Me: (glares at ET)

ET: (growls and glares at me)

Emil: U-umm...what's wrong with them?"

Kratos: Female problems. Stay out of it.

Me: (points accusingly at ET) IF ONLY YOU'D SENT THE STORY, THEN WE COULD HAVE MADE VALENTINE'S DAY! BUT NOOO!!! SO, WE SAID 'IT'S ALRIGHT, WE CAN MAKE WHITE DAY!' AND GUESS WHAT?! WE DIDN'T!!!!

ET: Keep it up! You're on the road to HURT!!

EGP: Wheeeee!!! (pokes)

Emil: Oh, well....SWD, ET, and EGP own nothing of Pretear or Knights of Ratatosk...

Chapter 13

"Aw, MAN! That was a good movie-thing!" Hajime approved.

"Yeah. I still say that Achmed's my favorite," Michiko cackled, then deepened her voice, "'What are all these marks on your arm?' 'Your freakin' chihuahua.'"

"Haha, yeah! Peanut was pretty good, too, but he's such a pervert," Himeno chuckled. "I gotta say, that was funny when he kept interrupting Jeff reading The Night Before Christmas, and at the very end, where he read: 'And he jumped into the sleigh, to his team gave a whistle', and Peanut said, 'Better go quick, there's a cop with a pistol.'"

"Yeah, that was great!" Goh smirked. "I'm ready to watch it again."

The door suddenly opened and closed. Everyone turned and looked towards the door to see the Kawasaki siblings, Naomi, and Hayate. Kei inquired, "So how'd it go?"

"It wasn't that bad, I guess," Naomi shrugged.

Heihachi sneered, "Yeah, Mom and Dad said they hoped that Hayate and Hika would be happy together."

Some of the older members in the living room snorted, but covered it with a cough. Hikari glared daggers at them. "But otherwise..." Atsushi droaned, "It was okay. They were still a little shocked when we left, but we told them that we would go visit them."

"Well, better than my parents," Michiko raised an eyebrow, "They were a little...oh, what'ssaword...? Rejective towards me. But they still want me to come see them."

"Funny." Ryuu smirked. "Mine were more like, 'Oh, Ryuu! That's wonderful! Show us again! Show us again!'"

Yukari cackled, "That's great, Ryuu."

"Hey..." Hayate saw the dvd screen turned on the tv. "What were you watching...?"

Mannen grinned demonically and held up the Jeff Dunham dvd case. Hikari exploded, "HOW DARE YOU WATCH THAT WITHOUT ME, DAMMIT! NOT TO MENTION, YOU HAD A TEN-YEAR-OLD IN THE ROOM WHILE YOU WATCHED THAT?! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU GUYS!!"

"Oh, chill, Hika! We'll watch it again!" Himeno grabbed the romote.

"Yay! Scootch over, Kei-Kei!" Hikari shoved Kei over on the couch, forcing him closer to the edge.

"When the hell did I say you could call me that?!" Kei demanded.

Not bothering to answer him, Hikari pushed him off the couch completely, and with a gesture, Hayate sat next to her, smirking at his older brother. Atsushi patted Kei's head, "I'm terribly sorry, friend."

Kei glared at Hikari, swearing vengence.

"WAIT! DINNER FIRST!!" Michiko cried.

"STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN, MICHI!!" screamed a few random people.

"MAN, I WILL, YOU JERKS!!"

-------

Hayate murmured to himself as he sat alone in his room. He frowned and read another line from the book he received from Yayoi at Christmas: 101 Ways to be a Romantic Man. "...Flowers? What the hell...? Holding hands...DAMN IT, THIS IS FRUSTRATING...!"

He heard a knock on his door, and he casually tossed the book away and called, "Who is it?"

"It's me," came Hikari's voice from outside the door.

"C-come on in."

Hikari creaked open his door. "We're about to start the movie again," she informed.

"Oh, okay. I'll be right down."

"Okay..."

Hikari then left, walking back downstairs. Hayate swiftly picked the book back up and flipped through the pages. His eyes narrowed, and they then landed on one spot on the page. He whispered it to himself before sighing, "What the hell."

-------

"Okay, NOW we can start it," Michiko assured, biting into her order-out pizza.

"How in the world did you get it delivered?" Hayate blinked as he came upon everyone in the living room in front of the 54'' flat screen tv with at least fifteen boxes of pizza sitting randomly around the room.

"Delivered? Oh, please. We sent Mannen, Goh, and Ryuu to get it," Yukari explained, munching on her pepperoni and mushroom pizza.

"I see..."

"Well, c'mon, sit down and we can watch the movie."

"Right..."

Hayate sat next to Hikari (before Kei could reclaim his seat), and Himeno hit 'play' on the dvd player. It began, the lights were flipped off, and Jeff Dunham mimicking his daughter, who was learning how to put gas in a car. Keep in mind, she's sixteen. Everyone began laughing all over again, the movie passing by quickly. As it got near the end, Hayate looked around the room. He saw Michiko snuggled up against Goh, Yukari and Ryuu sitting rather close to each other, and Sasame looked as though he wished that Takako was there with him. He sighed silently. How hard could it be?

"...'And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight-'"

"Merry Christmas to all- OH CRAP, I RAN OVER YOUR BIKE!"

Suddenly, the screen faded to a blue color. Everyone blinked at the bright color in the darkening room. Goh leaned back and looked at the clock. He murmured something in Michiko's ear, then turned to Hajime and Shin, "Time for bed for you two."

"Say WHAT?!" Hajime hissed, "I'm TWELVE!"

"Your point?"

"I can stay up as late as Mannen!" Hajime insisted.

"I can, too!" Shin agreed.

"Right, right- NO. C'mon, tails upstairs," Goh urged, standing up.

"Ha! It's about time you stopped treating me like a kid," Mannen smirked.

"Keep it up and I'll put you in your room, too," Goh threatened, Mannen shutting his mouth.

Finally, Goh got Hajime and Shin upstairs (the two arguing the whole way), and when he returned, he inquired, "Another one?"

"What have we got to watch?" Sasame asked.

Goh waltzed over to the dvd rack. He gasped excitedly. "What is there?" Michiko blinked.

"OH MAN! IT'S THE DARK KNIGHT! It's from America! MAAAAN, we HAVE to watch it!" Goh begged, giving everyone puppy dog eyes.

Hayate smacked his face, ashamed at his twin's childish behavior. Ryuu inquired, "Isn't that a Batman thing?"

"YEAH...!"

"HELL YEAH! PUT IT IN, DAMMIT!!"

"WHOO!!"

Goh gladly popped The Dark Knight into the dvd player and hit play. They got to the menu, and the movie began.

-------

(imatates explosion)

BOOOM!

Everyone watched the tv screen, not paying attention to the time. Everyone around the room was near someone, Michiko and Goh not having moved for a long time, and Yukari and Ryuu were now cuddling slightly, both seeming a little shy/nervous. They all chuckled a little as the Joker looked back at the building that had been blowing up, looking somewhat disappointed and confused. Hayate thought to himself: may as well try. He causually stretched his arms, placing his left arm around Hikari's shoulders. He thought he felt her jerk a little, but otherwise, if she didn't like it, she didn't make any movements or anything. If anything, she moved a little closer to him. Goh saw his twin do that and he rolled his eyes, murmuring, "Who does that anymore?"

They returned to the movie. The Joker looked at his detenator and pressed the button over and over, as though it were broken. A few seconds later, after a few pushes, the building began to blow up again. It seemed so loud with the surround sound installed in the house. However, when the scene changed, there was still a loud explosion noise ringing in everyone's ears. They looked around at each other, then they all cursed at the same time. They jumped up, ran to the window, and saw a fire outside in the distance.

"A Demon Larva!" one of them cried over the noise.

"REALLY?!" Goh returned sarcastically.

"SHUT UP, GOH!" Mannen screamed, obviously having been the one who said it was a Demon Larva.

"MAKE ME, YOU TWERP!"

"HEY! Are you going to stand here and YELL at each other or are we going to kick some Demon Larva ass?!" Naomi glared at the two brothers, changing to her gravity attire.

"I'm up for it!" Michiko smirked, changing as well.

"We need Shin!" Sasame realized, teleporting upstairs for Shin and Hajime.

The others changed and leapt outside, moving as far away from the house as they could. They ran towards the explosion, quickly taking off into the air, for another eardrum-shattering explosion set off. They caught sight of the Demon Larva, which looked much like a raven or a crow. Its wings, at the tips, were spread apart and appeared to be metal, like swords. There was a strange black liquid flowing from the creature's body, then vanishing once it hit the ground. Then, the containment field suddenly surrounded the group as Sasame, Shin, and Hajime reappeared.

"The core?! Anyone?!" Atsushi called.

"Not me!" Himeno called.

"And you won't see a core," an echoing feminine voice said.

A heavy force threw everyone backwards into the wall of the containment field. They all struggled to bring their heads up and look. Naomi gasped, "No! It can't be...!"

"Who is that?!" Mannen growled.

"It's-!"

BEEP! WE INTERRUPT THIS VERY IMPORTANT CLIMAX OF THE PLOT FOR SOME WRITING BY ETHEREAL THOUGHTS!

We intended for this to be posted on Valentine's Day, but, well, you know us. Sometimes we're good, sometimes we're not. SO, INSTEAD, IT SHALL BE IN HONOR OF WHITE DAY!!! And guess what?! WE DIDN'T EVEN GET THAT!!! (galres at ET) IT BE ALL YER FAULLLTTTT!!!!

This interruption shall therefore deal with all manner of fluff between our favorite couples.

"Natsue, darling!" Kaoru dramatically reached out for her as she walked in the door of the mansion at nine o'clock in the morning.

"Kaoru!" she squeaked as he swept her up in his arms and held her bridal style. "Whatever are you doing, dear?"

"I have decided that I want to take you and all of the kids to our private beach resort for Valentine's Day, which is tomorrow!" he kissed her on the cheek. "And we shall embark this very afternoon."

"Oh, Kaoru!" She melted in his arms. "You're just too romantic!"

"Well…" Himeno commented from the doorway behind the two, "He is a novelist. What else can you expect?"

"Oh, perfect timing, Himeno! Go tell the others about going to the beach!"

"I'll tell them about it, but I think I'll have to skip out on joining you." She gave them an absent-minded smile as she walked off to inform the others.

Kaoru gently put Natsue down as the married couple looked after her, looks of concern on their faces. Natsue murmured, "Himeno…."

A dark look flashed over Kaoru's face. "When I get my hands on Haru…."

"He should already be sorry about what happened."

...

"What?!" the group exclaimed.

"We're going to the beach!?" Naomi reiterated.

"Why, yes, that is what she just said….." Kei rolled his eyes.

"I'm not going to be going with all of you, though." Himeno added softly.

"Oh yes you are!" Hikari got up and stared Himeno down. "What makes you think we're going to let you wallow in misery!?"

"After all," Yukari went to stand by Hikari, "Valentine's Day is about sharing your love with everyone, not just your significant other."

Yayoi wrapped an arm around Himeno. "Please come, Himeno. Who else am I going to have to be with me?"

Himeno sniffled a little and wiped the tears from her eyes. "Thanks, guys."

"Just as long as you keep smiling, Tulip-head." Hayate gave her a small rap on the skull. "You're weird if you're not smiling."

"Aww! Hayate is being a cute brother!" Michiko cackled.

Hayate shot her a death glare.

"Anyways, let's get packing!" Mannen excitedly cheered.

The large group scattered to do so.

By twelve o'clock that day, the large group had reassembled, ready for departure.

Kaoru scratched his head. "I didn't realize that we had this many kids in the group now."

"We keep cloning, Dad, don't worry about it." Himeno waved it off. "Are we ready to leave?"

"Yes, we are." Kaoru opened the door. "If half of you would go in the limo and the other half into the hummer, we should have enough room for everyone."

They split up into Yukari, Ryuu, Michiko, Goh, Hikari, Hayate, Atsushi, Kei, Sasame, Takako, Naomi, and Kakeru in the limo and Shin, Hajime, Mannen, Mayune, Mawata, Heihachi, Yayoi, Himeno, Kaoru, and Natsue in the hummer.

The ride to the beach was unusually quiet. The kids just didn't feel like talking and no one was inclined to break the silence. Instead, they all stewed about how they were going to make moves on people, just have fun, how they were going to prank people, etc., etc.

Upon arrival, the rooms were immediately divvied up by twos. Hikari and Naomi went into one room, Yukari and Michiko in another, Yayoi and Himeno invading another, Mayune and Mawata in a fourth room, and Takako was left to have one by herself. For the guys, Ryuu and Kakeru took a room, Kei and Sasame bunked together, Hayate and Goh grudgingly agreed to share a room, Shin and Hajime gleefully shared, Heihachi and Atsushi took a room together, and Mannen was left to his own room as well.

Naturally, Kaoru and Natsue had their own room.

Everyone began to do some exploration and were amazed with what they found (except for the Awayuki sisters, of course).

There was a heated indoor pool, hot springs, a game arcade, a lounge room with a large television, a kitchen, and a little movie theater.

"I think I've died and gone to heaven…." whimpered Ryuu.

"I don't think so, bud." Kakeru threw an arm around his shoulders. "There aren't any hot cars or trucks here."

Ryuu's expression of rapture swiftly changed. He contemplated his friend's words for a millisecond, then agreed, "You're right. This is a hallucinatory state that is incomplete."

"And I'm sure you know all about hallucinatory states." Mayune gave him a slight look of disapproval as she walked past.

"Of course not!" Ryuu hastened to assure her retreating form.

Yukari couldn't stop herself from rolling her eyes and giving a little scoff.

Ryuu caught sight of her actions and asked, "Got a problem?"

"No, not at all." She grinned.

"I don't believe you." Ryuu flatlined.

"Well, what are you going to do about it?" she crossed her arms across her chest.

Ryuu sidled closer to her, then declared, "This!" and did the unthinkable.

He started to tickle her.

She promptly tried to break away from him, jabbering unintelligible words. She made rather random noises and squeaked quite a bit. The battle was over when she fell to the ground, finally.

As he helped her up after she caught her breath, he smirked, "I hope you don't have anymore problems with me."

"Oh, we'll see. Just wait. I'll get my revenge on you." Yukari promised.

Kakeru shuddered. "That doesn't sound good, bud."

"I'm sure I can take it." Ryuu smirked some more.

Yukari gave him a mischievous look and walked off to join some of the other girls.

Kakeru shook his head. "I don't think so, man."

Ryuu shrugged. "I think it'll be fun."

Kakeru rolled his eyes and the two boys followed Yukari.

Hikari glanced at Hayate. He happened to catch this and asked, "What?"

"N-nothing." Hikari blushed.

Naomi nudged her at the time that Yukari walked up to them and she whispered in a sing-song voice, "You want to hold his hand, don't you?"

Hikari turned an even brighter shade of red. Yukari promptly "tripped," stumbled into Hikari, and by chain reaction knocked Hikari over into Hayate. He automatically caught her, then steadied her by holding her shoulders. His hands slipped down her arms, lightly touching her hands. "You okay?"

"Yeah." Hikari gave him a smile and held his hand a little tighter, even as she turned a little brighter. He smiled back at her and grasped her hand firmly. The two turned to see the situation with the group.

Ryuu had grabbed Yukari's hand in order to stop her meeting with the floor. He pulled her up easily and asked, "Are you usually this clumsy?"

"I have erratic moments of sudden balance loss; what can I say?" she laughed. "Thanks for making sure I didn't fall."

"No problem."

Naomi gave Yukari a small high five as Yukari slipped a wink at Hikari, who playfully scowled.

Hayate, Ryuu, and Kakeru were baffled.

Kakeru scratched his head in confusion. "What just happened here?"

"Absolutely nothing, sweetie!" Naomi kissed him on the cheek.

"If you say so, dear." Kakeru teased her back as he tickled her.

Heihachi ran up to Hikari, "Sis! Did ya see the stables?!"

Hikari zeroed in on him. "They have stables?"

"Yup! C'mon, they're this way!" Hachi trotted off. The six teens followed and Yukari commented, "Kaoru is pretty corny, y'know? He brought us all here to the most romantic setting possible and then he rolls out a stable for romantic rides on the beach."

"Even though it's the middle of winter?" Kakeru pointed out.

"Touche." Yukari muttered with a grin.

"Well, the afternoons are usually really, really nice this time of year. It's weird." Mawata popped up. "I assume you're talking about riding on the beach?"

"Oh, hey, Mawata. Yeah, we are." Hachi answered for them.

"Well, another answer would be that we are on the southernmost point of the island. We're closer to the equator and all that stuff." Mawata added as she fell in beside of Hachi. "It's been warm enough for us to go swimming at this time of year here before. It's usually even a full moon here at this time of the year."

"Wow." Ryuu shook his head. "You gotta love this crazy world."

The stables housed beautiful horses of all breeds- quarter horse, Arabian, Belgian Drafts, Morgans, even some pure white Lippizaner specimens. Hikari stared in rapture as the others marveled at the horses' beauty.

"Y'know, I may just have to go and take one out on the beach before we leave." Hikari commented. Hayate nodded agreement. "Why don't we do that tonight?"

"Oh, yeah! Sure! Let's go right before dinner." Hikari grinned.

"Well… it's four o'clock now and dinner is at seven so…." Mawata trailed off.

"Really? Let's go now, then." Hayate said. Hikari excitedly agreed and the two began to saddle up their horses. Hikari had selected a liver red quarter horse and Hayate had a solid white Arabian.

Heihachi snickered, "I love how he's the Wind Knight on a white horse."

Hikari glared at her brother.

"Shutting up and leaving."

The group migrated away, returning to the house. Naomi suggested, "Kakeru, let's go watch some Inuyasha in the theater!"

"Sweet! Let's do it." Kakeru took her hand in his and the two escaped to the theater.

"Hachi, have you seen the arcade?" Mawata asked.

"Yes, but I don't have anyone to play air hockey with." He shrugged.

"I love air hockey! Let's go play a few games together!" Mawata nudged him towards the arcade and the two went there.

"I feel conspicuous." Yukari rubbed her nose slightly.

"Yeah, no kidding." Ryuu turned to glance at her. "Wanna go take a walk on the beach?"

"Yeah! That sounds great." Yukari grinned at him. He gallantly offered her his arm and she accepted it with a laugh as the two headed towards the beach.

IN OTHER PLACES….

Michiko watched Goh make a cake. "I'm jealous, Goh."

"Huh? Why? Because you can't make anything without burning the kitchen down?" Goh asked as he finished icing the cake. "You can help me decorate the cake!"

Michiko sighed, "I know I'm doomed to never cook. Do you really want me to help decorate the cake? I might make it spontaneously combust."

"Then I'll just put it out and we can make another one." Goh grinned at her simply.

"I- ah- oh- crap." Michiko sighed with resignation, a smirk twitching about her lips. "You know I can't say no to that face."

"I know. C'mon, I'll show you how to do it." Goh positioned them so that she stood with her back to him and his hands covered hers over the tube of icing. Together, they started to decorate the cake.

Takako sat with Sasame in the living room as they listened to some classical violin music over the stereo. "This is amazing. You want to sound like this someday?"

"Yes, actually. I wouldn't mind doing something associated with music or radio. I think, considering my powers, it would be the best thing for me to have, anyways." Sasame nodded, his arm over her shoulders.

Takako sighed. "It's so peaceful. I could fall asleep to this…"

"I know what you mean. It's making me so tired, too."

Takako got a wicked gleam in her eye. "Then how about we listen to something else?"

Sasame stared at her. "I don't think I've ever seen you like this before."

She gave him a mischievous smile and went to the stereo. She fiddled with it until the classical music stopped. After a little bit more shuffling and punching buttons, hip hop music began to blare over the room. She turned it down slightly- but only slightly. Turning back to Sasame, she started to dance. "Dance with me!"

"Are you serious?" Sasame stood, a bemused expression on his face.

"Yes! C'mon, dance with me!" Takako danced up to him and took his hands in hers as she continued to dance.

Sasame laughed and danced with her, the two swaying to the music.

Upstairs, in the hallway of all the kids' bedrooms….

"Hajime! Don't fall!" Shin begged.

"Yeah, c'mon! Show Kei what you're made of!" Mannen cheered him on.

Hajime, Shin, Kei, Mannen, Mayune, Yayoi, and Himeno were all playing Twister. The current round was down to Hajime and Kei.

"Go, Hajime!" the three girls cheered.

"Is everyone against me?!" Kei demanded from his rather awkward position.

"Yup!" The group chorused.

Kei groaned, then suddenly slipped. His chin met the floor rather suddenly and he yelled in pain.

"Kei! Are you okay?" Mayune helped him sit up.

"Yes." Kei rubbed his chin. "I'm just lucky not to have bitten my tongue off."

"Let's go get some ice for it." Mayune pulled him up and led him to the kitchen. The others followed to make sure he would be okay.

Upon arriving in the kitchen, the group stopped in the doorway. "Goh… Michiko? What's going on?"

Goh and Michiko looked up, startled. "What do you mean?"

"There're several cakes here. All superbly decorated. And Michiko is in the kitchen with you." Himeno looked between the two of the suspiciously. "How was this possible?"

"The power of love?" Goh suggested.

Everyone face-planted. Michiko turned to him, "Goh, that was… very lame."

"At least I tried." Goh pointed out.

Michiko laughed, "That's true."

"We only needed some ice don't go getting all romantic on us!" Mannen hastily said.

Hajime got the ice for Kei and put it in a bag, then offered it to him. "Here you go."

"Thanks." Kei ruffled his brother's hair affectionately and the group retreated to some more Twister.

Dinner came and everyone congregated to eat. They had pizza and desserts- the cakes that Goh and Michiko had made together. Afterwards, there was yet another congregation to watch movies in the theater.

The guys were subsequently forced to watch corny chick flicks and Disney movies.

Yukari laughed. "You're still alive, Ryuu! How'd you do it?"

"Went to sleep. Paid attention to the music. Kinda." He mumbled, a look of total defiance on his face.

She chuckled and kissed him on the cheek. "Feel better?"

"Just a little, yeah." Ryuu smirked back at her.

BEEP! WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVIENCE, BUT HERE IS A QUICK RECAP OF WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE ET TOOK OVER THE CHAPTER.

"The core?! Anyone?!" Atsushi called.

"Not me!" Himeno called.

"And you won't see a core," an echoing feminine voice said.

A heavy force threw everyone backwards into the wall of the containment field. They all struggled to bring their heads up and look. Naomi gasped, "No! It can't be...!"

"Who is that?!" Mannen growled.

"It's-!"

"No..." Hikari whispered.

"Who the HELL is it?!" screamed Goh.

"...Mom?" Heihachi choked.

"WHAT?! YOUR MOM?!"

The Kawasaki siblings stared, gaping with shock, at their mother. Her usually brown hair was pitch black, trailing down to her waist. Her eyes stared down at the group with amusement. Then, they stared at her three children.

"Hello, my children."

EGP: NISSY! THAT'S TOO MEEEAAANN!!!

Me: Gomen. All part of the plot! (wink)

ET: (mutters and destroys...something)

Kratos/Zelos/Emil: ...(backs away slowly)

EGP: PLEASE READ AND REVIEWWWWW!!!! Thanks to all who did previously! (throws out M&Ms!)