Worst Mission EVER

Ch1 Slogging through the mud…

Mize was lost. She'd been running around in this GODFORSAKEN FOREST for…she checked her watch – 5 and a half hours.

She'd been sticking yellow post-it notes on the more familiar trees, but discovered that most of the forest's denizens were either stupid enough to copy her and re-stick them at random, or smart enough to move or steal them on purpose.

She was a little touchy at this point. Like dynamite, only without the neutralizing agent.

"If I spend," she growled, "one more stinkin' minute in this forest, I am going to scream-" Then she tripped on a root and whacked her ribs on a convenient, low-hanging tree branch.


Jin cocked one ear to the evil-infested forest. "Sounds like a tantrum," he remarked.

Rinku, who was engaged in an argument with Shishiwakamaru at that very moment, glared.

"What was that?!"

Jin looked up.

"Not you and Shishi, li'l buddy. From the forest," he indicated with a finger.

"Well, then, check it out." The shriveled crone of a temple-master startled all of them.

"Okay. Hey, Toya, come with." The diminutive warrior sighed and got up to follow his friend.

Mize, after beating the crap out of that annoying bat-guy, had managed to leave the forest.

Now she faced a swamp.

"Oh, Mize-chan, go to this temple of my old friend and give her this little bitty card that I could have sent through the mail, okay? Oh, sure, sensei, not a problem. What's that? Booby-trapped main path? That's okay, I'll just cut through this here forest – save time AND build up some muscles! He could have at least mentioned that she booby-trapped the forest TOO…."

Her incessant grumbling was halted by her first footstep into the swamp – sinking her steel-toe hiking boot a good four inches in the stuff.

"GaH! Don't complain, you're building fortitude. Fortitude is squishier than I thought. Distract yourself, focus….umm….Slogging through the mud, grass stains on my knees, I'm all out of luck, and I'm out of trees la la la!"

It was at this point that she fell face-first into the mire.

46 minutes later, Jin and Toya dragged the mud-covered, half catatonic girl into the temple. It was deserted save for Genkai and Yukina. The aged master met them at the door.

"Thanks, boys, I'll take it from here. Wakey wakey," she nudged the prone mass with her foots as the men departed. Mize managed to lift her head. Then she sat up, dragged forward her backpack, pulled out a card (after a few moments of rummaging) and presented it to the psychic.

Genkai took the card, brushed it off (it was laminated), analyzed it, then turned back to the ice maiden. "Yukina, get her a bath and something to wear until we get her clothes clean. Put her bag by the shoe-shelf."

The sweet apparition gently led the half-dazed girl to a linen closet, pulling out a large bath towel and handing it to Mize, who apparently had no trouble with stripping down in the deserted hall.

As she wrapped herself with the towel, the teen asked, "Where's this shower?"

Yukina blinked. "Well, she said bath, but if you'd prefer-" "Please." "Um, down this way. Oh!" She stopped at a door, opened it, entered the room, and came back momentarily with dress.

It was pink.

Mize stared at distastefully, then stated the obvious. "Pink."

Yukina beamed. "Isn't it nice?"

Mize sighed, resting her fingers on her brow. "No offense, Yukina-san, but if I'd rather go commando than wear pink panties – which no one can see – so how much more do you think I'd rather stick with the towel that wear that…lovely…dress?"

Yukina blinked. "But…"

"It's okay, I'll just wait until my clothes are dry. I'd really like that shower now," she leaned forward a little to stress the intensity of her desire. "REALLY like it. Please, lead on."

Yukina pointed down the hall. "The shower is on the second door to your left," she said helpfully, "I hate to leave but I must get lunch started or…" "I understand. Hungry boys to feed, right? Go on ahead, I'll manage."

Yukina bowed and swiftly retreated, leaving Mize to soon enjoy the luxury of a nice, hot…locked ….door. With quiet, off-key singing and steam escaping under the bottom.

A muffled snerk drew her attention to a long-haired man with wandering eyes and a decent samurai getup leaning on the wall. "I bet Yukina forgot all about Suzuki's shower hour, huh? Don't bother looking around, all the other showers are either occupied or in a different part of the compound."

"Great," grumbled the P. teenager, "just great." Animated talk and a familiar set of heads soon distracted her from her dilemma. 'Oh, good,' she thought with a bit of sadistic joy, ', it's Chimp-boy and F***less.' She headed in that direction.

Yusuke was enjoying a totally random conversation with Chu when he heard Kuwabara's yelp. He decided to ignore it, an unwise move. He didn't even notice the barely-garbed figure sneak up behind him until she exhaled as loudly as possible on his ear.

Easily dodging her friend's wild fist, Mize smirked. "Hiya, F****less." She shot the happy eyes at him (^^).

Yusuke glared at her, then grinned and turned fully around. "I'd ask why you're here, but I'm more wondering what's up with the towel…and how long can I expect to see it around?"

She would have answered, but by that time Kuwabara had joined them, rubbing his ear with an annoyed expression. "Got her greeting too, huh man? Geez, you're lucky. I get a Wet Willy every time she sneaks up on me."

Mize would have given him the most sadistic response manageable, but luckily for him the bathroom squeaked open and a tall, lean figure came out, wearing a hair and hip towel set.

"Thank YOU," she said barging past him. Still annoyed at her ordeal, however, and that he'd kept her from removing the mud sooner, she snagged his head towel and cracked his a** with it. She retreated into the bathroom with an evil cackle and a click of the lock, leaving the amassed congregation either staring after her or at him.

"Suzuki," began Shishi, "BEAUTIFUL Suzuki-" he tried to correct, but was cut off by a harpy screech from the bathroom, "BEAUTIFUL? I'd give you a 5.8 on a scale of 10 - need to take care of those love handles, hon! – but it will shortly be reduced to 1.3 and you will shortly be reduced to a puddle of goo if you used all the hot water!"

The blonde demon stared at the door until Shishi, who was covering his eyes, flapped a rather familiar towel at him. He yelped, covered himself, and dashed for his room amid peals of laughter.

"I think I'm in love," remarked a star-struck Rinku.

Mize, who heard him through the door, smirked. 'THIS will be fun…or at least a great way to work off those seven hours in the forest…'

"Hey, you gonna be okay in there, Tomboy?" Yusuke had sidled up to the door, his back to it, and rapped lightly with his knuckles. "I know you're not comfortable around hygiene…stuff…."

"Not like YOU could tell, mister wear-the-same-shirt-eight-days-in-a-row!"

"At least I shower more than once a month! I bet your brothers are the ones who got you all clean-a-phobic."

"Clean-a-phobic? Not even a word, Yusuke! Plus, I won good money on that bet; it's not as if I ALWAYS go so long without cleaning!"

"I notice you say 'always', not 'ever' or 'usually'…."

"Does F***less want a Heaven-and-Earth to the throat? No? Well, then, shut up, man, and lemme shower in peace!"

The squeak of the faucet heralded the end of their conversation – and this chapter.