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.
At first he panicked. What else could he do? His adorable little Frost was missing from his nice cozy spot next to him! They were supposed to be cuddling together warmly and flirt, not be apart! The grass type hurriedly stretched a bit before looking around the den, which was free of the ice fox's presence.
Fern was quick to dash outside and found Frost sitting stiffly at the den entrance, staring with a dazed expression at the sunrise.
"Frost! What are you doing up so early?" Fern whined as he approached the new clan member drowsily. "Lets go back inside and 'get warm!'"
The Glaceon absentmindedly shook his head, his teal eyes clouded with thoughts, barely acknowledging the other eon's presence. He seemed to shiver from the warming cold despite his natural abilities, and his tail curled around his paws protectively as if hiding from something.
"No, I'd like to say out here for a bit longer." He said quietly.
Fern silently sat down by his side and followed his gaze toward the brilliantly lit clouds of dawn. Though this sort of thing wasn't at all uncommon, it was still pretty to watch. Frost's eyes swam with bittersweet memories as the sun rose higher over treetops of the forest, casting a fiery hue over the blankets of clouds that covered the sky.
"I used to watch the sunrise all the time with my brother," the ice type whispered, as if daring to speak of such a subject. Fern's ears perked up in surprise and concern as he continued. "We never got much free time together since our human treated us like his property and used us to fight every day. And he always stays up really late at night too. The only time my brother and I had together for ourselves was here in the early morning…"
Frost's eyes watered slightly at the edges as the bittersweet memories took hold of him. Fern pressed their pelts together and licked his cheek comfortingly. "Well, even if your brother isn't here with you, at least now you get to share that time you have with the us. We're denmates now, right?" The grass type laughed for a moment. "I bet even Ren would be willing to spend his time with you. In his own way."
The edges of the ice fox's mouth twisted up slightly in a smile. Ever so slowly, he leaned closer onto Fern and rested his head on the larger male's shoulder, relishing the warmth and comfort that met him. The two of them simply stayed there in each other's embrace, not wanting to leave the reassuring ease they gave one another.
Ren was the last one to get up.
"Why the heck are you guys up so early? It's practically still dark outside!" the Luxio complained lazily while he stretched, popping his back in the process. Frost winced at the disturbing sound before heaving a sigh.
"I couldn't sleep a wink last night," the ice fox muttered quietly. "There was this really loud noise that kept coming up."
Grey, who was grooming his fur in the corner of the den, raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Noise? What kind of noise?"
"It sounded like a huge bear was outside growling at us!" Frost squeaked slightly. Fern was quick to snuggle next to him comfortingly, although the other Eon awkwardly scooted away. "It was scary!"
"Growling noise?" The blind Umbreon's eyes narrowed for a moment, thinking. He and Pine suddenly burst out laughing. "Oh, that noise. Don't worry about it. That happens all the time in this den."
"What was it?"
Pine giggled childishly before pouncing on top of Ren. "I caught our bear! See Ren? I told you that you snored like a crazy person!"
A little after that, the rest of the clan woke up to a loud explosion in the camp. Noru, being the constant worrier of the group, was the first to arrive at the scene, though the sight that had awaited him wasn't something he expected. He found Ren madly chasing after Frost and Pine with a murderous glare in his eyes and static crackling in his fur while Fern was lagging behind them whining about how Frost's fur is going to be too frizzy to snuggle with. Grey was already on his way to the medicine den mumbling about how he was going to be forced to patch up his reckless denmates again.
Noru quickly broke up the squabbling teenagers and ranted at them harshly about proper behavior. Of course, that didn't last long after Pine put on his baby innocent face. The Ninetails instantly melted from the adorableness.
After the morning announcements made by Dusk, Noru gathered all his apprentices under the oak tree, excluding Fern of course. The grass type was ordered by their Alpha to go scout out their borders so that no Ishi members would attack them again. Grey ran off somewhere during the meeting, but Noru decided to begin his announcement anyway.
"Alright, today will be another review day for all of you," The Ninetails said in a surprisingly mature voice. "We will be going over things like hunting skills, territory borders, and the structure of the landscape."
Already Pine began moaning in boredom and Ren's eyelids drooped sleepily. Noru sighed at his students' lack of interest.
"Those who do not participate will be given night patrol." That got them working. The two apprentices sat up straight immediately and stood alert. Nobody wanted to stay up all night guarding the camp that probably didn't need any protection. Especially since all the night moths flutter everywhere and try to chew off their fur. Frost just stared up at the mentor with confusion, which did not go unnoticed by Ren.
"I guess our little newbie doesn't know a thing you're talking about," The Luxio smirked. "But don't worry. Just listen to everything I say, and you'll learn soon enough."
Frost scoffed indignantly. "Oh really? Are you going to teach me how to get knocked out? Cuz I'd just love to know how to do something so useful like that."
"Knock it off you two." Noru spoke sharply. "Or do you want me to assign night patrols already?" The two apprentices reluctantly turned away, refusing to look in each other's eyes. Noru muttered something under his breath before commanding their departure. The team was just about to leave when a very angry Grey stomped over to them. And he looked severely pissed.
"Um, Grey? You alright?" Frost asked meekly. He flinched from the hateful glare that the blind Umbreon shot him.
"Don't. Say. A. Word," He snarled. The ice fox took a step back, physically shaken from the dark type's attitude. The Umbreon was literally steaming, his fur standing on end and quivering with anger. Noru looked at him with concern.
"Grey," The mentor said. "I think you should sit this one out and sort out your problems with your brother first. You can't learn anything today fuming mad like this."
"Not you too!" Grey growled, literally spitting with rage. "Ok, listen here. Pyro is a bitch! I don't give a damn what he says, I'm not staying behind like a frail, disabled elder. I'm blind, so what? I can take care of myself perfectly fine."
Frost glanced over his shoulder. A tall, burly Flareon walked up to them, showing clear signs of concern. Was this Grey's brother? They definitely looked nothing alike. While Grey was a thin and lean, Frost could clearly see the hidden muscles that rippled under this Flareon's pelt. He practically towered over him in height, and he looked several years older than the Umbreon was.
"Grey," The Flareon began, his face etched with worry. "You better skip training. You were clearly overworked yesterday and I don't want to see you getting-"
"Shut the fuck up!" Grey swore loudly. "Quit treating me like kid! I barely did anything yesterday, so how heck could I be tired? Use common sense you moron!"
Pyro looked unfazed by his brother's outburst. "Watch your language brother. I can see that you haven't grown up a single bit. Show some maturity, will you?"
"EXCUSE ME? Who the hell can stay mature if they've been cooped up in a den for the last fifteen years of his life without any experience with the outside world because of his Arceus-damned brother?" The blind Umbreon roared. He couldn't even look at him anymore. With a whisk of his tail, Grey disappeared into the thickets of the forest leaving a trail of broken debris in his wake.
Pyro watched his brother's retreating back exasperatedly and turned to Noru. "Look after him will you? He'll probably get lost or something."
"Actually, I think you should start giving him a chance at being independent," The mentor remarked. "Grey's already old enough to start actual patrolling, and yet you wouldn't even allow him to take one step out of camp borders. I actually thought it was a miracle that Grey managed to sneak off to find Fern yesterday without you dragging him by the scruff back to his den. Loosen up, will you?"
"It's not for you to judge," The smaller fire type said curtly. "This is a family matter."
"As his mentor, I do believe that I do hold some responsibility over Grey." Noru said warningly. He walked up to the Flareon and glared down at him, a clear sign of dominance. "Leave. You are interrupting my apprentices' education."
Pyro's eyes swayed slightly, betraying a hint of fear and he trotted away with a huff. Noru sighed with relief and turned back towards his apprentices. Pine and Ren were unsurprised at the exchange. Frost on the other hand, looked up at the mentor questioningly.
"Frost, that was Grey's brother, Pyro," Noru introduced, although albeit late. "He's just recently became a full warrior and hasn't spent much time with Grey, so he worries a bit."
"A bit?" Ren laughed. "He's even worse than you are."
"There are reasons for everything," The Ninetails said and turned towards the forest, hinting that the conversation was over. "Come on, let's go find Grey."
Noru led the group a little west of the camp and Frost was surprised when they ran into a rather large lake. A tall, rocky mountain edged the north side of it. The water was crystal clear and stretched almost as far as the eye could see. The sandy shore that bordered the water formed soft, pillowy dunes, almost making the ice fox feel like rolling in it. His mentor smiled at his expression.
They found Grey skulking in the shallow water, angrily launching Shadow Balls into the lake and watched somewhat satisfyingly at the detonation, in spite of being blind. Noru, Pine, and Ren stayed back and observed the rampaging Umbreon spraying lake water into the air. The water was coming down so heavily that it felt as though it was raining.
"Aren't we going to talk to him?" Frost asked curiously, looking up at his superior. Noru shook his head.
"I wouldn't disturb him if I were you." The mentor warned. "Grey lashes out at anything that moves when he's like this. It dangerous to go any closer."
"That's no way to do anything," Frost remarked. Ren smirked.
"Oh, and I take it that you think you can make him listen?" He taunted. Frost glared at the Luxio with distain.
Noru felt compelled to stop the newcomer, but at the same time felt like he should let him go. He did nothing as the Glaceon trekked across the sand and toward Grey, ignoring the disbelieving look in Ren's eyes.
"Grey!" Frost called out. Almost immediately there were several Shadow Balls hurled in his direction. The Glaceon tensed for a moment, then stood still. The attacks landed everywhere around where he stood, but surprisingly left him untouched except save for the massive clouds of sand that was sent into the air.
Grey calmly waded out of the lake and shook the water out of his fur as Frost coughed and choked into the sand.
"What do you want?" The dark type scoffed with irritation.
"I wanted to make sure you were alright," Frost said. Grey's frown twisted into a snarl.
"Oh. Are you going to start lecturing me about what I shouldn't do because I'm blind?" He spat out the word as if it was poison. "I'm sick and tired of everyone telling me that!"
"Actually," Frost smiled timidly. "I didn't want you to be late. We have training with Noru today remember? Since today's my first day, I wanted all my denmates to be there." The ice fox's mouth curled up into a cute pout, and although Grey couldn't see it, his expression softened a bit. "So could you come with us? Pleeeeease?"
"You sound so much like Pine sometimes…" Grey muttered under his breath. "Fine, but not a word about what happened earlier."
Noru was somewhat surprised when Frost managed to return with Grey trotting calming behind him in one piece. Ren was especially shocked. The electric type gave Frost a nasty glare and the ice fox returned it with a triumphant grin. A silent message was exchanged between the group and no one dared to bring up what happened with Pyro, less a very angry Grey ripped them to shreds.
Their mentor cleared his throat, albeit unnecessarily as he prepared to address his students. "Alright, since this is the first time Frost has experienced hunting-"
"Um actually," The ice fox began. "My…brother brought me out hunting occasionally when were we still with our human."
"Pff," Ren rolled his eyes. "Why would a lazy human pet like you need to hunt?"
"Because our human starved us…" Frost replied softly. The Luxio immediately snapped his muzzle shut, in fear of treading on forbidden territory. Noru gave his apprentice a hard look before continuing.
"Alright then, if you believe that you've learned the basics, then we'll start a quick hunting trip. You guys have ten minutes to bring back as much prey as you can." He instructed. The group quickly dispersed, each of them deeply concentrating on their hunt. Ren especially, since he felt the need to show off in front of the newbie. He felt himself smirk slightly as he eyed Frost in the background dipped down in a crouch with his rump in the air, preparing to pounce on unsuspecting prey. Fern would probably be drowning in his own drool if he were here to see this.
After the said time, Noru called them back to assess their catch. Frost managed to get six tree squirrels without even using any attacks. He probably didn't want to eat cold food though. Pine caught a rather large vole and a thrush, smiling proudly like a kit with his achievement. Ren on the other hand presented seven badly mangled squirrels. Frost and Pine snickered as Noru started ranting about how no one wants to eat bloody scraps with the intestines hanging out.
The one that probably brought the most surprise was Grey. He managed to catch ten field mice and presented them with their tails tied neatly into a knot. Field mice were especially difficult to find because of how sensitive they were to sound. They are known to quickly scamper away before anyone even knew they were there. Excluding Ren, everyone gave the dark type great praise, which he promptly dismissed.
"Wow Grey, how did you catch all this? I mean, the first time I tried hunting for these things I couldn't find a single one because they all went hiding somewhere," Pine sniffed the rodents excitedly. The Umbreon scoffed.
"That's probably because you scared them all away," He said rolling his eyes. "I can hear them better than the rest of you, not to mention smell and everything else"
"Well, this actually ties in with our second lesson," Noru spoke up. "All warriors need to be able to detect those around them, so our senses are important parts of our everyday lives. Now, you task is to tell me how many birds you think there are in this tree." The mentor nodded towards the said tree.
"Um…there are five, right?" Frost said after a moment of sniffing.
"No you pet, there's seven," Ren smirked triumphantly. The ice fox pouted and stuck his tongue out at him. Pine was stumbling behind them trying to stretch his neck high enough to see into the leaves while Grey stood by them silently.
"In this tree, there are thirteen," The Umbreon answered. He casually shot a small Shadow Ball into the thickets and, just like he deduced, there were thirteen birds fluttering away in panic. Noru nodded proudly at the apprentice.
"How do you keep doing that?" Pine complained indignantly. Grey smirked.
"I told you already, didn't I?" He muttered. "I've honed my senses to be stronger than everyone else's. I'm not going to let myself get left out just because I'm blind. And since I'm a dark type, I can sense the vibes of everything around me. See? I'm not just another useless den member."
Ren flinched and looked away with guilt as if the words were directed towards him. Noru watched the Luxio and sighed. He really wished that the he would start showing more respect towards his peers, but what else can he expect from Ren of all people?
The Ninetails flicked his tails as if dismissing the thoughts. "Since you guys got all the physical exercises done, why don't I test what you know?"
There were a chorus of groans from Ren and Pine. Frost stretched his back and shook himself as if to stay awake. Their mentor promptly ignored them and continued his lesson.
"What are the four clans that reside in this land?" No one bothered to answer besides Grey, who was more than willing to show his capabilities.
"The Carina, Ishi, Mizu, and Bosque." The Umbreon recited rhythmically as if he swallowed a textbook. "Our clan is of course the Carina. We are mostly canines and rule over the forest and are relatively peaceful. Our law is that we do not attack others unless it's absolutely necessary. The Ishi are the canines that live in the mountains north of here. They are actually gathered groups of outcasts that our clan left behind long ago. They're our bitter enemies, and we just recently had a war. The Carina won of course, but the Ishi's still out to try and fight us."
Noru nodded approvingly as Grey paused for breath. "And? What are the other two?"
"The Mizu are aquatic Pokemon that live in this lake. They mostly keep to themselves and rarely interact with other clans, so we don't know much about them. I've heard from the elders that they're very nice though, even if they never show themselves. And the Bosque are the Pokemon that are said to hide in our forest with us. We've never seen them because they are even more secretive than the Mizu. Actually, it's never really proven that they exist."
"Perfect as usual, Grey." Their mentor smiled. Grey nodded as thanks.
Pine giggled and leaned over to Frost. "I never knew that Grey was such a nerd." Frost wasn't sure if it was a good idea to say that, especially since the said Umbreon was right next to them with his ears twitching angrily. As expected, Grey batted Pine's nose irritatingly and told them to shut up.
Noru laughed at the dark type's moment of immaturity. "Come on, lets get back to camp," The mentor flicked his tails lightly as and trotted off into the forest.
While the rest of the apprentices followed after Noru, Ren was noticeably quiet. Surprisingly, Frost was the first one to voice his concern, though the Luxio didn't seem to pay it any mind.
"Hey, I'm talking to you!" The ice fox pounced onto Ren's head and knocked him off balance. The electric type immediately snapped out of his daze and shook the smaller male off his back, growling angrily.
"What was that for?"
"Well," Frost began. "I was a bit worried because you were spacing out. I thought maybe your brain got mangled somehow like the squirrels you caught."
Ren glared at the Glaceon angrily, but for once, remained silent. Noru looked at him apprentice with a hard stare.
"What is it?"
"Does anyone else smell something…wet?" Ren muttered under his breath.
"Of course we do, it rained just yesterday," Pine piped up. The Luxio shook his head and sniffed at the air again.
" I don't know. It still smells…different."
Grey, who was listening behind them halted to a stop and closed his sightless eyes. Taking a deep breath, he realized Ren was right. The water smelled sharp, not like the gentle wash that rain would give off. It was almost as if… The Umbreon's yellow ring patterns began glowing brightly as he concentrated on the vibes around him.
The healer's eyes immediately shot open and he literally fell on his back with shock. Heavy waves of emotion swarmed around him like a large thunderstorm. Though there were a number of other vibes that were given off in the forest, there was once that was incredibly sharp, cutting through the others like a knife though butter.
"I smell the Ishi," Grey leaped back onto his feet and before the others could say a single word, the blind healer was already disappearing into the forest. Dashing northeast towards the enemy clan's territory, the smell of blood grew apparent in the air. As he drew closer, Grey became aware that the blood was coming from not one person, but many.
He felt a shiver down his spine as his paws fell onto a puddle in the forest floor. There was no need to tell him that it was not water. Grey's nose wrinkled in disgust. There were seven bodies of dead Carina warriors that littered the area, not a single one moving. The wounds on the corpses looked very recent, suggesting that the killing should be still around.
"Grey! What the heck are you doing here?"
The Umbreon twirled around to see his brother's limping form. Grey slowly walked over and sniffed, scanning over Pyro's wounds. His eyebrows rose, void of any concern. There was a large gash across the Flareon's chest that was still dripping with blood, and there were heavy bruises all over his body.
"Well, it seems like you got yourself into a bit of trouble," Grey remarked with amusement. Pyro growled.
"You have to get out of here! There's a Ishi member here and he-"
"Oh shut up." Grey shot a Shadow Ball irritatingly at his brother, sending him airborne. He smiled as the fire type's body, impacted a nearby tree, his brother yowled in pain as the collision gave off a satisfying crack.
"Why the hell did you-!"
"You shouldn't really talk right now. Your ribs are broken." Grey's dark smile curled up into a sneer. "Though I wouldn't care less if you were killed, it'll be a pain if Dusk is after my tail, so I'll let you off with some minor injuries for now."
Pyro stared up at his brother in shock. He struggled to get up, bet was immediately met with intense pain shooting through his chest. "What are you talking about? Are you betraying the clan?"
"Idiot," The smaller male rolled his eyes in annoyance and began walking away. "I'm saving your life." Ignoring the Flareon's confused look, he dashed off deeper into the woods.
Grey huffed a bit as he reached the clearing near the border of Carina territory. It was the same field that Ren and the others got attacked in the other day, and there were still splatters of blood on the meadow's soil. The Umbreon came roughly to a stop and spun around.
"I know you're there, so come out! Unless of course if the Ishi are just a bunch of cowards," Grey growled threateningly. A nearby bush rustled quietly. Silently stepping out of hiding was a large Buizel. He came to a stop before the Carina healer and sat on his front legs, his eyes sparking fiercely with bloodlust. The hair on the back of Grey's neck bristled slightly. The smell of heavy blood hung onto this stranger's pelt strongly as if he bathed in it.
The Buizel grinned maniacally, flashing his fangs. "Well, it's true that most of the grunts in our clan are lousy cowards, but unfortunately for you, I'm not one of them."
"Oh really now? I heard that all Ishi pokemon are big scared-y cats." The blind healer remarked. The Buizel's smile widened. The water type dropped onto all fours and casually walked up to him, so closely so that their fur brushed up gently. Grey's ears twitched in anxiety. He could feel his bloody breath on his neck, tickling his pelt slightly.
"Well, there are always exceptions. Doesn't that apply to you too?" His two orange tails curled around Grey's front paws teasingly as he rested his head on the dark type's shoulder. "I always thought that the Carinas were all peace-loving idiots. Ha! You're quite a sight for sore eyes. Those other folks that I killed were all booooring. They barely even fought back when I tore their throats out."
Grey felt a shiver go down his spine. Was this guy serious? The Buizel's tongue flicked out and dabbed at his ear, making him jump.
"But I think I like you. You're pretty…feisty."
The healer snarled and threw the bigger male off of him, firing a barrage of attacks right after only to find that the orange weasel dodged them with ease. He growled as the Buizel landed lightly on his feet.
"Ho ho, not bad. I'm surprised that you would even let me come that close," He chuckled and licked some blood off his stained paw. Looking up at the Umbreon he smacked his lips hungrily. "You're delicious…"
Grey cursed under his breath as he felt a trickle of scarlet drip down from his neck. When did he do that, and how did he not even feel it? He better start getting serious.
The Buizel smirked, easily sidestepping out of the way as the healer lunged at him. "You're going to have to do better than that."
"Oh really?" The Ishi member suddenly stumbled backwards, bright light flooding his eyes. Just as quickly as it came, the light was gone, but the world strangely felt as though it was spinning around him like a whirlwind. Confuse ray? He felt himself get pinned to the ground and heard a triumphant huff from above him. He thinks he won now does he?
"I'm not about to get beat by a healer!" The next thing Grey knew, he was being thrown into the air like a leaf cause in a freak storm. He could vaguely make out chunks of soil and stone flying airborne with him. The wind was knocked out of him as soon as hit the ground, pain shooting through him like lightning.
The Umbreon struggled to get up, and when he did there were no words that could possibly describe his shock. Even if he couldn't see it, feeling the vibes of the area was enough. The ground was promptly split open, huge jagged cracks running in every direction like an earthquake had just struck the entire field. In the center of the mess, the Buizel grinned at him with an air of superiority.
"That was just a minor Sonicboom," The water type announced smugly. "And if you think that's bad, then you haven't seen a thing yet."
"And if you think you can get away with attacking my apprentice, then you're dead." The two fighting pokemon jumped and looked up to see Fern calmly walking into the scene. The grass type raised his eyebrows at Grey on the ground.
"Grey, get back to camp. There's a rather large crowd waiting in the medicine den." Fern flicked his tail with an air of authority. The apprentice looked like he wanted to argue for a moment, but thought better of it and scampered back to camp. Fern then faced the Buizel with a soft grin.
"What are you smiling about?" The orange weasel snapped. He looked rather disappointed seeing Grey disappear back into the forest.
"So you're the so-called 'beast' I heard the Ishi talking about," The healer said in amusement. "Now I know why they all call you a natural born killer. You even have the attitude to go with it."
"Just shut up and die already!" The Buizel snapped and lunged toward Fern. The Leafeon made no effort to move aside. Smirking bestially, the Ishi member plunged his claws into Fern's chest directly over his heart.
Then came a spurt of blood, but not as much as he expected. The Buizel's eyes widened as he realized he hadn't even pierced the skin. Fern took a deep breath and the bleeding promptly stopped. With a flick of a tail, the weasel was thrown another few good yards away from him.
"Try all you want, but know this. I will never die in battle, you hear me?" The healer nodded casually. It was true; his healing powers were much more potent than that of a regular Leafeon. He had learned this long ago and developed and technique where he used Synthesis so quickly that there was no time for wounds to form. "You may be a killing prodigy, but I do think that when two prodigies meet, the fight is equal."
The 'beast' snarled angrily, but before he could do anything, Fern had already turned around and began departing.
"Leave. I don't feel like killing anyone today." Fern huffed. He didn't look to see if the Ishi member left. In fact, he could care less. He had patients to take care of.
"Grey, you really should-"
"No! I'm not going anywhere near him!" The said Umbreon snapped from across the medicine den. Fern sighed. What was he to do? His paws were literally full from all the patients he had. Seriously, he was about to drop dead from anxiety. Imagine their Alpha's shock when they told her all this was done by only one Ishi member.
One relieving thought through all this was that Grey treated the other half of the injured clan members tenderly, which was rather odd for the moody dark type, but when faced with the broken body of his brother, he just snapped.
"Grey," Fern growled warningly as he gently applied goldenrod poultice on a wounded Growlithe's leg. "Your brother's bleeding to death in a corner. Go help him."
"I said no!" The Umbreon snarled. "If you really want me to treat him, I will. But he's not coming out alive!" He turned back to Kara, who received several nasty claw marks down his back, but nothing too serious. The Ninetails twitched slightly when Grey matted down chewed marigold petals on his wounds, but showed no signs of complaint.
Fern's face washed over with relief as he heard someone come into the den.
"Oh, thank Arceus! Aster, could you give me a hand and take care of Pyro for me?" The entering Quilava smiled and nodded pleasantly. Aster acted as the clan's well-liked nest maid. Every day, he would perform simple chores like taking care of the elders and kits, and cleaning out old dens. He could have been a healer or a warrior if he wanted to, but the timid fire type didn't have to capacity to stay cooped up in the medicine den all day, nor did he have the strength or heart to face others in combat.
Aster gently nudged Pyro's sleeping form, coaxing a muffled groan of pain from him.
"Aster, what do you want?" The Flareon trembled as he tried to sit up.
"I'm here to take care of my denmate," The Quilava said in his usual soft voice and carefully began to clean the blood off of Pyro's chest with his tongue. An unseen blush instantly swamped through the Flareon's red fur.
"Denmate? You always get up at the crack of dawn and come back to the den in the middle of the night! I never get to see you-" Pyro bit back a moan midsentence as the moist organ accidental brushed against his right nipple. Aster didn't seem to notice as he continued cleaning.
"I-I'm busy most of the time and the kits in the nursery are really a handful…" The Quilava smiled innocently as he stroked through his fellow fire type's neck, sweeping out bits of dried blood. "A-anyways, how are things with you and Grey?"
An indignant 'hmph' came from the other side of the den. Pyro sighed at his brother's stubbornness. "Does that answer your question? He broke two of my ribs for Arceus' sake!"
"W-well," The Quilava leaned up against Pyro as he began brushing the back of his neck, fidgeting slightly. "In a way, I think he tried to save you…"
"What? By killing me?" The Flareon snapped. Aster jumped and shrunk back, almost fear swimming in his eyes from the sudden outburst. Pyro immediately felt a pang of guilt for putting it there. "Explain," He demanded in a softer tone of voice.
"U-um," Aster hesitantly went back to his cleaning. "Well, to start with, you would have been an easy target for that Ishi person since you were injured. I think Grey attacked you so you wouldn't be able to fight so that the Ishi wouldn't see you as a threat."
Pyro eyed his ill-tempered brother doubtfully. "You think so?"
"Y-yeah," The Quilava smiled into his patient's fur. "I mean-"
"Hey Fern!" Everyone in the medicine den jumped in surprise as Frost and Ren came trotting in. "We got moss pads that you wanted!"
"Oh good," The healer walked up to nuzzle the ice fox's neck as he greeted them. "You can put them over there in the corner." The two apprentices nodded. Fern smiled at the two of them, enjoying the rare moment when the two of them actually worked together instead of destroying everything in sight. "Oh, before you two leave, could you go get some comfrey roots for us? It's a plant with big leaves and these little bell flowers. We need them for Pyro's broken bones over there."
The two younger males groaned in the frustration of having to spend another moment together, but nodded anyways. This was not the time to be arguing.
Fern smiled at their retreating backs before picking up a moss pad and soaked it in water. "Aster! Here, you can use this to clean him up instead. You don't have to use your tongue every time you know."
Both fire types blushed scarlet.
"Urgh, will you hurry up? I wanna get this over with so I can get a rest," Ren huffed in irritation as they strolled through the forest, darkening with the approach of night.
Frost's eyes narrowed. Growling slightly, he trotted the other direction with a brisk flick of his tail. His denmate frowned.
"Hey! Where do you think you're going?" The Luxio called after him. The ice fox rolled his eyes before letting out a snarl.
"I don't know what your problem is, but if you hate me that much, just say so!" Frost yelled. He disappeared into the forest, scattering leaves and breaking branches at his wake. Ren just stood there, speechless. It felt like an icicle just pierced his heart. He didn't mean that, did he? Sure he liked picking fights and poking fun, but that doesn't actually mean that he hates him.
The electric type sighed before rushing after the retreating ice fox. Who knew that he was so sensitive? The fur on the back of his neck bristled as he suddenly realized he couldn't hear him anymore. The possibility of Frost stopping in his outburst didn't seem very high. The thought of the ice type being attacked swam through Ren's mind and he quickened his pace.
The Luxio was taken aback when he found Frost lying in a heap in the middle of the clearing. He was unconscious and drenched in his own sweat, tossing in turning as if he was being tormented by the deadliest of beasts.
Before he knew it, Ren found himself washed over with worry, something that he never felt for another before. As gently as he could, he picked up his denmate by the scruff and carefully headed back to camp. Frost thrashed about in his sleep, his breathing hitching and panting every now and then. Ren would be lying if he said he didn't care.
Fern almost had a cow when he saw his poor Frost in such a state. "What the heck happened?" The grass type screeched hysterically and ushered the two of them into their den (The medicine den was full by the time they came back).
Ren carefully laid the ice fox on a bed of grass. "I don't know. He was just like that when I found him."
"You better have not done anything to him," Fern hissed as he placed a soaked pad of moss on Frost's forehead."
The Luxio shook his head roughly. "Ok, I know that I've been a jerk lately, but I swear I didn't."
"Leave," The healer growled distractedly as he checked the unconscious Eon's pulse. Ren's ears dipped slightly with hurt, but did as he was told. Fern sighed in frustration. Frost was getting a fever, a high one at that. Was he getting ill? Possible, since he did fall into a river the other day and he was acting like in a daze the entire day.
Fern looked up abruptly at the said Glaceon. Frost was mumbling something incoherent in his sleep, pain jolting through his face at every moment. He leaned in closer.
"C-Cloud…" The ice fox gasped out suddenly. Fern jumped in surprise. Cloud? Was Frost having a dream about his older brother? The healer felt his heart wretch painfully, tears threatening to fall from his eyes. Cloud had been such a cold loner when he first met him, but now with him gone…Fern couldn't help but yearn for him to return.
Frost suddenly jolted awake, blue eyes filled with utmost terror. The eon struggled to sit up, shaking slightly from the effort.
"F-Fern!" The younger male immediately buried his face into the healer's chest, sobbing uncontrollably. He leaned up against the warmth of Fern's pelt as he cried and cried and cried, soaking it in tears while doing so.
Fern didn't know what to do. He gingerly, yet firmly wrapped his leafy tail around the apprentice and licked the top of his head comfortingly. Frost slowly calmed down from the administrations, his breathing relaxing against his own. The two of them sat there together for a few long moments each other's embrace, enjoying each other's comfort. Finally, Fern spoke.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He whispered softly into Frost's ear. The ice fox gulped, nodding meekly.
"Y-yeah…" He replied shakily. Frost looked up at the healer with timid eyes. "Um, Fern… Have you ever loved someone a lot but they just suddenly… went away? Without saying good-bye?"
"As a matter of fact, I have," Fern smiled at the bittersweet memory. "I had a mate. He (yes, my mate was a male) was a bit of a jerk when I first met him, but we got along afterwards. As I got to know him, he turned out to be the kindest, bravest warrior I ever met."
"R-really? Who was he?" The apprentice asked curiously. The grass type smiled at his innocent eyes.
"He was a Glaceon, like yourself. He had eyes as blue as the sky, and his smile would make me feel like the luckiest pokemon alive. And I could never forget his voice…" Fern trailed off, falling into a warm daze. "Every time I heard it, it felt like nothing could ever go wrong…"
"What happened to him?" Frost snuggled closer into Fern's chest. The said Leafeon's ears drooped slightly.
"Well, like you said, he went away without saying good-bye. And that-" He sighed and rested his head on top of Frost's. "-was the last I ever seen of him."
"W-wow, I'm sorry…" The ice fox said empathetically. "My brother was sorta like that too. H-he passed away the day before I came here."
"He was really nice to me all the time. When we were both with our human, he would always leave most of his food for me, and he was always there when I needed him. I remember how we used to watch the sunrise every morning. But…" Tears began dripping down his face once more. Fern gently lapped them away as he continued. "The two of us both hated being with our human, so last week, my brother told me that we would run away together. He said that he sneaked away at night and made friends in the forest, and that they would let us live with them. But the day we left, our human wouldn't let us go, so my brother stayed behind and told me to follow the river. Then I fell in and Dusk found me, so here I am."
Frost wept quietly into Fern's shoulder. "Now, every night I'm afraid to sleep. I keep getting nightmares and-"
"You used Ren's snoring last night as an excuse to why you couldn't sleep." Fern realized softly. The younger male averted guilty eyes, almost ashamed. Fern laughed and draped his tail on his shoulder like a scarf, pressing their foreheads together with their noses touching. Frost blushed from their closeness, looking into Fern's brilliant green eyes meekly.
"Now listen to me. I will promise you, from now on, that you will never have a bad dream again," Fern said through a comforting smile. Frost's eyes widened with surprise.
"H-how would you do that?"
"Because now, you'll know that I'll always be by your side when you wake up," Fern's tail suddenly shone with Synthesis lulling both of them into the dream world with the promise of a peaceful sleep.
Little did they know that someone was right outside the den, listening.
Kara, upon entering his den, was tackled to the ground by his always-worrying brother. He couldn't actually say that he was surprised. Noru was always such a worry wart since they were still kits.
"Kara! Kara! Are you alright? When I heard that you got the crap kicked out of you by a Buizel I almost-"
"What?" The older Ninetails growled and flipped their positions, pinning Noru to the den floor. "Who the heck said that? It makes me sound like a big weakling!"
The younger sibling giggled cutely. "Fern did actually. He said that the Buizel picked you up with one paw and threw you over a bush. Was it true?"
"W-well…" Kara looked away guiltily. There was no way he could lie to those eyes. "Yes."
Noru laughed and licked his brother's cheek reassuringly. "Aw, don't feel bad. We all have one of those days."
"I guess…" Kara loosened his grip on him and rested on top of the smaller male. The younger Ninetails blushed when he felt his brother's warm pelt press against his own. He meeped in surprise and tried to push him off, but to no avail. Kara noticed this and smirked.
"What? Does being this close make you uncomfortable?" He asked, breathing into his ear. Noru felt a shiver go down his spine, adding more color to his blush.
"N-no! But still, why are you being so close?" The younger male squeaked as his brother began nibbling at his ear affectionately, smirking hungrily at his reaction.
"I'm in the mood," He whispered simply. Kara smirked to himself, savoring the feeling of licking through his younger brother's neck. As he nipped at the sensitive flesh, his brother involuntarily moaned and mewled in pleasure like music to his ears.
The soft noises coming from his muzzle drove the Ninetails to continue, moving down the younger male's slender form. Noru squealed in protest as he approached his neither regions, but his body just sang to be touched. As Kara slid down toward forbidden territory, he made sure to rub every part of his brother's delicious body as he went.
The elder sibling stood up and gazed into his brother's gleaming red eyes, filled with a mixture of lust and love, not to mention embarrassment. Oh, how he love that face. He leaned in and ever so gently pressed his lips against his brother's. Noru kissed back passionately, relishing the soft texture of his brother's tongue. The feeling was indescribable.
Their kiss went one for a few moments before the need for air broke them apart. Smiling at his brother's blush, Kara moved down and began suckling at his nipple, coaxing another round of delicious moans from his mouth. He inhaled as he twirled his tongue around the hardening nub, taking in the masculine scent of arousal.
"K-Kara!" Noru managed to gasp out. "Stop…ah!...teasing me…"
He laughed and rested his chin on the slim Ninetail's chest. "Aw, have I ever told you how cute you are when you beg whine like that?" He could see another wave of heat flow over the younger male's cheeks. Kara licked him over his muzzle. "So, what do you want to do, my sweet?"
"I-I…uh…." Noru's voice trailed off in embarrassment. He was never one for dirty talk. "C-can I…taste you?"
Now it was Kara's turn to blush. "Of course."
He scooted off of his brother and lay on his back, exposing his full glory. Noru was instantly hit with a wave of musky scent, turning him on even more. Kara was just so…big. At least seven inches of red flesh protruded from his neither regions, begging to be tasted.
Noru leaned over the member and gave it an experimental lick. He heard Kara let out a loud gasp and a squirt of pre trickled off the tip. His tongue was quick to lap it up, savoring the salty flavor. He looked up at his brother for a moment, smiling shyly at his lustful face.
A breeze passed through the den. It sent cold tingling sensations through Kara's cock, causing him to whine loudly. He could feel his brother's warm breath against his leaking member, and his wet tongue slithering pleasingly over the tip.
"Dammit Noru, quit teasing!" He hissed in frustration. He was just so horny right now.
The younger fox smiled and let his mouth linger ever so slightly over the warm cock. "Say please, big brother." Kara growled as a giggle escaped his lips, sending vibrations through his sex.
"Grr…P-please…" The older sibling managed to groan out as he felt his brother's hot mouth envelope his dick. He didn't even bother ranting at him about calling him 'big brother.'
The air was suddenly thick with Kara's moans and whimpers while the younger Ninetails worked at his cock. He could only take two thirds of it into his muzzle, but was content nonetheless. Noru meeped through his mouthful when he felt one of his brother's silky tails glide between his hind legs and wrap around his own member, pumping gently. He smiled at the feeling and worked extra hard at the red organ in his mouth. Soon afterwards, he could feel his brother getting close.
Noru gasped as he was roughly pulled off of his brother's member and pushed onto his back. Kara was right over him, pinning him down with paws on either side of his chest.
"Now now, I can't cum this early now can I?" Kara whispered seductively into his ear. Noru squealed when he felt his brother's long length touching his entrance, tracing around the edges teasingly.
"P-please be gentle…" He whimpered submissively. The dominate canine smiled warmly into his eyes.
"Of course. How could I bear to hurt someone with such a cute face?" He felt a tongue lap comfortingly at his ear. "Are you ready?"
Noru nodded. As soon as Kara's cock entered him, he began hissing painfully. Kara stopped worriedly and licked the tears off his little brother's face.
"Are you sure-?"
"Y-yes! D-don't mind me, j-just keep going…" Noru breathed. Kara paused before continuing.
The younger sibling mewled in both ecstasy and pain as he felt the hot member in his tailhole slide deeper. Gulping quietly, he leaned up to give his brother another kiss as he hilted him.
As they both swapped saliva, the pain slowly began to ebb away until he just felt…full. Noru pushed back into Kara's phallus, signaling him to keep going. The other Ninetails slowly pulled out of the hot, moist cave, all the while pumping his brother's dick with his tail.
Before long, they began to pick up the pace. Noru's breath grew more and more ragged, delicious and delicate moans escaping his muzzle. Kara suddenly decided to change the angles of his thrusts. His smirked as his brother gasped out in surprise, waves upon waves of pleasure washing over them as he continually hit his sweet spot with all his might.
Noru began thrusting upward into the warm, delicate tail that held his member, desperate to release. His brother noticed his attempts and leaned closer, increasing the friction between them. He gasped at the feel of Kara's firm abdomen against the tip of his dick, threatening to push him over the edge.
Noru threw his head back with a moan of delight and spilt his seed all over his and his brother's chest, covering them both with his juices. Kara groaned, his brother's tailhole tightening in his orgasm. The heat and tension proved too much for him to handle. The older Ninetails let out a heavy whine of pleasure before emptying his love into the smaller male.
They both collapsed on their den floor, exhausted from their love session. Panting slightly, Kara dipped down and gave Noru another deep kiss.
"Love you little bother."
"Love you too Ka-"
Grey listened in amusement as the two Ninetails literally jumped up in shock. Noru involuntarily gave a mew of pleasure from his brother moving while still inside of him, adding to their embarrassment.
"G-Grey! What the heck are you doing here!" The mentor squeaked under his heavy blush.
"Well," The blind healer turned to leave, smiling in spite of himself. "I was going to come and check Kara's wounds, but it doesn't seem like he's in pain anymore. Good night~"