Beginning Flames

Zephyr's Love and the Unown Note

Early the next morning, someone was knocking rapidly on the door. With some angry, tired muttering, I forced myself off the comfortable bed and slinked over and opened the door. Ricardo stood there, very impatient.

You think he could've waited just a little bit for me to get ready...

"Why aren't you ready?" he impatiently asked. "Hurry up and get dressed. My business rival's going to be here in about seven hours."

"Isn't that more than enough time for me to get ready?" I queried, yawning.

"Absolutely not. Now hurry, girl." He slammed the door.

I let out a loud, exasperated sigh and got into my 'uniform' which took for-frickin'-ever to put on. I looked at myself in the mirror of the walk-in closet, and I looked, and felt, ridiculous. Not only did I want to punch Ricardo, but I also wanted to punch whoever made this stupid outfit in the first place. I left my room, walking in high heels - which for me is next to impossible and very uncomfortable. Hearing footsteps behind me, I turned around and saw the guys.

"Lookin' good, Kid," Vector spoke, then sounded the cat call whistle.

"You're too kind, really," I said with a growl.

"Why's your hair messy?" Charmy asked.

Where's a hairbrush when you need one? "Ricardo rushed me to get ready, even though there's plenty of time before the competitor shows up." I let out a sigh. "I hope it's gonna be worth helping the sexist moron." I felt a chill go down my spine. "What the...?"

"What's wrong?" Vector asked.

"I got this chill just now. It feels like something's about to happen."

The croc scoffed. "C'mon, Kid, the only people who get that kind of feeling are either in novels or movies. This is real life."

"Well, real-life or not, I can't ignore it."

"Ah, you're finally ready." I turned around, and Ricardo was walking toward me. "You're a little... bustier than I first thought, but a maid's a maid."

You're lucky I'm holding myself back from kicking you in your family jewels...

"But your hair is a mess. You need to get that fixed immediately. My rival is going to be here in about five and a half hours."

Again, that's more than enough time to get ready, you stupid fucking moron!

"Time is of the essence, girl. Chop-chop." He turned his simian butt around and left the four of us alone.

"I can see why you hate him so much, Vector," I said when Ricardo was out of sight. "He is such an irritable jerk."

"Welcome to my world," the croc said, then paused. "Ya know, Kid, we don't have to do this if you don't want to."

"Well... I've kinda been second-guessing myself, but I'm gonna get through this."

Vector patted my back. "Atta girl, not backing down from a challenge. The boys and I gonna are gonna look around. Wanna come?"

"Thanks, but no. I'll just sit in my room and try to relax a little."

"Alright, then." The guys started to leave, but then Espio stopped and turned to me.

"If you get into trouble, don't be afraid to scream," he said.

I nodded. "Don't worry, Espy. I'll scream until my lungs and throat give out."

He chuckled and then followed the other two. I returned to my room, taking those damned heels off my feet, and just laid down on the bed.

By the time this is over, I'm gonna give that stupid ape a few choice words...

"I can imagine what some of those words would be." I instantly sat up in surprise, seeing Zephyr sit at the foot of my bed. "And they sure as hell won't be pretty ones either."

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

"You and the rest of Chaotix weren't at the agency this morning, so I tracked you down to the stupid ape's estate."

I raised an eyebrow. "How did you track me? Do you have an innate sense of smell?"

"Not really. A fun fact about Immortals is that they can teleport to anywhere or to anyone they desire - that being if you can teleport. So why are you detectives here? Don't you know Vector hates that gorilla?"

"I know that the croc hates the sexist dick of a monkey. We, or should I say I am on a case to find out the secrets to Ricardo's rival's success."

"And the outfit?"

"Posing as the new maid."

"Ah." He stared a minute. "Your hair's a mess."

"Yeah, I know."

"One minute." He teleported away, leaving me alone for a moment, and then reappeared in the same spot. In his hand was my hairbrush. "Figured you could use this."

"Oh, thank you." He handed me the brush and I started brushing out my tangled rat's nest. "You know, I've read a bit of the book Landorus gave me, and I just gotta know one thing."

"Shoot."

"Is it true that little trivial facts about people will just pop into one's head from time to time? I just find that impossible."

"Well, it varies from one Immortal to the next. Even though I'm a Half-Blood, it happens only with people I know. Arceus can see all, so he might have a bit of a headache. Cresselia doesn't have that quirk at all, and she has the Oracle Element. Now to wait and see how much you know about people." He glanced around the room. "This is pretty nice."

I shrugged. "It is lovely."

"But?"

"It's too great, too... luxurious. It makes you appreciate the smaller things in life."

"Huh." He looked around once more. "I never would have thought of that."

I lowered my hairbrush, then moved my bangs from my eyes. "What makes you say that?"

He looked back at me. "Oh, uh, it's just that my ex wanted to live in a place like this."

"I might be pushing a button here, but... tell me more about her."

The timberwolf raised a questioning eyebrow. "Why do you want to know about the girl who broke my heart?"

"Just tell me. Please. This will be the only time I ask about her."

"I don't know... But I guess it wouldn't hurt to talk to someone about it."

Alright. Time to get the whole story.

He took a deep breath. "This was back when I first found out that Zekrom was my dad, and I just left home to start my training at the Temple of Hajime. I was wandering around Mobotropolis like a tourist on vacation. But the city was a lot bigger and flashier than Bridgeport, so, of course, I had to gawk at it for a little while. On my tour, I heard a scream for help. I peeked around a corner and there was a girl surrounded by scumbag thugs. One look at me, and they went running. The girl was so thankful, and very beautiful, with the eyes... And the hair... And a smile that just..." He let out a lovelorn sigh.

"And this beautiful girl just happens to be your ex-girlfriend, right?" I asked.

"Hey, who's telling the story here, me or you? Anyway, her name was Tammie. She even treated me to a movie as thanks for helping her. As a year passed, we knew each other's likes and dislikes, she let me move in with her, I even met her parents. Nice folks, but I believe her dad thought I was doing something I shouldn't, and I couldn't blame him. I loved her so much, and I didn't want to hurt her."

Didn't want to hurt her? "So what happened?"

His ears sadly drooped. "One night, Tammie and I were out taking a walk through the park. It was also the night I was about to propose to her. But then some trouble decided to bother us, and that led to me revealing my true self. The next morning, she said she needed to be alone to think over our relationship. Translation: she wanted me to get out and never see her again. So I packed up and left for the temple. But when the training started..."

"You couldn't focus on it because of your breakup," I interrupted. "And then some of your abilities came in and made the training harder for you."

"Yeah, that's right. By the time I turned 20, I completed my basic training a few months before I met you. It was also the same time I started living with Ms. Vanilla and her daughter."

Something isn't adding up... "You told me before that Tammie said you two were through and you never saw her since."

"I guess I'm not a good storyteller..." He shook his head, looking away from me. "Or a good guy."

"Oh, c'mon, Zephyr." I placed a caring hand on the timberwolf's shoulder. "You are so a good guy. You did what you thought was right."

"How would you know? You weren't there."

"True, but Tammie should have at least considered your feelings. A dragon is the most emotional creature in existence. Do you know why that is? It's because a dragon's power is derived from its emotions, and to break a dragon's heart... It's like taking the will to fight away."

He glanced up at me, his eyes seeming to have glimmered with hope a little. "What makes you so sure about that?"

"Please, you're talking to a girl who read a Dragonology book on a planet where dragons are but mythical creatures. I know exactly what I'm talking about."

A small, sad smile grew on his face. "Thanks, Cheyenne."

Once more, there was fierce rapping on my door. "I swear if it's that stupid ape, I'm the one who's gonna go bananas." I got off the bed, put my heels back on, and walked to the door. But before I reached for the knob, an envelope slid from underneath. I knelt and picked it up, getting a closer look at it. It didn't say who it was from, but it was addressed to me.

"What is it?" Zephyr asked, standing by my side.

"This letter just came unannounced," I answered. "Let's see what it says." I opened the envelope and began to read it.

"To Cheyenne the Detective, I thought you should be aware of my existence. My name is Unown. If you think me hostile, please know that I am a friend. I have been held captive by Ricardo Bloomerton for the last eight years, living in the underground caverns of his estate. He thinks me a horrible monster because of... Well, you don't need to know about my disfiguration. But I feel I should warn you. This rival of Ricardo is the lowest of the low, the baddest of the bad, the incarnate of evil. You know not what you've wrought upon yourself. If I feel your life is endangered, I will send for protection and they'll bring you to my home.

"Sincerely, Unown.

"P.S.: Whatever you do, DO NOT antagonize Ricardo or his rival. You will regret it."

"This has gotta be one of Ricardo's scare tactics," Zephyr said. "Why else would he do a stunt like this?"

"I don't know," I said, reading the letter over in my head. "This is from somebody called Unown, and he or she is just trying to look out for me."

"How do you know?"

"I don't, but I'm willing to trust it." I put the letter back in the envelope and hid it underneath one of the pillows. "And if it is from Ricardo, I'll get him to admit it."


After some hours of waiting, Ricardo's business rival finally showed up, which meant it was time for me to put on a poker face. Waiting outside the meeting room with a tray of bourbon and two shot glasses in my hand, I took a deep breath and went inside. His rival was a white tiger with piercing icy blue eyes, wearing an ash-gray suit. The rival took a glance at me before saying, "Ah, Ricardo. You went and got yourself not only three new bodyguards, but a new maid as well? I'm a bit jealous." There was a hint of a purr in his voice.

"Well Julius," Ricardo replied, "I have to maintain my regal appearance, after all."

Regal appearance, my ass. I grumbled a little to show how annoyed I was with the gorilla.

Ricardo snapped his fingers. "Maid. Drinks."

"Coming right up," I said, setting the tray down on a little table. I opened the bottle and poured the two shots, then Ricardo and Julius just grabbed their glasses and gulped them right down.

"You know, maid, you're supposed to be seen and not heard."

"I'll show you seen and not heard like no other," I grumpily muttered to myself.

"What was that?"

"Oh, nothing," I said with a fake smile.

The tiger chuckled a little bit. "She seems to have a twisted sense of humor," he said. "My kind of girl."

Just enjoy your drinks, you perverts, and everything will go smoothly.
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