Author's Note : The title, Shabala Boo, comes from the lyrics of Sweet True Love, one of the anime theme songs. The song describes an imperfect fairytale that is enjoyed regardless.
A few lines in this writing below refer to events in Soul's Window. Mondo's carrot phobia is canon, it just didn't survive dubbing. Another thing that did not survive dubbing is that the original is more open to discussing mature themes, which shows a little through here. Hence some more grim themes will show up, but most of the drabbles are of the light and fluffy nature.
There are fifty themes in total, the other twenty five are for the second chapter. Other pairings may or may not follow with the same template. For now, enjoy what's there ^_^
In the proverbial world of Sweet Words, there were a dozen Mondo could assign to Rokuna (and any cute girl). Cute, sweet, lovely, honey and so on. However, while scraping himself off of the sidewalk after having flirted with a random passerby, which Rokuna hadn't taken well as usual, he realized there needed to be some words less sugary to describe one's soulmate, ones that didn't feel like an insult along the way.
While Professor Hiiragi tried to apologize to the thoroughly freaked out mother of the girl he had been wooing seconds ago, he noticed the bag of groceries said woman had set down. It had fallen over and a bottle of Sassafras perfume had rolled out. Hm, maybe that would work. Sassafras did sound cute enough, and if he correctly recalled Namiko-sensei's lectures, it could cause liver damage. Considering the stomp he had just received in his stomach, that felt very appropriate.
He stood up and groaned, then Cartoon Physics set in and he felt fine again. But Rokuna still had her back turned,miffed, and the mother dragged her daughter away while muttering something about how society was going backward with 11 year old boys already on the prowl for marriage.
Off course, Rokuna would probably know what Sassafras was.
Hm, wasn't there a different herb too that sounded vaguely the same? Hm ... right, Saffron. It wasn't poisonous, but it did rhyme a little with "Safety On".
Yes, perfect. Safety on. Safety by not flirting with other girls in front of her.
They had come to watch the sunset, but nature only delivered a dreary rain, with the rolling promise of thunder in the distance.
Not what they had expected. Thunder without rain never had spelled good news in Rokumon Sekai, and though neither commented on it, they waited for the rain before they felt secure.
Their hands squeezed together, but relaxed once that rain finally arrived.
"Not what we wanted to see, but it's beautiful," Mondo said as he turned her face to the sky, letting the raindrops fall onto it.
She leaned against his shoulder, preventing him from putting his arm around her. Once more, not quite how he had envisioned it.
Oh well. They were here, and happy.
She turned her face to the sky too and smiled at the raindrops.
"Papa, what are you doing?"
Ichirobei turned around dramatically and imaginary flames bursting forth from behind him while he posed with a set of freaky helmets. Rokuna was promptly struck with horror. It had been a while since her father had been in the Crazy Inventions stage. His apparent return to it was troublesome.
"This is a revolutionary machine, meant to harness an incredible power! Now go get Mondo!"
She sweatdropped, she was already getting a few hints on its purpose when he said that. "Why don't you tell me first what it does first?"
"What I must suffer for science!" he declared, which probably was some comment on her reluctance to cooperate. Somehow. He pressed THE button, and pretty soon Mondo popped out of the vacuum sucker. Barely could the boy orientate himself, or one of the helmets was jammed on his head. The other went to Rokuna.
"The Stove Dragon operates on Cartoon Physics! It's made out of it, runs on it, and obeys it. Now I want to harness the POWER OF LOVE! Aka, the power of Shojo Manga Conventions! You can start doing your bubble thing now."
More sweatdrops, joined by embarrassed grins.
"Papa, it doesn't work like that. It can't be summoned."
"I have the power of Shojo Manga Conventions?"
Ichirobei looked grim upon hearing their reluctance, then suddenly sped out of the door and locked it behind him.
"You are not getting out of this room until you've generated at least a Kilowatt of LOVE energy! That's an order!"
"Does your father understand the laws about taking people somewhere against their will?"
"No. Let's go explain him. He forgot to the lock the other doors."
04. What Was That For?
He woke with a start, finding a furious Rokuna before him with a banana-tuna pie in her hand. The next moment saw said pie hurled to his face. His crime apparently had been dreaming of a girl not Rokuna, and apparently he was getting punished for affection towards other girls even without being in control ...
And then she became angry for using her favorite handkerchief to clean that junk out of his face, the ugly one with carrots on it.
Oh, that was it.
It took a marriage obsessed weretiger who was most likely a cousin of a certain Bear, a triplet of Moe Blobs and a tree before they could speak to each other normally again.
When Mondo arrived at school that one day, he immediately noticed something was wrong. Instead of Rokuna, there were a lot of snickering faces looking at him. He glared at a few of those who stared too much and continued inside.
"Does he know?"
"I wanna be there when he finds out!"
"I bet he never suspected!"
When the next group of muttering people he passed by started acting odd, he burst in their middle and demand, "Okay, what's your problem?"
The group grinned and giggled, until one girl finally said, "She's got another boyfriend!"
"Your girlfriend! She arrived half an hour early and is showing him around the school. A pen-pal, she says. It seems they're pretty close!"
He ran. It was ridiculous. Rokuna wouldn't have secrets from him. Never. Still, something was wrong. He ran throughout the school, looking for her, while passing several other amused classmates. He wasn't worried, he told himself.
Yet, he was, and with reason. There she stood, in the garden, a strange boy holding her hand. They were with their backs towards him, chattering away as Rokuna named all sorts of flowers. Apprehensively, he approached while trying to estimate his rival. A little shorter than Rokuna, with a bush of messy brown hair. Kinda like Kenta, except for the horse part.
She noticed him and turned around, raising her free hand. "Mon-chan, come over here!"
The boy turned around too and looked at Mondo with large eyes. Then he grinned and stuck out his tongue.
"Rokuna, " he started, sounding angrier than he wanted, " what is —"
"Oh, don't you recognize Kenta? Saki learned me transformation magic and I thought it would be fun to show Kenta-kun around in our world," Rokuna said happily. "I can finally show off my little brother!"
He was going to spend the entire day with the little centaur brat, whether Mondo liked it or not. Yet somehow, he felt more relieved than frustrated.
"Would you die with me? Is that something you ask your loved one? Die with me?" Mondo muttered as he cynically flipped through a random Shojo manga that shall remain nameless. Normally he liked these things, actually. It was where he got his inspiration for his love quotes. But he couldn't for the life of him asking Rokuna to die with him. He'd die for her, but that didn't need to be said. He'd ran to his death that day, not thinking about anything but Rokuna, ... and even she had been forgotten in the face of perfect despair, and he hadn't even desired life. If not for his friends, he wouldn't have lived that day for so many reasons. But they were right, there was no point in dying without achieving anything.
And they would both die for Rokumon Sekai. His thoughts wandered back to the day time had stood still, they had both been willing to sacrifice themselves ... it was like the sixgate world was the third side of their relationship, something that could no longer be taken out. They were Mondo and Rokuna and they were the Mon Colle Knights and ... he had to be getting so dramatic from reading this manga, where half of the sentences were yelled. Though, he probably did that more often and with fiery backgrounds too, from what he heard.
He closed the manga and tossed it away, reaching down to find another that had less unhealthy obsession and more fluff. Rokuna entered at that moment, felt his mood and asked what was wrong.
"Just some stupid people in that manga wanting to die together," he said. She picked up a different manga volume.
"Dying together is sorrowful, dying for another is powerful but tragic, so I like surviving together best. Try this manga instead."
"You can do this."
"I can do this."
"By the way, where is your father?"
"I locked papa in his laboratory with a spilled bag of my onion-garlic compote, you know, the ones that makes him faint. When he wakes up, he'll hopefully think it was a dream. That should postpone further panic attacks until I've got everything settled."
They had arrived at the park's outer edge, and here they stopped.
"Can you see her already?" Mondo asked.
"No ... but I think I can feel her. Odd, cause I've never even been near her since my sense became so sharp. Yet I remember her somehow."
It had taken Rokuna two weeks after the events in Pandæmonium to finally pick up the phone. It had rung, and nobody had been home. She had left a stammering message and finally, this morning, her mother had called back, asking to meet her daughter.
"Is that her?" Mondo suddenly pointed over the bushes to the right, into the park. There was a woman with long green hair, with similar curly stray locks as Rokuna. She had glasses and a coat under her arm, while an elegant wide hat was on her head. Slowly walking she passed by, then disappeared behind a tree for a moment, then they saw her again. She constantly looked up and around, mostly across the lake. Perhaps she subconsciously hoped to see Rokuna from a distance first, as if that would make it any less painful.
"Do your best, Rokuna-chan!"
"Do your best? What kind of a thing is that to say?"
"Well, you don't want this to end with another separation, right? So do your best not to get angry and to talk clearly and you know, that sort of stuff."
Clumsy, tactless and heartfelt advice. Any prickle in Rokuna's mind that could have made her snap that it was her mother's turn to do her best, it was killed by his happy expression.
"Okay, I will! And next time, I'll introduce you to her, I promise. Then the reunion will be complete." With that, she ran off to the other side of the park, so she could approach from the other side of the lake.
Her mother hadn't met Mondo, off course, but he was part of the Hiiragi life, her life, and a reunion isn't true lest the whole family is involved.
08. Sword & Shield
It was like a certain dance, his fire and wind as they mingled with her earth and water and so he became the weapon and she the shield of each monster. His darkness, his lightness, and her shadow and brightness. The armor of the universe of the six gates.
Granted, it was more often like rolled newspaper and tablecloth to ward off Fluff The Terrible. Count Collection wasn't much of a challenge, after all.
09. My Happy Ending
"Say ... Rokuna-chan? How do you see yourself in the future?"
Surprised, she stopped in her track as if he'd asked the most outrageous question.
"With you, off course."
10. Windows Of The Soul
Hers were green. His were brown. A thousand Mary Sue adjectives could be added, speaking of emerald orbs, of dark honey orbs, of deep pools of mystery, charismatic mirrors of bravery, but in the end, it was just brown and green, and hardly relevant to either of them.
11. Served Your Purpose
Love letters really don't have much of a point beyond being read and swooned over, did they? Still, Rokuna's inner romantic couldn't help but wonder whether she'd ever get such letters. She and Mondo already were practically together, there wasn't much of a point in a courtship period. Would they miss it later, on cold winter evenings when other couples would remember the young and foolish days?
12. Forever Ours
"Sheesh, Rokuna-chan ... it's a great design for a future house and it's neat we've got elemental rooms, but ... must there be a haunted tower?"
All memories rekindled, all feelings returned, and they were part of everything within the Saint Star Dragon. Within was outside, and all was within. That suggested complexity, but it was been as simple as a thousand mirror. Or wasn't that simple?
Only Mondo had been with her. All memories of them by others, and still not each others individual memories ... or maybe there just wasn't much of a difference anymore. They didn't need to look at each other, because they already knew everything. That had been true at that time.
It had been before Rokuna ever had needed to hold secrets, and she still had regret left for that memory.
14. If Only
"If only you had told me sooner ... "
" ... maybe you're right. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten lost if I had told you."
16. Words Of The Heart
They lovingly gazed into each others eyes as countless bubbles appeared out of nowhere. Now, the pastel backgrounds were invisible to anyone but them, but the bubbles had a tendency to drift off. Namiko-sensei has never taken well to it, but rarely managed to break them up.
Not in this universe.
The book slammed down on the conjoined desk so loudly that all the bubbles popped and the two children snapped back to awareness.
"Excuse me, I do not know whether it is normal in your universe to engage in Love Bubbles during class, but it is very distracting for both me and the other students," Expert said firmly, but kindly. "Also, what is this eternal love in high stereo thing you kept mumbling about?"
They explained. And so they learned that in this universe, the response of the class to their romance was less WTF and more screeching laughter.
She looked over Mondo's shoulder. He'd never been very talented at art, but he loved it and lately she noticed that Pegasus was cropping up more and more. Now she wondered why he never used her for inspiration, since he liked girls so much. That thought did not let go.
She really shouldn't do this. While Mondo was outside, she took his drawing book out of his bag and looked through it.
He did draw girls. Utahime, Lailai, Beginner and several others, she even spotted Guuko once. Her eyes glowed red soon enough and proverbial thunder clouds spun together in the room as she continued looking through the book. But then she discovered the extra hold in the binder's cover.
Another set of drawings, and these did feature her. Here were the only drawings that Mondo also appeared on. The thunder clouds subsided, and she put the drawings back.
"You're getting better, Mon-chan. Just stretch your arm a little longer instead of walking to catch it!" She had barely finished, or there was the next furious attack and Mondo ducked on instinct.
Playing ping pong with Rokuna tended to be epic.
There was only one thing left in the world, beyond the red mask, beyond the Terror Dragon. Clarity came where it had forsaken her before, and she finally could call out through the discord. The call was answered, and the dragon stopped in pain, because Mon-chan was. not. allowed. to. die.
20. Peaceful Day
The sun shone, the flowers were made of saccharine, the atmosphere posed a health risk for diabetes sufferers and Mondo and Rokuna were together in the meadows of love. Bubbles complimented the romantic scene.
And then Count Collection arrived with a possessed monster. But before the kids could even react, Namiko fell from the sky, left a small crater upon impact and went after her beloved Rose Prince. And then the Fire Dragon showed up, having a sparring session with Zaha, and there was no lovely meadow left. And then Utahime appeared, shed tragic tears over the loss of innocent plantlife and proceeded to tear apart the entire landscape, remodeling it into a fierce wilderness with man-eating flowers.
By the end of the day, Mondo and Rokuna still hadn't found their way out of the jungle.
And then they woke up and laughed about the dream. Utahime creating man-eating flowers. Where ever had they gotten it?
Carrot tune banana garlic soup. Mondo stared at it in horror, while Rokuna unexpectedly looked on.
He worked it all down, somehow, and then fled into the garden just in case he needed to throw up.
When he returned, he saw Rokuna look at the empty plate sadly.
22. Relief Of Pain
He woke up from the sound of her soft crying. It was late night and they camped in Rokumon Sekai while waiting for a monster's reappearance. They knew it had an item, but it was a rare manifesting beast that was easily frightened. So, here they were, far away from the Stove Dragon and alone.
Rokuna sat the the edge of the camp, hands folded. He recognized the pose; it was what she always did to concentrate while using her sixth sense. He was tired and needed his sleep, but he couldn't stand that she was having trouble with something. Groggily he got up, wrapped himself around with his blanket and was half on his way to Rokuna when he noticed she had no blanket herself. So he staggered back and picked up hers too.
"Don't catch a cold, Rokuna-chan," he said when he put it around her shoulders. She seemed to wake up slowly and in the dim light of dawn he saw tears in her eyes.
"Did you see something?" She didn't reply immediately and tried to wipe away her tears inconspicuously.
"No, I was having a dream ... there are ruins underground, a sunken city. It was buried before it was empty, and memories are seeping out of the ground right now. I thought I'd watch the sunrise, cause sleep didn't work ... we missed the sunset a while ago with that storm, so let's watch this sunrise together."
He was all too happy to grant that wish. Though the rock was unpleasantly cold, he quickly sat down next to her. Their position on the hill allowed them to see over the tops of the forest, where mist was already rising calmly. A late owl hooted and a few bats still played overhead, they could see their shadows against the brightening sky.
Suddenly, Rokuna stood up, closed the distance to Mondo with a single step and fell around his neck. Mondo was taken aback, this was not usual. They had the swooning bride and groom embrace often enough, but he always held her, instead of the other way around. No love bubbles appeared and only a few seconds later did he respond by hugging back and resting his chin on her shoulder.
"Rokuna-chan, you're not alright, are you?" he asked, his voice becoming small and weak. For all the hero he was meant to be, he never managed to sound or think like one when it mattered what one said.
"It's okay, Mon-chan. If you're with me, I can put all those old memories aside. This is something where you are my shield."
"Nooooo! Stay awaaaaay!" Mondo clung to Rokuna leg desperately while his wide brown eyes focused on a few orange brown puddles slowly moving towards him.
"Mondo, it's just old carrots."
"It's zombie carrots! They're coming for me! Save me, please!"
Rokuna rolled her eyes and wrestled her legs free. He promptly hid behind the nearest rock. She walked to the pathetic little veggie zombies, picked one up and glared at it. "Ruth, if this is your doing, if I'm going to have to drag Mondo around all day because of this, I know where you live and I will visit you."
The carrots stopped moving and she smiled wickedly. Ruth wasn't the only one who could get people to beg. Unfortunately, that didn't necessarily mean just any tactic worked on him. A Curse Gate opened right below the carrot Rokuna held, and within an instant, the carrot was replaced with a zombie frog.
And then there were two people behind that rock.
24. Can't Deny It
"Mon-chan, I'm kinda telepathic now. I can tell you hate my food. I always thought you just didn't like healthy food... I'm sorry."
"Well, it wasn't all bad."
"Yes it was."
"Okay ... it was horrible. But just the food, I mean."
25. Unsweetened tea
So Rokuna got it into her head to try out Chinese Tea Serving. Mondo normally didn't object to spending time with Rokuna, but this seemed rather boring ... and he sincerely hoped it did not involve garlic.
"Why do you keep spilling the tea like that?" he asked when she once again emptied a cup over one of the other cups.
"Oh Mon-chan. This is not spilling the tea. It is warming the cups and spreading the aroma!"
"I don't think I want to eat the cups. I don't think I can eat the cups."
"Most of human taste actually comes from what we see and smell right before we consume it," Rokuna said with a laugh. Doubtlessly something she had read during boring sundays, Mondo supposed it made sense. You know, he just loved how she looked in a kimono with that sweet smile on her face. He'd sniff bitter tea cups for hours if that meant he could spend it with her.