Cagalli sees a scary movie and refuses to admit that it frightened her, even when it becomes just a little too real for her.
Disclaimer: All characters, names and places relating to Mobile Suit Gundam belong to Sunrise. All original characters, the plot and setting belong to me.
She was alone in the house, with no one around. She was completely alone, alone… alone.
But then, why shouldn’t she be? What was wrong with that? Cagalli could take care of herself. She was old and mature now. She wasn’t some little girl, afraid of her own shadow.
Actually, in the dead of night like this, there are no shadows. Everything is enveloped by the dark. It’s impossible to sleep like this, with this deafening silence keeping me awake. You’d think silence would know how to keep it down.
To be honest, the night wasn’t quiet at all. If it were, maybe the blonde girl would be able to sleep. As a determined display of impertinence, the weather had refused to remain the same. It just had to change. The rain hitting the windows and roof weren’t too bad, and were almost soothing to the young blonde’s ears. The occasional and irregular booms of thunder and flashes of lightning however, kept her on her toes. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Cagalli curled herself up tightly beneath her blanket, bringing her legs up to meet her torso. She lay in her bed all alone in the house, save for that one other person, but she wasn’t about to go waking her friend simply to strike up a conversation. That’s something a fearful person would do.
Cagalli would just have to close her eyes and wait for sleep to dawn down on her… of course it didn’t help that the image of a sadistic killer clown was imprinted on the interior of her eyelids, and every time she closed her eyes, she was reminded of that psycho’s face. His vile visage. His grotesque achromatic make up broken by the color of blood.
“Stupid scary clowns… I’m not afraid of you.”
She thought back to the cause of all this, the reason why she couldn’t get any sleep. This is all Athrun’s fault.
Earlier that day –
The six friends walked down the street, toward the cinema to watch a movie. It was the first day of summer. School was over for the year and these six high school juniors-no-more were celebrating by seeing a movie together.
The weather was as perfect as one could imagine for their first afternoon of freedom. The sun was shining without a single cloud in the sky to obstruct its golden rays as they shone down on the skin of the youngsters below.
Athrun walked at the head of the group, his medium length blue hair shining in the sunlight. On one side of him stood Cagalli, the amber eyed blonde; and on the other was Shinn, the dark haired sophomore who walked with his arm around the party’s second blonde girl. The Magenta eyed Stella. Despite being a year younger, and as such, a year behind in terms of academic study, Shinn and Stella had quickly weaseled their way into the group.
As the group walked, Athrun moved to carefully place an arm around Cagalli, to hold her in a loose one-armed embrace, but his plan backfired when she shifted her pace, running ahead to look at something, leaving Athrun’s arm dangling awkwardly in mid-air.
“Smooth,” Shinn mocked.
“Hey, shut up,” Athrun replied, finally putting his arm to use by playfully punching the younger boy in the shoulder.
Behind them, a slim brown haired boy walked hand in hand with his most special of all friends, the lovely Lacus, the coveted beauty of their grade that had unintentionally managed to widen the eyes and slackened the jaws of every male in their year. Whether it be from envy, lust or admiration, all eyes lingered on her.
Of course, rather than let this status go to her head or let herself be bothered by it, she simply clung to her first and only choice of romantic partner. She walked closely beside Kira, their hands joined and a content smile upon her face the entire time.
Cagalli stared wide-eyed at large display depicting what appeared to be a chainsaw wielding clown. The corners of her lips pulled upward, parting them in a wide, appreciative smile as her eyes drifted downward, to the blood-splattered title. This was the movie she wanted to see, ne. She had to see. The riotous rampage of the psychotic, Carnivorous Cannibal Clowns.
“So now we’re here, what should we see,” Shinn drawled in a bored monotone.
“I thought we had already decided that,” Kira replied nonchalantly.
“Oh my god. Athrun, he have to see this,” Cagalli called out to them. They walked over in her direction.
Athrun, who was in front of the group, stood behind the blond and took one look at the poster on the wall.
“You want to see this,” he asked peculiarly. “Why?”
“What do you mean ‘why?’ It’s gonna be great!” I didn’t even know it was out yet.
“I really don’t want to see this,” Lacus commented, making her coy opinion known.
“I just don’t like scary movies.”
“What about that one you and I went to see last month,” Cagalli asked accusingly, turning around to face the crowd.
“That was horrible, I couldn’t sleep all weekend,” the pink haired Lacus admitted with a slight blush showing her discomfort.
“Don’t be a sissy!” the blonde cried, causing the pinkette to turn away in embarrassment. Sensing this, Kira placed an arm around her back soothingly.
“I’m not a fan of Horror films either,” Kira stated in his girlfriend’s defense. They’d only recently gotten together as a couple. He wasn’t about to have Lacus insulted by anyone, not even his dizygotic twin sister.
“Yeah, but you are a sissy,” Cagalli teased.
“Aren’t you supposed to be… you know, a girl,” Shinn asked, Cagalli’s unfeminine fascination for violence and gore seemingly going over his head.
Cagalli instantly shifted her gaze to her scruffy haired challenger. “I am,” she barked, “although sometimes I’m the only one who realizes that.” Her frightening gaze then shifted over to Athrun. “Nobody else ever seems to notice.”
“Gee, I wonder why,” Shinn dryly commented.
“What was that!?”
“Nothing,” Shinn hastily answered. The last time he stood up to Kira’s sister, he’d wound up with a broken nose, two black eyes and a sore finger… but that was a story the boy would refuse to relive.
“Do you really need to see this movie Cagalli,” Kira serenely asked his sister. Argument would get them nowhere. What they needed was a calm discussion. “Didn’t we all agree to see something else? If you remember, you said you didn’t care what we saw.”
“Yeah, but that’s only because I thought there was nothing to see. I didn’t know they’d be showing this,” she said, pointing to the poster. There’s no way I’m missing out on this to see some romantic piece of crap.” Unseen and unnoticed, Lacus flinched and turned away. It had been her who suggested the movie they were supposed to be going to see right now.
“Then how about this, if they’re showing at the same time, we can split up.”
“No,” Lacus opposed. “We came to watch something together. If we can’t all decide on the same thing, maybe we shouldn’t go at all. Maybe we should just go and do something else.”
“Wow, that seems kind of selfish of you,” Cagalli commented.
“You’re opposing every idea any of us can come up with. Every time we’re about to reach a decision, you bat it away like an eyelash. Why don’t you admit it, you only wanted Kira to come with you today, didn’t you. You wanted to be alone with him. Screw the rest of us!”
“No, it isn’t like that at all.”
“Oh no, how is it not like that? You talk us all into seeing a movie, then you pick the worst one you can find to drive us all off the idea!”
“It’s not the worst one, I want to see it.”
Oh yeah? Well it sounds like a boring romantic piece of crap! It’s a total chick flick!”
“Well maybe that’s what I like. Maybe that’s what I am. I’m sorry if I’m not entertained the way you are by something as simplistic as a trashy film containing nothing but nudity, violence and gratuitous amounts of blood splatters.”
“I’ll show you blood splatters,” Cagalli roared, rolling up her sleeve and taking a dramatic step forward.
“Calm down,” Kira said, raising his voice in a warning tone, “both of you.”
“Elitist little…” Cagalli grumbled, more to herself than anyone else, the way someone would when sulking after having a superior reprimand them. “Saying my choice of entertainment isn’t good enough? You think I’m not good enough, you’re not good enough. You think I have no taste? I’ll show you taste. You think I’m nothing but violence and blood splatters? I’ll show you violence. I’ll show you blood.”
“Cagalli, quiet,” Kira stated.
“You can’t tell me what to do.”
“Quiet!” Cagalli’s eyes widened at her brother’s harsh tone. She silently looked away from the group, seemingly becoming intrigued and fascinated by a crack in the pavement.
Kira matched his sister’s expression, narrowing his eyes in a scowl he directed at no one. The last thing he wanted was another fight between his sister and his new girlfriend. He couldn’t figure it out, but for one reason or another, Cagalli could never seem to get along with Lacus any more. He was sure that their many arguments were distressing and upsetting for them both, but especially for Lacus, who tended to take things far more personally than his sister did. If nothing were to be done about it, these fickle fights that Cagalli had recently begun starting would be the death of their friendship. “Cagalli, if you really don’t want to watch the movie we all decided on, then we’ll just have to split up here and meet up later on. Lacus, I know you had your heart set on us all being together, but I’d rather settle for a compromise than have a big argument in the street. Do you understand?”
“Well, that sounds like a plan, Kira…” Athrun commented, “But what if the two movies are running at different times, or are different lengths.”
“If we can’t watch them simultaneously… then I’ll bring Cagalli back and watch it with her later on.” He turned to his sister. “Is that alright with you?”
“I guess so,” the blonde quietly complied, feeling a little ashamed that she had acted so childishly before.
“Kira,” Lacus muttered questioningly.
“What, do you want to come too,” Cagalli asked her forcefully, beginning to lose her temper yet again.
Lacus blushed slightly. “Uh, well, I…”
“I’ll do it,” Athrun offered before things turned too awkward.
“Fine with me,” Cagalli replied before another word could be said.
“Hey, nice plan,” Shinn commented to his blue haired friend. “You get to be alone with her, and her brother’s gonna think you’re doing him a favor. You’re a genius at this stuff.”
“Yeah, but it’s not much of a secret plan when someone announces it to everyone,” Athrun hissed, nudging his friend in the ribs to shut him up.
“Well, we’d better get in there and buy the tickets,” Kira calmly suggested. “We can’t do anything until we see the start times. Then we can decide.” The group all murmured their collective agreement and moved onward, into the building where they were met by a flood of people.
“There it is,” Cagalli called out to them as she ran ahead, her eyes transfixed upon the scrolling times in reference to movie titles. “They both start in twenty minutes,” she commentated. “I’ll get out at six, you guys will be out at quarter to.”
“That’s it then,” Lacus solemnly declared. “We’re splitting up.” Her hand subconsciously snaked its way home, causing her to jump when skin met skin as Kira’s hand enveloped her own, her desire fulfilled. Although it was what she wanted, she couldn’t contain the blush that momentarily lit her face like the festive lights of a Christmas tree.
“So,” Kira asked, “where should we meet?”
“There’s that Café down the road,” Athrun suggested. “They serve good Pizza, and they’re open until eleven.”
“What do you think,” Kira asked, turning to Lacus.
“That sounds good,” she replied.
Kira looked around but saw no opposition to the idea. “It’s alright with me if it is with everyone else.”
“Then it’s settled,” Cagalli summed up. “We’ll all meet there after the movies end, let’s get going.”
“Um, Kira,” Athrun said, somewhat awkwardly.
“What is it?”
“Are you sure Cagalli should watch that thing alone?”
“Hey,” the blonde protested.
“Someone should go with her,” the bluenet continued.
“Maybe you’re right,” Kira answered, uncertainly.
“Hey, I don’t need a chaperone. I’m not some little kid, okay?”
“Stella will do it,” the group’s second blonde offered, speaking for the first time since they had arrived.
Athrun and Shinn shared a look. “Um, hey Stella, I don’t know-“ the scruffy haired Shinn began, but was instantly cut off.
“Perfect, we’ll go together,” Cagalli cheekily grinned, placing an arm around her blonde friend and holding her closely, as if posing for a photograph. “Problem solved.”
“Stella…” Shinn breathed, drawing the blonde’s magenta gaze unto himself.
“What’s the problem,” Cagalli asked. “You all think I’m just some little kid, don’t you!?”
“Stella,” Shinn repeated, “Are you sure you want to see this? I mean, I really don’t think you’re gonna like it, I mean, it’s gonna be scary.”
“Stella isn’t afraid of clowns,” she declared.
“See! We’ll be fine,” Cagalli supported, “and on the off chance, we’ll both be there for one another.”
“Stella,” Shinn argued, “listen. This movie, you won’t like it. It’s not a good show. They only put it out for sad degenerates who can’t get off on real entertainment.”
“But Stella wants to sit with Caggi-chan. Caggi-chan wants to watch clowns. Stella will watch clowns with Caggi-chan.”
“I should go too,” Athrun said.
“Suit yourself,” Cagalli replied apathetically, making her way up to the ticket counter as Athrun, taking larger strides, easily caught up to and walked past her, reaching the counter first.
Shinn watched them depart and then turned his attention to Kira and Lacus. He looked from one, then to the other. “I should probably go with them,” he said.
“If you really want to,” Kira offered. “It’s not like I’m going to stop you.”
“Right, Shinn replied, hurrying to catch up with the others.”
“And then there were two,” Lacus joked.
“Is that alright with you,” Kira asked her.
“Maybe we should go with them as well…”
“I thought you didn’t like horror.”
“I don’t, but they’re all… it seems as though I’m acting like a spoiled brat, refusing to go with them because they don’t want to see what I do.”
“It’s okay. If you want to see something else, we’ll just see that. Don’t worry about them.” Lacus nodded.
Kira carefully tore his hand away from that of the pinkette standing closely beside him and dipped it into his pocket, withdrawing his wallet. He took out a monetary note and handed it to Lacus.
“If you want any snacks or anything, could you get them and then wait upstairs for me? You can keep any change,” he added as an afterthought.
“Where are you going?”
“I’ll get the tickets, we’re still seeing the same thing, right?”
“If you still want to.”
“Of course I do. I’ll get the tickets, you wait upstairs for me.” Kira turned and took a step away from her before stopping and looking back over his shoulder. “Oh, and while you’re passing the snack bar, do you think you could get me a Vanilla Cola?” Lacus nodded and made her way over the counter on the other side of the lobby, near the stairs leading upward.
“Ah, hi,” Athrun greeted the young man behind the counter. “I’ll take three tickets to Cannibal Clowns.”
“Shinn,” Stella announced. Looking over his shoulder, Athrun saw that Shinn was indeed heading in their direction.
“Oh, you’d better make that four.” The young man behind the counter, who appeared to be a boy their age with pale skin, black hair and brown eyes, with his bangs covering roughly the top left corner of his face, looked them over and smirked.
“How old are you,” he asked.
“Seventeen,” Athrun answered.
“Sorry, this movie is rated R and subsequently, minors cannot get in unless accompanied by an adult. Why don’t you come back with your parents.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Shinn declared. “My parents don’t even want me watching this stuff. Why would they come with me to get me in?”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t be watching it then. There’s some nice kiddy shows starting in about half an hour,” the young man mocked.
“Hey, you’re no older than I am,” the indignant blonde at the back snapped.
“Is that you Cagalli, I didn’t see you there.”
“It’s okay guys, I know him,” the blonde explained to her friends.
“I was wondering when you’d come to see this. I’m surprised you weren’t here on opening night.”
“I didn’t even know it was out.” The young man smirked amusedly. “You’d better get in there and see it while you still can. They’re thinking of pulling the plug on this one, too scary for all the little pussies out there.”
“So, can you get us in? Just like old times.”
“What’s in it for me?”
“Some friend he is,” Shinn criticized.
“We’re going for Pizza afterwards,” Athrun suggested. “I guess you could come too. When do you get off work?”
“I’ll be done at six, same time the next showing of Cannibal Clowns finishes. Promise me a slice and you’re in.”
“Done,” Athrun agreed.
“Of course you realize, you’re going to have to pay adult ticket prices.”
“That’s fine,” Athrun approved, handing over the cash.
“What about ID,” Shinn asked.
“ID check is done up front with the purchase of tickets and again upstairs when the usher checks your tickets. Maybe it’s not the best system, but it’s great for extortionists such as myself.”
“What about the guy upstairs then?”
“Simple, the guy doing theatre three is a friend of mine. Just tell him Rensque sent you, though he may need a little persuasion.”
“That’s fine. We can just take him with us afterwards,” Cagalli reasoned, “the more the merrier.”
“You think Kira will be okay with that,” Athrun asked her.
“He should be.”
“Sounds like a plan, he works the same shifts I do, it’s a great partnership, letting all the minors into R-rated movies and sharing the profit,” Rensque answered as he printed out the four tickets and handed them over to the bluenette in the front. “Enjoy the show,” he added with a smirk.
Did you notice the reference? I slipped it in. I don’t think you can even get Vanilla Coke anymore… that’s a shame. Oh, and as some of you may have noticed, Stella is sharing the mannerisms that I gave her in The Brother’s Zala. I hope you don’t mind, and if you do? There’s really nothing you can do about it. I mean, you could try kidnapping her, strapping her to a chair and doing many unpleasant things to her, but I don’t know if that will help your cause… but I’ll leave it up to all your demented imaginations. Next chapter is The Crappy Romantic Chick Flick.