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[size10 [+white xxxxx] [b [size12 I]]t was a bit of a shock, to know that the townspeople had entrusted them with an [i actual] case. Linnea was skeptical at first, when her best friend had been telling her about it. The townspeople had been distrusting of them at first, annoyed by their meddling. Or well, rather annoyed with Penelope's meddling. Linnea herself was merely along for the ride, offering input when she could and mostly staying in the background. Deep down, she knew that Penelope didn't need her, as the girl had a gift and could solve almost anything. Linnea's detective skills were about average, maybe a bit above, so she merely went along to be company. At least, that is what she fully believed.
[+white xxxxx] And, once again, she was merely going along to be company. She did not know the missing girls in the way that Penelope did. She knew them from meeting them once, with Penelope, but never really spoke to them. Linnea did not shine in the way that Penelope did. She was easily overlooked, partially because she was so quiet, and Penelope was such a people person that she easily stood out. Linnea also felt that Penelope was quite beautiful, so much so that Linnea's own looks went unnoticed.
[+white xxxxx] Despite being overshadowed by Penelope, Linnea was content and happy, just to be with her best friend. She was never jealous of Penelope, and enjoyed the time they spent together. Both were orphans, and Linnea herself knew nothing of her family, unlike Penelope. Penelope knew a bit of her family, and had questions about them. Questions that Linnea was trying to help her figure out, though she knew that Penelope was content with not knowing, as she had already came to terms with what her parents did. Still, she wanted to help in any way that she could, which was one of the main reasons she tagged along.
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[+white xxxxx] Their case had them going to a small town, about 40 minutes away. Linnea could sense the excitement from Penelope, who had always enjoyed a change of scenery. It made her smile ever so fondly, a smile she made sure to hide from Penny. Once in the town, they interviewed relatives and friends of the girls, and even went to local hotels to speak to those that worked there. It was certainly a mystery , as none of the people they spoke to had any idea what had happened. It was the same story from all of them, the girls were good people that no one disliked. There was no indication that they would have been kidnapped , or worse, [i murdered]. Linnea could feel the sympathy and concern radiating off of Penny, as they spoke to family friends of the missing girls.
[+white xxxxx] Penny's sympathy and concern is what lead her and Linnea to the cabin the girls disappeared at. The cabin was gorgeous, but it paled in comparison to the lake in front of them. Linnea couldn't take her eyes off of the lake. She didn't hear Penny speak, nor did she notice anything else as she began walking towards the lake. She couldn't explain it, but the lake was drawing her in. Leaving all of her bags behind, and Penny, she walked into the lake, with no concern for her clothes or even herself. Soon, she was fully submerged by the lake.
[+white xxxxx] .... Only to open awake in an entirely new place. [b "W-what?"] Linnea looked around, entirely confused, searching her brain for an explanation as to what just happened. She looked around, hearing whispers of other people. [i Strangers.] She wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly scared. [b "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore,"] she mumbled under her breath before picking herself up.
[+white xxxxx] Despair coursed through her veins, as soon as she realized she was separated from Penny. She scanned the crowd, but couldn't see if Penny had followed her. All she could see was strangers, giving her odd looks. [i I wonder if this is what happened to those girls ...] If that was so, they were more than likely still alive, and somewhere within this ... Place. Whatever it was. As much as Linnea wanted to find answers now, she more so wanted to find Penelope. The two had never been separated for more than a few minutes, and being without her felt agonizing. [b "Penny .... Where are you?"]]
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[size10 [+white xxxxx] [b [size12 N]]amiko was stuffing her face when she heard one of the group leaders start talking. [#69cbe8 "Eh?"] -- She spoke with a mouthful of food, no manners at all. She hadn't been paying attention , as there was a lot of chit chat going on. Being the newest member of the group, she hadn't really gotten to know any of the other members, even Ayame. She was on the swim team with Ayame, but never really tried to speak to her. It took a few more moments to realize that it was Ayame who had been speaking to her.
[+white xxxxx] She swallowed her food too quickly, let out a few coughs, and [i finally] managed to respond. [#69cbe8 "H-hello! I'm --"] she trailed off, realizing Ayame's attention was already elsewhere. She let out the slightest of huffs and returned back to her food. [i The life of being the new kid. Might as well be invisible.] Her grumbling was internal, and she spoke no other words to the rest of the group. She could already tell that there were already formed friendships, and she felt that she was merely wandering into a place she didn't belong.
[+white xxxxx] To her, however, it was unimportant. She was never one to care about whether she fit in or belong, especially not within the magic club. [i I never asked for this,] she thought to herself while taking a break from eating her food. She heard the group quieting down, and quickly realized that the mood had taken a bit more serious of a turn, if that was even possible for the group.
[+white xxxxx] Namiko listened intently, more than she typically would. As much as she hated being a magical girl, she wasn't about to let innocent people be hurt. So, she payed attention , listening to the plan. [i It seems unlikely we can take out the Avatars ...] As much as she wanted to believe in the group, she had her doubts. They were all powerful beings after all, powered by whatever was causing the scourge. Despite her doubts, she would never express them. She didn't want to risk bringing the others' down, and didn't want to doubt her teammates. She didn't know just how powerful they were, after all.
[+white xxxxx] Returning back from her thoughts, Namiko listened to the rest of what the two leaders had to say. [#69cbe8 "Aww. Maybe I wanted to be paired with you, senpai."] She spoke quietly under her breath, hoping no one could hear her. She was kidding , either way. She still didn't know anyone well enough to have a preference as to who she was paired with. She looked over at Mori. She'd never once spoken to him, and felt a bit uncomfortable about suddenly having to, but she wasn't going to argue about it [i this time.]
[+white xxxxx] [b [#79a064 "-ame on speed-dial, maybe. And Namiko, too, for her healing,"]] Namiko was just about to speak to Mori, when she suddenly heard her name. She looked over at who spoke her name. It was Mao, yet another person she'd never really spoken too. [b [#79a064 "If that's okay with you?"]] She registered the questioning look on her face and let out a soft sigh before responding, [#69cbe8 "Sure, that's ok with me. I'll exchange my contact information with everyone in a moment."]
[+white xxxxx] [i Now that that is out of the way...] She looked back over at Mori, now that her attention wasn't split. [#69cbe8 "I don't mind exchanging contact information. What sort of information would you like?"] Namiko only had a few different ways of contact. She had a few social media accounts that she only somewhat used, along with email and her cellphone. She was already planning on giving the entire group her cellphone number. She was just unsure if any other information should be given out or if her cellular number was good enough for the group.]
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[center [Allura [size20 "The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to."]]]
[size10 [+white xxxxx] [b [size12 G]]rey eyes examined the crowd that laid before their owner. Yue huffed, annoyed with the large crowd. She wanted to go home, away from the rain. Away from the crowd. She had long since been done with work, but the trek home was always a long one, even without large crowds. Considering it was raining, Yue found it surprising that there were so many people out and about, but she supposed that people never stopped for a little bit of rain. The young woman was nearly out of the heavy part of the crowd, when she heard the tail end of someone yelling.
[center [size12 "-your going why don't ya!?""]]
[size10 [+white xxxxx] Yue glanced in the direction of yelling, noticing a woman about her age picking herself up off the ground. If the woman didn't seem so angry, Yue would have gone over and offered her help, but she was not in the mood to deal with angry, rude people. At least, that's how the woman came across to her. The young woman turned her nose and kept on walking, finally out of the crowd. Her home was within sight.
[size10 [+white xxxxx] --- Though, it wasn't much of a home. It was nothing more than a small, cramped apartment, surrounded by many exactly like it. Yue thought it was fitting though, as she was just another struggling artist in New York. She made ok money, but not enough that she could focus solely on her art. No, she had to pick up another job, working at a local gaming shop. It was fun, but not what she wanted to do with her life.
[size10 [+white xxxxx] Walking into the door and immediately kicking off her shoes and soaked jacket, Yue plops down on the couch and yawns. [#90a8c1 "Rainy days always make me so tired...."] She lets out another yawn before rolling onto her side. She glances out the window, having left to blinds up. The rain is falling hard against the window, making a steady pattering noise. The sound is intoxicating to the young woman and she closes her eyes. She doesn't intend to sleep, but the sound of the rain against her window lulls her into sleep.
[+white xxxxx] [b [size12 B]]y the time she awakes, it is nearly midnight. [#90a8c1 "Oops,"] she utters as she yawns and rubs her eyes. Sitting up, she stretches and looks around the apartment. It is utter black, and she gets off the couch and stumbles until she manages to find a light switch. Deciding that now was the time to get cozy, Yue takes off the uncomfortable pants she was wearing and pulls on an oversized hoodie she had laying on a nearby chair. She grabs her phone from it's position on the floor and tucks it in her pocket, not bothering to check for any missed messages or calls.
[+white xxxxx] The young women then walks over to her window, gazing out at the now illuminated city. The rain had subsided, and people were walking around. [#90a8c1 "The city that never sleeps, as always,"] she mumbled to herself. Yue wasn't as fond of New York as a lot of people seemed to be. Prices were more expensive, and there were so many "starving" artists, that more often than not, she went to the internet to sell her artwork. Speaking of ... [#90a8c1 "Shoot ! I forgot about the deadline."]
[+white xxxxx] Yue had forgotten about a piece she had recently been working on for the local game shop. She was getting a decent chunk of change for it, the only thing was .. It was due by tomorrow when she went to work. [#90a8c1 "Looks like I'll have to pull an all nighter."] She grumbled to herself and wandered over to her desk, where her computer and drawing tablet laid. It was going to be a long night indeed.
[+white xxxxx][size10 "Another day in Arcadia Bay," Max sighed.
[+white xxxxx]Except today was anything but 'just another day.' No ... Today was Chloe's funeral.
[+white xxxxx]The thought was enough to cause Max's stomach to churn, and her heart to ache. Maybe, if she was any ordinary girl, she would feel guilty for showing up to a funeral of her former best friend, that she hadn't spoken to since moving to Seattle. But Max was anything but ordinary. She didn't consider herself special, by any means, but she knew she wasn't ordinary. No normal person had the ability to rewind time and change things. Not that anyone in the current timeline knew that. Nor did anyone know of all the adventures Chloe and Max had gone on, before she had to rewind time, once again, to save Arcadia Bay.
[+white xxxxx]Which ... Meant letting Chloe die.
[+white xxxxx]Something that breaks Max's heart every time she remembers. Being in the bathroom when Chloe was shot ... Hurt Max horribly, but she could never tell anyone. No one knew she was there. She didn't want anyone to know.
[+white xxxxx]Another sigh escaped her lips, as she looked in the mirror. Dressed in all black, she felt so out of place. Memories of her and Chloe flashed through her mind, from childhood memories, to now deleted memories of them trying to figure out who killed Rachel.
[+white xxxxx]These were memories she'd never be able to share, nor forget. She held them too dear to her heart.
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[+white xxxxx]It was finally almost time for the funeral. Max was standing in the back, hoping to go unnoticed by Chloe's mom and David. She didn't want to field any questions as to why she was there, despite not having spoken to Chloe since moving away to Seattle. There was no way for her to explain that she'd gone on adventures with Chloe, in a different timeline. It would be unbelievable to them, and it would hurt too much to talk about. It was already hard enough being at the funeral of the best friend she'd abandoned. And while she knew that Joyce would never hold anything against her, Max felt horribly guilty.
[+white xxxxx]For abandoning Chloe. For not saving Chloe. For choosing Arcadia Bay over Chloe, even if it was what Chloe wanted. Max's heart ached. She spent her nights crying over Chloe. Missing Chloe. Guilt over not rekindling things with Chloe before she died. "If I could go back ... I would."
[+white xxxxx]The funeral came and went. Everyone came and went. Max briefly spoke with Joyce -- cried with Joyce. Neither could really speak about it. About Chloe being gone . There were just tears. Tears until they finally separated -- tears until Joyce left, leaving Max all alone with Chloe's headstone. Tears still in her eyes, she sat in front of the stone, both happy and sad to finally be alone. "Hey, Chlo ... I'm ... Sorry. You probably went to the grave still mad and hurt, because I stopped talking to you. If I could go back and fix it all, I would. But you ... your other self knows what happens , if I save you. You don't remember any of that though. Just -- god, I miss you Chloe. A world without you hurts. I wish you were still here. Maybe -- if I never quit talking to you, you'd still be here. We could laugh and joke around like we used to. I tried saving you once, but all it did was end up with you dead anyways. I couldn't do a damn thing to save you, special powers or not." A sob escaped.
[+white xxxxx]"I love you, Chloe. I was there, when Nathan killed you. I heard it all. I can't -- handle any of it. Any of this. Jefferson is in jail, but it doesn't bring you back. Doesn't fix all the damage he and Nathan did. Kate is still alive, but .. You're not. I wish you were. I wish I could've done something to actually save you. But damn it ... The universe apparently didn't want you here . Fuck the universe ..."
[+white xxxxx]Max became silent, looking at the grave of her deceased best friend. Regret was in her heart. Nothing could be said to bring Chloe back, as much as Max wished it. The only thing Max could do is move on. Keep living life, as Chloe would've done. "Life hurts, but I'll never give up ... I know you wouldn't want me going and offing myself. If I did, you'd probably track me down in the afterlife and yell at me." A laugh escaped from Max as she wiped her tears away. "I'll never forget you, Chloe. Never."
[+white xxxxx]Standing up, Max stepped away from her best friend's grave, and turned to walk away. Giving one last glance, she noticed a blue butterfly sitting on Chloe's headstone. Max couldn't help but smile. Maybe it wasn't Chloe, maybe it was just a silly belief, but Max would always find herself thinking of that little butterfly as Chloe watching over her.
[+white xxxxx]"See you around, Chloe..." She spoke to the butterfly, before completely walking away from the headstone, and out of the cemetery.
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[size10 [+white xxxxx] [b [size12 L]]oud giggles could be heard echoing throughout the home. High pitched -- belonging to a small child. Groans quickly followed, belonging not to the child, but to the sister of said child. Namiko Kitagawa. Being up right now was not something she enjoyed, especially when awoken by her little sister. She wasn't surprised though. It was almost a daily occurrence. Namiko never needed an alarm. If it wasn't her little sister being loud and energetic early in the morning, it was the cries of her barely a year old little brother. Or as she always thought of them, the pride of her parents. They would never admit it, but neither of Nami's parents had the patience for her. They never had. When she was younger she was often carted off to relatives when her parents' could no longer tolerate her. When she was little, it was her constant refusal to eat or sleep, or as her parents like say, "the reason why you're so short and small, Namiko." When she was older and capable of her own speech and thought? Her refusal to listen drove them to give her off to relatives. Until -- those relatives could no longer tolerate her themselves. She'd fallen out with many a relative , even grandparents , because of her refusal to obey.
[+white xxxxx] It was always assumed that one day, Namiko would break out of her rebellious attitude. Fifteen years after being born, and nothing had changed. The only relative that really ever made time for her, was her aunt. [#69cbe8 "I'd rather be with oba right now,"] the girl said with a childish huff. [#69cbe8 "If only I didn't have to go to that [i silly] meeting..."]
[+white xxxxx] Namiko knew they weren't silly, but she wasn't quite awake yet. She couldn't help but be grumpy. With another huff, she sat up and looked at her phone, long hair messily pooling around her. There were a few unnoticed text messages. [#69cbe8 "Damn it !"] The realization that she had woken up late was sudden. [i The one time my little siblings don't wake me up early ...] the girl thought to herself. She uttered a few more curses as she slid on her day clothes and shoes. Namiko wasn't the most punctual person, but she didn't like being late, especially to important things like this. As much as she grumbled about having to go to the meetings, and about being a magical girl in general, she didn't want to let everyone else down.
[+white xxxxx] [#69cbe8 "Fully dressed and ready to go,"] Namiko said out loud to no one in particular. Leaving her room, she uttered a "hello" and "good morning" before walking out the door. She wouldn't have been surprised if they went fully unnoticed by her parents and siblings, as it wouldn't be a first. Remembering things like this caused Namiko to miss her aunt even more, but she knew that now was not the time to go visit her aunt. She had important things to do.
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[+white xxxxx] Twenty minutes or so later, Namiko was standing in front of the ramen shop. A grumble quickly sounded from her stomach, only to silence again. Crap. She'd forgotten to eat before leaving. She merely shrugged her shoulders at this realization. [#69cbe8 "I'll just eat here."] The words came out nonchalant, but the girl was truthfully excited. Her parents didn't like spicy things the way that she did , so she didn't get to eat it often. This was a chance to [i finally] indulge her tastebuds after what felt like ages. She swore that her tastebuds were screaming in anticipation.
[+white xxxxx] After spotting where the group was meeting, Namiko went and ordered her food. Perhaps it was rude of her to not speak to them first , and probably just as rude to be eating at an important meeting, but none of this occurred to Nami. She was hungry, and wanted to get something to eat. After waiting a bit, she got her food, and walked back to the group, not even waiting to sit down to start eating. [#69cbe8 "Hey guys,"] the young girl spoke with a mouth full of food. She swallowed her mouthful,
feeling a bit sheepish for forgetting her manners , then asked, [#69cbe8 "What are we all here for?"]
[+white xxxxx] This time, she spoke much more clearly, no longer having food in her mouth. She sat down at the table, not really paying attention to who she was sitting by. Her mind was more so on the spicy ramen that was in the bowl she just sat down. She ate a bit more, before finally looking at the others. Namiko gave a quick glance before returning to her food. She knew the others by name, but that was about it. She had never really spoken to them on a more casual level, so she didn't really know a thing about any of them. She was, however, perceptive enough to notice who didn't like who. [i Maybe one day I'll actually be friends with some of these people ...] As rude and rough around the edges as Namiko was, she was a bit excited of the prospect of making new friends. Must've been the charismatic and outgoing side of herself. It was exciting to her, to be able to leave behind her middle school years and start mostly anew. A soft smile spread across her lips as she considered this. It was one of the times where she seemed a little less rough, and more "normal." The smile didn't last long, as she took one more bite of her food before returning her attention to everyone else, where she intended for it to stay.
[https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sukumizu-Japanese-Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-Ayanami-Rei-Ikari-Shinji-Soryu-Asuka-Langley-Cosplay-Costume-EVA-Sexy/32798408018.html I fucking need this]
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