Unholy Land

by Tenshi

"We're lost," Ryou said, looking nervously around the unfamiliar landscape. Danger lurked around every corner, and Ryou's muscles tensed as he eyed the inhabitants of this strange world. They looked hard, trained and deadly, confident on their own territory. "We'll never find the others."

"Fa' cryin' out loud, Ryou. We're in the mall, not the death star." Rowen licked cinnabon cream off his fingers and sat back in the wire mesh chair. "All of Kento's roads lead to the food court. They'll find us."

"We'll never get out alive," Ryou persisted, his eyes going slightly wide as a small army of shrill children passed by on the way to see Santa, with one lone and exhausted grownup in their midst. "We should never have come."

"Yeh? And where would you get ya Christmas shopping done? The 7-11?"

"Look, I know lots of people who would be happy to get three-year-old beef jerky for Christmas. White Blaze, for example."

"Whateva, Ryou. Just sit tight and don't get any ideas about blowin' the skylights out and makin' a break fa it. Not afta what happened at Tokyo Disney."

Ryou glowered and poked his finger on the sticky plastic table. "Look, you used your flight ablity on Space Mountain because you wanted to be part of the ride, and that's what got us kicked out. Not any talking six-foot mouse with second-degree burns."

Rowen crossed his arms. "I was just gonna adjust the alignment of the moons of Jupiter. Io's orbit was totally innacurate."

At the table next to them, the party of mothers and mothers-to-be began to leave with their copious noisy offspring, ramming their strollers repeatedly into the back of Ryou's chair and chattering loudly about Italian charm bracelets with the logo of their health club.

Ryou hugged himself. "We're gonna die in here," he said, "and they won't find us until the snow melts."

"We're done," Sai said suddenly, dropping an armload of shopping bags into the seat between them. "I hope we didn't keep you waiting too long." He blinked at Ryou, on his knees and hugging Sai around the waist, muttering something about being able to feel the wind and the grass again.

Rowen shrugged at Sai's questioning look. Some people just weren't cut out for Christmas.


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