Disclaimer: not mine, the phrase "Oh my god! You can't do that with a ping-pong ball!" is from Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Summary: Patently unfunny porn titles, pissy academics, and foul language galore.
"Kurger-burger!" Fay skipped happily over to the lanky ninja.
He grinned, staring into Kurogane's eyes and briefly wondered whether the ninja was angry, bored, or happy to see him. This was worrisome, as he was usually good at reading facial expressions. He stared back briefly into his own eyes and found only expressionless blue orbs looking back. He focused back on the blank red eyes.
"Kuro-buro, when did your ears get so big?" He wondered aloud, making a point to stand very still and allow only the tiniest movement of his lips.
"Oh well, let's drink!"
"There's no alcohol in this world..." Kurogane also stood very still. Behind the ninja's headdress the wizard wasn't even able to see his lips form the words.
"What?" Fay gasped audibly, but remained motionless. "Why?"
"Because this is a G-rated universe with a piss-poor production budget…"
The sound of his own scream woke the wizard out of his vicious slumber. His hands flailed, grasping onto anything and everything they could find to blindly assess his surroundings while his eyes darted around the dark room, desperately trying to adjust to the low light. He relaxed as he felt his fingers intertwine with stiffly waxed hair.
The lamp on the bedside table snapped on. Fay turned his head to look into two red eyes squinting back at him – still heavy with sleep, but clearly narrowed mostly out of annoyance. He relaxed his fingers, leaving his hand to rest on the head, and exhaled deeply.
"What was it this time?" Kurogane grumbled, pushing himself up onto his elbows, "Gummy bears gnawing off their own limbs? Cannibal frogs performing satanic ritual sacrifice in a biology classroom? Or maybe the ever popular King Ashura dancing the Macarena in a thong?"
Fay flopped back down onto his pillow. "It was so much worse!" he whined. "We were stuck in some poorly animated world where everyone barely moved and all I could see was long pans across shiny dead-fish eyes. And you were all tall and gangly and had a face like a monkey!"
"And there was no alcohol."
Kurogane chuckled. He was somewhat relieved that this was what was passing for nightmares in the mage's world these days. He rolled onto his side and slung a protective arm across the blond's shoulders. "That's the worst ever."
Fay frowned, suspecting that the ninja was not absorbing the full bed-wetting-terror that this particular nightmare had stirred in him. "I called you 'Kurger-burger.'"
This produced the desired effect; Fay winced as he felt the arm around him tense and shudder.
"Let's never speak of this again."
It was Fay's turn to chuckle. "No, of course not. What time is it?"
"Well, that damned pink thing hasn't danced across my face yet, so it must be before 8. Just go back to sleep."
Fay exhaled and burrowed his way deeper into the ninja's chest. "Reset it for 9 or 10, will you? Let's have a lazy day while Syaoran's at that conference."
Kurogane grunted his agreement. "Oi, Sumomo…noon."
* * * * *
Syaoran made his way through the hotel's conference center, weaving in and out of the crowd to avoid knocking the precariously perched persacom and manjuu from his shoulders. He had noticed the announcements for the archaeology conference earlier in the week, and had been eagerly looking forward to the chance to reclaim a piece of his old life. Well, reclaim a piece of one of his old lives, at any rate. He had no idea exactly what "Paleo-archaeology" involved, but had been transfixed by the beautiful displays of fossil bones so artfully laid out in the lobby.
He picked a discarded event schedule up from the floor and was pleased when he was able to read it. Lectures and poster sessions had been divided up by topic; there seemed to be at least four going on at any given time. Unfamiliar with most of the topics, he decided to head toward the closest room to take in a lecture.
"Hey kid." Syaoran stopped as he felt a hand grip his arm. "This is for conference attendees only. Go play outside."
"But I am here for the conference," Syaoran replied, confused.
"Then go check in and get your nametag. People pay good money to be here and we can't have little kids wandering around and disturbing things."
"Right…" He hadn't counted on registration. He turned sullenly to head back to the lobby.
"Wait, Syaoran!" Mokona chirped. "We just have to get you a nametag! We can borrow one from someone else!"
"I think you mean steal," Kotoko muttered. "We'll have to dress him up a bit too. He doesn't really fit in with the crowd."
Syaoran had to agree. He wasn't sure he owned any clothes that would allow him to slip innocuously through the sea of suspenders, bowties, and long patterned skirts flooding the conference hall.
"Yay! Shopping and stealing! Two of Mokona's 108 secret talents!"
"Seriously, Mokona…What was that witch on when she made you?"
* * * * *
"IT'S TIME FOR THE WAKEY-WAKEY EXERCISES!"
Halfway through his second set of side-bends, Kurogane wondered how the little pink harem girl managed to trick him, and only him, into doing this every morning.
Fay giggled to himself as he peeked through the drapes. "Hey…what happened to noon, Sumomo?"
Sumomo paused and removed the whistle from her lips. "There were two alarms set; one for 8 am and one for noon. Sumomo will wake you again at noon!"
Kurogane grunted and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "Don't bother."
Fay frowned. He had been looking forward to a long, relaxing morning spent in bed, but he hadn't planned on enjoying it alone. He furrowed his eye brows and began to work his lips into a sultry pout.
"Don't start that," Kurogane grunted, winking at the magician. "I know a much better way to spend the morning."
The pout disappeared. "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah, but it's going to require breakfast first. For energy."
"Kuro-tan, you had better not be talking about fighting…"
* * * * *
"There…and…there!" Mokona exclaimed clipping the purple striped bowtie to Syaoran's collar.
Syaoran eyed his reflection in the mirror. He wasn't particularly fond of the green elbow patches on the sweater, but the horn-rimmed glasses were a nice touch. He wasn't entirely convinced he would fit in with conference goers, however. "Are you sure about this?"
"Yes," Kotoko answered, straightening the shirt collar sticking up from under the sweater. "This is the official uniform of the Paleo-archaeological Society."
"Okay…if you're sure." He stumbled out of the changing room and deposited a handful of pink pencils on the front counter. The cashier smiled and handed him what appeared to be an oversized jelly pacifier in the shape of a cat's face in change.
"What is this thing?"
The cashier only smiled.
* * * * *
"Kuro-rin!" Fay trilled from the kitchenette. "I need the strainer! Can you get it for me?"
"Where is it?"
"Last I saw it was in Syaoran's room. Mokona was using it as a bed."
Kurogane grunted as he barged into the kid's room. There had better not be any little white fur bits in his breakfast this morning or so help him…
He spotted the metal strainer on the bedside table, partially buried by a stack of books. He smirked to himself; the kid always had his head in a book. He admired the young man's dedication, even though he much preferred manga to the thick, leather-bound volumes Syaoran seemed to consume endlessly. He shifted the strainer out from under the pile of books, delicately attempting to dislodge it without tipping the pile onto the floor and failed miserably.
He sighed as he bent to pick up the clutter. One, two, three…that should be all of them. …Four? Kurogane frowned as he turned the fourth volume over in his hand. The strainer fell to the floor as he began agitatedly flipping through the pages.
"Kuro…?" Fay called again, his attention still focused on the beets twirling around the blender at lightning speed. "I still need that-"
The strainer crashed onto the counter. Startled, the magician spun around.
The ninja's eyes were half-hidden by the forward tilt of his head and drooping hair, but Fay could see they were wide enough to expose the whites around red irises. Their gaze was locked onto the object gripped between white knuckles.
"Have. You. SEEN. This?"
Fay quickly wiped his hands on his frilly pink apron and took the book. As he leafed through the pages, his expression changed from amused to alarmed as the color drained from his face.
"Oh my god! You can't do that with a ping-pong ball!"
* * * * *
"That group, over there," Kotoko pointed toward a gathering of younger looking conference goers gathered around an ashtray.
"Why them?" Syaoran asked, feeling uneasy.
"Because they're piss drunk, and it will be easier to convince them to give you a name tag than someone who actually cares about the conference."
"They're drunk? But it's eight thirty in the morning!"
"My sensors are accurate within one thousand feet."
"Well…okay." Syaoran approached the group hesitantly. "Good morning." He smiled brightly.
"Awwwwwww," a particularly tall girl squealed, bending over to embrace him. The alcoholic fumes spewing out from her lips burned his eyes as he was completely enveloped. "Look! It's an undergrad! Sooo cute and untainted by higher education!"
"Huh?" Syaoran struggled to correct his balance.
"Don't go to grad school, kid," a short man piped up. "It'll suck your soul out through your toes and not even give you the courtesy of a reach-ahead."
"I think he's attempting innuendo," Kotoko supplied.
"Oh. Well, I was actually just wondering if I could borrow one of your name tags…? I'd like to see the conference and…" He was cut off by five fists pumping toward him, each gripping a name tag.
* * * * *
Fay and Kurogane stood wordlessly in the kitchenette, eyes boring holes in one another. Every few seconds one would attempt to form a coherent sentence, only to fail miserably and release a quiet whimper instead. Five minutes passed. Then fifteen.
It was Kurogane who finally broke the silence. "I think you should talk to him."
"ME?" Fay squealed, finally finding his voice. "You're his father, you talk to him!"
"I am not the kid's father, and I am sure as hell not talking to him about….this!" He shook the book for dramatic effect.
Fay exhaled, pushing his palms away from his chest as if to exorcise whatever demons had invaded his thoughts. "Ok, look. He's that age, he likes certain…things. However…terrifying they might be, we should probably just put the book away and never let him know we saw it."
"I agree." He held the book out toward the wizard.
"You put it back, I'm not touching it again."
"I don't want to go back in there."
"You're a ninja. You're used to compromising positions."
"And you can…" Kurogane trailed off. His cerebral arguing centers seemed to have been slowed by the abuse they had just sustained. "Fine."
Fay splashed his face with cold water and returned his attention to the breakfast. Suddenly, he had an idea…
"Hey Kuro…what say we take a cue from our little pervert and try out the pay-per-view channels on the television…?"
* * * * *
Syaoran wound his way through the maze of presentation boards. Each one was plastered with a colorful oversized poster containing months and years of careful research, condensed into a few sloppily worded paragraphs and incomprehensible charts. He marveled at the shear amount of work on display as he ducked beneath waving arms and flying spittle.
"Now, identify the most nervous person in the room," Kotoko instructed.
Syaoran searched. He spotted…was that Masayoshi? The boy certainly appeared nervous at any rate.
"Okay, then what?"
"Now approach them in silence and stare at their poster for a full ten minutes. Do not say a word while you're doing this."
"And what happens at the end of the ten minutes?"
"Then you are to insult the poster's color scheme, demand to know why your work isn't cited, and ask them if they are a serious scientist."
"Where are you downloading this from, exactly?"
"This is all from the official Annual Meeting of the Paleo-Archaeology Society's etiquette page."
"I think we should go to a lecture instead…"
"You'll want to buy an umbrella first," Kotoko insisted.
"But it's sunny out…"
* * * * *
"Okay, so what is Kuro-sama in the mood for? We have 'Batman in Robin,' 'In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon,' 'Miyuki-chan in Wonderland,' 'Backdoor Sluts 9…'"
"Anything. Sex is sex…" Kurogane paused, then added "But maybe no lesbians…"
Fay turned to face the ninja, faintly amused. "So sex is sex, except when it's lesbians?"
"Tch. You try having every single one of your…intimate moments interrupted by them and get back to me."
"Ahhh…so that's how it is."
Kurogane sighed. "That's how it is. Except maybe 'Miyuki-chan' might still be okay…"
"So what you're saying is that you don't actually have something against lesbians, just the ones who walk in on you with your pants down."
"I have something against everyone who walks in on me with my pants down. Except Miyuki-chan."
Fay rolled his eyes. "It's a wonder you ever get laid… Okay, well, let's try this one. XXXHotLick. Seems to have a bit of everything…'for the connoisseur' it says. You get comfy, I'll finish up breakfast."
Fay turned back to the kitchenette and proceeded to strain the pureed beets. He added some sugar to the juice and set it to the side. He needed oil to fry the eggs in. He knew he had added it to the list before he had sent Syaoran shopping the other morning…
He frowned as his eyes settled on the large glass jug of oil beside the counter. Why had the kid bought such a big bottle? Shuddering, he decided that was a question best left unanswered. He lifted the heavy jug up to the counter and measured a small amount into a frying pan. He cracked the eggs, adjusted the flame, and set about arranging juice glasses on a tray.
He was halfway between the kitchenette and the sofa when an inhuman screech pierced his ears and threw him off-balance. He landed face-down in a puddle of bright red juice. "What the hell?" he demanded, getting to his feet. The sofa was ruined; sticky red lines trailed down Kurogane's face and dripped onto the upholstery.
"Holy shit, is that Doumeki?"
* * * * *
"Now, raise your hand and ask a completely unrelated question."
"I don't think I want to be here anymore…"
* * * * *
The ninja and the wizard stared in horrified awe at the television.
"It must be his double in this world," Fay said quickly. "There's no way…"
"Hello? You ordered a pizza?"
"AHHHHH!" the pair screamed in unison.
"There's only ONE Watanuki! Only ONE! How the HELL did this end up in this dimension?"
"It's produced by Sanrio MegaCorp. They have a very aggressive…"
"Yeah, yeah, we know already."
"My, my. What are you two naughty boys doing alone in here?"
"Turn it off! Turn! It! OFF! I already have nightmares of the Dimensional Bitch!" Kurogane shouted, desperately searching for the remote.
Fay sniffed the air. "Do you smell….oh my god! The eggs are burning!" He bolted up and ran for the stove.
"This is Mokona's favorite bed-time story. Would you like to act out some of Mokona's favorite scenes?"
"AHHHH! IT'S THE BOOK!"
Fay's grip on the skillet slipped, spattering the still crackling oil onto his arm. He dropped the pan, smashing his foot in the process. Howling in pain and now hopping on one foot, he flailed against the countertop, trying to steady himself. Having one hand firmly set on the edge, he groped with the other…
And found himself flat on his back on the tile floor, soaked in oil and surrounded by glass shards.
* * * * *
Karyobinga's sister had warned her against not studying for her college entrance exams. "You'll spend your life cleaning toilets, or worse – looking after someone's children."
Karyobinga was certain her sister was an idiot. Her job on the resort's housekeeping staff came with every benefit imaginable, and three weeks paid vacation. Not only that, but guests were rarely in their rooms, so cleaning up after them was a piece of cake.
Also, this being a very posh resort, the guests tended to tip quite well.
Yes, Karyobinga's sister could suck it, or so she told herself as her persacom opened the lock to room 303.
She heard what appeared to be shouts, so she quietly called for permission to enter. When she received no response, she proceeded into the suite, anyway. Guests had an annoying habit of leaving their televisions on while they left for the day.
The television was indeed on. Apparently a nature documentary on a rare species of rabbit…or at least that's what she assumed from the quick motions of the black and white rabbits on screen. She reached for the remote to turn the television off.
It was then that the blood stained couch caught her attention. She gasped, throwing her hands over her mouth and spun to take in the full scene.
The two men oil wrestling on the kitchenette floor, also covered in blood, stared at her.
She screamed and ran for the door.
No job was worth this.
* * * * *
Syaoran attempted to push his way toward the exit, but was held back by the impressively large crowd that had formed. Deciding he could really do without another patched elbow being slung in his face, he opted to hold his position near the middle of the crowd.
"You can't possibly call that piece of crap fossil the 'missing link!'" an angry woman fumed.
"Fine, it's the 'found link,' then!" the man on the podium shouted back.
"It's not a link at all – it's just another crappy Adapid!"
"How dare you insult my Darwinius? This is the most complete fossil found for this time period and our analysis clearly shows…"
"Your analysis is shite too!" another man chimed in.
"I'll show you bollocks!"
A woman Syaoran assumed to be the moderator of the lecture session tapped her microphone. "Before things get out of hand," she began, "I SAID BEFORE, DR. SUMERAGI! I propose we settle this debate by adhering to the Society's pre-set standards."
The crowd cheered.
"Complainants will take the stage. Each will be provided with a graduated Erlenmeyer flask into which they will release their scientific criticism. Points will be awarded for most volume, widest stream, and best distance."
The quarreling archaeologists climbed to the stage.
"Oh...no, no, no, no," Syaoran muttered as they began loosening their belts. "What the hell is going on here…?"
"Scientific progress," Kotoko answered, matter-of-factly. "I did warn you to bring an umbrella."
"We're leaving." Syaoran began to valiantly force his way through the shouting crowd. "Where is Mokona?"
* * * * *
Kurogane finished bandaging the magician's arm and stepped back to inspect his work. "I suppose this hasn't been the best day we've had here…"
"Definitely not, but at least the police didn't arrest us."
"I think it helped to convince them we weren't wrestling in blood when you forced them to drink the beet juice."
"I'm just glad they were able to get it out of the couch – usually that stuff stains permanently."
"You would know best."
Fay smiled and leaned back into the ninja's lap. "At least our son isn't the sociopathic pervert we were afraid he was."
Kurogane grimaced. "Maybe not, but I don't think I can ever look at that manjuu the same way again…"
"No," Fay quickly agreed, "definitely not." He shuddered.
"No, really warm actually. We should turn the air conditioner on."
"Maybe later," the ninja murmured, head tilting back onto the sofa. "I'm too beat too move right now."
"Me, too." Fay cupped Kurogane's face in his hands and gave him a small peck on the lips. He rubbed their cheeks together for a moment, before lowering his head to rest on the ninja's shoulder. Within seconds he was snoring softly.
* * * * *
Syaoran searched the lecture hall frantically for his rabbit-eared companion. He had no idea why fate was abusing him so badly recently, but he was fairly sure that he didn't deserve this.
"Look!" Kotoko pointed toward the stage.
"I really don't want to…"
Syaoran reluctantly lifted his head toward the stage just in time to see Mokona's mouth open wide and a tidal rush of liquid spew forth into the container on the stage. The other complainants stopped and stared.
"That's the biggest stream I've ever seen!" several gasped, kneeling down before their rabbit-eared god.
"All hail our new Guru!"
"What's going on now…?" Syaoran whined.
"It seems Mokona has won the yearly pissing contest. Which is odd, because it cheated – that's clearly just pond water in the glass."
"Thank god for that…"
"It will now be allowed to dictate the proceedings of the remainder of the conference."
"I liked archaeology a lot better in Clow Country."
* * * * *
It was late when Syaoran returned to the suite. He was worn out from chasing Mokona around the remaining lectures of the conference, but was happy it had at least seen fit to share its free food and liquor with him. Kotoko opened the lock on the door, and the trio stumbled in.
The living space connecting the bedrooms was dark, except for the light cast by the television. The air conditioner whirred away beneath the window. Syaoran could make out Kurogane's profile sitting on the sofa as Mokona bounced off his shoulder and into his bedroom, slamming the door behind it. The ninja was wrapped in mutliple brightly colored blankets, but clearly was still shivering from the cold. Fay was curled up asleep, his head resting on the ninja's thigh.
Kurogane looked up. "How was the conference?"
"Don't ask. Scientific progress now goes 'Puu.' What did you two do today?" Syaoran lifted the magician's feet to sit down on the other side of the sofa, dropping them back into his lap as he sunk into the cushions.
"Don't ask. 'Puu' is not a sound I ever want to hear from that manjuu again."
Fay snickered and rubbed his eyes. He wrapped his arm around Kurogane's waist and bent his knees up to hug Syaoran with his legs. "No more talking. This day needs a sweet, affectionate ending so the people reading won't be completely freaked out."
Syaoran couldn't agree more. He pulled a blanket around his shoulders and drifted off to sleep.