Hi Guys! KityPryde here. This story is kind of different from the ones I normally write cause there's an OC. (other character) But I hope ya'll like it just the same.

(A/N) The OC is another Animorph I made up. Erek is her next door neighbor.

Friends Alike

Sitting on the driveway, and resting my back on the garage door, I was thinking about how I should be working on my history homework. (I am such a procrastinator) But I quickly put that completely out of my mind.

A plastic crumpling sound jerked me out of my thoughts and I looked next door. I saw Erek. I smirked. He was 'struggling' to lift a heavy bag of garbage. "Hey Erek," I called over. He looked over and smiled. Erek and I had been neighbors since we were six years old, well, I guess since I was six years old. We used to play together, riding our bikes in the street, exploring nearby woods and creeks, and sometimes yelling and screaming and going crazy like little kids do at the park.

After that he lifted the trash bag and carried it over to the curb. Then he brushed his hands on the side of his shorts and walked over, just like any normal kid would do.

"Hi Laura," he said friendly. I smiled back, "Hey Erek, taking out the trash?" He shrugged, "Yeah, my dad made me." I grinned, "I saw you strainning to lift that one bag. Must of been pretty heavy. What was it like? A few thouasand pounds of gold?" He laughed and plopped down beside me. "Yep. Something like that." I laughed as well.

"So," he began, "Watcha doing?" I shrugged, "I don't know. Just hanging out I guess... It's a pretty sunset."

"Yeah," Erek agreed, "It really is..."

I gazed at the slowly darkening sky. The sun was behind some trees and hadn't completely set, so it was still kind of light, and you could see brilliant streaks of orange and pink that contrasted nicely against the deep blue sky.

"How's your history homework coming along?" he asked.

"Oh, it's great! You know, it's um, really coming along."

"You haven't started have you."

I pretended to be insulted, "What? Of course I've started. The teacher asigned it a week ago. How could you even think that?"

"How far have you gotton?"

I grinned, "Oh, I haven't started yet."

"Thought so. But its really not your fault. You guys had three missions this week."

"I know," I shuddered and said in a hushed tone, "I hate going to the Yeerk pool."

He just nodded in agreement and we were kind of silent for a while.

"So Erek..."


"What's it like to be around for so long?"

He looked a little taken aback, probably not expecting that sort of question.

"I guess what I mean is, how is it like to live in so many places, and to meet so many different people, and then to see so much change?"

He was quiet for a while, just staring off at the house across the street, but I sorta guessed he was thinking of something profound, but hey, that's just my guess. Then he looked back at me and I was surprised. It was like I could see through him, I mean, not his actual holigram disguise, but something more. I could see the wisdom that came from being around for so many years. But then just like that he grinned like any teenaged boy would.

"It's cool."

I nodded and gave a quick smile, but that wasn't the answer I was looking for.

"What made you ask?"

I shrugged, "I'm not really sure," then under my breth, "about anything really..."

He frowned slightly, "What's wrong?"

"What makes you think something's wrong?"

"Well, for one thing you don't seem like yourself recently. You're not as cheery as you usually are. The group needs that you know."

I shifted akwardly and looked away, "I know that."

"And secound, you just said, 'about anything really'. What's bothering you?"
I looked at him and smiled, he seemed genuinely concerned. We were good friends, best friends I guess you could say. After I became an animorph we still hung out, just not as often, cause I was busy and stuff. And then I saw him handing out sharing newsletters, and got suspicious. I was relieved to find out he wasn't a controller, but you've got to admit, finding out your best friend is an android isn't exactly an easy thing to get used to, especially after the mission to get the Pemalite crystal. I guess I was acting a little strange, but mostly only when he was around.

I decided to ask the question I'd been wanting to ask, even though I probably already knew the answer, "How come you never told me?"

He raised an eyebrow in question, "Tell you what...?"

"You know," I insisted, "How come you never told me you... weren't from around here?"

"Ohhh. That. I did tell you."

I snorted, "Yeah, only when you had to. But what about before, when we were like best friends who told each other everything. Why not then, Erek?"

He looked away and said quietly, "I wanted to," then he looked back at me and shrugged helplessly, "But you know I couldn't. You don't know how hard it was to convince the other Chee to let me tell you guys. Most of them still don't like the idea that you guys know."

I nodded, that was the answer I had expected, but I guess I just wanted to hear it out loud.

"And besides," He continued, a grin slowly appearing on his face, "If I had told you in first grade, you would have blabbed it to the whole school."

"Would not have!" I argued indignantly.

"Oh yeah?" he asked on the verdge of laughing.

"Yeah! When have I ever told someone one of your secrets? Go ahead. Try and give me an example. Just one!"

He smiled, "Ok. In forth grade. I told you they were going to make me play the rear end of a donkey in the American History play. I told you I was really embarased and asked you not to tell anyone and you said 'no problem'. Now, I'm not pointing any fingers, but I'd like to know how Cody Pearson and Jessica Barns found out two weeks before the play, who then told everyone they could."

I started laughing and ended up snorting as a result of trying to stop laughing, "Oh yeah, Ha Ha Heh Hee Hee, I remember that! But that was just one example. I'll bet you can't give me another."

He smiled again, "Ok. Forth grade again. We were making decorations for the spring festival and-"

"Ok!" I shouted and then, "Fine, I'll admit it. I was wrong and you were right, I would have blabbed it."

"Told you so."

"Darn androids and their ability to remember everything."

He made a face.

I stuck out my tongue.

We burst out laughing.

"Yeah, well, you could have told me in fith grade."

He just smiled at me, just before shoving me lightly into the bushes.

I rolled out and pushed him over. I got up first and offered a hand, only to be pulled back down into the grass, "Hey, no fair! And to think I was trying to help you get up."

"Yeah sure you were, and I've met Queen Elizabeth I."

"Wait... have you?"

He didn't answer and we started laughing again, laying on our backs and looking out at the many stars that decorated the sky.



"Can I ask you something?"


"Are we still friends?"

I smiled, "The best."

He stood up and offered his hand, "Then c'mon."

"Huh?" I asked, taking his hand and pulling myself up.

His face was full of youth like the friend I knew, "Lets go exploring."

"Right now?"

He shrugged, "Why not? It's Saturday, and we never hang out anymore."

"Well, my homeworks not due for another week..."

"I'll help you with it! I know all about that stuff, we'll get it done in no time."

"Well when you put it that way, and considering you have an A in that class, Okay! I'd much rather go build a fort in the woods," I smiled, "just like we used to."

He nodded, "I know. I remember, remember?"

I laughed, "Darn Androids."

He stuck out his tongue.

I made a face.

And even though there were thoasands of years and gallactic battles between the two of us, into the woods we went to explore and play just like old times, both still just kids.

My question had been answered after all, nothing had changed.