Disclaimer: (cowers)

Author's Note: I have no excuses. Really, I don't. I've just… been busy writing other things. I knew this fic was one chapter away from completion, but—I dunno. I just haven't had the willpower to finish. And for that, I am truly, deeply, and sincerely sorry. It's not fair of me to disappear like that… but I am an artist, and artists are fickle. Or so I'm told…

Don't hate me…? (whimpers)

Either way, I hope you all are doing well! And that you forgive me… eh heh… please?

Enjoy:D

PS. WARNING: This chapter is rated M for SEXUAL INDUENDO/JOKES, LANGUAGE, and REALLY STUPID HUMOR. (I mean it.) You've been warned.

xxxxxxx

A year.

It'd nearly been a freakin' year, and they were sick of it.

"Where the hell is she?!" Reader One yelled in vain at her computer. When the computer refused to give an acceptable answer, seeing as how it had no mouth, said reader keyed a similar message to a friend, only using more colorful language that is not appropriate for a fic of this rating.

I dunno, Reader One's friend replied—without any emoticons, to show their seriousness. She keeps writing all of this crap for a mainstream show.

Each shuddered. MAINSTREAM. Evil, evil, evil…

It's like she sold her soul to the devil, or something, Reader One typed—completely missing the irony in this supposedly derogatory statement.

X

Elsewhere, in a forgotten tower full of soapy hair, Chrono sneezed.

"Getting' sick?" Rosette asked, voice raspy from lack of use. Almost a year's lack… why wasn't she dead yet? Oh yeah… she remembered. 'Cause I'm an anime character. And apparently, in some way, related to those characters on DBZ… "Not surprising. You're still nearly naked."

Chrono shook his head, frowning. "No… I think I've just been insulted."

X

Yeah!!!!!!!!! Reader Two agreed viciously, as shown by their blatant misuse of punctuation. It suxs, too. I sorta miss her stuff. Kinda. 'Cept that one fic, that crazy, crack-induced one.

Which one? You'll have to be more specific.

Oh, you know the one I'm talking' about. That one where Rosette and Chrno

X

Somewhere, deep in the bowels of her not-so-very-well-hidden "castle" (coughtwostoryhousecough) on a hill, the authoress stiffened, sniffing the air. Her eyes narrowed predatorily. "…someone has spelt Chrono's name in the technically-correct-but-completely-impossible-to-pronounce-way!" she snarled.

Bolting upright, the authoress leapt from her computer chair and raised an action-packed finger. "Quick, Buyo! To the Bat Cave©®™!"

Her cat looked up at her, yawned—clearly bored—and went back to ignoring his primary caretaker.

The authoress sprang off anyway.

X

are stuck in a fairy tale-ish world. And she keeps trying to make those stupid puns and jokes about the fourth wall. Isn't the fourth wall TIME, anyway?

That's the fourth dimension. Either way, she was always a bit off her rocke— hey…

Reader One's fingers slowed, an idea infecting her brain like E Coli infects Taco Bell.

X

On the other side of the continent, the convicted sex offender who Reader One was IMing— still under the impression that Reader Two was simply a very sheltered super model— arched an eyebrow. "What the hell is she going on about now?" he grumbled, growing bored with this. Much like a certain cat still oozing around a certain authoress's "castle" (coughtwostoryhousecough). "Fuck this. I'm getting back on that Inu-Yasha webpage."

X

But by that time, Reader One was already formulating an ingenious plan—a plan so great, so wonderful, so completely random that it would definitely end the authoress's pathetic excuse for a mistreated fanfic in one chapter.

"It's GENIUS!" Reader One screamed, shaking her plushies emphatically. "Not only do I get to inflict massive amounts of pain— I mean, FUN— upon my favorite manga characters, but I get to act as a convenient plot device for the lazy authoress, who is manipulating my actions through her keyboard! I have yet to realize that I'm not even a real person! This is all just the rambling of a sugar-high authoress, trying to save her own ass!"

She cackled madly; the plushies were shaken until they seemed to understand the beauty of the situation. It didn't take a lot of shaking—these were Chrono Crusade plushies, and, therefore, obviously smarter than, say, DBZ plushies. (Though the DBZ plushies had the amazing power of coming continually back to life, even after pet dogs had ripped their heads off. All while looking dangerously constipated…)

Once the mad cackling game was over, Reader One spun back to face her computer, realized that she was no longer being IMed, shrugged, and then began sending out a massive email of DOOM.

To the readers of And They Lived Happily Ever After (if there are any left), it began—already displaying clear, impressive oration skills and a massive quantity of free time— I have had an idea. An idea so amazing, that no one will see it coming, even though it was alluded to in a previous chapter. But it's been so long since anyone has read the previous chapters, you probably won't remember. That's okay—I still want you to work with me. If you do that, together—together, we shall—

X

"RULE CANDYLAND WITH AN IRON FIST OF… UM… IRON!" Aion screeched, flicking at random tokens with mad spasms of joy. "TAKE THAT, KING KANDY! I RULE! I AM SUPERIOR! I AM… TALKING IN ALL CAPS AGAIN."

The advisor/magician/priest/interior designer/secondary character deflated, understandably frustrated. "DAMMIT. WOULD SOMEBODY ALERT THE AUTHORESS? HELLO? ANYONE…?"

After a moment, Joshua poked his head inside the closet, batting away the cobwebs that clung to his horns. "Yeah? What is it?"

"THE CAP LOCKS KEY IS STUCK AGAIN," Aion explained, straightening his glasses. "PERHAPS YOU COULD TELL THE AUTHORESS…?"

"Would if I could," the apostle shrugged, looking mildly apologetic. "But I can't. I haven't seen her around. Or Chrono, or Rosette, for that matter. Though I suppose that makes sense… we won't be united until the end of the fic. Whenever that is." He glanced down at his watch. It was broken. His eye twitched as he grumbled, cursing under his breath. "At least, with the manga and anime over, we've got the time…"

"I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE ONE THING OUR SERIES DIDN'T HAVE?"

"What, literally or figuratively?"

They stared at each other, contemplating. Then, with well-timed shrugs, they returned to their previous engagements. Not that they were all that exciting.

"STILL STUCK IN CAP LOCKS…" Aion growled, twisting the sleeve of a leather jacket. "STILL IN THE CLOSET— (insert hideously cliché yaoi joke here)—… STILL WITHOUT THE NEW, IMPROVED, 2006-ADDITION OF CANDYLAND… BUT I GUESS IT COULD BE WORSE," he admitted, drumming his fingers against his knee. "I COULD BE TALKING IN L33T. XP"

He blinked.

"… UH OH. O.O"

X

There was a rumbling in the brush.

…well, he wasn't so sure he would call it 'brush.' It really was a forest—a yellow wood. But regardless of its proper name, it really was rumbling. He communicated this to Rosette in the simplest way he knew how:

"I can no longer move my toes."

Rosette nodded glumly; both turned to watch the pony do something cute—like hiccup a bubble. Alas, it did nothing. It was too busy being dead.

It didn't really faze the pair anymore.

"This is ridiculous," Rosette snarled abruptly, blue eyes narrowing. "I HATE fanfiction. First we're pulled out of our own world and into a stupid AU, then we're forced to act and crack 'humorous' jokes, THEN we're ignored for a year, THEN we're expected to suddenly return to finish ONE MORE CHAPTER?"

"Well, we aren't happy yet," Chrono pointed out. "The authoress already said this story ends with a 'happily ever after.' She can't go back and change that now. Besides, it sounds like we may luck out soon. There are crazed fangirls scaling the tower walls as we speak."

Rosette stared at him, nonplussed. "…how do you know?"

"I can hear them squealing."

The girl paused; listened intently. From what seemed far away, a gaggle of girly voices were talking swiftly, interchanging languages and mispronouncing Japanese vocabulary. There could be no doubt. "Will they save us?" Rosette asked, sitting up as her eyes widened.

Chrono shrugged, too wary to be hopeful. "I don't know… this may be the first time fangirls have ever attempted a rescue mission. Usually it's the opposite."

The princess scowled, knowing this to be true. Many-a-times had she been forced to try and evade some manner of fangirl or boy… or save her friends from them. But given the choice between a neglectful authoress or a band of rabid teens who promised freedom…

…nah, she'd still choose the authoress. At least she wouldn't get her hair ripped out.

But it was clear that fate wasn't giving her a choice in the matter.

X

Meanwhile, back on the farm…

"Have you seen this girl…" Azmaria read aloud, chewing on her cereal as she scrutinized the milk carton. Her eyes narrowed; that certainly wasn't one of Rosette's best pictures. Then again, she was starting to suspect that it wasn't a real picture… unless Rosette had once been a stick figure.

Shrugging, the apostle girl put the milk carton away and began figuring out the crossword puzzle on the back of her Captain Crunch. "Let see… a three-letter word for 'white stuff.'"

A pause. Readers who have read lemons in the past groan in exasperation, rapidly clicking the "back" button; those who haven't or don't understand the joke glower, furious at the authoress for throwing in jokes that they don't get.

Az frowned. "Hey, Joshua," she called, poking her head into the living room of their quaint apartment. "Can you help me with this crossword…?"

X

With no warning—other than a screeched confession of love— the door exploded inward.

"Holy Hell!" Rosette and Chrono screamed as flying projectiles and chunks of wood showered down upon them, leaving bruises and cuts and plenty of potential lawsuits in their wake. "What the—?"

As the storm of door parts cleared, the pair looked up, horrified, into the faces of their rescuers:

The Readers.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! ZOMFG!" Reader One yelped, her grin as wide as her face. "It's really YOU GUYS!"

The rest of the Readers reacted in a similar way, bouncing and squeaking and cooing and trying their best to molest Chrono via telepathy. Chrono whimpered; Rosette simply looked bewildered.

"Um…" She swallowed, inching over to shield her friend from the hungry gazes of the fangirls. And boys. And transvestites. "Thanks for busting down the door, I guess, but… uh… how the heck did you get here?"

"Easy," Reader Five scoffed, waving a hand. "The Fourth Wall. It's been shattered for the past two chapters. And with no one around to fix it, the hole has just gotten wider."

Chrono's eyes bugged out. "I thought the authoress sealed it up with duct tape…?"

Each Reader smirked, wielding a pair of very sharp looking scissors.

"…oh."

"Even still," Reader Nine continued, "most of the wall has crumbled. If you want, we can get you guys and the rest of the cast back through the hole. You can go home."

"Or come to my home!" a few readers in the background offered loudly. But, because they were all perverts and secondary characters with no names, they were ignored.

Rosette considered, weighing her options. "But what if the authoress finds out?" she inquired, brow creased with worries. "She'll kill us if she hears that we've left her story without permission. Or worse, she'll write more fanfiction! I mean, do you know what she could do to us NEXT time, if we disobey? There are potential me-on-Aion lemons to consider, and crack-fics! Not to mention dragging us back and forcing THIS fic to go on another 42,953 chapters."

Chrono nodded rapidly, gulping. "And I really don't want to have to make out with Azmaria. I mean, this authoress is bad, but we've been through worse…"

As one, the Readers straightened, gazes narrowing in distaste. "So, what, you're just gonna give up?" Reader One snapped, hands on her hips. "You're gonna let your fear control you? You're gonna let this authoress WIN? After all she's done to you? She left you and Rosette in a teeny tiny bathroom for a year, with no clothes on! Well, except your wet—ahem— boxers…" She paused— whipped out a Kleenex for her bleeding nose—then cleared her throat, moving on. "Er, where was I…? Oh, yeah, inspirational speech… right. Okay. No! No, Rosette, Chrono! We won't allow that! We won't let you suffer any longer! The truth shall set you free!"

"SO TRUE!"

Clutching their startled hearts, the group spun around— to find Remington standing behind them, grinning cheerfully.

"Hello!" the knight greeted, the poster boy for clueless blondes. Chrono gawked, clinging to Rosette. "I've returned for the princess of this tower! With a thesaurus and a ladder!" He flourished the little book with evident glee, proud of his present.

Rosette and Chrono blinked owlishly.

("That joke is SO first chapter…" Reader Four grumbled, hiding the thesaurus she'd brought along with her.)

Oblivious, Remington danced back to the window. Disco danced. "Well, let's go, then!" he cheered, gyrating his hips and shakin' his ass. "To the world beyond the fanfic!"

X

"If I had a ladder… I would ladder in the moooorning… I would ladder in the eeeeeevening… all over the land!"

"I think the word is 'hammer,' Joshua-sama," Fiore murmured, eyes half-lidded and focused on her knitting. Judging by the lengths of the sleeves, it was going to be a straightjacket.

Joshua considered this correction, tilting his head. The television beside him blew up. "Oh yeah…" he said thoughtfully, rubbing his chin. "That DOES make more sense… Ah well."

X

Money was a wonderful thing. It could buy food and water, fine clothes and a big house, and— despite what others had told her—Satella argued that it could, indeed, buy happiness. After all, she mused cheerfully, sipping on a flute of red wine, I managed to buy my way out of the fanfic. So I'm happier than them!

Cooing appreciatively over her drink, the Jewel Witch returned her efforts to pouring over her magic Clapper Mirror™, which—among other things (such as his bedroom)—showed Chrono's bathroom.

It was during said pouring that she realized something very odd.

There was nothing in Chrono's bathroom to pour over.

"What…?" Satella gaped, taken aback. "You mean they found a way to escape? This I've got to see!"

Clapping twice to deactivate her magic Clapper Mirror™, the Jewel Witch scampered off, searching for the Bat Cave©®™.

X

"TH1S I5 BAD. VRY VRY BAD…" Aion glared at the coats surrounding him. "… -N- ANNOYIN'. WHRE ISH THAT DAM AUTHO— WTF!!!1!one!!"

The l33t jargon was cut off with a roar of fury as, quite suddenly, a toy Bat Mobile fell from nothingness and smacked Aion's skull. This was followed by a sudden and very unexpected appearance of—

The authoress.

"Yo!" she greeted casually, brushing invisible dust from her clothes. "'Sup, Aion?"

Aion's eyes widened. "J00!" he screeched, pointing a clawed finger. "WHRE T3H FOOK HAVE J00 B33N—DAMIT! WTF CANT I SP33L???!!!one!"

"Because you're talking in l33t," the authoress explained calmly. "L33t people don't spell very well. Nut as well ass i du, aneeway."

She blinked. Then shrugged. "Anyhow, sorry to burst in on you like this, but I had a bad feeling… like rabid readers were trying to set you guys free because I take too long to update." Frowning darkly, she shot the advisor/magician/priest/interior designer/secondary character a warning look. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you, Aion, dear?"

Aion began to open his mouth, then—thinking better of it—closed it again, shaking his head.

The authoress glared, unconvinced. "You're sure?," she pressed, her voice sugary-sweet. "Because I'd hate to see… THIS happen." With a wild snatch, she nabbed a plastic Candyland piece and stuffed it in her pocket. Aion's eyes grew wide in terror.

"NUUUUUUU!one!!1! T.T" he shrieked, desperately wringing his hands. "NOT CANDYLAND! DONT TUCH CANDYLAND! ITS MIN3 2 CONTROL! D:"

"Then tell me what's going on!" the authoress growled, retrieving the little blue token and waving it temptingly. "Where are they? Tell me where!"

Aion sniffled, whimpering as he reached for his toy. "…T3H T0W3R, M3H THINK5," he confessed, close to tears. The authoress scoffed, carelessly tossing the playing piece back to the pathetic-looking character. He gasped, catching it gingerly and clasping it to his heart. "-N- PPL THINK IM T3H BAD GUY!"

"Yeah, well, whateva," the authoress spat, irked. "Clearly I'm making MYSELF the bad guy to feel less guilty about never updating. So you get a break, yea for you." She huffed; her stomach growled. Her eyes narrowed, flicking in Aion's direction. "WELL?" she roared, livid. "GO MAKE ME SOME PIE, BITCH!"

"O.O" Aion leapt into action, scurrying out of the closet and towards the kitchen. "Y3S BABY!1one!"

X

Down, down, down, down…

"How did everyone fit into this tower in the first place?" Chrono wondered aloud, watching the nine dozen fangirls and boys scurry down the ladder. "What do you think, Ros— huh?"

Giving a start, the poor boy looked frantically around for the princess. "Rosette? Where are you?"

"Down here!"

"?" Shocked, Chrono glanced downward; bellow him, beside a pack of Readers, stood a waving Rosette. "How did you get down there so quickly?" he called, confused.

"I found a chute!"

"WHAAAAAT?" Chrono gaped, sounding very much like Sister Mary. "You mean this place has chutes AND ladders?"

Rosette nodded her agreement before adding: "And really bad game-related puns…"

X

"So what's the plan?"

The small army of Readers and characters exchanged glances—first with each other, then with Chrono… who was still stuck up in his tower. He couldn't, after all, simply climb down the ladder: the weight of his hair would put gravity into overdrive. He couldn't find the chute, either; if he could have, he would have left a long time ago. Besides, that joke was already old…

"Well, why don't you hack off your braid?" Rosette suggested loudly, making snipping motions with her fingers. "It's not like you'll need it anymore, after this. Just cut it off!"

"What, like in the sixth manga?" Reader Three gasped, plainly disgusted. "No way! He loses, like, 500-cute-points if he does that!"

"And how cute will he look as roadkill?" Rosette retorted coldly, slapping her hands together in imitation of what Chrono and the ground's first (and last) meeting would result in.

"…okay, nevermind."

"Do it, Chrono! Cut your hair!" Rosette encouraged. "Pretend all of those dancing scissors from that stupid American Express Card commercial are jumpin' around your feet! And that your hair represents all of those non-American Express Cards! And that you need to feed the scissors or they'll snip your (CENSORED FOR CONTENT) off!"

Chrono blanched. "ROSETTE!" he squeaked, cheeks pinking. "This fic is rated PG-13!"

"Oh, yeah… sorry."

All the same, she had a point. Realizing this, Chrono did as he was told: grabbed a pair of the Readers' discarded, duct-tape-cuttin' scissors and began hacking away at the hair just above his wais—

CLANG!

"—!"

The scissors broke.

He stared blankly at the shattered clippers, at his barely frayed braid, then back again. Damn. "…didn't realize my hair was so thick," he breathed, surprised. But his surprise didn't last for long—it quickly melted into anger. Under his breath, he released a soft snarl: "Curse you, Head and Shoulders… Curse you AND your fortifying ingredients for thicker, stronger hair! CURSE YOU!"

This could take a while…

X

"There is an irony, of course, in all of this. Most fairytales take place in—what, three days? Of which the schedule looks something like this: day one, characters meet. Day two, they share all their deep-dark-secrets. Day three, they're screwing like bunnies." Joshua hesitated, thinking. "No, wait. I'm wrong. That's usually all done in three hours. So, in all seriousness, our year-plus-long adaptation is better for character development and plot."

"But this has no plot," Azmaria pointed out, tracing the rim of her virgin margarita with a pinkie finger. "And we haven't DONE anything. I haven't even been forced into that stupid fairy costume. My part is over. Your part was over in chapter one. Well, except for all of those cameos you make so that the authoress can drag out the horns-antenna joke."

"Mmmm." The male apostle took a small sip of his daiquiri, mulling over her words. "Yeah, you're right. But all I'm saying is that, ideally, the writers of real fairytales might wanna, you know, take a few notes on this. Make things a bit more realistic. Give Cinderella and Prince Charming a chance to get to first names before first base."

"Cheers," Az smiled. "And amen to th—"

She paused, turning suddenly to the right. From their little booth in the corner of the bar, she could see the door… and the person standing in it. Her eyes nearly popped out of her head. "Joshua," she whispered, flabbergasted. "Is that the… the authoress?"

With a snort of disbelief, Joshua looked over—only to have his jaw drop in shock.

Batting rainwater off the shoulders of her poncho, the authoress— while gnawing on the end of a piece of pie— gave the establishment a slow once-over, her eyes gradually settling on the apostles' table. She grinned, crooking a finger at the characters. "Come," she crooned. "I need you for my eeeeeevil plan." Her lips curled; they were stained red.

With pie filling.

Azmaria's face fell. "Dammit…" she grumbled, petite brow furrowing as she and Joshua instinctively stood. "And it's karaoke night, too!"

X

"Is it cut yet?"

"Hold on! Give me another scene!"

X

"Oo, yes! Yesyesyes!"

The three bodies twisted and turned, molding together and squirming as one. Hands reached, legs stretched, chests met, groans oozed.

"Oh God…" Azmaria moaned, arching her back. "But— how is this an evil plan…?"

The authoress smirked mischievously, eyes half lidded as her fingers brushed down Joshua's chest. "You'll see…"

"No— no, don't that— I can't take—!"

With a gasp and a grunt, Joshua collapsed: sweaty, pink, panting. Both girls' grinned.

"Yes!" they cheered, exchanging high-fives as they, too, relaxed, falling atop the Twister©®™ mat. "We win again!"

X

"All right, there was—"

"No, wait, sorry, I still need time…! One more scene should do it!"

X

And now it's time for Puppets with Aion!

"Hey kids!" Aion squealed, crouching behind a cardboard box. "The authoress promised to restore my regular speech-pattern for good if I entertain you while Chrono hacks off his hair! AND she won't (CENSORED FOR CONTENT) with my (CENSORED FOR CONTENT)! So let's have fun, shall we? WEEEEEEEEEE!"

From behind the box, he thrust three puppets. The first, as everyone already knew it would be, was— that's right!— a koala. The second was a little sock Chrono. The third was a little sock Rosette. How he managed to control all three puppets at a time was something nobody wanted to think about.

(The people who understood the crossword joke but didn't leave start clamoring for the "back" button.)

"Okay!" the Koala squeaked in Aion's voice. "Today's puppet show shall not only be entertaining, but educational! So let's discuss—WHERE BABIES COME FROM!"

(Cue audience applause.)

"All right. So, when two people—like these two people—love each other a whoooooooole lot, they decide to (CENSORED FOR CONTENT)! Like bunnies! Bunnies like to (CENSORED FOR CONTENT). That's why there are always so many god-damn baby bunnies eating away at my prized garden! They're like a freakin' plague!" The Koala trembled with rage. "But anyway… when two people love each other a whoooooooole lot, they want to have babies to fight over when they get divorced. So they first turn to each other and ask—very romantically— 'wanna shag?'"

From the sky, a loud cracking sound could be heard; little pieces of Candyland tokens began to rain.

"What? NOOOO!" The puppets writhed, clearly in anguish, atop the box. "No! I lied! They ask—very romantically— um, wanna have an orgy?"

There was a ripping sound that could only be described as: the sound of a child's board game being torn in two and weewee-ed on by rabid Scottish terriers.

"LISTEN, I ONLY HAVE SO MUCH EXPERIENCE WITH THIS, OKAY? Er, I mean, they ask—very romantically— wanna have brats? And, for the sake of education, all things easy, and my plans for Sweet Domination, the girl says yes. Even though in real life, she'd try to get the man to do something romantic first, like fix the broken sink. Anyway, so then they strip off their clothes, like a streaker would. Or a prostitute. Or a high school cheerleader. Wait, that's the same thing… anyway, after the stripping, they hop in bed and—"


X

"All right, my hair is cut!" Chrono cried triumphantly, grasping the severed violet rope and wriggling it with joy. "To Locks of Love we go!"

Public Service Announcement: Locks of Love is a wonderful corporation that takes donated hair and creates wigs out of it for cancer patients. It's a simple, painless way to help someone in need, so go on, be a hero: shave your head.


Thank you.

"Right on! Now climb down the damn ladder!" Reader Fourteen urged, looking impatient. "We can only drag this out for so long! Otherwise, the authoress might—"

"Might what?"

As one, the group gasped and turned to face the newcomer. ("We're doing a lot of gasping and turning," Reader Five pointed out, sounding somewhat bored. As punishment for breaking the mood, she was forced to read poorly written Az/Chrono fics.) "No!" Chrono squealed, having scuttled down the ladder so fast that no one even noticed him. (Mad ninja skillz, has he.) "Not you—! Not—

The Wicked Witch of Pornography!"

Satella scowled. "I wish you wouldn't call me that," she said tartly, crossing her arms over her chest. Well, trying to… Irritated, the Jewel Witch glared furiously at her bosom, privately cursing the creators of the anime. "I quit that job. I'm just Satella now, and I'm ready to go home. Oh." She straightened, only just remembering something; she plucked Chrono's clothes from thin air.

"Woah!" Rosette gawked. "How did you do that?"

"Summoned it from a Plot Hole©®™," Satella shrugged. "Anyway, c'mon. Let's get going. You may have gotten out of the tower, but you won't be able to live Happily Ever After until you defeat the witch."

Everyone blinked. There was a moment full of silent drama. "But… wasn't that you?" Chrono questioned lightly, wincing when Satella snapped a glare on him.

"I told you, Chrono-baby," she drawled, fiddling with her summoning glove. "I quit that job. Besides, even if I hadn't, it wasn't MY fault, was it? In the long run, I mean. I wasn't the evil witch you had to defeat."

"But then," Rosette breathed, face pinched in confusion, "who is? Who's the bad guy? Who do we blame? Who's fault is all of this…?"

Satella's expression fell flat; her eyes narrowed, dull and exasperated. "Guess."

Everyone stood there for a while… thinking hard…

It hurt.

X

"—nd after they finish doing the Hokey Pokey with the chipmunks, POOF!" Rosette Puppet and Chrono Puppet did little puppet dances. "Babies galore!"

X

"Wait, I've got it!" Reader One screamed, startling everyone out of their deep reserve. "The authoress, right? The authoress is the evil witch that needs defeating!"

Satella nodded with a grim smile; the Readers exchanged internet cookies and emoticons to show their approval of Reader One's brains. "And there's no time like the present," the Jewel witch continued. "Even as we speak, the authoress is growing stronger—she feeds off of readers' reviews and impatience! Flames do nothing to stop her! She simply starts writing yaoi!"

Remington and Chrono exchanged nervous glances. "We've got to stop her NOW," they agreed.

"Right," Rosette nodded, looking determined. "But how do we get to her? Where is she?"

"I don't know about where, but I do know how to get to her!" Satella proclaimed, pointing to a rip in the air that was growing fast beside her. "Quick! Follow me through this Plot Hole©®™! It'll take us past all the boring plot development and witty banter and onto the final battle!"

X

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X

"You DARE challenge ME? ME?" the authoress screeched, backing slowly away from the storm of literary characters and enraged Readers. Her back hit the wall; she paled, but held her stance. "I, who stole you from your world? I, who abandoned you for a year? I, who—wait, this isn't helping my case, is it?"

The Chrono Crusade cast glowered; the Readers bared their teeth.

"Look, fine, I'll end the story, okay?" the authoress grumbled, wriggling uncomfortably beneath the eyes of the mistreated. "This chapter. I promise. And I'll update my other stuff, too."

"When?" Reader Six demanded, wielding a threatening-looking mouse cursor.

"Ummm…" The authoress clucked her tongue, unsure. "Soon?"

Reader One glared. "NOT GOOD ENOUGH."

"…shit."

And so the authoress was chased off into the sunset by the furious Readers, all while screaming things like: "if you kill me, I can't update Double Trouble!" as hazardous-looking thesauruses were chucked at her like rocks. She was never to be heard from again.

…unless the Readers gave permission.

X

"Well, that was certainly a fun little misadventure."

Rosette quirked an eyebrow, casting Chrono a funny glance as they watched the mob vanish into the sunset. "…no, it wasn't."

Chrono shrugged in vague agreement. "No; no, it wasn't. But I'm trying to put a pleasant spin on things… look on the bright side. Spout BS like: one day, we'll look back on this and laugh. Lie through my teeth. All that jazz."

"Well… it's not ALL bad, I suppose," Rosette admitted grudgingly, scooting closer to the boy. "I mean, the Readers got to exact revenge upon the authoress… Joshie and Az got together and don't have to pay any cable bills… Satella got a bunch of money from the makers of the Clapper™ for advertising their product… Aion used his new, mad l33t skillz to hunt down and molest Internet sex offenders… the dead pony was turned into glue… you got a thesaurus… and I don't have to be a princess anymore. We all get to go back to Magdalene Order and return to our normal lives."

"Alls well that ends well," Chrono smiled.

"Yeah."

Silence.

"Shit, wait," Rosette straightened, coming to her senses. "Does this mean that the authoress-bitch gets her way? Her story ends the way she wanted it to? That despite it all, we get a Happily Ever After?"

Chrono gaped. "Crap, you're right—wait!" he called to the sunset, which was slowly turning the scene black. "We lied! We're miserable! We're not— oh screw it."

The sun set.

And they lived happily every after.

(Told ya.)

x T3H END x

xxxxxxx

Well, guys, it's finally (and I do mean finally) over! I hope you all enjoyed and were NOT offended by the humor in this chapter… especially since most of it was directed towards me. Eh heh.

Ah well. Thanks so much for sticking with this, and have an uber happy holidays! I love you all (even if I have a poor way of showing it, at times. T.T)! XD

Hugs, Kisses, and Moon-Lit Nights,

The au—er, I mean— Maiden of the Moon