Brenda raked a hand back through her hair. Never mind that her mom was a shrink with all sorts of degrees and years of experience, or that her dad had been a cop since he'd turned twenty-three. Sometimes her parents just couldn't take a hint. By the time she'd chased them off, she was too tired to think, let alone hold up her end of a conversation. Let alone a serious conversation with Mewtwo. So she hadn't, she'd gone to sleep instead.

Parents sucked.

The couch sucked too, now that she thought about it.

"Coffee," she muttered, and rolled off the sadistic torture device with bad springs and two really random throw pillows. "Coffee good."

(You are an addict.)

Brenda squinted over in Mewtwo's direction. He was leaning against her bedroom door, looking amused. Bastard. She tried to think up something sarcastic and pithy in response.

"Sure," she muttered, and headed for the kitchen. Whatever would happen next, she wanted coffee. Hot coffee would be best, but she'd take cold if it was there.

(Are you nervous about something?) She could feel him standing just a foot away, probably leaning on the kitchen island now. How he'd gotten there, she wasn't sure, but it was tempting to turn around and punch him.

"You know," she said, turning around and pointing one finger at him, "that's real freaky."

Mewtwo arched one eyebrow. (What, my voice? There's nothing I can do about that.)

"No, not your voice, the sneaky thing. Don't you make noise? Go away until I'm awake."

(That could take some time. Less time if you tell me what you're worried about.)

Yesterday he'd been ready to kill her. Today- she glanced at the clock, yes it was morning- he was asking if she was worried about something? Just what had Sheryl done, and could she do it to a couple other people too? "I'm not worried about nothing," she muttered.

Mewtwo smirked, and, she was sure, mentally chuckled to himself. (Double negative,) he said. (Of course, it is five in the morning, so perhaps I'll forgive you.)

What the hell was a double negative? "Keep me from coffee any longer," Brenda warned, "and I'll kick your ass."

Mewtwo waved one paw, and sat down on one of the bar stools. (Don't delay on my behalf,) he said.

Two mugs of blistering hot coffee later, Brenda felt halfway human and more awake then she really wanted to be. "Alright," she grumbled. "So talk."

(Did Leon really want to talk to you about riots and proper parking procedures?)


(Well then.)

"Is that your way of asking for information? Because it makes no sense." Brenda took a sip from her third mug of coffee, and smirked. "Clarification helps conversation."

Mewtwo sighed, and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. (Very well. What did Leon talk to you about?)

"He yelled at me over the car, told me to stop being an idiot, then we drank coffee."

(Surely that wasn't all you talked about.)

"Uh, yeah, it was." Brenda raised both eyebrows. "How about you? What'd you and Sheryl talk about?"

Judging by the way Mewtwo started lashing his tail and narrowed his eyes, it wasn't something he was entirely pleased about. Or maybe he was just figuring out the most annoying way to say whatever it was.

(Do you really think of me as your best friend?)

Oh yeah. Annoying phrasing it was. "So?" Brenda clenched her teeth. "What, you object or something?"

Mewtwo's eyes widened, until he looked like someone had just smacked him with a fish. Except if he got smacked with a fish he'd go supernova, she decided. This was just kind of funny. Tempting to say 'just kidding', but… nah.

(Ah. Well then.)

"Sure. Did Sheryl tell you that I… y'know. Think of you that way." She wasn't going to say it. Anyone who thought she would was mental.

(Yes, she did. She also said you were possessive, irritable, and bad tempered.)

"She forgot 'rude, crude, and an all around bitch', but yeah."

Mewtwo just sighed. (If I'm your best friend, why do you treat me as you do?)

"Huh?" Was this what Leon had meant? Damn it, he knew she needed things spelt out. For that matter, Mewtwo should've figured that little fact out too. Personal shit wasn't her area of expertise.

(Sending me for coffee, ordering me around- you are far kinder, on the whole, to Rhonwen.)

"Did you just compare yourself to my dog?" Brenda fought against a smile, but the corners of her mouth wouldn't stop twitching.

It was kind of disturbing how a single, glowing blue glance was enough to kill her amusement. Then again, she had seen him at the riot. He'd deflected a fucking hyper beam without even looking.

"Fine, fine. I'm shit with the- y'know. Interpersonal relationship thing if it's not work related."

Mewtwo's expression shifted from annoyed to amused. At least someone was getting some laughs out of this. (Are you allergic to the word 'friend'?)

"No, I just don't like saying it. Gives people ideas." She shifted on her seat, and decided to continue. "I'm better off with, y'know, work stuff. And part of work stuff- part of being the senior partner- is bossing the junior partner- you- around."

(So you admit we're partners.)

"Could you stop staring at me? Blink, at the very least."

He shook his head. (You are a piece of work.)


(Well.) Mewtwo started to stare at her again. Brenda glared back, before turning to look at the fridge.

"What else did Sheryl talk to you about?"

(No, it's your turn. Your talk with Leon.)

"Bastard." She took a bracing gulp of her coffee, and then stared down into it. It would probably be easier to get all this out if she didn't have to look at him. Pulling her own fingernails out with pliers would have been easier still, but whatever. "Leon said I have issues with psychics."

There was silence, then, (Issues?) Mewtwo asked, his voice a low growl.

"Yeah, issues, as in I've never met a psychic that wasn't good for anything other then punching in the face." And now came the hard part. "Except you," she muttered.


"You're going to rub this in, aren't you?" Well, look at that, she could see her reflection in the coffee. She looked sick. Probably because coffee wasn't a great reflector. "Anyways. I don't know how to deal with you as a psychic because, y'know. Bad experiences. Of course, Leon said I never tried to deal with you as a psychic, so… Yeah."

(You think I'm good for something other then as a punching bag. I'm not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not.)

Brenda glanced up, and hunched her shoulders. Mewtwo was- blank. Impossible to read. Really annoying. "It's a compliment. Sort of."

(And that makes it all better.)

"And you're being really annoying and making it impossible to say stuff."

(Then I'll be quiet.)

"Right, I believe that." She took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. "Leon pointed out several of my many faults, said that I had trouble compromising, and that a partnership involves working together with someone, not just giving orders and having them followed."

(How very astute.)

"I thought you were shutting up."

(I was, but I had to agree with Leon. I'm sure you know how it is.)

"You need a hobby."

(So do you.)

"Stop agreeing with Leon, it's freaky." She took another sip of coffee. There. Hard stuff over. "Anyways. Your turn again."

(Sheryl thinks I should get my own apartment, if we're going to work together.) Mewtwo stood up, and arched his back. Brenda could just hear bones cracking as he twisted his shoulders.

"Are we?" she asked. "Working together, I mean."

(We'd need rules.) Mewtwo was back to staring at her. (Starting with rule number one: I am not an idiot. You will not treat me as one.)

"If I do, you can yell at me, how's that?" Brenda held out her hand. Mewtwo examined it, and then clasped it with his own.


"Now, about this apartment," she started. Mewtwo glared at her; she glared right back. "I don't like the idea."

(You wouldn't.)

"You're right, I wouldn't. Look, we've already cleaned out the back room, there's furniture on its way, what's the point of getting an apartment?"

Mewtwo looked like he was dealing with something particularly stubborn. Brenda gave him the benefit of the doubt- he was probably trying to find some way to counter her logic, and having difficulties.

(The point, Detective, is to have my own personal space. One that you don't happen to own. Furthermore, you need the room more then I do, I've seen your bedroom. You don't even have a closet.)

"I don't need a closet. My system works just fine."

He gave her a look, one that said rather clearly that he doubted her, but wouldn't argue- for now. (Finally, the furniture you bought is in your taste, not mine.)

Brenda opened her mouth to say something, she didn't even know what, and then the phone rang. They both turned and gave it a look that should have had it bursting into flame.

"I'll get it," she mumbled.


"Johnson, Detective Brenda, this is Dispatch. There has been a 1-28 at 1798 King Street, and you are to respond to the scene."

"Whatever, dispatch. My ETA is thirty minutes." She hung up the phone, and looked over at Mewtwo. "So. Want to help figure out who killed the dead guy?"

Mewtwo smirked, and glanced down at his bandaged shoulder, then back up at Brenda. (What Melanie doesn't know can't hurt her.)

"That's the spirit. And after we're done, we can go apartment hunting for you. I guess." She'd just have to live with it.

(Just as long as I can still come here to eat. I can't cook.)

"Sure, fine." Brenda grabbed her gun up off the end table, and holstered it. She rubbed at her arm, and shrugged. It wasn't that cold out, she didn't think, so she could skip the jacket. "Hey, by the way. I told everyone you were taking care of a sick grandma over in Fushsia. Somehow your grandma died of cancer. I'm sorry."

(Have I mentioned that you are warped and twisted and- I don't even have a grandmother!)

"Well, I know that and you know that, but they don't know that and that's a good thing. Come on. We have to go by foot."

Mewtwo sighed, and caught up with Brenda. (At least it's a nice morning,) he said, and pulled on his illusion.

"Yeah," she said, matched her stride with his. "It kinda is, isn't it?"

End Notes

Well, my friends, we've come to the end. Not of the Sword and Shield Universe- because it's way too much fun- but to the end of World on Fire. Did I get everything in here that I wanted in here? Mostly- Team Rocket played a smaller part then I'd first expected, but that's because the characters decided to throw in some drama. You can hardly blame them, as their personal issues decided to explode.

Don't you dare assume everything has been worked out and Mewtwo and Brenda will be the best of friends, though! Keep an eye out for Partnership, where they go over the rules of working together, why some people end up dead, and why Brenda finds auto-eroticism so funny.