By: Curtis Wildcat
A crossover between Touhou and Garfield. What was I thinking? Not much, apparently. In any case, here goes.
It was one of those times that life had reached its dullest point.
Gensokyo was in a period of peace. There was no one raising too much havoc or causing mysterious events to take place. Utsuho's misguided actions had recently been stopped, and the land was no longer in danger. Life was going about its daily routine, which meant plenty of odd behavior from all corners...
Yukari was bored. The actions of Gensokyo's residents, which became a great deal more amusing after the spellcard system was set up, still became tiring after a while. She could guess almost to the second when Marisa left her residence to annoy Patchouli, or when Reimu started to stare disappointedly at her empty donation box, or even when the ice fairy froze another frog. Once she had briefly considered introducing billiards to Gensokyo, with the 9-ball swapped for Cirno, but decided that it wouldn't be worth the effort.
All of the more active participants of Gensokyo's shenanigans that she knew of were occupied with their own lives (or half-life and non-life, in Youmu and Yuyuko's cases), and most of the minor ones much the same. There wasn't anything going on here, so Yukari decided to look around outside the barrier for a bit. Surely, with how vast the world was, she could find something to do in-between naps.
She could be forgiven in her boredom for settling on this particular venue: a common middle-class home somewhere in America. Pleasant neighborhood, birds singing, the occasional car going by, a small yellow dog running around and chasing its tail...
From her vantage point, Yukari finished surveying the area. Everything seemed normal. Like in Gensokyo, everything was set in a routine of its own. What is it, she thought as her gaze wandered past the house, that would lead me to choose this place?
Her eyes strayed back to the house as a brightly colored something-or-other was glimpsed; raising an eyebrow, Yukari opened a small gap in the air that would allow her to take a closer look. An orange cat, of all things, was hard at work getting a feast together. Cakes, meats, snacks, appetizers, some carbonated beverages and well-cooked dinners... it was a surprise the kitchen table could fit all of it without collapsing. She wondered if there was an event of some kind taking place to warrant such a feast...
But there was no one else around. The cat's owner was out somewhere, there being no sign of a car. The dog she'd seen obviously lived here, but it was happy doing its own thing. So, why is the cat doing all of this?
Of all the ways that question could've been answered, she did not expect this response: tying a bib around its neck and grabbing a fork and knife, the cat hopped onto a chair... and quickly began to devour the entire spread.
Yukari's eyes widened. She had seen a lot over her long existence, certainly, but nothing- - -nothing- - -could have prepared her for this. To all appearances inside and out, it was a normal housepet. It shouldn't be able to... to... It... it just ate that entire cake in a single gulp! The grapes... the buffalo wings... the mashed potatoes!... Animals like this aren't supposed to exist on the outside! Just how gluttonous is it, to be eating the food of humans without a thought edgewise? And even being able to safely eat chocolate! How does it do it? How?...
IT ATE IT ALL! The fat little beast ate it all! Less... than... four... minutes!
There was nothing left on the table except a lot of dirty dishes and empty food boxes. Emitting a very satisfied belch and leaving the mess for its owner to clean up, the cat walked back to the living room (smashing a spider on the way) and planted itself in front of the TV.
Yukari shielded her mouth with her fan, hiding the smile that had formed even as the shock had worn off. I think I understand now. Yuyuko would probably want this critter for a pet, but... ...no, I think she may have met her match this time. Still, it's a creature after my own heart... and it's reasonably intelligent, too. Maybe it wouldn't object if I dropped in to kill some time.
Making her decision, she closed the gap she'd been looking through and walked up to the door, tapping it a few times with her parasol. It took a minute, but the cat- - -reconfirming its intelligence in her eyes- - -opened the door, giving her a surprised look at her appearance. Fair enough, she supposed. It's not a style of dress you really see anymore.
"Hello, cat," Yukari greeted it, smiling. "I happened to be in the area, and I saw what you did to all of that food." She pouted a little. "Too bad you didn't leave some for everyone else..."
The cat stared up at her, bored; Yukari suspected that it was replying in its own way. She could almost imagine that the fat little fuzzball was thinking something at her...
- - -lady, but the food bank is closed. Go and make a withdrawl elsewhere.
Another shielded smile from Yukari. Intelligent AND sarcastic! "I won't bother you for too long," she reassured him, having confirmed the cat's gender from the sound of its thoughts. "I would just like to issue a challenge."
The cat's muscles never even twitched as it replied: What kind of challenge? Is it going to take long? The paint-drying competition is in its second round.
"It's a simple one," Yukari told it, this time not bothering to hide her grin. "Anything you can do, I can do better."
It took Ran an hour before she discovered where her master had went. She arrived just in time as a car pulled into the driveway; the people inside were talking to each other, and continued to do so as they unpacked some groceries and other items. She checked the area briefly just in case Yukari was still there, but as of yet there was no sign of her presence.
After taking a few moments to ensure that her tails were adequately concealed, Ran approached the two humans and got their attention. "Excuse me, sir? Madam?" she spoke up.
The woman was the first to react after several seconds had gone by, the man unsure what to make of her appearance (the shikigami remembered too late that her clothes and odd head covering made her stand out a bit compared to people of this society). "Um, yes. Can I help you with something?"
"Yes. I'm trying to find my boss," Ran explained. "Have you seen her anywhere around here? Fancy purple dress, blonde hair, carries an umbrella?"
"No, we haven't seen her," the man answered, recovering somewhat.
Ran stooped down to pet the yellow dog who had taken an interest in the proceedings, putting some concern into her voice. She wasn't worried, really, but it was nearly time for Yukari's nap and she was nowhere to be found. "It's been a while since I've seen her, and I'm starting to get worried. There was something I needed to talk to her about, but what if something happened to her?"
Both humans looked thoughtful for a bit before the woman decided on a course of action. "Jon, let's put these things away and help her find her boss."
"Are you sure, Liz?" Jon asked. "I appreciate you helping me with the groceries, but don't you have to be back home in an hour?"
Liz smiled. "That's plenty of time. C'mon, let's get to work."
Ran looked relieved. "Thank you- - - " SLURRRP! "- - -Aagh!" she tried to push the enthusiastic dog away from her, her face soaked. "Okay, okay, I like you too, now stop licking me!"
Jon approached and tapped the dog, trying to divert its attention. "C'mon, Odie. Let's go inside. I've got doggie treats- - -"
He got no further as Odie turned its enthusiastic greeting towards him. Chuckling, Liz borrowed the house keys from Jon and went to unlock the front door. Ran, feeling driven to try to curb Odie's happiness (Great deans of danmaku this dog is annoying!), didn't pay her any mind...
...until she walked back to them, a strange look on her face. Pushing the dog away from her again, Ran looked up at the human impatiently. "What?"
"I think," Liz said slowly, "that we found your boss."
Ran's expression lightened, as she was pleased that she had been found so quickly... but it was quickly replaced by confusion. What's with that look? There's something strange going on. Wiping off her face, she straightened and walked into the house, closely followed by the other three.
Slumped partially over an easy chair's armrest in front of the television, Yukari was sound asleep; an oversized cat was sitting on her lap, snoring. A large plastic bowl with some popcorn kernels at the bottom sat next to the chair, and a discarded remote control lay nearby. A gray mouse with a stopwatch watched the two sleep, stopping to check the time occasionally. The TV (Is that... a paint-drying show?...) was on, forgotten by the snoozing duo.
Ran stared at them, then at Jon and Liz; even the dog seemed confused. Why her master had done this was something she didn't know, and she was sure that the humans found it mystifying too (albeit for different reasons). They did one double take, then another.
It was Jon who finally spoke. The way he uttered his words did not give Ran much enthusiasm, as it showed signs that he had seen similar sights before. Still, she found herself in agreement with him.
"I don't even want to know."
And that's that. Glad this idea's out of my mind.
I'm sorry if anyone was expecting an update for my other stories, but I haven't had much enthusiasm for writing recently. The idea for this fic came to me just within the past day or two, and I wanted to get it out of the way; I've been playing the Touhou Project games for a few months now, and they're more fun than I first thought (never mind the fact that I can't stop losing at anything higher than Easy Mode).
Thanks for sparing a few minutes of your day. I hope you enjoyed this.