The anxiety was enough to cause the death of the pair, wondering what would emerge from the darkness of the engulfing tunnels. Wondering what gruesome feats it could be capable of. If it could create such a clammor of crumbling walls and rumbling floors, it had to be a massive beast. Images of fantastic monsters filled their little heads. Whether that was farfetched or not they would discover in a moment's time.

Without any signs of hesitation, a groundhog came barreling towards them from the shadows. There wasn't a second to react, but Kiki took that brief oppurtunity to knock Bijou out of the way. Her own heroism shocked her, though it paled it comparison to the shock of the impact from the runaway creature. Bijou let out a shreik as Kiki and the groundhog disappeared from her direct line of sight. It was as though she had been completely wiped away.

Bijou's cry carried to Boss' ears before the others, as he hadn't been so far away that the noise died off into inaudability. Naturally, he immediately reacted and followed the cry till he found her whimpering in that abandoned tunnel. At once he recognized them as groundhog tunnels and hoped that she hadn't been hurt by them.

"Bijou!" he called, running to her side. "Are you alright?"

"I... I'm fine... but Kiki..." she looked up at him, her eyes full of fear.

"What about her?" he questioned, now wondering if she had something to do with Bijou's turmoil. "Did she hurt you?"

"No! She's been hurt herself!" Bijou bellowed. "But... I waz too shocked to help her..."

Boss' expression turned blank. He didn't know what to think. From the moment Kiki arrived she had been causing such a fuss. If she really had gotten herself seriously injured, he wasn't sure how he would be able to handle her being around all the time, simply from the stress of it all.

"Ze groundhog came and... and... ran into her. Zey went down zat way." Bijou pointed down the tunnel in which Kiki had been swept away. Boss was reluctant to leave her in that state, but he had to make sure Kiki was all right as well.

As he headed down the trail, he wished he had some kind of weapon to defend himself against the groundhog in case it came back at him. Thinking about what it could have possibly done to the defenseless Kiki was terrifying. It could have clawed or bit her pieces, a grotesque scene could be waiting for him. Turning pale in the face, he tried to push the images away.

Finally, after long grueling minutes of search that seemed life long, he found her laying tattered in the middle of the tunnel. He hurried to her aid and lifted her head, examining her for injuries. For the most part, she looked alright. Her fur was stained with dirt and scrapes, but no signs of serious damage. Still, she didn't stir at his touch, which worried him, so he lifted her into both arms and doubled back to Bijou.

Bijou gasped when she beheld the limp body in Boss' arms.

"Iz she...?" she choked on the words, fearing the worst. Boss shook his head.

"I think she's okay, but we gotta take her back to the clubhouse." He didn't waste any more time and hurriedly carried the injured hamster to shelter. They scampered past a very bewildered Hamtaro.

"Hey! I've been looking all over for you guys! Heke?" He tilted his head curiously at them as they breezed past without a word. He then noticed the state their new friend was in, immediately causing his expression to turn grave. "Is she alright?"

Hamtaro joined in with the troupe, wanting answers to his questions.

When they arrived at the club house, Boss made a bee line to his room, even though there were some inquisitive looks from ham-hams that had already been found during the game. They broke out into a chatter, gossiping and spekulating about what had happened. Boss laid Kiki down on his bed gently. He stared down at her with concern, then turned to the hamsters that had congregated behind him.

"Hams, I need a hot towel... and the medical supplies I keep in the cabinets. And somebody brew some sunflower tea! Some strong tea!" He barked in command. There was a moment of confusion in which they stared blankly at him, trying to process the order, which he broke when he bellowed "STAT!" They snapped out of their trances and nodded in understanding, then scampering off to fill the requests.

Boss turned to Kiki again and placed the back of his paw to her forehead, brushing the long fur out of her closed eyes. He gritted his teeth at her in annoyance. "I've barely known you for a whole day and you've already got me this worried... You're really gonna fit in here, aren't you?"


A/N: Man, it's been 4 years and one day since I published the first chapter of this. That's pretty sad! I recently looked over it again and wondered why I never finished it... I've been trying my hand at writing fanfiction again, so here's hoping that I finish it this time!