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The Agent That Works Too Hard

Chapter Text

Agent 8 shivered underneath the covers that she laid underneath on the couch. It always got cold during the night on the first floor of the two-floor apartment and Agent 3 wasn’t really aware of that. However, Eight didn’t want to tell her how cold it got, she didn’t want to be a burden. Eight didn’t mind, it wasn’t all that cold if you got enough blankets.

Eight had been living in Three’s apartment for almost 2 months, ever since she came to the surface. She was hoping she could get her own place because she knew that all of the water, food, and utilities she had been using added up in Three’s bill and Eight felt terrible for that despite Three telling her not to feel that way. During the first month of their living, Eight didn’t eat anything but breakfast. She would eat half of the breakfast and then save the rest of it for Lunch and Dinner. It irritated the HELL out of Three.

‘Just eat, Eight. It’s fine. I get paid pretty well.’ She would say.

Eight still wouldn’t listen. If she thought that getting paid minimum wage was ‘paid pretty well’ then she must have been crazy. Eight didn’t know much about how the Inklings lived but she was positive that the way the economy worked underground was the way it probably worked up here. And after hearing what Pearl had to say about pay… it was most likely official. She could trust Pearl even though most of the time when it came to talk about everyday life struggles, all she did was complain.

Nonetheless, Eight couldn’t be upset. Pearl taught Eight everything she needed to know about Inkopolis. Or at least, most of what she knew. Eight only remembered a bit of it anyway. Marina had to teach the rest, like the Inkling language. That was pretty easy for Eight to pick up…but her sentences were still a bit broken.

Agent Three said it was cute though. That made her feel…hot…like internally hot for some weird reason. That simple comment on her speech pattern made her feel that way. Maybe it was because Three never used the word cute for anything except for maybe a small child and you don’t see small children just walking around the Square too often.

Eight was still awake. She felt like she hadn’t slept a wink and she was positive that it was after Midnight. She also had a feeling that Three was asleep. She did have a long day…as usual.

Eight really wanted to spend more time with her. She was always out working. Cap’n Cuttlefish may have referred to her as an Agent but she was never needed for anything else…only Agent 3 and Agent 4 are needed. BARELY Agent 4 actually. It’s like Agent 3 was always on the clock.

‘What you do at job?’ she would ask.

‘Oh. Just training for right now. Just in case another threat comes back…like someone like Octavio.’ Three would respond.

‘Why do training much?’

‘I don’t know.’

That’s how most of the conversations would go. Eight loved conversating with Three. Three loved conversating with Eight. Luckily, Three could understand her broken inkling.

Eight sighed and maneuvered her body around on the couch, making sure the covers fit around her entire body. It was still cold. She looked over at the clock. 1:19am. She didn’t get a simple wink of sleep and it was giving her an unsettling feeling. She could quite figure out what was truly on her mind. She had so many wondering thoughts that she couldn’t keep track of. She was really thinking about knocking on Three’s door but…she would probably get mad…Three needed her sleep.

Rubbing her eyes, she sat up on the couch and just took a gander at the Splattershot across the room. It looked so clean yet so…worn out. Three had been working for more than 3 years but of course, she would try to keep her prize possessions clean. All of the endeavors that she had been through, however, probably kept the thing from looking entirely new.

Eight was really considering getting up and moving to Three’s room. She just couldn’t sleep. And she knew that wasn’t good for her at all. She felt tired but her body wouldn’t let her drift off. It was frustrating. At this point, she didn’t really care what Three thought about her (even though she really did) she just wanted to sleep, and she felt that it would help if she was sleeping next to someone like Three. So she stood up and walked quietly upstairs to Three’s door.

The door was cracked slightly. Eight pushed it gently just in case Three was asleep. If she wanted to crawl into the bed, she could crawl into the bed quietly without disturbing the Inkling. Peaking in, she could see that Three was sound asleep and sprawled all across the left side of the bed. Eight could squeeze in.

In the process of opening the door, it creaked slightly, making the Inkling move around in the bed. Eight knew she had woken her up and hated herself for it. What happened to staying quiet?

“Eight?” she said in a tired tone. “What are you doing?”

“Um… uh…” All the conversations they had ever had and she couldn’t answer a simple question. “Cannot sleep.”

“You can’t sleep?”

Eight nodded, her head down not making eye contact with Three. She was embarrassed and felt like a young child who was asking if she could sleep in her parent’s bed after a nightmare. Eight wasn’t 5 years old, she was a teenager.

“Well…” Three started saying. “Do you want to sleep in here…with me?”

“..Yes.” Eight’s cheeks felt hot…she still didn’t know why. ‘Maybe I’m getting sick or something.’ She thought. She gave a big smile and crawled into the bed with Three.

“I’m sorry I don’t let you sleep in here with me. I just want you to have enough room for yourself. I tend to sleep like a starfish.” Three chuckled.

Eight laughed along with her. “You cute starfish.”

Three chuckled again. “Well… I hope I don’t shove you off the side of the bed.”

“You will not. I am comfy here. You comfy there. No?”

“Yeah.”

Three smiled at her before turning over, pulling the covers over her and falling asleep. Not before saying Goodnight of course. Eight returned the Goodnight and laid down. She didn’t turn the other way though, she looked at Three…even though all she could see was the back of her head. She scooted closer. Three seemed to smell…much better than when they first met. Not like a sweaty Inkling who had been working all day and was too tired to even shower.

Eight liked her new smell.

Chapter Text

It didn’t take long for Agent 8’s emotions to change from happy and at peace, to once again…lonely. It didn’t hurt her too much that Three had to leave for work every morning…but if Three could just stay for a little bit longer…

It was morning, almost 9 am and Three had already showered and put on her gear. Eight, still in the nightclothes that Three had let her borrow; a big dark navy blue shirt. “Alright Eight, I’m off.” Three said as she was about to head out the door with a homemade smoothie in her hand. Her gear was on and she carried a large bag on her back that contained her Splattershot. “I’ll be back at 3.”

Eight watched as Three was about to leave, struggling to get out the door because of the bag with the Splattershot inside. “W-wait.”

Three stopped. “Hmm? What’s up?”

“I no like alone.” Eight didn’t even look Three directly in the eye when she said that. She knew she shouldn’t have stopped the Inkling from proceeding to work, she would be late. And once again, she felt embarrassed.

Three kept the door open, letting in the chilling wind of early Spring. “Eight, I have to go. I’m gonna be late.”

“I want you for here.” Eight said sadly. Deep down, Eight was really disappointed that she had to leave again. After being able to sleep with Three that night…she felt so much more comfortable and safer. The night was warmer. Whenever the cute Inkling would turn her face towards hers, luckily, Eight would be awake to see her sleeping soundly, like a baby.

Three could see the Octoling’s expression. The straight look of disappointment. “I see you work. But I miss.”

Eight missed her.

Three shook her head slowly. She wasn’t sure what to do. She was a tad irritated that Eight was holding her back from leaving to get to work but at the same time she felt remorse for her comment a few seconds ago and also not knowing how to handle the current situation.

She closed the door gently and lowered the bag off her back, also proceeding to put her smoothie down on the stand near the door. She walked closer to Eight and looked up at her face. Three was able to get a good look at her since she was just about 2 inches shorter, standing at 5’4. “Eight… you don’t want me to leave?”

Eight shook her head, moving her eyes to glance into Three’s.

“Well, Eight…I have to go…”

“Why?”

Three paused. She actually didn’t know how to answer that question. All she was really doing at Squidbeak every day was training. No missions, no one to rescue, no Zapfish to return…nothing. Just training. Half of the time, Cap’n Cuttlefish wasn’t even directing her around. It seemed as if she was more the one who was pushing herself to do everyday exercises… However, Cap’n Cuttlefish said that she had to show up every day, minus the weekends and half of Friday and unless she had an emergency to attend to.

Three had to respond though. “I don’t know.” Just like she said earlier. “I don’t know Eight. Ya girl just has to work to get money. I need to pay for both of us.”

There it was. The one reason that Eight felt bad for living there in the first place. If she wasn’t doing anything that could be a benefit to Three, she felt…

“Useless.”

Three was taken back by what Eight said. She didn’t understand. “Huh?”

“Useless. I useless.”

“Wha-no! No, you’re not!” Three said firmly. “Stop putting yourself down like that! Why do you think this?”

“I use stuff. I don’t pay for stuff.”

“What the hell- Eight…”

“I use stuff for you. That your stuff.”

“What did I tell you before about that, Eight? I’m paying for everything. You’re still technically new to Inkopolis. I should be your support.”

“You not my mom. You my friend.”

Eight…Eight was so right. Three shook her head. What Eight said made her think. She must have really been treating Eight like a child. Even though Eight wasn’t equipped with the right knowledge and finance, she also had plenty of opportunities around Inkopolis. However, Three wasn’t sure she would be easy to get set up with. All octolings were still getting used to the language and the way of Inkopolis.

Three placed a gentle hand on Eight’s shoulder. “Look Eight. I’m sorry you feel lonely when you are here but…I don’t know what I can do. I’ll think about a solution, okay? I got to go.” Three picked up her things and left slowly, feeling bad that she had to leave the Ocotling there…once again…all alone.

~

Three didn’t train all that hard that day. Ever since that short conversation she had with Eight that morning, she couldn’t help but feel so bitter and filled with dismal. She didn’t want to leave Eight there but what else was she supposed to do? Eight wasn’t ready for the real world yet…was she? Three needed to focus on her training, or else she would get hurt.

But she shouldn’t think those things about Eight…should she? Eight was so sweet. Innocent. Pure. Cute. Fun…fun to be around, fun to talk to…

Three needed to focus. She was 10 feet above the ground, practicing high jumps if she didn’t have the ability to Superjump anywhere. Sometimes a squid can get to exhausted to Superjump so she needed to practice landing and high jumps. She put one foot in front of the other and bent her legs, positioning herself in a ready stance, the tip of her shoe at the edge of the concrete she was on.

She took a deep breath in and went for her jump-

“Agent 3!”

Three slipped off the heightened concrete and dropped to the ground with a thud. She had scrapped her shin in the process of falling. Sitting up from her fall, she observed her scrape. Light green ink poured from the wound. It was sort of painful but not too bad. She took a sharp breath in through her teeth and got up off the ground, dusting herself off. She was about to turn to who called her. “What the hell? You caused me to fucking scrape my damn shin on the concrete. Now I’m bleeding. Whatever you have to say must be important.” When she turned around, she saw Cap’n Cuttlefish and Agent 4.

“What young lady?”

Agent 4 chuckled behind him.

“Shit.” She said under her breath. She just disrespected an elder accidentally. “I’m sorry. What is it?”

“Look it who I found!” Cap’n Cuttlefish dragged an Octoling from behind the doors of the inside of Squidbeak. It was Eight, standing there with a look of guilt on her face.

“It’s your girlfriend!” Agent 4 said, tormenting Agent 3.

“Shut up!” She said through her teeth. “She’s not my girlfriend. And where was she?”

Agent 4 shook her head, moving closer to Agent 3 with her arms crossed. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. You don’t even know where your own girlfriend is.”

“What the hell did I tell you Four. She’s not my girlfriend and she was supposed to be at home. How did she-?”

“She literally knocked on our door, Three.”

Three looked back at Eight, then back at Four. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. How did Eight even know the way there? She may have worked for Squidbeak for a couple days but, she’s never been to the actual headquarters and Three never thought to take her there.

Three bumped back Four and walked up to Eight. “What are you doing here?”

“Um…”

“You need to go back home. Come on.”

Agent 4 called from behind her. “Why don’t you want her here?”

Agent 3 didn’t have time to argue with the annoying yellow inkling. Four never pushed her over the edge but she was afraid that one day she would crack. Nonetheless, Three still considered her a…somewhat of a close friend. “I just- it’s not safe for her here. Too many obstacles and too many high spaces and too many random ‘Octolings popping up out of nowhere and too many…just. Look what I just did to my leg. That could happen to her face.”

“Too many excuses!” Agent 4 said, walking closer to the group. “You don’t recall what she’s been through, have you? You tried to kill her…twice. You should remember what happened. Look at the mark on your face!”

Three rubbed gently at the green mark on her right eye and cheek from the fight with TarTar. She couldn’t forget, it was glued to her face and blended in with her skin. Three DID remember. She especially remembered how strong Eight was in the fight. She just never realizes how much she had been through. Three only thought that she could handle immense amounts of stress and pain to the body.

She kept forgetting that Eight had been through way more than she had.

“I hate to agree with you Four. But…”

“It’s not too dangerous for her here. Exactly. I’m righter than you, always remember that.” She said smirking at Three.

Three rolled her eyes.

“Why don’t we just give her a job here! Or at least a trial job.” Four stated.

“That’s not a bad idea!” Cap’n Cuttlefish said. “What do you think, Eight?”

“Yes!”

“Wait what? A job? Just out of nowhere?”

Cap’n Cuttlefish shrugged. “Why not, kiddo? Then you get to work with her and she won’t have to be alone at home for most of the day? I’m pretty sure that’s what Eight wants anyway.”

Eight nodded rapidly.

The Captain was amused by her enthusiasm. “Okay, you start today.”

Three let out a cough, almost choking on the air she was breathing. “You’re just going to let her go out of nowhere? No training or anything?” She really couldn’t believe what the Captain was doing. Her and Four LITERALLY train every day and even though they were given the job out of nowhere, in order to be official agents they had to show what they could do by intense training.

The Captain shook his head. “I mean- have you seen what she can do? She’s got it! She don’t need no trainin’! Alright Eight, let me direct you to where the agent costumes are.” He put a hand on Eight’s back and they both turned and headed back inside.

Four turned to Three, smiling, once again feeling the urge to torment the older inkling as usual.

“What?” Three asked frowning at her co-worker after rolling her eyes at her.

“You needed training and she didn’t.” Four chuckled.

“You’re one to talk. You also needed training.”

Agent 4 laughed. “Whatever. You’re jealous, aren’t you?”

“Of what? There is nothing to be jealous of. I’ve been here for longer than anyone has…except for the Squid Sisters of course. But I know what I can do. I just don’t want her to get terribly hurt. I was close to being hurt, badly. And if she is put on a mission that’s worse than what she had to go through in the Deapsea Metro, and she can’t take it, then what do I do if she gets actually terribly hurt. Training here is intense and she’s my responsibility. I love her too much for her to get hurt while I’m there.”

“Well, she won’t. You just gotta believe in here because obviously, she believes in herself. She’ll be given more of a push if you put your belief in her and let her know.”

“You know, for a dumbass…you’re good at giving advice Four.” Three, unexpectedly smiled at Four for a bit. Not later, snapping back into a scowl, the usual look she has around Four.

Four didn’t even notice the smile, but she felt Three’s graciousness toward her at that moment.

“…You’re gay for her aren’t you?”

“Shut the shell up, Four.”

Chapter Text

“You look really nice in your new gear, Eight.” Three commented. She watched as the Octoling fixed up her outfit while looking at herself in the mirror.

“Thank very much.” She said smiling, at Agent 3.

Three was very worried, despite what Four had told her. Training could be brutal at times and if Eight got hurt on her watch…she wouldn’t know what she would do. She would be terribly angry at Four and the Captain but she would be even more angry at herself for not taking initiative to stop Eight from doing…parkour? She had to shake this feeling out of her head because she knew DAMN well that Eight was clearly capable of handling herself and staying safe.

I mean- she didn’t die on the way to Inkopolis. So…

“Three? You the okay?”

She snapped her head up to look at Eight. “Y-yeah! I’m fine! Just thinking…”

“Thinking? ‘Bout what?”

“Oh, just stuff…” Three wasn’t entirely sure how to respond.

Eight cocked her head to the side and gave Three this confused look. “Worry?”

“No, I’m not worried!” Three lied. She was really worried…but she even asked herself…for what reason? Why was she so worried? No matter how much Four pushed her most pushable buttons, Four was right about everything dealing with Eight and how strong she was. Three couldn’t believe she was putting her friend down like this!

Cap’n Cuttlefish emerged from the building with Four standing next to him. They could spot Eight and Three standing in the middle of the training field.

Four turned to Cap’n Cuttelfish as they walked. “Look at how nervous your first and best agent is.”

Cap’n Cuttlefish looked at Four and then Three. “Ahhh, don’t worry about it. She’ll get over it. And I never said that Three was our best agent! But she is our first. I appreciate all of my agents equally.”

“Sure thing old man.” Four shook her head. “Aye, Three!” she ran up the training field to catch up with Three and Eight. Three turned around and once she caught the sight of who was calling her, she rolled her eyes. Four was definitely gonna call her out for something…

“Did you tell your girlfriend anything to boost up her confidence?”

I’m this fucking close- “I think she’s just fine.”

Four nodded her head.

“Alright girls! Let the training commence!” Cap’n Cuttlefish said with advancing enthusiasm. “Look at the obstacles in front of you.”

The three girls looked out into the field. In front of them were multiple obstacles, placed organized into a small maze shape. There were high obstacles and low ones and ones that seemed like they lasted for a while.

On top of that, based on the technology advancements placed in Squidbeak, holograms of Octarians could be seen at the end of each obstacle.

“Cool.” Four said. She had never seen this type of obstacle course during the time she was at SquidBeak. “Wait, they’re holograms. That means they can’t hurt us, right?”

“Nope. They can.” The Captain replied. “You all have 3 minutes to complete the obstacle course. The goal is to get to the end without getting splatted. The respawn point is at the middle of the maze if you do.” The placement of the respawn point would have made it harder for the agents to recover and recuperate since they would be in the middle of enemy territory.

“Smart.” Three commented. “Yet dangerous.”

“The timer starts…NOW!”

The three agents leaped forward. Four seemed to be able to run the fastest, she knew that if she was able to dodge the Octarians quickly, she could have a better chance at getting to the end and not getting splatted. After all, she didn’t have a weapon.

Neither of them did.

Three used her agility to get past the first obstacle.

Eight used her strength.

Each Agent had a strategy and unique expertise to them that separated them from each other. That was good. It was perfect for them each to have a unique quality, once they work together, there wouldn’t be a missing link.

However, this wasn’t the moment that they had to work together. This was a ‘every squid for herself’ moment. Nonetheless, Three was watching Eight closely, her every move. She was still worried about what could happen to Eight. Eight did look a little nervous herself. Didn’t she?

She just couldn’t help but look at her. Make sure she was okay. Three knew that she had to protect her…bright amber eyes, her beautiful smile, her delicate nature, her-

“SHIT!”

Agent Three found herself in the middle of the maze, above her spawn point. She knew she was in trouble now. She looked around her, the Octarian holograms charging after her at an alarming rate. She knew they were holograms, she knew that this was just a test, she knew that it was just a training exercise, yet she really didn’t want to lose.

She rolled backwards through an area that had less Octarians and went to escape. Proceeding to run, she looked back occasionally. There had to be at least 5 of them chasing her.

She looked around once more while she ran, looking for Eight. She spotted Four at the corner of her eye, above the maze. In fact, she was on top of it. “How the shell- Four!”

Four, still moving forward, turned her head to the inkling on the lower level. “Huh?”

“How’d you get up there?”

“I climbed.”

“Hold up. I should be asking. Why are you up there?”

“To gain higher ground! Don’t you do that in turf war? That’s how you get a nice clean scope of everything! This is a maze, but there aren’t any rules! Climb the shit!”

Three smacked herself subconsciously. Why didn’t she think of that?

Once she found a part of the maze to latch onto, she climbed it quickly. It confused the Octarians, for some reason.

Three looked over, watching Four hop from part to part. She was so close to the goal… She then heard Four’s loud voice ahead of her in the distance. “So, you DO listen to me!”

“One time, bitch! One time! This is basically a team activity!”

“Haha. No, it’s not!”

Three watched as Four made it to the end of the maze and put her arms up in victory. Now, it didn’t matter if she got there first, even though that’s what she was shooting for. She failed her goal. Her new goal was to get there without getting slatted again.

“Ow!”

Three knew that was Eight’s voice.

“Eight!? Eight! Where are you?”

“Here!”

Three turned to where the voice of Eight was emanating from. The spawn point. Three’s feet moved without her thinking. She hopped down to Eight’s level, surprising the Octoling.

“Why are you here?” Eight asked.

“To help you.”

“It okay. I do myself!” she exchanged a gentle innocent smile, making Three’s heart melt.

The Octarians came in a fury, dodging, shooting and jumping for different places in the maze. Three was very ready, watching the Octarian charge towards her. She kicked one of them away.

She became startled when she felt a firm tug at her vest. Observing the back of her jacket, she could tell that it was Eight, tugging and gripping for dear life onto her vest…frozen. Incoherent mumbling in Octarian.

“Eight? Are you okay?”

Eight started to speak incoherent Octarian, mubling under her breath.

“Eight, I can’t understand-“ Three was hit by the powerful force of one of the Octarians, sending herself and Eight backward. Three hit her head after the fall and it ended up making her a bit dizzy. Everything was blurry, she couldn’t even see Eight. The only thing she could still see and FEEL was Eight’s sudden fear.

“O..ay. St…p!”

Then everything seemed to disappear. The maze, the obstacles, the Octarians. Her vision was starting to return back to normal and Eight’s grip was beginning to loosen. “Are you okay? What happened?”

“I uh…”

“Okay girls!” Cap’n Cuttlefish arose, eyeing each of the girls. “It’s over.”

“What?” Four called from the goal. “Why?”

“It seems our two agents are having…a rough time.”

Three stood up and then helped Eight stand to her feet. “I was just trying to help her.”

“Did she need your help?” Cap’n Cuttlefish crossed his arms. He always had complete belief in Three, as she knew him just as long as any other agent besides Callie and Marie.

Three’s gaze averted to the ground. She wasn’t sure what to say. Eight deliberately said that she could do it herself but after Three saw the expression of…fear on Eight’s face…she wasn’t too sure.

So, like a small child getting in trouble, she just shrugged.

“Ha! Three’s in trouble. It’s not me this time…” Four screamed from across the maze with a smug look on her face.

~

Three threw her bag down and closed the door. Eight turned around, observing the Inkling’s motions. “What is wrong? You did… how you say…extravagant!” Eight was waiting to use that word.

Three let out a huge sigh, her arms crossed. Her eyes didn’t even meet Eight’s. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Three. Every person make a mistake.” The Octoling said gently. She put a hand on Three’s shoulder. Eight thought that she was upset about being reprimanded by the Captain. Maybe she did everything so well at SquidBeak, she wasn’t used to someone telling her what she did wrong.

“I know that. I just…I was worried about you. Don’t ask why, I just was. And…I know better…”

“Know better what?”

“Nothing. It’s fine… I’m gonna go to bed.” Three marched by Eight, making her way up the stairs and not acknowledging her once. Eight watched as she walked up the stairs with an angry gait. Eight could tell she was frustrated.

But once again, she was left alone. Unable to speak with Three. She thought maybe she could speak with Three about her day with her, she had it all planned out since she snuck out to find Three at work. Impress Three, hang out with Three, come home and hang out with Three more.

However, things didn’t go as planned and she stood there…wondering what she could have done differently to earn her ticket to hang out with Three 24/7.

Chapter Text

Eight could smell something. Something nice.

She opened her eyes and tried to look around, however her eyes were still blurry from sleep, which is something she didn’t get much of that night. Eight could hear clattering going on around in the kitchen and just assumed that Three was awake and just messing around. She laid back down and sighed, letting herself go with every breath she took. She was still quite exhausted after all.

One moment, her eyes were glued to the plain ceiling and then next, they were covered by her eyelids. She really needed sle-

“Hey Eight?”

She opened one eye and smiled. In front of her was the grumpy and introverted inkling she had come to know. However, this morning she didn’t look so grumpy, she looked happy, yet nervous for some weird reason.

“I uh…I made some breakfast if you want some.”

Three could see Eight’s eyes light up.

~

Three met all of Eight’s expectations that morning by making a stack of pancakes topped in butter and strawberry syrup. How’d Three know that was her favorite? Why did Three do this? Whose birthday was it? Was it Three’s?

Eight admired Three’s effort for making breakfast, everything looked and smelled so good and she was SO hungry, so she didn’t hesitate. She dug right into the beautifully made pancakes. Three did the exact same thing and to her surprise, they didn’t taste half bad.

“So uh…Eight.” Three started as she poked around the pancake on her plate. “…do you uh…?” she looked up from her plate and saw that Eight had devoured her pancake. “What the fu- do you want more?”

“Yes!”

Three slid over the stack of pancakes that she prepared to Eight. She was relieved that she made extra just in case they were actually good and they wanted more.

“So, Eight. I’m sorry about last night. I guess I just don’t like to be told how to do things. I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to protect you and stuff.”

“Do not have to protect. I can protect.”

“I know! I know! And I should have known that it’s just… you mean so mu- I mean…you know we are friends and all and I just kinda met you a month ago…” Three felt her cheeks get hot. Geez, she was so awkward. Why couldn’t she just speak to people normally?

That’s one thing Three struggled with so much. Everyone considered her so anti-social and sort of moody. She was never able to build good relationships with people…she was never able to build good relationships with her own family…at least she didn’t think so. It was eating at her whenever she felt she was making a conversation awkward. She didn’t want to feel this way but she also knew that she was obligated to feel that way. It was hard for her to break free of that obstacle.

But…Eight did mean a lot to her. “You’re just such a great friend. I mean Four is great and all, even though she gets on my last fucking nerve. I don’t wanna lose you.”

Eight looked up from her plate and leaned into the agent on the other side of the table. Her expression was serious yet intrigued and happy.

Three continued. “I’ve never had a close friend before. I mean…if you consider us close friends…”

“We are a friend. I love you!”

SHE SAID THAT SO WELL. Three felt like her heart was going to jump out of her chest. “Eight…no one…” she swallowed deeply. “No one has ever told me that before.” She said, smiling, maybe a little too hard.

“Not even parents?”

That’s when her smiled disappeared. “No.”

“No?”

Three focused on another object in the room, she didn’t want to say a word even though she knew it was rude to Eight. She bit her lip and continued to focus on the wall.

“Not parents?

Three looked down at her fingers that were laid upon the table and were realistically tied in a loop from her twiddling them.

Eight reached out for Three’s fingers, causing Three to jump. Her hands were so warm and soft. Three felt her cheeks warm up. “Do not have to speak.” Eight said smiling.

“I’ll um…” Three looked back up, her eyes focused on the Octoling. “I can just tell you. I don’t really mind- I trust you.”

Eight smiled. That made her feel slightly more special than before. It took a while to gain Three’s trust since she did have problems with that.

Three squeezed Eight’s hands. “My parents didn’t plan on having me. My entire life I was labeled as an obstacle to them. I’m surprised they didn’t send me off to…wherever the fuck they could possibly send me.” Tears tricked at the corner of her eyes and she shook her head. Eight rubbed Three’s hand with her thumb and she continued to speak. “Both of my parents had me when they were young. My dad was like 22 and my mom was 20. And my mom was deeply involved in my dad. She was also always partying and stuff. I was so dumb for taking all of it.”

“But you smart.”

“Thanks. I don’t think so. I wasn’t smart enough to leave my home when I should have. I achieved my humanoid form when I was 11. I could have left by then, but I didn’t. I guess I thought something was going to change. I thought eventually they w-would appreciate m-me.” She let out a small sob and whimper and wiped a few trickling tears from the side of her face.

“I’ve always been such a burden to e-everyone. No one who was blood to me…they didn’t…didn’t even care.” Three wasn’t even thinking about anything, she just wanted to get everything off her chest to someone, it’s been hurting her for so long and staining her conscience. However, she didn’t want to break down in front of Eight…so she tried her best to keep it all in but…couldn’t.

Eight hopped up from her seat and walked over to Three. She then…hugged her. Tight. Three jumped at Eight’s forced action. She usually wasn’t one for touching but Eight’s touch felt so nice…so warm and gentle and safe.

She sniffed and wiped the wet areas on her face. “It-it’s fine, Eight.” She then gently pulled away from the hug and smiled. “You don’t have to worry about me. We should be getting ready.” She shook off all her emotions.

“Okay. I get ready with you.”

Three smiled and nodded as the Octoling led her upstairs so they both could get ready for work together.

Both Agent 3 and Agent 8 were in luck because as soon as they got to work, the first words that were disclosed out of Cap’n Cuttlefish’s mouth were,

“We’ve got a mission, agents. I reckon you all are ready because this one’s gonna be a doozy.”

“Well, what kind of mission is it?”

“A mission I’m sure the three of you will love. But you have to be serious about it. I’m not coming down there to get you…I’m pretty sure I have arthritis.”

We don’t even have bones. Three thought, shaking her head slow enough that the Captain couldn’t see it.

Four noticed that the Captain said, ‘Down there’, despite her not feeling so worried about him mentioning that, it sent chills down Eight’s back. “Down where?” Four asked.

Cap’n Cuttlefish sighed and eyed the girls. “Deepsea Metro.”

Eight’s hearts had stopped. She just came from there; she definitely didn’t want to go back. Her back still hurt from the backpack CQ placed on her. On top of that, her Mem Cakes were gone, she didn’t know where they were, she couldn’t recall. The Mem Cakes had a 50/50 chance of helping her remember the past, but that had just gone down the drain. She wasn’t entirely disappointed about that because she had amazing friends and a new life to look forward too…but sometimes…it helps to know where you come from.

Three looked up at Eight and slightly nudged her gently. Eight looked down at the inkling with an expression Three couldn’t make out. Nonetheless, Three knew that she could get Eight to smile by smiling herself. So, she cracked a smile and it felt good. Three barely smiled…she barely showed any emotion. “You alright? You think you’re ready for the mission?”

Eight nodded slowly, indicating she wasn’t so sure about her answer. “Ready.”

“I’m so ready for this! It’s been a while since I’ve done a mission.” Four said. “You both ready?”

Three and Eight nodded slowly. Four nodded. They all averted their gaze back to Cap’n Cuttlefish and he continued to explain the mission. “So, there have been reports of a new sanitization business near the DeepSea Metro that CQ is involved in. We all know that CQ wasn’t a bad guy BUT he was gullible when it came to business.”

“Of course, he would fall for that shit.” Three added.

“Precisely!” Cap'n Cuttlefish said. “So I need you guys to investigate!”

“On it.” Three said as she looked around at the other agents. She looked to Eight, who…was somewhat a bit shaky. Her hands were trembling at her sides but her facial expression was neutral. Three grabbed her hand, which surprised the Octoling. “It’s okay. We’re doing this together.”

Four walked over and placed a hand on Eight’s shoulder, giving her the most confident smile she could give a fellow friend. “You’ve got this. We’ve got this. So let’s kick some ass.”

Eight nodded.

“Alright, alright.” Cap’n Cuttlefish stepped up to them. “Very triumphant. Now let’s get to it!”