Author's Note: I was working on "Masks" and "Order Up." A certain animated film was playing in the background. And this . . . happened.

I'm really not sure if this is comedy or drama or what, but it was too strange not to share. I hope you guys like it. Please note that this IS a one-shot; there won't be any more of it unless other authors want to play with this idea, in which case, feel free!

Note also that Duke behaves like a jerk in this one. This is not because of I don't like him; it's because of an impression I formed while looking at a certain plastic object. It just makes him look dickish, y'know?

Disclaimer: . . . has been moved to the end in order to avoid spoilers.

Joe Story

by Totenkinder Madchen

The commando team was spread out in single file, nice and textbook. Snake-Eyes at the head of the column, uzi in hand, visor gleaming dully in the light leaking in from far above. Duke was behind him, with Beach Head following, brow furrowed under the balaclava. Scarlett, the only member of the team wearing Arctic gear, brought up the rear with an oversized BAR that looked like it didn't belong to her.

Snake-Eyes raised a warning hand, and the team froze, listening. Slowly, ever so slowly, he lowered the uzi and drew a katana from the sheath slung across his back. Duke tried to peer around him, but the ninja snapped his fingers and the Top Sergeant retreated with a frown. Beach Head rolled his eyes.

Damn Series 2s, he mouthed at Scarlett, who nodded in commiseration.

A split-second later, all hell broke loose. A black-clad figure leapt from on high, tackling Snake-Eyes onto the slick wooden floor in a rush that left the other team members stunned. The two men rolled on the ground, pummeling each other, the only noise the sound of their fists impacting on each other. The other three team members stared.

Then Scarlett let out a breath. "Dammit, Snake-Eyes!" she said, crossing her arms over her white jacket. Both figures looked up guiltily. "What is it this time?"

The two ninjas scrambled to their feet, looking appropriately scolded. Snake-Eyes One, the visor-wearing man who had been leading their group before the assault, glowered at his counterpart; meanwhile, Snake-Eyes Two, who had the black goggles of the early Joe comics and the cartoon version, utilized one of the eighteen fully-articulated joints his model came with to make a gesture that was definitely not part of the standard ASL vocabulary.

"See, this is why ya don't mix cartoon tie-ins and movie tie-ins," Beach Head drawled, shouldering his plastic rifle. "But I don't care where you were manufactured, that kind of behavior ain't acceptable in mah unit! Double-time it over to the Lego pile, ya goddamn spooks, an' let's see if we can't run some a' that smartass outta ya!"

Both Snake-Eyes toys took off at remarkable speed, with the Series 4 Beach Head (with removable tac vest) chasing them with the eagerness of a junkyard dog. Duke scratched his manufacturer's mark and glanced at Scarlett, who had put down her own weapon and slumped down on a convenient Rubik's cube. At her model's size, it made a pretty good stool.

"See," he said after a long moment, "that is the kind of thing I'm talking about."

Scarlett glared up at him. "Oh, don't you start again, Duke."

"I'm just saying!" Duke said defensively, holding up his hands. "It's too crazy here. We can't get anything done—let alone try to keep our military bearing." He could see that this argument wasn't working, so he changed tactics. "Look," he said in a softer tone, "I'm just glad—for your sake—that Snake-Eyes Two is a cartoon tie-in toy. If we had two of him that both wanted you, well, it wouldn't be pretty."

"Want some surgery to get that foot out of your mouth, jerk?" Scarlett said sharply. "You're a cartoon tie-in too. And don't think I don't know that's why you keep trying to sweet-talk me into leaving with you."

"Hey, I'm just saying!" Duke snapped back. "But come on, Scarlett. You know it's true. Why else does Rick have two of Snake-Eyes—not to mention every Ninja Force collectible—and only a few of the rest of us? It's because the kid's ninja-crazy. Look, we're still in good condition, we're limited editions. We could make a break for it. There are G.I. Joe collectors' conventions—I looked it up on the Internet. Get ourselves bought by someone who'll take care of us."

"Don't make me unscrew your neck joint, Duke. You know I wouldn't leave Snake."

"There's fifteen million other Snake-Eyes out there. Probably ones with better detailing on the body, too. Look, will you just think it over?"

"I'll think it over. And then I'll make sure you get dropped in the Salvation Army donation box if you ever. Ask me. Again."

Duke shook his head as he walked away. Those Arctic Adventure models. Bunch of grouchy bastards.

Over by the Legos, Beach Head was using the toys' owners' alarm clock to time the two ninjas as they scrambled up the half-collapsed Fantasy Castle. In absence of a real, military-grade obstacle course, he'd been forced to improvise. The three-headed dragon model was excused cleaning duties and special assemblies in exchange for trying its very best to eat both ninjas whenever they were on the Lego pile. It was kinda funny, Beach supposed.

"Sir!" The plastic Ranger jumped a little before looking down. The little green Army men only came up to his knees, but they still spooked him pretty easily.

"I ain't a sir!" he said automatically. The green plastic sergeant saluted again, obviously ignoring the order.

"Sir, understood, sir! Scouts reporting in from the older sister's bedroom, sir!"

Aha. Well, that was worth being distracted for. "I'll interview 'em myself," Beach Head said, clambering down off the Lego chair he'd been sitting on. "You watch those ninjas, sergeant, understood? I don't want them stopping until at least one of 'em has gotten his paint chipped by that dragon."

"Sir, understood, sir!" The sergeant saluted again, quite unnecessarily in Beach's opinion, and began hopping across the pile towards the Fantasy Castle. "All right, you maggots! Let's see hear some joints squeak! I want both of you at the top of that tower and back down again before you can say Copyright Hasbro! DO YOU GET ME?"

While the little man screamed obscenities at two persistently silent ninja, Beach Head finished descending the pile. The three scouts were assembled at the base of it: a Series 5 Kamakura, another green army man (this one with a bazooka), and a Dark Knight Joker action figure that Beach Head had mentally codenamed Smiley Face.

"What's the situation?" he said, crossing his arms. "Kamakura, report."

Kamakura saluted, albeit much less crisply than the green sergeant. "Rick's sister is currently customizing a Barbie, sir. This is her third custom build this week. She must be getting ready for a convention."

Green Bazooka spoke up next. "Confirm that convention, sir! She's been buying umodified Barbies all week and has an order of My Little Ponies coming in on the fifth! We're going to be overrun with custom toys within a week, sir!"

"Understood. Good job, greenshirt." Beach Head curled his lip a little. Customizing toys was a tricky area, ethically. While the toys in Rick's room, including the entire Joe team, were safe, the kid's sister was a notorious geek who tended to buy blank toys and customize the heck out of them. The last batch of homemade My Little Ponies had included a Deadpool Pony—a shiny little fella who hadn't know whether he wanted to sprinkle fairy sugar or molest every inhabitant of the sister's Sally Stable Set. It hadn't been pretty.

It was with increased trepidation that he turned to the third member of the scouting party. Kamakura and the plastic greenshirt were small and good at not being seen (poor Kamakura was from a completely different line than his spooky sensei, and was barely bigger than the green Army guys) but Smiley Face was the only toy who actually belonged to the sister. Thus, he had a lot better of an opportunity for getting intel in her room. If they wanted to keep an eye on the custom toy situation, they needed him, but that didn't mean Beach Head had to like him.

He eyed Smiley Face. "Well?"

Smiley Face grinned broadly and ran a hand over the lapels of his purple molded coat. From the look of him, the sister's cat had been chewing on him, and his patina was pretty scuffed up. "Wanna know how I got these scratches?"

It was gonna be a long day.

Disclaimer: Toy Story and all associated characters and concepts are property of Pixar Studios Inc. G.I. Joe and all associated characters and concepts are property of Hasbro Inc. The Joker, Rubik's Cubes, Legos, and other referenced pop-culture items are not my property and are used solely in the spirit of parodic reference. I derive no profit from this.