AGNPH Stories

Luca - 1st Edition by Felix


Story Notes:

This is the first posted edition of my story Luca.
Luca is a special riolu who is given to the trainer Felix. Meant for each other, the two endeavor to make the best of their lives together. However, what is life without trials to make bonds grow stronger?

Author's Chapter Notes:

So without further delay, enjoy. And I hope I managed to keep a bit lighter mood throughout this chapter since I think I managed to depress some of you with the last one. ^_^ Once again I hope you enjoy.

One final thing. For Felix's second dream I had two sources of inspiration that I must mention.
First was Dreamer's Poem, "Subconscious Tears". As soon as I read that poem and he said it was inspired by this story I wanted to write a scene for it.
And second was the Lucario image "Memories" in Kusaka / G-Sun 's album in the gallery. If either of you want that scene rewritten I will not hesitate to, just contact me if that is the case, and if not I thank you for your inspiration and for allowing me to use you as inspiration.

Agonizing travels.

The first night we didn’t even make a fire, we just set up the minimum we needed and tried to get to sleep. It was much easier for Kail to fall asleep, though I knew the events were weighing heavily on his mind as well. The simple fact was that I felt like I had lost my mate forever, the one girl I had ever loved and started a family with, I just didn’t know what to do. My mind kept wandering that night as I lay there with my eyes shut, trying to force myself to sleep. I couldn’t help but think of those horrid questions. “What if I never saw her again? Would she ever look at me the same way if I found her?” As all of these things flashed through my head I could feel the urge to simply cry coming over me, and before I knew it a steady stream of tears was rolling down my cheeks as I pictured Luca walking happily with me.

“D-Dad…? Are you awake…?” Leo asked quietly and sadly. I hadn’t noticed but he couldn’t sleep either and had sat up to stare off into space. When he heard me sniffle he realized I was still awake.

“Ya…” I replied as I sat up with him and wiped my eyes, it was my curse that I never wanted to burden people with my own problems.

“We’re going to find her… Right?” Was his next question and I realized now more than ever that he needed me just as much as I needed him.

“I promise you we will... Even if we have to rip through that entire organization, we will bring her back.” I replied confidently, and as a reflex I reached an arm around my son and brought him closer to lean on me. He nuzzled my chest in the same way Luca always did and let his tears flow as he hugged me. I could only rub his back and shed my own tears as we both found a shoulder to cry on.

Leo fell asleep in my arms a short time later. It was somewhat strange for me to be holding him like this but I saw so much of myself in him at that moment. He tried to act like societies stereotypical male, but like me, deep down he was very sensitive and caring. Thanks to Leo I could barely stay awake either and once I saw he was asleep I slid out from under him and laid down next to my son.

The next morning Kail woke up before Leo and I. He knew very well that I wanted to get going as soon as possible so he came over and tried to wake us up. He tried to wake Leo first, who groaned and rolled over as Kail lightly shook him.

However as Leo rolled to his side he paid no attention to where he swung his paw, and of course due to my proximity, it landed on me…

I had neglected to notice just how sharp his wrist spikes had become… I cried out as his spike drove into my lower arm, giving me a pretty sizable puncture wound. Kail yelped in surprise, and Leo sat bolt upright at my cry, thinking we were being attacked.

I still didn’t know what hit me as I had sat up quickly and instinctively clutched at my fresh wound. As I massaged the spot for the next minute to alleviate the pain Kail started apologizing, saying he didn’t mean for that to happen while Leo looked at me questioningly since he hadn’t figured out what happened.

After that minute the pain faded and I took my hand from my arm. As I looked at the lightly bleeding prick I responded to Kail by asking him what happened. He looked at me with a confused tone then looked at Leo who was the most confused of all of us. As Kail started explaining the consequences of his attempt to wake us Leo began to apologize to me, but all I could do was smile at the blunder.

“It’s alright, don’t worry about it.” I told them both with a cheerful voice as I rubbed my wound one last time and got up to pack what little we had. I didn’t know why but that little diversion cheered me up greatly. While I went about my business Kail and Leo exchanged confused looks briefly before assisting me, though how they acted towards me told me they thought something was wrong with me.

“Dad… Are you sure you’re alright…” Leo asked me quietly as he helped finish up what I was doing.

“Actually I feel a bit better today. Thanks buddy…” I replied and gave him a kind smile though through it was a sad look that showed him I was still depressed about Luca. As I spoke I put my hand firmly on his shoulder and stood up which he quickly followed, standing beside me as we turned to Kail.

“Alright. So where do we go to look first Kail?” I asked as he returned my gaze. He thought about it for a while and looked around once to get his bearings once more before replying.

“This way. I remember a small facility they held me at in the closest city. If it’s still there it would be a good place to start.”

“Let’s go then. I’d like to get there today so let’s run. I’ll try to keep up with you and Leo.” I answered once he explained. Both Kail and Leo looked surprised at my request but found it to be a good idea and agreed. Once we were sure we were ready we started running down the path. Leo stayed beside me while Kail led the way.

We only had to stop for me to catch my breath twice before we reached the edge of the city, and we wasted no time and headed in the direction Kail thought he remembered the facility being. Sure enough we found a large warehouse with an exceedingly small D on the lock. Apparently even Darkrai was smart enough not to advertise their existence. There wasn’t anyone around outside but just to be safe I took another look with wave sight. As Kail had said it was a small facility, mostly a storage warehouse, but there were signs that pokemon were sometimes kept there. Just to satisfy my desperate curiosity I tried focusing on Luca, but once again my sight shot off in a direction so fast and far that I couldn’t decipher where she was.

“She’s not here…” I whispered sadly to my companions, getting sad looks from both of them but Kail soon spoke up.

“Even so. This place might have some information on where the other facilities are.” He said with resolve and of course I agreed. From my look around I found a single guard inside just lounging. He didn’t even seem to have any pokemon on him so we knew this would be simple. Though in my mind this guy would be lucky if Kail and Leo stopped me from blowing him up with the rest of the building…

Seeing that no one else was around we figured now was as good a time as any for a raid. The sun was setting and once we had what we needed, we would head off towards the next facility. We found a normal door on one end of the building, which I quickly blasted in with an aura sphere and charged another one as Kail and Leo rushed in to pin the startled guard. I hated seeing that damned uniform and it took everything I had not to kill the guy right there.

“I’ll ask you once… Do you know anything about a Lucario Darkrai recently stole…?” I asked in the coldest voice I had ever spoken in. The terrified grunt looked as if he might wet himself at any moment, but he swallowed hard and managed a reply.

“I-I just started here… I don’t know anything! Please, just d-don’t hurt me… I-I’m not even a trainer!” He answered in a terrified voice to match how he looked. I snarled at what he said which got him to flinch and shut his eyes as he trembled beneath the paws of my teammates.

“Knock him out. We’ll find something of use here… Oh. And dude… Find a better job or next time a trainer like me comes along you might not be so lucky…” I said solemnly, instructing Kail and giving the grunt something to think about as well.

After Kail delivered a swift punch to the guy, knocking him out, we set about looking for anything of interest. Unfortunately for us this was just storage, racks upon racks of old files and failed experiments, many of which pained me to think of how they actually worked. I tried to put it out of my mind as Kail Leo and I tore through bunches of papers. We would take a look at one of the papers in a box and if it wasn’t something that would help we discarded the box and moved on. After twenty minutes of searching Leo finally found something we might be able to use.

“Dad! Here, look at this…” He yelled as he looked around for me amongst the mess.

“Great! Good Job Leo this at least gives us somewhere else to go. Kail! Let’s go!” I yelled rolling up the piece of paper Leo had found as the three of us bolted out of the building and towards the edge of the city. We kept running down the path for another mile or two stopping only for me to catch my breath. By the time we had made it that far it was already night so we built a fire and sat down to discus what we had found and what our next move would be.

What Leo had found was an old list of experiments and the cities they were being performed in. Luckily for us it seemed relatively new and upon further inspection I found the island where we had freed Deoxys, and sure enough one of the experiments was listed as “legendary study.”

Knowing the names of all the cities in the proximity we all agreed to head to the closest one in the morning. With our spirits renewed a little and the adrenalin from “robbing” a warehouse wearing off we tried to get to sleep. Kail once again had little trouble but Leo and I still couldn’t fall asleep very fast. After a half hour of rolling around I finally followed Leo in getting to sleep, though it wasn’t as peaceful as I would have liked…

“Felix! Help!” Luca’s voice seemed to come from nowhere as I stood in a dense forest with no apparent trails.

“Luca!? Where are you!?” I said in a panic as I spun around to try finding any sign of my mate.

“I’m over here! Help I can’t… Hold them off!” I heard her say, but still couldn’t find a direction, her voice was echoing off the trees.

“Hold on I’m coming!” I replied as I ran in what I could only hope was the right direction. When I started running I had an idea and started to close my eyes to find her using wave sight but as I did I heard her voice again.

“Feliahh…!” She cried out, getting cut short in her first word. I felt sick at the sound of her cry but I continued into wave sight, only to have a painfully blinding flash of white thrown into my mind…

At that moment I bolted upright from my sleep, covered in a cold sweat and breathing heavily.

“I pray that’s not a premonition…” I muttered as I rubbed my head. After a few seconds I sighed and let my hand drop to my side. As my eyes adjusted I looked around, it was still pitch black and both Leo and Kail were still asleep. Seeing Leo was still beside me but facing away I reached for him and ran my hand gently over his shoulder. He moaned slightly but didn’t wake up, if anything it seemed to put him into an easier sleep. I exhaled heavily once again and stood up, taking another look around before hanging my head in thought and heading out of the campsite for a little while.

“Where are you…?” I said out loud as I stopped and looked up through the trees to the sky. After a while I sighed and shut my eyes as I looked back to the ground and continued talking to myself. “Please don’t give up on me… I’m coming… Luca…” I said as a few tears once again began leaking from the corners of my eyes. I sighed sadly a third time as I wiped my eyes and tried to gather myself before heading back to camp. Luckily, in my mind, Leo and Kail were still fast asleep though they had shifted positions. Seeing this I curled back up near Leo and tried to go back to sleep. Though tears still kept running down my face, I fell back to sleep a few minutes later and made it through the rest of the night.

The next morning I woke up first and got the boys up to get going. Once again we set out towards our destination as fast as we could, but even so it would take us another day and a half to get to the city. The second night we spent on the road we finally got to talking. It was depressive and forced at first but Leo and I, and even Kail found it comforting once we got going.

Kail started filling me in on how he and my sister were getting along. Of course it was no surprise that they were getting along great, but some of the things he mentioned reminded me of a different side of my sister, one I rarely ever saw.

Contests were her life so it was no surprise that she took them very seriously, and even though she was a good sport and accepted defeat she always broke down later. Kail chuckled a bit as he told us the story of the first time he saw her lose, but I noticed him blushing a bit as he finished about how she had clung to him as she wept while saying she was no good and eventually fell asleep on him.

His story almost made me cry as it reminded me of Luca, but this time it was different. I missed Luca so much but his story was so sweet it reminded me of “happier times” so to speak. Once he had finished I felt like sharing how Luca had evolved for me. Throughout my story Leo and Kail both listened intently. Leo had never heard this one before and actually had been wondering about it ever since he had started to grow into a Lucario. When I finished Kail exhaled his breath and smiled warmly while Leo simply said, “Wow.”

Finally as I wiped a tear from my eye Kail and I turned to Leo, as he had yet to speak, though I wasn’t really expecting him to have something, I just wanted to lighten the mood for him and make him feel like he was included. He simply looked back and forth between us for a second before asking, “What?”

“What do you mean “What?”” I answered with a smile as Kail added his two bits.

“Come on, we’ve seen the way Latias acts around you.” He said with his own accusing smile. Of course this caught me off guard as well but I managed to hide it since I was actually curious as to how close they had become while his mother and I were away.

“Wha… but… Oh you know how Latias is…” Leo gagged and stuttered as he blushed and tried to get out of talking about Latias.

“Really? Then what was with that kiss I saw her give you as we left?” Was my answer as I grinned wider at Leo.

“I’ve been traveling with her and I can safely say she’s never done that to me!” Kail added with a laugh, and in the same teasing tone, which only made Leo go a deeper shade of red. Seeing this I laughed and ruffled my son’s head lightly to calm him down a bit. He laughed hesitantly but was still as red as a tamato berry under his fur.

“Hmm. I’d say he knows how she feels about him. So I guess she said something after all.” Kail said definitively with a nod as he folded his arms and closed his eyes.

“Wha?!... She… she told you?!” Leo said as his eyes went wide and his jaw dropped.

“She told Ashley and I a while back that she liked you, but I think it made her much happier to know you didn’t mind her affections.” Kail answered as he opened his eyes and stopped grinning. Of course this only made Leo look away in embarrassment, seeing as he overreacted if that’s what Kail thought he meant by “told you.”

“Well… I-I hadn’t thought of her before, but when she started being so nice to me… It was nice to have a girl act that way towards me, usually it was just Tarzan keeping my company on the road.” Leo explained hesitantly, feeling like he had to say something.

“Don’t worry about it Leo. You don’t have to explain yourself, we were only teasing you. Though I must admit your reaction to Kail’s accusation was priceless.” I said kindly, ending with a laugh, which got a smile and a nervous laugh back. I didn’t intend to force Leo to explain himself. I knew first hand how difficult it could be to explain a relationship to someone you’re convinced wouldn’t entirely understand. Although I was even more curious now than before… The way Leo explained things he made it sound as if he and Latias were simply close friends, which still didn’t explain their goodbye kiss… But to tell the truth I wasn’t worried, I was trusting Leo with my life on this trip so I had no trouble leaving his own decisions to him.

A while later Leo had visibly relaxed from our earlier torture, and as we settled down to get some sleep I saw him stare up at the sky like I had the night before. I waited a little bit and when I took my second look I saw he hadn’t shifted positions, though his eyes were darting from star to star.

“Something bothering you Leo?” I asked in a whisper, though I suspected Kail could still hear us with his sensitive ears if he wanted to and if he was even still awake… Leo gasped and jumped at my voice, as if I had caught him doing something wrong.

“N-no… I was just thinking that’s all.” He replied, regaining himself after his initial stutter, as he glanced over at me then back to the sky.

“About what…? Or should I say who?” I continued as I rolled to my side and propped myself up on one elbow to listen to him. This time I wasn’t teasing him, and I kept the kind tone I most always spoke in.

“About Latias actually…” He said reluctantly after he closed his eyes and sighed lightly.

“You worried about her?” I asked, taking some of his tension away. I was starting to piece things together but even so I would never have guessed how far they actually went.

“I am actually… Kail’s with us what if Darkrai goes after Ashley and Latias next? I know it’s not the same but I’d feel just as bad if they took her as I do about mom being taken…” He replied, finally looking over at me with a scared look. Of course this confirmed what I was suspected. He truly cared about her, and quite a bit more than just as a friend.

“Don’t worry Leo. Ashley would get a hold of us if something happened, and at the moment I think Darkrai has their hands full with us. After tomorrow they’ll be so worried about finding us they won’t have time to think about going after anyone else.” I said comfortingly.

“Alright. We better get some sleep then shouldn’t we?” He replied with a tone that seemed much more relaxed.

“Right. Sleep tight buddy.” I said happily and laid back down while watching Leo relax and fall asleep out of the corner of my eye.

We woke up the same as the day before and started running towards the city again. We made it with no trouble and started looking for the lab facility. Once again it was hidden quite well but we found it none the less, and did so inconspicuously as well. If we suspected a building Leo and Kail would hide somewhere while I walked by casually and got a closer look. It took us a few tries but our methods worked in the end.

Once we had our target we went and got something to eat and waited till nightfall, figuring the facility would be less populated then and easier to infiltrate. Even though we weren’t going to sneak around… During our little rest time I told the guys what I wanted to do. Both Kail and Leo shared my enthusiasm but I could tell they were worried about what resistance we would meet with my plan. Of course I had something to say about that too though the coldness of my response really scared Leo.

“We’re not taking prisoners… We get in and either find Luca or find something that can help us find her. If we find other pokemon we do our best to help them, but as far as I’m concerned Darkrai doesn’t deserve mercy anymore… They took someone dear to both me and you and I’m through pissing around with them. I don’t want you guys hurt and believe me when I say I have my own reservations, but I trust you two. We can do this!” I said confidently to my two partners, and with a hard swallow from Leo both of them nodded in agreement.

That night we put our plan into action. We found the building again and with one last calming breath… we began…

First off Kail blasted the door down and we ran in, I threw an aura sphere into one of the stunned Darkrai grunts that turned to face us, knocking him back into a wall unconscious with a few light burns to his chest. Meanwhile Leo ran at another guard and forcepalmed him in the chest, knocking him out in a fashion similar to my method. The alarm hadn’t been raised and I wondered if the facility even had an alarm, but we didn’t worry about it and ran down the hall. Leo Kail and I kicked in doors to see what was inside and found nothing of interest on the first floor, but from what was visible on the street the building wasn’t multi floored…

We encountered a few more grunts but our night raid was paying off with a severely reduced compliment of staff in the building. After a short while of calmly exploring, now that we had immobilized everyone on the floor, we found an elevator and hit the button for the bottom floor.

As the doors opened Leo rushed the one scientist we saw while Kail and I both prepared to fire aura spheres at anyone else that came by. Luckily no one did, so we lowered our guard and started tearing through the floor in the same fashion as the previous one. Again we found very little of interest but on this floor we did find some test subjects, the first of which was a manectric. It was heartbreaking to find them. They hardly had the will to join us to escape, but Leo managed to convince them to help none the less.

Some of the experiments we found looked absolutely horrid, and it pained me to think of how many pokemon they had submitted to such things. Meanwhile some experiments were far too discrete to be thought of as evil at first glance, such as a few strange pokeballs, or devices that looked like simple pokemon apparel. Whenever I saw these things they made my blood boil and the only thing I could do to relieve the anger was to destroy the experiments with an aura sphere. With three more pokemon as reinforcements we took the stairs to the next level of the 5 floored complex.

Once again we tore through the floor, knocking out the employees we found and destroying any experiments, which Leo and Kail started doing as well when they saw how much of a relief it was for me. As with the last floor we found a few pokemon and freed them, but this time it was easier to get them to join us as their companions had gained a little hope just from watching how dedicated Leo Kail and I were to ripping this building apart.

We did find one set of doors we could not blast open, or even find a way into, but the freed pokemon said they had never been taken in there and that they hadn’t even heard what was behind the doors, so we continued upward and onward.

The center floor was more of the same though no one seemed to be manning the experiments on the floor. We rummaged through what we found while we had the break since we figured the remaining personnel had either fled upon hearing of our attack or had gathered on the two floors left above us.

With the third floor taken care of we took a moment to collect ourselves and plan our final run on the building. It came as a big surprise to the freed pokemon that I could understand them but they quickly got over it and shared what they knew.

From what they told us they were led around on leashes by escorts and there was a room they were kept in when they weren’t being studied, which, not unlike the previous island facility we encountered, had a good many pokemon kept in it.

After that was taken care of we went to the elevator and hit the up button. The elevator came and we hit the button for the floor above us, then rushed up the stairs as fast and quietly as we could. I peaked through the door that lead to the floor and, just as we expected, found multiple pokemon waiting for us with their trainers behind them. Our diversion worked like a charm since every one of them had focused on the shifting lights of the elevator thinking we were coming up that way. As the doors opened I saw the group launch their attacks at nothing. Once they started to attack we flung the doors open and rushed our opponents.

At this point it was more likely that I was in a blind rage than using my head, because I was the first trough the door, flinging aura spheres at any pokemon or trainer that dared to try and attack us. Of course Leo and Kail were much more nimble than me and as I rushed the group they leapt and bounced off of their respective walls, tackling one target to the ground and knocking it out before quickly spinning and picking another target. When it was all said and done 5 pokemon lay unconscious in that corridor with 3 of the trainers lying next to them. The other two were scared out of their minds wondering who in the world would be crazy enough to rush a group of powerful pokemon… let alone who would be strong enough to come out of the scramble virtually unscathed.

As I stood over the unconscious bodies Leo and Kail stood behind me waiting for either an order from me or something to react to. As the grunts took a step back the two Lucario took a step to rush them but I stopped them by blocking their path with my arms. Once they got the meaning of my gesture they relaxed as the freed pokemon padded over the bodies to join them. As they did I stared coldly at the two grunts and started walking firmly towards them.

One grunt turned and ran down the hall but as the second started to turn I lost it. There was no way I would let them BOTH run from me! I bolted at the closest one and caught him with no trouble, grabbing the neck of his shirt and wrenching him back into a wall as I pinned him where he landed. Even I didn’t know I had the strength to lift him up off the floor by his shirt but somehow I did and as I met his terrified gaze with my own enraged look I spoke.

“Tell me! Are you keeping a Lucario here!” I yelled at him as I pushed him farther up the wall to accentuate my point.

“N-no… I-I don’t know of a Lucario…” He managed but it didn’t satisfy me.

“If you’re lying and I find her here I will personally kill you!!! Now where is she!!!!!” I yelled in response, pressing even hard on him and glaring at the man.

“I… don’t… know…” He replied, still in his terrified voice and through the fact that I was holding him so tight I was choking him.

“Useless!!!” I yelled as I set him down and gave him as hard of a left hook as I could. I watched him fall to the ground unconscious and a few tears fell from my eyes as I quickly thought of how to continue.

“Leo, Kail… Find the other pokemon and free them… Get them out of here I’ll meet you at the entrance to the lab…” I said coldly as I turned from the wall I was facing and looked further down the hall for anything I could see.

“D-dad?” Leo replied cautiously. I had scared him nearly as much as my victim since he didn’t even think it was possible for me to loose my cool like that.

“Do it!!! I’ll be fine.” I said, yelling the first part but adding the last in a calmer tone that showed them I wasn’t still out of my mind. After a few seconds manectric nudged Kail and motioned down a corridor. Kail took one last look at me then bolted in the direction manectric had motioned. As the others followed Kail, Leo remained where he was, still reluctant to leave me alone.

“Be careful…” He said to me before taking off after Kail, not allowing me to reply.

“I will…” I muttered and started walking down the hall. I kicked in a few doors and found nothing, but when I came to the end of the hallway I found a set of double doors. I entered and found an observation room overlooking a three story square room with an enormous metal sphere in the middle that had many “tentacles” running from it to the walls, no doubt providing power or some such thing to the experiment.

“I wonder what that is…?” I wondered angrily to myself as I charged an aura sphere and aimed it at the glass in front of me. I fired and to my surprise the sphere went right through and continued on to the metal apparatus.

“Oh shit!” I said out loud as I ducked and futilely covered my head fearing an explosion that might level half the city.

I heard the explosion of my sphere but nothing followed… After that tense moment I stood up hesitantly and surveyed what I had done. As I looked I realized the glass I thought would be more than bullet proof was really plain window glass. Apparently there was nothing really dangerous in the sphere, but as I looked at the hole in the sphere made by my attack I saw a red glow coming from inside.

‘Hmph. I’ll have to get Kail to check that out.’ I thought as I turned around and started walking out of the room. When I first entered I was practically drunk with anger, but thinking I was going to blow up the city was pretty sobering, though not quite as much as finding another trainer in the hall I came from.

“Wow you’re pretty foolish… What possessed you to let your pokemon go off on their own leaving you defenseless?” The girl asked mockingly as she twirled a pokeball through her fingers.

“Am I to assume you’re in charge here…?” I practically growled at this new opponent.

“You could… or I could just be someone that’s after a promotion and not afraid of you…” She replied cruelly with a sneer to match. Once again I felt my blood boiling, but this time I managed to hold my temper.

“I gave you fair warning… So what’s it gonna be?” I replied with an angry glare of my own, but the girl only laughed, furthering my rage and getting a snarl from me.

“There’s no question! I’m taking you to the boss to get a nice fat promotion!” She said tauntingly and grabbed the pokeball she had been playing with.

“… Like I said… I gave you fair warning. I’m not going with you.” I replied calmly, though there was the obvious tone of hate in my voice.

“You are whether you like it or not!” She answered angrily, as if I had finally gotten to her with my refusal. At that moment she threw the ball releasing a Rhydon that roared menacingly then looked side to side before locking on me. I met its gaze but it was still confused as to where its opponent was.

“Attack him! But don’t kill him. I have to have something to return to the boss…” The girl ordered the rhydon, but it looked at me in disbelief.

“… You’re kidding how can I not squish this human…?” The rhydon muttered to itself as it stomped its foot, preparing to charge me.

“We’ll see who’s squashed after you charge…” I replied loud enough for it to hear, which, as always, threw it for a loop. Its eyes widened as it realized I had understood it, but this didn’t stop it from charging me.

“Really!? Let’s just test that!” It roared as it started lumbering down the hall at me.

As the rhydon charged at me I lowered my head and closed my eyes for a moment then stared coldly at it for another. Finally I charged an aura sphere in my right hand and threw it as fast as I could at the pokemon. Before the rhydon could even react to my movements the sphere hit it right between the eyes, knocking it off balance and completely unconscious. With an impact that virtually shook the entire building the pokemon hit the ground, and at that moment the girl’s jaw hit the floor. She just stared at her rhydon lying there and failed to realize I was walking towards her.

“Withdraw your pokemon and get out… Your organization took someone dear to me and I WILL get her back… So stay out of my way.” I said coldly as I stopped next to her momentarily. I watched as she froze, but made no attempt to make contact with her. It was yet another part of my personality, I held women in much higher regard than men, and even though this girl had just attacked me I wouldn’t knock her out like the previous grunts that stood up to me. Let alone judging by her reaction that Rhydon I had just knocked out was her strongest pokemon, which really seemed to hit home that I wasn’t here for fun. Yet through it all she was never as cold hearted as I had come to expect grunts to be. When I had killed that abomasnow before, its trainer didn’t even bat an eye, yet this girl seemed genuinely worried about her rhydon which was another reason I wasn’t going to go overboard in confronting her.

“This way…” Manectric instructed as she lead Leo and Kail down a corridor to where Darkrai kept the pokemon caged. They ran down the hall and entered the room when they reached the doors, where they found many different sized cages. As the few already freed pokemon quickly entered the room Leo closed the doors and began looking for a way to barricade them from the two grunts that had given chase, but Kail already had an idea.

“Get out here!” Kail yelled after blasting the lock off of the biggest cage he could find, ordering its occupant to come out and assist them. Leo also got the idea and started running from cage to cage knocking the locks off as he went.

As the occupants halfheartedly poked their heads out to see what was going on Leo and Kail started enlisting help. Many of the pokemon were hesitant to try and escape, no doubt they had tried to resist and failed miserably at first, then given up all hope of escaping after their time there. However, one by one they started gaining confidence enough to listen to Leo and Kail. When all was said and done there were 20 pokemon under their command, of which three were easily strong enough to pick the cages up and pile most of them at the door as a very effective barricade.

“Now what…?” Leo asked Kail after a nervous sigh. He was wholly justified to be nervous at the moment seeing as they had just locked themselves in an underground room with only one entrance/exit.

“Well… I say we relax for a bit. If they get in we fight them and run for it but otherwise we’re safe for now so we have time to figure a way out of this.” Kail answered calmly as he sat down and leaned against the wall. All the other pokemon seemed pretty anxious and Leo couldn’t bring himself to relax as Kail had. The fact that they were essentially trapped had his nerves tied in knots.

“Are you kidding?! Dad’s probably worried sick that we haven’t met him at the exit! Kail we have to get out of here!” Leo said frantically in a voice that was just short of a yell, though he wasn’t mad, just concerned.

After I spoke my warning I continued walking down the hall towards where Leo and Kail had gone. However as I came to the intersection I realized many of the bodies were gone. Apparently the trainers had woken up and withdrew their fainted pokemon, but it worried me that they might have gone after my companions, after all I hadn’t expected them to wake up so soon. When I saw this I started being a bit more cautious. I knew there was a good chance they had enlisted the help of their remaining pokemon and that there was no way I could take them all on alone. As I peaked around a corner I saw the three grunts from before, plus two new ones trying to bust in a door.

“Calm down. Everything’s fine. If I know your dad he’s still looking for some hint as to where your mother is. Besides we practically have an army here, if you can convince them to help there’s no way the remaining personnel can keep us here.” Kail replied once again in his collected tone, though this time he opened his eyes and looked up at Leo to show he really wasn’t worried about their situation.

“Okay.” Leo replied as he took a deep breath to calm himself before turning to the group of pokemon that was starting to argue amongst themselves about if their mutiny would go unpunished and if it would work. It took quite a bit of persuading but Leo managed to convince the pokemon that he and Kail wouldn’t leave anyone behind, and that they would most certainly escape, but as Leo looked around he realized the manectric that had led them to the room was nowhere in sight…

“L-lisa? What’s going on?” an Espeon asked weekly as a Manectric padded her was into his cage with her head hung low.

“You were right… Someone did come to help us. Just like you kept telling me…” She said sadly as she went over and lay down with the Espeon, curling her much larger body around him and nuzzling him, which he returned with as much strength as he could.

“See… Now you can get out of here and find your trainer like you wanted to…” Psy replied as he smiled for her and licked her cheek, though his words only seemed to depress her more.

“… Psy… I never told you this… My trainer is… who put me here… He abandoned me to Darkrai. He thought I was too weak…” She said as she laid her head down next to him.

“Oh… So you have no where to go do you…?” He replied as he relaxed with her.

“No… But I won’t leave you…” She replied as her eyes began to tear up, she already knew what his answer would be…

“I won’t last much longer Lisa… It’s alright… Just go with them, at least they can get you out of here. From there everything’s a lot better…” He said encouragingly as he relaxed further and closed his eyes to just listen to her.

“Don’t say that… You’re going to be fine now. I’ll get them to take you to a pokemon center… Psy… PSY!?” She spoke, trying to convince him to hang on, but she became frantic when she noticed he had his eyes closed.

“I’m still here… Please Lisa… It was nice getting to know you… I’m only sorry I can’t stay… Just… go with them, please… If you stay here things will only get worse for you…” He replied though his voice seemed to be fading.

“Psy… No… Psy! Please you can’t… You’re all I have… You’re the only one who would talk to me here…” She pleaded as she nuzzled him sadly, her tears flowing freely now.

“Thank you… I wasn’t sure if you’d come back for me… But I’m glad you did… If you didn’t know… I love you… Goodbye Lisa…” Psy managed as he used all the energy he had left to flick his tail on her leg and to raise his head and give her one last lick.

“I love you too Psy… Psy!? No… Please come back… Psy……!” Was all she could say as she could no longer hold back the flood of tears in her eyes. It seemed as if both his vague predictions had come true… She had been freed, but he couldn’t come with her…

“Manectric? Are you alright?” Leo asked as he came over to the cage he had heard her cries from.

“My name’s Lisa! Now leave me alone…! Just get out of the building. Leave me here…” She growled at Leo as he bent down to look in the cage, but the instant he saw the scene he froze. Not because Lisa had growled at him but because he saw what had her so upset. The Espeon she was curled up with… was dead.

“Leave!” She commanded once more when Leo didn’t move, but this time he shakily stood back up and left the two alone as he headed over to Kail to fill him in. Kail only winced as Leo explained, and when Leo asked what he should do Kail remained silent for a short time.

“Leave her alone for now… You don’t want to upset her more… Let’s get out of here, it sounds like the grunts have given up trying to get in, maybe we can take them by surprise now.” He finally said as he stiffly stood up and stretched. “Hey Nidoking! Can you fire a hyper beam there?” Kail asked with an air of authority as he pointed to the pile of cages, but just as the Nidoking nodded an immense hyper beam utterly destroyed the busted cages and half the wall they were stacked against. Before anyone knew what had happened Lisa stalked out of the cage she had been in with a glazed look in her eye. She didn’t even acknowledge the others as she made her way to the destroyed wall and out into the hall, though by the time she left the room arcs of electricity had begun to coarse over her entire body.

Both Leo and Kail exchanged glances and immediately ran towards the hallway, but stopped suddenly as bolts of lightning flooded the corridor. When the bolts subsided the two Lucario leapt into the hall to see Lisa stalking down the hall towards a few other Darkrai grunts at the very end of the corridor. As they rounded the corner she roared at them and charged after them with a look of utter rage on her muzzle.

“Holy shit!!!” I swore out loud as I recoiled back around the corner I was behind to avoid the bolts of lightning coming at me. I had poked my head around the corner to see what the previous explosion had been, only to find an enraged manectric firing a powerful thunder attack out in all directions. I stood still as she stalked past me without even batting an eye, and after she roared and tore after the few remaining Darkrai grunts in the building I looked back around the corner to see Leo and Kail standing at the end of the hall with a surprised yet scared look on each of their faces.

As I surveyed the scene a little more I saw a few corpses lying in the hall, no doubt the electricity had killed them. Even though they were with Darkrai I felt bad about their deaths, it wasn’t something I was accustomed to seeing. However, after my initial assessment I threw everything but my concern of escape out of my mind. I ran down the hall to Leo and Kail asking what had just happened, and I couldn’t help but sympathize for Lisa, who had just lost herself in a rage. Once Leo was done and I had managed to calm him down a bit, I told Kail to take the other pokemon out of the building while Leo and I took care of one last thing.

As I led Leo back to the observation room I realized the rhydon I had knocked out was no longer in the corridor and the girl was gone as well, though I only hoped for her sake that she hadn’t found herself in the path of the manectric.

When Leo saw what I was talking about by a red glow he understood what I wanted him to do. Without hesitation he knocked away the remaining glass and leapt to the metal sphere to peer inside. To my surprise he tilted his head to the side and crawled in through the hole I had made, emerging a short time later with a square red item.

“What is it?” He asked me once he had made it back to the observation deck and showed me what he found.

“I don’t know but let’s take it with us and we’ll find out later.” I replied as I looked up at him and motioned for him to follow me. As we neared the stairs and the intersection where Lisa had run off Leo stopped me.

“Dad… We can’t leave Lisa…” He said, but I was already two steps ahead of him.

“I know, come on.” I replied as I turned quickly and kept running the way she had taken. We came to a few more intersections but followed the scorch marks left on the walls and eventually found her. She had cornered the two remaining grunts in a small room, and with no way for them to escape she had electrocuted them.

As we came upon her she was letting out bolt after bolt of electricity into the corpses, all while she sobbed uncontrollably.

“You better get her attention. If I try I’m likely to end up like they did…” I whispered to Leo motioning to the Darkrai grunts. With a hard swallow and a nod Leo agreed and slowly walked to Lisa.

“L-lisa…?” Leo started which got her attention.

“Psy…!?” Lisa gasped happily in surprise as she spun with her teary eyes wide, but her pained heart only grew sadder when she realized it was Leo.

“You… what do you want…? I told you to leave me alone.” She replied with a snarl but her heart wasn’t in her actions.

“We won’t leave you… Now come on, there’s nothing more for you here, everyone’s gone.” I said sadly as I walked up and put an arm around Leo. Now that Leo had her attention I knew I wasn’t going to get zapped if I spoke, and I could tell I had relieved Leo of the same worry since he felt very tense as I put my arm on his shoulder.

“I’m not leaving… I won’t…” She replied as she looked down at her paws, while still allowing her tears to flow freely.

“Look… I know it hurts… You know far better than me how it feels to loose someone entirely but Darkrai took my mate so I can at least relate. Please just get out of here with us I won’t ask you to do anything else.” I continued seeing her resolve beginning to waver, and as I finished I knelt down in front of her and put my hand on her forehead. I felt a light buzz of electricity run through me at first but it subsided as she looked up at me to reply.

“Fine… But I want you to do something for me if I agree to leave this place…” She spoke solemnly.

“What’s that?” I asked caringly as I stood back up and took my hand off of her.

“I won’t leave Psy here… Could you bring his body and bury him for me…?” She replied as her eyes began wavering at the thought.

“Alright. I will.” I answered and let her lead the way back to her fallen friend.

When we reached his cage she nuzzled his head once with a whimper before stepping back and allowing me to pick the Espeon up. I held the poor thing close to me and treated him as a newborn kit as we made our way up the stairs to the door we had come in through. I found a few more grunts knocked out along the way and figured Kail had silenced the reinforcements as he found them.

We exited the building and found Kail standing there with the others, after which we headed to the police station. For fear of being arrested I wrote a note explaining everything and gave it to one of the pokemon to hand to Jenny. I signed it F., L., K. at the bottom just to keep her guessing. Once that was taken care of we set out to the edge of the city, with me still carrying Psy’s corpse in my arms. About half a mile out we found a suitable place and dug a grave for him, marking it simply but effectively.

Since it was already well into the night we found a place far enough off of the road that we wouldn’t be found and tried to get some sleep after the earlier events. Lisa, however, wouldn’t leave Psy’s grave and as we walked from the road she curled up next to the freshly dug up earth and rested her head where he was buried.

The raid took its toll on all of us. Leo had never seen death before and from what I could tell he was pretty shaken with what we had to do just to raid the one facility. Kail silently reflected on the events though I knew they bothered him much less than anyone else since he had to endure Darkrai once before. I knew Lisa was a wreck as well and I simply hoped she would take care of herself. Finally I couldn’t help but feel terrible as well. We hadn’t found Luca, sure we helped those pokemon but it just seemed like a hollow victory.

Either way I was tired and still mildly depressed. I just wanted to get some sleep and start again the next day, hopefully making the right choice that would save Luca, but I had to say something to Leo before I drifted off.

“Hey… I know it feels strange Leo, it still does to me too, just try not to let it get to you. Alright?” I started solemnly which got Kail’s attention as well.

“I’ll try, but people… and pokemon, died in there… I thought I was gonna be sick…” He replied, not looking away from his paws.

“I know… but you did a good job. We didn’t kill anyone. It was just bad luck that Lisa’s friend didn’t make it. If he had things would have been different… All we can do is not let ourselves get carried away… I hate to say it but if we do we’re no better than them… Now don’t worry about it. In my opinion it could have been much worse I’m very proud of how you and Kail kept things together…” I continued and rubbed Leo’s back lightly to make sure he got my point. Sadly It was a little to much for him and he couldn’t control himself for very long afterwards. He sighed as I finished then started crying again, though it was apparent he was trying to hold back his tears. Seeing this I wrapped my arms around him as he seemed to revert to a little kid again. Of course I would never hold such a thing against him and I completely understood.

“I just want this to be over… I don’t want to hurt anyone else. I just want mom back…” He said into my shirt through his tears, but all I could think of as a response was to hold him tight and rub his back as I said, “I know…” comfortingly. Seeing this Kail got up and sat down next to Leo to help in his own way.

“Thanks for the help today Leo, I couldn’t have done it without you. I know it’s hard but just hang in there.” Kail said confidently and kindly before glancing up at me to see if I thought he would be alright.

“Thanks.” I mouthed as Leo calmed down enough to release me and collect himself.

“Thanks Kail… I’ll try.” He replied, sighing between sentences and lying back after wiping his eyes. I lay down next to him just to be sure I was there if he still needed me and before long the three of us had fallen fast asleep.

“I’m sorry Felix… That Gabite was just too strong for me…” Luca said, practically in tears as she walked ahead of me and sat on the park bench, unable to bring herself to face me after loosing her last bout. It was night and only the street light illuminated the area around the bench.

“I already told you it’s no big deal. I’m just glad you’re alright.” I said cheerfully as I sat next to her while Lady sat on the ground on Luca’s other side. Luca reached out and pet the fox lightly a few times before turning towards me to continue apologizing.

“No… No more apologizing. You didn’t do anything wrong.” I interrupted as I put my arm around her and rubbed her shoulder, smiling as I did so.

“But… I let you down…” She said sadly as she looked at me through the corner of her eye.

“Luca you could never let me down. We’ll get em next time that’s all there is to it.” I replied with a kind smile.

She slowly became less hesitant to look at me and eventually met my gaze with her own sad look. I simply looked happily into her ruby eyes as she looked at me. She still had tears in her eyes but she wasn’t crying and as I gazed at her I thought I saw her blush. I didn’t know why but as I looked at her I couldn’t have been happier at that moment, and as she seemed to get lost in my own eyes I brought my other arm around and drew her close to me. She didn’t resist my touch and reflexively laid her head on my chest. After another short while of holding her tight I leaned over and kissed her behind her ear, as a tear escaped my eye. She giggles lightly at my actions and nuzzles me a little more which got me to hug her tighter in return.

“Much better.” I said happily once I felt her relax in my arms, though I kept my eyes closed as I released her slightly…

I slowly opened my eyes only to find a bright light shining me in the face. As I sat up and let my eyes adjust I realized where I was… I was back in the forest with Leo and Kail beside me. It was already well into the day and the sun was shining through the trees into the clearing where we slept.

“I hope THOSE kind of dreams continue…” I muttered to myself as I got up to go relieve myself. I saw Leo and Kail were still sleeping soundly so I figured I’d let them rest up for a while longer, but instead of lying back down I went out to see how Lisa was doing.

I knew nothing about the pokemon and at first I only wanted to help her escape Darkrai, but I couldn’t help but sympathize for her and for some reason I felt like I should try to comfort her. I found her right where we had left her last night and in the same position as well.

“Feeling any better?” I asked as I kneeled beside her and saw she was already, or still…, awake.

“Just leave me… I won’t leave Psy.” She answered as she looked away from me, but without moving.

“But you’ll starve out here…” I replied calmly, still just trying to get her to talk.

“Good… Then I’ll see Psy again…” Was her cold response as another tear rolled down her muzzle.

“I don’t think that’s what he’d want you to do.” I said as I reached out and tried to stroke her side, but she immediately jerked away from me and stood up.

“How would you know! You didn’t know him, you didn’t even try to save him! Why should I listen to you anyway!? Give me one good reason not to fry you right here!” She growled as she stalked closer to me. I had at least gotten her off of Psy’s grave but I wasn’t sure this was much better…

“Because I only want to help… I know somewhat what you’re going through…” I replied sadly, and remained calm, not moving from my place but leaning away from Lisa as she got closer. The one thing I didn’t want to do was provoke her.

“No you don’t! You still have the hope that you’re mate is alive! I’ve lost everything! Psy was all I had left! He was the only thing that made those horrid days bearable! I never even got to ask him to BE my mate! How would you know what that feels like!? To have your entire life tossed way not once but twice!” She interrupted as she fully pinned me to the ground with a paw on my chest. Though I had actually succeeded in getting her to talk to me, I wasn’t to enthusiastic about how things were going, but at least I now understood what she was feeling, even if I could only imagine what it would be like to loose Luca forever.

“It’s not fair is it…?” I asked calmly, trying not to let the fact that she could electrocute me with very little trouble affect the tone of my voice.

“No…” She answered simply as the rage left her eyes. Somehow I knew she had picked up on how afraid I was despite my best efforts to hide it, and who knows, maybe it was the thought that I had freed her that calmed her down. After her answer she stepped off of me and turned back around to stand in front of Psy’s grave, simply looking sadly at it.

“Look… I won’t force you to leave him, but you can come with us if you’d like. I’ll be with Leo and Kail if you need me…” I said caringly as I got up and brushed myself off slowly, so as not to seem so casual about the situation. It was very odd to me, I sympathized with her but I didn’t know what I could do for her. Once I found Luca we would go home, and then what would become of Lisa? Though for the moment I put those thoughts out of my head and returned to the boys.

“Well? How is she?” Kail asked as he craned his head around to look at me casually. Leo was also awake and sitting to Kail’s right, looking at me with the same questioning expression.

“The same as last night. I don’t think she’ll actually take my offer but I told her she could come with us.” I replied sadly with a sigh. “You guys ready to go?” I asked a bit more cheerfully which got Kail to stand up happily to join me. Leo however, was a bit more reluctant. He stood up with us but still had his head hung.

“Alright. Where are we heading dad?” He said, perking up after a few seconds.

“Where ARE you heading…?” A feminine voice from behind me said.

“Well… To the next Darkrai facility, though it’s a good week away.” I said as I turned around to face Lisa.

“I-I’d like to come… You’re right… Psy wouldn’t want me killing myself because of him…” She admitted sadly as she hung her head and let her tail fall between her legs.

“Okay. You’re welcome to come with us.” I said with an understanding voice as I covered the few steps between us and laid my hand once again on her forehead. She lifted her head to look at me in response, though the look she had still saddened me. Her eyes were half glazed, she still didn’t have the will to continue living. I had only made a point she realized was true and she didn’t want to let Psy down even though he was gone.

“But I have an idea first… Come on, all of you.” I continued once I saw her face, I just hoped my idea would cheer her up a little.

As we walked I started picking whatever flower I came by. The others soon figured out what I was doing so Leo and Kail started covering a wider area looking for more flowers. Once Lisa saw what I was doing she got the idea too and thankfully it did cheer her up to know we were doing something for her. When it was all said and done we had quite a substantial bouquet with many different kinds of flowers. We then headed back to where we buried Psy and I handed Lisa the bouquet.

“Good bye Psy… I’ll never forget you… My love…” She said once she had set the flowers on his grave.

Not one of us said a word as she did so but after another minute of standing there I came up behind her and gently put my hand on the back of her head spike to say, “We should go…” without a word. I could tell it was very painful for her to leave but as her tears started trickling down her face she reluctantly turned to start walking down the path with us. After about half a mile she had stopped crying but she was still dragging her feet and walking sadly a short ways behind us, yet still keeping up with us at the same time.

That night Leo and I slept beside each other as usual, with Kail not far away, but Lisa remained on the outskirts of our little group, curling up alone as Kail once had when he didn’t want to impose on us…

Over that week of traveling things gradually got better. We managed to comfort Lisa a bit and get her to stop sleeping so far away. She also started walking with us instead of behind us. Though for the rest of us things were still tough as well. Kail was back to his normal attitude in a few days once Leo and I improved our moods by coming to terms with what had happened at the last facility.

Also along the way we took another look at the red plate we stole from Darkrai. Lisa didn’t know what it was but we figured it was something important if Darkrai had dedicated that many resources to studying it. For the moment though we could figure nothing else out and set it aside to ask someone about later, though I did notice it was warm to the touch, just like Lady was when she was happily curled up…

When we reached our target facility we once again waited for nightfall and tore through the building. With Lisa it was much easier this time, since she still had quite a grudge to settle with the organization. Though she wouldn’t tell us exactly why she blamed them for Psy’s death we knew it was the reason for her rage. This time however I had talked with her and convinced her not to blindly kill anyone that opposed us, which she upheld with a dedication that surprised me.

However, we came up empty handed with this raid as well. Luca was nowhere to be found and no one knew anything about a Lucario... Save for the two that were attacking them… The one bonus we had was that we once again managed to rescue about 25 pokemon, and dropped them off at the police station the same way as before. Having found nothing to suggest otherwise we headed to the closest facility to try again.

Things continued like this for the next seven weeks. As we took out the facilities we had to take longer treks to find the next. My dreams continued, some good others so bad that I woke up like the first time, but thankfully the good outnumbered the bad.

The one thing that worried me greatly was that a few days after the second major facility I lost my ability to understand Lisa… That night I didn’t get any sleep as I kept wondering what would have caused me to loose that particular trait and not the others. Nothing about it made any sense to me, though it actually wasn’t all that difficult to comprehend… Luca must have been loosing faith in me… After that night things continued more or less normally, I could still understand Kail due to his wave guiding heritage and his own partial mastery of the techniques, while I could already understand Leo since he could speak English. After being on the road for some time after the loss of my ability I got along fine without it and continued the search.

During those first 9 weeks we must have taken out half a dozen facilities, and still found nothing of real interest. We thought we were close one time when I recognized a grunt on our raid. He was one of the three that took Luca from me, and a medic said he had treated a Lucario but they took it away to another facility, though which one he didn’t know. I nearly lost myself at his words and if it hadn’t been for Leo grabbing my arm before it collided with the medic he would have been dead...

Despite the setbacks we continued on and freed another 100 pokemon from Darkrai, leaving each group at the police station.

As we traveled we started hearing rumors about ourselves. Things like, “There’s someone attacking Darkrai facilities. No one knows who it is though…” or “Hey have you heard about the strange groups of pokemon that reappear after being stolen?” We only smirked as we overheard the rumors and wondered just how many there were.

During that tenth week we finally stopped at a city to get a decent meal and a good nights rest, though not everything was relaxation for me. There was a reason we had stopped at that particular city, and once we had checked into the center I told them I would be back later that night and that they should enjoy themselves. After that I headed out to find an old friend…

“Hey Felix! I got your message! You came just in time I just finished what you wanted.” Razor said as he let me into his house, thinking nothing of the fact that I was alone.

“Thanks.” I replied cheerfully as I followed him to his basement, which doubled as a workshop. He had mentioned on the island that he was a bit of an inventor and was very capable with electronics, but I never expected him to be able to fulfill my request, even I thought it was to farfetched of an idea.

“Here it is. Though I don’t know why you wanted it made into a pendant.” He said as he handed me the device, which was just what I had in mind.

“It’s perfect. Thanks again, I owe ya for this.” I replied as I took Luca’s ball from my belt and clipped the device carefully over the button of the small ball.

“So I guess it’s for Luca then hmm?” He asked casually, but his words felt to me like I had been shot.

“Ya…” I replied as I looked at the ball, toped now by a small sliver spike with a small loop on the end, which wouldn’t come off unless Luca pulled it off. That was the main purpose, it was a locking mechanism that prevented anyone, even me, from actually using the ball when the spike was attached, and it would only release if Luca herself pulled the two pieces apart.

“Something wrong Felix? Say where is Luca? If I remember right she never left your side.” Razor asked looking around a little.

“She was taken by Darkrai… I’m trying to find her now…” I replied with a sigh, which got him to lock his gaze on me when I finished.

“Why didn’t you say something! I’ll help you, those bastards can’t do that!” He yelled, offering to help at the same time, but I knew I couldn’t accept his offer.

“Don’t worry about it. I got it covered, thanks for the offer though. I really appreciate it, but this is personal, I don’t want you getting in any deeper with them than you already are.” I replied calmly, and from the look I gave him Razor could see this was painful enough and that I wasn’t going to accept his help.

“Alright then… Just give em a good smack for me then. Good luck.” He said as he patted me roughly on the shoulder and bid me farewell once we were at the door.

I made one more stop that day, and it was a t a jewelry store we had visited on our way in. Despite our current travels I still had a cash reserve to rely on, and at the shop I had requested they fix Luca’s necklace, which I kept in my pocket. They agreed and by the time I came by again they had it ready, with one other small addition I had requested. In the very center of the choker was a new clasp for a pendant, which is where I intended to put Luca’s ball once I found her. But for now I bought a silver chain designed for a male and threaded the ball pendant onto it before putting it around my neck. I paid the clerk for the repairs and the necklace and headed back to the center to get some rest with the others before we headed out the next morning, though when I got back things weren’t all that peaceful.

“What do you mean you don’t know where I’m gonna sleep? I’m sleeping in that bed!” Was where I entered the conversation as Kail seemed to be yelling at Lisa, though I heard an amused tone in his voice, but couldn’t tell if it was sincere or sarcastic.

“Hey dad. Grab a seat this is getting good. Lisa wants the bed and won’t let Kail sleep in it with her.” Leo replied as he looked happily over to me. He was sitting cross legged on the first bed which everyone seemed to realize was reserved for me and Leo.

“So why won’t you sleep in the same bed as him Lisa?” I asked innocently, even though I suspected a reason already.

“Are you joking!!!? He’s a male! Psy’s the only one I would EVER have curled up with!” She answered as she blushed and looked at me with wide eyes.

Leo translated word for word for me since Kail wasn’t going to help me understand Lisa. I already knew Leo was enjoying the argument, and I was involved now so I figured why not ease tensions among us a bit while I had the chance…

“I’m not asking you to have sex with him… Would you rather sleep with me in my bed instead?” I said casually, shrugging as I finished. Kail’s jaw dropped as he listened and turned to face me with wide eyes and jaw agape. Lisa had the same look and was blushing even deeper now. Meanwhile Leo was trying not to laugh and had his paw over his mouth while he stared at me with wide eyes as well. Of course with Leo I wasn’t sure what he was thinking, because this was the first serious joke I had made since we had started this journey.

“F-Felix!” Kail stuttered unable to say anything else in his disbelief.

“What? Solves the problem doesn’t it?” I once again answered casually, it wasn’t like I had suggested I would “sleep” with her either. Finally Leo couldn’t resist any longer and started laughing, which got Kail and Lisa to close their mouths and look away from each other resentfully, seeing as they only had themselves to blame for their embarrassment and neither of them would admit guilt to the other.

“I’m assuming you and Kail got cleaned up right?” I asked Leo once I had stopped laughing myself.

“Ya.” He answered simply, but from his eyes I saw he had to bite his tongue before he added something that Lisa would have glared at him for…

“Alright then. Lisa would you like a bath as well?” I offered with a kind smile, but I really wasn’t giving her a choice.

“Tric.” She replied, which I gathered meant “sure” since she started walking towards me glaring at Kail as she passed him.

“Don’t glare at me! I offered and you thought I was coming onto you!” Kail yelled defensively once he saw her look but she only turned her nose up at his words.

“Gah… Women. Take my advice Leo, don’t get involved with them.” Kail said as he threw his arms up and plopped down on the bed he and Lisa had been fighting over.

“They’re not all that bad.” Leo replied happily without thinking as he got off of what was no longer his bed and joined Kail.

“Oh? And what do you mean by that?” Kail questioned teasingly as he opened an eye and focused on Leo who was lying beside him. Leo only gagged and flushed deeply as he looked away, now fully realizing what he had said.

“I-I… Uh…” He stuttered trying to find something to counter, but failing miserably. Kail only laughed as Leo got flustered, he knew he had Leo now, and there was no escape.

“I’m gonna take a wild guess and bet that was about Latias. You really do like her don’t you?” Kail accused with a wide grin.

“Y-yes… I do…” Leo admitted sadly, which immediately sobered Kail.

“Hey… It’s nothing to be ashamed of. What’s wrong?” He asked in a more caring tone and sat up with Leo on the bed.

“I don’t want dad to know I like her… He only warns me about girls. I just don’t think he’d understand.” Leo answered reluctantly, but he knew Kail had him backed into a corner.

“Don’t worry about it Leo. I won’t tell him, but I think your dad would understand, which I’m guessing is why he hasn’t forced you to tell him about Latias.” Kail replied comfortingly.

“Y-you think he knows already…?” Leo asked, becoming a bit nervous now rather than shy.

“I think he has an idea, like I did. But I doubt he knows how you really feel.” Kail once again replied then laid back on the bed and yawned. Leo turned from Kail and stared at the wall, momentarily lost in thought before he too laid down on the bed.

“Thanks Kail.” Leo said happily as he closed his eyes.

“No problem.” Kail answered without even moving.

It was actually unnerving giving Lisa a bath. She was enjoying it but I couldn’t understand her now, so I couldn’t talk to her to find out why she was having so much difficulty with Kail. I knew he wasn’t trying to get into fights with her, but as to why she accused him of coming onto her I had no idea, especially when I knew he was only being nice. Still I knew I couldn’t stop them and I just continued doing the best I could to keep our group together.

I knew Lisa was enjoying the bath since I could feel her relax under her coat, and every now and then she would let out a soft moan. I had left my pants on for obvious reasons, I didn’t want to be accused of the same thing Kail had… and it was because of this I avoided cleaning one specific spot on her as well. From the way she acted I knew she didn’t mind and in fact I got the feeling that she was silently thanking me for my courtesy. Once I was done with her I dried her off as best I could and let her go back out to the room.

With a growl of discontent she cleared the door, apparently she thought she would have to sleep in Kail’s bed, but when she realized that particular bed was full, with Leo and Kail both sleeping soundly already, she stopped in surprise. She turned to look at me, but I had remained in the bathroom to get a shower myself. Seeing this she turned back to the beds and actually got an ashamed look on her face as she leapt up onto the open bed and curled up, taking care to leave me enough room to sleep comfortably.

‘I didn’t think they would actually cater to me like that…’ She thought to herself as she drifted off, not giving it to much thought but still feeling a bit guilty about raising such a fuss about something that seemed so trivial now.

When I emerged from my hot shower I found Lisa already fast asleep, so I crawled into the bed with her as smoothly as possible. Though as I moved the covers to get in I heard her growl slightly, but she didn’t move so I figured it was just an unconscious reaction and laughed quietly to myself about it as I fell asleep, having yet another dream about Luca, but thankfully it was a nice one, and it didn’t ruin one of the best day’s I’d had in a long time…
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