I'm still pretty new at the whole writing thing, so if you're one of those people with high standards either wander off now or please provide some feedback on how to make it better. I've dealt with enough jerks elsewhere... and considering I couldn't figure out a way to write the summary without it sounding cliched is enough of a kick in the head, thanks.Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.---
Jay shook the thoughts out of his head. Now was no time to let fear run rampant. Besides, what had happened before was years ago, before he could fight back. Now he could... but the lessons he had taken never covered tight, flammable spaces against something that could breathe fire. He swallowed, slowly raising one hand.
"Uh... hi." The Charmander lowered itself further into the pile of clothes. "D-don't panic, now... t-there's... nothing to be afraid of here." He stuttered, wondering if he was trying to convince the Charmander or himself more. "What's your name? I'm Jay."
"What's the point...?" The Charmander's muffled voice said. "It's not like you'd understand me."
"Actually, I can." Jay said, the Charmander poking its head out of the clothes a little. "I try not to spread it around, but I can talk to you as easily as I can another human."
After watching him for a few seconds, it spoke again. "Simoon."
Jay blinked. "Your name's Simon too? That's strange."
"No, Simoon." The Charmander repeated, lifting itself up more. "Like that thing in the sky."
"Right." Jay nodded. Now that its voice wasn't muffled he could tell it was a female. "That'll be a little confusing though, since I just met a guy called Simon. Okay if I call just you Moon? Maybe Moony?"
Simoon narrowed her eyes at him. "No. Only my friends can call me either of those."
"Fair enough." Jay chuckled nervously, sliding back another inch. "Look, you can leave if you want, I'm not trying to keep you here."
"Sorry..." She mumbled. "I'm just a little..."
"Scared?" Jay offered. He sure fit that description at the moment.
"Yeah. I've run into a lot of people and pokemon like that one since I got here... attacking me out of the blue. It doesn't make any sense." She sunk back into the clothes, trembling. "The few others that would talk to me... they didn't have a way to help me. I just want to go home."
"Where's that?" Jay asked, feeling some concern despite his fear.
"I don't know. You humans might have names for places, but most of us don't." She explained. "If we do, it's usually not the same anyway."
"Right..." Jay mulled it over. There wasn't much he could do, but he did think of one small thing. "...look, Simoon. You can rest in here tonight if you want to. You'll be able to get some sleep without worrying about being attacked or anything."
"You'd let me do that?" She wondered.
"Sure. Usually Mag's in here taking up half the floor and you're a lot smaller than him." Jay said, moving slowly away from the side of the tent. "Just try not to set anything on fire, okay?"
"If it's my tail you're worried about, it only burns what I want it to." Simoon explained, lowering the burning tip onto one of his shirts without the whole pile going up in smoke. "See?"
"That's a relief." Jay chuckled, though he was more worried about a sudden breath of fire torching him than losing a few clothes. Of course, Magnus wouldn't be happy if he lost his favorite tent, but that could be replaced. Sliding further into his sleeping bag, he laid back on the ground and tried to relax. "Good night."
"Night." Simoon mumbled, the light fading as she pulled her tail back into the pile of clothes.
Neither of them were able to get to sleep easily. Jay kept thinking about his previous experience with a group of chars and Simoon hadn't had any friendly meetings with humans before now. They both kept listening for any sign of movement from the other, until drifting off to sleep.
Light coming through the tent fabric woke Jay up. He yawned, rising and glancing at the corner where the Charmander had been. It wasn't there. Checking the other corners of the small tent, he confirmed that Simoon was gone. Which probably brought him more relief than he would have liked. Sure, the pokemon had scared him, but he still felt bad for it.
"Oh well." Jay sighed, rolling up his sleeping bag. "Nothing else I can do now. I need to get packed and back to Pallet."
After stuffing his book, clothes, the irritating little balls and various other things into his backpack, he struggled to get the tent back into a square and into the box again. Once it was put away he glanced at the campfire when he'd never gotten around to lighting and decided to just leave it for anyone else that passed through.
Keeping a quick pace, he was able to get back to the outpost in only an hour and a half. Jay stopped inside to get a bottle of pecha soda from the vending machine before going to the row of garages behind the main building. They were mainly rented by people heading into the forest that needed a safe place to put their vehicle during camping trips, and they got plenty of use. Jay unlocked number ten and pulled Magnus' motorcycle out, walking it around front before going inside to return the storage key.
Dropping onto the seat, he reached into his backpack which was resting in the sidecar and took out his last bottle of water. He didn't even get a chance to open it before he heard someone yell.
"Leave me alone!"
Jay glanced in the direction it came from and noticed a vaguely familiar orange shape bolt out of the nearby trees. "Simoon?" He called out. The Charmander looked at him before adjusting her sprint in the same direction. A kid and Beedrill emerged from the forest from where Simoon had, chasing after her.
"Shit. Always a trainer." Jay grumbled, dropping his water before yanking his backpack out of the sidecar and onto his shoulders. "Get in!" He shouted, starting the engine.
Simoon charged toward the machine, ignoring the loud noises coming from it and leaping at the egg-shaped part. She barely made it over the edge, having to dig her claws into the side and force herself half of the way. Once she was in, a sudden jerk knocked her over.
Jay didn't look back as he accelerated away, but he could tell the trainer was pissed. The shouting coming from the kid could be heard over the sound of the motorcycle easily even from that distance, but he couldn't tell what exactly was being said. He glanced at Simoon, who was clinging to the seat and trembling.
"No worries, Simoon." He yelled over the engine noise. "No way he can catch us on foot."
She glanced up at him and her eyes widened. Before he could ask what was wrong, the Charmander had opened her mouth and he could see the building glow coming from her throat. He swore, leaning forward as a cascade of fire poured from the pokemon's mouth. Jay felt the heat on the back of his neck as the flames rushed past and he flinched, thinking he had made a mistake and it wasn't actually Simoon.
"What was that for?!" He yelled once the attack had ended. The Charmander was looking behind them and Jay glanced over his shoulder. The Beedrill that had been with the kid was rolling along the ground and smoking not far behind them. "Oh..." He turned his attention back to the road. "...I owe you one!"
By the time Jay had stopped, they were on the outskirts of Viridian City. The kid and his Beedrill were far behind, so the pair of them breathed a sigh of relief as Jay killed the engine. "That was close." He commented.
"Yeah. I thought he was going to capture me." Simoon said, watching over the back of the sidecar for any sign of the trainer. "Thanks for helping me again."
"Thanks for toasting that Beedrill. A stinger in the head would've made it hard to drive." Jay chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck where the flames had nicked him.
"I wasn't about to let the first decent human I've met be stabbed in the back by an insect with an attitude problem." She said, looking irritated.
"You sure it wasn't just his trainer's orders?"
"No." She turned, sitting properly and leaning back. Though her tail offered a few difficulties since the seat wasn't designed with pokemon in mind. "You wouldn't believe the things it was shouting as it chased me."
Jay grinned. "You're a lot calmer than you were last night."
"So are you." Simoon replied, closing her eyes.
"I haven't had enough time to think about being nervous." He said, reaching into the sidecar and taking his bottle of water from where it had landed by the tent's box. After taking a drink, as well as pouring a bit into his hand to rub on his slightly crispy neck, he offered the bottle to Simoon, only to find her laying on one side and nearly unconscious.
"Oh, crap." He said, setting the bottle down and nervously placing a hand on her side. "What's wrong? Are you hurt?"
"No..." She mumbled. "...just so...tired..."
"Oh, geez... don't scare me like that." Jay said, shaking his head and taking the helmet from its place on top of the tent box. He strapped it on and sighed, wondering what exactly he was supposed to do with the exhausted pokemon that had now passed out in the sidecar. There'd be plenty of time to ponder on the trip back, at least. He started up the motorcycle again and headed down the road back to Pallet.
Simoon rolled over in her sleep, pulling the warm, fuzzy thing in her arms closer and letting out a content sigh. For a moment she felt like she was home, then remembered her family didn't have fur. Nor did they struggle and gasp for air like whatever she was holding was currently doing. She opened her eyes, releasing it and scrambling backwards in a sudden panic.
The Ratatta she had been hugging around the neck coughed, taking shaky breaths. "What a grip." It wheezed.
"Told you not to get too close. I was expecting her to roast you though, not strangle you." A calm voice commented.
Simoon looked at where the voice had come from, seeing the face of a Persian at eye-level with her. "What... who are you?" She asked, still moving backwards.
"Stop!" The Ratatta squeaked a moment too late.
The soft ground vanished from underneath Simoon and she fell a couple feet onto the floor. "Oh, my head..." She groaned, sitting up and noticing her surroundings. She was in some kind of purple, wooden cave. Pictures of various landscapes on the walls and things she couldn't identify stacked in some type of hollowed out pillar.
"You okay?" The Persian asked, stepping around what she had fallen off of and sitting down.
"Y-yes..." She stuttered, backing away. He may not have appeared aggressive, but he was twice her height and at least four times as heavy, a problem if he did decide to attack. "Where am I?"
"Jay's house." The Ratatta above her said, before leaping down. "I'm Hickory. That's Roufas. Don't worry, he just looks scary."
"Jay?" She wondered. "You mean the human on the loud machine?"
Hickory tilted his head. "What machine?"
"She probably means Mag's bike. Jay drove that up to Viridian." Roufas said, before turning his attention to Simoon. "Are you feeling okay now? I can get you food if you're hungry, but I can't get to where the medicine is kept... or use it even if I could."
"The human's not here?" Simoon asked.
"He's here, but getting chewed out by Tracy and Lana at the moment. That's why he sent me back here to keep an eye on you." Roufas explained.
"Keep an eye on me?" She wasn't sure she liked the sound of that.
"Well, it could be a problem if Tracy or Lana sees you right now. To most people you're still just a wild pokemon. Not many humans are fond of them in town."
"Yep, so we came to keep you company!" Hickory said, darting up the Persian's back and sitting on his head.
Roufas sighed. "Actually, that's what I was supposed to do. You just showed up. I only hope Lana doesn't wander back here looking for you."
"She always yells first, I'll go then." Hickory grinned at Simoon. "So, what can we get ya?"
The Chamander stared at both of them, feeling very confused, worried and hungry. The latter made obvious by her gurgling stomach.
"Food, apparently. Right, then wait here." Roufas twitched his head and the Ratatta was tossed off, landing on the tall thing Simoon had woken up on. "I'll be back in a couple minutes with something to eat."
Simoon watched him walk out of the purple cavern, stumbling backwards in surprise when Hickory landed on the ground in front of her. "Wow, and Lana thinks I'm paranoid." He commented upon her reaction. "You don't have anything to worry about here, Jay's not a trainer. I'm with Lana and even though Roufas spends all his time here, he's registered to Tracy."
"You're forgetting someone, crunchy." A voice said.
Hickory yelped, rushing into the nearest small gap.
Simoon blinked at him, then looked up at the Pidgey sitting in a hole that was letting light into the cave. It glared at her from its perch. "So, you're the new victim, huh? Poor thing."
"V-Victim?" Simoon stuttered, bumping into something as she backed away. "What do you mean?"
"Come on, girlie. You really think to can trust a human?" The Pidgey laughed. "He's as bad as they come. Makes you let your guard down, then gets you. Trust me. Get out while you can still walk." It turned and flew away before Simoon could ask what it was talking about.
Hickory poked his head out of his hiding spot. "I-Is she gone?"
"Who?" Roufas inquired, walking in and wondering why the pair of them looked so frightened.
"Gail." Hickory whimpered.
"Oh, no..." He sighed, glancing at Simoon. "...what did she say to cause that look?"
"She was making it sound like Jay was a lunatic or something." The Ratatta rushed over, skidding to a halt between Roufas' front legs and watching where the Pidgey had been.
"Why does she always do stuff like that?" Roufas shook his head. "I'll have to talk to her later."
"How about you eat her instead?" Hickory suggested.
"Forget it. Just don't take anything she might have said seriously, Simoon. Gail's always making up scary stories just to cause chaos."
Simoon stepped away from them, skeptical about everyone at this point.
"Hickory!" A girl's voice yelled from somewhere.
The Ratatta's ears twitched. "That's my cue. Maybe I'll see you again sometime, Simoon." He said before darting out of the room.
"Give it three minutes." Roufas said, eyes on the path out. "Jay'll set you up with something then."
Jay leaned against his front door, his head sore from listening to both Lana and his Mother giving him crap about going to the forest alone. Making a mental note to change his locks so the older one couldn't walk in any time the mood hit, he headed into the kitchen.
"Roufas, clear." He called out, digging through the fridge. There wasn't much to pick from, especially since Simoon probably had never even seen what he usually made for Roufas. That being whatever he also made for himself. It's no wonder the Persian was a bit overweight, he didn't have a proper diet.
"What's on the menu?" Roufas inquired, poking his head into the fridge.
"Well, we've got a few berries. I'm not sure if she'd be comfortable eating anything you couldn't find growing anywhere." Jay said, removing a box of cheri berries and a solitary oran berry from one of the shelves.
"Strange... I thought I smelled a pecha earlier." Roufas muttered.
"Oh, right. There's one in my backpack still." Jay closed the fridge and went to grab his pack off the couch, catching sight of Simoon as she peered around the hallway corner. She looked even more nervous than she did in the tent. "Finally up and about I see." He said, taking the pecha from his bag. "Come on out. I don't have much to offer at the moment, but if you're hungry it's better than nothing."
She slowly wandered into the living room, examining every wall of the house. It must have been her first time in one. "What is this cave? It's brighter than normal... and dryer..." She shifted from one foot to the other, looking down at the tan carpet. "...and softer."
Jay shook his head. Forget first time in a house, apparently this was her first time in a structure of any sort. "It's not a cave, it's a building. Humans make them to live in." He explained. "Well, houses at least. There are different types of buildings for different things."
"Very strange..." Simoon mumbled, looking up at him. He couldn't help noticing the suspicion in her eyes. "...so why did you bring me here?"
"You fainted, what was I supposed to do?" He shrugged. "Scary or not, I couldn't just drop you on the side of the road. I couldn't really take you to a pokemon center, either... I'm not sure what they have arranged for unregistered pokemon."
She blinked. "Scary...?"
"Oh yeah, he's jumpy about anyone from the char family." Roufas said, appearing from the kitchen and grinning at Simoon. "You should have seen how pale his face was when he carried you in. I thought it was hilarious when you grappled onto his arm in your sleep and he started to panic, stuttering on about how you might take a bite out of him or something."
Simoon stared at Roufas for a moment, then at Jay, and finally over her shoulder down the hall. She sighed, dropping onto the floor and pressing her head against her hands. "I just don't know what to think anymore."
"Gail's never any help." Roufas commented.
Jay groaned at the name. "She's causing trouble again? It's like she's never happy unless she's tormenting me or someone I know. Does she have a grudge against me or what?"
"That's hard to say. I've asked her before, but she always changed the subject or ignored me."
"Any answer you did get probably wouldn't be true." Jay crossed his arms. "I swear, that Pidgey's a pathological liar. I don't know how you can stand her."
"If you give her a chance, she's okay." Roufas insisted.
"Right." Jay muttered, not convinced in the least. "Messing with the heads of pokemon that are already nervous is just a harmless hobby of hers?"
"I'll talk to her later, don't worry about it." Roufas said, going over to the couch and climbing onto it. He slumped onto his side and took up two of the three cushions, unlike when he was asleep and somehow stretched from one end to the other.
"At the moment, it's not me I'm worried about." He grumbled, walking into the kitchen and collecting the berries he had taken from the fridge. Going back into the living room he took a few cautious steps up to Simoon, who still looked as if she was suffering a bad headache, and set the fruit in front of her. "Try to eat something. I know it's a slim selection, but I'll go buy some more later. There are other things to think about right now."
"Such as what we're going to do with our houseguest?" Roufas asked.
Jay nodded. "Exactly. I have an idea, though."
Simoon quickly raised her head as Jay went past, watching him take a flat, black box from the desk in the corner. He walked over to the shorter table in front of the couch and sat down, flipping it open and pushing something inside it. "What's that?"
"A laptop." Jay said, waiting for it to start up. "Honestly, I don't know where I'd begin explaining what this thing's able to do. Let's just say it can offer a lot of information."
"Like pornography." Roufas offered.
Jay glared over his shoulder at the Persian. "I do not use this thing for porn."
He smirked. "Magnus does when he uses it."
"That explains the overload on my spam filter." Jay said, turning back to the computer. "I'll have to be sure and break his other leg when I see him."
Simoon munched on the oran berry, having no idea what they were talking about. "Is porn helpful?" She wondered.
"Only in certain situations." Roufas answered.
"This not being one of them." Jay sighed. "Can we please change the subject? Zed was bad enough with his innuendo the other day."
"Um... what does this have to do with me?" Simoon interrupted.
"Right." Jay began going through the options on the computer until he had brought up a map of the world. It was designed to help people find vacation spots and such, but it may work in this situation as well. "You said you wanted to go home, right? Tell me about it, specifics. Who lived there, how big it was, any humans that might have been around..."
She stopped eating, giving him a curious look before speaking. "I lived in a deep cavern with my family and friends. It was pretty big, but I never went too far since we never really got along with the rocks. The caves were spilt up, most of the fire chambers in our parts since they didn't care for them."
"Fire chambers?" Jay asked.
"Caves with spots of glowing, liquid fire in them." She explained.
Jay nodded, typing a few things in. Volcano. High Char Pop. High Rock-type Pop. "What about outside? What could you see on the horizon?"
"Water. It was everywhere. There was a small area of humans too, but they never really bothered us."
Island. Population under 200. Jay clicked the search button and frowned. There were still over a dozen marks on the map that fit the criteria. There had to be something else to narrow down the search. "How did you get off the island?"
"One of those big machines... I think I heard one of the humans call it a ship."
"What in the world were you doing on a ship?" Roufas asked.
"It's... complicated. I don't really want to talk about it right now..." Simoon mumbled, turning her gaze to the carpet and popping a cheri into her mouth.
"Damn, so much for that." Jay saved the data before closing his laptop. He'd try going over details for each location later. Maybe he'd get lucky and find a photo of an area Simoon could recognize. "Better deal with the present for now, and worry about the future tomorrow. It's almost three, so I'm going to pay Mag a visit, return his bike and get the shopping done. Simoon, make yourself at home for now. Roufas, be a good host."
"You can count on me." The Persian called out as Jay departed.
Jay locked the door behind him before going over to the bike, sitting down and dropping his head against the handlebars. A wild pokemon, a Charmander no less, was in his house under Roufas' supervision. Forget the odds of finding Simoon's home, he would be lucky if he came back and didn't find the place reduced to a pile of ash.