The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
We get a little insight into both Baku's character, past, and shower room. Zapper is sicky-wicky-poo.
The fun moves inside as the rain pours down.
Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
27. A Shower Scene with a Purpose? Blasphemy!
Ashuramaru flopped onto the sofa, leaving only a sliver of space for Killer Kath to sit down. He spread all four of his arms and groaned. “Too… hot…”
Deathscythe floated past the sofa, mumbling off-hand as he passed. “Gundams aren't made to sit out in the sun that long.”
“I wasn't out that long.” Ashuramaru held his hand over his forehead. “Itai…”
Grappler also walked by the sofa, patting Killer on the head. “I'm gonna go shower.”
Killer swooned, falling back on the sofa. “Don't tease me, my love…”
Zapper followed Grappler in a sun-induced stupor. “So… hot…”
The other Gundams filed into their break rooms to cool down, leaving Charon, Mel, Maxine, Killer, and Hoshiko in the break room altogether.
Charon shrugged her shoulders. “Hey, you guys wanna spy on them showering?”
Melady nearly choked on her Coca Cola. “WHAT?!”
Killer flipped over on the sofa. “We can do that?!”
Charon smiled, surprisingly calm. “Oh yeah. How do you think I learned how to draw them? Come on, we can do the high-school movie shower scene bit, it'll be fun!”
Melady and Killer squeaked-screamed and grabbed each other's shoulders (“GRAPPLER!”). Maxine gasped and blushed a deep red. Hoshiko pumped her fist (“Yes!”). Charon sighed. “This is gonna be awkward.”
It was truly a shower room straight out of a high school movie. Simply blue tiles covered the floor of a large room with no fillings but a few shower spigots and faucet knobs spaced across the walls. There was a few Gundams at each wall, automatically separated into their respective groups. Grappler, Zapper, and Sazabi were against the Dark Axis wall. Cobramaru, Kibaomaru, and Bakunetsumaru (although he was quickly walking away) occupied the Ark wall. Zero and Deathscythe (well, technically Deed, since he had shed the Steel Dragon armor to shower) stood against the Lacroa wall. Captain, however, stood all alone at the back wall, staring dejectedly at the floor.
Baku approached the silent Captain Gundam, wrapping a towel around his waist. Captain twisted the hot water faucet and sent a jet of steaming water into his face, letting the water roll down his body.
“You seem down lately, Captain.” Baku cocked his head and waited for a response. “Is something wrong?”
“I've been feeling lonely lately, Bakunetsumaru.” Captain gathered some water in his hand and splashed his face. “One loss, and all of Neotopia forgets about me.”
Baku snuffed, knowing the feeling. “I know how it is. You can't hold it against them, though, I don't think they're doing it on purpose…”
Captain gave Baku a sad smile, appreciating the comment. The heat was making Captain's eyes fog up, however, so he had to splash himself again.
“Hey, maybe we can do something to cheer you up, tomodachi.” Baku hung his towel on a hook and began to warm up his water. “We can play some power ballads, drink some sake. Maybe we can invite Maxine.”
Baku didn't expect Captain to retch at the sound of Maxine's name. He held up his hands, trying to apologize. “What? What'd I do?”
“Maxine…” Captain held his forehead, still visibly angry. “How can I put this? Maxine is…”
Baku tried hard to find a word. “A slut?”
Captain shot Baku an angry look. “Indecisive.” He crossed his arms angrily. “She needs to pick a Gundam and stay with him, not turn her head every time something catches her eye…”
Baku shrugged his shoulders. “That's something you can't help, either. Some women are just like that.”
“Do you know any?”
The question caught Baku off guard. He twiddled his fingers and looked disturbed. Captain never saw him look like this unless he was about to time him something from his childhood, usually something Baku had tried hard to forget.
“Captain…” Baku began, lowering his voice. “No one outside of my family knows about this… can I trust you to keep it a secret?”
Captain nodded. Baku turned on the hot water to drown his voice, and began.
“A long time ago, my sisters and I made a pact. We promised each other we would never… give ourselves to another person until and unless they had married us. It made sense to. We had had so many different fathers; it caused our mother indescribable grief. We never wanted to the same for each other or ourselves. So far, that promise had been upheld… mostly, at least. Hanako is married, and Aneko and I have… well…”
Captain interrupted. “You are still virgins.”
Baku's eyes went to the annoyed screen. “Thank you for putting it so bluntly. May I continue?”
“When I was younger, about 17 or something, I was training under my master, Himahoumaru. I was sparring with Ashuramaru when a woman stormed into the dojo.”
“Who was she?”
“I don't know…” A shadow passed over Baku's face. “I still don't know, to this very day. But she said she knew me. She also said…”
Baku was quiet. Captain was leaning forward, trying hard to listen. “What?”
“She said…” Baku took a deep breath. “She had given birth to my daughter.
“Before I could say anything, she forced a bundle of cloth into my arms and ran out the door again. She had abandoned her baby with me.”
Captain gulped. What had happened to him? “Whose was she?”
Baku shrugged. “I don't know. Nobody else in the dojo knew, either. But we all knew she wasn't mine.” Baku chuckled a little. “She sure didn't look like me. She had blue eyes… do you know how rare blue eyes are, in Ark?”
Captain shook his head.
“Very rare. Almost impossible to find…” A quiver came into Baku's voice. “She only had those blue eyes when she was a baby, too; she grew out of them…”
He shook his head. What had come over him? A twinge of pity fluttered around Captain's soul drive.
“Anyway…” Baku sniffed to clear his throat. “I took her in.”
“She wasn't yours.” Captain pointed out.
“She wasn't mine by blood. But I took her in, anyway.” Baku rubbed his forehead, trying to compose himself. “For five years, I raised her. I few her and clothed her… I taught her a few simple sword techniques, too. Named her Bushiko… It's kind of a stupid name, now that I think about it. Five years…”
Zapper and Sazabi's muffled argument played out from the other side of the room, but Captain didn't pay attention. “What happened?”
“The mother came back…” Baku held his arms protectively. “And she came back with another Gundam. He was huge; he was at least five inches taller than you. Almost a foot wider.” (Captain winced at the thought.) “And he looked just like Bushiko…”
The realization dawned on Captain. “She used you…”
“She and the father took Bushiko away on the spot.” Baku rubbed his arms in a vain attempt to look cold, trying to mask his pain. “I couldn't do anything. I had no swords, no weapons. I couldn't fight back. All I did was hear her scream once… and that was all…”
Captain touched Baku's shoulder with his fingertips. The Musha Gundam flinched, surprised, but allowed Captain to give him a comforting rub on the arm. “I'm sorry, Baku… I understand.”
“I am glad it happened, to a certain degree. It strengthened my resolve in the promise I made.” Baku unclenched his arms and stretched his fingers. “I don't want that to happen again. I…”
And suddenly, all of the sadness was gone, replaced by dumb confusion. “What were we talking about?”
“Maxine, and why I don't like her.”
“Right, right…” Baku rubbed his head again, this time because it hurt. “I'm sorry about that. It was out of place.”
Captain brushed off the Gundam's concern. “It needed to be said.”
Baku finally smiled again. “Thank you…”
A groan filled the room unexpectedly. Zapper had doubled over and was falling to his knees. The men rushed to the falling psuedo-Gundam's side, hoisting him up by the arms and trying to keep themselves from getting too close to him.
“Oh…” Zapper's face began to fade in color as energy drained out of him. “Stomach…”
Grappler groaned in pity. “Geez, dude, you didn't eat those green berries that grow under the gazebo, did you?”
Zapper reeled again, which meant he did.
Sazabi gulped. “Oh, FAQ, I ate those, too.”
Zapper rolled his eye through the stomach convulsions. “Those things have given me a stomachache every night for the past two days.”
The door to the shower room was suddenly open, and Charon ran into the room holding an umbrella over her head. “Is Zapper okay?”
The men didn't question how she knew so quickly. They just knew they had to get their friend some medicine. Grappler placed himself behind Zapper's shoulder and pushed him towards Charon. “Get him something for his stomach.”
Charon nodded. “Can you carry him for me, please?”
Grappler groaned, but agreed to. He placed his hands under Zapper's arms, and began to lift him, placing him over his shoulder like a baby.
The men froze. Charon growled, tightening her grip on her umbrella.
“What was that?” Zero asked.
Charon rubbed her eyes. “I told them to be quiet…”
Captain's eyepiece snapped into place, scanning the wall. He jumped in surprise. “YOU!”
The wall was rubble in a flash. The Gundam girls (and Mel) each screamed and ran in a different direction, most escaping (Charon didn't run, and so was easy captured in Sazabi's death grip). Maxine took the unwise route of running through the shower room and slipped on the floor, landing on her back. As she tried to get back up, Baku placed a foot on her chest, holding her down.
Maxine shivered under the intimidating gaze of the angry men (of course, them still being naked didn't help, either). Charon was flinching under the powerful grip of the organic-hating Sazabi, but didn't look like she was trying to get away. Zero stood to where both women could see him, arms crossed sternly.
“One good reason.”
Maxine could barely speak. Charon barely managed to squeeze out, “You would've done the same at my age…”
There was a silence.
The men let them go. Sazabi groaned. “I hate loopholes.”
Sorry, had to do it. Star Trek's on now, I'm gonna go watch that. Hopefully there will be more important plot development, or maybe a contest, later.|
Chapter 26 - Chapter 27 - Chapter 28