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?

An Old Home

The next morning I woke to a very sweet aroma wafting through the room. I stirred and rubbed my eyes as I sat up on the edge of the bed, and looked around once my vision had cleared.
The decor was as one would expect for an ancient hut, but it was still very nice, and surprisingly, there were modern aspects to the building as well, though at the moment I didn’t take the time to appreciate them. Instead my mind drifted back to why I was here… I had left everyone and everything I knew, including the only family I’d ever known, but my dad had promised me it would be better if I came back with him...

As I sat there sadness overtook me again. I had left everyone without so much as a goodbye. I knew Leo would never forgive me and Felix… He’d probably be upset with me. Elli would probably hate me as well for leaving her there… but I didn’t know what else to do… Just being around Felix was confusing. I felt should hate him! He used me! I was nothing but a toy… wasn’t I…? But… before I left he said he would always love me… and I just can’t convince myself that I truly hated him… I don’t know what I feel, but I know I don’t hate him… I don’t know if it’s love or guilt either though…

“You’re awake.” A soft, kind, female’s voice said from across the room. I hadn’t realized it but I was resting my head in my paws as tears ran from my eyes because of my thoughts. With a soft yelp I looked up quickly to see a beautiful female Lucario standing in the room’s entrance with two mugs in her paws. She looked exactly like me in terms of a Lucario’s fur and markings, but her form was slightly different, perhaps it was just that she was older and her curves seemed a bit more mature than mine, but I couldn’t quite put my paw on it.

The one thing I did notice though was the necklace she wore and the golden rings around the base of each of her head ornaments. The necklace looked like some kind of tribal jewelry, and had four black pendants identical to a Lucario’s head ornaments spaced evenly along a black chain or rope, I couldn’t tell the actual material for the band but at the very bottom hung a gorgeous multicolored crystal shaped just like the other pendants though it was two inches in length, making it larger than the others.

I could only stare with sad eyes at the woman before me. I knew who she must be, but I was ashamed to be in front of her, considering how I ended up here, and that I had only just learned about her the day before.

“How are you feeling?” She asked as she moved across the room and sat beside me after giving me the chance to look her over.

“Better…” I lied sadly as I forced myself to stop staring and wiped my eyes.

“You probably don’t remember me. After all you were only this big when I last saw you.” She continued cheerfully, making a gesture with her paws to show me how big she remembered me being. “I’m your mother sweetie, my name’s Ruki.” She finished, giving me a warm smile and seeming to wait for my reaction.

“I’m sorry I disappointed you and dad…” I answered after a short pause, but I found I couldn’t look back at her. It simply felt wrong after everything that happened, but I should have expected what she did next.

“You could never let us down honey. Here, drink this. You’ll feel better, then I’ll give you the grand tour.” She said in the same kind voice as she handed me one of the mugs she brought with her. As I took the mug I noticed it was the origin of the sweet scent from before, and that it smelled like a form of tea as well.

Personally I had never liked tea, Felix did, but I found it too bitter. This, however, was different. I sniffed the liquid as I held the cup in my paws then took a long sip. To my surprise it was very sweet, though it was defiantly tea. Unconsciously I inhaled again as I smiled lightly and let out an “Mmmm”. My mother smiled warmly at me as she took a sip of her own drink. I immediately realized what I had done and felt bad for loosing myself in the moment. My ears flattened as I looked down in shame once again.

“Maybe I should explain some things first… What’s bothering you?” She said calmly once she realized I wasn’t going to cheer up and enjoy myself.

“I-I don’t know… everything… I left them all without a word, I’m not sure how I feel about anything, and my own son probably hates me now… I just don’t know what to do… let alone I probably disgraced you and dad by coming back…” I blurted sadly, but I wasn’t frantic anymore, instead I simply sat there with my ears back and my tail wrapped tightly to my side as I spoke and stared at the drink in my paws.

“Well first of all, you haven’t disgraced us at all. Honey, what we do here is very personal. Everyone here wishes the best for every child that is given a home. Believe me, no one, especially your father and I, will think any less of you for coming back. As for everything else, you shouldn’t worry about it right now. I know something that can help but you have all the time you need, there’s no reason to hurry.” Ruki offered, and put a paw on my back to accentuate her point. I tensed from her touch at first, but quickly relaxed as my ears began to creep forward.

“What do you mean there’s something that can help?” I asked sadly, thinking with what I’d been told and seen so far, there was some “magical” fix to this like going back in time or something…

“I’ll show you, but not right now. My goodness you’ve gotten big…” She replied kindly, loosing control of her thoughts momentarily as she smiled at me. With what she said, I couldn’t help but smile and giggle lightly. Hearing her say that cheered me up greatly, though I don’t know why. I suppose it was that I finally felt more at ease. I was still fretting over everything, but I now felt better than I had in a long time, and I could only guess it was because I now knew my mother didn’t hate me for all of this. I finally had someone that unconditionally supported me after what happened. I knew Leo supported me, or at least I thought he did, but I also knew on some level that he was defending his dad and trying to get me to give Felix another chance.

“Thanks… mom. But it has been a while since you’ve seen me.” I replied, having a little trouble calling her my mother, again since I had only just met her, but continued with a forced smile and a cheerful tone.

“I guess you’re right. You’re so beautiful, you always were… and I can’t believe you’re a mother yourself!” She said cheerfully, and suddenly I knew where I got my own disposition from.

“Thank you, and yes. I only wish you could meet him.” I replied with a slight blush and took another sip of my drink.

“I’m sure I will someday. Do you like the tea?” My mother replied.

“Yes actually. What is it?” I said curiously, it almost tasted like a few berries I had tried while traveling.

“Well a lot of berries grow around here. If you boil them with tea leaves it makes an interesting flavor.” She explained and finished off the little bit of her drink that was left. I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle once as she explained, I guess I was better at identifying things than I thought.

“What?” She continued after hearing my reaction.

“I was just thinking it tasted like wild berries.” I said with a smile and finished mine off as well.

“Alright then. Let’s have a look around, shall we?” My mother said after a laugh, as she stood up and gently took my mug from me. I joined her and followed her through the hut where, after a quick tour, she took me out into the village to show me around.

I looked around the immediate surroundings when we exited the hut. It was a very nice village with many huts for the inhabitants, both human and Lucario. My mother started to lead me around, pointing out a few interesting things here and there, but as we continued I couldn’t help but notice that many Lucario were sneaking looks at us, though mostly at me. At first I thought it might just be because I was a female and I appeared single and young, let alone I could swear more males were sneaking looks than females, but then I noticed a few couples were looking at me the same way. Once I noticed this I figured out why I was being stared at and my ears folded back as I shyly followed my mother.

“Don’t worry hun. It’s not what you think… You’ll see eventually.” She said kindly as we continued down the main thoroughfare of the village, but as we continued I started to notice a change. The path changed from dirt and grass to a smooth stone. The huts still lined the path, but they were getting fewer and far between until they stopped all together as pillars took their place and lined the path in a row on either side of where we were walking. The pillars had carvings in them and seemed to progress through some kind of sequence but I couldn’t make sense of them. I found myself looking around at the pillars and the rest of my new surroundings, and found that it reminded me of a temple… As if on cue my mother stopped and brought my attention to a large stone building in front of us. I marveled at its size since it was rather large for an ancient structure, yet it looked brand new at the same time.

“I assume your father told you about our history. The clans built this place when they found each other. Of course it was long time ago but we keep it looking brand new.” She said as we continued walking casually up to the structure, entering through the main arc. The inside was even more amazing than the outside. As we entered the first room I noticed there was an immense painting of an aura sphere on the floor, and an ornate carved scene in the ceiling. I took a moment to appreciate the art and recognized a figure in the ceiling. Once I noticed it I realized it had been in quite a few of the scenes on the pillars. The figure was of a catlike creature that Felix had once shown me a picture of on the computer. “Mew” was the name I recalled, and I also remembered it as being a very rare pokemon, only one or possibly two of its kind on the planet from what Felix had told me.

The painted and carved scenes were amazing but from that large entry room there were five paths, each with their own Mew carving above the doorway. As far as I knew they were only decorative, and didn’t seem to tell much of a story except to link this, “temple,” for lack of a better word, to Mew.

My mother led me through the long central corridor, which was lit by small windows to the outside. At the end we stopped in another large room with a pool that looked to be about five feet in diameter and one inch thick in the middle of the floor. Once again there was an ornate carved scene overhead, and at the far end of the room were a few steps with two lit torches at the top where another Lucario sat between the torches.

I couldn’t exactly tell how old my parents were, although I knew from their appearance they were quite a bit older than me, but the Lucario that sat in this room looked far older than even my parents. What was normally black fur on a Lucario was laced with quite a bit of silvery gray fur on this one, his blue and yellow fur also seemed less vibrant with more of a gray tinge, however, his physical condition appeared to be amazingly unchanged.

As we entered the elder Lucario was sitting cross legged with his eyes closed and his head ornaments spread as if he were in a wave sight trance. I noticed then that he had bands on each of his head ornaments, three on each, but each set was different and very well decorated. Another thing I realized when we got closer was that his wrist and chest spikes seemed worn, with a good many scratches or gouges in the metal. They looked painful but since I knew we had no feeling in our metal spikes, I knew it wouldn’t have hurt him after the initial blows.

My mother led me into the room casually and walked around the pool, which was filled with a strange bluish purple substance. When we were between the elder Lucario and the pool my mother offered for me to sit on one of the pads I had failed to notice on the floor. Unsure of what was going on I timidly sat on the floor and laid my ears back respectfully as I faced the elder and as my mother sat on a pad beside me.

“It’s good to see you again Luca.” The old Lucario said to me after another second. As he spoke he came out of his trance and looked directly at me with his kind red eyes, but otherwise didn’t move.

Thinking I should be reverent to this obviously important figure I bowed my head as he addressed me and intended to only respond if asked a question.

“You like your job to much Bren. Who were you watching this time?” My mother said accusingly, and upon hearing her I snapped a scared gaze towards her.

“Same old Ruki… You could at least try not to scare your daughter.” The elder laughed as he easily stood up and descended from his pedestal, giving me a warm smile as he moved. I was actually pretty impressed. For how old he seemed to be he was in perfect physical condition. He looked like a normal Lucario aside from his aged fur, heck there wasn’t a single visible wrinkle on him.

When my mother heard the elder speak she looked to me with a worried expression. When she saw I was just shocked at what she said she giggled a little and stood while the elder approached me and knelt to my level, forcing me to look him in the face as he spoke.

“There’s no need to worry Luca. We’re not as strict as you might think. Now come on, relax, you’re safe here. There’s no shame in being here and no one thinks any less of you. Any looks you get from the others is just because they wonder what happened and sympathize. Oh, and my name’s Brennus.” He said with a soft, grandfatherly kind tone, and I found myself greatly comforted by his presence. He was very nice, and apparently had a sense of humor…

“Thank you sir…” I said respectfully as he offered a paw and helped me to my feet, but at my words he chuckled and looked back at my mother.

“At least she got her manners from her father.” He teased again, getting a playfully insulted huff from my mother before he continued. “I take it your mother has shown you around the village. What do you think so far?”

“It’s nice… There’s a lot more people here than I thought though…” I replied shyly, finding that I was still unsure of myself, and thinking of how it was actually growing up with Felix that made me so polite…

“I’m sorry we lied to you Luca, but we have to remain a secret.” Brennus replied, and I understood but everything I was hearing lately only confused me more. I knew the basics about this place, but having everything explained so quickly was getting overwhelming. My mind raced with all of this new information, even dragging back up what my father had told me, but with everything I had been told I started wondering, what was I doing here…? I didn’t know this place… and why couldn’t I stop thinking of Felix? Why did I feel so strange about someone who only saw me as a tool, and why, if he saw me that way, had he gone to such lengths to get me back, especially if he didn’t actually love me…? And why!? Couldn’t I bring myself to face him or just let him go!?

“Luca?” Brennus said curiously.

“Honey?” My mother said quickly after Brennus, both of their voices snapping me out of my thoughts and making me realize I had looked away from them sadly without responding to Brennus, of course now I couldn’t remember what he had said…

“I’m sorry… I was thinking of something else.” I said sadly, and bowed my head slightly in apology.

“You were thinking of your companion weren’t you?” Brennus asked sincerely as he remained there in front of me, but when my ears folded further back and I remained silent he continued. “We support you here Luca. Everyone will support you despite their opinion of your companion. What’s important is what you think… I don’t need my abilities to see you feel betrayed, scared, and confused. And I’m sure bringing you here just put more stress on your mind. Luca, you must understand that you’re safe here, and no matter what choice you make, you can stay here as long as you want.” Brennus said calmly, but I still felt rushed, and I couldn’t take my head spinning any more.

“What choice!? What do I have to choose from!? I left everyone I’d ever known because I felt pressured! How is this any different!? Everyone keeps saying I have a choice! I don’t…! I can’t go back… He’ll hate me, Leo will hate me… Everyone there will think I betrayed them… I can’t go back…” I said, yelling at Brennus and my mother at first, but gradually calming down and ending up with tears falling from my closed eyes once again.

“Hon…” My mother started and took a step towards me, but Brennus stopped her with an outstretched paw.

“Leave her here with me Ruki… I’ll bring her home later tonight.” He said calmly, but didn’t turn to face her.

“But… She’s not…” My mother protested, but abruptly silenced herself when Brennus looked at her through the corner of his eye.

“Y-yes master Brennus…” She continued as I sniffled and opened my eyes to see her suddenly become reverent of the old Lucario, and after a slight bow she gave me a concerned glance before turning and walking down the hall we had arrived through.

Once again thinking I had done something horribly wrong I started to panic as my mother left me. I don’t know why I hadn’t run away before hand with how upset I was, but I was frozen now, scared stiff from the idea of what might befall me…

“M-master Brennus...? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have spoken! Please, I won’t bother you again, I’m sorry!” I cried as I fell to my knees before him on the floor to show I meant no disrespect.

“Come now Luca…” Brennus responded as he knelt down and put a paw on the back of my head before continuing. “You’re not being punished. We’re here to help and I think it’s about time you found some answers.”

“I don’t, understand… I don’t know what to do!” I replied through my fearful sobs without moving.

“It comes with time, and that’s why I’m here… There’s no hurry, but I think you need this.” He said kindly once again as he stroked the top of my head lightly. At this I calmed down, feeling now that he wasn’t going to punish or hurt me, so I sat up and wiped my eyes, but still couldn’t bring myself to look at him.

“Here… come with me.” Brennus said and gently took my paw to guide me to one of the sitting pillows around the pool in the room’s center.

“Alright Luca, I’ll take it slow but there are a few more things I’d like to tell you. First, none of this is your fault. If anything it’s ours… You see, your mother and I are part of a council, and our council is one of five, though ours is the most prestigious. Each of the councils is responsible for finding a home for a Riolu when one needs it. Each Riolu is different, but I can assure you they are treated equally. As is to be expected though, individuals have varying degrees of natural talents, and your family has one of the strongest gifts for wave guidance. Your abilities specifically have the potential to far surpass your parents, and even my own. This is why you were entrusted to my council. We are responsible for placing the strongest of our kind, so we are the one’s who watched and scouted for a companion for you, even before you were born. You should know that your mother was very reluctant to let you go, but after looking through Felix’s life for nearly a whole week straight she and your father agreed to give you to him. I know all of this has been very hard on your parents. If anything they blame themselves for what happened, and I know if it would have been allowed, your father would have intervened in your capture. They both love you very dearly Luca and that will never change, they have always been watching over you, even if it was only from here. Come to think of it… did you notice your mother’s necklace?” Brennus explained as he maintained eye contact with me and paused after his question to let me answer. I was still confused, but having him go a little slower this time was defiantly making it easier to understand. When Brennus paused I only nodded that I had seen it, though I didn’t know what purpose it served past decoration.

“That crystal pendant is a very special substance, we call them aura stones. It is an extremely rare substance, and to my knowledge that pendant is the biggest anyone here has found. That stone doesn’t exist in this dimension. It falls out of a time rift just before it closes, and its appearance is very rare. I have never seen her without that necklace since the day she got it and I believe the reason why is because your father found that stone when he returned from giving you to Felix. He made the necklace for her and she has worn it ever since as a reminder of you.” He continued, and as he finished I felt like crying. I didn’t know her until today and she never once forgot me…

“So now you know. You have never left the thoughts of those who care about you here… Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how we’ve been watching you.” Once again Brennus paused and I wiped my tears quickly before looking up at him and nodding.

“It’s this pool that allows us to watch our charges. You see, in this time there are flowers called time flowers. These flowers record events in their vicinity, but they are filled with this liquid, which gives them their magical properties. A time flower will replenish this fluid naturally so our ancestors searched for the flowers when this temple was built and over time collected enough to fill the five pools we call scrying pools. Here, I’ll show you…” Brennus explained once again, and as he finished he waved his paw over the pool. Almost instantly it flashed and started displaying a scene form an above view, but something seemed familiar… Despite my surprise I craned my neck and looked into the pool to see what was happening. What I saw amazed me… It was a scene from my past!

It was me as a Riolu! I had snuck out of the camp sight to find some berries that morning, but it wasn’t just for me… I wanted to surprise Felix by bringing him something I knew he liked. After searching for a while I found a bush and filled my arms with the fruit, but as I tried to get back to camp I couldn’t find it. I panicked when I couldn’t find my way and I started calling out to Felix and Lady as I dropped the berries and ran frantically for a few minutes before I sat at the base of a tree and cried, thinking I was never going to find them. Before long though, Lady found me and gently caressed me with her tails. When I noticed the soft appendage I quickly looked to her and burst into tears as I latched onto her leg. Lady just sat there with me and calmed me while her tails wrapped around me as if to keep me safe. After that I explained why I left, and with a smile Lady set me on her back and took me to get more berries before we went back to camp where, as soon as I saw Felix, I tackled him and hugged him tightly.

The images faded as Brennus removed his paw and turned back to me, but as the memory dissipated I looked down sadly…

“Now you understand how we do what we do. We can use this pool to look at any event in any time period, but it is forbidden to look into one’s future with the intent of learning what happens. However, we can look into our past as much as we want. It is the best way to cope with past events, and to learn from them… Luca, I’m here to help you, I will teach you how to use the pool but you must know I can’t let you ignore what’s happened. I know how hurt you are, I can feel it. And this choice you keep hearing about is whether you will go back to Felix or not. No one will push you in any direction but you cannot ignore what has happened, and all I can do is assist you in your search for the truth. If you really want to know how you, Felix, and everyone else you know feels, me, and this pool are all you’ll need… I swear to you I will do everything I can to help, even if it means I’m a shoulder for you to cry on. You can ask me anything and I will give you my honest opinion and advice. Alright…?” Brennus finished as I looked over at him with my sad eyes. I didn’t know what I was in for, but I trusted Brennus already, and I knew he was right, I couldn’t run from this any more… I had tried on the trip from the facility and all I felt like doing was crying the entire time…

In light of how I felt and was acting, Brennus and I began that afternoon. At first I wasn’t completely honest with him and tried to avoid things, but he had some kind of ability that seemed to let him know what I was feeling and whenever my words contradicted what he felt, he pushed me into telling him how I really felt. Eventually I gave up trying to hide things altogether since it was ultimately pointless.

It started with me sadly asking Brennus why I felt so conflicted, and despite the fact that I wasn’t willing to admit I was still tied to Felix, I accepted what Brennus told me about my remaining bond with him. He kept me talking through our entire session, and occasionally I’d get upset or sadly refuse to accept something, so he would show me an incident from my past to prove his point, or he would just keep going.

When it started to get pretty late Brennus suggested we stop for the day, but before we left I sadly asked if I could see what Leo was doing. I still hadn’t resolved my issues, but thankfully Brennus was letting me avoid things to go at my own pace even though he wouldn’t let me get too far off topic. However, he had shown me that Leo and most of the other pokemon inhabitants of Felix’s home did indeed still care about me.

With a smile Brennus let me check in on Leo, but made me operate the scrying pool. So I did as instructed and placed my paw on the edge of the pool before trying to focus on Leo’s aura. It worked, to an extent… The pool flashed to life, but it was another scene from our past. In the scene before me I was playfully chasing Leo when he was a Riolu, and before I could catch him he made a wrong turn and found himself in Felix’s arms. Leo squealed and fought to get free while laughing hysterically. In the scene I smiled and came up next to Felix as he wrestled to keep a hold of our son. When Leo saw me he calmed down and smiled up at us both as we looked happily back at him.

When I realized I now wore a sad, yet happy expression and had watched the scene through instead of trying to find the current Leo I quickly removed my paw from the pool’s edge with a soft yelp. Without an operator the pool flashed back to its original state, and Brennus just smiled at me before offering some advice.

“It’s alright, it’s tough the first time. Try to think of the current time for you.” He said calmly.

I didn’t know exactly what he meant but I took his advice and tried thinking of “What’s Leo doing right now?” It worked this time but what I saw made me regret asking to do this in the first place… Leo was curled up on my bed as he cried lightly and clutched my pokeball necklace to his chest. Of course, as I had learned earlier, the pool transmitted sound as well as images and I heard Leo begging me to come back.

“I’m sorry sweetie…” I whispered as I removed my paw and looked sadly at them once they were folded in my lap.

“See… He doesn’t hate you. You’re not alone Luca, you have us here to help and you will always have Leo and the others, no one can take that away.” Brennus offered and rubbed my back lightly before standing up. I sighed at his touch as a tear ran through my fur, then stood up and wiped the tear away before turning towards Brennus.

“Thank you…” I said with a somewhat relieved tone.

“You’re welcome, but we’re not done.” He replied and paused for me to answer.

“I know.” I said normally, without looking away.

“I’m always here during the day, and at the moment I’m not busy. You can stop by anytime to continue. But for now, let’s get you home. You’re mother will probably force palm me right in the nose for keeping you so late.” He answered kindly and laughed as he finished. I couldn’t help but giggle at his joke but when I thought about it… she very well might…

As with the night before there was virtually no one around the village. Brennus led me to my parent’s home and wished me good night as I pushed aside the fabric “door” to enter. I smiled warmly and wished him the same before disappearing inside, letting him return to his own hut.

I went through the house to my bedroom, but found my mother asleep on my bed. I was a little surprised by the sight but I didn’t want to disturb her. Instead I took the chance to look at her room, which I hadn’t actually seen yet. Cautiously I padded to the entry and peered inside. Immediately my nose was flooded with my parents scent, but it didn’t bother me. The scent was familiar, though it was from a time I couldn’t remember, so I could only breathe it deeply and commit to memory the happy images I now had of my loving family.

The room was very nice and was decorated the same as the rest of the house. However I no sooner started looking around when I had to bring my paws to stifle a yelp when someone in the bed moved! I focused on the bed, and to my surprise it was my dad. I hadn’t expected him to be home, thinking he was out checking on a charge since he was gone when I woke up, but that wasn’t the case and after my heart rate returned to normal I kept my paws on my mouth to stop myself from laughing. My dad was sprawled on the bed in much the same fashion I had seen Kail sleep in on various occasions. At that moment I couldn’t help but wonder how my mother could tolerate sleeping with him… though I knew that wasn’t the reason she was on my bed. I could tell from the way she had lain down that she had fallen asleep waiting for me to get home.

In any case, I decided not to wake my mother and to take my chances with my dad. I carefully and gently slipped into the bed beside him and got comfortable before quickly falling asleep. In my mind there was nothing wrong with what I had done. I trusted my parents and I doubted they would mind my gesture. At the most my dad might be a bit surprised to see me, but I figured that would be it.

I slept much more peacefully that night, and actually had a dream, though when I was gradually awoken from that dream the situation was rather awkward…

Thanks to my short stay with Wave Master Brennus I had accepted that Leo still loved me, and that all the other pokemon at Felix’s house did care about me on some level. Of course this eased my anxiety somewhat, but Felix remained the major issue in my heart.

Though my dream was short lived, in it I was happily hugging Leo as we rested in the sun. Due to it being a dream it never occurred to me that Leo was being more amorous than normal… Near the end of my dream Leo was hugging me tightly from behind and murring happily, but he went on to nuzzle his head next to mine and whispered, “Time to wake up hun.” His words confused me but that was when I began to wake up, and I felt him hold me tight as he licked the back of my ear sweetly. I moaned happily at the touch though I didn’t understand it. “Leo” chuckled happily and kept licking my ear to “wake me up,” and eventually ended up nibbling lightly on the furred tip of my ear as I actually came to. In my dazed state I moaned lightly and smiled as I opened my eyes slightly and rolled to cuddle up to who I thought was Leo, but when I locked gazes with the Lucario both our eyes went wide.

“L-Luca…!?” My father said in surprise and wonder before realizing he now had his paws wrapped around me and resting on the small of my back holding us together. “Oh great Mew!!! Luca I-I’m…” He yelped as he released me and scrambled out of the bed with a deep blush evident in his ears and under his fur. Of course, I knew he wasn’t to blame for this so I was just as embarrassed as him… and just as red.

“What’s wrong!?” My mother said as she rushed into the room. Her gaze first came to rest on me, but I quickly averted my embarrassed gaze to avoid her. When I looked away though she turned to my dad and noticed something that had only embarrassed me more…

“LEKAN!!!” She yelled when she saw he had a small case of morning wood… My dad couldn’t think of a single thing to say, let alone his vocal cords wouldn’t work at the moment anyway… After a few tries to force words out through his own embarrassment, he gave up and vanished using extreme speed.

After dad left my mother turned back to me. She was speechless after what had just happened, but after looking at me for a few seconds she nearly fell over laughing.

Meanwhile I was dying of embarrassment. My burning blush never faded and I could swear my ears were pressed so hard to my head that they would stay there permanently.

“I-I’m… s-sorry Luca…” My mother gasped through her hysterical laughter as she came over and sat on the bed next to me before continuing. “I-I shouldn’t have fallen asleep on your bed… Oh my… I don’t think he’ll be able to look at you for a week!”

While it was nice to see my mother so amused… I was still mortified! My own father had been licking and nibbling my ear in a morning daze, let alone I was apparently rather sexually appealing! Which, while flattering, wasn’t exactly what I would have wanted at the moment!

“A-are you ok honey?” My mother gasped as she tried to catch her breath, but all I could do was stare at the wall with my wide eyes and my burning blush. “Luca…? Sweetie?” She continued in a much calmer tone and put her paw around my shoulders getting me to finally face her, but when I did she tried in vain to hold back her resurfacing laughter and fell back on the bed while holding her sides.

“Mother!!!” I yelled as my blush deepened to its original red and as I stood up next to the bed to yell at her.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!!” She laughed back and tried to collect herself once again to try comforting me. “I’m sorry… I should have woken you up.” She started after a sigh to further calm her aching stomach.

“You left me here for this to happen!?” I accused in a bewildered tone. I simply couldn’t believe it! My own mother!

“No no! I saw you sleeping so peacefully earlier and your father was on his side… It never occurred to me that he would pick today of all days to be lovey dovey.” She answered quickly and calmed down once again with a few deep breaths. “I’m sorry sweetie. I shouldn’t have fallen asleep in your bed, but I thought you’d wake me up not crawl in bed with your dad.” She continued seriously, though I could tell she was still enjoying this…

When she finished speaking she looked up at me. My blush had slowly faded and I looked to the floor with another sad expression. I didn’t mean to cause trouble, and I felt rather bad about this. After all it was my fault…

“Honey?” My mother said in a concerned voice when she saw I wouldn’t look at her. “It’s okay sweetie. You’re not hurt are you?” She continued when I failed to respond.

“No… but dad…” I said sadly. Now that the incident was over I had to admit it was rather funny, but I couldn’t laugh when the thought of my dad never talking to me again was looming over me.

“He’ll be fine hun. You just surprised him, that’s all.” She replied and stood up with me.

“But… You two are all I have right now… I-I don’t want to be a bother…” I said sadly once again without looking up from my feet. I couldn’t help but think at the moment I was more trouble than I was worth.

“That’s not true and you know it… but would you feel better if we went and found your dad?” My mother replied kindly as she put a paw on my shoulder, but when I didn’t respond she pulled me into a hug where I wrapped my arms around her for comfort. “It’s ok, everything’s fine sweetie…” She said through the embrace as I simply enjoyed the touch.

“Here… Take one of these and follow me.” She said after a short time and took what looked like a towel from an inconspicuous pile of cloth. With a slight hesitation I picked one up and turned towards her where she smiled warmly at me and led me outside.

“Let’s go, try and keep up sweetie.” My mother said cheerfully and took off through the unpopulated terrain around the village. A little surprised at first, I fell behind, but I easily caught up to her and when I did she began moving faster. Before I knew it we were running through the trees at an extreme speed’s pace. I had no idea where we were going or where we were for that matter… My mother had made so many turns that I was completely lost. As I thought of this though we reached our destination and I stopped beside my mother on a high branch near the top of a tree.

The sight absolutely stunned me. It was a forest oasis! There was a very large pool filled with crystal clear water, and a gigantic waterfall supplying the water from the far end of the pool. The main waterfall seemed a bit rough though as it fell from about 100 feet above, but when I took a closer look, someone had carved canals in the rock to channel some of the flowing water into a good many smaller waterfalls that had no more force than the human’s shower. It was absolutely breathtaking, and there were even three Riolu laughing and playing happily in the water away from the actual falls. However… as I took a closer look at the small waterfalls I noticed a familiar Lucario sitting under one of them. It was my dad, and he looked like he just wanted to crawl under a rock…

I froze in embarrassment as I saw my father. I just didn’t have the courage to confront him even though I knew he didn’t mean to do what he did.

“Care for a swim?” My mother asked cheerfully and innocently snapping me out of my daze.

“N-not really…” I replied, but apparently that wasn’t the right answer…

“To late!” She said as she force palmed me with a slap on the back, sending me flying off the 60 ft high branch and falling towards the center of the pool as I yelled my protest and flailed in vain through the air.

I hit the dead center of the pool with an immense splash, but to my surprise the pool was very deep. As I sank in the water from my fall I opened my eyes to look around. It was an interesting sight to say the least, with a smooth water carved basin that I assumed had been formed from the slowly receding waterfall over the years. The next thing I noticed were the fish inhabitants that were all starting at me blankly. There were no magikarp, but there were a good many finneon and a few feebass. But just as I noticed them my lungs started to burn and I reflexively swam to the surface. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I hadn’t sunk to the bottom in the water, or that I knew how to swim. Ever since I had evolved I never actually had the chance to go swimming like this.

As I broke the surface of the water I gasped for breath. The whole ordeal lasted less than a minute and as I caught my breath my dad exclaimed “Luca!?” in a surprised and concerned voice then rushed to the edge of the shallows as I swam toward him to get out of the deep water. In all honesty I don’t know why I swam towards him… By all accounts I now thought I would have blushed and fled, but seeing him so concerned must have made me temporarily forget our plight.

“What are you doing here? Are you alright?” He asked frantically as he helped me to my feet and held my shoulders as he looked me in the eyes.

“Yeah I’m fine… Mom decided I needed a bath apparently…” I said with one last breath and looked back into his eyes. Of course I couldn’t help but blush when I looked at him, but I couldn’t look away either.

“S-sorry…” He said quickly and released me before blushing himself and continuing. “Luca I’m really sorry… I’m not use to having you around and well… you look just like your mother.”

“N-no dad. I didn’t want to bother you or mom last night and I didn’t think…” I replied shyly and looked away in embarrassment.

“See. No one’s upset and no one got hurt… But I may still hurt you mister!” My mother said as she waded through the water with her arms crossed.

“Honey! Honestly I thought it was you! I didn’t mean to mmph…!?” Was all he got out as he frantically turned in place to face her and explain, only to be met by a mocking angry look as she came right up to him and grabbed his head to force him into a kiss. However, as my blush remained and I vacantly watched them kiss for a few seconds something else came along to occupy me.

“E-excuse me Ms.? Are you Luca?” I heard a small female voice say as a paw touched my leg gently to get my attention.
“Yes, I am.” I replied as I looked to the touch to find a riolu girl looking nervously up at me.

“Do you really have a companion in another time?” Was her next question as she watched me with wide admiring eyes for some reason.

“I… I did…” I said sadly, wondering just how she knew this and fearing what would come next.

“Really!?” One of the other two Riolu said as he came closer, seemingly eased now that I hadn’t attacked his friend.

“What was he like?” The girl continued quickly, not to be outdone by her friends.

“My dad said you were hurt. Are you ok?” The second boy said as he joined the others in front of me.

“Well I...” I stuttered with a surprised blink. I was overwhelmed by their interest in me and frankly, surprised that they would talk to me. Obviously I really was wrong to think I was considered a disgrace here. Once I regained my wits I smiled at the kids and cleared my throat lightly before continuing. “Well… I thought he was nice, but some bad men took me from him and I’m not sure anymore. Someone told me I was just a pokemon to him and nothing more…” I replied as bravely as I could, but still couldn’t hide the depressed tone in my voice, or ignore the pain in my chest from simply speaking of Felix.

“How did you escape!?” One boy asked as I finished, and the wide, interested looks the others wore expressed they were wondering the same thing.

“My companion and son came to rescue me…” I said sadly, not bothering to hide it anymore. I just knew what their arguments would be now and I didn’t have an answer anymore. Sure Felix had saved me… but hadn’t he mistreated me? Wasn’t I still just a pokemon to him?

“Aren’t you happy they saved you?” The girl asked caringly when she saw I looked sad.

“I was glad to be rescued, but I don’t know why my companion came for me.” I replied, trying to sound more cheerful once again, but ultimately failing.

“Well he’s your companion right?” The second boy said curiously in a confused and “matter of fact” tone.

“Yeah, he saved you because a companion cares about their partner!” The first boy answered quickly.

“Mine would save me! I know she would!” The girl added cheerfully to me, and all I could think to do was smile at them as I sat down in the cool shallow water to relax a bit. I couldn’t do anything more at that moment other than let them think it was that easy. In truth they made sense, but it just didn’t feel that simple to me… I didn’t know what to think with Elli changing sides and everyone else around me at the time pushing me towards Felix. I had to know for sure if he cared about me and I had to find out for myself… No one else could tell me, not even Felix it seemed with his confession to me before I left…

The three Riolu smiled back at me, but I wasn’t off the hook yet, although this would end up as more of a learning experience for me.

“You still feel sad Ms. Luca… I’m sure he misses and cares about you.” The girl said kindly as her smile faded in to a sympathetic look.

“Stop showing off your powers Juli!”

“Yeah, just because you have an ability we don’t!” The boys chimed in with an annoyed tone, to which Juli only stuck out her tongue.

“Thank you Juli.” I said cheerfully which got her to smile and wag her tail since I knew her name. “And thank you two as well.” I continued with a look to the boys who looked at me and followed suit with Juli as they smiled and wagged their tails.

“My name’s Kae!” The first boy said quickly before I could speak again.

“And I’m Ajas!” The last Riolu said shortly after.

“It’s nice to meet you. C-can you tell me? Do all three of you have companions?” I said once they were done. This society still baffled me and speaking to these kids had banished the rest of my worries that I would be an outcast here.

“Mhm!” They all answered in unison.

“Do they live here?” I continued, trying to solve this little mystery since I thought most of the Lucario here wouldn’t have companions.

“Of course!”, “We can’t time travel yet though.”, “Not all of us are sent away. Our companions were found here in the village so we are training before they send us to a different time to train.” They explained together.

“Oh. I see. Well I hope you get really strong then.” I said cheerfully which only got them to continue. The boys bragged about how strong they already were while Juli contested by insisting she was better at wave guidance. Of course it wasn’t long before they pried me for more information, asking how strong I was, what abilities and moves I could use, if I could teach them the moves they didn’t know, and if I could show them the others they couldn’t learn just yet.

It was really fun to interact with the kids. I had forgotten what it was like to teach someone since Leo had grown up and learned everything he could from me. Let alone the chance to use my attacks again was fun since I hadn’t had the chance in a long time.

The boys were more interested in physical attacks so I taught them bullet punch. Juli however, didn’t like that move very much so I taught her vacuum wave, which I had learned at one point on my travels, but never really had a reason to use. Juli really liked this and had some fun knocking the boys off balance in a few play fights with the change in pressure the move created.

After showing them a few more moves they asked to see my pulse attacks, so I obliged and charged one of each in my paws so they could see, then I let the spheres dissipate. For a finale though they wanted to see my extreme speed attack. I figured they had seen these attacks before so I thought I’d treat this like a contest show.

I thought back to how Ashley had helped me in my contest battle and came up with a simple plan to impress the kids. Once I had my plan I smiled and stood up to lead them to the edge of the water. Once there I focused my thoughts and used extreme speed to run on the water, creating large wake behind me. When I reached the center of the water I quickly started running in a circle, and as I did my wakes formed a fountain. After running two laps I charged a dragon and water pulse in my paws. First I threw the water pulse in the air from the center of my circle by extending my paw out and flicking the orb upwards. Next I released the dragon pulse in the same fashion on the same lap and directly in line with the water pulse’s flight path. Finally, just before the original two spheres collided in the air I charged a dark pulse and fired it into the center of my circular path.

Just as the dark pulse exploded I leapt out of my path and landed next to the kids as they watched the spectacle. The dark pulse obliterated my slowly fading wakes in a spectacular display of purple and black while the water and dragon pulses collided and showered the area in sparkling water droplets mixed with small tufts of green flame that dissipated after a short flight.

“Whoa!!!” The boys exclaimed.

“Where did you learn to do that Ms. Luca!?” Juli asked with just as much enthusiasm.

“Just call me Luca.” I said with a cheerful smile before explaining how I had won a contest for Felix’s sister. Upon hearing this Juli immediately decided she wanted to do that someday, but when the boys heard it was a beauty contest they weren’t quite as interested in the attack’s looks and focused more on the power of them.

Awhile later another Lucario appeared on a path at the edge of the pool and walked over to me and the kids. I looked up at the female wondering what she needed from me but she only smiled back and addressed the kids. “Ready to go?” She asked casually as all of the kids seemed to get disappointed with her arrival.

“Awww…” Kae moaned in protest.

“Do we have to?” Ajas added.

“Yeah, Ms. Luca was telling us about all the places she’s been.” Juli finished, but the Lucario wasn’t swayed.

“I think you’ve bothered Ms. Luca enough. I’ll tell you what though, if she wants to, you can have her come over to visit. She could even meet your companions.” She replied kindly, to which the kids all jumped at and immediately snapped their attentions back to me to ask if I would.

“Of course.” I answered with a giggle and stood up as the female hurried the kids towards the path she arrived on.

“I have to thank you Luca. My name’s Alice, it’s nice to finally meet you.” She began cheerfully, to which I smiled back, but still couldn’t help feeling a bit alienated. “You don’t know how much all of this means to those three. You’re the first person from beyond our time they’ve had the chance to talk to.” She said kindly to express her gratitude.

“It’s not a problem, I actually enjoyed the company.” I replied, to which she could only smile back at me.

“I’ll talk with your mother to see when would be a good time for you to visit. Oh, and I hope you’re feeling better.” She said with the same kind voice as before then left to follow the kids back to the village.

After Alice and the kids left I smiled and looked around for my parents. I quickly found they had left me alone with the kids to relax together behind the falls under the rock overhang. With a quiet sigh to myself I walked through the shallows to join them. As I approached they looked up at me but my dad quickly looked away. I followed suit and blushed lightly but continue with what I had come to say in the first place.

“Uh dad… I didn’t mean to do that to you…” I continued shyly from our previous conversation.

“I know hun… I don’t think you’d believe how much you look like your mother though…” He replied with an embarrassed tone, but also with a chuckle as he brought himself to stand in front of me. He looked down at me for a second before placing a paw on my head and roughing my fur playfully. When he stopped I looked up into his eyes and held his gaze. He was smiling warmly at me and had the same loving look from before all this began, though this was the first time I had actually noticed it. After staring at him for a short time I couldn’t help myself and wrapped him in an embrace. This surprised him at first but as I hugged him I felt him relax and put his arms around me to rub my back.

“Alright you two… I’m still here you know.” My mother chimed in playfully after letting us have our moment, but upon hearing her, my dad kissed me on the black stripe up my forehead before releasing me. I smiled back at him before we both turned to my mother who had stood up and walked over to us with her arms folded in a teasingly upset gesture.

“Well should we get cleaned up while we’re here?” She spoke as she unfolded her arms, to which we both agreed and headed to the small waterfalls together.

The water was a little cold from falling so far through the air but it was still rather nice. Mother helped me reach my back… to avoid putting such a thing on my dad, who chose another shower. Although… with a few of the looks my mother and I passed his way we caught him watching us with a smile. In response my mom growled lightly at him getting him to turn around every time, though his tail still wagged behind him. Of course I couldn’t avoid giggling lightly. My actions may have seemed weird to many but my parents didn’t seem to find anything wrong with them and despite my own upbringing and knowledge of families I couldn’t help but feel happy that my dad did love me so much.

After we finished our showers my parents asked what I’d like to do for the rest of the day as we dried off, and thanks to my visit with the kids I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

“I’d like to see master Brennus again…” I replied with a small confident tone.

“If you’re sure.” My dad answered and I nodded back quickly.

“Alright, let’s go then.” My mother answered with a smile and we walked off down the path the kids had taken. Along the way my mom asked if she could arrange my visit with the kids. I agreed and she went to take care of it after they left me at the temple.

“Welcome back Luca.” Brennus said kindly as I entered the same council room as before.

“Thank you master Brennus… Is now a good time?” I asked as I stood just past the entry arc.

“Of course it is. But I must admit I didn’t think you’d be back so soon. Did something happen?” Brennus continued as he came around to meet me and sit down with me.
“N-no… well not really, family matters… but I wanted to ask you about three Riolu I met this morning.” I replied, rushing my words to avoid talking about the incident with my dad.

“Oh? What were their names?” Brennus asked casually, beginning our session for the day. I told him about the kids and he smiled as I asked my questions about them. He said Juli was like me in the sense that her specialty was special attacks which gave her a better grasp on her wave guiding abilities. After I asked a few more things about the three of them I asked about wave guidance, and the training the kids had mentioned, which could have been a mistake…

I thought I knew how wave guidance worked and I thought the abilities I had discovered with Felix were all there were… Boy was I wrong. Since I was interested and willing to learn though, Brennus offered to start me on the training courses they had developed. I agreed to his offer and he began with the first lesson. It didn’t take me long to get through the first couple courses since I was much older than the intended student and had already figured out most of what they included. Much of the first course was explaining what they knew of how wave guidance worked and what it was, after that it focused more on the abilities one possessed who could use this power. There were some simple abilities I had already learned, such as wave sight and speech with your companion, but Juli’s ability to sense emotions intrigued me and when Brennus started explaining it in more detail I was grateful. At first I thought it would be hard to use, especially without Felix, but as Brennus made clear this ability was one that relied on an individual’s strength.

From there things became a bit more complicated and a little frustrating. The abilities he was describing to me required the cooperation of a companion and I still hadn’t healed the wounds between Felix and I. Despite this though Brennus continued and explained a few of the abilities Felix could use alone if he discovered them, and a great many more we could use together, though he left out the details about those since they needed a great deal of practice and if we were ever to use them we would most likely have to live here and learn them.

Something I noticed through our entire talk was that Brennus wasn’t making me talk about Felix, and while I suppose I was grateful that he wasn’t forcing me like he had the previous day my mind couldn’t help but drift back to Felix, causing my uncertainty to return. I left the topic alone for the time though, but a thought had crossed my mind… something I resolved to figure out for myself later that night…

After Brennus finished with our course he asked if I wanted to talk about Felix before I left. After a moment of thought I declined sadly, even though it was the reason I had decided to come here in the first place today.

“Ok.” He replied with a nod and reminded me he was there to help me if I did decide I wanted to talk. I thanked him and made sure he knew I appreciated it before I said goodbye and left for home. I made it home for dinner that night, much to the surprise of my mother who was cooking something in a big pot over a flame.

The rest of that night I spent talking with my parents about random things. Once again they never mentioned Felix, which I still wasn’t sure I was grateful for or not. When I first arrived here I felt like everyone’s actions were an attempt to push me back to Felix but now I couldn’t help but realize their promises had held true, they were leaving this entirely to me. They wouldn’t persuade me either way unless I started talking about it, and they were just letting me live my life here. As I realized this I couldn’t help but feel bad again as my thoughts turned back to him. I almost missed people encouraging me to think things through but I also felt I should be enjoying the time I had alone… So why couldn’t I stop thinking about him and asking myself the redundant questions? I had to figure this out, it was tearing at me the entire time I was with him and attempting to ignore it here wasn’t working since I only tormented myself by wondering about it alone, let alone I was keeping all of this to myself because I didn’t want anyone to tell me what to do… To be perfectly honest I didn’t know what I wanted… that is except for one thing. I wanted to know for certain what it was I felt towards Felix, no matter what it ended up being.

Luckily though this flood of thoughts didn’t cloud my mind until after my parents and I had stopped talking and went to get some rest, however, I didn’t intend to sleep tonight…

Once I was sure the two of them were asleep I got up as quietly as I could and looked in to make sure. Satisfied, I slipped out into the night and made my way to the temple. Once there I cautiously snuck through halls since I wasn’t sure if anyone would be here so late or if what I was doing was even allowed. Considering they always had someone in the temple rooms during the day I figured I could get into serious trouble if I was caught, and I promised myself I would not let that happen.

As one last precaution I peaked into the room where I came to see master Brennus. The torches were still lit and I flinched back around the corner when I saw this, but when I gathered the courage to look again I found the room to be deserted. Once again I walked into the room, observing the architecture and approaching the pool in the center. I stared at the pearlized multicolored surface for a moment as I debated whether to go through with this. As the uncertainty of Felix arose in my head once again though I found the will to continue, and leaned over to put my paws on the rim of the pool, willing it to life. I didn’t know what I was searching for but I knew who to focus on. Taking what Brennus had said to me the day before, I started trying to find the occasions where I thought Felix mistreated me. When I found each one I felt a tight pain in my chest, but continued though some of the visions did hurt to watch.

I began with Leo’s first gym battle, something I knew Felix had pushed me aside with, and as I watched I felt myself hate Felix for it. He had completely ignored me and let Leo get hurt, but through it all I found the resolve to listen to his words. He was right that Leo would have been disappointed, but that didn’t change how he had gone about it. After that I was sure I could find something else to give me closure and help convince me I didn’t need Felix; that he had neglected me and that we weren’t meant for each other despite our initial pairing. Those thoughts made me feel slightly better subconsciously that I was making this decision on my own, but something seemed wrong about it deep down. If all that really were true then why did such things feel like there was a hole opening in my heart?

The next scene I watched failed to help my initial cause, and brought me back to wondering if I was right… wrong… I couldn’t even keep track anymore… The scene was of Felix carrying me to the pokemon center after a tournament battle. It crossed my mind for some reason that he didn’t use my ball. Instead he found the strength to carry me the entire way and I could see the concern and urgency in his eyes, something I couldn’t have seen at the time since I had passed out on his chest. Despite that hole in my chest growing larger I resolved that seeing this one instance wasn’t going to convince me to trust him again, and I frustratedly willed the pool to show me something else, but the next scene was similar, Felix caring for me without the slightest look of personal greed. After that I became more frustrated and flicked to another, and another of the same thing. I ended up flicking through about 20 of them before I withdrew my paws with an angry sigh and growled as I hit my legs with my paws.

“Why… Why can’t I find anything to prove he mistreated me!?” I growled as tears started forming in my eyes. After a minute of trying to think I settled on an idea and returned my paws to the pool. I focused and brought up scenes from my time at the facility. I watched and listened as Elli tried to convince me to hate Felix, and I was saddened as my own arguments convinced me to trust him again. But as the days passed I watched myself loose faith and eventually give in as I sobbed while Elli seemingly provided comfort and explained that Felix wouldn’t come and had replaced me already, like her trainer had done to her. Sadness and anger gripped my heart and I looked back to a few of the incidents we discussed. The more I watched I came to realize Felix was indeed possessive of me. He protected me and sheltered me a great deal while I was young and after I had evolved, but… Seeing how I acted, I now understood why… I needed it. I wouldn’t have lasted long on my own in that world… I relied on Felix to much for what he provided. He was someone I could trust and he didn’t mind taking care of me even though I was so high maintenance, and so I didn’t mind at the time either… But that showed me something else. No matter what I did Felix was still always there with something to help me. Even if he was possessive he seemed to care beyond that protection rather than just seeing me as a prize.

After everything that happened though I knew I could never go back to the way things were… but was that such a bad thing? I started thinking as I flipped through more of my past and thought, ‘Maybe now I could be his equal. Maybe now he wouldn’t have to protect me…’ at the moment that thought finished though, something else flashed in my head, causing me to yelp and pull away from the pool. I was leaning towards him again! I had snuck in here to convince myself to let him go and here I was, wanting to see him again, if only just to speak with him on equal footing and ask him my questions for a serious response…

“Damnit…” I muttered as my tears returned, and I couldn’t find the will to continue scrying. Sadly I cradled my arms and got up to leave, walking with slow dragging steps as my head hung in disappointment with tears falling from my nose every so often.

“Find anything…?” A male voice said sternly as I entered the main entrance room while wiping my eyes. I yelped in fear and leapt backwards from the sound as it came from right beside the archway I walked through. Before I could find the courage to speak though a Lucario stepped into the dim light that was provided by the moon outside, but with our night vision fully developed we both could see just fine. I recognized the Lucario right away as Brennus and I froze in terror as he stepped towards me with a stern glare and his paws folded across his chest.

“Why are you so scared? What were you doing in there?” He said as he stopped about three feet away from me and held my gaze. At his question I tried to answer but I couldn’t form any words…

“Answer me Luca! I told you what was forbidden when using those pools! If you weren’t doing anything I warned you of then you have nothing to fear! But what was so important that you had to sneak in here without consent to do it alone!?” He said fiercely, his kindness forgotten in the midst of a potential criminal.

“I… I was looking at my past… trying to get things straight.” I replied timidly as I lowered my head and stood there at rigid attention.

“If that’s true why did you sneak in here? Why didn’t you come to me? Why didn’t you just ask me earlier today?” He asked sternly, but he wasn’t yelling any longer, perhaps it was because of his ability to tell by someone’s aura if they were lying or perhaps it was that he found it in him to trust my words. I didn’t know which, but at the very least I was comforted by the fact he had calmed down.

“I’m sorry master Brennus… I… I thought of something tonight…” I admitted. I knew there was no point in hiding anything. It would only make me look guilty of something, though I didn’t know what. From his reaction I felt as though I had already committed a crime, but I hoped he would at least listen to my reasoning.

“And what was that? If you say you want to go back to him now I’m afraid I can’t let you.” He said with his still stern voice.

“That I was still relying on you and my parents to tell me what to think and do…” I replied as I relaxed entirely and sadly with my head hung. It wasn’t that I expected him to let me go after that. The reason I relaxed was because it felt good to admit what I did, and somehow saying it made it sink in all the more at that moment.

“Oh? So you thought you’d use the pool on your own to be independent then?” He continued, and though his voice was still stern it sounded as if he were calming down further.

“No, not for that master, I’m sorry. I only wanted to decide for myself. I swear I didn’t watch anything private, from my future, or anyone but myself.” I continued, but didn’t move, not even to look up at him.

“Look Luca… If you wanted to use the pool alone there are ways to go about it, all you had to do was ask me. What you did tonight is not allowed for obvious reasons.” He said as he unfolded his paws.

“I understand… It won’t happen again master.” I replied, and shut my eyes, awaiting what punishment would befall me.

“I shouldn’t have allowed you to do what you did… Come with me.” He said solemnly and turned to walk back to the room I had snuck into. A brief hope sparked in me as he started, but then it turned to despair as he continued and I realize he had known I would do this all along… I didn’t understand why he had done this to me, or for that matter why he had looked in on my future, but how could I argue with him?

“Now…” He said as he stopped and turned to face me with a solemn but understanding look. “Luca, I know you broke none of our rules while you were in here and I hope you can forgive me for scaring you like that. I neglected to tell you everything about using these rooms and in part that is my fault, but I also think you knew it was wrong. This is beside the point though, I’m proud of you for why you came in here. In that respect you did the right thing, but you know this can’t happen again… If you’d like, I can request that you be allowed to use the pools on your own at some time. I’m sure the council will not object as they rarely ever do.” He continued sincerely with his attitude softening as he spoke, and I couldn’t help but relax as well, though I remained standing straight with a resolved look on my face.

“Well? Would that be acceptable?” Brennus asked as he looked at me.

“Thank you but… I don’t think that will be necessary.” I answered calmly, but without much emotion. I didn’t want my emotions to seem out of place at the moment.

“Oh? Why is that?” He answered, looking back at me and obviously wondering if he had missed something, even though he was dead on with every accusation so far.

“I don’t think I have anything else to look at…” I answered as my sadness crept up into my tone.

“Well I’ll request it anyway, just in case. Now then… if you’re not too tired I’d like you to tell me what you did watch and what you thought of it. And don’t worry, as far as I’m concerned the issue is resolved, so long as you know it can’t happen again.” Brennus said as he sat down next to the pool and watched me. I was still a bit intimidated by his words but I went over and sat down next to him with only slight hesitations.

“I understand… I promise it won’t happen again master.” I said respectfully as I sat next to him and bowed my head as the only other respectful gesture I could think of at the time.

“Alright. Go ahead then…” He replied with nearly his normal friendly tone allowing me to finally confide in him. We spent the rest of the night there with me gradually and sadly admitting to him what I couldn’t deny anymore, I still loved Felix… I still didn’t know what to do though. I had flipped through a good portion of my life and though Felix seemed to care about me unconditionally, Brennus agreed that only Felix could prove it, and though it might seem that I would want to go back immediately; I couldn’t bring myself to leave this place yet. I had to be sure and I wanted to stay until I could gather myself enough to go back and face Felix and Leo…

After we finished that night Brennus walked me home again, although, the sky was starting to get lighter and in another hour the sun would be rising. I apologized one last time to him for what I did, but he only told me everything was fine and to get some sleep. So I went inside and quickly fell asleep on my bed, exhausted after my late night, but what I didn’t know was that Brennus stuck around the house and told my parents not to wake me, then told my mother what happened. So I ended up sleeping well into the afternoon, but when I woke up I had some explaining to do. Thankfully my mother understood, though I did get scolded again at first.

The rest of that afternoon went by normally and my mother had arranged for me to visit Juli, Kae, and Ajas. They were as happy as ever, and their companions were eager to meet me as well. I was surprised though at how young the Riolu’s companions were. They were human children themselves, probably only 8 or 9 by the looks of it, and they were already more refined in their skills than Felix. I spent most of the afternoon playing with the six of them, but they found time to show me their favorite things to do and places to go around the village. It was a very nice time, though it left me exhausted when I got home. My mother only giggled as I flopped on my bed with a tired sigh, but she told me about the council meeting that was held about Brennus’ request on my behalf. As Brennus predicted they approved his request let me use the pool and I could use it whenever I would like during the day if it was open. While this made me happy I couldn’t help but once again feel like a child since I hadn’t done anything towards the goal.

After that first night though I didn’t really need to use the pool alone again, when Brennus had made me explain I stopped being so afraid of my plight and started fighting with it rather than cowering.

For the next four days I went to the temple and used the pool for a short time. The first of those four days I spent a good deal of the afternoon watching Felix’s past with me and it only softened me further and actually made me want to go back, but every time I left the temple I couldn’t bring myself to leave this time period. Brennus sat in with me on the last two days and shared his views when I asked for them, but when I finally managed to ask him if he thought I should go back I never expected his suggestion though I should have known his actual answer. He smiled warmly at me and told me it was my decision, but suggested that I watch what Felix had been doing over the past week.

At first I was hesitant and tried to tell myself that nothing he did would make me go back, but when every night Felix fell asleep with tears in his eyes, and when he just didn’t seem to have the motivation to travel or battle anymore I couldn’t help but suspect that I was the reason, and it really started to sink in. When I took my paw slowly from the pool’s edge I looked at my paws and said quietly, “I want to go back…” Brennus smiled and reminded me that I didn’t have to, and that I should sleep on it and check back with him in the morning after I had a night to think about it. As he said this though I hadn’t turned to face him, I simply stared at the blank pool with tears in my eyes as I thought of how Felix had done nothing but care for me and I had done all of this to him due to my own cowardice and indecision…

“I want to go back…! Please…” I said with more effort as my paws clenched and tears started to fall into my lap.

“Luca… You just got done watching those scenes, you’ve told me you feel this way every time. Please, take a night to think about it and we can finish everything up tomorrow if you still feel this way when you return.” Brennus answered with a more caring tone rather than his warm cheerful voice from before.

Reluctantly I agreed and sadly walked home while dragging my paws slightly with my head hung as several images remained in my head. That night I found it hard to fall asleep. Both my parents kept asking me if I was alright since I had a seemingly depressed look on my face ever since I got home, but in reality I was deep in thought, trying to keep out of my mind the sad thoughts that Felix wouldn’t want to see me again. Eventually I fell asleep and slept peacefully for most of the night, however my dreams turned for the worst as morning drew near…

I didn’t know what was happening, and I don’t remember much, but I felt pain, sadness, and a cold blackness as well. I awoke in a cold sweat as I tried to decipher what, if anything, this could mean, but after I caught my breath I simply got up, found some food and headed off to see Brennus. I thought it was a little odd that my parents weren’t around the hut, but over the week I saw they had their own lives and I didn’t dwell on it to much as I made my way to the temple. I found Brennus as usual and sat with him for much longer than I thought I would as he and I went over a few more things. But he seemed different somehow… I couldn’t put my paw on it but he seemed distracted and oddly cheerless.

As we finished our conversation though I once again felt certain that I wanted to return to my time. I had to ask Felix about what happened, and straighten this out, but despite this the fear was still there that he wouldn’t want to see me again… Seeing my worry Brennus promised once again that if such a thing happened I was welcome to return and live here. I thanked him since the offer did ease my mind, at least I had someplace to go… It was late afternoon before I had again resolved to go back to Felix. As one last thing Brennus wanted me to find where Felix was, which I assumed was so they could open a portal to him. I agreed, but as the scene flashed to life something seemed odd… I got the same cold feeling of pain as my dream and I shivered as I looked on.

“Luca… I’m afraid I can’t let you go back to Felix… I was hoping you would change your mind and stay with us for a short time longer but…” Brennus said remorsefully as he simply stared blankly at the pool before us.

“No… You can’t… You can’t do this. What’s this feeling? Why can’t I go back!?” I replied worriedly, getting a somewhat sick feeling in my stomach from the continuing feeling of the pools scene.

“Luca if you go back now you’ll die… I alone have the consent to look into ones future and I should not be telling you this but if it’s to save your life I must! Luca you mustn’t go back…” Brennus said as he turned to me with a sad stern look and I quite simply couldn’t believe him as I sat there with a stunned expression while meeting his gaze.

“Wh-what about Leo…? What about Felix and the others…? You’re saying I’m to leave them to die in my place!? My own son and mate have to die so I can be safe!? Let alone I have to watch from another time and just deal with it!!?” I said in a depressed fit of rage as I stood with tears in my eyes and yelled at the Lucario I saw as a mentor. However, I hadn’t even really thought about or realized what I said… Ever since I was rescued I hadn’t called Felix my mate… Yet unconsciously he never left the title in my mind.

“Luca, please… If you don’t go back it changes history. They could live and we could send you back later.” Brennus tried to argue but we both knew it would never happen.

“And if I stay and they die because of it… Where does that leave me…?” I said coldly, my former opinion of Brennus shattering as I thought he only cared about the charges and not the people they were entrusted and bonded to.

“You know what we have to do master…” I heard a familiar voice say from the room’s entrance and I turned quickly to see my father, mother, and Ky.

“I should have told you to stay away from here today Luca… I’m sorry…” Brennus said with one final word as he looked across the room at my parents who at the moment wore looks that attempted to hide their sadness with neutrality. But my mother’s eyes betrayed her… In them I saw what they already knew. That they felt they were going to lose me forever… but I saw it differently. They had enlightened me and now all I had to do was avoid it, simply save the others and stay alive no matter what… I thought it was that easy…

When my parents arrived I had forgotten about the scrying pool’s scene. If I had looked I would have seen my opponent beginning his assault, but before my attention could return to the pool Brennus held out a paw and opened a portal for me. I have to admit I was amazed he had the strength to do such a thing alone, but the thought didn’t really sink in at that moment. I gave one last look of farewell to my parents and as I stepped into the rift I saw my mother turn her head as a few tears escaped her eyes.

‘I’ll be fine mom… Just wait and see.’ I thought quietly to myself as I disappeared into the rift only to step immediately into Felix’s reality…
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