DISCLAIMER: I do not own Vandread or any of its characters. This plot is a product of my imagination. Any similarities to other fan fictions are unintentional.
By bishounen lovah
Chapter 6: The Escape
All five women and Paiwei held their breaths as they watched Parfet peer among the boxes. The noises made by Paiwei's frog camera caught the engineer's attention. They were worried that she'd find the video cam and audio transmitter that were hidden behind the stacked boxes. And she'll find it all right if they didn't do something for Parfet was innately stubborn and curious.
It was a lethal combination. Curiosity always killed the cat. It was such an apt cliché.
Meia's shout jolted the girl into action. Parfet's face was only a few inches away from the frog. Pai's sudden hand movement caused the mechanical thingy to leap high.
This time it was BC who shouted. The frog slammed into a box causing it to rock back and forth. All of them sighed a mushroom bubble of relief when the stack of boxes stopped moving. But then something else happened. Duero's trench coat, which he placed on top of one of the boxes, slid from its position and caused a chain reaction of tumbling boxes.
The last thing they saw was Parfet shielding herself with a raised arm.
"I can't move the video cam!"
"Is Parfet alright?"
"The transmitter is knocked off too!"
"Dang! I broke a nail!"
Only BC stayed calm amongst them. "Ezra, Paiwei, report."
"Audio transmission was disrupted. It would take me several minutes to find the frequency and restore it." The pregnant woman barely looked up from her small holographic screen.
"Visual input is negative. I think the camera is stuck under Duero's coat." Paiwei moved her hands in various motions until her virtua eye gear and RC started sparking. She quickly threw them away with a little help from Barnette.
"I think the frog is fried," the Dread pilot said. "Might take a while to cool down."
"It must have been one heavy coat," Jura sweatdropped.
"What do we do now?" Meia piped in.
"We wait." BC replied and stared expectantly at the blank holographic screen.
Duero frantically threw one heavy box after the other searching for Parfet. His only clue to her position was her faint groaning. He followed it like some kind of beacon.
"Parfet! Are you okay?" Duero quickly asked as soon as he 'unearthed' her. She didn't look so good with her eyes twirling like @.@ behind her glasses.
"I'm confused," she faintly replied as she clutched her head.
Had she suffered amnesia?
"The alignment of stars indicated that today is my lucky day but it seems I keep running into accidents"
Is that all? And I thought she hit her head too hard, he sighed in relief and gave in to the temptation of giving her a hard, reassuring (for him, that is) kiss. And like all their other kisses, this one turned out longer and much more satisfying (if it were possible) than anticipated.
"Then again maybe the stars are right," she sighed against his cheek afterwards.
"Let me check you for injuries." He brought out his penlight medical thingy and let it hover above her body, all the while trying to keep his hands to himself. "Everything seems to be, uh, in order."
"I could have told you that but I suppose you'd want to check for yourself."
"Can you move?" He helped her sit up in a more upright position, slowly so as not to aggravate any pain. "What do you suppose caused the boxes to fall?"
"I'm not sure but it was extremely mobile. It moved so fast."
"Maybe we should look for it before it causes any more mishap. I have a suspicion that whatever it was has got something to do with us being locked in here."
They started browsing among the junk littered all over the small room. Most of them were old circuit boards, motherboards and other electronic gadgets. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack since they had no idea what they were looking for.
But then something caught Parfet's attention. Hidden at the corner of the room behind all of those boxes was a beautiful antique (very antique) wooden chest with a rectangular golden plate attached above the keyhole. With a finger, she traced the primitive cursive word that's etched on it.
"Memories." Being the elite that he is, Duero was capable of reading ancient earth handwriting.
"Memories?" She whispered back, awed at his talent and very curious as to what was hidden inside. She lifted the lid, glad that the chest wasn't locked.
The first thing they saw was a small ivory box pillowed on a white satin clothe. Duero took and opened it. In one compartment was a gold necklace adorned by a locket while in the other one was a tiny porcelain figurine of a man and woman in a dancing pose.
"Aa," he replied as he gave both necklace and figurine to Parfet. He went on checking the box and found that pushing them away like trays can separate the compartments. Inside was another compartment that had a hole in the middle. Without any doubts, Parfet slipped the figurine in the slot and almost immediately soft music tinkered out of the box.
Both of them watched the man and the woman move around the base of the box in a circular waltz. It was a mesmerizing sight backed up by the sweet melody. Their awe increased when Parfet managed to open the locket and saw the picture inside. On the left side was a picture of a man and woman gazing deeply into each other's eyes while on the right was an inscription.
"Love binds two people, two hearts, two souls."
"Remember that video you guys stumbled upon last Christmas. Then you asked me if it's possible for a man and woman to live together?"
"Yes, and you said that it's possible."
"It is but…"
"But would a man from Taraak and a woman from Mejer be able to live together the way men and women lived in Earth before?"
It was as if he read her mind. Now that they had confessed their feelings for each other, she couldn't help but wonder how they would be able to pull their relationship off. Couldn't help but feel fear to what's going to happen to them.
She refused to reply primarily because she did not know how and what to reply. So she just turned her attention back to the chest. She reached for the white cloth, which turned out to be a dress. And from the intricate lacework she guessed that this was a special dress…a ceremonial gown. She unfolded it and held the dress to herself.
It was a beautiful dress and she couldn't help but imagine herself wearing it. It was a white satin number though it was starting to yellow from age. It was strapless, the edges and full skirt trimmed with hand woven laces. There were matching gloves that were long enough to reach several inches past the elbows.
"You would look beautiful in that."
Her reply was a dreamy smile. She began folding the dress again as he reached in the chest again. This time he got what seemed like a large book with thick pages.
"What is it?"
"More memories," he said as he opened the book to reveal old photographs.
"Look, Duero! It's that woman from the locket. And she's wearing the dress. What kind of ritual were they performing, do you suppose?"
"It's a wedding ceremony."
"I read somewhere before that a man and a woman were legally and spiritually bonded through those ceremonies. In that ritual, they vow everlasting love and promise each other to be together till death."
"It's a nice thought, isn't it? Romantic too."
Silently they looked at the pictures. Page by page, book after book. They saw the couple as the years passed by. Saw their children…their grandchildren. Saw them grow old…still together and still in love with each other as the day they got married.
"It is possible," Parfet suddenly said though quietly.
"No more doubts?"
"Of course there are doubts. There will always be doubts but it's not as if we're getting married. Well at least not anytime soon," she blushed. "We just have to take it slow, you know, and get to know each other more first."
"And see where the road will take us?"
They smiled at each other in understanding then started to place back the stuff in the trunk. Someone had lovingly placed it there to preserve their memories. It was not Duero and Parfet's place to take any of those treasures away. Besides, every one of those items had served their purpose. They had given reassurance to a new couple that with love anything is possible.
Once the task was over, he helped her stand up and pulled her in his arms. There they shared kisses and love words with the sweet melody of the music box still playing in their heads. They were aware of nothing else but of each other. Had forgotten about the heat and the fact that they're still locked in.
But then suddenly the door slid open and a shout caused them to jump apart.
"Duero! You've got to help me! Hide! I've got to hide!" Hibiki took a step in the room and shook his head vigorously from side to side in search for a hiding place.
"Don't!" Duero and Parfet shouted at the same time to stop Hibiki from moving away from the door. Unfortunately their warning came a second too late. They each let out a mushroom bubble of a sigh before checking out if the door was locked again.
Great! Now we're locked in with that annoying Hibiki, came the sarcastic thought from Duero.
"What's that?" Hibiki stopped throwing boxes around to strain his twitching ears. "Oh no! She's coming!"
The door slid open again.
This time Parfet managed to slip through the doorframe, waving frantically at Duero who went back to grab his coat. They quickly moved to the hallway and looked back in time to see Dita glomping on Hibiki just before the metal door slid shut.
"Do you suppose we should let them out?" Parfet asked, guilt written all over her face.
"No. A little private time together might do them good."
"Hmm, perhaps you're right. What do we do now?"
"We'll think of something," he replied with a mischievous grin.
They started walking hand in hand (HHWW-PSSP) only to stop in front of the next room. Loud voices could be heard inside.
"Don't just stand there, Jura, do something! Locking them up was your idea!"
"I can't do anything. Can't you see I broke a nail?"
"Would you stop worrying about it?! It's just a nail! It'll grow back!"
Duero and Parfet looked at each other then grinned.
"Oh, look. It's your toolbox," he whispered to her.
"They did bring me down here under the pretense of fixing something."
"I'm sure you could find something to fix around here."
"Would you stop worrying about it?! It's just a nail! It'll grow back," Barnette yelled at the blond.
"I can't think when I'm not looking perfect!"
"What you mean is you can't think, period!"
"Yamero," Meia did not need to shout her warning. The Dread pilots stopped bickering and contented themselves by glaring at each other.
"Ezra, Paiwei, are we done yet?" BC's voice was heard above the clicking sounds of keyboard.
"Just a couple of minutes more," the pregnant woman replied, a cherry licorice hanging from her mouth.
~Two minutes later~
"Yatta! Frog cam is back on line!"
They watched the blurry screen and waited for the visual input to clear up.
"Nani!" They all shouted in unison.
They watched Hibiki being chased by Dita round and round the room with the former stopping in front of the door from time to time to bang on it. Duero and Parfet were nowhere to be seen.
"Oi, oi! What the heck happened!" Jura demanded in confusion.
Just then the audio input came back.
"Uchuuji-san, you promised you'd visit my room."
"Baka! Why would I want to go there?"
"Ne, you promised!"
"Yamero!" This time Meia shouted in outrage.
"Ohohohoho. Looks like someone's jealous."
"Meia just sent the blond a death glare before striding to the door. "I'm not staying for this annoying show…NANI!!!"
"What's the matter," BC asked.
"The door won't open," she punched the red button again and again.
"You mean to say we're stuck here to watch Hibiki and Dita chase each other for who knows how long?" Barnette yelled indignantly, her face fast losing color.
Their unified screams of terror reached every corner of Nirvana but were ignored especially by the couple walking away in each other's arms.
Aa/Hai – Yes
Uchuuji-san – Mr. Alien
Yamero – Stop
Yatta! – All right!; Yes!
Nani – What
Oi – Hey
Baka – Idiot; Stupid; Moron
 And there you have it, folks. My first and probably last Vandread fic. I refuse to make any others until I get a hold of the Second Stage. But then, who knows…I might get hungry one of these days and eat my words like I did in some instances.
 A big, sloppy kissy thanks to all of you who supported this fic. You're a tough audience to satisfy but I enjoyed every word you've sent nevertheless. I'm sorry for all of the mistakes I made along the way but I won't change any of it. It's too messy and I'm too lazy.
 So long, farewell, I hate to say goodbye (with matching dance steps)…