[Where the hell's the men's room?]
Side by side, clad in matching gold speedos, Suoh and Yuuto ran awkwardly across the stage to the tune of an unseen banjo. They were pursued by a torrent of dogs, which upon close inspection turned out to be a single dog -- Inuki -- running in circles very fast.
[Kibbles and bits! Nipples and tits!] the audience shouted.
"I've gotta get me some nipples and tits!" Yuuto chimed in cheerfully.
Suoh fought the urge to trip his counterpart.
And It's the End of the World!
Presenting the Rocky Horror Picture Show,
as performed by the cast of X
Part 4: "You'd Better Wise Up, Janet Weiss"
By Shanti Fader
Arashi was very glad that it was in character for Janet to cling to the bars of the elevator door as it swayed and rattled its way up from the bedroom to Frank's laboratory. Otherwise, the Hidden Shrine maiden wasn't certain her legs would hold her up.
Karen had *not* done the bedroom scene the way they rehearsed it.
At least, the rational part of her brain informed her primly, she would have no trouble getting into character for this upcoming scene: confused, ambivalent, all her upbringing and vague romantic dreams telling her to feel one way...and her body telling her something completely different. This was the part of the play Arashi had found the hardest during rehearsals; the calm demeanor she'd worked so hard to maintain through every aspect of her life was difficult to cast aside in the name of feigning unbridled passion. The very focus and concentration with which she'd attacked her role was what caused her the most trouble.
She had no idea how poor Sumeragi-san was going to handle it. None whatsoever.
She'd also been standing silently in the elevator for far too long. The audience was filling in the silence by making rude comments about her pantyhose, which she tried to ignore.
"Oh...if only we hadn't made this journey..."
[But you did!]
"If only..." She paused for breath and the audience chimed in helpfully with [If only I weren't a CLAMP character!]
[But you are!]
[If only my destiny weren't foreordained!]
[But it is! Oh, wait...]
"If only we were among friends...or sane persons..." Arashi finally managed to get a real line in edgewise. She had no idea who those people were, or where the Sponsor had found them, but they were the biggest bunch of lunatics she'd ever encountered.
The elevator jolted to a halt, flinging her against the door.
[Women drivers, no survivors.]
[Get butch, bitch!]
"What have they done with him?" Teeth gritted, Arashi stalked out of the elevator and jerked down on the lever that activated the monitor.
She was totally unprepared for the surge of jealousy that washed over her at the sight of Karen sprawled luxuriously across the bed next to a bathrobe-clad Kamui, who was smoking a cigarette with far too much skill for a boy his age.
[That's right; Kamui smokes after sex. May I recommend a lubricant?]
"Oh, Ka-" Arashi caught herself just in time. "Kamui! How *could* you?!" she wailed.
* * * * *
Subaru stood in the wings, waiting for the elevator to descend so he could ride it up to the tank for his next big scene. He sighed deeply, shifting from foot to foot, hoping that Yuuto would not be as...enthusiastic...in this scene as Kanoe had been. How had *he* managed to get put into a role that landed him in more bedroom scenes than anyone else in the entire show? The memories of getting cast were vague and fuzzy. Indeed, pretty much *all* his memories of anything outside the play were fuzzy.
Why hadn't Seishirou-san objected to him being cast in such an embarassing part?
A finger tapped his bare shoulder. He jumped.
"Hey." It was Satsuki. She was wearing a bra and slip that matched his own, and had her French maid dress and poofy wig slung over an arm. "You don't look too happy. Wanna skip this scene?"
Subaru instantly blushed scarlet. "Um...won't the judges notice if there's no Janet on our side?" he asked hesitantly.
"Oh, don't sweat it. I'll take your place." Satsuki smiled, and Subaru involuntarily took a step back. "Here." She tossed her Magenta costume at Subaru, then snagged the blonde wig off his head and stuck it onto her own. "All you have to do is cover for me with Columbia -- you get maybe three lines, and they're easy to fake. Watch what the Seals do. You'll be fine."
Before the dumbfounded onmyouji could protest, the elevator came clattering down into place. Satsuki pushed the door open, stepped inside, and was carried up and away. Subaru was left staring blankly at his hands, and the Magenta costume that lay draped across them.
He turned to face this new, urgent voice. It was the boy from the Dragons of Heaven; the one who kept trying so frantically to catch his attention.
"How did you get over here?" Subaru asked as the violet-eyed boy came pounding up to him.
"Not sure," the boy panted. His thin ribcage rose and fell visibly from his exertion. "Don't care, really. Important thing is, I've come to get you outta here."
Subaru frowned, confused. "But if I leave, who'll play Janet for the Dragons of Earth? Are you trying to sabotage us?"
The boy stared at him, and the naked anguish in those big purple eyes was painful to see.
"Don't you *remember*? Subaru, don't you remember *me*? I'm *Kamui!* How can you do this? How could you leave us to go fight with the people who want to destroy the world?"
"Destroy...?" Subaru repeated incredulously. "What are you talking about? Seishirou-san would *never* side with people who wanted to destroy the world." He smiled dreamily, remembering his dance with Seishirou in the church...gazing up into his golden- brown eyes...
Kamui looked about ready to dissolve into tears. Drawing a shivery breath, he started to say something, then bit his lip, turned, and bolted away, muttering something about needing to get back to his set.
Subaru shook his head. The poor boy was delusional. How sad. Picking up the poofy black wig, he headed up to the alcove where Nataku was waiting.
* * * * *
A pitiful whimper issued from the tank on the Dragons of Heaven's set. Arashi raised her head, noting with approval that Suoh was starting to get into his role a bit more enthusiastically. She'd been worried that his somewhat grim and stoic portrayal of Rocky was going to cost their side points.
[Leave him alone; he's monsterbating!] the audience yelled as she scurried over to the tank.
"Oh, but you are hurt," Arashi murmured, then stopped short at the sight of the man who draped himself over the edge of the tank. His hair was black, not blue. The mournful puppydog eyes gazing meltingly into hers were bright gray, not gold. Arashi clenched her right hand very tight, calling upon every ounce of training and self-control to prevent herself from summoning her sword and whapping Sorata's head off.
"Did *they* do this to you?" she cooed through clenched teeth, managing to sound sweet and poisonous at the same time.
Backstage, Nokoru stared down bemusedly at a smoulderingly furious Suoh, bound and gagged, kneeling butt-naked inside a six- foot glowing cube.
"Why, Suoh," Nokoru said, trying desperately not to snicker. "I never knew!"
Glowering, Suoh shook his head until the gag worked itself loose. "With all due respect, Kaichou, I would very much appreciate your talking less and doing something to get me out of here!" he snapped.
"I can't." Nokoru rapped a fist against the glowing golden wall. "It's a kekkai. As far as I can tell, nobody can break through one of these things once it's up, except for Kamui."
"Then please find Kamui and convince him to...Kaichou? Are you listening, Kaichou?"
Nokoru was staring off into the middle distance, a familiar glazed look on his face. "Somewhere in this theater," he intoned, "a woman is suffering."
"Emotion: Agitation, or disturbance of the mind," the Criminologists recited from their dictionaries, "vehement or excited emotional state."
[And you can only read about it!]
"It is also a powerful and irrational--" [Mouthwash!] "-- master. And from what Magenta and Columbia eagerly viewed on the television monitor, there seemed little doubt that Janet was indeed..."
"Tell us about it, Janet!" Akira and Yuzuriha shrilled in gleeful unison.
"Boy, Arashi's gonna *kill* poor Sora-chan," the girl whispered between giggles. Akira grinned, and turned the blow- dryer on the hot pink nail polish festooning their toes.
"Touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me..." Arashi sang, tuning out the unbelieveably perverted alternative lyrics offered by the audience. In a very different tone she hissed at Sorata: "/Put your hands on me, hentai, and I'll cut your heart out./ I want to be diiiirty!"
[Whip me, beat me, mistreat me...make me dress in Spandex!]
"Aw, don't be mean, Missy," Sorata pouted winningly. "This is my only change to get close to ya." He ducked as Arashi swung her leg up and barely missed clocking him on the head.
[Looks like a good place for a stick-up. Or a stick-in!]
"/Besides,/" he whispered, "/if this doesn't look good, we'll lose points./"
"/And whose fault will *that* be?/ I'll oil you up and rub you down..."
"/You can punish me later...if there *is* a later./"
Arashi let her eyes flick over to the other team's tank, where Satsuki and Yuuto were rolling around in an ecstasy that didn't look entirely faked. She turned back to Sorata, whose eyes pooled with a longing that was even more naked than his body, and sighed deeply. Taking his hands, she clasped them onto the appropriate part of herself.
[Wow! Frankie didn't have *these*!]
[Yes she did. And they were *much* bigger.]
Maybe, Arashi thought, she would just kill the audience instead.
* * * * *
[Thank you Master may I have another?]
[Say "thank you," Riff-Raff. Say it in French.]
"Merceeeee!" howled Nokoru and Fuuma, cringing away from their respective Franks, who now sported whips and black leather jackets slung over their corsets.
"Kanoe's hitting Fuuma awfully hard," the younger judge commented.
The older judge shrugged. "Nothing in the Rules that says you can't assault members of your *own* team."
"But she's *hurting* him!" The boy's eyes widened, darting from the stage back to his partner. "And it looks like she's enjoying it, too."
[How's your backhand, Frankie?]
The blond man made a face. "It's in character. And we're not here to preach morality."
The older judge hesitated, then turned back to his scorecard. "Anyway. We've seen all the characters but one. So far I'd say the Dragons of Earth have a better Brad...Janet's a bit iffy, but I'd have to go with the Angels there, too. Magenta and the Criminologists are about even. Columbia and Riff-Raff go to the Dragons of Heaven; so does Eddie, though that one's pretty close."
"What about Frank and Rocky?"
"I'm reserving judgement on them until the floor show."
"So, only one more character to go."
* * * * *
[Beam me up; this fanfic sucks!]
Hinoto smiled and settled herself more comfortably in her wheelchair. The Seals had been so surprised when she'd volunteered for the part -- clearly, none of them had expected their Dreamgazer to participate. In fact, Daisuke and Arashi had been horrified, and had tried frantically to talk her out of it. Hinoto's smile deepened. It was sweet of them, really, trying to shelter her from the "depravities" of this play.
They couldn't understand that compared to what she saw in her visions, this play held nothing that could possibly disturb her.
"The intruder is entering the building," Nokoru drawled onstage.
[And the building doesn't like it one bit!]
That was her cue. Hinoto made one last adjustment to her little brown wig, and tucked the massive braid of her own white hair more securely down the back of her jacket. Folding up the umbrella thoughfully provided by Aoki-san, she rolled out of the wings and up through the (currently backstage) castle entrance.
"He'll probably be in..." Karen paused melodramatically.
[The George Harrison Room?]
"...the Zen Room."
[Hey, this place has roaches! Better smoke 'em out...] the audience chorused as Hinoto picked up a small paper object and inspected it gravely through a magnifying glass. This being the Dreamscape, she could see. She had also considered offering to shapeshift herself into the form of the Dr. Scott character, but decided against it.
There was no sense in giving away *all* her secrets.
"Why don't we inquire after him in person?" Karen strutted over to the wall and slammed down on the Triple Contact Electromagnet. The audience cheered and shouted to put some leg into it, and Hinoto gripped the arms of her wheelchair as it was yanked abruptly out the door of the Zen Room and into a marvelously Escheresque tangle of hallways and staircases that defied not only gravity but every known law of physics -- and probably several unknown ones as well.
[Go, Speed Racer! Go, Speed Racer!]
[Let's play Dreamgazer Pinball!]
There was a second wheelchair zipping around the set, but at no time did they come close enough for Hinoto to see who was in it.
[Ring around the lesbians!] the audience singsonged as her chair circled around Akira and a kitty-eared Yuzuriha; "Damn tourists!" they shouted as Hinoto whizzed back out. Her braid had come untucked from all the violent twists and turns, and whipped wildly behind her chair; vaguely, the Dreamgazer hoped that wouldn't cost her any points. But seconds later she had something better to worry about.
Her chair was racing directly toward a wall. Sorata had assured her that the set was safe to crash through, but Hinoto had her doubts, given who designed it. She raised a hand.
[I'm hot. I'm thirsty. Hey, Kool-Aid!]
The wall dissolved into a flurry of tiny white feathers and Hinoto sailed serenely through.
"Great Scott!" Kamui blurted. The set was suddenly filled with flying rolls of toilet paper, one of which bounced off Hinoto's head. Arashi stiffened in horror, and the Dreamgazer stifled a most uncharacteristic grin. Keep her out of the play? Not a chance.
This was the most fun Hinoto had ever had in her entire life.
* * * * *
The wall dissolved into a swirl of pale pink sakura petals, and a wheelchair came flying through.
"Dr. Scott!" Seishirou said enthusiastically, poking a hand down toward --
"Brad! What are *you* doing here?" Dr. Sakurazuka queried, shaking his own hand vigorously.
[Oh, just fucking around...with the Rules...]
"That *can't* be legal!" the younger judge cried, turning a frantic gaze upon his partner.
"We've been through this before," the older judge said heavily. "The Sponsor didn't object to the Dragons of Earth using shikigami as Transylvanians; the Sponsor's most likely not going to object now. So stop looking at me like that, okay?"
The boy flushed and turned away, biting his lip. His partner gazed up at the stage, then said,
"Besides, that's a very elaborate illusion. Maintaining it won't be easy, even for the Sakurazukamori, so your problem may be solved for you."
"What are you talking about?"
"Brad's eyes. Take a look."
The younger judge turned back to the stage. Sure enough, the illusion Seishirou had laid upon his right eye flickered and whited out, leaving it blank and milky.
"I *am* willing to be fair about this, you know," the older judge said sardonically.
"You see," the Dr. Scotts pompously informed their respective Franks, "Eddie happens to be..." [My dinner!] "...my nephew."
"*Oh!*" This from the tanks.
[You blew it, bitch!]
The Franks raced over to the tanks, and two extremely disheveled couples popped up, clutching the red cloth around themselves.
"Bullwinkle!" Sorata yelled, grinning.
"I made you," Kanoe snarled, striding up to Yuuto, who didn't even bother trying to appear repentant, "and I can *break* you just as easily!"
She (and Karen, who was menacing a poleaxed-looking Sorata) was interrupted by a loud clanging sound.
"Kaichou!" Akira called out gleefully, brandishing a gong. "Dinner is prepayahed!"
Kanoe winced, and glared up at the catwalk of her set, where a black-wigged Subaru tried to hide behind his gong.
"Excellent. Under the circumstances, formal dress is to be optional."
Yuuto and Satsuki turned to each other to hide their cat-in- the-cream smiles from the judges.
* * * * *
Subaru clutched Seishirou's arm, grateful to be back in his own role again. They'd switched back under cover of the Criminologists' speech; presumably their opponents had done the same. He sneaked a glance over at the other set, and sure enough, their Rocky had blue hair again.
And there was that boy, the one who called himself Kamui. Subaru frowned at that; Kamui was on *their* side, the dark- haired man playing Riff-Raff. Why would that boy think he was Kamui?
That name..."one who hunts the power of the gods."
Subaru shivered, and huddled closer to Seishirou. Something very strange was going on here, and he was very grateful for Seishirou's reassuring presence in the midst of it all.
They settled down around the table, amidst wisecracks from the audience concerning the number of forks -- there really did seem to be an awful lot of them -- and comments he really didn't understand about Magenta being some sort of pastry.
[Is that table wine? Spill me some.] Obligingly, the Riff- Raffs splattered wine across the table. [Boy, what a clutz!] This seemed to be directed at the Dragons of Heaven, as their Riff- Raff immediately made a peculiar noise and screwed up his face.
"A toast," Kanoe announced grandly.
"To absent friends," Subaru murmured along with the rest of the cast, wondering what new humiliations were in store for him. The audience couldn't be serious...?
He lip-synched his way through the awkward rendition of "Happy Birthday," sung at an impassive Rocky, and tried to figure out why the man playing Dr. Scott looked so much like Seishirou- san. True, his hair was light brown, and he had funny-shaped glasses and a mustache, but still....Puzzled, Subaru turned his gaze to the man sitting beside him. They couldn't *both* be Seishirou-san; he did have onmyouji powers, but as far as he knew, they didn't allow him to be in two places at once.
Something *very* strange was going on.
He looked at Dr. Scott again, then back up at Seishirou.
* * * * *
[Sora-chan, get your ass off the table!] the audience shouted as Nokoru dropped a big covered platter in front of Karen. Arashi shuddered at the mental image *that* conjured up, and focused on Karen, standing at the head of the table, in a black, glittery sheath that looked like it had been spraypainted onto her body.
Akira handed Karen an extremely phallic electric carving knife.
[This was your father's vibrator, Luke...]
On the other side, Satsuki handed the shinken to Kanoe, amidst cries of [This was your mother's shinken, Kamui...]. Under cover of the tablecloth, Arashi dug her nails into Kamui's thigh to keep him from doing anything stupid.
[Transvestites, start your engines!]
The knife sputtered into life with a suspiciously Inuki-like growl, and everyone at the table was served a slice of roast beef. It was delicious -- not surprisingly, since Akira actually *had* prepared it. Suoh even managed, with a put-upon sigh, to remember to pick up his food with his fingers.
[Hey, Rocky -- eat like a JSDF guy!]
[No, that's *what* he's eating.]
More and more audience lines, each cruder and more disgusting than the last, flooded in to fill the silence onstage. Finally, tiring of this, Hinoto spoke up in her mock-German accent: "Ve came here to discuss Eddie."
"Eddie?" the Columbias squeaked in near-perfect unison.
"That's a rather tender subject," the Franks commented, mouths full.
[That's a rather tasteless joke.]
One by one, everybody dropped their forks, except for the Rockys -- Suoh was just as glad; the meat was *very* good -- and shortly thereafter, the "Rocking" Dr. Scotts launched into "Eddie's Teddy." The song went without too many hitches, though Hinoto sang an octave too high and Kamui had to restrain Arashi from going utterly postal when Seiichirou revealed an underwear- clad pinup of herself that somebody had slipped into Eddie's casefile. On the other side, the illusory Dr. Sakurazuka sang with great enthusiasm; since Brad didn't have to do much during the song, the Sakurazukamori could concentrate on animating Dr. Scott. Up in their loft, the judges seemed to be arguing heatedly about something, but they were too far away for any of the cast members to hear.
Finally, the song ended. Karen stood up and grasped the edge of her tablecloth.
[If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times: I...hate...celery!]
She whipped the tablecloth away.
Half-naked and dripping with fake blood and gore, Sorata sprang up from under the table, jumped on top of it, and pounced straight for Arashi, all the while making hideous faces and exaggerated monster-movie noises. Arashi screamed, which was fine because it was in the script, and flung herself at Suoh in a genuine panic. From somewhere offstage, a giant cane appeared, hooked Sorata around the middle, and yanked him out of the set. Karen smothered a grin (she'd been in on the surprise; poor Sora- chan had had so little stagetime, and he was *such* a ham!), then stalked over to Suoh and Arashi, a smouldering scowl on her face.
"Rocky!" [No heterosexuals at *my* table!] "How *could* you?"
[Slap the slut!]
Karen dealt Arashi a very convincing stage slap; Kanoe somehow managed to miss Subaru altogether and cracked Yuuto across the face instead. The two Janets took off shrieking as the music for "Planet Schmanet" started up. Arashi tried to catch Subaru's eye as they pelted up the staircase, but the onmyouji stared deliberately ahead and either didn't or couldn't acknowledge her. And shortly thereafter, Arashi had enough on her mind, trying to wriggle out of Karen's grasp.
"I'll tell you once...I'll tell you twice," the soapgirl sang huskily, wrapping her arms around Arashi. "You'd better wise up...Janet Weiss. Your apple pie..." She bent her head and whispered the next line into Arashi's ear; the girl turned scarlet.
Oh, right. She was supposed to break free now.
Arashi twisted around and drove her knee into a place that would have been extremely painful if Karen had actually been the man she was masquerading as. Karen doubled over in fake agony, and Arashi sprinted away.
Things got a little confusing then, as the sets chose that moment to merge into a single labyrinth of halls and stairs. The actors were treated to the extremely disconcerting sight of Seishirou pushing himself around in a wheelchair, and members of both casts ran helter-skelter around the unreal set, bumping into members of both their own team and their opponents at what felt like random. The only constants were the two Franks, who stuck close by their appropriate Janets and sang for all they were worth to be heard over the chaos.
Finally, the sets melted back into two separate laboratories; after a bit of shuffling, each cast collected themselves and made it to the appropriate side -- just in time for Frank to slam down on the magnet once more.
"My feet! I can't move my feet."
"My veels! My God, I can't move my veels!"
[My socks! Somebody starched my socks!]
"We're trapped!" the Janets cried.
[Nya nya nya nya nya!]
And after the obligatory bit of exposition, Frank zapped them one by one with the Medusa ray -- which fortunately didn't really turn anybody into stone, but merely teleported them backstage into their appropriate greenroom, leaving a naked statue in their place.
It also left their clothes behind. Fortunately, Yuzu-chan (looking adorable in her striped pyjamas), Seiichirou, and Sorata were waiting in the Dragons of Heaven's greenroom with their arms full of robes.
"It figures," Arashi grumbled, draping a robe around Hinoto and then pulling one on herself. "I bet Kakyou did that on purpose."
"Well, at least it'll be easier for you to get changed for the floor show," volunteered Seiichirou, who stood gallantly facing the wall, an extra robe held out in case anyone needed it.
"Oops! I have to go -- it's time for my big speech!" Yuzu- chan popped kitty ears and leapt through the greenroom wall and onstage. "Wish me luck, guys!" she called out as she vanished.
"Ooh, I gotta see this," Sorata commented, and stuck his head through the wall, sending more of those weird ripples through it.
"My God!" Yuzuriha cried indignantly from the catwalk.
She proceeded to chew out an unrepentant Frank. Shortly thereafter, everyone in the Dragons of Heaven's greenroom heard a loud thump from the other set.
"What was that?" Kamui asked, tying his robe more securely and peeling off the socks that, for unknown reasons, had teleported along with him.
Sorata pulled his head back through the wall. He was grinning broadly.
"That was Kusanagi. Yuzu-chan pulled on her shirt a little too hard, and he fell over."
After a minute, Yuzuriha bampfed back in, followed by Suoh, and shortly afterwards, Karen. The play was nearly done; only one scene left. Only one more chance for them to impress the judges (not to mention the Sponsor) and save the world.
It was time for the floor show.
[Author's note: I realize that I played a bit fast and loose with the rules of the Seals' kekkai. However it was necessary to achieve the proper dramatic and humorous effect. :) ]
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