The Dog-Stew College Fiasco

By ArtikGato

Disclaimer: I don't own Excel Saga, but I DO own a car now!! Yay for me!!

Author's Notes: Sorry for taking so long to post this one as well! And I'm sorry in advance for the cliffhanger at the end!!! There are six new characters in this, but three of them are just playing random parts that probably won't be used again, and they will go on to fill other parts later in the series. Well, actually, only five are new, since Key made his entrance a couple of chapters ago. Anyway, beware of excessive asterisking () throughout the chapter, and be sure to check at the bottom for an explanation as to why I asterisked certain words! And now, I present you with...

Chapter Four: Of Pets and Keys

Excel and Hyatt walked into classroom Æ77 and, looking around, decided to take a seat towards the back. When they sat down, Excel pulled out her notebook and continued writing 'Hail Ilpalazzo!' in it, and drawing hearts with 'EI' inside them and rabid things like that. Hyatt suddenly gasped and tapped Excel on the shoulder. Excel looked up to see the blonde, guitar-playing, backless pants-wearing guy from before entering the class. He was now wearing a tight red muscle shirt and red pants WITH backs (as backless pants and straps for shirts were against Dog-Stew's dress code.). He walked in, took one look at Excel (who was swooning) and promptly decided to sit next to her. She quickly snapped out of her 'fangirl swooning over hot blonde musician' mode.

"H-hello. I saw you playing your song yesterday! Who are you?" Excel asked. The musician grinned impishly (making Excel swoon again), and began his introduction, dramatically.

"My name is Key. I am a Key. And could you perhaps be...my key-hole?"

Now, a NORMAL girl would have responded to a question like that by slapping the guy and calling him a pervert, but Excel did not. She simply swooned again, turning crimson-ish. Hyatt gasped.

"Oh my! What would Mr. Ilpalazzo think if he saw this?" she asked herself, and then promptly fell asleep, though neither Key nor Excel seemed to notice.

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Excel skipped to her last class, Japanese, alone. Of course she was stared at, who wouldn't stare at someone skipping around a school looking like they had just won the lottery or something? She reached the door marked B9999.9 fairly easily, surprisingly enough, since it was next door to her Music Appreciation class, and skipped in, plunking down in a random seat. She took out her notebook, and her jaw promptly dropped, fell to the floor, and rolled away, forcing her to scramble after it and reattach it before she could continue her shocked reaction.

"Oh no! Excel forgot about that dreamy hunk Ilpalazzo!!" she practically screamed. Her classmates glared at her, but turned back to their own affairs, grumbling about stupid blondes or whatever. Excel whimpered, and slumped down in her chair, tuning out her classmates' grumbles, her teacher's talking, and the little voices in her head telling her to break things and set the school on fire.

"Waaaugh! Excel is so confused!" she suddenly shouted, earning her a glare from her classmates and Nabeshin (the teacher) alike.

"WHAT don't you understand?! All I've said so far is my NAME!!" Nabeshin shouted angrily.

"Excel understands that, but Excel is confused about something else! Excel likes the bishielicious Ilpala but she likes Key too! Why Excel, why?!" Excel wailed. Nabeshin sweatdropped.

"Get out of my class, you freak of nature!" he ordered.

"Wow, all this drama and this is only the second day of classes? If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was a soap opera," commented the Great Will of the Macrocosym, eating a fudgesicle happily.

"Are soap operas this demented?" ArtikGato asked.

"Umm...hello?! I've got a real crisis here!!" Excel shouted at them.

"This isn't a real crisis, Excel! This is a real crisis!" ArtikGato replied, snapping her fingers. Excel was suddenly standing on the side of a volcano. The volcano proceeded to erupt, and Excel proceeded to run screaming down the mountain, her arms flailing about wildly.

"WAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!" Excel screamed. ArtikGato snapped her fingers and Excel was back in school, gasping for breath and trying to recover from a mild heart attack. The Great Will laughed at this, and Excel glared at her.

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"So he ordered you out of class?" Misaki asked. It was an hour later, and she, Excel and Hyatt were in their dorm room, relaxing. Excel nodded.

"What I want to know, Excel, is what you're going to do about Mr. Key and Mr. Ilpalazzo," Hyatt asked, concerned. Excel sighed.

"Excel likes them both, but Excel knows she must choose. Excel just doesn't know whether she should choose the dreamy super-bishie Ilpala, not knowing if he likes her, or the sexy musician Key, who definitely likes her," Excel explained, in third-person.

"I can see why you're so confused. Okay, let's try this. Assume they both like you. Who would you choose then?" Misaki asked.

"Ilpala, definitely!" Excel exclaimed.

"Well then, all you need to do is find out if Ilpala likes you, and if he does, give Key the boot, and if he doesn't, then just go with Key and give Ilpala the boot!" Misaki replied. Excel blinked.

"Wow, why didn't I think of that? That seems so simple!" Excel exclaimed. Hyatt stood up.

"Well, I think I must be going now," she told them.

"Where ya goin', Hatchan?" Excel asked.

"I have a project in one of my classes that I must obtain something for," Hyatt replied.

"In that case, I'll go with you!!" Excel volunteered, also standing, and turning to look at Misaki.

"You comin' too?" she asked. Misaki waved one of her hands in front of her face.

"Nah, I've got homework. See you guys later!" she answered.

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"So, Hatchan, WHY are we going to a pet store?" Excel asked, as she and Hyatt walked along a sidewalk of F-City, F-Prefecture. Classes were long over, and night would soon settle over the city.

"Because, Excel, I need an animal to use for my psychology class project," Hyatt explained again.

"Oh yeah! Excel forgot!" Excel exclaimed. Hyatt smiled and then stopped walking, followed shortly by Excel.

"Here we are! 'The Ropponmatsu Sisters Pet Store'." Hyatt said. Excel eyed the sign, featuring two superdeformed girls with purple hair, and shrugged, following Hyatt inside. As soon as they stepped through the door, a little spore with purple and pink hair and what looked like an extension cord coming from the back of her head, who could only be described as 'genki', bounced up to them.

"HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! WELCOME TO THE ROPPONMATSU SISTERS PETSHOP!!" the girl exclaimed, glomping both Hyatt and Excel.

"Aagh! Get away you little spawn!" Excel exclaimed, but the girl just squeezed tighter, making Excel turn blue and choke for breath.

"I'm Ropponmatsu!! Can I call you big sister?!" the spore shrieked.

"Only...if...you...let...go!!" Excel gasped out. Ropponmatsu promptly let go, shouting an enthusiastic "okay!!" and skipping away.

Meanwhile, Hyatt had begun looking around the store. She stopped and eyed a cage between the iguanas and parrots. Inside of said cage was a strange looking yellow thing that looked like a cross between a mouse and a teddy bear, only weirder, and was wearing a strange pink tutu of some sort, holding a futon beater. The sign below the cage said "puchuu".

"Awww! It's so cute!" she exclaimed, and turned toward Excel. "Excel! Come and look at this, uh, this Puchuu!"

"Puchuu? Is that some kinda fish?" Excel asked, walking over (which was kinda hard, with Ropponmatsu latched around her legs).

"Isn't it adorable?" Hyatt asked.

"What IS it?" Excel asked.

"Silly, that's a Puchuu!" Ropponmatsu exclaimed.

"How much is it?" Hyatt asked.

"Whoa, Hatchan! Are you really BUYING that thing?" Excel asked. Hyatt shrugged.

"It seems intelligent enough for my project," Hyatt replied. Excel looked from the puchuu to Hyatt, back to the puchuu and then back to Hyatt.

"Whatever, Hatchan," Excel sighed and walked off to survey the rest of the store, trailed by a hyper Ropponmatsu. Hyatt picked up the cage with the puchuu in it and walked up to the counter. Behind said counter was a tall woman with short purple hair, wearing a white lab coat.

"Hello. I'm Ropponmatsu. Do you want to buy that puchuu, miss?" she asked, smiling.

"Yes, indeed, I do," Hyatt replied, also smiling. The piano music returned and shoujo sparkles began to float around the two of them. Excel stalked around the petshop.

"WHEEEERRRREEE is that piano music coming from?!" she demanded. Many vases of white lilies suddenly appeared from out of nowhere.

"WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!! THIS IS NOT A SHOUJO-AI STORY!!" Excel screamed. Ropponmatsu and Hyatt sweatdropped as the piano music, lilies and sparkles disappeared.

"That will be 20.95, miss," Ropponmatsu said. Hyatt smiled and handed her some money.

Meanwhile, Excel had found a pen full of puppies all yipping and jumping around hyperly, except for one. Excel looked at the non-energetic animal, quirking an eyebrow.

"Hey, is this cat s'posed to be in here with the puppies?" she asked. Genki Ropponmatsu tackle-glomped her.

"YOU ASKED ME A QUESTION, BIG SISTER!! ROPPONMATSU IS SO OVERJOYED!!" the girl screamed, choking the life out of Excel.

"Ack...haagh...get...offa...me..." Excel managed to utter. Ropponmatsu jumped up and skipped around the store, singing "I'm a magical unicorn! With rainbow colors and glowing horn!" rabidly. Excel got up, gasping and wheezing for breath, and looked over at the "cat". It was in a corner, laying down, darting it's eyes around the pen warily. Suddenly, it jumped up, leaped onto the back of one of the larger puppies, and made a daring leap for the edge of the pen. Excel looked back to see the genki girl singing Freckles and glomping some poor unfortunate turtle and a poor unfortunate rabbit, and the other Ropponmatsu smiling. She sighed and reached out, catching the cat/dog thing as it managed to clear the top of the pen and almost escaped.

"Now, now, no escaping," she scolded, and looked around, quickly finding the pen with cats in it. She walked to the pen with the intention of returning the weird animal to what looked like it's brethren, when Ropponmatsu stopped her.

"Don't put that dog in the cats' pen, big sister!!" she shrieked. Excel held the "dog" up to examine it.

"This is a dog?" she asked.

"Well, we THINK so, anyway," Ropponmatsu shrugged. The dog had previously been quivering in fear, but now passed out from shock. Ropponmatsu smiled.

"Look, big sister! I think she likes you!!" Ropponmatsu exclaimed. "Hey, do you wanna keep her? I can let you have her for free, big sister!!" Excel looked thoughtful.

"Well...they ARE letting us keep pets in the dorms now so...why not?" Excel replied.

"Oh YAY big sister!!" Ropponmatsu exclaimed and yet again tackle-glomped the blonde. Excel felt her ribs being crushed and her lungs being unable to take in air for the third time in the past fifteen minutes. She glared over at Hyatt, who was cuddling her new "puchuu", blaming her for all of this.

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A little while later, Excel and Hyatt had escaped from the pet store, Excel having to tie the genki Ropponmatsu up and made a very quick retreat, taking Hyatt with her. They now carried their new pets through the busy streets as night settled onto F-City.

"So, Hatchan, what're you gonna name your puchuu?" Excel asked.

"I was thinking about Bob. Bob the Puchuu." Hyatt replied.

"What about Godzilla?"

"That's a good name! Thank you, Excel!" Hyatt exclaimed, and looked down at her puchuu. "Okay, from now on, you're Godzilla the Puchuu,"

"Puchuu," said the puchuu, dazedly.

"What about you?" Hyatt asked Excel. She shrugged.

"Dunno,"

At this point, the puppy in her arms woke up. It was also at this point that the two girls and two pets walked by a random deli and/or meat-centric restaurant.
"Menchi, 50 off! Menchi, 50 off! Come and get it while it's hot!!" a random guy shouted from the doorway of the restaurant. Excel smiled.

"Okay, I'll name you Menchi! That way, if we ever get hungry we can just pretend like we're eating you!!" Excel joked. The newly named puppy promptly passed out from the shock with a sad little whimper. Excel just giggled.

"Hey, we should drop these two off at the dorm and go to Q-Mart to get some food for 'em and other stuff!" Excel suggested. Hyatt nodded.

"Great idea, Excel!"

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And so, indeed, the two headed for the local Q-Mart, trailed by one invited visitor and three uninvited visitors in the forms if Misaki, Iwata, Watanabe, and Sumiyoshi.

"So, what are you lovely ladies buying in Q-Mart?" Iwata asked.

"Pet supplies," Excel and Hyatt chorused.

"Pepper spray," Misaki replied threateningly when Iwata's hands got a little to close to her rear.

"Well, if anyone's interested, I'm buying a book for history class," Watanabe replied.

-I'm buying Breathing for Dummies for Iwata.- Sumiyoshi remarked.

"HEY!! I may be a LITTLE lacking in the brains department, but I'm NOT stupid," Iwata exclaimed, and promptly tripped over nothing and fell on his face. Everyone rolled their eyes and Sumiyoshi helped him to his feet.

They made it to Q-Mart without the blundering fool Iwata making a complete idiot of himself too many more times. When they arrived, their attention was drawn to a strange-looking girl standing on a moose (where the moose came from, they'll never know) shouting "I HAVE ISSUES!!".

"Hey, isn't that they authoress?" Iwata asked. A big sign that said "BINGO!!" dropped on his head, but he was miraculously unhurt.

"Anyway, let's go in. We don't have all night," Excel said. Everyone agreed, and they waltzed into the store.

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS: PET SUPPLIES

"Excuse me," Hyatt said, walking up to a booth that read 'information', "Can you tell me if this store sells puchuu food?"

"Aisle 5," Kabapu replied, pointing in an arbitrary direction. Hyatt, as well as everyone else, looked to see a huge sign with a Puchuu on it and the words 'Puchuu Supplies' below it. Everyone sweatdropped, Hyatt thanked Kabapu, and they trotted in the general direction of the sign. Before they got there, Excel spotted her angelic bishie, Ilpalazzo, carefully staring into space as he sat in a random recliner in the furniture section. She snuck up behind him and put her hands over his eyes.

"Guess who!" she exclaimed.

"Bertha?" he asked.

"No, Excel!" Excel exclaimed, taking her hands off of his eyes and plopping into another recliner across from him. "Who's Bertha?"

"My sister-in-law twice removed...it's a LONG story," Ilpala quickly explained, and then noticed he was talking to Excel.

"Oh, what brings you here, Excel?" he asked.

"Pet supplies. How about you? Don't tell me you come here to meet all of the weirdos, Ilpala?" Excel asked.

"Oh, no, I'm here studying people for a class project. I'm supposed to study the behavior of six random people," he replied. She jumped up.

"Perfect! Including me, that's how many people I came in with! You can study us!" she exclaimed, grabbing his arm and dragging him off toward her friends in the puchuu supplies aisle. He just let himself be dragged along by Excel, smiling at her excessive amounts of energy.

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And so, they indeed got their pet supplies, pepper spray, books, and other miscellaneous things. Ilpala stood back from them, observing their behavior and writing things down in his notebook. By the time they left Q-Mart, he had covered four pages with random little notes about the six of them. They made the three stooges carry the heavy stuff (Watanabe voluntarily carried all of Hyatt's stuff, and Iwata was forced by Misaki to carry most of Excel's stuff), and together the seven of them walked back to the college. Ilpala flipped through his notebook, making little notes here and there, catching Excel's interest.

"Ummm...Ilpala?" she asked. He looked up from his notebook.

"Hm?" he asked.

"I was wondering...what did you put about me in that notebook?" she asked. He blinked, flipped one of the pages, and handed the notebook to her.

"Start here," he said, pointing to a line halfway down the page. She nodded, and began to read what he had written.

'High energy, loud sometimes, smiles a lot, is generally a happy person,' she read, and then stopped on one word. 'Beautiful.' She blushed a dark crimson.

'All you need to do is find out if Ilpala likes you, and if he does, give Key the boot...' echoed through her head. Stealing a glance over at a glaring Misaki and a smiling Hyatt, she nodded to herself, and turned back to Ilpala, determinedly trying to keep her blush under control.

"Hey, Ilpala?" she asked again. He turned to look at her. She swallowed, and opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off by a shout of "OH CRAP!!" from Iwata. She turned to glare at him, along with everyone else.

"Do you guys realize what time it is? They lock the doors of most of the freshmen dorms in FIVE MINUTES!!" he exclaimed. Everyone looked at everyone else like deer caught in the headlights of a big semi truck, before taking off at a full-tilt run toward the campus. Excel cursed her luck, promising if she ever met the deity in charge of fate she would give him or her a piece of her mind.

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"That's it for chapter four, but I, the great and terrible ArtikGato, and my assistant, the Great Will of the Macrocosym-"

"ASSISTANT?!"
"Okay...associate?"

"That's better."

"Anyway, we'll be explaining all of those asterisk marks () you saw all through this chapter."

Spore a word that myself and some of my friends use to describe children, especially evil little children that are annoying and we generally want to murder.

Genki Japanese for 'high energy' or 'hyper'

Spawn another word we use to mean child, except this one is stronger and reserved only for the children that are spawns of Satan (hence the word we use).

Singing Freckles while glomping some unfortunate turtle and a poor unfortunate rabbit in the song Freckles (from Rurouni Kenshin), the singer mentions a stuffed turtle and a stuffed rabbit.

Godzilla a name I arbitrarily decided one day would be the perfect name for a moose. Don't ask.

Bertha if you ever see the names "Bertha", "Tina", or "Bobette", they are part of an inside joke between moi and two of my deranged friends, and the joke is far too stupid and complicated to explain.

"I hope you understood that! ArtikGato says she'll hurry up with chapter five but doesn't promise anything! Goodbye, and happy reading!!" the Great Will exclaimed.