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The Phoenix Chronicles Episode Two: The Long Journey Back Home?

Beginning Theme: Thesis of a Cruel Angel.

. Mousse had hiked a couple of miles away from the village, then began his training in the Mount Kuan Jang Range. It was quite a distance from the Amazon village, which was quite a relief for him. He had heard about the cursed springs of Jusenkyo, which was in the area, but he didn't think anything of it. He was going through his basic Kung Fu training when he heard a girl gasping for help. It wasn't so much hearing it was more like he felt it. He ran to the source, and could see a clearing as he went downhill. But it wasn't just a clearing; it was bunch of springs. There were hundreds of pools, all of which had four or five tall bamboo sticks, which were spread, scarcely throughout each pool.

"Excuse me, sir," A man in a brown plain uniform said, "but you don't want to go in there. All of these springs are cursed. Legend says that whoever falls in the spring will take the body of whoever, or whatever drown in there hundreds and thousands of years ago."

"Have you seen a girl here?"

"Over there, but since she hasn't changed, I'd say she fell into the Spring of Drowned Woman."

They both saw a little brunette girl, younger than Mousse anyway, coming up for breath, heaving, but before she could take any deep breaths, she went back under. She came up twice, but didn't have enough breath to even call for help.

"I've got to save her." Mousse said, jumping into the spring, three seconds after the girl went under the last time. When they emerged, There were two girls, not one. There was the little girl, and another girl, a little older, but not so much. The new girl had long black hair, blue eyes, and very pale skin. That girl was Mousse, but she obviously was paying any attention to that. She hadn't even felt the change. She put girl on the ground and gave her CPR. She could see the guide running up to her, and he had a sign.

"Sir, you fall into spring of drown-" Mousse held her hand up to tell the guide to wait. Then continued the CPR procedure. The girl coughed, and opened her eyes. She sat up and hugged Mousse tightly, "Thank you, Miss. My mommy would have really been worried if I was late for dinner. Bye!" she said, running off.

I wonder what she means by 'miss'. Oh well. "Sir, as I was going to tell you, you have fallen into Spring of Drowned Woman...The legends were true, See?" the guide gave him a mirror. She was hesitant to accept it, but took it anyway. When Mousse looked in the mirror, she saw the image of Achika, his mother, looking right back at her, mimicking her every move. She held it at a distance, and saw the long black hair streaming behind her body. As a girl, she looked more like Achika than he ever thought he possible. Then Mousse, gave the guide back his mirror, and moved her hands to her chest, and felt more weight on her chest. She closed her eyes, and slowly unbuttoned her white robe. The guide winced when Mousse yelled, "WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO ME?!"

"How do I change back into a guy?" Mousse asked,

"Well, sir. If you pour hot water on yourself, you'll turn back into boy. But don't let yourself get splashed by cold water. That will turn you back into girl."

"This is too weird for me."

"I told you what it was, sir."

"I know, but I couldn't let that girl drown."

"Lucky for you that I carry this," the guide said, pouring hot water from a kettle onto Mousse. He was a guy again. He thanked the Guide and left. He just hoped that Cologne or Shampoo didn't find out about this. Not that he cared, but he didn't want to be treated any worse than he already was. He had enough problems. He didnít notice that Shampoo had followed him, though. She now brandished a knife that was as long as her forearm, and the jagged edge had its teeth facing downward, likely to more damage if pulled out. She saw that his problem would make things hard for him. As long as Mousse was miserable, she would allow him to continue existence.

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The Clamp Detectives had been wandering near the Amazon village, all of them wearing matching green hiking backpacks. They were all tired. Akira, the youngest of them was lagging behind.

"Can you hand me that map, Akira?" Nokoru asked.

"By the way, Captain, can you read Chinese?" Suo asked.

"No."

Both Akira and Suo groaned.

"But I have an uncanny sense of direction."

"Like in the Tokyo Library?" Suo teased.

"Oh, shut up..." Nokoru grumbled.

Nokoru had gone to the Tokyo Library to do research on the Customs and life style of the people in the rural Chinese villages. He had checked the card catalogue, and found the books were not in the their appointed place. Nokoru had such a respect for the Library that he dedicated himself to putting all the books in their exact location in accordance with the card catalogue. Of course, in due time, he became very lost. Suo and Akira followed the paper trail, quite literally, and found Nokoru in the occult section, where he was pacing up and down the aisle.

"I think the village is up ahead this way."

"and if it's not, you'll find the village and tell them all to move here." Suo muttered.

"What was that?" Nokoru asked sharply.

"Nothing."

Nokoru looked ahead, and saw a girl, that looked like Achika. Even the hair was just as long.

"Hey, you guys, that girl. Doesnít she look like Achika-san?"

"Come to think of it, Captain, she does."

"So, whatíll we do?"

"Well, why donít we follow her?"

"What for? Do you like her, Captain?"

"Shut up, Suo. Maybe, Achika-san made a mistake."

"Captain, are you suggesting that she forgot she had a daughter or a son? Perhaps, she might have been thinking of some kid that just happened to look like her?"

"Well, it couldíve been a baby switching thing. Maybe the father of this girl sent that guy for his son because he realized he had the wrong kid."

"Give me a break, Captain. Youíre not making any sense."

"Letís just go, Suo. Look, sheís leaving."

"Yes, letís. Before your dream girl gets away."

"Oh, shut up, Suo." Nokoru snapped, as he began to trudge faster.

--------------

They saw her, in a rustic village with wooden huts, she was tending to the pigs as they were feeding. They saw her look around to see if anyone was with her. Then, she grabbed a pale of steaming water, and then pour it over herself.

The Detectives looked on as the girl began grow large, and fill out the robe. Then, then realized that the girl was there no longer.

"That was weird, Captain."

"See? Guys, we have found Hikaru Masaki. I told you that the girl had something to do with this."

"Yes, you did. Captain. Would that mean that heís some sort of magician?"

Suo looked at Akira, "Now, youíre starting to talk like him."

Then, they, the detectives, looked on in horror as he grabbed a piece of whatever the pigs were eating, Suo thought it mightíve been a peace of lettuce. Mousse dipped it in the water troth, and looked ready to eat it.

They rushed to him immediately, and took dried piece of lettuce that he was eating.

"Give it back, that's lunch!" yelled. Suo had packed a lot of food, so he took out a piece of beef jerky and handed that to Mousse.

"Hmm, this is good...Can I have more?"

"You can, but only if you come with us."

"Where are you taking me to?" Mousse asked, tensely.

"We're all going back to Japan. Your mother sent us."

" My mom sent you?...I'll go back with you. I want go home." His voice was wary.

The Clamp boys took a yak each, from the village.

"Is this alright? Wonít you get in trouble?" Akira asked.

"I donít care anymore. I just want go home. Do you know where the airport is?" Mousse asked.

"I certainly hope so." Suo replied. Akira nudged him on the side.

"Iím just asking because I took A different route." Mousse told them sheepishly.

Nokoru put his hand on his shoulder. "Itís all right, Hikaru. Youíre going home, now."

"Okay, youíre the one with the compass on the head, so lead the way, oh fearless leader." Suo told him.

"There is one thing I want to ask you, Hikaru." Nokoru said.

"Yes, what is it?"

"Can you speak Chinese?" This elicited an annoyed look from Suo.

"Yes," Mousse said nervously, looking at Suo.

"One more thing," Nokoru said, filling the pail with the cold water, "Can we check something out?"

"Sure," and then he felt the cold water wash over him.

"Why did you do that?" she heard the voice that came out of her mouth, and found it to be female

It was at that point that Cologne chose to show herself, with fifty other amazons, Shampoo included, in tow. She pointed her cain at the intruders, and ordered, "Attack!"

"Captain?" Suo asked.

"I read that if you defeat them in combat, you'll have to marry them." Nokoru told him.

"Your point?" Suo pressed.

"Well, I'm not sure I want to marry any of them." Nokoru snapped.

"Fine, you can stay single and die, or we fight our way out of here." Suo told him.

"I say we fight!" Mousse yelled, charging at the amazons. She was not going to stay here, and face any more humiliation, any more abuse. She was sick of it all. While the Clamp boys through fifteen amazons, injuring all of them severely, Mousse went for Shampoo. The rest of the Amazons left the boys alone to watch the fight with the outsider.

Shampoo saw her coming, and smiled, rasping, "Come on, stupid girl! Come, and die!"

Mousse waded in, punching her in the jaw. Shampoo pulled out the bowie knife, and slit that across Mousseís forearm, hoping she would hit the vein.

Mousse groaned, and punched her in the stomach, making Shampoo dig her blade into Mousseís leg, and then pulled it out just as quickly, taking some of her skin with it.

"Suo, that other girl has the advantage. We should help Hikaru out."

"No. This is his fight. Let him handle it, Captain."

Mousse grabbed her own leg with own hand, trying to apply pressure to the fresh wound. She used her other arm raising her elbow to sharply hit her throat. Then, Shampoo held the knife up, and prepared to shove it into Mousseís breasts.

Mousse held her left arm up. The bowie knife went through Mousseís arm.

Nokoru couldnít take it anymore. He tried to charge forward, but Suo held his wrist.

"Captain, this is his fight. We canít take this away from him."

"This is death, Suo!"

"Let him be, Captain."

Mousse whipped his arm away from Shampoo, spilling blood on the ground as and ripping the knife out of Shampooís grip. Finally, Mousse kicked her in the stomach, three times, then in the face, also three times.

As Shampoo lay on the ground, Mousse straddled her, and ripped the knife out of his wolf-bitten, knife torn arm. She raised it high above her head.

"Hikaru, donít!" the boys cried.

The knife came down, four inches away from Shampooís head. Then, Mousse bent over her, to whisper into her ear, "Do you still think Iím not a warrior?"

That made Shampoo look up into the girlís eyes, only to see pity. Mousse, on the other hand, could see the utter hate, and pain in Shampooís large eyes, while her brow creased, and her mouth was open to scream. Mousse stood up, leaving her blood on Shampooís clothes, and staggered towards the guys. The Clamp boys immediately went to Mousseís side. Suo went his backpack, which had been thrown aside during the fight, and took out two of his spare tee shirts. Suo tied the first spare tee shirt around her left thigh, and the other around her left forearm.

Cologne began to hop back towards the village, as Shampoo staggered behind her, but only after pulling her knife out of the ground, and putting it into the sheath on her belt.

Suo grabbed the kettle that was sitting on the ground, and poured the hot water on Mousse. Nokoru, and Akira watched as Mousse got on his knees, and cried. He cried because he could finally leave here, away from Cologne, away from Shampoo. Away from all of those who kicked him, and tortured him, and spit on him. "I'm free." she sobbed, watching the last amazon walk away.

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Mousse saw Japan come into view when the concord dipped its wing as it veered east. He sat in the large seat, with wide padded armchairs on either side of him. Heíd never felt such a comfortable chair.

"Is this home?" he asked.

Nokoru nodded, smiling.

"I want to go back to my mom as soon as I can."

"Of course, you do. Weíll get you back to your mom."

--------------

Chairman Kihl sat in his darkened office, and watched the monitor. He looked at Mousse, who was sitting in his seat, beside Nokoru. He had grown-up somewhat, but that was the same child he had seen several years before. The one that Dr. Katsuragi boasted about. Nonetheless, Kihl had placed some of his hopes for mankind with the boy.

"Gabriel has returned." He said.

"So, he has been found again." The second member of Seele said.

"However, we cannot let him be reunited with his mother," Kihl replied.

"So, we will have to eliminate her, then" The Twelfth of Seele added.

"That may not be necessary." Kihl told them. "After all, once Gabriel returns to Tokyo, he will not even meet with her. We shall change the files on the detectivesí system. Perhaps, that is all weíll need."

"And who will the false address belong to?" the second of Seele told him.

"The address of one the many who have failed us." Kihl told him.

"The bounty hunter, Aito, has been a most costly waste. His home in downtown, Tokyo remains." the fifth of Seele suggested.

"Correct." Seele 05 said, "We shall have that house destroyed. After all, it would be logical for Gabrielís mother to move to TokyoÖin order to initiate a large-scale search. Also, it would be logical if she had enemies powerful enough to destroy her home. She was, after all, a police officer."

"Very well," Kihl approved gruffly, "Make the arrangements."

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"This is it!" Mousse chanted as he walked up to the gates of the house in Tokyo.

He didnít remember his parents having a house in Tokyo, but he thought that perhaps everything had changed, and his parents had moved to Tokyo. It didnít matter, though. As long his mother, father, and grandfather were there, it was home. He wore a Clamp Academy uniform, which Suo had let him borrow.

He was hoping he didnít have to explain his scars to his mother, but the thought of her fussing over him made him comfortable. He wanted to be where she was, where she cared about him, and fussed over him.

"Hikaru, wait for us!" Suo said as he closed the door to the limousine, while the other two caught up to him.

Mousse stood still for a moment, and looked at them over his shoulder, "Okay, but hurry up. I want my mom to meet you guys. I hope sheís home. I wonder if sheís still the same. Maybe, she might look a little older." He felt so excited, and said, "Guys, I canít wait. I really want to see my mom. Iím going ahead."

He opened the gate and a pile of wet, blackened wood, which lay smoldering in the July winds. Worst of all, though, was the smell of rotting meat in the air.

Mousse, who had dropped to his knees, began to cry as he let the smell overtake him. He felt his lunch come up, as he looked at the pile of burnt wood. His tears welled up, and his glasses fell to the grass. When he looked up again, he couldnít see the ashes.

He only saw a black blur, and yet that smell persisted. It filled his nostrils, and made his eyes itch even more. He still couldnít believe that this house once belonged to his parents. He still couldnít believe they were gone, that they blinked out of existence because of some stupid accident.

Nokoru had covered his mouth when he first came through the gate, but hastily put his kerchief away when he saw Mousse on his hands and knees, crying.

"Itís my fault!" he cried.

"No, Hikaru. How can this be your fault?" Suo asked.

"That guy who took me said that some important people wanted me, and he hurt my mom before he took me away." Mousse sobbed.

"Do you know where he might be now, Hikaru?" Akira asked.

"In hell, I hope. The amazons killed him when we stumbled onto them. Then, I met Shampoo, and those other-" he choked, and just cried a little more. Nokoru, and Suo grabbed each of his arms, and picked him up.

They took him back to the car. They sat him between them, but he didnít lean on either of them. He just cried, until he just couldnít anymore. He eventually fell asleep, but he just rest his head by laying it back. He didnít lean on either of them, though.

{Donít you trust us, Hikaru?} Nokoru wondered, but he knew that wasnít fair of him to ask that. They barely met, and the people that Mousse did know for a long time seemed to have treated him pretty badly. His real family was gone.

Mousse woke up some time later. They were riding the limousine back to Kyoto, where their home office was. It was night, and Mousse found that Suo had given him his own coat, again. The coat be had been wearing earlier was gone.

"Hey there, Kid."

"Suo-san, Iím sorry about your coat."

"Hey, forget that. Are you okay?"

"Not really." Mousse muttered.

"Look, Hikaru, why donít you come with us?"

"Where?"

"To Clamp Academy, of course. Thatís where I go. Nokoru, and Akira, too."

"I canít go there. I have nothing to go home, now. I have no one to show my grades to, no one to introduce my friends to." he choked, and Suo quickly gave him a glass of water, which he drank. He calmed down some.

"Look. Maybe one of our parents can take you in. You know, you can stay with one of us."

"Really?" Mousse asked, his voice gaining some composure.

"Yeah. I mean, we can take care of you, right guys?"

"I might not be able to stay with you."

"Well, you can stay with us while you look for a place to stay, Hikaru." Suo said, humoring Mousse. They damn well would take care of him, raise him themselves, if need be.

"Suo-san, Nokoru-san, Akira-san, thank you."

"Hey, thatís what friends are for, right?"

"I donít know. Iíve never really had friends." Mousse told them.

"Well, you do now." Nokoru chimed in, grabbing Mousse in a headlock.

--------------

Yui Ikari was a young biochemistry major. She was of average height, standing five-foot-nine. She had short brown hair, and light pink skin. Her eyes were a dark brown, and she wore little make-up. She was demure. Her simple beauty earned her several glances, though. She went to the counseling office, and sat down with one of the counselors.

"Can I help you?" asked the petite, elder counselor asked.

Yui looked at the nameplate. "Yes. Ms. Takashi?" she said, uncertain.

"Thatís right." The counselor said, laughing a bit.

"I was wondering if you had any information on the WARD-FIND PROGRAM?"

"Were you interested in becoming a Guardian?"

"Yes, Actually. I mean I received a letter from the Federal Social Worker, and it said I would be appointed in two years. I was wondering if you could give me some options. Iíd like to pick my ward before the state does." Yui said.

The counselor gave her a brief suspicious glance, then reached under her desk. She brought out a large book.

Yui stood out of her chair, "Do you need help?" she asked.

"No, noÖ" Takashi took a look at the large book, "Yes, yesÖActually, this is a record of the wards that are yet unaccounted for." Yui had already gone to her, and helped to place the forest green, gold-trimmed book onto the desk.

She paged through it, and saw the picture of a young kid with black hair. It was Mousse, but he looked almost emaciated, and his face was severe. It was his eyes, which were radiant and smiling, that she noticed the most, the way it contrasted with his tight little jaw, and the dented cheeks that were on either side of his little mouth, that was only a smile turned upside down. Yui wanted to see that smile, and she wanted it to be for her her.

"This one," Yui said, smiling. "Hikaru Teníou."

Takashi looked over to the picture, "Hmmm, Number 062984." She observed, and then opened her drawer, which held all the district files.

"Heís not a number, Ms. Takashi." Yui said, defensively.

Takashi smiled at that slightly, "Falling for him already, are you?"

Yui sheepishly replied "Iím quite taken when it comes to hard-luck cases."

-----------------------

Weeks later, Nokoru received a phone call as he sat in his office. He was still worried that they might have to turn Mousse over to the state if they couldnít get him into the Academy, and they certainly couldnít list him under their care. The problem was that Mousse needed a sponsor to get into Clamp Academy. Otherwise, heíd be sent to the Federal Social Workers, who werenít really doing their jobs nowadays, since all of them were just interested in getting their commission, it no longer mattered to them where the children were placed. Nokoru found that in all the test theyíd given Mousse, his learning ability was at a Sixth Grade Level for the Academy, and that amazed Nokoru to no end, considering where they found him.

"What? You found a sponsor? Thanks Dr. Takashi?"

-------------------

Two weeks later, Mousse was sitting in another large office.

"Welcome to CLAMP ACADEMY, Master Hikaru," The headmaster told Mousse warmly. "Now. As you know, we are having our dormitory facilities remodeled, so that means you will have to live with your sponsor. Hereís her card. Her name is Yui Ikari."

------------------

Mousseís first impression of Yui was a pleasant one. The Clamp Limo had taken him to Yuiís house in the suburbs. Mousse was also wearing a Clamp academy Uniform, which consisted of a black formal coat, and black slack-type shorts. Also, the Academy gave him funds to buy what he needed.

Yui stood at the door, looking down on Mousse, smiling, and Mousse could tell she was obviously very kind.

"Hello," he said , "Iím Hikaru Teníoh." He told her.

She was wearing a lab coat. She squatted so they were eye to eye. "Hello, Iím Yui Ikari. Iíll be taking care of you from now on." Sufficed to say, Mousse loved her right away.

--------------------

(Kyoto University)

"Professor! Professor Saotome!" A student called.

"Hello, boys." Ranma Saotome replied. He was a middle-aged man, his already gray hair combed back, who was tall and lanky.

"We were wondering if you would come down with us to the Riverwalk." a second student told him.

"What? Again?" Saotome asked.

"Ryoko, and the others said they'd come if you'd come if you came too." the first student told him.

"And didn't the Dean say you shouldn't be so unsociable?" the second added.

Saotome was sitting at the bar with an older man, the Dean.

"It's nice to have a drink outside, once in a while."

"Yes, sir."

"You know, you're a brilliant scientist, but you place enough importance in your relationship with others."

"I'm sorry, sir."

"Somehow, I doubt that. However, there is a young, brilliant Bio-engineering student." Her name is Ikari. Have you heard about her before?"

"No, sir." Saotome replied.

"She has just written an interesting paper. and I want you to take her on as a research assistant."

"And her name is Ikari," he mused. "I'll do it, sir."

-------------

Ranma sat at his desk, and his daughter, Ranko, was sitting in a smaller chair next to her father. She was about ten years old, and very sporty. She had a thick shock of red hair, and even had her fatherís trade mark pigtail. Her mother, Akane, had tied her hair that way. She had her motherís snow white skin, and her fatherís blue eyes. Also, she wore a pear of denim overalls, and a white shirt underneath. She usually wore a baseball cap, but she didnít want to embarrass her father. So left it off.

Yui stood in his office, wearing a pink shirt, and a lab coat. He thought she was quite beautiful, although not like model-beauty, it was her simple style that appealed to him. He looked up from the paper he was glancing over.

"I read your paper, last night. There's still a few things I have questions about, but other than that, it's very interesting." he told her.

"Thank you very much, sir." she replied humbly.

"And your full name is Yui Ikari, right?"

"That's right, sir."

"So, what are your plans for the future? Are you planning go into corporate research, or are you going to join a school's research facility?" he asked.

"Well, I haven't really thought about that much. And in my case, there may be a third option; I'm thinking of getting married, and having children."

Saotome saw someone standing behind Yui. It was strange that he hadn't noticed the child before. "Who's this?"

"Come on out, Hikaru." Yui said, gently.

"Alright." Mousse said, stepping out from behind Yui. He wore the Clamp Uniform. His head was turned down, while he looked up every so often.

"There's no need to be afraid of me." Saotome told him.

"Yes, sir." Mousse replied.

"I'm taking care of him, sir." Yui told him.

"What's your name?" Saotome asked.

"My name is Hikaru Ten'ou, sir."

Ranma put his hand on Rankoís shoulder. "Hikaru, this is my daughter. Her name is Ranko."

She slid off the chair, and walked up to Mousse, who bowed respectfully, and then smiled a little. "Pleased to meet you, Ranko."

"He's very polite for someone his age." Ranma complimented

"Yes, he is, sir. Thank you, sir." Then, she looked at her watch. "Oh, sir, I promised him I would take him to the park."

"You do that, then. Also, come early tomorrow morning."

"Thank you, sir." Yui gushed. Seeing her smile, Mousse smiled as he walked next to her. Ranko watched him leave, looking through the window of her fatherís office. She watched as he turned right with Yui, and then walked down the hall. Then, she ran to window to that showed a view of the campus. She saw him walking with Yui, and looked at him until he disappeared into the crowd.

(A few days later.)

Saotome received a call from the Dean.

"Gendou Rokubungi? No. I have never met him, Ö.What?ÖIíve been appointed as his advisor?!Ö but I have heard his name at the core of a lot of rumors, and rather unsavory rumors at that. Well, Iíll go bail him out."

(Kyoto, Police station)

Gendou Rokubungi, his arm in a cast, looked at the professor.

"Iíve heard some interesting rumors about you, professor. Iím been looking forward to meet you for quite some time." Gendou said.

"Well, getting drunk and starting a fight isnít the best introduction." Saotome huffed.

"I didnít get a chance to say anything before they jumped me. Iím not used to being liked, Professor, but Iím quite familiar with hatred." Gendou told him.

"Yes, well, your problems are none of my concern." Saotome said, flatly.

"And your exactly the type of person I expected Professor Saotome to be." Gendou said, in a rather arrogant tone.

It was probably safe to say that Saotome did not like Gendou. Saotome thought that he was a real bastard. Gendou sensed this, but it didnít bother him. As he said, he was used to being hated. Perhaps, in some way, Gendou reminded Ranma of how head strong, and foolish he used to be. Then Ranma began to think about how he used to mistreat others. It was a startling realization when he thought about the similarities between him, and Gendou.

Continued

Ending Theme: Fly me to the MoonÖ

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Trailer:

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Mousse: So, I have a home.

Nokoru: Lucky you, your guardianís a knockout.

Yui: Hikaru. Iíll be taking care of you from now on.

Gendou: Weíll send you off to boarding school if I have anything to say about it.

Mousse: What have I ever done to you?

Gendou: You were born. Thatís enough.

Yui: If you hurt him, youíll be the one leaving.

Gendou: Of course, Yui. The next episode of Phoenix Chronicles is- This is ridiculous. You should read this, you little brat.

Mousse: The next episode is "Getting Settled. Itís tough when youíre a kid."

Gendou: Believe me, I can make it much worse.