Disclaimer: This story was written as a result of a dare to see if I could write a piece of TCR fanfiction. Things ensued, and this is the end result. I don't actually think it's a bad movie, despite what the fic says. So if you come to me wailing about how I made fun of a beloved Studio Ghibli film… get a sense of humor. But on with the show! Enjoy! (or don't, but that's your call.)
Chapter I: The Adventure Begins, is Cut Short, but then Begins for Real
"If you find yourself troubled by something mysterious, or a problem that's hard to solve, there's a place you can go where you'll always find help…", said the Baron's voiceover.
"Your therapist." Said Tom Servo.
"No! No! No!" yelled the Narrator. " doesn't allow MSTing! Get out of here before we get taken down!"
Joel, Crow, and Tom scrambled out of the theater, and then several burly men with axes demolished the seats before chasing after them.
"Okay," said the Narrator. "Let's try this one more time."
In a quiet Japanese suburban district not unlike this one… oh wait, it is this one. Well, in this quiet Japanese surban district, Haru Yoshioma's alarm clock went off. She slammed the snooze button and went back to sleep.
"Wake up, Haru!" yelled her mother. "You're going to be late!"
Haru panicked and got up out of bed. She stuffed her pyjamas under her bedsheets and quickly threw on her school uniform. She raced downstairs and met her mother, who was already eating.
"Too bad you don't have time for breakfast," teased her mother. "Mmmm-mmm!" she said as she took a bite out of her sandwich.
"I don't care," said Haru as she ran out, "I hate your cooking anyway. By the way, have you seen Dad?"
"Of course not!" laughed her mother. "This is a Studio Ghibli film, 95% of our human characters are women."
But Haru had already dashed out the door.
Haru couldn't afford to be late. Especially after being late for school yesterday… and the day before yesterday… and all of last week… and last month… come to think of it, she couldn't remember a single day when she had arrived to school on time.
Most schools in Japan have to start at least two hours later then schools in other places, due to the massive influx of schoolgirls that are late.
Haru ran down the street, panicking. Her loafer somehow flew off of her foot, and she had to run back and get it. Then she had to stop and wait for a bunch of um, baseball playing joggers to pass by.
Finally, she reached school and tried to sneak into her class.
"We can all see you, Haru," said her teacher. "I mean geez, what do you think we are, blind?"
The whole class burst out laughing.
"Busted…" giggled Haru's best friend Hiromi.
"Shut up," said Haru crossly. "I'm a Japanese schoolgirl, federal law requires I have to be late for class at least once a week."
Later that day, Hiromi and Haru 9were chatting and walking down the street in what appeared to be the middle of the day. I dunno, maybe they skipped classes or something.
"You should really ask your Generic Crush™ out," said Hiromi nonchalantly.
"I thought he already had a girlfriend," said Haru.
"Yeah," replied Hiromi. "He's got a freshman girlfriend, really cute."
"Then why did you tell me to ask him out?!" yelled Haru, and swung her schoolbag at her friend playfully.
"'Cause I like manipulating your emotions and getting a rise out of you." Hiromi giggled.
Their conversation was cut short when a grey cat carrying a box walked between them. Haru was surprised and stared at it, as it boldly walked out into the road.
"Haru, it's just a cat," said Hiromi crossly. "C'mon."
"No, no, wait." Said Haru. "I think this is important to the plot."
The cat ran out further into the road, when suddenly a truck came barreling down towards it. Haru didn't even think. Grabbing her lacrosse stick, Haru lunged into the road, scooping up the cat in her net and carrying him across the road, just as the truck roared past. To emphasize the importance of this scene, everything turned into slow motion.
"Nice save, Haru!" yelled Hiromi.
As Haru lunged across the road, she smashed her lacrosse stick against a parking meter, sending the grey cat flying into a bush.
"Moron!" Hiromi screamed at the truck driver. Hiromi had just been standing there the whole time and not doing anything particularly useful.
The truck driver stuck his arm out of the window and flipped Hiromi off. "Go to hell!" he shouted at her.
On the other side of the road, Haru was exhausted from her outburst of energy. She stared at the cat to see if it was alright. It was, indeed alright.
A bit too alright. It was standing on it's hind limbs and it had dusted itself off. "Thank you for saving me," said the cat. "I would have died if it wasn't for you. I will return with gifts for you in due time."
"Um… you're welcome," said Haru, uncertainly.
The cat streaked off and Hiromi jaywalked across the street to see if her friend was okay.
"Th-th-that cat just talked!" stammered Haru to a disbelieving Hiromi.
"Did you hit your head?" asked a concerned Hiromi.
"No! It talked! I swear it did! The cat talked! Look to the skies! Don't fall asleep! The Statue of Liberty! It was Earth all along! Soylent Green is PEOPLE!" said Haru, her claims not convincing Hiromi in the slightest.
"C'mon," said Hiromi. "Let's go back to class. And stop muttering under your breath."
Chapter II: Quilt pro Quo
"Mom, I'm home!" called Haru as she walked in throught front door.
"Watch out," warned her mother. "I'm quilting again." Pathes of fabric lay everywhere. This quilting wasnever realy adressed again in the film, so we ought to just forget it happened.
As the evening wore on, Haru grew worried about what had happened on the street.
"Mom, can cats talk?" asked Haru over dinner.
"That's strange," said her mother. "You asked that same question when you were little…"
"You gave some of your Goldfish crackers-I mean 'fish cookies' to a stray cat." Said the voiceover.
(CUE HARU GIVING FISH COOKIES TO STRAY KITTEN)
(INSERT CUTE KITTEN FACE HERE)
"You said that the cat was thanking you for giving you the cookie." Laughed her mother. "You were so cute,"
"So what do you mean by that?" asked Haru. "Cats can talk? I thought that cats could talk? I'm the next Son of Sam? I need answers, dammit!"
That night, Haru was awoken when she saw a light flashing in the streets below. "Oh, great," she muttered to herself. "The UFOs are back again."
She left the house and gazed at the lights. But it was on a UFO, but instad a procession of upright-walking cats coming up the street. Some of the cats were dressed as Secret Service agents, and they chased off the cats that weren't walking on two legs. I guess even cats can be racist sometimes.
On a palanquin was a huge, unimaginably hideous stratabismic cat.
"Presenting the King of Cats!" said the King's advisor.
Haru looked at him warily.
"Come a little closer…" said the advisor. "Closer… closer… closer… no, no, no. Go back a bit, you pervert."
The King looked at Haru. "Well, um, thanks." He said in a voice that sounded suspisciously like Elvis's. The procession moved off into the distance, where somehow nobody saw them, even though they were standing upright in a heavily populated suburban district. Haru decided to go back to bed.
The next morning Haru woke up and wondered about what a strange dream she had about talking cats. Suddenly, she heard her mom yell.
"Auuugh! The lawn is ruined!" said Haru's mother. "Get down here!"
Haru obediently came down the stairs. All of the grass had been replaced with a waving field of cattails.
"Oh, no!" yelled Haru. "This is gonna be hell to mow!"
The phone rang. It was Hiromi from the school. "I came in here this morning and I'm up to my ass in lacrosse sticks!" she said, confused. "Apparantly they're for you! Either you have a really creepy and rich secret admirer or you're so lonely you send lacrosse sticks to yourself, but either way, you have a problem. What do you want me to do with them?"
"I dunno, give them to charity or something. Lacrosse for Humanity. I've got to go, I'm late!" yelled Haru.
Haru burst out of the door and ran to school, late, as Japanese federal law dictated.
Cats began to follow her. "Go away!" she yelled. "Haven't you caused me enough suffering already?"
But more cats followed her. She ran to school, the cats hot on her heels. "Help!" she yelled. "I don't want to be a crazy cat lady!"
"Hey!" shouted some guy who was loitering outside the school. "No pets allowed!"
"No!" said Haru. "They're not mine! Some moron put catnip on my dress, and now they're following me! Call Animal Control or something!"
Haru dashed into the school and slammed the door shut, breathing heavily. "Freaking cats," she said, before going to her locker. She twisted the lock ando pened it, only to find a mass of small pink boxes. One of them fell out and revealed a rat.
A live rat.
Haru screamed and ran backwards, but more boxes fell out and revealed a horde of rats. "Eeeeeeeek!" screamed Haru.
Indiana Jones straightened his fedora.
Later that afternoon, Haru was taking the school's trash outside. "Oh, God," she said. "My life is a living hell! I wish I'd never saved that cat," she angsted. Haru saw her Generic Crush with his girlfriend. So distracted was she by this spontaneous outpouring of pubescent romance and her own hormone-fuelled heartbreak that she tripped, sending garbage flying everywhere. "Oh, no!" she said. "Now I have to clean this mess up again!" she added unnessecarily.
As she kneeled over, she heard a voice.
"Miss Haru! Psssssst! Down here!"
It was one of the cats from the procession. Haru still couldn't tell if it was a woman or just a really flamboyant guy.
"IT'S YOU!" she yelled. "I'M GOING TO FREAKING STRANGLE YOU!" she screamed again.
"No! No, Miss Haru!" said the cat. "I just wanted to ask you if you liked your gifts!"
"NO! NO!" yelled Haru. "YOU CATS PUT ME THROUGH ALL THIS AND NOW THERE'S HELL TO PAY!"
"Oh," said the cat. "We thought you would like them. Now I'll need to tell the King about that. He won't be pleased at all," s/he said.
"Oh," said Haru. "I'm sorry to hear that. NOW TASTE MY FISTS PUNY FURRY CREATURE!"
"Wait! Wait! How about if we arranged a visit to the Cat Kingdom?" asked Natoru. "You can be married to the Cat Prince…"
"Hmmm…well… maybe I'd fit in better with a bunch of cats." Said Haru, thinking it over. "Lying in the sun, eating whatever I want, starring in an unfunny comic series…" she smiled to herself.
"Excellent!" said Natoru. "I'll tell the Cat King right away!" and he dashed off.
"Wait!" yelled Haru. "I didn't say I wanted to! Come back! I don't even know if you're a man or a woman!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," said Ed Wood, who was passing by. "We gender-confused people have it tough, okay?"
"Shut up! You can't even direct a film!" she shouted angrily, before bursting into tears. "I don't want to marry a cat!" she wailed.
(CUE DREAM SEQUENCE OF CAT/HUMAN MARRIAGE)
(END DREAM SEQUENCE)
"C'mon! Think, Haru, think!", she said to herself, pacing back and forth.
Suddenly, she heard a voice that echoed in her head.
"Use the Force, Haru!" said Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"Haru, you must avenge your father's death!" said Hamlet's father.
"The Matrix is not found, Haru. It is earned!" said one of the Seven Primes.
"No, no, no." said another voice that cut through the confusion. "You're all in the wrong movie. This film is under my jurisdiction. "All of you clear out!" she said, angrily.
"Hmph. Hard-ass." Muttered a Prime.
"Haru, you must go to the Cat Bureau. They will help you. Look for a fat white cat at the Crossroads!" she said.
"Wait!" said Haru. "Who are you? How did you establish telepathic contact with me?"
"I'm a plot device," said the voice. "I'm supposed to be here to establish dramatic tension, but really the writers couldn't find a better way to advance the story. But hey, stick around and you'll find out who I am."
"But that's not important!" the voice continued. "Go to the Crossroads and find the fat white cat!"
"Okay, okay." Said Haru "I'll go."
Chapter III- The Stakes Rise, Drop a Bit, are Interrupted by George Carlin, and Go Back Up
The crossloads- I mean crossroads was packed with people. Haru was having a difficult time trying to find a fat white cat.
"Where is the fat white cat?" said Haru, unnessecarily.
So she sat down on a chair and got up very quickly when she heard something scream.
"AUGH!" she screamed as she realized she had sat down on a cat. It was very fat, and white.
Haru gasped with surprise. "Do you know about the Cat Bureau?" she asked it.
"Did you just nod?" she asked.
It nodded again.
"Can you take me to the Cat Bureau?" she asked it.
It quickly got up and ran off.
"Wait for me!" she yelled and took off after it.
The chase lasted almost five minutes. Nothing much happened. The fat cat took a very long and convoluted route through some back alleys. Several viewers got up and made themselves popcorn. Most just fast-forwarded through this scene. A few played Yakety Sax to add comedy to the scene.
Finally, the cat and Haru came to a very strange place. It was a pavilion lined with very small houses. In the middle was a very large statue of a bird.
The cat sat down and pulled out a newspaper.
"How are you reading that?" asked Haru. "More importantly, how are you turning the pages without opposable thumbs?"
"Repeattoyourselfit'!" screamed Joel as he ran by, pursued by one of the burly men that was waving an axe threateningly.
The sun began to set.
"AGH I'M BLIND!" screamed Haru as the shafts of sunlight arced through the windows of the Refuge and pointed towards the door of a small green house.
"Alright Baron!" said the fat cat as he put down his newspaper. "Nobody's impressed with your lightshow!"
The door opened.
The camera was aimed as such as to obscure the identity of the person leaving the house.
Until… about… now.
It was a orange cat, walking upright and wearing a white suit and top hat.
Haru was stunned.
"I am Baron Von Gikkington, at your service." Said the Baron. His green eyes twinkled in the evening light and his cane was impeccable. He bowed in such a brilliantly dashing and handsome matter, and his elegantly styled coattails bent backwards… and you know what? The hell with it, let's just call this guy Marty Stu. "I see you've already met my companion Muta over there," he gestured at the fat white cat.
"I'm Haru." Said Haru. "A plot device told me I should find you. Nice to meet you too, Moo-ta."
Muta stood up. "You callin' me a cow?".
"Yes," said the Baron. "But I must warn you, Haru, you'll find you're in a dimension quite different from your own. A dimension of time, a dimension of space, a dimension of mind. You've entered… the Refuge."
"Um… pardon?" asked Haru.
"This is the Refuge. A place where Creations go. You see, when somebody puts their heart into making something, it will come alive. Like Toto over there."
At that moment the bird statue burst into life as well and immediately a burly axe-wielding man tried to kill him.
"Wait! Wait!" yelled Toto. I'm not the Crow you're looking for! He's hiding over there with Joel!" He motioned to a red-jumpsuited man and a golden robot hiding behind a lamppost.
"Sorry," said the burly man. "First day on the job, you know how it is." The burly man took off after the duo.
"Come inside so we may discuss your problem," said the Baron.
Meanwhile, Muta and Toto fought and exchanged snappy banter.
Haru tried to fit into the house, but since she was huge compared to the Baron she was having a tough time of it. She squashed up awkwardly against one of the walls.
"So you live here, right? But there are about twelve other houses around here. So who lives in them?" asked Haru, trying to make conversation.
"Well," said Marty- um, the Baron- "The Keebler Elf, Tinkerbell, Lucky the Leprechaun, Snap, Crackle and Pop, Mr. Conductor-"
Mr. Conductor appeared in a shower of golden dust. "Well," he said. "That reminds me of the time that Thomas and Percy-"
"Shut up!" yelled the Baron. "For the last time, nobody here cares about Thomas!"
"Well, **** you, you ******* ******* ****!" screamed Mr. Conductor, who had reverted to his 'George Carlin' persona. "****!" he shrieked as he blew his steam whistle and disappeared.
"Anyways," said the Baron, "it's hell living here. God knows I've tried to rent an apartment by the sea, but landlords turn me down because I'm three feet tall and I piss everywhere to mark my territory." He got up and poured some tea. Haru watched with interest.
"Here," he said, giving her a teacup. "It's my own special blend. It tastes different every time."
"I'll get my special mulberries," said Toto, and flew out the window.
"When he says 'special'…" said Haru warily. "does he mean…"
"Yes," confirmed the Baron. "If he gives you anything, just say 'no' and don't actually eat it."
Haru took a sip of the tea and immediately spit it out. "Gah!" she said. It tastes like rat droppings fried in transmission fluid!"
"Well," said the Baron. "It tastes different every time, you've got to get the short end of the straw at least once." He poured himself a cup of tea. "Let's talk about your problem."
Several minutes of exposition passed.
"You have an interesting dilemma," said the Baron. "I've always wanted to visit the Cat Kingdom myself, so I think I'll take advantage of your predicament and use your misfortune for my pleasure."
Haru began to wonder if the plot point- er, telepathic voice had been right in sending her here.
"But while I'm there I'll try and negotiate with the King about this."
The doorbell rang.
Haru, being naïve, automatically opened the door.
It was Natoru.
"It's time!" s/he said cheerily. "It's time for you to go to the Kingdom of Cats!"
Cats burst in through the doors and windows, and pushed Haru onto a waiting mass of felines that swiftly carried her out of the Refuge. "Auuuugh!" she screamed. "Help me, Marty!"
Toto burst in through the window. "Stu- I mean Baron! Huge mass of cats coming this way!" He stopped and reconsidered. "I'm too late, aren't I?"
"Yes, you are," said the Baron. "You were too busy getting whacked out on your 'special mulberries' and listening to Pink Floyd, weren't you?"
"That's neither here nor there," said Toto uncertainly. "Get on, I'll carry you."
Meanwhile, Haru was frantic. "Get me off! Get me off!" she screamed in terror.
"Relax, Miss Haru. You've just got pre-wedding jitters!" smiled Natoru.
"I do not! Go away and chat up Ed Wood or something!"
"Leave me out of this!" yelled Ed Wood. "I have enough problems as it is!"
Muta pursued the mob of cats. Toto swooped down and dropped Muta onto the horde, but the horde just split around him and Muta fell face first onto the pavement.
"AAAGH MY FACE!" he screamed in agony.
Haru was very surprised. "I thought cats always landed on their feet," she said to Narotu.
"No, not always," s/he replied.
The cats opened a portal and leapt through.
"Think with portals!" yelled the Baron, as Toto folded his wings and swooped into the closing portal.
Then followed another long and ultimately pointless chase that did nothing other than to let the Studio Ghibli employees show off their animating skills. Some viewers went to the bathroom.
Chapter IV- Felinity Ensues
Haru woke up in an infinite white void.
"Guuuuh…," she moaned, "Where am I?" she asked Muta, who was now larger than Barry Bonds.
"AAAAAAHHOLYBJEEZUSALMIGHTYYOU'REFREAKINGHUGE!" she screamed.
"Naw, chicky. You got smaller!" retorted Muta.
"But how did my clothes shrink too?" asked Haru.
"It's a family film," said Muta. "We can't have ya runnin' round, well… you know…"
"But where am I?" she asked. "Last thing I remember we were about to fall into a lake."
"You're in the Kingdom of Cats!" said Muta. And precisely at that time the fog conveniently lifted to reveal the Kingdom!
Cats were everywhere, which is what you'd expect for a place named the Kingdom of Cats. Cattails grew everywhere, the elderly had cataracts, bored people were catatonic, and so on.
At that moment, a procession of cats arrived, led by Naroti.
"Oh, Miss Haru!" s/he cried flamboyantly. "We are sorry we had to drop you. You fat friend here-"
"Hey!" yelled Muta. "I prefer the term 'obese'."
"-exceeded our weight limit and we had to jettison weight. We'd invent some form of vehicular transport, but we don't have any thumbs."
"But how did you build the castle then?" asked Haru, confused.
"Eh," s/he said. "We sub-contracted out to the Kingdom of Chimps. Now come! The King awaits!"
At that moment a small white cat came bounding up. She wore a pink ribbon so that the viewers could tell her apart from the mass of generic cats in the film.
Natoru looked at her. "Who are you?" s/he asked.
The pink cat bowed her head. "I am Yuki. I take care of the place- I mean, I work at the castle."
"Can she come with us?" asked Haru.
"No, you'll meet her there," said Natoru.
Muta and Haru were carried into the castle atop the palanquin. Something played that vaguely resembled the
Meanwhile in the castle, the King was watching the whole scene. His advisor came up behind him. "Your majesty, Haru is arriving in the castle."
Then the King did the funky chicken.
"This way, Miss Haru!" said one of the servant cats as they entered the castle. Muta tried to follow, but was cut off. "No, Muta!" laughed Haru. "Go in there and be comic relief or something."
Muta lumbered into the other room, which was filled with food. He began to eat, before he spied a massive jar of purple stuff. His interest piqued, he wandered over.
In the dressing room, Haru began to have doubts about this whole operation. Which was weird, because you'd think that she'd have doubts about marrying a housecat from the get-go.
"But the prince is a cat, right?" asked Haru to the king and his advisor. "I can't marry a cat. It's uh, against my religion. Actually, I think it goes against every single major religion on the planet. Where is the prince anyways?"
"He is conveniently away on official business," said the King.
The king and his advisor looked at one another. Then they looked back at her and smiled in a creepy way
"And the whole species-compatabilty thing is taken care of," said the King. "You already are half cat."
"Wait, what?" she asked. In the space of about two seconds Haru had been turned into a catgirl. How? Why? This narrator doesn't know. Repeat to yourself it's just an anime, I should really just-Auuuugh! No, no, no! I'm not who you're looking for! They're over there, and they're getting away!
Haru reached up and felt her fuzzy ears, which now were pointed and perked on the top of her head. Some attendants rolled up a mirror and Haru examined her new face. "Look at that," she muttered. "I'm a cat."
"…Wait a second…" Haru said, "…that's a bad thing!" Then she did what any sensible person would do in this situation, which was to scream. Loudly
The King stood there and smiled in his creepy way. Pervert.
Haru burst out of the door and ran into the adjacent one, where she found another nasty surprise. Muta was immersed in what appeared to be Purplesaurus Kool-Aid.
"I'm sorry, Miss Haru," said Natoru. Your fat friend displayed a particular weakness for Kool-Aid, er, I mean catnip jelly. He just dove right in," explained Natoru.
"Oh my God, they killed Muta! Those b******s!" screamed Haru as she tried to grasp onto the glass jar, but failed because she had no fingers. Attendants wheeled it away (wait, how did it get onto wheels in the first place?) and took Haru with it.
"But I don't wanna be a pirate-I mean, a cat!" she wailed.
In the ballroom, Haru continued to angst over her predicament. "I'm trapped in another dimension, my friend is stuck in a jar of Kool-Aid, and I'm turning into a cat!" she sobbed. And my mom is allergic to cats!" she finished.
In an effort to cheer up his daughter-in-law-to-be, the King arranged for entertainment. First up was the cat equivalent of a knife-thrower, but he used squid, which as any fool knows are hardly sharp. So he got thrown out the window.
Next up was a clown, but this failed miserably because even in alternate universes clowns are still creepy and alienating. Some moron laughed, so the King threw him (the guy who laughed) out the window too.
"THE NEXT PERSON BETTER NOT MESS UP!" yelled the King. Nobody else dared entertain Haru, which was alright with Haru because apparently cats really sucked at entertaining people.
Until he walked into the ballroom.
Nobody could tell who he was, because he wore a Zorro-style mask and a hat. All that Haru knew was that he was orange and talked like the Baron, but it couldn't be him, because- Oh God, how stupid are these people? The only disguise thinner then this was wearing a pair of Groucho Marx glasses! Argh!
He reached out and offered his hand to Haru. "Would you care to dance?" he asked.
"I couldn't. I'm a meowsy dancer and- Oh no! I'm already making bad cat-related puns!" sobbed Haru.
But he scooped her up into his arms and the dance began. They waltzed all over the ballroom floor to French-sounding accordion music.
"SQUEE!" squealed the fangirls in delight, and ran to their computers, where they began work on Cat Returns-themed video mashups.
And a long dance sequence followed. Haru grew whiskers, Marty-I mean the Baron-I mean, the oh-so mysterious masked stranger dispensed meaningless advice, and the camera began duplicating angles from Beauty and the Beast.
"Don't lose yourself, Haru," said the oh-so mysterious masked stranger of strangeness. "But haven't I told you that before?" He smiled at her.
"Wait a second!" said Haru. "I know you! You're-you're-"
"Zorro?" asked Natoru.
"Mrs. Beasly?" asked Joel.
"Chief?" asked Tom
"McCloud?" asked Crow in a gravelly voice.
"Baron!" shouted Haru in delight, and embraced him.
"I am Baron Von Gikkingon, and I have come for the girl!" said the Baron, as he threw his hat and mask at the King. Anybody who says otherwise better get ready for an ass-whooping!"
"SQUEEEEEEEEE!" squealed the fangirls even louder, and the number of video mashups on Youtube tripled.
"Get him!" yelled the King, and a bunch of green (?) cats threw shurikens at him.
"Ha!'' laughed the Baron, and turned his cloak around, which somehow deflected the shurikens into Muta's jar. "I wove Kevlar into my cloak for just this occasion! Always be prepared!"
Muta's jar broke open, and he fell out in a wave of jelly.
"RAAARGH MUTA SMASH," Muta roared as he extracted himself from the purple crap.
"Eeeee!" "He's hideous!" came the cries of some attendant cats that we'll never hear from again.
"IT'S CATNIPPIN' TIME," Muta exclaimed as he lumbered towards the green (?) military cats and an epic battle ensued.
"Over here!" whispered Yuki to the other two.
Marty and Haru leapt behind the table, where Yuki was waiting for them.
"Sigh," angsted Haru. "I'm such an idiot. I should have left when you told me to. Now look at me."
"Baron," said Yuki. "We down here have heard about your Bureau. Take Haru and get her out of here quickly!"
"Wait a minute!" interrupted Haru. "it was you! You were the plot point! You sent me on this insane quest and now my only future is as an actress… in Meow Mix commercials! Thanks a lot!"
"There's still hope," said Yuki. "If you can get to the top of the tower before morning, you can turn back… but if you don't, you remain a cat FOREVER." The music briefly turned ominous.
"Quick," continued Yuki. "I just happen to know of some secret tunnels that we can put to use! To the Cat-Passages!"
Haru took off her ballroom gown, so she was in her school uniform.
So, to recap, she had been turned into a catgirl.
And she was wearing a Japanese sailor suit.
Oh God, it just gets worse from here, doesn't it?
Chapter V Labarynths, Love, and Lazy Writers
Yuki, Haru, and the Baron slid through the secret underground passageway.
"Aaaaagh!" screamed Haru. "My tail is chafing!"
Yuki popped open a man (or cat) hole and surveyed the scene before crawling out. Haru and Stu followed.
"Wait a sec. How does my tail even fit through my-" asked Haru.
"Shush!" said the Baron. "Don't get this fic marked higher than it already is!"
Above them, they heard the crash of glass and saw Muta falling towards them.
Muta landed on his rear.
"Why don't cats here land on their feet here?" asked Haru.
"Comedic effect," said Baron. "Let's go! Time is running out!" Muta and Haru followed the Baron into a maze that wound around the base of the tower.
The maze was very confusing, because it was a maze, which are supposed to be confusing.
"We still have plenty of time," said Haru. "It's still mid-afternoon."
"No," said the Baron. "It's always mid-afternoon here. It's past midnight in your world."
Haru gasped. "Then we have to search faster! Go! Go! Go! Panic! Alarm! Shock!" She began running around the maze trying to find a way out.
"No! We must do this systematically!" said the Baron.
"To hell with the system!" yelled Haru. "I'm not spending the rest of my life asking for cheezburgers!"
Then there was trouble. Some of the King's soldiers attacked Haru and the Baron.
"Get back!" yelled the Baron. Then there was a fight, and it ended in the Baron whacking people with his cane. "Haidouken!" he yelled as he thwacked people with the cane.
After the battle, Baron inspected it. "It's bent." He said. "Ah well, I was going to buy a new one anyways."
"Maybe you wouldn't need to buy a new one if you didn't whack people with it!" said Haru crossly.
The long and tedious journey through the maze continued.
"Wait a second," said Haru. This wall wasn't there a second ago!"
"You're probably just going in circles, chicky." Said Muta.
"No, I'm sure of it!" said Haru,and pushed against the wall… which was really a cat in disguise, who fell backwards onto another fake wall, which fell onto another fake wall… and so on, and so on, until they all had fallen domino-style and revealed the exit. Because through some astronomical chance, all the cats had lined themselves up perfectly straight.
"How stupid do they have to be to line up in order?" asked the King's advisor, who had stolen the Narrator's thunder.
"Very good, Haru!" said the Baron. They ran to the base of the tower, the spines of the cats they trod upon snapping as they charged towards the tower. They began to ascend the staircase, but Haru tired.
"I'll catch up to you!" she wheezed, but the Baron scooped her up in his arms and began to carry her up the stairs.
"!!!!"shrieked the fangirls, and shattered several nearby panes of glass while doing so. The Baron looked down at Haru. Haru blushed and turned away.
"…" said the fangirls, but they couldn't be heard because their delighted squealing had ascended past the audio range of a normal human ear.
As they ascended the winding staircase, several soldiers lunged out in front of them. Fortunately, the stairs crumbled and the soldiers plummeted to their doom. "That's what you get when you subcontract construction to chimps!" said Muta.
Muta, Baron, and Haru inched their way across the crumbled staircase before reaching solid ground, where they continued.
Meanwhile, the king was dark with rage. "They're getting away!" he yelled. "Bring out… THE DETONATOR."
"My God!" yelled the King's advisor. "He's gone mad! I don't even know why we bothered to install a self-destruct sequence in the tower. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but now…"
"I'm not crazy!" yelled the King. "I have to fight against infiltration, subversion, and contamination of our precious bodily fluids! Give me THE DETONATOR!"
"Never!" said the King's advisor. "You'll kill us all, you madman!"
"I have it!" squeaked Natoru, and s/he pulled it out of her/his… um, where did s/he pull it from? Gross. Never mind.
"Ha, ha!" laughed the King, and siezed it. "From Hell's heart I stab at thee!" he yelled, and pushed the button.
Haru, Muta, and the Baron were reaching the top of the tower, but suddenly they heard a rumbling noise and felt the tower sink from under them and go plummeting back down to earth.
"Why hasn't this crappy day ended yet!?" yelled Haru, and grabbed onto a pillar. Baron grabbed her, followed by Muta.
Explosions rocked the tower. BOOM! POW! SMASH! Michael Bay cackled with childlike glee as the tower went blooey.
The tower sank into the ground, throwing up a huge wall of dust and plaster as it collapsed.
"Well, we're right back to where we started," observed Muta as the tower settled. "Trust me, chicky. It's not so bad being a cat."
"Do I have to learn to like mice?" asked Haru.
"Don't give up hope just yet," said the Baron. "I think help is on the way,"
And it had. A row of cat soldiers had arrived, and one of them was the Prince. They advanced forward, just as the King's crew ran to the tower.
"Father?" asked the Prince. "I come back and in my absence you blew up a tower. Do you have any idea how much taxpayer money was in that project?"
"Not really," said the King. "We spent most of the tax dollars on that Jacuzzi in the castle. The tower had a lot of slipshod work and cheap simian labour. But that doesn't matter now," he said. "For now you have a wife!"
"Oh my God!" said the Prince. "You idiots!" he raged. "I said I wanted an account on Second Life, not a second wife!"
"But-but you don't even have a first wife," said the King. "Not unless…"
"That's right!" said the Prince. "I've been seeing Yuki on and off, and now I'm proposing to her!"
He took the box from aruond his neck (remember that from the beginning?) and gave it to her. "I went all the way back to your old home to get this," he said. "And let me tell you something, that place really sucks. I almost got freaking killed! But anyways, here's my proposal gift."
Yuki took the box and opened it. It was the fish cookies from the flashback!
Haru was surprised. "You proposed to the love of your life with Goldfish crackers? What the hell is up with that?"
Yuki didn't take any notice. "That's so sweet of you!" she said, and hugged the Prince.
"But then that means that I can go home," said Haru. "YESSSSS! HA-HA, I'LL SEE ALL YOU SUCKERS IN HELL!"
"Well," said the King. "If you can't be the Prince's wife, you can be mine. You can eat all the fish cookies you want…"
"No thanks, just turn me back into a human and get me out of here."
"I'll turn you back… only if you marry me." Said the King.
"Never! I'll never marry you, YOU PEDOPHILE!" yelled Haru.
"GET THEM!" yelled the King, and soldiers charged towards the trio.
"Get back," yelled Muta. "Or else I'll eat you!"
"Gasp!" yelled the King. "It's Renaldo Moon! He's come back to kill us all!"
"Who?" asked Haru.
"Renaldo Moon," said a soldier, "ate all the fish in the pond a few years back. Then we kicked him out and built a maze to keep him out if he ever came back. But I guess we need a better Homeland Security department…"
The camera shifted to a painting in the tower of Muta eating the pond of fish. "Hey!" yelled Nausicaä. "You're stealing our art style!"
"I was hungry, okay?" said Muta indignantly. "But now, I'll… um… eat everything else here! Raaaargh!" Then he charged into the soldiers and another fight ensued. The prince's soldiers carried away the King, the King's soldiers were in retreat thanks to Muta, but the Baron was concerned.
"Oh, no." said the Baron as he looked at the sky. "It's almost dawn. I don't know what I'm basing this on, but I've just got this feeling it's coming."
"Leave it to me!" yelled Muta, and grabbed Haru by the ankles. He began to spin her around and around before flinging her into a wall and shattering every bone in her body.
-wait, no, that's not it- through bizarre physics only the writers understand, Muta's centrifugal force somehow threw Haru several stories into the air.
"CENTRIFUGAL FORCE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!" Morbo roared.
"Aiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee!" screamed Haru as she was flung into the air. She flipped round towards the staricase and landed on all fours. "Hey," said Haru. "Finally a cat lands on all fours in this movie."
"Goodbye, Yuki!" she yelled as she ran up the spiral staircase. "I'll never forget what you've done for me!"
"Go, Haru! Run! We'll be right behind you!" yelled the Baron.
Meanwhile, the King charged up the staircase, but was blocked by the Baron. The Baron leapt outside onto a precariously perched ledge, and the King followed.
Meanwhile, Haru was running up the stairs, gradually turning human as she climbed. She had already ditched the whiskers and other parts of her became more human. (NO NOT THOSE PARTS PERVERTS)
Meanwhile Marty and the Baron faced off. The King drew his sword and then Marty drew his, um, cane. Then there was a fight which was incredibly anticlimatic. Then the King's jewel in his head shattered and he lost half his fur from the waist down. I don't understand it either.
Haru had almost made it to the top of the tower and had almost turned back to normal, but as she clambered to the top the laws of physics and perspective collapsed. Suddenly she was her regular size and on the roof of the tower, and the tower itself was somehow suspended in space, a good 500 feet up from the ground.
"Help me, Baron!" screamed Haru.
Somehow, hundreds of feet down, Baron heard the cry. "You monster!" he shouted at the King. "What have you done?!"
"Well," said the King, "when the tower went down, the portal must've moved as well… but I guess it moved up? Seriously, man, I'm just as confused as you are."
Haru tried to keep her balance. While the Baron raced up the stairs to her.
The other cats were watching this from the spherical TV. "Look!" said Yuki. "Haru's turning human!"
And it was true. Though she didn't really "turn human" as much as she did "grow a bit bigger, lose the cat ears, and lighten the skin a tad."
"Meh, change the station," said Natoru, who was watching. "Cat Kingdom's Next Top Model is on."
Muta charged up and caught Haru's hand as she fell, leaving her hanging in mid-air. However, Haru had increased in mass and she was slipping gradually. "Don't ever call me heavy again!" shouted Muta to a panicked Haru.
But it was too late, and Haru slipped and fell, taking Muta with her.
As they fell, Marty bolted up the stairs and leapt off towards the falling girl and overweight feline.
"I went skyyyyyydiving, I went Rocky Mountain climbiiiiing…" he sang to himself.
"This is it!" screamed Haru to Muta as they raced to their doom.
"… in just 2.7 seconds…"
"Wait, what?" asked a confused Haru, as she saw a streak of white and orange streak past her. "Baron!" It's you!"
"Grab hands!" he commanded her. "That way we'll all hit the ground at the same time!"
Suddenly the sun rose, beams of light shining down upon Tokyo. "AGH NOT AGAIN!" screamed Haru as the blazing sun temporarily blinded her.
"Look!" cried the Baron triumphantly. "It's dawn! We made it out of the Kingdom in time!"
"But we're still falling!" yelled Muta angrily.
"Great," said Haru. "now I can die as a human instead of a cat. At least I could've landed on my feet…"
Suddenly, a cloud of black feathers and beaks swarmed up underneath the trio.
"Ooooooh… !" yelled Haru as the black bodies slammed against her chest and tried to slow the fall of the group.
As the crows thinned out, they formed a slowly circling stairway. Haru stood up on one of them and stepped to the next, creating a stairway of sorts. Even though the crows were moving in the opposite direction and should have been carrying her up.
"So what's it like, being saved by a bird?" asked Toto to Muta.
"Shut up," muttered Muta. "I don't even know how you're doing this."
The massive spiral of crows carried them down to the roof of Haru's school. Muta and Toto watched as Marty and Haru said their goodbyes.
"You know," said Haru. "I think I have a crush on you,"
"I don't think it's healthy to have a crush on an inanimate object," said the Baron. "And besides, I just rescued you from marriage to a cat, why would you be attracted to one all of a sudden?"
"I guess that means we won't be going out for dinner anytime soon?" asked Haru, a bit distraught.
"I mean, I can't really go on a date anywhere, because I'm a talking cat in a suit coat." Explained the Baron. "But I mean we can still be friends, and we can see how the relationship goes from there."
"Well, it's a start," said Haru.
"Then goodbye, Haru!" said the Baron. "Always believe in yourself!"
"I don't even know what that means!" cried Haru. "In fact, I don't even know what kind of vague social message I'm supposed to learn from this debacle!"
"What do you mean?" asked the Baron, who paused and looked at her.
"Well, in the beginning it was something like 'no good deed goes unrewarded'. Then it turned into 'no good deed goes unpunished' when I started getting crappy gifts. Then when you showed up you started talking about 'believing in yourself', and 'don't lose yourself', and now I'm not sure what I'm supposed to learn from this fiasco!" said Haru, with a tinge of anger in her voice.
"Okay. How about 'be confident in your abilities… um… or else you'll turn into a catgirl and be joined in matrimony to an animal'." Said the Baron. And before Haru could say anything, he had jumped onto Toto and flew off.
"Now I know!" shouted Haru.
"And knowing is half the battle!" yelled the Baron from far away.
THE CAAAAT REEEEETUUURNS!
Chapter X- Post-Traumatic Crush Syndrome
The next morning Haru's mother awoke. She walked downstairs and saw her daughter already awake and fixing herself breakfast.
"What a surprise, Haru! You're awake so early?"
"Here," she said. "I made some tea for you. It's my own special blend. It tastes different every time."
Haru's mother took a sip as Haru went out the door. "Yuk! That tastes like boiled hair!" she said.
"Well, you've gotta get the short straw sometimes," said Haru, and closed the door.
That afternoon, Hiromi and Haru walked down the Crossroads. Haru was still trying to work through her traumatic and emotionally draining experience. Hiromi kept wondering why Haru's eye was twitching and why she kept muttering about cats.
"So," said Hiromi, trying to break the awkward silence. "I heard your Generic Crush™ broke up with that freshman girl. You should ask him out."
"No thanks," said Haru. "I already have a crush on somebody else."
"Whuh?" asked Hiromi.
"You heard. I'm over him."
Muta, who had watched the whole scene from his chair at the café, winked Superman-style at the audience.
And upbeat Japanese guitar serenaded the viewers as the credits rolled.
"Hey, you ******s! What the **** happened to me?" ygelled Mr. Conductor. "I'm not just a ******* one-off gag! Like the time that…"
But the Baron will return in: "Whisper of the Heart."
(JAMES BOND-STYLE STING)
Marty Stu…….Cary Ewles
Yuki…………..A voice actress
Crow T. Robot..Trace Beuleau
Tom Servo……Kevin Murphy
The Prince…….NOT YOU
Natoru………..An effeminate guy
The King………Tim Curry
Mr. Conductor..George Carlin, you ******* idiot!
Bystander #1….some guy we yanked off the street at the last moment
Bystander #2….NOT YOU
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