“Ohhh, who missed me?~ Oh, who missed me?~ I bet you did!” Miho cooed as she scratched Pochi between the ears, under the chin, rubbed her nose to his. “Was you a good boy for Nana? Oh, was you?~”
“Hey, Miho, thanks for letting me hang out with you while the others are at school, by the way!”
“No problem. I bet Pochi would love the extra company, wouldn't you, Pochi?”
Otome laughed as she patted Pochi's back. “So he used to be an Usotsuki, huh?”
“Yeah, that's what Lady was saying. I dunno, though, he was super friendly. Isn't that right, Pochi? You was so friendly!”
Otome laughed a bit before her expression hardened. “Hm...so she created an Usotsuki...I wonder how?”
“Hm, you know what I'm wondering?” Miho asked as she finally pulled away from Pochi. “I wonder how Aki and Hiromi are doing at school right now...”
Aki's hands were shaking slightly as she faced her friends, Hiromi at her side. Both girls were pale and slightly sweaty, but Aki was the one the others were more focused on. Hiromi always looked nervous, Aki rarely did.
“E-Everyone...” Hiromi stammered.
Yuki gave the girls a concerned expression as he reached out to touch Aki's shoulder. “Hey, c'mon, girl...breathe. You okay?” he asked. The people around him, who had gathered when Aki had called over her closer friends but hadn't said anything nor sent them off for about two minutes, nodded in agreement.
Hiromi was finally the one to speak. “A-Aki and I are dating!” she gasped out, eyes squeezing shut as her hands curled into fists.
There was silence. Hiromi could almost hear an odd ringing in her ears, the kind that comes from unnatural quiet and not post-concert.
“Oh. Congrats,” Yuki said in an odd tone.
“Yeah, congratulations. What a surprise,” said Antoinette.
“Uhm...Most of us figured that out already, you two,” Mirai admitted sheepishly.
The rest of the large group nodded.
Aki and Hiromi blinked, wide-eyed. First there was just more silence. And then... ”Ehhhhh?!”
OP: "Pretty Cure, Hands Meet" - SHE
“You what?!” cried Hiromi, hands curled into fists, a look of distress on her face. “What do you mean you figured it out?! We've been so careful!”
“Er...Hiromi, you and Aki always entered and left the classroom together,” Yuki said, scratching behind his neck.
“And you do eat lunch together. And we've seen you and Aki making plans,” Mirai said.
“Not to mention how worked up you get as far as the other in concerned,” Antoinette said, sniffing a bit as she tossed her hair. “Honestly, anyone could see it.”
“Even though you didn't...” Yuki muttered. “Anyway...yeah, sure, you weren't holding hands in the hall or feeding each other, but it was kinda obvious. I mean...I don't think people generally act this familiar or get so worked up over someone who's just a friend...”
Several others nodded in agreement.
Aki sighed and planted her hand on her hips. “Man, and after all this...” she grumbled. Then she smiled, looking around the assembled classmates. “So you're cool with this?”
“Sure. Well, okay, we're a little surprised it's Satou of all people--”
“But hey, whatever makes you happy, right? Same for Satou.”
Aki beamed. “Well, thanks, everyone! Hiromi, you hear that?” she asked, turning to face her.
Hiromi was pouting at everyone. “You know...” she began nervously. Then she squeezed her eyes shut, face bright red as she shouted “Y-you know, if you'd said something earlier I wouldn't have been panicking so much this morning!”
Almost everyone laughed.
TODAY'S EPISODE: A Rival?! Hiromi Is A Target!
It started the next morning.
Hiromi stood at her foot locker, switching out her gym shoes. She didn't really look inside before reaching in, too busy talking to Mirai and Antoinette. Then her hand closed around something slimy and cool.
”Kyaaaah!” she screeched, flailing backwards and landing on her rear.
“Hiromi, what--?” Mirai gasped.
A small green blur flew out of the locker and landed on Hiromi's head, making her scream again. “Get it off of meeee!” she cried.
“Don't hurt it!” Antoinette yelled, running forward. Gently, she scooped the creature off Hiromi's head, sighing in relief as it stared up at her, unhurt. “It's a frog!”
“A what?” Aki emerged from a bathroom stall just then, tugging her gym shirt a little. She stared wide-eyed at the frog, then Hiromi, then Mirai, and finally back to Hiromi again. “What was a frog doing in there? Is there more?” she asked, walking over to take a look.
Hiromi shook her head. “N-No, th-that was...th-the only one...I think...”
“Hiromi, I am so sorry!” Mirai gasped, kneeling beside her friend and rubbing her shoulder. “I didn't foresee this, I--”
“N-Not your fault...” Hiromi gasped again, slowly calming down. “Y-You can't see everything, Mirai...”
Aki was still standing at Hiromi's locker, glaring inside as if she expected to see another frog teleport in. “But why,” she added, turning around to check on Hiromi. “Would anyone put a frog in there?”
“It's not obvious?” said Antoinette, sighing dramatically. She was fishing out a plastic baggie from her own locker, depositing the frog inside it. As she crossed the room to one of the sinks, she said “Right after you guys make public what was already public? Clearly someone's mad at Hiromi.”
“But who'd be upset about that? Who'd be mad at Hiromi?” Aki said, raising her voice to be heard over the sound of water running. “Everyone was cool with this!”
Mirai frowned. “Maybe not...”
“There you go, Keroppi...” Antoinette murmured, holding the bag underwater and opening it. She smiled as the frog swam out into the little outdoor pond near the sports yard. “I hope you weren't too scared in a dark and tiny locker.”
“Antoinette, can you explain something to me?”
“Yes, of course, Yuki.”
“Well, I was wondering...” Yuki began in a strained, though polite, voice. ”Why do I have to stand in front of you like this?!” He stood back-to-back with Antoinette, his legs bent at the knee and slightly parted, arms held out at his sides. His face was red as he snapped again, “I mean, this is way unnecessary, Antoinette!”
Antoinette heaved another dramatic sigh. “Well, clearly, you're here to protect me in case the ball comes flying over here. It'd be terrible if I were hit in the head, right? You know that could cause a concussion.”
“Antoinette, there aren't any goals over here. No one's going to--”
“It's okay, I'm done.” Antoinette stood up, drying her hands on Yuki's shirt (“Hey!” he protested) and began jogging back to the field. “Keep an eye on Hiromi, by the way.”
“Hah? Sure, whatever.”
They easily joined their teams on the field, entering the game. And things were fine for a few minutes; kicking the ball, passing, trying to shoot the goal past Mirai. And then...
“Hey, watch it!” someone shouted.
Hiromi looked just in time to see the ball come hurtling towards her head. She screamed and instinctively brought her arms in front of herself. The ball smacked her arms hard, making her cry out again and stumble back. As the ball dropped harmlessly to the ground, Hiromi hissed in pain, lowering her arms shakily.
“Satou!” the gym teacher shouted as he jogged across the field to her. “You okay?”
“We're sorry!” yelled a pigtailed brunette from the other team.
“I-I...ah!” Hiromi looked at her arms. There were two large, angry red marks on her skin where the ball had hit. She whimpered again as the teacher held her arms gently, looking over them.
“Nothing appears to be broken, but go see the nurse just to be sure. Tell her to put some ice on those, too! Jeez,” he muttered, straightening and ruffling her hair a bit. “Good blocking though. If it'd hit your head...” He then frowned, turning to look out at the other team. “Okay, so I definitely saw someone in the red team kick that! Blue team gets a penalty!”
“I'll go with her!” Aki cried, walking up to Hiromi and putting an arm around her shoulders.
The two walked off the field as the red team erupted into groaning protests.
Antoinette was staring at their retreating forms, a hardened look on her face.
“Tamora? Are you going out again?” Riche asked in mild surprise.
Tamora stood at the door, holding Ichiko in her arms like a lifeline. Her arms trembled slightly as she spoke. “Yeah...”
Riche frowned. He walked up to her, gently placing his hands on her shoulders. Tamora tensed beneath his grip, but made no move to shake him off. “Tamora...I know you're angry at Pretty Cure. I know you want to destroy them, and that's good. Believe me, it is. But...I simply cannot believe I'm saying this,” he muttered before raising his voice and saying “Tamora, I worry about you sometimes.”
There was no response.
“Lady has told me Break is working on something new. Something to make us stronger in battle. Until it's ready, don't attack. Please?”
Tamora stood there silently. Finally, she heaved a sigh, nuzzling the top of Ichiko's head. “Can I attack first?”
“It depends on what Break wants.”
Hiromi flopped down on Miho's steps with a loud sigh. “Ahn...my luck couldn't have gotten any worse...” she mumbled. It was after school, and the red marks were slowly fading from Hiromi's arms. She rubbed one tiredly as Aki patted her on the back.
Miho knelt in front of her, her expression one of concern. “Jeez...you think that was an accident?”
“Probably,” Hiromi said. “I mean...the teacher said he doubted it was, but it must have been, right? I mean, I mean who'd want to do that on purpose?” Her nervous tone lapsed into giggles as Pochi licked her cheek, apparently having read her mood.
“Antoinette thinks it was deliberate – well, not the ball, we didn't stick around to talk to her about that, but she thinks the frog was, so it stands to reason...” Aki muttered.
“Well, it's terrible!” Coffee blurted out from her position on Otome's shoulder. She and Ti had spent the whole day with Miho and Otome, wanting to be with the lost Cure more. To make up for lost time, and all that. Her little face turned red as she curled her paws into little fists. “To try to hurt someone on purpose, for such a silly reason...”
“That'd never happen in Kokoro, datchu!”
“A-Ahaha, I'm sure you're over-reacting!” Hiromi said with a nervous laugh, waving her hand dismissively. “Really, ah...I'm sure the thing with the ball was an accident. And that frog could have wandered in by accident!”
Otome fixed Hiromi with a deadpan look. “Hiromi, I can tell right now: You are far too nice and trusting.”
The blonde turned red. “Ah...I'm sure it's nothing, though,” she said again. “It'll all be okay, tomorrow!”
Hiromi stood at her desk, staring at the message scribbled onto it. 'Stay away from Oshiro!' it read in harsh, dark marker.
“What the heck is this? Some nighttime tv drama?!” Antoinette demanded, her hands on her hips in anger.
Mirai bit her lower lip. “I – I foresaw some trouble but I didn't think-- Oh, Hiromi, I'm so sorry!”
“It's fine...” Hiromi said with a small, sad smile. She set down her bag and went to the sink to wash it off. “I'll just clean it.”
“It's not fine!” Aki snapped angrily. She turned to look at the rest of the classroom, but unfortunately only a handful of people were there, and they all looked just as horrified as they did. “Did anyone here see anything?!” When the answer was a chorus of No's, she let out an angry growl and stormed to the sink. “I'm cleaning this, Hiromi, not you!”
“A-Ah, no, really, it's fine--”
Just then Mrs Matoko walked in, cramming the last of her toast into her mouth. “Hey, guys. So my alarm went off early so I took an earlier train. And-- What the hell happened to Satou's desk?!” she said, face turning red.
“It's okay, ma'am, I'm taking care of it--”
“No, you most certainly are not!” Mrs Matoko snapped again, glaring around the room. Some students entered just then, clearly confused by both the sight of their teacher being so angry and at Hiromi's desk. A few of them began whispering before Mrs Matoko spoke again. “Alright. Whoever did this, step up! Right now – you're the one who wrote it, you're the one cleaning her desk off!”
No one moved.
“Alright then. Satou, step aside.” Mrs Matoko strode forward, pushing up her sleeves as if she were about to butcher a pig, and snatched the sponge and soap from Hiromi. ”I'm doing it.” When there were collective cries against this, she added “Nope! Nope, sorry, one of my students has had her desk vandalized, and I am not going to let her clean up someone else's hurtful actions. If no one's stepping up to clean it off, I am.”
”No,” she said firmly, furiously scrubbing away at Hiromi's desk. “Ah, Nanase, you were just in the bathroom, right?” she added as another girl stepped in, rubbing her hands. “Go back and get me some paper towels.”
As the teacher kept working, and the girl went to do as she asked, Hiromi just stood there, fidgeting and avoiding eye contact. She felt her face burning in embarrassment and shame – this was her desk, she ought to clean it...And while she understood Mrs Matoko's intentions, she felt as if it were drawing more attention onto her. She felt Aki squeeze her hand as everyone started to go back to their desks, and she smiled at her. Their friends were smiling reassuringly too.
But it still bothered her. Who would do this to her?
Antoinette frowned, unnoticed.
The rest of the day was no better. Whoever had written on her desk had apparently planned a lot more than that.
Hiromi found one of her schoolbooks had a message - Stay away! - on the inside; her lunch disappeared right out of her bag sometime during free time (which turned out okay-ish, as all four of her friends decided to share some of their own); she found yet another frog in her gym shoes, much to Antoinette's great disapproval; and the whole day...
Well, this was harder to explain but the entire day, Hiromi swore she felt eyes on her.
She shuddered and rubbed the back of her neck, as if to dispel those feelings somehow. But it just persisted.
The bell rang for everyone to go home, and Mrs Matoko began announcing cleaning duty. “Alright, so today we have Satou, Hojo, and Nanase.” She frowned. “Satou, you think you'll be alright?”
Hiromi turned red and nodded, slumping in her seat a bit as the class turned her way. “Y-Yes, of course! I'll be fine, it's just cleaning!”
“That's not what--” Mrs Matoko sighed, then went on. “Alright then. Satou, Hojo, Nanase, please clean up our classroom.” With that, she gathered her things and left with the rest of the class.
Hojo, a boy with short-cropped brown hair, moaned in an exaggerated way. “Gah, why do I have to clean? I wanted to play the new arcade games...”
A shadow fell across his desk. “I'll switch places with you, Hojo...”
“Hah?” He looked up, smiling gratefully at his classmate. “Seriously? Ah, thanks a ton, Rayne.”
Antoinette smiled, tilting her head a little. “It'd be my pleasure~”
Eyecatch 1: Coffee and Ti hold a giant heart-shaped bubble wand, the breeze sending out a stream of bubbles. Inside four of the bubbles are tiny versions of the girls. In a flash of light, the girls twirl around and transform into Pretty Cure, their bubbles immediately becoming heart-shaped. The Entwined Hearts logo appears in the corner.
Eyecatch 2: The four girls hold a large, pink heart-shaped cookie between them; Hiromi taking the left arc, Aki taking the right, Miho and Otome firmly holding either side of the bottom half. They snap the cookie apart and there is a bright pink flash of light. When it fades, the quartet are in their Cure forms, happily eating their cookie pieces. The Entwined Hearts logo appears in the corner.
Hiromi stood near a corner of the room, idly sweeping up a few scraps that had fallen from the paper-cutter. Nearby, two other girls worked – Antoinette mopping nearby, another girl (Nanase, Hiromi reminded herself) wiping the blackboard.
The blonde girl sighed a bit as she recalled her conversation with Aki, before she left.
”I dunno, Hiromi. After what's happened, I think I should stick around.” Aki stood in the doorway, frowning as Hiromi tried to push her out. “Hiromi, really, I--!”
“Aki.” Hiromi's tone was firm despite herself. She looked up into her girlfriend's eyes, a serious expression on her face. “I'll be fine...You have nothing to do with this.”
“That note had my name in there!”
“I can handle it! You don't need to worry about me all the time, Aki. You don't have to try to protect me all the time. It's just cleaning, I'll be fine.”
Aki bit her lower lip, frowning harder. She opened her mouth to speak, but Hiromi silenced her with a mere look. Finally, she sighed. “Alright...But you know, Miho and Otome were going to join us at the mall, so we'll all three be waiting outside.”
Yeah...Yeah, the mall. They were going to have another girls' day out. Otome hadn't gone to a mall yet, so Miho had wanted to take her. They were going to get her some new clothes, so she wouldn't have to wear one of Aki's spare dresses. And then later, they would see a movie, and she and Aki would get to sit by themselves so it'd be more like a date. That'd be fun.
She laughed a little, blushing pink.
Nanase, a brunette with pigtails, smiled as she looked up from the blackboard. “You seem happy.”
“Hah?!” Hiromi squeaked, realizing someone had heard her. She laughed sheepishly, gently spinning the broom in her hands. “W-Well, yeah, I have plans after school that I'm looking forward to.”
“Ah, yes! With Oshiro, right? Since you're girlfriends?” Nanase giggled.
Hiromi blushed deeper. “Y-Yeah...”
“It's weird, Satou! I would think with all that was happening, you'd have broken up or something.”
“Huh? Why would we?”
Nanase frowned a bit, pursing her lips. “Well...Well, I mean, there was that scary message on your desk...and you looked scared when you opened your book, so I guess there was something scary in there too...And the frogs, I heard you screaming about them. Your lunch turned out okay but...But how do you know whoever is doing this won't come up with something worse? They're obviously doing it so you and Oshiro will break up...”
Hiromi tightened her grip on the broom as she looked at her shoes, biting her lower lip. Behind her, Antoinette had stiffened slightly, pausing in her mopping.
Nanase kept going. “I mean...I'd be so scared! Oshiro is a really popular girl, we called her the princess once! Lots of people must like her – boys, girls...Anyone could be doing this. Or maybe it's several people! And if it were me, I'd stop dating Oshiro right away, save myself from further humiliation.”
Hiromi fidgeted with the broom.
“Don't you think so?”
“I...” Hiromi started. Then she straightened, exhaling deeply. “No.”
“Haaaah?” Nanase blinked, turning bodily from the board to face Hiromi. Antoinette's tense form continued to go unnoticed. “Really?”
“Well...yeah...” Hiromi smiled.
Aki stepped outside, joining the others.
Otome frowned. “You okay, Aki?”
“Y-Yeah...” Aki murmured, running a hand through her hair. “I dunno how I feel about leaving Hiromi by herself though, after all that's happened...”
“Hey, Hiromi's a big girl! She can take care of herself, right?” asked Miho, hands behind her head. “We can't treat her like glass.”
“Aki,” said Coffee, smiling gently. “It's just cleaning duty. She'll be fine.”
“...if you say so...” Aki murmured. And with that, she stood quietly with the others to wait.
“I mean...I knew Aki was popular,” Hiromi was saying, smiling shyly at her shoes. “But of course that's not why I like her, or why we're dating. And I kinda knew there might be trouble when we decided to make this public. It turned out to be a lot less trouble than I thought there would be but...
But still. I really care about Aki. She makes me very happy, and I won't let myself be scared off by someone who's bullying me, just because they're upset about our relationship. Besides, it can't last forever. Sooner or later, they'll give up – they'll see that I'm not giving up.
“I like Aki a lot...Why should I break up with her just because someone's harassing me? That'd hurt us both, and...” She frowned. “And really, if someone is resorting to such measures to make us break up, how would they treat Aki? Of course I won't break up with her!”
”I would treat Oshiro just fine!”
Hiromi blinked, staring at the one who'd spoken.
Nanase stood there, red-faced and trembling, the dirty washcloth clenched tightly in her hand. “I would treat Oshiro fine!” she repeated.
Hiromi blinked again. “Wait...Nanase, you were the one who--”
“You're such an idiot!” Nanase snapped, eyes squeezing shut. “Why would Oshiro even like you? You're just – look at you!” She threw her arm out at Hiromi, gesturing to her. “You're plain and boring and frumpy and the uniform doesn't look cute on you like it does on Oshiro, and she can pick anyone she wants, so why of all people does she pick you?! I bet you don't even like her! You only dated her because she's cute and popular and rich! That's what girls like you go after, right?! And Oshiro only dated you because she felt sorry for you, I bet! You know, she could have dated me! She probably should have! Anyone but you, you...you ugly, spineless weakling!”
Nanase blinked in surprise, her face stinging.
Hiromi stood in front of her, arm raised, expression furious. “Don't you dare say those things again, Nanase,” she said. “You have no right.”
Nanase blinked again, and tried to recover, forcing a laugh as she touched her face. “Ahaha! No right! No right, she says, yeah, sure! This just proves you're no good for Oshiro! You're so violent while I can get things without resorting to such--”
Now it was Hiromi's turn to blink, as Nanase stood dripping wet and sputtering, wiping her eyes. Beside her stood Antoinette, casually holding up her mop bucket, a look of distaste on her face. “Oh, I'm sorry,” she said in a slight sing-song voice. “But I thought you might appreciate me taking care of that filthy personality of yours.”
”How dare you?!” Nanase whirled around to face Antoinette. “You of all people should be on my side, Rayne! You used to--”
“Shut up!” Antoinette snapped before Nanase could finish. “Look, you uncouth brat, your feelings aren't the important ones here! Aki's are, and so are those of her girlfriend. If Aki's happy, then you should have been happy too!”
“Antoinette...” Hiromi mumbled in awe, eyes shining a bit. Then she schooled her expression back into a serious one, hands on her hips – briefly wincing as the broom clattered unceremoniously to the ground. “Nanase. I don't mind if you have a crush on Aki. I bet lots of people do. But I'm not going to stand around and let you try to scare me away from her! If she someday wants to break up, okay. But I don't see that happening anytime soon, and I'm never going to get scared away because...Because you're just too jealous to deal with it!”
As she shouted the last part, something odd happened. Her Cure Signet flashed bright pink, tiny golden sparkles dancing above it like dust in a sunbeam. Hiromi blinked – not from the miniature light show, but from the odd feeling she got inside her chest. Like her heart was stronger and lighter at once, like there was hope and love and power surging tenfold. Like...
She blinked again; the light, and the feeling, vanished abruptly.
“Aki!” gasped Antoinette.
Aki, Miho, and Otome all stood in the doorway, staring at the scene before them. Half-hidden behind Otome's hair, Coffee and Ti were staring straight at Hiromi's Cure Signet with wide, astonished eyes. As for Aki, she was frowning as she noticed Nanase dripping wet. “You were taking a while...so we came to see how much longer it'd take. What the heck was going on in here?”
Nanase's face crumpled as she started whining a bit. Antoinette just scoffed and placed a hand on Hiromi's shoulder.
“M-My brother catches frogs, so I snuck some of out of his aquarium. He just catches them for fun and lets them out the next day or so, he wouldn't miss them! A-And I drew on Satou's desk with the marker, but some of it got on my hand, so that's why I was in the bathroom. I was washing it off. And I'm the one who kicked the ball at her during gym, and I took her lunch a-and...” Nanase couldn't speak anymore, her fists covering her mouth as she began to cry. “But I was just so mad that Oshiro was with Satou of all people and--”
“Enough,” Mrs Matoko said firmly.
It was about ten minutes later, and they were standing in the teacher's lounge. Mrs Matoko had fortunately not left yet, wanting to get the last few donuts, and everyone had walked with Nanase down tot he room. When Nanase said she had to tell the teacher something, Mrs Matoko sent the others to the hall while she and Nanase spoke with the door shut.
Mrs Matoko was still sitting, but she still looked rather intimidating as she glowered up at the trembling girl. “Regardless of how you feel about the situation, you shouldn't have reacted the way you did. Did you know what what you were doing was bullying? Harassment, Nanase? You can get into huge trouble for this – do you want me to phone your parents? Do I need to put a mark in your records about this incident?”
“N-No...” Nanase sniffled. “I wasn't thinking, I'm sorry! I won't do it again!”
“Quite right,” Mrs Matoko said. She stared up at the girl a few moments longer, contemplating. “Alright. This time, I will not call your parents or mark your records - but!” she added when Nanase gave her a hopeful look. “This is a warning. If I ever hear of you bullying another student, I will mark the incident and this one, and I will call your parents. Is that understood?”
“For now, you have three days of after-school detention. You will handle the classroom clean-up by yourself, and tomorrow after the dismissal bell, I want you to scrub all the desks in the classroom, since you didn't clean Satou's.”
“Thanks, Antoinette,” Hiromi said to the blonde. “For earlier...”
“Don't mention it.”
“I mean...I didn't think you'd do that for me...You liked Aki, too, right?” Hiromi said. “So I thought--”
“Hiromi.” Antoinette gave her a deadpan stare, tossing her curls over her shoulder. “Just because I may still have a little...thing, for Aki – which I assure you, I will get over – does not mean I would stoop so low as to bully her girlfriend. Honestly...” She smiled softly then. “I was watching out for you though...I've seen this before, in the school I attended in France. I think I might've made you a bit suspicious, looking at you and staying to clean with you, but trust me, it...well, never mind. But I appreciate your gratitude. If you'll excuse me, though, I think Bitsy's eager for a snack, and I'm later as it is. I'll see you tomorrow!”
“Bye, Antoinette!” Hiromi called as the other girl skipped down the stairs.
Miho ran to the stairs, cupped her hands around her mouth, and called down. “Antoinette, just admit you care about Hiromi~!”
“You be quiet, you don't even go here!” an embarrassed Antoinette shouted back, much to the others' amusement.
But things weren't over just yet.
Pretty Cure turned to face Nanase, who stood a few feet away from them. She was still wet, but no longer dripping a little puddle onto the floor. She did, however, still look mighty embarrassed and ashamed, twisting her fingers as her face turned red.
“I ah...want to apologize again! I was just so angry that Oshiro had been dating Satou, and I wanted it to be me! I won't bully you again, so please, uhm...”
Everyone looked to Hiromi.
Hiromi glanced around the group, wide-eyed and pointing to herself. Oh...Oh, this was--! She squared her shoulders, took a deep breath... “I forgive you...but I don't like you.”
“I mean...you've been nothing but mean to me, for a silly reason. I'll forgive you, and I'll be courteous to you, but we're not going to be friends. I hope you understand where I'm coming from, Nanase.”
“Y-Yeah...And uhm, Oshiro--”
“Nanase. You bullied my girlfriend,” Aki said. “I'm going to take a lot longer to forgive you, if I do at all.”
“Same for me,” said Miho.
“Me as well,” said Otome.
And with that, the four turned and walked down the stairs.
“You really don't forgive her, datchu?” asked Ti.
“Ti, there's a lesson here,” said Aki. “You don't have to forgive those who hurt you. You don't have to be nice to them. You shouldn't hurt them back...but you shouldn't just accept friendship from someone who was mean to you and will probably do it again.”
Ti thought for a moment, then nodded. “Okay.”
“By the way,” began Otome. “I at first thought it was a trick of the light, but Hiromi, did you see your Cure Signet?”
“Yeah...” Hiromi frowned and lifted her hand. “What was that about?”
Coffee's next words made everyone freeze. ”Lovely Form~”
ED: "Rainbow-Colored Future" – BoA ft. Entwined Hearts 4
ON THE NEXT EPISODE:
Coffee: “Lovely Form, Lovely Form!”
Hiromi: “You keep saying that, but we don't know what that even is!”
Otome: “I've heard of this! Lovely Form is two hundred percent power, love, courage!”
Miho: “Ooooh, awesome!”
Aki: “Hiromi, get Lovely Form!”
Hiromi: “Y-You say that like it's easy but--! Next time on Pretty Cure Entwined Hearts: 'The River Is Rising! Lovely Form!' Let love heal your heart!"