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Black Night

Chapter Text

She can't find it. The girl runs through the rain, desperately trying to find it. Just it. She doesn't know what it is, but she knows the has to find it. So please hurry, Ayumi-chan.

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It is raining. It is raining such a fine rain that it would be hard to tell if it is rain or not. But the streets are wet, and there is no one outside. One would think that this is an abandoned city.

Sure - July 26th of 2012 - a city with over 10,000 residents, and it would be abandoned because of rain. Not likely, but everything is so quiet, so, empty.

A young girl runs through the puddles. She is the only one outside, running through the wet streets, looking - looking for something. She doesn't know what it is, nor does she know why she's looking. But the girl knows she has to find it. Whatever it is, she has to find it. Besides, it's not like she has any other choice. Something is calling her. Not literally, but something, something is drawing her outside, drawing her running through the rain, drawing her towards a fixed destination that the location of is unknown to all.

She stops and looks up to the clouded sky, and the rain falls on her face. "What am I doing?" she thinks. The thought plays over and over in her head. "What am I doing here? Why am I here? Running through the rain, looking for something that I don't even know..." Why? Why this, why that. It is something Sakagami Ayumi knows very well. She has never known why; about anything. Why she is so depressed, why she is so confused all of the time, why she is so isolated, why she is so useless, why she is doing this, why she is hearing voices, or why she dreams of herself as a PreCure. Ahh, PreCure. The all powerful protectors of the world, and yet, Ayumi dreams of herself as one of them. Ayumi, a PreCure. She is and always has been weak, shy, ignored, nor has she every had any dreams or hopes. She had no faith in anything other than life: air, water, food, education, careers, and death. Nothing more. "Me as a PreCure, what a empty lie..."

False hope, another thing Ayumi knows too well. All her life, she has been told that she could do this, she could do that, she become this, she could achieve that. False. All fake, all false, just lies that fill her with false hope. And now, there is that voice. That voice calling her towards something else, no, something more. Something more to her life that she didn't have, but still could. The voice didn't say it, nobody said it, she just knows. Just like she knows she has to follow the voice, she just knows the voice is going to lead her to something more...

"Excuse me? Are you alright?"

Ayumi turns around to see another girl standing behind her. She looks about the same age, with dark pink hair pulled into high ponytails, and deep pink eyes. Ayumi realized the resemblance between them, and she can tell that they were the same. Well, sort of. The other girl, looks more... bright.

"Um, are you alright?" she asks again.

Ayumi can only nod. Very slightly, that is. She doesn't know if she is alright, or why this girl seems so familiar.

"Uh... what are you doing out here? It's pouring rain, and you have nothing to keep you warm!"

Ayumi looks down at herself. She hasn't noticed that she is still wearing only a dress with a thin vest. Her shoes are soaked, as well as her dark brown hair. Suddenly, the stranger takes her by the hand, and begins to take her somewhere. Ayumi doesn't know where to go, but this girl does.

"Maybe," she thinks. "Maybe this girl knows what I'm looking for. I should just follow her... for now, that is."

The pink-haired girl pulls Ayumi into an alley. They are shielded by an over-extending rooftop, and no rain falls on them anymore. The girl sits Ayumi down, and wraps her jacket around the wet. Neither of them are talking - it is complete silence. All one can hear is the quiet breathing of her caretaker. Silence. It is something Ayumi has never really heard. During a test, she would hear flipping papers, scratching pencils, and the slight whispers of classmates. At night, she would hear barking dogs, her mother on the phone, and howling wind. Now should be no different, but it is. Ayumi can't hear anything. The other girl's breathing and the heavy rain beating down on the ground and roof just don't seem to reach Ayumi's ears. Finally, Ayumi decides to break the silence - she doesn't like it.

"What is your name?"

"My name doesn't matter. At least, not yet."

"Why are you helping me?"

"You're a middle-school girl standing alone, outside in the rain with nothing to protect you. Do I need another reason?"

Ayumi, who had been looking at the other girl's face, shakes her head, and looks away, "No, I guess not..."

They sit there for awhile, and the mysterious girl offers Ayumi to keep her jacket, which she kindly accepts. After a bit of silent sitting, the girl get up. "Well, I must be going now. My family is gonna get worried soon. Be careful." And with that, the girl disappears into the foggy rain, just as she had came. Ayumi looks down, and curls up in the jacket. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees a light. A flashing one, like a pillar of light that shone through all darkness, just for a split second. "Must be the light of a car," she thinks.

Slowly, Ayumi get up from the ground. She turns around and walks back out the alley that the two of them had entered. The rain pours down hard on her again, but Ayumi doesn't mind. There is still something, something out there calling her. The same wind-blown voice, calling her, luring her to something unknown.
Puddles splashing under her feet, Ayumi runs away, seeking the voice, no, seeking something else. Something that will, what's the phrase... Something that she... wants... Something that she hopes will give her a reason, a dream. No not even that.

Just a glimmer of hope.

Just a glimmer of light.

Chapter Text

It is morning, a beautiful morning. The early sunlight streams through an open window, and a breeze follows.

"Ayumi, hurry up! You're going to be late!"

13-year-old Sakagami Ayumi opens her eyes to the sound of her mother's voice calling her. "Late?" she thinks. "Late for what... Oh yeah... school."

Ayumi doesn't like school - she never did. Not because of classes and tests and homework, however. She finds schoolwork important, and at times, entertaining. No, instead, she hates school because it reminds her that she is and always was alone. Very alone, and that nothing she does could change it. She has no friends, no people she can rely on, no people she can trust, and hardly anyone she can even talk to. On her way to school, she sees friends walking together, sibling laughing together, people and their pets sitting together, everyone together. Everyone together, except her. When she walks through the halls, everybody is talking, and it is the same in the classroom. Everyone is talking, laughing - just enjoying their fortunate lives.

The rest of the day is the same. Everyone has a great time with their friends, and Ayumi is alone. She exits the school alone, walks home alone, all alone.

¨Ayumi. You've been looking really sad ever since we've moved here. Are you just lonely?" Ayumi looks up at her mom. The depressed girl is sitting on her bed, and her mother comes over and sits next to her.

"Of course I'm lonely. I just moved to Yokohama, a town that I didn't even know that I didn't know existed where everyone is friends with each other. Everyone... except me...

Her mother, noticing her daughter's silence, decided to leave her for now. She will come back later, and try to cheer Ayumi up. When her mom leaves, Ayumi notices the silence. Silence. Her mind flies back to that day, that day when she met that girl. A girl like Ayumi, a girl completely different. That silence, that same silence. The silence where there was so much sound, yet none of it reaching Ayumi's ears. She doesn't like.

To get the thought off her mind, she asks her mom if she can go get some ice cream. As she walks out of the door, Ayumi realizes how bright it is. "I guess thinking back to that rainy day made me see how nice it is out." There aren't many people outside, but the sound of laughter still rings through Ayumi's ears, and tugs on her heart. "Why," she says to herself. "Why is everyone allowed to have fun like this. Why can everyone laugh like this when I can't? Why can everyone have friends when I can't? Why..."

"Excuse me? 'You okay?"

Ayumi turns around to see a familiar face standing behind her. A very familiar face. The same girl that had helped her, helped a nobody like her. She looks nothing like she did before. The girl now has her hair pulled into cinnamon roll-like buns, with loose clothes and a bag. The bag has something in it. A normal person wouldn't recognize her, but Ayumi does. She could never forget that face.

"Yeah," Ayumi replies. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"Oh, that's good." The girl smiles. Her smile. Her smile is different, different from the others. The girl's smile is full of emotion. Other smiles just seem like expressions pasted onto someone's face. But this girl, her smile is filled with hope, relief, excitement, so many emotions packed into one small, bright, beautiful smile. Ayumi smiles back. But it isn't a fake smile. Ever since she moved here, Ayumi hardly ever smiled. And whenever she did, it was always a forced and very fake smile. But something about being around this girl made Ayumi want to smile, pour every single positive feeling she knew into her smile. When she does, the other girl looks satisfied.

"So, you new to this town?"

Ayumi looks at Miyuki. The question triggers a momentary silence, but she replies, "Yeah..."

"Well then," says Miyuki in her bright voice. "Let's be friends, Ayumi-chan!"

Friends? Like, real friends? Ayumi is left speechless. Ever since moving to Yokohama, she's never had a friends. In fact, she was never more than an acquaintance to people. No one treated her like she belonged with them, yet here she is. Here she is with the girl she just met, and she's asking if they can be friends. At that moment a huge smile makes its way to her face. "Of course, Miyuki!"

"Great, let's go ge-"

"Yay! You made a new friend!" A squeaky voice sounds from inside Miyuki's bag. "Candy, shut up!"

"Why should I?" A small creature emerges from inside the bag. It pale pink - almost white - with large yellow ears and strange markings on what looks like its face. "That's a weird chinchilla," Ayumi thinks.

The creature looks up at her with an annoyed face.

"I know you just thought of me as a chinchilla! I'm a fairy from Marchenland named Candy, so please get the species correct." Candy looks at Ayumi with beady eyes and smiles. "Ayumi, am I correct?" Ayumi nods. "Well then, nice to met ya!"

"You too." "What the hell is this..." Obviously confused, Miyuki gives somewhat of a quick and non0helpful explanation. "Uh... I'll explain it later. Anyways, like I was saying, do you want to go out for some ice cream?"

"Yeah," Ayumi replies. "That would be great."

"Well then, let's go!"

The two girls walk together, making small talk, smiling the whole time. Miyuki talks about her other friends, and how she knows they would love to meet her. While it makes her jealous that Miyuki has so many friends, she is grateful she at least has one. "Ironic, isn't it? I moved here half a year ago, and I'm better friends with a girl I just met than the people at school," Ayumi thinks to herself.

"Um, Miyuki-chan?"

Ayumi and Miyuki look behind them to see another girl. A short girl, with golden hair, and a yellow and white dress. She seems concerned. See calls Miyuki closer and whispers something in her ear, which forms a concerned look on Miyuki's face.

"Um, I'm sorry Ayumi. I have to go... "

"Why?"

"Just, something. I know it seems a bit rude, but I did want to spend some time with you. Maybe some other time!"

"Yeah, alright."

"Thank you. I was really nice meeting you, Ayumi-chan!"

As Miyuki and the other girl walk away, Ayumi can't help but wonder what happened. "Was it something I did? Something I said? And what was that creature in her bag?" Question fill her mind as she sits down on a nearby bench.

*****

"HELP ME!"

"Huh? Who's saying that?"

"PLEASE HELP ME! IT"S GOING TO GET ME!!"

"Who is this? What's going to get you?"

"AYUMI! ECHO!"

Ayumi opens her eyes to see she sitting on a bench. It's the same bench she was on earlier that day; it looks like it's around 5 now. "It was a dream?" she wonders. "Who was calling me? What was going to get them? Why did the voice call me Echo, and how did it even know my real name?"

Suddenly, her mind jolts back to that rainy day. She was looking for something, something she couldn't see or hear. Was this that thing's voice? Was this the thing that had called me? New questions flooded her mind as she tried to put everything together.

Suddenly, a huge crash turns everyone's attention to a few blocks away. There's nothing there, but everyone is sure they heard something.

"CRASH!" Part of a large building falls to the ground, leaving everyone in the area in total shock. While Ayumi and everyone else tries to make sense of what just happened, a huge creature emerges from what's left of the broken structure, forcing everybody into terror. In the blink of an eye, everyone in sight begins to run away. The sound of pounding footsteps and screams being to flood the area, and only increase when the massive creature begins to move. When the monster moves, the sky clouds over into a dull grey.

But at that moment, a pink flash shines through the dark cloud, and a girl jumps on top of a building. "PreCure," Ayumi thinks. But no one else seems to notice yet.

Everybody is panicking, well, everybody except Ayumi. She is frozen in place, confused out of her mind. Despite everything being a jumble of confusion, her mind forms it all into a puzzle. Two pieces connect. Every night leading up to today, she would have dreams of the PreCure. The PreCure fighting monsters. But, how would she know? How did this scenario make its way into her dreams?

"Hey, look up there!"

As the voice shouts, Ayumi turns her head to see a man pointing towards the PreCure. More gazes fall onto her, but hardly any sound is made. The quiet and confused whispers disappear as Ayumi runs towards the legendary warrior.

"It's just like that day," Ayumi thinks. "I'm not running because I want to, I'm running because I have to." Even though people are screaming for her to come back, and a few even willing to go after her, Ayumi keeps running. Her pounding footsteps are in sync with her heart-beat, the voice is calling for her once again, and to her, there is nothing else in the world except her, the PreCure, and the voice. No girl, no family, no city, nothing. Just her, the PreCure, and the voice.

When everyone else is out of sight, Ayumi decided to stop running. The voice allows her to, and she kneels down behind a building.

And that's when it starts.

Just like in her dreams, the PreCure roof-jumps her way to the monster. When she is close enough, she jumpes towards the monster. However, right before she is able to, the creature takes the form of a human. Not quite a human, but some sort of man-like creation. Ayumi can hear people beginning to scream, and if they haven't already, run away. The warrior fights in a battle identical to Ayumi's dream. It draws on for a while, and Ayumi can only watch in awe at the selflessness of the PreCure.

It's always something she couldn't understand. How can the PreCures be so selfless? How can they be willing to throw away their lives for someone or something else? Do they do it by will, or does something force them to? Either way, Ayumi can't help but wonder if she could ever be like that.

Eventually, the PreCure appears to tire out, and the battle begins to fall to the enemy's advantage. Ayumi knows that the PreCure will soon fall, and she knows what she needs to do.

"PRECURE! YOU CAN DO IT!"

Ayumi cheers on the PreCure, just like she saw others do in her dream. Then, the group of warriors would get stronger, receive power-ups, and win the battle. Ayumi watches the girl fall into a roof-top, but she keeps cheering. As her cheers become louder, the PreCure gets back up on her feet and shouts something that Ayumi can't hear.

However, she sees the girl transform into a powered-up state. She now supports a flowy, pale pink dress, and longer hair. Halos surround the PreCure, and a pink aura wraps itself around her and the surrounding area. While the monster is blinded by the light, 4 other girls, who look similar to the first PreCure, have appeared. The light then becomes so bright that anyone would be forced to look away, but Ayumi can't divert her eyes.

"PreCure! Rainbow Burst!" As the PreCure shout out these words, a massive beam of light shoots itself from the wand the warriors now hold and heavily damages the enemy. After a while, the creature disappears, and the PreCures revert back to what seems to be their normal form.

It takes Ayumi - in awe of seeing the PreCures in action - a while to realize that there is a note next to her. The PreCure had left by now, and Ayumi curiously picks up the note. After unfolding the paper, it reads:

Thank you so much!

We couldn't have won without you. Please continue to support the Precure, Ayumi!

Ayumi feels the tears form in her eyes. "The PreCure," she thinks, "she thanked me. She knew my name, and she took the time to thank me..."

All the damage that was done vanishes, leaving what was there before. It looks lias nothing had happened, even though Ayumi will always know. Always know that she saw the PreCures fight, that she helped them and cheered them on, and that they thanks her. Holding the note in her hand, Ayumi walks off in the direction of her house.

Smiling.