No real point to this chapter other than to reveal Mr. English and Bough...
Me: Hey, as far as I'm concerned, the guy/girl was trying to make me mad, and is no longer my concern. Either way, it has enlightened me about my opinion of the separate rating/reviewing systems.
Ratigan: And? (beat) Never mind, I don't want to know. Ah... do you know there's a little glowing dot by your head?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Basil and Ratigan belong to Eve Titus and Disney. Johnny English and his sidekick Bough technically belong to whoever made that movie, but their rodent incarnations belong to me.
"Johnny English?" Basil asked incredulously the following night. They were forced to move by Mouseland Yard's efforts, and were moved to a room that was surrounded by empty quarters all around.
The detective sat in the only chair in the room, while Ratigan was crouched on the bed. The question had been a whisper, but the incredulity felt from the detective had made up for the lack of volume.
"He's working for you, too?", Basil continued.
Ratigan chuckled as he sat in a lotus position. "Who isn't?"
"Good point." The detective paused before continuing. "But who is he?"
"If you must know", Ratigan said loftily, "he was one of my lieutenants before a mistake he made during a caper moved me to demote him from his lieutenant status."
Basil laughed. "You didn't feed him to that cat of yours?"
"Hardly. You make it seem like I always do that. No", he continued, "despite that failure, he is useful to me... most of the time."
Basil raised an eyebrow as Ratigan stood and stretched for a few moments, his tail snaking out from behind him like an eel. "Ah... Ratigan?"
"What?", Ratigan asked, glancing at the detective.
"What about it?"
"Oh." Ratigan glanced at the tail, which appeared to turn and stare pointedly back at him. "I wouldn't worry. It's been doing that ever since we merged. Useful, really." The tail agreed with this point by swiping the magnifying glass from the bedside table, holding it out to Basil.
"Amazing", Basil muttered, taking it from the Professor. "It appears that whatever merged us altered your physical structure." He paused, letting this thought hang in the air. If the strange force had altered Ratigan this way, who knew how it could have affected him?
"Don't fret so much, Basil. If it's happened, you'll know... eventually."
Basil groaned. "I'm going to bed."
"Fine with me", Ratigan replied, lying down on the bed, eyes closed. "I could do with some sleep myself..."
Basil glared. "I said I was going to bed. /You/, Professor, are going to stand guard, in case Mr. English shows up again."
Ratigan glanced up at the detective. "Not to sound juvenile, but make me."
Basil merely glared back. There was a moment of silence, and Ratigan sighed. "/Basil can be so damn stubborn sometimes.../", he thought. Finally: "Fine." Ratigan stood up. "I'm going."
Ratigan sighed as he sat slumped in the chair Basil had occupied. Almost two hours had passed, and nothing had happened. Silent as the grave...
Or not. Ratigan slowly stood, making sure not to wake Basil. If he wanted the Professor to keep watch, that's what he would get... He opened the window shutter carefully, then stepped outside, thankful they were still on the ground floor.
"Damn you, Bough!" a voice hissed. "Now someone knows we're out here!"
"Ah, sir?" another voice replied, "That was you."
The voices were coming from the nearby bush! Ratigan crouched... and pounced!
Seconds later, Ratigan found himself threatening-"Well, well, well. Johnny English."
The rat with the thinning black hair winced. "Go ahead, slice me. It will be the last thing you do."
Ratigan looked up to see the gun shakily pointed at him by the rat in the tweed coat. "Bough", he growled, "put the gun down."
Bough did so, eyes widening. "...Professor?"
Johnny English cautiously cracked open his left eye. "Eh?", he asked, fearful. "Ah, James-"
"Spare me the niceties, English. I know what you've been up to."
"You know about Kochanski?"
"Never mind. No Kochanski."
Ratigan stood up, glancing at Bough, who shrugged. "You don't want to know, Professor."
"I won't inquire, thank you." He turned on the now-standing English, five-alarm glare at full power. "I was referring to your assassination attempt on the detective."
"But I-" He paused. "How did you know?"
Ratigan smiled wickedly. "I was /there/."
"What were you doing with the detective?" Bough asked.
"Never mind. I'll explain tomorrow night." Ratigan sighed. "Just check into the rooms next to the detective's. Before the sun sets tomorrow, go to the detective's room. I'll explain it from there... I hope."
Basil sighed as he fell back onto the bed. Another day, another lack of information. They had been delayed twice already, and the detective had already grown sick of the time wasted.
He casually glanced up at the rat staring intently at him. "Do you constantly have to stare at me like that?"
English sat back in the only chair there. "If I knew that you didn't want me to stare, I would've come a little later."
Basil resisted the urge to snarl. At least it would be over soon enough...
"Believe me, Mr. English, if I wanted any smart remarks, I would have asked for them from-"
Bough stood straight up. The detective had started to go into fitful spasms the minute the sun had set. And what was that glow that he was starting to emanate...?
Finally, Basil went limp, trembling in pain, but barely conscious.
"Well", Ratigan said calmly, standing next to the bed. "You did want to know."
"Oh, my God. Did you see-?!"
Thud! Without another word, Johnny English keeled serenely onto the floor unconscious.
"Um... sir?", Bough asked softly.
Ratigan: You do realize that dot is growing bigger, right?
Me: Yeah, so?
Ratigan: So what I'm trying to say is that it could be something dangerous. Or magic. One of the two.
Me: Don't worry, it's not.
Ratigan: Then what-?
(The light flashes, and a surprised Professor Moriarty lands on the floor.)
Ratigan: Oh, no...
Moriarty: What in the name of Mark Hamill and the cast of Star Wars...
(He notices the author and Ratigan.)
Moriarty: Just when I think I've reached the pinnacle of peculiarity, some idiot lets down a ladder.
Me: Greetings, Professor Moriarty...
Moriarty: (audible gulp)