Kuki's violet eyes gazed at the brightly flickering screen before her. Two costumed humans threw themselves at each other, bright lights flashing across the screen. Kuki tucked her legs deeper under her, pulling her yellow quilt farther up her torso. Her gaze moved to the blonde-topped male sitting on the floor in front of her. His face was twisted into a look of pure concentration, while his fingers rapidly mashed buttons on his controller.
"Wally?" Kuki asked hesitantly. "How long are you going to play that game? I really want to watch my new rainbow monkey movie."
"One second." said Wally, sticking out his tongue as he glared at the screen. "C'mon you cruddy player! Kill the guy already!"
"Seriously Wally," said Kuki trying her best not to whine, "I've been sitting here for three hours waiting for you to finish your game!"
"Just a sec." said Wally absentmindedly.
"Walllllyyyy." groaned Kuki, pushing the blanket off her lap. "It's my turn now."
"Hold on Kuki." said Wally, an annoyed undertone to his voice.
"Wally I want to watch my movie and I want to watch it now." Wally, sensing the danger in her tone, reluctantly paused the game. His lanky body turned to face her, a pleading look stretched across his face.
"C'mon Kooks." said Wally "Please let me just finish this level."
"You said that four levels ago." said Kuki unhappily. "What's so cool about playing a stupid video game anyway?"
Kuki had spoken out of resentment towards the game that was keeping her from her movie, but she didn't expect Wally's reaction.
"A stupid video game?" asked Wally incredulously, anger apparent in his voice. "Video games aren't stupid! They're cool and interesting and it takes skill to master them."
"Skill?" asked Kuki bitterly, resentment filling her core. She was usually pretty patient, but after three hours Kuki was ready to snap. "You don't need skill to play a video game. They're easy!"
"Oh yeah Sanban?" asked Wally angrily. "I can beat you at any video game, anytime, anywhere."
"Bring it Beetles." said Kuki, equal anger in her voice.
"What's the prize?" asked Wally, a smirk stretched across his face.
Kuki hesitated slightly, mulling the idea over. "Umm… If you win… you get total control of the TV for a week… but if I win, I get total control for a week."
"Deal." said Wally smugly. "How's right here in the tree house, Friday after school?"
"Fine." said Kuki huffily as she stomped out of the room, her movie safely in her hand.
Wally chuckled, then turned back to his game.
Once out of the room, Kuki slumped against the wall. All the anger drained from her body, and was replaced with desperation. Kuki was well aware that skill was needed in video games, and that Wally had a large amount of skill in that area.
She belatedly remembered that the week she had promised to relinquish control of the TV if she lost was the same week that the Rainbow Monkey Corporation was releasing a never before seen episode – that would only air for one day, and would never be sold in stores.
She needed to learn how to play video games, and she needed to learn how fast.
"You want me to what?" Hoagie swiveled around in his desk chair, eyeing the Asian girl in front of him amusedly.
"Please Hoagie?" asked Kuki, pulling her lip down into a pout that always seemed to work with Wally.
"Why do you need to learn how to play video games anyway?" asked Hoagie as he adjusted the goggles sitting on his head.
Kuki sighed forlornly. "I kinda made a bet with Wally." she admitted.
A grin stretched across Hoagie's face, and his eyes twinkled with amusement. "Oh boy." he said. "What kind of bet?"
Kuki let out her breath in a frustrated huff. "I kind of said that I could beat him at video games."
Hoagie's mouth dropped open. "You're kidding right?" asked Hoagie incredulously.
"Are you going to help me or not?"
"B button! Press the B button!"
Kuki rapidly pressed the small blue button to no avail. Slowly her pink caped character collapsed as the words 'Game Over' flashed on the screen.
"Look Kuki." said Hoagie as he gently tugged the controller out of her hand. "If you time it right, you can double the damage to your opponent by pressing up, A button, then B button."
Kuki took back the controller and reset the game. Next to her, Hoagie plugged in a second controller.
"What're you doing?" asked Kuki curiously.
"You're gonna be racing Wally to the end point." said Hoagie. "Along the way, you guys will have the opportunity to battle each other to gain stuff that'll help you reach the end. But you're not just facing Wally; you're also facing all the creatures that you run into. We've already practiced fighting the creatures, but now you need to learn how to deal with both."
"Oh." said Kuki, turning her attention back to the game.
Three giant rats, two swamp creatures, and one devastating battle against Hoagie later, Kuki was once again watching her character fall to the ground.
"Again?" asked Hoagie encouragingly.
"Again." said Kuki.
Kuki slowly treaded into the room, Hoagie by her side. Behind her was Abby, holding a bowl of popcorn, an amused look on her face. She had heard of Kuki and Wally's bet only a day ago, and was anxious to see the result.
Wally was already in the room. When he saw Kuki he cracked his knuckles and smiled.
"Ready?" asked Wally as he turned on the game.
Kuki nodded as she took her spot next to him, clenching the controller tightly in her hand.
Hoagie and Abby settled themselves on the couch.
Characters were chosen. The game began.
The instant her character appeared, Kuki took off. Her character had lots of speed, but not as much power. Startled, Wally pressed his character into action.
Both were focused, their eyes glued to the screen. Every once and a while, Hoagie and Abby would make some type of encouraging remark, but neither one was listening.
Thanks to Hoagie's training, Kuki easily survived confrontations with the creatures in the level, and luckily, she had so far managed to avoid a battle confrontation with Wally.
She was a mere hundred feet from her destination when Wally finally caught up to her.
Kuki exhaled nervously when the words signifying a battle between her and Wally flashed on the screen.
Wally smirked, certain that her would emerge the victor. He was surprised at how well Kuki had done so far, but he was confident that Kuki couldn't have learned enough in three days to beat him.
He was wrong.
Three 'pounds of death' – as Hoagie called it – later, Wally was staring at his character's dissolving figure, his mouth wide as the words 'Player 2 Wins' flashed across the screen.
Kuki was just as stunned.
"Yeah!" Hoagie jumped off of the couch, his arms in the air, a large grin spread across his face. "That was perfect Kuki! You remembered to press the B button!"
Giggling happily, Kuki turned to face Wally. She stretched out a hand to Wally, a wide grin on her face.
"The remote please Mr. Beetles."
A/N: ...Yep. ANOTHER LCIL repeat. I'll post something new eventually, I swear.
Codename KND (c) Mr. Warburton