The next evening, I sat outside atop the roof of the detective agency. I gazed out at the stars, looking at their shining brilliance. The book Landorus gave me, titled Legends of Mobius's Gods and Goddesses, sat in my lap. It had been about eight months since I first found myself on Mobius. The stars seemed to shine brighter than when I first looked at them. I mean, they were the same stars but something about them just seemed... brighter.
"You can't sleep either, huh?" I turned and saw Zephyr sitting next to me. "I know the feeling. The first week of spring is finally here. Not a single Immortal can ever relax around this time."
"Why is that?" I asked.
"Because when the first week of spring comes around, everyone gets energetic and just has to do everything they wanna do. When the week's over, they calm down and everything goes back to normal."
"That sounds interesting, but that's not why I can't sleep."
"Oh." He paused. "Then what are you doing up?"
I turned back to the sky. "The stars."
He looked up at the sky a minute, then looked back at me. "What about them?
"They seem to be brighter than when I first came here as if they were..." I shrugged. "I don't know, polished or something."
I looked back at the timberwolf. "Aren't you looking at them?"
He glanced back at the sky. "They look normal to me."
"Well, then you just don't see their shining brilliance as I do." I stuck my tongue out at him. All he did was laugh a little.
"Keep your tongue out like that, then Hoopa's gonna make it change colors or something."
"Ha! As if." I paused, thinking a minute. "Hey, Zephyr, what's it like?"
"What do you mean?"
"What's it like staying young forever? You know, not aging?"
He turned thoughtful and laid down on the roof. "You got me. I don't have a clue. That's a question for one of the elder Immortals to answer."
I laid down next to him and took a deep breath. "How can I get in contact with one of them?"
"Well, to get Zygarde to appear, you'll need to do a bad thing or two. In other words, destroy a lot of-"
"For Dialga or Palkia, you'll need to drastically disturb the space-time continuum."
I laughed. "Please, Zephyr, I'm not a scientific engineer."
"Well, then your best bet is for Giratina. All you have to do is look in a reflection, say his name three times, and a portal to the Distortion World will open up."
"What about Zekrom? I mean, he stopped aging at a young age. How about it?"
He sat back up and rubbed the back of his neck. "I don't know, Cheyenne..."
"He ain't an elder, so why not? I mean, it seems the most logical thing to do."
"He's a man who's stubborn as a bull. Trust me when I say that once he's set on something, he's not changing his mind for anything."
I sat up, meeting his gaze. "Well, guess what. I'm a bull, too. That means we're gonna ask Zekrom and that is that." I crossed my arms with finality.
A smile came on his face as he slowly shook his head. "Man, like uncle, like niece." He met back with my eyes. "But, regardless of what you say, you're asking Giratina."
"Asking Giratina what?" We turned around and saw Zekrom standing behind us. "Don't stop talking on my account."
"Zekrom, out of curiosity," I started, "what's it like not aging?"
The dragon god was thoughtful. "Well," he started. "First I found it weird that everyone around me was aging when I wasn't. Then I was sad because it meant I was outliving my friends and loved ones. But after a few hundred years or so, I knew that mortal life was sacred and that everyone should be treasured."
I gave Zephyr a satisfied smirk. "Still think we should ask Giratina?" I asked smugly.
"Depends, are you satisfied with your answer?" Zephyr asked smugly back.
"Yes, I am, actually. It's a bit of a sad answer, but it's an answer."
The wolf's smug expression faded into a plain smirk. Then his ears perked up, his head turning to the forest.
"What is it?" I asked.
He kept looking out as if he didn't hear me.
He turned to me, a forced smile on his face. "Hey, I'll see you later, okay?" he said and then teleported away.
What was with that smile? It seemed like he tried to end things on a good note. Just what is he doing?
"Beats me what he's doing," Zekrom spoke. "I may be his dad, but I don't keep an eye on him 24/7."
That only concerned me more.
Around noon the next day, I decided to take a walk around the forest, taking in the new spring air. Flowers were blooming, the trees were getting new, green leaves on their branches, and the Flickies were returning from their hibernation in the south. I suddenly heard some kind of low growling coming from the other side of one of the trees. I looked behind the tree and it turned out to be Zephyr, snoring away.
Now what's he doing taking a cat nap out here? I knelt down and gently shook him. "Zephyr," I spoke softly. "Zephyr."
His eyes fluttered open, and let out a big yawn and stretched. He sleepily looked up at me. "Oh, good morning, Cheyenne," he said.
"Zephyr, it's 1:30 PM," I said. "Have you been out here all night?"
He looked around, his eyes then widening. "Have I been out here all night?"
"I just asked you that..."
"Oh. Well." He stood. "I better get going."
"Where are you going now?"
"I just need to go." He teleported away.
I stood back up. "Zephyr... What's going on with you?"
I returned to the agency a little later and told them about Zephyr's new behavior.
"I don't get it," I told the Chaotix. "His behavior has been strange all of a sudden."
"Maybe he's with another girl," Vector deduced. "That bastard! I'll make him pay!"
I face-palmed. "Okay, Big Mouth, I should've burst your bubble long ago. Zephyr and I aren't dating. You know why? Because we're cousins."
"WHAAAAAAT?!" His eyes bugged out of his head.
"How did you figure that?" Espio calmly asked.
"To make a long story short," I explained, "we connected our genealogical trees thanks to two brothers."
"Ah, I see."
"Why didn't you say anything before?!" Vector yelled.
"I wanted to talk, but Zephyr said to let you believe what you wanted," I answered. I let out a sad sigh. "Speaking of which, I just don't get why his behavior changed so suddenly. Is it because of me?"
"You always hang around him," Charmy said. "So..."
"Charmy!" Vector and Espio said simultaneously.
"What?" the bee innocently asked.
"Maybe he just needs a little space from me for a while," I theorized. "Maybe then he'll be back to his old self."
"Space shmace," the croc countered. "You need to do a bit of detective work to see what's eatin' him. Honestly, have you learned nothing from me?"
"Sorry, Vector, but my decision is final. I'll give him a couple of days."
There was a knock-knock-knocking at the door. I walked to the door and opened it, the doorway revealing Ms. Vanilla and Cream.
"Oh, Ms. Vanilla," I said with a smile. "How are you today?"
"I'm fine, thank you," she said, then looked down at her daughter. "Cream, would you and Charmy go out and play? The grownups have to speak."
"Okay, Momma," Cream replied. "Come on, Charmy!"
"Alright!" Charmy squeaked, and he and the little rabbit went outside. Ms. Vanilla closed the door behind her.
"Is there a problem?" Vector asked.
A frown came upon the rabbit's face. "Unfortunately," she said. "Zephyr's been acting all out of sorts today. I don't why that is."
"Really?" I asked.
"Didn't you say he started acting weird last night?" Espio asked me.
"Yeah, that's right."
"Last night, you say?" Ms. Vanilla asked.
"Zephyr and I were just looking at the stars and talking. Then he just up and left without saying where he was going."
"Oh, dear. You don't think he's getting into trouble, do you?"
I hope not... "I think he just needs a couple of days to try and unwind himself. I believe it might be some stress that's bugging him."
"Is that all?"
"That's my bet, anyway." I showed a reassuring smile. "There's nothing to worry about, Ms. Vanilla, I assure you."
"Well... as long as you're sure." She paused, thought a moment, then showed a smile. "Alright. I trust you, Cheyenne. You know, you've become very friendly and outgoing as of late."
"You can thank the Chaotix Detective Agency for that." As well as a bit of Zekrom's charisma.
A couple of days had passed, and I wanted to see if Zephyr was feeling any better. Unfortunately, a client had called, so that had to wait. The case was simple: find a lost kitten. Vector insisted on searching in the park when Espio and I instantly knew to look at the animal shelter. After that was done, I went to look for Zephyr, and once again, I found him asleep, cuddling a bush. Once more, I gently shook him awake.
"Huh? What?" he sleepily spoke, then yawned and stretched.
"Zephyr, why are you trying to make out with a plant?" I asked.
"With what?" He glanced down at his bed and quickly straightened up, wiping dirt off his sleeves as he stood. "Oh, yeah, the bush. Um, I was just, uh, trying to get in tune with nature...?" He showed a nervous, unconvincing smile.
I slowly shook my head. "Now Zephyr, why are you falling asleep in the forest?"
"Well, the thing about that is..." His eyes were darting back and forth so fast, it looked like the world's fastest game to Ping-Pong.
I crossed my arms and started tapping my foot with impatience. "I'm waiting."
After what seemed like forever, he finally shook his head and said, "I can't..."
I raised an eyebrow. "You can't what?"
"I can't tell you why..."
He got angry. "I just can't, okay?"
Now I got angry. "That's not a good answer, now spill."
"Why should I?!" he yelled, getting in my face. "I have to have my secrets, too!"
"And it's my job to find out what you're hiding!" I yelled back. "Now tell me or-"
"Or what?! We both know you won't use your powers against a friend!"
"It's not my powers you should be worried about, pal!"
We stared each other down as the world around us continued to slowly turn. I waited for him to stand down, as he did for me. In the end, he turned away and said in a shallow voice, "Stay out of my business." He then teleported away.
Zephyr... "You secretive, pig-headed, skinny little S.O.B.!" We both know I'm worried about you. "You think you can just take off on me like that? We'll see how you like it when I give you the cold shoulder!" You have to be hiding some sort of secret if you're acting that aggressive. I became quiet. Man, it's hard being angry and concerned at the same time. How do multi-taskers do it?
Out on the roof again, I sat there gazing at the setting sun, worrying more about Zephyr by the minute. I let out a sigh, hoping, even praying that he's safe and well.
"What's wrong, Princess?"
"You having a royal mood swing?" Tornadus and Thundurus appeared, Thundurus on my left, Tornadus on my right.
Oh, great, it's Dumb and Dumber. "What do you two want?" I asked with a groan.
"We thought we'd check up on Her Royal Highness," Tornadus said.
"You sure look down in the royal dumps," Thundurus added.
"That's because I'm thinking about something, alright?" I yelled. "Now get lost, the both of you."
"Geez, what bug crawled up your royal butt?"
I took a deep breath. "You guys know Zephyr, right?"
"Yeah," the two said in unison.
"Well, I think he's hiding something from me."
"How can you tell?" Tornadus asked.
"He was being aggressive, and he's never been aggressive to me."
Tornadus was thoughtful. "What do you think?" he asked his brother.
"Beats me," Thundurus replied with a shrug. "Why don't you go and do some this detective work?"
"How about you two go and spy on him?" I suggested. This oughta get 'em out of my hair.
The two looked at each other and smiled. "Sounds like a plan!" they said in unison, and they took off into the air laughing and hollering, turning into the wind itself. I let out a sigh of relief, once again alone with my thoughts.
Zephyr, whatever you got yourself into, I promise I'll get you out of it.