In the depths of the Scarlet Devil Mansion there is a library which contains thousands of books, on subjects magical and mundane. Some speculate that it contains enough books to have attached itself to the universal library, explaining why books from outside the barrier (and occasionally from outside reality) appear on a regular basis. It is also a restricted library, only available to the residents of the mansion.
Or at least it was restricted until the Scarlet Mist incident. After that some of Gensoukyo's more active residents had decided knowledge wanted to be free. Or at least free for them. And they were quite willing to use Spell Cards instead of Library Cards. Patchouli had eventually given up on barring the Library at all times. Thus she found herself frequently visited by two of Gensoukyo's youngest magicians, Alice Margatroid and Marisa Kirisame. Today both were present.
The three witches sat around an oddly shaped table, lightly conversing while practicing their own preferred activities. Alice was reading a book on magic, Patchouli was writing a book on magic, and Marisa was eating more then her share of the snacks while trying to feed Shanghai a cookie. This last one was actually far more cerebral then it sounds, as Shanghai had no mouth, and Marisa had actually almost solved that issue. Shanghai, however, was convinced that Marisa was a total idiot.
Their various studies were interrupted when Koakuma walked in and placed a book next to her mistress. "I went and got the book you needed back Patchouli-sama. I also took back 10 other books from Marisa."
Marisa looked up from where she had been bending reality. "Hey! You should ask before entering other people's homes."
Alice glanced towards her fellow caster. "That's right. You should." Shanghai added her disapproving look. Marisa steadfastly ignored both.
Patchouli simply nodded her thanks to the devil, then flipped open the book to compare formula. "If you actually returned my books I wouldn't have to waste Koa's time sending her after them. Be glad I don't charge a late fee."
Koakuma placed her fist in her palm. "Oh, right. I knew I forgot something." She fished out a small pouch and emptied a few coins out onto the table. " Here you go Patchouli-sama."
All the witches looked at the coins with surprise. "Oi! Don't tell me you actually took money from me!" Marisa did not look pleased at the prospect. Alice and Patchouli just looked dumbfounded. It somehow seemed like stealing, even though Marisa was the real thief.
Koakuma looked shocked. "Oh no, of course not! I wouldn't do something so crass. If Remilia-sama heard of me being so low class as to steal cash she'd order me out of the mansion, and that would cause trouble for Patchouli-sama." The tension seemed to fade a bit from the air.
Then the demon smiled broadly. "I got it from selling some of your undergarments to interested parties." Marisa proceeded to choke on a cookie. Patchouli dropped her pen. Alice went cak to sipping tea while Shanghai made snide comments no one else heard. "Except for the really good stuff. I dropped those off at your place Alice." That caused Alice to choke. Taking advantage of everyone else's lack of breath Koa leaned in next to Patchy. "Don't worry though master. I saved the best for our collection."
Regaining her breath Marisa gave the demon a dangerous glare. "What the hell? You shouldn't joke about those sort of things."
Koa giggled. "But I'm telling the truth. Otherwise how would I have this?"
The demon held up a bra. Alice, having regained her voice, stated calmly. "Hm... That does look right." Of course, the casualness of her tone belied the quickness she showed in leaving the line of fire. And the wisdom in that move was apparent as a laser flew through the area soon after. Koakuma flitted quickly away to dodge through the bookshelves and Marisa flipped up her broom and followed within seconds.
"I'll send you to Hell! I'll charbroil you and summon the Kassha to drag you there!"
"Kyaa! Forgive me Marisa! It's my love for you that makes me do such things."
"Gah! Don't start that joke again either! Master SPARK!"
The two remaining witches kept their seats. Patchouli cleaned off the ink spill, before looking up at Alice. "What exactly was Shinki trying to do when she created those demons?"
Alice smiled. "I won't tell you."
Patchy frowned. "And if I were to ask her myself?"
Alice shrugged. "Mother would probably lie. Probably."
Patchouli took a piece of scrap paper. "Note: Citizens of Makai seem to possess a universally perverse sense of humor."
Alice frowned. "Hey!"
Patchouli just kept scribbling.
Alice looked down at the small package. "She really did give me some. And added perfume. That's going to be hard to explain when I return them."
She looked at Shanghai as the doll swayed a bit. "No we will not sell them to interested people. I don't care what the profit margin is." The doll stared back. "No, I'm not saying that because I want to keep them to myself. We're returning them." The doll bobbed up and down a bit. "I don't care what price you think Aya or Nitori would give for them. That's not an option."
She sighed and placed the items in a spare box. "If you really want to help Shanghai you should tell me what to do about Koakuma. She seems to have gotten over being starstruck. Which means I'm part of her jokes. This is worrisome." The doll pulled out a miniature sword and waved it around. "That's true. I should only worry if she survives Marisa's wrath."
Patchouli looked down at the items sitting on her bed. "The bloomers I'm willing to believe. The panties I will accept as possible. The cat ears and tail I refuse to believe."
Koakuma, who had recently healed from her wounds, clapped her hands together. "Then I guess you can keep them Patchouli-sama. I think they'd look wonderful on you. Here, try them on."
Patchouli blinked as her familiar proceeded to place the accessory on her and take pictures. She began to wonder if it was possible this whole event had been an excuse to buy her these.
Marisa looked at the piles of undergarments, a icy combination of respect and annoyance flowing through her.
Her count being off by one would have been attributed to an error.
Her count being off by two or three would be suspicious and would gnaw at her for some time.
Her count being off by 6 was a sure sign of tampering. And what's worse it was 6 MORE pieces then she should have. Including some duplicates. Which meant Marisa had no idea if the demon had bought matches and handed those out, or if she had actually stolen things and left the duplicates.
Marisa grabbed her Mini – Hakkero. This problem would be solved best with fire. Lots of fire.
The heavily bandaged devil pulled out her diary with her good hand, carefully flipped it open and began making an entry:
April 12, 2XXX
Executed plan today. Got severely burned. Worth it.
Have to remember to talk to Remila/Koishi about romantic standings after today. Will adjust relationship web and point totals after the rest of my limbs heal.