Title: Operation Survivor
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Pairings: 1+2, 3+4, implied 6+9
Warnings: Humor, some Relena bashing, massive OOC-ness
Archive: Lev's Lair
Disclaimer: My alarm clock woke me out of this neat dream where the GW gang did indeed belong to me. Too bad… So well, I don't own the GW gang and the anime in any way. Sad, I know, but it's true. Neither do I own the Survivor Series in any way.
Note: This takes place a while after the Eve's war.
Thanx to Duo-chan for beta-ing efforts! ^^
"Guys, you know… this is peacetime now. You've got to get rid of all those wartime habits and lead a normal life! How else are you going to survive?" Sally asked, glaring at the nine people lounging on the couch in the Preventer's office.
The nine listened on listlessly. Well, most of them. Duo had already fallen asleep, and Heero glared right back. The Perfect Soldier never lost in anything, especially his specialty.
Une rolled her eyes, and threw an empty folder at the sleeping boy. Duo jumped up with a loud protest, and Heero turned his glare to Une.
"Honestly, Sally and I are trying to help the nine of you to adapt to a life in peacetime because all of you are scaring the normal citizens one way or another. Pay attention."
Duo pouted, and leaned into Heero.
"I can understand why the Gundam pilots and my brother are here. Or even Hirde and Dorothy! But me? What did I do?" Relena asked, confusion and irritation tingeing her voice. "As I recall, I'm the vice foreign minister!"
"Relena, I received a complaint from someone the other day, saying that you scared him with an unmentionable act which I will not say here. But if you really want to know, you can ask me in private. But don't bother asking me who was it who complained. His identity will be kept secret lest you try to hire some hit man like the last time."
"You hired a hit man?" Hirde exclaimed, quickly scooting away from her as far as possible. In her haste, she crashed into Quatre and Trowa, who were somehow making out in the presence of everyone without anyone noticing.
Zechs yawned loudly. "Is this over yet? Noin's prepared dinner already."
"You're letting her in the kitchen again?" Dorothy raised an eyebrow. "I thought she just nearly burned it down!"
Both Relena and Hirde shrieked.
"Dorothy, how many times do we have to remind you not to raise your eyebrows!? People are scared of that prickly thing moving up and down!" Sally yelled, ignoring Wufei's loud snort. She sighed; it was such a tough job, talking to these juvenile delinquents. And people thought she had it easy as Une's favourite agent. Then again, maybe. At least she wasn't exposed to Une's wild mood swings very much.
"Well, you said 'nearly', so the kitchen's still standing. But I think she's determined to completely tear it down, and I thought, 'It's such a tacky kitchen anyway', so yea, she's making dinner tonight." Zechs replied with a shrug. "It doesn't matter if she burns down the entire house either. I've got insurance. Besides, the house's interior décor is horrible, what with all that pink stuff lying around…"
"Hey! When I showed you the plans, you said you liked it!" Relena wailed, vaguely reminding Trowa that it had been a while since he played with a sea lion.
"Yeah, I like it. Just not everything in pink! And the plans you showed me were in black and white. Noin thought we were moving into a doll house, and tried to make my hair and dress me up in a dress!"
Duo blinked. "Why?"
"Because my hair reminded her of Barbie dolls!"
Wufei stifled a laugh. It was below his dignity to laugh at such trivial things. But his uncooperative mind supplied him with a mental image, and he laughed out loud.
"Duo, stop tickling Wufei!" Sally hushed.
"But I'm not!" Duo objected, pouting deeper. He turned to Heero with an upset look. "It's just so unfair, Heero! Just because I've played pranks before, everyone thinks that I'm always doing it! Sure, I'd admit that you guys are right about nine out of ten times, but I didn't do it this time! Honest! Wufei's just being weird! I… mmf!"
"Thank you, Heero. I thought my ears were going to ring with all those words." Une said with relief.
Heero put up a hand gesture, his lips still plastered to Duo's with seemingly no intention to stop anytime soon. Relena and Hirde held their breathes at the same time, hoping to beat Heero and Duo's record of living without air.
"Heero said, 'My pleasure.' And I think he means it both ways." Quatre said with a sunny smile. His space heart was so convenient sometimes…
"Okay, enough of the distractions. Sally, make your point. Why are we all here?" Wufei asked, grateful for Duo taking away the attention that should have been on him. Maybe he should buy Duo some chocolate later. And Heero would probably think he's trying to pull a move on Duo and try to beat the hell out of him. Sheesh! It was so hard being nice to Duo nowadays…
"Une and I have decided that we're going to put you all through a series of task so as to make sure you're able to lead normal lives and interact with others normally! It's peacetime now! And we have a feeling you're going to need more effort to survive now… So we're calling this 'Operation: Survivor!'"
"Tacky name…" Trowa muttered.
Sally nodded. "Yeah, I know. But it just sounds cool."
"Are you kidding?" Zechs yelled. "We know what we're doing! We're not kids anymore!"
"Yeah, so that's why you shoved that gun in the salesman's face when he asked if you would buy an extra plate to get a discount." Sally replied sweetly.
"But he was being irritating!
"Zechs," Une started, fingering her glasses thoughtfully, "should I invite Colonel Une to come and talk to you about this?"
Zechs shivered. "No, sorry."
"All right then. We'll begin the tasks soon. All of you should be ready." She added. However, a cough got her attention, and she turned to Dorothy. "Yes?"
"Maybe we should send these two to the hospital first." She said, pointing to Relena and Hirde who had already passed out from suffocation.
Quickly, Sally performed CPU on the two, while Dorothy dialed up the hospital.
Heero and Duo continued kissing, oblivious to the commotion beside them.
Task number 1: Buying groceries
Location: At a local supermarket unfortunate enough to be chosen
"Alright, listen up!" Sally commanded, looking at the rather attentive nine people lined up neatly in front of her. She was very impressed by the usefulness of Une's glasses. She vaguely wondered if she should pretend to be schizophrenic too in front of the Preventer's new recruits. "All of you are given one hour to take a walk around inside, and I expect to see you out here in exactly an hour. You can buy anything you like with the money you have, but don't think of getting a loan from me. Your main objective is to well, just walk around and buy stuff. And don't scare anyone."
Quickly, the group of confused adolescences entered the supermarket.
Sally nodded to herself. She should take a walk around too, or she'd be bored to sleep standing there waiting. And she needed to keep tabs on the bunch of idiots anyway.
She walked in, and frowned when she saw Relena standing perplexed near the trolleys.
Relena looked around forlornly. "No one's here to push a trolley for me! I'm waiting to see if I can hire someone to help me with my groceries too…"
Sally's shoulders slumped. Now that peace had finally been achieved, she was starting to get worried if war would break out again with Relena holding a position in the government. "You're supposed to do it yourself. You're not allowed to hire help for your tasks. Go on! Shoo!"
Relena took a few uncertain steps backwards. "I can't get help? But what if I get lost?"
After handing her a compass, Sally left her alone and wandered into the supermarket. After a few minutes, she found herself in the vegetables section, and immediately regretted not bringing aspirin with her. Dorothy was holding a very long cucumber in her right hand, and rapidly poking it at a dodging sales person. The poor guy was already screaming for help, but no one came to his aid.
"Dorothy! What do you think you're doing!"
Said girl turned. "Fencing off idiots who thinks I cannot poke at the tomatoes!"
Sally reeled in her urge to scream, and chased Dorothy out of the supermarket with an apology to the sales person. However, it was not enough to prevent the poor guy from resigning immediately, vowing to never work at a supermarket ever again.
Turning around, Sally walked off to the tidbits section, where she knew Duo and Heero would surely be. And bingo! When she reached there, she saw Heero pushing a trolley full of various bags of potato chips and other assorted snacks which including candies, chocolates, cookies, biscuits, ice cream and a few things she could not identify. Duo was sweeping through the shelves like a tornado, throwing anything that caught his fancy into the trolley. A few girls beside him looked positively green in their faces.
"Are you going to eat all that, Duo?" Sally asked, barely able to believe her eyes.
"Of course not!" Duo said casually, and picked up a packet of oatmeal biscuits. "This is Heero's."
"And… the rest?"
"The rest are mine!" Duo proclaimed happily, and one of the girls nearby promptly ran off in search of a toilet.
Okay, that was strange, but still acceptable, if not a little revolting. It was hard to imagine someone eating up all that fat and carbohydrates. But Duo had the most amazing metabolism rate she'd ever seen, so she let it slide lest she ran off like the other girl. So she left them, and went in search of the rest.
A while later, she saw a crowd gathered at the poultry section. Praying that the center of attention wasn't anyone she knew, she pushed her way through the people, and nearly cried. There, standing in the middle, just beside the racks of eggs, was one Trowa Barton. It was fair enough; everyone who knew Trowa knew he adored eggs, no matter how they were cooked. But what he was doing to the eggs was appalling.
"Trowa Barton! What the hell do you think you're doing!" Sally screamed, and Trowa cringed. The eggs, which he was juggling, all fell to the ground, splattering the hems of a girl's dress. She sobbed at the destruction of her poor dress.
Trowa peeked at Sally from under his bangs. "I was just juggling some eggs…" He explained meekly, and tried to hide his face behind his hair again when he saw how red Sally's face was turning. "I couldn't help myself! It was like… the eggs were begging me to juggle them!"
That wasn't a good excuse. So Sally banished him, much like she had with Dorothy, out of the supermarket. The sales person in charge of the poultry section wept at the sight on the splattered eggs, thinking of his horrible manager who'd surely have his hide for this. But well, that wasn't Sally's business, so she went on her merry way.
Walking to another section of the supermarket, she came across Quatre pestering a sales person. Raising her eyebrow, she sneaked closer to eavesdrop. The blonde, apparently, was nothing like the angel many people thought he looked like. He was actually talking to the sales person about which brand of lube was good for… well, need she say more? But hey, there wasn't anything really wrong with having the tendency to boast of one's sexual capabilities and stock up on lube, so Sally sneaked away. She would have to talk to Quatre about the issue of privacy later. The sales person would have to deal with him himself.
By this time, judging from the general pattern, she was sure Wufei and Zechs were creating havoc somewhere. Just where were they? Oh, she didn't have to really search. A few girls walking pass her were talking about 'the handsome, and maybe a little perverted, blonde guy at the women's section'. Somehow, the description registered with Sally as 'Zechs', so she quickly headed for him.
"Zechs? What are you doing?"
Said guy turned to her, face burning up a millions shades of red, and thrust his cell phone in her direction. Although she felt that her authority was a little challenged by his silence, she picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Sally, is that you?"
"Noin? Why are you calling Zechs now? You know he's got a task, don't you?"
"Yeah, he's supposed to go shopping in a supermarket, isn't he? So I thought I'd ask him to stock up a few of my stuff for me…"
Minutes later, Sally threw the three packets of tampons into Zechs' basket and stalked off. Maybe she should talk to Une about putting Noin on the program too.
She found Wufei in the meat section. He was, not surprising her in any way, harassing a staff member about the injustice of charging $5 for a beef steak when he could get it elsewhere for $4.90. Sally decided it was better for her own health to just pretend she never saw it.
At the end of the day, all of them gathered at the entrance of the supermarket again. Relena had indeed gotten lost, and had to be led out by a couple of helpful and otherwise chuckling kids. Dorothy and Trowa had already been banished out there, so they didn't manage to do more damage, fortunately. Quatre had a small bag of lube, with 'compliments' from the staff he had pestered. He'd even manage to wring a promise out of the guy to give his feedback to the lube making company. Duo and Heero ended up with a few large bags of snacks and junk food, and the cashier had given them a pharmacy coupon to go with their purchase after finding out that no, they weren't intending on hibernating any time soon . Zechs came out with the three packets of tampons. Only Hirde manage to act normally in the supermarket.
"I've got loads of practice helping Duo with his groceries." She said.
Sally submitted the report to Une, seriously contemplating if she'd let her take a vacation the next few weeks.
Task number 2: Eating out at a restaurant
Location: At a local restaurant that somehow owes the Preventers a few favours
"Alright now, listen up! Today, we're going to practice eating normally at this restaurant. I want all of you to go in small groups, let the waitresses bring you to your seats, and order something. I want no problem from any of you this time, understood?" Sally yelled, mentally cursing Une for not giving her vacation time. She was going to get some after this, no matter what!
They nodded, and marched in. A couple of smiling waitresses came up, gathered up some menus, and led them to a few tables. Heero and Duo shared one table, Trowa and Quatre shared another, and all the rest another by themselves. Sally settled down in a corner by herself, and asked for a strong cup of coffee. Silently, she hoped that there would be minimal problems today.
However, her charges seemed determined not to let her have her way.
"Why isn't there ration bars on the menu!? I want ration bars!" Heero demanded, glaring at a waitress. She 'eeped!', and tried to look for help.
Duo took Heero's hand, and shot him a grin. "Heero, you can't be serious about having ration bars for lunch when the Preventors are paying! Why don't we try something else?" He turned to the waitress, who looked positively relieved. "We'll have this… this… this… this… and this one. Wait, I want this one too…"
Sally sighed. She was going to get her butt kicked when Une saw the bill. One way or another, she was going to ask the Winner corporation to sponsor the exercise. Talking about that, she turned to Quatre and Trowa's table. It seemed that Quatre's rich upbringing included dining etiquette, so he was having no problem ordering his food and Trowa's.
It seemed to be the same with the other table, which went without a hitch until Hirde's turn. Apparently, she was a little intimidated by the classy décor of the restaurant and some of the really unpronounceable dishes. So when it came to her turn, she just chose something randomly by pointing somewhere on the menu. It was like leaving it up to fate, but well, fate could be a little playful sometimes. She ended up pointing at the address of the restaurant. Still, with a little help from the others, she managed to get herself something that sounded and hopefully, tasted nice.
So after the waitresses had taken their orders, the nine were left to their own devices. Heero and Duo had chosen a pretty secluded table, so it made sense that they were going to make out during the wait. Sally was glad that they didn't do anything beyond a little kissing and fondling, though she damn near gave herself a heart attack when she saw Heero's hand slip into Duo's pants. Trowa and Quatre apparently had a copycat streak in them. However, they were sitting in a much more obvious place, so Sally had to tell them off, and the two exacted a promised from her to not disturb them that night. The other five merely conversed, although Relena and Wufei bickered more than they actually conversed.
Food was served a while later, and Sally quickly threw a plate at Heero and Duo to stop them from doing anything more and scare the waitress off. Lucky for her, the two didn't give her any more problems after that, except for their tendency to kiss between bites. It just gave her cavities.
Quatre had no problems either, having practiced perfect dining habits at home. Trowa was… well… He had to clip his bangs up so they wouldn't get in his way. Perfectly plausible, Sally mused. But that side of his face was a shade paler than the other, and some patrons and waitresses kept shooting him weird looks.
At the last table, there wasn't too big a problem. Dorothy and Zechs had been raised aristocratic before, and so had no problems with eating neatly. Hirde was fine too, except that she kept asking for water because the food Zechs had ordered for her was much like Tabasco and chili gravy. The only problem came from Relena, who was insisting on using chopsticks for eating her bowl of noodles. That girl, obviously, had never used the utensil before, and had to resort to stabbing at her food. Of course, that led to a decrease in the accuracy of her actually getting the food into her mouth, and the noodles flew everywhere. Wufei kept snorting at her inability, and the two eventually got into an argument. Sally had to forcibly remove both of them from the restaurant premises or risk destroying another table and chair.
Task number 3: Catching a movie at the cinema
Location: At an empty theater which the Preventers had booked in fear of endangering innocents
Sally popped a piece of popcorn into her mouth as the action movie rolled across the screen. She had taken precautions this time by booking the whole theatre. No matter what they did, no one was going to learn of it.
However, it proved to be a bad idea.
Heero and Duo had moved to corner and spent all their time making out. Apart from not using lube, they had nearly done it all. Sally had to remind them to pick up all the articles of clothing that had somehow flown everywhere. Relena nearly suffered a cardiac arrest when Heero's boxers came her way until Sally threw it back to him.
Quatre and Trowa had gone out to get some more snacks, but never quite made it back to the theatre. People started to complain about strange noises in the toilet a while later.
Zechs fell asleep, snoring so loud that prompted Wufei to rant on about the noise level. After a while, Wufei decided to do something else and test his thesis that one's hairstyle did indeed cause a change in one's character. The case in study was obviously Une, who was fortunately not around. That left the sleeping slug beside him who was safe enough for him to test on, and Wufei managed to work Zech's hair into two braided buns much like Colonel Une's.
Dorothy kept complaining about the pathetic explosion effects the movie had shown. Sally was half afraid she'd go home and make her own bomb. With her apparent inexperience (Dorothy was bred an aristocrat, not a soldier), she was more likely to blow up her own house before blowing up someone else's.
Relena and Hirde were more normal than the others. They scrutinized each and every actor and actress in the movie, assessing their clothing, looks and acting skills. However, they seemed to have a perverse pleasure in talking about the butts. At one point of their heated debate, Relena showed off her butt to prove that hers was better looking than the actress's. She was lucky that Sally had booked the place; the press would have a field day with a picture of Relena Peacecraft shaking her bon bon in a theatre.
Sally sighed. Why did she apply for a job at the Preventers? She was *so* getting a long vacation after this.
Task number 4: Visiting a library
Location: At a nearby library which Sally normally frequented
"Remember: you are supposed to act like normal civilians! It's peacetime, so act peacefully! Now go!" Sally barked.
The lot of them went into the crowded library obediently, and she glanced at her watch. She'd give them fifteen minutes before checking up on all of them…
Before long, time was up, and Sally entered the library. This was, actually, one of her favourite hangouts when she could afford the time. The place was large and spacey, had loads of books, computers hooked up to the Internet, and a cozy cafeteria. The only downside was that the kids' section tended to be rowdy and a big no-no in her eyes, but it wasn't a big problem since the adults' section was on a different level.
Still, the kid's section was exceptionally noisy today… Sally thought nothing of it; there were probably more kids running around and not enough librarians to hush them. That was what she thought, until she caught sight of a trail of chestnut hair around the shelves. One of Preventer's top agents, Duo Maxwell, 17 years old, was engaged in a battle of wits and stamina with a bunch of kids that were probably half his age. Playing tag. A Preventer agent was playing tag with children in a public library. Sally left him alone; it was normal behaviour for someone as playful as Duo. Besides, the librarian would probably do the job of kicking him out for her.
And since Duo was alone, Heero would surely around his other love. Sally headed for the computers. Bingo! Heero was there, typing furiously on the keyboard. A few kids looked at him in awe, apparently floored by his seemingly superb computer skills. Sally frowned; she knew that putting Heero and a computer together didn't necessarily mean anything good. She walked up and peeked behind his shoulders.
"Heero Yuy!" She seethed.
Said Japanese guy turned around. "What?"
"What the hell are you thinking? Doing that here in a public library!" She whispered harshly, jabbing her finger at the screen. Heero Yuy had been hacking around, again.
Heero blinked, and looked at the screen. "Oops. It's a reflex, Sally. I'm used to it…"
Without another word, Sally banned Heero from the computers, and he joined his boyfriend outside the library dejectedly.
Zechs was nowhere to be found, until Sally decided to try out the cafeteria. He was lounged comfortably at one of the tables, drinking his coffee and occasionally, sending smiling at some girls who took turns sending him coy looks. It was normal enough, but Noin was going to throw a fit when she learnt about it. Oh well, it was going to be a really good idea for blackmailing.
Within minutes of dealing with him, Sally heard another commotion at the kid's section. This time, it was Dorothy's turn to create trouble. The girl was kneeling down on the floor, playing with a young kid's eyebrow.
"What are you doing this time?" Sally asked tiredly.
"Helping her to style her eyebrows like mine! She liked mine." Dorothy answered, never stopping in her careful styling.
Sally didn't stop her; she couldn't stop her in fact, or the girl would have one forked eyebrow and one normal eyebrow. If that didn't catch everyone's eyes, she didn't know what would. And well, sometimes, mothers were pretty scary creatures too. She'd deal with Dorothy.
So Sally sashayed out of there before the mother came looking for her daughter. Just for her own safety, she decided to go upstairs and look for the rest. She found Wufei reading a book quietly like a normal person would do in a library, and she was pleased. At least there was one less person giving her problems. But still, couldn't he have chosen a better place to read than beside the emergency escape?
She found Hirde and Relena next, who were reading recipe books in a very innovative way.
"Why are you two eating the pages?"
Hirde looked up at Sally, and offered a little smile. "We got hungry."
"There's a cafeteria downstairs!"
"But we're on a diet!" Relena protested.
Sally gave up. "You two are going to get food poisoning. Who knows what landed on the pages?" And she left, but not before kicking both out of the place, and demanding that they pay up for the damaged books.
Quatre and Trowa were making out in an isolated corner, and managed to give a teenage girl an eyeful. They were promptly thrown out as well, after the girl asked if they would be interested in modeling for her art classes.
Sally sighed; her job was getting more difficult by the minute. Une better had a replacement ready for her…
Une looked at the report, and at Sally.
"They seemed to have improved. At least, they didn't pull a gun on anyone or threaten to kill anyone. They're still a little weird, though. Any suggestions?"
"Well, I'd say they've all made big improvements, especially Heero. But you're right; they still need help. However, I believe that their conditions have improved enough for me to hand the assignment down to someone else." Sally said professionally.
Une raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?"
"In that case, I'll turn the case to someone else. I need you to work on another assignment anyway."
After a few more minor details to be smoothed out, Sally walked out of Une's office and went back to her own. Making sure that no one was around, she jumped for joy. Calming down, she congratulated herself for her wisdom of leaving out some of the more stupid things the nine had done, such as Relena's little striptease in the bar after a bet with Hirde, Heero sending a kid into hospital with his glare o' doom, Trowa running into the lion's cage in the zoo, Dorothy pricking someone with her eyebrow… And Duo trying to barbeque the Japanese koi he had somehow caught from a hotel lobby…
Sorceress Fantasia @ 7th August 2003
Last beta-ed 17th August 2003 This is actually a joke between my mum and me. Whenever we saw someone buying a lot of foodstuff, we'd say that. But then, we live in a country where there's no winter. ^^;;