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.
Chapter 5 contains a sexually explicit scene between two male Pokemon. All other chapters are PG.
Chapter 3: The Current that Brought the Castaways Together.
Standing before him was a Zangoose, dressed in a sweatshirt, colored black, with patches of red that seemed to mirror the pattern of the fur underneath. The hood was raised up, having two holes in which the normal type could get his ears through, letting them move freely to detect sound from a source in any direction. The sleeves went down to the point where only about half of his scarlet-furred paws were visible, the bottom of the sweatshirt resting right at his waist. Without counting the fin on the Floatzel's head, the two seemed to stand at a near-identical height... not an everyday occurrence, for certain, considering Franz was well above the ordinary size of his species.
The two beings did not do anything, save for keeping their eyes locked in on each other, in the first few moments they became aware of each other's existence. Neither could bring the admission that they recognized each other's gaze to their lips. The fact was merely acknowledged amid the silence, and tucked away into their subconscious minds. After the passage of a couple seconds, the individual Franz had encountered seemed to regain his nerve in some capacity... at least, enough to make a slight wince and carry a simple word from his mind over to his tongue.
The word was brought forth with noticeable uncertainty to the tone. Not as if the speaker was unsure the Floatzel would reply, rather, as if it was uncertain that the greeting was even the correct word to utilize in this situation. The water type's twin tails rose and fell once as he kept still in every other regard, needing to blink a couple times before replying.
"Errh... hello, there..."
The weasel hadn't a clue what else he could say to start off this abnormal interaction. It was clear that the other Pokémon was trying to avoid being detected by him, and with the fact that he was clothed, and had commenced the conversation, however lengthy or abrupt it was, in English rather than a Pokémon's natural tongue, Franz immediately wondered if the Zangoose had a trainer nearby. His maw began to come apart again, but the normal type on the opposite side of the trickling stream hastily drew words before he could do so.
"I... ahh, I was just trying to... to get a drink here... usually when I land from being... ahh, up in a tree, it doesn't make a sound... and that's why I'm a bit..." The Zangoose couldn't quite finish off his thought. Even getting that many words out of himself seemed to be a struggle, going off of what Franz heard, and the slight shakiness to his lips that wasn't difficult to spot as he spoke. As he kept focused on that look of uncomfortableness being cast at him, the Floatzel offered a nod to try and ease him, and began to speak again.
"I can understand that, I don't think I've ever seen, much less heard a Pokémon like you around on my travels. Then again, I don't believe I've been in this particular forest for very long..." In knowing this, the theory Franz had that this other Pokémon belonged to a trainer seemed plausible... perhaps he wasn't native to here at all, and he was split from the company of his trainer, for whatever reason. Whatever the case, he already appeared to be a tad calmer around the sea weasel.
"I'm what is called a Zangoose... and yes, as far as I know... I am the only one of my species that... that still remains in this area..." Uttering those words replaced the tension and nervousness in him with another feeling made easily visible to the Floatzel. His claws were retracted fully, his crimson paws gripping on to his own elbows loosely as he crossed his arms, ears drooping at the top of his head. Franz quickly decided not to interrogate him about his obvious sorrow for now.
"I see. Well, for what it's worth, I'm not really supposed to be here either. A Floatzel is supposed to stay as close to a body of water as possible... and I've only been traveling between them instead of choosing one to be my home. Though, I at least have a good grasp on how to handle myself in a forest, I suppose..." The water type tapped at his chin briefly as he pondered for a moment, his tails being lifted and flopping to the ground once more before he pulled his paw back to his side. "...I apologize if this is a question you don't wish to answer, but were you ever a trainer's Pokémon?"
The Zangoose had his ears perk up at the question, loosening his arms and widening his eyes subtly, shaking his head. "Don't have one, have never had a trainer... why do you ask..?" Franz lidded his eyes and lifted his shoulders in a small shrug before looking back at him again.
"I don't run into very many English-speaking or clothes-wearing Pokémon, either. Those are both telltale signs of a having a trainer, typically..." The Floatzel was absolutely intrigued by him. Desiring to satisfy his now burning curiosity, Franz seated himself by the stream, watching with silent relief that the Zangoose did the same on the opposite side of the stream.
"Living around here for so long... I picked up both the language, and, ehh..." The normal type pinched at the fabric of his sleeve, pulling it up and releasing his grip, trying to recall the name of what it was he was wearing. "...this... this hoodie... both from travellers passing through..." He gave a wide-eyed look, as if to beg for confirmation that he'd said it correctly.
Franz reassured him with a gentle nod. "Sounds like things are pretty eventful out here, then."
The normal type was quick to grab at his elbows and shake his head. "You're the first person I've run into in... at least... thirty... forty nights..." The squeeze he had on himself seemed to tighten as he adjusted the number of nights he believed he had spent alone.
"Mmh. I at least get where you're coming from. All I've spotted on my way to this forest from the last place I stopped were bird and bug Pokémon, and even then they appeared few and far in between. It's been... about a week since I last spoke with someone..." The Floatzel paused, and thought for a couple seconds, the expression of pondering on his face rolling off and being substituted for a smile as he decided to speak again. "So it's nice to meet ya. Name's Franz..."
The Zangoose was once again looking with widened eyes, the grip his paws had on his elbows diminishing as his gaze returned to normal. Present above his chin was a smile in response to the friendliness he'd been shown. Behind him, it wasn't difficult to take notice that his fluffy white tail swished with slight energy. "...Hisoka. The name... the name is also from a traveler... didn't have one before, and... and it sounded nice..."
Franz was elated to establish even this much of a connection with Hisoka, as well as learning that they shared another common ground. "I got mine from my caretaker... they used to have a son with that name, so I figured I would choose it as my own whenever I left their company, as a way to thank them for what they had done for me."
Hisoka raised an eyebrow, clearly impressed by the Floatzel's decision regarding his name. "How... how noble of you..." Returning to a relaxed, quietly joyous demeanor, the Zangoose had his tail pick up the speed of its motions. "You seem to be a... a very kind Pokémon, Franz..."
He had been complimented in the same way before, yet from this still fresh friendship, it felt like there was more meaningfulness behind it. "Thanks... I don't get to make first impressions all too often. So it's good to hear that this one has went well..." Franz pulled an eyebrow up as well before continuing. "Especially since you seem like the type of person who the first impression determines a lot of what they think about others."
"Errh... you... you wouldn't be wrong, I guess..." The normal type soon had a slight hint of redness to his cheeks, though, his behavior contrasted his visible nervousness, choosing to scoot forwards, closer to the Floatzel. "It's sort of, ahh, in my... in my nature. Because living out here, you... you never really... want to take any kind of risk..."
The water type across from him nodded, then followed suit, shortening the distance between them. "I can understand that. When you don't have anyone else around, second guessing whoever comes by just sorta happens naturally. I at least try to be friendly if I think they're someone worth talking to for a while."
The Zangoose was silent for a moment, pondering, the redness yet to leave his expression, even seeming to intensify subtly while he thought over what Franz had to say. "...so you think I'm... worth talking to..?" He received a nod as a response, a grin over the Floatzel's muzzle accompanying it. "Even if I'm... not too... not too skilled with words..?"
"You're doing better than I was the first few months I began to learn English. And you went and taught yourself, just off of whatever bits and pieces that those walking by had given you, so... I'm really impressed by that, actually!"
His bushy tail was swirling around behind him like a batch of white cotton candy, mouth fashioned into a gleeful smile, the flustered tone to his cheeks nearly dissipating from the compliment. "I... I'm glad that you think so..." Standing himself up to stretch, the Zangoose calmed himself as Franz looked on with near giddiness at his reaction to his praise.
"Eheheh... hey, you're quite welcome." The Floatzel's own tails were lifting and falling to the ground in quick succession, pleased with how well he was doing with this interaction considering his latest mindset, improving his mood, maybe even for more than just the rest of this day, he hoped. Hisoka then hesitated, stuck right in his standing position, paws coming together and fiddling slowly with each other, his head tilted down to focus his gaze on his hands. Franz stood himself up at this point as well, watching for a moment before intruding on his apparent anxiousness. "Are you alright..?"
"Just... just thinking." He lidded his eyes, squeezing his digits one after another, gathering them up until they were all held together by his other paw. His head was lifted back up and his gaze was unveiled, reflecting a blend of emotions drifting within him... tension... sorrow... desperation... then, his lips parted and his thoughts finally had a shape. "...would you like for me... for me to... to show you around this place, Franz..?"
The Floatzel let off a quiet exhalation of surprise as he heard that question, knowing it went against Hisoka's very nature to ask it, wondering if it would be out of place to comfort him with a pat on the shoulder... he himself got too nervous to try it, instead opting to smile softly and nod before replying verbally. "I'd be delighted to have you do that for me."