The Worst Day of Their Lives

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When Mitsuru returns to the dorm unusually irritable, the guys don't pay it much heed. When Yukari and Fuuka come back in equally bad moods, our ragtag band of male heroes must band together to survive.

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"And you wouldn't believe what she said to me!" Yukari said, gesturing wildly with her hands. "She said, 'Yukari, you'll never get good grades if you keep going out to that club at night.' Do you believe that?" Yukari's impression of a girl in their homeroom with a distinct voice was spot-on, if exaggerated.

Little Miss Takeba sat on the couch next to Fuuka, who pecked away relentlessly on her laptop with an energy bar hanging out of her mouth. Mitsuru sat in her chair, her face buried in a book. Meanwhile, Akihiko sat at the long table, eating beef bowl with Junpei and our valorous Hero-who-must-not-be-Named. Ken sat at the bar, looking elsewhere, swinging his feet.

"As if she has any right getting into my business!" Yukari huffed. "She's so stupid! How the hell does she know what I do with my free time?"

"Well, have you been going to the club?" Akihiko offered. Immediately he and his table-mates realized that was a bad question to ask. For exactly one minute thirty-seven seconds in a row (Junpei timed it on his cheap old Phoenix Featherman Ranger R wristwatch), Yukari yelled at Akihiko. Because of almost unthinkable use of profanity and disturbing threats, the entirety of her tirade is unfit for reproduction. Akihiko was extremely lucky he sat nowhere near Yukari, as he too would have ended up unfit for reproduction.

Koromaru whimpered.

"You'd think she'd respect her senpai," Akihiko whispered to You-should-know-who, who said nothing, but nodded.

SUDDENLY! "What'd you say about me?!"

Akihiko learned his lesson and shut his mouth.

"Yamagishi," Mitsuru said after a few moments of awkward silence. "Are you prepared to go to Tartarus tonight?"

"I'm always ready," Fuuka said, not averting her eyes from her laptop.

"I didn't ask that. I asked if you were prepared to go to Tartarus tonight."

"And I said I'm always ready," Fuuka replied, still typing furiously. "Just tell me when you want to go."

Mitsuru thoroughly furrowed her already considerably worked-over brow. "I thought I said I wanted to go to Tartarus tonight."

"You did! That's fine with me!"

"Hey!" Yukari said. She jumped to her feet. From across the room, Akihiko flinched. "Did anyone ever ask whether I wanted to go to Tartarus tonight? I have a lot of studying I have to do!"

"Well, when you figure it out, tell me," Fuuka said curtly, as Yukari and Mitsuru stared each other down.

"It's not your decision whether or not we go to Tartarus, Takeba!" Mitsuru said, putting down her book.

Koromaru ran out of the room and went up the stairs.

"Well, excuse me for not fitting into your schedule, Kirijo-sama!" Yukari fired back.

Mitsuru gasped and rose to her feet, violently shaking her hair out of her eyes, prickling like a rose bush. "My schedule? And what do you mean by that?"

A commercial with an annoyingly catchy jingle played on TV, advertising a sale on T-shirts with platypuses on them. Yukari stormed over to it and shut it up. "Customer appreciation day my ass! Every day sucks! Stupid Junes…" Yukari grumbled.

The three girls continued to exchange pleasantries, and the boys watched, unable to avert their eyes from the unfolding drama. At some point, however, the Man with No Name made the suggestion that it was getting a bit too dangerous to stay downstairs.

"Dude, come on," Junpei said, pulling the Main Character aside and whispering, very quietly, "Don't you think Mitsuru-senpai is hot when she's angry?"

Then a book went flying.

Junpei tried to ignore it. "You know what they say about chicks who get really mad. Tsund—"

Halfway through his suggestive wink was when the golf club went flying.

"Okay, I gotcha, man. Let's get ooouuuuutta heeere!"

The guys bolted for the stairs. Akihiko grabbed Ken on the way by, saving him from almost certain clonking by a flying flowerpot. When they had reached the second floor, they sat down at the table and looked at each other, out of breath. Somewhere by their feet, Koro-chan was still whimpering in fear. Even he knew that an execution was dangerously close.

"That was close," Akihiko said, wiping his brow. "We were almost caught in the crossfire."

Junpei shivered. "W-what the hell's going on down there?"

"Junpei-san? Sanada-san? And, er…senpai? Do any of you know why the girls are so upset?"

"Uh…" Akihiko scratched his head. "Well, to be honest…I'm not sure. I wonder if it's something we did. I mean, they all seemed fine yesterday. Actually, Yukari did seem a bit on edge, but that doesn't necessarily mean much. Or does it?"

"Well, I know what happens," Junpei said. "I think it has something to do with the weather. Girls get angry when the weather sucks. It's like clockwork."

Akihiko rolled his eyes. "There wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday!"

"Yeah, well," Junpei said, thinking quickly. "Remember it rained like crazy two weeks ago? It must be a delayed reaction."

"Maybe it's the fog," Ken said, and the others looked at him funny. "What? It was just a suggestion."

That Kid In The Blue Hair motioned for the other guys to come close and whispered something to them. When he had finished explaining what he was explaining, Akihiko's face slowly scrunched up and assumed a look of pain, Junpei's jaw dropped, and Ken seemed relatively unfazed.

"Holy jeez! That's disgusting!" Junpei said, so shocked his hat popped up off his head. "Man, are you sayin' that the reason the Yuka-tan peninsula and the other girls are so angry is because…of that?"

"I could imagine how that would make someone irritable," Akihiko said, solemn.

"I get squeamish watching gory movies," Ken noted off-handedly.

"So, wait a minute." Junpei seemed confused. He was confused. He was also stupid, but that wasn't his fault. "Are you saying that this is happening to all three of them…at once?!?"

Mr. Hero nodded.

"Dude, that's like…like…like the remake of Akihabara Hacksaw Murders!"

"There was a lot of blood in that movie," Akihiko said, nodding.

Just then, the boys heard a loud thump from the floor below and Ken jumped nearly a foot into the air.

"Yipes!"

"Oh crap," Junpei said, freaking out. "This is bad. This is very bad. We could be in a lot of trouble if they come up here!"

"All right, all right, calm down, Junpei," Akihiko said, with the air of a man trying to convince someone to both not to jump off a bridge and not eat Fuuka's latest unorthodox bento; both desperate acts would end anyone's despair. "Don't go nuts."

"I'm goin' nuts, Akihiko-senpai!"

"DON'T GO NUTS, JUNPEI!" Akihiko yelled, shaking Junpei by the shoulders. "Pull yourself together, man!"

"We're screwed! We're all totally screwed! I'm freakin' out over here!"

Akihiko slapped Junpei across the face. "Since Yukari is currently preoccupied, I'll do that for her. Now get a hold of yourself!"

Junpei sniffled. "But, senpai…we're screwed!"

"If we tick them off any more, we'll never get screwed," …was what Akihiko wanted to say, but he was too smart. Instead, he said, "We gotta hide. Bad."

"Oh, you're no fun, Akihiko-senpai," Junpei whined.

"If only you knew."

"Well, we can't just lay low here!" Junpei said. "The girls are going to come up to go to bed eventually. We have to do something. What are we going to do?"

Akihiko scratched his head. "Hmm. Well, I suppose we could try talking to them."

"And go back down into the warzone? Hell no, senpai!"

"Um, I have an idea," Ken said. "Why don't we go up to the fifth floor and sit on the floor? The girls normally don't go up there, right?"

"Hey, that's a good idea. Great job, Ken-kun." Akihiko stood up. "Let's go!"

The Protagonist nodded.

"Yay, we're not gonna die!" Junpei said.

They made their way up to the dark fifth floor. The door to the roof was mysteriously sealed shut, as it seemed that no one wanted to go out there anymore. Still, there was enough space on the landing to sit down and look at the floors below.

"So, now we have some time to kill," Junpei said. "Anyone got anything?"

"I know! Why don't we tell ghost stories?" Ken offered.

Akihiko was mortified. "Don't give him any ideas!"

"Actually, I got a better idea. Sit down and get ready to hear the best story of all time."

"Go, Junpei-san!"

Junpei smiled like a kid in three candy stores…at once. "This story is called 'Junpei Iori and the Porno Tree'."

"What?!" Akihiko exclaimed. "Porno tree?"

"It's porno tree in motion," Junpei said, thoroughly amused. "Now sit down and listen. Once upon a time, there was a legendary hero named Junpei Iori. As a hero, naturally, he was handsome, brave, strong, and was very popular with the ladies."

"Oh, this is bullsh—"

"Shh! It's quiet time, Akihiko-senpai! And it's story time. Anyway, our hero Junpei was well-known throughout the land, and roamed from place to place looking for people in need of saving."

Akihiko rolled his eyes, Ken seemed interested, and John Smith was busy watching a blue butterfly flutter tantalizingly over his head.

"One day," Junpei continued, "while searching the land for people in need of saving, Junpei stumbled across an interesting tree. It was a tree like any other, huge and looming over everything. There was one exception. Instead of bearing fruit, like most trees did, the porno tree grew with…well, any guesses?"

Akihiko rolled his eyes.

"Um, porno?" Ken offered, shrugging.

"You have learned well, my apprentice," Junpei said. "See, you're even smarter than Akihiko-senpai."

"Is there going to be a point to this story, Junpei?" Akihiko asked. "The ending better be damn good."

"Don't worry, the guy gets the girl in the end."

"Excuse me if I worry," Akihiko said, and he rolled his eyes again. Curious, he peered down the stairs and tried to no avail to see what was going on down there. The fifth floor was like a lightless void of soundlessness, and—Akihiko assumed—the sounds of certain clamor below were swallowed by the ever-consuming darkness up there.

"Anyway, when our brave hero found this tree, he obviously went nuts. After all, how could such a great tree exist? So he spent his days and nights sleeping under the tree, until one day a beautiful woman came to him. 'Can you help me?' she asked him. 'An evil dragon is attacking our village.'"

"Um…was that supposed to be a woman's voice, Junpei-san?" Ken asked.

"Yeah."

"Well, it was a bad one, Junpei," Akihiko quipped.

"Yeah, I could have done a much better woman's voice," Ken bragged.

"Shh! Jeez, we'll never finish the story if you keep going off on tangents! Now, where was I?"

"'An evil dragon is attacking our village!'" Ken said, in a very good woman's voice.

"See? Ken's better than you, Junpei," Akihiko said with a smirk.

"Ah, shaddup. Anyway, so the evil dragon was attacking the village, so our hero, the great Junpei, went to the village and lo and behold, there he was: the dragon! He was certainly evil. He had jet-black scales and breathed columns of blood-red fire. He destroyed the houses one by one with a single blast of consuming flame! So our hero Junpei dashed into the village with his mighty sword Louisville Slugger—"

"Oh, f that," Akihiko said.

"Quiet! You see, with his trusty blade, Junpei Iori charged in and slashed and slashed at the dragon—but to no avail! Alas, the dragon's mighty black scales were too hard and too strong even for Junpei's legendary blade. 'What should I do?' the mighty hero Junpei said. 'For my sword cannot pierce the dragon's scales!' Just then, our hero was struck with a burst of inspiration. 'I must use the porno tree!' he said, and rushed out of the village to the grove where the porno tree sat."

"Junpei, how the heck are you going to stop a dragon with porno?"

"That's what I'm about to tell you, if you'd shut it! Now. Junpei returned to the porno tree and fell to his knees. 'Please, I beseech you, porno tree,' he prayed. 'Give me the power to stop the dragon!' Just then, he heard a booming voice call out to him in his thoughts. 'No dragon can resist the power of Grade A, top-shelf pron!' 'Who is this?" our hero asked, and the voice replied, 'I am Jero Ronny, the spirit inside the Porno Tree. If you wish to save the village from the evil dragon, you must use my gift to you. Use the porno, Junpei!' Suddenly, our hero looked up and a DVD case fell from the sky. It was entitled 'Mythical Magical Elf Babes of the Middle Ages 5'. 'This must be the answer I have been desperately searching for!' Junpei shouted triumphantly," shouted Junpei triumphantly.

"Uh. Just out of curiosity, is there, uh…actually a DVD called 'Mythical Magical Elf Babes of the Middle Ages 5'?" Akihiko asked.

"Nah!" Junpei said, laughing. "What are you, kidding? They've only made three in the series! I have the first three."

"Oh. Okay, I see. So you wouldn't mind if I—you know what, never mind."

"'Kay, senpai. Anyway, our hero took the pron and watched it. A couple of times."

Akihiko rolled his eyes.

"When he had finished, our hero had an idea. He combined his legendary copy of "MMEBotMA5" with a copy of "Cybele's Day Off: Hard and Fast Times at Yasogami High" and held them up into the air. Well, that didn't do shit. So, Junpei walked into the village and yelled at the dragon. 'Hey, dragon!' Junpei yelled, and the mighty dragon turned to him. 'Why do you need to destroy everything we hold dear when you could be watching these?' and to Junpei's surprise, the dragon replied in a booming voice, 'Noooooooo duuuuuuude, I already have 'Cybele's Day Off', maaaaaannnnnn.' And then Junpei said: 'Well, do you have 'When Succubi and Incubi Collide Part 2'? and the dragon said, 'Oh snap, I need that one' and Junpei said—"

Finally, Akihiko blew his stack. "Junpei!!! What in the bleepin' blasted name of Caesar is the point of all this crap? Get to the end!"

"Whoaaa, Akihiko-senpai. Do I sense some hostility?"

"JUNPEI!"

"Sorry, sorry! Aaaaaah! Uh, anyway, the dragon took Junpei's pron and left the village alone. The end."

The boys all waited in horribly awkward silence.

Finally, Akihiko lost it. Again. "Don't just end the story like that! Did the hero get the girl or not? Come on, man, don't leave the story unfinished, what the hell!"

Junpei scratched his scalp. "Uh, what girl?"

Both Ol' Blue Hair and Ken had to restrain Akihiko from bull-rushing Junpei there on the spot.

"It's not worth it, Sanada-san!" Ken yelled.

"Don't try to stop me, Ken! It's too late for sorry now!" Akihiko said, full of rage. "Lemme at 'im!"

"Please don't kill me, senpai; I swear I didn't mean it!"

It took several minutes until Akihiko calmed down enough for Our Hero and Ken to release him.

"Well, we should at least see if the commotion is over now," Akihiko said, out of breath.

The other three concurred. They each crept as slowly as possible down the stairs. They stopped at the fourth floor and looked down, but saw nothing and heard nothing.

"Hmm," Akihiko said, peering down the stairwell. "I don't see anything on the third floor. If we can just get down to the second floor, we should be fine."

So our heroes made their way down to the second floor. Unfortunately, the time they chose to go back down to the second floor was the same time that Mitsuru decided to come up. Apparently, the boys' very existence caused Mitsuru to erupt.

"I STILL HAVE THE GUILLOTINE!" Mitsuru shouted, unnecessarily loudly. "I CAN AND WILL SUMMARILY EXECUTE YOU SHOULD THE SITUATION WARRANT IT! A CAPITAL OFFENSE! CAPITAL PUNISHMENT! CAPITAL LETTERS!"

"Hey, no fair, you can hide easier because you're smaller," Akihiko whispered angrily to Ken, who had somehow slipped in-between two vending machines.

"I don't want to get my nutsack frozen off," Junpei whined, sobbing.

And that is how our heroes survived the night. Hiding near the vending machines.

-

About Four Weeks Later…

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The four guys had an impromptu meeting in the fourth floor meeting room one day. Obviously, everyone but John Doe was oblivious to the information he was about to deliver.

"Hey, dude, you had something you wanted to tell us?"

"Yeah…man. There something you needed to talk to us about?"

"Um…you said you wanted to see me…um, senpai?"

The Unpronounceable Symbol for the Character Formerly Known as the Main cleared his throat.

And promptly foretold imminent disaster.

When the group had been told of their fate, they sat, stunned and in silence. The events of several weeks before had traumatized them immensely, and they were thoroughly glad they would never have to live in fear ever again. That was until our valiant hero-in-arms gave them the bad news. Because, he had warned, those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed either to repeat them or get smacked in the face with a flying flowerpot.

Finally, Akihiko stood up and boldly proclaimed:

"Uh oh."