Kyo's only thought was of how bad her life had become. If someone had looked at a list of her positions from only three months earlier, and compared it to a current list, they would have sworn that this was a different girl. Everything had already gone downhill. There was nothing left for the young teen.

Passing a store window, Kyo glanced inside. Seeing what store it was, she had to fight the urge to throw a rock through the window. It was because of shops like that one that her life was like this. It was because of those creatures that she was miserable. All of her sorrow could be pinned on anything that had to do with cats!

At that thought, Kyo let out a harsh laugh. She hated cats! It felt strange, that thought, when she thought about her past. She had loved cats so much. A single event had so much power, it was almost scary to think about.

Only days earlier, Kyo's father had brought home a new pet. This pet was different. This was no fish, dog, or hamster. Kyo's father had brought home a 9-life. The cat-girl had integrated into their family with a bit of difficulty, but that only made everything worse. Due to that difficulty, Kyo's father had treated the newcomer with so much compassion that if felt like Kyo had been replaced.

The final message of replacement had come when her father had given her room to the cat-girl. Kyo knew that her father had always wanted a daughter that he could treat like a princess, which was nothing like Kyo. Now her father had a 'daughter' that needed to be pampered and treated delicately. Kyo was no longer needed.

So she had run away.

Now, faced with a world filled with the creatures that had ruined her life, Kyo felt nothing but hatred everywhere she went. She couldn't find work anywhere, because it was cheaper and easier to hire the 9-lives. Without a job, she couldn't rent an apartment, or get food. Looking around, she saw at least twenty 9-lives who had better lives than her.

"What horrible creations." Kyo turned around when she heard the voice. She saw a girl staring at the store window. The girl's fists clenched and unclenched and her jaw was set painfully. As Kyo watched, the girl bent over and picked up a stone, tossing it in the air a few times to check its weight.

With a start, Kyo realized what the girl was about to do. Quickly, she reached out and grabbed the stone out of the air the next time the girl tossed it up. "Don't." She said quietly. "They don't need the satisfaction of knowing how much they have hurt you." She voiced her own hard feelings to this girl.

The girl turned and looked at her, a little surprised. She stared at Kyo without saying anything. Her gaze wandering to the top of Kyo's head, she let her mouth hand open. "Who are you talking about?" There was a hint of distrust in the girl's voice.

Kyo dropped the stone onto the sidewalk and took the girl's hand. The girl resisted Kyo's pull, so she stopped and sighed, admitting to herself that it might be better to have this conversation in the open. "I'm talking about the 9-lives." She glanced over at the store window. "They think that they can come to our planet and worm their ways into our lives! Did any one of them stop to think about how we would be affected?" Too late, Kyo, realized that she had raised her voice.

The girl was looking at her with a surprisingly angry expression. She shifted her weight so that she was standing directly in front of Kyo, facing her head on. With blazing green eyes, she looked up at Kyo. "Who said we wanted to come here!" She was yelling as well. "We'd much rather go home and leave you humans to your hard lives! And it's not like we're trying to ruin them!"

For once, Kyo found herself at a loss of words. For the first time, she saw that the girl in front of her was wearing a large hooded sweater and that the hood covered her head completely. The girl's eyes, shining like emeralds, had a slight feline gleam to them. With a start, Kyo realized that she had been badmouthing 9-lives to a 9-life. She suddenly felt horrible.

The cat-girl turned away and looked at her feet. "You're going to call the DNLC, aren't you?" She muttered, in a voice only audible to Kyo. "In my anger, I gave myself away. Tina was right, I am an idiot."

Kyo felt her fists clenching. Here was another homeless 9-life in front of her. This cat-girl would be found soon, taken by the police, and placed with an owner whose life would be changed greatly after that. Kyo felt that she had a chance to keep someone's life from changing; all she had to do was attack. She wouldn't have to kill this girl completely, only eight times. Maybe not even that many times.

And yet, she couldn't hurt her. There was something about this girl that spoke to Kyo. She didn't have a home, and why? Because she had been sent to Earth. This cat-girl was possible even more miserable than Kyo.

Kyo smiled. "Come with me." She took the 9-life's hand and stared down the street. She didn't know exactly where they were going, but it would be a place where they could talk comfortably and become friends. When she had left home, Kyo had taken a considerable amout of money from her father, but not enough to live on. She had that money with her, so maybe they would go get something to eat.

The cat-girl followed this time. She must have also felt the connection. Then Kyo saw why she was going willingly. A few meters away from them, a car marked DNLC was perked at the side of the road. Two officers were standing beside it, scanning the passing crowd.

One of the officers looked right at them. "Hey, you two." Both girls stopped. The officers walked over to them and the one that had spoken bent down to eye level. "Why does your friend have her head covered?" He asked Kyo in a sickeningly sweet voice. "Is she hiding something?"

Kyo's mind started racing. She knew that she would go to jail if she told them that the girl with her was human. The 9-life's disguise was terrible, and so easy to see through. Thinking fast, Kyo came up with something that would keep them both out of prison, but maybe not together. "Uh, yeah, her ears." Kyo felt the cat-girl's grip on her hand tighten. "She's self conscious, so she doesn't like people staring at her ears." Kyo squeezed back to let her know that everything would be fine. "She's my pet, but she doesn't have a collar because I just got her. We were just on our way to get one."

The officer looked over her head. He smiled, chuckling slightly, and stood up. "Nice try." He pulled out a pair of hand cuffs, making both girls freeze again. "If you were just on your way to buy a collar, then why were you walking away from a collar shop?" Kyo thought that his smile made him look like the incarnation of the devil.

Seeming to gain some confidence, the cat-girl stepped out from behind Kyo. Looking the officer in the face, she answered his question. "They promised that I could pick out my own collar, but that store didn't have any nice ones." Even thought her words were strong, Kyo could tell that she was terrified from the way that her hand was shaking and sweating.

Both officers turned from the 9-life to Kyo. The one who had been silent up until now spoke. "They?" He looked intently at Kyo, clearly not trusting her.

Kyo nodded, gaining confidence. "Me and my dad." She stated. "It's just he two of us, so we decided to get a pet, but we needed one that could take care of itself as well as some housework." After she said the words, she realized that they were probably true.

For as long as Kyo could remember, it had just been the two of them. Every time Kyo had brought home a small animal, it had put stress on her father. It was hard for him to take care of her, and chores often went undone. Maybe Kyo had jumped to conclusions, it's not like they had an extra room that the 9-life could have stayed in. With so much work, a live in house keeper that they didn't have to pay was the perfect answer.

"Right." Both officers nodded, and then headed back to their car. Kyo and the 9-life stayed where they were until the car had driven out of sight.

"Thank you." The cat-girl said quietly, her grip on Kyo's hand loosening. "Name is Yoru, by the way. You may need to know that if we're stopped by any other officers." She smiled warmly and it was clear that she saw Kyo as a friend.

"I'm Kyo." She responded. Then she dropped Yoru's hand and started back the way she had come. Stopping, she turned and grinned at Yoru. "I should be thanking you, so will you come with me?" She tilted her chin in the direction of her father's house. "I'll treat you to some cake at a café, and then we can go home."

After hesitation, Yoru smiled and ran up. "Sure!" She said with a happy nod.