She stands at the door frame, staring down at the all-encompassing darkness. A dank wind wafted up towards her, carrying the smell of staleness. Loneliness. Ryoko bites her bottom lip nervously, shifts her burden more securely across her hip, and takes one last look over her shoulder.

"I'm going now," she calls back, trying to sound more confident than she actually feels. "If I don't come back, you'll come save me, right?"

Yuki looks up from her book, unimpressed.

"Right," Ryoko mutters to herself.

It feels like she's walking straight into the belly of a great beast. Air wheezes through the pipes, the rattling metal trachea of the monster. Darkness is complete and oppressive. The heat is slowly becoming more and more unbearable, but Ryoko soldiers on, feeling the plastic basket digging into the flesh of her fingers.

Finally, she reaches the heart of the beast room. It shines brightly, even in the dull artificial light. Ryoko pries it open and tosses in her offering. After some minor fiddling, it roars its approval and spits out frothy foam.

Ryoko hates doing laundry.

A/N: And here's Number Twenty, guys. And now I'm going to mark Serendipity as complete because I like ending with nice round numbers. Plus, this is much more fun and captures the more mundane, everyday spirit that I was going for than ending with the angsty, THE END end that I originally planned.

HOWEVER, I might add more if Ryoko and Yuki bother me enough, so keep this on your Alerts List, lovely readers. But for now, thanks so much for making a writer happy to dabble in this supportive new fandom :D

Written and Posted: 10/20/10