The Urameshi team was in the midst of a terrible dilemma once more.
Kurama and Yuusuke watched with wide eyes, prepared to leap into the fray
to separate the two boys whose barely-checked tempers were about to flare
up like dry tinder.
"Chigau yo! Kuwabara no baka!" Hiei fumed at the tall orange-haired boy. "Dammit, I hate you ningens! You're all so stupid!" His hand clenched the hilt of his katana.
"Urusai! You little shrimp! Die!" Kuwabara raged right back, his voice shrill as a shrieking fishwife's.
They stood toe-to-toe, glaring at each other with such thickly heavy malevolence that the air molecules reeled back from the charged atmosphere. Paint on the nearby walls blistered and peeled back. Yuusuke and Kurama flinched. This was it. The inevitable ki-of-death-ultimate-evil-glare-to-the-finish duel. And *nothing* could prevent it.
"Maybe we'd better step in," Kurama whispered to Yuusuke. "They're getting down to the ultimate insults."
"*YOU* step in," Yuusuke invited, grinning uneasily. "I'm not getting anywhere near them!"
Indeed, the air was surging with pent-up electricity and seething reiki and youki. Pinprick sparks were crackling along the line-of-sight of the two combatants. And the sparks were getting bigger.
"For the last time, you giant moronic feeble human, there is NO WAY in the seven circles of hell we are getting chocolate ice cream with raspberry pie! Vanilla! VANILLA!" Hiei shouted, the wards on his right arm starting to smoke.
"And *I* told you, we are NOT getting rasperry pie!" Kuwabara shrieked, his voice two octaves higher than Hiei's. Maybe three. "French Silk! And that's final!"
"Final THIS you-"
Kurama and Yuusuke sweatdropped.
"How long have they been arguing?" Kurama whispered.
"Oh...ten minutes..." Yuusuke glanced at his watch.
They sweatdropped again. "Over ICE CREAM?"
Then Kurama shrugged. "Hey, whatever yanks their chain."
"CUT!!" yelled a girl on the sidelines, pretending to be rivetingly fascinated to the pie display case. She had long brown hair and was wearing a T-shirt that said "Born to Burn.(TM)" "Dammit, Kurama, that was NOT in the script! Take five!" She put her hands on her hips, obviously fuming, muttering something about that being the twentieth take and how on *earth* was she supposed to get back to work when these stupid youko yada yada...
The four boys blew out sighs of varying degrees of annoyance or relief. Kurama gave Talya a huge raspberry and walked over to the water cooler, shoving his hands in his jeans pockets.
"Hiei-kun, the emotion you generated was very intense and in-character," Kuwabara complimented the shorter, spiky-haired fire demon, practically gushing.
"Hn. I myself thought your performance was very convincing," Hiei responded, eyes thoughtful but warm.
The two boys grinned at each other and turned to join their comrades at the water cooler.
"Talya-san, you never give me any good parts," Kuwabara complained as the brown-haired girl went over a dog-eared copy of the script, muttering to herself with a pen stuck between her teeth.
Talya eyed him and sweatdropped.
"Er...what are you talking about? Why just last week I...nevermind you weren't in that chapter. Um, didn't I...no, that was Yuusuke. Well, I certainly...I...I...imeantto...hey! I *didn't* slash you into that story with Yuusuke! Ne? Ne?" She looked desperate.
"Um...whatever." Kuwabara turned to the half-empty pizza boxes on another table, where a certain white-haired youkai had gotten hold of the Urameshi team's catering delivery and was sitting cross-legged on the table, pigging out.
Hiei swaggered up to the water cooler, slapping Kurama on the butt on the way over. Kurama jumped.
"Hey! Don't you touch me there, you pervert! It was never MY idea for us to be slashed together in all those yaoi fanfics!" Kurama fumed, glaring at the fic writer.
Talya whistled innocently, ruining the effect by playing with matches at the same time, eyes glinting devilishly.
Hiei smirked. "Oh well. Poor you. And who came knocking on WHOM's dressing room door last week and--"
"SHUT UP! I never!" Kurama hissed, turning beet red.
Yuusuke heaved a sigh. "Talya-san, when will we be finished with this, so that I can get back to my studies on the three-toed nocturnal wombat and my dissertation, and composing poetry on Keiko's stunning beauty?"
Talya ignored him, running a pen over the script. "Hmmm..." She blinked up at Yuusuke and grinned. "Oh, sooner than you think."
"Kuwabara-kun, shall we have a rematch at tennis this afternoon?" Hiei inquired of the large human.
Kuwabara scratched his head. "Hmm, I was going to take Yukina shopping but I don't think she'd mind. Sure, why not? Shall we play doubles?"
Hiei considered it. Then he smirked at Kurama.
"Don't even think about it," Kurama said grimly. "I'm - I'm -" He spotted a blue-haired girl halfway across the room and dashed over, latching onto her neck so tightly she was in danger of her face turning as blue as her hair.
"Ack-Kurama, let go!" Botan squeaked.
"I have a date with Botan!" Kurama announced triumphantly.
Botan blinked at him. Hiei blinked at him.
Botan disengaged. "Sorry, Kurama, I have a date with Shizuru." She beamed and everyone fell over.
Everyone glared at Talya, who blinked back innocently, hiding the matches behind her back. "Whaaaaat?"
"I didn't think you were a yuri writer," Yuusuke remarked. "Branching out?"
Talya wrestled Ariodh for a piece of pizza that was still left. "I couldn't resist!"
"Hiei-kun, after the tennis match, would you like to help me pick out an engagement ring for Yukina?" Kuwabara inquired, looking a bit anxious.
Hiei nodded solemnly. "Of course, Kuwabara-kun! I can think of no one else I'd prefer for a brother-in-law, and I'd be happy to help you make this important decision."
Kuwabara grinned happily.
Yuusuke finished his water and tossed the cup neatly in the trash can, careful not to litter. "Ne, Talya-san, when should we begin again?"
Talya stuffed the script in her back pocket. "Oh, that old thing? We're done."
"Done?" they all demanded, looking suspicious. "What's next?"
Talya shrugged. "Chapter Eight of Blood Call, I guess."
Kuwabara looked anxious. "Talya-san! Give me a bigger part!"
Yuusuke added, "Talya-san! Don't make me look like a moron! Especially in front of my dainty beloved Keiko-chan!"
Kurama blurted, "Talya-san! Pleasegodpleasegod don't stick me in another lemon scene with that sadistic little fire demon!"
Hiei grinned at her, "Talya-san! Make Kurama pregnant!"
Talya sweatdropped. "I already did *that.*"
Hiei shrugged. "Okay, then stick in another lemon scene somewhere." He grinned over at Kurama, who looked uneasy.
Botan immediately added, "Ne, Talya-chan, I think it's about time-"
Koenma popped up out of a back room somewhere. "Talya-san! I demand a larger part!"
Ariodh jumped off the pizza boxes. "Dammit Talya, I got shafted! I demand a rewrite!"
The Urameshi team began to close in around the brown-haired fic writer, who began to look a bit edgy. "Umm--help me, someone..." The rest of the YYH cast started to close in, too.
A few villains popped in. Karasu stalked up. "Ne, you've completely ignored me except in that woefully out of character parody...I demand some decent screen time..."
Mukuro growled, "Yeah, you need to pay more attention to my character details, and..."
Yomi added, "Have you forgotten me completely!? Not an honorable mention anywhere!"
"Argh!" Talya screamed, then the matches in her hand flared up and she disappeared in a tremendous burst of fire. Everyone lurched back.
"Did she spontaneously combust?" Yuusuke asked suspiciously.
"No, it can't be that easy," Kurama said mournfully, swatting at Hiei's wandering hands.
"Oh well," Kuwabara shrugged, then motioned to Hiei. "Anyone else for tennis? Hiei and I are up for a rematch."
Slowly, the sound stage emptied, until only Kurama was left. He looked around furtively, then seeing no one, tore at his godawful pink uniform and stripped it off quickly, revealing the Heero-esque halter top and spandex shorts beneath.
"Someone has *got* to write me a better uniform," he sulked. He pulled a rose from his hair and walked off the stage, twirling it idly between his fingers. "Hmm...wonder if I can find Tatara to compare some gardening tips with..."