DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Sadly, this is based on my recent experience with doing the same thing.
A Piece of Cake
By Shadow's Mirror
Téa had a computer. It was nothing fancy, however she could use it to keep in contact with her friends via e-mail and print out the photographs, inspirational quotes and sweet friendship poems they sent her. She could also go onto the Internet and do research for her school assignments, then type them up in her word processing programs. Téa even had a few games installed, her 'special treat' for whenever she finished an assignment long enough before bedtime that she could play one. Although she was not as obsessive over her computer as some of her friends, not caring that it didn't have the latest programs or the best speed, there was one thing that she did wish it had.
A working fan.
The first indication she had of the problem had come earlier that morning. She had been in the middle of checking her email when she had noticed a rather strong smell, something like burning plastic. After checking with her mother to make sure that her father wasn't cooking breakfast, Téa had traced the source of the smell to her computer. Panic set in when she realised that it was just sitting there quietly. It normally made a cheerful humming noise.
After turning her computer off, Téa did what she always did in an emergency. She called her friends for help.
Within half an hour, two tri-colour haired boys and a blonde were in Téa's room, debating the cause of the problem and arguing over how serious it was. Or rather, Yugi and Yami were arguing, Joey was just watching them, his eyes moving back and forth as he followed the conversation, as if he was watching a tennis match.
"It's not a big problem. She shouldn't use it until it's fixed, though." Yugi smiled reassuringly at Téa, who smiled back, rather weakly since she was still very worried.
"I agree that she should not use it, however I believe it is something more serious." Yami patted Téa's shoulder in sympathy as she softly whimpered.
"The computer was working okay, so it has to be something small." Yugi frowned up at his yami, who was shaking his head. "Besides, you know nothing about computers."
"I do not need to. You told me only last week that the smell of burning indicated that something was very wrong." Yami frowned at the computer, eyeing it as if it was something nasty that he had just found under his boot.
Yugi sighed. "I was talking about the chicken Grampa was cooking at the time, remember?"
A shudder ran through the Pharaoh's body. "I was trying to forget."
Yugi shuddered too. "I don't blame you."
Téa sighed. "Um... guys... how about a little focus, here?" She pointed to her computer. "Remember my computer? The reason why I called you over?"
Both boys blushed. "Sorry Téa." Yugi smiled at her. "But I really do think it's something simple. Why don't you just take it down to the computer store?"
Téa bit her lip and nodded. "I guess I'll have to."
"Not to find out what's wrong." Three pairs of startled eyes stared at Joey. He grinned back at them. "I think I know."
Téa's eyes widened. "You do?"
"Well ya don't need to sound so surprised." Joey scowled at her and slipped off his perch on the edge of her computer desk. "I'm not a complete idiot, ya know."
Téa smiled slightly. "Of course you're not, Joey."
"Not completely, no." Yami winced as Yugi introduced his elbow to his darker half's ribs. "Ouch! But Yugi, he was the one who said it!"
"That's no excuse." Yugi glared at his other.
"Anyway..." Joey broke in before they could start arguing again. "Téa, could ya start up your computer again? Just for a minute. I need to check somethin'."
"All right... I guess." Looking very unsure, Téa did as Joey asked. She looked relieved when there was no bad smell, although her relief lasted only until she noticed something else. "See, no happy hum!" She looked at Joey, nearly in tears. "Why isn't it humming like it usually does?"
Joey patted her shoulder. "Relax." Ignoring her startled squeak, he pulled the computer tower around and studied the back of it. He smiled slightly as he nodded. "I thought so. There's your problem, Téa."
Téa looked where he was pointing and frowned. "All I see is plastic and cords. What am I supposed to be looking at?"
The blonde teen pointed to where the power cord was connected. "See the fan beside the power supply? Look close and ya can see the blades. It's not workin'. If it was, ya wouldn't be able to see the blades, just a blur."
"You mean... that's all it is? The fan is broken?" Téa blinked at it in surprise, then blinked at Joey.
"Not broken. Worn out. It happens sometimes." Joey shrugged.
Téa nodded and sighed. "So I will need to take it to the store, then." She looked worried. "I hope it won't cost much. I've already spent most of my money this week."
Joey thought for a moment. "How about ya go to the store and ask them for the price before ya put it in? That way, if it's too much, ya can wait until ya get the money."
Téa nodded and smiled at him. "That's a great idea! Thanks Joey!"
Joey grinned back at her. "You're welcome. Want me to go with ya?"
As she turned her computer off again, Téa shook her head, still smiling. "Thanks but it's okay. I have some other errands to run too."
"Okay. So are we still on for the study session this afternoon?" Joey picked up his jacket as he and the other two boys prepared to leave, their job done. Not that Yugi and Yami had actually done anything, but anyway...
Téa smiled. "Of course. One of my errands is to pick up some study snacks." She winked at Yugi as Joey's smile lit up his face.
"Téa, you are the best!"
- - -
"So I was wondering if you could tell me how much a replacement fan would be, please?" Téa bit her lip and hoped that it wouldn't be too much.
The salesman nodded. "Well, the fan's built into the power supply section, so we don't sell them separately. What we'd need to do is replace the whole section." Apparently he saw the worry on Téa's face because he smiled at her. "It sounds worse than it is. It's a really easy part to replace. You could do it yourself, if you wanted to."
Téa blinked at him. "I... I could?"
"Sure! There are four screws holding it in place. You just unscrew them and it slips right out. Then you put in the replacement, replace the screws and you're done! It's a piece of cake!"
"It does sound pretty easy." Téa considered it for a moment. She thought of herself as a reasonably intelligent, technologically savvy female. Surely something as simple as replacing a part in a computer wouldn't be all that difficult. "All right! I'll do it!" She smiled happily at the salesman.
Her smile slipped a little when he brought the power supply unit out and set it on the counter. It wasn't the small plastic box that worried her, but the large number of thin cords coming out the back of it. She bit her lip and eyed them warily. There were at least thirty of them, probably more. They were tied together with plastic ties in smaller bundles, each one ending with an odd plastic... thingy. Some of the bundles of cords divided into smaller bundles, with more plastic thingies. Téa looked at the salesman. "It looks rather... complicated."
The salesman smiled reassuringly at her. "It's a piece of cake, I promise! Not all of them will connect to your system. You'll see where they go when you take the old part out."
Téa left the computer shop feeling confident and happy. She was still feeling that way when she arrived home and found her mother in the kitchen, baking.
"I'm just going to go and fix my computer." She smiled proudly as she said it. "The guys shouldn't get here for another hour, but if someone gets here early, could you tell them I won't be long?"
Her mother smiled and nodded. "Of course dear."
Téa's confidence and happiness continued all the way up to her room. It was still there when she pulled her computer tower around a little more so she could see what she was doing. Smiling smugly at her forethought, Tea picked up the screwdriver she had borrowed from her father before her shopping trip. She made short work of the four screws around the power supply unit, then hesitated. Her happiness turned to confusion as she looked at it, wondering how she was supposed to get it out.
She studied her computer tower for some time, going all over it. She even pulled out all of the plugs so she could see it more clearly. 'There doesn't seem to be any way to remove the back, so I guess I have to take the top off.' She tried to lift it, but it wouldn't budge. Getting the screwdriver, she tried to pry it up. It still wouldn't move.
After several minutes, Téa put the screwdriver down again. Panting slightly from her exertions, she studied the problem some more. 'Maybe something's holding it down.' Looking over her tower, she tentatively tried to move the front of it, pulling lightly on the decorative piece of coloured plastic at the top of it. Much to her surprise, it lifted off with a soft click. She blinked at it and bit her lip as she set it aside. 'I hope that was supposed to come off. Maybe that was keeping the lid from coming off.' She tried to pry the top off again, sighing in frustration when it still refused to move. 'No, I guess not.'
Turning her attention to the front of the tower, Téa tentatively tugged on the top of it. The decorative bit had been butted up against it and it was a perfect handhold. Téa was still surprised when the whole front of her tower suddenly came off in her hands, though. 'I really hope that was supposed to come off.' She tried the lid again and groaned as it remained as stubbornly in place as ever.
Téa frowned at her tower. It sat there looking as innocent as an inanimate object could look, but Téa knew differently now. "You are evil." She sighed. "Great, now I'm talking to my computer." Ignoring the fact that she'd just spoken to herself as well, Téa resumed her study of the infernal computer tower.
She knew there had to be a way inside. All she had to do was find it. Taking the front off hadn't helped her, but Téa was more than a little suspicious about the decorative piece of plastic that had been on the top. She picked it up and eyed it thoughtfully. "Why would they make you separate to the rest of the front, rather than all in one piece?" Convinced that taking off the top was the answer, Téa picked up her screwdriver and tried to pry it up again.
For almost five minutes, Téa struggled to get the top off her computer tower. But no matter how much she tried to lever it up, it simply would not obey her. Down to her last resort, she moved her screwdriver, slipping it between the back of her tower and the edge of the lid that was flush against it. She tried to pry it up from there, but the edge was too thin and she couldn't get enough pressure on it. She angled her screwdriver down a little and tried again.
The head of the screwdriver slipped between the lid and the back of the tower as the lid moved. Not up, as Téa had thought it was supposed to, but sliding along, towards her. Téa blinked. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me!" She sighed heavily as she slid the lid the rest of the way off.
With the lid off, Téa was all set to get down to business. She started to pull the old power and fan unit out, but quickly realised that it wouldn't come out if she lifted it straight up. Angling it slightly to avoid the tabs from the sides, she easily got it out. Except... she couldn't pull it too far away.
Sitting it on top of the exposed top of her CD drive, Téa frowned at the cords tethering it to the inside of the machine. There seemed to even more of them than there were on the replacement. Her frown deepened as she realised that the plastic connectors attaching the cords to the internal parts of her computer were all out of her reach. "Oh great."
Sighing, Téa studied the situation. 'I guess I need to get the side panel off.' She gave it an experimental tug and sighed when it didn't budge. 'Or not.' Rather annoyed now, she tugged it harder.
Téa gasped and almost lost her balance as the panel suddenly came off in her hands. Catching herself, she blinked at the panel. Then she looked at her tower and her joy at getting the side off faded.
With the side panel off, Téa could see all the cords and where they connected to. Although at first glance it was rather overwhelming, she quickly realised that it wasn't all that difficult. The salesman had been right and most of the plastic connectors weren't connected to anything. Smiling slightly, Téa got down to work.
There were four connectors. Two came out easily but the other two gave Téa a lot of trouble. "Ugh... stubborn things... come... out!" She stumbled back as the one she was pulling suddenly gave in to her persistence. The last one had a similar reaction to being pulled from its comfy home, but at least that time Téa was ready for it when it finally obeyed her.
Smiling happily, Téa wiped the sweat from her eyes and picked up the old fan, now free from its restraints. She put it down on her bed, somehow managing to restrain herself and not throw it out of the window.
With the end of her task in sight, Téa began to connect the new power unit. She bit her lip as she tried to remember exactly how the old one had been hooked up. Two of the connections were easy enough, since they were different sizes and there was only one connector that would fit each of them, but the other two were more difficult. Eventually though, Téa had all four of them hooked up. Sighing in relief, she turned her attention to replacing all of the plugs that she had pulled out of the back of the tower.
Once her computer was all plugged in again, Téa took a deep breath and turned on the power. The fan began to whir and she sighed in relief. "Done." Then she realised...
"Oh bother. I have to put the case back together again now."
Fortunately for Téa's sanity, reassembly turned out to be far easier than the disassembly had been. Within a few minutes, her computer tower was intact and back in its place.
Exhausted, Téa dropped into her chair and closed her eyes. She opened them again as she suddenly remembered something. "Oh no! The guys!" Looking at her clock, Téa winced. Her do-it-yourself job had taken her over an hour and a half and the study session should have already started. Groaning as her body protested at the movement, the girl stood up again and headed downstairs.
- - -
She found the boys where she expected to find them. Yugi, Joey and Tristan were all sitting at the kitchen table, eating what Téa's mother had been baking earlier.
"I'm sorry, I was replacing the power unit in my computer and I lost track of the time." Téa sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "You wouldn't believe how much trouble I had with it."
Yugi smiled sympathetically at her and nodded. "Your mother told us."
Joey nodded. "We would have gone up to help ya, but I saw this show on TV a few weeks back. They went right through how to do it, step by step. It looked really hard with all those cords and stuff, so I couldn't believe how simple it was."
Téa's mother took one look at her daughter's face and hurried out of the room, muttering something about having a sudden urge to fold laundry. Tristan and Yugi glanced at each other, then edged their chairs out of the way as Téa, her eyes blazing, stalked towards her target.
Completely oblivious to Téa's sudden shift of mood, Joey continued to eat. Some sixth sense for preservation seemed to awaken in him, though. He looked up just as Téa reached the table. Grinning at her, he pointed to the reason for his state of bliss. A sponge cake covered with fresh cream and strawberries, three slices of which were on Yugi, Tristan and Joey's plates. "Man, Téa, your mother sure can cook! This is great!"
His grin faded as he finally recognised the icy look of murderous rage Téa was giving him. Darting a glance around, he went a shade paler when he realised that his two so-called friends were deliberately concentrating on eating, ignoring his precarious position. Feeling suddenly nervous, Joey tried a tried-and-true method of calming someone down. Well, at least, it worked on him every time.
He held up his plate and dredged up a weak smile. "Um... Piece of cake?"
When Téa stalked out of the room a minute later, Joey blinked at the other guys from beneath the cake, cream and strawberries now decorating his hair. "Was it somethin' I said?"