Disclaimer: I do not own pokemon, but I do own the characters.
"Hey there…would you mind if I joined you?"
Startled out of my jumbled thoughts, I jerked my gaze from the water and looked into the eyes of the person who addressed me.
The male eevee hesitated, then put forth a paw. "Um…allow me to introduce myself. My name is Storm."
His fur shone with an unnatural gold sheen, even in the moonlight. He seemed about my age, though his legs were noticeably longer than mine, making him a full head taller than me. What struck me as most odd about him was his tail. The fur was cut so short it looked more like a buizel's. His fur was sleek and wet, as if he'd been swimming.
I stared at his paw, wondering what he expected me to do with it. Did he want me to lick it? Or do the same with my other paw? I swallowed the growing lump in my throat. Was he mocking me? I looked at the water again.
After a few seconds he withdrew his paw and walked away. I exhaled slowly, relived that the tension was finally over. Then, a tiny feeling of loneliness began to creep in. He wasn't the first male in the Clan to speak to me, but unlike the some of the other male eevee, he never tried to get my attention. Being the only female in a rescue organization was tough. Being the only female eevee out of the thirteen or so eevees in the Clan was a nightmare. I was considered a prize, something all the males must strive for. I did not consider myself special in any way; I was a slightly darker shade of brown than the other eevees and my fighting style was mediocre. It would be many years before I met another female in the Clan, and she grew to become perhaps the greatest fighter and leader I would ever know.
I dipped my paw in my reflection, watching ripples fan out across the lake. It really was beautiful this time of the month, when the moon and stars mirrored on the surface. I listened to the sounds of the other Clan members celebrating their new alliance with another group, and cringed as some of the rowdier members began to fight amongst themselves.
Making juice out of fermented sitrus and oran berries was an old tradition amongst the nomadic shuckle that resided in the area. While the shuckle themselves suffered no ill effects from consuming this juice, other pokemon, especially the mammalian types, wind up drinking copious amounts and waking up with bad headaches. More often than not they attempted to do…things that they would never have had the gall to do when sober. The memories alone made me shiver.
I flattened my ears when the bushes behind me rustled. The males weren't all bad, but they did get carried away at times. Sometimes they got rough. But I could handle it; I wasn't in the Clan for nothing. I sighed and gazed at the water again, once again absorbed in the shimmering surface. I nearly jumped out of my fur when a paw touched my shoulder. It was Storm, looking a bit uncertain as he placed a berry at my paws.
"What's this?" I sniffed it warily. A pecha berry. Not as tangy as a citrus berry, nor as large as the watmel, but my favorite all the same.
"Thought you might like something to snack on. I've noticed you eating these before…" The berry looked appetizing…but I don't like to eat in front of people. It felt weird, and awkward. And how on earth did he see me eating these?
"I saw you eating these off bushes during training runs," He added hastily, as if he read my mind. "If you would like something-" He must have noticed my absence from the dining hall during mealtimes.
"Why are you doing this?" I cut in quietly.
"Isn't that obvious?" He sat down beside me and looked me in the eye. "Apart from being the only female eevee in the Clan, you distance yourself from everyone else, hardly talk to your team when on missions, and slip away the moment one of us even looks at you." He paused, his ears drooping a little as I turned my head away and continued. " And you reject us when all we want to do is get to know you better."
My fur bristled as I rounded on him. "That's easy for you to say. Put yourself in my paws and think about what I go through every day. " I know the line was often overused, but it was necessary to get my point across. "Will none of you take a hint? When a female says she doesn't want a mate that doesn't mean you court her without her permission. It means you leave her alone."
He opened his mouth to say something, but I silenced him with a glare and continued.
"Have you ever been followed into the forest? Had advances made on you? Been spied on while bathing in the stream? Constantly have to hide once a male spots you? Being the only female eon here is hell!" Upset, I turned away from him and padded a few steps along the shore and sat down, hugging my tail tightly around me. I looked vulnerable, I knew, but I was too angry to care.
Hot tears leaked out of my eyes and rolled down my cheeks, peppering the ground with tiny wet spots. My fur was glossy enough that neither rain nor tears could soak my skin easily. In truth, Storm's words hurt. Was I really that antisocial? I tried to remember the last time I had a friendly conversation in the clan. Was it five months ago? Six months? I frowned. Was it really that long?
Pebbles clicked as Storm picked his way over to me and stood behind me. I could smell the confusion on him, and felt a bit guilty for shouting at him. The fur on my back rose as he came closer.
"Don't stand behind me like that." I said curtly, without turning my head. He growled under his breath, walked around me, and dropped the pecha berry in front of my paws again.
"You could at least give me a little credit," He spat, his fur spiking up in anger. "I thought you were sad, and lonely, and needed a companion. Your attitude makes everyone around you miserable. Not all of us have mating in mind. So don't flatter yourself if you think I approached you with romantic or carnal intentions, because that certainly is not the case." His voice turned cold with scorn as the last, perhaps most hurtful words rolled off his tongue. "I don't 'love' you…..I pity you."
I stared at him, stunned into silence as his words hit me full force. It could have been an hour, a minute, even a few seconds, but his angry expression disappeared, replaced with a look of horror as he realized what he'd just said, saw the teardrops that pooled at my feet. I stood up.
"Wait-" He began, but I cut him off.
"I-I don't need your pity…or anyone else's for that matter. I'm leaving." I spoke in a low voice, so he had to strain to hear. The tears fell faster, more from sadness than frustration. Unable to look at him with blurred eyes, I turned and ran, cutting a path straight through the long grasses that bordered the lake. Behind me, I could hear the sound of his pursuit. His paws skimmed so effortlessly over the ground that even with my head start it would only be a minute or so until he caught up with me.
"Leave me alone! Go away!" I screamed over my shoulder.
I ran blindly, ignoring the stinging lash of the branches that whipped across my face as I plowed through them. My biggest advantage at this point was my size. I was not as tall as him, so he would have a rougher time getting through the dense foliage.
I heard his desperate calls only faintly, the blood pounding so hard in my ears it was difficult to hear naught but my own thoughts.
"I didn't mean any of what I said, it just came out! Don't go…"
I looked at the sky, perhaps hoping for an answer to all my troubles, a way to end the sadness, escape the pain, fill the place in my heart my mate ripped out when he dropped me off at the Clan, promised to return, and never came back. A year and a half of lingering hopelessly on the promise that he'd come back for me.
Wasted. Cresselia was not smiling upon me tonight.
I was so preoccupied with my thoughts, that I never noticed the ravine until it was too late. One second I was pelting at full speed through dense undergrowth, the next, the ground dropped from under my paws. I slammed shoulder first into the side of the ravine and and tumbled head over tail into the bottom, stopping only when I rolled into a bush. For a moment I lay there, winded, struggling not to cry out in pain lest Storm heard me. Bushes crashed overhead as the male searched along the top of the ravine, his voice quavering with worry and guilt.
I did not want to lose the little dignity I had left by allowing him to see me in this condition. I struggled to my paws and limped a few steps before collapsing again, this time smacking my nose painfully against a sharp stone. I lay there, hurt, miserable, and embarrassed at my predicament. I even sniffled once or twice, but now the tears were gone.
The air become colder, and I shivered a little. Though I had a thick coat of fur, I was not accustomed to cold air. I had already shed earlier on in the year, and my winter coat would not come for a week or two. Feeling sleepy, I curled up with my tail over my nose and tried my best to sleep.
This is a side story to Renegades, about Onyx's early relationship with Storm. I'll write more later, but I hope you like it. This can be treated as a separate story as well; it isn't necessary to read Renegades.