Author's Note: Yes, this is a real fanfiction. Everybody loves the Kips of Mud, just like everybody loves Rock Lee. My humor bone hasn't been used in a while, so this is practice as well as sugar-pepped insanity; I love where this story is going...
It all began on a summer's day, while Lee was wading in the mud.
Well, he wasn't there of his own accord. The lifeguard from hell was watching over him like some bird of prey, taking all of her premenstrual rage out upon the two vassals in the pit before her.
"And don't you come out until you've found the damn thing!" Tenten shrieked, glaring daggers and kunai and maces at the world.
"I hope she gets bit by a water snake." Neji huffed under his breath; today he was wallowing, but in a different way: Tenten's backpack had taken a tumble into this nasty, fetid marsh, and it was now their god-given mission to locate it. They'd been in here for an hour, though, and the workforce was beginning to contemplate rebellion.
By the time Neji had finished his curse, however, he was without an audience. Lee had slipped away quietly, and was homing on in the edge of a large, rotted runoff pipe. Mucking through the peat, the irrevocably-muddy and smelly Green Beast fought his way towards the shell of the concrete structure, and then paused at the entrance to it's dank depths.
"Please, god, tell me you found it." Neji called to him, unwilling to squish all the way over there. There were woodchips in his boxers. Wet woodchips.
Lee stood, lost in space for a moment; and then he bent into the dark, coming out with a trembling, wet creature cuddled in his grip.
"No." he answered dumbly, staring down at the mudfish Pokemon. "But I found something."
"It's called a mudkip."
"Lee, where on earth did you get a PokeDex?" Tenten asked fruitlessly, slurping obnoxiously on her milkshake to accentuate her contempt of the world in general. The three had settled down at the shaded grove near a dango stand (Lee and Neji having smelled too bad to be admitted into Ichiraku), complete with their new prize. The small, blue creature now lay in Neji's lap, eyes dead open and feet curled beneath it's body.
"You hold it." Neji insisted, dropping the wet, scaly thing between Tenten's crossed legs.
"Hell no!" she screamed, backing up and curling away from it as though it were going to explode. "That little $! ate my backpack! You're lucky I haven't beat it to death yet!"
Indeed, the strap of a burgundy backpack was hanging from the creature's tightly-shut lips (if mud kips have lips) like a string of errant drool. Much to Tenten's disgust, the mudkip chose now to slurp it up like a spaghetti noodle.
"It smells, too! Why do we still have this thing!?"
"He is lost." Lee answered blankly; his brain was nearly derailed from the task before him, and he knew that somebody on the team had to be level-headed if Mudkip was going to survive unscathed. Tenten was in that emotional red zone just short of being committed, and Neji, kicker of babies as he was, could not be trusted to even remotely care for a living being. That left our beloved Lee-cakes.
"I think we should leave it to it's environs," Neji commented, as he returned with a plate of dango sticks; Tenten yanked the whole thing from his hand, and growled when he reached over to take one.
"But he is hurt…" Lee whined, accepting the chilled little creature.
"No." Tenten swore, jabbing a skewer at him. "I put up with too much from you. I refuse to see that poor animal dressed up in spandex and tortured. We're putting him back."
Lee just pulled his knees up against the mudkip, snuggling it against his cheek. "He needs to be loved and nursed back to health! How could I leave him, knowing how lonely he is!?"
"Newsflash: you're about to be lonely without both of your kneecaps in about four seconds."
"It's useless," Neji reminded her. "Remember the kittens?"
Tenten positively shuddered from head to toe: "No, I don't want to."
"Those poor little lovebugs were lost in the wilderness!" Lee defended from his fetal position.
"Lee, they were COUGAR kittens. The mother stalked you into town and almost turned us all into ground hamburger!"
"They were safe while they were with me, and the Mommy understood that!"
"It kept us up in a tree for three hours! Gai-sensei had to beat it with a stick!"
"It was an extension of the Fists of Love," Lee countered, stroking the mudkip's finned head.
General sighs escaped his two, defeated teammates. "We'll just wait for Gai-sensei. Maybe another idiot can penetrate this nether logic. Neji, go get some more dango."
"And pray, who will be paying me back for all of these comestibles?" he asked dangerously. The death-glare he received, however, forced him to retreat to the counter. "Fine, I'm going-"
"Hey, kiddos-" Gai called as he came jogging towards their huddled forms; when Lee unfolded to reveal the amphibious animal within his grasp, Gai froze in mid-step with his mouth open.
"Put that thing down, Lee-" he shouted, causing the starlings nesting in the small tree to rise up in a screeching, feces-splattering whirlwind of feathers. After safely avoiding the hail, Tenten scrunched her face up into a devious, fox smile.
"What'd I tell you? Even Gai-sensei thinks-"
"-and let me hold that sweet little thing!!"
Lee sprang to his feet with a 'yay', and pranced over to pass the mudkip. Gai was instantly spinning the thing above his head, exclaiming in squeals, and inspecting it's adorable little feet; Lee danced around, telling the thing's tragic story and doing a fair bit of squealing himself. People were beginning to stare, and Tenten hid her face in her hands, willing the tree she sat against to fall down and crush the pair.
Weeping, Gai proposed: "Lee… This is the cutest little froggy-thing I've ever seen! I am positively overflowing with joy and paternal concern!"
"I thought you would understand!" the boy cried back, joyful tears streaking down his cheeks.
"How DARE you doubt such a thing! You know nobody else gets you like I do, my best beloved student!"
And the mudkip was smashed between the two flying bodies of Konoha's Green Beasts, who shook each other and spun until it's little black eyes began to bug out from lack of oxygen. Neji just stood, more dango in hand, exchanging a Certain Look with Tenten: that one that says Jesus, here we go again…
"God, please strike me dead right here…"
"No, them-" Tenten insisted. "Strike them."
"Oh, Lee, it's okay," Gai soothed as they slowed, yanking the boy at arm's length; the mudkip was limp and gasping in Lee's arms by now. "Did you check your PokeDex?"
"Where the heck did you guys get-"
"Yes, sir! It is a Mudkip, water and ground type! And I heard that everyone likes them!"
"That's fantabulous!" the man exclaimed. "You're a mother now, Lee!" And with that they hugged again and skipped, the passed-out mudkip's little head lolling from between them.
"…" said the other members of the team.
"CALL OUT FOR EGG ROLLS!" Gai shouted towards the incredulous owners of the dango cart as he swung Lee in a circle. "- 'cause my boy's a mom now, ha ha!!"
And so Neji plunked down beside Tenten, and they let their heads bang against the ground, lost in general hopelessness. After some time a serving-girl came trotting over with a platter for the merry band, and cups for tea and sake; on her way back to the wok, however, she couldn't resist.
"So I heard that you guys like the Kips of Mud…?"
"SHUT UP." the Genin crabbed in stereo, shojou anger marks exploding in the air.