FISH TALES 4 -- RED HERRINGS
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!
[Onnas' house. Fish room. The normal scene, you know it by now, only this time it's a lot darker than is usual for the middle of the day. That might just be because all the curtains are drawn, since Spike is sitting on the sofa with a mug of blood and remote in hand, channel-surfing.]
SPIKE: This is great. Australian TV shows Passions, and they've got their own fair share of soaps with people behaving stupidly. I'm in time for Neighbours an' that elfy git ain't around to make me switch to anime, so unlife is good...
[There's a fair amount of light coming from the tanks that have lights, but it's cool green light -- well, except for the Doomed Guppy Lair, which has white gravel, minimalist plants, and a fluorescent tube bright enough for a dope head to use it growing wacky weed in his basement. Still, that's only one tank out of five blasting out white radiance, so the general impression is of an underwater scene at dusk, and it's not enough to really keep a bird awake. Like, say, a budgie.]
SNACK: **magpies... big magpies... go 'way...** CHEEP!
[Spike's mug nearly goes flying as he jumps up and spins around, looking for the source of the piercing squawk.]
SPIKE: Jesus! What the hell-- oh, good grief. What are those crazy bints up to now? It's not enough they're already collecting every other form of pet known to mankind, now they're moving on to birds?!
[Mel and Christy hear the fuss, and walk in.]
MEL: Yeesh! Damn, Spike, ever heard of light switches?
SPIKE: Hello? Me vampire. Night vision. Ringing any bells?
MEL: Yeah, well, me hentai fanfic writer with thick glasses. Night blind. Ringing any bells with you, boyo?
SPIKE: Sure. That means you fuss with light switches, not me.
CHRISTY: *cough* Ah, not to interrupt your fascinating contest of logic here, but... what was the yell about?
SPIKE: Your bloody bird decided to scream like its head was being ripped off, that's what. Believe me when I say I know what I'm talking about. And since when do you two keep birds?!
CHRISTY: Since I rescued it at risk of life and limb. Well, splinters, anyway.
MEL: You mean since it saw 'SUCKER' tattooed across your forehead in bird-visible ink and made its play for sympathy.
CHRISTY: Same difference. And I didn't see you objecting. You did donate the cage, after all.
MEL: Never said I didn't have the exact same tattoo!
SPIKE: ...okay, once more from the top. You have a budgie because why?
CHRISTY: The poor thing flew down in front of me and landed in the driveway five feet in front of Cen-kitty, and she said "Ooo! Snack!" and pounced. So it flew off into a tree, and Cam-kitty saw it, and said "Ooo! Snack!" and started to plan her assault. So...
SPIKE: You did the sensible thing and sat back to cheer the cat on?
CHRISTY: No. I picked him up and brought him inside, and we made him a nice comfy home, and we went to see the nice guys at the pet shop to buy him food and treats, and so on and so on. We did the responsible pet owners thing.
CHRISTY: Yep! Though the vet said 'carers'.
SPIKE: Same thing.
MEL: So, we get a budgie who already seems to be forming an unnatural relationship with his jingly bell, and Snack gets a safe, if moderately odd, home.
SPIKE: You named the damn bird Snack?
MEL: Yup! It seemed appropriate.
SPIKE: And you expect its lifespan to be how long?
CHRISTY: Oi! There's no cause-and-effect relationship between pet names and their personalities! It's the other way around!
MEL: Yeah! ...um. Maybe.
MEL: Well, there was my cat that I named Shredder; she ended up with a, um, forceful personality. And the rat I called Bitchy, who was. And then there was Lamb Chop, but that was Mum, not me--
CHRISTY: Mel? Stop right there, okay?
SPIKE: You two are nuts. And don't you have to go to work or shopping or whatever it was?
CHRISTY: Oo! Shit! Yeah! Gotta go, see ya!
MEL: Wait for me!
[The TV program changes to 'Days of our Lives', and Spike keeps watching, largely because he's got nothing better to do today. And, being a vampire, he's got sharp hearing...]
?: **mutter grumble grumble**
?: **ahhh, suck it up, sandrock!** *snicker*
[Without moving, Spike slides his eyes around to peer at the tank to his right. Several fish are dancing at the front glass, sniggering.]
DEATHSCYTHE: **told you the humans were onto you, dude!**
WING ZERO: **all suckers are suckers. heh!**
[In another tank, a disgruntled sucking catfish is half-buried in the bright blue gravel.]
SANDROCK: **i'll get you for this. all of you.**
GOMEZ: **not unless you learn to fly, pendejo!**
JESSICA: **it's your own fault.**
SANDROCK: **no it's not! how was i supposed to resist?!**
JESSICA: **by being nice! nice fish do not assault other fish while they're sick! you got caught red-finned!**
[There's a faint 'hey!' of protest from the tropical tank, where a tiger barb -- with red fins -- has taken offence, but nobody pays any attention.]
SANDROCK (sulkily): **you weren't that sick. you're just fine now, aren't you?**
SANDROCK: **...why are you laughing?**
DEATHSCYTHE: **think we should tell him?**
WING ZERO: **why not? he's stuck in the prison tank now. mel and christy aren't going to put him back in with us.**
SANDROCK: **what are you talking about?!**
DEATHSCYTHE: **dude. the whole thing with us all getting sick and lethargic and floppy and not swimming around so you had a chance to monster us... you know how we said it was the water's pH going down?**
[There's general laughter from the goldfish as Sandrock slowly realises that they faked illness to get him banished from the tank.]
SANDROCK: **you are so dead, you goggle-eyed moron!**
DEATHSCYTHE: **gotta catch me to kill me! how you gonna do that from the prison tank?**
SANDROCK: **i'm working on that. i just need to find out how to survive for a few minutes without water. then i can jump out of this tank, wriggle over there, drag myself up the side of that tank with my mouth, jump in, and get you dweebs!**
[More laughter. Even the bristlenose catfish, normally calm and sardonic, are joining in.]
NATAKU: **oh. sure. right. that's such a minor flaw in your plan.**
WING ZERO: **you want to breathe air? if you're not a betta, that's like expecting a human to be able to breathe water, stupid.**
SANDROCK: **duh! no, dummy, i just figure if i can go for a few minutes without breathing--**
DEATHSCYTHE: **hahaha, now he wants to be a vampire!**
[Spike raises an eyebrow. All the fish are now looking at the little black moor.]
WING ZERO: **...what's a vampire? is it like a newt?**
DEATHSCYTHE: **no, it's a type of human that's gone weird and preys on other humans and drinks blood and-- hey, you know, sandrock's already a bit like a vampire. anyway, they don't have to breathe if they don't want to. that guy over there, spike, he's one.**
[The fish swivel to study Spike, who pretends to be watching the TV.]
RASHID: **really? his fins look normal...**
DEATHSCYTHE: **dude, that's elves. vampires have bumpy foreheads and really cool teeth.**
JESSICA: **but he doesn't--**
GOMEZ: **so how do you tell the difference when they aren't bumpy?**
DEATHSCYTHE: **you don't, man, that's why it's so cool!**
WING ZERO: **how do you know about vampires?**
DEATHSCYTHE: **i'd like to say 'scuttlebutt', 'cause that's even cooler than temporary bumpy bits and fangs, but it would be a lie. my dad told me about them.**
WING ZERO: **annnd... how did your dad know about them?**
DEATHSCYTHE: **um... family legend?**
WING ZERO: **so how do you know it's true?**
DEATHSCYTHE (triumphantly): **'cause i've seen spike do the bumpy thing!**
WING ZERO: **okay, i'll buy that.**
SANDROCK (casually): **sooooo... how do humans get to be vampires? and... is it just humans, or can it happen to fish?**
MOST OF THE OTHER FISH: **DON'T TELL HIM!!!**
DEATHSCYTHE: **--i don't actually know how. jeez, guys, i'm not that much of a flake!**
[From the Doomed Guppy Lair, a bright and perky voice speaks up.]
BOY GUPPY: **well, according to what i saw on tv, you've gotta get bitten by a bumpy-head vampire. then it just sorta happens. ooo! he's got boring colours! no sex for him!**
[Spike muffles a snicker as all the fish gape in horror. Except Sandrock, who's doing a Dance of Happy Fishy Joy in his tank.]
DEATHSCYTHE: **...but, apparently, he's that much of a flake. Hell, dude, do you actually have a braincell?!**
BOY GUPPY: **what's that? i have a pretty tail! i have sex!**
RELENA: **not with me any more, you don't!**
SANDROCK: **ha! haha! i'll get you yet, zero! you and your little snails, too!**
DEATHSCYTHE: **not unless you get spike to bite you and it works! and how are you gonna do that? they can't understand us!**
SPIKE (quietly): I wouldn't say that... but I don't feel like biting that git. And I don't like fish blood, anyway.
SANDROCK: **i'll-- i'll-- i'll use my powers of mental compulsion to make him do it!**
NATAKU: **what powers of mental compulsion? mrs butch has those, not you. twit.**
SANDROCK: **...oh. right. forgot.**
[Spike is now holding back laughter with great difficulty. Before the goldfish can comment more on Sandrock's mental lapse(s), two more catfish -- considerably larger than Sandrock -- poke their heads out from behind a rock.]
EPYON: **shut up, sandrock.**
TALLGEESE: **yeah, you're embarrassing our species.**
SANDROCK: **but they--**
EPYON: **shut up.**
TALLGEESE: **or we'll shut you up.**
[There's quiet snickering from the goldfish as Sandrock half-buries himself again and starts to sulk.]
SANDROCK (muttering): **hmph. see if i care. just you wait 'til i get my evil vampiric powers, then i'll show you all...**
CHRISTY: Hi, honeys, we're ho~ome!
MEL: Didja miss us?
CHRISTY: You know, sooner or later we're going to spend a day at home, and then we're going to have to say that without actually having a reason to. It's going to look a bit stupid.
MEL: Not gonna stop me!
CHRISTY: Guess not. Oh well. Hey, Spike, how was your day?
SPIKE (grinning): Educational.
CHRISTY: Oooh, now that's an evil look on your face...
MEL: Not gonna explain it, are you?
SPIKE: Wasn't planning on it, no.
CHRISTY: Ah, well. We love you for your mystery, Spikey-baby, so that's okay.
MEL: I thought we loved him for his cheekbones? Not to mention the style, the muscles, the leather duster, and the sardonic wit?
CHRISTY: Them too, yeah.
[Mel and Christy leer happily at each other, then turn on the room light and start doing their usual afternoon check of all the fish tanks. It doesn't take long for them to get to the goldfish tank Sandrock was evicted from.]
CHRISTY: Hey, babies, how are you, hmmm? All better after that nasty pH problem made you feel all sicky?
MEL: They look OK... and it doesn't look like Sandrock did too much damage sucking on them, which is good.
SPIKE: So 'e didn't get much fun before you kicked him into fish Alcatraz, I take it?
CHRISTY: Nope. We were planning to shift him in with the other suckers eventually, but this sped up the schedule a bit.
[Mel moves on to the Doomed Guppy Lair and wiggles her fingers at them.]
MEL: Hi, guys! Everyone still alive? Relena, check... Sally, check... nameless boy guppy number one, check... nameless boy guppy number two, check... all systems go and no mysterious deaths noted, captain!
CHRISTY: Way to go, us! Hmm... you know, we're going to have to come up with names for the guys. Any suggestions?
MEL: I can only come up with about one name a week, and I named the budgie yesterday. Your turn.
SPIKE: Hey, I got a suggestion.
[He points at the smaller male guppy, currently trying enthusiastically to mate with Relena and being driven off with excessive violence.]
SPIKE: That one acts like a bit of a flake, so maybe you should give him a flaky character's name.
[Mel and Christy look at each other, then shrug.]
MEL: Suitably flaky. Gokuu it is.
CHRISTY: Thanks for the suggestion, Spike! Though... I thought you weren't interested in the fish?
SPIKE: Ahh, they're not as boring as I thought.
MEL (slowly): I'd like to be happy to hear that, but... should we start counting them now?
SPIKE: Nah, they're not interesting that way! I don't care what they think, they're not even snack-sized.
SNACK: Cheep! **what? what? me?**
[After the onnas leave to go pester some of the other inhabitants of the house, Spike wanders over to the Gundam-goldfish tank. The fish immediately begin the 'Feed Me' dance, and Spike leans closer... closer...]
SANDROCK: **nonononono! you don't want them! me! me! pay attention to me!**
[...and goes bumpy-face.]
SANDROCK: **aaaagh! no, not him, me! bite me! bite me, damn you! look into my eyes! you are under my power! bite me!**
DEATHSCYTHE: **see, guys, i told you! isn't he cool?! wow! i wish i could do something like that! i mean, the girl bettas can change their stripes, but he can change his shape, isn't that just the coolest thing you ever... um... guys? why are you all hiding over there?**
SANDROCK: **bite meeeeeeeeeee!**
On to Fish Tales 5 - Trowa
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