Thanks must go out to Shadow Blues, Souldin, Froggiecool, NinjaSheik, lupyne and Dusk-N-Dawn! Once again, a really long list, and I thank all of you once again… My thanks to also those who read and don't review, too.
Have adjusted my writing and planning techniques, hopefully this will result in better chapters and fics overall.
Unfortunately, this will also be the last update for a month or so. Commitments have come to a head, and as such, I will be going on a roughly month-long hiatus for now. I will be back, definitely, and hopefully quality will be much better. Forgive me if I reply later to your reviews, PMs or such – I will still try to reply as soon as I can.
Many thanks once again to my usual readers, your support is really appreciated – sounds clinchéd, but trust me I really do cherish all your support.
For new readers, thank you for reading – if you enjoyed this fic, or wish to read more about the characters in this setting, a list of my other fics in this series are listed at the very end of this chapter. Do check them via my profile out if you wish to.
[Edit: A slight edit to the end, for continuity's sake.]
Thank you very much, and please enjoy. Reviews and constructive criticism will be very much appreciated, as always.
Introduction – Chapter Seven
The wind howled around the Smash Mansion, rattling the windows of Smashers' rooms. Not that it really mattered; most of the Smashers were asleep anyway, snug in their cozy world of dreams and slumber.
The voices of the wind and the rain were not strong enough to reach the cafeteria, where the only audible sound was the soft pat, pat, pat of Snake's footfalls as he walked. The spy visibly winced at his own unusually loud footsteps, magnified a hundredfold in the empty hall and by Lucario's sensitive hearing.
The tip of Lucario's ears twitched slightly, and Lucario allowed his eyes to travel up, watching Snake make his way to where he was. The spy seated himself on the bench opposite Lucario, resting his arms on the table, not looking at the Pokémon. Lucario had a sudden urge to lunge for the staff, but restrained his paw, instead opting to stare at a rather interesting speck on the tabletop.
At last, Snake decided he had fidgeted enough, and cleared his throat loudly. "Well," he began, Lucario looking up and fixing him with his red eyes, "I think we got off on the wrong foot, so…" Snake trailed off, seeing Lucario looking at him with a blank and slightly confused look on his features.
"Well, that's what I said – go talk to him, try to get him to speak. Also, I noticed that you haven't apologized to him for molesting his cardboard box."
"Same difference," Mei Ling retorted half-amusedly. Quickly becoming serious once more, she added – "I've been checking up his data; surprisingly it isn't much, but this particular Pokémon seems pretty much closed up." Snake rolled his eyes. "You don't say." "So, try to get him to open up, invite him to another Brawl with others, or other Pokémon, or something." Snake snorted – Mei Ling, for all her wise words and wisecracks, obviously did not know just how Lucario had reacted – a simple invitation to a Brawl would be unlikely to solve anything…
One couldn't accurately describe being thrown through two doors – that was one of the things in life people had to experience for themselves, Snake mused.
"No, wait, seriously! He was really, really –" here the spy noticed that there was actually someone in the canteen in this unearthly hour. Worse still, it was Lucario. The Pokémon had politely nodded at him in greeting, but Snake was sure he had heard practically everything. Dropping his voice, he quickly muttered the situation to Mei Ling, casually dropping his hands to his sides and trying to walk silently over to Lucario.
The rest of the conversation went spectacularly badly.
Snake was more accustomed to sneaking and spying; apologizing, least of all to a blue, furry… creature was exceedingly unfamiliar to him. Lucario was still as closed up as Mei Ling had predicted, probably scarred even further from incident with the staff, and looked at Snake with polite, yet unflinching eyes. Inevitably, the conversation crashed and died, going downhill right from when it started.
After the introductory banquet during the first day at the Mansion, Lucario walked down the corridor near his room, newly-acquired staff in paw, when suddenly his right ear perked, twitching. Turning around, he saw a young man running towards him, calling him, his panting betraying either his inexperience with running or exhaustion from yelling his name.
"Rukario! Hey, Rukario!" Catching up to him, he grasped his knees for a second, panting. But he quickly straightened up, and flashed the Pokémon a brilliant smile. "You're a Pokémon!" he cried. Lucario didn't respond, merely staring at him, slightly confused, with large red eyes.. "Uh, hello. I'm a Pokémon Trainer, and I thought that…" he continued on, hands gesticulating.
A… Pokémon Trainer? Lucario wondered. Racking his head for that term, he remembered – Satoshi, the lad looking for his Pikachu, was a Pokémon Trainer. Trained Pokémon, apparently – or friends with his Pokémon, now, that was new…
Lucario had never trusted anyone easily. A significant series of bad encounters with humans only served to cement that mentality, rendering him coldly polite and detatched. Aaron-sama was the only human – the only being – he trusted, and to be honest, Lucario secretly reveled in the fulfillment of his trust, the sweet taste of finally being able to have someone he could believe in – even if he was your Master.
Aaron's sudden trapping of Lucario in his staff dealt a shattering blow to Lucario's idea of trust as a whole. The trust he had started to open himself to, the Aaron he had built a solid foundation and a veritable bastion of hope on, was suddenly destroyed at one fell swoop with Aaron's apparent betrayal. After all, being trapped in a crystal staff for a thousand years would pain anyone, but to be sealed by the only one he trusted –
That day didn't simply momentarily blind Lucario's eyes, but completely destroyed his struggling attempts to trust.
The noble truth of Aaron's actions, when it was later revealed, went a long way in healing Lucario's scars and his view of Aaron. Satoshi, near the end of Lucario's life, further demonstrated to the Pokémon that trustworthy people indeed existed, but it was too little, and much, much too late. The sting of betrayal had already wounded the Pokémon more than all physical pain, and Lucario resolved himself to never taste its bitterness again.
"Uh, hello?" Suddenly brought back to the Mansion, Lucario blinked, eyes refocusing on the Trainer. An awkward silence descended between them, as the Trainer scratched the back of his head and attempted to make conversation. "Nice staff." He nodded to the Pokémon Trainer, bowed, excused himself, and closed his door between them.
I find it hard to trust, Lucario eventually spoke, breaking an uncomfortable silence following the end of Snake's speech. And you are not making it any easier. Neither is anyone else, he added after a moment's pause, as if to reassure the spy. Lucario got up to leave; the staff firmly held in one paw, the other picking up the now-empty tin of berries.
"You need to trust me," Snake's voice drifted to his ears. Lucario halted and turned his head, slightly interested in the rest of what this human would say next. Why is that? "That splinter in your tail, for example. Paws aren't the best for that job." Out of the corner of his eye, Lucario glanced incredulously at his tail – the splinter was hardly visible, yet the spy had picked it out. Why he was staring at his tail, however, was another matter Lucario was too tired to pursue.
That is true, Lucario conceded politely. Turning back, he continued to walk out of the cafeteria in measured steps, his padded paws silent against the floor tiles. Nursing a growing headache, Lucario sighed inwardly, wanting to curl up on his room floor, sleeping his troubles away. If only that was possible.
And also, his room no longer had a door.
Meanwhile Snake pressed on, inwardly pleasantly surprised and slightly amused at his ability to spout clinchéd phrases with a straight face. "You don't need to do everything by yourself, you know. You're not alone."
At this, Lucario suddenly froze. Turning around, he walked to the table, flicking the tip of his injured tail onto the bench. In one swift motion, he slammed the slightly-serrated can mouth onto his tail, the jagged edges catching onto fur but the can pressing down on the exposed part of the splinter, jamming it against the bench surface. With a forceful shake, he ripped his tail clean from under the can, almost with the air of a magician whisking the cloth from his table. His face betrayed no emotion as tufts of blue fur came off, splayed about the can, while the offending splinter was forcibly plucked out, pressed between the lip of the can and the bench.
Picking up the can, the Aura Pokémon examined it, seeing the splinter trapped in the metallic teeth of the can's rough mouth. Curling and uncurling his tail, the fur around the bleeding area moved and fell into position, covering as much of the bleeding as possible, although small dark patches still stained the fur visibly. Facing Snake now, Lucario replied in a low, quiet tone.
Startled, Snake stood up as if to object, but after a moment used to collect his thoughts, then thought of Mei Ling's advice. "No, you're not." Extending a hand towards the Pokémon, he introduced himself, expecting the Pokémon to meet him in a handshake. "I'm Suneku."
Lucario didn't shake his hand, but bowed his head in Snake's direction. Good night, Suneku-san. Now, if you will excuse me... With that, Lucario quickly turned and walked the few steps out of the cafeteria, staff jingling softly in his paw, leaving the surprised spy and his introduction behind.
Sir Aaron and Lucario were on a grassy knoll, which overlooked a gentle, rolling field. It was probably one of Aaron's walks outside the castle, a means of self-relaxation, he claimed. Lucario was at his Master's heels, scanning the surroundings for hostile Auras, then falling into step with Aaron as they slowly made their way across the grass.
"You know, Rukario," Aaron began, a twinkle in his eye. Lucario looked up into his Master's face while continuing to walk forward, his head tilted slightly to the side, silently asking Aaron to continue. "I've been thinking, and –"
Without warning, Aaron winked out of existence. Lucario halted immediately, looking around bewildered. Searching the area for Auras yielded no result, neither did calling out his name in his telepathic yells. Frustrated and confused, Lucairo spun on the spot, unsure of which way to go, which course of action to take –
Suddenly a shadow fell across his field of vision. His instincts taking over, he looked up, shielding his face with a paw. He saw the legendary Ho-Oh's talons open wide, glistening oddly bright in the dim light, fast approaching him as the bird glided down for the kill. Lucario quickly fell, diving to the side, attempting to roll out of the way of the legendary's line of attack before –
Lucario rolled off his bed – or more accurately, the small mattress lying in the middle of his room – half-crushing his tail in the process. Opening his eyes, he found out that the single roll had nearly planted his muzzle into the wall – which would definitely hurt more. Wincing, he glanced out of the small window set into the wall, watching as the first golden rays of dawn arc across the horizon.
I'm late, he groaned.
After quickly completing his hour and a half of training, Lucario padded silently along the corridors, heading for the Smash Mansion Cafeteria. On the way, he saw someone out of the corner of his eye, lazily throwing a Pokéball into the air and catching it with a hand. Catching sight of Lucario, the Trainer snatched the Pokéball out of the air, stuffing it into his pockets.
Ignoring him, Lucario proceeded on to the Cafeteria. Mentally slapping himself again, he realized that the cafeteria would be practically full at this point of time, a direct result of him not waking up early enough, as well as his now-fully-fledged headache. Putting a forepaw on the canteen door, he paused a moment to knead his forehead with the other paw, then pushed the door open a crack, just enough for him to slip in.
After he entered, a hand quickly caught the slowly-swinging door, holding it ajar. Nodding to the Squirtle following him, he entered the room, the Pokémon following suit, the door moaning and quickly closing, clicking shut.
Days of Our Lives Arc
Days of Our Lives