AGNPH Stories

Disconnections by Kath


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 the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


The Rattata's heart hammered in his chest from the off-key singing that seemed to come from every direction at once. Most would have probably just found it annoying. For him, however, nothing but terror coursed through every fiber of his being at the warped melody. It had come before, many times, but this time... this time was worse.

Trembling, his eyes darted around, looking for any gaps in the foliage surrounding him that might give his pursuer a peephole. The demon of a Pidgey wouldn't follow him into this, would it? No, no, he was safe here. He had to be. Waiting it out was the best thing to do. Taking a few shaky breaths and trying to relax, he happened to look down at his feet. That little glance shattered any layer of calm that might have formed.

His feet, like most other parts of him, were coated in blood. Not his own, but that was of little comfort. The crimson staining his body belonged to the two he had been with when the attack happened. His friend and one of his brothers. The recent memory of the latter having his throat sliced open and former screaming in agony as his innards were ripped out turned his legs to mush and he toppled over onto his side, doing everything he could not to be violently sick and give away his hiding spot.

If he didn't know better, he might have thought a miracle saved him from a similar fate at the time. There had been three attackers, but the one going after him only managed a scratch on his side. It wasn't anything close to a miracle. It had happened before, more times than he could keep track of. The beast chased him, lashed out at him, taunted him... but never landed more than a glancing blow. Toying with him seemed to give it more sick pleasure than just tearing out and eating his heart would.

As the song ended, a cooing voice replaced it. "Where are you, little friend? Playing hide and seek with me again? Oh, I do enjoy your little games." The monster called out, its tone feigning sweetness. "If only you were a little better at them. It's not very much fun when you don't give me a challenge."

Dread came with the thought she knew where he was, but he didn't think it was possible. How could she know? She couldn't, he told himself firmly. It was just a trick. Leaves behind him rustled and he couldn't hold back a horrified squeak as he quickly found his legs under him again and bolted out of the shrubbery, only to trip over something and tumble to a stop a couple yards away.

Scrambling to get upright again, his eyes widened at what had come out of the bush behind him. A pecha berry. Grass crunched behind him and he glanced over his shoulder, eyes locking with his tormentor.

She stared at him, looking rather pleased with herself. Her tone might have been called sweet and playful, if it hadn't also been what his nightmares were made of. "Found you."

Taking off like a shot again, her fluttering laughter followed him. There was nowhere around he knew of that would be a better hiding spot. Even if he did, she'd find him. She always did. No place to hide. No way to fight back. He tried screaming for help, but felt it useless. Nobody would hear him in the woods, he didn't even know what part he was in. For all he knew, any kind of help that came would just as likely to be on her side. All he could do was run.

That was all he ever did... run, sprint and dash in the opposite direction. It made a stupid question cross his mind; What would happen if he stopped? Getting torn apart was the obvious answer, but what if she had no plans to do that? What if she only chased him because he ran? Maybe refusing to would make her lose interest and find someone new to go after.

Skidding to a halt and spinning around, he tried to spot wherever his pursuer was going to come from. "I-I'm not running anymore!" He shouted, voice trembling. A blur from his left made him jump and pain seared across his back.

"Are you sure about that? I thought you were more keen on surviving than making a stand and dying like a fool." She taunted in her usual sweet tone, speeding off and leaving his view again.

"I'm... I'm not going to give you what you want! Y-You want me to flee! All you're doing this for is the chase!" He shouted, suppressing every urge to keep moving.

Airy laughter drifted among the trees. "Oh, my silly little idiot. It is a game, I'll give you that. One you're normally quite good at. I find a mark and if they manage to keep me entertained, they win the prize."

"P-Prize?" He stuttered, a second before she flew in practically out of nowhere and slammed into him. Rolling end over end a couple times, he came to rest on his throbbing back.

"They win another day of life." She said, the ringing in his ears making it impossible for him to tell which way the voice wa coming from. "Of course, if you're going to be boring, I'll just have to eat you. I could use a snack anyway. Bye, crunchy. It's been fun until now."

"W-Wait, I'll-" He tried to get up and flee, but pain flashed through his body and he couldn't manage to even roll onto his feet, let alone try to escape. She appeared over him, talons gleaming as they descended toward his chest. "Arceus help me!"


Arceus help me. The Persian thought with a sigh, trying to keep up with the two humans leading the way. His current situation started because of girl in the jogging outfit with the long, black ponytail suggesting he had a weight problem and that exercise might help. While it might be true he didn't get out as much as he used to, he didn't think the guy he loved like a Brother would go for the idea. How wrong he was, the brown-haired boy ahead with her happily agreed even though it was really just an excuse to spend time with her. You owe me for this, Jay.

"Come on, Roufas! You're not a slowpoke, so pick up the pace!" The girl called back to the trailing feline.

Lowering his ears, he did everything possible to make it obvious he was unhappy about the whole exercising outside thing.

"Oh, what's that look for? Afraid of getting a little dirty?"

"Lana, if you had to clean yourself with your tongue, you'd feel the same way." He replied blandly. She was oblivious to what he'd said, not understanding a word.

Jay, on the other hand, heard perfectly. He'd been able to understand Pokemon for his entire life, though he had no idea why and made a point not to tell anyone since they'd just think he was crazy. Which is why he choked on a laugh at the Persian's comeback. "M-Maybe we should head back." He said, coughing in a sorry attempt to hide his amusement.

"We haven't even been out here for an hour." Lana told him, gesturing around the area. They were on the outskirts of Pallet Town, if you could call the brief gap between the sparse houses and woods around the only route out of town such. There was a roughly worn trail through it for people taking walks or jogging, but not much else.

"True, but I'm about as keen on exercise as Rou. Just running around like this seems like a waste of time, since we're not really going anywhere." Jay said, glancing at the Persian, who had told him basically the same thing before they'd left home.

Lana groaned in frustration. "It's not about getting somewhere, it's about getting healthier. If you were home right now, what would you be doing?" She asked, waving her hand after a moment. "No, no, don't tell me. Let me guess. Jay, you'd be curled up with a book and Roufas would be lazing on the couch. Right?"

Scratching his cheek and looking away, Jay frowned. He had gotten the new Ranger Jones book the other day and was keen to continue it since he was only halfway through so far. Her assessment of Roufas' habits were only half right, he'd also be watching television from that couch. He didn't care much about it at the moment, but if he missed Nine Lives To Live, there would be hell to pay. In the form of Jay's sneakers being mutilated beyond recognition.

She took the silence as a yes. "I knew it, you're both slackers when it comes to something physical. That's why I've gotta get you moving. Now come on, we've got a lot of ground to cover!" Exchanging skeptical looks as Lana hurried ahead, Jay and Roufas both regretted letting themselves be caught in the crazy athlete's net as they tried to keep up with her.

It didn't take long before they were back in their little formation. Lana and Jay pretty much side by side, the former slowing down enough for them to keep up, with Roufas bringing up the rear a few feet behind the pair.

Dragging me along on this nonsense... you want someone to run with, make friends with a dumb Arcanine and leave me out of it. Was just one of Roufas' many grumpy thoughts about the ordeal known as exercise he was facing. Interrupting his silent complaining, a faint voice met his ears. Slowing to a stop and looking around, he realized it was coming from the woods... and it was crying out for help. Jay and Lana hadn't even slowed, which made Roufas wonder how humans could survive with such sub-par hearing.

"Jay!" Was all he took the time to shout. Turning off the trail, he headed into the trees at a speed that could have easily overtaken either of his two-legged jogging buddies. Not that he could keep it up for long. He was able to catch voices through the rustle of leaves and grass he brushed against, heading in what he hoped was their direction. The scent of fresh blood met his nose when he got close, and he picked up his pace again right before somone cried out for divine intervention.

Plowing through a bush, Roufas saw the cause of the commotion. A Pidgey diving at a wounded Rattata. The bird was in just in talon's length of its target when the Persian was close enough to help. With a clawless swing, the weight difference between his paw and the Pidgey alone was enough to knock it senseless and send it rolling across the ground.

Glancing down at the Rattata, Roufas found it was still alive but in bad shape. It was also staring up as him, trembling and clearly wondering if the huge cat was a savior or just something else that wanted to eat him. Which made the only thing Roufas could think to do next that much more horrifying for the little rodent.

"Just relax, you'll be fine." Roufas told him, not waiting for any sort of confirmation of understanding before opening his mouth and carefully trying to pick the Rattata up in his fangs without impaling the poor thing. The sudden screech didn't help him focus at all.

"That's my lunch you fat, thieving feline!" The Pidgey cried, taking to the air and diving at him.

Twisting and taking another swing at the Pidgey, he missed completely as her talons swept across his shoulder. Off balance from the sudden movement and simple lack of any recent practice fighting, Roufas turned wrong and toppled onto his back, the Rattata slipping from his jaw's grip and into his mouth.

A moment of shared panic later, Roufas bit down on the Rattata's tail as softly as he could since it was the only part still sticking out of his mouth to keep himself from accidentally swallowing the rescuee that was currently squeaking loudly and probably on the verge of a heart attack.

Getting back onto his feet, Roufas took off in the direction he'd left Jay and Lana. The Pidgey took another couple of swipes at him, but disappeared by the time he'd gotten clear of the woods. Back on the path, it only took him a second to spot Jay and Lana, the latter hanging firmly onto the former's arm as he attempted to go into the trees, telling her he had to go after Roufas and to hell with how dangerous she thought it was. Rolling his eyes at the pair of them, Roufas hurried over before Jay got free and took off before notcing he was already back.

Lana was the first to see him. "Jay, look! He must have heard you yelling and came back on his own."

"Thank goodness. Rou, what were you thinking running off like..." Jay's eyes stopped on the crimson staining the tan fur on the Persian's back. "...what happened to you out there?! You weren't gone that long!"

"I have a better question. What's that?" Lana asked, pointing at the tail sticking out of Roufas' mouth.

Lowering his head, Roufas opened his mouth and dropped the Rattata onto the ground, happy to have it out even if the taste of dirty fur, blood and something he didn't even want to think about what probably was lingered on his tongue. They both gasped at the sight, but one got the very wrong idea.

"Roufas! Why would you do something like this?!" Lana exclaimed.

The Persian tilted his head at her, confused. "Me?"

"Uh, Lana, I'm pretty sure Rou didn't do it." Jay told her. "Even if he had a killer instinct, he would have just killed and eaten the thing, not wounded it and bought it to show us. Unless he's about ten times more sadistic than I'm aware of, which I really doubt."

Lana paid no attention to either of them, dropping to her knees and quickly digging through the bag she had with her whenever she went jogging, which held some bottled water, granola bars and a set of clothes to change into once she was done. Grabbing her spare pair of underpants since it was the closest piece of cloth to the Pokemon's size she had, she carefully picked up the Rattata in it. Without a word, she got back up and started to sprint away.

"H-hey! Where are you going?!" Jay shouted after her. It wasn't like there was a Pokemon Center in Pallet Town, and she was going in the wrong direction for Oak's lab or the house their trainer friends Dan and Sam lived in.

"I'm going to Tracy's, her house is the closest and she'll have medical supplies!" Lana called back, not slowing down.

Jay and Roufas exchanged looks, not needing to vocalize how either of them felt about that idea. Tracy was Jay's Mother and Roufas' trainer, but neither of them could really handle how... overbearing she could be at times. It also bothered both of them that Lana and Tracy were on first-name terms, though they couldn't articulate why it came across as so unsettling. After a moment of silence, the pair bit the bullet and hurried after Lana, regardless of her destination.


"You did that to the rat? I'm really surprised, Roufas. Never thought someone as idle as you could manage it." The blue-collared Ninetales sitting on Roufas' right side commented.

The Persian donning a pink collar on his left gave a weary sigh. "Don't give him so much credit. He didn't even manage to eat the little morsel. If Tracy wouldn't flip out, I'd happily show you how it's done right."

Roufas just sat there with narrowed eyes and swallowed the oran berry he had been chewing while they kept jabbering on and ignoring what both he and Jay had told them. "Mom, Dad, how many times do I have to say it? I didn't put the Rattata in that condition. It was some Pidgey."

The Ninetales made a thoughtful sound that gave Roufas the impression he was still skeptical, but the Persian continued on as if he hadn't said a thing. "I mean, you had the thing in your mouth, right? You did make a point to say that. Yet you didn't swallow!" She sighed again. "I knew it would happen. Being raised in a human environment has made my poor kitten soft."

"Particularly around the midsection." Jay commented from his spot leaning against the wall nearby, since Lana and Tracy insisted he keep an eye on Roufas so he didn't try to "finish what he started". While Jay knew there was zero chance Roufas started anything, he went along with it if only to watch the other Persian in the house that was more than likely to make a snack out of the wounded rodent if given the chance.

"You're not helping." Roufas grumbled.

"Not trying to." Jay smirked. He'd exchanged thosed sentences with the Persian more times than he could count, but it was always a nice change when he was on this side of it. Unlike the other ninety percent of the time.

"Yes, you're not much help at all, I'm sure. Pokemon food, human food... my word have you ever even tasted anything freshly killed? There's nothing quite like it." The collared Persian said, her tail twitching.

"I believe that." Jay and Roufas replied almost in unison.

The Persian regarded both of them for a moment and shook her head. "Now you've got me reminiscing as well as hungry. I need a snack." She muttered, turning and stalking out of the room.

The Ninetales chuckled shortly after she left. "It always bugs Zazzie, how similar you two can be. Still not sure why. To me it's a relief and a good sign you're still getting along as well as ever."

"We're not that alike." They told him, speaking pretty much at the same time again and illiciting a laugh from the fox.

"Right, not alike in the least."

"Aw, stow it Blaze. Not like similar people... or Pokemon for that matter, are bound to get along." Jay said.

"Exactly. You and Mom are pretty much opposites but get along fine." Roufas pointed out.

Blaze tilted his head in thought. "That's true, I suppose. Although we did sort of hate each other to begin with."

"Really?" Roufas looked at him curiously. The subject of his parents' early relationship wasn't a topic brought up very often and was quickly changed by Zazzie when it was.

"Yeah, it took some time and effort just to not want to knock each other senseless, but I eventually found something and used it to win her over completely." Blaze explained vaguely.

"What was that?" Jay asked.

The Ninetales turned his head a bit, a large grin on his face. "Raw, undeniable sex appeal."

Roufas rolled his eyes and Jay stifled a laugh. "If you say so, Blaze." The latter said, pushing away from the wall and heading for the back room where Lana and Tracy had taken the Rattata. "I'm gonna see how things are going in there."


The Rattata was on the table in front of her, laying so still Lana couldn't tell if it was even breathing. "Is it going to be okay?" She asked, watching the older blonde woman digging through a frayed orange backpack.

"Maybe." Tracy replied, getting sick of just shifting things around. The bag was full of things she'd picked up during her time as a traveling trainer, things she never really took the time to go through after retiring since something always came up when she tried. Eventually it got tossed into the back of a closet and pretty much forgotten about. At least until now.

Swearing and wondering how she was ever this disorganized, Tracy grabbed the bottom of the pack, turned away and dumped the contents onto the floor. Once she did that, it only took her a moment to spot one of the yellow objects among everything else. Snatching it up, she leaned over the Rattata and carefully slid the revive into the Pokemon's mouth. Tracy crouched back down, shuffling through the clutter on the floor again for something but Lana was fixated on the Rattata. It didn't budge an inch.

"I... I don't think it's working." Lana said, looking closer.

"Give it a little time. It might not work at all, depending on how much internal damage the poor thing took from... whatever did that to him." Tracy told her, standing back up with a super potion in her hand. "They really need to build a Pokemon Center in this town."

"They do..." She agreed. "...and it was Roufas that did it. He came out of the trees with this in his mouth."

"That right?" Tracy made a thoughtful sound, looking over the Rattata again before shaking her head. "Nope, Rou might have been carrying him, but I doubt he's the one that did it. I know the kind of damage a Persian can do, especially to a Rattata since Zazzie has a thing for hunting them. It would have been gutted and eaten, not beaten half to death and carried around."

Lana frowned, still skeptical, but a sudden twitch from the Pokemon on the table got her attention. Tracy noticed as well, giving it a weak spray from the potion on one side before gently rolling it over and spritzing that side with the medicine as well.

"Looks like whatever attacked didn't tear anything important open." Tracy said as the Rattata opened its eyes, its ears and whiskers twitching frantically. "Mind you, healing supplies can only go so far. It lost a lot of blood, so it'll still be weak for a while. Releasing it back into the woods now would just leave him an easy target."

"Can you look after him until he gets better?"

She shook her head. "Sorry, but here would be more dangerous than the woods for the little guy with Zazzie around. Jay might be able to."

"No way." Lana said quickly. "Not with Roufas around."

The older woman grinned. "Well then, why don't you take him in?" She wondered. "I know you don't have a Pokemon, but you're probably registered. Everyone does that when they turn ten. Unless they're like my oddball son, that is."

"Me? Are you kidding? My Mom would flip if I randomly came home with a Pokemon." Lana said, but hearing it out loud made her wonder if that was more of a reason to do it than not. Besides, it's not like it would be a big Pokemon, and she did find Rattatas cuter than anything else in the area.

"It'd only be for a little while. Unless you two ended up getting attached to each other. Either way, you'll need one of these." Tracy tossed something at Lana, who caught it awkwardly in both hands.

She just stared at the black and yellow ball she'd been given. "An Ultra Ball? Are you sure you want to give me something like this? They're pretty expensive, aren't they?"

Tracy shrugged. "Don't worry about it. It's old and the only kind I have in the house. Not like I need it anymore and Jay doesn't have any interest in becoming a trainer for some reason, so giving my old supplies to him would just end with them collecting more dust."

The Rattata had picked its head up while they were talking and was looking around the room trying to figure out what in the world was going on. He remembered the psycho Pidgey, lots of pointy appendages coming at him and most everything else was a blur. The only mildly relaxing memory he had of the past few hours wasn't very clear either, but it was more soothing than anything else. Being wrapped in something soft, warm and hearing a voice trying to comfort him even if he couldn't remember anything that was actually said. As the conversation between the two humans carried on, he realized the voice he'd heard belonged to the younger one.

It went quiet, and he noticed what the dark-haired girl was holding as she looked from it to him with an uncertain expression on her face. Enough humans with the things had passed through the woods for him to know what it did. Even though it had been something he'd been certain to avoid until now, after what had happened to his friends, family and almost to him as well, he was beginning to think being captured wouldn't be so bad. Better than dead, at least.

"You're gonna have to stay with me a while, that alright with you?" Lana asked, holding up the ball for him to look at. The Rattata quirked his head curiously, which she took as him not understanding a word, though he really just wondered why it would only be for a while. Sighing and tapping him with the Pokeball, the Rattata disappeared in a flash. A couple weak shakes later, the ball locked with a click.

Not three seconds later, the door opened and Jay peered inside. "Any luck?"

"He's still alive, thanks to your Mom. Now I get to make sure he stays that way by keeping him far away from any killer Persians until he's fully recovered." Lana told him, opening the door further and moving past him. She glanced back over her shoulder. "Thanks for everything, Tracy. I need to get home and make a place for him to sleep. Not to mention figure out how to explain this to my parents."

Tracy grinned at her. "Anytime, and good luck."


Lana held her pack in front of her as she walked, looking down at the Rattata laying on top of the clothes in it and next to his Pokeball. "Even if it's only for a little while, I'm gonna need something to call you." She said, making him glance up at her curiously.

The Rattata shifted a bit. "Oh, right. Not used to introductions. I'm Zip, what's your name?"

She just smiled at him, not getting a word of it. "Well, you're certainly talkative. That's got to be a good sign."

Zip tilted his head at her, having forgotten about the fact that humans had such an easy to understand language but were too dense to understand his. Which meant this girl would probably start calling him whatever she wanted, like it or not. "Please don't try to call me something stupid."

"I suck at coming up with names..." She muttered, which made him worry more about what could be coming. Stopping by a small store to buy some Pokemon food, Lana tucked it into the pack and sighed as she left. Nothing was coming to her.

"Well, you came from the woods, so let's start there." Lana began, hoping talking more or less at random would get her somewhere. "Woody? No, that's stupid. Maybe what's in the woods. Trees, plants, grass... you not a grass type though, so I doubt those would work. Then again, Oak's a type of tree and he's a Professor. Heard of a Birch too. Maybe a name like that would work for you... or rather, wood work." She chuckled to herself.

Oh no... I've been captured by a punny human. Crossed Zip's mind before she carried on.

"Well then, woods... let's see..." Lana went quiet, running through every type she could think of from Ash to Yew. Entering the apartment building she lived in, one finally came to mind that she liked. Grinning, it wasn't until she opened her door and was greeted by her Father that she remembered she had to try and explain the new houseguest. Luckily her Mother was currently at work, so she'd only have one reaction to deal with right away.

Her Father stared at the pack she was holding for a moment, noticing the ears poking out of the top of it and got out of his chair for a better look. "Lana, what are you doing with..." His voice trailed off once he caught sight of the Ultra Ball next to it.

"Dad, this is Hickory. I, uh..." She fumbled at finding the right words to explain, but he just shook his head, grinning.

"About time you got your own Pokemon. Your Mother's gonna be in for a shock, but it doesn't take much to put her in a tizzy anyway." He said with a laugh. "I can break it to her when she gets home, if you like. If you're speechless just trying to tell me, I can only imagine what state she'd put you in."

Lana cracked a smile at that. "Thanks, Dad."

"Don't worry about it, you just focus on getting the little guy settled." He gave her a pat on the shoulder as the phone rang. They both stared at it for a moment, equally aware of the knack Lana's Mother had for knowing when something was up, like she was psychic or something. They both jokingly referred to it as her "radar".

"Is it...?"

Her Father went over to the phone and shook his head after checking the name. "Nope, we're safe for the moment. It's for me." He told her before answering. "Hey, Tom."

Leaving her Father to his conversation, Lana went to her room and set the bag onto the lower half of her bunk bed before sitting down next to it. Peering around the room, she wondered what the best place to put the Rattata was.

Finally finding the strength to pick himself up, Zip moved to the side of the pack before looking up at her. "Hickory? That's really what you're going to call me?"

She smiled at him. "Don't worry, Hickory. I'll make sure you get a comfortable spot."

"Apparently it is." He sighed, then took a look around the place. He'd been inside buildings before, but none as clean as this. It also felt relatively safe, if a bit unnatural. No threat of crazy pidgeys unless one flew in through the window.

Going over to her dresser, Lana opened the bottom drawer and pulled out her extra bedsheet from the far side. It would be as good as anything for Pokemon bedding. Noticing the marks of blood on her hands from carrying Hickory earlier, she frowned. The Rattata himself had been mostly cleaned off by Tracy, but she still needed a shower from the short jog that turned into a frantic sprint. Hickory' ears twitched when she looked at him and wondered if she could leave him alone in her room alone for a little while. After a few moments of thinking, she decided something that little couldn't do too much damage even if he tried.

"Okay, Hickory." She said, carefully taking the rattata out of her bag and seting him on the bed. "You just rest here for now. I need to go take a quick shower, then we can set up somewhere for you to sleep." Taking the spare clothes out of her bag that had been under him, she frowned at the dirtied underpants she'd carried him with and pulled open her drawer to grab a clean pair. "Just stay put, alright?"

Quirking his head a bit as she practically backed out of the room and closed the door behind her, he wondered what, exactly, she thought he'd planned to do. It wasn't as if he had much strength at the moment to do anything anyway. Examining the unusual scenery again, he tired to get used to the idea of staying here. It wasn't very big, hardly any room to run around. Then again, the only reason he ran much before was to get away from that psycho pidgey.

That thought brought back the memories of earlier today that he'd been trying to suppress. Friend and family being gutted, fleeing, talons, fangs... it left him pressed up against the bag Lana had left on the bed, trembling. He tried to remind himself he was safe here, but his twitching ears caught a sound outside the window. It was faint, but he thought he could hear that familiar off-key singing, which was enough to get him moving and frantically looking for a place to hide.


Lana returned about ten minutes later, brushing her half-dried hair as she stepped into the room. Nothing looked out of place, except for the fact her little guest was nowhere in sight. Going over to the bed and glancing both behind and inside the bag she had left on it before speaking up.

"Hickory, where'd you get to?" She wondered, looking around the bedroom again. Checking under her bed, behind the long drapes on the window and even popping open his pokeball to see if he'd retreated into it for some reason. Nothing. "Hickory!"

A squeaking came from her dresser. "Oh right, that's me. I'm in here! I found where I want to sleep!"

Looking into the drawer she had left half-open, Lana frowned at the Rattata inside. "What do you think you're going in my underwear drawer?"

"Getting comfy, it's warm and soft in here. Not quite as safe as it could feel though. Could you close the opening a bit more?"

"Out, you little perv." She sighed, picking up Hickory and putting him on the floor before closing the drawer so he couldn't climb back inside.

"Aww, come on! At least let me take one of those pieces of cloth!" He pleaded, but went ignored.

Lana went back to the bag, picking it up and pulling out the little pouch of Pokemon food she'd bought from it before dropping it by her bed. Considering for a few moments, she decided finding something to put it in took more energy than she had right now, tore open the packet of food and set it on the floor in front of Hickory. "Don't eat it all at once, alright?"

The Rattata gave the contents of the pack a few curious sniffs before sticking his head in to retrieve and gnaw on one of the pieces. Once she was pretty sure he was enjoying it, Lana sat on her bed and let herself flop backwards with a groan. "Man, Hickory... just imagining how much my Mom is gonna flip when she finds out about you is exhausting. It was all I could think about when I was in the shower."

Stretching and turning, she sprawled herself more comfortably on the mattress, staring blankly upwards. "Maybe her reaction won't be that bad since it's only until you're fully recovered. Unless she says we can just take you to the Center in Viridian for that tomorrow." She said, giving a frustrated sigh.

The bed trembled lightly as Hickory leapt at the side, hooked his claws into the sheet and climbed up. Upon getting his balance at the top, he sat down and let his ears go a bit slack, giving Lana most pathetic look he could manage.

She glanced over curiously at him. "What's wrong, the food that bad?"

He tilted his head slightly, hoping she'd guess again since telling her wasn't an option.

A moment of silence passed before she sat up, crossing her legs. "You not comfortable in a place like this? I could see if Dad would let me bring the one potted plant in here for you to sleep in. Pretty sure you could fit in it. Might not be a forest, but you'd be on dirt and under something green."

Since she was still missing the mark, Hickory scurried over, climbed onto her lap and curled up into a ball. If that didn't work, he had no idea how to be more direct about it.

For a little while, Lana didn't say a thing. Then she chuckled. "Well, you're certainly not uncomfortable here. Maybe I'll have to see about keeping you around after you're better after all. Would you like that, Hickory?"

"Unless one of you is gonna try to eat me on a daily basis, you bet I would." He answered quickly. "Living with a dopey name is better than everyone seeing you as a snack."

"I'm guessing that's a yes." Lana grinned, gently scratching his head. "No need to tell Mom that right away, though. We should let her get used to you first."

Hickory almost fully relaxed upon hearing that. It just felt natural for him to have some tension after so long, but the thought of finally being safe from that feathered lunatic dispelled most of it. "She won't hear it from me."
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