"Look at these, Lu!" Anka squealed as she leaned over a pair of black feathered earrings that were attatched to silver beading with some obscure kanji, "These are so neat!"
"Oh, you've got a good eye..." Said the woman behind the counter, "Those have great mystical values."
"Yeah, yeah." Lulu rolled her eyes as she set her mastercard and several items on the counter, "Just ring me up, please."
"Lu... why do you bother shopping here with me if you're not too interested in the origin of the pieces?" Anka rolled her eyes at her friend's skeptic tone.
Lulu shrugged, "Some of the stuff's cool and I enjoy the thought of testing out impossibilities."
"You should not be so quick to judge whether something is real or not." The woman muttered mysteriously.
Lulu shrugged, "Hey, unless I can see it... I just don't believe it. I can't." She replied tersely, "Throw the earrings up here, Anka." She waved the other girl foreward quickly.
"I can get them myself..." Anka replied.
"It's a gift." Lulu replied, "Don't argue with me."
"Lu... I can't!" Anka argued.
"Here is your receipt... and please, be careful." The woman said meaningfully, handing Lulu the bag,
"You're playing with-"
"Powerful magic, yeah, yeah. You guys feed me that line every time I come here." Lulu grabbed Anka's arm and dragged her from the store.
"Here..." Anka held up one of the earrings, "You take this one."
"They're yours." Lulu argued.
"You paid for them... besides it'll look cuter in my cartilage and I've only got one piercing up there." Anka replied, "You should wear this one in yours."
"Oh... alright." Lulu conceded, slipping the earring into her ear at the same time as Anka put hers in.
They gasped simultaneously as they were flung apart by some unseen force, skidding a few feet across the pavement to the surprise of several pedestrians. "Lu, are you okay?" Anka winced as she climbed to her feet, she frowned as she glanced down at her friend's mussed hair, something seemed different...
"A-Anka, what happened?" Lulu looked up and the pair screamed simultaneously.
"M-my face!" Anka fell to her knees next to Lulu and touched her cheek, she then grasped her hair and gave it a tug, "How the hell do you have my face?!"
"Ouch, that hurts, dammit!" Lulu howled, slapping Anka's hand away, "This has to be a dream..."
"L-let's get out of the street..." Anka looked around at the other pedestrians who were looking at the pair strangely.
"What're you looking at?" Lulu snarled as she rose to her feet, her gaze threatening, "Mind your own business!" She grabbed Anka's arm and dragged her up the street, "To Nami's?"
"To Nami's." Anka agreed nervously, "Wait! No, how would we ever explain this?"
"We won't say anything... At least not until we figure out what to say." Lulu conceded, "Otherwise they may think we're pulling some sort of prank."
"O-okay." Anka replied nervously as they trailed up the drive and into Nami's house, "Hi mom!" She called.
"L-Lulu?" Kelly blinked, she'd never known Lulu to call her mom.
"Uh..." Anka blushed and scratched her cheek, "We're here for Nami!" She and Lulu raced up the stairs and slammed Nami's door behind them before Kelly could respond again.
"Are you stupid?!" Lulu hissed, "Calling her mom?! That's something you would do as Anka, not me!"
"I forgot!" Anka whined.
"Wait a sec... I just realized something!" Lulu's eyes lit up in excitement.
"W-what?" Anka asked, a bit leerie to hear the answer.
"I'm so lucky!" She glanced over at Nami who was giving them a curious stare.
"Why?" Anka was suspicious now.
"I'm a virgin again!" Lulu squealed, her tone softer now, "I have the one of a kind opportunity to lose my virginity twice!"
"No!" Anka gasped, "no, I won't allow it. Not in my body!" She dove for Lulu as the other girl dashed from the room.
"What the hell did I miss?" Nagi asked as he walked into Nami's room glancing over his shoulder.
"They both ran off after muttering something," Nami shrugged nonchallantly.
Nagi blinked a few times, "Anka's saying something about a second virginity and Lulu is trying to bargain with her..."
"You caught all of that in passing?" Nami gave him a questioning glance.
"They were running in circles around me, actually. I've been here for about ten minutes..."
"That's... odd." Nami frowned, sitting up.
"Yeah, I mean... Since when does Anka worry about sex and Lulu try and stop her?" Nagi questioned.
"Maybe they've switched bodies?" Nami's lips quirked slightly in amusement and they burst into fits of giggles immediately after.
"No way..." Nagi said after a moment, "It's impossible... right?"
"Er... right." Nami agreed briefly.
"Hey there sexy." Akira smirked as Anka and Lulu passed him by, groping Anka.
She froze and whirled, her fist catching his jaw and sending him to the ground, "Don't make me tell you again not to touch!" She exclaimed. Why did part of me like that?! EW!!!! she thought as she glared at Akira.
"Sweetie, he was groping me, remember?" Lulu muttered as she grabbed Anka's arm and dragged her away from Akira before he could get up.
"Oi... what hit me?" He muttered rubbing his jaw as he sat up.
"I don't care!" Anka was crimson, "Besides, he shouldn't be doing those sorts of things to women... It's perverted." She huffed.
"Oooh baby, look at that sweet ass!" Lulu averted her gaze and dashed past Anka.
"No, bad!" Anka grabbed her arm and shoved her against the building, "You're me, not you right now and I will not have you slander my name."
"Are you saying that I have a bad reputation?" Lulu pouted.
"D-don't do that!" Anka looked around as several passerbys stopped to gape, "You'll draw attention to yourself..."
"Oh, does pouting make me look sexy?" Lulu smirked.
"Not at all! Now let's get inside." Anka said hastily.
"No, I want an honest opinion!" Lulu replied, tugging a few buttons of her blouse loose, "Do I look sexy when I pout?"
"Marry me!" One of the men in the crowd collapsed to his knees, shortly followed by the rest who were enamored by her appearance.
"Damn!" Lulu twirled in amusement, "I didn't know you had such a sexy body, Anka."
"Lulu, please..." Anka begged.
"She's got a woman confessing to her, can this get any hotter?" The men awed.
"This is not a confession, now get the hell out of here!" Anka growled, taking a few threatening steps forward, the crowd scattered, "And you! We're going to do some research. We need to figure out how and why this happened. Until then you're not allowed out of my sight."
"That's not fair!" Lulu gasped, mortified, "They're expecting my business at the club and-"
"I don't wanna hear it." Anka shook her head fiercely, "Not in my body..."
"You're no fun..." Lulu whined, scrabbling at Anka's arm.
"Sorry to disappoint you." Anka shrugged, "Now come on, we're going to talk to Nami and try to get her opinion on this... situation."
"I thought we agreed that they'd think it was some sick joke or something?" Lulu questioned.
"We'll find a way to make them understand that it isn't." Anka muttered.
"Hey... either of you think Lulu's acting weird?" Akira was still massaging his sore jaw as he was escorted into Nami's room by her mother.
"Akira? The hell are you doing here?" Nagi demanded, "How do you even know where Nami lives?"
"I followed her home a few times trying to get her to go out with me." Akira shrugged nonchallantly.
"That's creepy..." Nagi muttered.
Akira shrugged, "How is Lulu acting strange?" Nami asked curiously.
"Well... I think she punched me when I groped her... And said something that is generally out of her vocabulary." Akira replied, "Did they make a bet to switch roles or something?"
"That actually... makes sense, those two are always making weird bets." Nagi said, stroking his chin thoughtfully.
"Is there anything else you needed?" Nami asked as Akira's gaze wandered over the room.
"Nope... just thought I'd scope out your room while I had the chance." He gave a lopsided grin.
"Alright, I think it's time for you to leave." Nagi muttered, grabbing Akira's arm. The pair yelped in surprise as they were forced apart and to the ground.
"Nagi!" Nami gasped, leaping from the bed and rushing to his side, "Nagi, wake up, are you okay?" She patted his cheek frantically before turning crimson.
"Mmm, don't get to do this too often..." He muttered, his hand sliding up over her hip. Weird fluttery feeling is no price to pay for a good feel he thought.
"Get off of her!" Akira growled, rising to his feet shakily.
"Akira?" Nami blinked in surprise, she'd never expected him to say something like that.
He made a face, "No, I'm Nagi... did you hit your head or some..." He let his question trail off, "The hell's going on!?" He pointed, "How can I be over there if I'm over here?!"
"What. The. Hell." Nami glanced back and forth between the two in confusion.
"Hey, now where were we?" Nagi asked as he leaned to kiss Nami.
"Don't you touch her!" Akira growled.
Nami crawled away from Nagi, "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Your favorite animal is a black cat, your tattoo is the eye of Horus, and I have only a fetish for smart girls," Akira said quickly.
Nami dove at Akira, "Nagi!"
Nami grumbled, rubbing her head after being flung across the room. "Nami?" What...is...this...weird feeling? Nami asked as she glanced over at Nagi.
"Oh. My. God." Akira stared at his hands before fainting.
"What the hell?" Nagi asked, scratching his head. "Oh, well," Nagi shrugged before starting his hand up Nami's leg.
Nami slapped Nagi, "This is weird on so many levels!"
Nagi shrugged, "Oh, well," he continued groping Nami before they were flung across the room.
Akira pushed himself up and dove at Nagi. "What did you do?" he demanded before they were flung across the room again.
"I didn't do anything!" Akira replied, glancing down at his own body.
"I feel so..." Nagi blushed as he glanced over at Nami, "Wow...you'd figure this would change..."
"What would change?" Akira asked.
"Nothing!" Nagi said quickly. I am in the hottest man in the world's body... Nagi thought.
"Hey, we need to talk!" Lulu shouted.
"Oh, Akira..." Anka licked her lips seductively.
"Today is my lucky day..." Akira said as he muddled his hair.
"Hey, my body, remember?!" Lulu said as she covered Anka's mouth. Anka tried to fight Lulu off, tripping forward and crashing into Nagi and Nami before being thrown into opposite ends of the room.
"Okay, this is better..." Nagi said as he stared down at his own hands again.
"Yeah, tell me about it," Lulu said as she let Akira help her up before the pair were flung across the room.
"I'm back to normal," Nami agreed, staring down at her body.
"She can't lose my virginity!" Anka clapped excitedly.
"That's my body..." Lulu realized.
"And mine..." Akira said quickly.
Lulu smirked as she pushed herself to her feet, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Hell yes!" Akira said, grabbing her by her shirt and taking her from the room.
"What did you want to talk about?" Nagi and Nami asked.
"Uh...us switching bodies randomly didn't concern you?" Anka asked.
"Only when Akira tried feeling Nami up because he was me...erm in my body..." Nagi blushed, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Where do you think they're going?" Nami asked, tapping her lip with her index finger.
"I don't think we wanna know," Anka commented. "But we've gotta stop this..." she sighed. "I love you guys but I don't wanna keep randomly switching forever."
"We don't either," Nami said sheepishly.
"Do we have any idea how to stop it?" Nagi asked.
"Er...I don't...but I know who might," Anka replied.
"Yes, I told dat girl she's messin with old magic..." the woman from the shop nodded. "You went and got yourselves switched! Am I right?"
"Yes, but we're back to normal now," Anka replied.
"For now," Nagi corrected her, clearing his throat afterward.
"Well you got switched because of magic residue," she said firmly. "It stayed on somebody who touched an earring or who was touched by a hand that touched an earring.
"So we were passing around magic in a scuffle," Nami realized.
"Yes," the woman confirmed. "Don't be alarmed if while you are switched you feel strongly attracted to somebody or something you are normally repulsed by."
"Ew..." Anka shuddered, "Is Akira a body or a thing?"
"Depends, but since you were switched with Lulu and he hit on Nami in my body he's an it..." Nagi said crossly.
"I'm used to the innuendo," Nami said quietly, "Even the touching," she added.
"T-touching?" Nagi repeated indignantly.
"Yeah, but your body doing it was a twist," she said as her cheeks reddened.
"T-touching?" Nagi asked as he made a fist with both of his hands, relaxing the fist and repeating.
"I believe we hit a sore spot," Anka sighed.
"Well, Nagi has been protective of us from the beginning," Nami said thoughtfully.
Anka sighed. "Yeah, that is definitely it."
"Ahem," the woman caught their attention, "If you don't want to be switching bodies every time you touch for the rest of your lives...you need everybody who has switched bodies here to perform a ritual. Even people you have brushed past on the streets need to be present."
"Luckily it's only people we know," Anka sighed. "Didn't bump into anybody that I can recall."
"Neither did I," Nami and Nagi said together.
The woman chuckled, "It's rare to see two souls so in-tuned that they can say the same thing at the same time."
"That? They do it all the time," Anka said dismissively. "But uh...how long do we have? With strong magic there is always a time limit."
"Until the next full moon," the woman replied.
"Tonight, naturally," Nami sighed, crossing her arms.
"Well, you must find them..." the woman warned them.
"Gah! If I were Akira and Lulu and we could switch bodies..." Anka raked her fingers down her cheeks, "Where would I be?"
Nagi cringed, "Lulu's bed."
"Huh?" Nami asked.
"Why Lulu's bed?" Anka asked.
"It's a pervert thing that my brother used to talk about all the time," Nagi said softly. "He always wondered what it felt like for a girl..."
"What? Sex?" Nami blinked.
"Y-yeah..." Nagi blushed, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment.
"They switched bodies to know what it feels like for the other?" Nami asked.
"I believe so," Nagi nodded.
"Ew..." Anka shuddered.
"So we've gotta drag 'em out of bed?" Nami asked.
"Probably," Nagi confirmed.
The trio made it outside at last and froze in their steps, "This... is going to be impossible." Anka gave a worn sigh as they stared at the crowds of people moving along the sidewalk, "Why does everybody have to be out today of all days?" She threw her hands into the air in exasperation.
"Lets just... do our best." Nagi drew in a deep breath and led the way into the crowd.
They weaved and dodged, ducked and lunged out of the way as they were nearly touched dozens of times. They got strange looks and soon people were going out of their way to avoid them, "I've gotta say this is easier... but now the whole town thinks we're insane..." Nami muttered.
"At least we really don't know any of them." Anka replied curtly, sidestepping a businessman on his cell phone.
"This would be a lot easier if we had a car," Nami sighed as she dodged bumping into an office assistant who was carrying several coffees and shopping bags.
"Yeah, everybody would avoid us then," Anka agreed.
"We're almost to Lulu's, so relax. I'm sure we can get a ride in at least one of next year's cars," Nagi offered as he stepped over a homeless man.
"Hey!" Chloe waved enthusiastically at the others. "Hey! What are you guys doing downtown?" she asked as she stopped in front of Anka who took a cautious step back.
"Visiting Lulu," Nagi said quickly.
"Oh! Awesome, I've gotta return her boots I borrowed, so I'll come with," Chloe insisted, grabbing Anka's hand.
"Oh, no..." Nami muttered.
Anka drew her hand back from Chloe, faking a sneeze, "Sorry...got a cold..."
Chloe quirked an eyebrow. "That sneeze was about as real as Lulu's chest."
"Uhhh..." Nami and Anka stumbled over syllables.
"What's wrong with you guys?" Chloe asked. "Are you mad at me?"
"No, that's not it at..." Nagi stopped, hanging his head when Lucas dashed toward them, crashing into Chloe.
"Hey guys!" the very enthusiastic Lucas grinned as he stepped back from the group.
What are we gonna do? If they touch anybody at all...we'll have to bring both of them... Nami sighed, "Well, back to visiting Lulu, let's go Lucas," she said quickly, avoiding contact with all of her friends as she continued onward.
"Yeah, been on our feet all day," Anka said quickly.
"Alright!" Lucas grinned as he followed behind Chloe.
"Great...another crowd..." Anka sighed.
"What? You have a hard time getting though them?" Chloe reached into her purse, pulling out an air horn.
"Perfect! Nobody will touch us!" Nami grinned.
"People bump into one another all the time. What's the deal?" Lucas inquired.
Nagi leaned toward Nami, "What's the word for afraid of germs?"
"Mysophobia," Nami said loudly.
"Yeah, we all have that," Nagi nodded.
"Hello, beautiful," Parle said as he covered Anka's eyes.
Great, more magical residue... Nagi sighed as he watched Parle's hands, knowing that eventually everybody from school would be following them around, wondering why they were acting weird...and maybe why they weren't allowed to leave until after they found his cousin and Lulu, and more importantly why they were being blindfolded in a small shop after hours on the night of the full moon...
"Hey, Par," Anka said, laughing nervously as Parle removed his hands from her eyes. She could practically see the magical residue on his hands, on Chloe's hand...and what would be even more residue on everybody else.
"You sound funny..." Parle said as he stepped in front of Anka, poking her nose a few times.
Anka cringed as she felt her soul leaving her body, Parle and her being flung into the different sides of the side walk. "Anka!" Nami cried as she ran toward Parle's body.
"Parle!" Nagi shouted as he ran to Anka's body.
"W-wha?" Lucas glanced back and forth between his friends. "What just happened."
"I don't know," Chloe muttered with concern as she took a ginger step forward. She gritted her teeth when she felt Lucas' hand sliding from the small of her back down. She turned to punch him as they were flung apart.
"No! Not them too!" Parle shouted.
"Lucas! You pervert!" Lucas shouted. "W-what happened to my voice?" Lucas glanced down at his hands, "Where'd my rings and bracelets go?"
"Yeah, really..." Nagi sighed, "More to drag around."
"Chloe, Chloe, are you okay? Do you need hand sanitizer?" Connor asked as he collapsed beside her.
"I'm not Chloe, dude," Chloe said as she rubbed her head. Chloe glanced down at her body, "Wow! I'm a hot girl! God I have some hawt ideas!!!!" she squeed.
"No! No! That's my body!" Lucas growled.
"Chloe, let's go hang out at my place," Connor said slowly as he offered Chloe a hand.
"No! Don't!" Nami cried. She cringed as Connor touched Chloe, both of them being flung across the sidewalk.
"What...happened?" Anka asked.
"Long story and it's about to get longer..." Nami sighed. "Just don't touch anybody."
"I'm...Anka?" Anka blinked.
"Yeah, she's you, Chloe is Lucas, Lucas is Connor and Connor is Chloe," Nami said quickly.
Nagi cleared his throat, "Everybody, touch your original body, don't touch anybody else and come with us so you're not permanently changed!"
"That's direct," Parle said as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"Well, they'll hopefully listen..." Nagi muttered.
"What? You want me to touch him?" Lucas pointed forward, blinked and pointed to himself.
"Or keep randomly switching forever giving him the chance to grope you everywhere," Nami said dryly.
"Everywhere?" Lucas repeated.
"Naturally. It's the Lucas," Nagi agreed.
"Anka? How's about we flip back?" Anka asked.
"Good idea," Parle said as he held out his hand. They were both flung backwards immediately.
"Yay! I'm me!" Anka clapped her hands excitedly.
"Get your ass over here with my body!" Lucas said as he grabbed Chloe. The pair were flung backward as expected, Chloe in her own body.
"Yay! It worked!" Chloe cheered.
"Honey, it's me!" Lucas said quickly. "I'm not Lucas...well, do you know what I mean?"
"Connor?" Chloe asked.
"Long story, don't worry about it," Nagi said quickly. "Connor get your body back while Lucas is incapacitated."
"Dude," Drake crouched above Anka, "You just fell..." Drake said as he inched toward her face.
"Wha?" Anka muttered.
Drake licked his finger, shoving it in Anka's ear, "Wet Willie!" Drake shouted.
"Drake you ass!" Anka shouted before Drake was flung backwards.
"Great," Drake said as he sat up. "I'm switched yet again!"
"Please work..." Lucas muttered before he touched Connor's shoulder. Lucas was flung backward.
"We'll deal with this one at a time so we can remember who is who," Nami suggested.
"Drake! Found you!" Tristan shouted as he charged at Drake.
"Tristan? What are you doing? Tristan! Tristan! It's not Drake!" Drake shouted.
"What happened?" Anka asked, sitting up and scratching the back of her neck. "God my hair is getting too long..." she muttered.
The group watched as Drake was plowed to the ground by Tristan. Tristan was flung backwards immediately. "You bastard! I am killing the next person who switches bodies with me!" Tristan shouted.
"This is everybody we know but Lulu and Akira. Let's get a damn move on!" Nami shouted, pointing toward Lulu's house.
Tristan dashed over to Anka and touched her shoulder, flinging Tristan backwards. Anka stood up grinning, "Any of you touch me and I'll kill you," she said as she strutted forward.
"Noted..." Tristan grumbled.
"Follow or die," Nagi said as he followed after Anka.
"Ah, hello?" Maria blinked. "Why are so many of you here at once?" she asked as she scanned the crowd of teens.
"We're supposed to all see a movie," Chloe said quickly.
"Yeah, so could we go fetch Lulu?" Nami asked.
"She isn't here," Maria said softly. "She hasn't been here all day. She left with you, Anka, this morning."
"Great..." Anka sighed.
"Why are you standing so far apart?" Maria raised her eyebrows.
"Claustrophobia," Connor said quietly.
"Oh, well, have you tried her cell?" Maria suggested.
"Good idea, thanks Maria," Nagi said quickly, pulling out his cell phone.
"Why didn't you call her before?" Lucas asked.
"1-2-3-NOT IT!" Nagi shouted.
"Not it!" the others chorused.
"What aren't we it for?" Lucas asked.
"You get to call Lulu," Nami said pointedly.
Lucas sighed, pulling out his cellphone. He dialed her number and waited for an answer. "I'm not in the mood for you Lucas!" Lulu shouted.
"Room service!" was shouted in the background.
"Gotta go!" Lulu called before hanging up.
"What the hell, man?" Chloe demanded.
"She's at a hotel," Lucas said confidently. "She was panting and moaning so she's having sex."
"Great..." Connor made a face.
"Well, we'll all keep randomly switching without her and my cousin so let's go get her," Nagi said as he started to walk away from the others.
"Nagi, honey..." Nami started. "I appreciate the enthusiasm. But. There are like ten hotels in the area."
Nagi stopped and spun around, "And...we have to search all of them?"
"It looks like it," Anka sighed. "Well, let's split up to cover more ground. Don't touch anybody at all. This is hard enough to explain to you guys," she said as she started off with Nagi, Nami and Parle.
"We'll take Best Western," Parle shouted.
"We'll start at Super 8!" Chloe shouted back. "Now, I'd drag you behind me, but I don't want to end up in pervo's body again. So, NOW MARCH MARCH MARCH!"
"Hey, excuse me," Nagi huffed as he collapsed against the counter.
"Yes?" the receptionist asked.
"Uh, well, have you seen a pretty girl with strawberry blonde hair and a boy that looks like me if I had longer hair and no muscle tone?" Nagi managed.
"No," the woman shook her head. "May I ask why?"
"Giant hide-and-seek game," Nagi said as he started away from her. He walked out of the building, "Nothing here, guys..."
"Alright," Parle huffed. "There's the Ramada in across the road," he pointed to the hotel on the hill.
"Alright, next stop..." Anka managed between breaths.
"When the ritual..." Nami steadied her breathing, "Is done. Can we kill them?"
"Yes," Nagi replied as he ambled toward the road.
"Hey!" Lucas crashed into the door, "Receptionist with blonde hair," he huffed. "Have you seen a blonde girl with huge cans and a wannabe rock star hippie who couldn't keep his hands off her?"
"Uh...no..." she blinked.
"Wow, you have hot cans too," he grinned giving her the thumbs up.
She raised an eyebrow, "Thank you?"
"He's hitting on her," Chloe raked her fingers down her face.
Drake yanked Lucas away from the front desk by his collar. "Hide-and-seek extreme edition continues...."
"I love you!" Lucas shouted before Drake had him outside.
"Where next?" Connor asked.
"The Comfort Inn," Tristan pointed to another hotel a few blocks away. "It's the closest one to here."
"Alright," Chloe sighed. "Well, Lucas is no longer allowed inside hotels alone. I'll ask the next time."
"God! Where could they be?" Chloe collapsed against a building as she slipped her cellphone from her purse.
"We looked everywhere..." Drake raked his fingers through his hair, ruffling it. "Hey, would I look good with my hair ruffled like Nagi?"
"No, man. You'd look gay. You're too confrontational. Nagi's laid back so it looks sexy on him," Lucas replied.
"Oh, wow," Tristan fought back laughter.
"The Lucas knows hot regardless of gender and sexuality," Lucas said firmly.
"My blister's blisters have blisters...." Connor muttered as he rubbed part of his foot.
"Nagi?" Chloe asked.
"Yeah," he yawned.
"We just looked everywhere. The Motel 6, Hampton Inn..." Chloe tapered off.
"We searched all of them we know of that you guys hadn't searched," Nagi sighed.
"They couldn't have checked out," Anka muttered.
"Hang on," Nagi said into his phone. "Anka, how do you know that?"
"Well, Akira's always saying that he lasts for like three hours and we've been searching a little over an hour," Anka replied with a shrug.
"Wow, your family is filled with studs," Parle joked, "So, Nami..."
Nami finished a swig of water. "Hmm?"
"Does endurance run in Nagi's family?" Parle asked.
"She wouldn't know!" Nagi cut in, blushing profusely.
"I'm too tired to argue," Nami uttered.
"Okay, back," Nagi sighed.
"Speaking of studs, Lucas said you're sexy," Chloe said nonchalantly.
"Wow, that grosses me out even when I'm not in a girl's body," Nagi said dryly. "But on topic we need a plan."
Anka sighed, "I wish Lulu and I didn't spend all of our money on magic earrings that make us switch bodies..."
"What did you say?" Nami asked.
"Nami has that realization tone!" Chloe shouted. "What did she realize?"
"We spent all of our money today shopping while you and Nagi were...studying..." Anka smirked.
"You know we were studying," Nami started, "And I know where they are!"
"Where?" Nagi gasped.
"Nagi, where would Lulu go when she has no money and wants to have sex?" Nami asked tilting her head to the side, "Remember that she's rich, an heiress."
"Her father's hotel chain..." Nagi muttered.
"Yes," Nami said quickly.
"Go to King's Suites, Chloe," Nagi said before quickly shutting his phone, "Nami I could kiss you-" he stopped, "Except...that whole...body switch..."
"Right," Parle rolled his eyes.
"Thanks?" Nami asked.
"Yes, it's a compliment, and it's also almost sundown so let's get to the hotel and get those two immediately..." Anka said as she started walking again.
"Okay, guys," Chloe closed the phone. "Lulu's dad's hotel. That's where Nami thinks they are."
"Sweet! We get to be in a five star hotel!" Lucas grinned.
"Well, according to them if we don't get everybody involved fixed we'll keep randomly switching forever," Chloe announced as she led the group further into town.
"I wouldn't mind if it were during sex," Lucas licked his lips. "Just to know what it's like..."
"For a girl?" Drake asked.
"Well, Lucas wouldn't know a female orgasm if one bit him on the ass," Tristan said with a lopsided grin.
"True dat!" Chloe laughed giving Tristan a high five. The two were flung across the road.
"Damn it!" Tristan shouted as he stood, running at Chloe. Immediately after contact the pair were forced apart again.
"I keep forgetting..." Chloe said with a sigh. "Now, to the hotel..."
"I can so pleasure a woman..." Lucas twiddled his thumbs.
"Ow..." Tristan managed from the ground as he twitched in pain.
The entire group arrived at the hotel at the same time and entered the building single file with about a foot between each of them, "Have you seen Lulu?" Anka gasped as they collapsed near the front counter.
"She's... in the penthouse suite?" The woman looked questioningly at the group.
"Got a key?" Nagi asked dryly, "She was... supposed to meet us and now we need to surprise her.
"Miss King asked specifically to be given her privacy." The woman shook her head.
"It's an emergency..." Nami and Anka pleaded.
"I'm sure it is." Her lips quirked somewhat into a smile.
"We could just... show her?" Lucas wriggled his fingers.
"No!" The others said immediately.
"Definitely not..." Anka tsked, "She'd freak out, she's not like our weird bunch who just accepts it and moves on..."
"Lucas almost has a good idea," Nami sighed in surrender. "I mean, I'm sure she'll block it out..."
"Nami, where's the thinking outside the box?" Parle asked.
Nami shook her head, "I've got nothing."
"We'll think of something," Nagi muttered.
"Yeah, somehow, we always do," Drake pointed out.
"You mean somehow Nami and Anka always do," Connor corrected Drake.
"Yeah, same thing," Drake said dismissively.
"Hmm..." Chloe stroked her chin as she turned to face the stairs. "Do...any of you know where Lulu's room is?"
"We could..." Anka stopped herself, shaking her head. "No, she knows our voices. She wouldn't open the door."
"She's fairly smart, but Akira's an idiot," Nagi said with a smirk.
"So all we need is somebody who Akira doesn't know," Nami guessed.
"Exactly," Nagi nodded.
"What if Lulu tells him that it's one of us and doesn't let him open the door?" Anka asked.
"And what if...they're...doing it?" Tristan asked.
"We'll have to introduce him to your family, Nagi," Nami said dryly.
"That might make sex seem more taboo. That's what happened to me," Nagi muttered.
"Well, they have to stop sometime," Chloe said encouragingly placing a hand on Tristan's shoulder.
"Not again..." Connor raked his hand down his face as he watched the two get flung to separate sides of the room.
"The receptionist isn't looking," Parle hissed, "So get back to normal as fast as you can!"
Chloe nodded, stumbling forward. "Sweetie, I'm sorry about this," she said as she touched Tristan's hand, repeating the previous motions.
"That still hurts..." Tristan whimpered.
"Hmmm....wonder if Lulu is up for a threesome," Lucas muttered as he started for the stairs.
"Uh...ew..." Nami made a face.
"Let him go unless you want to switch with him," Connor said dryly.
"Double ew," Nami shuddered.
"Maybe Lulu will chase him out of the hotel and in the fray we can have everybody switch bodies and force Lulu and Akira to come with us," Parle suggested.
"That's if she opens the door," Anka reminded him.
"Drake," Nagi snapped his fingers, "You and I are fairly strong. If we keep our strength when we switch bodies we might be able to drag them along with us."
"But we don't know if you keep anything but your thoughts when we switch," Chloe reminded him.
"But if you do, brilliant," Tristan added.
"Anybody willing to try?" Nagi asked, holding out his hand.
"How are you going to test your strength. Under normal circumstances you could lift somebody up, or if any of us were carrying anything heavy you could lift that, but we don't have anything at all like that," Anka muttered.
Nami smiled, "If Nagi and Drake keep their natural abilities, strength might not have to be tested. Any ability unique to Nagi will do," she said quickly.
Nagi blinked, "Well, what do you have in mind?"
"You can do more than push and shove," Nami reminded him. "You can do front hand springs, back flips, handstands..."
"Good idea," Drake awed. "And if he doesn't keep his natural abilities whoever switches with him will only get a few bumps."
"Right, so it's the safer experiment," Nami nodded.
"So, now that Nami has volunteered we should let them go some place private and guard this door on the off chance that Akira and Lulu chase Lucas down here," Anka said in one breath.
"Anka!" Nami blushed.
"What? You want people to see you two get flung across the room twice?" Chloe asked.
"Behind the building is pretty secluded," Connor whispered.
"Nagi, when this is all over, kick Connor's ass," Nami crossed her arms over her chest.
"Alright," Nagi shrugged.
"Glad to see you're so calm about this," she blushed.
"Well, it's just us," he reminded her, "so if you don't want to do this we can just tell them that it didn't work."
"Yeah, but I'll have to come up with another idea if we do that," Nami sighed in defeat.
"Ready?" Nagi asked.
Nami nodded, touching his hand and cringing, waiting to be flung.
"What happened?" Nagi asked. "Why weren't we thrown backwards?"
"Don't know," Nami shrugged before she leaned forward, placing her palm on the ground. She brought her other palm down and balanced her weight.
"You did it!" Nagi cheered. "And, while you're still in my body can you do a trick?"
"Which one?" Nami asked.
"Doesn't matter," Nagi replied. Nagi smiled as he watched Nami's body get a running start, flipping a few times in the air before landing safely on her feet again.
"How was that?" Nami asked.
"You're sooo teaching me how to do that," Nagi said as he held his hand out. Nami touched his hand, cringing as they prepared for the painful switch.
"Seriously," Nami blinked, "Why in the world aren't we being thrown back anymore? I mean, were we switched directly before?"
"I don't remember," Nagi admitted. "But, let's go tell them that it works," he said as he inadvertently grabbed Nami's hand, leading her back into the hotel.
"It works!" Nami said excitedly. "I got to watch myself do things I wouldn't dream of doing..."
"Nami?" Anka questioned.
"Yes?" Nami replied, tilting her head to the side.
"You two are touching, but...not switching..." Anka pointed out.
"Huh?" Nami and Nagi chorused as they glanced down at their hands.
"This might not be a good thing," Drake realized.
Anka pulled out her cellphone, quickly dialing a number. "Quick question. Why would two people touch and not switch?" Anka frowned as she listened to the woman's reply. "Alright, we'll hurry."
"Well?" Tristan asked.
"It is either one thing, the other or a combination of things," Anka muttered as she closed her cellphone.
"And?" Chloe asked.
"Magical residue was gone with your last switch is explanation one," Anka explained. "Explanation two is time is running out and we won't be able to reverse this soon..."
"It's quarter til six," Parle announced.
"She also gave an explanation on souls and...kindred spirits," Anka tried to hide a smile.
"Huh?" Nami and Nagi chorused.
"So glad I talk to the magic shop owner more than you two," she grinned. "But we don't have much time. Sundown is something past eight, and those two aren't coming out without a fight, let alone clear down to the shop on the other side of town."
"Okay, if magical residue is gone off us, we can't switch right?" Nagi asked.
"Not with each other or anybody else who lacks residue," Anka explained.
"So get the earring away from Lulu?" Chloe guessed. "If they're stuck like each other they'll listen to us."
"Or if somebody they can't catch has both of the earrings," Tristan said as he glanced between Nagi and Drake.
"They'll eventually lose the residue while chasing them," Parle whispered.
"Nagi, here's my earring, don't lose it," Anka said as she removed the earring from her ear, dropping it into his palm.
"It'll take one of us switching with Lulu to give Drake the other earring," Parle shrugged, "So piece of cake. We'll all chase after them and get to the ritual."
"Good, good. But how are we getting into their room?" Connor asked.
"Uh, well..." Drake rubbed the back of his head, "I don't know..."
"Room service," Anka said slyly.
"I'll fill in Lucas along the way," Connor muttered. "Well, let's go. No time to waste."
The group walked up the stairs, to the elevator, standing quite far apart, making the fit all the more difficult. They walked off the elevator on the 40th floor, watching Lucas huff and puff, nearly collapsing, having taken the stairs.
"Elevator," Parle said dryly.
"Is this...the...right...floor...?" Lucas huffed.
"It's the top floor and the receptionist told us she was in the penthouse suite. There are only a handful of rooms up here, the issue is figuring out which one has Lulu and Akira." Anka stated, fighting back a grin as Lucas doubled over to catch his breath, "If you'd have thought about it... You wouldn't have taken the stairs, now would you?"
Lucas hung his head, "No... Now I don't even have the energy to do anything."
"Won't it seem suspicious if we knock on each door one by one, calling room service?" Nami asked.
"That's why we're going to pair up and knock on all the doors simultaneously." Anka nodded, "We'll have to mask one person's voice for each group so we don't sound familiar, and it'll be a pain in the ass, but it's the only thing I can think of that stands a chance."
"Anybody have any ideas?" Chloe asked, glancing around at each of her friends.
"Good evenin' govnah!" Connor said in a British accent.
"That isn't half bad," Drake conceited. "And I guess we'll sound slightly different."
"Wouldn't it sound weird if a bunch of random British people worked for an American hotel in America?" Parle asked.
"Uh...true..." Nami sighed.
"Well, we're not all knocking on the same door thankfully," Anka reminded them. "So one person is all we need."
"Welp, time limit, let's get this going," Nagi said as he started toward a door. "Oh, idea!" he said happily. "Auchante, auchante, auchante, auchante..."
"What are you doing?" Tristan asked.
"You're going to speak French?" Nami asked.
"It is a five star hotel international," Nagi shrugged.
"Alright, so, Nagi and Nami take that door," Anka pointed down the hall, "Connor, Tristan, take that one.... Parle, Drake, take the far end of the hall... Chloe and I will take that one." Anka nodded briefly as they approached the door.
"I don't want to see them naked..." Tristan wrinkled his nose as he glanced over at Connor.
"Me either, dude." Connor replied, gulping, "Let's just get this over with..."
Together the four groups of two knocked and called out in various accents, it was Parle and Drake's door that opened to reveal a nude Akira, towel around his face, "The hell do you guys want?" He demanded, glaring.
"Lulu, we need to switch back!" Anka leapt and jammed her foot in the doorway as Akira went to slam the door, "We'll be stuck like this for the rest of our lives if we don't leave right now..."
"And?" Akira asked.
"Wait! I may enjoy the sex, but I don't want to be in a woman's body forever... Though some lesbian sex would be nice." Lulu howled, wrapping a sheet around her body, she looked comical going from desperation to thoughtful every few seconds as she went over the pros and cons, at last she turned to Akira, "We should get dressed... We can always pick up later." She suggested.
"No way." Akira shook his head, "This is too much fun to quit in the middle."
"Guess we don't have much choice." Nagi made a face.
"Much choice for what?" Akira muttered.
"Is that silk!?" Tristan asked as he pushed his way into the room.
"Yeah," Lulu said, sliding her hand over the sheet.
"Ah! Can I feel it?" Tristan pleaded.
"Have at it," Lulu replied, shrugging.
Tristan plopped down on the bed and began making angels with the loose fabric. "So beautiful..." he purred.
Lulu scratched her head and shrugged. She sat down before getting flung off the bed, across the room. "What happened?"
"Tristan?" Chloe questioned.
"Yeah?" Lulu replied, rubbing her head. Lulu's eyes widened, "I've got it! I've got the earring!"
"Go!" Drake shouted as he pinned Akira to the door, both of them being forced backwards afterward. Lulu raced out the door, barely clad in a sheet.
"Tristan, give me the earring!" Nagi shouted, running beside Lulu without breaking a sweat.
"Here!" Lulu tossed Nagi the earring, "Where are we going, now?"
"Just follow me!" Nagi shouted as they ran past the reception desk.
"Uh, Mister King..." the receptionist blinked, staring at Nagi and Lulu as they ran past her. "Uh...yeah...she...just...left...."
"What the hell?" Akira shouted as he stood, finally back in his own body.
"We're not getting stuck like this. You can keep switching, but since we have both of the earrings and all of our bodies we'll be immune," Anka bluffed as she led the others out of the room.
"No!" Akira pleaded, getting dragged along by Chloe's skirt. "Please! You can't do this to me!" he cried before they switched, this time without being flung backwards.
"What happened?" Chloe asked.
"Well, no more magical residue," Akira sighed.
"You know...you're pretty hot for being a sarcastic girl..." Chloe considered. "But skirts are so windy..." he said as he caressed the fabric of the skirt.
"Yeah, you would never date a sarcastic girl," Anka muttered as she opened the shop door. "We're here."
Everybody stepped into the shop one by one, finding Nagi and the half-naked Lulu with the shop owner. "I see you added a few friends," the woman said dryly.
"Yeah, scuffles and accidental bumps," Nagi explained. "It really sucks."
"I'm about to fix that, dear," she assured him. She drew a large circle with chalk, "Everybody in," she instructed. Everybody did as she instructed, watching her sprinkle salt around the circle. "Now, who has the earrings?"
"Here," Nagi said as he handed them to her.
"You two originally wore them," the woman handed one earring to Anka and the other to Lulu, "So put them back in and everybody join hands, close your eyes and open your mouths."
Everybody did as she said more hesitantly. "That sounds like a Lucas line..." Lulu grumbled.
The woman shoved a carrot into each of their mouths, saving one for herself. "I...uh...don't mean to seem like a disbelieving cynic, but...why the carrots?" Nami asked.
"If you picked up any bad chi or spirits, they'll need a place to go," the woman replied flatly, as if it were common knowledge.
"Right, possessions in this ritual may be final," Akira agreed.
"Ohhhh...great....Akira knows about this," Nagi sighed, hanging his head.
"During this ritual, we can see one another's souls and auras. See if you're as good a person as you think," Akira said with a grin. "So, why didn't you tell me we'd be hanging out here? I love this place!"
"He comes here often?" Drake guessed.
"Actually, usually in less clothing," the woman admitted. "Now, think about the one person you lust more than others!"
"Wha?" Anka blinked.
"This will help your souls find the correct body," the woman assured them.
"She has to be related to you," Parle said to Nagi and Akira.
"She's our third cousin," Akira clarified.
"Naturally," Nagi muttered.
"Now, picture having great passionate, raw, dirty sex! It doesn't matter where! Just feel the passion!" the woman said with a smirk. She bent down to light a candle, continuing to light candles until she had seven candles. She placed them in the middle of the circle of chalk and salt. Everybody exchanged glances, save Lucas, Lulu and Akira who were glad to follow instructions. "If you don't do this you could die," she said dryly.
Everybody forced their eyes shut and began muttering to themselves. "So, Nami, have any interests in this room?" she asked.
Nami blushed and took a step backwards, "What?"
"I sense a very strong vibe from you. Your sexuality is at its peek!" she said as she dusted Nami with an ostrich feather. She stopped in front of Lucas, "You're just a pervert."
"I don't normally believe in this voodoo, but she's pretty good," Lucas admitted.
"Anyway, I'm going to burn the incents now, sandlewood..." she hummed as she lit the incents, watching the magic circle come to life. "Now, put this on the bottom of your left foot," she said as she held up a jar of peanutbutter.
"What?" Parle asked.
"Here's the knife, make it thick and smooth," she said with a grin.
"Do we have to use the same knife?" Tristan asked, making a face.
"No time to get another one," she replied.
"I go first," he said, grabbing the knife and sliding a glob of it on the bottom of his left foot. The others quickly followed suit, cringing in disgust as they lathered their feet in peanutbutter.
"Now, this on the top of your right foot," she said as she poured honey on Drake's foot.
"What's that for?" Drake questioned.
"It roots you in place so no spirits can take you away," the woman said simply.
"Aren't there herbs for that?" Parle asked.
"Ever hear of substitution?" she asked. "Cooking, sitcoms, witchcraft same thing, same concept."
She sprinkled potpourri around the circle, "Now, we call upon the spirits," she hummed between lines.
"Why peanutbutter and honey on our feet again?" Anka asked.
"No reason. I just wanted to see if you were desperate enough to listen to me," the woman shrugged.
"Figures..." Anka muttered.
"Jeez, get a sense of humor," the woman said dismissively. "They do what I said. Root you in place. And everybody knows that bad spirits are allergic to peanutbutter."
"Yeah, common knowledge," Parle rolled his eyes.
"Ask anybody," she offered.
"I knew that," Akira whispered.
"Of course you know useless information," Lulu hissed.
"Anyway, on with the ritual," Nagi insisted.
"Right, spirits. Don't make them switch bodies again. Keep the souls in the correct body. And break the magical residue spell to keep other safe..." the woman fanned the smoke from the incents with the ostrich feather as she spoke.
"That's it?" Connor asked.
"Glad I'm not the only one," Drake hung his head.
"No, it hasn't even begun yet," the woman smiled.
"Eww..." Tristan wiggled his toes, cringing from the squishing sound of the peanutbutter on the floor.
"When you see a light surround your friends is when it has begun," the woman said softly as she sat in the lotus position, her eyes fixated on Lulu and Anka.
Everybody waited for several minutes in an awkward silence. Their eyes wandered around the circle of people, waiting to see a color change. Everybody gasped when Akira's body began glowing silver.
"Shiny..." Lucas remarked.
Everybody else began changing colors, Nami and Anka glowing white, Lucas glowing black, Lulu glowing pink, Nagi's colors alternating and the others glowing in accordance with their personality.
Several wicked spirits appeared outside the circle. "Oh, opportunity is upon us!" one shouted in a high pitched voice.
"Yes, possessions! Now, who is the most sus-"
"No! I'm allergic to peanutbutter!" the first cried.
"Me too! It runs in the family," the second agreed.
"Ha! We're smarter than you!" Akira blew a raspberry.
"Oh, no he didn't!" the first snapped his fingers angrilly.
The second placed a comforting claw on his brother's shoulder. "Do what we're best at."
"Oh, picking out insecurities!" the second grinned, pointing at Akira. "Boney butt!"
Akira frowned, "Shut up!"
"Really?" Anka asked, staring at Akira.
"It runs in the family..." Akira whimpered.
"They can't pick out insecurities," Lulu said proudly.
"Eyebrows," the first said blandly.
Lulu frowned, "I get them waxed!"
"How good are you?" Chloe asked, staring at the second spirit. The second spirit returned her harsh gaze.
"Uneven skin tone," he replied.
"What?" Chloe broke the circle to cover her cheeks.
"Stop instigating the spirits," Nami muttered.
"Yeah, really," Nagi rolled his eyes.
The first spirit pointed to Nami, "Snoring," and then to Nagi, "Virginity."
"A little," Nami shouted back.
"Oh, my god. Even ghosts know I'm a virgin?! What the hell?!" Nagi demanded.
"Unnatural hair color." One pointed at Anka.
"I didn't ask your opinions!" Anka jeered back, "At least I have a body."
"That's not nice..." One sniffed.
"ADHD," one pointed to Parle. "Small penis," the same one pointed to Lucas.
"Says you," Lucas turned his nose into the air.
"Wow. This moment is fantastic," Drake laughed.
The other stared at Drake, "Low IQ!"
"What's IQ mean?" Drake whispered to Lulu who rolled her eyes.
"Phobiaphobic," the enthusiastic spirit said to Tristan.
"Yeah, and?" Tristan replied.
"Fine. You all knew that?" the spirit asked.
"Yes," everybody agreed.
"Okay, foot fetish!" the spirit said as he turned to Connor.
"What?" Connor demanded.
"Afraid of rabbits," the spirit said to Connor.
"They bit me! They ganged up on me!" Connor sobbed.
"Wow, this has been eye-opening," Nami muttered.
"And you...are insane during the night and normal during the day because of your OCD," the spirit said to the shop owner.
"Yeah," she chuckled.
"And you...are impossible to crack..." the two spirits chorused.
"You're homophobic because you think you might secretly be gay," the woman said to the spirits who fled, crying.
"That was amazing," Tristan's eyes twinkled.
"Everybody, brace yourself!" she warned them as she herself stiffened. Everybody shouted in surprise as they were all forced backwards, against the walls in different areas of the room.
"Nami?" Nagi asked.
"Yeah?" she replied.
"We're on Lulu. I think we should move," Nagi said sheepishly. Everybody stood up, touching their own bodies happily, and cautiously poking their friends.
"We don't switch!" Anka said as she poked Parle and Connor a few times.
"Well, see you tomorrow," Drake said nonchalantly as he left the shop.
"Yeah, got stuff to do," Chloe said as she left, taking Tristan with her.
"Only our friends would be so nonchalant after all of that..." Lulu said as she took her magical earring out.
"Yup, gotta love 'em," Anka shrugged.
"Oh, Nagi," Akira sniffled.
"Oh, no....what now?" Nagi asked as he took a ginger step backwards.
"I'm so proud of you! Your aura is a chameleon!" Akira said as tears streamed down his cheeks.
"Uh...aren't auras color-coded?" Anka asked.
"Yes! But Nagi's changes!" Akira said excitedly.
"Like a chameleon changing its color, right?" Nami guessed.
"Yes! It changes with his mood! It's such a rare trait!" Akira said adoringly.
"Great. I'm a psychic mood ring," Nagi said dryly.
"I miss the magic already..." Lulu sniffled as she closed her hand around her earring.
"Revisit it without us," Nagi said firmly.
"Yeah," Nami sighed. "It's uncomfortable to be your guy friends..."
"Being a girl isn't a piece of cake in a skirt either," Parle assured them.
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