Two is a Crowd Chapter Nine:


POV: Snake Eyes

Oh, brothers.

I had just gotten back from a long run in the hot sun and was soaked in sweat. I was standing in front o the bathroom door – the bathroom itself "occupied" at the moment. "Thomas!! Hurry up, I have to take a shower!"

"I'll come out when I want to, and not a minute sooner!" His voice came muffled through the door.

"I said move it!"

"You'll have to kill me, first!"

"That can be arranged! OUT!"


I pushed my damp hair away from my eyes and decide4d to threaten him. "Get out now OR ELSE!!"

"That's a grandma's threat," he taunted back at me.

I had just about had enough with this boy. "Out or I'll throw you out!'

"Yeah, right," Thomas retorted.

My hands were in fists as I eyed the flimsy door. I could blow that thing down, I thought. So I did – knock it down. I gave it one pound with my shoulder and the lock burst open. Thomas stood there, mouth in an 'O.' And thankfully, dressed.

"So!" I said, eyes narrowed, "you were just standing here goading me on, huh?"

He squirted some gel into his hand. "That's right, brother!" He ran his fingers through his black hair, finger-combing it to perfection.

I arched an eyebrow as he turned and rolled his eyes at me. "Do I look like the kind to do that?" he asked, sounding righteously indignant.

"Yes, you do," I retorted, shouldering my way into the small bathroom and shoving him partially out. "Actually, you look like the poster boy for it."

"Thanks," he said, flashing a grin at me. I wrinkled my nose in distaste. "Get out – the rest of the way."

He shrugged infuriatingly, checked himself once more in the mirror, and walked past me, saying over his shoulder, "Oh, don't forget to fix that lock later, brother."

I growled and slammed the door as I turned the cold water on.

Oh well.

Part Two

POV: Storm Shadow


I caught a glimpse of red through the partially hole-ridden door and grinned. Scarlett. I caught another glimpse of something and shook my head. Tunnel Rat. Without putting my issue of "Martial Arts" down, I called "Door's closed. Open it and come on in."

Scarlett walked in, hand on hop. The other held two books. "I went by the library," she said, ushering the Walking Mishap in behind her before closing the door, "and I picked up your and Ian's books."

"Thanks, what did I have?"

With a raised eyebrow she handed it to me – Cloak of the Forbidden. The latest murder mystery. "Here."

"Thaaaank-you," I said, popping off the 'you' and taking the book. I leaned forward a little and caught a glimpse of Snakes' book. "The Second Law of Thermodynamic: The Order of the Universe." Good grief.

Tunnel Rat wrinkled his freckled nose as he looked at Snakes's book. "Uuh… what's thermo Dynamite?"

"That's 'Dynamics,' genius," Scarlett said, taking the words right out of my mouth.

"Hey, Thomas, can I borrow a towel and dry off? It just started raining all of a sudden, and I got soaked."

"I looked up, still not in full intelligence mode, and said offhandedly "Sure!"

"Thanks!" She headed down the hall. What I had just done did not dawn on me until I heard Scarlett scream and Ian yell "THOMAS ARASHIKAGE!!!!!!"

I jumped up at the same time that TR shook his soggy hair like a dog and sprayed water all over the place. Unsure as to whether fight or flee, I chose the third option – innocent confusion. And perhaps apologies. I hurried down the hallway and came to the bathroom door. There stood Scarlett, hands on hips, glaring at me with a look that would freeze Brazil. Ian was inside the bathroom, looking at me through the open door with an expression that told me I'd better have signed my will earlier that morning. His fresh T-shirt hung in one hand.

"Uh…" was all I could say.

Calmly and coolly, Ian pulled his shirt over his head and looked at the red-faced Scarlett. "Would you like to use the bathroom, Scarlett?" he asked politely.

"Yes, thank you, Ian," she answered, shooting me a last glare, and entering the bathroom as Ian exited.

"Nice going, Slick," Ian said as he looked at men, arms folded across his chest.

"Sorry," I said, sticking my hands in the air like I was being robbed. "I wasn't thinking."

"So tell me something unusual."

I glared at him, he grinned at me, and we walked into our rooms, me having forgotten about Tunnel Rat, Ian unaware that the Breathing Bug was even in the apartment.

Part Three

POV: Snake Eyes

As I finished getting ready for the day and Thomas did who knows what (in my opinion, he was probably grinning at himself in the mirror,) I wondered what Scarlett was doing here. Unbeknownst to me, Tunnel Rat had gotten it into his scrambled brain that he was hungry and should raid the cooler-sized fridge.

Tunnel Rat licked his fingers. Yummy! That fudgesicle had hit the spot. He looked at the sticky chocolate that now covered his hands – the chocolate that had remained despite the many times he had licked it. "Hmm." Where could he wash his hands? Why the bathroom, of course! He walked past the t iny kitchen sink and trotted down the hall to the bathroom. He pushed open the door, but a scream from Scarlett made him pause. "You still in der?"

"YES, I'm 'still in der,'" said Scarlett from behind the door.
"Welll, I gotta wash my hands!"

"Well, wait!"

"Why? You'se just dryin' youse hair!"

"No, I'm going to the bathroom!"

"But I jus' gotta-"

"WAIT!" Scarlett screeched.


"BECAUSE!! You don't just walk in on someone when they're in the bathroom!"

"But de door was unlocked," Tunnel Rat said quizzically, looking at the door that was open three inches. "Can't I jus' come in for a second?"

"NO!! TR, get it through your head – NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO –"

"Okay, one second," said Tunnel Rat. "One. Now!" He went to push the door open, hoping to get the sticky off his hands, but four strong hands pulled him back from the door. "Hey!" the skateboarder screeched, then turned to see the world's two greatest ninjas glaring at him. "Uh… what'd I do?"

"You tried to break in on a lady in the bathroom, that's what," I said, reaching past the teen's red head and pulling the door shut with a jerk as I glared at Tunnel Rat. "And while Tommy here might not see anything so bad in that, I –"

"HEY!" Thomas glared at me, for using his hated nickname and for the jab I had given him to get back at him for not leaving the bathroom this morning. "That's not true."

"What, ain't your name Tommy?" asked Tunnel Rat.

"Uh… no, it's Thom-AS. Thom-AS."

"Hey, Thom-AS, kin I wash my hand somewhere's else?" Tunnel Rat asked, holding up his hands. Thomas took him to the kitchen and let him wash his hands off in the sink that TR had missed. "What do I dry my hands on?" asked Tunnel Rat, doing his best to remember what Scarlett told him and be polite since they were in somebody else's home.

"Just dry them somewhere," said Thomas, laying down on the couch.

A second later he jumped up with a howl as Tunnel Rat came out of Thomas's bedroom, drying his hands on his favorite shirt. "AAAAARGH, TUNNEL RAT!! YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO USE MY CLOTHES!!" How does this kid EVER save the day!?