AGNPH Stories

Luca - 2nd Edition by Felix


Story Notes:

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of me,Felix9. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Chapter Notes:

The group follows through with their plans to take a vacation. With Felix still reeling from the close call, will he be able to look at the girls the same again? Might the egg Felix's sister carries give him a new outlook? And what happens when our hero's find themselves in the midst of a rising evil...? Will it tear Felix and his girls apart or bring them closer than ever?

I apologize for the delay and having to delete the chapter. I hope you enjoy this chapter and if I may ask, please let me know what you think of the changes to the erm... intimate scene. In reading over it I could hardly believe I wrote it and I'm wondering which my audience likes more. Comments are greatly appreciated. Hope you all enjoy a late Thanksgiving present. ^^;

Chapter 5 - Team Darkrai Rises

The next morning I woke with a shiver. I'd just lost my Lucario space heater to a call of nature. My sister was grudgingly getting up too, though she pulled a jacket out of her pack. I still liked my solution to the cold better... Though Lady was still hurt she could warm the air around her for several feet. As she woke she smiled and radiated a bit more heat, picking up on my shiver.

Luca was back in no time and we were off again. Whiskers never liked to walk more than she needed to so she was back in her ball after just a few minutes. Lady's limp seemed to have disappeared and she was rather cheerful that morning, so she stayed out with us as we covered the last few miles to the port city.

It was late afternoon when we got to the pokemon center. We had stopped at the travel agency and registered for a cruise leaving early the next morning. Luca was adorable as she looked around at all the pictures of the boats in the office. She was fascinated by the huge floating cities and in awe at all the luxuries, despite the fact she could only see a couple from the outside. She had no idea what these ships contained inside. We registered for a gigantic liner named The Cresselia. There would be trainers and casual passengers so it would have entertainment and amenities for both. It would be perfect.

We went to bed that night and had to force ourselves to sleep. Even my sister and I had trouble drifting off. We were like children at Christmas, waiting for Santa's Delibird to deliver our gifts. In the morning we headed over to the docks to catch our boat. It was even more impressive in person and Luca nearly fell over as she stared up at the enormous smoke stacks.

As we boarded and looked around, there seemed to be fewer trainers than I thought. I didn't mind. I didn't intend to battle with Lady hurt, though Luca might want some practice. Never the less, it meant the few trainers there were had free run of all the training equipment and fields! Of course there was no shortage of pokemon. Even casual people had pokemon as pets and friends. The rare pokemon were also a sort of status symbol and even I was at a loss for words as I looked around and spotted a few strange species I'd never seen before.

My sister and I decided to share a two bed room to save on the cost of the trip. We were all family, so what did it matter sharing facilities? When we found our room number and entered though... we both stopped and gawked in the doorway. It was an enormous suite! Two queen size beds sat amidst a large central room with a smaller living room adjacent. The living room had a spectacular view with a seven foot tall glass window wall. There was a TV as well but the window won with the view of the open ocean and pokemon playing in the water. Lady and Whiskers squeezed past my sister and me, both rushing to claim a bed. Each jumped onto a separate one, with Whiskers closer to the living room archway. Lady seemed to mock Whiskers for some reason but the cat just gave a low growl and curled up, content to take a cat nap in the sun that just managed to reach the bed.

"I wanna see!" Luca whined as she pushed me to get me out of the doorway. I snapped from my daze and chuckled, complying with the impatient Lucario and letting her have a look around as I set down our bag. My sister did the same by the bed Whiskers had just lain down on. "Woooowww..." Luca said with an awe filled sigh. She looked around at all the fancy trim and decorations before she giggled and rushed to the window to look out. Even before seeing Luca so happy I knew we had certainly gotten our money’s worth for this week long cruise.

Now trainers usually didn’t have a lot of money, but if you played your cards right you always had cash to spare. Many of the tournaments gave a cash prize and it was often the same for unsanctioned contests. With me being a formidable trainer and Ashley an excellent contest participant we often had more spare cash than even our parents. With our recent wins it was easy to afford the steal we got for this room.

It was about an hour after we boarded that we heard the ship's horn bellow from the upper deck. The engines came to life and the ship cast off, but the ride was so smooth that if it weren't for the window showing us a retreating city, we probably wouldn't have noticed we were moving. After a while, Luca and I thought we’d explore the ship. Lady had curled up and fallen asleep on the bed so we left her to rest. Ashley and Whiskers decided to explore the ship as well but had different priorities so we went opposite ways at the door. We must have spent three hours and walked about 3 miles by the time Luca and I satisfied our curiosity. It was absolutely amazing amenities were packed on this ship. Various styles of battle fields, a contest hall, a pool/water pokemon battlefield, and that was only the beginning. A grand restaurant with two buffets, a 4 floor shopping plaza with a glass roof, heck there was even an entire underwater observation deck!

Luca and I entered the dining hall to visit those two enormous buffets; one was for Humans and another for pokemon. Luca was really enjoying herself, since she was nearly human I helped her sneak some food from my buffet, but she really enjoyed the deserts section of the pokemon's. In the end I had to practically drag her from the room to get her to follow me. She gave me the cutest Poochyena face she could as she offered to carry Lady's doggy bag for me. For a moment I almost let her... That is until she slipped and licked her lips. I groaned playfully and rubbed her roughly between the ears, earning a giggle as I hurried to get the food back to the room before Luca conned me.

Lady raised her head as Luca and I came back. She gave a soft growl at first but Luca quickly apologized. It seemed the fox was a little miffed that we had gone out without her. Bringing food back though, quickly put us back in her good graces. Lady enjoyed the offering just as much as Luca had the actual buffet. I just hoped the two of them didn't get too used to the high life on this cruise... I'd never be able to afford feeding them like this once we left!

We hadn’t run into my sister on our tour, but we figured she and Whiskers were just on different parts of the ship. With Lady now rested I figured she would enjoy some exercise as well. So I locked up the room and we headed for the grass battle field on the top level of the ship. Luca asked if we could battle a couple times so she could practice her new attacks. Of course I agreed, but once we got to the field I realized Luca really didn't need any help. She could keep perfect track of her opponent and she knew what she wanted, and needed, to work on better than me at this point… In fact, I had begun to feel rather useless in her recent battles. Sure I had helped her through the tournament and contest but with each battle or show we had discussed things before hand. I could have stood there silently and she would probably have won just the same or even faster. As I watched her dip dive and weave around her opponents I pet Lady gently. What place was it of mine to be telling her, and for that matter Lady, what to do in a fight? Sure I sometimes had creative solutions to sticky situations but... would the girls be safer if I didn't make them wait for me to give a command?

Luca was beautiful in the execution of her attacks. It seemed like she had taken a lot from our contest experience. Every aura sphere or pulse left a dazzling trail of sparkles in the air, earning gasps and sighs of approval from the few spectators enjoying the sight of a rare pokemon. With so few serious competitors around a few weaker trainers and pokemon challenged my girl in the hopes she was getting tired. With how much she had eaten though she had plenty of energy...

If a weaker pokemon challenged her though, Luca's kind heart came out. Her demeanor never changed but she let a few attacks connect and took a convincing dive. The pokemon seemed shocked it had won but the pairs always walked away happy. Most of the trainers caught on to Luca's ruse but smiled and mouthed a thank you to her as she got up from the field. I couldn't help smiling as I watched. I knew no matter what happened her heart would always be in the right place.

When a stronger opponent did come around though, she used the chance to get some experience and always came out as the victor. She was probably one of the strongest pokemon on the ship seeing as there were only a few challengers that might have stood a chance at beating her. The other trainers were utterly amazed that I wasn’t giving her any orders. At first they thought I was just cocky, until Luca would run over to me with her tail wagging excitedly after a win. Then, they realized Luca was uniquely capable in battle. The thing that started to worry me though was the look in Luca's eyes when she got in a tough spot. She seemed to channel her frustrations into the battle which I wasn’t sure was a good thing. She had been through a lot in just the past three weeks. Let alone with what happened to Lady when her opponents had done the same... I really hoped Luca didn't accidentally hurt someone. It would just devastate her...

After a particularly interesting match with a Sceptile, Luca came over to see how Lady and I were doing. I was still sitting next to Lady, petting and rubbing her favorite places while keeping an eye on Luca just to make sure if she needed me I was paying attention. Of course she didn’t need me though. When Luca was standing in front of me I suddenly realized it was getting dark out. I hadn’t noticed until I looked past the Lucario at the sky. The lights on the field had been keeping things brightly illuminated despite the pinkening sky.

Luca seemed satisfied and perhaps a little tired after all those battles so I figured now was as good a time as any to get some dinner. We made our way back to the dining room and this time both my girls went quickly to the pokemon buffet. I had to laugh because the two of them started helping themselves to just as much as a Machamp was taking with his four arms. I fixed a plate for myself and found a table. Luca and Lady came back, Luca with a plate of deserts and a plate of meats and berries. Lady though... Had two, plate sized slabs of meat and some desert as well that she carried over with her tails! I simply thanked the stars she hadn't used all nine at once...

"Alright... “All you can eat” doesn’t mean you can actually eat it all." I teased, though with the way Luca giggled maybe I shouldn't have said it so jokingly... For all my teasing though they were very well behaved. I received several compliments from other guests about how polite and proper Luca was; and despite Lady being a proud Ninetales she never pushed her way to the food or ate like a ravenous animal. Also, I hadn't noticed until it was pointed out to me that Luca was expertly using the pokemon cutlery. It was all so overwhelming that I couldn't help getting a bit embarrassed, realizing I took their behavior for granted.

By the time we ate our fill and got back to the room, Ashley and Whiskers were already getting ready for bed. So I put on my swim trunks and took the girls into the bathroom. Once more I was surprised to find it was larger than a pokemon center's facilities. Luca and I had enough room to sit down with Lady between us as side jets sprayed a relaxing shower at us from all angles. The heads were even adjustable, so we could increase the flow when we wished to rinse off, or decrease to avoid being blinded. Needless to say I was getting used to this lap of luxury...

Ever since Luca had evolved I'd tried not to let her new form bother me. She still wanted to bathe together despite my trying to let her go alone. Thankfully though she did try to be modest most times and turned her back as she lathered with our new shampoo. I busied myself with tending to Lady, but I couldn't help myself from sneaking a peak at her rump. I knew it was dumb but I found myself blushing as I looked away and worked through Lady's tails. I'd seen my Lucario's behind so many times... why did I feel so naughty about it in the shower...? Lady seemed to catch on and batted me in the cheek with a wet tail. She gave a low murr and shifted, trying to get me to wash her belly... It was almost like she was trying to give me a hint but I shrugged and thought nothing of it as I continued. I figured she was just teasing me, or she wanted my attention on her rather than Luca.

When we had all rinsed off I grabbed a towel for Luca and handed it to her with a smile. Her ears lowered shyly as she took it quickly, wrapping around to hide her breasts and waist from view. She gave me a cute smile though as she took a few steps away to turn her back and start drying. I heard her murr softly as she ran the towel over her fur and shook to fluff herself up. I couldn't help chuckling at her cute noises as I gently dried Lady off and re-wrapped her bandages.

Finally, with the bathing ordeal done we joined my sister in the main room for some well deserved rest. Thankfully she and Whiskers were already asleep because once again Luca gave a cute whine and clung to me, wanting me to give her a hug in bed before we settled in. I blushed, but obliged, squeezing her tightly and snickering as her tail ruffled the covers. Lady had decided to ignore Joy's warning and my worry as she took her usual spot at the foot of the bed. All I knew was I would feel horrible if I accidentally kicked her in the night... But she didn't seem worried as she let out a long happy sigh.

For some reason, I woke up early the next morning. Maybe it was the motion of the ship, or perhaps the Lucario paw that had landed hard on my chest as Luca rolled over... Regardless, I found I couldn't fall asleep and it was way too early for anyone else to wake. As I lay there watching my girls that useless feeling from yesterday started creeping over me again. The bandages were a constant reminder of what I'd done so I'm sure that wasn't helping my mood.

As I slipped out of bed and rubbed my eyes I could feel myself waking up for the day. Now it really would be impossible for me to get back to sleep, so I figured I'd take a little walk around deck to watch the ocean. I at least had the forethought to leave a note for the girls so they didn’t worry, and I told them they could tag along with Ashley if they wanted to. I figured Luca would at least since Lady rarely liked the company of Whiskers. With that taken care of I quietly left the room and headed for the bow of the ship. The view was spectacular as I looked out over the water, especially when the sun started rising over the water in the east. We had just made it out to sea but you could still see the dome of light behind the ship where the last land bound city sat as a beacon.

I felt a little better as I found a perfectly placed seat by the side rail, but nothing could completely get rid of this feeling. I couldn’t help but wonder if the girls would be happier without a trainer… but I couldn’t let them go. They were my closest, and only, friends. I knew it was selfish but I simply couldn't release them. Plus, I didn't actually know what that man and Luca's father would do to me if I abandoned her. I sat there with the aromatic sea breeze in my face for what must have been an hour, when a familiar voice and a black paw on my shoulder snapped me from my depressing thoughts. It was Luca. She had seen me while walking with Ashley on an upper deck and come to see if I was alright.

"What's wrong?" She asked in a soft whine, but I wasn’t sure I could tell her. She would probably blame herself if I said anything, but when she sat next to me and gave me a genuinely concerned look I broke down. I tried to explain how I felt but only got a few sentences out before Luca apologized, falling right into my expectations. I at least had the comfort that I knew her well I suppose.

“Please don't... It’s not your fault. It’s mine. I just don’t feel like I can give you and Lady orders any more. After what happened to you at the tournament, then to Lady at the contest… you both got hurt because of me! I honestly don’t know if I can keep doing this knowing that my instructions almost got you both killed. What happens next time? What happens when one of you doesn't come out of that room?” I blurted, venting my frustrations as I got up and leaned on the rail to stare down at the orange tinted water. I was fighting the tears I felt welling up in my eyes until Luca put a paw on my back. She was just trying to make me feel better but my heart only felt like it was tearing more. I looked away as I shut my eyes. I couldn't bear to do this to her so I turned and started to leave.

“Please don’t leave...” I heard the soft plea of my Lucario as she let me leave her touch. My heart wrenched, how could she not hate me after what I had done, after what I'd just pointed out to her? I froze and sniffled as I forced my eyes open and my body to turn. Her eyes were sad and her ears were back but I could tell she was doing better as holding her tears than I was. I knew she still blamed herself for this and the one thing I couldn't do was make her feel worse. Reluctantly I came back and sat on the bench again, weakly letting my arms flop in my lap as I avoided her gaze. I felt her sit next to me and I saw her keep her foot paws together and away from mine. She seemed to be afraid to speak or touch me again lest I get up and leave.

"Are you ok...?" I managed to ask after calming my nerves enough to avoid sobbing. I figured perhaps hearing her problems and helping her would make me feel better. Luca wasn't sure whether she should voice her troubles but as I looked over at her she seemed to catch on. As she began though, I could feel my heart breaking again. Things were going way too fast for her as well, and Lady getting hurt hadn’t helped things. I got the feeling she wasn't telling me everything though. She fiddled a little as she looked at her paws as she spoke. I wanted to ask if that was all that was bothering her but she never let me.

“How about you?” She asked soon after she finished explaining her frustration with evolving.

“Well... I-It started for me to when you evolved. I can't believe you thought I wouldn't want you anymore when you looked so... n-never mind..." I started, nearly expressing my attraction to her new body. I caught myself just in time though. That was one thing I really didn't want aired right now. I really might drive her away if I had said more. "From there everything just seemed to get out of control. It was like you became an adult over night. Ever since then I just haven’t felt worthy enough to give you an order, both in battle and anywhere else.” I continued, even surprising myself with how perfectly I had worded everything.

“It's ok, I know how battles work and I don’t mind. Really…” She answered quickly hoping dismissing my fears would get rid of them.

“It’s not that. I know how battles work too but with you and Lady it’s different. You two know exactly what you’re doing and you know exactly what's going on in a battle. Who am I to trump that and get you in a bad situation? Look what happened to you. I had you two kick up a dust cloud so we could see the ghost, but instead it was hidden from view until it electrocuted you. And Lady, if I hadn't left her point blank she wouldn't have...” I interrupted, but trailed off as I stared at the sea and a tear ran down my cheek.

“It’s not your fault those things happened! It’s a hazard that Lady and I take every time we go out on that field for you. We depend on you to give us those commands because you have the best vantage point. You can see things that we wouldn’t notice until it’s too late!" She said rather fervently, almost seeming angry at me for my despair.

"But it is my fault. You just said it yourself. You do this for me... Why should I ever want that?" I answered sadly. Realizing what she'd said Luca got a little frustrated. She unconsciously gave a cute growl as she tried to think of what to say.

"Th-that doesn't matter... We don't do it because you tell us to. We do it because we want to. We do it because it makes us stronger and sharpens our skills. We do it because we love you!" She said, getting a little carried away and ending up yelling at me. At what she said last though I couldn't help staring back at her... She quickly yelped and covered her muzzle with her paws as she realized what she did, and what she'd said. She was a mix of emotions but I thought maybe there was a blush tingeing her cheeks.

I blinked as she embarrassingly looked away then whimpered out a barely audible apology. I don't know why... and I don't know how but hearing that and seeing her like this quite effectively wiped my cares away. I smiled wide as I couldn't hold back any longer. I wrapped my arms around her in a tight embrace as I started crying. She was surprised, partially because of my reaction and perhaps mostly because in all the time we had spent together I had never truly lost my composure. I sniffled as I buried my face in her shoulder fur and hugged her tightly to me. After her initial shock she gently returned the hug, rubbing her firm pads over my back.

“Thank you...” I whispered in her ear as I held her for a long time. She murred and giggled, nuzzling me as she returned more to herself.

"For what?" She teased, squeezing me tightly before we released each other. I couldn't help smiling at her as I wiped my tears, feeling much better. I may not like that they got hurt but if they wouldn't let me stop... I guess all I could do was try to help as much as I could. In the end I could only thank my lucky stars that she had come to find me of all trainers in this world.

We sat there for a little while longer before my thoughts started to come together again. I'd almost forgotten she wasn't a normal pokemon. That man had said she was very special, and I remembered the day where Ashley showed us her egg. "Hey, that day with my sister and her egg. What happened when you touched it?" I asked as my curiosity got the better of me. Luca seemed to cheer up a little more when I asked. I guess the fact I was asking strange questions of her again told her I was feeling better.

“I don’t really know what happened. Everything went black for a second until the egg flashed bright blue in my vision. I could see every detail about the egg and what was inside. It even felt warm too.” She said, gesturing with her paws to try and show me. I listened intently, nodding and letting her explain. When it happened I found a moment to look up Lucario on my pokedex. It said they had the ability to see something called aura. Intrigued I tried looking up more but only found one real story about it. The legend of Sir Aaron, which had recently been updated when an ancient staff relic had released a Lucario amidst a celebration.

I was still baffled how Luca had managed to do what she had without knowing anything about it. She had finished and looked hopefully at me for answers. I wasn't sure I could give her any but I told her what I had found. I told her the legend of Sir Aaron and his Lucario, and about the theories surrounding her species' abilities with aura. When I stopped Luca practically begged me to continue but with a sheepish grin I told her it was all I knew. She seemed a little disappointed but more lost in thought as she stared at the deck.

"Do you want to try doing it again?" I asked curiously, hoping she would just so I could see another one of her abilities.

“Yes! Do you know how?” She answered, her ears perking as she snapped her eyes to me.

“Well... No. But we can try.” I replied with an embarrassed grin. She gave me a cute smile and a giggle as she waited to see what I would suggest. To start I figured if we repeated what I'd seen her do with the egg maybe it would happen again. So I told her to close her eyes and concentrate on something around us. She nodded quickly and did so, wrinkling her nose softly as she concentrated. She also held her breath for some reason, and gasped for breath as she stopped and whined.

"Nothing happened..." She whimpered, but I could tell she didn't want to give up.

"Alright well... Try focusing on me. You've told me you can feel me near you sometimes right? Try thinking of that." I suggested, remembering back to several moments I had dismissed before as my sweet Riolu being cute. Luca nodded again and lowered her head. "And breathe this time." I teased, making her giggle again. She took a deep breath and let it out to remind herself but as that breath left her I saw her head ornaments rise of their own accord! They buzzed softly and all of the sudden Luca yelped and jerked away from me, throwing herself off the bench with a scared gasp. Worried, I hurried to her side. "What happened?! Are you ok?" I asked worriedly as she stared at me.

“I-It was like seeing a ghost. You were shrouded in blue and white and so was the rest of the ship deck!” She said as her chest heaved in both excitement and uncertainty. I could hardly believe she had managed to do it on her second try, and I had to admit I was a bit jealous she could figure things out so quickly. I didn't want to push her though since she seemed so scared by it, but with my help she quickly got to her feat. "I wanna try again!" She said enthusiastically, excited now by her new talent. I wasn't about to say no when I didn't know what I was doing, so I smiled and let her do as she wished. We stayed standing but she turned away from me and towards the rest of the ship. I couldn't be sure but I guessed she simply didn't want to see a ghost of me staring her in the face right off the bat.

As she started concentrating she gasped once again. With a quick exhale though she laughed a little and turned her head to and fro to look around. I was amazed as I watched too. Her head ornaments wiggled constantly but twitched almost like ears as she looked around. Those things were actually a sensory organ for a Lucario, giving them a sixth sense! As I got lost in my fascination I was surprised when Luca suddenly turned to face me. Her eyes were still shut but those 4 teardrops honed in on me as she "stared" in awe. I didn't move. I didn't want to startle my girl but she slowly reached out and brought a paw about an inch from my cheek and rotated her wrist around, like she was playing with some unseen bug.

"U-umm... Luca...?" I said curiously, more than a little weirded out.

"It's like a fire but... it’s not hot." She said curiously, then giggled as she moved her paw again. "It likes me for some reason." She said happily before she opened her eyes, letting her teardrops relax. I wondered just what she was actually seeing and couldn't help feeling embarrassed. Just how big of a mistake had I made? I didn't even know auras could be visible and now mine was betraying my feelings towards my little girl...

"So what did you see?" I asked curiously and Luca quickly tried to explain, waving her paws around eagerly to try and show me the flames of people nearby and my own trying to catch her aura that was around her paw. I smiled as she explained, though I barely understood what any of it meant... "How far could you see?" I asked when she had finished. She thought about it and looked around before pointing to the wall of a cabin about thirty feet away. I had to wonder about that though, because the legends of Sir Aaron said he and his Lucario could see for miles.

"What's wrong?" Luca asked, seeing me contemplate what she said.

"Well, I just wonder how far you might be able to look with your new sight. Could you try something for me?" I asked, to which she wagged her tail quickly and nodded. “Ok, try thinking about my Lady. Try to find her on the ship and tell me where she is. Ok?” I asked, explaining calmly and encouragingly. Luca nodded and shut her eyes, quickly going into her trance without so much as a sharp breath. She was getting good at it and with a little practice I was sure she'd be able to battle this way too.
"Ok.” She said once she had her aura sight under control and started describing what she saw. “I can see the ship deck, but only to that wall before it fades into black.”

"Alright, try to think of Lady. Try to feel for her aura." I said gently as I put my hands on her shoulders. Luca quickly gasped though and I jerked my hands back thinking I'd hurt her.

“It’s moving! It's like I'm walking through the halls!” She said happily, her breath quickening as she twitched gently with the twists and turns her vision took her through.

“Great! Just relax. Keep going.” I encouraged as I replaced my hands to feel her muscles were quite tense. Still panting softly she chuckled as she continued.

"I see Lady. She's sitting on the bed a-and Ashley is...!" She said, but in a flash she dropped everything and spun to face me. "We have to go!" She said frantically. She seemed happy so I wasn't exactly worried but I couldn't figure out what was going on. Before I knew it Luca had grabbed my hand and tugged me into a run. Several other patrons were annoyed as we blew past them. I tried to yell out apologies but often we were so far gone by the time I got them out they probably weren't heard.

"Luca!? What's wrong? What did you see?" I questioned, but Luca only gave me a giggle and a smile as she tried to encourage me to keep up. When we finally did reach the room Luca knocked and asked if we could come in. Now I was lost, why were we knocking at our room? Ashley recognized Luca’s voice though and answered promptly, “Get in here quick!”

Luca gave me a cute smile as she tugged me in and shut the door behind us. Finally, I saw why Luca had nearly dislocated my shoulder as she dragged me through the ship. Ashley held her egg in her lap where it knocked and wiggled a little. It was hatching! Whiskers was sitting next to Ashley, watching curiously while Ashley breathlessly held the egg in her hands. Luca and I quickly joined Lady on our bed to watch as well. It was a beautiful sight to watch as the creature inside started to break free. The shell of the egg cracked and cracked again. A piece fell off revealing something moving inside just before the whole shell simply fell apart like a blossoming flower. My sister jumped softly in surprise as the hard shell was replaced by a wiggling, wet, baby Latias...

The little creature's wings were still soft and hung limply over my sister's legs. She was on her back and cooed as she craned her neck to look up at the person holding her. Her large eyes blinked as Ashley met her gaze, stunned. It was really odd seeing a Latias that small, she couldn’t have been more than a foot long from head to tail which was about a quarter of their normal size from what I'd read. With another coo the dragon squirmed and managed to roll over. Her wings flopped but she seemed to be gaining some control of them. Her little arms pushed her up off my sister's legs as she looked up at the larger human still. Gingerly my sister finally emerged from her stupor. She brought a hand up to brush a finger across the little Latias' cheek. The whelp gave a happy cry as she leaned into the touch, nuzzling against the person she obviously thought was her mother.

Not to be left out, Whiskers carefully leaned in and licked the Latias' ear. The dragon let the lick push her a little until it ended. Then she looked over at Whiskers with a confused blink. "Laaa?" The little one cooed again, earning another lick on the forehead from Whiskers.

"Go get a towel." I whispered to Luca with a soft nudge. My Lucario was sitting there smiling impossibly wide at the adorable scene. She nodded and rushed off to the bathroom, returning a mere second later with a towel for Ashley when she wanted it. What happened next though... no one in the room expected.

The Latias stiffened her wings again as she looked back up at Ashley and with a little bit of concentration started to float! She was a bit unsteady at first, but it was unbearably cute! She wobbled in the air but focused to correct herself. Sometimes she did too much of a correction and had to repeat the process the other way. It only took her a couple minutes though before she was perfectly stable and staring to fly around and inspect her mommy. My sister just watched in awe of the little creature before she smiled and reached out to pet her again. The Latias gave an adorable giggling chirp at the affection and hugged my sister's hand in response.

"That's unbelievable... I wish I had recorded this!" I said in amazement, and suddenly realizing my folly. This could have been an absolute first for any human, witnessing the birth of a Latias. In anything I had read I'd never seen anything suggesting they could fly straight out of the egg! My words caught the dragon's attention though and she yelped sharply as she darted behind her mother to hide. Again I was amazed at the speed she could move while flying...

"It's ok. We won't hurt you." Luca said kindly, getting on her knees next to my sister's bed and offering a paw. The Lucario was just lucky Whiskers didn't mind her. Otherwise she might have gotten swatted as she reached in front of the cat.

Still quite timid the Latias craned her neck to sniff at Luca's paw, she looked up at her mother for confirmation as well, and only when Ashley gave a soft encouragement did the dragon zip out and start inspecting Luca. She was hilariously curious about everything now that she felt safe. She poked Luca's head ornaments, and when Luca turned to look the dragon was already latched onto her tail.

Now Luca was the one who was embarrassed. For all her skills and training she could barely keep track of the little dragon. Of course the Lucario wasn't the only target... Out of the corner of her eye the Latias saw one of Lady's tails twitch on the bed. In a flash she had flown over to see what it was. Of course she felt she had to poke it... but when she did the one moving tail retreated into the pile of stationary ones. The hole it left was just big enough to fit Latias' head in, which of course, she did. I felt a little sorry for the dragon as she fell for the fox's ploy, and had her shrieks of terror not quickly turned to uncontrollable giggles Ashley probably would have been quite mad at Lady... As the dragon stuck her head in that hole the other eight tails sprang to life and ensnared her. She tried in vain to escape but lost control of her body as Lady started tickling her all over. Latias had even lost her ability to fly at the moment and Lady gently set her on the bed before letting her tails cover the dragon from view.

Just when we thought the scene couldn't possibly get any cuter the Latias surprised us. She actually growled, and started flailing to escape her prison. Thinking herself fierce she bared her empty maw and chomped on one of Lady's tails as she found daylight. When Lady let the tail fall limp she thought she'd won and proudly looked to her mother with the tail still in her mouth. She dropped it a moment later but when another twitched she squeaked and bolted to hide behind Luca!

Luca laughed and quickly coaxed the Latias into her arms for protection, and from then on the three pokemon had a wonderful time playing. Whiskers however, wasn't too sure what to think. She was never one for high energy games, and it looked like she had a polar opposite in Latias... While the girls enjoyed themselves with a new little playmate I fished a little red box out of my pack and handed it to my sister. She gave me a soft glare with a smile as she took it, knowing this would be too perfect of a gift for her new addition. She unwrapped it carefully and opened the small box to find the glossy pokeball that matched the little Latias' colors absolutely perfectly. My sister smiled up at me and quickly wrapped me in a hug as she thanked me. I laughed as I returned the gesture, and grinned guiltily as she scolded me for not telling her what was in the egg. I knew despite her teasing she really wouldn't have wanted to know, especially with how perfect the moment had turned out.

The exchange between my sister and I attracted the attention of the baby Latias. Hovering high in the air over Luca and Lady she stopped and cocked her head before flying down to look at the pokeball. It was actually pretty cute as the dragon seemed like she was looking in a mirror. With her attention on the thing Ashley tried to explain what it was. As we listened I asked Luca if Latias understood and Luca just smiled and shook her head. The dragon had no clue what the thing was, she was just following what her mommy said and seemed to want her to do. As Ashley pointed to the button the dragon was curious and poked it, instantly getting frozen in red light and sucked inside.

Surprised, my sister stared at the ball as it shook in her hand twice before it quelled. Like I had with Luca, my sister quickly let the creature back out. The Latias reappeared and shook her head cutely. She seemed a little confused but apparently thought nothing of it and was quickly back to playing with her friends. Occasionally Latias would come within reach of Lady’s tails but was still wary of the scary things. Eventually her curiosity got the better of her though and with Lady's tails spread over the bed she flew down quickly to poke one. She was back out of their reach before Lady could grab her though, so instead Lady responded by twitching a different tail. The baby dragon looked at them curiously and forgot her caution as she went back to poke the one that had twitched. Once again Lady shifted a different tail, making it a game and quickly having the dragon racing back and forth as fast as she could to catch the tail wave. Lady continued for a few rounds until she flexed all her tails towards the Latias. Her memory reminded her what happened last time and she squealed as she bolted behind Luca for protection. This time she gave a cute giggle though, feeling like she had triumphed in her escape.

"So what are you going to name her?" I asked my sister as we watched.

"I don't know... what about Latiri?" She suggested, but it just didn't strike me.

"Mmm... I don't know. What about Talia?" I suggested. My sister liked it and nodded in agreement.

There was a pokemon center on board and we both agreed it was a good idea to make sure little Talia was in good health. Since she was safely registered with a ball now there was no real danger of her being taken away from my sister, so we gathered everyone up and headed out to the center. As we walked my sister managed to convey to the Latias that her name was Talia. She seemed overjoyed to hear her mother's voice, especially when Ashley called her name a few more times to make sure she knew it was her. Once again it was absolutely adorable when Talia gave a long imitating chirp and coo. Luca giggled and told me she was trying to say her name.

As we walked through the halls we got quite a lot more looks. Luca and I got a few looks but the two of us walking next to a girl holding a baby Latias in her arms... Now that was a sight. I could tell a few people just thought the dragon was a doll until it moved its neck and cooed curiously. After that their jaws nearly hit the floor. When we got to the center my sister released her hug on Talia. The dragon immediately zipped across the room, inspecting around the room happily. However, when she heard my sister call her name she quickly flew back to her.

Needless to say, the Nurse at the counter was shocked. I was sure this was a patient she'd never had. Joy did her best to give the dragon a check up, but with her squirming around at the cold stethoscope, and since very little was known about the species as children... she could only make a guess that little Talia was healthy. In the end she said since she was flying around so energetically she must be alright.

The diagnosis was good enough for us, so we left and spent the day like any other on a cruise. The girls enjoyed keeping their newborn occupied while making sure she stayed close, letting my sister and I relax and even go for a swim in the pool. There were a lot of water pokemon in there but our favorite was a Dragonair who enjoyed playing with humans more than the other pokemon. She was happy to give us both hugs and swim with us for a while. Even little Talia got a sweet kiss on the nose from the fellow dragon before we left to retire for the night.

After our shower Luca held me back before we went to get in bed. I was worried when she gave me a concerned look but she just wanted to make sure I was okay after how the day had started. I smiled warmly at her concern and hugged her tight, giving her forehead a kiss as I assured her I was perfectly fine after her help. I knew she would blush but I couldn't help smiling again as her tail started to wave and she nuzzled me with a soft murr. After our moment we nestled into bed with Lady and promptly fell asleep.

The next day things got back to normal. Talia was far too young to battle but she seemed to enjoy watching as Luca got some practice. Thanks to her encouragement yesterday I felt better, and we found some of the tougher opponents for a good work out. Like usual, we won most of our matches, but there were two we lost. One was against an unbelievably fast and mischievous Psyduck and the second was against a Flygon. The trainers were considerate and it helped too that Luca knew when she was beat. I really didn’t mind loosing when my opponent was nice enough not to push things too far. One could easily tell that these trainers respected their pokemon, and their opponents, far too much to let things get out of hand. I asked them their names when I congratulated them after the match. The first was Tionis and the second was Kat. With our matches ending around lunch they happily went with us to get something to eat. Luca was the only one who had a problem though... She and Tionis' Psyduck did NOT get along. I can't blame her though. That duck would squirt her with water just to get her attention so he could squirt her again in the face. Thankfully, Tionis kept the shenanigans to a safe minimum when there were others around.

After getting something to eat our new friends went their separate ways. Luca, Lady and Talia were all exhausted, the latter two from playing all day. So we all got comfortable, Luca snuggled up close to me with Lady at the foot of our bed, and Talia curled up with Ashley.

For two more days we continued to relax and enjoy ourselves. My girls and I came across Tionis and Kat a few more times. We hung out and had some fun with the facilities on the ship. Tionis was a water pokemon expert so we took a trip to the underwater observation deck. Luca loved seeing all the fish and a Lanturn even decided to dance around the ship when Luca started paying attention to it. Lady could have cared less though... Unless it was a meal of fresh fish she didn't particularly like water pokemon. Of course, for obvious reasons.

One night my sister and I dressed up in our best to attend a classy dinner with our girls in the main ballroom. Despite dressing up I still felt out of place. This wasn't something many trainers decided to attend. Ashley helped Luca get her fur like it was for the contest and lent my Lucario a nice light blue pearl necklace as an accent. I thanked Ashley for her help and fished out a special red ribbon for Lady. We sat down at a table and ordered something to eat as we listened to the band and watched people dance on the small floor. Once more my girls were quite polite and earned several compliments, whispers, and smiles from other patrons. The highlight of the night though... I will never forget.

As the night started to drag on and come to a close. The conductor of the band turned to his microphone "For our last song tonight we wanted to wind things down with a slow dance. The dance floor looks pretty empty, why not give it one last shot and show us some fancy footwork? Pokemon are welcome to join in as well. The floor, is yours." He said cheerfully and turned back to the band. Luca's ears perked straight up for a moment, but quickly laid back down as her thoughts continued. She was still focusing on her plate, and the last few morsels left uneaten though the words had obviously caught her attention. My sister caught the twitch though and smiled, figuring she knew what Luca had thought of. My ever loving sister gave me a swift kick under the table to get my attention. It wasn't exactly the nicest thing to do but who could argue with results...? I jerked and looked up just as the band started to play a slow ballroom dance song. I managed to stifle a reflexive protest, but I still gave her a perturbed glare. It quickly faded though when she darted her eyes towards Luca, a clear suggestion that I take my Lucario up to dance...

Luca hadn't seemed to notice our exchange. She was busy observing the dance floor as she chewed her last bite so I mouthed "No" to my sister, and hoped the slight blush in my cheeks wasn't noticeable. She didn't relent though... She mouthed back "Yes" just as quickly, and I instantly regretted having taken those dance lessons a few years ago with our uncle... The class he taught had more women than men signing up, and he had talked me into joining. I didn't learn all the fancy moves, but I knew the basic steps, which would put my skills above the swayers on the floor now.

I could feel my cheeks starting to burn. I knew I couldn't get out of this easily... Either I took Luca up and danced with her despite there only being two other visible pokemon human pairs, one of which was clearly there as a joke to some other humans, or Ashley told Luca I knew how to dance and she'd secretly be disappointed we didn't get to. So with a soft sigh, I forced away the feeling of Butterfree in my stomach and stood up. The movement grabbed Luca's attention, but when she turned she found me already offering my hand with a sweet smile. She blinked, not knowing what it meant, though I'm sure she was starting to put it together as I spoke.

"Come on." I said cheerfully, and tried hiding a hard swallow to calm my nerves. Her ears lay back shyly and her eyes averted from mine to stare at my outstretched hand. For a second I thought she might refuse, but it didn't surprise me when the warm pads of her paw shyly pressed against my hand a moment later. She stood and without another word we made our way to the floor. I couldn't see it but I swear I could feel it, a victorious grin plastered across my sister's face as she watched us silently. Knowing if she said anything more she might shatter my nerve.

I knew Luca wouldn't have any idea what to do, but thankfully it was man's responsibility to lead a dance like this, and my uncle had been a good teacher. We got to the floor and she looked up at me, clearly embarrassed to be there. My own stomach was in knots as well but I gave her a soft smile and moved to show her the position. I took her right paw in my left hand and held it out to our side as I placed her left paw on my shoulder. She was a bit shorter than me so it was a little awkward but I rested a hand firmly on her waist. Her ears laid back at the touch but I could see the slight smile that crossed her muzzle. "Just follow me okay? And don't look at your feet." I told her encouragingly, earning a soft nod in response. With that I listened to find the beat and began.

The first step was perfect, I leaned Luca where I wanted her to go and she reflexively stepped back. After that her hesitation got the better of her. She immediately forgot my instruction and looked to her feet, afraid she would do it wrong as she started trying to match my feet. "Hey, I'm up here." I said to her, getting her to look up. I didn't stop our dance and once again her paws followed my lead. She stared up at me as I guided her through the flowing dance steps, realizing quickly that she didn't have to try, she just had to feel for what I wanted her to do. It also helped that once we started, all the classes started coming back to my memory.

There was still a concentration in her eyes as she fixed her gaze on me. Her red eyes were wide and I could once again see the deep blush tingeing her cheek fur. Though her body was tense I could still feel a shy quiver now and again as we turned and danced in a tight square. Her ears remained pinned to her head and her tail curled around her leg. Eventually I felt her muscles loosen as she got the rhythm. I smiled at her again as another move came to memory and I raised our outstretched hands a little before guiding her under it in a graceful spin. Her feet faltered just a little but fell right back into pace as we resumed the elegant sway and step of the dance. As she looked back to me her tail wagged behind her, the excitement of it all starting to overcome her anxiety. I smiled again and we continued, lost in each other’s arms for the remainder of the song... When the music finally faded away I smiled as we stopped, holding each other's gaze and not letting go of our embrace.

At some point the boy dancing with his Mightyena as a joke had sat down. My sister later told me he seemed horribly embarrassed after Luca and I took to the floor with a professional dance. Many of the other human pairs had stared at Luca and I as we moved, and some had done the same as the boy had. When it was all over, Luca and I got another little shock.

"Alright folks. Thank you all for coming out tonight, and why don't we give a hand to this young man and his beautiful Lucario for showing us such a wonderful dance between pokemon and trainer?" The conductor said and extended a hand in our direction. Still lost in Luca's eyes I was yanked from our little world by the sound of applause. Luca was the same way and we looked around to find ourselves the center of attention. Instantly my stomach leapt to my throat but I managed an embarrassed smile as I waved a thank you. Luca wasn't quite as composed. She blushed and gave a timid smile to the people, but she stayed close by me and made no motion of thanks.

It was only a brief moment but it still got to us, even as we went back to the table. My sister was smiling wide and clapping for us as well, though I'm sure she meant it more to torment me than Luca. Seeing my Lucario as we got ready to leave I was starting to feel a little bad about what I'd done. She wouldn't look at me, and her ears were still back. I hoped she didn't think she'd done anything wrong. I... I loved having the chance to dance with her. Lady managed to cheer her up a little though by giving her a nudge and a foxy grin. She was still tense, but she growled something to Lady and before long they were jeering back and forth like normal.

"You two looked really sweet." Ashley said as we went back to the room, earning a blush from me as I rolled my eyes. I was playing it up for her, and I hoped Luca didn't see because honestly I was glad my sister pushed me to. It was another memory I would always have of my sweet Lucario. With a laugh my sister thankfully dropped her teasing as we got back to the room. Only then did Luca really look at me again. As we crawled into bed she whispered every so softly in my ear. "Thank you..." I smiled and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead, knowing if I said anything I would only steal her voice for tomorrow too.

It was a wonderfully enjoyable trip, but as the week neared completion we found ourselves actually looking forward to things returning to normal. My sister started planning for her contest, and wondered if Talia would behave if left out of her ball to watch. The girls and I spent what little time we had left actually relaxing and resting. The ship was fun but we wouldn't really get another chance to spend the day sleeping and laying in the sun for quite a while.

As we lounged we could see islands in the distance around the boat. Some were inhabited; others were private for those who could afford them. The mainland wouldn't be too far away now and we knew we were scheduled to disembark the next morning. However, as we packed everything up that evening an announcement came across the intercom of the ship.

"This is your captain speaking. I would like all passengers and their pokemon to come to the main hall for a complimentary farewell dinner and closing ceremonies! We hope that you have had a truly memorable cruise and we hope you will join us again in the future. Do have a nice night, and thank you again." The captain announced. It seemed a little strange but it was free food, and previous meals on this ship were absolutely exquisite. My sister was still packing her dresses but assured us she would join us shortly. The girls and I figured we would get a table, so we headed out into the ship. There were a lot of people taking the offer. In fact, from what I'd seen of the ship, more than 3/4ths of the crew and passengers were crammed into the main dining hall. The cooks would really have their hands full...

My sister joined us about twenty minutes later but by then it was a disappointing scene. There were only a few more people trickling in and though some people were getting food, most weren't even having orders taken. It was as if they hadn't planned this event very well. With the crowd growing, a crewman soon addressed everyone from a stage at one end of the room. He informed that space was limited and the turnout was bigger than expected. With sincerest apologies he asked that all pokemon be returned to their balls. There was something about how he "asked" though that made it sound more like a demand.

Luca looked at me worriedly and Lady was getting annoyed. We were back against a wall and hadn't been helped so I figured we would just leave. To make it easier though, I reluctantly withdrew Lady. She wasn't happy but it would save her the hassle of navigating the crowds. Not wanting Talia to get lost in the crowd either my sister pulled her ball out. The little dragon wasn't exactly cooperative though... She stayed over our table but she darted back and forth to avoid Ashley's recall attempts. It was simply adorable and if Luca hadn't seemed worried for some reason I would have been laughing instead of just snickering. My sister seemed to get a weird vibe too, so like Luca she left Whiskers out. We figured since we were leaving they couldn't be upset with our choice. Luca's mood was starting to worry me as we got up though. Her tail twitched anxiously and her ears were perked and attentive.

"You ok?" I asked softly as we jostled towards the door.

"Yeah... No. Something feels wrong." She said, obviously hoping I wouldn't think she was going crazy. I trusted her more than anyone though, and strange premonitions aside I couldn't help feeling we were being watched, or lied to in some way. Everyone in the room started begrudgingly withdrawing their pokemon as we made our way towards the door. When we got there though, a steward was blocking the way.

"We'd like to leave. We still have things to pack." I said simply and kindly but he didn't move.

"I'm sorry. The captain is going to address the party soon. Please stay for that at least?" He said politely, or so it seemed. Luca's reaction confirmed my own impression. The fur on the back of her neck stiffened as she eyed the man, but in the interests of avoiding a scene I conceded and stepped to the side to wait.

"Feel something else?" I whispered to Luca once we were away from the steward.

"I don't know... he just felt, bad. Like he wanted you to challenge him so he could fight." Luca whispered back. I looked over at the man again and still couldn't shake the feeling Luca was right. Somehow I'd felt it too. He wasn't as nice as he was trying to be.

The hall was packed to capacity with trainers and the occasional pokemon that didn’t like to be in its ball. I was guilty as well by keeping Luca out of her ball but then again, no one was forcing anyone to comply... yet. There weren’t any particularly rare pokemon visible though. In fact, Luca was the rarest in sight and was getting many glances as the other passengers looked around in irritation. Luca was still uneasy. Her ears continued to twitch and swivel as she tried to pay perfect attention to the cacophony around us. It wasn't much longer though before a man in a sailing uniform appeared on the stage and urged us to quiet down.

"Thank you all for joining me. My name is Diar Arez. I am an official with the Pokemon League investigating suspected pokemon smuggling. I sincerely apologize for the accommodations and for tricking you but we needed all the passengers together. You see... We have reason to believe that contraband pokemon have been smuggled on the ship. Before we can make port we have to scan and account for every pokemon on the ship. This will go a lot faster if everyone would cooperate. Please see our stewards and submit your pokeballs for scanning." The stranger said with an air of authority.

Now I knew something wasn't right. This wasn't the way the pokemon police operated. If there were truly smuggled pokemon on board the police would be scanning us as we left the ship. I wasn't the only one who had come to this conclusion either. A few other trainers stood up to protest this outrage. However, the "Official" quickly quelled any yells with a flash of a golden badge and a yell of his own though...

"PLEASE! I understand this is not standard! Our agency is trying to ensure the safety of pokemon and prevent their illegal trade!" He said confidently once again. However, despite a great majority of the passengers putting their balls into small pokeball racks and handing them over, there were several trainers refusing. The man kept trying to convince us that this was routine and we would get our pokemon back momentarily. Luca noticed it too though. No one was keeping track of whose pokemon were whose. There was no way this was legit and it was about time someone put a stop to it. Luca and I exchanged glances and we turned to leave again. The steward stopped us and offered a pokeball rack with a small betraying smile. He wasn't a designated collector but he was still holding the door and trying to aid the others.

"Move. We're leaving now." I said a bit harshly, my sister was behind us with a twitchy Whiskers next to her.

"I'm sorry sir but we have to scan your pokemon. Please return your Lucario to its ball and hand them over." He said, though an unfriendly tone crept into his voice.

"Luca. Aura sphere." I ordered my girl. She knew exactly what I meant and though she hesitated a little since her target was human, she still summoned a crackling ball of blue and white energy. The crowd immediately around us fell silent as the trainers gawked and everyone else noticed the light. "We're leaving. Now." I said sternly. It nearly worked too. The man's expression went blank as the fear of being hit by an aura sphere washed over him. Unfortunately he was still a quick thinker.

"I have the smuggler! That's the Lucario!" He yelled, and reached for his own pokeball.

"I have accomplices over here! Use force! Take them in!" Someone yelled from across the room, opening a massive can of Wurmple. All the stewards tossed their pokemon out, which was odd because one wouldn't think service staff would have pokemon on the job... The other odd thing was they were all psychics.

“Luca FIRE!” I yelled, not intending to be made a patsy. Luca hadn't even waited for my command though. The ball she held shrank to a quarter of its size and she blasted the pokeball from the man's hand before he could toss it. Unfortunately it landed on the button... releasing a Kadabra at his side.

"Psychic! Get their pokeballs!" He ordered the creature.

I was just a split second too late. As my hand flew to grab Lady's ball... It was gone, floating at an impressive speed to another steward amidst the crowd.

Initially some of the passengers had turned on me, threatening to help the steward if I resisted, but when their pokeballs were promptly stolen from their belts, they quickly lost themselves to confusion. My sister was fuming beside me. She had been no quicker in reacting, and Talia's ball was somewhere amidst the chaos. That was the last straw for both of us...

"GO! Get them back! I have this one..." Ashley yelled with such ferocity and anger in her voice I couldn't help feeling sorry for the guy...

"Good luck buddy... You'll need it." I snorted to the steward as I turned and Luca followed. He moved to stop us but my sister grabbed him as we heard a feral hiss and snarl from Whiskers. Luca landed atop a nearby table just as we heard the tearing of clothes and a scream from the man.

"Luca! Use your aura sight! Find Lady!" I suggested, hoping the trick would still work with the stress of the moment and with a pokeball. Luca seemed confused at first but nodded quickly and shut her eyes, focusing and directing her vision outwards.

"There!" She said after just a second. She pointed at a man trying to retreat to the stage with a bag full of balls and canisters.

"Go!" I told her, but once again she didn't need a cue. Leaping from table to table she kept her gaze locked on her target. When she got within range she leapt high off a table, breaking it in half with the force of her jump. Charging an aura sphere she spun and hurled it forward. The attack arched beautifully into the man's back, knocking him down and out with a swift and localized explosion. Shoving my way to where the man had fallen I found some familiar faces.

Luca landed right next to me as I looked up to find Kat and Tionis. Kat frantically looked through the cases to find her pokeballs but Tionis kept his marked and had found them immediately. In an instant Luca and I found ours as well. Luca grabbed Lady's while I spotted Talia's. Relieved, I quickly shoved both deep into my pockets. "They're thieves. We have to get the rest of the balls back." I said softly to Tionis. He seemed to agree and Kat had just found her canister.

"What do we do? It's chaos in here now." He asked, wondering if I had a plan.

"Well, First off let's stop the others from leaving. Then we can figure out how to catch these people." I replied as I stood and looked around. Many more trainers and owners were sifting through the balls on the floor. I just hoped they could be trusted to only take their own pokemon.

"Right. I counted eight stewards with canisters and bags. Kat, can your Flygon fly in here?" Tionis began, quickly weighing out our options.

"Let's take the stage so they either come out in the open or fight through the crowds." I suggested and pointed to the stage. Tionis gave me a nod of agreement so Luca and I took off. It wasn't a moment later that a deafening roar emanated from the stage. Everyone in the room stopped to focus on the Aggron next to the supposed official on stage.

"Now that I have your attention! Cease your resistance and comply! This is official League business!" The man said with authority, still trying to keep his facade. I didn't buy it, and the murrmurrs around the crowd told me I wasn't alone.

"Luca... get two aura sphere's ready okay?" I whispered as I gathered my courage. This had to stop, and only confronting this guy would put an end to this. Luca gave me a soft nod and stayed put as I moved. Meanwhile, the Aggron thumped its tail on the stage threateningly, especially as I climbed up the side.

"Hey! Who are you!? You're not even keeping track of whose pokemon is whose." I said defiantly. Immediately I earned a sharp glare as the man turned with his Aggron.

"You want this to take longer? We can check registration with the balls. If you cooperate we'll have your pokemon back in a moment." He answered, but one look at that sharp look said we'd never see our pokemon again.

"Who are you? You're not with the league." I continued as I went closer. My legs felt like jelly as I wished someone else would come to back me up, but I'd gotten myself into this mess and unless I wanted to turn over Luca, Lady and Talia... I couldn't back down now.

"Sir... one more step and you'll force my Aggron to subdue you." He said with a slight smirk and enjoyment in his voice. Just as he finished his threat though two aura spheres exploded in the Aggron's face...

"Figured that would be your answer... Now! Who are you!?" I growled as I reached him and grabbed his shirt to yank him to me. I should have known better than to play tough guy... At my tug he quickly lashed out, giving me a sharp right hook to the cheek and knocking me to the floor.

"Don't touch me whelp!" I heard him say before he gave me a swift kick to the gut and turned away."Now! Everyone surrender your poke...!" He continued as I coughed and curled up in pain for a long moment. A loud thud next to me made me open my eyes though. The man lay drooling on the stage next to me. Confused, I looked up to find a black and blue shadow kneeling down to me. Pain flared through my jaw as I stirred with my Lucario helping me up. I groaned, knowing I'd have a mark there but it would heal soon enough.

With the leader knocked out though we finally had control... The doors were still locked from the outside but the commotion had died down except where trainers and passengers were detaining the stewards since their facade was shattered. A couple moments later they were all on stage and tied up. We found they wore a uniform under their disguises. They all wore black clothes with a red bandana around the forearm. On the bandana was a black D, but none of the thieves would talk or explain.

It was perhaps only ten minutes before we had all the crooks and pokeballs on stage. Several other trainers wanted to help and we were in no position to refuse. With an anxious crowd we figured the best thing to do was return the pokemon. With all the bags collected we started releasing pokemon on the stage, handing them their balls, and letting them find their owner or their owner come up to get them. Thanks to the ample help of the trainers it was a fast process even while a few of us decided what to do next.

There were only a few of the dark shirted thieves in the room and the ones that were conscious we couldn’t get to talk. With the doors locked from the outside we knew there had to be more. It really had been the captain on the loud speaker so they had to at least have captured him and much of the crew on the bridge.

It wasn't that we wanted to be heroes, but we knew if we didn't do something the others would come for their friends; and more than likely they'd bring stronger pokemon to put down any opposition. We knew that next time, our pokemon really might be taken from us and perhaps we'd be taken as well... We continued to brainstorm and came up with two plausible plans. One, set the trainers free to help us retake the boat by force. Or two, we dress up in the goon’s uniforms and trick them into leaving thinking their mission was a success. Figuring the first plan would happen regardless of what we did, we opted for at least an attempt at the second.

The one problem was we had returned all the pokeballs, which left the "loot" bags empty. If we were to pull this off we’d have to find a large stash of empty balls. We couldn't be sure but it appeared as though the crooks had knocked out the security system to the ship. The lights on all the cameras were dark so perhaps we could still pull this off.

Focused on our course of action we recruited some of the stronger trainers for some help. Once we had the same number in our group as crooks we caught, we took their uniforms and locked them in the kitchen pantry to make sure they wouldn’t bother us. A Machamp was nice enough to bend a bar through the door handles for a permanent lock.

Once we had changed into our own disguises we addressed the other trainers, telling them to stay here or the thugs would be back with stronger pokemon. The casual passengers were happy to remain there but it took some persuading for the trainers, who were eager to get revenge. The agreed after it was explained by Tionis that the non battling passengers needed their protection should the thieves come back.

I kept Luca out with me but the others withdrew their pokemon as we left the main hall through the kitchen. The first thing we did was head to the ship's pokemart. They had plenty of pokeballs we could use for decoys. After quickly putting them in the canisters, then in the bags we headed out amongst the ship. As we started making our way to the bridge though, we were stopped by another thief in the black uniform.

"Hey. Good haul?" He asked one of the other trainers. Luca cautiously hid behind me and the bag I carried.

"Yeah, check it out. Judging by the ones we saw there's a lot of rare pokemon in here." The trainer bluffed quite convincingly. If I didn't know better I might have believed his act.

"Any troubles?" The man asked next, obviously pleased, but catching sight of the black and blue bruise gracing my cheek...

"Nah. Some trainers tried to fight back until what's his name put em in their place with his Aggron." Our accomplice continued, smirking and waving the incident off as nothing.

"Haha! Good. Take the balls to the escape boat then. We'll be there shortly." The guy said casually, and nonchalantly pointed us in the right direction.

At the deck rail we found an interesting grappling hook ladder system that went down to a rather large speed boat. After depositing our load with the two crooks watching the boat, we went back to the cruise liner against the watchman's wishes. "The boss wanted us to help mop up." We said sharply as we left, getting grumbles but no further protest.

With our ruse still intact we scattered around the ship. It wasn't long before another announcement came across the loud speakers. Someone claiming to be another Pokemon League inspector thanked us for our cooperation and said that the balls would be returned after a quick inspection. Apparently this was the cue to leave, as several black garbed men and women hurried back to the boat. Luca and I had hidden close by and heard a short argument about eight of their members missing. The leader didn't seem to care though as the boat sped off without them, and without a clue as to what had really happened.

Luca and I couldn't help laughing at the thieves as they left. When we calmed down I ditched my costume and quickly wrapped her in a hug. She yelped in surprise but hugged me back with a whimpering "what?"

"I just had to make sure you're here..." I answered honestly, holding her tight for a moment before releasing her so I could see her again. The thought of losing her and Lady had been just too much to bear and I needed to remind myself she was still there. She just gave me a soft smile and a cute lick on the cheek as reassurance before we were off to find the actual crew.

Some of the service staff hadn't known what happened, but others had been tied up and left in closets and staff only areas. When we were sure we'd found the last deck hand in our area the small bunch asked what happened. We gladly explained and got more than a few smirks and thumbs up from the crew.

"Good job kid. Let's go. The captain will wanna see ya." One man said as he clapped a hand on my shoulder in respect. Figuring we should see the captain as soon as possible I agreed and he led us to the bridge. Tionis and Kat were already there, as were several of the other trainers that had helped us. The captain seemed quite pleased with the passengers as he offered us free passes to Battle Frontier Island, an exclusive training ground for only the best and brightest trainers. It was flattering to say the least and I happily accepted, if only just to see what the challenges were like. However, there were still more important things at hand...

"Thank you sir but we really should get the ship out of here. If those crooks realize they've been tricked before we get to port it could be bad for all of us." I urged. The captain took me in for a moment, seeming to appraise my thoughts on the subject before turning sharply.

"I believe you're right! Full speed ahead! Let's get these people to safety." The captain ordered to the bridge crew. "Yes Sir!" three men answered back, and promptly threw the throttle to full and started working the monitors that I assume controlled the ship. "I'll be referring you to Officer Jenny when we make port. You trainers really saved a lot of pokemon back there." The captain continued with a wide grin on his face after giving his orders.

“Thank you sir!” All of us answered in unison. For our efforts we were given the privilege of remaining on the bridge for a while and really seeing how the ship was run. It was truly amazing, and Luca even managed to make friends with the crewman as she curiously peered over their shoulders. It was late though and eventually we did get tired. By then the coast guard had come to escort the liner to port, so our nerves were greatly eased. We thanked the captain once more for letting us stay, then headed back to the room for our last night in the lap of luxury.

We pulled into the docks just before noon the next day. A police squad was there to ensure that everyone's pokemon were registered to the people carrying them. I had given Talia’s ball back to Ashley after we left the bridge. She’d been so happy she nearly squeezed the life out of me…

"You know… I was tempted to keep Talia last night…” I teased as we descended in line towards the check station. That got a soft glare from my sister and a snicker from Luca. “I figured Luca might like a little sister, but then again I guess Jenny might not like me having your pokemon." I said with a chuckle, earning a playful nudge from Ashley. "So would you rather I come to your contest?" I asked seriously, not wanting to disappoint my sister if she wanted me to see her perform again.

"Nah. You take Luca to that island. Just take care of Lady too ok?" She answered cheerfully.

"Ack! Lady!" I blurted, having forgotten to let her back out after the incident! I had wondered why my feet were cold last night… I quickly fished her ball from my pocket as we reached the bottom of the boarding stairs. In a flash of red the fox was sitting next to us a moment later. However... she wore an annoyed and angry scowl as her tails writhed behind her. "I'm sorry... It was a long night. I'm sorry." I pleaded for forgiveness, making my sister laugh as she walked up to Jenny. Luca was about to snicker as well until Lady's eyes shifted to her. My Lucario quickly flattened her ears and looked away humbly. With a grumbling growl Lady rose to her feet and started following after Ashley. Luca looked to me and stifled the snicker as it crept up again.

"She says we're lucky." Luca translated in a whisper. I shared her guiltily amused expression as we followed, taking our turn with the police right after my sister.

"Are you sure you don't mind Ash?" I asked, continuing our earlier conversation.

"Yeah. Besides, you saw a performance with Whiskers and of course my best yet with Luca." She said and gave a sweet smile to Luca, making the Lucario blush softly.

As Jenny finished with me though she pulled us aside. A deputy took her place quickly to continue checking people out. My sister and I joined a lineup of the trainers that had foiled the heist as Jenny addressed us. "Alright! Now that I have all of you let me FIRST say... What in the world were you thinking!? I can NOT condone your vigilante actions!" She said sternly as she stood with sunglasses on and her hands on her hips. "That being said... Well done all of you. We've been chasing these Team Darkrai thugs for months. They've been stealing pokemon all over the region. You kids are unbelievably courageous." She said as she took her sunglasses off and gave us a proud smirk. "Hopefully these guys will talk but regardless you all have my commendation." All of us were a bit taken aback... At first we thought we were going to jail as well but it seemed she was genuinely grateful. We all nodded and smiled, afraid of doing anything else to perhaps set her off again. "If you have any more information on these crooks please get in touch with me. I'm sure after this we'll be the experts in dealing with them. And please be careful, you're probably targets for them now." Jenny finished and sharply gave us a salute and an approving grin.

"Thank you Maim!" All of us answered in a near unison. Luca was still standing rigid, focused and more than a little scared of the strict officer. With her peace spoken Jenny left us to ourselves to help her force speed up the check out process. Tionis and Kat headed off to find the boat Luca, Lady and I would be looking for in a moment, but we wanted to say goodbye to my sister first. The other trainers didn't seem very interested in the battle frontier offer. They disappeared in the crowd of passengers to continue their lives.

Ashley let Talia out of her ball so she could play one last time with Luca and Lady. The three of them stayed close but my sister pulled me aside. She gave me a hug and thanked me for the cheering and support. I wished her luck in her next contest but she knew the look I gave her meant I didn't think she'd need luck. It seemed there was something else on her mind though, and she pulled me in a little closer so she could whisper.

"Felix. Luca really likes you... She was really worried when you left that morning. She didn't know what to do. Plus there's the way she hugs to you at night and I'm sorry for making you dance with her. I didn't mean to embarrass you that bad..." She began, but only managed to confuse me more.

"Well, she's never seen me that upset but of course she likes me. She grew up doing things like that with Lady and I. It's just... a little strange now that she's bigger is all." I replied, trying to play it off as nothing though I was quickly figuring out what she meant...

"No Felix... You're not a dad or big brother to her anymore. Just, don't get in any trouble okay? I know how you are with Lady already..." She continued, her gaze shifting occasionally to make sure no one would hear her but me.

"Y-you... Nooo. Don't be ridiculous I..." I started but I could feel myself blushing and with the raised eyebrow my sister gave I knew it was a transparent bluff. "A-anyway... I don't think Luca understands those things yet... You know I'd never take advantage of her like that." I continued, my voice dropping nearly too inaudible as I avoided looking at my girls.

"Yeah I do, but I don't think you're giving Luca enough credit. After all... Who's her mother figure here? Just be careful, I won't be the one bailing you out of prison." She said, and gave me a playful nudge, though it about knocked me over, nearly finishing the job her words had started... Once again I was left with a distracting internal conflict as Ashley called the girls over before I could answer. I suppose I was more than a little shy when Luca happily came over to stand next to me, waving goodbye to my sister and Talia as they walked down the pier. Ashley gave me a smirk as she left me with my girls and my thoughts. I would have to get her back for that...

With our goodbyes out of the way my girls and I set out looking for this ship that was to take us to Frontier Island. Luca didn't have a care in the world as we walked next to the edge of the dock. She was staring out at the water, marveling at the different boats and the pretty waves. Lady was on my other side, avoiding the slight spray of sea water as it crashed against the wall below. I tried to push the thoughts of Luca from my mind as we walked, but thanks to my sister I was once again reminded that I was attracted to my sweet Lucario. Thankfully though, the sight of our ride was a grand distraction and left me absolutely speechless.

This thing was straight out of a science fiction film! It was a hydrofoil ship the size of a small yacht! We boarded with the invitation of a suck up crewman and noticed that there was no outside deck. There was a small maintenance path but no place for passengers to lounge. Me and the girls entered through the rear of the ships cabin to find Tionis and Kat already relaxing. Despite the lack of an outside deck the interior actually made you feel like it was entirely outside. A seamless glass window stretched the entire way around the perimeter of the area. The decor was sleek and elegant with environmental areas for all kinds of pokemon. This was truly a high class ship.

Only Tionis and Kat were there, but they had released their pokemon so they could stretch their legs/wing/fins. There was a sizable pool where most of Tionis' pokemon resided. Of course, there was Luca's rival Psyduck but there was also an adorable Oshawott swimming around happily in the water. At the deepest part of the pool there was a Tirtouga and at the edge were two more of his pokemon, an Audino that was giving a massage to a very relaxed Vaporeon. Perhaps the oddest sight though was Tionis' new hat... He had a cheerful Litwick that sat atop the trainer's head. When Luca walked by with me the pokemon waved and chirped a greeting as its flame swayed enticingly. Luca giggled and gave her comparatively gigantic paw to the candle for it to shake in greeting. Tionis seemed a little annoyed that the thing liked to perch on his head, but I couldn't help feeling jealous. I missed having Luca leaning on my head...

I was pretty amazed by his pokemon though. He had quite the powerful collection and some rare species for around here. Kat’s pokemon included her Flygon, a Furret, a Pikachu, a bright blue Glaceon, a Flareon, and a little Eevee. Lady happily went over to join the pokemon in lounging about in the sun. Kat's Eevee family gladly welcomed the fox over, where she found her tails once again serving as a play things for the little pup.

The rest of the pokemon just spared a few glances as the fox joined them but Luca caught most of the brief attention. Perhaps it was because she was staying at my side rather than relaxing, but I didn't mind and as far as I could tell she didn't seem to notice. As Luca and I sat down though a voice came over the intercom. It must have been the captain of the ship because he asked us to brace ourselves for the initial casting off and acceleration. The four of us at the small table wondered why we needed a warning but we soon found out.

With a little more than a soft jolt we were headed out to sea. It was an effort to stay in the seat though as we started to accelerate. The ship slowly rose out of the water until just the tips of the foils were left in the water. There wasn't even enough surface for the waves to affect the boat as we reached cruising speed and finally managed to relax in our seats. The four of us couldn't help getting up and rushing to the window though. We were all shocked to see how fast the ship could actually move! It was almost like we were a bug riding on Luca's shoulder as she used extreme speed!

After gawking for a moment though we returned to our seats to converse and wait. At this rate the trip probably wouldn't take too long. Luca was silent the whole time, and though she was probably bored she didn't show it. Lady could tell though and took the initiative to drag the antisocial Lucario back to the other pokemon by her tail. Luca protested and whined but the fox won in the end. I didn't want her to get hurt but she probably should be socializing with other pokemon now and again, so I just gave her a smile and mouthed the words, "I'll be fine, have fun!" to her. The sad look she gave in return almost changed my mind, but she conceded a moment later and shyly went over to meet the others. Tionis' Vaporeon even got up from his massage to say high to the fellow canine, and it wasn't long before the Audino was giving Luca a massage as well.

I just shook my head at the silly Lucario. She still wasn't very comfortable meeting new people or pokemon, but she was very quick to make friends. Kat, Tionis and I kept talking amongst ourselves as the ship cruised over the waves. Kat told us how she'd found her albino Glaceon and Tionis shared how he'd found the fossil that had given him his Tortuga. The only real stories I had were about Luca, so I endeared them with how she'd been given to me. Of course I left out some of the more important details... After the story Tionis only looked confused. I really couldn't blame him. Every time I told the story it confused me as well, but I couldn't deny that Luca's skills had grown quite a lot since then. The strange guy was right when he said she was special.

With as fast as the ship was, the trip only took about two hours. We felt the ship start to decelerate as an island filled the view in the wrap around window. As the momentum finally failed to keep the ship airborne we were just entering a protected alcove set into the... rather small island. The three of us got up from our seats to take a look, thinking we would be able to see the facilities of the famous island. But just as we got to the window it gradually tinted black, baring all view of the outside. Confused we looked at each other questioningly. What we had managed to glimpse wasn't the bustling resort we thought we'd find.

"I only saw one building." Tionis finally spoke up. While it wasn't pitch black inside the cabin lights were a bit dim compared to the light that had previously flooded the room.

"Yeah. And the rest was either mountain or jungle. I thought this place was supposed to be huge." Kat commented with a bit of disappointment.

"Felix...?" Luca said with a soft, worried tone. She'd quickly left the pokemon to come to my side. I turned to face her but before I could speak she continued. "I have that feeling again. Something's wrong, we should leave." She said, hoping I would believe her. As she said it I started to get a nervous itch as well. She was right of course but... we were inside a boat docking at an island that we now knew absolutely nothing about.

Tionis and Kat withdrew their pokemon as I conversed with Luca. Even without Luca's premonitions they knew something was off. With her company gone Lady joined Luca and I. Not wanting to take changes I pleaded with her to let me carry her in the ball. She gave me a harsh look as she sat down defiantly, her tails starting to move on their own. She gave a growling reply but instead of translating Luca answered for me. "We will. I promise." She said quickly with an apologetic tone. With that Lady nosed the button on her ball and disappeared.

"Something's wrong..." I said, stating the obvious as I stood back up.

"It must be those goons!" Kat blurted in a moment of clairvoyance and all of the sudden it made sense... We'd foiled their heist, and though we were the only trainers to take their bait they would at least get something for their trouble! But... did that mean the captain was in on this...? Or did these guys just hijack the ship? Those were questions for later though. Right now we had a bigger problem.

"Well now what...? They could just gas us in here." I asked the others, hoping they would have an idea. At my suggestion Tionis quickly released his Audino and had it use safeguard. Like the Chansey before, the little fairy blew a long breath over all of us, covering us in a thin silvery haze. Not a moment later, his Audino fell forward, asleep. Tionis withdrew it and looked over at me.

"Good catch. The safeguard will wear off in about twenty minutes but it'll purify the air we breathe. We better do something though." He advised, not sure of what else to do. We were quite effectively trapped. We could try to steal the boat but by the time we figured out how it ran it could be disabled or we'd be overwhelmed by whoever was on the island itself.

"The island's our only hope..." I answered. The others hesitated. I knew it wasn't the most desirable option but we had to escape somewhere and 90% of the island appeared to be undeveloped. Just as we all agreed it was better than where we were now, ten Darkrai members burst through the door and spread out around us. They all wore gas masks so we knew they were well prepared this time...

Luca spun and lowered into a fighting stance, being the only pokemon out she was our only protection. Oddly enough, I felt perfectly safe. "They're awake! Take them down!" One yelled through his mask. I gritted my teeth wondering what we could do.

"Luca... Aura sphere the window. Right in the front." I whispered to my anxious Lucario. Her eyes flitted to me and she nodded softly. With a flex of her paws two glowing orbs grew into existence. The action made the grunts pause their advance, clearly considering what a cornered Lucario would do to protect her trainer.

In another moment Luca raised the orbs as the men encircling us. Her ears swiveled, trying to pick up any hint of what they would do before she diverted her attention. Convinced they had no plan she spun and threw one ball at the center of the window's long arc. The expensive glass shattered under the barrage, once more flooding the room with light. The grunts shielded their eyes in shock as Luca spun to face them with her other sphere, as well as a replacement for the first. Tionis, Kat, and I flinched as the light stung our eyes but we knew we had to retreat and made a break for the hole as Luca covered us.

"Vaporeon!" Tionis called as he reached the rail at the maintenance path on the outside of the boat.

"GET THEM YOU IDIOTS!" Someone yelled from above, seeing Tionis leap the rail and splash into the water.

"Flygon!" Kat called a moment later, summoning the Flygon into the skies where it swooped to retrieve her and fly off, dodging a psybeam from the upper deck.

I ran to the rail as well but the others were gone. The goons started to advance on Luca, seeing she was alone. I knew without a water pokemon there was no way I could escape the way the others had... Luca let loose with all her frustration as I turned away from the rail. Her aura sphere's blasted two of the grunts away, slamming them into the wall unconscious. The remaining eight tried to rush her but I managed to catch one. I tore his mask off and shoved him to the side, watching to make sure whatever was in the air before was still in effect. Sure enough they were hoping our safeguard wore off before we escaped, and the man was quickly incapacitated by their own ruse.

I slipped the mask on just in case and went to help my girl. She'd managed to blast another away and block two more with a protect shield. The last four dove at her though, grabbing her wrists and making her yelp. I would never forgive them... I ran to her side and belted one man across the cheek, surprising even myself as he fell to the ground unconscious with one hit. His companion was so shocked he released the paw they'd been holding. In a flash another goon had an aura sphere in his face, shattering the mask and sending him reeling. With a final twist Luca heaved and threw her last restraining person into the surprised man facing me. The two hit the ground with a thud but were only dazed.

Since her concentration had broken Luca's protect faded, letting the last two upright goons advance. With a sharp glare at them though Luca vanished, using extreme speed to get behind them and slam their heads together. I just blinked; speechless at my Lucario's rather... unorthodox fighting at the moment. "Where'd you learn to fight like that!?" I asked, getting an embarrassed giggle from her until her ears perked at noise on the upper deck. "Come on!" I continued, grabbing her wrist and tugging her with me. We had to find a way off this ship... The best way I could think would be a life raft. I just hoped there weren't too many more thugs on the ship.

As we exited to the rear deck I saw our target, a small motorized dingy dangling over the side. Luca was right behind me but yelped as a psybeam blasted an inch over her head as she went through the door. With the reflexes of a Persian though she blasted the psychic with a dark pulse, knocking it out in one hit as I busied myself with the controls. Much to my relief there was an emergency release button, which I eagerly punched, letting loose the reels and letting the small boat splash five feet to the water below. Luca was still covering me and though I hated to do it... I knew what had to be done. "Return!" I yelled as I held out Luca's ball. In a flash she was gone and the goons were scrambling to catch me. It was too late though, for as soon as Luca vanished I leapt into the boat and gunned the engine to life. Made for quick escapes from a sinking ship I sped the boat off towards the eastern shore of the alcove.

Not caring if I damaged the boat I ran it aground and ran into the jungle. I could already hear boats on the water behind me. They would be coming to find me and I had to disappear. The mountains would make a good hiding spot but it would take me at least the rest of the day to get there, and then there was the fact that I could only run for so long before I tired. Luckily, I found a dense patch to hide in for a moment to catch my breath. There were no sounds of anyone pursuing me yet so I let Luca back out to help. She materialized with her back to me and I couldn't help smiling as she twitched and spun in frantic concern.

"Felix! Are you okay?" She whined as she rushed to kneel next to me.

“I’m fine. Just tired.” I answered as I ended my rest and slowly rose to my feet. I knew we had to keep going lest someone catch up. She helped me up and hugged me tightly, catching me off guard. I rubbed her head and felt another stab in my heart as I forced myself not to return the gesture. We had to move... "Let's head for the mountains. That way. But I need you to make a fake trail now and again okay? Break leaves, twigs, leave marks, attack something, anything to distract them. Then find me with your aura sight ok?" I instructed quickly. Her eyes wavered and I could tell she desperately wanted to ignore me. "Please Luca. We'll be okay but you're faster, they'll catch us if I'm slowing you down and we don't distract them." I pleaded as I held her shoulders. Meekly, she nodded her consent and we were off.

I tried to use existing pokemon trails as we trekked through the foliage. There were still wild pokemon but they stayed out of our way. As I had asked, Luca would occasionally make a fork in the path, creating a fake trail that lead in circles. Each time she was quick to rejoin me using the trees as a high road of her own. She was still apprehensive about leaving me alone. I knew it wasn't because she was worried about herself but rather, she was worried about me. I was worn out and struggling to continue running down the paths. I assured her I would be fine, but it never seemed to help her nerves. Finally, about an hour after sunset, we found rocky ground starting to dominate over the trees. The entire island was shrouded in shadows from the mountains, but it was still a beautiful sight to look back at as we started to gain a vantage above the canopy. I don't think Luca ever noticed though. Her attention was solely on me as we climbed through progressively rougher terrain.

The stars were just starting to come out as the sky turned from purple to black when we spotted a cave on a ledge just a short climb away. Cautiously, Luca went in first and luckily found it abandoned. It would be the perfect place to spend the night, and the next morning perhaps we could plan our next step. For now though, we could see lights out in the trees below, but none were headed in our direction. We had evaded our captors once again...

"Good job with those trails." I said tiredly to Luca as she sat next to me, making sure I was okay. She at least gave me a smile, which despite it being a small gesture, gave me immeasurable relief. As we sat there the adrenaline wore off and a bump in my pocket reminded me one of us was missing... I pulled Lady's ball from my pocket and stared at it. If I let her out the flash might give us away, and she wouldn't want to go back in. Luckily, she never broke out of her ball, even though I'm fairly certain she knew how. I really felt bad about making her stay in her ball while Luca got to spend all this time with me but I didn’t see what choice I had. I had gotten her hurt and if threatened she wouldn't ignore the urge to fight. I couldn't let her hurt herself further... and this was the only way I could help her.

I must have stared at the ball for longer than I thought, because Luca put a paw on my hand as she spoke. "She'll be okay." She said simply, apparently figuring out my concerns as well. I let out a long sigh as I stowed the ball away in my pack and pulled out the sleeping bag. I smirked for a second as I realized how glad I was I hadn't decided to swim to shore... Luca didn't know what to think about my expression and she even seemed a little worried that I'd finally snapped under the stress. As we settled in I wanted to make sure I banished those fears and made her feel safe. So this time... before she could get comfortable and worm close to me, I slid my arms around her belly and hugged her tight in the sleeping bag we'd shared so many times before. A soft yelp escaped her lips as she looked back shyly, wiggling against me just a little in surprise. I leaned closer and gave her a loving kiss between her ears before I nuzzled against her soft fur. "Thank you sweetie. I never would have escaped without you." I whispered softly.

At first she didn't say anything. Instead she gave an affectionate murr as she pressed against me and nuzzled back. "I love you Felix..." She murred almost breathlessly, her paws holding my hands tightly against her midsection. She couldn't have been happier at that moment.

I smiled at her affections, figuring it was just the unwinding of our nerves that made those words sound so special. "I love you too my dear Luca." I whispered in her ear, getting another soft murr from her as she shut her eyes. I wasn't far behind, and before too long we were both sound asleep holding each other tightly.

The next morning I woke to find Luca still cuddled in my arms. I gave her a soft kiss between the ears to wake her and smiled as she groaned and opened her eyes. Those beautiful red irises met my gaze, but her ears quickly lay back as she blushed under her fur. I couldn't help chuckling as I shifted to let us out of the bag. Luca gave me a playful growl to hide her embarrassing enjoyment of how she woke. After we both stretched our legs a little we looked out at the jungle. There was no sign of Darkrai anywhere, but we knew we should still be careful. We could see the facility in the distance but it was a ways off. Anyone coming this way would have a long trek to get here, and another to get back if they wanted to search the area.

It was still early morning but the sun had crested the mountain peaks on the other side of the island, bathing us in a warm light. I released Lady now that the flash wouldn't give us away and quickly set about changing her bandages. She wasn't exactly happy I kept her in her ball so long but after that first sharp glare she let it slide. I knew she understood why but she always felt the need to remind me how much she hated being put in that thing.

With my girls there to protect and keep me company we set out to find some of the necessities to live by. First was water, and luckily we found a clean mountain stream not too much farther up the rocky terrain. It was a short hike so the cave we found would still be a great place to hide and live for a few days. Luca volunteered to gather some berries from the forest below to supplement the trail rations I always packed for trips. I was worried letting her go alone but she could be there and back using extreme speed before I could even climb halfway back to the trees. All in all it wasn't the worst living arrangements we'd ever had. The worst was when we'd been caught miles from a center in the middle of a thunderstorm with only a tree as shelter... I made sure to carry a small tent with me at all times after that but with the cave we didn't need it.

I was happy to spend time with my girls but something about Luca still struck me as odd. I knew she was just trying to help, and she was doing an excellent job, but I couldn't help getting a strange feeling from her whenever we relaxed or slept. She was always right at my side, and whenever I surprised her in some way she seemed embarrassed, like I'd caught her doing, or thinking, something she shouldn't. Lady kept giving me a look that seemed to ask, "Are you really that stupid?" but even when I asked her she wouldn't tell me what I was missing. Maybe it was something Luca didn't want me to know, but if that was the case, what was she hiding? We had spent a total of three full days in our cavern home before I finally found out what was going on...

Luca, Lady and I went to bed that night like any other. Luca and I squeezed into the sleeping bag while Lady slept with her tails over us. Before, I had never thought anything of sleeping with Luca like this. Even when we first got to the cave I was just glad to have her there. Tonight though... I couldn't help feeling a bit shy and uncomfortable. I woke up after just an hour of sleep to find Luca was breathing fast and hugging against me. It was just a little too warm with her fur insulating the sleeping bag in addition to my Ninetales heat blanket. I didn't think anything of it and unzipped the bag to let us cool off a little. When I settled back in though, Luca nuzzled me in her sleep and moaned softly... I couldn't help blushing a little. That wasn't just a cute murr that was a pleasant moan, and I had no idea where it had come from. I didn't want to disturb her though so I just remained still and eventually fell back to sleep.

Perhaps only two hours later I awoke again. It seemed I just couldn't fall into a restful sleep that night and the slightest little things would wake me. This time, I was cold. I opened my eyes as I shifted against the discomfort and realized Luca was gone. I wasn't worried, I simply figured she had to relieve herself, so I huddled down in the sleeping bag and pulled Lady's tails back over it as I tried to get some rest and wait for Luca to return. When the cave had fallen silent from my rustling though, a new source of sound caught my attention. I listened intently for a moment, my body tense as I wondered what or who it could be. When I heard the person give a long whine I knew it must be Luca. I shifted again, leaning up halfway and looked around. She wasn't near me and the sounds stopped when I moved. She was trying to hide from me.

"Luca? You okay?" I asked as I looked for her, soon catching a glimpse of my Lucario a bit further in the cave, sheltered a bit more from the soft glow of the moon outside.

"Y-yes..." She answered, and though she sounded almost normal there was still a soft pant to her voice.

"What's wrong? Are you sick?" I persisted, getting out of my bag despite the slight chill of emerging from a warmer place. I had elected to only sleep in my pants that night so I rubbed my arms softly as I made my way back to her.

"N-no. I'm fine. I'm sorry. Let's get back to sleep." She said quickly and rose to come nearer, hoping to dissuade my worry. It didn't work, I knew when she was hiding something and I couldn't have her getting sick here. If she was I'd have to keep her in her ball until I could find help.

"Hey it's okay. Here let me check." I said gently as she tried to pass me on the way back to the bag. I blocked her way though and gently laid a hand on her forehead. Her ears were flat against her head and her eyes were wide as she looked up at me. I felt her body quiver softly as I rested my other hand on her shoulder.

"I-I'm fine! I-It's nothing." She said shyly and pulled away just enough to escape my touch. Her breathing was still quick, almost enough that she had to pant to keep up. The other thing was that her forehead was quite warm. She very well might have a fever.

"You're burning up. Here, you need some water." I said with concern and quickly fished for the canteen. I unclipped it from the bag and offered it to her with a worried look. She stared at the canteen for a moment before she shifted uncomfortably and looked up at me. She seemed to be thinking of something, running it through her head several times in that moment as if trying to talk herself into or out of it. ~Felix will be there for you, no matter what. And if you want him to, he can help.~ She replayed over and over what Lady had said to her.

"F-Felix I-I..." She began, seeming to have come to a decision, though only just barely. She came closer and put a paw on the hand that held the canteen to push it out of the way so she could stand right in front of me. Her breaths came in soft pants now as she reached up and put her other paw on my neck. She encouraged me to lean over to her and I followed her lead. I was worried, and confused. What was she doing, why was she being so strange? Her pads were warm on my skin as she stood on her toes to meet me half way. She didn't say another word, probably fearing I would pull away. I blushed softly as our lips grew closer. I knew what she wanted right then and my mind raced, debating if I should... My mind was made up for me though when she pressed her lips to mine.

That kiss was unbelievable... The feel of her muzzle's gentle touch as our lips met, parted then met again. Our eyes slipping closed as I gently put my free hand on her waist and returned the affection. Once more she gave a happy whining moan, but as she did she gently pushed me away. Her breaths were quicker now. I could feel her hot breath washing over my neck as she stared at me with a deep blush. "I-I think I'm in heat..." She whimpered softly, her frightened gaze fixing on my eyes, trying to gauge my reaction.

So that was why the Vaporeon and Flareon on the boat were so interested in her! It was all so clear now that I had to wonder, why couldn't I see it before...? But was it her season that had her so affectionate towards me the past few weeks, or was it something else? It wasn't too long ago that I had Lady explain to our Riolu about mating seasons and a female's heat. I figured she would be able to explain it better than I could, plus... These things always left me tongue tied...

"Y-you're... O-oh..." I stammered as my face went Volbeat red. My heart raced and I couldn't help feeling a twinge lower in my anatomy. I could only pray she didn't notice any change for fear that she'd never be able to look at me again. She noticed my hesitance though and trailed her paw from my neck, leaving me standing there still holding the canteen. She folded her paws in front of her neathers, shyly hiding herself because she knew as a human I found it embarrassing. Her gaze also shifted shyly away from me as I failed to react. "Should I wake Lady? What can I do honey?" I finally managed to say in a whisper, like it was a naughty thing I shouldn't be discussing. Luca looked over at the still soundly sleeping fox then back at me, clearly unsure what to do or say. I watched her for a couple seconds before it finally clicked...

My dear Lucario stood there covering herself, shifting a little uncomfortably. I swallowed timidly as I decided what to do. I knelt back at my bag and put away the canteen while pulling Lady's ball out. I sure didn't need her waking up to Luca in heat right now since Luca clearly didn't want her help. After withdrawing the sleeping Ninetales I stood and turned to face Luca once more. Her eyes were wide and attentive, but the blush burned in her cheeks as all the reasons why I would withdraw Lady flashed through her mind. By the way her tail curled around her leg and her ears stayed pinned back, I'm sure I knew where some of those thoughts went...

Embarrassed though I was, I stepped close and gently ran a hand down her arm to take her paw. I once again felt her body tremble and her breath catch as my hand came so close to what she was covering. I ignored the slightly damp fur around her pads, though the thought of what that moisture was sent another twinge through my loins. I took her paw gently as I got her to look up at me. "It'll be ok." I said softly. Her eyes flicked to my hand holding her paw then back to my eyes. Her breath quickened again and her blush persisted. I don't know what she thought would happen but I wasn't going to rush her into something she didn't want to do. Instead, I simply pulled her close to me. I still held her paw as I encouraged her to lean on my bare chest. She was hesitant at first, but quickly nuzzled against my skin. Her fur tickled, giving me a soft shiver as I smiled and put my arms around her.

My mind raced as I rubbed her back. Was it wrong to be attracted to her...? Both emotionally and physically? Sure she was a pokemon but... she thought, she felt, and I could talk to her. She wasn't just a pokemon. In fact she had never been just a pokemon to me. She was my Luca, little or big, it didn't matter... I loved her. With all my heart I loved her. But I would never force my feelings on her. I couldn't.

I wanted to say something to comfort her but I had lost my voice as I just held her tight, letting her seek whatever comfort she wanted from me. I could feel how warm she was as she whimpered and hugged me back just as tight. Her breathing slowed as she calmed down a little but it felt like she was sniffing at my scent. Looking down I saw her tail relax and start to sway softly behind her. With one last sigh she pushed herself away from me. "I'm sorry... I'm okay." She said softly, and still with a waver in her voice. She was definitely lying.

"Luca...? That kiss. Was that just your heat?" I found myself asking as my hand found her paw again when she pulled away. My heart felt like it would beat out of my chest at that moment. I couldn't believe I had just asked that, she wouldn't know. How could she in the state of mind she was in?

My Lucario's ears rose just a little bit at the question but they quickly flattened again as she looked away and tugged her paw a little. When I didn't let go she murmured an answer so soft I had to wonder if I heard right. "N-no..."

Gently I let go of her paw and put the hand on her shoulder. Her fur was so soft under my fingers I couldn't help worming them through to her skin. I put a finger under her chin though to bring her gaze back to me. Her eyes were reluctant to follow her nose but she met my eyes again with a terrified look. I could see it in her eyes, her thoughts racing. ~Why did I say that!? He doesn't want me like that! How can I face him now? How can I take it back? Can I reverse time maybe?~

"It wasn't?" I asked again, hoping she'd tell the truth again. I was surprised when her eyes started to tear up.

"I-I... I don't think... N-no. I-I've wanted..." She stammered, tears wetting the fur at the corners of her eyes and sniffles plaguing her breathing. My heart ached seeing her cry but the feeling was overwhelmed by a warm hope. Did she really love me as much as I did her?

"It's okay sweetie. I just wanted to know." I said gently with a slight, caring smile. I had to show her what I meant. I had to show her it was ok; that she wasn't doing something wrong. I still held her chin with a finger, but as I leaned closer to her I slid that hand to softly cradle her neck. I felt her resist just a little, unsure whether I was just doing this for her, but as our lips met for a second time since she'd come to live with us, she melted.

I was by no means an experienced kisser, but I know she understood the soft touch was me asking. She sucked in a deep breath of relief as she threw her arms around me and pressed her muzzle against my lips. Her eyes shut tight as they started leaking again. We shared a truly passionate kiss for just a few moments before I gathered the courage to slip my tongue into her muzzle. My Lucario shivered as she seemed to understand the gesture. I'm sure I could figure out who had explained it to her...

Luca eagerly returned the affection as I suddenly found my maw stuffed with Lucario tongue. Her long flat muscle put mine to shame that was for sure. She learned quickly though as I slid mine across the slightly rougher surface of hers. It was strange getting to taste another like this and I idly wondered what she thought. Before now I had always thought this particular show of affection odd, but I suppose the value society put in it made it special none the less. As Luca's tongue retreated just enough to dwarf my own lapping I kissed her again, long and deeply. It seemed both of us were fast learners as we were soon enjoying it like we were in the movies themselves. Her muscle would hook with mine as we pulled our lips firmly together, and when we slipped we took the chance to breathe before we met once more. It felt like a wonderful eternity before we paused and slowly pulled apart.

Despite being a canine Luca didn't drool very often, and though I could still taste her only a brief string fell from our kiss. I was the first to open my eyes, and I smiled at the wonder shining in her ruby pools as she met my gaze. "I-I love you Felix... M-more than I should. I know I shouldn't but Lady said, and I..." She frantically started to explain, but I stopped her with a stroke of my thumb over her cheek. The touch made her quiver once again. I knew that was a sensitive spot to both cats and dogs.

"I love you too Luca. I just... didn't want anything to come between us. I was afraid you still saw me as your dad." I answered, giving a soft huff of a chuckle. My smile grew though as Luca's ears perked halfway and she giggled gently.

"But you told me about my dad." She answered as she tried to relax, giving me more of a smile and letting her tail sway behind her.

"I know... Brother then." I retorted, trying to lighten her mood a little more. But when I thought about it felt like I was trying to distract her.

"Do you kiss your sister like that!?" She yelped in mock surprise, then lowered her ears as if in thought. "I should ask her for more tips..." She murmured softly, of course earning a blush from me. She'd said "more," just what HAD my sister told her?

"Are you feeling ok?" I asked carefully. I was enjoying having my little girl back. Or at least, her demeanor, since the topic was definitely more mature and suggestive than I previously thought Luca had in her.

"I think... It just, feels strange. And I feel warm all over." She said as her ears folded back again, embarrassed once again. Before I could answer though, she continued. "Felix...? Lady said... you could help. If I asked." She managed to say, though I felt her arms loosen, as if she expected me to leave.

"What can I do hun...?" I replied as confidently as I could. I didn't move from our embrace, and kept smiling at her, but I knew she saw the shyness hidden in my features.

"Can you... show me what you do for Lady?" She asked, losing her voice timidly as she shifted with a slowly reigniting discomfort.

I swallowed hard at that. So Lady had told her more, but what and just how much!? So now what should I do? If I did something different than she expected, she'll think I'm a pervert. If I don't do what she's expecting she'll think I don't care for her as much. Arceus curse you, you fox devil... "Are you sure honey?" I asked caringly, but sincerely. Call me paranoid, but I was still terrified of losing her. She nodded though and gave a shy smile of her own. Her breaths quickened in anticipation and her tail rustled behind her. She really did want this. Her heat might just as well be considered an excuse. "Alright. Come here." I said gently and took her paw. Going back a little further in the cave I sat down against a smooth wall, brought her to sit between my legs and put my arms around her to get her to lean back against me.

"Spread your legs a little, okay?" I encouraged, getting right to the point. There was no turning back and no sense stalling. Plus... I felt my own curious heart begging to explore the gir... the woman I loved more intimately than ever before... Luca nodded softly at my request, but her ears lay back shyly as she did. With my arms around her I felt her stomach tighten, the smooth tone muscles underneath her fur stiff as a board. "Just relax. I promise I won't hurt you. A-and if you want me to stop just say so okay?" I offered as a comfort.

The Lucario in my arms relaxed as she listened. She knew I was nervous, but she could also tell I wanted to. I only ever gave her this many chances to back out when I didn't want to admit it was something I wanted to do. "Okay..." She murred for me as she leaned back and nuzzled my neck. I felt her chest rise as she breathed my scent deeply, and smiled as it filled her nose. Gingerly, I started with her encouragement...

The hand I had resting on her belly slowly moved as if on its own accord. With small little strokes of her fur I inched closer to her femininity. Her legs shifted a little more in anticipation and her mouth fell open as she started to pant ever so faintly. "That feels so nice..." She murred happily as her paws nervously held my other arm and hand, which was wrapped just below her breasts. I didn't say a word as I let her enjoy, but I could feel her fur growing damp as I continued.

Already matted slightly from her previous arousal, I found her entrance with my fingers. I tried to hide my excitement as I sucked in a deep breath, trailing my fingers down her sensitive sex. The noise she made was unbelievably adorable though. She gave a long whining moan of my name as her hips flexed slowly. Her mound pressed against my fingers, smearing the moisture of her fur over my skin. Hearing her made me smile but touching her, feeling her press into my fingers... sent a jolt through my own neathers.

As I dragged my fingers back up her lips, another long, high pitched "Nyyaahhhh..." escaped her muzzle, followed by a long moan as I continued to stroke her previously forbidden sex. She was definitely in heat... I could feel the warmth of her body against my chest, and most obviously, in her neathers. Her folds were swollen and hot, a feeling that sunk into my hand as I added a finger to my strokes, rubbing and dipping my middle finger just slightly between her labia. She blushed as she lay there with me. Her gaze had fallen from me to the cave and now to where my hand explored her intimacy. Though her eyes would flutter and shut occasionally, she seemed fascinated with watching me pleasure her.

Emboldened by the fresh and inviting wetness her body gave as I pressed at her folds, I gently angled my digit to slip into my Luca. For the first time, something other than her own pad slid into her sex, and deeper than ever before. She gasped sharply as she clung to me tightly, arching her back and trying to take me deeper on instinct. I paused, letting that moment linger until she gasped again for air, letting me continue.

Her tunnel was even hotter inside as I slowly, sensuously pistoned my finger in a little further. Not to mention... she might well have been a water type. Her walls were slick with copious amounts of her honey. It was dark but I could still feel the thin stream that oozed out around my finger.

She was panting heatedly now as I wormed my finger through her tunnel. I marveled at how soft and... flexible that part of her was. I could feel her body stiffen and her canal squeeze in vain at my finger, trying to milk it like it were an insufficient male. I had to admit though... listening to her squeaks and moans of pleasure was an unbelievable turn on. Her body shook with small quakes as I rubbed certain spots, and stiffened as I touched others. I was glad I could make her feel so good even if her heat might have made her super sensitive.

"F-feli... d-don't s-stop..." She whined as she squeezed around my digit again and leaned back hard against me. I smiled and obliged, bringing another finger to press against her sex and quickly slipping it in to join the first. She gasped; her body shook then tightened quickly around the invader. Her breath shuttered as she squirmed, not understanding the uncomfortable but wonderful sensations.

"Do you feel it? Like you're an electrode about to explode?" I murred to her, trying to do anything to help her get there. She gasped again and nodded, unable to find words as she stared at my hand between her legs. She was trying to keep her legs spread, but they squirmed as well and eventually hooked around mine, forcing me to tense my own to keep hers from pulling them in. I chuckled, in her ear, wondering if she realized what she was doing.

I could feel her tunnel moving faster around my fingers as I continued to thrust them as deeply as I could. When I hilted my fingers almost to the third knuckle Luca squeaked, and her tunnel jerked. I could feel under my palm a fleshy bump and blushed as I realized what it was. Though she was a pokemon, Luca seemed built much like a human down there. I'd found her clitoris and seeing the boost it gave her I wanted to play with it more... Firmly I pressed my hand into her again, wiggling my fingers and rubbing my palm against her clit. She whined again through her now wild panting and shivered in my arms, she was close.

Her clit wasn't just a tiny nub like a human's. Luca's seemed to have a canine twist to it. Her clit was a somewhat softer, pointed extension of her inner folds, and now that it was fully aroused, it was bigger than I figured a human's would be. At that moment I wanted to stop and look, to truly examine my new partner, explore her for my own curiosity, but I was a little busy... and another sharp gasp and squeeze brought me back to my task.

Raking my fingers over the roof of her canal edged her to the brink of climax. Her panting suddenly changed to sharp gasping yips that were accentuated by a quick clench of her sex. One paw held my arm so tight I thought her blunt claws might actually break the skin while the other provided a very shaky brace against the wall beside me. Her voice was lost as she tried to fight against a feeling she didn't understand. I could feel it in my fingers. She would nearly give in to the pleasure overwhelming her, until a thought, perhaps a fear she was doing it wrong, pulled her back from the brink. She was losing ground though... and as I ground my palm into her clit with a final reach of my fingers to rub those hot sodden walls, she came for me.

Her whole body went rigid in my arms as she careened over the edge. She tried to scream but it took a full second for her throat to work. A sharp tone rang through the cave as she used every bit of air in her lungs. My ear hurt a little since she had yelled right into it but I didn't care. I could only hear how cute she was experiencing her first. Plus, I was too busy marveling at her body's reaction, taking in every detail as her wanton sex feverishly squeezed and milked my invading fingers. The moonlight glinted of the trickle of her fluids already on the stone, but as she orgasmed a short squirt of her nectar leapt from under my fingers. Once more I was embarrassed for enjoying the show of her pleasure, but my pride swelled knowing I had done that for a female...

I continued to wriggle my fingers against her pulsing and slowly loosening tunnel. She was gasping for breath, and every now and then I timed one of my soft strokes just right to make her stiffen and give a long moan. Finally, her tunnel was too tired to respond to my touch and I slowly slid myself free. Though her sex was tired her nerves weren't and her outer lips were still very sensitive. My girl squeaked and sighed in another jolt of pleasure when my fingers quickly slid the last half inch from her body.

"W-what... H-happened...?" My Lucario asked as she finally found her voice through her desperate gasps for air.

"You had an orgasm hun. Did you like it...?" I answered, ignoring my own throbbing manhood and trying to resist the temptation to examine my dripping hand...

"B-but you... didn't? Was that, mating?" She continued innocently, either forgetting what Lady had told her or getting confused by the moment.

"W-well... Not really, but that's what it should feel like for you." I replied, picking my words carefully.

"But... mates do that sometimes right? So... are we...?" She persisted. Her breaths had slowed to a manageable level as she timidly looked up at me. Her ears were back and with her legs closed she shifted shyly.

~She really wants to be mates!?~ Was my first thought. I'd wondered what she'd feel like after we took that step but... I guess I hadn't expected this. "W-well... no. N-not yet..." I answered, blushing deeply as I kept her gaze for only a moment before looking away. I still held her tightly to me though, and I could almost feel the smile as she cuddled against me.

"Can I be your mate Felix?" She asked gently, rubbing her muzzle against my chest as if she already knew the answer I would give. And... how could I say no...? I tightened my arms around her gently and nuzzled my face between her ears. I caught the soft feminine musk of her fur in my nose and just sat there with her, enjoying the sensations.

"You really want me like that...?" I asked softly. I was still afraid. Afraid it was just her heat talking, afraid she would regret all of this, afraid she wouldn't look at me again. Yes I wanted to take her, yes I loved her... dearly, and the thoughts crawling through my head of us as mates... were wonderful. But, I had to know.

She shifted in my arms and put a paw on my arm to hold me. Her eyes weren't clouded with a touch of lust like when I'd first found her. She smiled shyly as her ears laid back. She leaned up and gave me a gentle kiss on the chin. "Please? I've wanted to be with you since I was little. I just didn't know how... until now." She said, showing more maturity than I thought she had. I swallowed as I blushed again. Luca giggled and smiled at my reaction, her tail thumped against my leg.

"Will you still be my sweet little girl?" I teased softly, nuzzling her and still breathing her scent. It got her to giggle once again as she replied, "Of course Feli!" Her tail wagged faster as I chuckled. I was glad I still had my Luca even if we were about to take a big step. Not knowing quite how to continue though... I wondered if letting her explore me like I had her might be the easiest road leading to me actually... mating her.

Seeing her so happy I smiled gently, though my expression failed to hide my embarrassment I'm sure. I took the paw she'd grasped me with in a hand and softly brought it to the waist line of my pants... Her tail paused at the touch and she looked almost worried until she looked where I'd placed her paw. My stomach tightened at the touch, my nervousness getting the better of me as she blinked and froze. Her curiosity peaked once again as she understood my intent. Her breaths slowed and gingerly she wiggled her paw into my pants a little. Just as her wrist spike stopped her advance I felt her pad graze my tip... Her fur brushed against my head, making it jump before the warm firm pad pressed against my sensitive skin. Her paw froze as she felt me for the first time, reveling in the intimacy of the touch. Not wanting her to be discouraged, I unfastened the button of my jeans and dropped the zipper, leaving just my briefs in her way. I saw her eyes widen a little as she noticed the bulge under that fabric just in front of her fingers. I was just average in length by human standards, though I liked to think I was a bit wider than average at the very least. I knew I couldn't match a canine's knotted shaft in that respect but they had very odd shapes so maybe I would be exotic enough to her to feel good. Though I suppose without a reference of her own kind she wouldn't know anyway...

Taking my encouragement the innocent Lucario shifted, slipping free of my arms to get at me better. Her paw continued, running her larger palm pad down the underside of my shaft as her wrist spike pushed away the last piece of covering clothing. I felt cooler air on my skin and blushed as I watched. She was fascinated by my equipment as she spun her paw and held my underwear down. I figured it was the first time she'd ever seen that part of me, and for all I knew I was the first male she'd ever seen aroused too. Lost in my thoughts I failed to realize she had gotten to her hands and knees between my legs. Her tail swayed happily behind her as her gaze stayed focused on my softly twitching shaft. Curiosity once more drove her to take it in a paw and stroke my length up and down. I gave a soft murr at the feeling of a touch beyond my control. It was always an odd feeling not being the one in control of the sensations. Luca seemed to ignore me though as she angled my cock towards her and sniffed it curiously. Her nose just an inch from my tip she sniffed, then lowered and sniffed again. She must have liked my scent because before I knew it she was sniffing at my base and hanging orbs with deep long whiffs.

"Nnnn... You smell so wonderful." She moaned as I noticed her hips wiggle, her heat was starting to reawaken even after her climax before.

"Th-thank you h-hun..." I stuttered, her paw still moving over my length subtly, making me twitch and a little bead or pre ooze from my tip. She smiled after taking another long draw of my masculine musk and. her ears were attentive and forward at first but as she smiled they fell back again.

"So... you can take me like this right?" She asked, figuring out quickly what went wear. Her paw still roamed my sex as she waited for an answer. I nodded softly, but made no move to stop her, wondering what she'd do first. Her tail rustled behind her as she smiled a little wider. Grateful for the chance to examine me she knew what she wanted more though. Whether by instinct or conscious thought she slowly spun on all fours and with a sideways wag, raised her tail to let me see her wet, swollen folds.

I knew what she wanted but she waited patiently as I stared at her sex for the first time. She seemed pleased that this time I hadn't looked away, though the usual blush did cross my cheeks. I'd felt her before but never really dwelt on it, now though, my cock jumped against my stomach as I saw my future mate's inviting entrance...

I didn't want to delay any more than she did so I slid the last of my clothing from my body and knelt naked behind her. I looked up at her to meet her smile with one of my own before I took the chance to inspect her like she had me... Her sex was a beautiful thing. Her bright blue fur was matted with her previous pleasure around swollen, dark black outer folds. Those protective lips were parted, winking almost as she waved her rump at me, showing soft pink petals within bordering a deeper tunnel of hot, wet cunny. I saw her clitoris too, a slight black protrusion very resemblent of a non humanoid canine's sex. Unable to stop myself I reached out as I shuffled closer on my knees and stroked a finger down that inviting Lucario slit. Luca moaned as she shivered and eeped with a clenched muzzle as I pressed my finger against that flesh button. When I released it she gasped and started to pant lightly. Her sex clenched at air, begging me to satisfy what its owner wanted.

I wanted to take her, more than anything at that moment. I wanted to make us one, to be loving and caring mates, but how she was... it was just too impersonal. I ran my hand to her rump and stroked her butt cheek sensuously. She smiled back at me, preparing herself as she blushed shyly under my gaze. Not loosing that moment though I pushed her rump to the side and dove over her as she yelped and landed on her back. Shocked, but by no means hurt she stared with wide eyes into mine. My member bobbed above her sodden folds as I grinned, satisfied much more with this position... I lowered my body to hers and gave a soft groan as my tip found her eager sex. I pushed forward just a little, feeling myself pop just inside her warmth. Luca yelped in pleasure as her hips bucked with that quick slip. As her folds parted around me I gave soft rocks back and forth, sinking myself deeper into my lover each time. Before long though I felt her cringe as I hit a barrier just inches inside her. I was a little surprised to find a hymen on her, both because she was very physically active, and she was a pokemon. I almost felt bad knowing what I had to do...

"W-wait... I-It hurts." She gasped, blushing and wanting more but afraid she was doing it wrong.

"Shhh... it's ok. It's your first time. It'll only hurt for a little bit okay? Or do you want me to stop?" I reassured her sweetly. It was all I could do just too gently rock against her tunnel. Her tight, squeezing walls beckoned me further, keeping me from holding entirely still. At my offer though she quickly locked gazes with me.

"N-no... K-keep going." She said, defiant of the pain in her body as I put a little more pressure against her. She winced again but when I pulled back a little she released her breath. Not giving her time to think about it though I thrust sharply, piercing her virginity and sending a stab through my heart as I heard her shrill yelp. Her body tightened against me, both inside and out as she clung to me, her face scrunched in pain. A tear wetted her fur even as I leaned down and kissed her nose. She seemed to relax a little so I pulled back and resumed my slow thrusts, hoping to ease her pain.

It worked too. Maybe not at first but the second, then third time, I felt her tunnel responding stronger as I finally hilted myself in her. She was smaller than me by more than a foot, and I could feel the entrance to her womb pressing against my tip. That alone seemed to bring her great pleasure as she gasped and started to moan. I smiled and began in earnest, knowing her sensations would only grow stronger from there.

Her tunnel was wet and hot with her cycle in full swing. I feared I wouldn't last long as she started to thrust back and squeeze herself tightly around my cock. Luckily Lady had managed to teach me some control. I paused as I felt my peak nearing and slowed to tiny tenses, sliding just half an inch while hilted within my panting Lucario until it passed. She seemed confused at first but when I continued with a quick thrust she was quickly lost again.

I smiled as I took the work upon myself. Watching my dear Luca writhe beneath me was an amazing turn on, not to mention the tight heat I was thrusting against. She barely knew what to do with her body as I watched her ascend to that wonderful plateau yet again. Finally I felt her sex start to rhythmically clench around my shaft and I could feel my own climax being drawn out by her body. The strange part was I felt it in more ways than one. It was as if her soul was reaching to mine, begging me to share in her bliss. It worked...

I was only a second ahead of her as I thrust hard into her tunnel. My shaft throbbed and surged against the convulsions of my lover. I hadn't noticed I was gasping for breath until it was stolen entirely from me. Luca yelped in surprise as my seed erupted within her, jetting against the deepest reaches of her sex and shoving her over the edge to her own release. She gave another yipping scream as her paws clenched at my hands, searching for anything to expend the pent up energy. Her sex squeezed and milked at my shaft, this time succeeding in milking a willing male for all he had. Those times with Lady were similar but... somehow this actually felt better. With Luca it felt... right. There was another level to our connection, I could feel it coursing through me as I shared her bliss, my hips jerking quickly in an unavoidable reflex to her body convulsing around me.

I flooded her cervix with my seed for longer than I thought I possibly could. Though it might only have been tens of seconds it felt like a wonderful eternity. The labored gasps of a discomforting pleasure plaguing my lover was a cute musical to my ears I wished would never end. Weakly I opened my eyes as I felt the last gentle jolt of my release. I didn't move as my breathing started to slow. I just watched Luca pant as she squirmed for a moment more before finding it in her to look up at me.

Timidly she released the grip her paws had on my hands as her ears laid back. A shy smile crossed her muzzle, embarrassed I was watching her at that moment. All of that was quickly banished though as I leaned down and pressed my lips to hers for the third time that night. Our tongues once more began to dance as we embraced and rolled to our sides. For another minute we were joined above and below until my shaft softened enough to quickly slip free of her tunnel's hold. At the same time she broke our passionate kiss, gasping deeper than I did with the strange sensation. A paw gently reached between her legs to rub at her used sex, making her moan softly and smile. If I hadn't just came with her I would instantly be hard and ready to go watching her do such a thing. I knew her needs were sated for now though too. That smile was one of content, the wetness clinging to her paw and her slowly closing entrance reminded her of the bond we just forged. I chuckled as I watched for a moment before pulling her tightly against me. She gave a long happy murr as she rested her paws on my chest and hooked her leg around mine; intertwining us as we started to drift into the sleep we had been robbed of before.

"I love you Felix..." She purred as she nuzzled against my chest, once more reveling in my musky scent which had only grown stronger with our passion.

"I love you too my dear Luca..." I answered with all the feeling of my heart. I felt free as we dozed, finally free to love her as much as I wanted. I didn't have to hide my feelings anymore...

We slept well into the next morning snuggled into each other’s arms. Though I was naked the soft fur of my new mate kept me plenty warm. Neither of us knew just how much I'd given her that night though... In the morning Luca said she felt much better. If I had been thinking clearly rather than doting on how Luca seemed overjoyed with what we had done, I might have realized it was strange that she felt better so quickly. Perhaps she had faked the whole thing, or maybe not, either way I was as happy as she was that we had shared our feelings. She was still my little girl, but now she was more as well. She no longer felt shy about giving me a hug and a kiss, and I didn't have to worry about confusing her. I knew she understood I just hoped Lady would...

When we woke up the next day it was nearly noon. I put my cloths back on and helped Luca to her feet. We figured we should clean up in the small stream we used for water. Only after we washed the night's activities from our neathers did I let Lady out to be with us. I hoped rinsing off would keep the fox from smelling what we'd done right away. I think it worked too except for the usual skeptical glare I got for putting her in her ball. It wasn't until we got back to the cave that she really put it together.

She led the way in and stopped mid step. Her nose twitched as her ears swiveled back and forth like something was wrong. Luca blushed as she smelled it too. A distinct scent of sex still lingered in our little home, giving us away. Lady's wide eyes turned to see Luca averting hers and me trying to act like nothing happened. A smiled curled her lips though as she turned and sat, staring at Luca, daring her to return the gaze. She already knew how Luca felt and I guess she suspected I felt the same. I hoped she knew nothing would change the way I felt about her though. Even if Luca had just taken me as a mate I still loved Lady, and so did Luca, I knew that would never change for either of us no matter what happened.

"Niiiinnneee...?" The fox said, making Luca shift uncomfortably and blush deeper. When Lady looked at me though I smiled guiltily, knowing my cover was blown.

"S-sorry girl. She had her first heat. She was ravenous and pinned me to the ground." I teased with as serious a voice as I could. I knelt in front of my fox and rubbed between her ears as her eyes scanned me, trying to see if I was fibbing or... not.

"I DID NOT!" Luca barked sharply her embarrassment burning visibly in her cheeks. That was enough of a tip for Lady, who raised an eyebrow and flicked her tails like some kind of lie detector going off.

"Nine ninetales..." ("Maybe she should have. It would have kept you in your place.") She said, which made Luca squeak and fall speechless. Oh how I wished I knew what she said...

"You're not mad?" I finally managed to ask with genuine worry. She froze, having turned to go into the cave despite our scents still marking it. With the almost unnervingly slow deliberate grace she always walked with she came back and looked me in the eyes. Luca was still blushing but she knew how to take a joke and knew when it was over. She stood still though, hoping Lady wouldn't be mad at us.

After a moment of staring into my eyes my Lady took another step forward and put one paw on my thigh and another on my shoulder. She gave me a few sweet licks to the cheek before she rested her head on my shoulder and murmured a soft, "Nine nine..." I knew what that one meant... She'd done it many times before both when we shared ourselves and when I really needed it. "I love you too Lady..." I said gently as I embraced her tightly. The feel of her bandaged made me loosen my hug quickly but she didn't yelp, which made me feel even better. She nuzzled into my embrace and gave my neck another lick kiss before she opened her eyes to look at Luca.

Our Lucario was standing there a little awkwardly, jealous in a way that Lady just got that compliment but understanding as well. Lady aimed to fix that though as she detangled herself from me and went quickly to her. Before Luca could react Lady was on her hind legs and putting her front paws on the Lucario. At least she reacted fast enough not to be pounced as she caught Lady's paws, letting her stand awkwardly but similar to Luca. It was a little strange seeing them at about the same height like this...

Luca got a different speech, one that left her smiling shyly but hugging the Ninetales tightly as she nuzzled into her surrogate mother's neck fur with a whine. I knew Lady could have turned the moment into a joke but I was glad she didn't as the girls held their embrace for a moment before letting each other go and returning to me. Luca took my arm possessively and smiled at me, knowing I couldn't refuse giving it to her now. I just smiled a little sheepishly. I always worried about what Lady would teach my impressionable girl about relationships...

We spent the rest of the day thinking of what to do the next. For the moment everything was normal again. We had each other like always and that was all we needed. That... and a way to get off this island. I wondered if Tionis and Kat had left already. Tionis had his Vaporeon and Kat her Flygon, but could either of them take their human far enough to get to shore and safety? The patrols had probably lessened since we hadn't been found yet. Perhaps Darkrai thought we had escaped already.

I felt much more comfortable with letting Lady stay out of her ball as well. While rewrapping her bandages that morning I found her fur had almost grown back entirely around the wound and the wound itself left little more than a thin scar. I insisted she let me wrap her though, even if she was feeling better I wouldn't take any chances. That night we once again bedded down together. My new mate hugged to me tightly, murring and giving me a soft nuzzle to my bare chest. I smiled as I rubbed her back and buried my nose between her ears. I took a deep breath, reveling in the now familiar scent of my love. She giggled as I left the touch with a kiss but she looked up and quickly pressed her muzzle to my lips. She seemed to like kissing there now. I just hoped she wouldn't get me in trouble when we made it back to society... Not to be left out, Lady flumped her tails over us with a mocking growl. We giggled as our kiss was interrupted and both reached up to pet her. She had lain down at our heads this time, feeling a little left out at our feet. I shifted and kissed her paw with a grin, which earned a proud smirk from the queen. The three of us laughed and settled in to fall asleep.

I awoke the next day feeling incredibly warm. Still cuddled in the sleeping bag with a sleeping Lucario I wondered if maybe her heat was still bothering her... With a soft groan I undid the zipper and flipped the cover off of us. Luca murred and started to stir but it was still sweltering even outside the bag. Annoyed, I looked to Lady, but she was still sound asleep and I knew she wasn't in season. Utterly confused now I looked to the entrance of our cave to find something there...

"Luca get up! Someone's here!" I gasped in a panic, frantically scrambling out of the bag. Luca yelped and flailed as well. I heard the sound of fabric tearing but it didn't matter at the moment. Luca only made it onto all fours before she was growling and getting ready for a fight. It was odd seeing her like that and I blushed softly when I realized her rump was pointed at me with her tail flagged...

My vision clarified quickly as my eyes adjusted to the light. At the cave entrance there was a rather mad Flareon. At first I thought it might be Kat's, but he would have at least recognized Luca wouldn't he? It did explain why the cave was so warm. He was radiating head like Lady did when she was mad. It must have gotten to ninety or a hundred degrees by the way I was sweating just standing there. Lady didn't seem to mind though as she yawned softly, actually seeming to enjoy the heat.

I wondered why it hadn't attacked yet when I realized they must want us alive. "Luca... get ready to run." I whispered, and noticed the Flareon's ear twitch. It had heard me as well. I took a hesitant step towards my pack, going for Lady's ball as well as a way out when Luca could provide a distraction. Unfortunately, a Jolteon and a Vaporeon soon stalked around to join their fire brother, blocking the entire entrance to the cave. Not a moment later I saw several tiny Eevee faces poked around the cave wall to see what was inside. I blinked as I stared, but my nerves loosened significantly. It was just a pack of wild pokemon.

Our situation was still bad though... Not quite as bad as if they were Darkrai members, but still, there was no way we could win, no matter how weak they were. A pack of pokemon and an elemental trio versus one healthy and one hurt pokemon guarantied a loss and perhaps a disaster. "Change of plans." I said quietly to Luca. "See if you can talk to them." I continued, still afraid to move from where I was because all three of the trio's stares were fixed firmly on me, not on the girls. I hoped if Luca could convince them we weren’t bad we could get out of this without a scratch. I figured it was a long shot as Luca started speaking with an angry, growling tone but... they all listened to her! Begrudgingly they lowered their hackles and sat, waiting for Luca to speak with them. When I relaxed and moved to praise her though the Jolteon barked sharply at me, and I could feel my hair standing on end with an odd static in the air. Lady on the other hand came to sit next to me, fixing a glare at the yellow fox as her tails squirmed. I was glad for the protection but still wanted to avoid a fight.

Taking the hint I didn't move, and let Luca go closer on her own. They really didn't seem to mind her or Lady. As I listened to Luca's side of the conversation I could at least figure out Darkrai had done something to spark their hatred towards humans. After convincing them I wasn't with Darkrai they cautiously let me come closer with Luca's encouragement. Not that I minded but I couldn't help feeling a bit silly with our roles of trainer and pokemon being reversed at the moment...

Luca explained to me what they had told her. It seems they thought I was a Darkrai member holding Luca and Lady hostage. I didn't quite know how being caught with a pokemon in your sleeping bag was holding it hostage but... whatever. She continued, telling me the Darkrai members had tormented this pack of Eevee by throwing evolution stones at them. Their plan was to catch any that evolved but when these three did, their plan backfired and got them “burned” in more ways than one. It was an odd tale but it did explain why there was a wild Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon sitting in front of us, and why they distrusted humans so much. The odd thing was that they still thought of captured pokemon as trustworthy. I was sure that would get them in trouble at some point but at least now it worked in our favor.

The trio was much more understanding at the end of the conversation and with some finesse on Luca's part, agreed not to attack me. As she talked though I took the chance to observe the Eevee, who were just as wary of me but absolutely in love with Luca and Lady. There were twelve in all but one was different, he had silver fur and seemed to be rather secluded. Ever since they evolved these three had acted as guardians and leaders of the pack, but when Luca asked about the silver Eevee with my suggestion they refused to even acknowledge him. In fact no matter who Luca asked the answer was the same, they would turn up their noses as if they were insulted that we wanted to know about him more than the others. Seeing this was getting us no where I asked Luca to talk to the little Eevee himself while Lady and I kept the others occupied. As she approached him though he shied away, refusing to even give eye contact, let alone let her touch him. Meanwhile the other Eevee seemed disgusted that Luca would waste her time with him and fawned over Lady's multiple tails.

It really didn't make any sense to me as my mind raced. As Luca tried to encourage the pup not to dodge her I saw his fur was matted and dirty. Not to mention he was noticeably thinner than the other Eevee. Then it hit me. He was an outcast! An albino the others wanted nothing to do with. They probably only let him tag along to survive. “The poor thing!” I thought to myself. I hated seeing something like this happen, even if it was normal in nature sometimes.

Satisfied that the three of us meant them no harm and would leave them alone, the three guardians rallied everyone to leave when Luca didn't turn her attention back to anyone they deemed important. As they went the silver Eevee scrambled to escape Luca and follow his pack, but he made sure to trail behind. Luca and I exchanged glances, both knowing we couldn't let him live like that. So with his attention to her erased Luca tugged his tail playfully, getting him to yelp dramatically and spin around, locking eyes with Luca. Lady played her part as well, strolling around to block his way if the pup tried to run after his pack. I could tell my Ninetales was studying the kindred fox with just as much concern. She had entertained the other Eevee to appease the trio. All the while she had kept an eye on Luca and noted how the pack promptly started ignoring her.

The whole pack stopped at the noise and the trio spun quickly. Seeing it was Luca and the silver Eevee though they quickly decided they didn't care and kept walking. "Come with us." Luca offered to the little one sweetly once she had his attention. He took a hesitant step back from her as if she were going to beat him, but he had forgotten his apprehension for looking at her. The pup was conflicted, and looked back toward his pack. Finding Lady sitting behind him he yelped again and cowered, bowing his head to the ground and whimpering, begging for her to let him pass. When he tried to slink around her she waved her tails to block his way and smiled at him, almost daring him to defy her. He could still see the last of his pack heading down the bluff. His ears flattened and he whined, hesitating and debating whether to try leaping over Lady's tails. He couldn't muster the courage though and looked up at her, then back at Luca and me, whimpering again and near tears fearing we were capturing him for some nefarious purpose.

"Come on. We'll take good care of you. You don't have to go with them." I said as gently as I could and reached out to him. He turned again and scooted back, coming inches from touching Lady's fluffy road block. His expression changed a little though. When his eyes flicked up at me he didn't seem as terrified. There was an ever so slight flicker of hope...

The other Eevee were gone by now. The little one would have to run to catch up if he were going to stay with them. Lady gave him the chance too. Her tails waved to the other side, giving him the exit he had begged for. His ears perked at the rustling of fur and he spun quickly again. Seeing an open path he looked at Lady and took a step towards it. He still didn't run, even when Lady just looked at him with a blank expression, not wanting to scare or coerce him. I knew my fox was right. He should choose to come with us or he'd never see us as friends.

"It's okay. We won't hurt you. Stay with us, your pack is already gone." Luca encouraged again, kneeling and offering an upturned paw to him once more. Again the Eevee stayed away from any touch. His nose twitched in Luca's direction and he stared at her paw for a long moment, his mind obviously considering her offer. The last nudge came from Lady though as her expression went back to a sad concern. I wondered why she seemed to care for this little guy so much. Usually she left these things to Luca and I, the ever bleeding hearts of our trio. Now though, she lay down and curled her tails around the Eevee, leaving him only one escape. She rested her head next to him and gave him a soft sniff. He flinched and squeaked again, but brushed her soft fur in his surprise. He seemed to start trembling as he saw her head placed below his, a canine sign of respect or submission. Looking around he found himself trapped by the apparently submitting fox with his only way out towards Luca and I. Timidly he looked up at Luca with her paw still outstretched. There were tears in his eyes as he saw her smile at him again.

My heart nearly broke as the poor thing started to cry, letting out sorrowful wails. Worried, I looked up where his pack had left but none came back for him. I misunderstood his tears though. I thought he was sad because he thought he'd lost his family. But as Lady inched her nose closer and nudged him with her nose he nuzzled back timidly. Luca whined softly as she went closer and reached out to pet the poor thing. His cries lessened a little as he looked up at the girls, confused and ashamed but... happy, for once in his life.

I was glad the girls could help. I knew this little guy was special, and I wasn’t going to let him be ridiculed. I pulled a spare pokeball from my backpack and set it in front of him as the girls continued to console him. His cries slowed to sniffles and he conceded to giving them nuzzles of affection as thank yous for accepting him. He looked up at me as I came near and seemed quite wary of the ball as I set it down. No doubt it was a reaction to the memories of Darkrai trying to catch him and his pack. It only took a few words from Luca though to convince him this was different. I wouldn't force him, but I really hoped he wouldn't leave us now.

I could tell it was still difficult for him to look at Luca, much less Lady, who he seemed to be terrified of offending with anything he did. With their encouragement and promises though he gave each one last look before he nosed the button on the ball and disappeared in a flash of red. The ball went quiet without even shaking as he just accepted what was happening without a fight.

I actually felt bad catching the Eevee, despite knowing he would have a much better life with us. I think it was the way he just gave himself up that made me feel like this. Regardless, I let him back out and this time actually got to touch him. He was still a nervously quivering ball of fur as I picked him up carefully in my arms and rubbed his head. He didn't protest and just stared at the ground as I ran my fingers through his dirty fur. It was obvious his mannerisms wouldn't change immediately but I really wanted him to know he wasn't worthless to us. I ignored the twitches of fear he gave in my arms and put a finger under his chin to make him look up at me.

"You'll be okay. We won't let anything else happen to you. I promise." I said cheerfully to the pup, almost forgetting where we were and why... His eyes were wavering as he met my glance timidly, again not sure he should. It was enough though, to let him relax in my arms and lay his head against my bicep to close his eyes. The pack must have been out all night and he was tired. Luckily, he was out cold, and his desires came out a little more as he slept. He nuzzled into my arm as me and the girls packed up to leave the cave. We figured we'd stayed long enough to let the patrols die down. Maybe now we could find Kat and Tionis. Food was starting to get scarce around here as well, and a new area would help with that too. Lady was happy to be out of her ball while we made our way back to the trees, but I could tell she would have liked some more attention. Luca, I got the feeling, was jealous of the pup sleeping in my arms. She stuck close to my side and watched him. She clearly felt sorry for him but she was rather possessive and protective of me lately. I hoped once we got off this island our little family could truly go back to normal, or at least as normal as having a Lucario as a mate/girlfriend could be... Perhaps I was wrong though, Luca had changed, my view of her had changed, and now we had another pup to take care of. I just hoped I wasn't getting in over my head...

Chapter End Notes:

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of me,Felix9. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

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    Friendly resident Cyndaquil
    Reviewer: Cyn
    Date:Feb 2 2013 Chapter:Chapter 5 - Team Darkrai Rises

    As always, superb work.  I really like the addition of the new scenes, especially the ballroom dancing in this chapter.  Makes it much clearer where Felix and Luca stand in terms of their relationship at this point in time.

    The changes from the old version like trainer names and pokemon teams were a bit weird to get used to at first, but the story still flows quite nicely.

    Not much I could pick out to work on, as mentioned before perhaps a little less use of '...', and a couple of typos here and there.

    Can't wait until Chapter 8, been an avid fan of this story for at least 5 years.

    -- Cyn