"I'm so tired," Gackt said to You as they crossed the parking lot. "I think I'm going to go home and get a lonnng night's sleep." He yawned.
You stopped in his tracks, eyes wide. "Are...are you kidding?" he asked, eyes brimming with tears of happiness.
Gackt furrowed his brow and looked at his friend. "No..." he said, straight-faced. A beat. "Yes!" he laughed louder than he really needed to. "Oh man, I really got you there!"
"I can't believe you fell for that again," Chacha said, coming up beside the other guitarist and patting him on the back. "You should know better."
It was about 8pm on a Thursday evening and Gackt, You, Chacha, Chirolyn, and Jun-ji had just finished an almost full day of rehearsals for their upcoming tour. The new tour would be a real change of pace from the year of YFC and side projects, but the band had fallen back together as if no time had passed at all.
"And it sure was nice of you to come offer artistic input, Hyde," Gackt turned to the man on his other side, offering a generic reason for the other rocker to even be in this story.
Hyde waved his hand dismissively. "Not a problem, glad to help," he said.
Just then, the six men froze in their tracks as a small aircraft zoomed low over their heads. The roar of its engines was deafening.
"What the hell was that?!" Jun-ji exclaimed as if anyone could hear him.
Suddenly another, somewhat larger but surprisingly quieter, plane came around a nearby building in pursuit of the smaller one. As they disappeared off into the distance, Chirolyn whistled. "Wow, did you guys see that?"
"I've never seen such advanced-looking jets before!" Gackt exclaimed, awe apparently in his voice. "And I should know, I own 28 of them! And this is Japan, home of all sorts of crazy technology!"
The smaller jet came back into view. This time, however, there was smoke billowing from its tail and it looked like the pilot was having trouble controlling it. It basically crash-landed in the parking lot, completely flattening a bright yellow Porsche in the process.
Chacha's mouth fell open in horrified silence.
A hatch opened on the small aircraft and amidst the billowing smoke, a figure wearing all purple, a cape that reached the ground, and what appeared to be a strange-looking helmet stumbled out.
"Oy!" Gackt called to the man. "Are you ok?!"
"Is he ok?!" Chacha shrieked. "Look what he did to my car!!!"
Without acknowledging that they were even there, the mysterious man turned back to the aircraft and pulled out what looked like a very large and very hi-tech gun.
"Uh, I think we should get out of here..." Hyde started to back up slowly.
Before anyone could agree, the second aircraft zoomed into the space above them, circled around, and landed cleanly in the parking lot. Once it had landed, six figures emerged. The first was in some sort of red and gold armored suit, followed by a man in dated red and blue leather and carrying a shield with a big white star on it. Next came a red-headed woman in an entirely impractical black jumpsuit and a tall man with flowing blond hair, red cape, and large hammer. Lingering in the doorway to the aircraft was a man with bow drawn and a small, surprisingly nerdy-looking man in glasses and khakis.
You practically squealed. "It's the Avengers!" he said, taking up the role of American-comic-book enthusiast of the group.
"The wh-" Gackt started ask what his friend was talking about, but was interrupted by the shield-bearing man's voice.
"Give it up, El Sinestre!" Captain America called. "You won't get away with this!"
"Oh, but I will!" the man in purple called back in a high, nasally voice. "Because I have THIS!" He hefted the large gun in front of him, pointing it at the group of super heroes.
The Avengers collectively gasped.
"It's the Switcharoo Gun!" Black Widow exclaimed, hand flying to her mouth. "It's said to emit a pulse that gives whomever pulls the trigger all of the powers and abilities of its victims!" she exposited for the sake of the reader.
Iron Man stepped forward. "So you got it working, El Sinestre," he said calmly. "Big deal. I don't think you have the balls to use it!"
"Oh you don't, do you?!" El Sinestre laughed evilly. "We'll see about that!"
Predictably, he aimed the gun at the six Avengers and pulled the trigger. What happened next, however, was wholly unexpected. The "pulse" that the gun was supposed to emit ended up being more of a...giant explosion of energy that knocked everyone in the parking lot to the ground. The gun continued to radiate waves of energy in all directions until El Sinestre was finally forced to toss the gun aside.
There was a moment of stunned silence as GacktJOB and The Avengers stumbled to their feet, heads reeling.
"What happened?" Hawkeye asked.
"It seems that the El Sinestre didn't put the Switcharoo Gun back together correctly," Bruce Banner suggested, taking off his glasses to see if they were broken.
"Either way, let's end this." Thor brushed off his pants and leaned to retrieve Mjolnir (which is apparently the name of his hammer) from where he'd dropped it. But when he went to pick it up, he couldn't even begin to lift it, his strength having left him. "What the-".
El Sinestre laughed maniacally. "See? SEE?! You doubted me, but I was successful! I now have all of your powers and abilities!" He strode confidently forward to claim Mjolnir for himself.......only for his effort to prove just as futile as Thor's had been.
Captain America's shield clanged to the ground. "So if you didn't take our abilities, where did they go?" he asked, sounding slightly panicked.
As a group, the six Avengers and one villain turned to looked at the j-rockers who were still standing nearby, looking bewildered. They looked at each other in confusion and shrugged their shoulders.
Suddenly, Chirolyn's eyes grew wide. He looked to his fellow band mates then took a hesitant step towards the now not-so-super heroes. Gaining some confidence, he walked forward and picked up Mjolnir as if it weighed nothing. He tossed it up and down a couple times as if to test the weight of it.
"You?!" Thor exclaimed.
"No, he's Chirolyn," You called. "I'm You."
The unimpressed look that Thor gave him could only be described as "(:|".
One by one, GacktJOB walked forward to stand next to the Avenger whose abilities they had absorbed. Gackt stopped in front of Captain America and looked him over, visibly wincing at the war hero's lack of fashion sense. Iron Man's armored suit came apart at the seams and literally reformed itself around You's body. Jun-ji picked up Hawkeye's fallen bow and pulled on the string to test its give. Chacha stood next to Black Widow and tossed his hair over his shoulder, obviously the prettiest of the bunch. Chirolyn had pulled Thor's cape off and put it on himself, looking somewhat ridiculous with his shorts and tshirt.
Hyde stood alone away from the group, looking perplexed. "I don't get it," he said. "I still feel normal."
"Maybe the shockwave missed you cause you're too short," Gackt chortled, slapping Captain America on the back. "Am I right or am I right?" he winked at the taller man.
Hyde glared at Gackt. "What...have I said...about making fun of my height?!" he asked through clenched teeth.
"Oh come now, Hyde," Gackt laughed. "It was just a little joke." He laughed loudly.
Hyde fumed until you could almost see steam coming out of his ears...but then he started to change. Growing in size, both upwards and to the sides, his stylish clothing shredding and falling away from his body. In a matter of moments, he was ten feet tall and his mass was positively hulking.
"Why is he green?" Jun-ji asked Dr.Banner.
The scientist sighed. "I don't know," he said as he sat down and put his head in his hands.
Amongst all the confusion, no one had noticed that El Sinestre was nowhere to be seen.
"Aw shit, El Sinestre is nowhere to be seen," Tony Stark noticed.
"Well, we can't go after him like this," Natalia Romanova pointed out. "Without our powers and abilities, we're worthless."
"I've always thought you were worthless," Thor muttered under his breath.
"What was that?"
"Nothing," Thor clasped his hands behind his back and whistled.
"We could do it," Gackt interjected suddenly. "We'll go."
Everyone else turned to look at him at once. "You'll do what??" Steve Rogers asked incredulously.
Gackt picked up Captain America's fallen shield and put it over his arm. "We'll stop him. We'll stop El Sinestre. We have your abilities, we can do anything you could've done."
"It's not that easy," Thor said. "Our abilities take control, you have to master them to use them."
"Oh come on, I'm sure it's not that hard," Chacha put his hands on his hips. The motion was accented by The Hyde dropping Gackt's Ferrari on his foot and letting out a pained scream. He plopped down next to the car and stuck his sore foot in his mouth.
Jun-ji, who had been checking out the Avengers' aircraft, stuck his head out the hatch. "Hey guys, I think I can fly this thing."
"Oh, you most certainly will not!" Tony started, but was cut off by Gackt pushing him out of the way.
"It's settled then! JOB, let's fly!" He shifted his shield to his back and strutted to the jet, adding, "Someone shrink Hyde back down to his normal charming self."
It took a few minutes, but Dr.Banner managed to get Hyde back into his normal state. Surprisingly, all the yoga and meditation practices Hyde had learned over the years proved to come in handy for controlling his pent-up rage. And since no j-rocker leaves home without at least three extra pairs of leather pants, he was able to quickly get redressed and board the jet with the rest of Gackt and his band.
As the jet took off into the sky and soared away, the Avengers stood abandoned in a parking lot in downtown Tokyo.
"Now what?" Thor asked of no one in particular.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to get drunk," Tony said. He turned and started walking, the rest of the group followed.
Meanwhile, Jun-ji had proven to be quite the good pilot, despite the fact that this author doesn't actually know if Hawkeye knows how to fly aircraft or not. Maybe Jun-ji just secretly already knew how to pilot a jet...or he played a lot of Super Nintendo back in the day? Either way, he was doing a good job. "So...where exactly are we headed?" he asked.
Gackt - who had found a stash of paint markers in the back of the jet and busied himself with turning the star and stripes on his shield to a red circle on a white background - looked up from what he was doing and frowned. "Uh...I hadn't thought of that."
"That is a good question..." Chirolyn mused.
"Hey, guys..." You's voice came from inside his helmet. "There's a guy in this suit talking to me. Says his name is Jarvis. He thinks he knows where we should go."
"Well at least someone has an idea," Jun-ji called from the front of the jet. "What's he say?"
"He says that El Sinestre has a lab in the mountains west of the city," You explained. "Jarvis thinks he probably went back there to try to fix the Switcharoo Gun."
"It's as good an idea as any," Chacha nodded.
Gackt conceded. "Take us west, Jun-ji! And step on it!"
"Yes, sir!" Jun-ji said excitedly, exerting several Gs of force on the rest of the group as he spun the jet westward and put the proverbial pedal to the metal.
In no time at all, the group had located El Sinestre's hidden base and landed a safe distance away. The six men crouched in some bushes near what looked like a rear service entry. There was a large guard with a nasty-looking gun stationed outside the door, keeping watch.
"Now what?" Chirolyn whispered.
"Well, Black Widow is a master of stealth and espionage," You explained, "so Chacha should have her abilities."
Showing a surprising level of courage considering his usual list of fears (getting shot being high among them), Chacha stood up and brushed off his leopard printed tshirt. "Leave it to me," he said with a nod and walked towards the entrance. The rest of the men held their breath in anticipation.
"Hey there, big boy," Chacha said in his sexiest voice when he reached the guard. He ran a finger across his collarbone and pulled the v-neck on his shirt a little lower. "It's awfully warm out today, don't you think?" He batted his eyelashes and licked his lips seductively.
"Uh...excuse me???" the guard looked more than a little disturbed. "What are you doing here?"
Obviously confused that his flirtations hadn't succeeded, Chacha switched to plan B. "Oh dear!" he exclaimed. "I seem to have dropped one of my contacts! Will you help me find it?!" He turned away from the guard and bent from the waist ever so slowly, looking back over his shoulder and making eyes at the larger man.
"What is he doing?!" Hyde whispered to the others.
"Well," You said, "Black Widow is the token boobs of the group..."
Suddenly, the guard fell back against the door and slumped to the ground, a drum stick protruding from his forehead.
"Thank you, Jun-ji!" Gackt clapped him on the shoulder as the drummer slung his bow across his back. The group rose to their feet and went to join Chacha by the door.
It wasn't hard for them to gain access to the base once Chirolyn had knocked the door down using Thor's incredible strength. Gackt led the group, quickly rushing through the halls with You right behind him. Jun-ji and Chirolyn hurried to keep up while Chacha and Hyde brought up the rear. It didn't help any that Hyde was limping from where he'd dropped Gackt's car on his foot earlier.
Since this story is already getting on the long side and this author hates trying to fill space, it wasn't long at all before Gackt pushed up the door to El Sinestre's lab and the six men stood in a face-off with the evil scientist.
"It's over!" Gackt said heroically. "We're here to stop you once and for all!"
El Sinestre laughed doubtfully. "Really? A group of aging rock stars are going to stop me, the most ingenious man on the planet?!"
"Hey!" Hyde stepped forward. "Who are you calling 'aging'?!"
"Well, next to Chacha, you are the oldest one here," Gackt shrugged.
"I'm not old!" Hyde exclaimed and once again, he started to grow taller and tear through his clothes.
"GUARDS!" El Sinestre screamed. "GET THEM!"
Doors all around the lab opened on cue and no less than 160 nameless henchmen rushed into the room and at the six rockers-turned-superheroes.
With a feral scream, Chirolyn ran head-on into a group of henchmen, bashing henchmen left and right with his hammer. When they surrounded him, he called on wind and lightning to pull the men into the air and electrocute them.
Showing surprising agility for his age, Chacha executed an impressive array of unnecessary back-flips and aerials across the lab tables. Since his acrobatics hadn't succeeded in accomplishing anything, he lifted his shirt to flash and momentarily stun a henchman and stole his gun. Firing into a crowd of the goons, he took out several before the clip ran empty. He chucked the empty gun into one of the guards and took off in another series of flips and twists.
Jun-ji, meanwhile, had immediately turned and parkoured up one of the walls. He took up a perch high on a metal walkway and pulled out his bow, firing drum sticks with deadly accuracy, killing guard after guard in quick succession.
Several of the henchmen had surrounded The Hyde and fired their guns at him, succeeding only in pissing him off even more than the comment on his age had. He drew himself up to his full, now impressive, height and beat his fists on his chests with a growl. "HYDE SMASH!" he bellowed and proceeded to crush the puny men against the walls and tables.
You, in true Iron Man fashion, had found a nearby wet bar and was making himself a martini.
Gackt had ignored the scores of henchmen and made a beeline across the lab after the retreating mastermind. "El Sinestre!" he called. "Come here and fight me like a man! Or are you a coward?!"
The El Sinestre stopped in his tracks and turned to face the other man. "No one calls me a coward!" he shrieked in a voice that suggested that people often called him exactly that. "I'll kill you all!"
"You will? Or you'll have your henchmen do it for you?" Gackt taunted. "Come on! You and me, one on one!"
El Sinestre pulled out some sort of vibroblade from who-knows-where and rushed at him. Gackt rushed forward and using a well-placed set of crates, rushed up them like steps and launched himself into the air and at the villain.
Having dispatched their portion of henchmen and finished their martini (whichever the case may be), the rest of the new superheroes stood back and watched the heated battle between Gackt and El Sinestre. Shield deflected blade, fist met gut, the scientist stumbled backwards, gasping for breath, only to rush forward in another attack. Despite Gackt's new superior strength and agility, all of his staged fight scenes hadn't prepared him at all for a real fight and he just couldn't seem to get the upper hand. No one knew what might happen! Who would win?! Would good triumph over evil?! It was impossible to say!
It was intense, take my word for it.
Finally, Gackt caught a break and managed to disarm El Sinestre and knock him to the ground. As the weasely little man scurried backwards across the floor, Gackt advanced on him. "I would kill you," he said, "but I won't. I don't feel that morally, it's what Captain Japan should do." He struck a noble pose.
Suddenly, El Sinestre was flattened into a crater in the floor as The Hyde's fist crushed him into human jelly. When the rest of the group looked up at the lumbering vocalist in shock, he said "Hungry" as if that explained everything.
After several minutes of coaxing, they got Hyde back into his normal form (and fed and clothed) and they all sat atop the stacks of bodies in the lab, contemplating what to do next.
"We should probably give the Avengers back their abilities," Jun-ji sighed.
"Do we have to?" Chirolyn spun his hammer around his hand absently. "I kinda like this..."
Chacha nodded in agreement.
Gackt sighed. "As much as I hate to say it, our orange-haired friend is right. We really should set this right. I don't think I'm cut-out to be a super hero."
"Well, me and Hyde here are super-geniuses for the time being," You jerked a thumb at the other man. "We could probably figure out how to fix the Switcharoo Gun to take the powers from us and give them back to their rightful owners."
Eager to do just that, Hyde jumped up and set to work in what was left of the lab.
Early the next morning, after lots of inquiring about a "strange collection of gaijin", the rockers found the Avengers passed out in one of Tokyo's high-class bars.
Hefting the modified Switcharoo Gun in front of him, Gackt nodded. "Here goes nothing," he said and pulled the trigger. It was immediately apparent that the gun had worked as intended because Mjolnir fell out of Chirolyn's hand and landed on Hyde's foot with a sickening crunch.
"GOD FUCKING DAMMIT!!!!!!!" Hyde screamed at the top of his lungs, hopping on one leg as he clutched at his twice injured foot desperately.
The Avengers each groaned and sat up, their high metabolisms and other vagaries bringing them out of their alcohol-induced stupors. They looked from one another to the group of Japanese men in front of them and quickly realized what had happened.
"You did it!" Thor said in obvious disbelief.
"And you gave us our abilities back!" Black Widow said. "I feel skankier already!"
Chacha sighed sadly.
Captain America walked forward to shake Gackt's hand. "We owe you men a debt of gratitude," he said diplomatically. "If you ever have need of the Avengers, we will gladly come to your aid."
Gackt shook his head. "No debt," he said. "It was simply our duty as fellow citizens of Earth."
"Well, uh-" Thor started, but stopped. "Eh, forget it."
The Avengers and GacktJOB (Hyde was sulking in the corner) all shook hands and exchanged best wishes. They went outside and the superheroes took off in their fancy jet.
"So...now what?" Chacha asked as the six men stood on the sidewalk watching the aircraft fly off into the sunrise.
Gackt looked at his bare wrist. "Well, it's almost 5am," he said. "We're late for training."
The rest of the group groaned in unison.
"Oh, fuck y'all!" Hyde threw his hands in the air. "I'm going home and going to bed!" He headed off to hail a taxi.
"I was really hoping for some sleep," Chirolyn squeezed his eyes shut against an impending headache.
"If we still had our powers, we wouldn't need to train," Jun-ji said sadly.
You frowned. "I miss my Iron Man suit and Tony Stark's intelligence and charms," he sighed. "I really thought for awhile there that I might actually get laid."
"Oh you never know," Gackt said with a shrug. "The day's still young."
Leaving the rest of the group and the readers wondering what exactly Gackt meant by that ambiguous statement, the sun rose on Tokyo and set on this story.