Once upon a time, there was a boy by the name of Echizen Ryoma. Now, he was brought up properly by his parents, but every now and then, to piss his father off, he would do something totally outrageous. And, well, sometimes he was just like that. Anyway, after his father had gotten on his nerves last night, he decided to take revenge in the only way he knew how.
He packed up a change of clothes and some food into his racket bag and patted his cat, Karupin, goodbye. It was only for a day or so, but he knew that he would miss his pet, and that his pet would miss him just as much. With an eye trained on his father, making sure the hentai old man was busy with his porn magazines, he snuck out of the house.
Now, it just so happened that his house was situated close to a forest. Not many people went into the forest due to rumours of vicious spirits that haunted the woods. But Ryoma, being Ryoma, didn't believe such nonsense and entered the dense foliage anyway.
He had been walking for hours now, and he was getting hungry. He had already eaten whatever he had brought from home, miscalculating how hungry he would be. Furthermore, it would seem that he was lost. There was no other explanation as to why he had passed by the same rock formation for the fifth time in three hours. He kicked a random pebble in frustration. He was tired, he was hungry, and he missed his cat, damn it! But just as he had begun to wonder if he should have attempted this endeavour to pay his father back for annoying him, a breeze blew, rustling the leaves. A large leaf fluttered, momentarily revealing a very well-concealed house.
Shelter! Food! And most importantly, a bed, since he was getting really tired and would sincerely prefer a bed to hard ground if he had a choice. He made a bee-line for the house, only to find it locked. But that wasn't a problem. Locked doors were something he came across very often in his attempts to annoy his father and so he was very proficient in unlocking such mechanisms.
After managing to gain entrance to the house, he looked around. The house seemed empty, devoid of sound or life. He wondered if the rumours were true, after all, and this was a haunted house. But then the rational side of his brain took over and he decided that the occupants must simply be out.
Well, their absence was his fortune.
His stomach growled and he remembered his hunger. There were no bowls of fruit, no covered dishes or bowls of food. But there was a refrigerator. He peeked inside, and lo and behold, Ryoma found a mother-lode of sushi. With a gluttonous gleam in his eyes, he grabbed the entire dish and set it on the table. He selected one at random and popped it into his mouth.
Ack! It was…really bland. He noted which one he had picked previously and chose a different one. At first, he thought nothing about the faint spiciness. But then the taste exploded across his entire mouth and he spluttered.
Wa-Wasabi…maki! Who the fuck eats wasabi maki!
Therefore, he was extremely cautious when he selected another piece of sushi. But that piece proved edible, as did the other piece of sushi that didn't resemble the previous two. He left only the rejected varieties of sushi on the platter and stuck it back into the fridge. Inside the fridge, he also saw a large opaque pitcher of what seemed like fresh juice of some sort. It was labelled 'Aozu'. Ah, a cold drink to wash down a relatively pleasant lunch. He took out the pitcher and a glass.
He was a bit wary when he noticed the odd swirling-blue shade of the juice, as well as the hyperactive effervescence, but maybe whoever had made it had thrown in some club soda as well. He replaced the pitcher in the fridge and took a deep swallow of the weird blue drink.
Almost instantly, he gagged. His grip on the glass loosened and the glass fell to the floor and shattered into a mess of gleaming, blue-stained shards. Ryoma swore he saw the glistening pieces of glass winking at him mockingly. Shaking his head, he was barely able to keep himself standing.
I need to lie down…
He trudged up the stairs to where he guessed the bedroom would have to be, since the lower level seemed to consist of only the kitchen and living space. He saw no one, but five bedrooms. He tried the largest one first.
Overjoyed that he was finally able to rest from his arduous journey, as well as sleep away the after-effects of that toxic concoction called Aozu, he almost dived into the bed. It proved to be the wrong thing to do.
What the fuck? This bed is harder than stone
Ryoma rapped the mattress with one fist, almost expecting to hear a solid knock. He didn't, but almost ended up with bruised knuckles anyway. What kind of masochists would sleep in such a bed, he didn't want to know.
He tried the next bedroom. Ah, the bed looked nice and plush. But he still poked a finger at the comforter. His finger made a nice dent in the puffy sheets. Good, at least he wasn't going to die from a concussion trying to get some sleep. He leapt onto the bed.
And almost suffocated.
He flailed his arms wildly, trying to keep himself from sinking further into the quick-sheets. But his frantic movements only served to make him sink faster. It was a long, tiring while before he was able to roll off the bed and onto the floor, where he lay for a moment in a gasping heap.
This house is deadly. If this house isn't haunted by people who have died trying to live here, I probably will. Haunt it after dying, I mean.
Still panting slightly, he managed to crawl into a slumped standing position and make his way out of the room. There were another two rooms left, and he randomly chose one. With his kind of luck, currently, he should have known better.
He saw post-it notes stuck up all over the walls, sheets of paper scattered all over the desk, weighed down by several calculators and stopwatches of varying models and brands. On another desk, he saw flasks and beakers, and rack after rack of test tubes. And there, glinting with evil intent, were flasks labelled with names like 'Inui Juice', 'Akazu', 'Inui Hyper Golden Remix Juice'. There was an empty beaker with the slightly smudged label bearing the title 'Aozu'.
His eyes widened and he raced out of that room, suddenly rejuvenated by the abject fear coursing through his veins. He wrenched open the door of the closest bedroom and collapsed on the bed in a shuddering pile.
This house was evil incarnate, he thought with a shiver. There weren't spirits haunting this forest. Inhabiting it were devils. Demons of the highest order.
He crept beneath the blanket and fell asleep, wondering how on earth he'd ever make it home to his beloved Karupin.
The Seigaku regulars had just returned from a strenuous training session, and they were all looking forward to the sushi lunch Kawamura's father had prepared for them. They arrived at their training camp lodge, only to find that the lock had been picked. Rather, Inui, ever-observant about small details, had noticed the minute scratches on the lock and had arrived to the conclusion that their lodge had been broken into. After all, given the state of the lock, the chances of that being the case were approximately 97.69, give or take a decimal place.
They made their way into the kitchen first. They were, after all, famished, and lunch was very high on their priority list. They had to make sure that their lunch was safe, before checking the rest of the lodge for the intruder. Inui noticed the broken glass and spilled Aozu immediately.
"Someone's been stealing my Aozu," he murmured with fascination. He whipped out a notebook and began jotting down miscellaneous bits of information.
Fuji opened the fridge and removed the severely depleted platter of sushi. He noticed that one of his wasabi maki had disappeared.
"Saa, it seems that someone's been eating my wasabi maki as well." He placed the near-empty platter on the dining table. Immediately, there were several cries of dismay.
"Someone's eaten up the rest of the sushi!"
"Nya! My anago sushi!"
"It's all gone! Everything's gone, except for Fuji-senpai's wasabi maki and Tezuka-buchou's…"
"Otou-san's hard work!" There was a slight scuffling, and then Kawamura burst out in a thunderous holler. "COME ON BABY, YOU SUSHI THIEF! I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU WHAT MY BURNING POWER DOES TO SUSHI THIEVES!"
It really was a good thing that Ryoma, normally already a very deep sleeper, was exhausted beyond belief and that nothing short of a natural disaster—or its equivalent—was going to wake him up.
Inui pushed up his glasses to speak, but was interrupted before he could really start.
"Yudan sezou ni ikou, minna. The intruder is still in here. Someone please take away Kawamura's racket before he scares away the burglar."
Oishi hurriedly grabbed the racket from a raging Kawamura, and instantly the Seigaku regular's burning desire to indirectly cause grievous bodily harm was quelled. Scratching the back of his head sheepishly, he stammered an apology, cheeks a faint shade of pink.
"I think we should try the bedrooms," Inui said. "After drinking my Aozu, the chances of him—the chances of the intruder being male is 85.92--needing to take a rest is almost 99."
None of the others contradicted him, having found out firsthand the effects of drinking even a tiny bit of Inui's deadly concoctions. Only Fuji seemed immune to the juices' lethal properties—save Inui's latest, the Aozu.
The trooped upstairs silently, Oishi still holding Kawamura's racket to prevent further booming outbursts. They saw the bedroom doors flung open, and Tezuka immediately went to check out his and Fuji's bedroom.
Features drawn tight, he gritted his teeth at the sight of his pristinely made bed rumpled, the once-smooth sheets messed and half-trailing to the floor.
"At least he didn't steal our little box of toys, 'Mitsu…" Fuji said in a soothing murmur, stroking Tezuka's arm comfortingly. "Everything, from the cuffs to the riding crop, is here."
"He messed up the bed, Syuusuke," Tezuka said in a soft snarl. "For that, I'm making him run laps until his legs fall off."
Fuji led him out of the bedroom by the hand, after soothing him a little with a tender kiss. "Let's find him first, ne, 'Mitsu?"
Oishi and Eiji were the next to find the sanctity of their room violated.
"Nya, Oishi! Look at what he did to our bed!" Eiji clutched Oishi's sleeve in horror. "He even shoved Daigoro right over!" He cried, pointing a shaking finger at the fallen Goliath of teddy bears. "O-Oishi…" Eiji whispered in a shaky voice. "There's stuffing coming out of Daigoro's belly…"
Oishi held his trembling boyfriend close and stroked his back. "I'll stitch it up later, okay, Eiji? Be strong. Let's find the culprit first."
Eiji sniffed and nodded resolutely, determination shining in his tear-filled eyes. "I'll twist him into a pretzel," he muttered ominously, even as Oishi gently tugged him away from his wounded bear.
Kawamura had already inspected his room and found it untouched, as had Inui and Kaidoh. Although Inui had noticed a damp shoeprint in his and Kaidoh's room that he had positively tested to be Aozu. It seemed that while the intruder had been in his room, he had also been spooked. Inui grinned, not caring that his grin looked a tad reminiscent of an evil mad scientist's insane smile.
Momoshiro's room was the last, and the door, like Tezuka and Fuji's, as well as the Golden Pair's, was flung wide open. The intruder had definitely been inside. And might still, in fact, be in there.
Since it was Momoshiro's room, they let him do the honours. They crept into the room and surrounded the bed, which they noticed had a significantly-sized lump beneath the blanket. Momoshiro grasped one end of the blanket and gulped. And then he whipped the blanket off the bed and the person sleeping in it.
Expecting some huge, deranged psychopath, they were therefore surprised when all they saw was a bedraggled little boy just fresh into his teenage years, sleeping soundly on the bed, curled up into a rather feline ball.
"He's just a chibi!" Eiji exclaimed, pointing a furious and disbelieving finger at the sleeping boy. Oishi held his lover back while Eiji spluttered on about how that midget was responsible for killing Daigoro, never mind that Daigoro was only a teddy bear—although that fact should never be said to Eiji's face, unless you really wanted to be twisted into a pretzel—and that had he been alive anyway, it was only a small wound.
"He ate all of tou-san's sushi!" Kawamura wailed. Oishi was glad that he had confiscated Kawamura's racket. There was no saying that might have happened if Taka-san had gotten hold of his racket at that point in time. After all, meek as Kawamura was, he was very protective about his father's carefully-made sushi.
"He messed up my bed," Tezuka snarled.
"We can punish him when he wakes up, 'Mitsu," Fuji said with a smile, noticing the way Momoshiro was still just staring at the sleeping boy.
Inui walked up to Tezuka, a racket bag in his possession. "I assume it must be his," the spiky-haired data collector said. "There is only a 0.01 chance that this was dropped by a fleeing burglar instead of him."
Tezuka unzipped the bag and found a wallet. Inside was a library pass proclaiming the sleeping boy as one Echizen Ryoma. He replaced the wallet and zipped the bag up, before placing it at the wall beside the bed.
"Momoshiro," he said sternly. "Momoshiro!"
"Huh- What, buchou?" Momoshiro said, startled from his intense study of the sleeping specimen of Ochibi on his bed.
"Let me know when he wakes up."
Momoshiro gulped, already knowing vaguely what was coming. "Sure. Can I ask why?"
Light glinted off Tezuka's glasses in a way not unlike the way it did so with Inui's glasses when the data collector came up with a new mixture to be tested. The corners of his mouth quirked up in a grim smile—it was a smile for him, at any rate.
"He'll be running laps, Momoshiro, until I'm satisfied."
Ryoma blinked sleepily, then rubbed his eyes. He found himself in a strange bed. He sat up suddenly. How long had he slept? Ohshitohshitohshit…
Frantic, he searched the foreign room for his racket bag. Ah, there it was, near the foot of the bed. He reached down to grab it, and found a large hand gripping his wrist. Anxious, he looked up and saw deep violet eyes.
"So you've woken up."
"Uh, this isn't what it- I mean, I can expl- I'm not-" When nothing coherent came out of his mouth after three tries, he decided to just shut up.
"Got a name, sleeping beauty?" Momoshiro asked, not caring that Sleeping Beauty belonged to a different fairytale on its own.
"What kind of name is sleeping beauty?" Ryoma snorted, offended. "My name is Echizen. Echizen Ryoma."
"Ah, so that is your bag, then." Momoshiro nudged the bag out of reach with one foot. "You aren't going anywhere, Echizen. You pissed a lot of people off today."
Ryoma gulped. How many where there? How many times was he going to die today?
"Buchou!" Momoshiro hollered. "Ochibi-chan's awake!"
"Ochibi-chan! That's even worse than sleeping beauty! I'm still growing, damn it!" Ryoma scowled at Momoshiro, menace glittering in his golden eyes. But his fury didn't last very long, converting into terror when he heard the multitude of footsteps on the stairs, and then towards the room he was in.
He found himself looking at possibly the two scariest people one earth, followed by one enraged redhead and a furious, slightly homicidal guy with brown sideburns an short hair. Said homicidal guy had a tennis racket in one hand and an empty sushi platter in the other. Ryoma wondered vaguely where the horrible tasting ones had disappeared to.
"Echizen Ryoma?" The tall bespectacled one said in a tense voice.
"Uh, wrong guy, my name's not Echizen."
Tezuka looked over at Momoshiro, who shook his head. "He's lying, buchou."
One spiky-haired guy stepped to the front of the crowd. Ryoma wasn't sure if he was angry at him or not, since his eyes were obscured by strangely opaque glasses. Or maybe the lenses were simply reflecting light too much. They were, after all, glinting with amazing brilliance. And then the guy held something out to Ryoma.
Ryoma took one look at the frothing green liquid in the mug and hid behind Momoshiro, using the taller boy as a human shield. "Get it away from me!"
"But I thought you liked it?" Inui said, with a grin. "After all, you tried my Aozu. How was it?"
"It's poison!" Ryoma said, gagging on the memory of the substance. "It should be classified as a lethal weapon unfit for human society!"
"Really?" Inui pulled out a notebook and started scribbling at a rate Ryoma had originally thought not possible for mankind. "Hmm, anything else? What about comments on the taste?"
"Taste? What taste? It killed all my tastebuds on contact!" He gripped Momoshiro's shirt, shuddering at the thought.
"Ne, Inui, since he doesn't want it, can I drink it?"
Ryoma peeked out from behind Momoshiro, and found himself looking at a very feminine-looking person. At first he thought it was a girl, but then, after closer inspection, deemed that it was actually a guy. He goggled at the sight of the fawn-haired guy willingly taking the mug and downing all the green liquid in one gulp. All of it.
He waited for him to die.
But the smile stayed in place, didn't even falter, and he didn't die, faint, swoon, or even seem to get dizzy. He just stood there smiling. Extremely freaked out, Ryoma pointed a finger accusingly at Fuji.
"You're not human. There is no way that a normal person can still be alive after drinking all of that!"
"Saa, you think so?" Fuji smirked, and then opened his eyes. Ryoma thought he saw the fires of hell glinting in the shadows of those ultramarine eyes. He managed a strangled squawk and hid behind Momoshiro once more. Momoshiro could have sworn he heard the short boy muttering something about ghosts, devils, demons and hauntings. He wondered what that could have to do with the present situation.
"Ne, Eiji, did Oishi manage to fix Daigoro?" Fuji asked, turning to the scowling redhead.
"He couldn't find a needle or thread!" Eiji wailed, leaping at Fuji for a hug. Fuji patted Eiji's back soothingly.
"You!" Eiji said, glaring at Ryoma. He detached himself from Fuji. "You killed Daigoro! I'll bend you into shapes so weird, even pretzels would break!"
Daigoro? Ryoma couldn't recall having come across anything alive in this pit of hell. Unless there had been mould growing in the mad-scientist room and he'd accidentally stepped in it or something. He checked the underneath of both shoes. Nope, both clear of fungi. Oh, wait, there was something whitish and fluffy stuck in the pattern of one sole, but it didn't look like mould. He plucked it out.
This looks like…plush toy stuffing? And then he recalled the giant teddy bear in the room with the quick-bedsheets. And he gulped in terror. It would seem the bear belonged to a very possessive owner. Oh shit. He's gonna turn me into a pretzel!
But before he could even begin to imagine what Eiji would do to him, he heard that angelically evil voice say sweetly, "Ne, Taka-san, is there anymore wasabi maki left? It goes very well with Inui's juice."
At the mention of 'wasabi maki', Ryoma heard the guy with the sideburns growl, and then fix narrowed eyes at him.
"YOU SUSHI THIEF! I'LL DEMONSTRATE MY BURNING POWER OF JUSTICE AND SHOW YOU HOW WE DEAL WITH SUSHI THIEVES! GREAT-O! COME ON, BABY! BE A MAN!"
Ryoma would have burst out laughing, had he not been frozen with fear at the thunderous shout.
"I'LL PUNISH YOU FOR TOUCHING OTOU-SAN'S SUSHI!" He would have said more, had Oishi not managed to wrestle the racket from his hand.
Ryoma breathed a small sigh of relief. Was that the last of them? He tried to recall everything he had done since entering the godforsaken house, and could come up with nothing else besides the pilfered food and drink/poison, and the spoilt toy.
And then he saw the demon-boy with the scary blue eyes lean into the eyes of another guy. "Ne, Tezuka, since everybody's done scolding the chibi, let's go mess up your sheets even more, hmm?"
He saw a glint of light as it reflected off a pair of glasses. And then he was pierced with a gimlet glare. Tezuka stormed up to the bed, where Ryoma was still perched upon—although in abject terror—and snarled at him.
"You'll run laps until your legs fall off, Echizen. You messed up my bed, you put wrinkles in my smooth sheets, and you will pay."
Fuji walked over to take Tezuka's hand in his. He bent down and leaned his head close to Ryoma. "You shouldn't have made Tezuka angry, Echizen Ryoma. Seeing him upset makes me upset." He smiled. "It's not wise to upset me." And then he stood up and rested his head on Tezuka's chest. "Saa, Tezuka, what now?"
Sure, I'll run for home…if I can find it. Heck, I'll run anywhere but back here! Oh, wait, didn't I keep ending up in the same spot when I tried to find my way out of this forest?
"And Echizen, if you try to run away without receiving your punishments, Inui will use you to test out all his juices," Tezuka continued, as if reading his thoughts.
And so, the day continued, with Ryoma running round and round the house, resting only every thirty laps, and even then, if he rested for more than ten minutes, Inui would somehow appear (even if he overshot it only by one second) with a pitcher of juice (and each time, it seemed to be a different colour—it was either many different juices, which was scary enough in itself, or it was a juice that could change colour, and that was far more fearsome than dozen of juices alone).
He didn't come home of dinner than night, but his father had already figured out that he had annoyed Ryoma and was expecting a prank of some sort, so he wasn't overly worried.
This story, however fictitious-sounding, is still true, and to this day, Ryoma-kun sits in a quiet, softly-padded cell, muttering to himself about goliath teddy bears and devils with tennis rackets and juices that looked normal, but were actually poisons, and the pair of sadists—one who wore glasses and the other who had the most demonic blue eyes in existence. His only friends are the plastic baggies of Ponta (metal cans could be fashioned into shards sharp enough to cut skin) and the cream and brown cat plush toy that he always plays with (bear plush toys only send him into a hysterically terrified screaming fit, as they found out soon after admitting him). He only wears cotton pyjamas and a soft cream-coloured jacket with extra-long sleeves and buckles at the back.
And no one is allowed to smile around him, or close their eyes for extended periods of time.
And he allows no blue-eyed people near him.
Heed my warning, and enter not the forest beyond, for past this marker…there be monsters.
DONE! man, I am so evil. I never meant for it to turn out this way. With Ryoma driven mad, I mean, but I must have been in a particularly sadistic mood, since I did. But it's still a humour fic. Fairytale parodies are so much fun…heh…heh… D