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PREFACE: I tried to work on this during my shifts up at the front register, but I didn't get away with it for long and didn't feel like continuing it at home. So began and ended the ambition of this Hamtaro fanfiction.

As sunlight began to spill into a childish looking bedroom, two of its occupants stirred awake. Stretching her arms out from under the covers, Laura Haruna let loose one of many consecutive yawns before resigning to the defeat in having to get ready for school. Throwing off her blankets, the sleepy grade schooler stepped out from bed and assembled a change of clothes for the shower. On her way out her room she passed the cage of her beloved hamster, who too bore the embodiment of exhaustion. Laura smiled, then continued on out the door. The morning routine carried on as normal--showering, dressing, and eating came and went, and the young girl returned to her bedroom for the last visit of the morning to grab her backpack. She turned again towards the cage for the last instance before school.

"Have a good day, Hamtaro!"

He appreciated it. He didn't believe its words to come true, but they were appreciated all the same. Assembling some provisions together, Hamtaro prepared himself for a visit to the clubhouse he realized he may never return from. With little effort, the cage door gave way, allowing the hamster to begin his routine escape. More rays of light found their way into the bedroom, brightening up the area just enough for Hamtaro to catch a glimpse of his reflection in the window he was busy scampering by.

Sullen eyes. Drooped ears. A weary smile. Hamtaro had woken up no less than ten minutes ago, but it felt as if he hadn't slept in weeks. Before, he could rest his soft head down and doze off into dreams of reminiscence--adventures with the Ham Hams, assorted sunflower seeds he'd gobbled, and time spent with perhaps his favorite of the Hams, Bijou. Not in the past couple weeks had he been graced with the presence of her fluffy, white fur, her brilliantly blue bows, or her soothing voice. And as Hamtaro stared deeply into his own eyes, he wondered if he'd ever again.

Out the house and down the hole--why did such an everyday occurrence feel more weighted? Apprehension fluttered out of every step through the dimly lit tunnels--Hamtaro was afraid. Too many nights had been spent sleepless, the orange hamster agonizing over the decision he was entrusted to make. Realizing that further time to deliberate simply did not exist was the exact reason he now found himself inching closer and closer to The Clubhouse--it is there the Hams awaited Hamtaro's choice. And as he came face to face with a door, his paw resting on the handle, Hamtaro knew it was now or never. Swallowing nervously, his paw twisted the knob.

Once a home of peace and joy, The Clubhouse now served as the staging ground for war. Crayons and toys were thrown out to make room for munitions--various rifles and crates of ammo piled up against the ceiling. Hamsters could be observed pouring over books covering battle strategies and topics while other hams trained feverishly in combat, with some learning the basics of close quarters combat while others honed their skills down at the Ham Ham Firing Range. But when the front door clicked open and a hamster stepped in, there wasn't a single ham that didn't immediately drop what they were doing. Hamtaro had returned.