-"Wasn't that the ending?" Eh? Of course not! After all, life's a continuous journey, one where you always keep learning things. And there were still a few awkward phases of life that awaited that little family from the outskirts of Icirrus...-

_

-Like having to see the nest empty a bit.

The summer after everything regarding that whole "reawakening of legends" thing, it came time for the eldest son to set out from home. Not to try his luck with the league again, but to move onto another school. One where he would learn drier subjects than he would have learned previously, and far enough from home that his presence back in the house could no longer be taken for granted at night. It was a definitely an occasion with great gravity to it, and all of the family turned out that day in order to see off the elder brother at Mistralton's airport... knowing that it would likely be weeks, if not longer until they saw him next...-

"Goodbye!"

-The watching forms of a Druddigon and the other Pokémon in the household watched as the mother went up to the cusp of the gate for security and embraced the young man. They had pieced together that the elder brother's presence would diminish, but they still could not help but find something off about the occasion.

The father joined his spouse, offering a sagely, though congenial, warning to his son as he too went up to embrace him-

"Good luck, and don't go too crazy out there!"

-The daughter was also present, and bade her sibling farewell on her own terms, taking a page from squabbles past. Though there was a much more amiable tenor to her parting words:-

"Heh... We'll find out, after all!"

-And then it came time for the youngest to give his farewell, which he did by posing a question:-

"We'll catch up next time, right? I'll have a starter by then- Eh?!"

"Druddigon!"

-It was at this time that the family Druddigon interrupted and went up to embrace the older child herself, which the now-grown young man couldn't help but smile at.-

"Yeah... I think that sounds good...

I can't wait to see what you pick. Heh heh. And you'll definitely have quite the tutor to help show you the ropes."

_

-As time continued to pass, they were reminded that they were not getting any younger. The spring after the elder son departed for college, it was once again that time of year when the snow had just melted away in favor of the first buds of spring. And, it was also once again the spring of trainerhood for one of the children in the house. Much as his elder siblings had, the younger brother that day came into the living room beaming, proudly declaring:-

"Mom! Mom! I got a starter!"

-She reluctantly turned from tending to a houseplant towards her child, keenly remembering just how much of a handful the other two starters in the house were, but nevertheless found herself asking:-

"Eh? So what did you ge-?"

"Sni...?"

-Much to her relieved surprise, she was answered by the green, serpentine form of a Snivy tugging at her leg with a pair of stubby arms. The creature looked up curiously, unsure what to make of the strange large creature. It was then that mother noticed that unlike the last two such moments in the household, her son was holding a small electronic device.-

"I signed up for a Pokédex! Isn't it awesome? And they gave me this Snivy!"

-The woman looked back down at the Snivy, and back at her child. These were creatures just being given out to children to accompany them on their journeys through life, so they would surely not be any more of a handful than a Venipede or a Cubone to take care of...

Hopefully.-

"... Well... At least he looks like he'll be simpler to take care of..."

-From the room over, the family Druddigon watched the new arrival looking around. She was not sure what to make of the creature, as she began to sense that her purpose with the family's children had seemingly been completed.-

"Gon..."

-It's jarring how slowly people change compared to most Pokémon. But... I guess that makes the changes all the more unsettling once you notice them.-

_

-As is unavoidable in life, it also came time to get used to some close friends drifting away. At the tail end of that summer, the family Druddigon lounged on the porch, taking in the sun's evening rays as the daughter and remaining son of the household played with the data entries of a Pokédex.-

"Wow... I had no idea that you'd be able to see this many Pokémon just meeting other people around town."

"Yeah... Still, I kinda wish I had more complete entries in here. Why, if it weren't for you, dad, and the neighbors helping, I don't think I'd even have 10 height and weight measurements in here!"

-It was one of those days where the air would suck any motivation to do anything out of a being. Though then again, perhaps it was not all the weather's fault. The elder brother had left for his faraway school once again, and the house was once again missing the characteristic hubbub that an extra person and two Pokémon contributed.

It was on this day that a certain neighbor girl (or perhaps by that point it would have been more apt to call her a neighbor woman), had reached the same phase of life as the elder brother had the year prior, and one that the daughter was perhaps but a year or two away from reaching herself.

Unlike their prior encounters, there was something visibly amiss with the neighbor today.-

"... Excuse me... Uh... Have you seen- Uh...?"

-At first, the daughter supposed that her neighbor had perhaps misplaced some things while packing. Or perhaps she had forgotten something of the neighbor's she had borrowed?-

"Hmm? You haven't finished packing for college yet?"

-The young boy's Snivy, which was amusing itself with a rock, began to sense that something was amiss. It was then that a possible realization for the tense visit suddenly dawned on its owner.-

"Wait a minute, where's your axeface? He's normally inseparable from you!"

"That's the thing! I can't find him! I've tried looking everywhere! I first thought that he recalled himself to his Pokéball, but I don't understand! Where could he have gone?"

-The Druddigon was roused by the commotion, and after staring off into the distance to try and scan for the Haxorus... came across one of the windmills in the distance.
It was then that she realized where the neighbor's missing companion perhaps was, and began to tug at the sleeve of the daughter's shirt to gather her attention.-

"Gon! Druddigon!"

"Eh? Where's it that you want to take us?"

-It's not so much the drift away that is the most difficult part with friends...-

_

-It's having to say goodbye to them.

Much as they had once many years ago, the children found themselves in the noisy interior of a familiar windmill. This time, they were lead by the guidance of the Druddigon they had grown up with.

As they climbed the same familiar stairs, the neighbor girl once again saw her Pokémon looking out to a panorama of Icirrus.

Alone.-

"There you are-!"

"H-Hax..."

-Immediately, the young woman noticed that there was a mournful, sniffling tone to the creature's voice. Much to her concern, as she drew nearer, she began to notice some large drops leaking from its eyes down its face and tusks.-

"Huh? What's wrong?"

-The children from the Druddigon's household then followed up the steps, and came across the pitiful sight. The younger of the two went over and attempted to soothe the crying Haxorus.-

"Aww... Come on big guy, don't cry..."

-The neighbor girl began to wipe away some tears from eyes that betrayed a dearth of self-confidence that the children had not seen for years. She pat her now fully-grown Pokémon, attempting to reassure him:-

"Yeah... I'm sure we'll meet them again..."

"H-Haxorus!"

-To which the Haxorus tearfully interjected, and looked over at the Druddigon.

It was then that the mystery of the Haxorus' behavior was suddenly dispelled, as the Druddigon nuzzled the still-sniffling creature, attempting to quiet it.

The neighbor girl, beginning to realize that this would not be a case that she could resolve easily, questioned her Pokémon reluctantly:-

"... Oh... Is this about that...?"

-To which the Haxorus nodded plaintively:-

"H-Hax..."

-The neighbor girl paused for what seemed an eternity. She too must have wished for a way to give everyone what they wanted, as impossible as it was.

It was then that she offered what little she could to compensate.-

"... We can arrange for you to come over occasionally if it's okay with them... I mean, the PC system is still a thing, right? But we reallydo need to get going...

If it would help, though... Maybe you could spend the night together with your friend?"

-The Haxorus still sniffled, though began to calm down as a faint glimmer of self-confidence returned to its eyes as the younger brother offered his endorsement of the neighbor's attempt to soothe her charge.-

"Hax... Haxorus?"

"Yeah... We'd always be happy to have you over, big guy..."

-The Druddigon then sidled up against the Haxorus, as he finally had finally been coaxed from its despair. It was then that the daughter from the Druddigon's household advised the two:-

"Make the most of this time.

Do whatever it is you two want to together..."

_

-And there was the awkwardness of watching new life enter the household. It's certainly a strange time, one where a being experiences things that it never knew it wanted from deep inside of itself.

For the family, that moment came a few weeks after that night between the Haxorus and their Druddigon. On that day, the Druddigon deviated from her normal routine around the house, having chosen instead to curl up on a purloined blanket around a pair of strange objects.

When the younger brother examined the objects more closely, the creature's strange behavior suddenly began to make a bit more sense to him.-

"... She's got... Eggs?"

-As her brother attempted to more closely examine the eggs, the daughter quickly pieced together what cosmic incident generated the Druddigon's clutch:-

"... Oh... So that's what they were doing together on their last night..."

"Huh... Interesting choice of-"

"DRUDDIGON!"

-Much to the boy's shock, he was rebuffed by a loud roar and warning swipe from the Druddigon. As the boy tumbled back from instinctively recoiling, he cried out:-

"GAH! What's with you?!"

-The daughter was not fully sure, but thought that the behavior was perhaps one that she had read of before. She concluded that this was perhaps a matter that was best left be for the time being, and offered her guess as to what was "with" the Druddigon to her brother:-

"I think she's brooding..."

"So what do we do, then?"

"... Just let her have some alone time... If she lets you interact with her eggs, so be it... Just don't force it."

_

-But... At the same time, you see wonderful things intermixed with those awkward things as well.

A few weeks after their discovery, the Druddigon's eggs became a bit more lively. Occasionally they would rock, and would have what seemed to be faint noises emanate from them.

A now grayer-headed old man went up to the Druddigon, who had had her instinctive edge dulled from the fatigue of a dutiful vigil of incubating her offspring. The man pat her flank, speaking soothing, encouraging words.-

"Heh... It's quite something, isn't it, girl?"

"Druddigon... ... Gon?"

-At that moment, the faint, but clear sound of a crack could be heard. The young boy in the other room picked up on the sound almost immediately, and rushed in along with his sister for a moment that they had waited patiently for weeks to witness:-

"They're hatching! They're hatching!"

-They were not a moment too soon, as small-but-pointed claws began to force their way through two sets of eggshells. A limb appeared from one- a tired and disoriented yellow eye poked through a hole in another.

And soon enough, the two hatchlings forced enough of their confines open to stumble out. They fell over onto the ground damp and sticky with the residual amniotic fluid from their eggs, and much as any newborn creature would, began to cry out feebly for their mother:-

"Gon! Gon!"

-She quickly shifted over and drew in her two children, diminutive shadows of their future, little creatures bearing their mother's red head, blue hide, and thorny wings that were roughly the size of the young boy's Snivy. The mother Druddigon was about to attempt to lick the two clean of the remnants of their incubation when she was interrupted by the daughter.-

"Hold on..."

-The mother Druddigon tilted her head quizzically, unsure of just what the daughter wished to offer, or why she had brought a towel for this occasion.-

"Let us help, they'll dry out a bit faster this way."

-Aha. So that was her reasoning. The grown Druddigon tiredly consented, and gave a quiet, but happy growl and nudged her offspring towards the waiting girl.

The daughter quickly enveloped one of the two young Druddigon with the towel, which squirmed a bit as the strange human cleaned it off.-

"Gon!"

-Who scampered back to its mother once it was freed from the strange white sensation. The other was a bit more devious, and took the opportunity to latch onto a corner of the towel with its maw and tug against it as the girl attempted to clean the second of the mother Druddigon's young.-

"Hey! Come on, you don't want a messy rag like that!"

-But the bemused little creature seemed to have none of it, enthralled with its white cotton and polyester quarry.-

"Gon! Gon!"

-As the daughter struggled to clean her troublesome charge, the younger brother approached the mother Druddigon with a cautious entreaty:-

"... Can... Can we pet them?"

-She hesitated for a moment, but... For whatever reason, whether it was reasoning that the young child she had grown with would surely be trustworthy, or whether it was her exhaustion speaking:-

"Druddi... Druddigon."

-She nodded, and tiredly nudged the small creature that had retreated to her side towards the boy, who took in the sight of him with a curious awe:-

"Dru... Druddigon?"

-The boy was enthralled with the little form, and reached down to heartily pet its head.-

"... Heh... Never thought that Druddigon would start so sm- OW!"

-Only to find himself hastily jerking away his hand from the creature and finding it to be dribbling red fluid from a scrape. The sight elicited a bit of a belated observation from the man with grayed hair:-

"... Ah... Right. That one on the right appears to have Rough Skin. You should pat slower and in the direction of the scales next time."

_

-And now that takes us to today, to a family's house on the outskirts of Icirrus, where the air is muggy with the seasonal heat and humidity of early summer.

As you probably guessed, the reason why I know about this family so well...

Well, it's because I'm a part of it. So then, who am I, and whose story is this?-

"Hey! I'm back!"

"Mom! Dad! He's here!"

-Is it the story of the young man who just opened the door to this house? The one with that Scolipede and that Palpitoad by his side?

Is it the story of that young woman who answered the door along with her Marowak and Sawsbuck?

Or is it the story of the younger brother who just walked in with the Snivy and the-? Wait...-

"About time! What did you do, WALK from Mistralton?"

-Come on... He has another face that follows him now.-

"What? I wanted a bit of a more scenic route than the bus line! And security's just gotten ANNOYING ever since those morons iced over Opelucid last fa-!"

"Gon?"

-There we go... One of the two little ones wound up tagging along with him.-

"Heh... Little guy's growing fast, isn't he?

But... I thought she had two eggs..."

"Well... We figured that the other hatchling should stay nearby... But with someone who'd be able to grow up alongside him."

"Eh? Who would that b-?"

-The answer is... This story's none of theirs.-

"Druddigon..."

-It's mine. The not-so-little lizard on the left over there. As for what happened to my other child... Well, that neighbor girl did have a brother... And he's just old enough to be traveling along with Pokémon.

Oh, and he should be opening birthday presents right about now while his sister's back in town.-

"Oh wow! A Druddigon! Thanks, mom!"

"Ha-Hax?"

"Dear! I thought we were getting another Axew!"

-Hmm, hmm... I guess that's one benefit of them having a low fence...

I'll have to make sure to stop by and explain to the Haxorus about what's going on... Not that his flabbergasted expression isn't amusing. Seems like the elder brother seems to think so himself.-

"Heh... Maybe we should all meet up over at someone's home... The locals have calmed down a bit... And... It probably would be good to make it there before the restoration work starts..."

-Oh! That's right! It'll be the first time since we were allowed to start visiting again that we'll actually see things start to get fixed there...-

"... How is it that it's taken over two years for them to get that started again?"

"How many work sites can you think of that have to be planned around wild mons darting around?"

-Bah, you say that as if that's an excuse for the pace! But anyways... That's the story of what's happened to me since I started traveling with these humans.

It's not the most interesting one... Or the most exciting one... Or the one that most others will ever hear about...

But... I'm glad that I've been able to share it with these people...

Hopefully the younger brother plans out his Trainer's Leave a bit better than his siblings, though.-