AGNPH Stories

The Dimensional Balance Saga by Arcane_Reno


Story Notes:

Starts off clean, but later chapters get naughty. :P And no, this is not a Harry Potter crossover!

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Chapter 13: A Time to Heal

Chapter 13

A Time to Heal

Shawn and Marek made their way through the streets of Oreburgh, seeking out their elusive destination. It had taken almost another hour and a half of slow walking, a reflection of Shawn's tiredness, to get to Oreburgh, as they had been on a bit of a ridge above the city when Hina had made her announcement. It had only been visible in the distance.

Hina stuck close to Shawn, looking around wide-eyed at the sights. He had returned Kirin to her ball before they had entered, as city bylaws stated that regular trainers must only have one poké mon out at a time in public places, save for two-on-two battles.

The town was a good size, just a bit smaller than Veilstone, but larger than Hearthome. The construction of it was bizarre, seeming to have sprouted randomly from the earth, rather than having been built in an orderly manner. Shawn supposed it was a result of how old the original town was, and how it had sprung up from a small mining outpost to a bustling city, as the mine proved to be a wealthy resource.

Indeed, the entire town centred around the mine, the industry providing the employment of the vast majority of the town's inhabitants. "It seems strange that, even here, coal mining is still a major industry. I would have thought that fossil fuels were shunned in this universe, judging by the lack of pollution."

Of course, it was likely that they had different methods for treatment and use of the coal, and they also probably did not rely upon it as heavily as those of his own world did. The fact that all the cars he had seen were some form of electric, was just more proof that the humans of this universe were more conscientious when it came to tackling the issue. He supposed that living alongside poké mon was a major reason for this.

He glanced down at Hina, who seemed a bit nervous about being around so many people again. It was going to take some work to undo the effect Nash had had on her, and he hoped that their next stop would be the first step.

Marek hadn't said much for awhile, simply taking in the sights and keeping in lock-step with Shawn. He had seemed surprised at first, that the people of this universe looked perfectly ordinary. "I wonder exactly what he was expecting."

Their first stop had been at the gym, to find out about setting up a match with the gym leader. One of the trainers there had greeted them in a friendly enough fashion, but had been incredulous when Shawn explained what he was after.

"You want to challenge Roxanne? Okay dude, it's your funeral! She's not here right now though, she's down at the mine. I'll let her know when she gets back, so she'll be here tomorrow afternoon."

Shawn had declined the offer of a quick battle, wanting to finish his other business before checking into the poké centre. "With all rock types, this gym should be a push-over. Marty is easily ready for this, and if he needs any help, Jasmine will be able to take over."

They had continued on from there, passing the museum and poké centre as they followed the directions they had been given. Shawn had spent much of the journey filling in the gaps in Marek's knowledge.

He had some rudimentary understanding of the poké mon universe, but many of the subtleties were new to him. Shawn supposed he hadn't been briefed too thoroughly, as the chief would have expected him to fill Marek in. He was only there for support after all, he didn't have to worry about the dynamics of being a trainer.

Marek had been rather amused by the fact that his poké mon always referred to him as "master". …Ha, they really don't mind? That must be quite the ego stroker."

Shawn had groaned, shaking his head ruefully. "Yeah, I've tried to get them to just call me by my name, but they insist on it. It's "proper" apparently. The chief would never let me live it down."

Although Shawn was glad that his poké mon had accepted him as a leader without question, for it was indeed necessary, he still sometimes wished they wouldn't use an honorific that implied he owned them. Although Cheri seemed to actually enjoy that implication, as she wanted her strong mate to protect his claim to her. It was hard though, because he saw them as equals, partners, friends, and in Cheri's case, more. But he had to accept what they considered normal, as to keep trying to change it would eventually begin to erode their confidence in him.

"Hey, I think that's it," Marek said, pointing to a dingy looking little shop, tucked away between an apartment building and what looked like a convienience store.

Shawn nodded in agreement, the two of them crossing the street towards the place. The lettering above the door was faded, but he could just make it out. Stamkos Custom Poké Care.

The guy at the gym had said that this was the only place to go for things like poké ball modifications. The poké mart wouldn't have the equipment to do anything more than a little tinkering. He also claimed that the owner of the shop was one of the best in the business.

A little bell tinkled as Shawn pushed the door open, Hina scampering in before him, Marek following behind. He blinked as his eyes adjusted, fighting the sudden urge to sneeze, as dust swirled in the ray of light from the open door.

"Best in the business? You…d think he…d keep his store a little tidier."

The place was an absolute mess, random looking pieces of junk scattered around, not appearing to have any purpose. Some of it was identifiable: a half built revitalizer from a poké centre, a bike tire, a few scattered tools, and what appeared to be an entire engine, although laid out in its individual parts.

Sitting behind the counter, was a blob. That was the only way Shawn could think of to describe him. A great, unwieldy bulk of a man, dressed in a white t-shirt that looked disturbingly damp, reclining in a creaky looking chair that appeared on the brink of collapse, seeming as if he had oozed down from the ceiling to puddle into it. He was fixated on a small TV in front of him, not even appearing to notice their entrance.

Shawn made his way gingerly up to the counter, picking the clearest path through the junk, Hina sniffing the random objects curiously as they passed. Marek chose not to follow, instead leaning against the doorframe, covering his mouth and coughing from the swirling allergens. He caught Shawn's eye, waving and indicating he was going back out. Shawn nodded, and the bell chimed again as the other wizard beat a hasty retreat.

The blob finally looked up as Shawn leaned on the counter, clearing his throat.

"Yeah? What can I do ya for?" He laughed roughly at his own terrible joke, his rolls of fat quivering like jello as he surely pushed the seat to its breaking point.

Shawn briefly considered offering a word of sympathy to the man's chair, despite the strange look he would surely get when he spoke in The Speech. But from the looks of things, the chair was likely well accustomed to the abuse.

"Um, hi, I understand you do poké ball customization?"

Shawn watched with a somewhat morbid fascination as the man nodded, sending a visible quiver down through the cellulite, from where his chin would be, if he had one that could be defined as such. "Sure bub, I do that stuff all the time. Didn't ya read the sign?"

Shawn glanced briefly over his shoulder, realizing he must be referring to the flaking letters painted on the window, which were completely illegible, even from the outside, where they were the right way around.

"Uh, sure. Anyways, I'm looking for a few modifications to my Eevee's poké ball."

Hina had managed to find her way up onto the counter, using some of the mish-mash of parts lying around as a make-shift ladder. She was sitting with her head cocked to the side, staring at the quivering mass of humanity with a wide-eyed look. "Master Shawn, he's fat!"

Shawn barely contained his laughter at the blunt assessment, and just petted her gently. "Yes Hina, I know." She leaned into the treatment, starting to purr a bit.

The man leaned forward a bit, squinting first at Hina, then back at Shawn. "Ah, yer one of them eh?"

Shawn didn't really know how to respond to that, so he just shrugged. That seemed enough of an answer for the blob, who leaned back again with a horrible squeal from the chair. "So you want "er ball modded eh? Let's see it."

Shawn unclipped the ball from his belt, placing it on the counter before the man. He picked it up, muttering to himself, his bald head glistening even in the low light.

"Eh, I see you've got summore there. Are those two modded already?"

"Yeah, I got them done in Veilstone."

"Lemme see em. Prolly not done right."

Shawn shrugged, figuring there was no harm in letting him take a look. He unclipped the balls of Jasmine, Cheri, Marty and Kirin, placing them on the counter. He hadn't had a chance to get Kirin her own custom ball yet, and Jasmine was of course freshly captured, but perhaps this would be the time to do so.

The man examined Marty's and Cheri's first, muttering as he pulled a magnifying glass from some drawer behind the counter, giving the two a thorough look. "Eh, not bad. Looks like ya got Vinny to do these. "E does okay work, although "e doesn't get the subtleties of the art."

He replaced Marty's ball on the counter, picking up Kirin's next, and pulling Jasmine's towards him. "Ya want these ones done too? I'll throw ya a discount if ya do all three."

"Well, it's not vital that I get all three done, but I don't really see why not. It's nice to have the distinguishing markers, and the other two liked their custom balls a lot better than the normal ones."

He nodded, sending more flab jiggling. "Yeah, the poké s like a room to ther own as much as we do. Makes "em more comfy, even if ther just sleepin" in it. What've you got in these?"

"That one is my Mismagius, and that one is my Jolteon," Shawn said, pointing at each respective ball in turn.

The man nodded. "Yeah, yeah, I can make "em look real nice for ya." He began fumbling around for something, his chair seeming to Shawn like it was about to burst into tears at the constant jiggling. Triumphantly, he held up a marker, and scribbled something on each ball.

"That'll help me keep "em straight, cuz I need to transfer the data."

Shawn nodded. He had already gone through this before. Since the process took a bit of time, the trainer was given a temporary ball, that could be used to contain the poké mon while their original one was customized. Since normally a captured poké mon could not be placed inside any ball aside from their normal one, a special clone was made, then destroyed once the customized ball was returned to the trainer.

"Is there anythin" special you want done to "em? Or just make "em look fancy."

"For those two, just the appearance is fine. But for the Eevee's, I need a rather important change. I need you to make the stasis chamber light up for her."

The guy seemed a bit surprised at the request. "Eh? Whatta ya need that for?"

"Well, she's afraid of the dark, and-"

Shawn was cut off by a booming guffaw from the man, his gelatinous form undulating like a stormy sea, his merriment bouncing off the walls of the little shop.

Hina gave a squeak of fear, ears flattening against her head, and she suddenly leaped into Shawn's arms, hiding her face against his shoulder. He glared at the man as he continued to chuckle, stroking the trembling poké mon to calm her.

"Afraid of the dark? Haw! That's the funniest thing I ever heard! Haw! A poké mon afraid of the dark?"

Hina looked up at Shawn, her eyes wide, a hint of tears building up. "Master Shawn, can we go? I don't like this place anymore…"

Shawn cuddled her, giving the man the laser eyes as he said stiffly, "Fine then. Maybe you don't want my business." He started to pick up the poké balls on the counter with his free hand, trying to juggle them back onto his belt.

"Naw, wait," the man wheezed, his amusement finally dying into a few last heaving chuckles. "Sorry bub, that was just too funny. I can see yer serious though."

Shawn halted. "So you CAN do it then?" As much as he was irritated at the blob for frightening Hina, if he could take care of this, it would solve a lot of problems. He HAD to be able to return Hina to her ball in case of an emergency, and he didn't want her to be terrified of it. In addition, if she couldn't sleep outside of it, then the ball could be an alternative she didn't mind.

"Yeah, I can do it. It'll cost ya extra though. Mods to the insides are way harder than just makin" "em look fancy."

Shawn nodded. "Fine. If you can get it done, I don't mind paying a bit more."

He let out another quick chortle. "Afraid of the dark. Ha! Alright bub, if that's what ya want. Lemme get the temps ready for ya."

By some miracle Shawn could not fathom, he got up without the chair remaining attached, heaving his bulk into a standing position. He took the three balls in question with him, as he waddled through the curtain behind him into a back room. Shawn briefly caught a glimpse of a workspace that looked surprisingly tidy, compared to the rest of the store.

Shawn stroked Hina as he waited, the little Eevee no longer trembling, until she began to squirm a bit. He put her down, allowing her to expend her restlessness by checking out some of the larger pieces of scrap scattered around the store.

The process didn't take long, and after a few moments, the man came back, handing Shawn three copies, and setting the originals back on the counter.

"There ya go, now ya just need ta switch "em over."

Shawn nodded, first taking Jasmine's ball, releasing the ghost.

She appeared in the usual red beam of light, hovering over the piles of junk, glancing around her in confusion. "My assistance is required?"

"It's okay Jasmine, just switching you over to another ball for awhile," Shawn said.

She sent him a telepathic impression that he interpreted as a shrug, her voice in his mind saying, "Do as you wish."

Shawn glanced at the copies in his hand, noting that the man had made the same markings on them as were now on the originals. He picked out the right one and pressed the recall button, sending the Mismagius back to her slumber.

Next was Kirin, who took the new development with equal nonchalance, only adding, "Oh, I'm getting a custom ball too? That sounds' nice. I'll look forward to it. Thank you Master." He gave her a warm smile, before sealing her too inside a temporary ball.

Hina's he just clipped to his belt with the others, leaving the now empty originals on the counter. "Alright, that's it then. How long do you think it will take?"

"I can have "em done for ya in a couple days. Come back then."

Shawn nodded, handing the man his trainer card to swipe in a reader, registering the info for reference.

The process completed, Shaw turned to call Hina back to him. The little poké mon's head popped up from inside a cardboard box, a black smudge now proudly marring the tan fur between her eyes.

Shawn chuckled as the curious Eevee rejoined him, her fright apparently completely forgotten. "Better not let Cheri see you like that, she won't let you get away until you're clean again."

She pouted. "I'll get clean! I promise! She doesn't have to groom me. She licks too much!"

Shawn grinned, giving her a scratch behind the ears as they headed for the door. "Come on, let's get to the poké centre."

Hina kept close to her trainer as they rejoined Marek, happy to be out of that place. Despite all the fun stuff there was to explore, that man was scary! "He was mean, laughing at me! He doesn't have the dark…" She shuddered at the thought, rubbing against Shawn's leg for comfort. He smiled down at her, the friendly gesture making it feel better as it always did.

He and Marek were chatting about something boring again, and she tuned the words out as they walked. She was glad they were going to the poké centre. The sun was starting to lower, and the shadows of the surrounding buildings were slowly starting to creep towards her, looking like Mightyenas waiting to pounce. She stayed in the middle, walking between Shawn and Marek, staying in their protective aura.

She looked up at Marek again. This new friend was a bit strange, but he seemed nice enough. He let off almost the same feeling as Master Shawn did. Although, when she really concentrated on it, as sis had taught her, she could feel that there was' more" to Master Shawn's. His felt" suppressed, somehow.

There was just one thing she couldn't quite place. Marek's scent" it tickled her memory somehow. But, every time she tried to focus her thoughts on it, her mind just cut it off, as if it were something scary she shouldn't look at. It brought a brief moment of frustration, as she tried to remember where she had smelled that before, but it just wouldn't come.

She was distracted as a scruffy looking poochyena ran down the street in the other direction, a human hot on its heels. "Can't catch me! Can't catch me!" The other poké mon was saying.

"Come back here Sal! You're getting a bath whether you want it or not!" The trainer was yelling as he passed.

Shawn and Marek both chuckled as the boy chased his errant poké mon, not intervening in the fun. Hina giggled as she watched them go, silently cheering on the Poochyena. "Yeah! No baths!"

She scampered to catch up to her companions, her amusement dying as they passed through a shadow, bringing her thoughts back in the other direction. "The dark…"

She knew Master Shawn and sis were right, she shouldn't be scared. This dark wasn't like the other dark. But" it reminded her. And" it made the dark inside her restless.

Everytime she closed her eyes, she could feel the black pool of power, staining the store of energy that she had only begun to learn to use. It was scary. Everytime she thought about it, she could hear it, feel it. It seemed to whisper to her. …Use me. Release me. Feel me. Free me." It would sing its siren song over and over, until she found some way to distract herself from it, and it would settle back down. At least it didn't hurt, like the dark that the evil person had used.

She was glad that Master Shawn was making it light inside her poké ball. Maybe that would make this dark go away. She was doing her best not to be scared, as they had said, but there was no hiding from the dark. Everytime she closed her eyes"

She shook off the scary thoughts, almost tripping Shawn as she rubbed against his legs again.

"Master Shawn won't let the dark hurt me."

Shawn nodded politely to the nurse attending the poké centre revitalizer, as she gave the usual curtsy of greeting, Marek hanging back behind him. "Welcome sir, how may I help you?"

"Yes, I…d like a room for the night please."

"Certainly, may I see your card please?"

Shawn handed her his ID, and she slid it into the computer slot, waiting as it registered his info, and programmed a room code into it.

"Here you go, room two-twenty-two."

"Thanks. And there's one more thing," he glanced down at Hina, who was looking up at him with her head cocked to the side. "That is just so adorable. I know she was okay when I checked her out, but still" those black flecks' These people are professionals, and have seen every type of poké mon illness. Maybe they'll spot something out of the ordinary that I can't, even with wizardry."

"Yes?" the nurse said expectantly, a hint of impatience showing, quickly masked by her welcoming smile, as he didn't explain himself right away.

"Oh, sorry. Um, I was wondering if I could check my Eevee in for observation overnight. She was attacked by a dark poké mon, and even though she's recovered, I want to make extra sure she's okay."

"Master Shawn? What are you doing?"

He glanced down, seeing her wide eyed look. "It's okay Hina, I just want them to check you out, to make sure you're not still sick."

If the nurse thought it was odd to see him talking to his poké mon, she didn't show it. She likely saw that all the time of course. "Certainly. We have plenty of beds available in the long term care section. We can place her in there overnight. It's nice to see a trainer taking such precautions with the health of his poké mon."

Hina was pouting, and looked a bit worried. "I don't wanna stay here! I wanna stay with you! And" the dark."

"Would I be able to take one of those beds by any chance?" Shawn asked, bending over to pick up Hina for a cuddle, calming her down.

The nurse shook her head. "No, I'm sorry. Even with empties, I cannot break the protocol. Trainers may only occupy one of the regular rooms, unless they themselves are injured. We must keep the beds available in the event they are needed."

"How about one of my other poké mon? Could she stay with her overnight?"

"That would probably be acceptable. I think I can bend the rules that much, so long as they are able to share the single bed." Her lips curved in a smile, as she watched him hug the little Eevee.

"See Hina? You'll be alright, Kirin will be able to stay with you! And they'll leave lights on, don't worry." He looked back at the nurse, who nodded to confirm the statement. "You'll be fine. It's just for tonight."

She looked up at him, seeming a bit more accepting of the idea with those reassurances. "Just for tonight?"

"I promise."

She considered it for a moment, then nodded. "Okay. As long as sis is there too."

Shawn gave her a smile, before setting her down again, then pulling out Kirin's ball.

The Jolteon blinked in confusion as she was summoned once again in an unexpected place. "The poké centre lobby? What's going on Master?"

"Kirin, I'm checking Hina in for observation, just to make extra sure there's nothing wrong. Can you stay with her? I'm not allowed to."

She glanced over at her sister, who was currently being treated to a scratching by the nurse Joy, who had come around the counter to collect her.

"Sure, that's no problem of course. Anything to make sure she's alright. I thought you checked her out yourself though?"

"Yes, but they have more experience, so even though I don't anticipate anything, I want to be positive."

"Fair enough, and thank you Master," she said with a smile, as she walked over to join her sister. "See you in the morning then!"

He returned the smile. "Yes, see you in the morning."

The nurse straightened as she was joined by the Jolteon. "Is that all then? What about your companion?"

"Who, me?" Marek asked.

"Yes. Will you be getting a room as well?"

He looked at Shawn, then back at the nurse. "Oh, I thought…"

"I only registered a single room. I can change that though, if you will just give me your card."

He looked at Shawn perplexedly. "My card? Oh yes' um…"

"Your trainer ID Marek. You need to show it to her."

"OH! Umm, yeah…" he ran a hand thorugh his hair. "I umm, don't actually have one."

Shawn was a bit taken aback at this statement. The DBW hadn't provided him with a trainer ID? That was an odd oversight. He had just assumed Marek had one, even if he wasn't going to actually catch any poké mon.

"I'm dreadfully sorry sir," said the nurse. "I can only give rooms to trainers. I'm afraid you shall have to seek your own accomodation."

"That's alright, I can get a hotel right?" he said.

"Certainly. There is one just two blocks down, if you turn right when you leave the centre."

"Okay, no problem. Sorry Shawn, I didn't know about that. I guess I'll see you in the morning too."

"Um, yeah, okay," Shawn replied, still caught off guard by the oddity. It was no huge deal, it just meant Marek would have to spend some of the provided money on accomodation, rather than getting a free room when they were staying in towns.

He waved as Marek headed back out, before turning back to the nurse. "Alright then, I guess that's everything. Goodnight Kirin, Hina."

She curtsied again, as Kirin and Hina returned the sentiment, before leading the two sisters into the back part of the centre.

Now with several less companions, Shawn made his way up to his room, stopping briefly at the cafeteria to pick up some dinner.

In his room, he plunked himself down on his bed as he munched, contemplating the recent events. It seemed strange, just how under prepared Marek was for this mission. Some things were to be expected of course, due to his lack of experience, but not having a proper fake ID was a gross oversight. "I guess they were in a rush to send him through, but still" Maybe they overestimated on how bad things were, thinking I needed help urgently."

Determining what exactly was happening in a dimension from the outside wasn't an exact science. Shawn himself had no idea how to intrepret all the complex readings and charts that the techs used to monitor things. In cases such as this, with a very definite and well-known universe, it was a little easier, but there was still no way to really get a feel for things from the outside. Hence the need for scouting missions.

Techs like Marek were a bit of a special breed, a sort of wizardly equivalent to an astrophysicist. Of course, they didn't tend to be particularly powerful, which was perhaps why they started developing such a specialized skillset in the first place, but they were a vital part of the workings of the DBW. Having Marek along could turn out to be a valuable asset, even if he was a bit of annoying at times, with his almost hero-worship like attitude. It had taken Shawn some time in the few years he had known him, to establish somewhat of a more normal rapport, but Marek's obssession with him and his doings was always there beneath the surface.

He let out a sigh. "I'll just have to put up with it. So long as he doesn't use this as an opportunity to confess his feelings for me, it's no biggie." Having his hero say to his face that he had no romantic interest in him could potentially be a blow to the younger wizard's psyche, and Shawn didn't want to have to deal with that.

"Speaking of romantic interest," Shawn thought, a grin crossing his face as he finished his meal. He unclipped Cheri's poké ball, rolling in his hands. "If I don't let her out for the night, she'll tear a strip off of me." He decided to let Marty out too, as the Marshtomp would enjoy the chance to sleep in the tub again. Most rooms didn't have them, and whenever he got the opportunity to immerse himself in water for the evening, Marty was even happier than usual. It seemed to make his water attacks a bit more potent too, which would be handy in tomorrow's battle.

The shimmering beams of light resolved themselves into two familiar forms, Cheri giving a happy cry as she was released. "Finally. I missed you Master!"

She padded over to where he was sitting on the edge of the bed, rearing up and putting her paws on his shoulders, her weight forcing him down on his back. He grunted as he hit the soft mattress, the smiling visage of his ardent Arcanine descending upon him for a sloppy kiss.

"Ha ha, go Cheri!" Marty cheered, as Cheri treated Shawn to an extremely wholehearted greeting.

"Mithed" mmm" me?" he mumbled, trying to talk around her tongue as she worked it into his mouth. "Ith only…ahhh…been" tha few…ohh…hours." He forced down the stab of pain from his side, not wanting to let on that even her milder affections had inadvertently been a bit over-enthusiastic. Of course, being so thoroughly snogged was an excellent distraction, the piquant, warm, exotic savour of her kiss sending a magical thrill through him, and a bit of a stirring into his groin.

She pulled back, smacking her lips at his flavour, still keeping him well pinned. "Well, I guess it hasn't seemed THAT long since breakfast for me, but it's still too long!"

He grinned at her. "Oh, so we're making up for that time are we?"

She rumbled happily. "You've got it!" She leaned down again, once more taking his tongue captive, not even needing her paws to keep him in place, as she showed off a skill that was quite remarkable, considering how relatively recently she had learned it.

Marty's laughter reached Shawn's ears again, bringing a rush of heat to his face as he realized Marty was now getting a bit of a show, as Cheri became more forceful, grinding against him. "Oh no, she's not going to…"

Fortunately, she had the decency to not disrobe him right then and there. She pulled back with a whine, glancing over at the Marshtomp. "While I really have no problems with you watching us Marty, Master Shawn is a little uncomfortable with such things. As cute as it is, I think I…d rather not have him distracted at the moment. Would you mind giving us some privacy?"

"Ha ha, of course not Cheri! I'm going for a swim anyways. Have fun!" Marty gave a cheery wave as he trotted to the bathroom, swinging the door shut behind him.

Shawn's face burned with embarassment as the sound of running water faintly came through the door. He didn't think he…d ever get used to such open discussion and acceptance of sexual activities. At least, when there was someone else in the room, who wasn't involved in said activities. It was bad enough just knowing he was going to be right on the other side of the bathroom door, what with the inevitable way things were going.

Cheri giggled as she gazed into his eyes. "What's the matter Master? You don't want Marty to get in on the fun?"

"Ummm, well, I can't say I'm overly comfortable with other people watching me have sex, particularly someone who isn't err" inclined to join, shall we say. I don't even think Marty really knows what it entails."

"I don't think he's all that concerned about it. He's old enough to seek out a mate, but from our conversations, he doesn't seem to have any interest in that. "

"And I'm perfectly fine with that. So long as he's happy. And besides, you…d really want him to join in?"

"Well, maybe not actually JOINING. I do like Marty, but you're the only male who gets THIS." She wiggled her rump playfully, the action shaking the bed. "But as I said, the notion of other people seeing us mate doesn't bother me. Arceus! Sometimes, you humans are just so uptight!" She huffed with this last, her ears flicking briefly in annoyance.

"In fact…" she continued, a lustful gleam entering her eye as she licked her lips. "I would LOVE to see you mate with another female, to see you take her as yours, to watch what it looks like. That would be very…arousing."

"Mmm, a bit voyeuristic are we?"

"Maybe," she grinned toothily. "But only when you're involved. And a female I know is worth your time of course."

"You know, most girls would throw a fit at the very notion of their man having sex with another woman."

"Mmm, well, I'm not most girls. Besides, I've told you this lots of times already. Strong males need more than one strong mate to keep them happy."

He reached up and stroked her neck, saying softly, "You're all I need to be happy."

"Oh Shawn!" She cried, thankfully forgetting the honorific, as she sometimes did when she was distracted, kissing him deeply again. Her eyes half-lidded as she wrestled with his tongue, the oral dance allowing their saliva to mingle freely, in an intimate expression of their feelings for each-other. She pulled back with a deep breath, her passionate gaze setting his heart on fire.

"That is incredibly sweet, and I love you all the more for it, but it still doesn't change what I think. As far as I'm concerned, you're as much poké mon as you are human, and that means that whatever strange human taboos you put on yourself don't apply."

"Maybe, but if I love you, why should I need another? To have sex with someone else would feel like I was betraying you."

"It's not betraying when I know about it, and encourage it. The only way you could ever betray me is to mate with someone who wasn't worthy of you. Someone who didn't care about you, and was too weak to have anything to offer you."

He was having a bit of trouble focusing on her words, as he could feel a bit of wetness starting to seep into his crotch area, courtesy of Cheri's growing excitement. She still hadn't allowed him to sit up, and his toes were starting to feel a bit numb.

He reluctantly pushed her back a bit, taking his time to respond as he sat up on his elbows and gained a little wiggle room. She finally allowed him some space, hopping up on the bed and curling around him, giving him an interesting, upside-down perspective, as she peered down into his eyes in from overtop his head, absently starting to groom him.

"See, that's the thing Cheri. You and I don't really view mating the same way. Sure, it IS something that can just be done to have a good time, and there's nothing wrong with that. But, when you do it with someone you love" it just means so much more. The other doesn't even compare. You're the only one that I love in that way, as MORE than just someone I want to protect and take care of. Even if there are others I enjoy the company of very much, you" you're different. The intimate connection I feel with you" I haven't felt that with anyone since Nina. I just don't see myself WANTING anyone else."

She rumbled happily as he scratched under her chin and behind her ears, her face positively glowing with his words. "You have no idea how I feel to hear that Master Shawn. It's in some ways even better than mating. And I feel exactly the same. I couldn't possibly imagine having someone other than you. And I want you to be happy. But I also think that having other females to mate with is something you need, as a strong male. Even if…" she trailed off at this last, a somewhat sad look coming into her eyes.

"Even if" they can't bear pups for you. For a strong male to just have one mate" in Arcanine societies, that would be viewed as a laughingstock. You would be perpetually challenged for your right to your one mate. It may be different for you, because you're human, but that's just the way I see things. As happy as I am to be with you, and that you only REALLY want me, it would make me happy to see you with another strong female as well. Even if you DON…T feel the same way about her as you do about me."

She paused briefly, but cut off his intended response with point-blank statement.

"Did you know Kirin is in heat?"

The seemingly random question was like getting nailed in the head with meteorite. "Is THAT what she's been driving at?!" Another thought struck him, almost simultaneously, as a puzzle piece fell into place. "Ah, so THAT…S why Kirin has seemed out of sorts lately."

Aloud, he said warily, "No" I hadn't noticed. What are you implying?" Although, he thought he had a pretty good idea. He was a little annoyed at himself for not noticing that his Jolteon was suffering, and that in ignorance, he had been working her as hard as normal in her training. He had the impression that a heat was something very irritating if it wasn't attended. As had been Cheri's case when they first met, leading to the very position he now found himself in. He blushed again though, as he realized that noticing Kirin's current state would have meant he had been observing her more private bits rather closely. Unlike Cheri, the scent of it wouldn't be immediately obvious to him.

She looked a bit perplexed at his question. "Don't you see? You should mate with her!"

"Cheri…" he sighed. Honestly, it seemed like everything he…d just said had gone in one ear and out the other. She really was serious about this. "I guess it's a rather important part of her culture. That, and she apparently wants to watch! What a gal…"

"You know, most males would jump at the chance to have another needy female."

He snorted at the opposite version of what he had said earlier, and replied in kind. "Well, I'm not most males."

She giggled. "True. And I love you for that too. But still" I already suggested it to her, and she wasn't sure, but if you were to ask her, I don't think she…d say no."

He was completely flabbergasted at this particular tidbit, mouth working for a moment as he tried to form words. "That's…. CHERI! You told her that?!"

Her ears flattened. "Sure. Why not?"

He shook his head in disbelief. "You actually just went up to her and ASKED her to have sex with me?"

"Well, not exactly. I just told her I wouldn't mind, if that's what she wanted to do."

He sighed. "Cheri, I know you don't see it, but that wasn't such a good idea. Now she probably thinks she has to! Or equally as bad, that she's not allowed to look for a poké mon mate!"

Cheri shook her head vehemently. "No no! YOU don't understand! It wasn't like that at all! All I said was that she has that option, if she chooses to take it. I didn't try to influence her to do it. Well, maybe a little, because I think you're the best mate she could have, but I didn't make it sound like she HAS to! What do you think I am?"

Shawn calmed a bit at this reassurance, but was still in a state of shock at the revelation. "Alright, so long as she isn't thinking I'm going to force myself upon her or anything like that. Kirin is free to make whatever decisions she wishes to."

"Of course! And that's EXACTLY what I said to her! But" we still haven't gotten to the point. Would you do it?"

"I…" he trailed off, trying to collect his thoughts, which at the moment, was a bit like trying to catch leaves in a hurricane. "I don't" feel that way…about Kirin. I mean, I like her a lot, sure. I meant what I said, about loving ALL of you. But it's just not" like THAT!"

"So? You already said that mating doesn't HAVE to be with someone you love in that way."


She steamrolled right over his protest. "And if you love Kirin, don't you want to make her feel better? Like you did for me? If she asks for it? Do you want her to suffer?"

She had him there. "That's unfair! Of course I don't want her to suffer! But" I wouldn't want to just" up and unf her, if it isn't something she really wants."

"And" if she DOES really want it? If she came to you, completely of her own volition, and asked you to mate with her, would you do it?"

He was silent for a long moment, mulling over the loaded question. "Then" if she were to ask for it" then" maybe. But only if she TRULY wants it! And I don't want you pushing her towards that!"

She looked a bit annoyed at the reprimand. "Of course I won't! It's in her paws now. All I would ask, if she DOES decide to do it, is that you treat her as well as you would treat me. And maybe let me join in too…" The lustful gleam had returned, as she was apparently tiring of their conversation, starting to once more nuzzle against him insistently. "I sure hope that you aren't too worn out for that apology you promised me Master. All this talk of mating has gotten me VERY worked up. I would rather not be relegated to self-pleasure tonight."

Her eyes were absolutely pleading, and he had to laugh, despite the seriousness of the issues they had just been discussing. In truth, he could use the relaxation of…quality time" with his mate. He just truly didn't know how to feel to the open suggestion that he bang Kirin.

But he realized that he HAD meant what he had said. If she came to him and asked him to help her with her heat, he could never bring himself to say no. It would be extremely unfair to Kirin, and of course, it's not like it would be unpleasant! But as Cheri had so eloquently stated, it was in Kirin's paws. For now, the only one he had to be concerned with was Cheri herself. After all, with Marek around, moments of privacy were going to be harder to come by. He intended to make the most of this one.

"I think I could suffer through it, so long as you aren't too rough with me."

Her grin was positively wicked. "I promise not to break you. After all, you'll need your strength!"

He grabbed her cheek ruffs and pulled her into another deep kiss, the odd angle making it a unique experience. His tongue surely cursed him as it was shoved once more into the oven of her mouth, but despite the immolating temperature, that was just not quite hot enough to leave burn marks, the intimate and loving gesture sent sparkles of pleasure through his entire body.

She murred into the tongue hug, her appendage almost making its way into his throat as he suckled on it, the flavour akin to an exotic and expensive dish, the unique sensuousness of the act raising his own arousal level. There was a hint of almost burnt flavour, a testament to the firestorm she could unleash, but it was in no way offputting or distasteful. "Almost like a char-grilled steak."

She pulled back, tongue hanging out to the side as she panted. She repositioned herself and rolled, coming onto her back with her head up below the pillows, looking down at him from between her spread legs. Her treasures were fully visible, her arousal plainly evident as her tail swept the blanket, tickling his face, the erotic display making the tent in his pants uncomfortable. "Why don't we re-create our meeting," she said seductively, now using her tail to tickle him purposely.

He grinned at her as he sat up, getting to work on freeing his straining member. "I think that sounds like fun."

As he removed his clothing, a huge smile crossed his face, as he thought over the many surprises this mission had had so far. "I hardly expected to become Cassanova." He had expected to make friends with his poké mon partners of course, even forming deep bonds as they went through trials together, but he had certainly not expected to find a heart-felt connection with a poké mon lover. One who was even encouraging him to take more lovers.

His pants and boxers fell to the floor at last, simultaneously, his erection springing out into freedom. He turned back towards his mate, noting a flash of concern in her eyes that was quickly replaced with lust. "Of course" I just had my back to her…" he realized. He no longer minded that she saw his scars. She had earned that right. He smiled as he slowly advanced on her, the Arcanine licking her lips in anticipation as he awarded her steaming pussy a kiss.

"So, it's an apology you're looking for, is that it?"

"Mmm, yes. I think that maybe, if you're really sorry, I could be persuaded to forgive you."

"I'll have to do my best then," he replied, working his way upwards with loving kisses, slowly sliding up her fluffy belly to rest his body on hers. His member kissed her lower lips lewdly as he crawled, but he didn't penetrate her yet, instead just allowing it to slide past her sex, drawing a bit of a whine from her as she hunched, trying to get him in.

He brought his head level with hers, hugging her tightly and massaging her, giving her another kiss. "I'm sorry that I didn't tell you everything from the start." She murred into the kiss, as his hands gripped her shoulders, working the firm, powerful muscles that her silky fur cloaked. He trailed his fingers through her luxurious coat, examining all the spectacular hues, from rich orange, to stark black, to wonderful cream, to alluring mahogany. "Have I ever told you just how beautiful you are?"

"Ummm, ahh, I think so, but I wouldn't complain about hearing it again."

He kissed her again, grinding his crotch against her, making her squirm. "You are magnificent. Simply stunning. And I'm sorry I kept secrets from you."

Her rumbles of delight were music to his ears. "I think I can accept that."

He wrapped himself around her tightly, as if he was trying to squeeze himself into her, ignoring the little flare of pain. "And I'm sorry that I got you into this, got you involved with me, before you knew what it entailed."

He felt her paws descend onto his back, the soft pads rubbing slowly. "Now, that one I can't accept…" she trailed off, her voice dropping to a growl. "And you…d better not be apologizing for rescuing me from those two muscle-heads' Because if you are, I should be burning you to a crisp right now, rather than kissing you."

He latched onto her lips again, reaching down and finding a nipple to tweak as her growl trailed off into a moan of delight. "No, THAT I could never apologize for."

"Good!" she said fiercely, gripping him tightly. "Because no matter WHAT happens, I have NO regrets! I wouldn't trade being with you, even if it's only for awhile."

"Nor would I trade my time with you. For anything in the world. I'm still sorry though, for what I've put you through."

"Mmm, well, I think you're getting to the forgiveness part."

He grinned mischievously. "Tell me" what might I do for my lovely queen, to earn absolution for my sins?"

She met his look with a toothy smile of her own, chuckling. "Easy. Put it in!"

"As my lady commands."

He slid himself back down, bringing their groins in line once again, a shudder passing through Cheri as he ground against her. He felt his sensitive head prod her smouldering entrance, the burning heat coming from her sex both repelling and inviting to his tender bits, a hint of fluid dribbling out from her arousal.

He took a deep breath, then, ever so slowly, started the journey inside. His member was like a little fleshy adventurer, exploring the dark, moist, steaming, clenching cavern of a lusty Arcanine.

Once again, he marvelled at how he was somehow able to bear the heat, her blazing, igneous, yet plush and juicy passage suckling firmly on his member like an eager mouth. Inch after inch, his firm shaft pushed apart the spongy, velvety walls of her sweltering womanhood.

It was a swan song of pleasure and pain, the bundle of sensations like a supernova inside his head, as the blood coursing through his turgid member was surely brought to a boil. Yet at the same time, it was just cool enough to not cook his flesh, bringing with it the delight of sinking into a warm bath, her almost scalding fluids bathing his length, as her delightful folds worked their magic on the sensitive nerves of his cock.

He kept it slow, taking her at a measured pace, loving her through and through with each tortuously unhurried thrust, as she took him in to the hilt with ease. She wriggled beneath him, her tail thumping the bed furiously at the incredible ecstasy, her contented rumbling loud in his ears, as he pressed against her chest. "I'll never get tired of that sound."

Even though she was a larger species, she voiced no complaint of being unfulfilled by his smaller size. He knew he wasn't exceptionally well endowed, surely smaller, at least in length, than her previous mate. But he did his best with what he had, pleasuring her with all the know-how at his disposal.

He moderated his thrusts, making her let out a happy bark, her body arching beneath him, as he tried to hit all of her most erogenous zones, prodding her clit with his achingly hard member.

"Tell me" is my lady not pleased?"

"Uhh. I think your lady is very pleased. Mmmmoooorrrreeee."

He complied, not halting his careful bucking, the blaze of pleasure rapidly consuming his entire being, easily drowning out the dull aches from his wound.

Her yielding walls were slick, allowing him to slide his penis smoothly into its delectably heated sheath, the little flames of euphoria licking at his conscious thought, trying to send him into a lustful humping frenzy. His straining shaft pulsed, sending a shot of pre into her depths as he bottomed out, her walls clamping down on him, as if she was attempting to meld his member into her passage.

"Can you…uhhh…forgive me?"

"I think" Oh! Yes!"

He continued to slowly examine her supple, flowing folds, moans and gasps filling the air, the scent of lovemaking surely obvious to any with the olfactory senses to appreciate it. The squishing and slapping, along with the sounds of ecstasy, were hopefully not overly obvious for the Marshtomp on the other side of the bathroom door to hear.

"Maybe he has his head under the water, and is sleeping peacefully. I sure hope so." Even the mildly embarrassing thought of Marty getting treated to audible erotica wasn't much of a distraction to the task at hand, as the tension in his loins neared that familiar burning sensation, signifying that his release was on its way.

She wrapped her paws around him, not tightly enough to restrict his motion, just enough to hold him close, the silken, impossibly soft fur enveloping his bare skin, in the same way her dripping pussy was cloaking his member. It was an extremely erotic feeling, the delightful fur caressing his naked body, swishing across his sensitive areas. He felt extremely fulfilled, being so intimately close with his mate, the pleasure somehow ratcheting up, even as he continued to stuff the empty place in her loins full of his pulsing cock.

He felt her tense as he pulled back, her neck stretching back as she was drawn to the very brink, mouth hanging open as the slow build-up finally reached its tipping point. He beat her to it though, his balls drawing up, no longer able to hold himself back, not even managing a word of warning as his seed erupted forth.

It was like a pleasure bomb went off in his head, the slowly constructed climax crashing in with more force than a rapidly achieved one, a long groan coming from his lips as pearly ropes shot into her depths.

A howl ripped from her lungs, her passage suddenly going into overdrive, the rippling, suckling walls doing their best to siphon his seed from his balls, as a fresh wave of lava drenched his spasming shaft. Her hips gyrated as she humped up against him, mashing the lips of her mound into his crotch, squashing his testicles against his body, sending another jolt of pleasure through him, squeezing out an extra powerful squirt.

It was surely the most jism he had ever produced in one climax, the spurts seeming to go on forever as she milked him, although he knew it was only seconds, her rippling tunnel drawing the life giving fluid into the caldera of her womb.

His powerful spurts faded into a weak trickle, the liquid dribbling down her inner walls, his sperm trying its best to complete its suicide mission, seeking out the eggs of another species.

She let out a long, contented sigh as he relaxed limply against her, holding him firmly in her powerful paws, wrapping all four legs around him as she rolled onto her side. His ear pressed against her chest, the mighty thudding of her heart sounding loud and clear, each beat of the drumming organ seeming to say, "I love you."

Cheri herself gave voice to the words, licking the top of his head as she held him close, her still filled pussy massaging his softening member slowly. "I love you so much Master Shawn."

"And I love you Cheri. Always."

They lay like that for an endless moment, eternally basking in the delicious afterglow.

After some time of just contentedly laying in Cheri's protective embrace, Shawn tried to pull his now flaccid shaft back from her folds. He was halted though, by her tightening grip.

"No…please, just leave it in. I just want to have you inside me, have you as close as it's possible to be."

He smiled, relaxing into her firm hold, complying with her request without complaint. "Of course my dear."

Her words sounded a bit dreamy, her soft sighs of contentment a joy to listen to. "I love just holding you like this. It's something I could never experience with another Arcanine."

"Mmm, yes. There are some perks to being small."

She giggled. "You're big enough for me, in all the right places! As far as I'm concerned, you're the perfect size."

"Well, I'm glad for that then."

She rumbled happily, her tongue slurping over his forehead, drawing a loving line across his face.

"Mmm. Master?"


She seemed a bit hesitant, causing him to crane his neck back to meet her eyes, seeing the unsure look on her face. "Is there" any way" Could you" do anything…" she stopped, taking a deep breath. "Could you make it possible for us to have pups?"

His mouth dropped open, the shock at the question sapping any remaining arousal from his member. "Pups? Us?"

Her eyes were half closed as she nuzzled him, still holding him tight. "I…yes. Our pups. I mean" Is there any way? With your magic? This' this is something I want very much. To have a pup of my own. To have YOUR pups!"

He didn't know how to respond, just hugging her back as he thought about it. "Well" I don't know. It's" possible, perhaps, but…" he trailed off.

"It's" possible?"

He sighed heavily. "Possible. But" not easy. It could be very, very dangerous. To alter our body chemistry that much" I would have to write an entirely new spell for it, and with something like that" an untested spell" So many things could go wrong. Either for one of us, or for the pups."

"But" if it works, the risk would be worth it. To have your pups…" she trailed off again, giving him an extra tight squeeze. "You have no idea how badly I want that."

"But" Cheri, that's just it. It's more than just the risks, which are high. I…" he trailed off, feeling his heart melt at the response he had to give to her heart-felt question. "I can't. I can't do it. I can't risk your health for it, and just as importantly" I couldn't bring myself to... If I have to leave, and can't bring you with me, I'll not only be leaving you behind, but children as well. That would break my heart. Not to mention how unfair it would be for them."

"But" if you have to leave" Then that's all the more reason to do it! To leave something behind for me, a part of you!"

Shawn's mind was suddenly caught in a vision. Cheri, his gorgeous, vivacious, loving mate, her soft belly turgid and bulging with squirming pups. HIS pups.

The sight was both beautiful and terrifying. The thought of being a father…of ANY kind of children" it was something that sent both a thrill of wanting and terror through him.

The vision shifted, the pups now born, several faceless growlithe gathered around their weeping mother, as she explained to them why their father wasn't there for them. The scene darkened, becoming even more gut-wrenching, as the pups were consumed by the evils that dogged his footsteps, a phantom version of himself crying out in anguish, as the hard road that was his life consumed those that were precious to him, his inability to protect them crushing his heart into splinters. No" he just" couldn't. It was too painful. Too unfair to bring forth offspring that he could not properly care for.

"No" It's just" I couldn't be a proper father. As much as I want to" I'm sorry Cheri. This is one thing I can't give you. I'm sorry, I just" can't!" This last came out in an almost sob, as the emotion of his vision broke through into his voice.

She sat quietly, her breathing quickening as he tried to hold back tears, rolling onto her back again to allow him to just rest on top of her.

"I think" I think you would be an excellent father. But…" she seemed extremely sad, and it tugged at his heart-strings to hear the pain in her voice. "I think I understand. You don't want them to be hurt, as a result of what you are, right?"


"As much as I wish for the other, I-I think" I can accept that. And I don't hold it against you."

His emotions swelled, a lump forming in his throat. "T-thank you Cheri. I truly, truly wish that I could give you this, but I just" can't."

Her expression was replaced with a slowly growing smile. "Shh. It's alright. Don't forget, you DID already give me Hina. Even if she's not really mine, it's at least close. Kirin too."

He returned the smile, hoisting himself up a bit to look full into her gleaming emerald eyes. "True. And I think they're just as glad to have you."

Her smile broadened. "Mmm I sure hope so. And you know, even if we CAN…T make a pup of our own" At least we can still enjoy the act of it as much as possible!"

He laughed. "Very true. You're one horny girl, you know that?"

"If" horny means, "likes mating…, then yes! I'm ALWAYS up for it with you. Heat or no heat. With Schrade, it was always fun, but I didn't always want to do it, because he was sometimes too rough when I wasn't in heat. But you" you're WAY better at it."

"Now there's a compliment to boost any man's ego."

"So long as you don't let it go to your head," she said with a chuckle.

"Well, not THIS head at least," he said, tapping his temple with a wolfish smile. Indeed, he could once more feel his manhood swelling, still ensconced in her heated folds, the squishy feeling still pleasant, as her body heat kept their mixed fluids from becoming cold and gooey.

Once again, they began their passionate throes, Shawn's shaft resurging to life, as Cheri's sacred pleasure halls welcomed it in, their passion for each other being expressed in their mutual pleasure of each-other's bodies, as their hips once more met in a beautiful union. Two souls, one poké mon, one human, holding each-other as close as possible, hearts beating as one in a melody of love. "My mate…"

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