JAYCE IN TROUBLE
It was late evening at Princess Leona's shop and Jayce was getting a bit impatient to finish things up and get to bed for the night. The day had started well enough, going to some second hand shops to look for Lion King items along with vintage video games had been fun. Jayce had even worn his best jeans and Lion King shirt for the stop off at the zoo. Of course, even a fun day could eventually wear thin and now Jayce found himself being conned into helping his brother Jim repair some sort of transport device Leona liked to use.
"Just how long is this going to take? I really want to get home and get to bed!" Jayce almost snarled. He might just be human, but he could have a lion's temper at times, especially when tired. It also didn't help that they were in a room that was barely larger than a walk-in closet. He didn't know how the device worked, only that it somehow amplified the transport energy produced by a balloon femme and allowed her to go long distances without expending too much of her own energy. Unfortunately, it seemed the machine locked up the last Leona had used it and they had yet to figure it out. Jim was actually inside the machine checking connections, Leona was watching the readings, and Jayce was using a probe to check for any energy surges on the plates.
"Don't worry so much! You have tomorrow off yet!" came the muffled sound of Jim's voice from inside the machine. "Besides, I think I figured it out! Looks like there is a power back up here. All I have to do is bypass it to the filters and.." There was a sudden glow, Jayce yelped, and disappeared in a flash of light! Jim quickly pulled his head out of the panel and looked around. "Jayce? Jayce! Oh crap..." He quickly got out of the booth and joined the squeaky, Princess Leona to watch the display. "What just happened?"
"Some sort of feedback when the excess energy was bypassed through. Looks like Jayce is intact and heading to the Seibu Lions baseball stadium..." Princess Leona said as she watched the display.
Jim seemed puzzled. "Um, why there?"
Leona grinned a bit. "I was invited to check out game a while back and I just love those cute mascot outfits they wear! Especially the adult Leo ones!" She licked her lips as she said that. "Such cuties! Oh! I'd better make a few calls so Jayce doesn't end up in prison for no passport!" Leona got out her phone and began making calls. Also, calling a Jayce of his that should be in the area right now.
"I just hope Jayce doesn't bump into the person he got into a Kimba vs. Simba argument the other night on that blog." Jim muttered.
Jayce was not having a very nice ride at all! At times he felt like he was spinning around, while also being stretched and then squeezed out of shape. Finally, the ride ended, but it appeared that the ball field was about ten feet lower than Leona's building had been. For a second, he hovered in mid-air, then dropped onto the pitcher's mound like a bag of potatoes. "Son of a, oof!" Landing with a loud thud, Jayce simply laid there for a few moments until he finally sat up coughing and swearing and trying to find out where he had landed. A fall like that would have probably injured a regular person badly, but Jayce wasn't quite normal. Still, it did tend to sting a little.
"Ok, where am I?" Jayce muttered as he staggered about. "Baseball stadium, lights, writing I can't understand, lion logo..." With that realization, Jayce sat down on the mound and held his face in his hands. "Crap! I'm not only in the wrong country, I'm in the lion's den!" Now, that was a real worry. He had no passport and had somehow landed in the middle of a professional baseball stadium to boot! "Please, please transport me back!" Jayce whispered, looking around the field, which seemed to be set up for practice, but also seemed fairly empty. It all seemed quiet, until his phone rang, almost sending Jayce up into the air. "At least this survived the fall. Hello?" Jayce was relieved to hear Leona's voice on the other end, but there was good news and there was bad news. Good news was, she had gotten through to some contacts and Jayce would be ok, as long as he didn't leave the stadium. Also, she had gotten hold of a friend Jayce knew that was working at the stadium and he was on his way to help iron things out. The bad news was, Jayce was going to be stuck for at least a day until Leona could transport over and bring him home. The final instructions were to stay out of trouble and to just stay put until his friend got there. "Well, that shouldn't be too hard. Thanks, Leona." Jayce then stuck the phone back in his pocket and just lay back, closing his eyes for a moment to try and soak things in.
A few moments later, however, Jayce suddenly found himself looking at and upside-down, lion face made out of plush material and seemingly not very happy about the sudden intrusion to the field. Of course, Jayce practically jumped out of his skin at the sudden appears of the Leo mascot over him. "Argh!" The be-maned lion was spurting out a lot of questions in Japanese, which Jayce didn't understand a bit of. There was more commotion coming from the field, which wasn't making Jayce any less jumpy as he sat up and faced the mascot. For a few seconds, something caught Jayce's eye about the costume. The mouth seemed to actually move and he blinked! "Either they have upgraded the adult Leo mascot suits or, no it can't be." Jayce was broke out of his thoughts by a familiar voice coming from the small crowd that had surrounded him, that voice trying to calm things down. Finally, everyone seemed to back off and Jayce slowly rose to his feet to see his friend, Jeremy standing beside him. "Oh, am I glad to see you." Jayce said, not able to help making another glance at Leo now that they were both standing. The mascot was around Jayce's height, dressed up in the team colors, which appeared to be the mostly white uniform today along with the over-sized shoes on his paws. The lion was also staring back at Jayce, or more like his shirt and not seeming too happy about it.
"Um, come on Jayce. We should get off the field and under cover." Jeremy said as he carefully guided Jayce away from the crowd and mascot.
"Ok, did I just see what I thought I saw?" Jayce asked Jeremy quietly as they made a bit of a quick walk across the field.
"Yes you did, Jayce. An actual, living plushie! I still have a hard time believing it myself."
Jeremy was a bit older than Jayce, though roughly the same height and build. He had come to Japan to help with some lighting upgrades in the various stadiums and had been lucky to be posted where he was when Jayce had gotten transported and was currently dressed in a blue work uniform. Now they were in the concession stand area, Jayce sitting down and rubbing his head tiredly on a bench as Jeremy went on about the lion.
"From what I have heard, when things went screwy a few years back one of the mascot suits somehow came to life a living plush! The spares seemed unaffected, although it is rumored one other suit might be alive and that Leo there keeps it held back for some special purpose." Jeremy explained as he managed to rustle up some food for him and Jayce. "Here, compliments of the team I guess."
"Ugh, why can it never be Simba?" Jayce muttered tiredly. "I admit though, I do think the Seibu Lions have the coolest and nicest looking mascot out there with that white lion." He accepted the hot dogs as Jeremy sat down beside him. "Seems the team accepted him okay though." He fumbled about with what he thought might be a mustard bottle, which seemed to not want to work. "He didn't seem to happy with me though." Jayce began to shake the bottle, trying to get it to work.
Jeremy nodded, watching as Jayce fought with the squeeze bottle and found himself laughing. "Well, I don't think that Lion King shirt is helping your case there."
Jayce paused and gave Jeremy a bit of a dirty look, "Sorry, I didn't have time to change before I got zapped into the wrong country!" He went back to fighting with the squeeze bottle. "What the fark is wrong with this thing?" Jayce was tired, grumpy, and sore from his landing, which wasn't helping him to think straight. All he wanted was the farking mustard! He aimed the bottle away from himself and gave a massive squeeze, which finally blew out the inner seal and sent a streamer of yellow mustard spraying across the room. While the mess might have been bad enough, Jayce gasped in horror as he managed to spray down the lower half of Leo's white uniform! Unfortunately, the lion had entered the room unnoticed and was now staring down at the mess on his originally squeaky-clean uniform. "Oh crap!" Jayce exclaimed. "Sorry, I wasn't trying to make a mess!"
It seemed that those words fell on deaf lion's ears, as the plush Leo continued to look down at his messed up uniform, then growled softly as he glared back at Jayce as much as his cartoony, plush features would allow. After a few seconds, he went into a rant, suddenly reaching out and getting Jayce by his right ear and leading him off with a worried Jeremy in quick pursuit!
Jayce struggled, grunted, and basically protested as he was led along by ear. "My ear! What do you think you are doing?! What are you saying?" It was apparent they were going deeper into the bowels of the stadium if the curve and grade of the hallway was any indication. Leo kept on ranting at Jayce, looking at him from time to time as they moved on, his short lion tail flicking in an agitated way. "What's he on about, Jeremy?"
"It seems you insulted him on some sort of blog or chatroom a few nights ago." Jeremy tried to translate as they rushed down the hall. "He says now you have the nerve to show up uninvited in the stadium with a Lion King shirt on and then spray him down with mustard! You need to learn respect!" Jeremy groaned a bit about the chatroom. "Jayce, why do you even go on those things late at night?"
"Could you try and tell this angry plush that I am sorry for what I said and that the rest of this is just the result of an accident?" Jayce managed to get out right before they were led into what looked like a locker room. "Ugh, the home team locker room. Very nice." Jayce said as Leo finally released his ear. Rubbing that ear, Jayce took in the lockers, even an area where it appeared that a couple extra mascot suits were hung with care.
Panting, Jeremy caught up and watched along with Jayce as Leo walked up to what looked like a plain wall panel and seemed to tap in a combination. "Um, I don't think he's willing to listen at this point. You really must have ticked him off!"
"I do seem to have that effect at times, don't I?" Jayce grumbled a bit regretfully. It was so easy when on the other side of a computer screen to get out of hand. His eyes widened as the wall panel slid open and Leo reached in, pulling out yet another mascot head matching his and what looked like the beginnings of a plush white lion body. The panel slid back shut and Leo then walked back over to Jayce, shoving the suit into Jayce's arms and making a few more remarks.
Jeremy gulped a bit as he translated for Jayce. "Leo is saying that you should not judge a lion unless you have walked a mile in his shoes. Being fair, he wants to challenge you to a batting contest. If you win, you go free. If you don't." Jeremy looked at Jayce with wide eyes. "You undergo transformation into another living Leo plush!" He looked down at costume that just been shoved into Jayce's arms. "I think that is the rumored suit I mentioned."
"I am not even good at sports!" Jayce exclaimed, sweat running down his brow as it seemed Leo's gaze was boring right into his soul. In a sort of cute way with those big eyes! Jayce had been the one to make the insults the other night and now he had to face the music. He wasn't a coward, though his hope of getting out of this problem wasn't good. Jayce sighed and hung his head a bit with his eyes closed. "Tell Leo that I accept his challenge and that I will honor the terms."
After explaining that to Leo and seeing he seemed satisfied, Jeremy translated the next orders. "He says to head to the batting cages set up on the field and get some practice in. He will meet us as soon as he changes uniforms and cleans up." With that, both Jayce and Jeremy turned and made a hasty retreat to the field as commanded!
After a while, Jayce had managed to find a batting helmet that fit him and was trying to hit as many balls as he could coming from the pitching machine. He was failing miserably most of the time, one time even getting the bat shot out of his hands by one ball! The whole time, that suit sat on the bench behind him, those eyes seeming to mock him in spite of the happy, friendly look of the headpiece. Jayce paused and took in a deep breath, looking around at the green of the field and various people going about their tasks around the stadium. Finally, he nodded to the man controlling the machine that he was ready and the practice started again. This time Jayce was keeping himself calmer and making more hits than before, most of them seeming to be base hits. "If I keep my head about me, I might be in with a shot at this." Jayce thought as the practice ended and he took a seat beside Jeremy, drinking some water and drying the sweat from his forehead with a towel.
A cheer suddenly went up from the few players that had gathered around to watch, announcing Leo's emergence from the dugout. The smiling mascot waved to them as he walked by, now even fitted with a batting helmet on his head as he and another player approached where Jayce and Jeremy were sitting. Jayce stood up, and both he and Leo bowed to one another before the final rules were explained. A limited number of balls would be installed into the machine. Whoever batted the most balls would win. If was a tie, both sides would bow and go their separate ways. A coin toss later and Leo was chosen to go first.
"I can't believe I am actually watching a mascot suit turned living plush challenging me to a batting duel!" Jayce said quietly to Jeremy as Leo took position inside the batting cage, raising his bat and nodding his readiness. The first ball fired down the line and Leo hit it, then the second, and the third, each crack of his bat sent the balls sailing into the net beyond. Jayce's jaw dropped, then he began to shake, finally it seemed like the sweat was spraying off him as he seemed to begin speaking in tongues! "I'm doomed!" He looked over at Jeremy who was pale as a ghost and then over at Leo's teammates who were cheering him on. Once the dust had settled, Leo had hit every single ball! "He's a lethal baseball weapon!" Jayce muttered in disbelief. All he could hope for now was to tie. Jeremy leaned in to Jayce and whispered. "Well, you have undergone transformation before. Maybe this won't be so bad if you lose?"
"That was only a twenty-four hour thing and personally, I don't want to do it again." Jayce said, shivering a bit as he got up and prepared to take his turn in the cage. Once inside, Jayce positioned the blue helmet on his head and took in a deep breath once again. "Find your inner calm, Jayce. You can do this!" Once he steadied his nerves, Jayce rose his bat and nodded his readiness and his turn began. There were audible gasps as Jayce managed to do pretty well. Some of his hits weren't as good as Leo's but they still counted and that was all that mattered! After what seemed an eternity, it was down to the last ball. Jayce, fighting fatigue, steadied his resolve. All he had to do was just send this ball far enough to count and he would tie! Time seemed to slow down as the ball was fired, Jayce watching it as it arched towards the batting zone and he began his swing at what seemed to be the right timing. Unfortunately, this ball took an unexpected dip and Jayce's fatigue was too much, causing him to miss royally! With a groan, Jayce actually spun around, dropped the bat, and flopped onto the ground, defeated! "Oh no..."
Jayce felt like a man heading to his execution as he exited the cage, all eyes upon him as he sat back down on the bench and removed the helmet from his head. There was no doubt in his head that the team mates of Leo's gathered around knew about the agreement and that there was no backing out. After drinking down some more water and toweling himself off as much as possible, Jayce turned his attention to the suit sitting beside him. He recalled what Leo had said about putting on the headpiece last and began to fit himself into the suit as the lion watched. First he pulled off his shoes and placed the paws with their over-sized shoes on first, then the long plush gloves. Jayce didn't see a tail, but he assumed that would come soon enough as he picked up the headpiece and gazed into it with some hesitation before turning to look at Jeremy. "Well, guess I will see you on the other side." With some care not to muss the mane up, Jayce slowly placed the plush lion head over his own.
For a moment, it seemed nothing was going to happen at all. Maybe this was all a way to humiliate him into learning his lesson. "Hey, this isn't so bad although it's kinda hot in here and I can't see." Jayce said, voice muffled by the headpiece. Then it hit, hard! Jayce suddenly lunged up onto his feet, back arching and a strangled groan coming from him as the plush material glowed and began to shoot up his legs and arms, the conversion happening at a frightening pace! He staggered about, clawing at the air and even reflexively trying to pull the head back off, but it was too late. A rip was heard as his new, black-tufted tail burst through the back of his jeans, Jayce suddenly hit with the feeling of not being able to breath as his insides started to turn into whatever filling was used for the other lion. He was blind, deaf, dumb, and quite scared to tell the truth! "This is it, I am going to die through a failed transformation!" came the thought in Jayce's head. He suddenly found himself being supported on both sides as the changes seemed finish up, then he took a breath. It was different from regular breathing, but it was breathing! Slowly, Jayce's senses began to return as the final merges took place. The sounds, smells, and sights of the baseball field slowly faded back in as he found himself being supported by Jeremy on one side and Leo on the other. "I'm, I'm alive!" was all Jayce could muster as he felt very tired. Leo spoke and much to Jayce's amazement, he could now understand him.
"Get him onto the bench, the transformation is successful, but I know it can be quite a shock!" Leo said, helping Jeremy get Jayce plush set back down on the bench where he held his head in his hands. There was a cheer as everyone saw that Jayce was indeed fully changed, yet ok.
Finally finding his voice again and still getting used to his new muzzle, Jayce slowly looked up at Leo. "How long?" he asked a bit weakly.
Leo rubbed his chin a bit. "Well, we do have an special game in the U.S. coming up in three months. I can change you back then, if you want to be changed back that is. You see, I could have changed back, but it seems once you go plush, you really don't want to go back!" Leo smiled at Jayce, then he turns to you, the reader, giving you a wink and a thumbs up!
First off, I might have to make a little apology to the Seibu Lions and Tezuka for this one. Found several pictured of their Leo mascot and was inspired to do a totally different type of story. Sorry, only a cameo by Princess Leona and no naughty stuff here. Hopefully a laugh or two though as Jayce learns an important lesson on how what he says in a chat room can cause problems later. I painted with a broad brush here due to limited knowledge on some parts.
P.S. If you need to, just look up Seibu Lions mascot.