an Azumanga Daioh fanfic
Live, from New York - it's Azumanga Daioh!
Disclaimer: As if it needed to be said, I didn't create Azumanga Daioh. Oh, and this is my first attempt at an Azu-fic. Please be nice!
Getting the Okay
Yukari Tanizaki was busy packing up her books after class. She could almost taste the cool, hard liquor waiting for her at the nearest bar. It had been a long day, and she had survived it, which deserved a reward, in her opinion. Yes, it was going to be a very good night. The drinks were almost calling to her. "Miss Yukari.. Miss Yukari.."
Yukari blinked and looked off to her left. Kagura was standing there, with a look that said she wasn't sure what to make of her teacher's expression. "Miss Yukari?" she queried.
"Huh?" Yukari asked. She noticed Kagura had a sheet of paper in her hand. "What's this?"
"I was asked to give you this," Kagura said, handing it over.
Yukari took it in her free hand and studied it curiously. "This is to notify you.. next two weeks.. Kagura is to be.. what?!"
Kagura blinked and stared after Yukari as the latter bolted from the room.
Minamo 'Nyamo' Kurosawa had just changed out of her P.E. suit and into her street clothes, then gone to collect her things from her desk. It was time to call it a day.
As she reached her desk within the staff room, she heard a commotion in the hall. Sighing, she slumped down into her chair. (Great. She's found out already--)
Before the thought could be completed, the door burst open and Yukari stormed through, racing right up to Minamo's desk. "I bet you thought you could get away with it, didn't you, Nyamo?!"
"Get away with what?" Nyamo said tiredly.
"Going abroad by yourself!"
"I'm not going by myself," Nyamo snapped. "It's a swim meet! I'm taking the swim team."
Yukari folded her arms across her chest and hmph'ed, turning her head away. "You're not going to take Kagura away to America alone for two weeks."
"What? I'd like to see you try to stop me," Nyamo smirked. "It's the Internationals. Sanctioned by not only the school board but the government. The entire team is sponsored."
"Who said anything about stopping you?" Yukari said, grinning. She winked, then turned and went out the door, leaving Nyamo to stare after her, then sigh and shake her head once more.
"A field trip?" one of the girls read off the board.
"That's right!" Yukari enthused, turning to face the class. She held onto the string that dangled from the rolled-down projector screen, obscuring the rest of the blackboard. "But not just any field trip! I give you.. this!"
The class watched in anticipation as Yukari tugged on the string, then let the screen roll up and flap about on its spindle. Everyone was quiet for a moment, until Ayumu 'Osaka' Kasuga put up her hand.
"Yes, Osaka?" Yukari said with a slight smugness, expecting the transfer student to lead the class in a round of thankyous. "Go right ahead."
"Where's 'Double Malt'?" Osaka asked.
Yukari blinked and whipped around to see she'd inadvertently uncovered her shopping list instead. "Ack!" She rolled the other blackboard in front of that one, to reveal what she had really meant to show off.
"We're going to Mount Fuji?" Tomo asked, studying the blackboard.
Yukari turned to the blackboard again with a deflated sigh. "It's the Statue of Liberty," she said of her drawing attempt. "In New York!"
"New York City?" someone asked.
"Yup!" Yukari replied, turning around energetically once again. "For two weeks, starting Monday!"
"This wouldn't have anything to do with the swim team's meet there, for two weeks starting Monday, would it?" Yomi deadpanned.
Yukari grinned and winked. "My, what a coincidence," she said with mock surprise.
"This is gonna be so excitin'!" Osaka enthused on the way home. "I've never been abroad before."
"Me either," Chiyo chimed in. "How about you, Miss Sakaki?"
The two girls walked alongside their taller classmate in silence for a moment. Chiyo added, "Miss Sakaki?"
This brought Sakaki out of her reverie. "Wha? Oh, no," she said quietly.
"Sounds like this'll be a new experience for everybody," Osaka declared.
"Sure will," said Sakaki.
Chiyo beamed. "I'm sure we'll all have great fun!"
The two classes were all queued up in front of the school, ready to board the bus to go to the airport. Yukari and Minamo stood at the doors of the bus, addressing the children.
"All right, everyone's here!" Yukari declared. "We're all ready to go. Except that a certain few haven't brought in their permission forms!"
The group stood there in silence until Tomo bent over and looked through her book bag. "Oh yeah," she said, extracting a crumpled piece of paper. She dodged out of line and walked up to the front, bypassing a startled Yukari to give the note to Miss Kurosawa.
"Hey!" Yukari blurted out. "What's the idea??"
Tomo looked at Yukari for a moment and then said plainly, "It says on the bottom to give it to a responsible teacher."
Nyamo flinched, knowing what was to come. Yukari's face twisted into a look of rage. "Kkyyaaaahhh!!!" she screamed in rage.
Mr. Kimura stared longingly out the window as the bus boarded its students. His depressed sigh was all but eclipsed by the shouting of that one rambunctious girl. "Ow!! Yukari! Quit it!"
"Wow," Osaka drew out as she walked onto the chartered jet. "We've got it all to ourselves!"
"I claim rows 10 and 11!" Tomo shouted, rushing past the rest to dive for the row of seats. "Yomi! I'll give you your pick first!"
"As far away as possible," the bespectacled girl murmured as she followed Sakaki and Osaka aboard.
"We should all sit together," Kagura urged Osaka, nodding towards Tomo with a grin.
"I don't know if it's wise to have that much Knuckleheadedness all in one place," Yomi supplied with a lopsided grin.
"Everybody just pair up and sit down," Yukari 'suggested' briskly. "And make sure your name tags are on so they can identify the bodies later!"
Once the passengers were all belted in, the plane got underway. Osaka had her face pressed against the window for takeoff.
"You seem to be really enjoying this, Miss Osaka," Chiyo said from the seat beside her.
"Yeah," Osaka admitted. "This is totally amazin'!" She looked to Chiyo. "Flying's a real fun experience."
"It sure is," Chiyo agreed.
"One thing I need to ask," Osaka said. "Is it tirin'?"
"What?" Chiyo asked. She thought for a moment. "Well, it's true you can sleep on such trips since you're just a passenger--"
"No," Osaka said, holding up a hand. "I mean does your hair get tired."
"Uh?" Chiyo said, staring at her friend.
"Where's the wine cart?" Yukari was asking, looking up and down the aisle.
"You've got to be kidding," Nyamo said. "We're chaperoning a plane full of children."
Yukari hmph'ed as she turned to face forward again, crossing her arms before her. "What a ripoff."
Nyamo shook her head silently, and then said, "That was a nasty thing to do, by the way."
"What was?" Yukari asked.
Nyamo turned to her with a knowing look. "I was told that every other translator in the school district suddenly went on holiday over the weekend. I couldn't find anyone who speaks English to come to America.. except you."
Yukari grinned and let out a little cackle.
The flight was well underway when night came, or rather came back, since crossing the International Date Line had turned the clock back to the day before. Osaka had brought up a curious line of conversation on that particular topic, wanting to call her past self from 'yesterday' at home, from the plane. Chiyo and Yomi tried for quite some time to explain how this wasn't possible, but eventually gave up.
In short order, Osaka had drifted off to sleep, her mind pointing out the darkness outside demanding it. Chiyo, without anyone to talk to, succumbed to dreamland quickly as well. Tomo had worn herself out shortly thereafter, head resting against Yomi's shoulder until the latter pushed her away. Yomi read a novel, wholly unconcerned about Tomo's torso, head, and arms hanging out into the aisle. Nyamo and Yukari were both out cold, a half-finished game of cards before them. Chihiro, next to a game-playing Kagura, was asleep against the window, and Kaorin had drifted off as well, 'conveniently' resting her head against Sakaki's arm.
Sakaki tried not to disturb the smaller girl as she sketched. It was kind of cramped quarters, especially with Kaorin in the position she was in, but she'd manage. On the page, Nekokoneko in several styles and forms of shading took form.
"Whatcha drawin'?" came a voice from across the aisle. Sakaki looked over to see Kagura still playing on her GBA, not having looked up.
"It's nothing," Sakaki said. She flipped the page and doodled aimlessly.
"You were concentrating pretty hard on just nothing," Kagura grinned. She added after a moment, "Not tired, huh?"
"You have the stamina of a swimmer. I think Coach is still really interested in getting you onto the team if you want it."
Sakaki didn't answer, but not because she was ignoring Kagura. Like the other times, she didn't know how to respond to that.
"Ever swam before? Competitively, I mean?" Kagura went on.
Sakaki shook her head. "No."
"Hey," Kagura laughed, as an idea dawned on her. "Maybe someday you and I can go head-to-head so we can see how you'd do. Sound fair?"
"Maybe," Sakaki responded.
"What? Don't you like competition?" Kagura asked.
"Well, you do run races," Kagura answered her own question. She grinned. "What, then. The swimsuits?"
Sakaki blushed, thinking of how the others looked at her when they were outfitted in the class swimwear. If this was the way the conversation was going to go, she didn't want to be part of it.
"Aha," Kagura said, carrying on about how it'd become no big deal eventually. Sakaki's thoughts drifted to the concept of being involved in another sport. She wondered if Kameneko was still lying on his wall perch by the time the swim team quit for the day after classes. Then she tried to picture a cat swimming, and it all fell apart from there.
Upon disembarking, Osaka was asking, "But what about your neck? You've gotta have really strong muscles to hold up your whole body flyin' like that--"
"Please, Miss Osaka," Chiyo sweatdropped, hurrying on ahead. Some days she didn't understand what went on inside Osaka's head.
Meanwhile, Yukari was hurrying through customs. When she, and the others, finally got through, she exclaimed, "Yahoo! Let's hit the strip!"
"Uhm.." Yomi said. "I think that's Las Vegas, isn't it?"
Yukari stared blankly for a moment. Then, with just as much vigor, she shouted, "All right! To the French Quarter!"
"New Orleans," spake Sakaki.
Yukari looked irritated. "Hmph," she frowned. "Sounds like you guys don't need me at all. Maybe you should set up your own itinerary."
"Really? Cool!" Tomo blurted out. "Did you hear that, guys? Let's go!"
Yukari glared and shouted after the departing student, "Takino!!"
The group rode aboard a bus from JFK to their hotel.
"Impressive," Kagura said, coming back to the front of the bus to sit with Osaka and Tomo. "American tour busses are a lot different than ours."
"Whadya do, check out the bathroom?" Tomo grinned.
"Why'd'ya suppose they call it a tour bus?" Osaka said. The other two were going to answer her with the obvious response, but it took just one look at Osaka's spacey expression told them they were in for one of Osaka's trademark episodes.
"Uh.. I don't know," Kagura drew out slowly, staring at Osaka. "What do you mean?"
"Well, it doesn't make sense. We have airplanes, and ocean liners." Osaka looked at her seatmates. "So why not a road bus?"
The three sat in silence for a long moment, until Tomo said dryly, "Along that line of thinking, doesn't 'airplane' not fit too?"
"Hey, you're right," Osaka said, nodding. Kagura just rolled her eyes.
A short ride later, the hotel just off Times Square was a beehive of activity. Besides all of Yukari and Nyamo's students, the swim teams from all the places competing in the international event were lodged there. Rooms were at a premium, and so, while Yukari and Nyamo enlisted one student's help to sort and place the luggage, the rest worked on the room assignments.
"So how do you guys want to do this?" Kagura asked, holding the trio of room keycards.
"Yomi and I will take one," Tomo said, snatching a key away.
"I think we'll need to go three to a room if there are only three rooms," Chiyo observed.
"I'll join you two if you don't mind," Chihiro smiled to Yomi.
(Whew,) Yomi sighed inwardly, relieved she wasn't going to be left alone with Tomo. "That sounds fine."
"Kaorin already asked to stay with me," Sakaki said quietly.
"Okay," Kagura said, handing over the other room key to the tall girl. Then, she turned to the last two of the group. "That leaves us, I guess."
Osaka and Chiyo nodded. "Right!" they chorused.
"Oh my, what a room!" Chihiro exclaimed.
"Not bad at all," Yomi agreed, putting her suitcase on the floor. "Do you want one of the beds or the fold-out couch?"
"Oh, I'm fine with whatever," Chihiro said with a smile. "I'm kind of interested in finding out what these fold-out couches are like."
"Done," Yomi said. "Tomo, which bed do--" She stopped short as the third of their group was nowhere to be found.
"I didn't see her step out," Chihiro offered with a shrug.
"Great," Yomi said. "Yukari'll be bailing her out of some jail soon enough--"
"Hey! Guys!" came a voice from outside. "Look at this!"
Yomi and Chihiro went to the balcony and peered over the edge, as did Chiyo and Osaka next door. Three stories below, on the busy sidewalk, there lay Tomo in an awkward pose, as Kagura finished drawing a chalk line around her.
"You idiots!" Yomi yelled. "Stop that right now!"
"Is she always like that?" Chihiro asked in awe as Tomo grinned up from below, lifting up a V-sign with her hand.
Yomi sighed. "Only when she's awake," she said, turning to go back inside the room.
The first few days were taken up with preliminary events for the swimmers, and for the other classmates, it was a time for learning the city. Nyamo was too busy with her team to object at Yukari's method, which was to tell the kids to stay out of trouble and be back by dark.
One of those first few days, a number of the girls met in the lobby as they returned. They were all exchanging their stories when Yukari happened by.
"Oh!" Osaka exclaimed. She ran up to Yukari. "Do you have your playin' cards with you?"
"Uh... I think so," she said, extracting them from her handbag.
"I wanna show you all somethin' I saw today," Osaka said, going over to a nearby countertop. She pulled out three cards and bent them slightly in the middle lengthwise.
"Hey! Don't wreck my cards," Yukari protested.
"Just one moment, please," Osaka said, deep in concentration.
"Doesn't someone need to see one of them?" Chihiro asked.
"Wait," Osaka said, and started picking them up and rearranging them in different ways. This went on for about a minute, until she looked up at everyone with a grin.
"Well?" Tomo asked.
Osaka looked down at the cars and back up, still grinning. "Wasn't it mesmerizin'?"
Yomi studied the other girl. "Maybe in a different way than you think," she commented dryly.
"No, no, no!" Yukari said, edging in. "I can help you out with that, Osaka. Here, let me in there." She stood behind the counter and adopted the role of the dealer. "Ready?"
Osaka's face brightened again. She turned to Chiyo and said, "Are we ready, Chiyo-chan?"
"Yup!" the child nodded, coming closer.
As Yukari started to teach the two girls the finer points of the streetside card trick, Kagura came up, the swim team having arrived in from their day of training. She watched beside Yomi for a second.
Nodding to Yukari, she said to Yomi, "D'ya suppose there's a way we can leave her behind here?"
"Know of any bars on the way back to the airport?" Yomi responded.
Sights and Sounds
"Hey, Sakaki!" Osaka asked from up the hall. "Where ya goin'?"
"The zoo," the taller girl said in her usual plain, matter-of-fact tone.
"Again?" cut in Tomo. "Didn't you go yesterday? And the day before? Come with us and watch Kagura compete!"
Chelsea Piers was the site of the swim competition. The spectators filed in and were seated, the girls taking a section all to themselves.
"Wow, there sure are a lot of people here," Kaorin observed. True enough, the forum was filled with spectators from one end to the other.
"Awright!" Tomo yelled, getting up in front of the group. "That means we have to be the best cheering section of all! Let's practice!"
"Let's not," came Yomi's voice from the group.
"We can do that!" Osaka said, pointing to a group beside them who were trying to do the 'wave'.
While the others were either cheering Tomo on or telling her to shut up, Sakaki scanned the swim teams, who were assembling at poolside. She figured if she was to cheer Kagura and the others on, it would be good to be able to tell them apart from the others.
Distantly, she realized the announcer over the public address system was introducing everyone in English. As their school was being announced, Sakaki peered and craned, looking for familiar faces. (Maybe they're behind that team in the colorful outfits there..) she thought.
Then she gasped as she saw Kagura and realized that her classmates were the ones in the colorful outfits. Instead of the slate-blue colored drab class swimsuits they used at school, they were wearing full-body suits, predominantly in white, but with red trim and accents, and their names down their legs in kana. "Ah," Sakaki said in realization.
Kaorin looked down to the poolside and gasped, pointing out. "There they are!"
This brought the others out of their bickering and confronting one another, and bursts of surprise and awe came from the group. "Wow!" "Are those our guys?" "Those are cool suits!"
Kagura must have heard the hoots and hollers from her classmates. She looked up and waved, blushing a little as someone screamed out how great she looked.
Sakaki was dimly aware of Kaorin asking her if she'd seen the team. In her mind's eye, though, Sakaki was trying to picture herself in such an outfit, as if to see if she could see herself joining up.
The group was leaving the arena a couple of hours later, after their team had put in a strong performance.
"That was great!" Chiyo said. "Miss Kagura and the others did really well today!"
"We're gonna win the tournament for sure!" Osaka chimed in.
"We can only hope," Yomi added.
"What do we do with the rest of our day, though?" Chihiro asked.
"We could go up in the Empire State Building," Tomo said. Then she cracked, "So long as the observation deck doesn't have a weight limit!"
Tomo was suddenly yanked sharply back from the group as Yomi smacked her across the face.
The second week went on much as the first one had. The swimmers swam their way to a second-place finish, though impressive at any rate. The other students continued to sightsee, doing as much as possible in the seven days they had left for fun. Stereotypes aside, the group did things that interested them. Chiyo took Osaka to the planetarium and some museums, which proved to be enlightening to both parties. Chiyo saw sights she'd only seen in books, as did Osaka; but also, Chiyo's theory about her classmate was reinforced - that she wasn't slow or dim-witted at all. In fact, Osaka was just as sharp as the rest of them, except that her mind worked in a different way. All in all, they had a tremendous time on their days out and about.
Yomi tried out an American-style gym, and went to Coney Island, and took in a few movies that weren't due to be released in Japan for months to come. Tomo tagged along for much of that, but on her own, she went to arcades and gaming places as well.
Kaorin was a little chagrined when Sakaki was always gone by the time she woke up. The taller girl let her hang around at supper and during the evening, but always spent the entire day out alone. (Maybe she's seeing someone,) Kaorin worried one afternoon. (That's got to be it! A transcontinental secret admirer!)
As the young girl was despairing, she heard the door open. In walked Sakaki, or began to; she turned as she saw Kaorin in the room. "Oh," she said. "Sorry."
"It-it's not a problem!" Kaorin stammered, getting to her feet. "Please, come on in!"
Sakaki reluctantly came in, hiding the bag she was carrying as best she could. Kaorin thought she saw a glimpse of a stuffed animal inside, though.
"P-please, whatever you want is fine," Kaorin said. "But where have you been?"
"Lots of places," Sakaki said. "An amusement park today."
"R-really?" Kaorin said. "I would have liked to have gone to an amusement park." She thought about it for a second or two. "Can I come with you tomorrow?"
"Our last day here?" Sakaki pointed out queriously.
"I'd do anything you want to," Kaorin pleaded. "I just want to.. it's boring going around by myself!"
"Okay," Sakaki said plainly. She couldn't tell what the dizzy look on Kaorin's face meant other than gratitude.
The next day, Kaorin tagged along with her friend all over the place. If this was Sakaki's life, it was pretty bland. They didn't do much of anything to write home about. To Kaorin, it seemed like Sakaki should have been much more full of life, and they should have done much cooler things all the time.
As for Sakaki, she was afraid to do the things she wanted to do. She could have taken Kaorin to Coney Island, but then Kaorin might have realized Sakaki's love for cute things. Sakaki wouldn't be able to resist the midway games and so on.
Ultimately, they found that they'd wandered for the whole day. It was nearly time to return to the hotel and prepare for the next morning's flight home. Sakaki put on a faint frown for a moment, and then said, "I want to go one last place before we go back to the hotel. All right?"
"Yes! Fine!" Kaorin said, nodding quickly. "Anything you want!"
Sakaki nodded, smiling faintly. She was a little surprised that Kaorin was enjoying herself as much as she was, considering how little they'd done that day.
A FEW MINUTES LATER
"Miss Sakaki?" Kaorin said. "Why are we at the zoo?"
"I just want to say good-bye," Sakaki said softly.
Kaorin looked horrified. "Good-bye?!!" she said. "But.. but.."
"It wouldn't feel right," was all Sakaki said. Kaorin looked about ready to cry.
They strolled, or at least as much as people can stroll when one of the two people is a quivering mess, until they got to the feline section of the park. There, a park worker looked up as they approached the lion house.
"A.. a lion?" Kaorin said quietly, curiously.
Sakaki nodded. "Sebastian," she said.
"Oh," Kaorin responded.
The two stood there for a long time, watching the lion go about the things lions do at zoos. Then, as the zoo employee came past, Sakaki asked, "May I pet him?"
"Sebastian?" he said with incredulity, then laughed a bit. "I'm afraid not, ma'am. He'd likely chew your arm off, for starters."
There was another long pause, and then, to the zookeeper's and Kaorin's surprise, Sakaki looked at the lion longingly and casually said, "I'm used to it."
"All right!" Kagura said, running down the jetway, to be ahead of Tomo. "Back to the skyplane!"
"The skyplane awaits!" Osaka joined in, running after her.
"The what?" Nyamo said. "And don't run!"
"Want some?" Yukari said, coming up beside her and offering something from a plastic bag.
"What? What is it?" Nyamo said, peering inside. "Should I be worried?"
"Nah," Yukari scoffed. "It's something Mizuhara found in some herbal shop, I think. Pretty tasty!"
Nyamo reached in and took a tiny piece of the bag's contents. For all the world, it seemed like chunks of chocolate or something. "Is this a joke?"
"Would I do that to you?" Yukari smirked.
Nyamo eyed her for a second, then popped it into her mouth. After chewing it for a second, she blinked. "Hey, you're right."
"But of course!" Yukari grinned. "Further samples are 100 yen apiece."
Nyamo hmphed. "Of course," she said, going to the plane while Yukari offered pieces of the snack to everyone she saw.
Later on, despite the midday flight, half the students were out cold. While the flight crew were serving meals to the pilots, Nyamo got an idea. She turned and saw, as earlier, Chiyo was sitting quietly in between two swim team members, who were unconscious.
"Chiyo-chan," Nyamo said softly, setting her dinner aside. "If you'd rather not sit there alone, you could probably visit the cockpit."
"Do you think so?" Chiyo asked, whispering back.
Nyamo nodded. "Go ahead," she smiled.
The child wrestled from her seat and past her seatmates, then thanked Nyamo and headed forward. Nyamo smiled and continued with her meal.
"Blah," Yukari said from beside her. "This fish is awful."
"Don't exaggerate," Nyamo said. "There is an odd taste to it, but it's what you'd expect on an airplane."
"Odd taste?" Yomi asked from across the row, looking over to the teachers. "How do you mean?"
"Kind of bitter," Nyamo said.
"Yeah. Really bitter," Yukari commented.
Yomi sweatdropped. "Did you have some of the jankabeans?"
"Oh, is that what they're called?" Yukari beamed. "It's good!" Her face turned sour. "Not like this stuff."
Yomi said worriedly, "You're not supposed to mix it with certain foods. Fish is one of them. Even worse is.."
She looked around at the other occupied seats on the plane. Most of the people who were asleep had chicken left on their plate. A few only had chicken bones.
"..Poultry," she sighed.
At just that moment, Chiyo ran back to the group. She looked to Yukari and said, "Miss Yu..."
After she stared at Yukari for a moment, she turned to her left. "Miss Kurosawa?"
"What is it, Chiyo-chan?" Nyamo said.
"Y-you should come up to the cockpit," the young child said nervously.
"What for?" the teacher asked with concern.
"Please," Chiyo pressed. "I don't think I should mention it out here."
"All right," Nyamo said reluctantly, then followed the child.
"I didn't want to say it in front of everyone else," Chiyo said as she led the teacher forward. "But while I was sitting with the pilots, while they were eating, they.. well.."
Nyamo gasped and wore a shocking look as she saw the crew unconscious in their pilots' chairs.
Of course, in a few moments, a number of people clogged the short walkway to the cockpit.
"We're all gonna die!" Osaka wailed, holding her head with her hands and rocking side to side.
"Not good. Not good!" Tomo said nervously.
Yukari looked at the controls for a second and said, "No problem. I'll drive!"
"No!!" about seven people shouted in unison, and lunged for her.
"Sakaki! Help me with her!" Nyamo exclaimed. The raven-haired student nodded and dove in.
"Ow! Grab her legs!" said Yomi.
"I got her hair!" Osaka called out.
"Oww!" Yukari screamed.
Meanwhile, as the lot of them fought with Yukari, Kagura edged past the tussle. She studied the consoles for a quick moment, then said to the shocked-looking Chiyo, "Help me."
With the smaller child's help, Kagura wrestled one of the unconscious pilots out of his seat, and strapped herself in. "Okay," she said, taking the yoke in her hands. "I think I can do this!"
The declaration gave everyone pause, and they all slowly turned to see the swimming - and, more importantly, video gaming expert - at the controls.
"Kagura, don't touch anything," Nyamo pleaded. "I'm not sure if--"
"It's okay, Miss Kurosawa," Kagura said, putting on a headset. "I think I got this. Watch!"
With that, Kagura nudged the controls and everyone lifted up a little, slightly weightless, as the plane nosed over.
"Kagura!" someone screamed.
"Hah!" she grinned. "You all go sit down, I've got this under control."
Nyamo came back to the cockpit a few moments later. She watched and listened to Kagura for a second or two.
"This is flight 701! We're carrying civilians! Don't shoot!" Kagura murmured to herself. "I repeat, we have civilians on board! Hold your fire!"
Then she wrenched the controls to the right, sending the plane into a sharp roll. The entire plane screamed and yelled as the aircraft rolled inverted and then level again, ultimately, all at 500 miles an hour.
"Kagura!" Nyamo said with rage from her perch, clung to the cockpit door frame.
The student turned around and grinned a little, sweatdropping. "Sorry," she said. "Always wanted to try that."
"Don't do it ever again!" Nyamo said with relief as she let go of the doorframe and came closer.
"Sorry," Kagura repeated. "What'd you do with Miss Yukari?"
"Strapped in her seat, with a bottle," Minamo sighed. "Like a baby."
Kagura laughed. "Okay. Well, the good news is I've got this thing's number."
"There's bad news?" Minamo asked worriedly.
"I have no idea how to read the guidance displays," Kagura explained, gesturing to the computer screens in the middle. "And when they collapsed, the pilots must've mixed up the radio controls. I can't tell how to contact anyone."
"Great," Nyamo said in a trembling voice.
"The best I can do is figure out how long we've been flying, compare it to how long our flight to New York was originally, and fly the same amount of time and look for land."
Nyamo eyed the student suspiciously. "Dare I ask how well you did in math this year?"
Kagura laughed. "Hey, Chiyo-chan can back me up if anything needs double-checking. Right?"
A couple of hours passed, and then suddenly, a couple more hours passed. Things went on like this for quite some time, until finally, there was a 'bong!' over the intercom.
"Hey guys!" Kagura called out. "Land ho on the horizon!"
Half the planeload rushed forward, until Kagura went on, "That means belt in! 'Cause Captain Kagura says so!" The seatbelt light flickered to life with a 'bong', and repeated itself several times, before it stayed on.
Everyone but Nyamo went back to their seats. Yukari said as Nyamo went by, "Heyz, lesh me up!"
"Not now," Nyamo said, as Yukari fought drunkenly with the doctored seatbelt buckle, trying to get it open. "Especially not now."
Nyamo got to the cockpit and said, "What do you think?"
"It's flat and paved," Kagura responded. "That's about all I care about right now." She said a little embarassedly, "'Cause I need to, y'know, 'go'!"
Nyamo sighed. "Okay. Good luck."
"Yes?" Nyamo asked, as she was about to leave.
"Would you.. well, stay in here with me? Even if I can't see ya, it's good to know you're there."
Nyamo smiled and laid her hand on Kagura's shoulder. "I'll be right behind you," she told the student-turned-pilot, and sat down in the empty engineer's seat, belting in.
"Are we goin' down?" Osaka asked, peering out the window.
"Feels like it," Chiyo said. "But please stay seated!"
"Everyone relax," Yomi suggested. "Just think happy thoughts."
Kaorin looked on worriedly as Sakaki suddenly doubled over, trembling.
The traffic controllers could only look on in awe as the unannounced aircraft kept coming in, on the longest final approach anyone had ever seen. All the other aircraft had been diverted and redirected once it became obvious that the plane was coming in. Fire/rescue apparatus were sent to the runway, in anticipation of whatever emergency was causing them to come in silent.
To the pilot's credit, the plane came in about as smoothly and safely as possible. It was clear that an amateur was on the stick, as they all but locked up the brakes as soon as they touched down, not deploying the thrust reversers at all. Luckily, the runway was fairly long, and the plane eventually was coasting at taxi speed.
"All right!" Tomo cheered, leaping from her seat as the plane started to slow.
"Good going, Kagura!" Yomi joined in.
"Well done," Sakaki said.
"We're alive! Alive!" Yukari cackled, then burped and passed out.
"Thank you, thank you all," Kagura said smugly over the intercom. "I'm available for parties and other social events!"
Meanwhile, Osaka was staring out the window. "Miss Osaka?" Chiyo said. "Is something the matter? We're okay now, you should be happy--"
"I think we might'a made a wrong turn somewhere," Osaka said, pointing out the window. "Unless Tokyo's borrowin' some fire trucks."
Chiyo looked over as the others came to the windows and peered out as well. "Brisbane International Airport?" Chiyo said.
"We're in Australia?" Chihiro asked with surprise.
"Oh, no," Osaka said, frowning.
"It's okay," Yomi tried to reassure her. "Now we can get help, and we'll be home soon."
"Well, how're we gonna get help?" Osaka complained, turning to face the others. "None of us speak Australian.."
Everyone just kind of stared at Osaka from there all the way to the terminal.