Back in 1992 or so, I wrote the original version of this fic: my very first TS fanfic. It was called "'Restful' Retreat," and featured Don Karnage, his twin sister Phyllis and his wife, Muffy Vanderschmere. They went to a ski resort and kept running into Kit and the Jungle Aces. No, don't ask me what I was on, nor where you can get some. I was young and stoopid, okay? >_< *cringes*
Anyway, I re-wrote it to make it readable, and replaced
Phyllis with Carlotta, and Muffy with Scarlet. (This is set between chapters of
"Absence Makes the Heart Go Plunder," after they leave Italy but before the
wedding. It doesn't really matter, though.)
I also made them aware of their presence in a bad fanfic. Even that wasn't enough to make it palatable, so when I got to the point where I ran out of old fic (the old version just stopped in the middle of the restaurant scene) I let loose with a slew of weirdness that...well, read on and see. }-) It's not exactly self-MiSTed, but pretty darn close. ;-)
The scene with the mouse was added. In the original, Muffy got mad at DK and pushed him in the hot tub, fully clothed, and he got all P.O.-ed, so he pulled her in, too, and she got even madder when her sweater shrunk. Trust me, it was pointless, and I couldn't justify Scarlet getting that bitchy at that point, either, so I cut that part. Oh, and in the original, Phyllis and Muffy carried the luggage because the doctor told DK to rest, not because he was being a spoothead. ;-) Anyway, other than that, the plot in the part until the Oscar-in-the-trashcan part is pretty much like it was originally. Have I piqued your interest? }-)
Oh, and there are plenty of in-jokes here between me and some of my TaleSpin friends, so if you don't get something...that's why. And I poke fun at other people's fanfics, but it's all in fun, so nobody flame me, please.
Rated PG for a few minor cusswords and innuendo.
"I still say this is an estupid idea." The famous Air Pirate, Don Karnage, his long-lost daughter, Carlotta, and his fiancée, Scarlet, were sitting in the back of an unmarked pirate plane.
"You two need to spend some quality time together, Felipe," said Scarlet.
Carlotta smiled sweetly.
"I know, I know, but do we have to go all the way to Crayolado to do it? Why couldn't we go to someplace nice and warm...like, say...Cabo Orgulloso?"
"Because, there aren't any ski resorts in the Caribbean," Scarlet said.
"I suppose you could build one there," Carlotta said in careful English. "But without the snow it would be not very successful! Now, in Italy, you go north a little way and there are the Alps. Have you ever gone skiing, Papa? I have heard it can be very dangerous."
A low growl rose from Karnage's throat. "I told you, call me Captain! And I know the skiing is dangerous! That is why I think this is a stupid idea!"
Scarlet lowered an eyebrow at the younger vixen. "This is supposed to be a relaxing trip, remember? Watch your tongue, Carlotta."
"Watch my tongue? How can I watch my tongue when it is in my mouth?" she said in confusion.
"Just be quiet."
"Oh. I can do that." Carlotta buried her nose in a copy of Treasure Island.
"Besides," Karnage continued, "I am having the feeling I am stuck in a remake of a bad old fanfic."
"Ssh!" Scarlet hissed with a wink. "You're not supposed to know that!"
Karnage put his head in his hands and sighed.
Unbeknownst to the pirates, sharing their airspace was a certain yellow sea plane. Baloo was flying to the Bray Kalehg Ski Resort not to deliver ski poles or hot chocolate, nor to protest the horrible pun in the name, but to transport Kit and Rebecca. Due to a strange coincidence that reeked of lazy plotting, both Kit's Bear Scout troop and Rebecca's business conference were at the same resort, the same week.
"Baloo, just twenty more miles," Kit said, studying the map. "This is going to be so fun! Oscar, Eddie and all the guys'll be there!"
There was the noise of a distant explosion from somewhere in the direction of Santa Paula. "What was that?" Baloo asked.
The others shrugged.
"Anyway, I'll get to make all kinds of business connections," Rebecca said, looking up from a folder of papers.
"And I'll get to see snow!" Molly cheered.
"Do they have a burger joint at this resort?" Baloo asked sullenly.
"A restaurant, anyway," Kit said, rolling his eyes.
"Well, now...that's different, then. Let's go!" Baloo pressed forward on the stick, and the Sea Duck began descending rapidly toward the Henver airfield.
"Baloooooo!" Rebecca scolded, scrambling to keep her papers in order as the plane banked.
"Rebecca," she snapped.
Meanwhile, back in the cargo hold of a nearby plane, the trio of pirates were getting their parachutes on. Carlotta finished tightening her straps and turned to Karnage. "Ready to go, Papa?"
"I mean, Captain."
"Yes, yes, fine," he said grouchily. Scarlet hit the switch to open the back, and a gust of frigid air hit them. She kicked a crate out into oblivion, and its parachute opened to ease the descent. With their luggage taken care of, she looked quizzically to Karnage. "Let's get this over with!" he yelled. He threw himself off the edge, and was soon followed by Scarlet and Carlotta.
They landed near the main lodge. Karnage hurried over to get the crate containing their luggage, then turned to Scarlet. "This is heavy! How many sweaters did you bring, anyway?"
"Er...not that many..." Scarlet said sheepishly.
"I brought some books, too..." Carlotta said.
"Well, I am not going to hurt my wonderful self carrying your things around! You wanted to bring all that garbage, you carry it!"
"Whatever happened to chivalry?" Scarlet pouted.
"That was in the days when men wore metal clothes. The person with the heavier clothes carries things. It is right there in the Magna Carta."
Scarlet scowled at him. "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Besides, some of this is yours, too. You have to help carry it."
"You are so stubborn sometimes!" Scarlet said in exasperation, shoving him.
He fell headfirst into a snowbank. "Hey! Stop womanhandling my magnificent self!" He crawled out of the snowbank, his face covered with flakes. Carlotta and Scarlet both began laughing, but were soon silenced by a pair of wet snowballs in their faces. Karnage's own high-pitched laugh was heard.
"Why you--!" Scarlet hastily packed a snowball of her own, and sent it in her fiancé's direction. Before long a full-fledged snowball fight had broken out. After their icy battle was over, they sat on the crate, wheezing and laughing.
"That was the most fun I have had in years," Carlotta said.
"You need to get out more," Scarlet mumbled.
"Hey!" Karnage exclaimed suddenly. "It is either my imagination running rancid, or I just saw Kick Cloudkitter, er, you know, Kit! Kit Cloudkicker! And those other annoying bear-type-people!"
Scarlet looked around in alarm. "Where?"
He pointed. "Over there. They went into the lodge."
"What would he be doing here? You must be seeing things, querido."
"Now, now, Felipe," she said with a concerned smile. "You've been under a lot of stress lately, and--"
"You think I am crazy?" he snarled.
"No," she said quickly. "Of course not. Please, querido, try to relax!"
Karnage blinked. "Wait a minuet. Are you having a strong feeling of soup dejour vu?"
Scarlet raised an eyebrow. "You mean deja vu?"
"Whatever. And yes."
"Like this plot has been recycled in a later fanfic called 'A Few Kumquats Short'?"
"Must be our imaginations. No self-respecting fanfic author would reuse a plot from a horrible, ten-year-old fanfic."
"I suppose not," he said with a sigh. "Now, we decided you were carrying the luggage, right? Good. I will go check in." He spoke quickly, not giving them time to protest before he dashed into the lodge.
Carlotta and Scarlet exchanged a disgusted look, but decided to humor him...for now.
Kit Cloudkicker folded up his airfoil and stuck it in his duffel bag as he walked into the main lodge. The beaver at the front desk greeted him with an unavoidably toothy smile. "Welcome to the Bray Kalehg Ski Resort!"
"Hi. Kit Cloudkicker, Bear Scout troop 91, Cape Suzette."
The clerk skimmed the guest list. "Cloudpicker...Cloudpicker..."
"Cloudkicker!" Kit interrupted with a furious look.
"Whatever. Here's a Kip Quicksnacker."
"Kit Cloudkicker. K-I-T C-L-O-U-D-K-I-C-K-E-R. Got it?" Kit snarled.
"Oh, yeah. Here it is. Lodge Eight." He handed the bear a key. "Don't lose it, now."
Kit didn't even dignify him with a response. Why did everyone assume that just because he was a teenager, he was irresponsible? He scowled and headed into the gift shop while Rebecca and Baloo checked in.
In one of those cosmic coincidences that can only happen in amateur fanfics, Don Karnage walked in the door the exact second that the four bears disappeared into the gift shop. Scarlet and Carlotta soon stumbled in behind him, pulling the crate. Karnage strode confidently up to the front desk. "Lodge seven, if you please."
The beaver checked the guest list. "Uh...Phillip Karlson?"
"Yes," he lied with an ingratiating smile.
"Here you are."
Karnage snatched the keys from the clerk's hand and headed for the door. No sense in lingering where he might be recognized. A Scandinavian pseudonym and a Spanish accent weren't the best combination. "All right, girls, let's go. I would help your lovely selves carry that crate, but since you are insisting..." He smirked.
"Whose idea was it to bring all these sweaters?" Scarlet sighed, rubbing her aching lower back.
"Yours," Carlotta said with a weak smile.
She grimaced. "Damn."
They left the lodge at, of course, precisely the moment the bears emerged from the gift shop. Kit caught a glimpse of an unusual reddish-brown wolf tail as the front doors swung shut. "Wasn't that... Nah, couldn't be. Coincidences like that only happen in bad fanfics." Baloo, Rebecca and Molly headed for their own cabins. When Kit reached his, there was a note on the door:
"Kit -- We went to the restaurant for cocoa. Eddie should be coming around 4:00. We'll be back by 4:30. Get a key from the clerk in the main lodge. Signed, the Jungle Aces"
There was the sound of another distant explosion from the direction of Santa Paula, along with a faint voice screaming, "AAAAUUUUUGGGGGH!" Kit ignored it and, for the millionth time, reminded himself to propose a name change for their club. He hated it. Oh well. He let himself in and began to unpack. One of the drawers had a makeshift label with his name on it. Before long his few belongings were stowed inside. He considered going to meet his friends in the restaurant, but decided against it. They would be back soon, and he was tired after the long flight. Besides, they were a bunch of annoying losers. With a cavernous yawn, Kit flopped down on the bed and dozed off.
Outside the cabin next door, Don Karnage cursed at the stubborn lock on the door.
"That is a new word for me," Carlotta said with a twinkle in her dark eyes. "What does it mean, Captain Papa?"
He added a few Italian curses for her benefit. Finally, the key turned, and they entered the cabin. It was quaint but well-kept, with a pair of double beds and a fireplace.
Scarlet inspected the decor appreciatively. "You know, it really wasn't necessary to leave your emergency medical information with the first aid office. You aren't going to break your leg."
"You do not know that," Karnage said huffily. "Peoples are breaking arms and legs skiing all the time!"
"You're a pirate. That's much more difficult than skiing. For heaven's sake, we just got done battling a Komodo dragon a few weeks ago! Don't tell me you're scared over a little skiing trip."
"The great pirate Don Karnage does not get scared!" he yelled.
Scarlet smiled. "I was just teasing you, dear. Besides, who knows? You might even have some fun." His look softened, and he returned her embrace with a suggestive look. "But not too much fun," she said with a smirk. "I may be a pirate, but I have to draw the line somewhere." He released her from the hug with a frustrated look. She twisted her engagement ring and smiled apologetically. "Soon, querido. Besides...we have company."
Carlotta was struggling to get the crate of luggage through the door. Scarlet gave him a quick, conciliatory kiss and went to help her. Between the two of them, they managed to get the awkward box into the room. Huffing and puffing, the two vixens sank to the floor to catch their breath.
"Next time, we're packing light," Scarlet wheezed.
"There are lamps here already," Carlotta said with confusion.
"No, not lights...oh, never mind."
As they pried open the crate, Carlotta peeked into the adjacent room. "Ooh! Look! There is another fireplace in here, and a bar! Of course, I can't drink anything, and neither can you, Papa, Captain, sir, but maybe-- EEEEK!" She suddenly shrieked in terror.
"What what what?" Karnage stammered, at her side in an instant.
"A rat! By the fireplace! Look!" She jumped into his arms and cringed. Sure enough, a small black rodent was perched on the pile of firewood.
"Oh, for goodyness' sake!" Karnage carried his daughter into the other room, dropped her on the bed, and took his sword from the crate. "And you call yourself a pirate-in-training!" He disappeared into the second room. Moments later there was a loud metallic CHUNK noise. Carlotta and Scarlet looked at each other and wrinkled their noses queasily.
He came back before long, wiping his blade on a washcloth. "And you did not want me to bring my sword," he said with a sly grin.
"You--you k-killed the rat?" Carlotta stammered timidly.
"Actually, I believe it was a mouse."
"Mouse, rat, what's the difference?" Scarlet said with a shudder. "I can do very well without either one."
Karnage looked back over his shoulder and lowered a quizzical eyebrow. "Funny...it was wearing little red pants."
From somewhere in the ether, a drum and cymbal made a "ba-dum-ching" noise.
"What was that?" he asked.
The vixens shrugged.
"Well, no matter. Let us finish unpacking."
Kit was awakened by the sound of a female voice screaming in the neighboring cabin. He jumped to his feet and went to the window. The drapes in the other cabin were closed, and the scream did not repeat itself. Puzzled and lacking any better form of entertainment, he stayed at the window for a few minutes, hoping to catch a glimpse of any excitement.
While Scarlet busied herself hanging up her numerous sweaters, Karnage started a fire and otherwise got settled. "You know, girls, perhaps we can simply sit in the restaurant, and not go skiing after all."
Carlotta laughed. "With your luck, you would fall off a bar stool and break your leg!"
"Very funny," he said with a frown. He crossed the room to open the drapes. "This room is dark. We need some sunli--ay yi yi!" he yelped. He pulled back the curtain and suddenly found himself face-to-face with his former protege. A mere five feet of space between the cabins separated them. They simultaneously yelped in surprise and staggered backward.
"What? What is it?" Scarlet dashed to his side and steadied him, preventing him from falling back into the fireplace. "What happened?"
"K-K-K-K-K-K--" he stammered. "Kick! Cloudkitter, err, Cloughkidder, I mean, Kit Kickercloud, er, no no no-- Kit! Kit Cloudkicker! In the window!"
"Kit? But...?" Scarlet put an arm around his shoulders to stop his shaking and looked toward the window.
Carlotta peered out. "The drapes are not opened," she observed.
"Now, Felipe--" Scarlet began soothingly.
He sprang back from her and frowned. "You think I am crazy, don't you?"
"No, no, I just--"
"I am not crazy! I saw him! Right there in the window!" He jabbed a finger in the direction of the window. "With the little backedywards baseball cap and everything! I know my own former protege! I am not crazy! And...and are you having that deja vu feeling again, querida?"
"Now that you mention it...why do I have this sudden craving for kumquats?"
Knock though they might, Scarlet and Carlotta got no answer from Cabin Eight. Finally, they simply decided to give up, and headed to the restaurant for some cocoa while Karnage cooled off.
"Yeah, that's right. Don Karnage," Kit was saying to his friends. "You don't believe me, do you?"
"Well, you have to admit it's pretty hard to swallow," Ernie said. "I mean, what would Air Pirates want at a ski resort? Stupid ideas like that belong in bad fanfics."
Kit scowled defensively. "But it's true!"
"And I'm the tooth fairy!" Ernie rolled his eyes. "Come on, guys, let's go hit the slopes. Everybody got skis?"
"I've gotta rent some," Kit said, still keeping an eye on the window.
"Uh...guys?" Oscar Vandersnoot said sheepishly.
"I uh...I can't go skiing. My mom said it would be too dangerous."
Kit slapped himself on the forehead and groaned. "Oscar! Come on! You can't go to a ski resort and not go skiing!"
"She is my mom," the bespectacled bear cub said with a shrug.
"Aw, c'mon, Oscar," Ernie said. "She'd never know!"
"Unless he breaks something," their rabbit friend piped up.
"Ssh!" Ernie hissed.
"I don't know..." Oscar wavered.
"It'll be fun!" Ernie said, clearly not about to take no for an answer. He took Oscar by the shoulder and let him out the door.
By this time, the noises of explosions from the direction of Santa Paula were so frequent that no one paid any attention.
Some time later, Carlotta and Scarlet returned from the restaurant with bellies full of hot cocoa, chatting happily. Scarlet stopped in mid-sentence at the door. "Oops. Forgot the room key. I'll have to knock. Hope he's awake."
At their knocking, Karnage's voice called out, "Who is it?"
"Two wenches freezing their tails off!"
The door opened. "Then by all means, come in, and I will warm you up," he said with a grin, pulling them both into an embrace.
"My, you're in a better mood," Scarlet said.
"Well, I decided I might as well go along with this estupid vacation idea, if it will make you ladies happy."
"Then you want to go skiing?" Carlotta said hopefully.
"No. But if it will shut you two up, let us be getting it over with."
"Glad to hear it," Scarlet said with a crooked smile. "Carlotta, would you get the skiis from the closet?"
"Didn't you pack the skiis we plundered?"
"I thinked you did."
"No. I thought you did."
"Thought," Carlotta mumbled, putting a finger to her temple. "Thought," she repeated. "I will try to remember that. But no, I did not pack them."
"Oh, great. Looks like we'll have to rent them," Scarlet said.
"This vacation just gets better and better," Karnage grumbled.
"Oh, come on, sourpuss." She yanked his winter coat off the hangar and threw it at him.
"Like I said, let us get it over with."
Kit, Oscar, Ernie and their friends tramped through the snow toward the ski lifts. The snow was deep, but had been packed solid by many excited pairs of feet. As their neared the lifts, they veered off to the right, around a small building where ski equipment was available for rental. Kit led the way around the corner...
...and, in another of those cosmic coincidences, ran smack-dab into a certain pirate. The two bounced backwards on their bottoms in the snow.
After the initial surprise, they each turned back to their companions and said, "I told you so!"
Kit's friends took one look at the pirates and ran screaming in the other direction. The bearcub yelled after them, "Guys! Don't--" But they were gone. "Aw, geez. Cowards." He turned back to the pirates. "What are doing here, Karnage?"
"I was going to ask the same about you, my boy," Karnage said, baring his teeth threateningly.
"Papa, who's that?" Carlotta asked.
"Papa?" Kit said with a laugh. "You?"
"Shut up!" Karnage whirled on Carlotta and clapped his hands over her mouth. In the sudden movement, she lost her footing on in the icy ground and fell backward, landing on a toboggan. She made a panicked grab at Scarlet to stop her fall but only succeeded in pulling her over on top of her. Scarlet in turn flailed out for Karnage, with the same effect. Their combined weight sent the toboggan careening down the slope, knocking over skiers and small children like bowling pins. By sheer luck and contrived plotting, they managed to avoid hitting any trees, and eventually plowed to a stop in a snowbank with a gusty *poof* of white flakes.
The three pirates dug themselves out of the snowbank, groaning and complaining. Karnage was coiled with fury. "I really and truly hope someone, somewhere, is enjoying all this!"
A gray panther in a bad toupee appeared out of nowhere. "That's my line!" Before the pirates could respond, a plump cat with too much makeup came up and dragged him away, kicking and screaming.
They looked to each other and blinked in confusion.
"Must be a fanfic crossover or something," Scarlet said with a shrug. "Anyway, look on the bright side...it got us away from Kit."
"And I'm going to go back, not-away from Kit, and impale his miserable, betraying self on a ski pole!" Karnage growled, rolling up one sleeve and marching up the slope. Scarlet ran after him and grabbed his tail, pulling him back.
"Now, now, querido, remember, you're supposed to be bonding with Carlotta, not picking fights."
"I will not pick a fight, I will simply put that no-good little traitor six feet under the permafrost!" he snarled.
"He's not worth it!" Scarlet said. "Please, Felipe. Forget him, and let's go skiing."
Karnage held out his palms and made a see-sawing, weighing motion. "Let me see. Revenge...breaking my leg...revenge...breaking my leg. Is this really supposed to be a question?"
"You will not break your leg!" Scarlet insisted. "We'll go back up there, rent some skis, and have a nice, quiet afternoon together."
"Until I break my leg."
"You are NOT going to break your leg!" she said with an exasperated sigh.
"Yes I am."
"No you're not!"
"Yes I am!"
"No, you're not!"
They bickered in the same uncreative fashion all the way up the slope.
"Whew! That was close!" Ernie wheezed. They were safely back in the main lodge, warming their feet by the giant fireplace. "I mean, that was Don Karnage! That guy is dangerous!"
Kit stood with arms crossed on his chest, frowning. "He's a lunatic, but that's no excuse to go running off, screaming your fool head off! I mean, really, guys! I'm embarrassed to be seen with you."
"Yeah, well, we can't all be superheroes," Ernie said sarcastically.
"Look, I didn't mean to--"
"Forget it, Cloudkicker."
"Hey!" their hippo friend said suddenly, pointing out the window. "I wonder...Kit, if you put on skis, on your airfoil, and jumped off the roof...I bet you could fly over the ski jump, and then grab the airfoil out from under you and ski down the ski jump! Hows about it?"
Kit stared at him with an expression that cast serious doubts on his sanity. "What do you think this is, a bad fanfic? No way am I doing a stupid stunt like that! Are you like on something, or what?"
Ernie grinned devilishly. "Come on, Kit! Ya chicken?"
"No! I'm sane!"
"Oh, sure, not afraid to face a couple ol' pirates, but this...oh, no!" Ernie mocked.
Kit glanced at the fireplace poker and considered doing something very violent toward his companion, but decided against it. "Look, I'll just off the stupid roof with my airfoil if you want, but on skis? You've got to be kidding!"
"You still wanna be in our club?"
Not really, thought Kit. Then he caught a glimpse of Oscar looking at him imploringly. Aw, geez. The kid had so few people to look up to. "Fine, fine, I'll give it a shot. But it's still the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
A few minutes later, Kit was standing on the roof of the main lodge, holding his airfoil and looking seriously peeved. He was beginning to suspect he was in a poorly-plotted, contrived old fanfic, and he wasn't happy about it. Best to go along with it, though, or he'd probably end up with some bizarre disease, or change into a bloodthirsty monster, or get saddled with an annoying girlfriend, or get addicted to opium, or find out he was Baloo and Rebecca's love child. He shuddered. He'd take jumping off a roof any day.
Below, the guys were chanting his name and waving encouragingly.
Kit took a deep breath and leapt off the roof, holding the airfoil beneath his feet. Before he could adequately balance himself, a sudden updraft caught him and sent him horribly off course. As plot contrivance would have it, he found himself shooting out of control, straight for Don Karnage.
Kit shut his eyes and braced for impact. "Yep," he told himself. "Definitely a bad old fanfic."
With a crash and a yelp, they both went head-over-tails down the ski slope. Before either could extricate themselves, they went flying off the end of the ski jump. Kit finally managed to break away from the pirate, and grabbed his airfoil. He regained his balance and glided with relative grace over the trees and out of sight.
Karnage, of course, had no such aerodynamic luxury, and ended up head-first in a snowdrift at the foot of a pine tree. The impact of his landing shook free piles of snow and brown pine needs from the tree, all of which came raining down on his head. When the dust had settled, Karnage was nowhere to be seen, but his muffled voice could be heard saying, "Next time, I am going to absolutely, positively insist on not going to a ski resort harder."
Scarlet and Carlotta skied over and dug him out of the drift. He was caked in snow from his boots to the tip of his scarred ear.
"Are you all right, querido?" Scarlet asked with concern, brushing snow off his face and shoulders.
"Am I all right? No, I am not all right!" he fumed. "I have had it! I am going back to the cabin for some dry clothes, and I am not coming out until it is time to go home or until this estupid fanfic is over, whichever is coming firstly! I hate the cold, I hate the snow, I hate the skiing, I hate Kit Cloudkicker, and I hate this fic!"
"No butting!" he roared. Carlotta and Scarlet watched him storm away, back toward the cabin.
The blonde vixen put her hands on her hips and sighed. "I'm going to get that man to relax if it kills him!"
The teenagers stood in the lobby of the main lodge, looking sheepishly at Kit. "Uh...gee, Kit," Ernie said, studying his toes. "I can't believe you actually pulled it off."
Kit moaned. "I can't believe I let you idiots talk me into it!"
"Sorry," Oscar said with a meek smile.
"Yeah, yeah," he said. "Let's just get some supper and go to bed. I hurt in places I didn't know existed." Kit led the others into the resort's main restaurant, the not-so-creatively titled "Ice Palace".
"Felipe, wait! Please?"
"Stop saying please, Scarlet. You are a pirate, remember?" he griped.
"Okay. Fine. Stop right there, or I'll knock you clear into next Tuesday, without your major limbs intact!"
He stopped but did not lessen his frown. "What is it? I tell you, I am not going skiing again!"
"All right, all right. I admit, maybe skiing wasn't the best idea ever. I won't make you do it again."
"Darn tootling you won't!"
"I promise. Now why don't we start over? We can go the restaurant, have something good to eat, and then sit by the fire to warm up. Doesn't that sound nice?" She put her arms around his shoulders and smiled.
"Do not be patronizing the Prince of Pirates."
"I'm not being patronizing. Carlotta, don't you want dinner?"
She nodded eagerly. "Si, si! Per favore, papa?"
Karnage sighed and put a hand to his head. "Fine, fine, fine. You win."
They walked up to the main lodge and into the still-not-so-creatively-named "Ice Palace" restaurant. "Table for three, please," Scarlet told the waiter. Soon they were seated in the front of the dining room, near the bar. The waiter brought a wine list, which Karnage promptly shoved away.
"Ah, yes, that would be the perfect ending to this miserable day," he said. "Although some of the hallucinations might be better than this rotten vacation!"
The waiter, a bear with an Australian accent and a bad haircut, protested. "But, sir, we've got a wide variety of drinks and cocktails, and--"
"No!" Karnage snapped.
Scarlet raised her eyes and then turned to the waiter. "No thanks. Just bring us water and menus."
"Can I interest you in a fine throw pillow?"
"No!" the pirates snapped in unison.
"Geez, okay, don't rupture something," the bear huffed, walking back toward the kitchen.
Kit and his friends were enjoying a platter of onion rings and talking when Oscar Vandersnoot suddenly slumped down in his chair and whispered urgently. "Kit! Look over by the bar!"
Kit looked. "Oh no," he moaned. "Not again! Of all the ski resorts in all the mountain ranges in the world, why did they have to pick this one?"
"Because we're in a bad fanfic?" Ernie offered.
He sighed. "Look, everybody, just stay calm. They don't care about you guys. I'm the one Karnage is mad at. You can stay here. I'll go back to the cabin and call the police."
"Uh uh, Kit," Oscar said, shaking his head. "We're friends, and friends stick together!"
Ernie grinned crookedly. "Listen to little Mr. Disney propaganda over here!"
"No, he's right!" said the rabbit. "Let's go!"
Kit nodded and took leadership. "Okay, try to keep your backs to them, and for heaven's sake be quiet!" Heeding his commanding words, the others did as they were told. As slowly and nonchalantly as they could, they made their way to the other end of the restaurant.
Carlotta began sneezing. "Oh my," she said with a sniffle. "This cold air is not so good for my nose. Does anyone have a handkerchief?"
Scarlet searched her pockets. "Nope."
Karnage shook his head.
Carlotta sneezed again. "Then pardon me. I will be back soon." She scurried off toward the ladies' room in search of a tissue.
As fate and deux ex machina would have it, the restrooms were right by the exit. The sneezing vixen plowed right into Oscar Vandersnoot in her haste, sending him sprawling into a garbage bin. In their haste to exit, the others don't notice the sudden reduction of their ranks.
And there was much rejoicing.
Baloo and Rebecca were seated at a cozy corner table, trying not to laugh at Molly, who was attempting to balance a spoon on her nose.
"You know, Becky, this place is pretty nice," Baloo said through a mouthful of onion rings.
"Well, I'm just glad I was able to get an invitation to this conference," Rebecca said, scanning the menu for entrees. "It's very exclusive. I hear even Shere Khan is coming!"
"He's over by the fireplace," Baloo said, nodding toward the far wall.
Rebecca tried to peek inconspicuously around her menu. Khan was sitting at a table for two with a shapely tigress. "Who's that with him?"
"I dunno, but she's got curves like a--"
"Well, she does."
"He's actually smiling!" Rebecca said in amazement. "Have you ever seen him smile?"
"Well, there was that one time, but that might've been gas." Baloo made a minimal effort to stifle a burp.
Rebecca hid behind her menu. "I am not with you. I've never even seen you before."
"What?" Baloo said indignantly. "If I'd have let that one fly, the rafters would've cracked!"
The waitress, a short, dark-haired bear, arrived with a small notepad. "Good evening," she said pleasantly. "Are you ready to order?"
"I'm still thinking," Rebecca said.
"Well, make up your mind, Beckers, I'm wasting away to nothin' over here," Baloo teased.
She gave him a disgusted look.
"May I suggest the oysters, ma'am?" the waitress said, giving her a weird grin.
Rebecca lowered an eyebrow. "No. I'll take the filet mignon, medium-well, and a salad with the House French."
The waitress turned to Baloo. "And you, sir? The same as your wife?"
"We ain't married!" Baloo said quickly. "She's my boss!"
"Aww, but you make such a cute couple!" the waitress said. "Would you like the oysters, sir?"
"Nope. Just bring me the biggest burger ya got, and a pile o'fries."
"And for the little lady?"
"Ice cream!" Molly said.
"Molly, you've got to eat real food first," Rebecca said.
"Aww..." the girl whined.
"She'll have a cheeseburger and fries," her mother told the waitress.
The waitress nodded and wrote it down. "But no oysters?"
"No!" Rebecca snapped.
"They have certain...effects, you know..."
She looked at Baloo with his mouth stuffed with onion rings and grimaced. "No!"
"Can I at least light a few candles for you? Take your daughter to the day care? Provide a little mood music?"
The waitress sighed. "You're no fun at all."
As Kit and the other Jungle Aces walked toward their cabin, there was a sudden burst of light from the clouds above, and a bear appeared in midair. He wore a T-shirt bearing the mystic symbols "K&K" and was scowling severely. "You! Jungle Assholes!"
Ernie cowered behind Kit and wet himself.
"Who...who are you?" Kit gulped.
"I am the Mighty Brahma Bear! And these Jungle Jerks are not worthy to be in your presence, O Great Cloudkicker!"
The Jungle Aces mumbled incoherently in terror.
A ball of glowing light coalesced in the celestial ursine's hands. "And now, for making my hero look uncool, I shall smite thee!"
Kit ducked out of the way and covered his eyes from the blinding light.
When he dared to look, Kit saw that his companions had been reduced to a smudge of ashes in the snow. "Hey, cool! Thanks!" He gave the apparition a thumbs-up.
"My pleasure," said the Brahma Bear, taking a bow. "Now you can do something for me."
"Anything, O Great One!"
"Go apologize to Karnage and re-join the pirates."
"What?" Kit said in a strangled voice. "You're kidding!"
"Deities don't kid, kid."
"I really don't want to smite you, too."
Kit kicked the snow. "Aw, nuts."
When Kit returned to the still-not-creatively-titled "Ice Palace," he found the cozy restaurant in chaos. The waitress had locked Baloo and Rebecca together in a broom closet with a platter of oysters and a bottle of Viagra. The waiter was huddled in the corner in a mountain of throw pillows, popping pills with Wildcat and a red-haired vixen, laughing at the pandemonium. Don Karnage was being chased in circles around the room by a horde of crazed fan femmes. Scarlet was randomly throwing dead fish and Pop-Tarts around. Barney, the retired cliff gun operator, was being burned at the stake back in the kitchen. Oscar was still trapped in the garbage bin. Some Brazilian bear was painting a breathtaking mural on the far wall, completely ignoring everything that was going on.
Kit just stood there with his mouth hanging open, no longer in any doubt that, not only was this a bad fanfic, it was one rife with shameless crossovers and cameos. He just hoped that she wasn't here...
"Kit! Mi amor!"
He turned and stood paralyzed with horror as a golden-furred bearess in jeans and a very skimpy halter top came running up and hopped into his arms, locking her legs around his waist.
"Wanna go to the carnival before the baseball game, honeylips, or do you wanna go dance the Macarena and eat at the Pizza Hut?" she asked.
The last thing Kit knew before blacking out was the sound of his own voice screaming in terror.
There was only white, as far as the eye could see. No shadows. No furniture. No doors. No sky. Nothing. Only white.
A figure slowly approached, walking leisurely out of the vast, colorless void. It was Scarlet, out of character, smiling sheepishly into the camera.
"Uh...hi, guys. That atrocity started out as my very first TaleSpin fanfic, but at about the point I ran out of ideas ten years ago is where I picked up with the cameos. Hope you enjoyed it, and could figure out who all those mysterious people were supposed to be, and nobody got offended by me poking fun at their fics."
She grinned hesitantly. "So...what did you think?"
Out of nowhere, a flurry of dead fish, bricks, rocks, tomatoes, stale Pop-Tarts, throw pillows and decomposing gerbils buried Scarlet.
Her muffled voice was just barely audible. "Okay, then! Goooooooodnight everybody!"
Back to Pirate Island