"How did you get here Harry?" Yuffie asked with a curious smile. She had a glass of water in her hands now, compliments of Sheryl, the waitress. Harry smiled back.

"Well, since you ask, I woke up the same way Samus did. Except that I was in that hotel in the Second District." He smiled as he remembered it.

"Well come on then! Tell us about it!" Yuffie demanded. "Us" included Samus Aran, Yuffie, and a Bulbasaur, who was doing what Pokémon usually do while they rummage around unnecessarily.

He demonstrated his concurment by grumbling "bulba-bulba." He added "saur" to show that he really, really meant it.

So Harry consented, and thought back to the first thing he remembered in Traverse Town.

Harry lifted his head and observed his room just enough to decide that Heaven wasn't all it was hyped up to be. His head hurt and he was hungry. He set his head back down and, after a moment of consideration, decided that, more logically, Hell wasn't all it was hyped up to be. And the blue color scheme was obnoxiously excessive. He rolled over and realized with a groan that it included the carpet.

Obscenely, a moment of realization interrupted his thoughts. His blasting rod was still clutched in his hand, and his bracelet of shields was just cooling down enough to not scald the skin on his wrist. It still hurt, and pain meant he was alive. Harry groaned again.

He was covered in dried sweat, which conflicted unpleasantly with the soft, fuzzy feeling of the bed, much the same way that his blue jeans and greatcoat did. Still, he hadn't slept well in a while, and it was soft, so he stayed put while he took stock of his various aches and pains. His legs were burning, despite his fitness, and he still had lacerations across his calf. He wondered about that for a while. A strange, blue thing had given it to him. That was still all he could figure, and he didn't like it. He groaned a third time into a pillow, hoping to diffuse the unhappiness.

It was then that something thumped. Harry had adapted a perfect response to thumps over the course of his career. He jumped to his feet, blasting rod ready, and tried not to collapse while the blood reached his head. The thump was on a balcony attached to the rear of his room. The color of the table outside was about as predictable as the drapes. But more importantly, the blue body-suit that landed on the blue porch had a very attractive young woman in it, so Dresden knew he was in more trouble than he could handle. He lowered his weapons and allowed the alarmed woman to roll the sliding glass door open.

Samus Aran stepped inside in a skin tight, blue suit that left little to the imagination. She paused to stare at him. He paused to stare at her. She smiled, happy to see another person, and all of Dresden's aches and pains went away.

"Hi," she said.

"Hi," Harry answered. He considered his predicament for a third time. Heaven was well worth the hype.

"Is this your room?" He asked.

She spent a moment analyzing the proliferation of blue, then looked down at herself, then back at Dresden. "Isn't it yours?"

He shrugged. "I don't know. I just woke up here."

She didn't answer. "What's your name?"

"Dresden. Harry Dresden." Professional Wizard, he wisely decided to omit.

"Have you seen any violent, blue creatures lately?"

Harry shrugged. "No. should I have?"

"Just answer the question." Her voice had abruptly shifted to a rough monotone.

"What is this, an interrogation?"

The vestiges of Samus' smile swept all of the happiness in the room into a bag and made off out the window with it. "Yes. I'm an agent of the Galactic Federation, and I have the authority to arrest you."

Harry smiled grimly. "Well, I'm a member of the White Council, and I can assure you that they do not take kindly to having their members arrested."

Samus blinked. "I've never heard of the White Council, and until I do, I have no reason to acknowledge their authority."

Harry shrugged. "I've never heard of the Galactic Federation."

This time, it was Samus who smiled. The smile didn't bring any of the happy thoughts with it.

"So you'll resist arrest?"

Harry's scratched leg and sprained knee started aching again, along with the lacerations he now realized were on his ribs. His magic was, for the most part, spent. He knew he would never win a fight against an attractive blonde woman with a succulent C cup, anyway.


Dresden paused mid-illustration with his hands cupped under his chest. Samus was glowering at him.

"Do you deny it?"

Yuffie giggled.

Aran didn't answer beyond scowling.

Cid highwind appeared at their table suddenly, and introduced himself by nearly yelling,"We talkin' 'bout 'ran's tits?"

He took Bulbasaur's chair, discarding the poor Pokémon in the process, and pulled the ashtray to his edge so he could extinguish a cartoonishly huge cigar. "Well go on," he said to the mildly surprised faces. "Don't stop on 'count a me."

So Harry continued.

Harry shrugged. "I won't resist you." The hint of a double entendre did not serve him well. Samus nodded. "So have you seen any of those blue creatures lately?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah. But I was outside, at Garfield Park. I don't know what happened after that."

"What do you mean?" She walked to a chronometer sitting on the night stand and noticed that the numbers went to twelve. She couldn't think of any planets that used multiples of twelve for their hours.

"I blacked out," Dresden responded. "I just woke up here about a minute before you landed on the balcony." He shifted his black greatcoat uncomfortably. It had bunched up around his shoulders.

"So you don't know if there are any here?"

He shrugged. "Not a clue. But hey, I'll tell you if I find any." He moved for the door, and was very alarmed to see how fast she could cut him off. "You're not going anywhere without me."

Harry considered that for a moment. "Am I under arrest?"

She smiled, somewhat happily. "Detained is the proper word. I'll arrest you if you try to escape me."

Harry smiled now. "I'm okay with that. Where are you going to take me then? Or are you just going to cuff me to the bed?"

Samus opened the door. "You just go ahead and walk nice and slow to wherever you were planning." She didn't want to give away that she didn't know where she was, and was under the impression that Dresden knew, right until they had stepped outside, past the hallway and out into the night air.

Harry looked up at the clock tower, then down into the plaza, then across to some shops. He slung his staff over his back and kept his blasting rod in one hand while he scratched his neck with the other.

"Sorry, mam," he finally said. "But I don't know where we are."


"This isn't any part of Chicago I know. You know any good places to eat?"

Samus didn't react, not with words, or motions, or gestures. She only kept her stern, glowering face on. Whatever bizarre, inhuman ticking went on in her head was indecipherable to Harry. But at the conclusion of it, her shoulders slumped, she sighed, and she finally said in a defeatist tone, "Damn it. Fine. If you can find one, you're paying."

And lo, they entered The First District and discovered the best café in Traverse Town.

"What's Lo mean?" Yuffie interrupted.

"Bizarre, inhuman ticking?" Aran added with a note of offense.


"Good man," Cid said. "Taking the initiative."

Harry shrugged to Cid.

"What's lo mean?" Yuffie asked again.

"Bulbasaur," the creature interrupted.

"Bizarre, Inhuman Ticking?"

Harry shrugged at Samus and made a show of drinking his tea to avoid answering.

"What's lo-"


"I'm not the one who thinks with my dick!"

And lo, the conversation continued for quite some time.