(Into the future)
The line in the sand lead him to her. She was motionless in the middle of nowhere, clutching her stick with one fin and crying into the other.
Gill swam up to Dory. "Hey. What's wrong?"
She looked up, and realized they were alone together. He had to be speaking to her. "I feel like...I lost somebody. But I can't remember who."
He swam closer and curled his good fin around hers. "You lost your parents, Dory. But you're not alone."
Dory looked at him for a long time. "You know me? How do you know me?"
"We live together," he said, and smiled at her bewildered expression. "You know why you carry that stick?"
She obliged, and her eyes followed the trail she had made on the ocean floor. "I'm sorry, I don't remember you at all."
"I know you don't. It'll be alright, blue." He extended a fin. She looked up into his warm, damaged face and realized with a jolt that she trusted him. She placed her fin in his and they swam together, following the line in the sand that lead them back to the coral reef. Still holding her fin, he angled upwards to a hidden cave; and parted a curtain of shark teeth. Dory swam inside and looked around at the relatively empty cave, decorated only with...
"Blue shells," Dory said, and her face lit up. She looked at him. "I remember now. I know you."
"It won't last long," he warned her.
"I know that, too. And I'm sorry."
"It'll be alright," Gill repeated. "Let's just get some sleep, okay?"
He patted her fin reassuringly and they swam to the cave floor to settle in for the night.
Dory couldn't sleep. The state of relaxation avoided her, like everything and everyone else. Except for the fish at her side, sleeping peacefully. She looked down at her own body. They weren't related...and he looked really scary. Disgruntled by his nearness, she swam up to the curtain of shark teeth, parted it and swam out into the open ocean. Leaving her stick behind.
It was a beautiful morning. Colorful rays of light broke through the tranquil surface of the Coral Sea. She idled, watching the shafts of light change to a single golden color. It was the color of peace, and fresh beginnings.
Fresh beginnings...She couldn't help but feel like she had a lot of those. And for a moment, she had a sudden sense of emptiness. But what was missing?
The significance of how she felt was no less fleeting than her memories. A sudden flash of white made her look down at the beautiful body of a Mrigal carp, just passing on through. The sunlight turned her into a beacon.
No! Not this time. She was going to stay right there until someone found her.
But...what if no one did? What if they were testing her ability to find them? Well, surely it couldn't hurt to look around. Dory twisted in the water. And saw something amazing, something awe-inspiring and scary.
Forgetting her decision, Dory shot forth after the faint, moving light of a glowing skeleton.