I'm sure you all know that I don't own any of these series. Otherwise, why would I just be writing fanfiction for free?
"Here in my car
I feel safest of all."
-Gary Newman, "Cars"
Konata had started dating a girl she'd met at Comiket, by the name of Kaori Aida. Kaori had previously had a serious crush on a tall bishojo-type girl named Sakaki, but she was dismayed to learn that Sakaki was straight. She had been quite despondent for a while before bumping into Konata while waiting in line for a Marimite dojinshi. Perhaps because she was on the rebound, the two hit it off quickly, but soon found they had a lot in common (especially in yuri anime). Eventually they both introduced each other to their friends.
Kagami's first thought after spending a day with Kaori's friends was, And I thought Konata and Misao were quirky.
And so it was one summer morning that both sets of girls minus Kagura, P.E. teacher Minamo Kurosawa, and Konata's traffic cop cousin Yui Narumi were gathered at Chiyo-chan's house, ready to go spend a weekend at Chiyo's beach house. Kagura had swim team training camp, and had to opt out. They were currently waiting by Chiyo's parents' minivan, deciding on seating arrangements.
"Let's see," Yui figured. "There's 10 of you kids coming and three of us adults, so it looks like we'll have to take two cars."
"Where's your car, Kurosawa-sensei?" asked Chiyo, lugging her bag down the front walk.
"Oh, it was due for an oil change, so it's in the shop now," answered Minamo.
"Then that means…oh no…" groaned Chiyo, her eyes widening.
As if on cue, the driveway gates opened. Down the driveway slid a silver late '90s Toyota Camry with countless dents and pockmarks in the hood and sides, several missing strips of chrome, and a replaced side panel in a conspicuously different color. The right front headlight and right rearview mirror were held on with duct tape.
The Yukarimobile had arrived.
"Gahhh!" Chiyo cried, darting into the minivan.
"Hey-hey!" Yukari cheered. "Who's ready for some sun and fun?"
"You know I am!" answered Tomo, already seated in the front passenger seat. Yukari had apparently picked her up.
"So who's driving the van?" asked Yomi.
"Do you think you could, officer?" replied Minamo to Yui. "I strained my driving leg in the pool yesterday. I can drive on the way back."
"Not a problem," answered Yui. "If you could just navigate for me; I've never been to this place after all."
"Well that settles that," said the blue-haired otaku. "I'm riding in Yukari-sensei's car." She quietly told Kaori, "I always get sick riding with her."
"Don't do it, Kona-chan!" answered Kaori, her face pale. "She drives way worse than your cousin!"
Konata smirked. "Well, just in case, that's why I brought these." She popped a Dramamine pill into her mouth, followed by a sleeping pill, then climbed into Yukari's car.
"No, please, Kona-chan!"
"It's no use," said Kagami. "She's already out like a light." Sure enough, Konata was already curled up on the right end of passenger seat of Yukari's car, snug as a bug.
"Don't worry; we'll keep an eye on her," said Tsukasa. And at those words, all the girls from Azuma High School piled into the van, along with Miyuki. Kaori said a quick prayer for Konata.
"Oh, do you mind if I sit next to Osaka?" asked Miyuki. "She and I were having a fascinating conversation about the expansion of the universe."
"So like I was saying," Osaka continued. "I was just daydreaming about okonomiyaki in science class when…"
"Oh boy!" Tomo exclaimed to the twins, seated behind her in the dreaded Toyota. "Get ready for the ride of your lives, you two!"
"Let's do this thing," said Yukari in her best Norio Wakamoto impression, plugging in her iPod and turning the ignition. Both young women in front laughed at the top of their lungs.
"I've got a bad feeling about this," Kagami muttered. Tsukasa just groaned and clutched her sister's hand.
All went somewhat well for the first few kilometers. Yukari made a few near misses with other vehicles and pedestrians, and raced through a yellow light rather than slowed down, but so far this didn't seem to merit the abject terror it seemed to have inspired in Chiyo and Kaori. Meanwhile Yui tried to keep at least abreast of Yukari, but she still drove more defensively than offensively. Eventually both cars stopped at a railroad crossing to wait for a long, slow freight train to pass by. Yui was in the lane closest to the center divider, and the Yukarimobile was in the middle lane, with Tomo making faces at the occupants of the van. Yukari looked over Tomo's shoulder and sneered along.
"Heh, you should see the ones Konata can make," Kagami told her; a ghost of a smile returning to her apprehensive face. But the slumbering girl looked quite comfortable.
"Oh, you wanna join in, Osaka?" Kagami heard her murmur. "Well, you're from Osaka…you get the takoyaki sauce…" The ponytailed girl shivered at what might be going on inside Konata's head at the moment. But then she heard a loud, almost flatulent noise drawing closer. She also caught a whiff of uncombusted gasoline.
"Yo, yo, Yukari-chan!" announced a nasal, catty voice to their right. A large, vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle had pulled up alongside the car, filling the immediate vicinity with a tumultuous, continuous grunt. Astride the Hog sat a tall lady about Yukari's age, clad in tight blue jeans, a glossy black leather jacket, and a red "Engrish" t-shirt with the phrase, "Every Day I Shoot Myself in the Head. Like a Rock Star." A long chain was draped around her neck, stretching down around her torso. Her streamlined white helmet was decorated with the words "Road Virus" (whatever that meant) in Old English letters.
"Yo yourself, Benten," Yukari replied. "This is Fumiko Takahashi, an old high school friend of mine. Nyamo and I always called her 'Benten', 'cause she reminded us of that one biker chick on that old anime series about the girl in the tiger-skin bikini…what was it called again?"
"Whoa, I don't remember," Tomo answered. "I haven't seen it since I was a kid. But man, that bike is sweet!"
"Hey, thanks kid!" Benten answered. "It's a 1961 Harley; almost all stock!"
Yukari scowled a bit and spoke lower to Tomo. "Her parents are filthy rich, and got her that for her college graduation present. Now she owns her own bike parts shop. She offered me an assistant job there, and damned if I wasn't going to take it, but my mom said, 'Noooo, Yukari-chan; you have such an ability in English; teaching pays a lot more and has much better benefits…'"
"So, where ya headed?" Benten asked, raising her visor.
"Ah, one of my students has a summer home out on the Boso Peninsula. I'm just the loyal chauffeur, mmmmyezzzz?" she replied, closing her eyes and sticking her nose in the air. Tomo waved and raucously completed Benten's sweet Hog, and the twins smiled and waved shyly. "How's business going?"
"Ugh, we're in a price war with this place across town called 'Whirlwind'. But at least I was able to get some minions to keep the shop open today, so now I'm just out cruisin', y'know. The beach would sound kinda nice on a day like today."
Meanwhile in the other car…
"Oh damn, not Takahashi!" groaned Minamo.
"Is…she that tough-looking woman on the motorcycle?" asked Yomi.
"You got it," answered Minamo. "She was…an associate of Yukari and me back in high school. Let's just say that where I tried to keep Yukari from making an ass of herself, Takahashi encouraged it. If you look up sukeban in the dictionary, you'd see her picture."
"Someone actually encouraged Yukari-sensei?" Chiyo gasped.
"Ah, sure you can stay for dinner. But you gotta pick up some beer!" Yukari said.
"Sounds like a plan, sensei," answered Benten. "I'm in the mood for some curry tonight!"
"Umm, actually, I was thinking of ordering some pizza."
Benten's eyes narrowed. "I want curry."
"First one to the beach house gets to pick dinner tonight!" exclaimed Benten.
"Fine then!" Yukari snapped. "It's off the main coast road, just past Kilometer Marker 47. There's a strip mall on your right about five minutes before the turnoff. But you can just follow me."
"Ohhh no. You, my dear, will be eating my dust all the way there, and then tonight we'll all be eating curry! For you see, while I am on a juiced-up Harley-Davidson, you are stuck in a fully-loaded sedan that looks like it's held together with chicken wire and Elmer's Glue."
"Wh-what's going on, onee-sama?" gasped Tsukasa. "They aren't really thinking about…?"
"Don't worry. Yui's a cop; she wouldn't let something like this go down," answered Kagami. However, remembering Yui's competent yet speedy driving last summer, she wasn't entirely sure. And Yukari seemed to have the assertive-yet-whiny tone of someone who always got what she wanted, when she wanted it.
"Hey, what's going on over there, you two?" shouted Yui.
"Ahh, this biker bitch is coming over for dinner tonight. I wanna have pizza; she wants to have curry. So we're gonna race to decide who gets to pick!"
"Hey, wait a minute!" Yui exclaimed. "I was hoping for some Korean barbeque!"
"Well then you're gonna have to race for it!" yelled Tomo.
"That's tellin' her!" Yukari replied. She leaned out toward Benten again. "Hit the deck as soon as the crossing gates are up! Banzaaaai!"
"Hey wait a minute, what are you doing, Officer?" gasped Minamo as Yui shifted into a higher gear. Yukari followed suit, and Benten did the same, sending up an ominous thrum, thrum, thrummm.
Yui's eyes narrowed behind her glasses. "Sorry sensei, but dammit, I want Korean barbeque tonight."
"Hell hath no fury like a woman denied her food of choice," Yukari snarled; her teeth gritted.
Tsukasa was tightly clutching Kagami's left arm. "O-onee-sama, wh-what's happening?" she stammered.
Kagami moved about a millimeter closer to Tsukasa, and her sister pressed slightly against her. "I don't know. But I just have a very bad feeling about this."
Find the Stephen King reference and win a kiss from Tsukasa!