Living with Stubborn Pride and Insanity

Fun with Mr. Red

A bead of perspiration fell down his brow and he wiped it away with the back of his hand. He clutched the two cards in his other, staring down his opponent. His icy blue eyes fixed on the soulless others like some twisted kind of mind game. He wasn't going to back down, not when he was so close he could taste the victory.

He stared his opponent down. One more move would decide the game. Then his opponent made his choice and Tala watched in horror as the game turned and he lost.

"No! You damn crustacean! You've cheated me out of my last cash, damn you!" Tala crashed into the table as he tried to dive over and his foot snagged in the chair. He brought down the table, the deck of cards, and the playing chips.

"If you don't stop this now, I will kick you out."

Surprised, he looked up from the floor to his roommate glaring down at him.

"But Kai," He whined in a high voice. "He's changing the rules in the middle of the game."

Kai's eye twitched as he turned to Tala's opponent and lifted him up.

"Tala, you were playing Go-Fish with a lobster." He ground out tonelessly. "You lost your money to a make-believe game between you and a lobster."

"No. I lost my money to that damn lobster because he's cheating." Tala frowned and stared at Kai with a some-people-just-don't-get-it glare.

"How can a lobster cheat at Go-Fish?" Kai asked, then closed his eyes, counting to ten.

"He doesn't give me the cards and I know he has them." Tala snarled and tried to grab the lobster held aloft by Kai.

"You've wrecked my table, destroyed my cards, and drank my beer because you've played a rigged game of Go-fish with a lobster?"

The redhead nodded solemnly and then looked at the damage.

"You are so dead, Ivanov." Kai dropped the lobster and dove at him, wrapping his arms around Tala's head in a head-lock.

"Let me go! Let me win back my money. With you here, I know Mr. Red won't cheat."

"No way! I'm not going to let this continue."

"Please, Kaisy. Let me win my money back."

Kai had dropped him the minute the nickname crossed his lips. He was struggling to control his fury, running over the anger management exercises. I'm calm. I'm at peace.

"Please Kaisy?"

"Whatever. You call me that again and I'm dropping you off the balcony." Kai walked away. The redhead grinned and happily set up the table. He stared down his opponent again and dealt out the cards and before too much time had passed…

"Damn You! That's it your going to be boiled alive and served with butter, you son of a catfish." Tala tried to dive over the table again and once more brought the entire thing crashing back down.

"Tala!" Kai's yell echoed through the room and he looked back fearfully. He really didn't want dropped 15 stories to the street below.

"Hi Kai." He chirped and watched warily as the two-toned haired guy made his way over the mess.

"Hello, Tala." Uh-oh. He was dead! He sprung up and took off, smiling when he heard Kai trip over the chair or table…..He looked back. The Chair. "Get Back Here Ivanov!"

"Hey, Kai, just so you know, when you were last in here I kinda took your wallet and used it to get my money back but…uh…I kinda lost it. All of it." He called over his shoulder to the slate haired Russian in pursuit.

"You lost our rent money to a lobster?" Kai went pale and then he exploded "You mother fucking moron! How the hell could you be so damned stupid?!"

" I told you. Mr. Red cheats." Tala shrugged unconcerned when Kai came over this time." How about you play him and get our money back? You never lose."

I'm not agreeing to this. No way in hell am I agreeing with this fucked-up excuse for a roommate. He opened his mouth to tell him so. " Tala Ivanov, I am not playing Go-Fish with a lobster to win back our rent money…without a beer." he sighed. Tala gave him the puppy-dog eyes. Puppy-dog eyes were his weakness.

"Okay." Tala ran off and grabbed a beer from the fridge. He handed it to Kai and took a sat next to the stoic Russian at the opposite end of the table as the lobster. Kai groaned and took money out of their rainy-day fund and placed his bet against the lobster. He couldn't believe he was doing this. There was no way Kai Hiwatari, Bladebreaker, Demolition Boy, Blitzkrieg Boy, and G Revolutions member, was playing Go-Fish against a lobster and yet here he was. He finished off the beer and barely noticed when Tala replaced it with another.

Six broken chairs, one broken table, 18 decks of cards, 36 beers (Tala only had 9) and all their rainy-day money later, Kai was playing his last dollar against the lobster on the floor of their apartment.

Kai and Tala watched in horror as Mr. Red made a clean sweep and they lost once more. It was honestly more than a drunken, insane, homicidal person could take. Kai lunged at the lobster.

'Hell Yeah! Let's get the water boiling!" Tala cheered as Kai grabbed the lobster by the tail and then began to laugh hysterically as it clamped down on Kai's hands.

"You sorry son of a catfish! I'm going to cook you alive and serve you with butter." Kai screamed and threw the lobster against the wall.

"Kai! Tala! What the hell's going on here?!" Both turned and saw Bryan and Ian walk into their apartment.

"Hey, Guys, what's up?" Tala grinned and waved.

"Okay…Tala's wasted. Kai, what the hell is going on?"

"We were playing Go-Fish with Mr. Red the Lobster and he cheated us out of Tala's money, our rent money, and our rainy-day money." Kai explained, completely truthful.

"You're kidding me right?" Bryan took it all in with silent amusement.

"No."

"Bloody hell, Kai! How could you be so stupid? You're wasted, aren't you?"

"Of course I'm not."

"How many have you had?"

"That's not the issue."

"How many?"

Kai shrugged. "I don't know but Tala and I drank 36." He pointed to the tower of beer cans stacked in the corner.

"I don't know you, either of you. I'm not ever here now." Bryan held his face in his hands. It wasn't often both Kai and Tala got wasted and when they did, stupid shit like this always happened.

"Hey, Bry? Can we have some cash please?" Tala stood in front of him smiling innocently. Bryan stared at his captain, one of the most feared bladers, who was pleading pathetically.

"Yeah, Bry, just a little cash to win ours back." Kai came up and stood beside Tala, both looking at the taller boy with puppy-dog eyes. This was too much.

"No." He closed his eyes to block out the effects but nothing stopped them from grabbing his arms and tugging on them.

"Please, please, please, please."

"Get a hold of yourselves, damn it, and let go of me!" He roared. They dropped his arms and pouted. God, this was too much. If only he had a camera, yes…that would be the only way to salvage any of this.

"Fine if you're not going to give us any money, then go away. We'll have to deal with this on our own. So thank you, Bry, way to show the love." Tala was close to tears at this point. Unshed tears glistened in their team captain's eyes. He looked downright pathetic. And Bryan couldn't take it.

He grabbed Ian who was trying to steal Kai's beer. Kai was holding it up one inch above his reach and the guy was starting to get pissed.

"Aw, come on, Bry, let me stay with them. I want to meet Mr. Red…No…Mr. Red! Kai! Tala! Anyone! Save me!" Ian yelled as he was forcibly drug from the room and locked into Bryan and his apartment.

"You guys know, I'm looking for a place. Somewhere nice, you know. Spacious, affordable, the works, you know. How about we work out a deal? You let me stay here with you guys and I'll use the money to pay the rent, okay?" Mr. Red the Lobster said from the kitchen counter.

"Mi casa, su casa. You know, I've always liked you." Tala grinned and patted Mr. Red on the claw. "You're always welcome here, dude."

"Yeah, man. We'll get you set up with the works." Kai also grinned and shooed them out of the kitchen. "Now, Tala, go set him up in the spare room." His eyes glittered homicidally. Which only Tala noticed.

"We'll treat you right." Tala agreed and passed a similar look to Kai.

"We should do this more often." Tala said over dinner.

"I agree." Kai said after he swallowed. "Where'd you meet the guy anyway?"

"Wal-Mart. We were both looking at the sea food. We got to talking and I brought him over to our place."

"Any family?"

"Some." Tala nodded. "And a few family friends. They all saw me leave with him, you know."

"So, we'll have to take care of that then." Kai nodded. "We'll do that later tonight."

"I'm so glad I met him." Tala dipped his fork in the warm butter and then sighed contentedly. "We did warn him though."

"So this isn't cannibalism, right?" Kai asked as he took another bite of a very well cooked Mr. Red.

"Nope." Tala smirked coldly. "and we'll be eating this good for a few days."

They both sighed happily and Kai patted the newly-filled rainy day fund jar. Mr. Red had been cheerfully boiled alive and served with warm butter, baked potatoes and warm rolls. (Don't ask how they had time to make this…let's just assume the food fairy stopped by…) They broke in another twenty-four pack and celebrated.

"And right about now's about the time that everything went downhill." Spencer said as he started the video again after a pause. Before him were Bryan, Ian, Ray, Max, Tyson and, well, pretty much all the male bladers from two years until now. Unknown to Kai and Tala, Spencer had set up cameras in their kitchen and living room. He said it was for safety reasons but everyone knew the real reason.

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Fortunately, it happened more often than not. And Spencer had the video library to prove it. It became a weekly custom to call together all the guys and watch Kai and Tala, the most feared bladers if not the most powerful duo, act like complete and total jackasses.

Currently, Kai and Tala were playing against Mr. Red and they continued doing that for little over an hour. Then Bryan and Ian showed up and they got to witness Kai and Tala's attempt to persuade Bryan to give them some money. They also watched the horrific, homicidal, and hilarious murder of Mr. Red.

Spencer fast-forwarded and before long, Kai and Tala returned to their apartment with thirteen lobsters and a tank. Everyone roared with laughter as the two boys began to taunt and intimidate the lobsters.

"Okay guys, what do you think? Fun with Mr. Red- rating…?"

"I'd give it an 8. Simply for the puppy dog looks." Max said from the couch.

"It was awesome though nothing beats that one last week. The one where Tala bought that parrot and named it Dranzer to piss off Kai?" Laughter proceeded as people replayed the memory.

"Or the week before that when Kai replaced all the beer in the fridge with grape-flavored vinegar?"

"The time when Tala handcuffed Kai to the balcony."

"No, it's gotta be when Kai tied Tala to the couch and refused to feed him."

"No, no, you're wrong. It's definitely gotta be the time when they watched all those horror movies and boarded up the house."

Arguments continued and laughter shared as the TV caught up to real time and the two Russians on screen were once more boiling water and peeling potatoes. Over the arguments were thin songs about mutilation and cooking that were sung to a chipper tune.

"How'd you pull off the lobster?" Ray asked Spencer.

He pointed to a microphone. "It's two way. If they were listening properly they would have heard it from around the fridge instead. It was a good thing they were wasted and didn't notice." He chuckled.

Kai and Tala wandered the next day why there were so many lobsters at their place, why all their food and beer were gone, and why "R.I.P. Mr. Red." was written on their wall in black paint.