Were I more of a hack, there'd be an accompanying mock TGS video about this chapter being the "First-Person Senshi" experience. But I'm not, so there isn't.
[The following episode of LKSH1/W00 was filmed in Kaguya-Cam. Viewer discretion is advised.]
The first thing that greets me as I awaken is pressure bearing down on me. Snapping to life, my brain tries to make sense of this strange weight – it appears evenly distributed all over the front of my body.
Before I can move to throw it off, though, my eyes open and everything starts fitting together.
Last night rushes back into my memory. The weight in question is Haken – rather, Haken as 'Haruka,' whom I engaged in some intense cuddling with on the couch the previous evening.
…Now I just can't bear to wake up right now.
No, not because 'she's' still soundly asleep, though not wanting to disturb 'her' is part of it.
It's 'her' face. There's this rather peaceful, rather content expression on 'her' face as 'her' head rests just slightly between my breasts. Normally I'd say it's all because of 'her' location, but ever since the other night at the opera, it seems our sleeping together has started taking a hard turn more towards just being close to one another than anything particularly sexual. (A small wonder considering how intimately straightforward Haken's first 12 hours as a girl were.)
And so I close my eyes for another few minutes, letting the warmth of Haruka's body carry me toward 'her' level of contentment.
Lewd Kamen Senshi Haken 1/W00
An Endless Frontier-flavored multi-fandom blender by /m/'s Haken Browning
TV Asahi Announcer: Lewd Kamen Senshi Haken 1/W00 is created using materials from the following corporate entities: (display Bandai Namco, Toei, Konami, Kojima Productions, Shogakukan, and Square Enix logos) Rights of scenario reserved without intent to profit by Team Phantom Tiger. Promotional and distributive consideration graciously provided by our web hosts and sponsors: (display FFN, deviantART, Blogger, and Google logos) …Also Team Phantom Tiger doesn't own the TV Asahi Announcer voice either.
Episode 8: Selection of the Perfect Partner! Perfect Blossom Sealing Technique!
[About 30 minutes later…]
Just as I'm about to re-enter REM sleep, a voice whispers in my ear: "I see you're still sleeping well…my princess."
My voice comes out kinda groggy in response. "Well…I WAS. I know YOU were."
"Heh…There's no way I could ever stay uneasy around you…my princess…my Kaguya-sama…"
It is at that point that I have to shove Haruka off myself, and thus off the couch.
You see, Haruka in the bedroom (or really, anywhere where bodies are right up next to each other with few clothes in the way) is a total one-eighty from Haruka or Haken out of the bedroom: if I leave her to keep heaping praise on me, she'll eventually go into full submissive mode and start begging to service me. Once that happens, the promise of free and unchallenged sexual gratification starts clouding MY judgment, and suddenly we're both six hours behind on our various duties for the day because 'Mistress' can't bear to see her 'Bunny' unhappy and the thing that makes the 'Bunny' happy is…yeah, you see where I'm going with this.
Don't get me wrong, I'm kinda starting to like that stuff…it's just that between the line of work we're in and the demon-princess-scientist we're currently trying to hunt down (no offense, Suzuka, in case you're listening to this), we can't exactly afford to take too many off days.
"Urgh…my head…why you do that?"
"Sorry, Haruka, but I'm not exactly in a 'sleeping in' mood."
"Awww, but we haven't had any real 'us time' in a while…"
"I thought last night was 'us time'. Your fault for not bothering to go all the way." I really hate to have to rebuke her like this, but it's as much for her own good as it is for my image. Even though I'm officially on the royal coming-of-age pilgrimage, the fact that our Frontier Senshi codenames are less than original will definitely alert the masses to my whereabouts sooner or later. And when the paparazzi show up, it'll be easier on both of us if they find me in the care of renowned bounty hunter Haken Browning rather than upstart nymphomaniac Haruka Brodel. "Though if you're good, I'll see if we can make up for that tonight, OK?"
"…Fair enough, Princess." Haruka scoots herself to eye level with my outstretched arm and kisses the hand, one last vestige of her attempt at subservience.
"All right. The others will likely be coming in for breakfast soon, so let's clean up quickly."
"Got it." As we pull ourselves from our respective resting places and adjourn to the Zeit's crew quarters, I can't help but wonder which aspect(s) of Haken/Haruka are the secret identity these days – they're all a little irrational, Haken and TheSnake only slightly less so than Haruka and Sailor W00.
But then again, that irrationality is kinda the reason I'm alive right now. Maybe…just maybe all four of them are his/her true self.
[Camera feed ends as Kaguya enters her bedroom, resuming some six hours later…]
Breakfast and lunch passed by without incident, save a couple unusually loud explosions from the Lab Deck while Haken was testing more of TheSnake's cards. I'm not entirely sure I want to know what became of those.
As for myself, what was to be a quick mid-afternoon prayer session to ask my ancestors' forgiveness for various acts of costumed heroine bloodshed and premarital lesbian coitus (don't worry, Dad, I'm repenting for the nights with Haken as well) was rudely interrupted halfway in by our resident Mutant Eye bouncing through the ductwork like Suzuka let him into her stash of espresso fudge brownies.
"What brings you down here, O'Malley?"
"Crazy big Youma flux, lass. The team up top just got wind of it through Papa John; said Pete's knee-deep in ninjas on the north side o'town."
"Not beasts like we've been getting with Lilith?"
"Nae, and that's what's got me knackered. This means whatever's attacking right now is working independent of Lilith, or vice versa."
"We'll get to the bottom of this…" And then something hit me. "Wait, who's Pete?"
"Pete? …Oh, ye know that new Rider watching Harken's six last night? That's Pete. Or at least, the guy we ought to call 'TheFox' while on duty-"
"Hold up… 'Harken'?"
"…I'm running out of clever things to call Haken-slash-Haruka that cover both bases at once."
"…I kinda like it." Though if I had my way, I'd never have a need to use it. "I'll be up in a minute, gotta sort this out."
"Take ye time, we've another couple minutes before the Zeit's in position."
I turn back to the mini-shrine next to my bedstand as O'Malley exits. "Gomen nasai, Okaa-san… time is currently of the essence, and my rites need to be postponed. Please understand, and forgive what needs to be done…"
[As Kaguya exits, the viewer may hold R1 to catch a glimpse of Ui Nanbu's ghost watching her leave from atop the bed…]
[Camera feed resumes in the Zeit's hangar/garage…]
Haruka and the others are already gathered as I enter the ship's rearmost compartment. "Hey, Kaguya, perfect timing. We were just discussing how to handle going into battle now that Gespy-san has volunteered his services." Here, she turns to our old buddy the Phantom, who extends his right fist forward to knock against Haruka's. "Turns out that him being Geist Hopper is independent of me being Kamen Rider TheSnake, so we can ride him anytime – with the caveat that only two of us will fit on him at once."
"When you say 'ride' him-"
*Madame…er, Brodel, I guess…insists that she means it in the platonic and utilitarian sense.* I'm not sure whether to be shocked at the Phantom speaking or it being lost for words.
"Anyhoo," Suzuka says, breaking the silence, "the three of us were trying to see who'd get to ride into battle. Haruka's a given, for obvious reasons, so it's really between you, me, and Aschen."
"Oh. Well, if that's the case, I don't really mind walking-"
"No can do, bucko!" Aschen flips into 'Party Girl' mode and grabs my arm, dragging me towards Haruka and the Phantom. "We've already had our turn with her, so I insist you ride with Haruka!"
The two white-haired ladies in the room are dumbstruck by this, Suzuka especially. "WHAT? But…all that arguing over whether you'd be better for it than me…"
"All part of my cunning plan!" Aschen cuts a sly smile as she returns to normal. "Kaguya deserves this more than either of us, but since she wasn't here to vouch for herself, I had to…take certain steps to guarantee she'd have this opportunity."
"Namely," Haruka piped up, "presenting an argument on your OWN behalf, then defaulting to Kaguya right as she realized what was going on. Clever, but not by enough."
Now it was Aschen's turn to be confused. "What?"
"You see…I planned on taking Kaguya with me from the beginning, just 'cause. Nice to see you're being thoughtful, though, and I'm sure Suzuka would be doing the same in your shoes."
At this point, I'm not sure what to think. Bear in mind that eight hours from either side of right now, the only cunning plans Haruka would be making would involve trying to get her head under my dress. "So…I guess this means…"
*They've pretty much volunteered you for it, Princess Nanbu. I also find this acceptable.*
"Dang, even the robot wants me riding him…sure, why not?"
"That's the spirit, Princess!" Haruka beams as the bay door opens behind her, her face decorated with a positively shit-eating grin (or rather 'clit-nibbling,' maybe?). "We've got a straight shot into the city from here, so let's get this party started! Frontier Fusion Formation!"
The Mugen Amulet tucked under my dress starts glowing white-hot as the energy within does the work of transforming me into Sailor Nanbu. The actual feeling of transformation is nearly impossible to explain – it's like a big wall of raw feeling that slams into you, but doesn't bear down long enough to register as pain or pleasure or anything in between. Whatever it's supposed to be, though, it does the impossible with every transformation: my fuku seems to fit even more snugly around my body than my usual dress, without either constricting or letting my bust spill out (not a wardrobe malfunction I risk by choice, mind you, but that's a tale for another day).
"Your turn, Gespy-san." Haruka points her unfolded amulet at the Phantom and dials.
[#-7-8-9] CALL, GEIST HOPPER
Phantom rushes out the hatch, making a grand leap once its boots hit sand. Haruka and I trail behind as all sorts of outlandish twists, turns, and folds convert the robot into a motorcycle. To this day, I wonder where the wheels are being stored in its normal mode.
Slamming down wheels-first, Geist Hopper flashes its head and tail lights, beckoning Sailor W00 and myself to climb aboard. Haruka shoots me a thumbs-up as we oblige, my arms wrapping around her waist as we accelerate to intercept speed. The ride into Trodel Stadt is smoother than I'd expect from a normal motorcycle on the blasted Herencian desert, and yet a vibration exists in my seat that can only be either a power seating installation gone horribly wrong, or a hare-brained scheme of Haruka's to exalt and arouse her 'Mistress' gone horribly right (as right as it can be while we're on business, at least).
I'll have to speak with Marion about Gespy-san's after-market modifications later.
[Camera feed resumes 5 minutes later…]
We hop off of Geist Hopper at the corner of Elm and Providence, where the city guard, now bolstered by SRW Corps' W-series droids, has cordoned off the intersection so Pete - er, TheFox, seeing as how we're on duty – doesn't have to worry about accidentally shooting up anyone's car.
Can't say the north side's got much to worry about, though. Even though TheFox is showing signs of exhaustion, he's still nailing many of the ninjas in one go with a card combo that gets Haruka salivating.
[SKILL RIDE: GILLIAN SEED]
[ATTACK RIDE: CHRIS JENNER]
Another of the Neo-Youma grunts takes a knockout shot as Haruka and I get inside the police tape. Our arrival seems to have caught the attention of today's aggressors: a couple of lion-faced fellows who could easily pass for Dokugozu and Dokumezu with a good shave and the right hats.
"Saizou Squadron, fall back!" the blue one bellows. "Our lure worked perfectly, if not quite as clean as we'd hoped!"
The ninjas quit hounding TheFox as we approach. "Lure?"
"We didn't expect your friend to put such a dent in our elite Akukage," the red one interjects, "But the sacrifice was necessary for us to obtain an audience with this land's Frontier Senshi."
"Oh God…we have fanboys among the bad guys now."
"Stay sharp, Haruk-er, Sailor W00, who knows what they've got planned!"
"Oh, just drop the secret identity act, will ya?" the blue one cuts back in. "You've kinda been marked as priority targets since day one anyway. Isn't that right…Kaguya Nanbu?"
A shiver goes down my spine.
He continues, "Of course, there's no point in exposing this kind of secret identity if it's something your people expect of you, anyway. In fact, we're here for another princess entirely."
Haruka takes a defensive stance. "If you want Suzuka, forget it. You boys don't look like you can afford her cover charge."
"I'm talking about OUR princess, insolent bitch!" The blue guy rushes her, only for his claw to catch against my blade. "What have you done with Lilith Barshem?"
"Lilith? A princess? …oh. OOOHHHHHH, I get it, you guys think we've kidnapped her or something."
"Perhaps…" The lion releases his arm, retreating into an assault stance. "Well…have you?"
Haruka starts treating this as a casual conversation at this point. "Pfft, hell no. We've been too caught up in taking down her crazy experiments."
"Experiments? That…that means…" The lion turns back to his compatriot. "Inform the Emperor at once, Coustwell. If His Majesty's daughter is contributing to the war effort of her own accord, we have no reason to 'rescue' her."
"And leave you unattended? No way." Coustwell motions to one of his ninjas. "You guys, though…I don't think we'll need your assistance here any more. Relay our findings to the Emperor." The lackey bows before he and the rest of Saizou Squadron are swallowed by a series of black pools under their feet. "As for yourself, Granteed…I take it you don't wish to leave empty-handed?"
"Heh, whether I have to take these three home whole or in pieces, they shall serve me splendidly."
"Oh, that tears it."
And then Granteed got a Phantom Plasma Stake in the gut. You see, somewhere in that sex-addled brain of hers, Haruka ran a few calculations and decided she'd rather not be referred to as an 'it' when it came to her gender fluidity. Ever since Lilith's grandstanding at the opera the other night, however, she's become a lot more concerned about her sense of self. Probably had to do with how Lilith was bragging about Marisa Pierce being merely a means to her incarnation or something.
This drive to maintain herself as her own person, whether newfound or pre-existing, obviously ran up against this Youma's appetite for trophies rather violently. "Pete, hit the red one with everything you've got," she barks as she retracts her stake arm. "Kaguya, let's wrap this one up. Nobody with an interest in Lilith's survival leaves here alive."
Haruka's sudden coldness startles me almost as much as the Youma pair's own calculating smugness. Hesitantly, I retrieve the Sealing Chip from within my Mugen Amulet-
This is not enough to satisfy her.
I almost drop the chip as the ghostly whisper flitters through my ears. "What…what did I just hear?"
She demands you bare your soul to her, as she has hers to you.
"Wha…why are you telling me this in the middle of a fight?"
I can faintly make out Haruka yelling "Telling you WHAT?" as the whistle of a boomerang cuts through the air. Then another, and another still as TheFox lets loose a sleight of [ATTACK RIDE: SLASHER HAWK] into Coustwell's torso.
Bring the two Sealing Techniques together… Now I can start to tell where the voice is coming from. To become one in the heat of battle…that is her wish. That is MY wish. After that, the speaker in my amulet falls silent.
Granteed, apparently looking more for a fight than an easy target, turns away from us and charges TheFox, sending Pete flying into a lamppost. "Kaguya, what are you standing around for? Let's combine and get rid of these bozos already!"
"Wha…oh, sorry, zoned out for a moment." I feign being lost in thought. It's a half-truth, and Haruka can probably tell. Nevertheless, with nothing better to do, plus the knowledge that Sealing Techniques only seem to be good for one or two Youma at a time… "Bring the two Sealing Techniques together, huh…" I slowly punch in #-3-2-3 before inserting the Sealing Chip into its proper activation slot.
PERFECT SEALING TECHNIQUE ENGAGE
And then everything goes white.
I come to feeling somewhat heavier than before. I'm somehow standing up, yet every inch of my skin feels like I'm submerged in about ten feet of water. I try moving my hand…
…and I see Haruka's hand moving in front of my face.
*Kaguya…Kaguya, what did you do? The possession's gone backwards!*
"Backwards?" I mouth, my lips – rather, Haruka's lips – moving yet not producing speech.
Out of the corner of my eye, I can see her standing behind me…for a split second, then Haruka starts flickering in and out, chunks of her being replaced with the respective parts of Haken and vice versa every second.
*When the others possessed me, I maintained most of my motor control – all Aschen or Suzuka would give me was their magic repertoire and a little suggestion. But you…somehow you've hijacked my motor functions. I'm trying REALLY hard to walk us forward, and getting bupkus.*
That's really all s/he felt when the others possessed him/her? Should I even bother referring to…"Harken," for lack of a better term, with mixed pronouns when dealing with this sort of thing? But more importantly, how come my fusion with 'her' was differ-
-Bring the two Sealing Techniques together…-
"…Shit. Haruka…er, Haken…uh, can I just call you 'Harken' for a minute?"
*I kinda had a history of punching out anyone who called me that in middle school, but I'll allow it.*
"OK, Harken…I kinda messed up. I'm sorry. I kinda put in my Amulet's patch code before performing the fusion technique. If I knew it was going to wind up like this-"
*Kaguya…don't be sorry. Just duck.*
"Duck?" I focus my vision back to the real world, only to get an eyeful of Coustwell about to bring a mean-looking axe down on my head. Willing Haruka's body to action, I tumble forward, getting us between his legs and a decent ways behind him. "Wow, that went…better than I'd expect."
*Aside from putting us right between the two, yeah,* 'Harken' remarks as I right 'ourselves.' *But this…this could be exactly where we want them.*
*Just as your mind is moving my body, Kaguya…your magic and mine are starting to mix together. I'd like to see what you can do with that in my body.*
"Magic, eh?" An inspiration strikes at my brain, or maybe it's just another suggestion like the one that inspired this mess. Regardless, my mind races to comprehend it…and approves. "I think I've got just the thing…"
I concentrate, outstretching my arms and pointing the baggy sleeves that've appeared on Haruka's forearms at the two targets. "PERFECT PHANTOM BLOSSOM SEALING TECHNIQUE: DIMENSION HANAFUDA!" The words escape her mouth in both our voices as shards of light stream from the sleeves, pinning the two lion-men in place. "Pete, y'mind giving us a hand?" Haruka speaks. "Can't quite finish 'em off on our own with this kind of spacing."
Stumbling to his feet, Kamen Rider TheFox flashes a V-sign and withdraws one last card. "I think I can handle ONE last big attack…"
He swipes. [FINAL ATTACK RIDE: T-T-T-TELIKO]
We focus. "PHANTOM BLOSSOM SEALING TECHNIQUE: MOONLIGHT SHOOT!"
Guns trained on one target apiece, we fire.
And the Neo-Youma Lieutenants Coustwell and Granteed are ended in their own personal flurries of energy bullets as my vision once again blanks out.
Good news is, I came to again in my own body.
Bad news is, it's three hours later and everything aches as I futilely attempt to wriggle off the bed in the Zeit's infirmary.
Worse news is, I can hear the bzzzzt-shoom of O'Malley's ear lasers from the hallway. "You're telling me she did BOTH AT ONCE? Ye already be dancing on thin ice with the burnouts as is, lass, but such a thing…it's a wonder she's nae a corpse right-"
"EARS. RINGING. SHUT UP." I am NOT in the mood to deal with some Mutant Eye talking like an Olde Elfetale poser, much less hear him yammer about all the arbitrary limits we have to put on using our Frontier Senshi powers without actually telling us what the 'dire consequences' of breaking those limits really are.
Apparently whoever O'Malley was talking to shared my sentiment, because shortly after I saw him go flying off in the direction of Marion's lab, and not under his own power.
The door whirrs open right after that, Haruka stepping through. "Hey. Guess you could hear us out there, huh?"
I let out a weak "Yeah…"
"Man, you should've seen the look on Aschen and Suzuka's faces when they got there and the fight was already over. I wound up feeling as beat up as you probably do right now, 'cept not as comatose."
"I don't see 'em around…"
Haruka smirks. "Well, I volunteered to get you back home regardless, and Suzuka didn't want to waste the afternoon…long story short, they're gonna be hogging one of the DDR machines at Joy Division until dinner, and Gespy-san says he's got 'em GPS-tagged to pick up this evening."
"And…how's Pete doing?"
"Damn near burnt out his suit's powerplant, but otherwise no worse for wear. Dad's probably got him shuffling papers as we speak." She pulls up a chair. "But enough about them…does my princess need anything? Some water, a couple aspirin…maybe something more?"
"…you're hopeless, Haruka. Or better yet, 'Harken.'"
"Oh, come on-"
"Pssh, only your male side could ever THINK of taking advantage of me like this. And to team up with your feminine side to weasel your way into my panties by being all sensitive…" I break into a coughing fit before I can punctuate my insult properly. "…I might need that water, actually. Not too much ice, please."
"As you wish…my Kaguya-sama." A minute later, and she's back with not only the glass of ice water, but…
"What…is that part of the mini-shrine in my bedroom?"
"Yep." She lays the carving on the bedstand. "Back when we were about to sortie, I heard O'Malley saying something about having to interrupt your prayer break. Figured you might like to catch up as long as you're holed up in here…"
"Oh, uh…thanks." I spy Haruka turn her back as I take a sip. "Ummm…"
She turns to me. "Oh, I just figured you'd like some privacy."
"Well…if you don't really feel like leaving, you don't have to. Just don't be a nuisance, OK?"
"I won't. In fact…there's a couple things I'd like to pray for myself." The next few minutes are silent as we hold hands, deep in our own thoughts. My mind calls to the spirits of my ancestors, seeking the usual forgivenesses from them. Haruka…I'm not sure exactly WHAT she was praying for, but I could feel something warm come from her grasp. Whatever she was asking for, she was being quite honest about.
About five minutes in, I can hear a faint chuckle from Haruka. "…You didn't pray for anything I have to pray for forgiveness for, did you?"
"No, nothing like that, Princess…" She clasps my hand a little tighter. "Though on that note…remember when you were in my body earlier?"
"Yeah…I'm still sorry about that. If I'd known it'd end up like this-"
"Please…don't be. Because the feeling of my body being completely at your mercy…"
"…Don't tell me…"
"I'm counting that as telling me, you know."
[Next Episode Preview]
Suzuka: So, any luck on the mystery of the voice Kaguya heard during your last battle?
Haken: Nope, right now we're busy solving the case of what Lilith plans to do with her Infiltrajin.
Aschen: Perhaps her assault on Trodel Stadt's biggest hospital could provide us with clues…
Kaguya: For someone who does her best work with animals, though…what's she up to taking the hospital's prosthetics technicians hostage?
Suzuka: We return to your regularly scheduled plot On the next LKSH1/W00, Episode 9: Conception of the Perfect Being! Gambit of the Youma Princess!
Haken: P-Perfect Being? That can't be right!
Kaguya: Why not?
Haken: Because YOU already exist!