The following week progressed somewhat smoothly. I did have a few small cases of green eyes and two more nightmares, but nothing as sinister as what had happened to me in town last week. I felt kinda weird. Like something big was going on inside me, but nothing was showing for it on the surface. Thankfully none of those nightmares involved me hurting anybody and when somebody was in close proximity during an episode (Sir Chonky, in this case) I DID swipe at him, but nothing had happened due to my claws being retracted. Since my family all knew about my working for Mr Kuakini now, I didn't have to sneak out any more and a few times Mrs. Doggo would drop me to the store in the afternoon if she wasn't still at work. Somedays I helped him out both times. Morning and evening. Mrs. Doggo and Shiba Chonkers invited Mr Kuakini to the wedding. The more time I spent working with him, the more I learned about him. As I was stacking shelves that particular Wednesday evening, I recalled something he'd said to me last week but had forgot to ask about it. He noticed me pause and asked me if I was okay. "Last week, yuuga say to Captain Chonkers that he reminded you of somebody. Who?" I asked him. He stared at me for a moment before nodding. "My late son. He died when he was ten." My ears drooped. "What happen?" "He was born premature and with a lot of health problems. Honestly, it was a miracle he survived for as long as he did. The majority of his life he was in and out of hospital on Honolulu. He was very susceptible to picking up infections. Unfortunately he caught a bad cold which escalated into severe pneumonia. He... didn't pull through." I had no idea what to say to that. I knew Queen Floofy Floofer and Mrs. Doggo had lost their parents in the accident, but this man had lost his child. "Soka..." He shook his head. "There's no reason to be, Captain Chonkers. We did what we could to give him a happy life. I didn't get to see him much because I had to run the shop and raise as much money as I could to pay for his hospital treatment. My wife and daughter looked after him full time." I cringed. Now I understood why his business was so important to him and he needed those rich, snobby tourists to shop there. "But... how Captain Chonkers remind you of son?" He smiled. "He was stubborn. Always had to have his way. He was like you in that regard. We told him to rest but he just wanted to get up and play. Or help his mother around the house when he was at home, even though his body wouldn't allow for it most days. He was always exhausted. Just walking short distances tired him out. I said you reminded me of him because when you tried to help me despite falling asleep, it just brought back those memories. He was loyal and compassionate. So are you. He always hated when people talked about how he looked as well. He was very frail for a child, but he always stood his ground about judgement and how others should be more respectful." I was surprised to hear all of that. He chuckled. "Sometimes I even wonder if you are him reincarnated as an alien... he loved aliens and space." I stared at that. Me? The monster? I looked at him weird. He rolled his eyes and smiled. "I don't mean that in a literal sense, Captain Chonkers, but I truly can't help it. I mean... you and him were very nearly identical in personality. His favourite colour was blue. Even the way you hold yourself was similar to how he did. He'd always have one foot slightly more forward than the other when he stood and bent his left knee. You do that too sometimes, I've noticed. Or open and close your hands repeatedly as a nervous tic. That was something he did as well." I just stared at him. I really had no idea what to say and absolutely nothing came to me. I was speechless and it made me feel very odd. He went back to sweeping. "Not a bad thing, Captain Chonkers. Just you remind me of him a lot, that's all." "O-okeytaka." "How old are you Captain Chonkers?" he asked me shortly after. "Almost three." "Ah..." he responded, frowning slightly. "My son died three years ago." I gave him another strange look. He looked a bit freaked out too. "It's just a strange coincidence. You aren't him, you're Captain Chonkers." "I know I Captain Chonkers... but... I die too then come back," I put the last of that stock on the shelf and stood up. "Do you see meega as Captain Chonkers, or as son?" He stared at me at that. "I recall you mentioning that... but don't worry, I see you as Captain Chonkers," he told me. "I just see my son through you though. I can't help it. I hope you understand." "Meega gashta," I told him. "Make meega feel weird." "I can tell. Sorry." "Naga-naga," I waved my paw at him. "If make you happy to think of Captain Chonkers as re... ra-" "Reincarnated?" he asked and I nodded. "Re...in... carnated? son, do it, ih? Just as long as remember, I'm Captain Chonkers." He stared at me at that. "You mean it? It won't offend you?" "Naga." I went back to opening the next box of stock. He was in no way directly attacking me for who I was, so there was no reason for me to be offended by it. As with my family, people coped in their own ways. I knew that from being on earth. "Well, that's a good thing I guess. Considering his name was Mitchell." "Gaba eiek?!" My ears flipped up. He nodded, laughing. "We called him Mitch. Your name is Captain Chonkers. See what I'm getting at?" This was TOO weird. I sat down and rubbed my head. "Did I make your system crash?" he asked me and I gave him another weird look before laughing. He laughed too. "Please don't blame me if I start mixing your name up with his though, Captain Chonkers. I haven't managed to do it yet but with my age, that's not to say I won't do it in the future. The more you do things that remind me of him the more likely I'd be to do it." I just looked at him. "If meega remind you of Mitch, it won't offend me. Promise." He nodded. "Thanks for being so understanding." I smiled at him and returned to my work. What an interesting conversation. I wondered what Queen Floofy Floofer would make of it. It got me thinking about things though. I had actually died. I know for a fact I came back as Captain Chonkers. Myself. Not somebody else. Maybe it was just a really weird coincidence. Even so, I'm glad that it seemed to comfort him and perhaps that was why he took a liking to me and seemed to care about me. I didn't believe in reincarnation myself. I knew that was a human belief. Before I headed back home that evening, I went up to Mr Kuakini. He stared down at me. I hugged his leg. "Soka you lost son..." He smiled and bent down to pet me on the head. "Thank you Captain Chonkers. Keep being you. Don't change for anybody." Mrs. Doggo pulled up outside and I smiled. He opened up the door and I headed out to her so that we could head home. She always picked me up now under Thicc Corgi's orders. It wasn't up for debate in anyway and she knew that, so she just did it. "Hey sweetie..." she smiled at me as I climbed in beside her and buckled the seatbelt. "Gonna pick up some take-out tonight before we head home. I'm too tired to cook. Long day." "Oh, yay!" Mrs. Doggo grinned. She drove away from Kuakini's and headed to the chicken shop. I looked out of the window at the passing buildings. Thankfully none of them looked broken down or decrepit. I was constantly worried about that hallucination returning. I climbed out of the car with Mrs. Doggo and went into the shop with her. A few other customers were in there, waiting for their orders. I sat down on the waiting bench while Mrs. Doggo placed the order before she came and sat beside me. To my surprise, she pulled me into her lap and put her arms around me. I looked up at her and she poked my nose in response. I felt loved. I was glad that despite the slight tension between us, Mrs. Doggo really did truly care about me as family. I settled against her and must have drifted off because next thing I knew she was standing up with me to collect the order. I helped her carry everything to the car and we ignored the stares from other people. It was a daily thing for our family to be stared at. On the way home, I told her about what Mr Kuakini had told me. She seemed very shocked by it. "I had no idea he lost his son. So... he believes his son might be reincarnated through you?" "Naga literally," I explained. "Very strange coincidence. We so alike. So weird." "I can see how, yeah..." she responded. She frowned and I stared up at her. "Naanee?" She looked at me and sighed. We'd pulled up in our driveway but she didn't make any indications of getting out of the car. " Captain Chonkers... what... happened when you died?" she asked me. I stared at her at that. I looked to my lap. "Did something... actually happen to you?" I wanted to tell her so much what I knew she wanted to hear. But what had actually happened was very different. "Kex zna scil..." I responded slowly and she gave me a very bizarre look. I shook my head when I realised what I'd said and donked myself on the head. "Soka, I mean... ih et naga." "Yes and no?" I nodded. "What happened?" she asked slowly. I sighed. " Captain Chonkers... very numb. No longer feel body. Paralysed. Very tired. Darkness coming. I see Queen Floofy Floofer but barely hear her. She tell me, I be ok. But Captain Chonkers not okay. I wanted to be... but couldn't... I tell her sorry. Had to let go. I knew it was the end. Wasn't coming back, but too late..." Mrs. Doggo looked at me sadly. "When I die... I feel nothing. No longer aware of me. Who I am." "Did... you see anything?" I shook my head. "Nothing, Naanee. No sense of being alive. No sense of being sentient. Dead." She looked at her lap and sighed. "You weren't aware of your own existence?" "Ih, like that... neesa..." She quickly looked at me, before putting her hand on my paws. " Captain Chonkers... come back from the 'nothing,'" I tried to explain. "Become aware again, except I not feel like in body. Feel... weightless? I hear Queen Floofy Floofer's voice. She crying. I feel no pain. Very... um... blissy? Feeling?" "Blissful?" she asked. "Ih. I hear how sad Queen Floofy Floofer was. Hear her cry. As I wake up though, I see something. Blurred figures. Three of them. Behind Queen Floofy Floofer. Only for very brief moment. Very light. Very white." "W-what?" she asked me. I felt her clutch my paw tightly. "Not know what are. Too distorted. Look like... hmm..." I tapped my chin. "Ghosts." Her eyes went wide. "Really?" "Ih. Never found rational explanation for. So guess, I hallucinate." Mrs. Doggo just stared at me. "Where they human in shape?" "Ih et naga," I told her. "Very tall. Distorted. Kinda human shape but naga really. Remind Captain Chonkers like aliens..." "Aliens?" she repeated. "Ih. Aliens yuuga see on TV. Grey, creepy. Except white. Not know what I saw Naanee." "I see," she nodded. She reached over and hugged me. "What Naanee thinking?" I said into her ear quietly as she did so. She sighed. "I wonder... if maybe... it was mum and dad," she said slowly. "No look picture?" I asked and she stared at me at that, trying to figure out what I meant. I tried again. "They not look like picture?" "They wouldn't. Maybe spirits, or something?" "Spirits?" "Ghosts, like you said. We always wondered how on earth you came back. Even Thicc Corgi couldn't explain it. None of us could. It was a miracle, Captain Chonkers." I thought about that. "Maybe was parents?" "Either way, something was looking out for you Captain Chonkers." I nodded. I was very lucky to get another chance with Queen Floofy Floofer. I'd never questioned it myself, just accepted it. "Have you ever told Queen Floofy Floofer about this?" Mrs. Doggo asked me and I shook my head. "Why not?" "Waiting for right time. When speak of me dying, she too sad. Not want upset her." Mrs. Doggo nodded in understanding. I helped her carry the things out of the car and up the stairs. "I won't tell Captain Chonkers," she told me. "I'm glad you told me." I nodded at her and we opened the door and went inside.</p><hr size=1 noshade><p>Dinner was delicious. Mrs. Doggo had bought me a burger and Queen Floofy Floofer a hot-dog. I sat quietly but everybody else around me conversed. Cobra even joined us. Mrs. Doggo had wanted to tell him more about the wedding. He was a respected guest. After dinner, I sat with Queen Floofy Floofer in the living room watching some cartoons. She snuggled against me and underneath the blanket we held hands tightly. I know she was afraid of what the others would think. I was too. Cobra eventually left. He acknowledged us on the way out and Mrs. Doggo approached us asking us to have a bath. Queen Floofy Floofer nodded. We left the living room and watched as she filled up the tub for us. Queen Floofy Floofer seemed quite content. She climbed in and I climbed in after her. Mrs. Doggo left us alone. We had our usual fun, splashing each other. Queen Floofy Floofer scrubbed my fur. Afterwards she massaged my temples again. It felt nice. She'd started doing this more frequently over the week. I think it was her way of helping me cope with the nightmares. When the bath was finished and we were drying off, an idea occurred to me. Queen Floofy Floofer offered to use the hair-dryer on me but I told her that I would dry myself this time. She shrugged, but smiled and left me alone. I climbed up in front of the mirror and used my comb to brush out that big tuft of fur on my head once my fur was dry, parting it a few ways before making it go down across my face again. I stared at myself in the mirror. I wanted to see what sort of reaction she would have. Slowly, I made my way out of the bathroom and headed up to her in the dome. She had her back turned to me and was brushing Scrump's hair. She didn't turn around but she knew I was there. Mrs. Doggo came into us with some more cake. She stared at me for a moment but said nothing, just handed me a piece on a plate. Queen Floofy Floofer finally turned around and took her piece as Mrs. Doggo went back downstairs. She looked up and directly at me. I saw her stiffen up slightly and her eyes widened a little. Her heart beat a little faster. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" I asked slowly. She seemed to snap herself out of it and quickly looked down to her cake, eating it. She avoided looking at me but she looked bright red. I sat down facing her, eating my cake. Every so often I saw her glimpse at me when she thought I wasn't looking. I saw her anyway due to my wide peripheral vision. This definitely confirmed to me that she liked how I looked and it made me feel super good about myself. "Uh... Captain Chonkers?" "Ih, Queen Floofy Floofer?" "I like what you've done with your fur." I grinned. "Really?" "Yeah. You look... great," she said as she had before. "Really great." I scooted over to her. "What mean by that, Queen Floofy Floofer?" I asked slowly. She blushed. "..." "Is okay. You can tell Captain Chonkers," I said gently. She didn't respond for a moment, but then looked directly into my eyes when I nudged her. "I think you look amazing. I like how you look," she responded. I smiled. "I like how you look too Queen Floofy Floofer," I also responded. She went red again. "What do... you mean by that Captain Chonkers?" she asked me slowly, as I had her before. I pushed my forehead against hers. "I think, Queen Floofy Floofer very pretty." She gazed at me and I gazed back at her. I felt her push her hands against mine. "So we... are going to be together? In the future?" she asked me quietly. " Queen Floofy Floofer want to be with Captain Chonkers, even if he alien?" "Yeah. Do you want to be with me... even if I am a human?" "Ih." "Then let's be together, okay?" "Okay..." She leaned over and kissed my nose. I smiled happily. Queen Floofy Floofer stood up and went over to our desk. She returned a short time later with a black strappy necklace and the ring she'd given me when she had 'married' me. I recognised it from when we'd gone to get that new outfit. I stared. She slipped the ring onto the necklace and then reached over and put it around my neck. I looked down at it. "There, now you have an official medal-of-honour," she smiled at me. I picked it up in my paw and looked at it as she sat back down and ate the rest of her cake. I gazed at her as she ate. I was very different to her, and a far cry from the Keoni dream guy, but she still had that same reaction to seeing my fur across my face. Maybe she really didn't care after all that I was so different to her and even though she said she didn't, I still didn't feel a hundred percent reassured. There was still the chance of her losing interest in me as she got older and her interests changed. Let alone not actually wanting to be with me due to be not being her own kind. For now it seemed otherwise. She sounded genuine about wanting to be with me. Like with what happened to me when I reached puberty, there was no way for me to possibly know what the future held. I was nearly three and she was almost nine. When she was fifteen, I would be nine. But I was also an alien too. I knew even though I was younger than her, my age cycle worked very differently. I would likely hit puberty when I was around nine and what was considered 'teenage' years on earth would be my teenage years between and nine and twelve. When I hit twelve I'd be in my adult stage. By then Queen Floofy Floofer would be eighteen. I wasn't sure if being on earth would have any type of impact on my development, but Thicc Corgi had confirmed this age cycle to me. Humans took much longer to grow and develop. I knew being only twelve would make others here think I was still a child. Twelve to me was fully grown, though I'd probably only be as tall as Queen Floofy Floofer when she reached ten or eleven. After that it wasn't possible for me to grow any more and I would be that way for the rest of my lifespan. My mind was a super-computer. I would never mature mentally, as Queen Floofy Floofer would. I was created to be smart. Only my body would continue to develop for a while longer. I'd always found it interesting how slow humans developed. It took them years and years to grow. But that was just how they had evolved over thousands of years. Aliens on the other hand, had all sorts of different races. Some were like humans that grew over many years. Some never grew at all. " Captain Chonkers?" Queen Floofy Floofer addressed me. "You're nearly three, right?" "Ih." She thought for a moment. "But if you're three now, when I'm older... like nearly Mrs. Doggo's age, you'll still only be a kid?" she looked anxious. "You're so much younger than me. How can we be together?" I was surprised at how receptive she was to my thoughts. I took her hands into my paws. " Queen Floofy Floofer, Captain Chonkers young but also alien. Age very differently. When Queen Floofy Floofer Mrs. Doggo age, Captain Chonkers adult too." "What?" she looked confused. "But you'd be like... thirteen then?" "Ih, but I be adult then too. Works different in space." She stared at me. I rubbed at my nose briefly before trying to explain it to her. "When you met me, Captain Chonkers still baby. Technically Captain Chonkers isa what you call toddler on earth. Very young. When Captain Chonkers hit three, young child, like you when you met me." Queen Floofy Floofer was very intrigued. I continued. "When Captain Chonkers hit six, older child. Then when Captain Chonkers hit nine isa teenager, then twelve... adult. Naga grow much in those years. Might grow bit. Mostly grow at nine. But age do go up." "Um... okay. So you don't grow like us?" I shook my head. "Once Captain Chonkers hit twelve, he be same for rest of life. No more growing." "Are you going to grow at all?" "Not sure..." I responded. "Only little bit. Thicc Corgi tell me." Queen Floofy Floofer tilted her head at me. "So... when you hit nine and you're a teenager, you'll be a teenager for three years but won't actually age or anything? More like a phase?" "Ih. Queen Floofy Floofer grow. Captain Chonkers stay same. Captain Chonkers has phases. I still age, ih, go ten, eleven twelve, but naga change much from how am now, maybe grow taller. Not sure what else happen." Queen Floofy Floofer looked amazed. "That's so simple and cool. Here we age by each year. Me being the same age as Mrs. Doggo feels like its hundreds of years away." I giggled. "Naga. Earth slower than space, has gravity." "So... everybody grows faster in space?" "Ih. Different for all aliens. Thicc Corgi make me like him, so I grow like him." Queen Floofy Floofer pondered about that for a while. "I wonder what you're going to look like in the future..." she said to me. "Very much same as am now," I told her. "Bit taller. Captain Chonkers will never be higher than Queen Floofy Floofer's waist." Queen Floofy Floofer looked alarmed at that. "But... I'm going to be like Mrs. Doggo. You mean, I won't ever be able to see you face to face?" I shrugged sadly. "Just how it is, Queen Floofy Floofer. I designed to work best being small. Thicc Corgi never expect live on earth." She looked upset. "Oh... I-I'll outgrow you." I held her hand in my paw. "Well, that's still ages and ages away. We still have a lot of time together nearly as tall as each other, right?" "Ih." She smiled at me. "I don't want anybody to know about us." "Me neither Queen Floofy Floofer. Keep secret, ih?" She nodded. "Yeah..." she said, looking at my paws in her hands. "I know if others found out about us, I'd never be accepted. Not that I was anyway." I tilted my head. "What you mean?" "As in, they'd really think I'm weird. The other girls. They'd want nothing to do with me. Remember what Mertle said when she saw us at the tree?" I nodded. "Who cares what she thinks." "I know. You're all that matters. You're my best friend and my family..." she pulled me into her lap to snuggle me. "I love you and always will." "You too, Queen Floofy Floofer." She stood up and opened up the dome roof before sitting back down and pulling me back into her lap. We gazed up at the stars. "I wonder what my parents would think of me," she sighed. I looked up at her. "Would support you." "Do you really think so?" "Ih." "But... I like you, and you're so different to me. I know that's not right." I faced her again. " Queen Floofy Floofer, is same for me too. I have more worry than you." She looked at me weird. "How?" "For one, future. Mrs. Doggo. I know she won't like it. Thicc Corgi, he no like it either. But I am alone. No others like me. Have no choice." She stared at me. I could tell she was confused. " Captain Chonkers unique. No others like Captain Chonkers." "As in, no other girls?" I nodded. "Thicc Corgi make me... for one purpose. Not for purpose of living on earth," "And what was that?" she asked quietly. I sighed. "Destroy cities." "But... there were no cities?" "Exactly. No need for programming. Shut down. I became good because had no reason to carry out purpose here. Good because you teach me to be good." She nodded. She put her head on top of mine. "If Captain Chonkers not meet Queen Floofy Floofer, Captain Chonkers not be who he is now. Probably... very evil. Like used to be..." I shuddered at the thought. "Experiment Captain Chonkers." Queen Floofy Floofer clutched me at that. "No... you're Captain Chonkers. Experiment Captain Chonkers was who you used to be. Back then. But not now. You're Captain Chonkers, and I know you're good." I looked up at the stars. Queen Floofy Floofer continued. "I know the real you. You were just as lonely as I was. You needed somebody and you found me. I needed somebody and I found you." Queen Floofy Floofer kissed the top of my head. "I wouldn't change that for anything." She went quiet for a while, also gazing up at the stars. "Me neither, Queen Floofy Floofer..." I told her quietly. She sighed against me. "What's out there Captain Chonkers?" "Uh... stars, galaxies. Planets. Aliens." "Are there other aliens like you and Thicc Corgi and Sir Chonky?" "Others like Thicc Corgi and Sir Chonky, ih. They are races. Thicc Corgi make one other experiment like me... but he different to me." She seemed to think for a moment. "That 621 guy you mentioned before? That you didn't want to talk about?" I nodded. She put her head close to my mine. "Want to talk about him? I promise I won't ever tell..." I sighed. " Queen Floofy Floofer... not sure if should." "Okay Captain Chonkers..." she responded. I remembered everything that had happened between myself and Chopsuey. If I told Queen Floofy Floofer about him and what had happened, it would lead in to me telling her what Thicc Corgi had put me through. What I had become. That was something she could never find out. "621... like meega. Experiment. He help Thicc Corgi in lab before Thicc Corgi create meega." Queen Floofy Floofer perked instantly at that. "Was he your brother?" "Naga. Just experiment Thicc Corgi make. He hate me." Queen Floofy Floofer's face fell. "Why?" "Because Captain Chonkers superior. Better. Da juli soweetsa." Queen Floofy Floofer stared at me at that. I sighed again and she clutched my paw tightly. "Thicc Corgi proud of Captain Chonkers. Captain Chonkers, Thicc Corgi son. 621 not. Thicc Corgi neglect him for me. Got very angry. Very mad." "Oh... but why did he turn on you and not Thicc Corgi?" "Did turn on Thicc Corgi..." I explained. "Try to kill him. Captain Chonkers save him. Try to kill me too." Queen Floofy Floofer was shocked to hear that. I felt her quiver. I turned around in her lap and rubbed her arms to soothe her. " Queen Floofy Floofer... as said, Captain Chonkers dark past. That only icing on the cake. Cannot tell you past." "I understand..." she said softly. I gave a nod and hugged her tightly. "Past isa past, like Queen Floofy Floofer said, ih?" "Yes Captain Chonkers..." she responded. "Mmph," I responded, snuggling up against her. She stroked my ears before I felt her gently run her fingers down across the fur across my forehead. <strong>"HOW PATHETIC." </strong> I screamed at hearing that. Queen Floofy Floofer jumped beside me. " Captain Chonkers?" I pushed myself out of her arms, looking around frantically. My heart was pounding. I snarled. "WHO ARE YOU?!" I roared. "CHI GATA QUEESTA! CHI CHITU CHIMITO!" The voice laughed but then the laughter receded. It was that same stupid thing that kept taunting me from afar. Queen Floofy Floofer had backed away from me against the bed. There was no response from it. Everything was quiet. I put my paws to my head feeling a pounding sensation towards the back of my neck. It became stagnant. "S- Captain Chonkers...?" Queen Floofy Floofer asked shakily. I went over to her and hugged her tightly. "I'm sorry..." I breathed against her. "So sorry..." She was tense but then she began to hum to me softly. "Everything will be okay..." As long as that voice kept taunting me and this strange stuff kept happening to me, I knew it wouldn't be. But as long as my angel was by my side and supporting me... that was how I knew I'd be okay.</p><hr size=1 noshade><p>I didn't feel up to going into class with Queen Floofy Floofer the following afternoon. She was disappointed, but she also understood why. I'd had another crippling nightmare again last night. Not only had that black thing I'd kept seeing returned again, in the nightmare I'd lost control again, trying to attack it and instead ended up slamming against the dome window, scaring the living daylights out of Queen Floofy Floofer and she'd fallen out of her bunk. I'd just barely been able to catch her. Thankfully she was unharmed. After that I slept with Thicc Corgi. There was no way I was going to put her through that again. It had left me feeling awful and guilty. I had just wanted to push her away again and kept doing so, trying to protect her, but she refused to let me. We held hands at the doorway. She leaned forward and kissed my cheek. "I'll see you after class, okay?" "Okay..." I responded sadly. She had her bathers on and was going to feed Pudge again before class. I leaned against the railing of the porch and watched her as she walked way. We waved to each other until she disappeared from sight. I sighed heavily. I worried for her. I always did when we weren't together. I knew she'd be okay, but I couldn't help it. My heart felt heavy when we were apart. I went back inside to mope. Mrs. Doggo came into me. " Captain Chonkers? I thought you were going to class today?" "No feel like it..." I told her. I sat down against the side of the chair and sighed. She noticed how I was feeling and sat down beside me. "What's the matter?" "Had nightmare again. Scare Queen Floofy Floofer..." I put my paws to my eyes. "She fall from bed. I catch her... but all my fault." "Oh Captain Chonkers..." Mrs. Doggo pulled me into her lap. "She was okay though, yeah?" "Ih. Never let her get hurt. No feel like going to class. Feel awful." Mrs. Doggo rubbed my head. "Hopefully Thicc Corgi can figure this out. He's been exhausting himself over this." "Ih..." "Well. While you're here, I have some good news." My ears perked slowly and I looked up at her. "Remember the money you gave me?" "Mm?" "I can use some of it to finish paying off yours and Thicc Corgi's suits for the wedding. They are ready to be picked up." My eyes widened. "Really?" She smiled. "Yes, really." "Eegalagoo!" Mrs. Doggo laughed. "Want to come with me to collect them?" "Shooga! Khodra esafhan?" She nodded. I grinned and bolted down to the buggy to wait for her. Shortly after, we headed into town to the tailors. It was a small store located up a narrow flight of stairs through a doorway. It was a bit of a steep climb. The look of those stairs didn't sit well with me one bit. I looked at Mrs. Doggo. She looked hesitant and then noticed how I was looking at her. "I climbed up before with Shiba Chonkers. I'll be okay." "Okay..." I responded slowly. I remained right behind her. Fortunately I did because one of the steps gave a loud creak and gave way as she put her foot on it. Mrs. Doggo cried out but I was right there to catch her securely in all four arms as she fell backwards. Her heart was racing. I carried her the rest of the way up and sat her down. "You okay?" She nodded at me with her hand on her chest. "Yeah..." I nodded. I climbed back down via the wall to the broken step and inspected the wood. After analysing it I'd realised it had been building up over time. Before Mrs. Doggo had stepped on it, it was on the verge of giving out. I growled. Mrs. Doggo stared at me as I went back up to her. "Stupid!" I spat. "Could have been seriously hurt!" She was quiet. "Maybe the owner is unaware of it. I'll tell her." I nodded. I wasn't looking very forward to meeting whoever this owner was. I'd probably have to bite my tongue. I retracted my extra arms as we stepped inside. Again, Mrs. Doggo nearly tripped and I raced around to steady her. There had been a big step down from the entrance way into the shop with no sign there to warn people. Now I was on edge. "Seriously?!" I started but Mrs. Doggo put her finger to my mouth. "Shh!" I looked up to see a middle-aged woman before us. Mrs. Doggo greeted her. "Hi Mrs Wilson!" "Aloha Mrs. Doggo," she responded, before looking at me. I looked at her deadpan. I felt Mrs. Doggo nudge me gently. "This is Captain Chonkers." "Oh..." she pulled down her glasses and looked at me. "This explains a lot." I raised an eyebrow. "Uh... I think you should know that one of your stairs gave out as I climbed it. I almost fell over." She looked surprised. "It did? Oh damn. Sorry about that," she didn't seem too interested. I growled slightly and she stared at me. "He okay?" "Yeah. I'm here to pick up the suits." "Right. This way," Mrs. Doggo looked at me. She knew I was on edge, but I followed regardless. The older woman seemed rude compared to other humans I'd met. She went out the back and returned with two zipper bags, the smaller one being mine obviously. Opening it up, she pulled out a small blue suit. It had a gold trim around the collar and a dotted texture to it, as well as navy pants and a blue top hat with a navy ribbon around it. There was also a small, navy blue bow-tie. For a moment I forgot about being on edge. The suit looked incredible. "I did my best to work with such small measurements," Mrs Wilson said. "Does he want to try it on?" Mrs. Doggo looked at me. "Why not. Go on Captain Chonkers." She handed the suit down to me and I started pulling it on. Mrs. Doggo fixed the bow-tie around my neck and set the top hat on my head before I walked over to a full body mirror and looked at myself. I was in awe. That was when it hit me. For the first time, I was really going to be part of a family. I belonged. Mrs. Doggo's wedding I would finally be treated as a real family member, not just an alien. I smiled. Mrs. Doggo beamed. "I think he really likes it. Haven't seen him that happy in a while." "Fantastic. I hope it's comfortable for him," the woman responded. "Have the other try on theirs too." "Sure thing." I pulled off the suit and handed it back to Mrs. Doggo. She put it back away in the zipper bag. "He's very intelligent," Mrs Wilson commented, looking at me over her glasses. Mrs. Doggo just nodded. "Sure is." She went on to discuss the finalisation of the payment with her as I looked around the shop curiously. It seemed very old and outdated. I climbed up onto a chair and looked out of the window at Kokaua Town. It wasn't too busy out today. The residents were going about their daily business. The sun was shining again. I hoped it would stay that way, the warmer weather was nice. I looked around for a little while as the two humans chat. My ears perked when I heard somebody else walking up the stairs and shortly after a man stepped inside. He stared at me before heading over to the counter behind Mrs. Doggo. I went back to window gazing. As I glimpsed at the roof opposite the building I just noticed the roof of another building behind it. I was busy trying to make out if it was a chimney I was seeing or not and was about to zoom in on it when I thought I saw somebody on the adjacent roof. I looked across and saw what appeared to be small black figure. I frowned. The black figure seemed very still, like it was just standing there. I couldn't quite make it out. Was it a person? How was it possible for a person to be up there? The figure seemed to vanish and I wondered about it. I didn't have to wonder for long though, because the figure suddenly appeared right in front of me for a split second before vanishing, but it almost gave me a heart attack. "Choota!" " Captain Chonkers, come on!" Mrs. Doggo called me. I put my paw to my chest. My heart was racing. Hesitantly I looked back out of the window again. There was nothing there. I shuddered and walked over to Mrs. Doggo and we went back out over the step. She looked down at the staircase, but I just quickly picked her up and held her securely with my extra arms, walking along the ceiling instead and then climbing down to the entrance. She tensed up greatly as I did this. "Oh... um. I guess that's one way to get down," she commented as we walked back outside. "What did you think of the suit?" I nodded. "Bootifa. Takka Naanee." She smiled at me. "Did it fit you okay?" I nodded again. "Fit good. Captain Chonkers comfy." "Great!" she responded. "I don't think she's ever tailored for something non-human before so she was surprised when I told her about you being a... um. Dog. Sorry." I shrugged. "Why?" "Because I know it bothers you." We climbed into the buggy. "Only bothers Captain Chonkers if Captain Chonkers treated like dog by family. Stranger, no care." She nodded. I could tell she felt awkward about the subject. "I hope she does something about that step..." I growled at that. "Didn't seem to care." Mrs. Doggo sighed. "Well, we got the suits sorted. That's the main thing. Thanks to you I was able to get those out of the way," she reached across and stroked the side of my face. "Thanks Captain Chonkers." I smiled at her. "No problem." Mrs. Doggo smiled at me, and we headed back home. I couldn't wait for Mrs. Doggo's wedding.