It's So All Right!
After a few minutes of walking, Shin came across Shu, who was still being held in un-updated suspension. Bleumoon was lounging in her tree again, filing her nails out of sheer boredom. Shin grinned and waved at Shu. "Hey Shu, couldn't handle it alone?"
"Oh, shut up," Shu snarled.
"Yay! Someone else to play with!" Bleumoon squealed, dropping her file. "He got so BORING after a few minutes! You should really clean up his potty mouth."
Shin grinned more widely and looked at Shu. "She has a point. Maybe I should leave you with her for a few days to clear up that little problem?"
"Hai, hai. I'll save you," Shin sighed. "Why am I the only one who gets yelled at for having an attitude?"
Bleumoon jumped out of her tree. She picked up her laptop, but Shin raced forward and put a hand on her shoulder. Bleumoon looked up, curious. Shin proceeded to give her the same treatment Venka had received, with much the same effect. Shin walked over to her laptop, intending to smash it as he had the first.
Shu glared at him, looking mildly nauseated. "Why do you do that every time we have to fight teenage girls?"
Shin grinned. "You have to ask?"
Shu growled in annoyance. "Just hurry up."
Shin turned around and looked at his friend. "You know, you should be nicer to the guy who is in the process of saving you…"
"Shiiiiiiiiiiin!" Shu whined. "We have to finish this battle!"
"Well, I could always go save Touma first or something."
"Oh, come on! Just unfreeze me already! I'm all stiff from standing like this."
Shin gave an exasperated sigh but picked up the laptop. He began to type (starting a new chapter entitled "How the Great Mouri Shin Saved the Entire Universe Including His Ungrateful Friends Who Have No Appreciation for Marine Life"), and suddenly Shu found himself free to move again. "Hey, thanks man!" Shu grinned.
Shin smiled back, but his was much less pleasant. "I am tempted beyond words, you know." He indicated the computer, which was still in his hands. The unfinished chapter stretched out on the screen.
Shu backed away, holding his hands up in a peaceful gesture. "No! No nononononono, we have to go rescue the other guys now, right?" he sweatdropped.
Shin thought about it. "Well, I guess if you lost to a teenage girl, they probably did too."
Shu ignored the slam for now, although he promised himself that he'd make his friend pay dearly for it later. "Come on, they could be in a lot of trouble! I promise not to eat fish with the heads on anymore!"
Shin sighed, then set down the laptop and smashed it. "I'm going to be really sorry I did that sometime," he commented regretfully as the pair walked off, leaving Bleumoon in a happy faint on the ground.
Shu grinned, relieved. "Yeah, you are."
"We're going to eat out tonight, but there is not going to be any fish eaten, okay?"
"Aw, come on! We'll find a nicer restaurant this time!"
"The nice restaurants are the ones that serve fish with the heads on!"
"So we'll find a cruddy place!"
Bickering, the two continued to search for their friends.
Sakura looked up. Loud male voices could be heard coming from around a patch of trees. "Finally!" she sighed in relief, having been bored out of her mind watching Touma proofread – he hadn't looked up once.
Shin and Shu came into view. "Why can't we just eat at home if you're going to be so picky?" Shu snorted in annoyance.
"I have to cook every night! I deserve a break!"
"So make Ryo cook!"
"Going to the emergency room is not a break!"
"Hiya!" Sakura called out eagerly. The two stopped arguing long enough to look up. Seeing the perky girl before them, they fell into fighting stances.
"Oi, Touma!" Shin called. Touma turned a page and ignored him.
"Hey, Touma! What are ya doing?" Shu asked irritably.
"He's beta-reading my fic!" Sakura giggled.
"Uh, can't that wait a few minutes?" Shin sweatdropped.
Sakura shook her head. "It's really important. My friend's gonna kill me if I don't get it posted. Hey!" Her eyes grew big and shiny. "You two could help me with some others!" She waved a hand behind her, indicating several towering stacks of papers. This time both Shin and Shu sweatdropped.
"I think it would be better if we just took Touma and left," Shin said nervously. "Maybe another time?"
Sakura's eyes began to fill with tears. "But… but…"
Shin grinned. "I'll make it up to you before we leave…" He started to walk over to Sakura, but Shu put a hand on his shoulder and held him back. Shin turned around, blinking innocently in that oh-so-cute way he had. Shu shook his head.
"Uh uh. My turn."
"What's your turn?" Sakura asked, sniffling back her tears until they could have full effect.
"I want to do it!" Shin whined.
"You did it last time!"
"Did what last time? Huh?" Sakura asked, tears forgotten as she danced around in curiosity.
"But I deserve to – I mean, I didn't take advantage of having that laptop!" Shin protested.
Shu snorted. "Only 'cause you know Ryo and Nasuti would both chew you out over it. There's no reason to show off!"
"I'm not showing off!"
"So whataya call it then?"
"I wanna know what you both want to do!" Sakura whined loudly. She began jumping around them like a spoiled child, trying to get their attention.
"Saving you guys!"
"Hey, I had it perfectly under control!" Shu snarled.
Shin raised an eyebrow. "And being frozen in place is under control?"
"Tell me already!" Sakura huffed. She stomped away from the arguing Troopers. "Men." Unfortunately for her, she wasn't looking where she was going.
A disconcertingly loud noise filled the area. Shin and Shu looked over in her direction. Sakura looked to the sky for a moment, eyes squeezed tightly shut and wearing a most interesting expression, then looked down. Her armored foot was planted quite firmly in her laptop. She lifted it slowly. The computer crackled for a moment, then went dead. Sakura proceeded to say several choice words.
As the computer screen blacked out, Touma's head slumped forward. The papers in his lap scattered.
"Touma!" Shu and Shin both ran to their friend. Touma groaned and raised a hand to his temples.
"My head feels like it's going to explode…" he muttered.
"You OK?" Shu asked.
Touma glared at Sakura, who was currently blushing and rubbing the back of her head sheepishly. "You need to work on characterization and spelling. Plus your character is way too perfect. Someone that sickeningly sweet should be drawn and quartered by a dentist. Oh, and you're evil incarnate. Aside from that, I'm fine."
"I am not evil incarnate!" Sakura switched from embarrassment to fury in a split second. "I'm just playful!"
"Playful?" Shu asked incredulously. "I'd hate to see evil incarnate then!"
Sakura thought for a moment. "I think that's the guy who decides what isn't appropriate in dubs."
Shin shuddered. "Point. Well, what do we do with her now?"
Sakura sweatdropped and began to slowly edge away. "Well, since I kinda lost my laptop and all, I should probably get going. Maybe I'll go check on Venka or fix my fanfic or… something. Uh, thanks for proofing. Ja!" She took off as fast as she could. The three Troopers watched her leave.
"Do we go after her?" Shu asked.
"Nah. We'll see her again. For now we should probably find Seiji and Ryo," Touma answered. The other two shrugged, and they walked off to find their friends.
Time passed quietly for a few yards.
"These segments all end the same way."
"You know, he has a point."
"Well, do you have a better idea?"
"We could play truth or dare."
Two of the bishounen blinked.
"It's probably just residue from the writer's influence."
"We'd better hope so."
The rather disturbed Troopers didn't take long to locate Seiji. Demonic female laughter was coming from a clearing up ahead. They began to move faster and soon saw Seiji, sitting with Lady Sekmet. She was kneeling on a large stone in an attempt to be taller than he, her hands in his hair as he sat on the ground in front of her. Lady Sekmet was trying to braid the sides to resemble the comic, but Seiji's hair was resisting any change. It seemed to have decided that if Seiji wasn't going to protect it, it was going to protect itself. Whenever Lady Sekmet braided it, it would hold for about three seconds before popping back to the same cheese-wedge shape as before. She didn't seem to mind, though, and continued trying over and over as she and Seiji laughed and chatted. Finally she got it to stay on both sides for a total of six seconds before it popped back into place. She shrieked with joy and grabbed him around the neck in an exceedingly painful-looking hug. He whispered something to her that made her shriek with laughter again. After a moment, when she had calmed down, he caught her lips with his.
Touma, Shu, and Shin made a heroic attempt to watch this scene without bursting into uncontrollable laughter.
It lasted all of three seconds.
Seiji and Lady Sekmet both looked up, startled, to see the three Troopers in hysterics. Touma was quite literally rolling on the ground in laughter, while Shin and Shu were doubled over, leaning against each other for support.
"Oh, MAN," Shu gasped. "Seiji, I didn't know ya had it in you!"
Seiji waved, apparently quite unperturbed by the guys' sudden appearance, though Lady Sekmet gave a little squeak and fell over, reaching for her computer.
"Hi, guys!" he called out, far more brightly than usual. "What's with the 'Sagey?' Call me Sage, would you?"
"Seij'?" Shu asked, confused and still laughing about the show they'd witnessed. "I tried to call you that once and you whacked me with the flat side of Kourin-ken."
Seiji looked blank. "Kourin-ken?"
Touma, finally regaining some semblance of control, raised an eyebrow. "Your sword, remember?"
"Oh, okay. Don't use weird foreign words."
Shin blinked. "That must make things a little difficult if Japanese is 'weird foreign words,' seeing as you live in Japan and all."
Confusion was evident on Seiji's face for a moment, but he quickly shrugged it off. "I never really thought about it."
The three Troopers exchanged Looks. "Uh, Seiji, you feeling okay?" Shin asked, slightly worried. Infinitely amused, but slightly worried. Meanwhile, in the background, Lady Sekmet was quietly tapping away on her computer.
Touma's eyes unfocused, then focused again, although they came back with a slightly dreamy look. "Eh, he's fine." The words themselves seemed a little strange in context, but the voice…
This time only Shin and Shu were part of the Look. "Uh, Touma?" Shu ventured. "Why'd ya just use a New York accent?"
"Huh?" Touma blinked. "I'm just talkin' how I always do."
"Oh, no," Shin hissed in dawning realization. "Shu, they've been dubbed! Badly, no less!"
Shu hit his head in frustration. "So now what do we do?"
"Well, I think Ryo probably needs our help too…" Shin said thoughtfully. "I bet it's less scary over there."
Shu considered that. "Nah. We're here; might as well do somethin' about it. Hey, stop that!" His last comment was directed towards Lady Sekmet, who was still typing. She stuck out her tongue and continued with what she was doing.
"I said quit it!" Shu fumed.
"It's okay, mate," came a soft British voice from behind him. "Let her do what she wants. It's not like she's done anything bad yet."
"Wanna bet?" Shu groaned as he realized what happened. "I don't wanna deal with this…" He sat down heavily next to Lady Sekmet.
"Aw, it's okay," Lady Sekmet said comfortingly. "I know Hardrock is a really strong armor; I bet you can beat me pretty easily if you try."
Shu blinked. "Kongo. Not Hardrock."
Lady Sekmet sighed, rolling her eyes. "You're as confused as they were." She indicated over to where "Rowen" was telling a sympathetic "Cye" about his horribly abusive childhood. "Sage" was meditating off to the side, absorbed in examining his friends' auras. "Rowen" flared neon pink for a moment, and something suspiciously like a snicker came from "Sage's" general vicinity.
Shu watched them for a moment. His eyes narrowed suddenly, but when he turned back to Lady Sekmet they were wide, innocent, and slightly confused. "Uh? Am I missing something?"
Lady Sekmet smirked to herself. Her tone was sweet and just-this-side of condescending as she said, "Yeah, but don't worry about it. I can set you straight if you want."
Shu smiled at her. "Nah, don't trouble yourself. I can look it up for myself on your computer. 'Sokay."
"Um, I don't know about that. Even I know that's usually bad tactics," Lady Sekmet protested. She hugged the laptop possessively, frowning at him. Shu just stared at her with wide, innocent eyes.
"Well, I guess if you WANT to have to tell me all of it yourself, that's okay too."
Lady Sekmet sighed. This was going to take a while. "Okay, you remember that your armor is Hardrock, right?"
"Hard… rock… got it. Kinda stating the obvious."
"Well… yeah." Lady Sekmet thought about that for a minute, then shook it off. "Anyway, you haven't mixed up your friends' names, have you?"
"Ryo, Shin, Touma, Seiji, Nasuti, and Jun," Shu recited. "Jun only if the producers are reading this."
"At least you got the last part right," Lady Sekmet snickered. "But it's pronounced 'Rye-oh,' and the others are Cye, Rowen, Sage, Mia, and Yuli."
Shu dutifully repeated them. "And my yoroi is… um… Ironrock?"
She sighed. "Hardrock."
"Hardrock. And flame-boy's name is Pyro," Shu proclaimed, sounding pleased that he remembered.
"No, Ryo. You, know, I never noticed that rhymed before!" Lady Sekmet snickered. "Well, sorta, anyway. I wonder if that was on purpose... Okay, so do you remember any of that?"
Shu looked up from where he was playing with the little thingy on the heel of his subarmor. "Huh?"
Lady Sekmet began to twitch. "Go ahead and look it up yourself," she sighed. She handed the laptop over to Shu and buried her face in her hands, willing the migraine to go away. She looked up upon hearing the telltale smash of an armored fist going through a computer screen. As the laptop gave its dying beeps, Lady Sekmet stared at Shu. "Tell me you didn't just play a mind game with me. And win."
A snort came from behind them. They turned around to see the three no-longer-dubbed Troopers standing up and looking amused. "YOU won a mind game, Shu?" Touma asked, teasing disbelief through his voice.
"Hey!" Shu crossed his arms over his chest indignantly. "I'm not dumb!"
"Just not much of one for tatics…" Shin added. "I can't believe you outsmarted her."
Lady Sekmet sniffed pathetically. "Sure, rub it in. It's not like it was a REAL mind game. He just distracted me!"
Seiji was blinking rapidly, trying to process exactly what had just been happening. "Eh?" was pretty much the only thing that came to mind. It managed to grab his friends' attention, however.
"Hey, Seiji! You don't remember, do you?" Touma asked. Recent memories surfaced, and he choked back the laugh that automatically rose up.
"What… happened?" Seiji asked fuzzily. All he had at the moment were vague pictures that didn't really connect with anything in particular. At that comment, all three Troopers lost their already-precarious grip on their laughter.
"Man! You were… totally scorin'… with that chick!" Shu wheezed between fits of laughter. Seiji began to try to piece together the images in his head. Something about Kourin – no, Halo… something about trying to explain that… something about his being rather fond of girls, which had been new information to him…
At the look on Seiji's face as memory began flooding back, the Troopers started laughing harder, and even Lady Sekmet (who had been pouting) joined in. Seiji, on the other hand, stretched his hand out in front of him and materialized Kourin-ken.
"Not this again…" Touma sighed. Shu grabbed Seiji and pulled his arms behind him, Shin catching the heavy sword as it fell. Touma stood in front of the immobilized Seiji and scolded, "No! No seppuku!"
"But…" Seiji began to protest.
"No!" Touma repeated slowly and clearly, as if speaking to a small child or a pet. For emphasis, he rapped Seiji on the end of his nose. Seiji growled.
"This happens often?" Lady Sekmet, looking incredulous, asked Shin. He was leaning on Kourin-ken and looking bored.
"Every few weeks or so," Shin sighed.
Lady Sekmet digested this. "So if he's so obsessed with honor, why'd he drive underage?"
Shin indicated the sword he was leaning on. "You want to be the one to point it out to–" he was cut off as the sword dematerialized from underneath him. Lady Sekmet turned around to see that Shu had let go of Seiji, who was now smirking rather evilly. Shin sighed from his position facedown on the ground. "Note that he also has good hearing."
Lady Sekmet sweatdropped. "Really?" She glanced at Seiji. "You know, I think I'm supposed to be elsewhere now." She grinned at them and promptly departed.
"So… what do we do now?" Seiji asked, still slightly out of it. Being dubbed was hard on one, after all.
One Trooper opened his mouth, but before he said anything, a loud "NO" came from the other two. Seiji looked curious, but knew better than to ask.
They stood for a moment.
"I don't wanna do the same thing again," Shu whined plaintively.
"Neither do I," Shin agreed.
"But if we don't walk off, we can't save Ryo and finish this thing," Touma pointed out reasonably.
"Isn't there some way to get to him that doesn't involve walking away at the end of a scene?"
"Well… I guess we could skip away or something."
There was a collective sweatdrop.
Ryo still sat on the ground, deep in thought. Aqua sighed irritably. "Are you done deciding whether or not you can make out with me yet?"
"Nope. I need to weigh the consequences some more."
The girl groaned in frustration. A strange noise distracted her, however, and she glanced around, trying to locate the origin of it.
*clank clank clank*
"Do you hear that?" she asked Ryo, but he simply ignored her.
*clank clank clank*
"What is it?" Aqua muttered irritably. The source of the noise came into sight, and her muttering changed to silent twitching as four subarmored Troopers skipped into sight. Well, technically, only three were truly skipping. Seiji was being dragged along by the wrists and looked none too happy with it.
"Uhhhh…" Aqua started, eyebrow still twitching.
"Don't ask," Touma cut her off as they came to a stop by their leader.
"Ryo!" Shin called out happily. Ryo continued to ignore everyone.
"Oi, what's he doing? He doesn't look hurt or anything." Shu looked him over critically.
"He's thinking," Aqua growled, exasperated. This was not how she'd envisioned being animated. She was hot, bored, cranky, and ready to take her frustrations out on the four boys in front of her.
"Thinking?" Touma echoed.
"That's rather unusual," Seiji commented.
"Yes, he was the one that insisted our plan against Arago be 'beat up a lot of bad guys until we find Arago, then beat him up,'" Shin added thoughtfully.
"Hey, what was wrong with that plan?" Shu defended.
"If you have to ask, then it probably would work fine for you. Dumb luck is in your favor," Touma smirked.
"Hey, who's dumb? I beat Lady Sekmet all by myself!"
Shin opened his mouth, then shut it again as Shu glared at him. He sighed and plopped to the ground. "So what did you do to Ryo?"
Aqua shrugged. "Made him out of character, what else?"
Again, there was a collective sweatdrop. "How is that any different from the usual fanfic?" Touma asked the others in a stage whisper. Aqua stuck out her tongue and pulled down her lower eyelid in the traditional rude gesture of anime.
"Temper, temper…" Shin chastised. Aqua turned to him and repeated the gesture, this time with accompanying rude hand movements.
Ryo looked up crossly from his position on the ground. "Would all of you be quiet already? I'm trying to get my priorities in order!"
The Troopers all blinked at him, then turned to Aqua, who was still fuming. "I don't know, I rather like him better this way," Touma commented mildly.
"Mmm," Seiji agreed, nodding.
"Aww, come on," Shu griped. "We haven't gotten a decent fight scene once yet! I for one would like to get past the 'deal with the five MaSho that we're not allowed to actively beat up' stage!"
"If you insist," Seiji sighed. He walked over to Ryo, grabbing his shoulder to get his attention. Ryo looked up, ready to yell at Seiji for distracting him again. Seiji cut him off before he could begin, however. He said in a low voice, "It would be in all of our best interests if you would consider defeating the–" he coughed– "'MaSho' now rather than going through horrendous mental angst and suffering only to defeat her later once you overcome even more insurmountable odds."
Ryo blinked as he processed this. "All right." He got up, walked over to Aqua, took her laptop, and calmly smashed it to pieces. Seiji watched with a slightly cynical look on his face while the other three just blinked.
"…What just happened?" Shu asked.
Seiji sighed. "I offered him good advice. Because he was out of character, he not only listened to what I had to say, but followed my plan and therefore defeated our enemy without even needing his full yoroi."
"Ahhh…" the others all nodded. Aqua meanwhile was perhaps a bit irritated.
"You jerks!" she screeched. "I've been out here for two hours watching this idiot think, and now you're just going to frolic off and beat the enemy without even giving me a chance to beat you up or make out or something?" Her voice continued to rise in pitch sharply as she ranted. The Troopers winced and held a quick conference that ended with them pushing Touma forward to "do something about it."
"Fine," Touma sighed. He fished around in his Anime Black Hole and came up with a bright, shiny box. He waved it in front of the girl, though she refused to look at either him or the box. "Come on, I've got Pooooooooooooocky…" he crooned.
Aqua's head shot up, eyes wide. "POCKYpockypockypockypocky" *gasp* "pockypockyIloveyouToumapockypocky!!!" She bounced up, grabbed the snack food, and began the lengthy process of getting the box open. The other Troopers looked at Touma with respect bordering on reverence.
"What?" Touma shrugged. "You get enough fangirls, you learn about their other obsessions. Especially food-related ones."
"Tell me how you did that," Shu pleaded as he smashed the laptop. Shin coughed discreetly and gave Touma a warning glance. The blue-haired fangirl-magnet sweatdropped, noticed, and began to calculate exactly how much water everyone had lost from sweatdropping so far that day as the others gathered around Ryo, asking if he was okay. After minimal whining about it being his fault (which was what really assured the others that he was back to himself), the five Troopers stood together once more. Well… four Troopers stood together. The fifth was using a calculator that he had fished out of his Anime Black Hole, still wondering about the total water loss from sweatdropping. The others stood in battle position, ready for the inevitable attack.
An exceptionally long time.
Aqua whimpered softly as the box refused to rip, then began trying to poke a hole in it with the edges of her yoroi.
The Troopers still waited.
Ryo coughed, hoping to alert whoever missed their cue.
The opposition persisted in their absence.
Some time later, the stiff and aching warriors finally stepped out of battle position. Touma meanwhile, was hitting a few keys and sweatdropping again. "Guys, I think we should go drink a glass of water… or a gallon…" He was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the missing four sort-of MaSho (two of whom blushed and giggled upon seeing Shin) and another teenage girl who had not been seen before. At least, not by the Troopers. The readers read about her a good twenty pages ago in the beginning of the first part as the girl who summoned Sakura. But I digress.
Aqua waved happily, holding the shredded box out invitingly. "Pocky?"
The semi-MaSho all squealed and flocked over to the box, each grabbing a bag from within. If this disturbed the other girl, she showed no sign of it. Rather, she grinned at the startled Troopers and flipped her luxurious, shining hair. She laughed softly at their dumbstruck expressions.
For their part, the teenage boys couldn't tear their eyes off of the gorgeous girl in front of them. Her soft, deep-violet hair fluttered dramatically in the sudden breeze. Her crystalline eyes sparkled with joy and love of life, though the Troopers all instinctively knew that she had a past so steeped in misery and torment that any lesser person would have killed herself years ago. Her perfect figure was evident through the form-fitting subarmor that she wore, and they could feel the raw power – infinitely stronger than that of Kikoutei – radiating from her.
"Who… who are you?" Ryo gulped, hardly daring to speak to the perfect creature in front of him.
She laughed again, turning her flawless face towards him. "My name is Mary Sue of the Pink Sugar Heart Attack no yoroi," she purred in such a lovely, seductive voice that all the Troopers immediately wished that this fic was rated R. They could have handled R quite happily. In fact, some of them skipped right over R and began to consider NC-17. (Seriously though, is there a single person who hasn't seen that coming since the first paragraph? Didn't think so. ^_^ )
Seiji blinked very slowly, one thought managing to surface in his clouded mind. Not again… "Be careful!" he called out, forcing the words with difficulty. Why did they need to beware of someone named Mary Sue again? There was some reason… Whatever it was, the thought slipped his mind completely as he watched Touma step shyly up to the goddess in front of them and begin to talk to her. Feeling mildly jealous, Seiji decided that he could do that too. He also began to talk to Mary Sue, stumbling over the words as she watched them both adoringly. Shin was the next to lose himself in Mary Sue's spell, followed by Ryo and soon after, Shu.
The writers-turned-MaSho happily ate their Pocky.
As always, the Pocky eventually ran out. Coming out of the Japanese snack food-induced haze, the five noticed the Troopers surrounding their boss, falling all over her as she talked with them.
"Hey, weren't we supposed to get our choice of Troopers after agreeing to help her?" Venka asked, pouting.
"Yeah! She's got my Shin and he's drooling over her!" Lady Sekmet hissed furiously.
"So what do we do now?" Sakura asked. She waved a hand at the oblivious Troopers. "We're not only not getting any attention, we're not even tormenting anyone!"
Aqua sighed, fidgeting with the empty bag. "We go on and visit Vash?"
"Works for me," Bleumoon agreed.
"Doesn't work," Lady Sekmet corrected. "All our laptops broke." Fortunately for Sakura, the others didn't notice her brilliant blush at that comment.
"This is so not groovy," Aqua sighed, using her favorite adjective since she couldn't conceivably be in a story without saying it at least once.
"Really!" Venka added merely because she hadn't said anything for a while and was getting bored. All was quiet for a few minutes as they watched Mary Sue flirt wildly with the Troopers, all of whom had completely fallen under her power. After all, no canon character in the history of fanfiction has been able to stand up to a Mary Sue for more than a few chapters. Bishounen such as the Troopers usually go down in a matter of paragraphs.
"Gah, this is depressing," Sakura muttered. "We can't even do anything to her since she gave us the yoroi in the first place."
"I really hate her," Bleumoon griped.
"There has to be something we can do…" Aqua whined. She lay down and stretched her arms out over her head- and felt her fingers brush against metal. Glancing up in surprise, she noticed a shiny new computer – so new, in fact, that the printer was still in its box waiting to be connected. "Well. That was convenient."
"Yeah!" grinned Lady Sekmet. "Well, actually I think she's just not paying attention and losing her control over the surroundings –" she indicated to where what was once a field was now back to the shimmering darkness – "but it's still pretty cool."
The quasi-MaSho gathered around the computer – which, they noticed, was not a laptop and was much faster and shinier than theirs ("She's cheap, too," Venka muttered grumpily) – and quickly pulled up Word.
"Okay, what do you want to do first?" Sakura giggled. "For that matter, what can we do?"
"Let's try it out!" Bleumoon grabbed the keyboard and began typing. Immediately the surroundings changed to Nasuti's house. The Troopers and Mary Sue, engaged in deep conversation about Mary Sue's long, tragic past that scarred her for life and turned her into an angsty yet lovable heroine, failed to notice.
"You're so boring," scoffed Venka. She took the keyboard and began to type rapidly. The scenery abruptly changed to a Notre Dame-esque cathedral, complete with menacing gargoyles.
Sakura eyed it critically. "Not bad… but I think we need a little bit more atmosphere." She took over and suddenly they were standing in front of an ominous-looking house that quite frankly reeked with evil. The other four stared at her. Sakura shrugged apologetically. "My English class is reading 'Haunting of Hill House.'"
Aqua wrinkled her nose. "Gimme that. I hate that book." She typed, and the surroundings changed back to the way they had originally been, a sunny field. "We're supposed to be getting rid of Mary Sue, remember?"
"Oh, yeah. That. So how do we do it?" Venka wondered.
Lady Sekmet thought hard for a moment. "Let's just kill her off and be done with it." She took the keyboard for herself and began to write.
Bleumoon made a dismissive gesture. "The fic will end with one of the guys cuddling her still-warm body as her departing spirit declares her devotion even after death."
Aqua shrugged. "So we make it disgustingly gory." She roughly snatched the keyboard and began to input some…ah… lovely details.
Bleumoon shook her head. "Then there will be general mourning for the wonderful, perfect creature who so valiantly gave her life for theirs."
Venka grinned and snagged the keyboard. "So we make her turn traitor first."
Bleumoon sighed. "They'll figure she had some complex plan that was really going to help them in the end, and she'll make it look like she died for them."
Aqua whacked her with the keyboard. "Then you fix it!"
Bleumoon stuck out her tongue. "Fine, I will!" She nearly yanked the keyboard (which was no longer quite so shiny; the poor thing was having a rather unpleasant day) out of the computer as she grabbed it and began typing. The other girls began reading over her shoulder, occasionally making a comment, hitting a few keys themselves, or changing the mp3 – of course, currently on "It's So All Right!" They were ignoring the little messages of protest the computer would occasionally spit out, unhappy with the amount of modifying going on.
While all this was taking place, some very interesting things were happening where Mary Sue was currently making out with Touma. The others were fighting with some minor demon that had popped up with Hill House and had refused to go away. Rather unfortunately for Touma, the first of the semi-MaSho's attempts to rid themselves of Mary Sue went into effect while they were – ah – occupied. True to form, he caught her body as it fell and began sobbing bitterly over it, clutching her still form to his chest. The demon was distracted by the noise and consequently run through by Kourin-ken. The other Troopers glanced back to see what had startled the demon and were distraught to see Mary Sue's limp corpse. They gathered around Touma, who was still holding the body, and began to tear up. If any of the writers had been watching, she would have promptly retched. The next scene wouldn't have helped much either, as Mary Sue's body suddenly exploded in a mass of gore. Since I don't especially like describing that sort of thing in detail, we'll just leave it up to your vivid imaginations. Besides, it went away a moment later when the computer read the next instruction – Mary Sue was suddenly quite alive and grinning evilly at the bewildered Troopers. She was holding a sword on poor Touma, who by now had given up any attempt to follow the events of the day.
This proved to be very wise, since Mary Sue rather suddenly turned into a sperm whale a few moments later.
The four MaSho snickered from their vantage point around the computer. "Now turn her into a confused Pixie stick!" Aqua giggled. She took the keyboard again and proceeded to make it happen.
"I don't think we really need to specify that she be confused, considering…" Bleumoon murmured.
"Make her a cow! Make her a cow!" Lady Sekmet shrieked as she grabbed it and typed it herself.
Sakura looked up at them from her current position of collapsed in hysterical laughter on the ground. "You know –" she gasped – "this isn't really solving our problem."
"We have a problem?" Aqua asked, very nearly hysterical herself.
"Well, not a problem yet, as such," Sakura conceded. She gestured over to where an extremely furious cow, who had by now figured out what was going on, was charging them and mooing angrily. "However, I'd guess that we will in about a minute and fourteen seconds."
"How… d'ya want… to handle it… this time?" Venka asked, pausing every few words to take a breath in a futile attempt to control her laughter.
"We could use the Force to make a shield!" Bleumoon squealed eagerly, beginning to type it in.
"No, no, let's Duct tape her!" Lady Sekmet suddenly snickered. She grabbed the keyboard away from Bleumoon. The computer made a loud beep of protest, which the girls ignored.
"Or we could make her listen to really bad pop music," Aqua grinned. She stole the keyboard just as Lady Sekmet had.
"Or we could make her star in a fic we get to write!" Venka's laugh bordered on diabolical. As she too wrenched the keyboard out of the current owner's unwilling hands, the computer decided that it had finally had enough. A loud "pop" and some smoke trailing from the computer were the none-too-observant MaSho's first clues that something was not quite right. They blinked.
"… or we could just overload the server," Sakura commented lamely as the smoke began to thicken.
A sudden scream distracted them from the dying computer. Mary Sue, back to her original form, was staring at her hands as they became transparent. "Looks like we corrupted the file she was saved on," Venka sweatdropped. They watched as she gave them one more murderous glare before fading into nothingness.
Aqua cackled unnervingly. "I can't tell you how good watching that felt."
Bleumoon poked her nervously. "Ummm…" Aqua and the others looked over at her in time to see the computer flash the blue screen o' death.
"Oh, yeah!" Sakura chirped, far too perkily. "Solving a problem with another problem is a bad thing, isn't it?"
"Uh, yeah," Aqua sweatdropped. She looked down at herself as the yoroi began to glow. "Is this supposed to happen?"
"Theoretically, erasing Mary Sue probably erased us too," Venka sighed.
"Erm. That's, um, not good," Lady Sekmet sweatdropped. "Do we have enough time for me to go glomp Shin first?" She received her answer when each reverted back to the glowing ball of energy they had been transferred as. They hovered over the Troopers for a minute before disappearing. The area around them shimmered as the last scraps of computer data were destroyed.
Sakura stirred and opened her eyes. She was lying on her bed in the darkness, face pressed against the pillow. She yawned, blinking as she tried to process everything. "Was it a dream?" she wondered out loud, pushing the no-longer-pink hair from her eyes. "It better not be. That would be so cliché I'd have to be embarrassed about it." She moved over to the computer and pulled up the member list on a couple of her Yahoo clubs. "Hmmm…" she blinked as a Lady Sekmet and a Bleumoon appeared. She also seemed to remember a girl named Venka posting… Sakura stared at the computer for a long moment before shrugging and sending each of them a carefully worded message.
That finished, she stretched and began shutting down the computer. She stopped suddenly as the printed copy of her fanfic caught her eye. "Oh yeah…" She picked up a few pages and scanned them quickly. "What a ripoff. I thought these things were supposed to end with all my work miraculously finished for me. Anyway, what does he mean my character's a Mary Sue?" she snorted.
Canceling the shutdown, she sighed heavily and began working on the abandoned chapter. After a minute, she noticed that her character had begun to launch into a sweet pep talk. Sakura smirked as the girl in the story suddenly threw a temper tantrum instead.
The Troopers blinked, beginning to come out of the Mary Sue haze. They blinked again upon realizing that not only was no one there to fight with, the city was back in sight for the first time since they left it. A slightly burnt-looking computer rested to the side, but they were ignoring it as much as possible.
A long silence ensued.
"Was there a point to any of this?" was Touma's eventual question.
"Maybe at one time," Shin sighed.
"Did we miss the fight scene?" Shu groaned aloud. "We wasted all that time for nothing!"
"Are they really gone?" Touma asked, glancing around. The smoking remains of the computer chose that moment to burst into flame. They sweatdropped.
"Let's assume that's a yes and go get something to eat," Shin sighed.
"I think we should really get some water soon," Touma said nervously, trying to make the sweatdrop go away.
Ryo was staring at the sun, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Anyone got a watch?"
Seiji did. "The current time is 7:30 PM."
Ryo said something rather nasty under his breath and hit the ground with his fist. At the others' inquiring looks, he growled, "We missed Byakuen's appointment. If Nasuti didn't get him there, we're gonna have to do this again next week!"
A collective groan rose from the tired group.
Meanwhile, from the top of a building, a girl and a tiger stood silhouetted against the setting sun. Nasuti stroked the tiger with one hand as she whispered, "Remember our deal, Byakuen. I say I didn't find you in time for your appointment; you don't tell them who got bored and dyed their laundry pink."
The tiger growled assent.
"Woo… funky trip!"
~ Troopers, Jun, and Nasuti – "Midnight Party"