I wanted to write a small drabble about Judal loving his Eevee a whole lot and spoiling it rotten, and then...this...happened... So! Welcome to my chaptered juhaku pokemon au, I hope you all have a good time! and I've included their pokemon & nicknames at the beginning :D
Sparkle the Eevee
Leg the Murkrow
Sniffles the Sneasel
Napkin the Mimikyu
Bloom the Gloom
Lumos the Lampent
Trochlea the Cubone
Zagan the Phantump
Belior Zauto the Honedge
Judal pats Sparkle on the head and fishes around in his bag for another pokepuff. He's such a spoiled fat little baby, curled up against a leg begging for treats. Shit, he thinks he's down to the plainest ones, but they'll have to to do. He can't always feed him the best stuff.
He offers up a chocolate one only for Sparkle to turn up his nose. "What, you aren't hungry?"
Enthusiastic head shaking, followed by Sparkle trying to get his face inside Judal's bag. He has to pull it away from him and frowns.
"Oh," Judal says, pieces clicking together. "You think I'm keeping the good stuff from you? Tough cookies, buddy, we're out, and we ain't anywhere near a town. You're gonna have to learn to deal or be hungry."
A pause, and Sparkle reaches for the pokepuff. "Yeah, that's what I thought. You're too fat to turn down food."
Judal works some of the knots out of his fur when he's done eating, combing his tail until it's soft and fluffy again. "You know, I'm pretty sure you're supposed to be able to clean this yourself."
"Are you talking to your Eevee again?" Hakuryuu asks, pushing a tree branch out of the way to join them in the clearing. He's got a bag of food, probably scavenged from the forest, and Judal groans at the thought of eating bitter roots and weird vegetables again. Someday they'll finally be free of the fucking wilderness.
"His name is Sparkle, Hakuryuu. Just because you're too lame to appreciate my naming skills doesn't mean you can ignore it," Judal tells him, grinning. "And of course I'm talking to him! We're friends, aren't we little buddy?" He holds his hand up in front of Sparkle and waves it a bit until his eyes widen and he hits it with his paw.
Hakuryuu just shakes his head and sits next to them on the ground. "I just can't quite believe you're serious about it."
"Look, you can admit it. You're jealous of the bond we have, and you're embarrassed because you named your Oddish Bloom."
"Well if that's how you feel about her, I guess you can eat pokepuffs for dinner with Sparkle instead of what we brought back. I mean, if he hasn't eaten all the pokepuffs already."
Judal glances down to see Sparkle with his entire head in his bag, happily chowing down on the treats inside. "Oh, hey, hey hey hey! You can't eat all of those! You big fatass!"
He can hear Hakuryuu laughing as he pulls Sparkle out of the bag, pokepuff crumbs all over his nose. "You're a menace!" Sparkle chirps happily and he can't keep from ruffling the fur on his head.
Hakuryuu hands him a pecha berry. "I know they're supposed to be for Pokemon, but I heard they're safe. And taste like peaches."
He snatches it away. "Shit, it could be poison, and I'd eat it. I'm so tired of the other shitty vegetables you've been bringing back."
"I'm glad you're so grateful."
Judal shrugs and leans against Hakuryuu as he chows down. They're at a weird in between state, no longer enemies and barely past uneasy allies, but they've still got the familiarity that comes from a lifelong friendship. It's not bad. It's better than the past few years, and Judal is just happy to his best friend back in his life.
Sparkle curls up in his lap, finally contented and full of food, and Judal absentmindedly pets him while he eats. Hakuryuu has plans for when they reach the next town, to keep a low profile and try to see how much an influence his mother has on the locals, but-
"What do you mean we can't buy anything there?"
"Most of our funds were on our cards. You know, the ones linked to my family? And we've run out of cash," Hakuryuu explains.
Judal groans loud enough that Sparkle growls. "I want to actually lay down in a bed again someday...maybe eat warm food? Get actual potions again instead of scrounging for berries that half my Pokemon won't even eat…"
"It's not my fault that all your pokemon are as picky as you!"
"Leg isn't picky!" Judal whines.
"You never let her battle," he says. "And she's a Murkrow! She'll eat anything."
"She's delicate," he says, hand drifting to the luxury ball on his belt. "I don't want another experience like in Celadon City."
Hakuryuu pauses, and his expression softens. "I know you'd never let anyone else throw rocks at her."
Judal shakes his head. "Yeah, but I still worry."
They lapse into a comfortable silence, Hakuryuu carefully mapping out their trip to avoid notice while Judal tries to sort through his bag. It's getting heavy to carry, especially now that they've been keeping off the main routes. Maybe he doesn't need some of the crap he has stashed in it…
Shit, he doesn't even remember what half these TMs do. Why did he bring them along instead of something more useful? He's pretty sure if he boots them up they'll have descriptions, but what could he possibly want to do with all of them? Fuck his bad planning.
"Don't toss those," Hakuryuu says. "I can see you thinking about it. If all else fails, we could sell some of them for quick cash."
"Oh, good plan. Is that why I packed them in the first place?"
Hakuryuu nods. "I think you have an HM or two in there too. You were looting everyone's stuff at the base."
"So I was!" Judal laughs and shoves them back in his bag. "Man, I'm glad I've got you to remember these things for me."
The moon casts a murky light on them as it rises, a small bit of brightness in the pitch black of the deep forest. Even when sneaking around for Al Tharman, Judal has never had to hide out this much. It's not fun, but it could be worse, he guesses.
"Lumos," Hakuryuu says softly, and there's a soft whoosh as the Lampent leaves his ball, throwing a soft glow on the clearing. Judal raises an eyebrow but doesn't complain; Hakuryuu wouldn't do it if he thought it would give away their location.
"I'm still looking over things," Hakuryuu explains.
He shrugs. "I'm too hyped up to sleep tonight. Doesn't bother me."
"You should at least try."
"Nah, I can tell it's not gonna work. If Lumos is gonna be out for awhile I'm gonna doodle some," he says, pulling his sketchbook out. Can he surreptitiously draw Hakuryuu? Maybe. He's gonna do it either way, though.
Judal doesn't notice Hakuryuu falling asleep. He's moved onto sketching Sparkle, the shadows from Lumos making it a pain in the ass to see all the texture of his fur. It's a good challenge. It's not until Hakuryuu starts snoring, half leaned up against a tree, that he realizes.
"Oh, Hakuryuu," he whispers. It's cute, in its own way. "Come on Lumos, back in the ball," he says quietly, herding him back in before carefully putting the ball back in Hakuryuu's bag.
"You too, Sparkle." His request his met with an annoyed chirp, and he shakes his head. "I know you don't like it, but we're all gonna try to get some sleep, alright? I'll give you a treat in the morning if you go without any more complaints."
Sparkle eyes him suspiciously, but eventually goes back in his ball. Judal pulls Hakuryuu's coat out of his bag and puts it over him, tucking him in the best he can. Even if he's not going to get any sleep doesn't mean he wants Hakuryuu and their Pokemon to suffer.
He watches the stars and the moon cross the sky and drifts off just as the first hints of sun begin to warm the horizon.
Hakuryuu pulls them back into the trees and mouths "quiet." Judal can't help but peer around him and suck in a breath. Shit. He'd recognize Al Tharman's uniform anywhere. They're not quite close enough to hear, unfortunately, and he doesn't think they can get any closer without getting caught.
Judal jerks his head back the way they came, further into the woods and away from the small gathering, and Hakuryuu grabs his wrist as they go. He takes lead, watching for anything that could make a noise, and they pick their way through the trees. Judal brings up the rear, careful not to disturb any of the roosting Fletchlings. The last thing they need to do is bring attention to themselves.
It feels like hours later - even if Hakuryuu insists it wasn't quite that long - when they can finally breathe freely, far enough away that they don't have to worry.
"I can't fucking believe this," Judal whines. "We're in the middle of nowhere! I've never been so far from civilization! I don't know what they're doing out here."
"Nothing good," Hakuryuu says, sighing. "I guess that way is out of the picture, then. I'll have to come up with a different route for us."
"I'm going a bit further."
"Judal, please-" Hakuryuu starts.
"I'm not angry. There's just a stream up ahead," he explains, tossing out Sparkle's pokeball. At least his happy chirp is grounding. He doesn't know if Hakuryuu is following him, but right now he's just so frustrated that he needs to blow off steam somewhere. Hakuryuu can catch up later or not.
Judal lays on an outcropping of rocks overlooking the stream, one eye on Sparkle as he plays with the water. He keeps poking it with a paw and then jumping back, as if he didn't expect the water to actually be wet. What a silly Eevee.
He's half dozing when a shadow blocks out the light on his face. Judal groans. "Sparkle, if you're going to put your wet paws on my face, I have some disappointing fuckin news for you buddy- Oh. Hey, Hakuryuu."
"Can I sit with you?"
"Uh. Sure," Judal says, pushing himself up to a proper sitting position. Sparkle whines when his legs move, disrupting where he's sleeping. Ah, at least he's not soaking wet. Good boy.
Hakuryuu sits down, all awkward energy. "Thank you."
"Look, I'm not gonna hold your hand. I'm not mad," Judal tries to explain, only for Hakuryuu to cut him off.
"I know you're not mad at me, but I am sorry. I didn't mean to lead us into trouble, and I know you don't want to go back to-"
"Yeah. Neither of us do," he says before Hakuryuu can elaborate. He's been trying not to think about what they're running from, and seeing Al Tharman members again has long repressed memories creeping back into his head.
Hakuryuu fidgets. "I know. I know. It's just that I'm supposed to be the one keeping us safe."
"Hakuryuu, you're not a mind reader. If you're just here to beat yourself up over it I'm gonna go back to sleep, okay?"
"I'm not! I was just- Look. I'm trying to be more open with you, since we're in this together, and I wanted to let you know that I'll try harder in the future. That's all."
Judal digs into his bag, finally finding a crushed pokepuff. "Here. Give this to Sparkle. He'll love you enough to cuddle and you won't be able to feel bad then."
Hakuryuu takes it. "You're terrible at talking about difficult things."
"Sure fucking am!" he says, laughing. "So don't do it. It's not gonna help anything."
He finally takes the hint and plays with Sparkle instead, tempting him into his lap with the pokepuff. Judal grins, reaching over to pet Sparkle too, and he can practically feel the joy in the air.
"Oh, you're really spoiled now, aren't you?" he says, skritching under his chin while Hakuryuu pets him. "You've got both of us fawning over you."
Sparkle chirps and looks at him expectantly. "Hell no, Hakuryuu just fed you. And it's gonna be a bit before we make it to town. Fatass."
"You should let Bloom out," Judal says, glancing over at Hakuryuu. "Since it's actually a sunny day for once."
He nods. "I feel bad, since I've been so stressed...I think she can tell, and she's been trying to help."
Judal grins. "Lemme guess, you ended up with a face full of sleep powder?"
"She means well," he says, pulling her pokeball out of his bag. "I just wish she wouldn't do...that."
He can't help but laugh. "Just cause she means well doesn't mean it isn't funny. I mean, I'm so sorry that happened to you Hakuryuu, your life is so tragic."
"Don't patronize me, you asshole," Hakuryuu says, smacking his shoulder. Sparkle sticks his nose up at Bloom's appearance and crawls onto Judal instead, shoving his head under a hand.
"Okay, okay, I'll pet you, you needy brat," he says. "Sorry Hakuryuu has his own Pokemon and can't spend his life spoiling you too."
Sparkle chirps and climbs up his arm, settling on draping around his neck. It's almost too warm with them sitting in the sun, but he ruffles Sparkle's fur anyway. Judal isn't one to move him once he's comfortable.
The sun dips lower as they sit, Judal calming down from the rush until he's too fidgety and anxious to sit still any longer.
"Time to move," he says, carefully moving Sparkle. There's an annoyed squeak as he calls him back into his pokeball, but Judal ignores it.
Hakuryuu glances over. "Right now?"
"Right now. We should find cover," Judal says, gesturing at the thick trees behind them. He can feel it in the air, in the quickly fleeing birds over head, that something isn't right. He pauses and then grabs Hakuryuu's hand, pulling them across the stream and into the trees on the other side.
They run as quietly as possible, Judal leading by instinct and Hakuryuu following. Sometimes it's better to let Hakuryuu take point, but this time, when it's all by feeling, Judal is the best chance they have. Darkness creeps in slowly, hard to notice through the dim of the trees closing in on them, until suddenly it's pitch black around them.
Judal finally slows down, leaning against a tree to catch his breath. He can hear Hakuryuu doing the same, taking sharp short breaths in the night chill.
"Sorry," says eventually, once he's calmed down. Hakuryuu's still trying to breathe properly, and he realizes belatedly that running off with barely any warning, in what probably seemed like a random direction, was not a good idea. Welp, whatever. He already did it. They'll live.
Hakuryuu nods, breathing in deeply a few more times. "I figured you had a reason."
"It wasn't safe there."
"Moderately. Safe enough for now, I guess," he decides.
"Thank you," Hakuryuu says.
In the heavy darkness he can feel Hakuryuu shift closer, fingers twining in his. There's warm breath on his cheek, Hakuryuu's breathing still somewhat uneven, and Judal's own breath catches in his throat. Something's...different, in the way it feels, but he can't quite place it.
A pause, where everything feels wound tight like a spring, and Hakuryuu eventually backs down.
"I do appreciate it," he says, and Judal feels like he was robbed of something he didn't quite know he wanted.