Ah don't own Angel and Sam or Dumb Bunny, nor Rex the Wonder Dog, or any of that crew! DC Comics does! Ah am only borrowing them, and promise to return them in much the same condition in which Ah found them:):) *snarf* This is a fanfic for entertainment purposes only! Ah'm not making one thin dime off'a this, so don't sue moi!
Rated P for Pure As The Driven Snow! Honest! Not even a naughty word!
Here's the sitch: Fanzing, the on-line DC fan magazine, ran a fiction writing Challenge. All the BatVillain's have made a mass escape from Arkham Asylum and hit the road in a convoy to avoid The Bat! The Challenge was to write a BatVillain encountering another hero in a town other than Gotham:):) This little tale sprang to mind almost immediately ...
"Our malleable friend has fled, so that Tinsel Town must now quail with dread."
"Karlo gives me the creeps," confessed Croc. "I mean, him and that ugly mask! Christ! Imagine looking like that when you don't gotta. Me? I got no choice. I was born with this puss. And him an actor and all. No wonder they locked him away in Arkham all those years! Who even knew he was still alive, back there in Solitary? I hear him and Hagen...the other Clayface...don't get along for spit. S'funny, ain't it? With them having the same name and all."
The Mad Hatter nodded. "On adoration he does feed," remarked the Hatter, "and for lack of it, he's sworn that Hollywood will bleed."
"Well," Croc considered, delicately picking his pointed teeth with one sharp claw, "at least it ain't another hick town..."
* * * * *
"This is so embarrassing," sniffed an angry Sam Simeon to his partner Angel O'Day. "I'll never live this down."
The lovely woman brushed a stray lock of white blonde hair off her forehead, and adjusted the strap of her full length blue sequined evening gown carefully. She was glad now that she had remained adamant with her designer. The bulge of her .38 Saturday Night Special, tucked neatly underneath her left arm, hardly showed at all. With a sigh, she fussily straightened her partner's white tie.
"What are you griping for?" she wondered. "This is a big time Hollywood awards dinner, full of big time Hollywood and TV stars. Free food! And I think you look great in a tux. You think it was easy finding a white tuxedo for a gorilla?"
Sam Simeon loosened his tie again, scowling darkly. "This is the Patsy Awards dinner, for the best animal actors of the year, and I hardly think Rex, the Wonder Dog and Arnold the Pig qualify as big time Hollywood and TV stars, Angel. And the dinner will probably be rubber chicken. As for this sartorial torture device I'm wearing...I feel like...I feel like..." He let the sentence trail off, for want of epithets foul enough.
"Like a gorilla in a monkey suit?" supplied Angel, brightly.
Sam shot his partner a truly poisonous look from beneath his prominent brow ridges. "Racial bigotry hardly becomes you!" he growled menacingly.
Angel tapped the toe of one Gucci leather pump against the marble floor of the Beverly Hilton Hotel's sumptuous foyer. "Sam," she began in a pointed voice, "I don't mean to be too terribly obvious here, but you are a gorilla. Fact is, we probably got this job because you blend in so well with the rest of the clientele. And I don't think the Flash or any one of a dozen other superheroes would have much of anything good to say about your ancestry, okay?"
Sam's lower muzzle pouted, and Angel patted his hairy hand in apology. "Look," she said, "I know it isn't your fault that your granddad is Gorilla Grodd. I'm sorry. Can't we just go in and enjoy being paid a lot of money to carry out an easy assignment for once?"
An apparently mollified Sam nodded and even tried to smile. "You're right," the simian private eye agreed. "After all, how much trouble can guarding Rex, the Wonder Dog be? I just hope they don't serve bananas for dessert."
Chuckling under her breath so as not to offend her sensitive companion, Angel O'Day linked her arm with his, and strode for the double doors guarding the entrance to the Beverly Hilton's lavish dining room.
* * * * *
Sam was right about the rubber chicken, Angel discovered to her dismay. The dessert, though, turned out to be a fine Cherries Jubilee, and that almost made up for the entree, in her opinion. Rex sat curled at the foot of their table, chowing down happily on Alpo Hi-Pro. The white haired German Shepherd, much to Angel's glee, took an instant and very friendly liking to Sam. The simian endured Rex's sniffing, inquisitive nose and agile, licking tongue in silence.
"You must remind him of his friend Bobo, Detective Chimp!" said Rex's owner/trainer, Danny Dennis.
Rex was remarkably well behaved and intelligent for a dog, Angel found herself impressed, not only with Rex, but with Danny Dennis as well. The only drag on an otherwise delightful evening (aside from the requisite banquet rubber chicken) turned out to be an unhappy, uncomfortable Sam. Fortunately, the presentation of the awards themselves turned out to be brief. It was something of an upset when Comet the horse won the Patsy for Best Performance In A Film Role for "The White Stallion" but, nevertheless, the applause was gratifying and enthusiastic. Rex sat up, tail wagging furiously in anticipation, when his category was announced.
"And for Best Performance In A Continuing Role," the smiling Host disclaimed, "the nominees are: Arnold the Pig, for "Green Acres"! Owner and trainer, Bob Adams! Bobo, for "Detective Chimp"! Owner and trainer, Fred Thorpe! Rex, the Wonder Dog, for "The Adventures of Rex, The Wonder Dog, K-9 Cop"! Owner and trainer, Danny Dennis! And last, but certainly not least, Ben The Bear, for "Grizzly Adams"! Owner and trainer, Dan Haggerty!"
A hush of anticipation fell over the audience at this.
With a grand flourish, the Host held up the envelope, displaying it prominently for one and all to see. The audience responded nicely with a gratifying wave of forward movement as they leaned closer for a chance to hear better. Angel found herself joining them.
"And the winner is - !"
Unfolding the paper, the Host paused, burst into a sunny smile, and brought the microphone closer to the soft accompaniment of a short drum roll from the small orchestra.
"Rex, the Wonder Dog, for "The Adventures of Rex, The Wonder Dog, K-9 Cop!" the Host cried.
The audience broke into now loud applause. Many came to their feet, and began chuckling merrily when Rex rushed up to the stage and, with a single athletic bound, went flying up onto the stage itself. Barking impatiently, his tail wagging like a banner in a stiff breeze, the Shepherd urged the slower Danny Dennis up onto the stage.
"Accepting for Rex will be his trainer, Danny Dennis!" the Host explained. "But it looks as if Rex doesn't want to miss out! He's not taking any chances, is he?" Polite laughter greeted the small jest, which Rex hautily ignored, his wet tongue lolling.
Danny made his way to the stage slowly, smiling and nodding, past colleagues and strangers alike who shook his hand and pounded his back in congratulations. Cautiously, Angel and Sam also began making their way closer to the stage, ever alert and on the look out for trouble. It was their job, after all. What they were being paid for. Angel smiled at Sam, and gave him a quick thumbs up.
'Easy money,' she was thinking, 'easy money!'
But she quickly deep-sixed the stray thought, lest it jinx an otherwise and quite profitable assignment. God only knew they could use the work. For far too long to suit her, the two of them, she and Sam, had gotten by on the money Sam earned as a comic book illustrator. It rankled the proud O'Day considerably.
But, as if in answer to her fears, a strong resonant voice rang out from behind the curtains of the small portable stage erected in the dining room of the Beverly Hilton, echoing sharply throughout the large room, rolling like thunder over the startled crowd...
"Fools!" it accused. "Base fools! You honor beasts, when your human fellows go unrecognized and spat upon!"
With an audible snap and rattle of overhead rods, the curtains parted to reveal a frightening figure dressed in a very old fashioned double breasted suit of blue serge worsted, crowned with an even more old fashioned gray felt Fedora slouch hat. Pulled low over his brow, the headgear, nevertheless, did nothing to conceal the scaly serpentine green mask worn over the face.
And the small crowd of well armed thugs accompanying the menacing figure were hard to miss. As the crowd fell back in fear at the sight of them, they began to fan out at a signal from their employer. Screams rang out, and Angel began a steady stream of curses under her breath, as she tried to make her way forward. Drawing her gun, the P. I. made her way against the flow of the now panicking crowd like a salmon swimming upstream.
"Make a hole!" she yelled. "Coming through! Coming through! Move it or lose it!" To emphasize her point, she waved her gun threateningly and hoped for the best. Finally, she was forced to shoulder her way past the other attendees who's only thought seemed to be escape, stomping ruthlessly on ego's and toes alike as she went.
"Sam!" she called out for her partner, "Sam! Don't wait for me! Go for it! Go for it!"
It was with a feeling of positive relief that she saw Sam Simeon crouch, and with a powerful leap straight up, grab hold of the overhead chandelier, then swing out, somersaulting agilely in midair to land on all fours upon the stage.
"Grab the animals!" the man in the mask instructed his cohorts. "If the public loves them so very much, then let them pay ransom for their return!" The armed men moved to obey.
Angel O'Day almost laughed as she watched Arnold give new meaning to the term "greased pig". The squealing, agile shoat led a small group of pursuers on a merry chase throughout the length and breadth of the large dining room. Ducking under tables and chairs where the larger humans could not follow, the porcine thespian eluded their grasp for quite some time as the cursing, frustrated men fell and stumbled over the furniture and one another in their futile quest. When they attempted a dog pile, it seemed that Arnold was doomed.
"I've got him!" cried a voice in triumphant joy. "I've got him!"
"That's my foot, you stupid jerk!" came an indignant bellow from one of his fellows in reply.
Angel took careful, steady aim at the masked man dominating the stage as she watched Arnold the Pig wriggle out from beneath the mass of grasping, heaving bodies, and make his way once more into the shadowed depths of the dining room. Cursing roundly enough to make a sailor blush, Angel lowered her gun. It was impossible to get off a clear shot without taking the risk of hitting an innocent bystander in the screaming, milling crowd. It looked like protecting Rex was going to be up to Sam.
Heeding his own advice, the bemasked felon with no fashion sense whatsoever began to advance on the startled Rex, only to be met by a furious and intent Danny Dennis. The animal trainer's fist lashed out to strike the base villain, but met only empty air.
"Fool!" the would be animalnapper hissed.
With that, he lay hands on the taller Dennis and, seemingly almost without effort, plucked him from the ground like uprooting a weed, and tossed him off the stage, down into the midst of the crowd. His hurtling body bowled over Angel O'Day, and the two of them tumbled to the floor in a jumbled tangle of arms and legs. It didn't help when several others tripped over their prone bodies, and joined them in the pile. Helpless for the moment, the Investigator, nonetheless, had a splendid view of the plight of several goons who were attempting to capture Bobo, Detective Chimp.
The simian actor, shrieking and chattering away, pounded heads together, jumping up and down on many a hapless chest and back, leaving more than a few unconscious thugs in his angry wake. Unbidden, Angel recalled that even a juvenile chimpanzee such as Bobo was gifted with about twice as much strength as the average human male. And quite a nasty temper upon occasion, she observed, as Bobo punched another opponent square in the nose.
Arnold's luckless would be captors had him cornered now, she saw to her dismay. One of them reached for the stout porker, but then drew back a bloody hand, howling in pain. "He bit me!" the man cried. "He bit me!"
"Ewwww!" sympathized one of his mates. "Pig germs! Gross!"
Angel heaved the struggling Danny Dennis from her lithe body, and began the task of scrambling to her feet, just in time to glimpse the happenings on the small stage before her. "Come here, you mangy pooch," snarled the villainous mastermind at the slowly retreating Rex.
"Not while I'm here!" declared Sam in a growling voice, and grabbed the man around the waist from behind. With a great deal more force than she would have given him credit for, the man in Sam's arms brought an elbow back firmly in the gorilla's ribs. With an audible "ooomph" of escaping breath, Sam released his intended victim and fell to his knees, clutching his side.
With a savage snarl, Rex flung his 100+ pounds at his distracted foe. Flinging up his hands to ward off his canine attacker, Rex's opponent went sprawling backwards onto the hardwood stage floor, along with the snapping, biting Shepherd. Rex's one time military training in the Army K-9 Corps stood him in good stead at such close quarters as this. Angel, as she was moving forward onto the stage to offer aid, was almost proud to see how well the multitalented Rex was defending himself.
But the man displayed amazing strength. With a visible effort, he flung the furious Rex away, and the mighty pooch yelped as he went sailing across the stage. But he had occupied the man long enough for Sam to recover. Springing once more behind the man, Sam reached out and with a single blow, sent the other flat on his face onto the floor, and then sat on him.
Angel saw the man struggling mightily to dislodge the weighty primate. She gained the stage just in time to press her cocked and loaded gun to the man's temple. "Your next move'll be your last, dirt bag!" she warned. Immediately he ceased his battle, to rise from the floor and lay quiet. She smiled as a grateful Rex licked her face in appreciation.
That's when Hotel Security arrived, bursting in through the now open dining room doors. Followed shortly by armed members of the Hollywood Division of the LAPD. In quick order, they rounded up the few still conscious members of the unfortunate gang, and began leading them away. Sam continued to sit on the leader, and Angel continued to keep him covered with her pistol, until the minions of the law had him firmly double handcuffed and secured.
"Be very careful," Sam advised them. "He's a lot stronger than he looks. Madmen often are, I hear."
Ranting and raving insanely about the craft of acting and some old black and white films, the man was led away frothing, to everyone's vast relief.
Angel helped a groaning and protesting Danny Dennis to his shaky feet. Rex began barking loudly, and licking them both industriously. Angel blinked as flash bulbs popped, capturing the scene. And she was fairly certain that she saw a TV news crew setting up for live on the spot coverage of the evening's events.
"You're heroes!" Danny declared.
Smiling broadly, Angel O'Day hugged her partner Sam Simeon, and posed for the cameras.
* * * * *
Angel O'Day took careful aim at Sam Simeon with her .38, and squeezed the trigger gently. The soft click of the striking firing pin rang loud in the small cluttered offices of O'Day and Simeon Investigations and Fine Arts.
Perturbed, Sam pushed his glasses further up on his gorilloid nose, and regarded the platinum blonde balefully. "Would you mind pointing that thing somewhere else?" he inquired darkly. Angel smiled, and continued cleaning her weapon with a soft oilcloth.
"Sam, it's not loaded."
Simeon snorted. "Famous last words," he replied.
"So," Angel asked her friend and lifelong companion, "still got a date with Athena for lunch?"
Sam regarded his partner with careful trepidation before answering. "It *is* Tuesday," he said. "You know that your sister and I have a standing lunch date every Tuesday." Angel holstered her gun with a single savage gesture, and glared at Sam.
"Half-sister!" she spat. "And I'll never understand what you see in her, Sam! They don't call her Dumb Bunny for nothing! Strong as an ox...and *almost* as smart! It's embarrassing, is what it is!"
Sorting through the daily mail, Sam looked up, and again pushed his glasses further up on his nose, frowning. "She's really a very nice person, Angel," he said. "You should try and get to know her better."
"Oh, riiiight! I'll do that first thing...not!" the platinum blonde detective insisted. Apparently little in the mood for an argument, Sam ignored her, and continued perusing the mail. Bills, bills, bills. So many bills, and so few clients, it seemed. It was several moments before the silence was shattered.
"Ah HA!" Sam crowed, waving a letter in triumph. "I told you all that publicity from the Patsy Awards would bear fruit eventually! And here we are!"
Angel reached for the paper, but Sam deftly snatched it from her reach before she could rudely grasp it. "What is it?" she insisted, irritated.
"It's a letter," Sam explained. "From an order of cloistered monks who call themselves The Little Brothers of Costello. Wine makers located in the Napa Valley. They want to hire us."
Angel brushed the persistent fly off the styrofoam cup of lukewarm coffee in her hand, and sipped it in contemplation. "Yeah? Kinda weird, don't you think? I mean, what would a bunch of monks need with the services of a couple of private investigators?"
Sam nodded, raised his own cup of morning brew to his lips, then turned his attention back to the letter in question for an answer. "Hmm," he mused, "now that *is* duecedly odd. It seems that they've misplaced their Abbot...the Abbot - "
Angel sprang forward, and began pounding her sputtering, choking partner on the back. She hoped that would be enough. She was *not* looking forward to the idea of performing the Heimlich Maneuver on a 600 pound gorilla. Not even an intelligent, talking gorilla from Africa's hidden Gorilla City.
"Sam, Sam," she cried, battering away, "you okay? Go down the wrong pipes, or something?"
"No, no," wheezed the grandson of Gorilla Grodd, gasping for fleeting breath. "It's not that...it's just...it's just..."
After a moment, he began to breathe easier and his muzzle lightened to a more becoming shade of blue black from its previous somewhat alarming purple tint.
"Just what?" asked Angel.
Sam visibly composed himself. Angel wasn't quite sure how it was possible for a gorilla to mimic such a straight, deadpan face, but Sam managed it well.
"You realize, of course," he began in a level voice, "that makes him the Abbot of Costello..."
Groaning and wincing in pain, Angel O'Day balled up her small fist, and hit him.