This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.
"When the going gets tough, the tough get going
When the going gets rough, the tough get rough...
"The female of the species is more deadly than the male."
Mrs. Johnson planted her hands firmly on her hips and stuck her chin out. She was capable of being quite stubborn when she had to be, and this moment was no exception. She had given in on other issues, but this was one area she was not prepared to compromise on.
"So you want a small, private ceremony. That's fine with me; it's the second marriage for both of us, after all. I even agreed to have it here. I'll waive the honeymoon like you asked." She took a deep breath, to gather her strength. "Damnit, I want children and I want them SOON! I'm not going to wait!"
Not normally a person who was prone to getting loud during the course of an argument, or even arguing at all, Buckaroo Banzai quite suddenly found himself pushed past the point of patience.
"NO." The sheer volume of his answer stunned even him. Taking a brief moment to recover his calm, he continued, explaining for what seemed like the thousandth time. "You're well aware why that's not a good idea. I'm not bringing any children into this world so Xan can make their lives miserable..."
"BULLSHIT!" she exploded, stabbing at his chest with one very angry finger, "DO YOU KNOW HOW TIRED I AM OF HEARING ABOUT THAT MANIAC?! 'I CAN'T GO TO HAWAII, XAN MIGHT BLOW UP THE PLANE' 'CAN'T GET MARRIED IN PUBLIC, XAN MIGHT FIND OUT', 'CAN'T USE THE PUBLIC RESTROOM, XAN MIGHT BE IN THERE WAITING...' XAN, XAN. XAN, I'M SICK OF IT! WHY DON'T YOU JUST OFF THE ASSHOLE?!"
Buckaroo did his best to remain calm. He couldn't let this fight continue. "Mrs. Johnson, we have a moral standard to uphold here at the Institute. To approach Xan on his own terms would make us no better than him..."
She glared forcefully at him for a long minute, then smiled sweetly, her anger apparently forgotten. "You're right, of course. I'm sorry." She snuggled against his chest in a move calculated to melt his heart. "We'll talk about the other matter later, OK? When we're both calmer."
"All right." He answered resignedly, secretly hoping the matter never came up again.
Sensing the reluctance in his answer, Mrs. Johnson grit her teeth. A way would have to be found to make the Boss see reason.
* * * * *
Mrs. Johnson's poor mood lasted long enough to affect the semi-weekly meeting of the Probability and Statistics Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society, or as it was better known, the ladies' poker game.
"Well, what did he say?" prodded Big Norse unmercifully. She was facing a similar problem with Rawhide and had been taking notes on Mrs. Johnson's experiences.
Mrs. Johnson glowered at her cards and folded.
"I got fed the same speech he's been giving out every time I've brought the issue up. I blew up at him."
"And the engagement's still on?" Pecos sounded amazed.
"After it took me so much work and effort to convince him to even consider marriage? I'm still probably going to have to drag him to the altar kicking and screaming. He's so hung up on this Xan business ... "
"I know what you mean." commented Norse in her accented English. "Rawhide's exactly the same way..."
"Well, it is understandable," Alamo started. "After what happened to his parents and Pe... well, you know who, it's no wonder he's a little paranoid about the guy..."
Mrs. Johnson glared across the poker table at the young woman. She didn't like to hear the 'P-word', and all of them knew it.
"What I've never understood," cut in Little Red, "is why they've been letting it go on so long. If some jerk had been pestering me that way, I would've blown him away a long time ago..."
Mrs. Johnson snorted. "I said as much to the Boss. He gave me some crappy moralistic answer about standards to uphold and ignored me."
Red nodded. "Sounds just like Tommy."
"And New Jersey. And Billy and Pinky and all the other men around here...."
"God, men are such WIMPS!"
Mrs. Johnson smiled evilly. "Ladies, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Slowly, more smiles appeared around the table. "I believe we are." commented Princess. "What did you have in mind?"
Mrs. Johnson leaned forward. "This is the way we ought to do it..."
* * * * *
Buckaroo Banzai was having a bad day. There were several disadvantages to being multi-talented, the main one being the most bothersome; everyone thought they had the right to make demands on your time.
This day was particularly hectic in that regard. He'd been called in to a New York hospital to do emergency surgery the night before. Not only had he not gotten any sleep, but he was now faced with the tedious chore of dictating two case summaries, (one for his own records and one for the hospital's) but he was also now responsible for follow-up, suture removal, and filling out the insurance forms. He liked the practice of medicine; it was the paperwork that was a bore.
Aside from the medical business, there was the usual Institute paperwork to take care of, and the small matter of a lecture on 8th-dimensional physics he was supposed to deliver at Princeton sometime later that afternoon.
To top it all off, he'd mislaid his glasses.
So, he handled the problem the time-honored way he usually did; he stood in the middle of his office and yelled for the one person at the Institute who always knew where everything was.
"What?!" came the answering shout from the from the front hall.
"Have you seen my glasses anywhere?!"
"Just a minute!"
Scant seconds later, Mrs. Johnson's curly head appeared in the doorway. "What was it you wanted? I couldn't hear you over the band practicing."
"My glasses." he explained patiently. "Have you seen them?"
"Yes, I have. I sent them to the shop this morning. You left them on the study sofa last night, and Rawhide sat on them. They'll be ready tomorrow."
He stared at the ceiling and groaned. Mrs. Johnson came over and gave him a hug, guiding him gently back to his desk. "Here." She sat a sheaf of papers in front of him. "This is everything you need to sign. I've already sorted it for you. It's all routine business. Just sign at the bottom of each page, and I'll take care of the rest."
He rubbed at his forehead as he set to work.
"I don't know where I'd be without you."
Mrs. Johnson smiled. "That's why you proposed, remember?"
She collected the papers with one smooth movement and returned to her desk, grinning gleefully the entire way down the stairs. Phase one was complete.
* * * * *
Phase two began three days later with a scene that all the women enacted pretty much simultaneously with their male significant others.
"Mark, there's this convention I want to go to..."
"Oh?" The Cavalier better known as Nightowl took the opportunity to peruse the promotional flyer his wife was holding. What he saw made his mind boggle slightly. "Women in the Twentieth Century Professional Lecture Series and Bridal Fair?" he read incredulously.
Princess nodded. "To be held in Honolulu the first weekend of next month. Red's been invited as a speaker, and Mrs. Johnson's going, too ... and since we'd been talking about how I really need a vacation ... well, we all thought it might be nice if some more of us went, kind of a surprise 'last fling' bachelorette party for Mrs. Johnson, as it were... "
"Let me get this straight. You want to go to Hawaii, without me, for a party for Mrs. Johnson."
Princess nodded enthusiastically.
Nightowl sighed. "Who's paying for this?"
"I am. I've got some money of my own saved up..."
"Well ... if it means so much to you, and if all the other ladies are going, far be it from me to keep you from your fun." he sounded resigned. "Who's taking care of the kids while you and Pecos are gone?"
"Why, you and Reno, of course." She kissed him on the cheek. "You won't regret this, Mark, I promise."
"Just so long as you don't get hooked on any cute guys on the beach." he grumbled. He had a feeling that something was going on here, but he also had a feeling he didn't really want to know what it was, and this was very possibly one instance where it might pay not to ask.
* * * * *
Two weeks later, 90% of the women of the Banzai Institute packed their bags and makeup cases, and bid a touching farewell to their men for the weekend. If some of the bags and suitcases appeared to be a bit heavier than usual, that was not commented on; the men thought the women's bags always felt like they were filled with lead shot.
"Hell, Red, what did you pack in here?" griped Perfect Tommy as he lifted her suitcase into the Institute van,
Little Red smiled sweetly. "Nothing I don't usually take with me on vacation--clothes, makeup, shoes, books to read, guns, ammo, you know, all the standard stuff... "
"Cute Red, real cute...come here so I can kiss you."
Underneath a nearby tree, Alamo was giving Professor Hikita a last-minute briefing. As the only man at the Institute who knew what they were planning, he had been assigned the job of keeping the Boss and the rest of the Cavaliers diverted, by any means necessary.
"OK - we ought to be in Honolulu on Monday, and we'll be flying back into the mainland Tuesday morning, unless this takes longer than we think it will, in which case we'll make up an appropriate excuse for coming back late. We've told him not to try to call, but what do you do if he tries and can't get us?"
"There will be a minor explosion in the Chemistry labs." answered the elderly man promptly.
"And what if he decides to fly out to find us?"
"I develop chest pains, hint that it may be a heart attack, and guilt-trip him shamelessly."
Alamo nodded in satisfaction. "Brilliant." She gave the Professor a warm kiss. "I'll bring you back a souvenir. All right?"
On the Institute's front porch, Buckaroo and Mrs. Johnson were making their good-byes quietly.
"I'll miss you, Boss."
"I'll miss you, too." He drew her into a tight embrace, nuzzled her ear. "Be careful, OK?"
"It's just a weekend in Hawaii, silly. I'll be back before you know it." She paused. "You haven't happened to have changed your mind, have you? About having kids?"
"No. And it's not open for discussion, no matter what you or Hikita-san say about it."
"Buck ... "
"Be quiet." he ordered gently, and swept her off her feet with a kiss that lasted at least a full minute and very nearly set the porch on fire. When it was over, she mumbled goodbye vaguely and staggered to the loaded van where the other women were waiting. She was still looking dazed when the van pulled out of the driveway a moment later.
Buckaroo nodded to himself, satisfied. He had exerted his authority and made her see sense. That was the last he was going to hear on that issue.
* * * * *
Loaded down with enough ammunition and weapons to keep a small South American dictatorship in stock for several years, the women of the Banzai Institute crept silently though the tropical underbrush of Sabah, site of Hanoi Xan's base of operations. So far, all was going well. They had encountered several sentries and eliminated them; it was hot and sticky, Pecos was suffering from PMS, and no one was in a mood to take prisoners.
They paused in the brush overshadowing a small entrance to the underground caverns and passageways that comprised Xan's headquarters on Sabah. With a practiced eye, Mrs. Johnson took stock of the guards.
"Six of them, all armed." she whispered to Little Red beside her. "Suggestions, anyone?"
At her other side, Pecos grinned evilly. "Let me handle it," she suggested, wiping one of her knives off on the hem of her fatigues. Before anyone could say anything, she had slipped out into the main clearing
"YO! Death Dwarves! I'M YOUR WORST NIGHTMAREI"
Several of the women had trouble watching the carnage that followed. "Knew I should have packed some Midol in with the medical supplies." sighed Red.
Mrs. Johnson nodded. "Next time we try to find an airline that ISN'T showing 'Rambo III' as the in-flight movie."
* * * * *
Buckaroo Banzai sighed heavily as he contemplated the mess that was his desktop. Even on a weekend, Institute business still had to be conducted; besides, he had to finish everything so the band could get to Artie's in time to set up. He wondered what the consequences would be if he just shoved the entire mess into a drawer and forgot about it.
He was giving the idea serious consideration when Rawhide strolled into the room, casually waving a small sheaf of papers as he did so.
"Latest reports from World Watch One," he drawled. "Taken from our telemetry on Xan's operations. It's unusual enough I thought you'd want to know right away."
Buckaroo scanned the reports quickly, and felt his eyebrows creep skyward of their own accord as he did so.
"Let me get this straight - he's asking US for help?!"
"Beggin'd be more like it." Rawhide grinned. "Sure wish I knew who he managed to piss off. Whoever they are, they're takin' out the whole damn island - fast, too, and leavin' no survivors. It's gettin' pretty bloody down there. Best estimate is by this time tomorrow, Xan just won't be a problem any more."
Buckaroo looked stunned. After years of jousting with his 'best enemy' it was all going to end like this?
"World reaction?" he managed to force out.
Rawhide's grin got even wider. "No one wants to help him, and no one's admitting to doin' it, either. Personally, I think he got on the wrong end of some Libyan terrorists or some such. Them boys play mean."
Dazed, Buckaroo handed the reports back to his friend. "Thank you, Rawhide. Keep me informed."
"No problem. We're havin' a big party in the kitchen in case you want to join us..." Buckaroo could hear Rawhide's chuckle out the door and all the way down the hallway outside. Then a terrifying thought struck him.
How the hell was he going to hold Eunice off now?
* * * * *
Mrs. Johnson leaned tiredly against the stone cavern wall and wished fervently for a tub of hot, steaming water, thick towels, and copious amounts of deodorant for herself and her partners in carnage. It had been a long day.
Little Red approached from a side tunnel, looking Just as sweaty and tired as Eunice felt. "That's the last of it," she proclaimed cheerfully. "Pecos is liberating the prisoners, Big Norse and Alamo are raiding Xan's operations files, and PC is cheerfully crashing all of his data sets-- AFTER copying them; she thinks they'd make a neat Christmas present for Billy. I even managed to pick up some technical oddities for Tommy." she grinned widely. "And, of course, there's your little present for the Boss ... "
Mrs. Johnson grinned back. "Somehow, I've got the feeling he's not going to appreciate it, but I couldn't resist. Everybody ready? If we hurry, we can get back to Hawaii in time to enjoy a day relaxing on the beach."
The redhead nodded approval. "Beach, smeach. I'm going shopping. Less chance of sunburn. Give me an hour to get everyone together."
Eunice watched her wander off, then bent to pick up her pack. It sloshed reassuringly, letting her know her gift was still intact. When they got back, those men had better throw them one hell of a party.
* * * * *
Buckaroo Banzai watched with satisfaction as the women unloaded their luggage from the Institute van. The place hadn't been the same without them, and he'd been lonely. Also, he couldn't wait to share the news about Xan, even though he wasn't quite sure how he felt about it; it was hard to remember sometimes that he wasn't the only one in the world with a good reason to want revenge on him.
Still, the women were back sooner than expected. Mrs. Johnson had asked him to send out the Institute's private jet, for reasons which weren't entirely clear. Something about not wanting to see any more in-flight movies.
His eyes narrowed slightly as he observed the activity around the van. Why was Big Norse limping? And Princess seemed to have a black eye. Odd. They all seemed rather more bug-bit than Hawaii ought to account for.
As he was considering all this, Eunice walked shyly up to him. "Hi, Buckaroo. Miss me?"
In answer, he gathered her into a warm embrace. "There's something important that's happened that we need to talk about," he said quietly.
She smiled hesitantly up at him. "I know." She paused while he digested her statement. "Buckaroo," she continued, "I've, we've, got a confession to make." He was looking at her oddly. She went on: "We, well, we didn't spend most of the weekend in Hawaii. And there wasn't any seminar. But we did do something worthwhile."
He had a feeling he knew where this was leading.
"We decided we were tired of you guys getting hurt all the time, and the place getting burnt up, and not being able to raise kids safely, and yakskins and the whole bit, SO," she took a deep breath, "we offed the SOB. Right, gals?"
There was a loud chorus of approval from the other women and most of the other personnel. Professor Hikita was grinning smugly. Buckaroo turned to him.
"You knew about this?" he accused weakly.
"About bloody time." the elderly scientist responded. "I am an old man. How long must I wait before you give me grandchildren? Now you have no excuse! So get to work!" More cheers followed this statement. Behind him, Buckaroo could hear Rawhide chuckling.
"Well, Boss?" Mrs. Johnson asked, looking something like a naughty little girl. He sighed, bowing to the inevitable.
"Promise you'll tell me all about it?"
"Sure thing." she promised. "Oh, I brought you a present, too." she fished around in the duffel bag she was carrying, handed a glass jar to him. "I have a feeling you're not going to want it, but I knew you'd appreciate the thought."
Buckaroo stood stunned as he recognized Just what that was floating in the formaldehyde. Still chuckling, Rawhide reached over and removed it from his hand.
"Always said Xan had no balls," the big man observed. "Now I guess it's really true."
"WE'RE NOT KEEPING THAT HERE." Buckaroo found his voice again. "Send it to the Smithsonian -they can put it next to Dillenger's." He sighed again. "Well, Mrs. Johnson, let's not keep Professor Hikita waiting any longer, shall we? My room - you have a half hour to unpack and get ready."
As he watched her disappear up the stairs into the living quarters, he swore a solemn oath to himself never, ever to give Eunice cause to get angry with him. Also never to keep any sharp instruments in the bedroom.
After all, one could never be too careful.