A/N: Where have I been? Well, to put it simply, I have a job and a life-drawing class this summer. They keep me pretty busy. To put it in a more complex way, I have some medical issues that recently came to a head, so I spend more being sick than I'd really ideally like. I try to update when I can, though.
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The leader of the men in suit's shoulders shook with laughter. "You intend to fight us completely naked? You must be more insane than we originally thought!"
"We'll see who is laughing when we beat you and take your clothes!" Ban shouted. "Snake bi-ow o ow ow ow ow!"
"Ban-chan?!" Ginji asked, alarmed.
Ban was holding his foot, tears forming in his eyes. "I stepped on a thistle plant."
While Ban nursed his wounded foot and pride, the rest of the fight had already begun. Akabane felt slightly disappointed at the fact that he probably could have eliminated the entire opposing force in a few swipes, but Himiko had specifically shouted at him not to get blood on the clothes. Well, he's just have to be more… creative about where he planted his blades, and where he let the blood flow splash.
Shido called up the dozens of field mice, but again came up against the same problem. How to have the mice attack without shredding the clothes? Perhaps he could just have them bite at the men's necks… but the mice had already received what they perceived as an "attack" signal, and were latched onto several of the men without regards to whether they damaged their clothes or not.
The same problem was coming up yet again for Kazuki. He could immobilize them with his strings, but then how to get their clothes off intact without letting them go and having to deal with fighting them all over again?
Meanwhile, Ginji was still tending to Ban's injured foot, pulling out tons of tiny barbs from Ban's skin while trying not to look at the general triangle region of Ban's crotch. Needless to say, the position one needs to be in to have spikes picked out of their foot isn't really conducive to covering one's privates.
Not seeing Ban on the ground and attempting to stop the mice from destroying the men's suits, Shido tripped over Ban and sent both of them rolling down the slight incline. "Ban-chan! Shido-kun!" Ginji cried, attempting to run after the two rolling men. A couple of thugs stepped into his way, holding scary looking guns.
"Excuse me, this is going to hurt, but I have to help Ban-chan," Ginji said apologetically, letting down a burst of thunder that fried both suits and their guns in place. He shoved past them as they fell over, smoking.
Down at the bottom of the hill, Ban had landed flat on his belly with his arms and legs splayed. Shido had landed in the same position, only Shido had landed directly on top of where Ban had landed. Ginji, coming running, saw the way the two were lying and covered his big brown eyes. "Aye, aye, aye!" he cried, hands over his eyes. "Shido-kun, no! Think of Madoka-chan?"
Wiping the mud that had clouded his vision off, Shido looked at naked Ginji hopping up and down with his eyes covered on the hillside. "What is that idiot talking abo-" right then, his precarious position in regards to Ban hit him. "AAAAAAH!" he cried in alarm and disgust, leaping off injured Ban.
"I felt… something poking into my back when we rolled…" Ban whimpered, his eyes filled with tears. As his ears picked up a distant shout, his head shot up rapidly. The head on his shoulders, for those of you with sick minds. "Hi-Himiko!"
One of the suits stood behind Himiko, holding a gun to her head. He was holding her with his arm crossed over her chest, and she was holding the gem tactfully in front of herself. Another suit had HEVN, drooling slightly onto her bare shoulder. She struggled a bit, but he had quite a strong grip on her.
"Drop your weapons or we'll kill these girls!" the suit ordered.
Kazuki froze and looked over at Akabane, as they were the only two men who hadn't disappeared down the side of the hill. "I don't think we have a choice," Kazuki said dismally. "I don't want to see HEVN-san or Himiko-san hurt." Slowly, he pulled his bells out of his hair and dropped them onto the grass.
"They're probably going to kill the girls anyway, seeing as how they have the gem now," Akabane shrugged. "But if you insist…"
The suits faces went from leering happily at having forced Akabane to lay down the six scalpels he'd been immediately carrying, but began turning green when he started making a small pile of sharp objects in the grass. The pile just kept growing, and they could hear the weird black-haired man muttering "Fifty-six, fifty-seven…"
"Where does he KEEP all those?" one suit whispered to the other.
"I think that's not a question we want to ask, especially considering that he's not wearing any clothes…"
Himiko looked over at HEVN, who returned the look while their captors were distracted. Almost in unison, the two girls ducked quickly down and slammed their elbows back- right into the suits unprotected crotches. The two men's faces went from green to white as they cried out, grabbing themselves in pain, allowing HEVN and Himiko to follow through by bashing their heads together and knocking them unconscious.
Kazuki ran for his bells. One of the suits lunged at Akabane. "He can't possibly have any more knives!" the suit cried. However, find two sharp scalpels implanted right in his eyeballs quickly convinced him that his statement wasn't exactly correct. Meanwhile, from the base of the hill, Ban reappeared, covered in mud and leaves. "I'm here, Himiko!" he cried, ready to make a dramatic hero's entrance.
"What took you so long?" Himiko asked, dressed in an ill-fitting suit. "We already beat them and stole their clothes."
HEVN's suit was stretched tightly across her chest, causing Shido to blush and look away. Those were certainly things Madoka didn't have… not that he minded, of course! Not that he minded! HEVN's mouth was formed into a thin frown. "Of all the things I didn't miss about being a woman…" she sighed, noticing Shido's face and the cramps spreading through her lower body.
The battle was long and hard, but in the end, the suits ran off like whipped puppies. Thus Ban, Ginji, Shido, and Kazuki sat in a circle, their faces showing strength and determination in spite of hardships. For you see, there were only two suits left to spread amongst the four of them. The other suits had been fried by Ginji, bloodied by Akabane, or chewed to rags by rats. Akabane, for his part, had no qualms about wearing a bloody suit, and was thus doing so and sitting with Himiko and HEVN.
"I have to have a suit," Ban said firmly. "I'm the only one that can drive the Lady Bug, and traffic control wouldn't look lightly on a naked man driving through Tokyo.
"Unfortunately, even I agree with that," Shido grunted. "Which leaves one suit for the three of us…"
"What if the two people who are going to sit in front wear the pants, and whoever is going to sit in back wears just the shirts and puts the jackets across their laps?" Himiko suggested from where she was sitting.
"That still leaves us to decide who will sit in front and who will sit in back, and one of you also has to sit in back because Himiko's sidecar only carries one."
"I was actually going to drive HEVN back," Himiko said. Akabane, realizing the implication of that statement being that he was going to have to ride shoved in the backseat with two men not wearing pants, grinned broadly at Ginji. Tare-Ginji cowered up against Ban in response, shaking.
"Wait, Ginji can go tare," Shido pointed out. "In tare-form, just the shirt would cover all of him."
"But… but that means… I'd have to sit… in back… with… Akabane-san…"
Akabane's grin broadened ever so slightly at the tips. Big tears appeared in Ginji's eyes. Ban put a hand in Ginji's hair, comfortingly. Then Ban sighed and said, "the monkey boy is right, Ginji."
Ginji fell over from the sheer horror of the situation.
That still left them to decide if Kazuki or Shido got to wear pants. The two looked at one another, then down at the pants, then back up again. "So…" Kazuki said sheepishly.
"Looking at this logically, we can drop Shido off on Madoka's private property, where no one will see him… hanging out," HEVN sighed. "Kazuki, you have to run into an apartment building, don't you?"
Shido's face fell. He really, really wanted those pants. After all, what would happen if he ran into that hospital nurse again without them? However, he fully understood HEVN's logic and was willing to bow to it. Not to mention how crazy Jubei would probably go if they brought Kazuki back sans pants, and no one really wanted to deal with Jubei-the-fruitcake.
Ginji, in nothing more than a white dress shirt, trembled with fear on the opposite side of Shido. He'd been shoved in the back because of his lack of pants, and because of his small size and the necessity of pushing three into the back of the Lady Bug. Unfortunately, Akabane-san was also in the back, and still grinning that kill-happy-go-lucky grin. "Perhaps I should have offered to drive Jackal," Himiko mused as she helped HEVN into her sidecar.
"And miss out on seeing Ginji shaking hard enough to qualify as an industrial strength jackhammer?" HEVN asked, her voice slightly cruel. Really, she couldn't be blamed. It was that time of the month, after all, and what woman can be blamed for not feeling a man's pain at that time? "What are we going to do about this bauble?"
"Throw it into a deep part of the ocean, where it will never be found and used for evil again," Himiko said resolutely.
"Too bad it's too risky to damage it or we could slice it up and sell it as jewelry," HEVN sighed, watching the gem sparkle. It would have looked so nice to have a piece of it on her finger…
"So, what did happen between you and Akabane when you were in Ban and Ginji's bodies?" Himiko asked, putting on her helmet and revving up her bike.
HEVN snorted and tossed her long, blonde hair back. Boy, was she glad to have her own hair and body back. She'd missed them so much. "What happened between me and Akabane is between me and Akabane," she said.
Himiko just took that as HEVN just being mysterious about the fact that nothing had happened as she followed Ban's car down the hill.
Meanwhile, in the Lady Bug, Ginji kept shifting back and forth in his seat. "You look uncomfortable, Ginji-kun," Akabane noted. "Are you having trouble sitting? Did you hurt yourself in the fight?"
"Huh? No! No! I just… ummm… Shido, can I borrow that jacket?" he asked. Shido handed the extra jacket to him, looking slightly confused as Ginji shoved it under his rear and used it as a pillow.
Akabane, meanwhile, only smiled.
The group gathered one last time with regards to the gem that had caused them so many problems, watching as the block of concrete Himiko had tied the gem to was hefted into the ocean. Kazuki, at the controls of the boat, watched the bubbles come up as it sank. "And that's the end of that," Kazuki said with a sense of finality.
"Do you think one day we'll look back on this and laugh?" Himiko solemnly asked Ban.
Ban shrugged and took a deep breath on his cigarette. "I think that depends on how quickly Ginji gets over being chosen Mr. Drag King, Tokyo."
With that, the camera fades out on Ginji sitting on the bow of the ship, muttering things that we really don't want to hear about his dubious award. Wipe to black.
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Don't cry because it's over, I already have my next fic planned! (Other than baby backers, which I have to be in a certain mood to update).