literature

Catching The Runaway [Team Flicker]

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It was a nice day, Lucy observed from the top floor of her and Niveus' "condo" if one could refer to it as that. They lived at the top of a small building. One that was nestled tightly in between two larger buildings and each side bore an alley way that completely blocked theirs from the sun. It was all but the front parlor of their little humble dwelling that suffered in dwell in remote darkness that could only be relieved by lighting candles. Or, if you were feeling particularly brave, adapting to have night vision would also be an ideal skill to help benefit seeing where to move.

Sadly, Lucy preferred to live in the dark. Candles were not at her disposable and she was insistence that any money the duo managed to snag was to go straight into their savings, not a penny to be spent on furnishing or lighting. They would make due without. And on this particular morning, making due was simple.

Light danced across the room in a fashion that even the ugly splashes of yellow in the furthest rooms could be appreciated. The natural lighting curved and danced it's way about, occasionally casting a shadow in the otherwise sparse apartment flat that looked as if it had just been moved into. Boxes were tables and newspapers were beds. Only one lamp in the entire set up existed and it was nearest to the patio that Niveus had flung himself onto the previous night.

His tail even propped the door open, swishing gently as Lucy returned a vial of green liquid to it's home in her coat pocket. "I hear we are needed for a task of some sort." She causally threw the words out, allowing Niveus a few seconds to chew on them as he rolled over onto his back.

"It's not going to turn me into a fish, will it?" The previous "mission" they had fulfilled had resulted in the poochyena growing temporary wings. He wasn't overly pleased about heading over to Lucy's lab again, but as her guard he could not fight against it.

"Don't be ridiculous, this mission is important."

The urgency of Lucy's tone gained Niveus' interest and he flopped back over with a headshake in order to look at her properly through the glass door. "What is it?"

"Well..." The ninetales tilted her head slightly to the left and slightly to the right as if she was conflicted on what to say. She was instead debating how simple her response to Niveus should be, as Lucy often thought of him as somewhat stupid. "Ninjas. Three of them are snooping around town and we have been asked to go after one."

"Is it the strongest?" Niveus asked.

"No..."

He made a confused look, stretching out while asking, "is it the smartest?"

Lucy stood with a sigh, patting down the fur on her that had managed to spring up as she worked throughout the night. "No, it's the weakest and the least intelligent. Sorry to disappoint."

"Oh." Niveus weaseled his nose through the crack in the door to open it and allow himself to enter the cool building. "Then why we hunting him down?"

Lucy began for the door that lead outside of their apartment. To the hall, down the stairs and outside she intended to walk undisturbed and fully expected Niveus to follow her as a small shadow. "He's wanted, and we are to find him. Understand?" In truth the ninetales was as disappointed about the "catch" they were assigned as her companion but she wasn't going to voice anything on the matter. They were getting food money out of this, that was all that mattered.

"Yeah, I got it." Niveus sighed. "Aren't ninja's invisible, how we suppose to find 'em then?"

"We'll 'find 'em' by speaking to him. If he agrees to quietly come with us then, no harm has been done."

"But if we don't know where he is then how's we suppose to know where ta talk?"

Lucy laughed. "Silly boy, you underestimate me."

---

"Wowza!" Niveus declared, taking a step back to look at Lucy. Or should he say, Lucy's. He was fascinated as Lucy spilt into two, and from those two both filled out and formed perfectly identical ninetale Lucy's.

"Are you impressed?" They both asked, starring at Niveus with the same amused gaze.

All around people buzzed. They hummed, laughed and walked along the streets without fret or worry over the event that had just occurred. Only Niveus had stared in awe, gawking with an opened mouth.

"h-how?"

"Double team." The Lucy's both informed him. "A move that enables the user to copy itself. One becomes two, two becomes four, so on and so fourth." To prove her point, or at least in the poochyena's eyes that was what she was doing, Lucy did it again. Both her and her double spilt and formed new doubles, who continued to form even more doubles!

"Wow." Niveus backed up to see all the Lucy's stand in front of him. A few folks moved out of the way, expected them to begin duking it out with Lucy having prepared herself for an attack.

"This is how we'll find him." The original Lucy spoke while her doubles remained silent. "My doubles will go out and search for the poor, lost little puppy dog." She turned, her tales swaying gracefully as she spun away from Niv. As she did the others began to move, on the hunt for the riolu already.

"Sooooo, what'd ya need me for?" Niveus asked, marching swiftly to keep up with Lucy.

"My doubles vanish if someone touches them. I might be able to find the ninja, but I most certainly cannot catch him." She explained carefully, ensuring that her lesser companion knew exactly what she spoke of. "He also doesn't really stand out. My doubles will speak to any riolu they see, and if any match the description we were given then I-"

"Ooh, so you need me to catch 'em for you!" Niveus exclaimed with excitement in his breath. "That'll be fun-"

"yes... Fun. But, you cannot hurt him." Lucy butt in.

"Eh? What'ya mean I can't- Eh?! Why not?!" Niveus was appalled he had no chance to show off his "awesome, super moveset" to Lucy.

"Sundance gave direct orders. So play nice." The poochyena hunched himself over with disgust. A criminal needed to be brought to justice and they weren't allowed to knock 'em out or anything?! Absurd!

Lucy gave Niveus a look that made quick work of his faulty attitude. "Yeah, yeah, I'll get 'em to come nicely." He began to mutter quiet insults that Lucy could care less to have overheard.

"Just, be a good boy alright? If you do I might consider rewarding you with an actual bed? Wouldn't that be nice?"

Niveus rolled his eyes. Lucy just didn't understand that "bed" did not translate into "reward" for him. But he'd obey anyways. He would have other chances to show off to Lucy later and this mission was important to putting food on the table.

"So where do I begin?"

---

Out of breath, the riolu stopped. He place one paw on the wall beside him and another on his knee to provide support as he gasped for air. His expression was widen with fear and confusion, sweat lacing it's way down his cheeks. What was she? That girl. She was everywhere!

"I see you." He spun to watch the silhouette of a ninetales lurking in the distance. She did not move, but waited, watching him.

"What you want?!" He asked in a panic. She had begun following him in town square, and pursuit lead her to corner him here in an alley.

"Your acting suspicious. Are you a ninja?"

He wasn't inclined to answer. Bold, bold girl. She took a step forward, and he backed even further against the edge of the alley. She was getting too close, and!

A knife delicately spun against Lucy's ear, which resulted in a great puff of smoke and the apparition fizzing into non-existence. This made the riolu blink, but only seconds for he knew that obsessive attack poochyena of hers would be tailing not far behind him.

An escape ladder curved up the side of the building to his right, and the small blue dog wasted no time leaping in order to reach it. However his small statue made it difficult to reach and he dangled off the edge of the bottom step. That was when Niveus turned the corner.

"Get back here!" He barked. Panic surged through the riolu as he lifted himself to the second last step, nearly tripping but managing to balance out and continue climbing without hesitation. He knew as he was that the other canine was unlikely to be able to reach even the nearest step, as unlike the riolu he was limited to walking on four legs and had little use trying to balance on two.

As Niveus barked from the bottom, stupidly trying to jump up and pull the ladder down, another copy of Lucy leaned over the top to stare down at the riolu who stopped abruptly with shock.

The question was if this was the real Lucy or not. Had it been another fake then the riolu could escape easily. Should she be real however, then the riolu was trapped, and they would probably use any means necessary to bring him in.

"Come quietly." Lucy commanded, earning the two males attention. "We will not make a scene if you don't. Come quietly to the hunter's clan and we will not harm you."

The riolu starred, indecisive on his decision.

He didn't trust them. He didn't trust the girl and he most certainly didn't trust the boy below him. So he did the only thing he believed he could, and he ran.

---

Niveus placed an icepack on his forehead. "That hurt." He informed Lucy as the two exited the hunter's building.

The ninetales didn't make any noise but allowed her companion to continue speaking.

"How would you like to be kicked in the face, huh? He's just lucky I didn't snap back at him or..."

"You did good." Lucy praised her friend.

"I- what?"

"You did good. Not attacking him was part of the plan." After the riolu had decided to run he had leapt down from the ladder and landed on Niveus' face. However, he luckily didn't get far as Lucy, and many of her copies had come around the alley way. Needless to say they had actually managed to succeed in catching the criminal and now team flicker were on their was to celebrate with ice cream.

"Hmm. If you say so." Niveus was rather unimpressed.

Lucy sighed, and then rose her head to look proudly in the distance at an ice cream stand not far from where they were. "I'll buy you any flavor, and as many scoops as you want."

"Wait. Really?"

"Yes, I told you that you did good, didn't I?" She seemed a little shocked that Niveus was surprised she was treating him. "You're an excellent body guard. Take pride in it."

And that, well that was something Niveus just did. Walking down the street as if he was a lavished king. He knew he was a good bodyguard. And he was pleased that Lucy had finally acknowledged it.

The end.

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