Posted on; March 15th, 2009

Fc: -edges in uncerntainly- uh hi -waves nervously, dodges a randomly thrown tomato- Eep! Come on guys! I know I said "I'll get on Secret Rendezvous"... BUT THIS IS SO CUTE!
Yeah, I'm doing fluff, you may now die of shock/throw more tomatos
This is NOT CANON -hates canon- BUT -blushes and grins- I'm making use of Flamon! -is hit with a tomato-

This is a by product of epic stress this past week, -shrugs- Enjoy -mutters about SATs-

Chapter one
Unlikely Match

Sweat dripped down his face, stinging his eyes. His body glistened with perspiration from running hard. He panted, heart racing, adrenaline rushing through his veins. He looked up at the stars in hopes of them guiding him. Distant barking of search dogs forced him to run onward, awkwardly on all fours.

He was a fugitive, running for his very life.

Branches scrapped and pulled at his skin, hair and pants. Leaves blinded his vision; Roots tripping him up as he press on. Have to run… Have to get away… They can't catch me again… He thought desperately, trying to make sense of his direction.

He broke through some brush into an open road. Blinding headlights bore down on him like the eyes of a menacing beast. He froze, paralyzed with fear. The vehicle's breaks screeched, rubber burning against asphalt. Metal clashed with skin and bones, making audible, sickening crunches. Darkness ate away at his vision as he blacked out.

"Oh come on Zoe! Having another dog will take your mind off of Bella." A tall, blond woman said, trying to lighten the mood in the car. Her daughter remained silent in the passenger side seat, glaring out the window. Silence fell over the other and daughter as the car turned onto a worn dirt road. A shabby looking sign at the corner still read "Kyoto Animal Rescue, a Proud No-Kill Shelter"

"I don't want another dog… I just want Bella…" the girl, Zoe mumbled. She clutched a picture of a beautiful golden retriever. Tears rolled down her face just thinking about her deceased best friend. She leaned her head against the window of the car, trying to let the surroundings ease her mind.

The car pulled into a dirt parking lot outside of an old, weathered, blue building. Zoe's mother parked the car and got out. She inhaled deeply, "Come on Zoe! You'll perk up once you get inside."

Zoe grumbled, and put the picture into the pocket of her denim jacket. She reluctantly got out of the car and walked into the shelter after her mother.

His whole body ached, his head pounding. Where ever he was it was cold, dank. He tried desperately to open his eyes. What happened…? Okay, focus, Name… Takuya… Uh… I forget the rest, but my first name is Takuya. Family… I have a mom… and a dad… and a little brother… right… uh… History I was kidnapped and made into a lab experiment…

He groaned, and eventually opened his eyes, the bright fluorescent lights blinding him momentarily, Oh no, was I captured? He thought, blinking away the pain in his eyes. The room swam into focus. He was in a rundown building of some sort. He appeared to be in a wooden stall with a locked chain link gate.

Where am I? He slowly pushed himself up right, instantly regretting the move. He hissed with pain that suddenly seared in his left side. Tears stung at his eyes, as he doubled over on the floor. His sides heaved as he fought to intake air. The pain ebbed away as oxygen reentered his body.

He tried to sit up again, slowly and carefully this time. He observed his surroundings beyond the stall he was locked in. Brightly colored posters with dogs and cat adorned the walls, some saying little facts about the animals or "Adopt Today!" A nasty realization hit him suddenly. He was in an animal shelter. If those people who took him found him here, he was a goner for sure. He tried to get to his feet so he could escape, only to fall on his side again. He whimpered softly to himself, failing to hear the soft tapping of sneakers against cement.

"Go on Zoe, go pick one out." He mother urged. Zoe just rolled her green eyes, and brushed some of her blonde bangs out of her eyes. She walked behind a counter where a clerk was working. The clerk smiled at her briefly as Zoe disappeared into the room with the kennels.

Zoe walked down the row, looking into the stall like cages that housed a variety of different dogs. Small, hyperactive, yappy ones jumped up against the chain link gate that closed the stalls. The larger dogs barked enthusiastically as if to "Pick me! Pick Me!"

She had walked the length of the room, and had looked into all of the cages. Sure, she liked some of the dogs, and she'd maybe adopt one of them… But the scars of losing her Bella were still fresh. Tears of sadness slid down her face again.

She looked into the last cage on the right. A single figure lay on the cement ground, motionless, save for the rise and fall of his sides. She heard soft cry come from the poor thing, and instantly became overwhelmed with sympathy for the poor creature. She looked at the chart posted next to the cage.

Species: Unknown
Gender: Unknown
Status: Brought in after being hit by a car; Broken ribs, and forelimb, possible internal damage; little chance of recovery; To be euthanized at sundown

"Poor little guy…" she said quietly, reading the chart to herself.

The creature's ears flicked, and lifted its head up off the cold floor. Two large green eyes filled with fear and anguish stared at Zoe. She felt so bad for the poor creature; she unlocked the cage and went in. She knelt beside him.

He tensed up and flinched at her advance. "It's okay, I'm not going to hurt you." She said in a soft, soothing tone. She extended her hand towards him, carefully laying it on his face. He relaxed at her touch, making him cough and wheeze something terrible.

She looked him over once he calmed down again. He resembled a human more than a dog. His skin was a pale dusty brown; White markings adorned his face and chest. He had torn, baggy red pants on and red fingerless gloves. He had human like hands that had small, retractable claws on each fingertip. He had a bushy mane and tail comprised of bright orange fur. His eyes were like the most brilliant emeralds, gleaming, even in the dim light. His feet had three toes on each foot, than had large red claws on each toe.

"I wonder what type of animal you are…" she mused quietly, running her fingers through his mane.

The creature coughed again, and looked up at her. "Wish I knew myself… I can't remember much…" He replied in a weak raspy voice.

"You can talk?!" she asked incredulously. She scooted away from him, afraid. She watched him carefully, trying to determine if he was going to hurt her.

The creature blinked, looking apologetic. "Please, don't be afraid. I didn't mean to scare you…" He laid his head back on the floor, too weak to hold it up any longer. He closed his eyes, exhaling in pain.

"I'm sorry… You just startled me…" She scooted back to his side, "My goodness you're a mess…"

He snorted, "I've been through worse, trust me."

"I'm Zoe." She said lightly, holding her hand out to him.

He looked at her oddly, mildly confused, "Takuya… I think… I'm pretty sure that's my name…"

Zoe smiled, "Well Takuya, I'm going to get you out of here."

"Really?!" Takuya's dulled eyes lit up with excitement. He was going to be freed and escape the shelter AND the lab that was undoubtedly looking for him

She smiled wider, "Yeah! I'll be right back, and then we can patch you up. But you need to be quiet. Don't say anything okay?" He nodded weakly as she stood up and left the cage. She practically sprinted down the hallway back to the main lobby.

"Mom! Mom! I picked one!" She exclaimed with enthusiasm as she reentered the lobby.

The clerk behind the counter looked up as Zoe's Mother joined her daughter. "Okay, all we need to do is get the lucky dog and fill out the paperwork." The clerk said with a smile, "Which one did you pick?"

Zoe looked at her, and with a smile said, "The one in the last cage. He needs me, I just know it."

"Oh dear, that one? That one's hurt pretty bad. The vet thinks he needs to be put down, so he's out of his misery…"

Zoe's mother looked confused, "I thought this was a No-Kill shelter…"

"It is," The clerk began, "We only euthanize them if they're suffering. This one was brought in last night. Hit by a car, the poor thing. He has a few broken bones and we suspect internal bleeding. Not to mention he hasn't moved since we examined him."

Zoe's mother shot Zoe a look that clearly said 'why are you trying to break your heart all over again? He's not going to live!' "Baby, I don't want you to get attached only to have it die…" she said, trying to sway her daughter.

"Mom Please? He needs me, and I need him… Please?" Zoe begged.

Her mother sighed in defeat, "Alright. I'll fill out the paperwork…"

Zoe squealed with joy and hurried back to retrieve Takuya from the cage. He's going to be so happy. She thought, as she ran back down the hallway, stirring up the other dogs.

"Takuya!" she sang as she entered the cage, "My mom said okay and we're getting you out of here."

His eyes flickered in her direction. A weak smile crawled across his face, "Thank you…" He slowly struggled to get to his feet.

Zoe beamed and went to help him stand. They both found that he couldn't stand on his own, not yet. His body was too broken and weak to support him. Takuya sat on the floor, leaning against her leg, exhausted.

"I could carry you…" Zoe offered

Takuya looked offended, "I can walk."

"Not right now you can't, either you're getting carried or you're staying here." She said firmly. Takuya sighed and gave in. Zoe carefully scooped him into her arms. Takuya was surprisingly light weight. She carried him down the hallway, his head resting on her shoulder. Zoe entered the lobby, and the clerk directed her that her mother was in the car, waiting. Zoe thanked her and left the shelter, Takuya nestled in her arms.

"So, this is the poor thing." Zoe's mother said, looking at Takuya from the rearview mirror. Zoe sat beside him in the back seat of the car. Zoe nodded. She stroked Takuya's mane like she had back at the shelter. Her mother said nothing more and pulled away from the shelter, and drove down the dirt road.

"We're going home, Takuya" Zoe whispered softly as Takuya fell asleep in her lap.

Fc: So how'd I do? Bad? Good? LET ME KNOW! Please!