role model for the current year of Pretty Cures."

"Interesting that you should say that. In my opinion, you seem to have been a bad influence."

"You're referring to Dark PreCure's fashion choices and antagonism toward her sister?" Ayumi shakes her head. "I believe that much of that would have happened anyway. We have a considerable record of success with our Pretty Cures."

Kaoruko waits.

"Of course, I can back this up with evidence. Cure Black and Cure White have each married, and are presently enrolled in college, where they are showing acceptable and exemplary results, respectively. Shiny Luminous is doing well in high school, with high marks in several subjects. We have even received word that she may be a scholarship candidate.

"Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Cure Mint, and Cure Aqua are also about to graduate, with most of them going on to college. Cure Mint is engaged to be married and already a published author. Cure Bloom is also engaged and has plans to eventually take over her family's bakery. None of the younger PreCures, Dark PreCure included, are presently having trouble in school, and they're starting to form connections that will stand them in good stead as adults."

"You seem to have thought this through."

"Their actions do reflect on us, whether they choose to associate themselves with us or not. We've seen you help this year's group to reflect well on us, and..." the director paused, smiling. "Even if you disapprove, Cure Flower does represent a source of income that you can pass on to your daughter or granddaughter. There really are no strings attached."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari - age 19
Kujou Hikaru - Hikari's brother - age 10
Hamura Akane - Hikari's cousin - age 29


December, 2010

"A full scholarship to business school?" Akane lets out an impressed whistle. "I'm honestly a little jealous."

"But it's to a university in Osaka," Hikari protests. "I wouldn't be able to help with the cafe!"

Hikaru rolls his eyes. "Sis, the Tako Cafe is literally a truck. If it was that big of a deal, Akane could just drive down to Osaka and run the cafe there."

"But I won't," Akane adds. "Because it's not a big deal. I started the business before I took you in, and I can keep it going without your help. If you turn down this opportunity, you'll regret it for the rest of your life."

"But-"

"Sis, stop acting like you don't want to go. You signed up for the scholarship and took the entrance exams, didn't you?"

"How did- Hikaru, have you been going through my things?!"

"No, but I'm not dumb and neither are you. Whenever someone seems to win a contest they didn't enter, it's always a scam. You didn't ever get suspicious of this scholarship, and you accused me of spying on you just now, so you must have signed up for it."

"Ngh... smartass."

"He's right though," Akane says. "And here's something else: We won't stop being your family just because you grow up and move out."

"You should do what you want to, Sis. If Akane needs help, me and Kaneda have got it covered!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Melody, Houjou Hibiki - age 14
Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 14
Siren / Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 14
Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 9


2011

Fusion Group has registered Cure Melody, Cure Rhythm, Cure Muse, and Cure Beat as Pretty Cure.

Shiny Luminous, Cure Mint, Cure Aqua, and Kiryuu Kaoru are now college students. Cure Bloom and Kiryuu Michiru have graduated from high school. Cure Peach, Cure Berry, Cure Pine, Cure Passion, Wester, and Soular are now high school students.


The director's office is needlessly large, as always. As the golden-eyed woman behind the desk looks at this year's Pretty Cures, she smiles warmly.

"I see that two of you are doing it this year. Could this be a trend, I wonder?"

The director nods at Cure Muse and Cure Beat, making it clear to all that their dark-themed outfits are what she means. Cure Muse is wearing a hooded cowl, mantle, and platform boots as parts of her all-black outfit. Cure Beat is wearing a black cloak with a white fur collar, but she pulls it off before she sits down, revealing a skin-tight black catsuit. A fluffy white cat leaps into her lap. As if to emphasize that they really didn't coordinate at all, the two girls have taken seats at either end of the large sofa that has been provided for all four girls to sit on. Wearing ordinary clothes and stuck sitting uncomfortably close together, Cure Melody and Cure Rhythm also are making a point of trying not to acknowledge each other.

"Don't think that I'm the same as those delusional girls who have come before," Ellen says. "I intend to be a famous musician, but even if I don't make it big, Siren is my professional name. Don't think that I'll give you any press by performing as Cure Beat."

"And the cat, is it part of your act?" The director seems to be genuinely curious.

"She has a name, I'll have you know. Hummy is here for moral support. She sings only for other cats."

The director chuckles, then turns her gaze on the girl at the other end of the couch.

"Are you a performer, too?"

"Don't get any strange ideas," the girl does not speak, but instead holds up her smartphone. The voice is that of a text-to-speech app, represented on screen by an animated gemstone-like fairy character. "I am neither a deviant nor part of a freak show. I simply do not intend on becoming chummy with this lot, or with you."

"That's adorable," she looks at the two girls in the center. "Anything you two would like to say?"

"No!" The pair answer as one, then remember that they are fighting and turn away from each other.

The director smiles again. "I think we can expect great things from you girls."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 18
Ms. Shitataare, Sugimoto Atsuko - age 28
Sugimoto Hino - Atsuko's daughter - age 1
Sugimoto Kasumi - Atsuko's daughter - newborn


January, 2011

"Thank you for coming on such short notice."

"I'm just glad I can be of help, Mrs. Sugimoto."

"Ms. Shita- oh, why insist on that now? My husband and I simply must go! It's our movie's debut showing, and the girl who was going to watch my babies suddenly got sick. If not for your being an acquaintance of an acquaintance, I don't know what we could have done!"

That is a strange way to put it, since Rin's friend Urara is the star of Ms. Shitataare's movie, but it's obvious that the woman is rushed and slightly panicked. Ms. Shitataare leads her to the cribs where two babies are sleeping, then thrusts a sheet of paper into Rin's hand.

"This is Hino, and this is Kasumi. Hino is a year old, and Kasumi is only a few weeks old. Instructions, emergency numbers, everything I could think of is written down here."

"I'll take good care of them, I promise."

"Thanks so much! I'll see you when I get back!" The woman is out the door in a flash.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Arachnea, Matoi Mikumo - age 30
Kumojacky, Kumamoto Atsushi - age 26
Randou Ichigo - age 20


January, 2011

As Kumojacky passes by a nondescript real estate office, two paces ahead of him the door swings violently open as a young man is bodily ejected onto the street.

A woman with sharp features and lavender hair appears in the doorway. She shouts down at the man on the pavement: "You are an unmitigated idiot, but there are two things you deserve to know. First, you're fired. Your severance will be sent to your mailing address. Second, 'condo' is an abbreviation for condominium, a type of real property, not those things you carry in your wallet!"

Kumojacky looks at the man on the ground, who is tall and at least fit, though not particularly muscular. Looking at the woman, Kumojacky judges that she must be stronger than she looks to have thrown a man of that size so forcefully, while at the same time being dressed in high heels and a suit.

A grin spreads across Kumojacky's face. He looks up at the woman, saying: "Lady, your violence impresses me. Would you care for a test of strength? Or possibly dinner?"

Arachnea raises an eyebrow. "Perhaps."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 18
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 17
Sabaaku, Tsukikage Hideaki - age 48


January, 2011

Even though she no longer watches magical girl shows, Yuri wore a magical girl themed outfit when she became Cure Moonlight. Silly as it is, the dresses have become tradition, and doing silly things can still be fun even for a serious-minded teen.

Ten years ago, Yuri was already serious... about Ojamajo Doremi. Along with her sister, Sumire, she would dress up in a colorful witch outfit and have pretend adventures. This lasted until she decided to make her father the villain of an imaginary scenario, at which point Sumire immediately joined the villains, "Because I love Father best!"

It isn't like they stopped playing magical girls after that, but Sumire had latched onto the idea that their father was the bad guy and insisted on being a bad witch so that she could be on his side. Even after they outgrew magical girl anime, the sisters kept up their rivalry, and it persists to this day.

Yuri pauses, then walks from the podium to the casket. She gazes at her father's body for a few moments before she resumes:

"Of course, it doesn't mean that I love our father any less just because I made him the villain that one time, or that I think Sumire loves him more just because she insisted on taking his side even if he was in the wrong. Even when we were making him be the villain and choose one side between the two of us... choosing a side for him, really... Parents aren't supposed to pick one favorite between siblings, and I never felt like he ever did.

"Being children, we absolutely played favorites. Even if it meant going against myself, Mom, and the world, Sumire made it clear that she would take Father's side regardless. That's the kind of bond she had with Father. That's why she is sitting in the front row while I tell you about her relationship with Father: Not because she doesn't love him and miss him, because she certainly does. I would just as soon be there next to her right now, but one of us had to speak. Rivalry or no, I cannot force my little sister to be the one to come up here and spill her guts when she's lost her favorite person in the whole world."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 15
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 14
Hanasaki Futaba - Tsubomi's sister - newborn


January, 2011

"Would you stop making that face? One of us is going to crack up, and it isn't Futaba!"

Erika's lips are stretched thin as she puffs her cheeks and has a staring contest with Tsubomi's newborn sister. Erika doesn't seem to be listening, so Tsubomi pokes her in the side until she laughs.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I just wanted to impress upon Futaba how amazing we are!"

"I think she might be a little too young for that, Erika."

"How can anyone be too young to know that her elders did something awesome? I feel like we've accomplished something on the level of combining all of our powers to fistfight a giant space monster in space!"

Tsubomi winces. "I'm not sure what we could actually do that would equal something that fantastic."

"It's all a matter of spirit! Right, Futaba?"

Erika pokes Futaba on the cheek. The baby just giggles.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 19
Eguchi Madoka - Komachi's sister - age 25
Faust, Eguchi Koushirou - Madoka's husband - age 28


February, 2011

The ceremony has been completed. Eguchi Koushirou, who prefers to be called Faust, has married Akimoto Madoka and she has taken his surname. None of the guests disrupted the event, and both of them know plenty of oddballs.

As they proceed to the reception hall, he sees then that he was naive.

The guests are already present, family and friends of the bride and groom seated around small tables. There is a dance floor, and a band.

And there is a cake. A fine and proper three-layered wedding cake, with white frosting, and figurines representing the bride and the groom. The bride figure even has Madoka's lovely green hair.

It is the cake that is the problem.

Faust's mouth opens and closes several times before he manages words. "What happened here?"

His wife calmly points toward the spectacle which Faust is already looking at. "Darling, it seems that our wedding cake is upside-down and hanging from the ceiling."

"Who did this? Why would anyone?"

"Now, now, Big Brother..." Someone pats him on the shoulder. Faust turns and sees that it is Cure Mint, in her emerald green bridesmaid dress. "Those are not the right questions."

Faust thinks for a moment, then hesitantly asks: "How?"

"Correctly asked." Cure Mint's lips curl into a cat-like smile. "Welcome to the family, Detective."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Melody, Houjou Hibiki - age 14
Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 14
Siren / Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 14


February, 2011

"Ellen, you're coming to the party, right?"

"You mean the PreCure All Stars?" Ellen looks up from tuning her guitar. "I wasn't planning on it."

"What?" Hibiki looks surprised. "You have to go! I don't want to be the only girl from our year, and Cure Muse won't even talk to me!"

"Sorry, but my career is more important. I've got a gig that day. Why don't you ask Cure Rhythm?"

"Why bring me into this?" Kanade asks angrily. "I don't want to do anything with her!"

"Yeah?" Hibiki sneers. "Well, I don't want to do anything with you, either!"

"Just what is the problem you two have with each other? You both get all catty whenever you're in the same place."

Hibiki stands up. "The problem is that I thought we were best friends, but when we agreed to enter middle school together on the first day, I waited by the gate and she went in without me!"

"I waited by the gate!" Kanade shouts, getting up. "You were the one who never came!"

"I think I'll just go and forget I asked," Ellen says, slinging her guitar across her back as she rises.

The pair continue bickering as Ellen walks away, but suddenly she pauses. "It couldn't be something like that, right?"

"What?" "What?" Both girls ask at the same time.

"It's probably nothing, but do you mind if I ask which gate you waited at?"

"The east gate!" "The west gate!"

Realizing that they answered differently, Hibiki and Kanade turn their attention back to each other.

"This whole time, we've been fighting over a misunderstanding?"

Ellen shakes her head as she walks away.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 21
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 21
Yukishiro Houtarou - Honoka's son - newborn


March, 2011

"Surprise visit!"

When Honoka opens the door, Nagisa is standing outside with a boxed cake.

"Nagisa!" Honoka greets her with a smile. Then she pauses. "Don't you have exams?"

"That's a problem for Future Me," Nagisa says cheerfully. "I just can't spend another day studying without getting in some best friend time and meeting your cute little baby."

Honoka giggles. "If it's just meeting Houtarou and sharing some cake, I think that can be allowed."

Nagisa follows her inside, where the newborn boy is sleeping in a crib that is set up next to a study desk covered with books and papers.

"What's all this? I thought you were taking a maternity break."

"I am, but I want to keep up on the reading for when I apply to grad school. Plant genetics is a very exciting field right now."

"I see..." Nagisa nods, then sets down the cake box and opens it up. "I see that I've come at the right time. You need a break too!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Namakeldar, Namase Kenta - age 18
Morioka Takayuki - Kenta's cousin - age 20


March, 2011

The sun is shining without a cloud in the sky. The grass is green. A man with green hair, not as green as the grass, reclines on a park bench. It is built to seat at least three people, but he is taking up the whole thing. He is wearing a black top hat, which is tilted to shade his eyes.

Nearby, a man with similarly light green hair plays the trumpet. He would be wearing a beret, but his hat is upside down on the grass. A card is pinned to it that indicates he is accepting tips.

Namakeldar yawns. "Cousin, you are putting entirely too much effort into this music of yours. Just watching it makes me weary."

The man on the trumpet continues to blow.

"Even if you somehow make a career out of music, this won't serve it. Nobody's going to say: 'There goes Morioka Takayuki. He got his start playing trumpet in the park.' You should learn to relax and let life come to you."

The only response is smooth jazz.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kiryuu Michiru - age 19
Takagi Kou - Bunbee's wife - age 28


March, 2011

Behind the counter, the red-haired girl finished ringing up a purchase, then watched as the customer left the shop with an incense burner and a supply of incense that would probably last a month or more.

"Nice job, Michiru." The owner of Lighthouse New Age Specialties said from the other side of the shop. "In another week or two, you should be ready to keep this place open when I'm not around."

"Thanks?"

"No, I mean it. I'm going to have my hands full in pretty short order," the woman said, rubbing her very pregnant stomach for emphasis. "So... how are you feeling about the merchandise? Are you getting used to the New Age spirit?"

"I think so. It really isn't what I expected."

"And to think, when you started you didn't understand it at all! You're going to be just- oh. Oh, that's not good."

"Mrs. Takagi?"

"My water just broke. Close up the shop. I'm going to need help getting to the hospital."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 20
Nuts, Akimoto Natsu - age 23
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 19
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 18
Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 1 7
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 20
Shirogane Hisako - Komachi's friend - age 19


April, 2011

Cure Mint is getting married to Nuts. They have not arranged for the sort of elaborate costumes that Cure Black and her husband planned out for their supervillain-themed wedding. The bridesmaids at this wedding wear white dresses with garlands of mint leaves, with no variation even for the maid of honor, Cure Aqua. Their escorts wear regular tuxedos.

However, Komachi does have a friend who specializes in event planning. The wedding hall has been decorated to resemble train cars from England's steam age, and the master of ceremonies, that self-same friend, is wearing a suit made to resemble a female train conductor.

Komachi is also a known prankster. Given the theme, the guests and even the participants are expecting it to turn into a murder mystery. However, the ceremony proceeds normally. The bridesmaids, Cure Rouge, Cure Lemonade, and Cure Egret, are escorted to the stage without incident. Even Urara, an actress by trade, does not seem to be putting on a show. Cure Aqua also reaches the stage without incident.

Neither the bride nor the groom have disappeared. Nuts, and then Komachi, go up to the stage. The ceremony is carried out in accordance with tradition and without interruption, even to the point where the groom kisses the bride.

The lights go out. Even though it is midday, and the hall has exterior windows, somehow the venue is thrown into complete darkness.

A moment later, the lights come back on. Sunlight streams through the windows. A blanket of fake snow now covers the floor, just enough that everybody's footprints can be seen. However, where the newlyweds were standing there is only pristine snow, a mound several inches thick.

The newlyweds themselves are nowhere to be seen.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 18
Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya - age 21


May, 2011

Kiriya has many things that he must do to stay in college. Among these, good grades, sports, and also work. Today, work involves tutoring a younger student who is aiming to get into the same university. His current student attends a local all girls school. Her home is located above a small flower shop. Upon entering, he begins by pulling a book from his satchel.

"Hello, Rin. Today, I'd like to see how you are doing in Math."

Rin groans. "Please, anything but calculus..."

Kiriya makes a note in his lesson plan. "If you dislike it that much, we'll probably have to go over it sometime. However, for today I have something more important in mind. How much work have you done with statistics?"

"Almost none?"

He sets the book in front of her and opens it up. "Then we'll start with the basics."

Chapter Text

May, 2011

"So, what was it you wanted to show me?" Komachi asks as Mai opens the door.

When they enter Mai's studio, the answer is immediately obvious. Three painting are lined up in the afternoon sun, each depicting a different answer the mystery that Komachi staged at the end of her wedding, and each with a caption painted on at the bottom.

The painting on the left bears the caption "MACHINA" in the image of a bronze plaque framed by large clockwork gears. The background shows the darkened church, while in the foreground a mechanical platform hangs suspended from the rafters, with a trap door visible at the top. The groom stands atop the platform, one hand lowered to pull the bride up. Their outfits have been embellished with Victorian elements, and look a bit more elaborate than the clothing they wore in real life.

The painting on the right bears the caption "ILLUSION" in rainbow colors on a glass-like image framed by two prisms. Like the painting on the left, it is vertically oriented and shows the darkened church, but where the other is focused upward, this one projects downward from the stage. The bride and groom are both there, surrounded by mirrors, with their image projected onto a glass pane inside the church, intimating that they were never actually there. Both the bride's dress and the groom's tuxedo have capes added, and shine with silvered threads, further hinting that the pair are acting as stage magicians.

The center painting is oriented horizontally and bears the caption "PHANTASMA" in block gold letters painted directly over the background. The darkened church is further distorted as it were a mirage. The bride and groom are shown having passed through a portal in the air. The groom's human shape is shown only in outline, having been struck by a beam of light. Within the outline is a cute squirrel-like creature wearing a tuxedo and holding a tiny wand with a heart-shaped tip. Beside him, the bride in her wedding dress is still human, but her hair is both longer and brighter green. Butterfly wings sprout from her back with a green and white pattern that matches her dress, and she carries a rapier with a hand-guard shaped like a mint-green rose. At the opposite end of the scene, the apparent source of the transformational light is a monstrous giant raven.

"Mai... these are amazing! Could I use them? I'm sure I could get my publisher to pay you for them!"

"I don't mind," Mai answers. "However..."

"However?"

"You have to tell me how you did it!" Mai finishes with a smile.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Soular, Minami Shun - age 16


June, 2011

The high school building is made of unadorned concrete, angular, blocky, and four stories tall. On the ground below, students enter the gates in small clusters. The uniform is a violet jacket with violet trousers, with sky blue trim at the cuffs and at the collar. All of them are boys.

Two boys sit by the window in one of the top floor classrooms. Few others have arrived, and classes will not start for a quarter hour.

"Minami, you've got a girlfriend, right?"

Minami Shun, sometimes called Soular, shakes his head. "I have friends who are girls. There is a difference."

The other boy seems to consider this for a moment, then snaps his fingers. "I know, you hypnotized them! You've gotta teach me how to do that, man!"

"I did not hypnotize them into being friends with me!"

"You did hypnotize them, then! Tell me how!"

"You fool, hypnosis is not some magic solution to interacting with half of all humans! If you want to be friends with girls, just look them in the eyes and talk like a normal human!"

"Look them in the eye... Talk normally..." The other boy takes notes. "Dude, that's brilliant! They won't even know they're being hypnotized!"

Facepalm.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kiryuu Michiru - age 19
Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke - age 22


June, 2011

"You pig! I don't want to ever see you again!" The blonde shouts at the young man, slapping him mid-sentence, then hitting him with a full-out punch to the jaw.

It is a pretty good punch. Momoi Kyousuke, sometimes called Mucardia, is in a position to know. This is not remotely the first time he's been decked by a girl.

Unfortunately, this also leaves him with a date planned and no girlfriend to take on it. He is loathe to continue with his date plans by himself... but as he has non-refundable reservations, he wishes just as much not to abandon them.

Then again, he is Mucardia, and women are everywhere. He immediately propositions and is turned down by a succession of women who did not even see him get dumped, but this is of no consequence. For his plans to proceed, he only needs to succeed once.

His latest target emerges from the front door of a New Age shop, flips the sign to Closed, then locks the door behind her. Scarlet-haired and perhaps twenty years old, she is wearing a pale yellow sundress under a white apron. A name tag pinned below her collar reads "Michiru".

"Excuse me, Miss! Would you care to experience some fine dining with me? I make no guarantees about the company, but the food is to die for!"

Did she just drool? Before Mucardia can finish blinking, any evidence is gone, if it existed to begin with. He banishes the thought from his mind.

"If you are not interested, you need only say no!"

"I'm interested."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kujou Hikaru - Shiny Luminous's brother - age 11
Hamura Kaneda - age 30
Hamura Midori - newborn


July, 2011

Kujou Hikaru is woken by the cries of a baby. The baby is not his responsibility. He can hear the sounds of another rising to tend to it, but the damage is done. Now that Hikaru is awake, he is aware that he needs to use the restroom. He won't be able to go back to sleep until he has.

He gets up. The thing that needs to be done doesn't seem urgent, so he follows the sound of movement into the kitchen, where his cousin by marriage is feeding the baby from a bottle.

"Hey, Bro. How is Midori doing?"

"She's fine, just hungry. Sorry about waking you."

"No prob. I can't call myself her cool big brother if I don't let this sort of thing slide."

"You're not her brother, technically. You're second cousins, once removed."

"Details," Hikaru says, waving his hand. "Keeping track of that sort of thing is for nerds."

"Well then, I'll be a nerd. Feel like going back to bed?"

Hikaru yawns, then nods. He goes and does what needs to be done, then returns to bed.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 9
Natsuki Yuu - Cure Rouge's brother - age 9
Natsuki Ai - Cure Rouge's sister - age 9


July, 2011

Natsuki Ai is in her third year of elementary school. She has a twin brother, who attends the same school, and is in the same year, but a different class.

She is presently taking his math test.

This is a trick they have pulled before. She is better at math, and he is better at writing. They often arrange to take tests for each other, and have learned the enough about each other's friends and classmates to avoid getting caught.

Not that Ai is in particular danger of getting caught. Even if she were not an expert at impersonating her brother, Yuu's seat is in the back row and next to a wall. On the opposite side, there is a girl sitting next to her, but Shirabe Ako has never seemed to look at either Ai or her brother with anything but indifference.

A note appears on Yuu's desk. Ai never saw Ako move, but there isn't anyone else who could have placed it there.

[Easy test, right?]

[Easy-peasy!] Ai writes her answer on the note and leaves it for Ako to retrieve.

The note returns. [Looking forward to swim class?]

[?]

[Did you forget? We have to change into our swimsuits right after this.]

Ai does not look toward Ako. She tries very hard not to change the expression on her face, but in fact this is very bad. In Yuu's class, it is the rule that the girls go to another room when changing for gym, while the boys stay in the classroom. With no opportunity to sneak away, she would almost certainly be caught and get herself and her twin in serious trouble.

So she fakes a stomach ache. The teacher buys it, and lets Ai go. Nobody can be spared to escort her. Everyone else is taking the test, and the teacher must watch over them.

She doesn't go to the infirmary, of course. Instead, she sneaks over to her own class and signals her brother. He fakes sick as well, and they swap back.

Later, when they are walking home from school, Ai tears into her twin.

"How could you be so foolish?" she shouts. "Normal gym is hard enough, but there's no way I could pretend to be you in a swimsuit!"

"What are you talking about, Sis? I don't have swim class until next week."

It takes a moment for this to sink in.

"Oh..."

"What is it?"

Ai bites her lip. "Ako, that girl you sit next to. She's good."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beat / Siren, Kurokawa Ellen - age 14
Bassdrum, Ohta Torao - age 23
Baritone, Toujou Naoto - age 21
Falsetto, Hayase Tohru - age 29


August, 2011

Three apparent monsters pursue Ellen, but they have lost sight of her. A frog-faced kappa, an umbrella-shaped karakasa, and a masked, crow-feathered tengu stumble and fall to the ground when Ellen drops down from a tree branch right in front of them. Their masks fall off, revealing Trio The Minor.

"This is a school event, you fools! What do you think you're doing, making trouble for me?"

Bassdrum is the one who responds. "Miss Siren, we only wished to remind you of your-"

"My career?" She cuts him off with a withering glare. "Because I have a career, I'm not allowed to peacefully enjoy the school festival with my friends?"

Baritone attempts to calm her. "But Miss Siren, are we not your friends also? How can you schedule a performance without us?"

"You are adults! Did you think that a festival run by and for students would have a stage for three grown men?! Especially you, Falsetto! You're old enough to be my father!"

"But Siren-"

"Shut up! If this is what you're willing to do just to perform with Siren, then Siren is done! From now on, I will perform as Cure Beat!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Ban Kenji - Cure Blossom's friend - age 15
Kise Yayoi - age 14


August, 2011

Dogwood Flowers is a one-man circle. Kenji received help with drawing and publishing as he prepared to table at a major doujinshi event, and already repaid his helpers by doing them a favor in turn. Even in such an exchange, however, he would not - could not! - ask the girls from the Myoudou Academy Fashion Club to assist him at such a notoriously hot and overcrowded marketplace.

A man has to be responsible for his own passions.

"Aren't you hot?"

The person who asks this is a blonde girl, close to Kenji's age. Like others before her, she is talking about his outfit, the Fashion Club's strange foray into menswear. It consists mainly of a heavy black coat, patterned after the fashion of a delinquent character from the 90s. Multiple belts, most of them unnecessary. Iridescent threads are woven into the exterior so that it sparkles when the light hits it right. The front half only of a military-styled cap.

"Very hot," he admits. "But a man has to be responsible for his passions."

The girl's face turns red. She shyly seeks cover, and finds it by opening one of Kenji's doujinshi. She presses her face close to it, at first to hide, then with increasing interest as she flips rapidly through the pages.

She is the first person to read more than a few pages.

"Are you some kind of genius?" Embarrassment forgotten, she asks with sparkling eyes. "Magical girls! Giant robots! Two awesome things that are more awesome together! How did you come up with this?"

Kenji shrugs. "It's my personal preference."

"I'll take it! I'll take two!" The girl shouts, dropping the money into Kenji's hand as she pockets two copies, his first ever sale. "And- And..."

Her face reddens again as she thrusts a bottled water into Kenji's hands.

"...in case you get too hot."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 18
Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 18
Coco, Kokoda Kouji - age 25


September, 2011

"Coco! Please save me!"

Urara cries out as Kouji arrives. She is sitting at a table in the back area of Nuts House and toiling over an open textbook.

A moment later, Nozomi follows Kouji into the room. "Urara? What's wrong?"

"Nozomi, it's Math! It's boring and hard, but if I have to take supplementary lessons, they'll get in the way of my work!" Urara is blowing the problem out of proportion, and she obviously knows it. Why else would she be using that dramatic technique, always forbidden in serious productions, called Milking the Giant Cow?

Nozomi peeks at Urara's textbook. "Hey, I remember this! Do you mind if I try to teach you?"

"Nozomi! Save me, please!" Urara is still overacting, but she might be a little serious.

Nozomi is serious too, or at least, she takes a moment to put on her glasses before sitting down next to Urara. "Let me see... This is the one you're trying to solve, right? For this kind of problem, what you do is..."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kumojacky, Kumamoto Atsushi - age 26
Arachnea, Kumamoto Mikumo - age 31
Poisony, Kamaki Poiko - age 26
Sasorina, Sadou Rina - age 25


October, 2011

On account of he is an idiot, the woman he has married must also be an idiot. That is why Kumojacky's wedding, and this gathering that is almost jokingly called a reception, are both of them pretty small affairs. No big budget affair that, just the bride, the groom, and a handful of friends or relatives. An entirely civil signing in a government office. A single table in a seedy bar.

Those are Sasorina's opinions, however. If he ever needed it, she might possibly help Kumojacky hide a body, but there are good reasons she is not his bride. Arachnea, or actually, Mikumo seems to be a good match for him. Any bride who is willing to get drunk and then arm wrestle the groom in public right after the wedding is probably exactly what that muscle-head needs.

"Not feeling festive?" the woman to Sasorina's right asks. Her name is Kamaki Poiko, the wife of a friend of the bride.

"Just not that much of a drinker. I'm a schoolteacher, and the thought of facing a classroom with a hangover kind of kills the thrill for me."

"I can imagine. Me, I'm just a lightweight. Like, you would be surprised how little I actually weigh." She points across the table at the two newlyweds. "If I tried to match those two, I'd probably pass out and die."

"To us, the designated drivers." Sasorina lifts her own drink in a mock toast.

"No!" Poisony hisses, crossing her fingers as if to ward off the idea. "No no no no no, that is why they invented taxis!"

"To taxis, then!" Sasorina laughs, then downs the rest of her drink.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 15
Wester, Nishi Hayato - age 17


November, 2011

The space for the competition has been arranged inside a large exhibition hall. Row after row of identical workstations, made of mirror-bright stainless steel and connected with water, electricity, and gas. Cooking implements and ingredients have already been distributed, but the stations are not identical. As the competitors enter, each has already declared what they are going to make.

"Hello, neighbor!"

The boy at the next station greets Kanade with a grin. He is noticeably more muscular compared to most of the other competitors, and generally just looks strange. His hair may have been dyed, or else he is one of those rare individuals with naturally pale turquoise. His shirt and pants might be part of a school uniform, but the large, white, diamond-shaped belt buckle probably isn't. His vest certainly isn't, since there isn't a school anywhere that would authorize sky blue leather laminar armor. As for the white cape that falls down his back from his shoulder to below his knees... also not a uniform, but it does look nice with the rest of his outfit.

Competition! Kanade tries to shake the image out of her head. That person is an opponent, not eye candy!

The boy doesn't seem to notice Kanade's hesitation. "If you get hungry, just let me know! I am making donuts, donuts, and more donuts! There will be plenty to share!"

"You're only making donuts?" Kanade asks. "How can you expect to win if that's all you do?"

"I am not here to win!" The boy shouts, suddenly serious. "I am here to make donuts!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 20
Hyuuga Kazuya - Saki's husband / Mai's brother - age 23
Hyuuga Minori - Saki's sister - age 15
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 20
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 24
Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 22
Misumi Tsutomu - Nagisa's husband - age 24
Misumi Ryouta - Nagisa's brother - age 15
Misumi Tomoe - Nagisa's sister - age 5
Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 10
Aphrodite, Shirabe Ami - Ako's mother - age 3 7
Mephisto - Ako's father - age 37


December, 2011

Saki attended the Black Wedding, and was even a bridesmaid, but her wedding is not a lavish affair akin to Cure Black or Cure Mint's. Her romance with Kazuya has blossomed, but their wedding has no elaborate costumes. The decorations have been arranged with "the Power of the Moon" as a unifying theme, but Saki and Kazuya will not be attempting any wild theatrics.

Minori is the first of two bridesmaids. Minori was not Ryouta's girlfriend when his sister got married, and she is not dating Ryouta now. What their relationship is and whether they are in one is a subject that the two of them have difficulty agreeing on even when one of them is not a wedding guest, and Minori even uninvited him at the last minute. A nervous apology to Cure Black was met with casual understanding, and Minori secretly suspects that her not-boyfriend is soon to be on the receiving end of Cure Black's Cobra Twist. She is instead escorted by a man who is old enough to be her father, who happens to be a friend of the groom. His wife is sitting in the section with the rest of the groom's friends, and is very obviously amused. Also sitting there is his daughter, the youngest PreCure so far, who is glaring daggers at Minori and has somehow managed to change outfits since learning of the arrangement. Ako wears the mantle, platform boots, and hooded cowl that she adopted as Cure Muse solely so that others can see just how displeased she is. Minori is careful not to look in her direction as they pass.

Masaru, Mai's fiance, is a fashion designer and a businessman. Anyone who sets foot in his shop, Cobraja Fashion Designs, can see at a glance that his creative designs are the higher priority. While Mai has always been more interested in painting and drawing, over the last couple of months, she has begun expanding her wardrobe. That she is wearing an ordinary dress at this event is mainly at her own insistence, because Saki didn't want an avant-garde wedding dress and as the maid of honor, Mai has no intention of stealing the spotlight from her best friend.

Saki did not take any the entrance exams for college, choosing instead to work full time at Pan Paka Pan. Unlike Minori, she actually wants to carry on the business. Kazuya, her new husband, is a college student. He has several years of education still ahead of him, and intends to become an astronomer. Kazuya's ambitions seem all the more likely because his best friend is similarly ambitious. Misumi Tsutomu is a straight-laced young employee in the lower echelons of the prefectural government, whose main eccentricity seems to be a fastidiously maintained Fu Manchu mustache.

Following an ordinary-ish wedding, the ordinary rituals. Several young girls are quick to gather, but Minori ends up with the bouquet. This time, she cannot escape Ako's withering gaze. A similar gathering is orchestrated for the garter, which ends up in Masaru's hands largely on account of his enthusiasm to receive it.


Chairs are cleared aside, providing a space for dancing, as a young lady in a blue and white idol outfit takes the stage along with a fluffy white cat. She is carrying an electric guitar and begins her first song with a shout:

"The beating of hearts cannot be stopped!"

The first dance is only for the newlywed couple, who dance close together as everyone watches.

As the next dance begins, Ako appears and grabs Mephisto. Minori had not planned to dance with him anyway, nor particularly wanted to, while Aphrodite is still wearing the same amused smile she has had all along. Ako is wearing her cowl again, and scowls at her father as the two of them dance.

"You should smile, Ako. This is a happy occasion."

"It doesn't make me happy when you make eyes at some girl I don't know! Mama may forgive you, but I won't!"

"Honestly, it's not like that. I was just thinking that if you had an older brother, I wouldn't mind welcoming her as a daughter-in-law."

Ako very intentionally grinds her heel into his foot.

"Ouch! It's just a thought! Ako... well, you're still too young to date, but someday there'll be a boy that you'll become interested in-"

Ako blushes. Even with her cowl on, her change of expression is obvious.

"Ako, why are you blushing? Don't tell me you already-"

Ako has pulled her cellphone from somewhere inside her outfit. Her favored text-to-speech app is open. "I have no idea what you're talking about."


Left to sit out the wedding at home, Ryouta bemoans the latest of his relationship problems. Tomoe, his little sister, walks in and pats him on the head.

"Don't worry, Big Bro. I can fix this."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 14
Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 14
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 14
Cure March, Midorikawa Nao - age 14
Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 14
Kise Chiharu - Yayoi's mother - age 33
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 24


2012

Fusion Group has registered Cure Happy, Cure Sunny, Cure Peace, Cure March, and Cure Beauty as Pretty Cure.

Hyuuga Kazuya is now a graduate student. Cure Dream, Cure Rouge, and Cure Moonlight are now college students. Kurumi Momoka has graduated from high school. Cure Blossom, Cure Marine, Cure Sunshine, Ichijou Kazuki, and Ban Kenji are now high school students.


"Is this really such a good idea?" Now that she is outside the Fusion Group's building, Yayoi is having second thoughts.

"We've come this far," Akane points out. "Why stop now?"

"In a hero story, sometimes a gift that appears out of nowhere is a trap!"

"The story of the Trojan Horse," Reika says, nodding.

Yayoi blushes. "Actually, it was an episode of Kamen Rider..."

Nao seems uncertain. "Is that really possible here, though? Other people have done this Pretty Cure thing, and nothing bad happened to them?"

"That's right!" Miyuki shouts, "This is an ultra-happy occasion!"

"And if something does go wrong, we'll all be there to back you up!" Akane adds.

"Are you ready to go on?" Reika says, "We can wait here for a while if you want to."

Yayoi nods. "It's okay. I can handle this."


As five girls enter the building to meet with the director, a man and a woman watch them from a cafe on the other side of the street.

"No Rebel Cures this year! Chiharu, I weep for the youth of today." Kuchinawa Masaru grouses over a gigantic fruit-topped parfait.

"You're just mad because they liked Erika's designs better." Kise Chiharu, mother of one of the five, responds from behind a hot cup of tea.

He brandishes his spoon. "I weep for them!"

"Don't you think you're taking it just a little too personally? You might have gotten one or two of them into those black, bat-winged outfits you wanted to make for them, but my little girl is just too pure-hearted for that sort of thing. And they did all want matching dresses."

"Your little girl is fourteen years old this year, Chiharu. Girls get ideas at that age. You should be careful."

Chiharu sips her tea. "I really don't think I have anything to worry about."

"Who was it and what age was she who tried to convince my best friend at the time to kiss me because I 'was too cute to be a boy'? Hm? And didn't she succeed?!" Masaru stands, pointing his spoon at Chiharu. "The daughter of that woman is that age this year! Fourteen is the age when girls become dangerous!"

"Oh, but you actually were that cute, though!"

"I was four years old!"

"And already so interested in fashion! Metro wasn't a thing back then! It was an honest mistake!"

Masaru takes his spoon to his desert. "I repeat: Dangerous. This world has suffered grievously at the hands of such girls."

Chiharu laughs. "What about that fiancee of yours? She was that age once."

Now it is Masaru's turn to smile. "Yes, but Mai is special. Her kind of danger, I rather enjoy."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 20
Kiryuu Kaoru - age 19


January, 2012

"I'm sorry to trouble you with this. I know that you're busy."

"It's fine," Komachi replies. "Proofreading others' writing should help me to be more critical of my own."

Kaoru leans back in her seat and stretches. "I don't see why a computer science degree requires a creative writing class. I wish I could just write a program to do it for me."

"Isn't that basically your specialty?"

"If it were easy to get a computer to write a story, there wouldn't be much need for authors. A computer can be relied on to do exactly as you tell it, which I really like about them, but in exchange, you have to tell it exactly what you want without leaving anything out. You can tell it to erase itself completely with just eight characters, but writing even simple sentences is the kind of project that whole teams get research grants for."

"Maybe that's why they want you to take a writing class."

"Maybe," Kaoru admits. "Actually, this is my second time in the class. Last term, I got too deep into writing a program to make the creative part easier. I ended up failing the class."

"Did your program work?"

"It did what I told it to, but that isn't the same thing. I had the idea that if I set all my stories for the class in one continuity, and told the computer to randomly generate events to fill in the gaps, then I'd have a more or less complete outline that would only need the human touch. So I gave it a list of characters and their ages, and had it generate events for every year."

"That sounds pretty useful, actually. Like having a database that doesn't tell you what has happened, but what should happen next."

"Sounds simple, doesn't it? But a computer only does what you tell it to. It doesn't know or care what plans you might have for the characters, or what should happen in a story anyone would want to read. Suppose your stories are set a few years apart. People die every year, and while people who are old or have other problems are more likely to die, an accident can happen to anyone. So you tell the program to roll a die with ten-thousand sides for each character, and if they roll a one, they die. That's not a very good model, so you change it. Now instead of a one, they die if they roll under their age, and because old people are much more likely to die in a given time frame, you have them roll the same die repeatedly.

"This is not a winning strategy for a number of reasons, but it's easy to program. So, as your human touch, you write a story about a cute girl named Usapyon who likes strawberries and baking, and how she gets on with her friends, parents, grandparents, a cute boy she might marry in the future, and so on. That's a human-like story, isn't it? After that, you figure you'll advance the scenario a few years and see how she's doing, so you hand the lot of them off to the program and see who dies.

"Usapyon immediately rolls a one. There goes your central character and all of her future plans for her. No sign that this was coming at all, but you're bound to the results. The story doesn't make any sense, but accidents do happen. So you throw out the whole story, and write a new program with more complicated instructions to try and keep that exact thing from being a problem again."

"Couldn't you just go back to earlier in your story and add some foreshadowing? The readers won't react so badly to Usapyon dying if you hint at the possibility beforehand."

"You'd think so, but no. If you do that, then you, the author, have a time machine, and you're trapped in your own story where the governments of the world want you dead and your very survival is decided by a die roll every year."

Komachi giggles. "Do you mind if I write that story? I think it could be fun."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 14
Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 14


February, 2012

"Let the world! Be covered over with the worst possible Bad End! Your pure white future shall be stained black!"

Lest one be confused, Ookami "Wolfrun" Runtarou is not a werewolf. No such magical creature exists in this world. Needless to say, Bad Energy and the Bad End Kingdom that he is wont to blather on about also do not exist in this world. He is afflicted by that deluded mentality called 'chuunibyou' - Second Year Syndrome - and the ball of black paint that was in his hand is not magic, but ordinary mud.

Observe: It was in his hand. While he was busy posturing and speechifying, the key ingredient in his so-called black magic - actual mud - separated from his hand at speed. It now adheres to the face of a girl, framed on either side by pink hair that is tied up in pastry-shaped buns. Wolfrun has not met her before, but she is wearing the uniform of his middle school.

On some level, he is aware that this is a bad thing that he bears fault for. However, such is his affliction that he cannot admit it.

"W- Why, yes! This is what it means to be stained black! Behold the power of the Bad End Kingdom!"

"So what?"

Her voice is so low at first that Wolfrun can barely hear. As she approaches, he leans forward without thinking, so as to better hear what the girl is saying.

"Even I can do something like magic. Even I, when I focus my energy- My energy! MY ENERGY! The magical power to purify evil, Happy Shower!"

Her transition from whispering to shouting feels like it is less than a heartbeat, but that is not why Wolfrun collapses to the ground, weeping and clawing at his eyes. Nor is it any such thing as magic, which even Cure Happy does not possess in this world.

Miyuki slips the pepper spray back into her bookbag and goes looking for a place to wash up.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 16
Hanasaki Futaba - Tsubomi's sister - age 1
Hanasaki Mika - Tsubomi's sister - newborn
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 18


February, 2012

Of late, Futaba is also an older sister. However, she is also a one year old. When placed in the same crib as Mika, the youngest of the Hanasaki sisters and a newborn, Futaba proceeds to poke her little sister in the face. Again and again, until Tsubomi picks Futaba up.

In her older sister's arms, Futaba immediately relaxes.

"I see," Sumire says, nodding. "This is how it begins."

"How what begins?" Tsubomi asks.

"Rivalry, of course. It is the most natural relationship between sisters."

"It is not!" Tsubomi hugs Futaba protectively. "I love them both dearly!"

"Not you, fool! With your age difference, you might as well be a second mother! An older sister can never understand: For girls like Mika and I, from the very beginning, there is another girl who is always by our side. Older, stronger, more experienced... a person who has every advantage, whom we must overcome in order to live." Sumire plucks Mika up and holds her so that the two of them are eye to eye. "Come to me when you are ready, little one. I shall teach you the power of darkness so that you may overthrow your oppressor."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 17
Cure Passion, Higashi Setsuna - age 17
Momozono Ayumi - Love's mother - age 37


February, 2012

The time when Setsuna used to dress in dark colors and declare herself the follower of a dark lord who doesn't exist is over two years behind her. Nearly everything from that time has now become a part of the dark history that she would like to forget, even going so far as to attend an all girls high school where her former comrades cannot intrude. Even seeing a mannequin that displays a similar style in the window of a boutique shop causes her to avert her gaze.

Momozono Ayumi has a different perspective. To her, the one-time affectations of her adopted daughter have become precious memories. When she sees the same mannequin in the window of Cobraja Fashion Designs, she insists on taking her daughters inside.

"Mom, I really don't want to dress like that anymore."

"It's not like we have to buy it," their mother says with a smile. "I just want to see how it looks on you, for old times sake."

Setsuna crosses her arms. "It's embarrassing."

"There's nothing to be ashamed of, Setsuna. We're all family here. In fact, why don't both of you try it? It'll be just like when you go out with your dance team!"

"Don't drag Love into this! She was never a part of Labyrinth!"

"You're right," Love says. "You and those boys had a theme all worked out for your nicknames. What would mine have been, I wonder?"

"Zenith." Setsuna answers automatically. "Wait! Pretend I didn't-"

"Zenith, huh?" "Zenith, eh?"

From the cat-like smiles on the faces of her mother and sister, Setsuna can tell there is no escape.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 20
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 20


March, 2012

"Are you sure that you're doing okay? Your not feeling stressed or regretful, are you?"

Karen is resting face down on her dorm room bed with a phone in her hand. She remains silent for a couple of moments.

"Karen?" Kurumi's voice takes on a concerned tone. "Tell me you're doing alright? Or say something, at least!"

"I'm going to be fine, Milk. I'm just exhausted."

"I should think so! Even I know better than to take two science labs on the same day, and I don't even have to take science!"

Karen smiles into her pillow. "You do so."

"As electives, Karen. It's completely different, and you know it."

"I know it," Karen agrees. "And it'll be easier to fit all the classes I need to take into my schedule after this term is over. I'll get through it."

"Is there anything I can do to help? Short of flying home to give you a hug, I mean."

"Why don't we talk about you, then? How are you enjoying Hawaii?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Echo, Sakagami Ayumi - age 14
Shirogane Hisako - age 20


March, 2012

Fusion Group has registered Cure Echo as Pretty Cure.


No sooner does Ayumi emerge from her meeting with the Fusion Group's director, still wearing her fancy Pretty Cure outfit, than a young woman with snow-white hair grabs her by the wrist.

"Come with me! We're in great danger!"

"Danger?" Ayumi asks, then adds: "Who are you?"

"Yes, danger! I'm Shirogane Hisako, Genius of Festivities. At this rate, we're going to be late for the party!"

"Party? What party?"

"PreCure All Stars! Haven't you- no, of course not. This all happened so suddenly, there's no way you heard."

"I'm sorry. My parents and I have spent the last month getting ready to move, and-"

"Argh! This is a disaster! So, every year for the last few years, the Nozomi Foundation throws a party for everyone who holds a title as Pretty Cure, which I organize. For the first time ever, every debuting PreCure responded that they would attend. That's a big deal, so we planned a big part of the celebration around it, and then that director woman goes and adds you to the registry, literal hours before the event!"

Ayumi hesitates. "A- are you for real?"

"Hm?" The woman stops and considers this for a moment, then waves to the receptionist. "Hey, Miss Ayumi! Am I real?"

"Ayumi?" Ayumi looks at the name-plate. Sure enough, the receptionist's name is also Ayumi.

The receptionist smiles, golden eyes glittering as she responds: "You really are something, Ms. Shirogane. Are you sure you're going to make it to the party on time?"

Hisako nods, satisfied. "You see? That's how it is."

Ayumi allows the woman to lead her down to an underground parking garage, and to the door of a sleek, white vehicle. She practically shoves Ayumi into the passenger seat.

"I'm sorry! I didn't mean any harm!"

As she gets in on the driver side, the woman checks that Ayumi is fastened in, then puts the car in gear. "No, I'm sorry, this isn't your fault. It's not your fault at all, but we're going to have to employ my last resort: driving."

"Driving is your last resort?" Ayumi pales. "Ms. Shirogane, could it be... you're a really bad driver?"

"Bad?" Hisako laughs bitterly. "Only if you fear death!"


"Honored guests, please welcome the newest Pretty Cure!"

The girl who is brought to the stage at the PreCure All Stars event seems to be having trouble standing up straight. As she leans against Hisako for support, it seems like she might not know where she is or what is going on.

"Cure Echo, do you have a few words for your fellow PreCures?"

"Reset... Everything... Delete... Everything..."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke - age 23
Kurusu Shuuhei - age 25


March, 2012

"I feel like I have gone off my game," Mucardia says.

"You seem to be playing well to me."

Mucardia is playing a practice tennis match against Kurusu Shuuhei.

"I don't mean tennis. I only have one girlfriend right now."

"The problem here is that you think that's a problem! Most people never date more than one person at a time."

"I know that, Shuuhei. Don't be such an Orange."

Shuuhei ignores the insult. "Perhaps for you, your current girlfriend is the one."

"There was never meant to be 'the one' for me. I have always been too beautiful and charming to be bound by such a concept. And yet, when I am with Michiko, I do not even think of other women! It is unnatural!"

"So, you call her Michiko... No pet name? Not Darling or Princess, but her actual name?"

"What of it?"

"Can you actually name any of your ex-girlfriends, Kyousuke? Did you ever bother to learn there names?"

"A few of them. What does this have to do with my affliction?"

"It's not a disease, you manchild! It's called maturity! You're finally learning to fall in love like a real man!"

Shuuhei smashes the ball over the net, but Mucardia hesitates and misses the return.

"Love, huh?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 19
Ibara Shou - age 26


April, 2012

"Stage dive!"

Rin is working at her family's flower shop, reading through one of her college textbooks and having little else to do, when suddenly a man sprints through the door, leaps over the counter, and ducks down beside her.

Rin looks down. The man is wearing a stylish white suit with dark sunglasses. Pink hair sticks out from under his cap.

"Have we... met?"

He puts his finger to his lips.

A moment later, a small crowd of people rush by outside the shop, shrieking and making a huge fuss. A few of them look through the door, but none enter. The man remains hidden for several minutes after the clamor has died down, then finally stands up and brushes himself off.

"You must have questions. I will buy you something sweet if you will just not ask them."

Rin has to look up slightly to meet his gaze. "Just what age do you- That's it!"

The man pales. "What?"

"The first shrine visit, a few years back! You're Shibiretta's grandson!"

At this, the man takes off his sunglasses, revealing pale pink eyes. He looks carefully at the woman before him. "You are... from back then? You've grown prettier."

"I guess I should ask you how your grandmother is doing, huh?"

"Please don't," the man answers. "I will make it dinner and a movie if we avoid that topic as well."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 22
Misumi Arisa - Nagisa's daughter - newborn
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 23
Yukishiro Houtarou - Honoka's son - age 1
Hamura Akane - Shiny Luminous's cousin - age 31
Kujou Hikaru - Shiny Luminous's brother - age 12


May, 2012

As they used to in years past, Nagisa and Honoka sit down at the park tables near the Tako Cafe truck. These days, the first girls to be called Pretty Cure are fully grown women, wives and mothers. On either side of their table, strollers are parked with Nagisa's newborn daughter, Arisa, and Honoka's year old son, Houtarou, both quietly resting.

A young blond boy brings their order. The women accept the food and then wave back at the Akane, who by now counts as an old friend.

"Now, if it were Hikari bringing out the food, it really would be just like back in middle school." Nagisa turns to the boy. "How is she doing, anyway?"

Hikaru rolls his eyes. "My big sis is loving Osaka, and she's absorbing the dialect so fast that it's getting hard to understand her. Anyhow, why would you want things to stay like when you were in middle school? Wasn't that forever ago for you ladies?"

"Just how old do you think we are?!" Nagisa shouts.

"Old enough to be mamas! That's old!"

Honoka giggles. "He's got us there, Nagisa."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shibiretta, Hikage Kusunoki - age 77
Ibara Shou - Shibiretta's grandson - age 26
Kurusu Shuuhei - Shibiretta's grandson - age 25


May, 2012

"What, no disguise? I thought you hated grandmother."

As Shibiretta's funeral is about to begin, Shuuhei sits down next to Shou. As observed, Shou is not hiding his pale pink eyes, nor his dyed-pink hair, nor any other part of his face. Both men are dressed in proper funeral attire.

"I loved her as my own blood, same as you. And I wanted nothing to do with her wicked hobbies, same as you."

"You wouldn't be seen with her, Shou! Any time we went somewhere with her, you always hid your face."

"I'm famous, you Orange. I disguise my face when I go most places, and still I barely have any privacy! Grandmother understood that."

Shuuhei snorts. "Did she?"

"Yeah. She did."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 1 7
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 25


June, 2012

Itsuki has grown more confident since middle school, both as a martial artist and as a woman. She has long since stopped dressing as a boy, even for school. As well, she has grown her hair out and has taken up the twin-tailed style in her daily life. It would be difficult for her to pass as a boy these days.

Not that passing was ever the point.

"Hey, high school girl! Would you like to try the latest dark-type fashions? Whether you're looking for Mirror, or Shadow, or even just a Mirage, I have many outfits to choose from!"

Turning, Itsuki sees that Cobraja is leaning against the outside wall of his boutique. She scowls at him.

"Does your fiancee know that you promote your store like that?"

"She should. It's how we met." He shrugs. "Anyhow, you should at least come in and browse now and again. I know you're tight with Cure Marine, but isn't variety the spice of life? Dark PreCure is also your peer, and you can only find her dresses at Cobraja's!"

This earns him a facepalm. "Don't you have anything better to do?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 20
Kurumi Momoka - Cure Marine's sister - age 20


July, 2012

Tsukikage Yuri has left home for college, but is not in campus housing. It is close. Kurumi Momoka has left home to be close to work, but is living farther from the modeling agency that employs her than from Yuri's school. It is not that much farther. They are roommates.

Outsiders think that they are an odd couple. Yuri is a serious girl and academically gifted. Momoka, while she was actually no slouch in school, is living her best life without continuing her education. They have been best friends for years now, and Yuri in particular gets along better with Momoka than with her own sister.

"Isn't that a bit much?"

'That' is studying. Momoka has got up in the middle of the night to see Yuri still hitting the books.

"I miscalculated," Yuri explains. "I expected that the introductory course on economics would not be so difficult. I have learned since that the undergraduate courses at my school, in this one field only, are notoriously as harsh as graduate work at universities."

"Couldn't you just drop the class?"

Light glints dangerously off Yuri's glasses. "We are friends, so I will pretend you didn't say that."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 15
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 15
Cure March, Midorikawa Nao - age 15
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 14


August, 2012

Summer at the beach. Some are here for fun, but others are here for profit. In particular, Akane and Nao came to help their families' side businesses: For Akane, beach-side okonomiyaki. For Nao, beach-side snowcones. Their stands are adjacent. Competition grows heated.

Into this atmosphere steps Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi. Of course, he is as human as the girls are, but he is large like an oni and likes to lean into the role. They have seen him do it time and again.

"We don't have time to play with you, Aka-Oni," Akane shouts while waving a ladle in the air.

"You can buy a snow cone if you want," Nao shouts, mainly to rile Akane. "I'll take your money, if you have any!"

"Hey, if he's got money, it's my okonomiyaki he should spend it on!"

"In this heat? You should know: snow is the way to go!"

Yayoi has no stake in this competition. She approaches Onikichi and quietly asks. "Do you have money? If you don't, I could-"

"Do I have money?" Onikichi chuckles, then hefts the prop treasure chest he has been carrying on his shoulder, slams it onto the sand, and opens it.

It is not a prop. The chest is full of real coins.

"I, Aka-Oni, have money! Okonomiyaki and snow cones, I want one of everything!"

For a moment, the girls stop and stare.

He grins, a big, toothy smile. "I've always wanted to say that."

Chapter Text

August, 2012

Kazuya has had a long day at his job, which is an unpaid internship. That is not to say that he is free to go home. A major milestone has been attained, which has been made cause for excessive and premeditated drinking. This is a part of the work culture he hopes to join, when he completes his degree after his fifth year, needed to fulfill his double major in Astronomy and Mechanical Engineering. It is not some shady corporation or even a corporation at all: Kazuya is an intern at JAXA.

When the office party enters the bar, Kazuya's wife is already there. She is dressed more provocatively than he expects, and wastes no time attaching herself to his arm.

"Saki? What are you-"

She puts a finger over his mouth. "And what would be the point of being your cute wife if I don't help you show off, hm?"

After thinking for a moment, he chooses not to respond. When it comes to this sort of thing, he has found that she is usually right.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 14
Hino Akane, Cure Sunny - age 15
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 15
Cure March, Midorikawa Nao - age 15
Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 14
Majorina, Majo Rina - age 60


August, 2012

'The house at the top of the hill is haunted.'

Following the directions from a book in the school library, Nao and her friends enter together in order to cure her fear of ghosts. One by one, they visit rooms according to the instructions, so that Nao can challenge progressively spookier legends. Nobody counts on the legends coming to life.

A piano that plays by itself. A cursed mirror that shows a monster behind you. A hallway that leads someplace different when they try to turn back. A room where blood seeps from the walls. A room that showers them with live frogs.

Rather being cured of her fear, Nao progressively becomes more terrified. Miyuki and Akane freak out along with her. Although usually timid, Yayoi meets each new haunt with gleeful excitement. Could it be that magic exists in this world?

Magic or no, it is more than Nao and the other two can take. They end up running to the front door with Yayoi and Reika following behind them. Driven by fear, they turn the handle-

Click.

Click. Click.

"Why is it locked?!" Three girls scream in terror.

"Ha ha ha! You fools will pay for invading my home!" A withered old witch wearing a green cloak appears in the hallway behind them.

Three girls scream bloody murder.

"Majorina? You live here?" Reika asks.

"I do," the witch answers with an evil grin. "And now you must all pay!"

"You're going to punish us?" Yayoi asks, still giddy.

"You're going to tie us up and tickle us?" Akane asks fearfully.

"Or shrink us to the size of bugs?" Nao asks, trembling.

"Or put us to sleep for a hundred years?" Miyuki asks.

"No, I'm going to make you clean up after yourselves."

The other four girls are too shocked to respond, but Reika simply nods. "We agree."

"Why are you agreeing?!" Nao shrieks.

"We entered her house without permission. It's only fair."

"That's right," the witch crows. "My booby traps aren't going to reset themselves! I'll have you clean up every single one you set off!"

At this, Nao begins to sweat visibly. "Even the frogs?"

"Especially the frogs!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 23
Yukishiro Aya - Honoka's mother -age 45
Yukishiro Sanae - Honoka's grandmother - age 76
Yukishiro Jirou - Honoka's brother - age 5


October, 2012

With her parents almost constantly traveling for work, Honoka was practically raised by her grandmother, Yukishiro Sanae. In recent years, they no longer travel much. This is in part because Honoka's little brother, Jirou, has been too young to even attend school. Mostly, it was due to Sanae's declining health. He is present as well, but he is young enough that he still has not completely understood what is going on.

Only family attend her memorial. What friends she gathered over her long life have long since scattered or themselves died. Sanae's body is cremated, with Honoka and her mother each taking an urn with half of the ashes.

She was seventy-six years old.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Regina, Kaname Hajime - age 9
Natsuki Yuu - Cure Rouge's brother - age 10


November, 2012

There is a new girl in the neighborhood. In the past, Natsuki Yuu might have gotten to know her after switching places with his sister. They no longer do that, but it does not matter. He confidently approaches the girl, a long-haired blonde who is wearing a bright red ribbon.

"Hey, new kid! Would you-"

"No!" The girl brandishes one finger in his direction.

"At least let me finish."

"Would you approach a princess without a tribute?" The girl turns to point at a nearby convenience store. "Bring me ice cream if you want to talk."

Her request is unreasonable, but not impossible. Yuu goes, returns, and hands over the goods.

She takes a bite of the ice cream, then smiles. "This is pretty good. Now, what would you like to talk about?"

"Well, you're new to this area, aren't you? I'm Natsuki Yuu. People know me around here. I could help you make friends."

The girl giggles "I thought you had selfish motives, but now I am certain of it. I will allow you to escort me, Yuu."

"It will be my pleasure." Yuu shows her a winning smile. "By the way, what should I call you?"

"My name is Kaname Hajime... but you should call me Regina."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 15
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 14


December, 2012

"Whatcha drawing?"

Yayoi squeals in shock as Aka-Oni suddenly looms over her. She has been drawing quietly while sitting on a park bench, not bothering nor being bothered by anybody. It is not as if he approached her with any sort of stealth, but Yayoi has been so absorbed in her work that she did not notice.

"W- where did you come from?!"

Aka-Oni scratches his head, then points with a big, meaty arm. "Over there. So, whatcha drawing?"

"It's a superhero story, for a manga contest. The grand prize is to get published in a weekly magazine... not that I'll win."

"Hm... I think you deserve to win. Shall I lend you my strength?"

Aka-Oni flexes his muscles. Yayoi blushes, then vigorously shakes her head.

"I- I'll accept only your sentiments!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 14
Joker, Karasawa Jou - age 21


December, 2012

Reika has a decision to to make. In order to calm her mind, she has sequestered herself in the archery range, where she practices with meditative intensity.

"Congratulations!"

The arrow is released prematurely and flies wide of the target. Reika spins around and a man in a harlequin mask standing just behind her.

"You are not permitted to be here!"

"And yet nobody stopped me," Joker replies with a shrug. "Are you not elated?"

"I do not know what you are talking about."

"Oh, I think you do. It was a highly selective program that you applied to, was it not? Studying abroad, at one of the best English high schools? It won't even cost you anything! You need only go to the other side of the world, leaving behind your friends and everything you know. Congratulations are in order!"

"I haven't decided that I will go."

"Haven't you? You may not get another chance, and it is objectively a better school. It's better to throw away your friends when they become inconvenient. After all, you can always make more!"

Without saying another word, Reika shoulders her bow and walks toward the changing room.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 20
Coco, Yumehara Kouji - Nozomi's husband - age 27
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 20
Rose Vision, Ibara Shou - Rin's boyfriend - age 26
Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 19
Syrup, Amai Shirou - Urara's boyfriend - age 18
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 21
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 21
Myoudouin Satsuki - Cure Sunshine's brother - age 17
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 20
Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 23
Misumi Ai - Nagisa's daughter - age 7 months
Desperaia, Itoshiki Nozomi - age 34
Natsuki Ai - Rin's sister - age 10


December, 2012

Nozomi has been looking forward to this event. She has dreamed of it for years. It even feels like a dream, herself wearing a wedding dress and walking down an aisle with all of their friends and family and friends' families on either side, with Coco, Kokoda Kouji, waiting for her at the other end. Viewing the scene through a white veil gives it an especially dreamlike quality.

When they first met six years ago, Kouji was only her teacher. Although she confessed her feelings to him at the time, he rejected her firmly. It was only after years of persistence that he became her boyfriend. Even when they became engaged, Kouji had insisted that the engagement be kept secret until Nozomi's twentieth birthday.

That birthday was seven weeks ago.


A baby is crying.

Nozomi is able to pick out Cure Black, who is frantically trying to shush her daughter as the ceremony proceeds. Misumi Arisa is only seven months old. Nozomi welcomes the baby's cries as confirmation that this isn't just another dream. This wedding is happening in reality.

Cure Black is not the only other PreCure in attendance, nor are the gathered friends limited to just Pretty Cure. Except for Cure Mint, who is married already and eight months pregnant, the rest of the Pretty Cure 5 are participating as bridesmaids. Rin is escorted by her own fiance, one of the late Shibiretta's grandsons. Urara is with Shirou. Nothing has been announced, but everyone expects that those two will marry in the near future. Karen's date is Myoudouin Satsuki, the young master of a famous dojo and brother of Cure Sunshine, who is among the guests. Milky Rose is still in Hawaii, but a long and beautifully penned letter expressing her congratulations has been framed display with the wedding gifts.

Although she is over thirty, Big Nozomi is also participating as a bridesmaid. Due to her former career and the circumstances of her upbringing, she has never been a bridesmaid before. (And she likely won't be again: She plans to wed within half a year.) Although she is obviously older than the other bridesmaids, the joy she feels just for being included is evident in her smile, quashing any negative comments.

The ceremony continues. There are no interruptions, unforeseen or otherwise. Nozomi and Coco say and do what is expected of them, and at the end, he pulls up her veil and they kiss, for the first time as man and wife.

Some rituals remain before they can disappear into their honeymoon. The bouquet toss, in particular, is treated as an imminent train wreck, or possibly a blood sport. It would almost be faster to list those among the unmarried women present who are not forcefully competing for a better chance at the catch. Big Nozomi is content to lurk at the periphery, and Karen has clearly joined the group only for the sake of form. At the other extreme, Urara takes a position near the center and exudes an almost palpable effervescence.

Perhaps it is that aura that prevents her from catching the bouquet. Nozomi's flowers glide through the air above her head, and slip through Rin's fingers to be caught by her little sister. Ai is as surprised as anyone, but faces down a unsettling and lemon-scented aura with a triumphant grin.

The garter is another matter, less hotly contested, though still not a result that anyone would have expected. Coco fires it toward the group of boys and young men lined up to receive it, where it is caught by Rin's fiance. Not to be outdone by the girls, he holds the prize like a microphone and belts out a piercing metal scream.

Afterward, there is cake. It is delicious.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 14
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 14
Cure Sword, Kenzaki Makoto - age 14
Cure Ace, Madoka Aguri - age 10


2013

Fusion Group has registered Cure Heart, Cure Diamond, Cure Rosetta, Cure Sword, and Cure Ace as Pretty Cure.

Hyuuga Kazuya is now a graduate student. Cure Black has graduated college with a degree in Earth Science. Yukishiro Kouya has graduated college with a degree in Ecology. Irizawa Kiriya has graduated college with a degree in Business Management. Dark PreCure is now a college student. Cure Lemonade has graduated from high school. Cure Melody, Cure Rhythm, Cure Beat, Hyuuga Minori, and Misumi Ryouta are now high school students.


The placard on the door reads [Kameoh Ayumi, Director]. Four girls enter, one of them clearly younger than the others. They gaze warily at the golden-eyed woman who is resting her elbows on the large desk, but eventually sit down on the chairs that have been prepared for them.

"There's no need to be nervous, ladies. Some of your predecessors have even gone out of their way to try to offend me... and my own predecessor, I suppose. None of them have ever been punished."

"And Alice?" Mana asks.

The director smiles. "Unfortunately, there isn't any mechanism for her to opt out. She's free to ignore it to whatever degree she may prefer, but we will always consider her to be Cure Rosetta. I was hoping she'd come dressed in the so-called 'rebel' style instead, since I find that quite charming. These meetings are going to get pretty lonely if you girls just stop coming to them."

Mana's relief is obvious. After a moment's pause, Aguri raises her hand.

"Go ahead, Cure Ace."

"We really don't have to do anything? You're not going to make us sign up for something fishy or take any weird oaths, right?"

The director's smile remains the same. "No, there really isn't anything like that. If you would like to make up some oaths on your own, I think five would be a good number. The content can be whatever you prefer."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Nuts, Akimoto Natsu - age 25
Akimoto Almond - Cure Mint's son - newborn
Kotozume Yukari - age 13


January, 2013

"Welcome!"

Nuts calls out by reflex when the shop door opens. After glancing toward the door momentarily, he does a double take: The purple-haired girl who just entered is dressed almost like a Cinq Lumieres student. Her purple cardigan has the same form and color, but the dress underneath it is deep indigo and has a longer skirt compared to the lilac color of the Cinq Lumieres uniform.

"Is there a problem?" the girl asks.

"Just a coincidence. Your outfit resembles a school uniform I see often."

"Oh my! Perhaps I should transfer," she replies with a cat-like smile.

"That's up to you. My shop is open to all. Is there anything in particular that you'd like to see?"

"Something I'd like to see?" the girl asks, running a hand through one of her twin-tails. "A notorious prankster, perhaps? I've heard one comes here regularly."

"If it's that person, I'm afraid only part of her is here."

"Only part of a person? I think I might like to see that."

Nuts turns a bit, and indicates the infant in a carrier on his back. "I'm talking about Almond, here. That person is his mother."

The girl giggles. "My, how cute! I don't think I will wait around, however."

"You are welcome to browse as long as you like."

Again, the cat-like smile. "Perhaps another time."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 15
Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 15
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 15
Cure March, Midorikawa Nao - age 15
Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 14
Joker, Karasawa Jou - age 21
Randou Ichigo - age 22


January, 2013

"You know... don't our costumes look kind of evil?"

Akane raises an important point. She, along with Miyuki, Yayoi, Nao, and Reika, have already gotten into the costumes provided for the hero show. Black leotards with black leggings, bat-winged tiaras... even though the wigs, skirts, and diamond patterns that decorate their outfits are certainly more colorful, they don't look at all like heroines.

The man who asked them to help is waiting just outside their dressing room. He is wearing a harlequin cap with his business suit, and grins at the girls spread out before him.

"How lovely! Our audience is just going to love you girls!"

"What's the big idea, Joker? You said you needed help with a hero show!"

"Oh, did I not tell you that I needed villains?" Joker claps his hands, chuckling. "You'll do fine! Just go out there and be your- No, that won't work. Be the opposite of yourselves!"

"How about we just don't go out?" Nao says. "It'd serve you right for tricking us!"

"Wait!" Yayoi protests. "I don't really want to be a villain either, but... it's a hero show! If there aren't any villains, the hero won't get to look cool beating them!"

"We'd be the ones getting beat," Akane points out.

"It's not like we'd be fighting for real," Miyuki say, then hesitates. "Right?"

Joker nods. "Right. Our hero actor, Mr. Randou, may be an idiot- No, he is certainly an idiot. Still, he knows better than to hit any of you for real. Can I count on you girls?"

The girls murmur something kind of like agreement, then head for the stage.


"Hold it right there!"

After the Bad End Girls have gone out and introduced themselves, that is the cue for the hero's entrance. A young man in a pink bodysuit, he rushes onto the stage then immediately trips and falls.

Bad End Peace looks at him, obviously worried. "Are you okay?"

"I'm okay!" He shouts energetically as he jumps to his feet. "I, Hero Light Red, have come to defeat you!"

"Don't you mean Hero Pink?" Bad End Happy asks.

"It's Light Red! Hero Light Red!"

"But I'm wearing pink, and your outfit is pinker than mine!"

"That's- Oh, I get it! You Bad End Girls are trying to make me into a funny pink man who wears pink! But it won't work! I, Hero Light Red, will defeat you!"

He face off against Bad End Happy, stopping so they can both pose.

"Hero Light Red, you will feel the power of my ma- Of my-" Bad End Happy reaches into her pocket, balks, then withdraws her hand, empty. "Anyhow, I have a really cool and devastating power, but I'm not going to show you!"

"What's with that?"

"Happy Shower isn't for using on heroes, and that's all there is to it! Come at me!"

They clash, not actually connecting. Bad End Happy falls, then slinks away to backstage. Hero Light Red points at Bad End Peace and shouts: "You! What do you have to say for yourself?"

"I am Bad End Peace! You know, true peace is- I mean, there can't- I give up! Fighting is just too scary!" Without even pretending to fight, Bad End Peace flees backstage.

"We can do that?" Bad End March ponders, then glances meaningfully at Bad End Sunny, who nods.

"Cowardly retreat!" They shout, running off in the same direction.

Hero Light Red watches incredulously as they flee, then addresses the one villain who remains: "Aren't you going to run?"

"No!" she shouts imperiously. "I, Bad End Beauty, love only that which is beautiful! I will never retreat, for victory is most beautiful of all!"

He hesitates. "So, if I beat you, then-"

She cuts him off with cold laughter. "Funny pink man who wears pink! What challenge could you possibly offer my beautiful self?"

"I! Am! Light! Red!"

"If you insist, Hero Light Red! Allow me to end you most beautifully!"

They clash. Bad End Beauty stumbles and falls to one knee.

"This isn't over, Hero Light Red!" she shouts, then retreats to the backstage.


Behind the stage, Joker is laughing and wiping tears from his eyes. "That was simply marvelous! I really can't thank you girls enough."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kumojacky, Kumamoto Atsushi - age 28
Arachnea, Kumamoto Mikumo - age 32
Kumamoto Ichirou - newborn
Hamura Akane - Shiny Luminous's cousin - age 31
Hamura Youji - newborn


February, 2013

"Mikumo!"

Kumojacky bursts through the door, wild-eyed and shouting. His wife, resting in a hospital bed interrupts her conversation with a woman one bed over to scowl at him. The baby resting in Mikumo's lap wakes up and starts bawling.

"See what you've done, Atsushi? You've made your own son cry. Just what do you mean by running in here and making a scene like that? Did you punch somebody?"

"I- That is-" Kumojacky can sense that no excuse will be enough. "I am sorry. I should not have done that."

"Did you punch anyone?"

"No, my love."

The woman in the next bed giggles. "He really is exactly as you said, Mikumo."

"Mrs. Hamura, this is my husband. He is a hot-tempered fool, but somehow I love him. Atsushi, this is Hamura Akane. She owns a business in town and I was just talking to her about helping her get a permanent location. The child in her arms is her son, Youji. And this one, who is bawling at the sight of you, is your son, Ichirou."

"My son... Ichirou?"

"If you wanted a say, you should have come here faster," Mikumo insists. "That won't be a problem, will it?"

"No. Ichirou is a good name, a strong name. May I hold him?"

Mikumo glares at him suspiciously. "You're not about to test his strength, are you? You wouldn't punch a baby?"

There is a stock answer to this question, but Kumojacky is wise enough to keep his mouth shut. He shakes his head. A moment later, he is allowed to hold his newborn son.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke - age 24
Momoi (nee Kiryuu) Michiru - age 21


February, 2013

Just to be sure, Kyousuke opens the cabin door. Outside is a door-shaped impression in a solid wall of snow.

"I don't think we'll get to ski today," he says, staring into the white wall.

"That's okay," his wife says. She has not moved from in front of the fireplace. "We have food, water, firewood, and each other. It won't hurt us to miss out on a little exercise."

"I don't really need anything other than you, Michiru. I was still looking forward to skiing together."

Michiru doesn't reply for a few moments, instead using that time to arrange several scented candles in front of the fire.

"It's not like we won't, you know. Even if we're snowed in for our entire honeymoon, we'll get another chance."

"You're right. Of course you're right, but-"

"If you make me get up, I'm going to stuff that snow down your pants."

Kyousuke chuckles, then closes the door. "What, all of it?"

He joins Michiru by the fireplace. She presses herself up against him as he sits down next to her.

"Yes, mister, all of it! There's supposed to be a very special feeling when you play in the snow with somebody you love! Or at least, that's what I've heard."

"A special feeling, huh? I guess there is, and I like it a lot."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 14
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 14
Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 14


February, 2013

"It's because I distrust them," Alice explains as she has tea with Mana and Rikka. "If that Fusion Group truly wants to help young ladies by granting them money, there should be no reason whatsoever for them to select me."

"I understand where you're coming from," Rikka says, "but they honestly haven't asked anything in return."

Mana nods. "If they wanted something from us, wouldn't they at least tell us what?"

Alice shakes her head. "That's not how these sorts of things work at all. When a company makes a large gift to a political cause, they don't say anything about what they want. That would be treated as a bribe. Instead, they carefully watch for people whose words and actions already match the company's intent, and selectively finance only those. It is not uncommon for other politicians to take note of especially large contributions, and to alter their own behavior in hopes of a similar windfall."

"But we're good people," Mana says. "Doesn't that mean they want to us to keep being good?"

Rikka takes a sip of her tea. "I think we should be more concerned about the idea that they may be watching us."

"I must admit, that concerns me as well," Alice says with a serious expression. "My agents, who are watching over us, haven't found any signs of other surveillance. Even so, for all I know, all of us may be constantly being watched."

Mana grins. "We're so lucky to have you watching out for us."

Rikka sets her teacup down. "By the way, Alice... When you say you have people watching over us, were you including Makoto and Aguri?"

"I was including everyone, actually."

Alice takes another sip of her tea.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Passion, Higashi Setsuna - age 18
Miura Suzu - age 17


March, 2013

"When the rest of the council has approved the ledger, you place a copy in the archives. We have copies of every student council budget going back to the founding of our school, over sixty years ago," Setsuna finished her explanation, then locked the filing cabinet and handed over the key.

The recipient, a mousy brunette, clasped the key with both hands as if it was a mystical talisman.

"Is it really okay for me to have this?"

Setsuna folded her hands around the shorter girl's. "Of course it is, Suzu. It is your time now. My term as student council treasurer is over."

"But what if I screw up? I'm small and weak and I'm always nervous! I'm sure I was only appointed because the principal felt sorry for me!"

"But you wouldn't have been chosen if you didn't sign up," Setsuna replies, looking the younger girl in the eyes. "Tell me, what do you think is most important in a budget?"

"I- I don't know!"

Suzu tries to avert her gaze, but Setsuna presses their foreheads together.

"Guess."

"I just want everyone to be happy!"

Setsuna smiles and eases up on her. "Well, your heart's in the right place then!"

"But the clubs are sure ask for more than we can ever give them... I mean, I've heard that's what always happens."

"Oh, it is," Setsuna says, nodding. "But you can make people happy without giving them everything they ask for."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 14
Sebastian Cloverfield - age 65
Cure Flower, Hanasaki Kaoruko - age 70


March, 2013

"It is nothing significant, but please accept this."

Alice curtsies and lowers her gaze as Sebastian presents the old woman with a potted flower. Alice downplays its value as a proper young lady should, but in actual fact it is a rare specimen worth tens of thousands of yen. The proper and polite responses are made, at the end of which Cure Flower accepts the gift.

"Now, I expect you have questions about Pretty Cure," a statement, not a question.

Alice does not look up. "Yes, ma'am."

"Did you think that hidden cameras and young folks in dark sunglasses were good means to find answers?"

"Because I was inexperienced and thoughtless, I relied on methods that have worked for me in the past. I recognize now that they were inappropriate."

"Good. Now stand up. It will be too hard to have a real conversation if you stay that stiff the whole time."

Cure Flower leads Alice through her greenhouse, pointing out several flowers and identifying the meaning each holds in ikebana, the language of flowers. Then she asks: "Do you understand why I'm telling you all of this?"

"I have been taught a bit of flower language, but the vocabulary is much richer than I had realized. Do you mean that I should investigate more carefully?"

"No," Cure Flower shakes her head. "I meant to show you that you can learn a great deal just by talking to people and listening to what they say. You could try meeting with the other Pretty Cures and hearing what they think about it. You don't need to take Fusion Group or that strange woman at their word, but you don't need to spy on anybody either."

"You did that, didn't you? What did you learn?"

The old woman smiles mysteriously. "You are a resourceful young woman. That is exactly the sort of thing that you should find out for yourself."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 21
Hyuuga Kazuya - Saki's husband / Mai's brother - age 24
Hyuuga Kana - newborn
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 21


April, 2013

Saki is giving birth. Next to the bed, her husband is holding her hand. On the opposite side, her best friend and sister in law is holding her other hand. Between them and the doctor, she has all the support that she could possibly ask for.

"Why are you idiots staring at my face? I'm not pushing with my face!"

The Mishou siblings avert their gazes, but are careful not to look toward the action.

"Even if you say that..." "Yeah, it's kind of-"

"Don't give me that! You caused this, and you'll be in my position soon enough! Witness my labor and tremble!"

Kazuya looks to the doctor and asks: "Can we get her more painkillers?"

Saki screams her outrage. The doctor says it is not a good time. A couple of minutes later, Saki is presented with a red-faced, screaming infant. This calms her down considerably.

"Saki, what do you want to call her?"

"Kana. Our daughter's name is Kana."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 17
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 18
Hyuuga Minori - Cure Bloom's sister - age 17


April, 2013

Minori has only been a member of the Occult Club for a couple of weeks, but she has already been appointed as the club's photographer. This is not because of any particular interest or talent for photography, but rather because she was the only one who could figure out the expensive camera left behind by a former club member. She is carrying it through the halls of Nine Muses High School when suddenly-

"Photographer spotted!"

A wild blunette grabs Minori and shoves her into a nearby club room. The room is laid out like a photography studio, and another blunette, taller and prettier than the first, is standing by wearing an odd school uniform.

Minori can tell that it's meant to be the school's uniform, since the school crest is sewn onto the shoulders, but it doesn't look quite like any of the uniforms the school actually uses. For one thing, it's a one piece dress, which only the third year girls uniform is. But the third year uniform is indigo with lavender trim and embroidery.

This uniform is powder blue and lacks embroidery. Instead, it is decorated with three stripes of yellow, pink, and aquamarine cloth that run diagonally across the front of the skirt, starting from the hem near her knees on the left and ending at the waist at her right. Similar sets of stripes circle the cuff of her right sleeve and run vertically up the left sleeve from the cuff to her elbow.

"Isn't her equipment kind of old?" the tall girl asks.

"Hm... now that you mention it, it is kind of- But we need a photographer. The lady who was going to come was in an accident. Smartphone cameras won't do for this, and if we don't get the photos taken today, I won't make it in time to enter the contest!"

Minori hugs the camera protectively. "What's going on? Who are you people?!"

"Kurumi Erika, Fashion Club president."

"Aono Miki, fashion model."

"I need you to take photos of Miki wearing this uniform so I can enter it into the contest."

"I'm Hyuuga Minori, but I don't know if I can help you. I only started taking pictures recently and- and... What kind of contest is it?"

Erika facepalms. "You haven't heard? It's the reason your uniform, mine, and the third years like Miki are so different: The student council runs a fashion contest at the start of each year to design the uniforms for the next year's incoming class."

Minori gasps. "So that's why- I did think that looked almost like one of our uniforms, but I thought they just rotated every year! Still... I don't know if I can help you. I haven't ever taken pictures of people."

"It's okay," Miki says, smiling. "We've got a deadline and we're desperate. All you have to do is snap lots of pictures and tell me that I'm perfect!"

"Please? I promise, Minori, I'll make it up to you!"

Minori takes a deep breath. There are so many ways that this could go wrong, but-

"I'll do it!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari - age 21
Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon - age 27


April, 2013

Hikari doesn't need to work to pay for college. Tuition, books, food, housing - her scholarship covers all of the essentials. For recreational funds, her annuity would be more than sufficient. However, she is working part time as a waitress while she attends college. She has a plan that she is saving money toward, but also she just enjoys the work. While her coworkers may struggle to remember orders or to smile in front of difficult customers, Hikari's years of experience give her an advantage.

"More beer!"

"Coming, sirs!"

However, her previous experience wasn't at a bar. Hikari is forced to master a new set of skills. Her workplace is sufficiently upscale that she is never in any danger, but she still interacts with the occasional rowdy drunk.

"More beer!"

This particular evening, one particular customer becomes Hikari's responsibility. It is not that he is actually causing any problems, but the other waitresses refuse to go near him.

"Hikari, doesn't that guy scare you?"

"Not really? Y'all should know he just wants to drink."

"But look at how he's dressed!"

The man in question is dressed in a garish blue suit with trim the color of mud. Whether he is wearing heavy padding underneath or actually is as muscular as his outline suggests, none of the other servers are willing to venture close enough to guess.

Hikari takes his order from the other girls without complaint and brings it to his table.

"Is that you, Domon?"

"Huh?" Dorodoron peers at her. Through the mask and the booze, he makes a connection. "Oh! Didn't I escort you at Tsutomu's wedding? What are you doing in Osaka?"

"Working and studying," she says with a smile. "I've got big plans for the future!"

"Nice! Why don't you sit down? I'll buy you a drink. We can celebrate my promotion, and whatever you've been up to!"

"I work here. I'm working right now."

"Oh. Oh! Oh, did I just hit on the staff? Only one way to make up for that, then!"

"What might that be?"

"A round for the house!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Desperaia, Furuzaki Nozomi - age 34
Furuzaki Basara - age 45


May, 2013

Big Nozomi, Nozomi the Elder, Desperaia, has all her life made despair puns based on her name. At times driving others to despair, at times despairing herself, in recent years it has become something of an ironic name.

Now it is no longer her name. Having married Furuzaki Basara without ceremony, she has traded her birth surname for his and can no longer pun herself with despair.

As they gather for what is technically not a wedding reception, Basara's handful of close friends and coworkers have brought along children who are close in age to Big Nozomi's small circle of friends, the Pretty Cure 5.

Her husband raises his glass for silence.

"I know what this looks like, marrying a younger woman. All the more so because she looks so much younger than her actual age. Have I lost my mind, people ask me. They wonder to my face if I have given up on propriety and decorum, and then if she married me for my money.

"I can see some of you smiling, and no, it's not the other way around either. The fact is, I am not so old as people seem to think, and certainly not as old as some of my friends like to joke. It is no sin to find love, even in middle age, or even with a younger woman. I can only hope that my Nozomi is as happy to be with me as I am to be with her."

There is some applause, then Big Nozomi speaks.

"It's true, my husband is a cradle robber. He took me from my parents thirty-four years ago and raised me to fall in love with him and also to be much wealthier than he could ever dream. I think he must have used a time machine, because the way I remember it, none of that actually happened. We can't stop people from thinking what they are going to think. That has never bothered me before, and it does not bother me now. If nobody else sees how fortunate I am to have Basara in my life, that is just as well, because I don't intend to share. Now, let us all enjoy the feast!"

It might be her imagination, but she believes she receives a louder applause.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 16
Hanamin, Yukine Hanako - age 16
Morioka Takayuki - age 22


May, 2013

"Hummy? Wait! What has gotten into you?"

Hummy is normally a well behaved cat, who will peacefully lay down next to Ellen's guitar case as she performs on a street corner. This time, Ellen is forced to pick up the guitar case and chase after her, as Hummy goes scampering down unfamiliar streets.

Ellen hears the reason before she sees it: the low tones of a bass guitar. The sound stops just as Ellen draws near. When the bassist comes in to view, she has stopped playing and knelt down to pet the cat. A cute girl with white hair in a pixie cut, bubblegum pink highlights and a cat-ear headband frame her face.

"Where's your master, cutie? A sweet little kitty like you must have an owner somewhere."

"Hummy!" Ellen shouts, winded.

The girl looks up. "Hi! Is this your kitty?"

Ellen nods as she catches her breath. "Her name is Hummy. I'm Ellen."

"Hanako, but you can call me Hanamin." The bassist's pink eyes sparkle as she readies her instrument. "Would you like to play with me?"

Ellen answers with a few chords, and within moments they are playing a largely improvised duet. After they've been at it for about an hour, a green-haired man arrives with a trumpet and wordlessly joins in.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 20
Cure Rogue, Natsuki Rin - age 20
Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya - age 23
Kiryuu Kaoru - age 21


June, 2013

"I just don't get my parents sometimes," Rin says as she walks in the shopping district. "First they want me to go to college, now they say I should move in with Shou instead of coming home. It's like they don't want me to take over the shop!"

"Maybe they don't," Nozomi says, between taking bites from a crepe. "At least, not right now? I mean, I can't exactly call any of them young, but your parents and mine are still a couple of decades off from the age when people usually retire. Maybe they think it's a bit too early?"

"I'm not saying I want to take over now! I could learn how they run the business, or something."

"How much are you going to learn now that you haven't learned already? What if you go back home and they have nothing left to teach you?"

"At least I'd find that out! What kind of parents tell a daughter to move in with her boyfriend?"

"The kind who want grandkids? It's all my Mom asks about now that I'm married. 'When Kazu-chan and I were your age, we already had the two of you!' she says. Anyhow, isn't it silly to say they should be worried about you doing it, when I know for a fact that you've already done it?"

Rin blushes. "My parents don't know about that!"

"You're marrying a celebrity, Rin. It'd be stranger if you hadn't."

"I can't believe I'm having this conversation! Whose side are you even on?"

Rin facepalms, then spots a familiar face on the other side of the street.

"Wait, is that- Hey, Kiriya, is that you?"

Rin runs to the other side of the road, where Irizawa Kiriya is walking with a blue-haired woman. He blinks in surprise.

"Natsuki Rin... You passed your exams, so by now... wouldn't you be in your second year at college?"

The woman tugs at Kiriya's arm. "Introduce us?"

"Oh! Ah, yes. Kaoru, this is Natsuki Rin, my former student. Rin, meet Kiryuu Kaoru, my girlfriend."

"Your girlfriend!" Rin's eyes light up as she meets Kaoru's gaze. "If you're dating this guy, you must be really smart!"

"I do program computers?" Kaoru answers with a forced smile.

"Wait, you're not thinking I might be a rival, are you? I look up to Kiriya, but it's really not like that. I'm perfectly happy with my own boyfriend. I'm even getting married next month!" Rin says, showing off her diamond ring. "Actually... I could invite you both. Wanna come?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Bunbee, Takagi Hachiemon - age 40
Scorp, Yasuda Takeo - age 40


June, 2013

For all that identifying as self-employed could be a good way of making others assume he was jobless, Bunbee has found that being his own boss has advantages. For one, he has worked for some incredibly bad bosses. Being his own boss, the worst punishment he can receive now is failure. (Not that he has failed.)

He also has unusual autonomy when it comes to his commute. Flexible hours? Certainly. More to the point, however: when he finally earned enough to move his base of operations out of a rickety shack on the roof of a skyscraper, he decided where to go. Bunbee Group still is not a large or wealthy organization. Owning his own building is a far off dream. Holding a lease within two hundred meters of his wife's storefront? That he has managed, even though his new offices are somewhat dilapidated and up three flights of stairs.

The door is kicked open from outside. "Where's Bunbee?"

This catches Bunbee's attention, and he emerges from his office to the sight of a tall, middle-aged man with red hair and a large wooden cane. The man looms over Bunbee's receptionist, but his employee's terror is not an immediate concern.

"Scorp! Scorp, how did you get up here?"

Scorp turns to Bunbee and grins. "Surprise! Buddy, I can climb stairs!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Midorikawa Keita - Cure March's brother - age 11
Midorikawa Haru - Cure March's sister - age 9


June, 2013

"You'd better cheer for me, Keita!"

As they trail behind their other siblings, Midorikawa Haru scolds her older brother. As a group, they are navigating a local youth sports stadium. She is wearing a pale green leotard for the upcoming gymnastics competition.

Keita smirks. "I don't know about that, Little Sis. What's in it for me?"

"When you wake up in the morning, do you like being alive?" Haru says, smiling with false sweetness. "Anyhow, you have to praise me when I win, comfort me when I don't, and do things when I tell you to. That's the whole point of having brothers."

"See, Haru, that's where you've got things mixed up. I'll praise you if I feel like it, ignore you when I feel like it, and do what I want because you're not the boss of me."

"I am so! Everyone knows that sisters get to be in charge!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

The conversation continues along these lines for some repetitions and ends with them sticking their tongues out at each other. Then Keita runs to catch up with their other siblings while Haru walks off in a different direction where she will rejoin her team.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 20
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 22
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 22
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 21
Coco, Yumehara Kouji - age 2 7
Kobayashi Sunao - Kurumi's boyfriend - age 25
Akimoto Almond - Komachi's son - age 6 months


July, 2013

"Oh, what's this?"

Komachi has gone out to get the mail, with her son strapped into an infant carrier on her back. She collects, sorts, and then discards nearly all of it. From what she kept, the first that she opens is sealed with a blue rose sticker and addressed from Hawaii.

The boy babbles nonsense.

"That's right, Almond. Mommy got a letter from a dear friend."

She opens the envelope and begins to read.

"Dear Komachi, since we both know that you are incorrigible, I fully expect that the contents of this letter will become content for yet another of your novels. It is my wish that you will write it as a Cold War spy thriller, which I know you will respect because I know many secrets."

Komachi giggles. "Oh, Kurumi, you only had to ask!"


School is out for summer. Kurumi has chosen not to take summer classes, and she has also chosen to remain in Hawaii. There are reasons for this, and those are mostly beaches. Beaches and sun, beaches and swimming, beaches and parties, beaches and athletic, half-naked eye candy.

Kurumi is a good girl. Kurumi is a healthy young woman.

On this morning in late June, Kurumi has situated herself on a relatively uncrowded beach. A stand of large rocks and a half-mile of sand separate her from the nearest amenities, and she has laid down on her beach towel with suntan lotion, a bottle of distilled water, and a romance novel. She has nothing else that she needs to do.

She has just turned herself over to tan her back when she catches sight of something more interesting than her romance novel: A tall, handsome man, very muscular. Where most people would be simply enjoying the beach, he has is carrying around a camera and a spiral notebook, scrawling notes and taking photographs. The intention behind his actions is not obvious, but when he sees Kurumi watching her, he stops for a moment and flexes.

She licks her lips. Then she gets up and goes to start a conversation.


"So she asked him out basically at first sight, and it sounds like they really hit it off," Nozomi says, looking over the letter as she relaxes in her husband's arms. "His name is Kobayashi Sunao. Kurumi says that he's an oceanographer at Tokyo University, in addition to being totally ripped."

"Ripped?"

"Her words, not mine. Personally, I thought she had better taste. Remember how she used to compete with me over you?"

"I'd rather not. She's a blood relative."

"A fourth cousin! That doesn't count."

"I'm counting it," Coco insists. "Is there more to that letter?"


The time has come when Sunao must return to Japan. Kurumi goes to see him off at the airport.

"I will miss you," he tells her. "It has only been a few weeks, but I feel that I've known you for a long time."

"I'll write letters every day," she promises. "Make sure that you read them!"

The era when a couple could share a kiss just before one of them boards a plane has long since ended, but they do kiss. For an indefinite period they lock lips, enthralled in a world for only two.

That moment ends. He passes through the security gate and is gone.


"So, what happened after that?" Karen asks, speaking to Kurumi over the phone.

"I've been writing letters, and he occasionally replies. He actually sent me a love poem!"

"So, when's the wedding?"

"Like, after he proposes?" Kurumi snorts. "There's an order to these things, you know. Whirlwind romance or no, you can't expect the guy to make with the ring that fast! It takes time, and money... and being in the same place..."

"You've got it bad, don't you? What happened to saying 'a diamond is a girl's best friend?'"

"Did I say that?"

"A few times, yes."

"That doesn't sound like me. Why would I need another best friend, when I've already got you?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 20
Masuko Mika - age 21
Rose Vision, Natsuki Shou - Rin's husband - age 2 7


July, 2013

"Do we really have to do this?"

"We don't have to do anything you don't want to, my dear. However..."

Three days after returning from their honeymoon, Rin and her husband linger at the threshold of an office building in Shibuya. Inside, perhaps just inside, a journalist is waiting to interview them.

Rin has been subjected to interviews by journalists before, but not since middle school. At that time, Nozomi had blabbed about Pretty Cure and the school paper had gotten interested. This is on an entirely different scale. Her husband, Shou, is a moderately successful glam rocker, under his stage name, Rose Vision.

"It would be bad for your career if we don't, right? Let's go face the music."

In actual fact, they are not ambushed instantly. Instead, they are led to a meeting room that has well-tended flower planters built into three of its walls. The seats resemble avant-garde sculpture, but are strangely comfortable to sit in.

The interviewer enters, a young woman in a business suit who is wearing a disposable mask and sunglasses.

"Thanks for coming, both of you! I know your time is valuable and I am so sorry to have kept you lovebirds waiting!"

"Think nothing of it," Shou answers with a practiced smile.

The woman nods. "Much appreciated. Now, this is going to be kind of the opposite of what you probably expect. That's because this is my first time interviewing you, Mr. Rose Vision, but it's my second interview with your wife!"

"Huh?" "Huh?"

"Where there is mystery, that's where you'll find me!" the woman declares, pulling off her mask and shades.

"Masuko Mika?!"

"Rin, you know this person?"

Rin sighs. "We went to middle school together."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 14
Ira, Goh Kyouya - age 14


July, 2013

"You never had amnesia at all, did you?"

As Ira sits on the steps in front of Rikka's house, he begins to slowly unwind the bandage from around the top of his head. He looks her in the eyes, smiling sadly.

"Not even for a moment. I'm sorry."

Her expression does not shift quickly enough to keep up with her many emotions. She settles on hurt.

"Why? Why would you lie about something like that? Didn't you know I how much I worried about you?"

"I figured it out. You know who I am, where I come from. I thought maybe I could be nobody from nowhere for a while, maybe take a step up." He pauses, scowling. "Some step up."

"What happened today isn't your fault."

"No, it is. It absolutely is. It's my fault for thinking I could get out so easily. I should have known better."

Having fully removed the bandage, Ira hands it to her and begins walking away.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 22
Cobraja, Kuchinawa Masaru - age 26
Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 22
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 20
Joker, Karasawa Jou - age 21
Misumi Ryouta - Cure Black's brother - age 16
Hyuuga Minori - Saki's sister - age 17
Hyuuga Kana - Saki's daughter - age 4 months
Kurusu Shuuhei - Masaru's friend - age 26
Shirogane Hisako - Mai's friend - age 21


August, 2013

Mishou Mai is not the first Pretty Cure to make her wedding into a major event, but that does not matter. Those events were for other women; this one is for her. It is a bright, hot August day, with a brisk wind. The venue doors are blocked open so that the wind can cool the interior. It is not as if they planned this - the date and venue were booked months ago. However, for the wedding of Cure Windy, it is a serendipitous atmosphere.

The first bridesmaid enters with her escorts. Hyuuga Minori is the youngest of Mai's long-time acquaintances. Her older sister would be the maid of honor, but Saki, being already married, sits in the family section with Mai's baby niece in her lap. Minori is wearing a sky blue gown and witch's hat. Dandelion flowers are embroidered around the bottom hem of the dress, and there is further embroidery of dandelion seeds scattered upward from there.

Ryouta wears a white tuxedo with white shoes and white gloves. He is also wearing custom contact lenses, that make his eyes appear glassy and vacant. This is once again at Minori's suggestion; all that has changed is who is wearing them. When they reach the front of the hall, Minori pauses to reveal an aquamarine disc on a string, which she swings before his face. He is not so good an actor as to make it seem like there is a particular effect. Their bit of the show accomplished, they take their places to either side.

The next bridesmaid is Tsukikage Sumire, Dark PreCure. Her dress is so dark blue that it is nearly black and embroidered with white outlines of feathers. She also wears a single elbow-length glove, but that is not particular to this outfit: Sumire does that nearly every day.

Jou, Sumire's escort, is a friend of the groom, and also one of his regular clients. His tuxedo is black with bat-winged shapes outlined in white. Although otherwise bareheaded, he wears a white domino mask, along with a cravat that is striped garishly in pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue. An ornament at the top of his walking stick is shaped like a harlequin cap.

The maid of honor is a friend Mai has known since high school, Shirogane Hisako. Like the other bridesmaids, her gown is also blue, a dark shade that contrasts with her snow-white hair. However, the embroidery on her dress is only on her back. Rather than flying creatures or things blown by the wind, this embroidery depicts a specific scene: herself behind the wheel of a car, gleefully driving off a cliff over open waves. She cannot be unaware, but one would not know that from her smile.

The best man is not the groom's best and closest friend, but the one he most trusted to organize a bachelor party. Kurusu Shuuhei understands this, and accepted the position in the spirit in which it was offered. As for that party, all of the participants were sworn to eternal secrecy. He is wearing black pants and a black jacket over a burgundy shirt with gold trim and a lavender cravat. An orange opera mask covers only the left side of his face, and the part of his dark-green hair seems sculpted to match.

After the rest of the wedding party have taken up their positions, the groom appears and walks forward. As is only natural for him, Masaru's outfit is more flamboyant than formal. His long hair cascades down his back in a dark blue wave. He wears a dark-colored suit with a high-collared white jacket and ostentatiously detailed black boots. A brass chain hangs at approximately the level where a belt might usually be. The chain's purpose is mysterious, since it obviously isn't holding up his pants. Atop his head, he wears a hat decorated like the tail of a peacock.

The stage is now set for Mai's entrance. She wears a pure white dress decorated with black and light blue ribbons. Her dress's theme is wind, with feathers and flying leaves embroidered across her skirt, sleeves, and back. Artificial feathers hang from the edges of her white veil and are woven into her long, blue hair. She walks forward and joins the groom.

The ceremony goes off without a hitch. When Mai throws the bouquet, she seems to be aiming for Minori. Just possibly, since she looked behind her before letting it fly. Her aim is not so good, and Minori is not so interested. Sumire makes the catch.


There is dancing after the ceremony proper. Most of the wedding party and guests are ready and enthusiastic, but the best man and the maid of honor choose to sit it out in favor of punch and cake.

Hisako hesitates before speaking. "Do you mind if I ask you a question? Your friend Masaru took me aside and gave me special instructions."

"Now that sounds ominous," Shuuhei says, setting down his punch. "What are you to ask me?"

"He said that I should ask you about Orange."

"Of course." He briefly clenches his fist, then unclenches it with a forced smile. "As I am a gentleman, I will not punch my friend in the face until after the festivities."

"Oh my! I'm sorry I asked!"

Shuuhei smiles. "You had no way of knowing. I'm sure you know what it's like to have people ask you things you would rather not talk about."

"I shall assume you're talking about the embroidery on my back. It was Mai's request. What's a little blackmail between friends?"


Ryouta and Minori also abstain from the dance. Instead, they choose to enjoy the outdoor breeze from a veranda attached to the venue.

Ryouta leans against a railing as he speaks. "Thanks for inviting me. I know I shouldn't press you for an answer, so- um... do I already fail just for saying that?"

Minori shakes her head. She has taken off her hat, and her hair is blowing in the breeze.

"I haven't been fair to you. I'm told that- I mean, I've left you hanging long enough. I still don't feel confident, but- but-" She pauses, then leans over the rail and shouts. "What is wrong with me? Why am I relying on a girl ten years younger than me for relationship advice?"

"Ten- did Tomoe put you up to this?"

Minori blushes. "Maybe a little? I mean, she's definitely trying to push us together, but I think I'm okay with that."

"Me too. Maybe we just both needed some encouragement?"

"Your little sister might be an alien."

Ryouta just laughs.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 20
Masuko Miyo - age 19


August, 2013

"Good morning, viewers! It's Mass Media Masuko Miyo, here to interview the celebrities who you know and love - or who you should know and love, if you don't already! I'm here on the set of Mr. Abraham's film production of Les Miserables, the musical! Standing here with me is up and coming actress, Kasugano Urara!"

Miyo hands her microphone over to Urara, who is in full costume as a boy soldier.

"Hello! I am Kasugano Urara, and I've been cast in the role of Eponine! I'd just like to say that getting to be involved with this production is a total dream. Mr. Abraham and the rest of the cast are amazing people to work with. I'm having a lot of fun, even if I do have to dress up as a boy for some of my part."

"You have to? Tell me, Urara, are you secretly wishing for a better part in this show? Your secret is safe with me and all of my viewers!"

Urara giggles. "What kind of secret is that? Seriously, though, I don't think there is a better part for me than Eponine. In her role, I get to sing, I get to fall in love, and I get to die. Cosette's role doesn't have all of those."

"Neither do ValJean or Javert," Miyo adds. "In most productions, anyhow."

Urara laughs. "Well, I'd like to think that our version is going to stand out regardless. My part may be relatively minor, but I have read the whole script. I don't think I'll get myself in trouble if I say that there won't be any anguished confessions of love involving either of those two characters."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 16
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 15
Ban Kenji - Myoudouin Academy high school student - age 1 7


August, 2013

Dogwood Flowers is still a one-man circle. Kenji arrives at his assigned space in the grand exhibition hall and sees that his neighbor is already there. The guy is huge, slathered in red body paint, and wearing a tunic dyed to look like animal skins. The oni-like man is busily assembling a large metal frame, piece by piece.

Kenji's table is flimsy by comparison. His display is small and humble, being only the couple of boxes he brought his doujinshi in, with most of the doujins still inside. Preparation done, he slumps in his chair and gazes fearfully at the ogre in the next space over.

"Dude, is that all you got?"

Kenji looks around. The big red guy doesn't seem to be looking at him.

"Yeah, you. How are you thinking to get any attention with a setup like that? This kind of event, you go big or you go home! You don't want to go home, do you?"

Kenji shakes his head. The big guy still isn't looking at him, but stands up and turns. Even if Kenji were standing up, this guy would tower over him. The big guy sets a roll of butcher paper in front of Kenji, along with a pack of large markers.

"Dude, I'm gonna do you a favor. You draw some banners. I've got to get more scaffolding."

So saying, the big guy walks off.


"Oh! Your banner looks like it's going to be really cool!"

Kenji is caught so off guard by the girl's voice that he nearly falls out of his chair. Since he was at a loss for anything else to do, Kenji has been drawing the heroines of his doujinshi as large as will fit on the paper. When he looks up, his eyes widen.

Fluffy yellow hair. Golden eyes. A cute smile, and a face that Kenji cannot forget.

"I remember you! You were the first person to buy my doujins!" Then he pauses. "The event isn't open yet, though?"

"I've joined the selling side!" She announces, flashing a peace sign. Then she sets her hand on a cart laden with large boxes that Kenji had overlooked until that instant. "We're going to be neighbors!"

"Neighbors?" Kenji blinks. "What about that huge red guy?"

"You mean Onikichi? He's just helping me out. Actually, I thought I'd find him here. Did something happen?"

"He told me to start drawing and said something about scaffolding."

"We're helping you decorate?!" A sparkling smile. "Are you still using the same characters? I'll help you draw!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 19
Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 15


September, 2013

"I appreciate your taking this time to meet with me. I can imagine that you must be exceedingly busy."

Alice has come to the high school division of White Clover Christian Academy to meet with another Pretty Cure, Yamabuki Inori.

The other girl laughs. "Just what kind of ideas do you have about exam students? It's true that I have a lot of studying to do, but I think anyone would lose her mind if she had to study constantly without ever taking a break!"

"I must admit, the school I attend uses a different admissions process."

"That's not what you came to talk about, however."

"No, I wanted to ask how you feel about Pretty Cure... and about Fusion Group."

"How I feel about Pretty Cure?" Inori folds her hands and closes her eyes. "I was already friends with Love and Miki before any of that happened. I'm not as close with Setsuna, but she is a good friend also. I've been to PreCure All Stars every year since they started, but I don't know any of the others nearly as well as I'd like to. I'm sure they're all wonderful people."

"One of us did put a lot of effort into spying on all of the others. I wouldn't exactly call that wonderful."

"To err is human, Alice. You should think about forgiving that person."

"I'll consider it," Alice says, then open a fan and uses it to hide her blushing face. "What about Fusion Group? Doesn't their activity seem unusual?"

"I believe that their hearts are in the right place."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 16
Kise Chiharu - Yayoi's mother - age 35
Falsetto, Hayase Tohru - age 31
Hayase Ryuuto - Tohru's son - age 10
Hayase Masatora - Tohru's son - age 7


September, 2013

The food is good, but the meal is quiet and awkward. It has been a few weeks since Yayoi's mother told Yayoi of her intention to remarry. Her mother's lover, Hayase Tohru is a former singer who has given up his stage name along with show business and is now an elementary school music teacher. It has been a few days since Yayoi first met the man, but to this point she has not yet formed any intention of looking upon him favorably.

However, Yayoi is not the cause of the awkwardness. At sixteen years old, she is still no social butterfly, but she can at least fake a smile and make polite conversation.

No, the problem is Tohru's two sons. They are each several years younger than Yayoi, and they don't seem to feel any need to hide their displeasure. The older boy, Ryuuto, does not eat so much as push food around on his plate. Whenever he is not staring at his plate, he frowns either at Yayoi or at the two adults.

The younger boy has his father's pink hair. Despite the man's best efforts, the younger boy does not even pretend to eat, instead slumping as low in his seat as he possibly can. He seems to be trying to hide himself as much as possible from Yayoi and her mother while still technically sitting in his chair.

When the father can no longer bear it and stands up to discipline him, the younger boy runs away from the table. But he quickly returns with a picture book clutched to his chest.

Yayoi speaks to the boy, showing him her best smile. "What's wrong, Masatora? Would you like to have me read that picture book for you?"

The little boy shakes his head. He holds the picture book in front of his face like a shield.

It is Cinderella.

"Oh."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 15
Regina, Kaname Hajime - age 10


October, 2013

"Mana, when did you get married?"

Regina is visiting Mana's house, and has pulled out an old photo album. Without asking, it might be said, but Mana chooses to overlook that. Recognizing the photo Regina is looking at, Mana smiles.

"That's actually my grandmother. You can tell because-"

Mana herself has to think for a moment. She certainly does resemble the bride in the photo. Their hair and eyes are the same color, and Mana's hair is even styled the same way. Although she is aware that when the photo was taken, her grandmother was about a head taller and several years older than Mana is now, the image only shows the newlyweds from the waist up.

"Suspicious! That is you, isn't it!"

"No," Mana says, shaking her head. "You can tell that's my grandma because that's grandpa standing next to her!"

"Weak. Shouldn't you at least say something like 'I've never worn such a beautiful dress'?"

"I've worn that dress once, though?"

"Really?!"

"Only to try it on! Mom and grandma both got married in that dress, and I was thinking I could do the same. That's the only reason, really!"

"I don't think I believe that," Regina says, looking suspiciously at Mana. "How do I know you never ate mermaid flesh or received a gift from Princess Kaguya?"

"At least let me grow up, first!"

At this, the younger girl dissolves into giggles.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach / Zenith, Momozono Love - age 19
Cure Passion / Eas, Higashi Setsuna - age 19
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 20


November, 2013

"Thanks for helping me with this. I really appreciate it."

In the back of Cobraja Fashion Designs, there is a small photo studio. Love is dressed up in an unusually dark outfit, consisting of a vest with a black and white diagonal checkerboard pattern over a sheer black camisole, with low-rise shorts in the same color. Long black stockings with pink ribbons tied in a bow at the top. Pink dance sneakers, black elbow length gloves with pink bangles. Her hair is styled into a long side-tail with a diamond-shaped pink clasp, and she is wearing bright pink color contacts.

"There's no need to thank me!" Setsuna says, blushing. "I was just trying to keep this person from going overboard."

"Why don't you just admit it?" Sumire asks, picking up the video camera. "My ideas are too hot for the great Eas!"

"That's Cure Passion!" Setsuna shouts, as she works on Love's makeup. "And you should remember why we're doing this. This is all to showcase Love's dancing and choreography, to get her into the university dance program."

"Sure, sure. You say that, but you're still painting that much makeup onto her face and body."

"I'm adjusting her skin tone to match a concept. Zenith, denizen of Labyrinth, is a persona that doesn't receive enough natural sunlight. You wanted to make her glow in the dark!"

Love giggles, slightly disrupting the effect.

"This is serious time." Setsuna chides her with a tap on the head.

"I can't help it! I'm nervous!"

"Be nervous later! Right now, you need to be sexy... confident. You are going to conquer the world with the power of dance!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 15
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 16
Hayase Ryuuto - Falsetto's son - age 10
Hayase Masatora - Falsetto's son - age 7


November, 2013

Once upon a time, there were two brothers who lived alone with their father.

The father was lonely because his wife had died, and the two brothers had lost their mother.

"How unfortunate we are!" said the father.

The two brothers said that they could live on, so long as they had their father and each other. But the father was not satisfied.

After that, the father met a beautiful widow, who lived alone with her daughter. Because they had both lost their lovers, the father courted the widow. They fell in love and decided to marry.

The father would have a new wife. The woman would have a new husband. The two brothers would have a stepmother and a stepsister.

"This is the end of our misfortune," the father said.

The two brothers had not been asked whether they wanted a stepmother. They had not been asked whether they wanted a stepsister. The two brothers had heard many stories about stepmothers and stepsisters, and wanted nothing to do with them. They said that they could live on, so long as they had their father and each other.

But their father did not listen. He and the widow married.

The stepsister was older than the two brothers. She was neither pretty nor ugly. She never said anything threatening or hurtful. However, the two brothers remembered the stories and decided they would not trust her.

When she smiled at the two brothers, they frowned at her. When she spoke to the two brothers, they stayed silent. She even drew a picture of a cool robot, but the two brothers refused to look at it. They said that they did not need a stepsister, so long as they had their father and each other.

After this had gone on for a while, the older brother said to the younger brother: "Brother, whenever our stepsister tries to deceive us, she always leaves immediately afterward."

The younger brother answered: "Yes, Brother, and I am glad. She cannot do anything while she is not here. We will be fine, so long as we have father and each other."

The older brother said: "I do not trust her. When she is gone, she may be working with our stepmother to deceive Father. Let us follow her and see where she has been going."

So, the two brothers followed their stepsister. They followed behind her when she walked out of their house. They followed behind her when she walked into the woods. They followed her until she came to the edge of a great, moonlit lake. The two brothers hid and watched her as she knelt down and wept.

As the stepsister wept and the brothers watched, a great spirit emerged from the lake.

The spirit asked with a voice as cold as night: "Girl, why do you weep?"

She said: "Spirit, my Mother has forgotten my Father! When Father died, I told Mother that we could live on so long as we had each other, but she married a widower with two sons! She never asked whether I wanted a stepfather! She never asked whether I wanted two stepbrothers! I have heard many stories about stepfathers and stepbrothers, but because I am the eldest, I have tried to forget about those stories and make the best of it! Oh, Spirit, the stories are true! My two stepbrothers hate and shun me even though I have only been kind to them! How unfortunate I am!"

The spirit listened to her tale, then answered with a voice as cold as night: "Girl, you may come with me beneath the lake. If you come, that will be the end of your misfortune, but you may never again return to the human world."

When the two brothers heard this, they knew that it was not a trick. The two brothers had heard stories about stepfathers and stepbrothers just as she had, but because they still had their father and each other, they had not thought of those. They had acted just like the cruel stepbrothers their stepsister feared.

The stepsister stood and took a step toward the spirit. The two brothers came out from their hiding place and each grabbed one of her hands.

The older brother said: "Sister, do not go! We do not hate you! We were wrong to fear you!"

The younger brother said: "Sister, do not go! Your mother would miss you, and so would we!"

Seeing that the girl was not so unfortunate, the spirit returned to the lake alone.


Miyuki turns the picture book to the last page. "And they lived together happily ever after!"

Nearly all of the last two page are taken up by an art spread, where Yayoi has drawn herself, her mother, and her future stepfather and stepbrothers in great detail.

Masatora stares at the picture with stars in his eyes. "That's amazing! It looks just like us! Ryuuto, it looks just like you and me and dad and Yayoi and her mother! Why are we in a book?"

"Well..." Yayoi says, starting to blush. "That's because..."

"Because why?" Ryuuto asks.

Miyuki smiles. "What Yayoi is trying to say is that she made this book for your whole family. She drew all of the pictures all by herself! Isn't that cool?"

"It's super cool!" Masatora answers.

Ryuuto looks at Yayoi, then nods. It is possible that he approves of her just a little bit. "What about the rest? Where did this story come from?"

This time, Miyuki blushes.

"Don't get shy now, Miyuki!" Yayoi says with a giggle. "This is the future you're aiming for!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 16
Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 15
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 15
Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 15
Cure Sword, Kenzaki Makoto - age 15
Regina, Kaname Hajime - age 10
Hanamin, Yukine Hanako - Ellen's friend - age 16


November, 2013

"I wonder when today went wrong? Maybe it was before I even started singing."

Makoto is standing on the observation deck at Clover Tower, looking out over the city as she recounts her situation to Ellen.

"What happened?"

"We were at a soccer game. She and Mana went to get snacks. I wasn't with them, but apparently Regina's credit card was declined."

"Your friend has a credit card? But isn't she really young?"

"Right? Maybe Alice would have one, but she's rich and Regina is ten. Apparently her father gave it to her. Mana paid for the snacks, and Regina seemed happy for the rest of the game. But as we were on our way out of the stands, Rikka mentioned the credit card. Something about Regina probably spent too much, and she should tell her father so that he'll know to repay it."

"Sounds like good advice. She didn't take it well?"

Makoto sighs. "Regina went ballistic. She was screaming that her father would buy the whole stadium if she asked him to, and ran back into the stands shouting that she was going to stay until he did. I didn't want her to get in trouble, so I got with Alice and we took action."

"You didn't drag her out of there kicking and screaming, did you?"

"We should have, but we didn't. You see, Alice is incredibly rich. Superhero rich. She can make all kinds of things happen, and as her friends we really don't question it. She made it so that we were allowed onto the field by ourselves, and got access to the sound system. This is going to sound like bragging, but I am an amazing singer. Regina won't admit it, but she loves my music. I figured that an unscheduled concert just for her would make her forget all about her tantrum. It was a great show, too. I sang a new song that I had written with her in mind. I used the dance moves from one of my older routines, but I made sure to make eye contact with her as often as I could. That's special, right? Who gets that kind of service from an idol? I didn't think there was any way that wouldn't get through to her."

"Then what happened?"

"She ran away in tears. I don't understand it. I wrote and sang that song just for her. Why did that upset her so?"

"It sounds to me like you overdid it. As you said, you wrote and performed a song that was only for her. To you, it was only a little bit special, something you could do for anyone if you wanted to. But speaking as someone who has been on the receiving end..." Ellen pauses, then sighs. "It's actually a really big deal."

"You've had that happen?" Makoto glances at Ellen, surprised. "May I ask?"

"It was Hanamin. We just met a few months ago, but it already feels like we've been friends our whole lives. We've even started a band together, but having her write a song just for me... It still caught me by surprise."

"What did you do?"

"I ran away to the highest place in the city." Ellen pauses. "I really should go back."

"What should I do?"

"She's your friend, right? Just wait. I'm sure you'll see her again."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Bassdrum, Ohta Torao - age 25
Baritone, Toujou Naoto - age 23
Bel, Itomashi Kazuhiro - age 68


November, 2013

In a bar that is also a bowling alley, two grown men are seated side by side. They are dressed as showmen, with colorful trousers and vests over white shirts. As well, both men are wearing capes. They could as easily be the kind of act that secures a decent living from casino residency as they could be circus freaks.

Each man orders the cheapest beer on tap, so the bartender decides it is the latter.

One of the pair, the one with pale blue hair, sets down his drink for a moment. He stares into it. "Hey, Bassdrum. We've given it a good shot, haven't we?"

The other man, with green hair and a beard, sets his own drink down, frowning. "What do you mean by that, Baritone? You wanna quit?"

"No!" Baritone shakes his head. "No, no. I want to sing. I want people to listen to me sing. I want fame, and stardom, and squealing women asking me to sign their- you get the idea. But lately I've been thinking that I'd also like to live better, you know?"

"Better? What is better than show business?"

"Money, Bassdrum. Good, solid meals every day. More than one good set of clothes. Not worrying every time I pay my rent whether I'll be able to make the next payment. Don't you think guys our age should aim for at least that much?"

"New clothes, huh?" Bassdrum takes a drink, then looks down at his shirt. Between the bottom of his vest and the waistband of his pants, the starched white shines like a spotlight on his paunch. "To be honest, I thought that we were really getting close this time."

"If only I could believe that, my friend. But what have we done since Siren cut us loose? We aren't even a trio anymore, not now that Falsetto is teaching full time."

"Jobs, then. Where can guys like us even find real jobs?"

"Shall I grant that wish?" The bartender, an older gentleman with yellow eyes, injects himself into their conversation.

"You know where we can get work?"

"It so happens that I am short-handed, of late. I have been looking someone to help with security and someone to help mix drinks." The bartender grins. "You gents look like you would fit right in."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 21
Coco, Yumehara Kouji - age 28
Yumehara Megumi - Nozomi's mother - age 39
Yumehara Tsutomu - Nozomi's father - age 43


December, 2013

Nozomi and Coco have come to her parents' house for dinner. Since becoming an adult, she has been able to meet her mother's gaze without looking up, but that does not make certain questions any easier.

"So, when are you going to let us meet our grandchild?" Her mother asks, as if talking about the weather.

"Mom!"

"You knew this question was coming."

"Because you ask it all the time!"

As mother and daughter bicker, the father quietly taps Kouji on the shoulder. Kouji follows Tsutomu into an office in the back of the house, where the older man hands him a beer.

"We really are trying," Kouji tells him.

"No need to tell me that, son. You may think that you were good at hiding it, but with the way you two flirt it's pretty obvious. Has been since way back."

Kouji's eyes widen, but he manages to swallow his beer. "You knew?"

Tsutomu nods. "Around the time Nozomi started getting serious, we did a little investigating. We got your measure, and we determined there was nothing to worry about with you. Wouldn't you know it? We were right!"

Kouji downs the rest of his beer. "Excuse me while I go have a heart attack?"

"You are not excused. Our grandkids need their father alive, and not just present for their conception. Are we understood?"

"Yes, sir."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 15
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 15
Cure Ace, Madoka Aguri - age 11
Regina, Kaname Hajime - age 11
Madoka Mari - Aguri's grandmother - age 58


December, 2013

"You have a sister?!" Speaking with Aguri in the front garden of her grandmother's home, Mana and Rikka respond to her announcement with with shocked surprise.

Aguri nods. "I only recently found out, but I definitely have a twin sister. And she wants to meet me today."

"That's great! Any way that we can help-"

"Calm down, Mana!" Rikka cuts her off. "How much do you know about this person you're going to meet?"

"Only that she's my twin," Aguri says, looking down at her feet. "And I'm not going anywhere. She's coming here. I am... not sure that I am ready."

"When is this happening?"

"Now." A familiar voice announces from outside the gate.

"Regina!" Aguri's eyes widen. "You're... my sister?"

"That's right," Regina says, a grin spreading slowly across her lips. "You and I were born on the same day. Your mother was my mother. My loser Dad is your father. Welcome to the soap opera that is my life."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - Age 14
Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - Age 14
Cure Honey, Ohmori Yuuko - Age 14
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - Age 14


2014

Fusion Group has registered Cure Lovely, Cure Princess, Cure Honey, Cure Fortune, and Cure Tender as Pretty Cure.

Cure White has entered graduate school. Cure Peach, Cure Berry, Cure Pine, Cure Passion, and Soular are now college students. Amai Shirou has enrolled in pilot school. Wester has graduated from high school. Cure Happy, Cure Sunny, Cure Peace, Cure March, Cure Beauty, and Cure Echo are now high school students. Aka-Oni has graduated from middle school. Kujou Hikaru is now a middle school student.


When the girls enter the Director's office, the woman behind the desk beckons to them, urging them to sit on chairs that are each upholstered in their personal colors: Pink for Megumi, blue for Hime, yellow for Yuuko, and-

"I'll stand," Iona declares. Her face and outfit are hidden under a heavy lavender cloak, but Hime cringes as if Iona is glaring at her.

It is just possible... and the purple chair is right next to the blue one.

"I could get up?" Hime offers hesitantly.

"Don't bother."

"Then let's rearrange the chairs!" Megumi says, getting up. "I'm confident in my strength!"

"Sit down!"

Yuuko doesn't get up, but produces a small, wrapped candy from someone on her person. "Would it help if I gave you a honey candy?"

"No! Please, this is my problem."

Iona shifts her feet. For just a moment, Hime sees her expression.

"What did I do to you?" Hime shrieks.

"You know what you did!" So saying, Iona turns and storms out.

The Director watches this entire exchange without comment, her strange golden eyes hidden behind her mysterious smile.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 22
Myoudouin Satsuki - Karen's fiance / Cure Sunshine's brother - age 22


January, 2014

Karen and Satsuki have been on many dates, but this one stands out. He has taken her to a posh restaurant on the top floor of a Tokyo skyscraper. Even getting a reservation here is no mean feat, and it is the kind of place where the menu items don't have prices next to them. Karen is not so unrefined as to ask about the cost. Satsuki is from a good family. An occasional dinner in a place like this will not strain his finances.

There is live music in the form a man playing softly on a grand piano. They have an exquisite view of the setting sun as they dine on steak and lobster. Dessert is served by candlelight.

Karen finishes eating her montblanc. "Thank you for bringing me here, Satsuki. This has been a lovely date."

"I must admit, I had an ulterior motive," Satsuki says, kneeling before her and presenting a ring. "Karen, will you marry me?"

This was unexpected. Karen is surprised to feel her face flushing. She smiles.

"I- I will marry you. It would be my pleasure."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 16
Aka-Oni, Akai Daikichi - age 15


January, 2014

The one-time (self-appointed) leader of the (self-styled) Bad End Trio is in a sorry state.

For one thing, despite his nickname, he is not in actuality any kind of wolf. His last name means "wolf", certainly, but this is as far from actually being one as the girl whom he has confessed his love to is from being a literal starry sky.

Not that being an actual wolfman would be any help, really. Maybe. Runtarou thinks it would, but he is a fool.

Being a fool is also a problem. Miyuki had been kind not to reject him outright when he confessed. Despite their rocky history, Runtarou has at least that reason to think she might return his feelings. Miyuki promised then that she'd go out with him if he passed his entrance exams.

Exams that Runtarou has now failed.

He has not bothered to go and tell her. Instead, he has chosen to sit and sulk on a snow-covered bench, wondering what he is to do with himself now.

"Yo."

'Aka-Oni', Akai Daikichi, as hulking as his nickname, plops down on the bench next to Runtarou and shoves a hot can of coffee into Runtarou's hands. In spite of himself, Runtarou cracks the can open and takes a drink.

"Bitter!"

"Ain't a hot drink just the thing for a cold day? It ain't like you to sulk like this."

"I had one chance, Aka-Oni. She was the only girl who ever met me on my own level, but... What's the use?"

"You say that, and... I know, I am not that bright. No high school for Aka-Oni! Ha! But Wolfrun, my friend... This 'level' you are on, it is a strange place. I used to see it too, her magical girl Princess Happy and your Big Bad Wolf. I used to see it too, but I am not so bright. Of late, I only see a girl who sprays my good friend with a bottle that makes him claw at his eyes. You could do better."

"It's not like that, buddy. She stopped using the real stuff on me a long time ago."

"You still go down and claw at your eyes. Why?"

"It's our thing. It's not something I can explain. But now that I've failed my exams... Any chance I might have had with her depended on passing."

"That is it, then? Will you give up, find work, and try to forget her?"

"As if! I don't plan to be some part timer loser, and there's no way I can forget about Miyuki!"

"So you didn't get into high school, and you won't start working. What does that leave?"

"They'll hold the exams again next year, won't they? If I pass then, I'll be back on track!"

"That sounds like the Wolfrun I know. Do you figure that'll work on your girl?"

Runtarou has nearly recovered his usual spirit, but he deflates again.

"She ain't my girl. It's not like I'm giving up, but she told me I had to pass. I can't pretend we're together just because I wish she were."

"But you're going to pass next year, ain't ya? Did she ever say anything about that?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Melody, Houjou Hibiki - age 1 7
Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 1 7
Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 1 7
Hanamin, Yukine Hanako - Ellen's best friend - age 1 7
Morioka Takayuki - in a band with Ellen and Hanako - age 23


January, 2014

"Ah! Cat paws are the best!"

Hummy has had kittens. Now that they are old enough, Ellen has invited her friends to play with them. Kanade is ecstatic. She could enjoy herself all day just touching cat paws.

"Look at you! All black-haired and beautiful! You're just like your Mama's owner, aren't you?"

Hanamin has latched onto a particular kitten, one with short, black hair all over, and the beginnings of a white mane gathered up at its neck. Not at all bothered by being handled, or even being held up at eye level, the kitten amiably licks her on the nose.

"Haha! That tickles!"

"You know... I like cats, but I don't think I can match their enthusiasm." Hibiki says, as she dangles a large fake feather above two other kittens.

"You don't have to fall in love with them," Ellen responds. "Though if you do know anyone who might like to adopt a kitten, I'm going to have to give most of them away soon."

"You're giving them away?" Kanade asks, shocked.

"I have to! I can't raise and keep another half-dozen cats, and what if Hummy has more kittens? I'm a cat person, but I'm not going to be one of those cat ladies!"

"Oh, I'll take this one," Hanamin says, still playing with the same kitten. "I will love her, and snuggle her, and call her Siren!"

Ellen blushes, but still responds. "Okay, she's yours."

"Can I have this one?" Kanade asks, as she gently holds the paws of a little white fluff-ball.

"All yours, Kanade."

Hibiki thinks for a moment. "Have you asked Ako? She likes cats."

"She has that bird, remember?"

Hibiki scowls. "Oh. Right. That bird."

Kanade sighs. "You shouldn't hold a grudge, Hibiki. It's just an animal."

"It pooped in my hair!"

This is a topic that Hibiki and Kanade have covered many times before, but like any can of worms, once opened it can only be played out until its conclusion.

On the other side of the room, Takayuki, the third member of Ellen and Hanamin's band, silently observes a tiny gray kitten that is trying to climb inside his trumpet.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 15
Kagamine Aoshi - Onikichi's cousin - age 21


January, 2014

"Cousin Aoshi!"

Immediately upon seeing the large, blue-haired man, Onikichi rushes up to him and draws him into what would be a crushing bear hug if the other guy wasn't equally as muscular as himself.

The man smiles. "Hey, little buddy. You got big."

"Ha! That's right! I'm a match for you, now! Wanna wrestle?"

"Nah, maybe later. I've got to work tonight."

"Work? At night?" Onikichi seems to have trouble processing the idea.

"I'm a magician, little buddy. See these threads?" Aoshi disengages and turns around, letting Onikichi get a good look at his three-piece suit and royal blue cape. "I'm doing a show at the Grand Yotsuba Hotel."

"Magic, huh... I see. You could grow no bigger, so you made yourself smarter. Truly, I cannot catch up to you. But we are still buddies!" He finishes with a grin.

"Haha! So we are. And because we are buddies, you get two tickets!"

"Oh, now we can both go to your show!"

Aoshi shakes his head. "Think about that, buddy. Why would I need a ticket for my own show? Those are for you and a girl."

"A girl, huh?" Onikichi scratches his head. "I, um... I need to go talk to some people."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 24
Misumi Tsutomu - Nagisa's husband - age 26
Misumi Arisa - Nagisa's daughter - age 1 year, 9 months
Misumi Ririka - Nagisa's daughter - newborn


February, 2014

Nagisa did not have much trouble with her first childbirth, and the second was even easier. She returns home with her second daughter on the same day, more concerned about how her elder daughter will react. From the stories she has heard, she expects it to be something like introducing cats to each other: Noisy and painful for everyone involved.

"Mommy!"

As soon as Nagisa enters the house, little Arisa comes running. Tsutomu follows close behind.

"That's right, Mommy's home."

She kneels down and shows the squirming infant to her toddler.

"This is your little sister. Her name is Ririka."

"Ririka!" Arisa gets it on the first try.

"That's right!"

"Ririka!"

Arisa grabs the baby's arm and pulls. Ririka begins to cry, and Nagisa has to pull the baby out of her older daughter's reach.

"Arisa, why did you do that?"

Arisa innocently looks her mother in the eyes, while reaching again toward the baby's arm.

"Mine!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 21
Dark PreCure - Tsukikage Sumire - age 20
Tsukikage Haruna - Yuri's and Sumire's mother - age 42


February, 2014

Yuri looks at the extra place setting and sighs. "Mother, is that really necessary?"

Sumire glares at Yuri. "Mom can remember Dad how she wants to!"

Yuri stiffens. She seems about to reply when their mother calls out from the kitchen. "Be nice, Sumire."

"Me?! I'm not the one saying you shouldn't remember Dad's anniversary!"

"Yuri hasn't been here with us. I'm sure she's just worried that I may be setting a place for your father every day, like I did for both of you when he took you out of the country."

Sumire's eyes widen. "You did? Why?"

"She said it was because she wanted to be ready in case you returned," Yuri answers. "You have no idea how badly she worried while you were both gone."

"That's right, Yuri. And you have no idea how your sister and I have been getting by in your absence, so please be a little more thoughtful before you pass judgment."

"I... Please accept my apology."

"You're apologizing to me? Oh, that's-"

"Sumire!"

"-Apology accepted, Sis."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kujou Hikaru - Shiny Luminous's brother - age 13
Dorodoron, Tsuchimonji Domon - age 28


March, 2014

"Rematch!"

Hikaru shouts, as the match ends in his victory. Dorodoron sighs, but presses the button on his controller to challenge again. They choose their fighters and another match begins.

Midway through the match, Dorodoron sets the controller down.

"Hey, what's the point of this? You know I can't win."

"I know that. Get back in the game."

"No. I won't. Are you even having fun?"

"Fun?" Hikaru sighs and pauses the game. "That has nothing to do with this."

"They what are we playing for? Games are supposed to be fun."

"Look, my Sis told you about our parents, didn't she?"

"Only that she doesn't remember them."

"That's all there is to know. Sis doesn't remember them, and I never knew them at all. That doesn't bother me, but it bothers her. And it means that I'm the only one who can look out for her."

"Dude, I love her. Do you think I don't want to take care of her?"

"Somebody has to make you sweat!"

"What."

"It's a man's job, right? We haven't got a father. Kaneda is cool and all, but he's a cousin by marriage and a little too chill for this. That means that if anyone's going to put you in your place, it has to be me. Me. You understand? I'd say I'm a pretty good soccer player, but you're twice my age and huge. If I'm going to kick your ass, it'll have to be at games."

"Dude, that's nuts. If you're gonna make that much no sense, I should be allowed to get drunk."

"No drinking. Pick up your controller."

Dorodoron rolls his eyes, but does as he was told.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Scorp, Yasuda Takeo - age 40
Yasuda Mizusu - Takeo's wife - age 32
Yasuda Takenori - Takeo's father - age 76
Yasuda Kunio - Takeo's and Mizusu's son - newborn


April, 2014

"Finally! Hand over that grandbaby!"

Takeo glances at Mizusu, who holds their child protectively.

"Dad, are you sure that's a good-"

"Bah, of course it's a good idea! Four years! What kind of couple needs four years to get a baby? Layabouts, that's what you are! Do you think I'm going to live forever?"

Mizusu tries to stand up to the old man. "Firstly, we've only been married three and a half years. Second-"

"No excuses! I mean to get me some grandpa time while I'm still alive to get it! You want little Kunio to remember me, don't you?"

Takeo tries again. "Dad, Kunio is a baby. He's not going to be able to handle your... energy."

"Ha! You think I never changed your diapers, boy? I know how to handle a baby. It's like riding a bike: you never forget!"

Mizusu wrinkles her nose. "Speaking of diapers... It smells like it's that time."

"Marvelous!" The old man claps his hands. "What was it they called this? Karma? Boy, you're going to get the things and change the lad's diaper! While you're at that, I'll stand over here and supervise! Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Tender, Hikawa Maria - age 16
Cure Bomber Blue, Megan Johnson - age 14


April, 2014

"Hey, would you two mind if I take your picture?"

"Yeah, sure!"

Before Maria can respond, the girl beside her, Megan, has already agreed and pulled her into a duo pose. A few moments later, the strange man with the scruffy beard has finished snapping photos, thanked them, picked up his [looking for majical girls] sign, and wandered off.

"That felt very strange," Maria says. "I wonder if he knew his sign was misspelled?"

"Was it?" Megan responds. "I haven't learned that much Japanese yet."

Maria nods. "One of the characters was mirrored. I'd be embarrassed."

"Wait... so you'd be embarrassed by misspelling a word, but not by walking around wearing those butterfly wings? I at least can say that I'm cosplaying."

"I could say that if I needed to, not anyone has asked."

Megan is one of only a few Pretty Cures who live outside Japan, and she has flown in from another state to spend time with Maria at this convention. She is dressed up as a magical girl from a popular anime, with a fancy red dress, red boots, a scarlet wig styled into a ponytail, and a long fake spear. She was surprised to find out that Maria owns her 'Dark Tender' outfit, a mostly black ensemble with lavender accents and huge purple butterfly wings.

Megan holds a door open so that Maria can get her wings through. When Maria notices that they have emerged onto the street, her eyes widen, but only for a moment.

She smiles. "You know... back home, nobody would think of leaving an event like this in costume."

Megan covers her ears. "No! Please don't destroy the Akihabara of my dreams!"

"Akihabara, huh? That's another place I've heard of, but haven't ever been."

"Like this convention?"

"Exactly," Maria answers. "Maybe I don't really know as much as I thought? I'm almost tempted to find out."

"Almost?" Megan asks, hopefully.

"Coming here was your idea, remember? I don't dislike this, but I'm actually more of an outdoor type."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 18
Ban Kenji - Tsubomi's friend - age 18


May, 2014

"Oh?"

The sensation of reaching for a book on a high shelf and accidentally touching another person's hand. Tsubomi is even more surprised when she sees who it is.

"Kenji?"

"Tsubomi..." Kenji responds, blushing. "Fancy meeting you here."

There is a part of Kenji's mind that stubbornly insists that this is a flag, a random event that could and should lead to romance. He refuses to consider it. When they were still in middle school, he and Tsubomi already dated and broke up.

"Kenji?"

He has no choice but to admit it. "Sorry, I missed what you just said."

"You weren't listening!" She is even more beautiful when she frowns. "I asked if you changed your mind about taking college entrance exams! Last time we talked, you said you were going to devote yourself to getting published."

"Oh. Yeah, it has been a while, hasn't it? I changed my mind- well, more like I had my mind changed- months and months ago."

"You had your mind changed?" Tsubomi raises an eyebrow. "Would you care to explain that odd little expression?"

"I met the real thing, Tsubomi. I met the kind of genius who gets published right out of high school. I thought that I might be that kind of person myself, until I ran into her at Summer'ket. Without even a warning, she showed me what real talent looks like, how badly I've been fooling myself."

"That's... Please don't tell me you've given up!"

Kenji smiles. "No, I haven't. I'm still going to chase that dream, but I need to improve myself first. I need to experience more of the world and really broaden my horizons if I'm going to stand a chance. I figure college is a good way to do that."

Tsubomi has fallen silent, covering her mouth with both hands.

"No good?" Kenji asks.

She shakes her head. "I was thinking you sounded really cool just now."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke - age 25
Takagi Kou - Kyousuke's cousin / Bunbee's wife - age 32
Takagi Chisa - Kou's and Bunbee's daughter - age 3
Momoi Sayaka - Kyousuke's daughter - newborn


May, 2014

"Knock, knock!"

Mucardia opens the door. He has dark circles under his eyes and a baby in his arms.

"Kou, my sister who is actually my cousin. Your present cheer is an affront to the natural order, and I must ask you to correct it."

"Rough week, huh?"

He groans. "Do babies never sleep, or is it only mine?"

"You'll get used to it," Kou says with a smile. "Come on, Chisa. We're here to meet your cousin."

The little girl hides behind Kou's leg and stares at Mucardia as if he were a cockroach.

"Come on, that's not how we meet people."

Chisa blows a raspberry.

"I guess she takes after you, then."

Kou scratches the back of her head. "Maybe you could let her hold Sayaka?"

"You want me to put my infant daughter into the tender arms of a terrified three year old?"

"Perhaps not."

"Honestly, now I'm a little worried about even letting you hold her."

Kou blows a raspberry.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 18
Ichijou Kazuki - Cure Berry's brother - age 18


May, 2014

Itsuki is not a member of Myoudouin Academy's high school judo club, but she has joined them as a representative for their practice match at Nine Muses High School. To all appearances, her first match goes well. She is declared winner, but her facade breaks as she leaves the ring. While she had intended to bear the pain until she could sit down with the team, she instead stumbles and falls, no longer able to stand on her injured ankle.

"Are you okay? Would you like some help?"

It is a boy wearing a Nine Muses uniform. Being from a different school, Itsuki cannot place all of the school years by their uniform variant, but from his dark green cape she can tell he is in the same year as Erika. Her inner fashionista heartily approves.

She forces a smile. "I couldn't impose. You should be cheering for your team."

"Before that, I am a health representative. Let me help you to the infirmary."

The boy is stronger than he looks. When he lifts her onto his back, Itsuki realizes that he is also rather tall. Even for a boy, he's tall. Itsuki feels her face and body heat up as he carries her to the infirmary. Once they are inside, he sets her down on a bed.

"I forgot to introduce myself, didn't I? My name is Kazuki. Ichijou Kazuki."

"Myoudouin Itsuki. I would have prefered to meet you under happier circumstances."

"Likewise. I actually was trying to make up an excuse to talk to you, but this wasn't what I had in mind."

"An excuse? Why?"

"Mainly because you're beautiful."

At this, Itsuki blushes in earnest.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Namakeldar, Namase Kenta - age 21
Hosshiwa, Hoshi Wako - age 21
Baritone, Toujou Naoto - age 24


June, 2014

"Happiness Charge? Like hell!" Hosshiwa chugs the rest of her drink and slams the glass to the bar. "What about my happiness? Why do those girls get to be happy little bridesmaids for a couple they barely know, while I can't even find a boyfriend!"

"You are taking this too seriously," Namakeldar says, as he pats her on the back. "For all we know, that marriage will end badly. Lots of couples who marry end up divorcing, or something else might happen. A tree could fall on them. Don't waste your energy."

She turns to him with a baleful glare. "If you're really my friend, you should get mad along with me."

"It's not in my constitution."

"'Not in my constitution,'" she singsongs, turning back to the bar. "And what's with this beer! I hope you know, it tastes like piss!"

The bartender, a handsome young man with pale blue hair, just shrugs. "I'm sorry? You ordered diet beer. What did you expect?"

"I expect- I expect! I expectededed..." Hosshiwa wobbles on her stool, then abruptly passes out and falls to the floor.

Namakeldar looks down at her.

"Bother."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Midorikawa Haru - Cure March's sister - age 10
Midorikawa Yuuta - Cure March's brother - age 7
Misumi Tomoe - Cure Black's sister - age 8


June, 2014

On account of her reputation, Misumi Tomoe has learned to tell when somebody is about to ask a favor of her. The boy who approaches, as she eats lunch with her friends, is obviously one such, so she quickly peels and eats her tangerine rather than saving it for last.

"Excuse me..."

She turns to the boy and shows him the smile she has practiced in the mirror. Her best smile, which causes her pale orange twin-tails fall into a frame around her face and her amber-colored eyes.

"You're Midorikawa Yuuta, right? Is there somebody you want to confess to?"

She does not suggest that it might be herself. For some reason, the boys never confess to her.

The boy fidgets. "Not me. My sister wants your advice."

"Your sister..." Tomoe considers what she knows about his family. "The baby couldn't have sent you, so... Are you asking for the cute one, the clever one, or the cool one?"

She can practically see the boy processing the idea in his mind. Possibly he has never thought of any except his cool eldest sister as being any of those things.

"It's Hina," he finally says. The cute one, then.

"Alright, let's go talk to her."

Yuuta leads Tomoe outside, where Hina is found eating lunch with a couple of other fourth year girls. She has brown hair tied up in a side-tail style, and is wearing in a frilly pink dress.

"Big Sis, she's here."

"You brought the Love Doctor?" Hina grins, and the other two girls walk away. Probably they have some sort of agreement.

"That is what I am called," Tomoe answers. "Who do you want to confess to?"

"Hayase Ryuuto," Hina answers. It doesn't seem like she has any shortage of confidence.

"Okay. What do you like about him?"

"Nothing, really. I need a smart guy like him to do my homework."

"Then I won't help you. Contact me again when you believe in love."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 21
Syrup, Amai Shirou - age 20


June, 2014

Urara is famous, but not world famous. She is successful, but not yet wealthy. Shirou is training to be a pilot, but lacks the license needed to freely fly his new wife to any place she might desire. Because of this, there are some practical limits as to where they can have their honeymoon.

Fortunately, Urara's father is French. He has lived and worked in Japan from around the time he met Urara's late mother, but it is not as if he is an orphan. His parents, Urara's grandparents, live in a townhouse in Bordeaux. She has been told that it is a beautiful city, and what little she has seen so far suggests that to be true. And the only price of staying with family is...

Staying with family.

"Urara! Come in, come in! Why, I haven't seen you since you were just this tall!" Her paternal grandfather places his hand at a level that suggests she was very young indeed.

"What a beauty you've become," her grandmother adds. "And so talented. Your father sends us all of your videos, you know. The Japanese goes right over our heads, sorry to say, but your Eponine! Les Mis is Les Mis, after all. In any language, it is always French!"

"A timeless classic, it is," her grandfather insists. "I was in a production myself once. Secondary school, you must understand. None of this fancy show business stuff. But still, I had a part!"

"You were an actor? Grandfather, what part did you play?"

His wife cackles. "Sweetie, he played the trombone."

After climbing up a staircase, the old man opens a door. "Now, this is the room you'll be staying in. It used to be your father's room."

"My father's room?" Urara stares, drinking in the details.

"Oh, just so," her grandmother answers. "And you needn't worry about the insulation, sweetie. You may have been conceived in this room, but we never heard a thing!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cobraja, Mishou Masaru - age 27
Hamura Kaneda - Girinma's cousin - age 33


July, 2014

"To be honest, Mr. Mishou-" "Cobraja." "Mr. Cobraja, I'm not sure you need my help. I would say that your premises are already extravagantly painted."

Cobraja nods. "They certainly are. My wife is quite talented. Therein lies the problem, actually."

"I'm afraid I don't follow."

"My premises are too extravagant, Mr. Hamura! They clash with the rest of the street. True, they draw customers into my store. Also true, my lovely wife is only too happy to decorate. I am too happy, and having too much success, and it is coming too much at the expense of my neighbors. I am not trying to be the best capitalist, good sir. I only wish to support my family and to make the world a more magnificent place to live."

"I... see? What is it that you propose?"

"I want to elevate the status of this commercial district. I want to see people coming here from all over to patronize all of our shops. I want to see beautiful paintings and murals on every building here. For that, I need you to come with me to a community meeting. I want you to be there, and to propose with me that you should paint the town."

"Ambitious..." Kaneda says, stroking his beard. "I'll do it!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - age 15
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 14


July, 2014

Iona's eyes widen. "That was why? That's- Why didn't you just tell me?"

"I tried," Hime responds. "You never let me finish."

The two are carrying supplies that they went to get for a party. Iona stops walking.

"This is terrible. I said all those awful things, and it was all a mistake from the start. Why are you even talking to me?"

Hime hesitates before saying: "It's not like I don't get where you were coming from. If our positions were reversed... I don't think I would have listened either. Maybe you could have made me listen better, though. Like, you could have held me down until I heard you out."

"What kind of person do you think I am?"

"Strong? Cool?"

Iona's cheeks flush. "Right, I'm so cool I don't even listen when I should."

"You can be cool without being perfect all the time! Look at all this stuff we were able to get because you had a million coupons! The martial arts thing is pretty cool too."

"I still think you're forgiving me too easily."

"I don't. Friends?" Hime pulls a candy from her bag and holds it out.

Iona takes the candy. "Okay, friends."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya - age 24
Irizawa Kaoru - age 22
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 23


July, 2014

The ceremony has been completed. Kiriya and Kaoru are now husband and wife. Likewise, the rituals with the bouquet and the garter have been carried out. Cake and ice cream. Music and dancing.

People have been watching Cure Mint. Komachi is famous for her pranks, and especially famous for her wedding pranks. Especially when her friends are getting married, and Kaoru is one such friend. Oddly, she has not been seen to leave at any time during the ceremony, nor during the reception.

By tradition, and according to plan, this is the part where the newlyweds are to leave the venue. They are to get into a car (Kiriya's) that has been ritually vandalized with easily-removed markings, and from there proceed to the airport and their honeymoon.

However, the car is missing. By all accounts, it should have been right outside the exit. Instead, there a detailed chalk drawing on the pavement. It is a car, the very car that ought to be parked there, enclosed within an arrow that directs them around the side of the hotel that has hosted the event.

The wedding party and the guests search in that direction. How could they not? Cure Mint trails behind the rest. Nobody doubts that she is the instigator, but "whodunnit" is not her preferred brand of mystery.

A second arrow directs the seekers around a corner, and points directly at the hotel's swimming pool. A pool that is enclosed by a perfectly intact chain-link fence, one and a half meters tall. At the center of the pool, Kiriya's car, wheels resting on the surface of the water.

There is no such thing as magic in this world.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 22
Cobraja, Mishou Masaru - Mai's husband - age 2 7
Poisony, Kamaki Poiko - Kiriya's sister - age 29
Kamaki Meiko - Poiko's daughter - age 4
Momoi Michiru - Kaoru's sister - age 22


August, 2014

Including the store, fitting rooms, stockroom, and a small loading dock, Cobraja Fashion Designs takes up only the ground floor of the three story building it inhabits. The top floor is residential space, where Mai lives with her husband. In between is where all of the truly exciting developments take place.

Drawing tables, bolts of cloth, pins and needles and thread. Bits and pieces of every sort of garment. Much of the floor is a workshop, where Masaru and his star designer work hard to create new outfits for the store below. Mai leads her guests through this area without stopping.

The remainder of the floor is her domain, an art studio and, when necessary, a gallery. She opens the door and smiles as she ushers her three guests into a space where three framed and captioned paintings are displayed in a row.

"Oh my," Poisony says, covering her mouth. "Does this mean you were involved with that stunt at the wedding?"

Mai smiles. "If you're wondering how it was done or by whom, you'll have to ask the guilty party. Creating these images is the full extent of my involvement. Of course, if you ask the culprit or any of her henchmen, they will tell you that none of the scenes before you ever happened."

Michiru chuckles. "What a sneaky way to say it."

By Poisony's side, her daughter tugs at her arm. Meiko is still quite small for a girl who is nearly five years old. "Mama, why is it sneaky?"

Poisony kneels down to look Meiko in the eyes. "If I tell you, it will ruin the magic."

"Magic?!"

"Yes, magic. I want you to look carefully at each of these pictures and decide which is most magical."

The tiny girl nods, then carefully looks at each of the paintings in turn.

The first painting bears the caption "PRISMA" and presents a cross-section of a swimming pool with a car in it. The car is a cherry-red convertible, which at first seems to rest with its wheels resting on the surface of the water. Upon closer inspection, it is resting on a surface that is mostly transparent, defined only by a faintly iridescent glaze. The platform is suspended by hooks and wires attached at each corner and made of the same near-transparent material. They can be traced upward in the vertically oriented frame, where they hang from a cloud that is shaped like a closed fist.

The second painting bears the caption "ENCHANTMENT" and presents an isometric view of a rectangular swimming pool with a car in the middle of the water. The car is black and is of old-fashioned make, like something from the 1960s. It does not rest directly on the water. Instead, there is a different magic circle glowing under each wheel. One of the front wheels has an orange circle with flowers in the center. The other front wheel has a light blue circle bordered by feathers. A rear wheel rests on a red circle with a flame icon. The other wheel is not visible. The view is letterboxed at either side, but most of the black space is taken up by four witches wearing with their backs to the viewer. They are wearing individually colored robes and hats: orange, light blue, red, and green, and each holds a glowing magic wand.

The final painting bears the caption "PHANTASMA", which is oriented horizontally. Rather than resting on the surface of the water, this image shows a small blue coupe ramping off the edge of the pool and through a glowing portal in the air. It is clearly being driven by the groom, as the bride leans out the passenger side window with a smile on her face. On the other side of the portal is a cobblestone road that winds off into the distance, where several plush creatures with stubby limbs are menaced by a dark silhouette wearing a horned helmet.

Michiru shakes her head, smiling. "Once again, you show us your peerless imagination. Mai, these are astounding."

Poisony nods. "I agree. I'm no expert, but I am truly impressed."

Mai squats down to ask Meiko. "Which one do you like?"

"The one where they're saving the fairies!"

Mai stands back up. "Now, the problem: We have plans to auction off two of these for charity, and to give the third one to Kiriya and Kaoru, but the auction is going to happen before they return from their honeymoon. As their closest relatives, I was hoping you could help us choose which one to gift to them."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Namakeldar, Namase Kenta - age 21
Sagara Seiji - Cure Lovely's childhood friend - age 14


August, 2014

Seiji and Megumi have considerable history, but sometimes it seems as if that will not be enough.

It isn't as though they've had a fight. He has only chosen to isolate himself near the bank of a river so that he can sort out his thoughts in private.

"You are burdened by love. I can smell it on you."

Seiji looks up, startled. The man with the pale green hair is, unfortunately, somebody he knows.

"What are you doing here?"

Namakeldar shrugs. "It is a coincidence, I assure you. I simply saw no reason to bother with being elsewhere."

"Here's a reason: Get lost."

Instead, the man plants his walking stick firmly into the grass.

"You should know that falling in love is bad for your health. You'll regret it if you do."

"How I feel about Megumi is none of your business!"

"I'm just advising you as an unconcerned third party. Don't blame me if the future reflected in your mirror should eventually turn awful."

It seems that he has said his piece. Namakeldar yawns, pulls his walking stick from the soil, then walks away.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 22
Cure Sword, Kenzaki Makoto - age 15
Cure Honey, Ohmori Yuuko - age 15
Cure Sunset, Ohana Lulani - age 14
Cure Wave, Olina Lulani - age 14


August, 2014

The concert hall is spacious, grandiose, and full of people. As Ohana and Olina arrive with their older chaperone, the twins can't help looking around. Olina's eyes are drawn particularly to the marble columns and the hanging chandelier.

"This place is amazing! I can't believe we're actually going to watch a show here!"

"You didn't even want to come," her sister says. "Aren't you glad I made you?"

"I always wanted to come! Just because you rushed into it without a care in the world doesn't mean you changed my mind. For all we knew, Miss Mimino could have been a weirdo like Madame Momere!"

"There's no way someone so pretty and cool would be like that!"

Kurumi chuckles. "I'm glad you think so, Ohana, but you really shouldn't judge people by their appearances. If someone shows up out of the blue and offers to take you to a concert, it's not a bad idea to check that she is who she says she is... Though as it happens, I am."

Olina puffs out her chest. "See? You shouldn't be so reckless!"

"You should stop getting in my way!"

"Girls, if you keep on fighting, these backstage passes are going to go to waste."

"Backstage passes?!" "Backstage passes?!"


"I have to admit, I wasn't expecting steamed rice," Kurumi says as Yuuko serves her a hot bowl of exactly that.

"Why not?" Yuuko asks, serving more rice to the others. "Rice warms the body and the spirit. It goes with everything and it's delicious all by itself."

Makoto shakes her head. "Your rice is. Two months on tour together, and I still don't know how you season it."

Yuuko grins. "That's because it's doesn't need seasoning. It's just ordinary delicious rice."

"You see what I have to put up with?"

"And you keep taking seconds, too!"

"She's a witch, I tell you. She's fattening me up to season her rice."

Makoto's deadpan delivery is perfect, as is her timing. Kurumi chokes on her rice. Yuuko pulls a couple of bills from her pocket and hands them to Makoto.

"Wha-" Kurumi sputters, then swallows. "What was that? I thought that this was going to be a friendly All Stars meetup!"

"It is," Makoto insists. "Cure Mint asked us to prank you."

"Cure Mint?" Olina echoes.

Kurumi rubs her temples. "She's a friend of mine and a year older. She has a nasty habit of playing pranks, then writing novels based on them."

Ohana turns to Kurumi. "How many Pretty Cures are there, anyway?"

Kurumi considers the question for a moment. "Thirty or forty? That's only counting the ones from Japan. There probably aren't too many more than that. I think this is the first year there have been new PreCures named overseas."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 16
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 17
Kise Chiharu - Yayoi's mother - age 36
Falsetto, Hayase Tohru - age 32
Hayase Ryuuto - Tohru's son - age 11
Hayase Masatora - Tohru's son - age 7


August, 2014

Compared to the first time, getting married for a second time is not such a big deal. It is still important, but it is less common to throw lavish parties. Not much is expected of widow and a widower who each already have children... except by those children.

So they throw a party. Chiharu makes use of her connections as a fashion agent to get a fancy yellow dress and the use of a friend's fashion boutique after hours. Tohru rents a proper tuxedo and gets a priest to come and say the things that are usually said at weddings. Yayoi and Miyuki get to dress up as bridesmaids. Ryuuto gets to carry the rings.

Technically, the two families have already joined. Technically, this is just an excuse to dress up and to have cake and ice cream.

A pretty good excuse, at that.

It is a little silly to perform the ritual with the bouquet at such a small event. They do it anyway. Miyuki makes the catch.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 14
Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - age 15
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 14
Phantom, Inutama Anji - age 19
Joker, Karasawa Jou - age 22
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 21


August, 2014

"You fool. You cannot comprehend that person's anger."

A bolt of crimson energy flies at Cure Lovely. She evades, jumping back with impossible speed.

"Phantom! What are you doing here?"

"That person wishes for you to disappear. I am here to make it so."

"I won't let you!"

The two opponents fly at each other, trading blows so quickly that for a few moments they appear only as colored outlines. Lovely comes close to landing a glowing punch. Phantom falls out of the air.

The color drains from the area as he is seen bleeding on the ground. Words appear.

[You have grown stronger. Now you shall witness my true power. Behold, the darkness of your own heart!]

A cloud of dust erupts from where Phantom fell. When it clears, Cure Lovely is wearing a pink mask over her face. Where Phantom was, another Cure Lovely stands. However, where the original wears pink and white, this new apparition is clothed in scarlet and black. Even her hair is the same deep red.

"Who are you?!"

"Helping others... saving people... I know the truth. You only did it so that you would be praised!"

"That's not true!" Her face is hidden behind the mask, but it is clear from Lovely's eyes that she has been affected.

"Don't try to deny it! I, Unlovely, know everything about you!"

The doppelganger attacks.


There is no such thing as magic in this world, but a movie is a window into another world.

"So Phantom explodes, and suddenly you're wearing a mask?" Still watching the screen, Iona asks the obvious question.

Even if it is a bad movie.

"It's because I'm not really talking in those shots," Megumi explains sheepishly. "Everything where it looks like Cure Lovely is talking after Anji's accident was actually dubbed in later."

"But you're talking normally as Unlovely?"

"Oh, you sweet summer child," Sumire whispers from just behind Iona's ear. Iona shrieks, then Sumire pats her head. "Unlovely didn't even exist until like a week later. Cool outfits like that don't just appear out of thin air, you know? I had to sew like crazy!"

Hime scratches her head. "So when you're playing Lovely and shouting at yourself, you don't know what you're saying or what's being said to you? How did you know what to do?"

"That would be my doing," Joker says. "I told her to act as if Anji was still there. When it was decided that Megumi would take over his part in addition to the hero role, we watched the footage together and tried to make Unlovely's movements match up."

"Maybe you should have tried harder."

Joker wrings his hands. "That actually is the best I could do. I had to teach myself basically all of the special effects over the course of a couple of weeks. Almost all of the money that would have gone for effects instead went to covering our liability after Anji's harness failed."

Sumire pinches his cheek. "Such a caring boss!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Honey, Ohmori Yuuko - age 15
Phantom, Inutama Anji - age 19


September, 2014

When Phantom turns up at the Ohmori family restaurant, he is necessarily in a wheelchair. Parts of his body, including both of his legs, are still visibly in casts.

Yuuko makes no comment, and instead sets a bowl of white rice in front of him.

"On the house."

Phantom gives her a strange look, but takes a bite of the rice.

"You really are a good cook."

"Flatterer," she answers with a smile.

"I don't understand why you do so many different things. You've been on tour as an idol singer, but still you volunteer at the hospital and... well, this."

"There isn't any special reason for it. I like what I like. My friends are the same way."

He laughs, then grimaces. "Wow, even laughing hurts now."

"Would you like me to nurse you again? I wouldn't mind."

"It's fine. I can get by on my own, and I'm told all of this will heal."

"I'm glad to hear that. Have you thought about what you're going to do?"

He shakes his head. "Honestly, I'm not sure. The one thing I've figured out is that acting... is not for me."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 21
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 23
Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 19
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 18
Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 19
Ichijou Kazuki - Itsuki's boyfriend - age 18
Ban Kenji - Tsubomi's & Erika's friend - age 19


September, 2014

"I think this is a good time to take a break."

Nuts House is now a regular hangout for the younger PreCures. Tsubomi, Erika, Itsuki, along with two boys, have all been invited for a group study session by Nozomi. Kazuki is dating Itsuki, and attends the same high school as Erika. Kenji is Tsubomi's ex-boyfriend, but has been invited at her request.

Nozomi can't help grinning as she directs and aids their efforts. It was not so long ago that she was in their position herself, and now she is studying to be a teacher. By the time she calls for a break, she has already been helping them for almost two hours.

Nozomi's lessons are fun and effective, but also intensely energetic. The students let out a collective sigh of relief as Komachi enters the room. She is very obviously pregnant and carrying a tray of snacks.

Erika seems particularly drained. She slumps forward onto her books, then pulls her dark green cape up over her head. "Ah... All of my motivation power is flying out the window..."

Tsubomi pats her on the back. "Just bear with it, okay? We're only going to study for two more hours."

Erika flails her hands against the table. "No way! I can't focus anymore unless I hear some sweet, juicy gossip right now!"

"Gossip?" Itsuki echoes.

"Gossip!" Erika insists, abruptly standing up and pointing at Itsuki and Kazuki. "Are you two gonna elope or what?!"

"Of course not!" Kazuki shouts, standing. "We're going to marry with her family's blessing!"

"Kazuki?" Itsuki squeaks, blushing.

"I mean... I'm going to earn their blessing? If you'll have me?"

Itsuki nods vigorously. "Yes! With pleasure!"

"Congratulations!" A loud bang followed by a shower of confetti shocks nearly everybody in the room. Komachi has activated a party popper that nobody had known she had.

As the rest of the students crowd close to the newly betrothed couple and offer their own well wishes, Komachi and Nozomi withdraw to the next room.

"You didn't know that was coming, right? There's just no way."

Komachi shakes her head. "Of course not. Sometimes I just prepare a bit and take the opportunities that present themselves... not like a certain someone who dropped her own wedding announcement at a birthday party less than two months in advance."

Nozomi giggles a bit, then abruptly stops. "Wait... am I a bad influence?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Wester, Nishi Hayato - age 20
Soular, Minami Shun - age 19


September, 2014

"My friend, I do not get you sometimes. You're a damn good hypnotist. You could be making money, and instead you're going to school to be... a hypnotist?"

Shun shows his friend a cross expression. "There's much more to psychiatry than just pendulums and ASMR, Hayato. To the point that they have almost nothing in common. I know I've told you this before."

"Ha! Maybe you have! But tell me, good buddy, which is cooler? Playing head doctor with a notebook and a little couch, or being an actual wizard?"

"Being as there is no such thing as magic in this world? I'd rather be a doctor than a fraud."

Hayato makes a surrender gesture. "Okay, okay. No need to get all scowly on me. We've been friends how long now? It bothers me that you're studying your butt off and paying for the privilege, while I'm out doing business and making real money."

"Driving a donut truck that belongs to somebody else isn't what I'd call real money."

"Huh? I must've forgotten to tell you: It's my truck now. That guy had something come up that is gonna keep him overseas, so he signed the whole business over to me."

Shun does not respond, aside from blinking in surprise.

"Lucky, right? I can hardly believe it myself sometimes. I had to change the business name and repaint the truck just to make it feel real."

"Really."

"Yeah, really. You're looking at the proud owner of Star Donuts!"

Shun facepalms. "And where, pray tell, did you get the money for such a thing? Should I worry that someone is going to come and make you disappear?"

"What, like a loan shark? Dude, give me some credit. I mean, there is a loan, but the lender is legit. They call themselves the Nozomi Foundation."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 23
Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 18
Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 1 7


September, 2014

"'Oh, you're young. Go and tell those kids to become cooks! Hype get, or whatever they call it!' So here I am, the representing the restaurant association. Like, officially, because none of the old people wanted to do it."

Though they go to different schools, Saki has picked Kanade and Akane out from their peers and made them sit with her at the "judges" table.

"I never imagined the business world might be like that," Kanade says.

"Aren't they just pushing you around?" Akane asks.

"Kind of?" Saki samples a small dessert from one of the plates before them, then sets it down. "I mean, I probably would have done it if they'd just asked. I'm more bothered that they didn't give me a say, and that the other two judges didn't bother to show."

"Is that why you changed the format?"

"Oh yeah. This was just going to be between your two schools anyway. It didn't count for anything, and I don't really know anything about judging. So I got with your advisors and said, 'why don't we just have a feast instead?' And it worked!"

"No complaints here," Akane says, raising her fork in a mock salute. "This was probably the only way I'd have gotten to try one of Kanade's cakes."

"My cakes aren't that special!" Kanade protests.

"Hey, don't be like that now! Back in March, Cure Melody spent half of the party telling me how great your cakes are! I'm talking hours, here! Before you start getting modest, you should think about reigning her in!"

Kanade facepalms. "Oh, believe me, I'm going to give her a piece of my mind."

Saki chuckles. "Don't go too hard on her, Kanade. You can't buy that kind of promotion!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 15
Oreski, Kizuna Reo - age 24


October, 2014

Is any man more alone than when his friends have forgotten his birthday? There are most likely many such, but in the moment Oreski cannot think of any examples. Even if he could, he is more concerned with his own situation, which is exactly that. As he walks along the top of the river embankment, he gives voice to his frustration with a wordless scream.

"Are you okay?"

Only now does he notice Megumi, who is sitting down near the water. She is more dressed up than is usual for her, and gives the impression of a classy young lady.

"Of course, I'm okay! I am strong! Healthy! Even if my so-called friends cannot be bothered to remember my birthday, I am still the best, without a doubt!"

"It's your birthday too? Happy birthday."

"Thanks..." Oreski frowns. "Could it be, you are skipping out on a birthday party?"

Megumi nod, then stands up. "I needed to clear my head. I think I'm okay now. Would you like to come? We have cake."

"Me, crash a birthday party?" He seems to be considering it.

"It's my party, so you wouldn't really be crashing."

"Still... you're what, fourteen years old?"

"Fifteen, starting today."

"Fifteen, huh. I'll have to pass this time. Maybe in another five years."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 25
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 25
Yukishiro Kouya - Honoka's husband - age 25
Yukishiro Houtarou - Honoka's and Kouya's son - age 3
Misumi Arisa - Nagisa's daughter - age 2
Yukishiro Enishi - Honoka's and Kouya's son - newborn


October, 2014

"Houtarou! Your mommy and daddy are here!"

Nagisa calls out from the front door, as Honoka and Kouya enter.

"Thanks for watching our boy," Kouya says. "I don't know how he would have handled going to the hospital with us."

Nagisa laughs. "Oh, it's no trouble at all! Anyhow, both of our girls adore him."

"Mommy! Daddy!"

Houtarou calls out as he runs to meet his parents. Arisa trails slightly behind him. She catches up as the boy slows to a stop, gazing suspiciously at the infant in his mother's arms.

Honoka kneels down, holding the baby where her older son can see him. "This is Enishi, your little brother."

"Little brother?"

"That's right. You're a big brother now, just like how Arisa is a big sister."

Houtarou frowns, glances at Arisa, then looks back at the baby. "Don't wanna!"

Arisa slaps him.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 14
Cure Tender, Hikawa Maria - age 1 7
Cure Bomber Blue, Megan Johnson - Maria's friend - age 15


November, 2014

It is a decisive moment. Iona shouts energetically as she presses her attack, but ends up flying through the air instead. She lands flat on her back.

"I really can't beat you, can I, Sis?"

Maria reaches down to help her sister up. "You've gotten stronger, but this is still my victory. I'm going to go back, and you owe me a thirty-minute massage."

Iona tears up. "Isn't there any way I can convince you to stay?"

Maria shakes her head. "Why don't you come with me, instead? Just for a week or two. I'm sure Mom and Dad would be happy to see you, too. Seattle is a lovely city, and maybe you could even visit Houston with me."

"Houston?"

"That's where Megan and her friends live, the American Pretty Cures. I promised her that I'd visit there soon, and she also asked me to bring her some things."

"Some things?" Iona echoes.

Maria shows a troubled expression. "To be honest, I don't entirely understand what she asked for. She said I can get it from a place called Otome Road."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 23
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 16
Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 16
Sebastian Cloverfield - Alice's butler - age 66
Akimoto Youka - Komachi's daughter - newborn


November, 2014

As Alice and Rikka reach the front of the line, Komachi greets them with a smile.

"You know, the owner of the building could be excused from standing in the line."

Alice hides her smile behind a paper fan. "Goodness, no! This is a book signing. Standing in line is a part of the experience!"

"As you wish, young lady." Komachi says, then opens the girls' books to sign them.

Rikka attempts small talk. "Komachi, when is your baby due?"

Komachi smiles. "In another week or so, supposedly, but actually right now."

"Is- is that something you should joke about?"

"I'm serious. My water broke fifteen, maybe twenty minutes ago. It's okay. There aren't that many people left in the queue."

Komachi is sweating visibly. When Rikka peeks behind the table, her face pales. It seems that Komachi is indeed sitting in a puddle of amniotic fluid.

"This could be bad..." Rikka's eyes fall on the butler. "Sebastian, have you ever helped with a childbirth?"

"Indeed, I have. It has been sixteen years, five months, and seventeen days, but I still remember as if it was yesterday."

"Sixteen-" Alice's eyes widen. "Sebastian, why have you never mentioned this before?!"

The situation is not so bad as it might have been. One of the people still in line turns out to be a doctor. They withdraw to the staff section of the building, where Rikka and Sebastian help the doctor deliver the baby.

"Congratulations. You have a healthy baby girl."

The baby is handed over to Komachi. "Youka. Her name will be Youka."

"A fine name," the doctor responds. "Now, I want you to both go home and rest."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 18
Dark PreCure, Tsukikakge Sumire - age 21


November, 2014

Erika has a situation.

It is after midnight and she is outside her home. A boy was involved.

If she enters through the front door, she will likely wake her parents. That must be avoided at all costs. Entering through the shop is no good, because that would trigger the security system. Erika's bedroom window is unlocked, but it is on the second floor. Getting up there safely and quietly could be quite difficult.

"Ooh, how could I let this happen?" She vents her frustration whisper quiet.

Unfortunately, she is spotted.

"Erika? Oh my goodness, it is you! Erika, what are you doing out at this hour?"

It is not the cry of any worried parent, but rather Sumire who has spotted her out. Erika can only watch in horror as Sumire walks unsteadily toward her. From her dress and her makeup, it seems that she has been to a party.

"Would you keep it down?" Erika hisses as Sumire draws near. "I'm trying to sneak in!"

"Sneak? Why? It's your own house."

"I'm trying to stay out of trouble!"

"Heehee... if you're going to be bad, you need to own it! Look at me! Can't you see what an awesome party I've been to?"

"You're drunk."

"And awesome!" Sumire insists.

"Don't you have classes tomorrow?"

"So? I'm in college, darling. Anyone who doesn't go to class hungover at least once in a while really isn't getting the full experience." Sumire pauses, wobbling, then leans against Erika to steady herself. "And you're out late too, miss high school girl."

"I don't need you to tell me that," Erika pouts.

"Meanie." Sumire says, teasingly poking Erika's cheek. Then she grins, and pulls Erika into a surprisingly firm bear hug.

A moment later, Erika realizes what is about to happen, but it is already too late.

"Mr. and Mrs. Kurumi! Your daughter is out here being a meanie!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 19
Myoudouin Kazuki - Itsuki's husband / Miki's brother - age 19
Myoudouin Gentarou - Itsuki's grandfather - age 75
Myoudouin Satsuki - Itsuki's brother - age 23
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - Satsuki's fiancee - age 23
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 20
Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 19
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 18
Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 22


December, 2014

Under the circumstances, it was expected that Itsuki and Kazuki would have a small civil ceremony and a low-key celebration afterward, or possibly none at all. It comes as the result of a whirlwind romance and a nearly accidental proposal, while the bride and the groom are both still in high school. The special day being moved up due to certain other considerations, they were left with less than two months to plan.

They had a lot of help. The venue, owned by Yotsuba Enterprises, was made available at no cost, and family and friends from both sides helped extensively with the preparations.

As it is a winter afternoon, the temperature outside is quite cold. The cold does not penetrate inside the building however, whereas the sunlight passes through the windows, shining brightly in a cloudless sky.

There are no theatrics during the ceremony. Bridesmaids Tsubomi, Erika, and Yuri are escorted by friends of the groom. The wedding is conducted entirely by the book, though it is Itsuki's grandfather, rather than her father, who walks her down the aisle to the groom. His health is failing. He is on oxygen and requires a wheelchair. Despite his ill health, performs his role with an uncharacteristic smile. When the bride and groom exchange rings, tears roll down his face.


As the reception begins and cake is distributed, the bridesmaids are seated at a table together.

Erika slumps in her seat. "Finally, it's done! I've been having nightmares for a week that she'd be in the middle of the ceremony and suddenly everyone would notice that the dress didn't fit!"

Tsubomi tries to comfort her. "At least you didn't have to sew it from scratch?"

"Yeah, it really was a good thing her mother still had her own wedding dress. And that it was close to Itsuki's size."

"Also, that you were willing to take time off from studying with exams coming up," Yuri adds.

"Do you really think I'd choose studying over sewing? Ever? Besides, I'm applying to fashion programs. The only thing that might look better in my portfolio would be if I designed a new wedding dress from scratch!"

"There's always next time?" Tsubomi suggests.

"Next time?" Erika perks up. "Yeah, we should talk about who's next! Tsubomi, you and Kenji-"

"We're not like that!" Tsubomi insists.


If the ritual of the bouquet were at all accurate, Karen should be the one to catch it. She is engaged to Itsuki's brother, and their wedding was set months ago for a date that is now only a few weeks in the future. It is not to be. Rather than the woman whose wedding is already imminent, Miki captures the prize with a move that is, in her own words, "Perfect!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 1 7
Hayase Masatora - Yayoi's stepbrother - age 8
Nono Kotori - age 8


December, 2014

"Yayoi!"

Masatora is always quiet in class, but when he spots the blonde teen approaching from the other direction, he immediately runs to greet her. Her powder blue school uniform has diagonal stripes across the front in yellow, pink, and aquamarine. Similar stripes also circle her right sleeve and run vertically up her left to her elbow.

"So cool..." Kotori whispers to herself, as she peeks from behind a postbox.

The girl, Yayoi, smiles warmly and draws the boy into a brief hug. "Hi, Masatora! How was school? Did you have fun?"

Masatora looks away instead of answering.

"Oh, did something bad happen?"

The boy still doesn't answer.

Yayoi puts a finger to her lips. "Maybe I should ask the postbox?"

"Eep!"

"Miss Postbox, did Masatora have trouble at school today?"

There is no longer any point in hiding, so Kotori reveals herself. Masatora's eyes widen. He seems to have had no idea.

"We were all talking about our favorite fairy tales. The other kids made fun of him. They said he made his up."

"Is that what you think?"

Kotori shakes her head. "He isn't the kind of person who tells lies."

"It's a very special book," Yayoi says. She kneels down to look Masatora in the eyes. "Would you like to show it to her?"

It takes the boy several moments to respond, during which he is clearly thinking it over.

He nods.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 19
Myoudouin Kazuki - Itsuki's husband - age 19
Myoudouin Gentarou - Itsuki's grandfather - age 75


December, 2014

"Please, permit me to marry your granddaughter!" That was the first thing Kazuki said, as he knelt so that his forehead touched the floorboards, when he met Gentarou for the first time.

Gentarou was on oxygen at that time too. He did not move or respond. Kazuki remained kneeling, in that painfully uncomfortable position. He had no way of knowing exactly how long. By reputation, the old man was strict and traditional. He had insisted that Kazuki was to enter alone to make his case.

Kazuki had intended to wait until the old man gave him permission to speak. That was the proper, cautious way to deal with a traditionalist. Even though the silence fell heavy on his back and made him feel as though he had already been judged before he had even entered the room, he told himself that he must endure.

Itsuki was worth this. She was worth anything.

However, Kazuki could not remain silent forever.

"Please," he said, without getting up. "I realize that I've only known met Itsuki recently. I know that I must seem hasty and impudent to ask your permission to marry her after only a few months. It may even seem that I proposed to her by accident and only committed to save face, and I do regret the timing. I would have liked to be more prepared, to have accomplishments and money to help win your approval. At the very least, I should have bought her a ring. Instead, I can only profess my feelings.

"I love her. I always imagined that I would achieve my goals first, that I would finish school and establish myself as a doctor before finding a woman to marry. But that was before I met Itsuki. My other goals have not changed, save that I cannot imaging pursuing them without her. I do not have it in myself to pursue that ambition while abstaining from my love for her. I knew this before I proposed to marry her. I knew it with every fiber of my being. I was already planning to propose to her before I did so, and only did so at that time and place I did because I could no longer keep it a secret in the heat of in the moment! For that alone, I ask your forgiveness and your permission!"

Gentarou remained silent for a while after that. Kazuki held his position as long as he could bear, but it became too much for him. What if the old man had fallen asleep? What if he had had a stroke? With that rationalization, he lifted his head and looked up.

Gentarou had not moved from his seat, but was awake and looking directly at Kazuki.

"Plans and passions are all well and good, but it is a rarity indeed for everything to proceed as planned. Absent my blessing, how would you proceed?"

"I would work hard to meet with your approval."

"Assume that is impossible, and that she will be disinherited unless you stop seeing her. What then?"

"That's-! I-" Kazuki was silent for several moments, trembling as he contemplated such an ultimatum. "I would still marry her, if she would still marry me."

Gentarou closed his eyes and fell silent for several moments, before responding: "I believe you both would. Fortunately, it need not come to that."

The old man rose and signaled for Itsuki to be sent in. She entered the room dressed in formal clothing, then knelt next to Kazuki.

"It is important to recognize one's own limits," Gentarou said. "A relationship does not prosper by love alone. Among other things, it requires understanding, conviction, and effort. There will be times to come that will test the limits of your patience... but this is not one of those times."

After a pause, he withdrew a small box from inside his kimono. It contained a pair of rings.

"My wife and I wore these rings for over fifty years. I will make them a gift to the two of you, so long as you wed before the year is out."


The winter cold does not penetrate inside the building. A black and white photo of Gentarou is on display above his cremated remains. In this somber atmosphere, Itsuki and Kakuki sit quietly, surrounded by family as the memorial service takes place.

She reaches out to her husband with her left hand, who silently takes her hand with his right. It is necessary for him to adjust his grip slightly, to avoid scratching his hand on her diamond ring, the same one that her grandmother used to wear.

Outside, it is the last day of the year.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flora, Haruno Haruka - age 13
Cure Mermaid, Kaidou Minami - age 14
Cure Twinkle, Amanogawa Kirara - age 12
Cure Scarlet / Twilight, Akagi Towa - age 13
Puff, Amakiri Fuu - age 5


2015

Fusion Group has registered Cure Flora, Cure Mermaid, Cure Twinkle, and Cure Scarlet as Pretty Cure.

Cure Aqua has entered graduate school. Shiny Luminous has graduated college with a degree in Business Management. Cure Egret has graduated college with a degree in Fine Arts. Cure Mint has graduated college with a degree in Creative Writing. Irizawa Kaoru has graduated college with a degree in Computer Science. Cure Blossom, Cure Marine, Cure Sunshine, and Myoudouin Kazuki are now college students. Cure Heart, Cure Diamond, Cure Rosetta, Cure Sword, Wolfrun, and Ira are now high school students. Cure Muse, Natsuki Yuu, Natsuki Ai, Minamino Souta, and Midorikawa Keita are now middle school students.


It is once again the time when well-mannered girls in school uniforms meet with the director of the Fusion Group at the time that they are named Pretty Cure. It is also once again the time that a girl comes to the meeting in an outlandish dress, because Towa, like several others before her, has a bad case of middle school delusions.

Black gown with red trim. Scarlet leggings. Elaborately styled white wig with ringlet curls. A little girl to serve as her own exclusive maid.

"So cute!"

Putting aside why they are actually here, Cure Flora and Cure Twinkle hug and snuggle the pink haired little girl in the pink dress. Cure Mermaid has a better sense of why she is here, but when the Director does not object even a little, she too succumbs to the temptation to lavish attention on the tiny girl in the maid uniform.

"What do you girls think you are doing? You can't just casually lay hands on someone else's personal maid! Puff, tell them that they must not touch you!"

"Puff doesn't mind, Towa."

"I mind! And you are to call me Lady Twilight!"

"Okay, Towa."

Cure Mermaid recovers her composure enough to ask the little girl a question.

"She hasn't been making you do anything strange, has she? You don't have to do anything you don't want to."

"Puff likes being a maid! I get to wear this cute uniform, and I'm learning to brew tea!"

Twilight stomps her foot on the floor. "Why aren't any of you listening to me?!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Midorikawa Hina - Cure March's sister - age 9
Yukishiro Jirou - Cure White's brother - age 8


January, 2015

Hina has two older sisters, but Nao is the one she looks up to. Nao is faster and stronger than Hina's other siblings, and also a good cook. Hina has gotten pretty good at helping her with chores, but she still isn't any good at cooking. Watching and imitating her sister haven't made Hina's results any better, which is why Hina is at the local library now.

Nao is cool, and doesn't need to read books. At least, this is how Hina sees it. Kind big sister that she is, Nao has always encouraged her to read when she wants to, and Hina does like reading.

There are a surprising number of cookbooks on the shelves. Hina gasps when she sees the size of the section. One by one, she reads the titles as she looks for something easy to learn from.

"The Science Of Sweets? I need something easier. Poisonous Animals And How To Eat Them? No, that's gross. Healthy Meals For Beginners? That should be perfect!"

Hina reaches out to take the book from the shelf, but just as she is about to touch the book, another hand collides with hers. By reflex, she jerks her hand back, and turns to look at the other person.

It is a boy. He has short, black hair and wears thick glasses. He is a bit shorter than Hina is, and seems as surprised to see her as she is to see him.

"'Healthy Meals For Beginners'," he says. "There are two of us, but only one copy of the book."

Hina gulps. "Right?"

The boy adjusts his glasses, revealing beautiful blue eyes. "My name is Jirou. Would you like to read it together?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 16
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 16
Ira, Goh Kyouya - age 16
Regina, Kaname Hajime - age 12


January, 2015

"What are you doing here?"

Kyouya closes his books, stands, and glares down at Regina.

"What's it look like? Or are you saying a guy like me shouldn't go to high school?"

Regina walks past him in a huff, then gets up on his chair and crosses her arms. Now Kyouya is the one who has to look up, and he does so. It becomes a staring contest.

"Now, now..." Mana attempts to mediate. "Regina, Kyouya is an exam student, same as Rikka and I are. The entrance exams are coming up soon, so this is a very important time for us."

"Then the two of you should be thinking about yourselves," Regina replies, still standing on the chair. "Let this guy sink into the earth by his lonesome."

"Oh, I'm to sink into the earth, am I? Why, so somebody can keep your mother company?"

Regina leaps from the chair and tackles Kyouya to the floor, where she kneels on his chest and pulls at his shirt collar.

"You listen and listen good, Ira! My mother was a saint!"

He pushes her off of him and picks himself up. "I don't have to take this. Rikka, Mana, good luck with your exams."

"Kyouya-" Rikka starts to get up, but Kyouya gestures for her to stop.

"Seriously, don't worry about it. It's been fun trying to keep up with the two of you, but I'm not actually aiming for Zenith Academy."

"You're not?" "You're not?"

"Of course he's not!" Regina crows. "Trash like this guy don't go to good high schools. He belongs in the kind of school that gets covered all over in spray paint and where the boys get in fistfights every day."

Kyouya snorts. "Schools like that don't actually exist, but I guess you won't be able to find out! The school I'm going to turns girls away at the gate!"

Rikka frowns. "Why haven't you mentioned this until now?"

"Because he's trash."

"You shut up," Rikka says, glaring at Regina. "Kyouya, why?"

"I didn't want to distract you. Rikka, trust me on this. Zenith is a great school for people like you and Mana, who already have futures. Kujou Boys School is a better place for someone like me."

Chapter Text


Cast:

Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 23
Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 19
Cure Echo, Sakagami Ayumi - age 1 7
Shirogane Hisako - age 23


January, 2015

Ayumi waits for the door to click shut behind her, then she sighs.

"What's wrong, Ayumi?"

"Eep!" Her guard having been directed entirely behind her, Ayumi is caught by surprise. "Ms. Shirogane, I didn't see you there!"

"That's Hisako," the woman replies, bopping Ayumi lightly on the forehead. "What's got you so worked up?"

"It's nothing, really. It's probably all in my head. I just needed to step out for a few minutes."

Ayumi tried to run away but was blocked in front.

"This may be the bride's day, but the bridesmaids need to be smiling as well. As the Master of Ceremonies, I need to know if something has got you spooked. Now spill it."

Ayumi sighs again. "It could be nothing, but I think Cure Sunshine has something she wants to say to Cure Aqua. The atmosphere in that room feels incredibly tense."

"The bride and her soon-to-be sister-in-law, eh? I'd better take a look." Hisako opens the door and peeks inside. "Yeah, that's not nothing. I think we'd better facilitate this."

"What are you going to do?" Ayumi says, clearly apprehensive.

"Nothing much. I'm going to have you take the other bridesmaids and introduce them to their escorts, just in case one of you doesn't know. I'll find some reason or other for the other ladies to be out of the room for a bit, and then those two will probably sort this out for themselves."

"You're going to leave them alone, together?"

"Sure am! If it's those two, it's a sure thing it'll turn out alright."


"Are you mad at me? You have every right to be."

Itsuki is helping Karen with her hair, having stepped in when the other helpers were called out of the room on various errands. At this time, Karen has not even begun putting on the dress she will wear for the ceremony, which hangs on a mannequin a couple of meters away. It didn't seem odd as it was happening, but somehow the two of them have been left entirely alone in the room.

"I was, for a little while. You did steal my thunder when it was decided that your wedding would be just before mine. I even invited you to be a bridesmaid, so you couldn't have not known. Then your grandfather died. It was his idea, wasn't it?"

"It was. I think that he knew he was dying. He was so happy just to be at our wedding... If only he could have lived to see today as well."

Karen smiles. "I would have liked that too. Your grandfather was a good man."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 1 7
Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 1 7
Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 1 7


February, 2015

"I knew we should've gone to Lilium instead."

Akane complains to Miyuki as they head toward the school gate. As they are now high school students, they stayed late for club activities, which are mandatory at this school. Though they are in different clubs, they often leave the school together.

"The uniform here isn't that bad. I barely notice how short the skirts are anymore."

"It's not the skirts. Those aren't so bad. I was just thinking that if we'd gone with Nao to Lilium, a certain idiot wouldn't have the guts to lurk outside the gate."

"Wolfrun?"

As Miyuki has guessed, Runtarou is that idiot. He steps out in front of them and brandishes a slip of paper.

"That's right, Miyuki! I, Wolfrun, have returned to seek your love! Behold!"

Miyuki looks uncertain. Akane steps forward and snatches the paper from his hand.

"What- This is just a number, Runtarou! Were you really expecting this to impress us?"

"It's not just a number, Cure Sunny! It's an exam number! More than that, it's a passing exam number! When the new school year starts, the three of us will be attending the same school!"

Runtarou sneezes. There is snow on the ground and fog condenses in the air when any of them breathe, but he is wearing jeans and a Hawaiian print t-shirt.

Akane raises an eyebrow. "Runtarou, how long have you been out here?"

"Dunno? Since around probably... noon?"

"You moron!" Akane shouts at him. "You could freeze to death like that!"

"I'm fine, really. I did feel cold at first, but now that I'm used to it, it feels like a warm summer day!"

Miyuki steps forward and puts her hand to his forehead. "Wolfrun, you're cold to the touch!"

Akane frowns. "We should get him someplace warm."

"The Sawaizumi Inn?" Miyuki suggests hesitantly.

"It's close, and we can toss him in their hot spring! Let's go!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 23
Mishou Kouichirou - Mai's father - age 53
Mishou Kanako - Mai's mother - age 49
Hyuuga Kazuya - Mai's brother / Cure Bloom's husband - age 26


February, 2015

"Oh, you shouldn't have!"

These are the words of a woman receiving birthday gifts from her adult children. A sweater from Kazuya, and a bottle of perfume from Mai. Perfectly ordinary gifts, and not at all unwelcome.

"And this one is from me," her husband says, as he hands over a small, gift-wrapped box.

Kanako tries not to tear the paper, but ends up clumsily making a mess of it. The box inside is not damaged, nor is the article inside.

"A watch?" she asks, puzzled.

"A smartwatch!" Kouichirou emphasizes. "It can tell the time, link to your phone, and monitor your health!"

An eyebrow raises. "Darling, are you trying to tell me something?"

He takes her hands in his. "Nothing that I haven't said before. You work too much. Your family loves you."

"It's a nice watch," Kazuya says.

"You will be the envy of your peers," Mai adds.

"You both used to be so sweet," Kanako sighs and rests one hand on her cheek. "Mama always warned me that my kids would become smart-asses."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kujou Hikaru - Shiny Luminous's brother - age 15
Sagara Seiji - Cure Lovely's friend - age 15


March, 2015

"Sagara, you're a martial artist. If a guy were to make out with your sister, you'd beat him up, right?"

"What? No!" Seiji responds instinctively. "That's not what martial arts are for!"

"Is that so?"

Hikaru falls silent, apparently deep in thought. Although they're on speaking terms, Seiji doesn't know Hikaru very well. He knows that Hikaru is younger than he is, despite being several centimeters taller. A blond, pretty boy type, who is good at sports without looking like he should be. He doesn't seem to notice that Seiji is sizing him up.

"Just to be sure: Are you planning to hit on my sister?"

"Huh? The thought hadn't crossed my mind."

"Good. I might not beat you up, but she's too young to be dating."

"That isn't why I asked."

"My sister is too young for you, Kujou."

"Sagara, I'm not interested in your kid sister!"

"Then why ask?"

"My big sister's getting married. I don't know what to do about the guy she's marrying."

"What, is he abusive?"

Hikaru shakes his head. "Actually, he's kind of a milquetoast, just huge. Anyhow, if a guy hits on somebody's sister, isn't it her brother's job to punch him out?"

"No, it isn't. The first lesson one learns as a martial artist is that violence should only be used as a last resort. That doesn't change just because somebody is dating your sister."

"What's it all about then? You learn how to fight just so you can break bricks?"

Seiji almost starts into a rant, but notices a smirk on the other boy's face.

"Why don't you come to the dojo with me? I'll introduce you to the gang and you can see what it's really like."

"Well, I have been getting tired of soccer... Why not?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 15
Twilight / Cure Scarlet, Akagi Towa - age 13
Puff, Amakiri Fuu - age 5
Sagara Seiji - Megumi's boyfriend - age 15
Cobraja, Mishou Masaru - Cure Egret's husband - age 2 7


March, 2015

A bell chimes as Puff opens the shop door. She cheerfully holds it open as Towa enters.

"I want you to pay close attention this time, Puff. If you're going serve me properly, you'll need to look the part!"

"But Towa, you told me this is how maids dress."

"That's Twilight," she corrects Puff offhandedly. "As I am a Dark-type princess, I intend to have you be a Dark-type maid."

"Big brother says that it's better to have a mix of types so that they're not all weak against the same things."

"I'm not talking about Pokemon." Towa facepalms. "Wait, do you hear that?"

Towa follows the sounds to the rear of the shop, where the shopkeeper is helping a boy and a girl wearing matching crimson and black outfits.

The shopkeeper gleefully rubs his hands together. "Yes! I think this will suit you perfectly, Seiji. Now, you'll need a name to go with this look. If Megumi is going as Unlovely, you should call yourself... hm..."

"I don't need a new name, though. We're going to a party, not trying to take over the world."

"See, this is what's wrong with kids today: No ambition."

As Towa considers whether to reveal herself, she realizes that Puff is no longer next to her. Then she sees the little girl tug at Unlovely's arm.

"I like your dress!"

"Oh, thank you!" Unlovely kneels down to look Puff in the eyes. "You're pretty cute yourself. Did you come here with your mother?"

"No, I came with Towa! Towa says that I should be a Dark-type!"

"Towa?"

"That's Twilight!" Towa shouts, revealing herself.

The shopkeeper spreads his arms. "Welcome, Lady Twilight! Come, help me convince this lad that he'll need more than just a Dark-type outfit to spread my revolution at the Pretty Cure All Stars!"

Towa blinks. "Are you saying... this boy is Pretty Cure?"

Seiji steps forward. "Cobraja, please don't give her any strange ideas. I'm Sagara Seiji. No made up names or fancy titles. This is my girlfriend, Aino Megumi, or Cure Lovely if you'd prefer."

Megumi smiles. "It's nice to meet you!"

Twilight curtsies. "It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Twilight, but in this world I am known as Akagi Towa. ...also Cure Scarlet."

"You're Cure Scarlet?" Megumi smiles and rushes to clasp Towa's hands. "I thought I would have to wait until the party to meet you!"

"You wanted to meet me?"

"Of course! Everyone who was at the party when I debuted last year was my age or older. This is my first time meeting a younger PreCure! Is this the dress you're coming to the party in?"

"This is my preferred mode of dress actually. I... was not planning on attending."

"You aren't? But that's such a waste! Please, Lady Twilight, won't you let me try to change your mind?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 19
Hyuuga Kazuya - Cure Bloom's husband - age 26


April, 2015

"Good morning, ladies and gents. You should be here for section G of Professor Eguchi's Astronomy 111 lecture. If that's not what you're here for, raise your hand and we'll try to figure out where you're meant to be."

No hands go up.

One of the hazards of pursuing a Masters degree is occasionally having to teach, but Kazuya can at least take comfort in the fact that he is being paid for it. He still hopes to return to JAXA in the future, but next time he intends to be working for money. By comparison, Kazuya only has to lead a study section of twenty students from his professor's large lecture class.

It isn't even his first time doing it, which means that his mind starts to wander almost immediately as he goes over the items on the course syllabus. The students are a pretty standard batch for the class. Twelve men, eight women, all of them likely nineteen or twenty years old. He'd been in their position once, and some of them could end up in his position eventually.

One woman stands out in particular. He isn't sure why. Pink hair isn't that uncommon, and plenty of women choose to grow their hair long. There are plenty of students who need glasses, too. It's not that he's attracted to her. She is pretty, but Kazuya prefers his wife. Just the same, he remains conscious of the woman's presence.

After he dismisses the class, he stops her by the door.

"This may sound strange, but have we met somewhere before?"

"Oh?" The woman covers her mouth in surprise. "Don't you remember?"

"Then we have met? I'm having trouble putting a name to your face."

"I'm not sure you should be allowed to say that after calling roll."

"Please accept my earnest apology. It is as you say."

"Since you apologized, I'll give you a hint." She turns her back to him, then digs for a few moments in her purse. When she turns back, it is as if she has suddenly transformed. Her glasses are gone, and her hair has been pulled into a high ponytail with a flower-shaped clip. She smiles. "Do you remember now?"

"Cure Blossom?"

The woman giggles. "Is that a question? Maybe I should tell on you to your wife."

"Please don't. She already knows how dense I am."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Furuzaki Basara - Desperaia's husband - age 4 7
Selfish King, Kaname Ouji - Regina's father - age 50


April, 2015

Furuzaki Basara is inside a courthouse, sitting next to a handcuffed man in a formal suit. Despite being a prisoner, the man's chestnut hair and beard are elaborately coifed.

"I feel obligated to remind you that you can still back out. Levi the Envious, Gula the Glutton... Your former subordinates are dangerous men."

"It is precisely because I know what they are capable of that I need to testify against them... That is what I should say at a time like this, but we all know that I am not so noble-hearted. I betray my own people, and my daughter is taken care of: Noble Academy for middle school, and then Grand Printemps for all of high school. If not for that, I would save my own skin at all costs."

"But for that, you would rather be the Selfish King to the end?"

"I didn't come up with that name myself, you know. I earned it with my own actions, and as a result, it describes me pretty well. Regina is my one weakness."

"A Selfish King with only one weakness, huh?"

"I can't very well go around telling people that I'm vulnerable to poison, bullets, and stabbing, can I? It might be the truth, but it's bad for my brand."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 20
Kurumi Momoka - Cure Marine's sister - age 23


April, 2015

Modeling isn't all standing around looking perfect. As Miki stands by and replenishes her fluids, another model asks her out of the blue:

"Where do you see yourself in ten years?"

The person who asked is Kurumi Momoka, another idol. Miki went to high school with her younger sister, and the two of them get along well enough. The question isn't one she expected Momoka to ever ask.

Miki has an answer ready, however.

"Same industry, but behind the scenes. I want to get on the side publishing the magazines and running the shows. Why?"

"No real reason. Just curious."

"Did you know? I'm so perfect, I can smell when somebody lies."

Momoka giggles. "Liar."

"Takes one to know one! Seriously, what brought this on?"

"Just trying to figure it out myself, I guess. There aren't many women who are still modelling by thirty, and that's basically the only thing I have going on right now."

"Don't your parents run a fashion boutique?"

"For now, yeah. But Fairy Drop is basically Erika's shop already. I'm not sure she knows it yet, but she's going to turn that place into something really amazing. Even if I tried to partner with her, I'd only be a burden. Miki, you've modeled her designs. You should know what I mean!"

"Now that you mention it, she is pretty talented."

"The word is genius. My sister is a fashion genius."

"What do you want to do, then?"

"Anything? I want to stay close to fashion, but if I can't make clothing, what does that leave? Hair and nails?"

"That's what my mom does, you know? It's her whole business. I could introduce you, if you'd like."

For a long moment, Momoka doesn't respond. "Would you? I think I might like that."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Sasorina, Sadou Rina - age 28
Sadou Keima - Rina's brother - age 22


April, 2015

"Big Sis! Give your brother a-"

Rina slams the door shut and locks it. She walks away from the closed door, only to nearly collide with the same suntanned and baby-faced young man that she has just locked out. A cool breeze wafts in through the open window.

"Sis, aren't you glad to-"

"Stop. Freeze." She pokes an accusatory finger into his lamentably broad chest. "Keima, I swear... If I lose my security deposit because of your nonsense, they will never find your body."

"I didn't break anything I can't fix."

"How reassuring," she deadpans.

"I've got whiskey. Good stuff."

"...I'm listening."

"I figured, on account of my first paycheck at my new job, we could drink together as siblings. Maybe catch up a little?"

"A job. You."

"I know, right? But it turns out Grand Printemps Boarding School is starting equestrian classes this year, and they need somebody to take care of the horses. You know how good I am with horses. It's basically my dream job!"

Rina sighs. "Let's just start drinking before I regret this even more."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 13
Minamino Souta - Cure Rhythm's brother - age 13
Shirabe Akito - Ako's brother - newborn


May, 2015

"Hey."

"...hey."

Ako is hiding out on the roof of her grandfather's concert hall, where she has been found by Souta. The sun has already gone down, but the stars have yet to appear.

"I heard your family is looking for you, so I thought you might be here."

Ako scowls, and pulls out her phone. Rather than using her old text-to-speech app, she shoves the phone back in her pocket.

"Are you going to rat me out?"

"Whose side do you think I'm on?"

"Soccer Team."

He laughs. "Okay, you got me there. Can you forgive me for that? I'm here for you now."

"Fat lot of good you'll do. Boys don't have to learn about babies. Boys don't have to change diapers."

Souta wrinkles his nose at the thought. "It's something to do with the brat, then?"

"You don't get to call him that." Ako pokes him in the chest. "The brat's name is Akito."

"What happened?"

"Mama told me I should learn to change diapers. I did exactly as she said, but once I got the diaper off, the brat- That brat peed on me!"

"Ew."

"I was wearing one of my good dresses!"

"Wow, that really sucks. Are you gonna get even, then?"

"Souta, he's a baby. Even if he could control himself, he doesn't know any better."

"But you're still mad." It is not a question.

"Of course I'm mad! But there's nothing I can do about it, so I'm just going to wait it out."

"Sounds like you've got this figured out. Mind if I wait with you?"

This time, she actually does use her text-to-speech app. "Do as you please."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Natsuki Ai - Cure Rouge's sister - age 13
Midorikawa Keita - Cure March's brother - age 13


May, 2015

"I love you! Please go out with me!"

Midorikawa Keita expected that something like this would happen. The letter he found in his shoe locker was sealed with a heart sticker and is written in an exaggerated feminine script. As the only first year boy starter in the school's Soccer Club, he has also received more than one previous confession.

This girl is wearing the school uniform: the same light blue dress with vertical white folds, white trim, and yellow bow are the same as the girls who confessed to him before. She has even called him to the same location, a quiet, tree-shaded lawn at the side of the building. However, Keita can tell that this girl is different.

Keita knows from being around his sisters what it looks like when a girl wears makeup, whether like Haru, it makes her look like a clown, or if it is subtle and smart like Nao's. This girl has a subtle touch of rouge, light enough that she may even have gotten away with it during classes. The flower-scented perfume is less so. Keita is certain that she put it on specifically for this meeting. She has long, chestnut-colored hair, which she wears pulled into a high ponytail.

As he examines her appearance, he catches just the slightest smirk on her lips.

Yes, that is what is different. The other girls were sincere, even when he rejected them. This girl views him as a conquest.

Possibly she has perceived some tell in his expression. Whatever her reason, she leans into the sell.

"There are benefits to being my boyfriend, you know? I could bring you home-cooked meals before games, for example."

Well, two can play at that game.

"Is that a benefit for me? I could be a better cook than you. If I bring you some of my cooking, you might be surprised."

"I could be your own personal cheerleader."

"I could carry you like a princess."

"If you're lucky, I might even let you kiss me!"

"I don't do luck. Everything I do is skill!"

"You drive a hard bargain, Midorikawa." She's not even trying to hide the smirk anymore.

"Only because I find your offer so amusing- What is your name, by the way?"

"Natsuki Ai. In English, Summer of Love."

That translation is not entirely accurate, he knows. About sixty percent. Calling her on it would be too easy.

"My name in English is Algae Bloom Mantis Man. I think I'll accept your confession, Summer of Love."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 23
Mimino Sunao - Kurumi's husband - age 2 7
Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 22
Coco, Yumehara Kouji - Nozomi's husband - age 29
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 24
Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 18
Cure Sunset, Ohana Lulani - age 14
Cure Wave, Olina Lulani - age 14
Kintolesky, Sugimoto Kaneda - age 33
Sugimoto Hino - Kaneda's daughter - age 5
Hanamin, Yukine Hanako - Ellen's bandmate - age 18
Morioka Takayuki - Ellen's bandmate - age 24
Randou Ichigo - Sunao's friend - age 24


May, 2015

Kurumi is the last of her immediate peers to wed, and has returned to Japan for the occasion. True to form, it is a grand event. Outdoors, on a beach, with many of her friends and other PreCures in attendance. A contingency plan for bad weather has proven unnecessary: It is a beautiful spring day.

Karen has spent the morning with Kurumi. Even being three months pregnant does not slow Karen from assisting her best friend. Nozomi has also been helping out, mainly coordinating matters to do with the bridesmaids. It is hard to connect the woman who is now casually speaking in English with Cure Sunset and Cure Wave with the awkward, clumsy, and unmotivated girl who Nozomi was when they first met... but then, Kurumi has also changed quite a lot from when she was younger.

As it is tradition, Kurumi and her husband-to-be will not see each other until the ceremony has begun. Instead, the best man helps to coordinate the groom's side of things. Sugimoto Kaneda is a long-time friend of Sunao's, and for this occasion has been persuaded to at least wear a shirt. As strange as it seems, that musclehead has been married for years now.


The ceremony itself is no more elaborate than tradition demands. The bridesmaids all wear the same purple rose-themed dresses. They are escorted by groomsmen in perfectly normal tuxedos, and without excessive pageantry.

The bride is preceded by two flower girls, one of whom is Kaneda's daughter, Hino. She is noticable because of her lavender hair. Unlike in rehearsal, she restrains herself to scattering flower petals and does not try to show off any ballet moves.

Kurumi's wedding dress is entirely white, with only some blue and purple roses to provide color... and of course, her luxurious purple hair.

Not being a bridesmaid herself, Nozomi has been sitting with her husband among the guests of the bride. Rin and Urara and their husbands are seated nearby. However, it is only Nozomi who is forced to leave with sudden and unexpected indigestion. As they are outdoors and on a beach, it is not as if she can completely hide what happens next, but at least she manages to be behind most of the other guests and not to take attention from the bride. She manages to avoid making a mess of her dress, and Kouji remains behind scooping sand over the evidence.

The rest of the ceremony is without abnormality. Almost. After the bride and groom seal their marriage with a kiss, Sunao proceeds to lift Kurumi over his head, seemingly just because he can.


For the reception, the wedding party climbs up from the beach onto a beautiful lawn where catering has been set up under awnings. Crab, shrimp, fresh fruit, and salad are laid out to feed the guests. There is also live music, provided by Cure Beat & The Fairy Tones... The Fairy Tones apparently being Hanamin and Takayuki the trumpeter, as the three of them make up the entire band.

There is also wedding cake. Kurumi and her new husband make the first cut and receive the first pieces, then the guests are served as they reach the front of the line. Nozomi finds herself in line behind Ohana and Olina.

"We don't need a guide, Olina. We've got smartphones and Google!"

"You just want to go to Akihabara! We got out of school because we said this trip would be educational!"

"I never said that!"

"Maybe I could help?" Nozomi interjects. "I'm going to be a teacher, you know."

"Could you?" Olina asks, eyes sparkling. "We have two days left before we have to fly back home, and Ohana wants to waste them playing around!"

"Akihabara is a cultural landmark!" Ohana insists.

"It certainly is unique," Nozomi says. "Olina, where do you want to go?"

"We should visit Nagasaki. Or Hiroshima."

"What fun would that be?" Ohana objects.

"You know, Ohana, it has been almost seventy years since the events you're likely thinking of. I'm sure we could find plenty of interesting and fun things in either of those cities... but they're just too far away. Even on the Shinkansen, it would take several hours to get there, and you only have two days. Why don't I take you both to a few places in Tokyo?"

Ohana and Olina get their pieces of cake. Nozomi is about to continue the conversation, when Karen stops her and pushes a plate into Nozomi's hands.

"You, Yumehara Nozomi, passing on wedding cake? I can't allow that."

"Karen, I was just sick earlier. It would be a waste."

"Don't you have a separate stomach for sweets? You won't know until you try."

Karen pushes the plate back into Nozomi's hands, and for the first time Nozomi notices that there is something besides a fork hidden beneath it. She stops trying to refuse, then tells Ohana and Olina that she'll be back in a few minutes.


The first set ends, and the band takes a break. Randou Ichigo, a friend of the groom, has been hanging around staring at the bassist, and now he offers her a piece of cake.

Hanako objects. "I couldn't. That cake is only for the guests."

"Well, I'm a guest, and I took more than I can eat. Do you want it to go to waste?"

"If you put it that way, I guess I could have a little?"

"Awesome! Now, if you don't mind my asking, where did you learn to play like that?"


When Nozomi returns, she has a big smile on her face. She first seeks out her husband, who is talking with Kurumi. She practically jumps in between them, waving a small object with two lines on it.

"Kouji, Kurumi, look! I'm going to be a mother!"

"Nozomi? You're- That's fantastic!"

Kurumi huffs indignantly. "I'm happy for you, Nozomi. Of course, I plan to have children as well. In fact, Sunao and I will be working hard on that, starting tonight. I'm sure ours will be smarter and better behaved than yours. Of course, if your kids show decent results, maybe one of yours could marry one of mine someday!"

"Oh, that could be fun!" Nozomi's smile gets even brighter.

Kouji coughs into his hand. "Blood related."

Kurumi smacks him on the temple. "Honestly, Kouji! Our last common ancestor was born in the Meiji era! Why don't you stop with that already?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 1 7
Majorina, Majo Rina - age 63


June, 2015

"I'd like to say again that I appreciate your coming up here. It means a lot to me. My daughter, my own flesh and blood, couldn't be bothered, you see."

Onikichi finishes packing up another cardboard box, this one labelled [INVENTIONS]. He puts it in a stack with several others, then looks back at Majorina, who is supervising the packing of her life into boxes.

"You have a daughter? I thought you were an old maid."

Majorina coughs, hacking violently into her sleeve, then points a bony finger at the boy. "You need to learn some tact, Aka-Oni! An honest brute like you is sure to run into problems in life."

"But girls don't like liars," Onikichi says, scratches his head. "I learned that a long time ago."

"Oho, was it that Yayoi girl?"

Onikichi nods. "It was. She told a lie about moving far away, and they got so sad that she couldn't tell them the truth. So I told them for her."

"They got mad at her, I suppose."

"They got mad at me! One of them even kicked me in the junk! All because she told a lie! That's why it's better to tell the truth!"

Majorina coughs again, for several moments. "You sound like a pair of right fools! How did you ever become friends?"

"Yayoi felt bad. Said it was her fault. It was, but she wasn't the one who kicked me there, so I told her it wasn't her fault. After that we were cool."

"You fool. How is this a story about girls disliking liars?"

Onikichi shrugs. "They just do, I guess."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 21
Nakamura Yoshiko - Inori's mentor - age 60
Sadou Keima - Sasorina's brother - age 22


June, 2015

"Yes... I see. I'll be right over."

The old woman hangs up the phone and turns to Inori.

"I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to end my office hours early today. Do you have time to come along? It might take several hours, but I can promise you'll learn something. I could even try to answer some of your questions along the way."

"Professor, what was that call about?"

The woman smiles, her grey eyes twinkling. "What else? There's an animal in trouble."


There was indeed time for Inori's questions to be answered as the Professor drove them both to Grand Printemps Boarding School. An employee led them to the stables, where one of the horses was in obvious pain. What followed was messy, and took over an hour. At the end, both Inori and her mentor were covered in mess, but there was also a healthy newborn foal and a mother mare that would most likely survive.

The stablehand scratches his head bashfully. "That was- I thought I knew horses, but I've never seen anything like that!"

The professor shakes her head. "Young man, one assumes that you've been a human for your entire life. You still call a doctor when you get sick, no? We specialists exist precisely because there are so many things that can happen that never crop up in our day to day."

The man turns to Inori. "You were pretty impressive too, Miss..."

"Yamabuki Inori."

"Miss Yamabuki, I'm sure the Professor is glad to have such a capable assistant."

Inori waves her hands. "Oh, no! I'm just her student. I was only invited along because I happened to be nearby when you called."

"Well, you still saved our bacon. Rather, you saved our horses. I can't really offer much in return, but would you like to meet the others before you go?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flower, Hanasaki Kaoruko - age 73
2nd Cure Flower, Hanasaki Futaba - age 4
Hanasaki Youichi - Kaoruko's son - age 40
Hanasaki Mizuki - Kaoruko's daughter-in-law - age 39


June, 2015

In the Director's office at Fusion Group, Hanasaki Youichi sinks into one of the richly upholstered guest chairs and rubs his temples. He has just come from a meeting where several Fusion Group executives debated heavily what should be done with his deceased mother's title and annuity.

In the chair next to him, Futaba, his younger daughter sits in his wife's lap. The little girl is dressed up in a simpler, more childish version of her older sister's Cure Blossom outfit. She has just been acknowledged as the new Cure Flower.

The Director slides a cup of tea across the desk to Youichi.

"I am sorry that you experienced that. I am sure you have enough grief without also witnessing our infighting."

Youichi takes a sip of the tea before responding. "This is indeed hard enough without... whatever that was. The things those women were saying... it felt like they were speaking some alien language. I don't know what you people want to accomplish here, and I am not sure anymore that I care."

The Director nods. "If it makes you feel better, even I have trouble with that lot sometimes. However, this time I can at least provide something of an explanation."

Youichi sighs. "If you must."

"The succession rules for Pretty Cures are complex. You might even say... arcane. However, the crux of the matter is that your mother was awarded her title as an exception to the usual rules, and the succession rules were never designed to account for a Pretty Cure dying, having adult children, while not having been succeeded by one of them. Also, you are male, which does matter, even though it really shouldn't. If Hanasaki Kaoruko had become Cure Flower as a teenager, as originally conceived under the project's rules, your succession to her title would have been announced when you were a child, probably when you were between fourteen and seventeen years old. In turn, Tsubomi would have become the third Cure Flower, most likely at the age when she became Cure Blossom.

"Instead, it was decided that since your mother became Cure Flower under an exception, that another exception would be made to recognize Futaba rather than yourself. I can't say that I agree with it, but I'm obligated to abide by that decision."

"I can't say that I like it either."

"I wish I could tell you that meetings aren't regularly like that. This time was meant to be an exception."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 1 7
Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 1 7
Hanadera Nodoka - age 9


July, 2015

Far, far away, there is a land called the Healing Garden. It is a land filled with blossoming plants, fresh water, and most of all it is filled with animals. The animals that live there are called Healing Animals. Their job is to heal the Earth.

One day, the Healing Garden was attacked by an enemy called Byougens. The Byougens are creatures of sickness and disease. They are enemies to all living things. The Healing Animals drove the Byougens out of the Healing Garden, but the rest of the world was still at risk.

"Will this story reach a Good Ending? Or will it perhaps have a Bad Ending? Continue, if you dare!"


Yagami High School, which Miyuki and Runtarou attend, has a strong tradition of club activities. The Literature Club, of which both are members, has a tradition of reading to sick children at a nearby hospital. As the interests of the club members cover a wide variety of literary fields, many of them do not take the activity very seriously and simply choose a book that is appropriate for children.

For Miyuki, who wants to become a children's author, it is a chance to field her own stories.

Runtarou... not so much. His tastes are esoteric. Even now, he has trouble reigning himself in. He is, at this moment, wearing a wolf costume.

It is for precisely this reason that she is currently cross with him.

"Wolf- Runtarou, would you please not interrupt? You're going to upset the children!"

"It's not upsetting! It's exciting! Reaching an ending after working hard for it is a thousand times better than simply receiving it! For that reason, I will be your noble opposition!"

"You aren't noble! You're selfish! Everyone, if you want a Good End, hold up your light and cheer for the Healing Animals!"

The lights were handed out before Runtarou entered the room, along with simple instructions. Don't wave them wildly. Don't look directly into the light. And... when it is time to cheer, cheer.

"Go for it!" "We want a Good End!" "Beat that bad wolf!"

"I can feel your energy! Such energy! I will drive this bad wolf away with your power: Happy Shower Shining!"

"Gah!" Runtarou reels, clawing at his eyes. In fact, he has only been sprayed with water. It does not even sting, but this is a long-established part of their skit. Right now, he is a villain being vanquished by the hero.

A brown-haired little girl holding a pink plush rabbit, watches these antics with obvious admiration. Perhaps because she is one of the most sickly of the audience, she is able to perceive the scenario as Miyuki and Runtarou imagine it.

She already has a light in her hand. To this point, she has been wearing a flower in her hair, which she removes and wraps around the light. Combined together with her stuffed rabbit, she creates- in fact, it is not a magic wand. Its true form exists only in her imagination.

She shouts out loud. "Healing Flower!"

Miyuki pauses. Runtarou also pauses. There is only one reasonable response to an attack that cute.

He clutches his heart, as if struck. A bit artificially, he stumbles to the door. Holding the frame, he calls out. "Healing Good- Bye!" Then vanishes.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Syrup, Kasugano Shirou - Cure Lemonade's husband - age 21
Kimura Haruto - Shirou's friend - age 22


July, 2015

"Is it that different from a simulator?"

Shirou sighs, his eyes not leaving the screen.

"It is, and it's disturbingly like a video game."

"How is that disturbing? It's just a toy, after all."

Shirou guides the drone to onto the pavement, then hands the control back to Haruto.

"I think that attitude is probably the worst part. The technology is interesting. Even I can see how it could be useful. But I can't help thinking about it like a pilot. If you're not careful about where and how you use it, it could fall out of the air and really hurt somebody."

Haruto flies the drone toward himself, then snatches it out of the air. "You're taking this too seriously. It's not one of your 747s. It's not even a Cessna. Shirou, a drone is light enough to carry in one hand."

"So is a coconut, and those can also kill a person if one falls on their head."

"We're not going to agree on this, are we?" Haruto opens his car and tosses the drone and controller onto the seat.

"Sorry, buddy. I'm a pilot. At any rate, I'm going to be one."

"Yeah, yeah." Haruto digs out a basketball and passes it to Shirou. "Think you can take me at hoops, Air Shirou?"

Shirou grins. "You know it!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Scarlet, Akagi Towa - age 13
Cure Mermaid, Kaidou Minami - age 15
Shut, Noumi Shuu - age 15


July, 2015

It has been an eventful summer vacation for Towa. Traveling outside of Noble Academy, sleeping in one room with her closest friends, and now... Fireworks. Just when it seems that the supply has been exhausted, Minami reveals that one of her three suitcase is packed full with more of them.

In the midst of this entertainment, a small rowboat lands on the riverbank near them. From this vessel, Shut appears, his face contorted with rage.

"Twilight!" he shouts. "How dare you?"

"Please stop using that name," Towa says, not meeting his gaze. "I am no longer interested in calling myself that, and I couldn't ever get my friends to take it seriously in the first place."

"Your friends?!" he screams. "I, your boyfriend, took it seriously! I would have served you for my entire life, but you left me behind in a cage of despair!"

"Boyfriend?" Towa asks, looking puzzled.

"You-" Shut hesitates, shocked. "How could you not know? It was because of you that... For your sake, I-"

He steps toward her unsteadily, only for Minami and the other girls to block his path.

"I think you should leave."

"Stand aside! This is between me and Twilight!"

Minami slaps him across the face. "If this continues, there are going to be consequences. Have you prepared yourself?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - age 16
Namakeldar, Namase Kenta - age 22


August, 2015

It is a warm summer evening. The sun has gone down. The stars twinkle in the sky. Shirayuki Hime, her makeup disordered and wearing a fancy blue dress trimmed with lapis lazuli, sweeps across the grass like a thunderstorm before flopping down on a park bench.

"Oh, I've had it with love! Boys are just the worst!"

"Why don't you give up then, Cure Princess?"

Not having expected a response, Hime nearly jumps out of her skin. Immediately behind the bench she is on, Namakeldar is laying down on another bench with his hat pulled over his eyes.

"Nama- ...se?" Hime forces herself to calm down and call him by his real name. "What are you doing here?"

"Need I be a vagrant to enjoy a nap in the park?"

"You were sleeping? Sorry about waking you up."

"At times sleeping, at times thinking, at times uncertain. I thought that the night air might help me to clear my head, and here we are."

"Here we are..." Hime echoes. "Maybe I should give up... I could set a complete ban on falling in love."

"Spoken like a true absolute monarch. I'd say that person would be proud, but we both know how that turned out."

"Ugh. Did you have to bring her up?"

"I was thinking of the gentleman, but I take your point. For all that I regret my lost love, I regret getting involved with that lot even more."

"You should," Hime huffs. "You guys were total jerks."

"I suppose we were. If I can get over that, then maybe it would not be so unreasonable to give love another chance."

"I suppose I won't give up, then. I don't want to feel like I'm losing to you." Hime pauses. "You're not trying to hit on me, are you?"

"A twelve year old like you? Perish the thought."

"Twelve!" Hime jumps to her feet, then snatches his hat from over his face. "I'm sixteen, you moldy grasshopper!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Melody, Houjou Hibiki - age 18
Cure Tender, Hikawa Maria - age 18
Hikawa Yuuichi - Maria's father - age 48


August, 2015

The stairway opens onto a red brick plaza. Hibiki shields her eyes from the afternoon sun as she takes in the sight. Maria and their guide, Maria's father, follow a short distance behind.

"Wow! It's very... red?"

"Indeed, This plaza and the buildings ahead are some of the most noteworthy examples of the University's fascination with Brutalist architecture, as well as being some of the few buildings in that style not singly dedicated to being ugly."

Maria rolls her eyes. "Dad, do you have to give that same speech every time?"

"Why shouldn't I? I'm not about to change my convictions just because you've heard them before." He points to a building at the other side of the square. "Miss Houjou, that is the building you'll be performing in. Despite how it looks on the outside, the interior is actually quite nice."

"It looks nice from the outside, though?"

The man shakes his head.

Maria changes the subject. "Hibiki, are you getting more excited about your performance? You were saying earlier that it didn't feel real."

"It kind of still doesn't, but I'm really pumped, actually! I mean, this doesn't mean that I'm a real pro yet, but getting to fly overseas and perform like this is honestly amazing."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari - age 23
Dorodoron, Kujou Domon - age 29
Kujou Hikaru - Hikari's brother - age 15
Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 25
Misumi Tsutomu - Nagisa's husband - age 28
Misumi Arisa - Nagisa's and Tsutomu's daughter - age 3
Misumi Ririka - Nagisa's and Tsutomu's daughter - age 1
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 26
Yukishiro Kouya - Honoka's husband - age 26
Yukishiro Houtarou - Honoka's and Kouya's son - age 4
Yukishiro Enishi - Honoka's and Kouya's son - age 10 months
Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 24
Hyuuga Kazuya - Saki's husband / Mai's brother - age 2 7
Hyuuga Kana - Saki's and Kazuya's daughter - age 2
Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 23
Cobraja, Mishou Masaru - age 28
Cure Echo, Sakagami Ayumi - age 18
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 15
Hyuuga Minori - Saki's sister - age 19
Misumi Ryouta - Nagisa's brother - age 18
Misumi Tomoe - Nagisa's sister - age 9
Yukishiro Jirou - Honoka's brother - age 8
Hamura Akane - Hikari's cousin - age 34
Hamura Kaneda - Akane's husband - age 34
Hamura Midori - Akane's and Kaneda's daughter - age 4
Hamura Youji - Akane's and Kaneda's son - age 2
Kintolesky, Sugimoto Kaneda - Atsuko's husband - age 33
Ms. Shitataare, Sugimoto Atsuko - Kaneda's wife - age 33
Sugimoto Hino - age 5
Sugimoto Kasumi - age 4
Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou - Poiko's husband / Kaneda's cousin - age 34
Poisony, Kamaki Poiko - Rintarou's wife / Kiriya's sister - age 30
Kamaki Meiko - Rintarou's and Poiko's daughter - age 5
Kiriya, Irizawa Kiriya - Kaoru's husband / Poiko's brother - age 25
Irizawa Kaoru - Kiriya's wife / Michiru's sister - age 23
Momoi Michiru - Kyousuke's wife / Kaoru's sister - age 23
Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke - Michiru's husband - age 2 7
Momoi Sayaka - Kyousuke's and Michiru's daughter, age 1


August, 2015

Shiny Luminous is getting married. To Dorodoron. Some of their acquaintances still cannot believe they have matured so: She, a beautiful woman rather than a thirteen year old waif, and he, once an inveterate NEET and now a responsible adult with a day job. In truth, sometimes they have trouble believing it themselves.

The ceremony is low on pageantry. Hikari's brother was slow to accept the groom, but today he sticks to the script. He and Akane, Akane's husband, Kaneda, and their two children, are the only blood relatives of the bride who were even invited, and that suits all of them just fine. In the case of two year old Youji, it is questionable whether he even understands what is going on. His sister, Midori, is only two years older, but seems at least to understand what a wedding is. For a girl so young, she is remarkably well-behaved.

Domon's relatives are also thin on the ground, but in their case it is because there were never that many of them. When it comes to friends and friends of friends, however...

Those guests are plentiful.


As the cousin of her cousin's husband, Kamaki Rintarou's relationship to Hikari is... absolutely nothing. They have met a few times, and are not on bad terms, but nor do they know each other well. Like Akane, he is a restaurateur, having saved up enough over the last eight years to buy into the same fast food franchise where he was once desperately worked part time. His wife, Poiko, appears to be a tall woman with pale lavender hair done in ringlet curls, but this is certainly not her true appearance. Hikari has never known her to look the same twice, and in fact there are others present whom Poiko has antagonized in the past, who have not even noticed she is here. Their daughter, Meiko, is smaller than her second cousin, Midori, despite being the elder by a year and a half. Meiko is also completely unbothered by her small stature, and seems determined to talk to absolutely anyone who comes within two meters of her.

Poiko's brother, Kiriya, is married to Kaoru, one of Domon's oldest friends. Kaoru's fraternal twin sister, Michiru is another such friend. Michiru's husband, Kyousuke, and their one year old daughter, Sayaka, are also in attendance. Domon is vaguely certain that Kyousuke's vermilion suit would not be proper formal wear even if his outfit didn't also include a top hat and domino mask.

Domon is not one to talk, and he knows it. He is wearing spider-themed tights underneath his tuxedo.

Another pair of Domon's friends, Sugimoto Kaneda and his wife, Atsuko. None of them talk about "Dark Fall" anymore, but at the same time it is not as if they parted on bad terms. It is more than Domon can say about most of the people he met during that time in his life. Kaneda is wearing a white shirt that might as well be painted on, which most other guests choose politely to not notice. This weirdo and his cinematographer wife have two daughters, Hino and Kasumi, who seem to be hatching a plan to get more than their fair share of cake. Since both are under six years old, there is probably nothing to worry about.

The connection that Domon has with Hyuuga Saki and Mishou Mai is not exactly friendship, but any beef they had with him is by now water under the bridge. Hikari has become acquainted with them over several years of attending PreCure All Stars events. Mai's husband, Masaru, specializes in outre fashions, but of late has also become the leader of a neighborhood beautification campaign. Visibly pregnant, Saki is married to Mai's brother, Kazuya, who is currently pursuing a Master's degree. Their two year old daughter, Kana, vociferously dislikes the dress she has been made to wear, and has already tried to ditch it twice before the cake is served.

Saki's little sister, Minori, is herself engaged to be married before the end of the year. Her fiance, Ryouta, is younger brother to Nagisa, one of Hikari's oldest friends. Nagisa's younger sister, Tomoe, is the youngest of several bridesmaids. Nine years old and a self-styled love guru, the boy who escorted her during the ceremony proper has since made himself scarce.

Tsutomu, Nagisa's husband, happens to be a long-time friend of Domon's. It is a history that involves some schooling and considerably more drinking, yet now to the occasional wonderment of both men, they are both somehow married men. Nagisa and Tsutomu have two daughters: three year old Arisa and one year old Ririka, the latter of which is performing a life-affirming act by screaming her lungs out.

The other of Hikari's two oldest friends, Yukishiro Honoka, is even more obviously pregnant than Saki is... not because her pregnancy is much more advanced, but because there is more than one bun in the oven. For this reason, she has spent most of the wedding and reception seated, with her ten month old, Enishi, in her arms. Her husband, Kouya, has the entire task of keeping tabs on their older son, Houtarou. Meanwhile, Houtarou is mainly concerned with staying away from Arisa. Even the prospect of cake is not enough to dull the little boy's vigilance.

By all accounts, Honoka's brother, Jirou, ought to still be in the building somewhere. At eight years old, he is too young to have escaped the venue completely, but nobody seems to know where he has disappeared to.


In the midst of all of this, the ritual of the bouquet. The bridesmaids are mainly drawn from other Pretty Cure cliques, younger girls whom Hikari or one of her friends have befriended over the years. Some of them are more enthusiastic than others, though at least this time nobody seems to be radiating any dangerous auras. On the contrary, Cure Echo seems to be afraid that the prize will somehow fall into her hands. However, it does not. Cure Fortune makes the catch.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 18
Hayase Ryuuto - Yayoi's stepbrother - age 12
Hayase Masatora - Yayoi's stepbrother - age 9
Hayase Mikoto - Yayoi's half-sister - newborn


September, 2015

It isn't like Yayoi dislikes her new half-sister, but between her and her two stepbrothers, it is Masatora who has most taken to spending time with the baby. When he enters the living room with a wailing baby in his arms, it is no reason to be surprised.

Seeing that Ryuuto is closest, Masatora pushes the baby toward him.

"Bro, she won't stop crying!" Masatora reports tearfully. "What do we do?"

Yayoi has been working steadily on her next manga, but now she is paying attention. From the moment Ryuuto takes the screaming infant, Masatora runs out of the room. A moment later, Ryuuto's eyes widen.

He turns to his stepsister. "Yayoi, help! I don't know how to fix this!"

"Girls don't like boys who tell lies, Ryuuto."

Ryuuto groans under his breath. "Please? I don't want to change her diaper!"

Yayoi stares him down. "Is that how you ask for a favor?"

He sighs, but relents. "Dearest Big Sister, please show me how it is done."

"Okay, I'll do it for you, but you have to stay and watch!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 24
Akimoto Almond - Komachi's son - age 2
Akimoto Youka - Komachi's daughter - age 10 months
Akimoto Mihoshi - Komachi's daughter - newborn
Shirogane Hisako - Komachi's friend - age 23


September, 2015

"Our story takes place in 1836. The place, a small cottage on the English moors. A young and brilliant woman, at once blessed and cursed with several wonderful children, for whose care and feeding she is solely responsible. Her husband being concerned with affairs of business, she cannot leave the house. She is left without an outlet for her other great passion, equal to her love for her family: that of solving mysteries."

Komachi has been soliloquizing while feeding her newborn daughter, Mihoshi. She scrunches her brow.

"Oh... this could be really good. Hisako, I need a pen!"

"No!" "No!"

Her friend refuses firmly, and is echoed by Almond, who lately has made that his favorite word.

"It's a really good idea, though! I promise, I'll only write a few pages-" Komachi sees that Hisako is giving her the stink-eye. "Okay, one page! No, a paragraph! I can remember this if you just let me jot it down!"

"If it's such a good idea, commit it to memory!"

"You're too strict! I just want to write a little bit!"

"You brought this on yourself, Komachi! The doctor said you have to rest!"

Hisako's response is harsh, but Komachi has indeed brought this on herself. First, by working through actually being in labor when she gave birth to Youka, and then by working so hard while pregnant with Mihoshi that she actually collapsed.

Fortunately, Mihoshi is just as healthy as her siblings. And Komachi actually is recovering well. It seems likely that she will be allowed to work again in just a few more months. In the meantime, she has the company of her children, and one or more of her friends visiting her every day, to help out and to make sure that she doesn't work herself sick again.

Komachi turns her attention to the infant.

"You're not going to be like that, are you, Mihoshi? You're not going to grow up to be a big old party pooper, are you?"

"I heard that!" Hisako calls out from the other side of the room. "I am the best at parties, and you know it!"

The baby babbles happily, understanding nothing.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flora, Haruno Haruka - age 14
Cure Scarlet, Akagi Towa - age 13
Akagi Kanata - Towa's brother - age 16


October, 2015

"Prince Kanata?!"

The young man has a fairly distinctive hair color, even when seen only from behind and through a crowd. Haruka chases after him, with Towa close behind. He seems to sense that he is being followed. He speeds up and goes around several corners without looking back.

"Prince Kanata! It really is you!"

Haruka has cut him off. Now that she can see his face, there is no room for any doubt.

"I don't know anybody by that-" He pauses in the middle of denying his identity. "Towa? Do you know this person?"

"Don't you remember me?" Haruka looks crestfallen. "You told me that I could become a princess."

"I don't- I've never seen you before."

Towa sadly shakes her head. "Haruka, I didn't want for you to learn about this."

"Towa, what do you mean? How do you know Prince Kanata?"

"He is most likely the person you met as a child, but he is not a prince. This is my brother, Akagi Kanata."

"Why didn't you say anything? You know how important that dream is to me."

"Firstly, because I didn't expect you would encounter him. Kanata is supposed to be studying abroad in Prague."

Towa looks pointedly at Kanata, who refuses to meet her gaze. "I dropped out. I'm sorry."

She sighs. "The other reason is the kind of person my brother is. He has a history of approaching girls and claiming to be a prince. As handsome as he is now, he was even more convincing as a young boy."

"But why doesn't he- I mean, Kanata, why don't you remember me? Meeting you is one of my most treasured memories!"

"It's because of the kind of person I am," Kanata replies. "To you, that one time we met is a cherished memory of your childhood. To me, it was Saturday."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 18
Cure March, Midorikawa Nao - age 18
Wester, Nishi Hayato - age 21


October, 2015

"Star Donuts, delicious and ready to eat!"

"I didn't order this much."

Akane looks up at the man in the donut truck. He has set a paper bag in front of her that she could barely carry with both arms.

He leans forward and lowers his voice. "Your green-haired friend looks like she's in a mood. Instead of the donuts you asked for, today you get the donuts you need."

He pushes the large sack into Akane's arms, then stands up straight and booms. "Thank you, come again!"

Nao is obviously concerned about something, but even so her eyes widen at the size of the bag. Akane sets it down and pushes a whole box of donuts into Nao's hands. "Let's eat first."

They are pretty good donuts. For all her worries, Nao finds herself smiling as she eats.

"So... what's eating you?"

"Eating? I'm doing the eating!" Nao attempts a joke, but then catches the look on Akane's face. "I just don't know, Akane. They put out a questionnaire at school... What colleges we want to go to, what kind of jobs we want. That stuff's going to be important when we start preparing for entrance exams next year, but I just can't seem to come up with any answers."

"You're going to stop playing soccer?"

"I'm never going to stop playing soccer! But that's a hobby, not a career. It's the same with getting married and having kids. I want to do it, but I want to do more than just that. I can't just expect my future husband to support me."

"Hm..." Akane has been eating while she listens. She polishes off her donut before responding. "There's always what you get for being Cure March, though. Even if you don't work, you'd still be bringing in some money."

"That would be cheating," Nao says firmly.

"How about working part-time?"

"That-"

Akane puts a finger to Nao's lips. "I don't mean as a career. I mean working now, while you're still in school. If you find yourself in a job you don't like, you could just quit and apply somewhere else. Maybe you'll find something that you really want to do?"

Instead of responding, Nao starts on another donut. When she's done with that one, she takes another.

And another.

"Nao?"

"That's fair. I think maybe that could work."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flora, Haruno Haruka - age 14
Akagi Kanata - Towa's brother - age 16
Close, Karasuma Kurosu - age 13


October, 2015

"It was really nice of you to help me with this, Kurosu. Most boys wouldn't want to help a girl pick out a gift for another boy."

The transfer student smiles, managing to look sincere despite his overall shifty appearance.

"That's because other boys are doing it wrong. Seeing other boys and girls form happy couples encourages all of the rest to take their own shots at it. There are equal numbers of boys and girls on average, so if enough people believe that there is someone for everyone... then eventually there actually will be."

"Is that why you're so supportive of everyone's dreams? Is that... your dream?"

"Nah, that's actually more of a hobby. My dream is to meet the Thousand Breaker and give him a good thrashing."

"Your dream is beating someone up?"

"I've got a good reason!" Kurosu insists. "Anyhow, that guy disappeared years ago. I don't even know what he looks like, so you don't need to worry about it."

"If you say so..." Haruka frowns. "I still think you should find something less violent to- Kanata!"

"Kanata?"

As Kurosu look on with confusion, Haruka runs across the park toward a young man with uniquely bright hair. He follows, walking. She has already handed over her gift by the time Kurosu catches up.

"Let me introduce you! Kanata, this is Kurosu. He transferred into Noble Academy just a few days ago. And Kurosu, this is Kanata. He's Towa's big brother!"

Kanata extends his hand for a handshake.

"That would make you... Akagi Kanata, wouldn't it?" Kurosu takes Kanata's hand with an exceedingly firm grip. "You used to live near Hopeland Elementary School. There still isn't any girl there who will trust any boy, because of you! How dare you break so many hearts, you Thousand Breaker?!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 21
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 19


November, 2015

"Angel Peach?" Love is looking at Erika's sketchbook. Love is preparing for a dance contest, and Erika is going to make her costume.

"No good? We're on a time limit, and you've got an established brand, so-"

"No, I like it!" Love gesticulates frantically. "I just figured you might come up with something a bit more... bridal?"

Erika presses her fingers to her temples, as if she is trying to squeeze out a new idea. After a few moments, she stops and sighs.

"There are three problems with that. It's too complicated, there's not enough time, and I'm honestly not sure I could pull it off with my current skills. Besides, I hear that if you wear a wedding dress when you don't have plans to get married, it will cause the real thing to be delayed."

"Yikes!"

"Right? It's probably just superstition, but why take that chance? Especially if your luck with boys is anything like mine."

Love crosses her arms, thinking. "I don't wanna say it's bad... but I don't wanna say it's good, either. I won't ask you to make me a Wedding Peach."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 21
Soular, Minami Shun - age 20


November, 2015

"Darling, there you are!"

This is all the warning that Shun receives before a woman latches onto his arm.

"Sorry, boys. This here is my boyfriend, so I won't be able to play with you."

It is Aono Miki. In fact, they have never had that kind of relationship, but Shun has no intention of informing the three large and uncouth young men who seem to have been bothering her.

The largest of the three, who is clearly the leader, puffs himself up and looks down on Shun.

"Ha?! You expect us to believe that this weakling is your boyfriend?"

There can only be one answer to that. Shun looks the other man directly in the eye and replies.

"Are you calling my girlfriend a liar?"

Shun is capable of looking very threatening when he wants to. Not because he's especially tall or muscular, but simply by virtue of having a very intense gaze. Without moving a muscle or saying another word, it is as if he has explained to the toughs the central premise of The Human Centipede. His visage promises that if they continue to cross him, they will find that fate enviable.

"Alright, then. The lady has a boyfriend." The largest of them turns and walks away. The others follow.

"Sorry to put you on the spot like that," Miki says, after they have left.

"It was no trouble at all," Shun assures her. "I have nowhere that I need to be presently, and even if I did, I would not abandon a friend."

"No plans?"

"None at all. Why?"

Miki grins. "We did just claim to be lovers, you know. Why not go on at least one date?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Misumi Ryouta - Minori's husband / Cure Black's brother - age 19
Misumi Minori - Ryouta's wife / Cure Bloom's sister - age 19
Misumi Tomoe - Cure Black's sister - age 9
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 18


November, 2015

At long last, Tomoe's brother is getting married. His relationship with Minori has been rocky at times, and Tomoe can still remember a time when they weren't together. She supported them from the beginning, and... it would be entirely unfair to claim the credit for herself.

This is their victory. Their victory, when they haven't quite graduated from high school and other students their age are studying frantically for exams. Way to stick it to the system, you two!

Tomoe stops suddenly, then looks around to see if anyone saw her. A proper young lady does not get caught doing celebratory fist-pumps.

Tomoe is not actually concerned that anyone is going to finger her for a tomboy. She is the Love Doctor, after all. She is not like her athletic older sister, who even has her own finishing move. A proper young lady does not wish she had a finishing move.

She rejoins the reception, where feasting is in progress. Cake and ice cream are not the true highlight of the event. Tomoe knows this, even as she gleefully partakes. She can hardly be accused of putting food before flowers: She, who had the role of flower girl during the ceremony! It was not the role she wanted, but apparently she is still too young to be a bridesmaid, let alone a bride.

Perhaps next time? But when might that even be? Alas, both of her siblings are married now.

The ritual of the bouquet is announced. Tomoe has been to enough weddings by now to know that the one who catches it will not necessarily be the next to marry. Even if she were to catch it, no boy has even confessed to her. She reaches up half-heartedly as the prize flies well over her head.

The girl who catches it is a bridesmaid with blonde hair and yellow eyes. She is one of Minori's high school friends, albeit one year behind, and is known at Tomoe's elementary school because her stepbrothers go there. She is not known to have a boyfriend, but that is something that can be changed.

Tomoe affects her best smile, then tugs at Yayoi's arm. "You're so lucky! Have you decided who you want to marry?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flora, Haruno Haruka - age 14
Cure Mermaid, Kaidou Minami - age 15
Cure Twinkle, Amanogawa Kirara - age 13
Cure Scarlet, Akagi Towa - age 14


December, 2015

"Everyone?! What are all of you doing here?"

Kirara has just gotten off the plane when she is greeted by her friends.

"We wanted to welcome you back!" Haruka says.

"Also, congratulations." Minami adds.

"It was a bit too quiet without you."

"Towa, don't tell me that you got lonely after just a week?"

"I never said that!" Towa snaps, blushing.

Haruka changes the subject: "How was New York?"

"It was alright, I guess? I worked really hard and got good results, but I also had to say 'Sorry, no English!' something like a thousand times. I'm going to have to ask Miss Shamour to help me with my languages."

Haruka gets a distant look in her eyes. "English and French... we have tests this week..."

"Right? But who cares about passing tests? If I'm gonna travel around and be world famous, I want to be able to talk to and understand the people I meet!"

Minami smiles. "It sounds like you've really thought this through."

"I'm not just a pretty face, you know? But I seriously need to study up fast. I kind of signed on for a long-term gig in Paris that starts in two months. I'm going to be the exclusive model for a brand new fashion line."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Wolfrun, Ookami Runtaru - age 18
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 1 7
Joker, Karasawa Jou - age 24


December, 2015

Runtarou and Onikichi wait at the side of the street. It is cold enough that their breath fogs up in front of them. Both of them are dressed for it: Runtarou wearing a long leather coat with boots, mittens, a scarf and a knit cap, and Onikichi wearing a thick turtleneck sweater and a pair of earmuffs. The disparity is just one more of many contrasts: Wolfrun has been frostbitten before, while Onikichi is a large man who does not chill easily.

A black limousine with tinted window pulls up where they are standing. Before they can react properly, the door opens from within.

"Joker?" "Jou?!"

Joker beckons them into the limo, which is almost toasty inside. Like the other two, Joker is dressed in black for the occasion.

"Did I surprise you?"

"Of course you did!" Wolfrun shouts. "Jou, how the heck do you rate a limo?"

He puts a finger to his lips. "That... is a secret."

"I like it," Onikichi says. "Plenty of room to stretch my legs!"

"You do remember that this isn't a pleasure trip, right?"

"I know. We've got to pay our respects."

Runtarou nods. "The old witch deserves that much."

"To think that she would die from only a stroke." For once, Joker looks solemn. "I would have thought she had ten more years... and one grand misadventure."

Onikichi scratches his chin. "I wonder if her family will be there."

"She had a family?"

"That's what she said," Onikichi says, nodding.

"An adult daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren," Joker says. "I managed to contact them, but I am not sure that any of them will be coming."

"That's rough," Runtarou says. "If we're the only ones to show when she's got blood relatives."

"Yeah." "Indeed."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Miracle, Asahina Mirai - age 13
Cure Magical, Izayoi Riko - age 13
Cure Felice, Hanami Kotoha - age 12


2016

Fusion Group has registered Cure Miracle, Cure Magical, and Cure Felice as Pretty Cure.

Hyuuga Kazuya is now a PhD student. Milky Rose and Cure Moonlight have entered law school. Cure Dream has graduated college with a degree in Education. Cure Rouge has graduated college with a degree in Small Business Administration. Cure Melody, Cure Rhythm, Misumi Ryouta, and Misumi Minori are now college students. Cure Beat has graduated from high school. Cure Lovely, Cure Princess, Cure Honey, Cure Fortune, Thousand Breaker, Hino Genki, and Sagara Seiji are now high school students. Cure Ace and Regina are now middle school students.


"Cure Up, Rapapa! With these magical words, there is nothing I cannot do!"

Second Year Syndrome, so named because it is most common among students in the second year of middle school. For better or for worse, it is not the exclusive province of such students. Cure Miracle and Cure Magical are a few months from entering middle school. They have appeared in the Director's office dressed as witches. Cure Magical already has an advanced case.

"Cure Up, Rapapa! Cure Magical, teach me how to use magic!"

Cure Miracle has been infected.

"You want to learn magic? People from the No-Magic World can't learn magic!"

It should go without saying, but there is no such thing as magic in this world. The other world that Cure Magical claims to come from also does not exist.

"Cure Up, Rapapa! Let me learn magic!"

"Cure Up, Rapapa! Give up already!"

As this exchange continues, the Director watches the two girls with an amused smile. Seated a short distance away from them, Cure Felice also watches, but her expression is uncertain.

"Cure Up, Rapapa!"

"Cure Up, Rapapa!"

"Ha?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 23
Coco, Yumehara Kouji - age 30
Yumehara Kanau - Nozomi's and Kouji's son - age 2 weeks
Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 23
Rose Vision, Ibara Shou - Rin's husband - age 29
Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 22
Syrup, Kasugano Shirou - age 21
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 24
Nuts, Akimoto Natsu - age 28
Akimoto Almond - Komachi's and Natsu's son - age 2
Akimoto Youka - Komachi's and Natsu's daughter - age 1
Akimoto Mihoshi - Komachi's and Natsu's daughter - age 3 months
Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 24
Minazuki Satsuki - Karen's husband - age 24
Minazuki Gentarou - Karen's and Satsuki's son - age 6 weeks
Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 23
Mimino Sunao - Kurumi's husband - age 2 7


January, 2016

The first shrine visit of the year.

It has been a while since Kurumi has met with Nozomi and the rest of the PreCure Five at the shrine that they all grew up near. This is the first time in years that they have met up on New Years Day and climbed the stairs as a group.

"Papa! Papa! Carry me!"

In that time, their group has grown considerably.

Nuts looks down at his son. "Not now, Almond. Papa has to carry your sister."

"Mama?" The boy immediately changes targets.

Komachi shakes her head. "I'm carrying your other sister. You'll just have to be strong."

"No!" Almond is almost three years old. Almost. "Coco?"

Kouji laughs, then looks to Natsu. Natsu shrugs. "Your Mama just told you to be strong, right? If you climb the first twenty steps by yourself, Uncle Coco will carry you the rest of the way."

Next to Kouji, Nozomi giggles. Somehow sensing the mood, the baby in her arms giggles as well.

Almond frowns. He has yet to fully understand that baby Kanau is his cousin, but he seems to feel that he is being made fun of.

"Could I be carried too?" Urara stops after only climbing a few steps. Normally this would not be difficult for her, but she is presently eight months pregnant. "Syrup, carry me like a princess again, please?"

"Even if you say that... I think my stamina would give out before we got to the top."

"That's nothing that couldn't be solved with the right supplements and a bit of muscle training!" Sunao, Kurumi's husband says as he shifts behind his wife. "Allow me to- ouch!"

"Not even if I were pregnant," Kurumi says, pinching his cheek hard. "Not even if I were having twins!"

"But you like it when I-"

Satsuki puts a hand on Sunao's shoulder. "Let it go, friend. There is a time and a place for everything. Let's leave the carrying other people to the mamas and papas for today."

"Speaking of which, darling, it's time you took over carrying Gentarou." Karen says, handing her baby over to Satsuki. Their son is only a few weeks older than Nozomi's, and is named in honor of Satsuki's grandfather.

"You know what? Forget that." Rin says, getting next to Urara and putting an arm around her shoulder. "If I support you from this side and Shirou helps you from the other, we can get you up these stairs, no problem."

Shirou hesitates. "I'd feel bad making you help me."

"You're not making me do anything. Besides, this is what friends are for!"

"I feel like I should be doing something here," Rin's husband says. "This is the anniversary of our first meeting, after all."

"Is that bothering you?" Rin replies. "After we're done here, you can treat all of us to something sweet."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 26
Yukishiro Kouya - Honoka's husband - age 26
Yukishiro Ichika - Honoka's and Kouya's daughter - newborn
Yukishiro Futaba - Honoka's and Kouya's son - newborn
Yukishiro Mika - Honoka's and Kouya's daughter - newborn


January, 2016

"Ichika, Futaba, Mika." Honoka says their names as she pressed her hand on the glass that separates herself and her husband from their prematurely birthed triplets. The doctors have said that the infants will likely be healthy enough to leave the hospital in two to three weeks.

It is just the two of them here. The triplets' two older brothers, five year old Houtarou and twenty-one month old Enishi, have been left with Kouya's parents.

Kouya draws her into a hug. "They're beautiful. Just like their mother."

"Futaba's a boy, you know? He should be handsome like his dad."

"Then we'll raise him as a girl!"

"No, we won't!"

Honoka glares at her husband with all the fury she can muster. This last about six seconds before both of them start laughing.

"How did you ever say something like that with a straight face?"

"I don't- I really don't know!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kuroro / Lock, Kida Kurayoshi - age 10
Miss Shamour, Takanashi Amu - age 25
Puff, Amakiri Fuu - age 6
Aroma, Amakiri Ryouma - age 11
Close, Karasuma Kurosu - age 14
Thousand Breaker, Akagi Kanata - age 16


January, 2016

"You want to tutor me?" The boy clearly cannot believe what he is hearing.

"Yes, I do!" Miss Shamour answers, waving her pointing stick.

"But- I bullied your students! I did other bad things too!"

"Puff forgives you, Kuroro!" The little girl in the pink maid dress grasps Lock's hands. "You should take lessons with us!"

"It is my principle to teach anyone who wants to learn," Miss Shamour says, kneeling down to look the boy in the eyes. "Besides, you're not going to do bad things anymore, are you?"

"I- I won't!"

Aroma prods Kuroro in the side. "What won't you do, hm? State your intentions clearly!"

"I want to learn! I won't do bad things anymore!"

A short distance away, Kurosu and Kanata have been watching the exchange take place.

"What about you, Thousand Breaker? Are you going to stick around, telling everyone that you've learned your lesson? Those girls may have forgiven you, but I won't."

Kanata shakes his head. "No, I will be going back to Prague. I left something unfinished there, and I mean to see it through."

"More girlfriends?" Kurosu snorts. "Good riddance."

Kanata blinks. "I don't... believe I was dating anyone there? If I have been mistaken, I will properly mend my ways while I finish my schooling there."

"You'd better! If I hear that you've been up to your old tricks, I will fly across the world to kick your ass!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - Cure Sunshine's sister-in-law - age 24
Myoudouin Kazuki - Cure Sunshine's husband - age 20


February, 2016

"Is it really okay to give these to me?" Kazuki asks, looking through the large box of books and notebooks. They have clearly seen extensive use. The books are dog-eared and filled with highlighted and underlined passages, with notes in the margins in Karen's precise handwriting. The notebooks are filled cover to cover with her notes.

Karen nods. "It is. This is foundational material, Kazuki. I could hardly get by as a med student without having thoroughly committed these to memory. These should give you an advantage in your undergraduate coursework."

"I'm sure they'll be a great help then. Just so long as I'm not taking away something you might need."

"Please, you are practically my brother," Karen waves her hand dismissively. "But since you are so concerned: Did I leave any grape juice in that box?"

"No?" He responds with obvious puzzlement.

"Then I will be fine. Trust me. Mind you, if we do this again after you get into med school, I may need to invest in a copy machine."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 18
Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 18
Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 18
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 18
Morino Ringo - Yayoi's editor - age 31


February, 2016

"And the award for Outstanding Debut Manga goes to... Cure Peace, for the short series Sunshine, Cleanliness, and A Giant Robot!"

Yayoi walks stiffly up to the stage, accompanied by her editor, a large woman with pale green hair whose name is Morino Ringo. Yayoi is eighteen years old now - practically an adult - but walking beside the towering, matronly woman, Yayoi looks as if she were fourteen again. As they reach the podium, Ringo bends down to whisper in Yayoi's ear.

"Don't worry about saying anything profound. Just accept the award and remember to thank your readers."

The woman steps back as Yayoi takes the award parchment from the presenter. It is Yayoi's turn to speak. For several moments, she hesitates, once again the timid girl of her youth. Then she takes a deep breath, after which she rushes through her speech without stopping.

"Thank you everybody; this is a great honor; I'd like to thank my mother my friends my editor and all of my readers; thank you!"

She bows suddenly at the end, and accidentally bashes the microphone with her mouth. Red-faced, she keeps her hands pressed over her lips as Ringo guides her off the stage.


"Don't mind, Yayoi! You did great!"

Miyuki knows that Yayoi likely cannot hear her, but cheers anyway.

Next to Miyuki, Runtarou and Onikichi watch the proceedings with interest.

"There's something about that woman Yayoi is with," Runtarou says. "I can't put my finger on it. Aka-Oni, do you recognize her?"

"She looks familiar, but I don't think- Oh!"

"Oh?"

"There were photos of her! All over Majorina's house!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 24
Hyuuga Saori - Saki's mother - age 48
Hyuuga Kana - Saki's daughter - age 2
Hyuuga Himawari - Saki's daughter - newborn


February, 2016

"I just don't know what to do with her. I thought she was finally done with acting like a two year old, but now every time Himawari cries, Kana throws a fit! I'm at my wits end, Mom."

Saki's mother pats her on the back, then hands her a mug of coffee.

"I wish I had a quick answer for you, dear. When a little girl goes from being an only child to being a big sister, it doesn't matter whether she's two years old or four. There's only so much attention you can pay to your girls, and Kana is used to getting all of it."

"Even if she was four, huh?"

Saori smirks, and Saki realizes too late that this was bait.

"Oh, yes! Why, when your little sister was born, you used to throw fits too! When you stopped throwing fits, you started wetting the bed! It wasn't until Minori's first birthday that you settled down and decided that being a big sister wasn't all bad."

"Don't tell me... I ruined her birthday?"

"Honey, Minori was one year old. You could have thrown the whole cake on the floor and she wouldn't have cared."

Saki pales. "Did I do that?"

Her mother smiles. "You didn't do that. We explained to you that even though the cake was because of your sister, it was for everyone to share. After that, you mostly liked having her around."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 21
Kagamine Aoshi - Aka-Oni's cousin - age 23


February, 2016

A movie is letting out at a one-screen theater. A brightly lit marquee looms over the street, naming the attraction within: Kingdom Hearts 2.1: The Musical. Feeling the chill of the night air they exit together onto the city street, Love snuggles closer to her date. He responds to her warmth by wrapping his coat around her as they walk toward their next destination.

"How did you like the movie?"

"The choreography was interesting," she replies. "I might watch it again just for that. I can't say I understood the plot, but maybe if we'd spent less time making out?"

"This is Kingdom Hearts we're talking about. It probably still wouldn't make sense."

Love laughs. "I guess I'll have to take your word for it. I've never really been a video game person."

"In a typical installment, deep knowledge of the mechanics turns the gameplay into an intricate dance. Meanwhile, the plot is a Dadaist epic that doesn't begin at the start of the game or finish by the end."

"Now you've got my interest," Love says, giggling. "Maybe I could watch you play one of them?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lemonade, Kasugano Urara - age 22
Kasugano Daijirou - Urara's son - newborn
Masuko Mika - age 23


February, 2016

"You know, it's not often I get to interview someone inside their own house."

"Well, Mika... How often do you interview someone you went to school with?"

"Haha! You know, Urara, back when we were in school, that was an everyday event. It's only now that we've all graduated and gone our separate ways that it has become rare and unusual. And here you are, taking your baby out to shoot commercials!"

Urara laughs. "Commercials for baby products! It saves me finding a babysitter, and it saves the producers casting a baby. Win-win, right?"

"So, are you planning a big career for little Daijirou?"

"Not especially? Of course, I'd be glad to see my son take an interest in my work."

"As I recall, you got into show business because of your mother."

"Yes, my mother was an actress, but I can only follow her example so far. Among other things, I don't intend to die young. I want to see my baby grow up."

"Any other plans? What would be your dream role?"

"Well, I plan on auditioning for all sorts of things. I'm interested in all kinds of roles. But if it were up to me, I'd say... maybe Cutie Honey? Her or Princess Kaguya."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 20
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 20
Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 20
Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 23
Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 22
Kurumi Momoka - Erika's sister - age 23
Baritone, Toujou Naoto - Bartender - age 26


February, 2016

The bartender is dressed in a three-piece suit that seems specifically selected to evoke the image of a bartender: white shirt, black vest, black tie, black pants. He has long, pale blue hair, which he wears in a loose ponytail.

Erika is wearing a white coat over a black dress with black thigh-high boots and blue stockings, but the coat is swiftly removed now that she is indoors. Spotting the man behind the bar, she stomps right up to him and slams her ID card on the counter.

"Challenge!"

The man does not flinch at her shout, but calmly takes the card in hand, then pulls a jeweler's loupe and a blacklight from beneath the counter. For several moments, he carefully examines both sides of the card and even the edges, before smiling and handing it back to her.

"It seems the third time is the charm, Miss Kurumi Erika. I believe you are now of legal drinking age."

"That's right, I am!"

Behind her, the other PreCures of her year and her big sister sit down at the bar and show their ID cards without making a big deal of it.

"And what will you be having?"

"I'll have one of everything!" Erika replies, so obviously excited that she almost sparkles.

"One of everything?" The bartender repeats. It is clearly an unthinkable request.

Sumire claps her hand on Erika's shoulder. "If you actually do that, your blood alcohol is going to shoot all the way up to flammable. Let's start with the birthday special."

The bartender grins. "One birthday special, then."

He produces two bottles and a few other things. As he mixes them, the bartender sings.

"Happy birthday to you... Happy birthday to you... You get one free martini... Happy birthday to you."

The finished cocktail, complete with olive, is set in front of Erika as the song ends. Erika tries to hide her excitement, but her attention is wholly focused on the drink. As she takes her first sip, the other girls place their own orders.

Erika's glass is already empty by the time Itsuki receives her drink.

"Ice water? Itsuki, this is a drinking party!"

"I can't," Itsuki says, putting a hand on her stomach. Her pregnancy is visible, but not yet obvious.

"One drink isn't going to kill the baby," Erika says. She clearly thinks she is whispering, but she is just as clearly already buzzed. "Barkeep, surprise me! And while you're at it, surprise her!"

The bartender nods silently. A short while later, two identical drinks, brightly colored with little umbrellas and a slice of lemon, are set before Erika and Itsuki. Erika immediately goes to work on hers, while the bartender leans across the bar and whispers to Itsuki: "The surprise is that there's no alcohol."

As Erika polishes off her second drink, Sumire ambushes her with a question. "So, birthday girl... can we expect any announcements about that boyfriend of yours?"

"That guy? That guy?! Forget that guy! I'm too good for him!" It seems the topic was a land mine. "How about the rest of you? Aren't there any good guys in our lives?"

As Erika scans down the bar, each woman gives a quick excuse in turn.

Itsuki: "Husband."

Sumire: "Fiance."

Yuri: "Law school."

Momoka: "Available."

As Erika spins around and focuses her attention on Tsubomi, Momoka flags down the bartender and hands him a slip of paper with her phone number on it. It vanishes into one of the man's many pockets.

"Tsubomi... I know you're holding out on me!"

"Really, I'm not. I'm busy with college, and-"

"And your boyfriend is at the same school!"

"Kenji is not my boyfriend! We're just good friends."

"Right... he's such a good friend that he followed you to your schmancy science college to study art."

"I- It's not like that! Somebody, back me up here!"

Looking beyond Erika to the other members of the group, Tsubomi sees that she has made her appeal to a pack of wolves.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 1 7
Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 1 7
Amami Hakuya - age 18


March, 2016

Another year is ending. Already, the third year students have graduated and are departing from Zenith Academy, never to return. The student council office overlooks the gates. It is from this vantage that first year students Mana and Rikka watch the graduates leave. The student council president, a tall, pale youth with long silver hair, stands next to the two girls.

"To think that it will be my turn next year. After everything I worked so hard for, already I am no longer student council president. Already, there is a whole new student council."

"That's not true," Rikka corrects him. "Mana doesn't officially replace you until the day after the third year students graduate. That would be tomorrow."

The boy laughs. "You know, if someone's going to be quoting rules to me, it really should be the incoming president. Isn't that right, Aida Mana?"

"Oh, I don't think so at all," Mana replies. "A leader has to know when to delegate authority, and Rikka is simply better at quoting rules than I am."

"Oh, what kind of person am I handing my school over to? You'd better stay sharp, both of you. I'll be a third year student; I won't be gone."

Mana smiles. "I promise that you will leave here with no regrets."

"That reminds me- I have a gift for you."

The boy walks to his desk - which will soon be Mana's desk - and produces a small box from inside one of the drawers.

"This is nothing significant, but I'd like you to have it."

Rikka peers at the box. "Tarot cards? Those rumors about you-"

"That I decided the club budgets with tarot readings? Completely untrue... but acting like I did made it easier for certain people to accept the results."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Sagara Seiji - Cure Lovely's boyfriend - age 16
Kujou Hikaru - Shiny Luminous's brother - age 16
Joker, Karasawa Jou - age 24


March, 2016

"You call yourself a hero, but you are all talk! Come at me! I will prove that your justice extends no farther than the reach of your fist!"

Seiji stands on a stage, dressed in a black bodysuit embellished with red ribbons, silver pauldrons, and a black cape. Since he is playing the villain, he is also wearing a red domino mask.

At the other side of the stage, the hero is dressed entirely in pink, and his face is covered entirely by a pink helmet. The pair run at each other and clash. There is a loud crack, provided by the effects team backstage - actually, their fists do not come close to connecting. They stand still for a moments, then Seiji falls to his knee.

"It is your victory, Hero Light Red! Enjoy it now, for Deep Mirror is still beyond your grasp!"

Seiji retreats behind the set to the cheers of children.

A few minutes later, the Hero follows him. Kujou Hikaru pulls off his mask.

"Phew! Hero Light Red, my eye! More like Hero Stink Helmet!"

Seiji laughs, and a moment later Hikaru also laughs. The producer, a man who seems to always wear a harlequin mask, claps his hands as he approaches them.

"Well done, both of you! I almost wish you would replace our regular cast!"

"I don't know if I'd want to do this regularly," Seiji admits.

"Me either," Hikaru says. "I only needed the money because White Day is coming up."

Joker laughs. "Well, there is a White Day every year, you know? If you lack for money in the future, please do not hesitate to ask! It may not be a show like this one, but you may never know what mischief I may have planned!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Desperaia, Furuzaki Nozomi - age 3 7
Furuzaki Kizuna - Desperaia's daughter - newborn
Cure Dream, Yumehara Nozomi - age 23
Yumehara Kanau - Cure Dream's son - age 5 months


April, 2016

In years past, Big Nozomi used to live on the top floor of a skyscraper, disconnected from the world. Lately, she has traded that out for a fenced off manorial estate and several small dogs. Still conspicuous in her wealth, still walled off, but she is no longer alone. She has said that the location helps her to stay grounded.

The gate is motorized, and opens as Cure Dream approaches with her son. It closes behind them after they enter. By the time Big Nozomi appears, daughter in her arms, they are practically at the entrance to the main house.

"Little Nozomi! So glad you could make it! I would have met you at the gate, but there was a diaper emergency."

Cure Dream laughs. "No need to apologize, Big Nozomi! Believe me, I know all about those now."

"I suppose you must. How strange it is that you became a mother first despite being so much younger."

Big Nozomi leads them inside, where they deposit the two babies in a crib together. Kanau regards the other infant with dull curiosity, while the newborn girl, Kizuna, seems completely disinterested in the boy.

"Oh my. They're not going to remember this at all, are they?"

Cure Dream shakes her head. "No, but we can visit again as they grow older. It should sink in eventually that they've seen each other before."

"Fascinating. You know, Little Nozomi, this is all turning out much more fun than I thought it would be. When I was a girl, I was taught that babies were all screaming and poop and vomit, but ours are quite cute together."

"That they are!"

"Perhaps we should betroth them?"

Nozomi's eyes widen, but the older woman is smiling. "You're not serious, are you?"

"Not right now... but I might become serious later. I don't think I can help becoming tempted. You did save my soul, you know."

"It's just such a heavy topic, Big Nozomi. We shouldn't be deciding these things for our babies."

"Not while they're still babies, right? I don't mind. Let's just enjoy the present."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sword, Kenzaki Makoto - age 1 7


April, 2016

"Go on without me. If I don't catch up with you, I'll take a later flight."

Makoto does not understand why her manager was separated from her at security. She has known the woman for years. Whatever reason the airport's security people supposedly have for detaining her, there simply isn't any way it could possibly be true. Makoto is quite frightened, but as she is a professional, she is going ahead into the airport to catch her flight.

Alone, if necessary.

Unfortunately, her manager had also been carrying Makoto's carry-on bag. Those security people - jerks - had starkly refused to allow Makoto to receive it, leaving Makoto with only her passport and her wallet to board what would be an international flight over eight hours in the air.

"Those jerks. Those absolute jerks! I can't even call anyone now!"

She fumes continuously as she makes her way to the terminal, calming down only when she arrives with still over ten minutes left before boarding is to begin.

The bag that she must now travel without has magazines in it. Also, Makoto's smartphone. Other things as well, important things, but the only thing she can replace right now is the reading material. If she doesn't have something to read on the flight, she feels that she might possibly go crazy.

There is a newsstand near the gate, but somehow they do not have any magazines to Makoto's interest. Everything they carry seems to be politics, international news, or worst of all, international politics, aside from a few cheap paperbacks. Makoto is ready to consign herself to utter boredom when she notices a familiar name on one of the paperbacks.

"Akimoto Komachi?"

Among PreCures, Cure Mint has the reputation of a prankster. Makoto finds her intimidating, and has never said more than a few words to her at PreCure All Stars. Just the same, she is an author Makoto knows of, and that is more than can be said for the other books at this kiosk.

"Phantasma Detective And The Misty Cruise," she reads the title out loud. "Excuse me, how much is this?"

The price is not more than she can afford. Makoto is not a mystery fan, but finds herself enjoying Komachi's writing. By the time the airplane takes off, Makoto is already on the second chapter.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 19
Hino Daigo - Akane's father - age 49
Hino Genki - Akane's brother - age 16


May, 2016

Akane is in a fortunate position, as she reckons it. While most of her peers have their sights set on colleges and entrance exams, her father runs a business. She has helped him cook since she was little, and has even taken over the cooking and serving entirely on occasions when he has thrown out his back. The path before her is an easy one, so she feels that she can take it easy with her final year of high school.

This is why she is playing a racing game with her brother instead of studying when her father enters the room. He is carrying a large leather satchel under his arm and steps in front of the screen without warning.

"Akane, come."

"What? Dad, we're in the middle of something here!"

Her father responds by powering the game console off. "Since you are not going to take entrance exams, how do you intend to prepare for your future?"

"I'll keep working with you and take over when you retire."

Her father nods. "In that case, you have much to learn. Come."

Akane can tell that there will be no winning this. She gets up and follows her father to a table in another room. He opens his satchel and pulls out several ledgers, which he sets before her along with a pencil and a calculator.

"The only things that are inevitable in life are death and taxes. Today, you are going to learn how to do taxes."

"But-"

"This is something you'll have to get used to if you're gonna run a business. You are only gonna die but once in your life, but the taxman comes every month."

"Once a month?! You mean once a year, right?"

"No," her father says with a stony glare. "You're thinking of personal income taxes. Those are only due once a year. Business taxes are due every month."

"Alright, alright! Couldn't we at least use a computer for this?"

"This is how I have always done it. If you want to do it differently, you can do so after I am dead."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Miracle, Asahina Mirai - age 13
Cure Magical, Izayoi Riko - age 13


May, 2016

There is no such thing as magic in this world. To the extent that this world could be called the No Magic World, there is no corresponding Magic World. For all that this world is great and terrific, there are no trains, portals, spaceships, or monsters that connect this world to any other. For all that this world is vast and terrible, it is the only one there is.

Riko has known this all along.

Every time that she told Mirai and Kotoha that she had magical powers. Every time she claimed to be a student of a school for witches and wizards. Every story she told of that enchanted other world and its fantastic inhabitants.

Beautiful as they were, all of those things were lies.

It has been nearly two months since she 'returned to the Magic World,' as a magical girl must do when her secret has been exposed. There are many stories like this. Most of her peers accept it as the natural conclusion of her fantasy story, and Riko has remained in that world ever since.

"Cure Magical, please come out."

Mirai's voice pierces the barrier between worlds. The barrier is four centimeters thick, coated in lavender paint, made of solid pine and locked from the inside.

"I know you're there. Please, just talk to me."

Riko does not respond. Eventually, she hears Mirai's footsteps as the other girl walks away. Up until now, she has always said goodbye. Riko hasn't answered her, but up until now, Mirai has always promised to return.

She tells herself that she is not disappointed. From the beginning, there was only ever one ending. If her vision has become blurry, it is only because she doesn't need to see clearly in her world of six tatami mats.

"Cure Up, Rapapa! Miracle, appear!"

Riko has not moved from the door in several minutes, yet she hears Mirai shouting from behind her. Riko smiles and wipes at her tears.

"Why can't you just give up on me? Even if you got them to let you into the next building over, that doesn't-"

~***WHAM***~!! Riko's train of thought derails abruptly as a powerful jolt shakes the walls and floor.

"I won't let you ignore me, Cure Magical!"

Blonde hair. Violet irises. Breathing heavily as large beads of sweat drip down her face. It is none other than Cure Miracle, Asahina Mirai, who sinks to her knees having landed on Riko's balcony, which is several stories above the ground and separated by two meters from the apartment building opposite it. A wooden plank can be seen protruding over the edge of the neighbor's railing, a physical accessory to Mirai's feat.

"Miracle!" Riko has barely spoken above a whisper in weeks. She finds herself choking on her own voice as she slides open the glass balcony door and embraces the other girl. "Why, Miracle? You could have died!"

Mirai's response is half laugh, half sob. She sounds as if all of her energy and courage were spent in that single reckless act.

"It's because you're worth it."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 18


June, 2016

"I am sorry, but I am not interested."

The girl who is having tea with Alice has blonde hair done up in very long ringlet curls. At Alice's refusal, she allows herself to frown.

"Come now, Alice! While I will be the first to admit that the name evokes sketchy associations, our school's Host Club is a school club first and foremost. As their unofficial manager, I give you my most solemn word that there are no immoral activities! If you're worried that your parents might disapprove-"

"Reina, I am perfectly capable of making my own moral decisions. Even if the operations are completely aboveboard, I am not interested in being served by gentlemen who present such affectations."

"Could you not at least come and see the club room? Some of the decorations go back to the club's founding, ten years ago. I could even bring you up by the manager's special elevator."

"May I ask what is special about the elevator?"

"It has a high-powered motor."

Alice finishes her tea and stands up. Her companion rushes to walk beside her. Alice pauses abruptly.

"Alice?"

"Would you please hold this for a moment?"

Alice hands the girl a large yellow balloon with a green clover printed on it. A moment later, the balloon explodes in a shower of confetti. When the confetti has fallen, she is left holding a small red pillow with 'NO' printed on it in large block letters.

Alice is nowhere to be seen. The remaining girl stomps her feet in frustration.

"Oh... She got me with that again!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach / Zenith, Momozono Love - age 21
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 22
Cure Passion / Eas, Higashi Setsuna - age 21
Wester, Nishi Hayato - age 22
Soular, Minami Shun - age 21
Kagamine Aoshi - Love's boyfriend - age 24


June, 2016

"How long has it been since we denizens of Labyrinth gathered like this? Perhaps it will not be so long before we can gather like this at somebody's house."

Wester speaks happily before sitting down. It is a round table in a family restaurant. He is the last to arrive: Soular, Cure Berry, Eas, Zenith, and one person he doesn't know are already seated.

"Oh?" Soular asks, "Are we to understand that you, mister big shot, are in the market for a house?"

"Me? No. No, not yet. I have a business to take care of. Maybe in a few more years I could get a house, but right now I'm happy to have my tiny apartment and a place to park the donut truck."

"Do recall that, with the exception of Love's boyfriend, the rest of us are still students. Do you think that we're going to pull in that kind of money when you yourself are not?"

Eas chuckles. "I do believe our good friend is flaunting his success."

"Ahem! That was a future-facing statement including both projected earnings and guesswork! Actual results may vary."

"Who are you and what have you done with Wester?"

"It's not my fault," Wester says. "I was told to put some of my money in stocks, and stock companies send out statements like that all the time! Eas, you're going to be a civil servant. Soular is going to be a shrink. Zenith, Dance Dance Revolution. And Cure Berry... um-"

"Don't worry about it."

Wester accepts this and turns to the man sitting next to Zenith. "You, I don't think we've met?"

"Kagamine Aoshi. Entertainer, illusionist. Not a homeowner yet."

"I see, I see..." Wester says, trying to sound thoughtful. "Anyhow, our futures are gonna be cool!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 19
Kurokawa Haruto - Ellen's husband - age 23
Hanamin, Randou Hanako - age 19
Cure Melody, Houjou Hibiki - age 19
Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 20
Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 14
Minamino Souta - Kanade's brother - age 14
Mephisto - Ako's father - age 42
Aphrodite, Shirabe Ami - age 41
Cure Sword, Kenzaki Makoto - age 1 7
Bassdrum, Ohta Torao - age 28
Ohmori Ai - Cure Honey's sister - age 21
Baritone, Toujou Naoto - age 26
Kurumi Momoka - Cure Marine's sister - age 24
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 19
Falsetto, Hayase Tohru - Yayoi's stepfather - age 34
Kise Chiharu - Yayoi's mother - age 38
Hayase Ryuuto - Yayoi's stepbrother - age 12
Hayase Masatora - Yayoi's stepbrother - age 9
Hayase Mikoto - Yayoi's half-sister - age 9 months
Hosshiwa, Hoshi Wako - age 24
Morioka Takayuki - age 25


June, 2016

In the musical world, Cure Beat's band falls into a comfortable gap. They are not so rock & roll that unrestrained debauchery would be normal, but neither are the two girls expected to be pure and untouched maidens. This is especially fortuitous because Ellen and Hanako have found themselves husbands already. Hanako married a month ago, and now it is Ellen's turn.

The ceremony begins with a little girl, a cousin of the groom, walking ahead of the bridesmaids, wearing a white dress and scattering flower petals. The bridesmaids who follow: Cure Melody, Cure Rhythm, and Cure Sword, are wearing matching lavender dresses... and also cat ears. The cat motif, such as it is, also extends to their escorts, who are friends of the groom's.

Unlike the bride, Cure Sword's idol career does involve some contractual purity. It is possible that the wedding pictures might cause a stir if they were published, but she is not concerned. Although one of the groomsmen accompanies her during the ceremony, she has actually invited another person as her date.

The cat theme extends to the bride and groom, who enter together. They have swapped colors, Haruto wearing a white tuxedo while Ellen wears a black dress with dark blue trim. This is only the bride's preference. There is no melodrama added to the script.

The event proceeds to the reception and the cake. The frosting on the cake is the same dark blue that Ellen is wearing on her dress, and the layers are shaped like the head of a cat. The cake itself is of fluffy dark chocolate. As the guests reach the front of the cake line, they are greeted by the bride and the groom.


Ako is using her favored text-to-speech app again, even when offering her congratulations to Ellen. Especially at that time. She does not say that she is upset not to have been picked as a bridesmaid, but she does not need to say it and Ellen takes the snub in stride. Souta, Ako's boyfriend, offers an apologetic gesture as they walk away.

Ako's parents reach the front of the line next. Mephisto is quick to apologize for his daughter's rudeness. He and his wife have each been helpful to Ellen's career in the past, at different times, and yet Ellen has never managed to learn Mephisto's real name.

"My name?" he replies, putting a finger up to his lips. "Rumplestiltskin."

Darn.


When Trio the Minor reach the front of the line, Ellen greets each with genuine warmth. She may have quit their band (or kicked the three of them out of hers), but five years on that incident is water under the bridge. However, as they have not kept in contact, Ellen is surprised to learn that each of them is somehow connected to PreCure.

Bassdrum's fiancee, an ordinary-looking brunette, is Cure Honey's older sister. In addition to looking like a model, which she is, Baritone's girlfriend is also the sister of Cure Marine. Then there is Falsetto, who has not only a beautiful wife and nine month old baby, but three other children in tow.

The smaller boy is obviously Falsetto's son - he has the same pink hair. The older son wears glasses and has darker red hair. As for his stepdaughter...

Ellen holds up a closed fist, and the other girl does the same. With unspoken coordination, they drop their fists at the same time. Ellen holds her fist mostly closed, with two fingers extended and split apart. The other girl opens her fist and holds her palm flat.

Yayoi giggles. "Congratulations."

"For getting married, or for winning?"

"It can be more than one thing!" Yayoi insists, laughing.


Even though she is seated next to her own date, Hosshiwa fumes quietly as Cure Sword walks past her, her arm linked with an apparently average boy in a high school uniform. Hosshiwa has her own boyfriend, the only male member of Ellen's band, but that is not the reason for her displeasure. It is probably a coincidence that the lavender bridesmaid's dress compliments the girl's hair so well, but that fact does not help Hosshiwa's mood at all.

"Passed over again! At this rate, I'll never get to be a bridesmaid."

"Cheer up, Wako. Someday it'll be your wedding, and you'll get to choose who the bridesmaids will be."

"That's right! I'll have my own wedding! With a giant cake and a dance floor! And I'll finally get to-" Hosshiwa pauses, turning to look at Hanako, who has a cat-like smile on her face. "That- that thing I almost said. How did you do that?"

"I am a woman of many talents."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Miracle, Asahina Mirai - age 14
Cure Magical, Izayoi Riko - age 13
Cure Felice, Hanami Kotoha - age 13


July, 2016

"What is it that you're always doing on your phone?"

"Ha..." Kotoha's response to Mirai's question is not so much an answer as a distracted exhalation.

"That's it. You brought this on yourself!" Riko plucks the smartphone from Kotoha's hands and holds it out of reach.

"Ah!" Kotoha reaches out but only grasps empty air. Despite being the same age as Riko, she looks like she could be three years younger.

"Kotoha! I'm not giving it back until you talk to us! What has gotten into you?"

"...you stopped doing magic."

"Ha?!"

"Ah! Riko, you've been infected with Ha-chan!"

"I didn't mean to! It was an accident!"

"Hahahahaha!" Her smartphone forgotten, Kotoha rolls on the floor. After a few moments, she gets up, and wipes tears from her eyes. "Ah... I needed that."

Riko frowns and crosses her arms. "So glad you're amused. Now spill."

"You stopped doing magic!" Kotoha says.

"Because there isn't any such thing."

"It doesn't have to be real to mean something! It meant something to me!"

"I skipped school for almost two months!"

"You went back to the Magic World! You said so yourself!"

"Maybe calm down a bit, you two?"

Following Mirai's interjection, Riko and Kotoha stop and catch their breaths.

"Kotoha, how does any of this connect to you becoming a phone addict?"

"It's an AR game where you play as a witch and collect Linkle Stones. I started playing it to refill my imagination gauge after you came back, since you don't do magic anymore."

"Ha?"

"Oh no, you really are infected with me!"

"Ah! Ah- ah-ah-ah..." Riko's attempts at further protest are rendered unintelligible by Kotoha, who is holding the Riko's jaws open and trying to examine inside her mouth.

"It came from me to begin with... maybe I can suck it out?"

"No!" Mirai's hand covers Riko's lips just in time.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunshine, Myoudouin Itsuki - age 21
Myoudouin Tsubaki - Itsuki's mother - age 50
Myoudouin Maki - Itsuki's daughter - newborn


July, 2016

Between herself and Satsuki, Itsuki has always been the healthier of the Myoudouin siblings. That is not to say that her brother has not grown beyond her in strength and skill, but when it comes to feeling weak, sick, or any sort of malaise, Itsuki generally just doesn't. Even having limited her activity during the final months of her pregnancy, she has returned home with her newborn daughter only a few hours after giving birth.

The baby, Maki, is a healthy one too. In any case, she has a good set of lungs.

"I don't understand... She isn't hungry, her diaper is clean, she isn't hurt... Why won't she stop screaming?"

As Itsuki reports the situation to Maki's grandmother, she hands over the screaming child. Tsubaki casually looks the baby over, then hands her back to Itsuki.

"There isn't anything wrong, Itsuki. She just takes after you."

"Me?"

"Oh, yes. Very much so. Right after you were born, you screamed for what felt like ten or twenty hours. It was like you were saying hello to the world."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - age 1 7
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 16
Cure Tender, Hikawa Maria - age 19


August, 2016

"Cure Tender!"

The person who runs to Maria and hits her with a flying tackle-hug as soon as they see each other is not Maria's sister, but Iona's friend Shirayuki Hime. Iona herself is close behind, but her affect is considerably more subdued... Most likely because the time back in Japan is presently just before 3 AM.

"This is so awesome! Thank you so much for letting me come on vacation with your family!"

Maria smiles. "It really isn't any trouble, Hime. How was the flight?"

"Pretty long? Dark for most of it, too. Iona kept telling me that I should go to sleep, but I wanted to see the sunrise so I stayed awake the whole time. I think I might have had eight cans of coffee? I lost count."

As Hime continues to babble, Maria turns to Iona. "How are you doing?"

"Tired. Hime needed a lot of bathroom breaks, so I'm not sure whether I actually got any sleep." Iona manages a weak smile. "It's good to see- Hime! What are you doing?!"

In the short moment when nobody was watching, Hime has approached a young man. She says something to him in badly accented English. His reaction is one of clear disgust.

When Hime returns, she is gazing sadly at a sheet of paper. Iona snatches it from her hand.

"Hime, what is this?"

"I figured since I'd be in America, I'd try to get a boyfriend while I'm here. Milky Rose gave me some sure-fire pick up lines, but-"

Iona reads the lines on the page, visibly blushes, then hands it over to Maria.

"What? Is something wrong?" Hime's sadness has completely given way to confusion.

"Hime, these are- If you don't pronounce these words correctly, they sound like something with a different meaning."

"What do you mean?"

Maria translates the other meaning and whispers it into Hime's ear. Hime blushes heavily, then raises both fists in the air.

"I'll get you for this, Milky Rose!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Egret / Cure Windy, Mishou Mai - age 24
Sugimoto Kasumi - Kintolesky's & Ms. Shitataare's daughter - age 5


August, 2016

Six months into her pregnancy, Mai is taking a day to relax in the park. She has set up a drop-cloth and an easel, and is working on a painting surrounded by nature. Since she is an artist by trade, this is really only relaxation because she feels that it is. Otherwise, all that distinguishes it from her day to day work is that Mai is going about it outdoors.

At the moment, her painting is shaping up to be a realistic view of the park. That is something that could change, depending on her mood. Both the real and the fantastic have places in her portfolio... though in practice there is much more of the latter.

"What are you doing?"

Mai turns to see a little girl watching her. The child is possibly five or six years old. Her orange hair has been twisted into a tight braid, and she is dressed in denim overalls that have grass stains in several improbable places.

Mai kneels down and makes eye contact.

"I'm painting a picture."

"Why?"

"Because I enjoy it. I can start with a white canvas and make it look like whatever I want."

"It looks kind of like here."

"That's right. I'm painting here."

"But here already looks like here."

"It looks like here now. If I finish painting it like this, it'll look like here and now, even when it's later and here is covered with snow."

"Wow! I wish I could do that."

Mai smiles. "If you work hard, someday you can."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Echo, Sakagami Ayumi - age 19
Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou - age 35


September, 2016

Working part time at the Mag, Ayumi is just finishing her shift when her boss suddenly asks:

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

"I- Um... Mr. Kamaki, why do you ask?"

The man shrugs. "I consider it a professional courtesy. You don't need to answer if you don't want to. You're about to finish high school, aren't you?"

"That's almost six months from now."

"Time is money, is it not? A person's time has value precisely because it runs out quickly. If you wish to continue working here, to aim for a full-time position and advancement within the company, there is nothing wrong with that. There is a danger, however, in staying too long in your comfort zone. Few employees aspire to still be flipping burgers part time at twenty-five."

"It's not like that? I mean, this isn't my dream job, but I don't want to let the team down."

"That's-" Her boss trails off as he facepalms. "Look, weren't you friends with Nao? Did you feel let down when she quit?"

"Not at all! Nao was just doing what was right for her!"

"She left behind a position that needed to be filled, but finding people to fill open positions is literally part of my job. It wasn't hers, it isn't yours, and quite frankly we don't pay you lot enough to expect any loyalty. I'm not going to say that you should stay or that you should leave. You should think about where you want to be and do what's right for you."

"Unless I screw up and get fired."

"Your job isn't that hard. If you were going to screw up that badly, it would have happened by now."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 14
Minamino Souta - Cure Rhythm's brother - age 14
Natsuki Ai - Cure Rouge's sister - age 14
Midorikawa Keita - Cure March's brother - age 14


September, 2016

Natsuki Ai has not been having a good day. Her school's soccer team, lead by her boyfriend, the ace, has been defeated by their opponents. This would not normally be a problem. It is not as if she expects them to win every game. However, since they were playing against the school that Ai's great rival attends, and her great rival's childhood friend turned boyfriend is a member of their team, Ai would have preferred that they win just this one game at all costs.

On top of that, she was almost bowled over by other spectators more than once while she was out of her seat during the intermissions.

But all is not lost.

Since the game is over, the players have been released. Ai has located her boyfriend and is presently attached to his arm. She has prepared a trump card for use against her great rival-

Who-

Is-

Right-

Ahead.

"Ako! Souta! Fancy meeting the two of you here!" Ai greets her cheerfully, with her best magnificent bitch smile.

"Meeting each other after a game that both of our boyfriends played in," Ako deadpans in response. "It's like seeing a double rainbow."

As the girls posture, their boyfriends casually bump fists. That they just played on opposite sides seemingly doesn't matter at all.

"Oh! I just remembered!" Ai begins, pulling out her smartphone. "I got the most interesting picture during the game!"

With a flick of her finger, Ai displays her trump card and shows it to Ako. The image's timestamp is visible and less than an hour previous. It is clear from the background that it was taken near the field during the game. In it Souta can be seen kissing a girl who isn't Ako.

"So unfortunate! It seems that your boyfriend doesn't love you as much as mine does!"

Souta's jaw drops. "How is this even- That never happened!"

He turns to Ako to makes his excuses, but Ako looks only at Ai's phone. Touching the screen with one finger, she slides to the left.

The next image has a timestamp only a few seconds later, and shows the scene from a different angle. The girl that Souta appeared to be kissing is actually a meter or more away, and Ai can be seen beyond the pair, taking the other picture with her phone.

Ai's phone clatters to the ground.

"What- How did you do that? How did you do that?!"

Ako smiles, then wordlessly puts a finger to her lips.

Keita laughs like this is the funniest thing he has seen in weeks.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Kintoleski, Sugimoto Kaneda - age 34
Sugimoto Hino - Kintoleski's daughter - age 6
Sugimoto Kasumi - Kintoleski's daughter - age 5
Mimino Sunao - Milky Rose's husband - age 28


September, 2016

The sun rises in the East against an orange-red sky. This is no magical world. The sky will be blue by mid-day, if it does not turn grey. The two men who are jogging along the beach are not concerned with the coming day's weather. Instead, they are watching over the two little girls who are running ahead of them.

"Just like being a husband, but with more baby. That was what you said after Hino was born."

Kintoleski nods. "I had that experience with both of my girls, yes. Is it different for you, with your boy?"

"I used to think that all babies were alike. Even now, I wonder whether I was right. It could be that my Naoya only seems different to me, because that baby is mine."

"All humans are alike, differences aside. That Naoya is special to you is what makes him special. For now, at least."

"Only for now?"

"Is he not your son? Will you not train him to have beautiful muscles?"

"But of course!"

Both men laugh. It is a serious matter, but by now it has become a running joke.

"Eek! Papa, help!" Hino shrieks as she runs toward the two men. A short distance behind her, Kasumi is chasing her with a strand of kelp, which she is snapping back and forth like a whip.

"Kasumi, put that down! Stop picking on your sister!"

"We're just playing!" This is obviously a lie.

"Drop it this instant, or I'll take away your paints!"

The threat works. She complies.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 22
Cure Passion / Eas, Higashi Setsuna - age 21
Cure March, Midorikawa Nao - age 19


September, 2016

"What is love?"

"None other than your best friend and sister," Inori replies.

Setsuna scowls. "If you're not going take me seriously, I'm going home."

The two are sharing a small table in a cozy teahouse. Inori reaches across the table to lay her hand over Setsuna's. "I may not be perfect, but I am your friend and I'm here for you."

"I appreciate it. There's nobody I would rather turn to for love advice."

"Love advice? I'm glad that you'd come to me, but it is Love's actual name."

"'The pink heart is the mark of love', right? I don't doubt that she'd tell me to go for it."

"I can't promise that I won't, you know."

"I know that, but you'll at least think about it first."

"I suppose I will. What's troubling you?"

"Wester confessed his love to me."

From right next to the table comes the sound of a sudden intake of breath. It is the waitress who has brought them their tea. Framed by dark green hair tied up in a long ponytail, and a face that both other girls know well.

"Cure March?!" Setsuna fails to hide her surprise.

"I didn't know you worked here, Nao."

Nao sets their tea on the table before answering. "I just started recently, and I didn't mean to overhear your secret. Sorry!"

Setsuna takes a sip of her tea. "I know you'd never eavesdrop on purpose."

"Wester, he's the hunk who runs Star Donuts, right?" Nao's green eyes sparkle with the question that she knows she should not ask.

"I haven't decided whether I'm going to accept. We've known each other for ages, after all. How can I be sure that he's not somehow pining for the past self that I've thrown away?"

"I'd face him head on," Nao says. "But I guess that it might be different for you. Not that you asked me- I'm sorry, again!"

Setsuna sighs. "You might as well sit down. You're a part of this conversation now."

Inori moves to make space for Nao, then turns her attention back to Setsuna. "I'm not sure quite what you mean by the past that you've thrown away. You act like talking about Labyrinth embarrasses you, but when was the last time you asked Wester to call you something different?"

"He never listened anyway."

"You helped Love create her Zenith persona, didn't you?"

"That was a reflex! I had bad conditioning from when I was a dumb kid!"

"A reflex, you say. Crimson is-"

"The crimson heart is the mark of happiness! Freshly ripened, Cure Passion!" She even claps in the middle of the phrase, then blushes at the end. "What did you just get me to do?!"

"Just checking your reflexes."

"Those reflexes are exactly the problem! What if I get together with Wester and I get worse?"

"I don't think it would bother him."

"Don't you think such childish impulses might get in the way of an adult relationship?"

"The fear of being seen as childish is a mark of childhood. I don't think Wester has ever been bothered by that."

"You think I'm the childish one?! Why don't I just accept his confession, then? What would you say to that?!"

Inori smiles. "Congratulations."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 18
Aoki Soutarou - Reika's grandfather - age 79
Nathaniel Wright - age 19


October, 2016

When Reika's grandfather arrives, for a moment she almost does not recognize him. It is not as if his face has changed: He is still the same serious old man, with white hair and a white mustache. It is just that she has never seen him wear western clothing before. The grey single breasted suit, skinny tie, and pork pie hat make him seem like a character out of an old movie.

"Grandfather. I am glad to see you again."

"Reika. You have grown taller and prettier since I saw you last. I've missed you."

"I've missed you, too."

"Would you introduce me to your young man?"

The boy who has been waiting with Reika has blond hair and emerald green eyes. He looks to be the same age or a bit older, and is tall enough to look her grandfather in the eye.

"Grandfather, this is Nathaniel Wright, an upperclassman from my school. I've asked him for help in showing you around. Nathaniel, this is my grandfather, Aoki Soutarou."

The boy extends his hand. "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. Your granddaughter speaks highly of you."

The old man accepts the handshake with a firm grip. "I am pleased to meet you as well. I have not met such a polite young man in some years now."

They collect Soutarou's luggage, then Nathaniel leads them to the rail station. After they board the train, Reika asks her grandfather: "I was very surprised when you announced that you would visit, since you've never traveled outside Japan."

"I suppose you were very young. It has been years since I did travel, but I have been all around the world. Rhodesia... West Germany... the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong... They were all quite interesting."

"Grandfather, none of those places have existed since before I was born."

"Is that so? All the more reason to stretch my legs a bit."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Scarlet / Twilight, Akagi Towa - age 14
Regina, Kaname Hajime - age 13


October, 2016

"Noble, Pristine, Exquisite-"

"-Gah!" Towa shrieks at the sight of the photograph in Regina's hand. "Where did you get that?! Who told you those words?"

Regina smirks. "Who knows? Then again, maybe I should be asking who doesn't know? According to my sources, you weren't ever shy about it until you quit, Princess Twilight."

"Don't say that name!" Towa screams, clapping her hands over her ears. "Those words and that name are my unmentionable black history!"

"Black and unmentionable?" Regina echoes, hiding her mouth behind one hand. "Aren't we a bit young for that sort of thing?"

"Wha?" Towa looks confused, then blushes. "That's not what I meant! Why are you even here?"

"I wanna hang out with you."

"You do? Then why-"

"Because the current you isn't who I want to spend time with. I want to hang out with the cool, confident you who is in this photograph."

"Give that back! If you think you can blackmail me..."

"If I was going to blackmail you, I'd have to find something actually secret. Here, catch."

Regina flicks the photo through the air. Towa snatches it as soon as it flies within reach, only to realize that it isn't the same photo. Instead, the photo in her hand is one of Regina, wearing a black and purple dress with a purple hair bow and black leggings decorated with purple bats.

"Just so you know, that isn't a secret either. Being a Dark-type isn't anything to be ashamed of."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Bloom / Cure Bright - Hyuuga Saki - age 25
Cure Egret / Cure Windy - Mishou Mai - age 25
Mishou Masayoshi - Mai's son - newborn


November, 2016

"It's not like I dislike it, but it doesn't seem much like one of your paintings."

Saki is visiting Mai's studio, where her best friend and sister-in-law is working on a family portrait. As it is not a photograph, Mai has taken certain liberties: the dress she is wearing in the painting is clearly impossible, and in reality she does not have wings. Mai's newborn son, whom she is shown holding in her arms, is a baby and nothing more. As for her husband...

"Does Masaru really have a huge cobra tattooed on his chest?"

Mai shakes her head. "He has always called it his power animal, but I can never convince him to go through with it."

"Maybe if you got one yourself?"

"Oh, I could never do that. If I went in for body art, I'd want it to be my art. I'd be the worst customer ever. Just imagine, micromanaging someone while they're working and their job is to carefully poke you with giant needles."

"That sounds like something out of one of Komachi's novels."

"We both draw inspiration from the people around us."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Scorp, Yasuda Takeo - age 43
Bunbee, Takagi Hachiemon - age 43
Yasuda Takenori - Scorp's father - age 78


November, 2016

"Bunbee, buddy." "Scorp."

It is late at night. Rather than meeting at one's home or the other, at an office or a bar, Hachiemon and Takeo have taken up opposite ends of a park bench overlooking a river. A case of beers occupies the seat between them.

Hachiemon opens the first can and hands it off to his friend. "You have my sympathies, friend. Your father was a good man."

"Buddy, don't I know it. I ever tell you he grew up without a father of his own? Granddad knocked up grandma, then went off to war and never came back. Dad used to bring that up, then said he was doing the best job he knew how to do."

"Judging by you, I'd say he did pretty well."

"Judging by me? Buddy, let me be the judge! You know he lived his entire life in one quiet little town? I don't think he ever went more than forty kilometers from his front door until I had my accident, then he sold everything off and came to the city to take care of me. He was always my father, but I never knew he cared that much. I almost died without recognizing it, and that's my own fault."

"But you know better now."

"Yeah. I know better now."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 21
Ban Kenji - Tsubomi's friend - age 21
Amagi Daitetsu - age 21


November, 2016

"Hey, Kenji! Ban Kenji, it is you! I haven't seen you since high school!"

The man who approaches Kenji is an acquaintance from high school. It hasn't even been two years, but Kenji needs a moment to put a name to the face.

"Amagi... Daitetsu?"

"Dude, am I that forgettable?"

"Sorry, Amagi. I've been busy with college and stuff."

"Just college? With the way you're dressed up, I was sure you'd got yourself published at last."

"Not yet. Someday, though."

"Dude, tell me when it happens! I'll totally buy three copies!"

"Why three? You weren't ever a collector before."

Daitetsu scratches his head. "That hasn't changed, but there are things one does for friends, right?"

"I- I appreciate the offer, actually. When I do make it, I'll be sure to drop you a line." Kenji pauses. "How about you? What have you been up to?"

"Technical college. A couple more years, and I'll be a journeyman locomotive mechanic."

Before Kenji can respond, he is approached by a pretty girl. Hanasaki Tsubomi, a former member of that legendary fashion club, is beautiful and instantly recognizable. At this moment, she has her long pink hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. She is wearing a cream-colored sweater, tight jeans, and a perfume that Daitetsu cannot identify.

"Hi, Kenji! Did you wait long?"

"Not really? I kind of ran into Amagi, and we've been catching up."

Tsubomi looks at Daitetsu as if he manifested out of thin air. "Um... Pleased to meet you?"

"Amagi Daitetsu, he was at Myoudouin Academy with us."

Tsubomi reddens, but Daitetsu waves his hands in a conciliatory gesture. "It's okay. I don't expect that everybody remembers me. In fact, I was just leaving. Wouldn't want to get in the way of your date."

"It's not a date!" "We're not dating!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 19
Cure Sword, Kenzaki Makoto - age 18
Hino Genki - Akane's brother - age 1 7


December, 2016

"Really, Sis?"

Akane had been humming from the moment her brother entered the room, but at this she starts singing. "It's because the Sun is a loser that I'm flying away to the Moon!"

"Stop! Stop it! It's bad enough that it's on the radio all the time and getting played out in town. I don't need my own sister singing the lyrics to me!"

Akane grins, but she does stop singing. "You were the one who dumped her, little bro. MakoPi is one of the top five pop singers in the country right now. Did you really think she wouldn't write a song about it? And wouldn't you know? It's super catchy."

"You're just taking her side because she's in your stupid club."

"No, I'm taking her side because you broke up with her in a text. You totally had this coming."

"You do realize that when she spends half the song badmouthing the Sun, it's your family name she's mocking?"

Akane shakes her head. "Sorry, but it's all on you. I just can't feel any shame when it's so obvious that she's mocking you. It's even got the official Cure Sunny seal of approval!"

"Ugh. I think I'll go eat out."

"Good luck finding a quiet place to eat, bro. I think they might be playing your song even if you somehow find a restaurant on the Moon!"

"Forget the Moon! Forget the Moon and forget her!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Twinkle, Amanogawa Kirara - age 14
Kirahoshi Ciel - age 13
Kuroki Rio - Ciel's brother - age 13


December, 2016

At an outdoor cafe in Paris, a blonde girl who looks like an elementary school student delivers a tray of cream puffs to the table where Kirara has been waiting. Kirara picks up the nearest puff and bites into it enthusiastically.

"The sweets here are just the best!"

"Thank you. I have worked very hard to master making them."

Kirara blinks. "You made these yourself? And you speak Japanese?"

"Surprised? I'm originally from Japan. One doesn't look this cute without being willing to work hard! Though you look like you already know that."

"Do you mean to say that I don't look like a genius to whom all this is second nature?"

"Does such a genius actually exist? I say: Non! The ones who grasp their hopes and dreams are the ones who are motivated and apply themselves! My brother and I, we are going to be world famous confectioners, just you watch!"

"I won't just watch, you know?" Kirara giggles. "I might just become a regular customer."

"Perhaps you'll meet my bro, then. Best be careful! He's good at dealing with pretty girls!"

Rio observes the conversation from the window of a nearby attic. He cannot hear what is being said, but he can very well guess: His sister is boasting again. All the more frustrating, she has the skills to back up her boasts. Despite sharing the same dream, Rio does not.

He turns away from the window and begins packing up his belongings.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13
Cure Custard, Arisugawa Himari - age 13
Cure Gelato, Tategami Aoi - age 13
Cure Macaron, Kotozume Yukari - age 1 7
Cure Chocolat, Kenjou Akira - age 1 7
Chourou, Amatsuno Shuuzou - age 71


2017

Fusion Group has registered Cure Whip, Cure Custard, Cure Gelato, Cure Macaron, Cure Chocolat, and Cure Parfait as Pretty Cure.

Dark PreCure has graduated college with a degree in Art History. Hosshiwa has graduated college with a degree in Education. Cure Happy, Cure Peace, and Cure Tender are now college students. Cure Sunny, Cure March, and Cure Echo have graduated from high school. Cure Mermaid, Shut, and Kujou Hikaru are now high school students. Midorikawa Haru, and Hayase Ryuuto are now middle school students.


As the latest girls to be named Pretty Cure emerge from the Director's office at Fusion Group, Himari begins to fidget. Aoi notices.

"What's eating you?"

"I don't deserve so much money! What if I can't make good use of it?"

"It really isn't that much money. I already- I mean, our parents probably make more than we're getting from this. Why not just use it to have fun?"

"Flash of inspiration!" Ichika points her finger into the air. "I'm going to get some ingredients and make a cake."

Aoi nods. "Sure, bake a cake. Bake forty cakes, if you feel like it."

"Forty cakes..."

"That's too many for any of us to eat," Himari says. "The only way it would make sense to bake so many cakes is if we planned on selling them."

Aoi grins. "Why not? If we're spending money to make money, nobody can say we were irresponsible."

"It sounds amusing. Would you mind if I participate?" Yukari poses the question with a cat-like smile.

"Let's all do it together!" Ichika declares, her eyes sparkling.

"I don't mind pitching in," Akira says, looking troubled. "But won't we need a building for this? Even if we didn't plan to serve customers somehow, we can't just turn ingredients into sweets without a kitchen."

"If it's a building you need, I have one you could use."

The offer comes from an unexpected direction. The girls look to the newcomer, an old man with puffy white hair and a mustache, who is wearing a purple suit and carrying an umbrella.

"Who are you?"

"Me?" The man points to himself, as if there was any question. "I am just a dandy gentleman who happened to overhear your idea to start a business. It so happens that I have a building that isn't being used. If you wouldn't mind doing a bit of cleaning, and occasionally looking after my great-granddaughter, I would be quite happy to leave it in your care."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 15
Shirabe Otokichi - Ako's grandfather - age 66
Natsuki Ai - Cure Rouge's sister - age 14


January, 2017

The afternoon sun can barely be seen through a canopy of heavy gray. Even though she is wearing a heavy muffler, Ai can see her breath frost up in front of her. However, she has not bundled up with mittens, boots, earmuffs, and a down-stuffed coat simply for the honor of enduring the cold of winter.

She is tailing her great rival.

Ako stands out against the snow-covered streets, wrapped in an all-black outfit that includes a fur-lined mantle. Although her face is covered by a black cowl, her orange-gold hair spills out the back, long enough to blow in the wind, if it weren't such a calm day. In years past, Ako used to wear platform boots with a similar outfit, but lately she is tall enough that she no longer needs them.

Trees and bushes have long since lost their leaves. Ai is left only solid fixtures to hide behind... utility poles, post boxes, the occasional statue. A light carpet of snow muffles their footsteps. Ako does not seem to suspect anything, which makes it easier.

Ako turns a corner, following a dilapidated wall that is partly covered in frosted green ivy. Ai peeks from the corner and watches as Ako vanishes through a stone arch. Beyond the arch is a stone building with heavy wooden doors. Its age is obvious, though as a whole it is at least in better shape than the surrounding wall. By the time Ai follows her to the arch, Ako is already inside.

Ai waits outside for several minutes. Then, the sound of a pipe organ pierces through the winter gloom. Ethereal, yet somehow cheerful, the music is too much to resist. As quietly as she can, she opens the door and slips inside.

Inside, the music is louder and more beautiful. It is as if the building itself was designed with the organ in mind. Ai follows the melody to its source, where she sees someone she did not expect. Rather than a wizened old man or even an adult, the player at the console is Ako herself. She is seated with her back to Ai, but she has removed her cowl entirely. In the brief moments that Ai can see Ako's face, her expression is one of intense concentration.

As Ai watches, she is startled almost into crying out when a hand firmly grips her shoulder. She turns to see an old man in a red vest, with white hair and a curled moustache. Ai has never met the man up close, but she is fairly certain that he is Ako's grandfather.

Before she can say anything, the man raises a finger to his lips.

Silence during the performance. Of course.

The music goes on for a long while. When Ako is done, she slumps in her seat without turning around.

"You are improving," her grandfather tells her.

"That's not the same as being good."

"Maybe we should ask your guest."

This gets Ako's attention. She turns to look, then scowls when she sees Ai. "What are you doing here?"

"What else?" Ai replies, flipping her hair with one hand. "I heard some rumors and thought that I'd see if it might be something I could hold over you. Instead, I've caught you doing something really amazing. I'm honestly not sure I could top this."

"That sounds like a you problem. I'll thank you to leave me out of it."

"What if I don't make it a problem, then? I'm sure that I can think of some way we could work together instead."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 18
Nathaniel Wright - age 20
Cure Fletcher, Christina Wright - age 13


January, 2017

Now that she is close to being an adult, Reika has grown even more worthy of her other name: Cure Beauty. Tall, with long blue hair, blue eyes, and flawless skin, the shape of her body is concealed entirely by a heavy coat as she waits, watching as passengers unload from a public bus. Behind her is a snow-covered garden and a stone building with marble columns.

The young man Reika has been waiting for disembarks. Nathaniel Wright is taller than Reika, with blond hair and bright green eyes. They have recently started dating. Indeed, that is why they have arranged to meet here.

However, a girl disembarks immediately behind Nathaniel, then rushes forward to attach herself to his arm. Her eyes and hair, which she wears in a ponytail curled like a drill, are the same shade of bright green. His attempt to dislodge her is unsuccessful, until she spots Reika.

The girl moves, placing herself between Reika and Nathaniel, then points directly at Reika and shouts: "I ask you as one noble to another: Are you quite certain that you wish to marry my worthless brother?"

Nathaniel steps forward and slaps the girl's arm down. "You know it's rude to point like that! Reika, this is my insufferable sister, Christina."

"Cure Fletcher!" The girl insists huffily.

Reika bows deeply. "I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Cure Fletcher."

"Christina, this is Reika. She and I have only been dating for a short while. It is too soon to consider marriage, and I'll thank you not to bring it up again."

"Fine, but don't cry to me if she dumps you for being lame. After all, you're the kind of fool who takes a girl to some stuffy museum when you could be riding the London Eye."

"Chris, this isn't 'some stuffy museum.' It's St. Paul's Cathedral. If you want to ride the Eye, you can go by yourself." Nathaniel points to the southwest. "It's that way. Try not to drown in the Thames."

At this, the girl turns to Reika. "Back me up, won't you? We Pretty Cures have to stick together."

Reika shakes her head. "I am sorry, but I would rather go on the date that your brother and I have already planned."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 24
Natsuki Yuu - Rin's brother - age 15
Natsuki Ai - Rin's sister - age 15
Close, Karasuma Kurosu - age 15


February, 2017

With Noble Academy being a boarding school, Yuu has not been able to see his sisters regularly in the nearly two years since he started attending. Ai goes to a different middle school, to which she commutes from home. Rin is a grown woman with a job and a husband, and in only a few months she will have twins of her own.

And then there is the matter of Yuu's roommate, Kurosu, who has come with him to the cafe where they are meeting.

"Good day to you, ladies! Your brother has told me a great many stories, but never once did he inform me that you are such beauties." Kurosu clasps Ai's hand in his own. "Your face enchants me. By any chance, are you single?"

"Dude!"

Kurosu glances back at Yuu. "Problem?"

"That's my twin you're talking to! Our faces are the same!"

"That's true," Ai snarks. "If you'd put on a little makeup, you could look as pretty as me."

Up to this point, Rin has been playing the mature older sister, but at this she cracks and starts laughing.

"Sis, if you keep laughing like that, you're going to give birth."

"No way," Rin dismisses Yuu between chuckles. "Despite how I look, these two aren't nearly ripe enough."

Ai turns back to Kurosu. "I am single, by the way."

"You finally ditched Midorikawa?" Yuu asks approvingly.

"Keita and I were never serious about each other. Now that I've made up with my great rival, it didn't seem right to keep him tied up."

At this, Kurosu's eyes widen. "I beg your pardon, but you aren't, by any chance, a serial heartbreaker?"

"You're afraid of cute little me?" Ai replies. "I may have broken a heart or two, but this last breakup really was mutual."

"If you break one or two, or even mine, I shall not object as you don't count close to one thousand."

"Breaking so many hearts sounds like such a waste time. What would you say to ditching my siblings and hanging out somewhere?"

Kurosu stands. "Yuu is already ticked at me, so I might as well earn it. Come, let me give you the tour."

Yuu drops his forehead onto the table as Rin continues to laugh.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Aqua, Minazuki Karen - age 25
Phantom, Inutama Anji - age 22


February, 2017

As befits a hospital room, the walls are painted white. The ceiling is white. The floor is white. White sheets provide screening between Anji's bed and the rest of the room. Even the window, although it is transparent, although here and there patches of blue show through, the sky is dominated by clouds. Needless to say, the clouds are-

Anji rests in a bed with white sheets and a white blanket. He has been provided a loose white robe to wear. Next to the bed, on a white end table, there is a bouquet of yellow flowers in a white vase. Along with the vase, there is a small bag of hand-wrapped honey candies.

"Mr. Inutama?"

"Present."

The woman who enters his enclosure is a doctor in a white lab coat. Her hair is dark blue and gathered into a bun that conceals its considerable volume. Behind her, an older doctor follows. White coat, white hair.

"I'm pleased to report that the surgery was a success. How are you feeling?"

"Considering that I came here in agonizing pain, I am doing quite well now, thank you."

"That's a rather dire qualifier. May I ask you please to elaborate?"

"My apologies. No physical pain, but I find this bleached white environment profoundly unsettling." Anji smiles. "How are you? I believe you said this was to be your first time cutting open a fleshy sack to root around in the disgusting fluids within."

"That's a rather gruesome way to put it, but this was indeed my first surgery."

"Having once had most of my bones broken, I emerged with an unusual perspective on the human body. If you feel differently about it, that is probably for the best. I do appreciate your saving my life. Thank you."

The woman smiles. "You're very welcome."

Behind her, the other doctor clears his throat.

"Oh!" The blue-haired woman pulls a small jar out of her lab coat. Inside, something fleshy and tube-shaped floats in a yellow-ish liquid. "This is your appendix, preserved as you requested."

"Not much to look at, is it?" Anji smiles as he receives the jar. "Downright disgusting. Last time I survived something that should have killed me, there wasn't anything I could make into a memento. Not to say that was my only regret, but I feel like I'm getting a little better at this 'surviving' business."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Phantasmei, Kamaki Meiko - age 7
Girinma, Kamaki Rintarou - Meiko's father - age 34
Poisony, Kamaki Poiko - Meiko's mother - age 32


February, 2017

Dear Diary,

I am called Phantasmei, and I am the Prisoner of Forever. My true name has been locked away apart from me, so that never in forever can I ever be set free. You shall know me by my crimson hair and my golden eyes, by my butterfly wings, and by my prison that is made out of Forever, which overlooks the gap between worlds.

I am the Prisoner of Forever, but I have not done anything wrong. I am imprisoned for helping the Witch of Miracles to rescue her one true love from the Magic World. Do not listen to the voices of Forever, which will tell you that the I was deceived by the witch and that she risked her life for no reason. When the veils between my prison and the Magic World are parted, every part of the Magic World becomes visible. By this I know that the Magic World is just as small and terrible as the Prison of Forever, and that the witch's beloved cried every day until the witch flew to her.

When the witch came to me, my prison was not yet a prison. At that time, it was a place that belonged to me, only it happened to overlook the gap between worlds at the only place where it is possible to cross over to the Magic World. I said that nobody had ever crossed the gap between worlds and that it was too dangerous to try. She told me that she could do it and how, if only I would let her in.

I let her in. I watched her fly across the gap between worlds. Because I did, I have become the Prisoner of Forever. This is why my name is locked away apart from me, so that I am called only Phantasmei. When the voices of Forever speak, they will tell you that I am rightly punished for aiding the Witch of Miracles.

Do not believe them.

After I watched the Witch of Miracles fly into the arms of her true love, she herself said that it was worth it.


"What is that gibberish?"

White shirt, black slacks, red bow-tie and a bowler hat, black with a red stripe. It is not exactly a uniform, and it is not exactly business casual. Rintarou is dressed for a shift at the Mag.

"It's Meiko's diary," his wife explains.

Rintarou grimaces. "Is she having trouble in school? I see nothing wrong with her penmanship, but... those aren't words."

"Meiko doesn't want anyone else to read it, Dear. For each character in each word, she wrote down the next one instead."

"Is- is that what they teach in schools these days?"

Poiko laughs. "Even if they did, they wouldn't teach that to seven year olds. She might just think she's the first person ever to come up with a substitution cipher."

"And what does it say?"

"It's nothing important, just some melodrama about being imprisoned in her room forever."

"She let a strange girl enter our apartment and ramp off her balcony! Grounding her for a year was entirely justified!"

"Are you trying to convince me? I completely agree, but I don't think this is anything we need to worry about. If she meant to rebel against us, she wouldn't write it in code and hide it under her bed."

Rintarou scratches his chin. "I suppose not. Perhaps we should confiscate it, just to be safe?"

"No, no... I have a better idea. You just go to work, and by the time Meiko is home from school, her diary will be right where she left it... just with a few additions."

Rintarou stares at his wife with a dubious expression, but chooses not to say anything more. He gives her a kiss, then heads out the door.

Poiko picks up a pen. "Now... what shall I add to her story?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Amami Hakuya - age 19


March, 2017

The young man lives in a dimly-lit room. Whether it is day or night, the single window faces into a narrow alley that admits little natural light. In any case, the window is screened with a gray curtain. A ring-shaped bulb is mounted on the ceiling, but is turned off. The room is illuminated by a computer screen.

His black uniform jacket appears faded in the poor light. It is crumpled on the floor and missing a button, but that is of no consequence. A small tube containing the young man's diploma has been dropped on top of the jacket with as much care.

There is a small wastebasket at the base of the desk, which is filled with papers. Some graded papers, some study materials, some notes. A couple of letters. Nothing in the trash can be read in this light, but the letter on top is from a college. The young man's name is mentioned. He is thanked for submitting his application. The letter goes on to explain that there have been an excess of qualified applicants for this year's admissions. It is nothing the young man did not already know; when the passing exam numbers were posted, his was not among them.

There is a knock at the door.

"Hakuya? Won't you come out for dinner?"

The young man does not deign to answer. He is not hungry. By the light of his computer screen, his pale skin and silvery hair appear drained of color that he lacked from the beginning. In each direction, the walls have been stripped of decorations and appear the same as his body: Colorless parts of a colorless world.

As he scrolls the screen, an advertisement appears. The image is a man in a dark suit, with flowing black hair. He has his hand on the head of a large black dog.

"Has the entire world turned against you?" The young man reads. "It has."

After he clicks on the ad, he is invited to register the name under which he will fight back against the world. The young man enters an alias.

E-L-Y-S-I-O.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 21
Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 21


March, 2017

"Ah! It's hopeless!"

Kurumi Erika has long since turned a portion of Fairy Drop's interior into her own personal workshop, which is now wholly occupied by a single project. Presently, she lies sprawled out across three chairs. Having just entered the room, Tsubomi approaches Erika from outside her field of view and slips an ice-cold canned drink next to her cheek. Erika immediately grabs the drink and downs it.

"Tsubomi, my savior! Won't you breed me a flower that'll add two days to the week? All I need is two extra days!"

"Even if you ask for something like that, it's just a little bit impossible?"

It's not really a question, though Tsubomi makes it sound like one. The single focus that dominates the rest of the room is a mannequin with a nearly-completed dress hanging on it, a creation of Erika's own design and also a wedding dress. Erika has been obsessing over this project for months, and with good reason. It is for her sister's wedding, now imminently near.

"That's right, it's impossible!" Erika stands up suddenly. "That Momoka, she asked me to do this because she knew that I'd fail!"

"You don't mean that," Tsubomi replies. "Your sister loves you and thinks the world of your designs."

"But it's so stressful, Tsubomi! Even I, who have a heart wider than the ocean, have reached my limit!"

"You'll be fine. Everyone knows that you can do this, including you."

"Ah! You just said something adult-like! Are you trying to sound like an adult?"

"I am an adult, though. We both are."

Erika makes a show of rolling back her sleeves. "I guess I'd better put some adult-like energy into this, then. It wouldn't be right to let your effort go to waste."

Tsubomi forces a smile. "Thanks?"

"Yeah!" Erika suddenly shouted. "I'll show that sister of mine! I'll show her good! This'll be the prettiest wedding dress she's ever seen, and I'll get it done by the end of the week!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Baritone, Toujou Naoto - age 2 7
Toujou Momoka - Erika's sister - age 25
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 21
Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 24
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 22
Cure Melody, Houjou Hibiki - age 20
Cure Beat, Kurokawa Ellen - age 20
Falsetto, Hayase Tohru - age 35
Shirabe Otokichi - Cure Muse's grandfather - age 66


March, 2017

The bride and the groom are the stars of the wedding, but it is very much a community event. The bride, Momoka, has always been popular among her peers. In contrast, the groom, Naoto, is a failed musician with a checkered past. That past has largely been reconciled. He has made friends and gained opportunities that he never would encountered in his old life. The result is a colorful event with many participants.

The organist and owner of the venue, Shirabe Otokichi. In this world where there is no such thing as magic, it is not as if the conflict that placed him and his granddaughter in opposition to Trio the Minor was ever of much import. It was only because it was so inconsequential a conflict and because that trio of fools broke up that the conflict was not resolved for some time. However, the bar where Naoto now works is a crossroads where many people meet. What bad blood remained was enough that it could be resolved with an apology and a free drink. Today, Otokichi performs a masterful wedding march.

Not every musician that is present is going to be performing. Naoto simply knows too many musicians. Falsetto, who left Trio the Minor to teach high school. Cure Melody, a rising star pianist who has performed overseas. Cure Beat, whose band since breaking with Trio the Minor has actually seen commercial success, and the other members of her band. In the past, Naoto would have blamed or envied them, but he is satisfied with his present life.

The bridesmaids: Cure Berry is Momoka's colleague. Erika, her little sister. The days when Momoka towered over her sister have long passed, though she is still taller by a couple of centimeters. Erika still believes herself to be less beautiful than her sister, and no amount of argument seems to convince her. In fact, the sky blue bridesmaid dresses were chosen to compliment Erika's figure specifically, but that is a secret known only to Momoka and to the maid of honor.

Tsukikage Yuri, Momoka's oldest friend, is the maid of honor, and that secret is safe with her. She has done considerable work in arranging the festivities, to the point that she was barely able to be present when the bridesmaids were helping Momoka into her wedding dress. That was no dereliction of duty: Momoka was in good hands. Cure Berry is as ardent a fashionista as any of the girls in her social circle, and Erika, the designer and seamstress behind the dress itself.

Momoka's wedding dress is mostly white, but Erika has added color to match a floral theme. The flowers are woven from fine thread, but in any case pink of peach blossoms and red dahlia wreath her head and hang from her veil. The hem of her dress is embroidered with whole flowers, and the train is made from delicate pink and cream-colored laces. It is the first wedding dress that Erika has ever sewn, but there isn't anybody who would know that by looking.

By comparison, Naoto's tuxedo is merely a tuxedo. No custom design, it has only been tailored to fit. He makes up for this by wearing a lavender cravat and silver cuff-links embossed with bass clefs. Of course, as the groom, he knows better than to upstage the bride, but at the same time he wants it seen that his beautiful bride is marrying a handsome man.

The words that should be said are said. They exchange rings and kiss. The event moves to another building nearby, where the reception banquet has been prepared.

The best man is a long-time associate of the groom, and this is where he has made the bulk of his preparations. Once Bassdrum of Trio the Minor, Torao has gone from being a bouncer at the bar where he and Naoto both work to being an in-house DJ and occasionally booking live music. Although neither of them are trying to support themselves on music anymore, nothing is going to stop Naoto from at least singing a song at his own wedding... but only one. After that, he yields the mic and the first dance begins.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 26
Cure Sparkle, Amanogawa Kirara - age 14
Cure Parfait, Kirahoshi Ciel - age 13
Takamagahara Ken - Cure Twinkle's father - age 39
Yakushiji Reira - age 36
Masuko Mika - age 25


April, 2017

The meeting room in the publishing office is painted in green pastels. Decorative plants line the walls. A large window overlooks a busy city street, which is several floors below. The interviewer is already waiting by the time Komachi's group arrives. The journalist stands respectfully as Komachi and the two actors take their seats. Their respective managers remain standing.

"I hope we haven't kept you waiting too long," Komachi says.

"Oh, think nothing of it! Waiting is a part of my job, and anyhow, I've kept busy." Mika replies with a grin. "Even if that weren't the case, I'd have to forgive you, having known you for so long."

"Ever since middle school, and yet you keep showing up for my book announcements."

"Is that so strange? If there's something to be reported about my personal acquaintances, I don't want to give up that position to anybody else!"

The beautiful woman sitting next to Komachi chuckles. "You should be thankful for such a friendship, Ms. Akimoto. Not all of us can count on having a friendly ear in the media."

"Oh, what have I been thinking? Ms. Yakushiji and Mr. Takamagahara, this is my journalist friend, Mass Media Masuko Mika. Mika, this is Yakushiji Reira, and the gentleman is Takamagahara Ken. Ms. Yakushiji will be starring in a film adaptation of my Phantasma Detective novels, and Mr. Takamagahara has been cast as one of the main antagonists.

After they exchange greetings, Mika immediately returns to the topic at hand.

"So, you're going to be making Phantasma Detective! What motivated such famed actors as yourselves to audition for your roles?"

Reira answers first. "To me, it's not a question of 'is this a good role for a famous woman?' If I don't stay busy acting, then I don't think I can really call myself an actress. If I'm not doing a movie or a drama, I'm usually in auditions, and I can't usually get people to pay me for auditions."

The others laugh.

"Right? I tell that joke to my manager and she thinks I'm serious. I've only started reading Ms. Akimoto's novels since I got the part, but I can tell you already that I've really been missing out!"

Komachi chuckles. "She says she's missing out, but actually I've told her secrets that haven't come up in the books yet."

"Secrets?" Mika's eyes shine. "What secrets, specifically?"

"Mika, they won't be secret anymore if we tell you!"

"I know that! Can you blame me for trying?"

"Yes, but I won't hold it against you. Let's just say that what I've told Ms. Yakushiji is important to her portrayal of her character."

"Fair enough. Mr. Takamagahara, I hope you don't feel like we're leaving you out."

"Not at all. I got interested in the script because there are several scenes that have to be shot in Paris, and my daughter is working in Paris."

"Oh my, for such a reason?"

The man shrugs. "I am in a position where I can pick and choose. If I can work and see my daughter, why not?"

Reira lets out a sigh. "You truly are a lucky man. I can only wish that this movie had a role suitable for my daughter."

Komachi giggles. "Shall I create one for her?"

Mika gasps. "Is this a backroom deal? Am I, Mass Media Masuko Mika, witnessing a corrupt deal right before my eyes?"

"Save us, Mr. Takamagahara! Quickly, say something scandalous!"

"Very well." He clears his throat, then answers: "One of the things I've learned while working in Hollywood is that, as the father of a beautiful girl, I've got the absolute right to shoot any of her suitors dead."

"Oi oi."


At an outdoor cafe in Paris, a pretty brunette with a magazine in her hand suddenly chokes on a soft creme puff. The chef, a cute blonde girl, rushes to her side.

"Kirara, are you okay?!"

Kirara sputters, then nods. "I'm fine. I think some of that went down the wrong hole, but I'll be okay."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure! And when my idiot Dad shows up here, I'm going to slap him across the face!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 18
Ira, Goh Kyouya - age 18


April, 2017

The cram school that Rikka attends is well-reputed, but the facility itself feels sterile. Matte white walls, fluorescent lights, small windows set near the ceiling. For all that the students can leave whenever they want, the interior manages to feel like a prison.

"Hey, have you heard?" "Have you heard?" "About that boy in the next class?"

If it is meant to keep students from gossiping, the stark decor fails utterly. Rikka doesn't participate, nor does she even want to hear. She listens and catalogs the rumors only because the other girls are so loud and her ability to shut them out is lacking.

The boy is tall, they say. Handsome. Pale blue hair. Bright yellow eyes. The stiff violet uniform of the Kujou Boys School.

"Could it be?"

The gossips don't notice the question Rikka whispers to herself, nor do they take note as she stands and walks over to the next classroom.

The boy who is the subject of the gossip is easy to spot. Nobody else in the room wears that uniform, and perhaps nobody else at the cram school. He is sitting by himself, diligently reading a textbook.

"Goh Kyouya, it is you!"

He looks up from his book. Seeing her, he smiles.

"Hishikawa Rikka. Been a while."

"Been a while? Kyouya, you practically disappeared!"

He shrugs. "I don't have a lot going for me. In order to make something of myself, I had to make some sacrifices."

"Sacrifices? Kyouya..."

"I'm in a better place now. We should catch up."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13
Julio, Kuroki Rio - age 13


April, 2017

There is no such thing as magic in this world. Rather than giving up on a conveniently portable building, in the same way that nobody expects to open a gateway to another place simply by sliding books around on a shelf, such a thing was never thought of in the first place.

As well, it is not as if reality is lacking. The building owned by that eccentric gentleman has been well-maintained and sits amid park-like landscaping. The exterior is bright and beautiful, to the extent that only a signboard was needed to make it look like a patisserie. The interior was cleaned and decorated, and the kitchen-

It was a disaster area. Nobody wanted to guess what had left it in such a state. It took Ichika and her friends several days of intense cleaning to get it to a usable state, and at one point an exterminator had to be called in.

But that is all in the past. The kitchen that Ichika has led Rio into is pristine to the point of shining, on every surface from the ceiling to the floor. There is no possible way for him to know how it used to be.

"Flash of inspiration!" Ichika declares, posing for a moment before getting right to work.

Rio stands out of the way and watches. She invites him to participate, but he only declares that he dislikes sweets. Even so, this does not stop him from offering advice at a crucial moment later on.

The result is cupcakes, which are then decorated to look like sheep. Most of the batch are handed off to Ichika's friend who made the request, but there are enough left over for both Ichika and Rio to have a couple for themselves.

"Aha! Rio, you're smiling! You said you didn't like sweets!"

"That's- I- I lack an affinity for them! That's how it is! Repeating what I said earlier is banned!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Bassdrum, Ohta Torao - age 29
Baritone, Toujou Naoto - age 2 7
Itomashi Hiroki - Bel's grandson - age 21


April, 2017

The bar is lit almost as much by neon fixtures as by regular lights, but the attached bowling alley is brightly illuminated. At this moment, neither section is open for business. As Naoto watches, the red-haired newcomer steps up to the line and releases his ball down the lane. His good form and smooth movement indicate that the late owner's grandson has clearly bowled before.

The ball knocks down four pins, leaving a gap between the kingpin and #10. His follow-up clears three more pins.

"I hope you weren't expecting me to be good at this."

Instead of answering, Naoto takes his own turn and likewise fails to knock down all the pins.

"It isn't a matter of winning or losing. Your grandfather would challenge us to matches, once in a while after hours. He would say that it was important for employees to understand the feelings of the players."

Hiroki scratches his beard. "That doesn't sound much like my grandfather. Are you sure he didn't just enjoy crushing you?"

"Oh, he certainly did. He took obvious pleasure from any victory, whether his opponent was a match for him or not. He may not have ever been sincere in espousing that principle, but that doesn't make the statement invalid."

"So you've tried all of the drinks, then?"

"I have, though most of them were spread out over about a year."

"I suppose they all meet with your approval?"

"Certainly not." Naoto stick out his tongue. "I can understand how our many drinks are intentionally quite different without having to like some of the rotgut that people may ask to drink."

"Now that sounds like somebody who worked for my grandfather."

Whatever Naoto might have said to that, they are interrupted by Torao calling from the bar.

"Gentlemen, the karaoke challenge is ready!"

Naoto immediately stands, with no apparent thought for finishing the game. Hiroki hurries to catch up.

"So this karaoke challenge, I suppose it won't matter either, even if I do badly?"

"Hm? No, this test actually counts. Your grandfather hired us in our time of need, and for that we will always be grateful. However, you, his heir, have asked us to partner with you and to keep the business operating while you finish culinary school, and that is quite something else."

Once again, Hiroki scratches his beard. "You're saying it matters how well I sing?"

"I'm say that we expect you to put your whole heart and soul into it. We will make our decision after that."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Felice, Hanami Kotoha - age 14
Hayase Ryuuto - Falsetto's son / Cure Peace's stepbrother - age 13


May, 2017

The afternoon sun shines high in the sky. Ocean waves glitter in the distance. Close up, those same waves crash gently against the slate gray seawall. A boy stands at the edge, his shadow cast into the water next to a fishing line. A wide-brimmed straw hat provides him with a measure of shade.

Ryuuto has taken up fishing on his own initiative. In actuality, he is free to do anything or nothing when he is away from the family home. In his own mind he remains the eldest brother, even though his stepsister is several years his elder. He is only occasionally asked to look out for his younger brother, or to take care of his baby half-sister, but it is only by doing something productive that he can cleanse his heart of the grim spectre of responsibility.

Fishing is simple and peaceful. Fish caught can be cooked and eaten.

So far today, he hasn't caught anything. C'est la vie.

He is mainly concerned with watching his line when a girl wanders into his peripheral vision. Pink hair frames her face and covers her shoulders. She is wearing a frilly white blouse and a pale green skirt. If she were not staring so intently at the smartphone in her hand, she could almost be some kind of fairy.

It is the sort of impression that makes him want to shout, "I do not believe in fairies!" But he holds his peace, just in case this girl is one of the sort who might lie on the ground and make him clap for her. Anyhow, shouting like that would be rude.

"Ha..."

Was that a sigh or a statement? The girl seems to be deep in thought. She shifts closer to him, still absorbed in whatever it is on the screen. The forward tips of her shoes protrude over the edge of the wall. Ryuuto watches, his fishing momentarily forgotten, as she extends her hand with her phone as far ahead as she can reach, then begins to lean forward.

A sudden gust of wind.

The girl tips forward, flailing her arms. There is no hope of recovery. Ryuuto moves, dropping his fishing pole and catching her by the wrist.

It is not enough. As his body begins to pitch forward as well, Ryuuto once again feels the spectre of responsibility.

He pulls as hard as he can, sacrificing his own balance to yank her back upright. She stumbles and falls on her butt, but remains high and dry. Ryuuto splashes into the water a meter below.

A moment later, his head breaks the surface. He sees the girl kneeling on top of the seawall, pink hair framing her face as she stares down at him.

"What, now you get off your phone? Are you some kind of idiot?"

"Ha?!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 23
Aoki Junnosuke - Cure Beauty's brother - age 26


May, 2017

By ascending a staircase in a certain back alley, one finds a solid wooden door painted glossy black, with a pair of giant cat's eyes at about eye level. No password is required. At the right times of the right days, one need only turn the doorknob to enter Cat Cafe Neko Neko Wai.

A softly lit brick-lined hallway connects the entrance to the waiting area, where a dozen or more cats habitate in the presence of the maitre d'. A network of cat-scaled climbing towers lines two opposing walls, which are linked together by walkways fixed just below the ceiling. Most of the cats are friendly, and guests are invited to pet or play with the cats as they wait to be seated. Three cat doors, one near the ceiling, allow any of the cats to retreat to a staff-only area at their own discretion.

The cats also have free run of the dining area, a handful of small tables that occupy a narrow veranda overlooking a tile roof and a small garden. The menu is small and written in Italian. As for the prices, well... there are so many cats to take care of, after all.

Inori and her boyfriend have come at a time when the sun is just beginning to set. As they finish eating, Junnosuke pulls a small box from his pocket.

Tradition requires that he kneel, even though this blocks the aisle. Inori's eyes widen.

"Junnosuke, is that-?"

"It is," he answers solemnly. "If you will have me, if you can believe in me, please do me the honor of becoming my wife."

"Of course I will," she says, taking the ring and slipping it onto her finger. "I have faith in you... and I have faith in us."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rouge, Natsuki Rin - age 24
Natsuki Ai - Rin's sister - age 15
Rose Vision, Ibara Shou - Rin's husband - age 31
Natsuki Nagi - Rin's & Shou's son - newborn
Natsuki Akari - Rin's & Shou's daughter - newborn


May, 2017

"Argh! Why did they have to be twins?"

In principle, Rin has known for a while that this moment would come. It became clear that she was having twins early in her pregnancy. The actual experience of giving birth has turned out to be more painful than she had imagined.

Much more painful.

"Sis, I'm a twin." Ai is standing next to Rin and holding her hand.

"Like I care! I never had to push you out of my body!"

"Good point."

Rin looks up at her sister's face. "You don't have to stay next to me, you know. You could go stand next to Shou and get a really good view."

"No, I'd rather stay. The view from here is closer to the one I'll see myself someday." Ai turns and glares pointedly at her brother-in-law. "You, what's your excuse?"

Shou is standing with his arms crossed, back a bit from Rin's feet. "You may not wish to hear this, little sister, but this is hardly my first time standing before my darling's bank of love. Whereas until now I have only made deposits, today the interest payments have come due. I stand here ready to collect, so that I may present my love with the fruits of her labor!"

"You're evil! Sis, your husband is evil!"

Whatever response Rin might have made is drowned in a scream of pain. Her grip on her sister's hand tightens.

"It's gonna be okay, Sis! You're going to be okay!"

"My darling, I can see our child!"

The drama goes on for a considerable while. Rin is exhausted, but unharmed. Shou walks into her field of view, holding in each arm an an infant with bright red eyes.

"My love, our son and our daughter. What shall we call them?"

Rin manages a weak smile. "Our son, Nagi. Our daughter, Akari."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 22
Momozono Aoshi - Onikichi's cousin - age 24
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 22
Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 23
Cure Passion, Higashi Setsuna - age 22
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 19


May, 2017

Cure Peach has gotten married. The ceremony was nothing special, pageantry unfolded according to the standard scripts. Miki and Inori, Love's closest friends since childhood, participated as bridesmaids; Setsuna, her sister by adoption, was the maid of honor. Onikichi, the groom's boisterous but slightly dim cousin, served as the best man.

Where the ceremony was ordinary, the reception is less so. Oh, certainly there is a feast. Sandwiches, fresh peaches and nectarines, meat and cheese, cake. For those of drinking age, champagne. For the others, peach juice. The tables are arrayed around the edges of the hall, leaving a large opening on a hardwood floor.

When the bride and groom join the reception, the reason becomes clear. Love has traded out her white wedding gown for a different style of dress, one which is mostly pink with black highlights, better emphasizes her figure and is easier to move in. Aoshi is still wearing his tuxedo, but with the addition of a black cape lined with dark blue. The lights dim throughout the reception hall, and a spotlight shines on the newlywed couple at the center of the floor.

This is the cue for the music. Violins, double bass, piano, flute, and clarinet. The ensemble's presence had been concealed from the guests, but the music is distinctive, and the first dance is unmistakable.

The first dance is a passionate tango.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Macaron, Kotozume Yukari - age 1 7
Julio, Kuroki Rio - age 13


May, 2017

"Disgusting. You lot haven't even noticed that your admiration causes her pain."

"What?" "That's not true..." "It can't be..."

For girls who claimed to admire Kotozume Yukari for how much she stands out, the members of her fan club seemed dead set on being as alike as possible. They also had developed a nasty habit of ganging up on people they didn't like -most people other than themselves and Yukari- then declaring that the other was unworthy and should stay away from her.

"It is the truth," Julio insists, advancing as the girls shy away. "You claim to be her friends, but not even she can tell you lot apart. Do you even have names? Let's hear them."

Their morale cracks, and they all run off in different directions. Once he is sure that they are gone, Julio begins to remove his mask.

"That wasn't very nice," a woman's voice says from behind him.

Julio spins, but there is nobody there. Behind his back, a lavender-haired girl wearing a domino mask and cat ears drops down from a tree and taps him on the shoulder.

"Cure Macaron!"

"Who might that be, I wonder?" She taps the edge of her mask as she replies. "I'm just a catgirl who happened to be passing by."

"Fine, be that way... but we don't have to be enemies, you know. We're kindred spirits. Like you, Kotozume Yukari, I have languished in the shadow of a brilliant older sister. Why not join forces? Nobody cares what we younger siblings do."

"An amusing proposal," the girl says, flashing a cat-like smile. "One problem, however: Wherever did you hear that I have a sister? I have always been an only child."

Julio's eyes widen. "You- You-"

"Who, me?" She points coquettishly at her chin.

"This isn't over!" He screams, then runs away.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13


May, 2017

Dear Mother,

It is warm outside and the sky is fair and blue. We have been seeing plenty of sunshine. It is not yet summer, but with weather so pleasant, it may as well be.

How are you? I can tell that I have been growing, because... because. Day by day, it is hard to tell, so I can only wonder at how much I may have changed since we last saw each other. How much more childish is the image of me in your memories? When we next see each other, will you still see me as a child?

I know that your work is important. I know that it would be selfish to ask that you stay here with me and Dad, when there are so many lives that you can save in the places you travel. Even so, I miss you. I am sure Dad misses you too. I miss you so much that I cannot selflessly deny it.

I want to see you. I want to spend time with you. I want to bake sweets for you, and have you tell me what you think of them. I won't be so selfish as to ask for you to stay with us forever, but please, come home more.


Ichika pauses and puts her pen down. She lowers her head to rest on the table.

"Ugh- it all sounds so lame! It's just a love letter! It's just a letter to Mom! Shouldn't my true feeling sound a little more persuasive?"

She turns her head slightly so that she is looking out the window. It is nighttime, and the stars are out.

"Rio... must have somebody like this, right? Is that why he was so hurtful about it, because he was hurt the same way?"

Ichika sighs, then tilts her head back to stare at her ceiling.

"What do I even know about Rio, anyway? He never talks about his family. His special person could be a friend. It could be a girl-"

"Aaah!" she shouts, clapping her hands to her cheeks and forcing herself to sit upright. "I haven't got time for this! I've got a letter to write!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Bassdrum, Ohta Torao - age 29
Ohta Ai - Cure Honey's sister - age 22


June, 2017

Torao and Ai are married. A few days prior, they had their wedding. It was a beautiful day, and everything went off without a hitch.

Almost.

After catching the bouquet, Cure Princess punched out her boyfriend. And so Shirayuki Hime is single again.

But that does not matter to the newlyweds, who have flown away to a beachside cabin for their honeymoon.

At this moment, however, they are not swimming or having a romantic walk on the beach. They have done those things already, and other things, and soon enough they will do all of those things again.

Right now, the newlyweds are in their cabin's kitchen. Right now, Ai is baking a cake. Getting ready to bake a cake. Sorting ingredients and preheating the oven. Torao... only watches.

"You know, you don't need to cook. We could order in. Even if it is a cake, we could order it in."

"It's a little too late to say that after I've already started, Torao. Why don't you help out?"

Torao shuffles his feet, but makes no motion to assist.

"If you're not going to help, then sing something for me. Something happy."

"Something happy?" He takes a deep breath, then begins: "Uninstall, uninsta-"

A cloud of flour hits him in the face, and Torao coughs for several moments. After he recovers, he looks himself over.

"Oh my... I look like a ghost."

His wife giggles. "You do look like a ghost!"

Torao raises his arms over his head and begins to advance. "The ghost of baked goods is coming to haunt you!"

"Eek, stay away!" She shrieks playfully, running from the room.

He pursues.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Minamino Souta - Cure Rhythm's brother - age 15
Takei Nobuo - age 24


June, 2017

Whether it is the middle school or high school division, Aria Academy is known primarily for music. One might think that much would be obvious from the name, but an institution does not acquire a reputation simply because it has an auspicious name. It is likewise rare, verging on unheard of, for the name to change to reflect an established reputation, not least because the reputation often becomes attached to an existing name.

That the name matches the reputation, then, must mean that the name was chosen as an aspiration, after which concrete and successful steps were taken to establish the hoped for renown.

Or it is a coincidence. Such things also happen.

Minamino Souta is not a musician. Although he is a student at the academy, although music classes are required, and although he achieves satisfactory results in those classes, music is neither his first nor his second love.

One of those is soccer.

The academy's reputation for sports is both recent and ephemeral, having been built by a handful of very talented students, many of whom have already graduated. Souta is one of the youngest of those luminaries, and he is determined to have a winning season.

He is currently playing defense. He dashes toward his team's goal, trying to get ahead of the opposing team's passing game. Their offense is strong, and a powerful airborne pass is set to fly almost directly over Souta's head.

He digs in his heels and jumps, flipping backwards so that his feet scythe across the path of the ball. He connects, driving the ball back toward the other end of the field.

He lands and continues running.

After the game, the coach congratulates the whole team. They played as a team, and they won as a team. He doesn't pick out Souta's contribution specifically, even though he was certainly the ace.

Afterwards, he speaks to Souta alone.

"You seem dissatisfied, Minamino. We may not have called you out as MVP, but make no mistake: you are."

"Coach-" Souta shakes his head. "We're a team, right? Everyone brings what they've got. My A game should be better than this."

"That backflip looked like a winner to me. You even got some of the other team's fans cheering with that one."

Souta shakes his head. "It was uncontrolled. I wanted to send the ball straight to Sasaki, not just generally down the field."

"It was the best you could do in the moment and it was amazing. You should be proud of that."

"Coach, I can do better!"

"You should be proud," the coach repeats. "It's fine that you want to improve on it, but save that thinking for practice. Okay?"

Souta seems to accept that, but doesn't immediately respond.

"Minamino, is that okay?"

"Yes, Coach!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Hosshiwa, Morioka Wako - age 25
Morioka Takayuki - Namakeldar's cousin - age 26
Namakeldar, Namase Kenta - age 24
Shirogane Hisako - Wako's friend - age 25
Cure Mint, Akimoto Komachi - age 26
Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 1 7
Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - age 1 7
Cure Honey, Ohmori Yuuko - age 18
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 1 7
Sasorina, Sadou Rina - age 30
Akimoto Almond - Komachi's son - age 4


June, 2017

"Who was it who complained when those girls got to be bridesmaids before?"

"That was years ago!" Wako insists. She tries to turn her head, but the combination of her dress and Hisako's hand prevents her from looking directly at the other woman.

"Eyes straight ahead, please. This part is delicate and you don't want me to mess it up."

"Ugh." Wako rolls her eyes, but does as she is told. "So now I have to stand here and take it while you call me out?"

"You make it sound like I set this up! You're the bride this time, Wako. You made all of the important decisions that got you into this position. Including this super-elaborate wedding dress, which you picked out, and which you can't put on by yourself because it requires someone to stand behind you and sew it shut. And since you chose me to be your maid of honor, that someone is me."

"Because you've been my best friend since high school, not so you could stand behind me and talk shit!"

Wako tries to turn again, but Hisako firmly stops her.

"Eyes forward, please. And I'm not talking shit. I just think it's odd that you were so jealous of those girls and now you've invited them to be bridesmaids for you."

Wako sighs.

"You'd better get those deep breaths out of your system too. If you do that after you're fully sewn into this monstrosity, you might blow a seam. Or break a rib."

"You might have mentioned that earlier."

"Not my wedding. Are you gonna spill it or not?"

"Yeah, yeah. You know I'm a jealous woman, Hisako. If I banned everyone from my wedding who I've ever envied, you wouldn't be here either. I'd be here alone with Takayuki and Namase... and we'd have to find another priest."

There is silence behind Wako for several moments, then Hisako starts giggling uncontrollably.

"Hey! Hey, girls!" She waves at the bridesmaids to come over. "I need the four of you to go find Cure Egret. She should be around here somewhere, and I'm cracking up too much to finish this sewing."

The bridesmaid dresses are light pink and not nearly as complex as Wako's wedding dress. The four girls quickly file out of the room, with Megumi turning back just before leaving to shout, "You can count on us!"

"You're not laughing that hard."

"No, but I am curious. They're gone now, so spill."

"Well, Yuuko got her sister to make me a bridesmaid for once, so I owe her. Megumi and Hime are on good terms with a couple of my friends, so I figured they'd be a good fit. And I couldn't leave Iona out after including those three. It would be like if you, me and Mai went to a hot spring or something and didn't invite Komachi."

"That's surprisingly generous of you."

"What's surprising? It's my wedding! I can be generous if I want!"

"Alright, alright. Let's get you sewn up."


When the ceremony actually begins, it goes off without issue. The bride may be the jealous type, (and certainly she is) but the maid of honor and Kenta, the best man, are able to carry out their ceremonial duties without being interrupted by their lovers, who are other people. Nor do the bridesmaids or their escorts end up in conflict with any boyfriends or girlfriends.

The groom enters. Like the best man, Morioka Takayuki is tall and has light green hair, but that is the full extent of their family resemblance. There are some guests who know him better as a member of Cure Beat's band, a few of whom aren't personally connected to the band. Indeed, the other band members are among the guests, but the groom will not be performing.

Wako enters and walks to the altar. Her dress is... it is certainly something. Elaborate. Unconventional. At any rate, it is white. It does not explode nor cause her to collapse, either of which seem to be laudable achievements under the circumstances.

The officiating priest is an older man who doesn't seem like the sort of person Wako ought to envy. Perhaps that was a joke, but then again Wako is that sort of person. He makes the traditional speech, then presents the traditional question to the groom.

He raises a trumpet to his lips. It seems that he doesn't intend to speak his answer.

He lowers it without playing.

"I do."

The priest presents the same question to the bride, and she answers.

"I do."


"I thought he was actually going to play for a moment there."

"I thought he was mute!"

There are those who express such opinions during the reception. By the time the bride and groom appear at the feast, she has changed out of her... that dress... and into something just as white but considerably more practical. They cut the cake. There is dancing. They perform the ritual of the bouquet, which is captured by Sasorina, a friend of the bride who works at the same elementary school. The ritual of the garter follows, but it ends up in the hands of Akimoto Almond, who is certainly too young to understand its significance.


By now, anyone who is connected to Cure Mint knows that she has a hobby of pranking weddings. Eyes have been on her from the moment that she arrived before the wedding, throughout the ceremony, and during the reception. There doesn't seem to have been any moment when she might have begun mischief, but it is also understood by now that she is always the mastermind. The only real questions are what will happen and when.

By the time the newlyweds announce their exit from the reception hall, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. There was that dress... but that simply cannot have been the prank, much as it did have quite an impact. Speaking for herself and her husband, Wako announces that they will step out of the large double doors that have remained closed throughout the reception, where there is a limousine waiting that will take them to the dock where they will depart for a honeymoon cruise.

It seems as if there is no moment left for an incident.

The groom's hand touches the doorknob, then suddenly withdraws. The bride makes the same motion.

"It's ice cold!" she announces.

This is peculiar already, considering that the day is fine and warm and near the end of June. Still, the surprise does not stop them from opening the door and walking through.

Outdoors is missing.

Certainly, there is a limousine waiting, but it is waiting on what appears to be a carpet of snow. Three unexpected walls surround it on all sides, made of thick, glistening ice and lit in bright colors that shine from within. The otherworldly light reflects off of the ceiling, which appears to be made of paper.

There is even frost on the windshield. It can only be deliberate, since it spells out the words "JUST MARRIED".

Wako spins, and easily finds Komachi, who is standing, smiling, with her family.

"How? Komachi, how?"

Komachi lifts a finger to her lips. "That is a secret."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 25
Mimino Sunao - Kurumi's husband - age 29


July, 2017

It is afternoon, but the sky is dark. Rain pounds against the outside walls. Water flows down the window glass in sheets, though none seeps through to the interior.

Lightning flashes. Thunder cracks. The lights flicker. Kurumi shrieks and runs to her husband.

Wrapped in his muscular arms, she whines. "Why did a typhoon have to happen now? This was supposed to be a fun vacation! A beautiful cabin with a private beach, someone else watching Naoya- Why a typhoon?!"

"All will be well, my love. Minazuki Satsuki is a strong man, in his own way. He will keep our boy safe. We will all meet again when this storm is over."

Another flash, with closer thunder. Kurumi shuts her eyes and clings to Sunao.

"What about us? I hate this!"

Sunao strokes the back of his wife's head. His large fingers trace furrows in her violet hair that, he thinks, look almost like bunny ears in the dim light.

"We will be fine, my dear. The storm is outside, and it will be staying outside. This is a strong house, and I am a strong man. The typhoon will not enter where it fears."

"Storms don't have emotions, Sunao. What if it breaks through?"

"If the storm comes inside, I will end it with one punch."

Kurumi trembles. At first, it seems that she is crying, but then her giggles escape.

"You dope!" She looks up at his face with tears in her eyes. "What did I ever do to deserve a great guy like you?"

"All I need is for you to be your wonderful self."

Lightning flashes again. It perfectly illuminates a kiss.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13
Cure Parfait, Kirahoshi Ciel - age 14
Julio, Kuroki Rio - age 14


July, 2017

"Ciel, you can't stay in there forever."

Rio speaks to a locked door above Ciel's shop. Ichika stands next to him.

"Watch me!" Ciel answers forcefully from within. "I don't deserve to be a patissiere if I can't even understand my own brother!"

"What? Ciel, that has nothing to do with this! When did you become so melodramatic?"

"I'm your twin! Maybe I'll start using that Noir app, too!"

Rio punches the door, then leads Ichika away. When they reach the kitchen downstairs, he slumps against a wall.

"Do you get it now? This is why I can't deal with her. Everything I'm proud of, she's better at. Everything I hate about myself, she's worse."

Ichika pats him on the shoulder. "It's alright. Everything's going to be fine. After all, you don't really hate each other."

"How could I hate her? She's my one and only twin sister, but we're too alike. All we do is hurt each other now."

"You could tell her how you feel."

"She won't listen. I wouldn't."

"You don't have to say it with words. You both want to make sweets, right? Why not make something for her?"

"I told you, I haven't got any talent. Nothing I make for her is going to be as good as what she can make herself."

"That's not what matters, Rio. As long as you put your true feelings into it, I know that she'll understand."


Ciel is alerted to her brother's return when her locked door clicks open. She quickly turns away to hide the fact that she has been crying.

"You picked the lock," she accuses him. "We agreed we weren't going to do that anymore."

"You haven't eaten. You still like waffles, right?"

Her first thought is to deny it, but at that moment her stomach rumbles loudly.

"I might... be a little hungry."

He approaches and thrusts a plate before her. The waffles are mostly black. The strawberries on top are mostly black. Even the cream somehow looks burnt.

She turns to look at him. "You're this angry at me?"

"No, I just suck. If you don't want to eat it, I'll understand."

"No way!" Ciel snatches the plate from his hand. "You made it for me, and I'm going to eat it! So there!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Soular, Minami Shun - age 22
Wester, Nishi Hayato - age 23
Misumi Ryouta - Cure Black's brother - age 20
Momozono Aoshi - Cure Peach's husband - age 25


July, 2017

As Minami Shun is soon to be married to Aono Miki, there is occasion for a bachelor party. A small, low-key party, on account of having a small social circle and a smaller budget. Partly on that account, and also because Aoshi owns an automatic mahjong table, the party is being held at the Momozono residence. Love is away and spending time with her friends.

"Gentlemen, do you tire of playing low scoring hands for chump change?" Dealer, Aoshi asks as he discards a tile. "From right now, let's start using our powers."

"Very well," Shun answers, taking his own turn. "Incidentally, my power is to be exceptionally strong in the south seat and during the south wind."

Hayato chuckles as he draws and discards. "As expected of you, Soular! It so happens that my power is the same as yours, but with the west wind!"

"That's a shit power. The game never gets into the west wind."

"It does so! I've played into west wind a couple of times!"

"Read the mood, you dolt! If you're going to call a power, make it something useful!"

"Alright, then! I make my specialty... Tsubame-gaeshi!"

"You're going to cheat by swapping your entire hand with tiles from the wall in front of you?"

"Heck, yeah! You'll never see it coming!"

"We've already drawn out your side of the wall, however."

"Oh. Um... I'll do it next time, then! Prepare to be amazed!"

The draw has gone around the table a couple of times during this exchange. Soular discards a green dragon, which Aoshi calls.

"By the way, my power is to draw only green tiles."

"That might be a little too useful."

Aoshi nods. "In my line of business, it's go big or go home."

"Misumi, you've been quiet. What power are you using?"

"Oh, I never draw the glass tiles."

Hayato jolts, bumping the table. "What, like in Washizu mahjong?"

Ryouta shrugs. "Situational, I know... but you'll notice I haven't lost any blood."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 23
Cure Peach, Momozono Love - age 22
Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 23
Cure Passion, Higashi Setsuna - age 22
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 21
Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13
Toujou Momoka - Erika's sister - age 25
Misumi Minori - Cure Bloom's sister - age 21


July, 2017

"A blue heart is the mark of hope!" Ichika says, removing the cover from the tray. The confection revealed is a large custard with a crumbly crust, decorated with blueberries and blackberries with a prominent heart-shape at the center. Overall, it is shaped a little like a bear. After just a moment, she announces the name: "The Freshly-Gathered Blueberry Koala Tart!"

Miki claps her hands. "Oh my, that's perfect!"

Ichika bows, blushing, as Miki and her guests applaud. It is same time that her husband-to-be is having his bachelor party, but Miki's party is not to be compared with his lame game night at a friend's house. For one thing, she has more friends. For another, she had an actual budget, with which she has secured a private room at the Kirakira Patisserie.

With a practiced hand, Ichika cuts the tart and hands a piece to Miki, then serves each of the guests. Love, Inori and Setsuna, some of Miki's oldest friends. Momoka, a friend from work. Erika and Minori, friends she met in high school. Miki is getting married in only a few days time. Several of the others are already married. Minori is pregnant and only two weeks from her due date.

There are gifts, as well. Including one large cylindrical box that is wrapped in heavy brown paper, with a typed note that reads: "Open in secret."

As Miki examines the suspicious box, considering whether to open it here and now, Minori squeals and stands up. A few moments later, she is standing in a puddle.

"I'm sorry about this, everyone. I think I'd better go to the hospital."

With no regard for her shoes, Miki walks up to Minori and draws her into a hug. "Don't apologize, girl! It's your baby's birthday! This is a happy occasion!"

"Thanks, Miki. I know you're trying to make me feel better, but I appreciate it."

Nearby, Momoka holds up her hand and brandishes a car key. "I'll drive!"

Minori tears up as she turns to leave. "Thanks, everybody. And sorry again about ruining the party."

"Hold up," Miki commands, then plucks a blackberry from the tart and crushes it in her palm. She smears the juice on Minori's face. "There, now you've been punished and you don't have to feel bad. Go and have your kid."

Minori giggles in spite of herself, then follows Momoka out of the building.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Sasorina, Sadou Rina - age 30
Kurusu Shuuhei - age 30
Ichikawa Hitomi - Rina's student - age 6


August, 2017

The Moon hangs low near the horizon, tinted red and half darkened by the shadow of the Earth. Rina and Shuuhei are seated on a blanket in the park, with a small bottle of sake between them.

"This was worth staying up late for," Rina says, taking a drink.

Shuuhei yawns. "In my college days, I used to stay up all night with no ill-effects. Take this as a warning: You are engaged an old man."

"What does that make me, then? In case you've forgotten, I'm older by two months."

He reaches out an arm and pulls her closer. "It makes you a mature beauty, of course. I wouldn't have you any other way."

Close by, a bush rustles.

"What was that?!" Suddenly alert, Shuuhei quickly places himself between Rina and the bush.

"Nothing. You heard nothing." The bush answers with the voice of a small child.

"That was not nothing," Rina says as she gets to her feet. "I'm a teacher. Come out of the bush and you won't get in any trouble."

"I know who you are, Teach- Earthling! Earthlings! Please continue the Love-Love! For Science!"

"We decline," Shuuhei says.

"More Science is needed! Please continue the Love-Love!"

Rina sighs. "It's you in there, isn't it, Hitomi?"

"Your Earth genius is not here."

"Is that so? Tell Hitomi that she can either come out and explain herself, or she can stay after school for detention every day until middle school."

"You can't do that!" The bush shrieks.

"Three."

"It's summer vacation!"

"Two."

"This is for Science!"

"One."

"Okay, okay!" The bush rustles again, and a small blonde girl emerges, looking sullen. She is wearing a yellow hoodie with a pink skirt. In her hand, has a plastic wand with a moon-shaped tip, which seems to have been spray-painted black. "I really was doing Science, y'know? This pen collects the darkness from the Moon and turns it into power. But you ruined it."

Rina reaches down and encloses the little girl's hands in her own. "Hitomi, do your parents know that you're out here by yourself?"

"It's fine. They're not my real parents."

A troubled expression crosses Rina's face. "Let's just get you home."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Melody, Houjo Hibiki - age 20
Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 21
Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 2 7
Misumi Arisa - Nagisa's daughter - age 5
Misumi Ririka - Nagisa's daughter - age 3


August, 2017

"Ah, this is the best!" Hibiki raises one hand to shield her eyes from the Sun. "Summer, sunshine, snacks, and a game to watch with my best friend! Can you think of a better way to spend an afternoon?"

Kanade does not need to screen her eyes, on account of her sunglasses. All around them, other people are flooding into the sports stadium. A game is about to start.

"If we were watching the game from my place, we'd be able to play with my cats at the same time."

"You're joking, right? I mean, nothing against your kitties, but-"

Hibiki doesn't need to say anything more. It is obvious just from the expression on Kanade's face that she isn't serious. However, before Hibiki can think of anything clever to say, a someone runs into her from behind and grabs Hibiki by the legs.

"Big sister get!" The attacker is a little girl with black hair in twintails.

"Get!" An even smaller girl, with orange hair in braids, latches onto Kanade.

"Gah! Where did you come from?!" Hibiki shouts. "I think I'd know if I had any little sisters!"

Kanade seems just as surprised, but looks closely at the two girls. "Wait, aren't you-"

"Arisa! Ririka! You are in so much trouble!" The girls' mother shouts as she approaches. "What have I told you about bothering strangers?"

"Cure Black!" "Cure Black!"

"Huh?" Nagisa is also wearing sunglasses, but pulls them off and blinks. "Melody! Rhythm! What are you- Oh, of course. You're here for the game too, aren't you?"

"That's right!" Hibiki answers, grinning. "If I can't at least watch from the stands sometimes, I feel like I'd lose my pride as a woman!"

Nagisa chuckles. "A proud girl like you? Perish the thought."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Sagara Mao - Sagara Seiji's sister - age 12
Nakamura Yun - age 13


August, 2017

Kneeling before a table in her living room, Sagara Mao stares resignedly at her towering pile of unfinished summer homework. She is dressed for comfort in a lavender tracksuit, with her brown hair falling in braids behind her back. Healthy snacks are arranged at the center of the table. It is clear that she has taken great care to arrange a situation where she should be able to make swift progress.

Crunch.

Crunch.

"Ooh, I have got to try that!"

Mao glares over the top of her mountain of doom at the girl who is reclining on the sofa. Unlike Mao, Nakamura Yun has come over wearing a white sundress and has clearly spent time teasing her dusky red hair into a fancy configuration. She is munching on potato chips and flipping through a fashion magazine.

"Need help?" Yun asks, acting as if she has just noticed Mao's gaze.

"Help? Yun, I invited you over so we could study together."

"That's what I'm doing, though?" Yun answers, flipping another page in her magazine. "If there's something you don't understand, I'll gladly help you out."

"I meant homework, not fashion!"

Yun lowers her magazine. "I'm not dumb, you know. I'm going to be a model, so I need to study fashion. That doesn't mean I can't help you with your homework."

"But I want to help you, too! How can I help you with your homework when you didn't bring any?"

Crunch. Mao's left eyebrow twitches as Yun pops another potato chip into her mouth.

"Yun?"

Yun swallows, then shakes her head. "I'm sorry, that just wouldn't work. I can't make you study fashion with me when you have all that homework left, and I left the rest at home because it's already done."

Mao groans. Her forehead his the table with a light thud.

"Mao? Are you okay?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 24
Joker, Tsukikage Jou - age 25
Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 25
Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 22
Ban Kenji - Tsubomi's boyfriend - age 22
Cure Marine, Kurumi Erika - age 21
Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 19
Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 20
Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 1 7
Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 19
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 19
Hanasaki Mika - Tsubomi's sister - age 5
Misumi Minori - Cure Bloom's sister / Cure Black's sister-in-law - age 21
Misumi Tomoe - Cure Black's sister - age 11
Sagara Seiji - age 1 7
Hakamori Tetsuya - age 26


September, 2017

By tradition, the groom does not see the bride on the day of the wedding, until the actual event. The reason for this is... the reasons do not matter. Traditions are what they are, and people either respect them or they don't. Joker has not yet seen his wife-to-be in her wedding dress, but he knows it to be a complex and difficult creation of the infamous Cobraja Fashion Designs. If anything, the morning hours that have been scheduled for Sumire to get dressed may not be enough.

By contrast, the groom and the best man at least have a few moments to relax. Although they, too, are dressed in Dark-type outfits, the world of men's fashion could almost be said to begin and end with the tuxedo.

"Nervous?"

Joker is not a short man, but he still has to look up to meet the other man's gaze. With his wild blond hair and powerful build, Hakamori Tetsuya nonetheless wears a perfectly fitted tuxedo. The impression is of an upper-class businessman for whom physical might is only a hobby. As Joker understands it, that is something close to the truth.

Joker chuckles. "It seems that after all, I am only a man with a human heart. Disappointed?"

Tetsuya snorts. "It only means that you have no future in business, Jou. I knew that already."


At the appointed time, the organ begins to play. It is a wedding march, and a triumphant one, though interspersed with occasional dark notes.

The first bridesmaid to enter is Cure Happy. Though not a Dark-type herself, her Second Year Syndrome continues to afflict her into adulthood, resulting among other things, in semi-frequent gigs performing in Joker's hero shows against or alongside the popular Hero Light Red. Her bridesmaid dress is a princess-like pink gown with black trim, black boots, and a bat-winged tiara. Not a Dark-type herself, she nonetheless evokes the image of a princess who sleeps soundly even in a demon king's castle. She is escorted by Ookami Runtarou, her fiance, who has been the groom's friend and sometimes his flunky for several years. Runtarou's costume consists of a black tux, a black cape lined on the inside with pink, and a mask with a lupine aspect. When they reach the stage, they separate, walk to opposite sides, then wait while the ceremony proceeds.

The next pair to enter in the procession are Yayoi and her escort, Onikichi. Their connection also stretches back several years, but in their case, they actually have never been together as a couple. In his case, he has dated other girls, but Yayoi has been mainly preoccupied with her work. In her currently running serial, one of the recurring villains is based on the groom, and the bride is an avid reader. Yayoi wears a black gown with a witch's hat, both decorated with yellow ribbons, and carries a long staff topped with a yellow orb. Onikichi wears a tuxedo with skull-shaped cuff-links and a han'nya mask. When they reach the stage, he takes a moment to flex, then they also walk to opposite sides of the stage.

The pair who follow are connected with both the bride and the groom, as dabblers both in Dark-type fashion and Joker's entertainment productions. Cure Lovely appears in a long black gown with crimson trim, with thigh high boots and opera gloves. Alongside her, Sagara Seiji is wearing tuxedo like the other escorts, though his outfit also includes a dark red cape and a domino mask. As the others had before them, they walk to opposite sides of the stage.

The maid of honor is Cure Moonlight. At first glance, her outfit seems to contradict the theme. A silver gown with lavender frills, silver boots, and a single violet opera glove. She is wearing a white rose in her hair, and a single prosthetic wing with snowy white feathers is attached behind her back. However, she is also wearing color contacts, as Sumire is wont to do: One turquoise and one yellow. Next to her, the best man is not so much her escort as he happens to be walking in the same direction at the same time.

Once Yuri and Tetsuya reach the stage, they also split to either side, flanking the positions that will be filled by the bride and groom will stand. The music changes, the organ fading out for several moments as the lights dim. Colored spotlights sweep across the crowd, then converge at the door where the groom has appeared.

Unlike the other gentlemen, Joker's tuxedo is white. A white mask covers the upper half of his face and a harlequin cap atop his head. His grin looks somehow sinister, but to those who know him... this is his natural smile. That he has come dressed as a monster clown to his own wedding is actually not a surprise to anyone. No, the actual surprise is that the red, yellow, blue, and black balls attached to his cap are detachable. He pulls them off one at a time and juggles them as he walks up to and then ascends the stage. It is only when he reaches the alter that he drops the act and hands the colored balls off to the best man.

The bride is preceded by one last participant, a pink-haired little girl in a frilly black dress. The violet petals that drop to the floor as she passes have a meaning in the language of flowers... which does not matter. They are Sumire's favorites. The girl is also a favorite of hers: Mika, the youngest of the Hanasaki sisters.

Now the bride appears. Sumire, in her wedding dress, an opposite and embellished form of the outfit worn by her sister. Color contacts: one yellow and one turquoise, swapped right for left compared to Yuri's. A large prosthetic wing, hanging from her back but folded in the opposite direction, constructed not with angelic feathers but with what seems to be blackened leather. Sumire wears a red rose in her hair, black boots, a single black opera glove on the opposite hand, and a long black dress with voluminous petticoats and a crimson train.

She stops after reaching the stage. "Karasawa Jou! Your heart's flower: It is mine to possess!"

He answers her challenge. "It is yours to possess, Sumire! Without you, it will wither!"

The rest of the ceremony proceeds relatively normally.


As is fitting for a wedding, there is a large cake. Jou and Sumire do their part in making the first cuts and eating the first slices, after which cake is distributed to the rest of the wedding party and to the guests. The ritual of the bouquet is performed, which finds the treasure landing in the hands of Cure Marine. As the festivities go on, various scenes are captured.


Hanasaki Tsubomi is on good terms with bride, but she is honestly closer to Sumire's two greatest rivals. Perhaps that is why she was not chosen a bridesmaid... but then, there can only be so many. If she is bothered by it at all, she is doing a wonderful job of concealing it, spending much of her time closely attached to Kenji's arm, outside of the particular moment when she is feeding him a piece of cake.

At that moment, the flash of a camera.

"Minori?" Indeed, the woman with the camera is Misumi Minori.

"We can explain!" Kenji says, trying to think of something -anything- to keep that photo from getting out.

"Sorry, you two! Erika put a bounty on you, and I intend to collect. Try to deny that you're dating now!"

"I- We..." Tsubomi visibly wilts as she fails to come up with something. "Alright, we're dating. It hasn't been going on for nearly as long as everybody has been teasing us about it!"

"At least you admitted it," Minori says with a grin. "Now... where did that assistant of mine go?"


For all that she was an active participant in a Dark-type wedding, Yayoi's appearance and bearing were always closer to "cute witch" than "actual villain." As she cuts into her slice of cake with a fork, she somehow looks far more innocent than a grown woman ought to. Not that she has a child-like physique. Indeed not. Even so, her mien is suffused with simple joy.

Furthermore, Tomoe knows that she has sinned. Approaching the cute witch from behind, Tomoe slips into Yayoi's personal space and thrusts an open manga into her face.

"Sensei, what is the meaning of this?"

Yayoi's eyes widen. "You've been reading my Hyper Robo Peacemalion?! I'm so happy to hear that, Tomoe!"

"No! I mean this scene!" She flips through the book and points. "And this scene! And this one! I gave you those suggestions so you could pursue your own love, not so you could tell an imaginary story!"

"Even if you say that..." Yayoi trails off, failing to make eye contact.

"Explain yourself!"

Tomoe begins to press forward, but suddenly finds herself rising into the air. Onikichi is behind her, and has lifted Tomoe up by her armpits.

"What are you, her white knight? Put me down!" Tomoe struggles to no avail.

"It's Aka-Oni, not White Knight. What you are doing is very rude."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13
Cure Gelato, Tategami Aoi - age 14
Cure Macaron, Kotozume Yukari - age 18
Cure Parfait, Kirahoshi Ciel - age 14
Bibury, Juumonji Fumi - age 1 7


September, 2017

How did the cupcakes get there?

It is a question nobody asks. It is certain that it is Bibury who is seated at a table inside the Kirakira Patisserie. Those are undoubtedly KiraPati cupcakes before her, which the girls have prepared with love and skill. Surely, somebody must have taken Bibury's order and delivered to her so many cupcakes that they have to be stacked in a pyramid. It is impossible that they would have appeared in front of her by any other means, and yet-

Of the six girls who run the Kirakira Patisserie, all six of them seem equally surprised.

"Can she even pay for those?" Aoi wonders aloud. "I mean, we can't just feed her all of that for free..."

"Money?" Bibury shrugs. "Of course I haven't got any. I quit using Noir, after all."

"Oh? How interesting." Yukari comments, apparently unconcerned.

"I wouldn't feel good about kicking her out..." Ichika says.

"It is said that the one who does not work shall not eat," Ciel says. "If she works here, then feeding her shouldn't be a problem!"

"Work?" The word slips from Bibury's lips as if for the first time.

"That's right!" Ciel advances toward Bibury, a frilly apron in her hands. "You don't have a problem with that, right?"

Ciel's face is smiling. Looking into the younger girl's eyes, Bibury can see an image of herself in that apron. It is clear that no refusal will be tolerated.

"I guess not?"

"Tres bien!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 19
Hino Genki - Cure Sunny's brother - age 18


October, 2017

"Some of us have been wondering: Ookami, don't you ever read books?"

Runtarou doesn't look up from his smartphone. "Sure, I read books. Why do you ask?"

The boy who asked glances back at the first year members, then sighs.

"Well, this is the Literature Club. If you want to play games all the time, you should be in the Computer Club."

"You sound like one of those old people who think that games can't be art."

"Then go bother the Art Club!"

Runtarou looks up from his game, clearly annoyed. At that moment, the door opens and the club president enters. Runtarou calls out to him.

"Hey, Hino! Didn't you tell any of your new recruits what my deal is?"

"I told them that I wasn't going to drive you out just for playing games."

"Seriously?! If you put it that way, how are they supposed to not get the wrong idea?"

"It's your thing," Genki answers calmly. "Explain it yourself."

"Argh, fine!" Runtarou shouts, standing up. "Look, you noobs, literature isn't just books. Some games have stories, and some games are stories. Games can tell stories in ways that books can't. When was the last time you read a book with multiple endings? When was the last time you flipped back to a previous chapter and took a different path? Games can do that, and it's somebody's job to write the stories in those games. That's what I'm aiming for. That's my deal."

The younger boy flinches, then bows his head. "I must admit, that sounds reasonable. I- We misjudged you."

Runtarou snorts, then sits back down with his game. "So long as you get it."

Genki smiles. "Now start that conversation over, and show me the Bad End."

"This is real life, you twit!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 13
Pikario, Kuroki Rio - age 14
Grave, Hakamori Tetsuya - age 26


November, 2017

"What you girls need to understand is that I am going to win this conflict."

"That's impossible!" Ichika shouts. "We're not going to shut down our KiraPati, and the Elder doesn't want to sell!"

"Ha!" Grave retorts, running a hand through his wild blond hair. "There comes a time in every person's life when they have to do something even if they don't want to. It's time you learned that, young lady."

For moment, there is a standoff, as the cute brunette faces off against a man much larger than her.

Behind Grave, the front door opens and Rio enters.

"Hey guy, you might want to take a raincheck on your shady stunt. I think your car is getting towed outside."

Grave's first impulse is disbelief, but he runs outside anyway. As the boy had said, there is a tow truck hooking up his Diable Custom as a man with a clipboard supervises. The man in the suit explains that there is a lien against Grave's car, which is being impounded for non-payment.

"That's preposterous! I have so much money from Noir Inflation-"

As Grave is holding up his phone to display the app, his phone rings. Again, disbelief. But Grave takes the call.

"Who are you? How did you get this number?"

The voice on the other end is distorted by crackles and hisses. "Those are not the questions you should be asking right now, are they?"

"What?"

"What, indeed. What kind of idiot believes that he could get enough money to buy an expensive car just by installing a smartphone app?"

"Do you know who I am? When I find you, and I will find you-"

"I will have to congratulate you if you do. You have no money and no leads except the data on your phone, which you just accidentally bricked. Goodbye."

The call ends and Grave's phone dies. He can do nothing more than watch as his car is towed away.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Black, Misumi Nagisa - age 28
Cure White, Yukishiro Honoka - age 28


November, 2017

"Surprise inspection!"

"Eek!"

Nobody else is in Honoka's office to see Nagisa's hammy exclamation or Honoka's entirely forced reaction. This is just as well, as the pair dissolve into giggles immediately afterward. One could be forgiven for wondering why two grown women are acting so silly, but these two have been friends for about half of their lives now.

Honoka recovers first and wipes tears from her eyes. "It's a good thing you didn't do that during my office hours, Ms. Government Inspector. Somebody might have gotten the wrong idea!"

"Oh, like that would happen. My bosses aren't so cruel as to send me after my best friend and it's not like you'd do anything I'd have to report. Anyhow, your whole thesis is just a small part of Professer Taniguchi's franken-kelp project... Which is an ocean thing, and I'm a forests and streams person."

"That's a horrible name for it, you know. We're trying to make a tasty and nutritious kelp cultivar that will be resilient against diseases and hypoxia events, not bring seaweed back from the dead."

"Yeah, I know, but that is what they call it on the news. It'd be too much trouble to correct everybody who calls it that at work."

Honoka frowns for a moment, then blinks. "Wait, what's the actual surprise then?"

"The surprise? Oh!" Nagisa responds with a blank look. A moment later, she reaches into her purse, then pulls out a couple of movie tickets. "Girls night out. Afternoon. Anyhow, it's Ms. Shitataare's new psychodrama."

"Oh, that does sound like fun!" Honoka smiles. "Thanks, Nagisa. You always know when I need a break."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Passion, Higashi Setsuna - age 23
Wester, Higashi Hayato - age 23
Cure Bloom / Cure Bright, Hyuuga Saki - age 26
Hyuuga Kazuya - Saki's husband - age 29
Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 23
Cure Sunny, Hino Akane - age 20
Hino Daigo - Akane's father - age 50
Miura Suzu - age 22


November, 2017

For all that Setsuna and Hayato share a history colored by the affliction called Second Year Syndrome, it is not reflected in their wedding ceremony. Setsuna has claimed for years to have graduated from both the thought patterns and the peculiar tastes stemming from that condition. The truth is not so black and white. Hayato lacks her antipathy for that time of their lives and is still eager to ham it up when the occasion presents itself, but his influence is not seen in the wedding preparations or theme.

Rather than have the coolest wedding, he is content just to be getting married.

As a result, the ceremony is quite ordinary and lacking in pageantry. Afterward, during the reception, several conversations take place.


"Suzu!" "Setsuna!"

Setsuna greets the mousy young woman with a hug, then explains. "Suzu and I were on the student council together."

Hayato nods. "It is nice to meet you. Are you sure you're not still on the student council?"

"This isn't a school uniform, you know? It's a right and proper suit!"

"I see..."

Setsuna takes a moment to look her friend over. "It looks good on you, but I feel like you haven't aged at all!"

"I know, right? It used to bother me, but now that I'm an adult everyone wants to look young!"


"So, is this the happiest day of your life yet?"

"Inori!"

Coming from behind and whispering in Setsuna's ear, that was practically an ambush.

Inori pokes Setsuna in the cheek. "You were so reluctant to even start dating, and here you are married! Shall I test your reflexes again?"

"Do you really need to tease me this much?"

"I do!" Inori insists. "Out of the four of us, I'm the last one not married. I'm allowed to be a little naughty!"

"You already invited us to your wedding!"

"That's true, isn't it?" Inori smiles. "Shall I tease you then as well?"


As they make their rounds, Hayato spots Hino Daigo and his daughter sharing a table with Hyuuga Saki and her husband.

"Oho, what's this? Two people from the restaurant association at the same table! We're not going to see a fight, are we?"

"Hmph," The older man grunts in response. "Would you have me pick a fight with a girl half my age? And with her husband sitting right there? Nishi- Ah, it's Higashi now, isn't it? I had pegged you as a man with better sense than that."

"I'm fairly sure you could break me in half," Saki's husband opines.

"Hmph! I could mop the floor with you without breaking a sweat! But that would be wrong."

Setsuna laughs. "Good sense? Are you sure you haven't mistaken my husband for somebody else?"

The man laughs. "I'll leave it to you to have his measure, then! Congratulations to the both of you!"

"Yes, congratulations," Akane adds.

"Ah, I should introduce you. This is Akane, my daughter and heir."

"We've met," Setsuna replies, smiling.

"We PreCures have to stick together, right?"

"We sure do!" Saki says.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Gelato, Tategami Aoi - age 14
Mizushima Mitsuyoshi - Aoi's adoptive brother - age 18
Cure Blossom, Hanasaki Tsubomi - age 22
Cure Flower, Hanasaki Futaba - age 6
Hanasaki Mika - Tsubomi's and Futaba's sister - age 5


December, 2017

"I won't let it end like this."

Having so determined, Aoi stands on the stage once again. She has faced opposition to her musical career. She has gone up against her mentor and nearly lost her way. After this concert, a founding member of Wild Azur will be retiring from music forever.

Even so, Aoi sings from the heart. It is a song about living freely, pursuing one's dreams even if those dreams change, and parting with a smile. They each have their own roads to travel. It may be sad, but Aoi is not one to be held back by sadness.

For all that it is a farewell to her colleague, it is very much Aoi's own song. Her vocals and lead guitar remain prominent throughout. The feelings that she sends out to the audience are her own, and those listening react in their own ways.


Mizushima Mitsuyoshi has long served as Aoi's butler, but in another sense he is more like her older brother. He is watching from a private box alongside Aoi's parents.

"It seems our daughter is quite skilled," her father says. "I have never understood this genre of music, but... Mitsuyoshi, I believe you do?"

Mitsuyoshi nods. "She is incredibly talented. It is almost a shame that she will have to take over your business when she grows up."

The older man laughs. "You know, the problem with inheritance is that somebody has to die. In the long term, it cannot be avoided, but I intend to give the both of you plenty of time. In any case, there is no need to force Aoi into anything. I already have a perfectly good heir."

He pats Mitsuyoshi on the shoulder. The younger man is too shocked to respond.


Tsubomi does not have much time to attend concerts. Even at the undergraduate level, her field is essentially two unrelated degrees at the same time. A battle of the bands consisting of multiple sets would ordinarily be too much to even consider.

However, her little sister did ask. Rather, Futaba begged. Having seen an advertisement on television or perhaps someplace else, Futaba has wanted nothing else for weeks, even going so far as to bribe Mika into helping her beg.

When it comes to spoiling her little sisters, Tsubomi's schedule is surprisingly more flexible.

Now that they are at the event, it seems that coming was the correct choice. Mika seems to be having a good time, and Futaba's enthusiasm has not flagged even a little through several hours of rock music. Tsubomi herself is seriously thinking that she should set aside some money for Aoi's next album.

What Tsubomi does not notice, which Futaba does not express, is the idea taking shape behind Futaba sparkling eyes as she watches the show.

Someday... that will be me.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Custard, Arisugawa Himari - age 14


December, 2017

The latest girl to appear at the audition is already dressed like a middle school idol. Yellow stockings, yellow dress with white frills and a pale yellow bow. White opera gloves. A choker with bells shaped like cherries and cherry earrings. Bright yellow eyes, red-orange hair in a ponytail. A hat shaped like a chocolate-topped pudding attached to a yellow hair band. Squirrel ears and big, fluffy tail.

This beautiful girl looks like she should be singing instead of talking, but she speaks quickly and clearly. Standing in the stage kitchen, her hands move as she explains the method to make the ideal whip cream as well as the science behind it. The director interrupts her to point out that the ingredients are only there as props: There is no need to actually make anything.

The girl, Arisugawa Himari, refuses his direction. "I refuse to only pretend to do something I love so much. Precise measurement and correct procedures are essential, because sweets are a science!"

The director's jaw drops. He had not expected such a willful response from a girl who looks like she could be a professional idol. Another attempt to stop her is shut down instantly. She finishes the whip cream and presents it to the director.

He reaches out to taste it with his finger, but she stops him with a dirty look. He ends up asking for a spoon.

This girl might be impossible to work with.

But then, this is really good whip cream.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Flora, Haruno Haruka - age 16
Nanase Yui - Haruka's roommate - age 16


December, 2017

Haruno Haruka, now a most esteemed upperclassman at Noble Academy. She is admired by younger girls for her eloquence, her grace, her dancing, her sewing, and most particularly her skills with the violin. She is generally the first to point out that none of these things came naturally to her and that she has worked hard for all of her achievements. Even so, her exploits -some real, many imagined- have become a popular topic among first and second year students: the so-called Haruka Legends.

That paragon of elegance, at the current moment is... sprawled out on her bed in her pajamas, reading a letter as she kicks her legs excitedly and giggles to herself.

Yui, her roommate of nearly three years, smiles as she sets down the illustration she is working on.

"Another letter from Kanata?"

"His school sounds like such an interesting place!"

"Oh? Isn't it a love letter?"

"It's not just a love letter."

"Not just a love letter? Won't that make your response a little unbalanced?"

"Well, it's not like we can actually date while I'm here and he's in Prague. I've been filling him in on other things, like how Towa is doing, how I'm looking forward to seeing Momoka again over break and to meeting my new little sister."

"Sometimes I regret being an only child."

"Oh, being a big sister is the best. I can tell Momoka gets it now, too. All I hear from her now is how cute Ouka is."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Chocolat, Kenjou Akira - age 18
Kenjou Miku - Akira's sister - age 10


December, 2017

"Am I a burden? Wouldn't you be better off without me?"

Lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by white walls and softly beeping machines, Miku poses her questions to Akira. For her own part, Akira is unable to conceal her shock at hearing such a thing from her little sister's mouth.

"Miku! Miku, no! You're my little sister and I love you. I would do anything to help you."

"Anything is too much, Sis. You're strong and healthy. You could become anything you want to be. Don't give up your future just to help me. You don't have to become a doctor."

"Miku... I want to help you. I want you to become healthy and live your best life. If I can do that by becoming a doctor, that is only one reason to become a doctor. I have other reasons. There are many people who need doctors, and there aren't enough doctors in the world. If someone else were to cure you right now, I would be grateful for that person, and I would still want to become a doctor even so."

Miku's eyes narrow. It seems that she is not sure whether to believe this.

"I brought chocolate," Akira announces. She pulls a small box from her coat pocket. It is a handmade chocolate shaped like a dog.

Miku's eyes sparkle at the sight of the treat. "I forgive you for everything!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 19
Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 18
Nono Hana - age 12


December, 2017

Megumi can hardly be called an actress, even though she attends an arts school and has appeared in films. Those films she has been in were small time features, making her a small-timer among small-timers in the acting world. It is a very small claim to fame, but it was enough for Mana to invite her along.

Or perhaps that was just an excuse. Megumi is a natural volunteer, and they already knew each other from being Pretty Cure. There has been a request from an elementary school for role models to speak out against bullying, and the two of them came to answer the request. An assembly is called. Their presentation focuses on the importance of speaking out, whether as a victim or an observer, and on the need for authorities to make a proper response. The assembly concludes.

"I have to wonder whether that actually helped," Megumi says as she and Mana stop by a drinking fountain on their way out.

Mana drinks from the fountain before answering. "I think it did. We may not be able to completely and permanently end the problem just by showing up and speaking for a while. But so long as we can get a few more people seriously thinking about the problem, I think that's a step in the right direction."

Megumi frowns. "I know that. I don't disagree, but there are kids who need help now. Did we really do anything for them?"

"You helped."

The girl's voice is so soft and her approach was so quiet that Megumi is caught completely by surprise. She shrieks, stumbling into the drinking fountain and catching her arm on the spigot so that her head and shoulders get drenched with water.

"I'm so sorry," the girl squeaks.

Mana helps Megumi to her feet, and they both look at the newcomer: A short girl, who looks like she is probably in her fourth year, with wavy magenta hair. Her bangs are very long and entirely cover one of her eyes.

"Please don't apologize! I completely overreacted."

"I just wanted to tell you that you helped me." Even with Megumi's attempt at reassurance, the girl still seems down. "Nobody here talks to me anymore, but you reminded me that things can get better. Once I graduate from this school, I'll go to a middle school where nobody knows me and get a fresh start!"

Mana nods. "That's a good plan, but what are you going to do until then?"

"I can make it. I just have to cheer myself on. After all, graduation is only a few months away."

Megumi blinks. "Months? Not years."

"Surprised?" The girl shows a weak smile. "I really am a sixth year student. My name is Nono Hana."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rosetta, Yotsuba Alice - age 19
Kaidou Wataru - Cure Mermaid's brother - age 25


December, 2017

The highest floor of one of the tallest towers is occupied by an observation deck and an expensive restaurant. Below it, offices and apartments. Below those, a commercial shopping mall. At ground level, the building's foundation is shaped like a clover. The building has its own managers and board of directors, but Alice could be said to own the entire complex. She very possibly could have obtained a table by the windows overlooking the lights of the city at night by that ownership alone, but in fact she made a reservation well in advance, like anyone else who is spending their Christmas evening here.

She is wearing a pale yellow gown with white opera gloves. Her jewelry is not exceptionally large or ostentatious, but includes a diamond necklace that would be sufficient to buy a fully-furnished single family residence.

Opposite her is a tall, handsome man in a three piece suit. It is a sharp departure from his regular mode of dress, but he cleans up nicely. His dark teal hair has been combed and parted, and for this occasion his ever-present sunglasses are in a case in his pocket. Kaidou Wataru runs a company under the considerably less wealthy Kaidou Group and is Alice's fiance. It is an arranged marriage in the sense that their meeting was arranged by their parents, but Alice has every intention of marrying for love.

That she is courting him this seriously is a sign of her feelings.

Even so, it is something of a surprise when he suddenly gets up from his seat at a break in the conversation. His intentions are made clear when he kneels and presents her with something else he had in his pockets: A diamond ring.

The meaning of the gift is clear and unambiguous even without the question that accompanies it, but of course he asks.

Tears well up in Alice's eyes.

"Yes! Yes, of course!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Yell, Nono Hana - age 13
Cure Ange, Yakushiji Saaya - age 13
Cure Etoile, Kagayaki Homare - age 13
Cure Macherie, Aisaki Emiru - age 11
Cure Amour, Ruru Amour - age 13


2018

Fusion Group has registered Cure Yell, Cure Ange, Cure Etoile, Cure Macherie, and Cure Amour as Pretty Cure.

Cure White is now a PhD student. Cure Aqua, and Soular are now graduate students. Cure Pine has enrolled in veterinary school. Cure Peach has graduated college with a degree in Dance Choreography. Cure Berry has graduated college with a degree in Marketing. Cure Passion has graduated college with a degree in Political Science. Cure Beauty, Cure Heart, Cure Diamond, Cure Rosetta, Wolfrun, Ira, and Elysio are now college students. Cure Sword has graduated from high school. Cure Muse, Cure Flora, Cure Twinkle, Cure Scarlet, Close, Natsuki Yuu, Natsuki Ai, Minamino Souta, Midorikawa Keita, and Nanase Yui are now high school students. Aroma, and Sagara Mao are now middle school students.


The placard on the door reads [Kameoh Ayumi, Director], but the door is blocked by a small brown-haired girl wearing an obviously hand-made flower headband, who has just as obviously sewn crude flowers onto her clothing.

"Stop! You must not go in here! Even if they call you Pretty Cure and offer you a lot of money, I'm telling you that's too good to be true!"

The woman who has guided them here, a golden-eyed receptionist, only smiles and makes no attempt to remove the girl, possibly because Emiru was also following her until they got to this point. Or just possibly because she is actually amused. Behind her, Hana, Saaya, and Homure hesitate to proceed.

"I refuse."

The remaining girl, Cure Amour, steps forward. She has also dressed up for the occasion, but in contrast to Emiru, she has clearly seen a professional tailor. She is wearing a purple and black dress with black thigh-high boots, finger-less black opera gloves, and a grey cape. Her hair has been put up in a professional style.

Emiru seems taken aback, but recovers quickly. "Why? Do you not understand that it is dangerous?"

"I intend to find out the secret that lies beyond this door, because this entire organization is patently suspicious."

Emiru points at Cure Amour. "You're the most suspicious-looking person here!"

Ruru looks down at her outfit, then looks back at Emiru with a blank expression.

"That does not compute."

"The way you look! The way you talk! What this place is hiding, you're not hiding at all! I'm telling you that you look like a through and through villainous individual!"

Ruru chuckles ominously.

"I see that you have found me out. It's true, sometimes I am an ordinary middle school girl, and sometimes I am the latest follower of the Rebel Cure fashion movement. But my true identity is..." Ruru leans over Emiru, slamming her palm into the door just above Emiru's head.

Emiru looks up, sweating. "Your true identity is?!"

Ruru lowers her head to whisper into Emiru's ear. "This week's shocking don-don mecha."

At this, Emiru collapses and kneels on the floor with her head hanging down, with her legs underneath her and her hands on the floor. Ruru opens the door and walks inside.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Diamond, Hishikawa Rikka - age 19
Ira, Goh Kyouya - age 19


January, 2018

"To think that you, of all people, would ask me to go to the shrine! Kyouya, you really have changed."

Rikka says this as she is ascending the steps beside Kyouya. The steps have been cleared of snow and ice, but everywhere else is at least dusted with white... if not outright buried.

It is morning of the first day of the year.

Kyouya, at one time called Ira the Wrathful, just shrugs.

"It's the society we live in. I want to be a part of your world, even if it means visiting a shrine once or twice a year."

"Kyouya-" Rikka shakes her head. "I think I'll just accept that in the spirit with which it was stated. You did invite me here, after all."

"Next time, I'm going to find one with a shorter staircase."

Rikka giggles. "There's going to be a next time, then."

Kyouya blushes. His face was already a bit red from the cold. He turns his face so that she cannot see it, and they continue to climb.

"I guess it does."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 23
Cure Beauty, Aoki Reika - age 19


January, 2018

Reika is riding on a ski lift next to her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Inori. Their bodies and faces are almost entirely covered up by the heavy clothes that are needed to protect them from the elements. She has misgivings about coming on this trip at all, and about Inori more generally, which she suspects the other woman has noticed.

"Thanks for coming with me today," Inori says. "I've wanted to spend time with you."

"I..." Reika hesitates. "I do enjoy sports. What I do not understand is why you invited me for this weekend. It is my brother with whom you are to be wed in two weeks time. A ski resort with a hot spring would seem to be an ideal environment for romance."

"You're not wrong," Inori replies. "I know it may seem that we've had a very rapid courtship, but I'm not worried about my relationship with Junnosuke. I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with him. However, it seems to me that you don't really approve."

"I have never spoken a single word against your impending marriage!"

"That doesn't refute my point, though, does it? We're going to be sisters. I'd like for us to get along."

"I do not think that will be possible."

"I believe it is. For a start, I have faith that I can respond to your objections."

"I came on this trip because my brother asked me to, but I- Are we not too young for this sort of thing? I will be starting college a few months from now. You will be busy with veterinary school! How can we call ourselves adults when our futures are so uncertain?"

Inori nods, quietly taking note of the subtle change of subject. "It's true that you and I still have schooling ahead of us, but I that doesn't mean we have to completely put off romance. If the right man were to offer you a wedding ring, right now, do you truly believe you could ask him to wait?"

Reika blushes, sufficiently that hints of pink are visible through the gaps in her facial covering. "If- I- Anyhow, there hasn't been any sign that Nathaniel is- How did this become about me?!"

"It seemed a natural question to ask. I haven't ever been a big sister before, but romance is one of the cornerstones of girl talk, after all."

Reika turns away in a huff. "It is still too soon for you. My brother has a job and an advanced degree, but you have not even begun the training that will secure your future."

"I may still have much to learn, but I've been preparing for this since I was a little girl. I've been learning how to treat animals at my family's clinic for as long as I can remember."

"Then you have only ever allowed others to decide your future, without looking at what you really want."

"I've done other things. For example, my friends and I formed a competitive dance team in middle school. We won some pretty serious awards, but even so I still wanted to be a veterinarian. I could have changed my mind many times over the years, but I've never stopped liking animals. In fact, I'd say I even like them more now than I did at the beginning."

"That..." Reika paused. "Be that as it may be, I am concerned about my brother. Can you promise that that supporting you won't become a burden for him?"

"I do already have an income, you know? You're Pretty Cure as well, so you should have some idea how much. I'm much better prepared to start a family than the average college graduate."

"I... The annuity is a considerable asset, I must admit."

"There's something else, isn't there?"

There is a long pause.

"My brother and I have always been close. I am afraid that we will grow apart after he marries."

"Then we've come full circle. I'd really rather have you feel that instead of losing your brother, you'll be gaining a sister. I think it would be nice to do things like this in the future, as sisters, or maybe as a big family when we both have husbands and children."

"That is an interesting idea. I will need time to think about it."

Inori's face is covered by her ski mask, but the expression hidden there is definitely a smile.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Pine, Yamabuki Inori - age 23
Yamabuki Junnosuke - Reika's brother - age 28
Cure Peach / Zenith, Momozono Love - age 23
Momozono Aoshi - Onikichi's cousin - age 25
Cure Berry, Aono Miki - age 23
Soular, Aono Shun - age 23
Cure Passion / Eas, Higashi Setsuna - age 23
Wester, Higashi Hayato - age 23
Momoi Michiru - age 25
Mucardia, Momoi Kyousuke - age 29
Momoi Sayaka - Michiru's & Kyousuke's daughter - age 3
Wolfrun, Ookami Runtarou - age 20
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 19
Joker, Tsukikage Jou - age 26


January, 2018

Like many others, Inori and Junnosuke opt for a Western-style wedding ceremony, and theirs is especially traditional. White dress, black tuxedo, Catholic priest. No outlandish speeches or strange theatrics, and no walking into the chapel to find everything suspended upside down from the ceiling.

Upon completing the ceremony and moving on to the adjacent reception hall, they have the duty of making the first cut to a suitably huge cake. The task that follows is to mingle and talk with the guests. Family of the bride, or of the groom. Friends one or the other has made in professional circles, or in college, or during high school or before.

Certain people are conspicuously missing. Inori just scarcely has a moment to look around for them when Reika taps her on the elbow.

"Big Sister," Reika emphasizes the term despite not being that much younger. "I'm not familiar with that family. Could you introduce us?"

The couple Reika indicates isn't familiar to Inori, either. A tall man with pale blond hair, a woman with red hair tied in a motherly braid, and a little blonde girl in a yellow dress.

Junnosuke's expression lights up. "Kyousuke and Michiru! It's been too long!"

"Two... no, three years, was it?" Kyousuke replies. "We really ought to catch up sometime, but I've just been so busy."

Michiru gently pushes the little girl forward. "This is our daughter, Sayaka."

"Three!" The child holds up that many fingers.

"You're three years old?" Junnosuke asks, kneeling down.

"I want three cakes!"

"Oh, aren't you a cheeky one?" At this, all of the adults laugh.


While the reception is still in full swing, six of the guests slip out a side exit. They have completely changed outfits from what they wore during the ceremony, out of perfectly normal dresses and tuxedos and into costumes with an unusual connecting theme, a particular style that most of the group have appeared in before.

Primarily black, but with diamond-shaped highlights. Fancy embroidery. Pale wigs and bright colored contact lenses. A large, gem-like diamond accessory on the front of each outfit, each one with their own personal color.

"I can still hardly believe that you got me into one of these silly outfits," Miki says. Her color is lavender.

"But isn't it fun? We've got the perfect excuse to go out in costume!" This from Love, whose diamond-shaped accessory is pink.

"I still haven't heard the story behind this," Love's husband comments. Aoshi is dressed to match the others, with a blue diamond attached to his belt and a pair of blue horns stuck to his wig.

"Because it's my story," Setsuna says. Her Eas costume is more modest than the original, but her color is still red. "It's not as cool as you might think. Do a good job here, and maybe I'll let someone tell it to you."

"How is it not cool?" Hayato asks. Naturally, he is wearing yellow. "Isn't it the story of how we met and fell in love?"

"It's embarrassing!"

"Tsk," Shun chides. As always, his Soular costume has a green theme. "All these years, and still a shrinking violet."

A large van rumbles up next to the curb, driven by a man in a harlequin mask. He leans out the window and shouts. "Well, well! It looks like you ladies and gents are ready to film!"

After the van is fully stopped, Joker gets out. Two other men emerge from the back of the van. One is wearing a wolf mask. The other, an large and muscular fellow wearing an oni mask, immediately locates Aoshi and fist bumps. They start unloading the van, which is almost entirely filled with wooden posts and rolls of stretch wrap.

Joker sets up a tripod and a video camera. After a quick check, he gives the rest a thumbs up. "Let the amusement begin!"


By the time of the bouquet toss, it is clear that Reika is up to something. Not only does she, a bridesmaid, not line up with the other unmarried women and girls, she even peeks outside when she thinks Inori can't possibly spot her. The bouquet is caught by one of Inori's college friends.

Inori doesn't know what is coming, except that it is outside. The way they rehearsed it, the vehicle should be waiting in the parking lot immediately outside the main doors. She does her best to conceal her anticipation as she walks to the exit with her husband. Reika is there before them to open the doors.

"Surprise!" Love, Miki, and Setsuna shout. Along with their husbands, they are all dressed in full Labyrinth regalia.

Stretch wrap. Stretch wrap everywhere. Every car in the parking lot has been wrapped, an array of wooden posts laid out. Large sheets of translucent plastic stretch across all parts of the parking area, laid out into a maze -a labyrinth- that can just barely be seen.

As Inori begins to laugh uncontrollably, Junnosuke claps his palm to his forehead. "Reika, you were in on this?"

"Of course I was, Big Brother. Wedding pranks are a PreCure tradition."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Hosshiwa, Morioka Wako - age 26
Morioka Takayuki - age 2 7
Morioka Wataru - newborn


January, 2018

Life begins with screaming obscenities.

There's nothing wrong with that. Wako is suffering extreme pain, and the baby won't remember this anyway. The birth is taking place in a hospital, with a doctor assisting. Wako's husband, Takayuki, is present and holding her hand. Everything is going to be fine.

In his other hand, Takayuki has a trumpet. Because of course he does. Apparently he has made some arrangement with the doctor, as well. At the doctor's signal, Takayuki lifts the trumpet to his lips and begins a jazz solo.

Wako curses, but she is not cursing because of this. She knows who she married. She had some idea this was coming, and at any rate he is holding her hand.

She gets through the worst of it. Then, she gets through the rest of it. Wako stops screaming, leaving only the screams of her newborn son. And the improvisational jazz, which bridges into the victory music from Final Fantasy.

"Smart ass."

The music continues.

"It's a boy, you know. If you don't stop playing and give him a name, I'm going to name him for you."

For once, Takayuki actually lowers the trumpet.

"Wataru."

That's all he says.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Pekorin, Amatsuno Peko - age 5
Elysio, Amami Hakuya - age 20
Cure Macaron, Kotozume Yukari - age 18
Cure Chocolat, Kenjou Akira - age 18
Cure Heart, Aida Mana - age 19


January, 2018

What sunlight there is on this particular January morning is filtered through heavy clouds with occasional snow. The roads and walkways have been cleared, except for a centimeter or two of fresh powder. Everywhere else is blanketed with white.

It is also cold. Hakuya is not one to show much skin even in warm weather, but today he is covered from head to toe. Heavy black coat. Heavy scarf, pale blue. Black woolen trousers. Heavy black boots. Black earmuffs. Silver hair in a thick braid that hangs down below his knees- the snow is beginning to stick. Under all of that, two more layers.

Pink mittens. Not his preference. Underneath the mittens, he is wearing gloves.

"This was a bad idea. I shouldn't have come." He turns to leave.

"No!" The little girl shrieks, grabbing him by the hand and pulling as hard as she can. All of her strength is not enough to keep him from taking even a single step. He could walk all the way back to the road while dragging her behind him, if he wanted to.

He does not.

"Pekorin, this is- I failed my entrance exams last year. I wasted the entire year after that on Noir. If we go to look for my exam number, you'll only be disappointed."

"You have to look!" Now that she isn't shouting, her voice comes out muffled. Amatsuno Peko is bundled up against the cold even more than Hakuya is. She looks like a large ball of pink fluff that happens to have large blue eyes.

"Oh my! Whatever shall you do?" Kotozume Yukari says, a cat-like smile plainly visible on her face. Hakuya thinks that she might just be immune to the cold. From the way she is dressed, it is almost as if she is wearing warm clothes solely for their value as accessories.

Hakuya looks at her, glad that she cannot see the scowl on his face.

A red mitten pats him on the shoulder... Kenjou Akira. She is dressed sensibly for the weather, though her smiling face is uncovered.

"You could be wrong, you know. You owe it to yourself to find out."

Any number of venomous replies come to mind. They could never understand. None of these girls have ever despaired so deeply as he has.

Hakuya takes a deep breath and pushes those thoughts from his mind. He has a promise to keep.

"President Amami?"

Hakuya turns to see who has addressed him now: Aida Mana.

He sighs. "My involvement with the student council has been over for a long time. It's Hakuya the Ronin now."

Mana blinks. It's only natural that she would need a moment to process this revelation, since he never told her that he failed.

"Then, does that mean that we're both here to check our exam results?"

"That is..." Hakuya takes a moment to glance at the little girl pulling at his hand, then at the other two girls who have come with him. Even if he were to lie, it would come out instantly. "Yes, that seems to be the case. Please don't expect too much of me."

"That kind of negativity is not allowed!" Mana says, then steps close to Hakuya and grabs his free arm.

"What?!" Pulling free from Mana presents a different sort of difficulty.

"You, President Amami, who have lost sight of yourself! I, Cure Heart, will restore your heart-pounding excitement!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Moonlight, Tsukikage Yuri - age 25
Oreski, Kizuna Reo - age 2 7


January, 2018

The Mag is a good chain to visit if you want fast food, especially when the "fast" part is essential and the "food" part is... negotiable. Proponents insist that the quality is better than can be expected for their prices, which are indeed quite low, and that while the quality may not be high, it is extremely consistent.

Certain branches are also open all night, which can be extremely helpful after the last train has departed. This is the situation that Yuri finds herself in, quietly holed up in a small booth, studying and occasionally leaving her seat to order coffee. The caffeine is just enough to keep her awake.

Awake, but not alert.

Yuri does not see the man approach. As she turns away from the service counter with her drink, her arm clips his body. Hot coffee spills all over his dark blue uniform. The disposable cup clatters to the floor.

The man clenches his teeth, obviously in pain.

"Oh my- I am so sorry!" Yuri has a reputation as a cool beauty, but that doesn't stop her from being flustered and contrite.

"No... it was my fault. Should have been more... awake." He forces himself to speak through gritted teeth, then stalks to the counter and slams down a wad of bills. "Replacement for the lady's drink. I'm going to wash up in your restroom."

It seems that he already knows where the restrooms are. He doesn't ask for directions nor wait for his change. Yuri receives her second drink. As she returns to her seat, one of the restaurant's staff comes out to mop up the spill.


"Do you mind if I sit here?"

Several minutes have passed. It is the man from before, his uniform still wet but no longer stained nor steaming, with a hot coffee of his own.

"By all means, feel free."

He sits, with a smile that seems only a little forced. "Thank you. I hope you'll overlook what happened earlier. Night patrols aren't my usual beat. I'm normally rather dashing."

"Is that something you should say about yourself?"

"Haha!" He slaps the table with his free hand. "Probably not! Forgive me, please. None of my good friends are here to talk me up, so I have to do it myself."

"As my good friends are not here either, I shall forgo being introduced."

"Ouch," he says, scratching his head. "I guess I have that coming. Are you stranded, by any chance? I could help you arrange for a ride."

"I will be fine, thank you. The trains will be running again in some hours."

"I see." He writes something on a slip of paper, then slides it across the table. "In case you change your mind, here's my phone number. Or if you'd just like to talk sometime when we're not both dead tired. You have a nice night, okay?"

He slurps down the last of his coffee and leaves.

She takes the paper and slips it into her purse.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Rhythm, Minamino Kanade - age 21
Cure Custard, Arisugawa Himari - age 14
Tachibana Yuu - Himari's mentor - age 62


February, 2018

"Cure Custard?"

When Kanade calls out to her, Himari nearly jumps out of her skin. When she turns to face Kanade, she is already tearing up.

"I'm sorry. I must seem so silly."

"No, I'm the one at fault. I should have been more careful not to startle you."

Kanade pulls a handkerchief from her purse and wipes away Himari's tears.

"I shouldn't have come here. A university is a place for adults."

"Custard, you already act more like an adult than plenty of actual students. Besides, this is an open campus."

"Even so, I'm an outsider! Anyone can see that!"

Kanade shakes her head. "Outsiders come and go here all the time. I've even heard of people sneaking into the dorms, which only residents have access to, to use the showers or take naps."

Himari begins to smile. "You must be making that up, but I still feel a bit better."

"Well, Hibiki says she's done that much, and she doesn't even go to school here! You can ask her sometime when you see her, but I believe she'd do it."

Himari giggles.

"Feeling better?"

Himari nods.

"So, what did you come here for? I'm sure you wouldn't get so wound up if you just wanted to see the sights."

"Professor Tachibana is giving an open lecture on sweets. He invited me to attend."

"You got like that even though you were invited? Custard, you need to work on your confidence."

"I've been getting better," she says, fidgeting. "I have good days and bad days."

"Let's make the rest of today a good one, then! Come on, we can sit together."

"Oh, please don't change your plans on my account!"

Kanade raises an eyebrow. "You do realize I'm a student here? It so happens that I need it for course credit."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Ace, Madoka Aguri - age 15
Regina, Kaname Hajime - Aguri's sister - age 15
Shut, Noumi Shuu - age 1 7


February, 2018

A long-sleeved one piece dress, mostly white. Lavender cuffs, lavender collar, lavender lining the pockets and the vertical folds of the skirt. It is the winter uniform of a school other than the one Aguri is currently wandering around in. The place is Noble Academy, and it is not the school she attends.

Nor does she visit often.

She has gotten lost.

"This is ridiculous," she says to herself. "How can there be so many places in this school? It would have to be larger on the inside than on the outside!"

Let it be known that it is not. There is no such thing as magic in this world.

"That sister of mine! 'Bring me chocolate! I've got club activities, so bring it to me there!' Just where is this Theater Club of hers supposed to be? Why couldn't we meet someplace I can find?!"

Turning a corner, Aguri is forced to shield her eyes from the sunlight, which streams in through the windows at a low angle. She stomps her foot in frustration, which produces a wet squish.

"A puddle? Who leaves water on the floor like this? Somebody could get hurt! Oh, why did I even come here?!"


"Where could she be?"

For all that he is an adherent of Darkness, that being a chronic case of Second Year Syndrome, Shut is not without dreams. His affliction is so advanced that even as a high school student he continues to dress as he pleases and pays more attention to his hair and skin than most of his female peers. Even though he clings to such behaviors, his dreams are still shaped by the people and events around him.

Most recently, that person has been Regina. Twilight will always be his first love, but since she enrolled at the Academy, Regina was always more willing to indulge herself as a Dark-type and less unwilling to tolerate his presence. Even though he now attends a different school, his fascination persists.

"Why is she missing today, of all days? How am I to receive Miss Regina's chocolate if I cannot find her?"

If he were to take the time to think about it, he might realize how those two questions were connected. Instead, he is immediately distracted by the sight of a girl, silhouetted against the late afternoon sun.

She is the same height and the same build. Her long hair, viewed from this vantage, obscures her nature like a curtain of shadow. Shut does not stop to think, instead running toward her at top speed.

"My love, I- Ah!"

Shut's preferred footwear are thigh-high boots with high heels. Not good for running even at the best times, the wet floor becomes an impassable obstacle, unsafe at any speed.

The girl tries to avoid the collision, but is only barely more able to move on the wet floor. Falling, both of them slide several meters, then come to rest with a crash inside a small storage room. The door swings shut, then a mop that had been propped against the door falls across the handle.


"Ow ow ow! What is wrong with you? Don't you know that it's dangerous to-"

"Miss- Ngh- Miss Regina, I-"

"Don't you call me that! Are you saying you meant to attack my sister just now? Are you some kind of stalker?"

"I am a man in love! Miss- You are not Miss Regina. Oh, I have made a terrible mistake!"

"Damn right, you have!"

In the darkness of the storage room, having landed more or less on top of Regina- or rather, her sister- Shut suddenly found himself being used as a punching bag.

"Ow! Please, stop hitting me! At least let's get out of here!"

The hitting stops. Shut pushes against the door, but finds that it won't budge.

"It's stuck." He immediately gets punched again. "Ow! I'm not made for this kind of abuse! I am a lover, not a- Ow!"

"Guys who creep on people's sisters don't get to call themselves lovers! And why haven't you at least turned on the- Ow!"

"Are you alright?"

"The light switch shocked me! You had better not take advantage of this, you creep!"

"I do not creep, you- you.."

"Oh? Just what were you about to call me, creep?"

"I don't know, alright? I didn't see your face before we collided."

"You collided! I was standing perfectly still."

"Fine. I'm sorry I bowled you over. The point is: I am not a creep."

"Sure you're not."

"I am in a cramped dark room with a pretty girl. Don't you think a creep would take advantage?"

"You said you didn't see my face."

"I didn't. You are Miss Regina's sister, aren't you? That you would also be pretty is a very reasonable assumption."

"Aguri."

"Pardon?"

"It's my name. Madoka Aguri."

"Oh, of course. I regret the circumstances, but I am nonetheless pleased to meet you, Miss Aguri. You may call me Shut, or if you prefer, my name is Noumi Shuu."


After some time and a few failed attempts to attract a rescue, Aguri slouches against the wall opposite her sister's admirer. The room is still cramped and dark, but her eyes have adjusted and she can just barely make out the boy's face.

"Shouldn't somebody have found us by now?"

"I would imagine that my comrades are deeply concerned with the giving and receiving of chocolate right now. It is that day, after all."

Aguri groans. "Did you have to mention food?"

"Please accept my apologies. I did not mean to imply anything. The Feast Day of Saint Valentine is a day of hope and despair that weighs heavy on the hearts of all young gentlemen, but as it offends you, I shall consider the subject verboten."

"I'm not upset. It's just-" Aguri is interrupted by a loud gurgle from her stomach. "I was trying not to think of that! This is the worst!"

Shut sighs. "I am sorry. We are stuck here because of my foolishness, and now I have witnessed something that you wished to suppress. If only I had any food with me, I would like to offer you some."

"Actually... I have some. Chocolate."

In the dim light, Aguri holds up a small paper bag.

"I was going to give it to my sister, but since it has come to this, I'll share it with you."

"Miss Aguri!"

"There's no need to get dramatic, you understand? It's because I'm famished! You're hungry too, right? It wouldn't be fair to eat all of it myself!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Princess, Shirayuki Hime - age 18
Kujou Hikaru - Shiny Luminous's brother - age 1 7


February, 2018

Outside the theater, it is already night. The street is lit well enough that the departing movie-goers can see their breaths freeze in the winter air. Included among this number are a handsome blond youth and a girl with long blue hair. Her date stands tall enough to comfortably look over the top of Hime's head... but honestly, that is true of many people.

It no longer bothers her. She can live her best life without growing tall.

She giggles spontaneously, which draws Hikaru's attention.

"Something funny?"

"No, not really. I really enjoyed that. I just hope nobody asks what the movie was about."

"I see..." Hikaru pauses. "I believe I could break it down for you."

"I refuse to believe that you were paying attention. I know what you were doing!"

"Please, humor me. I tell you, it was an age old story: One boy. One girl. Long-time friends who decide to give romance a try. In the back row of a movie theater, they spend ninety minutes making out."

"You! That wasn't the movie and you know it!"

Hikaru grins. "Two thumbs up. Would watch again."

Hime responds by growling, then grabs Hikaru by the front of his coat and pulls him toward the movie entrance.

"We're going back in?"

"We're going back in."

"Do you want to watch the movie this time?"

Hime stops walking. She turns and looks up at Hikaru's face, blushing.

"Maybe?"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Thousand Breaker, Akagi Kanata - age 19
Cure Flora, Haruno Haruka - age 16
Cure Scarlet, Akagi Towa - age 16
Close, Karasuma Kurosu - age 16


March, 2018

Like his sister and her friends at Noble Academy, Kanata attends a boarding school. However, whereas Noble Academy is easily reached from Tokyo, Kanata has been sent to a school in Prague. The school and its building have considerable history, which interests him not at all. Whether the style is baroque, or gothic, or literally Roman, he simply considers that the buildings are surprisingly comfortable for how old they look.

Case in point, the reading room of the school library. The ceiling is far overhead. The doors and windows are tall, narrow and arched at the top. The weather outside is pleasant, and several of the windows have been left open. Except where the windows and doors are, bookshelves tall enough to need ladders line the walls. The interior is dominated by long wooden tables with hard wooden benches. If Kanata were not serious about improving his grades, there is no way he would bother coming to such a stuffy place.

However, that was part of the deal. He intends to keep up his end.

Kanata sits at one of the tables close to the windows, so better to enjoy the fresh air. He is researching for a paper on nineteenth century composers. He cracks open an aged tome to find a pressed flower and a bookmark left between the pages. Scrawled on the bookmark in faded ink, there is a love poem.

Kanata gets up, carrying the bookmark closer to the window to take advantage of the brighter light. A sudden draft catches the delicate paper and blows it toward the outdoors. The reading room is on the second floor.

He grabs for the bookmark, fumbling awkwardly to grab hold as it flits just beyond his reach. Reaching out as much as he can, he catches the treasure just as it passes the windowsill. Unexpectedly, he stumbles. His upper body pitches through the open frame, and Kanata falls.


"That man needs a good thrashing," Kurosu growls as he jumps to his feet. "I should fly over there and give him the beating he deserves!"

Towa rushes from her seat and grabs the boy by the arm. "Kurosu, no! My brother is still in the hospital!"

"Let me go, Twilight! An idiot who defenestrates himself like that can't be trusted to listen to doctors!"

Seeing this, Haruka smiles. "You're worried, aren't you?"

"What? No! Who would worry about that moron? I just won't be able to settle things with him if he gets himself killed!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Ace, Madoka Aguri - age 15
Shut, Noumi Shuu - age 1 7


March, 2018

Putting aside what happened when she went to visit Noble Academy, Aguri actually did give out plenty of chocolate at her own school. Her staunch insistence that it was only for form's sake was not taken very seriously. Certainly, she was the president of the student council, and she had only given out 10-yen chocolates. Certainly, she had handed them out to boys and girls, students and staff, without discrimination. A grand, generous gesture, no? She certainly hadn't ever said that she expected to receive at least twice the value in sweets back when White Day came a month later.

No, she certainly hasn't said any such thing... out loud. For all her forthrightness and insistence on properly carrying out her duties, it is well known at Ohgai First Middle School that the student council president is easily swayed by sweets.

Aguri has not realized it, but the pile of cheap, individually wrapped sweets that has accumulated on her desk in the student council office is not because anybody was fooled by her plan. For most of the students who return her small favors, the chance to watch her innocently fail to contain her glee at each and every little gift is its own reward.

She is counting her treasures with that same giddy smile when the door opens and the vice president steps in.

"Aguri, there's a boy from another school here to meet with you," the girl says, fidgeting nervously. "A high school boy!"

"A high school boy?"

Looking at the pile before her, Aguri realizes her situation: She cannot possibly receive a guest here. Instead, she steps out into the hallway.

"Noumi? What brings you here?"

It is indeed Noumi Shuu, the boy whom she spent the afternoon of Valentines Day trapped in a storage closet with. Unlike that time, he is wearing the violet uniform of the Kujou Boys School.

"Today is White Day, is it not? I know that it was never meant for me, but you did share chocolate with me one month ago."

"That may be, but I never- oh my..."

Aguri trails off as she sees the large, white, heart-shaped box in Shuu's hands. Unlike the pile on her desk, which she hoped for in secret, and unlike the return gift from her sister, which she would have demanded, this is truly unexpected.

"Would you do me the honor of accepting this?"

Quite without realizing it, Aguri licks her lips.

"Mmm... yes."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Yell, Nono Hana - age 13
Cure Etoile, Kagayaki Homare - age 13


March, 2018

Hana's morning has been a series of disasters. She botched her haircut, arrived late for class, tripped and fell while introducing herself, and now-

Hana covers her forehead with both hands and squeezes her eyes shut. The girl in front of her is both beautiful and cool, and Hana is afraid of being judged.

"Cure Yell?"

Hana opens one eye just enough to peek. The only people who should know her by that name are...

"Cure Etoile?" She lowers her hands and opens her eyes, then remembers what she was hiding. "Please don't look!"

"I like your new style. The way you had it before covered up too much of your face." Homare smiles. "It's almost like you're a different person now."

"Do you really think so?!" Hana clasps Homare's hands, her embarrassment forgotten.

"I do, but..." Homare easily slips out of Hana's grasp. A simple and elegant maneuver places Hana's back up against the wall, blocked on either side by the taller girl's arms. "It bothers me that you didn't say anything about going to school here when we met and became Pretty Cures. Ange and I both said that we'd be here. Why didn't you?"

"Panic attack?" Hana squeaks.

Homare blinks, then hops backward. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to get in your face just now. I wasn't thinking."

"I..." Hana pauses, then takes a deep breath. "I'll forgive you if you'll forgive me. Is that okay?"

"Yeah, okay. Friends?"

"Friends."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Happy, Hoshizora Miyuki - age 20
Wolfrun, Hoshizora Runtarou - age 20
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 20


March, 2018

Miyuki has persistently dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding from the time when she was a little girl.

A magnificent white dress...

Hundreds of guests...

An actual castle...

Ballroom dancing...

Being carried like a princess as she flies away with her husband...

On a winged horse...

Perhaps in a world where she could manifest anything imaginable out of a magical compact, such a wedding might barely be possible. Alas, there is no such thing as magic in this world. Miyuki and Runtarou are ordinary college students.

That is not to say that they were disappointed by the wedding. Far from it. They couldn't have hundreds of guests, but then, they also don't have hundreds of close friends. A chapel with a reception hall fit their budget better than a castle, and as for winged horses, Cure Rosetta has said that those do not exist.

And she would know.

Miyuki did wear a beautiful dress, however. Runtarou carried her like a princess, at least as far as the church doors. He set her down there so that their friends could pelt them with rice. Fortuitous indeed, as Onikichi had been lurking just outside with a fifty kilogram bag of the stuff.

The photos of that will become cherished memories. As that was only three days ago, Runtarou is still finding the occasional grain of rice.

But that was three days ago.

Today, they move into their new apartment. Classes at the college begin next week.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Haruno Momoka - Cure Flora's sister - age 10
Midorikawa Yuuta - Cure March's brother - age 11
Shindou Tomoya - age 10


April, 2018

Lately, Momoka has been letting her hair grow out in imitation of her big sister. For various reasons, she braids it rather than wearing it loose. She has been trying to be more like Haruka in other ways, too.

Strong. Kind. Beautiful.

After school, Momoka returns to the classroom to retrieve her umbrella. She finds two boys are still in the classroom. The shorter of the two is Midorikawa Yuuta, a quiet boy who spends most of his time writing something in a notebook that he never shows to anybody. The taller boy is called Shindou Tomoya, and he is an ass. Tomoya is holding Yuuta's notebook up in the air with one hand while holding Yuuta back with the other. Yuuta begs to for his notebook to be returned, but the other boy clearly has no such intention.

Momoka's first instinct is to leave. A moment later, she thinks that she should at least get her umbrella.

But letting this happen would be neither beautiful nor kind. Stopping this would take strength, wouldn't it?

Yuuta's tormentor has his back to Momoka and does not notice her approach. She snatches the notebook right out of his hand. He whirls on her, fist raised.

Momoka clutches the notebook to her chest and looks Tomoya directly in the eyes. "This doesn't belong to you, and I'm not going to let you have it."

She doesn't say it, but the only boys who would hit a girl in this situation are human trash. Momoka hopes that this boy is not that sort, but-

Tomoya lowers his fist.

"I'll remember this!" he shouts as he runs out of the room.

Once he is sure the other boy is not coming back, Yuuta approaches cautiously. Momoka hands over the notebook before he gathers the nerve to ask.

"Thanks."

"Hmph! I didn't do it to be thanked."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Lovely, Aino Megumi - age 18
Cure Fortune, Hikawa Iona - age 18


April, 2018

"What are you going to do after we graduate?"

Megumi poses the question to Iona when they meet up after school.

"I'm going to travel around Europe for a few months, then visit my parents. Maybe I'll go to college after that? I haven't worked out the details yet."

"That's more of a plan than I've got," Megumi admits. "I feel like I should be looking for work. I just don't know what kind."

"You're not going to keep making movies?"

Megumi shakes her head. "The Unlovely thing was fun and all, but it's just not me."

"Isn't the entertainment business larger than just Mr. Joker? You could join a real talent agency, go to auditions."

"I could, but I wouldn't be helping anyone. There isn't anything I could do as an actress that some other girl wouldn't do just as well."

"And you don't want to go on to college?"

"I really don't. Mom keeps telling me that we can afford it, but I don't really buy that."

"You could disappear into the mountains and get stronger by fighting bears?"

"Iona, wild animals have a right to a peaceful existence!"

"I was joking!"

Megumi puffs out her cheeks. "Not funny."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Shiny Luminous, Kujou Hikari - age 26
Kujou Yaten - Hikari's son - newborn


May, 2018

Hikari is presently on maternity leave from her office job, starting from shortly before the birth of her son. There will be a period later when Domon will take leave and she will return to work. For now, though, the midnight wakings to care and feeding of a cranky baby are agreed to be her responsibility.

She agreed to this. She suggested it in the first place. As little Yaten is going to be mostly breastfeeding for the first few months, it just made sense. On average, she is happy and proud to care for her child this way.

Notable outliers within that average include a night when she has to wake up three times before dawn and gets a headache from walking into a wall on her way to the baby's crib. She really has no excuse. The crib is in the same master bedroom where Hikari and Domon sleep, and there is even a nightlight.

"Embarrassing, right?" She whispers to her nursing child as she sits down in the family room. "I could tell you about this when you're older, you know. I could tell you how Mama suffered when you were a baby, because... hm... because I was tired and clumsy, I guess?"

Having nothing to say about this, Yaten remains fixated on his meal.

Hikari sighs. "Maybe I'll just keep this one to myself."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Macherie, Aisaki Emiru - age 11
Cure Amour, Ruru Amour - age 13


May, 2018

"You!"

At Emiru's exclamation, Ruru turns to face her. Unlike before, Ruru has her hair down and is wearing ordinary clothes. Emiru, on the other hand, is wearing the same hand-made ornaments that she had on before. They are near the entrance to a crowded supermarket, with people walking by on either side.

"Hello, suspicious person."

Emiru reacts as if she has been slapped. "The suspicious one is you, I say! You, the one who pretended to be a robot!"

Ruru steps closer, smiling, then bends so that her gaze is at Emiru's level. "Shall I show it to you? The rocket punch that Papa built for me?"

"R- Rocket Punch?! Even if you had such an amazing thing, I- I would not want to see it!"

"I see. Shall I not show to you what you do not want to see?"

"I don't! I'm telling you, I don't, but if you were to show it to me, I- I wouldn't be able to stop you!"

"I see. Perhaps another time."

"Another time?"

"I don't have it with me, after all."

Emiru collapses to the ground.


"The one who wants to see something should be prepared to show something, I'm telling you!"

Emiru explains the invitation in this way, while still insisting that she doesn't want to see any robot stuff. Ruru goes along with her because she is coming to like Emiru, or because she is coming to like messing with Emiru. Ruru herself is not sure which. Ruru barely reacts to the palatial manor where Emiru lives, nor to Emiru's family, whom Emiru obviously is embarrassed by.

A very direct path leads to Emiru's bedroom, which is possibly as large as an ordinary person's entire home. It is cutely decorated, and Ruru's eyes are immediately drawn to musical instruments: A piano and several violins.

"Are you a musician?" Ruru thinks that this is a poor question to ask in her robot persona. She asks anyway because she is interested.

"Heh... the one who wants to see something should show something first, I said. I will share with you my greatest secret."

Emiru snaps her fingers, and part of the room transforms. The curtains close instantly, and the place where Emiru stands rises up and becomes a stage... complete with a guitar.

"What."

"This is my guitar! Freedom! Excitement! It makes my soul cry out!" She rips off a power chord. "It makes my soul cry out, I tell you! This is my favorite thing in the world!"

"So cool..." Without meaning to, Ruru lets the words slip.

"Did you say something?"

"You imagined it."

Chapter Text

Cast:

Dark PreCure, Tsukikage Sumire - age 25
Joker, Tsukikage Jou - age 26
Tsukikage Yuu - Jou's & Sumire's son - newborn


May, 2018

"Cut!"

The camera stops. The action stops. The man in the rubber suit pulls off his monster mask and wanders to the edge of the set to drink from a water bottle.

Sumire approaches Joker, her expression cross. In her arms is a baby boy. Their baby.

"Tell me you didn't interrupt filming just to have a family moment."

A grin spreads across his face. "Not just for that, no. But are we not a loving family?"

"Of course we are, Darling, but we are paying these dozens of cast and crew by the hour. You promised that your films would fund our little Yuu through college, and to do that you need to make money for once."

"Actually," Joker says, raising a finger. "I promised that Yuu's college funds would come from the same place as my films. A subtle distinction, but important."

Comprehending nothing, Yuu reaches a pudgy arm toward his father and babbles.

"Capital idea, my son!" Joker chuckles, then addresses his wife. "The boy wants to be in the movie. Shall I have the monster change a diaper on camera?"

"Perhaps you should be on camera as well," Sumire growls. "Inside a doghouse, dressed up as a dog!"

In her arms, the baby laughs.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Peace, Kise Yayoi - age 21
Aka-Oni, Akai Onikichi - age 20


June, 2018

"Signing time is over."

The announcement comes from a man in blocky, robot-like armor. It is a well-constructed costume that shows none of the person underneath, while leaving it quite clear that he is tall and powerfully built. The armor itself is primarily gold-colored, except for a pair of antenna, pauldrons, gauntlets, shin guards, and sculpted six-pack abs, which are all bright red.

This is Yayoi's original robot design, Hyper Robo Peacemallion. The man inside is Akai Onikichi.

"I'm not done," she protests. "Look at how long the line is!"

"Ms. Morino has said that you are not to skip meals."

Yayoi blanches at the mention of her editor. "She's not here... right?"

"A healthy lifestyle is part of a hero's duty!" He shouts this large enough for the entire venue to hear. The audience erupts with applause. The bookstore where she has been signing books is still filled with Peacemallion fans, and this is a popular line from the story.

"They're on your side too?" Yayoi pouts. "Alright, I'll take a break."


Onikichi leads Yayoi -almost carries her- to the back part of the bookstore, normally restricted to employees. Like the store proper, it is clean and orderly. It is not by skimping on amenities that the business has prospered.

After taking off his helmet, Onikichi produces a gigantic, quad-deck lunchbox. As he arrays the parts in front of Yayoi, she gasps in surprise.

"Onikichi, where did all of this come from? It's got all of my favorite foods!"

"I cooked it."

"But this much- Didn't it take a long time?"

"I am used to cooking large meals, as I am quite large myself."

"Thanks for making me take a break, Aka-Oni." She gives him a brief hug, then sits down to eat.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Muse, Shirabe Ako - age 16
Natsuki Ai - Cure Rouge's sister - age 16


July, 2018

"Found you, Ako!"

A brown-haired girl latches onto Ako from behind. She is wearing the same light blue uniform as Ako, with the same pink trim and the lapel pin that distinguishes high school students from middle schoolers.

Ako shakes her off. "Ai, what are you doing? You don't even go to school here."

"A little bird told me something that I wanted to check on."

"Don't try to pin this on Pi-chan. He's a good bird."

Ai smirks. "I never said which bird, but I heard that under your uniform, you're wearing a chain... that is looped through a ring... that has a diamond on it!"

"I wouldn't wear something like that to school."

Ai spreads her hands and sighs. "Unfortunately, I believe you. So, when is the wedding?"

"We haven't set a date yet. Did you really sneak into my school just for that?"

"Of course not! I snuck in because I thought it would be fun!"

Chapter Text

Cast:

Cure Whip, Usami Ichika - age 14
Pikario, Kuroki Rio - age 15


July, 2018

There is no such thing as time travel in this world.

"What sort of book is that?" Rio asks Ichika as they walk along the street toward the Kirakira Patisserie.

"I'm really not sure," Ichika replies, pulling the light novel from her purse and handing it to Rio. "Cure Mint gave it to me. She said that I remind her of the main heroine."

He reads the back cover. "'A thriller from the award-winning author of the Phantasma Detective series, about an energetic young girl and the person who travels through time to save her from an apparently random doom?' Are you sure she isn't just trying to drum up business?"

Ichika shakes her head. "She's famous. Even if I were to recommend her books at KiraPati, it couldn't compare to the readers she already has."

"Maybe your sweets are just that good."

"Rio, you're making me blush!" Ichika says. She turns toward him, smiling.

Suddenly, the sound of screeching brakes. Ichika has no chance to see it coming. Rio grabs her by the waist and hauls her out of the way just before a truck to careens through the space that she had occupied just a moment before.

They fall to the ground, scuffed and scraped by the sidewalk, but neither is seriously harmed. Loose papers flutter to the ground around them, pages bashed free from the book when it was hit by the truck.

"Are- are you okay?" Rio asks Ichika as he releases her and tries to get up.

She pulls him back down, into a kiss.

Chapter Text

Cast:

Milky Rose, Mimino Kurumi - age 26
Mimino Sunao - Kurumi's husband - age 30
Mimino Naoya - Kurumi's son - age 22 months
Mimino Mikuru - Kurumi's daughter - age 3 months


July, 2018

"I'm home!"

"Mama!"

Naoya is the first to reach the door, where Kurumi lifts him into a hug. Sunao appears a moment later, with baby Mikuru in his arms.

"Looks like everyone's happy to see me," Kurumi says, smiling.

"Always," Sunao replies. "How was work?"

"Work was fine. I don't think there's a question those undergrads could come up with that I wouldn't know how to answer. I'm more worried about my thesis defense."

"That's next week, isn't it?"

Kurumi nods. "I'm ready to be done with school. Once I finish this law degree, I might just spend a couple of years at home with the kids."

"You keep saying that, but I wonder if you can really do it? The woman I married likes being right too much."

"Doesn't everybody?" Kurumi counters, then chuckles. "All the more reason I should be the one to stay home. Don't you know that Mommy is always right?"