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His name was Dicentra. He had no idea why his parents would want to name him after a flower, but it was quite befitting. After all, dicentra flowers were shaped like little red hearts that were somehow torn open, thus their nickname, "bleeding hearts."
"Well, well, look who came back all roughed up," Dicentra's eyebrows rose at the oh-so-annoying voice. It was his mentor, Fang. Of course, he never actually learned anything from the pompous Houndoom, but the fire type stilled liked to hold the fact over his head. "I thought you said you could handle that entire clan of losers without a scratch?"
"Shaddap," Dicentra snapped roughly. Had it been any other day, he would have ripped the cocky mentor to shreds. Oh, why did that moronic Leafeon just have to poison him? He made a quick mental note to make the healer's death long and painful when they met again.
Ignoring Fang's growl of distain, he made his way through the camp toward their Alpha's den. The heavy smell of blood washed over his nose as he entered. Sure, Dicentra had always enjoyed the coppery taste of it, but their Alpha's scent was so potent that it managed to send cold shivers down his spine. It was as it the leader was made of blood from hell itself. Just thinking about it makes him want to gag.
"Night," Dicentra called out as he unceremoniously marched into the stone cave of the mountain. "I'm back."
"…" Only silence answered his announcement. To be completely honest, Dicentra had never seen the Alpha's face before, despite their numerous interactions. He had always hid behind the shadows in the back of the cave, showing only two, blood-red orbs he calls eyes.
"Uh, Night?" Dicentra felt sweat start to slide down his brow.
"You…seemed to have had some trouble…" The low voice murmured. He felt his blood run cold. The Alpha's voice, although soft and quiet, drove some strange force through his skull, like a long silver needle stabbing into his head. Every muscle in his body screamed for him to run, but he fought the urge. His still had to keep his pride, didn't he? What would the great "beast" look like if he fled from someone just talking to him?
"Nah, besides that Carina Alpha and one of the healers, the lot of them are just a bunch of wimps," Dicentra laughed. "I don't know why you would even bother worryin' about declaring war with them. We could wipe them out in an instant."
"Was there a Glaceon among their ranks?" The Alpha, or Night as he was called, growled coldly. His Buizel subordinate shivered slightly before taking a step back. He had only been in the den for a couple minutes and he already felt like he was going to drop dead from anxiety. How did one pokemon's voice manage to do this?
"Well, yeah, I think I saw one talking with a Luxio on my way back,"
Night's growl grew fiercer. "Cloud," He spat sharply. "He's staying with those damn Carina, now isn't he?" His voice seemed to speak more to himself than to his trembling subordinate.
"Who's this Cloud you're talking about?" Dicentra fought desperately to stop his involuntary shudders.
"Cloud," The Alpha growled the name hatefully. "Was the reason why we lost to the Carina in our last war. That damn human pet killed half of our clan without even raising a paw." He calmed down slightly, the anger slowly fading in his voice. "But why did he allow you to butcher so many of the clan members? Perhaps he is incapable in some way…"
"I'm guessing that you want me to go and hunt down this Cloud person, right?" Dicentra said.
"You? Ha, don't make me laugh! The likes of you wouldn't even be able to even touch Cloud, let alone kill him," Night chuckled a bit, highly amused. "If you want to be turned into a living ice cube, then by all means do so! But your orders are this: investigate Cloud and his current condition, and by no means blow your cover by engaging him in a battle."
"Got it," The Buizel nodded before scampering out of the den as quickly as his paws could carry him. He gulped in as much fresh air as he possibly could, washing away the thick scent of dark blood from his nose before grinning to himself.
"Well you seem rather happy today," Fang remarked as he walked up to him. Dicentra flashed his fangs in a toothy smirk.
"Of course," He stretched out his sore limbs lazily. It seems like the poison was wearing off. "I'm about to go back to kill some time at the Carina's."
"Why the hell would you be happy about going to those weaklings?" The Houndoom huffed in disgust. Dicentra smirked.
"I got my eye on one of 'em," He licked his lips with anticipation. "He's feisty, just my type of guy."
Fang raised his eyebrows. "What are you going to do with him?"
Dicentra laughed before strolling down the mountain, flicking his two tails leisurely.
"Isn't it obvious? I'm gonna make him my bitch."
Frost huffed slightly at himself as he made his way to the Gathering Rock for the usual morning announcement. Fern was practically smothering him with hugs and snuggles, as usual, but that wasn't what was bothering him. Where the heck was Ren? That jerk wasn't there when they woke-up this morning. Noru, along with the whole clan, was quite shocked that they weren't up by the usual explosions they caused. Not that they
Frost glanced around. The attack from yesterday pretty much left the clan in shambles, but the ones that were injured were recovering quickly. He could see Pyro among the group near the medicine den being tended to by a Quilava. Kara was doing fine himself, although he and Noru smelled a little funny this morning. Grey had commented on it this morning with a knowing smirk and they both blushed. Weird.
He shook the thought out of his head as he turned his attention to Dusk on the Gathering Rock. Boring announcements, explanations on the attack yesterday, yadda yadda yadda. Couldn't she talk about something that was new?
The Glaceon soon found himself losing interest of the speech as it ended and scanned around the crowd. Where was Ren? It wasn't like the Luxio to just leave them. He usually told everyone with his big mouth about where he was going with some great boastful and exaggerated reason to go along with it.
"Frost." The ice fox turned around.
"Oh, good morning Grey. What's up?" He greeted. The Umbreon sighed with annoyance.
"You and Ren are on hunting patrol for today," His voice sounded tired. He probably is, seeing as he was up all night tending to the injured. Speaking of that… "Fern!" The dark type snapped at the said Leafeon heatedly. "I don't care if you get all lovey-dovey with Frost, but as a mentor, at least remember that there were patients to take care of! I ended up doing all the work last night! Geez."
"Oh," Fern's ears twitched. A comical shocked expression spread quickly across his face. "I completely forgot about that! Sorry Grey!" With that, he tackled him and started strangling him in an all-too-friendly hug. Grey thrashed wildly under his weight and glanced at Frost pleadingly for help.
Frost gave the other apprentice a quick look of sympathy before walking away. Yes! Fern was finally out of his fur! Sure, Grey was going to murder him later for leaving the flirty Leafeon with him, but at least he could have a moment of peace to himself.
He looked on curiously as he noticed Ren behind one of the dens, arguing discreetly irritably with Dusk. He felt tempted to go and see what they were saying, but Noru would surely bash his ears together for eavesdropping. Well, whatever the dispute was about, it looked like Ren won judging from their Alpha's sigh of defeat.
Ren made his way toward the Gathering Rock when an Espeon suddenly launched herself at him flirtingly.
"Hey, Ren," The psychic type cooed seducingly as she rubbed her head against the electric type's chest. "Are you going off on patrols? I can come with you, you know. We can do a lot of fun things together, don't you think?
"No!" He snapped before roughly pushing the female off his shoulder. "Cherry, stop doing this stuff to me. How many times do I have to tell you, I'm not interested!"
The Espeon gave him a look of hurt, which was quickly ignored. Frost watched the two from a distance. He felt a painful lurch in his stomach. Jealousy? No, that can't be it.
The Luxio perked up when he caught sight of Frost and practically dragged him to the hunting grounds in a hasty manner.
"What the heck are do you think you're doing? And put me down, I can walk on my own!" He growled angrily at the larger male. Ren grunted before setting him back down on the forest floor.
"We're on hunting patrol today, aren't we? Now hurry up and get working! We're going to have to get twice as much as usual in half the time." Ren sighed and ran further into the forest. Frost scrambled after him quickly.
"Wait, why do we have to get so much?" He huffed, struggling to catch up.
"If we get enough by noon, Dusk will let us go off on our own.," The electric type replied.
Frost's face fell. "Oh, so you just don't want to be anywhere near me, right?"
Ren frowned, shaking his head quickly. "What are you talking about? We have, um, another assignment after that." He said, a bit too hurriedly.
"Another assignment?" For an instant, Frost almost felt relieved, but then he shook the thought out of his head. Why would he feel relieved that he was going to stay with that jerk? Frowning slightly, he focused back on keeping up with Ren.
"Yeah, but I'll tell you about it after we're finished. Now hurry up and get to work, got it?"
"Geez, you're always so pushy."
"I'm just trying to get things done!"
"That's kinda hard to believe. You act kinda lazy sometimes."
"Me? Lazy? Why you little piece of-"
"What did you just call me?"
"Well it's the truth, isn't it?"
"Now you're just acting like a kit."
"Oh, and you're not?"
"Just shut up."
Pine stared depressingly around camp. It wasn't like his character to be like this, but he was depressed nonetheless. He had no idea why this feeling kept picking at his heart, painful longings digging away in his being. Why is it that everyone around here had someone else? Ren always had a crowd of unwanted females fawning over him for his title as the strongest apprentice. Frost had Fern (although the ice type didn't actually looked like it was voluntary). Pyro had Aster, even if the two of them hadn't got the guts to admit it to each other. And Kara had Noru, which he found out this morning. The smell on the two of them made it obvious.
Grey was single, but he doesn't really count. He doubted that the dark type even had a sex drive anyway. He always buried himself in the medicine den. Who in the world would want to be with someone like that? But, on the other paw, he wasn't in any better position himself.
Pine let out another gloomy sigh before deciding to take a walk along the lake west of the camp. He could see why Grey liked to let out his anger here. The constant breeze always helped clear out his thoughts and allowed him to think better. And yes, he had a brain, on the contrary to popular belief.
Why didn't he have anyone yet? Was it because he acted to childish? Or maybe he wasn't strong enough. Ren's strength always brings him a ton of attention. Thoughts plagued the normal type's mind as he gingerly waded into the water, enjoying the refreshing feel.
He always thought that love just came with age and that he would find someone eventually. But now he's the only one in his den without a mate, or at least a crush. Was something wrong with him that didn't let him feel love for someone else? Pine made sure to try tand be nice to everyone he knew, but no one made him feel any different. Nothing filled that empty hole inside him. Maybe he should just give u-
"Eep!" Pine let out a strangled yelp as he felt a current suddenly drag him under. Water quickly surrounded him on all sides, threatening to squeeze the life out of him. Pine was never a good swimmer. He always sank like a rock whenever Noru tried to show they how to swim across the lake.
His wavering thoughts were quickly washed out of his head as lake water pushed its way into this throat, burning as it went deeper into his windpipe. The world was spinning around him as Pine sank deeper, being swept further away from the coast by the current. He could barely tell which way was up or down as he fought his way toward the surface, muscles screaming for oxygen.
For a moment, Pine thought he was free. Breaking through the surface, he spluttered wildly, trying to remove the water from his lungs. That was until a huge wave suddenly enveloped him without warning. He felt himself being thrown roughly underwater again. The last Pine could remember was bashing his head against a nearby rock before blacking out.
The noon sun beat down on Frost mercilessly as he hauled another pile of prey into the storage den, sweat dripping heavily down his muzzle. He was an ice type for Arceus' sake! Was Mother Nature trying to kill him with he jumbo flashlight or something?
"I'm dead!" The ice fox huffed before throwing himself down on a nearby pile of moss. Ren trotted into the den, unloading another pile of prey with ease.
"Oh, come on human pet. This is nothing," He smirked, laughing to himself slightly. "On the bright side, I think we're pretty much done. Good thing I managed to get most of the prey we needed."
"There you go bragging again." Frost rolled his eyes. "I don't really think that shooting a huge Thunder Wave in random directions count as hunting. And you made my fur all frizzy again!"
"You're a real chore, you know that?" Ren muttered before making his way back outside. Frost groaned, reluctantly following.
"So what was that second assignment you were talking about?" he asked curiously on their way to the river. Upon sighting the water, the ice fox ran ahead of them and diving into the water, sighing with a refreshing air. Ren couldn't help but smile at himself slightly at the sight of Frost doing something so kit-like. It was almost cute in a way. As soon as the thought came to his mind, he shook his head violently before dipping down and getting a drink. Must be the summer heat that's getting to him.
"Ren? Hello, I'm talking to you!" The said Luxio blinked, noticing the ice fox's paw waving in his face. "You still haven't answered my question yet."
"Oh, sorry. I was kinda dozing off," He muttered. A mischievous grin appeared on Frost's face as he made his way out of the water. Ren yelped in surprise, his face suddenly soaked. He growled with irritation while Frost smiled back, looking pleased.
"Loosen up will you? You're worse than Grey sometimes," The ice fox laughed and batted Ren's nose with his tail. He suddenly squeaked loudly when the Luxio bluntly bulldozed him into the water.
"Serves you right," Ren smirked, but his smile quickly disappeared when Frost dragged him down with him.
After a quick spat that ended with Ren getting covered with snow and Frost's fur becoming all frizzy with static, they finally returned to the topic of their mission, which Ren was a bit rusty on the details for some reason.
"Come on, just tell me! I know you're hiding something!" The ice fox whined and pounced on Ren's back, albeit playfully. It didn't help in any way when Ren decided to keep moving through the forest with Frost still attached to him.
"You are such a kit, you know that?" He growled as they neared the mountains. The Glaceon replied with a simple, "I know," and continued harassing him with nonstop pouts and complaints until he finally just gave up.
"Fine," Ren muttered. "We're supposed to be finding the home that your human stays in."
Frost froze, the hair on the back of his neck raised. The argument between the Luxio and their Alpha immediately popped up in his mind. He glared at Ren. "You're planning to dump me back in my old home, aren't you?" He snarled. "What? You can't deal with a human pet like me being in the same clan as you? What the hell do you think I am, so lowly piece of trash that you can just throw away? Let me tell you, I-"
"Shut up," Ren snapped. "At least let me finish what I'm trying to say will you?"
Frost fell silent, but the tension in his eyes remained the same.
Ren sighed. "Our mission is to rescue or recover the body of your brother, Cloud."
Eyes widened as shock coursed through his body. "W-wait," He stuttered. "Does that mean you argued with Dusk this morning just to let me come with you?"
"Don't make any assumptions," Ren murmured and started walking away. "I just didn't want people to see that I have a denmate that faints every other day whining about how his brother got killed or whatnot."
Frost bit his lips, guilt flooding his mind for his previous accusation. "Th-thanks…" he whispered so quietly that Ren could barely hear him.
"Whatever," The Luxio briskly dismissed his apology. "Now lead the way. I have no clue where your stinkin' human home is."
The ice fox let out an irritated huff before dashing off ahead of him. Ren might have the heart to do something nice once in a while, but he still was a big jerk.
Grey cursed loudly to himself as he tripped over another log in the field. He had a lot to be pissed off about, that was for sure, and Fern was probably at the top of that list. First the damn Leafeon nearly suffocates him with his stupid hugs, and now he runs off somewhere when he actually needs him to gather herbs. Usually in this case, he would bring Pine along with him, but that moron was nowhere to be found either.
Inhaling sharply, he scoured the area for any sign of marigold flowers. How he wished that he could just see the stupid plant instead of having to smell them out, but he was blind. Nothing could be done about that.
Grey's eyebrows rose slightly as his paws brushed up against some sort of plant. Odd, he's never noticed this type of flower before. As a healer, it was his duty to have a wide array of knowledge of every plant in the area. And of course, he was rather curious as well.
Prodding the blossom with his nose, he mused that the flower petals made somewhat of an arc and curled downwards into a shape of a heart. Its nectar gave off a pleasant sweetness, but some of it dripped down the opening of the flower and seeped into the ground.
"Weird," Grey muttered, mostly to himself. The nectar may be useful to feed bitter herbs to stubborn kits, but overall, this plant didn't seem to have any other medicinal purposes. Twitching his nose in amusement, he briefly wondered what kind of name this flower should have.
"It's called a dicentra, nature's bleeding heart."
The healer gasped in shock as orange paws ghosted over his abdomen. The air was suddenly filled with the bitter scent of blood as the Buizel from the other day gently pinned him to the ground, his teasing breath tickling his ear as their pelts pressed closely together.
"So, did you miss me?" He laughed, resting his head affectionately on top of Grey's. The said healer growled a warning, but it was promptly ignored as the water type began nibbling at his ears.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Grey snapped angrily. He attempted to toss the large male off of him, but he had too firm of a grip on him. His struggling seemed to give the intruder more amusement.
"As feisty as always, aren't you?" He sniggered slightly as he nuzzled the back of the Umbreon's neck. "Come to think of it, we didn't get properly introduced, did we? Do you have any idea what my name is?"
Grey hissed out in pain. The Buizel's fangs lashed out and made a small scratch on his neck, just enough to draw blood. His captor purred before hungrily lapping it up.
"Delicious," He licked his lips excitedly. Grey's sightless eyes narrowed.
"You're named after a flower?" The healer grunted.
"Yup! Name's Dicentra, but you can just call me Dice. It kinda fits, doesn't it?" The large male laughed. His eyes twinkled mischievously before his two tails twined around his victim' hind legs, getting dangerously close to a certain area. "So, what's yours?"
"Grey," He answered reluctantly, squirming uncomfortably in the other's grip. "Now what the hell do you want?"
"Well, I was sent here to deal with that Glaceon friend of yours," Dicentra began. "But it looks like he left or something."
"You're after Frost?" Grey's eyes widened in shock. He thrashed out, angrier than ever, but the other male had him firmly in his hold. His captor's eyebrows rose slightly at his reaction.
"Huh? Why are you in such a panic?" Dicentra's eyes drooped in disappointment. "You like him don't you?"
"W-what?" Grey almost screamed. "O-of course not! Why the heck would I like Frost? W-we're just friends, that's all!"
Sounds like you have a crush to me, Dice mused, although very frustrated that his target already had someone in mind. A thought suddenly popped up in his head. "What did you say that Glaceon's name was again?"
Grey's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "No, why?"
"Hehe," The Ishi member laughed. "So he isn't here in the Carina after all. Hm…" The Buizel leaned down atop of Grey until their cheeks were rubbing against each other. "If I get this news to my Alpha, then he'd surely launch an attack on your clan immediately."
The Umbreon's eyes widened in shock. "What?"
"Of course," Dice purred. "You might be able to convince me otherwise."
There was no need to tell Grey what this "convincing" was. The Ishi member had shown plainly what he wanted, if how his tails tickling out under him was any indication. He definitely didn't want to follow that damn Buizel's wants, but what else could he do? Were his personal needs worth the lives of countless members of his clan? His thoughts wander entertainingly over the thought his brother's death for a moment, but the situation brought him back to reality.
"I'll do anything you want if you don't report to your Alpha." Grey hated that pathetic tone he was using. He felt as if he had suddenly turned into a worthless pile of dirty, his dignity dissolving into thin air.
If possible, Dicentra's grin widened.