The Thunder Clan - 30

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By GigaBowserNS   |   Watch
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Published: August 9, 2018
Chapter 30 - Old Wounds

Roxy entered the den with a huff, still shaking her head over how ridiculous Taka was acting.

While the entrance had been rather small, the inside of the den had been dug out quite expansively. For a hole in the side of a hill, it was surprisingly roomy. The 'ceiling' was high enough that Roxy didn't need to duck her head.

"Lover's spat?"

Roxy turned to look in the direction of the voice, and saw Vi sitting near one of the far walls with a smirk on her face. In front of her was a small collection of twigs that was burning softly, providing just a touch of light to the dark cave. "Something like that…" Roxy murmured.

Vi snickered in a teasing way, and then motioned with her paw for Roxy to sit down. The Pikachu obliged, and sat staring at the fire for a couple of seconds. "Most of us can see in the dark," Vi said, "so we do not usually require this. Wake me up if the whole den catches fire, okay?"

"Mm…" Roxy muttered as she continued to gaze at the fire.

"Hey. Come on now, cutie. Upset is not a good look for you."

Roxy glanced over at the Vulpix. She wanted to cheer up, truly she did, but she just felt too annoyed at Taka to do so.

Vi had been giving her a little smirk, but then her expression softened a bit and she started to talk in a more calm, serious tone. "There is no need to be mad, Roxy. I understand his hesitations. If I had a traveling companion that I was close to, I would want to keep them safe too. It is obvious that he cares about you, and wants to guide you to wherever you are going safely."

Roxy sighed. "I just wish I could talk to him, but he makes it so hard. When he makes a decision, it's impossible to change his mind."

"Now who would want to ignore a voice like yours?"

"Heh…" Roxy chuckled half-heartedly, "I do hate being the voice of reason, sometimes."

Vi snickered for some reason.

"If he would just look you in the eyes, he would know," Roxy lamented.

"I was very impressed when you asked me to do that," Vi commented, "It truly is a great way to see if someone is lying or not. I am glad I was able to convince you, though. It brings me great satisfaction to repay my debt with you, and also I like you, and it makes me happy to help you get closer to your goal."

Finally, Roxy managed to smile. "Thanks, Vi," she said, "Your tribe really is wonderful. The world would be a better place if more people and more Pokémon were like you…" She continued to gaze at the fire, transfixed by the subtle way it danced and jumped on the small pile of twigs. "If only Taka could see it, he might be able to relax."

"Oh, forget him," Vi said dismissively, "If he wants to stand out there and pout, let him. I wanted to be hospitable but, truthfully, it would be crowded in here with three."

"I guess that's true."

"Some Pokémon like him are just stuck in their ways. They do not want to let themselves be happy, and so they just sit in their own misery. No need to let his mood cloud the good time we could be having."

"He has been through an awful lot…" Roxy said, thinking of what had happened on Taka's last journey.

"The night will be over before you know it, and it will not take long in the morning to reach the other side of our territory. Though I wish you and I could spend a lot more time together, it will at least make him happy. Forget about him for now, though. Right now it is just the two of us, snuggled up cozy together in my den."

Roxy lifted her head and furrowed her brow. Something in the back of her mind had been bugging her since meeting Vi, and now it was becoming more prominent. "Vi, are you-?"

As she turned her head to regard the Vulpix, her train of thought came to a screeching halt when she saw just how close Vi had gotten to her. She hadn't noticed Vi apparently sidling up until she was sitting right next to her, and the Vulpix was now looking into her eyes with a half-lidded gaze and a suave-looking grin. It was almost…a predatory sort of look. Before Roxy could say or do anything else, Vi suddenly darted forward…

…and kissed her right on the lips.

Roxy's eyes shot open so wide she thought her eyes would pop right out. Her whole body stiffened up as the Vulpix pressed forward eagerly, even lifting up a paw to lightly press against Roxy's chest. Roxy tried to figure out just what in the world was going on, but it was hard to do that with her brain short-circuiting so much.

When Vi broke the kiss and moved back, she continued to give Roxy a smile that the Pikachu could now identify as 'sultry'. Roxy was left stunned, wobbling slightly like a drunken Wobbuffet with a bewildered expression on her face. Her jaw hung open slightly and her head was swimming.

Vi continued to look at her with that provocative look on her face, waggling her eyebrows a little. Her eyes were narrowed like a predator's, but in a different sort of 'predatory' way. Behind her, a few of her six tails were twitching eagerly, but she sat there and patiently waited.

At first, all Roxy could do was blink her eyes every so often as her brain rebooted. It took her a few moments to piece together what had just happened, a few more moments to analyze it, and even more time just to kick her motor skills back into gear. She must have sat there for a good couple of minutes before she finally had the ability to reply.

Instead of words, Roxy started to sob and cry.

Vi's expression changed in an instant. Her suave, confident grin was replaced by a shocked and concerned frown. All traces of seduction disappeared as if they had never been there. She stared at Roxy in confusion for a few moments while Roxy simply let out stifled sobs.

"Goodness…" Vi spoke in a quiet voice, "There were quite a number of ways I thought this would turn out…This was not one of them…"

Roxy wiped her eyes with her forepaw and turned to regard Vi through her tear-filled eyes. She wanted to reply, but all that came out was another sob.

"Oh, sweetie…Come here…" Vi shuffled back over, but this time all she did was wrap her forepaws around Roxy in a warm, comforting hug. "Please accept my apology. I did not mean to upset you."

Roxy returned the hug earnestly, finding Vi's body to be very warm to the touch. That was to be expected, considering she was a Fire-Type.

"I am so sorry," Vi repeated, "I should not have…I thought you were cute and I figured I would just take a chance and see what happened. I did not think I would upset you this much, but I should have-"

"No," Roxy interrupted, shaking her head. She moved back, ending her embrace with the Vulpix, and sat up straight. She wiped her eyes once more and took a calming breath before speaking again. "No, I…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get all weepy. It's not your fault."

Vi frowned and tilted her head. "Of course it is my fault. I clearly overstepped a boundary…"

Roxy shook her head again. "It's fine…It surprised me, but really it's…" Roxy paused, and then let out a heavy sigh. "It just…reminded me of the one I love…"

Vi gave her a surprised look. "What?" she asked, confused, "I thought you told me you and Taka were not mates."

"No, no…We're not," Roxy replied, "It's…his brother."

"Oh," Vi said, nodding her head in understanding, "I see. I am sorry, I assumed some things that were not true. I did not realize that you had a mate who was elsewhere."

Roxy lowered her head and stared at the ground. "He's dead."

The silence that followed was heavy. "…Oh…" Vi finally muttered, "Oh dear…Truly?"

Roxy nodded. "He was killed…"

Vi didn't say anything at that, and Roxy found out why a moment later as she was swept up in another comforting hug. The two remained like that for quite some time, just silently embracing. Roxy didn't really cry any more, but she did feel as heavy as a rock. She didn't so much hug back, as she did simply lay there for Vi to hold up.

Finally, after heavens knew how long, Vi propped Roxy back up into a sitting position and sat down in front of her. She offered a kind, consoling smile and said, "Talk to me."

Roxy's lip quivered, and at first it felt like more tears were going to come the minute she started talking. But, after she took a few minutes to calm herself, she started to tell the rest of her story to Vi. She talked about growing closer to Makari, her budding feelings for him, falling in love, and then ultimately losing him. It didn't take her as long as she had thought it would, which was a rather bitter thought.

"He sounds wonderful," Vi said once Roxy had reached the end of her tale.

"He was so wonderful…"

"I am…very sorry for your loss…" Vi bit her lip and glanced off to the side a little. "Did…they ever find out what caused his…passing?"

Roxy shook her head. "Not exactly."

"Oh, I see…"

There was a moment of slightly awkward silence.

Roxy then sighed. "It's taken me so long just to get over the fact that I lost him…So long to stop feeling like nothing would ever make me happy again. But, it's just…Well, since I lost him, I haven't had another Pokémon to sleep next to, haven't had another kiss…I haven't had a lot of things, really…Since I lost him, I didn't think I would ever have them again."

Vi turned back towards her.

"So when you…It just…"

The Vulpix nodded in understanding. "Even though I am not him, I reminded you in a…very direct way of what you had lost."

Roxy sighed yet again. "Yeah, that…"

"Well, again, I am very sorry. I did not mean to dredge up such sad feelings."

"It's not your fault," Roxy repeated.

"I am supposed to be repaying my debt to you, not creating more…"

"Oh, don't worry about it. Really."

Another moment of silence passed, but this one was distinctly less awkward. Roxy was already starting to feel better. The sad moment had passed by, having done its damage.

"If…you do not mind me asking…" Vi said, breaking the silence.


Vi gave her a coy grin. "Was he a good kisser?"

Roxy immediately blushed. "I, er- Uh…"

"Ah, you look so adorable when you blush! Please! My heart!"

This only served to make Roxy blush even more. "I dunno, I…" She glanced to the side, fidgeting with her forepaws, before looking back at Vi again. The Vulpix looked like she was patiently waiting for an answer, even if it wasn't a serious one. She worried that talking about kissing and Makari was just going to make her cry all over again, but she started to think about the subject and found that wasn't happening.

"I- Sure. Sure, he was," Roxy answered, speaking quickly.

"Better than me?"

Roxy gave Vi a flustered look, while Vi just gave her a cheeky smile in return. Roxy grumbled a little and glanced away, and the den fell silent for a minute or two. Then, Roxy spoke up once more. "You know…? Sorry, but yeah. He was."


"Oh, don't 'ooo' me…"

Vi smiled and shook her head. "No, I understand completely. It is different."

"Heh, yeah…Sort of." A small but genuine smile graced Roxy's lips. Talking about it like this, now Roxy was starting to remember Makari fondly instead of sorrowfully. It was strange to her that her mood had turned around so quickly, but she wasn't about to question it. Just talking about Makari and the way he kissed her was more like reminiscing, which was a lot easier on her damaged heart.

Roxy glanced over at Vi again. "Did, uh…" she started.

Vi tilted her head.  "Hm? Did I what?"

Roxy was blushing again. "Did you really think…I was…cute?"

A big, warm smile accompanied her answer. "Of course, cutie. From the first moment I saw you, even though I was down in that hole and you were drenched with rain. I do not think I have ever seen a Pikachu as good-looking as you."

"Erm…" Roxy was flustered for a moment before she spoke again. "So, you're actually…like, attracted to me?"

Vi nodded and said, "I cannot tell a lie to you."

Then, Roxy frowned. "But, what about that Flareon? I thought you…Weren't you…" Roxy fumbled a little over the next word. "…flirting with her?"

"Who, Fina?" Vi replied, "Oh yes, of course. She is a gorgeous piece of tail." Vi closed her eyes and looked blissful for a second. "That tail is so warm and fluffy…"

Roxy's frazzled, blushing look returned. "So, why're you…y'know, kissing me? Aren't you and Fina, like, y'know…mates or something?"

Vi actually snickered at that. "No," she said flatly. She let out an airy laugh before adding, "If I think someone is cute, I want to pursue them. See where the night leads?" She laid down on the ground and stretched her forepaws out, letting out a satisfied sigh before she relaxed and rested her head on top of her paws. "Having a mate is not something I am interested in pursuing. I am too wild for that."

Roxy simply looked at her, not quite knowing what to say.

"Stop blushing like that," Vi said in a mock scolding tone, "You are too adorable for me."

Frowning, Roxy glanced away and tried to hide the burning glow in her cheeks.

More silence passed before Vi spoke up once more. "Can I be serious for a moment?" she asked, without a hint of her previous sass, "Can I ask you a question?"

Roxy glanced at her and then shrugged. "I guess."

"You shared a wonderful love with an amazing Pokémon…" she spoke in a slow, gentle voice, "but, sadly, life took him away from you. It is taking you some time to get over the shock of this, and I can understand that." Vi paused for a moment. "But…Well, how can I say this…? I guess, to put it simply…Are you ever going to kiss another?"

"What…?" Roxy asked, frowning. She was both saddened and perplexed by Vi's question.

"It is obvious that Makari made you very happy, but are you going to deny yourself that kind of happiness for the rest of your life?"

"I…" Roxy trailed off, stumbling over her words. She was confused as to what had suddenly brought this up. "I…I don't know…I mean, I loved him…"

"Of course," Vi said, "I do not think anything will ever change that, right?"

Roxy nodded demurely.

"But, well…Life is short, even if you do make it to old age…"

"What're you saying?" Roxy said as she frowned and started to feel flustered, "If you're just tryin' to kiss me again, stop it. I loved Makari and only him, but he's gone now, so I-"

"Shhh, shhhh…" Vi soothed, holding up a paw until Roxy quieted down, "There is no need to get upset. I was not trying to suggest anything." She lowered her paw and gave Roxy a sad smile. "I just hate to see you like this, missing out on things in life simply because fate was cruel."

Roxy crossed her forepaws and turned her head away from Vi, pouting and frowning.

"I am not suggesting you 'forget' Makari, or 'move past' him or anything like that. I apologize if that is what came across, though I did not intend it. I can see that you still love him. You will always love him, right up until the day when your time comes as well."

"Mmmn…" Roxy's frown shrank a little.

"Just…try to keep an open mind, okay?" Vi said, "Something does not always have to mean something else."

Roxy could only sigh in response. She didn't want to be mad at Vi. The Vulpix had been nothing but pleasant and kind to her, even aside from that sudden, awkward kiss.

"Okay, cutie?"

"Yeah…Okay…" Roxy said, turning to face Vi once more. She couldn't quite bring herself to smile, but she didn't feel as upset anymore.

Vi smiled instead, and patted a spot near the fire that was closer to her. "Come over here," she said in a soft, inviting tone.

Roxy nodded and shuffled a little closer. The fire seemed warmer in this new spot.

"Just relax, okay?"

Morning arrived and Roxy greeted the day with a stretch and a smile. She felt totally refreshed, and the rays of sunlight filtering down through the trees were a welcome sight that made her feel energized. After a nice, relaxing sleep, she felt like she was ready to run all the way home without stopping.

She had already shared a small breakfast of berries with Vi. The Vulpix had been gone when Roxy had first awoken, but arrived moments later as if on cue and carrying a small bushel of Orans. It was a nice meal and the two enjoyed each other's company. Now, Roxy was stepping up to the mouth of the den with Vi following behind.

It was like a fresh explosion of sunlight when she exited the tunnel. Like a flower blooming in the springtime, she burst out from under the ground with a radiant smile. Roxy couldn't remember the last time she had felt this good, or this optimistic, about her future.

Some of the other Fire-Types in nearby dens were waking up as well, and most of them gave her and Vi a friendly wave. Roxy smiled and waved back to each of them, barely even thinking about the fact that they were all predators. For now, it was just a close-knit tribe of friendly Pokémon.

Vi stepped up beside her and giggled. "Your fur is all messy," she said.

Roxy glanced at her, then busily tried to brush down the fur on her head. "It's just bedhead. It's not like I have a brush out here."

The Vulpix giggled at her again. "Come on," she said as she stepped past, "We should get going soon. Get that cute butt moving."

Roxy's cheeks flushed with colour, and she knew Vi was silently chuckling to herself as she walked down the hill away from the den. She shook her head good-naturedly at Vi's antics. Like the Gaia Tribe before, she was going to miss this group of Pokémon once they moved on. That said, she still wanted to get going as soon as possible. Home was getting closer and closer.

First, though, she needed to find her traveling companion. He wasn't standing at the mouth of the cave, like she had expected, so she started looking in all directions for him.

"Up here."

Roxy nearly jumped out of her skin and spun around on the spot. Taka was sitting down on the hill above the den's entrance. She and Vi had passed right under him without even noticing. "Oh," she said once her heart slowed down, "There you are. C'mon, let's get going."

Taka swiftly hopped down and stood beside her. "Best news I have heard in a while."

Roxy gave him a disapproving look and was about to yet again reprimand his bad attitude. Her words died on her tongue however, and her frown was replaced with a concerned look.

He saw that she was looking at him, and turned his gaze at her. "What?"

"Taka…Did you stay up all night??"

She knew what the answer was even before he said 'yes'. There were noticeable dark circles under his eyes, and his ears and tail were drooping just slightly. He was doing his best not to let it show, but anyone could see just from a single glance that Taka was utterly exhausted.

"…Taka, what the hell?" Roxy blurted out, "Why did you do that?"

"To keep watch," he said simply.

"Keep watch for what? Bad dreams?"

Taka gave her what she could only describe as an exasperated look.

"Oh dear Arceus, seriously…?" Roxy said, "I wasn't serious when I suggested you just stand out there and stay on guard. Why didn't you just come and sleep in the den? Or you could have just slept in a tree or something."

"I was keeping you safe."

Roxy's eye twitched. "I was safe. In the den. With Vi."

"Thank heavens for good fortune, then."

She opened her mouth to respond again, but found she just couldn't. Everything she had to say on the matter, she had already said it all twice. She just couldn't fight against Taka's stubbornness. He still believed that they were in danger, even after everything that had happened with this tribe.

True, the thought had briefly occurred to her that she would be more vulnerable while she slept in the den. After all, she would have been trapped in there with nowhere to run should the impossible happen and the tribe were to turn on her. That was obviously why Taka had felt the need to stand guard. Even so, if he had felt that strongly about it, he could have asked her to take the second shift like they usually did. She would have been annoyed, but she would have done it.

Hell, Roxy had complete faith that Taka would be able to stand guard while he was asleep. She had seen him wake up at the tiniest sound, quieter than a pin dropping, before. There was no good reason for him to have starved himself of sleep like this.

After a few moments of flustered stammering, Roxy finally threw up her forepaws in defeat and let out a frustrated sigh. "Just…come on, you big idiot…" she said before promptly marching off in the direction Vi had gone. Taka wordlessly followed behind her.

They caught up to Vi not long afterwards. After she attempted and failed to say a pleasant 'good morning' to Taka, she instructed them to climb onto her back again and they did. A few moments later, Ignis approached them.

"Good morning Vi, and to you two as well," he greeted them, "I see that you are off to fulfill your promise, young one."

Vi nodded respectfully. "I shall be back before the moon rises."

"Very well. Take care not to get into trouble this time."

"I will," Vi replied, getting a bit of a bashful expression.

Ignis then lowered his head down, so that he was closer to eye level with the two Pikachu. "I hope that your stay here was pleasant. I wish the two of you good luck on the rest of your journey, and may the heavens watch over you."

Roxy smiled. "Thank you, sir. This was really nice, and we really appreciate everything Vi is doing for us."

Ignis chuckled and smiled sagely. "We appreciate you giving Vi a chance to keep her word," he said, "Our tribe shall benefit from her selfless actions. Honour is always rewarded somehow."

"Really?" Roxy asked, "So, like, you think this'll give you good karma?"

Both Ignis and Vi blinked and gave her perplexed looks. Clearly, they were not familiar with that word.

"Uhh…" Roxy rubbed the back of her neck as she thought about how to explain this. "Karma is, like, balance in the universe. If you do something nice for someone, that's good karma and it means that something nice will happen to you. But if you do something mean to someone, then you have bad karma and…Well, that's not good."

"Ah. Interesting," Ignis commented, "I suppose that is somewhat similar to our beliefs. Is this a concept that your own tribe has devised?"

Roxy chuckled inwardly and glanced off to the side. "You could say that…"

Ignis nodded. "Well, I will not hold you any longer. Good luck, once again, and…" The corners of his lips turned upwards. "…good karma?"

Roxy and Vi both shared a laugh at that, and then the Ninetales bid them farewell and walked off towards the centre of the Den. Roxy found herself smiling, her earlier frustrations forgotten. The experience she'd had in this tribe was nothing short of pleasant. That was something she had never expected from a group of wild predators.

"Well, we should get going," Vi announced, "I promised I would be back before night. It should only take a few hours to reach the northern edge of our territory."

"Cool!" Roxy replied as she settled herself securely on the Vulpix's back, "Lead on!"

Vi set off at a sprint which quickly turned into a run. Roxy held on tightly as the hills and dens passed by on either side of them. Before long, they had passed the last one and the Den was left behind. Vi didn't slow down at all, dashing off into the wilderness like an intrepid explorer.

"Well, this is it!"

Roxy's ears perked up. "Huh? Wha? Already?"

Vi snickered. "Yes, cutie. I did say a couple of hours."

"Whoa…" Roxy marvelled. Traveling through the forest without the constant fear of danger and the need to keep an eye out for predators meant that time traveled a lot faster. She glanced around at their surroundings, but obviously there was no physical marker denoting where the Burning Paws territory ended. It just looked like any other part of the forest.

"So, we've made it all the way across your whole territory."

Vi nodded. "Yes. I am not quite sure who lives in this territory…We border so many tribes that I lose track of them all. But yes, this is where the domain of the Burning Paws ends."

"Wow! This is great! We've saved so much time!"

The Vulpix took a few more steps forward and the paused next to a tree. She gave it a few sniffs and then nodded in affirmation.

"Well, I suppose this is it then…" Roxy said in a bittersweet tone.

"Indeed, this is where we must sadly part ways." Vi laughed softly. "If I did not have ties back home, I would consider journeying with you. I sense that adventure is drawn to the two of you."

Roxy leaned forward and hugged the back of Vi's neck. "Well, thank you so much. You have no idea how helpful this has been to us! You-"

"This is your territory's edge?" Taka suddenly spoke up, again breaking a silence that he'd held for the past couple of hours. He deftly hopped off of Vi's back and then stood on the ground giving her an expectant look.

"Erm…" Vi faltered momentarily, "Yes. This is as far north as our territory goes. We do not often hunt past here."

"Good," Taka said tersely, and then addressed Roxy and said, "Let's go."

Roxy gave him a surprised look. "But Taka-"


Both Roxy and Vi were taken aback by his sudden outburst, and gave each other a look of disbelief. Roxy glanced back over at Taka, only to see that he was already walking away.

Her fur bristled. Roxy had felt a lot of wild, turbulent emotions while on this whole escapade; she had been happier than ever before, sad beyond belief, and more terrified than she ever thought possible. This was the first time she had felt like this, however. She could feel, bubbling inside of her like furious lava ready to explode out the top of her head, a sense of growing, unchecked anger.

"Taka!!" she shouted loudly while also hopping off of Vi's back, "What is wrong with you?!"

The Pikachu paused and turned back to her, but didn't say anything. He merely crossed his forelimbs again.

"No, seriously!!" Roxy continued to shout, sounding like a very upset teacher, "What's gotten into you?! Why are you being such a huge tool?? Vi and her tribe have been amazing to us! They have treated us with kindness, respect and hospitality, far beyond what they needed to do. Vi has done us a huge favour by running us this far, keeping us safe from being hunted, and cutting out a huge chunk of our already-super-long journey!

"Yet for some stupid reason, you continue to act like a prick! I know you didn't trust her at first, and I get it! It makes sense! This is your home and you're more experienced. But after everything she has done for us…! You're really still going to just spit in her face and walk away?! You're kind of a jerk, but this is not like you! What is your Arceus-damned problem?!?!"

Bird Pokémon could be heard flying away. Roxy had gotten loud.

For a moment, Taka just continued to stare at her. He hadn't even flinched. Even Vi, standing nearby, looked a little shaken by Roxy's explosive outburst, but Taka acted like nothing had happened. He just stood there with a cross look on his face, breathing evenly through his nose. As the seconds ticked by Roxy's anger began to subside, but as he continued to stand there without replying she could feel it starting to come back. She was about to yell at him some more when he finally opened his mouth and replied.

"Fine," he said in a relenting sort of tone.

Roxy just arched an eyebrow and waited for him to continue.

He didn't speak right away, though. First he took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, as if he was trying to calm himself. When he looked at her again there was less anger in his expression, but he still looked hardened and serious.

"Do you remember what I told you," he said, "about when I met Izuki?"

Roxy's ears perked up in surprise. She hadn't expected to hear the name of Taka's lost love in this explanation.

"Do you remember how we met?"

"Uhh…" Roxy faltered, trying to remember exactly what she'd been told.

"When I found him, he was under attack. Predators were surrounding him, and I rescued him. Then, I had to nurse him back to health."

"Right…" Roxy said with a nod. She did recall now that he had told her this. She didn't get why Taka was bringing it up, though.

Taka then turned his gaze towards Vi, who was watching the two with an awkward expression on her face. He glared at her, causing her to frown. "It was them," Taka said, holding out his forelimb and pointing at the Vulpix.

"What?" Roxy and Vi both said at the same time.

"The predators that were attacking my Izuki…was them. The Burning Paws."

Roxy's eyes widened and she gasped softly. There it was. That was the last piece of the puzzle she had been looking for. "Oh…" was all she could think of saying.

Vi turned to look at her with a perplexed look. "Roxy? What is he talking about?"

Taka didn't exactly look like he wanted to talk to her, so Roxy decided to explain. "Izuki was a Pokémon he fell in love with," she said to Vi, "Taka was on a journey when he found Izuki being attacked by predators. He rescued him, the two fell in love, and…"

Roxy and Vi both slowly turned to look at Taka. He was still just standing there, fixing Vi with a very distrustful gaze.

"So, when you first met your love," Vi said to him, "it was by rescuing him from members of my clan who were…hunting him?"

Taka nodded curtly.

"Oh, I see…"

Suddenly, things made a whole lot more sense. It wasn't just Taka's natural aversion to predators that was making him act like this. He had a history with this tribe, however brief it may have been, and it was a sore spot in his memory. Taka had never gone into detail about how bad Izuki's injuries had been, but she did know that Taka had to stay with him while he healed for multiple days.

She started to feel bad. Without knowing it, she had dragged Taka right into the heart of his own personal enemies. They were the ones who could have prevented him from falling in love with Izuki at all. If Roxy had to be taken to a formal dinner with some rich human who had tried to hit her master, even if they behaved themselves, she probably wouldn't have felt very good about the situation either.

"Taka, why didn't you tell me?" Roxy asked, "You could've said something right at the beginning, or after we got her out of the hole, or…"

Taka simply glanced off to the side, causing Roxy to sigh. She didn't really know what to say, and so she looked over at Vi, hoping she might have some insight.

"Well…" Vi said somewhat awkwardly, and then cleared her throat. "I suppose that is not an impossible scenario. It is quite a fascinating coincidence, though? Right?" Vi glanced at both Pikachu with a strained smile on her face. When no-one smiled back, she sighed and frowned.

"Okay," she said, "I can see why you are upset. I would be upset too. I was not a part of that hunting group so I do not know exactly what happened, but it sounds like a couple of Burning Paws came across your mate and attacked." She skewed her lips. "We live by honour and value our word whenever it is necessary, but that does not mean we extend this humility to every Pokémon. There is still a natural order to things. We still must eat to survive."

Taka started giving her a furious glare, so she quickly backpedaled. "Well, either way…It does not matter, Taka. Right? If I understand you correctly, you and your love managed to escape from our hunters, right? Though they tried to, they did not kill Izuki. Right?"

Taka hesitated for a few moments, but then nodded curtly.

"Well then, it all works out. You and your love escaped from us and got to share your happiness with one another, and now I have kept you safe from our hunters as my gratitude to you. At the end of the day, there is no spilled blood between us."

"Y-yeah, Taka," Roxy said, though she cursed herself for being unable to keep a small stutter out of her voice, "It's fine. Vi is not the one who tried to attack Izuki. It probably wasn't Ignis either, right? And, like Vi said, those other Burning Paws were not being cruel or evil…they were just trying to survive, right? It's not like Kazaka or Tazoka…"

Taka stared at her in silence, then glanced over at Vi. After about a minute of very tense silence, he turned his head to address her once more. "Come," he said tersely, "Let's go."

Roxy slumped and frowned. "Taka…"

"When I look at her," he said, "all I can think about is losing Izuki. They are not the ones who took him from this world, but they could have been. They just as easily could have been the ones to take me from this world…or you." He turned and faced away from them, but stood still for a moment. After a short pause, he hung his head slightly. "I promised him, Roxy…" Then, he started to walk off into the trees again.

"Taka!" Roxy called after him, "Taka, stop!" He kept walking and didn't even turn around. "At least say 'thank you'!" she called, but it was no use. An empty sigh slipped past her lips.

Vi took a few slow steps towards her. "You…did not tell me his love was…"

"Humans killed him," Roxy explained.

"Oh heavens…" she said with a grimace, looking as if she immediately regretted some of the things she had said.

"I'm sorry, Vi. You don't deserve any of that. You've been wonderful, and all I want to do is thank you for all you've done."

Vi let out a quiet sigh, but then shook her head. "There is no need to concern yourself. I am touched by your gratitude and thankful that I was able to repay you for rescuing me. Helping him was just part of the deal, so I am glad I could complete it nonetheless."

"I…know you're a predator…" Roxy spoke softly, "and that we're….y'know…natural enemies…but you're more than just a hungry set of sharp teeth." She turned to look Vi in the eyes and gave her a small smile. "I'm happy I met you. Thank you for being who you are."

"Aww…" Vi leaned in and gave Roxy a hug with one of her paws, "I am glad to have met you as well. I wish our story together could have lasted a little longer, but sadly we are simply from two different worlds."


After the hug ended, Vi gave her another confused look. "What did he mean by 'I promised him'?"

"Oh, uh…" Roxy fumbled her paws little. "His brother…when he died, the last words he said…'Keep her safe, keep her happy'. So…he's always sort of been looking out for me since then. At first he just felt obligated, but I think we've become friends since then. Today was just a rainy day for him…"

"Truly?" Vi replied, eyes wide, "That is so romantic! Roxy, you are not good for my heart!"

Roxy blushed a little and looked off to the side.

Vi then cleared her throat. "Well, in any case, I can definitely see just how much he cares for you. Even though his intentions may have been misguided, he felt adamant about keeping you safe from myself and my tribe. I think the only reason he was having trouble was because he could not keep you safe and happy at the same time in this case."

"You think so?"

Vi giggled softly. "Even now he continues to watch you, just to make sure I do not try anything at the last moment."

"What?" Roxy said, her ears perking up. She turned around and tried to look in the direction Vi was glancing, but she couldn't see anything.

"He thinks he is hiding from me," Vi said with a chuckle, "How cute."

Roxy searched the trees for a few more seconds, but still could not see where Taka was apparently hiding. She had thought he had wandered off, but if Vi was right then he was still staying close by in spite of his emotions. That did manage to bring a little smile back to her.

"I should go," she said bittersweetly, "I don't wanna keep him waiting, and we still have such a long way to go."

Vi nodded in understanding. "Farewell then, cutie," she said with a wink, "May Arceus smile down upon you."

"Goodbye, Vi…Thanks again for everything."

The two Pokémon remained standing there for a moment, simply looking at one another. It was hard to say goodbye this time, Roxy was finding. Vi had been so nice and friendly, and her tribe so welcoming and accommodating. Eventually, though, her drive to move forward won over and she turned away.

"Actually, before you go…"

Roxy stopped in mid step and looked back over her shoulder. "Huh?"

Vi stepped over to her, sat down beside her, and leaned in to whisper into her ear. "Let me give you one more gift for your journey," she said, "About 100 paces ahead, there is a tree that is taller than those around it. The view from the top will make you smile."

Roxy turned her head to look at the Vulpix, but she was already gone. Roxy had to glance over her shoulder again to see her. Vi was walking away, her tails swaying about in an upbeat, playful manner. After she was a somewhat fair distance away, she paused and looked back as well. She winked at Roxy once more, and lifted a forepaw to wave goodbye. Roxy happily waved back.

Then she turned around and forced herself to march forward, leaving Vi behind for good this time. She had delayed enough, and she knew that it was time to keep moving ahead.

"You can come out now," she said flatly after walking a few yards. There was a muted impact sound next to her, and when she turned to her left she saw Taka was walking next to her now.

"I don't trust her," he said.

"I'm aware…"

"Do not let your guard down until-"

'Just…shut up, Taka…"

Though she saw him give her an irritated look out the corner of her eye, Taka respected her request and stopped talking. They walked for a few moments in silence, but then he spoke up again.

"For what it is worth…" he said, his tone much calmer, "I am relieved that your instincts were correct."

Roxy stopped walking and looked at him.

"I trust you are well aware of how bad this could have gone," he said to her, the sternness returning for a moment before disappearing again, "but if you are unharmed, then I suppose there is nothing to be angry about."

"Well…" Roxy gave him a wistful look, "I now understand what was going through your head at the time, so I sort of get it. I still wish you'd just told me in the first place, though."

"Looking back, perhaps that would have indeed been the better option."

The two started walking once more. "It's just another chapter, right?" she asked him, "Time to move on and see what else is in store?"

Taka simply nodded.

They continued for a bit longer, but then Roxy started to slow down and glance upwards. Vi's parting words were fresh in her mind, and she was about 100 paces away by this point. After a short while searching, she spotted a rather thick tree that seemed to be impressively tall. This had to be the one Vi had been talking about.

She sprinted over to it. "Taka, let's climb this tree and get a look ahead!"

He gave her an odd look. "Why?"

Roxy almost told him that Vi had recommended it, but she held her tongue for fear that Taka would just think it was another trick. "I wanna see if we've gotten any closer," she said, settling for a simple answer.

Taka half-rolled his eyes and shrugged. "I doubt we have come far enough to see anything but more trees."

"I know," Roxy replied, "but maybe we'll see something." She then scaled the trunk and reached the lowest branches, and then started quickly bounding up towards the top. She could hear the branches shake as Taka followed close behind her. Roxy allowed a compliment to herself, for she was still very adept and skillful at climbing trees.

It wasn't long before she reached the tallest branch that was sturdy enough to hold her. While the tree was indeed tall, it wasn't quite the tallest. That didn't matter, though, because this one still offered her an amazing view. Assuming the direction they had been traveling in was north, Roxy gazed out to the horizon.

The branch wobbled as Taka landed next to her. "You know," he said, "we would be getting to this destination that you are in such a hurry to get to much faster without little interruptions like these all the time."

Roxy didn't answer. She was just staring.

"…What?" Taka said, "What is it?"

She was shaking, enough that the branch started to quiver. Her jaw hung open in a perfect 'O' shape. She couldn't speak, even if she wanted to. The shock had frozen her solid, leaving her wondering if what she was seeing was real or not.

"What?" Taka said again, before standing next to her and looking in the same direction. It only took him a few seconds to see the same thing that she saw on the horizon.


It was so very far away, just barely peeking over the horizon, but Roxy could see tall man-made buildings. Ninety percent of what she saw was still just trees, but there was a single, solitary speck in the distance that stood out. She felt like if she blinked she would lose sight of them, but they were there.

It was a city. A human city. It was finally within sight.

"Good heavens…" Taka murmured, "That predator took us farther north than I realized…"

Like a balloon being popped, Roxy suddenly exploded with an ear-piercing squeal. She would have jumped for joy had she not been perched on a tall branch. Instead she opted for the next best thing and quickly glomped Taka into a hug. She continued to scream and squeal like a baby Eevee.

"Okay, all right…" Taka said begrudgingly, "You are excited, so I will let this pass. Please try not to deafen me, though."

"Aaaaaaaaa!!" Roxy screamed, "It's there!! It's there, I can see it! I can see it, Taka! I can SEE it!! We made it!! It's the humans! It's the city! It's…Aaaaah!!" She continued to ramble on nonsensically, her emotions bubbling up so much that they simply had to come out.

Taka sighed in irritation from the hug, but he did pat her on the back a few times. "Indeed we did, little pet. The goal is within sight."

Roxy was starting to cry. She couldn't help it, she was just too happy. After months and months of seeing nothing but trees, wilderness and wild Pokémon, Roxy could finally see something from her own world; something made by humans. She had been dreaming of this moment for a very long time, and it felt so surreal now that it was finally here. She hoped and prayed desperately that she wouldn't wake up this time.

It seemed so close. Given the dense forest and her and Taka's small size, it would still probably take at least a day to reach the city, perhaps even two. That didn't matter to her, though. The city was something she could see now. It was right there. It made her goals feel all the more real, and all the more attainable.

"Come on now, pet. Stop it…" Taka grumbled.

Roxy was staring at the city, afraid to blink and have it just disappear. "I'm almost there…" she whispered as tears of joy ran down her cheeks.

"I'm coming home, master…!"
© 2018 - 2019 GigaBowserNS

The Thunder Clan

A Pokémon by Giga Bowser

Pokémon and all related characters © Game Freak & Nintendo

This work of fiction, its setting, characters, and ideas are © Giga Bowser.

Do not use without permission


Roxy the Pikachu is not part of a Pokémon Trainer's team. She does not take part in Pokémon battles. No, she is happy to spend her days relaxing at home and enjoying the company of her loving human master.

So when Roxy somehow ends up in the middle of the wilderness, surrounded by dangerous wild Pokémon, suffice to say her entire world is flipped upside-down.
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