Episode 12: Team-Up in Dreamland

One morning, at the Matsurida household, a young mother throws a blanket over a clothesline in the backyard. In her arm is a baby of one year, wearing a pink, hooded jammy, staring at her older brother snidely.

"If you're going to become a big brother," she began, turning to face her six-year-old son, Takuya, "You need to stop wetting your bed!"

Standing between her and Takuya is a large splatter on his blanket in the shape of a hideous monster. Takuya grumbles as he brings his fist to his neck.

"Yeah, yeah! I won't wet the bed anymore!" he declares.

That night, after a wondrous dinner, Takuya and his father spent an hour in the bathtub washing away the cold sensation of the water they threw onto themselves to clean away the soap and shampoo from their body.

"Nice hot water, eh?" he laughs.

"Yep!" Takuya laughs.

After the bath, Takuya throws his briefs on and runs over to his mother, "Mama! I want some milk, please!" Both father and son took a quart of milk and poured it into their mouths, "Milk after a bath is the BEST!"

Takuya downs the entire bottle before pulling it away and wiping the mustache from his mouth with a satisfied gasp. His mother eyes him eerily.

"Oh my," she says, "You're not going to wet the bed after drinking that much, are you?"

At this, Takuya panics, remembering the lecture from earlier that morning. He tries to hold his anxiety as he stutters, "I...I'll be okay!"


Shinta wanders through the empty streets of the country island late that night, wincing with almost every step he took on his bare feet; regretting having snuck out of the houseboat through the tight window of his bedroom to avoid getting caught. His kitty companion tails beside him, being too scared of the Noble Girls to want to stay behind and sleep.

Having to stay up this late didn't bother him as much as it did the first day he joined. But to stay up halfway past two for reasons other than responding to a call for encouragement, especially since he spent the entire day helping Tsuyoshi and Kenshin clean a messy bathroom with nothing but toothbrushes, as most of the cleaning tools have been mysteriously chewed up by a large animal, left him more than a little tuckered. Still, since Hayato never said anything after returning from the clinic, he didn't want to go to sleep until he visit's J and checks to see if he was okay.

After a few minutes of walking down the all but dark road, while stepping on sharp pebbles and broken pieces of glass, the Noble rookie and his kitty companion finally arrive at the clinic. He walks up to the door and pulls the handle to see it slide open, indicating that Shintarou must be working overtime, looking for a way to relieve the poison in J's system.

The waiting room appeared to be pitch dark aside from a rectangular ray of light coming from one of the rooms on the far right. Sneaking over to the light and peaking in, he sees J laying in a white bed with at tube shoved down his throat; most likely as a source of emergency oxygen as the effects of the fugu has fully paralyzed his body. Shinta furrows his eyebrows in worry as he turns to pull the door open only to catch sight of someone else accompanying the BA-2 agent in his time of peril.

It was Ryuta, sitting on a stool adjacent to J's bed with his arms and legs crossed. Shinta panics and ducks under the window, pressing his back against the door while bringing his knees up. His cat follows his movement, almost as if he was his furry shadow.

Has the Ouen leader been sitting by J's side all day? Shinta assumed he would've left at roughly the same time as Hayato after being assured that something was going to be done to cure J of the fugu poisoning, but the fact that Ryuta is still inside quickly corrects him. Is it because he's still upset over what Hayato did the other day, and doesn't want anymore Nobles confronting J until he recovers?

Shinta compresses his lips, feeling as though he was never going to be able to apologize for his senpai's hazing, and prepares to get up when the door he leaned against suddenly slides open, sending him and his cat toppling onto their backs. He shuts his eyes from the split second recoil before opening them to see Ryuta tower over him with the same frown and curled lip that had become a staple of his appearance.

The Noble rookie and his cat panic again as they scramble scoot a foot away from him.

"W-wai...I...it's not...!" he stutters.

"Save it," Ryuta said, turning around, "I know you didn't sneak out here to give us trouble." He then heads back to stool and sits down. The two new arrivals continue to sit outside the room before getting up and heading inside, Shinta sitting back on the floor beside the Ouen leader while the cat climbed onto his lap, snuggling into the area between his chest and bent knees.

The next few minutes passed in silence before Shinta glances up to the bed J laid in, "Is he gonna be okay?"

"Kuroiwa-san managed to pump the fugu out of his systems," Ryuta began, "But there's no telling if it'll help him recover faster. He's already reached the point where they had to stick a respirator into his lungs to help him breathe."

Shinta sighs a bit as he looks down at the cat snoozing on his lap, "I dunno why Senpai did this. In three month since I joined, he never do anything this hostile, nor were the rest of Noble so willing to back him up instead of stop him."

"It's all part of the asserting process. When two of Asahi's citizens chose EBA over Noble, they saw them as a danger to their business and resorted to a show down to shove their fame out of town."

Shinta snaps his head over to Ryuta, "But...those were accident! Agents didn't know Noble work in Asahi, and some of citizens want Agents to do cheer for them!"

"Accident or not, the Agents interfered with Noble's settlement, forcing them to turn every negative rumor into fact and scaring them into thinking they would do close to anything to put us out of business. Now Noble's only chance of being seen as more than just another squad is if they challenge the Agents, make Asahi understand just how important they are, and convince them to stop relying on Ouen and EBA to get them out of trouble."

"But if Agents only cheer in Yuhi Town, Noble won't have to worry about losing job in Asahi."

"It's not enough to turn Asahi's interest away from them. All it's done is make them more agitated, and Noble knows if they don't find a way to draw attention away from Ouen and EBA, they would continue to flag either of us down in the split second we wander into their growing problem. By challenging them in front of onlookers, they would get them to realize their importance and stop chasing down either of us."

"With all media hype concerning meteor and alien invasion, who wouldn't want you to save their lives?" Shinta mutters, wrapping his arms around his knees and placing his chin on them, "Noble couldn't raise eyebrow in Okinawa, and moving here didn't do much 'cept bombard us with rumor of Agents taking job behind Ouendan back. And even after finding out why Agents do this, Noble won't accept and insist they want to be only Ouendan giving Asahi hope."

"Not everything starts with cameras and news footage. Organizations that work for the benefit of the world have to grain trust any way they can. Noble was on the right track, coming to Asahi and raising their flag by responding to the calls we can't detect in time. The only problem is they take too much for granted; overworking themselves for the sake of making the citizens of Asahi trust them and no one else. It not only leaves them with little time to settle in and observe everything around them, but it also tarnishes their reputation in roughly the same way as if they pointed a gun at the town and forced them to depend on their squad."

Shinta remains silent a minute before lifting his head off his knees and turning to look up towards Ryuta, "Haji-kun said this wasn't the first time Agents trifle with Ouendan. How long have you two been ally?"

Ryuta eyes Shinta before turning them to J, "We've known EBA for seven years. At the time, they were completely dependent on computers to help them find people in need of a cheer. When we offered some of our methods to them, only a few turned heads while the rest ridiculed it, not only shunning our squad, but humiliating our profession by using their computers to force their views onto us. It took three years and two more challenges before they finally accepted us as a legit organization and agreed to meld their methods with ours. Though most of the agency didn't tolerate how we ran our business, they at least understood we were anything but a ragtag bunch of cheerleaders trying to follow in their footsteps."

"So the competition Senpai declare isn't going make them think differently of Noble?"

"Jonouchi isn't the kind of person to change his views when it comes to being challenged. It may give him a reason to acknowledge Noble's place in this hierarchy, but not to the point where he'll deem the rest of the squad ignorant and self-serving. If anything, he'll find a way to show his sympathy and gain your respect."

Shinta continues to stare at Ryuta before turning his head and resting it on his knee, staring at J some more while giving his words some thought.


Later that night, Takuya tightly clutches his blanket, the dripping water lulling him to sleep while his weak bladder prepares to ruin the blanket his mother went to great trouble to clean off. Unease, he began muttering in his sleep, "O...O..."

OUENDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN...!


Ryuta stares up at the clock hanging over the door, showing the small hand on the 3rd hour, while the big hand crawled past the first five minutes. The room had become dead silent, aside from the ticking clock and the tapping sound of the IV fluid trailing into J's arm. He turns his focus to Shinta, who continues to sit beside him with his knees up, his arms around them, and his head resting on top, hiding the snoozing tabby underneath.

The rookie Noble had fallen asleep, breathing slowly as his snoring was barely heard. Deciding not to wake him, Ryuta reaches over an empty bed beside J, pulls one of the blankets off, and drapes it around his shoulders, watching him snuggle into it. He then takes one more glance towards the comatose Agent before leaning against the wall and lowering his head, drifting off to sleep himself.

Roughly a couple minutes after dozing off, he's suddenly awaken by the cold sensation surrounding his body. Opening his eyes, he sees oddly colored swirls and clouds paint the scene around him. He pulled his hand into view, finding drops of water shower down onto his chest, suggesting he's laying on a wet surface.

"Back here again...?" he mutters flatly. He sits up only to feel his body begin to sink, forcing him to swing his arms in a circular motion to keep from going completely under. The water wasn't this deep last time he was here; something was different about this dream.

"There you are! What took you so long!?" calls a voice from behind. Ryuta turns around to see Derek clinging to Morris' back while Atsushi and Ittetsu tread beside them.

"How did you get caught up in this?" Ryuta asked, barely unfazed by Morris and Derek's sudden appearance.

"To be blunt," Morris began, "We went to bed, next thing we knew we're surrounded by water. That kid you mentioned a few weeks ago must've heard about us through the sumo we helped and pulled us down here to help him get through the night piss free."

"When you mentioned 'sumo', you're not referring to..." Ryuta's interrupted by a spray of cold water drenching his head, pushing his bangs to the right side of his face. He looks up to see a clutter of pipes springing leaks everywhere, and Takuya scrambling around, trying to tighten the bolts while keeping himself from soiling his pajamas. On the other side of the pipe mess is Chieftain, who's trying to tear down the pipes Takuya tried to fasten in a fit of frustration.

"Obviously, you weren't specific on that foreshadowing the last time Chieftain ruined your performance," Morris mutters, "Now he thinks you dragged him here to prove a point, so he's destroyin' everything just to get out."

"Of course..." Ryuta spat as he brought his hands up and ruffles the water out of his hair, scissor kicking to keep from sinking, "Spare the real problem by blaming us for speaking about it." He brings his hands back down to continue his circular swinging, "Sit tight...or float... I'll deal with this." He swam to the lowest hanging pipe and grabs onto it, pulling up and squeezing himself into the compacted spaces of the yellow tangle.

"Stop it!" Takuya complains, swinging his wrench up and down in exasperation, "You're supposed to help me, not make my trouble worse!"

"Oh, that's rich!" Chieftain snaps, continuing to bust every pipe around him, "I ain't fallin' for this, Ryu, so stop playing around and get me out of this nightmare!"

"Oh yeah, you wound up in poor Takuya-kun's dream because of something I said earlier," Chieftain whips his head to the source of the voice to see Ryuta crouched in a 3ft window of pipes, resting his elbows on his knees, "So why not destroy everything around you just to see me pop out and admit you've been Punk'd?"

Chieftain thrusts an enraged finger at the Ouen leader, "Why you! You get me out of this mess right now, Ryu!" he throws the monkey wrench he used to bust pipes at Ryuta only to see him tip back and fall into the sea of pipes.

"Wow! Look at that wrench fly!" Ryuta snorts, leaning on another space of pipes, 22" wide, a few inches behind Chieftain, holding his left hand over his eyes to get a better view of the vanishing wrench, "You must be beyond upset about being dragged into this problem." Chieftain snarls as he turns and slams his foot towards the Ouen leader only to see him shove back into the space, letting the foot smash another pipe inside it.

"Will you two stop it!?" Takuya panics, "If I wet my blanket again, Mama's gonna be furious!"

"So what?" Ryuta asked, hanging upside down another pipe beside Takuya, crossing his arms, "I'm not worried Chieftain's lambaste will make you wet your pants again. It just proves you're not ready to be a big brother yet." Takuya shoots a horrified glance at Ryuta, who eyes him with a bit of a cocky grin, "But if you don't let up on the milk next time, you can always call him back to fix up the mess he caused tonight."

"What!?" Chieftain exclaims.

"Really!? I can try again!?" Takuya chimes excitedly.

"Sure thing,"Ryuta reaches up and ruffles Takuya's hair,"Next time you call for us, just think of Chieftain and he'll come swimming down here to help you out."

Chieftain rushes over to Ryuta and gets into his upside down face, "Don't you dare think you can pull that stunt on me again, Ryu! I know you're just sayin' that to make me crumble to your point of view!"

"Really?" Ryuta asked, crossing his arms and returning Chieftain's glare with a stern glance, "Okay then, go ahead and dismantle all these pipes and hope tomorrow night doesn't end with the same dream as this one." Chieftain opens his mouth to say something, but spends the next minute making mouth movements before muffling a growl and dropping his shoulders in defeat.

"Fine! I'll help you save this kid from wetting himself!" he grumbles. Takuya beams with joy.

"Really!?"he squeals,"Thanks, Mr. Western Ouendan! I knew you were the right person to call!" Chieftain just grumbles and marches off to find Morris and Derek. Ryuta watches before pulling himself onto the pipe and heading off to fetch Atsushi and Ittetsu.

Takuya stares at the maze of pipes, finding himself back where he started, with leaks flying everywhere. Just the sight of them made his bladder feel as bloated as a water balloon.

"I have to stop the leaks!" he mutters nervously. Like magic, Atsushi, Ryuta, and Ittetsu appear behind him, shouting "osu" at the top of their lungs. In an instant, Takuya's soul burns with bravery and ambition, grabbing his wrench and charging into the mess of pipes to begin fixing them up.

Nou kara hippu e makka ni tobi chiru
Fanku na uirusu mitai na omae
Bousou bodii de kyuuto na yuuwaku
Sekai ni habikoru yuuutsu wo kowase

Takuya rushes around, fixing every pipe that was on the verge of springing a leak. Seeing the mess Chieftain made earlier, his confidence wavered on how fast he could get them done before the sight makes his wet fantasy go reality. But when the troublemaker, Chieftain, and his two back-ups, Morris and Derek, appear beside the Ouen Cheer Squad and joined them in a more aggressive Ouendan performance, Takuya's confidence skyrockets, causing him to tackle and tighten the pipes with gusto.

seikimatsu datte sugireba kinou sa
koi mo dekinai de shineru wake nai darou

Halfway through the maze of pipes, it becomes obvious that a solo repair isn't going to keep Takuya's bladder from filling up anymore than it should. Looking at the next line of pipes, he begins to panic.

"I'll never make it at this rate!" he yelps.

As if responding to his dilemma, two mysterious plumbers with blue overalls and the Japanese logo for "Water Bureau" pinned to their blue hats appear before him. The left slightly chubby, wearing an orange shirt, while the second plumber is slightly skinny, wearing a green, long sleeve shirt.

"Leave it to us!" They shout. Grabbing their wrenches, they rush over to the pipes and began tightening them at a much faster rate that Takuya's attempts. After a minute, they rush back to him, giving him thumbs up, "Mission accomplished!"

"Thanks, guys!" Takuya beams with relief.

Suddenly, the maze of pipes vanishes, revealing a stone wall on the verge of crumbling. Gushes of water broke through the cracks, making Takuya extremely uncomfortable.

"I have to hold back the dam!" he shudders as he scrambles away from the wall. The Ouen Cheer Squad appear on the crumbling wall, shouting "osu" again while the Agents appear beside them, preparing for another round of encouragement. Takuya immediately stops, feeling more determination overcome his fears as he rushes back to the wall and prepares to push back the water.

youshi wa youchi de youki na you demo
you to iyou ni youen na yatsu

Takuya finds a giant Ebi-yama panicking as he looks at the water gushing out of the walls, almost as though he was trying to figure out what he was supposed to do to keep it from flooding. Seeing him lights up a new ambition within him as he runs over and cheers the overwhelmed sumo to stop the overflowing problem. Seeing his encouraging yells, Ebi-yama finds his inner courage and tackles the bridge, his strong hands keeping the crumbling stones from falling out and freeing anymore water from the dam.


roriita uinku de kyandii nedatte
shoufu no kuchibiru de shabutte miro yo

"Gooo Mr. Sumo!" Takuya roots. Ebi-yama shouts Dosukoi, leaping back and charging towards the wall, yelling at the top of his lungs.

seikimatsu datte sugireba kinou sa
ai ni tsuita kanashimi mo kieru

He manages to slam his hands into the crumbling wall, causing it to realign itself and keep the water from escaping.

"Hurry and run!" he shouts.

"Thanks, Mr. Sumo!" Takuya beams as he makes a dash for safety.

teikiatsu datte aozora no kakera
kissu bara maite mirai e yukou

After escaping the large dam, Takuya was about to breathe a sigh of relief when one of the puddles behind him explodes into a giant, water monster, bearing a banner that read "Soaking Wet King" in Japanese.

"Wet!" he blubs. Takuya shudders in fright.

"I have to fight him!" he mutters. The Cheer Squad and the Agents appear behind him, the Japan cheerleaders shouting "osu" again and rekindling his burning courage. Materializing a hairdryer out of thin air, Takuya tackles the water monster dead on, attempting to evaporate him before his hypnotizing appearance causes him to do more than get a little wet.

Don't let me down
My sweet baby BAMBINA

dakishimeta ano yoru wa himitsu sa

Takuya shudders as the Soaking Wet King towers over him, ready to pour some unsavory liquid onto his poor body. Having to see leaks from pipes and dams is bad enough, but seeing an actual water monster would make him form a puddle on his pants right now. However, with the Cheer Squad and Agents continuing to encourage him, he quickly overcomes his troubles and takes the hairdryer to the Soaking Wet King, letting out a huge blast of hot air that sent him stumbling around, trying to avoid getting dried up.

nuudo ni nattara tenshi no hane ga
bareru ze BAMBINA

LET'S GO!

The Soaking Wet King manages to regain its wobbly appearance and towers over Takuya, preparing its special attack while straining in a gargling, almost hypnotic tone, "Wet the bed!"

Unnerved by its threat, Takuya undergoes a transformation, gaining red, white and blue armor and shouting heroically, "TAKUYA MAN!!"

The Soaking Wet King lets loose a glop of water towards Takuya who stands his ground, arming his trusty hairdryer, "Come on!"

Another attack from the towering water as the fighting 6-year-old jumps back and lets loose a wave of hot air, "FIRE!"

Caught by surprise of the rush of heat, the Soaking Wet King garbles a scream as it vanishes into a humid mist. Takuya throws a peace sign in victory, "I win!"

But the victory didn't last long as Takuya is suddenly surrounded by pipes again, all springing large leaks.

"I have to stop the leak again!" he panics. The Ouen Cheer Squad appears behind Takuya and shout "osu" again, giving him another dose of burning ambition as he rushes off to fix the pipes again.

seikimatsu datte sugireba kinou sa
ai ni tsuita kanashimi mo kieru

teikiatsu datte aozora no kakera
kissu bara maite mirai e yukou

The two plumbers appeared again and began repairing all the leaks and broken pipes they found before appearing before Takuya and giving him the okay.

"Mission accomplished!" they shout.

"Thanks guys!" Takuya says with relief.

Don't let me down
My sweet baby BAMBINA
tori kago ni toji komete aitai
taikutsu suru to chanto uwaki suru
koakuma BAMBINA

Don't let me down
My sweet baby BAMBINA
dakishimeta ano yoru wa himitsu sa
nuudo ni nattara tenshi datta ne

Takuya is woken up by the warm ray of the morning sun, he yawns as he gets up and checks himself out, amazed at how dry his pants and blankets were.

"I did it!" Takuya shouts as he threw his arms up, "Safe!"

miywaku no BAMBINA

He wastes no time rushing into the kitchen where his mama was, "Mama! I didn't wet the bed!"

His mother looked on in surprise while his little sister grumbles and crosses her arms.

"Oh my, just what I expect from a big brother," she chuckles, "Well then..."

She immediately pulls up a triple layered, strawberry cake. On the chocolate bar sitting on the head of the cake is the words "Congratulations" in Japanese, "A reward!"

Takuya bounces for joy, "Alright!! Thank you Mama!"


Meanwhile, back at the clinic in the Asahi countryside, a shadow sneaks over to the sliding door hiding the sleeping trio of cheerleaders. He opens it a crack and chucks a barely meaty fish bone into the center of the room before sliding it shut.

The aroma of the mostly eaten fish grabs the cat's attention as he pops his head out from under Shinta's chin, knocking some of the sleep from his mind, as he wiggles out and clambers over to the bone to pick it clean. The rookie Noble moans as he pulls the sheets back around him, about to fall back to sleep when a horrendous scream shakes the clinic, jerking him and Ryuta back to reality.

"MY FISH!!" Shintarou's voice wails, "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FISH I BOUGHT!?"the two rival Ouendan blink in confusion as they whipped their heads to glance at every area of the room, I NEED IT FOR GEISHI'S MEDICINE!!"

There was a rapid stamped of footsteps heading for the room a split second before Shintaoru throws the door open, catching sight of the yellow tabby pulling at another chunk of meat on the fishbone. The two Ouendan saw his aggravated flame almost hit the top of the doorframe as the glistening of his glasses hid enraged eyes.

"Why you four-legged little thief!" he nearly bellows. He marches into the room, grabs the cat by the scruff of his neck and hauls him off the ground, "Thought you could make off with my ingredients, did you!? Well, here's a little taste of what'll happen if you trespass into my clinic again!" he pulls the window open and tosses the cat into the bushes in front of the dark woods, then claps the fur from his hands as he storms out of the room and slams the door behind him.

Shinta panics, throwing the sheets off him while running to the window and climbing out it. He stops in front of the bush and pulls the cat out, seeing him moan in fright. Furrowing his eyebrows, he holds the cat towards his chest and pets his head.

"It's okay, Neko," he said, "I know it wasn't your fault. Someone must've planted that fishbone to make Hakase think you were the one who stole it."

"Whoever it was didn't do a good job cleaning up after himself," Ryuta said. Shinta turns his head to see him leaning his crossed arms on the windowsill.

"Why you say that?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know about you," Ryuta began before pulling out a curled string of white hair, "But I don't know anyone in EBA or Ouen with hair this long and curly."

Shinta gets up and swipes the string from Ryuta, staring at it a few seconds before shaking in anger, "Why that...!" he quickly turns to the corner of the clinic, both he and Neko burning in anger, "KIYUIN-SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!" he then ran off towards the corner of the clinic, heading back into the country and in the direction of the houseboat.