A/N- Halloween fluff! Since there are hardly any Halloween stories in the section, I took it upon myself (sugar high on candy and cough medicine) to write this monstrosity. So it's really late for Halloween and not the greatest thing I've ever written. Meh. Hopefully you guys still like it! I was bored and in the Halloween spirit after decorating my house kick-assedly. There are so many neon green fake spider webs that it looks like a giant day-glo tarantula ate my family and made the house its lair. Sweet. Besides that, I'm uber-sick and still had to work on Halloween (even though I requested it off a month ago) Friggin' video store… On another note that no one cares about, I saw Stephen Lynch in concert Sunday. –sigh- He rocks my socks… in a sacrilegious, evilly funny way. Errr…. –cough- Right, I'll just get on with the intro. Enjoy the story!
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean. If I did… -stares blankly into space daydreaming-Chapter One: It's the most wonderful time of the year…
"So explain this to me again. The people on your planet have one day when they dress up in strange costumes, bang on random people's doors, threaten them, and bribe this candy thing out of them? And it doesn't seem strange to you?" Nel said, shooting a skeptical look at Fayt and Sophia.
"When you put it that way, you make it seem like mayhem and mob rule." Fayt sighed, massaging his temples and wondering what drove him to think that explaining Halloween to his companions would be a good idea.
"And it's not?"
"No, it's about candy. Candy, costumes, and sugar highs." Sophia sighed wistfully.
"And hot girls in skimpy outfits." Cliff piped up.
Everyone stared at him, and he rubbed the back of his neck ruefully.
"How would you know?" Fayt smirked, watching Mirage turn slightly red.
"'S not like I've never been to Earth before. They have some rockin' parties…" He trailed off as he saw Mirage preparing a wicked punch combination.
"Well, errr… I mean, I was there doing research. For Quark. And… errr…"
"You're a horrible liar, Cliff." Maria snickered dryly as he flew across the room.
Mirage smiled sweetly and cracked her knuckles as the puddle of jell-o that was formerly Cliff moaned in the corner.
"I think you missed a few of my internal organs…"
"Shall I amend my error? I can go for the external one this time, too if you wish."
Cliff made a squeaky noise of fear and curled into the fetal position.
"That's what I thought." Mirage smirked.
Albel, who had been sitting in the corner trying to convince himself that he hadn't come to be associated with these maggots, finally spoke up in his most drippingly sarcastic tone of voice.
"As fascinating as this all is…why are you all blathering about some alien holiday? We don't even have this candy thing on Elicoor. And I have better things to do than sit here trying to keep my head from exploding from all this inane prattle."
Sophia's jaw dropped, and when she finally regained the ability to speak, her eyes had grown even larger in surprise.
"Y-you mean that you guys have never had candy? Ever?"
"Didn't I just say that, pest?"
"I… I-- am so sorry for you!" Sophia said, doing something that no sane girl had ever done. She leaped up and gave Albel the Wicked-- the most feared man in all the mortal realms of Elicoor-- a tackle-hug. His chair tipped over backwards, and he and Sophia went down in a tangle of limbs, weapons, and cursing.
"Why couldn't she've done that to me? I haven't had candy either!" Roger sighed resentfully, "He doesn't even appreciate it!"
Peppita gave him a death-glare and brandished her heaviest iron cape and he quickly shut up.
"You poor thing!" Sophia wailed, tightening her grip on Albel's neck as he sputtered and tried to reach his sword.
Just as he was sure he could stretch his arm enough to get to it, Nel's foot came down on the blade.
"Dammit, woman, that's my sword! I need it! There's a leech on me and it won't get off! Must… kill… it…"
With that, Nel stepped on his head, causing him to make his own little squeaky noise.
"Gained some weight, Zelpher?" he gasped.
"Do you really want to make me angry right now?" Nel purred back with a glare that could've melted the Aquarian aqueducts into a really big puddle.
Albel refused to respond, but shrugged slightly.
"And you, Sophia? Do you promise to stop trying to get yourself stabbed?"
"No buts!" Nel barked.
Sophia looked startled, but let go of Albel.
She backed out of Nel's weapons' range slowly and turned to Fayt.
"Is it just me or is Nel starting to remind you of your mom, too?" she whispered.
"I heard that, young lady!"
Sophia jumped in surprise and hid behind Fayt, shaking a little.
"Hey! What am I, your human shield?"
"I prefer 'meat shield', but yes." Sophia said sweetly, batting her eyelashes.
"Is there something in your eye?"
From across the room, Nel's hawk-ears caught wind of an argument.
"NO FIGHTING, YOU TWO!" She shrieked in that ear-splitting decibel only mothers (or pretend ones, at least) can reach.
"Wow. You're right…" Fayt whispered back with a little shudder.
Nel turned her attention back to the man who still lay prostrate on his back.
"Why are you still on the floor, Nox?" Nel said, slightly worried.
She wouldn't have thought a tiny girl like Sophia could actually injure a warrior like Albel, but…
"The view." He quipped, looking pointedly up her skirt, "You know what they say about black panties, Zelpher…"
Nel only sputtered a moment before she brought his consciousness (and a few of his brain cells) to an end by a sharp kick in the head.
"Pervert." She spat at him, prodding his prone body sharply with a toe.
"You know…" Mirage grinned with a devious glint in her eyes, "perhaps this Halloween idea does have some merit…"
"Huh?" Fayt said nervously.
He'd learned to never trust the girls when they got to this stage of conniving, and as usual, his instincts were right.
'Must not show fear… They can smell it.'
Mirage and Sophia looked at each other and then at the forms of the two passed-out men with evil smiles. The remaining males backed away nervously.
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Mirage?"
"I do believe that I am, Sophia."
Fayt inched slowly toward the door, but not before their eyes went feral and they began scanning the room for their next victim.
"But where are we going to get costumes on Elicoor?"
"Where there's a will, there's a way."
A bright, evil lightbulb with glowing red eyes and pointy teeth appeared over their heads, ready to pounce with its next brilliant idea.
"TO THE WORKSHOP!" they cried in unison, somehow dragging their chosen victims (which included most of their companions) behind them.
Albel groaned groggily as he finally came to. He attempted to massage his temples to quiet the headache that was now roaring at the back of his mind, but found the hand to be shackled to a cold stone wall.
"What in hell's name is going on?" He growled, scarlet eyes blazing sinisterly.
He tested his other limbs, only to find them also chained. Whoever did this to him was obviously an expert at detaining a prisoner.
As panic and anger started to bubble within, his inner voice of semi-reason (the one that tried to keep him from killing everything that moved, in varying degrees of success) finally decided to make itself known.
Ok. Keep calm, Albel. What's the last thing you remember?
The maggots had been blathering about some pointless thing or another. Then that intolerably perky girl had tackled him and…
Now he recalled. She'd obviously been working at gaining his trust so she could capture the most powerful enemy of her kingdom. She'd regret that move soon enough.
"Zelpher…" He hissed vehemently.
"What?" came an angry purr of a response from next to him.
Not expecting any kind of answer, he twisted his head frantically and knocked it against the wall in his haste. Only a few feet down, Nel had been restrained in much the same manner as himself.
"It wasn't you?" he glared reluctantly, no wanting to let go of his first impression.
"Of course not! Why in the world would I chain myself up? I'm not into those kind of fetishes, sicko." She added before he could make any comments.
Albel made a soft noise and fidgeted uncomfortably.
"Then what happened? Were you ambushed?"
"I suppose you could say that…" Nel said, blushing fiercely.
"But—?" Albel began, only to be cut off by the door to the cell being thrown open.
A haze of light filtered in, making a halo around the newcomer and obscuring her from view. Coupled with his unadjusted eyesight, he could hardly make out a small human's outline.
"Are you ready to surrender yet?" an exuberant voice trilled.
"Never!" Nel shouted, shaking a bit.
The voice seemed familiar, but who could have detained Nel and actually made her afraid? The thought alone made Albel a little nervous. That is, until he realized who had come in.
"Peppita? Don't tell me that Peppita captured you, Nel!"
"Not at first! It was horrible… Sophia stole Fayt's copy of the UP3 and she started reading it! D-Do you have any idea how boring that thing is? Well, I fell asleep a little—"
"A little? How can you fall asleep a little?" Albel sputtered.
"Shut up, Nox. If I recall correctly, this was right after I knocked you out." Nel glared back.
Albel sulked a bit and stayed sullenly quiet, glaring at the world in general like a cranky toddler.
"Anyways, I woke up here and They've been trying to get me into that monstrosity since! Everyone else already gave into Them."
"That's enough, you two lovebirds!" Peppita crowed, "Surrender to me or DIE!"
Peppita brandished a lacy, skimpy French maid outfit at Nel, who shrunk from it like it emanated an evil aura. Albel caught a glimpse of it in the faint light and grinned wickedly.
"Yes, Nel, surrender."
"Quiet, you." She hissed back at him.
"Oh, we have something for you, too, Albie."
He turned a bright shade of pink and glared knives at the tiny blond girl leaning on the wall next to him.
"How did you know about that nickname? Woltar swore—" he trailed off as Peppita burst out in giggles.
"Really? Ooh, blackmail on Albie! I won't tell anyone if you put this on for Halloween."
With that, she pulled an even more frightening outfit out of nowhere. It consisted of little more than a leather corset, a pair of hot pants, and knee-high fishnets.
"What," he snarled, really wishing he had his swords, "is that?"
"The Masters have decided that you'll be Rocky Horror."
"Huh? Whatever it is, forget about it! I thought that Cliff was the one with the leather fixation!"
"Fine! You leave me no choice but to pull out the big guns."
With that, Peppita reached into her bag and emerged with a pair of scissors and a wicked grin.
"Both of you are going to obey me… or you get Fayt's haircut!"
Out on the streets of Peterny, two blood-freezing screams frightened many shoppers into walking quite a lot faster past the inventor's workshop. After all, it was just plain stupid to linger near inventors longer than absolutely necessary. You never knew what you might see… or what might explode. Besides, they were always looking for testers, and many people who didn't run fast enough or, Apris forbid, made eye contact, ended up being the Elicoorian equivalent of a lab rat.
"What babies." Maria sniffed as she heard the struggle in the basement, "I thought that they were supposed to be the toughest people on this back-water rock."
She slumped into a near-by chair and rolled her eyes at the world in general.
"Yeah, well, didya see what they wanted Albel to wear? No wonder he doesn't want to." Cliff muttered.
As much as he'd like to see Albel brought down a peg or two, he thought this had to be the most inhumane way to do it. Even evil bishes have dignity, though Albel wouldn't for long.
"Hmph." Maria snorted, "He wears a skirt every day. How much worse can you get?"
"Everyone here does, in case you haven't noticed."
"Sure, but not with such high slits. Or a belly shirt. If he were a girl, he'd be a total sl—"
"OH, CLIIIIFF!" Sophia called, freeing him from what was quickly becoming an uncomfortable conversation.
"I have something for you." Mirage added softly in her seductive voice.
Normally, this would have set Cliff running to her, but as things were, it made him even more apprehensive.'She's totally gonna use this to get back at me for what I said earlier…'
'Run away while you can!' screamed his survival instinct.
He approached the girls with a feeling of dread quickly growing in his gut. He had a hunch that before the end of the night, things were going to get really weird.
Just as he thought this, he caught a glimpse of his costume.
"Wha…? What the hell is that?" Cliff stuttered, eyes bulging. "No way am I changing into that!"
"Then we'll just have to do it for you." Mirage grinned evilly.
Before he could process anything else, Mirage tackled him and held him down.
"Give up?" she whispered in his ear, blowing lightly.
Cliff turned bright red, and he could feel shivers breaking out all over his body. Much more of this and…
"FINE!" He stammered, still bright red, "I-I'll do it!"
"That's what I thought." Mirage smirked, rolling off him and to her feet.
Cliff turned and headed to the bathroom, evil costume in hand and couldn't help but think that he'd been manipulated.
'But it was worth it…' he thought, grinning unrepentantly.
Maria raised one eyebrow. She hadn't thought there was anything going on between Cliff and Mirage, but there chemistry had always been undeniable. Still, it was like watching your mom and dad flirting. She suppressed a shudder.
"That was a low blow, Mirage."
"Yes…" Mirage smiled, "but it worked, didn't it?"
"Maybe a little too well. How long has he been in the bathroom?"
Mirage flushed crimson and her mouth opened and shut wordlessly.
"MARIA! G-Go to your room!"
"We're not on the ship."
"Whatever!" Mirage groaned, stalking off.
Still, she couldn't help but replay the scene in her mind.'Sure, it had been a little much, but he'd looked so… cute. But for Maria to suggest—'
She shook her head to get her emotions under control and hurried off to start the next costume: Maria's. With this thought, Mirage's face cracked into an evil grin.
"She's gonna pay…"
CAT- And as a Halloween extra, I give you Albel with his version of what Halloween means. (This is a song by Stephen Lynch. I don't own it or him. –drools- I wish…)
Sophia: Hey guys! It's that time of year again: Halloween. Pumpkins and cider and trick-or-treating. I'm so excited!
Albel: You're missing the true meaning of Halloween. It's about much more than those things!
Sophia: Really? What's the real meaning?
Albel: Scaring people, maiming people, and my favorite, killing people… Ah, such a wonderful holiday. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Albel: 'Tis the season…
Thinking of all the cool creatures that I will meet on this night
Ghosts and goblins and witches roaming the streets in moonlight
Bowls of candy and goodies, delicious and waiting in store
The sound of cute little footsteps as they approach my front door
Meena: -dressed as a princess- Let's go to this house!
Niklas: -as a skeleton- I don't know… they say a crazy lives here!
Meena: Wussy! –rings doordell-
Albel: -comes to door- Yes, maggo—I mean… children?
Meena: Trick or Treat!
Albel: I see. Come on in… Mwahahaha!
Niklas: Daddy told us not to trust anyone who does that laugh…
Albel: I have candy.
Meena: Hey… why does his house look like a dungeon?
Niklas: And where's the candy?
Albel: It was a trick! But now I have treats! –steals the candy- And I can test out the new torture devices.
Letting the children inside to drink beers
Razor blades hidden in three musketeers
Screams from the basement of kids begging to be set free
Niklas: -tied to a rack- HELP!
Meena: Someone will come looking for us!
Albel: You're orphans! Ha! No one will ever even notice you're gone!
That's what Halloween means to me.
Tightening the clamps that are holding their little heads so tight
Putting my lips to their ears as I whisper, 'please don't fight'
I promise I'll let you go home if you swear not to tell a soul
Well I'll just untie these—
I'm kidding. Now where is my chainsaw? Let's rock and roll!
Meena and Niklas: AHHH!
A pinch of your brother, a teaspoon of you
With the head of your sister would make a good stew
I'd give you a taste, but your tongue's in the stew. Irony.
That's what Halloween means to me
Nel: -knocks on door- Open up! You're supposed to be hosting the SO Halloween party.
Albel: Yes? –looks guilty-
Nel: Albelll…. Are you killing someone again?
Meena and Niklas: YES!
Albel: Errr… a bit.
Fayt: Oh, it's just them? Go ahead. They're so annoying…
Albel: I love Halloween…
Trick-or-treat, smell my feet
Give me something good to eat
Trick-or-treat, smell my feet
Give me someone good to eat
A/N- Heehee… I love him. ; Ok, so now I've started another fic that I'll need to update soon. –sigh- Ah well, it was too much fun to pass up. The next chapter is in planning. You'll get to find out about most of the costumes and candy is introduced into the mix. It'll eventually tie in with one of Sorceress Myst's Alnel challenges, so go check out her profile if you wanna guess. Well, without further ado, I give you the periwinkle box!
Periwinkle box: -zombified- Need…brains… errrr, I mean reviews! Need…. reeevieeews… -drools-