“...and so,” said Emperor Ashton. “Eeven though everyone contributes towards Limbo, because I’m Teh Emperor -I- have more influence than -anyone-!”
“Meh,” mehhed Kate, not really paying attention. She missed her CRAXtrip Shelby terribly - she had yet to return from her ‘honeymoon’. At least it annoyed Ashton, she thought, smiling. Small victories.
“Pay attention to me! I’m trying to tell you something!” said Ashton annoyedly. “I’m your -Emperor-!”
“What is it, dear?” asked Emily, distractedly.
Happy to once again have the spotlight, Ashton continued. “Well, because of this...”
Emily’s mind wandered elsewhere and strayed to her Happy Place. Morris dancers! But they were Ancient Greeks! What a strange lass.
Off on her ‘honeymoon’, Shelby was having a great time. Limbo really was an interesting place. But she missed her CRAXtrips. She missed her Shiny Things!!1!! And she found, much to her annoyance, that she even missed Ashton. In the smallest way possible, she assured herself.
“That’s it!” she declared, “I think it’s time to go home. CRAX is where the heart is!”
“EEEEEEEEEE!” yelled Kate and Emily as Shelby appeared in a puff of green smoke. “YOU’RE BACK!1!!1!ELEVENTONE!1!one!” squeed Kate, who knocked Shelby off her feet in a *rugby attack hug*.
Emily jumped on them and joined in laughing. Ashton eyed the three of them rolling around on the floor grappling each other.
The Angels suddenly realised Emperor Ashton was watching. Most intently. Embarrassedly, they untangled themselves and stood up. They were still all grinning madly, if rather red and flushed. Nothing could dampen their excitement.
“-Finally-. You’re back,” said Ashton with a tinge of irritation.
“Oh yes, but I had the most -wonderful- time! I had -so- much fun! I’ve been -everywhere-! It could only have been made better if my trips had come with me! EEEEEEEE!1!!” gabbled Shelby excitedly. The Three were united! How happy they were!
Teh Emperor wasn’t impressed. AT ALL. “Yay. That’s great,” he said, flatly.
“SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” squeed all the Angels together, ignoring him completely as was entirely proper.
“Enough!” said Emperor Ashton, annoyed.
Shelby was determined to enjoy every last bit of this. Kate and Emily watched on delightedly.
“Kate, Emily, GUESS WHAT!!”
“I HAVE PRESENTS FOR YOU!!1!” said Shelby excitedly.
“OMG SQUEE!1!” yelled Kate and Emily together. “WHERE ARE THEY?! WHAT DID YOU GET US?! EEEE!”
Ashton was scandalised. How -DARE- she! WHERE’S MINE?! he thought, frantically searching for -something- to retort with.
The Angels giggled evAILy at the look on his face.
“DLAHKFA!!1!!HATE!!11!!” he managed unintelligibly. He was -furious-.
“Look Kate!” said Shelby, grinning madly at everything, “Look what I’ve got you!”
Kate *GASPED*. “SHELBY!!1!” yelled Kate, “A NEW RUGBY BALL!!!1 The last ball was ruined by all the orange juice! YOU GOT ME A NEW ONE!!1 BRILLIAnT!!1! *TRIPHUGZ*!”
Shelby detached herself and gave the ball to the ecstatic Kate.
“It’s not just -any- rugby ball, either! It’s an ENCHANTED rugby ball!”
“Shelby! Kate! THAT’S AWESOME!!” Emily was very impressed but just a -little- impatient. “What did I get, what did I get!?”
“Where is it?” Shelby fumbled around in her robe. “Aha! Here it is! LOOK!”
“A bone! It’s so small and... delicate!” said Emily, a little disappointed.
Shelby grinned. “Look closer!”
“What’s this?!” said Emily excitedly, finding a small grove in the bone. “It comes apart! What’s inside?!?! A QUILL!! IT’S -PERFECT-!!1! *WUB* THANKYOU SHELBY!1!!”
“It’s not just -any- quill! The bone and the feather are BOTH from a Sekret kind of bird - THEY’RE ENCHANTED TOO! THE BONE IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLY TO BREAK AND THE QUILL NEVER RUNS OUT OF INK!!1!”
“Thankyou Shelby! These are the best presents EVAIR!!1ELEVENTYONE!!” said Kate and Emily, smothering Shelby in yet -another- triphug.
Emily babbled, “I love my present! It’s so amazing! LOOK AT-”
“SILENCE!” interrupted Teh Emperor, using Teh Voice. Enough was enough. They had gone TOO FAR this time!
“You’d better come up with a present for me This Instant or there will be Trouble,” said Teh Emperor, Warningly. You could actually -hear- the capitals.
“Ooooh! You’re in -Trouble-, Shelby!” laughed Kate.
Shelby giggled. “What do you think Angels? I think I might have to pinch his cheek!”
“Damn straight!” added Emily, grinning.
“GAH! That’s -IT-!!1!!” said Teh Emperor, ominously. His expression changed - he closed his eyes and became oddly quiet. His imagination kicked into high gear.
“Where’s this Trouble then, dear?” asked Emily, mockingly.
The Angels waited expectantly. They ALL had :evilgrins - what could Ashton -possibly- hope to achieve? It really was laughable.
Reality *wavered*. Shelby’s outfit *flickered*.
“Meh. That’s not impressive at all,” said Kate, evAILy. She KNEW he had no Supa Powahz. A fact she liked -very- much. This emotion was shared by the other Angels and some others besides. There were many recipes for disaster, but Ashton a-la Supa Powahz wasn’t one of them; -that- particular recipe was in the next chapter, aptly titled “Catastrophes”.
Suddenly, with a final ripple of light, something changed.
“Alright!” exulted Ashton. “Now -that’s- impressive!”
Shelby was now wearing a stylish, yet revealing, leather outfit! “Awesome! I’m not Teh Emperor for nothing, you know!”
The Angel’s expressions were -priceless-. They all *gaped* in shock.
“Wha?” said Emily in disbelief.
*o_0* said Shelby’s face, her mouth working soundlessly.
“Mmmm! You look sexy!” said Kate, appreciatively. “Oh! Er-” she managed, blushing red, as everyone stared at her. She recovered quickly.
*SMACK!* A rugby ball came out of nowhere and hit Teh Emperor in the head. He looked at Kate in shock. Shelby’s outfit shimmered and reverted back to its original form.
Emily giggled. “It seems he has to -concentrate- on what he’s changing!”
Shelby grinned. “Imagine what Fee would’ve said!”
“That didn’t leave much to the imagination!” imitated Emily.
The CRAXtrips laughed.
“OW! THAT HURT! I RULE LIMBO, NOT YOU! I AM TEH EMPEROR!!ELEVENTYONE!1” wailed Ashton petulantly, who WAS NOT teary eyed AT ALL.
“You’re not meant to have any Powahz, Ashton. Not even a little one like this!”
Teh Emperor glared at Kate disgustedly. Doing the “right” thing by Kate occasionally saved him from painful rugby balls and tackles, to which he was allergic. However, this was not one of those times.
“KATEY BLAHGROVE! DO NOT MISTAKE ME FOR SOME CONJURER OF CHEAP TRICKS!” said Teh Emperor angrily, “I am TEH EMPEROR! THIS IS MY DOMAIN! I CAN DO WHAT I PLEASE! How -DARE- you presume to dictate to -ME-!”
It was Too Late now.
Teh Emperor noticed Kate toying idly with Teh Rugby Ball while looking at him with an eyebrow raised. Emily had her hands on her hips. Shelby just shook her head. He could NOT be allowed to get away with this.
“Firstly, Ashton, do NOT call me that.” said Kate with no trace of emotion. “Secondly...”
“I am Teh Empress!!1!” added Empress Shelby, angrily. “I now have at -least- as much say as you do in ANYTHING!”
“And thirdly, there’s no -way- you’re going to get away with that, and you know it!” said Emily, sweetly.
Ashton grinned nervously, “Have I ever told you three how much you ROX?”. He added hopefully, “Puppies and kittens?”
And then, Teh Emperor was gone.
“We were a bit harsh with him,” said Emily, concernedly.
“Bah!” bahhed Kate. "He's -Ashton-! He's immune to that kind of stuff!”
"Well, yes, but inside he's still just a little boy who likes the Lion King! He's just like Simba!" said Shelby, distraught.
Kate snickered. “Simba! *snort* Well ok, you might be right. Three days forced watching of The Crocodile Hunter probably -was- a bit much.”
Emily couldn’t help herself. “CRIKEY!”
The Angels laughed and waited for someone familiar to say something. Silence. Their grins faded.
“Maybe he'll come back?” suggested Emily hopefully.
“Perhaps,” said Kate. “But I think he's just WAITING for us to come and find him so he can use it against us.”
“It's something he would do,” said Shelby knowingly.
“ ‘So you DO care about me AFTER ALL! Awww, you really –are- Angels!’ ” imitated Kate. “That WOULD be -exceptionally- annoying.”
“Damn straight!” said Emily.
“It's settled then. He can come back when he's finished playing his silly Ashton games,” said Shelby.
The Angels nodded. Ashton didn't do anything important anyway - THEY could manage Limbo just fine without him.
Teh Emperor stormed in. He glared at the Angels and sat down in a corner to sulk. The Angels weren’t surprised – they grinned smugly at each other.
“See how he chose to sulk –right- where we could see him?” whispered Emily. The CRAXtrips snickered.
Emperor Ashton heard laughter and whispers coming over from the Angels. He *glared* at them. They giggled and turned away to discuss more important things.
Had the Angels looked back, they would have seen Ashton smiling almost imperceptibly.