Fortress of the Drow
By LoneWolf
(kodoku na okami)

COMMENTS: I blame this fic on Emily. <g> She asked about D&D week and the next day this started.

WARNINGS: serious? AHAHAHAHAHA!, yaoi, inside jokes, parodies of parodies of early 80's phenomena

-----------------------------

LW: OK, guys. Let's get this underway. Here are your character sheets and a short character history for each of you.

H: I still don't understand this game. What is the objective?

LW: The objective is to pretend you are the character and have fun doing it.

H: Hn. That is a poorly defined mission. <reads for a second> What the Hell is a Drow ranger?

D: NAANIIII? You made him a Drow and me a Valley Elf? We'll be at each other's throats the whole time!

LW: Have a little faith in me, Duo.

H: And what does Chaotic Good mean?

LW: <hands Heero an alignment guide>

D: <reads a little further in his character info and falls on the floor laughing>

Q: <frowning thoughtfully> I thought Drow were always Chaotic Evil.

T: Just like Arabs are always dark-haired and dark eyed?

Q: Point taken.

LW: Exactly.

W: A paladin? What's a paladin? This isn't some hentai joke is it?

LW: A paladin is a warrior who likes swords and armor and fights for Justice--

W: Oh! This should be easy.

LW: And is about ten times as radical about it as you.

W: That isn't possible!!

LW: Try. Consider it the challenge of the character.

T: Can I pick the deity for my cleric?

LW: Yes, but you can't choose Quatre.

T: <looks disappointed> Oh. Well. I guess some kind of war god, then.

D: The Morrigan. <hands Trowa a copy of "Dieties and Demigods" turned to the appropriate page>

LW: <blinks> Vicious, aren't you?

D: <innocent look>

LW: <suspicious look>

T: <reads for a moment> I like her. <looks at Quatre> I still want you, but I don't think he's gonna let me.

LW: That's right. Morrigan it is. That makes you a warrior priest. Quatre, any questions about your mage?

Q: None. It seems clear enough. And looks fun.

H: Hn. What about Duo? <looks suspiciously in Duo's direction>

LW: Well, Duo?

D: Oh, like, no problem, man. I think I can, like, totally handle bein' a bitchin' thief. Fer sure.

W/H: <fall on floor>

T: <bang collapses, momentarily blinding him>

Q: <looks aghast, almost spills his cup of tea>

D: What? I'm just getting into character. <singing> "Valley Elf, he's a Valley Elf. So cool so fair with chestnut hair--"

LW: Duo -- that's "chartreuse hair".

D: Oh! I am sooo totally not going to play a character with, like, hot neon fluorescent freakin' yellow hair, man.

Q: <sets teacup on saucer -- shakily> Uh, I don't think I could stand the concept of Duo with chartreuse hair.

LW: I don't know... Maybe we should get some Miss Clairol and see.

D: Like, gag me with a spoon, man. That is, like, sooo gross! And, like, the bad guys would see me coming from, like, a million miles away, man!

LW: <sighs> Oh well, it was a thought. Chestnut... with chartreuse highlights.

D: <grins> Bitchin'!

H: <recovering from shock, levering himself up from the floor> You're going to talk like that the whole time?

D: <points to Heero's character sheet>

H: Oh, no. Please. <looks at LW, pleading>

D: It's, like, right there in black and white, man.

LW: <frowns>

H: <sighs>

D: Like, Hee-koi, man, like, what's got you so, like, totally gagged about it, man?

H: <grabs Duo and begins kissing him passionately> Hn. I love the way you talk.

LW: <takes Heero's character sheet and reads>

D: <grins> Really? I'll have to talk that way more often. Like, totally, man.

H: Hn. No, I don't, but this bastard <glares at LW> has saddled me with a character who does.

D: <laughs> This is going to be soooo much fun. <points out a line on his own character sheet to Heero>

H: <horrified> Oh!!! Shit!!!

LW: <scribbles on sheet, hands back to Heero, points to changed line> I didn't write that.

H: <looks relieved, then looks at Duo suspicious>

LW: But I did write that. <points to line>

H: I can deal with that.

D: <sees change> Aw!

LW: He can love the way you speak, but he cannot glomp you every time you speak. Think what would happen in a melee. "Oh, like, totally, look out, Heero, that freakin' orc is, like, gonna kill you, man." and he glomps you instead of attacking the orc!

D: <sighs> Oh, OK.

Q: <looking up from "Deities and Demigods"> Ravens? The Morrigan likes ravens? My character has a raven familiar.

T: ... <surprised>

LW: What? I didn't... DUUUUOOOOOO!!!! <glares> I think someone has been manipulating the character sheets.

D: <innocent look> Who, me?

LW: <to Quatre> Keep the raven, but leave it at home for now? I'm really not prepared to deal with a familiar.

Q: OK.

LW: Did he make you two...? <points back and forth between them>

T/Q: <nod>

LW: You can change that if you want.

T/Q: <look at each other, nod>

T: It's fine like it is. <faint smile>

W: Grrr. I hope my character doesn't have any... unpleasant surprises <glowers at Duo>

D: Don't worry Wu-man. Paladins are too straight and narrow to mess up.

LW: <grabs Wufei's character sheet, scans it, scratches out a few lines, changes a few words> There. <glares at Duo>

W: <reads> Kisama! <glares at Duo> I will have JUSTICE!!!!

H: <Ice Glare at Wufei> Hn!

LW: <grabs Duo's sheet, makes a quick adjustment, hands it back to him> That should do it.

D: <reads> Huh? So what?

LW: <evil grin>

D: <sweatdrop>

LW: Fine. You have to wear these too. <pulls out a headband with two glitter-encrusted ping-pong balls perched on a pair of wires> Deely-boppers of protection +1. They also give you initiative in any encounter.

D: <sweatdrop> I can see why. <grumbling, puts them on>

H: O.o <shudder>

T: ... <expression unreadable>

Q: <stifles giggle>
W: <frowns> A small semblance of Justice has been achieved.

LW: Let's get started. You've all seen handbills and posters around town requesting a group of adventurers for a short, but profitable adventure. They say to meet at a tavern...

-----------------------------

Heero glared around the tavern. It was crowded, unpleasant, and smelly, but human taverns always were. He spied an empty booth along the far wall and slipped cat-like through the throng. The waitress looked at him nervous -- they didn't get many Drow, and the ones they did usually weren't pleasant. "Getchasumthin?"

He glared up at her. "Wine. Blood red." He smirked. That always shook up the humans. "Preferably something that doesn't taste like last month's pig swill."

Yep. Living up to the reputation. "Sure." She slouched off toward the bar.

Wufei stepped through the doors into the room, eyeing the bouncer and deciding he wasn't a threat.

 

W: Wait a minute. OK, my paladin--

LW: In character.

W: OK, I'm Lawful Good, right? And Drow are Chaotic Evil? Well, if I'm a warrior of Justice, I'm going to go stomp him <points to Heero> when I see him, right?

H: But I'm not Chaotic Evil, I'm Chaotic Good.

LW: But Wufei doesn't know that. <to Wufei> You wanna try?

W: Yes. Uh...

 

Wufei spied the Drow in the booth against the wall and his eyes grew wide. "Kisama," he muttered and stalked across the room, heedless of the patrons he jostled. They took one look at the heavily armed and armored paladin and decided to ignore him. "Evil elf! Begone from my presence or die in the name of Justice!"

Heero looked up, sizing up his opponent and shook his head. "Hn. Since when has justice been about killing people who haven't done anything to you?"

"Uh..." Wufei sweatdropped. It was a tough philosophical question. But he knew his cause was just. That was all that mattered. "Evil and injustice must be vanquished." He drew his sword and swung, the arc cutting straight at Heero's neck. Until Heero's hand jumped up, deflected the blade into the table and twisted it out of Wufei's hands. Wufei stared at his empty hands in shock. "Demon! No normal man could have done that!"

"I am not a normal man, as anyone with one half-functioning eye and two functioning brain cells could see. And I am not evil." Heero's hand tapped the sword's blade, still holding it flat on the table. "You're still breathing, aren't you?"

 

LW: <to Wufei> You're doing a good job on the "ten times more radical" bit, but <points to Wufei's character sheet> Hint.

W: <smiles faintly at the compliment, then reads sheet> Detect evil. Oh. I see.

 

Wufei studied the Drow for a moment. "You're right. You are not evil." He sighed. "I still don't like you, but I offer my apologies for attacking you. It was careless of me to assume."

Heero blinked, digesting the round-about pseudo-apology, then shrugged. "Hn. Accepted. You're here about the mission." He held up one of the handbills.

 

D: <whispers> Adventure.

H: <glares> Mission. <flicks one of the ping-pong balls wobbling over Duo's head>

D: <sighs>

 

"How did you know?" Wufei asked, surprised.

Heero smirked. "This isn't exactly the kind of tavern a paladin would come to for any other reason."

 

LW: <revises notes on the tavern modeling it on The Vulgar Unicorn -- passes a note to that effect to Duo>

 

Duo sauntered into the tavern, looking up over his left shoulder. "Like, 'The Hentai Ponyta'. Like, what a totally awesome, like, *totally* bitchin' sign, man."

 

W: WHAT!?

LW: Use your imagination. The sign doesn't leave anything to it. <evil grin>

W: You're gonna give me a nosebleed.

 

Because he wasn't paying attention to where he was going, Duo bumped into the bouncer. "Oops. Like, I am rea~lly sad, Bouncer-man. I totally didn't mean to, like, run into you." The bouncer glared at him but said nothing. Duo sashayed on into the room, deely-boppers bobbling back and forth and drawing no end of attention from everyone in the room.

"Oh, shit!" Heero muttered. "I thought I'd made sure he wouldn't know about this mission."

"Hey, Hee-koi. Oooh, Paladin-man. Bitchin' armor." He rapped Wufei's armored arm with his knuckles then grinned at Heero, "Bitchin' hentai sign, Hee-koi, but, oh-m'go~d, isn't this, like, the most totally grody place you have ever seen in, like, your whole freakin' life, man?"

"Hn. I wouldn't say that too loud, baka," Heero hissed, glaring at Duo. "The other patrons may not appreciate your insults."

Duo turned around and saw that, indeed, the other patrons were contemplating several unpleasant fates for him. "Oh. Like, I am, like, soooo sorry! I, like, rea~lly like the sign! It is, like, soooo bitchin'." He grinned. The crowd eyed him, and the Drow who was looking venom at them and the paladin who lookeduncertain, but whose very presence was threatening in a place like The Hentai Ponyta, and decided to leave well enough alone.

"Hey, bar-chick, like, can I get a beer, like, please?" Duo slid into the booth facing Heero, "So, like, do you wanna hear what, like, happened after you, like, left this morning? Like, it was a total, like, gag fest, like, gag me with a mace, barf city, man."

"NO!" Heero and Wufei said together. They looked at each other for a moment, then Wufei shrugged. Apparently they had more in common that he'd thought.

"Excuse me," Quatre said. Wufei jumped, surprised by his quiet approach. "My friend and I were wondering if you're here about the adventure." He held up a handbill, then noticed the one Heero was holding.

"Yes," Wufei and Heero said, together again. "Fer sure!" Duo added. Quatre and Trowa stared at the jiggling glitter-encrusted balls floating over Duo's head, fascinated. "Like, have a seat, man and totally, like, take a load off." He and Heero scooted into the booth to make room. Quatre and Trowa sat.

Wufei looked around for a moment, slightly miffed, then realized he couldn't squeeze into the booth in his armor anyway, grabbed a chair and sat at the end of the table. "So does anyone know what this is about?"

 

D: <passes LW a note>

LW: <reads note, shakes head, passes it to Heero>

H: <reads note, looks at LW>

LW: <points to Duo, shrugs>

 

"Hn?" Heero glared at Duo, biting his lower lip.

"We only know what was on the posters," Trowa said as he arranged his raven amulet over his armor.

Sweat began to form on Heero's forehead.

"Like, I dunno. I'm, like, totally, in the dark too, man, like, totally." Duo grinned, watching Heero.

Wufei stared at Heero for a moment. "Well, evil el-- uh -- Well, Drow? Do you know why we're here?"

Heero's eyes were wide. He gasped. His hand slid off the table into his lap. Duo grunted, then winced. Wufei thought he seemed to be struggling for a moment, then he sighed and relaxed, grinning faintly, looking at Heero. Who, Wufei saw, was panting slightly and had his hand back on the table.

"No. I don't."

Three pairs of eyes stared at them, blinking.

"EEP!" Duo eeped. "Hey! Ooohh! Sooo bitchin'."

"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!" Wufei shouted. "Are you trying to work your evil ways on him, Drow?"

"Hnnn! My name is Heero." Heero said, eyes never leaving Duo's face. "Use it. And he started it."

"OK! OK! Aaahhh! Enough unless you're gonna, like, crawl under the table and, like-- Ooohh."

Heero smirked at him, moved slightly, and Duo relaxed, gasping and panting. "Damn, Heero, you play, like, a totally awesome game of footsie. Like, I'm talking Lord-God-King Footsie."

"AARRRRGGHHH!! This is unfit company for a paladin. I'm leav--"

Hands landed on Wufei's shoulders. "Ah, good." They all looked up to see a well-dressed man whose long, loose platinum hair looked distinctly out of place in The Hentai Ponyta. "My party of adventurers. I'm sure you're wondering why you're all--" He paused for a moment, staring at Duo's deely-boppers. "--here."

"I'm leaving," Wufei announced, then tried to get up. He couldn't. "Evil magic," he hissed.

"No, but you are needed for this little mission--"

 

D: Adventure.

LW: <glares at Duo> I am running the NPC's and he bloody well says "mission"!

 

"Mission. Princess Relena--"

 

H/D: <groan> Not Relena!

LW: <glares> You wan't Dorothy instead?

Q: EEP!

H/D: <sigh>

 

"As I was saying, Princess Relena has been kidnapped by the evil Drow -- NOT," he paused to catch Wufei's eye, "to be confused with our friend Heero, who is NOT evil."

"You didn't see what he was doing to that poor Valley Elf there."

"Like, my name is, like, Du~o, Paladin-Man. I run, and, like, I hide, but, like, I totally never lie. And I am soooo sure Heero isn't, like, one of those grody EVIL Drow. Fer sure. He's, like, totally good, especially when he, like, takes his fingers," he heldup his right hand with middle and index fingers extended and pressed together, "and, like," he motioned as he said, "sliiiides them into--"

"Duo! Shut UP!" Heero snapped.

"Oh. Fer sure. Like. Yeah. Totally." Duo grinned.

"The mission," Heero said to the stranger.

"Yes. The mission is to rescue Princess Relena from the evil Drow. Heero here knows their tactics and their abilities. Wufei, as a paladin, is a sore danger to them."

"Oooh. Wu-Paladin-Man!"

"WuFEI!" A distinctly un-paladin-like gleam crept into Wufei's eyes. "Only unjust, evil people call me Wu-Paladin-Man -- and you know what paladins do to unjust, evil people." He glared meaningfully at Duo.

"Eep!"

"You can try," Heero muttered.

"Uh, like, WuFEI, then, Wu-man."

Wufei gnashed his teeth.

"Even Duo has skills you need to infiltrate the Drow fortress and rescue Princess Relena."

"Where is the Drow fortress?" Quatre asked.

"Thank you, Quatre." The man looked relieved that *someone* was paying attention. "It's about a half-day's ride from here. They intend to sacrifice her--"

 

D: Let 'em

 

"At midnight--"

 

D: I'd rather be in bed with Heero at midnight.

 

"To their goddess, Dorothy--"

 

Q: Eep!

 

"Demon Queen of Spiders."

 

D: <jaw drops> You. Bastard!

LW: BUWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, aren't I. <evil grin> That'll teach you to mess with character sheets. And the DM's word on this is final!

 

"So, gentlemen. You have your assignment. I suggest you all get a good night's sleep and head out first thing in the morning."

"Ninmu ryoukai."

"Ohshit," Duo muttered. "Like, not another freakin' mission."

"I have a house here in town," Quatre said. "But it only has three bedrooms. Uh, Trowa and I can share a room, but that still leaves someone on the floor."

"No. Duo and I can share too."

"Oooh. Bitchin'! I am sooo sure I'm gonna have, like, a totally awesome night." His decidedly hentai grin left no doubt why he was "sooo sure" it was going to be "totally awesome".

"Good," the stranger said. "Here is the information we have on the enemy fortress and their troop movements. Good luck." He turned and walked out, long blond hair trailing behind him like the train on a bridal gown.

"Like, totally weird. Freak me out, man. Like, anyone know, like, who he was? Like, I mean, like, who's gonna pay us for, like, rescuing Miss High and Mighty Princess of the Freakin' World Relena?"

Wufei glared at him. "I am here to fight for Justice. Profit is not an object."

"Like, I am sooo not upset. Uh-huh. Totally. That means, like, more for the rest of us, Wu-man."

"However... I am not averse to receiving some compensation. I have expenses."

Everyone else laughed. They adjourned to Quatre's house. Heero, Trowa and Wufei spent the time studying the information the stranger had given them and arguing about tactics. Quatre was in the kitchen supervising dinner preparations. Duo flitted back and forth between helping Quatre -- and stealing the occasional bite -- and planning with the others. After dinner, they spent the rest of the evening reviewing their plans, making final modifications, and retired to their rooms.

 

D: <rolls dice, consults paper, snickers> My, Rick. That's an awfully big tuna fish. <looks at Heero> Sounds like you. <hentai grin>

All: Huh?

LW: <glares>

D: Of course, Wu-Paladin-Man didn't get much sleep.

W: Kisama!

H: <flicks one of the ping-pong balls> Hn. I tied you to the bed and gagged you before I slid my fingers into--.

W: AARRGGHH!! I do NOT want to know the details!!!

 

The next morning

 

H: I untie Duo.

D: Like, before or after you, like, give me a totally awesome good morning screw?

H: After I screw him good morning. I don't want him waking everyone up. <flicks one of Duo's ping-pong balls>

LW: <glares> AHEM!

W: <snaps> Thank you! So much! <mutters> Damned hentai elves.

 

Next morning, everyone got out of bed, got dressed, had a bite of breakfast--

 

LW: <glares at Duo who is clearly thinking hentai thoughts>

 

-- got kitted up and headed to the Drow fortress.

 

D: <rolls dice, consults pages> This doesn't look like Kansas anymore, Toto.

All: Huh?

LW: <frowns>

D: <looks innocent>

 

<Several hours of role-playing later>

"Would you hurry up," Trowa muttered.

"Like, I am sooo embarrassed! Like, I totally did not know you were, like, an expert lock pick, Tro-man?" Trowa shook his head and signed. Satisfied that he'd made is point, Duo manipulated the sliver of metal deeper into the lock, "Aaah," twisting, pulling out a little, then sliding deeper. "Mmmm. Yes. Oooh."

 

LW: Uh, Duo. You're only picking a lock...

D: <innocent look>

 

"Oh. Yes. YES! Aaaaahhhhhh." Duo smiled contentedly. "It's open."

Wufei glared at the thief. "Hentai." He pushed forward opening the door. Two very large ghouls stood there looking at him. Wufei closed the door and glared at Duo. "I thought you listened at the door and said there was nothing in there," he hissed.

Duo was on the other side of the hall, drawing his short sword. "All I said was, like, I didn't hear anything Wu-man. Like, those undead beasties are maximally grody. They need to bag their faces. And they can be, like, sooo totally quiet, man."

The door burst open and the ghouls spilled into the hallway.

"Turn!" Trowa shouted, glaring at them and holding up his oaken staff. The ghouls took one look at him and ran back through the door, bouncing off the far wall, running back at it again and again. "Well, kill them, for Morrigan's sake," he muttered.

Wufei swung his sword, severing the arm of one ghoul. Heero danced in from seemingly nowhere and bisected the other with his oversized scimitar. Wufei finished off the first ghoul. They paused. Listening. Quiet.

"Quick. Check the room," Heero said. "I'll stand guard."

Quatre directed his will'o'th'wisp light into the room and turned it up to illuminate the area. He and Trowa and Duo entered and began searching for anything that might tell them where Princess Relena was being kept -- or which might be worth keeping.

"Why do you always stand guard?" Wufei muttered. "I could stand guard."

"Because I am a fucking Drow Elf," Heero snapped, smirking at his little hentai joke. "Which means I can see in the dark, which is something you can't do, you smelly human."

Wufei bristled, but had to admit, Heero had a point. He followed the others into the room, nose wrinkling at the stench of ghouls and their preferred food -- rotten corpses.

 

D: <rolls dice, consults paper> Let me write that down on my list.

All: Huh?

LW: Duo?

D: <innocent look>

H: <flicks one of the ping-pong balls> Behave.

 

"I, like, found something," Duo whisper-shouted. He unrolled the piece of paper. "Ixla nachiru maro-- mmph." Quatre's hand clapped over his mouth.

"It's a spell." Quatre took the scroll and read it silently. "Heero, you read Drow?"

Heero snorted and walked over, motioning Wufei to the door. He took the scroll from Quatre. "According to the margin notes, it's a summoning of some kind." He scanned the spell. "Most of the spell is in the magician's language, but this," he pointed to the last words, "is 'black ice storm'." He handed it back to Quatre. "It might come in handy. HER minions hate cold, and black ice is the coldest there is." He walked back to the door and watched with Wufei while the others continued searching.

"So why aren't you with the other Drow?" Wufei asked.

"Hn." Heero shrugged. "I got tired of all the sacrifices to HER."

"Why?"

Heero looked at him for a moment, thoughtful. "Because they took my sister. I killed ten of HER priests before they captured me."

Wufei stared at him. "Oh. Why do you hang around with that thief?"

Heero's lips curled into a faint, slightly evil smile. "At first because he bought me--"

"What? You're a slave? And how would a thief get enough money to buy a slave?"

"Drow who defy the Demon Queen are unworthy as sacrifices, so they're sold. Usually we're bought by humans for their combat arenas. Humans always like to see us die. I was lucky. Duo stole the money from his father and bought me because he thought I was beautiful."

Wufei frowned. He wasn't sure he wanted to know (a) why the Valley Elf thought this Drow was beautiful or (b) why that was important or (c) where that might lead, but (d) his curiosity got the better of him. "You said 'At first'?"

Heero nodded. "He freed me." He looked over Wufei's shoulder, his smile softening. "I stay with him because I love him."

"Aw, Hee-koi." Duo sighed from behind Wufei. "That's, like, so totally romantic and, like, sweet."

Wufei didn't jump this time. He'd learned to expect the Valley Elf to turn up behind him when he least expected it. Duo walked past him to stand beside Heero, who laid an arm across his shoulders and smiled, then kissed him on the cheek. "Uh..." Wufei looked at them. He really had not wanted to know that or see that. "Why are you telling me all this?"

Heero chuckled. "Besides the fact that you asked? Because I know a paladin would never tell something shared in confidence, and it's easier to tell you than to argue with you. You humans can be so damned stubborn sometimes."

"Nothing else in there," Trowa said, interrupting their discussion.

"Let's keep moving," Heero said. "We only have two hours to rescue Princess Relena."

They continued up the hall, coming to an intersection. Heero looked left, then right, uncertain which way to turn.

"Let me help," Trowa said, stepping forward. He laid his staff on the ground, then stood back, eyes closed, lips moving silently, arms spread above his head. After a moment the staff began to move.

"Sooo bitchin'," Duo whispered. He jumped as the staff jerked around sharply, pointing to the right. "Like, sooo awesome, Tro-man." Heero slipped down the passage, scouting, as Trowa picked up his staff and moved to stand beside Quatre again.

"I didn't know your staff could do that," Quatre said softly.

"Oh," Trowa's lips quirked. "My staff can do all kinds of things."

Quatre looked at him for a moment, then his eyes grew wide and he giggled. "I'll have to remember that."

Heero returned. "There's a stairway leading down."

"We shall rescue Princess Relena in the name of Justice," Wufei declared.

"And, like, profit," Duo added.

"And profit," Quatre agreed. Wufei looked at him, surprised. "You don't think I do this for my health, do you? Spell paper is damned expensive."

 

D: <rolls dice, consults paper> A hundred of them and five of us! The odds are almost even!

All: Huh?

LW: So that's where my list of random sayings went.

D: <innocent look>

LW: Well, funny you should mention that...

 

As they neared the bottom of the stairs, Heero froze. "Stop," he whispered. "Spiders."

"Like, spiders?" Duo hissed. "Like, oh-m'go~d! Gag me, like, run away, man!"

 

H: Huh? <flicks one of Duo's ping-pong balls>

D: <points to LW> He made me afraid of spiders because I messed with Wufei's character.

LW: <smirks>

W: Justice! <grins>

 

Duo attached himself firmly to Heero's arm as he watched the spiders swarming over the floor before them. Big spiders. Big, hairy spiders. Big, hairy spiders with lots of glittery, black eyes. Big, hairy spiders--

 

Q: Enough, already. You're making *me* afraid.

 

"Hello," a female voice echoed from the space before them. "Is anyone there?"

"Is it her?" Quatre whispered.

"Princess Relena?" Wufei called.

"Oh! Yes. Whoever's there, please help me."

"In the name of Justice, I must rescue her!" Wufei drew his sword and moved to the bottom of the stairs. "I'm coming, Princess."

Heero reached to stop him. "Wufei, don't--"

Wufei skewered one of the spiders with his sword. A dozen of its fellows fell on it. Seconds later, there was no sign it had ever existed. "Unpleasant."

Heero nodded, impressed that the paladin had had sense enough to test the waters before wading in. He shuddered at a dark memory.

"You said they don't like cold?" Quatre asked.

"Not at all," Heero said.

Quatre rummaged through his stachel, finally finding what he was looking for. "This should do it," he said, pulling out a silver wand. He pointed it at the base of the stairs and a three meter circle of floor and spiders turned into ice. The swarm drew back, giving the circle a few centimeters berth.

"Nice wand," Trowa muttered.

"As nice as my wand of fire?" Quatre grinned at him.

"No," Trowa smiled. "I think not."

Wufei stepped gingerly onto the frozen plot of floor, frosty spiders crunching under his feet. The other spiders chittered angrily at the sound, but came no closer. "It seems to work, Quatre. Freeze them all!"

"No," Quatre said, shaking his head. "The wand doesn't have enough charges for that. I can make a path, though." He froze another circle of spiders, overlapping the first. "Just be careful that you don't--"

Wufei stepped forward confidently, and slipped.

"-- slip."

The spiders surged forward as he fell. "Like, poor Wu-man," Duo whispered, cringing against Heero. Luckily--

 

LW: You made the saving throw by one, Wufei. You are one lucky paladin.

 

-- Wufei landed on the ice, staring at an angry, glaring clump of spiders a mere thirty centimeters from his face.

"Whew," he said, carefully standing up again, walking delicately. "Let's go." Quatre shot another ice bolt and Heero moved out after Wufei.

Or tried to. Duo was anchoring him firmly in place. "Duo, come on. We'll need you to pick the lock."

"Oh, no. I am, like, sooo not going anywhere near, like, -- HEY!" Heero picked Duo up, cradling him in his arms. "Like, what're you doing?"

"Baka!" Heero snorted. "I'm carrying you so you won't have to step on frozen spiders. Now, quit thrashing around before you make me fall."

Duo contemplated the jumping, chittering hordes of spiders and decided it might be best if he didn't squirm. "I am, like, sooo going to make you pay for this, Hee-koi." He latched his arms around Heero's neck, just in case.

"Tell me about it in bed tomorrow night."

"Like, fer sure." Duo grinned. "Bitchin'."

They made their way cautiously across the floor, coming, some forty meters later, to a cell containing the Princess. "Oh! I'm so glad you're here," she cried, rushing to the tiny grate as Quatre froze an area in front of the door. Heero carried Duo to the lock. "Eek! A Drow!"

"Hn. Heero. We're here to rescue you," Heero said.

"A cute Drow," she added, looking at him dreamily. "Heero." She sighed.

"Oi! Duo, you're supposed to be picking the lock, not my pants."

"Like, who me?" Duo asked, looking innocent, though two of his fingers were half-way into the lacings of Heero's breeches.

She frowned, looking down through the grate to see Duo. "And what is his problem?"

"Afraid of spiders."

"And, like, totally the only one who can, like, open this lock, Princess-chick. So, like, keep your grody hands, like, totally off *MY* koi."

"Heero, is it true? Are you... you know..."

Heero just smirked at her. She sighed. "Why is it all the good ones are taken or gay or both?" She eyed him again. "Still, I could show you how the other half lives..." Heero looked uninterested.

"Oh, like, I am sooo totally bummed." Duo glared at her. "I just, like, jammed the lock. There's, like, no way we're gonna be able to, like, get her out now. I guess she's, like, spider food, like, totally."

"Uh... then again... maybe you're not as cute as I thought."

"Oh, like, look. I was, like, sooo wrong." The lock snicked. "Like, I was sooo freaked out because I thought someone was moving in on *MY* Hee-koi... Like, totally, fer sure."

"Yeah, yeah. I got your point, Duo. He's yours, OK?" She pulled the door open and stepped out of the cell. "Get me out of here before that bitch Dorothy gets here and I'll leave you two alone."

"And give each of us five thousand gold pieces each," Duo said. "Uh, like, totally."

"Five hundred."

"Like, five freakin' thousand or I, like, totally feed you to the grody spiders, Princess-chick who, like, tried to horn in on *MY* Hee-koi."

"Fine. Five thousand." Somehow she knew he'd do it, and there was plenty of money in the treasury. She'd actually been considering offering them ten thousand each. "Now, let's go. You talk funny."

Duo looked indignant, which was hard to do since Heero was still holding him. "Like, I do *not* talk funny I am sooo sure. What's the *matter* with the way I talk?"

"Nothing," Heero said. "I love the way you talk." He kissed Duo. "I just wish you'd do less of it sometimes."

"Excuse me," Trowa interrupted. "We have how long until midnight, Heero?"

"An hour. Let's go."

They moved back across the ice. As they climbed the stairs, Quatre froze the lower steps. "Maybe that will give the spiders something to eat later." Heero nodded. The spiders would eat anything, even Drow. He didn't mind if a few more of HER Drow died, especially if they were priests.

As they approached the fortress's main courtyard, they began to hear noises. Heero stopped them. "Drow. They're gathering for the ceremony."

"That means they'll find their sacrifice is missing soon," Quatre said.

"How do we get out?" Relena asked.

Heero frowned, thinking. Then a soft, evil chuckle escaped his lips. "I know. Quatre, you remember that summoning we found?"

"Yes."

"What would happen if you changed part of the name of what is summons?"

Quatre looked thoughtful. "It may work or may not. It depends on how close the words are."

Heero nodded. "Remember the last words where it said, 'cha nama takresa' -- black ice storm? Make it 'zhe nara takresa'."

Quatre muttered the words several times. "It's close enough. It'll probably work." He looked over the scroll, preparing his mind for the summoning. "What will that summon?"

Heero grinned at him. It wasn't a pleasant grin. "Just do it and aim it at the left side of the court yard. Everyone be ready to run for the gate."

"I demand to know what evil--"

Heero glared at Wufei. "If you want to get out of here alive, do as I say." He saw the paladin glare. "You want to make sure Princess Relena makes it out OK, right?" Wufei growled and nodded.

"Uh, like, Hee-koi, like, what are you, like, planning?" Duo had seen that grin occasionally. It always warned of desperate, dangerous and vengeful things to come.

"Shut up, Duo." Heero flicked one of Duo's ping-pong balls. "Just be ready to run." Duo knew that meant it was very bad.

Quatre moved forward so he could see his target and began reciting the words. "Ixla nachiru marochta..." The others tensed, waiting... "zhe nara takresa." There was silence.

"It didn't work," Wufei groused. "Damned Drow, you screwed up--"

A loud bellowing roar split the air and the Drow outside started screaming and running for the fortress.

"It worked!" Heero shouted. "Run like Hell! Stay close to the right wall!" He took off.

Duo knew better than to delay. He was right on Heero's heels, Quatre and Trowa raced after them. Wufei grabbed Relena's hand and dragged her after him. "Hey, paladin, Wufei, or whatever your name is. Quit that. It hur--"

A wave of cold splashed against them from their left. Relena looked and her eyes grew wide. "Run faster, you fool!" She screamed. "He summoned an fucking black ice dragon."

-----------------------------

Three weeks later, the five adventurers gathered again at The Hentai Ponyta.

"Well, Princess Relena was quite generous with her gifts," Quatre said. Upon returning her to the palace in one piece and basically unharmed, she had given them each five thousand gold pieces and certain special gifts. Quatre had a hundred reams of spell paper. Enough to keep him in stock for a long time to come. Trowa had been given a small building and was setting up a shrine to the Morrigan. For Duo and Heero, she'd provided a nice house in a decent part of town. As for Wufei, well, he had gotten either the best or worst gift of all, depending on how one looked at it. He was set to marry the Princess in a year. They would have had the wedding sooner, but the wedding planner said it would take that long to get all the arrangements made and guests invited and... Wufei had just left it all to her and Relena. As long as he didn't have to wear pink or some other frilly color, he didn't care about the rest.

"Like, totally," Duo said. "Y'know, like, the bed in our bedroom is, like, the most awesome bed I've ever, like, slept in. Not that we've been, like, sleeping much in it, fer sure." He grinned, then his eyes went wide. "Oooh. Heero. Like, not the foot again."

"STOP IT!" Wufei shouted. "I will not be party to such hentai behavior."

"Look under the table, Wufei." Heero said, acidly as Duo continued sighing and moaning. "He's pulling your leg."

"Oh! Like, bummer, man. I was having, like, so much fun, fer sure."

"Ah, my adventurers," a familiar voice said. "I have another adventure for you. It seems there's an ice dragon running loose..."

All: WHAT?

LW: Well, you don't think that ice dragon just went away after wreaking havoc at the Drow fortress? Clean up your mess.

Q: Uh, not this week, LW. It's late.

D: And, like, I totally, like, want to go to bed.

H: <grabs him, kissing him> I love it when you talk like that.

D: Huh? You like Valley talk?

H: No. I hate that. I love it when you talk about us going to bed.

D: <grins> Oh! That. Well, what are you waiting for, koi?

H: <flicks a ping-pong ball>

D: And would you quit playing with my balls, for God's sake?

H: Why, Duo-koi. I thought you liked me playing with your balls.

W: Kisama!

D: <grins> Well, those balls.

W: AAAGGGHH!

H: <picks up Duo and carries him off>

T: <eyes Quatre, then grabs him and carries him off>

Q: <giggling> Want to try my wand of fire?

W: Hentai! <heads for his own room> I wonder if Relena...

LW: <mutters> That's a scary thought. Well, he'll probably change his mind after a good night's sleep. <packs up books, notes, character sheets, etc., heads down hall toward his own room.>

H: <loudly> Aaaa. Tsu. Like, Duo, like, nnnnn that is soooo totally bitchin'. AAAAA!

LW: HEY! Keep it down! <mutters> Some of us need sleep to survive.

-----------------------------

FOOTNOTES:

Oh-m'Go~d! I have, like, listened to that, like, totally bitchin' song "Valley Girl" by, like, Frank Zappa and Moon Unit, like, sooo many times while writing this. I, like, totally hope it hasn't, like, had any lasting effects. Totally. Fer sure.

Like, the random sayings list is, like, sooo fer real, man. Like, we used it, like, when we got, like, rea~lly sad because the game was, like, sooo slow. And, like, I still have my copy! Isn't that just, like, totally awesome?!

"My Rick, that's an awfully big tuna fish," is, like, a totally awesome Minmei line from, like, our MST3K'ed version of Robotech/SDF Macross. (Like, before there was even, like, a dream of MST3K. Fer sure.) It, like, ended up on, like, our totally awesome random bitchin' sayings list because we had, like, totally hentai minds.

No way! I, like, made up all the bitchin' magic and Drow words by, like, combining random syllables in my head and then, like, finding freaked out ways to spell them. So, like, don't try to, like, use them to summon a REAL dragon, fer sure. There's, like, no telling what might rea~lly happen. Totally.

Like, I dunno! Like, how do you like, like, Princess Relena? At least she isn't, like, a total loser. Like, OK, so Relena would never, like, stoop to calling Dorothy a bitch. But, like, didn't you always want her to? Fer sure!

Hey, Emily, like, Trowa has, like, a totally awesome "oaken staff" that, like, scares ghouls. <hentai snicker> Bitchin'.

Like, long, long ago -- like, early 1980's, fer sure -- in, like, an April issue of Dragon magazine? Like, that's where I found... "Valley Elf"... Totally. Fer sure.

Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf,
Valley Elf,
He's a valley Elf...

So cool, so fair,
With chartreuse hair,
So young, secure ----

"Fer sure, fer sure, like, oh, man, I was really
*down* today, like, sooo *down*, I almost flunked
*archery* today, I was blitzed totally, it was
*wrong*. Like, I work my elven cloak into the
*dungeon*, y'know, and it got all grody with, wow,
like *spider* webs and *green slime* all over it, like
*yucko*, like when I saw it when we got out I thought,
oh, *gag* me with a *wand*, it was *grody* to the
*max*, just *psionic*, like, and I had to clean it,
oh, gross me *out* man. Totally *awesome*. I *hate* to
go in *dun*geons, they are *so rank*, and some of the
monsters just like *freak me out*, man, like wow, I
even saw a fer real monster, like *real* close up
once, and it was *really*, like, totally disgusting,
*barf city* man, it was *so gross* that I thought,
like, Hey, keep away from *me*, man! Like *no way* I'm
gonna ever even use *my* sword on *you*, I just
*waxed* it, y'know, like gag me with a mace."

Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf,
Valley Elf,
He's a valley Elf...

North of Geoff, South of Ket,
By the River Javan wet,
Living with the stubby gnomes,
The Valley Elves do make their homes.

"Sure, totally, y'know, I had a dog, man, a cooshee,
like he was special, a Gucci chooshee poochie, he had
designer genes, like, really rare, he was just
*awesome*, but not to housebroken. I had to clean up
after him, and that was like *grody*, just *gross to
the max*, but, wow, like, no biggie, cuz he was my
*dog*, y'know, but he's gone now, totally, see, I met
the *mage* the other day, and, *wow*, man, the *mage*
has got like *no*,
*totally no* sense of humor. Like, I made a joke,
y'know, I thought it was *super*, like, I saw the
*mage* and said like, hey, we're in the Valley of the
Jolly, like, Ho Ho Ho, Green Valley Mage, just like
the freakin' commercials, but he just looked at me,
like *wow*, he must have *really* been *out of it*,
man, like he was so out of it he threw one of those,
like, meteor swarms at me, it was just *awesome*, I
mean it was just, oh *wow* man, it was *astral*, and
it missed me and hit my dog, my designer dog, like,
crispy critter *city*, I was *really* bummed out,
really bad like."

Valley Elf,
He's a Valley Elf,
Valley Elf,
He's a valley Elf...

He's a super Valley Elf,
So chaotic, sure of self,
Tall and thin and fair of face,
His brain is lost in outer space.

"Oh, super, like I live in the good part of the
Valley, y'know, where we're all into, like, real
*etheral* things, like I got a set of designer *ring*
mail for my birthday, I was totally *freaked out*,
like, my old set was getting full of wrinkles and it
had blood on it from where I cut myself with my short
sword, yeah, really, like *agony*, man, I was in
*total* agony for an *hour*. *Really*, but now I'm
together, like, fer sure, *no problem*. That was
*close*, man, like I was *so sure* I was gonna *pass
out* fer sure, I lucked out *totally*. Good thing."

(*Totally* written by some gamers in, like, *Kentucky*, man, who don't want their names used. *Fer sure*.)

------------------------

<stepping back behind Deathscythe-brand Lurking Shield>

LW: Valley Elf, He's a Valley Elf

D: Totally.

H: Hn. Fer sure.