title– The Better Way Home
author– Toreina-Mei a.k.a. Jenna
Gods, he couldn't take this anymore.
They were laughing at him. His brothers, his sisters, half-siblings – all of them. Tivver rubbed his feet on the ground and whirled helplessly in circles, trying to wipe off the sticky string an angry Caterpie had sprayed on him. He honestly hadn't seen it on the ground when he'd hopped out of the tree. It was purely an accident! And no one would help him.
The string was agitating his fur, making him itch, and he scratched at it vigorously. First scratching his ears, turning a half-circle, then rubbing at his arms and turning again. He had his eyes squeezed shut and was beginning to feel dizzy. He stumbled, lost his balance and fell on his bottom. Everyone roared louder. Tivver huffed and threw his arms to his sides, desperately wanting to beat and pound the ground in a fit. Tears filled his tightly closed eyes, trying to leak out; he was frustrated, hurt, and really wanted to cry.
He fell back and scooted himself along the grass with his legs, still trying to get the Caterpie string off. He rolled over onto his stomach and swam across the ground, finally ridding himself of the stuff. Then he stopped and just lay there, feeling relieved and suddenly exhausted from all of his spastic movement. The laughter had faded into dull giggles.
"Aww, poor Tivvy couldn't even beat a Caterpie," Stub mocked.
Tivver had his head turned away from them. He hated all of their teasing, and not one of them stood up for him. He hiccuped, blinked away his tears, got up and walked away.
"Tivver, where you going?" They laughed.
He waddled away quickly, numb to the low tree branches and bushes that scraped at his sides. He shoved through a dense patch of shrubs, trying to squeeze through a small hole in the tangles of leaves and branches and almost got himself stuck. But he wiggled through, grateful that he was too far for anyone to have seen that, and fell. Right on a rock. Tivver groaned, rolled off and didn't want to get back up.
A stray leaf was tickling his nose; he swiped at it, irritated. He didn't like being the runt of the family, especially when he knew that he had reached his full Teddiursa height. He was just an ear under being a foot tall, and he was thin, almost fragile-looking. Tivver knew he wasn't strong and he knew he couldn't battle, either. No one had ever taught him how to. All his family ever did was shove him down and exclude him from their activities because he "didn't know how to play" or "was too weak to play".
Tivver glared up to the treetops, looking through them to the bright blue sky. What gods were watching over him, huh? None. Absolutely none!
Why couldn't you make me better, huh? You made them good. Why not me? Huh? Why can't I be a good fighter too?his thoughts spat at the heavens, to Femas, the great Dragonite god of battle.
He wished he could be as big and as fierce as a Dragonite, then he would show Stub. All he would have to do is swing his tail – no Teddiursa could withstand such a mighty Tail Whip, not from the way their elder Ursaring told the tales, anyway.
Tivver grabbed the rock he had fallen on, dragged it in front of him and began scratching at it with his small nails. He made a crude oval for the head and carved two, deep lines for the eyes, two more for its antenna. He made its mouth a straight line so that it would look more impressive.
Tivver laid his head down on his arm, sighed and went to to sleep.
Something was poking him, very annoyingly, in his side. He sprang awake and backed up hurriedly, almost falling backward into the bush because it wasn't anything solid. An Eevee was watching him curiously.
"Are you all right?" he asked, cocking his head to the side.
"Y-yeah," Tivver stuttered.
He looked the Eevee over, hoping it didn't want a fight. The Eevee was bigger than him (like everything, it seemed), muscled and well-toned, its face scarred and hard-looking. The raised, white cut over its snout stood prominent against his walnut fur; the tip of his right ear was split too. Tivver knew that it had had a lot of experience in battling and was already thinking up excuses so that he wouldn't he to fight it.
"What's wrong, little guy?" the Eevee smiled, but it seemed awkward with his severe expression.
"Nothing," he said quickly, shaking his head, "nothing."
The Eevee eyes him doubtfully. "I'm Fe-," he cleared his throat, "I'm Fen."
Tivver nodded once and timidly introduced himself.
"What brought you all the way out here? Isn't your land back a ways?" Fen asked.
"Yeah. I just went for a walk," he said slowly, purposely excluding why.
"Me too. But I don't live anywhere around here, actually," he grinned, tilting his head at Tivver.
The grin looked unkind, even threatening. He tried to distance himself from the Eevee unnoticeably, feeling uncomfortable.
"So, want to play?" he crouched low, his shaggy tail wagging.
Tivver held up his paws and backed away, shaking his head. "No, no, I should really be heading back."
"Why?" Fen snorted. "I saw what happened earlier when I was passing by. Do you really want to go back right now?"
"No, he sighed."
"Come play with me then. I'll teach you how to battle."
Tivver's round ears perked, but, glancing at Fen and his awesome physique again, followed hesitantly.
"Come on," Fen called, "you've got claws! Use them."
Tivver ducked behind a rock, burying his head under his short arms.
"Can't we find something smaller?" he asked.
"Sudowoodo is just fine," Fen answered.
Tivver peeked out from behind his rock; it was standing there, staring. When it didn't move, he felt a bit more confident and tentatively came out. Sudowoodo grinned, opened its mouth and shot out a hose of water. Tivver dived out of the way, closed his eyes and covered his head.
"Not like that!" Fen grumbled. "Get up. You're not going to learn anything that way."
When he refused to get up, the Eevee trotted over, clamped onto his ear and forced him up. Sudowoodo grinned at him again. Tivver frowned.
He took a step towards it – no movement. Another step, then another. He felt he was close enough now, so leapt at Sudowoodo with his claws in front. It fired another jet of water, hitting him in the face. Tivver flew back, his head impacting on the hard soil. His face stung, his cheeks throbbed, and water had gone up his nose and was making him cough and hack. He felt the back of his aching head, thinking that it was bleeding, but it wasn't. Fen's hard face appeared over him.
"That was what I was hoping for, but at least now you know what not to do, hmm?"
Tivver shut his eyes and nodded gingerly.
Two months after his first battle with Sudowoodo, Tivver had definitely improved. Even his naturally small frame looked lightly muscled now, and he was much more confident. Especially after all of Fen's coaching and teaching.
Tivver jumped over Arbok's head, spin in mid-air and showered it with several, scalding star-shaped bubbles. It his angrily. He landed on his feet, then jumped high, reaching the Arbok's eyelevel. He scratched at its eyes with stunning precision. It made more, unhappy noises.
"Use the Agility I taught you," Fen shouted.
Tivver nodded at him and began jumping back and forth, picking up speed rapidly. Then he started leaping circles around Arbok, watching until it was dizzy and disoriented. He stopped and, using the momentum he had gained, hit it was a final Tackle. When it didn't get up again, he whooped happily. Fen strolled over proudly.
"I think I'm ready to go back," Tivver said, smiling.
Fen nodded, "So am I."
"You know, you never told me where you were from."
He rolled his eyes and started walking – they had traveled quite a ways from his territory.
"Really, where are you from?"
He turned around – Fen was gone. He looked around wildly, but he was really gone. Tivver frowned and hung his head, saddened that he had already left. And without saying goodbye.
A large shadow moved across the ground and he looked up curiously. He saw something through the gaps in the tree tops, something enormous. With wings. And a massive tail, like a Dragonite. Just like a Dragonite, actually. It howled shrilly, flapped its wings and flew off. Tivver watched it as long as he could, but eventually it was blocked out of his sight by all of the trees no matter how he moved.
How neat would it be if Fen had really been a Dragonite in disguise? The god Femas, even! Tivver knew that wasn't possible, but he could try to convince himself it was true. It was a fun fantasy that would keep him entertained on his way home. Fen had known a lot about battle, after all.
Tivver couldn't wait to get home to everybody. They wouldn't be able to laugh at him anymore.
Author's Note– I said before that this series related closest with Greek mythology, so for those who don't really care much for it (but are reading anyway), here's something to keep in mind: the Gods can change their appearance at will. Ares, the God of War (Roman myth. name: Mars), for example, could change into a boar. Zeus (Roman myth. name: Jupiter) could change into anything, like a swan, or even a man. Keep that in mind. ;)
Yes, Femas is based loosely off of the idea of Ares. Who do I give credit to? The Greeks?
Also, I really like feedback. And suggestions. And I would like to know which Pokémon to use in my next story. ^_^