A Tattoo Never to Forget

Chapter 2

Embarrassment City

Lina screamed in shock, blushing darkly, and with reflexes that would have shamed Xellos himself, she quickly slammed the door shut, trying to regain her breath and normal thinking pattern.

'I did not just see that I so did not just see that…'

But she had. And not only had she seen her friend and comrade in the in the buff, she had to admit the guy had a nice body. She went down the hall and bumped into Amelia who had just finished closing their door.

"Oh Miss Lina! Good Afternoon!" Amelia stopped briefly when she saw Lina's flushed face. "Is something wrong?"

"Oh no— I mean- er, nothing." She smiled and then dashed downstairs. "I'm starving!"

"Miss Lina did you wake up the boys?"

Lina stopped in a dead halt. Now normally for many people this could have been safely down with no painful consequences. But, she was in the middle of stepping down on one of the steps… Resulting with her tripping the rest of the way down.

"Ouch- ITAI! No- Eh! Ow! Oomph!"

Amelia winced at each winded complaint and then ran towards the landing of the stairs to see Lina tangled up with some poor victim at the bottom of the stairs.

"Umm never mind Miss Lina I'll do it-" she stepped back and then headed her way to Gourry's room. "Mr. Gourry? Come on! Its afternoon! There are villains to be fought! Breakfasts' to be eaten! The sun is shinning! It's a beautiful day!"

"And it can go to hell…" Came a muttered reply. Amelia blinked. Was this Gourry's room? "Um… Mr. Gourry?"

"Go away! I have work tonight!" there was sounds of him shifting on the bed as it let out a protesting creak.

Blink blink.

Work? Was the group staying extra time in the village? She wanted to go on towards Seyrune as was their original plan. She frowned at the door, which just stood there, no more affected by her frown then any other inanimate object would be, and she then walked over to Milgazia's door.

She rapped her knuckles smartly on the door and winced as a splinter hit her hand. "OUCH!" she winced and pulled out the offending sliver holding back tears as a little blood came out. Of course by this time the door had been opened.

"Oh Amelia--" Milgazia winced, cursed headache. "Xellos and the others have something we should tell you all… Downstairs… After I get coffee, preferably."

"Alright Mr. Milgazia!" she smiled brightly. "I'll get Sylphiel, Lina, and Filia gathered up! You get Valgaav and Mr. Gourry, please." She then skipped off, eager to do something productive.

~*~

     Around three in the afternoon the guys had slowly assembled and had eaten… somewhat. Gourry had a pack of ice against his head, which still felt like it was pounding, and Milgazia was nursing his coffee. Zelgadis watched them with a disgusted look, which plainly said 'I told you so,'. Xellos had shown up, somewhat bedraggled, and with none of his usual cheeriness, for he too was sporting the hangover of all hangovers. His Mistress had called him in earlier too no less. He had been lucky, for she had been in good moods, and instead of scolding him, had only laughed in his general direction at his… State.

'I'm not laughing at you Xellos, I'm laughing near you.' She had chortled out, finding his disdain at her knowing he was still sobering up, highly amusing.

     Luckily for the men no one knew about the tattoos except for themselves and Jeremiah. Xellos was exceptionally glad his Mistress didn't know. THAT would have been mortifying. And a long explanation would have HAD to follow. And whether Zellas would have still been amused by the end of it… Was another matter entirely.

     "We have to stay for an extra week Lina, at the bare minimum," Xellos finally said, getting down to the point. Lina frowned, she didn't like this fact in the least.

     "Ok, then tell me WHY."

     "Because we owe some people money and we agreed to be employees until the debt was paid," Gourry answered taking a drink of his iced tea, placing the ice bag on the table.

     "How far in debt are you?" Filia frowned.

     "Forty gold each," Valgaav grumbled.

     "Well young man you're just going to have to work it off honestly then," She admonished, stirring her own ice tea.

     "I know," He muttered. "We start tonight we work till dawn. That's about it."

     "So what do you have to do?" Amelia asked licking her ice cream cone. Valgaav watched her lick her ice cream cone all the way around and then thought back to the bar… then back to her and her ice cream… and turned red. He lowered his eyes to his coffee unsure of how well his voice would be working.

     "Oh just some small labor. We work for the people. What can we say?" Xellos shrugged. "And since we'll be working nights, we should be getting rest during the day."

     "Lots," Gourry added.

~*~

     That night they left the girls, and the inn, when the females had went to bathe.

     "Why did we have to leave now? I haven't even had dinner!" Gourry complained as they pretty much jogged to their destination.

     "Because I know Lina and the others!" Xellos answered "Had they known we were leaving, the minute we left, they would have been following us."

     "I'm afraid I agree with Mr. Xellos, Lina can be awfully curious if not all of the questions are answered," Milgazia added.

     When they reached the strip bar they walked in through the front doors to see Jeremy at the doomed tattoo area. "We're here…" Valgaav muttered.

     "Oh how wonderful! Yes I am very glad you men came up, we have a party of women tonight. One of their younger girls just turned eighteen!" he winked at them,  "And her friends decided to give her a ~REAL~ treat. And their middle to upper class… you may have me paid off in three or four days if you get real lucky and give them your special attention… If you know what I mean."

     Xellos kept his mouth closed in a tight line, Valgaav's left eye twitched, and Gourry looked on confused. And for once, Milgazia was contemplating the consequences of 'running' from 'battle'.

They followed Jeremiah down a side door into a dimly lit, musky hallway. He turned left after opening the door and inside was a brightly lit room, three well built, handsome, and naked men were walking about getting things together, two average looking men brushed by already in their bright, and very little, outfits for the night.

     Gourry and Valgaav's eyes bugged. Milgazia looked on curiously.

     "Ok, these three gentleman have worked here for quite some time… so they know the ropes, you men all do a good job, they'll help you out." He then walked out, leaving the four men frozen.

     "So you're the poor saps we heard about 'eh?" the well toned, blue haired man walked up to them, "Well we'll get you're… 'Outfits' together… For your sake, I hope you can dance, entice, and seduce."

~*~

     "I can't go out there in this! I'll die!" Valgaav tried desperately to keep his, 'lost at sea' outfit… Er, more correctly… RAGS, in place.

     "You'll die if you don't!" Gourry reminded him.

     "We'll ALL die if Filia and the others find us here," Xellos added, calmly.

"Be glad you have what you do! I feel naked!" Milgazia was wearing tight leather pants that hugged the curves of his well muscled legs beautifully, enhancing the uh… Lower anatomy especially. His shirt was skintight and sky - blue, showing his muscles. Beneath the pants was a very skimpy piece of underwear. And the kicker was, he was supposed to strip off his clothes to that piece of underwear.

     "You might as well be," Xellos added sourly. His outfit consisted of a gauze-like deep purple shirt, unbuttoned and tied at the bottom of the shirt. His short-shorts were skin-tight and black.

     "Oh shut up all of you! Xellos is right! If mom saw me like this she'd kill me! This is all your guys' fault!" Valgaav was tugging at a black bow tie that was around his neck. He was wearing a male thong that was a deep black and nothing else.

     Gourry on the other hand was unusually silent, in a serious way. He was in a Tarzan outfit with little underwear that had the word 'Bish' on the behind… Whatever that meant…

     As the music and cat calls became louder, and the curtain started to lift, they froze in place, unable to move, for that was when, the reality of the situation, finally and fully hit them full force like a ton of bricks.

~*~

     "Why did you even take me here?!" Perrin screamed at her older sister. Cassie just giggled as she watched a semi cute guy dance in time and rhythm to the music.

     "BELIEVE ME! You'll love the show! They have these really cute three guys!" Amber joined in.

     "Yah right like I'd be interested in-" Perrin went silent as the main stage curtains opened to reveal four men in extremely interesting outfits, all of which looked all but ready to run. But no one noticed that. Three – fourths of the entire house were too busy drooling, screaming, fantasizing, and shouting, to notice.

     "Damn, I'll take that one!" Amber screamed pointing to Valgaav, who promptly turned crimson.

     "Hey, I got dibs on him!" Perrin yelled, "It IS my birthday after all!"

     "You hear that?" Darrin, the one with blue hair who had help them 'dress' gave them a grin, "We've found the party, and it looks like birthday girl wants you." He winked at Valgaav who promptly turned beet red and passed out, falling off the stage into said birthday girls lap, the chair collapsed with the weight of them both and she screeched happily hugging the tar out of him.

     "Whoa, Perrin turns eighteen, next thing you know, she has a hot guy on top of her. Why couldn't that have happened to me?!" Amber mock cried. "Oh well, there's still THOSE hotties! Hey, you with the sexy shorts! C'mere!" Xellos' eyes bugged.

     "You heard the lady, now go dance!" Sapphire, the one with purple hair that reached his back pushed him over to her and then got the rest to start to dance…   

     The next morning:

    "Unnngghh…" Valgaav rolled over to find himself next to Xellos, who was passed out into an unusual slumber. 'I didn't know Mazoku slept…'

     The rest of the men were also inside the room. Val's neck was sore, and he was tired. After the birthday scenario they slowly started catching on about how to dance. Xellos was the quickest to learn and was the best flirt and enticer they had. Gourry did well enough cause while he did have modesty, he knew he had to make up the debt, and besides, the women were really nice to him. They gave him money food and everything! He just wished they would stop trying to lift up his outfit all the time…

     "It wasn't a nightmare- -" Valgaav graoned, flopping onto his back.

     "Shut up, I'm tired," groused Xellos.

     Milgazia cracked open an eyelid, "I didn't know that Mazoku could get worn out from dancing."

     "That girl Amber was horrible! She wanted a lap dance and-" he shuddered, "She never kept her hands to herself I tell ya!"

     Milgazia smirked, "You should have gone over to Cassie, while I was dancing I explained our situation briefly to her and she gave me three gold and twenty copper pieces and all she wanted was a hug." All three men looked at him, mouth agape. "She preferred talking," he explained once more.

     "I only earned two silver and fourteen copper last night," Gourry piped in.

     "One gold, ten silver." Xellos shrugged, "She may have had her hands all over me, but she paid me pretty well."

     "Two silver, thirteen copper." Valggav included.

     "We've got a LONG way to go," Gourry shook his head.

     "No more… The only way I'll make it through tonight is if I'm DRUNK." Valgaav nearly cried, collapsing back onto his make shift bed.

     "I do not think that would be wise," cautioned Milgazia, "After all, that and Xellos were the one's to get us in this mess to begin with."

~*~

     That night, half way through their shift they were approached by Jeremiah.

     "So how are you gentleman today?" he smiled, taking a mug of ale from the waitress Laurie.

     "This is the lowest thing I've ever done," Xellos muttered.

     "I highly doubt it, and if it was, undoubted it won't be the last time or the worse thing you'll ever do," Milgazia pointed out, almost insolently.

     "He's got a point," Valgaav nodded.

     "How are you doing with the money?" questioned Jeremiah.

     "Not as much as we were hoping for."

     "Oh come now Valgaav, I have just the thing for you all! In a weeks time, I'm having a SPECIAL night for ladies only! And I was thinking of having you all be in a very special number. It's a new song and I've even arranged for a choreographer to arrange the dance. I assure you it will be a very big night." He grinned at them and half their number looked wary.

     "I don't know-" Gourry began.

     "And I'll take ten gold off your fine for doing so!" he added.

     "That would bring me up to half paid off at the very least," Milgazia said, almost surprised, "I shall take the job of being a part of this night. I would like to pay off my debt as quickly as possible."

     The other three reluctantly agreed.

     "PERFECT!" Jeremiah slapped Gourry on the back heartily, "Well, don't rest too long! Time is money men!"