-Wendy- soft

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The distant scent of lime and papaya hung in the air like a gentle fog. I could feel her hands – small and slender, soft and gentle – grazing across my skin, over the half-assed bandage job I’d done, over fresh scars and a few old ones, neatly-manicured fingernails tracing across each with a hypnotic sort of expertise. The gauze was matted against my skin, and it stuck uncomfortably as she unwound it – my whole right arm and a chunk of the left, a makeshift packing job around my midsection, and down a leg.

Jade Nakajima had the patience and grace of someone who’d done this thousands of times already – sometimes for me, sometimes for Amber. Usually for Nico, back when they worked together. Guess she was a Venenum for the Seventh, though you’d never guess she was a magical girl at all looking at her.

…Felt good to get the burns aired out, even if it stung. I could change the shape of the arm, imagine it was something else, but when it snapped back to normal, it still hurt like hell. Didn’t get better when she was cleaning it, but for the sake of not making shit weird, I did my best to sleep through most of it.

You can sleep through a lot of shit if you practice enough.

…Well, if I slept through it too hard, I wouldn’t be talking about it. Probably wouldn’t tell her, but it felt nice being pampered a little without…y’know. Without any implications. If she saw the little smile on my face, she didn’t say anything.

…Shit! Yeah, she saw it. And rather than say something, all she did was tighten the new bandages on my fucking arm harder. My eyes snapped open and I stared up at her, and she gave me the tiniest, shittiest little smirk. ...If nothing else, it was a lot cuter than anything Nakajima…the other Nakajima…usually managed.

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The bandages – the ones Jade used – were unique. It was something she’d learned to put together when she was with Nicole, a sort of…extension of her magic, I guess. Gauze carefully bathed in a poultice of clean water and blood. Hers, not just any dumbfuck’s. That was her thing. Bodily fluids. Some shit about energy transfer, usual healing crap. Not really my field.

…She could kiss a cut and make it better if she set her mind to it. Never did. Didn’t like people enough for that, she’d rather bleed than get that close to them. Didn’t really blame her.

“That’s the worst of it,” she murmured in her usual airy, disinterested tone. “Do you feel any better?”

“I can’t feel my hand.”

“That means it’s working.” Moments like this reminded me that Jade was nobody’s damn nurse. …Probably learned it from Nicole, that she couldn’t afford to take shit from her patients.

I pushed myself to my feet, wobbling a little. Took a second of clenching and unclenching my fist to loosen the bandages up and get my blood flowing again. A second later, Jade thrust an ice-cold juice box into my hand. …I was hoping it would be like, apple juice or something, but judging by the smell and the fat little bat on the front…

“Finish the whole thing.” Her eyes met mine for a second. …Couldn’t tell what she was thinking, but it might have been worry. …Or


maybe I’m just that lonely.


…I need a girlfriend, Christ.

“Wendy. Finish the-“

“-whole thing, yeah.” She smiled and patted me on the head, and…can’t say I hated that.

“You’ll be fine in a few days as long as you don’t push yourself too hard. Which I’m certain you won’t.” She turned to head back out to the living room, and I tried to get a good look at her ass through her-

Alright, get a fucking grip, Cooldown. This is pathetic.

...It took a little courage to test out the juice box. Didn’t exactly love it – this wasn’t my first fresh blood rodeo, though, and it was a little refreshing. Coppery and syrupy, and it tingled on my tongue from what I assumed was all the magic or…I don’t know, maybe that’s how maids tasted. Or she mixed painkillers in. Like, really good painkillers.

…That’d be nice. Just blank out for the day, catch up on sleep. Nobody could walk out of Wonderland without needing to pass out for a few days. Not even me. Maybe especially not me.

Dunno how long I was out before Jade was shaking me awake again. Thought she was room service for a minute, she might have slapped me. …When I came to, she told me someone was asking for me at the door. It was about the last person I expected.

“Can…can I come in?” Green – what’s-her-DDs, Midori whatever – was standing at the door, shuffling her feet, squeezed into bike shorts that were a little too small for her and a hoodie that she probably thought made her look flatter. It didn’t.

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I’d like to say I slammed the door in her fucking face. I almost did. I wanted to. …I don’t know. I was just…tired. Maybe I wanted someone to talk to that might talk back a little. Jade was cool and having a maid around was kinda hot, but she wasn’t exactly chatty.

…Maybe I just figured talking with Green would let me figure out Kong’s deal faster than trying to talk to Kong would.

I let her in without a word, motioned her back to my room – I knew better to try and kick Jade out when her weird samurai tokusatsu show was on. She didn’t seem all that thrilled about it, but she warmed up a little when I offered her some brownies.

(Good ones were on the bottom shelf of the fridge. She didn’t get those. Those were for me. And Jade. And a weekend where we didn’t need to do anything.)

It took her a long time and about three brownies to get to the fucking point, but I dunno, I didn’t mind that much. She had kind of a cute look to her, not that I was checking her out exactly – nibbled on her lip a little when she was thinking about what to say, kept fussing with her hair. Seemed like she didn’t get out much more than Annie did – had to be foreign, or maybe half or something. Her skin was lighter than mine, and her eyes…

Actually, she kinda reminded me of Ol’ Batshit, but instead of scary she was just, you know…awkward.

“…I want to know what happened on Sempai’s mission.” Rookie spat it out eventually, quiet and even. My fingernails dug into my palms as I resisted the urge to snap at her about how I didn’t fuck her stupid girlfriend.

“I didn’t fuck your stupid girlfriend, Green.” ...Never been good at resisting urges. She gave me a sharp look – surprisingly sharp, on a face like hers – and bit back her retort.

“You’ve got some fucking chip on your shoulder, but I’ve been trying to back off. Alright? She still grabs my ass and shit, it’s hard. It’s like she can’t recognize me without feeling me up.” …That wasn’t fair, and it’d probably get her in trouble later. I didn’t really care. I was about to continue when Green cut me off.

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“I trust Sempai…I don’t think she’d do that to me.” Her voice was even and stern, but those big, red eyes bored into me like a fucking laser. “I just want to know what happened to her. How she ended up…like that.”

“With big fucking skeleton wings powered by the screaming souls of the damned.”

“What!?” She looked mortified, and I couldn’t help but smirk. Yeah, she was that kind of person…too pure for all this bullshit. Or maybe just too…green.

Heh heh.

“Your girlfriend’s retarded. Like, serious brain problems. So we’re fighting through asstons of fucking demons – like real honest to shit demons, not…you know. Not like the kind you see on TV, or the kind you dream up in the middle of the night. Shit’s fucked in the special way Wond…the Akashic Realm fucks shit.”

…Already looked like I lost her.

“…It’s basically like…Double Hell. It’s where common sense and all the good in the world go to die.” Dug a cigarette out and lit it. She seemed kinda…into that, almost more than what I was saying, just stared at me while I lit the damn cigarette. Maybe she was a pyro. …Or just afraid of fire. She edged away a second later.

“Don’t try to imagine it, just like…There’s a lot of the fuckers. We left Sakura behind to deal with Red Bitch-“

+After you got punked.+ An unwelcome piece of imaginary shit chimed in while I was trying to explain.

“Shut the fuck up, Nico.” Green screwed up her face and I winced as I realized I said it out loud.

“I didn’t…say anything…? And that’s not-“

“You wanna hear this or not?” I took a long drag on my cigarette and hunted for my place again.

“Arright, so we sent Mickey back after her. It was just me, Miss Tomoe, and…Matsuda. We pick up on What’s-Her-Stick and we confront her, and the first two things Matsuda tries to do are fucking…chat with her and hand her soul gem over.”

“…You’re lying.” She scowled at me, and I growled back.

“Fuck off. Why would I lie about how fucking stupid your girlfriend is? Does she not do completely pants-on-head retarded shit around you? Because she has brain problems with a capital fucking handicap space.”

…That one went over her head, but she settled into a low frown.

“So she hands her soul gem over and…like…explodes into being Satan.”

She frowned harder.

“...You know. The Shieldmaiden. Harbinger of the apocalypse. Celestial rapist. The…Nemesis of the Golden Land or…something like that. Christ, I know you guys have church pamphlets in the lobby, did you seriously never read one? This is basic shit.” I didn’t read the pamphlets either. I was pretty sure Annie made half of her sermons up on the spot anyway.

…Yeah, I wasn’t winning her over with this.

“Look, anyway, she went all batshit, suplexed what’s-her-face into the ground and it was fucking awesome, we got the bitch stick, something something power of shitty J-pop, and we left. And then that Culexus died, and your Incubator started shitting and crying everywhere and shoved Matsuda into lockup.”

A minute passed before she offered anything at all.

“You’re…not good at reports, huh…”

“You want a report, ask Mickey. The fuck are you even here? I hate you. You come here just to eat my brownies or something?” …Didn’t hate her that much. She smelled pretty nice. Kiwi shampoo I think, something kinda familiar, but I couldn’t really place it.

This time it seemed like she actually got the joke – her expression softened a little.

“Well…Everyone else is injured, busy, or Sempai. You don’t seem to really do anything, so I figured you’d be free.” She reached for another brownie. I put my cigarette out on it an inch from her fingers before I took it for myself. Yeah, fuck you, Green.

“I do the paperwork Miss Tomoe doesn’t have time for and Matsuda doesn’t fucking bother with. …Least, that’s what it’s turning into.” She took a different brownie instead, but I felt like I won a moral victory.

“You..? Paperwork? …Wait, you’re really Tomoe-san’s assistant?” Her eyes widened as she popped a hunk of brownie into her mouth. I swallowed mine.

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“Fuck did you think?”

“…Well, I thought you two were effing.”



“…Fucking.” Green corrected herself with an irritated little scowl. …Surprisingly cute. “I thought you two were kind of a thing. Like, pet play…or something. After the meeting-“

“She was worried I’d get carried away and hurt someone. Someone that pissed me off. Like you.”

She fidgeted a little, staring down at her lap.

“…I’m not sorry.”

“…Hey. Lemme ask you something. …She even give a shit? Was she even mad?” I wasn’t gonna like the answer, but somehow we’d gotten over to this.

“…We talked about it.” Green was a shitty liar. “Later,” she added. “A lot happened that day, so…”

“Yeah. Sure. I bet she spanked you and then it was all okay, right?”

“…S…something like that.” Her cheeks flushed a little, and I felt my knife squeeze into my hand. I could kill her. I could kill her right here, ditch the body. Wouldn’t be hard to pin it on some mindfucked remnants of staffbitch’s followers.

…I didn’t.

…Bros before hos. Matsuda and I were…it was complicated, yeah. But I wasn’t some stupid crazy slut in some cartoon that’d just knife someone for being inconvenient. We were getting along okay, and that was…enough…for now.

I followed her gaze, figured she must have seen my knife. I wasn’t really hiding it. Glanced down at her hands and caught a glimpse of steel between her fingers, too– butterfly knife, maybe, or a switchblade. Probably a switchblade, carefully covered with one hand while she fidgeted …Wasn’t as shitty a liar as I thought, if she could keep that expression up while she pulled that out of her hoodie.

…Nice thighs, too.

“…You need anything else?” I pushed myself to my feet and shoved the rest of my brownie into my mouth, letting my knife dissolve back into the sea of my subconscious or whatever. She made a little noise, a negative, and did the same. …Her mouth was full, she stole the last fucking one when I turned away.

I saw her to the door, and she finally offered me an awkward smile.

“Um, thanks…I know this was weird. I guess…I mean, you’re not as bad as I thought.”

“Yes I am. Get fucked.” I offered her a half-assed little wave before closing the door on her.

…Should have just stabbed her. When’d I get so soft…?