Categories > Books > Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Madness

by Roadstergal 1 review

A gapfiller for Ford and Arthur's time on prehistoric Earth. Pralite techniques and a little slash.

Category: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor - Characters: Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect - Warnings: [!!] [X] - Published: 2006-09-28 - Updated: 2006-09-29 - 946 words - Complete

2Funny
Sometimes, Ford wondered if he were going mad.

Most of the time, though, he didn't wonder. He knew he was.

He had become a field researcher for the Guide in order to do what he loved best - travel to strange and exotic locales, drink strange and exotic alcohol, and have sex with strange and exotic women. The Guide was a perfect employer. Certainly, the pay was not good. In fact, it was nonexistent. There were no benefits and no perks. He sent in write-ups when it suited him, and they sent money when it suited them - which was never.

But all he had to do was whip out the official ident card which showed that he was a field researcher for the Guide, and doors would open. Bars would open. Women's shirts would open. The life of a Guide researcher was often short, but it was always exactly as crazy and fulfilling as the researcher in question wanted it to be. And for Ford, that was very.

His big mistake was hopping a lift to Earth with a teaser. He had heard that this uncharted little blue-green planetoid was dull, but could not believe that it truly was as worthless as the reports said it was. He wanted to investigate its hidden depths.

Ten years after he had first landed, he was a true convert. He believed with the fierceness of a holy roller that the planet really was as worthless as reports said. You could plunge its hidden depths into a teacup and still have room for lemon. The foliage was a constant green, the water was blue, and the sky, too dull to think up something different for itself, was also blue. The ape-descended lifeforms jammed themselves together in dull grey population centers, where they scuttled around in their drear cities, not looking up at the drear sky above. The only thing this planet had for him was liquor in copious quantities, and Arthur.

Of all of the dull, staid, unimaginative monkeys Ford had come across, Arthur was the dullest, most staid, and most unimaginative of all of them. If Ford were the introspective type, he might tell you that Arthur was somewhat of a paradigm in that sense, a pure balance of normalcy to his rampant unnormalcy; but Ford is not, and so he just dragged Arthur with him wherever he went, including off of the planet that was Arthur's universe and Ford's prison. There is some irony, he has thought many times since then, in being stuck back on the prehistoric version of the same bloody planet he was originally stuck on for fifteen years. He is heartily sick of irony. Now, instead of liquor in copious quantities and Arthur, there is only Arthur.

Instead of being disgusted about the pure, unspoiled natural beauty of the planet, he is horrified to find that he is enjoying it. The lack of spaceports and seedy bars and sealed packets of peanuts, life's blood for the Ford he used to be, seems a blessing to the Ford that has spent months wandering over the surface of this uncivilized planet (doubly so since the Golgafrinchams arrived). He can barely remember the taste of junk food or the smell of a run-down brothel. Here he rests his case. He is most definitely mad.

Ford feels a certain freedom in coming to terms with his madness. In his past life as a trendsettingly unhip hitchhiker and field researcher, he would have interpreted his growing lust for his distressingly normal traveling companion as too long without a woman, as a strange side effect of his detoxification, as a minor brain trauma from the crash-landing, or a side effect of close proximity to the Improbability Drive. But the knowledge that he is mad makes it far easier to deal with. He just thinks - what the hell.

The fact that Arthur is indeed so very distressingly normal, staid, and, to all appearances, completely straight does not bother Ford one bit. He is, after all, a field researcher for the Guide. He has traveled to distant corners of the Universe, met strange races, and learned skills that come in handy at the oddest times. The Pralite techniques that he uses to feed and clothe himself and Arthur are part of a much deeper and broader discipline.


Arthur returned from foraging one night to find Ford sitting cross-legged on the ground at their makeshift camp, smiling beatifically at nothing in particular.

"Ford?"

Arthur was used to Ford's odd habits, but the Betelgeusian had dropped most of them since landing on this strange and wild planet. It was as if the situation itself were strange enough, and the embellishment of a sentient being consciously acting strange would be as becoming an addition as a party hat on the Mona Lisa.

Ford sat silently and continued to smile. His eyes shone, and despite his wariness at Ford's odd behavior, Arthur felt a sense of peace and serenity come over him. He couldn't help but smile back. And it was as if their two smiles joined in a great, soundless song of affection and harmony. Arthur was transfixed by the beauty of the love that lay like a palpable thing over their small camp, and approached Ford, step by step, until he was standing directly in front of the cross-legged alien. Ford, without altering his smile, tugged Arthur down to his knees, reached behind his head, and pulled him in for a very solid kiss, tugging the taller man's makeshift clothing off. Arthur, enraptured, submitted willingly to that and more.

It is, after all, just pheromone control. And Ford knows how to generate the right scent.
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