Boredom Breakage: A Vacuum in Feline Form
By: Curtis Wildcat
This story is a sequel to Boredom Breakage. Someone suggested to me that Yukari's challenge to Garfield be resolved in some way, and from there several ideas have started to take form. I'll be putting them together here the best that I can. These may or may not be in order, timeline-wise, so I'll leave that to the readers' discernment. Also, when it comes to writing, my brain is easily distracted and rather fickle. Therefore, don't be surprised if future updates take a while.
Garfield (plus Garfield and Friends by extension) and the Touhou Project are the properties of their respective owners and copyright holders.
Somewhere, maybe in Gensokyo but maybe not, a cellphone rang. Its owner answered it, knowing that there was only one person in the outside world who would have this number. "Yes?"
-"Hello. Is this... Yakumo Yukari?"-
-"This is Jon Arbuckle. When you were over here a few weeks ago, you reccommended your services as a pet-sitter..."-
-"Well, Liz and I will be going out to dinner this evening, and I need someone to look after the boys. Would you be able to do that?"-
-"That's great! Could you be here at 6:00?"-
-"Oh, thank you so much. I've tried everyone else, and no one wants to put up with them. This really means a lot to me."
-"Alright. I'll see you then."-
The line clicked off; Yukari did the same with her cellphone. Having met Garfield herself, she had a good handle on what the cat was capable of when he was properly motivated. And she knew that the challenge that she had issued that day was far from over.
She smirked in anticipation. "Yesss..."
As planned, Yukari had arrived at the Arbuckle house right on schedule. After reassuring Jon that things would go smoothly- - -which would probably be a first, considering who was involved- - -she had dismissed the man and allowed him to enjoy the rest of his evening.
It certainly wasn't for his sake that she was eager to see him off. Seriously, there were bad suits, and then there were bad suits. Olive green with yellow checkers? Bright orange and blue polka-dotted clip-on tie? Quietly she hoped that Liz would convince him to clean out his closet, and quick.
"I still don't get why I had to come along, Yukari-sama. ...Or why you wanted me to bring Chen."
Yukari glanced at her shikigami out the corner of her eye before resuming her casual search for Garfield. The living room seemed much larger than it did from the outside, leaving her to wonder if the home's designers had access to space manipulation; it almost felt as if they'd been walking in circles. "Call it a hunch, Ran. If I'm correct, there stands to be a great deal of entertainment in our lives soon enough."
Ran sweatdropped. "Only you would find a fat lazy cat entertaining."
An enigmatic smile was all she got by way of response.
Chen edged over to a doorway and peeked around it, bristling a bit when she saw Odie sitting and panting blissfully on the kitchen table. She cautiously stared at him a few moments before regarding Ran. "I didn't know dogs could be so... so..."
"Stupid?" Ran offered dryly, recalling her first meeting with Odie. "I hate to sound so derogatory of canines, but not all of them are inherently intelligent."
The overseer didn't answer either of them, instead looking on as Garfield climbed onto the table by way of a chair. The cat's head turned to face something unseen. Like her first meeting, Yukari imagined what he would have said if his thoughts were audible...
Man's best friend: the dog. While loyal and friendly to a fault, they are as entertaining as any mass-produced toy.
Garfield held up a little ball, rattling the bell inside it to get Odie's attention, then quickly tossed it over the edge of the table. Yipping, the dog immediately jumped after it, missed and CRASHED to the floor. Ran flinched at the impact, while Chen and Yukari watched with no small amount of amusement.
No assembly required.
Garfield finally noticed Yukari and the others, the border youkai's throat clearing having grabbed his attention. His tone became half sour, half challenging. Back for more? It's about time.
"It very much is," she agreed. "Don't forget, Garfield, I won that first match fair and square."
No way, Garfield declared, waving off her claim. Liz and the fox woke you up first. Everyone was far more annoyed with you than they were with me.
"You keep on thinking that." Yukari folded her arms imperiously, striding into the kitchen. "The gentleman he is..." She chose to ignore the amused snort from Ran and continued speaking. "...Mr. Arbuckle wanted you off of me so that I could get up. The call that woke you up came before mine."
"Actually," Ran interrupted, "you both woke up at the same time."
Both heads turned her way, annoyance ink-stamped on their faces. She sweatdropped, but continued to speak. "I asked that mouse before we left what the stopwatch was for. Please don't look at me like that."
Yukari sighed, opening a gap next to her; Garfield and Odie, the latter having regained what few senses he had, stared in stunned awe at the feat. "We'll pick up where we left off a little later. Ran, I would like to continue our competition with a feast. Hurry back home and bring over as much food as we can spare."
"Certainly, Yukari-sama," Ran said, bowing. "And what are you going to be doing in the meantime?"
Another gap opened at Yukari's other side, forcing Chen to step away from it. "I'm going to borrow a maid."
Busy, busy, busy.
There were times that Sakuya grew highly annoyed with the idiots on her staff, and this was one of them. Earlier, the Mansion's fairy maids had summoned an acidic monster completely by accident while working in the kitchen. Thankfully, she didn't have to intervene; the creature merely looked around, growled something about an "Akane Tendo" person and disappeared from whence it came. Most of those present had been vastly puzzled, and even now there continued to be some speculation as to who that individual was. Even Patchouli, when she heard about it, made a puzzling comment about "prospective chefs not getting much respect".
Sakuya sighed, gazing out the window she was cleaning. Aside from Tenshi's bout of boredom, there hadn't been a need for her to go out and investigate any strange happenings in Gensokyo the last few years. Thinking about those things, why did she get the feeling that she was due for some unexpected leave?...
Something didn't seem right to her. Freezing time momentarily, she took a few seconds (relative to her) to look around and confirm that everything was in order. Neat and tidy room: check. Completely dusted: check. Window cleaned: check. A hole tied open with ribbons beneath her: check. No signs of danger. Sighing in relief and dispelling her grip on time, she- - -
...Waaaait a second...
Gravity didn't hear her for a change, as it took only half the allotted time for it to reassert itself. Sakuya dropped inside the hole, shouting in surprise before she disappeared.
"... Just so I understand this..." *SLURP* "Ugh... you want me to manipulate time in such a fashion that..." *SLURP* "...down, please... that you can fit both an eating and a sleeping contest in the same evening..." *SLURP* "...I said down! ...against a cat?"
At first, Sakuya hadn't taken her abduction from the Mansion very well; she'd almost commenced a spellcard duel right then and there when Odie distracted her. In-between lickings from the enthusiastic dog, she'd learned from Yukari why she was here. It didn't sound logical to her, but then again few things concerning the sleepy youkai ever did.
"That's the size of it," confirmed Yukari. "As soon as Ran finishes her task, we can begin."
Sakuya stood up and took a few steps backwards away from Odie, wiping off her face with a cloth. She'd seen overly friendly dogs before, but this one beat all. "I really don't think this is the best use of my powers, Lady Yukari- - -"
Everyone present, excepting Garfield, stared in surprise at what Odie had done. Sakuya, the target of his happy greeting, was even more gobsmacked. "...I was a meter away," she uttered in a monotone. "That shouldn't have reached me."
The average doggie tongue is nine yards long. Garfield smiled amusedly. And if you need a towel, check the hall closet.
Chen counted off on her fingers as Sakuya elegantly stalked off to find the suggested closet. "Nine yards... that's... nine times... how many?"
Three, Garfield supplied. Odie "arfed" in agreement, while Yukari silently made a note to have Ran give her shikigami another lesson on the different measurement systems.
"So, nine times three feet..." A pause, as Chen ran out of fingers and started over. "Two, five, eight..." A few beats, as she ran out again and lost track. "...Where was I again?"
"Eighteen," Yukari urged. "Go on..."
"One... four... seven..." Chen frowned. "Only seven? That's all?"
"Twenty-seven," Yukari and Garfield chorused, the latter sitting down on all fours.
"Twenty-seven," Chen uttered in awe. "Twenty-seven. That's... wow. That's a lot of inches. ...How many would that be? Hmm..." She began counting on her fingers again. "Four, eight, twelve, ten... no, that's not right. Let's try that again..."
Garfield's eyes flicked away from Chen, once again looking out towards nothing at all. For those of you who came in late, you haven't missed much.
"...Who are you talking to, Garfield?"
None of your business, Yukari.
To be continued in Part 1-B