This is an old draft - ongoing story can now be found under Celestial Chronicle
So a while ago I wrote this Shousetsu Bang Bang story
about a mixed-gender magical girl team and it was basically just a vehicle for yaoi porn except I kind of wanted to turn it into an actual series and since everything else I've tried in the last year has stalled I thought I'd give it a try.
Following a mysterious albino cat down a tangled forest path was supposed to lead to adventure in a magical kingdom, not getting stuck halfway up a tree and losing a shoe. It would be less embarrassing if Hana wasn't laughing quite so hard.
"This was your idea," said Akemi, leaning over to see where her shoe had ended up. "So how come I'm the one in the tree?"
"You're always the one in the tree," Hana managed between giggles. "'Cos you're better at it and I'm scared of heights."
"This hardly counts as a height." Akemi was barely two metres off the ground at this point, though it had taken a lot of effort to get there through the tree's dense branches. "Can you find my shoe?"
Hana began scuffling around in the bushes, still laughing. At the edge of the small clearing, the mysterious albino cat was watching them with suspicion, punctuated by the occasional growl. Its considerably less mysterious, less albino kitten mewed pitifully from the branch where it had apparently become stuck, still some way above Akemi's head.
"Maybe she didn't need our help at all," Hana was saying as she searched. "Maybe she was just going to go get it herself and now we're in the way."
"You couldn't have said that before I got up here?"
"Oh, here's your shoe! No, wait, this is someone else's. It's got moss on it, ew! Why would there be more than one shoe here?"
"It's a shoe-eating tree, obviously. Tricks people into climbing it and then steals their shoes."
"Okay, this one's definitely yours."
Hana passed the shoe up to Akemi, who checked it for moss before putting it on. Then she resumed the slow climb upwards, weaving her way through the thinner branches and testing her weight on the bigger ones before moving.
The kitten hissed at her.
"It's going to scratch you as soon as you're in reach," Hana said. She sounded less concerned than Akemi felt was strictly fair. "Just so you know."
She was almost within grabbing reach of the kitten, but paused to assess the best way to grab it. Unfortunately it was facing her, which meant that teeth and claws were both ready to take on her hand. There wasn't any good way to get around behind it, though, so Akemi attempted to distract it by rustling the leaves over to one side and then, when its head whipped round, made to grab it around the middle...
The kitten sank its teeth into her hand before falling sideways off the branch.
"Oh no, kitty, don't--!" Hana shouted, but the kitten had already hit the ground - feet first, with no apparent harm. It spun in a frenzied circle, hissed at Hana, spotted its mother, and ran towards her. Both cats vanished into the bushes before Akemi even had time to say, "Ow!"
"Are you okay?" asked Hana. She was still fighting giggles, but at least she sounded like she meant it. "Are you going to need stitches?"
"Hardly." The kitten's small teeth hadn't even broken the skin. "Great, now I have to get down..."
"You could just jump. It's not that far."
"Too many branches in the way." Akemi started edging back down the way she'd come. "It should be quicker to get down than it was getting up..."
A glint of something caught her eye and she paused. Now she was facing the trunk of the tree, she could see a little hollow where two branches came out and curved straight upward, and something in the hollow was shiny enough to catch the light even within the dim enclosure of the tree's leaves.
"Hang on," she said. "There's some sort of--" she laughed to herself, remembering the conversation leading up to their diversion into the woods. "--mysterious glittering object up here."
"Ooh!" Hana circled around, trying to see it from the ground. "What is it? What is it? Magic ring? Magic wand?" She paused thoughtfully. "Magic piece of gum wrapper?"
"I can't see from here, wait a sec..."
Akemi stood up on the branch, balancing so she could reach as far as her arm would go. She could just get her fingers over the edge of the hollow. She hoped there wasn't anything nasty in there. Just as she got a grip on something metallic, her foot slipped... and she discovered that it was, in fact, quicker going down than getting up.
"Oh my gosh are you okay?" This time Hana wasn't laughing as she rushed over to where Akemi had landed. "Akemi?"
"Is anything broken?" Hana knelt beside her and started prodding her arms and legs. "Can you sit up?"
"Yes, and no, in reverse order." Akemi sat up carefully. She hadn't hit her head or anything, but her arms were scratched up and she was going to have a massive bruise on her hip. "Ow." Then she brightened, bringing her hand up to show Hana. "But I got it!"
"What is it? A watch?" Hana tilted her head to look at the disc of metal, almost completely darkened with age and dirt, lying in Akemi's palm. The only shiny part was a bit of coloured orange glass in the centre. "Like an old pocket watch on a chain?"
There was indeed a chain, hanging broken from a loop on one side of the circular object. Akemi turned the disc over, looking for a catch that would open it, but if there was one, it was jammed shut and hidden under the dirt. She tried rubbing the grime off the surface, but she mostly just left smears on the metal and turned her fingertips black.
"Needs a good clean, whatever it is. Think it'll grant us three wishes if I polish it hard enough?"
"Or give you the power of time travel." Hana took the disc and held it up in a patch of sunlight. The glass glittered in the way that had caught Akemi's attention originally. "It's too thin to be a watch, I think. There's no room for the gears."
"It's probably just a really fancy button. Or a charm off someone's school bag."
"Yeah, probably." Hana offered her the disc with a smile. "But if it does something cool, we're coming back to find me one too."
Akemi laughed, and put the disc in her bag, and they followed the twisting path back through the dense trees until they reached the less neglected part of the shrine grounds. Out in the full daylight, the state of Akemi's hair and clothes made them decide to skip their usual after-school stop for sodas, and go straight back to Hana's house, where they'd do what they could to repair the damage before Akemi had to head home to face the music.
Behind them, in the now-empty clearing, the albino cat reappeared from the bushes and went sniffing around the base of the tree to see if they'd left anything to eat. The leaves rustled as if in a breeze, although there was no air stirring anywhere else, and a few of the branches settled into more comfortable positions.
The tree said, "She climbed me."
The cat startled at the voice from nowhere, and bolted back to the bushes with her tail puffed out to twice its normal size.
"She actually climbed me
. How undignified." A pause, then laughter like bamboo chimes on the breeze. "Oh well, it's a start."