Noel Intro Part 2

<Doktor_Q> Noel was awake before her alarm rang.
<Doktor_Q> She slept better than expected, after having walked through the Youma's Nightmare, but images of it still repeated themselves in her head.
<Doktor_Q> As she turned off the ringing clock, and prepared to pull herself out of bed, she froze.
<Doktor_Q> Her eyes and mouth widened.
<Doktor_Q> She turned to M. "The girl is still in the building."
<Doktor_Q> "The little girl on the third floor. In the Youma's Nightmare."
<Blue_> M begins slowly rolling, but does not respond.
<Doktor_Q> Ignoring the noise the dresser made, she yanked it open and hastily dressed.
<Doktor_Q> She dashed out the door, then as an afterthought reached back inside and took the metal bat Dorothy kept near the door.
<Blue_> M followed, clearly struggling to keep up with Noel's panicked pace.
<Doktor_Q> Pedaling her bike furiously, Noel flew past the bus stop, retracing her path from last night.
<Blue_> M, unable to keep up with Noel, decides to simply float back to her apartment, waiting for her return.
<Doktor_Q> She skids to a stop in front of the door, drops her bike, and rushes inside.
<Blue_> The inside is similar to the nightmare, though made of rotten wood and filled with holes instead of made of rusted metal. There's a large hole denying access to the kitchen, and a few steps are missing from the staircase.
<Doktor_Q> Noel sprints up the stairs, willing them to hold.
<Blue_> On the second flight of stairs, a board gives way underneath your weight, twisting your ankle painfully as you fall.
<Doktor_Q> "Ah!"
<Doktor_Q> Gritting her teeth, she pulls herself up, and continues- slower this time, and limping.
<Blue_> At the top floor, you see the same layout you remember. A single door, closed, in front of the stairs.
<Doktor_Q> Noel drags herself to the door, panting, and tries the handle.
<Blue_> It opens a short distance, once again stopping as it hits the couch.
<Doktor_Q> She reaches through the opening with one arm, to locate the couch.
<Doktor_Q> With a shove, she attempts to dislodge it from it's position, in any direction,
<Blue_> The couch slides a short distance, allowing you to open the door wide enough to squeeze through.
<Doktor_Q> Noel slips herself through the gap, into the room itself, and looks for the girl.
<Blue_> You see her collapsed in the corner. She's unconscious, and there's a small pool of blood near her shoulder.
<Doktor_Q> Noel clamors over to her, and as gently as possible, examines her.
<Blue_> Her face is smeared with blood and her arm has a nasty gash in it. The burns on the back of her neck and head appear to have started to scab over, and from her skin temperature, she's clearly suffering from a high fever. She doesn't stir as she's touched.
<Doktor_Q> She swallows. "…I need to get her to a hospital."
<Doktor_Q> (even then she might not survive…) she thought.
<Doktor_Q> Noel swallowed.
<Doktor_Q> (To make sure she survives, at least-)
<Doktor_Q> Where Noel's hand rests on the girl's body, a faint gold star appears, shimmering briefly as the light flows into her and fades.
<Doktor_Q> Noel tries to lift the girl, carefully, despite her twisted ankle, and totters toward the door.
<Blue_> The door isn't quite wide enough for the two of to squeeze through together. You would have to go one at a time, or go first, and drag the other girl through.
<Doktor_Q> Biting her lip, she gently sets the girl down, and tries to shift the couch further out of the way.
<Blue_> With a powerful shove, the couch slides out of the way. The rotted floorboards snap underneath the shifted weight, and it falls to the floor below.
<Doktor_Q> Skirting around the new hole, Noel lifts the girl again, nudging the door open wide, and begins to climb precariously down the stairs.
<Blue_> !roll 2d6+12
<BlueBot5001> Blue_ rolled [ 2d6 + 12 ] { 6 5 + 12 = 23 }
<Blue_> !roll 1d6
<BlueBot5001> Blue_ rolled [ 1d6 ] { 1 = 1 }
<Blue_> !roll 2d6+9
<BlueBot5001> Blue_ rolled [ 2d6 + 7 ] { 5 3 + 9 = 15 }
<Blue_> ((BGM: ))
<Blue_> With a painful crack, you feel something impact with the back of your head. The world goes white for a moment before you tumble down the staircase. Luckily, you dropped the injured girl when you were struck, and she lies at the top of the stairs unharmed.
<Doktor_Q> "Ugh!" Noel transforms, and readies her hat.
<Doktor_Q> Even with her best attempt, though, she stand, and remains half-kneeling half-lying across the stairs.
<Blue_> At the top of the stairs, standing next to the injured girl, is an older girl wearing what seems to be a modified teacher's outfit. She has dirty blonde hair, brown eyes, and black horn-rimmed glasses. She's gazing down at you with a disgusted look on her face.
<Doktor_Q> "Who are you?" Noel asks, trying to remain mostly upright.
<Blue_> She pulls a book out of seemingly nowhere, opening it with one hand as she descends the staircase. "The Miracle Genius, Umi."
<Doktor_Q> Slowly reaching into her hat, Noel continues- "What are you doing here?"
<Blue_> She stops. "I'm here to give you a warning."
<Doktor_Q> "About what?"
<Blue_> She glares down at Noel. "About taking what should have been mine."
<Doktor_Q> She's already grasped an object, prepared to launch it if the "Miracle Genius" tries to attack again.
<Doktor_Q> "What should have been yours?"
<Blue_> She reaches into her sleeve, and pulls out the oblivion seed you found last night. "That youma and its prize were mine." She smirks. "The prize is mine now, at least."
<Doktor_Q> Noel clenches her teeth, and launches her attack at the girl's hand
<Blue_> !roll 2d6+9
<BlueBot5001> Blue_ rolled [ 2d6 + 9 ] { 5 1 + 9 = 15 }
<Blue_> A small dart flies out of of the hat, aimed at the seed in Umi's hand! Before it reaches it, a book materializes out of thin air, intercepting the dart.
<Doktor_Q> "You broke into my house?"
<Doktor_Q> Recovering from the failed attack, she continues questioning.
<Blue_> Umi takes a few steps down, the floating book traveling with her. The book suddenly launches itself at Noel.
<Blue_> !roll 2d6+9
<BlueBot5001> Blue_ rolled [ 2d6 + 9 ] { 5 1 + 9 = 15 }
<Blue_> The book grows in size and speed as it flies towards Noel, painfully striking her in the face with a crunch.
<Doktor_Q> Against her will, Noel's clothes return to normal, and she topples backwards down the rest of the flight of stairs.
<Doktor_Q> Her eyes are squeezed shut, and she can feel a sharp pain from her nose, along with something warm and wet running down her face.
<Blue_> Umi travels the rest of the way down the stairs, crouching down and roughly jerking up Noel's head by the hair. Her eyes bore into Noel as she speaks clearly, enunciating each word. "This is your only warning, Noel Astor. The youma in this town are mine. If I see you taking my seeds again, I'll kill you."
<Doktor_Q> "If they're 'yours'," Noel gasps
<Doktor_Q> "Get there faster."
<Blue_> Umi slams Noel's face back into the ground, splattering blood onto the floorboards. "Consider yourself lucky I'm not killing you for that."
<Doktor_Q> "Ugh…"
<Doktor_Q> Noel curls up on instinct, and covers her nose with one hand.
<Blue_> You hear Umi's heels impacting the rotten floorboards as she walks away.
<Doktor_Q> Groaning, Noel's thoughts swirl and dim, the sound of ambulance sirens arriving just before it goes dark.
<Doktor_Q> The next thing she saw when her eyes opened was a blank white ceiling.
<Doktor_Q> Her entire body ached when she tried to move, especially her nose.
<Doktor_Q> When she reached up to touch it, she found it covered by a plaster.
<Doktor_Q> With some effort, she pulled herself into a half-sitting position, and looked around the room.
<Blue_> The room is illuminated by a pair of windows that let the afternoon sun in. There's another empty bed in the room, and you notice a few tubes hooked up to your arms. There are a few chairs sitting in the room, placed near the windows.
<Blue_> Judging by the chemical smell and the sterile atmosphere, you're in a hospital.
<Doktor_Q> "Is the girl alright…?" Noel wondered aloud, internally cringing at the nasal sound of her voice.
<Blue_> A few minutes later, a nurse carrying a clipboard walks into the room. "Oh! You're awake!" Her nametag reads "Garland."
<Doktor_Q> Noel nods slightly, and surveys the woman, but makes no other response.
<Blue_> The nurse crosses the room and stops by the side of your bed. "Try to relax. You took a nasty fall down those stairs." She examines some nearby machines, and marks something off on her clipboard. "Are you feeling alright?"
<Doktor_Q> "Mostly." She answers.
<Blue_> "Any aches or pains?"
<Doktor_Q> "My nose."
<Doktor_Q> She considers a moment more
<Doktor_Q> "Everywhere."
<Blue_> The nurse chews thoughtfully on her pen. "On a scale of one to ten, with one being no pain, and ten being the worst pain you've ever felt, how would you describe it?"
<Doktor_Q> "…5" She responds, after some consideration.
<Doktor_Q> "6."
<Blue_> She marks something down on her clipboard. "You broke your nose and wrenched your ankle when you fell, but you should be out of here today if everything checks out." She puts the cap back on her pen. "Is there anything I can get you?"
<Doktor_Q> "Water."
<Doktor_Q> "What about the girl?"
<Blue_> The nurse sighs. "She's in stable condition, but she'll never be able to see again. She's currently undergoing surgery for her burns."
<Doktor_Q> Noel grimaces, and places her hands in her lap.
<Blue_> The nurse looks away. "I'll be back with your water shortly."
<Blue_> A few minutes later, the nurse returns with a bottle of water. She places it on the stand by the bed. "You have some visitors."
<Doktor_Q> She takes a sip from the glass, and returns it to the stand.
<Doktor_Q> Then she looks toward the door.
<Blue_> A pair of police officers enter.
<Doktor_Q> Noel looks them over, feeling slightly uneasy.
<Blue_> The nurse walks out with a quickened pace. The two officers enter, remaining a fair distance from the bed. "Officer Bennett, Riveroak Police. We'd like to ask you a few questions."
<Doktor_Q> Noel nods to them, silently.
<Doktor_Q> She didn't particularly like police- Her mother had run into them before, and it never ended well.
<Blue_> "What, exactly, happened in that house?" Officer Bennett asks.
<Doktor_Q> Noel tensed inwardly at the question, and quickly tried to formulate a believable lie.
<Doktor_Q> "I'm not sure," she began, after a moment.
<Doktor_Q> "I decided to skip school and ride around the city. I stopped to rest outside the apartment, and I thought I heard someone crying. I got worried, so I went inside… and then…" She trails off.
<Blue_> "And then?" The other officer prompts.
<Doktor_Q> "…I…heard it again. I went up to the third floor, and found her, but she was unconscious. I was trying to get her outside, to call an ambulance. And then I must have fallen."
<Blue_> Officer Bennett sighs, snapping his notebook shut. "Thank you for your time." He motions to his partner. "Come on."
<Doktor_Q> Noel nods to them lightly as they exit.
<Doktor_Q> Dorothy arrived to pick her several minutes later, in a taxi.
<Doktor_Q> Neither of them speaks a word until they enter the small, dusty apartment.
<Doktor_Q> Dorothy almost immediately walks toward the fridge. "What the hell are you doing, Noel?" She asks, as she searches for a beer.
<Doktor_Q> "None of your business." Noel snaps, a bit more sharply than she had intended.
<Doktor_Q> "When I get a call from the school and the hospital in the same hour, and I have hire a taxi to get your ass home, I think it is my business."
<Doktor_Q> She opens the silver can with a crack, and takes a sip. "Does it have something to do with wherever you ran off to last night?"
<Doktor_Q> Noel tries to ignore her, gritting her teeth, and walks toward her bedroom.
<Doktor_Q> "Don't just ignore me, Noel!" Dorothy steps in front of her, grabbing one of Noel's shoulders
<Doktor_Q> Noel's hand blurs, slapping away her mother's.
<Doktor_Q> Dorothy recoils, dropping her beer can on the carpet.
<Doktor_Q> "Why are you only asking now?" Noel asks, locking eyes with Dorothy.
<Doktor_Q> "Noel, are you getting mixed up in something bad?" Her mother asks, more softly.
<Doktor_Q> "Nothing worse than you."
<Doktor_Q> "I'm asking you seriously! This isn't something to joke about!" Dorothy glares back at Noel, with equal intensity.
<Doktor_Q> "The joke is you acting like a mother." Noel said, voice dripping venom. A part of her was shocked at her own behavior, but she kept going.
<Doktor_Q> "I never asked to be your mother!" Dorothy shouts, stomping her foot.
<Doktor_Q> "Then why keep me around? It's the same as why you kept his last name, isn't it?" She could feel herself crossing a line, even as the words came out of her mouth. "It's just an excuse to get him to keep paying your bills."
<Doktor_Q> "You found a rich boy, and got him to marry you. When it fell through, you took me as insurance, so you wouldn't have to work."
<Doktor_Q> "Shut up!" Dorothy shouts, reaching for her.
<Doktor_Q> Noel steps back, at the same time shoving Dorothy away. "You didn't even like him! You just wanted an easy life!"
<Doktor_Q> "Shut up! Do you have any idea how much I had to give up to take care of you?!" Along with her scream, Dorothy's eyes begin to tear up.
<Doktor_Q> "No, I don't! I haven't seen you give up anything but a job!"
<Doktor_Q> Noel raises her voice to match.
<Doktor_Q> A half-filled silver can flies past her head, clipping the counter, and splashing beer over the entire kitchen. A few drops land on Noel's shirt, as well.
<Doktor_Q> "Get. Out."
<Doktor_Q> Dorothy's voice is level.
<Doktor_Q> Noel opens her mouth, and starts to walk towards her bedroom again
<Doktor_Q> "Get out!" Her mother screams.
<Doktor_Q> "Get out of my house!"
<Doktor_Q> She points to the door, barring the way into the room.
<Doktor_Q> Noel stands for a moment, stunned. Then, she turns slowly, and walks out the door, slamming it as she leaves.
<Blue_> ((BGM: ))
<Doktor_Q> That afternoon, she waited outside the school building as the students filed out.
<Doktor_Q> She scanned the crowd for a familiar face, while trying to avoid the stares her injuries drew.
<Doktor_Q> At last, she found who she was looking for- and she was alone, thankfully.
<Doktor_Q> "Mary." She calls, softly, approaching her from the side.
<Doktor_Q> The girl turns to her, and her eyes widen in surprise. "Noel! What happened to you?!"
<Doktor_Q> Noel glanced around, and, seeing some of the other students pausing to watch her, urged Rosemary to keep walking.
<Doktor_Q> "You didn't show up at school today, so I thought you might have caught a cold from the rain yesterday, but"
<Doktor_Q> She looks at Noel's face, the plaster over her nose, and her limp.
<Doktor_Q> "…Did you get into a fight?"
<Doktor_Q> "…Sort of," Noel answers vaguely.
<Doktor_Q> "…I can't go back to m- Dorothy's apartment. Could I…" She hesitated for a moment. "…Could I stay with you? For a few days?"
<Doktor_Q> Rosemary notices the shift in her tone, and asks, softly, "Was it your mom?"
<Doktor_Q> "No!" Noel replies, shouting even though she hadn't meant to.
<Doktor_Q> "We fought, but…"
<Doktor_Q> "I get it. I'll call my parents and tell them you're staying over tonight, okay?" She smiles.
<Doktor_Q> Noel nodded slowly in response, as they walked together to her home.
<Doktor_Q> The atmosphere at dinner would have been awkward, were it not for Rosemary.
<Doktor_Q> She talked about the lessons at school, what the girls in her class were going to do over the weekend, what shows she watched-
<Doktor_Q> Noel could barely keep up with her, but it kept the topic moving. No one asked about what had happened to her.
<Doktor_Q> Noel sits on the extra mattress that had been moved into Rosemary's room, clad in a set of Rosemary's old Pajamas.
<Doktor_Q> Rosemary walks in, drying her hair with a towel.
<Doktor_Q> She softly closes the door, and sits down next to her.
<Doktor_Q> "Do you want to talk about it?" She asks.
<Doktor_Q> Noel nods, after a moment, and tells her story- first about her fight with Dorothy, then, after a moment of hesitation, about becoming a magical girl, and the Youma, and Umi.
<Doktor_Q> "I see," Rosemary says quietly, when she's done. She puts her arm around Noel's shoulder, and gives her a little squeeze.
<Doktor_Q> It's already past midnight, the only light in the room coming from a lamp on the nightstand.
<Doktor_Q> Rosemary doesn't say anything more, but it's enough. "Thank you, Mary," Noel says, after a moment, leaning in to her friend's chest.
<Doktor_Q> Almost automatically, she shifts her posture and moves up, pressing her lips to Mary's.
<Doktor_Q> Neither of them moves for several seconds- even their breathing stops.
<Doktor_Q> Then Noel suddenly retreats, tumbling off the bed onto the floor.
<Doktor_Q> "T-that- I- Ah, um… p-please forget that!" She stumbles over her words, god she can feel her face turning red. Under the splint, her nose pangs in response.
<Doktor_Q> "…I-I will," Mary responds, turning a bit pink, and touching her lips lightly. She smiles anyway, a bit awkwardly.
<Doktor_Q> After a few minutes of awkward silence, Mary climbs into her bed, and Noel back onto the spare mattress.
<Doktor_Q> As Mary pulls back her covers, she looks at her phone on the nightstand curiously. "Huh, there's no signal." She shrugs, lying down. "Well, it's a weekend tomorrow anyway~" She smiles at Noel.
<Doktor_Q> "Goodnight."
<Doktor_Q> "…Goodnight."
<Doktor_Q> Mary turns off the light, and the room goes black.
<Blue_> Faintly, on the wind, the sound of ominous laughing can be heard.