Umbrella War

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters nor do I make any money off them. Also lacking money, suing me would be a waste of time.
Warning: Silliness, possibly OOC.

I used to work at Target and this idea was conceived after telling the 12th person "no, we don't have any more umbrellas" (some of them got really nasty too...like its my fault LA weather is so schizophrenic). I told the idea to my friend/co-worker and he liked it and gave me some suggestions. Thanks Mike!

Oh, yeah, and I don't know if there are any Target stores in Japan, but that's were I got the idea and so that's where it will take place.

Feedback always welcome.

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Ryoga made it into the massive awning bare seconds before the rain started to fall. He stared at it in dismay. [Figures it would rain the same day I lost my umbrella and pack after that fall into the river.] He wasn't terribly worried about his stuff. When he was younger, he always had to buy new things or try to go home to get more, but now there were so many of his packs scattered around the world that he only had to wait a day or two before finding one again.

[Now what am I to do until this rain stops?] He looked around and noticed, with some surprise, that the awning he stood under belonged to a department store. [Hey, maybe they sell umbrellas.]

Feeling somewhat more cheerful--such as Ryoga is able to feel cheerful--he entered the store, finding it much warmer on the inside. The building had high ceilings and was brightly light. A few guest in raincoats milled about, but it was mostly empty. He moved out of the way of couple running children then headed off in search of an umbrella.

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Mousse rushed into the store just as the rain began to fall, the miracle of automatic doors keeping him from ending up smashed into the glass. As it was, the wetness on the back of his robe told him that he had just *barely* made it. He shook the material with some annoyance and adjusted his glasses.

"Lets see..." he surveyed the area. "Well, I'm feeling a bit hungry." Mousse decided, spotting the little snack bar. [No point in trying to get home on this weather.... like anyone would really care if I was home or not....] Allowing himself to wallow in self-pity, Mousse made his way to the food.

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After discovering the location of the bathroom, the sports section, the baby clothes, the condoms, and a wonderful cologne he had to get Ranma for his birthday, Ryoga decided it was time to ask someone for help. He flagged down a guy in a red shirt with a nametag.

"Excuse me, could you tell me where the umbrellas are at?" Ryoga inquired politely. The guy frowned thoughtfully.

"We may not have any left, it's getting toward the end of the rainy season. But if we do have any, they'd be at the front of the store, just past the shopping carts."

Sweatdrop.

"Heh.... could you show me the way?" Ryoga blushed, hoping he didn't sound like an idiot. The man merely smiled and nodded. Evidently, he was used to dealing with idiots.

It wasn't long before they were at the container for umbrellas. Only one was left. It was pink, with white lace trim and bright red hearts all over it; still it was an umbrella and would keep the rain out. Quickly thanking the nice man, Ryoga ran for the umbrella before anyone else could get at it.

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Mousse finished the remains of his snack and tossed the plate in the trash. Noticing that the person at the snack bar was starting to close up, he figured it was time to head back to the Nekohaten. If only because Shampoo would throw a fit if he wasn't there to help her open early the next morning. A glance through the near-by glass doors showed it was still pouring outside.

With a sigh, Mousse asked one of the employees where the umbrellas were sold. She pointed the way, warning him there was only a couple left. He nodded his thanks and hurried.

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Intent on their goals, the two boys did not notice each other...until their hands closed over the same pink-and-lace-with-big-red-hearts umbrella.

Two sets of eyes raised and locked, in a challenge of mortal combat.

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Mousse reacted first, hauling back on the umbrella in an attempt to break Ryoga's grip. He only succeeded in pulling Ryoga over him, as the Lost Boy's handhold was strong as his own. They went down, knocking over the container that held the umbrellas.

Ryoga let out an 'oof' of surprise, but recovered quickly, yanking and jerking on the pink-thing. Mousse growled in return, pulling his legs and pushing Ryoga hard in the stomach, literally throwing the Lost Boy up over his head.

But Ryoga was not to be daunted! He held fast and used his incredible strength to haul Mousse forward until Duck-Boy was in front of him. "Don't think you can win!"

"Ha! I'll have no trouble beating the likes of you!" The two growled, little sparks of electricity flying between their eyes. Meanwhile, the store guests, not to mention a few employees, were inching slowly to the door.

The staring contest lasted for lengthy period of time, which I will not go into since it was rather dull and all, when a can of hairspray suddenly came flying out of nowhere to knock Mousse in the head. "ITAI!" He released the umbrella to cradle his aching head.

Ryoga let out a shout of delight and jumped to his feet, running to the cash registers. But not fast enough! Mousse grabbed him mid-flight, knocking him flat to the ground. The umbrella went sailing majestically from his hands to land on the linoleum floor just feet from the electronics department.

"Its mine!!"

"No mine!!"

Ryoga struggled to get up, but Mousse kept him pinned. Duck-Boy did a pretty good job of keeping Ryoga down. The only trouble was that Mousse would *have* to get off him in order to reach the umbrella. Finally, he made his decision and, using the strength of his powerful legs, threw himself over Ryoga, hoping he could get enough distance to grab the prize before Ryoga could rise.

This might have worked...if it weren't for the little boy who scurried across the aisle at that moment. Mousse went down, taking the kid with him. Instantly, the child let lose a scream that could shatter glass and beat on the Amazon with his small fists. The mother responded quickly to this siren call and appeared suddenly beside Mousse and began whacking him with her purse, raging like some demon.

Seeing his chance, Ryoga lunged to his feet and rushed for the umbrella. Though down, Mousse was certainly not out. He twisted his body around, arms raised to protect his head from flying synthetic leather, and did a reverse hook kick that snagged Ryoga's ankle and brought him down once again.

"Urgh!" Ryoga grunted as he landed, chin slapping hard on the ground. Mousse managed to free himself from the purse o' death and took a wild leap over the dazed Lost Boy. He swooped down to grab the umbrella, landing more or less gracefully on the slick linoleum, and sailed in the general direction of the electronics' counter. However, he miss judged and ended up trying to pay a TV.

The guy at the cash register took one look at the half-blind martial artist and another at the pissed-off boy on the floor. With a muttered "they don't pay me enough to deal with this crap," he hightailed it out of there. Just in time, too.

Having recovered from his landing, Ryoga leapt to his feet and charged Mousse where he argued with the TV. Though Mousse's sight is impaired, his hearing is just dandy and he stepped aside just in time to avoid a flying sidekick. Ryoga 'urk'ed as he crashed into the TV and the wall behind it.

An entire wall of the twentieth century's finest landed in a large pile on the understandably annoyed Ryoga. Mousse realized his mistake and began searching for the nearest red shirt to lead him to the cash registers. He spotted one girl with a full shopping cart and a stunned expression.

"Miss, do you work here?" Mousse asked politely, casting a nervous glace at the shifting pile. The young woman blinked and fixed Mousse with a firm look.

"I hate you."

"Nani?"

A pleasant expression covered her face. "I'm sorry, I meant, how may I help you after you started a fight in the store which caused a big mess that we-my team mates and I-will spend the rest of the night cleaning up in addition to the rest of the store, making it so that we won't get out of here until after midnight?" She smiled broadly.

"Ah…um, what direction are the cash registers?"

She pointed over her shoulders. "Down that way. And do have a nice evening, sir." Still smiling brightly, the young woman wheeled her cart down another aisle.

"MOUSSE!!" A terrible roar came from behind him. Mousse yelped and ran in the direction the slightly unbalanced employee had pointed. But he wasn't quite fast enough.

Ryoga charged into him, which felt something like being sat on by an elephant or being overrun by a herd of frightened antelope. A disheartening experience either way. Mousse hit the linoleum, creating a body-shaped crater, and losing his grip on the umbrella. With a snarl of rage, he twisted his limper body and wrestled with Ryoga.

The umbrella was forgotten in favor of beating each other senseless.

"Curse you! I got there first!"

Crash went a makeup display.

"Liar! I had my hands on it before you!"

Down came a clothing rack.

"What do you need an umbrella for?! You ALWAYS have one!"

Several dozen bottles of shampoo suddenly lost their support and spread themselves, and their contents, about the floor.

"If I want an umbrella, I'll get one! Uck!"

Ryoga protested loudly as his foot slid in the shampoo. He went skidding several feet and ended up pressed against the perfume shelves.

"I have you now!" Mousse flung out his arms, various weapons flying out and damaging more merchandise. Ryoga looked up at the shelves he was pressed against.

"Wait! Wait," he cried, pushing himself up and grabbing something off the shelf. "Birthday present! Boyfriend!" He waved the bottle pleadingly. Mousse paused briefly, nodding.

"I understand completely." He waited while Ryoga stood and moved the bottle to a new location. "Say, doesn't this place have valentine section? I should get something, too." So suddenly Mousse didn't have the time to react, Ryoga pounced again.

By now, the store was mostly empty. Most of the employees had vanished too, much to the dismay of their supervisor. Only a few brave cashiers remained, but more so that they could tell their absent or more cowardly teammates about the fight later, than from any sense of loyalty to the job. Two of the few guests who remained were young girl and her grandfather.

Unperturbed by the chaos, she squealed with delight upon spotting a very pink umbrella with lace and hearts. She bent over, missing the small harpoon that went flying right where her head had been, and picked up the umbrella.

"Grandpa, can we get this?"

"Sure honey."

Elsewhere, a wall of greeting cards met its doom. The battling duo had made one completely circuit of the store and were now near the front. The store was an ungodly mess; devastated merchandise lay strewn about every which way and mangled carts sprawled like wounded soldiers.

"I...will...defeat...you!" Mousse panted, trying to locate a useful weapon and finding only nail files and toothbrushes, while Ryoga gnawed on his ankle.

"You'll never win." Ryoga mumbled out, still intently chewing. "I'll get the umbrella."

The ceiling gave a loud and ominous sounding groan. The two boys looked up fearfully. Into that moment of perfect silence rang a single voice.

"Thanks for the umbrella Grandpa, it was the last one!"

---Then a chunk of the ceiling gave way with a massive crash. Guess where it landed?

Rain fell cheerfully through the newly made skylight, soaking the ground and ruble. Eventually, a bruised, tattered, and thoroughly angered black piglet crawled out of the wreck. A duck, missing many feathers and wearing broken glasses, followed. The two animal looked at each other and sighed.

Just another day.

End