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Brother My Brother


E/GL obsessed
Here it is, the short story no one has been waiting for! ^.^ Finally got it done.

First off, this is not a song-fic. I know there's a song from the dub of the first movie called Brother My Brother, but there's no relation between that and this fic.

To any random readers who may have wandered in by accident, no prior knowledge of my fics is necessary to read this.

And for my readers, I apologise for the delay in the next chapter of Choice and Consequence. I had a bout of reading frenzy in preparation for Harry Potter 6, which meant my writing got put on hold for a few days. I'm going to be away most of next week, but I'll hopefully finish the next chappie and post it before I leave.

Now, first person isn't really my area of expertise, so any input with that is appreciated.

Dis/claimer: I don't own pokemon and its creatures, attacks, etc. I DO own the individual characters of Bairn and Brother, and I DO own the pokemon's culture, as portrayed in this fic.

Anyways. ^.^ Enjoy.



The very stench of the human permeated my nostrils. I could hardly stand it, the presence of the human flooding all my senses. Though the reek had no doubt been washed away by the rain, it seemed to remain, clinging to me like a gastly. I could still see the human in my mind’s eyes, hear his high, superior voice… Beside me, Bairn shivered and mewed, bringing me out of my own anger induced nightmare.

The ruff of white fur about his neck was matted and muddy, his brown fur tangled and slick against his thin, quivering body. His huge black eyes looked even bigger on his dainty head now the rain had smoothed his fur against his skull. His ears were down, almost brushing the ground in an expression of abject misery, and I had no doubt I looked little better.

<<What do we do, Brother?>> he whimpered, a particularly violent shudder wracking his small form. Though the cold seemed to seep through my fur into my own skin, I swished my tail about him, lending its scant warmth to comfort him.

<<We go on,>> I answered grimly, blinking to wipe the rain from my eyes and scanning the trees barely visible through the thick sheets of pouring water.

<<Won’t he come back for us?>> Bairn’s voice was barely audible, and I bared my teeth angrily, my sodden ears going flat against my head, turning away so he couldn’t see.

Even now! Even now he has faith in the human, the trainer! I raged uselessly. Aloud I answered, <<No, Bairn. He will not come back for us.>> I stared at the muddy dirt beneath me, my claws digging into the sludge as I imagined it to be the human’s face; that sneering, pale skinned countenance I still longed to shred.

Bairn’s hacking cough brought me out of my reverie. I scrambled to my feet, hiding the weariness which threatened to drag me back to the earth, and nudged him. <<Come on, Bairn. We’ve had long enough to rest.>> I pricked my ears forward confidently, trying to comfort him. Bairn staggered to his feet, head hanging with exhaustion. It broke my heart to see him standing, shivering, in the rain bucketing down from the heavens. He was smaller, frailer than I, but was determined to follow wherever my paw prints led.

Sloshing through the puddles of water drowning the scant grass, I trotted with as much confidence as I could muster towards the trees, leaving behind the little shelter of the rocks. Instantly my fur was snatched by the harsh, howling wind and I ducked close to the ground as it threatened to sweep me off my paws.

In my lee, Bairn crept beside me, eyes shut tight against the fingers of mud and water. He slipped on the muddy ground, sent snout first into the mire, and lay there, shivering. <<Come on!>> I snapped at the soaked ruff about his neck, tugging it uselessly to encourage him. With a sigh, he crawled forward on his belly, hind claws scraping melting piles of dirt behind him before he collapsed once again.

<<I can’t,>> he whimpered, thin ribs heaving, and I looked ahead to the trees. We had to reach them, we had to get to shelter! But standing over my trembling, exhausted brother, I became aware of my own weariness, wrapping around me like a cloak; of the tremors which shook my paws and the cold that numbed my muscles. And I remembered.

“You’re a pair of useless, overgrown rats! I don’t even know why I bothered with you… you can’t do anything right!” Rage flared within me. How dare he… how dare he call us useless when all he did was stand to the side and scream orders at the top of his squeaky lungs!

I. Will. Not. Give. In! I snarled, head lowered against the wind, and butted Bairn on the hindquarters. I will NOT let him win! I pushed him through the mud, my own paws slipping and sliding, almost sending me to the ground. I will NOT prove him right! I snapped at Bairn’s paws and he staggered up, fur dripping.

I barely noticed when we’d reached the woods; instead I pushed Bairn relentlessly until we were deep within the forest, away from the path. We reached the base of a huge tree, its roots climbing and twisted in their eagerness to dig into the ground, where the rain was nothing more than a drip in the leaves and the wind howled uselessly in the canopy. Only then did I let Bairn rest. He collapsed to the ground, gasping, flanks heaving and shaking with sheer exhaustion. Within moments, he was more than asleep; practically unconscious, too tired even to curl up, he remained splayed on his belly.

But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I had to guard him. Though the forest debris looked like the most comfortable bed in the world, though my paws throbbed with weariness, I had to remain on guard… had to protect him… had to…

* * *​

“Eevee, use take down!”

I watched from inside my pokéball as Bairn skidded across the ground, charging at the teddiursa with all the speed he could muster. I was excited; Bairn was doing well, having sustained only a few bruises while the teddiursa’s brown fur was matted and untidy, the white crescent-moon shape on its forehead stained a light pink.

And then… “Teddiursa, use hyper beam!”

I watched with horror as the docile-looking bear powered up a crackling, golden beam of energy, aiming it towards Bairn in a blinding flash of light. The beam crackled over him, and he screamed in pain as it tore at his ears and fur, wrenching his small body this way and that as he flew helplessly across the arena. Finally the attack cleared and Bairn lay in the dust, wheezing, each breath a juddering gasp.

The human cursed and his opponent cheered, but I just stared, aghast, at Bairn’s broken form. “Useless rat,” the human growled, lashing out with his foot. The blow caught Bairn in the side and he cried out, paws skating in the air painfully. I bared my teeth, rage surging through my veins, and rocked at my pokéball, struggling furiously to break the lock on my prison.

Then the human turned and began to walk away, leaving Bairn lying, half dead, in the dust…

No! I shrieked, thrashing against my pokéball as Bairn’s figure faded into the distance. No! This didn’t happen! THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN!

With a shock and a gasp, I awoke to find it was morning. Scrambling to my feet, heart pounding in my ribs, I saw Bairn curled up with his nose tucked under his sodden tail. Slowly, my heart rate eased and I sank back down, trembling.

That wasn’t what had happened… the human, for all his insults, had returned Bairn and had him healed at a pokémon centre… but it had been too late to heal my fury. It was then I had realized what humans truly thought of us… what they really used us for. And I vowed that never again would Bairn be forced to endure such abuse.

I stared thoughtfully at my brother. He twitched, shifting slightly before returning to deep slumber, dappled sunlight splashing over his dirty coat. Perhaps things would have been different if either one of us evolved. I scowled. No. I’d rather have died than evolve for the likes of him…

Bairn… I wasn’t so sure. Bairn put up with the abuse; he didn’t have the resentment, the drive to be angry. He just endured it and prayed that we’d be passed to a different trainer, one who would treat us well. But would he have evolved, if it meant being treated better?

I chewed at my paws, working out the mud and grime which had worked under my fur as I considered that. It doesn’t matter, I decided. We were gone. We had escaped. We were better off without any humans around. I licked at my paw, cleaning my ears with detachment. Humans. I thought burningly. Humans just mean abuse. They’re all alike… I’m glad he abandoned us. Now we can go and live like all pokémon should – in the wild.

Bairn stirred and awoke for good this time, blinking as he rose completely out of sleep. He lifted his head and yawned, arching his back and stretching his paws forward. <<What do we do now, Brother?>> he looked at me expectantly, catching his filthy tail under his fore paws and gnawing at it to soften the clumps of dirt and leaves.

Suddenly aware of the hunger aching at my insides, I answered, <<We find some food,>> and twisted around to clean the fur on my hindquarters.

<<And then we can find a nicer trainer,>> Bairn added, almost happily.

My reaction was completely instinctive. I spun about and lunged at him, knocking him over. Startled, he stared up at me as I stood over him, fur bristling and teeth bared angrily. <<Never!>> I hissed. <<I’ll never belong to another human, and neither will you! Never!>>

He blinked uncertainly and I backed off, panting. My entire body was tense and I was shaking with rage, my ears flat on my skull. <<Humans,>> I spat. <<They’ll just use us. They don’t care. We’re better off on our own.>>

Bairn eased himself onto his paws, remaining low to the ground in a submissive posture. <<You’ve protected me, Brother,>> he said simply. <<I’ll follow you.>>

* * *​

I was surrounded… enveloped in shadows, clutching like gastlies, sucking at my life. Wildly I looked around for my foe, my breath coming in short, desperate gasps, the stench of him all around me. I heard pounding hooves off to my side and the next instant I knew I was skidding across the ground, my left shoulder going numb.

I scrambled painfully to my paws and bared my teeth. I could feel the blood dripping down my fur, but refused to give in. Behind me, I could hear Bairn whimpering softly; I had to defend him, I had to!

Opposite, the stantler tossed his head and snorted, pawing the ground with one hoof. Ignoring the sharp pain in my shoulder, I leapt forward into a run, charging the stantler with all the strength I could muster; my paws pounded the turf and my veins surged with adrenaline.

The stantler bounded away and I skidded to a halt, but the darkness shrouded my foe’s actions. Blindly, I looked about, but he came from behind. Stomping down with his fore hooves, his first assault only caught my tail, crushing just the thick fur at the end. Paws scrabbling desperately at the dirt, I struggled to get away; the weight on my tail lifted, but then his hoof glanced off my head.

Dazed, I collapsed. My vision was strangely white, and faint darkened figures coalesced into strange images. My head was throbbing, and a trickle of blood crept down, obscuring my sight. It can’t end like this… weeks… for weeks I foraged for food, defended against hostile pokémon…we were adjusting… we were getting better… it can’t end like this…

Though my limbs were numb and distant, limp as a tentacool’s tentacle, somewhere I found the strength to stagger to my paws. I have to protect Bairn… I promised I’d protect Bairn…protect Bairn… The thought burned; not a dedication, but an obsession.

The world spun about me, and I suddenly found myself lying on my side once again. Every breath was now accompanied by a sharp pain in my side, like beedrill’s needle stabbing in my ribs. Get up. GET UP! But I couldn’t move. Distantly I heard Bairn screaming my name as I gazed blankly up at the myriad of silver stars, Jirachi’s own eyes, twinkling above the canopy.

Jirachi, I prayed at the stars with what remained of my strength. Guardian of the Night… Giver of Wishes… grant me strength. Please, please, grant me the strength… to protect Bairn… my brother… I heard the stantler’s hooves crack down on the tree trunk, heard him bellow with frustration, the sounds like jabs into my brain.

Bairn! I tried to scream, but only tasted blood in my mouth. Something surged from deep within. Somehow, somehow, I made my legs work, kicking at the ground to force myself up. The world spun once again, twirling and rolling; I felt dizzy, as though being dragged along a relentless current. Something flowed over my fur, and my pains were gone, vanished in a wave of… something.

The night was suddenly lit clear as day, the movement of the stantler’s pawing hooves like a magnet to my eyes. I opened my jaws to take in a lungful of fresh air and could taste the trees, the plants; I could taste my brother’s fear and the stantler’s malice.

Bairn saw me and stumbled, eyes wide with fear and astonishment, the stantler’s hooves coming down on him. <<Bairn!>> I screeched, my voice shrill and piercing. The stantler flinched, his hooves missing Bairn by a meowth’s whisker.

Before I’d even thought about it, I flashed across the clearing, my black paws barely touching the ground and my muscles working with liquid grace. I heard the stantler’s snort of surprise an instant before I leapt at him, digging my fangs into his muscular shoulder. With a bellow of pain, he shook me off and I landed daintily, snarling, still tasting his blood in my mouth.

He charged me, his wound dripping, and I sprang away. Gathering some deep force in my belly, I opened my muzzle wide, bringing this strange force up until it roiled in my mouth, over and around my tongue, licking out the sides and over my nose. Eyes suddenly wide with fear, the stantler tried to bound away, but it was too late. I fired the boiling mass of darkness towards him, streamers of dusty ash trailing behind it.

I tumbled back, unprepared for the backlash, but heard the ball of shadows hit, heard the stantler’s cry of pain as it engulfed him; then I heard a sickening crack, and the cries halted. Coughing at the dusty taste in my mouth, I staggered up. Paws set apart wearily, I lowered my head and snarled, ready for more… but the stantler lay crumbled at the foot of a pile of rocks, unmoving. His coat was matted, and he was bent at an odd angle, his hooves splayed across the rock. Cautiously I approached, my stomach twisting itself into knots unbelievingly.

<<You killed him,>> Bairn uttered behind me. I jumped, startled, and backed away, trembling.

I shook my head, long ears flapping. <<He… he deserved it,>> I tried to say bravely. <<He was attacking you.>> Bairn looked at me with his good eye, the other swollen shut, as though he’d never seen me before. I didn’t like that look. It made me feel dirty.

I took another step back, my fur thick with sweat, and whimpered. I hadn’t meant to… I didn’t mean… I looked up at the stars winking down on me, and felt a wrench. I’d asked for this. I’d wanted it… I wanted to protect Bairn… I howled, my voice breaking, almost choking on my own tears. My heart feeling as though it was going to burst from guilt, I sank to the ground, stunned at what I’d done.

A chill swept over my fur, making my skin prickle. I was barely aware of Bairn as he nudged me, nuzzling under my chin comfortingly. <<Brother, my Brother,>> he whined. <<Please don’t leave me… please don’t fade…>> I closed my eyes, not wanting to see his swollen eye and the ear I knew was hanging crookedly, broken in the first assault. My chest heaved as I panted, a trembling beginning in my paws that spread throughout my body. <<You said you’d protect me, Brother of the night.>>

Yes… yes… protect Bairn. This was a gift… so I could protect Bairn… and then I heard them, almost as soon as I tasted them on the wind; the rest of the stantler’s herd.

I scrambled to my paws, ears cocked forward to listen, eyes scanning the trees, but without movement the scenery seemed dull and lifeless. It didn’t matter; it was time to leave. I had been granted this blessing… I would fulfil its purpose. Turning, I guided Bairn out of the clearing, my conscience beginning to clear. I would, and could, protect Bairn.

Whatever the cost.

* * *​

“Hey! Stop, thief!”

The expected call rang out through the barn. Snatching up another fish from the fog-billowing freezer, I darted out past the bags of wheat, dodging a steel bucket which clanged against the wooden door behind me.

Pacing quickly over the dry grass of the ranch, I was swiftly in the trees before the farmer could call on any of his pokémon, the fish’s tail flapping against my shoulder annoyingly as I ran. Soon enough I had reached the dead tree where Bairn and I were nesting, its bark looking grey and grim in the shade of the forest. The trunk peeled into a rough fissure, dark inside, but through the flavour of the fish I could also taste Bairn, still hidden within the little niche.

He poked his head out as I approached, my paws slipping easily between the brown leaves coating the forest floor. Dropping the fish in the opening, I shook my head against the ache in my neck, my ears flapping annoyingly as Bairn leaned down to examine his meal.

<<Brother, where did you get this?>> he whispered, his tone uncertain as I scanned the tree line with one eye.

<<A human’s dwelling,>> I answered nonchalantly, and sat on my haunches to lick at my paw, satisfied there was no danger. Then I noticed Bairn wasn’t eating. Instead he looked slightly puzzled, examining the fish from all sides as though expecting it to leap up and bite him on the nose. <<Eat it, Bairn,>> I said sternly. <<We should move on from this place soon.>> Under my firm eye, he used his claws to scrape away the top layer of transparent scales before nibbling daintily at the flesh beneath.

Satisfied, I turned away to chew at a burr tangled in the black and yellow fur on my haunch. <<How long must we live like this, Brother?>> Bairn asked after a moment. <<Stealing and creeping around. I don’t like it.>>

Doesn’t like it?! My jaw twitched and I accidentally bit down harder than I intended. The spiky sides of the burr cut into my gum and I spat it out before answering. <<We have to remain hidden, or the humans will come after us,>> I answered savagely, my claws digging into the ground as I caught my tail beneath them.

For a moment there was silence, and I licked at the yellow circle around my tail. <<But… why did you go to the human’s dwelling? If we wanted a fish, you could have just caught one,>> Bairn pointed out timidly.

For an instant I froze, hardly believing my ears. My sides heaved and shook in deep breaths of sudden anger. He’s defending them. By Jirachi, he’s actually defending them! <<The humans steal plenty from us,>> I answered coldly as soon as I was able, but my mouth was filled with the taste of fury. I glared at a sprig of grass, snarling, my fur bristling angrily. It was because of humans that pokémon are enslaved. <<They take away our food, our homes and our freedom. I don’t see anything wrong with taking back what’s ours.>>

There was silence once again. Then, so faintly I wasn’t even sure he’d said anything, I heard Bairn whisper, <<I do.>>

My head jerked up, shocked, and I spun around. Forgetting my claws were extended, one paw darted out, cuffing him so harshly on the side of the head I left three oozing scrapes above his torn and broken ear. He tumbled across the dirt ground of the little nest with a cry of pain, his brown fur already matted with dirt and blood. <<NEVER LET ME HEAR YOU SAY THAT AGAIN!!>> I screeched, shaking in pure rage. How dare he, how dare he?! He buried his nose in his paws, whimpering, but I hardly heard it over the sound of my furious pants. <<NEVER LET ME HEAR YOU DEFENDING THEM!! THEY DON’T DESERVE YOUR RESPECT!>>

<<You won’t, you won’t!>>
Bairn sobbed, curled up tightly in a ball. For long moments I stood over him, quivering in fury. Soon I became aware of the fact my ears were flat against my skull and my fur was so bristled it would take days before I could pat it down again. And slowly, slowly, my rage subsided.

He’s only young; young and weaker than me. Of course he doesn’t understand. My breathing eased and I stepped out of the hollow, my claws scoring the ground as Bairn peeked over his paws cautiously, trembling slightly in shock.

<<Wait here and I’ll get a berry for those scratches,>> I ordered in as tender a voice I could manage. Dumbly Bairn nodded, too frightened to even move, and I felt a guilty wrench as I trotted away from him.

I should control myself more when I’m around him, I thought to myself regretfully, ignoring the debris I bounded over and the sunlight which dappled over my grimy black coat. It’s not his fault humans have taken over. I scowled, licking my nose to allow the taste of the forest to enter my mouth. Changing direction, I followed the taste of the berry bushes nearby. But he must learn they cannot be trusted. And, the Ancients help me, he will learn.

* * *​

A screech echoed through the woods. For an instant I froze, my fur bristling. Then I dropped the berry in my mouth and lunged forward, darting on fleet paws towards the sound. I could feel the mulch underfoot slipping and sliding, but paid no heed. The sounds of battle came from our tree.

Leaping over a rotting, moss-eaten log, my eyes took in the distant scene in an instant. Bairn, looking ragged and injured, was battling with a yellow-brown sandshrew. The mouse’s tough hide was scored with marks, but only a few of them were deep enough to draw blood.

I was hardly aware of my paws flashing over the debris-strewn ground, of the snarl which pulled back my lips. The sandshrew turned towards me, the expression on her face shocked, before we collided. With a squeal, the plump mouse skidded across the hard ground of the surroundings. I hissed fitfully, ready and waiting to unleash an attack, but the sandshrew turned tail and fled.

Instantly I spun about to find Bairn sinking to the leaf-strewn ground, semi-congealed blood from my own claw marks obscuring his sight. His fur was matted this way and that, but apart from some bruises he was mostly unharmed. The fight had barely started. Tenderly I nuzzled him, then licked at the bloody tracks which scored the top of his head, and a pang of guilt lanced through my belly as he winced.

<<Brother ->> he began before falling silent, allowing me to clean his wound without the aid of the berry. I would retrieve it later.

<<Yes, Bairn?>> I prompted him, ignoring the taste of his blood in my mouth.

<<I wish I was strong. I wish I had evolved too. Then I wouldn’t be such a burden.>>

<<Don’t talk like that,>>
I told him sternly, rolling my tongue in my mouth distastefully. <<You’re not a burden.>>

I don’t think he believed me. He rolled his eyes upward, looking at me doubtfully as I worked. But I knew it wasn’t me he doubted; I knew it was himself. I won’t have that, I thought burningly, my tongue working at the dry blood tangling his brown fur. He has no reason to doubt himself. I won’t have that. I won’t have him feeling weak.

I won’t.

* * *​

I lay in wait, watching the dusty road belonging to the humans. Hidden securely in the bushes, I felt confident I couldn’t be seen. After all, no one had seen me in the many days I had kept watch there.

But anxiety was beginning to tug at me. We had remained in one place for far too long, camping in that little hollow of a tree stump more than I felt was safe. Even now, Bairn was probably waiting there for me, hidden from the dangers of the world outside while I struggled vainly to find what I sought.

If I don’t find it soon… a growl rose in my throat and I lowered my head, peering through the concealing leaves of the bush as I tasted the air once again. And there it was, that familiar scent that I loathed so much: the taste of a human. I shuddered, hardly aware of the fact my fur was bristling. Humans always tasted like their cities; of glass and metal, smoke and ash. It was something I could do without.

My ears pricked up, my claws digging into the dry soil beneath me as I listened to the high voice of the female human. “Lucky we got there in time, huh, Lily?” the girl was saying. I could hear the excitement quivering in her tone, but my claws dug deep furrows in the earth as I seethed, trembling. Imagine accepting a ridiculous human name such as that! “At those kinds of prices, they were almost all sold out!”

<<When can we use it, can we use it now?>> a second eager voice sounded, that of a pokémon, and I bared my teeth angrily.

Traitor to our kind! I resisted the urge to hiss, scowling into the dirt, and instead licked my nose to get a better taste. The pokémon was a poliwhirl, one of the blue-and-white fighters of the shallow lakes. A poliwhirl, and she wants to use – my ears flashed forward and I was suddenly tense, my fur suddenly damp with poisonous sweat, hearing the soft waddle of the poliwhirl and the loud crunch of the human’s footstep as they neared. They have one!

I risked another peek out of the leaves, my eyes drawn to the swing of the poliwhirl’s arms and the bob of the human’s clothes as they walked. But for once I wasn’t interested in movement. I was interested in the smooth blue stone with speckled shades which the human cupped in her hands.

A Lugia’s Teardrop jewel.

My quarry.

Before I’d even thought about it, my back legs pumped and I surged forward through the bushes. My paws darted over the ground and I leapt for the stone with single-minded determination. The human shrieked, flinching back as I snapped for the jewel. My momentum carried me forward and I slammed into her chest, knocking her off her feet and onto the dusty road. Behind me I could hear the poliwhirl, finally recovering her surprise, but it was too late.

Yes! I felt a surge of triumph as my jaws closed over the stone and one of the girl’s hands. I tossed my head, wrenching the stone from her grasp and cutting deep furrows in her flesh. The sickly sweet blood spurted into my mouth as the girl screamed and sobbed, yanking back her hand and cradling it to her as the liquid cascaded down her wrist. The enraged poliwhirl tried to grab me with her white-gloved hands, but the sweat on my fur made me as slick as one of their own, and I merely slipped right through, darting away from the road and into the forest.


Bairn looked at the stone as I sat by him proudly. Now he’d be able to fulfil his evolutionary dream, be able to become one of those graceful cousins of the lake! Now he can have no reason for thinking himself useless! I thought happily, my tongue rolling around the outside of my jaw, licking off the blood which still dampened my fur.

But he didn’t move to touch it; his paws kneaded the dry ground uncertainly and my pride melted away into confusion. My ears, previously cocked forward in pleased expectation, now twitched back irritably. <<What’s wrong now, Bairn?>> I demanded, my voice harsher than I intended.

His huge eyes skittered over the leaf-strewn ground, the crumbling bark of the tree stump, the wisps of clouds in the sky overhead, the gently rustling trees and bushes surrounding us; looking everywhere except at me. <<How did you get it?>> he asked in a low voice.

Oh, is that all? <<I stole it from a human, how else?>> I snapped, my pleasure evaporating completely to be replaced by annoyance. He still refused to look at me, instead opting to study the streaks of red which smudged the smooth surface of the jewel.

<<But then – they must have had a pokémon,>> he noted, his tone carefully bland.

A sharp spike of suspicion lanced through my belly. He’s not defending one of them again, is he? My ears laid low against my skull and my lips rose slightly in disbelieving anger before I regained some sense of reason. No. We’ve been out here long enough. He knows better than that.

<<Yes, a poliwhirl. So?>> I glared at him, suddenly furious. I’d camped out there for days, I’d risked myself to get him one of those so he could evolve, why wasn’t he happy?! <<I thought you wanted to evolve into a cousin of the lake!>>

Bairn looked guilty, but still didn’t lift his head. He looked down at the ground, paws still beating a tattoo of unease on the ground as his fluffy tail swished about him uneasily. <<I do, but… not like this.>> he cringed and whimpered, risking a glance up at me with one eye, but I didn’t move. I’m certain my ears were back in anger and my fur was bristling, but I didn’t feel it. <<Not at the expense of another pokémon.>>

Oh. I snorted derisively, relaxing my ears into a position of neutrality. <<Then there’s nothing to worry about. The human is sure to get another one. They’re good at finding and taking the jewels. It’s us here in the wild that need them most, and they rightfully belong to us anyway.>> Bairn looked relieved and I purred reassuringly. <<Really, there’s nothing to worry about.>>

But then my satisfaction was lost in a fresh wave of annoyance as he lowered his head to examine the stone. <<But then what about this blood? You didn’t have to hurt anyone to get it, did you?>>

<<Did you think the human would just give it to me?!>> I exploded, my fangs bared in a snarl and my ears going back once again. Bairn flinched and backed away, eyeing me apprehensively, and I suddenly realized he had not looked relieved because of my words, but because I had answered calmly. My rage intensified, my shoulders quivering. How does he think I’m the one to fear?! How can he think I’m the villain?! <<Of course not! But what’s a little injury to a human, when it means our survival?!>> I glared at him, panting, my fur bristled angrily.

Bairn hesitated, looking torn, as though he debating whether or not to say anything more. He’s mentioned he doesn’t like stealing before, but that’s just because he doesn’t understand, doesn’t realize that it’s our right to take back from the humans what they took from us! He may think I’m being harsh, but it’s all for the better! <<Well?>> I hissed.

Bairn finally looked up and met my gaze, his long ears twitching around his head. <<Thank you, Brother,>> he said simply. Calmed, I looked on in interest as he extended a paw to touch the stone, and felt a thrill of pleasure at my part in this fulfilment of his dream.

Why then, did he look as though he has just sold his soul to the Demon Trainer himself?

* * *​

I twitched, coming out of the deep bowels of sleep. I blinked, the close rock walls of the cave clear to my eyes. Sprawled comfortably on the sandy floor of our little niche, Bairn curled up at my side, I felt about ready to drop off to sleep again.

I was still getting used to Bairn’s new grace, the soft blue fur and sharp fins which he now possessed, and yet he still relied on me most of the time for protection and food. I didn’t complain. It gave me a warm feeling to know that someone was counting on me, to know that they could trust me. Contented, my eyes fluttered shut to fall asleep again.

It was then that I noticed the slight trembling that came from Bairn against my side. Lifting myself onto my forepaws, I nudged him gently, worry blossoming in the pit of my stomach. <<Bairn?>> I whispered, and Bairn stirred. He moved like an old human did, his fin-like ears sagging at the sides of his head and his frill seeming limp. His fur looked slightly grey and when he looked at me his eyes were glazed with sickness.

No! I felt a jolt of fear, licking my nose. Yes, I could taste it now; stale and rank in the close air of the cave. My fears calmed. It was a bad sickness, but I knew exactly where to get the cure.

<<I don’t feel well, Brother,>> Bairn whispered, his voice wheezing and soft.

<<Don’t worry,>> I shifted carefully, trying not to bump or jolt him too much as I stood. <<Stay here, I’ll bring you back a cure. Don’t leave the cave, you’ll be safer in it.>>

Bairn’s head drooped as he nodded, curled in a pained, wheezing ball in the little nest of sand. Oh, Bairn. I nuzzled him comfortingly before turning and trotting from the cave, emerging into a small clearing by a thin stream. I could hear the small waterfall, trickling down the short ridge in which we’d found our little haven. Its vibrations were hardly noticeable in the cave, but were often strangely soothing.

Hurriedly, the short, reedy grass pricking at my paws, I loped out of the clearing, headed towards the thick grove of berry trees which lay nearby. My mind was racing furiously; this would be dangerous, because the grove was owned by a human.

A very paranoid, spiteful and cruel human. A human which represented everything evil in the race.

I had never before needed to rob that grove, and had left it well alone. Now I had no choice. Bairn’s life was at stake – and that was the only place I knew where the rare berry could be found.

As I neared the human’s land I slowed, listening carefully for any sound of the human or his pokémon and tasting the air frequently to ensure I did not encounter them. The berry fields were separated from the forest with the flimsy wooden fences that humans liked to use, across a strip of hardened turf. Still hidden in the trees, I made sure I could not see or hear any enemies before slipping down the grassy verge and under the fence.

The lawn was short within the field, providing no cover as I stepped cautiously into the grove of berry bushes. It made me uneasy. My sense of taste was all but useless, since I could taste the human and his houndour all over the place. Though I could feel the fur around my shoulders bristling with tension and my ears twitched whenever I heard the slightest sound, I padded through the grove, searching for the right tree.

And I soon found it. Short and stumpy, its bark peeling off the speckled trunk in long, curling rings, its branches were laden with vaguely round green berries. A mass of the trees were ranged in a close little forest, contained and cared for by a human’s greed. The ground was littered with the berries, some looking newly fallen and others half decayed; but none of them had been touched by wild pokémon.

Curse that human, I seethed inwardly, moving from one berry to the next, licking each one’s hard surface to determine their ripeness. There are probably plenty of wild pokémon who could benefit from this, but he has to keep it all for himself and his own profit!

Just as I’d found a suitable berry and lifted it securely in my mouth, I caught the sound of a chorus of barks drawing closer. Instantly my fur was dampened with sweat, my muscles charged and ready. I sprang over the clutter of berries, intending to vanish into the grove and circle around the farm, though it would have slowed my progress.

But then that plan was shattered, and my ears pricked forward to listen to the baying sound of the rest of the houndour pack, closing in on me from the opposite side.

No time to think. I changed direction, heading between the two forces converging with me in the middle. My paws flashed over the ground, my nostrils flared to take in the air deprived from me by the berry. I refused to drop it; Bairn needed it to survive, I couldn’t let him down!

The howls of the houndour drew closer, spread out through the grove, their howls marking their position and organising their attack. One of the pack burst abruptly out of the bushes beside me, his canines bared in a glistening snarl and the scant sunlight flashing over his bony armour. Instantly I reacted, my legs like coiled springs as I changed direction, darting aside scant moments too late as the houndour’s fangs scoured my haunch. Stinging pain lashed at my rear but I ignored it; I had to escape with the berry, had to get back to Bairn!

Don’t let him herd you, or you’ll end up facing the human’s pokéball! I spun about on my paws, dropping to my belly as the houndour sailed over me in a dead run. He was restricted, unable to use his attacks for fear of damaging the grove – but so was I, the berry clogging my mouth.

I broke into a sprint in the way the houndour had come, my ribs heaving as I fled the maw which snapped literally at my heels. I could feel the blood of the scrape dribbling into my fur but for now all I could think of was the ground flashing beneath my paws, concentrating on keeping on my feet, on fleeing the threat of the human and his pokémon. I darted around trees, trying to lose the houndour, and gained some distance but not enough.

Suicune give me speed! I thought desperately, my chest burning with exhaustion, my paws threatening to stumble on me even as the threshold of the grove lit the sky before me. And then I was out, streaking like Suicune herself beneath the wooden fence, over the rough turf and into the safety of the trees as the houndour came to a panting halt on the boundary of his master’s land.

My muscles were numb with exhaustion, bile threatening to rise into my throat as I paused to rest for a few moments just within the tree line. Though I longed to pant, to take in huge breaths of air, I refused to drop the berry for which I’d worked so hard. No. I had to return to Bairn, as swift as my paws would carry me.

And that I did. Though I occasionally stumbled with weariness, though my haunch felt like it was aflame, I kept on doggedly until I finally reached the woods surrounding our little clearing.

But as I trotted into the space beside the humble little stream, my eyes were drawn immediately to the dark stains painting the thin grass, and I froze. Oh, no! My exhaustion forgotten, I dropped the berry and sprang over to the scene, my tongue flicking out to lick my nose and take in the scent of the clearing.

The blood was Bairn’s, I could taste that without touching it; but also in the air was the sharp, tangy scent of an ariados, the softer, pampered taste of a cousin of the wilderness and – a human.

No! My stomach lurched and I dashed into the cave to find it empty, the sand already cooling. My paws skittering over the ground in anxious, overcharged adrenaline, I tore back outside, my ears flailing wildly as I tracked back and forth on the edge of the clearing.

A low growl began deep in my chest, rising into my throat as I found the trail. I threw back my head and screeched, the sound of my own voice ringing in my ears and my body shaking with abject fury, my fur bristling and my ears laid so hard against my skull they ached. HUMAN!

Forgetting the berry, forgetting the wound which had begun to dry on my haunch, I shot from the scene of Bairn’s abduction, following the fading trail of his captor.

* * *​

I slinked in the shadows of the building, my mouth filled with the taste of unnatural waste, of metal and glass – and humans. Humans everywhere, mingled with the taste of their subservient pokémon.

I was in the Town of Glass Towers, as I knew it. Goldenrod, the humans called it, but I found that to be an inept name. Nothing the humans made deserved to be likened to Ho-Oh’s primary hue, the glittering shade with which she marked the skies.

But none of that mattered. I had to find Bairn. I’d lost the trail of his human captor at the edge of the city, overtaken by the myriad of other suffocating tastes, but it didn’t matter. I’d been here before. I knew where to go.

The Pokémon Centre. The only place for which I could give grudging thanks. Bairn was sick; even a human could notice that. And no human liked a sick pokémon – it made them useless. I knew the human would take him there. And there, I would take him back.

My fur pulled annoyingly at the dry husk of blood over my haunch, but I ignored it as I neared the familiar sights and sounds of the pokémon centre. In the darkness of the thin alley I knew it was likely I wouldn’t be seen, but at that moment I didn’t care whether I was seen or not. Nothing mattered as much as finding Bairn.

I paused at the opening, peering out to the rippling glass doors of the building. I sat in the cover of the buildings to either side. And I waited.

Many humans passed in and out of the wide glass doors, but only one interested me. I didn’t move, not even for my ears to flicker. I could have been a statue for all the humans knew. An exhausted statue which longed to curl up and rest, but couldn’t. Bairn mattered most.

Then she emerged, and my ears shot back furiously. I recognised her taste immediately; warm and fiery, spicy in my mouth. I could taste Bairn on her – but couldn’t see him. Where is he?! My eyes checked the pokéballs at her waist frantically, but then realized he must have been on her other side.

She was walking briskly, headed towards the crowds of chatting humans ranging along the stony streets. I tried to get up, tried to dart forward and snatch Bairn back, but my legs had stiffened like the statue I had been pretending to be, and I knew then I couldn’t hope to snatch Bairn without a fight. I was too exhausted to fight.

I won’t leave you, Bairn, I vowed, glaring after the human. I’ll track her. I’ll find you. I’ll get you back. I promise, brother, my brother.

I promise.

Twilight Absol

;) No mistakes sighted! though most of this story was easily predicted, it was still a nice addition to your main story. The reason why I say it's too predictable is because in CaC, you gave out more than enough info, and most readers pick up the detail immediately, thus a story is formed. Overall, a fairly good story witha smooth feel, but you failed to surprise me this time =(


E/GL obsessed
Yeah, I originally wasn't intending to put so much info in CaC :p but it happened anyway. Still, this story was too well formed in my mind to just pass it up; I figured, surprising or not, it would made a nice little tale as an aside.

Anyway. ^.^ Glad you enjoyed.


Well-Known Member
Very nice. *claps* The only problem I had with it is that Shadow ball would not have affected a stantler because stantlers are normal type and thereby immune to ghost type attacks. Aside from that, there were no other mistakes that I saw. Good job, you are indeed a very talented writer.


Soul Trainer
So that's Tarn and Brother's life cool. I wonder who abandoned them I know I would not.


E/GL obsessed
he only problem I had with it is that Shadow ball would not have affected a stantler because stantlers are normal type and thereby immune to ghost type attacks.

Yes, but that's according to the games, and of all the gripes I have with the games, that one is the biggest. It's logical that physical moves would go straight through a ghost, but why would a normal type just deflect ghost type moves?

Generally when picking the moveset I look at physical possibilities. If it's physically possible for a pokemon to use an attack, or for an attack to hit a pokemon, then it happens. Heck, under some circumstances it would be possible for a physical attack to hit a ghost. The games are sometimes a little too restrictive for my taste; I like to keep battles more fluid. *shrug* just the way I work :p

I wonder who abandoned them I know I would not.

I have no idea ^.^ he wasn't really important, so Brother didn't bother to tell me much about him.

Thankies for reviewing, both of you ^.^


Very nice there! Its better then my story! I like it a lot!


E/GL obsessed
Thank you, RM ^.^ Glad you enjoyed.

Oh, for any of my usual readers who might pop in: the next chappie for CaC turned out to be more complicated and annoying than I expected -_-; so sorry, no update.

*grabs BBP's bat* I'll take this along with me just in case ^.^


I think it is a really good story like the other two you have made so i hope you maybe will update CaC soon but anyway keep up the good work :)