Magical Knight Lune XY: My HOMIE Swooped Me off My Feet, and Now I Think I Might Be in LOVE?!
Days passed without anything too remarkable happening. I went to school, did my rounds as a magical girl, and then went home. Red Sandrea hadn’t made any appearances, which made things relatively easy for me. She didn’t have a consistent schedule, but she’d pop up roughly once a week. She only disappeared for any length of time around the holidays. Maybe she had them off? Then again, she always seemed exhausted and stressed out afterward. Not quite sure why that was.
“She’s about due for an appearance,” I mumbled to myself, tapping my homework with my pencil.
I was taking advantage of the free breakfast for low income students at the school cafeteria. Two slices of plain dry toast, scrambled eggs, a breakfast sausage patty, and a carton of milk.
Here’s where you’d expect me to complain about how school food tastes terrible. That it was both under and overcooked, or tasted like rubber, or something like that. But honestly, I rather liked it. It’s all the ingredients for a delicious sausage and egg sandwich on toast, after all! With a little work, and some hot sauce I bring from home, and boom! A nice hearty breakfast sandwich that’d cost a premium if you bought it from somewhere premade.Normally I’m incredibly susceptible to spicy food. One drop of hot sauce is enough for me to call the fire department. But, there’s something about breakfast sandwiches where it requires that extra little kick. Without it, it feels incomplete. As long as I have milk to drink after each bite, then I’m all good.
It’s a great way to kick the ol’ brain into gear, especially when you have a bunch of homework you’re rushing to finish before class starts.
Like I was doing right now.
“Why didn’t I do this last night?” I moaned to myself. I rubbed my eraser against my forehead as if that somehow erased the headache I was developing.
Math wasn’t my strong suit. Heck, I don’t think I had any strong suit when it came to school! But out of all my subjects, math was my weakest. My average for the class was dangling off a cliff, barely clinging for dear life with a C-.
I took another bite of my spicy breakfast sandwich, which immediately set my mouth on fire. Grabbing my carton of milk, I take a swig to put it out.
“Hrk!” I choked.
A backpack slammed onto the table, startling me. Milk went down the wrong chute, sending me into a coughing fit as some shot out of my nose and onto my homework.
“What up!” Jack said, sitting down across from me. “Guess who’s in a good mood!”
I continued hacking and coughing, struggling to clear my throat. Not only that, but my mouth was still burning from the hot sauce. I reached for my milk, only to swat it in a haste, knocking it over.
Jack’s cheerful smile quickly dissipated as he watched my life or death struggle.
“Hold on,” he said, getting up from the table.
He cut through the breakfast line and grabbed a carton of milk, then slapped a dollar down at the middle aged woman running the register. I’m sure some people were miffed at him cutting in front of them, but nobody was gonna say anything.
“Here ya go,” he said, handing me the milk.
I fumbled the carton as I opened it, then quickly chugged the entire thing in one go. After a few more coughs, I was saved.
“Thought I was gonna die for a moment there,” I said, taking deep breaths as I gripped my chest.
“Sorry about that,” Jack said. “Didn’t mean to startle ya.”
“No, no. It’s fine,” I said, holding up my milk doused homework.
I contemplated whether to do it over from scratch or dry it off as best as I could.
“So, you were saying something about a good mood?” I asked while wiping the milk off my homework as best as I could. Hope it won’t smell too bad later.
“Oh, right. Managed to land myself a new gig!”
“That’s great!” I cheered. “Where at?”
“Kuma-Cakes?” I repeated.
“It’s this gourmet cupcake place,” Jack clarified. “They sell these crazy looking cupcakes like you wouldn’t believe.”
He dug out his phone from his back pocket and brought up a photo of him taking a bite of the cupcake. “After I got the gig, they let me have one for free. Check it out.”
My eyes almost burst out of their sockets. “That’s a cupcake?!”
Look. I know cupcakes. I’ve had plenty in my day. But this was no cupcake. For one, there’s no way it’d fit in a cup. This sucker was ginormous! It was almost as big as Jack’s head!
The cake, which I refuse to call a “cupcake,” was a chocolate cake with a vanilla and chocolate swirl frosting, chocolate dipped cookies jetting out of the top, and drizzled with what looked like a caramel sauce. There was also a tiny placard of a cute looking bear mascot stuck to the side, held by the thick frosting.
If a single desert could give someone diabetes, this was it.
“It had vanilla ice cream inside, too,” Jack added.
I just about collapsed when he said that. I mean, come on! Ice cream stuffed too?!
Oh, what I’d give for one of these bad boys.
“There’s a bunch of other kinds too, like this red velvet one that has a cake batter-like mixture in the middle.”
It’s too much! The more I hear the more I want to get my hands on one!
“And this "strawberry explosion" that's smothered in a strawberry glaze.”
I’m gonna faint!
“I take it the drool dripping out of the edge of your mouth means you’re interested in stopping by?”
I wiped the drool from my mouth with my arm and handed back his phone. “How’d you even get a job at a place like this?.”
“They were desperate for help, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I gotta tell ya, these cakes are no joke. One bite and my tongue immediately recoiled from how sweet it was. I’m sure you would’ve handled it better than me.”
“Did you eat the entire thing?” I asked.
Jack laughed. “You kidding? Of course I did! I wasn’t gonna throw away free food just because I don’t care for it. Especially something as meticulously crafted as that. That’d be a waste.”
“I hear ya,” I said.
“I did lose about five years of my life, though.”
I laughed. “So, what do they have you doing? I can’t imagine you baking cupcakes. You’d accidentally crush them or mistake salt for sugar.”
Jack sighed. “Jeez, I didn’t realize you thought that lowly of me when it comes to cooking.”
“Baking. Cooking. Same thing. But yeah. No way I’d ever be able to make this stuff. These cupcakes are art. They’ve got me working the counter. All the cupcakes are premade, so all I gotta do is slap ‘em in a box and take a person’s money.”
Customer service again…
“That’s great!” I said with a smile. But in the back of my head, I pictured him getting in an argument with an annoying customer and shoving one of those cakes whole down their throat.
“I start working there today,” Jack said. “You should swing by. Maybe I can hook you up.”
I nodded, my mouth drooling with anticipation. “Sure! Where is it?”
“At the mall,” he answered.
“What time do you start?”
I slunk back in my seat.
2 PM? But school won’t get out until 2:45. The mall is on the other side of town. It’s gonna take several bus transfers to get all the way there from here. In a perfect world without traffic and hitting every green light, you’d still be looking at an hour commute in the least.
“That’s, uh, isn’t that gonna be an issue with school?”
Jack waved his hand. “Nah, it’s fine. I already got it all figured out.”
“I’ll just tell the teacher I got a stomach virus and that I need to use the bathroom, then head out to work. It’s Mexican food for lunch today, so it won’t be so strange if I say the beans are doing a number to my gut. Oh yeah. I won’t be able to bring my backpack with me without looking suspicious, so could ya grab it for me after class?”
He seemed to have put some thought to his plan. Terrible, as it was. I mean, I know the meme of getting stomach aches from school lunch beans, but I’ve never actually met anyone who had it actually happen to them.
“Plus, there’s a whole bunch of bathrooms all over campus,” he continued. “I doubt they’d care enough to send someone to check each and every one to make sure I’m taking a dump.”
“At that point, why don’t you just skip class entirely and go straight there instead?”
“I can’t just skip class,” Jack said. “If it shows that I have an unexcused absence, then that can jeopardize my emancipation status. At the same time, I desperately need the job right now.”
“Why don’t you talk to the student counselor? I’m sure if you explained your situation to them, they could make arrangements so you could go to work and not have an unexcused absence.”
Jack nodded in acknowledgement, scratching his chin. “Is that what student counselors do?”
“I mean, yeah? Kinda?” I answered. “They’re there to help students, after all.”
“Huh. I just thought they were for counseling.”
“What do you think counseling means?”
“I just figured it was counseling for getting into college and stuff like that.”
“You’re not wrong, but they do more than just that. Whenever Grandma died, I had to talk to them about all the school I missed. They were sympathetic and made it so it didn’t count as unexcused absences.”
“Dang. I probably should’ve gone to them sooner,” Jack said.
The bell rang, signaling it was time to start heading to class.
“Guess I’ll do it tomorrow or something,” Jack continued as he stood up and grabbed his backpack. “Thanks for the tip. By the way, would it be cool if I copied your math homework real quick before class starts?”
I held up my milk drenched homework, still half-incomplete.
“Thanks!” he said, not bothering to look before snatching it out of my hand. “See you in class.”
He quickly mixed in with the group of students exiting the cafeteria.
“Hey! Wait a sec!” I yelled, fumbling to gather my garbage and my backpack to chase after him.
After lunch, Jack faked having an upset stomach, going as far as to make fake farting sounds to make it sound like it was an emergency. When the teacher caved and gave him the okay to use the bathroom, he winked at me and exited the classroom, leaving his stuff behind.
At the end of class, as requested, I grabbed his backpack and took it with me.
I exited school and walked towards the practice football field, which was practically deserted. Opposite of it were some old rickety bleachers and a small storage building with bathrooms. The men’s restroom was locked with an “out of order” sign. The women’s was still open, however. It was the perfect place to transform, I thought.
I looked around to make sure nobody was watching me enter. The inside reminded me of bathrooms at public parks with its cement walls and floor. There was a gap running along the walls near the ceiling, providing ventilation. Regardless, it was considerably warmer inside the bathroom than outside, with the building baking under the sun with no shade.
In the back of the bathroom were three stalls lined up against the wall, all three with their doors open.
Figuring I was alone, I transformed into Lune. The cement interior amplified the hum of the magic.
“Alright,” I said, picking up Jack’s backpack and swinging it onto my shoulder.
That is, I tried to swing it onto my shoulder. The shoulder pieces of my armor made it difficult to put the straps on. When I finally managed to get one side on, the backpack slid off.
“Ugh…” I whined.
Wearing Jack’s backpack with my magical girl outfit was a no go. It made me wish that I had a more cutesy outfit without armor pieces. Something akin to a cute looking maid outfit with lots of frills and puffy sleeves.
I thought about maybe changing my magical girl outfit back to my regular clothes while still maintaining my Lune form, but then I didn’t want people to see me like that.
“Oh!” I exclaimed.
My pouch! Why didn’t I try that first? There’s infinite space in there, plus it won’t get in the way as I travel across the city. Silly me.
I popped open my pouch and rolled up Jack’s backpack so I could squeeze it inside. Good thing he didn’t bother bringing textbooks to school, or else it would’ve been more difficult.
Jack’s backpack fell from my hands as I froze in shock. Someone else was in the bathroom when I transformed! Did they see me?!
“Sorry!” yelled out a male voice from the far end stall, whose door was opened. “The men’s restroom was locked, and I really had to go!”
“I, um…” I stumbled over my words, unsure what to say.
But in my mind, I was screaming a thousand words a minute. “What was I gonna do? What was gonna happen to me? Would they go around and expose my secret? Or would they blackmail me into doing awful things for them? Will I be fired from being a magical girl?! Did Belliney ever say what happens when someone else finds out?! I can’t remembeeeerrrr! Aaaaahhhh!!!”
After a moment, I managed to regain enough composure to speak clearly.
“Did… did you see?” I asked.
“What? No! No, no! Nononono! I’ve been in this stall the whole time! I swear!” their voice cracked. “I’m not a pervert! Like I said, I just really had to go!”
I leaned onto the sink and let out a huge sigh of relief, then I started to laugh at the situation.
“It’s fine,” I assured them. “I believe you. But why the heck did you leave the door to the stall open?”
“It was an emergency, and I didn’t have time to close the door behind me. The beans from lunch are doing a number to my insides.”
Guess Jack was right after all.
“Fair point. Welp! Sorry to, uh, interrupt your business. I’m sure this is as awkward for you as it is for me, so I’m gonna, uh, I’ll leave you to it. Bye!”
I picked up Jack’s backpack and started to leave the bathroom.
“Wait!” they screamed.
I jumped again, startled by his yell. “Yeah?” I answered, thinking maybe there was something the matter.
“This is embarrassing, but since you’re here, could you grab the toilet paper from a different stall and give it to me? I’m out.”
I smirked. “Sure thing!”
There was a nearly full roll of toilet paper two stalls over from the occupied stall. I took it out from its holder.
“I’m gonna roll it over to you. Is that okay?” I asked.
“Yes! Thank you!”
I ducked down and rolled it over, where it bumped into the guy’s foot.
“Ah! You’re a lifesaver!”
“No problem. Glad I could help! No job is too small or awkward for Magical Knight Lune!”
“Wait? What?! Lune?! Oh crap! You’re Lune?! And you heard me crap?! Uuuuagh! Kill me!!!”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at their embarrassment. “I won’t tell anyone if you won’t,” I said with a wink. Not that he could see it.
With that, I exited the bathroom and headed towards the mall, gripping Jack’s backpack in my arms.
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