AN: So yeah, we haven't forgotten this. Just... didn't write anything during the week. XD
Alice was glaring at Marisa. This was not, in and of itself, an entirely unusual occurrence; Marisa's propensity towards doing stupid and poorly planned out things ensured that she annoyed almost anyone that was slightly more methodical than herself. This, however, was not a normal glare: Alice normally wasn't small enough to fit on the palm of the witch's hand, nine years old, and-due to having shrunk when her clothes didn't-completely naked, though she was certainly making an attempt to cover herself.
In the aftermath of this, Marisa had been left giving Alice a much less malicious stare. No, the ordinary witch's stare was a perplexed and confused one. Of all the things she had expected to happen, this really wasn't one of them. After a few moments of responding to Alice's glare with a confused stare... it got to the point where she couldn't help it. Her mouth, which had been hanging open slightly, closed as her lips curled into a trembling smile. And then... laughter. There was a bit of her that felt bad about this, but it was frankly hilarious.
"It's not funny!" Alice complained, trying to fly up to Marisa's eye level... and failing. This... this was all wrong; she was too small, too naked, too young, and she couldn't do anything magical! How was she even supposed to get off of this table, now? She was completely trapped and she'd just starve and... and...
Unwittingly responding to her current body's much greater tendency towards displays of emotion, the youkai magician collapsed to her knees and started to tear up.
Marisa continued to laugh... at least until Alice fell to her knees and started crying. That was... a bit to far. She didn't particularly like seeing her friends outright crying, and had never intentionally driven any of them to tears. In fact, she couldn't remember seeing Alice cry since they were children... Marisa's smile becoming a frown, and she reached down to scoop Alice up in her hands. "Uh, it's okay, Ari-chan... I mean, it is pretty funny but... I didn't think you'd cry."
"B-But I can't even fly any more! Even children can manage that!" Alice sniffled, looking up at Marisa and rubbing her eyes, "And-And I've got no clothes at all!"
"Dunno how to solve the flying part, but..." Marisa glanced over at one of Alice's dolls. It was precisely the right size, and it at least looked like the clothes would fit somewhat well. "You've got plenty of clothes."
Alice brightened up on hearing that she had clothes and followed Marisa's gaze. Her dolls? She supposed they would fit but there were one or two items of clothing that she'd never been able to see the point in giving them, especially not when most of them would explode. Still...
"Can you pass me a doll, then, Marisa?"
For a moment, Marisa contemplated extortion. Surely, there was a book or two that Alice would be willing to part with in order to 'pay' for getting some clothing... but no, that actually was too mean. Marisa put Alice back down on the table and grabbed the doll, placing it down beside the tiny Alice.
The next few moments revealed one flaw with being the same size as a doll: trying to undress one was like trying to undress a particularly uncooperative person when you had absolutely no practice at doing so. After two minutes of unsuccesfully wrangling with the doll's dress from an unfamiliar vantage point, Alice gave up and collapsed to her knees again.
"Can you... can you help?"
At this point, Marisa once again found herself unable to help it. A little bit of teasing wouldn't hurt if she intended to help already, anyway, right? "Help? Well... what's in it for me?"
Alice paused. What was in it for Marisa? She didn't have anything that she was willing to part with that wouldn't get stolen anyway and the only thing she could voluntarily give up that Marisa would have any interest in was her grimoire, which was not being offered. That only left two things: her body or blackmail, "If you don't, you have to explain to Reimu why I never repaid her for the tea I borrowed."
"..." Marisa stared for a moment. Oh... that. That was... kind of a problem. Marisa wasn't entirely sure how to counter that. It was lucky that she intended to help Alice anyway. Still, she wanted to tease Alice a little bit more before doing so... "Ummm... Like I'd bother telling her, it's not like you can do anything about it now."
"Reimu would eventually look and then I'd tell her what you did," Alice argued, climbing to her feet and folding her arms, "Do you want to be on the receiving end of incident resolution?"
Marisa frowned. She contemplated retorting with 'I'd lie!' for a moment, but not only would that probably not work but Marisa was only teasing Alice. So, really... best not to do anything that might cause Alice to tell Reimu anyway. "Fine, fine I was gonna help you anyway."
Marisa picked up the doll and quickly undressed it, before offering the clothing to Alice, who grabbed the dress proferred and put it on in one swift movement. Aside from that, the only attire that her creation had been wearing was its footwear and, being entirely the wrong size, she decided against borrowing that. Now that she was dressed, it was a lot easier to think without worrying that Marisa might be looking somewhere she shouldn't, which meant...
"Should we go and see Yagokoro-san and ask if she knows anything about this?" the magician wondered, thinking of the first person that would have reason to associate with magical artefacts and knowledge of how to undo them.
"Yagokoro-san?" Marisa repeated the name. Of course, the moon princess' private doctor had all kinds of weird medicines with bizarre effects. Surely she would have some kind of idea about how to help Alice out, right? "Yeah! I bet she'll have some kinda weird way to fix all this up, she's got all kinds of weird stuff."
"Hand," Alice demanded. If she was going to come along with Marisa, which was necessary, then she would have to be... carried. Eugh...
Marisa reached down and rather uncerimoniously scooped Alice up, not allowing the shrunken girl to climb into her hand on her own. Raising Alice up to chest-level, Marisa turned and... faced the rather daunting mass of piled dolls that stood between her and the exit. Normally this wouldn't be much of a problem, but she didn't want to trip and fall while carrying Alice... "Why were you even carrying this many?"
"Where else was I going to keep them? Besides, I get through a lot of dolls when I need to get the fairies to leave!" Alice replied hotly, referring to the tendency her dolls had to get destroyed or be used as bombs.
"You commonly get fairies visiting you?" Marisa asked, somewhat amused as she too a careful step through the ocean of dolls to avoid tripping up.
Alice sighed, squirming in Marisa's hand and attempting to straighten her skirt to no avail, "They're fairies, they visit everyone."
"They don't visit me," Marisa replied. This was, of course, a blatant lie. She even played around with one group of fairies, and they were even kind of fun to hang around with. Not particularly bright, but that was the case with most fairies.
"Let's just get to Eientei..."
AN: I've never actually managed to get even this far in a fanfiction before. I think collaboration helps a lot with this kind of thing. Anyway, hope this chapter was just as enjoyable as the last! ^_^