"Ryoko." Trowa grabbed her arm a little more roughly than he probably had to. "I want to talk to you."
"I'm busy!" Ryoko purred. "How'd you find me up here?"
The roof was comfortably warm that day. Ryoko was using it as a vantage point to spy on Tenchi fixing up the Shrine. It had taken Trowa almost an hour to figure out she was up there.
"What did everybody talk about at breakfast after I left?" Trowa sat down next to her, but couldn't make out Tenchi. Maybe her eyes were better.
"Same old stuff." She shrugged. "Oh, but something interesting did happen, now that you mention it!" Her eyes flashed.
"Tenchi kissed me!" Ryoko sighed. "It was wonderful."
"Whatever. Did you talk about what happened last night?"
"I didn't kiss Tenchi last night… shame, really."
"I mean what happened with us. Did you mention something?" Trowa couldn't understand the way women got stuck on one topic during a conversation.
"Oh, that?" She finally looked at him. "Yeah, I might have mentioned it."
"What did you say?"
"What difference does it make? Nothing interesting happened."
Trowa felt like grumbling, but held back. "You do realize that everybody's under the impression that you and I…" Quatre wasn't the only one having a hard time with some of this. "Well, it's understandable, and you're not helping the situation."
Ryoko laughed out loud. "Stop stressing, flyboy, when something worth talking about over the breakfast table happens, you'll be the first one I let know."
Trowa frowned. "I was hoping to keep everything quiet. I like keeping things quiet."
"I can't stand quiet people." She said harshly, gazing out towards the shrine again. "I prefer people who-"
"Know how to have a wild time." He finished the sentence for her.
The rooftop fell into silence, and Trowa evaluated that silence as failure. She just said she didn't like quiet people. What was it she had liked about him before?
"You know, Ryoko, I was wrong." Trowa said carefully. "Before. I was wrong."
"Is that right?"
"I shouldn't have brushed you off when you were in my dimension. That was a mistake."
She actually seemed to blush a little. "Yeah, that was pretty stupid, wasn't it? You had your chance and blew it. Why do guys do that, anyway?"
"I don't know. Maybe they don't know how to relax?" He hoped that was the right thing to say. He didn't have a whole lot of practice with saying much at all, let alone the right thing.
"Do you think Tenchi doesn't know how to relax?"
"Maybe. I don't really… know about these things."
"Hm." She looked perplexed. "Well, at least you know you were wrong. I tried to tell you!"
She probably had. Well, there was one more attempt to make. "Can I just come out and ask for a second chance?"
The demon-woman responded to that. She completely turned to face Trowa. "Do you not notice I love Tenchi? It's pretty damn obvious, Spikey."
Great. Wonderful dilemma. Is this just going to end with her insisting that she's not interested? A few of the most recent things spoken to Trowa seemed to pop into his head all at once.
"That's just like you," Duo had chuckled. "Act first; ask permission later."
"Ryoko," Washu had kind of shook her head as though it were a lost cause. "Well, she likes having a wild time. The only thing you've got on Tenchi is that you're willing."
Act first; ask later. Be willing. Act first; ask later. Be willing.
"You can tell everybody at the breakfast table about this." Trowa practically commanded.
"About what? A little chat on the top of the hou-"
She didn't get to finish her sentence. Trowa purposefully put his hands behind her head and drew her in to kiss her. In retrospect, that was a scary thing to do considering she has hand-blast capabilities, but what other choice was there at that point?
"And now," Trowa concluded the kiss and spoke insistently. "I'm going to ask for a third chance, and if you'd let me kiss you."
"You already did…" Ryoko gazed, confused. "Why are you asking now?"
"Because I want you to say yes."
She had a blank look on her face for a moment, but that was replaced with amusement in no time. "You need to give Tenchi lessons! I've never met anybody like you."
"Are you going to say yes?"
"Well… seeing as you've already gone and done it, then yes, you have my permission."
"How about that third chance?" This was going surprisingly well. The IWW definitely had helped set it up.
"I don't know, Trowa. I love Tench-"
He repeated the kiss, and this time, her hands seemed to levitate to his face.
"You didn't ask me first…" It was hard to tell if she sounded a little bit angry or not. Maybe that's just the way she always sounded.
"I'll ask later."
She mentally shrugged. At least it was more fun than watching the cloud of dust that had recently obscured her view of Tenchi. How had that happened to the Shrine, anyway? It was almost like a bomb had gone off down there.
In the distraction of trying to figure out exactly what had caused the explosion, she forgot the slant of the roof, which was not especially dangerous for somebody who can levitate, but is rather unfortunate for the non-levitating person that just so happened to have his arms around her at the time.
After slipping off the roof, there was time for a muffled sound of surprise, twin crashes into some bushes before the hollow thud against the ground. Ryoko mentally shrugged again, watching in fascination as Trowa's eyes spun around in psychedelic swirls. "Oh well…"
"Hey, you!" Wufei stormed into the living room, a mission to accomplish.
"Yes?" Ayeka responded, looking up from a book she was reading. "What is it?"
"I have a disposable camera!" Wufei exclaimed, looking triumphant.
Ayeka returned her gaze to the book. "That's very nice, Wufei, but I was just getting to the part where they kiss! It's so romantic…"
"What kind of book is that?"
"It's a romance novel."
"They waste paper on fluff like that?"
She looked up, slightly cross. "It's not a waste. I enjoy reading them, so if you wouldn't mind refraining from poking fun?"
"Well, I was going to ask you if I could get my picture with you." He mumbled, kicking at the floor.
"Hm? No, I'm afraid not."
"I'm having a bad hair day!" She explained, pointing to hair that looked exactly the same as it did every other day.
"But I need the proof today! That is," Wufei cleared his throat. "I need the photo today."
"What ever for? That seems silly."
"For… my…" Quick, think of something that women approve of. Hurry! "Scrapbook?"
Ayeka shut the book and set it aside. "Let me make sure I heard that right. You have a scrapbook?"
"I like to… scrap?" Wufei cursed himself for ending every sentence as a question.
"Well, I never would have guessed, Wufei! I'll give you one of my old photos, okay?"
"I need one with me in it, too."
"I can understand why you want that, but you understand that the world waits for no misplaced strand of hair! Maybe tomorrow?" She reached as though to resume the book.
"Wait woman, what if I took you to get your hair fixed… even though there's nothing wrong with it…" He muttered the last bit.
"You want to take me to the salon?" Ayeka said, more high-pitched than usual. "Ahahahah! That is a good one! Now go away, you silly person."
"But…" This stinks. "I was planning to go anyway to get a…" What now? "Pedicure?"
"You can't possibly be serious." And how was it that she was ending her questions as statements? It must have something to do with that royal blood.
"I have an ingrown toenail, woman! What injustice for you to poke fun!"
"Well excuse me, but it seems a bit farfetched. If you're really going to the salon, I will accompany you, but if this is a joke, I'd like to get back to the part where they kiss!" She gestured at the book as though it were the kissing couple in the flesh.
"I'm really going. For a…" Wufei groaned. "Pedicure…"
"Eat up!" Sasami offered the teddy bear a plastic cookie and proceeded to act out the results of stuffed animal consumption. "Munch, munch, munch. Mmmm. That was good, Sasami! Can I have another one?" Sasami seemed to take much delight in the compliment, despite the fact that it was coming from herself. "Why thank you, of course you can! I made plenty." In the process of feeding 'Teddy' another artificial cookie (which was really the same one again, since the first feeding was only pretend) she seemed to realize her schedule and dropped the cookie right into one of the plastic teacups. "Oh no! I have to get lunch started, or Tenchi's going to come home to no food! And after all that hard work!" She stood up and dusted her knees. "I'm sorry 'Teddy,' I didn't mean to splash your tea on you."
Heero stifled a grumble from beneath the bed. Why wouldn't she just go? Even real tea parties couldn't possibly take this long.
"Let me clean you up!" She grabbed a napkin and started dabbing at the plush's chin, despite the fact that there had been no real beverage involved. "That's much better. I'll be back to wash the dishes in a little bit! Don't forget your manners while I'm gone!"
'Finally,' Heero thought to himself as Sasami delicately shut the bedroom door behind her. He broke cover.
"As I was saying!" Heero began pacing the length of the room again, as though it were necessary to keep moving during thought. "The target seems to have had positive responses to both singing and dancing, so logical conclusion would state that she appreciates music." He snapped his fingers. "I will get her a musical gift! Mission accepted!"
"Mmmph!" Kiyone's eyes widened, and she spat Duo's braid out of her mouth again. It was the sixth time since they'd started riding the motorcycle that the wind had flung his hair into her face that way, but she was counting herself lucky. Other times, the braid had whipped her in the eye, or ear, or some other place that she feared for lasting damage. "God Duo, you're the only guy I know who's hairstyle doubles as a weapon!"
"Hm?" Duo grinned, maneuvering the wicked looking motorcycle in a direction that he was hoping led to a beach or some other groovy place. "Yeah, I guess so. But I think Trowa would be pretty dangerous at a concert, too."
"Well," Duo explained animatedly (A/N: does he ever do anything not animated?) which involved taking one hand off steering duty and waving it about for effect. "Just picture it! With a head of hair like that, you'd be likely to lose a few limbs if that guy started head banging!"
The mental image came easily, and they both started laughing uproariously. Kiyone laughed so hard that a few tears came to her eyes, but they were snatched away by the wind and speed of their travel.
Unfortunately, Duo was laughing even harder at his own joke, and was using his free hand to stifle the giggles; a disadvantageous method of driving a motorized vehicle if ever there was one.
"Duo! Watch that kitty!" Kiyone said suddenly, pointing a long finger over Duo's shoulder and at a cat. Yes, this is the same cat that is in all the movies, that waits for the perfect moment to leap in front of traffic to innocently lick a fish skeleton, and causes massive incidents of crashing, death, blood, and in extreme cases, war. This cat oughtta be sued, but what are you gonna do? "Duo!"
One must never forget that despite all external appearance, and certain behavioral traits, Duo really is a kick-ass pilot, and that skill extends to all manner of driven forms of transportation. He skillfully leaned the bike to one side, and skidded past the kitty, leaving it unharmed with its fish skeleton.
"Warning… warning…" A mechanized voice crooned from the motorcycle.
Kiyone had her eyes clamped tight, gripping Duo's waist for lack of anything else to hang on to. Aside from her sincere wishes to survive through the incident, she also kind of hoped that kitty would choke on the fish bone.
"Warning…" The bike continued. "Dangerous angle… upcoming road hazard…"
"The bike's talkin'!" Duo was trying to get the bike back under control, and was seriously creeped out by the verbal abilities of his ride. "It's… it's… like a backseat driver!"
"We're still skidding!" Kiyone felt annoyed that the driver was taking time to make jokes instead of fixing the soon-to-be catastrophe that she was dreading. "Focus on the skidding, not the kidding!"
"Switching to automatic control." The bike decided, as though Duo were not the kick-ass pilot that he really and truly is.
"Hey!?" Duo tried to yank the wheel, but the bike was driving itself at that point. "Don't lock me out!"
"Automatic control activated. Upcoming road hazard."
"What road hazard!?" Duo scanned the road ahead, and noticed the inevitable: a flimsy wooden gate barring the road from a steep drop into a craggy ravine of some such. This is exactly the sort of thing you get when searching for the beach, looking for a good time: craggy ravines. Am I right? "Uh… Kiyone, we sort of have a road hazard coming up! Going down… whatever!"
Kiyone decided to open her eyes and take a look. Sure enough, the cliché windy road was surrounded on all sides by a sudden, plummeting drop. She choked back a cliché scream, because with that, everything would have been too cliché to be endured. "Hasn't some kind of computerized system taken over? Aren't we okay?"
Duo was going to make a quip about how anything programmed by Washu had to be far from safe, but another joke seemed a bit much, and he instead prepared to fly off the cliff… which they did… in slow motion, because Washu's programming was underlying this entire incident.
Duo and Kiyone felt themselves tumbling head over feet across a long stretch of puffy material, and although one might expect a steep drop into a bunch of evil looking crags to be fatal, they were still alive and conscious when they stopped rolling.
"Where are we?" Kiyone exclaimed immediately, always one to get down to business. "What happened?"
"More importantly," Duo responded, always one to point out the bizarre. "Why is the sky purple, and what'd we land on?"