Chapter 10

            Cappy was still glancing around when Hamtaro landed on him from above.  Startled by this, he started trying to shake him off, but Hamtaro clung on tightly, digging his paws into the HamWraith's 'fur'.  He was shaken up a bit, but still held tight.  That's it, he thought, now just swing your claws up here, c'mon…  Since he wasn't able to get him loose, Cappy suddenly swung both of his claws up towards the HamWraith's head.  Hamtaro was prepared for this, and jumped off backwards.  The claws struck the head, ripping into it…as he landed on his feet, Hamtaro looked hopefully at it…if this didn't finish him off, he was out of ideas…

            The head was ripped apart a little by the claws, but then the arms reached up, lifting the top part off again.  Cappy looked uninjured…the claws must have just missed him.  He tossed the head part away angrily and turned around, "Nice try, but you can't stop me that way!"  Hamtaro was already scurrying away for cover, but now that Cappy was right behind him, he knew he wouldn't be able to make it far…

            He climbed up to the ledge in the main room as fast as he could, turning and looking down at Cappy below, who was also getting ready to climb.  Now that he had a good vantage point, and the HamWraith's head was no longer covering things up, he could see all the controls Cappy was working.  He spotted an odd button covered by a panel, with a few danger stripes painted around it, and wondered what it could possibly be…

            The claws of the suit hooked onto the ledge as it began to pull itself up.  Cappy smiled evilly and said, "Nowhere to go now!  You're through!"  They were almost face-to-face now, and he pulled one of the claws back for a swing…Hamtaro decided to take the chance, and hopped forward, landing on the edge of the controls.  Before Cappy could stop him, he flipped open the panel and smacked the button.

            At once, the suit started to shudder, and pieces of the 'fur' began to rip off.  Cappy looked startled, and Hamtaro decided this was probably a good time to get away.  He jumped backwards away from the suit, back onto the ledge, as it suddenly appeared to collapse into itself.  The arms and legs folded back up again, into the safe storage mode that Panda had designed into it…although, it wasn't designed to have a passenger while it was closing.  The claws folded into place like pincers, cutting Cappy into two with a *CHLUNK*.

            Hamtaro caught his breath on the ledge as he watched the now-smaller metallic object land on the floor, followed by the top half of Cappy and a spray of blood.  All was quiet and still after that, save for Hamtaro's breathing, and the sight of ripped pieces of carpeting drifting through the air and settling gently on the floor.  After a few moments, Hamtaro climbed back down cautiously, walking over and inspecting Cappy grimly.  He was dead, of course…

            With a heavy sigh, Hamtaro lowered his head.  It's over, he thought, tears forming in his eyes, just like that.  I wish everyone else didn't have to die…I miss them…

            He heard the sound of footsteps just a moment too late.  As he swiveled towards the door to see what it was, something pierced his side…pain surged through him, and he cried out, reeling back from the blow.  His eyes were clenched shut against the pain, but he forced them open to see what just happened…

            Bijou was there, with the bloodied sewing needle in her paws…the tip of the needle was still embedded in his side, and she pulled it back out, letting him stumble off his feet, landing on his back.  He looked up at her in horror as she stood there, breathing heavily and clutching her shoulder, still covered with Pashmina's blood but with a trickle of her own running down her arm.  He only managed to say, "Bijou…?"

            "We could have made a great team," Bijou hissed angrily at him, taking a few slow steps forward as Hamtaro scrambled back to gain some distance.  She continued, "It did not have to be like zis…we could have been together, you and I…no one would have been safe!  But now…I didn't want to kill you, but you have left me no choice…"

            "Bijou, I…" Hamtaro started to say as he continued his retreat.

            "Shut up!" she yelled.  "You were the only one—the only one—zat I ever considered sparing!  But I don't care anymore…and killing you will not be enough to make me feel better, either…I will be sure to sneak in ze house where you live, before your human, Laura, wakes up…and she will die, as well..."

            "L-Laura?" Hamtaro stammered in horror.  "No…!  Leave h-her alone…"  His back stopped against the wall, and he glanced around, realizing there was nowhere for him to go now, and Bijou was almost upon him.

            Bijou shook her head, "You are in no position to be making zis demand…but I am through talking to you.  It is over…zis is the end for you…"  She grabbed the needle with both of her paws and raised it above her head, "Goodbye, my once love…"

            Hamtaro's paw dug into a little bit of the dirt on the ground next to the wall, and with no other option left, he flung it into Bijou's face.  She reeled back, dropping the needle and grabbing her face, "Aaah!"  As she tried to wipe the dirt from her eyes, Hamtaro got onto all fours and ran into her, butting into her head-first.  She was knocked from her feet, and landed sideways, giving a shriek as her shoulder hit the ground, where the earlier wound had been made.

            Wasting no time, Hamtaro grabbed the sewing needle and rushed over to her, ready to bring it down, but he hesitated.  Bijou looked up at him with teary eyes, and cried, "No…Hamtaro, d-don't do zis…please…I-I love you…"  The needle shook in his paws, and he bit his lip, as he tried to decide what to do…that's when he spotted her, sliding her paw across the ground slowly, reaching for a broken piece of wood, and knew she was going to about to attack.

            As Bijou prepared to thrust the sliver of wood in his direction, Hamtaro brought the needle down, stabbing it through her chest.  Bijou tensed up, then threw her head back and screamed.  Hamtaro clenched his eyes shut tearfully as this happened, and held it in place.  He waited until her scream finally stopped, and without opening her eyes, whispered, "I…I loved you…too…"

*          *            *

             Hamtaro took the time to go around and bury everyone…or what was left of some of them, anyway.  He decided it was the proper thing to do.  As he buried each one, he remembered them sadly, and everything they had done together in the past…tears fell from his eyes, and he slowly covered them up with dirt, finishing the arduous task.

            As he finished, he looked off at the sun, which was about to rise, and realized he needed to get back home.  He headed back, tired and listless, climbing back up the drainpipe to the house and making it up to Laura's room, where he got into his cage and sat in the center, ignoring the pain in his side from the wound Bijou had given him.  He just sat and thought about everything that happened…

            When Laura finally woke up, she was shocked to see the condition he was in…she ran to get something to bandage it with, but it was mostly dried up and had stopped bleeding anyway.  She had enough time to put a little bit of medicine on it before she had to leave for school, though.

            Hamtaro was alone for the bulk of the day, while Laura was at school.  He sighed…this was when he would usually sneak off to the others, at the clubhouse, but now there was nothing for him to do, no one for him to be with.  He didn't want to go back there anyway, not after what happened.

            He still couldn't believe it…it was almost like a bad dream, the whole thing.  Yet, every twinge of pain that he got from his wound reminded him that it all really happened.  He was still glad it was over, but he was going to miss them…he was going to miss everyone…and he felt a little better knowing that, even though everyone else was dead, his survival had saved countless other innocent Ham-Hams in the future.  It gave him some peace of mind.

*          *            *

            "Dear Diary," Laura said aloud as she wrote, sitting at her desk.  "The strangest thing happened today…Kana said that when she woke up this morning, the cage where she keeps Oxnard was empty, and he wasn't anywhere to be found.  She wasn't the only one, either…a bunch of people at school were missing their hamsters too.  Not me, though…Hamtaro was in his cage when I woke up, but the way I found him…I still can't figure out what happened.  I wish he could talk, so he could just tell me…the poor little guy…"

            She looked over at Hamtaro's cage, on the corner of the desk.  Hamtaro was still alone in his thoughts… Bijouyou were such a good friend…I still can't believe you'd do a thing like this…but I'll try to remember you the way you were before…even with everything that happened, you'll still have a place in my heart…