Season of Change

A GRIT Thread Fic

Compiled By John W. Conner

Original Thread Begun

By Time Lady on 3/17/98

Time: After the Battle Preparations, but a couple of days before the Raid (assuming they have a few days between the two to get everything coordinated)

Place: Mystic Manor Penthouse.

It's morning, and up at Mystic Manor, Tegan has decided to start doing something she's been putting off for a long time... cleaning out the penthouse. PATE, Feathers, Leo, Ro, Jake, and Su Yee are inside the penthouse with Tegan.

Tegan: OK. PATE and Corindaen have gone through this place and removed all of the magic traps, so everything is safe. Su Yee, I want you to start packing up all the linens and clothing.

Su: Right.

Tegan: Jake, I need you to pack up any dishes, glassware, porcelain, and any other non- magical breakable items. Be sure to wrap them in tissue paper and box them up. Take the boxes down to the 8th floor storage room. I'll go over them later on, when I have some time.

Jake: Sure.

Tegan: PATE, would you and Feathers start removing all the witch's magic items and devices downstairs to the magic room? I've opened it up.

PATE: Certainly. Come Feathers. I know which items are too be moved.

Tegan: Leo, Ro, you guys start moving the furniture down to the basement storage area.

Leo: *sigh*... Come on Ro. We've got the heavy stuff to move. Let's get started.

<While the others begin their tasks, Tegan picks up an empty box and goes into one of the rooms. She starts taking bottles off a shelf. Briefly glancing at the labels, she places the bottles in the box.>

Tegan: Powdered snake skins... pickled newts' eyeballs.... chicken blood.... Potion Helper.... elixir of shape holding.... Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal slobber.... Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills....

<Some of the labels are inscribed in arcane characters and languages unfamiliar to Tegan. Shrugging, she continues putting bottles in the box. The box fills quickly. She closes the top and lifts the box. It's not heavy, but it's awkward to carry. Tegan makes her way to the elevator. Looking up, she notices the elevator is on hold in the basement.>

Tegan: (to herself) $h!t! Ro and Leo must be unloading in the basement.... I can't wait here holding this box... Good thing I propped the door to the stairs open...

<Cautiously Tegan makes her way down the stairs. The box blocks her view of the steps. She has to feel for each step before placing her foot. Tegan actually makes it halfway down the stairs before Murphy's law kicks in. She goes to place her foot on the next step. This time she misjudges the distance and loses her balance. Unsuccessfully Tegan tries to stop her fall. The box flies out of her arms as she tumbles down the stairs, screaming. The box upends, its contents falling out and the bottles of powders and liquids breaking and spilling on Tegan. Unconscious... Tegan-C lies on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, covered in broken glass and glowing liquid.>

<Su Yee, hearing Tegan's cry goes to investigate>

Su: Oh no -- The glassware! I mean the humanity! no... I think I mean ---TEGAN'S FALLEN! SOMEBODY HELP HER!

--- Elsewhere in the Manor

Hitomi: (standing in the doorway of their apartment, calling out to Jessica) I'll only be gone for an hour. (To herself) I'm getting lazy. I better take the stairs to the exercise room.

As she clears the third floor, she hears a crash and a thump above her, and races up the stairs...


<Meanwhile in Corindaen's apartment>

<Greymist is sitting on Corindaen's desk, watching him, as he comes across the room carrying several large tomes>

Greymist: <Telepathically> * I like Lisa's new familiar, it is a good bond.>

Corindaen: I agree, their personalities should mesh very well.

<Suddenly, Corindaen, feels a powerful backlash in the currents of magic, in and around the Manor.>

Corindaen: Arghhh!!!! <As he drops the books and grabs his head, he collapses to the floor.>

<Greymist who had started to stand when she felt the backlash gives out a hiss of pain as she falls off of the desk in shock. For a long moment neither the Mage or his familiar stir, then slowly Corindaen sits up holding his head.>

---Elsewhere in the manor

<Downstairs, Leo feels the energy, which is more diffused since he is in the basement, but dismisses it as effects from one of the tenants spell casting.>

--- Meanwhile At Tegan & PATE's Apartment

<PATE having dropped her first load of items from the penthouse off in the magic room. Has stopped in at her room and is debriefing her demon on the recent activities of the Ringwraiths. Then...)

PATE: What the hell...<ZAP><her hair stands on end>..AGGH,headache all of a sudden. That damn mage better not be modifying those spirit wards, or doing something with that damned power nexus in this place. How am I supposed to recharge with that monstrosity, disrupting the geoenergy flow?!? Wait here, I shall have a word with that..that.. upstart!

--- Meanwhile in apartment 3D

(Sumire is sitting at her desk, frowning as she stares at a textbook. A tablet lies open, half-covered in slightly messy kanji and kana. Suddenly, she drops her pencil, eyes wide.)

Sumire: Something is happening... nearby. (glances at the book) This has got to be more interesting than history!

(She stands, grasping the pendant around her neck as she does so.)


(Just like that, her normal clothing disintegrates into a cloud of purple sparks, which blink and swirl about and somehow just barely manage to conceal enough for modesty's sake while still providing the requisite fanservice. When they fade, Sumire is left standing in Violet's starburst-decorated leotard (which doesn't really conceal that much more, if you think about it), and holding the star staff. Her hair is loose, her glasses are gone, her theme music is playing. The whole transformation bit.)

Violet: In the name of procrastination, I, Star Violet, will investigate!

--- Back at Corindaen's Apartment

Corindaen: Sweet goddess of Mysteries, what was that. <Looking around he notices Greymist lying on her side on the floor. Rising unsteadily to his feet he moves over and carefully lifts her into his arms.> Greymist, are you okay?

Greymist: <her voice fading in and out and soaked with pain> Wha..was...that..?

Corindaen: I'm not sure. It came from inside the manor whatever it was, otherwise the wards would have stopped it. It felt like several spells being broken simultaneously.

<Closing his eyes Corindaen, concentrates and tries to pinpoint the source of the magical disturbance. Suddenly his eyes snap open and he looks up towards the stair well where Tegan fell.>

Corindaen: Are you well enough to come with me little one?

Greymist: *Yes. Other than a headache I seem to be alright.*

<Nodding, Corindaen, lifts Greymist to his shoulder and then, with a word teleports to the stairwell. A moment later arriving at the top of the stairs Corindaen, looks around as does Greymist>

Greymist: *Master look, it's lady Tegan, she has been hurt*

Su: -- you got to help her... I don't know what to do! (starts to cry) She's not dead is she... I mean I know what that is like and all but...

<With a startled oath Corindaen, quickly moves down the stairs towards Tegan-C. As he nears her however he notices the dropped box and the shattered potion's and powders covering her body>

Corindaen: <grimly> So I suspect this was the source of the magic that we felt. <Studying the glowing liquids for a moment, he speaks to Greymist> Greymist, move around Lady Tegan, and get on her other side. Do not let any of that stuff touch you. When your in position, we will cast a containment spell and try and remove the liquid from her.

<Greymist quickly makes her way around Tegan's unconscious form. Once on the other side. She looks at Corindaen expectantly. At her look he begins to chant softly holding his hands out, palms towards Tegan. At first nothing seems to happen, then slowly the glowing liquid begins to tremble and rise into the air. Slowly at first then with gathering speed it quickly flows upwards forming a ball of glowing green, that ripples and twists in mid air. Flashes of many different colors can be seen moving across the surface of the ball.>

Corindaen: Greymist now cast the containment spell...

<At his words Greymist's eyes begin to glow with a golden/green fire and suddenly lines of energy form around the ball as they do so they take the form on the form of a large gem stone. As the lines finish forming they begin to collapse inwards compressing the liquid until finally there is a large glowing gem hanging in mid air. Once the Greymist has finished Corindaen, reaches out carefully with a silk cloth and takes the Gemstone, wrapping it quickly he puts it in his pocket.>

Corindaen: I will study this later to see if I can determine what all is in it. For now Lady Tegan is the higher priority. <Kneeling quickly at Tegan's side, Corindaen holds one hand out above her unconscious form and begins to scan for injuries.>

Tegan-C lies on the floor, hovering between conscious and unconscious. She is unaware of Corindaen and Greymist's presence. Sharp, cutting pain emanates from her left arm and right leg. Suddenly, Tegan-C feels as if every cell in her body is burning.... exploding... changing... She moans and cries out in pain.>

Su: Tegan, Tegan hold on! help is here! (at least what I think is help)

Corindaen: <alarmed> Lady Tegan! <Quickly he casts a spell to relieve her pain. Tegan-C lapses into unconsciousness again. A look of concern crosses Corindaen's face.>

Greymist: *What is it?*

Corindaen: I fear I may not have been quick enough in removing the potions from Lady Tegan. It may have already affected her, but I do not know how. She has other injuries that must be attended to first.

Su: you've got to keep trying sir... please!

<Again Corindaen begins to scan for injuries. He detects that Tegan-C has a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, and a concussion.>

Greymist: *What now?*

(Now, of course, Sumire arrives on the scene. ^_^)

(Violet dashes to the landing just below. Seeing Tegan lying unconscious, obviously injured, and a strange man kneeling over chanting and gesturing, she leaps to the obvious wrong conclusion. Forgetting herself for a moment in the shock, she yells...)

Violet: Te-chan!

(...Conveniently giving away her position, if either of the two were unaware of it earlier. ^_^ Not that she cares. She is not happy...)

Violet: ...Yurusenai.

Greymist: (telepathically) <piku> Hmm? You might need to deal with this, before...

Violet: I'll never forgive you for attacking Te... Miss Dawson! (strikes a pose) All life is guided by the stars, and now I bring their judgment... Prepare for cosmic retribution!

Corindaen: (blinks) I'm afraid you're mistaken, child. I intend Lady Tegan no har--

Violet: And don't call me child! SAGITTARIUS!

(She spins her staff in a flashy but useless flourish as it bends, becoming a stringless bow. Swiftly, she "draws" and fires... releasing an arrow of energy. Corindaen, though mildly surprised, simply cups his hands in front of him and murmurs something, and the arrow spatters off an invisible shield.)

Corindaen: Listen to me! You're making a mistake!

Violet: You're the one who made the mistake. You should have left Miss Dawson alone!

RL-JWC: <Piku> Scott has anyone mentioned to you recently that you have a warped sense of humor?

RL-VJ: Yes, must to -our- chagrin, we found that out when we let him into GRIT. ^_-

RL-SCOTT: Thanks. ^_^

RL-JWC: BTW your not going to get mad and yell if Corindaen, looses his temper and clobbers Violet are you?

RL-SCOTT: I won't. She might, but it's not as if she could do much about it. ^_^ Cori only has, what, 680 years of experience on her and ten times the power?

Corindaen: But.. I didn't....

Violet: <Not listening, stretches out a hand toward Corindaen > ARIES.

<A ram's-head-shaped blast of pinkish energy shoots from her hand, heading directly towards Corindaen. At the sight of the onrushing energy Corindaen, Throws up his own, hand, From it a blast of pure white for comes forth when the two energy blasts meet there is blinding flash. Momentarily blinded Violet shakes her head trying to clear the spots from her eyes. As her sight clears she can see that Corindaen, now looks extremely irritated.>

Corindaen: Enough, I have neither the time nor the patience for this. Greymist go.

<At his words, Greymist launches her self towards Violet, growing larger as she does, so. By the time she impacts with the girl, Greymist is easily the size of Panther.>

Violet: Eeek.. Nice Kitty, <as she speaks she starts to bring her staff up to try and use the SCORPIO attack on Greymist, suddenly however she feels the staff wrenched violently from her hand as she watches in shock it suddenly rises into the air, and becomes encased in a shimmering crystal.>

Corindaen: <Walking over to where Violet can see him.> Now young lady, as I tried to say, I did not attack lady Tegan, I found her here and was checking to see how bad her injuries where. Now if Greymist lets you up will you behave or do I need to place you under a compulsion?

<Meanwhile PATE has arrived at the stairway landing where Tegan is lying>

<PATE looks at her friend Tegan. Anger consumes her.>

PATE<thinks>:She lives. But the residue of magic that surrounds her, it isn't for the Wraiths..but it matches with Corindaen's aura quite closely. Bastards magic has harmed my friend. A lesson shall have to taught..

PATE: Ringil..<her sword appears at the call of its name>

PATE<muttering>:Harm my friends will he.

<Her eyes flash>

(At this point, Hitomi arrives...)

(for some odd reason, I have the Indiana Jones theme music in my head)

Hitomi rounds the last stair, and sees Corie looming over Violet, and Greymist looking like one mad kittty. (make that one mad superkitty)

<Because this is in a stairwell, and stairwells echo, Hitomi does not get the wrong impression. Instead, she leaps over all three, landing next to Tegan-C.>

All three conscious entities in the stairwell look at her.

Hitomi: You three keep fighting. I'll help Tegan.

Su: Thank you... you do know what you are doing though right?

Hitomi: ^_^;;;

Violet, Corie, and Greymist: *Piku*

Hitomi: Uhm.

<Uhm appears. He/it? is wearing a towel.>

Uhm: <not happy>WHAT?!

Hitomi: I need your help. Get Doc Bean Sprouts.

Violet: Who?

Corindaen: I believe she means Tofuu. She seems highly agitated and not thinking clearl--

Hitomi: I don't have time for this. <indicating Tegan-C?> SHE doesn't have time for this.

Uhm: She doesn't look good.

Hitomi: You're still here?!

Uhm: Fine.

<as he fades out, he mutters: Never fails. Just get out of the shower and...>

Violet: <piku> You're an expert on magic poisoning?

Su: Tegan fell into a pool of really weird gunk... see this is some of it (holds up a broken vial of sickly green glowing ooze) (looks at Tegan again) She does seem to not be in as much pain as before though. Is that a good sign?

Hitomi: On what? (looks at Tegan) Hmm. So that's it...?

Su: Yeah, Magical poisoning...

Violet: It's all over the place. Can't you feel it? I wouldn't stand so close without protection, if I were you. (smiles) But I can take care of that! ^_^ (mutters) ...I think.

(The sigil "Taurus" flashes briefly. Violet casually shrugs Greymist off her and dashes up the stairs, slowing as she reaches the top.)

Hitomi: Not a bad trick. (pause) Weren't you saying we shouldn't stand so close?

Violet: That's different. I'm a professional. ^_^

Hitomi: (rolls her eyes) Whatever. You said you could do something?

Violet: ...Uh, well... in theory...

Hitomi: -_-;;;

Su: (not heeding the advice cradles Tegan's head Su's tears drip onto Tegan's face)

(Violet lifts her hands above her head. There is a loud clap as the crystalline block shatters, and her staff rematerializes in her hand. She touches Tegan lightly with its tip.)

Violet: From cycle to cycle, the circle closes. Lend life to life, and speed healing... PISCES!

(A faint greenish glow spreads from Violet along the staff to surround Tegan, who doesn't seem to react in any way at first. Soon, the glow fades from Violet, but remains in place around Tegan.)

(RL NOTE: The effect of this is to accelerate Tegan's body's natural healing process exponentially. Whether that will actually have any effect on the potions and powders, only Tegan knows, but it should help with the bleeding and other damage.)

Violet: (thinks:) I'm almost out of energy... I've got to get out of here before I turn back.

Su: That made me even stronger just being in the glow of that...I feel more alive-I hope it does the same for Tegan.

Corindaen: ...Interesting. How, exactly, did you do that?

Hitomi: Forget that, -what- did you do?

Violet: ^_^; Ah... I'vereallygottagonow,bye! (runs to the nearest door)

Ah: Why tell me?

(Violet facefaults through the door.)

Su: so your Ah... Uhm was telling me about you...

(At this moment, Jake reaches the top of the stairs. Violet brushes past both Jake and Ah and runs toward an empty room.)

Jake : Ah, what was that all about.

Ah : I have no idea.

Su: I'll go call the doctor. <Su dashes down the stairs, and goes looking for a phone>

PATE: Hail magus

<Corindaen glances in her direction>

Corindaen <thinks>: An ally, this should settle the matter quickly

PATE: I never should have allowed Tegan, give you residence here. hurt her.

PATE: ~<Nimnar>~

(PATE forms ball-lighting in her left hand..)

(..and throws it at Corindaen )

(While all the fighting is going on, Jake somehow manages to spot Tegan at the bottom of the stairs.)

(Jake Runs downstairs to Tegan aid immediately checking her for a pulse and signs of breathing. Once satisfied with that, he turns his attention to the fight between PATE and Corindaen.)

Jake : What did they do to you? (yelling at PATE and Corindaen) TAKE YOUR FIGHT SOMEPLACE ELSE! CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT YOU DID TO MY BOSS!

<Just as Corindaen blocks the lightning ball, Feathers comes down the stairs. She nearly trips on the same step as Tegan did. Since she is holding the stair rail, she does not fall. She makes a mental note to have one of the guys look at repairing the step. Feathers sees PATE standing at the bottom of the stairs.>

Feathers: There you are PATE. You were supposed to be helping me with moving the.... <She sees Tegan-C on the ground, surrounded by Hitomi, Corindaen, Greymist, and a very angry PATE.> Oh my Lord, Tegan! What happened?

<In the exercise room, which is right off the stairwell, Violet turns back to Sumire. She listens at the door to see what is happening.>

PATE: <angrily> I found the two of them here over Tegan. She has the mark of his (jerks a thumb at Corindaen) magical signature.

<Feathers kneels next to Tegan-C. The smaller cuts on her have begun to heal, thanks to Violet.>

Corindaen: <sighing> After feeling some magic shockwaves, I traced the source here, and found Lady Tegan covered in a glowing substance. The residual magic was from my removing the substance. I have been trying to ascertain Lady Tegan's injuries, when I was accosted by first a magical girl, then by Lady PATE.

Hitomi: Say, where did that magical girl go?

<Feathers puts her hand down on the carpet, then jerks it back with a startled cry.>

PATE: What is it?

Feathers: <examining her hand> I got a piece of glass in my hand. <She pulls the sliver of glass out of her hand. Her eyes fix on a box upended on the floor, and other pieces of glass.> Oh dear...

PATE, Corindaen, and Hitomi: WHAT?

<Sumire listens intently at the door>

Feathers: Tegan said she was moving the bottles from Madame's collection of potions and spell ingredients to the magic room for safe keeping....

<Suddenly, Su comes running up the stairs>

Su: <excitedly> I called the doctor! He's on his way! How is she!

PATE: What do you know of this?

Su: I saw her, just after she fell... she was covered with this... gunk...then that man over there <points at Corindaen> and his cat came. They were going to try to help her while I called the doctor!

<A moan attracts everyone's attention. They look down at Tegan-C, who shifts slightly and moans again. Her eyes flicker open.>

PATE: Tegan?

Feathers: <touching Tegan-C's arm> Tegan, are you all right?

Tegan-C: <obviously in pain> Stairs... couldn't stop.... fall... feel like..whole body... burning... <she moans>

Corindaen: As I surmised, she fell down the stairs. The protection spells released when the bottles broke must have created the shockwaves we felt.

Feathers: <gently> Tegan, sweetie, where does it hurt?

Tegan-C: <panting> whole body... feels like burning... exploding... <she passes out from the pain.>

Corindaen: I fear I may not have removed the glowing substance fast enough. I do not know what effect it will ultimately have on Lady Tegan.

<PATE is stunned into silence>

Hitomi: I hope Dr. Tofuu gets here soon.

Feathers: We should take Tegan someplace where she'll be more comfortable, and away from the broken glass...

<Also stunned, Sumire leans against the exercise room door.>

--- Meanwhile

(Jessica steps through the front doors of the manor, a pair of rollerblades in her left hand and a new cast around her right wrist. Silber steps in next to her.)

Jessica: Great, just great! I knew I shouldn't have tried that roof trick. You're lucky you didn't break your legs! I can't believe it, I never take my own advice! I--

(Silber interrupted her own conversation by barking.)

Jessica: What, girl?

(Silber ran to the stairs and Jessica followed. After a few flights (8th? I don't know what floor they're on, sorry) they come across broken glass.)

Hitomi: Doctor-- ... Jessica?

Jessica: <furrows her brow> Tegan! <drops her blades and starts towards Tegan, but stops, figuring she might get in the way> What happened?

Hitomi: Fell down the stairs...

Jessica: Oh my...

(Feathers proceeds to explain things to Jessica with some corrections from the others, as she keeps Silber away from the glass)

Jessica: Will she be all right?

Su: I called Dr. Tofu and he's supposed to come...

Corindaen: In the meantime we've got to get away from all this broken glass...

Voice: That would the wises course of action.

Everyone: Who, What, where did... and other such comments

Kei: Please forgive me for the intrusion. I am Kei Foxx, I just moved in next door.

Corindaen: Ah yes, the owner of that rather disruptive house. You gave some of us a few headaches when it arrived.

Kei: Again, my apologies. From what I gather, we have a large problem here.

Corindaen: Yes, Lady Tegan fell down the stairs and..

Kei: I see the problem, I would like to help.

Corindaen: Well..

Greymist: *Master he has the blessing of the elves on him. He can be trusted*

Corindaen:... Yes any help you can give would be useful.


Hitomi: I may be able to help. (She retrieves a small device from her left forearm.) (Speaking into the device) Nic. Nic! Can you bring over the antigrav lifter? ...The small one. With a stretcher. It's Tegan she's fallen down the stairs..Now!...Whaddya mean?...Well get it back! She's in trouble! (she slides the device back in her forearm) Nic can bring a transport device; I don't know when it will get here.

Jessica: Can we wait that long?

Sumire: (leaning against the exercise room doorframe) We'd better. It wouldn't be a good idea to move her.

Corindaen: But the glass is...

Sumire: Not an issue. Te-chan has broken bones and maybe internal injuries. If you move her, you could make them worse. You'd better wait until the doctor gets here.

Feathers: <piku> How do you know about Tegan's injury?

Sumire: ^_^; Well... I was trying to get in shape for tennis season, when I heard the crash... and I've been... studying first aid! (pushes her glasses back up to the bridge of her nose) Anyway, the best thing to do is just keep Te-chan still until a professional gets here.

<The Inter-Dimensional Communications Device bips, and Hitomi pulls it out of her forearm.>

Hitomi: Hello? Nic, hi...It's ready?

Nic: (entering through a portal) Yep. (He sets four poles, about 2.5 feet high, around Tegan.) Do you have a destination determined??

Sumire: But you CAN'T move Te-chan! She's broken! I mean, she has broken bones! You could hurt her more!

Nic: A doctor can't treat her to the best of his or her ability in a cramped stairwell. This antigrav unit will immobilize her, and we can just float her through the doors.

<He turns on the unit, and a warm orange light enveloped her, creating a box. The box floats, hovering about a foot off the ground.>

Nic: I can take you all through ID space. It'll be quicker, and less jarring for her.

PATE: <flatly> Tegan is *not* travelling through any interdimensional spaces if I have anything to say about it.

Nic: But...

PATE: <eyes glowing> _NO_

Corindaen: Perhaps something else is in order.

<Eyeing PATE nervously, Nic lowers Tegan to the floor and moves his device.>

Corindaen: <Looks at Sumire with a thoughtful expression on his face.> I agree we must be careful moving her as I have no wish to make her injuries worse. However we need to get her away from this area since there is still some minor contamination from the potions & powders that where spilled here. So...

<Turning and looking at Tegan, Corindaen, narrows his eye's in concentration, suddenly an oval disc of glowing silver forms on the floor directly beneath Tegan's unconscious form. Slowly it begins to rise into the air, without disturbing Tegan.>

Corindaen: <Looking at PATE> Lady, we should take her to her apartment, where we can make her more comfortable until doctor Tofu arrives. <Looking Over to Kei> Can you dispel the magical residue from this area, and then join us at Tegan's Apartment? I'm concerned about how the various potions and powders may have affected her. Also Lady Feathers, could you have someone gather the glass shards and all of the Labels from the potions? We will need to study them to try and determine what was in the substances that where spilled.

Kei: I have a spell that will collect all the physical matter and remove the residue.<calls forth his little DMac spell computer, the finished spell is a little demon that looks like it has a vacuum cleaner for a nose. It starts to clean>

Kei: That takes care of that.

<Looking once more at PATE, Corindaen, motions her to proceed him and then follows her with Tegan floating between them to Tegan's apartment.>

Feathers: Su, go find Leo and Ro. That step needs to be fixed before anyone else falls. Someone needs to go down to the front door and meet the doctor.

Jessica: I'll go. It'll be better if I keep Silber away from all the broken glass. I don't want her to get a piece in her paw.

Feathers: Good idea. When Dr. Tofuu arrives, take him to apartment 2B. <Jessica and Su leave.> Now, let's get this mess cleaned up.

Feathers : Make sure you get all of it. We don't want anyone else cutting themselves on who knows what.

Jake : We will.

(Leo and Ro arrive on the scene while the others clean up the broken glass.)

Leo : What happened?

Jake : Terrible news. From what I can figure out, Tegan was carrying some potions when she tripped and fell down the stairs.

Hitomi : We have no idea what was in those potions or what happens when they all get mixed together like that.

Nic : With the cuts caused by the broken glass, some of the potions might have gotten inside her.

Sumire : And the bruises and broken bones she received when she fell down the stairs were bad enough without all the complications.

(Leo and Ro try to take it all in.)

Leo: <frantically> Oh my God! Where is she?!?

Feathers: PATE, Corindaen, and our new neighbor, Kei Foxx, have taken her down to her apartment.

Leo: What about an ambulance?

Feathers: <calmly> Doctor Tofuu is on his way up here. Jessica went down to meet him. <As she talks, Leo turns to go back to the stairs.> <sharply> And just where do you think you're going?

Leo: I'm going down...

Feathers: <flatly> Not right now, you're not. You and Ro are going to go right now and fix that step. Tegan has already fallen and broken some bones. *I* nearly fell. At my age, I could break my hip.

Leo: But....

Feathers: <pointing at the stairs> _MARCH_!

Sumire: <whispering to Jake> I've never seen Feathers-chan like that.

Jake: <whispering> She's the one who runs things when Tegan's not around. Technically, she's boss number 2. But she doesn't act like it, unless she's upset. I'd say right now qualifies.

Ro : (still in shock) We'll fix the step.

Leo : Before you throw anything away, we need to know exactly what was in those potions.

Feathers : Someone already beat you to it. Corindaen and the others should be examining the potions at this very moment.

Hitomi: They might wait to see what the doctor says first.

Leo: Come on, Ro. The sooner we get the step fixed, the sooner I can check on Tegan.

<Leo and Ro go check the stairs.>


<As the group moves towards, Tegan & PATE's apartment, Tegan begins to moan, and thrash around.>

Corindaen: PATE, hold a moment. <Moving up alongside of Tegan's unconscious form, Corindaen, reaches out and places his hand on her forehead. Closing his eye's for a long moment he begins to concentrate. Suddenly his face goes white with stress and pain>

PATE: <Suspiciously> What have you done Magus?

Corindaen: <Voice rough with pain> I... I'm diverting her pain into my own nervous system, my tolerance is far higher than any normal person, and this way she will not injure herself further. <speaking softly to himself> Goddess protect this poor child, such pain.

<As Tegan, settles down, the group continues on to her apartment. The little vacuum demon follows, cleaning the floors as it goes>

Kei: I must say....

Corindaen: Corindaen

Kei: Thank you, Corindaen, that many healers refrain from taking away the pain as you have just done.

Corindaen: I feel Lady Tegan is worth my effort.

Kei: Indeed, Hmm <Steps closer to Corindaen and places his hand onto his shoulder, much of the strain leaves Corindaen's face as Kei also excepts her pain>

Corindaen: <raised eyebrow> Thank you, young man. But didn't you just say...

Kei: <shrugs(and winces a little)>I guess I'm just to kind hearted.

Hitomi places her hand on Tegan-C's shoulder. A faint orange glow emanates from the juncture. She winces slightly, absorbing Tegan-C's pain and helping her metabolism work faster.

Nikita(fox): <to Greymist> Or just plain stupid.

Hitomi: Very stupid.

Nikita: (to Hitomi):Then how come you're--Hey! You're not supposed to know Animalese!

Hitomi: I know a few things.

Greymist: *That was a noble move though.*

Hitomi: But still stupid.

Nikita(fox): <nod>

<The potions complete their work on Tegan-C's body. With that over, and with the aid of the various healing spells, the pain slowly eases off, to center around her injured shoulder and leg. The pain, compared to what she had previously experienced, is minor. Her rest becomes more restorative.>

<The group reaches the door of apartment 2B. PATE leads the others to Tegan's bedroom. The first thing they notice is the overall color scheme of blue and white, with the occasional pink accent. The next thing that catches their attention is the huge number of stuffed animals scattered around the room, tucked into shelves, and piled on the bed. The variety of animals is wide, but there seems to be a particular preference of cats and bears. Prominently sitting on the bed is the stuffed toy tiger, won for Tegan by Tora at the celebration.>

PATE: Hitomi, help me clear away Tegan's bed.

Hitomi: Sure.

<In less than a minute, Tegan's carefully arranged stuffed animals are tossed to the floor, along with about a half dozen decorator pillows. PATE pulls back the comforter. Corindaen moves the disk holding Tegan-C over the bed, then gently lowers her.>

Corindaen: The spells must be taking effect. Lady Tegan seems to be resting more comfortably than she was before.

Kei: Yes there is considerable less pain. Perhaps now we can find out the damage those bottles of stuff has caused.

PATE:I don't like it, pain would mean her body is fighting the magic, now it seems to have accepted the spell. <Kei's little vacuum demon cleans the floors, starting in the living room>

Nikita(human): Lets take a look at that leg. <Her finger extends a claw and she gently cuts the pant leg away.> If it's a clean break I can set and heal it.

Kei: Uhm, when did you learn that?

Nikita: Cat thought it would be a smart thing to know, after all it's you who usually needs it.

Kei: Right.. OK then.

Nikita: The leg is set and mended, but it'll need a tension bandage.<looks at Tegan's arm> That's a different story, nothing I can do without a real doctor.

Kei: Any other healing tricks you learned?

Nikita: No, bones are easy, muscles and tissue is harder.

--- Meanwhile

<Just as Jessica reaches the main floor, Dr. Tofuu enters the building. He looks around. The woman who called was a little excited and wasn't too specific about the patient's location. He sees Jessica, followed by Silber.>

Jessica: Are you Dr. Tofuu?

Dr. Tofuu: Yes. And you are?

Jessica: Jessica. And this is Silber. Come on, I'll take you up to Tegan's.

<Dr. Tofuu follows Jessica up to apartment 2B>

Tofu: While we're walking, can you tell me what this is all about?

Jessica: It's kinda complicated...

Jessica: <tugging at Silber away from sniffing Dr. Tofuu and tells what she knows> But I'm still not really sure, I just kinda found everyone on the eighth floor and I volunteered to meet you down in the lobby.

<The elevator opens on the second floor and Jessica leads him to Tegan's apartment. She knocks on the door and Hitomi answers the door.>

-In Tegan's room

(Corindaen makes a motion with his hand and the disk dematerializes)

PATE: I am sorry for my..misunderstanding, Corindaen. Tegan is like a sister to me and watching her, I have learned much of this world's ways' ..she.. she is all I have for family.. (She stops talking as her she hears her voice showing her emotions.)

Tegan <moaning a little>: Tora..

Corindaen <smiling slightly>: Tegan is tough, she took an immense shock to her system but she seems to be coping now. If she was fully human, she may have died, but cats are resilient creatures. (He puts his hand on PATE's shoulder; as he does so her muscles stiffen, feeling this he removes his hand.)

Hitomi: The doctor has arrived

(A wolf cub trots into the room, followed by young girl and a man wearing glasses)

Jessica: This is Dr. Tofuu, Corindaen-san.

Corindaen: Good, good. I'm Corindaen. I'll take you to Tegan.

(The doctor follows Jessica into the room. Seeing Tegan Tofu pushes past her and sits down next to the woman.)

Tofu: I'll need some hot water, towels and some herbs. (hands Jessica a small note) You should be able to find these in the kitchen.

Jessica: Uhh.. right. (walks into the kitchen)

Tofu: Acupuncturist actually, but I've had to learn some really strange medical procedures recently. Strange... she doesn't seem to be in any pain.

Corindaen: I am assisting her.

Tofu: (looks up at him) Magic huh? Could you stop please. I know it may seem cruel but I'll never be able to make a proper diagnosis otherwise.

Corindaen: Very well. (he stops and Tegan's face twists up in pain again.)

Tofu: I thought I told you to stop.

Corindaen: I did.

Tofu: (pushes glasses up and a gleam of light travels down them; thinks) [Then what is the strange disturbance in her aura...] I see. (he begins to prod Tegan's unconscious form for a little bit. Presently Jessica returns and Tofu takes the herbs and pinches out small amounts of each, drops them in the bowl and wets the towels. He then applies the towels over her mouth and continues prodding Tegan for a bit) There. I've taken care of all her physical injuries, give her a day or so to heal but she'll be weak for the next few weeks with all the ki she's about to use up. As for the magic... it's safe to move her. I'd like to get her back to my office so I could consult my books and examine her more thoroughly.

Corindaen: I can help, I am a mage of no little skill.

Tofu: As long as you don't mess with her aura again. You have no idea the amount of damage you could have done with that seemingly innocuous spell. If those potions had set up the wrong situation you could have transferred her mind wholesale into your body.

Corindaen: ...

PATE: I told him not to interfere.

Corindaen: <Looking at Tofu thoughtfully> I am very well aware of the risks of taking another's pain Doctor. I can assure you that there was never any danger of Tegan's spirit being drawn into my body. At the time I was more concerned that she do herself no further harm in her pain.

Tofu: I see...

Kei: God, than how would a bone healing spell do?

Tofu: It's hard to say. Aaa your new here right?

Kei: <nod> Kei Foxx, and this is Nikita.

Nikita: <bow>

Tofu: Hello.

Kei: We do have samples of the chemicals that fell one her.

Tofu: Good, I'll need them.

Kei: Now where did that vacuum go????

Tofu: <sweatdrop>

A soft knock is heard; everyone is staring and PATE and seemingly don't hear it. Jessica looks at Corindaen; he looks like he's pondering the deep effects of the magical mix-up. The knock is heard again. Jessica looks at PATE, who seems to be fuming about good- intentioned interferers. The knock, again. Jessica turns to Tofuu, but he's prodding Tegan on precise pressure points.

The knock sounds a little louder.

Jessica: Ah, well. (goes to the door and opens)

Kasumi: (carrying some books) Hello; is Tofuu-chan here? The nice people cleaning the stairs told me he was here.

Jessica: Eh, yes; he's kind of busy right now.

Kasumi: I just brought some things he might need.

Jessica: (shrugs) In that case, come in (lets Kasumi in).

Kasumi: Tofuu-chan? I though you might need these books and...

Tofuu: Ka... Kasumi? (glasses fog)

Corindaen: Is something the matter, doctor?

Tofuu: Something's the matter? Why, of course not! Everything's fine, really! (All of this addressing a chair.)

Greymist: <Telepathically>: *Methinks the human has gone bonkers.*

Kasumi: Oh, my; what happened to Tegan-san?

Tofuu: She's fine! Really! See? (lifts Tegan's leg rather violently, all present gasp at the addled chiropractor's handling, but the patient seems to be fine, despite all).

Kasumi: Oh, my; I told Scully the trick with the negligee wouldn't work...

PATE: What does lingerie have to do with this?

Kasumi: (blushing) Ah... Scully-san suggested... eh... to cure dear Tofuu-chan of his... condition.

PATE: It doth seem to have had the opposite effect.

Kasumi: (nods) Tee-hee.

Tofuu: Wow; I've never seen an aura with such strange ki flows... see? (pushes his finger on Tegan's right shoulder; her left arm twitches and its hand extends her cat claws).

Corindaen: O_o; Are you sure that's safe?

Tofuu: Undoubtedly. now see here... (bends Tegan's left arm in an impossible angle...)

PATE: What are you doing?!?!?!?!

Kasumi: Oh, my; Tofuu-chan... I think we better wait outside (grabs the doctor by the arm and drags him away. He sports a blissfully goofy smile as they leave the apartment)

Corindaen: Odd.

Jessica: Uh, guys... (points at Tegan) Her arm?

All present: ^_^;

--- Outside on a corridor.

Kasumi: What am I to do with you? (brushes Tofuu's hair back)

Tofuu: Aheh... aheh... (suddenly, his glasses clear and he becomes instantly alert) What's that...?

Kasumi: (turns around) Tofuu-chan... I feel... cold.

Tofuu: Let's go back inside (brings Kasumi closer to him)... I feel much better now (they re-enter the apartment).

--- A story below.

Gothwraith: Aaah; let us ponder the mysteries of the night and... (turns his head up) what dares interrupt my moment of inspiration?

Pretty Freaky: (in a sibilant tone) Oooh, don't stop.

Gothwraith: (scratching his nonpresent head; a puzzled look in his eyeslits) I could swear that was...

Pretty Freaky: You were saying about the mysteries of the night...

Gothwraith: Alas... the words have fled from my soul as fleet winged sparrows...

Pretty Freaky: <pouts> Too bad... I was here on official business anyway; can you tell me where Vi... a girl named Sumire lives?

Gothwraith: Yesss; the girl who wields the power of the stars; she has her residence yonder (points).

Pretty Freaky: I'll seek you later.

Gothwraith: My darkened heart shivers with anticipation, milady. (courtsies)


Back upstairs, apt. 2B... Corindaen meets Dr. Tofuu and Kasumi in the living room. Dr. Tofuu seems to have returned to his senses.

Corindaen: Doctor, perhaps you should take another look at your patient's arm.

Tofuu: <puzzled> Another look?

Kasumi: Her arm.

Tofuu: But I.... oh, yes. <grinning sheepishly> Sorry about that. Let me take care of it.

<Dr. Tofuu, Corindaen, and Kasumi return to the bedroom. The doctor readjusts Tegan- C's arm.>

Tofuu: That should take care of it. I would still like to take her back to my office to study the changes in her aura.

PATE: A question, Doctor.

Tofuu: Yes?

PATE: The water you used in the compress on Tegan was hot, was it not?

Tofuu: It was very hot.

PATE: Hot enough to return one with a Jusenkyo curse to their normal form?

Tofuu: Certainly.

PATE: Then why has Tegan remained in her cursed form?

<Puzzled, Dr. Tofuu, Corindaen, and Kei Foxx stare at Tegan-C>

Tofuu: Jessica, would you please get some very hot water?

Jessica: Sure. <Jessica goes back to the kitchen. She returns with a kettle of hot water.>

Tofuu: Thank you. <He pours some of the water on Tegan-C. She flinches, but remains a cat woman.> This is strange.... <He tests some of the water.> It's hot enough.

Corindaen: I am not very familiar with the Jusenkyo curses. Could the potions that fell on Lady Tegan be responsible?

Kei: I'd say there's a good bet on it.

Tofuu: I don't know. What was in them?

Corindaen: The remains of the bottles and labels are being collected. <He withdraws the crystal full of the glowing liquid and shows it to the doctor.> This is what I removed from her.

Tofuu: But what was in them?

Hitomi: I'll go see if they have the stuff put together yet. <As Hitomi walks to the bedroom door, Feathers comes in with a large box.>

Kei: I'll get what was vacuumed up <whistle, the little demon vac sucks in and hands Kei all magical items that it cleaned up> Here Doctor.

Feathers: We've collected everything we could. How is Tegan?

Corindaen: Good.

Tofuu: Let's get her to my office. We need to find out everything that was in those potions... Or Tegan might be a cat woman for the rest of her life.

Corindaen: Doctor, if you would permit me to touch your aura? <At Tofu's hesitant nod. Corindaen, reaches out one hand and holds it a few inches from Tofu's face.> Ah I have it. I believe I can expedite moving Tegan to your office. I don't want to chance teleporting her so....

<Turning, Corindaen clasps his hands together as if praying. For a long moment nothing seems to happen, then slowly a silver fire begins to form around his hands. As the others watch he slowly separates his hands, and as he does so an arch of silver fire forms before him. Through the arch the others can see the interior of Tofu's office.>

Tofu: How...

Corindaen: It is the nature of places that people tend to spend a lot of time in, to take on residual traces of their aura's. By reading your aura I was able to open a gate to your office by tracing the aura pattern.

Kei: Interesting Technique. We'll have to compare notes later.

Corindaen: <Smiling Slightly> Perhaps, we shall. <Looking towards the bed where Tegan is lying. He causes the silver transport disk to materialize beneath Tegan again, and slowly raises her into the air.> If we could doctor.

<Tofu nod's quickly and then steps through the gate, followed by Kasumi and then the others. Once everyone is through the gate, Corindaen then turns to Feathers.>

Corindaen: Lady Feathers, would you be able to contact Lady Tegan's Family and anyone else who should be notified of her injuries?

Feathers: Certainly, I will go do that right now. Should I have them go to the Doctor's office?

Corindaen: That would be for the best for now. You might want to especially make sure you have Tora go there. I suspect that Tegan is going to need him a great deal in the day's to come.

Feathers: <nodding> I'll go find him right away.

<As Feathers, leaves to find Tora and contact Tegan's family, Corindaen turns and steps through the gate to Tofu's office. As he passe through the gate collapses behind him.>

<in the office, Feathers pulls up her list of emergency phone numbers. There is no answer at Tegan's parents, so she leaves a message. She does manage to get through to Tegan's uncle and brother. They promise to notify her parents, who are out of town. Next Feathers tries to call Tora's apartment. She gets no answer. Then she tries the main number of the KnK. No one picks up.>

Feathers: <to herself> That's strange... <Feathers goes up to her apartment and gets her purse, then tells the others, who did not go with Tegan and Dr. Tofuu, what happened. Then she goes downstairs and starts her car and drives to the KnK to find out where Tora is.>

<Meanwhile, at Dr. Tofuu's office, the doctor and the mages are trying to study the labels left over from the potions.>

<someone might want to go into more detail here...>

Dr. Tofuu: I don't like the sound of some of these potions. Any of them alone could have adverse affects on Tegan's aura. Combined... who knows...

Corindaen: It might help if we have the recipes the witch used in formulating these potions.

PATE: Feathers or Leo may be able to assist us, if they know where the witch kept her formulas.

Greymist: *If she made them herself. The potions may have been purchased from others.*

Dr. Tofuu: True. We need to....

<In the bed, Tegan-C groans. PATE rushes to her side. Tegan-C's eyes open.>

PATE: Tegan?

Tegan-C: <groaning> Uhhhh....where....

Hitomi: You're in Dr. Tofuu's office. You fell down some stairs.

Dr. Tofuu: <coming over> How do you feel?

Tegan-C: Like I got trampled by a stampede of elephants...

Dr. Tofuu: Do you remember anything?

Tegan-C: I remember... my foot didn't quite connect with the step right... and falling... and a lot of pain....

Dr. Tofuu: How did the pain feel?

Tegan-C: Sharp pain in my shoulder and leg... the rest of me... kinda felt like it was burning... like every part of my body was exploding...

Kei: <murmuring to Corindaen> I don't like the sound of that...

Dr. Tofuu: And how do you feel now?

Tegan-C: Really run down... there's still some pain in my left shoulder and right leg... and I feel... weird is the only way to describe it... <she realizes she's in her cursed form> Could I get some hot water? Maybe I'll feel better if I'm my normal self.

<There is general hesitation by those present on how to break the news...>

---At the KnK, as seen by those who read the "Lessons to be learned" thread....

<Everyone is so engrossed in the possible battle, they do not hear the door open. Suddenly, a shrill voice pierces through the noise.>


<The voice is in the precise tone that instantly reminds everyone of some time in their life when they were caught by their mother when they were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing... the tone is so compelling, even those who haven't seen their mother in thousands of years, or don't even remember there mother, can not help having the same type of feeling. Some have particularly vivid flashbacks. The end result is that everyone freezes for a few seconds. Someone finally glances up and sees Feathers standing in the doorway in full mother mode, arms crossed, foot tapping.>

Feathers: <sternly> I asked you all a question.

Tora: <hesitantly> Well... uh...

Vince: <""> I... well... Amy that is...

Amy: ME?!?

Al-X: <hesitantly> We... er... well....

<A few of the others just clear their throats and look down at the floor while shuffling their feet uncomfortably.>

<Frustrated, Feathers holds up her hand.>

Feathers: <irritated> Oh, forget it. It's not important. Tora, I need you to come with me to Dr. Tofuu's office.

Tora: Why?

Feathers: <softening her tone> Tegan had an accident. She fell down the stairs and hurt herself. And... <pauses> some potions fell on her. We're not sure what the final results of it are going to be. But we know Tegan would want you to be with her....

<Tora freezes at the news. Amy looks at Feathers intently. Even Ryouga, who spent a brief time at Mystic Manor, appears a bit concerned>

Amy: (quietly) Oh no... Tegan...

Tora: [thinks] Oh... my... god...

Vince: Is she-

Feathers: She's okay; the fall didn't injure her too seriously...

Vince: o_O? But...

Feathers: <sigh> Like I said, magic was involved. They were still trying to unravel the effects of all those potions when I left.

Amy: Dr. Tofuu's, right? (Amy is already bolting out the door as Feathers nods, grabbing Vince's wrist on the way out the door)

Vince: Imouto-chan, waaaiiitttuuuupppp!!!

Tora: Crazy girl... [to Feathers] Lets go. I'll follow on my bike.

Stackpole: Hey, Tigertron, you're just going to leave?

[Tora doesn't answer, and starts to walk out the door]

Ryouga: Don't think you're getting off that easy for putting Akane's kids in danger.

Tora: [stops] I'll _deal_ with that _later_ [grabs Feather's arm and pulls her out of the room]

Ryouga: But.. [Tora leaves before he can finish] Hey! I'm not done with you yet! [goes off after him]

[A moment of silence falls upon the others of the KnK school...]

Tsu: Al?

Al-X: Yeah, Tsu?

Tsu: What do we do now?

Al-X: The same thing we do every time there's an emotional plot twist...

Tsu: We try to take over Nerima?

Al-X: ...No.

Tsu: What then?

Al-X: Hmm... I'll get back to you on that.

[Tsu facefaults, the others are in their "Okay, whatever" mode.]

<Outside, Tora grabs his bike as Feathers gets into her car. As usual, Feathers drives cautiously and conservatively. For Tora right now, that's way too slow. He kicks his cycle into overdrive, passes Feathers, and zooms down the road.>

-- Elsewhere on the rooftops of Nerima...

Vince: Aaaammmmyyy!!! Slow down!!!

Amy: Don't distract me, nii-chan! Roof-hopping's tricky business. (continues to run and hop across roofs to the clinic, dragging Vince along all the while by his wrist)

<Meanwhile, Leo has finished his repairs and high tailed it to Dr. Tofuu's office. He walks in. Looking around, he sees Dr. Tofuu and the others talking. Tegan-C is sitting in the bed, looking irritated. Leo walks over to the bed.>

Leo: Hey... you okay?

Tegan-C: I guess. The doc's said I need to take it easy for a while, since my body's using up a bunch of energy to fix my arm and leg. Could you do me a favor?

Leo: <eagerly> Sure.

Tegan-C: Get me some hot water. I asked them for some hot water, and they all started talking over there. I can't get up and get it myself.

Leo: No problem. <He goes to a side room, where a tea kettle is kept heating for emergencies. He picks it up and brings it over to Tegan-C.> Here you go.

<Tegan-C takes the kettle with her good arm. She pours some on herself. No change. The water is near boiling. She dumps the entire kettle on herself. Still no change.>

Tegan-C: <whimpering> Oh my God.... oh my God.... <crying out> Oh God! I'm not changing back!

<The others hear her and turn. They see Tegan-C with the kettle in her hand, looking very wet and very upset. Leo is standing next to the bed, not sure what to do.>

Corindaen: <muttering> Leo you fool....

<Moving quickly Corindaen, comes over to the bed, pushing Leo out of the way as he does so, and takes the kettle away from Tegan. Dr. Tofu moves to the other side of the bed and prepares to put Tegan back to sleep with a pressure point. Seeing this Corindaen, shakes his head in negative.>

Corindaen: Tegan, calm down. This is probably just a temporary side effect of the potions you where splashed with.

Tegan: <starting to get hysterical, and yelling> What do you mean, a temporary side effect!!!!!!! I CAN'T CHANGE BACK!!!!!!!! <Tegan, begins to cry>

Tegan: <sobbing> Oh God... what am I going to do.... what am I going to tell my parents... Oh God....

Leo: Come on, Tegan. It won't be that bad....

Tegan: <yelling and sobbing> WON'T BE THAT BAD???!!!????

PATE: <sitting on the edge of the bed and putting her arm around Tegan> Leo, perhaps now is not the best time...

Corindaen: Tegan, if you will permit me, I will check you out, and try to determine why you are not changing back.

<PATE stands and steps back. Still crying softly Tegan, nod's and lays back on the bed. Holding his hands out over her form, Corindaen begins to chant softly. As he does so silver fire begins to stream downward from his palms and play over Tegan's form.>

-- Outside Tofu's office

<Roaring up on his bike, Tora parks it and quickly rushes into the Dr.'s office. As he sees Tegan lying on the bed with Corindaen examining her, he starts to rush over to her. A few moments later Feathers arrives and rushes in as well.>

Tora: Tegan!

<As he moves however Kei & Tofu intercept him>

Kei: Stay back for a moment, let the mage finish his examination.

Tora: What? Why is he examining her? How bad are her injuries?

<Tofu quickly gives Tora a summary of Tegan's physical injuries>

Feathers: Oh dear!

Tofu: However that is not our major concern at the moment. For some reason, probably the potions, Tegan can't revert to her normal form. Corindaen, is checking now to see if he can determine why.

<Even as Tofu finishes bring Tora up to date, Corindaen finishes his exam of Tegan, looking up with a thoughtful expression on his face he notices Tora.>

Corindaen: Tora, good your here. Would you permit me to conduct a magical examination of your curse? I need a comparison subject to make a determination of Tegan's state.

Tora: <hesitantly> Okay....

Corindaen: Good. <Coming over to Tora, he begins to conduct a similar exam of him. After a few moments he suddenly quirks an eyebrow, and mutters to himself.> Fascinating.....

Tora: <nervously> What???

Corindaen: <finishing his exam> Hmm...What? Oh nothing it's just interesting to see the various effects that Jusenkyo has. If you could give me a moment to consider the results of the test.

<Tora nods and goes over to comfort Tegan. Seeing this Leo frowns darkly, but slowly moves back out of the way. Because his back is to them neither Tora nor Tegan notice the troubled unhappy expression flash across Corindaen's face. Tofu and Kei however both see it and look at each other with concern.>

<Feathers steps up to Leo, who is watching Tora and growling a low growl.>

Feathers: Leo?

Leo: <snapping> WHAT?!?

Feathers: <angrily> Don't talk to me like that young man!

PATE: Now is not the time for this. <to Corindaen> What have you found?

-- Just outside at the front door...

Vince is about to open the door when Amy hears a strangled scream coming from inside the clinic.

Amy: TEGAN! (pushes past Vince and with a darkly glowing fist, smashes the door in and runs inside)

Vince: (peering at the remains of the door) <sigh> That one's coming out of our paycheck...

-- Back inside

Kei: Problems?

Corindaen: <Nods, and then turns to Tegan and Tora> Tegan.. <when she looks at him, he sighs unhappily> Based on what I saw in the magical signature that Tora carries from his curse, and what I saw when I examined you, you no longer appear to have a Jusenkyo curse at all. As near as I can determine your Felinoid form is now your natural shape.

Tegan: <strangled cry> Oh my God! Noooooooo!!!!!!

Tora: WHAT? Cory, I hope you realize what you just said...

Corindaen: Indeed. The curse is removed...but not without extracting a price.

A loud noise, akin to a large, block of wood being smashed to splinters, attracts the attention of the people in the room.

Feathers: What... was that?

Dr. Tofuu: <shrug> Amy Tagle. And my front door, I would assume.

Feathers: <piku>

Dr. Tofuu: Very few people in Nerima generate an aura of anger quite like she does.

Tora: Wonderful. [He wraps his arm around Tegan, who is now sitting up.] ...Kitten? [Tegan doesn't answer] Tegan? Come on, Tegan. I'm here.

Tegan: [sobbing] Oh God, I can't change back. Oh God, I can't change back...

Tora: Its alright, Tegan, I'm here, I'm here. [mutters quietly] Damn pop and his springs sometimes... [begins absent mindedly stroking her hair] I'm here, Tegan, and I'm not going anywhere.

[Tegan still sobs, and shows no signs of stopping...]

Lisa : (very quietly) Mind if I come in?

Tegan : You can come in, Lisa.

(Lisa approaches the bed and stands beside Tora.)

Lisa : Dr. Tofu told me the news. How are you feeling?

Tegan : As well as can be expected. I can't change back! I can't change back!

(Lisa gives Tegan a gentle hug.)

Tora : What happened to your hair?

Lisa : I got in a fight with Ranmei. She gave me this new hair style. I thought it was fairly serious...until I came here.

Tegan : What did Corindaen say about it?

Lisa : I haven't asked him yet. Your well being is far more important than my hair.

Tegan : Thanks.

(Tegan, Tora and Lisa talk for a few more minutes.)

Lisa : W-w-well, I guess I've said all I've got to say.

Tegan : Come back any time. I could use the company.

Lisa : (with a sad smile) I will.

(Lisa leaves giving Tegan and Tora a chance to talk about...whatever.)

Outside Tofu-sensei's office, Lisa is greeted by what appears to be a combat suit, or at least it's endoskeleton. It seems to be staggering around a bit. Since the helmet is removed, Lisa can see that the pilot is Shelley.

Lisa: Ohayo, Shelley-san. What are you doing in that thing?

Shelley: G' Morning, Lisa. Testing out a new design... (Looks up from his meters to notice something different about the young girl.) O_o; Anou...

Lisa: I know, my hair...

Shelley: What happened!?

Lisa: I got in a fight with Ranmei, she did this to me! ;_;

Shelley: And who's Ranmei?

Lisa: A clone of Ranma, and she's got his martial arts skills, too!

Shelley: I'm not exactly sure who this Ranma guy is, but if Corindaen brought you to the raid, you should be a decent martial artist yourself.

Lisa: But I'm not an martial artist, I'm a mage (or at least an apprentice one).

Shelley: (thinks) Mage, sure.. (to Lisa) So you don't know any martial arts at all??

Lisa: No, my parents don't want me to learn it like my brother and his wife. But I've been wanting to learn some least on the defensive side.

Shelley: I'd be happy to teach you, but only if your parents agree to it.

Lisa: Honto? I'll ask them, I should ask Corindaen-sensei also. Arigato!

Lisa runs off to talk to her parents and Shelley continues to stagger on in his mech.


In the alleys of Nerima a lone figure walks, muttering one phrase over and over.

Ryouga: I'm going to make sure you pay for putting the kids in danger....I'm going to make sure you pay for putting the kids in danger....

--- in Dr. Tofuu's office ----

Tegan: <sobbing and burying her face in Tora's chest, her good arm wrapped around his neck> Please tell me this is a bad dream... tell me Rod Serling's around here somewhere... please....

Amy: (flinging the door open and rushing in while slamming it closed) Tegan! (her eyes alight on Tora and she spins on him) What happened to her! >_<

Dr. Tofuu: Amy, please, calm down. You're in a medical clinic.

Amy: Not until I find out what happened to Tegan!

Corindaen: I believe I can explain, milady. (pauses as he looks as if he's noticing something about Amy) Interesting...

Amy: Well, then explain before I beat it out of you. -_-

Corindaen: o_O Indeed. Tegan had an accident earlier and she suffered some mino-

Amy: (interrupting with a heavy air of annoyance) I know about that already. Tell me why she's an emotional wreck over there. (points to Tegan while still looking Corindaen in the eye) Minor injuries don't make a person break down and cry like that.

Corindaen: (taking a deep breath) Her Jusenkyo curse has been removed, milady.

Amy: <piku> Huh? But that can't be right... her cat-woman form... (pauses as the implications of what the ancient mage told her sinks in) oh gods no...

Corindaen: Yes. Her cursed form is now her true form.

Vince: (opening the door and closing it slowly behind him) How did it happen?

Corindaen: <piku> Excuse me?

Vince: The removal of her Jusenkyo curse.

Corindaen: She was carrying a box of potions when she tripped and fell, spilling their contents all over her body. The resulting mixture of magical effects have removed her Jusenkyo curse after altering her true form to her cursed form.

Vince: (shakes his head) That place has caused more grief than I can ever care to imagine...

Corindaen: Er... excuse me, but I don't believe we've met before...

Vince: (distractedly) Vince Tagle. That's my sister over there, Amy. (Amy looks up and just glares in their general direction before turning back to Tegan)

Scully: (poking her head in) Excuse me, Dr. Tofuu?

Dr. Tofuu: Yes, Scully-san?

Scully: I'm back from buying supplies and...

Dr. Tofuu: Yes?

Scully: (confused) The front door appears to be missing...

Dr. Tofuu: Ah yes. About that. (looks at Vince who nods) Call the usual contractor and tell them to send the bill to Zuni's. Oh, and Scully-san, can you handle the rest of my patients while I'm busy here? (Scully nods and goes back out into the clinic)

Vince: <piku> She must really be adjusting well to Nerima. She didn't even bat an eye at Tegan.

<Leo watches as Tora comforts Tegan. PATE sits down on the edge of the bed opposite Tora. Leo clears his throat.>

Leo: Try to think on the bright side, Tegan.

Tegan: <sobbing> Bright side? What... what... bright side?!?

Leo: Well... You don't have to worry about getting hit by water... you can take cold or hot baths without changing form... and you don't have to be on a diet.....

<Tegan begins crying even more. Everyone glares at Leo.>

Hitomi: Leo, how could you?

Jessica: That's not a very nice thing to say...

<Tora stares at Leo angrily>

Tora: Can't you see she's upset enough as is?

Leo: But I....

Kei: Open mouth, insert foot.

Leo: But...

Tofuu: You're upsetting my patient. It's best if you leave.

Amy: (glaring at Leo) Yes. Leave. Before I'm forced to -make- you leave, lion-man.

Vince: A Jusenkyo curse in any form is not something to joke about. <pause> No pun intended.

<Leo glances at Tora, who is stroking Tegan's long, pink hair.>

Tora: Shhhh... it will be all right Tegan.

PATE: Yes. Perhaps something can be found to reverse the effects of the potions.

Tegan: <the sobs slow> You... you think...

Kei: Hmmmmm Intriguing, What about the potions, any left?

Corindaen: None that I can detect, It looks like they have done there work.

Kei:<lower voice> And there's no sign of her ahhh, true form?

Corindaen: <shakes head>

<Kei pulls out a laptop Computer, sets it on the desk and grabs a chair>

Kei: Lets see,<typing> there's not much on Jusenkyo on the local lines,<type> Hmmm, Ok here's the most about Jusenkyo that's been written.

Corindaen: <reads over shoulder> Yes, there's not much I can add to that.

Kei: It says here, that cursing a cursed form can lead to trouble in some cases.

Dr. Tofu: That's true.

Kei:<leads back in chair> Well then, I think that's the answer then.

Corindaen: I'm not following you?

Kei: Well, Lady Tegan is no longer cursed right?


Kei: There are no more traces of the potion, Right?


Kei: That is now her only form, right?


Kei: Then it's simple, curse her again. According to this there is still a Spring of Drowned girl, theoretically, She should be able to curse her female back.

Tegan: <flatly> No_thank_you. I have enough trouble as is. <she tries to cross her arms to emphasize her point, but she winds up crying out in pain from her shoulder.>

Tofuu: I think I better immobilize that shoulder for a week or so, to give your body a chance to heal. Your leg too, for that matter. I'd rather you not risk re-injuring it.

<Tora looks at Kei, pondering Kei's suggestion while Dr. Tofuu works on Tegan.>

Tora: Would it work?

Kei: <spins to face him>In theory, Corindaen and I will have to do some checking, but it should work.

Corindaen: We'll have to study this carefully, so don't tie your hopes on It yet. Plus if it does work, Lady Tegan will be reversed, her cursed form will be her female one.

Kei: But maybe, and I stress maybe, with what's left of the potions, we could possibly remove her present form in the same way that it removed her female form.

Dr. Tofu: But this is all theoretical, Nothing is confirmed.

Gaeld: (from the waiting room) And highly inadvisable.

On the sound of the sorcerer's voice, everyone tenses up and goes to full alert; some even assume battle stances.

Tofuu: Ah... St. George-san.

<Dr. Tofuu steps towards Gaeld.>

Gaeld: (nods) Tofuu-sensei, do not worry; I'm in full possession of my wits now.

Amy: (mutter) Yeah, sure.

Tegan: <flatly> As if I didn't have enough problems. Figures the lizard wizard has to show his face

Gaeld: (gets up and approaches the room's entrance, he's blocked by Amy and Hitomi; Tora and Leo form a second line of defense, while Kei and Corindaen remain near Tegan) <chuckle> My... my... it's good to have such friends, right, Ms. Dawson?

Tora: Get out of here. Now.

Gaeld: Hmph. Such rudeness; I guess I should expect it from a base animal. But I only come to check on Ms. Dawson's condition.

Amy: As if _you_ would be concerned.

Gaeld: Oh; I _am_ concerned, half-soul.

<Tegan bites her lower lip, instinctively knowing what Gaeld is concerned about.>

Amy: <glower>

[Vince: Amy; he's provoking you, calm down!]

Tora: Nobody wants you here.

Gaeld: Nothing new to me (takes a look around). Take it from one who has done extensive studies in the reversal of shapechanging curses: Jusenkyo bounds the shape to the cursee's very being; attempt to remove it as you plan... and the best case scenario would result in horrible maiming and disfiguration.

Tegan: <strangled sob>

Corindaen: You're out of line, sir.

Gaeld: Pfeh. Her curse is trivial and easy to adjust to for one with any modicum of strength of character...

Tora: Shut up! Shut up and get out!

Gaeld: <smirk> Fool.

The sorcerer turns around and starts walking, muttering; Corindaen starts, but before he can say anything, Gaeld's casting is complete, and his next step is taken inside the room, next to Tegan's bed. Kei has a slight nausea as the dimensions readjust around Gaeld's gate.

<Tegan trembles, feeling the vaguest impressions of what Gaeld is doing.>

Kei: Oohhh, Dragon magic, Haven't felt that in awhile.

Tegan: <cringing> Get away from me!

Tora: (turning around, eyes ablaze) You...

Gaeld: ~<(Wall of Air)>~

Tora jumps at the sorcerer, but is pushed back by an invisible force; Leo and Amy start attacking, but it's as if they were striking at solid air.

Gaeld: (at Corindaen) You know I will not harm her; just let me finish and I'll be off.

Corindaen: I'll be watching you.

Tegan: Co... Corindaen!

Corindaen: Hush, milady; 'tis better to dispense this quickly and without further conflict. I'll be here in case...

Gaeld: I'm a man of my word, mage; your doubt insults me. (passes a hand over Tegan's head; the sigil of the Order of Servitude shines and then disappears) Good; it remains intact. (looks at the others trying to bypass his wall spell, amused) As promised, I'll take my leave now. ~<(Penumbral Passage)>~ (melds into the shadows and disappears).

Tora: (falling forward as the wall disappears) What did he do to her!? Why didn't you stop him!?

Corindaen: He did nothing that wasn't done before with Lady Tegan's consent.

Kei: Oh, he did something different, Looked like he was checking something.

Tora: (at Tegan) What does he mean?

Tegan: Tora...

<Tegan looks away, knowing he has a right to know. >

Tegan: <softly> It... it was right after I came to Nerima. I had met up with PATE and Lisa. We were looking for an apartment. I knew going into the building was a mistake, but I couldn't leave Lisa and PATE on their own. Turns out we get captured by Madame WWW.

<Leo and Feathers look uncomfortable at the mention of the witch.>

Tegan: We... we were given a choice... serve her willingly, or unwillingly. That's when... Dr. St. George came in. He made us an offer. Accept his order of servitude, and he'd make sure we couldn't be controlled by the witch. At the time... we didn't know what to do. We had to make a decision immediately... I would have rather found another way, but we didn't have much choice at the time. So we accepted. Lisa and PATE... well, they've fulfilled their orders. <a tear rolls down her cheek> Me... I'm still stuck with it.

Tora: Can't anyone...

Tegan: <sniffling> No. Anyone interferes with it, and I'm in for problems. I just have to wait 'till he decides what he wants me to do.

Kei: Hmmm Dragons are beings of their word, but trickery is among one of their many traits. Perhaps at a later date I could take a good look at that and see the true force behind it, I've dealt with their magic before.

-- Outside.

Gaeld: (listening to the commotion) A barrel of monkeys...

PATE: (behind him) Why?

Gaeld: (turns and face her, his expression hidden behind his dark glasses) Hmm?

PATE: Why do you antagonize them? You could easily have done that by night.

Gaeld: By night, she could easily be at Mystic Manor, behind that meddler's wards. For such menial task, it's better done in the open. I don't want him jumping at shadows for the wrong reasons.

PATE: You talk as if you were planning something.

Gaeld: Aren't I always?

PATE: (looking down) Also... that was very callous.

Gaeld: Hrmph. Jarring that pathetic little show? Shaking their senseless pitying? Your friend suffers for free; her curse is a mere inconvenience... in fact; it could be an improvement if she knows to ride it. What is her suffering compared to what _I_ have endured for _far_ longer?

PATE: Your bitterness... you could try... understand what she's going through...

Gaeld: (hardening) Oh, I understand... really; you know what it was like the first few years trapped in this body? HELL! It was unending hell! The Sky was denied me! The Fire no longer ran in my veins! My magic was lost! And did anyone understand my plight? None. They all spurned me, drove me away in shame; even the one I loved and... (shuts up suddenly). I've said enough.

PATE: So you _do_ know how to love...

Gaeld: Unfortunately, I still retain that capacity. An open wound that cannot be closed.

PATE: Does it still hurts? Your heart.

Gaeld: (all hardness lost in his voice) It never stopped. (looks at PATE, a strange mixture of bitterness, longing and pain). What is it in you that prompts me to open my heart so freely? (his expression hardens again) I must go; there's business I need to attend to (walks away).

Up in the corner, un-noticed, one of Kei's little spy demons stops recording and pops out of existence. But it's not Kei using it.

Nikita: <thinks> Intriguing, what it means, I don't know, but intriguing non the same.

<As PATE stands watching Gaeld walk off she suddenly hears a voice speak beside her.>

Corindaen: <Thoughtfully> Meddler am I dragon? Perhaps, and that may well be my downfall someday, but I suspect your arrogance will be yours.

PATE: <Suspiciously> Where you spying on us mage?

Corindaen: <Giving PATE a wintry smile> But of course lady, I am after all a meddler. <grins slightly> Arrogance & Condescension towards other races has ever been the greatest failing of dragons. But, come Tegan has need of us now.

<Back in Tofu's office the others are still fuming over Gaeld's actions, Tora is holding Tegan, who is shivering slightly. Walking over to the bed Corindaen looks at Tegan thoughtfully for a moment then speaks.>

Corindaen: Despite his rudeness the Drake makes an excellent point. Tegan if you would permit, I might be able to restore your original form without a journey to Jusenkyo.

Tegan: <still shivering in Tora's arms> H..How?

Corindaen: My late wife was a sorceress of no small skill, she specialized in magic's dealing with shape changing. I know several of the stronger shape changing spells, including the permanent ones. If you will permit I will use one to restore your human form.

Kei: Interesting. Would that cure someone with a Jusenkyo curse?

Corindaen: Normally no. However in Lady Tegan's case, she no longer has a curse so the spell should work. <looking back to Tegan> Lady Tegan?

Tegan: A..all right.

<Corindaen nods slightly and then motions the others to stand back looking at Tegan's face, he smiles slightly.>

Corindaen: Do not fear lady, I give you my oath that no harm shall befall you from this.

<Stepping forward Corindaen, holds one hand out above Tegan's head and begins to chant, as he does so silver fire begins to form around his hand and slowly descend to cover Tegan's body. As the others watch they can see Tegan's form begin to blur and shift, suddenly with no warning at all, the silver fire flares brilliantly, and with a noise like thunder flashes away from Tegan towards Corindaen. With startled curse the old mage is thrown violently across the room to slam into the wall. Slowly he slides down to lay in a heap on the floor.>

Corindaen: Ow.....

<As the others stare, shocked by what just happened, Greymist suddenly goes over the mage and shifting to her elven form helps him stand. As he does so the other shake off their surprise and begins asking questions excitedly.>

Tora: <to Tegan> Are you okay?

Tegan: I'm fine, but... <looking at her hands and realizing the spell failed she begins to cry once more.>

Corindaen: <Limping painfully> That was unexpected

Kei: What was that??

Corindaen: Some kind of backlash, when I attempted to complete the spell it hit some kind of resistance and came apart.

Kei: Her curse perhaps?

Corindaen: No, there is no trace of the magic of Jusenkyo in her body, but. <Getting a thoughtful look> Tegan, didn't you tell me that you could also take on the shape of a small cat?

Tegan: Yes.

Corindaen: Hmmm... I suspect you will find that you can still do so with no problems. I suspect that your current form is resistant to outside shape changing magic which is probably why my spell blew up. I would like to investigate this a little further later, but for now I would recommend against attempting Jusenkyo, at least until we have a better idea of the likely consequences. In this case the magic had someplace to go when it blew, at the cursed springs, we might not be so lucky.

Kei: I agree, the situation was tricky before, I didn't know you had that ability to. I'll have to consult some of my colleges.

Tegan: <sighing sadly> Face it.... the lizard wizard is right... I'm going to have to live with it.

Amy: Don't give up so soon.

Kei: Yes. We have yet to fully analyze the potions.

Tegan: But... are you sure I'll still be able to turn into a cat?

<Dr. Tofuu comes over with materials to put a temporary cast on her leg.>

Tofuu: Perhaps you should try... before I put this on your leg.

<Nodding, Tegan concentrates for a minute. Her injuries make it more difficult, but she shifts into cat form, but quickly shifts back.>

Corindaen: Could you not hold it?

Tegan: <grimacing> I could have... but my leg and shoulder... it was too painful... <Corindaen nods. Dr. Tofuu begins on Tegan's leg>

Vince: Why can she turn into a cat, but not into a human?

Kei: There might be more to cat people... it might be genetic.

Corindaen: I'm not familiar with the race.

Kei: I've heard of them, but I've never come close to meeting one.

Tegan: <wincing as Dr. Tofuu works on her leg> I... have a book... the Wizard found it... all about the cat people...

Kei: Could we see it?

Tegan: It's in my apartment... should be in my office... or my bedroom...

Feathers: There might be more up in the library. Leo and I will find it. Come on. <She takes Leo by the arm.>

Leo: But....

Feathers: NOW! <whispering> I don't want you to get Tegan any more upset than she is. And I don't want you to antagonize Amy. Now let's go.

Feathers: NOW! <whispering> I don't want you to get Tegan any more upset than she is. And I don't want you to antagonize Amy. (Feathers and Leo glance meaningfully at Amy, who looks up and just glares at the pair) Now let's go.

<Leo allows himself to be dragged out by Feathers. Meanwhile, Dr. Tofuu finishes his work on Tegan.>

Tofuu: This should come off in about a week. It's just a precaution. Your body's ki will work on healing rather quickly, but this will prevent you from re-injuring it. Right now, I think you should rest.

Corindaen: Hold a moment Doctor. Tegan, would you rather I returned you to your own, home to rest. You would then be behind the wards at the manor, and less likely to be disturbed. <Though he doesn't say so all present realize that he means, disturbed by Gaeld.>

Tegan: <weakly> I... I think I'd rather be in my own bed. With my own things around me.

<Corindaen nods>

Corindaen: As soon as you are asleep, I will return you to Mystic Manor in the same way I brought you here.

Dr. Tofu: <Using a pressure point, he puts Tegan to sleep. Tora lays her against the pillow, then looks at the doctor.> She'll sleep for an hour or so. Let's look at those potions.

Kei: Yes we should, but is here wise? We could cause some damage, unstable as those potions are.

Dr. Tofu: I can see your point, but where would be good?

Kei: We could use my place, It's protected, has the resources we'll need, and I'll be able contact any beings that could help. Unless you know of a better place, Corindaen?

Vince: Well, with all this excitement over and done with, I think we'd best be going. Right, sis?

Amy: (looking down at Tegan's sleeping form) Uh... yeah... back... (looks up at Tora) You don't know what it's truly like to have a Jusenkyo curse, do you?

Tora: Uh... Amy, if you're forgetting, I have a curse too, you know.

Amy: (dismissively) Yes, yes, spring of drowned man. I know about that. What I meant was the emotional trauma that comes with the first change. (looks at Tora's blank expression) I see you don't know what I mean.

Tora: Well, I didn't exactly have a human mind when I got cursed...

Vince: What my sister is trying to say is that the trauma of the first change is nothing - nothing- compared to what happens when that cursed form becomes permanent. We're the lucky ones: at least our cursed forms were humanoid. But still...

Amy: (menacingly) So you'd better be there for her, mister, or else! >_<

Tora: (backing away nervously) Okay, okay... sheesh...

Vince: Aheh... ^^;;; Well, time to get going then. Goodbye, Tora, Dr. Tofuu... uh... about the door...

Dr. Tofuu: Send the bill to Zuni's. I know.

Amy: And tell Tegan we'll be there for her too.


(As Dr. Tofu puts Tegan back to sleep Lisa reenters the room and nervously approaches Corindaen, conversing with Kei and PATE about the possible substances potions might have contained.)

Lisa : (faintly) Corindaen?

Corindaen : What is it Lisa?

<As he speaks Corindaen, turns around to face her, at the site of her hair he blinks and nearly facefaults>

Lisa : (still faintly) W-well, I wondering I-if you could d-do anything about this h-haircut. (points to the back of her head)

Corindaen : What happened?

Lisa : (a little louder) L-long story. I g-got in a fight with Ranmei.

Corindaen: I See, you will need to tell me about it in detail a little later.

Lisa: A..all right. Do you think you could do anything about this?

Corindaen: <thoughtfully> Hmm.. I believe so I do know a spell that will let your hair grow back At an excelerated rate. What would happen is that I would cast the spell and then you would concentrate on having your hair grow back. When it reached a length that you liked, you simply stop concentrating And the spell ends.

Lisa : W-would anything happen like what happened to Jo (pause) I mean Jason.

Corindaen : No, while the spell lasts the length of your hair will be decided entirely by you.

Lisa : (thinks : Hmmm. I wonder what Jay will think if I let my hair grow all the way down to my waist.) Okay. I would like to try it.

Corindaen: Very well. <After a few moments concentration a shimmering silver gem appears in his hand, which he then hands to Lisa.> Take this, when you are ready to start the spell simply take it into your hands and crush the gem.

Lisa: B..but how can I crush a gem, I'm not that strong.....

Corindaen: <Smiling slightly> Don't worry it's part of the magic and you will be able to crush it. I would recommend that you wait until your home before using it however, that way you can work undisturbed. Do you remember what I showed you about setting casting wards?

Lisa: Hai, Sensei

Corindaen: <Wincing slightly at her formality> Very good. Let me know if you have any problems with spell.

Lisa: <Turning away, and leaving for home> I will.

Corindaen: <Turning back from his conversation with Lisa> Hmm, I have no objections to working at your site. As long as you don't mind having another mage in your home.

Kei: <lopsided grin>I've set up a great many protections and defenses, I have no fears about bringing in other Mages. Besides, the offending party will get more then they bargained for if they try anything. Never be to safe.

Corindaen: I agree, though that we definitely don't want to start messing with those potions, until we are somewhere with some protections. <Lowering his voice> I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to alarm the others, but the crystal that I have containing the potions, has cracked twice in the last short while. I'm keeping it stable so that it doesn't shatter, none the less I would prefer to get it someplace with some better protections.

Kei: <also speaking softly> Is there any immediate danger? Any way I can help secure it?

Corindaen: No, I'm reinforcing the crystal matrix on a continuos basis. That should prevent it from causing any problems.

Kei: I have a much stronger containment field system at home. I have yet to come across anything that can break it. I suggest we get the potions in there A.S.A.P before we have a real crisis at hand.

Corindaen: We can also use the magic room at Mystic Manor. The room is heavily warded and we will have access to Madame WWW's notes.

Kei: Do you want to return Tegan to her apartment, then come to my keep?

Corindaen: Yes, I will join you there shortly.

<Corindaen prepares to return Tegan to Mystic Manor, then pauses.>

Corindaen: Lady PATE, are there any others around who were in Madame WWW's service?

PATE: Only Feathers and Leo remain. The rest left Nerima as soon as they were released.

Corindaen: Then I will need to speak with them as soon as we return to Mystic Manor.

<Turning away, he quickly recreates the magical gate that he used to bring them to Tofu's office. Once the gate is up, he then turns and looks towards where Tegan is sleeping Tora is sitting at her side looking concerned.>

Corindaen: Tora if you could stand back please.

<As Tora reluctantly stands up and backs away from Tegan slightly, Corindaen nods and a the silver transport disk reforms once more under Tegan's sleeping form. Moving smoothly the disk then rises into the air and quickly transports Tegan to her room.>

Corindaen: <Turning towards Kei & Tofu> I will join you shortly. I want to speak to Feathers & Leo and see if I they can provide us with any further information.

Kei: Okay, Just come to the gate when your ready. One of my little DMac will show you in.

<Nodding slightly in acknowledgment, Corindaen steps through the gate, followed by PATE & Tora. Moments later the gate collapses behind them.>

Kei: <Turning to Tofu> Shall we go to my home doctor? We can begin setting up for when he brings the remainder of the potions. Perhaps we can also get some of the labels from the bottles translated, that might give us some ideas about what we are dealing with.

Tofu: <Nodding> Certainly

----Back at Tegan's Apartment----

<As Corindaen's transport disc settles Tegan onto her bed PATE look's at the wizard thoughtfully.> PATE: <Suspiciously> I thought you told Tegan that it was not possible to teleport through the wards?

Corindaen: <Smiling> For most people it's wouldn't be possible. I however have certain advantages being the one who created and raised the wards. Unless Tegan specifically set's them to prevent me from passing, I can open gates & teleport through the wards with no problems. Others however....

PATE: I see...Is Tegan aware of this?

Corindaen: Yes, I told her when I was giving her the information on how to create new ward key's and control the wards themselves. Now If you would excuse me I want to speak with Feathers & Leo concerning Madam WWW. Tora, would you stay with Tegan, please? I may want to run some tests on your curse later.

Tora: I'm not leaving unless she tells me to. As for tests..<nervously> What kind of tests?

Corindaen: <Smiling kindly> Nothing harmful lad. I just need to understand the magic of Jusenkyo better, so that I can try and determine if this <he waves towards Tegan's sleeping form> is reversible.

Tora: Okay. Let me know when you need me.

Corindaen: I shall. <Nodding to the two he and Greymist, who has been observing quietly from his shoulder, quickly leave in search of Feathers & Leo.>

-----Kei's Place(Wizards Keep)-----

<Kei opens the door and walks in, Dr. Tofu following. The place is a mixture of Japanese and American, It was obviously American built, but Japanese in design. To the right is a sunken living room, better put, it's in the basement, and the ground floor is cut out over it. It's nice and has a very large TV screen and entertainment system. To the front is a hall leading to the kitchen, dinning room and outback. To the left is a closet another hallway and a staircase, and then the rest of the kitchen. Kei leads Tofu down the hall and into a fairly large room, It's got lots of computer stuff, testing equipment, a well lighted table, and a door leading into a library.>

Kei: Well Doctor lets get started< produces the labels and remains of glass>If you care to handle the glass and remaining potions, I'll scan the labels into the computer, then we'll start on the books.

Dr. Tofu: I can see what I can do, but this stuff isn't my stock in trade.

Kei: Perhaps not, but you do seem to adapt well.

Dr. Tofu: Thank-you

Kei: Perhaps I should contact my...colleagues now, let them now I have a new puzzle for them to chew on.

Dr. Tofu: I believe all the help you can get will be needed.

Kei: Yes,<mutter> But the dragon is going to fined this real funny.

Dr. Tofu:............

<Back at Tegan's Apartment>

(A few seconds after Corindaen and Greymist leave, Genma and Nodoka arrive at the door.)

Nodoka : Do you mind if we come in?

Genma: The apartment door was open.

Nodoka: We came up to see Corindaen. Su told us Tegan had an accident.

Tora : Tegan is asleep right now.

Nodoka : That's okay, we would just like to take a look at her and make sure she is alright.

Genma : This is my first time at Mystic Manor. Interesting place you have here.

PATE : Corindaen and Greymist have gone off to get Feathers and Leo. We think they might know something about Madame WWW's potions.

Genma : Corindaen is training Lisa in magic, Greymist is his familiar, Feather is the bird- woman who works here, and Leo is the lion-man who also works here.

PATE : That's right.

Genma : See, I never forget a face.

Tora: <sniff...sniff> And I rarely forget a scent. Its been a while, hasn't it?

Genma: Hmm? [looks at Tora intently] Have we met somewhere before?

Tora: I thought so. *sigh* Remember the tiger you ran into a while back?

Nodoka: Tiger?

Genma: AH! Now I remember!

Tora: Yeah, you kind of left me hanging out by the Ken-ni-Kaze... fortunately, I had the apartment lined up there.

Genma: Aheh heh heh....

Nodoka: Just what did you do to him, Genma!!

Tora: Please, don't. Not while Tegan is resting. And besides, it doesn't matter anymore. [takes Nodoka's hand and gently kisses it] I do not believe we've met, miss...?

Nodoka: Nodoka Saotome.

Tora: [glancing at Genma] Ah, I see. I am Tora-no-Shi, but please, just call me Tora. [releases her hand] Now then, you can see Tegan, but only for a few moments, and not to disturb her... things have... happened, and even I can't quite make sense of it all.

(Jake enters the room.)

PATE : It may be best to limit the number of people in this room. Tegan is sleeping.

Jake : I'll let the others know.

(Jake exits the room and addresses the crowd of Faceless Minions that have gathered just outside the door.)

Jake : I am afraid Tegan is sleeping at this time! Anything you want to say to her will have to wait!

FM #28596 : I just wanted to ask her about renting an apartment.

FM #38157 : Me too.

FM : #11462 : And me.

FM : #20848 : And me.

FM : #8240 : How come you get to enter the room?

FM #18973 : We never seem to get in on the action.

Jake : If you want, a member of the staff will be glad to show you the apartments we have. (passes out a blank form) Just fill out this form. If you want to enter the room just put your name on this (shows them a blank list) and I'll see what can be done.

(Many of the faceless minions walk away in disgust.)

Jake : As far as getting in on the action is concerned, I'm afraid there is nothing I can do.

(Another large group of faceless minions walk away leaving only about half a dozen remaining. After filling out the formerly blank form and handing it back to Jake, they leave too.)

PATE: <flatly> You *are* a member of the staff. You could just as easily have shown them some of the apartments.

Leo : Clear the way! Coming through!

(Leo literally runs Jake over on his way to see Tegan, Feathers is close behind.)

Jake : (outloud) It looks like help has arrived.

<Tora glares at Leo>

Tora: Do you mind not barreling in here like that? You could wake Tegan.

PATE: Corindaen is looking for you two. Did you find Tegan's book?

Leo: <glaring at Tora, who is sitting next to Tegan's bed> Yeah. Then we checked the upstairs library. Nothing up there on cat people or Jusenkyo.

Feathers: I did find an inventory list of Madame's potions. Some of it is readable, some isn't. Corindaen might be able to decipher it. Let's go find him. Maybe something here can help the mages find a way to help Tegan.

Leo: You go. I'll stay here.

Tora: <flatly> He said he wanted to talk to *both* of you.

PATE: I will *not* have a scene here between you two. Leo, go with Feathers and see if Corindaen is in his apartment. If he is not there, he will be next door at the Wizard's Keep. <Tegan stirs restlessly in her bed. Tora turns to Tegan and strokes her hand.><in a low voice> Go, before I am angered.

Feathers: Let's go. The sooner we give this stuff to Corindaen, the sooner we can help Tegan. <Leo hesitates.> Let's go <Feathers reaches up and grabs Leo's ear> NOW!

Leo: OW OW OW! <Feathers drags Leo out by his ear>

Jake: <getting up and brushing himself off> What is it with that guy?

Nodoka: What do they mean by helping Tegan? Do they need something else for her arm or leg?

PATE: It is more than that... because of the potions that fell on her, her curse is apparently permanent.

Genma: That is horrible. To be unable to return to one's natural form... at least her cursed form is still basically human in appearance.

Nodoka: Is there anything we can do?

Tora: I don't...

<Tegan stirs in her bed. Her eyes flutter open. Groggily she sits up, then notices the Saotomes.>

Tegan: Hi... Sorry about...

Nodoka: Don't worry about it. We've heard what happened. Is there anything we can do?

Tegan: Thanks, but no. There's not much that can be done, except getting used to being like this full time.

Genma: Perhaps this is not the best time to call on Corindaen. We should return home.

Nodoka: <nodding> I hope you are felling better soon Tegan.

Tegan: Thank you.

<The Saotomes leave.>

Jake: I think I'm going to lie down... getting run down by Leo is not a fun thing...

Tegan: Ooookkkkaaaayyyy....

<Jake also leaves.>

Tora: How're you feeling?

PATE: Dr. Tofuu gave me several packets of herbs should you need something to ease your pain.

Tegan: I'm okay on that point... but I'm kinda hungry.

---- Elsewhere, The Penthouse of Mystic Manor ---

<Corindaen, and Greymist are searching the penthouse very carefully to see if the might have missed any papers or records that would give them some clues regarding the potions that Tegan was doused in. As the pair are searching they suddenly hear a voice calling.>

Feathers: Corindaen, are you here?

Corindaen: In hear Lady Feathers.

<As he speaks Corindaen, turns from a large walk in closet and moves towards the main room of the penthouse. There he finds Leo & Feathers waiting for him. As Greymist continues to search Corindaen speaks with the pair.>

Corindaen: Lady Feathers, Leo would you be able to tell me where the Witch might have kept her potion ingredients list? Also would you happen to know where Tegan's book on the Cat-People is?

Feathers: Here is the book on the Cat-People, we found it in the library <she hands Corindaen the book> Also we found these lists of Potion Inventories. <she hands the papers to Corindaen, who quickly begins to scan them>

Corindaen: Hmmm... This could be very useful. Would you happen to know if there are any records anywhere, indicating where the Witch was getting her potion supplies?

<Leo shrugs.>

Leo: We cleaned out all the store rooms. Tegan had a lot of the papers tossed. Anything that's left would be up here or in Madame's magic room. Madame didn't use regular suppliers. Usually she stopped by peddlers or out of the way shops. A lot of her stuff was pretty rare.

Feathers: Other than inventory lists, she didn't keep track of invoices and such.

Corindaen: <Thoughtfully> Somehow I'm not surprised. <Looks over Inventory list again> Still this could prove useful. If nothing else it will At least give us a starting place.

<Then turning his attention to the book on about the Cat People, Corindaen begins to rapidly page through the book, scanning for any Information that might be of assistance in the current situation. Finally Closing the book he looks at Leo & Feathers.>

Corindaen: I will be next door at the Wizard's Keep, if you to could continue The search hear for any further information potions it would be helpful. <turning Towards the room he and Greymist where checking out.> Greymist come.

<Greymist quickly comes bounding out of the room and with a leap, settles on Corindaen's shoulder. As the wizard starts to leave, he suddenly stops and frowns thoughtfully.>

Corindaen: Lady Feathers could you check Witches magic room? You need not Fear any magic as I disarmed all the traps and removed anything dangerous.

Feathers: Certainly, but didn't you seal the door so that only you and Tegan could Enter?

Corindaen: So I did Let me have your hand. <As Feathers holds out her hand Corindaen touches her palm gently. For a moment nothing happens then slowly a Silver eight pointed star with a rune at it's center appears on Feathers palm.> This Will allow you to enter the room. Please check the room carefully, as this will only Allow you to enter once and then it will fade. If you find anything there or here Let us know at the wizards keep.

<As the pair, nod their understanding, Corindaen nods and then turns and takes a step. As he does so his form seems to shimmer and then fade.>

--- Gate of the Wizard's Keep ---

<At the gate of Kei's home, Corindaen completes the step he started at the penthouse and appears before the gate. Reaching out and touching the gate he call's for entrance.>

<Promptly a little Dmac marches up dressed in a London red guard uniform, opens the gate for the two and closes it behind them, Indicating for them to follow it, it leads them to the front door and opens it for them.

Greymist: *That's just a little corny*

Corindaen: Yes, but he's using an interesting form of magic, I don't think I've seen it before.<pauses at the door> Hello?

Kei:<from inside> Come in, hallway to your left, second door.

<Following the directions, Corindaen and Greymist enter the magic lab. They see Dr. Tofu studying something under a larger magnifying glass, and Kei dividing his attention between a computer screen and vid screen with a larger scale surrounded pair of eyes. Looking close they realize it's a close look at a dragons face.>

Corindaen: Have you had any luck with the labels?

Kei: A little, The computer cracked a few of the languages used, but others are not on file, Ralllon here <indicates vid> recognizes most of them, and he's offered to translate them after he studies them more closely.

Corindaen: I thank you for your help Rallon.

Ralllon: <deep chuckle> This is amusing enough for me to spend my time on...Corindaen..?? Aahh yes, A certain Lady dragon mentioned your name, perhaps this well please her that I help you.

Kei: Casa Nova.

Ralllon: <ignoring comment> When I have solved these words, I shall contact you by this strange picture box of your, until then Shadow Foxx.

Kei: Good life to<disconnect>Dragons, never know what well amuse them.

Corindaen: They can be an eccentric bunch. Let use see what you have translated so far.

Kei: Well so far this <indicates screen> is what we've got.

Corindaen: Hmmmm.....Fascinating. If we mix these potions in these matters we should get some the following results....<The rest of the conversation moves off into a highly technical and arcane conversation on the effects of mixing various potions and the results.>

-- while the wizards work...

[Tora comes into Tegan's room carrying a tray with two bowls. Morosely she flips through the pages of a book. She tries to smile when she sees him.]

Tora: Hope you don't mind instant ramen soups. I'm not much of a cook. PATE doesn't seem to be one either.

Tegan: [setting her book to the side] Instant ramen sounds fine.

Tora: [trying to liven things up] Even if I was a halfway decent cook, I wouldn't be able to figure out what to do with the gadgets you have in there.

Tegan: I'm a bit of a kitchen gadget nut.

Tora: So I noticed. [He sets the bed tray down on the Tegan across Tegan's lap, then picks up one of the bowls. Tegan stirs the soup around, then takes a spoonful.] How are you doing?

Tegan: As well as can be expected. [she takes another spoonful of ramen] I never thought... something like this could ever happen.

Tora: Corindaen will let us know what he and the others come up with. You have a lot of people at work on this.

Tegan: I know... [she stares into the depths of her bowl] Tora... if I'm stuck like this permanently... how will it affect... us?

Tora: What do you m---- [tilts head down] oh, us....

Tegan: Yeah.

Tora: I'd be lying if I said I knew for sure what is going to happen.

Tegan: [hesitantly] I mean... is this going to affect our relationship in any way?

Tora: I know what you meant... and all I can say is... *sigh* your curse never mattered to me. I... <gulp> I love you, not just your forms... and I don't see any reason... to stop loving you.

[Tegan's eyes tear up. This time it's not from the aching helplessness she's been feeling.]

Tegan: Oh Tora...

[Tora looks up and at Tegan, and sees the tears forming in her eyes. He reaches over to wipe them away]

Tegan: You know, if I didn't have you, I would have completely broken down by now.

Tora: [smiles] You're welcome.

[The phone rings. Tegan and Tora look at each other, expecting it to be Corindaen, Kei, or Dr. Tofuu. PATE answers it, then comes into the room.]

PATE: Tegan, it is your parents. Feathers called them earlier.

Tegan: I better talk to them. [Tora hands Tegan the bedside phone while PATE goes to hang up the other line.] Hi Mom... Oh, hi Dad. I didn't know you had it on the speakerphone... Yeah... I'll be fine... I fell down some stairs... I broke my leg and dislocated my shoulder... They're taken care of... No, you don't need to come out here Mom. I can manage... Yeah... but there's one small problem [Tegan steadies her voice]. Remember that curse of mine that you learned about on your last visit here?... Yeah, the one where I turn into a cat woman... Well, some... er... chemicals... fell on me. They interacted with my curse - it may now be permanent... [She listens to her parents shocked responses. A tear rolls down her cheek.] Some friends of mine are testing the residue, to see if the effects can be reversed... I haven't heard back from them yet... I don't know... Of course I'll let you know what happens... I love you too... Yeah... Bye. [she hangs up the phone]

<Several hours later after the Rallon, has provided a translated list of the potion labels, combined with the list provided by Feathers. The two wizards and Dr. Tofu reach their conclusions.>

Dr. Tofu: <looking regretful> So we are certain then there is no doubt?

Kei: <sighs softly> I don't believe so Dr. All the tests seem to come to the same conclusion. Corindaen?

Corindaen: <looking old and tired> Aye, I agree there can be no doubts. Thanks to the effects of these potions combined with the unique magic of Jusenkyo and that of her cursed form, has effectively eliminated her human form. For all intents and purpose's Tegan is and will be for the rest of her life one of the Cat People. <spoken softly> Damn....all this power and it's still not enough at times to help a friend.......

Kei: So who delivers the bad news?

Corindaen: <resolutely> I will. This tragedy is as much my fault as the witches... Had I neutralized the potions when I removed the rest of the traps on the witches penthouse none of this would have happened.

Dr. Tofu: Corindaen, don't blame yourself. You could not have known that such a thing would occur.

Kei: <Nodding in agreement> Indeed, no one could blame you for this. You where not at fault.

Corindaen: Perhaps.... Now if you will excuse me I have some bad news to deliver. <Turning quickly Corindaen, strides from the room. Leaving Kei & Dr. Tofu to exchange troubled expressions.>

--- Outside of the Wizard's Keep

Greymist: *Master it wasn't your fault.*

Corindaen: If not mine than who's little one? I am an Archmage, it is part of my responsibility to think of such things. Come we have news to deliver. <Turning towards Mystic Manor Corindaen takes a step and as before vanishes from site, only to appear an instant later at the door of Tegan's apartment. Reaching out he knocks on the door. A few moments later PATE answers it.>

PATE: Corindaen, come in. <waves the mage in> What have you discovered?

Corindaen: I need to speak with Tegan. Is she awake, and is Tora still with her?

PATE: Yes I believe she is still awake and Tora is still hear.

Corindaen: Good. <Striding across the room towards Tegan's bedroom, he knocks and then enters when bidden. Tora is sitting on the edge of the bed while Tegan is lying there with her head propped up by pillows. Around her are several of her stuffed animals to keep her company. As Corindaen enters followed by a worried looking PATE Tegan & Tora both look at the wizard.>

Tegan: Corindaen.....?

Corindaen: Lady Tegan, Tora, I have news concerning your condition.....

Tegan: You've analyzed the potions already?

Corindaen: With the assistance of Dr. Tofuu, Kei, and Kei's friends. I have some rather regrettable news.

Tegan: [sighing] No antidote, huh?

Corindaen: I am afraid not.

Tegan: Good thing I didn't try and get my hopes up.

Corindaen: There is more... Besides the fact that your cursed form is your natural form... if you attempt to tamper with it... [Corindaen pauses, regarding Tegan, Tora, and PATE] ... the results could be disastrous, even fatal.

Tora: You can't be serious!

Corindaen: I wish it were so. The instability of the potions makes any attempt at further alterations unpredictable.

Tegan: [fighting back more tears] Th... thank you Corindaen and Greymist.... for all your help... I guess it just comes down to completely accepting it.... You two must want to get some rest. PATE, could you show them out?

Corindaen: [understanding the meaning behind Tegan's words] You should rest as well, Lady Tegan. [he sets her book on cat people on the end of her bed]

Tegan: [forcing a smile] Thanks. I'll try.

[Corindaen follows PATE out, leaving Tegan and Tora alone. Tora notices that, while Tegan isn't crying, her body is trembling. He slides beside her on the bed and wraps his arm around her]

Tora: Hey, kitten, come on... just let it go. Just let it all go.

Tegan: Oh God, Tora... it's one thing to know that there isn't an antidote... it's another to find out that trying any other means might get myself killed...

Tora: Do you want your original form back that badly?

Tegan: I... I don't know... I don't think I want it badly enough to die for it... but there might have been another way for me, if not to remove the curse, to get it back to the way it was. I don't even have that hope.

Tora: [pulls Tegan closer to her] I know, I know. [pause] I don't know what I should say now. You know how I feel about you. [interlocks the fingers of his hand with hers]

Tegan: I know. That's helping me right now [she rests her head on his shoulder.]

Tora: Can you do me a favor, though?

Tegan: Hmmm?

Tora: This is going to sound rather odd, but...

Tegan: What?

Tora: When you get the chance [pause, then grins] can you tell me what its like to have a hot shower without having to transform?

[With her good arm, Tegan picks up one of the small decorator pillows and whacks Tora with it. Tora gently pulls his arm away from her shoulder and towards a free pillow]

Tora: Do you really want to do that?

Tegan: You're impossible.

Tora: And I got your mind off of all that possibility death garbage for a moment.

[Tegan sighs and shakes her head.]

Tegan: I give up.

[Tora takes her head in hand and turns it to face his. He stares into her eyes. Her tongue snakes out to moisten her suddenly dry lips. He closes his eyes and pulls her lips ever closer to his. Sighing, Tegan's free hand wraps around Tora's neck. Finally, their lips connect, with what feels like pure lightning surging through their bodies. Tegan begins trembling again - this trembling is not from frustration or anger - this one is from excitement and desire. Tora notices her trembling, and although he tries to pull himself away, to settle things down, Tegan keeps pressing forward, her lips pressing harder on his. Hungrily she claims his kiss, not wanting it to end. Finding himself unable to get away, he gives himself up totally to the kiss. Sensing the change in Tora's response, Tegan relaxes. He begins gently stroking her hair as the warmth from the fire in her lips spreads to his body. Involuntarily Tegan begins to purr. With that, Tora finally breaks contact with her lips, and before she can say anything, Tora puts a finger on her lips.]

Tora: Please.... we might just end up doing something we might end up regretting later.

Tegan: I don't know about regretting it... but I'm definitely not up to anything of the sort. My leg is starting to bother me.

Tora: [shakes head for a moment then smiles] [thinks] have to remember, she's not a tiger... [aloud to Tegan] Do you ... want me to stay and... keep an eye on you?

Tegan: No. That's okay. I'm going to have some of that herbal tea Dr. Tofuu gave me, then try to get some sleep.

Tora: Alright. [kisses Tegan on the forehead, then heads to the door, but stops for a moment.] Do you have any idea where that kiss came from?

Tegan: [smiling] From the heart.

Tora: Amazing when it just seems to take over. [pause] Take it easy. And if you want, I can come back tomorrow.

Tegan: Thanks. I'd appreciate that.

Tora: Until tomorrow love. [leaves, closing the door behind him.]

[Sighing, Tegan waits for PATE to bring her the herbal tea. After finishing the cup, Tegan lies down and tries to get comfortable. Thanks to the tea, she falls asleep.]

[The next morning, Tegan wakes up late. Her head pounds, her arm and leg ache. Finding a comfortable position to sleep in was nearly impossible. She blinks, hoping the previous day was just a bad dream. The cast on her leg, however, serves as a painful reminder. She picks up the crutch leaning against her end table and manages to get to her feet. After limping into the bathroom, she stares at herself in the mirror. Only the desire to avoid 7 years bad luck keeps her from smashing it. Instead, she finishes her business in there, dresses, and hobbles out to the kitchen. PATE is sitting at the counter with a cup of coffee.]

PATE: Tegan, you should not be out of bed.

Tegan: Can't help it Sitting there just makes me think. I need to keep myself occupied. Is there any more of that herbal tea from Dr. Tofuu?

PATE: He gave me a tin full. Would you like for me to fix you some?

Tegan: Please. [She hobbles back into the living room and sets herself down on the couch, elevating her leg] I'm going to try to get ahold of everyone and get some work done up in the penthouse.

PATE: [bringing Tegan a mug and a plate with a muffin] [sternly] You should not be overexerting yourself so soon.

Tegan: [takes the mug, drinks, then sets it down] It's not like I'm going to be doing anything major. I'll sit and direct.

[PATE doesn't reply. She simply shakes her head ruefully.]

Tegan: If I sit up here and do nothing, I'm just going to start thinking about yesterday. I want to keep myself busy.

PATE: Very well.

[After her breakfast, Tegan limps out to the elevator. She runs into Corindaen and Greymist in the stairwell.]

Corindaen: Lady Tegan, a surprise to see you up so soon.

Greymist: *How do you feel?*

Tegan: As well as can be expected. I'm going to get the crew together and try to finish cleaning out the penthouse.

Corindaen: Before you proceed with your work in the penthouse, there is something I would like to do up there.

Tegan: Sure. [she hands him a key] I'll be up in a bit. [The elevator arrives, and she steps in. It closes behind her.]

Corindaen: This time I will ensure any remaining potions can do no harm.

[Downstairs, Tegan finds Feathers, Leo, Jake, and Su. They are surprised to hear her plans, but say nothing. Su stays downstairs to handle the phones while the others go upstairs. They meet Corindaen and Greymist coming out of the penthouse.]

Corindaen: Lady Tegan, I have taken precautions so that we may avoid a repeat of yesterday. The remaining potions are neutralized and harmless. It is something I should have done previously.

Tegan: Oh. [she bites the inside of her lip] Don't blame yourself. I shouldn't have tried going down the stairs with the box.

Corindaen: Still...

Tegan: I said don't worry about it. It'll take me a few weeks, but I'll have to get used to it.

Corindaen: Very well, Lady Tegan. Should you need assistance, we will be in the library.

Tegan: Thanks.

[An hour later, work progresses in the penthouse. Most of the furniture is moved out, save the sofa Tegan reclines on. She senses someone entering the building. Five minutes after, her cell phone rings.]

Tegan: [answering it] Hello?

Su: [on phone] Tegan-san, there's someone down here that would like to see an apartment.

Tegan: OK. Thanks. I'll take care of it. [she ends the call, then reaches for her crutch.]

Feathers: What is it?

Tegan: Someone here to see an apartment.

Feathers: You stay here. I'll take care of it.

Tegan: [putting down the crutch hesitantly] You sure?

Feathers: You shouldn't do any more walking than necessary. [With that, Feathers disappears out the penthouse door.]

Jake: Hey, Tegan, what do you want me to do with this trunk of clothing?

Tegan: Bring it over here. I'll see if there's anything I can donate to a shelter.

(A few minutes later, Lisa quietly enters the penthouse. Her hair now comes all the way down to her waist and has a blue streak down the middle, her nails are also painted blue, and she is wearing a blue dress and high heels. Ironically, her favorite color is yellow.)

Lisa : (quietly to Jake) How is Tegan doing?

Jake : You can ask her yourself.

---- Downstairs

[Feathers walks into the office. Su is behind the desk. A stranger sits in a chair, waiting for assistance.]

Feathers: [to the stranger] May I help you?

--- Penthouse ----

[Tegan is still on the sofa, directing action.]

Lisa: Hi, Tegan. I dropped by to see how you're doing.

Tegan: Trying to keep busy. [she turns and looks at Lisa] O_O Lisa what did you do to your hair?!?

Lisa: I wanted to try something a little different.

Tegan: A little different is an understatement.

Lisa: [twirling for Tegan] What do you think?

Tegan: [hesitantly] It's... very... interesting... Have Mr. and Mrs. Saotome seen you like this yet?

Lisa: No. I just finished at the beauty parlor.

Tegan: Is there any particular reason you decided on this new look?

Lisa : (casually) I just wanted to try something new. See things from a new perspective. Turn a few heads. That kind of stuff.

Tegan : Is this something you plan to have for awhile, or is it just a temporary thing?

Lisa : It depends on what happens and what kinds of reactions I get. If everything goes well, I plan to keep it for awhile. If not, it should be fairly easy to return my hair to the way it was.

Tegan : Do your parents know about this?

Lisa : A-a-actually no. As I said before, I c-came here straight from the Beauty Parlor.

Tegan : Well if you plan on keeping it, it might be best to tell them as soon as possible.

Lisa : (sighs) I guess you're right. It must be mild compared to some of the things Ranma has done.

Tegan : They are definitely use to surprises.

Lisa : Still I have no idea how they might react. (ponders the situation for a few seconds) How has everything been going here?

[Tegan and Lisa talk for a few more minutes.]

Lisa: I guess I better go see if Corindaen is around.

Tegan: I saw him earlier. He might be in the library.

Lisa: Thanks. I'll see you later. [She turns to go when Feathers walks in.]

Feathers: The young man seems very interested in the apartment. He'll get back to us shortly... [she sees Lisa] GOOD LORD LISA! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?! Lisa : Just trying something different.

Feathers : If you want different, why didn't you come to me. I know a number of styles that would look good on you.

Lisa : (thinks : Just the regular mundane styles that are suppose to be "normal " for me.) I'll keep that in mind.

Tegan: [dryly] Well, I think you now have a good idea of how Nodoka will react.

Lisa: I... think I'll be going now.

Tegan: See you.

[Feathers stares at the door after Lisa leaves.]

(Lisa meets Nezumi along the corridor.)

Lisa: Hi.

Nezumi: Hi... (peers closer) Lisa-chan? Is that you?

Lisa: Of course. (twirls around) What do you think?

Nezumi: Wow. Is it a wig?

Lisa: (laughs) No. It's something a bit more harder to come off.

Nezumi: Cool. I guess Jay'll like it... (thinks: and probably Jingai too, if he sees you now...)

Lisa: Where's Jingai-san?

Nezumi: (purses her lips) He's... Upstairs. Meditating.

Lisa : Will he be down shortly?

Nezumi : Maybe not shortly, but he will be coming down eventually.

Lisa : (laughs nervously) I can wait. (notices basket Nezumi is carrying) Where are you going?

Nezumi: I'm off to the market. You?

Lisa: I'm going up to visit Corindaen-sensei.

Nezumi: So, I have to go. See you later!

Lisa: Yes. See you...

(Nezumi hurries out. Lisa looks at her for a few moments, then turns around and continues...)

--- In the library of Mystic Manor ---

Lisa arrives in the library, looking for Corindaen, looking around she quickly spots him and Greymist, studying several large tomes. Periodically one or the other of them will refer to a second set of tomes. Nearby are several tablets filled with notes and arcane symbols.>

Lisa: Corindaen Sensei, hello

Corindaen: <Looking up startled> Eh?? Lisa hello is it time for you lessons already?

<Then blinking suddenly, Corindaen gets a good look at Lisa's new hair style>

Corindaen: 0_0'''' An...Interesting hair style Lisa.. Something new hmmm??

Lisa: <with a grin> Yeah, do you like it? <as she speaks she twirls in place to show the full effect>

Corindaen: It's....Different.

Greymist: *Ah, don't mind him Lisa, I like it. It suits you.*

Lisa: <smiling happily> Thanks. So what are you guys working on?

Corindaen: I'm researching illusion spells. For your lesson today I want you to study the third series of arcane symbols and patterns. <As he speaks Corindaen hands Lisa a small book.> Pay particular attentions to the symbols of defense & warding.

Lisa: <suddenly getting serious> Hai, Sensei..

Corindaen: <smiling slightly at her formality> Why don't you find a seat and start your studies. If you have any questions either Greymist or myself will be here to answer them.

Lisa: Okay, <taking the books she goes over to an empty chair and begins to study the material assigned to her.>

--- Later in the day, back in the penthouse ---

[Most of the furnishings are out of the penthouse. There's only a few boxes left. One is marked "magic room storage." A few more are labeled "first floor storage."]

Tegan: Jake, Ro... take the boxes that need to go to the first floor storage, put them on one of the shelves, and then lock the door. Leo, take the other door to the magic room. It should still be open. Close the door on your way out, and it will lock automatically.

Ro: Come on man. Let's get this done and it's over.

Jake: My back is aching. Me for a hot bath.

[Leo silently picks up the box and takes it down the (repaired) stairs. He drops it off in the magic room and walks out. The door closes behind him. A gleam catches his eye. Looking on the ground, he finds a golden circlet and picks it up. The circlet has spaces for three gemstones. One is in the center, one on the right. The stone on the left is missing. Leo vaguely remembers the circlet. It was one of Madame WWW's purchases. He remembers her throwing it across the room, calling it a dud. Leo turns to put it back into the room. The door, however, is locked.]

Leo: Aww.... $h!t!. [He strikes the door, right in the middle of Corindaen's symbol. Nothing happens, except Leo having a sore hand. He shakes it.] Oh, forget it. It's a dud. I might as well hold on to it, until Tegan opens the room up again. [Leo takes it with him down to his apartment. Absently he tosses the circlet into a drawer and closes it. Leo then flops onto his bed.]

--- back in the penthouse ---

[Tired, but feeling very accomplished, Tegan picks up her crutch. The penthouse is devoid of furnishings. It still looks like a mess, with the black, red and green walls, mystic symbols painted on the floors, and boarded up windows. It still needs work, but there's plenty of decorating potential. Tegan hobbles to the elevator, then goes down to her apartment. PATE is out. The pains in Tegan's leg and shoulder becomes more pronounced. She heats a cup of herbal tea in her microwave. She sips it while sitting on a stool in the kitchen. Now, after the day's bustle is over, her mind turns elsewhere. One full day as a cat woman. Only several thousand more to go. Maybe more than before. The cat woman who drowned in the spring could be no more than 18 years old. In Nerima, her appearance would cause no problem. The natives were used to strange things. But what about when she went elsewhere? Outside of Nerima, she'd be a freak. She would have to wear a hat to cover her ears, an annoying prospect, since hats muffled the sound. She could pass her furry hands off as fur gloves. Dealing with the tail would be the most difficult. Sighing, Tegan shakes her head. She finishes her tea, then goes to sit on her couch.]

<As she is resting she suddenly hears a voice calling her name.>

Corindaen: Lady Tegan? Are you okay?

Tegan: <Looking up at Corindaen> yes I'm fine I'm just tired.

Corindaen: I See.. You should not over exert yourself so soon, lady.

Tegan: I'll be all right. What can I do for you? Did Lisa find you, she was looking for you earlier.

Corindaen: Yes I spoke with Lisa a little while ago. She is up in the library studying right now. The reason I was looking for you however is because I believe I can do something that will make it a little easier for you to deal with your new form.

Tegan: <Looking curious> What? I thought you said that shape changing magic wouldn't work on me?

Corindaen: Shape Changing magic will not, however Illusions are another matter. If you wish I can place a spell in your ward control bracelet, that will allow you to appear completely human for short periods of time. The illusion would extend to both touch and sight, so that you would be able to interact with people who aren't familiar with your curse, with fewer problems.

Tegan: I...see. how long would the illusion last?

Corindaen: I can set it up so that it would last for about 4 hours. Then your bracelet would need about 4 hours to recharge. Would that be acceptable?

Tegan: Yeah, that would be great thank you.

Corindaen: It is the least I can do lady. It was my error in judgment that is responsible for you change....

Tegan: <Sharply> Corindaen, it wasn't your fault, it was just a stupid accident.

Corindaen: Still I feel responsible, but I will speak of it no more if it troubles you. Hold up your arm and I will imbue the spell into your bracelet.

<As Tegan holds her arm up Corindaen, holds his hands out on either side of the bracelet. For a long moment nothing seems to happen and then suddenly streamers of multicolored light begin to flow from his palms and sink into the bracelet. After a few moments, the light fades and Corindaen lowers his hands.>

Corindaen: There it is done. To use the illusion simply will your form to change.

Tegan: Thank you, I'll test it a little later.

Corindaen: Very well my lady. <bowing slightly> I bid you good day.

<as the mage turns Tegan calls out to him quietly>

Tegan: Corindaen, remember what I said, it wasn't your fault.

<Corindaen stops for a long moment, and then nods slightly and continues on.>

[Tegan sighs, slight and settles back to rest some more when her phone rings.]

Tegan: [on the phone] Hello?

Tora: [on the phone] Hey. How are you feeling?

Tegan: [""] Tired. We got everything moved out of the penthouse. Now we're down to the real renovations.

Tora: [""] That's good. Think you're too tired to go out for dinner?

Tegan: [""] Kinda. PATE's out, though. I wouldn't mind some company and some takeout. Maybe a video.

Tora: [""] I'll be there in about an hour. See you then.

Tegan: [""] Bye.

[She hangs up the phone and smiles. Tora's timing is perfect, and his presence will keep her mind from dwelling on the sudden changes in her life. He arrives promptly in an hour, with a bag of takeout in one hand and a video in the other.]

<the end>

RL Note: This concludes this thread. This will go on to that little incident in Agent S' shop, then Hints and Allegations, No Flame Hotter, etc. If you've been involved in this thread, feel free to do insertions prior to the end. Otherwise, John will get this thread compiled, and it will go up on my homepage with the others. 'Nuff said.