Chapter 9: A New Pet?

A/N: Happy New Year to everyone! Yeah, I know this is late. I was originally gonna post this at the beginning of January, but it got delayed because of time management and school. But anyway, I hope this year will go great for everyone. All I have to say is just be yourself and don't let anyone get you down. Have a happy, blessed, and safe 2019. :)

If anyone has any ideas for any of my stories, please PM me. It's difficult for me coming up with ideas, which makes being a writer hard. I do enjoy writing, but it's just that I struggle to make up ideas. Good thing I have a friend that comes up with quite a lot of ideas for me. :)

Nemo quickly made his way to Destiny. He was swimming like he was in a race or a game of tag. The boy stopped when he reached the whale shark, who was talking to Dory. He gasped for breath, coughing a few times.

The two instantly noticed the young clownfish. They looked at him, a bit concerned.

"Woah, Nemo! Are you okay, buddy?" Destiny asked. She squinted her nearsighted eyes to get a better look at the clownfish.

"Y-yeah! I need to get into your mouth quickly!" He whipped his body around, making sure that he didn't see the one fish who was looking for him. The coast was clear for now.

"Okay... Why?" Destiny inquired.

"No questions answered! Now hurry!" he demanded.

"Okay, okay!" Destiny opened her huge mouth. When Destiny and Dory were kids, little Dory would use to hide in her mouth when they were playing hide and seek. She always loved that hiding place. Being inside a fish's mouth was a big experience for her. The child would look around in amazement and awe as she stared into the darkness of her bigger friend's mouth. Sometimes, she would jump up and down on Destiny's tongue, making the young whale shark laugh. One time, she accidentally went too deep. It was terrifying, but good thing that Destiny felt her almost go in her throat. That mistake was solved by coughing Dory out.

Nemo went inside her mouth. Destiny closed it. She was still confused on why Nemo wanted to be in her mouth.

"Oh, look! It's Marlin!" Dory announced. She waved her left fin in excitement. "Hi, Marlin! How are you do- Oh, you don't look happy."

The older clownfish indeed didn't look at his best state right now. His face showed irritation with his eyebrows narrowed, and his forehead was creased. He briefly looked around.

"Where is Nemo?" he said angrily, gritting through his teeth.

"Woah, Mr. Grumpy Gills, calm down." Dory waved her fins in a calming gesture towards the fish.

Inside Destiny's mouth, Nemo could actually hear his father speaking. Not clearly, but muffled. He silently prayed that Destiny wouldn't tell his hiding place.

Oh... So that's why Nemo wanted to hide in my mouth, Destiny realized to herself.

"Oh, um, I don't know where he is at the moment, Marlin," Destiny lied. She tried her best not to show that she was fibbing. She kept her face in a serious state, focusing her eyes on Marlin.

The clownfish turned to Dory. "Dory, do you know where Nemo is?"

"Hmmm..." Dory looked up in thought, placing a fin on her chin. She forgot where Nemo actually was, and at the same time, she didn't remember that the boy didn't want to be seen.

"Can't remember. Sorry."

The father sighed in anger, mixed in with sadness. He was also a little worried. Marlin knew that sometimes his son didn't want to go to bed, which resulted in Nemo hiding from him or swimming quickly away from him. He certainly didn't feel like searching for his son again, after doing so when the huge incident happened. Everyone in the entire ocean practically knew the story already.

As he trailed away from Destiny and Dory, his worriedness increased a bit more. The ocean was literally 70% of the earth. In an ocean that was huge, Marlin worried that Nemo was lost again. He knew he was a worried fish, and he tried to control his anxiety, but at a time like this, at night, it was scary. It was already past his son's bedtime. Marlin didn't like it one bit when Nemo tried to hide from him unless they were playing a game. Scary thoughts fluttered around inside his head.

"What if he gets hurt? What if he gets eaten by a shark? What if he gets sick by some disease spreading around the ocean?" The anxious fish frantically swam around in circles. More thoughts managed to creep inside the poor clownfish's head.

Since it was night time, there were less fish swimming about in the ocean, so Marlin was kind of fine letting his anxiety out in public.

Nemo wondered if his dad was gone. He was in Destiny's mouth for a few minutes now. He jumped up and down on her tongue, trying to get his friend's attention.

Destiny giggled, and she opened her mouth.

The young clownfish cautiously went out of her mouth. His father's matching scarlet eyes darted around. "Is he gone?"

"Yes, he's gone," Destiny answered.

"Nemo! You were in Destiny's mouth this whole time?" Dory asked in shock.

"Yes, Dory. You saw me went inside her mouth. I was hiding from my dad," Nemo told her.


It was quiet for a moment, until Dory said, "Why?"

"Because it's bedtime for Nemo. I'm pretty sure it's past his bedtime now," Destiny replied.

"Okay. Hey, let's all play tag!"

"Okay!" Nemo grinned excitedly.

"Awww, Dad! Come on!" Nemo squeaked. He tried to pull away from his serious father's grasping fin, but he failed.

"No! You know it's your bedtime, Nemo! I searched everywhere for you! It felt like years finding you! Luckily I spotted you before you had the perfect chance to find your other hiding place," Marlin explained.

"Dad, you know I don't like bedtime. Well, most of the time anyways..." he admitted.

"And you know I get worried easily. Son, I looked around, which I believe, the whole ocean for you once! I spent countless hours because of you, Nemo. Just you wandering off from me alone for like... 10 minutes makes me worried already enough! Just... please. Don't wander from me or hide from me like that. Your old man can get a heart attack."

Nemo rolled his eyes. "You have to stop worrying too much about me. I'm fine being on my own sometimes. Remember what Destiny said. Don't worry so much or you'll never get to experience happiness and joy of your son, which is me, trying new things. You'll just be a worry wart if you just only focus on my safety. To add to that, you wouldn't even spend time with your other friends if you only spend most of the day watching over me like a baby."

"Well, you can't ever let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him," Dory once said to Marlin.

That one sentence that the forgetful tang told Marlin came back to him once he listened to his son's sudden wisdom. Both of them were right. Overcrowding his son was not the way to do it. He needed to let Nemo explore and discover things on his own and let him grow. He did develop a little after that long, tedious adventure of trying to find his son, but he would still worry about stuff.

"Nemo, son, I know you are sick of me worrying about you, but bedtime is important. I've been telling you this for like... I think a few years now. I... I'm just worried about your safety, that's all."

"Dad, I have friends who look out for me. I'm totally fine. And if something bad would happen, then I'll get help right away. I know what to do," he confidently said.

Marlin smiled affectionately at his son. He was growing up so fast. One day he hatched from his egg, the next day he would eventually move out and have a mate on his own. He wished he could stop his little boy from growing, but he couldn't. It was life. Seeing his son growing up was the little things in life that got to him.

"Oh, my little Nemo is growing up so fast. Where did the time go?" He grabbed the boy and embraced him tightly against his body.

Nemo wheezed, feeling squished. "Dad... you're s-squishing me..."

"Sorry!" He quickly pulled Nemo away from him.

Nemo's eyes were fixed on the anemone as they swam closer to it.

"Nemo, if you hide or swim away from me again when it's your bedtime, you are grounded," his dad warned him.

His son's eyes widened in shock, and he opened his mouth to protest, but he decided not to. He didn't want to cause conflict with his father. He only sighed and murmured, "Alright."

"So, Nemo, how was the petting zoo?" Shadow asked him.

"It was great! I loved every moment of it!" Nemo exclaimed.

Nemo, Shadow, Destiny, and Dory were returning home after the petting zoo field trip. Hank decided not to go because animals were not his interest. So, he stayed home from the trip. Dory and Shadow happily assisted on being on the field trip. It was really interesting for them, and they learned a lot of new things about the animals there.

"I enjoyed it," Destiny said.

"I don't really remember much of it, but the snails were pretty cute," Dory commented.

Nemo perked up. "Oh, oh! I just remembered that Squirt is coming over today for a playdate!"

"Oooh, sounds like fun. Can I join?" Shadow asked in a playful manner, earning a small chuckle from Destiny.

The boy laughed. "Shadow, it's only for me and Squirt."

"I know, I know. Boy, you are lucky. I didn't really have playdates when I was your age."

Nemo felt sympathy for the shark inside of him, but outside, his expression remained happy. "I can't wait for him to come over."

Angel looked up from the ground to see the four coming back from the field trip. She smiled at them and waved her peachy arm. "Hi, guys!" she greeted happily, but softly.

"Hey, Angel!" Nemo swam down to her and nuzzled the sweet starfish.

Angel giggled, feeling ticklish. "How was the petting zoo, little guy?"

"Awesome! I wish you would've gone."

"I wish I could go, but I felt like spending the day with Jenny and Charlie. I wanted to hang out and chill with them. It was quite peaceful for me," she told the boy.

"My parents are the best, am I right?" Dory lightly jabbed Angel.

"They're really sweet. I wish I still had mine," she said sadly. Her bright, blue eyes gazed down on the rough, sandy floor. The tragic incident that had happened to her loving parents popped up in her head. The poor starfish had to experience the catastrophic episode of her parents when she was just a child. One day, when she was playing tag with her mom and dad, child Angel suddenly heard a loud roar on the surface. The small family immediately stopped playing when they heard it. Back then, Angel didn't know what the noise was, but her parents did. She knew what boats were; her parents had taught it to her, but the child never heard of their strong sounds before.

What happened next had young Angel terrified. A huge human diver plummeted down in the ocean, swimming right towards their home. Her parents protected her, and they tried their best to hide. Unfortunately, the diver still saw them. Their poor attempts of hiding made the diver snatch up the girl's parents with his mighty hand. Angel didn't know what to do. Her big, blue eyes were filled with anxiety and complete fear of her only family. She stood there in horror as she fearfully watched her loved ones being taken away from this evil diver.

Angel decided to scream out their names, wanting them back so desperately. She could hear them shouting out her name frantically, but faintly. She wanted to chase after them, but the girl was just too frightened and stiff to do so. The only thing she could do was watch the boat swim away, with her parents still inside. That day was the scariest and saddest day for Angel, and it still was today.

The magenta eyed tang just placed a comforting, gentle fin on her shy friend's back. She didn't want to say anything because she wanted to respect Angel and her family. In addition, she was sad to think that her parents were taken away by humans. She knew that those two-legged creatures could be bad and awful, but not all of them. Some of them just had no heart for the sea.

Angel looked at Dory, and she grinned a bit. She wiped a few of her wet tears with her arm. She snuggled up against Dory; she started to hear the fish's heartbeat. It was calming and gentle. It made her want to fall asleep.

Hank swam over to where Angel and Dory were. He saw them cuddling each other. "Oh, are we having a cuddle party?"

Angel broke away from Dory's embrace, feeling a bit embarrassed. "N-no. We just wanted to cuddle."

"Okay, if you say so. Hey, Nemo, how was the field trip?" Hank asked the boy.

"Awesome!" Nemo did a flip. He then started to explain to the octopus about what he did on the trip.

"Sounds like you had a great time. Your dad told me that Squirt is supposed to be coming over today for a playdate."

"Yep. We're gonna have tons of fun."

Hank winced as he heard the audible snores from no other than Dory herself. It was no surprise that she was a loud snorer. On some nights, her friends would be awake, annoyed that they had to go through her constant snores. But no one could just tell her stop. She was their friend, and it would be rude to interrupt her sleep. Plus, it was Dory. The sleep talking would follow along with her snores. The forgetful tang would say really weird stuff in her sleep; it was a Dory thing as well. The sleep swimming was the last thing included in her adventurous nights. First the snoring, then the sleep talking, and last the sleep swimming! This forgetful little tang was full of surprises.

When Dory would sleep swim, one of her friends would usually get up and attempt to lead her back to bed. If one couldn't simply do it, then they would have to get a partner to help them. Nights were not normal with Dory around. They were like mini adventures to them. Obviously, they would get annoyed with her three actions, considering that they would need to get enough sleep in order to wake up early in the morning, but they were able to deal with it. On some nights when Shadow would visit their home and sleep over, he thought it was amusing that Dory would sleep swim stuff, but he too would be annoyed a little bit. It was almost a month since he had met Destiny and the rest, and he would have to get used to Dory's sleep actions.

"Stop! Hehe, that tickles.." he heard Dory murmur in her sleep.

"And here goes the sleep talking," he sighed. "For goodness sake, it's late afternoon! She's only having a quick cat nap, and she's dreaming?! Oh, crab cakes..."

The not amused octopus watched Dory for a bit longer, trying to see if she would stop sleep talking. His doubts swept within him though. When he studied her movements and the words of her bizarre sleep talking escaping through her lips, he understood what her dream was about. According to the dreaming tang's hints, he was able to comprehend what she was dreaming about. At first, he thought she was dreaming about she and Nemo playing together, but when he heard Dory saying something was cute and that she wished she could keep it, the puzzle pieces came together; she was dreaming about having a pet.

"Ah, you're such a small sea slug. You're so cute and tiny..." Dory said quietly before snoring again.

"A sea slug. She's dreaming about a pet sea slug," Hank realized.

More words of sleep talk came into display. "S-Sandy! W-what are you doing?! O-oh no! Hahaha! P-please stop tickling me! G-get off me! Hahahaha!"

Hank couldn't help but chuckle. The sleep talk bothered him at first, but then it started to amuse him. Dory being Dory...

"Sandy. What a typical name," he commented to himself.

Hank was locked into Dory's entertaining sleep talking. He watched her talk about her pet and studied her deep sleep movements some more. The movements were interesting to him, so he couldn't help but examine them. From monitoring the dozing fish, he could tell that Dory and her pet sea slug had funny and cute chemistry in her surreal dream. He thought that she was dreaming about a pet because of that trip to the zoo she had gone to today. In his opinion, Dory having a pet was implausible. How could she take care of a pet if she couldn't even take care of herself? The bubbly tang's disability kept her from remembering important things, so her parents had that role to guide her and tell her the things that she would forget. What if she would forget to feed the pet or worse, forgot that the pet even existed? Forgetting the existence of a living, breathing pet was incredibly bad.

Hank shrugged the thought that was boring into his mind away. He was sure that she wouldn't go as far as forgetting her pet. His bright blue irises averted to the fish who was now suddenly sleep swimming.

"Ah!" The octopus jumped his way into getting his mobile friend. "Oh, great, now sleep swimming."

He managed to grab her before she crashed into anything, and he gently guided her back to her bed. For right now, he had to keep an eye on Dory to make sure she didn't wander off anywhere and get lost. Geez, he felt like he was watching an energetic child instead of an adult fish; who was not at all awake, but sleeping. He didn't know how long until Dory woke up. Hank knew Dory didn't nap really long, but he felt like he was gonna be in that state for a long time; he really didn't feel like looking over this "child." If Dory's parents would have come, they would appreciate Hank for watching over their Kelpcake. So, he decided to keep her under surveillance.

"Please, please, pleeeassseeee?" Dory begged like a child wanting something.

Charlie sighed, slightly annoyed. "For the thousandth time, Dory, no!"

"But I promise to take care of it."

"Dory, sweetie. Your father and I will have to think about your question, okay?" Jenny asked calmly.

"Okay. Hopefully, you guys will accept it!" Dory said optimistically before excitedly swimming away.

"Phew, I thought she would never go away," Charlie relieved. "It felt like she's been asking us that question for years."

Jenny chuckled softly. "You know our daughter, when she's excited about something, her mind just sticks to it."

When Dory woke up from her dream, she immediately zipped to her parents' house, and she constantly begged her parents for a pet. The question was like a broken record player to them. It kept ringing in their ears. Even though her parents declined her question repeatedly, she still wasn't hesitant to ask them that question. The question that most kids would ask their parents. Dory hoped her parents would change their mind, but they kept telling her no. The forgetful fish asked them for heaven knows how long. Thankfully, her mother stepped in and told her that she and Charlie would have to think about what she wanted.

"Yeah. Jenny, knowing Dory, she forgets things. Taking care of a pet is a big responsibility, and the owner has to be there for it for all times. I know she's an adult, but she still has to be looked over like she's a kid again. She can't even take care of herself because of her disability. It is our job to protect and love her. And if Dory has a pet, I-I'm just afraid that she will forget the requirements she'll need to do in order to take care of it."

His wife laid a comforting fin on his back. "I know we still take care of her, but she likes doing her own things. She was even able to survive in the ocean her entire life without getting eating by a shark. She has gone through life without the care and love of us, Charlie. Look, I know she's not capable of taking care of herself and living on her own, but she's able to contain herself and sometimes be responsible in her own Dory way. I've noticed that a few days after we first settled in here, the kids love to play and hang out with her, especially Nemo. I can see that he looks up to her. Their relationship is like brother and sister."

Charlie had to process things out in his head before he could give a response to Jenny. He understood that she was right on that their daughter loved doing her own stuff. And with her optimistic personality and her good qualities, she was able to do anything, even at the worst of times. She wouldn't let her disability get in the way. Her memory loss is what made her special. That and all of the amazing qualities that made up her.

On one side of his mind, he wasn't sure if Dory was ready for a pet yet, let alone responsible for one. Even though Marlin's son looked up to her and that the fish kids loved her, she wouldn't really be able to handle a pet. Taking care of a pet would be like taking care of a child. Children could be troublemakers just like pets. On the other hand, though, they could be really loving and sweet, and they would look up to their parents, just like pets would look up to their owners. If Dory ever did have a pet, he could see her pet loving her.

On the other side of his mind, Charlie was kind of thinking that maybe she was ready to handle a big responsibility if she could just put her mind to it. Plus, he, Jenny, and all of her friends could all help her take care of the pet. The father knew he rejected his daughter's request, but the half of his mind was certain that she could handle a pet. Maybe he just didn't see that there was a different side of her? There could be responsible Dory in there.

Now, he was perplexed. He was set on one answer before, but now he was set on two. His daughter was shown to be responsible at times, but then again, her parents would constantly remind her on stuff like she was five again. Considering that she was an adult that she was, she did her own things, and she was able to do some things on her own. If she needed help, her self advocacy would come into play, and she would ask somebody. She was not being babied anymore. She was this kind of fish that had adult and child traits at the same time. That was what made him confused. On the side note, what if they help on Dory too much on the pet, and they would end up taking care of it themselves instead of the fish who was responsible for it? There were so many things whirling around in his head...

"Charlie? Are you okay? You look worried." Jenny looked at him, concerned.

"I'm... fine. I'm just thinking about this whole... pet thing you, know? But yeah, I can definitely see them as being brother and sister. I understand what you said, honey."

"Charlie, we have to think about Dory's question. This pet thing is new to us, and we need time to think things over. I can see that you are just as confused as I am."

"Oh, you have NO idea! At first, I'm like 'No. You are definitely not getting a pet.' But now I'm all like 'Maybe she can have a pet. But, I don't know, can she?' I'm on different sides at the moment here."

Jenny firmly held onto her husband's fin, knowing that he was a little stressed. "How about we go get something to eat? Surely that will calm down your nerves."

"Sounds like a good idea, honey." He gave her a quick kiss on the lips.

Nemo didn't even stay put when he saw his best friend, other best friend, swim over to him in enthusiasm. His small flippers flapped quickly along with his back ones. His body matched along with his four flippers in terms of being fast. With an exciting call of the clownfish's name, he raced over to him. His father trailed behind him and gave a merrily giggle.

"Squirt!" Nemo shouted. His scarlet eyes sparkled; he was so ready for playtime.

"Hey, dude!" the young sea turtle greeted.

The two friends possibly couldn't forget their signature friend greeting. They did this all the time, and with Squirt, he would do it with his dad for fun. It was one of those special moments those two shared with as father and son. It was even more fun for Squirt to share the hand downed moment with his best friend.

"Give me some fin," Squirt said as he extended out his right fin.

Nemo firmly slapped his fin with his left fin, contrasting Squirt's.

"Noggin," the child continued as they simultaneously bumped their heads together. It didn't hurt since they had done their greeting so many times already.

"Dude!" they chorused before laughing.

Marlin watched the duo. He cracked a smile in amusement. He then watched Crush come up to him.

"Hey, Marlin, what's up my man?" he happily said.

"Hi, Crush. How's it going?" he asked.

"Awesome, my dude," he replied.

They both did a hand-finshake. Just like their sons, the adults would do cool finshakes. Despite the serious fish that Marlin was, he had a hidden childlike aspect in him that no one would really experience from him. He was not a playful fish, yes, but every once in a while, he would enjoy having fun. For example, he wouldn't mind a game or two of hide-and-seek with Dory and his friends. He wasn't as childish as Dory, but he would display his hidden childlike part from him every so often. His son loved that part from his dad, and he wished he could display more of that, but not all dreams would come true.

"Good, good. I'm not really up to much, really. I'm just... living life in the ocean, you know? Nothing new is going on, except that Dory has been REALLY wanting a pet. She's been frequently asking her parents for one. It's kind of getting on my nerves. Hopefully, she will forget about the pet thing. Ironic since she forgets things all the time."

"Little Blue wants a pet, heh? If she does end up getting one, I wish her all the best. Having a pet is a huge responsibility. She needs to learn the ways on how to take care of one." Crush's eyes took note on the said fish, who was doing flips to Destiny and Shadow.

"Her parents are deciding whether or not she will have a pet. I hope they come up with an answer soon. I'm getting sick of her bringing up the subject." He lightly rubbed his temple.

"Ah, I understand, dude. If Squirt would constantly remind me of that particular subject, I will get agitated." His green eyes darted off again, checking on his son to make sure he didn't get hurt or get into any unknown trouble. The youth was currently playing tag with Nemo. No mischevious acts were coming into play here.

"Totally," the clownfish simply replied.

"Soo... how is the couple doing?" he jokingly asked.

"Oh, fi- What?! Couple?! Crush, they don't even have crushes on each other! Well, not yet anyway..."

The turtle laughed. "I'm just playing with you, dude!" He gave Marlin a playful nudge with his flipper.

Marlin chuckled, placing his fins on his stomach. He then looked over to the two. The sharks had been knowing each other for a while now. It should be obvious that those two had crushes on each other. He knew the looks that Shadow would cast to Destiny. The clownfish had those exact same looks when he first met Coral. Shadow didn't do this every time, but he would sometimes stutter when talking to the whale shark. He would do that because he would accidentally stare at Destiny's pretty, blue eyes and at times her noticeable white spots that perfectly matched her body. The stuttering would sometimes follow with a blush. Destiny would do the same thing that the sand shark did, minus the stuttering. She would blush from time to time. It had to be obvious that those two had crushes on each other, right? The clownfish didn't know for sure though. Maybe he was overthinking it and misunderstood...

"I see them hanging out with each other a lot lately. Either they are really friendly with each other or it's something else... I don't really know. I don't want to be nosy or anything, but I kind of think they have crushes on each other. I may be wrong though," Marlin told him.

"You know what, Marlin dude? I've been thinking the same thing. I saw Shadow blushing at Destiny one time. Don't know the reason why, though. But hey, we should let the subject subside. I don't want them to hear us talking about them. If they overhear us, they might not want to speak with us for eternity. It's rude to talk about other fish like that, you know?"

"You're right. Hey, wanna go on a late afternoon swim? You know, just to relax our minds from the long day and such?" Marlin inquired.

"Cha, I'm always good with a nice little swim in the big blue, man."

"Same here. Let's remind the boys first."

The young duo was hard at play as soon as their fathers had left for their late afternoon swim. They played entertaining games that were known today, fun little games that were fun for children and even adults. Since it was their playdate, no one was allowed to join them. Even though they wish they could invite them, the playdate was designed specifically for them. It was their time to just hang out and play together as best friends. It was their time to spend time alone without no interruptions. Well, at least they thought that they would have a nice time together with nobody ruining their fun.

The perky blue tang merrily swam her way to the two children. She was observing them playing along from her distance not too long ago. She had to admit that she was a little envious when watching them. The fish always loved to play, and she didn't like it when she felt like she was missing out on some good playtime. Obviously, she had forgotten that Nemo reminded her that the playdate was only for him and Squirt.

"Hi, guys!" she chirped, waving her fin to them.

Nemo stopped in his track as soon as he heard that recognizable high voice. He groaned in annoyance. "I knew she would forget."

Squirt looked at his friend, then at the excited tang. "Aww, it's okay, Nemo. We'll just kindly tell her to leave."

He gave an exaggerated sigh. Nemo loved Dory, he really did, and he loved to play with her, but right now, this was the time for him and Squirt to play. Even the slightest of disturbance would ruin their playdate. Knowing Dory, she forgot stuff instantly, so he decided not to overreact. He took a few breathing exercises to calm down.

"Hi, guys!" Dory repeated. "I watched you guys playing, and it would be super fun if I can play with you."

"Dory," Squirt began, "Nemo and I told you that the playdate is only for us. For him and me only." He gestured a small flipper to Nemo, then to himself. "Understand?"

"But the playdate would be even more fun if I joined," she stated.

"I bet it will, but this playdate is for Squirt and me alone. We want to be able to have the opportunity to play today. You have to remember that Squirt doesn't visit here every day. He comes here with the permission of Crush. You live with me, and we always have time to play together. I want to have the chance to play with Squirt today," Nemo explained.

"Okay, I understand..." Dory replied, her wide, magenta eyes slowly gazing down at the ocean floor.

"Look, I promise we will have a playdate another time, okay? Just me and you. No one else. How does that sound?"

Dory perked up at the offer. "Really? You mean it?"

"Really." Nemo grinned.

"Yahoo! I'm gonna have a playdate with Nemo!" She did a few flips in triumph.

"Aww, that's nice of you to do that, Nemo," Squirt said.

"I can't stand to let Dory down. I don't like her being sad. If she's sad, then I'm sad."

"Dory is an awesome dudette," Squirt remarked happily.

Dory flushed lightly before completely changing the subject. "I might be getting a pet soon, and I'm so excited!"

"We know Dory," Nemo blankly said. "You told all of us already. By a couple of days, the whole ocean will know."

"My parents still haven't come up with a decision. I don't want to rush them, but I hope they hurry up. I can't wait any longer."

"Woah, a pet! That's amazing, Dory!" Squirt exclaimed.

"I know, right? Well, I better go now. You guys have fun!" With a heartbeat, Dory sprinted away, singing her "Just Keep Swimming" song.

A few hours had passed since the playdate. Crush and Marlin came back, and after a few minutes of their return, Crush took Squirt home. Nemo's and Squirt's playdate had been a blast, and they hoped they would do another one someday.

It was the evening now. The group of ocean friends had just finished eating dinner, and it would not be too long until Nemo's bedtime.

Dory decided to go to her parent's house. She had been waiting for hours for their decision. She hoped the answer would be a "yes."

The fish took a path that had a few turns, like a zig-zag motion. As soon as she saw her parents' brain coral come into view, she saw her parents discussing something. Her face lit up, positive they were talking about a certain subject.

Charlie noted his daughter's presence, which allowed him to stop the conversation.

"Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!" Dory brightly greeted. "If you are talking about a little something that I happen to know, then I will just leave you two guys alone..."

Her mom giggled at her funniness. "Sweetie, we still haven't decided yet. Dad and I are talking about it. If you want to know our answer, then you'll just have to be patient. If you decide to be impatient, then we will not tell you at all."

"Oooh, okay. Sorry, I'll... I'll just be on my way now." Dory darted away.

"She's really serious about getting a pet," Charlie chuckled.

"I know. She can't seem to get the thought out of her head, which has me thinking..."

"Thinking about what, Jen?" her husband asked.

"If she's serious about getting a pet, then she might be able to handle one. I remember you saying that you were worried about her forgetting about the certain requirements needed to be able to take care of a pet. I think that she knows the basics of what the pet needs. Food, making sure it gets enough exercise, a lot of love, attention, and other basic things that a pet would need. Plus, she has loads of free time. If she has enough time to play with her friends, then she will definitely have enough time to take care of her pet," Jenny clarified.

Charlie nodded his head, agreeing with his wife. He then rubbed his head in embarrassment. "I'm sorry on what I said about her forgetting. I was overreacting. It's just so surprising for me to think of our little girl taking care of a pet like it's a child."

"I understand, dear. If she needs help in any way with her pet, then we will certainly help. Not too much, though. We don't need to hog it. We need to let Dory have the time to experience what it's like to have a pet. A new addition to the family is a really big change. So, for the first few weeks or so, she would mostly get stressed handling it, especially when it will wake up at random times on nights. Stress is no fun. If she will get stressed, we will try our best to calm her down and try to deal with the pet."

"I love the way you think, honey. Your intelligence is one of the main things about you," Charlie thoughtfully said.

"Oh, Charlie," Jenny said, flattered. A light blush was beginning to appear on her cheeks.

Her husband kissed her on a red cheek. "So, you think she's ready?"

Jenny had to ponder for a moment. She didn't want to answer the question that quickly. The things that she had been explaining to her husband were beliefs about her daughter. She believed that her daughter was efficient to deal with one objective: being responsible for a pet. With her memory disability in the way, though, it would be difficult to contain a pet and pay attention to it at all times. The mother had been mostly positive on topic, but she was spectacle about it, too. There were some anxious questions that were flooding around in her head that she really didn't feel like saying out loud or even just concentrating on them in her head. They were just jumbled up together like puzzle pieces.

"You can do whatever you put your mind to, Dory," younger Jenny once said to five-year-old Dory.

Worriedness slowly began to drift away when she remembered that sentence she had said to her then young daughter. If anyone could believe in themselves and have enough faith, then they would be able to succeed in anything. Jenny had always believed in Dory, even at the toughest of times. She was certain that her daughter had faith that she would take care of a pet in one facet of her mind. Beneath all of her enthusiasm was a small hint of a logical piece. She might had been wrong about her daughter, but maybe she planned out on how to take care of her pet in some sort of way. She was always honest on her, so she was honest that Dory had to analyze the issue at least a little bit. Analytical was not the best word to describe Dory; it was more like Marlin, but everyone in life had to just sit down and reflect on important themes. The ingredients of faith, belief, honesty, and loyalty, were beyond good terms on taking possessiveness of a pet. Those words and her own special mixture of Dory optimism and her character were perfect for contriving an amazing pet owner.

"Yes, I believe that she's ready," Jenny declared.

"It's set then. Should we get her?"

"I think we should tell her tomorrow morning. I want her to have a surprised morning," Jenny said.

"Great idea. Oh, I can't wait to see the look on her face!"

Saturday morning had arrived. The weekend was finally here at last. No school to attend to, and no work for Destiny, Hank, and Bailey. There was nothing more relaxing than having a chance to sleep in on the weekends, especially when you didn't have any plans in mind on some weekends. Sleeping in was great for everyone, even early birds.

For Jenny and Charlie, they had to get up early to tell Dory the news. They were not necessarily night owls, so they were perfectly fine on getting up early. Charlie was a little hesitant though on waking up since he didn't expect Jenny gently prodding on him to get up. His wife didn't blame him. She would be pretty upset too if she was woken up by someone else trying to get her up. She was better off waking up by herself.

They sauntered through the dim ocean. The ocean was not completely dark, but it was not really light either. It was a mixture in between. The dim light of the ocean hinted it was early morning, and that the sun was about to come up in a while.

The distance between their house and their daughter's brain coral was not very far at all. It would take approximately five minutes or less to get there. They remembered the route from their home to hers by a few days, so that pretty much summed that her brain coral was really easy to get to.

The couple immediately recognized the familiar anemone that resided Marlin and Nemo in. Its tentacles swayed back and forth in a flowing, delicate motion in the dense water. The image matched the description of the sea. It was mesmerizing to see if one would want to stare at it all day.

Next to the anemone was, of course, Dory's brain coral. The blue tang housed in there was in a comfortable position, her leaning body against its interior. She appeared to not be snoring for once. The tang would usually snore almost all the time, but this time, she didn't. It made her appear a calm, peaceful, sleeping fish.

Her mother's magenta eyes softened at her sleeping daughter. She looked so peaceful, and she was really quiet at this state. The only sounds coming out of her were soft snores. Jenny gave a gentle smile at Dory as she reached a delicate fin out to caress her face.

"Oh, Charlie... She's sleeping just like a baby. I remember those days where I would just watch her sleep peacefully. I loved those endearing moments and... Oh, honey... I don't want to wake her up. I just want to watch her sleep in content. If I could, I would watch her all day."

A soft chuckle arose from her husband's lips before carefully grabbing one of her fins. "I used to love watching her sleep as well. I wish I could let you do that, but we have to tell her. It's important news, well, at least for her anyway."

"Yeah, you're right. She has to hear our answer," Jenny agreed.

"Kelpcake," Charlie quietly said, gently shaking her awake.

Dory abruptly woke up. "H-huh? Oh, it's only you guys."

"Dory, your father and I have some really exciting news," Jenny grinned.

"Really? What news? That's awesome!"

Both of her parents giggled. Since it was the next day, they sort of knew that she would forget about the pet subject, but a part of them thought that she would still have the topic still lingering in her head since she didn't forget it at all yesterday. So, they were kind of right.

"We'll tell you the news at our house," Charlie claimed.

Dory took off without warning before her father even got a chance to finish the sentence. She couldn't contain her excitement much longer.

"Wow, someone's excited," Jenny giggled.

Their daughter's eyes widened as she saw them return home. "So, what's the big news?" she anxiously asked.

"Should I tell her?" Charlie mumbled to Jenny.

"Yes, go ahead," she told him quickly.

"Dory, you're getting a pet!" Charlie announced.

Dory gasped for a quick second before inquiring, "Wait, what pet? I didn't ask for one."

Her parents gave each other perplexed glances at each other. Yes, she had forgotten about the pet concept, but Charlie told her the decision that he and Jenny had discussed. Usually, she would remember things when fish would remind her a second time, but she suddenly forgot.

"Sweetheart, yes you did. You've been begging us all afternoon yesterday. You really wanted one," Jenny told her.

Dory took a moment to remember. She placed her left fin on her chin. The river of memories then flooded through her head in an instant. From the moment she first woke up from her dream, from the constant begging to her parents, from her swimming around excitedly in circles, from her telling all of her friends her excitement, to the moment when she eagerly went to bed before dozing off.. eventually forgetting all about the excitement bottled up inside of her.

"Oh, yeah, that... Well..."

"Is something wrong, Kelpcake?" Charlie concernedly asked. He was happy to tell her that she was finally getting a pet, but his expression was concerned now. Was she changing her mind? Or was it something else she needed to say. He was worried something was bothering her, and he had that thought that she didn't want to tell them.

From Dory's perspective, the fish was uncertain about the news. It was just yesterday that she was anxious to hear her parent's decision, now, she felt drained about it. Her emotions changed on the pet matter in just one day. She wasn't sure why she wasn't thrilled with her parents' decision. Certainly, she wanted a pet... or maybe she didn't... The forgetful fish felt like she was a whole different fish. She admitted she wasn't excited anymore.

"I... I'm not sure that I want a pet anymore," she finally answered.

Jenny and Charlie's faces had surprise looks. Their daughter didn't want a pet?

"But yesterday, you were so excited for one. You didn't forget about it, not even one bit. You remembered it for so long," Jenny said.

"I'm not excited anymore, Mom. I don't know why, though. Gosh, it feels so weird. For some reason, I can't have that excitement back inside me. Just even thinking about a pet just makes me want to forget about it. For once, I actually want to forget something..."

"So you're saying that you're changing your mind about getting a pet?" Jenny questioned.

Dory said nothing. She felt uncomfortable about saying "no." The blue tang didn't want to admit to her parents, but she felt kind of nervous about them being angry at her. She knew they must had discussed and thought about the decision for hours, and she knew it was stressful for them for just coming up with an answer. She loved her parents, and she cared about their health and happiness. Thinking about them being anxious made her feel uneasy. Plus, her uneasiness would increase even more if her parents gave out their anger to her. She didn't feel like saying her answer at the moment.

"I see what's going on here," Charlie said, sensing his daughter's nervousness.

Dory looked at her father but decided to still not say anything.

"You're accepting that you're not ready for a pet, are you?"

Dory's mouth formed into an "o" shape. That solved all of her problems. No wonder why she didn't feel enlivened anymore. She didn't have a chance to think about the big responsibilities of owning a pet, let alone ask fish how to handle a pet. At one point though, she did had to analyze how she would take care of a pet, but that was later replaced with more excitement. She was so hyper about getting a pet that she didn't stop to think about how hard it was to really take care of one. This morning when she woke up, the hyperactivity wore off, and she forgot about the whole pet thing. Maybe her conscience was telling her that she wasn't ready for a pet yet and that she needed to take things slow and learn the responsibilities about having one. Her conscious finally decided to come out of its shell and speak up.

"Yeah... I-I guess I am," she admitted.

Jenny affectionately kissed Dory on the forehead. "I'm glad that you had to sort out the issue in your head. You basically questioned yourself "Am I ready for a pet or not?" And you decided to plan things out in your head. I'm proud of you, dear."

"Aww, I didn't exactly do that, Mom. It was my conscious telling me that I'm not ready for a pet. I wasn't aware of it at first, but when I thought about it, like, a minute ago, I knew. And I decided to stick with my conscious. My conscious first appeared maybe when I first woke up," Dory explained.

"Always a great idea to listen to your conscious. Very smart," Charlie remarked.

"Aww, Dad..." Dory blushed.

Jenny kissed her on the cheek. "I'm thinking about going on a morning swim. Just the three of us. As a family."

"That's a wonderful idea, honey. I would love to spend time having a peaceful swim with my two girls here," Charlie smiled.

"Yay! Swim time!" Dory shouted, throwing her fins up in the air.

Her parents held their daughter's fins, and the three began their swim in the quiet, gorgeous morning ocean.

A/N: I just realized that this is the longest I have ever written. Gosh, what a lot of words! I guess this shows how serious I am about my writing and that I don't actually rush to get it done. I usually update my stories by a time span of a few months. I'm disappointed about that because I know some of you guys are impatient about my slow updates. I'm awfully sorry about that. It's school that gets in the way. That and plus, I'm careful about what I write, so I want my content to be good so that anyone can enjoy my stories. Time management is also a thing. I think about what story I want to do next, so I take my slow and steady time writing the next chapter for that particular story because of efficiency. I'm a fast typer, but I analyze my writing and I think about the details that go into the story, and I think about what the characters say. That's why my updates are so slow. I care about my stories, and I do my best to write them, I really do. Thank you guys so much for reading this lengthy chapter. I really appreciate it. :)