Distorted voices. "Gaba...?" I looked around. The area was empty. It was silent. Suddenly a capture container was slammed over me. I struggled to break free. I could see 621 leering over me, laughing crazily. Mr. Pupper was beside him, also laughing. Water started seeping into the container. I clawed at the glass, but nothing was working. As the water approached my waist I started to scream. "Naga! Naga! Let me out! Pleechi-ba!" They just continued to laugh at me as the water continued to fill up. Now it was up to my shoulders. I saw Queen Floofy Floofer's face, staring at me through the side of the glass. Her face was blank. " Queen Floofy Floofer! Help me!" I cried out to her as the water covered my head but she started laughing. They all laughed at me as I drowned. <strong>" CAPTAIN CHONKERS!"</strong> I jerked awake, sitting up and gasping for air. When my heart finally stopped racing I realised where I was; I was in the clearing after Queen Floofy Floofer not wanting me near her. The moon was bright above me. Looking up to the sky, I held my head. A nightmare? I hadn't had one of those in a long time. This one was different though. Different from the ones I'd had when I was glitching. My ears perked up when I heard that same sinister laugh I'd heard in the ship. I stood up. "Gablia?" I said out into the clearing. Silence. I crouched down holding my knees to my chest, creeped out. This laugh... what was it? " Captain Chonkers!" " Captain Chonkers!" I jerked up at hearing those cries. A few seconds later, Thicc Corgi pushed through the shrub, Mrs. Doggo right behind him with Queen Floofy Floofer in her arms in a blanket. Queen Floofy Floofer pulled from Mrs. Doggo's arms and bolted towards me, crying. " Captain Chonkers! I was so worried!" I was confused. I looked up at Thicc Corgi. "Couldn't find you in dome, or in house. Little girl frantic," he explained. "Consulted larger girl and we searched everywhere so I used tracking to locate you to here." I stared at this before looking at Queen Floofy Floofer. She shook my shoulders. "Why did you run away? WHY?" "I..." I swallowed. "You not want me around you..." "That's not true!" she cried at me. "How could you think such a thing?" " Captain Chonkers... broke lamp..." I said to her softly. "Made Queen Floofy Floofer sad, ignore me and leave room." "I went to get a drink!" she responded. "When I came back, you had gone! I didn't know what to do!" I looked away from my family. All of them were worried. I had clearly scared them. It made me feel even worse and a little sick to my stomach. Enough so that I did throw up into the bushes. They cried out in alarm. Thicc Corgi was instantly at my side. " Captain Chonkers! Are you okay?" I could feel him rubbing my back. I rubbed my head. It was pounding slightly. "Ih..." " Captain Chonkers, please don't do that again. The lamp was special to us, but you're our family. You gave us a huge scare before when you died. We don't need another one." I looked at Mrs. Doggo and sighed. "Sorry." Thicc Corgi picked me up into his arms and Mrs. Doggo picked up Queen Floofy Floofer. "Come on... let's go back," she said tiredly, petting me on the head. "It's very late and we can discuss this later." They started to head back and Thicc Corgi put his hand against my head as I rested on his shoulder. <hr size=1 noshade><p>Shortly after, I was back in my bed, Queen Floofy Floofer snuggled up against me. Mrs. Doggo was stroking my head as she peered down at us. "Running away is never the answer," she told me. "I know the lamp broke from your rough housing, but it's fixable. It's special to us, especially Queen Floofy Floofer... but you're far more important Captain Chonkers. We need you. Queen Floofy Floofer needs you. If something is wrong then talk to us first and it can be fixed, okay?" Queen Floofy Floofer clutched at my chest. I sighed. " Captain Chonkers sorry. Just... scared." Mrs. Doggo nodded. She kissed Queen Floofy Floofer on the head and then kissed me before turning off the light and heading downstairs. It was two in the morning by that point. Well past our bedtime and this was the latest we'd been up in a long time. Queen Floofy Floofer wasn't tired. I could tell. She rested her head against mine. When I purred she gave a small mixture between a sob and a sigh. "Don't leave me Captain Chonkers." "Never..." I responded. "I wasn't mad at you for breaking the lamp. I was just sad because dad gave it to me." "I know..." I told her quietly. "I was careless." She went quiet. "Muquad okeytaka?" I asked her quietly when she didn't say anything for a while. I knew she was still awake.<p>"Just worried about Mertle..." she responded. "Class is on tomorrow afternoon." "Naga worry about her," I told my best friend. "Pleechi-ba?" "I'll try. But I don't know how she's going to act tomorrow. If she does something I'm going to get mad." "Let me handle Mertle," I said. She sighed in response to that and just hugged me. "Goodnight Captain Chonkers." "Jhua tehrqua Queen Floofy Floofer," I responded, watching her as she settled down and finally fell asleep. <hr size=1 noshade><p>The next afternoon Mrs. Doggo waited for us down at the buggy. I heard her beep the horn. The sun was out and it had put everybody in a good mood for the most part, even Queen Floofy Floofer, despite once again we were late for class. Today was the first sunny day we'd had since the bad weather and while it was still cold, the sun was indeed welcoming. " Queen Floofy Floofer!" I called from the door way. "Late! Naanee khodra esafhan!" "I know! Coming Captain Chonkers!" I heard her shout. She was rushing about, trying to get her things together. I fixed her headpiece as she rushed past me. It was falling down across her eyes. "Hurry up you two! We're late!" We climbed into the buggy and Mrs. Doggo proceeded to drive us to the school. Queen Floofy Floofer bolted from there before Mrs. Doggo had barely put the vehicle into park. She called out that she would pick us up later and to wait out the front and not move. I waved to her in acknowledgement, but Queen Floofy Floofer dragged me inside, bursting through the door. Everybody was inside and they looked up at us as we entered. "Aloha Queen Floofy Floofer. Glad you decided to join us," Moses said. Mertle glared at us as we went inside and sat down. The other three brats sniggered. "Sorry kumu. We had kind of a bad night." He gave a nod. "Well, please try not to be late again. It cuts into class time and is unfair to the other keiki." I knew Mertle would lap that up. Sure enough, she did. "Kumu. We REALLY don't appreciate Queen Floofy Floofer being late and disrupting our lesson. Right girls?" I rolled my head back in frustration and pulled down my ears. Sure enough - "YEEEAAAHHHHHHH." "Girls, that's enough. Queen Floofy Floofer has explained her reason, so let's proceed."<p>Mertle glared at Queen Floofy Floofer before turning her back to her, as did the other three brats. I looked at Queen Floofy Floofer. She was trying her best to ignore it but I could tell it was bothering her a little. I put a paw on her shoulder in support and she looked at me. I gave her a nod. Moses proceeded to talk to the girls about the culture of Hawaii. He was explaining something to do with Honolulu but I had no idea what it was about. Queen Floofy Floofer was smiling, looking very interested. I looked out of the window and noticed it had started to rain again despite the sun was still out. While the girls were engossed I went over to the window and looked out. It was sun shower. I knew Queen Floofy Floofer loved sun showers. I wanted her to see. I walked back over to her and tapped her on the shoulder, pointing. She stood up, making Moses look up. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" "Excuse me for a moment, kumu!" she responded, walking over to the window with me to look. There was a rainbow forming over south, clearly visible from the school. Queen Floofy Floofer breathed in amazement and I smiled at seeing her face light up. "Wow..." Moses came over to us from the stage and also looked out. "How pretty," he smiled. Mertle and the other girls also came forth to look. For once, Mertle kept her mouth shut and actually admired what was before her. I was amazed. I stood back to let them see. Moses finally cleared his throat, distracting them and gestured for them to go back and sit down. Queen Floofy Floofer smiled at me and I held her hand as we headed back over to sit down. Moses continued his lesson for a little while longer, before instructing us to work on our dance for the closing ceremony. Mertle moaned and I saw her whisper something to Aleka. Both of them sniggered, looking at Queen Floofy Floofer. I growled at them. Queen Floofy Floofer was still looking towards the window so she didn't notice. I tapped her gently and the girls proceeded to sit down in a circle. Aleka had been appointed as the group 'leader' for the dance, so she started setting down instructions for each of the girls. When she got to Queen Floofy Floofer, she turned up her nose. "Here is what I thought you and your weird dog could do. Mertle and I came up with it and the others think its good for you too." I sneered at her. Queen Floofy Floofer took the piece of paper curiously and stared at it. "But... isn't this different from your dances? Moses us wanted to work together to do a similar dance as each other." "We don't want you two doing the same dance as us." I couldn't believe this. Moses had specifically instructed us to work together. Even after Queen Floofy Floofer had suggested we do our own dance, he thought it would be best for us to all work together. Aleka shoved a piece of paper at me and I snatched it from her. I looked at it. Apparently they wanted me to stay at the very back, with Queen Floofy Floofer just before me. All four of them would be in a line before us, taking up all of the attention. I wasn't having it. Queen Floofy Floofer looked angry as well. "But this means that you will all get to dance in front of us. If me and Captain Chonkers are behind, you'll be blocking us." "So?" Mertle scoffed. "That's the whole point. Weird-lo." "But that's not fair! My whole family is coming to watch us. Moses said-"<p>"I don't care what Moses said! The audience doesn't want to see you, or your weird ugly dog!" Mertle snapped at her. "You are dancing behind us, or you don't dance at all! We don't want to scare away everybody." Mertle stuck up her nose at us. She turned her back and the other three girls huddled away from us. By this point I was shaking with anger. Queen Floofy Floofer looked very broken. "Mertle?" she asked quietly and the red head turned around snapping "What?!" "Why are you so mean to me and Captain Chonkers?" The other girls went quiet. I hadn't been expecting such a question from Queen Floofy Floofer. Neither had the other girls. Mertle looked dumbfounded for a moment or so. She didn't know how to answer her. She remained quiet but turned back to the other three, ignoring her. Queen Floofy Floofer just sighed sadly. She stood up and headed towards the door, opening it and going outside. I felt my heart sink but then rage consumed me. I stormed towards Mertle and grabbed her by her top, yanking her towards my face. She cowered. Moses quickly ran over and pulled her away from me protectively. "No! Stop!" I sneered at them both. I picked up the piece of paper Aleka had given Queen Floofy Floofer, as well as the one they'd given me, and shoved them at Moses before running out after my best friend. If he didn't get the message then he was an idiot. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" I called once the door shut behind me. " Queen Floofy Floofer? You okay?" I couldn't hear her so I started to sniff for her scent. I trailed it to the back of the school, where she was huddled against the wall with her legs to her chest. I simply sat down and hugged her tightly. She wasn't crying but she was very close to doing so. She gripped at me and I pushed myself against her. " Captain Chonkers... I didn't want to get mad... I'm trying to ignore her, like you said. It's hard..." I sighed and held her close to me. "I know. It will be okay." " Queen Floofy Floofer!" I heard a shout. A few seconds later, Moses appeared around the corner, dragging Mertle gently behind him. She looked annoyed. He let go of Mertle's hand and bent down beside Queen Floofy Floofer. I growled and held her close to me. " Queen Floofy Floofer..." he said softly. "I saw what Mertle and Aleka did. Your dog showed me. I have suspended them from the next class. It's not right. I wanted you all to work together, but they both decided to take matters into their own hands. Mertle... come here." Mertle crossed her arms. "Are you going to apologise?" "No." Moses sighed. "Very well. Go inside and I will call your mother to collect you. I will not allow you to finish class today. Instead I want you to go home and reflect on your behaviour." Mertle's mouth dropped open and I gave her a huge grin. I waved goodbye to her while Moses was turned. "This is all your fault wei-" "ENOUGH!" Moses said loudly, stumping Mertle mid-speech and putting his hand against his forehead. I think he was finally beginning to have enough of her tormenting my best friend. Normally he didn't get mad and was very calm, but this had been going on for a long time. I was glad he was getting sick of her. She just turned and stormed back inside. " Queen Floofy Floofer? Is there anything you wish to tell me?" Queen Floofy Floofer sighed. She looked at Moses. "Mertle called Captain Chonkers ugly and said that they didn't want us dancing with them because we'd scare the audience away." Moses looked mortified. "She did?" Queen Floofy Floofer nodded and I gripped her hand. "I asked her why she is so mean to me and Captain Chonkers, but she ignored me." "Is that why your dog pulled her towards him?" Queen Floofy Floofer looked up at him at that. "What?" "He grabbed her by her top and yanked her towards him. He looked very angry." Queen Floofy Floofer stared at me. "You did that?" she asked me quietly. I couldn't answer her in front of Moses, but he answered for me. "Yes, he did. He scared the other girls again. But he also gave me the instructions the girls wrote for your dance. I put two and two together and this time, I am not angry at him. I promise." He helped Queen Floofy Floofer up. "Come back inside. It's starting to rain again. I don't want you to get sick." Queen Floofy Floofer followed him slowly. We went back inside. Mertle was whispering to the other three girls and as soon as we stepped back inside she growled at us. I stood in front of Queen Floofy Floofer as she came towards us.<p>"Weird-lo, I'm going to get you back for this!" she sneered, trying to get close to my best friend. I automatically pushed her back, but Moses stood between us.<p>"MERTLE! Please! That is quite enough! Unless you want to be disqualified from the ceremony, then go into my office and wait there!" She gave a cry of frustration and stormed to the office. I honestly had no idea what was wrong with her and why she was being so nasty like this, but I was at my wits end long ago and I was finding less and less reason to hold back even with a promise to Queen Floofy Floofer. Moses sighed. "Girls. Please. Just continue working on your dance. Do NOT exclude Queen Floofy Floofer and her dog. Work together." The three other girls came over to us. Aleka looked a bit annoyed, but began to explain they'd changed the dance. Now Queen Floofy Floofer and I would be dancing together in the middle, with two of them on each side of us. Queen Floofy Floofer looked happy again and in turn it made me smile. We started practicing without Mertle and got into position on the stage. After twenty minutes I heard a car pull up. Ten or so minutes later in came not only Mertle's mother, but Mrs. Doggo too. Queen Floofy Floofer stopped and stared in surprise as did I. " Queen Floofy Floofer!" Mrs. Doggo cried, running over to her sister. "I just had a call from Moses about what happened. I was going to ring Mertle's mother this morning but it slipped my mind after last night. Are you alright?" Queen Floofy Floofer nodded. Mrs. Doggo stroked her on the head. "I spoke to Mertle's mother outside. She is going to have a good long talk to her today. Hopefully this bullying will stop." "I hope so too," Queen Floofy Floofer said sadly. "I don't know why she hates me so much. Me and Captain Chonkers." Mrs. Doggo just sighed. "Stay here baby." She turned and headed toward Moses office with Mertle's mother. I looked at Queen Floofy Floofer and squeezed her hand in my paw and in turn she pet me gently on the head. The other girls just stood together and watched, although I could see Aleka staring at Queen Floofy Floofer in my peripheral vision. When the adults eventually came out, Mertle was scowling. Her mother led her out and the door shut behind them. Moses approached Queen Floofy Floofer with Mrs. Doggo. "Mertle has been issued a warning and suspension from the rest of today's class, as well as tomorrow. When I asked her why she did this, she said she had no reason for it. Aleka and her both planned this together," Moses said gently, putting a hand on Queen Floofy Floofer's shoulder. "I will be issuing a warning to Aleka as well. I am tired of this too, Queen Floofy Floofer. But remember what I told you, okay?" Queen Floofy Floofer smiled a little. She turned to look at me and I smiled back at her. "I'll wait for you in the car, Queen Floofy Floofer," Mrs. Doggo said as Moses turned and headed to Aleka to speak to her. "Okay. Thanks Mrs. Doggo," Queen Floofy Floofer told her. Mrs. Doggo left and we resumed the remainder of the lesson. Moses finished his talk about Honolulu. The girls left Queen Floofy Floofer alone. It was unusual, but Mertle was the ringleader so they often harassed Queen Floofy Floofer under her demands. When class finally ended, I took Queen Floofy Floofer's hand and we went out to Mrs. Doggo in the car to head home. <hr size=1 noshade><p> Queen Floofy Floofer was in high spirits later that evening. The first thing she had wanted to do when we got back home was practice again, so we'd spent the remainder of the afternoon doing just that. Our dance improved significantly. Even better – Thicc Corgi fixed the hula lamp. He presented it to Queen Floofy Floofer after dinner and her eyes lit up. "Oh my gosh! Thank you!" "No problem little one." I smiled as I watched her. All it had taken was one talk with Moses and Queen Floofy Floofer was the happiest I'd seen her since before I'd died. I was glad that Mertle was being dealt with finally. "Look Captain Chonkers!" Queen Floofy Floofer cried at me, placing the lamp in front of me. I nodded. "Luchachet good Queen Floofy Floofer!" I told her, giving her two thumbs up. She grinned and ran upstairs to put it back up in our room, leaving me alone with the rest of the family. Mrs. Doggo was watching with her head in her hand quietly while the rest of the family conversed. Shiba Chonkers was talking about his job and how bad it was getting. Mrs. Doggo made eye contact with me for a moment before sighing and looking away. I knew what was on her mind. I went around to her and put a paw on her hand. She stared down at me. I noticed Thicc Corgi watch us out the corner of his eye, but he said nothing. I knew Mrs. Doggo was going to tell them soon. She just needed the right timing. I pulled my paw away and followed Queen Floofy Floofer up to the dome. <hr size=1 noshade><p> Queen Floofy Floofer and I had been sitting and talking on her bed quietly later that evening when my ears perked at the sound of the doorbell ringing. Mrs. Doggo, Thicc Corgi, Shiba Chonkers and Sir Chonky had briefly gone to the shops to get some treats for another movie night. It wasn't Kuakini's store as that was still closed from flood damage but the other mart a little further down the road wasn't as badly effected and was back in business. I checked the time. It was approaching seven. The only person I knew that would make a house call unannounced was Cobra. I frowned and held Queen Floofy Floofer's hands. "Stay here." "Hm?" she asked, indicating to me she hadn't heard the bell. "Somebody at door." "Oh?" she looked a little alarmed. I jumped down from the top bunk and headed downstairs, approaching the front door quietly. I sniffed the bottom of the door and when I realised who was behind there I growled. What the heck was she doing here? Opening the door, sure enough, there was Mertle. She stood with a pout and her arms crossed. I sneered at her. "I'm ONLY here because my mom told me to come. She said I need to say sorry for what I did. Where is freak-lo?" I wanted to tell her to get lost. I was so tempted to. But I couldn't. It took every ounce of my willpower to bite my tongue and hold back. I just glared at her. "Well?" "Mertle...?" came a small voice behind me. I instantly pulled Queen Floofy Floofer behind me protectively. I didn't believe for a moment Mertle was genuinely sorry. "Ugh. I'm sorry for what I did today," she spat. "There. Happy now?" Queen Floofy Floofer just stared at her. I eyed her warily. "I still think you're weird and a freak though. You got me suspended and you can bet I won't forget this, so I've come to tell you to watch yourself." I clenched my fist so hard that my claws dug into my skin and I felt blood drip down. That startled Queen Floofy Floofer a lot but I didn't care. She wasn't getting away with this. "Watch myself?" Queen Floofy Floofer said quietly. "But I didn't get you suspended. You and the others planned that dance behind my back. You said we'd scare the audience." Mertle growled at her. "Why should you deserve to be the center of attention up there? You think a fish controls the weather, you think bugs are cute and you play with that ugly doll and dog. You're not normal Queen Floofy Floofer! You would scare everybody!" That was it. I jumped at Mertle, forcing her to the ground and raised a balled fist ready to punch her in the face but Queen Floofy Floofer quickly stopped me. She stared at my blood on her hands. " Captain Chonkers... please don't hurt her..." was all she said quietly. Mertle was cowering beneath me. I closed my eyes and pulled back. Queen Floofy Floofer and I stared at each other for a long moment and I lowered my ears. She knew I wanted to talk. She knew I had so much to say. She shook her head and I put my paws to my face in annoyance. If ONLY she'd let me just defend her how I wanted to. Mertle stood up slowly. "...I'm telling mom about this. And Moses. I just said sorry to you, so I'm sure you and your freak dog will be banned from dancing now." Queen Floofy Floofer froze up at that. "What? No!... No please!" "I TOLD you that freakish mutt of yours needed to be restrained. He tried to kill us yet you think it's perfectly okay! He just tried to attack me Queen Floofy Floofer! I'm getting him banned permanently." Mertle stuck up her nose at us and turned to walk away. " Queen Floofy Floofer..." I gripped my best friends arm. "Let me stop her... please..." "But..." she looked out after Mertle. " QUEEN FLOOFY FLOOFER!" I cried at her in frustration, a bit louder than I intended. Mertle froze. She turned to look back at us. "Who said that?" she asked warily. Queen Floofy Floofer just looked away from her. "I saw your family go down the road so I know that there is nobody else here." She looked at me and I saw her momentarily looking at my paws, which were still slightly bloody. "I've always thought it was weird how close you two are and how strange your dog acts. It's nothing like a normal dog," she glared at me. I just sneered at her. "Either way, hopefully you'll both be banned by tomorrow afternoon!" she laughed, running back down the stairs and leaving. Queen Floofy Floofer just stood for a moment before running to the dome and slamming shut the door. I was torn. I wanted to go after Mertle and give her the biggest serve of her life. But I couldn't. I felt so trapped. Sighing, I just shut the door and headed to the dome. I tried the door only to realise Queen Floofy Floofer had locked it. Fantastic. I couldn't pick the lock with my claw (it was too small) so I just went back outside and climbed up the side of the house and entered the dome window that way. Queen Floofy Floofer was against my bunk, knees to her chest crying. I went over to her and pulled her into a hug. "Why does she always ruin everything for me?" she asked me. "Why can't she just let us dance and be happy?" "Mertle choota dak haffu hak," I responded. She stared at me. I knew she had no idea what that meant but I wasn't going to translate it for her. She just took my paw and opened it, seeing the cut marks from where my claws had broken into my skin. She looked at my blood dried into her hands. "You hurt yourself because she made you so mad..." she said to me. I nodded. She stood up and left to go downstairs, returning shortly after with the first aid kit. I smiled at her as she took my paw and started to clean my cuts before putting band-aids over each of them. I knew it wasn't needed as my body regenerated extremely fast, but I was too touched by it to stop her. She cleaned up her hands afterwards before holding me close. "Meega talk to Mrs. Doggo. And Thicc Corgi. Mertle not get away with this, okeytaka? Chi chabada." "Okay Captain Chonkers..." Queen Floofy Floofer told me softly. "I trust you." "Ih." Queen Floofy Floofer was quite solemn after that. Even the movie wasn't enough to pick up her mood despite being vampire themed. She just sat with her head against my chest on the couch. As she did this I thought back to what Mertle had said about it being weird we were so close. I didn't care what she thought and I knew Queen Floofy Floofer didn't either. Queen Floofy Floofer and I loved each other. We had a very strong bond that would never be penetrated by anybody or anything. She was my best friend and my family and I'd give my life to protect her. I was sure she would do the same. As she lay against me, I explained everything to Thicc Corgi quietly. He crossed his arms and nodded, listening to me. Queen Floofy Floofer watched us tiredly. "Mertle yadelep meega tek zach abaatat delna. Zek muquad bashita et Queen Floofy Floofer tay shiralli eshti." Thicc Corgi nodded. "Obnoxious red head girl made a threat, ey? Maljai es'tihiz alatooch?" "Ih." "Not to be worrying..." he responded, putting his hand on my head. "I will explain situation to larger girl and tomorrow will see teacher about situation and explain Captain Chonkers's actions." "Dougabba." I smiled at Queen Floofy Floofer. She looked at me curiously. "Muquad okeytaka!" "I hope it will be, Captain Chonkers..." she responded, looking back to the movie. It would be. Mertle wasn't going to ruin this for us. I was going to make sure of that.