A blank black screen with the stark white words
Experiencing Technical Difficulties. Thank you for waiting.
Then, the static snow of white and grey appeared, followed rapidly by the appearance of a familar green figure in a beige trenchcoat.
"Hidey Ho. Kermit T. Frog here again. The normally scheduled Anime Celebrity Staring Death match, due to unforseeable events, will not take place. However, I am pleased to say that I will be reporting . . . Insanity: The Chase!!!"
At his last exclamation, the screen windens to show that he is perched within a hot air balloon, high above the loony procession. The balloon itself was a lovely green with a rainbow painted on the side.
"As current things stand, the pink rabbit with the black beard, whom we have affirmatively identified as Enma-sama in Jusenkyo form, is in the lead. Following that is everyone's favorite vertically challeneged pyro, Hiei. Trailing in third place is Spandex Boy a.k.a. Heero Yuy. Then in the Mach 5, Nokoru, Akira, Suoh, and Koenma. Apparently having attached themselves with rope to the rear bumper of the vehicle on skateboards is Yuusuke and Kuwabara. Kurama in fox form is running beside the vehicle. And behind them is a loooong line of crazed fans."
While the frog continued to comment, a black shadowy figure appeared behind the balloon. As it loomed closer and closer, the massive shape took on the form of a black Viking longboat, floating in midair and complete with a fierce masthead and dozens of oars. At the prow, waving her sword, was the one and she'll neverletyouforgetit and only, Miss Piggy. She was dressed in armor, much more tastefully done than Nakago's. At least the breast plates looked natural . . .
It swooped down with unrelenting determination upon the hapless frog and floating balloon.
"Ahhhhh! Piggy, what are you doing here?"
She snorted and grappled with the struggling frog. "What do you think? I'm marauding and pillaging, " With a gleeful look on her face, he was dragged into the viking ship and it took off once more.
"What! She's loose?! We have to gather the others."
"Why do you think I came here for, to get you of course."
"Not to . . . ?" with a peculiar sort of relief in his voice.
"That too!" She glomped him.
Another black screen appeared . . . this time with the white bold face.
Now a word from our sponsers.
" . . . the New James Bond!! 80% machine, 10% human, 8% gundam and 2% unidentified material . . but 110% ladies' man!!! . . . "
"Ne, Trowa . . . This is kind of fun, don't you think so?" asked Quatre hopefully. The taller boy had remained quiet so far; although from the slightly pained expression on his face, he was not enjoying their newest mode of transportation. The chase had continued after their tea break. This time with Mary Poppins offering them rides as well . . . more for the thrill of the chase to continue then for any sense of sportsmanship thought Quatre privately.
So here they were once more being chased by the psycho nanny and the safari procession. Only this time, they were seated on plastic carousel animals instead of running. The blonde pilot had a placid looking brown painted camel, he was wedged between the two humps. Warily, he glanced at his partner . . . still looking pained, almost as if his pride was injured.
Quatre made a mental note never to insult or make fun of lions in Trowa's presence. Lions.
Trowa was stiffly seated on a white lion, edges gilted in pink and gold. It had a fancy plastic wreath about it's neck. He was not happy. Even as he was being chased by a horde, the green eyed boy managed to project around him an air of suffering dignity.
Quatre sighed and peered around the rapidly passing scenery. He wondered where they were . . . Somehow, he didn't think that roadrunners and coyotes went chasing each other across desert landscapes in their world, the latter armed with several devices and props, from a company called Acme. None of which seemed to work.
Maybe that's where Heero got his self destructs . . .
5 girls and 1 chibi sat staring at the television in dismay.
JJ let out something that sounded suspiciously like a curse, snuggling her chibi Duo doll, and sank deeper into the couch.
"Well, damn, " said Syx, throwing herself into a comfortable armchair. "What now?"
They had all been looking forward to watching the chase with the comfort of junk food, caffeine, and plush seating.
Reishin made a face, absently patting the chibi who was gleefully counting all the seeds she had managed to pull from Kurama's hair. "There'a only one option left." Her dark eyes gleamed with an unholy fervor.
Sylvia looked up with a worried look in her eyes. "Uh oh . . .last time you had that look . . . " Wordlessly, she hugged her Hiei doll close.
Lauren leaned forward with an interested glint. "Well?"
The loud music coming in closer and closer should have alerted Kurama that something was wrong, but nothing could have prepared him for the sight that met his disbelieving eyes.
From above, a crazily tilting pale purple helicopter came swooping down, blasting away "She's got the Power" from hidden speakers.
Loud, raucous cries could be heard from within, before the helicopter managed to right itself and flew to a higher, safer altitude.
In the race car beside the fox, Koenma blinked. Masaka. The entire procession was headed straight towards a dimensional portal. Before he had time to yell out a warning, the head of the line was swallowed in, the rest following in a bizarre sort of conga line . . .
"Sylvia!! Steer right! Right!"
"Kyaaaaaa. No, wait a minute, JJ. Go left, left!"
Simultaneously, Reishin, Lauren, and Syx cried. "Up!! Up, pull the damn thing up!!"
Feverishly, Reishin pulled out a manual. On closer observation, the title read 'Flying Purple Helicopters In Pursuit of Bishounen For Dummies v.2.4'
Syx asked, with curious gleam in her green eyes. "Where'd you get this helicopter anyway?"
The other girl answered with a grin. "Well, since Kermit couldn't make it, they needed another reporter. I volunteered, and this is what I ended up with."
Lauren poked at the stereo equipment. "Which is why all this stuff is lying around ne?"
She nodded, even as she started calling out directions. "Okay. It says put the thingy around the doo hickey and grab the lever close to the thingamabob. That should activate the whatitsname."
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the helicopter flew at a more leisurely pace. Satisfied, she tucked the book away for future use. Turning, she blinked at the sight of a widely grinning Lauren and Syx. "Ano . . .got something you want to tell me?"
Wordlessly, the two held out bungee cords.
"Ah. Naruhodo . . . "
Even as the portal yawned open before them, Nokoru pointed a folded fan in the general direction of his wandering uncle. "Ikuzo!! Akira! Suoh!" A fiendish light gleamed in his blue eyes, he hadn't had this much fun since he, Dool, now Duo, and Koenma had decided to see if the core of the Earth had truly been made out of molten metal . . .
Eh well, he looked around. Hmm, they appeared to be in a forest, overrun with foliage and large trees and ferns. He glanced down at the silver fox running alongside the car. Then sweatdropped as several multicolored fuzzy creatures popped up around the foliage.
A noisy gibbering bunch they were, hollering and hooting, but they did look adorable. Sort of like live animated teddy bears, with sharp spears and knives. . . The car suddenly jerked to the side as a bunch of them swung onto vines and attempted to take control of the car.
Akira tried to appease them with some food and drinks.
Looked like it was working too.
Hiei was pissed. Iya, he was furious.
Even as he raced towards the pink
piece of fluff, which seemed to mock him, practically begging to be
annhilated, at his full youkai speed, he could not catch up. It was
It didn't help that he still had that damn
squeaking chibi attached to his
back. And breathing down his neck was the intense ningen boy. The one Koenma
claimed was his aniki's lover. Hiei was frankly surprised that he would
be able to keep up . . . .considering his probably lack of circulation in
his lower limbs due to those shorts. Then again, as the fox had
commented, with a speculative gleam in his green eyes, it would also make
the other *extremely* streamlined.
Yet another distraction were these damn teddy bears, irritably he bared his teeth at several, blinking in surprise when they growled back. Well, at least around them he looked tall. A small comfort considering the damn rabbit was threading them through several dimensions. Hiei shuddered briefly, considering how many there actually were . . . hopefully, they wouldn't end up anywhere near Jusenkyo. He did *not* want to end up with a curse.
The Koorime growled briefly as the low flying purple helicopter buzzed him. Faintly, he could hear *her* screaming out his name deliriously. He didn't know where those crazed girls had managed to finess a machine like that on such short notice, but it was annoying the hell out of him. Maybe after he finished off his goal, he could get to work on them.
Hiei smirked in anticipation, the thought giving him an extra burst of speed, not to mention that the music from the helicopter had been cranked up. Why were they playing "Here Comes the Reaper?"
"Oi! Sylvia, Stop waving at Hiei
and help me steer this thing, " cried
out JJ. Of course, she could've done the job herself, but she really
didn't want to let go of her chibi Duo doll.
"Oops. Gomen, " giggled Sylvia, blowing
one last kiss before turning to
help her friend pilot the helicopter. "Neechan!! How're Syx and Lauren
The coke-chugging girl looked up from her
contemplation of the safety
harnesses and various instruction booklets scattered around her.
"Daijoubu yo! Ne, Syx . . . Breath deeply for a minute. Wouldn't want it
to come loose at the wrong time."
A brief pause, then the she asked a trifle
nervously, "Are you sure you
guys wanna do this?"
The green-eyed grin grinned eagerly.
"Now, Rei-chan. This is me you're
talking to. I'm sure Lauren feels the same way. We live to pester
Heero!" She patted her duster coat and the pictures contained within.
Syx exchanged a slightly manic tinged grin
with the other girl, also
She replied, "Of course!" The brown
haired girl clutched at her clipboard
and attached chart. "Besides, how else am I going to finish my research.
Heero, the man, the shorts, the mystery. Exposed!!"
The other sweatdropped as both Lauren and
Syx gave vent to maniacal
chuckling, stepping back slightly. "Well, here's your chance. The bungee cord is ready. You're both strapped and ready to go. The helicopter's flying fair low, so it should be easy." As if to belie her words, the helicopter tilted, accompanied by a shriek from one of the pilots.
"Sylvia! Don't lean out the window like that!"
Lauren and Syx just exchanged looks and rolled their eyes.
Absently tapping her foot, Syx asked, "So what are you going to be doing? Just watching JJ and Sylvia pilot?"
Grinning, Reishin pulled out a huge megaphone. "Remember? I'm gonna be a reporter." Flipping the switch on, as well as fiddling with the controls on several of the speakers, she stepped out to the doorway of the helicopter. Making sure the camera was turned toward her, she beamed and waved at the lens before speaking.
"Ohayo minna!" her loud voice boomed out, sending shock waves throughout the land, also sending all of the native brown creatures tumbling and squealing for cover. "I'll be your friendly guide/announcer for this week's special presentation of Insanity: The Chase. With me now are two intrepid bungee jumpers ready to sacrifice their health, nay their lives, in order to complete their MISSION!!!"
Syx and Lauren could only stare as their normally placid err sane err calm err . . . well, friend turned into a raving maniac before their eyes. Put someone in front of a microphone . . . or in this case a megaphone and this is what happens . . .
Heero ran, his eyes fixed on that damn
pink rabbit. He wanted to *hurt*
that thing . . . but it didn't seem inclined to run out of energy anytime
soon. It just kept going and going and going and . . . Irritably, he
shook his head to rid it of the chant.
The same booming voice filled his head again, this time commenting on the wonderful foliage of this lovely planet, recommending it as a good location for tourism, if one doesn't mind the occasional Ewok sharing your food and tent. Irritably he glanced up at the sky, his eyes widened slightly. Not only was the helicopter still flying erratically, two girls, suspended by rope were heading directly towards him.
One of them bounced, yes bounced, by his
head. She was the one who had
tried to sell those pics of Duo . . .
"Yahoooooo! I got more pi--" With
a snap, she was headed back toward the
helicopter, the cord having contracted.
He smirked, good. Still running,
he could feel his shorts being . . .
"Waiii! Arigatou Hee--" Then the other one, with brown hair, too was flying upwards again.
A nerve began to throb above his eyebrow,
as he witnessed them both coming
down again, after having exchanged high fives in midair.
Mission: Seek and destroy #@&% rabbit. Then get rid of the girls.
Resolutely, he ran on, ignoring the two that continued to bounce after him, both cackling with glee.
Better than the strange dreams he had been having at any rate.
The music was now blasting away 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' . . hn.
They were everywhere. A few of the
green monsters were flooding the upper
floor with the rose scented bathwater. More were currently tormenting
Lady Une. They had her tied to a chair and was continuously pulling her
glasses on and off.
A deep female voice snarled, "Get these things off!!!"
"Oh, no. Please stop."
"Once I get out of this, I'll just . ."
"This isn't right."
And so on . . .
Many more were eagerly piled and partying
in the main level of the house,
killing time while waiting for sundown.
Yet even more of the, yes gremlins!!, were
partying like crazy. One ran
around wearing Zech's shining helmet, only the bottom half of his scrawny
body visible. One enterprising little fellow had found a mini-theatre
inside the vast mansion. Now they were watching "The Rocky Horror Picture
Shw, " crying out gleefully 'dammit Janette'
Unknownst to any of the bewildered and
injured technnicians and staff,
several more had stolen MS suits and were busily launching off into space.
Zechs and Treize were suspiciously nowhere to be found.
Duo scratched his head in confusion. After having made it out of that ghastly pink room, they wandered around in a fog . . . quite literally. A heavy gray mist surrounded them, pierced only by sudden flashes of brilliant white light.
Babbit had explained that they were currently wandering through a hallway, which itself was a small dimension. The endless hallway was full of doors on either side. Those doors led to countless other dimensions. No one knew where all of them went . . .nor had tried to map them.
"So how do we get out?"
"I don't know." The Babbit was then bopped on the head by both Duo and Keiko.
"Ya know, I'm really tired of you saying that," growled Duo, as Keiko loomed menacingly over the cringing white creature.
"Well, I don't." It sulked.
"Can we use those dimension door thingies to find our way out then?"
"Ah . . .that could work, but we really don't know where they lead. . . Matte Sana-chan!!" cried the Babbit as Duo immediately tried opening the door nearest him.
"Don't call me Sana-chan!!
Babbit sighed. "Mou iiyo. Just stick your head in though."
"Why only my head?"
"Baka. You want to *see* where it is before actually going in."
Quatre observed that there was a nerve throbbing over Trowa's brow. Perhaps, he was still upset over the plastic lion he was riding, or the fact that they were still being chased, or that they apparently were traveling through dimensions. Or perhaps, it had to do with the fact that they were passing through a crowded street. All the people and children whispered and stared. Especially at Trowa, laughing that the boy was seated on such a creature.
Suddenly Trowa stood up, balancing rather carelessly on the top of his ride. He then did a flip in the air, re-balancing on his fingers, before somersaulting onto the hump of Quatre's camel.
The crowd seemed stupefied, before breaking out into applause. Quatre sweatdropped at Trowa's smirk . . . reminded him too much of Heero's.
Which was to prove all to true, as Trowa quickly pulled out a small device and triggered it, blowing up the offensive lion. The boy then flipped upright and sat Indian style on the hump. He regarded the blonde boy, almost cheerfully, through his bangs.
The sun shown brightly in Nerima, the sky was flawlessly blue, and birds chirped merrily in the bright crisp morning air. Soun and Genma sat enjoying the peace and quiet that seemed to permeate through the very structure of the Tendo Dojo. They took a sip of Kasumi's wonderful tea.
"My friend, you know this won't last."
"Let's enjoy it while we can." They sipped and let out a long satisfied breath of air.
"Ranma!!!! Korosu!!!" a chorus of incensed voice abruptly pierced through the air. A slender, black pigtailed boy suddenly leaped across the yard, pausing only to blow a raspberry at the various martial artists chasing him. He promptly tripped into the koi pond, after having met the acquaintance of one of Akane's mallets, face to face.
A red busty red headed girl popped immediately out and jumped high into the air. She collectivly kicked most of her chasers in the pond. Out emerged several wet humans, along with the various animal menagerie. And the Neriman gang continued on, curses and exclamations fading into the distance.
They took another sip.
"That was pretty mild actually."
"Do you hear a thumping noise?"
"I do believe so."
A pink bunny suddenly burst upon the scene, twirled about in circles, thumped its drum before racing in and out of the koi pond, headed towards parts unknown.
A fast moving black blurr followed . . . right through the water. "What the *^%@#!!"
Loud music came blasting down from a crazily tilting helicopter, while two girls bounced on ropes extending from it. They seemed to take particular pleasure in either flashing pictures or attempting to snap another boy's tight, tight shorts. From the helicopter itself, an exuberant voice boomed, " . . .we have Nerima. Ahhh, Nerima. One of the highest property taxes around as well as health, life, car, and dental insurance. Beautiful ain't it?"
The stoic boy ignored all of the distractions and raced into the koi pond, stubbornly following the rabbit's precise path. When he emerged, a koi flopped on his head.
One of the girls, with brown hair, called out, "Oi! Heero, what about some sushi?"
He replied, "No soy sauce."
For some reason, the girls in the heliccopter and bungee ropes found that hilarious. Soun wordlessly pulled out the sake as *that* particular procession passed. They sipped or rather gulped down the drink.
Following the helicopter, was a race car, overflowing with passengers. Dragged along by ropes, two racous and cheering teenage boys whooped it up as they zoomed past on skateboards. Besides them raced a silver fox, who almost seemed to wink at the stupefied men.
They chugged and wordlessly pulled out another bottle.
This time they were ready for the screaming, crying, wailing horde of girls that ran past them. Almost as an afterthought the two men took another drink, as they watched the seemingless neverending stream of girls rush past. By the time it was over, they had emptied 5 more bottles. The yard was ruined, the two men were coated in dust, and . . . a very confused looking brown furred creature was seated on Genma's lap.
Just another day in Nerima.
A lone slim figure stood underneath the fully bloomed sakura tree, gazing mournfully at the full moon above. Suddenly, a tall dark man walked up to him. They stared into each other's eyes for several long minutes, anticipation practically throbbing in the air. A gentle breeze brushed past the taller man's face, revealing one blank staring eye.
"My wish . . . "
"I wish . . . "
A pink rabbit raced past them, from a helicopter a loud rendition of '50 ways to leave your lover' blared over the speakers, as the usual suspects moved swifly past the stupefied couple.
A gleeful voice boomed out from the helicopter. "Here we have one of the greatest love stories of all time!!" It sang off-key, "Can you feeeeel the angst tonight . . ." before fading out as the long parade of people gradually raced off into the distance.
The two lone figures could only stare blankly at one another. They were both covered in the petals which the parade and the helicopter had shaken from the tree.
"You know, Reishin?" said JJ.
"Hmmm?" She looked up from flipping through her collection of cd's. Should she put on 'Flight of the Valkyries' or Savage Garden's 'Carry on Dancing' Humming, she stuck in 'Carry on Dancing' . . . saaaa, nothing like a little pop music now and then.
"Don't bungee ropes eventually stop bouncing. Losing velocity and elasticity after a while . . . leaving them just . . having there. Kind of dangerous for them to be helpless so close to Heero . . .don't you think?"
The older girl seemed stunned by the realization. "Shimatta. They're dead."
Which was the very thought that gleefully ran through Heero's mind. There they were . . . just hanging there in mid-air. He did *not* believe in indulging himself, well only with Duo, but the mission could wait until *after* he took care of these girls . . .
"I do believe we're screwed, " stated Syx rather calm despite that Death, or rather Death's lover was staring her in the face, looking a bit too trigger happy.
"I wish, " smirked the other, with a positively evil gleam in her eyes.
" . . . . . . , " she resolutely ignored *that* statement and sighed mournfully. "And I didn't even find out who the villain was, now I'm going to die . . . "
Heero paused, shocked. Villain? . . .Who *was* the villain? The confusion must have been evident on his face, for the two girls took one look and started cackling errr laughing.
"Mwahahahahaha!! You don't know either, do you!" Syx leveled a finger at Heero, despite his deadly glare.
"D'you want to know who it is?"
"Waaak!!" The two girls cried in unison, clutching each other in mid-air at the sudden appearance of Koenma.
"Don't do that!" They shouted irritably . . . then stared blinking at each other . . unison?
Heero grunted, visibly annoyed at having to accept *any* help from the pacifier sucking runt, Duo's claimed brother or not.
Suddenly, the entire area was flooded by chibi people, screaming out, "Yaaaay!! Story time!"
Duo sang cheerfully. That last door he and Keiko had peeked into together was fun! All those colorful little creatures running about and singing.
"Dance your cares away.
Worries for another day.
Dance your cares away.
Down at Fraggle Rock."
Babbit sighed but refrained from commenting to Sana-chan. She always had been stubborn.
The American opened the door cautiously before peering in. He had learned after the last time when he interrupted a fight between two long haired men, one with silver hair and one with ink black. The black haired one had nearly taken his head off with some strange sort of laser beam from his eyes. Before Duo had hastily shut the door, he had seen the silver haired one suddenly become a little toddler. Strange.
Yosh'! This was his seventh peek in already. Duo blinked in confusion at the scene before him. It was a normal apartment room, but all the furniture was glued on the ceiling.
A girl with short blonde hair, with a white streak running through it, along side another girl, this one with masses of red hair, were contemplating the furniture with identical looks of frustration and amusement.
"Hey Crack-baby! Move your cute butt in here!"
"We have to get Mynx back for this one," commented the other.
A cheerful, strangely familiar voice answered affirmatively.
Duo shrugged mentally before popping out again. Eh. Nothing to do with him. But he did note to himself to try that trick sometime.
"Duo-kun, " Keiko said, her brown eyes worried. "How long do you think we'll be in here?"
Duo worried at his bottom lip absently before replying. "Saaaa. I dunno, but we'll just have to keep trying, ne?" Reassuringly, he squeezed her hand. Involuntarily another burst of reiki flowed down through their contact point, energizing the somewhat faded soul.
He blinked down at his hand. "Nan demo nai. Now if only I could figure out how to do that on purpose." He winked. "Just remember to cook me some of that ramen you were raving about, ne?"
"Actually, my . . . that is Yuusuke cooks it better than me, not that I'd ever tell *him* that."
"Honto? What's he like anyway?"
Keiko laughed, happy to share her memories. "Well, he's loud, impulsive, brash . . .kind of like you, except that he's really a youkai capable of massive acts of destruction"
"Tell me more."
And so once more they headed down the through the mist, Babbit trailing behind them.
K'so. He raced down the palace walls, narrowly avoiding tripping on the long skirts. Hastily, Wufei dragged them up before finding the relatively safe haven of the room he was in now. Shimatta. Another damn library. Irritably, he tugged at the silky, flowing sleeves of the dress he wore. When he had agreed to become Miko, for the sake of the country and the people, never had he imagined that he would have to wear a dress.
Who knew the purple braided boy had the strength to literally stuff him into this flimsy excuse of a peep show.
Irritably, he headed toward the back of the library. Maybe he'd be able to hide back there . . .
Koenma once more sat comfortably on an overstuffed armchair. Around him were the "chase" people, all SD'ed for the story. He had decided to try a little variety, instead of the picture book, a puppet show would be presented.
Chibi Yomi and Chibi Mukuro were fighting over his suddenly SD'ed 'tousan, claiming it was *their* beanie baby. Nokoru was trying to assist all the various chibi audience members, most all of them being female. Suoh, with a resigned look on his face, was helping his Kaichou. Akira was, of course, offering refreshements. The terminally genki boy had turned the Mach 5 into some sort of refreshment stand. Heero was sulking off in a corner, he obviously did not enjoy being chibi . . .
The helicopter had shrunk as well, landing gently on the ground. Out had tumbled 3 very befuddled looking little girls, two clutching dolls while the other resolutely hauled away at a megaphone. They had gathered in a corner along with two other girls, the ones who had been bungee jumping. Whispering and giggling amongst themselves, they aimed suspiciously cheerful looks at Heero, also calling out 'Sushi!' 'Soy Sauce' at various intervals, before breaking out into peals of laugher.
Koenma peered about . . . now where were Kurama and Hiei?
"So, " Kurama purred, a smug grin on his face. "Are you happy that we finally accomplished our goal?"
Hiei smirked, even as passed his hands possessively through Kurama's crimson, silky hair. "What do you think?" And promptly pulled the smug fox's face down for a long kiss.
Kurama broke away with a sigh, absently licked his kiss swollen lips. Hiei tasted *good*.
The two youkai were casually lounging, nude, at Yomi's palace. More specifically, his throne room. After realizing that Yomi and Mukuro would be occupied in the chase, having taken most of their troops with them, no one would be *here*. Of course, they had to take advantage of that golden opportunity. And they had.
Kurama basked in the warm glow of satisfaction, no not that kind you hentais. Mentally, he ticked off Yuusuke's throne room, Enma's, Mukuro's just a while back, and now Yomi's.
Hiei poked at a beanie baby. They were scattered all throughout the rather beatened looking palce. "Those two sure have some strange fetishes."
The red head snorted. "Look who's talking. Mr. I want to try it in a Tree. Do you have any idea how long it took to coax the squirrels and birds back afterwards?"
Hiei smirked. The koorime ran his callused, strong hands over the other's smooth, slightly damn back, allowing for a small burst of youkai to heat that pale skin. "You weren't complaining then."
"And I won't complain now, " quipped Kurama agreeably.
Meanwhile, the chibi still superglued to Hiei's clothes struggled frantically in the heavy black cloth. Geez, when would they quit it! Mou . . . she couldn't even get a decent peek because she was buried under.
" . . . psychotic, suicidal, " Duo paused to smile at a fond memory at this point, "but I'm fixing him of *that* habit. Obsessed, stubborn as hell, lacks any sort of common sense or social skills."
They had moved from discussing Yuusuke to Heero.
Duo paused to take another breath, happy to chat about his favorite subject, his mostly psychotic fashion impaired koi. Suddenly, a black cat, dappled elegantly in silver, appeared out of the mist. Purring, it twined itself sinuously about the startled American's legs.
Duo picked the rumbling cat up, staring bemusedly into gleaming golden eyes. He chuckled, "Now if this were a game, you'd be our ticket out of here." He scratched the affectionate cat behind the ears.
"Oro?" Keiko blinked. She could have sworn the cat had nodded at Duo's last statement. she walked over to it and gently tickled its chin, asking, "*Do* you know the way out?"
The feline blinked and jumped lightly out of Duo's arms. It headed back towards the fog, looking back over its twitching tail as if to hurry them on as well.
On impulse, Keiko decided, "Let's go follow it."
"If you think we're gonna follow a *cat* . . . , " abruptly he cut off as he noticed a picture by his feet. Had the cat dropped it?
Keiko watched in fascination as the boy's long chestnut braid stood straight out from his head. He turned several interesting shades of red, all the while spluttering.
The girl was curious. What? . . . then she got a good eyeful over Duo's shoulder.
"Ara . . . "she flushed slightly but gamely continued. She hadn't spend several lifetimes hanging around *the* Youko Kurama for nothing. " . . . You look good in red, Duo-kun. The lines of that dress are . . . flattering."
Both looked up when Babbit exclaimed, "Aiyah! Sana-chan, you're really *not* a girl."
Duo marched over. "Now you figure that out? What're you looking at anyway?" Wordlessly the white creature handed over yet another picture that the cat had dropped.
Duo blushed yet again and stuffed the pic into his oversized pockets. He glared at the patiently waiting cat. "Y-y-you . .w-what. . ." he managed a few incoherent sounds.
The cat merely blinked and Duo swore that it smirked at him before scampering off into the surrounding gray mist, leaving a trail of pictures and the faint echoes of its purrs behind it.
Duo let out a battle cry, something like, "Thundercats Hoo!, " before charging into the fray, scooping up the scattered objects as he went.
Keiko and Babbit followed at a much more leisurely pace.
"Guess we'd better go after our fearless leader."
"Who elected him leader anyway?"
"I think its the hair."
"Think about it. Almost all great leaders had nice hair. Rick Hunter, Keith, Roy Fokker, Ryo . . . not a bad hair day in sight."
"And so she grew to immense popularity, using her totems and icons of power to mesmerize innocents into buying more and more. Nothing could stop the dreaded pink plague. She showed up in computers, cd's, music videos . . . even her own excercise tape. Her plan to slowly amass power and to take over the Ningenkai, and ultimately all three kingdoms, was working, mainly because the people didn't *know* what was going on. The gradual, insiduous growth went unnoticed until it was almost too late." Koenma's voice dropped to a whisper.
The various chibis around them stared, round-eyed at the puppet theatre he had set up. A wooden Urameshi team came clacking out onto the stage, striking various Mighty Morphin type poses.
"And so, their great leader, Koenma . . .itai, " Irritably rubbing his head from where a chibi Yuusuke had gleefully thrown a soda can at him, he continued, " . . . gathered the team and ordered them to rid the world of this fearsome menace."
A slender puppet with long golden hair and a pink tiara stood, wearing a pink tafetta dress. Her empty blue eyes stared vacantly, forever matched with the equally blank, plastic smile.
The Urameshi gumi puppets began attacking the figure. Koenma nodded satisfied, the remote controls were working fine. He turned back to the story.
"Then she was foreever sealed in an iron trunk and tossed over a cliff in a nameless sea. Its location and identity kept secret, known only to the child goddess Aphrael. For the temptation of Bhellion was great to mere . . . "
"What?!" chorused the chibis cheerfully, albeit confusedly, tilting their heads to one side identically and in synch. It was spreading . . .
"Hmm. Wrong legend." Koenma rapidly flipped through his index cards. This was the last time he let George write them up when the oni was still on an Eddings kick.
"She was sealed in a pink trunk. But the fateful day arrived when the seal weakened . . . and gradually broke, releasing her once again." Koenma concluded the story with a sigh.
Various chibis began to whisper, point, and giggle at the puppet show. Koenma frowned slightly as he turned around . . . what?
The Hiei and Kuwabara puppets were twirling about in a mad tango, while the Yuusuke and Kurama began voguing. Eyes narrowed, he turned toward where Nokoru sat. His cousin shrugged. Suoh looked indifferent. Akira . . .guiltily smiled and offered the controls to the puppet show once again. Sigh.
Wufei flipped back his loose hair, even as he began searching through the scrolls. Maybe if he found a similar book, he could return home. . . despite the googly eyes the elephant had made at him. At a rustling noise, the Chinese boy frowned slightly and headed toward it . . .
He picked up a picture. It was a rather revealing one of . . .masaka . .Duo? A black and silver cat landed by his feet, purring. Wufei picked the cat up. Eh?
"Neko-san, you wouldn't happen to know anything about this would you?"
The cat only purred and butted its head gently against his chest.
"Wufei!!!!" a voice exclaimed.
Duo couldn't believe his eyes. When he had followed the cat into a partially opened doorway, the only thought on his mind was to search and to confiscate. But . . . here was Wufei, in a rather transparent and flimsy red and white dress, hair loosened and holding *that* cat.
They stared at each other stupefied, startled black eyes meeting wide violet ones. Muffled from within the library, various voices cried out. "He's in here, I know it." "Find the Miko." "Here Miko, miko, miko."
Wufei was the first to move, quickly grabbing the American's hand, purring cat and picture clutched in the other, he leaped in the direction Duo had come from. There was some kind of doorway. Was this the way out?
They went through, and Wufei quickly slammed the door behind him. He was free!!
Duo blinked as the other began to caper about in joy. Heh. Wufei had some nice moves.
"Duo, what exactly are you doing here?" Wufei asked.
The other grinned, "Ah. First I'd like to introduce you to Keiko. Keiko, meet Wufei, a fellow Gundam pilot and friend. Wufei, meet Keiko, " with a positively evil grin, Duo added, " a ghost."
Wufei's hand in the process of reaching out for the girl's paused in mid-air. His jaw dropped. Nani??
Keiko smiled and jabbed a laughing Duo in the ribs. "Hajimemashite. But I think we'd better follow the cat and talk later." She nodded her head in the direction the cat had scampered off to, still scattering pictures.
Duo cried out, "Shimatta!!!" And left in hot pursuit.
A white creature buzzed past both of them, "Matte yo!! Sana-chan. Mou! Oi, te ba."
Wufei raised an eyebrow eloquently, " . . .these pictures? Sana-chan?"
Keiko made a face, "It's a long, long story. I'll explain it on the way."
Wufei nodded, grimacing at having to stay in these clothes longer. He sighed, it couldn't be helped, and perhaps Duo and Keiko's story would keep his mind off of it.
Duo blinked as his eyes met the bright glare of the sun for the first time in days. He took in a fresh gulp of air, absently patting all the pictures that he had stored in his oversized pants. The strange cat had disappeared after leading them out, pausing only for one last rub against his legs. Duo grinned and adjusted his cap, now only to find where they were . . .
Wufei stood, also stretching. He paused briefly frowning . . . was that music he heard? Looking to his far right, he noticed that a trail of dust was coming down the road, almost straight past them. The music grew louder . . . 'Flight of the Valkyiers'? played while a voice called out . . from a rapidly approaching helicopter. " . . to continued Insanity: the Chase. Spandex Boy is in front due to Hiei and Kurama's *cough* mysterious disappearance. Oi!! you guys, stop laughing! We *don't* know if *sigh* never mind. And as we continue on, I see yet another dimensional portal up ahead. Where will this lead us? Who knows? Stay tuned audience for more of Insanity."
The American could only gawk as Heero rushed past the stupefied quartet in pursuit of a . . rabbit? A race car, blaring away "Go Speed Racer. Go Speed Racer. Go Speed Racer. Gooooo!", with 4 passengers aboard . . . and two teenagers riding on the tail end of the car.
Keiko stared as Koenma, Kuwabara, and Yuusuke passed by in a blur . . .chased by a horde of screaming girls. This was *not* how she had imagined things would turn out.
They could only stare as the entire line was soon engulfed and disappeared.
Duo scratched his head and offered a sheepish smile. "Well, I guess we're gonna have to go after them ne?"
Wufei sighed and marched, with his comrades, towards where the procession had disappeared.
Quatre stared, fascinated by the new landscape they had found themselves in. Everything seemed to be made eithe of candy or chocolate. .Quatre and Trowa blinked as suddenly a pink rabbit appeared right before them, spinning a few times, before racing off with Heero in hot pursuit . . . Heero??!!
They only had time to process that single thought before becoming engulfed within the chaos of the rest of the line. Moving with the flow, they managed to maneuver the . . errr "vehicle" in line. What was going on?
From the helicopter, a voice blasted out, "Joining us today is Quatre and Trowa, Mary Poppins, and the safari!!! Welcome to chaos, folks."
Part 5: The end is near; the end
(But not yet 'cause I haven't finished writing it ^_^;;)
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