Tokyo Mew Mew Replaced/Chapter 5: An Ice Person
The Chimera reared its head, letting out an inhuman shriek before swinging its other paw at the two girls left standing. Natasha and Umeko both dodged out of the way just in time, and then simultaneously pulled out their pendants.
"Mew Mew Starfruit/Plum, Metamorphosis!"
Umeko landed first, the tail coat-like ends of her Mewfit flaring up as she skidded to a halt towards the left of the monster. In a fluid movement, she summoned her scythe with the usual invocation, and slashed at the creature. The monster fought back, lunging at her with oversized, gnarled incisors, but it thankfully failed to make a hit. While it was distracted, Natasha- who had summoned her star fruit baton- ran towards it from the other side. Leaping forward with such agility she wasn't even aware she could achieve, Natasha began to call her attack.
"Ribbon Starfruit P-"
Natasha was hurled backwards with a brutal headbutt from the Chimera Anima, landing in a cluster of bushes some way away.
"Natasha!" Umeko yelled. She tried to aid her friend, but the fiendish rodent blocked her way. Giving an annoyed grunt, she swung her scythe forward to face the monster.
"Well then, let's get this over and done with."
Meanwhile Natasha stirred herself from where she had fallen, her back thoroughly aching from her crash landing. Looking disdainfully at her small baton, she decided that she had been handed what was perhaps the most useless weapon ever. However, she also noticed that this was not the time ponder such matters as sounds from Umeko's battle with the beast were beating in her ears. Struggling to get her footing, Natasha pulled herself up and began to stagger towards the place where Umeko fended off the beast, but then stopped when she came across the stirring Aoi Kinomi.
"Ki-Kinomi-san!" She stuttered- even as a Mew, Natasha was still intimidated by the domineering upperclassmen. Running over, the green Mew tried to help her classmate up.
"Here, let me help you up," Natasha said kindly putting out her hand. It was promptly slapped away.
"I do not require your assistance." Aoi said sternly, even though she was doubled over. Her fall had seemingly affected her much more then Natasha's, and she was on her knees heaving for a breath. Her long ponytail fell over her neck, but something else there caught Natasha's eye; a strange blueish mark was printed on Aoi's neck. It was heart shaped mainly, but the tiny dots around the top made it resemble a paw.
Could this…mean something? Natasha thought, her mind racing. Could she be…?
"Kinomi-san, say the first thing that comes out of your mouth!" Natasha blurted out, too consumed in thoughts to be affected by Aoi's incredulous gaze.
"What nonsense are you talking about? Who are you anyway?!" At that, Natasha realized that Aoi hadn't realized who she was.
"I-It's me, Natasha!" She was worried- surely, this mark had something to do with Mew Mews? She had to try and convince Aoi to listen to her.
And then, just as if it had been timed, a the fuzzy pink ball Ryou had called 'Masha' rushed out and began squeaking something. At first, Natasha was just as confused as Aoi, but then the small creature went towards Natasha's hand, nudging it until she bared her palms; the creature then placed a small golden pendant, just like her own. Looking up, Natasha saw that Aoi was looking at her, an uncharacteristically stunned look on her face. Grasping her hand, Natasha placed the little pendant on her hand and stared straight into Aoi's slate coloured eyes.
"It's me Aoi. It's Natasha. You have to believe me- just say what comes to your head."
And to her surprise, Aoi did.
"Mew Blueberry, Metamorphosis!" She yelled out, and at once she was surrounded by light. As it dispersed after a brief moment, Natasha saw that a blue Mewfit with black trimmings, similar to her own and Umeko's. Natasha took a moment to regard her new comrade; she noticed that Aoi had two white bearlike ears protruding from her head now.
"Okay, we need to stop that monster!" Natasha announced remembering that Umeko was still fighting. This also snapped Aoi out of her stupor, as the girl now reclaimed her austere posture and narrowed her eyes at the beast; Natasha too turned. Umeko was being battered, almost exhausted to nothing after running around and preventing the monster from going anywhere near Natasha and Aoi.
"I suppose it's my duty to step in then." Aoi said quietly, though Natasha caught her mumble and turned. However the blue Mew wasted no time and held out her hand in front of her.
"Blueberry Polearm!" She ordered, summoning blue tinted beams that materialized into a long spear weapon, the blade made out of a glistening crystalline substance. Aoi grasped the weapon with both hands rather forcefully and pointed it in a menacing stance more suited to holding a large gun.
"Ribbon Blueberry Glaciating-Staff!"
The tip of the blade began to glow with an aqua light, and then it solidified into what looked like ice. Natasha watched in awe as the specks of ice formed large clusters which promptly shot themselves at the monster- catching its leg, then its back and forearm- and began to expand and freeze the beast, The rodent was immobilized, and just in time as it had managed to corner Umeko. The purple Mew noticed this development and gave a smirk. Raising her weapon high above her, she made an huge swing that propelled the beast far from her and towards her comrades. As the giant rodent flew through the air, Natasha summoned her baton once more and called out the finishing move-
"Ribbon Starfruit Purge!"
White and green sparks flew about the monster, which glowed and then shrank considerably in size as the jellyfish like infuser floated out. Masha flew towards it and gobbled it up before it could get away.
"Is it all clear?"
Natasha and Umeko's heads simultaneously snapped round to look at the owner of the familiar voice who had just emerged from his hiding place in the bushes.
"Well done girls! And hey, look you even found a new comrade!" Ryou casually said, sauntering out of the shrubbery, beaming.
"Were you in there all that time?" Umeko said, now standing besides Natasha.
"And you didn't think to…you know, help?"
"No, no I thought you were doing pretty good." Ryou crossed his hands behind his head absentmindedly, not taking notice of how Natasha restrained Umeko before she could punch him in the face.
"Ergh. Well, I've had quite enough of your freak show for today." Aoi stated. She ripped off her pendant(which caused her to return to normal) and left- or at least would have before Ryou grabbed her wrist. She jerked her head around and gave him a look that would've sent any normal person running, though he seemed totally impervious to her.
"Hey, don't leave so soon." His tone and gestures were somewhat more sincere then they were normally. "After all, you're part of the team now."
Then he turned back to Natasha and Umeko, his usual semi-sarcastic tone and casual body language back.
"That reminds me! You girls still have a couple more allies to find." He hadn't released Aoi yet, and she was struggling to pry his hand off her wrist, but to no avail. "Since the original Mew team had five members, I thought we might as well keep the numbers the same. You should try finding your new allies if you get the chance."
"But how can we identify them?" Umeko said. She'd calmed down now, but had her hands on her hips in a obstinate pose, still annoyed.
"Oh, that's quite simple." And then quite abruptly, Ryou pulled Aoi closer to him; the council representative's eyes widened. "You don't mind if I use you for an example for a sec, right?" However, he didn't pause for an answer and just swung her around and pointed at the mark Natasha had spotted before. "Oh! Is that what we should look for?" she said, proud to have picked up on it.
"Yep, you guys each have one of these marks somewhere on your bodies. Look for other girls who have a strangely shaped mark, though it won't always look the same. Oh, and I might as well give you Masha-" at this the fluffy pink ball the had been floating near Ryou glided over to Natasha and began rubbing against her face "- he's a robot that can neutralise infusers and he can give you pendants if you find a new teammate. Take care of him!"
After this Ryou released Aoi, who immediately took a few steps away from Ryou and proceeded to look very flustered- Natasha though she even caught the upperclassmen slightly blushing.
* * * * * *
"Aww man, that's a cool theory!" Natasha said clapping a little as Rinzen took down the poster depicting what kind of animal Mew Lettuce was. Of course, by this point she had pestered Ryou enough that he'd told her Lettuce was a finless porpoise, but still, Rinzen's theory that the previous green Mew Mew was a sort of beetle was still cool. Besides, it was nice to spend time with her other friend again after avoiding her for so long.
The little meeting of three was interrupted however with a harsh rap on the door. The three girls inside looked at each other, before Natasha got up and answered it. Before her was the tall figure of the student council head.
"Aoi! Are you coming to join us?" She said brightly. After what had happened yesterday, Natasha guessed that Aoi wanted to be closer with her new team mates. She was so glad she had finally melted the heart of the icy queen of the school, and planned to warmly welcome the new member of their little Mew Mew family with open arms.
"Are you stupid? Why would I want to hang out with you losers?"
Natasha's hopes were crushed with those sharp words. It occurred to her just then that Aoi's ice-based powers were horrifically fitting to the cold girl.
"Then what are you here for?" Umeko called out irritably from inside.
"To evict you of course. It has come to my attention that you do not have five members-"
"What? But you gave us three months just a few days ago!" Umeko argued, now rushing up, Rinzen in toe.
"No, you heard wrong. And I'm shutting down this club." The stony face of the council head made it painfully clear that Aoi planned on causing as much trouble for Natasha and co as possible. Why, Natasha could not decipher, but she was pretty sure Aoi would stop at nothing to bring down Mew club.
And then, just at the moment of need, a prince came to save the day; or rather, princess.
"Sorry we're late!" Mikan Koushaku cried, dragging along a slightly confused Akito. "Did we miss anything?"
Natasha gave her classmate a questioning look. What was she doing?
"Nat, C'mon. I told you Akito and I wanted to join yesterday, didn't I?" Mikan said in an upbeat sing-song voice, one Natasha was sure could win the hearts of countless girls at the school.
"O-Oh, uh, yeah! Yeah I totally forgot!" She said, playing along with the ruse. Mikan turned towards Aoi, and with an almost sickening smile said:
"Well, as you can see, we have five members. Why don't you run along and tell everyone this club is official?"
Aoi gave an incredulous look and stormed off without a word; Natasha could almost see the smoke puffing out from her ears. Actually, now that she thought about it, she'd seen an incredible amount of emotion from the ice queen of the school recently. Natasha wondered for a while exactly what kind of ally Aoi would be.
"Well, that got rid of her!" Mikan said cheerily. She had watched Aoi leave but now turned and winked to Natasha. "I'll see you around then okay? Same time tomorrow?" Natasha wasn't sure if the girl dressed in the boy's uniform was serious, but she was grateful anyway if she did show up.
"Wow. How'd you get that to work out?" As Akito and Mikan trotted away, Natasha found Umeko standing right beside her, looking bemused and a little pleased.
"Ah, you don't know the half of it."