A/N: I have to give credit to Brainiac 5 for this one...since she did help quite a bit.
Disclaimer: What? I own GI Joe? This is news to me...oh, that's right, I don't.
I hate Halloween.
It's not that I dislike candy, it's just that I hate answering the door. Normally, answering the door wasn't a problem, and I could simply hide in a back room until the trick-or-treaters were gone. This year I wasn't so lucky.
"Look, Snakes, I don't care if you can't talk," Thomas said, annoyance surfacing in his voice. "I have the flu, and if I answer the door, there is going to be some kind of epidemic. You can just shove the candy at the kids and slam the door in their masked faces."
Why can't we just leave a bowl out?
"Because the first group of teenagers who comes by will just take the whole thing, and then we'll be down sixteen bucks for the bowl and ten bucks for the candy," Thomas replied.
I knew that he had a point. And I knew it was technically him who was renting the house, and that as a friend who was staying there because his girlfriend had kicked him out, I should be grateful. I should just do what he wanted. But I hate answering the door, and I was in an exceptionally bad mood that particular night.
Thomas, I don't want to answer the door. Why can't we just turn off the lights and hide?
"You can do that, but you're going to be cleaning up the toilet paper all alone," Thomas replied.
I hate you.
"Don't be stupid."
"Yes, you are. It's not my fault that we live in a neighborhood of juvenile delinquents," he said.
Actually, it is.
"No, it's definitely Hard Master's fault."
Do you realize he's dead?
"He's the one that established a dojo here. I'm just the person that ended up working at this dojo," Thomas replied.
Fine, I said.
"And you have to dress up," Thomas added.
"I have a reputation as that cool guy that's a ninja every year. If you just wear a mask, no one will be able to tell the difference," Thomas said. "Come on. It'll be fun."
"Trick or treat," said a bored voice that hovered between childish and masculine.
I shoved the bowl of candy at the teen, who took a handful and fled. Did I mention that we live in a neighborhood of mobsters in the making? Yeah, I thought I did.
As I stared after the fleeing kid, a herd of parents and toddlers toddled up the walk. One father pushed his way to the front of the crowd and proffered his child to me. "Say trick or treat, honey," he said. "Come on, sweet pea, say trick or treat."
The child mumbled something, and the father looked at me for approval. I shoved the candy bowl his way, and the little girl grabbed the brightest wrapper she could get her hands on.
He smiled, and left. The next parents stepped up, and the process was repeated almost fifteen times. Just as the last parents were leaving, Thomas screamed something at me about not heating the entire world. I frowned and slammed the door. Tonight, I vowed, I would squeeze the toothpaste from the middle – just to annoy him.
The doorbell rang. Somewhere, I heard a soul-deep moan, which I suspect came from my sleep-deprived roommate.
I opened the door and shoved the candy bowl out. However, it took all my awesome ninja reflexes to avoid the silly string that was promptly sprayed at my face.
"Ha! Gotcha!" the kid yelled, and bolted. Actually, he hadn't gotten me – but that was immaterial. I was annoyed.
By the time the night ended, I was more than annoyed. I was livid. I was furious. I was absolutely, hands-down, no-holds-barred going to kill Thomas, influenza or no. He deserved to die for what he'd done to me!
As I marched into his room, the doorbell rang.
"Sheesh, I give you the simplest job in the world and you can't finish it," Thomas mumbled.
I stomped back to the door and ripped it open. I shoved the candy bowl at the figure in the doorway, narrowly missing his nose and sending malt balls careening to their deaths.
"Excuse me…is Snake Eyes here?" a male voice asked.
"I wish to study under him," the person replied.
He isn't interested. I said. Beat it.
"Can I just talk to him?" the boy asked, peering in the door.
"Who's at the door?" Thomas wheezed, poking his head out of his room.
"Snake Eyes?" the boy asked, looking past me directly at…Thomas. "I've been searching for you for years-"
"Glad you finally found me," Thomas said, suddenly perky despite his illness.
"Ah, Sensei!" He pushed past me into the foyer to practically kneel at Thomas's feet. Finally, he glanced at me. "Is this your butler?"
"Nope. That's Storm Shadow," Thomas replied. "He's such a sucky ninja."
"I heard he was very good also. Two grand masters in the same house! What an honor!" the boy cried, bowing to me as well.
Thomas, we don't have anywhere to put him, I said.
"But Snakes, I've always wanted an apprentice," Thomas said. The boy looked confused.
Thomas, you're going to make promises and then it's going to wind up being my responsibility-
"But I'll feed him and train him every day! I'll be responsible, really I will," Thomas said.
Remember what happened last time?
"That wasn't my fault! That was the Red Ninja."
I was referring to the goldfish.
"I suppose that was my fault…"
He is kind of cute, I said. I suppose we can keep him.
"Thank goodness you listened to reason," Thomas said. He turned to the boy. "What's your name?"
"Trevor," he said.
"How long have you been training?"
"I was going to be drafted by the Arashikage, but I really felt like I needed some private training before I went to such an esteemed clan," Trevor said. "They suggested you."
Thomas bristled. "Why not Storm Shadow?"
"I thought you said he sucked."
"He's pretty okay – and he's way better than Snak – er, me, at trances and stuff," Thomas said. "And Storm Shadow is a much better liar."
"Why would I want to lie?"
"It's so handy! I can see you have much to learn, young grasshopper," Thomas said, smirking smugly.
"If Storm Shadow's such a good liar, how do I know you're not Storm Shadow?" Trevor asked, realization dawning on his face like dawn.
"You don't. You'll just have to trust me…or remember that Jinx said that Snake Eyes couldn't talk," Thomas said.
"Oh yeah…" Trevor said. "That makes you Storm Shadow…and him Snake Eyes, right?"
"Yeah. And I don't think you've impressed him favorably. Go back to Jinx and tell her we don't take foolish ones…by the way, gullible is written on the ceiling," Storm Shadow said.
"Where?" Trevor looked up, and then down. He pursed his lips.
"See? You're too stupid. Please leave…and feel free to take a Kit Kat," Storm Shadow said as I shoved the bowl in his face. "Happy Halloween, Trevvie!"
Trevor ignored the offered candy, and schlumped his way out the door.
I hate Halloween.