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Encounters by Lori McDonald
Encounters by Lori McDonald
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Author's Chapter Notes:
All of this takes place at approximately the same time as "Road Rage"
(Ken's bed is from Ali's stories. It's just too funny not to use.)
[disclaimer: none of this is mine, except for Fred, and I’m not sure I want him.]
ENCOUNTERS (or Who The Hell Hired This Guy??!)  Lori McDonald
November 1997 

Ken woke up in the wall.

For a few long minutes, all the blood in his body long since having rushed to his head, he couldn't figure out what woke him - or who he was for that matter. Finally, the incessant beeping of his wrist communicator penetrated his skull and with a great deal of difficulty, he got it up somewhere within the vicinity of his lips.

"mmmm mm mm?" he mumbled. Something equally unintelligable sounded in reply, and with a groan, he started pushing himself away from the wall. Finally, his bed, designed to fit into an alcove in the wall when not being used, yet cursed only to do so when it was, thudded to the floor and Ken was able to sit up.

"What is it?" he mumbled again.

"Ken?" Nambu Hakase asked. "Are you all right? Why did you take so long to respond?"

Ken rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "Uh, nothing. What is it? Has there been an attack?"

"No, you and the rest of the Kagaku Ninja Tai are being called in today for a group encounter session."

"A what?"

"A group encounter session."

That didn't quite seem to penetrate. "But we already have a group. What do they want us to encounter?"

Nambu just sighed. He'd tried to talk to Ken when he just woke up before. It was usually a lost cause. "One of the directors has ordered the five of you into an all day encounter session with a psychiatrist, to determine how well you're working together and how well you're handling the stress of your jobs."

That got through. "I see. Did you agree to this?"

"Ken, the idea does have merit. You five are under a lot of strain."

"Did you agree to it, Hakase?" he repeated.

Nambu was quiet a moment. "No," he admitted. "I don't think you need it. But I was overruled."

"By who?"

"Sorry, Ken, that's classified. Just have yourself and your team at the Shwartz Centre in Utoland by eight. BirdStyles aren’t necessary. Nambu out."

Ken rolled his eyes and rubbed them some more, for once wishing that something untoward would happen, so he wouldn't have to talk to a doctor.

Three seconds later, when he was back in the wall again, he began to think it might not be such a bad idea.


"But, Ken, I have to keep the Snack open today! I need the money if I'm ever going to get rid of the roaches!"

"Excuse me?"

"Uh, nothing. But I do have plans that I just JINPEI GET THE HELL OUT OF THAT CANDY RIGHT NOW!"

Ken jerked his ear away from the communicator, wincing.

"Sorry, Ken. As I was saying, OH NO YOU DON'T! I REFUSE TO LET YOU HAVE MARSHMALLOWS AND MOLASSES FOR BREAKFAST!!! Sorry about that."

All day with Jun in this kind of mood. Ken shuddered. "Right. Well, it's an order, Jun. I'm afraid you have to be there."

"I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY! I'M BRINGING OUT THE BELT!!"

"Uh, just be there, Jun."

"Of course, Ken YOU LITTLE SHIT!"

Wincing, Ken cut off the line and hoped she'd be in a better mood when he saw her at the Centre. "Jinpei?" he called.

"Hiya, Aniki! Guess what! I stole all Onechan's underwear and clothes replaced them with identical ones just like them that are all too small. Some fun, huh?"

Better mood? Not a chance.


"Good morning, young people, and how are you today?"

Politely, Ken looked up and stood as the doctor walked into the room. He was a tall, somewhat skinny Japanese man with dark hair, dark eyes and a labcoat over a tweed jacket. He beamed at him through a somewhat pale face.

"I'm Woo Hakase," he told the four of them pleasently. "But you can call me Fred."

Fred? Ken thought as he shook his hand.

"What kind of name is Fred?" Jinpei demanded.

"Hush, Jinpei!"

"Aw, Onechan, I was only asking!"

"Now, now, Jun," Fred protested. "We don't want to stifle the young lad's curiousity, now do we?"

Jun blinked. "Uh, I guess not."

Fred beamed at her, then knelt before the Swallow. "Now there, little one. Did we have a question we wanted to ask me?"

Jinpei looked at him suspiciously for a moment, then shook his head and backed away.

"There, there, we'll be ready when you do." Fred ruffled his hair and stood. "Now, as I said, you can call me Fred. And I know all of you. You are obviously Jun." He smiled at Jun. "And this little champ is definately Jinpei." Jinpei looked like he wanted to stuff him through the keyhole, but Jun grabbed him, beaming as she kept one hand over his mouth. "And you're Ryu." He hugged the bemused Owl like a long lost son, then turned to the Eagle. "And you have to be Ken Washio. How WONDERFUL to see you." He embraced him too.

Over his shoulder, Ken mouthed at Jun "Is this guy nuts?"

She shrugged and grinned, her eyes dancing. "What's the worst he can do?" she mouthed back.

"Make me puke on his shoes," Jinpei muttered ominously.


"So, where is Joe Asakura?" Fred asked once they were all seated in a circle in the centre of the room. The conference tables were pushed into the wall, replaced by soft cushy couches. Ken felt like he was sinking in them. Jinpei had elected to sit on the floor after sitting down and finding his knees up by his nose.

"He got caught in a traffic jam," Ken told him. "He said he’d be here as soon as he could."

Fred smiled at him. "Now, Ken, do we hear a little anger in your voice?"

Ken blinked. "No?" he ventured.

"Now, now, Ken, don’t try to hide your feelings. We’re here to be open with one another." He looked at the other three. "Do you think Ken is trying to hide his feelings?"

"What feelings?" Ken demanded.

"The resentment towards your authority which Joe is showing by not being here," Fred confided, as if surprised he needed to.

"Huh? But Joe’s always late."

Fred leaned forward. "And how does that make you feel, Ken?"

Desperate, Ken looked at his teammates. Jun was looking at him appraisingly, Jinpei was grinning like a sadistic idiot and Ryu was eyeing the donuts set on a plate on a table in the corner.

Fred continued to stare at him. "Come on, Ken," he encouraged. "SHARE your feelings, LET us know how you REALLY feel."

Like running for the hills and it was only five minutes after eight. Still, orders were orders. "Uh, it annoys me, I guess."

"And WHY does it annoy you?"

"Uh, because, um, it’s annoying."

Jinpei sniggered.

"But WHY? He’s your teammate, your confidant, your brother, and he’s LATE. You call him because you NEED him and he isn’t right there!"

"Well, I don’t know that I need him here all that much..."

"He’s let you DOWN, Ken! Don’t you see that?" His voice dropped. "Tell us, Ken, what do you think of Joe?" Everyone stared at him. Jinpei was still grinning.

Ken shot the boy a look that said "You’re next, brat," and tried to collect his thoughts. He’d never actually talked to a psychiatrist before, and so far, he liked it about as much as Nambu’s christmas pudding.

"Uh, Joe is rude, angry, arrogant, obsessive and he takes unnecessary risks."

"And it frightens you when Joe takes risks, doesn’t it, Ken?"

"Well, sure it does."

"More than the others?"

He frowned. "But the others don’t take the same kind of risks, so that doesn’t..."

"Tell me, Ken, why do you suppress your feelings?"

He blinked, hopelessly confused. "What feelings?"

"The ones you have towards Joe."

"Huh?"

"Tell me, Ken," Fred whispered, one hand reassuringly on his knee. "How long have you been suppressing your sexual attraction to Joe?"

"MY WHAT?" he screeched.

"HIS WHAT?" Jun yelped. "Ken, how could you?!"

Jinpei burst out laughing.

"That would explain a lot," Ryu muttered thoughtfully.

Ken turned red. "But- but I never! I didn’t! I don’t!!" If Joe were there, he knew, he’d kill him. "I’m not in love with Joe!"

Fred leaned back, smiling gently. "Come now, Ken, we’re here to let out our feelings, not repress them further. That way, we all become better people who have a deeper understanding of one another." Jun was starting to cry. "I’ve read your personnel file, and according to it, you have spent your life avoiding women, but the one you interact with the most is Joe Asakura. The signs point to a sexual - even if one-sided - relationship with him."

"It’s duty!" Ken shrieked. "I don’t have time to date! I have to devote myself to my duties!"

"Now, now, Ken," and Fred patted his knee again. "Why don’t we just let you think about that for a while and come back to you? Don’t worry, we’ll stay here all night if we have to to resolve this."

Ken eeped.


"Now, Jun," Fred said, turning to her. "Let’s have a discussion with you."

She was looking at him dubiously, and when her gaze flickered to Ken, he made a few quick signs at her, the kind they used in combat when they didn’t dare speak.

[He twists everything, Jun,] he cautioned her. [Be careful.]

[Does he?] she retorted, with an extra flick to her fingers that indicated anger. [Maybe he hit the nail on the head!]

[JUN!]

"So tell me, Jun," Fred said in deep concern. "How long have you had that nervous twitch in your hands, and what do you think it represents?"


"Jinpei..."

"Onechan’s a slave driver!"

"Jinpei!"

"Now, Jun," Fred cautioned, holding up a hand. "Our little people have to be allowed to express their minds."

"Yeah!" Jinpei agreed, though Ken could see he was trying to absorb the ‘little people’ reference at the same time without a whole lot of success.

Fred slid off the couch and hunched down until he was sitting at Jinpei’s level. "Now, tell me about your sister."

Ken rolled his eyes as Jinpei started ticking his points off on his fingers. "She yells at me, she hits me, she makes me do all the cooking, she makes me do all the cleaning, she makes me tend bar, she makes me do my homework, she makes me clean up my room, she makes me maintain my own ammunition..."

Jun started turning red. Finally, she grabbed a pillow off the couch and whacked the boy across the back of the head with it. "You ungrateful little..."

"See?!" Jinpei wailed. "See?"

"What a WONDERFUL idea!" Fred exclaimed.

Everyone stared at him. "Excuse me?" Ken managed.

Fred leaped up, running over to the corner table.

Ryu perked up. "Maybe it’s time for donuts."

Apparently it wasn’t. Fred came back with four foam rubber clubs wrapped in a soft material. Quickly, he handed them out to the team. "Now, I wasn’t planning to do this just yet, but Jun’s reaction to Jinpei shows that now would be a perfect time. You all seem to have a great deal of pent up hostility towards each other, and this is a safe way to release it. Now go ahead, and hit each other." He stood back and beamed.

Ken stood there for a moment, holding his foam club and feeling like an idiot.

[I feel like an idiot,] Ryu signed.

[So do I,] Jun agreed. [None of us wants to hit each other. It’s silly.]

"You’re twitching again, Jun," Fred informed her. "I’ll see we’ll have to discuss that some more."

Beside Jun, Jinpei looked at his club, then up at his sister and an evil grin split his face. Drawing back, he let her have it as hard as he could in the side.

"Hey!" Jun protested. "Don’t hit me!"

"Fred says we’re supposed to, Onechan!" He hit her again.

She hit back and a moment later, the two of them were wailing on each other. Fred cheered them on while Ken stared, not sure what he was supposed to do.

"Now, Ryu," he heard Fred encourage. "Why don’t you go over there and beat up your commander?"

"I don’t know if that’s such a good idea," Ryu said dubiously.

"Of COURSE it is! It’s HEALTHY!"

"Oh, all right."

The next thing Ken knew, he was flying through the air.

"Gee," Fred said. "I didn’t know you could get that kind of arc with those things."

"I guess I don’t know my own strength," Ryu replied with a smirk.


"Now, Ryu, how are you?"

"Can I have a donut?"

Fred slid over beside the big man. "Ryu, Ryu, Ryu... what pain are you hiding by eating? Tell us."

"Yah!" Jinpei crowed. "Tell us!" Having gotten through HIS discussion unscathed, he found the whole encounter session to be a big joke. Jun however, was still pissed off, and Ken didn’t know what to think anymore. He just nursed his bruises and kept quiet.

Ryu frowned. "I don’t have any pain."

"Ryu!" Fred pleaded, shaking his shoulders. "Don’t HIDE from us! We’re your FRIENDS and we all LOVE you! But look at you! You’re overweight to the point of obesity-"

"That’s from my Sumo training! It’s all muscle!"

"Now, Ryu. Don’t lie to us, it’s not HEALTHY. Your file shows that you’re left behind on the God Phoenix a lot of the time."

"Well, yeah, but that’s because somebody has to-"

"Ryu," he whispered. "How does it make you feel to know that your own teammates think you’re worthless?"

"Hey!" Ken protested.

"We do not!" Jun exclaimed.

"Yeah!" Jinpei excaimed. "Joe’s lots more useless than you!"

"Jinpei!"

"Well, he is! All he does is kill people and blow up stuff! Ryu can park the God Phoenix right in the parking lot of a Dairy Queen!"

"And how do you know this?" Jun asked ominously.

"Um..."

During this, Fred hugged Ryu, who had big tears appearing in his eyes. "Do you guys really believe that?"

"Of course not!" Ken assured him.

"Now, Ken," Fred frowned. "Stop repressing again."

"I do not!" Ken stared at Ryu desperately. "I never do!"

Ryu started to cry. "You think I’m fat!"

"No!"

"You think I’m worthless!"

"NO!"

"You don’t care if I’m on the team or not!"

"NO! I mean yes! I mean-"

Wailing, Ryu rolled off the couch onto the floor, sobbing. Everyone gaped at him and glanced at Ken resentfully.

[You cruel, cruel man,] Jun signed.

"Oh, God, I’m in hell," Ken whispered.

"There now!" Fred beamed. "Don’t we ALL feel better now that that’s out in the open?"


"Now, Jinpei, back to you. Let’s explore how you feel being the smallest and youngest, and do you agree that this life is warping your people development skills?"

"My what?"

"Jinpei, do you wet your bed at all? Feel free to share."

"Oh, he does," Jun assured them. "At least once a week."

"That’s it, I’m out of here..."


"All right group, these are Bill and Bubba, and they’re our friends." Fred beamed as he introduced the two MPs.

Ken looked at them dubiously as the two huge men took up position on either side of the main door. They looked to weigh about three hundred pounds each and have fifty brain cells between them. "What are they here for?" he asked suspiciously.

Fred beamed some more. "They’re here to ensure we all get the most out of the encounter group." He stepped over the thumb-sucking Ryu who still lay on the floor and went to get some paper and pencils.

Ken looked at Jun. [I knew we should have run with Jinpei when we had the chance,] he signed.

[And whose fault is that, Mr We-Have-To-Obey-Orders-Even-The-Stupid-Ones Washio?]

"You know, Jun," Fred said worridly. "I have some medication that will clear that twitching right up, if you’d like."


"Now, Ken, tell me what you want most."

"For the threat of Galactor to be ended," Ken said without hesitation.

Fred shook his head. "No, I mean, what do you REALLY want?"

Ken blinked. "For the threat of Galactor to be ended," he repeated.

"Now, Ken, you’re repressing again. I thought we were past that. Will we need to encounter your sexual feelings for Joe again?"

"No!" Ken said quickly.

"Then tell me what you want most!"

"Uh..." Ken thought desperately. "To stop the bad guys?"

"That’s GOOD, Ken, that’s REALLY good!"

Ken buried his face in his hands, wondering if he were dreaming all this, as Fred turned to Ryu. "Now, what do YOU really want, Ryu?"

"T-to bb-be p-p-popu-llar..." he sobbed.

Fred patted his shoulder. "That’s GOOD, Ryu. You KEEP wanting that. Wanting is HEALTHY!"

He looked at Jun. "Dear Jun, how are those medications making you feel?"

Jun smiled at him blearily, her eyes not quite focusing and crossing in a way that made Ken’s head ache. "I feel wonderful, doctor," she told him. "You’re wonderful. Everything is wonderful. You’re a really, really beautiful person."

"Why, thank you, Jun!" Fred beamed.

"But you are," she continued. "Really beautiful..." She started staring at the ceiling.

Fred beamed. "Isn’t she wonderful?" he asked Ken.

"Higher than a kite, too," he muttered, but grinned widely in agreement anyway. Luckily, Fred was satisfied with that and turned back to the Swan. "Jun?" She looked at him. "What do YOU want most in the world?"

She smiled. "I want to have thirty two babies," she told him. "All at once."

Ken shuddered.


Joe was still stuck in traffic. Ken sighed as he sat in the corner of the sofa, watching Ryu tearfully stuff donuts down his throat at the snack table and Jun sing happily to herself, rocking a pillow back and forth. Bill and Bubba stood at the door, no expression at all on their faces, though he had once caught them darting looks at one another and Bubba had his throat clenched as though he were trying not to laugh. If he did, Ken decided, he was going to kill him personally.

"Ken!"

Ken looked up, wondering desperately what he’d done to draw attention to himself now. "Uh, yeah?"

"You’re distancing yourself. It’s not HEALTHY!" Fred ran over and pulled him to his feet, then grabbed Jun and yanked her to hers. Quickly, he hustled them over to the closet. "Now, I want you to start that exercise with Jun I told you about right away. I’m going to lock you in the closet so that you can spend some quality, close-up time together."

"What about me?" Ryu asked.

"Now, Ryu, you have to learn to accept your limitations. You’re too big to fit in the closet, now aren’t you? Come now, AGREE with me. It’s HEALTHY!"

Ryu started blubbering again as Fred shut the door and Ken found himself in the tiny square closet with Jun, the overhead light on so that they could see each other.

Ken stared down at Jun as she smiled foggily up at him. "Hiii..." she slurred.

Ken managed a smile, trying to back up, even though there was no room for him to. "Uh hi." he managed.

Her smile widened. "Do me, Ken."

He blinked. "Excuse me?"

She swayed on her feet, bumping into the door. "Do me. I want babies. I want YOUR babies. It’s HEALTHY!" Dizzily, she yanked off her shirt and Ken’s heart almost stopped.

"OH MY GOD, JUN! ARE YOU INSANE??!!"

"Nope," she grinned and started on her pants. Losing her balance, she pitched forward and passed out, her pants and underwear down over her buttocks. Confused, Ken stood there, holding her up.

"What’s going on here?" Fred opened the door and frowned. "Now, Ken. How do you think Joe is going to feel when he hears about this?"


"All right, this is a lesson in trust." Fred beamed. "I want each of you to take turns falling back into your partner’s arms, trusting them to catch you."

"Uh, doc," Ryu started.

"Not now, Ryu. Now, Ken, relax and fall back, trusting Jun to catch you."

"But she’s stoned!" Ken protested. "She couldn’t catch herself!"

Fred frowned. "Ken, is this a lack of TRUST I’m hearing?"

"No!" Ken amended. "Not at all." Wincing, he closed his eyes and let himself fall backwards. A moment later, the back of his head cracked against the floor.

"Good try, Jun!" Fred crowed. "Really good try!"

"Thank you, doctor," Jun slurred. "I really did my best. Can I go throw up now?"

"Of course, dear. Right over there."

Rubbing his head, Ken sat up to see Jun hurling into her motorcycle helmet while Ryu stood despondantly in the centre of the room. "I don’t have a partner," he muttered.

Fred looked up sympathetically. "And how does that make you feel, Ryu?"

Before Ryu could start crying again, Ken went over. "I’ll be your partner, Ryu."

The big man turned tearful eyes on him. "Really?"

"Of course!"

"WONDERFUL!" Fred clapped his hands together. "You’re REALLY coming along, Ken. I’m so PROUD of you I could bust."

"I think I just did," Jun hiccuped.

Trying not to roll his eyes, Ken stood behind Ryu. "Okay, Ryu, anytime you’re ready."

"Okay, Ken, here I come."

Apparently, Ryu weighed quite a bit more than he’d thought.


"Ryu! I said I was sorry!"

"You hate me! You never loved me or Jun or Jinpei! It’s Joe you love!"

"Will you cut that out?!"

"Now, Ken, Ryu is just expressing his feelings in a HEALTHY way."

"Does he have to do it from a window ledge?!"

Desperately, Ken leaned out the window, reaching towards Ryu. "Come on in, Ryu. I’m really, really sorry I dropped you, and I’m really sorry I started swearing. Really."

Ryu sniffed. "No."

Quickly, Ken tried to follow him out, but something held him back, and he looked down to see Jun lying on the floor, clutching his leg to her chest. "Babies..." she mumbled and started kissing the back of his knee.

"Stop-" he giggled. "Stop it!" He burst out laughing.

"You think I’m a big joke!" Ryu wailed.

"NO! Jun’s tickling me! Honest!"

Ryu whimpered, looking down at the lawn far below.

"Tell me, Ken," Fred asked from behind him. "How does it make you feel to be responsible for your entire team? You’ve carried such reponsibility since childhood, after all. Never free to do what YOU wanted, feel what YOU needed to feel."

Desperately, Ken turned on his communicator.

"Joe,yougottagetmeouttahere!" he wailed.

"Huh?" Joe gasped in reply. Ken could hear shouting from his end of the link.

"He wants me to talk about my childhood!" Ken all but shrieked. "Jun won’t let go of my leg! Ryu’s on the ledge outside the window! He’s threatening to jump! Save me!"

"Uh, Ken, I’m kinda busy right now..."

Ken closed his eyes, praying he wasn’t going mad, telling himself that the maniacal laughter he was hearing DIDN’T belong to Berg Katse, no matter how similar it sounded. "Joe, I need you! And I don’t mean in that repressed sexual way the doctor was talking about!" Gunfire sounded. "JOE!" Joe started to swear.

"Why Ken!" Fred cried. "Are you talking to Joe? How WONDERFUL you’ve accepted your feelings about him!"

"Who’s that idiot in the background?" Joe demanded.

"YOU talk to him." Ken unclipped his bracelet and tossed it to the doctor. "Here, Joe wants to talk to you." He turned back to Ryu. "Please, Ryu, we’ve been friends for years. We’ve saved each other’s lives so many times. None of us want to lose you and we all appreciate everything you do."

Ryu sniffed. "I wanna go on more missions." he said. "I DON’T want to be left on the God Phoenix all the time anymore."

"Uh..."

Ryu made as if to jump.

"OKAY, OKAY! I PROMISE!"

Ryu smiled. "It’s so nice to be appreciated."


Relieved, Ken pulled his head back into the room, giving Ryu room to climb in as well. Disengaging his leg from the now sleeping Jun, he turned to see a very quiet Fred standing before him, holding his bracelet, his face paler than normal.

"Fred?"

Fred swallowed. "Joe Asakura is NOT a healthy man," he said.


[We have GOT to get out of here,] Ken signed from the midst of the ‘spontaneous’ group hug.

[No kidding,] Ryu agreed. [But how do we do it with the happiness squad on the door? Fred isn’t going to let us go until we’re completely nuts.]

[Kill. beat. run.] Jun was well on her way down from her high, but not quite back to normal yet.

[Killing them is out,] Ken stressed. [We need help.]

[But we don’t know when Joe’s going to get here. Who else is there?]

Ken smiled grimly. [We call Jinpei. Then we take this asshole down.]

"Oh, people," Fred gushed. "It’s so wonderful to see you coming together in a HEALTHY way!"

[Okay, maybe we will kill him.]

[Whatever you say, sir.]


"All right, Ken, how do you feel about friendship?"

"It’s WONDERFUL," Ken said immediately.

Fred beamed. "That’s wonderful! Ryu, how do you feel about trust?"

"It’s WONDERFUL."

"Wonderful! Jun, what about you and love?"

"Wubifugul..."

"Wonderful! Now - what?"

A shadow fell across the window, right before the nose of the G-4 buggy smashed it in.

"BIRD GO!" Ken screamed, leaping to his feet and over Ryu’s head as he went to BirdStyle too. Desperately, he lunged for the door while Fred screamed for them to stop and that this wasn’t healthy. Jinpei leaped out of the buggy at him, gag in hand.

Bubba lunged and Ken dodged, right into Bill’s grasp.

"LET HIM GO! HE’S MINE!" Furiously, Jun decked him, flattening him in one punch, then lunged after Ken as he ran out the door. "WAIT! YOU HAVEN"T GIVEN ME MY BABIES YET!" Behind her, Fred’s shrieks became abruptly muffled.

Apparently, Jun wasn’t as recovered as he hoped. Ken fled down the halls and stairs of the centre, the Swan right on his tail, shrieking about ovulation and reproductive techniques. People gaped at them as they raced by and out the rear door. Still trying to lose her, Ken started to circle the building.

Rounding the corner to the front, he saw the buggy hovering over the lawn, Ryu hanging from the open mouth and dangling the bound and gagged Fred head first below him. Ryu was singing.

I’m gonna drop you,
I’m gonna smash your head right in
I’m gonna drop you,
In your brains I’m gonna swim.

brains and blood and gray stuff
yup yup hup yup yup
Y’ain’t gonna need your brains no more
when they’re mashed and spread out thin.

Ken decided right then that it was too late for all of them, especially him.

"COME BACK!" Jun screamed, arms wide. "I WANT TO GIVE YOU A BIG HUG!"

"NO! HELP!" Swinging wide around the guards trying to save Fred, Ken saw a familiar blue racing car parked on the side of the road. Joe! Desperately, he ran towards it.

The blue car peeled away.

"NO!" He screamed. "DON’T LEAVE ME!"

"GOTCHA!" He thudded to the ground as Jun tackled him from behind. "Let’s have lots and lots of babies, right now!"

Ken just watched his salvation race away and closed his eyes.


"Now, people, it seems we have to do even more work than I thought. We really need to get HEALTHY!"

Ken sighed, frowning up at Fred through the drug haze. He really wanted to scratch his nose, but the white jacket he wore kept his arms securely bound behind him. Jun, Jinpei and Ryu sighed with him, all bound in a similar state.

The only one not drugged and tied in a straight jacket, since he’d only been late, Joe looked at his teammates dubiously, then up at Fred. "They were healthy last time I saw them," he protested.

Fred frowned at him. "Now, Joe, you know that’s not true. Your teammates need HELP, and so do YOU."

Joe blinked. "Huh?"

"You’re all REPRESSED, Joe! Horribly, horribly REPRESSED! None of you do what you really FEEL! Joe, I want you to do what you REALLY want to right NOW!"

"You sure about that, doc?"

"YES! DO IT, JOE! RELEASE YOUR FEELINGS!"

During the next hour, while Joe beat Fred into unconsciousness, threw him out the window, beat up the guards, untied them and hauled them all to safety, Ken kept smiling.

Sometimes you just had to love the guy.

 

THE END
Is it just me, or in his more nauseating moments, did Fred remind the rest of you of 7-Zark-7 too?  
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