FISH TALES 2 -- SOMETHING FISHY
Authors: Mel & Christy
Pairings: Not really applicable, unless you want the fish info :)
Disclaimer: Don't own GW or the guys... But the fish are all ours!
[Quatre is humming as he moves around the lounge room in Mel and Christy’s house, tidying up a little before the Onnas come home and expect to have the room clear enough to write in. All around him, fish tanks purr and bubble to themselves, fishy little occupants swimming around in their various fishy little ways.]
QUATRE (muttering to himself): I wish more people would put their own stuff away. I mean, I don’t really mind doing it for them... but does Schuldig always have to leave articles of his clothing draped over the back of the sofa? Especially when it’s his underwear and he’s still wearing his jeans and nobody saw him move?
[His voice gets muffled for a moment as he ducks down, looking under the sofa.]
QUATRE: And I don’t care what Sesshoumaru says, pure white fluff bunnies the size of my head are not the cats’ fault. He’s going to do something about his shedding, or we’ll see if a heat shotel or two can shave his tail.
DUO: Sounding a little cranky there, Q-bean!
[Quatre yelps and jerks upright, narrowly missing the coffee table with his head. The small tank on it jolts as he grabs at the table for support, water sloshing slightly.]
QUATRE: Duo, don’t startle people like-- huh?
QUATRE: I thought I heard something...
DUO: Probably just the fish.
[Quatre shakes his head.]
QUATRE: No, it was like a very faint, high-pitched voice, not a splash or anything.
DUO (muttering): Yeah. Like I said. Fish.
QUATRE: Sorry, what was that?
DUO: Nothing! Just came to visit my buddy.
[Quatre watches, bemused, as Duo bounces over to one of the tanks and wiggles his fingers at the fish inside.]
DUO: Hi, dude! How’s it going there, Chibi-D?
QUATRE: Um... isn’t that the fish you were so upset about when Mel and Christy named it Deathscythe? Because of the googly eyes?
DUO: Yeah, but we’ve worked through our issues. He’s cool. Kinda spazzy sometimes, and convinced the guppies are under sentence of death, but cool. See, look, he recognises me!
[The black googly-eyed fish is, indeed, swim-dancing behind the glass in response to Duo’s waving. However...]
QUATRE: Duo, I hate to put a damper on your enthusiasm, but all the goldfish in that tank are doing the same thing. Mel and Christy call it the ‘Seductive Dance of “Feed Me”’. They do it whenever someone comes within five feet.
DUO: Well, Q-bean, this is just a little different. Trust me. The others may be doing the ‘Seductive Dance of “Feed Me”’, but Chibi-D is doing the ‘Excited Dance of “Oh Wow, He Recognises Me”’. It takes an expert to tell them apart.
QUATRE (chuckling helplessly): If you insist, Duo, but--
?#2: **cool! see? told you he likes me! watch this!**
DUO: See, now we play chasies. Watch!
[The black fish zooms down, then up, then around in a loop, with Duo following it with his finger and making airplane noises.]
?#2: **whee! he follows me, see? zoooooom zoom zoooooom!**
DUO: Vrooooommmmm... vrrrrrmmmmmm... nyeeeeoorrrrrrrmmmm! Go for the burn! Loop that suckerfish, baby!
?#2: **and if i go like this, he leans his whole body! wheeee!**
[Quatre sits down abruptly, one hand coming up to rub at his ear.]
QUATRE (mutters): ...I’m not hearing fish talk. Really I’m not.
[Another little voice makes itself heard, slightly deeper and a lot more serious than ‘Deathscythe’.]
?#3: **you have absolutely no dignity. you do know that, don’t you?**
?#2: **zoom! yeah, but you guys have enough dignity for all of us, so i don’t need any. there’s like a tank quota, dude, and rashid’s got plenty all by himself!**
?#4: **leave me out of it, thanks.**
[Poor confused Quatre abruptly gets up and heads for the door.]
QUATRE: I think I hear Trowa calling, goodbye!
DUO: Eh? Trowa? Isn’t he in the garage with Heero, rigging up that LOX-powered marshmallow toaster Mel asked for?
QUATRE: In that case it must be my sanity calling. It’s certainly not in here!
[Later that afternoon, Quatre carefully peers around the edge of the doorway into the tank room. Nobody is there, and he slowly inches his way in, looking rather as if he’s expecting to find OZ soldiers or random assassins instead of assorted fish and snails. Avoiding the tank of fish Duo was ‘playing’ with earlier, he sidles up to the large tropical tank and peers in. At first, nothing happens, and he begins to relax... until the iridescent blue and red female Siamese fighting fish swims up to confront him from the other side of the glass.]
MRS BUTCH: **oi! you! human! fish treats, chop chop!**
[Paralysed with shock, Quatre can only stare for a moment. Another fish, a striped tiger barb, swims up to within a respectful distance of Mrs Butch and hovers there.]
TIGER BARB: **can you really get them to do what you want?**
MRS BUTCH: **oh, well, they’re only human, so they can’t understand rational speech, of course. still, if you speak loudly and firmly enough, some of the meaning seems to get through. hello! you! food! makee num-num, there’s a good pet!**
TIGER BARB: **i dunno... you might be giving it too much credit. they seem awfully dumb.**
MRS BUTCH: **i certainly wouldn’t say they were as intelligent as, say, a snail. they are trainable with enough effort, though. see? he’s getting the idea! good human!**
[Moving slowly, Quatre reaches across and gets the container of little pellets he’s seen Mel feeding to the bettas. Opening the tank lid, he carefully drops in a pellet, and watches as Mrs Butch snaps it up. Other fish swim up to watch.]
TIGER BARB: **wow. that’s cool.**
BLACK WIDOW: **how did you get it to do that? it’s nowhere near feeding time!**
MRS BUTCH: **all right, class, watch and learn. there are a few ways to get the pet humans to give you extra treats; this is one that works especially well on mel. it may seem a little degrading at first, but remember, humans are slow, so you have to make the signals obvious.**
[Turning around to look straight up out of the water, she fixes Quatre with a firm look and jumps twice, flipping herself halfway out of the water each time. Quatre may be unaccustomed to this sort of one-way communication with a small bossy fish, but he recognises the order for what it is and drops another pellet.]
TIGER BARB: **excellent! let me try!**
MRS BUTCH: **no! those are my specialist food pellets, thank you very much. besides, if you try to make a training session too long, you tire your pet and they start forgetting things. that’s enough for one day.**
[Flicking her tail arrogantly, she swims off across the tank. Still in something approaching a state of shock, Quatre replaces the lid on the tank and moves to put the food back where he got it from... which is when he becomes aware of some other voices. Very high, squeaky, young-sounding voices.]
?: **us too us too! food! food! us too! tricks! food! watch us! tricks! we do tricks! food!**
?: **oh god, not the babies again. please let the human get the message and feed them too... shut up, you brats!**
?: **not our mommy! nyer! food food food! splishies! food! tricks for food! sing for food? lalalalala!*
[Quatre laughs shakily, starting to look a little crazed, and dumps what’s probably a bit too much food into the tank full of baby guppies. The inane squeaks and yells die away, but other voices make themselves heard as the tetras and goldfish in nearby tanks notice what’s going on.]
QUATRE: Okay, that’s enough. I’m going to the other side of the room now...
[Over on the other side of the room, where there are fewer tanks, he leans against the wall and stares into the tank holding Deathscythe and most of the other Gundam-themed fish. This sets off an immediate performance of the ‘Feed Me’ dance, of course, but he manages to ignore most of it.]
QUATRE: That’s Deathscythe -- well, Duo wants to call him Chibi-D now, it seems. That’s Heavyarms... that one’s Wing Zero... Nataku and Shenlong are the ‘squishy black things’, I’ve heard Wufei complain about them often enough... that big goldfish is Rashid... there’s Jessica and Gomez, I’m not sure what they’re named after... and Sandrock is the sleek leopard-spotted catfish. I guess I’m glad something elegant-looking got named after my Gundam--
[Smiling faintly, he raises one finger to gently tap the glass next to ‘his’ fish, only to jerk back in surprise as Wing Zero swim-charges across the tank and performs the fish equivalent of a body block on Sandrock, smacking the sucking catfish upside-down into the waterweeds.]
QUATRE: H-hey! That wasn’t very nice! What do you--
WING ZERO: **i told you, the next time you tried to mug someone you’d get a forcible ten-inch penalty.**
SANDROCK: **yeah, yeah, yeah. i’ll get him later, when you’re not looking.**
DEATHSCYTHE: **thanks, zero-buddy!**
SANDROCK: **don’t think this changes anything, specs. your fin is mine!**
JESSICA: **sandrock! watch your language! there are guppies present!**
RASHID: **ha, look, ‘your’ human is looking. maybe he’ll tell mel and christy and get you moved to the prison tank, and then we can get some damn sleep!**
SANDROCK: **as if! he’s more likely to get zero moved for attacking me. look, human, poor widdle innocent me got an owwie from the big bad goldfish, whimper, whine, complain.**
DEATHSCYTHE: **if you think he’s going to buy that, you’re stupider than epyon and tallgeese. they thought the humans wouldn’t realise it was their fault when all the goldfish in their tank started developing holes, and where are they now? in isolation!**
SANDROCK: **aaah, i know better than to go that far. so long as they don’t actually see me zooming in for the kill, they won’t suspect a thing.**
HEAVYARMS: **want to bet? i know your weakness...**
SANDROCK: **...um... what?**
HEAVYARMS (deadpan): **ow. ow. oh no, i’ve sprained my fin. i cannot possibly swim fast enough to escape if someone should happen to attack me. oh, dear, whatever shall I do, lawks, woe is me.**
SANDROCK: **lunch! charge!**
[Heavyarms flicks out of the way and Sandrock zooms straight past him, crashing head-on into the tank wall.]
NATAKU: **i’d say heavyarms just won that battle of wits.**
SHENLONG: **naturally. he was fighting an unarmed opponent, after all.**
[Quatre watches, mouth open, as the situation in the tank degenerates into chaos.]
CHRISTY: Hi, honeys, we’re ho~ome!
MEL: Didja miss us?
QUATRE: What took you so long?!
CHRISTY: ...Yup, I’d say he did. Neat!
QUATRE: I want to register a protest!
[Mel and Christy look at each other.]
MEL: Q-love, if this is that thing about writing Bandai to tell them we’re endangering your lives and they should sue us to get you back--
QUATRE: I want a different fish!
MEL & CHRISTY: *blinkblink*
CHRISTY: Ohhh-kay, Q-bean, where did this come from? I thought you liked Sandrock! He’s elegant, and sleek, and--
QUATRE: He’s a menace to society! He’s a raving maniac! He’s psychotic! Stupidly psychotic!
[Mel looks into the tank. Sandrock looks innocent.]
MEL: Um... and this is a problem how?
QUATRE: It’s an insult! An insult to my Gundam! How dare you crazy onnas insult my Gundam this way? It’s unjust!
[Wufei walks in at this point, and stops short as he hears his own best stereotypical lines being used by somebody else.]
WUFEI: Finally. Someone else who will understand my point of view on this! It’s unfair that my Gundam should be stigmatised by having its name-- er, names-- associated with--
QUATRE: No, really Wufei, your fish are just fine. They’re rational.
QUATRE (thoughtfully): Actually, they’re quite witty. Dry senses of humour, quite like you at your best. But anyway! As I was saying, it’s utterly unacceptable for Sandrock to keep that name! I will not have that homicidal, cannibalistic maniac named after my Gundam! Rename him ‘Hannibal’ or something!
[Wufei blinks. Mel blinks. Christy blinks. They all look at each other.]
WUFEI: All right. Own up. What have you two been putting in the water?
MEL: Beats us.
CHRISTY: If you find out, let us know so we can market it, ‘kay?
On to Fish Tales 3 - Legolas
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