I do not own Pac-Man the game, and I do not own it's characters.

"Where is it?"

"Where's the button?"

"Clyde, did you check the ceiling?"

"It isn't there."

"He just passed us for the third time!"

"Found it!"

The three ghosts turned to look at their red counterpart. Blinky the Ghost had found what they were all looking for - a small button hidden against the foggy glass wall of their box. Pinky, Inky and Clyde watched as he pressed the button. It glowed white and part of one wall vanished, allowing for exit.

"Hurry up and find the other button!" Blinky said as he ran out of the doorway. The hole in the wall quickly closed behind his retreating form.

Pinky rolled her eyes and said to her friends, "You heard him. Keep looking before that lemon head eats all of our orbs."

Inky responded with a quiet, "Yes mam," while Clyde simply smiled and floated upwards again. Inky, the blue ghost, had dusty light blue 'skin' and large, sapphire eyes. Sitting on his face (somehow kept in place despite their lack of ears and noses) were a pair of large, round, thin rimmed glasses. He adjusted them with his two fingered hand and turned to look for the next button. He wore a unisuit with long sleeves and shorts. The shorts had pockets and while the torso section was tight against his skinny frame, the shorts were roomy and nearly reached his knees.

Clyde, the youngest of the three, was a light orange colored ghost. Though he was the youngest, he was also the tallest. He wore a very large jacket with extra long sleeves that covered his nubby hands. The jacket and hood were a darker shade of orange than his skin, as were all of their outfits. Clyde's large, expressive deep orange eyes sparkled as he floated above the other two - he was the only one of them who could actually float higher than a foot from the ground. Pinky supposed it made up for his... mental incapability.

Pinky herself was closest to Clyde; she treated him like a younger brother and made it her business to look after him. She wore a full body dress - that meant the top of it covered her face like a mask - with long sleeves that covered her hands and stopped just below her upper thigh. The hem of her dress ended in the usual 'ghost waves'. Her long, light pink legs were the only part of her body that were visible. Unlike Inky or Clyde, she only had one finger, which she guessed was kind of her whole hand. Clyde had no fingers, Pinky had one, Inky had two, and Blinky, the eldest of them, had three fingers. Three, sharp, curved fingers.

Pinky's finger touched something and she realized she found the button on the wall. Pressing it, she quickly ran out of the box and wished the two males good luck before dashing through the hallways.

Meanwhile, Blinky was shouting obscenities down the glass lined corridor, running after the lanky lemon head that kept eating their orbs. His long maroon trench coat bellowed behind him like the tail feathers of a hawk as he ran down the hallway. The chains on his belt, attached to his jacket, clanked together and bounced off of the smooth surface of foggy glass on either side of him. He could see the obscured form of Pac-Man through one of the walls. He was running quickly, grabbing the floating white orbs and throwing them into his large, toothless mouth, swallowing them whole.

Blinky growled deep in his throat and his fanged smile held with it sinister objectives. Blinky was the only ghost who had teeth, and they made up the line of his mouth. He would rip that Pac-Man apart! Blinky ran again, and turning the corner he caught another glimpse of the fleeing yellow intruder. He grinned with anticipation, raking his sharp fingers against the glass walls, causing tiny sparks to fly in the air.

They were in a giant mansion, with walls that had empty black doorways that opened up to other doorways, like booby-traps. Anyone who walked through them would exit into the same room. It was to keep intruders from escaping. But if anyone, namely Pac-Man, could empty the room of all of the orbs, than the ghost's illusion would waver and they could escape. The ceiling above them was high, very high, covered in a thick layer of dust and cobwebs. Not even Clyde could float high enough to touch the ceiling. Dark, swirling shadows crawled across the rotten wooden boards. Wooden boards hung, rotting, as tiny mites and ants dug inside to scavenge and feast. Throughout the whole mansion was the smell of chalk and moisture, accompanied on occasion by the scent of haunting, every day smells; cooking, fire, water, pets, people.

Blinky kept it a secret, but he didn't actually like having to live in this mansion. He kept it to himself, not wanting the others to think he was soft. It had been a millennium - the male ghost did not remember how he had died, or why it had been here, or if he'd known the others before, when he was still alive. None of them remembered much of their first lives. But it didn't matter; they had each other to keep company, and although all four of them hated it when Pac-Man returned, his unwanted visits also kept them busy.

It really was the strangest thing, Pac-Man. The yellow head had just shown up one day. He'd wandered right into the mansion, found a room and began eating their orbs. At first the ghosts had thought nothing of it - it was probably just some strange, humanoid creature that was hungry and just happened to eat ghost orbs. But after Pac-Man had finished the entire floor and ripped through their door illusion, the four of them had decided Pac-Man needed to go. Little did they know what kind of chaos would follow.

Pac-Man was different than any of their other intruders. He wasn't the face-to-face kind of guy, or the scream-and-run-away kind of guy. He was the run-around-eat-all-of-your-orbs-annoy-the-crap-out-of-you-but-refuse-to-say-a-word-to-your-face kind of guy. He was also the kind of ... thing that would use your own strength against you. In each of the rooms, the ghosts stationed four spell-protection orbs. The energy emitted by these orbs not only helped to station the door/room illusion, but gave the ghosts more strength. But when these orbs were kept in small, enclosed areas (Pac-Man's mouth, Pac-Man's stomach) the energy backfired or collapsed upon itself, like a tiny, much less destructive black hole. Instead of keeping the illusion steady, it broke some of it down. And instead of giving the ghosts more strength, it instead sucked all of their powers and momentarily rendered them completely vulnerable. It wasn't until Pac-Man's third visit that he - and the ghosts - realized this meant something even worse.

It had been on that day, right after Pac-Man ate a super-orb, that Pinky had tried to run at him. But instead of her ghost-force opposing his physical make up (that was how they weakened him and were able to use ghost energy to banish him from the mansion), he remained unaffected. Even more so, the advantage seemed to have given Pac-Man a most absurd idea - he had eaten Pinky, head first.

At first it seemed impossible. Clyde was bawling, Inky was shocked into paralysis, and Blinky just couldn't believe it. Pac-Man, that thieving orb-muncher, had eaten one of them!

Relief instantly followed when the three of them saw two magenta eyeballs floating their way with an aura of light pink wisps of ghost energy carrying them in the air. Pinky had said nothing but floated straight back to the glass box the three of them were always thrown in during Pac-Man's visits.

The box, their prison, was always and forever will be an absolute mystery. None of them had any idea why the second Pac-Man broke into the mansion the four of them were pulled into it's confines. There was a box in each room, and though each one was easier to escape than the last, they were a souce of endless frustration for the ghosts. Mostly Blinky.

Blinky was the most aggressive, short-tempered, instinctual of the ghosts. His red skin was lighter than his maroon coat, like the other ghosts, and his Alzarin eyes were ruthless and cold. He wasn't very kind to any of the other ghosts, but it was obvious (at least to Inky and Clyde) that he had a sort of soft spot for Pinky, no matter how much it didn't seem like it. Blinky - in a strange way - was like an older brother figure to the two other males, and a source of amusement and annoyance to the only female. His know-it-all attitude and insensitive personality had earned him more than one slap in the face from the pink ghost. To Blinky, Clyde was an idiot and it forever angered him that the orange male was taller than himself. To Blinky it was like an unsaid insult at his manliness. Inky, to Blinky, was weak and a cowered, and in some way Blinky felt it his sworn duty to drive Inky to be more manly, like himself. In a way Blinky was Inky's mentor, his teacher, older sibling.

Blinky was the one who usually got Pac-Man head on, unlike Pinky or Inky, who cornered him, or Clyde, who chose to hang back and use tricks or his levitation skills to try and get a hold of the yellow creature.

They had been repeating the process for years; Blinky had lost track of how long. It had become something of a game, a routine, though it was still sufficiently annoying when the lemon head managed to get a hold of Blinky while the ghost was on the run. Getting eaten and being forced out of a physical body wasn't pleasing, and to be honest, kind of gross. Being eaten always left you feeling horribly nauseous.

Blinky grinned. He had him now. Pac-Man had foolishly walked into a dead end, with no super-orb in sight. Sneering, Blinky drew nearer.

Pac-Man was indeed a strange creature. He didn't talk, in case you were wondering. He never spoke to any of the ghosts. The only reason they called him Pac-Man was because the word PAC ran across his chest in bold red letters. It seemed to be a logo permanently attached to his skin, for unlike the ghosts, Pac-Man wore no kind of cloth on his body. It was fine though - he didn't have many defining features. It was questionable if Pac-Man was actually male, since you couldn't tell. But it simply didn't seem right to call him a female, so the ghosts just went with it.

Pac-Man was backed up against the wall, staring at the oncoming ghost with wide yet emotionless eyes. Two solid black orbs were all to be seen on Pac-Man's face. He had a long, thin line for a mouth that stretched past where ears might be stationed. He could open his mouth quite wide, in somewhat of a snake-like manner. His arms and legs were long and gainly, with five fingers and toes.

"Trapped again, huh, Pac-Man?"

The yellow creature gave no response. He simply glance to his left and right, searching vainly for means of escape.

A sound from behind Blinky; Inky had found the red ghost and walked into the corridor. He was fingering his glasses, a nervous habit of his, and looked around Blinky's hulk-ish frame to see Pac-Man. "Oh, so you did get him..." Inky twitched a bit before cautiously making his way past Blinky, who did not move but also did not hinder Inky's movements. The blue ghost reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny, glowing blue sphere. He crushed the sphere between his two fingers and it changed into waves of sound, flying through the walls and away from the two of them. He turned back to Blinky. "T-they know where we are now. Should we wait until they get here and get him in one shot?"

Blinky nodded curtly, never taking his eye off of Pac-Man.

Eventually Pinky made her way inside, forcefully squeezing herself past Blinky's figure and crossing her arms, staring at Pac-Man with bland distaste. "Good job raspberry, you got him."

"Who's the raspberry?"

Pinky smiled gently and looked over her shoulder. Soon Clyde floated into the corridor and looked over Blinky's shoulder. "Yay! We got'em!"

"What's with this we stuff? I got him, fruit juice!"

"Hush up Blinky and let's just get this over with."

The four ghosts turned back to Pac-Man, who now cowered under their harmonic gaze.

"Uh, guys? Can I get a little help...?"

Inky watched forlornly as Pinky and Clyde chased down Pac-Man, who was running throughout the halls, gobbling their orbs. If only the creature knew how long it took to create those things. Two and half days to re-station an empty room with solidified ghost energy; it wasn't easy, but necessary. The entire mansion had to be kept in a solid illusion of doors and orbs, or else the reality of the outside would seep in. It wasn't very clear or rational, even for Inky, who was ultimately the smarter of the four, and undoubtedly the most observant. It was easiest to put it like this; The ghosts were four balls of pure oxygen, and they were surrounded by fire. To keep the fire away the constantly doused the area around them with water - their ghost energy - so that the fire was either kept back or put out if it tried to get to them. But Pac-Man was like a natural absorber, and as he ate the orbs, he sucked up all of the water that protected the ghosts and the area around them became dry and vulnerable. If the fire managed to infiltrate their area - the mansion - then like oxygen, the fire would suck them in and eat them up.

In real life, the fire - or the outside world, where ghosts supposedly didn't exist - would try to destroy the semi-false reality of the four trapped ghosts. It was extremely painful, and on more than one occasion they had almost been destroyed by the unknown phenomenon. It was incredibly important that Pac-Man didn't eat too many of their orbs, or the illusion would collapse on itself and the reality of the outside world would flow inside.

They passed again, this time with Blinky with them. Pac-Man was sometimes very easy to chase down, but it wasn't unusual for him to clean an entire room of ghost orbs. The lack of anchor forced the ghosts to quickly escape to another room, where they were instantly trapped in another box and unable to escape until Pac-Man reappeared.

Inky would be helping them, but he had gotten himself into a bit of a pickle - on second thought, it was more that he had gotten himself into a bit of a wall. Literally.

Every one of the ghosts had a strength, a characteristic that most people would figure all ghosts had. But in truth, a ghost could only harbor a single ghostlike ability, if that made any sense which it probably didn't. For Clyde it was his ability to levitate to greater heights than the others, and be able to stay up there for unlimited amounts of time. For Blinky, it was his skill to be able to hear things from a distance or, on occasion, be able to see through walls. Pinky was the most skilled at directing and aiming ghost energy, and could use it as a weapon against Pac-Man. For Inky, it was the ability to walk through walls and to turn invisible for short amounts of time.

Inky didn't use his ability much, and for good reasons. It only worked for a certain amount of time; if he ran out of 'stamina' then he would solidify and be unable to phase through things. The reason he didn't use his ability more incessantly than the others was also the reason for his current immobility.

A shout, a cheer and a squeaking sound signaled Inky that the others had gotten rid of Pac-Man. It usually took three to four times to weaken the yellow creature enough for it to be sent and locked out of the mansion. But if three of the ghosts did it at once, his energy would be taken in greater amounts and thereby weaken him much faster. Inky sighed in relief. They had been through two rooms already.

"Hey, guys! Can you help me down?"

Pinky turned the corner and caught sight of Inky. She let out a short laugh and then gazed sympathetically at Inky's form, which was cut in half between two sides of a glass wall. You could see his other half through the glass, hanging in the air, one foot touching the ground where he had been walking minutes before. "Oh Inky, not again."

Inky would have blushed if he wasn't a ghost, so his body settled with a little waver of the air around his face. "Yeah... Sorry for it."

Pinky smiled. "Don't worry, it happens."

Clyde floated into the hallway and rose over Pinky, descending back to the floor before Inky's left side. He was chuckling behind his over-sized jacket sleeves. "You okay Inky? Does it hurt?"

Inky sighed. "No Clyde, it doesn't hurt. Can the two of you help me out before..." Inky trailed off. "Before what?" Pinky asked smartly; she knew what the blue ghost was afraid of. The answer to her question walked down the hallway that moment. Blinky was by then in a very bad mood. He had nearly gotten hold of Pac-Man eight times and had been eaten five, which was always unpleasant. Blinky's anger was causing his form to fade in and out of visibility, and the air around him to become stale and dry, and it crackled like sand paper. His red eyes directed on Inky. "Got stuck again, teardrop? Pathetic. Haven't you learned yet?"

Inky sighed and lowered his gaze. Pinky rolled her magenta eyes. "Get off his back Blinky. It's not his fault."

"Yeah, it is. He needs to learn to control his skill or stop using it. He's slowing us down."

"Whatever. Who lived and appointed you alpha male all of a sudden?"

Blinky glared at her and sent another ruthless glance in Inky's direction before turning away, his coat throwing dust into Inky's eyes.

Inky had always been the weakest of the four, though he was the smartest and the best at dodging things (perhaps that came from practice). He and Clyde weren't as straightforward as Pinky or Blinky, both of whom weren't afraid of Pac-Man but very annoyed with his antics. Inky felt that he himself was the 'influenced younger brother' of the group. Though Blinky was cruel to him, the older ghost also made it his busness to keep a sharp eye on Inky. Maybe that was why he was so angry whenever Inky messed up. Pinky was like an older sister to Inky - she protected him from Blinky's taunts. She also supported and understood his limited strengths and ongoing weaknesses. Inky wasn't what you'd call 'self-confident'.

"Anyway," Pinky began, "let's get you out of there. Clyde, get ready to pull, okay?"

Clyde nodded excitedly and grabbed hold of Inky's lank arms and Pinky rested her hands on his back. A soft pink glow emitted from her hands and ran across Inky's back, through the wall and down his other half, covering his legs and feet. Clyde gently began to pull Inky, and slowly, Inky's bottom half started to seep through the wall. A few seconds later Inky was back in two. He stood and massaged his waist. "Thank you, Pinky, Clyde."

Pinky put an arm around Inky's shoulders. "No problem. Now c'mon - we got to put new orbs in those rooms." Inky sighed as Clyde groaned loudly, exaggerating his displeasure by throwing himself against one of the glass walls. "I don't wanna!"

Pinky laughed. Inky fingered the hem of his shorts and smiled just a bit. Their lives may have become jadedly repetitive, but with friends like these it was almost worth it.

Clyde was always the last to get out of the box. It just happened like that. No matter how hard he looked, how fast, how careful he was, he was always the last to get out of the stupid glass box. Most of the time Clyde enjoyed it. It was a good excuse for never getting Pac-Man - the yellow thing gave Clyde the creeps! - and it also gave him a chance to spy Pinky before he got out. He liked to stick close to the female ghost. She was like an older sister to him, a maternal figure, one that he didn't remember ever having. Pinky stuck up for Clyde when Blinky was in one of his tempers. The orange ghosts lack of intellect made him an easy target.

At last, the button. Clyde pressed it and made his way out of the box. Because he could levitate easier than the others he was faster. It was just habit to hang back and let the others do the work. He looked around. Clyde caught sight of Pinky beyond one of the walls - he quickly followed her. She was hot on Pac-Man's heels. Pinky was directing her energy into her hands, shooting out short bursts of pink flame at Pac-Man's running form. The creature couldn't see her, so he kept jumping from one foot to the other, zig-zagging down the corridors and on occasion turning a corner. Clyde took position behind Pinky and followed her down.

Clyde could see Inky phasing through walls, trying to reach them. He could hear Blinky cursing further to his bottom right. The sleeves of Clyde's oversized jacket flapped behind him as he flew behind Pinky.

Pinky turned a corner with Clyde close behind, but Pinky froze and Clyde rammed into her figure. The two of them fell onto the ground. Clyde rubbed his head but did not think to get up. "Clyde, get off of me!" Pinky's voice was harsher than usual, so the orange ghost obeyed without question and looked up at Pac-Man. In the creature's hands was an orb, but it was bigger, and shone brighter than the other ones. Clyde stiffened as Pac-Man opened his wide, bottomless mouth and threw the orb inside.

The orange ghost quickly bent down to pull Pinky up and shoved her behind him, away from Pac-Man. A second later, a burst of reverse energy radiated from the consumed orb, coming from Pac-Man's stomach area. The energy tackled the ghosts and they stumbled backwards. The blast whipped away their color. Both Clyde and Pinky lost their bright hues and had turned dark blue. Their eyes were no longer orange and pink, but shining white, for the ghost energy inside of them was now visible. Their mouths shone the same blinding white, but Pac-Man did not mind. Instantly he came after them, mouth open and ready.

"Run!" Pinky shouted, turning and fleeing from the now in control Pac-Man. Clyde flew off after her. As they exited the corridor, they caught sight of Blinky, who was also running in the opposite direction.

Another problem with Pac-Man eating the orb was that not only did it take away their powers, but it also slowed the ghosts down from the drop in strength. Pac-Man could now easily outrun them. The yellow creature was closing in on them. Pinky fell behind. Clyde was still faster because of his levitation. But as he looked back he saw fear evident in the female's eyes. Being eaten was distastful for all of them, but for Pinky it was nearly unbearable. She absolutely hated not having a physical form - being eaten and then forced out of a solid body, only to have become a floating cloud of swirling pink dust didn't just irritate Pinky, but in a way it hurt her. She was always quieter, sulkier after being eaten.

Clyde shuttered before letting his feet fall to the ground. Then he jumped backwards, and in the same movement grabbed hold of Pinky's waist and threw her sideways into an empty hallway. She shouted in surprise, but luckily Blinky was in there as well. He was startled, but managed to catch Pinky before she hit the ground.

Pac-Man was upon him. Clyde closed his eyes as his head was pulled into the toothless mouth. He had seen the inside of Pac-Man before, and it was indescribably horrible.

Bite by bite, though each chomp was quicker than the other, Pac-Man swallowed Clyde and took him into his deep abyss of a stomach. Finally, when Clyde's entire body was consumed, it tore itself apart and Clyde felt his physical body instantly dissipate.

At this point, it was up to Clyde to force his way out of Pac-Man's body, and that was the hard part. First he had to calm down - pretend he could actually forget he had just gotten eaten - and then hover over to the edge of Pac-Man's body. Once he hit the 'wall', his barrier, all Clyde had to do was use his ghost energy to push through.

Pushing through a physical body was both really difficult and tiring. Eventually Clyde managed to break himself out.

His eyes were all that was left, and they were still blue from the effects of the reverberation of power. Quickly, he made his way back to the box, where his body would quickly rebuild itself until he was solid once more.

It was one of those quiet days, Pinky supposed. Pac-Man hadn't come. For humans, it would be just past noon - Pac-Man always arrived during the early mornings, when it was still dark outside, or during the latest of nights.

"It's... quiet when he's not here..." Pinky muttered to herself. The four of them had taken the opportunity of Pac-Man's absence to enjoy the lower floors of the mansion. Pinky was sitting on a dusty chair, half of the back rest broken off by some bout of long-since-passed anger. Clyde, who was very, very bored and quite energetic for no real reason, was lying face down on the floor, moving his limbs and making dust-angels on the wooden floor. Inky was sitting cross legged on a table further to Pinky's right, past Clyde's body. He kept glancing downward at the orange ghost but he would never say anything, just look away and mess with his glasses.

Blinky walked into the room. He had been in the front lobby (this was seriously a huge mansion) and had spent three consecutive hours staring out of the front window. It was a habit of his - whenever Blinky needed to think he would stare out of the window, into the swirling mist of water drops and gaze at the shifting shadows of people walking below the hill. Tiny, noisy ants that avoided the line of the mansions shadow like bugs avoiding water. Unknowingly, the ghost's indirect glare would always send a hot chill into the town, a contradiction that would advise mothers to keep their children close, and if possible, inside that entire day.

Eventually the pitter patter of rain followed Blinky's reappearance, and it was only then that Clyde stopped his constant moving. There was stiff silence. It was a horrible fallacy that ghosts could not feel or do things most normal people did. Ghosts could be bored, and they could hurt, and ghosts could be afraid of things. Not all ghosts, it's true, but Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde were not most ghosts. In a way they were outcasts of their own kind. They had died long ago - but nothing should have held them back. Spirits are supposed to be released after death, and whether to great heavens or to be reborn was unknown, but an inevitability. Only when spirit's who's time was too short, or who's mark had not been made, or who's humanly emotions had swelled beyond the grasp of immortality did they become ghosts.

But these four ghosts sitting in a dusty, rotting room, were different. They were solid. They had physical forms and were visible under all conditions. They felt plausible emotions and had logical thoughts, which most ghosts had thrown to waste with mortality. They could feel things humans felt.

Pinky in particular. She held affections for each of her counterparts. Most ghosts were cold and unfeeling, even towards their fellow ghosts. The four of them had human like relations and thoughts of each other, therefor molding the image of themselves and of the others.

Pinky never told the others, but she had always been afraid of thunder and lightning. It was an irrational fear - she knew it could not hurt her, yet whenever rain pounded against the broken glass of the building, sometimes seeping through the ceiling or cracks in the walls it never failed to make her muscles tense. Perhaps it was something left behind by her before-life. A phobia, maybe.

Anyways, Pinky shuffled in her chair and turned her back to the window. Tiny blue shadows of raindrops fell across the floor before her. Pinky closed her eyes and tried to let the sound of the rain sooth her nerves.

Another shadow fell over her. Pinky looked up to see Clyde. Dust covered his entire front, falling into the air with each movement, so that cloud of grey specs constantly floated and dived about him. "Pinky, are you feeling alright? You look upset..." Pinky smiled up at Clyde. "I'm fine big guy. It's just... quiet. There really isn't anything to do when Pac-Man isn't here to terrorize us..."

Clyde shrugged and then shook his head, trying to look encouraging. "Yeah, I guess. I thought you didn't like it when he came, though."

"Well I don't, it's just... It's more like -"

A flash of blinding light cut Pinky off. Inky yelled from shock, his form dissapearing and then falling off of the table and hitting the ground with a thump. Clyde stumbled. Blinky - the ghost had been leaning against the doorway - growled and held his head in his hands. He had been looking out the window when the lightning struck, and his eyes were stinging from the sudden flash. Pinky let out a short scream and shot up from her chair, knocking it over.

Three seconds after the lightning, a boom of hard thunder sounded, shaking the mansion floors. Pinky stumbled and fell into something soft. She clung to it instinctively.

Once the house had stopped moving, and the rain took a rest from it's ruthless beating against the walls, Pinky cracked open an eye. She was hugging something red. Oh no...

Slowly lifting her head, Pinky saw Blinky's face looking down at her with snark amusement. The smirk on his face was unbearable.

Blinky was enjoying this. Here was Pinky, his witty adversary, his one rival at all things sarcastic and intellectual, and she was cuddling against him like a newborn kitten. It was great! He could poke fun at her for this for months, maybe even years!

But just before Blinky was about to strike with a comment, he noticed something wet coming from the edge of Pinky's eyes. She loosened her grip on his coat, but fear and instinct force her to continue to hold him. The salty tears were being held rebelliously back, but one or two managed to break forth. What should have been a pleasing sight made Blinky feel sick to his stomach. A scowl lighted his features. A few feet away, Clyde and Inky glanced at one another, clearly worried.

Blinky sighed. He could not enjoy this. Pinky was embarrassed of fear, and angry at her embarrassment and angry that she was afraid. But anger is only the defencive equivelent of fear, so Pinky was only afraid and embarrassed. She could not stop the tears, and she could not banish her fear.

The scowl on Blinky's face darkened. "This is going to be awkward," he moaned tiredly. Then he placed an uncertain hand gently on Pinky's head. He said nothing, but though he was silent, the scowl still on his face, Pinky didn't move and didn't comment. She stood there, quite surprised into silence - likewise could be said for the other two males.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Clyde smiled, opening his arms and throwing them over both Blinky and Pinky, catching them off guard and surprised. "Yeah, don't worry Pinky! Everything's fine! Don't be scared."

The air around Pinky wavered, and Blinky growled at the orange ghost, but both said nothing. Inky stood before them gawkily, but after a pleading look from Clyde he hesitently rested his own arms around his friends. "Uh-huh. No fear. Yeah..."

Another flash, another boom. Blue, pink and orange ghost started, each burrying their heads into Blinky's form. The red ghost sighed, rolling his eyes. "You're all idiots."

But while their faces were hidden against his chest, Blinky allowed himself a small smile.