Hi everyone! Sorry it's been ages since I posted. I was hit by serious writer's block. Due to a lot of very much appreciated nagging by friends and readers, I've dragged Cirrus and her story back up onto the olde computer. I know that a LOT has happened in the pokemon realm since I last posted a new chapter. I intend to use some of that (characters/pokemon/storylines), but not all of it.

I shall not mention my irritation with the replacement voice actors.

It's been a while since I've written Cirrus, so I hope that I haven't lost my touch. I will be updating this story fairly regularly. I won't post one new chapter and then nothing. I fully intend on finishing her story.

Since it has been so very long, I should mention the ages of the characters. I'm going by what I think is right, but I don't know for sure so the ages are pretty much just approximations. If anyone knows the exact ages, please let me know! I'd very much appreciate it. Google only takes me so far :)

Ash 17
Gary 17
Misty 18
Brock 24
Lia - 22
Matt - 23

I also wanted to thank everyone who has reviewed, favorited, or alerted my story ^_^ Reviews are love from readers, but chapters are love from authors. Please know that I eagerly read each review and it's your encouragement that keeps me writing! :)

Hidden Journey Chapter 12 - Pressure

I can feel a phoenix inside of me
As I march alone to a different beat
Slowly swallowing down my fear

Katy Perry - "Who am I living for?"

If I had hands, they'd be sweating. Here I was, facing down a pissed off houndoom and a confused looking ninetales, and I knew I was on very thin ice. But what could I do? I was sworn by those who sent me on this mission to not break the disguise. I couldn't tell anyone that I was a human!

The rumble of the houndoom's growls were as loud in my ears as an approaching thunderstorm. This pokemon had serious volume to his anger and he had the powers to back up his threat. I took no comfort in the fact that the pokemon was pissed off at me. Just me. No one else.

Cosmos hesitantly spoke up. "Major, with all due respect, sir, I think we should relocate to a more secure location."

The growling slowly subsided. After a tense moment, the houndoom gave a curt nod. "You are correct, agent. An alley is hardly the place for this kind of situation." He glared down the length of his muzzle at me. "Youwill follow me." He looked over at Cosmos. "Agent, you will follow her. If she even tries to escape, you will do what is necessary to prevent that."

Panic coursed through me. No way did I want to go anywhere with them!

The imposing pokemon strode confidently by me. His voice was deep and commanding. "Do not try to escape. What happens to you, should you attempt an escape, will be quite unpleasant."

Cosmos, of the glimmering white fur, nudged me gently with a forepaw. When I looked up at him, he nodded in a reassuring manner.

Despite this epic fail attempt at reassuring me, all I wanted to do was to run. Not back to the Pokemon center, not back to Brock, not even to the nearest mall.

I wanted to run home to be with Gary.

For crying out loud, I'm only seventeen. I want to be home with my boyfriend and complain about homework. I want to snuggle up next to him with a mug of hot chocolate from Starbucks.

They don't even have a Starbucks here.

Holy cow. I was gonna have a mental breakdown over hot chocolate.

Well, not just from that. There was the crazy houndoom who looked as if he'd be very happy to kill me, the fact that Brock's life seemed to hang on my stealth and awe inspiring spy abilities (which were also fast slipping under the phrase "Epic Fail"), and I had the spirit…essence…whatever of Vulpix being in my body! This feels like the biggest lose-lose (as opposed to win-win) that I've ever experienced. I mean, this bypasses Xanady and her stupid "let's turn everyone but me into a pokemon so I can rule the world as the only human left!" scheme.

Which, by the way, was really stupid. Turn everyone into pokemon but herself? She's so smart she's stupid.

Cosmos nudged me again, a little less gently than before, and I looked up to see the houndoom glaring at me. Again. Anger flowed from him in almost palpable waves. I typically found humor to be the best at turning any nervousness or fears into something I could manage, but this didn't seem to be the best time to try that. I figured the first joke I cracked would result in Mister Big, Dark, and Pissy snapping my neck.

Holding back a sigh of resignation, I followed the lean pokemon. The only indication I had of Cosmos following me was a sense of concentrated heat behind me. I didn't dare turn to look back.

Wouldn't want to give the houndoom any excuse to kill me.

The Blaine house was quiet. Although the two males had said where they were going and what they were doing, Vulpix had paid them little attention. To pass the time, as it was very boring being Cirrus, the firefox had decided to use the computer in the dining room. She had seen Matt using the computer, and she had seen Brock using one before, but obviously she had never had the opportunity to use a computer.

Vulpix stared at the monitor and scowled at it. For the last twenty minutes she had been attempting to access the humans' internet but had been unsuccessful.

The firefox was not used to being anything but successful and to be defeated by a human invention was downright insulting.

"You okay there?"

Tossing blonde fur, er, hair, Vulpix looked over her shoulder to see Cirrus' brother, Matt, leaning down to see what she was attempting to do. "Do not watch what I am doing."

"Yeah, because you're really getting far," Matt grinned. "Especially since you haven't gotten further than the homepage."

The humans had set up a computer area in what they called a 'dining room' where there was also a square table surrounded by six chairs. Matt had repeatedly tried to get Vulpix to eat at that table, but the firefox refused. It was her own habit to eat in private.

Vulpix redirected her irritated glare from the computer to the human. "Is there anything better to do?" She shrugged. "I mean, is there anything worthwhile that you humans do, or do you just putter around all day?"

"Uh..." Matt dragged over a chair from the dining room table and slumped in it in a contortion that made Vulpix's borrowed back wince in sympathy. "Well, you can do whatever you want to do. Most kids either go to school or travel as trainers, but I guess you know that part. Other people, especially adults, have jobs, but Cirrus doesn't have one. We haven't had time to discuss school, but I guess she trains when she's not getting herself in trouble."

"So you would say that getting in trouble is her full time job?"

Matt snickered. "Yeah, you could say that."

"Well that is not my job," Vulpix countered with a bit of irritation.

"Whoa, okay, sorry," Matt had paled a little. "So, uh, what do you, um, did you do?"

Vulpix grinned in a very spooky un-Cirrus-like manner. If she had been her normal self, it would be a baring of very sharp teeth. "I am a spy."

"A whaaaa?" Matt snorted in disbelief. "No way."

"Of course I am," Vulpix said haughtily. "And I am one of the best."

"You mean spy like...like undercover stuff, stealing secrets, uh...like that?"

Vulpix stared at him. "I see exactly how you and Cirrus are related."

Matt scowled. "And that's supposed to mean what?"

"Exactly that." Vulpix sighed. "So what you're telling me is that there is nothing that I can do this entire time until your sister is done saving the world?"


"Think of something, or I will." Vulpix stretched her arms. "You really don't want me to be bored."

"I thought you were already bored."

The firefox glared at the human. "I'm frustrated and annoyed. I'm not yet bored. Pray to whatever deity you pray to that I do not reach bored."

Matt gulped but nodded. "O...okay, I'll see what I can come up with."


We ended up in a rank motel room.

No, I'm totally kidding!

And anyway, my luck wouldn't have us ending up at a human establishment. We weren't even in a building of any kind. We were met by four other pokemon on our way to the location. Two spearow, an umbreon, and a mightyena. Those four were to be the perimeter guards, while I was being interrogated by the houndoom and Cosmos.

It turned out that the ninetales wasn't just some pretty boy that showed up at pokemon contests. When my odd replies had piqued his instincts, Cosmos had gotten in touch with his commander, who in turn notified the leader of the agencies branch here in Blackthorn, aka Major Happy Puppy, aka Major. Yeah, his name is Major. I'd tack on "pain in my ass," but again, I don't want to be killed just yet.

"I'll ask you once again," Major sounded angry and irritated. "Who sent you?"

The interrogation room wasn't a cold cement room with a two way mirror. There was no angry cop leaning over me while I sweated out my nerves. What there was was a small clearing in the forest just outside of Blackthorn. I don't know how far, per se, but we did walk for nearly an hour. Okay, yeah, I don't have a watch so I don't know how long it took, but it felt like it was nearly an hour.

He leaned closer to me. "Why are you stalling?"

I blinked once and spoke for the first time since the alley. "You have beautiful eyes."

The houndoom jerked back in shock, then growled and snapped his jaws at me.

It might have been my relatively short stature, or maybe my weirdly shaped ears just heard things differently, but his jaws sounded like someone slamming a door shut. A really heavy door.

Frustrated, the houndoom faced Cosmos. "She looks vulpine but smells human. She used none of her powers, nor any of the skills and techniques she's spent years learning, during that fight." He snorted angrily. "And now she seems to be stalling! I want to know what, in Arceus' name, she is and why she is here."

Arceus? The name was another mystery. Honestly, I was waiting to see if Mew, Mewtwo, or Celebi would show up. Clear up this mess. I was fast feeling like I was in way over my head.

What I really wanted was for one of them to save me from this really angry pokemon and his rows of razor sharp teeth which looked to be very interested in digging deep into the flesh of my neck and snapping it.

If I had to clear this mess up myself, things would be going south in a very pretty handbasket, if you know what I mean.

Those pokemon, especially Mew, had been quite firm in one thing: Tell No One.

But I didn't know what I could or couldn't say. Didn't know who was safe to talk to, who I could confide in with even in the tiniest bit of information. I knew Vulpix was a secret agent in this secret organization, but not much more.

What if I told these two pokemon the truth and I wasn't supposed to? What if they went nuts and didn't believe me? What if they did believe me?

Frustration welled in me. I wasn't given enough time to be fully instructed in what I had to do. I don't know….what to do…what not to do…And I didn't really want to do this anymore. I just wanted to go home and let someone else do this.

Stuck…I was stuck here. Stuck on four paws, in someone else's body, in someone else's species.

I seriously just wanted an hour to break down and cry my eyes out.

Breakdown, thy name is mine.

"What are you so afraid of?"

Cosmos' soft voice had me a little startled. Almost at a loss for words, I looked up at him and saw he was very close to me. I could whisper and he'd hear it. Stupidly, I blurted out, "Everything."

His eyes widened a fraction. "If you were who you said you were, you would never admit that."

Major, who was standing a short distance from us, sighed. "I will not wait any longer on your foolish stalling. If you will not tell us, I will resort to having a psychic take the information from you."

My jaw gaped for a second, then fear mixed with outrage. "You can't do that! It's an invasion of privacy!"

"Privacy was signed away when you joined this organization, agent." The last word was scathingly said by Major. "Which is something any true agent knows." He narrowed his eyes. "You may look like her, smell a little like her, but you are not her." His upper lip curled and I swore I saw flames glowing in his mouth. Lapping eagerly around his teeth. "Imposter."

My mouth went dry. "I…I just…"

Crap it all. I'm just the person assigned by a bunch of Legendary pokemon to save a human whose death could bring the end of the world as we know it. That's all.

But I couldn't say that!

The two large pokemon crowded closer to me. One was tall and menacing. The other was tall and wary. Both brimmed with energy, with powers. It was too much.

"Yes?" The irritated houndoom snapped, snarled. "Out with it! We haven't all day, insolent pup!"

Suddenly I felt like I was standing at the edge of a canyon. Vertigo, a touch of that sensation of the floor dropping out from under your feet. It was like when you're standing at a balcony at a mall and you look over and can see people walking underneath you, and you feel stupid dizzy even though you know you're safe.

My heart sped up and I felt really lightheaded. I wanted to scream when I saw the houndoom, apparently at the edge of his mental rope, suddenly lunge at me.

Darkness edged my vision and I heard him swear. Stupidly I wondered how he knew human swear words.

Then everything went dark.

Vulpix stood in place and glared at Matt and Gary. The two guys exchanged looks, not sure why the currently human firefox was staring so intently at them. Around them, people walked and chatted. Some carried bags, others had pokemon by their sides, but everyone seemed to be enjoying the warm sunny day.

Everyone except Vulpix.

"Uh," Matt ventured hesitantly, "just what are you doing?"

"I'm thinking the both of you should be very glad that I don't have any of my powers," Vulpix's eyes were narrowed. "Because what I really want to do is flamethrow each of you for a very long time."

Gary scowled. "That's not really...nice."

"Extra crispy humans. Lots of fire." Vulpix smiled. "Oh, how I miss my fire powers."

"But you're a girl so..."

"I am not a girl!" Vulpix seethed at them. She stormed closer to them so that she was in arm's length of both. "I am very much not a girl and it would do the two of you a world of good to continue to remember that!"

"What he means to say is that since you're a female, we thought you'd enjoy some shopping," Gary said as smoothly as he could. He wasn't exempt from the anger emanating from what had been his girlfriend. His mind rushed through a number of scenarios, none of which seemed to end well for him, so he settled on the one that would theoretically leave him with the least amount of physical pain. "And being female, we figured that since shopping was a natural past time of most females, regardless of species, that you might have some fun...er...shopping..."

It was reluctantly that Vulpix sighed. She knew that the two humans were doing their best in trying to ease her boredom, but they weren't thinking of her as a pokemon. They were thinking of her as a human.

"Allow me to clue you in on something." She motioned for them to come a little closer. "Come here. I promise I won't bite."

Their instincts screamed for them to run away, but they edged a little closer.

"Do not ever think of me as a human. I do not like shopping. I do not like mingling with other humans." She eyed a blonde teenaged human walking by with her arms full of shopping bags. "And I certainly do not find any sort of enjoyment in mixing the latter two things together."

"Sorry," Gary said, and actually sounded as if he meant it. "Cirrus likes shopping, and I figured since you were...you know...here, that you might like it too."

"I'm not...you know...here on vacation, nor is this voluntary," the firefox hissed out, then took a deep breath before letting it out slowly. "If it were up to me, I'd be the one saving Brock, not your mate."

"So what do you want to do?" Matt ventured, while ignoring Vulpix's 'mate' terminology for describing Cirrus to Gary. "I mean, do you want to do anything? What stuff do you like doing?"

Utterly mindful of the people walking around them, Vulpix smiled. "I want to blow something up. A lot of somethings, actually."

:Cirrus, you silly human.:

Mew's voice floated through the darkness that was all I was experiencing. However, her voice was steady and clear. She'd obviously gotten over whatever cold had bothered her. I struggled to put together other thoughts. I needed to know…


:It's too late for that, I'm afraid.: The voice was kind and tender, which made me want to cry. :They already had an Espeon scan you.: The voice turned wry. :I hadn't expected this kind of a thing to happen. My bad.:


:Don't try to talk or you'll wake up. I already cleared things with the big boss. You're not in trouble now that these pokemon know.:

You're not the big boss?

My mind had a little trouble with that. Mew was the most powerful pokemon I knew.

:Thank you for the compliment.: A pause. :No, there is…another. Worry not, okay? Besides Vulpix has already been cornered by Xanady. So she knows…some of it.:

Instant fear. What? How much?

:Not all of it and certainly not the important parts of it. Xanady will be on her best behavior and she knows the repercussions if she isn't. The second she tries anything, she's going back to being someone's lawn ornament.:

A deep sigh. They're going to wake you soon. Any other questions?:

Who is Arceus?

:Oh my…:

Another sigh. :He's…a big boss.:


My turn to pause. How can I get in touch with you if something like this happens again?

:You can't, Cirrus. I'm meant to observe, not interfere. This is your mission, not mine.:


I felt a nudge, like someone tapping my shoulder. It was annoying, but I figured I had to hurry. If this was all the time I had with Mew… What if this happens again?

:It won't.:

The nudge became a shove and my surroundings got brighter.

:I'll keep an eye on you…but most likely you won't see me for a while.: When she spoke next it was fainter. :Farewell, Cirrus…farewell…:

And then I was fully awake. My eyes shot open and I winced when the first thing I saw was a bright overhead light. I squeezed my eyes shut against the glare and tried to sense other things. It felt like I was laying on my back, but in my current body that would be very vulnerable. My tails didn't hurt, but my mind hurt too much to even think about what happened to it.

"She's awake!" The voice was light and really chirpy. "Shard, get that light out of here! Her eyes must be hurting."

The light was pulled away and from behind my closed eyelids I could tell there was more natural lighting. I warily opened my eyes again and was met by an odd sight.

Indoors. I was seriously indoors, in some building of some sort. I saw a ceiling, walls painted a light grey, and an assortment of medical equipment, including an annoying lamp on a swivel arm.

"Where am I?" My voice was a little raspy. When I tried to move, as I was feeling both awkward and vulnerable, I realized I was on a table and I didn't like it at all. I felt like a science experiment about to be dissected and I wanted out of here. But I couldn't move and I felt a flash of panic. "What the…"

"Shh, don't try moving just yet," the voice said soothingly. "They tied you down because you were thrashing. There are bands around your shoulders and haunches. Kind of like a harness."

"I don't care what it's like!" I pulled at the restraints with no success. Panic rose. "Please…I'm claustrophobic!"

"Oh dear," the voice sharpened out of cutsey and chirpy. "Shard, go get Murielle!"

There was a bit of muttering that pierced my growing anxiety that sounded roughly like, I'm not a freaking messenger, but I heard the fast tick of claws on tile as whatever or whoever Shard was left the room.

"Just try to stay calm, okay?"

"That's what I'm trying to do!" My words were a fast snap, like that overacting houndoom's jaws. The chirpy happy pokemon's words had not calmed me at all. They reinforced the fear I felt. The back of my throat burned from it.

The voice, for the speaker wasn't in my field of vision, somehow thought something was wrong with me other than claustrophobia. "Oh please don't do that!" She sounded worried and afraid all at once. "I don't want to shock you, but I will if you can't control your fire!"

Her words barely registered. Fire? What fire? She must mean the fire of my desire to get the hell out of these restraints. I was more than happy to go against her wishes.

Just as I was redoubling my struggling, right when my throat began to really hurt, I heard those claws on tile, followed by a lighter padding on the floor. Shard returning with the mysterious Murielle?

The burning slowly began trickling up. It wanted out and an idiotic part of me worried that I was gonna throw up. But I was still on my back. No way did I want to have what was thrown up go right back down. My stomach clenched and my throat burned more.

:Settle down!: The voice in my mind was light and feminine and somewhat aghast.


The burning crept closer to my mouth in an incredibly slow manner. In a moment of clarity, it reminded me of a volcano documentary I'd watched once. Lava crept slow like that, not vomit. Then my mind clouded again and the memory was lost.

"Murielle…if you could just…you know."

:Of course.:
The telepathic voice was soft, gentle, yet firm.

I wanted to demand that these creeps let me go. My fear was fast mingling with anger. But when I opened my mouth, I could feel heat trickling down my lower jaw. It was like when you open a freezer to get ice cream but it's the middle of a hot summer day and all that white foggy stuff slowly falls out of the open freezer and then your mom yells at you to shut the damned door…

"Her mind is a jumbled mess!" Murielle spoke out loud. "I've never heard such abstract thoughts!"

Stay out of my mind!

And quite abruptly, everything went black.


"Okay," Gary said wearily. "This is the last place we're taking you to. If you don't like this place, you can find your own freaking entertainment."

"Well, it looks better than the last place." Vulpix looked over the building with a critical eye. "But I don't know. You two lack in knowing how to please a female."

Matt groaned. "My sister was never this difficult to keep entertained. Not even when she was little."

"I'm not..."

"My sister," Matt finished the line. "I know, I know."

"Do not irritate me, human," Vulpix huffed.

"Yeah, we've heard that one before, too," Gary snorted. "I almost prefer having you two get switched back. There's only so much Vulpix-tude I can take."

"Like you're one to talk," Matt rolled his eyes. "Your ego is so huge it can be seen from space."

Gary snapped back, "Well you..."

"If you two girls want to continue your hissy fit, have at it," Vulpix said with a smirk. "I'm going inside that building to see what they offer. If either of you wish to join me, you may."

Gary gaped a little at Vulpix, but she was already striding up the walkway of the building. "She's gonna be the death of me. I just know it."

Matt nodded. "You and me both, bro."

"Don't call me bro." Gary eyed Cirrus' brother. "You and me, we're not bro's by a longshot."

"We could be if you and my sister get any deeper in your relationship," Matt grinned, completely unperturbed by Gary's comment and how he said it. In taking advantage of teasing Gary, he conveniently forgot the earlier 'mate' issue. Almost.

Gary snorted. "Yeah, if she ever stops trying to save everyone."

"She saved you."

The chestnut haired teen sighed. "Yah."

"You, uh, you ever thank her for that?"

Gary stalked off after Vulpix without answering.

Matt shook his head. "Thought so." He followed Gary and Vulpix, who had disappeared into the building. The previous establishments they had visited to try to alleviate Vulpix's boredom had been a dojo of some sort, then a rock-wall climbing place, and a ziplining fun center. All of which had been shot down swiftly.

This current building, innocent looking as it was, housed an indoor shooting facility. Training people how to shoot, be it for defense or hunting, along with a shop that sold firearms and ammunition. To be honest, Matt had been surprised to find a target range in this dimension. But when he had questioned Gary about it, the other teen had looked taken aback.

"Of course we have guns," Gary had said dismissively. "There are strict regulations about who can and can't own a gun, but of course there are guns."

And that had been that. The suggestion of going to a shooting range had been half jest and half serious. Matt hadn't expected that Vulpix would show any interest, but she had very much shown interest.

And so they were here.

"I really hope she likes this place," Matt muttered. "Cuz I'm getting tired of trying to be a mind reader."

Once, Gary and I had gone on a picnic. It was a lot of fun, right up by Lake Verity. Day trips with Gary could be fun. Eh, and sometimes they could be annoying if his ego got in the way, but usually they were a blast.

"There's another lake," Gary said nonchalantly, as he doused a hot dog with ketchup.

"What's it called?" I was curious. "Is it pretty?"

"It's called the Lake of Rage." Gary bit into half the hotdog. "These are good, you should have one."

"Later," I waved him off. "Back to the lake. Why's it called that?"

"Named after the red gyarados that lives there."

"Shut up," I snorted. "That's stupid."

He smirked, and after downing the rest of the hotdog in a second bite, he shrugged. "That's what Gramps told me."

I made a face at him. "Gross, Oak. I don't want to see what you're eating."

Gary rolled his eyes, but complied with a deep gulp of his soda. "I thought you liked seafood."

"Leave the puns to me," I lobbed a cookie at him, which he infuriatingly caught with one hand. "You just keep on with that arrogant act. You're a pro at it."

"Actually it's a talent genetically gifted to me. Don't like it, talk to my dna."

"So what about the lake?" I didn't bother hiding my irritation.

"Oh that," Gary shrugged in a way that rippled his silky white fur. "Gramps told me that…"


I blinked, but his form shifted from human to not, before settling for…not. An arrogant looking pokemon stared at me, standing nearly eye to eye with me. A big bushy tail flicked in irritation and it dawned on me that he looked like a big white squirrel. I didn't know what kind of a pokemon my own boyfriend was.


I looked down at my own russet colored fur and blinked.

Then I noticed that my surroundings had changed again. Dramatically so. The forest our picnic was in changed and became a room. Walls were painted a muted yellow that wasn't highlighter yellow, but wasn't that fake cheery shade that made you want to puke when you saw it.

It was also quiet. Too quiet.

Memories of the claustrophobia inducing restraints almost swamped me. I hesitantly moved all my limbs and found them unhindered. I was still a vulpix, but I wouldn't have to freak out again. Namely because I discovered then that I was laying on my side. Stretching slightly, I took note of new soreness in my chest, er, ribs, and wondered at it. Why were they sore?

Frankly it didn't matter at this time. Whether it was from the restraints or something else, that was a moot point. Awareness was dawning that I'd woken up in a strange room after being kidnapped by a houndoom and a ninetales.


Ice chilled my blood. My eyes darted to look around my surroundings. Dresser, small flat screen tv hanging above the dresser, window, another (empty) bed, small table, my bed, two doors…

Otherwise describing a typical pokemon center or hospital room. A plus being that all the furniture was human scale. A minus being that I didn't know where I was.

Xanady tinted memories surfaced, though I tried to tap them down. I knew Xanady wouldn't be able to hurt me again, but waking up alone like this hadn't ended up well for me in the past. Why should now be different?

Crap. What if things were already messed up beyond repair?

The dream I had with Gary was freaking weird. A weird dream that merged an actual memory with my current predicament. I wasn't sure why I dreamed of that squirrel pokemon, but I'd been a vulpix in my dream. Anyway, I was pretty sure Gary wasn't a white furry squirrel in his spare time.

Just then the door to the room opened. I debated between faking being asleep or just being awake. I picked option number two and looked to see if it was friend or foe. If it was foe, I'd try my best to outfight and escape.

It seemed to be both. Cosmos strode in, followed by a tall human. I was filled with an insane mix of relief and happiness when I saw that the human was Brock. I struggled to get to my feet, but I was overwhelmed by sudden dizziness and I sank onto the bed.

Brock rushed by Cosmos. "Hey, take it easy, Vulpix. You're gonna be okay."

I know how silly this sounds, but I felt safe. And when Brock sat on the bed next to me, I felt less dizzy. He picked me up, ever so gently, and hugged me for a second before placing me on his lap. He ran a strong hand along my back, which was really soothing. All my worries and fears melted away.

"Yeah, it's okay," Brock's voice was a calming rumble. "You gave me a pretty big scare, but you're safe now."

We sat there for a little while. Cosmos sat on the floor near Brock's feet. He looked innocent enough, but considering what happened to me, I wasn't trusting him at all. Screw whatever history Vulpix has or had with him. He was shady.

Of course, my time of feeling safe with Brock couldn't last forever. Eventually there was a tap at the door, a Nurse Joy peered in and said something I didn't bother listening to, and Brock stood up with me in hand. Well, Brock held me in his arms, snug but not too tight, with his left arm cradled under my body. His right arm was free to open the door for himself and Cosmos.

His heartbeat was comforting to me. I listened to its steady pace as he walked down the short corridor. It wasn't a huge surprise to me when the lobby we walked into was of the pokemon center. But no one else was here that I knew, so I wasn't sure what Cosmos was doing here.

To my surprise, he trotted out of the center itself altogether. I looked up at Brock, not really expecting a response and surprised further when I got one.

"He's going back to Zane," Brock smiled down at me. "He might look like a tough ninetales, but he was worried about you."

I snorted softly at that.

"He found you in an alley," Brock nodded to the nurse on duty at the front desk as we walked by. "There were a couple of passed out growlithe as well. Looked like there was a bit of a fight." He tsked down at me and gently rubbed me on the top of my head. "What were you doing there, you silly little thing?"

I was abducted by two frightening pokemon and held against my will in a claustrophobic nightmare.

This time I sighed and wished more than ever that I could speak in a way he could understand. It would really make things so much easier.

Huzzah, I'm back! I know a lot of people probably wrote this off as a dead fic, but I'm not letting this story reach that status. I hate it when I read a story I get into and then find out that it's been abandoned. Rest assured that Cirrus and her story will not be abandoned.

Okay, I threw in guns into my story. I couldn't think of anything else that could impress a fire pokemon in a human's body, especially when she said she wanted to blow stuff up. By the way, she wasn't kidding. Anyway, I know guns aren't really found all that much in the pokemon world, but I figured that if Team Rocket could have all the blowing up stuff they have, that my little mention of a gun shooting range place is no big deal.

I hope this chapter was enjoyed. I had fun writing it!