Yuri and the Bun-bun
A/N I spend way too much time at Neo Seeker most days and they invariably inspire some really odd stuff. I forget how this one started, but – well, prepare for insanity is all I can say. Rated PG-13 for language. And for the record, I don't own Shadow Hearts – begone all ye Barristers!
Dedicated to my pals at Neo Seeker and especially Feem-loves-the-bunny.
"And when we met for a refresher at the punch bowl, I took her delicate hand in mine, and gave her a little nibble. I was a virgin you understand, not used to the sensual nature of women and I took just a little of her blood; it was my first time," Keith said with a delicate blush. "I apologize if I offended you," he said and looked at Alice and Margarete, both sitting enraptured by the flickering campfire. In the shadows Yuri was standing guard, his back to a tree, and Keith could hear his snort even as Zhuzhen shifted uncomfortably.
"I have offended, haven't I?" Keith asked.
The six companions were making their way to Aberystwyth, Wales and had stopped for the night. Keith Valentine, their vampire companion, usually as quiet as the grave, was this evening entertaining them with stories of his ill-spent youth. Across from him at the camp fire, Margarete Zelle, their spy in residence and Alice Elliot, exorcist extraordinaire, were listening in fascination, while Zhuzhen, aged and wise Taoist Adept, debated on continuing to listen or just going to sleep. It was yet early however, and Halley was due back eventually with their supper, providing the London Rat hadn't gotten lost.
"No," Zhuzhen said. "I simply thought you meant something else," he said and a slight tinge crimsoned his wizened cheeks.
In the shadows Yuri snorted again. "Virgin my ass," he muttered. "You ever have a real woman, Keith? I mean, really?" called Yuri Hyuga, their watchful guard and fusionist companion.
Alice and Margarete both suddenly sat up straight, realizing where they were and Margarete, frowning, pulled a small round object from her pack.
"Head's up, perv!" she called before lobbing the object at Yuri.
Yuri realized his danger just in time and flung himself toward the campfire even as the tree he was standing under exploded into flames.
In another part of the woods, Halley Plunkett, leader of the London Rats and usually affable companion, was hunting supper but, upon hearing the explosions, he turned from his rabbit hunting and turned toward the camp. On his way however, he was delayed. Out of the dark forest a large shadow bounded, its pale white appearance belied by the fiery redness of its feral eyes.
"What the fuck?" Halley said and realized he was looking at the largest rabbit he'd ever seen.
"Where the hell did you come from?" he queried then rational thought fled as a giant paw came smashing in his direction. "Holy Shit!"
Halley jumped out of the way of the giant paw and made a rapid retreat toward camp, screaming all the way.
"Yuuurrriiiii!" he yelled as he exited the woods and plowed headfirst into the arms of the young Harmonixer just as Yuri was standing up from the explosion. The sudden impact of a fifteen year old street urchin had Yuri back on his butt in the dirt by the fire, the campfire threatening to ignite his trench coat.
"Halley! What are you doing?" Yuri yelled and, as he climbed to his feet, he tossed Halley onto the ground by the fire.
"It's a giant! It's coming this way! Shit," Halley said and ducked under Yuri's trench coat.
Yuri tried to remove the trembling teenager from his coat, shaking the leg the boy was holding onto and, when Halley grabbed a hold of his belts instead, refusing to budge, he gave it up for a lost cause.
A loud crashing sound then came from the forest and Yuri and Keith both looked up in time to see a very large, very white rabbit with red eyes, bound into the small clearing. Branches of overhead trees crashed down onto the forest floor and Yuri suddenly had an urge.
"Hal, let go," the young fusionist said, trying to pry Halley's fingers loose from his belts. "Halley, let-go!"
"No-no-no!" Halley wailed and Margarete was soon at Yuri's side trying to dislodge the quivering boy.
"Come on Halley. Let go so Yuri can save our butts," Margarete said.
"And a nice butt it is too," Yuri said with a witless grin. A moment later he was seeing stars as Alice's bible struck the side of his head.
"Okay mommy, I'll take out the garbage," Yuri muttered and blinked.
"Oh damn! You've addled him," Margarete said as she finally pulled Halley free of Yuri's belts and trench coat.
"I'm okay, I'm okay," Yuri muttered, staring wide eyed at the enormous rabbit. "Anybody got a carrot?" he asked then giggled.
"He's not okay," Zhuzhen said and, taking up his staff, delivered a matching blow to the other side of the harmonixer's head.
"Hey! Knock it off!" Yuri yelled, looking down at his shoes. "I think I lost it."
"Lost what?" Zhuzhen asked.
"The last of his brains probably," Margarete said and shoved a struggling Halley down onto the ground and sat on him. "Yuri, see the rabbit," Maggie said.
Yuri looked back up at the rapidly approaching mammoth lagomorph.
"Yuri, kill the rabbit," Maggie said, and Yuri instantly launched himself at the giant hare.
Yuri made a quick trip across the clearing to the gigantic rabbit, which had stopped to nibble on a few leaves in the upper branches. It moved its foot and Yuri jumped to the side, one hand grabbing for a giant toe but missing.
"Damn stupid bunny," Yuri muttered then jumped onto the foot before it could move again. He grabbed handfuls of hair and was pulling himself up to reach the rabbit's head when the hare realized he was being annoyed and reached down, snagging the insect between his teeth and quickly flicked it away.
Yuri landed near the clearing, his trench coat slicked with bunny spit.
"Damn rabbit," he growled.
"Here, let me," Margarete said and offered the sloppy harmonixer one of her grenades. "Just pull the pin, count to 5, and toss."
Yuri took the grenade and ran back toward the 20 foot bunbun.
He stopped a good 10 feet away, pulled the pin and counted.
"One, two, uh, four..."
"Throw the damn bomb, Yuri!" Margaret yelled and Yuri tossed it, lobbing the grenade back over the clearing in the opposite direction. Everyone quickly ducked and covered their heads as the grenade landed in the campfire and exploded, sending dirt, tree branches and a few other things pelting down on top of them. "Damn you stupid kid!" Maggie swore and got up from the well pressed Halley.
Yuri turned frowning amber eyes onto the spy before he put his hands on his hips. "What? You expect me to kill the bunny?" he said.
Margarete blinked and then launched herself over the pit that had been the campfire, running toward the young fusionist, her hands reaching out like claws to rake him over. But Yuri caught her and pinned her arms to her side and grinned affably at the fuming spy.
"Caught ya," he said and laughed. "I'll get the bunny now, but no more bombs, eh?" he said, gave the spy a kiss on her lips, and then dropped Margarete on her deliciously round rear.
"Here bunny, bunny, bunny," the slightly addled harmonixer said as he approached the gigantic rabbit.
"Oh my fucking god he thinks it's a pet," muttered Margarete, and looked up as Keith approached, offering her a hand up. "He's crazy."
"One bible belt too many," was Keith's summation.
"You know, he might actually be on to something," Zhuzhen said, dusting himself off. He then leaned on his blue staff and watched as Yuri approached the creature.
"What do you mean, Master Zhuzhen?" Alice asked.
"He might be able to calm it down; or possibly he thinks it's a pooka."
"A pooka?" Margarete asked.
Halley, picking himself up off the ground, finally looked up at the giant rabbit in the forest. "It's a fucking rabbit!" he exclaimed only to find himself back on the ground as Zhuzhen spun his staff around and planted it firmly on the dirt once more.
"Clean it up, youngster," the ancient Adept remarked, then turned to watch Yuri.
Yuri was walking slowly and evenly over the forest floor, approaching the giant rabbit with sure steps, one hand out, fingers up and wiggling.
"Here bunny, bunny, bunny," he crooned. "Come to Uruuu," he said and the giant lagomorph turned its head, large ears flopping and turning toward the sounds.
The rabbit's ears twitched and flopped forward, while its whiskers twitched and the nose wiggled.
"That's right," Yuri was saying with a grin. "You like Yuri, don't you. You won't eat me, I'm too stringly," the harmonixer continued to speak warmly to the giant bunbun until he was within a few inches of the giant beast. The rabbit looked down its long pink nose at the little harmonixer, raised one foot, and sent Yuri flying back toward the clearing.
"Ooof!" Yuri said as he landed on his butt.
"Well, that was enlightening," Margarete added. "What do you do for an encore? Sing an aria?"
Yuri shook his head and jumped to his feet, brushing dirt from his trench coat. "Margarete, if I wasn't busy right now, I'd put you in your place and have YOU singing arias!" the harmonixer said with a frown and stomped back into the woods.
"Well, promises, promises," Margarete said with a smile which quickly vanished at sight of Alice's angry glare. 'Ooops, pissed off Demon Eye Alert!' she thought.
Meanwhile Yuri returned to the bunny, which had now decided this whole mess was more than his rabbit sensibilities could deal with. He turned to hop off, taking one giant leap before landing and wiggling his tail in derision.
Yuri laughed and jumped after him, stopping to wiggle his trench coat in imitation.
The bunny repeated the hop and wiggle and Yuri, giggling maniacally, followed suit.
"Oh for the love of god, they're doing the 'Bunny Hop'," Zhuzhen said and Halley broke out into laughter watching Yuri wiggle his leather clad ass through the forest.
After a little while the bunny stopped his hopping and wiggling and watched as the young human jumped and wiggled to catch him up. With a twitch of his whiskers once more he began to shrink, rapidly dwindling to a six foot rabbit in a silver lame waistcoat. Yuri stopped when he caught up to the erudite gentleman rabbit and smiled.
"You waited for me, good bunny," Yuri said with a warm and welcoming grin that showed what he had eaten for lunch that day.
The bunny wiggled his ears and looked Yuri up and down before offering a nod of his bunny head.
"My name's Yuri. What's yers?"
"Harvey," the bunbun answered in cultured Irish tones.
"Pleased ta meet ya," Yuri said and offered his hand. "So, why were ya chasin' Halley?"
"Who's Halley?" Harvey asked, rubbing absently at one long ear.
"The kid with the sling shot."
"Oh! The menace with the little balls; he shot me in the ... well, never mind. But so long as the little mite stays away from me, I'll let him breed," Harvey said and glanced back at the camp with reddened eyes. "How about we find somewhere to dine, I'm hungry," the bunny said.
"Sure; actually there's food at the camp. And I think Zhuzhen has some sake hidden away. I saw him buy it at the last town and I've been trying to find a way to get it away from him."
"Yeah, wine. Good stuff," Yuri said with a grin and, putting his arm around the shoulders of the large bunny, guided him back to camp.
Dinner was quiet for the traveling companions. Halley, Margarete, and Alice sat together on one side of the fire, while Keith and Zhuzhen sat a little way around the fire but still opposite Yuri and the pooka. The Ancient Adept wore a blackened eye, and his delicately stitched robes showed signs of a fight and were rent in several places. The argument over the sake had degenerated into a full-fledged fight with weapons drawn and curses in several languages.
Yuri and Harvey had made their way back to camp arm in arm, walking in step to allow Yuri to keep up with the slightly taller bunny. Upon reaching camp Yuri immediately demanded the bottle of sake that Zhuzhen had hidden away, and while all eyes were on the six-foot pooka, Zhuzhen's were on Yuri and his attempts to find the liquor. Yuri had quickly pounced on Zhuzhen's pack and was tossing the contents all over camp while deftly escaping the elder's heavy-headed staff. But finally the staff made contact with a retreating backside and Zhuzhen's small-clothes were scattered in the dirt. Yuri none-the-less pulled free the bottle of sake, its label pristine and new.
"Ah, I always liked a virgin," the fusionist said and grinned affably at the waiting pooka who had sat down at the newly rekindled fire and pulled out a capon from the charcoal.
"Hey! That's mine!" Zhuzhen said and aimed yet again for the harmonixer but Yuri tossed the bottle at the pooka and turned to engage Zhuzhen in a wrestling match that ended up with Zhuzhen on the bottom and Yuri sitting on his head.
"I win!" Yuri cried before getting up, making sure he gave a good heel dig to the recumbent Adept.
The evening progressed in sullen silence until Yuri and the pooka had finished the bottle of sake with sighs of appreciation. Lying back against nearby logs, feet propped at the dregs of the fire, Yuri and Harvey sighed in repletion.
"Ahhh, 'tis the good life," Harvey said, his bunny feet crossed at the fire, his ears flopping down on either side like a drunken jackass. "But have ye no music here?" he asked.
Yuri sighed, then belched and shook his head. "I don't play," he said.
"Well now, that is a shame, as I am sure you have an excellent singing voice," Harvey said.
"No! No-no-no!" Four voices cried from across the fire and Alice stood, her hands placating the pooka.
"Please, sir rabbit, don't ask Yuri to sing. He - he -" Alice begged.
"He can't carry a tune in a bucket," Margarete finished for her. She stood up and shook out her short dress. "I might be able to tap-dance a little," she offered.
"Ah, now that would be a sight. But as it so happens, I do sing," the pooka said and sat up, pulling himself up onto the log behind him and settling himself neatly, his bunny tail out of the way. "Allow me," he said, then cleared his throat.
"If you'll listen, I'll sing you a sweet little song,
Of a flower that's now drooped and dead,
Yet dearer to me, yes, than all of its mates,
Tho' each holds aloft its proud head."
Surprisingly, the pooka had a clear tenor voice, rising softly from his bunny chest and trilling into the silence of the forest night. The late stars were twinkling in the clear sky and the pre-spring weather was mild. Margarete and Alice sat side by side, swaying a little with the tune and Halley began to grin like a kid in a candy store. Harvey sang from his heart and not a sound could be heard from the forest as he continued his song.
"'Twas given to me by a girl that I know,
Since we've met, faith, I've known no repose;
She is dearer by far than the world's brightest star,"
Harvey sang and at the last line of the verse, Halley stood up and trilled his boyish voice a match to the pooka's tenor.
"And I call her my wild Irish Rose" he sang and with a grin, broke out into the chorus:
"My wild Irish Rose,
The sweetest flow'r that grows;"
Next to Halley, Margarete was wearing a silly smile and she joined him in the next verse.
"You may search ev'rywhere,
But none can compare,
With my wild Irish Rose."
"Of for god's sake," muttered Yuri, sitting up and staring drunkenly at his companions. "Are you all gonna sing now?"
"My wild Irish Rose,
The dearest flow'r that grows,"
was Harvey's answer and across the fire a deep Alto and a soprano joined in for the final verse.
"And some day for my sake,
She may let me take,
The bloom from my wild Irish Rose."
With that Keith and Zhuzhen exchanged surprised and embarrassed looks and then laughed, joining the others as laughter replaced anger over the harmonixer's earlier antics.
"Well after all, it's almost Saint Patty's Day and on that day, Everyone is Irish," intoned Margarete and none would gainsay her.
Across the fire, Yuri sighed. "Guess I'll go back to watching," he said and rose with a stretch and a yawn.
"And I'd best be hopping along as well," Harvey said and rose, a nod of his lop-eared head to the ladies before turning a bright eye on Halley. "And if you shoot at rabbits again, young man, make sure they are not my kin ... or else!"
Halley nodded even as the pooka turned and faded into the dark forest.
"Come morning, will we believe that any of this happened?" Margarete asked with a smile.
Zhuzhen picked up the spent bottle of sake.
"Yes," he said with disappointment on his wrinkled face. "That was my last bottle too."
"That's all right old timer," Keith said with a grin that exposed his vampire teeth in the last flickers of the red campfire. "We'll get Yuri to buy you another bottle in the next town."
"Two," Zhuzhen suggested before turning to his bedroll.