Later that afternoon, Mrs. Doggo called out for us to start getting ready to leave. Queen Floofy Floofer and I had spent most of the day curled up together on the couch, watching a movie. Thicc Corgi was beside us, still unable to work on the ship due to the rain. I could feel him stroke my back every so often, though he stopped when Mrs. Doggo had come in. Queen Floofy Floofer jumped up from beside me and ran to fetch her duffel bag. I looked at Thicc Corgi. "Will little girl and Captain Chonkers require Thicc Corgi to pick up?" he asked me. "Naga tich'zaht," I pondered. " Captain Chonkers maka-maka chakaadat kizlom Naanee." "Very well." Thicc Corgi responded, and I scurried off to find Mrs. Doggo. Queen Floofy Floofer was waiting at the door. I passed by her and she watched me, wondering what I was doing. I ended up colliding into Mrs. Doggo's leg as she was coming out of the door to her bedroom. I'd been going in at the same time. "Sorry Captain Chonkers," she said to me, helping me up onto my feet. "Isa okeytaka. Uh... asyrifah Naanee?" I asked hesitantly, not sure what her mood was like. She seemed like she was rushing. She looked at me. "Mhm?" "Naanee pick us up today from class too?" "I should be able to, but I'm not sure on that yet Captain Chonkers. Why?" "Papa can pick up." Mrs. Doggo dropped her hairbrush. She quickly bent down to pick it up. Something about what I had said had startled her apparently, though I think I knew what it was. Sure enough, she repeated what I'd said. "Papa?" I gave a nod. "Thicc Corgi." I thought I saw her smile. "Never heard you use that term before." I just stared at her. "If Thicc Corgi can pick you up, then that would be easier for me considering I'm still not sure on if I've got to go to the hut today. I tried calling Old Man Wong again to find out exactly what's going on, but I still haven't heard back yet. It's honestly making me worried. Maybe something really bad happened to the hut." I felt bad for Mrs. Doggo. She'd just got this job. She really didn't need to lose it because of the weather. "Okay," I simply said, and headed back out to tell Thicc Corgi. The weather had seemed to ease up a little by the time Mrs. Doggo dropped us off. Queen Floofy Floofer gripped my paw as we headed into the classroom. Only two of the girls were there so far; Aleka and Elena. When they saw Queen Floofy Floofer and I they just giggled and started whispering to each other, though I could hear every word. "Idiots," I muttered, causing Queen Floofy Floofer to look at me. "What Captain Chonkers?" "Never mind Queen Floofy Floofer," I told her. She just looked at me curiously. I knew her well enough that she was likely going to try and sit with them. I didn't want her to, after hearing the way they spoke about her behind her back, but I knew that convincing her wouldn't do anything. She was stubborn, much like myself. So I just opted to support her with whatever she did, despite I resented it. I hated Queen Floofy Floofer being bullied by those brats. But no matter how much they jeered her or talked about her behind her back, she seemed oblivious to it and still tried to be their friend. It was the same for Mertle. I just let out a small sigh when she told me she was going to sit with the girls. Still, I held her hand and gave her a nod. She led me over to them and they stopped whispering and both looked up at us. "What do you want weird-lo?" Queen Floofy Floofer said nothing to that. I glared at them from behind her. "Wanna see my new Elvis statue? My sister found it for me at the thrift shop a few days ago! It's really rare!" "No," Aleka straight up said. Elena looked at the floor. I sneered. "Sit, Queen Floofy Floofer," I instructed her quietly, and she did so. The girls looked annoyed but backed off slightly when I gave them daggers. Queen Floofy Floofer continued to pull out the statue and held it up to them. "His left arm is missing, and there's a big chip in his cape, but he's really cool. I keep him by the window because his guitar glitters in the light." Queen Floofy Floofer continued. The girls just looked at each other with raised eyebrows and started talking to each other as if Queen Floofy Floofer wasn't there. I was starting to lose my patience with these brats. It was the same, all the time. For the past two and a half years since I'd met my best friend, their attitude was always the same. Queen Floofy Floofer had literally tried hundreds of times to be their friend and they continued to not want anything to do with her. Queen Floofy Floofer eventually realised they weren't really interested and put the statue away. The look on her face killed me a little inside. She looked heartbroken. Did the girls care? No. They had the sheer nerve to turn away from her, so that their backs faced her. I was furious. I stood up suddenly. Queen Floofy Floofer watched me. I'd startled her. " Captain Chonkers?" she asked. I just held up my paw in motion for her to wait. I walked around to the front of the girls, standing with my arms crossed. I growled. Boy did I want to give them a mouthful. It was very hard to hold back. All I could do was growl at them. I couldn't reveal to them that I was an alien. They looked scared and pushed themselves back away from me. Queen Floofy Floofer quickly rushed to my side and hugged me. "It's okay Captain Chonkers." I lowered my ears and hugged her back. "Chooska nala," I told her quietly. She sighed. She pulled back and gazed into my eyes and I looked back into hers. She gently pat me on the head. I just pushed my forehead against hers as we stood there. I could see the girls staring at us. I jumped a little as Mertle's obnoxious voice suddenly interrupted us. Queen Floofy Floofer pulled back, holding my paw. It had startled her too. "Ew. Doesn't that dog of yours have rabies? You're such a weirdo with how obsessed you are with him!" Queen Floofy Floofer glared at her. I sneered. "If anything, I say he should be on a leash before he attacks us again." I roared at that. Queen Floofy Floofer had to grab me and pull me back. Moses came in at that moment however, and I instantly stopped. I couldn't get banned from the class again. I could only imagine how much it would hurt Queen Floofy Floofer if I did something that prevented me from being able to come to class with her. I shook slightly. Queen Floofy Floofer calmed me down by sitting me in her lap as Moses began the class. Mertle could wait for now. Yuki arrived, and the the four girls all sat together in the corner, keeping their distance from us. I wasn't really in the mood for them, that was for sure. "Okay girls. Today we are going to work on dress rehearsals. I hope you all brought your costumes so we can begin. I would like you to change into them. Once we finish, I want you to use the rest of class-time to continue working on your dance idea for the closing ceremony." Queen Floofy Floofer smiled. She looked excited. She'd been looking forward to this today. "Come on Captain Chonkers!" she pulled me up and led me over to the toilets, opening up her duffel bag. She pulled out my costume and handed it to me before heading in to change into hers. I just pulled my costume on where I was standing. The four girls walked over to me. I watched them wearily as they passed me to also go into the toilets and change. I sat and waited for Queen Floofy Floofer to come out. She was taking a while. The others all came out in their costumes shortly after and I could see Mertle smirking slightly about something. When Queen Floofy Floofer still hadn't come back out I started to worry. Ignoring the fact I wasn't allowed in there as it was the girls toilets, I pushed open the door and peered inside. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" I could hear her in one of the cubicles and realised she was upset. I quickly went in and pushed open the door. She was in her costume, but she was sitting against the floor all huddled up. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" I asked her sadly, simply just sitting down and hugging her. "What is it?" " Captain Chonkers, you're not supposed to be in here," she responded quietly. "I don't care," I told her. "What's wrong?" She reached out and gripped the fur on my chest. "Mertle stepped on my headpiece. You know, the one I made with you? She ruined it." I could not believe what I'd just heard. Sure enough, when I pulled up the mask from behind her it was flattened. The string had broken and the leaves that Queen Floofy Floofer and glued on to the top were on the floor. The top of it had snapped in half. Words couldn't even begin to describe how angry I was at that point. "It-it was an accident Captain Chonkers," Queen Floofy Floofer told me, seeing the expression on my face. "I don't want this to ruin our dress rehearsal." "Naga. Was not accident." I told her. I knew what Mertle was like. That smirk she had on her face... Queen Floofy Floofer would find any reason to pass it off as just an accident. She still tried to consider Mertle as a friend. I pulled Queen Floofy Floofer up into a tight hug. Reaching up, I pulled off my tiki mask and put it on her head, before gripping her hand and leading her back out of the toilets. Moses saw me come out of there with her and came over to us. " Queen Floofy Floofer, you know that your pet is not allowed in there." "Sorry kumu," she sighed. "It won't happen again." "Tell him," I nudged her as he turned away. She looked at me sadly. " Queen Floofy Floofer, tell him!" "I-I..." she went to say, but looked at the floor. I sighed. " Captain Chonkers cannot. Captain Chonkers alien! Queen Floofy Floofer.. speak up! Defend self! Naga nukasha." She looked as though she was going to cry again. I didn't want to push her any further at that point, so I just hugged her tightly again. I looked over to see the girls heading over to the front of the stage. I just shook my head. "Quala chifa ni polo Queen Floofy Floofer." "I'm sorry Captain Chonkers... I just..." she trailed off. "Like you said, it's not worth it." "Naga Queen Floofy Floofer, this different. Mertle bully." "I know but... maybe, somewhere there is good in her Captain Chonkers?" she just looked at me sadly. Poor girl. I gave another sigh and just led her over to the front of the stage, sitting her down beside me. The brats came over and sat behind us, and we started the dress rehearsal. Aleka was first up. I had no idea what her dance was supposed to be about, but I didn't really care. I was bored. She was wearing a ridiculous looking costume with pineapples sticking out the sides of her head. I felt something hit the back of my head and turned around swiftly. Elena, Yuki and Mertle were staring at me. I heard Mertle whisper to Yuki about hitting me on the head by accident. She'd been aiming for Queen Floofy Floofer. I looked at Queen Floofy Floofer. She was watching Aleka up on the stage, as was Moses. I reached behind me and picked up the piece of scrunched up paper, making sure they were watching and they seemed surprised. I knew they expected me to unravel it. Instead, making sure that Moses wasn't watching, I whipped around, unloading the paper ball as hard as I could at Mertle's obnoxious head. It hit her and she looked stunned for a moment or so, but then glared at me. I just beared my teeth at her, turning back around. I wasn't sure how much longer I could put up with them at that point. It came to our turn next. Queen Floofy Floofer looked at me and smiled. She held my paw. "Ready Captain Chonkers?" "Ih!" I responded. "Oh brother..." Mertle groaned. Aleka went to sit back down beside them. Queen Floofy Floofer heard that. She looked in Mertle's direction and paused. I squeezed her hand. "Ignore her. We do together!" She stood like that for a moment longer before I pushed her forward gently. Queen Floofy Floofer was nervous. She looked across to me as she went to stand in position. I gave her two thumbs up. "Heegata no feebee!" She smiled and nodded, although she kept looking across to make sure I was there. I knew why. The last time we'd done this, I'd glitched and hadn't responded to her calls. She looked out at our small audience. "Our hula is about an ancient friendship..." she paused momentarily, looking at me again. "Which proves that love... really is, more powerful than death!" she gave a small smile at that. "The great goddess, Hi'iaka. That's me!" Queen Floofy Floofer looked across to me and gestured with her hands. "And the brave and handsome mortal, Lohiau. That's my best friend Captain Chonkers!" This time, I was there. I walked forward and stood beside her. I smiled at her, reaching out my hands and she reached out hers. We started our dance. Queen Floofy Floofer gazed at me as we followed our routine. We didn't break eye contact as we looped around and then broke apart to begin the opening of our dance. The bond between us was very strong. I could tell what Queen Floofy Floofer was thinking from the moment we began. We reached up and pressed our hands together in an arch, before progressing into our 'hula 2.0' dance. I watched Queen Floofy Floofer as we danced. The song really was very fitting to our friendship. As we faced the audience, I saw Mertle pretending to be asleep and Elena was giggling beside her. I tried to avoid looking at them. Moses was giving us a heartfelt smile. He was enjoying it. Queen Floofy Floofer and I arched our hands together again, before I swung both my arms over my head as if making a rainbow, and she continued it. We made up this part to represent what had happened to our family. The arches were part of it too. Once we finished, I could see Queen Floofy Floofer had tears in her eyes. I hugged her tightly on the stage. She would never be able to finish this dance without thinking back to what happened. We stood like that for a few moments. I could hear Mertle giving an obnoxious yawn. "Beautiful, Queen Floofy Floofer," Moses clapped. "Wonderful dance and such an inspirational story. I like the additions you have made from your original dance. You and your dog have worked exceptionally hard." "Give me a break," Mertle bawled loudly. At that, something inside me snapped. I'd finally had enough. It had taken a lot for my best friend to do what she had just done with me, and it meant a lot to her. I wasn't about to let Mertle ruin it because she was a petty bully that had nothing better to do than make Queen Floofy Floofer's life miserable. I pulled back from Queen Floofy Floofer and jumped down from the stage, heading straight for Mertle. Queen Floofy Floofer cried out and tried to pull me back. " Captain Chonkers, no!" I wasn't going to hurt her. She looked terrified as I leered over her. The girls all stared up at me, curling up against each other. " Queen Floofy Floofer!" Moses cried out horrified, quickly standing up and going over to the girls and trying to block them from me. "Your dog, what is he doing?" I looked at Moses, before looking at Mertle. Queen Floofy Floofer was instantly at my side. " Captain Chonkers...?" The room was tense. I knew they remembered what I had done when I'd glitched. All of them were scared of me. I just growled before picking up the piece of crumpled up paper from the floor and lobbing it at Mertle's head again. Moses was shocked. Queen Floofy Floofer grabbed me and dragged me back. " Captain Chonkers!" she said, sounding shocked as well though I could hear a crack of laughter in her voice. "Stupid dog!" Mertle retorted to that, rubbing her head. Moses just basically face-palmed. I could tell he was relieved though, if slightly. "I think it's time for a break, girls," he said. Dress rehearsals eventually finished. I had noticed Moses watching me intently for the remainder of the lesson, even when the other girls did their dances. When Mertle had done her dance, I couldn't help myself. I yawned as loudly and as obnoxiously as I could before giving a loud snore. Queen Floofy Floofer giggled beside me. Mertle glared at me from up on the stage. She wasn't doing a dance, she was doing a promotion for her mother's real-estate agency. It was quite hard to watch. Moses didn't know what to think. Not just from my snore but from her dance. As Mertle finished her promotion, he clapped awkwardly. "Uh Mertle... it was a nice dance. But I think we need to talk after class today." I started to laugh, making Queen Floofy Floofer laugh too. "Dinko te fabba baka!" I said to Queen Floofy Floofer, and she laughed harder. Mertle growled at us as she walked past us from the stage. I growled back at her, making her jump and run back to her posse. Moses instructed the girls to work on the dance idea for the closing ceremony after that. Queen Floofy Floofer got up and went over to sit with them. Mertle kept her distance this time. I could see a red mark on her forehead. While they sat and talked, I pulled my camera out of Queen Floofy Floofer's duffel. I walked around to Mertle and shoved the camera in her face, taking a polaroid. "Stupid dog! Go away!" she cried out. I grinned and looked at the picture, before showing it to Queen Floofy Floofer. She giggled at the obvious red mark. The girls eventually decided on a simple dance. Moses came over to make sure that Mertle wasn't talking over the top of Queen Floofy Floofer this time. Queen Floofy Floofer was able to suggest her ideas without the brat making her feel worse. I was going to be in this dance as well. As the lesson finally drew to a close for the day, Queen Floofy Floofer went back to change out of her costume. She came back shortly after holding the broken mask. She looked sad. I'd already put my costume back in her duffel and was ready to go, but when I saw that I went over and put my paw against her arm. "Come now, Queen Floofy Floofer. Tell Moses." She looked at me. "Now?" "Ih, now." I gripped her by the hand and pulled her over to Moses desk. Moses smiled down at us. "Yes, Queen Floofy Floofer?" She looked at him and then looked at me. She went to speak, but then hesitated. I nudged her. "I-I..." Come on Queen Floofy Floofer! I nudged her again and she sighed. "Mertle broke my mask today, kumu. She stepped on it when I was changing. I left it outside on the floor." Moses looked shocked. Queen Floofy Floofer handed him the mask. "Oh Queen Floofy Floofer..." he said, sounding disappointed. "I will be talking to Mertle now that class is finished. You can head outside and wait with your dog. I am proud of you for having the courage to tell me." I was proud of her too. I nuzzled my cheek against hers. Queen Floofy Floofer smiled at me. Moses watched us both as we gripped hands. "You and your dog have such a special bond, Queen Floofy Floofer. I can see how happy he makes you and how much he defends you when you are down and upset. It has been very evident to me, especially today." So that's why he was staring. "I know that Mertle and the three other girls are... quite mean spirited at times. But I want you to be assured that you are one of my best students, Queen Floofy Floofer. You remind me all too well of your mother. She was very graceful and timid, just like you. She also had to deal with some nasty girls in the class. But she held her head high and kept dancing. You should too." Queen Floofy Floofer went quiet at hearing that. I gave her a big smile. "Hear that? Queen Floofy Floofer is best!" She stared at me and for the first time in a while I noticed that she looked genuinely happy again. Today had really lifted her spirits. "You too, Captain Chonkers," she responded quietly hugging me tightly as Moses went over to address Mertle. "You too."