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Posted: Jul 9 2018, 05:39 PM
For Togedemaru, it was just a normal day. She had woken up rather refreshed and, feeling a bit peckish, had decided to make her way to the human village. She didn’t bother doing much foraging; her human friends kept her more than enough fed. The first house she dropped by belonged to an elderly couple, who were not only among the oldest of the village but among the oldest of her friends as well. Whenever she came by, the couple would warm up a bowl of sweet liquid for her to drink. The little hedgehog couldn’t tell what the beverage was, but there was something about it reminded her of being a baby. Sometimes, she would climb into their laps and sleep with them for a bit, but it was still early in the day and she moved on.
The next friends she visited weren’t at home, but they knew her well enough to leave some food out for her. There was a wild plusle already eating it when she got there, but she didn’t mind; she always liked making new friends, and there would be other humans that would gift her food. She chatted with the pokemon for several minutes, sharing stories as they munched on the berries. Surprisingly, it was Plusle’s first time in the village — apparently, she had been too scared of the humans to approach before, but the smell of fresh snacks had lured her in. Togedemaru assured her that humans were nice creatures, before waving goodbye and going off to meet up with another pal. She wouldn’t have minded talking to the other electric-type for a while longer, but was still feeling a bit hungry.
She wondered which way she should go next. There was a particular middle-aged woman that was always kind to her, but had the habit of talking far too much. She seemed rather lonely, and while Togedemaru enjoyed the company of humans, she was a little unnerved by the woman’s clingy vibe. It wasn’t something she could deal with all the time, and so she chose not to seek her out today. At any rate, there were so many humans in the village, and she wasn’t able to see all of them in one day. Instead of picking, maybe she could just wander around until one of her friends came to her — she did pride herself on being easily recognized, and approached, by the villagers.
“Tokemaru!” By chance, one such friend had noticed the small rodent walking, and ran over to her immediately. It was a young girl, around five years of age, with a simple yellow dress and light brown curls. She was accompanied by another girl, this one at least nine years old, who was no less happy to see the small rodent. She had similarly colored hair, although hers was longer and pulled back in a ponytail, and had matching brown freckles across her face. The two knelt down closer to Togedemaru, who waddled toward them with her arms outstretched.
“It’s to-GE-DE-maru,” the older human corrected, as she lifted the pokemon up to her face. Togedemaru nuzzled her nose against the other’s, making sure to not let her cheeks touch. She had done so only once before, and had found that it gave the recipient an involuntary shock. “How are you doing today, Togedemaru?”
“That’s what I said!” the girl cut in, scratching Togedemaru behind the ear. One of the hedgehog’s feet, which were hanging in the air, began waggling as her sweet spot was found. She let out a cheerful squeak, enjoying the attention and affection she was receiving. The human’s petting hand was joined by the other, as the girl tried to pull the Roly-Poly closer. “An’, I wanna hold her now! You holded her first last time!”
The freckled girl swiftly turned away, drawing the creature to her chest and tighter in her embrace. Togedemaru flailed about in surprise, trying to wiggle out to get more room to breath. She let out several squeals of protest, but they went unnoticed by the others (most likely, they assumed them to be the usual cute noises she made). “Wait your turn, Vi! I just picked her up! She likes me better, anyway!”
“Not true!!! An’ an’ I still need t’ give her the gift I maded!” Violet pulled out a bright yellow bow, which looked to be made out of the same material of her dress. It wasn’t much bigger than the girl’s hand, and it was slightly scrunched up and lopsided. The child lunged forward to try to grab the pokemon, but her sister had already stood up and sprinted several feet away. Togedemaru widened her eyes in fear from the sudden movement, a hoarse cry slipping from her mouth. “Liiiiiiiiiiiv!”
“Oh, perfect! Togedemaru’s here!” Beside the girl came another villager, a boy about the same age as herself. Unlike the girls, his hair was much lighter, almost golden — its color, however, was sullied by its unkempt appearance, and looked as if it hadn’t been washed in some time. The same could be said about his clothes: his shorts were lightly dusted with dirt, and his shirt had faded from excessive sunlight. He snatched Togedemaru out of the girl’s clutches, who had little time to prepare resistance. For what it was worth, the round pokemon attempted to once again voice her objections to being handled so roughly, but was drowned out by the children’s bickering.
“Carmine! That’s not fair, we saw her first!” Now, it was Olive’s turn to reach for the wild pokemon; and like the girl before her, she was immediately prevented from doing so. The boy grinned as he held Togedemaru high up in the air, his grip firm enough to keep her from escaping. Togedemaru did not like being so far from the ground, and joined the other females’ cries with her own as she struggled to hold onto her captor’s hands.
“Well too bad! I’ve got her now! And besides, I actually need her for something important. Russet and I wanted to practice battling, but he doesn’t have a pokemon and my big bro only let me borrow one pokemon.” Carmine called his aforementioned friend over, releasing one hand to wave at the other, younger boy. Needless to say, this only terrified Togedemaru further, and the pokemon began visibly shaking as she hung on for dear life. “Hey! Russ! You can use Togedemaru!”
Before either of the girls could intervene, the flaxen-haired boy swung his arms down and tossed Togedemaru skyward. The poor creature screamed, a long, high-pitched note, shutting her eyes as she prayed she would survive. Thankfully, the newcomer had quick reflexes, and easily caught the pokemon in his arms. He grinned at her, as she tentatively opened her eyes as she realized she hadn’t gone splat against the ground. She let out a relieved squeak, but couldn’t stop her body from quivering. She rolled over, trying to reorient herself as she was currently upside-down.
“Haha, awesome! It’s s’okay, Togedemaru, you’re fine!” Russet said, patting the top of her head. “And don’tchu worry, we’re gonna win!”
“Ha, you wish!” snorted the older boy, who had since throwing the wild pokemon released another from a pokeball: a young, brown goat, with a white face and a leafy mane. It snorted and dragged one hoof on the ground, ready to play. “Alright, Skittle, get ready! We’re gonna wipe Togedemaru!”
“Stop!!” Olive ran over to Russet, trying to free Togedemaru from his grasp. He pulled back immediately, but was not quick enough keep the girl’s hands from getting a hold on the hedgehog. The spiny mammal squirmed as she tried to escape from both humans, but tried not to extend her spikes so as not to harm them. She just wanted to be put down. “Togedemaru’s not for battling!”
“Yeah! She’s too nice an’ sweet an’ cuddly!” the five year-old followed shortly behind her sister, adding her hands to the mix and tugging much harder than the others.
“Hey, cut it out!”
“You let go! You’re hurting her!”
“It’s my turn!!!”
Posted: Yesterday at 08:00 pm
“H-hey! What’s— going on here??” Barely a few yards away, a young man had begun running towards the group of children. Or, to be more precise, walking quickly. He attempted not to draw attention to himself, but his awkward, rushed gait only made him stand out more. At his side shuffled a small, dog-like pokemon, followed reluctantly by an even smaller, orange and grey bird. While flight might have been the pokemon’s preferred mode of transport, his left wing was broken and bandaged, forcing him to quickly hop to keep up with the other two.
Reflexively, the youngsters ceased their bickering and took several steps backwards from one another. All but Russet let go of Togedemaru, though the looseness with which he held her was still scary enough to paralyze her, and with her eyes squeezed shut she was not yet made aware of the new arrivals. The children, however, upon realizing that the newcomer was not one of the adults they respected or feared, changed their attitude: the girls relaxed, relieved they weren’t about to be punished, while the boys smirked, knowing he had no power of them.
“You’re one of the new guys, aren’t you?” The older boy sneered, his Skiddo mirroring his toughened pose.“Piss off, this isn’t any of your business.”
“That’s… that’s not a nice word…“ Kendon’s words stumbled out of his mouth, as uncertain as his steps were only moments before. He hadn’t meant to get himself involved — a quarrel between children was not something he’d usually take interest in — but he’d heard the anguished cry of the small pokemon and thought he’d recognized the small, greyish ball tangled up in their arms. He cleared his throat, then began to speak in a lower pitch than he normally did. “Isn’t that Togedemaru? It seems like she’s… Well, she looks scared…”
“Nah, we’re just messing around, mister!” the younger boy piped up, swinging the small hedgehog up. She, in turn, let out a small squeak of fear, which the human took as a sign of happiness.“See? She’s fine! Us and Togedemaru are just playing!”
“She’s obviously not fine! Look at her shaking! Before the adult could interject, Olive stuck one hand on her hip and shook her head.“You guys need to listen to him! He’s an adult!”
“My mammy says you should — you should resp— rexpe— be nice to your elders!”
“He’s not our elder, though! And your mom’s not our mom, neither!”
“So? He’s still older, which means we have to listen.”
“Well Carmine is older than you, so shouldn’t you have to listen to him?”
“That’s not the same! Besides, Carmine’s only a couple seasons older than me. We’re practically the same age.”
“Yeah, but he’s way taller than you!”
“Hey, mister, it’s my turn with Tokemaru!”
“G-guys, let’s… let’s settle down, okay?” Kendon struggled to take control of the situation, but his meek attempts were overrun by the squabbling of the adolescents. He looked at his pokemon for help, but they only stared blankly in return. Turk, for one, just assumed that his partner was bargaining with the other humans for time alone with the rodent; it had been a while since they had seen her last, and he was itching to get a chance to study her patterns again. The fletchling, on the other hand, didn’t want anything to do with whatever was happening. He wouldn’t have followed the human in the first place, but he had seen too many predators licking their lips eagerly when they saw his broken wing. As much as he didn’t like the human, he was his best hope for survival — that didn’t mean he had to do him any favors, however.
Out of all the children, the flaxen-haired one was surprisingly silent. He seemed to be contemplating something, his brows furrowed in deep contemplation, until they suddenly released and a smile came across his face. A fantastic idea, perhaps the best he’d had all day, had struck him. “Hey, you got pokemon, right? That… dog thing and the bird. Tell you what, let’s make a deal. You and me battle, and we leave Togedemaru alone like you want. It’s a win-win!”
“W-wait, Carmine, I thought we was gonna battle!” His younger compatriot protested immediately, hurt by his friend’s unexpected exclusion of him.
“Yeah, but he’s a real trainer, with real pokemon! If I beat him then I’ll be even more prepared for when I can enter tournaments!” Carmine explained, “Togedemaru’s probably not that strong anyway, and you don’t even know how to use her.”
“Oh… I guess that makes sense…” Dejected, but defeated, Russet’s shoulders slumped and his face dropped. Sensing a lax in her captor’s hold, Togedemaru began wiggling wildly, until she finally slipped through his grip and tumbled onto the ground. She shook her body to rid her fur of any dirt and, now free, was able to catch a glimpse of the new human. To her surprise and delight, it was one of her new friends—
”Art!” She shouted gleefully, forgetting that that wasn’t his actual name. She trotted over before the children could snatch her again, hesitating slightly when noticing the smeargle. She continued nonetheless; as odd as the other pokemon was, at the moment she’d much prefer his creepy stares to the violent grabs of the young humans. She greeted him, too, although a bit less enthusiastically as she had with the human. “And… you again.”
“I go by Turk now,” the Painter responded simply; however, his gaze drifted over to the markings on her back. There was a distant expression on his face, and, if she didn’t know better, an almost… hungry look. One of his paws lifted, reaching forward to touch her, but quickly lowered as he became aware of himself.
She shuddered internally, then hurried to hide behind Kendon’s leg. As she passed the smeargle, she sighted the injured fletchling chittering nervously, and couldn’t help but let a distasteful countenance slip onto her face.“Oh. You’re still here, then? She spoke in nonchalant tone, as if she couldn’t care less about his presence. The bird ignored her, which was perfectly fine with her. As long as he didn’t try anything funny, but she doubted he could with that broken wing — something that he completely deserved, if she were to be honest.
Kendon flashed a friendly smile at the approaching Togedemaru before responding to the kid’s offer. “No, but you shouldn’t… Battling’s not… battling’s not a game! Pokemon can really get hurt if you don’t— if you’re not careful!” Kendon gestured toward the recovering fletchling, who chirped in surprise. Why was the human pointing at him? He wasn’t going to make him battle, was he?! Nonono, this had nothing to do with him, and he was in no condition to battle, anyway. Surely the human wouldn’t be so cruel? The tiny robin swiftly bounded to take cover behind the immigrant’s leg, but remembering the electric rodent was there skipped back over to hide behind Turk instead.