Author's note: Assume the timeskip was a couple of weeks or a month or something.
Yayoi peeked around the corner of one of the massive hallways in her headquarters, keeping herself out of sight to her Bad End Kingdom allies. She had taken a detour on her way home from Nanairogaoka Middle School so she could check in at the base, only to come across the kingdom's chief commanders talking about her outside of her presence. She didn't like where the conversation was heading.
"We're still getting our asses kicked. Do you really think that little brat can pick up the slack?"
Akaoni was never a patient demon to begin with, but today he sounded especially annoyed. His raspy-voiced collaborator shared his sentiment.
"The lass has the potential to turn our vision into a reality, I'll give you that, but she's not catching on quick enough. Something's holding her back."
Majorina, the wrinkled old witch, was staring into her crystal ball. Her expression showed she couldn't find a clear solution to her troubles.
"You guys know how these silly Pretty Cure things work. She can't give up her powers unless she wants to, so it's not like we can go back on the plan. We'll just have to keep grooming her and make do with what we have."
Wolfrun was lounging with his paws behind his head, but for a second he looked like even he knew was on the wrong side of a losing argument.
They were beginning to lose faith in Yayoi. She had to show them they were wrong for ever thinking she couldn't complete her mission. She had to prove herself to Wolfrun, before she lost her only friend in the world.
And there was only way way she could do it.
"Yayoi, you're Cure Peace?"
Miyuki couldn't believe it. She had her suspicions on the identity of the mysterious evil Cure the moment she recognized her first two victims, but she didn't want to believe it. Yayoi was even in the same class as her. What could have turned the quiet but sweet girl into this savage villain?
"That's right, Cure Happy! And now I'll get rid of you and the rest of the Pretty Cures for good so Wolfrun will see he was right for choosing me!"
Yayoi stood on a ledge above her gathered enemies. Luring the heroines to the roof of the school so she could transform in front of them and reveal she had been their arch nemesis all along had been a simple task.
Each of the four girls on the lower portion of the roof responded in surprised gasps. Miyuki's eyes grew in astonishment as she thought aloud.
In that instant, she understood everything. The sudden appearance of Cure Peace. The Bad End Kingdom's decreasing reliance on random monsters. Yayoi's odd boost in confidence at school.
Cure Peace descended on the team, forcing them to scramble to transform into their own Cure forms. Just when they had been starting to grow resilient against her constant surprise attacks, they now found themselves at a new (and cleverly planned) disadvantage. Knowing their enemy was one of their human classmates and not some invading alien devastated their morale, causing them to hesitate in battle and act only in defense. None of them could find the will to fight Yayoi, while she had every reason to fight them.
Yayoi sent Cure Sunny sprawling to the ground with a rough elbow. Cure March and Cure Beauty followed suit with a sweep of her leg. Soon Cure Peace and Cure Happy were the only two combatants still standing. Happy barely managed to block an oncoming punch as she frantically shouted.
"Yayoi, get a hold of yourself! Can't you see Wolfrun's using you?"
Her attempt at diplomacy only made Peace more bitter.
"What are you talking about, Miyuki? He's is the only person who's ever cared about me. He gave me these powers and helped me get back at those two bullies!"
Miyuki was horrified by her rival's lack of regret.
"You put those girls in the hospital, Yayoi! Cures are supposed to help people, not hurt them!"
Cure Peace hesitated for just a brief second in thought. Miyuki had never actually wronged her in any way, but when she tried to think of how things could have gone differently, all that came back to her mind was how lonely and pathetic she felt before Wolfrun offered his support. Shaking her doubts out of her head, she sent Happy stumbling backward with a rageful punch.
"What would you know about being a Cure? What about when you hurt me by letting the entire school walk all over me?"
She crouched and slammed her palms against the ground, sending a current of electricity under Miyuki's feet and hurtling her into the air in an explosion of sparks.
Miyuki struggled back to her knees, more desperate than ever to bring her peer to her senses.
"You've been so shy about everything that I didn't even know you were in trouble! If you had just told me the problem was that bad, we could have worked it out!"
Yayoi debated with herself a second time. When pent up emotion got the better of her, she hastily shot a bolt of lightning from her hand. Miyuki had just enough time to use her own unique powers, summoning a barrier of light and shielding herself from the magical attack. Out of frustration, Yayoi took a second shot with her opposite hand. She was thrown to the ground when the barrier completely reversed the flow of electricity and pitched it back toward its source.
Cure Peace shook the stars out of her eyes as she got back to her feet. Seeing her ranged abilities had been thwarted, she dashed toward her rival for another round of melee attacks.
Cure Happy found the will to answer her opponent's aggression with a charge of her own. She didn't want to hurt Yayoi, but she had a responsibility to protect her friends. Once she was within reach, she instinctively threw her fist into Peace's chest. After staggering back in anger, Peace responded with a flying roundhouse kick. Happy ducked the move and went for an uppercut while Peace was still descending from the air. Peace somersaulted out of the way and pushed Happy back with a close blast from her palms. The Pretty Cure leader crashed to the ground with an exhausted grunt.
Lightning surged through Peace's hands as she loomed over her fallen rival. Even after gaining the upper hand, she only seemed more distressed than before.
"Stop lying, Miyuki! You're just trying to make me let my guard down so you can beat me!"
Cure Happy initially pulled herself up as if she were committed to continuing the fight, but then she stopped. In response to Yayoi's accusations, she quietly willed her Cure powers away and reverted back to her civilian form. Miyuki offered an optimistic smile as she spoke, still clinging to the hope that she could end the conflict without causing further harm.
"See? I don't even want to fight you."
Cure Peace's anger dissolved into a look of surprise. She struggled for moral footing when she replied.
"This is some kind of trick. You want me to think I messed up again so you can laugh at me."
In the back of her mind, she questioned if Miyuki was right and Wolfrun was wrong. Maybe there was better way to deal with her problems.
But if Wolfrun was wrong, that would mean the only truly happy part of her bleak existence was just another one of her clumsy mistakes. Becoming a Cure had turned her life around, and the only reason it had happened was because she had listened to Wolfrun.
She had to bury her doubts. She had to hide her weakness.
Yayoi forced her cold demeanor to return.
"Even if I am a giant screw up, I know I'm doing the right thing this time! This is the only time I've been sure of myself about anything, and I won't let you take that away! I can't be wrong! I can't be!"
Despite Yayoi's denial, Miyuki kept her patient composure.
"You know that can't be how it really works. You're a good person. You can pull through this."
Her display of sympathy caused Yayoi to stubbornly squeeze her hands into fists.
"And admit I couldn't even figure out when Wolfrun was treating me like dirt just like everyone else?"
"It's not your fault, Yayoi. He just knew how to..."
Before Miyuki could finish offering her condolences, Cure Peace backed away and shouted.
"Stop messing with my head!"
Miyuki allowed Yayoi to keep her distance while still offering encouragement.
"Wolfrun is the only one doing that. He's the screw up for thinking he could control you."
Yayoi's guilty conscience was starting to fight back. Miyuki slowly stepped forward when she appeared to be on the brink of breaking down and pouring her heart out.
"Are you ready to talk about it?"
Yayoi remained in conflicted silence. It looked like the battle was over... until she threw her back and screamed in one last desperate act of defiance. She wasn't ready to talk about it.
As Cure Peace reached her emotional boiling point, an intense storm spread across the roof of Nanairogaoka Middle School. Flashes of lightning repelled and blinded all four of her rivals as the sound of thunder deafened them, and the storm continued growing in strength by the second. She convinced herself this was the only way she would get them to drop their false compassion and make some vain attempt to stop her. It was the only way she could prove what Wolfrun had taught her before she eliminated the lot of them.
She began to have second thoughts when she saw how her opponents actually reacted. They were only crying out in fear and cowering away for their lives, like she had done so many times when she had been pushed around. The longer she waited for them to lash out at her and justify her attack, the more she realized they had never done anything to warrant her wrath in the first place.
None of this was right.
The storm abruptly came to a calm.
When Miyuki no longer had to shield her eyes with her arm, she saw Yayoi had reverted back to her schoolgirl attire and collapsed to her knees. Her head hung toward the ground in defeat, causing grief-stricken tears to fall to her lap and wash over the Smile Pact in her shaking palms.
Once she saw the rest of her team was safely recovering, Miyuki knelt in front of Yayoi and placed a warm hand on her shoulder. Her expression was frozen in a worried frown.
"It's okay, Yayoi. You'll just get frustrated with yourself if you keep everything bottled up."
Yayoi kept her head low, speaking through sobs.
"I'm such a moron. I don't even know how to be a superhero right."
Miyuki inched closer so Yayoi would know she wasn't alone.
"Maybe you just needed to see how to do it the wrong way before you could figure out how to do it the right way."
Yayoi paused for a moment as she wondered to herself, but she ultimately moved her arms toward Miyuki to surrender her transformation device. It was the only thing she had left, but she knew it was the right thing to do.
"Forget it. You should find someone who deserves this more than me."
Miyuki shook her head. She gently took hold of Yayoi's hands and guided her arms so the compact would travel back to its current owner.
"You know what it's like to be in trouble more than any of us, and I can tell how much you want to make up for your mistakes. If anyone deserves this chance, it's you."
She waited until Yayoi's weeping changed to thoughtful silence before speaking again.
"What do you do when you mess up one of your drawings, Yayoi?"
Yayoi's eyes remained locked on the Smile Pact. Her reply came in a timid whisper.
"I usually get a new sheet and start over..."
Miyuki curiously gazed down toward the device along with her.
"You didn't give up trying to be an artist the first time you did something wrong, did you?"
Yayoi's fingers curled around the rim of the compact, slowly but steadily securing it in her palms.
"No. I just kept pushing myself until I got better at it."
Miyuki let go of Yayoi's hands, giving her the personal space she needed as she considered everything she had been through.
"No matter how it happened, you became a Pretty Cure. You were meant to be one of us."
She knew her advice was sinking in when Yayoi shyly raised her eyes and sniffed back her next flood of tears.
"Let's be friends, Yayoi. I'll help you be the one bossing Wolfrun around."
After thinking to herself for a few more seconds, Yayoi gave her answer by leaning forward and throwing her arms around Miyuki in a spontaneous hug. Miyuki returned the gesture by gently patting Yayoi's back. The rest of the Cure team gathered and watched on in silence, relieved their leader had found a way to resolve the matter peacefully.
From that day forward, there were five members in Nanairogaoka's Pretty Cure team. They remained the best of friends and vowed to never give up until the Bad End Kingdom was defeated.