Disclaimer: We owneth not.
Collab between eight 0f hearts and temarcia. Chapters are by both of us.
"You want us to what?" Snippy asked.
The Captain was dancing with a skeleton. Clutching at its bony hand, with his other arm around its waist, he spun and twirled gracefully around the room. One of the skeleton's feet fell off and flew through the air, hitting Snippy in the face.
"Dance, Mr Snippy! Join me in this stupefying waltz!"
Snippy shook his head. "Aside from the fact that you're not actually waltzing... no. There's no way I'm dancing with Pilot."
This with a glance across at said pilot, who was sitting nearby happily humming some rather off-key music for Captain to dance to.
Captain froze mid-twirl, head turning slowly to fix Snippy with a disconcerting stare.
"You disobey your Captain?" he demanded.
Snippy shifted uncomfortably. "Can we do something else instead?" he asked a bit lamely.
Captain dropped the skeleton with a clatter and strode across to Snippy. Grabbing his arm, he dragged him over to Pilot, who by now had jumped to his feet and was standing to attention, waiting for orders.
"It is really quite simple," Captain explained. He picked up Snippy's hand and placed it on Pilot's shoulder, moved Pilot's hand to Snippy's waist, and clasped their other hands together. "And then – you dance! Simple as that! Now go! Do a tango for me!"
"A what-" Snippy was cut off as Pilot began bouncing around, humming dramatic music as he dragged Snippy every which way.
"Come on, Snippy!" he cried. "You heard the Captain! Dance, you jiggly slug!"
Snippy stumbled around, unable to keep up with Pilot's erratic movements. Finally he tripped over his own feet and fell to the ground, dragging Pilot down with him.
Pilot let out an indignant screech.
"Snippy! You nincompoop! You must have two left shoes!" he shrieked, untangling himself from the sniper and clambering to his feet. "Captain, can I dance with you instead?"
"No, my Pilot." Captain began to stride up and down the room, his hands clasped behind his back. "That was simply abominable. That boobery was not dancing. It would be blasphemy to call it so."
"Sorry?" Snippy offered, getting up and brushing himself down. "Look, I can't dance. Let's do something els-"
"Do not interrupt zee Captain!" Captain cut in, raising a hand sharply. "Mr Snippy, I am ashamed of you. You flounder with all the grace of a mentally deficient beluga. You have scarred my eyes for life with those offensive movements."
Pilot raised his hands to his ears and wiggled his fingers at Snippy.
"This is unacceptable. My minions must be competent at all forms of dance," Captain continued, stroking his chin. "The tango. The waltz. The cha-cha-cha. Not to mention the sprinkler, the lawnmower and the flushing-dunny."
Captain clapped his hands together sharply. "I will perform a demonstration for you. Observe carefully. And then the two of you will practice, and practice some more... and until you can re-create my movements, you are not worthy to be called my minions!"
Snippy resisted the urge to face-palm.
"From the top, Pilot!" Captain ordered, picking up the fallen skeleton again.
Pilot launched into a rather warbling rendition of Beethoven's Symphony No.9, a few octaves too high.
Captain began to dance again. It was a very elaborate dance, with a lot of dramatic sweeping of the arms, bending the skeleton back a near 90 degree angle, and spinning around fast enough to make Snippy feel quite nauseous.
Pilot's humming built up to a crescendo, and finally, on the most ear-piercing note, the Captain hoisted the skeleton up above his head in a dramatic lift.
It would have been impressive if the skeleton's skull hadn't chosen that moment to fall off, rolling across the floor to rest at Snippy's feet.
"That, meine minions," Captain said smugly, "is dancing."
Snippy shook his head slowly. "There's no way I can do that. Especially not with Pilot."
"Cease thy verbiage," Captain told him. "If you must complain, do it mentally, so it does not pollute my ears. Now, I shall be going out, and when I return I expect you to be ready to perform!"
And with that, he flounced out the door, taking the headless skeleton with him.
"You heard the Captain! Let's get to it!" There was a rather menacing glint in Pilot's eye as he turned to Snippy and held out his hands expectantly.
Mr Snippy was the worst dancing partner Pilot could ever have asked for. Not only did the shoe have no talent, he also had a terrible attitude. All he did was complain. "Why can't you be the girl?", "Slow down! I feel sick…", or "You put that hand there one more time and I'm gonna kill you."
Which part of the order had the slug not understood? The two of them had to perform the most amazing dance, and charm the Captain with it, otherwise they would be doomed! Dancing was a mission of great importance, and Pilot did not want to fail.
Unfortunately, it looked like anybody – even skeletons – could do better than the sniper. The Dead might not be very interactive, but at least they knew how to have fun. And Snipster was so…
"Tsss!" Pilot hissed as Snippy stepped on his foot again. "You're doing that on purpose, aren't you?"
"Oh, yes. Of course!" Sniper mocked. "And it was my idea to practise this stupid dance, right?"
"If you were better, there would be no need to practise."
"If you were smarter, we wouldn't be doing this in the first place!"
They both crossed their arms and exchanged angry glares.
"You think I want to dance with you? Well, I don't! I don't even like you!" Pilot was seriously annoyed. He decided that someone had to tell that ugly sneaker the truth. It was high time for him to start behaving properly. "You are mean, Snippy! Mean, stubborn, and boring! And you still think you are so smart! Well guess what? You're not!" he emphasised his words with an accusing hand gesture. "Nobody would want to dance with you! I'm doing it only because of Captain. I wish I were his partner, instead of that sluggish skeleton."
As soon as he said that, he realised that Mr Snippy wasn't the main cause of his misery. It was that Dead one's fault! That skeleton was stealing his beloved Captain! It had to be some kind of conspiracy. No one should be trusted! The only person Pilot could rely on right now was Pilot himself, and of course the Captain.
However, Captain had left with that headless plotter. They had been gone for some time. They might be dancing, or playing PlayStation games, or doing other awesome things by now. Meanwhile, Pilot was stuck with Snippy, here. None of them was able to do a thing about it. If they have performed better, they would have been having a good time with the Captain. Obtaining high-level dancing skills seemed to be necessary for beating that skeleton and regaining their leader's love and appreciation.
Pilot turned to his partner, about to say what a very serious problem they had. Suddenly he saw that Snippy was no longer there. That shoe had walked away while Pilot was visualising the evil plot of the Dead.
"Snippy!" he called.
There was no answer.
Pilot left the building in a rush. He spotted the other minion at the end of a street.
"Wait for me!" he shouted, running after Sniper. But still the man didn't stop. He marched on, pretending not to hear Pilot.
Finally, Pilot managed to catch up. "Where are you going, Snippy?" he asked, panting heavily. "We should be practising."
"I thought that you didn't want to."
"I don't, but I have to…" Pilot sounded pitiful. He was about to say something more, but he was cut off.
"Look, you don't have to," said Sniper, his voice rather sharp. "Neither do I. I'm going to find the Captain and tell him that we won't be dancing to entertain him. That's humiliating!"
"No! Don't do it, Snippy!" Pilot pulled at the other man's sleeve hard enough to turn him around. "You can't tell the Captain. He will be mad at us, and that is exactly what they want!"
Irritated, Snippy tried to pull his hand out of Pilot's grip. "They? What they?" he asked, struggling.
"The Dead People!" The answer came at once. "They started the rebellion! One of them is tantalizing the Captain with its Danse Macabre! It already took our place! We have to get rid of it, before it's too late!"
Mr Snippy just stood there in silence.
"Oh, my God…" he said slowly, after a long moment. "You are unbelievable. You are jealous of a skeleton… That is just… I can't even name it."
"I'm not jealous, you jellyfish!" Pilot shouted at him. Not that he cared what exactly Snippy meant by calling him jealous. That sounded offensive, and he wouldn't let anyone insult him. Especially not that jiggly slug! "Don't you get it? This is a state of emergency!"
Or maybe that shoe knew it all along? Maybe he was involved? He might have helped those dead insurgents. Now, he was deliberately sabotaging the dance.
"I won't let you ruin this performance…" he muttered under his breath, more to himself then to his interlocutor.
Sniper was about to walk away, when Pilot grabbed his hand once again. The next moment, Mr Snippy lost his balance, and couldn't do a thing about being lifted from the ground. All that he exclaimed was "BWAH!"
"Outstretched arms!" Pilot demanded "Like an airplane! And try to look cooler than that slimy skeleton."
"Put me down, you idiot!" yelled Snippy, less confused and definitely more furious by now. "What the hell are you…" he never finished, because Pilot abruptly dropped him.
Sniper hit the ground with a loud thud. He uttered obscenities before getting up.
"Why did you do that!" he gave Pilot the death glare.
It had no results, at all.
"This is for your lack of cooperation," Pilot explained "Let's try the lift once again. It's quite fun."
Snippy was decidedly unimpressed.
For the last ten minutes since they had returned to the base he had been unable to escape Pilot's Death Grip of Doom, the other man clutching his hands so tightly he could practically feel his bones scraping together. As if that wasn't bad enough, Pilot was moving far too fast for him to keep up with.
"Go, Snippy, go!" the madman chanted. "Left, right, cha-cha-cha! Forward, back, cha-cha-cha!"
Kill me now, Snippy thought miserably. He was fairly certain that Captain had only forced him into this stupid dance to annoy him and raise his blood pressure – well, wasn't that always the Captain's intention?
"Even the skeleton could dance better than you, you two minute noodle!" Pilot mocked. "Move your feet!"
"I am moving them," Snippy retorted. It was somewhat embarrassing, having to be corrected by Pilot of all people.
The sound of boots on concrete and the loud slamming of a door alerted them to Captain's return. He strode into the room just in time to see Snippy tread on Pilot's foot again and send them both tumbling to the floor.
It was rather alarming, looking up from the ground to see a most unamused Captain looming over oneself.
"Atten-SHUN!" Captain bellowed. "Both of you, assume a vertically upright position! Now!"
They both scrambled to their feet.
"Minions," Captain said sternly, "I am exceedingly unimpressed."
Snippy swallowed. He contemplated, as he usually did, opening his mouth to give Captain a piece of his mind – letting him know exactly what he thought of his stupid plans and his madcap schemes. But, as always, he kept these thoughts to himself.
Why do I put up with this? He thought as Captain launched into a rant about their non-existent dancing abilities.
Because you have nowhere else to go.
"Captain," Pilot said, "I tried my hardest to be a worthy minion. But Mr Snippy undermined my efforts left, right and centre!"
Pilot's eyes kept darting between Captain and the open door. Snippy knew that he was looking for – that skeleton, the one Captain had left with but returned without. He felt almost sorry for Pilot – it was like watching a pathetic little puppy dog striving for its master's affections.
Okay, Pilot as a dog. That was one mental image he could do without.
"Demonstrate for me," Captain ordered, folding his arms. "This is your chance to redeem yourselves! Show me the lift."
That friggin' lift. It was the most ridiculous part of the whole thing. Snippy took a step back as Pilot approached him, arms outstretched.
"Snippy!" Pilot said, his usually bouncy demeanour now frustrated.
"You dropped me deliberately before. There's no way you're picking me up again," Snippy snapped. Not to mention the fact that it's incredibly awkward when you lift me up like that.
Captain tutted. "You see?" he said. "This is the crux of the matter. The lack of trust. Dancing is an art, formed between two people! Without trust, there is nothing!"
"Then I guess this is a hopeless task," Snippy pointed out, "Because I certainly don't trust him." Not after that little feed-Snippy-to-the-whale incident. Bad memories...
Captain clapped his hands together sharply. "I have a new mission for you!" he declared.
Pilot perked up a bit. "No more dancing?"
"Not at the current moment." Captain reached into his coat and produced a scrap of paper and a rather stubby pencil. He scrawled a word on the paper and thrust it at Snippy.
"What is this?" Snippy asked, squinting at it.
"A shopping list!"
"You want us to find you a truck?"
"No, Mr Snippy," Captain said patiently. "Trust. That is an s. And that's a t. Do you require glasses, or perhaps reading lessons?"
"Neither," Snippy muttered. "It's just your handwriting."
"Captain, I don't understand the mission," Pilot piped up.
"Go, go!" Captain put a hand on each of their shoulders and propelled them towards the doorway. "Go and find the trust! Don't return until you have it!"
"You can't just find trust-" Snippy broke off as Captain shoved him out the door and slammed it behind them.
Pilot was jumping around happily. "This is an easier mission," he said gleefully.
"No," Snippy murmured, "It really isn't."
"Let's go, Snippy! What does trust look like?" Pilot asked, peering around.
Snippy sighed. "Let's just go and look for supplies, we're running out of food," he suggested, trudging off.
Pilot skipped after him. "You can't ignore Captain's mission like that!"
"I'm not. I'm... multitasking. How about you go look for the trust, and I'll go look for the supplies?"
"No, we have to stick together," Pilot said. "Wait! I think I know where the trust is."
"Where?" Snippy asked, with a long-suffering sigh.
"I saw it once. It was glorious. It was large, and had a strange aura around it," Pilot continued. "It was deep inside a magical crater."
Snippy was getting a bad feeling about this. "What shape was it?"
Pilot made a few hand gestures.
"Pilot, that's not trust, that sounds like an undetonated bomb. Stay away from it."
"You mean a zooming aardvark?"
"I have no idea how 'nuclear bomb' became 'zooming aardvark' in your mind, but sure. Just don't go near it," Snippy warned.
It was at that moment that, out of the blue, a gunshot rang out through the landscape, and a traffic light nearby exploded in a shower of glass. Snippy dropped to the ground, snatching up his rifle as he looked around for whoever was shooting at them.
"Pilot, get down!" he hissed.
There was another gunshot and shards of green glass rained down on Snippy. He raised his own gun and fired in the direction the shots had been coming from.
Suddenly there were three large men surrounding them, pointing rather ominously large weapons. Snippy abruptly found himself staring down the barrel of a machine gun.
"Get up," the wielder of the weapon snapped.
Snippy looked up and sighed. Hostile waste-landers. Just brilliant. He clambered to his feet.
"Drop the weapon," the man added, and Snippy, gritting his teeth reluctantly, let his rifle fall with a clang. What is the point of having this thing if I always end up having to put it down anyway?
He glanced over at Pilot, but suddenly pain exploded at the back of his head as he was struck with some sort of blunt object.
This day just keeps getting better and better, was his last thought before everything faded to black.
Review and constructive criticism are greatly appreciated ~ =)
Thanks for reading.