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Title: Project Nexus
Chapter: Not So Happy Days
Rating: T
Fandom: TGWTG/ Spoony Experiment
Character(s): Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Spoony, Linkara, Doctor Tease , Doctor Insano, Professor Celluloid, Malachite, Bennett The Sage
Pairing(s): None
Warnings: AU. mild language, violence.

Disclaimer:Any recognizable characters that appear in this fic are property of their respective contributors at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses , therefore I do not own them, nor do I intend any disrespect toward either the character or the contributor portraying them. Also any concepts/ideas borrowed from Power Rangers/Super Sentai are property of Saban and Toei, respectively. Any other properties mentioned/used are also property of their respective owners.


*Special Note: This chapter marks the beginning of this story being co-written with EsaEnai of Fanfiction.Net. I strongly encourage you to check out her work, especially if you are a Lord of the Rings or Doctor Who fan.

There was something wrong, and Chick could feel it in her bones. Well, her bones, her stomach, her pancreas- every part of her body.

“Energizing,” as Linkara had taken to calling it, wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience to begin with. To her it sort of like being simultaneously spread out like a pizza and squeezed through a straw. But it was at least a short unpleasant experience, only lasting a few moments before Insano and Co. dropped her off in the next weird universe. 

Admittedly, they’d only recently started using it, as that they had just recently managed to install an effective teleporter. They figured that it was probably a little more effective than using portals, since the energy distortions from portals were easier to detect, and more difficult to get to.
So, either way, she wasn’t fully used to it just yet.

But this time- this time was different. She felt hot and cold in nauseating turns, and direction and space lost all meaning. Odd sounds whipped by her ears too quickly to differentiate, and once she could have sworn she was covered in stone, then fire, then ice.

Her first impression was that she was dying- Insano had finally screwed the pooch and turned the reviewers into piles of ash. This was only reinforced as her body finally reappeared again and she realized she was lying on her back, eyes closed. What the hell was this? Was she in heaven?

“Chick.” Critic’s voice said in her ear, “Get up,”

“Darn it,” she muttered, eyes still closed. “I’m in Hell, aren’t I?”

“You wish,” she heard Critic chuckle, “Get the fudge up.”

At this, Chick’s eyes snapped open. “Fudge? What do you…”

She found herself unable to finish her sentence, baffled by the new appearance of her boss. Critic was wearing a sweater and slacks. His hat was gone, and what was left of his hair had been slicked back with copious amounts of shiny gel.

He was also completely black and white. As was everything else, from the sky to the dirt under their feet. They were sitting on the ground next to a street, in the middle of monochromatic nowhere.

….Definitely Hell, she thought, or at the very least: Purgatory.

“What the fudge happened to you?!” Chick asked frantically, trying to stand up and tripping on yards of fabric. She looked down and wrinkled her nose. “A poodle skirt? Really?”

“You’re lucky,” Critic grumbled, poking gingerly at his hair. “My head feels like a soft-serve cone. Where are we? Where’s everybody else?”

“Dunno about everybody else, but here I am,” Linkara said from behind them. He was walking towards them, pulling at a sweater and grimacing. “I’m with you on the hair thing. This goop is disgusting.”

“Forget your hair for a second,” Chick hissed, spinning on the spot. “Where the fudge are Spoony and Marzgurl?”

The men stared at her in shocked silence for a second, only able to blink confusedly, questioning her odd choice of words.

Fudge?” Linkara asked finally, as the Pink Ranger gave them an odd look.

“What?” she said, “I didn’t say fudge. I said fudge.”

At this, Chick slapped a hand over her mouth, as her eyes widened in shock. Slowly a look of horror crept over her face, she removed her hand, trying again. “What the fudge- darn it!”

A thoughtful look passed over his face for a moment before Critic joined in.

“Fudge. Darn. Shoot.” He let out an incredulous laugh, “Well, motherfudger. I don’t think we can swear in this universe.”

“Odd,” Linkara commented, trying to suppress a grin. “But I don’t think I’ll have much of an issue.”

“Shut the fudge up,” Chick said peevishly, just as the Critic’s morpher started to beep. He tapped it.

“Spoony? Marzgurl?” he asked “Is that you?”

“Visual communications must be down,” Chick said to herself, frowning as she examined the screens on both her and Critic’s morphers.

“Critic?” Insano’s whine echoed out to them. “At least we got you to the same universe alright. Are Linkara and Nostalgia Chick with you?”

“We’re here, Insano,” Linkara called. “But where’s Spoony and Marz?”

“Your stupid AI fried more than just the communications circuit, Linkara!” Insano snapped through some static, “It’s compromised the entire Nexus network! We couldn’t keep track of the five of you long enough to get you to the same place. You’re lucky you’re not smeared across the space time continuum!”

“Spoony. Marzgurl,” Linkara snapped, “Where?”

Insano sighed, setting off another burst of static. “I’m not sure; from what I can gather, you’re about thirty miles from them. But as to what direction, I don’t know. I don’t even know where you are!”

“We’re next to a street, or a highway somewhere,” Critic said, slowly turning on the spot. “Hang on, there’s a street sign across the way… twenty miles to…” The Critic let out a low, incredulous groan. “Pleasantville? Are you kidding me?”

“Didn’t one of the actors from Power Rangers In Space cameo in that movie?” Linkara mused aloud, mostly to himself.

Insano’s giggle could be heard loud and clear through the crackling white noise.

“Oh, didn’t I tell you?” he chuckled, “As far as we know, your current universe is remarkably similar to 1950’s America- or rather, the media’s perception of 1950’s America. No cursing, no danger-”

“—No color,” Critic finished.

“Which explains,” Linkara deadpanned, “why everything looks like Rainbow Brite’s enemy just went on a rampage.”

“Oh, I get it now- Happy Days. You’re hysterical,” Chick snapped at Insano, who merely giggled. “What the heck are we supposed to do now?”

“Get into town, o-viously,” Insano said, his voice starting to break up into static. The reviewers strained to hear him. “Wait… hang o-on… we ju- got a new re-out o- the com-uter. Oh, n- lis-en!... the school! Unstab-”

Critic tried tapping a few buttons. “Insano? You’re breaking up.”

“…school! Fi- Spoo- Mar- damn-!” And with that, the feed dropped to pure static. The reviewers let out a collective groan, but there was no getting the audio feed back.

“What now?” Chick asked. “I heard ‘school’- we should start there.”

“How are we supposed to get there?” Linkara asked, rubbing his head and wincing at the slimy gel. “It’s twenty miles away, minimum.”

“This is fifties-sitcom world, remember?” Chick said, casually sticking out a hand and waving down the road. “The era before people discovered muggers and rapists.”

Sure enough, a jalopy pulled up next to the three of them, a pair of saccharinely grinning teenagers in the front seat. At least, they acted and dressed like teenagers. Each of them looked to be around thirty years old. But then, Chick mused, so did most actors who played teenagers in sitcoms. Maybe it wouldn’t be too hard to fit in at a high school after all.

“Hey, there!” the boy said in a voice a little too happy to be normal. “Where’re you headed?”

“The high school,” Chick answered promptly, stretching her own mouth into a wide smile. The girl in the front seat of the car giggled, though nothing seemed too funny.

“Well, of course they are, Chip!” she told her date, who blushed at her. “Where else would they be going?”

And, to their horror, in each of the reviewer’s minds they heard the familiar sound of canned laughter.

“A laugh track?” Linkara moaned. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Fifties sitcom,” Chick reminded him, opening the door to the jalopy and pushing the boys inside, “We should have seen it coming.”

“Great,” Critic mumbled, rolling his eyes, “now the universe itself is laughing at us.”

“My name is Chip Goodman,” the boy told them, pulling back onto the road. “And this is my steady girl, Missy. What are your names?”

“I’m… uh… Richie Cunningham,” Critic said awkwardly. “And these are my friends, Joanie and… Ralph.”

“Nice to meet you!” Missy giggled again, waving at them. “Are you excited for the big game against Riverside tonight?”

“Gee, am I!” Chick said with a fake smile. “Sure hope we win.”

“We always win against Riverside, Joanie! Those Broncos don’t know a football from a mothball!” Chip said cheerfully, and the laugh track went off again. Meanwhile, Linkara was glaring at Critic.

“Ralph?” he hissed. “I have to be Ralph?”

Critic shrugged. “Would you rather be Potsie?”
 ---------
Elsewhere, Marzgurl was pretty sure that she wasn’t dead, considering she could hear. But why was she hearing the faint strains of swing music? She was pretty sure that the only type of music she ever heard in the command center was the sound of machine noises and computers—and that didn’t even really qualify as music by any stretch.

She opened her eyes to find herself staring directly into another pair, the irises strangely grey. There was the sound of someone clearing their throat.

“Marz,” Spoony muttered, “You’re standing on my feet.”

Marzgurl backed up quickly- a bad idea, as she slammed her head directly into a brick wall. Vision going fuzzy and stars winking in her eyes, she groaned and slid down the wall.

“Darn it,” she swore- or, attempted to at least. Slowly, she opened her eyes again and blinked.

And blinked again, hard.

“Spoony?” she asked, “How hard did I hit my head?”

Everything was black and white. Everything. Even Spoony, from his new leather jacket to his shiny, greased hair. He was crouching in front of her, giving her something between a smile and a grimace.

“You’re not concussed. It really is…” he said as he looked around, whistling a little. “…retro out here.”

“In more ways than one,” Marzgurl commented, looking down at her new silk jacket. She scanned the alleyway- no one in sight, “Where’s everyone else?”

“No clue,” Spoony said, pulling her to her feet. “My guess? Insano finally screwed up and turned them into color-coordinated pudding.”

“That’s not funny.”

The two squeezed out of the thin alleyway, looking in wonder at the newly black and white world. Jalopies putt-putted down a shockingly clean street. Businessmen yelled “howdy-doo” to one another, neither one pushing anyone else to get to work on time. Women pushed baby carriages into traffic without fear of being hit, and schoolchildren skipped down sidewalks without being mercilessly teased. Needless to say, the two critics were speechless.

“Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ…” Spoony whistled, “It’s like if Norman Rockwell threw up on the Brady Bunch.”

“Wholesome enough to give you diabetes,” Marzgurl mused, taking a look around. “No way anywhere in America is or was EVER this… picture-perfect.”

“Or anywhere on Earth, for that matter,” Spoony agreed, as two little boys sprinted past them in itchy-looking sweaters. “Where the heck are we?”

The gamer’s question ended up answering itself as at that moment, an open-topped car turned onto the street, several teenagers dressed in letterman’s sweaters standing up with no apparent fear. They were laughing and hollering, waving pennants and throwing a football back and forth between them. A hand-painted sign on the side of the car proclaimed, “Pleasantville Grizzlies!

“Pleasantville?” Spoony and Marzgurl said at the same time, as the car turned the corner and puttered away.

“Oh, God… Pleasantville. I saw that movie.”  Marzgurl groaned and slapped a hand to her forehead, “Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon got stuck in some fifties sitcom world.”

“We’re stuck in a sitcom?” Spoony gave a chuckle, no humor behind it at all, “Insano’s probably having a field day.”

Something seemed to catch his eye, and the two craned their necks to find a few nerdy-looking boys staring at them. One of them pushed a pair of taped-up glasses up his nose. Spoony’s eyes narrowed.

“What do you want?” He asked, coming off just a little more abrasive than expected.

The nerds practically fell over each other as they took a collaborative step backwards. “N-nothing,” one of them said in a nasally voice. “Uh… nice leather?”

Spoony tilted his head, and then something seemed to click into place. “Uh… yeah. Yeah, ‘course it is,” the gamer said in a tough voice, “You nerds want something, or are you just wasting air?”

The boys quickly spat out apologies, hurrying away. Marzgurl bit back a giggle, giving her friend a smirk.

“What was that?” she asked.

“We’re disguised as greasers in a fifties sitcom world, and Critic isn’t here to yell at us.” He grinned back, “I say we get into character.”

Marzgurl sighed, turning around. “So, what now? Where do we look for everyone? Where do we start?”

Spoony scanned the surrounding area. “Maybe in there?” He pointed over her shoulder. MarzGurl turned, groaning as she realized where the swing music was coming from. A soda shop across the street was blasting it, with several teens whirling happily around booths. The sign above the door read: Marv’s Malt Shop.

Spoony, meanwhile, was patting down his jeans pockets, emerging victoriously with a comb. “I knew it. Greasers always had these,” he said happily, running it through his hair and shellacking it firmly to his head. Brushing down his leather jacket, he held out an arm to his companion. “Shall we cut a rug?”
Marzgurl rolled her eyes, but rested her hand in the crook of his elbow.
"Let’s go, Fonzie.” The two strolled across the street.


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