Namie walked into Izaya's apartment. He was wearing a long, red version of his usual coat, with pink fluffy trim around the collar, wrists and hem. He also seemed to have neglected his usual wearing of pants.
Namie blinked, and was briefly thankful that the coat was long, because there were some aspects of Izaya's depravity that she really did not want to be exposed to. She checked her phone - yes, right address, right apartment, unless she stumbled into a parallel dimension where Izaya was a raging queen, this was what she was meant to be doing.
"Ah, just in time, my loyal assistant!"
"In time for...?" Namie dreaded the answer, as Izaya was currently lying on his back on the sofa. He raised his legs in the air, and she mentally cringed, but the hem of the coat fell down to reveal red hot pants underneath. She would have sighed in relief, but she was dreading his explanation of any situation that involved her staying at his apartment for a few days and that outfit.
"Cartoon Network Japan is airing a marathon of all the Powerpuff Girls episodes before the premiere of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z! Naturally, as my assistant, you are in charge of taking care of me during this period of time." He made it sound like she was on some sort of holy mission.
"How long will this be?" She silently hoped that the Powerpuff Girls, whatever they were, were in the habit of making episodes that lasted about five minutes.
"Oh, including the pilot - although that never aired, American censorship - tsk, why'd McCracken have to name it Whoopass Girls at first - about...seventy-nine episodes and two What-A-Cartoon shorts. I hope you cancelled all my appointments!" He clicked his tongue as if he expected Namie to know exactly what he was talking about. Unfortunately, Namie had grown up in a home lacking in Cartoon Network, and had spent her childhood washing Seiji's back and unenthusiastically playing with dolls, so most of the terminology was foreign to her besides the concept that she had to baby-sit Izaya through seventy-nine episodes of a children's cartoon.
"Can't you tape it and watch it later? I refuse to believe that you can't afford a video recorder."
Izaya gasped, as if she had struck him through the heart. "So harsh, Namie, so harsh! It's almost as if you don't appreciate a man's romance! What kind of childhood did you have?"
"I don't see how this is relevant to you disrupting your life. Do you have any idea what the Awakusu Group said when I cancelled their appointment?"
"The Powerpuff Girls are so much cuter than listening to their boring requests! Lighten up!"
"It is generally difficult to lighten up when people threaten to dismember you. Also, that outfit is more disgusting than what you usually wear."
"Such hurtful words! I'll have you know that this outfit is a tribute to my favourite character - HIM."
Before Izaya could wax lyrical about Him, he was interrupted by the opening narration. He frantically scrambled to sit in an upright position, clutching his limited-edition Mojo Jojo cushion to his chest, before remembering that Namie was there and shooing her away.
"Save your caustic words for the commercials and go and make some food. I want broccoli with cheese sauce for lunch, that should be when Beat Your Greens airs!"
Namie opened her mouth in an attempt to point out that it was not, in fact, lunch time at the moment, and there would be a lengthy period between the present episode and lunch time, and also that Izaya was lactose-intolerant. However, Izaya was too busy mouthing the opening narration in an overdramatic fashion and going "dun dun dun dun dun da-dum" with the background music to care.
In mute horror, she fled to the kitchen.
It turned out that she should actually have reminded Izaya of his lactose-intolerance.
"Namie, hurry up and fetch me a bedpan, there isn't another commercial break for fifteen minutes."
"Unless you're even sicker than I thought, you don't have a bedpan. Perhaps you should understand your own limitations, boss."
"I can't see the screen from the bathroom...wait, I have a plan. You, dear Namie, can describe the screen to me while I visit the facilities!"
Namie grudgingly sat down. Izaya vanished so fast that he left a motion blur.
She raised her voice, and began to describe it to the best of her ability.
"The blue girl is beating up a...green gorilla? Now he's hitting her on the head. He looks like he's going to rape her, from the camera angle and framing."
A muffled shriek of outrage came from the bathroom. "MOJO JOJO IS A CHIMP AND NOT A GORILLA! AND I WOULD APPRECIATE LESS MORAL COMMENTARY FROM YOU, MISS FREUD!"
"Now the chimp is talking in a ridiculously convoluted fashion. No wonder you're so long-winded now, if this is what you grew up with."
"I AM LITERALLY TRYING TO PASS MOTION FASTER JUST SO I DON'T HAVE TO RELY ON YOUR DESCRIPTIONS."
Oddly enough, this was the most emotional that she had ever seen Izaya get. It probably said something about his character that he was only emotional over a very pink cartoon targeted at girls. However, she wasn't sure what that said, and didn't really care enough to figure it out.
The episode ended with the day being saved due to unknown circumstances and the oddly catchy tune about Powerpuff Girls saving the day.
She pulled out her phone to check.
Out of seventy-nine.
If she were more emotional, she would probably break down crying.
She'd wound up sitting on the sofa and sort of watching it with him, purely because he needed someone to poke him awake.
"So the green one is...Blossom?"
"Buttercup. Blossom is the pink one. That one's Mojo Jojo, right there. You know, this show inspired me a great deal when I was a child."
"I don't see how, considering they fight the forces of evil. Which you are."
"I really liked the villain - look, there he is, the red one. Him. His fashion sense was very inspiring, and I liked how he had no sense of shame. Also, I prefer to consider myself morally ambiguous."
"Of course. Since morally ambiguous people regularly talk others into suicide. The people who named this villain had worse naming sense than your parents."
She waited for a reply, but his eyelids were drooping, so she poked him. Very hard.
He jolted awake, and the marathon continued.
"Pass me another Red Bull, humble assistant."
"Get it yourself. You need to stretch, anyway."
"But this is the last one of the McCracken episodes! I'm not getting up until it's over."
"Enjoy your bedsores, boss."
Their exhaustion led to them napping during commercial breaks. Namie succeeded in finding an egg timer somewhere in Izaya's kitchen, and they rested their eyes briefly whenever the screen faded to black. On one of Namie's trips to the convenience store nearby, she had also obtained some eye drops. They took turns dripping it into their eyes whenever they burned too much.
Namie's self-control lapsed when a set of familiar characters appeared on the screen. She nudged Izaya.
"Aren't those the Powerpuff Boys? What are they doing back? I thought they died!"
"Rowdyruff." It was a sign of his exhaustion that he didn't start reciting episode descriptions. "Yes, they died. But they came back. On fan forums, this was one of the concrete signs that the show went downhill."
"You might be claiming you're forever twenty-one, but isn't it too much to look at Powerpuff Girls fan forums?"
"I'm young at heart. You, on the other hand, will be a Christmas cake at this rate."
"Kururi and Mairu should warn their friends about their pedophile brother. In any case, the...Rowdyruff Boys die at the end of this episode, right?"
"No, they continue appearing. Kururi and Mairu gave up watching after the next few episodes, but I persisted, even though it wasn't as fun without them around. It's terrible. "
"This season is terrible. Why do we keep watching it?"
She found herself tapping her foot to the ending theme. She hoped Izaya didn't notice.
He did, but didn't say anything.
Seventy-nine episodes. All over. The premiere, then sweet, sweet slumber.
A commercial flashed the Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z logo, with sparkles, hearts and flowers.
Namie pressed "record", just in case Izaya had actually lapsed into a coma and was unable to view it. She hoped she could get home after the next twenty minutes, but in all honesty she felt like collapsing on the couch and sleeping for a day straight. Even if it meant sleeping at Izaya's place.
She hit him awake with his Mojo Jojo cushion. "Premiere. Get up."
"Why, Namie, I didn't know you cared!"
"If I have to listen to you whining about how you missed the premiere, I'll tell the Awakusu Group about what you were actually doing instead of keeping their appointment."
"How very tsundere of you - shhh, it's on! But I'm not sure that I agree with this redesign of the costumes."
"...the English theme is much better than this. Also, if you're hoping for the 'dere' part, you can dream on."
"Oddly enough, I agree with you about the theme. Even though you were clearly primed to think this way by the marathon of the English version, as well as your deprived childhood."
"Go back to posting on your Powerpuff Girls forum, Mr Pedophile."
Seventy-nine episodes. One premiere. All over.
She forced herself to leave the comfortable embrace of the sofa, so she could collect her things and return to her glorious home, and possibly sleep for a day straight.
"Will that be all?" She did not really expect a reply, seeing as Izaya was in the stage of sleep deprivation where he was halfway between being awake and being asleep. She was definitely going to take the next day off. Izaya could deal with the Awakusu Group by himself, although at this rate they'd probably break in, find no one in the office, and end up dismembering Izaya's swivel chair in a fit of rage.
"One more thing," he murmured, head bobbing up and down, struggling to stay awake.
She paused in her footsteps.
"Who was your favourite Powerpuff Girl?"
She scanned him, warily, then came to the conclusion that he probably couldn't formulate a cunning ploy based on that piece of inconsequential information.
"Hmm, interesting choice. Mine was always Blossom...she was so knowledgeable, and so smug. Heh. Guess I wanted to know everything, even back then. You know, you'd make a good Buttercup, green is a very flattering colour on you."
"I don't want to hear that from a man wearing a red coat with pink fur trim."
"Ignoring your slight on my impeccable fashion sense, I always wanted to be Lex Luthor too - oh wait, you've never watched Superman: The Animated Series! I think I have the box set, you can pop it in while I take a brief nap!"
Namie was gone in an instant. The door slammed behind her.
The sound of Namie's frantic footsteps echoed in the stairwell. Izaya hummed the ending theme to drown it out, put his hands behind his head, and closed his eyes.