FISH TALES 8 -- WIGGLE A FIN
Authors: Mel & Christy
Pairings: Not really applicable, unless you want the fish info :)
Disclaimer: Don't own GW or the guys... but the fish, cats and
dog are all ours!
[You ought to know by now where this is set, right? I mean, there's no point in trying to write something called `Fish Tales' somewhere where there aren't any fish, so naturally we're in the onnas' fish room. (Duh!) The inhabitants of the Gundam Goldfish Tank are peering into the tank next door, which seems to be empty.]
NATAKU: **told you so. they all died. guppy tank of doom.**
CHIBI-D: **it's sad, dude. really sad. gokuu was an idiot, but that relena chick was kinda nice.**
SHENLONG: **this is why we told you not to talk to them. all you do is get attached. it's worse than humans giving names to things they plan to eat, it never works.**
[An offended female voice speaks up from a smaller tank across the room.]
BLUE GUPPY: **we're not dead!**
ORANGE GUPPY: **yes! we're fine!**
WING ZERO: **that would be because you two got pregnant, and mel and christy took you out of the guppy tank of doom to have your babies over there.**
CHIBI-D: **yeah. sorry, babes, but as soon as you go back in there the curse is back on...**
BLUE GUPPY: **will you lot shut up about the whole `guppy tank of doom' thing?! there is no curse! it was all coincidence!**
ORANGE GUPPY: **exactly! random guppy deaths, that's all! or how do you explain the fact that we lived in there for over six weeks, and some males lasted less than a day?**
RASHID: **exhaustion from trying to impregnate all their female tankmates at once?**
ORANGE GUPPY: **...okay, that may have been a factor...**
BLUE GUPPY: **so by your reasoning, the four-foot tank is the barb tank of doom, right? seeing as how they all died in just two days!**
SUMO: **EXCUSE ME. TIGER AND RED BARB TANK OF DOOM. WE CLOWN BARBS AND GOLD BARBS ARE JUST FINE IN HERE, THANKS.**
EVERYONE ELSE: **aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! sumo spoke!!!**
CHIBI-D: **dude, that's gotta be a sign of armageddon!**
[A lone voice speaks up from yet another small tank.]
TIGER BARB #6: **i'm not dead yet! i'm feeling better!**
HEAVYARMS: **you're in the hospital tank. you know what happens in hospital tanks.**
TIGER BARB #6: **ummm... you get better?**
NATAKU: **well, he just proved that he's dumber than sandrock.**
SHENLONG: **we already knew that. he went after sinatra last week. not even sandrock tries to attack sinatra.**
TIGER BARB #6: **i dispute that evaluation! i only attacked her once, and i never did it again! sandrock goes after mrs butch at least once a day!**
RASHID: **he has a point, you know.**
[Before the discussion of the relative intelligences of Sandrock and the surviving tiger barb can continue, Christy and Mel bounce in carrying various items of tank-related hardware, and trailed by a rather bored-looking Heero. Mel starts taking the top off the vacant tank, while Christy goes straight to the tank containing the two surviving female guppies.]
CHRISTY: Hey there Iowa, hi Missouri! The Guppy Tank of Doom is no longer! I have solved the problem!
[Reactions to this piece of information are mixed.]
CHIBI-D: **ha! told you! tank `o' doom! doooooom, i said! not just random!**
IOWA: **...we have names now?**
[The humans, not hearing the fish, continue.]
HEERO: So what was the problem? As if I care.
CHRISTY (in a chirpy infomercial voice): Well, you see, the Guppy Tank of Doom is an AR tank, with filtration and water circulation built in, and the AR126 filter powerhead puts out 400 litres of water per hour. While this is very nice for filtering your tank, it is very hard on small guppy bodies, which are not designed to handle the sort of current this sets up. So, since the guppies' natural habitat is slow natural streams, calm bends of rivers, and the occasional pond, we need to bring the water movement down to something they can handle. Therefore, the solution to the Guppy Tank of Doom is this!
[She brandishes a box in his general direction.]
HEERO: ...A corner filter?
[Mel turns around, hands full of bits of pump technology she's taking out of the top of the tank.]
MEL: Exactly! Filtration and aeration without any icky major currents, so the poor little guppies won't get tired out and cark it. That's why the males were dying faster, too -- big floofy tails, so more drag in the water. We'll just use the pump apparatus from this tank as spare parts for our other AR tanks.
CHIBI-D: **ooo! told you they were smart!**
BUTCH: *hmph* **who needs aeration and filtration? guppies are wimps!**
HEERO: ...Nothing. Thought I heard something.
CHRISTY: Anyway, as soon as we've got the new filter set up, we can move Iowa and Missouri in, and also Wahoo and Flasher.
HEERO: ......Wahoo and Flasher?!
MEL: The two flying foxes that are already sharing a tank with them. Somebody's got to do the cleaning in there. Oh, and Hood out of the juvenile guppy tank! She's the yellow one with a broken tail, we figure she'll do better with less competition.
HEERO: Why are you naming the guppies after WWII battleships and a cruiser, and the flying foxes after submarines?
CHRISTY: Have you ever actually looked at a very pregnant female guppy?
HEERO: You're the fish nuts, not me.
MEL: We'll take that as a no. Trust us, they look like battleships... or maybe supertankers, but supertankers don't have cool names to copy.
CHRISTY: And flying foxes look like submarines. Sleek and cylindrical.
WAHOO: **ha. they called us sleek!**
MRS BUTCH: **if they were going to name anybody after warships, i think it should have been me. even that stupid brain-dead egg-eating hades has a cool name, and his daughter gets to be called loki even before you can tell if she'll have any sort of personality, but no, i got stuck with a name that's not even my own! since when do bettas get married?!**
SINATRA: **if it's any consolation, i've heard them calling you `bitch butch' lately...**
MRS BUTCH: *hmph* **i suppose that's a little better.**
CHRISTY: Huh? Did you say something?
HEERO: That's my line!
MEL: Eh? Are you feeling all right, Heero?
HEERO: I'm fine. Didn't you two have something planned for today? Apart from lifting the curse on the Guppy Tank of Doom and tormenting me, that is.
MEL: Awk! Yes! Black Pearl! Acquisition!
CHRISTY: Shit! Right! Um, Heero, we've got the filter going --could you move the fish in for us pretty please thanks! Iowa, Missouri, Wahoo, Flasher and Hood. Don't forget Hood!
MEL: You're a big help Heero thanks see ya! `SCYTHE! WE'RE LATE!
CHRISTY: Time to poof us to the alternate Caribbean! NOW!
[They run out in search of the demigod, leaving scattered packaging and a rather disgruntled Gundam pilot in their wake. About three seconds later, Christy sticks her head back in.]
CHRISTY: Speaking of acquisitions, whatever happened to your mission? We told you to get Haldir and Eomer last week!
HEERO: I'm still doing research! I've learned never to do a pickup for you two without doing my own research first!
CHRISTY: Oh come on, Haldir and Eomer aren't that bad--
HEERO: You said Ryouga would be a pushover. He blew up. You never told me that Sesshoumaru could turn into a giant acid-drooling dog. And Legolas shot me in the ass.
CHRISTY: Exactly. Haldir and Eomer aren't that bad!
HEERO (grimly): I'm still going to do my own research.
CHRISTY: Fine, be that way. Do the fish!
[She vanishes again, leaving Heero to pick up a small net and scowl at the guppies in question.]
HEERO: Great. I've heard the way Mel swears when she has to catch fish to move them, and she's had plenty of practice. It wouldn't be a problem if I was just trying to shoot them, but it wouldn't be worth the fuss the onnas would kick up when they got home... Right, you lot. This is your mission: to get into this net and let me move you without resorting to violence!
MISSOURI: **maybe. is that other tank still heated?**
MISSOURI: **hello? you! human! answer the question! is there a heater in that tank?**
MISSOURI: *sigh* **damn it... look, wiggle a fin if you can hear me!**
IOWA: **honey, humans can't wiggle their fins.**
MISSOURI: **really? what do they stabilise themselves with, then?**
IOWA: **i'm not sure...**
WING ZERO: **according to scuttlebutt, humans use their `arms' and `legs'. somebody said their headfins are involved somehow too, but not by moving.**
MISSOURI: **fine then! human! wiggle a `leg' if you can understand me!**
[Slowly, Heero manages to unfreeze and bring one hand up to point at the small blue-tailed fish.]
HEERO: ...you can talk?
MISSOURI: **yes! we have communication! finally! now are you going to answer my question or not?! is-- the-- tank-- hea-ted?**
HEERO: Um... yes?
IOWA: **oh, thank goodness! back to civilisation!**
MISSOURI: **in that case, no problem. get that net down here where we can get in!**
WAHOO: **don't forget us! we're not a cold-water species!**
FLASHER: **yeah, now that winter's coming it's getting a mite nippy in here... and that's without barbs or bettas.** *snicker*
[Still blinking dazedly, Heero puts the net into the tank and watches as all four fish jostle and push to get in first.]
IOWA: **calm down! we'll all fit-- OW! keep your fins to yourself!**
MISSOURI: **me first! it was my idea to ask!**
FLASHER: **but you guppies handle cold water better than us! let us go first!**
WAHOO: **yeah, we can-- um-- clean the tank for your arrival! yeah!**
IOWA: **oh, just get in the damn net or we'll be here all day and nobody will get in the warm tank!**
HOOD: **don't forget to come get me too! me too!**
[After a little more pushing and some subdued fishy swear words, all four fish are in and waiting.]
MISSOURI: **well, human, what are you waiting for?!**
HEERO: ...Aren't I supposed to put you in a plastic bag and float you for fifteen minutes so the temperatures equalise slowly, or something?
MISSOURI: **screw that. move us now.**
WAHOO: **um, that's most necessary when you're going from warm to cold. i think we can handle it.**
HEERO: Okay, it's your funeral. And if that turns out to be literal, I'm going to tell the onnas it was your idea... what am I saying?
MISSOURI: **you should be saying that yes, you're going to put us in that nice warm tank!**
[Heero carefully lifts the net out of the water and carries it across to the other tank, talking to himself under his breath.]
HEERO (muttering): I don't believe this. I'm hallucinating. Quatre tried to sedate Mel again, and I ended up with the drugged food somehow...
CHIBI-D: **dude, you're not hallucinating! we can talk!**
RASHID: **of course, this brings up the question of how come you can understand us... are you a god, youkai, vampire, elf, newt, or other supernatural creature?**
WING ZERO: **and you said i was obsessed with newts!**
CHIBI-D: **zero ol' buddy, i think he was being sarcastic.**
[Heero comes up short, staring at the Gundam Goldfish.]
HEERO: Zero? One of you is called Zero?
WING ZERO: **i'm wing zero. what's it to you?**
[Wing Zero swims to the front of the tank, and Heero eyes the elegant black-speckled white fish.]
HEERO: Hn. At least you're nothing to be ashamed of --assuming you don't mug everyone else, the way Quatre's fish does.
CHIBI-D: **'did' is the operative word there, dude. mrs butch seems to have him mostly cured of that habit... um, you might want to put the guppies in the tank, you know, otherwise they'll die before they even get there and that would really be tank `o' doom stuff...**
MISSOURI: *wheeze* **listen to him!**
HEERO: Oh! Right, sorry!
[Once the four gasping fish are safely in the Guppy Tank of Ex-Doom, Heero walks over to the larger tank full of young guppies and glares into it, brandishing the net again.]
HEERO: I can't believe I apologised to a bunch of fish... all right, which of you is Hood?
HOOD: **me! i'm hood! whee! i get to move out of the dorm rooms, haha! i'm graduating to the adult tank!**
HEERO: Save the cheering for later and just get in the net, will you?
[Once the net is in the water, Hood swims straight in-- along with about twenty of her siblings.]
BABY GUPPIES: **us too us too! we wanna go too!**
HEERO: Hey! Get out of there!
HOOD: **no fair! mel and christy said i got to go, not you lot!**
BABY GUPPY: **only `cause you've got a kinked tail and they don't wanna sell you! nyer!**
HOOD: **well nyer yourself, that means i get to stay here!** * pbthththththttt!*
HEERO: Fish can blow raspberries?! --never mind that, you lot get out of the net! I'm only supposed to move Hood!
BABY GUPPIES: **no no no no no no no! we're staying! move us too! we wanna go!**
[Rapidly losing his temper -- and, he's afraid, his sanity -- Heero pulls out his gun and points it at the school of tiny fish.]
HEERO: Out! Because if you don't, omae o korosu!
BABY GUPPIES: **you don't scare us! not our mommy! or our daddy! nyah nyah nyah!**
BUTCH: **well, i do scare you! shut up and get out of that net, you selfish little anchovies, or i'll get the human to move you to _my_ tank!**
BABY GUPPIES: **eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!**
[Half a second later, there's one small guppy in the net -- Hood --and all the others are hiding under the weeds in the corners of the tank. Startled by Butch's roar and the splash when all the guppies move at once, Heero nearly pulls the trigger.]
BUTCH: *hmph* **that should keep them quiet for a while, at least. why mel and christy had to put that school of halfwits next to me, i'll never know...**
CHIBI-D: **well, the guppies are there because that was the only place another two-foot tank would fit, and you're there because if you're on top of the heated four-foot tank then you won't freeze in the winter. so, you're next to them because mel and christy don't want you to die! isn't that nice?**
BUTCH: **i don't know about that. on days when those brats are feeling especially hyperactive, it could be termed a fate worse than death...**
[Hours later -- hours which Heero has spent as far away from the fish room as possible -- Mel and Christy come back, brandishing plastic bags full of water and fish.]
CHRISTY: Hi, honeys, we're home!
MEL: Didja miss us?
HEERO: Next time, move your own damn fish!
MEL: What's the matter, Heero, were they hard to catch?
CHRISTY: Don't tell us the Perfect Soldier has found something he can't do! --no, I take that back, do tell us so we can use it for blackmail.
HEERO: They weren't hard to catch. That's not the point!
MEL: So what is the point?
HEERO: ...Never mind! Err... I thought you were going after the Black Pearl, not shopping for fish?
CHRISTY: Oh, we got the Pearl. It's in a pocket reality. We're going to shift it to the goldfish pond tomorrow.
HEERO: You what?! That pond is six feet long! You can't put a full-size pirate ship in it!
MEL: Heero... this house was built with only two bedrooms. How many people are living in it now? Trust me, I can make it fit. Anyway, we stopped on the way home and got some boyfriends for the battleships.
CHRISTY: Meet Simms and Ward!
MEL: And Deathscythe Hell! He was cute, so we got him too.
[She holds up a bag in front of Heero's face, and the small black moor goldfish inside wiggles happily.]
DEATHSCYTHE HELL: **hi there!**
HEERO: Gah! Not another one!
[He bolts out the door that leads to the back of the house, leaving Mel and Christy staring at each other.]
CHRISTY: Well yeah! What's getting into the guys? Every time we leave them alone in the house, somebody gets neurotic about the fish!
MEL: Well, I don't think we can put any more cameras in the bedrooms without getting found out, so we can't deal with it that way. Ignore it until it gets really annoying?
CHRISTY: Or until somebody actually tells us what's going on. Not that we're going to ask.
MEL: Nah. That would mean we might have to do something about it, instead of just watching with interest.
Back to the Safe House