~a very odd story by cat (with occasional help from rissa, a visiting muse/OC)~
"Obsessive? Who, me? Nah…"
~Any Fanfiction Writer
Aahz grinned. He was dealing with his favorite kind of customer - a desperate one. This particular customer was a vampire, whose mildly successful nightclub was being plagued by an infestation of diurnal wasps. Said wasps had so far defied every attempt to exterminate them and were driving away business, and the owner of the club was willing to pay almost anything to be rid of them.
"If you'll wait right here," Aahz informed the man with a toothy smile, "The Great Skeeve will see you shortly." He swept into the adjacent room, which was Skeeve's office. The person at the desk, however, was definitely not Skeeve.
"Bunny?"Aahz blinked at her. "Where's Skeeve?"
"No idea," she replied. "I haven't seen him all day, I guess he's still asleep."
"Great," groaned Aahz. He shoved open the door. "Skeeve's in a meeting," he lied. "This is our chief of finances, Bunny." He nudged her through the door.
"What's going on?" she asked in a whisper.
"Just stall him!" he hissed back. "I am not losing this deal!" Aahz shut the door and whisked off in search of his wayward partner.
Guido and Nunzio, Skeeve's two bodyguards, were posted on either side of his bedroom door.
"Where's Skeeve?" Aahz demanded. "There's a customer waiting to see him!"
"Well, he hasn't come through this door, so we're assuming he's still in there," Guido said, indicating the door.
"Oh-for-gods'-sakes!" Aahz exploded. "You're bodyguards, that means you guard his body! Let me in there…" He wrenched the door open.
Skeeve's bedroom was completely deserted. The bed was rather disheveled, but apart from that, there were no signs of a struggle.
"Wonderful," Aahz muttered. "Of all the times to disappear… Okay, planning," he told himself. "Deal with the client first." He rushed back to the front room.
"I've spoken to Skeeve about your problem," he lied again. "One of our representatives will come deal with it in a few days, just leave the address of the club with Bunny here." In a whisper he added to Bunny, "Skeeve's missing. Meet in the conference room when you finish here." He turned around to find that Guido and Nunzio had followed him. "You two," Aahz instructed, "round up the others and bring them to the conference room."
"No need," came the voice of Chumley. Seconds later, he appeared around the corner, followed closely by Tananda. "We were in the vicinity and happened to overhear," he explained. "Massha's right behind us." Sure enough, Massha stepped around the corner, just as Bunny slipped into the hallway behind Aahz.
"Well, what are we standing around here for?"Aahz said. "Let's go inspect the room!"
"Look what I found!" Tananda exclaimed, straightening up and brandishing a slip of pink paper. "It was under the bed… I think it's a ransom note! Skeeve's been kidnapped!"
Aahz immediately grabbed the note. "Let me see that!" He read it aloud, for the benefit of the others.
"To whom it may concern, particularly you, Aahz-" Aahz blinked and scowled at the paper before continuing. "-we have your partner, Skeeve. Don't bother with any of your usual plans. They won't work. We are, however, willing to negotiate terms for a ransom. You have exactly forty-eight hours to decide what to do. Signed, Lani-Mew & Co. …And there's an address at the bottom," he finished. "But it doesn't give a dimension. Oh this is infuriating!" There were several moments of silence while the group passed the note around, wondering what to do.
"We'll have to go negotiate," Aahz said finally. "It might be possible to work out something reasonable. If not… we can just try to bust Skeeve out," he mused. Massha, meanwhile, was tapping the note with an emerald ring, which beeped at her suddenly. She turned the ring over and peered intently at the large gem.
"That's not such a hot idea, Green and Scaly," she interrupted. "I just found out where this thing is from and you really do not want to know these crazy girls' idea of a ransom!"
"How do you know what their idea of a ransom is?" Aahz demanded. "Matter of fact, how do you know they're girls?"
"Just work with me here. I've dealt with them before and, well, talk about your basic sick and twisted imaginations…"
"Massha," Tananda prodded, "where's the note from?"
"This note," Massha proclaimed dramatically, "is from none other than… Fan!"
There was a long silence.
"…Which means Skeeve has been kidnapped by Fangirls. They have to be Fangirls, because, well, has anyone ever actually seen a Fanboy? Besides, Fanboys wouldn't want to kidnap Skeeve- at least, I hope not." Massha gave the others an expectant look.
There was more silence.
"Oh come on! Someone has to know what I'm talking about!"
"Me," Aahz spoke up. "Oh, gods… that's a repressed memory if I ever had one. You're right, negotiating is definitely out of the question!"
"Never met anyone who could scare a Pervect out of haggling," Tananda quipped.
"That's not funny," Aahz retorted, glaring daggers at her. "Fangirls are serious business!"
"Excuse me," Guido interrupted, "but could one of you enlightened personages inform the rest of us as to what, exactly, is a Fangirl?"
"They're really weird," Massha began. "For starters they know pretty much everything about anyone on any dimension you can think of, and a few you can't-"
"Now that's not exactly true," Aahz cut in. "Most Fangirls specialize in a few dimensions, maybe three or four, and focus primarily on the more well-known inhabitants of those dimensions."
"And they're mean dimension-hoppers. Barely even have to think about it. Plus they're next to impossible to track down unless you know 'em real well, on account of most of 'em go under fake names and appearances, and they keep changing them. They've got these networks, though- everybody knows somebody who knows somebody else and so on and so on."
"The important thing to remember about Fangirls, though," Aahz pointed out, "is that they've got overactive imaginations, sadistic and dirty minds, and extremely obsessive personalities. And some of them, well, they're just flat-out deranged. Those are the really dangerous ones."
"Scary little buggers," Chumley remarked. "Poor Skeeve."
"Yeah," Nunzio agreed. "Sounds like he's really in for it this time. He don't know a thing about women… 'specially crazy ones. He won't last five minutes… remember how much of a mess he was after Bunny showed up?"
Bunny suddenly sprang to her feet. "We have to get him out of there!" she exclaimed vehemently, before noticing the odd looks she was getting. "Um, I mean… eheh… who's got a plan?"