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Keys to the Kingdom
A Kingdom Hearts fanfiction. The fate of the universe lies in the hands of six new teenaged keyblade masters... scared yet?
Chapter 25: Game Setup
A/N: Posting this quickly because of laggy internet. Been off all day (hence the burst of writing), no idea when it'll go again. Sorry for lying to you guys about when I'd be back. Wasn't my fault, swear to God!! Will edit with furthur comment at later time. Excuse macros and lame chapter name.

A/N cont'd [Edit]: Well, I seem to be safe for now... @_@ Stupid internwebs. Anyway, where to start with this chapter...? It's better than I expected it was going to be. Gotta love Neko's storytime in the middle and Tsunade's little rant. And I... just noticed that I recycled a simile from a previous chapter. Oh, well... emo Uh, inspirations for this chapter: Last Fantasy (a great, yet somewhat vulgar, Korean manga parodying everything RPG), Jonah: a Veggietales movie (no kidding), Firefly, the Emporer's New Groove, real life, Die Hard 3, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya, and... I'm ashamed to admit... the Saw franchise. XD Again, sorry for the wait. Health drinks all around!

Chapter 25: Game Setup

It was hard for Mia to believe that THIS was the leader of the ninja village.

Like Sir Integra, the woman, who everybody seemed to refer to as “Hokage” (except for Naruto who seemed to stick to “Grandma” or “Old Hag” for some reason), had pale blond hair that fell below her shoulders and a way of looking at people as if they owed her something. That was where the similarities ended, however, for she seemed to have little or none of the dignity or elegance of the leader of the Hellsing organization. She wore a low-plunging kimono-like top that bared a good percentage of her ample cleavage and a green jacket that also appeared Japanese in design.

“So let me get this straight,” she said with a frown, pulling something that looked like a scratch-off lottery card towards her from across her desk and drawing a small coin from inside her jacket pocket. “You three--” Here she eyed Neko, Mia, and Halo in the sort of way that one might regard Brussels sprouts, chopped liver, or rotten vegetables. “--are from this secret group you can’t talk about from somewhere you can’t say that needs the space kid for reasons that you can’t mention. These Heartless creatures--which you aren’t technically supposed to discuss, but since I already know about them, there’s no point--are actually after said kid (and yourselves) for reasons you don’t seem completely clear on, unless they’re being controlled by quote ‘some kid’ unquote whose name you don’t know, but that’s not my biggest issue because apparently there is another secret group you can’t talk about from somewhere you can’t say that needs the space kid for reasons that you can’t mention other than the fact that said reasons are EVIL and could possibly get Konoha destroyed. Have I missed anything?”

Well, when she put it like that, Mia felt a little bit embarrassed. She suddenly wished that she had been as open with this ‘Hokage’ as she had been with Sir Integra.

Though, without the endorsement of someone who this Hokage--well, not trusted, but at least someone who never flat out lied, the chances of her BELIEVING Mia and the other girls’ story were about as good as a nice long snowball fight in Hell.

Luckily, Neko joined in with a big grin. “That about caps it!”

The woman raised an eyebrow and then took the coin to her scratch-off ticket.

There was a moment of awkward silence, punctuated only by the rubbing of the coin against the paper. Mia looked around. Was that a dismissal? It was kind of weird with Neko standing there still beaming like an idiot, Halo standing and waiting as if she knew what was going on as well as Naruto (who was bouncing up and down on his toes to show that he was swiftly growing bored of waiting), and Kyuubi who had whipped out a leather-bound journal and was quietly scribbling in it, glancing at her every now and then.

Just as Mia was about to bow and apologize for wasting the woman’s time, the woman frowned at the scratch-off darkly as if it was a most ominous omen of death, put aside the coin and looked up at the girls. “Fine. I believe you.”

“Really?” Mia and Naruto said in unison, eyes bugging.

“Really, but that doesn’t mean you can just take the space-kid and go.” The young woman stood up, crossing her arms. She turned her gaze to Neko. “You said there was a boy who seemed to have control over the Heartless?”

Neko nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah, he was standing in a tree bein’ all like a ninja--well, you know, I bet he was, a ninja I mean, but that’s not the point. The Heartless were all around him and he was all like ‘KILL!’ and they jumped me! THERE WERE THIS MANY OF ‘EM!” She spread her arms as far as they could go and waved them up and down, as if that would give some sort of impression of how many Heartless there were. “I was all like ‘hi-yah!!’ and the Heartless were all like ‘OH EM GEE AH’M DED!’ And the kid was like ‘Doubleyou tee eff, mate?’ and I was all like YAREALLY! And he was like ‘OREALLY?’ and I was like ‘YAREALLY!’ and he was like ‘SERIOUSLY? NO WAI!’ but then he was like ‘WOOSH’ and nearly sliced my arm off, see! And then I was all, OH NO YOU DIDN’T and I called him a thing because I ran out of ideas, and then we were all EPIC SWORD FIGHT! But then his eyes went all ‘WHEE’ and he was all shouting and Japanese and crap and then there were BIRDIES and ZAPPING! And then he went poof again, except not with the slashing. And then Mia here was all like ‘Doubleyou tee eff, mate?’ and I was like, ‘LAWLWUT?’ and then there was a piggyback ride and then we came here.” She put her hands on her hips and nodded in a satisfied sort of way as if she had just read them the next great American novel.

Dead silence. Mia leaned over to Halo. “Did you understand any of that?” she muttered smiling vaguely.

“Not a word,” Halo replied in kind.

“That’s wonderful, Neko,” said the Hokage with great patience, “but can you describe your attacker for me?”

“He was a pr--” Neko began indignantly.

“Yes, a prince, I’m sure,” Halo interrupted. “The Lady Tsunade was asking about what he looked like sis?”

“Lady who?” Neko said blankly.

Halo jerked her head to the young woman behind the desk.

“Oh, okay. Well, he was all like emo and stuff?” Silence. “You know… all--” She crossed her arms and took on an expression of one whom the world had punched in the face several times before sitting on. Everyone else nodded and made sounds of complete understanding. “He had a really great six pack… Er, abs, I mean. He didn’t have beer or soda--I probably would have liked him a lot more if he had. Oh, and his eyes changed color! They were black when he started, but then they went ‘whee!’ like I said.”

“How do you mean they went ‘whee’?” Tsunade urged.

“Well, they turned red! And he got extra pupils or at least extra black--”

Naruto looked up, blue eyes wide. “YOU SAW SASUKE?!” he roared, whirling around to face Neko and jerking forward to grab her.

Neko leapt back. “WHOA, no touchy! This is a real leather vest, go easy on it!” She crossed her arms and looked away, nose in the air. “I don’t know,” she responded haughtily, “he never said his name and I didn’t care enough to ask.”

“Did you happen to see a mark on his neck? A black mark of some sort?” Tsunade asked, folding her hands much as Sir Integra once had.

Neko thought about it. “I might have. I didn’t get a good look at it though, cause he was trying to kill me and all.”

“It WAS Sasuke! Believe it!” Naruto shouted. He turned to look at Tsunade. “Please, Grandma Tsunade, he might not have left the Land of Fire yet--let me go after him--”

“No, Naruto,” Tsunade snapped. “Not right now. He has control of the Heartless, and he has no qualms about exercising it as we have seen! I hate to tell you this, Naruto, but I very much doubt he considers you as close a friend as you still seem to. If we are going after Sasuke, it will be when the Heartless are gone.”

Naruto opened his mouth as if he was going to say something, but no words came out. He slammed his jaw shut again and then stomped out, clearly very upset.

Tsunade sighed. “That kid…” she ran a hand through her hair.

“Who is this Sasuke?” Halo asked softly.

Kyuubi pointed after Naruto. “Friend.” He made a stabbing motion with his pencil, shrugged, shook his head, and then went back to whatever he was doing in his notebook.

“Did you understand any of that?” Neko muttered to Halo.

Halo sighed, harassed.

“Sasuke was once Naruto’s closest friend,” Tsunade explained. “However, he fell under the influence of a rogue ninja, Orochimaru. Sasuke left the village, but Naruto still believes that Sasuke did not leave of his own accord. Even Sasuke himself has told Naruto otherwise, but… Naruto is an orphan. He saw Sasuke as the only family he had. He believes because he desperately wants it to be true.”

“Kinda pathetic,” Neko snorted.

“Neko!” Halo shouted scoldingly.

“What? It is! I don’t know much about Orochihooha or whatever the flip his name is, but he sounds like a royal slime bag. Am I right?”

“Well…” Tsunade began as if looking for a way to say yes while still being polite.

“See? I can figure out this Or-itchy-Shamoo isn’t worth the exploding diarrhea of an elephant just by hearing his name! If I can figure out that much--and I assume you all could too--and this emo kid still goes ‘OOH! I THINK IT’D BE A GOOD IDEA TO HANG OUT WITH HIM’, Naruto just needs to go, ‘okay you’re an idiot, tee tee why ell’ and MAKE NEW FRIENDS. Better friends that don’t cut themselves at night!”

“That’s not funny, Neko.”

“No, it wasn’t, sis. I was makin’ a point.”

Tsunade gave a wan smile. “In any case, if you want me to allow you to leave with Kyuubi, you’ll have to assist us in getting Sasuke back.”

Silence.

“Lawl, wut?” Neko said, smiling widely.

“You see, although it’s a fact that Sasuke left of his own free will,” Tsunade explained, picking up the scratch-off and frowning at it again, “I cannot allow him to remain with Orochimaru. Above all else, Orochimaru seeks the destruction of Konoha village, so any method of reducing his ranks and, perhaps, crippling him is of the utmost importance. The removal of Sasuke Uchiha from his immediate sphere of influence would be a great blow to him.”

Mia bit her lip. “I’m sorry, we can’t--”

“I’m not asking you to waltz in there and get Sasuke back with a plastic wrapper, a tube sock, and a bit of string. All I’m asking you to do is figure out how to break his control over the Heartless.”

Another pause. “Huddle!” Mia shouted. The four keyblade masters crowded around like football players before a game.

“It’s kind of in our job description anyway…” Halo whispered to Mia, frowning.

“What about meddling in the affairs of other worlds?” Mia responded snappishly.

“Screw that,” Kyuubi supplied snidely.

“What Tarzan said!” Neko agreed. “Besides, I hardly think that things could get any worse if we meddle.”

Mia and Halo groaned. “Jinxed it,” Kyuubi explained.

“Poopie.”

“Oh, yes, I almost forgot,” said Tsunade from behind them.

The four looked over.

“Money is no object,” Tsunade added.

Neko sprang up. “WE’RE IN!” she shouted before anybody could protest. “Come on, guys and gals, let’s get MOVING!” She grabbed Halo and Mia by their ears and dragged them out of the room into the hall beyond. Kyuubi bowed slightly to Tsunade and then followed without further comment.

Tsunade sighed in relief. Just what she needed, another hyperactive kid to take up her time. She reached down and looked at the scratch off again, at the deceptively cute cartoon character proclaiming that Tsunade had won.

A bad sign if she had ever seen one.



“So!” said Neko to Kyuubi, putting her hands on her hips after he had closed the door behind him. “You seem to know a lot about the Heartless! So tell us, how does this Sa-soo-kei dude control them?”

Kyuubi patted his chest. “Darkness.” Vague gesture. “Follows strongest.”

Neko looked at Mia. Mia shrugged. Neko looked at Halo. Halo scratched her chin.

“We’re not going to get anything out of him are we?” Neko laughed nervously.

Kyuubi sighed and flipped to a page in his journal. He handed the book to Neko.

She stared at it blankly at it for a few moments. A look of complete shock climbed onto her face.

“I recognize two letters in this thing!” she declared triumphantly.

“Don’t be thick, you can read!” Halo shouted.

“Not this I can’t,” Neko sighed, holding the journal out for Mia and Halo to see.

Kyuubi’s chicken-scratch handwriting was completely illegible.

“I don’t believe this,” Mia grumbled as Neko handed back the book to a defeated-looking Kyuubi. “The lives of innocent people are in desperate peril and we’ve been crippled by a boy’s bad handwriting.”

Neko shrugged. “Why don’t you call Cid? He might know.”

“And have him chew us out for meddling?” Mia said with a weary expression. “I’d rather not.”

“I feel bad though,” Halo admitted. “Accepting money for something we would have done anyway? Doesn’t seem right.”

“Fine, let me have your share,” Neko said, staring blankly.

“No!”

“If you die, can I have your share?”

“How could you even think like--”

A happy pop song began to beep from Mia’s skirt, interrupting Halo. Mia grinned sheepishly and pulled it out, praying it wasn’t Cid.

It wasn’t. The phone’s display claimed the number was unlisted. Feeling a little uncertain, she answered. “Hello?”

“Hello,” said a voice she didn’t recognize with the same accent that Alucard had, albeit with a slightly crueler tone. “This is a representative of the Organization XIII. I was wondering, would you like to play a game?”






User Comments: [1] [add]
Katana-crazy
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Fri Jan 01, 2010 @ 06:48am
neko's story: teh epicness of teh win!


User Comments: [1] [add]
 
 
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