EPILOGUE: Moonlight -Time Goes By-
"Welp... It's, like, 2 o'clock! I'd say now's a good enough time to shut off the porch light and call it a night, wouldn't ya say?"
"Teh... Yeah, no one sane would be awake at this hour!"
Indeed; midnight had passed like a dream, and one August night heralded in the next day's morn. The moonlight cast its bluish rays through the Basilicom's grand window... and the two lovers knew that the time for rest was upon them. Tomorrow had finally arrived... and for once, it wasn't a cause for alarm.
Oh yeah, and as for another cause for alarm... it's late, so you're spared on that promised test. The file got corrupted at the last minute anyway.
All-in-all, it had been a pretty good night... and Cave finally felt relieved after all the months of foolish worry. Sure, adapting to change wouldn't be the easiest thing, even with her best friend's reassurance... but when were adventures ever supposed to be easy? Learning to adapt to a life without constant adventures... was actually a whole new adventure in its own right!
She could look back on this night with true pride; everything turned out well! The two lovers understood each other a bit better now, she had a newly-found determination to check out the Boxlean apartments... or at least some sane-sounding place to live someday, and they had even made a bee-themed psychopath rethink his ways! That's... a loaded day, surely? Haha, so much was accomplished in such a short time! Nothing was forgotten about... at... all...
"Hmm," Chika cocked her head at her stern friend's non-'E-for-Everyone' outburst, "what's up?"
"... I was supposed to record 'My Big Fat Loweean Wedding' for Noire... Shipe, it completely slipped my mind!"
"D-Do NOT say a word to her, alright?! S-She trusted me with this; no one else was to know!"
"Hehe, hey, I don't judge! I'm just surprised she watches the show too!"
"I missed the last couple of episodes, so bummed! Man, I gotta ask her about 'Hillbilly Hell' or whatever the latest one is!"
"... Oy vey..." For quite possibly the final time in this excessive tale, Cave poetically... facepalmed. "I am screwed... Oh well, I'll just tell her a... solar flare took out the station, or... something. The DVR BSOD'd... God, what a mess."
The boisterous Oracle clicked her tongue. "Overthinkin' things again! We'll just say I accidentally deleted the footage while trying to order 'Lonely Space Vixens' on Pay-Per-View! I wouldn't mind house-sitting another night as punishment—" A shy evasion of the eyes. "—so long as you're here with me again..."
"Hah, you think I'd trust you on your own? You'd probably light her mattress on fire!"
"Oh, come on, that was, like, eight years ago! You're really bringing my parents' waterbed into this?!"
"Someone has to remember the poor soul!" With a chuckle, the SMD warrior turned away to glimpse the action being displayed on the TV. Man, that thing must be hot by now; most outdated flat-screens feel like they're burning up after an hour or two!
"Stop, don't come any closer!... What are you DOING?! Stop!... No... where are you going?! No, where are you going?!"
"Er, Chiks, when... is this marathon supposed to end?"
"Ummm... I thought 2 AM! Weird, but I don't think this movie's even halfway thro—"
Because the fates love timing, the television immediately cut out in the middle of a scene, and stock colored bars and a loud obnoxious chime were all that remained of the station... At least, until sane waking hours.
The greenish-haired girl shrugged. "Huh, well whaddya know! Guess that's done..." Click! The television, and thus the remote, had earned their relaxation! "Hmm, noooooooooow what can two beautiful, barely-clothed, in-love women in their primes do to pass the time without television... in the middle of the night... in a dark house where no one else is around to interrupt them...?"
"You mean, besides sleeping?" Cave snarked, hopping up to turn off the outside light. "Teh, though all this junk food *has* rendered me wide awake..."
"Ooooh~! I like the sound of tha—"
... Son of a bitch! The stylish soldier's index finger, seconds away from the switch that would mark the end of the generous candy donations, froze as the cursed doorbell rang out. "Are you... kidding me?"
"Y-You don't think it's the... D-Decapitator again, do you?!"
"... Stick behind me." Holding her arms out to defend the girl of her dreams, Cave scooped up a few last candy bars—'Not Allowed in the Park Past Four O'Clock Fingers of Butter', to be exact—and tentatively pulled open the door. "Hell...o?"
Two figures awaited on the other side... and fittingly, they were not strangers in the slightest. One was a beautiful woman in a snazzy business suit with a flower on the left side, just about over her heart... and on the right side was a sticky note that read: "N. Hiiragi - Not Nepugia". As for her lower half, she wore a dark skirt that left little to the imagination... but at least she wore flawlessly-white panties, so it's all... good?
... It was an unusual reference that none of you will understand unless you actually paid attention to every single dragging word thus far—not to mention you'd need an intimate familiarity with Nepgeo's fanfictions—but the outfit wasn't important. No, as it should be, the clothes simply called attention to the individual wearing them!
A devilish woman with gray-white skin and blood red eyes stared back at the green-eyed soldier... and Cave knew at once who she was greeting. "Ar...foire?"
"..." The presumed Deity of Sin said nothing, scowling as she crossed her arms. She's... clearly embarrassed?! Why is she even here?!
... And HOLY CRAP, what's that thing right next to her?!
"Ahuh..." Cave bounced the candy in her palm a couple of times, too afraid to get a good look at the... MASSIVE figure standing beside the former ultimate evil. A giant fat slob of a robot-*thingy* with a tongue longer than a seven-year-old's entire body... Yeah, that wording was entirely intentional, wasn't it? Horrifyingly-enough, this mechanical beast was also keeping a theme going; stretched beyond its limits, yet somehow not ripped or even scraped anywhere, was a dress so black it looked blue!
Arfoire... and CFW Trick. Happy freakin' Halloween (.7).
"Who is it, babe?" Chika asked, mustering the courage to stick her head through the door. "No crazy dood, ri— aiaiaiaiaiaiaight?!"
All four cast members stood in silence, no one brave enough to speak up... and perhaps that was for the best; no one needs Trick to add any more wisdom to their lives.
Still... someone has to move this along! "... Er, well... here you go..." the confused redhead voiced, cautiously extending her treat-wielding arm. Another moment of literal nothingness passed... before a large tongue reached out and lapped up the bars like petals in the wind. Yeah, the simile pond dried up already. "... Happy... Halloween."
"... Yes," Arfoire flatly muttered, before slowly turning around. CFW Trick's tongue, serving as a proper candy storage unit, waved... and the two villains awkwardly shuffled away. And no, it was still a mystery how Trick could move in the first place.
The Oracle gripped her chin in deep thought. "Y'know, Arfy kinda looks cute when she walks away... for being the Devil, I mean."
"... Let's just turn off this damn light before someone else comes. Like Super-Satan. Or the Author. Or both."
SLAM! Goodnight, fair door! You have served your purpose in this story well!
Locking the tumblers for good measure, Cave sighed as she slid down against the closed wooden rectangle. "That's... enough 'adventures' for one night."
"You sure about that?" Chika winked, yawning without even caring to cover her stretched mouth. "Because I... just had a sweet idea! A whole new adventure we could do right... NOW!"
"... You've piqued my interest. Better be good."
"Hehe, you'll love it!" A tongue, fortunately smaller than the one the two just encountered outside, slipped through the corner of the scantily-clad professional's lips. "You and me? We're gonna do something that we'll never frickin' forget! Make a story we'll be talking about forever: the time you and I *desecrated* Lady Black Heart's own bed!"
"... Not with fire, right?"
"Well, in a sense..."
A red blush as her hidden imagination ran wild with so many possibilities! "Y-You're awful!... I'll meet you there."
"Woo!" the older girl cheered, before slapping her lover square on the sensitive rump, eliciting a shocked 'Yipe'! "We're so made for each other, Cavey! We gotta make up for all the lost time we COULD'VE been openly loving each other years ago!"
"... Haha, we have a lot of catching up to do then!"
Like a rubber boy determined to be a pirate who neither pillages nor ravages villages, Chika's left fist connected with her open right palm. It's game time! "Hell yeah, we do! God, I love ya, pud— a-angel!"
"... Hmph! I love you too... b-babe."
"Hehe, you're gettin' better at that!" A quick kiss; a simple preview for what was about to come! "... You're the best catch in the universe, Cavey. Teh, no wonder my whole family wants ya! I better put a ring on that gloved finger of yours before either Mom, Dad, or Sis tries!" Another peck on the cheek... before the Oracle teasingly hopped backwards and slowly... sashayed... down... the... hall... "Now... On ME, Soldier! Oh, oops! Shyeah, I mean, 'follow me', Soldier~!"
"H-H-Hai!" Gah, a faulty translator again?! Such a dweeb! The SMD warrior's eyes were glued to her girlfriend's expertly-crafted hips, and she prepared to follow all willy-nilly; who in their right mind would stall when presented with this opportunity?!
... However, something Chika said resonated strongly in the redhead's red head of redness.
"... Wait... 'Mom, Dad, or Sis'... 'Sis'? SIS?!"
Once again, Chika WAS completely right: Cave had overthought things so much... that she had missed perhaps the most obvious detail of all. A discovery that should've been pieced together almost twenty years ago finally caught up with her!
Just when she thought the world had no more secrets or hidden truths left to be found... Cave realized she STILL had a lot to learn! New discoveries, new faces, new adventures, new revelations, new STORIES... were always going to be right around the corner!
This was no 'Epilogue'; not at all! Her life had just barely left its 'Prologue' chapter!
"Ch-Chika, hold up... Seika is... You have an actual SISTER?!"
"And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it."
- William Shakespeare, "As You Like It"
'From the bottom of my tired heart, thank you.
Be you a fan or a detractor, hopefully you found at least something along the journey to take with you. I hope I left some kind of mark, no matter how small.
Throughout it all, from the first word to the very last, please know that I tried my best. I gave it my absolute all.
I've wept, I've bled, I've screamed, I've torn my hair out in frustration, and I came close to giving up countless amounts of time.
I wish I could do more, but I gave everything I had.
I can only pray you felt it was enough.
Words are all I have.'
'Thank you for four unusual years.
Where do we all go from here? Only time will tell...
For now, adieu... until the next "average night in Gamindustri when the world shook"!'
- "CFW Judge"