"Wait, a vacation?"
It was the morning after encountering the maze spirit, as disturbing as that vault had been, and as soon as Dinah and Vincent walked through the door, Edaniel sprung on them with news from "the top".
"Yup. I asked management for the weekend off. Figured you all deserved it after last night," Edaniel, as a green cat, proudly said.
"Are you sure?" Dinah was a little worried. It was, in fact, her life on the line.
"You don't trust me?"
Vincent and Dinah flicked a quick gaze at each other, then turned their blank stares at him.
"Ah, it's alright. I'd bet my mother's 1987 Chevy Cavalier on it," Edaniel reassured, waving his arms about.
"Don't go betting what you don't own, brother," Edrear chastised. He was carrying two backpacks and threw one at Edaniel, who poofed into human form to catch it.
"Miss Dinah, what my brother says is true. All of us have been allowed the weekend off to relax."
Dinah sighed and smiled, reassured.
"That sounds great. Let's go."
"Then we all agree. Destination "Weekend Vacation" is in motion." Edaniel pumped his fist in the air.
"Cool, but what am I going to tell Aunt Jane?"
"More importantly, Mr. Ettiquette here is gonna have to talk like a normal person," Vincent grumbled.
The four of them sat all the way in the back of the transit bus; it seemed best, since most people avoided the back section anyway, and with the brothers' oddness, it was the best choice.
"At least we're not far from the beach." Dinah said.
Edaniel, in his blonde greatness, didn't hear. He was too busy rummaging around his backpack, tossing things left and right.
"Cup of Noodles? Check. Chocolate cake? Check," he mumbled.
"Brother, what are you doing?" Edrear looked back, leaning over his seat.
"You know I get snack-happy on trips. Just want to make sure I got all my yum-yums."
Vincent sat up abruptly.
"Is your entire bag full of food?" he questioned accusingly, complete with the finger jab.
Edaniel stuck out his tongue. "Well, isn't someone just the prettiest princess today?"
Dinah laughed. "Oh, you two. Hey, look! There's our stop. C'mon." She practically yanked the boys down the aisle.
"Hey! Wait! You made me leave hairpins everywhere!" Edaniel cried, flailing his arms.
Edrear sighed, covering his eyes and shaking his head. "I can't believe that I'm related to you."
They all stopped and turned around. Edrear straightened up, rubbing his eyes. Dinah, Vincent, and Edaniel stared. They had never heard him sneeze before. Dinah and Vincent didn't even know if the Guards could get sick.
"Are you all right, Brother?"
"I am fine, Edaniel. I seem to have caught 'common cold'." He blinked, confused.
"Cold," he repeated. Edrear wrinkled his nose and coughed once.
"Cold. Cold. Cold," he kept saying.
"Edrear? Do you need a jacket?"
"No, thank you, Miss Dinah. I can't seem to say word." Edrear blinked again and sighed.
"This word." He squatted down and drew something in the dirt.
The three of them crowded around him, staring down. All of a sudden, Vincent laughed.
"'The'? You can't say the word 'the'?"
"It would appear so, Master Vincent," Edrear said dryly.
"Well, Brother, let's not let this ruin our weekend," Edaniel said, grinning. He clapped Edrear on the back, and sauntered off in a random direction.
"Do you even know where you're going?" Vincent yelled as he followed after him.
Dinah shook her head, torn between laughter and embarrassment.
"It will be all right, Miss Dinah. We better follow them so they don't get lost."
"You're right. Do you think they'll find a place to eat? I'm starving."
Dinah tapped on the table, bored. The boys were ordering food; they said it should be their job since she is the human agent, but they were taking so long. Around her, a horde of people were shopping, getting goods, just bustling around, and because the table was outside, she could hear snippets of conversations.
"...game of swashbuckling zombies? Sounds lame..."
"...super-duper prep-school, Mom!"
"...taking me out kayaking tomorrow."
A couple, or at least they looked like a couple to her, were the loudest as they passed the table. The boy, the tall skinny brown-haired one, was arguing with a shorter plumper girl who had some of her blonde hair up in buns on each side of her head.
"...forget it, kid. It's Chinatown."
"The phrase is 'When in Rome', stupid."
The girl was winning.
"Here you are, Miss Dinah."
She perked up, grateful the food was finally here.
"Green Cat over here ordered fish and chips for all of us," Vincent told her. "At least I brought different sauces."
"Thanks, guys." Dinah beamed and dug in.
"Did you see anything interesting while we were away?"
"Well, there's a public beach nearby. Let's go check it out before it gets dark."
"Beach? Edaniel and I have never been to beach in human world before." Edaniel giggled.
"Then this'll be fun. Here, I can take the baskets back."
"Allow me, Miss Dinah."
"I can take them." Vincent snatched the empty baskets and stalked off. A thundercloud could practically be seen above his head.
Dinah sighed. "I could have done it, Edrear."
"Nonsense, Miss Dinah." He helped Dinah from her seat. "This weekend is for you to relax."
Edaniel pouted from his seat, chin in hand. "I hope he doesn't take too long. I want to...Sweet Lorretta! The pretzel man!"
He suddenly dashed off after the snack cart, a cart Dinah had trouble seeing.
Dinah stared, slack-jawed in amazement.
The older brother sighed. "Well, he always did have a good eye for his snacks."
"Where'd the green cat go?" Vincent asked.
Dinah just pointed.
He slapped his forehead. "Oh, for heaven's. He better not go asking everyone he sees for a makeout session. He was already doing that in line."
"Well, let's go after him then."
"Too late. Mr. Chivalry already left."
"Edrear! Wait for us!"
When they finally caught up with the Tower Guards, they found the two enraptured by what the pretzel man was saying. "It's true, I tell yah. They already started crossing through to Montana. Ain't no one there, so they haven't been caught yet."
"What's going on?" Dinah asked, between gasps.
"This person says Canada is invading U.S."
"Well, you can't believe everything you hear. C'mon." Vincent grabbed the brothers by the arms, one of whom was happily munching on a pretzel, and pulled them away from the snack cart. As they left, they could hear him shouting something about an ice-cream shoppe having a sale on fish-flavored ice cream.
"Hey, look! It's the beach!" Dinah pointed and laughed. She took off running, absolutely excited.
"Hey, Di! You dropped your bag!" Vincent ran after her, carrying both their bags.
Dinah whooped and ran through the surf. Vincent shrugged and dropped their bags, running up to join her. They soon started a splashing war.
Edrear and Edaniel stood and watched.
"This is good. They're having fun," Edaniel commented.
"Miss Dinah and Master Vincent need it. Especially since vaults get harder."
"Well, aren't you the snakeface." Edaniel stuck his tongue out at his brother. Edrear shoved him over.
"Wow, this is a nice motel you guys found."
"And right next to the beach too. Aren't I a genius?"
"Yeah, a real Einstein," Vincent agreed flippantly.
"It was decent enough of us. We'll only need two rooms, Edaniel doesn't take up that much space." Edrear walked ahead of the group. "I'll go get room keys."
"Today has been great, guys. Thanks," Dinah hugged both Vincent and Edaniel.
"Aw, thats all right, cupcake. You need a break."
The sappy-happy moment was interrupted when Edrear came back with the room keys.
"Good night, boys. I'm gonna see if there's anything good on Animal Planet tonight." Dinah waved to the boys before retiring for the night.
The boys, being boys, argued about where they were sleeping, forcing Edaniel back into his animal form. In the end, they allowed him to sleep between the other two.
The lights clicked off.
A moment of silence.
"Anybody wanna make out?"
The group of them were turning in their room keys, when someone tapped Edaniel on the shoulder.
"Yes?" He turned around, turning on the full charm.
"Uh-huh. Just what I thought." The woman tsked and shook her head.
"Who are you?" Vincent asked, suspicious.
"The name's Marty. I created you," she said matter-o-factly.
"Oh good. So you can help Edrear with his problem?" Dinah asked.
"Miss Dinah, I do not require help from someone who claims that she created us. Such a thing is rather impossible," Edrear commented.
"Saying the word 'the' is quite necessary in a conversation," she argued, not caring that it didn't make any sense. "Any help would be great."
Marty grinned. "Good, because the disease was caught by the wrong person." She took in a deep breath. "Well, snap my fingers, here I go!"
With a snap of both hands, Marty disappeared.
The gang stood there, stunned.
"So," Vincent started. "How do we know he's cured?"
"Here. I brought a book of tongue twisters for entertainment. Read this one." Dinah handed him a book she pulled out from her backpack.
Edrear cleared his throat. "I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won't wish the wish you wish to wish," he recited slowly.
"Finally." Vincent threw his hands up and Dinah clapped excitedly.
"Wonderful, brother. Now that you can say." Edaniel cut off, choking and eyes bugging.
The trio stared at the blonde Tower Guard, then burst out laughing.