After they had left Japan, they had continued to fight Daemonia. Akari had felt like she was there and not there at the same time. She was her same normal, friendly self, always supporting her friends both in and out of battle, but it felt like she was hiding something. A pain? A fear? Whatever it was, Luna could feel that there was something wrong. It was the same way she had felt things as a Daemonia.
It was supposed to be a normal battle. They would listen to what the person inside the Daemonia had to say and then they would put them out of their misery. Things had seemed fine until Akari screamed.
Everything exploded out of Akari in a supernova of fire, expelling her outer shell.
What was left floated before them. She was as bright as the shining sun even now, as fiery wings sprouted from her body, blending in with the fire of her hair. Her beautiful red eyes now reflected fire. She opened her mouth and let out a horrific scream like some bird of prey.
“Akari,” Ginka called out.
“We need to leave now,” Seira said as she grasped Ginka’s hand.
Luna nodded, her eyes still on Akari. She could feel the Daemonia in Akari. It called out to the part of Luna’s heart that was still a Daemonia, despite her having regained her human form and mind.
Then she shook her head. She couldn’t leave. Leaving was the smart thing to do. They could go back and form a plan to either bring back Akari or to put an end to her, but Luna’s heart told her that she couldn’t leave Akari, no matter what form she was in.
“No, you two go. I want to try and reach Akari,” Luna said. Her will was set. There was no way that she’d leave here without Akari.
The eyes of the three girls met and silently an agreement between the three was reached. All three of them knew that Luna alone had gone through a Daemonia transformation and had come back from it. There was no one else suited for reaching out to their friend.
“Do what you have to do,” Seira said before she and Ginka fled.
“Good luck. Both of you come home,” Ginka called out over her shoulder.
Luna turned back to Akari. She ran towards her, pushing through the walls of fire that the phoenix that Akari had turned into used to protect her. Luna kept pushing forward. She was just the Moon, but didn’t the Moon reflect the light of the Sun? She could smell the edges of her green dress burning. She ignored it and kept pressing forward.
Luna understood that pain. She knew what it was like to be turned into a Daemonia, to let your darkest, most monstrous side be visible before everyone else. She’d hurt her friends and at the time hadn’t regretted it at all.
Akari let out a warning screech as another wave of fire swept out.
Luna leapt up, over the oncoming fire, the rest of her dress burning away, as she turned from girl into wolf-like Daemonia. She let out her own pained scream that was as much inhuman howl as anything else as she came into contact with Akari’s flames.
“It’s alright,” Luna said. Her voice twisted by her Daemonia form. “I came back. You can come back too. Akari, please.”
“Luna…” Akari looked at Luna, recognition behind the flames. “It hurts. My Daemonia half. I never told you. I’m-I’m half Daemonia.” Tears poured out of Akari’s eyes and instantly turned into steam as they hit her burning cheeks.
“I’m here. Tell me how you feel,” Luna said. Akari had always made it a point to listen to the Daemonia. Now, it was time for someone to listen to Akari.
“I’m scared. What if my Daemonia side takes over completely? What if I become just like Cerebellum? I don’t want to be a Daemonia and alone.”
“Akari is Akari,” Luna said. She leant in and kissed Akari’s cheek where the last tear had turned to steam. “It’s alright. If you’re an Elemental Tarot user or a Daemonia, I’ll be with you either way. I won’t let you be alone, Akari. I love you.” Luna knew what it was like to feel completely alone in the world. It was what had made her such easy prey in the first place.
“Luna, I love you.” Akari clung to Luna, the fire lessening.
The two clung to each other as the Daemonias disappeared and the girls returned.
“I feel better now. Knowing that even if I lose to my Daemonia half, knowing that you’ll be with me no matter what. It makes me feel better, like the sun has come out.” Akari’s ruby red eyes looked around. “Where are Seira and Ginka?”
Luna felt a pang of jealousy at the mention of Seira at a time like this, but she pushed it aside. She knew now that Akari would never abandon her just like she’d never abandon Akari.
“They left to give me a chance to reach you. If worst came to worst…”
Akari nodded. “They’d make sure we didn’t hurt other people.” Her voice perked up. “I wouldn’t want to hurt someone.”
Luna reached out and took Akari’s hand in her own. She gave a smile as the two of them stood up. It was time to go home, not back to Japan, but back to their friends. They emerged back in the real world where an expectant Ginka and Seira were quick to embrace the two of them.
“I’m sorry, everyone,” Akari said. “I was scared that even after everything that my Daemonia half would come out and hurt everyone. I was so scared that I wasn’t letting the three of you support me.”
“We’re friends no matter what,” Seira said.
“You can’t get rid of us just by turning into a Daemonia,” Ginka said with a grin.
“Everyone.” Akari, Luna, Ginka, and Seira were all together and always would be.