Title: Ore, Shoujo
Fandom: Den-O, minor crossover with Decade.
Disclaimer: This is a fanwork. I am not affiliated in any way with Toei, TV Asahi, Bandai, or Kamen Rider in any way, shape or form.
Special Thanks: B-kun, who beta'ed, pointed out several extremely embarrassing consistency errors, and kicked me until I finished this; GreenNinja, for the final beta and for tolerating me going HEY HAVE YOU FINISHED IT YET HUH HEY. They are awesome people, and any mistakes that made it into the final version are mine, not theirs.
Warnings: Mostly language (lots of F-bombs – hey, it's Momotaros), some adult themes. And, uh, genderswap, and lots of it.
This takes place directly after episode 28 of Den-O, when they get Climax Form, but has spoilers for up til episode 42-43ish, and non-explicit spoilers/foreshadowing for the rest of the series.
Super-minor-sort-of-not-really spoilers for Decade. If you've seen up to episode 10, you're good. If you haven't, you're probably still good. It's really not a huge part of the fic.
One minor spoiler for Gekiranger, because I couldn't help myself.
Everybody got that? Okay, good. Let's get started.
It was midway through the day, and so far nothing weird or extraordinary or potentially fatal had happened. Ryoutarou wan't sure if he should be worried or not.
Even the Imagin were behaving themselves. Oh, sure, Ryuu was being obnoxious and Momo and Ura kept fighting and Kin was being no help at all – but so far nothing had blown up or gone under siege or been randomly launched into space, and they'd only publically humiliated him a couple of times. All in all, it was a pretty quiet day.
So it was almost a relief when, on his way back from getting groceries, a nearby door flung open and Hana came racing out, waving her arms madly. The door hit Ryoutarou full in the face and he went down, tearing his shirt and spilling groceries everywhere.
"Ryoutarou, you have to come quickly, there's –" Hana started, but then she stopped, puzzled. After a moment it occurred to her to look down for him, and she sighed. "Oh, you're hopeless. Come on, get on the train!"
Ryoutarou protested, still trying to gather up the fallen and partially-crushed food, but he had barely enough time to shove it all haphazardly back in the bag before Hana grabbed him by the collar and dragged him back through the door.
Well, he had been thinking today had been sort of dull…
"Is it an Imagin attack?" he asked, resigning himself to not getting home on time. The rainbow-colored sky of the fourth dimension flashed past him, and then he was in the DenLiner's hallway, Hana still pulling him forward. "Or – something in the time stream? What's wrong? Why –"
"SURPRISE!" shouted five voices at once, and Ryoutarou screamed like a little girl and dropped the groceries again. The Imagin (plus Naomi) crowded around him, grinning hugely, as though they hadn't just almost given him a heart attack.
"Happy birthday!" Ura added. Ryoutarou tried to get his bearings back, and failed.
"It's not my –" he started, before he realized who'd said it. "What's going on?"
Everyone beamed at him. Ryoutarou wondered if he'd accidentally done something cool while he wasn't paying attention.
"We're celebrating Climax Form," Hana told him, with a kind of half-smile that he'd never seen on her before. "And everything that led up to it. I'm really impressed, Ryoutarou – you know, when I first met you, I really didn't think you'd survive your first battle, let alone get this far. And especially after you went and picked up four more idiots along the way. I never expected you to get so far!"
Ryoutarou nodded weakly, not sure if this was supposed to be a compliment or not. He appreciated the thought, but honestly, a 'congratulations, we all thought you'd be dead by now!' party seemed a little…morbid.
"It was my idea," Momo said, which Ryoutarou supposed made sense. He looked so proud of himself, though, that he didn't have the heart to say anything, and just tried to smile.
"Yeah, whatever," said Ryuu. "Where's the cake? I want cake!"
Kin said nothing, just clapped Ryoutarou on the back in manly congratulations; Ryoutarou cringed as something cracked, and he rubbed discreetly at his shoulder when Kin wasn't looking.
"I want to be clear, I went along with this only for the entertainment value," Ura was saying, as Naomi presented Ryoutarou with a cup of coffee. But this was not just any cup of coffee – she'd somehow managed to stuff an entire cake on top of it, complete with three-inch deep icing in the Imagin's respective colors. There was a little beige bit in the middle that Ryoutarou thought was probably supposed to be him.
"I, um, wow," he managed, after a moment of just staring at it in horror. He glanced up at Naomi hopefully, but no, it appeared that she actually expected him to eat it. "It looks…wow. Did I mention I just ate? Maybe I could, um, just take some for later –"
There was a loud screeching noise, and the room was plunged into darkness.
Oh thank god, now I don't have to eat it, was Ryoutarou's first thought. Then his brain caught up with him and he said, "AUGH!"
Nobody heard him over the Imagin's shrieking. Hana was screaming herself hoarse from somewhere off to the left – not that she was frightened, she was actually yelling at them to shut up – and Naomi was gibbering something about everyone being careful not to crush the cake, and then –
"It seems," Owner said gravely, "that we have lost power throughout the entire train."
Ryoutarou nearly screamed again. Had Owner even been in the car a second ago?! But there he was now; he'd gotten a flashlight from somewhere, and he was holding it directly under his face. The effect was only slightly more maniacal than usual.
"Lost power?" Hana demanded. "What do you mean, lost power? Aren't we powered by the Den-Bird?"
Owner shrugged. They waited another minute, but this looked like this was all the answer they were going to get. Hana sighed irritably.
"Okay, well," she said, "I guess we'd better split up and look for a – fuse box, or something? And somebody should go check out the Den-Bird, just in case."
"I'll go," Ryoutarou volunteered, mostly because it was as far away from the dining car and Naomi's cake as he could get. Hana nodded and set about assigning the Imagin to check the other parts of the train; as he slipped out, Ryoutarou could hear a giant fight erupting already. He moved faster.
He'd just reached the door to the driver's cab when something moved behind him. He froze and, not knowing if he wanted to look, carefully turned around.
There was nothing there. Was that a good or bad sign? Heart pounding, Ryoutarou turned back –
"Oi," Momo hissed, and Ryoutarou proceeded to jump right out of his skin. "Are you going in or not?"
"Oh my god don't do that," Ryoutarou gasped, clutching at his heart. "Wait, why are you here? I thought Hana told you to search the Gouka cars?"
"Yeah, well, she's a nosy bitch who doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about," Momo said, without remorse. "And god only knows what kind of trouble you'd get up to on your own. Somebody has to make sure you don't trip over your own feet and crack your fucking head open."
Ryoutarou rolled his eyes, but he didn't say anything as Momo followed him into the cab. It was Momo's way of saying he was worried about him being alone, which was – well, kind of misguided, really. It wasn't like an Imagin was going to just jump out at him from behind the Den-Bird or anything –
Something shifted behind the Den-Bird. Ryoutarou had just enough time to curse himself for thinking that before an Imagin leapt out, going straight for his throat.
Fortunately Momo's reflexes were better than his, and all he saw was a big red blur as the two Imagin hit each other head-on. He had the impression of something vaguely catlike with big spiked boots, and he was just fumbling for his Rider Pass when –
"What the hell?" Momo said in bewilderment. The Imagin was dissolving back into sand, utterly silently; it was actually a pretty creepy sight. "I barely even touched it! Come on, that's not fair – you get back here and give me a real fight –"
There was a soft hum, and the lights flickered back on. Ryoutarou had to squint in the sudden brightness.
"Was that an Imagin?!" Hana's voice said, from the doorway. She was standing there, the other Imagin peering over the top of her head. "How did an Imagin get onto the train?!"
"Ahem," Ura said. Hana glared first at him, then back at Ryoutarou.
"If you let another one onto the train –" she started menacingly, but Ryoutarou shook his head before she could finish.
"Momo killed it," he said quickly. "Actually it was weird, he only hit it once and it just died –"
"It did it on purpose," Momo grumbled. "Just to spite me. I know it!"
Hana frowned. "I guess that's what messed with the power," she said. "So – if you killed it, and the power's back…maybe it was just trying to mess with us, since it wasn't that strong?"
Somehow, Ryoutarou didn't think that was it. The whole thing had just been so – pointless. What had it intended to do, once it had the power out? And dying in one hit was just weird, even if it had been weak. Why had it even bothered?
It was almost like it had been trying to distract them, or something. But of course that was ridiculous – when had Imagin ever worked together, especially when it meant self-sacrifice? Even his Imagin didn't like cooperating. And even then, what could it have been trying to distract them from…?
He told himself all this, but he still felt uneasy. Something was not right here.
Well, I can't do anything about it until it shows up, he thought, although that thought didn't make him feel any better either. He was silent as they trooped back to the dining car, trailing behind the rest of them.
"Well, I still want cake," Ryuu whined, which broke the mood. Naomi (who could cheerfully pour a cup of coffee for Death himself) began slicing and serving cake, prompting Ryoutarou to suddenly remember that he really desperately had to be elsewhere right now.
"Neesan really needs these groceries," he explained, ignoring that most of them had been damaged when he dropped them, and Kin had sat on the bag at some point and crushed the rest of them. "So I'll see you later, then. No, I'm sure I don't need to take any home with me…"
He was ready to just jump right off by the time the train finally coasted to a stop. He almost did, but the manners that had been ground into him since birth took over.
"Thanks," he said, dodging Naomi's millionth offer of cake. "But I really have to get home, or Neesan will start to worry –"
And that was when something grabbed him by the head and pulled him out of the train.