When Jay falls victim to illness, he faces the most humiliating day of his life when Moses volunteers to take care of him
Disclaimer: Tales of Legendia and its characters, places, etc. are the property of Namco.
Author's Note: I hope you don't take this the wrong way. Jay the Unseen is my favorite character in ToL, so this story is not meant to bash him. It's a more extreme form of Moses teasing Jay about his short height. But don't worry, Jay will get his sweet revenge in the end.
Update Note: I only fixed some formatting issues in the story. There's really nothing new to read.
"Senel, wake up," an innocent female voice said. "Senel, please wake up!"
Senel sat up groggily. "Shirley?"
"Will is waiting for us at his house," Shirley said. "Let's get going."
Senel climbed out of bed, and he and Shirley left the house together. They walked down the roads of Werites Beacon, listening to the music and the citizens chatting. Before long, Senel and Shirley arrived at Will's house and walked inside. In the living room, Will was already waiting with the rest of the party: the girl knight Chloe, the treasure hunter Norma, the bandit Moses, and the clueless girl Grune.
"All right, is everyone here?" Senel asked.
"Not yet," Norma said. "We're still waiting on JJ."
"He's late," Chloe said. "It's unusual for him to be late."
"Yahoo!" Moses yelled. "I beat him here for once!"
"Something's not right," Will said. "He's usually the first one here."
"Maybe he isn't feeling well?" Grune asked.
"Could be," Will said. "Moses, could you head to the inn and find out what's keeping him?"
"Just leave it to me!" Moses grinned as he left the house.
The bandit ran down the road, passing the bakery and the shops until he reached the inn. Upon entering, Moses went upstairs to Jay's room. He looked at the bed with the huge lump under the sheet, indicating that someone was buried underneath.
"Jay?" Moses slowly approached the bed and pulled the covers back, revealing the sleeping form of Jay the Unseen. The small assassin lay silently, almost lifeless. His expression was very pale, his skin was more pale than usual, and his cheeks had turned a slight red.
"Jay? You don't look so good."
Jay slowly opened his eyes. "M...Moses?"
"Will wants to see us. They're all waitin' at his house."
"Tell them to proceed without me. I'm not well." Jay pulled the covers over his head.
Moses pulled the covers down again. "Come on, Jay, we're a family! We always have to stick together, no matter what!"
"I told you, I can't! I'll just slow them down like this. All I wanna do is sleep!" Jay pulled the covers over himself again.
Moses shrugged. "All right, you leave me no choice."
He pulled the blanket off completely, then laid it out on the floor.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing?" Jay demanded.
Without a word, Moses lifted Jay from the bed and placed him on the edge of the blanket, then rolled him across, wrapping him up in the blanket. Moses stood up and looked down, grinning. The young assassin looked quite helpless in this position.
"Now it's off to Will's house!" Moses picked up Jay and draped him over his shoulder.
"Hey, cut it out, you stupid bandit!" Jay protested. "This isn't funny! Put me down!"
Instead, Moses carried him downstairs and out of the inn. As he walked down the road passing the houses again, Jay lifted his head as much as he could. He could see the citizens of Werites Beacon stopping their normal activities to stare at the bandit. There was no point in protesting any farther at this point. Moses arrived at Will's house and entered once again.
"Yeehaw! I got him!" he yelled.
The others only raised an eye at him.
"Moses...what exactly have you done?" Chloe asked.
"What does it look like?" Moses moved to the center of the room, where he dumped Jay down on the sofa. Jay let out a groan of agony, then followed with a series of rasping breaths.
"What's the matter, JJ?" Norma asked. "You don't look so good."
"Oh my, he's not feeling well," Grune said.
Shirley gently placed her hand on Jay's forehead. "He's burning up!"
Will folded his arms. "Moses...just why did you bring him here?"
"Because you called for everyone to be here!" Moses responded.
"But this is different. If he's sick, then he didn't need to come. We can't take him with us in that condition."
"Uh...take him where?"
Will let out an exasperated sigh. "I called everyone here because I've been informed of an unknown specimen that has been sighted near the lighthouse. I've also been told that it looks like a dangerous creature, so I need your help to capture it."
Norma sighed. "Oh lovely. Teach has called us here for another bookworm expedition."
Will walked right up to her and bonked her on the head.
"Ow! That hurt!"
"Norma, would you rather stay here and keep an eye on Jay?" Will asked.
"Eeuw, no way! I'm not catching JJ's germs!"
"Well, we can't just leave him here alone."
"Hey, I'll stay with him!" Moses volunteered. "I'd be glad to watch over my little brother!"
Jay looked away. "Oh bother..."
"All right, Moses," Will said. "Try not to do anything stupid, all right?"
The others all pointed a finger at Moses. "Stupid bandit!" they yelled in unison.
Jay flashed a weak smile.
"Come on, y'all didn't have to do that!" Moses whined.
"Let's go, everyone," Will said as he started to leave.
Shirley touched Jay's forehead again. "See you later, Jay. I hope you feel better soon."
"Get well soon, Jay." Grune gave him a light kiss on the cheek, then embraced him. Jay blushed in response.
"Hey!" Moses cried. "Where's my goodbye kiss?"
"Oh, goodbye, Moses." Grune gave him a kiss on the cheek and a hug as well, then followed the rest of the party outside.
The room drowned in silence for a moment as both Moses and Jay stared at the door in bewilderment.
"Yeehaw!" In a fit of excitement, Moses dashed out of the house.
Jay let out an exasperated sigh. He was only somewhat relieved that Moses was gone. However, he didn't want to be left alone in this position either. He was still immobile in the same sheets that Moses had wrapped him in. Normally, Jay would wiggle himself off the sofa, then roll his way out of the sheets, but at present, he did not have the energy to do so. There was only one thing Jay could do; he closed his eyes and nodded off to sleep.
Senel's party arrived at the entrance to the lighthouse, immediately noticing the odd footprints on the ground leading inside.
"This must be a footprint from the specimen that was reported to me," Will said. "Perhaps it came from the Quiet Lands..."
"There's only one way to find out," Senel said.
They entered the lighthouse, taking the elevator down to the Quiet Lands. Straight ahead was the beach with the calm sea that they had fallen in love with when they had first discovered this place. The party walked over to the sea, following the same footprints on
the fine sand, which led right to the water.
"The footprints lead right to the sea," Will told the group. "So it must be a water creature. It's too bad we can't follow it into the water. We'll just have to wait here until it surfaces again."
"Oh, do we actually have to wait?" Norma asked.
"I don't mind waiting here," Shirley said. "The sea is so beautiful."
"You're right," Senel said. "When we first came here, we were awed by its tranquility."
Will sighed. "Oh, if only I had brought my cement kit, I could have captured this footprint."
"Well, it'll be a while before the monster surfaces," Norma said. "Maybe you can go back home and get your little kit."
"No way," Will told her. "If I lost sight of it now, I may miss the creature when it surfaces. So we should all stay here and wait."
Senel sat down cross-legged by the sea. Shirley went to his right side and sat down, leaning against him. Chloe sat on his left side, also leaning against him. Senel's eyes widened as he blushed.
"Look at you, Senny!" Norma called. "You're a regular gigolo."
Shirley and Chloe sat up and glanced at each other. "What?"
"What is it?" Senel asked.
Shirley and Chloe stood up and faced opposite direction. "No, nothing."
"You're all free to do as you please," Will said. "But please don't go too far. I'll need you all when the creature surfaces."
"I, um...I wonder how Jay is doing?" Shirley asked.
Grune clasped her hands together. "Oh, I'm sure he's doing just fine. Moses is taking good care of him."
Moses flung open the door to Will's house, carrying a black medical bag.
"Yahoo! Moses is back!" he yelled.
He paused to look at Jay, who was still sleeping soundly on the sofa. Moses walked right up to him, setting the bag down on the table.
"Aww, look at you..." Moses cooed. "You look so cute all bundled up and sleeping like a baby."
He tapped Jay's shoulder. "Jay."
Jay began to stir. "Would you keep quiet, you inconsiderate..."
Moses poked Jay's forehead with his index finger. "Jay, wake up."
Jay only turned his head reflexively, which gave Moses a revelation. Whenever Moses tried to make any sort of physical contact with Jay, he would either move away or slap Moses' hand away. But now that Jay was wrapped tightly in the sheets, Moses was free to pick on him in any way he pleased. With this thought in mind, Moses grinned. He tapped Jay's shoulder another time.
Jay finally woke up. "Ugh...wh...what do you want?"
"Doesn't Will have a jail downstairs?"
Jay's face soured. "You woke me up just to ask me that?"
"Not really. I'm gonna run a check-up on you to see what's wrong with you."
"Look, I'm just sick, all right? Let's just leave it at that."
"Hell no! Will left me in charge of takin' care of you, so that's what I'm gonna do, ya hear?"
"And...just what is your definition of 'taking care of me'?"
"I'll do whatever it takes to make you all better!" Moses nodded proudly.
Jay gave him a wide-eyed look. "I...I don't find that very reassuring."
"Don't you worry, little brother! Moses will take care of everything!" So saying, Moses twirled his finger in Jay's ponytail.
Jay turned his head sharply again. "Stop it!"
"Say, how do you keep your hair so fine?" Moses asked.
"Unlike you, I wash myself daily."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Jay only rolled his eyes.
"You know somethin', Jay?" Moses continued. "It doesn't matter how many times you call me stupid! The bottom line is that I'm bigger than you, so I can do anything I want to you!"
Jay narrowed his eyes now. "So that's what this is about? I'd rather die than be nursed by you."
"Come on, you ain't gotta be like that. Just relax, and I promise that you won't get hurt."
Moses reached into the bag and pulled out a thermometer, a flat wooden stick, and an otoscope.
"All right, Jay, open up and say 'ahhhh.'"
Jay gave him another wide-eyed look. He then lurched himself to his right, dropping face-first to the floor.
"You little punk!" Moses pressed his hand flat onto Jay's back, pinning him down.
"Ah!" Jay cried out. "Moses, I'm quite fine by myself! Release me at once!"
"Hey, cut that out!" Moses picked up Jay and placed him back onto the sofa. "Don't make me have to sit on you!"
Jay gasped in between heavy breaths. The escape attempt really exhausted him, and the idea of the stupid bandit sitting on him was truly disturbing. This was by far the most humiliating experience of his life. In fact, he would much rather train under his cruel master all over again.
Moses picked up the stick and the otoscope again. "Come on, Jay, say 'ahhh...'"
Reluctantly, Jay slowly opened his mouth. Moses used the stick to force his mouth open wider, then peeked inside with the lighting tool.
"Jay, your throat is all red," he said. "Here, keep this in your mouth."
Moses forced the thermometer into Jay's mouth, then stood up and went into the kitchen. Jay looked down at his bound body once again.
Why is this happening to me, /he thought. /What have I done to deserve this?
Jay seriously hoped that at the very least, this humiliation would be over before Will and the others returned.
Moses returned to the sofa with a glass of water and pulled the thermometer from Jay's mouth. "Damn, Jay, you're hotter than hell! Here, drink this!"
Moses held the glass to Jay's mouth, and Jay drank it eagerly. When he was finished, Jay reclined on the sofa, breathing heavily again.
"M...Moses..." he started.
"What's up, little guy?" Moses asked.
"Could you...please leave me alone? I'll never recover with you torturing me like this."
"Torture? What kind of word is that? I'm not done with you yet."
"Ooh, you stupid bandit!" Jay yelled furiously. "This is the last thing I need!"
"Hmph! I'll show you what you need!" Moses pulled out a roll of duct tape from the bag and tore off a strip.
"What the...?" Jay gasped upon sensing Moses' intention.
As predicted, Moses held the tape erect with his fingertips and pressed it over Jay's mouth.
"Mmmph!" Jay screamed through the tape, but it was a fairly quiet noise.
Humming to himself, Moses tore off two more strips of tape and pressing them onto Jay's mouth.
"There, maybe now you'll shut up and let me finish takin' care of you!" Moses said.
"Mmmph!" Jay shook his head while trying to pull his arms out of the sheet, but neither action proved to be effective.
Moses pulled an opthalmoscope from the bag. Pressing his free hand against Jay's forehead to keep him still, Moses held the opthalmoscope in front of Jay's left eye, carefully looking through the tiny lens. He then moved over to examine Jay's right eye. Jay kept as still as possible, his adorable eyes open wide.
When Moses was done with the eyes, he picked up the otoscope again and knelt down beside the sofa, peeking into Jay's right ear. Moses stood up and gripped Jay's chin firmly with his left hand, then turned his head, peeking into Jay's left ear.
"Well, your eyes and ears look good, so I guess you're not that bad," Moses commented.
Jay only shot him a defiant look.
"Let's see what else we have..." Moses pulled out a stethoscope from the bag. "Ah, here we go!"
He put the buds in his ears and placed the scope lightly on Jay's chest. At this point, Jay's heart was racing due to the incredible stress that he had endured all day.
"Whoa!" Moses exclaimed. "That's one fast heartbeat!"
He set the stethoscope down on the table and looked down at his hapless patient. "You know what, Jay? You need rest."
Jay let out an irritated groan.
"All right, I'll check up on you in a little while. Since you're all nice and cozy, why don't you take a little nap?"
Moses gave Jay a light pat on the cheek, then stood up and left the living room.
"Mmmph!" Jay sat up as much as he could, then fell back.
/Don't tell me he's going to leave me like this... /he thought.
Once again, Jay wanted to roll himself off the sofa and free himself. However, he still did not have the strength to do so.
Stupid bandit...I swear I'll get you for this...
"La, la, la..." Grune sang. "Waiting for a creature from the water..."
"I can't believe what I'm hearing here..." Will grumbled.
"I can't believe what I'm hearing here..." Grune repeated in her song.
"Hey G-Girl, can you sing a song about Senny?" Norma asked.
Grune continued her song. "G-Girl, can you sing a song about Senny..."
Grune paused. "Hmm? Oh, you want me to sing a song about Senel? Let's see..."
She took a moment to put her song together in her head. "Senel and Shirley came to the Legacy...Senel is fine...he's so fine, he blows my mind..."
"Aaahh!" Senel, Chloe, and Shirley screamed all at once.
"Oh, did you like it?" Grune asked. "Aww, I'm glad."
"No, it's not like that!" Senel protested.
"Grune? Maybe you could...uh...sing about something else?" Shirley stuttered.
Norma batted her eyes. "Why won't you sing about me?"
"Okay, Norma." Grune sang her new song. "If Norma was a rich girl, na na na...she'd have all the money in the world if Norma was a wealthy girl..."
"Yeah, that's awesome!" Norma cheered. "Why don't you sing about C next?"
"You mean Chloe? Okay..."
"Uh...wait a minute, Grune," Chloe interrupted.
Grune ignored her and started her new song. "Chloe, Chloe...don't underestimate her, boy; she'll make you worry you were born. You don't know her the way you really should; you sure misunderstood, don't call her baby..."
"Okay, that's enough!" Chloe yelled.
"Hey, that actually describes C pretty well," Norma said.
"Grune, why don't you think of a song to help Jay feel better?" Shirley suggested.
"Jay? Hmm..." Grune took a moment to put the song together in her mind. "Poor little Jay is under the weather...but not to worry, for the sun will shine again..."
Jay was beginning to feel extremely uncomfortable, not just emotionally, but now physically as well. He could feel his body overheating from being wrapped in the sheets, as well as the heavy clothing he already wore. He could feel the sweat building up on his forehead. On top of that, he could feel the cramps on his body, due to being immobile for so long.
"Mmmph..." Jay squirmed lightly, trying to gain some relief from the cramps. The heat was becoming unbearable. He found himself wanting to call out for help, but he was still silenced by the tape over his mouth. Jay was beginning to feel like he was going to die. But he did not want to die. Not without at least taking revenge on Moses for this humiliation.
It felt as though an eternity had gone by when Moses returned to the living room.
"Jay, what's wrong?" Moses knelt down beside him, touching his forehead. "You look like you're overheatin' a bit there!"
"Mmmph!" Jay let out an agonized groan.
"Hold on, I know just the thing to fix that!" Moses stood up and left the room in a hurry.
"Mmmph?" Jay looked up as well as he could, wondering what Moses was up to. Seconds later, he heard the water running in the bathroom.
Oh no... /he thought. /Does that mean what I think it means?
Moses returned to the living room again. "Here we go! Nothin' like a bath to cool you down!"
He picked up Jay from the sofa, draping him over his shoulder, then left the living room again.
Jay began to imagine what Moses had in mind next. Oh no...does this mean he's going to take my clothes off? I can't let that happen! If that's what he's planning, he'll have to unwrap me from these sheets. When he does, that'll be my chance to get out of this predicament.
Moses entered the bathroom and knelt down beside the bathtub full of water. He carefully set Jay down in the tub, still wrapped in sheets and all.
"Mmmph!" Jay let out a muffled scream in response to the frigid water immersing his body.
"Feels good, doesn't it?" Moses dipped a sponge in the water and gently patted Jay's forehead with it. "Come on, admit it! You feel better, don't you?"
Jay only gave him a vicious look.
As Moses tapped Jay's forehead with the sponge, he reached over to play with the silky black ponytail for a bit.
"Say, Jay, while we're in here, what say you let me wash that fine hair of yours?"
"Mm-mm!" Jay shook his head wildly.
"Oh, but I just can't help myself!" Moses began rubbing the top of Jay's head with the sponge and began to sing. "Hey, hey, hey, I can't wait to meet you! When you come out, I'll buy you a bagel, and then we'll go to the zoo..."
In the bathtub, Jay could no longer roll himself in either direction. As much as he hated it, the bandit was free to do whatever he wanted with him, and Moses was doing just that.
"Will...I think I see something in the water," Shirley said.
"Hmm..." Will stood up. Sure enough, he could see something dark in the water moving towards the shore. "Look alive, everyone! Something's coming!"
The figure finally emerged from the water. It was a red scaly figure with strong legs, but short arms, and a long tail. It also had a bill on its face, like that of a duck. Will looked at the footprints it left as it walked; they were a perfect match.
"This is it!" Will exclaimed. "This is the specimen we've been waiting for! I've never read about anything like this in my life! This is a monumental historical discovery! I can hardly wait to capture this creature and introduce it to the academic world! It'll put my name in the history books! I can see it now: 'The...Thing...discovered by Will Raynard!"
The creature began to advance on them.
"Will, it's getting closer!" Shirley exclaimed.
"All right, everyone, I need your help to neutralize it."
There was no response from behind.
"Everyone?" Will called once more.
Shirley turned around and gasped when she saw Senel, Chloe, Norma, and Grune all sound asleep in the sand.
"Will, they're all asleep!" Shirley cried.
Will shot a quick glance at them. "Dammit, not now! All right, Shirley, it looks like it's up to us."
Shirley nodded. "Uh...right!"
Will pulled out his large hammer, while Shirley pulled out her quill. They took a few steps backwards to distance themselves from the monster.
"Lightning!" Will thrust his glowing fist at the creature, and a bolt of lightning struck the creature.
"Blizzard!" Shirley stuck her palm out, and a powerful snow flurry slammed into the creature. The monster roared in pain as it tipped over, hitting the ground with a loud thud. After that, it was motionless.
"Oh no..." Shirley whined. "Did we kill it?"
Will knelt down beside it to check its pulse. "No, it's alive. I'm going to need everyone's help to take it back, though."
Shirley looked at the others, who were still asleep. "I can't believe they slept through it all."
Will went over to them and gave them all a good bonk on the head. "Wake up, you idiots!"
"Hmm?" Senel sat up groggily. "Wh...what's going on?"
"Aaaah!" Norma screamed. "What the hell is that thing?"
"That is the greatest discovery of my career," Will said. "It's a shame you all had to fall asleep on me."
Chloe rubbed her head. "I don't remember falling asleep...I wonder how that happened?"
"We were probably lulled to sleep by those waves," Senel said.
"Or maybe we got bored while waiting for this thing to appear," Norma added.
"That's enough," Will said. "I need everyone's help to take it back to town."
"What?" Norma yelped. "We're supposed to take it back to town?"
"Yes. It would be better if Jay and Moses were with us, but we'll have to make do with what we have."
Will pulled out a strong leash with many loops on one end. "Shall we get started?"
Everyone let out an exasperated sigh.
Moses was still humming to himself as he continued to play with Jay in the bathtub. Now he was massaging Jay's back and shoulders from behind. The massage was soothing for Jay, but he still wasn't too happy about the position he was in.
"Hmm...all this singing about bagels made me hungry," Moses said. "How about you, Jay? Are you hungry?"
Now that Moses had mentioned it, Jay realized that he hadn't eaten all day. However, he didn't feel hungry at all. In fact, he was completely lacking of an appetite. It must have been another symptom of his illness.
"All right, I'll be back in a snap!" Moses stood up and left the bathroom.
Jay took a moment to reflect on his situation again. Damn that bandit, taking advantage of me like this! I swear, somehow, somewhere, I'll make him pay...
Moses returned with a plate of bagels. "Here we go! Lunch is served!"
He sat down next to the tub and held up a single bagel, and then began to spread some cream cheese on it. "Mmm...just look at this yummy bagel! I know you want one, Jay. Yeah, I can tell that you're just dyin' for one! Well, don't worry, you'll get yours soon enough."
Moses slowly broke the bagel in half and began to devour one half, savoring every bite. "Mmm..."
Jay only sighed as he looked away.
"Okay, Jay, it's your turn," Moses said as he extended the other half of the bagel. "Are you ready? Oops...you can't eat like that, can you?"
He reached out and slowly peeled the tape from Jay's face. Jay cried out in pain as he could feel his face peeling off along with the tape.
"Arrgh! Damn! Are you trying to rip my mouth off?"
"Come on, Jay, eat up." Moses held the bagel to his mouth again.
"Wait a minute...who made those?"
"I did, of course."
Jay sighed again. He couldn't imagine what Moses' cooking tasted like. But then again, his cooking couldn't be any worse than Harriet's. In fact, nobody could cook any worse than Harriet.
"I...I'm not hungry," Jay insisted.
"What? How can you not be hungry?" Moses asked. "You haven't eaten all day! Even if you weren't hungry, you still need to eat. You need the food to help you get better, you know."
"Since when are you interested in me getting better?"
"Come on, hurry up and eat it!" Moses began shoving the bagel into Jay's mouth.
Meanwhile, Will and the others had dragged the unconscious creature all the way to Madame Musette's house. As they approached the yard, Madame Musette came out into her yard.
"Will? What's...oh my gracious! What in the world is that?" she gasped.
"This is the creature that was reported being seen by the lighthouse," Will told her.
"Oh, you've managed to capture it? I'm so relieved. I anticipated that you would bring it here, so I've called all of your scholar friends here. I'll let them know you're here." Musette went back into her house.
Will turned to the others. "Everyone, I want to thank you for your help. This is the first time that I've been able to capture a rare specimen alive in a long time. You have my gratitude."
"Even though we fell asleep when the creature appeared?" Senel asked.
"Well, you helped me bring it back here, so you've still been a great help."
Musette came back out with a team of scholars, all with glasses and white lab coats. They all began to surround the creature to examine it.
"Whoa...what a splended specimen!"
"Way to go, Will!"
"This is a huge discovery!"
"All right, we'll take over from here," Will said to the party. "Why don't you all head back to my house and check on Jay?"
"Will?" Musette asked. "What's happened to Jay?"
"Jay stayed at my house because he's not feeling well," Will told her. "Moses stayed behind to look after him."
"I see. That was nice of him."
"Thank you, Madame Musette," Chloe said. "We shall return to Raynard's house and check on Jay."
"And thank you all for assisting Will with his investigation," Musette replied.
"All right, got the keys?" Chloe asked.
"Okay!" Norma replied.
Senel bowed his head, then began to walk down the path with the girls in tow. It seemed like a very long walk, as they were all exhausted from dragging the creature from the Quiet Lands. Finally, they reached Will's house, stopping at the front door.
"Oh, I am so beat..." Chloe sighed. "I could just crash right about now."
"Me too," Norma said. "I am exhausted."
"Yes, it would be nice to relax," Shirley agreed.
"Oh, I'm already relaxed," Grune told them. "Thank you so much."
"Uh..." The others only raised an eye at her.
"Okay, why are we standing here?" Chloe asked.
"Well, duh!" Norma told her. "We're waiting for you to open the door. You've got the keys, right?"
"Uh...no, I don't."
"Yes, you do! When we left Madame Musette's house, you said, 'Got the keys.'"
"No, I didn't. I asked if you had the keys!"
"No, no! You said, 'I've got the keys!'"
"Do either of you have the keys?" Senel asked.
Chloe and Norma stopped for a moment. Regardless of what had been said, they realized that neither of them had the keys
Chloe jerked on the doorknob. "I can't believe it! Norma, I swear you said you had the keys!"
"No, I didn't!" Norma nearly screamed. Then she began stomping her feet. "I wouldn't say I had the keys unless I had the keys, and I obviously did not have the keys!"
"Okay, that's enough keys," Grune said sweetly. "No one say 'keys.'"
"Humph!" Chloe and Norma turned their backs to each other.
"Can't we just knock on the door and have Moses let us in?" Shirley asked.
Senel peeked through the front window. "I don't see Moses or Jay in there."
"They're probably upstairs, or in the back somewhere."
"Hey, great idea, Shirl!" Norma cried. She began pounding on the door. "Yoohoo, Red!"
In the bathroom, Moses was still having his fun at Jay's expense. Now Moses had obtained two rubber ducks, one male and one female, from Harriet's room. He was now playing with them on the surface of the bath water, while the pounding noise could be heard from the front door.
"Rubber ducky, rubber ducky..." Moses sang. "Here, meet Ms. Ducky! Si, mi amor, you look so good in yellow..." He put the ducks' bills together, imitating a smooching sound.
"Ugh..." Jay dropped his head backwards, staring up at the ceiling. "How much longer must I endure this?"
Moses ignored him and continued playing. "What's that down below? Oh no, it's a sea gaet! Ooh, it's got my toe! Help!" He pulled the male rubber duck under the water, shaking it to imitate its struggling. "Aaaah!" He then shook the female duck.
There was a pounding sound at the front door again. Jay looked up in that general direction.
"Don't you think you should answer that?" he asked.
"Hmm?" Moses looked up in the direction of the front door as well. "No, we're not going to answer it during tubby time."
Jay let out an exasperated sigh as he looked up at the ceiling again.
"Ooh, he's not answering!" Norma growled.
"I wonder if they're asleep?" Grune said.
"It's hard to imagine Red sleeping at all."
"Let's check the other windows and see if we can find them," Senel suggested.
"Okay." The girls nodded towards him.
Senel and Chloe went around the left side of the house, while the other girls went to the right. Senel looked up at a small window that was positioned higher than the others.
"Let's take a look in that window, Chloe," he said. "We may get a better view."
Senel stood in front of the wall, and crouched down on one knee. Chloe climbed onto his shoulders, then Senel stood up carefully. Now Chloe was able to see through the window, which happened to be for the bathroom. She could see Jay in the bathtub with Moses kneeling beside it.
"What the...?" she gasped.
"Do you see anything, Chloe?" Senel asked.
"Sandor is giving Jay...a bath."
"Thank you, thank you, you've been a lovely audience," Moses said, tipping the rubber ducks forward towards Jay. He then moved around the tub, bringing the female duck towards Jay's face. "Aww, is poor little Jay not feeling well? Don't worry, I'll give you a kiss and make it all better..."
Jay squirmed, trying to move away from the duck, but it was no use. "Get that thing away from me!"
Moses only moved the duck closer to his face. "Come on, Jay, give her a kiss!"
Jay turned away as much as he could. Moses pressed the rubber duck's bill against his face repeatedly, making the smooching sound.
Chloe pounded on the window, startling both of them. "Sandor!"
Both Jay and Moses looked up at the window.
"What the..." Moses exclaimed as he went up to the window. "Hey, this is private!" With that, he grabbed the long curtain and jerked on it, effectively blocking the window.
"Aaah!" Chloe lost her balance and fell from Senel's shoulders.
"Whoa!" Senel held out his arms to catch Chloe. As he caught her, he fell down from her weight.
"Ow! Nice catch, Coolidge!" Chloe growled.
"It was an accident, I swear!" Senel insisted.
The other girls came around to check on them.
"We couldn't find them," Shirley lamented.
"Whoa!" Norma exclaimed upon seeing Senel and Chloe's position. "Senny and C are at it again, eh? Is this really the time for that?"
"You're a fine one to talk," Senel grumbled. "This is certainly not the time for your weird fantasies."
"In case you're wondering, Sandor is giving Jay a bath," Chloe told the girls.
"Really?" Norma asked. "Does that mean JJ's naked? Let me up there; I wanna see him naked!"
"No, he's not naked! He's still wrapped in the same sheets. Besides, Sandor closed the curtain, so we can't see anything in there anyway."
"Hmph! I'll bet that Red is just taking the opportunity to tease JJ while he's helpless."
"Yeah, Moses and Jay are such good friends," Grune said. "They like to play games with each other."
"G-Girl...you have no idea, do you?" Norma asked.
"Hmm? About what?"
"Oh, never mind..."
"So what are we supposed to do?" Chloe asked. "Sandor obviously won't answer the door."
"I guess we'll have to go back to Musette's house and get the key from Will," Senel said.
"Okay, Senny, have fun," Norma said.
"I'm too tired to walk anymore," Chloe said. "You can go by yourself, Coolidge."
"I'll go with you, Senel," Shirley said.
Senel smiled. "Thanks, Shirley."
Chloe choked up. "Uh...on second thought, I'll come along, too!"
"What's with you all of a sudden?" Senel asked.
"Well, you know, anything can happen," Chloe said. "I'd feel better if two of us were protecting Shirley."
"Oh, I'll be fine, Chloe," Shirley told her. "I'm not as weak as I used to be."
"Yeah, but still..."
"C's just worried that Senny and Shirl will turn up the heat while they're gone!" Norma called.
"That's not true!"
"Let's go, Chloe," Senel said. "I'm getting tired already."
"Oh, all right."
Senel, Shirley, and Chloe left on their way back to Musette's house.
Norma turned to Grune. "Well, G-Girl, it looks like it's just you and me."
"Yeah..." Grune gushed. "I like you, Norma. You're so full of energy!"
"And so are you. What should we do while we wait for them to come back?"
"Damn, what the hell are they doing out there?" Moses growled.
"I think they're the ones who were knocking on the door," Jay told him. "They probably can't get back into the house for some reason."
"Really? You know what that means, don't you?"
Jay paused for a moment. He had an idea of what it meant, but he was afraid to confirm it. "Wh...what?"
"It means all the more fun for us!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Moses...I'm going to pound you into the ground!"
Moses looked surprised for a moment, then quickly grinned. "Well, come on, bring it!"
"Uh..." Jay found he had nothing to say in response, since he wasn't in any position to carry out his threat.
"Ha! Thought so!" Moses said.
"What are you planning to do now?"
"Hmm...I dunno. What do you think, Jay? What should I do now?"
"You could let me out of here!"
Moses looked serious now. "Oh, come on. I ain't that stupid!"
Jay could nto believe what he had just heard. All this time, Jay had been the one with the intelligence and information, while Moses was spouting out the dumb remarks and looking ridiculous. Was Moses not as stupid as he was believed to be? Or had he gotten smarter since joining Senel's group? After all this time of gathering intelligence, planning battle strategies, and outsmarting foes, has Jay finally met his match at the hands of this stupid bandit?
"Regardless, it won't be long before Will and the others return," Jay said.
Moses grinned. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm having too much fun to quit myself. So when Will gets back, I'll take you back to the inn, and we'll play some more. How does that sound?"
Jay's face soured. "There seems to have been some miscommunication. I'm actually praying for Will and the others to get me out of this situation."
"You know, if that bathtub was any bigger, I'd get in there with you."
"I'll gladly die if you do that."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Exactly what it sounds like."
Moses paused to ponder the remark, but then gave up. "Well, enough talk! Let's get back to it before Will gets back."
He closed the bathroom and locked it, then returned to Jay's side. "Well, I gave you a cold bath and some bagels. What would you do without me?"
"Without you? I'd be sleeping at the inn, dreaming some pleasant dreams, actually recovering from this illness...that's what I'd do without you."
"But it just didn't work out that way, did it? Well, don't worry..." Moses cupped Jay's chin and played with his ponytail. "Big brother Moses will take care of everything. When things don't go your way, just look to me, and I'll set things right."
When Senel, Chloe, and Shirley returned to Musette's house, they found Will and the other scholars in the backyard, still studying the new creature.
"Raynard..." Chloe said.
Will turned to them. "What are you all doing here? Is Jay feeling any better?"
"Well, when we got to your house, we realized that we didn't have the key," Chloe told him.
"And Moses wouldn't let us in either," Senel added.
Will stroked his chin. "Hmm...come to think of it, Jay always made the first remark...so perhaps Moses took this opportunity to..."
"What is it, Will?" Senel asked.
Will turned to the scholars again. "All right, everyone, I think I'll call it a night."
"Take care, Will," the first scholar said. "We'll take the creature to our lab for further research."
"Understood. I'll meet you there in the morning." Will turned back to Senel, Chloe, and Shirley. "Let's go home."
"Is something wrong?" Chloe asked as they began to leave.
Will sighed. "I should have known better than to leave Jay alone with Moses."
Meanwhile, Norma and Grune were practicing some song and dance routines in Will's front yard.
"We'll dress all wicked and have cool names! C, Shirl, G-Girl, Bubbles, out to save the world from trouble!"
At that moment, the other party members arrived.
"Hey Teach, did you learn anything?" Norma asked.
Will sighed. "Not yet. It's a little too soon. It takes time and patience to truly learn something new."
He pulled out his key and unlocked the door. "Moses! Jay! Are you in here?"
"I last saw them in the bathroom," Chloe said.
Will went to the bathroom door, but it was locked also. "Well, I can fix this, too." He pulled out some lockpicks and began picking at the lock.
Inside the bathroom, Moses spread out his fingertips on Jay's forehead.
"I thought I heard Will's voice," Jay said.
"That's nice," Moses replied.
Within a moment, Will opened the bathroom door. Moses began to sing and massage Jay's forehead.
"Here we come, walking down the street, getting the funniest looks from everyone we meet..."
Will walked right up behind Moses and bonked him in the head.
"Moses, what the hell are you doing?" Will demanded. "Never mind; I don't even wanna know!" He stormed out of the bathroom.
"Hey, wait up, Will!" Moses cried as he chased after the historian.
Jay found himself alone and helpless again.
Norma entered the bathroom. "Hey, JJ! Why are you taking a bath with your clothes on?"
Jay closed his eyes. "Why don't you try asking Moses?"
Norma smiled. "You know, I was really hoping to see you naked."
Jay sighed. "Please leave me alone if you're going to talk like that."
"Well, okay. See you later." Norma left the room.
About a moment later, Grune came into the room. "Oh my, he even gave you a bath! Moses is taking such good care of you."
"Uh...it's no wonder why Moses fancies you so much," Jay said. "You're just as clueless as he is."
"Oh, I'm so glad you're feeling better, Jay." Grune gave him a light hug, then left the room.
Jay stopped to wonder who would check on him next. He also began to wonder if anyone was interested in freeing him.
"Would someone please get me out of this predicament?" he yelled.
Another moment of silence passed. Jay looked through the doorway, but he couldn't see anyone out there. Feeling desperate, Jay tried to stand up himself, but without his arms, he could not balance himself, and he slipped back into the tub again.
Finally, Shirley came into the bathroom to check on him. "Good evening, Jay. How are you feeling?"
"Terrible!" Jay spat.
"Oh...I'm sorry to hear that."
"Shirley...get me out of here...please...help me..."
Shirley put her arm around Jay's back to support him as he stood up in the bathroom. Then he hopped out onto the floor, and Shirley unwrapped the sheet from his body. Jay immediately folded his arms, shivering, so Shirley grabbed the nearest towel and draped it across his shoulders.
"Th...thank you..." Jay muttered.
Shirley could tell that he was badly shaken, not just because he was cold. "Wh...what happened?"
"I...I...I don't want to talk about it..."
"But I...I'll...I'll make him pay..."
Jay dried himself off the best he could, and then tossed the towel aside. He then began to leave the bathroom slowly, dragging his feet.
The rest of the party (except Moses) had assembled in the living room. They watched Jay as he came out of the bathroom and headed toward the kitchen.
"Jay..." Will said softly.
Jay opened the bottom cabinet and pulled out a frying pan. "Damn...I'll get him for this...that...stupid...bandit..."
He then began to drag himself back into the living room. He carried the frying pan in his right hand, and it seemed to weigh him down.
"Hey, JJ!" Norma said. "If you're looking for Red, he's in Hattie's room looking for more toys."
Jay didn't respond. Cold, wet, sick, and now humiliated, he dragged himself over to the stairway and began climbing it, one step at a time. It took a while, but he finally reached the top, and then creaked open the door to Harriet's room. Moses was on his knees digging through Harriet's toybox, but then he stood up to face Jay.
"Hey Jay," he said. "We sure had fun today, didn't we?"
"Hello, Moses..." Jay growled through his teeth. He slowly brought his left arm across his stomach, gripping the handle of the frying pan with both hands...
The rest of the party gathered at the base of the stairway, looking up at the door to Harriet's room.
"I wonder what he's doing?" Chloe asked.
"I'll bet I know..." Senel responded.
Then they heard Moses' voice. "Hey, what are you doing with that--"
Next they heard the loud "clang" of the frying pan, followed by a loud thud. The party flinched at these sounds.
"Oooh...that really had to hurt," Norma remarked.
Inside Harriet's room, Jay stood over Moses' unconscious body, breathing heavily while still holding the frying pan in his shaking right hand.
"There..." Jay dropped the frying pan on the floor. "Now...we're even..."
He turned and left the room, then slowly made his way back downstairs, supporting himself on the railing.
"All right, you got him good, JJ!" Norma cheered.
Jay ignored the party as he went over to the sofa and reclined in it. He closed his eyes, nodding off to sleep once again.
Now I feel better...