Howdy to all of you! Melissa here with my newest oneshot production! This one's dedicated to Ringa Ham, who won a contest from Ham-Ham Interviews. She gave me some ideas and I put in some of my own ideas, so thanks to Ringa Ham! Now, onto the show!

Blame The Fortune Cookie! By cappyandpashy4ever

"Hamtaro? Where are you taking me?" asked Oxnard. He was being pushed down the street with a blindfold on.

"I'll tell you when we get there!" said Hamtaro for about the millionth time.

After a few more minutes, the two ham-boys arrived at their destination. A small restaurant called "Ham-Star Buffet."

"Can I take this off now?" Oxnard complained, gesturing towards the blindfold.

"Not until they get here." Hamtaro said impatiently. "The girls should have been here by now." He whispered to himself.

Another few minutes, and Hamtaro could see Sandy, Penelope, Bijou and Pashmina pushing another blindfolded figure down the street. Pepper.

Once she realized the girls had halted, Pepper cried, "Are we finally there?"

"Pepper?" exclaimed Oxnard, feeling around blindly. "Is that you?"

"No," said Sandy sarcastically. "It's only a toad that sounds like Pepper."

"Oh." Said Oxnard, sounding disappointed.

At that moment, Hamtaro whipped off Oxnard's blindfold, and Bijou did the same with Pepper's.

"Pepper!" cried Oxnard. "It is you! Sandy, you lied to me!"

"She was only being sarcastic, Oxy." Pepper reassured him. "Anyway, It's so good to see you again Oxnard! We haven't seen each other since the last time the ham-hams were at Sunflower Ranch!" Pepper hugged Oxnard and kissed him on the cheek.

"I missed you too Pepper!" said Oxnard, beaming happily. "But do you have any idea why we're here?"

"Not a clue." Pepper responded. "I had only just gotten out of the shower when I heard a knock on my door, and the next thing I knew, I was blindfolded and here I am."

"That's the same thing that happened to me, minus the shower part." Said Oxnard. "Would you all mind explaining?" he asked the girls and Hamtaro.

"Well Oxnard," Sandy smiled. "We know your birthday's coming up…"

"So we planned a little surprise for you and Pepper." Pashmina finished.

"A surprise?" exclaimed Oxnard. "What is it?"

"Look up." Said Bijou simply.

Oxnard and Pepper raised their heads and stared up at the sign above them. "Ham-Star Buffet"

"Okay, so what's the surprise?" Oxnard asked. The girls restrained themselves from rolling their eyes. Sometimes, Oxnard could be as clueless as Hamtaro.

"Open the door." Hamtaro told them.

Oxnard and Pepper pushed open the door. There in the doorway, lined up in a prefect row, all wearing tuxedoes, were Panda, Stan, Cappy, Jingle, Boss, Maxwell, Dexter and Howdy.

"Welcome to Ham-Star Buffet!" all the boys chorused.

"Allow me to show you to your table!" said Panda, grinning and motioning for Pepper and Oxnard to follow him.

Inside the place, it was crowded and noisy, but nice and homely. Panda lead them to a small table in the corner.

"This is the surprise?" Oxnard asked.

"Yes!" cried Dexter. "We knew your birthday was coming up, so all the ham-hams got together and bought you guys a night out!"

"Aw," said Pepper. "That was sweet! Everybody, let's eat!"

"That's the second part of the surprise!" Cappy said merrily. "We won't be joining you!"

Howdy swooped down and placed a lit candle on the table, which Oxnard and Pepper now realized, was only set for two.

"A romantic dinner for me and Pepper, thanks guys!" Oxnard said to his friends as he and Pepper took a seat.

"No problem!" said Boss. "If you guys need anything, we'll be over at another table." Boss and the others left them alone.

-

-

"Oxnard and Pepper are the cutest couple ever!" Pashmina said in a singsong voice. She and Penelope were watching them from behind the salad bar.

"Ookyoo!" Penelope chimed in agreement.

"Ahem." Said a hamster behind Pashmina.

"Oh, sorry!" Pashmina cried, realizing that she was blocking the salad bar. She and Penelope returned to the table.

"So, like how's it going?" asked Sandy as they returned.

"Just as planned!" Pashmina said proudly. "But they're not talking much."

"Bummer." Said Sandy. "I guess they're just shy."

A few moments passed, and Oxnard and Pepper continued to eat in silence. Then, Stan yelled out "Everyone! Look! Oxnard's about to say something!"

All the hams perked up their ears and listened.

"Pepper," Oxnard said. "Can I um, have some of your fries?"

"Can't you go get your own? This is a buffet, you know." She responded.

"But I'm really hungry!" Oxnard complained. "And besides, it's not like you're gonna eat 'em!"

"What do you mean?" Pepper asked. "How do you know I wasn't going to eat them?"

"I don't know." Oxnard admitted. "You usually don't finish your meals. You just seem like the kinda ham who'd-"

"What kind of ham?" Pepper interrupted. "Oh, I see where you're going with this. You don't think girls can eat as much as boys!"

"No!" cried Oxnard. "That's not what I said!"

"Oh," said Pepper, sounding hurt. "Then what did you mean?"

"I meant, um-" Oxnard tried to say, but Pepper cut across him.

"And it doesn't matter that this is an all you can eat buffet, now does it? But then again, I suppose once you've had all you can eat, the entire restaurant will be empty!" she said harshly.

Oxnard looked like he was going to say something, but then he turned around and stared in the opposite direction with a "Humph!"

"Oh no!" cried Bijou from the other table. "Zis looks bad."

"What do we do?" asked Dexter

"What can we do but let it flow." responded Jingle.

Suddenly, Pepper came from the other table.

"Pepper!" cried Cappy. "We were NOT just talking about you and Oxnard!"

"It's okay, Cappy." Said Pepper sadly. "I guess me and Oxnard are just not how we used to be." She sighed and slumped onto the table.

"Pepper, we're sorry." Said Pashmina.

"It's okay guys." Said Pepper, standing up. "Now if you don't mind, I'll just go now. Thanks for dinner."

Pepper was about to leave when Bijou put a paw on her shoulder. "I have an idea." She smiled. "Let's go shopping to cheer you up!"

Before Pepper could say anything, Bijou dragged her out into the street and out of sight.

Meanwhile, Hamtaro walked up to Oxnard at his table and sat down.

"I'm sorry Oxy." He said. How about we go get some ice cream to make you feel better?"

"Okay…" Oxnard said sadly. Hamtaro took him to the ice cream machine and returned to the table as Oxnard was filling his bowl.

Back at the ham-ham table, Stan had a plan.

"I have an idea, guys." He said. He reached into his bag and pulled out a fortune cookie.

"Stan, I don't think that'll help." Sighed Panda.

"Of course it will!" said Stan. "This is a special love fortune cookie! The message inside reads "She will love you forever."

"That's perfect!" cried Howdy. "But how did you get hold of one of those?"

"I am Stan, the love master." He said simply. "I have my ways."

"Quick!" whispered Pashmina. "He's coming back!"

Stan ran over to the table and dropped the cookie down onto Oxnard's plate. He managed to get back to the table in time to watch Oxnard sit down with a humongous bowl of ice cream.

"Hmm," muttered Oxnard. "I don't remember this being here. Oh well, it must be my lucky day!"

He picked up the cookie and broke it open. He pulled out the fortune, and after reading it, dropped the rest of the cookie on the floor and ran out of the restaurant looking heartbroken.

"Stan?" asked Sandy with an accusatory glance. "What did that cookie say, oh dearest brother?"

Stan trotted over to the table and read the fortune. His eyes grew more horrified with every word he read. Finally, he walked back to the table staring at his feet.

"Well?" asked Maxwell.

"I uh, may have given him the wrong fortune." Stan said without looking up.

"You WHAT?" yelled Sandy, attempting to charge at Stan only to be held back by Pashmina and Penelope.

"Come on Sandy," said Pashmina. "It can't be that bad."

She took the fortune from Stan. She read out loud:

She loves your best friend

"You WHAT?" Pashmina yelled, just like Sandy.

"Girls, girls." Said Panda. "There's no use. What's done is done, and all we can do is go explain to Oxnard what happened. If we hurry, we might catch up to him."

The ham-hams were set to leave, when the manager rushed out. "Hey!" he yelled. "You forgot to pay!"

"RUN!" yelled Stan.

And that's exactly what they did. They ran. They ran and ran until SMACK! They crashed right into Bijou on the street.

"Bonjour, ham-hams!" she chided, picking herself up. "Pepper seems to be enjoying zis more than I thought."

She pointed her paw at Pepper who was busy pulling dress after dress off a display in a shop window while saying "…and this one! And that one too! And two of these, and why not get one of these too…"

The ham-hams waited with Bijou, and soon quite forgot about Oxnard.

-

-

Meanwhile, Oxnard was in his room at the clubhouse. He was lying face down on his bed.

"Pepper…with my best friend?" he thought. "But that would be…Hamtaro! No! That can't be! I won't let it!"

With fire burning in his eyes, he thought even harder.

"So," he said to himself. "If she likes Hamtaro, all I have to do is become Hamtaro and she'll love me again!"

He put all his thinking powers to work, and after an hour or so, he came up with a short list of things to do.

Ways to become Hamtaro

Step one: Become brave like Hamtaro by facing fear of heights

Step two: Become fit like Hamtaro by working out at the river

Step three: Look like Hamtaro by changing fur color

It was short, but Oxnard was pleased. With the fire in his eyes still blazing strongly, he set to work.

-

-

The first item on his list was to face his fear of heights in order to become brave like Hamtaro. He decided to tackle this task by climbing to the top of the tree the clubhouse was under.

He stepped outside and stared at the tall tree. He instantly had second thoughts about what he was about to do.

"I could be brave by climbing some other thing." He said to himself, gulping at the incredible height of the tree. "Like climbing up the slide in the playroom."

Oxnard was halfway to the door when he stopped himself.

"What am I doing?" he asked himself. "I came here to face my fear of heights, and that's what I'm gonna do!"

He approached the tree again.

"But then again," he argued against himself. "I could always do something else to make me braver. Gah! What am I doing? I need to face my fears for Pepper! For Pepper!"

He charged to the tree and attempted to shimmy up to a branch. But he slid down again after a few seconds. Then he tried again, but this time, when he fell, he dug his teeth into the tree bark. It worked for a while, because he did not fall, but he soon realized that he couldn't go anywhere because he was stuck in the tree.

"Well, this is great." He muttered to himself. Then a bird landed right next to him on the tree.

"Hello Mr. Birdie." Oxnard said. "Would you mind helping a poor hamster out?"

The bird looked at him with anger, and then pecked Oxnard with his large and very sharp beak.

"Just my luck, ow!" Oxnard said. "One bird in a million and it had to be a woodpecker, ow!"

Oxnard got poked a few more times, and finally, his teeth slid out from the bark. He rolled down the tree and ended up right back where he started, at the base of the tree.

Next he tried tossing a rope up to the first tree branch and climbing up it. He threw the rope up and he heard a squawk of protest. He looked up to find the bird charging at him, a rope lassoed across his chest.

Oxnard was scared out of his wits. He tried to go inside the clubhouse, but the bird blocked him. He tried to hide under a rock, but the bird upturned it. Finally, he couldn't go in, under, right or left.

He would have to go up.

With no thought at all except for his own safety, he scampered up the tree with incredible speed. He had no idea what was happening, all he knew was that when he opened his eyes; he was up at the top of the tree with no bird in sight.

"I…I did it!" he exclaimed happily.

He then noticed the black figure zooming towards him from below.

"The bird is coming back!" he cried. "No! I've gotta be brave for Pepper! Gotta be brave! Gotta be brave! Gotta be- ack! I'm going to get eaten!"

The bird got closer and closer, and Oxnard lowered his head in fear. He closed his eyes, not wanting to see the bird growing ever bigger.

But then he saw Pepper in the darkness of his own mind. "Oxnard…be brave Oxnard! Be brave for me…" She vanished.

"Pepper…" Oxnard whispered. "I'll do it! I'll be brave for you!" He opened his eyes.

The bird was directly below him now, and gaining all the time. Without a trace of fear, Oxnard leapt head first off the tree branch. His eyes were forced closed by the rushing wind, and all he could feel was the sensation of going down…down…

Oxnard opened his eyes. Everything around him was black.

"This is it." Oxnard said. "I'm dead, I've lost Pepper."

But he heard a resounding caw, and opened his eyes wider. Then he realized, he was not dead, but staring into the black feathers of the bird. He looked down and he saw the entire ham-ham lawn underneath him. He was flying.

"Ha-ha!" Oxnard laughed. "I did it! I conquered my fear! I'm not afraid of heights anymore!"

A few more minutes of flying, and the bird landed on the ground. Oxnard leapt off him.

"Thank you Mr. Bird!" he said, patting the wing.

"No problem!" said the bird.

"You can talk?" asked Oxnard.

"Of course I- I mean caw!" said the bird. Then it flew away.

"Become brave like Hamtaro by facing my fear of heights," Oxnard said to himself. "Check!"

-

-

The next item on his list was 'Become fit like Hamtaro by working out by the river' so Oxnard trotted down the small stream and did a warm-up lap across the bank of the river.

"Phew!" Oxnard gasped, wiping the sweat off his face. "That was tough! Time for the real training to begin!"

Oxnard looked around and spotted a rabbit nestled on the ground.

"Hey you, rabbit!" he called. "Yeah you! Let's race! First one to the tree wins!"

The rabbit had no idea what Oxnard was saying, but he saw him charging at him, and darted off towards the tree. The rabbit got there in no time at all, but Oxnard, being so out of shape, took far longer.

"Maybe I should start smaller." He muttered to himself. "Hey you! Snail! Let's race to that twig!"

Oxnard started off, and the snail slowly trudged off. The snail won.

"Am I really that pathetic?" he asked himself. "I know! Hey you! Leaf! Let's race to that dirt clod!"

Oxnard headed off, but the leaf, blown by a gust of wind, reached the dirt faster.

"I am so out of shape!" Oxnard whined. Then he saw a rock. "Let's race!" he said to the rock.

He ran and reached his destination first.

"Oh yeah!" Oxnard said happily. "I'm on fire! That rock is so slow it looks like it's hardly moving!"

Oxnard raced the rock a few more times and won, and then he got hungry. He wanted to go to the clubhouse and eat a few dozen sunflower seeds, but he decided they were too fattening. He ate the leaf that had beaten him instead.

"Not so tough now, are you?" he exclaimed, biting into the leaf. It didn't taste as good as sunflower seeds, but he was full all the same.

He raced a few more inanimate objects such as a twig, a candy wrapper, a dirt pile and an empty water bottle, all of which he won.

"Oh yeah!" said Oxnard triumphantly. "Step number two, check-a-roo!"

Though it may not have seemed like it, Oxnard did actually lose a little weight, and he raced to the store to get started on step three.

-

-

Step three was a bit harder then the other two steps. According to the list he had to 'Look like Hamtaro by changing fur color.'

He tried the little shop on the corner of the street for fur-dye.

"What do you mean you don't have Hamtaro orange dye?" Oxnard yelled at the clerk.

"I am sorry sir." Said the clerk. "But what is a 'Hamtaro'?"

"Oh forget it!" Oxnard cursed, stomping out of the store.

He returned to the clubhouse and went into the kitchen for a snack. He reached for the seeds, but remembered his new diet and grabbed a piece of apple.

He looked in the pantry and pulled out some cinnamon to put on the apple, and then he saw it, the answer to his prayers.

He ate his apple and then got to work. He pulled out what he needed from the pantry and set them on the table.

"Hmm," Oxnard muttered. "I need to become white and orange. I have flour and cheese puffs. They'll have to do!"

First, to get rid of his gray spots, he spread out the flour on the floor and rolled in it repeatedly. Eventually he was white as a ghost. You could still see the faint outlines of his gray patches, but it was a decent job.

Next, he ran to get the cheese puffs, but in the process, he slipped on some soap and landed in the sink, washing all the flour off.

He was slightly annoyed, but returned to his flour patch and rolled until he was white. This time the flour stuck because of the water, but it made his fur look doughy.

He decided to go blow-dry the flour on his fur to make it dry, but the blow dryer blew all the flour off.

Shaking off his annoyance, he rolled in the flour. This time he was going to get it right. He was perfectly white soon, so he picked himself up and walked over to the cheese puffs. He opened them, the bag was empty.

"Grrr!" Oxnard yelled angrily. "Who puts an empty bag back in the pantry? Honestly!"

He stomped down to the store again and went up to the clerk. It was the same hamster that didn't know what Hamtaro was.

"It is you sir!" the clerk yelled disdainfully. "The ham that yelled at me for not having the right color of dye! But what are you covered in?"

"Cheese…puffs…" Oxnard groaned, toppling onto the counter. "Just…get me some cheese puffs."

The clerk returned with an orange bag a few seconds later. Oxnard paid and was going to leave when the clerk yelled "Sir! I am sorry but I cannot have my shop in such a mess! You will need to clean all this white stuff you dragged in here!"

Oxnard moaned and grabbed a mop. He began cleaning. After it was done, he was going to go give the clerk his mop and leave. He was about to run, when he slipped on some mop water and landed in the mop bucket. All the flour came off.

"Arrgh!" he yelled.

He gave the mop back to the clerk and left the shop. When he arrived, he rolled in flour again, and went to go get the cheese puffs, only to discover that he had left them in the shop.

"What else can go wrong? Seriously!" he yelled.

He went into the shop and picked up his bag, but the clerk told him to clean up the flour again! Oxnard did this very quickly and left.

When he got home, he was already floured, so he opened the cheese puffs. He was going to the table when he slipped on the soap again and both he and the cheese puffs fell into the sink, washing off all the flour and ruining the puffs.

"AHHHHH!" Oxnard screamed, severely annoyed with how things were turning out. He realized how hungry he was and went into the fridge. He pulled out an orange. He was heading towards the table to eat it when he slipped on the freaking soap for the third time, but this time he landed in the flour.

When he got up, he found that the orange had been squished underneath him. Muttering curses, he walked to the fridge to get another, when he saw someone in the mirror by the microwave.

"Ahh!" he yelled, surprised. "Hamtaro! I didn't see you there! I can explain!"

But Hamtaro said nothing. Oxnard turned around, but Hamtaro wasn't there. He looked in the mirror again, and he understood. The orange and flour had done the trick!

"I did it!" he exclaimed happily. "I am Hamtaro! Now Pepper will love me for sure!"

He was about to eat another orange when he heard many voices from the front entrance to the clubhouse.

"The ham-hams are home just in time!" Oxnard cried in triumph. He scurried to meet them.

-

-

"So," said Bijou as she and the rest of the ham-hams entered the clubhouse. "How many new dresses did you buy, Pepper?"

"Too many to count!" Pepper said happily. "In fact, all that shopping completely took my mind off of Ox…" But she trailed off with sadness in her voice.

"Don't fear Pepper!" yelled a voice from the kitchen. "I'll cheer you up!" a hamster with orange markings stepped out.

"No thanks, Hamtaro." Said Pepper gloomily. "I just want my Ox- hang on!"

"What is it, Pepper?" asked Maxwell.

"That's not Hamtaro." She concluded.

"But of course 'e is you silly girl!" Bijou told her.

"No, Pepper's right." Said a voice at the back of the group. "I'm Hamtaro."

"Oh, merci Hamtaro!" she said, giggling. "I 'ave made a mistake."

"It's okay Bijou!" Hamtaro said. "But who is that guy?"

"I believe its Oxnard." Said Maxwell smartly.

"Oxnard?" cried Pepper. "What are you doing covered in flour?"

"I'm not Oxnard anymore!" said Oxnard jumping around. "I'm Hamtaro! See! I look like Hamtaro!" he spun around to show off his color. "I'm brave like Hamtaro," he climbed up the stairs and slid down the banister, "and I'm fit like Hamtaro!" he ran from one side of the room to the other. "So what do you think?"

"I think," said Pepper. "I think…what has happened to my Oxy!" she howled with tears. "I liked you the way you were!"

"It's okay Pepper!" said Stan. "My maracas will make you feel better!" he danced and shook his maracas.

"T-thanks Stan." Pepper cried, wiping her tears.

"Stan? You like Stan?" Oxnard sounded shocked. "I can do Stan too!"

He grabbed the maracas from Stan's paws and shook them around.

"See! I'm Stan now!" Oxnard said. He grabbed the skateboard from the closet and tried to ride it, but he ended up tripping and falling.

Pepper cried even more.

"But this is what you want, right? It's what to fortune cookie said!" Oxnard exclaimed.

"Oxnard," sighed Pepper, wiping her tears away. "I don't know what you're talking about with this fortune cookie nonsense, but I just want my old Oxnard back! The one who ate seeds non-stop, the one who was gray and white, and the one I fell in love with."

"Pepper…" Oxnard's eyes widened. "I'll do it Pepper! I'll do it for you!"

Oxnard brushed off the flour and juice and hugged Pepper with tears in his eyes.

"I love you Oxy." Pepper said to him.

"I love you too, Pepper." Oxnard responded.

And the newly reinstated couple left the room holding paws.

"Stan!" yelled Sandy once Oxnard and Pepper left. She tackled him to the ground.

"Who? What? Where?" Stan said confused.

"You are the bestest brother ever!" Sandy hugged him even more.

"Okay," said Stan. "And why is that?"

"Because you had this planned all along!" Sandy chimed. "You knew exactly what was going to happen and you used this genius plan to bring Oxnard and Pepper closer than ever!"

"Uh, yeah, right." Said Stan. "I am a genius!" he put his paws on his waist proudly.

"You, you did have this planned all along, right?" Sandy asked.

"Uh, well, erm," Stan muttered. He received a piercing stare from Sandy. "Oh, all right." He admitted. "I didn't have it all planned."

"STAN!" yelled Sandy with fire in her eyes.

"Don't blame me!" Stan told her. "Blame Oxnard's cluelessness! Blame the power of love! Blame the fortune cookie!"

Sandy laughed. "This," she said, hugging him again. "Is for being such a great brother, and this is for being a big, fat, idiot!"

She punched him hard in the arm, and stormed off.

"I will never understand woman." Stan muttered to himself.

End

-

-

Well, that was pretty good! This was sort of an Oxnard birthday fic. Sorry Ringa Ham, I know it wasn't anything like you expected. Oh well, I liked writing it and I hope you all enjoyed reading it! Please review! –cappyandpashy4ever