Chapter 12: Broken Pieces
Chapter 12: Broken Pieces
After spending so much time apart, Polka, Jazz and Tango's sister, is finally reunited with her siblings, though old resentments still linger. But who feels even more left out is Waltz, who after confronting Tango about his feelings, is left by himself out on the beach to contemplate things. Perhaps a little pep talk from a certain Azumarill is just the medicine he needs to get back into the game before the troop heads over to Leafbloom Town and off to find the Mystic.
DISCLAIMER: All characters and properties are copyright their respective owners. All writing and original characters are copyright 2009 Zephyr Paws. The author is in no way associated or affiliated with any third-party. This original fiction was created with no intention of any copyright infringement against any third-party, and is purely for fan enjoyment.
The sun was just barely peeking out from the distant ocean, saying goodbye to the eventful day. Tango, Jazz, Waltz, and Blues had just finished their dinner and were waiting for the help the Kecleon brothers promised to arrive.
Jazz gave a thorough explanation of what the Kecleon brothers told them before they left, about how Tommy was asleep due to the power of the barrier and he would be dreaming that he was a Pokemon destined to save the world. He also explained that the barrier was created by several psychic Pokemon on the island and one of them lived far off in the Great Canyon -- the Mystic.
Of course, Waltz and Tango had heard most of that anyway, but what they hadn't heard was a plan. The Kecleon brothers were supposed to be bringing back a Rescue Team -- Team Hope -- to help them get to the Great Canyon and speak to the Mystic about curing Tommy. A reputable Rescue Team like Team Hope would have no problem persuading the Mystic, or so the Kecleon brothers thought.
There was one thing, though: none of them could tell Team Hope that Tommy was a human. Jazz told Waltz and Tango that the Kecleon brothers did know about them and would take care of Tommy while they traveled, keeping him safe and out of sight, but they thought it'd be a problem if Team Hope or any other Pokemon learned about the human's presence before talking to the Mystic.
"Got it, you two?" he asked after finishing his summary.
Tango and Waltz both nodded in response.
"Great, now let's keep watch for them. How about you two stay with Tommy until they get here while Blues and I keep an eye out for them, sound good?" asked Jazz.
"Yeah, that'd be great," said Tango. "Come on, Waltz." She tugged on Waltz's side to get him to follow her into the alcove where Tommy was sleeping.
Jazz and Blues watched them until they were both out of sight, then they took a few steps forward to keep watch for the help they were waiting on.
" 'ey Jazzy, 'ya know, we could get a li'l busy while we wait aroun', 'uh? Whad'ya think?" asked Blues as she rubbed her face against Jazz's side. She wrapped her bubbly tail around him.
Jazz blushed. He really wanted to, but didn't think that it'd be appropriate given the current situation. "We're supposed to be standing watch! Look what happened the last time we got busy when we were supposed to be keeping an eye out."
"Yeah, we got all the 'elp we needed!" she exclaimed.
"Hmm, guess we did, didn't we?" The Floatzel laughed. "You got me there. But those two were pretty weird anyway. This 'Team Hope' might be a bit more offended if they show up and find us going at it. And- and there's sis and Waltz just a few dozen feet behind us!"
" 'ell if 'ya dun wanna, 'ya dun 'ave 'ta," said Blues, retracting her tail. "I jus' thought it'd be kinda fun, y'know? We can wait, dun worry. 'ey, but whad'jya think of them lizards, 'uh? My li'l Jazzy popped 'is booty-cherry, hehe!"
Jazz blushed even more than before. He remembered just how awesome it felt being taken by a male, added onto the usual pleasure of mating with Blues. The feeling of the Kecleon's member pounding against his prostate... the taste of another's male's cum... "Eh-heh-heh... it was pretty damn good, I've gotta say."
" 'at a boy, Jazzy!" Blues hugged her mate's side and nuzzled her face against his arm. "Maybe if they all come back, we can do it again, 'uh?"
"Maybe..." He sighed, then smiled, glad that he had such an understanding mate. Their openness was one of the things they loved about each other most.
While Jazz and Blues were out watching for the Kecleon brothers and Team Hope, Tango and Waltz were inside of the small alcove with Tommy. They sat down beside him, facing each other.
Tango sighed, breaking the silence. "I'm sorry, Waltz..."
Waltz just kept quiet, crossing his arms and listening to hear what the Buizel was going to say.
"You're mad at me, aren't you?" she asked him.
"I don't know..." said Waltz. "I just... I feel kind of... empty, still."
Tango got up and walked over next to Waltz, then sat down beside him. "It's my fault, isn't it?"
The Typhlosion let out a large sigh. "...Tango... ...you don't really love me." He paused, taking another sigh. He didn't really want to have to say it, but he figured that he wouldn't have an opportunity to talk to her about their situation for awhile.
"W-Waltz? Of course I love you! I love you and Tommy!"
"No... You don't really love me; you just want me to be happy, don't you?" he asked, sighing again.
His question left an air of silence between them. Tango didn't know how to answer a question like that. Maybe the Typhlosion was right... maybe she did just want to see him happy. "Waltz..."
"It's... it's okay. I'm alright with that... I... I just always thought that having a mate would have been a bit more fulfilling..."
The Buizel wagged her two-pronged tail, then stood up. She walked over in front of Waltz and pressed her paws against his chest. "I'm sorry... I can make it more fulfilling if you'd like..." She began sliding one of her paws down his chest and over to his belly, slowly reaching it lower.
"Tango!" shouted Waltz, pushing her away. "That's exactly what I mean."
"What?" she asked in a guilty voice. "What do you mean?"
"You...! You just... you just don't understand..." He stood up, faced away from Tango, and clenched his fist. "You're being exactly like you were last night, when this whole mess started. You feel bad for me, so you're going to try and cheer me up by mating."
"No, that's not it at all!" She walked over to his side and looked up at him. He clearly looked a bit pissed. "Waltz, please don't be mad at me!"
"Why, then? Why did you coax me into mating with you last night? You took advantage of me, you took advantage of my Trainer, and you're just stringing me along so you'll have someone else to mate with if you ever get bored with Mr. Human right there."
"Waltz! Stop! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to... I just... I..."
"I... I don't know... I'm sorry... I'm sorry for everything." Tango began lightly crying. "I never should have been so stupid to mate with you! I didn't think about this! I didn't think about what would happen!"
Waltz felt hurt by her statement, true as it was. "Of course... It was just stupidity mating with Waltz. Good old Waltz. Should have known better..."
"Waltz, I didn't mean it like that!"
"So what? It's true. It was stupid. And I was stupid for going along with it. Even Tommy was stupid for doing goodness-knows-what and agreeing to somehow split our feelings together or something. Why you even made me say something like that in the first place is beyond me."
Though Waltz usually kept a more passive behavior, his anger was quickly showing as he stood up and paced around the alcove, avoiding eye contact with Tango. He couldn't hold back the emotions he'd been bottling up throughout the whole day any longer, even though releasing them was against his nature.
"Waltz! We just did it because we care about you and want you to be happy!" exclaimed Tango.
Waltz stopped and kept silent for a few seconds, staring right at Tango. "There. You only did it so I would be happy. See?"
Tango sniveled and wiped her teary eyes with her paw. "I'm... sorry. I don't know what more you want me to say... maybe I really did do everything just so you could be happy and because I know how great mating felt for me and how long I had to wait for it. Maybe I just felt sorry for you..."
The Typhlosion sighed. "Or maybe you just wanted to mate, since you got hooked on the feeling, and I happened to be the closest thing with a pulse around."
"M-maybe... I really don't know..." Tango let out another snivel. "Waltz... do you think you can just leave me alone? With Tommy?" She didn't sound too good. "I just want to be alone."
'Greaaat, now I've done it,' thought Waltz. "Fine..." He shrugged and walked outside of the alcove, into the twilit beach. He stared at the sand as he slowly walked towards where Jazz and Blues were waiting.
'I should have just shut up and dealt with it... now she's going to be mad and upset with me forever. She's just young... I have to remember that. I have to remember that it's probably just in her instinct to mate. She's curious... and she's still just learning what love really is.'
Waltz kicked some of the sand he was walking through out of frustration. 'But then again, so am I. ...ugh, it just felt so good. I know it wasn't real, but it felt so good... I wish... I wish I could have taken back what I just said. I didn't need to make her feel as bad as she made me felt earlier...'
The Typhlosion looked back at the alcove. The guilt would eat him alive if he didn't apologize to Tango. 'Wait, why am I the one who has to apologize? She was the one that ignored me and has been toying with me left and right.'
His guilt began subsiding, rationalizing his actions versus hers in his mind and seeing her as the one 'at fault.' He had nothing to feel guilty over. She clearly didn't want him to be around and only cared about Tommy, just as he'd always figured. 'Why bother feeling let down... it's not like I can lose anything I never had, anyway...'
He took a sigh, then started walking off along the beach, leaving Tango alone with Tommy and allowing his mind to wander. Before long, he could just barely see the alcove. Waltz sat down, took a sigh, and proceeded to stare out into the ocean, hoping that someday he could enjoy a real love -- not just one that was shared or split.
The Typhlosion refrained himself from letting out a cry, knowing that it would attract undue attention, so he lit up the fiery collar of his in a display of anger. Like Tango, all he wanted now was to be left alone.
"You'd better not be expecting us to take them tonight," said Polka. She was following the two Kecleon brothers down the beach, arms crossed and looking a bit impatient. "We wouldn't even get there until morning anyway."
"No no no, ve can take zem back to ze town and go in ze morning, ja," said the purple Kecleon.
"Ja, eet vill be fine, Polka," assured the other one.
"Good." Polka looked over to her Flaaffy partner walking beside her and smiled. "Thanks for earlier. It really did help cheer me up..."
"Yea-a-ah, I can sure tell. You seem super ha-a-appy now, with your a-arms crossed a-and everything," said Farruca in a sarcastic manner.
Polka gave a mild sigh. "Sorry. I guess I should perk up a bit. I'm sure we can get more out of these two than every mission we've been on all week."
Farruca nodded. "Mmm! That's right!"
The group of four continued walking along the beach. There was only a bit of light left, though Farruca's tail shined through the darkening night thanks to her stored electricity, lighting their path. She was a very helpful partner to have during those late night missions.
Eventually, the two Kecleon brothers that were leading spotted their two friends from earlier. "Ah! Zat's zem! Zer! Sexy Floatzel!"
"Jaaaa, sexy Floatzel, ve have your help, ja!"
The two Kecleons ran over to Jazz and Blues, who got up from where they were sitting to greet them again.
"Hey, glad you didn't forget about us," said Jazz.
"No von could ever forget about you, sexy Floatzel!" exclaimed Boogie.
" 'ell is good ta' see you two back. 'ey, those two over there? Are they Team Hope?" asked Blues, noticing the Buizel and the Flaaffy in the background. Farruca's tail light made them very obvious.
Jazz looked over towards the two Pokemon and completely froze. It couldn't be, could it? "P-... Polka?" said Jazz under his breath. He took several slow steps towards the Buizel and Flaaffy, hoping desperately that it was, in fact, his sister.
Polka stared back at the approaching Floatzel. He looked familiar somehow. Was it...? Was it really? "Jazz?" She placed her paw up by her cheek and rubbed it, trying to see if she'd just fallen asleep and was dreaming or if that actually could be her brother.
"Ja-a-azz? Your brother?" asked Farruca.
She didn't get a response, though. Polka started taking a few cautious steps towards the slowly-approaching Floatzel. Her arms flopped to the side as she felt nervous, anxious, excited, scared, and overwhelmed at the thought of seeing her brother again.
The two Pokemon stopped several yards away from each other. They looked right at one another, squinting through the darkness to verify their suspicions. Finally, Jazz ran forward towards the Buizel, who reacted by running towards him as well until they met with a powerful hug.
"Polka! It really is you!" shouted Jazz, brought nearly to tears after seeing his sister for the first time in nearly a year. Jazz had lifted her up and was cuddling against her face, spinning around in delight.
"Jazz!" shouted Polka. "I... I can't believe you're here! I can't believe you're actually here!" It felt like a dream to her. She missed her brother so much and thought about him all too often.
"Oh, Polka... I missed you so much," said Jazz, now crying for the first time since she left him. "I m-missed you..."
Tears were welling up in Polka's eyes as well. "I missed you even more... I... I'm so glad to see you..."
The two Pokemon embraced each other for several minutes. Blues and Farruca had gone over closer to their mates to make sure they were alright. They definitely were, despite how much they were crying, so Blues and Farruca headed back a bit and introduced themselves to one another.
A few minutes later, after their tears had settled down, Jazz and Polka broke free from their embrace and got a chance to really look at each other for the first time in over nine months.
"Wow, Jazz... you evolved," said Polka, admiring her big brother's even greater size and new features.
"Oh yeah, heh, I guess I did, didn't I? Seems like I've been a Floatzel forever." He smiled. Jazz was still a Buizel when he helped bring Polka to the sheltered land and hadn't seen her since. He evolved not more than a month afterward to make sure he was strong enough to protect the only family he had left.
Polka smiled as well. "It suits you well. At least you kept your sense of humor, right? What about that appetite?"
"Oh, that! Well you'll be glad to know I ate a big dinner just before you got here, so I've definitely kept that!" He patted his belly and laughed. "What about you? You're eating well, right?"
"Probably not enough for the bottomless pit's standards, but I'm eating fine. Just had some berries with Farruca before we left."
"Farruca?" asked Jazz. "Is that the Flaaffy over there talking to Blues?"
"Yeah," answered Polka, looking over at the Flaaffy and the Azumarill talking a few feet away. "That's her. She's my partner."
"Your partner?" asked Jazz, not sure by exactly what she meant by it. He didn't want to be thinking the wrong things, of course.
"Er, you know, for our Rescue Team, Team Hope. It's just me and her on the team." She didn't really want to tell Jazz just how much of a partner she was, though.
"Cool." The Floatzel nodded his head and smiled. "I'll have to meet her. Looks like she and Blues are getting along pretty well." He blushed a bit. "Blues is my mate, heh."
Polka looked up at her brother and blushed as well, wishing she had that kind of confidence to just go out and say it. Farruca was her mate, after all, but they never let anyone know other than Boogie and Woogie.
"Wow, you and an Azumarill, huh? At least she seems pretty cute," said Polka.
"Cute?" he asked her in a teasing fashion.
"You know what I mean! She looks good for you." Polka crossed her arms. "You'll have to introduce me to her."
"Definitely." Jazz smiled. "So what about you? Not to pry or anything, but do you have a certain someone?" He winked at her and nudged his shoulder against her side.
Polka sighed. She didn't really want to lie to her brother, but she had no choice. "N- No, I don't," she answered flatly, trying to avoid as much interrogation as possible.
"Okay, you don't have to tell me, it's alright."
"Tell you what? I told you I don't have one!" she shouted, thinking that Jazz, perceptive as he was, didn't buy what she said.
Jazz's nose was telling him otherwise, though, as he could pick up a faint whiff of mating scent from Polka. He couldn't tell if it was just her by herself or with another Pokemon, though, so he decided to stop giving her a hard time about it. "Alright, I know you wouldn't lie to me," he said.
"Anyway," said Polka, trying to change the subject before the guilt of lying spoiled everything, "how's little sis doing?"
"Heh," said Jazz with a smirk, "that's the reason we came here in the first place, actually."
Polka remembered exactly why she was brought to the beach in the first place. Seeing Jazz completely distracted her from the fact that she was on a mission. "Wait, you mean to tell me that you need me to take you to the Mystic?"
"It's a complicated story." Even more complicated was the fact that they couldn't tell Polka about Tommy, especially since she hates humans. "Just trust me on it, alright? We just need to see the Mystic. It's for little sis."
"Where is she, anyway?" asked Polka. "She's here, right?"
"Yeah, she is." He looked over towards Blues. "Hey, Blues! Can you go and get sis?" he shouted over to her. "Tell her and Waltz that we've got a surprise! Oh, and take Boogie and Woogie with you so they can keep an eye on- uhh, you know, that thing."
Blues saluted her mate, hugged Farruca goodbye for the time being, then hopped down the beach. She stopped at the Kecleon brothers to tell them to come along with her, most likely so they could stay and keep an eye on Tommy while Tango and Waltz got to see Polka and Farruca.
Since Blues was no longer talking to her, Farruca decided to walk over and introduce herself to Jazz. "Hi! I'm Fa-a-rruca-a! You're Ja-a-azz, aren't you?"
"Yep, that's what they call me," he said, smirking. "Nice to meet you, Farruca. So you two are partners, huh? You know, for that Rescue Team thing?"
They both nodded. "Yea-a-ah, we are!" Farruca smiled. "A-and look a-at tha-a-t, we're gonna-a be ta-a-a-king you to the Mystic!"
"Good, because I sure don't have a clue how to get there," said Jazz with a chuckle. The two Pokemon continued to introduce themselves to each other. Since they were both quite friendly and outgoing, it wasn't a problem at all and Jazz was happy that Polka met a seemingly good friend.
"W-W-Wal... tz... I'm s-sorry... this whole th-thing is m-my fault..." said Tango. The sad Buizel was resting her head against the sleeping Tommy's chest, crying onto it and sniveling a bit. She was still down over her 'fight' with Waltz about half an hour ago and didn't even notice Blues and the two Kecleon enter the alcove.
" 'ey, why're you cryin', 'un?" asked Blues, quickly walking over to Tango to pet her on the back in a comforting way. "An' where's Waltz?"
"B- Blues!" Tango quickly turned around and tried to contain her tears. "It was n-nothing, it's okay." She wiped her face and stood up, noticing the two Kecleons giving a grin towards her and Tommy.
"You better be sure, 'un, 'cuz you dun needa be sad now 'at we 'ave our Rescue Team 'ere ta' take us to the Mystic." The Azumarill grinned before holding onto Tango's paws. She still knew that Tango was sad, for whatever reason. Perhaps it had to do with why Waltz wasn't there.
"Ja, ve has ze irrustrious Team Hope on our zide. Zey vill help you wis your problem!" said the normal-colored Kecleon, making a peace sign to show his willingness to help.
"Zey arrived, ja!" said the other Kecleon, the purple one.
Tango looked at them and blinked, not having been familiar with them. "Who are you two clowns?"
"C- clowns?!" they exclaimed in unison, each placing their paws on their hips.
"They're the 'elp we were talkin' 'bout, 'un, an' they foun' Team 'ope." Blues giggled a bit, knowing that the identity of one of the members of Team Hope would be quite a surprise for Tango. "C'mon, 'ya should come on out an' meet 'em! There's even a surprise fur 'ya!" She winked at the Buizel.
"Surprise...?" That caught her attention. She didn't know what could possibly surprise her right now, no less manage to cheer her up. Even the hope of having a Rescue Team take her to the Mystic wasn't totally cheering her up thanks to her exchange of words with Waltz.
Blues began tugging on the Buizel's paw in an attempt to drag her out to where Jazz, Polka, and Farruca were. She looked over at the Kecleon brothers as she was doing so. "Can 'ya guys keep an eye on 'im? 'e ain't much trouble, dun worry. Jus' no funny business!"
"Ja!" The two said together once more. "Ve can watch ze human!" said Boogie.
"Ja, ve keep good watch over him." The Kecleon brothers walked over to where Tommy was sound asleep and stood guard.
Knowing that Tommy was being watched over, Tango felt a little less guilty about being dragged away by Blues, so she let her tug on her paw and lead her outside of the alcove and into the darkness. She had completely forgotten about Waltz through all of the busyness.
"I didn't know that Gulpins could even do that," said Jazz in response to a conversation he, Polka, and Farruca were all having. But that was what Tango heard as she was led out by Blues and saw her brother talking with two other Pokemon.
To Tango's amazement, she recognized one of the Pokemon as one of the Pokemon that she ran across earlier -- Farruca! At least, she was pretty sure it was a Farruca. She didn't know how many Flaaffy there were in the sheltered land.
But what caught Tango's attention even more was the shadowy figure of what appeared to be... a Buizel. A Buizel standing right beside her big brother Jazz and the Flaaffy. Could it really be...?
"Polka...?" asked Tango as she slowly started approaching the three Pokemon, breaking free from Blues' grip and placing her paws right under her chin in sort of a disbelieving way. Was it really happening? Could it really be her?
Hearing her name caused Polka to face the younger Buizel approaching her. She knew just who it was. "S... Salsa... it's you..." She didn't know what to say. It'd been so long since she'd seen her younger sister. She wasn't even familiar with her new given name. Rather than walking towards her, she just let Tango continue until she reached her.
When Tango was just a few feet away from Polka, she stopped, stared at the Buizel's face, and then ran towards her big sister with tears quickly forming at her eyes. "Polka! It's you! Polka!" She immediately locked Polka into a hug, wrapping her arms around her body and squeezing tightly.
Polka didn't return the hug quite as much, because she still felt very awkward around Tango -- or Salsa, as she knew her as -- due to certain things from her past. But she did still gently rub her younger sister's back as she was embraced in a hug. At least she wasn't hated...
"Aww-w-w-w, the whole fa-a-mily is together now, huh?" Farruca smiled at Jazz, then stepped out of the way and went over by Blues so the three could bond for the first time they've been together as a full family in over nine months.
The Floatzel, big brother Jazz, walked over to his two younger sisters and wrapped his arms around the two, so glad that they were all back together again. It really felt like old times, the three of them together. He couldn't even remember the last time he hugged all three of them, because he knew that Polka was always resentful over the extra attention her younger sister received and would often abstain from hugging her. Not only that, but she wasn't a very physically affectionate Pokemon back then, either.
It was a really magic moment. All three of them really felt a lot more at ease about their problems and, for just the two minutes they spent embraced, nothing else really seemed to matter. Whatever stresses they had, whatever resentments they held, whatever ghosts looming in their pasts... it all just seemed to disappear.
When their embrace was over, Tango realized that her sister wasn't as tall as she remembered her being. She was so young back when Polka left that all of her memories of her older sister were so faint, not to mention she'd grown up to be a fully-grown Buizel.
"Well that was cozy," said Jazz with a nod and a warm smile. "It's so nice to be back together as a family, you know?"
"Yeah..." said Polka with a sigh. She glanced down and was trying to come to grips that it was really happening. It still seemed like a dream, being back with the only two members of her family she had left. "You've really grown up, too, Salsa..."
Tango blushed and giggled a bit, since it'd been a bit since she'd heard her actual name. Ever since Tommy gave her the name Tango, she went with that, and since Jazz and Blues just called her 'sis,' she could easily get away with it. "Hey Polka, do you think you can call me Tango now?"
"Tango?" asked Polka, sounding a little entertained by Tango's request. "Tango? That sounds so silly." She crossed her arms and looked at her sister to try and attach her to the name. Could it really fit her? "You really want to be called Tango now? Why?"
Tango and Jazz looked at each other, both worried over how they'd explain the exact reason that her name change came to be -- Tommy. Just as Tango was about to speak, Jazz interrupted and spoke instead. "Oh, you know, she thought it had a more appealing ring to it."
Polka rolled her eyes. "Sure, because the name your parents gave you just wasn't good enough..." The way she spoke made her jealousy more apparent. She didn't mean to, but she couldn't help but snap.
"Polka, just let it be, okay? We'll talk about this later." Jazz scolded Polka, recognizing her tone. It was one that he was hoping she wouldn't have around Tango, but he figured old habits die hard... There was something else on his mind, though, something missing from the picture. "Hey Tango," asked Jazz, "where's Waltz at?"
She shrugged and let out a sigh. "I... I don't know." Truthfully, she didn't. She was too distracted crying over Tommy to notice where Waltz had went and didn't exactly remember him when she was led over to see the Rescue Team.
"Waltz?" asked Polka. "Who's Waltz?" Though her partner had met both Waltz and Tango from before, Polka hadn't actually gotten to meet the Typhlosion yet.
Again, Tango and Jazz looked at each other, not knowing what they should and shouldn't say. "He's-"
Cutting Jazz off, Tango decided to take the reigns into her paws. "He's my mate." What Waltz said to her must have had some effect, since it caused Tango to spit that out without much hesitance. It also got her out of explaining Tommy to Polka, which would be awkward, especially because she knows Polka's hatred towards humans.
Polka blushed after hearing that her younger sister had a mate, too. She really had grown up. "I see. I hope he makes you happy, then." The older Buizel didn't know what else to say in response to that. Again, she might have been a bit a jealous, just because she felt it was more attention given to the little Buizel.
Of course, Polka couldn't have chosen a poorer response in Tango's mind, given that Waltz had just gotten done making her cry. "Right..." responded Tango in a less than enthusiastic manner. "I was with him and-" She stopped talking after realizing that she wasn't supposed to tell Polka about Tommy. "Well I was just with him in the alcove and then he left."
It wasn't the whole story, but it was close enough in her mind. She figured he just went off to be alone or something. Though her assumption was true, loneliness was just the thing that Waltz didn't want to feel.
"Hey Blues, go check the beach to see if you can find him, okay?" asked Jazz, to which Blues gave an eager salute and began strolling down the beach in search of the Typhlosion that had gone missing. Farruca decided to tag along as well, wanting to give an opportunity for the three sea weasel siblings to catch up even more.
"What's the point...? I don't even know why I try anymore..." mumbled Waltz to himself. He was just sitting at the water's edge, taking extra care to avoid getting wet. He didn't particularly care for the water itself, but watching the sunset along the beach was rather enjoyable, even if he did spend it alone.
All Waltz could do was question the situation he was in. He felt so powerless and unloved. All he wanted to do was just to take care of Tango. He didn't even have to be her mate, but due to some crazy, immature scheme she had, he wound up feeling trapped in a three-way relationship with her and his own Trainer.
"Tommy... I hope you aren't making a mistake with her." Waltz rarely doubted his Trainer's judgment and knew that he made good decisions, but after seeing Tango's recklessness and inability to really perceive the sort of love the Typhlosion had always longed for, he really was starting to have second thoughts as to whether or not their relationship was a good idea.
Waltz let out a depressed sigh as he clenched his knees even closer to his body, sitting down in a rather miserable pose on the sandy beach. It was as if his heart was breaking right in front of him. "Why did I even think she loved me, or even cared about me... why did I have to fall for that..."
" 'ey, 'ya okay, Waltz?" The familiar voice of the Azumarill with the heavy accent snuck up on the sulking Typhlosion. " 'ya dun look so good."
"Yea-a-ah, what's the ma-a-atter, Wa-a-ltz?" Farruca smiled, once again being able to see the kind Typhlosion that she saw earlier in the day. "Is it your ma-a-te?"
Hearing that only caused Waltz to sigh even more. He didn't bother to face the two females and instead just closed his eyes and he could go back to Johto with Tommy and never live the nightmare he was living.
Blues gently rubbed Waltz's back in an attempt to comfort him. It wasn't difficult to tell that he was down, no doubt over Tango. " 'ey Farruca, 'ow 'bout you go on back ta' everyun' else an' let 'em know we found'im, 'kay? I need jus' a minute 'r two with 'im, alone, y'know, mmm?"
The Flaaffy blinked a few times, then got the clue. "Riiight!" she baaed, then walked away in the direction she came, looking back once for a brief second just to make sure that Waltz was okay, then heading back into the distance to the other three.
"She's not going to see Tommy, is she?" asked Waltz flatly.
"Nah, 'e's fine, dun worry. We got the Kecleon brothers watchin' 'im like a baby Shinx 'er somethin'." She stepped around Waltz and then sat down beside him, staring out at the ocean along with him. "Wha's on yer mind, 'un?"
"It's nothing... I just... I..." He was torn as to whether or not he should talk about it with Blues. She was, after all, a lot more familiar with Tango. That could cause her to be more concerned about Tango's wellbeing than his own.
"Yer worried 'bout Tanga, aren'cha? 'er is it Tommy?"
"Um..." He froze for a few seconds, contemplating whether or not he should answer the question. "It's... it's both."
"Aww, c'mon Waltzy boy, 'ya can talk ta' me if 'ya needa let stuff out," said Blues, lightly tapping the fiery Typhlosion's back with her bubbly tail. "If yer jealous 'er somethin' over 'em, is okay."
"I just... this isn't how I wanted it to be... this isn't what I always wanted... it doesn't seem like this is what love is supposed to feel like..." He let out another sigh, deciding that he would open up to Blues about his feelings. They were building up for awhile and he had to let them out somehow. The ocean wasn't doing a very good job at talking back anyway.
"Are 'ya shure 'ya even love 'er? 'cuz I know you two mated an' all, but tha' doesn't mean tha'cha love 'er."
Waltz growled a bit and glanced over at Blues. "We mated. She wanted both Tommy and I to be her mates, so I have to honor her wishes."
"But Waltzy, whaddaya like about Tanga anyways? Why'dya love 'er?" She may have been assuming that they were in love, since she didn't know the exact circumstances and really knew only what Jazz told her. Everything else was just a guess. Fortunately for Blues, she had a pretty sharp intuition.
For Waltz, though, it was a particularly hard question. He'd never given any consideration into why, exactly, he loved Tango. He just assumed it to be a fact, since they mated, and he wanted to love the Pokemon he mated with, promising himself that he'd do whatever it took to keep her safe and remain infinitely loyal. It was just particularly hard that fate played such a cruel joke on him by dealing him the situation he was in.
"We... we mated. I'm supposed to love my mate. I... I want to protect her and be loyal to her."
"But whaddisit 'ya like 'bout 'er in the first place, 'uh? Waltzy, love isn' jus' somethin' tha'cha should be forced ta' feel or anythin'. An' it isn' jus' about the matin', either!" Blues stood up and faced Waltz, placing her paws on her hips.
"You don't understand what it's like... she's the first female that I-"
Before Waltz could finish, Blues interrupted him. "Tha'cha mated with, right, I know."
"No! Not even just that." Waltz released his paws from his knees and glanced over to the side with an even more hurting look on his face. "She's the first female that I actually thought cared about me. I'm really shy around females..."
"Shy? Youuuu? Coulda fooled me!" The Azumarill let out a proud laugh, then resumed her therapy session. "But why'dya think that way, 'uh, Waltz? I mean, 'ya seemed fine aroun' me."
Waltz looked back over to the sympathetic Azumarill. He opened his mouth, though no words came out -- just a sigh. He hung his head and closed his eyes. "I just mean... I've grown up my whole life seeing mated Pokemon, Pokemon in pairs, happy together, and I've always, always wanted to be something important to someone."
" 'ey, do 'ya fin' me attractive, Waltz?" asked Blues out of the blue, eliciting a rather shocked response from Waltz in return.
"W-w-wha?! What do you mea-"
"I'm a female, an' you've always wanted a female to love, right? When 'ya woke up that first day an' saw me lookin' at'cha, did'jya think I was pretty 'er attractive 'er even sexy? 'ya can be 'onest, is okay."
Waltz gulped. He had no clue what on earth Blues was doing asking those sorts of questions. It was very reminiscent of when Tango started coming onto him... "I... I don't know. M-maybe?"
The Azumarill gave a wide grin, then once more to Waltz's surprise, she began walking forward, right towards him, and started pushing her paws against his chest in an attempt to push him onto his back on the sand. "An' wha' woulda 'appened if 'ya mated with me then? Rather 'en Tanga?"
Her actions were really making Waltz very afraid. He didn't know what she was doing, and even the thought of mating with her was so far out there. Was she really trying to take advantage of him, just like Tango was? "Stop, please..." he whimpered as he found himself pushed onto the ground. Despite being physically stronger than her, he was still powerless to resist her advances.
"Wha' would 'appen if we mated right now, 'uh?" She started sliding down the fluffy chest of the Typhlosion and wiggling her legs down by his more sensitive region. "Would'jya be jus' as loyal ta' me as ya' are with Tanga?"
He couldn't help but get turned on by her behavior. She was arousing him so much just resting on his chest, but all of that talk about mating -- something that Waltz had still only been exposed to once -- was driving him crazy. Not just crazy with arousal, though, but crazy with fear as well.
"No, you're taking advantage of me... you know I have a mate... you know I love Tango... stop... please..."
His pleas proved ineffective as he felt her feet lightly touch his emerging member, causing him to twitch slightly when he realized what was happening. "Aww, but Waltzy, y'know 'ya said the only reason 'ya love 'er was 'cuz 'ya mated. Is that really love, 'uh? 'ya can mate jus' fer fun, too. We could mate right now, jus' fer fun, an' no 'un'd ever 'ave ta' know 'bout it." Her feet were now down by his and her body was down by Waltz's exposed member, ready and willing to take him into her at any second. "Maybe Tanga jus' wanted ta' mate fer fun. Maybe you did, too, when 'ya mated 'er."
"Stop!" exclaimed Waltz. He wanted to say something to defend it, but the realization that what Blues was saying might have been true hit him so hard. "Stop... s-stop..." whimpered the Typhlosion. Tears started welling up in his eyes. "I don't know... you... you expect me to know all about love and what it is and isn't... I told you I don't know... I d-don't... know..."
After seeing Waltz's reaction, Blues slid herself up along his chest and proceeded to climb up off his body. She looked down at the crying Typhlosion with a look of regret on her face, though she knew that she accomplished what she had set out to do. "Sorry, Waltzy. I din't mean ta' do that to 'ya." She got down onto her knees to get closer to his face and then wiped off some of his tears. "I jus' wanted 'ya to think."
He couldn't believe it. Was Blues just playing with him? Was she just toying with his emotions in some sort of cruel way, just to get a laugh? Just so he could 'think?' "W-what?!" he exclaimed, deflecting her paw away from his cheek. He sat up and faced her with a very angry look on his face. "How could you do that to me?!"
" 'ey, 'ey, easy, is okay. I know yer new to it, Waltzy. Tha's why is importan' fer you ta' know the diff'rent kinds'a love." She nodded her head. "I mean, if 'ya dun even know why yer in love, d'ya think yer gonna stay in love? Really, 'un?"
Waltz didn't know how to respond to that. She did have a point -- her actions and her little 'test' there made him really realize that he didn't know why he was in love with Tango. It actually made him question whether or not he really was.
"Just leave me alone..." said Waltz as he sat up. "You didn't help, Blues." He sighed and placed his paws on the sides of his face. "All you did was just make it hurt even more..."
"Waltzy?" asked Blues, catching Waltz's attention, if even just to humor her. "Maybe yer thinkin' matin' is a bigger deal than it actually is, hmmm?"
The fiery Typhlosion freed his paws from his cheeks and shook his head. "No, it's still the most important symbol of love to me."
"Coul'jya jus' consider the poss'bility that is not? Yer not a child, Waltzy, yer a fully grown Pokemon! Sometimes ya'll wanna mate if 'ya see a femme that wants ta' mate. Shure, 'ya might not stay together, but sometimes is better ta' take a few 'appy moments rather 'en none at all, mmm?"
Waltz sighed. "You just don't get it... I don't want to mate with other Pokemon..." He hung his head and looked even more down.
"But do 'ya jus' wanna mate with Tanga? I mean, do 'ya 'onestly think id'll be right fer 'ya, 'avin' 'er as a mate?"
"I don't know!" shouted Waltz, growing increasingly angry at Blues and life in general. "All I want is just one mate that I can give all of my love to!" he exclaimed, standing up and flaring up the fiery collar of his. "I want one mate to mate with! I want one mate that will love me back more than anything else! Why can't I have that?! Why?!"
Blues, though a bit intimidated, tried to sympathize for the depressed Typhlosion. She cautiously reached forward to pet his side, though was immediately deflected by Waltz's paws, something that she wasn't expecting.
"W- Waltzy, 'ey! I'm 'ere fer 'ya ta' talk to, y'know?" The Azumarill looked a bit disappointed that she wasn't able to cheer up Waltz. "Maybe 'ya should try an' mate with Tanga again? She did call 'ya 'er mate back there."
Hearing that calmed Waltz down slightly. He blinked and looked at Blues a little more civilly. "She... did?" He'd been completely oblivious to what was going on with everything else and didn't even know that Tango's sister and Farruca were over with Tango and Jazz and that the Kecleon brothers were guarding Tommy.
"Yup! 'er sister, Polka, showed up, an' so did a charmin' Flaaffy named Furrica 'er somethin' like that. They're Team Hope."
"F- Farruca?" asked Waltz, recognizing her name from earlier. "You mean she's on the Rescue Team that's taking us to the Mystic? With Tango's sister?"
Blues nodded. "Yup, small world, 'uh?" She giggled afterwards. "But y'know, if 'ya get a chance, 'ya should really try mate again, Waltzy, 'cuz maybe she'll love 'ya more after a good matin', y'know?"
Though he had only mated with her last night, Waltz would be lying to himself if he said he weren't forward to mating again. It was so pleasurable, yet he could remember so little of it. "M-maybe..." he said with a stutter, actually not ruling out the idea entirely. "It's just... she's so wrapped up with Tommy that she barely pays attention to me. Maybe that's why I feel so depressed in the first place."
Now it was finally making sense to Blues. "Yer jealous! Tha's it!" she exclaimed. "Yer jealous that Tanga's spendin' more time thinkin' 'bout 'im than you, hmmm?"
At first, Waltz tried to immediately dismiss the idea. "N- no! He's my Trainer!" It was a very weak excuse, which he quickly realized. "No... I... maybe I am just jealous."
Now that Waltz was finally opening up to Blues about the source of his problems, she felt she was making progress. That made her proud. " 'ell, y'know, Waltzy, maybe the problem is that yer not bein' enough like a big, strong male!"
"W- what?" he asked, appearing almost offended by her remarks. "What do you mean I'm not big and strong?"
"Aww Waltzy, y'know yer a softy, right? 'ow often do 'ya say 'ya love 'er, 'uh? Why'dya think she likes Tommy so much, 'uh? Is cuz 'e's more open 'bout 'is feelin's! An' 'e's more conferdent 'an you!" She crossed her arms and nodded, knowing that her advice was being heeded. " 'ya jus' needa be more conferdent an' jus' watch! Femmes love a strong, conferdent male!"
"But... what about Tommy? He loves her... he told me. I'm his Pokemon and I've known him for so long..."
" 'ey! Conferdence! If Tanga wants ta' be Tommy's mate, is cuz she thinks 'e's stronger an' more conferdent! Or a better fuck... ah ha ha!" Blues broke out into a bit of laughter.
Waltz, on the other hand, didn't take it quite as humorously. "Hey!" he exclaimed, just trying to put her in line. "I don't want Tommy to be upset!"
" 'ell, wimp out if 'ya wanna, yer call, but dun go tryin' ta' mate with Tanga then."
The fiery Typhlosion sighed and rolled his eyes. "But she wanted to mate with both of us... I mean, have us both as mates."
"Wow, tha's so 'ot! I wish I 'ad another male fightin' over me! Two males matin' me'd be amazin'!" She looked over at Waltz with a playfully seductive look. " 'ey Waltzy, why dun'cha talk ta' Jazzy an' maybe we can, y'know...-"
"No!" exclaimed Waltz. "I'd rather stick to my own mate problem if you don't mind!"
" 'ell the offer's always open, 'un, an' I can make shure is not the only thing 'at'll be open if 'ya catch my drift, hehe." She giggled even more, then smirked at Waltz. "But right, I think she'll 'ave ta' choose 'un of 'ya in the end if she wants a serious mate." Blues then crossed her arms and swished her tail. "So tha's why 'ya gots'ta be as conferdent as 'ya can 'til Tommy wakes up!"
No matter how much Blues tried to persuade him, he still wasn't exactly comfortable with the idea of competing against Tommy for Tango. But since he didn't really like the thought of his love being split in the situation he was currently in, nor did he like the possibility of just abandoning Tango and giving up on her, he did start to see it more as an inevitability. Besides, if he could gain more confidence, perhaps that would help him with a future mate, should he fail at keeping Tango's love.
"M-... maybe..." he mumbled, seriously taking her advice to heart. "But still... Tommy..."
" 'ey, about Tommy, if Tanga still can't make up 'er mind, Tommy'll try 'arder ta' keep 'er love. If 'e doesn't, 'en yer prolly doin' 'e an' Tanga both a favor, 'cuz 'e would'n be serious 'bout 'er enough anyways if 'e does'n compete, right?"
The Typhlosion just stared right down at the Azumarill, carefully processing what she said. Perhaps she was right. Perhaps if he tried being more confident, he'd be able to win over Tango more. He didn't want Tommy to be jealous or mad at him, though, but maybe getting him to fight harder for love would serve him well, since he had a problem staying focused to things -- particularly human girls, who he hardly seemed to acknowledge.
"What can I do to become more confident?" he asked her, finally giving in to her eagerness to help.
Blues grinned and looked at Waltz in a proud way, proud to have convinced him to listen to her advice.
However, her moment was interrupted when she heard a Pokemon call her name from behind, catching her completely off-guard. "Blu-u-es!" baaed a certain Flaaffy, appearing out of nowhere from behind the two. "Is everything oka-a-y? Everyone wa-a-nts to leave! You a-a-nd Wa-a-ltz ha-a-ve been ta-a-lking for ha-a-lf an hour!"
The two Pokemon looked at each other with a look of embarrassment, slowly turning to face the rather impatient seeming Flaaffy afterwards. "Oops!" exclaimed Blues. "I jus' needed ta' give Waltzy 'ere some advice, y'know? Advice 'bout 'is mate, good ol' Tanga."
Waltz blushed. "Yeah... sorry."
"It's oka-a-y!" replied Farruca. "We were just a-a-ll worried a-a-bout you!"
It made Waltz feel a bit better knowing that they actually were worried about him. Sometimes it seemed like he wasn't wanted or important there, so maybe it was a step in the right direction.
"Go on ahead, 'kay, Furrica? I gots'ta talk ta' Waltzy 'bout somethin'," said Blues, trying to get Farruca to leave. She still needed to let Waltz know not to mention Tommy, just in case he forgot that he wasn't supposed to.
"Oka-a-y," replied Farruca in her usual sheepish tone, smiling, nodding, then turning around and heading down the beach, looking back at the two after taking about a dozen steps to make sure that they were coming -- they weren't yet, though, but she knew that just by her looking, it'd put the right pressure on them to do so.
"Waltzy, 'ya gots'ta remember not ta' bring up Tommy's name around 'em." She looked over at the alcove that was housing Tommy. "The Kecleon brothers're keepin' an eye on 'im, so 'e'll be safe. They owe us bunches'a favors, ah ha ha! So dun worry, 'kay?"
"Alright... I hope you're right."
"I am." Blues nodded, then started walking along the beach, stopping to invite Waltz to follow her. "Come on, Waltzy. Remember! Conferdence!"
"Wait!" exclaimed Waltz, chasing after her. "You never told me how to be more confident!"
"Jus' dun ask, fer starters," she said simply. "Is somethin' 'ya gots'ta jus' feel. I'll try 'elp 'owever I can, jus' dun worry. But jus' try not askin' and jus' doin', makin' shure ta' tell Tanga 'ow much 'ya love 'er an' tha'cha wanna mate with 'er. 'at'll really drive 'er wild, trust me!"
Waltz still felt a little uncomfortable about that, but what did he have to lose? Perhaps fighting was a better solution than giving up. Things certainly were about to get rather interesting, that much he knew for sure.
When Waltz and Blues returned to the group of sea weasel siblings and their Flaaffy cohort, they were greeted graciously.
"Waltz! Everything okay?" asked Jazz in his usual cool demeanor.
"Waltz..." said Tango in a more thoughtful tone, thinking of how she treated Waltz and still feeling a bit uncomfortable around him after their argument. But, then again, she did just recently refer to him as her mate in front of Polka and Farruca.
"I'm alright now, it's okay," answered Waltz, sighing and surveying the crowd. He recognized Farruca, but the other Buizel, the less cheerful looking one, was a new face to him. "You must be Tango's sister?" he asked, turning to face the new Buizel.
Polka nodded. "I'm Jazz's sister, too. But... yeah, I'm Polka, member of Team Hope." She extended her paw to Waltz, though didn't look too enthusiastic to shake it. "I guess we'll be helping you get to the Mystic."
"Nice to meet you, Polka," said Waltz formally, grabbing Polka's paw and lightly shaking it. "I'm-"
"Waltz," interrupted Polka. "I know. You're Sals- I mean 'Tango's' mate." She withdrew her paw and crossed her arms, swishing her tail in a somewhat irritable fashion.
"Come on and behave, Polka," said Jazz, scolding his younger sister.
"Sorry..." The Buizel rolled her eyes. "Anyway, we need to get going to town so we can leave in the morning to the Great Canyon. I hope none of you need breaks after that. Or sleep."
"No breaks?" asked Jazz in a disappointed tone. "How far away is it, do you reckon?"
Polka looked behind her and then stared off into the distance, which was just a bit too dark to really make anything out in. Regardless, Polka had developed a great sense of direction. "About eight or nine hours if we hurry and don't get sidetracked by too many wild Pokemon."
Everyone except for Farruca seemed rather alarmed by her estimate. "Eight or nine hours?!" exclaimed Tango.
"It's going to take however long it's going to take," said Polka back to her little sister. "You can deal with it, I'm sure."
Waltz decided to seize the opportunity and use the moment as a chance to exert some confidence. He walked over to Tango and placed his paw on her shoulder, then extended the other one, pointing his finger in the direction Polka was pointing. "It's okay! I'll carry you if you get tired!" exclaimed Waltz in a confident tone.
Tango looked at him with a look of confusion, uncertain what caused his change in attitude from earlier, but she wasn't going to complain. "Really?" she asked after a few seconds, trying to figure out what the catch was for those first few seconds.
The Typhlosion nodded his head and looked down at her with a smile, pleased to ease Tango of some of the burden should she require it. "Of course." He paused for a second, then decided to throw something in to practice his confidence, just to see if what Blues said was right. "Anything for my mate," he said with a smile.
As she heard that, Tango blushed and had a brief moment of disbelief. Waltz had always seemed willing and eager to help, but he'd never really offered. Not only that, he was actually being surprisingly affectionate towards her, referring to her as his mate for what might have been the first time out of his own free will. She just blinked at the Typhlosion and found herself unable to say anything more.
"Let's go, you two lovebi-i-rds!" baaed Farruca, walking over to the two and giggling in front of them.
Polka wasted no time in walking ahead of the bunch, not bothering to wait for them to follow her. She knew they would. She knew they'd have to if they wanted to get to the Mystic. That was, after all, her mission, regardless of the company she was with, and though their initial moment of reunion was -- for the most part -- enjoyable, it was short lived and she quickly grew to remember why it was she left such a long time ago.
Of course, she couldn't help question if she made the right decision... and she couldn't help but wonder if Jazz told her younger sister about exactly why it was she left...
And with that, the troop of Pokemon made their way to the Pokemon Town on the island, beginning their voyage to meet with the Mystic and hopefully wake Tommy from his slumber.
End of Chapter 12